NewsBrief June 18, 2021

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: June 18, 2021

Cost of US Navy’s Ship-to-Shore Connector breaches Nunn-McCurdy law

(DefenseNews) WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy’s Ship to Shore Connector program has become expensive enough to breach Nunn-McCurdy cost thresholds laid out in the decades-old acquisition law, but the service said in a June 11 statement the program has stabilized and will continue in production. The Navy’s SSC program is the replacement for the Landing Craft Air Cushion, or LCAC, that was designed and built in the 1980s and 1990s. Textron won the contract for the SSC program in 2012 but has so far delivered just three craft after challenges early in the program. The program saw a series of delays throughout its early testing, which led to production delays at the Louisiana shipyard. The Navy didn’t request any money for the program in fiscal 2020 since so many craft were funded in previous budgets and were not being built yet. Read More

Air Force rolls out new software for flight planning using Cloud One

(fedscoop) The Air Force unveiled Tuesday new software that it has been developing that it says will optimize flight planning using its internal cloud provider, Cloud One. The software, dubbed Joint Open Mission Systems Core Mission Planning (JOMS CMP), is not billed for full deployment until 2027, but the development team at Hanscom Air Force in the interim will work to update the legacy system currently in place. The system being replaced is used to schedule when aircraft take off, get refueled in flight and their directions in the sky. The software will “provide a more tailored planning session that integrates squadron and user preferences, which reduces workload and optimizes fuel usage,” Jeff Flowers, program manager at Hanscom AFB, said in a press release. Read More

Air Force would contribute bulk of new cyber mission force teams

(C4ISRNET) WASHINGTON —The Air Force is expected to provide the lion’s share of new cyber mission force teams to U.S. Cyber Command proposed in the fiscal 2022 budget, the first such increase in almost a decade. The size and makeup of the 133-team cyber mission force, designed in 2012, has remained largely the same since its inception despite the how the threat landscape has changed significantly in that time, including increased cyberattacks. The FY22 budget proposed a phased approach between FY22 and FY24 to add 14 additional teams, as C4ISRNET reported. The late May budget release did not make clear the breakdown of the new teams or what services would provide them. Read More

Space Force taking action to become military’s first digital service

(Federal News Network) The Space Force is touting itself as the first digital service. It released a strategy in May to lay out how it would reach that goal, and now it’s putting some of it into practice. The newest military branch is undertaking a handful of pilots, training its guardians differently, using new technologies to manage internal affairs and curating the way it partners with sister services — all in hopes of entrenching that digital mindset. “As the only U.S. military service to be established during the Information Age, the Space Force has the unique opportunity to be ‘born digital,’” Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond wrote in the service’s Vision for a Digital Service strategy. Read More

GSA Calls on Agencies to ‘Reimagine’ Workspaces

(FEDweek) Agencies should consider “reimagining their future workplaces” as part of the planning for long-run changes to the federal workplace under a joint OMB-OPM-GSA memo, the GSA said in its section of that memo. While rates of telework and remote work are expected to remain higher than before the pandemic, “some degree of onsite work will continue to be essential” but agencies should review how that space fits with changing agency missions as well as local factors such as commuting and the need for in-person access to the federal offices there. Read More

The world needs space junk standards, G7 nations agree

( industrial nations have agreed to make the space junk problem a priority in order to ensure future sustainable use of space. The announcement, made at the G-7 Leaders’ Summit in Cornwall, U.K., on Sunday (June 13), has been hailed by representatives of the commercial space industry and experts alike as a major milestone. Delegates from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.S., the U.K. and the EU, have agreed to focus on the development of common standards of sustainable operations as well as space traffic management and coordination. They also called on other nations to follow the United Nations’ Long-term Sustainability Guidelines, which outline best practices in the use of space. Read More

NASA Selects New Science Investigations for Future Moon Deliveries

(NASA) As NASA continues plans for multiple commercial deliveries to the Moon’s surface per year, the agency has selected three new scientific investigation payload suites to advance understanding of Earth’s nearest neighbor. Two of the payload suites will land on the far side of the Moon, a first for NASA. All three investigations will receive rides to the lunar surface as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services, or CLPS, initiative, part of the agency’s Artemis approach. The payloads mark the agency’s first selections from its Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon (PRISM) call for proposals. Read More

DoD looking improve pay for Guard, Reserve troops

(MilitaryTimes) Senior defense leaders are expected to update members of Congress soon on the issue of improving National Guard and reservists pay, to ensure better benefits parity between the part-time forces and active-duty troops for similar work. Last week, in response to questioning on the issue, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said that a “reform effort” on the issue is underway and officials are conducting a review to determine next steps on the issue. Read More

Getting tangible about intangibles: The future of growth and productivity?

(McKinsey & Company) Investment in intangible assets that underpin the knowledge or learning economy, such as intellectual property (IP), research, technology and software, and human capital, has risen inexorably over the past quarter century, and the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have accelerated this shift toward a dematerialized economy. Are we seeing the start of a new stage in the history of capitalism based on learning, knowledge, and intellectual capital? As economies recover from the pandemic, could a wave of investment in intangible assets breathe new life into productivity and unlock more growth potential? Read More

Focus on Outcomes, Not Work Arrangements, in Performance Management, Says OPM

(FEDweek) The Biden administration’s guidance on long-term policies for telework, remote work and alternative working schedules says that “it is important to consider how traditional performance management procedures can be applied in an environment where both managers and employees may be teleworking more, and remote workers may be more common.” A section of the joint OMB-OPM-GSA memo specifically from OPM says that in monitoring employee performance, “managers should consider increasing the level of engagement with employees, both in individual and team settings, due to the disruption in employees’ lives caused by the transition to a post-reentry environment.” Read More