Matthew Graviss Named State Department’s First Chief Data Officer

Matthew Graviss

Matthew Graviss, former chief data officer (CDO) of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, has been appointed as CDO with the State Department. He will lead the analytics center within the department's Office of Management Strategy and Solution in efforts to help personnel gain insights from data that can support diplomatic missions.

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DHS Tests Ability of Biometric Acquisition Systems in Identifying People With Face Masks

Facial Recognition

Preliminary test results of the third Biometric Technology Rally held by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) science and technology (S&T) directorate in the fall of 2020 showed that biometric acquisition tools as well as matching algorithms were up to 96 percent accurate in identifying individuals with protective face masks.

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Lt. Col. Ryan Rose on Space Force’s Small Satellite Launch Plans

Lt. Col. Ryan Rose

Lt. Col. Ryan Rose, chief of the small launch and targets division of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s (SMC) launch enterprise, said the U.S. Space Force plans to assess and work with as many small launch providers as possible and determine how to procure services from such companies to meet future demand.

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Bipartisan Law Seeks to Improve FEMA’s Advance Contracting Process; Rep. Bennie Thompson Quoted

Federal Emergency

President Trump signed into law a bipartisan bill to improve the process of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for awarding contracts before disasters strike to ensure readiness, Government Executive reported Monday. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, introduced the bill in the lower chamber.

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Marine Corps Fields Rifle Suppressors Under Large-Scale Defense Logistics Program; Maj. Mike Brisker Quoted

M27 Rifle

The U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command has begun the large-scale fielding of rifle suppressors as part of the service’s goal to deploy 30,000 of the small-arms components by fiscal year 2023. “We’ve never fielded suppressors at this scale. This fielding is a big moment for the Marine Corps,” said Maj. Mike Brisker, weapons product manager at PM IW.

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Air Force Stakeholders Discuss Future Airman Mgmt, Training; Maj. Gen. William Spangenthal Quoted

U.S. Air Force

Air Education and Training Command (AETC) held a virtual event to discuss efforts on airman development in the age of great power competition. AETC's Total Force Airmen event gathered stakeholders from active duty, civilian, national guard and reserve components of the U.S. Air Force to discuss how airmen can be improved via data-informed approaches, the service branch said Wednesday.

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Army to Deploy Support Units for Planned Stryker-Mounted Electronic Warfare System

Stryker Fighting Vehicle

The U.S. Army plans to establish electronic warfare groups for brigade combat teams that will be responsible for a proposed integrated electronic-attack system designed for the service branch’s Stryker fighting vehicles. Col. Daniel Holland, capabilities manager for electronic warfare at the Army, told the publication that the service plans to deploy a SIGINT network support teams and electronic warfare platoons that will handle TLS-BCT.

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Army’s Standards-Compliant Universal Encryption Chip Enters Final Testing

Universal Encryption

The U.S. Army has commenced final testing for a reprogrammable cryptographic module that works as a universal chip that can support communications for computers, satellites, radios, unmanned aerial systems and ground infrastructure. The REprogrammable Single Chip Universal Encryptor (RESCUE) utilizes encryption algorithms from the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and National Security Agency (NSA) to ensure baseline compliance.

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FAA Celebrates 2020 Record of Licensed Space Operations; Elaine Chao Quoted

Federal Aviation

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved 41 commercial space launches and reentries in 2020, breaking a new record in the area. “This record-setting year in launches, and the new streamlined launch and reentry licensing regulations, bode well for continued rapid growth of America’s commercial space sector,” said Elaine Chao, secretary of Transportation.

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Constellis Names Rick Tye as President of Crisis Mitigation; Tim Reardon Quoted


Constellis has appointed Rick Tye as president of Crisis Mitigation within the Crisis Response business, where he will lead the company’s COVID-19 Response, Fire and Emergency Services, Emergency and Disaster Response, and other priority programs. “This is an important new role for Rick and a vital service in today’s environment,” said Tim Reardon, CEO of Constellis and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient. 

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