When you can’t work from home in national security, it’s helpful to remember that you have other bargaining chips at your disposal. While a job offer may not work in a remote environment, candidates can raise concerns for their quality of life without demanding a specific benefit. Sometimes, there are different ways to meet a need. And the opportunities to return to the office continue to grow. Northrop Grumman has recently broken ground on a Hypersonics Center of Excellence to support the U.S. military and its allies in the fight against evolving threats. Through its investments in digital engineering and smart infrastructure at its Elkton, MD facility, Northrop Grumman will provide full lifecycle production for hypersonic weapons, from design and development to production and integration.

“Hypersonic weapons protect our warfighters by offering higher speeds, longer ranges, optimal performance and the ability to combat a threat with as much distance in between them and the threat as possible,” said Rebecca Torzone, vice president, missile products, Northrop Grumman. “Our new hypersonics production facility will optimize our development efficiency, drive affordability, and ultimately deliver weapons to our warfighters faster.”

The new 60,000-square foot facility will feature state-of-the-art production technology and will implement digital engineering best practices that will result in increased agility and the ability to respond to changes in technology or customer mission needs quickly.

Northrop Grumman plans to automate case preparation and non-destructive inspection (i.e. X-Ray) technology, as well as deploy autonomous guided vehicles to improve safety and reliability. These new offerings will also drive demand for additional technically skilled high-wage jobs, engineers and other professional roles at the Elkton facility. Construction is expected to conclude by 2023.

Contract Opportunities to Watch

ManTech International If you want to support the Space Force, ManTech just received a $475.5 million contract with the newest military branch. The award is to continue to provide systems engineering and integration services in support of space launch operations under the National Security Space Launch program on the Systems Engineering and Integration 2 contract. ManTech worked the first iteration of the award originally issued by the U.S. Air Force in 2010. This recompete effort with the Space Force calls for ManTech to provide services in support of the SMC launch enterprise at Los Angeles Air Force Base in California, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and California-based Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Key Employer in the Cleared Industry

ClearanceJobs ClearanceJobs is the largest career network for professionals with federal government security clearance. Find defense and intelligence jobs requiring security clearance. Put your security clearance to work, join today.

Cleared Job of the Week

Splunk Engineer One way to differentiate in the Big Data world is to get a job as a Splunk Engineer. Not only is it a fun word to say, but splunk positions offer lucrative compensation as well as a niche role. As more organizations use Big Data, the value of Splunk will only increase.

You’ll have to start out with a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field – engineering, computer science, etc. As far as experience, you’ll need to have experience in engineering, as well as deploying and administering Splunk Core, Splunk Enterprise Security (ES) and IT Service Intelligence (ITSI). Splunk offers coursework at various levels, as well as certifications. Additionally, splunk engineers need to be able to create customer-facing dashboards and install and configure applications. And in order to work in national security, not only will you need a security clearance that’s in keeping with the program requirements, but you will also need to be DoD 8570 compliant with an IAT Level II certification minimum.

Growth Opportunities

West Coast says hello to East Coast with Shield AI’s acquisition of Heron Systems. Shield AI is a fast-growing technology company that is applying self-driving car technologies to military aircraft. Heron Systems Inc. is a software company known for decisively defeating an experienced Air Force F-16 pilot 5-0, and five other AI-pilots, during the DARPA AlphaDogfight trials.

Together, Shield AI and Heron will accelerate the deployment of advanced AI-pilots to legacy and future military aircraft – an urgent and necessary step toward achieving national security priorities and remaining credible in the face of sophisticated peer countries. This acquisition is being executed as China recently announced the successful development of an AI-pilot for their fighter aircraft that can defeat China’s best pilots.

“Truly special AI companies are incredibly rare assets in the defense market. Heron has developed the most advanced AI-pilot for fighter aircraft in the United States. With China already showing comparable results, operationalizing Heron’s work for programs such as Next Generation Air Dominance must be a national security priority,” said Shield AI cofounder and CEO Ryan Tseng.

“Shield AI enables us the opportunity and scale to accelerate the integration of our AI-pilot on a next generation fighter and UAS. What stood out about Shield AI for us – is that they’re really the only ones who have an operational AI pilot that can operate on the edge without GPS or comms, and this has been proven on combat operations,” said Brett Darcey, Heron Systems GM.

“Whoever has the best AI-pilots will have a decisive and overwhelming advantage on the battlefield – inferior AI-pilots will be quickly destroyed, militaries without AI-pilots won’t stand a chance. The combined Shield AI and Heron team is excited and humbled to contribute to the warfighter, national security, and global stability by operationalizing AI-pilots onboard 6th generation fighters and Group 5 UAS,” said Brandon Tseng Shield AI cofounder and former Navy SEAL.

Heron’s proprietary, multi-agent deep reinforcement learning framework has enabled its AI software to achieve dominant performance across a broad range of scenarios, including in the aforementioned DARPA AlphaDogfight trials. Heron Systems will operate as a wholly owned division under Shield AI.


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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.