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FAA Eyes 2019 for Phased Assessment of Space-Based Aircraft Surveillance; Dan Elwell Quoted

The Federal Aviation Administration will launch an assessment of space-based aircraft surveillance over oceanic routes in 2019, Aviation Week reported Tuesday. The phased evaluation will include the use of Aireon’s automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast system that is set to enter service in 2019 once Iridium Communications launches the last batch of Iridium NEXT satellites this year.

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Capt. Ben McNeal: Navy Wants Industry to Back IT Modernization, Compliance via NGEN Recompete

Navy Capt. Ben McNeal, program manager for Naval Enterprise Networks, has said the service wants industry to help upgrade the branch’s information technology systems within the budget while pursuing compliance, Federal News Radio reported Tuesday. “One of the biggest things we are looking for is a way to trap the mouse with respect to how we can spend the dollars and get the dollars to go the furthest with respect to the limited dollars we have to spend and balancing between obsolescence and trying to transform in our current architecture,” he said Monday at the AFCEA Navy IT Day in Arlington, Va.

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Dana Deasy Talks Cyber, Cloud Efforts for DoD’s Digital Modernization Strategy

Dana Deasy, chief information officer at the Defense Department, has said measurable goals are necessary as DoD implements its digital modernization efforts, Signal magazine reported Monday. “You’ve got to measure the things you want to get done,” Deasy said. “For me, that’s really driving everything around the four initiatives—cloud, artificial intelligence, the communications agenda and the cyber agenda.”

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Patrick Shanahan: DoD Rescinds Contractor Payment Proposal

The Defense Department has decided to withdraw its proposed rule to regulate payments to contractors based on performance, Defense News reported Monday. “Recently, proposed amendments to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) were prematurely released, absent full coordination,” Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan wrote in a statement obtained by the publication.

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Trump Signs $674B Defense Appropriations Bill for Fiscal 2019

President Donald Trump on Friday signed into law an appropriations package that would allocate $674B in fiscal 2019 funds for the Defense Department, USNI News reported Friday. The defense spending bill represents a $19.8B increase from the enacted fiscal 2018 budget and earmarks $24.2B in funds for 13 new combat ships that include three Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, two Virginia-class attack submarines and three littoral combat ships.

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Robert Cardillo: NGA Leverages Tech to Process Large Amounts of Satellite Data

Robert Cardillo, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, has said NGA works to process and analyze huge volumes of satellite-based imagery data through technology adoption, Federal News Radio reported Friday. “As the computer gets better at that, it can help us to understand where there are changes in not just from day to day, but in what we call patterns of life — hostile threat, adversarial capability that we seek to understand, employment of a missile system,” Cardillo said Thursday at the George T. Kalaris Intelligence Conference at Georgetown University.

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DoD, NASA, GSA Issue Final Rule on System for Award Management Registration

The Defense DepartmentNASA and the General Services Administration have released a final rule that seeks to revise the instructions for System for Award Management registration. A Federal Register notice posted Wednesday says the final rule is set to take effect on Oct. 26 and amends the Federal Acquisition Regulation to require vendors to register through SAM prior to bid submission.

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Report: Jim Faist, Milan Nikolich Named Directors at DoD’s Research & Engineering Org

The Defense Department has appointed government industry veterans Jim Faist and Milan "Mitch" Nikolich as directors within the newly created research and engineering division, Inside Defense reported Thursday. Faist will oversee hypersonics, autonomy, space and networked command, control and communications areas as director of defense research and engineering for capabilities, a DoD spokeswoman told the publication.

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Senate Panel OKs Government Reorganization Measure

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed on Wednesday a bill that would authorize the White House to implement a government reorganization plan, Federal News Radio reported Thursday. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) sponsored the Reforming Government Act of 2018 that would allow Congress to clear reorganization proposals through a simple majority of 51 votes to accelerate passage of such plans.

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Gen. Joseph Dunford Plans Tabletop Exercises for Proposed Space Command

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said he intends to arrange tabletop exercises in the fall of this year to help the Defense Department establish and explore the “war fighting attributes” of a new combatant command for space, SpaceNews reported Wednesday. Dunford wrote a memo to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson to address the latter’s concerns about U.S. Space Command’s acquisition responsibilities.

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