The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is looking to outsource its network management, cybersecurity, and technical services with an $11.7B IT Modernization Contract with a 10 year lifespan. Defense contractors have until February 8 to respond to the request for proposals (RFP) for the Defense Enclave Services (DES). The DES is planned to be the primary contract vehicle for the DoD’s 4th Estate Network Optimization (4ENO) program. This opportunity to support the Pentagon’s “fourth estate” will provide a flurry of activity as prime and subcontractors find the right bidding line-up. But the shift to a single managed service provider will also provide changes in hiring and employment opportunities currently in the DoD’s fourth estate IT contracts.

Layoffs Impacting the Defense Industry

DynCorp International DynCorp International is cutting 132 jobs at its Elizabeth City, NC location. Coast Guard has plans for 52 open positions and will pick up some of the layoffs. Changes will be effective as of Feb. 4.

DynCorp International provides operational, training, aviation, and intelligence solutions.

Hiring impacting the Defense Industry

Leidos While Leidos has open positions all over, right now, the organization has 38 open positions in Ft. Meade, MD. All positions require a top secret clearance with a polygraph. The job opportunities range from python software engineer to digital network intelligence analyst to technical writer. Despite the challenges of 2020 with COVID-19, Leidos has continued to support the intelligence community safely and effectively.

Opportunity to Watch

Each week continues to bring more drone news, highlighting the reality that this is a key opportunity that shows no signs of slowing down. Three top defense contractors, Boeing, Kratos Defense & Security, and General Atomics, have each landed Air Force contracts to build an autonomous combat drone. While these wins fall into the nice category for the contractors, investors had higher hopes for the “Skyborg” program. The contract award was divvied up among the three organizations, with Kratos receiving $37.8 million, Boeing receiving $25.7 million, and General Atomics receiving $14.3 million. Timelines are tight with only five months to build a test drone that has the ability to integrate artificial intelligence and autonomous air vehicle technology in order for the prototype to be able to operate in dangerous conditions, saving the place of a physical aircraft crew.

“This award is a major step forward for our game-changing Skyborg capability,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Dale White said in a statement announcing the awards. “We will experiment to prove out this technology and to do that we will aggressively test and fly to get this capability into the hands of our warfighters.”

With deliveries planned for May 2021, there’s no time for the contractors to waste. Leidos will be supplying the brains for the drones with its “Autonomous Core System” hardware and software module.

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.