NewsBrief September 27, 2019

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: September 27, 2019

How a $5 part on nuclear warhead programs could cost $850m to fix

(DefenseNews) WASHINGTON — Issues with commercial parts on two nuclear warhead modernization projects could cost up to $850 million to fix, but the agency in charge of America’s warheads believes it might be able to fund that work adding significantly to program bottom lines. Speaking at a House Armed Services Committee strategic forces subcommittee hearing Wednesday, Charles Verdon, deputy administrator for defense programs at the National Nuclear Security Administration, said that the costs associated with replacing commercial parts on the B61-12 and W88 Alt 370 warhead programs could potentially be recouped by savings found in future modernization activities. Read More

Whistleblower Exposed $1.34 Million in Army Losses

(Government Executive) A whistleblower exposed how the Army lost possession of six government-purchased fuel trucks, mainly due to improper contracting procedures, which cost the service about $1.34 million. The Office of Special Counsel sent a letter to the White House and Congress on Wednesday, which included a June 2018 Army report and its own findings regarding the revelation, making it public for the first time. “Whistleblowers play such a critical role in ensuring taxpayers’ money is not misused,” said Special Counsel Henry Kerner in a press release. “In this case, because a whistleblower spoke up, the Army is now taking steps to recover assets worth more than a million dollars. Read More

Air Force unveils 10-year cyber warfare plan

(FCW) The Air Force released an overview of its 10-year “Cyber Warfare Flight Plan” Sept. 18, which attempts to fuse all of the best parts of electronic, cyber, and information operations. That’s how Lt. Gen. Veralinn Jamieson, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Cyber Effects Operations, described it. “The mathematical equation for information warfare, IW: I have ISR, plus cyber warfare, plus electronic warfare, plus information operations, equals information warfare,” she told reporters at the Air Force Association’s Air Space Cyber conference in National Harbor, Md. Sept. 18 just a few hours after announcing the strategy. Read More

A new contract offers on-demand support for cyber missions

(Fifth Domain) The government has selected Parsons for a $590 million cyber contract called Combatant Commands Cyber Mission Support (CCMS). The contract, run out of the General Services Administration, will support cyber capabilities — both hardware and software requirements — across the government to include geographic and functional combatant commands, the interagency and federal/civilian agencies. “The contract, the way it was structured was to be able to develop and deliver capability multidomain capability across the services, both defensive, non-defensive capabilities, as well as open-source, intelligence analytics through this contracting mechanism,” Paul Decker, executive vice president and head of cyber and intelligence business for Parsons, told Fifth Domain. Read More

White House Touts $973M Non-Defense AI R&D Budget for FY2020

(MeriTalk) The White House today released a report detailing its FY2020 non-defense artificial intelligence (AI) research and development (R&D) spending request, which totals a bit less than $1 billion. The report, which was released by the Networking and Information Technology R&D (NITRD) Program, includes a total budget request of $973.5 million for civilian AI R&D, and for the first time the report includes an agency-by-agency reporting on non-defense Federal AI R&D investments. Read More

Pentagon Looking for AI to Interpret ‘Strategic Activity’ Around the Globe

(NextGov) The Defense Department’s startup outreach office is looking for artificial intelligence tools that can keep help Pentagon officials understand trends in world events. The Defense Innovation Unit last week put out a solicitation for commercial software that can automatically ingest, analyze and derive insights from publicly available information. The tool is expected to plug into a wide variety of global resources, including news outlets, blogs, social media platforms, patent databases and academic journals. Read More

NASA Invites Media to Northrop Grumman’s Space Station Launch from Virginia

(ExecutiveGov) David Spirk, chief data officer of the U.S. Special Operations Command, said the command is seeking artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to support the development of Hyper Enabled Operator technology, C4ISRnet reported Saturday. The HEO effort is slated to succeed SOCOM’s Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit program which will run for five years. Read More

USAF: Our New Tanker Should Be Ready for War in 3 or 4 Years

(DefenseOne) A long list of technical problems means the KC-46 tanker will not be battle-ready for at least three to four years, a top U.S. Air Force general said Wednesday. Problems with the new plane’s refueling system could prompt the Air Force to put off retiring 1960s-era KC-135 tankers that are supporting the U.S. military’s operations around the world. The KC-46 was supposed to be battle-ready in 2017, but numerous design and development problems have led to repeated delays and cost the plane’s maker Boeing more than $3 billion. Read More

Navy extends NGEN again for $657M

(fedscoop) The Navy has once again extended the contract for its premier IT hardware and services program, the Next Generation Enterprise Network. The latest extension adds at least four months to incumbent vendor Perspecta‘s current contract for the network services portion of the $3.5 billion NGEN, moving that chunk’s expiration date from June 30, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2020. There are also three additional option months that the Navy can add on to extend that part of the contract through the end of calendar year 2020. Read More

How sensors and software aided hurricane recovery

(Federal Times) The Department of Homeland Security deployed several technologies during the lead-up and response to Hurricane Dorian, which hit the southeastern United States as a Category 1 hurricane Sept. 6. During the storm, several local stakeholders in North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia and Maryland participated in a field pilot of more than 100 “internet-of-things low-cost field sensors,” which allowed for flooding alerts, according to a post from William Bryan, senior official performing the duties of the undersecretary for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T).Read More