International Defense R&D | Cyber Resilience in Special Ops | Small Business Integration


Presented by ManTech & Carahsoft

This Sunday's episode of Fed Gov Today, filmed on location in Tampa, FL, during SOF Week, offers a deep dive into international defense research collaborations, cyber resilience in special operations, and the integration of small businesses into defense procurement. We'll hear from Robert Newberry, Director of the DoD's Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate; Julie Vida, Vice President of Growth in the Defense Sector at ManTech; and Farooq Mitha, Director of the Department of Defense Office of Small Business Programs. They provide invaluable insights into how defense and security organizations can meet evolving challenges through cooperation, innovation, and strategic alignment.

Collaborative R&D Across Borders

IMG_3415Robert Newberry, Director of the Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate, DoD, sheds light on the organization's international R&D partnerships with countries like the UK, Israel, and Singapore. He discusses the unique task plans that enable rapid project implementation, how mutual agreements foster beneficial technology sharing, and challenges faced in prototyping.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The directorate's unique task plans enable rapid, non-binding agreements for collaborative research projects across borders.
  2. R&D projects focus on mutually beneficial technologies, particularly in advanced analytics, CBRN detection, and weapons tech.
  3. Project timelines can be accelerated to jumpstart development while the conventional agreements are finalized.


Securing the Tip of the Spear

IMG_3458Julie Vida, Vice President of Growth (Defense Sector) at ManTech, highlights the challenges special operations forces face in a cyber-contested environment. She explores how diverse adversaries, misinformation, and supply chain vulnerabilities complicate mission execution. Vida emphasizes the importance of secure, intuitive technology and partnerships that enable warfighters to focus on their mission.

Key Takeaways:

    1. Cyber resilience is crucial in denied or contested environments where adversaries use diverse methods to disrupt operations.
    2. Technology must be intuitive and secure, requiring minimal training for special operations forces.
    3. Partnerships between government and industry are vital to build trust and foster innovative, secure tech solutions.


Small Business, Big Impact

IMG_3471Farooq Mitha, Director of the DoD Office of Small Business Programs, reveals how the DoD is fostering small business participation through strategic partnerships and sustained program funding. He underscores the importance of a cohesive acquisition strategy, simplified market access, and aligning with national security priorities.

Key Takeaways:

      1. The DoD is improving small business integration with policies like the Rule of Two and through enhanced funding for initiatives like the Mentor-Protégé Program.
      2. Collaborative groups, such as the Small Business Integration Group, ensure coordinated messaging and barrier reduction.
      3. Apex Accelerators (formerly PTACs) are being leveraged to improve small business market research and provide centralized information.

Filmed on location in Tampa, FL at SOF 24 by W2 Communications

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