With well over 200 registrants, the latest installment of FMA’s Acquisition Guidance Webinar Series showed our community’s great interest in learning more about contracting with U.S. Cyber Command.
The webinar featured Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., Chief of Staff of U.S. Cyber Command; Sharothi Pikar, Command Acquisition Executive/J9 Director; Quentin McCoy, Acquisition Chief Division, J9 Capabilities Development; and special guest, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger.
Maj. Gen. Morrison kicked off the webinar by introducing participants to U.S. Cyber Command – a relatively young agency that just celebrated its 10th birthday. Addressing the concerns of participants up front, Maj. Gen. Morrison said, “My message to you in short is: U.S. Cyber Command is open for business.”
Congressman Ruppersberger followed the General by acknowledging the difficult times the U.S. finds itself in as it faces dangerous cyber issues, a global pandemic and a fight to end centuries-old systems of racism and inequity.
Praising U.S. Cyber Command, Ruppersberger noted that in its young life, “the command has grown to more than 6,000 members. It has also gotten busier from enemies stealing our intellectual property to disrupting our elections.” Ruppersberger closed his remarks by summarizing the work Congress has done to help protect defense agencies’ and contractors’ ability to complete critical missions.
The panelists spent the remainder of the webinar addressing industry questions and concerns about doing business with U.S. Cyber Command during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the command has focused on two essentials: the mission and taking care of the people who help accomplish that mission.
Maj. Gen. Morrison pointed to the learning opportunity provided by the pandemic. “We’re looking at a completely different way to do the work,” he said, adding that some departments could easily shift to telework.
“We have tried to apply the most flexible lens that we can apply to make sure the mission gets done,” added Pikar.
McCoy reported that while no new business opportunities have been created as a result of COVID-19, the command has continued to procure capabilities during the pandemic. Acquisitions staff have also been busy with invoices and modifications related to the CARES Act provisions to help ensure funding continues to flow to industry partners.
Companies interested in supporting U.S. Cyber Command’s mission can reach out directly via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Pikar advised businesses to review the command’s missions and describe the capabilities they could provide in support of those missions as a first step.
The next webinar in the Acquisition Guidance Series will take place on June 23, 2020. For this session, the FMA welcomes back the NSA to discuss updated information on how businesses can engage and reconstitute with the agency under COVID-19. Featured speakers will include Diane Dunshee, Deputy Director of Business Management & Acquisition and Deputy Senior Acquisition Executive; and Maria Taylor, Deputy Head of the Office of Contracting, Maryland Procurement Office. This is event is free and open to both members and non-members. Register here.