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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Today's Lesson -- Aging Soviet Rocket Engine Doesn't Fly

October 29, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Orbital Sciences Corp. tried to launch a mission to the International Space Station yesterday using rocket engines built four decades ago, only to see the rocket blow up seconds after liftoff from a Virginia launch site. Or as Orbital’s executive vice president, told the Guardian after the crash, “The asset...

US Army Will Provide Wi-Fi for NGOs in the Fight Against Ebola

October 29, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Defense Department has started to beef up systems needed to support troops and nongovernmental organizations engaged in the Ebola fight in West Africa, including email, video and satellite systems. The Defense Information Systems Agency last week turned on a node of the Blue Force Tracking System over West Africa,...

A Whole Bunch of GPS Action

October 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Air Force plans to launch a Boeing-built GPS IIF-8 satellite Oct. 29 following the successful launch of the IIF-7 bird just shy of three months ago on Aug. 1. The 3,950-pound new satellites have a design life of 12 years and will replace II-A satellites, which were launched between...

Watchdog: Pentagon Failed to Develop Blood IT Systems

October 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Defense Department has failed to adequately develop blood information systems over the past 13 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq despite spending a total of $289 million, the Pentagon inspector general reported last week. The latest review, which is a follow-up to an October 2001 IG report, said...

Want More Info on the Military’s Ebola Efforts? Tune in Here Thursday

October 27, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Defense Department’s DOD News Channel -- known as the Pentagon Channel until this July -- plans a live broadcast with top leaders this Thursday on ongoing support operations to help battle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and at home. The channel is broadcast to 2.6 million people, primarily...

Irony Alert: Booz Allen Wins Cybersecurity Contract

October 23, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Booz Allen Hamilton won yesterday a $6.6 million task order for continued support to the Defense Department’s Chief Information Officer Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Support program through Sept. 30, 2015. It goes to show that Defense has no hard feelings toward Booz Allen even though one of its employees, Edward...

So, How Do I Get Onto the VA eBenefits Site?

October 22, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow That's what I asked Department of Veterans Affairs Chief Information Officer Stephen Warren at his media roundtable yesterday, as I have been frustrated for months as I try to get past the first screens on the eBenefits website intended to make it easier and quicker for vets for apply for...

VA: Hackers Never Siphoned Data Out of Our Systems

October 22, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Correction: VA did not experience downtime with it VBMS system this quarter. It has experienced unscheduled downtime previously. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ computer networks and systems remain under constant threat -- including from attacks by foreign actors -- but no data has been “exfiltrated” as a result of attacks,...

VA Introduces 'Google-like' Medical Record Search Functions

October 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Department of Veterans Affairs has started to roll out “Google-like” search functions for patient medical records, VA CIO Stephen Warren said at a press briefing today. Warren said the new user interface of the Health Management Platform, which supports search across an entire patient record, has been installed at...

Hanford Waste Contractors Refuse to Cooperate with IG

October 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Energy Department’s inspector general and the chairwoman of a Senate oversight committee have slammed contracting companies at the $12 billion Waste Treatment Plant at the Hanford site in Washington State for failing to cooperate with an investigation into the firing of a potential whistle-blower at the plant. Hanford, which...

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