News Briefs

April 6, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
A newly formed industry advisory council will allow small and large businesses to provide feedback on the CMMC. Credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Accreditation Body (CMMC-AB), the sole authoritative source for operationalizing CMMC assessments and training by the U.S. Defense Department, has announced the formation of a cybersecurity Industry Advisory Council’s (IAC).

The CMMC-AB IAC mission is to provide a unified voice as representatives of organizations seeking certification to provide to the Defense Department and the accreditation board feedback, input and recommendations for implementing the CMMC.

April 5, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has awarded a contract to Mesur.io to use its Earthstream platform to provide data on potential biological threats, including pathogens. Credit: Fotomay/Shutterstock

To develop capabilities to monitor the current COVID-19 pandemic and other future biological events, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate has awarded $199,648 to Mesur.io Inc., for analysis and reporting of outbreak-related data.

March 18, 2021
Posted by: Julianne Simpson
Sandia National Laboratories physicist Susan Clark leads the team that built the Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed. The ion-based quantum computer was made for outside researchers to use.  Photo by Bret Latter

A new open-access quantum computing testbed from the Department of Energy is ready for the public. Scientists from Indiana University were the first team to begin using Sandia National Laboratories’ Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed, or QSCOUT.

QSCOUT is rare because it is a free, open-access testbed made with trapped ion technology. The platform gives users an uncommon amount of control in their research.

March 12, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group takes off June 18, 2019, from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The First Air Force, based at Tyndall will now be providing command and control in support of the U.S. Space Command. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie

The Office of the Secretary of the Air Force announced a reorganization plan today that will add duties to the First Air Force. In addition to its current role, the Numbered Air Force (NAF) also will be the air component to the U.S. Space Force Command.

Under Air Combat Command, the First Air Force, based at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, is responsible for protecting the continental United States, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by providing air component support to the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command. Now the NAF will also be providing command and control over the Air Force efforts supporting U.S. Space Command.

March 8, 2021
Posted by Maryann Lawlor
This innovative GPS capability takes into consideration the special needs of emergency vehicles, including size and required turning radius.

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has created a navigation app that addresses first responders’ vehicle requirements to help them find the best route to provide aid. The capability takes into consideration vehicle-specific factors such as size and turning radius, road hazards or special road rules applicable to law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services.

February 10, 2021
Posted by George I. Seffers
A U.S. Navy team has developed an automated target detection and tracking system known as the Intelligent Tracker for the Army's Next Generation Combat Vehicle. Image provided by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division

A new product called Intelligent Tracker developed by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) will increase the Army’s Next Generation Combat Vehicle’s intelligent fire control capability to control its medium and large caliber weapon systems, according to an NSWCDD press release.

The Intelligent Tracker innovation—made possible with state-of-the-art algorithms developed over 10 years of cumulative research at NSWCDD—adds a rapid and precise automated target detection and tracking capability to the kill chain for manned and unmanned weapon systems. 

February 3, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Military officials intend to counter-drone systems twice a year, with the first demonstration taking place in April, and fielding the first systems next year. Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

The U.S. military should begin fielding low-cost, low-collateral counter-drone systems as early as next year, officials told reporters in a February 2 conference call.

The Army has been designated the lead service for deploying systems to counter small unmanned aerial system (C-sUAS) technologies across the department. The service recently released its C-sUAS strategy . The strategy provides the framework for addressing sUAS hazards and threats in a variety of operating environments, including the U.S. homeland, host nations and contingency locations.

January 27, 2021
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
As part of its cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection role, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, recently conducted a virtual exercise with Major League Baseball's Cactus League. Credit: Shutterstock/Debby Wong

This week, the cybersecurity arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, known as CISA, held a virtual exercise and preparedness event with Major League Baseball’s (MLB's) Cactus League. The event aimed to boost physical security and cybersecurity at training, practices and games this spring in Arizona, CISA reported.

January 14, 2021
Posted by: Julianne Simpson
Credit: Shutterstock/sdecoret

The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation announced awards for two collaborative projects. Totaling $1.5 million, the projects will develop advanced homeland security technologies in the areas of threat detection and 3D mapping. The BIRD Homeland Security (HLS) program is a joint initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the Israel Ministry of Public Security (MOPS).

The 2020 HLS awardees are:

January 8, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a machine learning algorithm that makes scientific research about 40,000 faster and can be used for a wide variety of purposes.   Credit: Andrey Suslov/Shutterstock

A research team at Sandia National Laboratories has successfully used machine learning—computer algorithms that improve themselves by learning patterns in data—to complete cumbersome materials science calculations more than 40,000 times faster than normal, according to a Sandia press release.

Their results, published in the January 4 issue of a journal called npj Computational Materials, could herald a dramatic acceleration in the creation of new technologies for optics, aerospace, energy storage and potentially medicine while simultaneously saving laboratories money on computing costs, according to the press release.

January 7, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Caption: The U.S. Defense Department has released a new strategy for countering the proliferation of small unmanned aerial systems. The strategy is designed to provide the framework for addressing the threat to within the United States and internationally. Credit: Lobachad/Shutterstock

The U.S. Defense Department released today its strategy for countering small unmanned aircraft systems, which have become a growing threat both for the homeland and abroad.

January 6, 2021
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Credit: Shutterstock/Aleksandar Malivuk

The Defense Digital Service (DDS) and HackerOne announced the launch of the DDS’s latest bug bounty program with HackerOne. It is the eleventh such program for DDS and HackerOne and the third with the U.S. Department of the Army.

Hack the Army 3.0 is a security test— time-bound and hacker-powered—aimed at revealing vulnerabilities so they can be resolved before they are exploited by adversaries. The bug bounty program will run from January 6, 2021, through February 17, 2021, and is open to both military and civilian participants.

January 5, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Biometrics systems tested by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate effectively identify most individuals even when they wear face masks. Credit: SergeyTinyakov/Shutterstock

A controlled scenario test by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) shows promising results for facial recognition technologies to accurately identify individuals wearing protective face masks, according to an S&T press release.

The tests were conducted as part of S&T’s 2020 Biometric Technology Rally, held this fall at the Maryland Test Facility, and could reduce the need for people to remove masks at airports or ports of entry.

December 17, 2020
Posted by: George I. Seffers
The European Union's new Cybersecurity Strategy aims to safeguard a global and open Internet, while at the same time offering safeguards, according to a published announcement. Credit: mixmagic/Shutterstock

The European Union has released a new EU Cybersecurity Strategy designed to bolster Europe's collective resilience against cyber threats and help to ensure that all citizens and businesses can fully benefit from trustworthy and reliable services and digital tools, according to a published announcement.

December 2, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network officials use threat intelligence to bolster the defense of the network against a surge of attacks during the pandemic. Source: Rafal Olechowski/Shutterstock

Cyber attacks against the Defense Department and many other organizations have increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the integration of cyber threat intelligence has helped the department defend its networks, according to Col. David Violand, deputy director of intelligence, Joint Forces Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN).

Col. Violand made the comments during the AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference, a virtual event held December 1-3.

October 26, 2020
 

The Defense Department reported on October 26 that it had awarded a $20 million per year contract to Texas A&M University's Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) to establish and manage the University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics, known as UCAH. The award has a base year and four additional optional years of $20 million, with a total value of up to $100 million.

October 14, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Photo Courtesy of NOAA NCEI

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency announced the final results of MagQuest, a $2.1 million competition to advance how we measure Earth’s magnetic field.

Over 18 months, the challenge accelerated novel data collection methodologies for the World Magnetic Model (WMM). The first place winner Iota Technology will be awarded $350,000 and two second place winners — Spire Global and SB Quantum, and University of Colorado Boulder — will receive $225,000 each. Runners-up Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium and Stellar Solutions will each receive $50,000.

October 8, 2020
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Defense Department officials released a new data strategy. They envision building a larger community of data leaders, via a deliberately expanded department data council that brings in the combatant commands, agencies and field activities. Photo: greenbutterfly/Shutterstock

The Department of Defense has published a new Data Strategy focused on accelerating the Department’s transition to a data-centric organization that uses data at speed and scale for operational advantage and increased efficiency, according to a department press release

October 2, 2020
Posted by: George I. Seffers
An Army paratrooper provides security during a mission in southeastern Afghanistan, Dec. 29, 2019. The service is discontinuing the Asymmetric Warfare Group and the Rapid Equipping Force as part of the shift from counterinsurgency operations to multi-domain operations. Photo by: Army Master Sgt. Alejandro Licea

The Department of the Army announced today the discontinuation of both the Asymmetric Warfare Group and the Rapid Equipping Force as the service transitions from counterinsurgency operations to a focus on multi-domain operations and large-scale combat operations.  

September 18, 2020
Posted by: Julianne Simpson
Members of AFC and ACC tour the future facilities of the Software Factory. Credit: ACC

The Army Futures Command (AFC) has named Austin Community College District (ACC) as the home for its new Software Factory. The first of its kind, the Software Factory at ACC will provide a training pipeline for soldiers and ACC students. It’s designed to help students rapidly scope and solve real-life problems through advanced software development processes.

August 28, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories are hosting the new Technology Readiness Gross Receipts Tax Credit Initiative, with funding of up to $150,000 per company and technical assistance to innovative New Mexican companies. Credit: Randy Montoya

Through September 3, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories are accepting statements of intent from companies in New Mexico as part of a technical assistance effort. The program is designed to help move prototypes and near-ready products to the commercial market.

August 27, 2020
Posted by: Julianne Simpson
M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers from Battery B, 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment “Battlekings,” 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, sit ready to fire at Fort Stewart, Georgia, September 11, 2014. Credit: U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Richard Wrigley

A first-of-its-kind Army Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) pilot seeks to leverage small business innovators to help increase the rate of fire of self-propelled howitzer systems. A new program, the Special Program Awards for Required Technology Needs (SPARTN), is combining government and industry best practices to introduce a whole-of-Army, collaborative approach to solution innovation.

August 25, 2020
Posted by: George I. Seffers
The X-61A unmanned aerial system successfully completed its second series of flight tests in July. The system is being developed by a Dynetics-led team under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Gremlins program. Photo courtesy of DARPA

DARPA’s Gremlins program is targeting additional tests of the X-61A vehicle later this year after meeting several primary objectives during risk reduction flights at the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah in late July. The Gremlins program seeks to develop and demonstrate air launch and air recovery of up to four unmanned aerial systems (UASs), known as Gremlins Air Vehicles, within 30 minutes.

August 21, 2020
 
The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USMDC) Technical Center launches a Pathfinder Zombie target at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, June 25 for a foreign military sales customer. The USMDC has been named a service component command to U.S. Space Command while continuing to serve the same role for U.S. Strategic Command. (U.S. Army photo)

The Army announced today that U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USAMDC) will take on the additional responsibility of serving as the Army service component command to U.S. Space Command, while retaining its responsibilities as the service component command to U.S. Strategic Command.

Naming USASMDC as the service component command to both Space Command and Strategic Command will strengthen integration and synchronization of these vital operations and has been endorsed by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to a service press release.

August 12, 2020
Posted by George I. Seffers
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate intends to hold a virtual industry day next week seeking solutions to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo credit: U.S. Army

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is seeking groundbreaking solutions to address current and future operational needs.

July 20, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Vince Urias, Sandia National Laboratories computer scientist, will pitch cybersecurity tools to potential investors at a special Department of Energy event. Photo by Randy Montoya

Two Sandia National Laboratories computer scientists are earning national recognition for cybersecurity platforms they developed. Adrian Chavez and Vince Urias will pitch their software to investors, entrepreneurs and prospective customers during the Cybersecurity Technology Virtual Showcase, which runs July 21-30 and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Combined, Chavez and Urias led the creation of four of the technologies to be showcased.

July 14, 2020
By George I. Seffers
A Polish army officer talks with village elders in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan. U.S. Army officials are discussing the need to include international partners and allies in the Joint All-Domain Command and Control concept, which is expected to dramatically improve interoperability. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Micah E. Clare

U.S. Army leaders are considering adding “combined” to the Joint All-Domain Operations Command and Control (JADC2) concept to include international partners and allies, such as the so-called Five Eyes nations, says Army Undersecretary James McPherson.

McPherson made the comments July 14 during the virtual Army Signal Conference 2020, which is sponsored by AFCEA.

July 14, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, the Army's soon-to-retire CIO/G-6, attends a working lunch during the Joint Warfighting Assessment on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., May 1, 2019. The CIO said during the Army’s virtual 2020 Signal Conference hosted by AFCEA that the time is right for the service to split the CIO and G-6 offices. Credit: Sgt. Torrance Saunders

The U.S. Army’s near future will include an increased focus on adopting “zero trust” cybersecurity practices, better protecting its network endpoints and consolidating its plethora of cloud computing contracts, according to Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, the Army’s outgoing CIO/G-6. It also will likely include tightening defense budgets.

The general indicated during a keynote address for the Army’s virtual 2020 Signal Conference, which is hosted by AFCEA, that the 2021 fiscal year “is going to be all about driving on priorities.”

July 14, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
A U.S. Army M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System sits during a demonstration at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany in February. The Army Futures Command is creating a software factory to train warfighters to code on the spot. Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Denice Lopez

The U.S. Army Futures Command is preparing a software center designed to improve the digital competency of warfighters. The so-called software factory, in Austin, Texas, will take soldiers and civilians with a propensity toward software development and sharpen their skills. Warfighters facing near-peer threats and operating in a multidomain environment in the future may not have the ability to reach back to higher echelons for coding solutions or necessarily rely on contractor presence for software. They will need to be able to diagnose software issues of information technology that soldiers will be using the future as well as code specific solutions on the spot to support faster decision making.

June 22, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Scheduled for completion in 2022, the Exascale Computing Facility Modernization project will upgrade the Livermore Computing Center by significantly expanding the facility’s power and cooling capacity in preparation for delivery of next-generation exascale supercomputing hardware. Credit: LLNL

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA’s) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has broken ground on its Exascale Computing Facility Modernization (ECFM) project. It will substantially upgrade the mechanical and electrical capabilities of the Livermore Computing Center. The upgrades will enable the facility to provide exascale-class service (supercomputers capable of at least one quintillion calculations per second) to the NNSA laboratories: LLNL, Los Alamos and Sandia.

June 17, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Brig. Gen. Robert Lyman (USAF), director, Command, Control, Communications, and Cyber Systems Directorate, TCJ6, pictured center, speaks to Col. Mark Bradley, USAF, the TCJ6 deputy director at the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) on June 9. In July, Gen. Lyman will be joining the Pentagon as the Air Force’s assistant deputy chief of staff for Cyber Effects Operations, AF A2/A6. Photo by Michelle Gigante, USTRANSCOM/PA

Next month, Brig. Gen. Robert Lyman (USAF) will become the assistant deputy chief of staff for Cyber Effects Operations, the AF A2/A6, at the Pentagon, the U.S. Transportation Command announced on Monday. Gen. Lyman is currently dual-hatted as the director for Command, Control, Communications, and the Cyber Systems Directorate, TCJ6, at the command.

As the TCJ6 director, Gen. Lyman led the planning, integration, operations and maintenance of the Transportation Command’s, or USTRANSCOM’s, command, control, communications and computing (C4) systems, as well as guiding cyberspace mission assurance.

June 10, 2020
By George I. Seffers
During a webinar sponsored by the Association of the United States Army, Gen. John Murray, USA, commander, Army Futures Command, updated the audience on the service’s modernization efforts. Credit: Graphic illustration of concept for Smart Targeting Environment for Lower Level Assets (U.S. Army CCDC C5ISR graphic illustration/Jamie Lear)

Although the Army’s Integrated Tactical Network has faced delays for a variety of reasons, the two-channel manpack radio will undergo operational testing this fall, according to Gen. John Murray, USA, commander, Army Futures Command.

June 9, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches on May 30 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station. NASA, in partnership with Starburst Aerospace, is conducting a $1 million technology challenge to pull in even more innovation from the public sector. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA's Science Mission Directorate is partnering with Los Angeles-based aerospace technology accelerator Starburst in offering a $1 million prize challenge. Known as the Entrepreneurs Challenge, the effort is meant to pull in state-of-the-art technology from individuals and corporations in three technology areas: physics-based transfer learning and artificial intelligence; advanced mass spectrometry; and quantum sensors.

June 5, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
A F-15E Strike Eagle from the 492nd Fighter Squadron takes off from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England on May 27 during a large force exercise. The U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa and airmen from the 48th Fighter Wing conducted the dissimilar air combat training to advance combat readiness and increase tactical proficiency to help strengthen the NATO alliance. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Air Force Senior Airman Christopher Sparks

The Air Force recently hosted a large exercise in the United Kingdom’s North Sea airspace, the Defense Department reported on June 5. The service’s 48th Fighter Wing held the exercise to continue the advanced training of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa and NATO partners given the persistent and growing near-peer threats in the region. 

May 4, 2020
 
Time is running out to apply to be a cybersecurity professor at the U.S. Marine Corps University’s Krulak Center. Credit: Pixabay

The U.S. Marine Corps University’s Krulak Center is searching for a professor of cybersecurity.

The primary responsibility is to serve as the full-time university cybersecurity expert.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens with expertise in cybersecurity issues, including offensive and defensive policies and procedures to inform teaching and research. They also must possess, or obtain within one year of employment, an earned terminal degree in a related field from an accredited college or university in a discipline related to cybersecurity.

April 30, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
LLNL mechanical engineer Ken Enstrom (l) and technicians Greg Norton (c) and Aaron Sperry test and validate simple ventilator prototypes that could be easily assembled from readily available parts. Photo by Julie Russell/LLNL

A self-assembled “skunk works” team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has worked tirelessly to prototype a simple ventilator design for quick and easy assembly from available parts. The effort is in response to a potential surge in demand for ventilators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dubbed the “Novel Emergency Response Ventilator” (NERVe), the design comes from proven concepts and contains parts that are not being used by commercial ventilator manufacturers to prevent disrupting already thin supply chains.

April 24, 2020
 
The U.S. Army has selected the first two companies to provide two prototypical medical ventilators capable of operating in austere environments. The awards are the first under the service's xTech COVID-19 Ventilator Challenge launched earlier this month. Credit: Nhemz/Shutterstock

Spiro Devices LLC, and AirMid Critical Care Products Inc., have been awarded $100,000 prizes for their emergency ventilator designs as part of the ongoing U.S. Army’s xTech COVID-19 Ventilator Challenge launched earlier this month.

On April 5, the Army called for ideas for a low-cost, easily manufactured, deployable ventilator that could operate in austere and rural environments. In just 10 days, 150 American companies, academic institutions and individuals submitted their concepts, with a chance at winning $5,000 if invited to present their ideas. The goal of the Army xTech COVID-19 Ventilator Challenge is to produce 10,000 ventilator units within eight weeks.

April 22, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Credit: U.S. Army

An agile and nontraditional partnership between the Solider Lethality Cross-Functional Team (SL CFT) and Microsoft is keeping the development of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) on schedule despite the outbreak of COVID-19.

Though the Army implemented strict measures to reduce the spread of the virus, Team IVAS has kept the soldiers and civilians working on the program safe without sacrificing time on the pursuit of critical next generation modernization technology.

IVAS is an augmented and virtual reality goggle system based on Microsoft’s HoloLens, and the SL CFT’s signature modernization effort. The concept was introduced when the Army partnered with Microsoft in November 2018.

April 21, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
LLNL, Penguin Computing and AMD have reached an agreement to upgrade the lab’s unclassified, Penguin Computing-built Corona high performance computing cluster. Credit: LLNL

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and its industry partners are committed to applying the nation’s most powerful supercomputers and knowledge in computational modeling and data science to fighting the deadly disease.

To assist in this effort, LLNL, Penguin Computing and AMD have reached an agreement to upgrade the lab’s unclassified, Penguin Computing-built Corona high performance computing (HPC) cluster with an in-kind contribution of cutting-edge AMD Instinct accelerators, which is expected to nearly double the peak performance of the machine.

April 16, 2020
Posted by George Seffers
The Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate has released a review of systems it developed and fielded that are now contributing to the COVID-19 response. Credit: Corona Borealis Studio/Shutterstock

The Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate has released a review of systems it has developed and fielded and their contributions to countering the COVID-19 pandemic.

The list includes:

Single Automated Business Exchange for Reporting (SABER)

SABER is a free, open-source software that enables businesses to report their operating status both during and after a disaster. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, users have leveraged SABER to:

April 8, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Credit: angellodeco/Shutterstock

A joint advisory published today by the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) shows that a growing number of cyber criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 outbreak for their own personal gain.

March 31, 2020
 
Anyone with 3D printing or other additive manufacturing capabilities can help counter the spread of the coronavirus by making N95-style masks. Credit: CDC image

A movement is underway to inspire 3D printing or other additive manufacturing experts and hobbyists to produce N95-style masks, visors and other critical medical supplies across the United States and the globe. 

The so-called Maker’s Mask is a mask created by Rory Larsen at the request of Kaiser Permanente in Seattle. Larsen created the mask from commercially available hobbyist-grade 3D printers and other common household materials. He intends to share his design freely and widely. 

March 23, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
A common hypersonic glide body (C-HGB) launches from Pacific Missile Range Facility during a Defense Department flight experiment, Kauai, Hawaii, March 19, 2020. Credit: DOD

The U.S. Department of Defense successfully tested a hypersonic glide body in a flight experiment held at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.

This event is a major milestone toward the department’s goal of fielding hypersonic warfighting capabilities in the early- to mid-2020s.

March 23, 2020
 
Sandia National Laboratories’ Saturn accelerator, viewed through an artistic lens, tests countermeasures used to protect electronics against X-ray radiation from nuclear weapons. Laboratory officials have announced two new initiatives, one to protect the electrical grid, and another to help maintain a nuclear edge. Photo by Randy Montoya

To deter attempts to disable U.S. electrical utilities and to defend nuclear weapon systems from evolving technological threats, Sandia National Laboratories has begun two multiyear initiatives to strengthen U.S. responses.

March 17, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Essye Miller, principal deputy, DOD CIO, speaks at a town hall on the response to COVID-19. Credit: Screenshot of DVIDS video

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.

March 16, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson

The Army xTechSearch team announced that due to concerns about COVID-19, the technology pitch for the xTechSearch 4 Semifinals will now be held via a live-streamed event open to the public.

The competition seeks out innovative, dual-use technologies emerging in the U.S. technology, entrepreneur and small business ecosystems.

The interactive, live-stream prize competition will focus on 20 companies participating in the xTechSearch 4 Semifinals and will allow the contestants to showcase their technologies and make a supporting business plan proposal to a panel of judges.

Up to 10 participants with the highest-ranked pitches will receive cash prizes of $120,000 and advance to the finals.

March 16, 2020
 
Exercise DEFENDER-Europe 20 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theater to various training areas. The exercise was expected to test multidomain operations but is now being restricted out of caution regarding the new coronavirus outbreak. Credit: U.S. Army

In response to the current outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and recent guidance by the Secretary of Defense, the U.S. Army has modified exercise DEFENDER-Europe 20 in size and scope. As of March 13, all movement of personnel and equipment from the United States to Europe has ceased, according to an Army announcement.

March 5, 2020
 
The U.S. Army secretary has announced the start of the fifth Army Expeditionary Technology Search competition, also known as xTechSearch. The competition seeks disruptive concepts and technologies to support the Army's modernization priorities. Credit: Derplan 13/Shutterstock

Bruce Jette, the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, has announced the start of the fifth Army Expeditionary Technology Search competition, also known as xTechSearch.

The xTechSearch competition seeks novel, disruptive concepts and technologies to support the Army's top modernization priorities, medical technologies, military-engineering technologies and other critical technology focus areas that can provide technology advancement or enable cost savings throughout the Army systems' life cycle.

March 2, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood

The U.S. Marine Corps selected Wixom, Michigan-based Trijicon to deliver Squad Common Optic Systems for use with infantry assault rifles, including the M27, M4 and M4A1. Under the $64 million indefinite-delivery, indefinite quantity firm fixed contract, the company will produce 19,000 units of the optic technology.

Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC), the contracting authority, will begin fielding the tool to Fleet Marine Forces beginning in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 and through 2023, MCSC reported on February 24.