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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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Did Cat Litter Precipitate the Nuclear Waste Dump Fire?

May 14, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The combination of cat litter and nitrate salts designed to suppress fires in drums of waste generated by the nation’s nuclear defense program may have led to a Feb. 14 fire at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant 26 miles southeast of Carlsbad, N.M. That’s what the Albuquerque Journal reported today. ...

It’s Hard to Ban GPS Stations in Russia That Don’t Exist

May 13, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow News websites spanning a wide readership from Gizmodo to the Wall Street Journal and Russian site RT reported Tuesday that Russia’s deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin, who is in charge of space and defense industries, plans to ban operation of U.S. GPS monitoring sites in Russia. This evidently is a ...

Defense Plans to Replace 19-Year-Old Retiree Pay System

May 13, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Defense Department has decided to retire its 19-year-old retiree pay system written in “antiquated” computer code and replace it with a lower cost, easier to use application based on off-the-shelf technology. The Defense Retiree and Annuitant Pay System, or DRAS, maintains military pay accounts for more than 2.6 million ...

Phoenix VA Spent 10 Years Installing an Electronic Wait List

May 9, 2014 The Phoenix Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in 2012 finally installed an electronic wait list system that an internal manual reveals had been available and deployed elsewhere in the Veterans Affairs Department since 2002. CNN reported on April 30 that the Phoenix VA hospital, known as PVACHS, created a “secret” wait ...

It Took the VA Hospital in Phoenix 10 Years to Install an Electronic Waitlist System

May 9, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Phoenix Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in 2012 finally installed an electronic waitlist system that an internal manual reveals had been available and deployed elsewhere in the Veterans Affairs Department since at least 2002. CNN reported on April 30 that the Phoenix VA hospital, known as PVAHCS, created a “secret” ...

VFW Wants Accurate Reports From Vets on VA Health Care

May 9, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Call 1-800-VFW-1899 NOW! The Veterans of Foreign Wars wants to “separate truth from conjecture” in the wake of numerous reports of poor treatment in Veterans Affairs hospitals. An April 30 CNN story reported that the Phoenix VA hospital created a “secret” waitlist of 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans who were ...

Pentagon Police Hit By 'Catastrophic' Network Outage

May 7, 2014 CORRECTION: This article was updated to eliminate a reference to computers used in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (they do not run on the Pentagon Life Safety System Network) and note that the Pentagon Force Protection Agency reports to the director of administration and management (DA&M), not Washington ...

Pentagon Police Agency Hit by ‘Catastrophic’ Network Outage

May 6, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated with Pentagon response and details. The agency that manages the Pentagon Police Department and also runs its networks and computers experienced a “catastrophic network technological outage” on Jan. 3, and repairs may not be complete until January 2015, an obscure document on the Federal Business ...

Marines Enlist New Mobile News App -- But at What Cost?

May 5, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Marines have tapped a Rochester, Minnesota company to provide news and information feeds to active duty Marines, potential Marines, reserve Marines, retirees, family members and the general public, according to a limited source justification notice posted on the federal online contracting website last Friday. DoApp Inc.’s Mobile Local News ...

Wanted: Smart Snowplows With Infrared Radar and Virtual Reality Systems

May 5, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Federal Highway Administration wants to develop smart snowplows equipped with GPS, radar, sensors used in attack helicopters and virtual reality and synthetic vision systems. FHWA said it plans to run a competition for a prototype “high-accuracy, visual guidance system” for snowplow operators based on these and other advanced technologies, ...