February 28, 2024

$10M Reward for Info on Ransomware Gang

Ransomware
(Pixabay photo by Franz26)

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 State Department is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information about the identity or location of the leaders of the global ransomware gang Hive, reports The Hill. The Hive ransomware variant targeted victims in more than 80 countries, including the United States, according to the State Department. The gang has extorted more than $100 million in ransom payments from hospitals, schools, financial firms, and critical infrastructure in the US since June 2021.

Hackers made off with roughly $1.1 billion from ransomware attacks around the world last year, according to cryptocurrency tracing firm Chainalysis, reports Axios. That is an increase from the $567 million extorted in 2022.

A proposal pending in the US House of Representatives would boost some junior enlisted troops’ pay by up to 35%, reports Marine Corps Times. Some members of the House Armed Services Committee’s special quality of life panel renewed their promise to dramatically boost junior enlisted pay in the near future but warned that other budget limits may complicate hopes for a quick fix.

Five US Marines have been confirmed dead after their CH-53E Super Stallion crashed Tuesday in Southern California, reports Marine Corps Times. The helicopter had been conducting a routine training flight from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California.

The Corps identified on Friday the five Marines who died in the crash of a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, reports Marine Corps Times. They are LANCE CPL Donovan Davis, 21, a crew chief from Olathe, KS; SGT Alec Langen, 23, a crew chief from Chandler, AZ; CAPT Benjamin Moulton, 27, a pilot from Emmett, Idaho; CAPT Jack Casey, 26, a pilot from Dover, NH; and CAPT Miguel Nava, 28, a pilot from Traverse City, MI.

The Pentagon said that 40 militants were killed in US air strikes on Iraq and Syria last week, reports Navy Times, in a wave of strikes on 85 Iran-linked targets. This was part of the first round of US retaliation for the deaths of three service members in Jordan on Jan. 28.

Army MAJ GEN Marcus Evans, commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division, told AP News that combat exercises between the US and the Philippines involving thousands of forces each year will not be affected by America’s focus on the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East. There have been concerns that the war in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas conflict could hamper America’s pivot to Asia and the Pacific and divert military resources intended for the region.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security President and CEO Ted Colbert is predicting a boost in the company’s international defense sales with a much of it coming from customers in the Middle East, reports Breaking Defense. Colbert spoke to Breaking Defense about potential future deals in the region — from interest in upgraded F-15s to Apaches and T-7 trainers.

BAE Systems unveiled its latest attributable autonomous collaborative platform at the World Defense Show in Saudi Arabia, reports Interesting Engineering. The new BAE ACP has been designed, the company explains, to operate alongside future and current-generation combat aircraft. An ACP is an unmanned system designed for teamwork in military operations, enhancing capabilities while minimizing risk to human life.

Lockheed Martin is teaming with MilDef to strengthen its bid to sell the C-130J Hercules to the Swedish Air Force, reports Aviation Week. This puts the C-130J into direct competition with Embraer’s KC-390 Millennium airlifter, which the Brazilian manufacturer is offering to Sweden in conjunction with Saab. Sweden wants to buy a new fleet of airlifters to replace its C-130Hs.

Sikorsky said it completed testing in December of the integrated mission systems and sensors aboard three MH-60R Seahawk helicopters purchased by the Hellenic Navy, reports Vertical Magazine. The tests verify each MH-60R aircraft is an efficient and effective air weapon system capable of performing anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions from land or sea.

The US Army is ending its latest effort to build the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, reports Defense News. It is an abrupt change of direction for the armed scout helicopter program that marks one of the department’s most significant cancellations of the last decade. The service had already spent at least $2 billion on the program and had requested another $5 billion for the next five years.

In addition, the Army plans to end production on the UH-60 V Black Hawk in fiscal 2025, due to “significant cost growth,” keep General Electric’s Improved Turbine Engine Program in the development phase instead of moving it into production, and phase the Shadow and Raven unmanned aerial systems out of the fleet, reports Breaking Defense.

Northern snakehead. (Maryland Department of Natural Recourses photo)

Two St. Mary’s County lawmakers hope proposed legislation will boost the catch and consumption of the northern snakehead, one of the Chesapeake Bay’s more troublesome invasive fish, by giving it a new, less off-putting moniker, reports Bay Journal. Sen. Jack Bailey (R) and House colleague, Del. Todd Morgan, also a Republican, introduced companion bills to rename the northern snakehead as the “Patuxent Fish.” Patuxent Riverkeeper Fred Tutman suggested popularizing the snakehead’s scientific species name, Channa argus. Morgan has since suggested amending the bill to call the northern snakehead “Chesapeake Channa.”

Could it be all about the marketing? In the mid-1970s, a marketing program through the US National Marine Fisheries service came up with the catchier “orange roughy” for the “slimehead.” Following the rebranding and the discovery of the new fisheries, the sweet, easy-to-cook fish soon increased in popularity, the Marine Stewardship Council reported in December 2016.

DefSec Lloyd Austin will testify before the House Armed Services Committee later this month about how he handled his cancer diagnosis and the missteps made in informing senior administration officials about his emergency hospitalization in January, reports Navy Times.

The Pentagon is finished with its review of DefSec Austin’s failure last month to quickly notify the president and other senior leaders about his hospitalization, reports AP News. Portions of the review are classified but the department will release what it can of the review.

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 542, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at Cherry Point, NC, is the first East Coast F-35B Lightning II JSF squadron in the Fleet Marine Force to achieve initial operational capability, reports Seapower Magazine. This means that VMFA-542 has enough operational F-35Bs, trained pilots, maintainers, and support equipment to self-sustain its mission essential tasks.

The nonprofit, nongovernmental National UFO Reporting Center said that in the 2000-2023 time period, it received reports of 112,914 sightings, reports Axios. The American West is the place to go if you want to spot some UFOs — especially Lincoln County, NV, home to Area 51, a top-secret U.S. Air Force base.

The US Navy on Tuesday relieved CMDR Cameron Dennis, commanding officer of the Japan-based destroyer USS Howard, after he made “unprofessional” remarks, reports Navy Times. Dennis become CO of the warship in September. The dismissal comes less than six months after the service removed the previous skipper of the warship, CMDR Kenji Igawa, due to a loss of confidence.

The nonprofit We the Veterans kicked off its 2024 Vet the Vote campaign last week in Las Vegas ahead of the Super Bowl, reports Marine Corps Times. The goal is to recruit 100,000 veterans and military family members to volunteer as poll workers in the upcoming presidential election.

Contracts:

Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is awarded a $7,851,661 cost-plus-fixed-fee order (N0042124F0190) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N0042121G0005). This order provides for software updates to interface the AN/ARC-210 (V) Gen5A radio with the CDU-7000A control display unit and associated software development stations in support of software development and testing for the Navy. Work will be performed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (40%); Huntsville, Alabama (37%); Puerto Rico (20%); and Patuxent River, Maryland (3%), and is expected to be completed in August 2026. Fiscal 2023 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $6,851,661; and fiscal 2022 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,000,000, will be obligated at the time of award, $1,000,000 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

RB Consulting Inc., Frederick, Maryland, was awarded a firm-fixed-price requirements contract (HT9425-24-F-0029) with an estimated value of $34,972,983 to support the Defense Health Agency Integrated Clinical Systems Program Management Office Technology Assessment and Requirements Analysis program, Picture Archiving and Communication Systems program, cyber security and risk management framework support, financial program support, and contract support. This contract was a competitive acquisition under General Services Administration Multiple Award Schedule Professional Services Schedule with two offers received. This is a one-year base period with four 12-month option periods. The place of performance is Frederick, Maryland, with a Feb. 19, 2029, performance completion date. The base period is funded with fiscal 2024 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $4,478,861. US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, Fort Detrick, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a not-to-exceed $10,083,352 undefinitized cost modification (P00006) to a previously awarded contract (N0001923C0003). This modification adds scope to procure production parts with significant lead times in support of equipping a Marine Corps short take-off and vertical landing F-35 aircraft with flight test instrumentation. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (30%); El Segundo, California (25%); Warton, United Kingdom (20%); Orlando, Florida (10%); Nashua, New Hampshire (5%); Grenaa, Denmark (5%); and Baltimore, Maryland (5%), and is expected to be completed in January 2025. Fiscal 2024 research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $5,041,675 will be obligated at the time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Agile Defense Inc., Reston, Virginia, was awarded a $12,312,919 modification (P00006) to contract W9124P-22-F-0036 for IT support services. Work will be performed at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2025. Fiscal 2023 aircraft procurement, Army funds in the amount of $12,312,919 were obligated at the time of the award. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

Ideal Innovations Inc., Arlington, Virginia, was awarded an $8,876,770 modification (P00015) to contract W15QKN-18-F-0090 for IT support services. Work will be performed in Clarksburg, West Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 9, 2025. Fiscal 2024 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $8,876,770 were obligated at the time of the award. Army Contracting Command, Newark, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.

Valiant Global Defense Services Inc., Herndon, Virginia, was awarded an $8,106,101 modification (P00008) to contract W564KV-23-F-2001 for non-personal joint training analytical support. Work will be performed in Germany, with an estimated completion date of March 9, 2028. Fiscal 2023 and 2024 operation and maintenance, Air Force funds in the amount of $8,106,101 were obligated at the time of the award. Army 409th Contracting Support Brigade, Kaiserslautern, Germany, is the contracting activity.

Jacobs/HDR, A JV (Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic sustainment, restoration, and modernization), Arlington, Virginia, is awarded a $30,000,000 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract (N62470-21-D-0008) to increase the maximum dollar value for architect-engineer services in support of the Navy’s sustainment, restoration, and modernization program. This award brings the total cumulative value of the contract to $120,000,000. Work will be performed primarily in the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Atlantic area of responsibility, but also worldwide, and is expected to be completed by June 2026. No funds will be obligated at time of award; funds will be obligated on individual task orders as they are awarded. NAVFAC Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Progeny Systems LLC, Manassas, Virginia, was awarded a $22,416,560 cost-plus-fixed fee contract for engineering and technical development and production procurement. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $116,039,941. Work will be performed in Manassas, Virginia (30%); Groton, Connecticut (25%); Port Orchard, Washington (15%); Las Vegas, Nevada (10%); Cleveland, Ohio (10%); Chesapeake, Virginia (4%); Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (2%); San Diego, California (2%); and Kings Bay, Georgia (2%), and is expected to be completed by January 2025. Fiscal 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $5,454,705 (65%); fiscal 2024 national sea-based deterrence fund in the amount of $2,454,705 (29%); and fiscal 2024 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $497,191 (6%), were obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 US Code 3204(a)(5). Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N00024-24-C-6240). (Awarded Jan. 30, 2024)

L3Harris Interstate Electronics Corp. (L3-IEC), Anaheim, California, is awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee $15,141,987 modification (P00023) to a previously awarded contract (N00003022C2001) for TRIDENT II (D5) Flight Test Instrumentation systems support. This contract award also benefits a foreign military sale to the United Kingdom. Work will be performed in Anaheim, California (56%); Cape Canaveral, Florida (30%); Washington, DC (7%); Barrow-in-Furness, United Kingdom (3%); Kings Bay, Georgia (2%); Bremerton, Washington (1%); and Silverdale, Washington (1%). Work is expected to be completed by Feb. 8, 2027. Fiscal 2024 shipbuilding and conversion procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $5,177,468, fiscal 2024 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $599,666; and fiscal 2024 weapons procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $502,216, are being obligated at time of award. No Funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The total dollar value of the modification, including options, is $15,141,987 and the total cumulative face value of the contract is $335,161,461. This contract is being awarded on a sole source basis under 10 US Code 3204(a)(1) and was previously synopsized on the System for Award Management online portal. Strategic Systems Programs, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Chugach Technical Solutions LLC, Anchorage, Alaska, was awarded a $57,157,228 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N6523624D1011) with provisions for firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and cost orders. The contract will provide for the delivery of Shipboard Unclassified Video Systems (UVS). This contract will also provide for services and other direct costs that are incidental to the UVS. The contract includes a five-year base ordering period with a potential value of $57,157,228 and a five-year option ordering period, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative potential value of this contract to $124,286,726. Fiscal 2021 and 2022 shipbuilding and conversion, Navy funds in the amount of $300,238 will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Work will be performed in Chesapeake, Virginia. Work is expected to be completed by February 2029. If the option is exercised, work could continue until February 2034. The contract was competitively procured by full and open competition via the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command – Electronic Commerce Central and System for Award Management websites, with one offer received. Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic, Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Feb. 6, 2024)

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is awarded a $9,048,297 firm-fixed-price order (N0001924F0051) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N0001921G0006). This order provides follow-on integrated logistics and engineering support, in support of the Harpoon/ Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response Missile System and Harpoon Launch Systems for the Navy and various Foreign Military Sales customers. Work will be performed in St. Charles, Missouri (91.89%); St. Louis, Missouri (5.47%); and Yorktown, Virgina (2.64%), and is expected to be completed in February 2025. Fiscal 2024 operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $2,259,542 will be obligated at time of award, all of which will expire at the end of the fiscal year. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

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