As part of its effort to modernize, the U.S. Army is developing a new policy regarding intellectual property. The new procedure, to be released in a few months, will resemble rights commonly used by the commercial industry, said Bruce Jetty, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)).
Today’s battlefield is highly technical and dynamic. We are not only fighting people and weapons but also defending and attacking information at light speed. For mission success, the American warrior in the field and commanders up the chain need the support of highly adaptive systems that can quickly and securely establish reliable communications and deliver real-time intelligence anytime and anywhere.
McKinsey and Company Inc., Washington, has been awarded an $8,447,163 modification (P00002) to contract FA8807-18-F-0010 for the space acquisition transformation. The contract modification is for the implementation of the Space Acquisition Transformation Plan. Work will be performed at Los Angeles Air Force Base, El Segundo, California, and is expected to be completed by March 29, 2019. Fiscal year 2018 funds are being obligated at the time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $8,447,163. The Space and Missile Systems Center, Global Positioning Systems Directorate Contracting Division, Los Angeles AFB, El Segundo, California, is the contracting activity.
Small businesses often lead the pack in innovation and agility, but cumbersome acquisition processes can stall the way forward when working with government agencies. The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) hopes to grease the skids between ingenuity and warfighters by offering a streamlined method for carrying out prototype projects and transitioning successes into follow-on production.
Despite some challenges, the U.S. Air Force’s culture is changing in favor of small businesses, according to Valerie Muck, the service’s new director of small business programs.
"The main thing we’re trying to do in the Air Force is create that culture where we’re looking to small businesses first to maximize opportunities. Right now, the culture in the Air Force is in a really good place for that,” said Muck, who has been in the position nearly a year. She made the comments while addressing the AFCEA Small Business Committee at AFCEA’s headquarters building in Fairfax, Virginia.
The U.S. Army is making some long-needed changes to the way it’s configuring the networks required to prepare for, conduct and win wars. With the promise of increased resources, the service plans to do more than just upgrade its information technology. Instead, it has designed a strategy that incorporates the successes of the past, adjusts where needed in the present and sets the stage for a future that takes advantage of innovative solutions.
U.S. Army officials are applying a streamlined acquisition process known as an IT box to offensive cyber technologies.
The IT box acquisition concept includes four sides: developing the capabilities requirement, determining development costs, analyzing sustainment and operations costs, and providing oversight and management of the product.
Maj. Gen. John George, USA, force development director, Office of the Army Chief of Staff G-8, told the the AFCEA Army Signal Conference in Springfield, Virginia, that the Army is focusing on the IT box concept pretty heavily.
In a $350 million deal, San Francisco, California-based Splunk Inc. will purchase Phantom Cyber Corporation, a Palo Alto, California-based cyber security firm specializing in security orchestration, automation and response, known as SOAR. Splunk will acquire Phantom using a combination of cash and stock. The transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory reviews. Oliver Friedrichs, Founder and CEO, Phantom will report to Haiyan Song, senior vice president and general manager of security markets, Splunk.
The U.S. military is exploring ways to make virtually everything—from the uniform on a soldier’s body to the engine contained within a vehicle—connected and mission ready. Troop movements are being monitored, as are soldiers’ health statuses. Aircraft and other assets are providing real-time insight into enemy movements and other potential threats. Decisions are being made based on this information, which has the ability to flow in an unerring stream. Indeed, the Internet of Things (IoT) has further elevated the military’s reputation as a well-oiled machine.
But, what if the machines that power that machine break down? What if heavy transport machinery stops running, or advanced weapons systems fail?
With an view of becoming a premier provider of high-tech information technology solutions to government technology services market, Geneal Dynamics announced on Feb. 12 that it is purchasing CSRA. "With approximately $9.9 billion in revenue and strong double-digit EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amoritization] margins, the combined General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) and CSRA is well-positioned to serve its customers’ current and evolving mission requirements," General Dynamics stated.
Defense computing systems need to operate in a highly disparate range of environments. Depending on the program’s requirements, ruggedness is a function of the environment each system will be deployed in. A system that operates just fine in a pressurized aerospace application, such as a wide-bodied aircraft, may have issues in a marine application, and may be completely unacceptable in a vehicle being driven through a hot and sandy desert. Even within airborne applications, the environment might be a wing-mounted pod that is completely unpressurized. Computing systems for each of these environments must be ruggedized to match requirements.
When rugged ... isn’t
The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has awarded a $163 million task order to SRA International, a subsidiary of CSRA Inc. The award directs CSRA to support DISA’s endpoint security solution integrator support effort under the General Services Administration’s Alliant Government-wide Acquisition Contract, the company announced.
Faced with aging equipment and vehicles from a bygone era, the Army is set to modernize by standing up a new command to transform its acquisition processes, among other things. It is one of the Army’s most significant restructuring efforts in the last 40 years. The need for modernization is coming from an "eroding" competitive advantage, and the evolving needs of a modern—and future—battlefield.
“We do not have time to waste,” implored Gen. Mark Milley, USA, U.S. Army chief of staff, at the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on October 9. “Our challenges are growing in scale and are in every domain of warfare: land, maritime, air, cyber and space.”
It’s that time of year. With the government fiscal year ending, agency leaders are pushing through their last-minute budget wish lists. A core part of those wishes either does or should relate to cybersecurity.
Many U.S. government sectors, including defense, intelligence, public safety, cybersecurity and space, have seen a recent shift toward embracing new technologies and methodologies for delivering capabilities in a more responsive, agile manner.
The ecosystem of technologies that is driving this innovation is diverse to say the least. The foundation of this ecosystem is the underlying IT infrastructure. The evolution of hyperconverged infrastructure is maximizing the density of computing power, random-access memory and storage in these modern data centers, making it easier and more cost effective for providers to leverage and deploy applications and solutions.
U.S. Army leaders have not consistently evaluated the efficiency and effectiveness of the department’s contracting operations, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has concluded. To amend the situation, the office recommends developing metrics to assess contracting operations for timeliness, cost savings and contract quality; documenting rationales for key decisions; and establishing measurable objectives to assess the effects of organizational changes on contracting operations.
The Defense Information Systems Agency is working to streamline its acquisition processes by using a mixture of efficiency and expertise. In some cases, the agency is adopting methods to free it from onerous Federal Acquisition Regulations. But mostly, its approaches leverage existing skills to condense traditionally drawn-out procedures.
The very qualities that define small businesses—agility, flexibility, inherent innovation—are driving the Defense Information Systems Agency to increase its efforts to bring their capabilities under the big tent of defense network services.
With the agency, known as DISA, tasked with providing warfighters and decision makers with the best in information technology, it must incorporate capabilities faster than is possible through normal acquisition processes involving large contractors. Ongoing efforts such as regular outreach and prime contract set-asides are being supplanted with new segmented contracts and drives to bring in nontraditional firms.
In 2010, the Defense Department began accelerating toward its information technology future by putting the brakes on data center growth. That year, the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative laid the groundwork for government investment in more efficient and modern computing platforms, which led to deployment of disruptive technologies such as the cloud as a key element of the DOD’s IT infrastructure.
Sixth in an ongoing series of articles
The intelligence community recently has directed activity toward creating common resources to increase collaboration and speed up the delivery of information technology tools for the government. The need for modern and cost-effective information technology solutions is paramount. However, complex, paper-heavy, time-consuming information-assurance processes steal capital required to modernize. This unproductive cycle affects both U.S. government systems and the industrial base that develops mission systems for the government.