QUICK HITS

  • NDAA negotiations will determine success of several cyber solarium goals: Big tech is making a concerted push to increase gov’t’s acquisition of information and communications technology and to cultivate faster procurement practices.
  • $2.3B DCSA background investigation support contract: Bid protest! This week GAO denied Paragon’s bid protest–one that gained a lot of speculation. The contract award is imminent, and it’s expected to be awarded to Peraton and CACI.
  • How long dies it take to get a security clearance? It currently takes 121 days to obtain a Top Secret security clearance for the fastest 90% of DoD/Industry applicants, and 95 days to obtain a Secret clearance for the fastest 90% of DoD/Industry applicants.

TRIVIA

DEFENSE & AEROSPACE

$900M Army Modernization Priorities IDIQ contract kicks off (a RFP announcement).

The U.S. Army has asked industry stakeholders to submit proposals for a potential 10-year, $900 million contract to enable the service to accelerate modernization priorities and innovation to support warfighters in multidomain operations. The Army Modernization Priorities program is a multiple-award, IDIQ contract and is expected to be awarded between February and March, according to a RFP. Read more

How solid is Starlink, as Russia threatens to shoot it down?

Russian officials have made veiled threats to obliterate SpaceX’s internet satellite network which has served as a communications lifeline for the Ukrainian military. To date, however, “how many Starlink satellites have the Russians shot down? … zero,” noted Derek Tournear, director of the U.S. Space Force’s SDA. Although Russia demonstrated it can strike a satellite in low Earth orbit with a ballistic missile, the fact that it hasn’t taken down any Starlink satellites speaks to the power of a proliferated constellation to deter attacks and provide resilience, Tournear said.  Read more

Army Criminal Division reviewing thousands of cases for errors due to database flaws.

“It’s clear that we made mistakes,” Army’s Criminal Investigation Division Director Greg Ford said. Ford’s office this week announced an effort to review and, when necessary, remove the names of 1,900 soldiers from its criminal database—and CID expects that number to grow. All of the cases stem from a recruiting program run from 2005 to 2012 that produced 130,000 new recruits and plenty of fraud. Read more

ICYMI Snippets

Defense Contract Awards

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INTEL COMMUNITY

Treasury:1, Killnet: 0.

US Treasury Department officials revealed for the first time that the agency was able to disrupt a distributed denial of service attack from Russian-sponsored cyberattack group Killnet last month. Todd Conklin, cybersecurity counselor to Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo, described the attack as “pretty low-level DDoS activity targeting Treasury’s critical infrastructure nodes.” The newly confirmed cyberattack on Treasury adds to the list of reported Killnet breaches during October including JPMorgan Chase, US state government systems, and several airports.  Read more

36 nation summit agrees to crack down on crypto to combat ransomware.

The WH’s second International Counter Ransomware Initiative summit has concluded, and this year the 36-nation group has made clear it intends to crack down on how cryptocurrencies are used to finance ransomware operations. The CRI group planned to “take joint steps to stop ransomware actors from being able to use the cryptocurrency ecosystem.” The CRI group said its anti-crypto work will focus on “the development and implementation” standards to tackle “money laundering” and the “financing of terrorism”. This includes the ‘know your customer’ rules to mitigate misuse of crypto by cyber criminals.” Read more

DOJ is reviewing responses to congressional requests to improve correspondence management system.

The DOJ is conducting a review of how it responds to congressional information requests to improve its correspondence management system. DOJ is also customizing and reconfiguring its correspondence management software to better track and monitor the status of responses in greater detail. Congress sends hundreds of information requests to DOJ and its agencies like the FBI annually, with the Office of Legislative Affairs chiefly responsible for responding, but in the past two years lawmakers have complained their letters have gone unanswered or partially answered at multiple hearings.  Read more

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CIVILIAN

$2.4B IT services contract vehicle: All questions answered.

The FAA released 96 Q&As in regard to the massive $2.4B ITIPSS contract vehicle. The deadline remains Nov. 30 and ITIPSS will have 15 awards total, with two or three of them for large businesses. We can guess what all you contractors are going to be doing over your Thanksgiving holiday weekend… Read more

Traffic lights get tech: DOT looks to AI to help modernize highways.

As part of USDOT’s plans to modernize the U.S.’s highway infrastructure, the agency issued a new contract opportunity seeking AI and data analytics-based solutions. A program under FHWA called for proposals featuring artificial intelligence technology to improve the current national highway design system. Some of the issues DOT wants to have AI tackle include safety patterns in underserved communities, pedestrian safety and environment mapping, bridge capacity for heavier vehicles and individual vehicle smart parking.  Read more

FCC to launch new Space Bureau.

Everyone wants a piece of the space realm! FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced that the agency will be launching a new space bureau. The new space office will come out of a reorganization of the agency’s  International Bureau, which will result in the new Space Bureau and a new standalone Office of International Affairs. The chairwoman noted that the FCC currently has applications for 64,000 new satellites, and last year the agency saw an eightfold increase in applications for fixed satellite service gateway earth stations while receiving applications for new space ventures like lunar landers. Such application increases align with private companies’ investment of $10 billion in space in the last year.  Read more

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Civilian Contract Awards

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M&A CORNER

Cadmus buys Wheelhouse Group.

Cadmus, a provider of technical and strategic expertise to governments, energy utilities, and private sector companies worldwide, announced its acquisition of Wheelhouse Group, a provider of change management services. Enhanced by Wheelhouse’s expertise, Cadmus will offer clients management and technical expertise, especially in the IT modernization, citizen services, and workforce transformation spaces. Read more

Lockheed Martin invests $100M in Terran Orbital.

Lockheed Martin is upping its stake in small satellite manufacturer Terran Orbital with a $100 million investment that increases its total equity from 9.4% to 33.5%. Lockheed Martin has invested in the company since 2017 and selected it to produce 42 satellites for the U.S. Space Force’s SDA under a $700 million contract.  Read more

ICYMI:

AROUND THE WEB

🕵🏻‍♂️ On this day: In 1952, the United States Government established the National Security Agency (NSA) in a memo written by Robert A. Lovett, the Secretary of Defense.

🌔 That’s interesting: NASA makes progress with New Lunar Terrain Vehicle Moon Rover Services.

🎧 Podcast: What goes into the process of preparing and writing a proposal, along with what to consider to have a proposal really stand out?

📄 How to: Win Government Contracts on the Top 20 Contract Vehicles.

📣 Event: Don’t miss GovBrew’s virtual Technology Forum. Hear federal agency leaders discuss their experience deploying cutting-edge technologies in the public sector and how they drive real change to meet their agency’s mission.

SHOWER THOUGHTS 🚿

 

Urban AI: Algorithms quietly run the City of D.C.–and maybe your hometown, too.

Washington, D.C is the home base of our government as well as home to 690,000 people—and 29 obscure algorithms that shape their lives. City agencies use automation to screen housing applicants, predict criminal recidivism, identify food assistance fraud, determine if a high schooler is likely to drop out, inform sentencing decisions for young people, and many other things. That snapshot of semiautomated urban life comes from a new report from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). Just how well do these AI systems work, and are they as prone to discrimination as humans? Read more

Star Wars gets political. Are we okay with that?

(The linked article contains spoilers for the 8th episode of Andor.) In the Star Wars universe, the characters are deeply and bitterly divided by ideological differences and personal animosity. In short, they are divided by politics. When I say politics, I do not mean that Andor is a liberal or left-wing show. It can be read that way—one can see the echoes of the issues that animated the George Floyd protests in the show’s portrayal of Imperial law-enforcement agencies cracking down on dissent, or in the Imperial prison that has debt clocks in every cell. What I mean is that the series attempts to imagine an internal politics of class, culture, and ideology that motivates its principal characters and fictional institutions.  Read more

TRIVIA ANSWER

ANSWER: A
The Red Teamers.  Based out of Fort Leavenworth, the Red Teamers provide commanders with an independent analysis of alternatives in plans, operations, concepts, organizations, and capabilities in the context of the operational environment and from the perspectives of our partners, adversaries, and others.
(Source

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