Tuesday, September 25, 2018

CG to transfer patrol boats to Ukraine

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Coast Guard is scheduled to implement the transfer of two former 110-foot Coast Guard cutters, Drummond and Cushing, to the Ukraine during a ceremony Sept. 27 at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Md. (Source: Coast Guard media advisory 09/25/18) Gulf Coast Note: Both cutters were built at Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, La. USCGC Cushing (WPB-1321) was commissioned in the Spring of 1988 at Coast Guard Base Mobile, Ala.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Global contract: $13M

Global Connections to Employment of Pensacola, Fla., is awarded $13,028,622 for modification P00010 to extend the previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N68836-17-C-0005) to exercise option period two for full food and mess attendant services in support of Naval Air Station Pensacola; and Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal School at Elgin Air Force Base, Fla.; and mess attendant services in support of Naval Construction Battalion Center at Gulfport, Miss. The contract includes a one-month base period, two 12-month option periods, one 11-month option period, and a six-month extension option, which if all options are exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $45,737,677. Work will be performed in Pensacola (60%); Elgin (20%); and Gulfport (20%), and work is expected to be completed by September 2019. If all options on the contract are exercised, work will be completed by February 2021. Subject to the availability of funds, FY 2019 Navy operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $13,028,622 will be incrementally funded throughout year, and funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is a sole-source procurement under the AbilityOne Program (Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 8.704) with one offer received. Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center of Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD 09/24/18)

Atchafalaya contracts: $23M

Citi Approved Enterprise of Harvey, La., was awarded a $13,195,792 firm-fixed-price contract for Atchafalaya Basin floodway, Boeuf Lock, 2018 south chamber guide wall replacement. Bids were solicited via the internet with six received. Work will be performed in Morgan City, La., with an estimated completion date of April 30, 2020. FY 2018 Mississippi River and Tributaries funds in the amount of $13,195,792 were obligated at the time of the award. Also, Hanson Construction Co. of Seattle was awarded a $10,162,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Atchafalaya River and Bayous Chene, Boeuf and Black, Atchafalaya Bay and Bar Channel, maintenance dredging. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work will be performed in St. Mary Parish, La., with an estimated completion date of March 23, 2019. FY 2018 Army operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $10,162,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of New Orleans, Louisiana, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD 09/24/18)

Glemora dredging pact: $21M

Mike Hooks LLC of Westlake, La., was awarded a $21,052,718 firm-fixed-price contract for maintenance dredging. Bids were solicited via the internet with four received. Work will be performed in Glemora, La., about 25 miles southwest of Alexandria, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 1, 2019. FY 2016, 2017 and 2018 Army operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $21,052,718 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of New Orleans is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD 09/24/18)

O’Bannon to lead CoE project m’gmt

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Vicksburg (Miss.) District has selected Alainna O’Bannon as chief of its programs management branch’s project management division. O’Bannon’s duties are to include development and defending the federal budget and preparing the fiscal year work plan execution. Prior to the new assignment, O’Bannon was operations and maintenance appropriation manager at the Mississippi Valley Division, which supports district offices located from St. Paul, Minn., to New Orleans. She is a native of Vicksburg with an associate’s from Hinds (Miss.) Community College and a bachelor’s in business administration from the State University of New York. (Source: Mississippi Business Journal 09/24/18)

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Reduce plastic flow from Miss. River

Thirty-three mayors and city leaders from the length of the Mississippi River are calling for a 20 percent reduction of plastic waste flowing into the river and out to the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Three mayors and 30 other city leaders announced a commitment Sept. 20 at the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative in Davenport, Iowa. The plan is to cut plastic waste by 20 percent over the next two years. The planned reductions will come from agreements with industries operating on the river, and city and state government-led efforts, such as limits on single-use plastic bags and increased capacity at recycling facilities, said Colin Wellenkamp, the initiative's executive director. St. Gabriel, Vidalia, and Baton Rouge, La., mayors were among those signing the agreement. Plastic waste breaks down into "microplastics" that end up in drinking water and marine animals, including fish and oysters. A 2017 Louisiana State University study found that the GoM is one of the most plastic-polluted bodies of water on the planet. Much of the waste is believed to flow from the Mississippi River. (Source: NOLA.com 09/22/18)

Time running out for '16 fed flood aid

Louisiana homeowners affected by 2016 flooding, and who took a survey showing interest in the Restore Louisiana homeowner aid program, have until Oct. 1 to complete applications for assistance. Restore Louisiana has indicated that 3,000 people with damage from the March-August 2016 floods filled out an initial survey, and were invited to apply for a grant, haven't done it. Qualifying homeowners can complete applications by visiting restore.la.gov or by calling toll-free to 1-866-735-2001 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Assistance centers are open in Baton Rouge, Hammond, Lafayette, and Monroe. More than 14,000 homeowners have been awarded grants totaling $480M to date through the federally-financed program. (Source: The AP 09/23/18)

Friday, September 21, 2018

Future DoD budgets may hit FFG-X

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Defense Department is banking on billions in savings through operational efficiencies to sustain and modernize between FYs-19/23, but if those efficiencies aren’t realized, the Pentagon may have to cut major programs to make up the difference, according to defense expert Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. During those fiscal years, DoD anticipates to “save” roughly $46B from cutting waste across the board. But if it’s not happening, the department will be faced with little wiggle room. The current DoD budget is not even close to accomplishing those savings, yet Harrison said future budget projections rely on them. If those “savings” aren’t realized, DoD will have to risk asking Congress for more money or “cut meat instead of fat,” he said. Most of the Navy’s big programs - F-35C stealth jet, Ford-class carrier, and Columbia-class submarine - will likely avoid those major cuts. But the Navy may have to scrap the next-generation frigate (FFG(X) or slow the pace on the Virginia-class submarine. In FY-20, DoD estimates an $84B budget increase, Harrison said, and $87B for FY-21. But Congress will need to work out a deal to increase the Budget Control Act of 2011 spending caps to provide for those increases, he said. “I think it’s going to be a long, hard drawn-out fight,” he said. (Source: USNI News 09/20/18)

La.-Miss. partnering biz entities

Four business entities from Louisiana and Mississippi, including the Marine Industries Science and Technology Cluster, will partner to promote entrepreneurism in the first ‘Gulf Coast Pitch Night’ in Gulfport, Miss., on Oct. 17. The Small Business Innovation Research Consortium, Louisiana Technology Transfer Office, MIS&T Cluster, and Innovate Mississippi will co-host the event at the scenic Great Southern Club in Gulfport. The collaboration is designed to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem across state lines. “The pitch competition will showcase tech talent, provide business-to-business networking, and allow entrepreneurs to meet investors in a social setting,” SBIRC chairman Andy McCandless told The Acadiana Advocate. “This is just the beginning of tech sector growth throughout the South.” In recent years, Louisiana’s economy has grown steadily in digital media and biosciences. Mississippi has seen growth in the aerospace and marine sciences’ industry. Initiatives have evolved with incubators and college technology transfer offices; and investment groups have emerged to support startups. Targeted tax incentives, like Louisiana’s Research and Development Tax Credit, have helped leverage private sector efforts, as well as public-private hubs like the Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi. (Source: Acadiana Advocate 09/20/18)

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Weeks Marine contract: $19.8M

Weeks Marine of Covington, La., was awarded a $19,884,400 firm-fixed-price contract for maintenance pipeline dredging. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Houston with an estimated completion date of July, 7, 2019. FY 2014 and FY-18 Army operations and maintenance; and general construction funds in the combined amount of $19,884,400 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of Fort Worth, Texas, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD 09/20/18)

Christening of LCS 22

The Navy will christen its newest Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Kansas City (LCS 22), during a 10 a.m. (CDT) ceremony Sept. 22, at Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Ala. At the ceremony, principal speaker will be U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II from Missouri. Mrs. Tracy Davidson, wife of commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Adm. Philip Davidson, will serve as the ship's sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow. (Source: U.S. Navy 09/18/19)

Navy IDs sailor killed on carrier

The Navy identified a sailor Sept. 17 who was killed on the flight deck of the carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). Airman Apprentice Joseph Min Naglak was working on the flight deck of the carrier when struck by the propeller of an E-2C Hawkeye after he had secured the aircraft to the deck. The carrier was conducting flight operations qualifications at the time. Naglak, from New Jersey, has been aboard CVN-77 since completing naval aviation technical training in Pensacola, Fla., after enlisting in the Navy in April 2017, according to Naval Air Force Atlantic. (Source: USNI News 09/19/18)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Austal awarded LCS 32 & 34

WASHINGTON - The Navy awarded modifications to previously awarded Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) contracts for FY 2018: One LCS to Lockheed Martin and two LCS to Austal USA of Mobile, Ala. “These contract awards represent an important next step in delivering critical war-fighting capability to the fleet,” said Capt. Mike Taylor, LCS program manager. The three LCSs being awarded Sept. 18 are the future LCS 29, LCS 32 and LCS 34. LCS 29 will be built at Fincantieri Marinette (Wis.) Marine. LCS 32 and LCS 34 will be built at Austal USA. The Navy has accepted delivery of 16 LCS. Including today’s contract modifications, a total of 32 LCSs have been procured. Ten ships are under construction (LCS 15, 17, 19 through 26), and six additional ships are under contract (LCS 27-30, 32, 34). Austal builds the even-numbered hulls. The Navy may release a competitive solicitation(s) for additional LCS class ships in FY 2019, and therefore the specific contract award amount for these ships is considered source selection sensitive information (41 U.S. Code 2101, et seq., Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) 2.101 and FAR 3.104) and will not be made public at this time. Work on the Austal LCS will be performed in Mobile (61%); Pittsfield, Mass. (20%); Cincinnati, Ohio (4%); Kingsford, Mich. (1%); Bristol, Conn. (1%); and various other locations of less than one percent each (totaling 13%), and is expected to be completed by September 2024. Lockheed Martin of Baltimore, Md., is awarded a fixed-price-incentive firm target modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-18-C-2300) for construction of one LCS. Work will be performed in Marinette, Wis. (40%); Washington, D.C. (7%); Baltimore (6%); Beloit, Wis. (2%); Iron Mountain, Mich. (2%); Milwaukee (1%); Waunakee, Wis. (1%); Crozet, Va. (1%); Coleman, Wis. (1%); Monrovia, Calif. (1%); and various other locations of less than one percent (totaling 38%), and is expected to be completed by September 2024. FY 2018 Navy shipbuilding and conversion funding will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract modification was awarded via a limited competition between Austal USA and Lockheed Martin pursuant to 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(3) and FAR 6.302-3. Naval Sea Systems Command of Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD 09/18/18)

Monday, September 17, 2018

Riverboat conversion at Houma

American Queen Steamboat awarded a contract to Gulf Island Shipyards in Houma, La., to convert a 23-year-old casino boat into a 245-passenger riverboat. The Kanesville Queen will become the American Countess, the fourth vessel for AQS that recently moved its headquarters from Memphis to New Albany, Ind. Construction is expected to begin in the fourth quarter. No delivery date has been announced. The company earlier said it expected to start its cruises primarily on e Lower Mississippi River in 2019. The 257-foot vessel will travel under its own power to Gulf Island in Houma from Marine Builders Inc. in Jeffersonville, Ind., where it’s been sitting since moving from Iowa. AQS has built its fleet by and refurbishing used vessels. (Source: Work Boat 09/17/18)

C&C delivers third towboat

C&C Marine and Repair of Belle Chasse, La., delivered the third in a series of new 6,600 hp triple-screw Z-drive towboats to Marquette Transportation of Paducah, Ky. The Jerry Jarrett’s design includes three Cummins QSK60-M main engines that are paired to three Steerprop SP25D azimuthing Z-drive thrusters from Karl Senner of Kenner, La. The triple azimuthing Z-drive configuration is designed to allow for optimal speed, power and maneuverability. The Jerry Jarrett was delivered four months after the second towboat in the series, Chris Reeves, was delivered and only seven months after the first boat in the series, Cindy L. Erickson, was delivered by C&C Marine and Repair in February. After delivery of the second towboat, Marquette Transportation exercised the option for a fourth. That towboat is scheduled for delivery in December. C&C Marine and Repair was established in 1997 and is located in Belle Chasse on 80 acres along the Intracoastal Waterway. (Source: Work Boat 09/17/18)

VT Halter Marine contract: $77.8M

VT Halter Marine of Pascagoula, Miss., is awarded a $77,898,158 firm-fixed-price contract for the detail design and construction of the Auxiliary Personnel Lighter – Small (APL(S)). These craft are similar to barges used in the commercial oil and gas industry. APL(S) was determined to be a commercial item and is being acquired under the procedures in Federal Acquisition Regulations Part 12 “Acquisition of Commercial Items”. The initial contract is for the detail design and construction of the lead and second craft in the APL(S) 67 class. This contract includes options for four additional craft and associated crew familiarization and packaging and delivery, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $244,065,420. Work will be performed in Pascagoula (58%). The remaining 42 percent will be performed in the following areas: Mandeville and Metairie, La.; Gautier, Miss.; Billerica, Mass.; and Boca Raton, Fla.; and is expected to be completed by July 2020. FY 2018 and FY-17 Navy shipbuilding and conversion funding in the amounts of $38,957,903, and $38,940,255, respectively, will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was a limited competition between VT Halter Marine Inc. and Bollinger Shipyards, located primarily in Louisiana and Texas, under 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(3) implemented at Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-3. Naval Sea Systems Command of Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD 09/17/18)

Navy’s going to need a bigger ship

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Navy Surface Warfare community is moving fast on wanting to buy a new large surface ship to replace aging cruisers, and it’s going to need to be more spacious accommodate future upgrades and weapon systems. Rear Adm. Ron Boxall, head of the Chief of Naval Operations’ Director of Surface Warfare has convened a “large surface combatant requirements evaluation team” to figure out what requirements are going to be needed for the larger ship. The goal, according Boxall, will be to buy the first cruiser replacement in 2023 or 2024. The acquisition process should kick off in 2019. Navy-thinking is that it’s going to need extra power for energy-intensive weapons of the future - electromagnetic rail guns and lasers. A key requirement is adaptability to upgrade and grow more quickly. The replacement ship will incorporate Raytheon’s AN/SPY-6 air and missile defense radar, the same way as the new DDG Flight III. The combatant will have the Flight III requirements as a baseline with room to grow, he said. The new ship will likely borrow elements from both the current DDGs and the Zumwalt-class destroyers that are entering the fleet. Also integral to any future ship will be the ability to host unmanned vehicles (drones), Boxall said. The Navy is starting down a path of incorporating drones into almost every aspect of war- fighting and including aerial refueling drones such as the MQ-25. The Navy has been integrating drones in recent years. The MQ-8 Fire Scout - an unmanned helicopter that can fly off a cruiser, destroyer or Littoral Combat Ship’s flight deck, and be used for targeting, was used in August to kill a target with a Harpoon missile launched from the Alabama-built USS Coronado (LCS 4). Austal USA of Mobile, Ala., builds the Independence variant of LCS. (Source: Defense News 09/17/18)

Friday, September 14, 2018

NSC Stone’s keel authenticated

PASCAGOULA, Miss. - Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding authenticated the keel of the National Security Cutter Stone (WMSL 758) on Sept. 14. It is the ninth Legend-class cutter built at Ingalls for the Coast Guard. Laura Cavallo, the great niece of the ship’s namesake, former Coast Guard commander Elmer “Archie” Fowler Stone, is the ship’s sponsor. Demetrica Hawkins, a structural welder at HII-Pascagoula, welded Cavallo’s initials onto a steel plate, signifying the keel of NSC 9 as being “truly and fairly laid.” The plate will remain affixed to the ship throughout its lifetime. Ingalls has delivered six NSC, the flagship of the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet, designed to replace the 12 Hamilton-class high-endurance cutters that entered service in the 1960s. The ship’s namesake, former Cmdr. Stone became the Coast Guard’s first aviator upon graduating from flight training at Pensacola, Fla., in April 1917. In 1919, Stone was one of two pilots to successfully make a transatlantic flight in the Navy seaplane NC-4. (Source: Huntington Ingalls Industries 09/14/18) The Curtiss flying boat NC-4 is on display at the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola Florida.

Revolutionizing workboat fabrication

A large percentage of the workboat fabrication industry is located along the Gulf Coast. A visit to anyone of them would likely reveal an antiquated fabrication process that has been used over the last 70 ago. The workboat manufacturing process is expensive, labor intensive, and hasn’t changed a great deal since WWII. It may be time to resign the manufacturing process from the bottom up. A new solid-state welding process for aerospace technologies is being developed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in North Alabama. It can reduce costs and decrease manufacturing schedules. Although NASA welding development focuses on the aerospace discipline, many applications exist for these same solid-state weld processes in the maritime industry. (Source: Marine Link 09/14/18)

Diesel fuel test burns on bay

MOBILE, Ala. – The Coast Guard Research and Development Center and federal, state and local stakeholders will be conducting a series of controlled test burns of diesel fuel on Little Sand Island in Mobile (Ala.) Bay beginning Sept. 17. There will be several test burns during the week that will last for about 10 minutes and produce a small plume of black smoke. Pre-planned burns allow researchers to gather critical data and determine best practices for operational use of in-situ burning to help oil spill responders develop new equipment and procedures and train response personnel. (Source: Coast Guard 09/14/18)