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GAO: DoD Received About 3K FMS Price, Availability Data Requests From FY 2014-2018

A Government Accountability Office report says the Department of Defense received from 93 countries in the past four fiscal years 3,038 requests seeking information on the availability and price of U.S. weapons and services that could be procured through the foreign military sales program. GAO reviewed five examples of such requests to assess the timeliness of Pentagon’s response process and found that response times took between 45 and 320 days, according to the report published Wednesday.

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FDD: Lack of Preparedness Could Leave Gov’t ‘Flat-Footed’ During Major Cyber Attack

The U.S. government and private sector must take action on cyber-enabled economic warfare to avoid being “flat-footed” during a major cyber incident, according to a Foundation for Defense of Democracies report released Tuesday. The FDD report comes after a 2018 CEEW tabletop exercise with private sector and government representatives that involved a simulated cyberattack on critical U.S. infrastructure.

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National Guard Seeks to Further Robot Applications

The U.S. National Guard looks to further implement the use of robots in missions, adding to the number of robotic applications observed in the force. The National Guard already employs robots for engineering, explosive disposal, chemical threat detection and reconnaissance, the U.S. Army said Tuesday.

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Three Firms Developing New Tech for CBP Under DHS Innovation Program

Echodyne, Tamr and DataRobot have each transitioned the technologies they're developing for the Department of Homeland Security’s science and technology directorate into the Homeland Security Enterprise, DHS said Tuesday. The three startups’ platforms, created as part of S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program, were deployed in 2018 to support Customs and Border Protection operations.

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DOJ, DHS Report Foreign Interference Had No Impact on 2018 Elections

The departments of Justice and Homeland Security issued a joint report indicating that alleged foreign interference in the 2018 midterm elections had no material impact on election infrastructures or candidates. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen submitted the report to President Trump, DOJ said Tuesday.

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GAO: Air Force Facing Challenges Retaining Experienced Aircraft Maintainers

The Government Accountability Office found the U.S. Air Force is struggling to retain experienced aircraft maintainers despite the growing need for personnel to ensure the readiness of the service’s fleet. In a report issued Tuesday, GAO said the Air Force is losing maintainers due to workload and stress across the service. 

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Gov’t May Appoint Leader to Oversee DoD-VA Electronic Health Record; James Byrne Quoted

The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs are looking to establish a single position of authority who would oversee activities regarding an electronic health record system, FCW reported Tuesday. James Byrne, acting deputy secretary at VA, said at a senate appropriations hearing that VA considers to have one arbitrator to make decisions on the health record when there are disagreements between the two departments.

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DoD Unveiling First AI Strategy for Military Use

Senior defense officials announced the Pentagon is set to release its first artificial intelligence strategy to guide service branches and commands in regard to how they design and develop AI-based tools based on their needs, Defense One reported Tuesday. An unnamed official familiar with the strategy said the document will focus on the immediate operational applications of AI in military operations.

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DISA Considering Blockchain Tech for DoD’s Digital Infrastructure

The Defense Information Systems Agency plans to deploy blockchain technologies being developed by IBM, Microsoft and Amazon Web Services into the Department of Defense’s systems, GCN reported Tuesday. The agency’s emerging technologies directorate is studying recent developments in other blockchain programs including the Department of Health and Human Services’ HHS Accelerate program and the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s research into blockchain applications.

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