• Army wants ideas from industry about autonomous, anti-drone capabilities: Army Futures Command considers modernization needs.
  • Cyberattacks on DOE National Labs draw Congress’ scrutiny: The attacks, allegedly Russian-based, occurred in August and September 2022.
  • Is the government’s cyber policy moving from partnership to command-and-control?: Is the White House showing a shift and toward cyber regulations, mandates and oversight?
  • Tougher cybersecurity rules may be more than a year away, but get ready. Independent checks, more reporting coming for contractors.


To protect satellites, secure your networks, Chief of Space Ops say.

Attacks on ground networks can be “backdoor” assaults on the space-based capabilities that are key to modern warfare, Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman said. “Satellites in space are not useful if the linkages to them and the ground network that moves the information around that you get from satellites is not assured, is not capable, is not accessible.” Read more

RFI: AI-powered surveillance sought for US Central Command.

USAF officials are seeing industry input into their plans to install “always-on” surveillance systems fueled by AI and other advanced computing technology at sites overseen by U.S. Central Command, such as at Al Udeld Air Base in Qatar, and other undisclosed “forward locations.” Read more | Get the RFI

Pentagon kicks off 5G competition to upgrade base communications.

DOD is launching the latest 5G competition with millions of dollars on the table, a move it anticipates will shape the rollout of communication upgrades at military bases. Coming less than a year after a similar context, the “2023 5G Challenge: Advanced Interoperability” is being run in partnership with the Commerce Department. Read more

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ARL to host Tech Assess ’23 (also: a RFI).

U.S. Army Research Lab (ARL) posted a RFI for the DEVCOM ARL Tech Assess ‘23: Evaluation of Unmanned Systems and Related Capabilities for Enhanced Mobility, Detection, and Teaming in Operational Environments. The goal if this RFI is to inform and accelerate Army modernization through innovation discovery, demonstration, and experimentation of autonomy/robotic technologies.  The intent is to accelerate the delivery of innovative capabilities to the warfighter by assessing the capabilities and technologies in operationally relevant environments. RFI packages are due February 22.  Read more

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Interior CIO says outdated policymaking hampering adoption of new tech.

Interior CIO Darren Ash said that outdated policies and processes shaped by wider political forces are hampering the adoption of new technology at federal agencies such as his. Ash became Interior’s CIO in September 2022 and has been focused on adopting a hybrid cloud environment and modernizing Interior’s IT infrastructure. Read more

Rep. Mace appointed chairwoman of House Oversight and Accountability Committee Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology and Government Innovation.

Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., has been appointed chairwoman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation for the 118th Congress. Say that three times fast! Read more

USCIS PACTS III $1.95B set-aside IDIQ: draft solicitation expected in late February.

Might as well start getting ready now! A senior advisory consultant said that he expects the USCIS Programmatics, Administration, Clerical & Technical Services (PACTS) III IDIQ draft solicitation to come out late this month. Following a virtual industry day in March, the final solicitation should come in early June, he wrote. Read more

ICYMI Snippets

  • SBA announces informational webinars for 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund competition, a $13M opportunity for STEM-related startups.
  • GSA seeks a builder for the CISA headquarters.
  • AFFIRM is hosting a virtual monthly speakers series, with the latest on Feb. 15 at 12 Noon on “Accelerating Acquisition in Government through Data.” Moderated by Jason Miller, executive editor of Federal New Network, the event features four federal speakers.

Civilian Contracts Awards

  • GovCIO books $139M Commodity Futures Trading Commission IT infrastructure support contract.
  • VHA awards $143M Office of Regulations, Appeals, and Policy Support Services task order to Aptive HTG: a JV between Aptive and ERPi (new ECS).
  • NIH awards $2M OEPR Knowledge Management System Support Services IDIQ.
  • VA awards $5M, one-year contract for Office of Acquisitions and Logistics support services to Echo Five Group. The contract is a SDVOSB.

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BlueAlly expands federal market footprint with n2grate acquisition.

BlueAlly Technology Solutions, a Source Capital portfolio company, announced that it has acquired n2grate Government Technology Solutions, an IT solutions firm specialized in delivering strategic information technology services for large commercial and government clients. Read more

Investment firm Highlander buys counter-UAS tech maker Black Sage.

 Highlander Partners, L.P. announced the acquisition of Black Sage Technologies from Acorn Growth Companies. Black Sage is a multi-mission platform provider of Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems and security solutions for military, internal security, and critical infrastructure industries. Read more


Limits to computing: A computer scientist explains why even in the age of AI, some problems are just too difficult.

There are two aspects to a computer’s power: the number of operations its hardware can execute per second and the efficiency of the algorithms it runs. The hardware speed is limited by the laws of physics. Algorithms – basically sets of instructions – are written by humans and translated into a sequence of operations that computer hardware can execute. Even if a computer’s speed could reach the physical limit, computational hurdles remain due to the limits of algorithms. Read more

NIST researcher calls for further evaluation of AI impact on humans.

As artificial intelligence chatbots and platforms become increasingly available for public use, a leading government researcher is urging the technology community to adopt a risk-based approach and look beyond technical specifications and further study the impact AI can have on individuals and society, including its potential misused by criminals. Read more

New Pentagon rules keep many military court records secret.

Despite a 2016 law requiring transparency, wouldn’t you know it, but the Pentagon is limiting public access to court records in the military justice system. A recent ProPublica lawsuit appears to have spurred the new Pentagon guidance. Read more

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