February 3, 2023

Simple Sabotage Circa 1944

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The Office of Strategic Services compiled a 32-page booklet during World War II on just about every conceivable way to be the most terrible, annoying worker possible, including how to be a bore, reports Task & Purpose. The “Simple Sabotage Field Manual,” published in 1944, notes that “simple sabotage does not require specially prepared tools or equipment; it is executed by an ordinary citizen … [and] carried out in such a way as to involve a minimum danger of injury, detection, and reprisal.”

House Republican leaders have pledged $130 billion in spending reductions, but say they won’t cut tens of billions of dollars from future defense budgets. That doesn’t mean all military budget trims are off the table, reports Military Times. House Armed Services Committee leaders are eyeing savings through platform divestments and bureaucracy reductions while they plan for drastic reductions in nonmilitary spending.

The National Science Foundation has reached an agreement with SpaceX to mitigate the effects of the company’s second-generation Starlink satellites on astronomy, even as another organization goes to court to block the constellation’s deployment, reports Space News. The Starlink agreement is voluntary, beyond the FCC requirement for such an agreement in the license, no laws or policies require satellite operators to mitigate the effects of their constellation on astronomy.

The Pentagon is soliciting hackers for a third iteration of its Hack the Pentagon program with a focus on identifying vulnerabilities in the operational technologies that keep the iconic building and grounds running, reports NextGov. The program launched in 2016 and expanded for a second iteration in 2018. A draft solicitation was released last week announcing plans for a third and laying out the expectations for the vendors that will manage the program.

Veterans in acute suicidal crisis can now go to any VA or non-VA health care facility for emergency health care at no cost, according to a VA press release. This includes inpatient or crisis residential care for up to 30 days and outpatient care for up to 90 days. Veterans do not need to be enrolled in the VA system to use this benefit.

The DoD is backtracking on an earlier statement suggesting back pay would be provided the more than 8,400 service members separated for refusing to get vaccinated for COVID-19, reports Task & Purpose. Politico reported on Tuesday that the Pentagon was considering back pay to former service members who were discharged for refusing to get the COVID vaccine, now that the mandate has been repealed. The DoD rescinded the mandate last week in accord with the annual defense policy bill.

A portion of staff at Norfolk Naval Shipyard were again required to wear masks indoors on federal facilities this week, reports Stars and Stripes. The mandate was issued Saturday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rated Portsmouth as an area with high community transmission of COVID.

Federal court administrators have reviewed the escape of Leonard “Fat Leonard” Francis last September from a luxury home detention setup in San Diego but declined to provide additional details when asked by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), reports Military.com. Francis pleaded guilty to bribing dozens of US Navy officials in a years-long fraud scheme. He cut off his GPS monitoring bracelet on September 4 and fled from his Carmel Valley detention mansion. He was captured 14 days later in Venezuela where he remains, pursuing asylum as the US seeks his extradition.

 

 

SpaceX launched a triple-core Falcon Heavy rocket for the US Space Force on Sunday, boosting a military communications satellite into space along with a maneuverable payload carrier hosting five classified technology demonstration packages, reports CBS News.

Ana Belen Montes, the most effective and damaging Cuban spy known to have penetrated US intelligence, was released January 6, after serving 21 years of a 25-year sentence for espionage, reports Military.com. By the time of her arrest in 2001, Montes had been a mole inside the Defense Intelligence Agency for 17 years, feeding US secrets to Cuba during the civil wars in Central America, where Cuba and the US military backed opposite sides in conflicts in Nicaragua and El Salvador.

US consumers remain in “pretty good shape” and have growing wages despite the Federal Reserve still draining excess liquidity from the system, according to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, Reuters reports from the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting at Davos.

The Navy recently wrapped up a “first-of-its-kind” repair of a damaged F/A-18E Super Hornet jet engine aboard the deployed aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush, reports Navy Times. In addition to getting the jet back into operations faster, officials hope it can serve as a proof-of-concept that such repairs can be done at sea in a deployed environment.

Two brawls in October forced senior military leaders to shut down the five-month boot camp at Georgia National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy in its first week, sending all 170 cadets home and barring them from Fort Gordon for a year. Military.com reports the violent week marked a debilitating breakdown of order for the state program that for three decades has helped at-risk youth complete high school education in an atmosphere of military discipline.

Ohio’s restrictive new election law significantly shortens the window for mailed ballots to be received — despite no evidence that the extended timeline has led to fraud or any other problems — and that change is angering active-duty members of the military and their families because of its potential to disenfranchise them, reports Stars and Stripes.

CNBC reports many of big risk cyber-safety issues come with the most-popular, and aging, big tech default email programs — such as Microsoft, Google, and Apple – developed long before cybercriminals became such a problem. “Email is an ossified product,” said Mallory Knodel, chief technology officer of the Center for Democracy & Technology, a nonpartisan group that promotes digital rights. And it represents some of the biggest threats to cybersecurity.

China’s population fell last year for the first time in six decades and a long period of decline in citizen numbers is expected to continue, reports Reuters. The country’s National Bureau of Statistics reported a drop of roughly 850,000 people for a population of 1.41175 billion in 2022, marking the first decline since 1961, the last year of China’s Great Famine.

A new high-tech study has revealed nearly 1,000 ancient Maya settlements, including 417 previously unknown cites linked by what may be the world’s first highway network and hidden for millennia by the dense jungles of northern Guatemala and southern Mexico, reports Reuters.

Contracts:

Apogee Engineering LLC, Colorado Springs, Colorado, was awarded an $84,497,683 firm-fixed-price task order for system engineering and integration support for the US Strategic Command Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3) Enterprise Center. This contract provides advisory and assistance services in support of USSTRATCOM’s NC3 Enterprise Center operations such as, program and mission management, configuration management, technical standardization, mission engineering analysis, evolution and architecture support. Work will be performed at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska; Fort Meade, Maryland; Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado; and National Capital Region locations, and is expected to be completed by July 21, 2028. This contract was a competitive acquisition, and six offers were received. Fiscal 2023 operations and maintenance funding in the amount of $12,285,599 are being obligated at the time of award. The 55th Contracting Squadron, Offutt AFB, Nebraska, is the contracting activity (FA4600-23-F-0011).

ACT II Services LLC, Columbia, Maryland (W91278-23-D-0023); Accura Engineering and Consulting Services Inc., Atlanta, Georgia (W91278-23-D-0022); Thompson Engineering Inc., Mobile, Alabama (W91278-23-D-0021); APSI Construction Management, Irvine, California (W91278-23-D-0024); Resilient LLC JV, New Orleans, Louisiana (W91278-23-D-0025); Aecom Services Inc., Los Angeles, California (W91278-23-D-0017); HDR Environmental, Operations and Construction Inc., Englewood, Colorado (W91278-23-D-0018); Jacobs Government Services Co., Arlington, Virginia (W91278-23-D-0019); and Parsons Government Services Inc., Centreville, Virginia (W91278-23-D-0020), will compete for each order of the $99,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for architect and engineering services. Bids were solicited via the internet with 25 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 16, 2028. US Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

General Dynamics NASSCO – Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia, is awarded a $149,452,553 firm-fixed-price contract action for maintenance, modernization and repair of USS Arlington (LPD 24) fiscal 2023 docking selected restricted availability. The scope of this acquisition includes all labor, supervision, facilities, equipment, production, testing, and quality assurance necessary to prepare for and accomplish the CNO Availability for managing critical modernization, maintenance and repair programs. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $168,452,352. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by September 2024. Fiscal 2023 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $136,192,304 (91.1%); and fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $13,260,249 (8.9%), will be obligated at the time of award, of which $13,260,249 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured using full and open competition via the System for Award Management website, with two offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N00024-23-C-4413).

Salient CRGT Inc., Fairfax, Virginia (N6523623D8015), is awarded a $99,188,617 single award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, performance-based contract with provisions for cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price task orders. The contract is for fixed submarine broadcast system low frequency engineering services. This contract includes a five-year ordering period. Fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $25,000 will be obligated at the time of award. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia (3%); Dallas, Texas (17%); Charleston, South Carolina (18%); San Diego, California (31%); and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (31%). Work is expected to be completed by January 2030. This contract was competitively procured by full and open competition via the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command e-Commerce Central website and the System for Award Management website, with two timely offers received. Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic, Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity.

Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia, was awarded a $23,873,090 modification (P00031) to contract W911QY-15-D-0047 for the Automated Installation Entry platform. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 28, 2024. US Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Federal Prison Industries Inc., doing business as UNICOR, Washington, DC, has been awarded a maximum $25,215,000 modification (P00016) exercising the third one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-20-D-F056) with four one-year option periods for various types of trousers. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are Texas, Alabama and Mississippi, with a Jan. 20, 2024, ordering period end date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2023 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Raytheon Co., Marlborough, Massachusetts, is awarded an $8,596,129 firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee term modification to previously awarded contract N6339421C0004 to exercise options for ordnance alteration installation services and engineering and technical services in support of the MK99 Fire Control and AN/SPY-1 Radar Transmitter systems. Work will be performed in Yokosuka, Japan (25%); Moorestown, New Jersey (25%); Marlborough, Massachusetts (20%); Norfolk, Virginia (14%); Everett, Washington (12%); Mayport, Florida (2%); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1%); and San Diego, California (1%), and is expected to be completed by February 2024. Fiscal 2023 Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $708,466 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division, Port Hueneme, California, is the contracting activity.

Hampton Roads Produce Distributors Inc., Virginia Beach, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $15,125,975 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide cross-docking and transportation for the East Coast Export Mission which consists of shipping fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meats, baked goods and dairy products. This was a competitive acquisition with one response received. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. The ordering period end date is Jan. 18, 2028. Using customer is Defense Logistics Agency. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2023 through 2028 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Distribution, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania (SP3300-23-D-0003).

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