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July 19, 2019 | International, Aerospace

Pentagon redirects $282M to close ISR gaps

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The Department of Defense redirected more than $282 million to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance programs in the past two months, largely from a defense-wide operation and maintenance account.

The most recently approved reprogramming of $247 million was dated June 21. According to the Pentagon, the action aims to close ISR gaps in the combatant commands. The transfers go to a variety of programs, including artificial intelligence development and developing a bilateral network to share ISR data with strategic partners.

In addition to the $247 million from operation and maintenance accounts, the June 21 reprogramming action also transfers $22.5 million to Special Operations Command. That money was made available after ending a program for a signals intelligence sensor effort that originally appeared in the fiscal year 2018 budget. About $13 million of that funding will now provide signals intelligence sensors for use on contractor airborne ISR systems, while another $6.5 million will go toward modernizing an undisclosed maritime ISR system. The remaining funding will go to acquiring and deploying six new sensitive compartmented information facilities.

The June 21 reprogramming action follows a $12.25 million reprogramming action May 20. Then, about $7.9 million of that funding went to classified programs, while the remaining $4.3 million went to upgrading AI and machine learning processors in support of pattern of life analysis.

Of the more than quarter of a billion dollars in transferred funding, the Army received $31 million, the Navy received $28.6 million, the Air Force received $77.6 million, and the remaining $144.8 million will be spent on defense-wide programs.

Meanwhile, the Air Force has announced July 15 that Col. Julian Cheater will be the service's new director of ISR operations. Cheater will work under the deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and cyber effects operations, a position created recently as part of the Air Force's reorganization of it's ISR and cyber efforts.

https://www.c4isrnet.com/intel-geoint/2019/07/16/pentagon-redirects-282m-to-close-isr-gaps/

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  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - November 16, 2020

    November 17, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - November 16, 2020

    NAVY General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Connecticut, is awarded a $9,473,511,245 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-17-C-2117. The contract modification exercises an option for construction and test of the lead and second ships of the Columbia class SSBN 826 and SSBN 827, as well as associated design and engineering support. This modification to the integrated product and process development (IPPD) contract supports the fiscal 2021 construction start of the lead ship (SSBN 826) and advance procurement, advance construction, coordinated material buys and full construction of the follow hull (SSBN 827) in fiscal 2024. Work will be performed in Groton, Connecticut (36%); Newport News, Virginia (25%); Quonset Point, Rhode Island (17%); with other efforts performed at various sites throughout the U.S. (each less than 1%) (22%), and is expected to be completed by April 2030. 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  • Defense Firms Angle for Eastern Europe

    September 24, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Defense Firms Angle for Eastern Europe

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  • CENTCOM chief: The future of warfare demands more cyber authorities

    December 19, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    CENTCOM chief: The future of warfare demands more cyber authorities

    By: Justin Lynch The Pentagon has received more power to conduct cyber operations in the past 18 months. But for the top Army commander in the Middle East and Central Asia, the new authority is not enough. The head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, wrote in a Dec. 18 paper that the Pentagon must “normalize” electronic warfare and cyberattacks and incorporate them into daily operations. “Normalizing the cyberspace domain means broader authorities that are more responsive than current bureaucratic processes,” Votel wrote in the Army's Cyber Defense Review. “It also means we need simple and streamlined organizations and processes to increase lethality and enhance performance.” The paper was coauthored by Votel, Maj. Gen. Julazadeh and Maj. Weilun Lin. “Our failure to operationalize and normalize the cyberspace domain effectively cedes it to our adversaries, gives them a competitive advantage and, ultimately, creates an increased attack vector against our objectives,” the authors said. President Trump gave the Pentagon new authorities to conduct cyber operations in August and minimized the process where other agencies can object to cyberattacks, known as “deconfliction.” Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis can conduct hacking operations without approval from the White House so long as they do not interfere with the American “national interest,” according to four current and former White House and intelligence officials who were either part of internal deliberations or briefed on the changes. Yet some current and former U.S. officials are skeptical that the new authorities will mean more effective hacking operations for the Pentagon, because it does not solve the nuances of cyberattacks. But the new mandates do not go far enough for the three officer authors, who argued that cyberwarfare should be under the same authorities as other types of operations. “We must not see cyberspace as drastically different and separate from other domains that we create new processes to prepare, plan and fight in this new domain. We continue to seek processes that smooth and simplify operations, reducing friendly friction and accelerating decision-making.” Current and former Pentagon officials have pointed to conducting cyberattacks against enemies that use networks of neutral or partner nations as an area where the Pentagon has changed its decision-making process in recent years. Those officials also pointed to how the Pentagon was able to use hybrid warfare tactics during the 2016 liberation of Mosul, Iraq, as a textbook example of future hybrid operations. Votel, Julazadeh and Lin echoed the sentiment of other Pentagon officials who have advocated for cyberattacks, electronic warfare and other information operations to be integrated earlier in military operations. “We need to proactively execute cyberspace and information operations early in 'Phase 0 / steady state' of the planning process — well before operation execution. Only then can we shape the [information environment], hold our adversaries' capabilities at risk and execute at the speed of war,” the three wrote. For example, Pentagon officials say they closely monitored Russia's 2014 hybrid war in Ukraine and learned from Moscow's tactics. Votel, Julazadeh and Lin shed light on the changes, writing that information operations were previously “integrated as an afterthought.” Yet over the last two years, Central Command has incorporated cyberattacks, electronic warfare and military deception at the “strategic level.” And this hybrid warfare has driven new acquisition demands in the Pentagon. “We need technology and capabilities to keep pace with the operational environment and continue to build the partnerships to do so,” the three officers wrote. In recent years, Central Command has bolstered its hybrid warfare through new contracts. The centerpiece of that effort is a July 2017 contract worth $621 million to Science Applications International Corporation for IT support to Central Command that could last seven years. In August 2018, Vistra communications was also awarded a $22 million contract to support offensive and defensive cyber operations for Central Command. https://www.fifthdomain.com/dod/2018/12/18/centcom-chief-the-future-of-warfare-demands-more-cyber-authorities

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