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Defense

DARPA Awards Medical Nano Platform Contract

January 17, 2013

Agentase LLC, Pittsburgh, Pa., has been awarded an $11,206,720 cost contract. The work will support DARPA's In Vivo (within the living) Nanoplatforms program (IVN). IVN seeks to develop new classes of adaptable nanoparticles for persistent, distributed, unobtrusive physiologic and environmental sensing as well as the treatment of physiologic abnormalities, illness and infectious disease. The contracting activity is DARPA, Arlington, Va., (HR0011-14-C-0030).
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Alutiiq Supports Redstone Arsenal

January 17, 2013

Alutiiq Diversified Services LLC, Anchorage, Alaska was awarded a $6,989,861 firm-fixed-price bridge contract for Redstone Information Technology Services to maintain operational continuity until the selection board has evaluated contractor proposals. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala. is the contracting activity (W9124P-14-C-0023).

Northrop Grumman Supports Communications Node in Afghanistan

January 17, 2013

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Northrop Grumman Information Systems, Herndon, Va., has been awarded a $52,298,661 firm-fixed-price cost-reimbursement modification (P00013) to exercise option contract line items on an existing contract (FA8726-13-C-0001) to continue performance of comprehensive tasks and provide personnel, facilities, aircraft subsystems and support equipment for the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node E-11A platform. Work will be performed at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan, as well as Wichita, Kan., and is expected to be completed by Jan. 23, 2015. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity.

General Dynamics Receives Crypto Contract Modification

January 17, 2013

General Dynamics C4 Systems, Scottsdale, Ariz., has been awarded a $6,886,969 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00051) to an existing contract (FA8307-06-C-0010) for design and development of a CAROUSEL Applicable Specific Integrated Circuit solution. This modification adds the design, development, and testing of CAROUSEL crypto engines. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Cryptologic Systems Contracting Division, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, is the contracting activity.

Brit Systems Awarded Digital Imaging Funds

January 17, 2013

Brit Systems, Dallas, Texas, has been awarded a maximum $20,297,132 modification (P00007) exercising the first option year on a two-year base contract (SPM2D1-12-D-8309) with one two-year option and one one-year periods for digital imaging network-picture archive communication system. This is a fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract. Using military services are the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.

New Year, New Mobile Capabilities for Defense Department Users

January 17, 2014
By Rachel Lilly

The U.S. Defense Department will deploy version 1.0 of its unclassified mobility capability on January 31 with plans to expand the capacity to support up to 100,000 users by the end of the fiscal year. The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is the lead agency for the program and has made substantial progress toward delivering the capability.

Time for the Military to Take a Long, Hard Look

February 1, 2014
By Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger, USA (Ret.)

Military people like to look at themselves, and it has nothing to do with vanity. Rather, it is about improving, but the attention is not always welcome at the business end. Senior personnel offer the usual advice: Cooperate and learn. Do not be defensive. Looking at ourselves can only make us better, so we go along with it. And often—not always, but enough to matter—we find out important facts we did not know.

Defense Challenges Converge in Asia-Pacific

February 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

All the challenges vexing a modern military—budgetary limitations; information technologies; cyber; and joint and coalition interoperability—are defining operations in the Asia-Pacific region. Covering more than half the Earth’s surface and comprising dozens of nations, the vast area is rife with geopolitical rivalries that complicate efforts at regional security. And, the one domain that knows no geographic bounds—cyberspace—weighs heavily on the success of potential warfighting operations in that region.

Three days of government, military and industry speakers and panelists from around the Pacific Rim examined these issues at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013, held December 3-5 in Honolulu. The theme of “Building Coalitions Through Cyber” launched discussions that extended far beyond the digital realm.

Cyber was the dominant topic, with dialogues ranging from its advantages to its pitfalls. Lt. Gen. Thomas L. Conant, USMC, deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), quoted his commander, Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, USN, as saying, “We have built cyber on a house of cards.” Gen. Conant stated PACOM is beholden on what cyber has promised, but its full capabilities may not be available during a conflict. “We’re going to be on a denied battlespace; they won’t let us have all the comms,” Gen. Conant said of cyber activities by adversaries. “We’ll have to learn how to do task forces again.”

Scott Dewar, the Australian consulate general in Honolulu, called for domestic and international coalitions to generate approaches for cybersecurity. Effective cybersecurity ultimately will depend on the ability of nations with shared interests forming coalitions that influence the development of international rules and regulations, Dewar said, calling for “a global approach to cybersecurity and common rules of operation.”

Transforming Defense Acquisition From the Inside

February 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

U.S. military officials may delay the next iteration of the Pentagon’s premier acquisition reform initiative, Better Buying Power 3.0, which likely will continue to improve service acquisition and exportability processes.

Officially launched in 2010, the Better Buying Power (BBP) initiative is a broad effort for the defense acquisition community to reform itself from within. BBP encompasses a set of fundamental acquisition principles to achieve greater efficiencies through affordability, cost control, elimination of unproductive processes and bureaucracy, and promotion of competition. BBP initiatives also are designed to incentivize productivity and innovation in industry and government and improve tradecraft in the acquisition of services, according to the BBP website.

“We’re already looking at a Better Buying Power 3.0 to constantly take the data from our activities and adjust in smaller increments, so that in the future we gradually learn enough from our past to come to a better overall system for acquisition,” says Katrina McFarland, assistant secretary of defense for acquisition.

Because of recent budgetary uncertainties, however, the release date for BBP 3.0 is uncertain. “We’re trying to do this on a two-year cycle. We’re dealing with a lot of budget uncertainty. That impacts our ability to collect meaningful data. That’s a fact of life,” McFarland states, adding that department officials want to avoid making short-sighted decisions without enough data. “We may actually look at a longer cycle this particular time before we initiate the release of the Better Buying Power 3.0 because we may not have enough of an indication of what the success or challenges are in the Better Buying Power 2.0 initiative before we can go on to the next.”

Big Data Is Driving Information
Technology Planning and Investment

February 1, 2014
By Kent R. Schneider

This rarely happens, but for 2014, defense and technology analysts are in agreement that big data and cybersecurity are the two drivers in planning and investment for information technology, both in government and in industry. Most everything else will be enabling these two key capabilities. While much attention has been focused on the threats and work being done globally on cybersecurity, I want to focus on big data.

Big data is critical because, unless it is collected, analyzed, managed and made ubiquitously available, many analysts and decision makers will be buried in information they cannot use effectively in a timely fashion. It also is the starting and ending point for many of the technologies and capabilities we care about: networks, data centers, cloud initiatives, storage, search, analytics and secure access

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