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

Future of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud Contract

PENTAGON—Today, the Department of Defense (DoD) canceled the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Cloud solicitation and initiated contract termination procedures. The Department has determined that, due to evolving requirements, increased cloud conversancy, and industry advances, the JEDI Cloud contract no longer meets its needs. The Department continues to have unmet cloud capability gaps for enterprise-wide, commercial cloud services at all three classification levels that work at the tactical edge, at scale — these needs have only advanced in recent years with efforts such as Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) and the Artificial Intelligence and Data Acceleration (ADA) initiative. 

“JEDI was developed at a time when the Department’s needs were different and both the CSPs technology and our cloud conversancy was less mature. In light of new initiatives like JADC2 and Ai and Data Acceleration (ADA), the evolution of the cloud ecosystem within DoD, and changes in user requirements to leverage multiple cloud environments to execute mission, our landscape has advanced and a new way-ahead is warranted to achieve dominance in both traditional and non-traditional warfighting domains,” said John Sherman, acting DoD Chief Information Officer.

Concurrent with the cancellation of the JEDI Request for Proposals (RFP), the DoD announced its intent for new cloud efforts. The Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC) will be a multi-cloud/multi-vendor Indefinite Delivery-Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract. The Department intends to seek proposals from a limited number of sources, namely the Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) and Amazon Web Services (AWS), as available market research indicates that these two vendors are the only Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) capable of meeting the Department’s requirements. However, as noted in its Pre-Solicitation Notice, the Department will immediately engage with industry and continue its market research to determine whether any other U.S.-based hyperscale CSPs can also meet the DoD’s requirements. If so, those Department will also negotiate with those companies. 

— Source and photos: Department of Defense


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Top 25 Tech Stories from 2020

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WASHINGTON ―The wait is finally over for the very end of 2020. The latest lists from Industry of top stories in tech, cyber, and STEM likely will loom much larger in the fog of 2021. Topping the charts for 2020 during National BDPA’s 45th Anniversary year were stories directly and indirectly related to COVID-19Big TechCybersecurity, and Social Unrest amidst a wider and much deeper ‘Digital Chasm‘ connecting underserved communities with their respective populations during a pandemic.

The Top 25

Most of the top 25 stories highlighted below for 2020 previously were shared with Industry, communities of color, traditionally marginalized communities, and underserved communities inside or on the covers of weekly and monthly publications. 

25. Earth Day Tech Summit: BDPA and UDC Earth Day Summits go virtual due to COVID-19. [April 2020 edition of bdpatoday]

24. Digital Divide: 51,000 laptops with Internet services were provided to students in Detroit, MI. [bdpatoday.com]

23U.S. Naval Academy: Midshipman First Class Sydney Barber becomes the first Black female to lead Brigade of Midshipmen. Upon graduation in May of 2021, MIDN Barber will receive her commission as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. [bdpatoday 11.14.20 ICYMI edition]

22. Zoom: In order to meet exponential growth and unprecedented demand, Oracle is selected as a cloud infrastructure provider for Zoom meetings. [bdpatoday 05.02.20 ICYMI edition]

21. U.S. Navy: LTJG Madeline G. Swegle becomes the U.S. Navy’s first Black female Tactical Air (TACAIR) jet pilot. [July 2020 edition of bdpatoday]

20. NIST: The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Privacy Framework Version 1.0 was released to help organizations identify and manage privacy risk for building innovative products and services while protecting individuals’ privacy. [ bdpatoday 01.18.20 ICYMI edition]

19. Digital Divide: T-Mobile launches Project 10-Million. [bdpatoday 10.03.20 ICYMI edition]

18. COVID-19: Apple and Google partner on contact-tracing technology. [bdpatoday.com]

17. Tesla: Headquarters and Gigafactory moves are heading to Austin, TX. [bdpatoday.com]

16. HPC: Lewis Hamilton wins 7th FIA Formula One championship powered by edge-to-core analytics with high-performance computing (HPC) from HPE. [bdpatoday 11.28.20 ICYMI edition]

15. COBOL: Federal, State, and Local governments call for more COBOL programmers to assist staff with stimulus, relief, and unemployment checks. [bdpatoday 04.04.20 ICYMI edition]

14. Exascale Day!: October 18th is Exascale Day. HPE, JEF, and BDPA welcomed “10 to the 18th power” or “10^18” during Exascale Day Weekend launching a series of supercomputer, HPC, and artificial intelligence (Ai) webinars. [October 2020 edition of bdpatoday]

13. Digital Divide: Best Buy Foundation awards a community grant to BDPA’s Tablets For Teensprogram and regional initiatives. [bdpatoday.com]

12. BDPA2020: National BDPA’s 45th Anniversary, Annual Technology Conference, Diversity Career Fair, I.T. Showcase, Mobile App Showcase, and the annual National High School Computer Competition (HSCC) collectively go 100-percent virtual for the first time in the Association’s history. #BDPA2020 was successfully delivered across all mobile platforms. [August 2020 Special Edition of bdpatoday

11. USASMDC: The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and BDPA Huntsville launch a new Cyber Workforce initiative with the U.S. Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC.) [bdpatoday 10.31.20 ICYMI edition]

10. Digital Divide: Microsoft awards $15 million in Community Skills Grants, an investment over three years to fifty (50) Black- and African American-led nonprofits that are working to increase skill development and economic opportunities. The H.O.P.E. Project DMV in partnership with National BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter (bdpadc.org) are one of Microsoft’s grant recipients for 2020. [bdpatoday.com]

9. AFRL: In fiscal year 2021 (FY21), the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program seeks to ink new and innovative deals with emerging small businesses and HBCU mission partners to meet or exceed the Department of the Air Force’s (DAF) priorities. [bdpatoday May 2020 edition] 

8. Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin’s latest rise in 2020. For the first time in its history, Bitcoin reached $20,000. According to CNBC, the world’s most-valuable virtual currency traded 5.6% higher on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, to a new price of around $20,600, taking its year-to-date gains north of 180%! [bdpatoday.com]

7. SpaceX: The launch of two NASA astronauts aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) marked the first private spaceflight company to send a crewed spacecraft into space. [bdpatoday June 2020 edition] 

6. SolarWinds: Government agencies ‘hacked’ again ― stories from Federal, State, and Local agencies are still unfolding as we venture deeper into 2021. [bdpatoday.com]

5. Wall Street: Nasdaq advances “diversity” as stocks in 2020 across most major indices reached record highs. Nasdaq soon may adopt new listing rules related to board diversity and disclosures. [bdpatoday.com]

4. White House: As the daughter of two immigrants from Jamaica and India, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris’ historic election breaks several barriers. “All eyes are on Georgia” as the next President of the Senate awaits Georgia’s runoff election results to determine control of the U.S. Senate. [bdpatoday November 2020 edition] 

3. Big Tech vs. Uncle Sam: On October 6, 2020, bdpatoday.com featured a story about the House Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee’s release of findings of its more than 16-month long investigation into the state of competition in the digital economy, especially the challenges presented by the dominance of Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook and their business practices. On October 20, 2020, bdpatoday.com shared a story from the Department of Justice (DOJ.) DOJ — along with eleven state Attorneys General — filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop Google from unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets and to remedy the competitive harms. In 2021 and the foreseeable future, “Big Tech” will have its day in Congress and the Courts from at least two branches of government. In the pipeline will be renewed battles over Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 (at 47 U.S.C. § 230). “Section 230” provides immunity for content providers and website publishers from third-party content. [bdpatoday.com]

2. COVID-19: “All Hands On Deck” for scientists, engineers, physicians, logisticians, STEM technicians, and I.T. professionals. “Digital divides” and “heath desert” challenges across the globe in underserved communities are hampering vaccine distributions as 2020 fades away. [bdpatoday December 2020 edition]

Number 1. Digital Divide and Social Unrest: Black Data Matters, Black Tech Matters, Black Consumers Matter, all lives matter, every student ― #BDPAfuture ― really matters. Founded by Earl A. Pace, Jr. in Philadelphia, PA as Black Data Processing Associates, BDPA was established in 1975 to promote and share awareness across traditionally underserved or marginalized communities of new “Data Processing” careers with related technical job openings in “Computer Science” fields. Today, BDPA’s mission has not waivered.

The pandemic of 2020 coupled with civil unrest across several U.S. cities revealed widening ‘digital chasms’ with news deserts, health deserts, and food deserts in every corner of America leading up to our top stories for 2020. Systemic racism, cultural biases, social discord, oppression from deep within our society’s soul, and gerrymandered redlining transgressions still are shrewdly perpetuated today through outdated laws, discriminatory policies, algorithmic bias, obsolete technology, and dilapidated infrastructures. To this end, our lead success stories feature BDPA, its ICT Industry partners, major corporations, and local BDPA Chapter mission-partners making impact investments to help eliminate “deserts” within digitally divided communities as millions of students, teachers, and parents where forced home; many with little or no access to high speed Internet services. [bdpatoday.com]

In Memoriam

Last October, National BDPA celebrated the life of Vivian C. Wilson, the first women elected to the Association’s chief executive role of National BDPA President.

BDPA Nation also said goodbyes in 2020 to iconic Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman; Dr. George Robert Carruthers, an inventor, physicist, engineer and space scientist; Roderick “Rod” Wesley Flakes, former President, BDPA (Boston) Mass MetroWest Chapter and engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC); U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; one of NASA’s “Hidden Figures” Katherine Johnson; U.S. Representative John LewisNorman Shakespeare, former Vice President of Strategic Planning, BDPA (Boston) Mass MetroWest Chapter; model and restaurateur Barbara “B” Smith; and Charles “Chuck” Yeager, World War II ace fighter pilot and U.S. Air Force quintessential test pilot.

Up Next

2021 has arrived! In May 2021, bdpatoday (ISSN 1946-1429) launches its 15th year to proudly serve more I.T. technicians and cybersecurity professionals, new HBCU Chapters, new student members, and new consumers in every industry. To add your team’s success stories in tech, cyber, and STEM along with new campaigns or press releases, contact our team directly at: info@bdpatoday.org – or – press@bdpadc.org.

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Key words: #5G #Ai #AirForce #AFRL #Army #BDPA #bdpatoday #BigTech #Bitcoin #COBOL #cryptocurrency #cyber #DigitalDivide #diversity #DOD #DOJ #Gigafactory #hackers #HBCU #HPC #HSCC #Huntsville #ICT #innovation #MarineCorps #Navy #Nasdaq #SBIR #SEC #Section230 #SMDC #SpaceForce #STEM #STTR #supercomputer #tech #technology #USASMDC #WallStreet

STEM NOLA Receives Nearly $3M Department of Defense Grant to Expand STEM Education

Multimillion Dollar Grant Will Extend STEM Programs to U.S. Military Families, Low Income Students of Color And Underrepresented Communities

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ ― STEM NOLA has received a $2.79 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to expand its educational workshops and access across the Gulf South, serving military-connected families. STEM NOLA’s largest award to date is a part of the highly competitive National Defense Education Program Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics awards, which granted a total of 12 awards this year, totaling $31 million over a three-year period.

“We are exceedingly grateful and incredibly proud to partner with the U.S Department of Defense in addressing some of the most urgent educational needs among military families and underrepresented communities,” says STEM NOLA CEO Calvin Mackie. “This grant is life-changing. It will continue the great momentum we’ve created this year by immediately shifting our STEM programs and afterschool activities to a virtual platform.”

The multimillion dollar grant will strengthen STEM NOLA’s innovative STEM ecosystem created to build confidence, skills and performance in STEM-related subjects and fields such as the power of wind, friction, rockets and robotics. It will continue STEM NOLA’s mission of engaging, inspiring and empowering young people and students of color through STEM-activities while providing awareness of the DOD’s STEM career opportunities.

In 2018, Mackie was selected by Gov. John Bel Edwards to serve as one of three leading Louisiana advocates of STEM preparation to represent Louisiana at the inaugural State-Federal Science Technology Engineering and Math Summit to be hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in Washington, D.C. In 2017, Gov. Edwards appointed Mackie to the Louisiana Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Advisory Council. The council coordinates and oversees STEM education programs, to increase student interest and achievement in the fields of STEM; to ensure the alignment of education and workforce needs; and to increase the number of women who graduate from a postsecondary institution with a STEM degree or credential.

Mackie has won numerous awards including the 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. He received the 2019 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Board’s Chair (CBCF) Phoenix Award. The Phoenix Award is the highest honor presented by CBCF. It recognizes individuals whose extraordinary achievements strengthen communities and improve the lives of individuals and families, nationally and globally.

About STEM NOLA
Founded by New Orleans native and former tenured Tulane Engineering professor, Dr. Calvin Mackie, STEM NOLA is dedicated to exposing, inspiring and engaging communities in learning opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The award-winning programming designs and delivers activities, programs and events, with a focus on underserved communities. The non-profit organization is dedicated to developing future Innovators, Creators and Entrepreneurs through the exposure to 21st Century skills of Communication, Collaboration and Critical Thinking. Since 2014, STEM NOLA has engaged over 40,000 students – mostly under-served students of color – in hands-on STEM project-based learning.

Source and photos: STEM NOLA

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DoD Invests $50 million in Minority-Serving Institutions For Scientific Research

PENTAGON—The Department of Defense (DoD), through the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)), is pleased to announce awards totaling $50 million to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions (HBCUs/MSIs) to conduct research in defense priority areas. The competitive awards cover two discrete funding opportunities under the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 DoD HBCU/MSI Research and Education Program.

“Our nation’s HBCUs and MSIs are at the forefront of innovation and help strengthen the Department’s fundamental advancements in priority scientific areas. Building upon the DoD’s strong history of investing in HBCUs and MSIs, today’s announcement totaling $50 million demonstrates our continued commitment to these institutions and their contributions to advance transformative defense research,” said Michael Kratsios, acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

A merit competition administered by the Army Research Office selected 31 HBCUs and MSIs for awards totaling $25.4 million. The awardees will conduct three-year research projects in scientific disciplines including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, autonomous vehicles, big data analytics, and quantum computing. Made under policy and guidance from OUSD(R&E), with participation from the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the awards support the research initiatives of OUSD(R&E) and all three Services and will advance technologies directly relevant to the National Defense Strategy.

The FY 2020 funding opportunity announcement received over 160 proposals. The list of awardees is available on the FY 2020 DoD HBCU/MI Research and Education Program (REP) Research Awards(PDF).

A separate $24.5 million merit competition administered by the Army Research Laboratory selected four HBCUs/MSIs to establish Centers of Excellence (COEs) under the DoD Research and Education Program. The institutions and their academic partners will conduct cutting-edge research in defense priority areas over a five-year period centering on artificial intelligence and machine learning, aerospace, quantum science, and fully networked command, control, and communications.

The four awardees are:

  • Howard University, Center of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Howard University and collaborator Old Dominion University will address research and engineering challenges to building safe, robust, and trustworthy AI to support DoD’s modernization priorities. Applications include AI for the battlefield internet of things, electronic warfare, counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and machine vision.
  • Tuskegee University, Aerospace Education, Research, and Innovation Center (AERIC): AERIC will expand the future aerospace technical workforce and enhance research in areas including fatigue damage tolerance, experimental aerodynamics, and the performance of material and components under extreme environment conditions.
  • Delaware State University, Center of Excellence in Advanced Quantum Sensing: In partnership with Northwestern University, the center is dedicated to providing a distinctive research program in quantum sensing and prioritizing quantum information science-related education.
  • University of California, Riverside (UCR), Center for Networked Configurable Command, Control, and Communications for Rapid Situational Awareness: UCR along with the University of California, San Diego, will address fundamental research questions in the development of a robust, resilient, secure, and fully networked command, control and communications infrastructure.

Made under policy and guidance from OUSD(R&E), with participation from the Navy and Air Force research laboratories, the COE selections were based on a merit review by a panel of experts. All awards will be made by the Army Research Laboratory. The list of awardees and their academic partners is available on DOD’s site:

https://basicresearch.defense.gov/Programs/HBCU-MI-Program/

Together the FY 2020 research and education awards and COE awards will help drive the DoD HBCU/MSI Program toward its goals to (a) enhance research programs and capabilities in scientific and engineering disciplines critical to the national security functions of DoD; (b) expand the capacity of HBCUs/MSIs to participate in DoD research programs and activities; and (c) increase the number of graduates, including underrepresented minorities, in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields important to the defense mission.

OUSD(R&E) is responsible for research, development, and prototyping activities across DoD. OUSD(R&E) fosters technological advancement across DoD to ensure the long-term superiority of the American joint force.


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AT&T and U.S. Air Force Academy Collaborate to Explore Advanced Technologies

VIENNA, VA — AT&T and the U.S. Air Force Academy are working together on networking services and advanced technology capabilities. They entered a 5-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) aimed at boosting the Air Force’s use of modern technology at a pace more like the commercial sector.

“Networking is a platform for innovation and mission support,” said Lt. Col. Michael Chiaramonte, director of Air Force CyberWorx at the Air Force Academy. “With access to AT&T’s resources, we plan to advance our academic and research objectives. By leveraging public-private partnerships with AT&T and our other industry partners, we improve our understanding and use of technology and, ultimately, improve the Air Force’s mission capabilities.”

The collaboration aims to:

  • Offer knowledge and commercial best practices of cybersecurity, Internet of Things, and other AT&T-led innovations for the Air Force Academy faculty. Such innovations include Smart Base solutions, software-defined networking and 5G.
  • Provide hands-on demonstrations for Academy cadets.
  • Ensure AT&T has greater insight into the vision and technology needs of the U.S. Air Force.
  • Explore opportunities beyond academic interests.

airforce-pilot“Our work with the U.S. Air Force Academy will be much like an action-oriented academic ‘think tank.’ We’re here to help the Air Force keep pace with commercial innovation and pinpoint their current and future technology needs,” said Rocky Thurston, Client Executive VP, AT&T Public Sector.

Part of the Air Force’s larger mission

Partnerships fuel the Academy research program. There are 19 centers and 2 institutes, as well as cadets, faculty and industry all working together for the benefit of tomorrow’s Air Force. CyberWorx was established in 2016 as a public-private design center focused on cyber capability. It combines Air Force, academic and industry expertise with state of the art technology and innovative thinking to solve operational problems.

— Source: AT&T

A  D  V  E  R  T  I  S  E  M  E  N  T

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President Elevates U.S. Cyber Command to Unified Combatant Command

WASHINGTON — At the direction of the president, the Defense Department today (18 AUG 17) initiated the process to elevate U.S. Cyber Command to a unified combatant command (UCC).

U.S. Cyber Command Emblem

“This new unified combatant command will strengthen our cyberspace operations and create more opportunities to improve our nation’s defense,” President Donald J. Trump said in a written statement.

The elevation of the command demonstrates the increased U.S. resolve against cyberspace threats and will help reassure allies and partners and deter adversaries, the statement said.  The elevation also will help to streamline command and control of time-sensitive cyberspace operations by consolidating them under a single commander with authorities commensurate with the importance of those operations and will ensure that critical cyberspace operations are adequately funded, the statement said.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is examining the possibility of separating U.S. Cyber Command from the National Security Agency, and is to announce his recommendations at a later date.

Growing Mission

The decision to elevate U.S. Cyber Command (Cybercom) is consistent with Mattis’ recommendation and the requirements of the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, Kenneth P. Rapuano, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and global security, told reporters at the Pentagon today.

“The decision is a welcome and necessary one that ensures that the nation is best positioned to address the increasing threats in cyberspace,” he added.

Cybercom’s elevation from its previous subunified command status demonstrates the growing centrality of cyberspace to U.S. national security, Rapuano said, adding that the move signals the U.S. resolve to “embrace the changing nature of warfare and maintain U.S. military superiority across all domains and phases of conflict.”

Cybercom was established in 2009 in response to a clear need to match and exceed enemies seeking to use the cyber realm to attack the United States and its allies. The command is based at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, with the National Security Agency. Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers is the commander of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency director. The president has directed Mattis to recommend a commander for U.S. Cyber Command, and Rogers for now remains in the dual-hatted role, Rapuano said.

More Strategic Role

Since its establishment, Cybercom has grown significantly, consistent with DoD’s cyber strategy and reflective of major increases in investments in capabilities and infrastructure, Rapuano said. The command reached full operational capability Oct. 31, 2010, but it is still growing and evolving. The command is concentrating on building its Cyber Mission Force, which should be complete by the end of fiscal year 2018, he said.

The force is expected to consist of almost 6,200 personnel organized into 133 teams. All of the teams have already reached initial operational capability, and many are actively conducting operations. The force incorporates reserve component personnel and leverages key cyber talent from the civilian sector.

“This decision means that Cyber Command will play an even more strategic role in synchronizing cyber forces and training,  conducting and coordinating military cyberspace operations, and advocating for and prioritizing cyber investments within the department,”  Rapuano said.

Cybercom already has been performing many responsibilities of a unified combatant command. The elevation also raises the stature of the commander of Cyber Command to a peer level with the other unified combatant command commanders, allowing the Cybercom commander to report directly to the secretary of defense, Rapuano pointed out.

The new command will be the central point of contact for resources for the department’s operations in the cyber domain and will serve to synchronize cyber forces under a single manager. The commander will also ensure U.S. forces will be interoperable.

“This decision is a significant step in the department’s continued efforts to build its cyber capabilities, enabling Cyber Command to provide real, meaningful capabilities as a command on par with the other geographic and functional combat commands,” Rapuano said.

by Jim Garamone and Lisa Ferdinando
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

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DIA Director appointed new Deputy Commander for U.S. Cyber Command

Mr. Clapper and General Stewart
General Stewart (DIA) with Mr. James Clapper (DNI)

PENTAGON — Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis announced that one of the president’s general officer assignment nominations on 19 JUNE 2017 is Marine Corps Lieutenant General Vincent R. Stewart for appointment and assignment as deputy commander, U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM).  General Stewart is currently serving as the director, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Washington, District of Columbia.

CYBERCOM’s mission is to plan, coordinate, integrate, synchronize, and conduct activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks.  CYBERCOM also must prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries.

Since 2009, CYBERCOM has been co-located with the National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Meade, Maryland, sharing personnel, tactics, tools and a director.  Congress recently directed CYBERCOM to become a full unified combatant command. Both organizations, while often times conducting similar activity, are defined under different statutory terms.

CYBERCOM, as a military organization under the chain of command of the secretary of defense, is governed by Title 10 of the United States Code (USC). NSA is an intelligence organization under the scope of Title 50, with Title 10 combat service support (CSS) duties performed when necessary. These two legal distinctions help define and refine specific roles and responsibilities for the organizations that govern them.

— Sources:
Department of Defense and BDPA-DC
Photos:
bdpatoday and U.S. Marine Corps

Microsoft Inks $927M Pentagon Deal

FORT MEADE, MD [Nasdaq]—Under a new contract with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Microsoft will provide new consulting services that include software developers and product teams “to leverage a variety of proprietary resources and source code,” as well as the firm’s premier support services like tools and knowledge centers and problem resolution assistance from developers.

pentagon-geoNasdaq reports Microsoft’s contract with DISA is a noncompetitive, single-award, firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ). The new contract comes in addition to another large award with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) earlier this year, which moves all of DoD’s 4 million employees to Windows 10 within a year, as well as purchasing large quantities of new laptops and related hardware.  Although Microsoft’s support for DISA mostly takes place in the U.S. (CONUS), DOD states some services may also be required at other locations outside the continental U.S. (OCONUS).

DISA is a combat support agency of the Department of Defense with 6,000 civilian employees, 1,500 active duty military personnel from the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, and approximately 7,500 defense contractors. DISA provides and operates command, control, and enterprise information systems.

Defense.gov: Select here to read more.

—Sources:  Nasdaq and defense.gov
Photos:  U.S. Navy and DoD

DOD STEM Leads in Technology and Innovation

WASHINGTON—The Department of Defense (DoD) STEM mission is to attract, inspire, and develop exceptional STEM talent across the education continuum to enrich our current and future DoD workforce to meet defense technological challenges. In alignment with the Federal plan, the Department’s strategy collectively addresses critical STEM challenges as a national priority through communication, talent inspiration and cultivation, and diversity emphasis using evidence-based approaches.

dodstem2DoD provides learning opportunities from elementary school through graduate school to inspire and cultivate a diverse pool of exceptional STEM talent.

DoD programs connect STEM education in the classroom to the excitement, skills, and challenges that come with safeguarding our country.

Discover more at dodstem.us or watch their latest video.

—Photos and video courtesy: Department of Defense
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