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Bob Brewin

Editor at Large Bob Brewin joined Government Executive in April 2007, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience as a journalist focusing on defense issues and technology. Bob covers the world of defense and information technology for Nextgov, and is the author of the “What’s Brewin” blog.
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Operators Rely On Memory, Not Computers, to Track Nuke Waste

April 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Operators at an underground nuclear waste repository in New Mexico must rely on their own memories to locate plutonium-contaminated waste stored there because computers at the facility were not upgraded to track the materials, the Department of Energy concluded in a 302-page report released April 24. The report details results ...

Obama Orders Investigation of Veteran Deaths in Phoenix

April 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow President Obama told reporters at a press conference in Manila today that he has directed Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to investigate allegations that up to 40 Arizona veterans died while awaiting medical appointments at the Phoenix VA Health Care Center. CNN and the House Veterans Affairs Committee said April ...

This Electronic Health Record's Cost Has Jumped 2,233 Percent

March 27, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Costing 2,233 percent more than originally estimated, the Defense Health Agency’s electronic health record -- designed to be used in combat -- leads a motley pack of major Defense Department automated information systems whose costs have soared by mind-boggling percentages into the billions of dollars, according to government report. The ...

Electronic Warfare Accounts for 5 Percent of the Defense 2015 Science Budget

March 27, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Defense Department plans to spend roughly five percent -- or $500 million -- of its requested $11.5 billion 2015 science and technology budget to develop advanced electronic warfare systems, the Pentagon’s research and engineering chief told lawmakers. The United States needs to keep pace with the electronic warfare capabilities ...

Good News: Army Chiefs Plan ‘Smart’ Civilian Workforce Reduction

March 25, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee today that the service’s civilian workforce will drop to 263,000 at the end of fiscal 2015, a drop of 22,000 from its Afghanistan and Iraq war high ...

Software Continues to Plague $397 Billion F-35 Project, GAO Finds

March 25, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Slow progress in developing, delivering and testing mission systems software for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter “continues to be the most significant risk area” for the $397 billion tri-service project, the most expensive in history, the Government Accountability Office reported. The GAO report on F-35 software echoed a Pentagon report ...

Computer Security Problems at VA More Than Doubled in the Past Six Years

March 25, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated to add detail. The Veterans Affairs Department has not fully developed and instituted a comprehensive program to secure its networks and computer systems despite reports of weaknesses over the past 16 years, as the number of VA computer security incidents more than tripled between 2007 ...

The POTUS Wireless Ecosystem

March 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House Communications Agency has a “Presidential Communications Vision 2020” that includes developing a “wireless ecosystem” so the president of the United States can communicate “anywhere, anytime, by any means with anyone in the world.” Alas, not much detailed info on all this, except for a few facts that ...

VA Fails to Set Up Registry of Troops Exposed to Burn Pits

March 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Tom Udall, D-N.M., slammed the Veterans Affairs Department for failing to set up a registry of troops exposed to toxic pollutants from trash burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq, as required by legislation they sponsored. The law, signed by President Obama on Jan. 13, 2013, ...

Here Comes the milCloud

March 20, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Defense Information Systems Agency launched a new cloud computing service for the Defense Department dubbed milCloud. The service will save money and offer flexibility for Defense users, DISA said, and its description comes with enough buzzwords for an evening of bingo. Keep in mind that when it comes to ...