November 28, 2020

Art & Lifestyle:

Holidays Events at Museums & in Town -

Friday, November 27, 2020

New Exhibits Greet Visitors to Lighthouse -

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

SMECO Employees Raise Funds for Hospitals -

Monday, November 16, 2020

Health Equity Webinar Series Set -

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Audit to Probe How DoD Spent COVID Relief Funds

Audit

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 Pentagon’s inspector general will audit DoD’s distribution of $1 billion from the CARES Act, reports The Hill. The audit follows a Washington Post report that the Defense Department funneled coronavirus relief money to defense contractors. Two days before the audit announcement, the Pentagon revealed plans to buy $481 million worth of COVID-19 tests, reports Washington Examiner.

Military actions played a larger role in the response to the national COVID emergency than possibly any other homeland event in US history, reports Army Times. Many of those assets might have gotten their first tryouts during the pandemic. That response included all of the service branches and their active, reserve and Guard components, alongside the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other homeland security entities.

One active-duty service member has died from coronavirus among 1.3 million since the outbreak of the pandemic, reports Fox News. DoD lists eight military deaths due to COVID, but that number includes guard and reserve service members. Charles Robert Thacker Jr. was a sailor who had been aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. He died in April at a naval hospital in Guam, reports New York Post.

The Associated Press reports that the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide has surpassed 40 million and the number of virus deaths is more than 1.1 million. Johns Hopkins University collates reports from around the world.

DefSec Mark Esper is calling for bigger defense budgets, reports Military.com. He says increases of 3% to 5% will be needed to maintain military readiness. DefSec Esper was speaking about readiness and modernization before the Heritage Foundation.

The US Marine Corps held a sunset ceremony for its Marine Attack Squadron 311, reports Marine Corps Times, as the corps looks to move from the AV-8B Harrier to the F-35 Lightning.

Artificial intelligence makes every soldier is a counter-drone operator, reports Army Times. “Everyone is counter-UAS,” said COL Marc Pelini, speaking at the virtual Association of the US Army conference last week. With the addition of AI and machine learning, the aim is to make every soldier, regardless of job specialty, capable of knocking down threatening drones.

A new suicide crisis hotline measure will designate 988 as a universal telephone number for national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline services, reports Military Times. President Donald Trump on Saturday signed the law. Under the provisions of the bill, the new 988 crisis number will be active by fall 2021.

 

 

The recently released Microsoft Digital Defense Report shows that hackers have become more sophisticated and are using tactics that make it more difficult to spot, reports UPI. “In addition to attacks becoming more sophisticated, threat actors are showing clear preferences for certain techniques, with notable shifts toward credential harvesting and ransomware, as well as an increasing focus on Internet of Things devices,” Microsoft officials said in the report. Infosecurity magazine features 10 highlights of the annual report.

Chinese hackers are suspected of targeting Japanese research institutions working on COVID-19 vaccines, reports South China Morning Post. Earlier in the summer, the US Justice Department had issued indictments charging two Chinese nationals with hacking several groups engaged in COVID research, reports NBC News.

The US Army is beginning to field a new cyber tool, the Garrison Defensive Cyber Operations Platform, to its installations, reports C4ISRNET. The platform allows for integration into the global enterprise fabric, an Army enterprise computing environment, and will allow soldiers to work remotely.

The US Chamber of Commerce is urging President Trump to withdraw his executive order that extended his administration’s ban on race- and sex-based discrimination training to include federal contractors, reports The Hill. Maryland Nonprofits and the Maryland Chamber of Commerce are among the 150 groups to sign the letter opposing the ban.

The message from senior DoD leaders: It’s important to keep politics out of the military workplace, reports the Fort Lee Traveller. “We that wear the cloth of our nation come from the people of our nation. We must hold dear the principle of an apolitical military that is so deeply rooted in the very essence of our republic,” said GEN Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

As Election Day gets closer, The Washington Post reports, Pentagon leaders are finding their goal of staying out of politics is being tested. GEN Milley has pledged the military will have no role in the coming election, reports Breaking Defense, while DefSec Esper avoided political questions by offering a pre-taped speech before the annual AUSA conference late last week.

The National Museum of the US Army will open on a publicly accessible area of Fort Belvoir on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, reports Patch.com. It will be open to the public with free admission.

Maryland’s oyster season began this month, but restaurants, watermen, and others worry the coronavirus pandemic will stifle demand for the bivalve, reports The Baltimore Sun. More people are opting for takeout rather than dining out, but will they carryout oysters? “Most people don’t know how to shuck oysters without cutting themselves up real bad,” said Robert T. Brown, president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association.

Patuxent Habitat for Humanity broke ground in a Lexington Park neighborhood this month on its 21st home build, reports The Southern Maryland Chronicle. It is the 11th home the group will have built in St. Mary’s County.

Contracts:

The National Industries for the Blind, Alexandria, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $8,728,339 modification (P00008) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-B043) with four one-year option periods for moisture wicking t-shirts. This is an indefinite-delivery contract. Locations of performance are Virginia, North Carolina, and Arkansas, with an Oct. 30, 2021, ordering period end date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2022 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency, Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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