GovCon News & Updates Straight to Your Inbox

You’re reading GovBrew. A five minute read to catch up on the best damn GovCon news around! 

Quick Hits

Not to be missed: Get Happy with GovBrew and Boostaro! HHS & CMS Virtual Happy Hour!

GovBrew is excited to invite you, the GovBrew Crew, to a virtual happy hour event! It’s a live video gathering to connect with one another, exchange ideas, and have fun. BYOB. The plan is to break out into small groups for sharing ideas, then have some awards for best backgrounds (with actual prizes). Wednesday August 24 from 5-6 pm.
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Alliant 2 gets a huge boost.

The GSA has increased the ceiling of its Alliant 2 contract from $50 billion to $75 billion, so agencies can continue using it to buy IT solutions while its successor is developed. The increase will also benefit small businesses, which have won more than $1.3 billion on Alliant 2, by providing more subcontracting opportunities. 61 companies originally landed a spot on Alliant 2, but there are now only 41 companies on the contract due to resulting M&A activity.
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AFRL is expanding its award ceiling for its Space Situational Awareness (SSA) program.

The goal of the Space Situation Awareness (SSA) program is to research, develop, demonstrate, integrate, test and deliver innovative technologies associated with tasking, collection, processing, exploitation, analysis and dissemination of data and information in support of SSA, characterization, and assessment of space related events. In addition, the BAA will develop techniques that provide avenues to leverage new sensor technology, High-Performance Computational SSA, expertise and applications from the ground, orbital and cyber intelligence assessment perspectives to attain an integrated, predictive SSA perspective. White papers are due by January 2. Total funding for this BAA is approximately $99.9M.
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ICYMI Snippets:

 

GovCon Trivia

How well do you think you know the federal government?

How many territories does the USA own?

(Nope, I’m not going to give you multiple choice. You just need to think about it and come up with the answer!)

Find the answer at the bottom of this newsletter! 

Top Defense & Aerospace

Hicks tours AFRL and is like “oh snap, you guys really DO need some innovation help!”

After visiting the AFRL on Wednesday during a multi-state trip to observe military-related technology pursuits, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks confirmed that she’s keen to help drive the modernization of the research and development facilities that the DOD relies on for next-generation capabilities. “It is an issue area that I’m very focused on,” Hicks told reporters. Which is gentle, media-code for “oh boy, we better get our asses in gear, and fast.” Hicks said the DOD is trying to find “dollar solutions” to help address this problem.
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YEAH SPACE! Go Artemis! Houston, we are READY for countdown!

Artemis 1 megarocket rolled into the launch pad on Tuesday, two days earlier than scheduled. Blastoff of the uncrewed mission is scheduled for no earlier than August 29 and will bring the Orion spacecraft around the moon on a test of the vehicle’s system for future human missions. Artemis 2 will send actual humans to orbit the moon, and Artemis 3 (scheduled for 2025) will let people set foot on the moon again.
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SpaceX’s giant Starship rocket to launch a communications satellite in 2024.

Another customer has signed up to use SpaceX’s giant Starship rocket. Sky Perfect JSat has chosen Starship to launch its Superbird-9 communications satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit in 2024, the Japanese company announced. Starship is SpaceX’s next-generation transportation system, which the company believes will make Mars colonization and other ambitious exploration feats economically feasible. The vehicle consists of a huge first-stage booster called Super Heavy and a 165-foot-tall (50 meters) upper-stage spacecraft known as Starship.
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ICYMI Snippets:

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Top Intel Community

Government is (actually) implementing zero trust architecture faster than corporations..

It’s possible that hell has frozen over, if the government has done something faster than the commercial marketplace, but here were are…droughts and all. It turns out government agencies are ahead of corporations in adopting and implementing zero trust security architecture with 72% of government organizations already utilizing a zero trust framework in comparison to 56% of companies, according to a report released by Okta.
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IronNet collaborates with CISA to share information from IronNet’s Collective Defense platform.

IronNet, Inc., a member of the JCDC, announced it has entered into an agreement with the CISA to share information from IronNet’s Collective Defense platform to help the agency defend against increased global cyber threats. The IronNet Collective Defense platform identifies anomalous behaviors that often go undetected by alternative solutions and then uniquely delivers actionable attack intelligence to all the other participants in the IronNet community.
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ICYMI Snippets:

Top Civilian

7 Protests push DHS to extend the FirstSource III due date.

With 7 protests coming in after the informal down select, DHS has extended the proposal due date for the FirstSource III contract vehicle to September 7. If you do any work at all in the IT space, you definitely want to check this RFP out and consider some strategic partnerships. DHS anticipates awarding multiple IDIQ contracts under two Functional Categories, one Functional Category for IT Value Added Resellers (ITVAR) using NAICS Code 541519 footnote 18 and a second Functional Category for software using NAICS 511210 footnote 20.
SAM notice | Protest notice

FAA finally fesses up: “Yeah, we’ve got an air traffic controller shortage in NYC.”

Despite the agency’s attempts to the contrary in recent weeks, the FAA finally admitted that there’s an air traffic controller shortage at NYC’s airports JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark. The agency is warning that travelers can see delays up to two hours long. The FAA is trying to fill positions but seemingly can’t do so at a fast enough rate. Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said that the agency was on pace to hire 1,000 air traffic controllers by the end of the year. The agency has 1,500 open positions to fill. The FAA has also taken measures to reduce the number of flights. Last week, the agency granted a waiver to Delta, allowing the airline to operate below the minimum airport slot requirements at JFK, LaGuardia, and Reagan National in Washington, D.C. Normally, carriers have to use their airport slots 80 percent of the time to retain them.
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Take-backsies alive and well: FCC rescinds nearly $1B in SpaceX subsidies for rural broadband.

The FCC has rescinded nearly $1 billion in rural broadband subsidies to Space X‘s Starlink satellite service. The agency said that it determined that applications from Space X and another firm, LTD Broadband, failed to meet the requirements for government funding for its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) program. The FCC previously awarded Space X nearly $886 million in 2020 in an effort to expand high-speed internet access to rural areas through its Starlink satellite service. The agency also awarded LTD Broadband $1.32 billion for the same purpose, but the Las Vegas-based business struggled to expand its service, failing to receive eligible telecommunications carrier status in seven of fifteen states. “After careful legal, technical, and policy review, we are rejecting these applications. Consumers deserve reliable and affordable high-speed broadband,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement.
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ICYMI Snippets:

GovCon M&A Corner

AEye partners with Booz Allen Hamilton.

AEye, a global leader in adaptive, high-performance lidar solutions, today announced a partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton to productize and drive adoption of AEye’s technology for aerospace and defense (A&D) applications. With the accelerated activity in these markets, the company also announced the opening of an office in Florida’s “Space Coast” region, and the hiring of veteran defense systems engineering leader Steve Frey, a Lockheed Martin and L3Harris Technologies alum, as its vice president of business development for A&D.
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AeroVironment acquires Planck Aerosystems .

Planck Aerosystems is a provider of navigational technology for unmanned aircraft, in a move to accelerate the development of new autonomy solutions. The company serves its U.S. government customer base as including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Customs and Border Protection, and the NOAA.  Planck will become a part of AeroVironment’s medium unmanned aircraft business segment with a focus on integrating flight autonomy tools into AeroVironment’s platforms.
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Thoma Bravo completes the acquisition SailPoint.

SailPoint Technologies Holdings, Inc., a provider of enterprise identity security, announced the completion of its acquisition by Thoma Bravo, a leading software investment firm, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $6.9 billion.
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ICYMI Snippets:

Follow the Leaders

 

  • Monty Nelson took on the role of VP at Cerner Federal Services.
  • Doug Thornell was named next CEO of SKDK.
  • Jason Day has joined GovTact | Leidos family as the newest Task Order Proposal Manager for the NGEN Service, SMIT IDIQ.
  • Linda Lourie joined WestExec Advisors as a senior advisor.
  • Ashwin Admala joined Deloitte as Managing Director.
  • Watson McLeish was named SVP of Tax Policy at the US Chamber of Commerce.
  • Sean Kelly has taken a new position as SVP & CIO at Connsci.
  • Alex Forti joins Amyx as Director of Business Development.
  • James Walters, former HHS Director of Platform Services and Enterprise programs, joins U.S. Office of Special Counsel as Chief Technology Officer

Follow the Job Openings

 
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Contract Awards

2 Twelve Solutions awarded $93.5M OTA to operationalize modern enterprise capabilities into a global secure enterprise network.

At the heart of the solution is 2 Twelve Solutions’ advanced application programming interface (API), multi-cloud platform and Orchestrated Repository for the Enterprise (ORE), leveraging 2 Twelve Solutions’ world-class, highly secure datacenter infrastructure.
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LMI awarded JE-OPETS Logistics and Medical Component Task Order.

With this task order, LMI’s team of bioengineers, scientists, clinical advisors, non-clinical advisors, regulatory affairs managers, quality assurance managers, process advisors, program logisticians, and fielding coordinators will continue supporting the JPEO-CBRND Medical Countermeasure development mission.
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Shower thoughts 🚿

What are the biggest electricity generating facilities (power plants) in the USA?

The attacks happening at the power plant in Ukraine had me wondering what the biggest plants in the USA are. The five biggest ones are, in order of largest to smallest: (1) Palo Verde, Nuclear Plant, Arizona; (2) Browns Ferry, Nuclear Plant, Alabama; (3) South Texas Project, Nuclear Plant, Texas; (4) Peach Bottom, Nuclear Plant, Pennsylvania; and (5) Oconee, Nuclear Plant, South Carolina. 
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If you are a woman and you join the Army, how many bra choices do you think you get?

When Sarah Hoyt arrived at Fort Jackson, S.C., for basic training in 2002, the Army confiscated all of her personal belongings. That included sports bras she had packed for the 10 weeks of strenuous physical activity that stretched ahead of her. If she wanted new ones, she had to visit a reception station, which sold just one brand and one style, said Hoyt. So for the first few days of the training program, Hoyt pushed through the discomfort of too-small bras as she cycled through sit-ups, push-ups and two-mile runs. “I was very uncomfortable, to put it mildly,” she said. “They did a good job of putting the girls down, but it was so tight.” Now, 20 years later, the Army is FINALLY poised to offer its first official uniform bra. Four prototypes are being offered.
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Lawmakers to IRS: Get your Sh*t together!

Let’s think of this as a therapeutic role-play, with lawmakers playing “mom and dad,” and the IRS playing the really distracted teenager. This week a group of 89 lawmakers wrote a letter to their dopey teenager wanting to know how the agency is planning on cutting down its backlog of unprocessed paper returns and correspondence, whether the agency is confident in its end-of-year goal to get that backlog to a “healthy” level and more. The IRS responded with, “yes yes, we promise to do better.” They also pointed to an operational updates page, which shows that as of August 5 there are 9.7 million unprocessed individual returns for FY2021.
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The Trivia Answer is….  

Sixteen! Only five have permanent residents (the first five in the list below).
  • American Samoa.
  • Guam.
  • Northern Mariana Islands.
  • Puerto Rico.
  • United States Virgin Islands.
  • Minor Outlying Islands: Bajo Nuevo Bank. Baker Island. Howland Island. Jarvis Island. Johnston Atoll. Kingman Reef. Midway Islands. Navassa Island. Palmyra Atoll.

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GovBrew is an elite crew of knowledgeable, cool, and aggressive GovCon Experts who also like to have a good time. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning we take a 5-minute journey together. After our morning read we are more informed, optimistic, and motivated about our place and power in the GovCon industry. Basically, ready to kick ass.

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