With the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2018 passing in February, the defense discretionary funding cap was increased by $80 billion in FY2018 and $85 billion in FY2019. The DoD now has over $700 billion in their budget. This type of legislation is not unprecedented with BBAs issued in 2013 and 2015. However, the 2018 deal does stand out in terms of the amount of money added to funding caps.
So what are defense agencies doing with this influx of federal dollars? According to research from Market Connections, two thirds of Defense decision makers say that money will go toward projects that have been stalled due to budget disagreements and continuing resolutions. This means that agencies are not necessarily investing in net new work, rather using the influx to put existing plans and programs into action. Those projects getting the kick start range widely, with a large portion involving cybersecurity, modernization initiatives, and training.
With these areas of focus in mind, we looked at Defense-focused events between now and the end of the government fiscal year that will provide the perspective contractors need for selling into the DoD market as well as training and development needed for DoD personnel to carry out programs finally receiving the funding they need.
- 9th Annual Cyber and EW Convergence Conference (June 5-7; Charleston, SC) -- Cyberspace and Electronic Warfare disciplines remain largely separated and vary widely across the military services. This conference provides the EW and Cyberspace communities an opportunity to collaborate and discuss capabilities, Technology Transition Plans, and research in EW and Cyberspace operations to enable more rapid deployment of new and improved capabilities.
- Air Force Acquisition Forum (June 6; Falls Church, VA) -- The new Air Force Assistant Secretary for Acquisition will present his focus on changing the Air Force culture to focus on innovation, speed, and risk acceptance. Along with other public and private sector leaders, Dr. Will Roper will discuss changes in the Air Force acquisition process and culture, and how organizations can better position themselves to secure more contracts with the service branch.
- Technology Systems and Ships 2018 (June 18-20; Washington, DC) -- This event will showcase new programs and provide a full understanding of the direction the Navy is taking regarding future ships, systems and technologies. Beyond the shipbuilding programs, other topics such as ship modernization, weapon systems, combat systems, and C5ISR will be discussed.
- Digital Transformation for Government Summit (June 19-20; Washington, DC) - Attendees will discuss the strategies, capabilities and innovative applications towards optimizing and transforming their respective IT ecosystem in a manner that places the user at the center, and embraces the notions of agility and openness. Topics on the agenda include agile methodology, big data, software defined networks, and human-centered design.
- 4th Annual Cyber Security for Defense (June 25-27; Washington, DC) - A forum for military leaders, program executive officers, industry executives, academics, and researchers from across the U.S., this event allows attendees to share both theoretical and practical knowledge. Attendees will gather knowledge and receive hands-on experience with the latest cyber tools and tactics.
- Defense Systems Summit (July 11; Washington, DC) - This event brings together thought leaders from throughout the DoD community to discuss the vast and sometimes-disjointed DoD IT ecosystem that is as complicated an enterprise as any that exists today. With a focus on modernization, this event will look at Big Data, AI, cyber tools, IoT, and more.
- TechNet Augusta 2018 (August 20-23; Augusta, GA) - With assistance from the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and industry experts, attendees will examine and explore the intricacies of the cyber domain. The conference is designed to open the lines of communication and facilitate networking, education and problem solving.
- Air, Space, & Cyber Conference (September 17-19; National Harbor, MD) - Organized by the Air Force Association, this premier defense event brings together defense and aerospace professionals with senior leaders. This year's theme is "Multi-Domain Operations: Leveraging the Full Spectrum."
We'd love to hear from you. What impacts are you seeing since the passage of the spending bill? What "can't miss" DoD events are on your schedule? Share your thoughts in the comments.