Air Force plans to welcome back retired pilots to fill manpower shortages

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  • The Air Force said it could recall as many as 1,000 retirees to active duty. The service expanded plans to not only welcome back retired pilots into active-duty staff positions, but also combat system officers and air battle managers.  Use of the Voluntary Retired Return to Active Duty Program comes as the Air Force faces a growing deficit of 2,000 pilots, or roughly 10 percent of the total pilot force. The Air Force has said it does not plan to force anyone back on active duty involuntarily in any capacity. (military.com)
  • The Senate confirmed Gregory Slavonic as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. Slavonic spent 34 years in the Navy and retired from the service as special assistant to the chief of Information and director of Public Affairs for the Navy Reserve. He is currently Sen. James Lankford’s (R-Okla.) chief of staff.  (Sen. Lankford)
  • For all the buzz around machine learning, NASA said it is getting some use out of the technology. The U.S. space agency said it is using text analytics to make troves of research easier to search. NASA said the tools help meet an agencywide goal of better data management. Looking ahead, NASA said one day it hopes to create a “Siri on steroids,” a machine that can answer complex math problems. (Federal News Radio)
  • A State Department program manager pled guilty to theft of federal funds. The Justice Department said Kelli Davis will be sentenced in August. Davis was a program specialist for State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She supervised grants to George Mason University for the sports visitors program. Between 2011 and 2016, Davis falsified vendor invoices, thus diverting $34,000 to herself and for kickbacks. The program sponsors exchange programs for youth athletes and coaches.  (Justice Department)
  • Civilian agencies may soon have to track how long it takes them to go from solicitation to contract award. Rep.  Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) was successful in getting the Procurement Administrative Lead Time Amendment included as part of the 2019 Defense authorization bill passed by the House last week. Connolly said his amendment would bring greater efficiency and accountability to the procurement process. He said the measure will also help lawmakers and policy experts reduce the time it takes to award contracts. (Rep. Gerry Connolly)
  • Two senior senators want President Donald Trump to reconsider consolidating the cyber coordinator position into existing roles in the National Security Council. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), have told the president that having a coordinator will ensure the impending national cybersecurity strategy gets the attention it deserves and needs. The intelligence committee members are pushing the White House to complete the cyber strategy as soon as possible. (Sen. Susan Collins/Senate)
  • The Homeland Security Department issued a new Binding Operational Directive to change the way civilian agencies manage high-value assets. The directive details new requirements for managing and reporting HVAs for the agency’s most critical systems. It also expands the use of risk and vulnerability assessments and security architecture reviews by DHS to find weaknesses in systems. The directive also extends the scope of the agencies which need to report the systems and the data that matter to the most. (DHS)