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11:55 pm, August 28, 2014

DoD News

Bob Tobias, American University

A new performance award strategy could rise from the ashes of a now-defunct pay system at the Defense Department. DoD tried to replace the General Schedule system with a National Security Personnel System back in the mid-2000s, but the White House repealed it two years ago. Bob Tobias is Director of Key Executive Leadership Programs at American University. He was part of a Task Force that tried to improve the system back in 2009. He said one bright spot in the system could be the key to building a new performance culture across the federal government on In Depth with Francis Rose.

Wednesday - 07/09/2014, 04:45pm EDT
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Patrick DeGroodt, Deputy Product Manager, Department of the Army

The technical name for one of the Army's communications networks is Warfighter Information Network-Tactical Increment Two. But some soldiers prefer to call it their digital guardian angel. Another calls it the holy grail of communication. Now one of the creators of the Army's WIN-T system is receiving prestigious recognition for his role in its creation. Patrick DeGroodt is Deputy Project Manager for the Department of the Army. He's a Service to America medal finalist in the National Security and International Affairs category. He explained the creation process on In Depth with Francis Rose. Read a Q&A with DeGroodt.

Wednesday - 07/09/2014, 04:23pm EDT
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Senate report: Billions of dollars at risk from shaky Pentagon IT programs

A new bipartisan report from the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations called the Air Force's now-canceled Expeditionary Combat Support System "one of the most egregious examples of mismanagement by the DoD in recent memory." But the failure of ECSS may not be an aberration, the report suggested. Other enterprise-resource planning programs in the department are at risk of falling victim to the same fate.

Wednesday - 07/09/2014, 08:27am EDT

Federal travel restrictions are costing money and harming security

The restrictions on feds' travel opportunities are having too many unintended consequences, says Larry Allen, president of Allen Federal Business Partners.

Wednesday - 07/09/2014, 02:41am EDT

Bill Lynn, CEO, Finmeccanica North America

The first change of command at U.S. Cyber Command is complete. General Keith Alexander made way for Admiral Mike Rogers recently. But new revelations from Edward Snowden are a reminder that the first four years of the combination of CYBERCOM and the National Security Agency aren't without controversy. William Lynn was Deputy Secretary of Defense when the Defense Department stood up Cyber Command. He wrote about the strategy behind it in Foreign Policy at the time. He is now Chief Executive Officer of Finmeccanica North America and DRS Technologies. He explained on In Depth with Francis Rose the chain of events that caused DoD leadership to stand up Cyber Command.

Tuesday - 07/08/2014, 05:29pm EDT
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Committee outlines drastic changes to military as it works toward pay and benefits recommendations

A specially-formed commission tasked with modernizing military compensation released an interim report in anticipation of its full recommendations due in February. The document reviews massive changes that have occurred since the military switched to an all-volunteer force in 1973.

Tuesday - 07/08/2014, 05:18pm EDT

DoD needs to be open to global, commercial technology, expert says

Former Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn says the Pentagon needs to adjust its strategy to take advantage of the global and commercial technology markets.

Tuesday - 07/08/2014, 04:35pm EDT
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Brian Lepore, Government Accountability Office

The Defense Department isn't following one of its own roadmaps. Back in 2012, defense planners devised a plan for protecting bases and installations from the potentially damaging effects of climate change. That's all started to affect DoD's planning, but there's a lot more to do. Brian Lepore is the director of Defense Capabilities and Management at the Government Accountability Office. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss what the roadmaps mean.

Tuesday - 07/08/2014, 10:52am EDT
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Chemical weapons destruction underway

The Pentagon says the transfer of Syrian chemicals from the Danish container ship Ark Futura to the Motor Vessel Cape Ray is complete. Cape Ray departed the Italian port of Gioia Tauro on Monday for international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, where neutralization operations will soon begin. The neutralization process should take several weeks to complete. Secretary Hagel expressed his thanks to Danish and Italian authorities for their support in this process and said in a statement he "is enormously proud of everyone who helped make possible this safe and incident-free transfer."

Tuesday - 07/08/2014, 08:41am EDT

John Pendleton, Government Accountability Office

The Pentagon says it's time to trim down the size and the cost of its headquarters staff around the world. The Government Accountability Office says the size of the overall workforce at the Pentagon's combatant commands doubled over the past decade. Overall spending to support the command headquarters grew by almost $1 billion, too. John Pendleton is director of defense capabilities and management of the GAO. He explained DoD's reduction plan and recommended ways to shrink the workforce on In Depth with Francis Rose.

Monday - 07/07/2014, 04:10pm EDT
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Air Force engineers develop lifesaving, IED-detecting technology

Sean C. Young and Benjamin J. Tran, two electronics engineers with the Air Force Research Lab created an aerial sensor that has helped U.S. service members to find and destroy dangerous improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Afghanistan.

Monday - 07/07/2014, 01:45pm EDT

Sean Young, Electronics Engineer, Air Force Research Laboratory

The Service to America Medals honor federal employees who go above and beyond their job descriptions to serve the public. For the next few months, Federal News Radio will be speaking to the finalists. A civilian engineer is reshaping the way the military performs operations in the air and on the field. Sean Young is an electronics engineer with the Air Force Research Laboratory in Ohio. He helped save soldiers' lives in Afghanistan by creating a new aerial sensor system to detect improvised explosive devices. For his creativity, he is a finalist in the National Security and International Affairs category of the 2014 Sammies awards. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to talk about his nomination. View a gallery of all the Sammies nominees. Read a Q&A with Sean Young.

Monday - 07/07/2014, 10:14am EDT
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With budget cuts looming, officials struggle to make case to maintain large Army

Among ten topics the Army's new undersecretary says he's pondering: the service's seeming inability to convince policymakers of the need to keep a standing active duty force of about the size the nation has today, even during budget cuts.

Monday - 07/07/2014, 04:00am EDT
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New ‘hallways' lead to strategic sourcing expansion

Under the Obama administration's strategic sourcing cross-agency priority goal, new commodity managers will oversee "hallways" for information technology, administration and human resources across government. The hope is that the managers and their teams of experts will be able to offer guidance and best practices to agencies when it comes to strategic sourcing.

Thursday - 07/03/2014, 05:54pm EDT

Army issues 'worst-case' scenarios for reductions

Army bases and surrounding communities across the country would lose up to 80 percent of their military and civilian workforces if maximum cuts in both budget and force size go into effect at the end of the decade, according to worst-case scenario projections.

Thursday - 07/03/2014, 04:51pm EDT

Report finds blind spots in DoD's view of global science and technology

New study by the National Research Council says DoD needs to develop a new strategy to better understand what's happening in a world of more globalized defense research. By 2050, the authors note, more than four-fifths of R&D activity will be happening outsize the U.S.

Thursday - 07/03/2014, 12:56pm EDT
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Hagel expresses condolences

Defense Secretary Hagel called his Israeli counterpart this week to express his condolences to both the families of the Israeli teenagers who were found dead in the West Bank and to the people of Israel. The Pentagon says Hagel pledged his continued support for finding the perpetrators and urged all parties to refrain from steps that could be further destabilizing. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon thanked Secretary Hagel for his call and updated him on events unfolding in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

Thursday - 07/03/2014, 11:54am EDT

Female reaches top Navy ranking

The Navy has its first female four-star admiral, Michelle Janine Howard. She was promoted on Tuesday to the service's highest rank. She graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 and in 1999 became the first African-American woman to command a Navy ship. She was a key figure is the real-life rescue of Captain Richard Phillips from Somalia pirate. The story later became a block-buster movie.

Thursday - 07/03/2014, 11:38am EDT

Sharon Franklin Bradford, Executive Director, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

The National Security Agency's collection of Internet data may be massive, but it's constitutional. An independent agency, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, has released a thorough report on how federal agencies track foreigners' communications under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The law has come under fire since Edward Snowden leaked documents on NSA programs a year ago. Sharon Bradford Franklin, executive director of the PCLOB, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to talk about the board's investigation.

Thursday - 07/03/2014, 10:06am EDT
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Kathy Helmick and Dr. Therese West, Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center

We should all probably get more sleep. But patients suffering from concussions or traumatic brain injury really need to get more sleep. The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) is releasing new recommendations and products for doctors to use to help their patients with brain injuries get enough rest. It's a critical problem for the Defense Department, which estimates that 300,000 troops have suffered from TBI since the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. DVBIC Deputy Director Kathy Helmick and Dr. Therese West, a subject-matter expert at the center, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive.

Thursday - 07/03/2014, 09:56am EDT
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