President Obama Nominates New GSA Chief

WASHINGTON –  Today, President Obama announced he would nominate Denise Turner Roth as the new Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

President Obama said:

“As Acting Administrator and Deputy Administrator, Denise led the General Services Administration to become more efficient, innovative and effective. Denise is a capable leader whose experiences in management will serve our nation well. I thank Denise for agreeing to continue her public service and look forward to working with her in this important position.”

Just over one year ago, Roth assumed the role of Deputy Administrator at GSA, providing the organizational leadership to improve performance throughout the agency. Roth helped eliminate the broad duplication of administrative services by consolidating the agency’s IT, HR, Administrative and Financial functions, helping to build a stronger and more efficient GSA while saving taxpayers $200 million in the next eight years.

As head of GSA, Roth will continue to cultivate the agency’s culture of continuous evaluation and improvement to deliver the greatest possible value to government and the American people.

Continue reading at

DOD’s medical innovations save lives, speed rehab

Despite the official conclusion of America’s longest war at the end of 2014, American troops are still deployed in hostile environments all over the world.  Ensuring soldiers’ safety is a top priority of the Defense Department both on and off the battlefield, so researchers have been hard at work testing and deploying the latest technological solutions for health, safety, response and rehabilitation.

For immediate assessment in battlefield conditions, Army researchers showcased one of their latest developments in triage at the Defense Department’s recent Lab Day.  The Compensatory Reserve Index, or CRI is a small device — roughly the size of a matchbox — with a computer display.  When placed on an injured soldier’s finger , the device displaying and wirelessly transmits vital signs, such as body temperature, heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure, according to an Army statement.

The severity of injuries sustained are not always readily apparent, so the CRI is especially helpful in that it reads multiple vital signs almost immediately, letting medics prioritize triage care.

Continue reading at

Army pushing energy efficiency closer to the front

The Army, which has put a lot of emphasis on renewable energy and reducing power consumption at its installations around the world, is also taking energy efficiency to its forward deployed bases. The service’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, recently demonstrated its Energy Informed Operations (EIO) microgrid at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

The goals: Cut fuel resupply by 25 percent, water resupply by 75 percent, and waste generation for back haul by 50 percent without compromising services.

The effort is driven not just by the monetary and environmental costs of energy use—the Army wants renewable sources to account for 25 percent of its energy use by 2025, eliminating about 20 trillion BTUs of fossil-fuel sources and saving about $300 million a year—but also by the increasing power demands of the battlefield. The Army in recent years has moved a lot of technology to forward-deployed bases. That gives soldiers more capabilities and support, but it also requires more power in areas where it’s not readily available.

Continue reading at

The Army Is Shopping for Cyber Weapons

The Army is seeking the assistance of cyberattack tool sellers, joining a growing number of Pentagon entities aiming to amass advanced cyber capabilities.

A new market survey aimed at identifying suppliers is the third Defense Department document issued over the past month that points out a need to be able to execute “cyber effects.”

A cyber effect typically refers to a hack, disruption or other impact to an adversary’s network, according to security experts.

Continue reading at

Senate Armed Services Committee’s passed version of the FY16 NDAA

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today announced details of the committee’s markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016.  The Committee on Thursday voted, 22-4, to report the bill, which authorizes $612 billion funding for the Department of Defense and the national security programs of the Department of Energy.

Continue reading at

Military raises security measures at bases nationwide

The four-star commander who oversees U.S. military operations in North America ordered domestic military bases nationwide to increase their force protection measures amid heightened concern about terrorist threats.

Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of the Colorado-based U.S. Northern Command, raised military installations’ force protection level to “Bravo” after months of maintaining it at “Alpha,” the lowest level of security, a defense official said Friday.

“While our [force protection level] change is not tied to a specific, credible threat, recent events have led us to recognize the need to take prudent steps to ensure our [force protection] measures can be increased quickly and unpredictably at the macro level, just as they routinely vary at the micro level on individual installations,” the defense official said.

Continue reading at

OMB Releases Guidelines for Government Spending Data

The Office of Management and Budget is trying to make federal spending data easier to interpret.

OMB has released a new framework for federal agencies reporting their spending — standard definitions for financial terms, among other elements — as part of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014. The DATA Act requires federal agencies to report categories such as how much congressional funding they receive, or how much money they’re spending on specific projects, and post it to

Though the federal government produces large volumes of spending data, “in some cases, the same words are used in different ways,” and “inconsistencies make it difficult to use this data in a comprehensive way,” according to a blog post by David Mader, controller of the Office of Federal Financial Management at OMB, and David Lebryk, fiscal assistant secretary at the Department of Treasury. (The fiscal year 2016 budget proposal allots $84 million for agencies to implement the DATA Act, according to the post.)

Continue reading at

Here’s What the New Tesla Battery Means for the Military

Last week, Silicon Valley superstar Elon Musk announced the release of the Tesla Powerwall home battery to the rapturous delight of tech journalists and Musk-o-philes everywhere. On offer: a 7-kilowatt energy storage device for $3,000 and a 10-kilowatt unit for $3,500.

Now industry watchers are debating whether the Powerwall, which is made to store electricity when it’s cheap and release it when it’s costly, is inexpensive enough to disrupt consumer energy markets. But it’s certainly cheap enough for military buyers. Would it be useful?

Continue reading at

Tomorrow’s Small Wars Won’t Just Be Land Wars

Imagine a crisis in a coastal country where terrorists and insurgents turn the littorals to their advantage. Are the United States and its allies ready for naval forces to play a key role in counterinsurgency?

Events in Yemen suggests this situation is already upon us. Houthi rebels, pushing deeper into a country surrounded on two sides by sea, have precipitated a regional crisis with several maritime dimensions. The rebels have received arms by sea, leading Saudi Arabia to blockade Yemeni ports, the United States to board freighters, and Iran to dispatch its own warships to the area. Saudi warships also shelled Houthi positions to prevent a takeover of the port city of Aden, while China, India, and Pakistan have evacuated their citizens by sea.

Continue reading at