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State Dept. Ups Reward for Info on Hackers

Cyber Threats

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 leading to the identity and location of five hackers thought to be part of the Russia-backed Conti ransomware group, reports The Hill. With online aliases of “Target,” “Reshaev,” “Professor,” “Tramp,” and “Dandis,” they are participating in cyber activities targeting critical infrastructure in the US. The State Department has issued several of these rewards since the invasion of Ukraine.

SiliconANGLE reports that a Russian hacking group Killnet claims to have attacked and taken offline websites run by Lockheed Martin. Killnet was in the news in June after taking responsibility for a distributed denial-of-service attack targeting organizations in Lithuania. It is now claiming that it targeted Lockheed Martin in a similar DDoS attack, knocking the company’s websites offline.

Killnet has warned that cyberwarfare will turn deadly, reports Newsweek. In an interview with a Russian news site, the founder of Killnet said that he has helped galvanize other hackers who “for one reason or another, support Russia in the NWO [New World Order],” pledging to “be a pioneer” if pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian hackers confront one another to the point where deaths occur.”

Victor Zhora, Ukraine’s top cyber official, addressed security experts at a hackers convention in Las Vegas, reports Voice of America. He said that the number of cyber incidents that have hit Ukraine tripled in the months following Russia’s invasion of his country.

The Maryland Transportation Authority said it intends to tear down the current Gov. Harry Nice/”Mac” Middleton Bridge in Newburg as soon as the replacement span opens to traffic, reports Maryland Matters. In July, members of Maryland’s delegation asked state Transportation Secretary Jim Ports to delay action until an “independent” study of the possible re-use of the span for recreational activities could be conducted.

Gary Kurtz has assumed leadership of the DON Program Executive Office Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault and Special Mission Programs, reports ExecutiveGov. The Naval Air Systems Command veteran takes over from MAJ GEN Greg Masiello.

The US Navy’s first AN/ALQ-249 next-generation jammer mid-band production representative pods arrived at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division at Patuxent River, reports Naval Today. Raytheon delivered the two fleet representative test articles, which make up an NGJ-MB shipset, to the Airborne Electronic Attack Systems Program Office on July 7.

Now that President Joe Biden has signed the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (Honoring Our PACT) Act into law, Veterans Affairs is looking to grow its health care workforce with new pay incentives and retain the in-demand employees it already has, reports Federal News Network. The PACT Act expands presumptions of service connections for a variety of conditions related to toxic exposure — meaning veterans don’t have to prove their illness was service-connected, reports The Hill.

Sierra Nevada will provide the United Kingdom with high-altitude uncrewed balloons to be used for surveillance and reconnaissance, reports Defense News. The contract is valued at as much as $121 million and comes amid similar investments in the technology from US lawmakers.

As it struggles to reach enlistment quotas, the Navy is offering enlistees and veterans up to $115,000 in enlistment and loan repayment incentives, reports Navy Times. Those enlisting or reassessing to active duty must be prepared to ship out by the end of September.

 

 

Another new Navy program will offer $20,000 per year to members of the submarine community in a bid to increase retention, reports USNI News. Submarine commanding officers with no less than 19 years but no more than 25 years of service are eligible to receive annual payments of $20,000 if they stay in the Navy for another three to five years.

ArmySec Christine Wormuth said the Army has recruited about 52% of its goal and will likely wind up short in fiscal 2022 by as many as 15,000 recruits, reports NBC News.

Several Western countries have agreed to continue long-term funding to help Ukraine’s military keep fighting after Russia invaded its neighbor in February, reports The Associated Press, saying $1.5 billion has been pledged so far and more is coming. The US agreed last week to send Ukraine $5.5 billion in new fiscal and military aid, reports Reuters.

As Ukraine highlights the value of killer drones, the US Marine Corps said it wants more of them, reports Marine Corps Times. While the service’s 2023 budget plans already have substantial funding for acquisition and development of these systems, the corps is already making plans to ask for more.

The Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group, the first to deploy with a Marine Corps F-35C Lightning II squadron, returned to San Diego, CA, Friday after a seven-month deployment that spanned the Pacific, reports Navy Times. The early days of Lincoln’s deployment saw the carrier operating in the South China Sea – including amid China’s incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone – and the Philippine Sea, reports USNI News. The USS George H.W. Bush deployed last week from Naval Station Norfolk, VA — the aircraft carrier’s first deployment since 2017, reports Navy Times. The Bush is expected to replace the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, which is currently deployed to the US 6th Fleet area of operations.

A former Army colonel’s sexual assault case against former Joint Chiefs Vice Chair GEN John Hyten can proceed, a federal Appeals Court has ruled, according to Military.com. The case, filed by Kathryn Spletstoser, rejects the government’s arguments about immunity from lawsuits.

Divers off the southwestern coast of England believe they have found the wreckage of the US destroyer USS Jacob Jones that was sunk by a torpedo from a German submarine during World War I, reports Fox Weather. The ship was patrolling and escorting convoys around the United Kingdom from May 1917 until its sinking on December 6, 1917.

Starting October 1, electric and hybrid vehicles will no longer get a free ride in Maryland’s high-occupancy vehicle lanes, reports WTOP News. The state’s HOV sticker program will end at the end of September. Under the program, drivers of plug-in or hybrid vehicles, titled and registered in Maryland, have been allowed to use the lanes regardless of the number of passengers.

On the heels of a 35-year high in the state’s wild oyster harvest, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources said catch regulations will remain unchanged when the 2022–23 season begins October 1, reports Bay Journal.

Phil Huber of Maryland Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, or VOAD, said that his group has more than “a million dollars and two years of work ahead of us,” on Smith Island, following the August 4 tornado that ripped through the community, reports WMDT ABC47. Huber said, with limited access to and from the island by boat, his group is working with Smith Island United to make sure services don’t overlap and donations meet the needs on the ground. The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-1 tornadic waterspout with peak wind speeds of 110 mph touched down on the island, reports CBS News.

Contracts:

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a not-to-exceed $7,630,940,571 firm-fixed-price, fixed-price incentive (firm target), undefinitized modification (P00016) to a previously awarded advanced acquisition contract (N0001920C0009). This modification increases the ceiling to procure 129 Lot 15 aircraft, as follows: 49 F-35A aircraft for the Air Force; three F-35B aircraft and 10 F-35C aircraft for the Marine Corps; 15 F-35C aircraft for the Navy; 32 F-35A aircraft and four F-35B aircraft for non-U.S Department of Defense (DOD) participants; and sixteen F-35A aircraft for Foreign Military Sales customers, as well as 69 shipsets of technical hardware. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (57%); El Segundo, California (14 %); Warton, United Kingdom (9%); Cameri, Italy (4%); Orlando, Florida (4%); Nashua, New Hampshire (3%); Baltimore, Maryland (3%); San Diego, California (2%); Nagoya, Japan (2%); and various locations outside the continental US (2%) and is expected to be completed in October 2024. Fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $2,162,537,083; fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,538,490,483; fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $54,747,445; fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $32,338,565; FMS funds in the mount of $693,338,015; and non US DOD participant funds in the amount of $682,929,685 will be obligated at the time of award, $87,086,010 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Sealing Technologies Inc., Columbia, Maryland, is awarded a $168,479,616 firm-fixed-price, task order for Defense Cyber Weapons Systems (DCWS), which are self-contained, fly away suites for Defensive Cyber Operations (DCO) teams to conduct vulnerability analysis, incident response, terrain mapping and other DCO functions. Work will be performed in Columbia, Maryland, and is expected to be complete by September 2027. Fiscal 2022 procurement (Marine Corps) funds; fiscal 2021 procurement (Marine Corps) funds; fiscal 2020 procurement (Marine Corps) funds; and fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $24,464,203 will be obligated on the task order immediately following contract award. Fiscal 2022 procurement (Marine Corps) funds will expire Sept. 30, 2025, and fiscal 2021 procurement (Marine Corps) funds will expire Sept. 30, 2024. Fiscal 2020 procurement (Marine Corps) funds will expire Sept. 30, 2023. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds will expire the end of the current fiscal year. This task order was competitively procured via the General Services Administration e-Buy website, with five offers received. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity (M67854-22-F-7700).

Solute, San Diego, California, is awarded a $32,791,176 modification to previously awarded contract N66001-21-D-0010 for Automated Digital Network Systems support. Work will be performed in Wahiawa, Hawaii (33%); Norfolk, Virginia (33%); Providence, Rhode Island (7%); Charleston, South Carolina (7%); Bahrain (10%); and Italy (10%) and is expected to be completed in November 2026. Funds will be obligated via task orders beginning in fiscal 2022. The types of funding to be obligated includes operations and maintenance (Navy); research, development, test and evaluation (Navy); other procurement (Navy); shipbuilding construction (Navy); and other funding, which may include Foreign Military Sales; Program Directive Air; and Navy Working Capital funds. The Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity.

Norfolk Dredging Co., Chesapeake, Virginia, was awarded an $84,862,602 contract for deepening Norfolk Harbor. Bids were solicited via the internet with four received. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of March 18, 2025. Fiscal 2022 civil construction funds in the amount of $84,862,602 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (W91236-22-C-5000).

Accenture Federal Services LLC, Arlington, Virginia, was awarded a $25,929,758 modification (P00019) to contract W52P1J-21-C-0025 for the Enterprise Task Management Software Solution. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 14, 2023. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $25,929,758 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity.

HDD JV, Leesburg, Virginia, was awarded a $10,362,000 contract for renovating space in an existing two-story facility to support relocation of maintenance shop and maintenance administration functions. Bids were solicited via the internet with five received. Work will be performed in Martinsburg, West Virginia, with an estimated completion date of April 3, 2024. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance, Army National Guard funds in the amount of $10,362,000 were obligated at the time of the award. The US Property and Fiscal Office, West Virginia, is the contracting activity (W50S8V-22-C-0004).

 

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