April 12, 2021

Art & Lifestyle:

Cyber Experts: What Biden Should Prioritize

Cybersecurity

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Experts making up the Cybersecurity 202 Network have cited some ideas for what President Joe Biden should prioritize, reports The Washington Post, including finishing appointments to his cybersecurity team, directing more resources to Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and partnering with the private sector. Cybersecurity 202 is an ongoing survey of more than 100 high-level cybersecurity and privacy experts. Find a list of the 202 Network members here. Bloomberg reported last month that Biden said he intended to make cybersecurity “a top priority.”

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman GEN Mark Milley is likely to keep his job, reports Military.com. Milley was criticized last June for accompanying then-President Donald Trump through Lafayette Square Park to St. John’s Church for a photo op. Any sort of change to the Joint Chiefs “is a terrible idea,” said a former national security official in the George W. Bush administration.

Naval Air Systems Command posted a request for information last week for an analysis of alternatives for the Future Vertical Lift-Maritime Strike program, reports The Drive, marking the early stages of the service’s plan to replace its existing fleet of MH-60R/S Seahawk helicopters and MQ-8B/C Fire Scout rotary-wing drones.

New DefSec Lloyd Austin visited National Guard troops on Capitol Hill, reports Military Times. A contingent of 7,000 is expected to stay in and around the Capitol through this month, with 5,000 scheduled to stay through mid-March.

The heads of the Washington state, California, and Michigan National Guard are making a plea for more troops and for the federal benefits promised to them when they signed up, reports Military Times.

Homeland security experts urge Biden to go beyond his initial executive actions and ensure national security forces are better equipped to address homegrown threats, reports The Hill. The Department of Homeland Security has warned that the US might face heightened threats from “ideologically-motivated violent extremists.”

The Associated Press reports that the number of active hate groups in the US actually declined as far-right extremists migrated further to online networks, reflecting a splintering of white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups that are more difficult to track.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) sent a letter to the White House last week asking the the Defense Department to start screening the social media accounts of service members, reports The Hill, for any white supremacist or extremist ties.

 

 

Think that aircraft carriers are a thing of the past? Not so fast. These large-deck, nuclear-powered carriers will be a key part of the Navy’s force structure for the next half-century, at a minimum, reports The National Interest.

Hundreds of sailors aboard the USS Chafee have been moved off the ship and into San Diego hotels for a two-week quarantine following COVID-19 testing of the entire crew, reports Task & Purpose.

NATO senior officials say international troops plan to stay in Afghanistan beyond the May deadline, reports Reuters. Such a move that could escalate tensions with the Taliban that is demanding full withdrawal.

Jake Sullivan, national security adviser, is skeptical of US troop exit from Afghanistan, reports Washington Examiner. The Biden administration believes the Taliban is not honoring the terms of a pact made with the US.

NASA is sponsoring a contest to find a good idea to help feed astronauts on long-term space missions with something other than dried, packaged food, reports UPI. The deadline for the Deep Space Food Challenge is July 30, 2021.

Greg Ulmer, who for the past few years led Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program, has been named executive vice president of aeronautics for the company, reports Defense News. Executive Chairman Marillyn Hewson is retiring her position as executive chairman and as a member of the board, reports prnewswire.com.

The US Air Force Academy has investigated 249 cadets for alleged cheating last spring, reports Air Force Times, after three-quarters of the academy’s students were sent home in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Eleven Fort Bliss soldiers were injured, and two remain in critical condition, after drinking antifreeze during a field training exercise late last week, reports Army Times.

A New Orleans Police detective and an officer, along with five others, have been indicted for stealing more than $100,000 from the Army, reports The Associated Press.

Tampa Bay Buccaneer quarterback Tom Brady will have a chance to win his seventh Super Bowl ring with a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Fox News reports that it will be Brady’s 10th appearance in a Super Bowl and that he has lined up next to 218 teammates in those 10 outings.

Contracts:

Lockheed Martin, Mission Systems and Training, Baltimore, Maryland, is awarded a $14,184,813 cost-plus award-fee order N62786-21-F-0004, against previously awarded basic ordering agreement N00024-19-G-2313 to provide engineering and management services for LCS-21 post shakedown availability. Work will be performed in Mayport, Florida (37%); Moorestown, New Jersey (29%); Virginia Beach, Virginia (18%); Washington, DC (15%); and Baltimore, Maryland (1%), and is expected to be completed by July 2022. Fiscal 2015 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) $5,339,694 funding will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Repair, Bath, Maine, is the contracting activity.

NIKA Technologies, Rockville, Maryland (W912DY-21-D-0017); Health Facilities Solutions, San Antonio, Texas (W912DY-21-D-0021); Polu Kai Tidewater, Falls Church, Virginia (W912DY-21-D-0020); Vali Cooper International, Covington, Louisiana (W912DY-21-D-0018); VW International Inc., Alexandria, Virginia (W912DY-20-D-0019); and The Outfit Inc., New Braunfels, Texas (W912DY-21-D-0016), will compete for each order of the $50,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract to provide medical project support services, facility support services, quantity verification and analysis services, project development support services and commissioning support services. Bids were solicited via the internet with 15 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2026. US Army Corps of Engineers, Huntsville, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Herndon, Virginia, has been awarded a $7,763,422 firm-fixed-price task order under the ground subsystems sustainment contract (FA8214-15-D-0001) for the Minuteman III Launch Control Center Block Upgrade production for the exercise of Option Year One of Malmstrom Wing I. Work will be performed in Ogden, Utah, and is expected to be completed Aug. 15, 2022. Fiscal 2021 missile procurement funds in the full amount are being obligated at the time of award. Total value of the task order after exercise of the previously mentioned option is $26,428,083. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8204-20-F-0071).

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