March 23, 2022 | Information, Other Defence
Frequently asked questions about the impacts of Russia-Ukraine conflict on global trade and how EDC can help
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March 23, 2022 | Information, Other Defence
Frequently asked questions about the impacts of Russia-Ukraine conflict on global trade and how EDC can help
March 23, 2022 | Information, Other Defence
Mary Ng outlines the benefits of the unique trilateral relationship between Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
March 23, 2022 | Information, Other Defence
Canadian government grant and loan programs are common for strategic projects in Canada, helping businesses thrive both domestically and...
October 29, 2020 | Information,
September 24, 2020 | Information,
Joe Gould WASHINGTON ― The Pentagon's shared supply chains with battered commercial aviation companies will suffer if Washington doesn't provide that sector with aid soon, the Aerospace Industries Association warned Wednesday. The trade group released its recovery plan for the broad aerospace and defense sector as Congress has begun a fierce Supreme Court replacement battle, shifting attention away from passing another stimulus package to defray the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. But AIA President and CEO Eric Fanning suggested some aviation companies have little time to wait. “If the commercial side doesn't get some relief, you are going to see companies in the supply chain go out of business, and that will impact the defense side,” Fanning said in a teleconference with reporters. “We're going to see bankruptcies, consolidation, closures in the supply chain, and she of them are single points of failure.” The defense subsector, declared essential at the pandemic's start, enjoys steady demand from the Pentagon, which has accelerated payments to prime contractors and directed stimulus funds toward its suppliers. However, sagging demand for commercial air travel will fuel a $100 billion revenue loss in the U.S. this year, Fanning said. AIA's analysis concluded another 220,0000 civil aviation jobs are at risk beyond 100,000 already lost. The study and its recommendations were prepared by Avascent, Boston Consulting Group, and McKinsey & Company, combined with input from AIA member companies. Beyond any federal aid, the civil aviation industry, the agency said, can highlight the steps it's taken to make air travel safer; increase communication between original equipment manufacturers, prime contractors, and suppliers, and support flexibility in the supply chain if private companies offer balance-sheet support and share inventory risk. The report called for stable Defense Department funding from Congress, but also said DoD can relieve stress on the industrial base by accelerating procurements of systems and services, with a focus on suppliers with notable commercial aerospace exposure. DoD can also keep making increased payments against ongoing contracts as they reach development and production milestones. AIA also continues to advocate for industry reimbursements for costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, as authorized by Section 3610 of the CARES Act. Defense officials have said they need roughly $10 billion, and that without added funding from Congress, the Pentagon would have to dip into modernization and readiness funds. AIA's call comes a day after key House progressives, Reps. Marc Pocan and Barbara Lee, demanded an investigation and public hearings into the use of economic stimulus funding for defense contractors, calling it a “Pentagon misuse of COVID funds.” The Pentagon, which reported its intent to Congress in May, refuted that characterization. When asked, Fanning said it was important for the Pentagon to shore up previously identified supply chain weaknesses that the pandemic might exacerbate. “This money was put into contracts, so the war fighter is getting something for that,” Fanning said. “But I think the important thing is the critical nature of this industrial base, not just to the nation's economy, which is the health and safety of American's citizens writ large, but also to our nation's security.” A larger obstacle to winning further aid for the sector is that Congress has deadlocked over continued stimulus funding overall. AIA's report proposed that the government establish an investment fund that would send government-backed capital to civil aerospace suppliers; subsidize the airlines' major maintenance, repair, and overhaul visits, and continue to payroll assistance to support employees. Fanning told reporters that AIA found bipartisan backing for the idea of a payroll cost-share program, but there has been no legislative vehicle behind it. “The real problem is there's no bill,” Fanning said. “Congress hasn't been able to come together with the administration and itself to get a bill in place.” https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2020/09/23/aias-fanning-civil-aviations-nosedive-endangers-pentagon-supplies/
September 18, 2020 | Information, Aerospace, Naval, Land, Security, Other Defence
NAVY Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is awarded a $316,733,831 modification (P00015) to previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract N00421-18-D-0004. This modification exercises an option for the procurement of 11,313 AN/ARC-210(v) radios for installation in over 400 strategic and tactical airborne, seaborne and land based (mobile and fixed) platforms for the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Coast Guard, other government agencies and Foreign Military Sales customers. Work will be performed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and is expected to be completed by September 2023. No funds are being obligated at time of award. Funds will be obligated on individual delivery orders as they are issued. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Marathon Construction Corp., Lakeside, California (N62473-16-D-1802); Granite-Healy Tibbitts JV, Watsonville, California (N62473-16-D-1803); Reyes Construction Inc., Pomona, California (N62473-16-D-1804); Manson Construction, Seattle, Washington (N62473-16-D-1805); and R.E. Staite Engineering Inc.,* San Diego, California (N62473-16-D-1806), are awarded $75,000,000 to increase the aggregate capacity of the previously awarded suite of firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award construction contracts. The maximum dollar value including the base year and four option years for all five contracts combined is increased from $240,000,000 to $315,000,000. The contracts are for new construction, repair and renovation of various waterfront facilities at various locations predominantly within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest area of responsibility (AOR). Work will be performed predominantly within the NAVFAC Southwest AOR including, but not limited to, California (98%), and will be available to the NAVFAC Atlantic AOR (2%) as approved by the contracting officer. No funds are being obligated on this award and no funds will expire. Future task orders will be primarily funded by military construction (Navy); operations and maintenance (O&M) (Navy); O&M (Marine Corps); and Navy working capital funds. The original contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with 13 proposals received. NAVFAC Southwest, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity. Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $70,847,707 modification (P00023) to previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract N00019-19-C-0010. This modification provides requirements decomposition through system functional review for the F-35 Super Multi-Function Aircraft Data Link Band 5 receiver warning capability in support of the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and non-Department of Defense (DOD) participants. Work will be performed in Nashua, New Hampshire (35%); San Diego, California (20%); Fort Worth, Texas (20%); Baltimore, Maryland (15%); and Hunt Valley, Maryland (10%), and is expected to be completed by June 2023. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $821,960; fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation (Air Force) funds in the amount of $821,960; non-DOD participant funds in the amount of $356,080 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Testek LLC, Wixom, Michigan, is awarded a $38,071,331 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract is for the production and delivery of up to 42 Aircraft Generator Test Stands (AGTS), 41 for the Navy and one for a Foreign Military Sales customer. The AGTS will be used to conduct full functional testing of the new F/A-18E/F and EA-18G G4 generator converter units, the V-22 Constant Frequency Generator and Variable Frequency Generator, the ALQ-99 Ram Air Turbine Generator and generators tested by the legacy Aircraft Engine Component Test Stand (AECTS) at those sites where the AECTS is being replaced by the AGTS. Work will be performed in Wixom, Michigan, and is expected to be completed by September 2026. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposal, two offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (N68335-20-D-0048). General Electric Aviation, Lynn, Massachusetts, is awarded a $19,631,873 cost-plus-fixed-fee order (N00019-20-F-0748) against previously issued basic ordering agreement N00019-16-G-0005. This order provides project management as well as recurring and non-recurring engineering support, materials and documentation to implement, manage and report on the B-Sump Additive Manufacturing, Temperature Distortion Sensitivity Test, second source bearing, second source external hose and fittings, Second Source Accessory Gear Box, and emergency oil system elimination cost reduction initiatives in support of the CH-53K T408 engine. Work will be performed in Lynn, Massachusetts (80%); Patuxent River, Maryland (15%); and Evendale, Ohio (5%), and is expected to be completed by December 2024. Fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $14,997,273; and fiscal 2019 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $4,634,600 will be obligated at time of award, $14,997,273 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio, received a ceiling increase modification in the amount of $140,000,000 to an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the production of Non-Standard Commercial Vehicle 2 (H92222-16-D-0043). This modification raises the contract ceiling to $310,000,000 to account for additional emergent Special Operations Forces requirements. The work will be performed in Columbus, Ohio, and is expected to be completed by July 2023. This modification was awarded through a sole-source acquisition in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1) and Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302.1. U.S. Special Operations Command, Tampa, Florida, is the contracting activity. MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY Modern Technology Solutions Inc. (MTSI),* Huntsville, Alabama, is being awarded a noncompetitive cost-plus-fixed-fee contract with a total value of $68,503,410. Under this new contract, the contractor will support the extension of Missile Defense System capabilities through evaluation, identification and maturation of new technologies and future concepts (e.g. hypersonics, cruise missiles, cyber offense and defense, artificial intelligence/machine learning, quantum science, left-through-right-of-launch integration, fully networked command and control and directed energy) to support the Concepts and Performance Lab (CAPL) under the Missile Defense Agency's Advanced Technology initiative. The CAPL program shall support these initiatives by maturing advanced interceptor and sensor concepts models and simulations, algorithm development/implementations, laboratory experiments and/or ground and flight-testing required for technical and operational assessment of capabilities. The work will be performed in Huntsville, Alabama. The period of performance is Sept. 17, 2020, through Sept. 16, 2023, with two one-year options. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $3,800,000 are being obligated on this award. The Missile Defense Agency, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (HQ0860-20-C-0006). DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY LOC Performance Products Inc.,* Plymouth, Michigan, has been awarded a maximum $47,634,898 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for left and right final drives. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Michigan, with an Aug. 30, 2025, ordering period end date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2025 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Warren, Michigan (SPRDL1-20-D-0093). Golden State Medical Supply Inc., Camarillo, California, has been awarded a maximum $10,306,354 fixed-price, requirements contract for Duloxetine HCL DR (hydrochloride, delayed release) capsules. This was a competitive acquisition with three responses received. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. Locations of performance are California and Spain, with a Sept. 16, 2021, performance completion date. Using customers are Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Indian Health Services and Federal Bureau of Prisons. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting agency is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE2D2-20-D-0098). ARMY Marinex Construction Inc., Charleston, South Carolina, was awarded a $33,998,700 firm-fixed-price contract for maintenance and new work dredging. Bids were solicited via the internet with four received. Work will be performed in Charleston, South Carolina, with an estimated completion date of July 10, 2022. Fiscal 2020 civil construction funds in the amount of $31,639,750 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity (W912HP-20-C-0008). Benaka Inc.,* New Brunswick, New Jersey, was awarded a $9,162,000 firm-fixed-price contract for design and build renovations and additions for an Army Reserve Center. Bids were solicited via the internet with four received. Work will be performed in Orangeburg, New York, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 7, 2022. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Army) Reserve funds in the amount of $9,162,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville, Kentucky, is the contracting activity (W912QR-20-C-0038). General Dynamics Information Technology, Falls Church, Virginia, was awarded an $8,204,786 modification (P00026) to contract W81XWH-17-F-0078 for administrative support services for the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Activity. Work will be performed at Fort Detrick, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2021. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $8,204,786 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, Fort Detrick, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Zodiac-Poettker HBZ JV LLC,* St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded a $7,516,000 firm-fixed-price contract to design and construct a dining facility for the Veterans Affairs (VA) Law Enforcement Training Center and Eugene J. Towbin Healthcare Center. Bids were solicited via the internet with six received. Work will be performed in North Little Rock, Arkansas, with an estimated completion date of April 12, 2022. Fiscal 2019 VA minor construction funds in the amount of $7,516,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock, Arkansas, is the contracting activity (W9127S-20-C-6013). DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY Strategic Analysis Inc., Arlington, Virginia, has been awarded a $10,040,273 modification (P00008) to previously awarded contract HR0011-19-F-0101 for engineering, artificial intelligence and machine learning, social science, chemistry, physics, mathematics, materials and front office technical and administrative support services. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $19,805,466 from $9,765,193. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an expected completion date of September 2021. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $2,237,061 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity. WASHINGTON HEADQUARTERS SERVICES Logistics Management Institute, Tysons, Virginia, has been awarded a $7,714,127 firm-fixed-price-level-of-effort and time-and-materials contract. The contract provides a broad range of Department of Defense logistics and program support operations to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, the Office of Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Defense for Logistics and the Office of Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Defense for Materiel Readiness. This includes analytic support, meeting facilitation, statistical and data analyses and subject matter expertise in various logistics disciplines and government/commercial supply chain practices; strategic communications; operational contract support; private security contractors; vendor threat mitigation; and strategic integration. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $7,714,127 are being awarded. The expected completion date is June 25, 2025. Washington Headquarters Services, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (HQ0034-20-F-0505). AIR FORCE Riverside Research Institute, New York, New York, has been awarded a $7,051,887 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the research and development of algorithms and tools to produce high-quality radio frequency modeling data. Work will be performed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2025. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $1,140,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-20-C-1131). *Small business https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contracts/Contract/Article/2352082/source/GovDelivery/
September 18, 2020 | Information, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security, Other Defence
Joe Gould WASHINGTON ― As Congress readies a stopgap spending measure this week, the defense industry is girding for a long-term funding patch that could delay both new procurement programs and needed fiscal certainty into next year. Democrats say they are considering whether to offer a continuing resolution that would stretch 2020 funding levels into next February or March, or whether to go along with a stopgap through mid December, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is seeking. Trade groups said this week that passing a CR by the Sept. 30 deadline is better than a government shutdown, but they warned that because CR's ban most new start programs, that will add more turbulence for firms already suffering from pandemic-related economic shocks. “As threats continue to multiply and the COVID-19 crisis continues, sustained and stable funding in national security takes on new meaning for the U.S. military and the defense industrial base that supports it,” Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Eric Fanning, said in an email to Defense News. AIA represents roughly 340 manufacturers. “Relying on continuing resolutions, for any length of time, removes that stability, undermining the shared supply chain and endangering the solid progress made in readiness and modernization over the last several years.” Defense advocates say continuing resolutions of any length are inefficient for government and disruptive to the budget certainty that businesses need in order to make decisions, but the pandemic and sagging economy add new wrinkles. Smaller defense firms, many hit by cash flow problems related to the pandemic, were of particular concern to shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries, which was among large firms that accelerated millions of dollars in payments to help small suppliers over recent months. “The effects of a long term continuing resolution can be harmful to the defense industrial base by delaying or prohibiting work,” HII spokesperson Beci Brenton said in an email. “Our greatest concern with a long term CR is the impact to our thousands of suppliers located in all 50 states who are already impacted by the COVID pandemic.” Despite a longstanding deal on the budget top lines, only the House has passed full-year appropriations bills, which means Congress will need more time to pass an FY21 appropriations package. Congress would likely need to draft a CR this week and pass it next week to avert a government shutdown. That's just what House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters this week that House leaders are planning. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., say they have agreed to a “clean” CR, free of policy riders. It's not expected to include COVID relief funds, but further details have not been announced. Beyond timing, the defense industry is also watching which anomalies Congress includes to permit select new start programs. The White House sent Congress a list that included the Columbia-class submarine and new W93 submarine-launched nuclear warhead, as well as funds to ramp up the new Space Force ― along with select federal programs across multiple agencies. The National Defense Industrial Association's senior vice president, Wesley Hallman, said delaying new starts means delaying new revenue streams for companies and, for some, new hiring decisions. “How many new starts are planned for 1 October, I can't tell you, but if we go to March or February there are more new starts over that entire period,” Hallman said. “If it's bad in October, it's really bad if it's going into March.” Professional Services Council president and CEO David Berteau, whose group represents services contractors across government, said his member are worried about long delays for a budget deal. “Our members are always concerned because it slows down new contract awards, and it adds uncertainty to every program manager ― not only in the Defense Department, but across the federal government ― because they don't know how much money they're going to get or when they're going to get it,” Berteau said. The duration of the CR has special political dimensions this year. If the bill runs through December, President Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Senate would negotiate over the final spending package. Depending on the outcome of the election, a CR that stretches into the next calendar year could be negotiated by a President Joe Biden or a Democratic-led Senate, which would give Democrats more leverage. Berteau was concerned that Biden, like Trump in 2017, would not enter office Jan. 20 ready to immediately hammer out a budget deal. It took until that April for Trump to sign a deal, and it took President Bill Clinton ― who entered office under similar circumstances in 1993 ― until that June. “If you don't get it now, history says you won't get it for six months,” said Berteau, “and that's debilitating for industry.” “Our members are always concerned because it slows down new contract awards, and it adds uncertainty to every program manager ― not only in the Defense Department, but across the federal government ― because they don't know how much money they're going to get or when they're going to get it,” Berteau said. The duration of the CR has special political dimensions this year. If the bill runs through December, President Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Senate would negotiate over the final spending package. Depending on the outcome of the election, a CR that stretches into the next calendar year could be negotiated by a President Joe Biden or a Democratic-led Senate, which would give Democrats more leverage. Berteau was concerned that Biden, like Trump in 2017, would not enter office Jan. 20 ready to immediately hammer out a budget deal. It took until that April for Trump to sign a deal, and it took President Bill Clinton ― who entered office under similar circumstances in 1993 ― until that June. “If you don't get it now, history says you won't get it for six months,” said Berteau, “and that's debilitating for industry.” https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2020/09/16/defense-industry-worries-congress-will-punt-budget-deal-into-2021/
September 17, 2020 | Information, Other Defence
Mila Jasper The Defense Innovation Board convened for its fall public meeting Tuesday and approved resolutions for two key federal technology issues in addition to broadening its work on space. The board, which is comprised of national security technology innovators, formed a new space subcommittee to support the Space Force and heard from Michael Kratsios, acting undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, and U.S. chief technology officer. But the need for better testing protocols for artificial intelligence systems and strategies the Defense Department could adopt in order to attract digital talent took center stage at the meeting. The board adopted resolutions after robust discussions for both issues. Challenges in AI Testing No proven methods for testing and evaluating nondeterministic AI systems—meaning less predictable, more adaptable AI systems—exist. Daniela Rus, a roboticist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said it is critical to have strong procedures for testing, evaluation, verification, and validation, or TEV/V, of artificial intelligence in order to create enough confidence in the technology to deploy it. “The department has been articulating the importance of accelerating the deployment of these systems,” Rus said, citing DOD's adoption of the board's AI ethics principles. “We have seen a lot of efforts in developing AI accelerator programs that will take the latest and greatest advancements in AI from research organizations and map them into processes and procedures for the department. We hope to have these in place, but in order to get there we need to have rigorous, robust procedures for testing.” The main reason testing for these types of autonomous systems is so challenging is uncertainty. Board member Danny Hillis, a pioneer in parallel computing, said uncertainty comes in three directions: from the function, the inputs and the outputs. Hillis suggested the board should use these three areas of uncertainty to guide its thinking when it comes to providing recommendations for TEV/V. The resolution adopted by the board argues DOD must develop its own TEV/V solutions as soon as possible, rather than wait for external solutions, in order to be ready to deploy AI systems in the short term. The board's science and technology subcommittee hopes to have two reports—one for a backgrounder and another for recommendations—on TEV/V for AI by December of this year. “Without a strong push for education and training on this topic and a diverse range of testing programs at the developmental and operational levels, DoD will have difficulty assessing its current TEV/V processes and determining next steps to improve its AI TEV/V capability,” the resolution reads. Competing for Digital Talent Later in the meeting, the DIB turned its attention to workforce issues. Jennifer Pahlka, a founder of the U.S. Digital Service and Code For America, led the group's discussion on competing for digital talent. Pahlka said the coronavirus pandemic and remote work trends could help the department attract talent if it develops new strategies to help it compete with the private sector. “As private sector remote work trends are changing how employers compete for digital talent, DOD has the opportunity to take advantage of these trends and be more competitive for civilian talent in this new environment,” Pahlka said. DOD and the federal government in general struggles to fill talent gaps for several reasons, including long hiring timelines. A recent report by the Partnership for Public Service found the average hiring timeline for the federal workforce is 98 days, or more than twice the private sector average. The paper DIB released to accompany the discussion detailed five recommendations for what to do to attract digital talent. Overall, DOD should develop strategies to maintain a remote and distributed workforce even beyond the pandemic. Pahlka added that though the recommendations focus on attracting digital talent, she hopes the same principles outlined can be expanded across the workforce. In the past, common wisdom said the Pentagon couldn't do mass telework. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, DOD had to adapt, and fast. Lisa Hershman, the chief management officer for the Defense Department, said in July the pandemic “shattered the myth” DOD couldn't support remote work. According to the DIB's report, DOD should now focus on expanding its IT infrastructure and make sure it has the tools it needs to maintain remote work as well as expand the agency's capabilities to do classified work remotely. The report also recommends DOD work on improvements to the remote hiring process, prioritize changing the agency's culture around remote work and “consider dedicated remote work pilot programs to recruit and fill critical civilian technical talent gaps at priority organizations.” “The subcommittee believes the DOD is really at an inflection point for talent management,” Pahlka said. Pahlka and three other members of the DIB including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt ended their terms on the board. Member terms last four years. https://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2020/09/defense-innovation-board-adopts-ai-testing-digital-workforce-recruitment-resolutions
September 17, 2020 | Information, Aerospace
Mark Pomerleau WASHINGTON — While the Air Force's new information warfare command has reached its full operational capability less than a year after it was created, leaders still have work to do to fully integrate its combined capabilities in a mature fashion. That assessment comes from Brig. Gen. Bradley Pyburn, deputy commander of 16th Air Force, who on Tuesday laid out a three-pronged criteria — deconfliction, synchronization and integration — for assessing the command's maturity during a virtual event hosted by AFCEA's Alamo chapter. The command combines what was previously known as 24th and 25th Air Force, placing cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, electronic warfare and weather capabilities under a single commander. The first category Pyburn coined is deconfliction, which essentially means “do no harm.” Pyburn described the need to have situational awareness of the battlespace and understand what friendly and enemy forces are where, what authorities exist, what targets forces are looking at and what capabilities they have. The second phase of maturity is synchronization, which involves aligning all the capabilities and actions in the battlespace. Pyburn said if the command adds activity A to activity B and C, it will end up with a greater result, because it can change the timing and tempo of how the effects are delivered for maximum impact. Lastly, Pyburn described integration as the most mature aspect of where 16th Air Force currently is. This involves baking in planning, assessment, command and control, all the desperate effects and operations from the beginning. This is where the command really begins to break down all the stovepipes that previously existed with all these capabilities, a key reason for integrating and creating the new organization. “From a maturity perspective, where do I think 16th Air Force is? We're probably somewhere between deconfliction and synchronization. We've got some examples of where we approach integration but I think it's healthy we understand where we're at today and where we want to go forward in the future,” Pyburn explained. The command has created what Pyburn called a J9 to help with assessing maturity. The J9 would be plugged into real world events and exercises to help with those self assessments. In a generic example, Pyburn outlined what full maturity integration would look like. A mission partner requests support, which could be in the form of air domain awareness, finding particular targets or threats or ISR assistance. 16th Air Force, in turn, would be able to link that request with other needs, either in the same geographic area or in other areas of operations, pioneering what its top officials describe as a “problem-centric approach,” which aims to look at the specific problems the commands they support are looking to solve and starting from there. “[In] our problem centric approach, as we look to generate insights across all of our 16th Air Force capabilities, what we may find is that particular problem set is linked to other problem sets and we're able to focus on the root cause of the problem,” Pyburn said. Based on a raft of authorities from cyberspace to intelligence collection as well as the relationships built through other communities and organizations, 16th Air Force can look at the root cause of a problem and build from there. “We can build a community of interest, we can start to put mission partners together into [an] operational planning team and we can not only generate better insights against that root cause, we can start to look at how we can layer in effects at speed and at scale across all domains of warfare and give the options to the combatant commander and the mission partner as the authorities to go after that adversary,” Pyburn said. Pyburn also offered insight into the command structure of 16th Air Force, which has his deputy commander job along with a vice commander role. That latter job, held by Brig. Gen. David Gaedecke — who previously served as the lead for the Air Force's year long electronic warfare study — does more of the traditional operational, test and evaluation functions. In the deputy commander role, Pyburn said his job is similar to the director of operations. He comes up with the requirements in support of combatant commanders. “Part of it is, I may think I know what I want, but if I don't see what the art of the possible is, it's really hard to know what I want, if that makes sense. It's a little bit of a chicken and egg,” he said. https://www.c4isrnet.com/information-warfare/2020/09/16/the-air-forces-new-information-warfare-command-still-has-work-to-go-to-fully-integrate/
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