May 25, 2024

Foreign Hackers Targeting US Computer Systems

Hackers

The top US intelligence official warns of an alarming rise in cyberattacks. The number of ransomware attacks worldwide grew as much as 74% in the past year, and US entities were the most heavily targeted in 2023. The Biden administration has updated the policy for how agencies oversee and manage critical infrastructure sectors.

Army Corps Leads Effort on Bridge Cleanup

Army Corps

The US Army Corps of Engineers is deploying more than 1,100 personnel to Baltimore, following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge into the Patapsco River on Tuesday. Naval Sea Systems Command is contracting out a variety of vessels to the harbor to help with clearing and reopening of the channel after a tanker struck the bridge.

Cyber Lab Ceremony Honors Barbara Ives

Ives

The Barbara Ives Cyber Lab at the College of Southern Maryland’s Leonardtown campus was recently dedicated. The lab is named in honor of Ives, a longtime Southern Maryland resident and retired US Navy Reserve captain, known for her service to the country, the region, and academia.

Biden Wants to Scale Back F-35 Orders

F-35 on the International Stage

The Biden administration wants to scale back on Lockheed Martin F-35s. DoD’s order for F-35 fighter jets will drop to below 70, down from an expected 83 – an estimated $1.6 billion drop in spending on jets.

US Foreign Military Sales Hit All-Time High in FY23

Foreign Military Sales

US foreign military sales and deliveries hit $80.9 billion last year. The fiscal 2023 total was 55% higher than the previous year. FY22 saw $51.9 billion in foreign arms sales.

Navy Lowers Requirements for Enlistees

Requirements for Enlistees

The US Navy will now allow those without a high school diploma or GED to enlist as long as they reach a certain score on the Armed Forces Qualification Test. The service hopes these new standards will attract more prospects during its recruiting crisis.

2nd US Aircraft Carrier Deploys to Mediterranean

Aircraft Carrier

Five thousand sailors are headed to the Mediterranean Sea aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, the flagship of the Ike carrier strike group. The ship deployed Saturday from Norfolk, VA. The Eisenhower’s deployment comes amid rising tensions in the eastern Mediterranean. The strike group will join the USS Gerald R. Ford already in international waters off of Israel.

Lockheed Announces Layoffs at Pax

Lockheed Martin has announced the layoff of 176 workers at its Sikorsky division supporting the heavy lift helicopter program at NAS Patuxent River. The layoffs are effective April 27.

More Tax Relief for MD Military Retirees?

Tax Relief

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore testified last week in support of a bill that would give the state’s military retirees a larger tax break. The tax exemption set would save Maryland veterans an estimated $30 million annually beginning in tax year 2024, according to the governor’s office.

US Military Weapons Sales on the Uptick

Military Arms Sales

US military weapons sales to other countries saw a major increase in 2022, up nearly $51.9 billion.