The Insider

By Sara Friedman
November 25, 2020 at 3:54 PM

The accreditation body behind the Pentagon's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program has launched a new section of its website dedicated to providing contact information for certified practitioners and consultant companies.

The "marketplace" has 346 listings and can be filtered into three categories: provisional assessors, registered practitioners and registered provider organizations.

Seventy-four assessors are listed on the website with contact information including name, address, phone number and email. Some of the assessors have filled out their profiles with additional details on work experience.

The website has 149 registered practitioners who are certified by the CMMC Accreditation Body as consultants to help contractors prepare for the CMMC assessment. However, the registered practitioners are not able to conduct any assessments.

Lastly, the CMMC AB marketplace has 123 RPOs who will also be able to provide consultant services.

Information on certified third-party assessment organizations approved by the CMMC AB is expected to be added to the website soon. No CMMC assessments can be completed until there are accredited C3PAOs to conduct assessments.

By John Liang
November 25, 2020 at 1:59 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Army's Integrated Air and Missile Defense program, the Air Force's decision to base some of its C-130J aircraft in Georgia and much more.

The planned milestone C review for the Army's Integrated Air and Missile Defense program was delayed earlier this year as the result of the coronavirus outbreak and comes as the program works to recover from a disastrous 2016 limited-user testing event:

IAMD misses November milestone, but Army says program remains on schedule

The Army's Integrated Air and Missile Defense program -- a $7.9 billion effort vital to service plans to detect, track and defeat modern air threats -- suffered a minor setback this week, missing a planned Nov. 20 milestone review that aimed to transition it from more than a decade of development to initial production.

An Air Force decision to base C-130J aircraft in Georgia has raised eyebrows on Capitol Hill:

Smith accuses Air Force of politicizing C-130J basing decision

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is calling the Air Force's decision this week to reveal four preferred alternative Air National Guard C-130J bases -- including one in Georgia -- a politically motivated move that muddies the service's strategic basing process.

More Air Force news:

Roper: Retiring aging aircraft would mean 'immediate improvement' to Air Force readiness rates

The head of Air Force acquisition said today he expects the service would see "immediate improvement" in its readiness rates if it were authorized to retire older aircraft as proposed in its fiscal year 2021 budget request.

USAF moves to deploy ABMS technologies, designates RCO as acquisition lead

Air Force acquisition executive Will Roper signed a memo today that transitions the experimental Advanced Battle Management System program to a "demonstration-deployment phase" and designates the service's Rapid Capabilities Office as the "integrating" program executive office to buy and field new technologies.

Air Force to integrate some interim KC-46 RVS upgrades

The Air Force has completed its evaluation of Boeing's interim KC-46 remote vision system upgrade pitch and plans to integrate "a few capabilities" as it works toward replacing the existing system, service acquisition executive Will Roper told reporters today.

The transition to the Biden administration is moving forward:

Biden's defense team ready to land at Pentagon

Though President-elect Biden has yet to announce his nominee for defense secretary, members of his transition team are scheduled to arrive at the Pentagon on Monday to prepare for his upcoming administration.

PAE chief says Biden administration could bolster company's State Department work

The chief executive of PAE says President-elect Biden's promise to reengage internationally could lead to growth in the company's State Department work.

(For more coverage of the transition from the Trump to Biden administrations, click here.)

Gen. David Thompson, the vice chief of space operations, said during the recent Schriever Space Futures Forum that the Space Force is in the last phase of design work for the new Space Warfighting Analysis Center:

Space Force in final design phase for new Space Warfighting Analysis Center

The Space Force is finalizing the organizational details of a new Space Warfighting Analysis Center, which will play a key role in developing advanced tactics and proposing new force design elements for the service.

The Army's top civilian has signed a new modernization memo:

Army secretary signs directive to align policies, organizations to reflect modernization approach

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy in a newly signed directive is requiring the service's major organizations within its modernization enterprise to align policies and processes to reflect Army Futures Command's approach toward modernization.

Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Michael Groen, head of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, spoke to reporters at the Pentagon this week:

JAIC director: AI 'not a black box a contractor is going to deliver to you'

The Joint Artificial Intelligence Center's new director is imploring Defense Department components to understand AI and it uses, rather than just spend money on it, including through the creation of a new "missions directorate" to work with DOD organizations on how they can use AI and machine learning.

Last but not least, some cyber defense news from our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity:

DOD prepares to release assessment guide for cyber certification program

The Defense Department is planning to release its assessment guide for the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program next week, outlining the details for how companies will be evaluated for maturity levels one through three.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The next INSIDER Daily Digest will be posted on Monday, Nov. 30.

By Marjorie Censer
November 25, 2020 at 12:31 PM

Northrop Grumman said today it has named Scott Stapp chief technology officer.

"As CTO, Stapp will lead the company's technology strategy," the contractor said. "He will help to ensure the company continues to leverage current technology and identify new solutions to bring to customers, creating new business opportunities and strengthening the company's position on existing programs. He will also play a key role in engaging and developing the company's technical talent."

Stapp, who joined the company in 2014, previously was vice president for resiliency and rapid prototyping in Northrop's space systems business. He has also been an executive in the company's aeronautics systems unit.

Before joining Northrop, Stapp "led the governance, acquisition and oversight of all DOD special access programs for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and served as the principal staff assistant to the under secretary of defense, acquisition, technology and logistics," Northrop said.

By Sara Sirota
November 25, 2020 at 10:45 AM

The Air Force Scientific Advisory Board is scheduled to meet in the coming months and receive briefings on research being performed by the service.

During the first meeting in December, the parent board will learn the results of a fiscal year 2020 innovative space applications study that researchers performed at the direction of the Air Force secretary, according to a Federal Register notice released Tuesday.

The board will then meet in January to receive a briefing on the Air Force Research Laboratory's FY-21 science and technology portfolio, per a separate notice published by the Federal Register Tuesday.

Both briefings will be held virtually and are closed to the public.

By Marjorie Censer
November 24, 2020 at 4:05 PM

Jacobs said today it has acquired the Buffalo Group, a Reston, VA-based company that specializes in cyber and intelligence solutions.

Jacobs did not disclose the terms of the deal.

The company said the Buffalo Group will become part of its new cyber and intelligence business, led by Caesar Nieves, and will provide new opportunities across intelligence agencies, combatant commands and the Army.

By Marjorie Censer
November 24, 2020 at 3:59 PM

TransDigm Group said today it has agreed to acquire Cobham Aero Connectivity for about $965 million.

Cobham Aero Connectivity, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom and has about 760 employees, provides highly engineered antennas and radios with "a strong presence across major defense platforms," according to TransDigm.

"Nearly 60% of CAC's revenue is derived from international sales, and the Company has a strong presence across a diverse range of both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft," TransDigm added. "The Company operates from two primary facilities in Marlow, UK and Prescott, Arizona."

Its customers include Airbus, Boeing, Raytheon Technologies, Leonardo and Elbit, TransDigm said. The deal is slated to close early next year.

Additionally, TransDigm said today it is working with outside advisers to help identify potential buyers for businesses it acquired through purchasing Esterline Technologies in 2019.

"These operating units primarily serve the defense end market and have combined annual revenue of $250 [million] to $300 million," the company said. "At this time, the timeline for any announced divestitures remains uncertain."

By Jaspreet Gill
November 24, 2020 at 12:58 PM

The Army this month selected a new chief information officer after realigning the office of the CIO/G-6 into two separate positions earlier this year.

Raj Iyer has assumed the position as CIO for Information Technology Reform, an Army spokesman told Inside Defense today via an emailed statement. Iyer is the service's first independent CIO and did not require Senate confirmation.

The Army secretary and chief of staff in June announced the service would split the CIO/G-6 office into two separate CIO and deputy chief of staff (G-6) positions in an effort to focus on cloud architecture. The CIO/G-6 position was previously held by Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford.

As CIO, Iyer will be responsible for overseeing the planning and execution of an $18 billion portfolio for implementation of enterprise information management and information technology programs, according to a Nov. 19 Army press release.

Iyer "sets the strategic direction and oversees the execution of policies and programs for IM/IT including managing an integrated IT architecture, enterprise data management, cybersecurity and cloud management," the press release states.

Previously, he served in several management and senior management positions in both industry and the government, including chief technology officer and acting deputy CIO for Army Materiel Command in Huntsville, AL.

By John Liang
November 24, 2020 at 12:34 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Marine Corps' CH-53K helicopter program, the Missile Defense Agency's Long Range Discrimination Radar and more.

Acquisition of the Marine Corps' CH-53K helicopters will now last until fiscal year 2030 instead of wrapping up in FY-28 as planned:

Marine Corps stretches out CH-53K acquisition plan

The Marine Corps has stretched out its acquisition plan for the CH-53K helicopter, according to the Defense Department's recently released 2019 Selected Acquisition Report.

Initial fielding of the Long Range Discrimination Radar will mark the start of training with plans to connect the LRDR to the operational Ballistic Missile Defense System at a later date:

Pandemic forces six-month delay to MDA plans for LRDR initial fielding

The Missile Defense Agency is delaying initial fielding of the Long Range Discrimination Radar -- originally slated for next month -- to June 2021, a change of plans forced by the COVID-19 pandemic which hampered facility construction and installation of the new sensor in Alaska earlier this year.

The Space and Missile Systems Center is undertaking an effort to better understand how industry is thinking about the future of launch and how the service can leverage that vision in its own launch investments and planning:

SMC launch enterprise looking to industry to shape future LSP acquisition strategy

The Space and Missile Systems Center is using a new request for information to help shape a larger conversation about how future launch services acquisition strategies will build on past work and where they might move in a new direction.

The Air Force was supposed to conduct a final design review of an ICBM subsystem in December 2019, but a funding cut and testing failure with a small electrical component resulted in the service postponing the review:

ICBM fuze program finishes design review after months-long delay

The Air Force has completed a final design review of a new arming and fuzing assembly for the military's intercontinental ballistic missiles after the service had to delay the milestone by eight months from its original schedule.

The Defense Department's No. 2 top uniformed military officer spoke late last week at the Schriever Space Futures Forum:

Hyten: 'I'm going to be unbelievably loud' about space overclassification

The vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said Friday he plans to spend his last year in the seat pushing hard for changes to the way the Defense Department classifies space programs.

By Tony Bertuca
November 24, 2020 at 9:12 AM

The Defense Department is ready to immediately begin activities to transition to the administration of President-elect Biden, according to a Pentagon statement.

The statement follows an order yesterday from the Government Services Administration allowing the presidential transition process to begin.

“The department has received notice that pursuant to the Presidential Transition Act, the GSA Administrator is making certain post-election resources and services available to the Biden-Harris Transition Team,” according to DOD spokeswoman Sue Gough “This evening, DOD has been contacted by the Biden-Harris team and their designated lead for the DOD Agency Review Team and, based on the ascertainment by the GSA Administrator, we will begin immediately implementing our plan to provide support in accordance with statute, DOD policy and the memorandum of agreement between the White House and the Biden-Harris team.”

The department had been pausing all transition work until the GSA approved the process. The process, however, was slowed down for weeks by President Trump who refuses to concede the election and continues to baselessly allege widespread voter fraud.

But Trump’s legal team has repeatedly failed to produce evidence of fraud and states have begun certifying their elections. The GSA said those “recent developments” have contributed to the decision to move ahead with the transition process.

Gough said DOD’s transition task force will arrange and coordinate contact with Biden’s team.

“DOD is prepared to provide post-election services and support in a professional, orderly, and efficient manner that is befitting of the public’s expectation of the Department and our commitment to national security,” she said.

By Tony Bertuca
November 23, 2020 at 7:52 PM

Activities may now commence to begin transitioning from the administration of President Trump to President-elect Biden, according to a new order from the Government Services Administration.

In a letter to Biden, GSA Administrator Emily Murphy said she had made an official "ascertainment" that Biden is the winner of the election and will "make certain post-election resources and services available to assist in the event of a presidential transition."

Biden has already begun naming senior members of his administration, but has yet to name his choice for defense secretary. He is widely thought to be considering Michèle Flournoy for that post.

Murphy has been criticized for taking so long to open the procedural doors necessary for an orderly presidential transition, while President Trump for weeks claimed without evidence the election was targeted by mass fraud and that he is the rightful winner.

In her letter, Murphy argued the law she must follow is "extremely narrow" as the GSA may not pick or certify a presidential winner.

But Trump's legal challenges have faced serious defeats in many courts and his legal team last week was criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike for promoting baseless conspiracy theories.

Murphy said she determined it would be appropriate to begin the transition process based on "recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results" by several states.

Murphy said she has always "strived to do what is right" and faced threats online, by phone and by mail for not making a more timely decision.

"Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts," she wrote.

The GSA will make $6.3 million available to Biden's team to carry out the transition process.

Yohannes Abraham, the executive director of Biden's transition team, said Murphy's decision is "a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation, including getting the pandemic under control and our economy back on track."

"In the days ahead, transition officials will begin meeting with federal officials to discuss the pandemic response, have a full accounting of our national security interests, and gain complete understanding of the Trump administration's efforts to hollow out government agencies," Abraham said.

By Aidan Quigley
November 23, 2020 at 2:47 PM

The Naval Postgraduate School hosted a September workshop that explored how emerging technologies could shape a 2035 global conflict.

The workshop, titled "Resurrecting War Plan Blue," was held virtually from Sept. 21 to 24. Inside Defense obtained the workshop's final report, which was released Nov. 9.

The workshop considered a 2035 conflict scenario where the United States had to quickly mobilize to respond to a "rapidly deteriorating global security environment."

"The intent was to explore technologies and policies to undertake now to increase the nation's resiliency for an extended conflict," the report states.

By John Liang
November 23, 2020 at 1:47 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on space launch services, ICBM fuzes, cruise missile defense and more.

We start off with some space launch news:

SMC launch enterprise looking to industry to shape future LSP acquisition strategy

The Space and Missile Systems Center is using a new request for information to help shape a larger conversation about how future launch services acquisition strategies will build on past work and where they might move in a new direction.

Document: Space Force's national security space launch RFI

More SMC news from Friday, in case you missed it:

SMC commander teases 'significant' Space Force budget growth

The commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center said Friday the Space Force will request a significant plus-up in funding in its fiscal year 2022 budget proposal, reflecting the strategic importance of space investment as one of the Defense Department's top priorities.

The Air Force was supposed to conduct a final design review of an ICBM subsystem in December 2019, but a funding cut and testing failure with a small electrical component resulted in the service postponing the review:

ICBM fuze program finishes design review after months-long delay

The Air Force has completed a final design review of a new arming and fuzing assembly for the military's intercontinental ballistic missiles after the service had to delay the milestone by eight months from its original schedule.

The Defense Department's No. 2 top uniformed military officer spoke late last week at the Schriever Space Futures Forum:

Hyten: 'I'm going to be unbelievably loud' about space overclassification

The vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said Friday he plans to spend his last year in the seat pushing hard for changes to the way the Defense Department classifies space programs.

Senate appropriators want to fund a new Cruise Missile Defense for the Homeland-Indications and Warning project identified as an unfunded priority by the Pentagon earlier this year:

Senate panel includes funds to jump-start new CMD capability for U.S., Canada

Lawmakers have proposed a nearly $40 million addition to the Pentagon's budget in fiscal year 2021 to advance efforts aimed at adding a layer to the Ballistic Missile Defense System for detecting and tracking cruise missiles to address the growing threat to the United States and Canada from Russian bombers.

Last but by no means least, some cyber defense news from our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity:

Lockheed Martin asks suppliers for details on compliance with upcoming Pentagon cyber regime

Lockheed Martin is working with its suppliers to get details on their efforts to reach compliance with current and upcoming cybersecurity regulations from the Pentagon.

By Tony Bertuca
November 23, 2020 at 12:44 PM

President-elect Biden today announced key members of his national security and foreign policy team, including Tony Blinken, whom Biden intends to nominate as secretary of state.

Though Biden is widely thought to be considering Michèle Flournoy for defense secretary, his transition team did not make any Pentagon personnel announcements today.

Along with Blinken, the team did announce Biden would name Jake Sullivan his national security adviser. Biden also intends to nominate Alejandro Mayorkas for secretary of homeland security; Avril Haines for director of national intelligence; Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; and John Kerry as special presidential envoy for climate.

"We have no time to lose when it comes to our national security and foreign policy," Biden said in a statement. "I need a team ready on Day One to help me reclaim America's seat at the head of the table, rally the world to meet the biggest challenges we face, and advance our security, prosperity, and values. This is the crux of that team. These individuals are equally as experienced and crisis-tested as they are innovative and imaginative. Their accomplishments in diplomacy are unmatched, but they also reflect the idea that we cannot meet the profound challenges of this new moment with old thinking and unchanged habits -- or without diversity of background and perspective. It's why I've selected them."

Biden's nominees all have prior experience serving in government, including the Obama administration.

Blinken is a former deputy secretary of state. Mayorkas is a former deputy secretary of DHS and will be the first Latino and immigrant nominated to serve as secretary, according to Biden's team. Thomas-Greenfield is a 35-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service.

Kerry, who served as secretary of state under former President Obama, "will fight climate change full-time as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and will sit on the National Security Council," Biden's team said. "This marks the first time that the NSC will include an official dedicated to climate change, reflecting the president-elect's commitment to addressing climate change as an urgent national security issue."

Haines is a former deputy director of the CIA and deputy national security adviser. She will be the first woman nominated to lead the intelligence community as DNI.

Sullivan served as Biden's national security adviser when he was vice president.

Meanwhile, the White House continues to block all presidential transition activities as outgoing President Trump continues to baselessly claim Biden's victory is the result of massive election fraud.

By Marjorie Censer
November 23, 2020 at 9:21 AM

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions said earlier this month it has acquired systems and software engineering company 5-D Systems.

5-D, which has facilities in Austin, TX, and Huntsville, AL, specializes in designing, developing and testing unmanned, manned and optionally piloted vehicles and aviation systems, Kratos said.

Additionally, "5-D has been a subcontractor/teammate of Kratos on many of its systems and programs including the XQ-58A and aerial target systems," the contractor added.

Under the deal, "5-D will be a company within the Kratos Unmanned Systems Division and will function as the Systems Engineering hub for the division, leveraging its systems/software engineers, CMMI Level 3 pedigree, and the technology rich resources available in the Austin area."

By Tony Bertuca
November 23, 2020 at 5:00 AM

Not much is scheduled in Washington this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Monday

The Center for a Strategic and International Studies hosts a conversation with the chief of Air Force Special Operations Command.

Tuesday

The Atlantic Council hosts a discussion with retired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the former national security adviser.

Thursday

Thanksgiving.