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On 15 Jan 21, the USD for Personnel and Readiness issued a new 25-page instruction (DoDI 1025.07) titled "DoD STARBASE Program." The instruction reissues and cancels DoD 1025.07 dated 14 Sep 00 of the same name. The instruction can be accessed at:
The purpose of the instruction is two-fold:
• Establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides direction for the DoD STARBASE
• Describes the program’s goals, the responsibilities of implementing officials, and the relationships
between Federal, State, and local governments, non-profit organizations, corporations, or individuals in
the private sector in support of the DoD STARBASE Program.
It is DoD policy that:
a. The goal of the DoD STARBASE Program is to raise the interest and improve the
knowledge and skills of youth in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by
exposing them to the technological environment and positive role models found on military
bases and installations.
b. Any school district (public or private), alternative educational provider, or individual or
group of home-schooling families may apply to participate in DoD STARBASE Program
c. In accordance with Section 2193b of Title 10, U.S.C., the Secretary of Defense, the
Secretaries of the Military Departments, and the Chief, National Guard Bureau (NGB), may
accept financial and other support (e.g., equipment and personnel support) for the DoD
STARBASE Program from other departments and agencies of the Federal Government, State
governments, local governments, non-profit organizations, and corporations or individuals in the
d. Selection of DoD STARBASE Program participants will actively encourage participation
of at-risk youth and youth who are historically underrepresented in science, math, and
technology fields. Other factors may include selecting classes on the basis of socio-economic
factors and areas of historically low academic performance.
The DoD STARBASE program has its own website at https://dodstarbase.org/. According to the site as of 19 Jan 21, there are 67 DoD STARBASE sites in the CONUS plus one each in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Some are on DoD installations, some are not.
If you have been involved in a DoD STARBASE program, please share your experience with the STM community by responding to this post.
On 12 Jan 21, the GAO released a 38-page report on DoD Critical Technologies titled "Plans for Communicating, Assessing, and Overseeing Protection Efforts Should Be Completed." The report can be accessed at https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-21-158. That site also contains a 6:39 podcast about the report along with the usual Fast Facts, Highlights, and Recommendations. The GAO made three recommendations to the DoD:
1. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Deputy Secretary of Defense in conjunction with the Protecting Critical Technology Task Force to determine a process for formally communicating future critical acquisition programs and technologies lists to all relevant DOD organizations and federal agencies. The DoD concurred with this recommendation.
2. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Deputy Secretary of Defense in conjunction with the Protecting Critical Technology Task Force to identify, develop, and periodically review appropriate metrics to assess the implementation and sufficiency of the assigned protection measures. The DoD partially concurred.
3. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Deputy Secretary of Defense in conjunction with the Protecting Critical Technology Task Force to finalize the decision as to which DOD organization will oversee protection efforts beyond 2020. The DoD partially concurred.
The report provides an overview of the seven current technology protection programs run by U.S. government agencies. It noted that the DoD is the only agency involved in all seven and it leads three of them. The other lead agencies are the Departments of State, Commerce, and Treasury. The seven technology protection programs are summarized in Table 1 of the report, including the statutory/regulatory authority which governs each. They are, in alphabetical order (lead in parentheses):
- Anti-Tamper Policy (Defense)
- Arms Export Control System (State)
- Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (Treasury)
- Dual-Use Export Control System (Commerce)
- Foreign Military Sales Program (State)
- National Industrial Security Program (Defense)
- Technology Release Processes (Defense)
An eighth program, the Militarily Critical Technology List (MCTL) was nullified by Congress in the FY19 NDAA and ended by the DoD in 2019.
The lead DoD organization for managing DoD critical technologies processes is currently the Protecting Critical Technology Task Force, which was established by SecDef Mattis memo dated 24 Oct 18. It reports to the DepSecDef and Vice Chairman JCS. The Task Force is supposed to be disbanded in 2021 but not before recommending a permanent DoD organization to manage the DoD's technology protection process.
On 28 Dec 20, OUSD(R&E) publicly released its updated DoD International S&T Engagement Strategy, dated October 2020. It is available for download at the following URL:
This version of the strategy, signed by Acting USD(R&E) Michael J. Kratsios, is heavily beefed up from the 7-page strategy it replaces from 2014. This 29-page strategy, which supports the 2017 NSS and 2018 NDS, contains much more guidance on how DoD components are to go about S&T engagement with foreign nations.
After the one-page forward and one-page table of contents, the document is organized into two sections. Section I: The Strategy contains a short Introduction followed by Strategic Context, Foundation, Approach, and Implementation. Much of the Implementation discussion is deferred to Section II: Framework, which contains about 10 pages of DoD expectations on how to 1. Prepare the Plan, 2. Coordinate the Plans, and 3. Execute the Plan. Much of the Framework builds on content from the 2014 strategy but beefs it up quite a bit.
What are your thoughts on this new DoD International S&T Engagement Strategy? Is it useful to you? Is it at the right level of detail for a strategy document? Please share your thoughts.
Second place in the 2020 Hirsch Acquisition and Writing Award competition went to a MITRE team for their paper "Measuring the Impact of Innovation Activities in Government." The 38-page paper was published in the October 2020 issue of DAU's Acquisition Research Journal (#94) and can be found at https://www.dau.edu/library/arj/ARJ/ARJ94/ARJ94_Brunelle%2019-849.pdf.
The paper's abstract states:
"As the government increasingly allocates resources to innovation, questions
arise as to how innovation organizations measure their performance,
and ultimately their effectiveness, in supporting government missions.
Innovation organizations are expected to demonstrate their impact.
Researchers from the MITRE Corporation assessed how governmentfocused innovation organizations advance innovation and evaluate
their results. The research team collected information from a total of 39
government innovation organizations to understand their roles, activities,
and measures of success. This article presents MITRE’s findings on the
current state of pursuing and measuring innovation in government, as well
as recommendations for metrics based on the different types of innovation
organizations. MITRE recommends that innovation organizations focus
on identifying and collecting outcome metrics that
are critical to aligning innovation activities and
products with government missions."
The paper's conclusion states:
"MITRE assessed how government innovation organizations advance
innovation and measure their effectiveness. This research found that individual government innovation organizations serve an average of three
distinct roles, including (in order of frequency) networker, educator/advisor, acquisition facilitator, investor, incubator, accelerator, and developer.
Organizations perform a variety of activities to fulfill those roles, and most
collect metrics on their operations and results. However, most innovation
organizations also view their metrics as insufficient, particularly with
respect to measuring their contributions to government missions.
"The findings from this research inform the categorizations of government
innovation organization characteristics, roles, activities, and metrics
provided in this report. This report recommends appropriate metrics
for organizations based on their roles and activities, and areas for future
research and efforts in the government innovation community. These
recommendations and actions will help improve the effectiveness and
impact of government efforts to foster innovation."
Below is the body of an email sent to DAU employees today about new mandatory training to be completed by 30 Nov 20 in accordance with DoDI 5200.48, Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), issued 6 Mar 20. This instruction cancels and replaces DoD Manual 5200.1, Volume 4, DoD Information Security Program: Controlled Unclassified Information, dated 24 Feb 12, as amended. Look for training coming your way on this policy as it is to be implemented immediately. This announcement follows an announcement I posted from DTIC last week announcing the new CUI Markings Training Guide from DTIC.
BEGIN BODY OF ORIGINAL DAU EMAIL (edited to remove DAU-unique info):
In accordance with new DoD Instruction 5200.48 DoD military, civilian, and contractor personnel are required to complete training for Controlled Unclassified Information.
This email serves as formal notification of the changes set forth in DoD Instruction 5200.48.
CONTROLLED UNCLASSIFIED INFORMATION (CUI)
WHAT IS IT: Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) has replaced For Official Use Only (FOUO) and Privacy Act designations, but not ALL FOUO will qualify as CUI. Information previously marked FOUO does NOT need to be remarked. However, if that same information is put in a new document, it needs to be assessed to see if it meets the criteria for CUI and then remarked appropriately. Includes information that an entity creates or possesses for or on behalf of the Government that is protected by law, regulation, or government-wide policy. Example: information associated with DoD contracts.
HOW IS CUI DEFINED: UNCLASSIFIED information that allows for, or requires, safeguarding and dissemination controls in accordance with laws, regulations, or Government-wide policies, will now be marked CUI. CUI is NOT Classified information or information not created by, or under the control of the U.S. Government (example: information from a non-executive branch journal article on counterinsurgency). DoDI 5200.48.
EXAMPLES: Materials you should mark and protect as CUI could be:
· DoD work products and emails
· Defense Critical Infrastructure Information (DCRIT)
· Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information (NNPI)
· Export Controlled Information
· Pre-decisional Information and meeting minutes
· Legal Privilege / Law Enforcement Information
· Investigation documents
· Budget Information / Inspection Reports
· Procurement bids/proposals
· PII / Privacy Act Data
The CUI Registry (under construction at dodcui.dod.mil) will provide an official list of the categories used to identify the various types of CUI.
WHAT DOES NOT QUALIFY AS CUI?
Classified information and information not created by, or under the control of the U.S. Government.
MARKING REQUIREMENTS: At minimum, CUI markings for unclassified DoD documents will include the acronym "CUI" in the banner and footer of the document.
STANDARD FOR DISCLOSURE: The standard for sharing and access to CUI is an authorized "lawful government purpose."
Lawful government purpose: Any activity, mission, function, operation, or endeavor that the U.S. Government authorizes or recognizes as within the scope of its legal authorities or the legal authorities of non-executive branch entities (such as state and local law enforcement).
IMPLEMENTATION DATE: Immediate. Start now.
//END ORIGINAL EMAIL BODY.//
DoD recently awarded Texas A&M University's Engineering Experiment Station a $20M/year contract to establish and manage a "University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics" (UCAH). See the DoD News Release from 26 Oct 20 at:
Author and former colleague of mine, Nick Eftimiades, wrote an article titled "The 5 Faces of Chinese Espionage: The World's First 'Digital Authoritarian State'" in which he discusses the recent study he conducted on Chinese espionage. His study is called A Series on Chinese Espionage — Vol. 1 Operations and Tactics He analyzed 595 cases and the results were disturbing. His study is only available on his website or via Amazon. No endorsement to buy his book is intended here, just letting you all know about it since it deals with technology protection and IP theft.
The Nov-Dec 2020 issue of Defense Acquisition Magazine contains an interesting article by Stephen Speciale and Diane Sidebottom on a little-used acquisition authority called "Procurement for Experimental Purposes" (PEP). The article, "The Next Little-Known Flexible Acquisition Authority," labels PEP a "companion authority" to Other Transactions (OTs). It was authorized by Congress in FY94 (10 U.S.C. Section 2373) alongside the authorization for OTs for Prototypes (the old "Section 845" authority, I believe). However, its existence is not as well-known as OTs, in some part because its use is not as lowly and widely delegated by OSD. Also, the article states that its use is limited to nine categories.
"The Secretary of Defense and the Secretaries of the military departments may each buy ordnance, signal, chemical activity, transportation, energy, medical, space-flight, telecommunications, and aeronautical supplies, including parts, accessories, and designs thereof, that the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary concerned considers necessary for experimental or test purposes in the development of the best supplies that are needed for the national defense."
If any of you have used the PEP authority, please respond to this post and convey your experience with it.
On 21 Oct 20, DTIC published a clarification regarding the new Federal Marking Framework for Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). The DTIC bulletin can be accessed at:
The bulletin contains a link to the 21-page training guide on CUI Markings dated 3 Sep 20. It also contains a reference to DoDI 5230.24, Distribution Statements on Technical Documents, incorporating Change 3 dated 15 Oct 18. I've provided a link to that instruction in this post that was not in the DTIC bulletin. The bulletin also contains a link to find out more about submitting documents to DTIC.
The Navy is opening its first overseas "tech bridge" location in London, UK, according to an Inside Defense article published 21 Oct 20. See article at:
Any thoughts from anyone on this? Seems like an AFWERX or DIU kind of effort to me.
On 15 Oct 20, the White House published an 18-page document titled "National Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies" dated October 2020. A White House press release accompanied the document and the Air Force Association posted an article about it, too. The document references the 2017 National Security Strategy as the visionary foundation upon which this new strategy is built..
For the purposes of this strategy, critical and emerging technologies (C&ET) are defined as "those technologies that have been identified and assessed by the National Security Council (NSC) to be criticalm, or to potentially become critical, to the United States' national security advantage, including military, intelligence, and economic advantages."
The strategy discusses a three-fold approach to prioritize its way-ahead. For the highest priority technology areas, the U.S. will lead. The U.S. will remain a technology peer with its allies and partners in other high-priority technology areas. For some emerging technologies that are globally diffuse or are too early in the R&D phase to have clearly identified implications for U.S. national security, a risk management approach will be applied. It mentions the four risk mitigation methods of avoid, reduce, accept, or transfer.
The strategy contains two "pillars of success" with priority actions stated for each pillar. However, the strategy contains no details on any of the priority actions; it only lists them, in no particular order, for each pillar. A lone annex contains the 20 U.S. Government Critical and Emerging Technologies List but, again, there are no details on these technologies in the strategy.
Pillar I: Promote the National Security Innovation Base (NSIB). There are 13 priority actions for this pillar, not listed here for brevity.
Pillar II: Protect Technology Advantage. There are 9 priority actions for this pillar, not listed here for brevity. Most, if not all, can be found in the recent DoDI 5000.83, "Technology and Program Protection to Maintain Technological Advantage" published 20 Jul 20.
The 20 technologies in the C&ET list in the annex are arranged alphabetically. Many of these are reflected in the DoD Communities of Interest (CoIs) [see the CoIs Tier 1 Taxonomy and Descriptions for more info] and DoD Modernization Priorities [the DTIC R&E Gateway Techipedia has further info on these at the CUI level]. Many of these technologies are also mentioned in the annual joint OSTP/OMB memo "Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Administration Research and Development Budget Priorities and Cross-cuting Actions" dated 14 Aug 20.
On 28 Sep 20, the DSB cleared for public release a 16-page executive summary for "21st Centure Multi-Domain Effects" task force report dated September 2020. It is directed related to the term multi-domain operations (MDO).
The summary contains 12 recommendations which, for brevity, will only be listed here by their short titles.
On 28 Sep 20, the Defense Science Board (DSB) cleared for public release the 20-page executive summary of the "Biology Task Force" report dated September 2020.
An up-front statement sets the tone for this report. "While there are pockets and individuals of excellence, the Department as a whole does not have expertise, connections, or investments in life science and technology (LS&T) the way it does with other areas of scientific importance to the DoD, such as computer science and aerospace technologies." The study states, "The LS&T areas that are of particular interest to the DoD include genome sequencing, bioinformatics, genome editing, synthetic biology, new materials, immunology, the microbiome, and neuroscience." My Note: Perhaps in partial response to this deficit, in 2019-2020 DoD began standing up a Biotechnology Community of Interest (CoI) under Reliance 21 to enable better collaboration and develop technology roadmaps in this field of study. This CoI is in addition to the Biomedical ASBREM CoI that has existed for several years.
The study made the following six recommendations:
Recommendation 1: The DoD should leverage applied genomics for optimized warfighter talent management, performance, and health.
Recommendation 2: The DoD should accelerate and prepare to employ autonomous systems for battlefield patient management, care, and evacuation.
Recommendation 3: The DoD should review its posture to mitigate radiological injury on the future battlefield.
Recommendation 4: The DoD should position itself to leverage future commercial advances in tissue and organ biomanufacturing.
Recommendation 5: The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E)) should designate biotechnology a modernization priority and establish an Assistant Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Biotechnology. [The report footnotes that after the task force conlcuded its deliberations but before the final report was completed, the DoD establsihed an Assistant Director for Biotechnology in 2019. The USD(R&E) Leadership site shows this as Dr. Michelle Rozo but doesn't give her picture or a link to her bio.]
Recommendation 6: The USD(R&E) should direct the creation of a Public/Private Biotechnology for Defense Innovation Ecosystem.
[end of recommendations]
On 28 Sep 20, the Defense Science Board (DSB) cleared for public release the 16-page executive summary for the study "Counter Autonomy" dated September 2020. The summary states that while many U.S. federal agencies are working to field autonomous systems, they are doing little, if anything, to counter adversaries' autonomous systems, with the exception of the DoD's efforts in counter-UAS. A joint c-UAS strategy to be implemented during FY23-27 has been submitted to SecDef Esper to sign and an open house industry day will be held by the end of October 2020, according to a Breaking Defense article.
The summary contained six recommendations, which I'll only provide the main lettered elements of here.
Recommendation 1: Leadership
A. USD(R&E) create a single senior focal point for counter autonomy separate from autonomy leadership but of equal authority to ensure independent thinking [Note: There is already a Director for the Autonomy Modernization Priority related to the 2018 NDS].
B. USD(R&E) champion a DoD-wide autonomy/counter autonomy community modeled on the existing low observable/counter low observable (LO/CLO) community.
Recommendation 2:Capability and Operational Development
C. Military Departments (Secretaries) charter the following in order to develop robust fielded counter autonomy capabilities
On 28 Sep 20, the Defense Science Board (DSB) cleared for open publication the 20-page executive summary for the study "Strengthening Counterintelligence Capabilities Against the 'Insider' Threat" dated August 2020. The summary also states, "Just as the Task Force was completing its work, the President issued the National Counterintelligence Strategy for 2020-2022" (DNI page for this strategy).
Summary of Recommendations (Note: #1 is CUI so is only available in the full report posted in DTIC; see DTIC assession number AD1110716 after you log into your DTIC account)
On 27 Jul 20, the Defense Science Board (DSB) cleared for public release the 11-page executive summary of its 2019 Summer Study on "The Future of U.S. Military Superiority" dated June 2020. The study looked at security challenges to the U.S. and what, in addition to or support of, direct military weapons systems, the U.S. could do to maintain its military superiority. These include some whole-of-government approaches.
The study recommends the following, some of which have direct S&T implications:
Interesting article about Army Futures Command's (AFC's) "Team Ignite" group that is exploring future concepts with CCDC technologists and warfighters.
On 7 Oct 20, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued an updated 25-page report on the DoD's RDT&E Appropriations Structure. Some highlights:
- Includes the new 6.8 budget activity (BA) code for software and digital technology pilot programs.
- Alignment of DoD RDT&E taxonomy with other federal R&D taxonomies
- Appropriated funding levels for DoD RDT&E, plus breakdowns for overall S&T and Basic Research portions, and CRS views on balance between investments in incremental RDT&E and revolutionary research.
On 15 Sep 20, I moderated a DAU Webcast on the new DoDI 5000.83, "Technology and Program Protection to Maintain Technological Advantage," issued in July 2020. Melinda Reed and Kris Gardner from OUSD(R&E)'s Office of Strategic Technology Protection and Exploitation (STPE) presented. During the webcast, attended by over 350 people, many questions were asked in chat. Most were answered during the webcast but for completeness, we asked the STPE office to provide written, publically releasable responses to post to the event's web page.
The Section 508-compliant recording of the webcast, the slide deck, and the answers to the chat questions are posted on the event's web page for your reference:
The GAO just released a 54-page report today that makes recommendations on the Army's use of "alternative agreements," including OTs and grants. It is called "Army Modernization: Army Should Improve Use of Alternative Agreements and Approaches by Enhancing Oversight and Communication of Lessons Learned" (GAO-21-8). It contains a couple of recommendations for AFC and ASA(ALT), plus others for Army Contracting Command.
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