July 12, 2020

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With Pierside Exercises Complete, USS Ford Heads for Sea Trials

Ford carrier
The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) departs Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding on Oct. 25, 2019, to conduct sea trials. (US Navy photo)

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The aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford has been plagued by glitches affecting everything from its ammunition elevators to its electromagnetic system for launching and recovering jets. The plight of the Ford ignited a war of words between US lawmakers and Navy leaders last week, reports Navy Times. The carrier completed a five-day pierside exercise last week, reports UPI News, although it may not be ready for service until 2024. On Friday, the Ford got underway from Newport News, VA, for sea trails, the Navy reports.

President Donald Trump provided details Sunday morning about the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after a raid by US forces in Syria, The Washington Post reports.

The Washington Nationals are heading back to Houston for Game 6 of the World Series, reports UPI News. The Astros pulled ahead in the series Sunday night at Nationals Park, reports USA Today. Ace pitcher Max Scherzer was nixed from Sunday’s lineup due to muscle spasms in his back, reports The Washington Post.

Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly said the sea services must start plotting unconventionally to undermine US competition like China and Russia, reports Navy Times. The National Defense Strategy, which calls for shaking up how the Navy deploys is “a step in the right direction,” but Mr. Modly believes the sea services must make that operational.

DefSec Mark Esper lashed out at Turkey for its military assault across the border on Syrian Kurdish fighters, reports Military Times.

Russian military police have begun patrols on part of the Syrian border, quickly moving to implement an accord with Turkey that divvies up control of northeastern Syria, reports Reuters.

A group of F-15E Strike Eagle fighters from the 494th Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath in England arrived at an air base in the United Arab Emirates, reports Air Force Times, to help support ongoing operations in the Middle East.

The US special envoy for Syria and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS said that more than 100 Islamic State prisoners have escaped from a Syrian prison to parts unknown, reports Defense News.

An F-35 Lightning II’s cockpit demonstrator was on display Friday in Florida, reports The Florida Times-Union. The Air Force demo was held ahead of the Sea and Sky Air Show over the weekend. “The F-35 Lightning, it has no fear in the world, and that’s the beauty of it,” said Florida John Rutherford.

Staff Sgt. Nicholas M. Scalzo, 28, a soldier deployed in South Korea, was found unresponsive in his barracks at Camp Hovey near Dongducheon, reports Army Times. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The death is under investigation.

Four companies make up the team developing the Artemis human lunar lander for NASA, reports Space News. They are Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper. Blue Origin, owned by Jeff Bezos, will serve as the prime contractor.

Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX president and COO, spoke Friday at an investor conference and “knocked” SpaceX’s competitor Blue Origin, reports CNBC. “They have a billion dollars of free money every year from him,” Shotwell said of founder Bezos.

Hypersonics and “pitch days” will come together for the first time Nov. 7. US Air Force experts will judge products and ideas from startup firms related to solving key challenges to hypersonic flight, reports Breaking Defense.

Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, 76, announced Thursday that he will step down from the post he has held since 1987, reports Capital Gazette. His replacement will be 36-year-old Sen. Bill Ferguson of Baltimore, reports Maryland Matters. Sen. Ferguson graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in education in 2007 and taught in Baltimore City Public Schools for two years. He graduated from law school at the University of Maryland School of Law in 2010.


FreeAlliance.com LLC, McLean, Virginia, is awarded a $15,299,578 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for advanced cyber support services in support of the Marine Corps Cyberspace Operations Group.  Work will be performed in Quantico, Virginia. This one-year contract includes four one-year option periods which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $79,599,761.  The period of performance of the base period is Nov. 1, 2019, through Oct. 31, 2020. If all options are exercised, the period of performance would extend through Oct. 31, 2024.  Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $1 million will be obligated at time of award.  Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $1 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via request for proposal N66001-18-R-0011, which was published on the Federal Business Opportunities website and the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command e-Commerce Central website.  Five offers were received and one was selected for award. The Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N66001-20-C-3406).

DM Aero LLC, Byron, Georgia (FA8509-20-D-0001); KIHOMAC Inc., Reston, Virginia (FA8509-20-D-0002); iAccess Technologies Inc., Santa Ana, California (FA8509-20-D-0003); Erickson Incorporated, Medford, Oregon (FA8509-20-D-0004); Radiance Technologies Inc., Huntsville, Alabama (FA8509-20-D-0005); Science and Engineering Services LLC, Huntsville, Alabama (FA8509-20-D-0006); Scientific Research Corporation, Atlanta, Georgia (FA8509-20-D-0007); SelectTech Services, Centerville, Ohio (FA8509-20-D-0008); Strata-G Solutions Inc., Huntsville, Alabama (FA8509-20-D-0009); Strategic Enterprise Solutions Corporation, Warner Robins, Georgia (FA8509-20-D-0010); Support System Associates Inc., Melborne, Florida (FA8509-20-D-0011); and T3 Aerospace LLC, Anchorage, Alaska (FA8509-20-D-0012), have been awarded a combined $996,000,000 ceiling, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, multiple award contract.  The contracts will provide non-recurring engineering, trial installation kit, trial kit installation, kit proof kit, kit-proof installation, testing, test support, aircraft integration support, production kits, production kit installation, government furnished property/contract acquired property, interim contractor support, contractor logistics support, provisioning, field service representatives, field service representatives, program management, travel and per diem, kit packaging, handling, shipping and transportation, initial spares, other direct costs, over and above, contract data requirements and post award orientation conference travel in support of various aircraft modifications to Air Force fixed wing and rotary aircraft platforms.  Work will be performed in locations according to the individual order level and is expected to be completed by April 16, 2028.  This award is the result of a competitive small business set-aside and 17 offers were received.  Fiscal 2018 and 2019 3010 procurement funds in the amount of $1,500 to each awardee, for a total of $18,000, are being obligated at the time of award.  The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is the contracting activity.

Strategic Data Systems Inc., Keller, Texas, is awarded a $121,644,033 cost-plus-fixed-fee (CPFF), indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity single award contract with CPFF and firm-fixed-price ordering provisions on behalf of Navy Personnel Command within the Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education domain to obtain MyNavy Career Center support services.  The contract will include a five-year ordering period and is expected to be begin January 2020 and will be completed by January 2025.  Work will be performed in Millington, Tennessee, (87%) and Norfolk, Virginia (13%). Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $10,000 will be obligated to fund the contract’s minimum amount and funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured, with eight offers received.  Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk, Contracting Department, Philadelphia Office, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity (N00189-20-D-Z003).

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