Capitol Hill Week Ahead. It’s a big week on the Hill as the HASC starts its markups of the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. The committee will release each subcommittee’s portion of the bill on Tuesday, with the personnel, tactical air and land forces, and seapower and projection forces subcommitees marking up their portions of the bill on Wednesday. The emerging threats and capabilities, strategic forces and readiness subcommittees conduct their markups on Thursday. On the Senate side, the SASC considers the nominations of Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, who was tapped to lead U.S. European Command, and Army Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, nominated for commander of U.S. Forces Korea.

NDAA Process Revs Up. HASC on April 12 kicks off the defense authorization process by introducing H.R. 4909 as the “by request” version of the bill—basically a placeholder bill containing the Defense Department’s budget request. “This procedural measure is traditionally the first step in the legislative process for the NDAA,” the committee says in a news release. Once HASC begins marking up the FY ’17 defense authorization bill this week, it will replace the current bill text with the amended version.

Orbital ATK-Intelsat. Intelsat is the first customer for Orbital ATK’s new satellite life extension service. Under the agreement, Orbital ATK manufactures, tests and launches the first commercial servicing vehicle, the mission extension vehicle-1 (MEV-1), which incorporates technologies the company uses in its commercial satellite and space logistics businesses. After successfully completing a series of in-orbit tests, the MEV-1 will begin its mission extension service for Intelsat in 2019. MEV-1 is based on Orbital ATK’s GEOStar spacecraft bus platform and uses a reliable docking system that attaches to existing features on a customer’s satellite. The vehicle has a 15-year design life and the ability to perform numerous dockings and undockings during its life span.

McCain-James. SASC Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) is accusing Air Force Secretary Deborah James of publicly obfuscating the true costs of transitioning off the Russian-developed RD-180 engine. McCain, in an April 12 letter, McCain says James publicly cited in a recent hearing a figure of anywhere from $1.5 billion to $5 billion in additional costs in moving to a combination of the Delta, developed by United Launch Alliance, and Space Exploration Technology Corp.’s (SpaceX) Falcon 9. This, he says, is contrary to what she told him in private. McCain has been leading the charge in getting the Air Force off the Russian-developed RD-180 engine for launches as soon as possible. The Air Force, on the other hand, wants to be able to use the engines for a few more years to allow a transition to next-generation launch vehicles being developed by industry.

Jeff Bezos. E-commerce and space entrepreneur Jeff Bezos envisions dozens to even as many as “hundreds of thousands” of successful companies as the commercial space industry develops. The star of the show at the 32nd Space Symposium, Bezos says many people like to view business like sports competition, where a clear winner and loser emerges at the end of a game. Many people discuss Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) in terms of two billionaires locked in a heated battle for domination of commercial space launch. But Bezos believes that great industries are built with many more than just a handful of companies. “I think that’s what we’re headed toward here,” Bezos says. “So from my point of view, the more the merrier.”

Boeing TDRS. Boeing has completed and delivered to storage its last in a series of satellites for NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) constellation, according to a company statement. TDRS-M is the sixth Boeing-built satellite for the NASA network providing high-bandwidth communications to spacecraft in low earth orbit (LEO). This is the second block of Boeing-built TDRS spacecraft. The company delivered the first three (H, I and J models) in 2000-2002. The first two satellites of the second block (K and L models) were launched in 2013 and 2014. The final satellite, TDRS-M, was completed ahead of the contract schedule and within budget at the end of 2015, Boeing says.

Cyber Capital. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) says he’s “obsessed with making Virginia the cyber capital of the United States of America,” telling attendees at FireEye’s annual government conference that there are 17,000 open cyber-related jobs in the commonwealth. “Starting pay, $88,000,” McAuliffe says in an address. “I know that as governor I’ve got to fill those jobs. I’m on a mission to get it done.” He says the federal government will continue to spend billions of dollars on cyber security and “would like to see a lot of that spent” in Virginia.

…Open for Business. McAuliffe last month attended the annual RSA information security conference in San Francisco, saying he was the only governor there, with a goal of luring cyber companies to Virginia. “Talk about shooting fish in a barrel,” he says. “Man I worked through that hallway why everyone ought to be in Virginia not in any of those other states.” McAuliffe hosted a reception that included Virginia wines and oysters, “right there in San Francisco, right next to Napa…I told everybody in California by the time I’m done as governor they’re going to think Napa is an auto parts company.”

…Top Priority. McAuliffe is currently the vice chair of the National Governors Association and will become chairman this July. He says, “my number one priority and top issue will be cyber security. So this is a topic on behalf of all the governors.” He adds, “the key operative word in America today is cyber.” The governor also chairs a cyber panel on NGA’s Council of Governors and says this summer they hope to have a legal framework in place to improve information sharing between key federal agencies and the states.

Lance to MDA. Canada’s MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates has named former Harris Corp. Chairman CEO Howard Lance as its new president and CEO, succeeding Daniel Friedmann, who remains on the board. Lance left Harris in 2011 and ever since has been an executive adviser with Blackstone Group’s private equity business. MDA is a $1.6 billion communications and information company focused on the communications, and the surveillance and intelligence sectors.

New VP at GD. General Dynamics says that Firat Gezen has been elected vice president of the company and appointed as president of its Ordnance and Tactical Systems business effective May 1. Gezen will succeed Michael Wilson, who is retiring. Gezen, 44, has been the chief operating officer of GD Ordnance and Tactical Systems for the past year and before that was VP of finance and chief financial officer of the business.

On The Prowl. EA-6B Prowler electronic attack aircraft from Marine Corps Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 deploy to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, to be an aerial electronic warfare offensive asset against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria. The deployment is planned to last through September, U.S. European Command (EUCOM) officials say. The Prowler provides an umbrella of protection to coalition aircraft and ground troops in the fight against ISIL by intercepting communications as well as disrupting ISIL’s ability to communicate. “The EA-6B Prowler is a force multiplier continuing to do what it has for the past 45 years: support warfighters flying in the air and fighting on the ground by giving them the electronic communications dominance to ensure a decisive win,” a EUCOM statement says.

Afghan Airplanes. The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) now has a fleet of eight Embraer A-29 Super Tucano turbo-prop aircraft for use in close air support missions, says Brig. Gen. Charles H. Cleveland, a spokesman for the U.S. military’s ongoing Resolute Support Mission. The first four Super Tucanos arrived in January and have achieved initial operational capability, meaning they are cleared for combat, Cleveland tells journalists during a teleconference from Afghanistan. Another four planes will arrive this month. “We think in a couple of months, they will be up and moving.” The ANDSF also has MD-53 helicopters, which are small fire-support aircraft in operation as the spring fighting season against the Taliban gears up.

… More Capable. Cleveland says the ANDSF are better trained and equipped than this time last year. In the meantime, the Afghans have increased some of their intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to include the operation of Boeing Insitu ScanEagle unmanned aerial system. The past year was a treacherous one for the ANDSF, which suffered 5,500 killed and wounded in 2015. Such a toll “is incredibly difficult for any military to sustain.  We do think, though, that we will see some improvement in their overall performance.”

Chinook Contract. Boeing follows up a $1.5 billion contract to refurbish AH-64 Apaches for the Army with a huge $308 million foreign military sales contract to build 12 CH-47F Chinook helicopters for the Netherlands.  Work will be performed in Ridley Township, Pa., with an estimated completion date of April 15, 2016.

Defense Appropriator Retires. Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) on April 13 announced he will retire after his term ends this year. As a member of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee with Naval Station Mayport in his district, Crenshaw was a powerful supporter of shipbuilding, backing programs such as the Littoral Combat Ship and LPD-17 class amphibious ship. In the early 2000s, he fought against the Navy’s plan to decommission aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), introducing a bill that would set a congressionally-mandated requirement for 12 aircraft carriers. That bill was signed into law in 2006 and still exists today.

Next-Gen Jammer. Raytheon picks up a $1 billion cost-plus incentive fee contract for the design, manufacture, demonstration and testing of 15 Next Generation jammer pods for the engineering and manufacturing development stage of the program. The new jammer will replace the 40-year-old ALQ-99 jammer pods currently on E/A-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft. The contract also funds 14 aero-mechanical test pods that will be used to test out how the jammer will affect the aircraft’s flight characteristics, as well as the pod’s safe separation from the plane.

IT Contracts. The U.S. Army awarded multiple companies a $675 million contract modification for information technology supporting enterprise software. Companies included in various orders include Telos Corp., Dell Federal Systems LP, CDW Government LLC, HPI Federal LLCm Integration Technologies Group Inc., Transource Services Corp., Emtec Federal LLCm and NCS Technologies Inc. The modification has an estimated completion date of Oct. 23, 2017. Funding and work location are to be determined for each order separately. The contracting activity is Army Contracting Command at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.

New FBI CIO. The FBI has selected Gordon Bitko as the new agency Chief Technology Officer (CIO), succeeding Jerry Pender who leaves the FBI in August 2015. First reported by Federal News Radio, Bitko has been employed by the bureau since 2007. He leads the FBI Support Services Transformation Office since 2015 and spent seven years as a supervisor and section chief in the Resource Planning Office. Bitko also served as a RAND Corporation scholar and author. The FBI first posted the CIO job opening in January. An official announcement is expected within several days.

FireEye Expands Options. FireEye is expanding its FireEye as a Service (FaaS) platform coverage with several threat coverage options and tiers of service. The company also is launching a new FireEye as a Service Delivery Partner Program to provide partners a service to enhance cyber security offerings through shared analyst expertise. Service tiers in the new offerings range from simple notification to investigation and validation of an alert to proactive hunting. The partner program has FireEye provide clients with accredited partner threat analysts to help act like an extension of a client’s cyber security team.

DISA Contract. World Wide Technology, Inc. was awarded a four-year Enterprise Storage Service II (ESS II) contract with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). The base contract is $100,000 with two one-year extension options and a total ceiling of $427 million. The company, with strategic partner Hewlett Packard Enterprise, will provide DISA with scalable, on-demand storage infrastructure based on HPE 3PAR StorageServ Storage. The service is to enable flexible worker access and is capable of handling classified and unclassified data. “It will technically refresh the existing DISA storage environment and serve the enterprise storage requirements for DISA’s U.S.-based facilities and other DISA-approved locations worldwide,” the company says in a statement.

State CIO Association Cyber Guide. The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) published the Cyber Disruption Response Planning Guide, which calls for U.S. states to develop cyber disruption response plans, provides a checklist for states to work with in developing such a plan, and a cross-functional process description as a starting point to help states develop unique processes for coordinating planning and response to disruptive cyber attacks. The guide recommends response plans include a clear governance structure, development of a risk profile for state assets, collaboration among cyber responsible agencies, and a communication plan to ensure the proper authorities have correct information as quickly as possible to respond most effectively.