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Jane Edwards

Report: Senate OKs Gen. Robert Abrams as US Forces Korea Commander in Series of DoD Nominee Confirmations

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Army Gen. Robert Abrams as the next chief of U.S. Forces Korea in a series of approvals for Defense Department nominees in the upper chamber, Stars and Stripes reported Friday. Abrams, who has led Army Forces Command since 2015, will also serve as commander of United Nations Command and Combined Forces Command.

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OPM to Launch Two Direct Hiring Authorities for Agencies; Margaret Weichert Quoted

The Office of Personnel Management has announced plans to introduce two direct hiring authorities as part of its civil service reform efforts, Federal Times reported Thursday. Agencies will have a DHA for engineering; economics; math, statistics and actuarial sciences; physical science; and biological sciences effective next week.
 

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Bindu Nair: Pentagon Aims to Accelerate Basic Research’s Impact on Capabilities Through Pilot Program

Bindu Nair, deputy director for basic research at the Defense Department, told Federal News Network in an interview published Thursday that DoD intends to speed up basic research’s impact on capabilities through the Defense Enterprise Science Initiative. The Pentagon selected five university-industry teams in August for the DESI pilot program that seeks to address technological gaps and support other basic research initiatives within the department.

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Ellen Lord: DoD to Audit Supply Chains of Defense, Aerospace Companies

The Defense Department will conduct an audit of the U.S. aerospace and defense sector’s supply chains after DoD released a White House-commissioned study of the defense industrial base, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Ellen Lord, defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, said U.S. intelligence agencies will take part in the review to assess the local defense supply chains' readiness to support warfighters.

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Patrick Shanahan: Army Looks at Every Program to Advance Modernization

Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has said the U.S. Army has begun to examine each of its programs to prioritize spending and advance modernization, National Defense reported Wednesday. “As pressing as the threat is, we will not be handed a blank check. Fiscal discipline and performance will determine whether we will be able to execute our strategy,” he said Wednesday during his speech at the Association of the United States Army’s annual conference.

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Treasury Dept Issues Interim Rules for Foreign Investment Review Pilot Program

The Treasury Department has released interim regulations for a pilot program to assess foreign acquisitions of critical U.S. technologies and intellectual property in compliance with the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018. “These temporary regulations address specific risks to U.S. critical technology while informing the development of final regulations that will fully implement FIRRMA,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement published Wednesday.

 

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James Mattis: DoD Sets 80% Mission Capability Rate for Air Force, Navy Fighter Jets

Defense Secretary James Mattis has issued a memo that calls for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy to achieve a minimum mission capability rate of 80 percent for four fighter aircraft by the end of fiscal 2019, Defense News reported Tuesday. Mattis asked the service branches to reduce the operating and maintenance costs of F-35, F-22, F-16 and F-18 fighter jets starting in fiscal 2019, according to the memo obtained by the publication.

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Report: Chris Inglis Emerges as Pentagon Chief’s Pick to Lead NSA Should Split From Cybercom Advance

Chris Inglis, former deputy National Security Agency director, has turned up to be the top candidate to lead NSA should Defense Secretary James Mattis decide to split the agency from U.S. Cyber Command, The Washington Post reported Friday. Some sources told the publication the Pentagon chief was close to deciding on a plan to separate the dual-hat arrangement but decided to reconsider after Gen. Paul Nakasone, head of NSA and Cybercom, expressed concerns to Mattis about Cybercom’s capacity to operate on its own should the split push through.

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DSCA Reports 33% Increase in FY 2018 Foreign Military Sales; Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper Quoted

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency has found that the U.S. recorded $55.66B in fiscal 2018 foreign military sales, reflecting a 33 percent rise from total FMS sales posted in fiscal 2017. DSCA said Tuesday the trend can be attributed to policy changes the White House has initiated such as the administration’s move to update the Conventional Arms Transfer Policy in April.

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Jeanette Manfra: DHS Aims to Strengthen Cyber Workforce

Jeanette Manfra, a cybersecurity official at the Department of Homeland Security, told Federal News Network in an interview published Tuesday that DHS prioritizes efforts to build up its cyber workforce through education. Manfra, assistant secretary for the national protection and programs directorate at DHS’ office of cybersecurity and communications, said her office will assess this month whether personnel need to undergo the Federal Virtual Training Environment and other courses.

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