January 24, 2021

Art & Lifestyle:

White House Coy on Esper’s Break with President


Morning Coffee is a robust blend of links to news around the internet concerning the Naval Air Station Patuxent River Morning Coffee logoeconomic community. The opinions expressed here do not reflect opinions of the Leader’s owners or staff.

DefSec Mark Esper declared on Wednesday his opposition to sending active-duty troops into US cities to deal with violent protesters, two days after President Donald Trump threatened to do so if governors don’t call up National Guard troops, reports Politico.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany sidestepped questions on whether Trump retains confidence in Esper after his public break with the president on using active-duty troops to quell nationwide protests.

The Hill reports Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, walked the streets and surveyed the National Guard’s curfew enforcement in DC, a few hours after military personnel fired tear gas into a crowd of demonstrators shortly before the president walked across the street to St John’s Church. Gen. Milley said the military was there to protect freedom of speech. “We’ve got the DC National Guard out here and I’m just  . . . seeing how well they’re doing, that’s all.”

SpaceX’s reusable Falcon booster returns to port after crew launch, reports Spaceflight Now. Almost exactly three days after taking off a few miles to the north at the Kennedy Space Center on SpaceX’s historic first crew launch, a 15-story-tall Falcon rocket booster returned to Florida’s Space Coast on Tuesday aboard a football field-sized drone ship.

Sick sailors recovering on Guam will fly home rather than rejoin USS Theodore Roosevelt, reports Politico. The Roosevelt got underway May 20 after nearly two months in Guam battling an outbreak of the coronavirus. The ship carried a scaled-back crew of about 3,000 sailors, leaving roughly 1,800 crew on shore who are still quarantining — including at least 13 sailors who had recovered from the virus and tested positive again.

VA sees rise in active coronavirus cases among patients in recent days, reports Military Times. The number of active coronavirus cases at Veterans Affairs medical centers nationwide rose by more than 7% in the last five days, a worrisome turnaround from the almost daily reductions in infections over the last month.



The largest source of COVID-19 cases in St. Mary’s is the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, reports The BayNet.

COVID-19 infects the defense industry with F-35 production slowdown, reports Aviation Week. Lockheed planned to deliver 141 F-35s in 2020, only seven more than in 2019, but breaks in the supply chain created a production slowdown resulting in a new forecast of 117-124 F-35 deliveries this year. If Lockheed is unable to recover in the second half, the slowdown would mark the first year-over-year decrease in F-35 deliveries since the program began.

The United States lacks visibility on how Egypt is using US-provided weapons in the Sinai Peninsula, according to a State Department report. Foreign Policy reports Congress worries the blind spot could limit the Trump administration’s ability to investigate human rights abuses in the ongoing fight against the Islamic State.

Guard troops in Washington, DC, say they want to “give people the opportunity to express their First Amendment rights,” reports Military Times. The DC troops were armed only with defensive weapons, rubber bullets, shields, and batons. They were not assigned to arrest or detain anyone, and the use of proportional force was only allowed if their lives were endangered.

Active-duty units deployed to DC region for protests were dispatched from Fort Bragg, NC, and Fort Drum, NY, at the order of Esper, reports Military.com. There are 1,600 active-duty soldiers staged just outside DC awaiting possible orders to support protest response in the city.

Air Force Times reports Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein denounced the death of George Floyd and the conduct of the Minneapolis police, calling Mr. Floyd’s death “a national tragedy.”

After George Floyd’s death, Trump administration told military’s service chiefs to remain quiet about unrest, reports The Washington Post. Esper asked service members to “stay apolitical in these turbulent days” — a theme he has stressed since becoming defense secretary.

Air Force to assess electronic vulnerability of aircraft, reports C4ISRNET. The Air Force is asking for proposals to conduct electronic evaluations of one of its key assets, the C-130 weapon system family. The service is conducting market surveys to see which companies might be able to study, analyze, develop or test advanced technology, including microelectronics, software, and algorithm solutions to resolve obsolescence issues

USNI reports barrier to the COVID pandemic has created a barrier to the Navy’s oversight the of Columbia ballistic-missile submarine program, including difficulties conducting oversight audits to ensure suppliers can keep to the tight schedule that has no room for further delays. So the program executive officer is working on virtual oversight.


Branscome Inc., Williamsburg, Virginia, is awarded a $16,920,452 firm-fixed-price contract (N40085-20-C-0031) for a design-bid-build, repair LP area runway and instrument landing system (ILS) installation located at Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia. Work will be performed at Norfolk, Virginia. The work to be performed includes, but is not limited to: repair of LP Area Runway 10-28, which includes asphalt and concrete pavement maintenance and repairs, runway markings, runway rubber removal, partial reconstruction of runway pavement, demolition of paved no-taxi islands and incidental related work. For the ILS installation support, work includes the demolition of existing ILS equipment and their supporting concrete foundations, installation of antenna foundations and equipment pads including micro piling, grading and drainage improvements, access road construction and reinstallation of existing generators and transformers. This project will also include additional utility work consisting of underground electrical and communication systems and incidental related work. Work is expected to be complete by March 2021. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $16,920,452 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Beta.SAM.gov website, and four proposals were received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

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