On DoD

How the Army plans to compress its IT acquisition process into under a month

Some members of Congress and some corners of the Defense Department have become enamored of the idea of using other transaction authorities instead of traditional contracts as the way to force the DoD acquisition system to move as quickly as its appetite for technology. But OTAs, in and of themselves, are not the magic bullet for speedier acquisitions. That, at least, is the Army's take when it comes to acquiring new tools to defend its networks. On this week's show, Scott Helmore, the Army's product manager for defensive cyberspace operations talks with us about the various other pieces of the acquisition bureaucracy puzzle the Army had to get right before it could settle on a speedier process for acquiring new cyber tools, one that it believes will successfully operate in cycles of 30 days or less.

On DoD
00:00:00 4/3/2018

Past Episodes

On this week's program, two senior Navy IT officials join Jared Serbu to talk about the service's latest plans for identity and cloud computing. Capt. Ben McNeal, the program manager for Naval Enterprise Networks (PMW-205), discusses the Navy's move to derived credentials on mobile devices and the role identity will play in network security going forward. Later, Travis Methvin, the project manager for Navy Commercial Cloud Services (PMW-270), talks with Jared about his new office and its role in helping Navy organizations migrate their legacy systems to the cloud.
00:00:00 2/19/2019

The documentation accompanying DoD's first-ever financial audit is tough for non-auditors to decipher. But as part of its work this year, the DoD Inspector General also released an explanation of the results in layman's language; it also pointed out what the IG believes are the six most significant material weaknesses the audit uncovered. 

Carmen Malone, the Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Audit and Financial Management Readiness, talks with Jared Serbu to break down those six areas of concern.

Later in the program, Alba Aleman, the CEO of Citizant joins us to talk about how her firm survived the latest government shutdown, and what companies can do to prepare for the next one. 

00:00:00 1/29/2019

We have two guests on this week's show:

Brett Mansfield, senior advisor to the Principal Deputy DoD Inspector General talks with Jared Serbu about DoD's top ten management challenges for 2019.

Also, Adm. John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations, talks with Scott Maucione about the newest iteration of the Navy's Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority. The Navy released a "2.0" version of the document in December. 

00:00:00 1/1/2019

The Defense Department has survived the first protest of its JEDI Cloud contract. But there's at least one more - and mostly likely several more - still to come. Lauren Brier, an associate attorney with The Federal Practice Group joins us to talk about the legal issues involved in the protest Oracle filed, and why losing bidders might have more luck challenging the procurement after an award is made.

Later, Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), the presumptive incoming chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities joins us to discuss his oversight and legislative priorities for the new Congress. 

00:00:00 11/27/2018

It has been a little over a year since the Army began making some fairly monumental changes to its IT networks, including by cancelling the $6 billion dollar Warfighter Information Network Tactical (WIN-T). Two of the senior Army leaders who've been working on what's next join us to talk about what's happened in the months since the Army determined that the network it has is not the network it needs. 

Later, we discuss organizational and training changes in Army cyber and electronic warfare with Maj. Gen. John. Morrison, the commanding general of the Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Ga. 

Also, a brief discussion with Marten Mickos, the CEO of HackerOne, on DoD's latest round of contract awards to expand its "Hack the Pentagon" initiative. 

00:00:00 10/30/2018
If you've never heard of a Defense Department organization called Joint Task Force Civil Support, that's understandable. And arguably, it's a good thing. JTF-CS may be the smallest task force in the military's force structure: its headquarters at Fort Eustis, Virginia, has less than 200 people working there, and it's main mission is to organize the military's response to a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack in the United States. Our guest this week is Maj. Gen. Bill Hall, who became the commander of JTF-CS earlier this year. He says he's wanted to command the task force ever since he learned of its existence a decade or so ago. He talked with Jared Serbu about why that's the case.
00:00:00 10/10/2018
The general topic of human capital management has been on the Government Accountability Office's list of federal "high risk" areas since 2001. But the Defense Department has come to the conclusion that deficiencies in its own HR workforce is one significant factor. The HR profession, itself, is at high risk, officials say. On this week's show, Veronica Hinton, DoD's deputy chief human capital officer talks with Jared Serbu about a new effort to reinvigorate the HR workforce with new training, more strategic management, and perhaps, eventually, a simplified regulatory structure.
00:00:00 9/29/2018
The Army wants to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to help its electronic warfare officers sort out signal from noise on the battlefield. And to pick the best solutions, it's using an innovative approach. Instead of a traditional procurement, it gave industry and academia a set of challenges, using real-world data from Army sensors. Rob Monto, the Emerging Technologies Director for the Army Rapid Capabilities Office, joins Jared Serbu to talk about the results.
00:00:00 9/11/2018
For the second year in a row, the Defense department's inspector general has just released a "compendium" of open recommendations. The document is a list of all the recommendations the DOD IG has issued to the Pentagon that have gone unresolved for a year or more. There are 1,558 of them, including 56 that have been open for at least five years. The compendium also singles out 33 recommendations that the IG says could save the department $2.3 billion dollars if DoD implemented them. Troy Meyer, the assistant DoD inspector general for audit joins us to discuss the compendium. Also, the Defense Department recently announced it's changing the name of its Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, dropping the word "experimental." The Pentagon says the change reflects the "permanence" of what's now called DIU and the ongoing need to engage with nontraditional firms in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. But there's more going on than just a name change. Sean Heritage, DIU's acting managing partner, joins us to share details.
00:00:00 8/21/2018
The Army already owns what amounts to fully-functional city it uses that it uses for traditional military training events in southeastern Indiana. But until recently, it hasn't been used for cyber training. Officials have high hopes that a new set of exercises at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center will give cyber protection teams a much more realistic training experience than they'd get at the "cyber ranges" DoD currently operates. Ed Skoudis and John Nix from the SANS institute join us to discuss the "Cybertropolis" environment SANS has been helping the Army build in southeastern Indiana. Also on this week's show, Chris Cornillie from Bloomberg Government talks with Jared about Bgov's latest analysis on DoD's spending on other transation agreements. And Bill Woods joins us from the Government Accountability Office to talk about GAO's latest recommendations to revitalize DoD's moribund processes for buying commercial goods and services.
00:00:00 8/14/2018

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