To fully counter the threats posed by adversaries, the Department of Defense needs to harness autonomous and robotic systems, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The nation’s military is falling short of pursuing those systems on the large scale necessary, an expert says. Moreover, the department needs to holistically consider the purpose for which it is harnessing artificial intelligence, or AI, across the services, says Robert Work, the former 32nd deputy secretary of defense.
Deloitte Consulting LLC, Arlington, Virginia, was awarded a Systems Engineering, Technology, and Innovation prime integrator task order (HC102820F2000) for an estimated $106,352,518 to design and build the Joint Common Foundation artificial intelligence development environment for the Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center. The period of performance is a one-year base period from August 17, 2020, through August 16, 2021, valued at approximately $31,000,000, with three one-year option periods through August 16, 2024. Work will be performed in the greater Washington, D.C., area.
Thales Defense & Security Inc., Clarksburg, Maryland, has been awarded a maximum $81,800,432 firm-fixed-price contract for Airborne Low Frequency Sonar spare parts. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a five-year one-month contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Maryland, with a July 30, 2025, performance completion date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2025 Navy working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPRPA1-20-C-Y043).
AV3 Inc., Mechanicsville, Maryland, is awarded a $9,770,558 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract procures the audio and visual video teleconference equipment for the integration of specialized network video teleconference systems in support of the integrated command, control and intelligence divisions of the Joint Staff and combatant commanders, Department of Defense agencies and services, and Department of Homeland Security operational and support components. Work will be performed in Mechanicsville, Maryland, and supports the command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Work is expected to be complete by June 2022.
General Dynamics-OTS, Williston, Vermont, was awarded a $3,420,531,156 hybrid (cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price) contract for production and engineering services for Hydra-70 rocket systems. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of September 30, 2026. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W31P4Q20F0282).
On May 12, the Defense Department and the Health and Human Services Department issued a $138 million contract to ApiJect Systems America to coordinate the production of prefilled syringes in anticipation of a future COVID-19 vaccine, DOD announced.
"Today the Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announce a $138 million contract with ApiJect Systems America for 'Project Jumpstart' and 'RAPID USA,' which together will dramatically expand U.S. production capability for domestically manufactured, medical-grade injection devices starting by October 2020," said Lt. Col. Mike Andrews, USAF, DOD spokesman.
Jacksonville-based Crowley Solutions was awarded a multi-year contract by the U.S. Army 409th Contracting Support Brigade-Theater Contracting Command. Under the Third Party Logistics Europe Wide Movement contract, the company will provide transportation of personnel and cargo and procurement of material handling equipment to the U.S. government, NATO and non-NATO partners throughout the European Command area of responsibility, supporting the 21st Theater Sustainment Command and Theater Movements Center, headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The contract runs from May 2020 until May 2023, with an estimated value of $49 million, and is on a task-order basis.
ForAllSecure, a NEA portfolio company, announced that is will provide the Defense Department with a next-generation fuzzing solution under a $45 million contract with the Defense Innovation Unit. The company's software security product, known as Mayhem, will be used by several DOD entitieservices branches, including: the Air Force 96th Cyberspace Test Group, the Air Force 90th Cyberspace Operations Squadron, the Naval Sea Systems Command and the U.S. Army Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center, according to the company. The product, which automatically finds software vulnerabilities, is a patented next-generation solution developed at Carnegie Mellon University.
Eccalon LLC, Hanover, Maryland, has been awarded a $7,078,869 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract provides National Security Technology Accelerator program support for the Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy. Work performance will take place at the Mark Center, Alexandria, Virginia. Fiscal year 2020 and 2021 research, development, test, and evaluation funds in the amount of $7,078,869 are being awarded. The expected completion date is September 27, 2023. Washington Headquarters Services, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (HQ0034-18-F-0572).
On May 6, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing, “Department of Defense Spectrum Policy and the Impact of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) Ligado Decision on National Security,” to discuss the security risks of the FCC granting the company a license modification to commence terrestrial wireless operations. Taking that action presents a great risk to the military’s Global Positioning System (GPS) operations, now run by the U.S.
Under a $126 million contract, the Department of Defense selected St. Paul, Minnesota-based 3M to increase production of N95 medical-grade masks to aid in the COVID-19 pandemic, DOD reported on May 7. In coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, the company will produce 26 million N95 medical-grade masks per month, starting in October 2020.
"Spearheaded by the Department’s Joint Acquisition Task Force, and funded through the CARES Act, this increased production/industrial capacity will continue to ensure a sustainable supply chain of N95 respirators and resupply the Strategic National Stockpile in response to the increased national demand caused by the COVID 19 pandemic," a DOD spokeman said.
Boston Consulting Group Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, has been awarded a $37,706,832 firm-fixed-price bridge contract. The requirement provides support to the Department of Defense Chief Management Office, assessing at least 90% of annual contract spending, implementation and training to increase the Department's contract spend efficiency through enterprise-wide commodity management and structured negotiation. Work performance will take place at the Pentagon Reservation, Arlington, Virginia. The contract is being incrementally funded, with fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $7,500,000 being provided at the time of award. The remaining $30,206,832 will also be operations and maintenance funds.
Thales Defense and Security Inc., Clarksburg, Maryland, has been awarded a maximum $8,041,670 firm-fixed-price contract for H-60 reel and cable assemblies. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a one-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Maryland, with a Sept. 30, 2021, performance completion date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 Navy working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPRPA1-20-C-Y011).
During a town hall on the response to COVID-19, leaders at the Pentagon stressed the importance of cybersecurity as more employees shift to telework. Along with personal hygiene, Daniel Walsh, acting director, Pentagon Force Protection Agency, asked Pentagon personnel to practice good cyber hygiene.
Essye Miller, principal deputy, Department of Defense Chief Information Officer, echoed similar sentiments. “With the increased telework capability comes an increased attack surface for our adversaries. They are already taking advantage,” she said.
Adapting to great power competition requires improved acquisition operations, and the U.S. Defense Department's acquisition headquarters has been busy revamping contracting practices. The efforts are succeeding in reducing contracting burdens, timelines and workforce hours, and is bringing in more innovation into the DOD, its top leader reports.
Accessible radio frequencies are crucial for warfighter training, testing and operations. Ensuring access to the necessary electromagnetic spectrum for U.S. Defense Department missions is not an easy task, especially in a time of growing demand across the military and commercial sectors, explains Col. Frederick Williams, USAF, acting director of the Office of Spectrum Policy and Programs, Office of the Secretary of Defense, or OSD. The military operates in a wide range of spectrum bands, both on an exclusive and shared basis. In the last several years, Defense Department operational requirements for spectrum access have increased.
Between now and Valentine’s Day, the U.S. Defense Department will begin to build out its unclassified department-wide cloud platform, the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud, known as JEDI. And approximately six months after that, DOD will stand up its secret cloud environment, followed later by the top secret cloud, all part of JEDI, reported Dana Deasy, Defense Department chief information officer, at the AFCEA Nova Chapter’s Air Force IT Day in Arlington, Va., last Thursday.
Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, Washington, has been awarded a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a ceiling value of $10,000,000,000 over a period of 10 years, if all options are exercised. The JEDI Cloud contract will provide enterprise level, commercial infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service to support Department of Defense business and mission operations. Work performance will take place at the awardee's place of performance. Fiscal year 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $1,000,000 are being obligated on a task order against this award to cover the minimum guarantee. The expected completion date is October 24, 2029, if all options are exercised. Washington Hea
Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Florida, was awarded a $93,000,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a national cyber range that provides the ability to conduct realistic cybersecurity test and evaluation of major Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition programs and the ability to conduct realistic training, certification and mission rehearsal events for the DoD Cyber Mission Force. One bid were solicited with one bid received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of November 19, 2021. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Orlando, Florida, is the contracting activity (W900KK-20-D-0001).
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $7,027,643,109 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, fixed-price-incentive-firm-target, cost-reimbursable contract (N00019-17-C-0001). This modification provides for the procurement of 114 F-35 aircraft for Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy; non-Department of Defense (DoD) participants, and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers.