As it looks to get new technologies developed and into the field as quickly as possible, the Department of Defense has been making greater use of Other Transaction Authority (OTA), a quick-strike contracting mechanism that has gone in and out of fashion since the 1950s, but is now seeing a resurgence.






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The Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) plan to move a key cybersecurity service to the cloud is in keeping with the push toward cloud computing for many of the Department of Defense’s operations, including those involving classified information. The question at the moment is whether the cloud services DISA wants to tap into are secure enough to handle the job.






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The Department of Defense is taking a more concerted approach to the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) by bringing AI projects under one roof and emphasizing the importance of working with industry and academia. At the same time, DoD is also recognizing that it needs to give ethics a seat at the table.






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Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan last Wednesday issued a memorandum that officially establishes the Defense Department’s (DoD) new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), confirming statements made by Secretary James Mattis and other DoD officials in April that a center to house DoD’s roughly 600 AI projects was forthcoming.






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The accelerating cycle of technological advancements is reaching down into even small components that traditionally operated on low power and computational capacity, while performing a narrow, specific function.






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The Department of Defense (DoD) says it’s getting ready for the big one, but in this case, it’s not talking about a kinetic attack measured in megatons. It’s referring to a cyberattack measured in terabits.






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The Department of Defense (DoD) caused a slight disturbance in the Force the other day when it pulled back an announcement related to its cloud computing initiative over some Star Wars-related acronyms. The memo announced the creation of the Central Cloud Computing Program Office, which would go by the acronym C3PO, and would support the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Cloud, Bloomberg reported. The memo was scrubbed of the Star Wars references and reissued.






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President Donald Trump last week issued an Executive Order on veterans’ health care that included an announcement that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would adopt the same electronic records systems as the Department of Defense (DoD), signing off on what was already a done deal. Emphasis on “deal,” because although the departments are on board with a project that could cost $10 billion over 10 years, history raises doubts as to whether a unified health records system can actually be achieved.






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After years on the backburner, electronic warfare (EW) is moving up the ranks as an integral part of the Pentagon’s military focus. The Army last month received approval to move ground-based EW efforts into the Terrestrial Layer Intelligence System, joining cyber, signals, and other intelligence as part of the Multi-Function Electronic Warfare (MFEW) structure. The service wants to include airborne EW later this year.






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Congress wants the Defense Department (DoD) to elaborate on its growing interest is blockchain technology, the secure digital ledger system that can be applied not only to protect financial transactions, but also many other operations such as defending against cyberattacks, protecting logistics supply chains, and securing communications with aircraft and satellites.






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In a virtually unnoticed message to Congress this month, President Donald Trump outlined his new guiding principles for reforming the Selective Service process, as called for by the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. And the Trump approach calls for a renewed focus on “critical skills.”






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The Federal Aviation Administration restricted the flight of drones over 133 military bases Thursday. This rule is the first time that the FAA has issued airspace restrictions over drones. The ruling is based on national security interests from the Department of Defense and intelligence agencies.






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