Cyber Bills Progress. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last Wednesday approved by voice vote two bipartisan cybersecurity bills, one requiring owners and operators of the nation’s critical infrastructure to report to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within 72 hours of detecting a cyber-attack, and the other requiring federal civilian agencies to report all cybersecurity incidents on their networks to CISA. A bill similar to the Cyber Incident Reporting Act (S. 2875) already passed the House as part of the fiscal year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act that would also give owners and operators of critical infrastructure three days to report a cyber-attack on their networks. The Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2021 (S. 2902) in addition to requiring civilian agencies to report all cyber-attacks to CISA and major incidents to Congress, ensures CISA is the lead agency for responding to incidents on federal civilian networks.

Quantum Risk Roadmap. With advances in quantum computing technology and related risks posed to current encryption methods, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have published a roadmap with steps to help organizations prepare for post-quantum cryptography. The roadmap suggests that organizations inventory their current cryptographic systems, data being protected, and prioritizing their systems for transition. “Now is the time for organizations to assess and mitigate their related risk exposure,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “This new roadmap will help protect our critical infrastructure and increase cybersecurity resilience across the country.”

Cyber Award. BigBear.ai said it has received a five-year contract from U.S. Cyber Command to develop and deliver a real-time data analytics capability that incorporates emerging technologies to enable the command’s leadership to track, analyze and visualize business intelligence information. BigBear.ai said the TACTICALCRUISER contract represents new work for the company. The company declined to disclose the potential value of the work. “We are excited to expand our relationship with the Department of Defense and to assist USCYBERCOM by developing and delivering a web-enabled decision support system that facilitates resource-informed strategic and operational decisions,” said Reggie Brothers, CEO of BigBear.ai.

Amentum Begins CBP Work. Amentum last week said it began transitioning to its $1.3 billion contract to provide Customs and Border Protection with aviation maintenance and logistics support services. The contract, which has a one-year base period and nine one-year options, was vigorously protested by PAE, which was the incumbent on the contract.

Sustainment Costs. Sustainment represents the largest share of life cycle costs for “the vast majority” of U.S. Air Force weapons systems, according to Andrew Hunter, the Biden administration’s nominee to become Air Force acquisition chief. “My goal, if confirmed, would be to work at lowering those costs,” Hunter said during his Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) confirmation hearing. “I think there’s a number of opportunities that we can explore for how to do that. We have to make sure that we ‘bake in’ sustainability on the front end. For the systems we have in development, we will look to make sure that sustainability is considered early in the design to lower those costs over the long-term. We can also take systematic approaches, like modular open-systems approaches, to make it easier to replace obsolete parts and systems, as they age out, with replacements that are both cheaper to maintain and can give us additional capability upgrades over time.”

B-21 Cybersecurity. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), the ranking member of the SASC cybersecurity panel, wants the Air Force to submit a report to Congress on cybersecurity risk management for the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider stealth bomber under development in Palmdale, Calif. “I’m glad to see the progress of the B-21 program and the diligent work by the Air Force to keep this one on time and on budget,” he told Hunter. “I believe appropriate cybersecurity controls should seamlessly integrate into the design and development process, and more importantly, that throughout product development, those controls are significantly stress-tested before delivery.” Hunter said that Air Force weapons designs should include cybersecurity and allow software updates to counter threats.

People News. The Senate last week by a vote of 51 to 47 approved Jonathan Meyer to be general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security. Sens. Rob Portman (Ohio) and Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) were the only Republicans to vote in favor of the nomination. General Motor’s GM Defense LLC subsidiary has named retired Army Lt. Gen. John “JD” Johnson as vice president of business development, responsible for identifying growth opportunities among military and government customers. Johnson, who most recently was Raytheon Technologies’ vice president of customer engagement and solutions, was director of the Defense Department’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization and commander of Eighth Army in Korea. Peraton has named Brian Thompson as vice president and general for the Intelligence Mission Solutions business unit within the Space & Intelligence Sector. Thompson most recently was a senior vice president at Leidos serving customers in the intelligence community.

Super Hornet Crash. An F/A-18E/F Super Hornet crashed in a remote area of the Death Valley National Park, Calif., on Oct. 4. The Navy said the pilot was treated for minor injuries and released that night. The aircraft was assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 9 at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. The Navy said it crashed in a remote area and is currently under investigation. The pilot was rescued via search and rescue units from NAWS China Lake, Fort Irwin Army Base, and Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron (MAWTS) 1 from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.

Iron Dome Test. The Army is sending one of its two Iron Dome air and missile defense batteries to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam for experimental testing. The 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command is overseeing this deployment, the command said in a statement Oct. 7. Soldiers and equipment from the 2-43Air Defense Artillery Battalion from Fort Bliss, Texas will deploy to test the system capabilities and further train and refine deployment capabilities of the air defender operators. This test is to fulfill the requirement in the FY ‘19 defense authorization act that DoD deploy the Iron Dome to an operational theater by the end of 2021. The Army said there is no current plan to conduct live fire exercises of the system on Guam. Iron Dome is built by Israel’s Rafael and is co-developed by Raytheon Technologies. 

LCS Realignment. The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Fleet Introduction and Sustainment Program office (PMS 505) was realigned into Naval Sea Systems Command’s Surface Ship Maintenance, Modernization and Sustainment (NAVSEA 21) directorate during a ceremony on Oct. 1. NAVSEA 21 is the surface Navy’s main maintenance and modernization organization, focused on lifecycle management for in-service ships. PMS 505 was first established in 2011 under Program Executive Office (PEO) Unmanned and Small Combatants to make sure aspects of LCS sustainment were aligned under a single PEO. The Navy said this change will not impact the work on LCS construction or Mission Modules. Rear Adm. Eric Ver Hage, Director, NAVSEA 21, said the transition “will ensure LCS sustainment plans remain aligned with all other surface ship classes as we serve the fleet.”

Navy Cyber. The Navy held an industry day on Oct. 5 for enhancing Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and cybersecurity for companies that work on surface ship repair, maintenance and modernization. The industry day is intended to provide an overview and explain the new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) framework. DoD is migrating to the new CMMC framework to assess and enhance the cybersecurity posture of the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). “CMMC measures a company’s maturity and institutionalization of cybersecurity practices and processes,” according to a notice ahead of the industry day. CMMC is also intended to serve as a verification mechanism to ensure DIB companies implement “appropriate cybersecurity practices and processes to protect Federal Contract Information (FCI) and CUI within their unclassified networks.”

DDG-118. The Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, the future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118), sailed toward its new homeport from where it was built at the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard on Oct. 4. The Navy accepted delivery of the ship last March. DDG-118 is headed to its new homeport at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, with its commissioning scheduled for December 2021. “Following delivery to the Navy in March 2021, the entire team has continued to prepare DDG-118 for this important readiness milestone,” Capt. Seth Miller, DDG 51 program manager, said in a statement. Other ships currently under construction at Bath Iron Works include the future Carl M. Levin (DDG-120), John Basilone (DDG-122), Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG-124), Patrick Gallagher (DDG-127), Louis H. Wilson Jr. (DDG-126) and William Charette (DDG-130).

Collins Aerospace Facility. Collins Aerospace said on Oct. 4 it has opened a new Customer Experience Center in Huntsville, Ala., focused on working with Army and industry partners on aviation initiatives, to include Future Vertical Lift efforts. The company noted the facility’s close proximity to Redstone Arsenal, and added the center will serve as a testbed and demonstration area for emerging technology relevant to advanced aviation work. “Our Customer Experience Center in Huntsville is the first of its kind for Collins—established with the express purpose of delivering integrated, innovative solutions to Army Aviation for its most important programs. Collaboration will be the facility’s central focus. Collaboration with the Army, collaboration with industry, collaboration across Collins and collaboration with our sister Raytheon businesses in Huntsville,” Dave Nieuwsma, Collins Aerospace’s president for avionics, said in a statement.

DLA Deals. BAE Systems has received $139.7 million worth of contracts from the Defense Logistics Agency to support the “Energy Automation Operational Technology Sustainment” program, the company said on Oct. 5. The work includes sustainment services, preventive and corrective maintenance and integration of DLA’s Automated Tank Gauging, Independent Alarm Systems, and Overfill Protection Equipment on DoD fuel storage and distribution systems, according to BAE Systems. “For the past 20 years, our engineering and technical subject matter experts have supported DLA’s mission of providing safe, on-time, accurate delivery and storage of fuel for our warfighters’ ships, planes, vehicles, and shore facilities. We bring enhanced insight into fuel system availability, while enabling DLA to improve its inventory storage and distribution performance worldwide,” Lisa Hand, vice president of BAE Systems Integrated Defense Solutions, said in a statement.

Bell/CAE. Bell said on Oct. 6 that CAE USA will provide training devices that will support the company’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor aircraft and 360 Invictus helicopter being offered for the Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft and Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft programs, respectively. The new teaming agreement will include CAE hosting early V-280 Valor training at its facility in Dothan, Ala., according to Bell, where Army aviators will have access to the company’s advanced training systems. “Future Vertical Lift is ushering in next-generation capabilities to the U.S. Army. CAE will provide soldiers the operability and maintainability knowledge base needed to successfully operate the V-280 Valor and 360 Invictus in contested environments. The addition of CAE to Team Valor and Team Invictus demonstrates not only Bell’s commitment to providing the Army the highest performance and flight-proven option to move FLRAA and FARA to programs of record, but also to provide the best training solution possible to the Warfighters.”

Sustainment Costs. Sustainment represents the largest share of life cycle costs for “the vast majority” of U.S. Air Force weapons systems, according to Andrew Hunter, the Biden administration’s nominee to become Air Force acquisition chief. “My goal, if confirmed, would be to work at lowering those costs,” Hunter said during his Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) confirmation hearing. “I think there’s a number of opportunities that we can explore for how to do that. We have to make sure that we ‘bake in’ sustainability on the front end. For the systems we have in development, we will look to make sure that sustainability is considered early in the design to lower those costs over the long-term. We can also take systematic approaches, like modular open-systems approaches, to make it easier to replace obsolete parts and systems, as they age out, with replacements that are both cheaper to maintain and can give us additional capability upgrades over time.”

B-21 Cybersecurity. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), the ranking member of the SASC cybersecurity panel, wants the Air Force to submit a report to Congress on cybersecurity risk management for the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider stealth bomber under development in Palmdale, Calif. “I’m glad to see the progress of the B-21 program and the diligent work by the Air Force to keep this one on time and on budget,” he told Hunter. “I believe appropriate cybersecurity controls should seamlessly integrate into the design and development process, and more importantly, that throughout product development, those controls are significantly stress-tested before delivery.” Hunter said that Air Force weapons designs should include cybersecurity and allow software updates to counter threats.