Carnegie Mellon Appoints Gregory Touhill Director of Software Engineering Institute’s CERT Division

Gregory Touhill

Former Federal Chief Information Security Officer Gregory Touhill has been appointed director of the CERT division at Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute, a research and development center sponsored by the Department of Defense (DOD). Touhill will lead the division's work with the public and private sectors to develop approaches for defending U.S. information systems from cybersecurity threats.

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NRO Plans Commercial Radar Imagery Procurement

Synthetic Aperture

A National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) official said the agency is looking to award multiple contracts to access commercial imagery from synthetic aperture radar satellites to study how space data products could support the intelligence community mission. Pete Muend, director of NRO’s commercial systems program office, said the agency began the sourcing process after its market survey in November drew many responses from the private sector.

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Army OKs Document for Tactical Space Layer Rapid Development, Deployment; Lt. Col. Travis Tallman Quoted

U.S. Army

The U.S. Army has approved a document to facilitate the rapid development and fielding of the Tactical Space Layer. The TSL abbreviated capability development document approved by the service’s assured positioning, navigation and timing/space cross-functional team will help advance the rapid experimentation and prototyping of tactical space-based sensors with ground-based systems and other platforms to speed up the sensor-to-shooter timeline needed for multidomain operations.

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DOD’s Danielle Metz: 17 Impact Level 5 Owners Implement Security Configuration Guides in DOD 365 Cloud Environment

Danielle Metz

Seventeen Impact Level 5 tenant owners have made security configuration changes to a Microsoft 365 cloud environment being developed for use by the Department of Defense, according to Danielle Metz, deputy chief information officer for the Information Enterprise at the Pentagon. She added that the team will then move to bring-your-own-approved devices and desktops. 

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NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter Conducts First Flight Demo on Mars

NASA Ingenuity

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter performed its initial flight on the Red Planet and flew for a total of 39.1 seconds at an altitude of 10 feet on Monday. A team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) confirmed the first flight demonstration of the solar-powered helicopter after receiving data from Ingenuity through the space agency’s Perseverance Mars rover.

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Anne Neuberger Offers Update on Government’s Response to Recent Cyber Incidents

Anne Neuberger

Anne Neuberger, deputy national security adviser for Cyber and Emerging Technology and a 2021 Wash100 Award winner, said that due to an increase in patching efforts, the Biden administration is “standing down” the two unified coordination groups that were established in response to cyber breaches involving SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange.

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U.S. Army Awards Contracts To Increase Artillery Systems, ‘Rate of Fire’ Capabilities

U.S. Army

The U.S. Army has awarded ARM Automation, Carnegie Mellon Robotics (CR) Tactical, Dynovas, H.A. Eckhart and RE2 Robotics Small Business Innovation Research-based (SIBR) contracts to build prototypes intended to increase the rate of fire of self-propelled howitzers and in future systems. One other effort the Army is pursuing is the Field Artillery Autonomous Resupply (FAAR). 

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David Bennett Stepping Down as DISA’s Director of Operations; Retiring on April 28th

David Bennett

David Bennett, director of operations at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), will step down and retire on April 28th after years with the U.S. government. Bennett's earlier DISA career includes work between 2003 and 2005 when he served as a program manager for global command and control systems, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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State Department Harnesses AI Tech to Address Disinformation

State Department

The State Department's Global Engagement Center uses artificial intelligence in efforts to address the fake news spreads and state-sponsored propaganda targeting the U.S. government. Daniel Kimmage, acting coordinator of GEC, said at a Foreign Policy event that the center uses AI to identify coordinated threats and understand the corresponding landscape.

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President Biden Picks Defense Exec Mara Karlin as Nominee for Strategic Role

Mara Karlin

President Biden has nominated Mara Karlin, a Pentagon executive focused on international security affairs, to become the Department of Defense's (DOD) assistant secretary for strategy, plans and capabilities. Karlin began her public sector career as a civil servant at the Office of the Secretary of Defense and went on to fill various advisory roles related to national security.

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