November 6, 2023

CMS forecast update, DHS cyber eval factors, DIA’s AI database, NIH new Deputy CIO, Peraton wins 2.8B USSOCOM SITEC3, social media security guide


  • House passes Israel military aid bill: $14.3B bill, with differences between Dems and GOP on IRS cuts, Ukrainian aid.

  • Cyber Director nominee talks AI, collaboration at confirmation hearing: Harry Coker testifies before Senate committee.

  • Here's an excellent guide to keeping your social media profiles safe and secure: Step-by-step ways of protecting yourself.


DOD’s new AI and data strategy aims to scale adoption of new technologies.

The new guidance creates a foundation for DOD’s use of AI and other emerging technologies moving forward by establishing a “DOD AI Hierarchy of Needs.” The pyramid framework positions quality of data as the main priority, and then governance, insightful analytics and metrics, assurance and responsible AI as the progressive tiers of its process. Read more

NASA delays Artemis lunar rover award by four months.

NASA has delayed the award of contracts to develop a lunar rover for future Artemis missions by four months, raising industry concerns about the future of the program. NASA had intended to make an award for the Lunar Terrain Vehicle services contract this month. In a final RFP issued May 26, NASA said it expected to make one or more awards on Nov. 27. Proposals were due in July. Read more


  • Army to set up digital contracting center of excellence.

  • House bill would fully fund Mars Sample Return program but block cooperation on ExoMars.

  • US Army seeks industry input for overhaul of aging artillery software.

  • Navy says two programs show the case for ‘colorless’ IT spending.

  • Controlling costs sucks, even for Boeing, as it hunts for ways to control costs for the F-15EX.

  • Space Force takes over missile-warning ground stations previously run by the Army.

Defense Contract Awards

  • Peraton beats out two to win $2.84B U.S. Special Operations Command SITEC 3 EOM contract.

  • Lockheed wins $1B deal for new US ICBM re-entry vehicle.

  • Aeyon secures $109M Defense Data Management Automation Support task order.

  • Hawkeye 360 secures $12.25M NIWC contract for RF data and analytics.

Follow the Defense Leaders

  • Air Force veteran, emerging DHS HQ cybersecurity and SME to be branch chief.

  • Former Splunk exec becomes Growth VP for Defense programs at ManTech.

  • Peraton taps industry leader to be VP & GM - Defense Enterprise and Health Solutions.

Defense Job Openings

  • NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center is hiring a deputy manager, Science & Technology Office.

  • Defense Threat Reduction Agency is seeking a director, Research and Development Directorate.

  • Office of the Secretary of Defense is hiring a Foreign Relations and Defense Policy Manager.

  • The Army is seeking a Deputy Director, Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office.


Getting to MARS: Defense Intelligence Agency AI-assisted database to begin ops in spring.

The DIA’s ambitious effort to develop a massive, cloud-based database to ingest all-source intelligence—as well as bots to analyze and make sense of that data—is expected to come online as of this coming spring. Read more


  • DOD is flying unarmed drones over Gaza to help recover hostages.

  • Syria’s Assad agreed to send Russian missile system to Hezbollah with Wagner group help, US intel believes.

  • DHS outlines Cyber Evaluation Factors for contractors.

  • Maxar Intelligence names new CEO, introduces new management team.

  • CIO-SP3 SB and CIO-SP4 primes eye $50M+ DHS ICE SEVP SEVIS Support RFP.

  • DOJ taps Procurement Services Staff Deputy Director and newly promoted SES to serve as Director.


VA pauses pension debt collections after discovery of system error.

Nearly 40,000 low-income veterans and their survivors receiving federal pensions may owe money because of accounting errors made over the last 12 years, but VA officials said they don’t plan on collecting that debt for now. Read more.

Cybersecurity must be a priority in the event of a government shutdown.

Congress now has until Nov. 17 to pass another bill to prevent a government shutdown. When the September shutdown was reaching a crisis point, DHS revealed that CISA was planning to furlough 2,546 employees—more than 80% of its workforce. From a cybersecurity standpoint, having the government’s cyber staff not show up to work would be bad—really bad. Read more

ICE’s “outdated and overly permissive” device policy left the agency vulnerable.

Personnel and contractors at ICE kept apps on their mobile devices that threatened security at the agency, including apps from companies banned on government systems (coughTikTokcough) and others associated with American adversaries, third-party virtual private networks and outdated messaging applications, according DHS’s IG. Read more


  • CMS posts more than three dozen new opps in November Forecast Update.

  • Federal Reserve looks to harness generative AI incubator.

  • American Rescue Plan Act funding continues to pay dividends for GSA’s TTS.

  • How the US aims to tackle the ‘collective action problem’ of ransomware.

Civilian Contracts Awards

  • Protest Dismissed: $15M NIH IT Support Services; protest by Guidehouse.

  • CDC awards $45M International Technical, Operational and Professional Support Services (ITOPSS) 4.0 IDIQ to 8 firms.

  • Treasury OCIO Foreign Intelligence Network awards RightDirection Technology $38M Modernization & Systems Dev contract.

Follow Civilian Leaders

Civilian Job Openings


SAIC joins zero trust startup's network of investors.

Xage Security, a startup zero trust software developer, has completed a $20M funding round that included SAIC as an investor alongside six other venture capital firms. SAIC's financial backing of the six-year-old company also coincides with a partnership agreement between them, where Xage's product will be integrated into the SAIC IT & OT Accelerator product line for operational technology users to incorporate zero trust solutions into their networks. Read more


Will the Pentagon ever get to the bottom of that famous UFO video?

The Pentagon’s office to explore unidentified aerial phenomena may never get to the bottom of some of the most famous sightings, due to a lack of data. But it hopes a new reporting mechanism will help. Read more.

To solve national security problems, the US may have to rethink higher education.

The state of American higher education, particularly in the sciences, is a bit “ridiculous,” and fixing it is critical to national security, said Dr. Tara O’Toole, EVP of In-Q-Tel. The country needs more science-literate government leaders, she said. One way to do that is increasing the number of science-oriented fellowships and making it easier for workers to upskill in technical fields while they're in the federal government. Read more

Can America’s weapons-makers adapt to 21st century warfare?

Arming Uncle Sam is a great business. America’s latest defence budget earmarks $170B for procurement and $145B for R&D, most of which ends up with the handful of “prime” contractors, which deal directly with the DOD. So will some of the $44B in American military aid to Ukraine and a chunk of the extra defense spending by America’s European allies, which account for 5-10% of the primes’ sales. Although those sums do not increase at the same rate as, say, corporate IT expenditure, leaving less room for spectacular gains, arms manufacturers are also shielded from eye-watering losses by huge, decades-long contracts. Read more

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