With its structure, discipline, and hierarchy, the Air Force has an uphill battle to recruit the eccentric personnel needed to seize the initiative in the cyber realm, said Lynn Dugle, Raytheon’s president of intelligence and information systems, Thursday. While many of the most talented computer hackers are more comfortable coming to work barefoot than donning a uniform, there’s no reason that the service can’t attract the best, asserted Dugle during an industry panel discussion at AFA’s CyberFutures Conference in National Harbor, Md. “The most important element of attracting and retaining a great cyber team . . . is the quality of the work and the degree of the challenge,” she underscored. “While I think we’re very well suited to perhaps relax some of the work environment rules, . . . the bottom line is you supply great work tools and interesting work, and the best of the best will come to you,” she added. The Air Force must diligently work to creatively court these recruits, but “I can’t imagine a more exciting place to work than as a part of the Air Force,” said Dugle.
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.