DARPA is ramping up its efforts to integrate AI innovators and contractors into its research work, aiming to accelerate the process from ideation to execution. Jason Preisser, DARPA’s Mission Services Office director, discussed increasing the velocity of AI work during a recent webinar. DARPA is holding workshops to engage functional leads and expedite national security research, aiming to leverage AI tools to enhance productivity and efficiency across the agency. However, Preisser emphasized the need to refine data curation processes, recognizing that some data used in business process innovation is still in its early stages

Layoffs: Sikorsky

Sikorsky, a segment of Lockheed Martin, plans layoffs after the U.S. Army’s cancellation of the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program. The spokesperson stated they aim to minimize the impact on the workforce while meeting national security commitments. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro expressed concern, emphasizing Sikorsky’s importance to the community, while Sen. Chris Murphy warned that up to 400 jobs could be affected.

Hiring: DoD

The Department of Defense (DoD), one of the nation’s largest employers with almost 3 million military and civilian employees and $205 billion in contracts for services, currently has 2,385 open cleared positions listed on ClearanceJobs. These openings, range from engineers to electricians. Some positions are entry level and some are high level. Whether you have experience in program management or plumbing, there are many ways to support the defense .

Cleared Employer at Work: Booz Allen

Explore the dynamic career trajectories of our National Security team members and gain insight into how our supportive environment, robust mentorship, and development initiatives empower individuals. Be the future. Work with us.

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Opportunity to Watch

A recent report by Brown University’s “Costs of War” project reveals an increased connection between the Pentagon and Silicon Valley. Over the period of 2019 to 2022, major tech firms secured contracts worth $53 billion from the Department of Defense and U.S. intelligence communities. The military’s push towards AI-enabled military technologies and cloud computing services has led to multi-year contract awards.

Amazon’s $10 billion “Wild and Stormy” contract with the National Security Administration is a stand out. Additionally, Palantir, received $800 million from the U.S. military in 2020 alone. Other defense names included Anduril Industries, Shield AI, HawkEye 360, Skydio, Rebellion Defense, and Epiru.

Venture capital funding for defense tech startups reached $100 billion from 2021 to 2023, pointing to a significant trend in military investment strategies. In response to this growing sector, the Defense Department established the Office of Strategic Capital in December 2022. The office aims to link AI and other startups with sources of private capital, leveraging the United States’ comparative advantages in capital markets and economic competition to support the Department of Defense’s critical technology supply chains.

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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.