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August 5, 2022 | International, Aerospace

Fighter pilots will don AR helmets to train with imaginary enemies

Roughly a year from now, Air Force pilots will start wearing augmented reality helmets that let them fight imaginary enemies in the air.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/08/04/virtual-reality-fighter-pilot-helmet/

On the same subject

  • Budget for secretive military intelligence program hits nine-year spending high

    October 22, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security, Other Defence

    Budget for secretive military intelligence program hits nine-year spending high

    Aaron Mehta  WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s secret intelligence fund received $23.1 billion in appropriated funds for the recently concluded fiscal 2020 — the highest total for the account in nine years. The increased funding for the Military Intelligence Program, or MIP, comes after FY19 saw a rare decrease in year-over-year spending power for the classified account. The funding, which includes both base dollars and overseas contingency operations money, “is aligned to support the National Defense Strategy,” per a four-sentence statement from the Pentagon. The department annually waits until after the fiscal year ends to announce how much money it was given for the fund. The Pentagon requested less than $23 billion for the MIP in its FY20 budget request, meaning Congress gave the fund a slight increase over requested amounts. “The department has determined that releasing this top line figure does not jeopardize any classified activities within the MIP,” the statement read. “No other MIP budget figures or program details will be released, as they remain classified for national security reasons.” According to a 2019 Congressional Research Service report, the MIP funds “defense intelligence activities intended to support operational and tactical level intelligence priorities supporting defense operations.” Among other uses, these dollars can be spent to facilitate the dissemination of information that relates to a foreign country or political group, and covert or clandestine activities against political and military groups or individuals. MIP money also partly goes to U.S. Special Operations Command to pursue “several current acquisition efforts focused on outfitting aircraft — both manned and unmanned, fixed and rotary wing — with advanced ISR and data storage capabilities that will work in multiple environments,” according to CRS. MIP funding went as high as $27 billion in FY10 and sat at $24 billion in FY11. But by FY15, it hit a low point for the decade, at $16.5 billion, per CRS. The MIP then had three straight years of growth, going from $17.7 billion in FY16 to $18.4 billion in FY17, and to $22.1 billion in FY18. It dipped in FY19 to $21.5 billion. https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2020/10/21/secretive-military-intelligence-program-budget-hits-nine-year-spending-high/

  • COVID-19 is changing the Air Force’s cyber training

    July 29, 2020 | International, C4ISR, Security

    COVID-19 is changing the Air Force’s cyber training

    Mark Pomerleau WASHINGTON — The Air Force is ensuring its mission essential cyber training goes on during the global COVID-19 pandemic but officials are also delaying some training related to the service’s networks. “When all this kicked off, we prioritized all of the mission essential courses that are supplying operators to the cyber mission force. We wanted to make sure that those units continue to get the trained operations that they needed so that their readiness levels didn’t suffer,” Lt. Col. Jonathan Williams, commander of the 39th Information Operations Squadron, which provides intermediate cyber weapons system training to airmen, told C4ISRNET. The cyber mission force are the teams each of the services provide up to U.S. Cyber Command. In addition to training cyber mission force personnel, the 39th IOS also trains specific weapon systems for the Air Force network (AFNET), which were either postponed or reduced class size to ensure students are safe. The reduction in those Air Force specific courses have allowed the mission essential courses to reduce in person class sizes for classified work that can’t be done remotely to ensure the proper social distancing measures are taken. To learn outside the classroom, the schoolhouse is relying on a partnership with Carnegie Mellon for an entirely online cyberspace fundamentals course, Microsoft Teams and WebEx. Students also don’t have to necessarily travel to the 39th in Hurlburt Field, Florida for some training. They can remotely take courses such as the cyber fundamentals course online saving money for temporary duty travel. Williams said he expects to see more of that in the future. The remote tools have also allowed students to gain a unique experience with members of the operational force, while simultaneously saving the taxpayer money. Students are able to hear from operational commanders and operators and even participate in exercises with units. Previously, the students would have to travel to those units to participate, but now, they can dial in. “That helps us in the classroom hit it home. We get those war stories to use in the classroom and the students actually, those light bulbs start to turn on and it really starts to hit home,” TSgt Jonathan Zinski, a course instructor, said. “Now that we have more of an eye-opening capability to use some of our virtual tools, we’ve actually been able to enroll and participate an entire team of instructors and cadre here at the 39th IOS to participate in a no-kidding virtual exercise with an operational unit to not only hone our skills and help some of our instructors here bring the lessons learned into the classroom but to also help the operational units from our standpoint and help them get better at their jobs.” This experience also gives the students a flavor of what to expect at their units prior to arriving. Officials explained that while the actual courseware didn’t change, the schoolhouse shifted the courseware and maneuvered the syllabus to accommodate students doing a combination of distance learning and in person classes. They looked at what courses needed to be conducted in person, then worked around that to ensure the class sizes were small enough while supplementing with remote learning tools. The pandemic has also accelerated certain initiatives the school planned to undertake at a later date. Williams said one includes combining cyber mission force and AFNET defensive cyber training. He said they are re-imagining the defensive cyber training pipeline with something they’re calling defensive cyber operations initial qualification training. “Instead of creating a blanket training for each of these weapon systems, we’re trying to integrate the AFNET systems with the CMF where it makes sense and also tailor the training,” he said, noting this should be up and running in October regardless of COVID-19. This re-imagining was always planned, but Williams said COVID accelerated it. The adaptations the 39th has been forced to make as a result of the pandemic has rendered some valuable lessons as well. Williams said some initiatives never would have been considered if the pandemic didn’t hit. He explained officials are turning a conference room into a recording studio so instructors can either deliver training to students in a separate room or record lectures for students to view later. https://www.c4isrnet.com/cyber/2020/07/27/covid-19-is-changing-the-air-forces-cyber-training/

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - March 15, 2019

    March 18, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security, Other Defence

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - March 15, 2019

    ARMY Sevenson Environmental Services Inc.,* Niagara Falls, New York, was awarded a $99,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for remedial action at the Raymark Superfund Site in Stamford, Connecticut. Bids were solicited via the internet with eight received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of March 15, 2024. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Concord, Massachusetts, is the contracting activity (W912WJ-19-D-0012). Hensel Phelps Construction Co., Orlando, Florida, was awarded a $59,456,363 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of Advanced Munitions Technology complex. Bids were solicited via the internet with four received. Work will be performed in Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 11, 2021. Fiscal 2017 military construction funds in the amount of $59,456,363 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W91278-19-C-0006). SourceAmerica, Vienna, Virginia, was awarded a $24,969,056 firm-fixed-price contract to re-purpose legacy body armor vests into the newly-designed Modular Scalable Vest configuration. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Work will be performed in Lansing, Michigan; Miami, Florida; and Austin, Texas, with an estimated completion date of June, 30, 2020. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $24,969,056 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W911QY-19-C-0043). Wara Construction Company LLC, Tustin, California, was awarded a $22,206,641 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of unaccompanied officer's quarters for the Kuwait Ministry of Defense. Bids were solicited via the internet with nine received. Work will be performed in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 9, 2021. Fiscal 2016 military construction funds in the amount of $22,206,641 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Winchester, Virginia, is the contracting activity (W912ER-19-C-0004). California Department of Rehabilitation, Sacramento, California, was awarded a $19,865,600 firm-fixed-price contract for full food service operations at Fort Irwin, California. Bids were solicited via the internet with four received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2024. U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, is the contracting activity (W9124J-19-D-0006). Anthony Allega Cement Contractor Inc., Cleveland, Ohio, was awarded a $13,770,342 firm-fixed-price contract for the repair of airfield paving, taxiways D & B2 and short runway at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work will be performed in Fairborn, Ohio, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 3, 2020. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $13,770,342 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville, Kentucky, is the contracting activity (W912QR-19-C-0013). Aerovironment,* Simi Valley, California, was awarded an $11,176,242 modification (P00014) to contract W31P4Q-17-C-0193 for All Up Rounds. Work will be performed in Simi Valley, California, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2019. Fiscal 2018 other procurement, Army funds in the amount of $11,176,242 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity. NAVY Sentient Digital Inc., doing business as Entrust Government Solutions,* of New Orleans, Louisiana, is being awarded a $49,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for information technology (IT) engineering support services. IT services in this contract will assist Military Sealift Command’s (MSC) Command, Control, Communications, And Computer Systems (C4S) Division (N6) in providing and sustaining Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of the Navy (DoN) compliant technical C4S solutions.  Additionally, this contract will satisfy emerging requirements, enhance and develop IT capabilities in support of MSC’s mission, and assist in the development of governance to ensure IT capabilities align to MSC N6’s strategic business support plan, MSC N6’s technical architecture road maps, DoD, and DoN mandates.  The solutions primarily satisfy emergent cyber security mandates and technical refreshes for end of life hardware and software.  Work will be performed at Norfolk, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by April 2024.  This contract includes a five-year ordering period.  Fiscal 2019 Navy Working Capital funding in the amount of $10,000 will be obligated at the time of award.  Funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was a small business set-aside, with more than 10 companies solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities website, and 10 offers received.  The U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N3220519D1003). Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Bethpage, New York, is being awarded a $45,529,117 cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-only modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-17-C-6311) for engineering services to support the Littoral Combat Ship Mission Modules Program.  Engineering services will be provided to support the existing efforts of the Littoral Combat Ships Mission Modules Program.  Incidental other direct cost items are also provided in support of said engineering services.  Work will be performed Bethpage, New York (34 percent); Mayport, Florida (19 percent); San Diego, California (17 percent); Port Hueneme, California (14 percent); Pittsfield, Massachusetts (8 percent); Panama City, Florida (3 percent); Washington, District of Columbia (1 percent); Dahlgren, Virginia (1 percent); Newport, Rhode Island (1 percent); Baltimore, Maryland (1 percent); and various other locations less than one percent (1 percent), and is expected to be completed by March 2020.  Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Navy); fiscal 2019 other procurement (Navy); and fiscal 2019 research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy); and weapons procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $24,194,392 will be obligated at time of award, and funds in the amount of $19,575,683 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. Ultra Electronics Ocean Systems, Braintree, Massachusetts, is being awarded a $27,978,119 cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost contract for the development and production of Next Generation Surface Search Radar qualification systems (NGSSR).  The primary objective of NGSSR is to find a replacement for legacy systems due to current military threats and obsolescence issues.  The contract aims to outline the requirements and approach for NGSSR development, production, integration, test, demonstration, product support, and systems engineering.  The new NGSSR system will then replace all variants of the current AN/SPS-67, AN/SPS-73, BridgeMaster E series, and commercial-of-the-shelf radar systems.  This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $34,563,961.  The primary objective of NGSSR is to find a replacement for legacy systems due to current military threats and obsolescence issues.  The contract aims to outline the requirements and approach for NGSSR development, production, integration, test, demonstration, product support, and systems engineering.  The new NGSSR system will then replace all variants of the current AN/SPS-67, AN/SPS-73, BridgeMaster E series, and commercial-of-the-shelf RADAR systems.  Work will be performed in Chantilly, Virginia (58 percent); Wake Forest, North Carolina (39 percent); Braintree, Massachusetts (3 percent); and is expected to be complete by July 2021.  Fiscal 2018 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $5,500,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured in accordance with 15 U.S. Code 638(r)(4) (under the SBIR Phase III program/2018 National Defense Authorization Act).  The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division, Port Hueneme, California, is the contracting activity (N6339419C0007). Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Linthicum Heights, Maryland, is being awarded an $8,542,569 modification to the cost-plus-fixed-fee portion of a previously awarded contract (M67854-16-C-0211) for software release and advanced electronic protection required to support ongoing Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) Gallium Nitride (GaN) efforts in support of Program Executive Office Land Systems, Quantico, Virginia.  Work will be performed in Linthicum Heights, Maryland (65 percent); East Syracuse, New York (20 percent); Farmingdale, New York. (14 percent); and New Brighton, Minnesota (one percent), and is expected to be completed by April 22, 2021.  Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $6,124,095 will be obligated at the time of award and will not expire at the end of the current year.  The contract was not competitively procured, in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1)(B), with only one proposal solicited and one proposal received.  The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Golden Manufacturing Inc.,* Golden, Mississippi, has been awarded a maximum $18,234,851 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Army Combat Uniform coats and the Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform.  This was a competitive acquisition with nine responses received.  This is a two-year contract with no option periods.  Location of performance is Mississippi, with a Sept. 14, 2021, performance completion date.  Using military services are Army and Air Force.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2021 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-19-D-1138). AIR FORCE Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Information Systems, Chantilly, Virginia; and Redondo Beach, California, has been awarded a $16,271,270 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification (P00079) to previously awarded contract FA8808-13-C-0001 for post operational support for the Enhanced Polar System Control and Planning Segment.  This modification provides for factory expertise/support to ongoing operations, support transition from development to sustainment activities, and the delivery and installation of two software updates.  Work will be performed in Redondo Beach, California, and is expected to be complete by January 2020.  Fiscal 2019 research, development, test, and evaluation funds in the full amount are being obligated at the time of award.  This modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $221,970,679.  The Space and Missile Systems Center, Military Satellite Communications Directorate, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Jan. 31, 2019). DEFENSE HEALTH AGENCY B.E.A.T. LLC., San Antonio, Texas, was competitively awarded a firm-fixed-price contract for a potential period of performance of 60 months and a total estimated value of $10,441,035 if all options are exercised. This award provides a non-personal services contract to provide Infrastructure Testing Center (ITC) management services and support for the day-to-day operations of all ITC infrastructure applications, networks, and environments.  These services include systems management; system, application, and database administration; environment configuration, monitoring; management; and other support services. The place of performance is Joint Base San Antonio (Ft. Sam Houston), San Antonio, Texas. This contract is an acquisition under GSA’s IT Schedule 70, obligating $1,027,347 in fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds at time of award. Six quotes were received in response to the solicitation.  The Defense Health Agency, Health Information Technology-Contracting Division, San Antonio, Texas, is the contracting activity (HT0015-19-F- 0038). DEFENSE INFORMATION SYSTEMS AGENCY Siemens Government Technologies Inc., Arlington, Virginia (HC1028-19-C0006), was awarded a competitive, single award, firm-fixed-price contract on March 15, 2019 for commercially available off-the-shelf brand-name Siemens software licenses and support in support of the Navy.  The face value (and total cumulative face value) of this action is $8,324,661 funded by fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds. Performance will be at a Navy facility in Norfolk, Virginia. Proposals were solicited via Federal Business Opportunities, and two proposals were received.  The period of performance is March 15, 2019, through March 14, 2020.  The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is the contracting activity  (HC1028-19-C0006). DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY Agile Defense Inc.,* Reston, Virginia, has been awarded a $7,157,890 modification (P00042) to previously awarded task order HR0011-15-F-0002 for unclassified information technology services.  The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the task order to $139,054,004 from $131,896,114.  Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an expected completion date of June 2019.  Fiscal 2019 research and development funds in the amount of $7,157,890 are being obligated at time of award.  The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity. *Small business https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1786958/source/GovDelivery/

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