Defense Watch: New S&T Chief At DHS, Cyber Survey, National Cyber Range Contract

S&T Nomination. President Donald Trump has nominated William Bryan to be the Under Secretary for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security. Bryan has been the acting chief at S&T since May 2017 and joined the department after leading the energy practice at the business consulting firm ValueBridge International. Bryan previously worked at the Energy Department, including service as the Senior Adviser in the Office of International Affairs and as a deputy assistant secretary for Infrastructure Security and Energy Restoration. He was also the director for Critical Infrastructure Protection at the Defense Department’s policy office. Bryan served with the U.S. Army for 17 years and three years in the Virginia National Guard.

SLTT Cyber Survey. The Department of Homeland Security has released its biannual request for comment on the cyber security capabilities, gaps and needs of state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) governments. Comments for the Nationwide Cyber Security Review (NCSR) assessment will be accepted until Sept. 4. DHS says that “Using the anonymous results of the NCSR, DHS delivers a bi-annual summary report to Congress that provides a picture of the current Cybersecurity gaps & capabilities of SLTT governments across the nation.” DHS also says the assessment helps SLTT governments manage their risks using the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework.

T-ESB-4. The newest Navy expeditionary sea base (ESB), the USNS Hershel "Woody" Williams (T-ESB-4), arrived at homeport Naval Stattion Norfolk, Va. on May 5, finishing a 15,000 nautical mile maiden voyage from the shipbuilder in San Diego. T-ESB-4 is too big to use the Panama Canal and traveled through the Pacific Ocean, around the Straits of Magellan in South America, and back up the Atlantic Ocean, all during the South American winter. The ship was delivered to the Military Sealift Command last February. The Hershel "Woody" Williams is the second purpose-built ESB, after the USS Lewis B. Puller, which is operating in the Middle East.

Naval CRS Reports. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) completed four new reports on the background and issues for Congress with DDG-51 and DDG-1000 destroyers, John Lewis-class TAO-205 oilers, LPD-17 Flight II (LX(R)) amphibious ships, and future frigates (FFG(X)), respectively.

Naval Targets. The Navy awarded Northrop Grumman’s Orbital Sciences Corp. a $53 million modification to exercise an option to procure 18 Lot 12 full rate production GQM-163A Coyote Supersonic Sea Skimming Target (SSST) base vehicles for the Navy, Japan, and Israel.  The award covers both base vehicles and D6AC long lead steel for the GQM-163A. The work will mostly occur in Chandley Ariz., and Camden, Ark., and is expected to be finished by May 2022. Almost $3 million of funding is obligated towards the foreign military sales (FMS) funds for Japan and Israel. The SSST can reach speeds of Mach 2 and is used as a sea skimming missile target that can reach 66 feet or act as a diving target with a maximum altitude of 52,000 feet.

French Ops. Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1) on the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) is conducting integrated flight operations with French Naval Aviation aircraft as part of a French Air Defense Week. The exercise, running July 2-6, aims to increase readiness and demonstrate the ability of the allies to operate together, practicing air warfare and strike techniques. The U.S. side will use F/A-18s and E-2D Hawkeyes while France will use Dassault Rafale M Fighters. Flight operations are being conducted over France and French territorial and international waters in the Bay of Biscay. “France is our oldest ally and a vital partner in ensuring security and stability in the region and across the globe,” Commander of Carrier Strike Group 8, Rear Adm. Gene Black, said in a statement.

More Fitz Repair. The Navy awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding a $27.5 million modification for additional USS Fitzgerald (DG-62) emergent repair and restoration. This funding covers additional collision repairs plus maintenance and modernization work on the damaged destroyer. Work will occur in Pascagoula, Miss., where the ship is located for repair and is expected to be finished by January 2020.

Northrop/EPS CAPS. Northrop Grumman announced July 2 that the Air Force has agreed to move forward with its design for the Enhanced Polar System (EPS) Control and Planning Segment (CPS) program to provide secure satellite communications to forces in the North Polar region. The decision arrives at the end of Northrop Grumman’s development and testing phase for EPS CAPS, and ahead of a new $23 million deal to support the program through December. CAPS is a next-generation ground system that supplies configuration commands and mission planning to the two EPS polar-orbiting payloads.

Lockheed/NCR II. The Army has issued a notice on June 29 that it plans to award a sole-source contract to Lockheed Martin to work on the second phase of its National Cyber Range (NCR) project. Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems division will receive a firm fixed-price and cost-plus fixed fee contract to meet requirements for NCR II. The original NCR contract to Lockheed Martin was awarded in May 2014. NCR is a facility used to provide training and operational resources to the Department of Defense’s Cyber Mission Forces.

Cyber Attack Trends. FireEye has released a new infographic on cyber security trends from Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2017, that shows Iran-sponsored cyber attacks have been increasing and that advanced attackers have been using the software supply chain to conduct cyber espionage. FireEye said that have been some positives, albeit modest. For example, the company said the median time for internal detection of cyber incidents declined from 80 days in 2016 to 57.5 days in 2017 and organizations globally are increasingly identifying attacker activity internally rather than being notified by external sources, with 62 percent of compromises in 2017 detected internally versus 53 percent in 2016. FireEye also said that if an organization has been compromised, it is likely to be targeted again, with 56 percent of victims retargeted and 49 percent successfully re-attacked within a year.





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