NewsBrief August 7, 2020

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: August 7, 2020

US Air Force links cyber, intel with new contract office

(C4ISRNET) WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force has realigned one of its contracting offices to better link cyber and intelligence activities. The move is part of the service’s effort to mature its new information warfare command, 16th Air Force, which combines cyber, electronic warfare, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, information operations and weather under the same roof. The organization’s commander, Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, realigned the cyber contracting mission of the 688th Cyberspace Wing to the Air Combat Command Acquisition Management Integration Center, which previously solely focused on ISR contracts, according to a July 31 news release. AMIC is to deliver all ISR- and cyber-related contracts on behalf of 16th Air Force. The realignment is designed to more closely fuse cyber and ISR activities, “creating a one stop shop under a unified director,” the release said. Read More

How the Army plans to use space and artificial intelligence to hit deep targets quickly

(DefenseNews) WASHINGTON – It’s hard to hit targets you can’t see. That’s the problem Willie Nelson is trying to solve as director of the Army’s Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing (APNT) Cross-Functional Team. In that role, Nelson is integrating the Army’s efforts to locate beyond-line-of-sight threats and delivering accurate targeting data to weapons systems in a timely manner. In order to do that, his team is leveraging space-based sensors, artificial intelligence and a new scalable ground system that can connect to all of the Army’s weapon systems. Of course, the first part of the problem is finding the threats. Read More

The Army migrated one of the world’s largest financial systems to the cloud 7 months ahead of schedule

(fedscoop) The Army’s enterprise financial management system — which handles $164 billion in yearly transactions — has now fully migrated to the cloud, seven months ahead of schedule, the service says. The move will bring the department millions of dollars in savings and provide more reliable and interoperable data services at a critical time for the Army. The military’s largest department forecasts a flat or even declining budget in the years ahead and is working to save time and money where it can, especially in modernizing back-end systems. The effort to get the General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS) on Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud servers didn’t happen overnight, but the ahead-of-schedule speed is in part due to assistance from other parts of the military, the Army says. Read More

How the DoD plans to meet its ambitious hypersonic missile test schedule

(DefenseNews) WASHINGTON — The Army — in conjunction with the Navy — is planning to conduct three flight tests of its hypersonic glide body in 2021, an ambitious schedule to initially field the weapon in fiscal 2023, according to Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood, who oversees the Army’s rapid development of hypersonics, directed energy and space capabilities. In March, the Army and Navy had a successful first flight test of its Common-Hypersonic Glide Body, which was launched and flew at hypersonic speed to a designated impact point. Hypersonic weapons are capable of flying faster than the speed of sound — Mach 5 — and can maneuver between varying altitudes and azimuths, making it harder to detect. Read More

Leading the Intelligent Enterprise

(MITSloan) Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning offer new ways to boost productivity, develop talent, and drive organizational change by enhancing managers’ ability to make the right calls in complex situations. Augmented intelligence tools have already made an impact for many companies, but the next revolution will happen when every aspect of a business, from top to bottom, is designed with AI in mind. Call this new construct the intelligent enterprise. Like other major revolutions in management, it’s poised to transform industries and organizations for decades to come. To prepare for this next phase, leaders will need to harness machine intelligence for decision-making across the business, assemble the right talent, and recognize the benefits and limitations of AI to shape organizational strategy. Read More

Reducing data costs without jeopardizing growth

(McKinsey Digital) Over the past decade-plus, data rose to become a major source of competitive differentiation for businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic arguably skyrocketed the value of data even higher as it guided businesses, governments, and health professionals to target interventions that aimed to protect and save human lives. And now, as the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis threatens the health of organizations, data will once again play a critical role. While leaders can be assured that the uneven recovery from the pandemic will be digital, they’ll need to answer many questions as they work to secure their organizations’ financial footing and discern new sources of growth: Which sectors and segments will drive demand? Where is the supply chain most exposed? What is the best way to serve a more digitally engaged customer base and a workforce that is likely to continue to desire remote and flexible arrangements? Read More

Federal Data Science Training Program will make use of coronavirus datasets, be entirely online

(fedscoop) Beginning in mid-September, the Office of Management and Budget will teach up to 60 government employees data science skills like coding, graph analytics, and data visualization and ethics, while tapping into coronavirus datasets.All 24 Chief Financial Officers Act agencies will receive two to three slots in the Federal Data Science Training Program in a governmentwide effort to develop talent capable of identifying patterns in data, said Denis Ortega, a fellow with the White House Leadership Development Program who is working with the Office of the Federal CIO. Read More

Department of Energy to Provide $57.5 Million for Science Computing Teams

( WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced it will provide $57.5 million to establish two multidisciplinary teams to develop new tools and techniques to harness supercomputers for scientific discovery. The two teams, led respectively by Argonne and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, are composed of leading experts in computer science, software development, applied mathematics, and related disciplines. The teams will provide expertise and develop tools to enable scientists to take full advantage of DOE’s high performance computing capabilities. Read More

Awash in technology hook-ups, Team Tempest longs for steady partners

(DefenseNews) LONDON — What few headlines were generated by the recent virtual Farnborough International Air Show centered on Britain’s next-generation Tempest fighter and the efforts to build a business case for the program. The real Farnborough air show may have fallen victim to COVID-19, but with the Tempest team scheduled to deliver an outline business case for the next stage of the program to the government later this year the event provided a platform stress the importance of the project to jobs, the technology base and sustainment of operational sovereignty here. Read More

NASA Astronauts Safely Splash Down after First Commercial Crew Flight to Space Station

(NASA) Two NASA astronauts splashed down safely in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday for the first time in a commercially built and operated American crew spacecraft, returning from the International Space Station to complete a test flight that marks a new era in human spaceflight. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, carrying Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, splashed down under parachutes in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida at 2:48 p.m. EDT Sunday and was successfully recovered by SpaceX. After returning to shore, the astronauts immediately will fly back to Houston. Read More