NewsBrief: May 6, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: May 6, 2022

Space Force to bring data scientists, coders on board this summer

(FCW) The Space Force plans to bring several tech specialists into its fold this summer, including data scientists and software developers, according to a top space official. Gen. John Raymond, the chief of U.S. space operations, told senators Tuesday the service is largely recruiting talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields as well as experts in space’s “data domain.” “Space is a data domain. You don’t experience the domain unless you’re an astronaut in person. You experience that through data. So we’re looking at software coders, we’re looking at data scientists,” Raymond testified during a May 3 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the 2023 Air Force budget proposal. Read More

Air Force backtracks, now says it’s paying for KC-46 panoramic camera fix

(Breaking Defense) The Air Force could not provide a cost estimate detailing what the service will pay in order to replace the KC-46’s panoramic sensors. Weeks after the Air Force issued a statement claiming that Boeing would pay for changes to the KC-46 tanker’s panoramic suite, the service has reversed course and now says the Air Force itself will pony up the cash for new panoramic sensors — a major and potentially costly element of the fix. Meanwhile, service officials remain seemingly unable to lay out how much the repair will cost taxpayers to allow the tanker to do its one key job: refueling American jets mid-flight. On April 11, the Air Force officially closed the preliminary design review for the KC-46’s Remote Vision System 2.0 after striking a deal with Boeing on a fix for the panoramic suite. Read More

On the gun line at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren: A history of computing advances

(Federal News Network) The Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division works to ensure the reliability and safety and effectiveness of Navy shipboard weapons. All but a handful of its nearly 5,000 federal employees are civilians aided by several thousand contractors. For the second installment in this week’s series looking at Dahlgren’s activities, the Federal Drive with Tom Temin spoke with the division’s Technical Director Dale Sisson. Read More

In new directive, US Army reins in Army Futures Command

(DefenseNews) The Army secretary has issued a new directive on modernization that sets new boundaries around Army Futures Command and reasserts the role of the service’s acquisition shop. The directive rescinds the language of previous directives from 2018 and 2020 that establishes Army Futures Command as “leading the modernization enterprise.” It also says the Army’s science and technology arm will fall under the control of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology),or ASAALT, as opposed to under Army Futures Command. Read More

AI on the Front Lines

(MITSloan) It’s 10 a.m. on a Monday, and Aman, one of the developers of a new artificial intelligence tool, is excited about the technology launching that day. Leaders of Duke University Hospital’s intensive care unit had asked Aman and his colleagues to develop an AI tool to help prevent overcrowding in their unit. Research had shown that patients coming to the hospital with a particular type of heart attack did not require hospitalization in the ICU, and its leaders hoped that an AI tool would help emergency room clinicians identify these patients and refer them to noncritical care. This would both improve quality of care for patients and reduce unnecessary costs. Read More

National AI Advisory Committee establishes 5 working groups

(FedScoop) The National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee established five working groups to focus its efforts during its inaugural meeting Wednesday. Leadership in Trustworthy AI, Leadership in Research and Development, Supporting the U.S. Workforce and Providing Opportunity, U.S. Leadership in Competitiveness, and International Cooperation are the initial groups. The Department of Commerce set up NAIAC in September to advise the president and federal agencies in accordance with the National AI Initiative Act of 2020, and 27 members were appointed in April. Read More

Report: Cybersecurity Workforce Needs to Grow by Two-Thirds to Protect Assets

(NextGov) An analysis from (ISC)² indicates the worldwide cybersecurity workforce needs to grow by 65% to adequately protect enterprises’ critical assets. The Cybersecurity Workforce Study, which surveyed more than 4,700 cyber professionals working across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia, attempted to measure the pool of available cyber talent in comparison to the need for such talent over 2021. “For 2021, our study estimates there are 4.19 million cybersecurity professionals worldwide, which is an increase of more than 700,000 compared to last year,” the study states. “By contrast, the Cybersecurity Workforce Gap is the number of additional professionals that organizations need to adequately defend their critical assets. For the second consecutive year, the [gap] has decreased, down to 2.72 million compared to 3.12 million last year.” Read More

Microsoft, Naval Postgraduate School Partner on Commercial Technology Research Projects; Aaron Weis Quoted

(ExecutiveGov) The Naval Postgraduate School has signed a cooperative research and development agreement with Microsoft to assess the potential military applications of commercial technologies. The U.S. Navy said Monday the partnership will collaborate on technology research projects to determine the possibility of using new technologies to support warfighting and national security initiatives. The joint research projects between NPS and Microsoft will examine operational uses of intelligent edge computing and cloud-enhanced networks; identify ways to incorporate gaming, exercising, modeling and simulation into command decision-making; and develop smart campus in Monterey. Read More

Pentagon Still not Taking Full Advantage of Rapid Acquisition Authorities, Former Official Says

(GovernmentExecutive) The Defense Department has all the tools and authorities it needs to buy and develop cutting-edge technology, but it’s lacking leadership to push and train the workforce to take advantage of them, according to the Pentagon’s former chief weapons buyer. Ellen Lord, who was the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment during the Trump administration, told senators that “strong leadership” from the military services and defense agencies was needed to help the Pentagon buy the technology it needs faster. Read More

Storytelling and slide decks

(FCW) Back in the day, I made a lot of presentations to conferences and agency audiences – while I was in government myself, probably three a week. Even after I left government, I often made a presentation a month. And of course I have more recently presented at academic conferences and, though this is a different kind of presentation, teaching in the classroom. So I have worked a lot on how to develop presentation skills. The management writer Carmine Gallo has written a piece in the always excellent Harvard Business Review Daily Alert, called What the Best Presenters Do Differently. I will confess that her piece didn’t teach me much I didn’t already know, but still it was extremely useful, especially for those who present only occasionally and for those getting started in this world. Read More

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