The Insider

By Nickolai Sukharev
November 17, 2023 at 4:49 PM

The Army is surveying industry for artillery rounds that are “capable of successfully combating armored vehicles,” according to a public announcement.

Issued as a market survey, the Army is seeking sources to manufacture 155mm caliber BONUS Mk 2 with a production rate of 450 rounds per month.

“Compatible with most existing artillery guns, BONUS Mk 2 is handled just like a conventional shell,” the announcement reads.

Developed by Swedish manufacturer, Bofors during the 1980s, a BONUS round deploys two submunitions that search for separate targets within a given footprint using an explosive warhead. Once deployed, the submunitions spin and descend without a parachute that “make it difficult to detect and countermeasure,” the announcement describes.

“If no targets are identified, the system self-destructs to avoid leaving live munitions on the battlefield,” the announcement adds.

Within the Army, one variant of BONUS ammunition is designed to counter lightly armored vehicles and personnel while another is designed to counter heavily armored vehicles, according to Army spokeswoman Ellen Lovett, who told Inside Defense in an email in September.

Though BONUS ammunition deploys submunitions, similar to conventional cluster munitions, the BONUS system meets the standards specified in the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Lovett added in the email.

The announcement follows an October market survey seeking production of XM1180 Cannon-Delivered Area Effects Munition (C-DAEM), designed to be fired from the Extended Range Cannon Artillery, a self-propelled howitzer slated to replace the M109A7 Paladin.

The Army procures numerous types of 155mm rounds, including tracer, smoke and high explosive variants, according to service budget documents.

For fiscal year 2024, the Army allocated $150.8 million to procure 55,832 155mm rounds of all types, service documents state.

By Abby Shepherd
November 17, 2023 at 2:40 PM

The Navy has awarded HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding a $130 million contract to fund advance procurement for components of an amphibious assault ship, according to a notice posted Thursday.

Work on LHA-10 is expected to be completed by July 2028, according to the notice. The advance procurement of long lead time material ­­-- components that take the longest to design and fabricate for the ship -- is one aspect of the funding.

LHA-10 will be the third Flight I America-class ship and includes a well deck.

Yet, if the continuing resolution ​​the Navy is now operating under stretches past the first quarter of fiscal year 2024, funding for the buildup of LHA-10 may be at risk.

By Thomas Duffy
November 17, 2023 at 1:27 PM

We close out this week’s INSIDER Daily Digest with news of the Army training soldiers to defend against drones, a hypersonic missile defense contract awarded by the Missile Defense Agency, budget news from Capitol Hill, the Pentagon missed getting a clean audit again, and more.

Army soldiers will soon begin learning the ways to defense against unmanned air systems:

Counter UAS component to be incorporated into Army basic training

Responding to unmanned system threats will be incorporated into Army basic training, and possibly the training of other services, an official from the Defense Department’s Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO) said this week.

Two major defense contractors will continue to develop a hypersonic defense system:

MDA awards new round of funding for GPI technology development

The Missile Defense Agency is pumping $104 million into the Glide Phase Interceptor program, awarding RTX, formerly Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman $52 million options each for competing technology development efforts to design variants of a ship-launched missile capable of protecting an aircraft carrier from a long-range hypersonic weapon.

Looks like the government will stay open for now:

Senate passes CR, moves to conference defense bill with House

The Senate voted 87-11 last night to pass a stopgap continuing resolution to temporarily avert a looming government shutdown and agreed to enter conference committee negotiations with the House on the annual defense authorization bill.

Another year, another missed audit for the Pentagon:

DOD again misses mark on annual audit

The Defense Department has for the sixth consecutive year failed to achieve a “clean” audit, citing the same number of “material weaknesses” as last year, but noting that progress continues to be addressed by the replacement of outdated software systems that make it difficult to track DOD’s $3.8 trillion in assets.

The Pentagon’s top budget guy doesn’t like what he sees coming down the tracks:

DOD comptroller calls upcoming budget sequester a ‘slow-moving train wreck’

Though Congress appears poised to temporarily avert a government shutdown, Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord is sounding the alarm on a massive budget sequester scheduled to hit the Defense Department if lawmakers don’t act.

By Nick Wilson
November 17, 2023 at 12:25 PM

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Eric Smith has been released from the hospital and is continuing his recovery at home and preparing for an upcoming heart procedure after suffering a cardiac arrest on Oct. 29, according to a service press release.

The upcoming procedure will repair a bicuspid aortic valve in Smith’s heart, which directly contributed to his cardiac arrest according to doctors, the release states.

A bicuspid aortic valve is a condition present from birth in which the heart’s aortic valve has two rather than three cusps, or flaps of tissue that open and close with each heartbeat to help control blood flow, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The notice does not specify when the procedure will take place but says Smith’s recovery is “well ahead of schedule.” In a Nov. 8 statement, Smith indicated he intends to return to the role of commandant once his recovery is complete.

In the meantime, Assistant Commandant Gen. Christopher Mahoney continues to perform the duties of commandant -- a role he assumed after the Senate voted to confirm him as the service’s No. 2 officer on Nov. 2. Smith has “been in contact with Mahoney,” the service notice states.

“Gen. Mahoney and I see eye to eye on the strategic direction of our Corps and we are fortunate to be surrounded by a Marine Corps family filled with America’s finest leaders,” Smith said in a statement included in the release. “We continue to focus on finding the right balance between modernizing through Force Design and our day-to-day crisis response mission, while also on taking care of our Marines and Sailors.”

Prior to Mahoney’s confirmation, Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl, deputy commandant for combat development and integration and commanding general of Marine Corps Combat Development Command, stepped in to fill the role of commandant in Smith’s absence.

Although Mahoney was nominated to the assistant commandant post in July, Smith had been performing the duties of both the Marine Corps No. 1 and No. 2 positions due to a hold on military nominees and promotions exercised by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), who continues to block the Senate’s normal confirmation process in opposition to the Pentagon’s leave and travel policies for servicemembers seeking abortion services.

Smith previously called the workload “unsustainable,” saying he was working 18-hour days to fulfill the responsibilities of both positions.

The Senate used a workaround to individually confirm Smith, Mahoney and a handful of other senior military officials. This week, the Senate Rules Committee voted to advance a proposal that would allow the Senate to temporarily override the hold and confirm over 400 defense nominees.

By Nick Wilson
November 16, 2023 at 12:40 PM

The Navy plans to establish its own variant of the Army’s Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II, a remotely operated platform used to detect and dispose of landmines and other explosives, according to a request for information posted earlier this month.

“The U.S. Navy has decided to establish a stand-alone configuration of the MTRS II system from the U.S. Army Program of Record,” the notice states. “The purpose of this separate configuration is to address Navy specific user requirements which include integration of the Flexible Cyber Secure Radio (FlexCSR).”

The notice asks interested vendors to detail their approach to “supporting government efforts to integrate FlexCSR system into the MTRS II systems” and “supporting government with integrating any Risk Management Framework security controls that are required to establish the Authority to Operate for the Navy configuration.”

In April, The Navy awarded a five-year, $55 million contract for FlexCRS radios to contractor Tomahawk Robotics.

While MTRS Inc. II is an Army program of record, the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force also employ the platform. Contractor Teledyne FLIR was selected to build the system in 2017, and in June 2023 announced it had delivered 1,000 MTRS Inc. II units to the U.S. military. The company has received orders for more than 1,800 systems totaling over $250 million, the notice adds.

The 160-pound robot is equipped with a visual and thermal camera and a robotic arm with a reach of six feet. It is controlled by a remote operator using a handheld controller. In addition to ordinance disposal, the system can be equipped with “different sensors and payloads” for other missions including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, according to the system’s maker.

By Thomas Duffy
November 16, 2023 at 12:00 PM

We start this Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest with news about the Air Force operationally combining manned and unmanned aircraft, lots of news on the impact of a continuing resolution, a major contractor is putting its money into a new startup operation, and two studies coming out of the Defense Innovation Board.

The Air Force wants to test manned and unmanned aircraft operating together:

Experimental ops unit to assess CCA integration ahead of planned FY-28 production

The Air Force plans to establish an experimental operations unit next year to assess how Collaborative Combat Aircraft will work within fighter squadrons, the head of Air Force Futures said today.

The Navy sees bad things ahead if it keeps operating under a continuing resolution:

Key Navy acquisitions at risk under a long-term CR

The Navy is well-equipped to weather a continuing resolution running through the first quarter of fiscal year 2024 but the service will see significant disruptions to high-priority acquisition programs -- including key submarines, surface ships and munitions -- if the CR stretches to a full year.

Lockheed Martin is putting some money into a new, innovative start-up:

Lockheed invests in startup that envisions micro factories, mass customization, robotics

Lockheed Martin today announced an undisclosed investment in -- a start-up that aims to collapse the traditional prototype and testing cycle by using a set of artificial intelligence driven technologies to convert an idea directly to final physical product, upending the manufacturing paradigm.

A pentagon technology board recently discussed publicly two new studies:

Defense Innovation Board discusses ‘lowering barriers’ and building data economy

The Defense Innovation Board hosted its fall public meeting today, reporting progress on two ongoing studies focused on lowering barriers to Defense Department innovation and building the DOD data economy, while also highlighting topics for future studies.

The Pentagon’s top weapons buyer recently talked about working under a continuing resolution:

LaPlante: ‘People get laid off because of continuing resolutions’

Pentagon acquisition chief Bill LaPlante said today that he meets with other defense officials every day at 1 p.m. to discuss a potential government shutdown and the impact of stopgap funding on U.S. weapons production.

By Georgina DiNardo
November 15, 2023 at 2:26 PM

The Defense Innovation Unit announced Monday that two new companies were awarded contracts to help with different aspects of the Hypersonic and High-Cadence Airborne Testing Capabilities (HyCAT) initiative.

HyCAT, originally announced in April, was implemented to develop inexpensive, high-cadence hypersonic testing capabilities, according to a DIU press release issued Monday.

DIU has now announced that Hermeus Corp. and Innoveering have secured contracts since the project has grown to include further experimental cruise flight teams.

Hermeus will focus on providing “turbine-based combined cycle propulsion and a pathway for dual use, reusable hypersonic flight aircraft,” DIU said.

“Hermeus will emphasize demonstration of enabling technologies -- aircraft sub-systems and mission integration -- needed for future hypersonic aircraft,” according to DIU.

Meanwhile, DIU said Innoveering, which is a GE Aerospace company, received a contract to prototype an “affordable air-launched air-breathing hypersonic testbed.” The company will use subcontractors Specter Aerospace and Starfighters International to complete the prototype.

“Innoveering will mature the design, conduct supporting modeling and simulation and perform system integration to deliver a robust, hypersonic mission in the coming years,” DIU said.

“Our objective is to provide a diverse set of dual-use technology solutions to the hypersonic testing apparatus, addressing immediate and long-term needs,” Lt. Col. Nicholas Estep said. “This is the ideal conduit for DIU’s involvement -- providing mission-relevant, flight testbeds and novel technology insertions to the Defense Department hypersonic community of interest.”

DIU has tentatively set the initial mission date for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2024.

“This suite of current and future commercial capabilities provides the DOD cost-effective, high cadence test options using the best of today’s recoverable technologies and tomorrow’s reusable technologies,” said Barry Kirkendall, technical director of DIU’s space portfolio.

Fenix Space Inc. was awarded a contract at the beginning stages of the HyCAT initiative and completed the initial concept design and flight trajectories for the project.

In May 2023, DIU launched HyCAT 2, targeting “technical insertions” deemed vital to the hypersonic community.

In HyCAT 2, NXTRAC was one of the initial performers, focusing on commercializing high performance GNC solutions.

“Their solution will be aggressively designed, ground tested, then integrated for hypersonic flight evaluation,” DIU said. “In addition to hypersonics, NXTRAC’s TDSA technology is being explored for a broad range of U.S. government lines of effort, to include seismic monitoring and geothermal exploration with the Department of Energy and informing dynamic space missions with the United States Space Force.”

By Thomas Duffy
November 15, 2023 at 12:33 PM

We start this midweek INSIDER Daily Digest with news on the U.S.-Australia submarine program, the Army sees trouble ahead if Congress doesn’t pass an appropriations bill soon, a cruise missile defense project has fallen behind schedule, and several lawmakers want Israel to get new air refueling tankers.

Two congressmen expect legislation to be approved for the AUKUS effort:

Lawmakers ‘optimistic’ AUKUS legislation will pass this year

Two members of the House Armed Services Committee today said they are “optimistic” a series of legislative proposals intended to help implement the AUKUS security partnership will soon be enacted by Congress.

The Army may run into trouble if the congressional continuing resolution lasts much longer:

Wormuth says at least $6B in programs would be delayed under six-month CR

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said Tuesday that under a hypothetical six-month continuing resolution, at least $6 billion in programs would be either delayed or disrupted.

An Army missile defense project has fallen behind schedule:

IFPC Inc 2 suffering delay of at least 8 months; ‘aggressive’ effort to support Guam fielding

The Army project to develop a next-generation cruise missile defense system is facing a delay even as the effort -- called the Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 -- is carrying out what one senior official calls “aggressive activity” to support fielding in Guam by 2027 as part of a new air and missile defense system intended to counter China’s designs on Taiwan.

Several members of Congress want new tankers delivered to Israel quickly:

Lawmakers urge DOD to announce expedited delivery of KC-46A to Israel

Lawmakers are urging the Defense Department to accelerate delivery of the KC-46A tankers purchased by Israel, according to a letter sent last week.

By Georgina DiNardo
November 15, 2023 at 11:25 AM

The Defense Department has released a Responsible Artificial Intelligence Toolkit that aims to guide best practices for AI among DOD users and industry contractors.

The RAI Toolkit, coming out of the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office, is a critical part of the RAI Strategy and Implementation Pathway that Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks signed in June 2022.

“To ensure that our citizens, warfighters and leaders can trust the outputs of DOD AI capabilities, DOD must demonstrate that our military's steadfast commitment to lawful and ethical behavior apply when designing, developing, testing, procuring, deploying and using Al,” Hicks wrote. “The Responsible AI (RAI) Strategy and Implementation (S&I) Pathway illuminates our path forward by defining and communicating our framework for harnessing AI.”

The goal of the strategy, Hicks wrote, is to “eliminate uncertainty and hesitancy” among DOD users, industry and U.S. allies.

“Integrating ethics from the start also empowers the DOD to maintain the trust of our allies and coalition partners as we work alongside them to promote democratic norms and international standards,” she wrote.

A key part of this strategy and implementation plan was the development of an AI-related test and evaluation toolkit that would “draw upon best practices and innovative research from industry and the academic community, as well as commercially available technology where appropriate,” DOD said in a press release yesterday.

The toolkit was released to DOD users yesterday. It was created using the Responsible AI Guidelines and Worksheets, made by the Defense Innovation Unit, the NIST AI Risk Management Framework and Toolkit and the IEEE 7000 Standard Model Process for Addressing Ethical Concerns during System Design as a basis for its foundation.

"Responsible AI is foundational for anything that the DoD builds and ships,” CDAO Craig Martell said in a statement.

“So, I am thrilled about the release of the RAI Toolkit,” he continued. “This release demonstrates our commitment to ethics, risk assessment, internal governance, and external collaboration. We promised to establish processes to design and employ human fail-safes in AI development and deployment, and we're excited to provide this applied toolkit for our end users."

DOD also noted that the toolkit counsels users through “tailorable and modular assessments, tools and artifacts throughout the AI Product lifecycle.”

The department reports that the toolkit will be continuously updated as it is a living document.

By Tony Bertuca
November 14, 2023 at 6:09 PM

The House voted 336-95 to pass a stopgap continuing resolution that would fund some government agencies until Jan. 19 and others, including the Defense Department, until Feb. 2, with newly minted House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) relying on Democratic votes to help push the measure across the goal line.

The bill passed with the support of 209 Democrats and 127 Republicans, while 93 GOP lawmakers joined two Democrats in opposing it.

Many Republicans, including members of the House Freedom Caucus, opposed the CR because it contains no riders that would reduce government spending. A similar situation led to the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) last month.

The Freedom Caucus released a statement opposing the CR because it “contains no spending reductions, no border security and not a single meaningful win for the American people.” But the group also noted that members “remain committed to working with Speaker Johnson,” signaling there is no effort currently under way to remove him from office.

The measure now advances to the Democratic-led Senate where it is expected to pass before the expiration of the current CR on Friday averting a government shutdown.

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) said earlier today he supported the CR and believed Democrats can work with Johnson.

“We still have work to do, but we're better able to do that work if the government is not shut down,” he said.

By Tony Bertuca
November 14, 2023 at 4:09 PM

The Senate Rules Committee voted 9-7 along party lines to approve Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed’s (D-RI) resolution that would temporarily allow the Senate to override Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-AL) hold on more than 425 defense nominees.

The resolution, which would allow for the en bloc consideration of military promotions with the exception of members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and combatant commanders, will now advance to the floor where it will need 60 votes to pass.

Tuberville has been holding up scores of military nominations and promotions for months because he opposes the Pentagon’s travel and leave policy for servicemembers seeking abortion services.

Reed, who spoke at a Politico conference earlier today, said he did not want to prejudge the outcome of the upcoming vote on the floor.

“I'm never confident until it’s over,” he said. “I’m Irish.”

Reed noted that his proposal, once it reaches the Senate floor, will need nine Republicans. Though some members of the GOP have taken to the floor to criticize Tuberville’s position, none have yet backed Reed’s resolution.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who spoke during the committee’s hearing on the proposal, said he disagreed with Tuberville’s methods but does not support Reed’s proposal “at this particular moment.”

McConnell said he supports Tuberville’s position but asserted that the matter could be taken to court without blocking military promotions. He said conversations about potential offramps with Tuberville remain ongoing.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), meanwhile, said Tuberville “has single handedly brought the Senate to a new low.”

“Our colleague from Alabama has made clear he will not budge,” Schumer said.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who chairs the Rules Committee, said backing Reed’s proposal is an “elegant” solution for moving the stalled nominees forward.

“We believe this is the most sensible way to do it because it is a temporary policy,” she said.

Reed’s office put out a statement saying the resolution is technically not a rule change.

“Rather, it temporarily establishes a standing order for the remainder of the 118th Congress to provide for the en bloc consideration of military nominations -- with the exception of nominees to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and combatant commanders -- that have been favorably reported by the Senate Armed Services Committee,” the statement said.

Reed, who is quoted in the statement, said Tuberville has been “offered a number of off-ramps for his unprecedented abuse of military promotions, and this resolution offers him yet another.”

“It’s a way to solve the current crisis through the end of next year, but it cannot undo the damage Senator Tuberville has already inflicted on our military, nor should it be seen as a permanent solution,” he said.

Reed noted that the resolution is “limited in scope and duration.”

“It automatically expires at the end of this Congress, and we may need to debate this issue at the outset of the next Congress to ensure a sustainable solution,” he said. “Hopefully we can build bipartisan consensus that no senator should ever place this type of months-long blanket hold on military promotions for political demands, because the only ones benefitting here are Senator Tuberville and America’s adversaries.”

By Nickolai Sukharev
November 14, 2023 at 2:45 PM

The Army is seeking upgrades for its Stryker vehicle variant that can detect nuclear, biological and chemical attacks, according to a public announcement.

Issued as a request for information, the Army’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense is “exploring options” to improve the sensors and situational awareness capabilities on the Stryker M1135 Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Reconnaissance Vehicle.

“The Contractor is responsible for the design and fabrication of integration hardware and software for a system integration solution of a Modular Mission Payload (MMP) and a Sensor Data Processing Unit (SDPU) that meets the NBCRV SSU Performance Specification,” the announcement reads.

Proposed capabilities include chemical, radiological and aerosol detectors as well as unmanned aerial systems with payloads that can detect biological, nuclear and chemical vapors.

The sensor systems will also need to meet Command, Control, Computers, Cyber Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Modular Open Suite of Standards and Integrated Software Architecture standards.

Part of the Army’s Stryker vehicle family, the M1135 serves as the Army’s vehicle to detect and warn of nuclear, biological and chemical threats.

Additionally, the proposed capabilities should be operable with a two-person crew, the driver and commander.

Contractors are expected to deliver six systems to be fitted onto six M1135 Stryker vehicles.

In early November, the Army issued an RFI for a hybrid-electric Stryker vehicle.

Ahead of last month’s AUSA annual conference, General Dynamics Land Systems, the original manufacturer of the Stryker, unveiled the StrykerQB, a technology demonstrator that features numerous protection and situational awareness systems, such as an active protection system and see-through armor.

By Shelley K. Mesch
November 14, 2023 at 2:27 PM

The Air Force is looking to recapitalize its executive airlift fleet with two to 10 modified commercial aircraft.

According to a request for information released yesterday, the service would replace or augment the current fleet of C-32A aircraft that carry VIPs such as the vice president (during which time the plane is called Air Force Two), the first lady and the state secretary.

The Air Force is requesting information from businesses interested in an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for “modified commercial derivative aircraft,” the post states.

The C-32A were modified from Boeing 757s and entered service in 1998.

The full RFI has not been released publicly as it’s labeled as controlled unclassified information.

The service has already begun recapitalizing the Air Force One aircraft with Boeing building two VC-25Bs.

That program has been plagued by delays and often pointed to as a factor in Boeing’s poor earnings reports in its defense sector. Boeing took on the firm, fixed-price contract in 2020 and has since taken on more than $2 billion in charges.

The Government Accountability Office anticipates the first VC-25B will be delivered in January 2027 and the second in April 2027, compared to September 2024 and February 2025, respectively.

The current Air Force One planes, the VC-25As, were fielded in 1990 and are expected to be retired in 2025. The delays will lead to extra costs.

By Thomas Duffy
November 14, 2023 at 12:53 PM

We start this Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest with a look at the Army’s counter-unmanned air systems effort, there’s troubling news on the Air Force’s ICBM replacement program, the White House has issued a national spectrum strategy, and several lawmakers are asking the Defense Department to send Israel new air refueling tankers.

The Army is planning a series of operational looks at systems that can protect against unmanned air systems:

Army preps for operational assessment of ‘counter UAS-as-a-service’

The Army will begin its operational assessment of two potential counter UAS-as-a-service (CaaS) sites this fiscal year, joining other services that have taken an interest in the model.

The Air Force secretary says he is worried about a big-ticket program:

Kendall: Sentinel program at risk from ‘unknown unknowns’

The Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile program might be the largest effort undertaken by the Air Force, service Secretary Frank Kendall said today, but it may be at risk of further disruptions.

The Biden administration has issued a strategy for radio frequency bandwidths:

White House releases National Spectrum Strategy

The White House released a National Spectrum Strategy today, aiming to structure the future of U.S. innovation and national security requirements in advanced wireless technologies.

Several House lawmakers are asking the Defense Department to send Israel the newest refueling tanker:

Lawmakers urge DOD to announce expedited delivery of KC-46A to Israel

Lawmakers are urging the Defense Department to accelerate delivery of the KC-46A tankers purchased by Israel, according to a letter sent last week.

By Georgina DiNardo
November 13, 2023 at 4:52 PM

The White House released a National Spectrum Strategy today, aiming to structure the future of U.S. innovation and national security requirements in advanced wireless technologies.

“My administration’s goal is to accelerate United States leadership in wireless communications and other spectrum-based technologies and to unlock innovations that benefit the American people, while ensuring necessary access to spectrum for agencies and private-sector users, such as for scientific, public safety, critical infrastructure, and national security uses, now and into the future,” President Biden wrote in a Presidential memorandum released today.

The White House outlined “four pillars” for advancing this goal in the National Spectrum Strategy released today.

The first pillar calls for “a spectrum pipeline to ensure U.S. leadership in advanced and emerging technologies.” This includes a two-year-long study of 2,786 megahertz of spectrum for potential repurposing and the creation of guiding principles from stakeholders and data analysts on near-term allocation.

The second pillar advocates for collaboration across private stakeholders and government agencies to deliver a long-term plan that will aid developing spectrum needs.

The third pillar cites the need for innovative spectrum technologies and techniques, like spectrum sharing, to be used in technology management and development. Through this, the White House plans to establish spectrum testbeds, create a National Spectrum Research and Development plan and support private sector R&D over the next 12-18 months.

The fourth pillar plans to broaden national spectrum awareness and focuses on implementing a national spectrum workforce plan and educating the public and policymakers to widen spectrum knowledge.

The memo also directs the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to work with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Interagency Spectrum Advisory Council, which the memo also established for agency heads to communicate, to create a strategy that is a “roadmap to make spectrum resources available,” has data-driven processes, spectrum management optimization plans, emerging technological advancements in spectrum management plans and recommendations for developing a managed shared spectrum across the federal government.

The memo gives the NTIA 90 days to publish a charter for the Council and the commerce secretary until 120 days after submission of the strategy to create and publish an implementation plan for the strategy.

“The policy of my administration is to ensure that spectrum management, usage, and allocation decisions are coordinated, consistent, and reflect the needs and diverse missions of agencies and non-federal users,” Biden wrote in the memo.