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Federal | Agencies | Legislative

Coast Guard offloads approximately 10 tons of cocaine in Port Everglades

MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Spencer offloaded approximately 10 tons of cocaine and 23 kilograms of heroin Tuesday in Port Everglades worth an estimated $300 million wholesale seized in international waters off the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The drugs were interdicted along Mexico and Central America by multiple U.S. Coast Guard cutters.

The offload represents 14 separate, suspected drug smuggling vessel interdictions by the Coast Guard:

    The CGC Steadfast was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 940 kilograms of cocaine
    The CGC James was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 690 kilograms of cocaine
    The CGC Alert  was responsible for six cases, seizing an estimated 3,305 kilograms of cocaine and 23 kilograms of heroin
    The CGC Aspen was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 102 kilograms of cocaine
    The CGC Vigorous  was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 1,150 kilograms of cocaine
    The CGC Spencer was responsible for two cases, seizing an estimated 3,000 kilograms of cocaine
    The CGC Thetis was responsible for one case, seizing an estimated 1,060 kilograms of cocaine

Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security are involved in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement along with allied and international partner agencies play a role in counter-drug operations. The fight against transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in California, on the East Coast, and in the Caribbean.

"This offload today is not just the result of one unit, but the combined efforts of multiple Coast Guard cutters, aircraft and support, as well as that of our partners and allied men and women who continue to work day and night to stop these criminal organizations from profiting off transnational crime and smuggling," said Cdr. John Mctamney, Commanding Officer Coast Guard Cutter Spencer. "While this offload represents approximately 10 tons of illicit drugs that will never hit out streets, it also represents a significant depletion to the cash flow to these criminal organizations."

The Coast Guard increased U.S. and allied presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin, which are known drug transit zones off of Central and South America, as part of its Western Hemisphere Strategy. During at-sea interdictions in international waters, a suspect vessel is initially located and tracked by allied, military or law enforcement personnel. The interdictions, including the actual boarding, are led and conducted by U.S. Coast Guardsmen. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific are conducted under the authority of the 11th Coast Guard District headquartered in Alameda, California.

The cutter Steadfast is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Astoria, Oregon. The cutter James is a 418-foot national security cutter homeported in Charleston, South Carolina. The cutter Alert is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Astoria, Oregon. The cutter Aspen is a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in San Francisco, California. The cutter Vigorous is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The cutter Spencer is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Boston, Massachusetts. The cutter Thetis is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Key West, Florida.

NASA is "SIRIUS" About Its Analog Missions:The SIRIUS missions are the latest spaceflight analogs NASA is utilizing to help us understand the risks of travel further into the solar system.

HOUSTON, TX, November 09, 2017 -- Before humans will go to Mars, NASA has practice missions on Earth. The SIRIUS missions are the latest spaceflight analogs NASA is utilizing to help us understand the risks of travel further into the solar system. This ground-based analog is a complement to human research being conducted on the International Space Station, such as Scott Kelly's One-Year Mission. These missions are paving the way to learn how the human body reacts in unique environments.

An analog environment is a situation on Earth that produces effects on the body similar to those experienced in space, physically, mentally and emotionally. These studies are expected to help advance human spaceflight from lower-Earth orbit missions into deep space exploration. NASA is associated with at least 15 analog environments throughout the world. The SIRIUS analog takes place at the Institute for Bio-Medical Problems (IBMP) in Russia. Other NASA-associated analogs are in Germany, Canada, Antarctica, and at sites in the United States.

The SIRIUS (Scientific International Research In a Unique terrestrial Station) missions are the first time NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) partners with Russia's IBMP Ground-based Experimental Complex (NEK) to conduct a series of analog missions. The first of these missions is SIRIUS-17, named because of its 17-day duration and it will take place in 2017. The mission is to begin on Nov. 7.

"The SIRIUS-17 mission, from a NASA perspective, is designed to test the capabilities of the Russian facility," said Lisa Spence, Flight Analogs Program Manager. "We want to exercise the facility capabilities, mission planning and integration procedures to identify challenges or issues now as opposed to during a longer duration mission."

The goal is for NASA to work with the IBMP to conduct at least three follow-on missions: a four-month mission in 2018, an eight-month mission in 2019, and a 12-month mission in 2020.

SIRIUS-17 will have six human participants who will be isolated and confined in a mock-spacecraft habitat for the mission's duration. During the mission, they will be performing a suite of scientific experiments. Training for the crew began the week of Oct. 9.

One of the reason NASA chose the Russian facility is that it is a dedicated facility. This means that during the mission, its purpose is to execute the simulated space missions and research activities targeted for an isolation environment, according to Spence. "Also, they have done successful long-duration isolation missions at the IBMP facility in the past, even up to 520 days. They have demonstrated the ability to do the type of missions we are planning to work up to," she said.

More than 40 scientific experiments have been selected for SIRIUS-17, which will place significant demands on crew time. HRP personnel developed a unified science requirements document, which helps in the development of the mission timeline, and maximizes the science data capture.

NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is dedicated to discovering the best methods and technologies to support safe, productive human space travel. HRP enables space exploration by reducing the risks to astronaut health and performance using ground research facilities, the International Space Station, and analog environments. This leads to the development and delivery of a program focused on: human health, performance, and habitability standards; countermeasures and risk mitigation solutions; and advanced habitability and medical support technologies. HRP supports innovative, scientific human research by funding more than 300 research grants to respected universities, hospitals and NASA centers to over 200 researchers in more than 30 states.

Monica Edwards
Laurie Abadie
NASA Human Research Strategic Communications

Environmental Assessment of Proposed Tracer Particle and Biological Releases for the Hazards of Dynamic Outdoor Release (HODOR) Project

Oct. 2017, This Environmental Assessment (EA) documents the analysis of the potential effects of a proposal by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) to conduct tests during January/February 2018 and then again during June/July, 2018 involving the release of low concentrations of particles at two buildings within the Chilocco Indian Agricultural School (Chilocco campus) in Newkirk, Kay County, OK. The S&T program is entitled the Hazards of Dynamic Outdoor Releases (HODOR). No construction, permanent land disturbance, or land use changes would occur with implementation of the Proposed Action or the Alternatives.
The HODOR program supports DHS’s strategic goals to detect and recover from biological attacks and inform and support biodefense planning, response, and restoration, particularly in consequence/risk assessment modeling of the indoor hazards posed by outdoor aerosols. Characterizing the impact of biological weapons on infrastructure is a key element to achieving this goal. One indicator of a building’s ability to withstand the effects of a biological weapon is the building protection factor (BPF). The BPF is the degree to which a building’s occupants are protected from biological materials as compared to a person located outside the building. Dispersion models have been created to help in these endeavors and are actively used by agencies within DHS for both pre- and post-attack planning. Pre-attack planning includes identifying strategies for response in the event of a biological attack. Post-attack planning includes determining the source location for attribution, identifying exposed people, and aiding the remediation effort (e.g., mapping, decontamination). While the dispersion models are critically important for homeland defense, the lack of quantitative evidence and understanding of the BPF is a significant gap. Selection of specific buildings that are representative of U.S. construction for homes and apartments was conducted to support this effort. This EA is being conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in 40 CFR 1500- 1508, and DHS Directive 023-01, Implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act. In support of these tests, aerosol biologists from Sandia National Laboratory, aerosol engineers from the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC), scientists from the OSU-University Multispectral Laboratories (UML), and other supporting state and federal agencies have partnered for the proposed testing. The assembled team has conducted a thorough review of available literature to assess the potential for environmental hazards associated with the proposed program. Specifically, an analysis of alternatives was conducted to select appropriate buildings for testing, best inert materials, and optimal biological material for release to successfully meet program objectives.
Buildings to be used for testing were selected based on the DHS-desired characteristics, as well as the ability to release materials at a distance from these buildings that minimize environmental impact and public exposure.
Action alternatives were considered for testing location and testing materials. A total of five abandoned residential and apartment buildings within the Chilocco campus were evaluated against two main criteria: conformance to typical US building standards; and potential testing obstructions (e.g. vegetation, proximity to other buildings).
Residential Building Alternative 1 (Building 53) and Residential Building Alternative 2 (Building 56) both contain numerous vegetation and building obstructions and would require major renovations to meet current typical building standards. Residential Building Alternative 3 (Building 58) has the fewest number of potentially obscuring structures and required minor renovations.
Apartment Building Alternative 1 (Building 10) did not realistically represent current apartment building design or utilize standard heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Apartment Building Alternative 2 (Building 60), more realistically simulated a typical apartment structure with multiple HVAC systems, thus allowing more accurate testing conditions. The No Action Building Alternative would result in no real-world testing scenario, and would not meet the stated purpose and need.
The use of inert particulate materials provides extremely valuable information toward the overall objectives of the HODOR program. Inert materials will be used to monitor gross particle movement around and into each building, in real time, using relatively simple and straightforward sensors. The data collected with inert particle materials will be used to optimize sensor placement for subsequent biological particulate releases. Two different inert particulates were selected to be employed for use in gross characterization of particle penetration into buildings. Alternative Inert Particle 1 would utilize titanium dioxide (TiO2), a white odorless powder that is chemically insoluble in water, nonreactive, nonflammable, and nonhazardous. This material is not regulated or defined as a toxic or hazardous material.
Alternative Inert Particle 2 is a 90:10% mixture of urea powder with CL Fluorescent Brightener 220. Urea serves an important role in the metabolism of nitrogen-containing compounds by animals and is the main nitrogen-containing substance in the urine of mammals. CL Fluorescent Brightener 220 is a finishing reagent in textiles, and up to 2% by weight in laundry detergents.
Both aerosol particulates would be released and detected by sensors located outside and inside the preferred buildings. At the concentrations resulting from the proposed releases, all materials are considered nontoxic and nonhazardous. The No Action Alternative would result in no release of aerosol particulates. This alternative would result in possible missed biological sensors detections, reducing the likelihood of program success. In addition, it would increase the number of barcoded biological material releases and would require additional labor to decontaminate each site between releases. These factors would increase both programmatic cost and time and is not a preferred alternative.
To understand the true detection capabilities of the biological sensor, challenge tests with a material must be performed. Since a portion of the technologies rely on the detection of genetic or proteinaceous materials to positively identify a particular threat agent, the simulant must be of biological origin. Three alternatives were considered in order to evaluate tradeoffs in test procedures, which would either partially meet the needs of DHS S&T; additionally there is a no action alternative, which would involve no particulate releases.
Alternative Biological Particulate 1 would employ the use of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp kurstaki (Btk) barcoded spores, which are the preferred biological material to be employed for sensitive characterization of building penetration. Native Btk, sold under the commercial name of Dipel, is used extensively as a bioinsecticide and is not considered a hazard by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when handled appropriately. The barcoded variant provides much more specific detection and identification from background than the native organism, as it contains a genetic barcode that does not affect any physiological function or phenotypic expression of the organism. It will be dispersed in a similar manner to that of native Btk when used as an insecticide. However, release will be at much lower concentrations than typical insecticidal application rates. The use of the barcoded Btk has been approved for use in this program by the State of Oklahoma’s Department of Agriculture, Food, & Forestry.
Alternative Biological Particulate 2 would utilize native Btk, without barcoding. Native Btk is an approved biopesticide under the commercial name of Dipel. This alternative would require much more time and labor to execute. Alternative Biological Particulate 3 would employ a tagged, inert, fluorescent particle known as DNATrax. The safety of DNATrax particles cannot be assumed, therefore, its use presented unknown risks not conducive to testing objectives. The release of all three biological particulate alternatives would result in slow application rates and low concentrations. No Action Biological Particulate Alternative would still allow the primary objectives of the tests to be met through use of inert particles only, but would require larger quantities of inert powder to overcome the natural background of particulates internal and external to the building. In order to simulate real world data that more closely matches, releases of an actual biological nature is needed.
The Chilocco campus and surrounding land is under the ownership of the Council of Confederated Chilocco Tribes (CCCT) which include the Kaw Nation, the Otoe-Missouria Tribe, the Pawnee Nation, the Ponca Nation, and the Tonkawa Tribe. The campus is abandoned, thus reducing the risk of potential human health and safety risks posed by the presence of sensitive populations. S&T and UML have been in communication with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and CCCT and have determined that the implementation of the preferred alternatives has no adverse impact on resources, human health or the environment.
The direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects caused by the potential exposure of terrestrial wildlife, vegetation, water resources, and air quality by movement of the material by any of the alternatives would not have an adverse effect. This is due to both selection of the test materials and limited quantity that will be used. The Chilocco campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Consultation with the appropriate Tribal Historic Preservation Officers has been initiated, and no adverse effect is anticipated.
This EA details the approach and reasoning the team would employ to minimize environmental impacts. As can been seen in the body of this document, the buildings to be used, their location, the release locations and the amounts and types of materials to be used all serve to
minimize impact to the surrounding environment. S&T has determined that the proposed testing would have no potential for significant impact on the human environment and that an environmental impact statement is not needed.

 

Executive Summary, Prepared for Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate

Lockheed Martin Honors Two Wounded Army Veterans through Scholarship Program

FORT WORTH, Texas, Nov. 13, 2017 -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) announced Staff Sgt. Robert Bartlett and Staff Sgt. Jay Fondren as the recipients of the 2017 Lockheed Martin Fighting Spirit Scholarship. For the second consecutive year Lockheed Martin has sponsored the scholarship program, an initiative providing wounded veterans opportunities to experience flying and sailing through two nonprofit organizations, Warrior Sailing Program and Able Flight.

 

"The Fighting Spirit Scholarship program is an opportunity for Lockheed Martin to directly support the warfighters who embody extraordinary courage and sacrifice," said Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. "This program is intended to enhance the professional and personal growth of two individuals who represent the mission of the program and the mission of those who serve and defend our great nation."

Able Flight selected U.S. Army veteran Staff Sgt. Robert Bartlett who was critically injured in Iraq in 2005 when his Humvee was struck by an explosive projectile, causing injuries to his face and hands, and the loss of one eye. After completing Able Flight's six-week flight school, held at Purdue University's Department of Aviation Technology, Bartlett will receive a pilot's license and earn his wings during a presentation at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh airshow in July 2018.


"Words could never express my gratitude for the actions that Lockheed Martin has taken to help me and my family," Bartlett said.

 

"The Fighting Spirit Scholarship means hope for a better future for me and always being able to provide for all my family's needs. This scholarship will change my life forever and give me a chance at a new life beyond my wounds."

Warrior Sailing Program selected U.S. Army veteran Staff Sgt. Jay Fondren, a triple-amputee injured in Iraq in 2004 after an improvised explosive device struck his patrol vehicle. Fondren will earn a nationally recognized Basic Keelboat Sailing Certification after successful completion of the Warrior Sailing Program's Basic and Advanced Training programs.

"I feel greatly honored to receive the Fighting Spirit Scholarship," said Fondren. "I hope my example in life will motivate other wounded veterans to live life to the fullest. You can't let your disability keep you from doing what you want to do. You have to find a way to overcome it or get around it, especially when it comes to doing things with your family."

In addition to attending the training programs at no cost, each scholarship recipient and guest receives roundtrip flights to Fort Worth and a tour of the Lockheed Martin F-35 production facility, VIP tickets to the 2017 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl game and access to other exclusive bowl-related activities.

Both Able Flight and Warrior Sailing Program selected one candidate for the Fighting Spirit Scholarship from the pool of applicants who applied through their respective websites.

Learn more about the stories of Staff Sgt. Robert Bartlett and Staff Sgt. Jay Fondren, and how you can support the veteran community at LockheedMartin.com/FightingSpirit.

About Able Flight
Founded as a nonprofit organization in 2006, Able Flight provides flight training and aviation career training scholarships for people with a variety of physical disabilities, including wounded and disabled veterans. http://ableflight.org/

About Warrior Sailing Program
Warrior Sailing Program is an official program of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Sailing Foundation and offers the organizational and technical expertise to create opportunities ranging from introductory level sailing through world sailing competition. Programming is achieved through partnerships and collaborations within the sailing community, military programs and affiliates, with funding from generous supporters. The alliance between these working relationships allows Warrior Sailing Program to stay focused on improving the lives of service members with disabilities and inspiring a new outlook for participants and the communities in which they serve. www.warriorsailing.org

About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 97,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

 

alliantgroup Hosts Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge at its Technology, Economic, Legislative & Policy Summit

HOUSTON, -- Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and over 100 professionals, including current and former state officials, Congress members, executive officers, U.S. business leaders, CPA partners and business advisors from across the nation gathered for alliantgroup's inaugural Technology, Economic, Legislative & Policy Summit—an exclusive event created for the benefit of the firm's clients and CPA and industry partners.

During the two day conference, attendees were treated to a series of panels covering some of the most critical issues facing U.S. policymakers. Such topics included the impact of technology on the American workforce, the growing importance of cybersecurity, recent tax reform legislation and policy reforms that would foster a more technically skilled labor force and sustainable economic growth.

During the conference's keynote panel, former Secretary Ridge was joined by alliantgroup CEO Dhaval Jadav and the leaders of several technology alliances. With the advancement of new technologies and the Internet of Things making our world more connected, Ridge and the panel stressed how cybersecurity must become a primary focus for both the public and private sectors. The panel emphasized that while these new technologies have improved our overall quality of life and enhanced the efficiency of countless industries, from manufacturing to healthcare services, the growing connectivity of individuals, systems and networks has made the country more susceptible to cyberattacks.


"There is a greater threat today in my judgement of a cyberattack causing economic damage and potential personal injury and death than even a physical attack," said Ridge.

 

During the panel, Ridge and the other technology experts highlighted the importance of maintaining good safety protocols to identify and prevent attacks, from standardized employee procedures to ensuring firewalls and other security systems were up to date. The panel also stressed the importance of employees to maintain these best practices and to exercise good judgement.

"I would like to thank Secretary Ridge and everyone who took the time to attend this event," said Dhaval Jadav, alliantgroup CEO. "Our goal in hosting these conferences is to provide thought leadership to our CPA firms and the businesses they serve. By providing them with the information they need to stay ahead of emerging economic and policy trends, it is our hope that we are offering another avenue to ensure their continued success."

Those in attendance included former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, former Alabama Governor Bob Riley, former U.S. Congressman Rick Lazio, former Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee Dean Zerbe, Private Equity and M&A Advisor Neeraj Mital, former IRS Commissioners Mark W. Everson, Steven Miller and Kathy Petronchak, and alliantgroup CEO Dhaval Jadav.

alliantgroup is a leading tax consultancy and the nation's premier provider of specialty tax services. The firm assists U.S. businesses and their CPA advisors in properly identifying and claiming all federal and state tax incentives that were designed for their benefit. These incentive programs were created to help American businesses grow and remain competitive in an increasingly global economy. To date, alliantgroup has helped 12,000 U.S. businesses claim over $6 billion in tax savings. For more information on alliantgroup, please follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Richard "Chip" Terry Vice President and Client Relations Executive for Federal Health and Defense Programs

BELTSVILLE, Md.,-- ASRC Federal has named retired Air Force Colonel Richard "Chip" Terry vice president and client relations executive for Federal Health and Defense Programs. Terry will provide strategic leadership to advance and foster ASRC Federal's partnerships with customers across military and civilian health agencies, as well as with the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

 

"We are delighted to welcome Colonel Terry to our team," said Mark Gray, ASRC Federal president and CEO. "His expertise and leadership in health information technology and military health systems are recognized throughout the civilian and defense health industry. Chip is an enterprise leader who drives tailored, responsive support to agencies and brings the qualities to this position that will deliver great value to our government customers and industry partners."

Before joining ASRC Federal, Terry most recently served as the Acting Military Health System (MHS) Chief Information Officer and Acting Director, Health Information Technology (HIT) (J-6), at the Defense Health Agency in Falls Church, Virginia, where he was responsible for global HIT operations supporting the Army, Navy and Air Force in more than one thousand locations.

Throughout his 30-year military career, he has served in a variety of senior executive healthcare leadership positions including Chief Information Officer for the Air Force Medical Service; Vice Commander for the Air Force Medical Support Agency; and Air Force Headquarters Deputy Assistant Surgeon General, Modernization.

Terry was commissioned as a second lieutenant in May 1987 after receiving a bachelor's degree in business administration from The Citadel Military College of South Carolina.  He earned a master's degree in healthcare administration from the Medical College of Virginia in 1997 and is a board-certified fellow in healthcare management by the American Academy of Medical Administrators.

About ASRC Federal
ASRC Federal comprises a family of companies that deliver engineering, information technology, infrastructure support, professional and technical services to U.S. civil, defense, and intelligence agencies. ASRC Federal companies have employees in over 40 locations across the U.S. focused on providing reliable, cost-efficient services that help government customers achieve mission success. Headquartered in Beltsville, Md., ASRC Federal is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. For more information, please visit: www.asrcfederal.com

Kelvin Hughes Radar Based Security Systems Video

Kelvin Hughes leads the way in detection for security and surveillance applications. Utilising its SharpEye™ solid state X-Band radar, paired with the latest in multi-role camera mounts, provides versatile and flexible detection and identification systems.

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $55 Million in Grants to Support High-Tech Low-No Buses, American Manufacturing

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced $55 million in grant selections through the Low or No Emission (Low-No) Vehicle program, which funds the development of transit buses and infrastructure that use advanced fuel technologies. Fifty-one projects in 39 states will receive a share of the funding.

“The projects selected through the highly-competitive Low-No program all demonstrate strong value to American communities,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. “As transit providers nationwide face a backlog of maintenance needs, it is imperative to replace aging buses near the end of their useful life with newer, cleaner models that are also more efficient to operate and maintain.”

Eligible projects included those that replace, rehabilitate, lease, and purchase buses and related equipment as well as projects to purchase, rehabilitate, construct or lease bus-related facilities, such as buildings for bus storage and maintenance. Projects can also include workforce development components to train the next generation of transit employees. 

“The projects selected through the highly-competitive Low-No program all demonstrate strong value to American communities,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. “As transit providers nationwide face a backlog of maintenance needs, it is imperative to replace aging buses near the end of their useful life with newer, cleaner models that are also more efficient to operate and maintain.”

Some examples of selected FY2017 Low-No projects include:

  • The City of Lubbock, Texas, and local transit agency Citibus will receive funding to purchase Proterra fast charge electric buses and charging infrastructure that will be used on the Texas Tech University campus. By replacing diesel buses that have exceeded their useful life with battery electric buses, Citibus will reduce overall fleet energy consumption, maintenance costs, and emissions.
  • The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) will receive funding to replace diesel buses with battery electric buses and chargers for an expansion route, which will serve a Park-n-Ride and a new logistics and distribution center that employs over 1,500 Jacksonville residents. Because the charging stations will utilize Jacksonville Electric Authority’s Solar Smart Power program, the buses will truly have zero emissions.
  • The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities will receive funding to purchase battery electric buses, associated charging infrastructure, and a backup generator to maintain bus service in disaster situations. Juneau, the capital of Alaska, has a clean, renewable source of energy in local hydropower. Transitioning the bus fleet to all-electric will eliminate emissions from diesel buses, as well eliminate the costly shipping of diesel fuel from over 900 miles away.

Eligible recipients included transit agencies, state transportation departments, and Indian tribes. Projects were selected on a competitive basis using evaluation criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, such as community needs, project benefits, and local technical and financial capacity.

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, passed by Congress and signed into law in December 2015, authorizes FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program, which includes the Low or No Emission Grants Program, through FY 2020.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission tabs Leidos for a spot on GLINDA BPA

Heise

RESTON, VA July 12, 2017 Leidos (NYSE: LDOS), a FORTUNE 500® science and technology company, was awarded one of six GSA Federal Supply Schedule Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs)  by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to compete for BPA calls to provide information technology (IT) support under the GLobal INfrastructure and Development Acquisition (GLINDA) Enterprise Services program.  The BPA has a base period of performance from date of award through September 29, 2019 plus three one-year options, and a maximum potential value of $679 million for all awardees if all options are exercised.    Work under resultant BPA calls will be performed primarily at NRC Headquarters in Rockville, Md. and will also support each of NRC's Regional Offices in King of Prussia, Pa, Atlanta, Ga., Lisle, Ill.,  Arlington, Texas., and a Technical Training Center in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The scope of the BPA includes mobility support services, end-user computing services, network support services, data center and cloud services, and application operations and maintenance support.  For BPA calls that it wins, Leidos will leverage alternatives to existing services and approaches for efficiency improvements, and offer a full complement of IT services to support the NRC's goals and objectives.  The work will contribute to the modernization and rebalancing of the NRC's information management and IT functions to provide greater product innovation to the workforce.

"The Leidos team understands the NRC's mission as well as their IT strategy," said Leidos Civil President Angie Heise. "We look forward to providing the domain expertise and innovation required to propel them on their IT services transformation journey."

About Leidos

Leidos is a FORTUNE 500® science and technology solutions and services leader working to solve the world's toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, homeland security, civil, and health markets.  The company's 32,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $7.04 billion for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2016.  For more information, visit www.Leidos.com.  

MacArthur Foundation awards nuclear security grant to Hudson Institute

Weinstein

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2017 Hudson Institute has been awarded a $500,000 grant by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to expand bipartisan political consensus on how to prevent terrorists from obtaining existing nuclear weapons, materials, or technologies. The project will be led by Dr. Richard Weitz, Director of Hudson Institute's Center for Political-Military Analysis.

"Concrete leadership on nuclear security benefits everyone," said Kenneth Weinstein, President and CEO of Hudson Institute. "Richard Weitz has worked at the forefront of cooperative threat reduction for many years, and we are proud to partner with MacArthur as they pursue new approaches to global nuclear security."

The grant will focus on preventing, deterring and responding to malign sub-state actors attempting to obtain an existing nuclear weapon or make an improvised nuclear explosive device through stolen, bought, or diverted highly enriched uranium and separated plutonium. Through media engagements, policy briefs, and public and private events, the project will focus on reducing U.S. partisan divisions surrounding the issue of nuclear security and prepare the next generation of nuclear security experts. The grant is part of a larger $4.4. million initiative led by the MacArthur Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York to reduce nuclear risk and reinforce the goals established by the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Richard Weitz is a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute and Director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis. His current research includes regional security developments relating to Europe, Eurasia, and East Asia as well as U.S. foreign and defense policies. In recent years, Dr. Weitz has authored or edited several books and monographs, including Promoting U.S.-Indian Defense Cooperation (2017); Enhancing the Georgia-US Security Partnership (2016); Parsing Chinese-Russian Military Exercises (2015); Reforming U.S. Export Controls Reforms (2015); Turkey's New Regional Security Role: Implications for the United States (2014); Rebuilding American Military Power in the Pacific (2013); Global Security Watch—China (2013); War and Governance: International Security in a Changing World Order (2011); Global Security Watch—Russia (2009); Mismanaging Mayhem: How Washington Responds to Crisis (2008); Revitalising U.S.–Russian Security Cooperation: Practical Measures (2005); and two volumes of National Security Case Studies (Project on National Security Reform, 2012 and 2008). Dr. Weitz is a graduate of Harvard University, Oxford University, the London School of Economics, and Harvard College.

Hudson Institute is a research organization promoting American leadership and global engagement for a secure, free, and prosperous future. http://www.hudson.org

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