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STEM Education Deficit Threatens US


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 highly respected annual report on the state of the US defense and manufacturing industrial base targets a STEM education deficit in America threatening to weaken the nation’s competitive advantage, reports National Interest.  A business-as-usual approach will fail to equip the US workforce for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, machine learning, and hypersonics.

The national cybersecurity agency of France has discovered an infiltration similar to other attacks by a group linked to Russian intelligence hackers into blue-chip French companies, reports France24.com.

President Joe Biden is considering taking Silicon Valley up on its latest offers to help fight the pandemic, reports Politico. Amazon is pitching IT and operations expertise, Airbnb suggesting “vaccine depots” from its real estate network, and Google considering free ad space to public health authorities.

Tensions mount after three rockets hit a US base in Iraq, reports Military Times, killing one US-led coalition contractor, injuring a US service member and others, reports Military Times. Iraqi and Syrian forces still depend on foreign air support, even though the US-led coalition has largely shifted away from hands-on training to advising remotely out of a few consolidated bases, reports Air Force Times.

The panel was announced this week, chosen to rename military sites named for Confederate leaders with work to be completed in three years, says Military Times. Defense and congressional leaders unveiled the eight-person panel likely to face significant political pressure from local officials and members of Congress.

An engine shortage is the newest problem to hit the F-35 enterprise, reports Defense News. The F-35 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker Air Force Base, OK, can’t move engines through depot maintenance as projected. Adding to the backlog, repair work is required to address “premature distress of rotor blade coatings” in a “small number” of engine power modules.

DefSec Lloyd Austin will continue to press NATO allies on defense spending, reports Politico, not markedly departing from former President Donald Trump’s policy, itself a continuation of former President Barack Obama’s. Alliance members’ commitment is to invest 2% of their gross domestic product on defense by 2024.

American and Israeli troops are practicing ballistic missile defense and collaborative crisis response in this year’s largely virtual version of the annual, bilateral exercise, which offers the Israel Defense Forces a chance to work on homeland defense, reports Air Force Magazine. Service members are participating from Europe, Israel, and the US.

CSO explains what your company needs to know about how ransomware negotiations work, because there’s no sign that attackers will stop anytime soon. It’s just too profitable now that attackers have learned that many organizations are willing to pay.



The Marine Corps has the most hazing complaints among military services for the fifth year in a row, reports Stars and Stripes, receiving 152 hazing complaints in fiscal 2020, out of the military’s total 183 hazing complaints.

The flu is rare this year, reports The Baltimore Sun, in part due to coronavirus preventative measures, but researchers also wonder if there’s a chance the flu shot you got in the fall is helping fend off a nasty COVID-19 infection.

MD Gov. Larry Hogan was among the leaders of the National Governors Association to tell Biden to reduce confusion in the rollout and coordination of the coronavirus vaccines between state and federal governments. The letter to the White House is signed by the Democratic governors of New York, New Mexico, Colorado, and Michigan and the Republican governors of Alabama, Massachusetts, Arizona, Maryland, and Arkansas.

Coronavirus infections continue to drop, the US seven-day average of daily new cases drops below 90,000 for the first time since early November, reports The Washington Post.

USNI News reports 70% of the sailors offered have accepted the COVID vaccine as of late January. Navy Times reports 80% of the Ike carrier strike group got a vaccine before deployment at Norfolk last weekend, about 5,000 in all. Plans are to give them their second dose at a port during the deployment. The Moderna vaccine is being used because it does not require the ultra-cold temperature storage of the Pfizer version. The USS Theodore Roosevelt has more coronavirus cases, marking a second outbreak at sea within a year, reports The Washington Post.

North Korea breached UN sanctions with refined oil imports, reports UPI, citing a Japanese press report: NHK reported Monday that the Kim Jong Un regime deployed a Panamanian-registered tanker to procure 4.4 million barrels of fuel, including gasoline and kerosene, from January to September 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Montana Sen. Jon Tester will chair the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, handing new clout over the defense budget to a state with nuclear weapons interests, reports Defense News. Other new subcommittee leaders include Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) to chair Military Construction-VA; Sen. Chris Coons (D-DL) to chair State-Foreign Operations; and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) to chair Homeland Security.

Rep Adam Smith (D-WA), chair of the House Armed Services Committee, announced subcommittee chairs this week as well.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says there will be a 9/11 Commission-style panel to examine the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, reports The Washington Post. Lawmakers in both parties endorsed the idea for an independent investigation modeled after the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, established in 2002 by Congress and President George W. Bush, which published a report with recommendations to guard against future attacks.


Raytheon Co., Dulles, Virginia, was awarded an $8,220,193 modification (P00042) to contract W52P1J-16-C-0046 for multinational information sharing services. Work will be performed in Kuwait, with an estimated completion date of July 15, 2021. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $1,895,193 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity.

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