QUICK HITS
  • The $60.7B VA T4NG2 IDIQ and the scoring twist: 4 items to look at first now that the draft RFP is out.
  • Hackers to get crack at systems running the Pentagon in new bug bounty: Third round of the Hack the Pentagon initiative.
  • NIH breaks up its technology leadership roles: The decision comes after Andrea Norris retired on Dec. 31.
  • Army National Guard and Reserves CIOs’ top priorities are innovation: and data management in 2023.
  • Pentagon, Japan MOD sign two bilateral MOUs to collaborate on technology research and defense supply chains.

DEFENSE & AEROSPACE

Army rolls out Google collaborative suite to more than 180,000 users.

Six months after first announcing the initiative, the Army has deployed the Google Workspace to more than 180,000 users. Army Undersecretary Gabe Camerillo has reported no significant problems. Workspace includes email, chat, and storage functions. Read more

Army’s hybrid cloud approach means less emphasis on ‘tactical cloud’ architecture.

The Army is pursuing a multi-cloud, multi-vendor hybrid approach. Moreover, its unified network concept stresses the need for a single global network that leaves behind the paradigm of years past of a theater-centric network split between the enterprise and tactical spheres.. Read more

DOD needs to work through details of systems contributing to USAF JADC2.

While conceding that DOD is in the early stages of developing Joint All-Domain Command and Control and has released a broad strategy, a GAO report found that DOD has to do better with defining details for the Air Force, as it plans its contribution to JADC2 through the Advanced Battle Management System, such as which existing systems will contribute to JADC2 and what future capabilities need to be developed. Read more

ICYMI Snippets

  • NASA spent $35M on ‘wasteful” software licensing and fees, according to a NASA OIG report.
  • SpaceX edges closer to first Starship orbital launch attempt.
  • DARPA has released the Space-WATCH solicitation to provide real-time persistent tracking of all objects in low earth orbit.

Defense Contract Awards

  • USAF has awarded BigBear.ai a 10-year, $900M IDIQ contract for the Force Life Cycle Management Center Architectures and Integration Directorate.
  • DARPA has awarded 7 contractors a $183M ceiling increase for technical and analytical support services. The max amount is $1.03B.

Follow the Defense Leaders

  • USAF names a new chief of data and AI with experience working at OMB as Senior Strategic Adviser for data to the FedCIO.
  • There’s a new VP at Aeyon, in charge of Navy and civilian agencies.
  • Berry Aviation has named an Army vet the new VP of Unmanned Aerial Systems Division.

Defense Job Openings

INTEL COMMUNITY

Silicon Valley firm sues NGA over software contract.

Percipient.AI filed suit in the Court of Federal Claims, claiming the NGA is violating a law requiring agencies to buy commercially available products when possible through its January 2021 award of the $377M SAFFIRE contract to CACI Inc. Read more

Analyzing intelligence in the age of ChatGPT.

Patrick Biltgen, principal at Booz Allen Hamilton, says industry is just beginning to grasp the potential of so-called generative AI, with tools like ChatGPT that create coherent and convincing written content and models like DALL-E 2 that come up with realistic images from a description in natural language. Read more

 

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CIVILIAN

CYA time: Aviation industry group had warned FAA about system as early as 2018

Victory has 1,000 fathers, they say, while defeat is an orphan. After last week’s spectacular FAA pilot notification system meltdown, the National Business Aviation Association, a trade group representing more than 11,000 aeronautics companies and professionals, issued a statement urging FAA to modernize the Notice to Air Missions, claiming they had first made this call in 2018. Read more

ICE seeking to move legal discovery system to cloud.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has posted an RFI to solicit white papers for proposed methods to transition their legal discovery system used by 1,100 lawyers and 350 support personnel to a cloud-based system compliant with FEDRAMP standards. Read more

CISA, DHS eye open source software use in critical infrastructure.

CISA is gearing up efforts to improve transparency and visibility in software and technology supply chains this year, with various efforts snowballing toward what the agency’s leader calls “cyber safety.” CISA and the DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate, for instance, are sketching out projects to use open source software in critical infrastructure sectors. CISA advisor Allan Friedman said while most open source activities are occurring outside of agency confines, the government can step in in areas where “massive resources aren’t available today,” like with critical infrastructure. Read more

ICYMI Snippets

  • Asylum seekers can schedule entry appointments in advance through CBP mobile app.
  • POTUS announces eight new members to National Science Board, which sets science policy direction for the NSF.
  • GAO denies protest of Gracier Technologies Inc. to mission support services task order awarded by the USDA CIO to the contractor teaming arrangement of Dynamo Technologies LLC, and Alpha Omega Integration, LLC.
  • Mail and package volume dipped during 2022 holiday season, but USPS delivered more quickly.

Civilian Contracts Awards

  • DOE awarded a five-year, $1B security services contract for the Savannah River site to Centerra Group LLC.
  • CISA has awarded a $7.2M contract to CloudFlare for DNS services.
  • SAIC was awarded a $2.6B FAA IDIQ contract to support programs.

Follow Civilian Leaders

Civilian Job Openings

  • VA is hiring an executive director, Veterans Integrated Network (VISN 21).
  • USDA Rural Development is hiring a deputy administrator for community programs.

M&A CORNER

Xcelerate Solutions purchased by McNally Partners.

Xcelerate Solutions, a provider of end-to-end national security advisory services, has been purchased by McNally Partners, a Chicago-based venture capital company that focuses on investing in family-run and founder-led companies. Read more

SHOWER THOUGHTS 🚿

Reported sightings of UFOs by US troops surge over 18 months.

Sightings of unidentified flying objects by U.S. pilots, or in military speak, “unidentified aerial phenomena,” have risen sharply since April 2020, when the DOD declassified three videos taken by Navy pilots that purport to show unexplainable aircraft. In the 17 years before March 2021, the military recorded 144 alleged UFO sightings by troops. Between March 2021 and August 2022, however, personnel reported 366, according to an ODNI report. Read more

Number of Club Fed LinkedIn continues to grow.

Federal marketing consultant Mark Amtower started doing a census of federal users on LinkedIn 10 years ago, tired of hearing that there were a neglible number of feds on the social network. In his latest, annual census, he is finding an increase of 13% of feds on LinkedIn, with a total number of 2.7 million. Read more

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