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Mandatory Cyber Reporting in Omnibus Bill

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.

Legislation requiring private companies to report cybersecurity incidents to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency could hitch a ride to the president’s desk in an omnibus spending bill set for consideration in the Senate Thursday following House passage, reports Defense Systems. The legislation has bipartisan support. It would require critical infrastructure entities report to the government details of a “reasonable belief” a cybersecurity incident within 72 hours and based upon a size threshold, of any ransomware payments within 24 hours of doing so.

Reuters reports that a global food crisis looms unless the war in Ukraine is stopped because fertilizer prices are soaring so fast that many farmers can no longer afford soil nutrients, Russian fertilizer and coal, billionaire Andrei Melnichenko said Monday. Several of Russia’s richest businessmen have publicly called for peace since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion on February 24.

Ukraine is the “breadbasket of Europe,” explains Politico. The UN World Food Programme sourced more than half of its supplies for the hungry across the globe in 2021 from Ukraine. When this “breadbasket of Europe” is knocked out of supply chains and aid networks, the world is going to feel it.

Women worked until March 15, 2022, to make the same as men made in 2021. More than a half-century since the Equal Pay Act was passed, Business Insider has further discouraging news for female wage-earners. Women who were full-time, year-round employees made 83 cents for every dollar men made in 2020, based on median earning data from the Census Current Population Survey. That means women are paid about 17% less than men.

Russia and Ukraine are looking for compromise in peace talks, Reuters reports on Wednesday as peace talks were set to resume three weeks into a Russian assault that has so far failed to topple the Ukrainian government by force. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the talks were becoming “more realistic,” while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there was “some hope for compromise,” with neutral status for Ukraine — a major Russian demand — now on the table.

Zelenskyy made a plea directly to members of Congress on Wednesday for US help to create a no-fly zone over Ukrainian skies and to provide more weapons to bolster Ukraine’s ability to combat Russia’s airpower as Moscow continues its bombardment of the country, reports CBS News.

Former astronaut Scott Kelly will back off a Twitter war with the head of the Russian space agency, reports CNN, following a warning from a NASA that such attacks are “damaging” to the International Space Station mission and putting NASA in a tough spot as it works to preserve its 20-year partnership with the Russians at the ISS. The warning came in an email to all former US astronauts.

It’s going to be a busy few weeks on the International Space Station, reports The Washington Post. This week was a spacewalk and next week Russia is flying three more cosmonauts to the station. By the end of the month, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and two Russian colleagues are to fly back to earth on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. And a few hours later, a group of private astronauts is scheduled to launch on a SpaceX rocket for a week-long visit to the station.

Lawmakers worry about cyber risks in space, reports FCW. During a Senate Armed Services hearing Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) questioned whether “increasing threats of cyberattack from Russia could jeopardize our US space operations” as Russia prosecutes its invasion of Ukraine. GEN James Dickinson, commander of US Space Command, said the command has “taken a lot of effort to ensure that we are cyber hardened and that we’ve got the right types of experts looking at our systems, our vital space systems” and that the command has built-in “cyber expertise” in its headquarters.

The Ukraine war may lead to rethinking of US defense of Europe, reports The Associated Press. Russian President Putin’s war in Ukraine and his push to upend the broader security order in Europe may lead to a historic shift in American thinking about defense of the continent. Depending on how far Putin goes, this could mean a buildup of US military power in Europe not seen since the Cold War, a turnaround from two years ago when President Trump ordered the removal  of troops from Germany.

Two journalists working for Fox News have been killed outside of Kyiv amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine after the news network said their vehicle was “struck by incoming fire,” reports Al Jazeera. Cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and producer Oleksandra Kurshynova were killed when their vehicle was struck in Horenka, outside of the Ukrainian capital. The Ukrainian ministry of defense blamed Russian troops for the attack.

The huge container ship Ever Forward is still stuck in the Chesapeake Bay, reports gCaptain, appearing to have missed a turn Sunday night straying from the channel as it departed the Port of Baltimore. At 334 meters, Ever Forward is smaller than the nearly 400-meter-long Ever Given that blocked the Suez Canal last year. Both ships are operated by Evergreen Marine, a Taiwanese container shipping company. Although not the same as the Ever Given incident, re-floating the Ever Forward likely won’t come easy either, it appears to have hit soft mud bottom at speed.

 

 

France is several years into a multibillion-euro investment in military space capabilities, and the country is using its temporary role leading the European Council presidency to emphasize the operational domain’s importance across the continent, reports Defense News. “If space was the ‘new frontier’ of the 1960s, there is no doubt that today it is a ‘new front’ on the battlefield,” French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said in a recent op-ed for Defense New.

The environment is the enemy in the Arctic and any simulated adversary is only a secondary threat, reports Military.com. In the frigid temperatures of late winter Alaska, a soldier’s equipment needs to work in negative 65 degrees. Soldiers stationed in Alaska must carry more gear than the grunts in traditional units, layers upon layers of clothing to protect them from the extreme conditions. Otherwise simple combat training is against a real-world enemy — the environment.

The US has 100,000 troops in Europe for first time since 2005, reports Stars and Stripes. EUCOM now has about 65,000 troops permanently based in Europe, with additional rotational units that have supplemented the mission for several years. In January, there were roughly 80,000 total US troops in Europe. But Russia’s new invasion of Ukraine last month sparked a dramatic increase in the number of deployments for temporary missions on the continent. Many of those troops were sent to the eastern part of Poland near Ukraine’s border.

While the US is beefing up troop numbers in Europe, forces in the Korean Peninsula are ramping up readiness as well, reports Military Times, in response to North Korea’s recent increase of missile launches since the beginning of the new year.

The US is less effective at countering terrorist threats in Afghanistan and Somalia since troop withdrawal, generals warn. The Washington Post reports the US troops’ exit from Afghanistan and Somalia has limited the United States’ ability to conduct counterterrorism operations against groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. “In my view, we are marching in place at best,” Army GEN Steven Townsend, who leads US Africa Command, told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee of the security picture in Somalia. “We may be backsliding.”

The Navy will install hypersonic missiles aboard the Zumwalt destroyers without removing the gun mounts, reports USNI. There’s enough space and weight margin to install two tubes for hypersonic missiles without removing the ship’s 155mm gun mounts, Chief of Naval Operations ADM Mike Gilday told USNI News last month. By 2025, the first 16,000-ton Zumwalt-class destroyer will have at least two sets of missile tubes inserted on the port and starboard sides of the ship without having to remove the guns mounts.

Facing future threats, the time for the Air Force to stockpile munitions is now, experts say, reports Air Force Magazine. Like their colleagues throughout the Air Force, the service’s top munitions experts hail the potential of cutting-edge aircraft such as the F-35 Lightning II and B-21 Raider. But without enough of the right kind of munitions, they believe, these and other platforms could fall short of their potential when most needed. “We lack a deep bench of stores for them when it comes to key weapons,” retired MAJ GEN Larry Stutzriem told a March 3 audience during a panel discussion at the AFA Warfare Symposium.

Contracts:

Fisher Engineering Inc., Johns Creek, Georgia, is awarded a $15,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, architect-engineering contract (N40085-22-D-0004) for architect-engineer services for fire protection in the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic area of operations (AO). The work to be performed provides for building code analysis, life-safety code analysis, water flow tests, fire-protection design analysis of automatic detection and suppression systems, and verification of the adequacy of water supply. Task Order 0001 is being awarded at $145,880 for fire protection assessment at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. All work will be performed at various Navy facilities and other government facilities within the NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic AO. The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months and is expected to be completed by February 2027. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $145,880 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Future task orders will be primarily funded by operation and maintenance (Navy) funds. This contract was competitively procured via the Sam.Gov website with 13 proposals received. NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

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