May 19, 2024

Teams of Hackers Take On a US Satellite

Moonlighter satellite deploys to low earth orbit after its successful launch in June 2023. The foot-long, toaster-sized Moonlighter CubeSat was designed to be hacked in contests such as Hack-A-Sat and is built with safety features such as no propulsion. (Aerospace Corp. photo via the Air Force Research Laboratory)

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.

Hackers were competing last week to remotely seize control of SpaceX satellite Moonlighter, reports POLITICO. Teams were competing at the Hack-a-Sat at the DEF CON cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas. The event might sound like a fun, sci-fi thriller, but it also reflects the growing danger of America’s enemies developing cyber capabilities to infiltrate and block US defenses. Moonlighter was the first hacking test bed in space, reports ISS National Laboratory. Teams from the US, Germany, Italy and Poland took part in the competition, according to the Air Force Research Laboratory. The competition was expected to last through the weekend.

California-based Teleidoscope has been awarded an up-to-$100 million contract for a new cutting-edge surveillance, identification, and tracking system that will monitor and defend the airspace around Washington, DC, reports Defense One. The new contract will replace portions of the current National Capital Region-Integrated Air Defense System, or NCR-IADS. The first line of defense for the new artificial intelligence system is “actually that they will beam a laser at the cockpit” of an unauthorized aircraft, said Matt Rabinovitch, founder of Teleidoscope. The Defense Innovation Unit-led prototype is an AI-based visual recognition and identification system that delivers a tenfold increase in performance capability compared to the current system, while cutting the projected costs in half, reports sSUAS News. The original NCR-IADS system was installed after 9/11.

Residents of The Woods community in West Virginia and the surrounding areas of Letterkenny, PA, and Berkley Springs, WV, are advised that nighttime flights are scheduled to take place in that vicinity from 7pm to 4am from August 15 through September 29, reports

The Biden administration last week asked Congress for additional funding to support Ukraine, reports Military Times. The administration wants more than $13 billion in emergency defense aid and an additional $8 billion for humanitarian support through the end of the year. The president could be in for a fight, reports USA Today on MSN. The request pits Biden against Republican lawmakers, who have said they will not approve aid to Ukraine for the next fiscal year beyond what was negotiated during the debt ceiling crisis in June.

Training on US-made F-16s for Ukrainian pilots will likely be delayed until next year, reports The Washington Post. CNN reports that there are a number of details to be worked out, including which countries will commit to the training program and when the equipment and materials will be turned over to Ukraine.

President Biden has ordered “all available Federal” assets to help Hawaii, reports The Associated Press. Fires that broke out Tuesday on the island of Maui have killed at least 55 people by Friday afternoon, reports Fox News.

The Pentagon said that a number of troops and military helicopters have been sent to Hawaii to assist in rescue-and-recovery efforts in the wake of the devastating wildfires that swept through Maui, reports

Naval aviation commanders could receive up to $105,000 in bonuses, reports Navy Times, under the Aviation Command Retention Bonus program. The service is also offering a $35,000 retention bonus for an additional two years of service — an option that wasn’t offered last year.

China sent navy ships and fighter jets toward Taiwan on Thursday, continuing its military pressure on the island, reports Military Times.

The US Navy wants to extend the service life of four guided-missile destroyers that were slated to be retired in the coming years, adding four or five years to each of the warships’ standard 35 years of service, reports Navy Times. They are the Ramage, Benfold, Mitscher, and Milius.

The Sgt 1st Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, or the PACT Act, was signed into law a year ago. President Biden said last week that the law has assisted more than 340,000 veterans and their survivors seeking treatment for illnesses and cancers thought to be connected to open burn pits and other toxins, reports Maryland Matters.

Veterans Affairs has extended a deadline for payouts linked to the PACT Act legislation, reports Navy Times. Vets have until noon (EST) today, August 14, to file or submit an intent to file to be eligible for benefits. Signup can be done here.

The US Air Force has detected unsafe levels of a likely carcinogen at underground launch control centers at a Montana nuclear missile base where a number of men and women have reported cancer diagnoses, reports Air Force Times.

At NAS Pax River, CAPT Beau Massenburg is the new head of the Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program (PMA-213), reports The Southern Maryland Chronicle. He takes over for CAPT Kevin Watkins. Under Watkins’ guidance, the PMA-213 team delivered the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) to the fleet. The Chronicle also reports that Greg Crewse took over as the new program manager of the Naval Air Systems Command’s Aerial Targets program office (PMA-208). RADM Stephen Tedford presided over the ceremony, praising outgoing manager Don Blottenberger’s leadership and contributions to the program.

SGT MAJ Carlos Ruiz is the new senior enlisted leader of the Marine Corps, reports Marine Corps Times. He takes over from SGT MAJ Troy Black, marking the end of Black’s four-year term that took place amid restructuring of the force and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Romania is looking to purchase 32 F-35 Lightning IIs from the US, reports Defense News, worth an estimated $6.5 billion and still requires approval from the US State Department.

The race for a new F-35 cooling system is heating up, reports Breaking Defense. The F-35 Joint Program Office was to upgrade the current system currently made by Honeywell Aerospace. The US Defense Department has not ruled out a new competition to upgrade the system.

Prosecutors said the mother of a US Navy sailor charged with providing sensitive military information to China encouraged him to cooperate with a Chinese intelligence officer, reports AP. The mom told her son it might help him get a job with the Chinese government someday.

Massachusetts Air Force National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, charged earlier this year with unauthorized transmission of classified military information after posting it on a social media site, is alleged to have shared that information with foreign nationals, according to the FBI, reports Air Force Times.

A 15-million-year-old dolphin skull was found earlier this month in the beach at Calvert Cliffs State Park, reports WTOP News. Fossils of marine animals being found in the area are not unusual, but the find August 5 turns out to be a species that was previously not known about.

The Thrilla of Vanilla? That is what the yet-to-be-scheduled mixed martial arts fight between Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter (X) owner Elon Musk has been dubbed. The two billionaires have agreed to the fight and have said that all proceeds will go to veterans charities.

Matthew Cosgrove, second from left, product support manager for the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Office (PMA-290), is the winner of the 2022 Secretary of Defense PSM of the Year (Major Defense Acquisition Programs/Acquisition Category I Program) Award. Cosgrove was selected for his logistics and sustainment support for the P-3C Orion, EP-3 Aries II, and P-8A Poseidon. From left: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Product Support) Lisa Smith; Cosgrove; Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Sustainment) Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy Research, Development, and Acquisition Erica Plath; and Interim NAVAIR Sustainment Group Director Ann Wood.


CNF Technologies Corp., San Antonio, Texas, is awarded a $135,650,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price, cost-reimbursable, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for research, development, and test, and evaluation services for operational and applied computer systems for the Marine Corps. This contract provides for research, development, test, and evaluation services to improve operational effectiveness and for the advancement of computer systems utilized by the Marine Corps. Work will be performed at San Antonio, Texas (10%); and Quantico, Virginia (90%), with an expected completion date of August 2028. The maximum dollar value, including the five-year ordering period, is $135,650,000. Fiscal 2023 research, development, test, and evaluation (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $586,378 are being obligated at time of award. Contract funds in the amount of $586,378 will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was a competitive total small business set aside acquisition via and seven offers were received. Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity (M67854-23-D-7700).

Immersion Consulting LLC., Annapolis, Maryland, is awarded a $38,901,268 firm-fixed-price and cost-only Other Transaction Authority agreement for the low-rate initial production of shipboard units as well as the procurement of computing infrastructure and Infrastructure as a service solution. This agreement includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this agreement to $47,140,597. Work will be performed in King George, Virginia (52%); and Annapolis, Maryland (48%), and is expected to be completed by February 2025. Fiscal 2023 other procurement, Navy funds in the amount of $27,514,142 (71%); fiscal 2021 ship construction, Navy funds in the amount of $9,335,092 (24%); fiscal 2023 research, development, test, and evaluation, Navy funds in the amount of $1,552,698(4%); and fiscal 2023 operations and maintenance, Navy funds in the amount of $499,336 (1%), will be obligated at the time of award, of which $499,336 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This agreement was not competitively procured via This agreement is a non-competitive follow-on to a prototype agreement that was awarded under 10 US Code 4022(f). Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Envisioneering Inc., Alexandria, Virginia, is being awarded a $9,173,944 cost-plus-fixed-fee task order for radar engineering support for the Radar Division Advanced Concept Group. The task order includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this task order to $49,657,864. Work on the task order will be performed at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC (75%); and Alexandria, Virginia (25%), and is expected to be completed by August 2026. Fiscal 2023 research, development, test and evaluation in the amount of $25,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This task order was competitively procured with one offer received via Seaport NxG. The US Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N0017819D7613, N0017322F3003).

Grunley Construction Co. Inc., Rockville, Maryland, was awarded a $90,608,000 firm-fixed-price contract for building renovations. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work will be performed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 15, 2023. Fiscal 2023 military construction, Army funds in the amount of $90,608,000 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W912DR-23-C-0015).

Great Hill Solutions LLC, Chantilly, Virginia, is awarded a $43,915,156 firm-fixed-price contract (HT942523C0079) to provide risk management, audit response, audit remediation, and sustainment support services in support of the Defense Health Agency (DHA) Financial Reporting and Compliance Division to ensure a “clean” or unmodified audit opinion by fiscal 2028 in alignment with the goals established by the Department of Defense. Additionally, the contractor will continue supporting the unmodified audit opinion of the DHA Contract Resource Management. The award is the result of a non-competitive direct 8(a) acquisition. Fiscal 2023 Defense Health Program operation and maintenance funding will be obligated at the time of award. Place of performance is Falls Church, Virginia. Period of performance is Aug. 11, 2023, to Aug. 10, 2024. The contracting activity is US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Western Door Federal LLC, Fredericksburg, Virginia, is awarded $8,059,148 to exercise Option Year Two of a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (HT001121C0021). The purpose of this work is to provide financial and program management support to the Defense Health Agency Direct Care Financial Management Division in areas of programming, budget development and execution, accounting, and training support. Work will be primarily performed at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance funds are obligated at the time of this award. The contract was a direct award through the Small Business Association 8(a) program in accordance with 15 US Code 637 as implemented by Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-5(b)(4) and was executed on Sept. 27, 2021. The period of performance for this option period exercise is Sept. 30, 2023, to Sept. 29, 2024. The Defense Health Agency, Professional Services Contracting Division, Falls Church, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Federal Resources Supply Co., Stevensville, Maryland, was awarded a $9,397,362 firm-fixed-price contract for leveling equipment. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 11, 2026. Army Contracting Command, Detroit Arsenal, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-23-F-0306).

Machine Tool Marketing Inc., Bixby, Oklahoma (N6893623D0045); Machine Tools USA Inc., Mathews, Virginia (N6893623D0046); and Pacific IC Source, Yucaipa, California (N6893623D0047), are each awarded a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. These contracts procure various types of commercial plant and lab equipment for research and development labs, to include analytical and diagnostic equipment, work-holding devices, and peripheral equipment for conventional, explosion-proof, and computer numerically controlled equipment, as well as provides maintenance, repair, training, and calibration services for the equipment. The estimated aggregate ceiling for all contracts is $49,000,000, with the companies having an opportunity to compete for individual orders. Work will be performed in Bixby, Oklahoma (33.4%); Mathews, Virginia (33.3%); and Yucaipa, California (33.3%). Percentages are estimates, as work performed at each location is not known until award of individual orders. Work is expected to be completed in August 2028. No funds will be obligated at the time of award; funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. These contracts were competitively procured as a small business set-aside via an electronic request for proposal, three offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, California, is the contracting activity.

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