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- The Pentagon is looking to make new investments in what it said are key domestic suppliers. President Joe Biden signed off on a Defense Production Act order last week authorizing new funding for radiation-hardened microelectronics companies. Biden also signed a separate DPA authorization allowing for investments in the U.S. submarine industrial base. DoD said there is an increased demand for hardened microelectronics to put in platforms like satellites and nuclear weapons. And it said the Navy needs to invest in key manufacturers to increase production of Virginia-class attack subs.
- Lawmakers pressed for a new assessment of the Pentagon’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program. This year’s defense authorization bill will require a report on the effect of CMMC on small businesses. The House and Senate have both passed the bill, and it awaits the President’s signature. The Pentagon’s revamped CMMC 2.0 program announced in November will drop the requirement for most contractors to get a third-party assessment. But lawmakers still want more information on the training available to small businesses for assessment compliance, efforts to work with non-traditional companies, and the Pentagon’s plan for oversight of third-party assessors.
- President Biden is deploying 1,000 more service members to support medical centers in the face of the omicron COVID-19 variant. The troops will include doctors, nurses, paramedics and other medical personnel in hopes of alleviating stress on overburdened hospitals. About 1,000 other troops are already deployed around the nation to aid in COVID relief.
- Military families have been reporting mice, mold, lead paint and other issues with privatized housing. Now one company is being held accountable for lying about repairs. Balfour Beatty Communities pleaded guilty to defrauding the military last week, and will pay more than $65 million in criminal and civil fines and restitution. The Justice Department said the company lied about repairing houses in order to pocket millions of dollars in performance bonuses from the government. Balfour Beatty Communities has properties on dozens of military bases and owns tens of thousands of properties. The company said it has reviewed its ethics protocols in light of the issue. Military housing advocates said the fines are just a drop in the bucket for what service members and their families have had to endure. (Federal News Network)