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Intelink Sets Up Ebola Website

By Bob Brewin // 1:40 PM ET

Intelink -- the word used to describe a whole bunch of intelligence community intranets -- has set up an open source and unclassified website on the Ebola crisis worldwide.

The daily Intelink Ebola feed is carried by the All Partners Access Network, run by the Defense Information Systems Agency. APAN is a collection of communities developed to foster information and knowledge sharing between the U.S. Defense Department and non-DOD entities who do not have access to traditional DOD networks.

APAN also offers links to the daily Operation United Assistance – the name for the DOD response in West Africa – unclassified intelligence summary that goes beyond scraping open source news reports and drills down to specific problems, such as flooded roads in parts of Liberia that hinder medical missions.

To access either of the above, go to the APAN home page, type “Ebola” into the community search bar, which then hops to the Ebola Response Network, and another click leads to daily intelligence summaries.

Now, someone needs to come up a really good filter to find the best and most relevant information from the growing number of Ebola websites.

Here Comes the Army Cyber Battle Lab

By Bob Brewin // October 17, 2014

Sangoiri/Shutterstock.com

The Army currently operates a Network Battle Lab and plans to change it to the Cyber Battle Lab beginning in October 2015 -- and is looking for some contractor support.

What’s the difference?

The Network Battle Lab was focused only on experimentation to support the network, but will now add experimentation to support all areas of "cyber electromagnetic" activities. These include cyberspace operations, electronic warfare and spectrum management operations, the Army said.

I think cyber is also one of those buzzwords, which attracts support on the Hill and money. 

Huge Bidder Pile-On for VA’s $22.3 Billion Tech Deal

By Bob Brewin // October 16, 2014

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald
Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald // Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

The number of companies that have expressed interest in bidding on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation contract -- known as T4NG -- hit 635 vendors Tuesday, according to a VA spreadsheet.

The list of interested bidders ranges alphabetically from A1C Partners LLC to Yakshna Solutions and is dominated by small-business hopefuls. VA plans to award up to 20 indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts under T4NG, which will run for an initial five years with an option for another five years

VA has reserved eight awards for companies owned by veterans: four for veteran-owned small business and four for service-disabled, veteran-owned small business. Another four awards are reserved for other small business firms, including woman-owned companies.

If all these interested vendors actually submit a bid, the VA acquisition folks will have to go into overtime to weed through all the paper. 

Institute of Medicine Plans Ebola Research Workshop

By Bob Brewin // October 15, 2014

Bellevue Hospital nurse Belkys Fortune, left, and Teressa Celia, Associate Director of Infection Prevention and Control, pose in protective suits in the Emergency Room, during a demonstration of procedures for possible Ebola patients.
Bellevue Hospital nurse Belkys Fortune, left, and Teressa Celia, Associate Director of Infection Prevention and Control, pose in protective suits in the Emergency Room, during a demonstration of procedures for possible Ebola patients. // Richard Drew/AP

The Institute of Medicine said it will hold a one-day workshop Nov. 3 to examine the areas of biomedical and public health research that should be conducted to best prepare the United States to safeguard the public as a result of the emergence of Ebola.

IOM said the workshop, requested by the Department of Health and Human Services, will provide a venue for real-time discussions about immediate science needs that will inform HHS, public health officials, providers and the general public with the most up-to-date information about virus transmission, mitigation of health risks and appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

“Our goal for this workshop is to provide a forum for key experts and decision makers to discuss what research is needed and can be performed now to assist the public health response to the occurrence of Ebola in the United States," IOM President Victor J. Dzau said.

The workshop will start 8:30 a.m. at the National Academy of Sciences building, 2101 Constitution Ave. N.W. in Washington and will be webcast.

What’s So Secret About the Price of Dell and HP PCs?

By Bob Brewin // October 14, 2014

Hadrian/Shutterstock.com

The Army Intelligence and Security Command posted a justification and approval notice on FedBizOps last Thursday that it had to buy a whole bunch of Dell and HP PCs or laptops as “hardware requirements and compatibility issues with installation and operational needs require and justify the use of brand name products.”

The J&A document then lists the number and types of PCs, but blacks out the price. I realize INSCOM deals with a lot of shhhhh kind of stuff, but I don’t think the price of Dell and HP PCs or laptops is a military secret.

I did a Web price search for all the models covered in this order for 6,535 boxes, averaged that out to $800 a box and came up with a total price of $5.2 million – in some circles, real money. Why hide this?

(Image via Hadrian/Shutterstock.com)