On DoD

Federal News Radio Defense Reporter Jared Serbu speaks one-on-one and in depth with the people responsible for managing the inner workings of the federal government's largest department, and those who know it best.


With an emphasis on speed, Navy's $100 million OTA for information warfare aims for two-way relationship with IT innovators

For the Navy, a new $100 million other transaction agreement focusing on information warfare isn't just a way to turn government requirements into prototypes and fielded products at a faster clip than is possible under Federal Acquisition Regulation. It is that, but the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command sees the value in the Information Warfare Research Project as a way to pull new ideas from industry at the same time it's asking companies to solve specific problems. Bill Deligne, the deputy executive director of SPAWAR's Systems Center Atlantic joins Jared Serbu to talk about IWRP's objectives, including how it plans to maintain proper governance and oversight in the world of OTAs, where most of the government's usual acquisition rules don't apply.
00:00:00 7/17/2018

Past Episodes

Last year, the White House called on all federal agencies to draw up plans to reduce the government's civilian workforce. The Defense Department responded with a plan that explicitly rejected the presumption that civilian employees are too numerous, calling them an essential part of the total force, and asserting it needs more of them, not fewer. In this week's edition of On DoD, Thomas Hessel, the department's deputy director for total force manpower and resources joins Jared Serbu to discuss what the Pentagon has termed a "bold shift" in its approach to managing civilian employees.
00:00:00 6/26/2018
Naval Supply Systems Command is not suffering from a lack of data. But the information it holds about its responsibilities to move food, parts and supplies around the world tends to be unstructured, trapped in legacy IT systems, and not used on a day-to-day basis to help the command make better business decisions. NAVSUP is exploring ways to change that via a pair of prototype programs, both focused on the way the command does its contracting. Kurt Wendelken, NAVSUP's assistant commander for supply chain IT talks with Federal News Radio's Jared Serbu about the prototypes, and the workforce's role in helping to develop them.
00:00:00 6/25/2018
The Section 809 Panel -- the commission Congress chartered to study reforms to the federal acquisition system -- is already seeing some of its work reflected in federal legislation. The House's version of the 2019 Defense authorization bill includes several provisions that closely match the changes commissioners recommended in the first volume of their report, and there are still two more volumes to come. On this week's edition of On DoD, we hear from several Section 809 panel members about the rationale behind the reforms that made their way into the House's NDAA.
00:00:00 6/12/2018
DISA's milCloud 2.0 is about to get a wave of new customers, thanks to a Pentagon mandate to move "fourth estate" applications to the new service.
00:00:00 5/15/2018
In this week's edition of On DoD, Robert Behler, the Defense Department's new Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, talks with Jared Serbu about new procedures the department is using to test the cybersecurity of its systems. The processes include a new push to track DoD's IT supply chain, and an increased emphasis on how resilient its weapons systems will be to the cyber attacks they'll inevitably face.
00:00:00 5/13/2018
A special edition of On DoD: This week's program is an abridged version of a panel discussion at the annual Sea Air Space conference with the personnel chiefs of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, moderated by Jared Serbu.
00:00:00 4/18/2018
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.
00:00:00 4/3/2018
Glenn Fine, the Defense Department's principal deputy inspector general joins us in the first half of this week's show to talk about the audit of DoD's consolidated financial statements, and some of the internal changes his own office has made to earn it a new award as the "most improved" place to work among DoD sub-agencies. We also talk with officials from the Army's Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems about a new electronic tool that's making the process of moving paper and tasks around the Pentagon dramatically more efficient.
00:00:00 3/20/2018
Under this year's Defense authorization bill, the Defense Department has until June to start moving much of its custom-developed software source code to a central repository and begin managing and licensing it via open source methods. The mandate might prove daunting for an organization in which open source practices are relatively scarce, especially considering that, until recently, there was no established open source playbook for the federal government. That's begun to change, however, with the Office of Management and Budget's Code.gov, and its DoD corollary, Code.mil, run by the Defense Digital Service (DDS). Jordan Kasper and Ari Chivukula, two engineers on the Code.mil team join Jared Serbu to talk about open source software in DoD and Code.mil's February "relaunch."
00:00:00 3/13/2018

Rear. Adm. Danelle Barrett, the Navy's chief information officer is our guest for the full hour this week.

She and Jared Serbu spend the bulk of the hour discussing some major changes her office has just directed to reorient the way the Navy buys commercial cloud computing services. 

Also, a new pilot program the Navy's launching this spring: "Compile-to-Combat in 24 Hours." As the name implies, the idea is to deliver new software capabilities to ships in less than a day, rather than the 18 months it takes to deploy new systems right now. 

00:00:00 2/27/2018
It's now been a little over a year since the secretary of the Army issued a highly-prescriptive directive telling its commands and installations exactly which IT systems needed to move from which data centers, which data centers had to be closed, and when. But it became clear pretty quickly that a lot of those applications just weren't ready to move. In many cases, their design was too antiquated to run in a modern cloud computing environment. One solution to that problem has been ALTESS, something of a hybrid between a traditional data center and a cloud environment operated by the Army in Radford, Virginia. Jared Serbu discusses more On DoD from Federal News Radio.
00:00:00 2/14/2018
There's no shortage of members of Congress who have been pounding the table for DoD to get its financial statements in order so that the department can pass a clean audit. There are only a few, though, that understand the nuances of what's actually going to be required to complete what's likely to be the largest financial audit in history. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) is a certified public accountant and the former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee's special panel on Defense financial management and audit improvement. He joined Jared Serbu to share his views as DoD begins its first-ever full-scope financial audit.
00:00:00 1/24/2018
The military health system recently marked the successful installation of its new electronic health record at DoD's first four pilot sites in the Pacific Northwest. But the process is nowhere near as simple as ripping out the old electronic heath record systems and replacing them with a new one. The more than 100 sites yet to receive MHS Genesis still have to go through a months-long preparation process involving new hardware, software, and network capabilities to support the new EHR. Col. Kevin Seeley, the Defense Health Agency's deputy chief information officer joins us to talk about those initiatives: Desktop to Datacenter and the Medical Community of Interest.
00:00:00 12/20/2017
Every veterans day, were reminded that there are fewer and fewer World War II veterans who are still with us. One of them happens to still be working for the federal government, and hes been doing so continuously since 1942. Sarkis Tatigian is our first guest on this weeks show. He's currently the associate director in the Small Business Program Office at Naval Sea Systems command, where just marked his 75th anniversary as a federal employee.

Also this week: Lt. Col. John Riester, the deputy chief of U.S. Transporation Command's Enterprise Infrastructure Portfolio and Support Division joins us with news on TRANSCOMs ongoing migration to the commercial cloud. And Ralph Kahn, the president of Tanium Federal, talks about his firms recent win of the first-ever production contract from the Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental.
00:00:00 11/8/2017

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