A new contractor is scheduled to take over deli-bakery operations on June 1 at Scott Air Force Base and 43 other Midwest commissaries that were affected when a contractor-provided service ceased at the end of February, due to performance issues, according to an Air Force statement.
“I’m pleased to announce that Military Deli and Bakery Services Inc., MDBS, has been awarded the contract, and this will allow us to transition these stores back to contractor-operated deli-bakeries,” said Joseph Jeu, the Defense Commissary Agency director and CEO.
Since the end of February, the commissary agency has provided limited deli-bakery services at all the commissaries except for Fort Sill, Oklahoma. This was primarily done by hiring many of the former contractor’s workers on temporary appointments as government employees.
Starting June 1, MDBS will begin taking over the deli-bakery operations in a phased roll-out that includes the restoration of fresh sushi bars at stores that offer this service. The deli-bakery roll-out is expected to be complete by the end of May. The sushi bar roll out is expected to be complete by mid-July.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs launched a nationwide initiative earlier this week to increase the number of people and organizations serving veterans in their communities. It’s called “Summer of Service,” and it is asking citizens across the country to join us in serving the nation’s veterans.
“We have made progress over the past year addressing the challenges we face in delivering care and benefits to millions of veterans and their families,” VA Secretary Bob McDonald said. “While there is more work to do to honor our sacred commitment to veterans, we also recognize that VA cannot do it alone. We are asking Americans everywhere to join the Summer of Service and help us give back to those who have given so much to our nation.”
In the coming weeks, VA will be working closely with congressional partners, veterans service organizations, mayors and local communities, private sector and non-profit organizations, and VA employees to identify new and innovative ways to support VA’s commitment to care for those who “have borne the battle” and their families.
As part of VA’s Summer of Service, the department will hold an open house at VA facilities the week of June 28. Members of the community interested in supporting veterans are invited to attend to see how they can help serve our nation’s heroes.
The days of America’s manned fighter aircraft could be numbered. So says Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who opined that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter “should be, and almost certainly will be, the last manned strike fighter aircraft the Department of the Navy will ever buy or fly,” according to a column in Forbes magazine by military journalist Todd Harrison.
A lot of people, especially those in the fighter jock world, took umbrage at Mabus’ prediction. But Harrison stood by Mabus, averring that “I think Secretary Mabus is likely to be proven correct in his prediction because physics, physiology, and fiscal facts are on his side.”
Harrison notes that technology has dramatically changed the way that air-to-air combat is conducted. He quotes a recent military think tank analysis that noted that “over the past few decades, advances in electronic sensors, communications technology and guided weapons may have fundamentally transformed the nature of air combat.”
Harrison concludes that “the days of Maverick and Goose in Top Gun having to maneuver behind an enemy MiG are long gone. Air-to-air combat today is more like playing a video game, and engagements occur at distances so great that neither pilot ever sees the other. This has important implications for what fighter jets will look like in the future.”
In a previous era, speed, acceleration, and maneuverability were important in the gun and short-range missile eras. But nowadays, because of high-tech advances, sensors, long-range weapons and endurance are becoming more important in the beyond-visual-range era, according to Harrison.
“This raises the question: What is the advantage of having a person sitting in the cockpit looking at computer displays when that person could be sitting on the ground looking at the same information?” Harrison wrote.
The U.S. Air Force is developing the capacity to fire 100-plus kilowatt laser beams from its planes by 2022, according to a recent story in International Business Times.
The USAF is planning to equip all of its small fleets with the laser technology, which could be used in combat by fitting it on to an external weapons pod in the next seven years. The laser weapon would be used against air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, according to the story.
The Defense Department has already expressed its intention to prove the Technology Readiness Levels to a scale of five — which shows a “component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment” — by 2022 before eventually moving on to a level nine: proof of system success through mission operations.
Morley Stone, the Air Force Research Laboratory’s chief technology officer, told Pentagon reporters that more needs to be done before lasers can be fitted onto warplanes.
“We start getting into really what we consider a lot of risk with internal carriage integration; we're going to look at external integration via a pod,”Stone said.
A 100-150 KW laser being proposed on fighter jets could be used against surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles. The laser could reload by using energy from the jets fuel tank, according to Mark Gunzinger, an expert on laser weapons with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, in Washington, D.C.
Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2533.