Hump Day Highlights


Nice profile! Editor Lindy Kyzer advises, “It’s currently a candidate’s market – thanks to the OPM breach, security clearance processing delays, and a rebounding defense contracting market, the pool of cleared job seekers is both much smaller – and much more cautious. The OPM breach has already made some candidates less likely to consider unsolicited job offers, and has increased a candidate’s weariness about connecting with anyone online. That makes your Cleared Network employer profile even more important. . . .”

Be available. Also from Lindy, “If you’re not 100 percent sure if your online resume is searchable by recruiters, there’s a good chance it isn’t. That means you’re getting passed over for positions. . . . You’ve taken time to build your career profile. Don’t make your effort a waste of time by posting a resume that isn’t being seen by anyone other than you. Log into ClearanceJobs to verify your clearance details, check your profile strength, and make sure your career status is correct.”


France on ISIS. Vice News’ Pierre Longeray reports, “France carried out its first reconnaissance flights over Syria Tuesday to identify potential Islamic State (IS) targets for airstrikes. . . . The decision to launch strikes in Syria marks a major turning point for Hollande, who has so far refused to bomb Syria, for fear airstrikes could strengthen Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. Assad — who is also engaged in the fight against IS — has been accused of committing atrocities against his own people since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011.” See also, “Sinai Fighting Heats Up.”

Taliban loves AQ. Long War Journal’s Bill Roggio reports, “In the September 2015 edition of Al Sumud, the Taliban’s official magazine, the jihadist group devoted significant space to al Qaeda leaders and pro-al Qaeda clerics eulogizing its former emir, Mullah Mohammad Omar. The seven al Qaeda representatives who lauded Omar include al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, former Islamic Caucasus Emirate leader Abu Usman Gimrinsky, senior al Qaeda-linked cleric Abdullah al Muhaysini, and designated terrorists Hani al Siba’i and Sheikh Hamid bin Abdallah al ‘Ali. . . . Al Sumud’s heavy reliance on al Qaeda leaders to eulogize Mullah Omar should come as no surprise. The Taliban and al Qaeda have deep ties spanning decades, and the Taliban has actively publicized the relationship over the past several months.” See also, “Sayyaf declare jihad against Taliban, regrets for not killing Mullah Omar at first.”

Great migration. Reuters’ Stephanie Nebehay reports, “At least 850,000 people are expected to cross the Mediterranean seeking refuge in Europe this year and next, the United Nations said . . . giving estimates that already look conservative. The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR called for more cohesive asylum policies to deal with the growing numbers. Many are refugees from Syria, driven to make the voyage by intensified fighting there and worsening conditions for refugees in surrounding countries due to funding shortfalls in aid programs . . . .”

F-35s over Italy. Defense News’ Tom Kington reports, “The first F-35 flight outside the US took place Monday at Italy’s Cameri Air Base, where Italy’s Joint Strike Fighters are being assembled. The aircraft, known as AL-1, made a one hour, 22 minute flight after rolling off the Cameri Final Assembly and Check Out line, which is owned by the Italian government and operated by Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi and Lockheed Martin.” See also, “First F-35 Assembled Overseas Takes Flight.” 


Surprise: Lockheed protests JLTV award. DoD Buzz’s Brendan McGarry reports, “Defense contracting giant Lockheed Martin Corp. on Tuesday confirmed it’s protesting the U.S. Army’s decision to award truck-maker Oshkosh Corp. the contract to build a replacement to the iconic Humvee. The move came less than two weeks after the Army awarded Oshkosh a $6.7 billion contract to build the first 17,000 production models of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. The work could eventually be worth some $30 billion . . . .”

Sub-antenna upgrade contract. Military & Aerospace Electronics Editor John Keller reports, “Officials of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in San Diego announced a $30.9 million contract to Sippican/GSM Submarine Antenna to develop an OE-538B antenna upgrade, as well as to provide OE-538 and OE-538A antennas for Navy submarines. The OE-538 antenna system is a submarine mast-mounted, multi-function antenna that enables submarines to communicate on radio frequencies ranging from very low frequency (VLF) to ultra high frequency (UHF), as well as provide identification, friend or foe and Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities.”


Pentagon cyberattack. The Wall Street Journal’s Damian Paletta reports, “A recent breach of the unclassified network for the Pentagon’s Joint Staff was persistent and evolved quickly from a failed attack just a week before, the head of the National Security Agency said . . . . Adm. Michael Rogers [said] . . . that security officials were quickly able to contain the breach and ‘develop an immediate set of workarounds’ to allow officials to send secure emails. Still, he said the sophisticated design of the attack surprised even him.” See also, “U.S. Cyber Command Chief Details Plans to Meet Cyberspace Threats” and “Cyberwarfare key component of China’s military modernization.”

Quantum quest. Defense One’s Patrick Tucker reports, “An assortment of super powers awaits the superpower that harnesses quantum science: unhackable communications, radars that see underground, supercomputers that make today’s biggest machines look like first-generation Ataris. . . . The Holy Grail of applied quantum science is quantum computation, which is as different from regular computers as humans are from jellyfish. Whereas conventional computing uses electrical impulses running through transistors to manipulate bits, or binary values of one or zero, quantum machines track the strange behavior of ultracold atoms that can exist in two states at once — a one, a zero, or both.”

End-to-end encryption . Homeland Security News Wire reports, “Apple said it could not comply with a court order to hand over texts sent using iMessage between two iPhones because the company’s encryption system makes it impossible to do so. The Justice Department persuaded the court to issue the order to facilitate an investigation involving guns and drugs. Legal experts say this is the first known direct face-off between the U.S. government and Apple over encryption. The FBI contends that such encryption puts the American public at risk because it makes it harder, if not impossible, to track and catch terrorists, pedophiles, and other criminals.”


Dueling banjos. “To hear Dick Cheney tell the tale, he and President George W. Bush were slowly but surely squeezing Iran into submission until President Obama and his team came along and recklessly let up the pressure. To listen to Hillary Rodham Clinton, she and Mr. Obama succeeded where the Bush-Cheney administration failed by escalating pressure and forcing Tehran to the bargaining table — and on Wednesday, she will outline a tougher stance to enforce the resulting deal.”

Pregame. “It’s unclear exactly what’s going to happen in the Senate. As of Tuesday, 42 Democratic and independent senators had announced support of the deal – one more vote than needed to block passage of a resolution of disapproval and hand President Barack Obama a major foreign policy victory. What remains unclear is whether all 42 would vote to filibuster and thus prevent the resolution of disapproval from reaching the Senate floor altogether.” See also, “Pro-deal filibuster to prevent Senate vote on Iran agreement.”


Migrant crisis reshapes Europe politics.” Reuters contributor Swaha Pattanaik observes, “An influx of hundreds of thousands of people from war-torn Syria into the European Union is causing huge political rifts. The result could be backlashes against immigrants and the European Union. Here’s a breakdown of what’s at stake. . . .”

Putin makes moves in Syria, exploiting America’s inaction.” Washington Post’s Editorial Board argues, “By preparing to deploy Russian ground and air forces to Syria, Mr. Putin is acknowledging a truth that Mr. Obama has refused to accept: Any political agenda for Syria’s future is meaningless unless it is backed by power on the ground.”

Make staff feel appreciated.” Fast Company contributor Lydia Dishman advises, “Ultimately, as workplace consultant Roberta Matuson says, thanking employees for their contribution is something that can easily be done and doesn’t require a wad of cash. ‘It just requires the desire to be the kind of manager you wished you had either now, or at some point in your life.’”


Patience, Butterfly.

Hi. My name is . . . .

Bedtime Boss.

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Ed Ledford enjoys the most challenging, complex, and high stakes communications requirements. His portfolio includes everything from policy and strategy to poetry. A native of Asheville, N.C., and retired Army Aviator, Ed’s currently writing speeches in D.C. and working other writing projects from his office in Rockville, MD. He loves baseball and enjoys hiking, camping, and exploring anything. Follow Ed on Twitter @ECLedford.