April 6, 2020

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With Peace Deal, Troops Could Be Out of Afghanistan in 14 Months

Afghanistan

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.

The US and the Taliban have signed a peace agreement aimed at ending the 18-year war in Afghanistan, reports USA Today. If the Taliban meet their commitments, US troops would leave in 14 months. Many veterans of America’s longest war are finding themselves torn, reports Military Times. For many, the US withdrawal is long overdue. Others question the trustworthiness of the Taliban. ABC News reports that a dispute over prisoners and deadly attacks could threatened the peace deal.

China has pledged its support for the US-Taliban peace agreement in Afghanistan and called for the “orderly and responsible” withdrawal of foreign troops to avoid a power vacuum and possible terrorist resurgence, reports ABC News.

A warning to China from the US: “You don’t want to play laser tag with us.” This Instagram post Feb. 28 from the US Navy comes after an incident in which a Chinese warship aimed a military-grade laser at a Navy P-8A Poseidon surveillance plane, reports The Epoch Times. The P-8A was flying above the Philippine Sea approximately 350 miles west of Guam last month. Washington Examiner reports the laser could not be detected by the human eye, but the aircraft’s sensors detected the beam.

Col. Jack Perrin, program manager of PMA-261 H53 Heavy Lift Helicopters at NAS Pax River, discussed the progress of the program with Second Line of Defense last month. According to the report, the core point is simple – the CH-53K King Stallion aircraft needs to come into the USMC-Navy team as soon as possible to enable the shift in concepts of operations required to deal with the new strategic environment.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk expects unmanned drones will outlive fighter jets in the US Air Force, reports Yahoo! Finance. “It’s not [that] I want the future to be this,” the billionaire entrepreneur added during a fireside chat about the future of air defense with Gen. Jay Raymond, chief of space operations for the Space Force. “The fighter jet era has passed.” The two were speaking at the 2020 Air Warfare Symposium last week in Florida. Mr. Musk’s remarks weren’t original ones, reports Defense News. The Air Force and other military services have been embroiled in a decades-long debate about the balance of manned and unmanned technology, and how future leaps in artificial intelligence could both enable and complicate the rules of engagement on a battlefield.

Bringing Turkey back into Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program, following that country’s multibillion-dollar deal with Russia, would be a colossal task for the Pentagon’s top weapons supplier, reports CNBC. “I think, politics aside, if we reintroduce Turkey into the program it would essentially be a restart,” Greg Ulmer, VP and general manager of the F-35 program.

The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and its strike group cleared a path through the Atlantic for a group of cargo ships led by the cruiser USS Vella Gulf, reports Business Insider. It is the first time since 1986 that the Navy has done this kind of convoy, an operation that the military sees as increasingly important in the contested environment of the Atlantic.

 

 

Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship 23 the USS Cooperstown was christened over the weekend, reports Naval News, in a ceremony in Marinette, WI.

Huntington Ingalls delivered the amphibious assault ship Tripoli (LHA 7) to the Navy on Friday, reports Navy Recognition. USS Tripoli will be commissioned later this year before sailing to its homeport of San Diego, CA.

Chief Petty Officer Edward “Eddie” Gallagher, the Navy SEAL charged and acquitted of murdering an ISIS prisoner in 2017, spoke about the events that led to his court-martial in a 60 Minutes interview. Mr. Martin said he was wrong to pose for photos with the wounded prisoner, calling the incident “wrong” and “distasteful.”

North Korea fired two presumed short-range ballistic missiles into its eastern sea Monday, The Associated Press reports, resuming weapons demonstrations after a months-long hiatus that may have been forced by the coronavirus crisis in Asia

Visser Precision, a Denver, CO-based manufacturer, has confirmed a “cybersecurity incident,” reports TechCrunch. The company makes custom parts for space and defense contractors. In a brief statement, the company said it was “the recent target of a criminal cybersecurity incident, including access to or theft of data.”

The Army is asking Congress for more than $1 billion in 2021 to develop hypersonic missiles for offense and missile-killing lasers for defense, reports Breaking Defense. Hypersonics funding is up 86% from last year and high-energy lasers soared 209%.

Kenneth “K.J.” Braithwaite

President Donald Trump says he will officially nominate Kenneth “K.J.” Braithwaite to be Navy secretary, reports Defense News. Mr. Braithwaite is currently the US ambassador to Norway. Mr. Braithwaite served 31 years in the Navy and Naval Reserve.

In the wake of news that the Marine Corps is banning Confederate paraphernalia from its installations, the US Army says it does not plan to rename its bases and facilities that were named after Confederate leaders, reports Task & Purpose.

The VA Department is delaying the deployment of its new electronic health record pilot until July, reports Military.com.

Contracts:

Bell Boeing Joint Project Office, Amarillo, Texas, is awarded a $7,272,135 modification (P00007) to a previously awarded, cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order (N00019-18-F-0016) against basic ordering agreement (N00019-17-G-0002). Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (84%); Ridley Park, Pennsylvania (5%); Patuxent River, Maryland (4%); Fort Walton Beach, Florida (4%); and Amarillo, Texas (3%), and is expected to be completed in May 2021. This modification provides additional funding to support non-recurring engineering and the associated efforts required to incorporate optimized wiring and structural improvements on the nacelle into the V-22 aircraft production line and retrofit of fleet aircraft during depot level maintenance and supports Navy, Marines Corps, Air Force and the government of Japan. Fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $4,312,376; fiscal 2019 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $1,133,645; fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,088,396; and Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $737,718 will be obligated at time of award, $1,088,396 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Applied Research Associates, Albuquerque, New Mexico (HHM402-20-D-0007); Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia (HHM402-20-D-0008); CACI NSS Inc., Reston, Virginia (HHM402-20-D-0009); Centauri LLC, Chantilly, Virginia (HHM402-20-D-0010); General Dynamics Information Technology Inc., Herndon, Virginia (HHM402-20-D-0011); Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Cincinnati, Ohio (HHM402-20-D-0012); and Radiant Geospatial Solutions, Gaithersburg, Maryland (HHM402-20-D-0013), were awarded a five-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ), multiple-award contract called DORE2 with a combined ceiling value of $990,000,000. Through this award, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) will procure Data Science, Operations, Requirements, Exploitation and Engineering (DORE2) services to support DIA Directorate for Science and Technology missions. Work will be performed at contractor facilities and at government facilities in the National Capital Region with an estimated completion date of March 1, 2025. The contract was awarded through a full and open solicitation and eight offers were received. Each company will receive a $10,000 minimum guarantee. Task Orders (TO) will be issued competitively under this IDIQ which will allow for the following TO contract types: firm-fixed-price; fixed price, level of effort term; fixed-price incentive (FPI includes firm and successive targets; fixed-price-award-fee; cost-plus incentive-fee; cost-plus-award-fee; cost-plus-fixed-fee term and completion; and time-and-material or labor hour). The Virginia Contracting Activity, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.

Andromeda Systems Inc., Virginia Beach, Virginia, is awarded an $89,104,038 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract provides reliability-centered maintenance for service aircraft, engines, systems (weapons, aircrew escape, avionics and electrical systems), support equipment (avionics support equipment, non-avionics support equipment and aircraft launch/recovery equipment), and a Fleet Readiness Center/depot plant equipment to include modifications during all life cycle phases and levels of maintenance. Work will be performed in various locations within the continental US and is expected to be completed by March 2025. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. This contract was a small-business set-aside and competitively procured via Federal Business Opportunities; one offer was received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00421-20-D-0028).

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