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Navy Orders Four Unmanned Subs from Boeing

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The $43 million deal is for the “fabrication, test, and delivery of four Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles.” Boeing unmanned sub, known as Echo Voyager, is now being jointly developed with shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls. The unmanned submarine market could become a disruptive segment, according to Cowen and Company analyst Roman Schweizer writes in a Feb. 19 note to investors. “We think it’s notable that Boeing, an aerospace company, won the program,” he wrote. “It’s even more significant when considering that Leidos is building the Navy’s Sea Hunter and Textron is building the Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle. Why? Because they’re not traditional shipbuilders, but then again these aren’t large ships and submarines. If these unmanned programs are successful, it could mark a shift within the industrial base. We’re not suggesting an end to large, expensive ships and submarines at all. But it could create new budget, force structure and market dynamics within the shipbuilding sector.”


Chad White  – From Navy Chef to Top Chef

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White fell into his culinary career by enlisting in the U.S. Navy. on Sept. 11, a few months after graduation. “Something came over me, and I felt like ‘I’m going to join the military.’ … The only thing I qualified for was a cook.”  He turned out to love the Navy.  He learned to make turkey a la king, Salisbury steak and mac and cheese for 600 to 700 sailors. He cooked for enlisted personnel at first but was soon promoted to making food for high-ranking enlisted sailors, then officers and the captain himself.  He traveled to Mexico, the home of his wife and fell in love with ceviche and became a self-proclaimed “ceviche geek”   Being on “Top Chef” made white a national brand and he appeared on Top Chef Season 13.

By the way, ceviche is one of my favorite foods and not only delicious with a kick but healthy.  I encourage all to try it.  In fact, I think I am having a craving for it right now.  – Debbie Gregory


Electric Therapy Shows Promise in PTSD Treatment

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By Debbie Gregory.

Hundreds of veterans have found improvement for their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms and mental disorders through an experimental new electric therapy treatment.

Former U.S. Special Operations Forces personnel have received the treatment at the Newport Brain Research Laboratory, located at the Brain Treatment Center in San Diego, California.

Dr. Erik Won is the president and CEO of the Newport Brain Research Laboratory, the company that has developed the treatment called Magnetic EEG/ECG-guided Resonant Therapy (MeRT).

Former Navy SEALS represent the perfect test group for the experimental brain treatment. They enter the service in superb health and then embark on a course of training that heightens mental and physical strength and alertness. But due to their close range exposure to explosives, they often suffer from Persistent Post-Concussion Symptoms and PTSD

With ongoing FDA clinical trials to judge the efficacy and risks of MeRT, the technique could provide an alternative treatment for debilitating headaches, inability to concentrate, memory problems, depression, anxiety, anger, aggressiveness, attention deficit and difficulty sleeping.

Won’s therapy is administered by placing a flashlight-sized device near the skull and inducing an electromagnetic field that sends a small burst of current to the brain. Over the course of 20 minutes, the device is moved around the cranium, delivering jolts that, at their most aggressive, feel like a firm finger tapping.

Won, a former U.S. Navy Flight Surgeon, and his team have treated more than 650 veterans using MeRT. The therapy has shown big improvements in test subjects who have participated in the course of therapy that runs for five days a week, for about four weeks.

“It’s certainly not a panacea,” said Won. But he believes that MeRT could be used to replace other therapies, including drug therapy.

“I think, in the future, there will be a discussion about whether this should be first-line management. What can we do to address the functional issues at play? There’s a whole lot of science to do before we get there,” he said.

By Debbie Gregory.

A high-stakes gambling addiction that resulted in the embezzlement of $2.7 million from the federal government has landed a 27-year Naval officer in prison.

Navy Lt. Randolph Prince, 45, will serve more than four years in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and making a false statement on his 2014 tax return.

As a supply staff member of Explosive Ordinance Disposal Training and Evaluation Unit 2, Prince steered government contracts to three sham companies that were run by his friends and co-conspirators Lt. J.G. Courtney Cloman, a naval flight officer, and Clayton Pressley III, a former sailor. Both have pleaded guilty to participating in the fraud.

Effective and efficient procurement for an organization as large and complex as the U.S. military is notoriously difficult. The needs of the nation’s military must be balanced with effective accounting methods, controlling cost, as well as mitigating fraud and waste.

This particular scam operated as follows: When a contract landed on the desk of one of these companies, Prince, and his co-conspirators would generate fraudulent documentation to suggest the company had honored its end of the bargain. Once “delivered” the Navy would then pay the invoice. However, the sham companies never provided the Navy with anything, least of all the “inert training aids,” or fake bombs that were supposedly delivered.

“It’s a shame that he squandered an otherwise outstanding 27-year Naval career,” defense attorney Shawn Cline said in an email. “He suffered from a terrible gambling addiction and abused a position of trust to fuel that addiction.”

In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar ordered Prince to pay $2,719,907 in restitution.

Pressley, who netted more than $644,000 from the conspiracy, was sentenced last year to two years in prison. That is on top of four years and two months he received for stealing the identities of his subordinates in an unrelated federal case.

Cloman is set to be sentenced Feb. 7.

By Debbie Gregory.

Senior artificial intelligence managers with tech giant Google recently participated in a day-long Air Force event to trade ideas on how best to curb hypoxia-like events from happening to pilots, giving Air Force officials a glimpse into how the services can leverage developing technologies faster.

The Joint Physiological Episodes Action Team, or J-PEAT, has already fostered a collaboration between the Air Force and the Navy, which until now have been separately trying to find the causes of, and solutions to, the so-called unexplained physiological episode (PE) events.

Pilots, physiologists, data scientists, engineers and maintenance personnel were joined outside of the nation’s capital in December by Google managers at the event known as an AF PEAT hackathon, to assist pilots flying aircraft such as the T-6 Texan II, F-22 Raptor, F-15 Eagle, F-35 Lightning II and A-10 Thunderbolt II.

For each type/model/series aircraft, the J-PEAT team is using a methodology called root cause corrective action analysis to trace fault trees, allowing a thorough, data-driven and methodical approach to identifying causes of PE events.

“Working closely with the Navy, NASA and other industry partners, the Air Force is making huge strides to better understand and solve issues,” said Brig. Gen. Edward Vaughan, the AF PEAT team lead. “We are in a period of very positive, but disruptive, innovation. There are hundreds of efforts across the human physiology and aircraft ecosystems moving in many directions.”

The symptoms, including disorientation, shortness of breath, confusion and wheezing, mimic both hypoxia, deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues, and hypocapnia, which is reduced carbon dioxide in the blood.

“Physiological episodes happen to people, not equipment,” said Jennifer Farrell, chief engineer for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Human Systems Program Office. “We must focus on design that enhances the human element.”

The symptoms experienced by pilots, including disorientation, shortness of breath, confusion and wheezing, mimic both hypoxia, deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues, and hypocapnia, which is reduced carbon dioxide in the blood.