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FAR Amendment Bans Gov’t Purchase of Chinese Telecom, Video Surveillance Equipment

The Department of Defense, General Services Administration and NASA are issuing an interim final rule prohibiting agencies from purchasing telecommunications and video surveillance equipment from selected Chinese vendors. The rule amends the Federal Acquisition Regulation to include a section of the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act and covers all existing indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contracts seeking services or equipment for securing and monitoring critical government infrastructure. 

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Report: Agencies Introduce IT Reskilling Initiatives for Employees

Federal agencies are launching reskilling programs to provide employees new career opportunities in the field of information technology, Federal News Network reported Wednesday. Dorothy Aronson, chief information officer at the National Science Foundation, said NSF is overseeing a pilot to assess an online learning platform, Udacity, to help volunteers from agencies learn the skills needed to become data scientists or data analysts. 

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Reformed Defense Security Service to Reduce Small Business Programs; Elizabeth Mudd Quoted

The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, formerly known as the Defense Security Service, plans to reduce small business engagement after merging with the National Background Investigations Bureau, FCW reported Wednesday. DCSA's small businesses goal would drop from 65 percent to below 10 percent as NBIB transfers to the Department of Defense, Elizabeth Mudd, DCSA's small business program manager, said at an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association event.

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Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood: Army Close to Awarding Hypersonic Missile Launcher, Glide Body Dev’t Contracts

The U.S. Army plans to award two contracts for the development of a launching system and a glide body for its hypersonic missile in the coming weeks, Defense News reported Wednesday. Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood, director of the service’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, said the first contract will require the awardee to design and integrate a vertical launcher onto a trailer. 

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DoD Undersecretary Michael Griffin: Gov’t Should Collaborate With Academia, Industry Partners

Michael Griffin, undersecretary for research and engineering at the Department of Defense and 2019 Wash100 Award winner, has urged the U.S. government to augment collaborative efforts with academic and industry partners. Griffin said the three sectors should drive partnerships to allow rapid development, conception and procurement of technologies, Naval Sea Systems Command said Wednesday

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CenturyLink Provides Secure Cloud Connectivity to U.S. Census Bureau for 2020 Census; David Young Quoted

CenturyLink announced on Thursday that the company recently secured a contract to provide secure cloud connectivity to the U.S. Census Bureau that will help digitize the 2020 Decennial Census. The company will help digitize the 2020 Census by providing the Census Bureau with Managed Trusted Internet Protocol Services (MTIPS) at speeds of 40 Gbps or higher.

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FEMA Tests National Emergency Alert System

The Federal Emergency Management Agency held a national trial to test the Emergency Alert System, a service designed to notify U.S. citizens on national emergencies, Techcrunch reported Wednesday. The system reached radios and televisions across the country with the message “This is a test of the National Emergency Alert System.”

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NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine Providing Update on First Artemis Lunar Mission on Aug. 15th

NASA Administrator and 2019 Wash100 Award winner Jim Bridenstine will meet with members of the Space Launch System (SLS) program on Thursday, Aug. 15th to discuss and view progress on the rocket and take questions from media at 11:30 a.m. CDT in front of SLS's 212-foot-tall core stage. 

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