MIP Notes from Coffee 12-6-19

  • 06 Dec 2019 4:53 PM
    Message # 8198448
    Joni Ahlers (Administrator)
    • ·         AFA Daily Report
    • ·         DoD’s Second Financial Audit Uncovers 1,300 New Deficiencies.  The results of the Pentagon’s second-ever full financial audit are a decidedly mixed bag:  Although officials were able to point to some areas of significant progress in managing the Defense Department’s finances over the past year, overall, auditors are uncovering new problems faster than the department is fixing them.  Federal News Network(19 November 2019)
    • ·         One Way for the Pentagon to Prove it’s Serious About Artificial Intelligence.  Department of Defense officials routinely talk about the need to more fully embrace machine learning and artificial intelligence, but one leader in the Marine Corps said those efforts are falling short.  “We’re not serious about AI. If we were serious about AI we would put all of our stuff into one location,” Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, commander of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration, said at an AFCEA Northern Virginia chapter lunch Nov. 15.  C4ISRNET(19 November 2019)
    • ·         Air Force Engineers Invent a “Fortress” Against Mass Shooters.  An Air Force engineer and his team are offering one idea in an era of school and workplace shootings—a sturdy, portable, yet affordable door barricade.  Dayton-based S9 Engineering Technology Corp. last month completed a patent license for the commercial rights to the device—dubbed the "Fortress"—invented at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), which is headquartered at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.  The Dayton Daily News via Military.com  (19 November 2019)
    • ·         US House Approves Bill to Avert Government Shutdown This Week The US House of Representatives on Nov. 19 approved legislation to avert a widespread government shutdown later this week with a bill extending temporary federal funding through Dec. 20.  The legislation passed the House by a vote of 231-192, with all but a dozen Republicans voting against the funding.  Reuters(21 November 2019)
    • ·         Too Many CISOs Delay Cyber Response, DHS Official Says Agencies must be able to act swiftly to keep their tech ecosystems secure against a constantly evolving array of digital threats, but excessive bureaucracy within the federal cyber community is impeding that quick action, according to Mark Bristow, director of the hunt and incident response team within the Homeland Security Department’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center.  Though it’s critical to have different groups weigh in on cybersecurity policies, he said, today there are too many cooks in the kitchen to execute a coherent, unified strategy. Nextgov (21 November 2019)
    • ·         Azellia White, Trailblazer for African American Women in Aviation, Dies at 106 Azellia White, who said she found freedom in the skies, becoming one of the first African American women to earn a pilot’s license in the United States, died Sept. 14 at a nursing home in Sugar Land, Tex.  She was 106. Mrs. White, the daughter of a sharecropper and a midwife, was drawn to aviation by her husband, Hulon “Pappy” White, a mechanic who served during World War II in Tuskegee, Ala., as a mechanic for the storied unit of black military pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen.  (21 November 2019)

    ·         Hyten Sworn in as VCJCS.  USAF Gen. John Hyten on Nov. 21 officially became the 11th vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during a swearing in ceremony at the Pentagon.  Hyten previously was the commander of US Strategic Command, and handed over that position to Navy Adm. Charles Richard during a Nov. 18 ceremony at Offutt AFB, Neb.  Hyten takes over the position vacated by now-retired USAF Gen. Paul Selva.  He was first nominated for the vice chairman position in April, and faced a tumultuous confirmation process after an accusation of sexual assault emerged, following an Air Force investigation that cleared him.  The Senate confirmed Hyten on Sept. 26 by a vote of 75-22.  Hyten, with an extensive background in space and nuclear operations, is expected to be a key leader in the stand up of US Space Command and in the possible creation of the new Space Force.  (25 November 2019)

    • o   General Hyten began his career as a Configuration Manager at Gunter in 1981.  His bio (https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/108115/general-john-e-hyten/) has not yet been updated to reflect his new position.
    • ·         AT&T Announces Start of 5G Network Rollout at Tyndall AFB.  AT&T will start bringing fifth-generation wireless networking to Tyndall AFB, Fla., in early 2020, the company said in a Nov. 21 release. “AT&T is comprehensively rebuilding and modernizing communications infrastructure and capabilities across Tyndall,” the company said. “It is providing future-forward networking capabilities … to support augmented and virtual reality, [the Internet of Things], and a broad array of innovative technologies.” The company is working under a $23.6 million, sole-source contract awarded Sept. 30, according to a spokesman. It will progress through a “rolling plan” based on how quickly the Air Force and other vendors are able to rebuild the base that was destroyed by Category 5 Hurricane Michael in 2018.  (25 November 2019)
    • ·         What to Expect from Congress’ Cyber Strategy Brain Trust Lawmakers in May stood up the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, a 16-person panel charged with reviewing US cyber strategy and recommending policy changes to improve the country’s response to digital threats.  Nextgov recently sat down with the commission’s co-chairman Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) to discuss gaps in US cyber policy, the high turnover among national security officials, and what we can expect from the commission’s report.  (25 November 2019)
    • ·         Hecker Takes Command of AU.  Lt. Gen. James Hecker recently received his third star and took over as commander and president of Air University during a Nov. 22 ceremony at Maxwell AFB, Ala.  Hecker was previously the vice director of operations for the Joint Staff, and before that he ran air operations in Afghanistan.  He replaces Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, who left the position in October to become the deputy commander of Air Force Global Strike Command and Air Forces Strategic-Air at Barksdale AFB, La.  (26 November 2019)
    • o   His bio is available at https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/1152399/major-general-james-bhecker/
    • ·         The Pentagon's AI Center Needs a Cloud Integrator.  The Pentagon is searching for vendors to stand up the hybrid cloud platform its Joint Artificial Intelligence Center will use to build AI applications for the military.  Nextgov(2 December 2019)
    • ·         New Cameras Put Air Base Crashes in High Resolution.  On Nov. 15, Motorola Solutions announced the installation of special security cameras at Offutt AFB, Neb., the home of US Strategic Command. .The goal is for information provided by the cameras to provide crash data, beyond the black box.  Defense News(2 December 2019)
    • o   No truth to the rumor that in a separate contract, the pop up crash barriers will feature an ad from Alexander Shunnarah.
    • ·         Hill AFB to Host Experiment for 5G, Airborne Radars.  The Defense Department is looking to build and run a full-scale, fifth-generation wireless network at Hill AFB, Utah, to learn more about how it would interact with radars.  In October, DOD announced it would launch experimentation and prototyping programs at four bases to explore how the next leap in connectivity could affect training and logistics.  A recent project notice says the Pentagon and the Air Force need to develop hardware and software that allow airborne radars and 5G cellular systems to share bands on the radio spectrum, particularly focused on the 3,100-3,450 MHz band.  (4 December 2019)
    • ·         AF Test Center Activates Cyber Lab Detachment.  The Air Force Test Center officially activated a new detachment within the 47th Cyberspace Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, Calif., on Nov. 19.  "The detachment provides the Air Force with a secure avionics cyber test laboratory and fields cyber test capabilities to evaluate the Air Force's premiere weapons systems," a news release published on the service's website states.  (4 December 2019)
    • ·         Cheap Cyber Weapons Threaten Unintended Consequences.  A new report on the commoditization of cyber weapons suggests that the easy availability of inexpensive offensive cyber tools is reshaping the cyber threat landscape.  The report is being briefed to officials across the federal government, including elements of the Defense Department, Homeland Security Department, FBI, Senate Cyber Caucus, and the Secret Service. Signal Magazine(4 December 2019)

    ·         USAF Pitch Bowl Planned for March.  The Air Force is gearing up to host its inaugural “Pitch Bowl” in March 2020, an event that will bring together the best ideas from the growing pool of Pitch Days where companies try to snag a military contract without the years-long wait of traditional procurement.  Will Roper, the service’s assistant secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics, floated the idea of a “big Super Bowl of Pitch Days” at the Air Force’s first quick-investment event in March 2019. The events work with companies through the federal Small Business Innovation Research program, via a series of written submissions, minutes-long live presentations, and the swipe of a credit card. Contracts are worth up to $1 million and can last up to two years.  Whereas Pitch Days focus on a particular technology portfolio and offer early-stage development contracts, the bowl offers the next step: a path to greater research and development funding, the commercial market, and the Air Force’s inventory. The Pentagon is increasingly interested in “dual-use” technologies that can be sold to both the military and the general public.  See https://www.airforcemag.com/usaf-pitch-bowl-planned-for-march/ for full article.  (5 December 2019) 

    ·         GSA Promises to Figure Out Why Transition From FedBizOpps Struggled The General Services Administration’s migration of its FedBizOpps.gov website to its beta.sam.gov portal will not be remembered for its smooth transition.  The first three or so days were fraught with slow load times, infrastructure problems and a site that wasn’t ready for prime time.  Judith Zawatsky, the assistant commissioner in the Office of Systems Management in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, said her office was not only prepared for the transition problems, but ensured the site rebounded quickly over the last week.  The full news article can be found at https://federalnewsnetwork.com/it-modernization/2019/11/gsa-promises-to-figure-out-why-transition-from-fedbizopps-struggled/ The following graphic from the article depicts the status of the legacy website transitions:

    • ·         AFCEA
    • ·         MITS 2020.  It may seem a long way off but NOW is the time to start planning to be here in Montgomery 18-20 May 2020.  The Annual AFCEA Golf Tournament to benefit the Education Foundation, followed by the MITS conference at the Renaissance, downtown Montgomery, and a BES Industry Exchange, make MITS the one conference in 2020 you should not miss.  Be sure you have this in your plans (and your Budget) for 2020.  (20 September 2019)
    • o   Sponsorship information is now LIVE on the AFCEA website!!  (15 November 2019)
    • o   http://www.afceamontgomery.org/Sponsorships
    • ·         AFCEA West.  Once again AFCEA West will be at the San Diego Convention Center 2-3 March 2020.  For additional information, agendas, lodging details and registration, please go to https://www.westconference.org/west20/Public/enter.aspx(6 December 2019)
    • ·         Chamber of Commerce.
    • ·         The Chamber has named Brig Gen Trent H. Edwards, USAF (Ret) as Senior Vice President, Military and Community Development.  Edwards will focus on the viability and growth of Montgomery’s military missions while leading new community-wide initiatives that fuel the regional economy and quality of life for all.  He was the Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex 42 ABW/CC 2012-2014.  (6 December 2019)
    • ·         147th Annual Meeting.  The Chamber’s Annual Meeting Luncheon will be held at the Renaissance Hotel main ballroom on Tuesday 10 December 2019, 1130-1330.  The event is SOLD OUT. (6 December 2019)
    • ·         Eggs and Issues.  The last Eggs and Issues of 2019 will be held on 18 December 2019, 0730-0830 at the RSA Activity Center.  The speaker will be Katie Britt, President & CEO, Business Council of Alabama.  Tickets are $25 for Chamber members, $35 for non-members.  Go to www.montgomerychamber.com/events to register.  (6 December 2018)
    • ·         Other Chamber Events. Details and registration for these events can usually be found at www.montgomerychamber.com.  Select “Calendar” from the top of the home page for a full summary of upcoming events.  (26 July 2019)
    • ·         Technology Timeline Artifacts Needed.  TECHMGM will be setting up a time line display of technology in the first week of December.  This display will be for students to see how computing systems have progressed.  TECHMGM are looking for old equipment that can be loaned to them for the display.  Examples are Commodore 64, TANDY, “Trash-8,”Apple 2 etc.  Contact Derick Catman (derick.catman@gmail.com) if you have items.  Please put “Technology Display” in your subject line.  (1 November 2019)

    ·         PMI.  Come join us for our annual Christmas gathering in Montgomery, Alabama!  On December 12, 2019, PMI South Alabama will host an informal social at the Irish Pub on Dexter Ave. in Montgomery (upstairs).  There will be appetizers.  Drinks are available for purchase.  Anyone interested in project management is encouraged to come by.  (6 December 2019)

    ·         MOAA.  The December luncheon event at American Village in Montevallo is sold out.  The January luncheon will be on 16 January 2020 (a week later than usual).  Details forthcoming.  (6 December 2019)

    • ·         CyberSpace Symposium.  The Annual Rocky Mountain AFCEA CyberSpace Symposium will be held 3-6 February at the Broadmoor Hotel and Conference Center, Colorado Springs, CO.  Information can be found at https://rockymtn.afceachapters.org
    • ·         Maxwell AFB Air Show.  Save the dates!!! Saturday 18 April 2020 and Sunday 19 April 2020.  (10 May 2019)
    • ·         Visitors:
    • ·         Chris Simpson, President, Chenega Defense and Aerospace Solutions LLC, (Alaska Native) 258.541.2304,cwsimpson@chenegadas.com.
    • ·         Jacob Zienert, (son of Carol Zienert).  Jacob’s resume was sent out earlier this week and is looking for a position here in the River Region.  He has a clearance already and is highly recommended by Ellen Hill, Jim Tindell, and Derick Catman who have worked with him in the past

    ·         Personnel.

Fast Rope

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