DorobekInsider

Focusing on six words: Helping government do its job better

Archive for the ‘DOD’ Category

DorobekInsider.com: Navy has what I believe is the first green IT policy

leave a comment »

The Navy has posted what I believe — and I stand to be corrected — but I believe is the first agency green IT policy. The memo is posted below and can be found here or the PDF here … The policy lays out the initial criteria for green IT energy efficiency… and it requires command information officers to provide a policy describing how to implement the Navy’s green IT policy.

You can read more here … and download the PDF document here … I also have it posted below.

View this document on Scribd

Written by cdorobek

April 28, 2009 at 5:10 PM

DorobekInsider.com: Worth reading: Social Software and National Security

leave a comment »

This has been buzzing around for a few days now — a paper looking at the relationship between social software and national security. Wired blogged about it … FCW’s Ben Bain had a good piece … You can now read it for yourself below… or find the link on this page… download the PDF.

Social Software and National Security: An Initial Net Assessment by Mark Drapeau and Linton Wells II

View this document on Scribd

Written by cdorobek

April 18, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Reminder — help returning warfighters at Operation Jump Start on Tuesday

with one comment

My good friend, Bob Brewin from Government Executive’s NextGov, wrote in his most recent column — and it reminds me to remind everybody — that this coming Tuesday is Operation Jump Start 2009. I mentioned the event back in December, but it is easy to forget. Now is your chance. This is an absolutely wonderful program that helps warfighters returning from Iraq and Afghanistan as they “jump start” their post-military careers.

I have specific information after the break about how you can help. The event is Tuesday, Jan. 27  at the Army Navy Club in Arlington, VA. You can get all the information after the break… and you can register here… And although the early information says that registration is closed — my friend Ed Meagher tells me that you can go ahead and register — and bring your donations. After the break, I also have information on all the ways you can help.

And an offer — if you are somehow not able to make the event, get in touch with me — cdorobek at chrisdorobek.com — and we’ll figure out a way to make it happen. If you are able to drop stuff at Federal News Radio 1500 AM in NW DC, I’ll make sure it gets there. It is a very worthy cause.

Get all the information… after the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

January 24, 2009 at 3:36 PM

Posted in Circuit, community, DOD

Story mentioned on air… Vets using tech to recover from stress disorders

leave a comment »

On Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris today, we were chatting about DOD pondering a requirement to have everybody returning from war zones undergo an assessment about whether they are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there’s a reluctance to acknowledge psychological problems for fear of showing weakness. Troops now fill out questionnaires after combat tours that help determine if they have suffered psychological damage. They’re examined by medical professionals for physical injuries, but not by mental health experts.

It’s a great idea.

Combat trauma theater [Government Health IT, February 19, 2007]
Virtual reality technologies are helping combat veterans overcome the mental wounds of war

The scene from the front of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) offers a postcard view of palm trees swaying in the breeze, rain-greened hills and, in the distance, the Pacific Ocean, marked by the wake of a Navy cruiser leaving Pearl Harbor.

In a nondescript VAMC conference room on the fifth floor at the Pacific Telehealth and Technology Hui, the visions of paradise fade to the reality of combat. After donning a head-mounted virtual reality display, you’re bouncing behind the steering wheel of a Humvee making its way down what looks like a street in Iraq.

At first, the drive seems routine. A woman clad in black crosses the road while a civilian SUV turns in front of the Humvee. The only sounds are engine noises. Dr. Sarah Miyahira, co-director of the Virtual Reality Behavioral Health Program and Laboratory at the center, then asks a technician to turn up the intensity.

The SUV suddenly swerves in front of the Humvee, and the vehicle’s occupants start firing machine guns. A rocket-propelled grenade comes within inches of the Humvee’s windshield. The rat-a-tat-tat of combat fills the room. Then the technician turns off the action, and the room returns to silence.

Miyahira, a VA psychologist, wants to use this immersive experience to help treat Iraq war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Using virtual reality to treat PTSD has its roots in the traditional treatment for the disorder, imaginal exposure therapy. In that therapy, a patient repeatedly describes traumatic events to a therapist and, in the process, tries to overcome memories, similar to those that have afflicted more than 800,000 Vietnam War veterans.

The virtual reality experience benefits those who cannot or will not conjure the images that cause them stress, Miyahira said. Virtual reality therapy helps break down those barriers by gradually reintroducing patients to the scenes of their trauma. Patients usually attend 10 therapist sessions during a five-week period, Miyahira said.

Continuing reading this fascinating story here.

Written by cdorobek

October 13, 2008 at 5:34 PM

DorobekInsider: BusinessWeek says DOD dealing with counterfeit computer chips

leave a comment »

BusinessWeek has a really excellent story, which they headline, Dangerous Fakes, about the Defense Department dealing with counterfeit computer components — and how those defective computer components from China are getting into U.S. warplanes and ships.

The American military faces a growing threat of potentially fatal equipment failure—and even foreign espionage—because of counterfeit computer components used in warplanes, ships, and communication networks. Fake microchips flow from unruly bazaars in rural China to dubious kitchen-table brokers in the U.S. and into complex weapons. Senior Pentagon officials publicly play down the danger, but government documents, as well as interviews with insiders, suggest possible connections between phony parts and breakdowns.

In November 2005, a confidential Pentagon-industry program that tracks counterfeits issued an alert that “BAE Systems experienced field failures,” meaning military equipment malfunctions, which the large defense contractor traced to fake microchips. Chips are the tiny electronic circuits found in computers and other gear.

The alert from the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP), reviewed by BusinessWeek, said two batches of chips “were never shipped” by their supposed manufacturer, Maxim Integrated Products in Sunnyvale, Calif. “Maxim considers these parts to be counterfeit,” the alert states. (In response to BusinessWeek’s questions, BAE said the alert had referred erroneously to field failures. The company denied there were any malfunctions.)

Continue reading the story here.

Some of these fakes are being blamed on DOD’s increasing reliance on commercial products.

The same BW team that wrote this story did a great story on the government’s cyber-security initiatives that was on the cover of BusinessWeek back in April. Both stories are well worth reading.

UPDATE: We had BusinessWeek’s Brian Grown on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris talking about the story. You can hear that interview here. [.mp3]

Written by cdorobek

October 5, 2008 at 10:43 PM

Posted in DOD, press, procurement, security

Tagged with , ,

DorobekInsider: FedTimes reports DOD comptroller leaving

leave a comment »

Tina Jonas

Tina Jonas

Federal Times has the news that Tina Jonas, who has served as the Defense Department’s comptroller and CFO since 2004, is leaving that post.

Tina Jonas has left her post as the Pentagon’s comptroller, where she oversaw the world’s largest military budget, to join the long list of former Defense Department officials who now help direct the U.S. defense industry.

Sikorsky spokesman Paul Jackson confirmed that Jones has accepted a position with the Connecticut-based firm, which makes military and commercial planes and helicopters and also provides spare parts and maintenance services.

Jonas has made great strides taming the messy DOD financial systems — something that has been seen as impossible before her tenure. It still isn’t fixed, but most people give her credit for making a lot of progress.

She is a political appointee, so not a huge shock that she is leaving. That being said, the fact that she is going to work for a defense contractor will raise eyebrows — or more.

Read her DOD bio after the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

October 2, 2008 at 8:32 AM

Posted in CFO, DOD, Whose In and Whose Out

Tagged with ,

DorobekInsider.com: Monday’s must-reads

leave a comment »

So there are 56 days until election day… 133 days until Inauguration Day… one week until Federal News Radio shifts to DC’s 1500 AM and we officially launch The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris…

Some of today’s must reads…

* The Pentagon is trying to refocus its ability to cyber-attack as much as it cyber-defends, the LAT’s Julian E. Barnes reports this morning:

Pentagon debates development of offensive cyberspace capabilities [LAT, 09.08.2008]
The current emphasis is on intelligence gathering and defending U.S. electronic security, but some officials think the military should know how to attack other nations’ computer systems.

WASHINGTON — Igniting a provocative new debate, senior military officials are pushing the Pentagon to go on the offensive in cyberspace by developing the ability to attack other nations’ computer systems, rather than concentrating on defending America’s electronic security.

Under the most sweeping proposals, military experts would acquire the know-how to commandeer the unmanned aerial drones of adversaries, disable enemy warplanes in mid-flight and cut off electricity at precise moments to strategic locations, such as military installations, while sparing humanitarian facilities, such as hospitals.

An expansion of offensive capabilities in cyberspace would represent an important change for the military. For years, U.S. officials have been reluctant to militarize what is widely seen as a medium for commerce and communication — much like space.

But a new National Military Strategy for Cyberspace Operations, declassified earlier this year, fueled the Pentagon debate and gave the military a green light to push for expanded capabilities.

The monthslong debate took on added urgency after the electronic attacks that coincided with the Russian military’s early August push into Georgia and reflects a newfound uncertainty over the state of global cyber-warfare capabilities.

* In NYT columnist Thomas Friedman’s Sunday column, he mentions a must read: Judy Estrin’s new book, “Closing the Innovation Gap.” I mentioned last week that we are going to have Estrin on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris next Tuesday, September 16 at about 3:30p ET.

Georgia on My Mind [NYT, 09.07.2008]
Barack Obama and John McCain need to focus, not on war, but on strengthening our capacity for innovation our most important competitive advantage.

Friedman’s much anticipated new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America, hits the bookshelfs today.

Written by cdorobek

September 8, 2008 at 9:06 AM