Weapons systems these days are run by computers, and as with other computer system, software upgrades are a constant fact of life. The trick is to install and test those upgrades effectively with a minimum of downtime. Case in point: the Navy’s venerable, but always improving, Aegis Combat System (ACS). The Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a $102.5 million contract modification to continue its long-running work on the development and integration of ACS capabilities, while exploring a way to test those upgrades without incurring downtime or extra costs. […]

After years on the backburner, electronic warfare (EW) is moving up the ranks as an integral part of the Pentagon’s military focus. The Army last month received approval to move ground-based EW efforts into the Terrestrial Layer Intelligence System, joining cyber, signals, and other intelligence as part of the Multi-Function Electronic Warfare (MFEW) structure. The service wants to include airborne EW later this year.






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Renitalynette Anderson, the former deputy director of business administration at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, accepted a new position as president at Quality Technology (QuTech), an IT solutions provider specializing in in cybersecurity, data center management, cloud computing, call center management, program management, and IT consulting with Federal, state, and local governments. 






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Communication is key–especially for the Federal government. One of the most important ways the government communicates with citizens is through agency websites. In fact, the Federal government has roughly 4,500 websites on more than 400 domains. However, the vast majority of those websites aren’t meeting industry standards.






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The MGT Act became the law of the land on Dec. 21, when President Trump signed it into law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This is the much-vaunted revolving capital fund–cut out of the original FITARA bill in committee–that establishes a central bucket of money at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), managed by the General Services Administration (GSA), for Feds to modernize legacy IT systems.






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It was no surprise to industry experts that agency performance on the initial scorecard for MEGABYTE Act compliance was poor. Twenty-one of 24 agencies graded received Fs. Managing software licenses can be complex and agencies had little time to begin the task before they were evaluated, they said.






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Usually agencies want to speak highly of their IT operating systems, so to hear Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Steve Censky call the USDA operating model “splintered and out of date” on Dec. 14 was a bit of a shock.  






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As the new year begins, Alfred Rivera, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) Development and Business Center, will retire from the Federal government. Rivera, who stepped down today, has been in the Federal service for 35 years, and spent all but 10 of those years at DISA. Rivera will begin consulting following his retirement from the public sector. 






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