Seapower Magazine: Strategic Planning Underway for National Undersea Technology Hub

Originally Published by Seapower Magazine

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. — The Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance (SENEDIA) is developing the Undersea Technology Innovation Center, a Rhode Island-based hub for national undersea technology excellence, SENEDIA announced in an Aug. 16 release.

The Undersea Technology Innovation Center will promote advanced learning in the undersea sector and the rapid development, testing and commercialization of innovative undersea technology for commercial, academic and defense organizations.

“As the Brookings report noted, our maritime sector is one of the Rhode Island economy’s true strengths, a competitive advantage, and an industry growth area that we should continue to invest in,” Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo said in the release, referring to the January report “Rhode Island Innovates: A Competitive Strategy for the Ocean State,” written by the Brookings Institution’s Mark Muro and Bruce Katz. “SENEDIA is one of our Real Jobs RI job-training partners, our industry partner for the P-TECH cybersecurity program, and a recipient of a Commerce Corporation Industry Cluster Grant. SENEDIA’s Undersea Technology Innovation Center is an exciting and very promising development for Rhode Island defense industry employers and the prospect of creating high-value, high-wage STEM jobs.

“I want to ensure Rhode Island remains at the forefront of undersea technology and this new center has the potential to bring top naval suppliers together with academic and government leaders to develop cutting-edge capabilities, concepts, and technologies for our forces,” said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “The Undersea Technology Innovation Center can also give Rhode Island companies a platform to collaborate and showcase their work.”

“Between our geographic advantage and the tremendous public and private resources we already possess in the national security and defense realms, Rhode Island is perfectly positioned to emerge as a leader in undersea technology and innovation,” said Rep. Jim Langevin, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee who sits on the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee. “I applaud SENEDIA for their vision in making our state a center of excellence, and I look forward to working with the stakeholders involved in this initiative.”

“There could be no better place than the Ocean State to host a national hub for the development of cutting-edge undersea technology,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. “Thanks to SENEDIA and its Rhode Island partners for their commitment to excellence in this area. Your work will keep Rhode Island at the forefront of maritime innovation.”

“Rhode Island is home to a wealth of undersea capabilities,” said Molly Magee, executive director of SENEDIA.

In June 2016, SENEDIA was awarded a grant by the van Beuren Charitable Foundation to begin the strategic planning to formalize Rhode Island as a national leader in undersea technology. The development of the innovation center is one part of that effort. Initial steps will be to develop a virtual undersea technology innovation center. This will be followed by establishing the physical center.

State leaders representing the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), Raytheon, University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, General Dynamics Electric Boat, and Salve Regina Pell Center, in addition to SENEDIA leadership, have already come together to kick off the center’s planning, and have committed their support and advocacy in setting the direction of the organization. The steering committee will continue to evolve as it looks to welcome key members of the Rhode Island commercial and small business markets.

“SENEDIA looks forward to collaborating with all the companies, organizations, academic programs and others that have a role in undersea technology to make this center the leading hub of undersea technology innovation,” Magee said.

SENEDIA is Southeastern New England’s catalyst for thought leadership and innovation in undersea technology, cybersecurity and defense technologies. The organization is focused on providing its members and the region with the latest information about opportunities in the defense and homeland security sectors and facilitating the associated workforce development efforts. SENEDIA has over 90 members from the region with 15 new members and 76 renewal memberships since January 2016.

Providence Journal: CCRI gets grant for low-income, first-generation students

By G. Wayne Miller

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $781,718 grant to the Community College of Rhode Island to further the school’s efforts to support low-income and first-generation students who are pursuing postsecondary education and training.

The grant, for CCRI’s Rhode Island Educational Opportunity Center, was announced Tuesday jointly by the four members of the state’s congressional delegation.
“I am pleased CCRI is receiving this important funding to help students broaden their horizons and help the state build a stronger workforce,” Sen. Jack Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee overseeing federal education programs, said in a media release.

“Expanding access to affordable higher education is one of the best ways to create economic opportunity for young Rhode Islanders and strengthen our local economy,” said Rep. David Cicilline, a member of the House Community College Caucus.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who serves on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, congratulated CCRI and its contribution to building Rhode Island’s workforce, as did Rep. Jim Langevin, who called the community college an “agent of social mobility for so many adults.”

The grant arrives via the Department of Education’s Educational Opportunity Centers grant program, which supports counseling and guidance on college admissions to individuals seeking postsecondary education. The EOC also helps improve participants’ economic and financial literacy, and assists in finding financial aid.

“In its 37-year history, the Rhode Island Educational Opportunity Center program at CCRI has helped thousands of Rhode Islanders improve their lives through postsecondary education,” said CCRI president Meghan Hughes.

“We are thrilled RIEOC has been funded for another five-year cycle so it can continue providing vital services to over 3,000 adults each year, most of whom are the first in their family to attend college.”

North Kingstown Democratic Town Committee Endorses Langevin for Congress

The North Kingstown Democratic Town Committee endorsed Jim Langevin Monday night in his reelection bid to represent the Second District in the United States Congress.

“Jim Langevin is as committed to helping Rhode Island families as he has always been, and he remains accessible to and supportive of our community,” said Chairman Anthony Giarrusso. “It is with great pride and enthusiasm that the North Kingstown Democratic Town Committee offers our wholehearted endorsement of Jim in his effort to continue representing us in Congress.”

Langevin started his career in public service in 1986 when he was elected to the state’s Constitutional Convention. He later served as a Warwick State Representative and was then elected Secretary of State. Langevin was elected to the United States Congress in 2000, and currently serves as a senior member of both the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees.

“The Democratic Town Committee serves as an active, vocal, and effective champion for the residents of North Kingstown, and I am so grateful for their support in this election,” said Langevin. “Our state and our nation are at a crossroads, and how we tackle the challenges we face today will determine the opportunities of tomorrow. I want to return to Congress to ensure we meet those challenges head on and in a way that benefits all Rhode Islanders.”

In the 2016 election, Langevin has already received endorsements from the Rhode Island Democratic Party State Committee, the Rhode Island Association of Democratic City and Town Chairs, Democratic Town Committees in Burrillville, Johnston, East Greenwich and Providence, and from the AFL-CIO.

The Coventry Courier: Langevin visits Coventry, touts grants

By Kendra Leigh Miller

COVENTRY — As part of his summer road trip through Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District, Congressman Jim Langevin made a stop at the Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP) Family Health Services of Coventry Wednesday morning to talk about the needs of the health care center within the community and talk about the $2,988,180 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for facility renovation and expansion and the $1 million for dental service expansion in Coventry.

“Community health centers provide comprehensive, coordinated and affordable care to our communities and to the most vulnerable Rhode Islanders, in particular,” said Langevin. “Building health center capacity and expanding services for these individuals and families that need it most, will increase access to preventive treatments and other critical health care services and will foster healthier communities.”

The CCAP provides comprehensive, quality, affordable health dental and behavioral health care for the entire family. Their board-certified doctors, nurse practitioners, dentists, hygienists, licensed clinical social workers and other healthcare professionals are knowledgeable, caring, understanding and dedicated to getting people healthy and keeping them healthy.
“We are extremely excited about receiving this grant and want o thank our entire federal delegation for their continued support,” said Joanne McGunagle, president and CEO of the CCAP. “This funding will allow CCAP to expand much-needed quality and affordable dental services at our Coventry health center.”

Part of Wednesday’s conversation with the CCAP staff focused on ways to get word out to the community that the health care service is there in Coventry and offers a full array of much-needed services. Some services are taken care of, in part, through health coverage while other needs are provided for on a sliding scale.

“The work you’re all doing here speaks for itself,” Langevin said, in response to the staff thanking him for his help at the federal level. Langevin felt it was important to make this one of his many stops as he makes his way across the state, so he can see first-hand the work that is being done throughout the state in so many areas, healthcare being just one of them.
According to a press release, his tour began Aug. 1 and will take him through a series of business tours, constituent meetings and public events. He’s calling it his summer “Rhode Trip.”

“Being accessible to the people I represent and to all Rhode Islanders has always been a top priority,” he said. “Whether it’s an in-person town hall meeting or at my first-ever Twitter town hall in May or just in the local coffee shop, I encourage my constituents to reach out and connect with me and my office to share concerns, ask questions and give feedback on the challenges and opportunities that are facing our communities.”

Langevin said Rhode Island is the smallest state, but its population is very diverse. The CCAP is now accepting new patients at their center, located at 191 MacArthur Blvd in Coventry.

WPRI 12: RI to receive federal funding to fight Zika

By Stephanie Johnston

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island Congressmen have announced Tuesday that the state will receive $200,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to fight the Zika virus.

The money will go towards enhancing efforts to better detect microcephaly and other negative birth outcomes cause by the Zika virus infection.

U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline have secured the funding for Rhode Island just weeks after the first cases of locally-transmitted Zika were identified in Florida, according to a joint announcement.

In the statement, Senator Jack Reed stressed, “the presence of the Zika virus in Florida is an alarming development, and as reports of Zika continue to increase in the continental United States, it’s critical that we are vigilant in our efforts to contain the virus and ensure the health and safety of our state and nation.” Reed is a member of the Appropriations Committee, who is working to ensure the $1.9 billion emergencysupplemental funding request President Obama set forth in February to combat the virus.

According to the World Health Organization, since February, the number of countries reporting cases of Zika has grown from 26 to 55. In Rhode Island, there are 21 cases of Zika, and more than 1,600 confirmed cases across the country, stated the news release. These cases have all been linked to international travel.

‎“This federal funding will help our state promptly identify expectant mothers and infants who may be infected with Zika, so they get the health care they need as quickly as possible,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

The funding is set to be administered through the Rhode Island Birth Defects Program at the Rhode Island Department of Health, according to a news release.

“I am glad that the CDC has made these funds available so that Rhode Island can continue its surveillance, prevention and response efforts to combat the spread ofZika,” said Congressman Jim Langevin in a statement Tuesday. Langevin, along with all other Rhode Island Senators and Representatives, believes more needs to be done by Congress to address the disease.

Congressman David Cicilline stated, “Although this is an important first step, it’s critical that we do more. I will continue fighting in Congress for robust funding that vigorously addresses this public health crisis.”

GoLocalProv: Langevin to Visit All 21 Cities & Towns in 2nd Congressional District in August

GoLocalProv: Langevin to Visit All 21 Cities & Towns in 2nd Congressional District in August

By GoLocalProv News Team

Congressman Jim Langevin will spend the month of August traveling to all 21 cities and town in the second congressional district conducting a series of business tours, constituent meetings and public events. Langevin began his tour on Monday, August 1.  

“Being accessible to the people I represent and to all Rhode Islanders has always been a top priority. Whether it’s at an in-person Town Hall meeting, at my quarterly Lunch with Langevin, online at my first-ever Twitter Town Hall in May, or just in the local coffee shop, I encourage my constituents to reach out and connect with me and my office to share your concerns, ask questions, and give feedback on the challenges and opportunities that are facing our communities,” said Langevin.

The Second District includes: Burrillville, Charlestown, Coventry, Cranston, East Greenwich, Exeter, Foster, Glocester, Hopkinton, Johnston, Narragansett, New Shoreham, North Kingstown, Providence, Richmond, Scituate, South Kingstown, Warwick, West Greenwich, West Warwick and Westerly

“Rhode Island is the smallest state in the country, but it is comprised of incredibly diverse communities and is full of people with different experiences, opinions, and perspectives. Each one of those perspectives is important to me, just like every city and town in the district is important, and I can’t wait to get this adventure underway,” Langevin continued.

On the Rhode Again

Summer is my favorite time in Rhode Island. The heat and the sunshine, the food and the ocean views. Everything seems a little better in the summertime, and the campaign trail doesn’t feel remotely like work when you’re knocking on doors in beautiful weather and meeting Rhode Islanders with so many interesting stories and perspectives to share. Life is good.

All eyes have been trained on national politics, it seems, this season, but my primary election is fast approaching. The election season is already halfway gone, and November will be here before we know it. But before the leaves change and we bid summer farewell, I’m working hard to defend my seat in Congress. I’ve enjoyed attending events in support of my colleagues at the state and local levels, and also meeting with Democratic city and town committees to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing our state and our nation.

I have received endorsements from the Rhode Island Democratic Party State Committee; the Rhode Island Association of Democratic City and Town Chairs; the Young Democrats of Rhode Island; Democratic Town Committees in Burrillville, East Greenwich, Exeter, Johnston, North Kingstown, Providence, and Warwick; and from both the AFL-CIO and the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council. I will continue to campaign on my record and on my vision for a stronger Rhode Island, and I hope to add more endorsements in the weeks to come.

I hope you’re enjoying the summer as much as I am. Take time to enjoy our beautiful state at this wonderful time of year, and I hope to see you on the campaign trail soon!

 

Sincerely,

Jim Langevin

Member of Congress

What’s Up Newp: Rhode Island Federal Delegation Announces $619K to Protect Narragansett Bay

What’s Up Newp: Rhode Island Federal Delegation Announces $619K to Protect Narragansett Bay

By Ryan Belmore

Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced $619,322 in federal funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve’s work to preserve and restore the coastal and estuarine ecosystems in Narragansett Bay.

“The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is an important ecological and research resource for Rhode Island, giving us a barometer to observe changes in the natural environment in and around the Bay while also offering opportunities for education, recreation, and stewardship.  I want to commend the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and NOAA for their continuing partnership in managing this important reserve,” said Reed, a member of the Appropriations subcommittee which provides funding for NOAA programs.

“Narragansett Bay is Rhode Island’s most important natural resource,” said Whitehouse.  “A healthier Bay means a healthier economy.  With support from NOAA, our Research Reserve can continue its important work protecting our coastline and helping Rhode Island address the effects of climate change in the Bay.”

The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is a partnership between NOAA and the state’s Department of Environmental Management (DEM) to promote informed management and sound stewardship of Rhode Island’s coastal resources.  The Reserve conducts research, education, stewardship, and training activities for students, educators, and coastal-related organizations.  The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, which was founded in 1980, is a member of a network of 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves, representing distinct coastal ecosystems across the country.

“As we continue to assess, predict, and fight the effects of climate change, these funds will go a long way toward not only restoring damage along our coastline, but also making Rhode Island more resilient and protecting the environmental resources that play a vital role in our economy, tourism, recreation, and quality of life in our state,” said Langevin. “Congratulations and thank you to the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve for your tireless work protecting our coastal and estuarine ecosystems, and for inspiring a new generation of environmental stewards through your advocacy and education.”

“The Narragansett Bay is a national treasure,” said Cicilline. “This critical funding is an important step to ensuring that future generations will have access to this natural marvel. It is also a vote of confidence in the stewardship of the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, which has done an incredible job preserving and restoring the Bay.  This decades-long partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration and the RI Department of Environmental Management clearly represents the best in federal and state collaboration.”

The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve encompasses 4,453 acres of land and waterways on Prudence, Patience, Hope, and Dyer Islands.  Properties owned by the Reserve are used as monitoring sites for detecting ecosystem shifts caused by climate change and coastal development.

“We are fortunate in Rhode Island to have the leadership of Senator Whitehouse and our Congressional delegation,” said DEM Director Janet Coit.  “The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is conducting important research that will strengthen our state’s resilience and help preserve our precious water resources.  The Reserve is also an important training ground where both educators and families are learning about environmental science and stewardship, and cultivating a love of nature.  This funding will be put to good use, and we thank the Congressional delegation for their continued support of this incredible program.”

Christian Science Monitor: After DNC hack, US must better prepare for information warfare

Christian Science Monitor: After DNC hack, US must better prepare for information warfare

By Jim Langevin

Last week, the website WikiLeaks posted thousands of emails illegally obtained from the Democratic National Committee. Some contained sensitive information about donors, while others provided a disturbing look into a potential bias underpinning internal deliberations and operational decisions at the DNC.

As a Democrat, I am distressed by the appearance of favoritism in any form. However, as an American, I am deeply worried that our nation is still not adequately prepared for the new security challenges we face in cyberspace.

When I founded the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus in 2008, my foremost concern was that a cyberattack on critical infrastructure could result in physical damage, a fear made real with the attack on Ukraine’s electric utilities last December. While leading the caucus, I have also seen hackers break into databases in pursuit of financial information, trade secrets, and even personal details of government employees. All of these targets remain at risk.
But I’m afraid that our understanding of the threats in cyberspace is not keeping pace with the rapid advances in technology and the avenues of attack they enable. The DNC email leak, for instance, bears all the hallmarks of an information warfare operation, timed as it was to coincide with announcement of the Democratic vice presidential pick and the commencement of the convention.
The doctrine of information war is not new. We saw it used extensively during the cold war and it continues to be used today. During the illegal Russian annexation of Crimea, local news outlets were flooded with false stories of repression of ethnic Russian populations. The Russian television network RT that broadcasts in English, Arabic, and Spanish has deliberately disseminated inaccurate stories favorable to the Russian regime. New media have also been targets of recent campaigns: Witness the Russian “troll armies” who sow confusion on comment boards across the internet.

But these examples apply 20th-century thinking to 21st-century technology. In Crimea and with RT, Russia simply owns the television channels and can thus schedule programming as it wishes. The comment trolls rely on the free speech protections enshrined in many societies for decades or centuries. And, in this age of choose-your-own content, they rely on readers, viewers, or listeners making an active choice to tune in. This reliance hampers their ability to cause harm: after all, how many Americans watch RT?

The DNC hack is different. The content is fresh, salacious, and stolen, which means American news outlets are more than happy to do most of the dissemination. Though the data passed through foreign servers and may have been modified, many of the emails are, undoubtedly, authentic: They are impossible to dismiss as purely propaganda. They are also anonymous – the face of the leaks to this point has been WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who was almost certainly not involved in the theft of the emails.

All of which means we are likely to see many more hacks in this style. There has been a lot of speculation that Russia was behind the breach and the leak, and I have full confidence that government investigators will find those responsible. But whether the attack was carried out by the Russian government, at its behest, or by an independent party, the consequences of the hack are all too real.

Those opposed to our interests know all this. They also know that the cost of attacking us in cyberspace is low. While attribution is steadily getting better, it has been complemented with the rise of state-sanctioned private hackers whose ties to governments are murky at best.

So we have our work cut out for us. We need to raise our cyberdefenses in government and in the private sector, to make attackers work harder to get into our systems. We need to develop norms of nation state behavior in cyberspace that preclude attacks on civilian infrastructure and allow us to hold actors accountable. And we need to build resilience to lessen the payoff when breaches inevitably do happen.

In the eight years I have been working on cybersecurity, I have seen the issue gradually take on prominence. Most of my colleagues in Washington understand that the benefits we reap from our interconnected economy bring risks as well. But despite breach after breach, there is still not a sufficient urgency to the discussion. Cybersecurity is the security challenge of the Information Age. Our adversaries clearly know it; shouldn’t we?

Congressman Jim Langevin, a Democrat from Rhode Island, is the cofounder and cochair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, and a senior member of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees.

RIFuture: RI delegation celebrates historic roll call vote

By John McDaid

 

At the roll call vote in Philadelphia this evening, the Democratic National Convention formally nominated Hillary Rodham Clinton as their candidate for president. The votes of Rhode Island’s 32 delegates were announced by Speaker of the House Nick Mattielo, who, in the tradition of nominating speeches, took the opportunity to sing the praises of the state.

“Rhode Island is the proud home of the great Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen David Cicilline and James Langevin,” said Mattielo. “Home of outstanding beaches and coastlines, some of the best in the world. Great companies such as CVS, Textron, Hasbro, and now GE. A state that has recently proudly elected the first female governor, Gina Raimondo. The smallest state in the union with one of the biggest hearts. Home of the best restaurants in the country, great quality of life, great people. Rhode Island proudly casts 13 votes for Senator Bernie Sanders, and 19 votes for the next President of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

When the roll call vote concluded, attendees in the Wells Fargo Center went into a prolonged celebration, cheering and waving Hillary placards.

“It was so exciting to be in this convention hall,” Langevin said, “When it became official that Hillary Clinton is the first woman to be the Democratic nominee, of any major party, for President of the United States. I’m glad it’s under the Democratic banner. I’m so proud to be a long-time supporter of Hillary Clinton, and I look forward to working so hard for her throughout the election cycle.”

Democratic Party Chair Joe McNamara echoed those sentiments.

“It was great to see the delegation come together and a tremendous experience,” he said. “I’m very proud of every single member of our delegation. The speaker did a great job promoting the positive attributes of Rhode Island versus the negative speech that happened last week in Cleveland, Ohio. He got the coastline, he got our corporations, he got GE moving in — it’s all about jobs and the economy and quality of life, and I think it came across very well.”