Quick Hits

*** The Defense Department is launching a China Task Force to evaluate policies and programs related to China on issues such as technology and force structure, strategy, and intelligence, President Joe Biden announced Feb. 10.

"We need to take on the dangers and opportunities of emerging technologies, enhance our capabilities in cyberspace, ensure that we are positioned to lead a new era of competition from the deep sea to outer space. And we need to meet the growing challenges posed by China to keep peace and defend our interests in the Indo-Pacific and globally," Biden said during remarks at the Pentagon Feb. 10.

The task force will have 15 members representing the combatant commands, Joint Staff, military branches, intelligence community, and Office of the Secretary of Defense. Ely Ratner, the special assistant to the Secretary of Defense, will lead the sprint effort that is tasked with producing a set of recommendations on key priorities. Formal DOD guidance is expected in the coming weeks.

*** The Department of Homeland Security is leaning on the Department of Veterans Affairs to vaccinate its workforce against COVID-19. The ongoing effort is being coordinated by DHS tech officials, agency acting CIO Beth Killoran said at a Feb. 10 FCW event on IT modernization. The CIO office is supporting the initiative that draws on human resources, geospatial and health informatics systems, Killoran said.