NewsBrief January 14, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: January 14, 2022

Why self-sufficiency is key to fostering data literacy in the Air Force

(FCW) The key to developing a data forward culture might require some cross-pollinating with personnel and teaching them how to build (and use) their own tools. Donald Anderson, the assistant director, A9, Air Mobility Command and the deputy director of A9 for the 18th AirForce, said one of the biggest challenges to creating a data culture is a fear of failure, or a need to be “ready.” But to combat that, the Air Force is focused on a sort of grassroots approach that involves training certain personnel and swapping them out. Read More

Most federal agencies still aren’t meeting cybersecurity targets

(Federal Times) “A government watchdog found that while civilian federal agencies have improved their cybersecurity in response to a 2014 law, 17 of those 23 organizations did not fully meet their cybersecurity targets. Updated by Congress in 2014, the Federal Information Security Modernization Act, or FISMA, requires federal agencies to develop information security programs to protect their systems and data. However, a Jan. 11 Government Accountability Office report found that as of fiscal year 2020 agencies were inconsistent in implementing cybersecurity policies and practices. Only seven civilian agencies were deemed to have effective agency-wide information security programs.
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Air Force Uses Cloud-Based System to Track All Logistics

(ExecutiveGov) The U.S. Air Force employs a modern cloud-based logistics system to track assets across active-duty, reserve and National Guard inventories. The Integrated Logistics System – Supply or ILS-S, built on Amazon Web Services GovCloud, features 120 interface agreements to serve 18,000 end-users and more than 100,000 information consumers at 250 military installations, USAF said Sunday. ILS-S encompasses ordering, storage, receipt, distribution, supply movement, tracking, account management, financial reporting and maintenance functions for assets including aircraft, missiles, engines and mobile technologies. Read More

How the Army is coding its own solution for the Tour of Duty jobs website

(fedscoop) WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense is on its way to creating a data centric future and keeping pace with adversaries, the Pentagon’s chief data officer said. The department has kicked off several initiatives that demonstrate it is serious about maintaining an edge on data and making sense of information faster than adversaries, Chief Data Officer David Spirk told reporters in a Jan. 5 event hosted by the Defense Writers Group. In order to successfully compete with advanced nations such as China, the U.S. will need to operate with speed, he said. “It’s about speed and if you don’t organize your data, if you can’t create repeatable, testable, and trusted data workflows from the tactical edge all the way up to your senior most decision making boardroom activities, then you will just lag behind,” Spirk said. Read More

DoD takes preventive measures to protect data, ward off cyber attacks

(Federal News Network) Ransomware is commonly conceived as a commercial issue, but it has the potential to threaten the Department of Defense’s data as well. That’s why Defense agencies have utilized operational strategies to address attack vectors and build a workforce that can block ransomware as the federal government continues to transition toward storing its data in the cloud. “We constantly are aware of the environment that’s going on around us. Part of that is that aptitude that we need to have to always be ready. We stand at 24/7 watch; we provide that support to the most attacked entity in the world,” Navy Rear Admiral Brian Hurley said on Federal Monthly Insights: Going Beyond Data Protection. “And so ransomware is a concern, because it’s the aptitude or the ability for malicious actors to use that aggressively in our domain.” Read More

Bill to create supply chain risk training program for federal employees clears Senate

(fedscoop) The Senate has passed new legislation that would create a standardized training program for federal personnel responsible for acquiring technology systems. Senators unanimously agreed Tuesday to pass the Supply Chain Security Training Act with one amendment. The bill is intended to improve government employees’ awareness of growing threats to national security presented by hostile actors seeking to interfere with government technology systems and help them to mitigate such risks. Read More

Even NASA Seems Surprised by Its New Space Telescope

(Government Executive) To the world, the new telescope that recently launched to space is one of the most ambitious scientific endeavors in history. It is the next Hubble, designed to observe nearly everything from here to the most distant edges of the cosmos, to the very first galaxies. To Jane Rigby’s son, it’s “mama’s telescope.” Rigby, an astrophysicist, used to bring her young son to the NASA center in Maryland to watch the James Webb Space Telescope being assembled. They would stand together on an observation deck overlooking a giant, glass-walled room and watch the technicians, dressed head-to-toe in protective garments to prevent contamination, do their work Read More

NASA’s Webb Telescope Reaches Major Milestone as Mirror Unfolds

(NASA) NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope team fully deployed its 21-foot, gold-coated primary mirror, successfully completing the final stage of all major spacecraft deployments to prepare for science operations. A joint effort with the European Space Agency (ESA) and Canadian Space Agency, the Webb mission will explore every phase of cosmic history – from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe. Read More

NASA’s InSight Mars lander hunkering down in Red Planet dust storm

( One of NASA’s Mars robots is in safe mode to save power while a dust storm blocks its solar panels from charging. The InSight lander, which is designed to study the interior of Mars, is stable in its safe mode, which the spacecraft initiated on Jan. 7, the agency said in a mission status update published Tuesday (Jan. 11). The lander safely communicated with ground controllers on Monday (Jan. 10) despite the temporary measure to ride out a regional dust storm. Read More

A 3,400-foot-wide asteroid will make a safe flyby of Earth next week

( The asteroid, known as 7482 (1994 PC1), will make its closest approach to our planet on Jan. 18 at 4:51 p.m. EST (2151 GMT), according to a table from the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), managed by NASA at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. The 3,400-foot (1 kilometer) asteroid will zoom by our planet at the equivalent of five lunar distances at its closest approach, the table indicates, at a top speed of nearly 12 miles per second (20 km/s). At this distance, this will be a safe flyby, and the closest one the asteroid will make of Earth in the next 200 years, according to EarthSky. Read More