Federal News Network 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.
New financing could start to improve Army housing as soon as this summer
Under a new agreement with LendLease, a large military housing operator, $1.1 billion in debt-financed housing improvements are expected to start as soon as May across six large Army bases. To explain how the deal will work, two guests from the Army's housing partnerships office join Jared Serbu. Scott Chamberlain is the chief of capital ventures in the office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Housing and Partnerships, and Jason Kallivokas is the office’s lead financial analyst.
The Defense Production Act and how the Biden administration might use it
The Defense Production Act is a special presidential authority we heard about quite a bit toward the beginning of the pandemic as the Trump administration used it to procure personal protective equipment, vaccine-related supplies and other materials. But President Biden has promised to take things a bit further – using the DPA to ramp up vaccine production and speed up the distribution process. On today’s show, two former Defense acquistion officials talk with Federal News Network's Scott Maucione about the DPA and how the new administration might use it. Our guests are Jerry McGinn, a former top official in DoD’s Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, and Andrew Hunter, a former director of the Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell.
Big changes coming to how the Navy and Marine Corps buy cloud computing services
The Navy Department is making some big changes to how it buys and uses commercial cloud computing services. Within the next few months, all the Navy and Marine Corps’ cloud purchases will be funneled through a single “marketplace,” and program managers will no longer be allowed to use their own contracts to buy cloud. Jared talks with two guests from the Navy's program executive office for digital and enterprise services, which will play a pivotal role in implementing the changes.
Later, the Army has a brand new strategy for how it’ll operate and modernize its installations between now and 2035. Alex Beehler, the assistant secretary of the Army for energy, installations and environment joins us to lay out the details.
How the Navy is using data analytics, AI to boost aviation readiness
Like the other military services, the Navy has been working in recent years to improve the readiness of its aviation fleets – especially since cuts under the Budget control Act almost a decade ago dealt a serious blow to readiness.
Bigger maintenance budgets over the last few years have helped, but money isn’t everything. The Navy is trying to innovate its way out of the readiness problem too, and with some success, thanks to a combination of processes borrowed from the commercial airline industry, data analytics and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence.
On this week’s show, Jared Serbu talks to two of the people working to refine the Navy’s processes and apply emerging technologies to the aircraft readiness challenge. Robert Smith leads the reliability control board data analytics team at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Patuxent River, Maryland, and Jason Thomas is the team’s principal analyst – he focuses on AI, modeling and simulation, and conditions-based maintenance.
Pentagon can't fix software acquisition until it gains a better understanding of its own workforce
A new Pentagon working group is trying to bring more rigor to DoD’s management of its software acquisition workforce. But the department faces a major hurdle: it knows almost nothing about the workforce as it stands today – not even how many people are in it. The RAND Corporation recently published recommendations on how DoD can identify the workforce, and also how to build a standard competency framework for software professionals. Our guest this week is Bonnie Triezenberg, a RAND senior engineer and co-author of the report.
Navy came late to the OTA game, but spending on IT, cyber now 'exploding'
In August, the Navy announced it was increasing the ceiling value for its Information Warfare Research Project OTA to $500 million. That’s after IWRP exhausted its initial 100 million dollar ceiling in just a little over a year and a half. To talk about how that happened and some of the technology that’s come out of IWRP since the OTA was first signed in 2018, Jared talks with two guests with us from Naval Information Warfare Center-Atlantic: Kevin Charlow, the Deputy Executive Director and chairman of the IWRP Executive Steering Group, and Don Sallee is the NIWC-Atlantic Acquisition Services Manager.
Later in the program, Maj. Gen. Arnold Punaro (Ret.) joins us to talk about recent leaderships shakeups at the top of DoD's civilian leadership structure and how they might impact the presidential transition process.