The Insider

April 23, 2018 at 4:32 PM | Justin Doubleday

The Pentagon has released a memo laying out the Defense Department's rules for maintaining cybersecurity while transitioning to a cloud computing environment, as DOD plans to soon release a request for proposals to provide the military with enterprise, commercial cloud services.

The November 2017 memo, "Department of Defense Cybersecurity Activities Performed for Cloud Service Offerings," was signed by John Zangardi, then the acting DOD chief information officer. Zangardi has since assumed the CIO role at the Department of Homeland Security.

The memo states "mission owners are required to register DOD networks, applications, data, and services that are migrating to DOD and/or commercial cloud capabilities and services." The mission owners must also identify the cloud provider's "alignment to an appropriate DOD [Cybersecurity Services Provider] in the DOD CIO System/Network Approval Process (SNAP) database," according to the document. 

"The mission owner is responsible for ensuring data migrated to a DOD or commercial cloud is at the appropriate security impact level," the memo continues. Attachments to the document lay out the activities DOD officials must carry out to meet the cybersecurity rules.

The memo was posted April 18 to the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure solicitation page on the Federal Business Opportunities website. Just a few days earlier, the Pentagon released a second draft request for proposals for JEDI, but DOD declined to provide the rationale behind awarding a single contract for cloud services expected to be made available to the entire department. The single-award strategy has been a major point of contention between DOD and industry. 

April 23, 2018 at 2:02 PM | John Liang

Army deployments to Europe, a Marine Corps industry day for an unmanned aerial system that can fly off an amphibious assault ship and more highlight this Monday INSIDER Daily Digest.

The Army has figured out how to deploy forces to Europe under the European Defense Intiative:

Army G-3: Heel-to-toe rotations '10 times as powerful' in building readiness

The Army has determined that the heel-to-toe rotation of forces to Europe provides greater capability and readiness than forward stationing would, according to a senior service official.

Document: House hearing on the Army's FY-19 budget request

Keep an eye out in June for a Marine Corps industry day looking for ideas for an unmanned aerial system that can fly off an amphibious assault ship:

Marines will host industry day in June to develop MUX requirements

The Marine Corps plans to host an industry day on June 6 and 7 to help develop requirements for an unmanned aerial system that can operate from an amphibious assault ship, according to a senior official.

The Army's first security force assistance brigade was originally scheduled to deploy in November 2017 but ended up doing so the following February:

Army's first SFAB largely on target, but dearth of enablers presents challenge

The Army's first security force assistance brigade is "on the ground" in Afghanistan and providing support to local forces, but the service has yet to realize its goal of using the new units to free up brigade combat teams.

The Marine Corps has set aside $4.5 million for a demonstration of a counter-UAS missile:

Marines will host counter-UAS demo using non-developmental equipment

The Marine Corps plans to host a demonstration of a non-developmental, counter-unmanned aerial system missile in fiscal year 2019 or 2020 while working with the Army on a long term solution for both services, according to an official.

Document: House hearing on ground force modernization

The Air Force's top civilian spoke late last week at the American Enterprise Institute:

Air Force plans for program cuts in FY-20 as sequestration casts its shadow

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said this week the service scrutinized nearly 1,200 low-budget programs for potential cost-savings to shape the fiscal year 2020 budget.

April 23, 2018 at 10:56 AM | John Liang

Raytheon announced this week it was teaming up with San Jose, CA-based Virsec to bring commercial cybersecurity tools to global government and critical infrastructure customers.

"Critical infrastructure -- from the electrical grid to transportation -- is under assault, and hackers are evading conventional security defenses," John DeSimone, vice president of cybersecurity and special missions at Raytheon's intelligence, information and services business unit, said in an April 23 statement. "Commercial tools from companies like Virsec can help bridge the gap for our global government and commercial customers and provide effective protection against the growing cyber threat."

Virsec's Trusted Execution technology protects networks by detecting deviations in software applications caused by cyber intrusions.

"It's time to change the equation for security and deliver better protection for our most critical infrastructure," Virsec CEO Atiq Raza said in the statement. "Our philosophy is simple -- rather than eternally chasing elusive threats, we need to take the guesswork out of cybersecurity and stop attacks, at the application level, in real time."

April 23, 2018 at 10:49 AM | John Liang

Reston, VA-based Serco Inc. announced today Tom Watson has been appointed senior vice president of the company's federal services business unit.

The federal services business unit provides intelligence, logistics, personnel readiness, acquisition and program management, modeling, simulation and training, business processing, and case management services to defense and federal civilian agencies, according to a company statement. Watson will report to Serco's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dave Dacquino.

Prior to joining Serco, Watson worked for Science Applications International Corp. for 22 years. Before joining SAIC in 1996, Watson worked at RCI (now Serco) providing technical and engineering support for Navy intelligence systems. He also served six years in the Navy as an electronics technician.

April 23, 2018 at 9:55 AM | Lee Hudson

Some must-reads from this week's issue of Inside the Navy:

1. The Navy has 24 Littoral Combat Ship deployments scheduled between 2019 and 2024.

Full Story: CNO: 24 Littoral Combat Ship deployments between 2019 and 2024

2. An influential House lawmaker will insert language in the fiscal year 2019 defense policy bill calling for a more aggressive time line for the Navy's surge sealift recapitalization plan.

Full Story: Wittman: Surge sealift plan needs to be more aggressive

3. The Marine Corps plans to host an industry day on June 6 and 7 to help develop requirements for an unmanned aerial system that can operate from an amphibious assault ship.

Full Story: Marines will host industry day in June to develop MUX requirements

4. The Navy has completed operational testing of the AN-DVS-1 Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance Analysis system, a key component of the Littoral Combat Ship mine countermeasures mission package.

Full Story: Navy completes COBRA operational testing aboard the Coronado

April 23, 2018 at 9:51 AM | Courtney McBride

Some must-reads from this week's edition of Inside the Army:

1. Army senior leaders have narrowed the list of potential locations for Army Futures Command to 15 cities.

Full story: Fifteen cities in contention for Army Futures Command

2. The Army's second in command is cautioning against the service becoming too dependent on technology as it heads into the future battlefield.

Full story: Army vice chief: Future systems should come with a back-up plan

3. Army senior leaders have decided to pure-fleet the Double-V Hull upgrade to all of the service's Stryker vehicles, though they are still working to allocate funding to support the effort.

Full story: Entire Stryker fleet slated for Double-V Hull upgrade, contingent on funding

4. The Army's first security force assistance brigade is "on the ground" in Afghanistan and providing support to local forces, but the service has yet to realize its goal of using the new units to free up brigade combat teams.

Full story: First SFAB largely on target, but dearth of enablers presents challenge

April 23, 2018 at 5:00 AM | Tony Bertuca

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford return to Capitol Hill this week, while the House Armed Services Committee begins marking up its version of the fiscal year 2019 defense authorization bill.

Tuesday

The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the Air Force budget request.

The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee holds a hearing on the Navy/Marine Corps budget request.

The Atlantic Council hosts a panel discussion on deterring Russian nuclear "de-escalation" strikes.

The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association hosts a conference on the "internet of things."

The Association of the United States Army hosts a "hot topic" discussion about readiness and reform.

The Hudson Institute hosts a discussion on NATO cyber defense strategy.

American Bar Association experts will discuss the legal side of the potential use of force in North Korea.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launches a new Aerospace Export Council.

Wednesday

The House Appropriations defense subcommittee holds a closed hearing with Mattis and Dunford on the Pentagon budget.

Northrop Grumman holds its quarterly earnings call.

Georgetown University hosts an event dedicated to building a community of national security entrepreneurs.

Federal Computer Week hosts an event on information technology featuring the Air Force's chief technology officer.

Thursday

The House Armed Services Committee will begin subcommittee mark-ups of the defense authorization bill.

The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a budget hearing with Mattis and Dunford.

The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee holds a hearing to discuss the Defense Health Program.

The Senate Appropriations military construction, veterans affairs and related agencies subcommittee holds a hearing on the FY-19 budget request for military construction.

The Defense Innovation Board meets in Cambridge, MA.

The Brookings Institution hosts a discussion on the National Defense Strategy.

April 20, 2018 at 1:59 PM | John Liang

The Littoral Combat Ship, prototypes in DOD contracting, the Air Force's Compass Call program and much more highlight this Friday INSIDER Daily Digest.

The Littoral Combat Ship is now mine countermeasures-capable:

Navy completes COBRA operational testing aboard the Coronado

The Navy has completed operational testing of the AN-DVS-1 Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance Analysis system, a key component of the Littoral Combat Ship mine countermeasures mission package.

The Pentagon is charting a new way forward when it comes to prototypes:

Pentagon acquisition chief moves to streamline rapid prototyping

The Defense Department, in response to a two-year-old congressional directive, is moving to establish a "new pathway" to streamline rapid prototyping for "middle tier" capabilities that could be fielded within five years or use proven technologies to upgrade existing systems, according to a recent memo from Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord.

News from this week's Inside the Air Force:

Compass Call recap schedule threatened by Pentagon reporting delay

The EC-130H recapitalization program faces delays as Congress awaits the Pentagon's assurance that the Air Force properly chose the next Compass Call aircraft, the service's military deputy for acquisition told Inside the Air Force this week.

Air Force sensor suppliers look to next generation of ISR capabilities

Two of the Air Force's main sensor providers are focusing on autonomy, on-board processing, wide-area imagery and more as the service lays out its vision of a distributed data-collection environment where capability matters more than which aircraft a sensor flies on.

Playing catch: Dynetics wins contract to demo UAV recovery on C-130

Dynetics will prove whether it can launch and recover four small unmanned aerial vehicles from a C-130 in 30 minutes during phase three of the Pentagon's Gremlins program, beating out General Atomics for a $32.5 million contract this week.

Experts: New nukes need same threat protections as conventional missiles

As the Air Force continues development of the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent and Long-Range Standoff Weapon, a new report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments questions whether the next-generation nuclear missiles will be able to stand up to rapidly evolving threats of the 21st century.

Senior Army generals were on Capitol Hill this week testifying about military ground vehicles:

Generals address Ground Mobility Vehicle cost

The Army's deputy chief of staff (G-8) said April 18 the Army's decision to leverage an existing U.S. Special Operations Command contract for Ground Mobility Vehicles was made to save the service time rather than money.

Awarding defense contracts to companies with ties to China can be problematic:

SECNAV: Pentagon must develop algorithm to scrub contracts to deter adversaries

The Pentagon needs to develop an institutional algorithm for scrubbing contracts so that U.S. adversaries do not have access to sensitive information, according to the Navy secretary.

April 20, 2018 at 1:35 PM | Justin Katz

The Marine Corps recently received two large-scale, metal 3D printers at its production facilities on the East and West coasts, according to a senior official.

Maj. Gen. Craig Crenshaw, Marine Corps logistics command chief, told the Senate Armed Services readiness subcommittee April 11 the delivery brings the service up to 70 3D printers total.

The two metal printers, which totaled $6.05 million, were delivered to the service's production facilities in Albany, GA, and Barstow, CA, Marine Corps spokesman Colie Young told Inside the Navy in an April 20 written statement. The printers were procured from Supply Core.

April 20, 2018 at 11:55 AM | Justin Katz

An influential House lawmaker will insert language in the fiscal year 2019 defense policy bill calling for a more aggressive time line for the Navy's surge sealift recapitalization plan.

House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee Chairman Rob Wittman (R-VA) said the language will be unveiled during the subcommittee's mark-up next week.

"The plan doesn’t recapitalize quickly enough in the face of aging ships within both the Ready Reserve Force and the ships that we have available through the military sealift program," Wittman told Inside the Navy in an interview today.

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer sent Congress a $242 million recapitalization plan last month that highlighted a three-pronged approach to restoring the service's sealift fleet: purchasing two used vessels in FY-21 and FY-22; service life extensions for select vessels and starting construction of common-hulled vessels in FY-28.

Congress gave the Navy authorities to purchase those two vessels in the FY-18 National Defense Authorization Act, but Wittman said the Navy's time line for procurement is not quick enough.

"We think that [the Navy is] taking too long on the transactions, so we're going to be very prescriptive [about] the time frames we think they ought to be purchasing these ships," Wittman said. "We are going to give them time to get the construction programs ramped up, but we're going to be very aggressive in having them purchase ships in the meantime to get these older ships out of the inventory."

Wittman also said his subcommittee's plans would include pushing up production of the Common Hull Auxiliary Multi-mission Platform, also called CHAMP. That "concept combines up to five sealift and auxiliary recapitalization programs with varying designs and engineering requirements into a single, unified U.S. shipbuilding effort," ITN previously reported.

"The first CHAMP procurement will be requested in FY-28, as highlighted in the Navy's 30-year shipbuilding plan, with first delivery in FY-31," Spencer's report to Congress said. "Procurement would continue through FY-40. CHAMP procurement could accelerate to as early as FY-23 with funding and congressional support."

The surge sealift fleet is responsible for transporting Army and Marine Corps equipment and supplies for ground combat operations during surge deployments.

April 20, 2018 at 10:43 AM | Rachel Karas

Northrop Grumman delivered its first set of software for the B-21 bomber and is working on the second, Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the Air Force's military deputy for acquisition, told lawmakers this week.

"We've now completed a first software drop to go through the process and we've got software out that we're looking at now," Bunch said at an April 18 Senate Armed Services air-land forces subcommittee hearing. "We continue to have regular meetings with them and measure the progress, give regular updates to senior leaders, but right now I'm very happy with how the program is progressing. . . . It's falling within the parameters of what we estimated the cost would be."

April 20, 2018 at 9:46 AM | John Liang

Some must-reads from this week's issue of Inside the Air Force:

1. The EC-130H recapitalization program faces delays as Congress awaits the Pentagon's assurance that the Air Force properly chose the next Compass Call aircraft, the service's military deputy for acquisition told Inside the Air Force this week.

Full story: Compass Call recap schedule threatened by Pentagon reporting delay

2. As Raytheon continues to implement agile software tenets into the next-generation GPS OCX development program, the company is working to provide more detailed performance metrics to Air Force and Pentagon leadership.

Full story: Raytheon giving OSD detailed OCX data during agile software development

3. Two of the Air Force's main sensor providers are focusing on autonomy, on-board processing, wide-area imagery and more as the service lays out its vision of a distributed data-collection environment where capability matters more than which aircraft a sensor flies on.

Full story: USAF sensor suppliers look to next generation of ISR capabilities

4. Space Fence prime contractor Lockheed Martin is preparing to start a site survey in June for the second radar location that would bring the space-observing radar system to full operational capability.

Full story: Lockheed preparing for survey at likely site of second Space Fence radar

April 19, 2018 at 5:30 PM | Justin Doubleday

The State Department has approved a potential $1.2 billion sale of MH-60R Seahawk multimission helicopters to Mexico, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced today.

The possible sale includes eight MH-60R helicopters and associated parts and mission systems, as well as 1,000 AN/SSQ-36/53/62 Sonobuoys, 10 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, 38 Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) II rockets, 30 Mk -54 Lightweight Hybrid Torpedoes, 12 M-240D machine guns and 12 GAU-21 machine guns, according to DSCA.

“Mexico has been a strong partner in combating organized crime and drug trafficking organizations,” DSCA states. “The sale of these aircraft to Mexico will significantly increase and strengthen its maritime capabilities. Mexico intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize its armed forces and expand its existing naval and maritime support of national security requirements and its efforts to combat criminal organizations.”

The major arms sale was announced on the same day the White House rolled out a new conventional arms transfer policy aimed at increasing U.S. defense sales to international partners.

April 19, 2018 at 4:58 PM | John Liang

Cubic Corp. announced today it has agreed to sell its Cubic Global Defense Services business to Valiant Integrated Services for $135 million in cash.

The deal also includes "$3 million of contingent consideration tied to certain contract wins expected over the next 12 to 24 months," according to a Cubic statement.

"This transaction marks a significant milestone for Cubic, as we continue to sharpen our focus on delivering market-leading, innovative technologies that create superior value for our customers," Cubic CEO Brad Feldmann told investors in an April 19 conference call. "It enables the company to better concentrate its resources on markets with strong growth and high margins and further increases our financial flexibility to pursue profitable growth opportunities that enhance shareholder returns."

The product offerings of the non-original equipment manufacturer service business and the markets where they compete "no longer fit with our strategy," Feldmann said. "The scale required to compete profitably in the defense services industry has increased meaningfully, and technology is no longer a market differentiator."

The transaction "will allow our services business and its employees to be part of a growing platform that is specifically focused in the defense services market and is better positioned to compete in that consolidating industry," the Cubic CEO said. The deal is expected to be completed within 30 to 60 days.

April 19, 2018 at 2:02 PM | John Liang

Hypersonic weapons, a new White House arms transfer policy, a slew of Army and Air Force news and much more highlight this Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest.

Lockheed Martin has won a multimillion-dollar hypersonic weapon development contract:

Air Force puts nearly $1B behind new long-range, hypersonic weapon; taps Lockheed to lead

The Air Force has established a nearly $1 billion program to prototype a long-range, air-launched, hypersonic strike weapon and Lockheed Martin has elbowed away two other competitors to win the project, the service has revealed.

The White House has released a new arms transfer policy:

New arms transfer policy seeks to promote U.S. weapons abroad, relaxes UAS export rules

The White House wants to elevate the importance of creating American jobs and boost the U.S. defense industry when considering weapons sales to foreign nations, as well as sell more American-made unmanned aerial systems to international partners, under a new conventional arms policy unveiled today.

Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville spoke recently at New America's Future of War Conference:

Army vice chief: Future systems should come with a back-up plan

The Army's second in command is cautioning against the service becoming too dependent on technology as it heads into the future battlefield.

More Army news:

Army leaders outline path to upgrade existing systems, develop replacements

Army senior leaders at an April 18 hearing informed the House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee of the service's modernization plans.

Document: House hearing on ground force modernization


Army moving fast on squad rifle replacement

The Army's soldier lethality cross-functional team is approaching a milestone B decision on the Next Generation Automatic Squad Rifle, the first variant of the Next Generation Squad Weapon.

The latest from the National Space Symposium in Colorado:

Lockheed may be only bidder for GPS III Follow-On

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -- Incumbent Lockheed Martin is the only company to confirm its bid to develop the next generation of GPS III satellites, potentially forcing the Air Force to launch a sole-source acquisition for what was supposed to be a rigorous competition between at least three providers.

Raytheon providing OSD detailed OCX data as it implements agile software development

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – As Raytheon continues to implement agile software tenets into the next-generation GPS OCX development program, the company is working to provide more detailed performance metrics to Air Force and Pentagon leadership.

Lockheed preparing for June survey at likely site of second Space Fence radar

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -- Space Fence prime contractor Lockheed Martin is preparing to start a site survey in June for the second radar location that would bring the space-observing radar system to full operational capability.

"Small, disruptive businesses" are the companies the Pentagon needs to spur innovation, according to the Defense Department's research and engineering chief:

Griffin says big contractors 'are not largely the innovators you seek'

The Pentagon's chief technology officer says large contractors "are not largely the innovators you seek," but big defense companies and those representing them say they are adopting practices like agile development and helping DOD realize innovative technologies.

Document: House hearing on DOD innovation


Every Stryker vehicle stands to get an upgrade to the Double-V Hull:

Entire Stryker fleet slated for Double-V Hull upgrade, contingent on funding

Army senior leaders have decided to pure-fleet the Double-V Hull upgrade to all of the service's Stryker vehicles, though they are still working to allocate funding to support the effort.

A new Government Accountability Office report on the Air Force's multibillion-dollar KC-46 tanker program is out:

GAO highlights Boeing's efforts to mitigate KC-46 testing delays

A Government Accountability Office report released this week offers some insight into Boeing's efforts to mitigate further KC-46 delivery delays and highlights discrepancies between the company's predictions and those of the Air Force.

Document: GAO report on the KC-46 tanker program


If lawmakers really want to save defense money, they'll need to look at closing military bases:

Former DOD officials see limited budget savings absent painful politics

Former Pentagon officials agree with congressional reformers that the Defense Department could find significant savings if it eliminated some "Fourth Estate" civilian management agencies, but the big money, they said, is in base realignments and closures and other politically unpopular actions.

Document: House hearing on DOD's 'fourth estate'


The Navy admiral tapped to head U.S. Pacific Command says the organization needs more ISR capability:

Nominee: PACOM can't execute 75 percent of its ISR requirements, sees other capability shortfalls

The nominee to be the next head of U.S. Pacific Command estimates the organization's Hawaii-based headquarters has 25 percent of the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability it requires, an appraisal that points to a significant shortfall but also a marked improvement compared to an assessment PACOM offered a year ago.

Document: Senate hearing on PACOM, NORTHCOM nominees