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Army Secretary Mark Esper Urges Allies to Invest in Modern Warfare Tech

Mark Esper, secretary of the Army, said the U.S. is asking allies to boost investments in new defense-applied technologies including hypersonics, directed energy and artificial intelligence, National Defense Magazine reported Monday. He said these new technologies are needed to deter China and Russia from being on top of the power competition.

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Trump Asks Congress for Additional $1.6B NASA Funding to Support Moon Mission

President Trump wants to give NASA an additional $1.6 billion in fiscal year 2020 to support the mission to return humans to the moon's surface by 2024, Reuters reported Tuesday. The request comes as the administration expects an increase for the costs of the lunar mission after Vice President Mike Pence announced a shorter timeline for the project, which was originally planned for 2028. 

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4th Space Operations Squadron Secures Access of AEHF-4 Satellite

The Space and Missile Systems Center handed control of a satellite unit to the 4th Space Operations Squadron during a ceremony on May 3. Built by Lockheed Martin, the Advanced Extremely High Frequency-4 satellite has received operability status from SMC and is slated to join the 4th SOPS' satellite constellation, the Schriever Air Force Base said Wednesday.

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Air Force Looks to Use Fast-Track ATO to Accelerate Cloud Migration

The U.S. Air Force expects the new streamlined process to secure the authorization to operate certification will allow the service to move up to 100 applications to the cloud in 2019, FCW reported Friday. Bill Marion, deputy chief information officer of Air Force, said the Fast-Track ATO pilot announced that it only takes six to 18 months to obtain a certification in March.

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IRS Needs Boost in Cybersecurity to Protect Taxpayer Data

The Government Accountability Office called on Congress to expand the authority of the Internal Revenue Service to monitor and coordinate third-party providers to secure sensitive financial and taxpayer information more effectively against cyber threats. Nearly 90 percent of people file their taxes every year using commercial software or a paid tax return preparer. GAO issued a new report on Thursday highlighting that IRS is failing to properly monitor its service providers to protect financial information.

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Report: New Hellfire Missile Variant Aims to Avoid Civilian Casualties

The U.S. government developed a variant of the Hellfire air-to-surface missile designed to target terrorists without explosion and reduce the risk of civilian casualties, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The modified Hellfire missile, also known as R9X, comes with a ring of six blades that can cut through vehicle roofs or buildings to home in on the target. U.S. officials said the Department of Defense used R9X six times in its operations in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. 

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Hanscom Air Force Base Unveils Prototype Combat Comms Tech

The Hanscom Air Force Base has started developing a prototype combat tool to allow voice, chat, video, command and control functions for partner countries. Conceptualized by Gen. David Goldfein, the Airborne Extensible Relay Over-Horizon Network will connect friendly units and deliver real-time location data and enemy movement to other allied forces, the U.S. Air Force said Thursday. AERONet has three different nodes that covers communications functions for airborne, ground and command teams. 

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Army Launching Efforts to Modify Commercial AI Tech for Military Use

The U.S. Army is working to apply and modify commercially available artificial intelligence technology to better suit military applications, Federal News Network reported Thursday. Maj. Gen. Cedric Wins, commander of the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, said the service branch seeks to develop AI capabilities that run on human-machine teaming technology for logistics and sustainment, situational awareness and adversary behavior analysis.

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Report: Federal IT Workforce Sees Decrease in Age Gap for 2018

The Office of Personnel Management found that the age-gap ratio of federal information technology workers has slightly decreased over the past year, Nextgov reported Thursday. Data from the OPM shows that federal agencies hired around 4.4 IT experts over the age of 60 for every individual below 30 years old, as of September 2018. The results represent a drop from the 4.5 figure recorded in 2017 and does not cover the recent government shutdown.

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DARPA Announces Dev’t of Autonomous Pilot Combat System

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency plans to develop an autonomous platform to boost pilot capabilities using of human-machine collaboration. DARPA said Wednesday that it intends to develop an artificial intelligence tool in aerial combat principles via human training methods as part of the Air Combat Evolution initiative.

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