September 26, 2023

US Ups Its Investment in Cyber Technology

Ransomware cyber

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is pushing the US to invest more in cybersecurity, reports The Hill. Federal agencies have spent millions for new technology, seized and sanctioned hacking forums, charged foreign cyber criminals, and issued regular warnings on threat risks. Congress also has been quick to move on some cyber-related legislation.

GEN Paul Nakasone, the National Security Agency chief, said the US has been conducting several missions to diffuse cyber threats to the US, reports Defense Systems. He said these missions are being conducted by US Cyber Command teams all around the world.

The US military is sending a team of cyber experts to Lithuania to strengthen the country’s networks amid mounting Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, reports Defense News.

The US National Security Agency is discouraging vigilante hacking, reports Defense News, the sort seen as Ukraine confronts another Russian invasion. NSA said it is inadvisable and raises broader questions of ethics and consequences in the digital domain. Ukraine put out a call earlier this year for volunteer cyber specialists.

Russia’s Moskva was not ready for the Ukrainian missile attack on April 13 that sank Russia’s Black Sea flagship, an analysis of the incident finds, reports USNI News. The review of images following the strike of the two anti-ship missiles shows that the guided-missile cruiser did not have its radars activated and could not see the threat from the weapons.

The Defense Department is denying that the United States gave the Ukrainian military “specific targeting information” that allowed them to sink the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, reports The Hill. “We had no prior knowledge of Ukraine’s intent to target the ship. The Ukrainians have their own intelligence capabilities to track and target Russian naval vessels, as they did in this case,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. HuffPost had reported that the US had provided real-time intelligence to the Ukrainians.

Sweden and Finland are concerned they will be vulnerable to Russian threats during their application process to become members of NATO, reports Reuters. The US said it is confident that it can address any security issues that the two countries have. Sweden’s defense minister said last month that an application could trigger a number of responses from Russia, including cyber attacks.

The littoral combat ship Sioux City is headed to European waters to join the US 6th Fleet, reports Defense News. The fleet’s area of responsibility includes waters in Europe and Africa, but the Navy did not say specifically where the ship might operate.

ADM Michael Gilday has cast doubt on whether the Medium Unmanned Surface Vessel will have a place in the Navy’s fleet in the near future, reports Breaking Defense. The chief of naval operations, citing work done by US 5th Fleet, said he has changed his thinking on the direction of unmanned ships.



US Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) said sailors assigned to the USS George Washington are stressed from the extended maintenance period, parking issues, and the COVID-19 pandemic, among other things, reports Navy Times. The aircraft carrier has suffered three crew suicides in the past month. The former naval officer said the Navy should evaluate these issues not only for the George Washington, but other ships expected to undergo refueling complex overhauls in the future. It was a 45-minute walk for the sailors from the parking lot to the ship, she noted.

The Navy is conducting two investigations into the crew suicides and the unique stressors that come with operating in a shipyard maintenance environment, reports Navy Times.

A Navy investigation found that the August 2021 crash of a MH-60S Seahawk helicopter near San Diego, CA, in which five sailors died, was caused by a damaged damper hose that failed. That triggered massive vibrations as the aircraft was landing, reports Navy Times.

A junior infantryman died Thursday after a Humvee rollover crash at Fort Bragg, NC, reports Military Times. Three additional troops were injured. Spc. Luis Herrera is the fourth soldier to die in an on-duty accident involving a government-owned ground vehicle this fiscal year, and the second to die in a Humvee rollover at Fort Bragg.

The US Naval Air Systems Command is asking the Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office to build four MV-22B aircraft for the Marine Corps under terms of a $302.2 million order, reports Military-Aerospace Electronics.

Iowa native Raja Chari is back on Earth after spending the past six months on the International Space Station, reports KCCI8 in Des Moines. Chari is a graduate of the US Naval Test Pilot School at NSA Pax River. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts aboard the Dragon Endurance spacecraft splashed down Friday in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida, completing the agency’s third long-duration commercial crew mission to the ISS, reports NASA.

Charles Krugh, a retired US Army officer and a vice president at Gulfstream, has been selected to lead General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works shipyard, reports USNI News. Bath Iron Works builds Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and the Zumwalt-class destroyers at its Maine shipyard.

The first of four ocular trauma centers has opened at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, TX, reports Fort Hood Sentinel. The centers will be the primary hubs for the treatment of complex eye injuries and development of cutting-edge research programs for the entire military. Three others are expected to open later this year at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, MD/Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, VA; Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA; and at Naval Medical Center San Diego, CA.

An Illinois state government audit found that an urgent response was lacking during a COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veteran Home in the northern part of the state, reports The Associated Press. Thirty-six deaths were reported. The review contends the Illinois Department of Public Health “did not identify and respond to the seriousness of the outbreak.”

An alarm goes off in the Crisis Action Team facility at the Air National Guard Readiness Center, Joint Base Andrews, MD, April 6, 2022. The ANGRC CAT and Command Center underwent a $3.5 million renovation that modernized facility capabilities to better serve Air Guard contingency operations domestically and globally. (US Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Morgan R. Whitehouse)

The Air National Guard Readiness Center at Joint Base Andrews has undergone at $3.5 million modernization, reports the Guard. The renovation updated an aging system. “The new system provides a sense of stability and reliability that we didn’t have before that will allow us to provide more timely insights to commanders and stakeholders,” said LT COL Raymond Hale, the Guard’s domestic operations liaison officer.

Senior Airman Isaac P. Jancouskas of the 316th Civil Engineer Squadron at Joint Base Andrews was named Military Firefighter of the Year. The Defense Department recently announced the winners of its Fire and Emergency Services Awards.

The US Labor Department’s April 2022 jobs report showed job growth holding strong in April as the unemployment rate held even at 3.6%, reports The Hill. The US economy added 428,000 jobs.

Naval Weapons Station Yorktown wants to install 12 60-foot-by-18-foot oyster reefs along roughly 720 feet of York River shoreline to prevent the area from further erosion, reports Daily Press. The Navy is concerned that shoreline erosion could affect the pier at the base where warships load ordnance.


C.E.R. Inc., Baltimore, Maryland (N40080-19-D-0011); Repaintex Co., Leesburg, Virginia (N40080-19-D-0012); Veterans Construction Coalition LLC, Norfolk, Virginia (N40080-19-D-0013); Belt Built-CFM JV, Crofton, Maryland (N40080-19-D-0014); G-W Management Services LLC, Rockville, Maryland (N40080-19-D-0015); EGI HSU LLC JV, Gaithersburg, Maryland (N40080-19-D-0016); Desbuild Inc., Hyattsville, Maryland (N40080-19-D-0017); Tuckman-Barbee Construction Co., Inc., Upper Marlboro, Maryland (N40080-19-D-0018); Tidewater Inc., Elkridge, Maryland (N40080-19-D-0019); and Donley Construction LLC, Aberdeen, Maryland (N40080-19-D-0020), are awarded a combined $96,000,000 firm-fixed-price modification under a multiple award construction contract. This modification provides for the exercise of Option 3 and Option 4 for new construction, repair, and renovation of various facilities within the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington area of operations. The total cumulative contract amount after exercise of these options will be $240,000,000. Work will be performed in, but not limited to, Maryland (35%); Virginia (35%); and Washington, DC (30%). The option periods extend the contract from May 2022 to May 2024. Task orders will be primarily funded by fiscal 2022 military construction and operation and maintenance (Navy) funds. No task orders are being issued at this time. No funds will be obligated at time of award. Funds will be obligated on individual task orders as they are issued. NAVFAC Washington, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

OST Inc., McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $90,000,000 modification (P00015) to contract W900KK-17-D-0002 to provide responsive, integrated, and interoperable infrastructure for simulation, training, testing and instrumentation solutions, and acquisition services. 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 May 9, 2023. US Army Contracting Command, Orlando, Florida, is the contracting activity.

American Water Military Services LLC, Camden, New Jersey, has been awarded a $30,997,440 modification (P00038) to a 50-year contract (SP0600-18-C-8324) with no option periods to increase the obligated contract value for water and wastewater utility services. This is a fixed-priced with economic-price-adjustment contract. Locations of performance are Missouri and Virginia, with an April 30, 2069, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2069 Army operations and maintenance funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

OSI Federal Technologies Inc., Chantilly, Virginia, was awarded a firm-fixed-price order (H92404-22-F-0085) with a value of $10,649,998 for GETAC rugged laptops and upgrades for all US Special Operations Command components and Theater Special Operations Commands (TSOCs) with a delivery of 60 days after the date of the order. The majority of this work will be performed in Chantilly, Virginia. Fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $10,649,998 were obligated at time of the award. The blanket purchasing agreement was solicited and issued using a competitive 100% Small Business Set-Aside, Brand Name or Equal Acquisition Strategy in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 8.405-3. US Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity.

American International Contractors Inc., McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $37,010,368 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of a new munitions support facility. Bids were solicited via the internet with 11 received. Work will be performed in Azraq, Jordan, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 12, 2024. Fiscal 2018 military construction, defense-wide funds in the amount of $37,010,368 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, Middle East District, is the contracting activity (W912ER-22-C-0015).

Akira Technologies Inc., Washington, DC (SP4701-22-D-0017); AllCom Global Services Inc., Lake Saint Louis, Missouri (SP4701-22-D-0018); AOC Connect LLC, Chantilly, Virginia (SP4701-22-D-0019); By Light Professional IT Services LLC, McLean, Virginia (SP4701-22-D-0020); CDO Technologies Inc., Dayton, Ohio (SP4701-22-D-0021); Chugach Information Technology Inc., Anchorage, Alaska (SP4701-22-D-0022); DirectViz Solutions LLC, Vienna, Virginia (SP4701-22-D-0023); GuROO LLC, Alexandria, Virginia (SP4701-22-D-0024); Moss Cape LLC, Anchorage, Alaska (SP4701-22-D-0025); Netcom Technologies Inc., Derwood, Maryland (SP4701-22-D-0026); TekSynap Corp., Reston, Virginia (SP4701-22-D-0027); VAE Inc., Springfield, Virginia (SP4701-22-D-0028); Vision Technologies Inc., Glen Burnie, Maryland (SP4701-22-D-0029); and Xpect Solutions Inc., Fairfax, Virginia (SP4701-22-D-0030), are sharing a maximum of $72,910,268 in firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts under solicitation SP4701-17-R-0031 for network infrastructure support services. Maximum dollar value is for the life of the contract. This was a competitive acquisition with 14 responses received. These are one-year base contracts with two one-year option periods. Locations of performance are throughout the continental US, with a June 30, 2023, ordering period end date. Using customer is Defense Logistics Agency. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Contracting Services Office, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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