Aug 30 2023

IRS 2B electronic payment award, IARPA large language event, new CISO at DOE, DARPA DRAG industry day, SBA GovCon data


  • Budget endgame scenarios range from acceptable to apocalyptic: Upcoming negotiations hold potential "doomsday" scenario for DOD.

  • Access the last 13 years of SBA GovCon data by agency, set-aside: See if you can answer some frequently asked questions about SBA.

  • Maximus backs away from USPS protest: Company declined to comment on withdrawing the challenge over $175M award to Deloitte.

  • What computer chip tech advancements mean for the military: Semiconductors must meet the needs of air, defense, and satellites.


‘Hellscape’: DOD launches drone swarm program against China.

China’s most important asset in a potential war with the United States is mass. More ships. More missiles. More people. To counter that advantage, the DOD will launch an initiative called Replicator to create cheap drones across the air, sea, and land in the “multiple thousands” within the next two years. Read more

Inside the Navy’s largest exercise: In command and under pressure.

At the command level, the goal of Large Scale Exercise 2023 is meant to pressurize the Navy and Marine Corps’ leaders with what one admiral called “objective tension,” the innate dilemmas that are created for every Navy commodore and Marine Corps commanding officer when they have to accept that the fight happening elsewhere is going to impact the fight in front of them. Read more

New AUKUS tech announcement coming in the fall.

A new announcement is coming on the future of the trilateral security pact known as AUKUS sometime later this year. While Heidi Shyu, under secretary of defense for research and engineering, did not give details about what the announcement would be, her role in the discussions and her technology portfolio means it likely has to do with the so-called Pillar 2 AUKUS track. Read more

ICYMI Snippets

  • Indo-Pacific Command moves to plug in emerging tech for DOD through key programs, new directorate.

  • Hera Systems and LeoStella team up to compete for military satellite orders with SDA.

  • Pentagon acquisition chief says more munitions co-production deals coming soon.

  • Air Force aims to get more civilians into cyber-excepted service.

  • Industry Day: DARPA Drag Reducing Architected Geometrics (DRAG) information session to be held September 6.

Defense Contract Awards

  • 3 contractors secure $100M DLA award for maintenance, repair & operations support.

  • Benchmark wins AFRL award to develop thrusters for ASCENT.

  • Lockheed awarded $316M Navy contract modification for Hypersonic Missile Test, Fielding.

  • Navy names vendors competing for Next-Gen F/A-XX Fighter Aircraft Program.

  • Cherokee Insights secures $100M DCSA Vetting Support contract.

  • RTX division to deliver 5G mobile ad hoc networks for DOD in $6.6M contract.

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Defense Job Openings


Competition, global threats changing the nature of intel tradecraft.

The intel landscape worldwide has changed dramatically in the past 10 years. The proliferation of sensors, the race for technological superiority, and the rising influence of social media are all responsible for lasting effects that are now rippling across the IC and changing the nature of intelligence tradecraft. Read more

New top secret cloud strategy underpins State Department bureau's modernization efforts.

A top priority of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research is to transform their digital enterprise. The underlying initiatives are what you’d expect, like using DevSecOps for software development or creating a technology governance board. Jimmy Hall Jr., the State INR Bureau’s CIO and director of the Technology and Innovation Office, said the initiative to move its top secret network to the cloud will fuel the other eight to have a larger impact on the agency’s employees around the world. Read more

ICYMI Snippets


How can govt. get in front of tech's biggest forces of change?

We're talking about AI and workforce evolution, which the Federal government needs to get in front of fast to set a course for harnessing their power and improving service delivery and customer experiences. Read on for a Q&A with GSA CIO David Shine on embracing AI and evolving the government's tech workforce to meet the demands of the next evolution in tech thinking and practices. Read more

WH announces $300M to speed up transmission permitting.

The DOE announced a funding opportunity of up to $300 million in grants for states, tribes, and local governments to accelerate and strengthen electric transmission siting and permitting processes. The Transmission Siting and Economic Development (TSED) grant program is a new initiative designed to overcome state and local challenges to expanding transmission capacity while also supporting communities along major new and upgraded lines. Read more

HUD is way behind on a crucial data sharing, anti-fraud portal.

HUD is one of something like 30 agencies that have a hand in disaster recovery. In trying to avoid duplicating benefits to disaster victims, in 2017 HUD started work on a data portal. A place where grantees would load information on benefits they had already received, so HUD could see it. HUD’s OIG has found the data portal is only partially completed. The OIG also questioned whether the portal is a high enough priority for HUD’s technology staff. Read more

ICYMI Snippets

  • HHS is in 'very early' stages of using AI in its hiring process.

  • Solicitation: NSF launches competition for National AI Research Institutes program.

  • DOE plans Energy Info Administration Support IDIQ extension for 8 contractors.

Civilian Contracts Awards

Follow Civilian Leaders

Civilian Job Openings

  • NASA HQ needs a new Associate Director for the Roman Space Telescope.

  • Treasury is seeking a Deputy Associate Director for Product Design and Development in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.


Is POTUS's Ukraine policy sustainable?

On Aug. 24, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered an inspirational speech in Kyiv’s St. Sophia Square to mark Ukraine’s Independence Day. His message was familiar to anyone who has heard or read a Zelenskyy speech since he became a wartime president. In the meantime, POTUS issued his own statement that the US will support Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” Is it a lofty aspiration? Read more

Commentary: Keep the focus in procurement best value products and services for the government.

When I was in government many years ago, I frequently dealt with people who wanted to use – the unpleasant word would be “abuse” the procurement system to advance agendas that had nothing to do with procurement’s purpose to serve agency missions and taxpayers by providing good stuff at good prices. Such statements would always begin, “We should use the enormous buying power of the federal government to..." — followed by a fill in the blank with the person or organization’s favorite cause. Read more

Machines can’t always take the heat.

Not only people need to stay cool, especially in a summer of record-breaking heat waves. Many machines, including cellphones, data centers, cars and airplanes, become less efficient and degrade more quickly in extreme heat. Machines generate their own heat, too, which can make hot temperatures around them even hotter. Read more

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