December 4, 2023

Who Pays for Clearing Suez Canal?

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.

Disputes grow regarding who should pay for dislodging the massive Ever Given container ship from the Suez Canal. Egyptian authorities say they won’t release the ship until its owners agree to pay up to $1 billion in compensation, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The giant container ship Ever Given, here in the Port of Rotterdam, can carry 20,124 containers.

Business Insider reports on the ongoing tribulations for the giant Ever Given container ship recently freed from the banks of the Suez Canal.

The ship is owned by a Japanese company and operated by a company headquartered in Taiwan, according to Wikipedia. On March 2021, it ran aground, blocking the Suez Canal for six days as it was dislodged.

Ukraine urged Russia to pull back troops from its border as US SecState Antony Blinken warned the US would impose “costs” on any Kremlin aggression, reports Bloomberg.

Faced with a massive spike in Chinese companies burrowing into the US defense manufacturing base, a new Pentagon effort has approved more than $311 million in potential partnerships between US venture capital firms and small tech firms since January in an attempt to keep Chinese money and influence out, reports Breaking Defense.

China’s government last week criticized the Biden administration’s curbs on access to US technology for its supercomputer developers and said sanctions “only strengthen China’s determination” to invent its own, reports C4ISRNET. The sanctions block access to US technology used by the Chinese military in weapons development.

Dubbed China’s “Little Blue Men,” an allegedly Beijing-controlled maritime militia, that analysts say could be hundreds of boats and thousands of crew members strong, appears to Western experts as an integral part of Beijing’s efforts to exert its territorial claims in the South China Sea and beyond, reports CNN. Allegedly funded and controlled by the People’s Liberation Army, what China refers to as  a “so-called maritime militia” could quickly bring a Chinese presence around disputed reefs and islands large enough to trigger a military confrontation. The apparent militia made headlines last month when more than 200 Chinese fishing boats crowded around Whitsun Reef, a Philippine possession in the Spratly Island chain in the South China Sea.

Reuters reports 25 Chinese air force aircraft including fighters and nuclear-capable bombers entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone on Monday, the largest reported incursion to date.

President Joe Biden intends to nominate Christine Wormuth to be the next Army secretary, making her the first woman to hold that position, reports Stars and Stripes.

The MQ-9A Reaper drone crash at the end of a New York runway last year was blamed on operators mixing up the levers on the control panel, an Air Force investigation has found. Stars and Stripes reports the unmanned Reaper quickly lost power and hit the ground about a minute after its takeoff from Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, NY, resulting in a loss of over $6 million in government property.



DefSec Lloyd Austin has ordered an Army review of an investigation into a January 2020 militant assault on the Manda Bay military base in Kenya that killed three Americans and wounded three others, reports Military Times. DoD did not pinpoint what Austin found lacking in the initial investigation conducted by US Africa Command.

“They’re trying to deny us until we die,” say veterans hoping that a new toxic exposure bill will spur change at VA, reports Stars and Stripes. Hundreds of veterans have come down with cancer and other illnesses after serving at the former Soviet base, Karshi-Khanabad Air Base in Uzbekistan, that the US used between 2001 and 2005 to support the war effort in Afghanistan. DoD documents show troops were exposed to multiple toxins at the base.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has asked a small police department to release personnel records of two officers accused of pepper-spraying and pointing their guns at a Black Army lieutenant during a traffic stop, reports Army Times. The AG’s office issued a statement saying Herring is “deeply concerned about the traffic stop” and believes the officers’ conduct “was dangerous, unnecessary, unacceptable, and avoidable.”

The amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard, destroyed by a massive fire in July, will be decommissioned this week and is expected to head to Texas afterward for dismantling, according to Navy Times.

C4ISRNet reports Germany will use Lockheed Martin’s space situational awareness software to track objects in space. The iSpace command and control system collects data from government, commercial, and scientific sensors all over the world to track thousands of objects in orbit to alert operators to anomalies or potential collisions and suggests mitigating actions.

The Navy’s littoral combat ship program is threatened by unsustainable operating costs, reports Defense News. With a minimal crew, as few as 32 sailors and eight officers, the maintenance burden falls on contractors, but putting sailors back in charge could drive higher operating costs, reports Defense News. The littoral combat ship program battles reliability problems as well.

A new set of mechanical issues are extending repairs on the almost 30-year-old guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG-72) that has been sidelined since February, USNI News reports. The crew discovered significant debris in the lube oil system of the cruiser’s main reduction gear, likely keeping the cruiser at least two more weeks at Naval Station Norfolk, VA.

How is the Navy going to replace its 22 Ticonderoga-class cruisers, the air defense ships that each pack 122 vertical-launching missile cells? In the 12 years since the Pentagon canceled the next-generation cruiser, this question still has no good answer, says Defense News.

Former Congressman Gil Cisneros has been tapped by Biden to lead the Pentagon’s Personnel and Readiness office, the latest in a series of leadership moves for the DoD, reports Military Times.

Boeing has begun production of Norway’s first P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft, reports UPI.


Bell Boeing Joint Program Office, California, Maryland, is awarded $143,198,723 for a delivery order (N00383-21-F-0U51) under previously awarded performance-based logistics requirements contract N00383-19-D-U501 for the logistics and repair support of MV-22B, CMV-22 (Navy) and CV-22 (Air Force) Osprey components. All work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas. Work is expected to be completed by December 2025. Fiscal 2021 working capital funds (Navy) in the full amount of $143,198,723 will be obligated at time of award and funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One source was solicited for this non-competitive requirement pursuant to the authority set forth in 10 US Code 2304 (c)(1), in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1, with one offer received. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity.

ManTech SRS Technologies Inc., Herndon, Virginia, is awarded a maximum-value $100,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect-engineering contract for range sustainability services for military training and testing range complexes and assets at various locations worldwide. Work will be performed at various locations worldwide including, but not limited to, California (30%); Hawaii (25%); Guam (15%); Washington (10%); Alaska (5%); Arizona (5%); Nevada (5%); and Virginia (5%), and is expected to be completed by April 2028. No task orders are being issued at this time. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $5,000 will be obligated at time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Future task orders will be primarily funded by operation and maintenance (Navy) funds. This contract was competitively procured via the online website, with two offers received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Southwest, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N62473-21-D-2212).

Amee Bay LLC, Hanahan, South Carolina (N64498-21-D-4023); American Systems Corporation, Chantilly, Virginia (N64498-21-D-4024); Continental Tide Defense Systems Inc., Wyomissing, Pennsylvania (N64498-21-D-4025); Delphinus Engineering Inc., Eddystone, Pennsylvania (N64498-21-D-4026); Epsilon Systems Solutions Inc., Portsmouth, Virginia (N64498-21-D-4027); General Dynamics Information Technology Inc., Falls Church, Virginia (N64498-21-D-4028); La Playa Inc. of Virginia, Chesapeake, Virginia (N64498-21-D-4029); Oceaneering International Inc., Chesapeake, Virginia (N64498-21-D-4030); and Q.E.D. Systems Inc., Virginia Beach, Virginia (N64498-21-D-4031), are each awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contract for the procurement of blue collar installation and technical services for upgrading hull, mechanical and electrical systems under various modernization programs for the Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division. The maximum dollar value for all nine contracts combined is $69,998,172. Each awardee will be awarded $5,000 (minimum contract guarantee per awardee) at contract award. It is estimated that work will be performed on the East Coast, West Coast, and outside the continental US at the following locations: Norfolk, Virginia; San Diego, California; Mayport, Florida; Bremerton, Washington; Charleston, South Carolina; Alameda, California; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Panama City, Florida; Baltimore, Maryland, Manama, Bahrain; Sydney, Australia; Gdynia, Poland; Rota, Spain; Yokosuka, Japan; and Sasebo, Japan. Work will be assigned according to individual task orders and is expected to be completed by April 2027. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $45,000 will be obligated at time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. All other funding will be made available at the task order level as contracting actions occur. This multiple award contract was competitively procured via the website with nine offers received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity.

The Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL), Laurel, Maryland, has been awarded a $49,900,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for sensor technology at the APL Research Center. This contract provides research and development of new sensor technologies that JHU/APL may perform for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in the broadest and most flexible manner for the Air Force. Work will be performed in Laurel, Maryland, and is expected to be completed April 9, 2028. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2020 and 2021 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the total amount of $724,963 are being obligated on one initial task order at the time of award. AFRL, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-21-D-1008).

International Business Machines Corp., Bethesda, Maryland, was awarded an $8,206,508 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for information technology services and support. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Radford, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of July 13, 2021. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $8,206,508 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Newark, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (W15QKN-21-C-0033).

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