U.S. Navy Commissions Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyer Frank E. Petersen, Jr. (DDG 121)

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Arleigh Burke-class (Flight-IIA) destroyer USS Frank E. Petersen, Jr. (DDG 121), May 14 in Charleston, South Carolina.

CHARLESTON, SC—Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro attended the ceremony. He began by thanking the Petersen family for their lifetime of service to the nation. “All of us join you in honoring Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr.” Del Toro also recognized the plank owners for bringing the ship to life.

Frank E. Petersen, Jr. (USMC photo)

The principal speaker was The Honorable Carlos Campbell, Naval aviator and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, who served alongside Petersen and relayed stories exemplifying the general’s strength and dedication. Recalling Petersen’s ethic, Campbell said “He received a frag wound, he was treated in the field, and returned to combat.”

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday also attended the ceremony. General David Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps, also attended the ceremony. “General Petersen was a man of many firsts,” said Berger. “There’s a saying that ships take on the characteristics of their namesakes, and if that’s true, then God help any adversary to ever confronts the Frank E. Petersen, Jr.”

Ms. Gayle Petersen, Lt. Gen. Petersen’s daughter, expressed thanks on behalf of her family and made a special recognition. “We would not be having this ceremony today if not for a gentleman named Robert Adams. When my dad was shot down in Vietnam he was rescued by Robert Adams.” Gayle continued, “I would like to thank all who had a hand in building this ship, from stem to stern.”

Guest speakers for the event included The Honorable Nancy Mace, U.S Rep. from South Carolina’s 1st District; The Honorable John Tecklenberg, Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina; Mr. George Nungesser, Vice President of Program Management, Ingalls Shipbuilding.

The ship’s sponsors are Mrs. D’Arcy Ann Neller, wife of former Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert “Bob” Neller, USMC (Ret.), and the late Dr. Alicia J. Petersen, Lt. Gen. Petersen’s wife at the time of his passing in 2015. Dr. Petersen passed away in September 2021. Both sponsors participated in the keel laying, mast stepping, and christening ceremonies.

Mrs. Neller thanked the families. “Our service members can’t do what they do without you and your love and support. To the officers and crew. A ship without a crew is like a body without blood. You will all make this ship come alive.” She continued. “The namesake of this ship was a warrior. He always went to the sound of the guns; he was always prepared and smart about the risks he took. You all need to be the same. Always be prepared. Work hard and when the time comes, you will be ready to go into the jaw of the tiger.”

During the ceremony, USS Frank E. Petersen’s commanding officer Cmdr. Daniel Hancock, reported the ship ready. Assisted by Lt. Gen. Petersen’s daughters, Gayle Petersen, Dana Petersen Moore, Lindsay Pulliam, and Monique Petersen, Mrs. Neller gave the traditional order to “Man our ship and bring her to life!”​

U.S. Navy photo from the commissioning ceremony of the newest Arleigh Burke-class destroyer

“Our incredible crew takes a great deal of pride in their work. I can find no better warrior namesake than General Frank E. Petersen Jr. None of us who know his story have ever forgotten that we are the heirs of that powerful legacy, and like the General, we have committed ourselves to owning the fight and carrying his torch proudly forward,” said Hancock. “I wish to express gratitude and pride. It is my greatest professional honor to serve with each of my crew. I am proud beyond measure. “

Lt. Gen. Petersen continues a family legacy of service begun by his great grandfather. Private Archibald (Archie) Charles McKinney enlisted in 1863 and served in the Mass 55th Company E during the Civil War. McKinney’s trip home included traveling aboard a steamship, disembarking at the Port of Charleston.​

Frank E. Petersen, Jr's first star
Frank E. Petersen, Jr. receives his first star. (USMC photo)

The future USS Frank E. Petersen, Jr. honors Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. (USMC Ret.). Petersen was the first black USMC aviator and the first black Marine to become a three-star general. Petersen served two combat tours, Korea in 1953 and Vietnam in 1968. He flew more than 350 combat missions and had over 4,000 hours in various fighter and attack aircraft. Petersen passed away in Aug. 2015 at the age of 83.

Retiring in 1988 after 38 years of service, Petersen’s awards included the Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit with Combat “V”; Distinguished Flying Cross; Purple Heart; Meritorious Service Medal; Air Medal; Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V;” and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

— Source: U.S. Navy press release


Green Knights VMFA-121
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 | VMFA-121 ‘Green Knights’ (USMC photo)
The men and women who fly the F-35B (above) are fighter pilots standing on the shoulders of the late Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen, Jr. (USMC Ret) and other great Naval Aviators.
The F-35B Lightning II is the Marine Corps variant of the Joint Strike Fighter featuring a vertical lift fan and pivoting engine nozzle for vertical landings and short takeoffs on land or at sea.

Top Gun: Petersen

Addressing the talent shortage with IBM SkillsBuild – Think 2022

IBM collaborates with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Specialisterne Foundation, and six Historically Black College & Universities to train underrepresented communities on technology

ARMONK, N.Y., May 10, 2022 — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced education initiatives with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)Specialisterne Foundation, and six Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) to provide no-cost STEM job training to U.S. military veterans, neurodivergent learners worldwide, and university students from underrepresented communities in the U.S.

These collaborations underscore IBM’s focus on providing STEM job training to traditionally underrepresented communities as part of its commitment to skill 30 million people worldwide by 2030 to create equitable, inclusive economic opportunities while also addressing a longstanding STEM job skills shortage impacting the business community.

IBM SkillsBuild
  • U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsIBM SkillsBuild will be an enhanced resource for transitioning Service members who are seeking job training and credentials through the VA to pursue a career after completing their military service. Together with the VA’s Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) Employer Consortium, IBM will help military veterans to pursue customized learning paths and other accelerated, non-traditional job training for high-demand technology careers. The Department of Defense estimates that 250,000 Service members transition annually to veteran status.
     
  • In 2021, IBM Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna pledged for IBM to partner with HBCUs to establish Cybersecurity Leadership Centers, with the goal of building a more diverse U.S. cyber workforce. Today, IBM is announcing the first six of more than 20 Cybersecurity Leadership Centers with the following HBCUs and HBCU systems: North Carolina A&T State University, Southern University System, Clark Atlanta University, Xavier University of Louisiana, Morgan State University, South Carolina State University.

Participant universities will have access to a customized, multi-year cybersecurity experience with IBM, including cybersecurity curricula, cloud access, and an immersive learning experience to expand HBCUs’ capacity to develop top talent in the cybersecurity sector.

  • Cybersecurity curricula: IBM will develop for each HBCU, a customized IBM Security Learning Academy portal – IBM client offering – including courses designed to help the university enhance its cybersecurity education portfolio. In addition, IBM will continue to give access to IBM Academic Programs.
  • Immersive learning experience: HBCUs’ faculty and students will have an opportunity to benefit from IBM Security’s Command Center, through which they can experience a highly realistic, simulated cyberattack, designed to prepare them and train them on response techniques. Moreover, HBCUs’ faculty will have access to consultation sessions with IBM technical personnel on cybersecurity.
  • Cloud access: IBM will provide faculty and students with no-cost access to multiple SaaS IBM Cloud environments.
  • Specialisterne Foundation: Together with the Specialisterne Foundation, IBM SkillsBuild will be tailored to the job training needs of neurodivergent individuals across 13 countries (Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, UK, U.S.). Specialisterne Foundation helps harness the talents of autistic persons and those with profiles such ADHD, OCD, and dyslexia.

IBM is committed to extending skills training and technology credentials to individuals from underrepresented communities and will continue to pursue new and enhanced education partnerships like these.

“We believe that the most promising job candidates for today’s demanding careers will come from communities that may have been historically overlooked or excluded due to outdated hiring policies and old-fashioned credentialling,” said Justina Nixon-Saintil, Vice President, IBM Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG. “That’s why we’re uniting the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors to cultivate STEM talent from underrepresented communities to address the world’s most critical challenges.”

“We want Veterans to have as many pathways to employment and career success as possible,” said Michael Frueh, VA’s Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits. “This is an urgent need and goes beyond hiring. This partnership will offer our Veterans a unique opportunity to obtain skills and find job opportunities across companies and industries.”

“We strongly believe that hiring diverse talent increases companies’ success,” said Steen Lohse, CEO and Managing Director of Specialisterne Foundation. “Neurodivergent people across the world will have access to free, online courses from IBM SkillsBuild on disruptive technologies such as AI, cybersecurity, and cloud computing, enabling meaningful employment for neurodivergent learners.” 

“NC A&T State University being chosen as one of the first six HBCU Cybersecurity Leadership Centers is a great privilege that will provide our students with access to top-notch education, technology, and industry professionals and will ensure the future cybersecurity workforce will be diverse, experienced, and capable of protecting this country,” said Hossein Sarrafzadeh, PhD, Director of the Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity Research, Education and Outreach. “IBM recognizes the untapped talent at HBCUs and with this investment they are building a cybersecurity education infrastructure that will propel underrepresented communities to the forefront of security leadership.”

“As we know, technology-related services are in constant demand, and cybersecurity is paramount,” said Dr. Ray L. Belton, President of the Southern University System. “Consistent growth in all areas of industry requires a well-prepared workforce. We are proud to partner in this initiative that will offer in-demand programming and opportunities to our students, adding to a diverse, global marketplace.”

“Through South Carolina State University’s collaboration with IBM, students, staff, and faculty have access to modern technology, resources, and skills development,” said Dr. Nikunja Swain, Chair and professor, Computer Science and Mathematics Department; Executive Director, Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity. “We are glad to be part of this new IBM HBCU Cybersecurity Leadership initiative, which will further enhance our ongoing activities on several key areas, including cybersecurity, data science analytics, cloud computing, IOT, blockchain, design thinking, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence.”

“Xavier is excited to partner with IBM to expand the opportunities offered to our talented students,” said Dr. Anne McCall, provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs at Xavier University of Louisiana. “At Xavier, we are responsible for cultivating the talents of the next generation, and cybersecurity is an industry of the future. This partnership will help our nation meet the growing need for skilled professionals in the cyberspace workforce.” 

“The Morgan State University CAP Center is excited about this partnership opportunity as we work together with IBM to address the high workforce demand in the cybersecurity industry,” said Dr. Kevin T. Kornegay, Professor and IoT Security Endowed Chair, Morgan State University.

“Clark Atlanta University welcomes the partnership and the expanded collaboration with IBM to build a more diverse and innovative U.S. cyber workforce. This amazing opportunity prepares our students for the future in developing cutting edge technology to solve complex cybersecurity challenges and better protect organizations in a challenging and uncertain global security environment,” said Silvanus Udoka, Ph.D., Dean, Clark Atlanta University School of Business Administration.  

In 2020, Manpower Group found that the talent shortage in the U.S. has more than tripled over 10 years, with 69% of employers surveyed struggling to fill skilled positions, up from just 14% in 2010. By September 2021, there were more than 1.2 million U.S. job vacancies postings in software-related professions, according to the National Foundation for American Policy.

— Source, video, and cover photoIBM


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Robots Compete during RoboJawn as Philly Tech Week Returns

PHILADELPHIA — Robots take the field for their initial rounds of competition during RoboJawn ‘22. FIRST Tech Challenge RoboJawn is similar to an official tournament in many ways.

Teams bring their robots and their Gracious Professionalism to compete in this year’s FREIGHT FRENZY challenge following FIRST‘s challenge rules.

Students inspect and calibrate their robots for RoboJawn 2022 bdpatoday photo © 2022

Similar to an official tournament, teams are interviewed by a panel of judges, and submit an engineering portfolio, to vie for judged awards.

Central High School in Philadelphia, PA hosted this year’s RoboJawn. For this year’s off-season competitions, bdpatoday co-sponsored Central High School’s and Philadelphia High School for Girls’ RoboJawn teams.

For upcoming RoboJawn events, visit → https://roboticscoalition.org/

— Source: Philadelphia Robotics Coalition | Cover photo: bdpatoday


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Octo
Explore new careers at Octo

Capitol Tech Hosts Cyber Saturday 2022

LAUREL, MD—BDPA Members, alumni, and regional students visit Capitol Technology University’s cyber labs during workshops, presentations, and Capture The Flag (CTF) activities during this weekend’s annual Cyber Saturday events.

Capitol Technology University is Washington D.C.’s premier STEM University–supplying human capital to America’s most technologically advanced government agencies and their private sector supply chains. In 2020, Capitol Tech was awarded a two-year grant from the National Security Agency (NSA) to lead the National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) Northeast Regional Hub, which includes 14 states, the District of Columbia, and hundreds of institutions offering cybersecurity programs. BDPA’s relationships with Capitol Tech, staff, and alumni, span two decades.

Capitol Tech staff and alumni attend annual National BDPA Career Conferences and Tech Expos.

Dr. Kellep Charles serves as an assistant professor and chairs the Capitol Technology University’s Cybersecurity department. He completed his Doctorate in Cybersecurity at Capitol Technology University.  He also holds a Master of Science in Telecommunication Management from the University of Maryland University College and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Dr. Kellep Charles (above) welcomes students and guests during Cyber Saturday.

Dr. Charles worked as a government contractor in the Washington, DC area as an information security analyst for over 20 years in the areas of incident response, computer forensics, security assessments, malware analysis, and security operations. He is the creator and executive editor of SecurityOrb.com, an information security and privacy knowledge-based website with the mission to share and raise awareness of the motives, tools, and tactics of the black-hat community, and provide best practices and countermeasures against malicious events.

bdpatoday photos © 2022 by Evan Carter


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Pre-register before April 20, 2022

State Legislative Bodies Advance Computer Science and Technology bills for High School Graduation and new Workforce STEM Requirements

NASHVILLE, TN—Tennessee’s General Assembly reconvened January 11, 2022 and on April 14, 2022 the Tennessee Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 2406 (SB 2406) requiring their Department of Education (DOE) to adopt standards for computer science education by the 2023-2024 school year. Under the new bill, by the 2024-2025 school year all high school students in Tennessee would be required to take a full year of computer science education in order to graduate and middle schoolers would have to take at least one computer science course.

CodeCrew Code School helps connect families and young adults in Memphis, TN.
Photo courtesy: CodeCrew Memphis

SB 2406 and its companion bill in the Tennessee House of Representatives, HB 2153, stipulates Tennessee [DOE] will provide in-person and online computer science courses for public school students at no charge by the start of the 2023-24 school year. To this end, DOE would also provide a computer science education professional development program at no cost to educators. Additionally, SB 2406/HB 2153 creates new computer science requirements and stronger academic standards for K-12 students with a requirement Tennessee schools implement these standards beginning in the 2024-25 school year when enacted.

BDPA Alumni and BDPA Memphis Chapter Student Members with (L-R) Bryce Ellis, Naim Hakeem, Kareem Dasilva, Judy Lane, Melaati Jayah, Jada Thorium Mykaila Johnson. Photo: BDPA Memphis

Nebraska Advances High School Computer Science and Technology Bill

Nebraska lawmakers also approved a bill last month to ensure students receive computer science and technology education prior to high school graduation. Introduced by Senator Terrell McKinney of Omaha, LB 1112 would require every public school district in Nebraska to include computer science and technology education within legacy instructional programs of its elementary and middle schools beginning in school year 2024-25.

Nebraska’s students would be required to complete at least one five-credit high school course in computer science and technology prior to graduation. These courses can be provided across traditional in-person classroom settings or blended learning environments.

Upskilling JROTC with STEM Education and Cybersecurity Training for Workforce Pipelines  

JROTC Cadets from Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. attending BDPA-DC’s annual Community Technology Awards. BDPA photo © 2019 by Roy Lewis

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2022, Public Law 117-81, authorized $187.6 million and modifies a grant program supporting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in JROTC to include quantum information sciences. NDAA 2022 also requires the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) to submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate (SASC) and the House of Representatives (HASC) a briefing on the status of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs of each Armed Force. SECDEF’s briefing must include the following:

(1) an assessment of the current usage of the program, including the number of individuals enrolled in the program, the demographic information of individuals enrolled in the program, and the number of units established under the program

(2) a description of the efforts of the Armed Forces to meet current enrollment targets for the program

(3) If applicable, an explanation of the reasons such enrollment targets have not been met
(4) a description of any obstacles preventing the Armed Forces from meeting such enrollment targets

(5) a comparison of the potential benefits and drawbacks of expanding the program; and

(6) a description of program-wide diversity and inclusion recruitment and retention efforts

Tech Industry Certifications Before High School Graduation

In Virginia, the commonwealth’s  Board of Education has approved many exams for the purpose of awarding verified credit, specifically designated as “Student-Selected Verified Credit.” In Fairfax County, just outside of our Nation’s Capital, many  Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses prepare students for industry certification opportunities. Students who desire this professional credential must pass an industry-developed, industry evaluated exam at the end of the CTE course. Earning an industry credential demonstrates professional skill levels students and JROTC cadets have achieved while providing industry-recognized proof that students are prepared for career-related responsibilities or post-secondary education or training.

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) provides a broad range of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) opportunities and academic opportunities that support pathways to STEAM jobs and careers. In Fairfax County, and across the National Capital Region, the greatest job growth continues to come largely from STEAM-related professions.

Sources: Tennessee and Nebraska General Assemblies; FCPS; Code Crews; BDPA Memphis; and BDPA-DC. Cover photo credit: Charlie Perkins, National BDPA. BDPA Southern Minnesota Coding Team shown during National BDPA’s annual High School Computer Competition (HSCC).

FCEDA

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Meta’s Huntsville Data Center announces 2022 Community Action Grants

Huntsville, AL—Meta is thrilled to announce recipients of their 2022 Community Action Grants. Congratulations BDPA Huntsville!

Through their Data Center Community Action Grants program, Meta provides funding for nonprofits and schools to support the long-term vitality of Huntsville. They fund projects that help put the power of technology to use for community benefit, connect people online or off and improve STEM education. Congratulations to the 2022 Huntsville Data Center grant recipients and a big thank you for your impactful work!

BDPA Huntsville FLIGHTS program

2022 Huntsville Data Center Grant Award Recipients

National BDPA Huntsville Chapter / $18,750
To empower the FLIGHTS program to give students real-world career experiences

Drake State Community & Technical College / $15,247
To develop STEM learning opportunities with solar robotics kits and an Arduino Rev3 programmable robot

Huntsville City Schools / $10,000
To support the development of a community STEM garden that connects the community together

100 Black Men of Greater Huntsville, Inc. / $5,000
To help put on STEAM events and programs to inspire young people from diverse communities in Huntsville

Girls Inc. of Huntsville / $15,000
To support Operation Smart program for increasing leadership and improving graduation rates by providing programs for young girls

The Livin’ Room / $17,870
To provide new computers and projectors for trainings at the community center

Northwood Community Outreach / $50,000
To equip community coding classes with technology to improve connection for students and residents

Madison City Schools / $27,000
To provide tablets and enable equitable internet access for students in need

Village of Promise / $42,243
To equip adults with technology for pursuing GEDs, training for jobs and finding employment

Discovery Middle School / $1,000
To support the Greenpower Racing Program for inspiring hands-on problem solvers

CAP & GOWN Project / $15,000
To enable transformative opportunities to pursue college for underserved secondary school students

Data centers are part of the infrastructure that helps us bring WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and more to people around the globe. They support Meta’s mission to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

Sources: Meta Platforms, Inc. and BDPA Huntsville


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Earth Day Tech Summit 2022 is a virtual event for students, JROTC Units, and young adults.

Verizon-Cisco collaboration advances autonomous vehicle tech

BASKING RIDGE, N.J.— Cisco and Verizon collaborated on a successful proof of concept demo in Las Vegas, showing that cellular and mobile edge compute (MEC) technology can enable autonomous driving solutions without the use of costly physical Roadside Units to extend radio signals.

The result paves a simpler and more efficient route to powering applications such as autonomous/unmanned last-mile delivery bots and robotaxis in cities like Las Vegas, where public MEC technologies exist. Additionally, cities and roadway operators could create safer roads with C-V2X applications including pedestrian protection, emergency and transit vehicle pre-emption, on and off-ramp protection (e.g., when a loaded truck needs autonomous guidance to merge or brake safely), and potentially others that involve vehicles approaching intersections with traffic signals.

Proof of concept

Autonomous features in connected vehicles have always relied on roadside radios to extend the signals vehicles use for low-latency communication with each other and surrounding connected infrastructure. The Cisco and Verizon test proved that Verizon’s LTE network and public 5G Edge with AWS Wavelength, together with Cisco Catalyst IR1101 routers in connected infrastructure, can meet the latency thresholds required for autonomous driving applications – replacing the costly roadside radios previously required to meet those needs.

By using LTE and edge compute to virtualize the role of the Roadside Units, C-V2X communications proved to be more streamlined – likely to result in improved efficiency and cost effectiveness for municipalities, infrastructure providers, and application developers working with autonomous vehicles. (C-V2X refers to a vehicle’s ability to communicate with other vehicles and connected infrastructure surrounding it.)

The result demonstrates that connected and autonomous vehicle applications can be deployed today using LTE networks, mobile edge compute, and in-vehicle interfaces deployed by OEMs. These capabilities could lead to safer, less congested roads with current connected and autonomous vehicles, with scalability for future applications hosted at the edge and using LTE and 5G connectivity.

Connected transportation – powered by cellular

Improving communication between vehicles and their surrounding infrastructure is essential for creating safer roadways and enabling the autonomous future of driving. Intersections must be securely connected and equipped with compute to allow applications at the edge to communicate and inform split-second decision making.

“This test is a huge milestone in proving that the future of connectivity for IoT applications can be powered by cellular,” said Krishna Iyer, Director of Systems Architecture, Verizon. “We’re marking the strength of mobile edge compute platforms for connected transportation innovation with much more streamlined architecture. Together with Cisco technologies, we’re setting the foundation potentially to realize a ubiquitous IoT in the connected and autonomous future of driving.”

“The future of autonomous vehicles cannot progress without reliable communication between vehicles and their surrounding environments,” said Mark Knellinger, Lead Transportation Solutions Architect, Cisco. “This is huge for roadway operators in that it relieves them of the massive expense of deploying and operating a dedicated V2X environment.”

— by Matt Conte, Verizon

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DISA Business Match Announced

FORT MEADE, MD—The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), in partnership with the Fort Meade Alliance, presents DISA Business Match, a full-day matchmaking event to connect small businesses with industry primes and DISA officials. The in-person event will take place on Monday, April 25 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the BWI Airport Marriott (1743 W Nursery Rd, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090).

Sign-ups and matching selections/priorities will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sign up early for your first picks!  As an added bonus, when you are in between appointments, meet with DISA’s Chief of Staff, Senior Enlisted Advisor, the SETI Program Manager, or DISA’s Office of Small Business Personnel!  DISA’s updated forecast will be hot off the presses for the event!

You will have the opportunity to share your company’s capabilities with multiple potential partners in this speed-dating format. Registration details for in-person matchmaking with DISA Program Managers and DISA’s Prime Contractors are linked below.

Select here to pre-register before Friday, April 8, 2022.

— Sources: DISA and SAM.gov

__________________________
Host Chapter(s):
BDPA Baltimore, BDPA-DC, and BDPA NoVA

For additional information or business intelligence research regarding contract opportunity pipelines, BDPA and H.O.P.E. Project Members or Alumni, business owners, HBCU/MI executives, or JROTC instructors may email us at: info@bdpadc.org for related cybersecurity, quantum technology, or STEM information, assistance, or BDPA mission-partner questions.


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TEDCO

SHIELDS UP: Readout of CISA Call With Critical Infrastructure Partners on potential Cyberattacks Against the U.S

WASHINGTON – The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) convened a three-hour call on March 22, 2022 with over 13,000 industry stakeholders to provide an update on the potential for Russian cyberattacks against the U.S. homeland and answer questions from a range of stakeholders across the nation.

As President Biden noted yesterday, evolving intelligence indicates that the Russian Government is exploring options to conduct potential cyberattacks against the United States. CISA echoed the President’s warning on the call today and reinforced the urgent need for all organizations, large and small, to act now to protect themselves against malicious cyber activity.

On the three-hour call, CISA Director Jen Easterly, Deputy Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity Matt Hartman, and Tonya Ugoretz, Deputy Assistant Director for the FBI’s cyber division, encouraged organizations of all sizes to have their Shields Up to cyber threats and take proactive measures now to mitigate risk to their networks. They encouraged those on the line to visit CISA.gov/Shields-Up to take action to protect their organizations and themselves and urged all critical infrastructure providers to implement the mitigation guidelines enumerated on CISA.gov/Shields-Up, including:

  • Mandate the use of multi-factor authentication on your systems to make it harder for attackers to get onto your system;
  • Update the software on your computers and devices to continuously look for and mitigate threats;
  • Back up your data and ensure you have offline backups beyond the reach of malicious actors;
  • Run exercises and drill your emergency plans so that you are prepared to respond quickly to minimize the impact of any attack;
  • Encrypt your data;
  • Sign up for CISA’s free cyber hygiene services; and
  • Educate your employees to common tactics that attackers will use over email or through websites, and encourage them to report if their computers or phones have shown unusual behavior, such as unusual crashes or operating very slowly.

Director Easterly urged all organizations, regardless of size, to contact CISA immediately if they believe they may have been impacted by a cyber incident. When cyber incidents are reported quickly, CISA can use the information to render assistance and help prevent other organizations and entities from falling victim to a similar attack. All organizations should report incidents and anomalous activity to report@cisa.gov or call the 24/7 CISA Central Operations Center at (888) 282-0870.  

Today’s event built on a series of briefings that CISA has been convening since late 2021 with U.S. Government and private sector stakeholders at both classified and unclassified levels. This outreach was provided to Federal Civilian Executive Branch Agencies, Sector Risk Management Agencies, private sector partners, state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments, and international partners. To date, CISA has hosted or participated in more than 90 engagements reaching tens of thousands of partners. 

–Source: CISA.gov


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Octo

OSTP Policy Statement on the 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON (White House) — “The passage of the bipartisan appropriations bill that is now headed to the President’s desk gives fresh momentum to the urgent science and technology priorities of the Biden-Harris Administration,” said Dr. Alondra Nelson, who is performing the duties of Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). “From the creation of Advanced Research Projects Agency-Health (ARPA-H), a new agency to kindle bold research and innovation on cancer and other deadly diseases, to new funding for science at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that advances actionable information on climate change, this spending bill charts a hopeful course to the future.”

Since 1978, BDPA co-hosts regional career fairs and national technology conferences. — BDPA photo

“As our nation emerges from a pandemic that illustrated the life-saving importance of investment in biomedical and public health innovation, we are grateful to see a strong commitment to build on that success,” said OSTP Deputy Director for Health and Life Sciences Dr. Carrie Wolinetz. “Not only does the omnibus include $1 billion in funding and related authorities to stand up President Biden’s proposed ARPA-H, but it provides significant investments in public health infrastructure and workforce, readying us to meet the social and scientific challenges of emerging variants and future biological threats. In addition, as we move forward with our Community Connected Health initiative, which marries telemedicine technology with community-based health delivery, we are delighted to see the critical extension of telehealth flexibilities included in the bill.”

“We are grateful to Congress for providing increases for the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Energy, the U.S. Geological Survey, the US Department of Agriculture, and other science and technology agencies,” said OSTP Principal Deputy Director for Policy Kei Koizumi. “It is especially heartening to see NSF receive resources to establish a new directorate to support research for breakthrough technologies, for solutions to our challenges, for strengthening our global economic competitiveness, and to support a diverse and equitable STEM ecosystem across all of America.”

“With increases to the budgets of NOAA, NASA, and NSF, this omnibus will strengthen our efforts to confront the climate crisis with strong funding for climate research and mitigation,” said OSTP Deputy Director for Climate and Environment Dr. Jane Lubchenco. “The science that this bill will support will strengthen our resilience and better enable us to preserve the natural world so heavily impacted by the climate crisis.”

“Increases in funding for the Department of Energy’s game-changing research in clean energy technologies will increase the technology options for meeting our climate goals and increase our energy security” said OSTP Deputy Director for Energy Dr. Sally Benson. “The bill also marks a turning point, accelerating the development of fusion power by providing funding for the Milestone-Based Development Program that supports public-private partnerships to develop practical approaches for making electricity from fusion, the same process that powers the Sun.”


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Virtual Earth Day Tech Summit 2022
April 22-23, 2022

Earth Day Tech Summit
CyberEarth22—Earth Day Tech Summit 2022
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