Today begins a new federal holiday, with the Biden administration adding Juneteenth to the observation list. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) tweeted out a statement on June 17, notifying federal employees of the change, and President Joe Biden signed the legislation in the afternoon. Juneteenth is celebrates the day that federal troops arrived in Texas to announce the end of slavery in the United States, with the Emancipation Proclamation that had been signed already. June 17 makes Juneteenth an official United States holiday. The federal government joins many other organizations by adding the holiday to its observation list. While federal offices are closed today, it doesn’t mean that all contractors who support the DoD get the day off. However, with remote work more frequently in use after this past year, it allows contractors to quickly flex when benefits and schedules don’t align with federal holidays.
Contract Opportunities to Watch
|ManTech||ManTech just announced that they’ve been awarded $61 million contract to provide systems engineering and technical assistance (SETA) services to the DoD’s Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate (IWTSD). The contract is for one year with four one-year options.
The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD(SO/LIC)) established Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) in 1999 to consolidate its research and development programs. The research and development effort that supports the interagency Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) was the first program to transition to CTTSO. The TSWG is divided into 10 subgroups. Section 922 of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act directed ASD(SO/LIC) report directly to the Secretary of Defense. The Acting Secretary of Defense on November 18, 2020, authorized the ASD (SO/LIC) to transform the CTTSO to the Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate (IWTSD).
ManTech will be providing SETA support for the IWTSD office, offering program and analytical support throughout all of the office’s subgroups.
“We are supporting this important mission with cutting-edge technologies and capabilities that help ensure success in combating terrorism,” said Andrew Twomey, executive vice president and general manager of ManTech’s Defense Sector. “ManTech and its teammates have performed this work since 2007, and we are proud to continue this vital support for our warfighters.”
Key Employer in the Cleared Industry
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Cleared Job of the Week
|Linguist||Linguistics is always going to be an in-demand area of expertise for the DoD and the IC. While many government positions require a college degree, linguists are often not required to have one. Instead, language proficiency and analytical skills are tested in order to get the job. Candidates who have the skills don’t always need to have the degree to go with it. While time abroad can come into question during your background investigation, depending on the countries you visit and native-speaking proficiency, it can still be a bonus. Excellent spoken and written communication (both in English and the secondary language you’re being hired for) are key to getting a job as a linguist.
When it comes to training, you’ll want to get involved in a great program, or spend significant time abroad. This is not a career for someone who spent four semesters in college French or two months studying Mandarin via Rosetta Stone. And military service can be one path into a linguistics career. You don’t necessarily need foreign language or cultural experience to serve as a linguist in the military. If you have the right aptitude, the Defense Language Center in Monterey, CA offers a variety of training tracks for various aptitude requirements. French, Spanish, Indonesian, Hebrew, Farsi, Russian, Tagalog, Urdu, a few Arabic dialects, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean and Pashto – there are many language tracks you can follow.
Because cleared analyst careers have heavy overlap into intelligence analysis, a TS/SCI security clearance is frequently required.
While a change in leadership often brings drastic budget changes, one area that isn’t going away but is instead increasing, is hypersonic weapons. Former White House leadership’s last budget was at $3.2 billion for hypersonic research, and the current administration has upped that in the latest budget proposal to $3.8 billion. As China and Russia continue their own development, the U.S. has steadily been working on its own weapons behind the scenes. Congress will still need to determine how to appropriate the 20% increase in hypersonic research funding, which has previously hampered progress on other prototypes.
The DoD is also looking to purchase hypersonic systems like Lockheed Martin’s Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) in order to put it into the warfighter’s hands. The AGM-183A ARRW is reportedly capable of reaching speeds between 5,000 and 6,000 miles per hour, or roughly between Mach 6.5 and Mach 8.
“We’ve got strong commitment in the new administration for our strategy and moving forward to really rapidly mature and deliver hypersonic-based capabilities,” Mike White, the DoD’s hypersonic research director, said during a June 1 event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.