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Defense

Razor Talon Sharpens Services’ Synergy

June 1, 2013
By Rita Boland

Integrating air land, and sea forces on a monthly basis saves money and creates continuity of operations.

Technology experts at the U.S. Air Force’s 4th Fighter Wing based at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, are networking joint units up and down the East Coast to provide unique training opportunities for the modern military. Through their efforts, advancements are being made to further the Air-Sea Battle Concept, simultaneously improving coalition interoperability. The events allow for interservice and international training without strain on organizations’ budgets.

These Razor Talon exercises are monthly large-force exercises that have grown significantly since their first iteration in March 2011. They evolved in part from an inability of units, because of timing or funding, always to send their assets to the major exercise of that type—Red Flag at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. “We needed a large-force exercise to essentially grow mission commanders,” explains Col. Michael Koscheski, USAF, 4th Operations Group commander. Though units from the East Coast can receive world-class training by attending annual, large-scale events, the home station training offered through Razor Talon ensures they can keep up-to-date. Sometimes units miss out for years on attending other exercises because of costs or mission schedules. Razor Talon planners lay out the yearly schedule for their monthly events, and groups see when they are available to participate based on their operations.

Air Force Strikes at New
 Information Challenges

June 1, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

Costs, security and operations requirements share top billing on priority list.

The U.S. Air Force is looking to overhaul its networking capabilities to meet new taskings in the post-Southwest-Asia era. Limited resources are changing the way the Air Force moves information throughout the battlespace, so the service must confront its challenges through innovative approaches and cooperative efforts.

The Air Force has to determine which networking issues have organic solutions and which problems must be solved by others—government, other military organizations or even the private sector. It must make those determinations without knowing if it will have the funding to tap outside resources that could meet its needs. And, these issues have to be addressed as cyber and coalition interoperability assume greater emphasis in both planning and operations.

Lt. Gen. Michael J. Basla, USAF, chief of information dominance and chief information officer (CIO)/A-6, U.S. Air Force, is in charge of ensuring Air Force networks effectively support the service as well as the joint and coalition communities. His top concerns are built around space superiority; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); rapid global mobility; global strike; and command and control.

Gen. Basla relates that, in a discussion with Defense Department officials, he suggested that investments in cyber and information technologies can offset costs in other areas. A nonkinetic effect might be less expensive than a kinetic effect and still achieve an operational objective. But even that option for efficiency faces hurdles, budgetary concerns among them.

Microgrid Means Mega Advantages

May 31, 2013
By Rita Boland

Fort Bliss, Texas, has installed an unusual mircogrid to help power a dining facility on base, introducing a new approach to the U.S. Army’s efforts to find alternatives to traditional power. The technology is intelligent, optimizing energy usage.

DISA to Spend Summer Exploring Security in the Cloud

May 24, 2013
By Max Cacas

A hand-picked group of Defense Department’s top information technology experts will work with a giant in the cloud computing industry to determine how security will play a part on the military’s migration to the cloud.

How to Win Contracts When Lowest Price Is the Highest Measure

May 24, 2013
By Bev Cooper

The lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) acquisition strategy, which focuses on price over value, has become the dominant approach that agencies are applying to federal contracting. The accelerated transition to this strategy has been fueled by sequestration and the growing need for government to do business at a reduced cost. Contractors are still learning how to operate in this new environment, but many fear that the emphasis on lower cost labor will reduce the expertise of the work force and result in lower levels of effort.

General Dynamics to Provide Tactical Ground Stations

May 22, 2013
George I. Seffers

The U.S. Army awarded a contract to General Dynamics C4 Systems, Scottsdale, Ariz., for 10 vehicle-mounted Tactical Ground Station Lot D systems with an option for 11 additional systems. The TGS system is part of the Distributed Common Ground System-Army, the Army’s primary deployed system for posting, processing and distributing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance  information in real time to intelligence analysts and commanders. The order is valued at $31.5 million with all options exercised. The first of the new TGS systems is scheduled for delivery during the third quarter of 2013. 

Metron to Develop Unmanned Undersea Vehicle

May 22, 2013
George I. Seffers

Metron Inc., Reston, Va.,is being awarded a $7,287,619 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for research and development of a large displacement unmanned undersea vehicle (LDUUV) to include in-lab integration and testing of autonomy and mission planning software with bench test hardware selected for deployment on the LDUUV. This one-year contract includes two, one-year options which, if exercised, would bring the potential, cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $18,317,018. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity. 

U.S. Navy Purchases Hawkeye III Equipment

May 22, 2013
George I. Seffers

L-3 Global Communications Solutions, Victor, N.Y., is being awarded an $8,093,065 firm-fixed-price General Services Administration delivery order to acquire Hawkeye III Lite tri-band antennas and Hawkeye diplexer kits for the Deployable Joint Command and Control Rapid Response kits and Sensitive Compartmented Information kits for the expeditionary command and control suite. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $10,530,855. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, Panama City, Fla., is the contracting activity. 

FLIR Systems to Provide Laser Spotter to Hungary

May 22, 2013
George I. Seffers

FLIR Systems Inc., Billerica, Mass., is being awarded a $10,090,426 firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for SEE SPOT III+ Systems, test, teardown and evaluation, repairs, spares and data. The SEE SPOT III+ is a device that provides the user with the ability to view the Special Operations Force Laser Acquisition Markers invisible laser spot in the target scene field view. This contract supports a purchase for the government of Hungary under the Foreign Military Sales Program. Work will be performed in Billerica, Mass., and is expected to be completed by May 2018. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity.  

Honeywell to Provide Cyber Readiness Services

May 22, 2013
George I. Seffers

Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc., Columbia, Md., is being awarded a not to exceed $14,240,320 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with firm-fixed-price provisions for continuation of technical and analytical support services for the Office of Compliance and Assessment. Services shall include conducting command cyber readiness inspections, cybersecurity inspections and command assessment and training in support of Fleet Cyber Command’s Cyber Security Inspection Certification Program and verification, validation, and reporting effort foroversight of Navy Marine Corps Intranet/Next Generation Enterprise Network. This contract contains options, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $25,896,361. Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity. 

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