ūüŹõ Crashing a spaceship into an asteroid, NSA/Cybercom review, USAF awards 950M vehicle to 30 companies, a new Treasury office, and HHS DDOS attacks.

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

Quick Hits

It’s official. The SBA takes¬†over the verification of SDVOSBs/VOSBs from the VA.¬†¬†

It was announced a few months back that the SDVOSB/VOSB certification process was moving from the VA to the SBA and things are moving along quickly. The VA will stop taking applications for verification or reverification Oct. 24, 2022. The department is reaching out to all Veterans who may be impacted by this action to inform them of VA’s Oct. 24th application deadline. Until then, Veterans can continue to apply for verification at VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.
Read more

Grifters steal more than $45B in unemployment benefits during pandemic, watchdog says.

A Labor Department watchdog is reporting that fraudsters stole more than $45B from the government during the COVID-19 pandemic. The final tally could be higher. Some real areas of concern: Paying out jobless benefits to federal prisoners and paying out aid to individuals in multiple states. The watchdog goes on to say that¬†the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration “has not taken sufficient action” to implement inspector general recommendations dating back to Feb. 2021 “that would help mitigate and prevent even more potential fraudulent payments from occurring.”
Read more

Understanding the federal AI spend.

Understanding how the feds are allocating funds towards a particular capability is a vital step in your business strategy. If you’re pursuing AI work, then you should¬†read this¬†Brookings report that¬†analyzed a dataset of 663 contracts across¬†652¬†agencies with¬†556¬†NAICS codes.¬†This report suggests that AI in the fed space is an¬†immature market that is focused on the development of research. There are only 62 companies with more than one contract for AI services and very few with more than 5 (AI Solutions 10+ awards, AI Signal Research 5+ awards,¬†and AI Biosciences 5+ awards)
Read more

ICYMI Snippets:

Top Defense & Aerospace

Let the games begin! Thirty companies selected to compete for $950M USAF Joint All-Domain Command and Control contract.

USAF officials last week selected 30¬†companies to compete for the service’s $950M JADC2¬†contract. In July, USAF officials had added 27 other companies to the procurement, which seeks to better connect the military services and provide critical, mission information to forces across land, air, sea, space and cyber. Winners included: Agile Defense, Autonodyne, BMC Software Federal, Clear Creek Applied Technologies, Colossal Contracting, Confluent, Charles Stark Draper Labs, EpiSys Science, Epoch Concepts, ICR, InfoSciTex, Innoflight, Intrinsic Enterprises, Jasper Solutions, Memcomputing, Nteligen, Oceus Networks, Orbital Insight, Patrocinium Systems, Radiance Tech, RFK Engineering Solutions, RUAG Space USA, Siemens, SRIInternational, Sterling Computers, Sigma Defense Systems, Terbine, and Vannevar Labs.
Read more

USAF meets its 2022 recruiting goal.

As the fiscal year 2022 enters its final days, USAF officials announced they have met their 2022 active duty recruiting goals, thanks due in part to recruiting bonuses. Air National Guard and Reserve are thousands of personnel short, but a number of challenges remain, with 2023 likely to be at least as challenging as this year. One challenge: EHR MHS Genesis transition. Another challenge: private industry snagging the top talent from airmen who have just left active duty.
Read more

DARPA selects teams to improve how scientists build/sustain models, simulations.

DARPA has selected a whole bunch of university research teams for the agency‚Äôs¬†Automating Scientific Knowledge Extraction and Modeling (ASKEM)¬†program. ASKEM performers will use AI approaches and tools to create, sustain, and enhance complex models and simulators.¬†Resulting tools will enable experts to maintain, reuse, and adapt large collections of heterogeneous data, knowledge and models ‚Äď with traceability across knowledge sources, model assumptions, and model fitness. Program performers will apply the models and simulators to various use cases with a focus on modeling of viral epidemics, such as COVID-19, and to the causes and impacts of space weather.
Read more

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Top Intel Community

CISA, NSA release guidance to reduce alternatives for securing industrial control systems.

CISA and NSA officials jointly released guidance to help prompt streamlining and easing of the decision-making process for owners of critical infrastructure to start protecting industrial control systems from an increasing likelihood of cyberattack.
Read more

New review examines NSA and Cyber Command‚Äôs ‚Äėdual hat‚Äô structure.

Former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Joseph F. Dunford Jr. has been tapped by the Biden administration to guide a review of the leadership arrangement governing U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, an examination that could trigger lasting ramifications for the country‚Äôs digital and intelligence operations. The administration has assembled a small study group to scrutinize the benefits and drawbacks of the ‚Äúdual-hat‚ÄĚ leadership structure that has existed since Cyber Command was created in 2009, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
Read more

NNSA has major cyber failings, watchdog report warns.

This can’t be good! The NNSA, which oversees our national nuclear stockpile, has major cyber security failings, according to a GAO report. The NNSA¬†has implemented only four out of six foundational cybersecurity requirements within its traditional IT environment, which includes computer systems used for weapons design, according to the report. The problem includes contractors as well as the agency itself.
Reader More

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Top Civilian

USPS consolidation plans for 200 facilities in flux.

As USPS officials work toward consolidating 200 post offices and other facilities beginning as soon as next month, the plans are very much in flux, with some employees concerned about how the developing plans impact their jobs.
Read more

Immediate action needed to protect homeland from drone threats, former TSA exec argues.

With drone use growing at fast rate, one former TSA administrator argues that the government needs to provide vendors the ability to complete quarterly scientific R&D testing at designated military installations. He argues that foreign drone mitigation companies benefit from their governments’ more streamlined R&D scientific policies.
Read more

Treasury is announcing a new office: Office of the Chief Sanctions Economist.

….And they are actively recruiting for the Chief sanctions Economist and two initial staff members.¬†OCSE will¬†be responsible for the development of economic and financial policy analysis to inform the design and implementation of sanctions policy and targeting options, among other tasks.
Read more

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GovCon M&A Corner

Anser Advisory acquires RLH Engineering.

Anser Advisory announced the acquisition of RLH Engineering, Inc. (RLH). RLH is an owner’s representative, project management, and environmental consulting firm serving Colorado. Both firms have shared values and beliefs, and both are committed to developing and maintaining long-standing client relationships. By leveraging the combined expertise of the Anser Advisory and RLH teams, the combined firm will provide additional value to clients in the region, as well as across the country.
Read more

The Administration is playing hardball with large M&A deals.

The Biden Administration is putting big companies on notice that they may need to fight in court if they want to pull off a big merger. Under Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter, head of antitrust, the Justice Department in 2022 has sought to block four mergers in court, one more than last year. Moreover, the DOJ hasn’t accepted any merger settlements on Kanter’s watch, according to James Fishkin, an antitrust partner at law firm Dechert and a former attorney at Federal Trade Commission.
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Shower thoughts ūüöŅ

Think that you’re patient? Try waiting eight years for a USAF settlement

How patient are you? A disabled veteran has been waiting eight years to receive a $8 million settlment,¬† The Texas man had hoped to work at Laughlin Air Force Base in the Lone Star State, but instead, he’s battling foreclosure as he seeks his payment.
Read more

Virtual communication kills creativity; For better remote work, focus should be on collaboration tools.

As federal agencies transition to a hybrid work model from a fully remote approach was precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Government Business Council white paper calls for focusing on implementing collaboration tools for teams to work with, as opposed to focusing on performance technology. The study looked at data from DOD, DOT, and AFGE. Results: 70% of respondents said that collaboration between in-office and remote workers is challenging with current tools and 56% are only somewhat or not very satisfied with the tools they use. 61% of respondents felt that screen sharing is effective to broadcast information across a team, but not for active knowledge sharing or collaboration.
Read more


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.

ūüŹõ Former HUD Asst. IG convicted, New GSA BPA, VA acquisition challenges,¬†Why does the FY end in September?

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Quick Hits

GSA has a new BPA to simplify government-wide cloud acquisitions.

The GSA is primed to standardize government-wide cloud acquisitions with its new ‘Ascend’ multiple award BPA. ‘Ascend’ is the result of many months of research on behalf of federal and industry agencies. According to the draft PWS, the GSA wants to set requirements for ¬†‚Äúthe acquisition, business, operations, reporting, and technology capabilities provided by commercial Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) and cloud-focused labor service providers that are not currently accessible under other GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) or Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs).”
Read more

The time is near to add IT workforce ratings to the FITARA scorecard.

The ACT-IAC has released a report recommending new changes to the biannual FITARA scorecard. The report urges Congress to include a technology workforce category to the biannual Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act report cards issued by the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
Read more

GovBrew Emerging Technology Forum: Driving Innovation in the Public Sector.

GovBrew is hosting a virtual forum on¬†innovative¬†emerging¬†technologies. It will be an action-packed two-hour event where top Federal agency leaders¬†will discuss their experience¬†deploying cutting-edge technologies in the public sector and how they use them to drive real change and meet their agency’s mission. Sign up now to reserve your spot.

Government Speakers

  • Cindy Good¬†– Dept of Treasury¬†– Senior Analyst, Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation¬†(confirmed)
  • Brett Smith¬†‚Äď Dept of Treasury¬†– Director – Payment Strategy & Innovation¬†(confirmed)
  • Kathryn Wetherby¬†– CMS¬†– Deputy Director Marketplace IT Group, Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO)¬†(confirmed)
  • Sanja Bararic¬†– HHS¬†– Artificial Intelligence Program Lead¬†(pending approval)
  • Robert Whetsel¬†‚Äď FDA¬†– Associate Director for Data Architecture, Senior Advisor for Data Architecture¬†(pending approval)
  • Ron Williams¬†‚Äď GSA¬†– Director, Cloud Adoption & Infrastructure Optimization¬†(pending approval)

Register Now (early bird pricing ends Oct 1st!)

ICYMI Snippets:

  • Former HUD Assistant Inspector General convicted of falsifying financial disclosure forms.
  • Learn the basics behind the frequently misunderstood limitations on subcontracting.

 

GovCon Trivia

How well do you think you know the federal government?

In what year did the National Zoo (Smithsonian) open?

Find the answer at the bottom of this newsletter!

Top Defense & Aerospace

DOD spectrum sharing must grow to keep U.S. economic edge.

The DOD may be the nation’s biggest spectrum user, but it needs to share more of the spectrum to keep the U.S. economically competitive. DOD’s CIO said that greater spectrum sharing is possible without compromising national security. For that to happen, the Department needs to balance economic advantage by maximizing its share of the spectrum.
Read more

Space Force procurement chief bashes satellite programs as “over-engineered.”

The Space Force’s track record of issuing contracts to over-engineered satellite systems needs to end, according to the assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisition and integration. The old approach of using seven-year contracts to develop GEO satellites needs to change if the U.S. hopes to keep up with China’s rapid construction of new constellations.
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Top Intel Community

NSA, CISA share ways to combat threat actors compromising OT/ICS.

NSA and CISA have published a cybersecurity advisory that shares ways to defend against cyber actors who compromise operational technology/industrial control system assets. The advisory notes that threats are on the rise against OT/ICS assets essential to day-to-day critical infrastructure and processes.
Read more

DHS spending $700,000 to research counterterrorism in video games.

A DHS-funded grant is going toward research covering multiplayer games as avenues of white supremacist radicalization. The DHS is devoting nearly $700,000 to a joint research program working toward the “development of a set of best practices and centralized resources for monitoring and evaluation of extremist activities.”
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Top Civilian

The cost to implement cyber mandates for water infrastructure is too damn high!

Experts are saying that the cost of implementing federal cyber mandates for water infrastructure are getting out of hand. A Congressional hearing saw lawmakers and experts characterizing recent instances of hacking as urgent threats to public security — particularly in rural regions and underserved communities.
Read more

$1.2T IIJA is under fire from state highway officials.

State transportation officials are less than thrilled that the DOT is setting goals to curb greenhouse gas emissions on roads. State officials are putting pressure on federal agencies to give their departments more flexibility when it comes to what they can spend under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
Read more

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GovCon M&A Corner

Kaman wraps up purchase of Parker Hannifin’s Aircraft Wheel, Brake Division.

Aerospace components maker Kaman is finalizing its buyout of Parker Hannifin‚Äės business division offering aircraft braking products, systems, and services.¬†The new Kaman subsidiary generates around $70M annually and serves military aircraft, general, and business aviation and rotorcraft operators.
Read more

WSP Closes Purchase of Wood’s Environment & Infrastructure Business

Canada’s engineering services provider WSP Global has acquired John Wood Group‚Äôs environment and infrastructure business for ~$1.81 billion as part of a push to accelerate its environmental service offerings. Alexandre L‚ÄôHeureux, president and CEO of WSP, has said the company will welcome 6,000 E&I employees, and that the acquisition will enable WSP to pursue opportunities in the environmental and water sectors while still providing multidisciplinary services.
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Shower thoughts ūüöŅ

Space Force debuts an¬†official service song that, ironically, can’t be heard in the vacuum of space.¬†

One might think that if the Space Force were to debut a song, it would be audible ito any passerby extraterrestrials curious enough to listen in. Unfortunately, not only can Space Force’s official service song ‘Semper Supra’ not be heard beyond the stratosphere, some don’t consider it worth hearing it at all.¬†
Read more

Why on earth does the US fiscal year start in October?

In 1974, Congress passed the the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act (CBICA), signed by President Richard Nixon, establishing a budget process and new dates for the government’s fiscal year, moves that leaders hoped would make it easier to agree on annual federal spending plans. Almost a half century later, consensus on federal budgets is more elusive than ever, and Congress keeps passing continuing resolutions that maintain government spending at the previous fiscal year’s levels. Prior to 1974, the government’s fiscal year started on July 1 and ended on June 30. The CBICA made the change to allow Congress more time to agree upon a budget each year.
Read more

The Trivia Answer is….¬†¬†

1889 

In 1889 President Grover Cleveland officially signed an act of congress into law creating the National Zoological Park for ‚Äúthe advancement of science and the instruction and recreation of the people.‚ÄĚ Two years later, the animals who had been living on the National Mall had a new home. Frederick Law Olmsted, the premiere architect of the day, designed the Zoo within Rock Creek Park in northwest Washington, D.C.,¬†which officially opened in 1891.

(Source) 


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.

ūüŹõ DARPA lets uncleared innovators in, VA VEO BPA, DOD SBIR program off of hold, CIA targeting hiring time

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!¬†

Federal agencies are racing to spend beeeeeelions by Sept. 30.

“It’s the most beautiful time of the year!” No, it’s not Christmas…it’s the end of the fiscal year!¬†The annual ‚ÄúChristmas in September‚ÄĚ spending season is well under way, with billions of dollars that need to be allocated before the government‚Äôs fiscal year ends Sept 30.¬†And if FY22 is anything like previous years, the final three months will account for about a third of total obligations. Large government contractors get most of that payout, with small businesses following behind.
Read more

House panel advances legislation to protect federal workers during pandemics. 

A House panel advanced legislation to protect federal workers and agency operations during future pandemics. The Chai Suthammanont Healthy Federal Workplaces Act (H.R. 8466) is the third version of a bill requiring agencies to develop and publish workplace safety plans for use during pandemics.
Read more

WH science and tech advisors recommend $500M startup semiconductor fund through Commerce Department.

The House Council of Advisors on Science and Technology are advising POTUS to fund the National Semiconductor Technology Center in order to create a $500M investment fund for early stage startups by the end of 2023. The action is something of a follow-on to POTUS signing the $11B CHIPS and Science Act for semiconductor research and development.
Read more

ICYMI Snippets:

Top Defense & Aerospace

DARPA launches new program to let small innovators behind the classified curtain.

For a lot of would-be defense contractors, the world of classified contracts is a bit of a Catch-22. You can‚Äôt get classified work without a security clearance, and you can‚Äôt get a security clearance without a contract that demands classified work. DARPA is looking to solve that problem with a new initiative it calls ‚ÄúBRIDGES.‚ÄĚ The basic idea is to give small firms a chance to show they‚Äôve got the technical acumen or creativity to solve the sorts of problems DARPA‚Äôs working on in the classified arena. If it looks like the answer is yes, the agency itself will sponsor them for a security clearance.
Read more

AF creates new office to settle internal squabbles over ABMS.

The Air Force is setting up a new management structure to ride herd over its Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS), the Air Force‚Äôs contribution to the DOD’s JADC2 project, and it’s going to be called PEO-C3BM. Officials say ABMS has demonstrated progress in some key technical areas, but those advancements haven‚Äôt always been coordinated with one another.¬†At the top of the new management structure for what Air Force officials have¬†previously termed¬†the ‚Äúinternet of military things‚ÄĚ will be a brand new program executive office:
Read more

Come to find out that inflation, not Russia or China, are primary worries of military personnel.

USAF Secretary Frank Kendall is not oblivious to the day-to-day worries about enlisted personnel.¬†‚ÄúThe [Air and Space Forces] leadership knows we can’t expect airmen, guardians to give their all to the mission when they are worried about paying for gas to get to work, finding childcare or providing their family a safe place to live,‚ÄĚ Kendall said during a keynote at the Air and Space Forces Association‚Äôs Air, Space and Cyber conference.
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Top Intel Community

CIA aims to decrease median hiring time ‚Äėby orders of magnitude‚Äô by December.

Reducing wait times and diversifying applicant pools are just two workforce priorities for the CIA, as the agency tries to revamp its best practices for hiring. One of the hurdles to changing recruitment, though, is the agency’s extensive security clearance process, said Juliane Gallina, associate deputy director of the CIA’s Directorate of Digital Innovation. Although the hiring process does have certain elements that cannot be changed, the agency is working to open doors, for instance, to more diverse candidates, while also expediting the process wherever possible.
Read more

Fifth and final OMB memo to meet cybersecurity goals more than just another cyber mandate, says Federal CISO.

The OMB’s fifth and final memo to meet goals outlined in the May 2021 cybersecurity executive order may be its most ambitious yet. The memo is set to change the way agencies purchase and vendors develop commercial software, and Chris DeRusha, federal CISO at OMB, states that the memo is more than just another cyber mandate.
Read More

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Last week we asked our Gov Brew Crew (that’s you!) to tell us What are the BEST GovCon blogs to follow?¬†Here’s what the results had to say…we think you’ll get a lot of value from exploring these resources.

Top Civilian

GSA examines how to bring “federal buying power” to supercharge the solar panel market (a RFI announcement).

As part of federal government efforts to promote domestic clean-energy technology, the GSA issued a RFI to learn more about the availability of American-made solar photovoltaic panels and components. GSA seeks this information to learn about how the agency can encourage domestic manufacturing of PV panels through federal procurement, as part of ongoing efforts to decarbonize the electric grid and secure a domestic clean energy supply chain.
Read more

Are you planning for the $45M VA VEO Enterprise Measurement and Performance Improvement Support BPA?

We might have some data that will help you as you plan your response to this highly watched VA FY23 opportunity, including capture data, contract vehicle, related articles mentioning the opportunity, potential points of contact, some statistical odds, incumbent data, and much more. You’re welcome!
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GovCon M&A Corner

NTT DATA to acquire Apisero.

IT services and digital business leader NTT DATA has signed an agreement to acquire leading international MuleSoft consulting firm Apisero. The acquisition will provide NTT DATA with more than 2,000 global resources, accelerating its strategy to become a first-choice digital innovation partner.
Read more

Razor’s Edge closes a $340M investment fund.

Razor’s Edge announced the final closing of its third investment fund, at $340 million. Significantly exceeding the firm’s original fundraising target of $250 million, this result reflects strong investor support for the firm’s strategy of investing in sophisticated companies that are key to helping the United States maintain technological superiority over its adversaries.
Read more

Shower thoughts ūüöŅ

 

Who was Angela Salinas?

During Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 РOct. 15), we honor Hispanic leaders in the government and military, such as USMC MG (Ret.) Angela Salinas. She enlisted in the USMC in May of 1974. At that time, of the 180,000 Marines, less than 2,000 were women. Salinas was among the first to attend gender-integrated officer training, and in 1989 she become the first woman to command a Marine Corps recruit station. Salinas served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 39 years and was the first Hispanic woman to become a General. When she retired in 2013, she was the highest-ranking female officer in the Marines.  
Read more

These are the best (and most absurd) unit patches in the US military.

Patches. Unless you are in the Marines, you‚Äôre probably wearing some on your uniform or have them plastered across your kit right now. And with so many units, so many patches, there is plenty of room for creativity, interesting patterns, and the chance to get downright weird. Patches can be insider jokes, historical ties, or simply tell a story about what you’ve done and where you’ve been. This website has a list of great patches and will leave you wondering “why doesn’t my unit have a Pegasus or a stallion?” They include shout-outs to Star Wars, Bat Woman, Family Guy, pirates, and more.
Read more


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.

ūüŹõ FAA ITIPSS¬†Update, USCIS Pre-proposal event, The IC and commercial space providers

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

Quick Hits

Culture can mean engagement and branding but starts as the “Right Thing to Do.”

Want to better understand how happy employees can lead to long-term success, why it is okay to let employees know the sky is the limit, or how CEOs play a key role in both corporate culture and social media branding? Or simply want advice to help you cement your own corporate culture? Check out this recent interview with RIVA Solutions’ CEO Naveen Krishnamurthy and its Executive Vice President of Growth, Farrell O’Neill Proffitt. As to why the Alpacas…we still have no idea. Many thanks to RIVA Solutions and OrangeSlicesAI for being such an awesome model and sharing your insight with the GovBrewCrew!
Read more

Executive Order adds supply chains, cybersecurity, data to CFIUS risk factors

POTUS signed an executive order formalizing a list of risks to be considered when weighing approval of foreign investments in the U.S. Under the order, the cross-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States must consider impacts on critical supply chains, cybersecurity threats, risks to sensitive data and other evolving national security concerns when reviewing covered transactions.
Read more

Polaris RFPs Round 2.

GSA released RFPs for the HUBZone and SDVOSB pools of the Polaris. GSA said Friday it will accept proposals through Nov. 4 for SDVOSB and HUBZone pools of Polaris. Our only question is how much back and forth will there be with industry and Government on this one?
Read more

ICYMI Snippets:

Top Defense & Aerospace

Empowering field commanders to make decision key to future combat

To win a war with an adversary such as China, lower-level commanders need to be empowered in the field to make more decisions and not face adverse consequences when those decisions do not succeed, allied leaders agree.
Read more

USAF acquisitions fraud investigation disclosed.

Batten down ye hatches, buccaneers! The Air Force revealed that it’s been engaged in a nearly two-year procurement fraud investigation. The Office of Special Investigations has provided few details about the inquiry.¬† Panning out for a wide angled view: the Justice Department was publicly handling nearly 80 major defense fraud and bribery cases as of April, five of which involve the Air Force.¬†From 2013 to 2017, the federal government recovered more than $6.6 billion from defense contracting fraud cases, according to the GAO.
Read more

What percent of enlisted men and women are Hispanic?

Fast facts: So the data is a bit old (from 2019…can’t seem to find more recent data), there were 21.39% active duty enlisted Hispanic women and 17.9% active duty enlisted Hispanic men. How does that correlate to US populations? 18.7% of the total US population (men and women) were Hispanic in¬†2020.

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Top Intel Community

NSA help wanted: 2,000 cyber and IT qualified personnel needed. 

With more data than ever to analyze, NSA officials are urgently trying to hire 2,000 personnel with cyber security and IT qualifications by the end of 2022, but the security clearance requirements, among other realities, are hampering the effort. Crimping new pirate crew is being frowned upon by other agencies.
Read more

DoD & IC considering indemnifying commercial space providers.

At the Intelligence¬†& National¬†Security¬†Summit¬†Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said that the department, including the Pentagon‚Äôs Intelligence Community partners, is looking at the possibility of indemnifying commercial space firms that become targets in conflict due to their support for US national security goals. ‚ÄúIt does require us to think about how we contract effectively, to include issues like indemnification,‚ÄĚ she told the Intelligence and National Security Summit co-sponsored by the Intelligence National Security Alliance (INSA) and the AFCEA. ‚ÄúThat is absolutely on the table.‚ÄĚ
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Top Civilian

Inflation Reduction Act language could hamper IRS hiring efforts.

Did you actually think that the IRS was going to quickly ramp up its hiring efforts, on the heels of the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act into law, to hire and onboard tens of thousands of agents, to enable IRS to meet congressional revenue goals? Well, think again! Due to the stripping of language from the legislation by the Senate, those sons of biscuit eaters, IRS officials will not have the same flexibility to make new hires that they were initially to be given in the legislation.
Read more

 USCIS application support center contract pre-proposal conference.

The pre-proposal conference will be on September 29 from 9 am to 12 pm. You need to register to attend. This contract involves the following tasks: Biometric and Biographic Capture, Identity Verification, Mobile Route Support, Scheduling, Data Entry, resubmissions of prints, electronic support of ink cards, facility observation support and Program Management Support, including Facilities Leasing and Maintenance. Pirate carousing is probably not on the docket.
Read more

ICMY Snippets

Civilian Contracts Awards

Follow the Civilian Leaders

Follow the Civilian Job Openings

     

See what’s brewing in¬†GovCon throughout the day.¬†¬†
Follow GovBrew on social media. 

GovCon M&A Corner

Antenna Research Associates has acquired SI2 Technologies.

Antenna Research Associates has acquired military communications and signal management systems builder SI2 Technologies to create a technology innovation center that will serve defense customers. North Billerica, Massachusetts-based S12 will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of ARA and the two entities will collaborate across various business operations within the U.S. and Europe.
Read more

Intuitive Machines going public through a SPAC deal.

Intuitive Machines, LLC, a space exploration, infrastructure, and services company founded in 2013, and Inflection Point Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: IPAX, IPAXU, IPAXW) (‚ÄúInflection Point‚ÄĚ), a SPAC, announced that they have signed a definitive business combination agreement that will result in Intuitive Machines becoming publicly listed.¬†Upon the closing of the transaction, the combined company will be named Intuitive Machines Inc., and its securities will be listed on Nasdaq.
Read more

Shower thoughts ūüöŅ

What’s the difference between Hispanic and Latino?

Hispanic and Latino are often used interchangeably though they actually mean two different things. Hispanic refers to people who speak Spanish and/or are descended from Spanish-speaking populations, while Latino refers to people who are from or descended from people from Latin America.
Read more

GenZ never learned to read cursive…how will they interpret the past?

In 2010,¬†cursive was omitted from the new national Common Core standards for K‚Äď12 education.¬†Handwriting instruction had already been declining as laptops and tablets and lessons in ‚Äúkeyboarding‚ÄĚ assumed an ever more prominent place in the classroom.¬†¬†Now in college, those writing-impaired students represent the vanguard of a cursiveless world. There was some battle that happened when cursive was eliminated in 2010, and some states (20 of them) have kept up the good fight looking for some sort of cursive instruction.¬†Yet the decline in cursive seems inevitable. Some side-effects: College history students can’t read old manuscripts. English majors can’t read comments that professors hand write on their essays. Children can’t read notes their grandparents write to them in birthday cards and need their parents to “translate” for them.¬†
Read more from a Harvard president.


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.

ūüŹõ Was Houdini a spy, Top IC agency releasing its data strategy, NASA and FCC tackle space junk, Big money protest at AF

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

OMB new acquisition rule will require “I pinky promise” software vouchers.

The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council will soon propose a rule requiring federal agencies to use a uniform, standard self-attestation form when seeking assurances from software vendors that their products were developed using guidance from the NIST.
Read more

$5.7B Air Force IT services contract to CACI under super-hot protest fire.

This protest is hotter than your favorite guac (today is National Guacamole Day)… Accenture, Peraton and SAIC¬†have all issued protests to the GAO that CACI International won a $5.7B Air Force enterprise IT contract.¬†CACI and its team¬†were chosen¬†to take over IT service desk support and management of a catalog of offerings for 700,00 users around the world. The BPA is known as Wave 1 of the Air Force‚Äôs enterprise IT initiative, which will also support Space Force personnel.
Read more

ICYMI Snippets:

 

GovCon Trivia

How well do you think you know the federal government?

The Department of the Interior manages a lot of different types of land. Which is the LARGEST (in acres) group of land that it manages? 

A. Federal lands
B. Tribal lands
C. Subsurface minerals
D. Outer continental shelf

Find the answer at the bottom of this newsletter!

Top Defense & Aerospace

Launch pad traffic jams? Space Force is concerned.

‚ÄúCurrently, our capacity on our ranges meets the governmental needs, but with the proliferation of small satellites, that‚Äôs going to change rapidly,‚ÄĚ Lt. Gen.¬†Chance Saltzman¬†told the Senate Armed Services Committee. ‚ÄúThe number of launches is going to go up dramatically and we‚Äôre going to need to look at other opportunities.‚Ä̬†The Space Force deputy chief of space operations was responding to expressed concerns about the dangers of a ‚Äútraffic jam‚ÄĚ at military launch facilities as more launch companies attempt to launch the huge numbers of small satellites required for some constellations, like those required for internet services planned by¬†SpaceX¬†or¬†OneWeb.
Read more

Armed forces modernization requires collaboration, cutting-edge tech.

Heidi Shyu, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, provided virtual opening remarks at the Inaugural Defense Department Basic Research Conference¬†in Arlington, Virginia.‚ÄĮ¬†The FY22 National Defense Strategy sets out three main themes: (1) Integrated deterrence–R&D is key! (2) Campaigning across agencies; and (3) Building enduring advantages–new tech.
Read more

ICYMI Snippets

Defense Contract Awards

  • Northrop Grumman won a $76M IDIQ contract for¬†software dev support with Navy.
  • CACI wins $123M Defense Health Readiness engineering support contract.

Follow the Defense Job Openings

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Top Intel Community

Iran exploiting Fortinet, Microsoft Exchange, and VMWare Horizon log4j vulnerabilities, NSA + partners say. 

In¬†‚ÄúIranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Affiliated Cyber Actors Exploiting Vulnerabilities for Data Extortion and Disc Encryption for Ransom Operations,‚Ä̬†agencies from four nations provide specific examples of IRGC-affiliated cyber actors exploiting Fortinet, Microsoft Exchange and VMware Horizon log4j vulnerabilities to gain initial access to systems. The actors then leveraged the access for disk encryption and data extortion to support ransom operations.
Read more

ODNI expands the IC CAE program. 

The IC CAE program develops future intelligence professionals by providing grants to help schools offer intelligence-related curricula and access to a community of IC professionals dedicated to enhancing students’ knowledge of the IC. The University of Kansas, the University of New Hampshire, and Saint Louis University join a network of more than 80 colleges and universities in the IC CAE program.
Read more

ICMY Snippets

IC Contract Awards

Follow the Intel Leaders

Follow the Job Openings

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in one weekly action-packed email.

Join the waitlist for GovBrew Insider now to receive updates on the launch!

Top Civilian

Space junk is a problem; NASA and FCC are looking for solutions.

Imagine investing millions of dollars into satellites, just to have them get clobbered by space junk once they are in orbit. Heck, did you know that there are now more than 4,800 satellites in orbit right now? ¬†NASA and the FCC are separately addressing the growing issue of orbital debris through funding research and proposing new rules.¬† NASA is funding three research proposals from universities to address the problem. Meanwhile, the FCC is suggesting that companies clean up their old-tech satellites every 5 years in a process called “de-orbiting.”
Read more

US Dept. Commerce trying to help tribal data gap. 

The digital divide disproportionately affects underserved populations, and for tribal communities it is exacerbated by jurisdictional challenges, geographic coverage limitations and a lack of affordability. The problem is complex. Infrastructure is lacking. Furthermore, census data on these populations isn’t accurate, which makes is hard for gov’t to really “grasp the scope of the problem.” In an effort to make inroads, the U.S. Dept. of Commerce announced the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (last year), which awards nearly $1B in funds to reach rural and tribal areas.
Read more

ICMY Snippets

Civilian Contracts Awards

Follow the Civilian Leaders

Follow the Civilian Job Openings

     

See what’s brewing in¬†GovCon throughout the day.¬†¬†
Follow GovBrew on social media. 

GovCon M&A Corner

Sanborn acquires AppGeo.

The Sanborn Map Company, Inc. a geospatial solution provider of analytics, imagery, lidar, photogrammetry, software applications, and related services to government and commercial clients, announced that it has acquired Applied Geographics, Inc. (AppGeo). AppGeo has helped hundreds of governments and businesses develop the best GIS, location intelligence, and geospatial solutions for their needs.
Read more

SkyPoint acquires SNR Government IT services.

SkyePoint Decisions, Inc. announced the purchase of SNR Government IT Services LLC, a subsidiary of Arrowpoint Corporation. SNR GITS, now as a subsidiary of SkyePoint, offers comprehensive information technology services including technical and management expertise supporting applications, software, hardware, infrastructure, and systems in support of DOD agencies. As a division of SkyePoint, SNR GITS will operate as the Defense sector arm for SkyePoint’s continued growth and investment.
Read more

ICYMI Snippets:

Shower thoughts ūüöŅ

Was Houdini a spy?

Since Houdini‚Äôs death, there has been an ongoing debate among historians as to whether or not Houdini was ever a ‚Äúspy.‚Ä̬†The greatest¬†and most recent kerfuffle was the¬†publication in 2006 of ‚ÄúThe Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America‚Äôs First Superhero‚ÄĚ by William Kalush and Larry Sloman,¬† Kalush and Sloman posit that the only reason Houdini would abruptly leave the United States in 1900, when he had finally achieved notoriety‚ÄĒand a paycheck equivalent to $45,000 a week‚ÄĒwas because he was engaged in espionage. Houdini was rumored to be providing the German police with information about wanted criminals, as well as unspecified information to Scotland Yard Superintendent William Melville, monitoring anarchists in Russia, and helping the U.S. Secret Service with their anti-counterfeiting mission.
Read more

The Trivia Answer is….¬†¬†

D. 
DOI oversees roughly 420 million acres of federal lands, nearly 55 million acres of tribal lands, more than 700 million acres of subsurface minerals, and about 2.5 billion acres of the outer continental shelf.

(Source) 


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.

VA & DHA happy hour today! Army needs more HUBZone spend, CISA issues a Strategic Plan, NIH has cash for data and AI.

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!¬†

 

last chance to attend
GovBrew’s virtual VA & DHA Industry Happy hour
Today! At 5:05 PM

Let’s keep the networking energy that happened during DHITS going! Meet virtually with old friends and make new connections. You’ll also have the opportunity to win prizes by answering trivia questions. In coordination with this month’s sponsor, TeAM, please join us for the post DHITS virtual VA & DHA Industry Happy Hour event via live video to give our colleagues the opportunity to connect screen to screen with one another, exchange ideas and have fun! Bring your own drinkūüćļ!

REGISTER FOR FREE

Quick Hits

Congressional committee advances bill to prevent Schedule F.

Seeking to block the previous¬†White House’s previous¬†efforts to reclassify tens of thousands of federal jobs as at-will ones, Democrats on the House Rules Committee advanced the Preventing a Patronage System Act yesterday by an 8-4 vote.
Read more

Army’s Office of Small Business Programs has some stats about FY2022 performance.

Oooh we love some good spreadsheets and stats! In this one, we learn that Army has not yet achieved its HUBZone Small Business, Small Business, or Woman-Owned Small Business goals for FY2022. Their Top 5 small business NAICS includes a lot of R&D (as well as construction and building engineering), with an interesting $41.62M spent in electronic computer manufacturing for NGB. Time is ticking before the close of the FY….close those deals now!
Read more

ICYMI Snippets:

Top Defense & Aerospace

“Cyber Workforce is Our Generation Space Race” – DOD CIO.

The demand for cybersecurity professionals is at an all-time high, and the labor shortage in this field continues to grow. DOD¬†is planning on a new strategy to close that gap that CIO John Sherman introduced during the Billington Cybersecurity Summit. ‚ÄúWe have a cybersecurity workforce strategy coming out probably within the next 60 days,‚ÄĚ Sherman said. ‚ÄúWe need a dedicated workforce strategy … looking not only at cyber, but broader STEM efforts, and what we’re doing across the enterprise era. So, we have a strategy specifically on this as we look to diversify the workforce … this really is our generation space race.‚ÄĚ
Read more

DOD backs down from SAM.gov registration requirement.

Facing mounting delays with transitioning to a new unique entity identifier system at SAM.gov, Defense Pricing and Contracting office last week issued a deviation to the FAR that permits services and defense agencies to do business with companies not registered at SAM.gov.
Read more

ICYMI Snippets

Defense Contract Awards

Follow the Defense Leaders

Follow the Defense Job Openings

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Top Intel Community

Got opinions? CISA wants them before implementing the CIRCIA.

CISA is holding a series of listening sessions so you can yak at them before the new Cyber Incident Reporting and Critical Infrastructure Act reporting regulations go into effect. In the RFI announcement, CISA is specifically asking for industry feedback as they seek to define the meaning of “substantial cyber incident,” “ransom payment,” “ransomware attack” and “supply chain compromise.”
Read more

“You’re too slow and cumbersome” – GAO to IC.

The GAO is stepping into how the IC uses commercial satellite imagery. As we all know commercial satellite companies can play a key role in providing imagery and data critical to national security issues. But GAO says that the IC and DOD have a “slow and cumbersome approach” to incorporating emerging commercial capabilities” that puts the¬†US at “risk of losing a technological advantage over emerging competitors.” GAO also gave four recommendations on how to get this issue squared away.
Read More

ICMY Snippets

Intel Contracts Awards

Follow the Intel Leaders

  • Mitre adds pair to its national security leadership team.
  • Former Director of FBI National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force joins FTI Consulting.

Follow the Intel Job Openings

TAKE THE WEEKLY GOVBREW SURVEY

Take the survey! We have ONE question that should take ONE minute to answer. Each week we will ask something related to government contracting. We will share the results in next week’s Wednesday newsletter.

(If you have a question you’d love to see pitched to the GovBrew Crew, just let us know and we’ll work it in!)¬†


 

RESULTS FROM LAST WEEK

Last week we asked our Gov Brew Crew (that’s you!) to tell us who is the MOST important person to get to know to win a project. Here’s what the results had to say (and seriously, props to you GovCrew for being so damn honest. Apparently all you Harvard, Wharton, and Columbia peeps really maximized your social time.)

Top Civilian

DHS not sufficiently tracking SW border migrant activity, according to OIG.

DHS’s OIG reported on Friday that the department’s technology systems are insufficiently tracking migrants at the Southwest border, with ad hoc and manual methods used all too often, over systems-based approaches. The report to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas made eight recommendations, with department officials have concurred with.
Read more

NIH injects $130M to provide quality tools, data for AI in medicine.

As part of the NIH‚Äôs launch of the Bridge to Artificial Intelligence program‚ÄĒor Bridge2AI‚ÄĒthe agency is¬†investing¬†$130 million over four years in an effort to increase the use of artificial intelligence in biomedical and behavioral research.¬†Bridge2AI researchers will create guides and standards for developing ‚Äúethically sourced, state-of-the-art, AI-ready data sets‚ÄĚ that will help solve health issues, such as how factors like genes, behavior and environment impact a person‚Äôs health throughout their life.
Read more

ICMY Snippets

Civilian Contracts Awards

Follow the Civilian Leaders

Follow the Civilian Job Openings

     

See what’s brewing in¬†GovCon throughout the day.¬†¬†
Follow GovBrew on social media. 

GovCon M&A Corner

SkyePoint Acquires SNR Government IT Services.

SkyePoint Decisions, Inc. acquires SNR Government IT Services LLC (SNR GITS), a subsidiary of Arrowpoint Corporation. SkyePoint acquired all assets including its DLA JETS, Army RS3, and Army ITES-3S information technology and cybersecurity services contract vehicles.
Read more

Google wraps up purchase of Mandiant.

Google has wrapped up its $5.4 billion cash purchase of Mandiant as both companies aim to provide a suite of end-to-end platforms and support offerings designed to help customers secure cloud and on-premise information technology assets. The search engine company said the acquisition will provide enterprise clients access to advisory, threat detection and intelligence, automation and response, and managed defense services.
Read more

Shower thoughts ūüöŅ

 

Did you know that NASA has “for real” connections to the Star Trek TV show and universe?

NASA and Star Trek have boldly gone together since the finale of the show in 1969. In 1976, Trekkies petitioned NASA to change the shuttle’s name from “Constitution” to “Enterprise,” in honor of the show. President Ford sided with the Trekkies on the name idea. Later, NASA hired Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Nyota Uhura, to help recruit astronauts, and the result was an increase of minorities and women applicants. Read more about the long Trekkie + NASA relationship!¬†
Read more


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.

ūüŹõ DOD using IDIQs and UCAs to restock, DIA director shares insights, WH cyber workforce strategy, Senate pushes Gov wide software¬†consolidation

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

White House “action oriented” cyber workforce recruitment strategy being developed.

Unfilled public sector cyber jobs are about 5% of the total 715,000 open IT and cyber jobs around the country, and it’s a tight labor market with cyber attacks on the rise. With that in mind, the WH¬†is pulling together a cyber workforce recruitment strategy that will be more “action oriented” and better implementation features.
Read more

Cutting back on duplicates: Senate seeks to consolidate DHS, government software contracts.

The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee is trying to tackle a perennial government IT acquisition problem: agencies awarding overlapping software contracts and spending too much money. If signed into law, the Strengthening Agency Management and Oversight of Software Assets Act would mandate consolidation of federal software licenses would direct agencies to provide more transparency about their software purchases and conduct more software audits.
Read more

ICYMI Snippets:

Top Defense & Aerospace

Pentagon using IDIQs and UCAs to replenish equipment sent to Ukraine.

Following Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, the US has sent more than¬†$14.5B¬†to support¬†Ukraine’s sovereignty.¬†Some of the assistance was newly purchased equipment but¬†$12.5B of the it¬†was pulled directly from existing US military inventory.¬†Because so much gear has been pulled from US¬†military units, it now must¬†be replaced in order to sustain America’s own readiness. Already, about $1.2B in contracts are underway to replenish US¬†stocks. DOD¬†is expediting its¬†efforts by using undefinitized contracting actions, or UCAs, to get industry working on contracts before they are definitized.¬†“You can put a UCA together within a week, and we’re doing that,” he said. “We’re also making use of¬†IDIQ contracts” Bill LaPlante, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.
Read more

Booz Allen denied in bid protest to $64M Air Force IT contract.

A GAO ruling has upheld a $64M¬†Air Force IT contract award to GDIT, deciding that Booz Allen’s $8.7M in additional costs over their rival gave USAF sufficient justification in their decision, even though Booz Allen had an edge in past performance and its technical proposal.
Read more

ICYMI Snippets

Defense Contract Awards

  • Raytheon was awarded a $184M contract with Air Force for Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar System (ASARS)-2B sensors.
  • SAIC was awarded a $40M MDA contract to evolve analysis capability to model the MDS’s expected performance.
  • TM3 Solutions was awarded a $11M¬†(total amount possible is $58.8M) Washington HQ Services contract to provide administrative, technical and professional services for the management & operation of JPS’s software maintenance licenses and renewals.
  • Teledyne wins potential $681M contract for NASA spaceflight Operations Support.

Follow the Defense Leaders

  • Lt. Gen. James Rainey will serve as the Army Futures Command’s second chief, Under Secretary of the Army Gabe Camarillo¬†announced last week.
  • Former L3Harris exec Jackie Schmoll joins Raytheon’s Intel & Space business.

Follow the Defense Job Openings

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Top Intel Community

Legado 5G network a threat to some existing DOD satellites, according to NAS report. 

Legado Networks’ terrestrial 5G network could be harmful to some existing¬†DOD satellites, according to a congressionally-mandated report. ¬†Legado’s system could begin operations as soon as next month. The National Academies of Sciences report stated¬†that Iridium Communications satellite services provided to DOD¬†‚Äúwill experience harmful interference‚ÄĚ when their terminals are within 2,401 feet of Legado‚Äôs terminals.
Read more

DIA director addresses strategic competition and cybersecurity at the Billington Cybersecurity Summit. 

Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier shared his views and mission priorities at the 13th Annual Billington Cybersecurity Summit. Some key points: sharing intelligence with more and more partners; investments in cyberspace through OSINT; using social media in intelligence operations; continued investment in JWICS, and much more.
Read more

ICMY Snippets

Follow the Intel Job Openings

 

Follow the Intel Contract Wins

 

Special Announcement ūüď£

GovBrew is hosting our first virtual forum on¬†innovative emerging technologies. It will be an action-packed two-hour event where top Federal agency leaders¬†will discuss their experience¬†deploying cutting-edge technologies in the public sector and how they use them to drive real change and meet their agency’s mission. Sign up now to reserve your spot.
Government Speakers
  • Cindy Good¬†– Dept of Treasury¬†– Senior Analyst, Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation¬†(confirmed)
  • Brett Smith¬†‚Äď Dept of Treasury¬†– Director – Payment Strategy & Innovation¬†(confirmed)
  • Kathryn Wetherby¬†– CMS¬†– Deputy Director Marketplace IT Group, Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO)¬†(confirmed)
  • Sanja Bararic¬†– HHS¬†– Artificial Intelligence Program Lead¬†(pending approval)
  • Robert Whetsel¬†‚Äď FDA¬†– Associate Director for Data Architecture, Senior Advisor for Data Architecture¬†(pending approval)
  • Ron Williams¬†‚Äď GSA¬†– Director, Cloud Adoption & Infrastructure Optimization¬†(pending approval)

Top Civilian

DHS launches recruitment initiative to hire hundreds of techies.

DHS announced an initiative to hire hundreds of public-facing technologists, in response to POTUS’s 2021 executive order ordering the¬†streamlining of the “government-to-customer” delivery process.
Read more

In a national barnstorming tour CISA seeks input for cyber incident reporting norms.

In a national listening tour that will help guide their rule-making process, CISA officials hope to better understand what their key stakeholders hope to see in Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022 requirements, after the legislation was passed and signed into law.
Read More

ICMY Snippets

Follow the Civilian Leaders

  • Michael Villano takes a job as the Contracting Officer at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • Brian Paget joins AWS at Head of Public Sector Solutions Worldwide.

     

See what’s brewing in¬†GovCon throughout the day.¬†¬†
Follow GovBrew on social media. 

GovCon M&A Corner

SPA acquires Metron division.

Systems Planning and Analysis, a division of Arlington Capital Partners, last week acquired Metron’s Operations Research and Cyber Analysis Division. Through the acquisition, SPA will expand its ability to support Naval, nuclear, and critical infrastructure sector customers.
Read More 

ICYMI:

Shower thoughts ūüöŅ

20 Years after 9/11, surveillance has become a way of life. 

Two decades after 9/11, many simple acts that were once taken for granted now seem unfathomable: strolling with loved ones to the gate of their flight, meandering through a corporate plaza, using streets near government buildings. Our metropolises’ commons are now enclosed with steel and surveillance. Amid the perpetual pandemic of the past year and a half, cities have become even more walled off. With each new barrier erected, more of the city’s defining feature erodes: the freedom to move and wander. It’s harder to get lost amid constant tracking. It’s also harder to freely gather when the public spaces between home and work are stripped away. Known as third places, they are the connective tissue that stitches together the fabric of modern communities: the public park where teens can skateboard next to grandparents playing chess, the library where children can learn to read and unhoused individuals can find a digital lifeline. When third places vanish, as they have since the attacks, communities can falter.
Read more

It’s like “Big Brother” (the TV show), but for young tech founders: What could possibly go wrong?

The¬†people here are young and friendly and full of hope.¬†And why shouldn‚Äôt they be? For one month, they get to live in a mansion in Beverly Hills (Zillow estimate: $12.9 million).¬†This mansion is the home of Launch House, which is both an incubator for startup founders and a social club of more than 500 20- and 30-somethings, many of whom are into crypto. There are two ways to join Launch House: One is to pay the $1,000 annual membership fee, which grants you perks like entrance to the group Discord channel, access to work at the mansion or the New York City location, and invitations to events ‚ÄĒ an NFT brunch, say, or a boat party during Miami Tech Month. The other is to pay $3,000 to join a month-long ‚Äúcohort,‚ÄĚ in which you and around two dozen other young tech founders live and work together at the mansion.
Read more


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.

ūüŹõ DOD helps industry with inflation, WH updates on AI, SSA Leadership changes, GSA looks for app security testing

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!¬†

 

Special Announcement ūüď£

GovBrew is hosting our first virtual forum on¬†innovative emerging technologies. It will be an action-packed two-hour event where top Federal agency leaders¬†will discuss their experience¬†deploying cutting-edge technologies in the public sector and how they use them to drive real change and meet their agency’s mission. Sign up now to reserve your spot.
Government Speakers
  • Cindy Good¬†– Dept of Treasury¬†– Senior Analyst, Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation¬†(confirmed)
  • Brett Smith¬†‚Äď Dept of Treasury¬†– Director – Payment Strategy & Innovation¬†(confirmed)
  • Kathryn Wetherby¬†– CMS¬†– Deputy Director Marketplace IT Group, Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO)¬†(confirmed)
  • Sanja Bararic¬†– HHS¬†– Artificial Intelligence Program Lead¬†(pending approval)
  • Robert Whetsel¬†‚Äď FDA¬†– Associate Director for Data Architecture, Senior Advisor for Data Architecture¬†(pending approval)
  • Ron Williams¬†‚Äď GSA¬†– Director, Cloud Adoption & Infrastructure Optimization¬†(pending approval)

Quick Hits

GSA should be sharing government office utilization data.

More could be done to help the federal government work transition between remote and in-person working environments as agencies try to strike a balance with workspace needs and changes from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent GAO report. Since the pandemic’s disruption of the workplace,¬†the GSA is rethinking its property portfolio, such as reducing office space because of increased remote work, but so far federal agencies have only made limited changes to their workspace because of the pandemic. GAO found that GSA has a lot of great information about workspaces and utilization, and that a lot of agencies would find that¬†data really helpful as they plan their own sell-offs and consolidations.
Read more

White House speaker announces an AI Bill of Rights will be released ‚Äúvery soon”.

Yesterday at the VA NAII BRAIN Summit the White House¬†speaker announced¬†that an AI Bill of Rights will be released very soon. The AI Bill of Rights document will “seek to identify how rights, freedoms, and protections already in place in the US will apply to an automated world” stated the speaker. Late last year, “OSTP launched a series of listening sessions to engage the American public in the process of developing an AI Bill of Rights. This document will serve as a useful framework to identify and incentivize best practices that will allow innovation in AI development and deployment while mitigating harm with high-risk AI applications.‚ÄĚ
Read more

ICYMI Snippets:

GovCon Trivia

How well do you think you know the federal government?

During Queen Elizabeth’s 70 year reign as Queen of Great Britain, she met with 13 sitting United States presidents.
Which sitting president did she NOT meet?
 (RIP, E2R!)

Find the answer at the bottom of this newsletter!

Top Defense & Aerospace

Pentagon is planning new guidance to help contractors squeezed by inflation.

The DOD is preparing guidance that would give its COs more flexibility to reimburse vendors whose costs have ballooned because of inflation, updating an earlier policy document that industry groups complained did too little to prevent contractors from bearing the full brunt of higher prices. The update is in the final review stages and should be published within the next week, said Dr. Bill LaPlante, the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment. A key focus would be to offer relief to companies who signed FFP contracts with the government before inflation took hold. The DoD published an initial set of inflation guidance on May 25, and vendor associations have critiqued the policy for not going far enough.
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DOD’s next-gen warfare program needs to, well, get with the program.

The DOD must adopt new approaches to software design and architecture to help the U.S. military maintain an operational advantage over global adversaries, according to a new report released by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.¬†The report, ‚ÄúSoftware-Defined Warfare,‚ÄĚ says that the architecture needed to develop and maintain the most advanced warfighting systems ‚Äúlies in software.‚ÄĚ
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ICYMI Snippets

Defense Contract Awards

  • Altimira announces National Air & Space Intelligence Center contract extension. The ceiling increases to $1.24B.
  • Valient awarded seat on $850M DTRA Modeling & Simulation support contract vehicle.
  • Omni Federal wins USSF SSC Immortal Jellyfish Phase II SBIR.

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  • Gerrod Glauner was named CTO for for the Coast Guard.
  • Tim Beach was promoted to Chief Data Officer at Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS).

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Top Intel Community

NSA releases post-quantum algorithms, aims for full implementation by 2035. 

The NSA became the latest federal agency to begin its digital migration to quantum-resistant networks, as the emerging technology poses major cybersecurity threats to unprepared digital systems. Released in an advisory document, NSA officials notified National Security Systems owners and vendors of the future post-quantum algorithmic requirements needed on classical networks that harbor sensitive data related to national security. The upgraded algorithm includes new public and symmetric key encryption and software and firmware updates.
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10 fascinating declassified CIA missions. 

From the CIA secretly plucking a soviet submarine off of the ocean floor, using a fake movie production company to rescue six American diplomats trapped in Iran, and digging a secret tunnel beneath Berlin to spy on Soviet communications during the Cold War the CIA is sharing 10 very interesting declassified stories completed between 1950-2011 for their 75th birthday.
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ICMY Snippets

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Top Civilian

Accidental debt collections: A new VA income stream strategy.

(TLDR: More broken software!) The VA’s internal watchdog released a report which showed several instances in which the agency‚Äôs automated business rules within the VA‚Äôs electronic systems improperly triggered debt collection from veterans.¬†The¬†VA‚Äôs¬†Office of Inspector General (OIG)¬†discovered several instances¬†in which the agency collected debts without first providing veterans with legally required notice, and attributed the errors to automated rules followed by a software program.
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Tesla hacked while driving? Let’s try to prevent that, mmkay? (says NHTSA).

The final version of the NHTSA’s cybersecurity practices will be published in the Federal Register on Friday, focusing on cryptographic techniques to mitigate hacking risks as vehicles become more technologically integrated. In the Cybersecurity Best Practices for the Safety of Modern Vehicles final draft, NHTSA officials took advice from the public during the draft publication’s open comment period and added more detail on key systems and cryptographic elements, as well as how attackers may use software updates to infiltrate a vehicle’s network. Other topics that were added to the scope of the guidance, pursuant to public comments, include right-to-repair issues, new references to source materials and rewording.
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ICMY Snippets

Civilian Contracts Awards

  • Concept Plus, a SDB and SBA 8(a) firm, won a $9M contract from HHS to implement a Stockpile Asset Management System.
  • GDIT wins $298M US Courts’ application development contract.
  • Trilogy Federal, along with Ibility LLC and National Coordination Center, was awarded a 3 year contract for $6.89M with the VHA’s OHT.
  • Federal Consulting Alliance won a five year contract to build and operate a Budget Management Platform for the VA.

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GovCon M&A Corner

ManTech shareholders clear merger deal with Carlyle.

Shareholders at ManTech International approved the company’s proposed combination with global investment firm Carlyle. Both parties expect the transaction to be finalized during the week of Sept. 12, pending satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. ManTech said more than 99 percent of the votes cast at the shareholders’ special meeting were voted in favor of the merger. In May, Carlyle agreed to buy ManTech in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $4.2 billion.
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Shower thoughts ūüöŅ

Queen Elizabeth was an internet sensation. How will her legacy live on?

It’s crazy to think she reigned for so long, she began work before the internet was even a “thing.” One of the things she brought to her reign was an embrace of technology, such as inviting television cameras to broadcast her coronation publicly. She sent her first email in 1976 (her username: HME2. [Her Majesty, Elizabeth II]). She then launched the royal family’s website in 1997, and launched the family’s YouTube channel in 2007. She sent her first tweet in 2014. She tapped on iPads and Zoomed her meetings, just like regular folks do. A watershed moment: Playing the straight man to Daniel Craig’s James Bond as part of the launch of the Olympic Games in the country. Queen memes caught fire, and she had fun playing along.
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The Trivia Answer is….¬†¬†

Lyndon B. Johnson.
It turns out…she never invited him to visit, and he never invited her to visit him, either. They did maintain a correspondence, though. Her Majesty¬†would have likely met LBJ at President Kennedy’s funeral, but she didn’t attend because she was pregnant at the time.

(Source) (See the White House’s gallery of HRM the Queen items)


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.

Polaris delays, FDA ODT leadership changes, OIG finds issues at DOS Bureau of Intel and Research, GSA seeks app dev security

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

Quick Hits

Polaris extended one last time (maybe).

It’s a never ending solicitation!¬†GSA¬†extended the deadline for Polaris. Proposals for the Small Business and Woman-Owned Small Business categories are now due on September 23. Also, GSA recently released the pre-solicitation notices for the SDVOSB¬†and the HUBZone track.
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GAO says “nope” to BAH’s request to reconsider a ruling.

Backstory: GAO previously sustained Serco, Inc.’s protests against the issuance of a task order to BAH for professional support services for the Deputy Commander for Surface Warfare. Serco argued that BAH had improper competitive advantage that resulted from the employment by BAH’s teaming partners of two recently-retired Navy captains who had access to non-public, competitively useful information. Furthermore, they claimed that BAH had held meetings with contracting officers prior to the release of the RFP. BAH said, “Nuh uh, look again! Your decision was ‘tainted by errors of fact and law.'” To which GAO recently replied, “nope, we’re sticking with our decision thank you very much.”
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ICYMI Snippets:

Top Defense & Aerospace

White House to taps DOD weapons testing lead for Navy acquisition role.

The White House plans to nominate the DODs Operational Testing and Evaluation Director Nickolas Guertin to be the service’s next acquisition head. Guertin was sworn into his role as the director of operational test and evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense last December after being confirmed by the Senate. Before taking on this position, Guertin did applied research on software-relient and cyber-physical systems at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute.
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The Army wants smarter sensors to ease soldiers’ cognitive burden.

The Army wants to make sure commanders and soldiers get data in near real-time. So the service‚Äôs shop for intelligence and electronic warfare is focusing on developing tools to do that without trawling through a morass of information. In the past, Army senior leaders weren‚Äôt very concerned about electronic warfare, according to Mark Kitz, who leads the Army‚Äôs Program Executive Office Intelligence Electronic Warfare and Sensors. But that‚Äôs changing, in part due to world events such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine.¬†Kitz‚Äôs top priorities are developing prototypes for long-range sensing as well as ‚Äúsmart sensors that can offload some of the cognitive burden that we have on our analysts.‚ÄĚThose sensors would be able to aggregate data and deliver ‚Äúsmart suggestions‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúhypotheses or answers in that data.‚ÄĚ
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Defense Contract Awards

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Top Intel Community

OIG finds issues with State Dept. Bureau of Intelligence and Research’s Geospatial data compliance.

The OIG at the Department of State said that the agency has not been complying with the Geospatial Data Act of 2018 (GDA) in its latest report from late August. The GDA requires that all federal agencies collect and preserve geospatial data and make it available to the general public and encourage the use of this data and promote the betterment of all federal agencies and their partners. ‚ÄúThe Department has not fully complied with all responsibilities, in part, because of an inadequate internal control environment. Specifically, the Department lacks dedicated funding to facilitate compliance with its GDA responsibilities. Additionally, the Department does not have adequate control activities, such as documented policies and procedures,‚ÄĚ stated the report.
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NGA maps out digital priorities for GEOINT.

The NGA‚Äôs¬†Source Operations and Management Directorate is moving to a more digitally based world of mapping and information to support the key military missions and other governmental efforts. The Source Directorate‚Äôs operational priorities of leveraging‚ÄĒcommercial geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT; assured positioning, navigation, timing and targeting; integrated collections; and modernized GEOINT dissemination‚ÄĒare grounded in the agency‚Äôs effort to construct a larger digital environment.¬†To procure commercial GEOINT, the Source Directorate harnesses a range of contract vehicles such as ‚Äúbailment agreements, no cost contracts, CRADAs [Cooperative Research and Development Agreements], the InQTel work program and other contracting authorities” to get access to or providing our vendors access to data as required in the easiest, fastest ways possible.
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ICMY Snippets

Intel Contracts Awards

  • Noblis wins a patent for a system that simulates security checkpoint environments.
  • KBR wins $4.8B USAF¬†National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) technical intelligence contract with Xandar¬†JV.

Follow the Intel Leaders

  • Ramona Watts-Sutton is a new Head of Contracting Activity at the DO.
  • Doc McConnell took a position as Director of the Federal Enterprise Improvement Team at CISA.
  • Office of the National Cyber Director has announced new appointees. These include: Nicholos Leiserson and Joyce Corell.
  • Austin Y. Wang¬†is now VP of the MITRE national security intelligence center.
  • Joe Greer former Technical Director, Defense Intelligence US Gov is transitioning to be a CTO at (TBD Oct 1st).

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RESULTS FROM LAST WEEK

Last week we asked our Gov Brew Crew (that’s you!) to tell us what is your BEST strategy for making proposal writing easier. Here’s what the results had to say:

Top Civilian

“Whoopsie-poopsie!” IRS admits to exposing confidential taxpayer info on its website.

The¬†IRS¬†earlier this year published confidential information about taxpayers on its website before finding the error and removing the data.¬†The data¬†related to organizations that submit the business tax return document¬†Form 990-T. The inadvertent disclosures included names, contact information and financial information about income within those IRAs but did not include SSNs, full individual income information or other data that could affect a taxpayer‚Äôs credit. ‚ÄúThe IRS recently discovered that some machine-readable (XML) Form 990-T data made available for bulk download section on the¬†TEOS¬†should not have been made public,‚ÄĚ the IRS¬†said. Cringe!
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NASA unveils $1.3B IT Draft-RFP.

NASA has released the draft solicitation for an eight-year, $1.3 billion task order that¬†would consolidate¬†up to 10 existing contracts.¬†This will be a large business award and some of the notable incumbents on existing contracts include SAIC and GDIT. Mori Associates holds a communication and outreach contract as a large business.¬†Small businesses hold the other remaining seven contracts to be consolidated into the NASA Consolidated Applications and Platform Services procurement. The¬†draft request for proposals¬†includes a requirement for subcontracting 32 percent of the work to small businesses. The agency will compete NCAPS via the General Services Administration’s Alliant 2 vehicle.
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GovBrew’s virtual VA & DHA Industry Happy¬†

Let’s keep the networking energy that happened during DHITS going! Meet virtually with old friends and make new connections. You’ll also have the opportunity to win prizes by answering trivia questions. In coordination with this month’s sponsor, TeAM, please join us for the post DHITS virtual VA & DHA Industry Happy Hour event via live video to give our colleagues the opportunity to connect screen to screen with one another, exchange ideas and have fun! Bring your own drinkūüćļ!

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ICMY Snippets

Civilian Contracts Awards

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GovCon M&A Corner

Blue Delta takes investment in Edgewater Federal Solutions.

Blue Delta provides growth capital to entrepreneurs in the GovCon space who want to grow without selling control of their companies. They have invested in 21 companies and 10 of which have been acquired. They just recently signed an agreement with Edgewater Federal Solutions a company that provides enterprise IT, cybersecurity, systems engineering, and data science and analytics for Government customers including the DOE and NIH.
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SPA acquires the operations research & cyber analysis division of Metron.

Systems Planning & Analysis, Inc. (‚ÄúSPA‚ÄĚ), an¬†Arlington Capital portfolio company, announced that it has acquired the Operations Research & Cyber Analysis (OCRA)¬†division of Metron. ORCA specializes in operations research, systems of systems engineering, model-based system engineering, and digital engineering processes for the Navy and other marquee national security customers. After closing, Jeff Monroe, Coni Ratonel and Matt Norton will continue to manage ORCA as a division within SPA‚Äôs Naval, Nuclear and Critical Infrastructure sector, led by Vice Admiral (Ret.) Terry Benedict.
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Shower thoughts ūüöŅ

What’s the most recognizable¬†voice in Animation?

Nope, it’s not Mickey Mouse. It’s actually Yogi Bear! A new study surveyed US adults with a shortlist of 40 of the most iconic animated voices. Yogi Bear, Bugs Bunny, Homer Simpson, and Shaggy Rogers landed in the top 4 (in order).¬†Mickey Mouse actually placed fifth. Shocking: 55% of millennials couldn’t recognize Charlie Brown’s voice. Congrats to DOI for creating a long-lasting, memorable character!¬†
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One of the biggest property landgrabs is underway, and it’s happening in your front yard.

Walmart¬†and Amazon and other giant corporations eager to launch drone delivery services are using FAA authorizations to snatch up private airspace rights and paying us nothing in return.¬†It‚Äôs¬†only a matter of time¬†until these companies seek federal authority to route low-flying drones directly over your home‚ÄĒeven if you object.
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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.

ūüŹõ $1.3B NASA program, new Army program office, SSA invites industry in, Brawl over $1B NGA cloud task order

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

Same ol fight and a new client. Amazon and Microsoft spar over $1B NGA contract. 

The rivalry of government¬†cloud computing continues between Microsoft and Amazon Web Services. This time¬†there is a new battleground, a $1 billion sole source task order at the NGA. AWS was awarded a task order to cover¬†cloud requirements for both classified and unclassified services¬†under the C2E contract. Microsoft quickly¬†filed a post-award protest alleging that NGA did not conduct a competition and has not justified why a sole-source award to AWS was appropriate. They are also¬†arguing the task order’s scope is too broad for a sole-source award. A GAO¬†decision is expected by Dec. 5.
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Draft RFP released for $1.3B NASA IT contract.

NASA just released a draft solicitation for a $1.3B task order on Alliant II. The NASA Consolidated Applications and Platform Services (NCAPS) procurement wis going large business and is expected to consolidate contracts from the following incumbents: SAIC,  GDIT, Mori Associates, and many small businesses who hold the other sizeable IT support contracts.
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ICYMI Snippets:

 

GovCon Trivia

How well do you think you know the federal government?

What was the GSA’s first forays into technology?

A. Mainframe computing
B. Office communication system
C.  Federal telecommunications system
D. Atanasoff‚ÄďBerry computer

Find the answer at the bottom of this newsletter!

Top Defense & Aerospace

Space System Command weighs acquisition risk of new missile defense tech.

Space Systems Command is seeking guidance on how to manage the procurement of a ground-based command and control system that combines legacy systems with the next generation of missile defense satellites.¬†The project involves migrating existing satellite assets in the Space-Based Infrared Systems to a new command and control solution, dubbed Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution (FORGE). In an¬†RFI¬†posted earlier this month, Space Systems Command said it wanted guidance on contracting strategies and other challenges posed by the program’s timeline and complexity.
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Army’s new Offensive Cyber¬†Program Office spinoff.

The Army is in the process of standing up a new offensive cyber and space program office in 2023. The office will be a spinoff from the electronic warfare portfolio. The new program office will be under O6 lead and under the Intelligence Electronic Warfare and Sensors PEO. It will be called the Program Manager Cyber and Space. The office is expected to migrate the offensive cyber programs and capabilities from the current portfolio of program manager EW&C and also incorporate the highly sensitive space capabilities from Product Manager Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities.
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ICYMI Snippets

Defense Contract Awards

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Top Intel Community

Upcoming DARPA Program to address 5G Security Concerns.

A soon-to-be-announced DARPA program will seek to make communicating over 5G networks more secure. “The U.S. military and intelligence community often rely on foreign cellular services to communicate. The problem is that such 5G systems may not be secure” said DARPA‚Äôs Strategic Technology Office Director Phil Root.¬†An upcoming agency program, called GECCO ‚ÄĒ Generating Communications Channels to Operate ‚ÄĒ wants to allay these privacy concerns, Root said. ‚ÄúWe want to ensure that the traffic¬†that the information is not exploitable and maintains our privacy,‚ÄĚ Root said Aug. 31 at the DARPA Forward conference at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
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IARPA to host PICARD Proposer’s Day.

IARPA posted an invitation for the Pursuing Intelligent Complex Aerosols for Rapid Detection (PICARD) proposer’s Day. The IARPA PICARD program intends to develop a fieldable sensing platform for the rapid identification of aerosol particles in plumes. The PICARD Proposers’ Day will be held on Monday, September 26, 2022 from 10:30am to 5:00pm EDT. Participants must register by Friday, September 16, 2022 at noon EDT. Same day registrations will not be accepted.
Read more | Register here

ICMY Snippets

Intel Contracts Awards

  • KBR Awarded NOVASTAR Contract