It was a big week for Palantir Technologies Inc. First, their CEO Alex Karp makes a quiet visit to meet with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov.

Zelensky told Karp, “”Your visit to Ukraine is a positive signal that despite a full-scale war, Ukraine is open to business and ready for cooperation. We are delighted that Palantir is ready to invest in Ukraine and help us in the fight against Russia on the digital frontline.” Zelensky also noted that Karp was the first CEO of a large western corporation to make the trek to Kyiv, since the beginning of Russia’s attack.

Palantir also announced last week that the U.S. Space Systems Command (SSC) Battle Management Command, Control, and Communications (BMC3) awarded them a $53,899,333.40 contract increase, bringing  the total value of the contract to $175,399,333.40 and ensuring the continuous delivery of Palantir’s data and decisions platform to support national security objectives through March 2023.

This contract modification continues Palantir’s Data-as-a-Service platform capabilities which allow mission areas within the Air Force, Space Force, and NORAD-NORTHCOM to integrate, clean, share, and leverage data to help make decisions on personnel management, strategic and operational planning, cross-space situational awareness, and collaboration across combatant commands. The extension includes capabilities for decision support tooling for echelon planning and continuity of leadership operations.

“The readiness of our nation’s Space and Air Force is vital to Western security,” said Akash Jain, President of Palantir USG. “We’re incredibly honored to continue our partnership with Air Force, Space Force, and NORAD-NORTHCOM as they establish information dominance through scalable and mature software.”

Layoffs Impacting the Cleared Industry

Valiant Global Defense Services Inc.

Valiant Global Defense Services Inc has filed a notice to California regulators, detailing their plans to layoff 114 employees at the U.S. Army National Training Center (NTC). Herndon, VA-based defense contractor plans to cease all operations at this site, following the decision by the prime contractor, Raytheon, to not exercise the final option year of the contract. These layoffs come on the heals of PULAU Corp.’s 60 layoffs earlier this year at the Army NTC site.

Hiring impacting the Cleared Industry

a.i. solutions

a.i. solutions® already has 40 open positions posted, and following a recent win, they’re about to add even more. Last week,  a.i. solutions® was awarded the Small Business Set-Aside Prime Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with Firm-Fixed-Price (FFP), Cost-Plus-Award-Fee (CPAF) with a value of $217 million to provide on-console satellite operations support for the U.S. Space Force, Space Systems Command’s Innovation and Prototyping Delta (SSC/SZI).

The Prototype Operations I (POPS-I) is a procurement for research and development satellite operations and support services for SSC/SZI. The goal of the Innovation and Prototyping Delta is to accelerate mission design and integration, launch operations, and ground system test support to provide reliable, low-cost access to space.

The contract awarded under the DoD, U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command has a performance period of five years with two additional one-year options. POPS-I will provide on-console and technical support for concept development, readiness, launch, on-orbit testing and evaluation, operations, and analysis activities for research and experimental satellites.

“Winning this prime contract, our first with the Space Force, is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our team,” said Robert Sperling, a.i. solutions’ President and CEO. “We are excited to bring our 25 years’ experience of successfully supporting space missions to deliver satellite operations expertise and proven innovation technologies while ensuring uninterrupted, ongoing mission support.”

The a.i. solutions team, which includes Actalent, Boecore, Parsons, KBR, and LinQuest, will perform the work at Kirtland Air Force Base, NM and at Schriever Space Force Base, CO.

Cleared Employer at Work: KBR

When you join KBR, you join a team of industry-leading experts with missions that matter – defending the communities where we live and work, supporting our military heroes at home and abroad, developing the technology of the future and protecting the planet through sustainable initiatives. For KBR, the only thing more important than the mission… is the team behind it. Join ours today.

SPONSORED CONTENT: This content is written on or behalf of our Sponsor.


Opportunity to Watch

The Air Force and Space Force  has opened up their next hackathon, called BRAVO Hackathon, BRAVO 1 Canary Release, which will kick-off July 18-22 simultaneously at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA, Patrick Space Force Base, FL, and Eglin Air Force Base, FL.

A hackathon is an innovation and software development event commonly employed by technology companies, in which teams self-form and urgently develop working prototypes that are later presented to senior leaders. Canary Release takes its name from a data-driven software release technique, leveraged frequently by technology companies, where new software is introduced to a sample of users in production for telemetry collection and validation before distributing the software to the remaining population.

BRAVO hackathons gather engineers, data scientists, data visualization and user experience experts, and product and use case owners from industry, academia, government, and citizenry to build operationally focused emergent capabilities with mentorship from senior Department of Defense leaders. At BRAVO 0, the first hackathon’s 11 teams focused on challenges such as: jet sensor visualization and playback, target planning and pairing, multi-jet sensor fusion analysis, artificial intelligence-assisted radar sensor failure mitigation, maintenance visualization and automation/artificial intelligence-assisted personnel recovery.

Since BRAVO 0 four months ago, one project’s work has been operationalized to the European theatre, while half have been selected by Air Force organizations for additional development, testing and fielding. BRAVO 0 projects produced capabilities related to Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall’s operational imperatives, in areas such as Air Force Joint All-Domain Command & Control, next generation system of systems, post-flight data analysis, and readiness.

“A senior DoD official recently referred to the capability to deploy updates to SpaceX Starlink in response to data indicating jamming, as ‘eye-watering.’ This shouldn’t be the case. Every big tech company and some nation states have already built automated pipelines that collect, aggregate and fuse data to enable such capabilities,” said Chief Digital Transformation Officer, Department of the Air Force, Stuart Wagner.

“DoD talks a lot about connecting weapons systems, but has been too slow to implement groundbreaking, data-driven capabilities. BRAVO hackathons leverage existing Department of Defense technologies to provide hackers the development environment and operational data to rapidly build data-driven kill chains and cognitive electronic warfare capabilities. If you are a cleared or uncleared American citizen with technology skills looking to build national security capabilities during a one-week event, this is your opportunity.”

Unlike other DoD technical environments, BRAVO hackathons allow hackers to bring open source software and data into the development environment in minutes providing unprecedented software and data collaboration on operational data.

The goals for Canary Release are to 1) validate rapid development in a cloud-based environment across multiple bases, military departments and classifications on operational use cases, 2) provide a new way for American companies, citizens and government employees to develop DoD capabilities, and 3) generalize the BRAVO development model to enable future scaling to partner military departments, combatant commands, U.S. Government agencies, and U.S. partners and allies.

Canary Release is hosted by various organizations within Air Combat Command, Space Launch Delta 45 and Space Force Chief Technology and Innovation Office, and the Department of the Air Force’s Chief Information Office with key support coming from the STITCHES Warfighter Application team within the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing, the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office, CyberWorx, AFWERX, Congressional offices from the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks Program Executive Office, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, BESPIN software factory and Morpheus among many others.

“The first BRAVO hackathon set a record for maximum concurrent users on our AI development environment. We agree that we must increase our digital and AI investments to operational use cases, including those identified and built at BRAVO hackathons. We are evaluating opportunities to scale this innovation model to the DoD and federal government enterprise,” said Greg Little, Deputy Director of Enterprise Capability at the Chief Digital and AI Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense.

For Canary Release, use cases have been sourced from Air Combat Command and Space Launch Delta 45 and Space Force Chief Technology Information Office. All participants must be American citizens. Participation at the Patrick Space Force Base does not require a security clearance, while participation at the remaining bases requires a secret clearance. Companies with employees holding active Special Access Program read-ins are encouraged to apply.

BRAVO intends for 60% of hackers to be government employees or DoD contractors with approval of their government contracting officer, with the remainder coming from industry, academia and American citizenry.

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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.