NewsBrief: April 8, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: April 8, 2022

House Democrats tell USPS to ‘go back to the drawing board’ on electric vehicle cost analysis

(Federal News Network) The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Reform Committee is telling the Postal Service to start over in determining how many electric vehicles it can afford to purchase as part of its 10-year next-generation delivery vehicle contract. Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that USPS “can and must increase the number of electric vehicles that it purchases.” USPS agreed to share the analysis it’s been using to determine how many electric vehicles it will purchase, but Maloney said “it’s clear that the Post Office needs to go back to the drawing board.” Read More

DoD’s budget inflation story is more complicated than you think

(Federal News Network)The Defense Department is fully admitting that its assumptions for inflation in 2023 were “obviously incorrect,” as the military’s top general put it, but the question of just how inflation will affect the Pentagon’s buying power is more complicated. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and DoD Comptroller Michael McCord represented the Pentagon’s vanguard in defending the $773 billion 2023 budget request to Congress on Tuesday. The four-hour hearing heard questions about cyber attacks, Ukraine, coronavirus and the nuclear triad, but one question is looming over the Defense budget: Will current inflationary pressures impact DoD’s buying power? Read More

US, UK And Australia To Cooperate On Hypersonic Weapons

(Defense Industry Daily)Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States are cooperating external link on hypersonic weapons and electronic warfare capabilities. This was announced by the leaders of the three countries have said. The move comes amid growing concern by the US and allies about China’s growing military assertiveness in the Pacific. US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the plan after holding a check-in on the progress of AUKUS, the Indo-Pacific alliance that was launched by the three countries in September. Read More

Lawmakers say Navy’s shipyard revitalization needs help from industry, public — and Congress

(Breaking Defense)Two influential congressmen overseeing the Navy’s shipyards are convinced the service’s plan to revamp its facilities requires greater urgency and funding, but faces hurdles far from the shipyards themselves — many of them on Capitol Hill. “It’s been so long since the Navy has sort of really taken this on and the country has taken this on in a big way,” Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., said of the Navy’s plans to revitalize the four public shipyards, also called the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP). Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., said part of the issue lies in Congress, where lawmakers have to worry about stepping on each other’s toes. Read More

Physiological signals could be the key to ’emotionally intelligent’ AI, scientists say

(NextGov) NASA, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Microsoft developed and tested an artificial intelligence workload in-orbit aboard the International Space Station. Offering the promise of boosting astronauts’ safety when conducting ISS-aligned missions, that test is one part of a package of announcements Microsoft unveiled on Monday detailing capabilities aimed at driving developers to make and deploy new space applications and workloads. Read More

International Space Station Launches AI Program to Test Astronaut Gloves

(Science Daily) Artificial intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of modern technology. Making AI ’emotionally intelligent’ could open doors to more natural human-machine interactions. To do this, it needs to pick up on the user’s sentiment during a dialog. Physiological signals could provide a direct route to such sentiments. Now, researchers from Japan take things to the next level with an AI with sentiment-sensing capabilities comparable to that of humans. Read More

DIU, Army Partner to Construct 3D-Printed Barracks

(ExecutiveGov) The Defense Innovation Unit and the U.S. Army’s Installation Management Command will jointly continue a project aimed at additively manufacturing military barracks. DIU said Tuesday it will use ICON’s Vulcan construction system to produce a trio of 3D-printed barracks for Texas-based Fort Bliss. Each barracks will measure 5,700 square feet and align with the Department of Defense’s new unified facilities criteria, which serve as guidance for additive concrete construction. Read More

Can small businesses keep up with defense cyber requirements?

( The Defense Department wants to know how well small businesses comply with its cybersecurity requirements, so it’s going to start assessing their self-assessed security plans. Nick DelRosso, of the Defense Contract Management Agency’s Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Assessment Center (DIBCAC), said the agency will start reviewing companies in the coming months to learn more about acquisitions with smaller businesses and how they comply with DOD’s cybersecurity requirements. Read More

Government Contractor vs. Subcontractor: What’s The Difference?

(ExecutiveGov) From developing the latest cybersecurity strategies to bolster the nation’s defenses to mobilizing teams of health care providers in response to the global health emergency, the federal government works hand in hand with its prime contractors and subcontractors. The prime government contracts and subcontractors cooperate to ensure the success of the government contract. However, to guarantee that the federal project will come to fruition, the government contractor and federal subcontractor must perform their own set of duties while working in harmony together. Read More

What’s Going to Happen to All Those Empty Office Buildings?

(Knowledge at Wharton) The broad shift to working from home during the pandemic may haunt the commercial real estate market for years to come, making it harder to fill vacant office buildings that were once brimming with tenants. Wharton real estate professor Joseph Gyourko said it’s too early to predict exactly how the demand for office space will decline because commercial leases generally last five to seven years. But it’s clear that when those leases finally expire, the market will not be the same. Read More