The Insider

By John Liang
September 22, 2023 at 1:51 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on a nascent U.S.-Canadian homeland defense battle management, command and control system, a recent GAO report on the F-35 program and more.

Cloud-Based C2, which became a program in May 2022, is set this fall to replace the Battle Control System-Fixed which achieved initial operational capability in October 2006 in support of Operation Noble Eagle -- North American Aerospace and Defense Command's activities to protect the two nations' domestic airspace initiated after the September 2001 terrorist attacks:

U.S.-Canada ready new domestic airspace C2 system for ops; first major upgrade since post-9/11

The United States and Canada are close to declaring initial operational capability of Cloud-Based C2 -- a new homeland defense battle management, command and control system to replace a tool established after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks -- that top brass say is needed to defend North America from modern threats and is a likely candidate to be part of a future domestic cruise missile defense system.

A new Government Accountability Office report finds the Defense Department, Army and Navy "need to reassess the future sustainment strategy" for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program:

GAO: Assessment needed on F-35 sustainment

The Defense Department needs to reassess its approach to F-35 Joint Strike Fighter sustainment to boost its mission-capable rates to program goals, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday.

Document: GAO report on F-35 sustainment

The House Armed Services Committee held a hearing this week on defense cooperation with Taiwan:

U.S. defense industry takes heat for Taiwan weapons backlog

U.S. government officials told Congress this week that a $19 billion backlog of foreign military sales to Taiwan is due to shortcomings in the defense industrial base, but an influential business association that represents some of the largest Pentagon contractors seeks a more balanced view of the challenge.

Document: House hearing on defense cooperation with Taiwan

Reps. Rob Wittman (R-VA) and Pat Ryan (D-NY), noted at an S4G Summit this week that even with a possible government shutdown, they will be not working this weekend as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has sent everyone home for the weekend:

House lawmakers address government shutdown and Taiwan

Two members of the House Armed Services Committee today spoke publicly about how lessons learned from Ukraine may be applied to Taiwan and the national security impact of a government shutdown.

The new Navy Science and Technology Board is scheduled to hold its first meeting today:

Ex-Pentagon and Navy officials anchor new technology board

A new science and technology advisory board launched to support the Navy and Marine Corps will strive to bring insight and perspective to operational risks and benefits of emerging platforms, software and systems.

By Tony Bertuca
September 21, 2023 at 6:24 PM

President Biden today announced a $325 million security assistance package for Ukraine that will transfer additional air defense systems and munitions directly from U.S. stocks, according to the Pentagon.

The package, funded via presidential “drawdown” authority and coincides with the Washington visits of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, includes:

  • AIM-9M missiles;
  • Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);
  • Avenger air defense systems;
  • .50 caliber machine guns to counter Unmanned Aerial Systems;
  • 155mm artillery rounds, including the Dual-purposed improved conventional munitions;
  • 105mm artillery rounds;
  • Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles;
  • Javelin and AT-4 anti-armor systems;
  • Over three million rounds of small arms ammunition;
  • 59 light tactical vehicles;
  • Demolitions munitions for obstacle clearing; and
  • Spare parts, maintenance, and other field equipment.

The announcement is the 47th tranche of equipment the Biden administration has provided Ukraine since August 2021.

“This package includes additional capabilities to strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses as it faces brutal aerial assaults from Russia, dual-purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICM) which are helping Ukraine on the battlefield, anti-tank weapons, and other equipment to meet Ukraine’s critical needs and to help Ukraine counter Russia’s ongoing war of aggression,” the Pentagon said.

By Nickolai Sukharev
September 21, 2023 at 3:39 PM

Four companies will design and build Robotic Combat Vehicle prototypes for the Army, the service announced Wednesday.

McQ, Textron, General Dynamics Land Systems and Oshkosh received contracts for an approximate combined value of $24.72 million to build and deliver two prototypes by August 2024 in the first phase of the Army Robotic Combat Vehicles program, the announcement reads.

The Army will then select one of the four contractors for Phase II in 2025 to build and deliver nine prototypes in 2026 with fielding expected in 2028, the announcement states.

RCVs are a family of tracked and wheeled combat vehicles designed to be operated remotely and will accompany manned combat vehicles as scouts or escorts.

The vehicles will come in light, medium and heavy variants with the ability to carry modular payloads for electronic warfare and counter-unmanned aerial systems, according to the Congressional Research Service.

In 2023, the Army decided to prioritize development of the light variant, CRS said.

Previously, the Army suggested the RCVs could share parts with the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, now called the XM30 Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle.

The RCVs are part of the Army’s Next Generation Combat Vehicle program, which includes replacements of the Abrams main battle tank and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle as well as the adoption of the M10 Booker Mobile Protected Firepower and the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle.

By Tony Bertuca
September 21, 2023 at 3:01 PM

President Biden intends to nominate Melissa Dalton to be Air Force under secretary, according to a White House announcement today.

Dalton currently serves as the assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and hemispheric affairs.

Dalton, like more than 300 defense nominees, is scheduled to run into Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-AL) ongoing nomination blockade. Tuberville has vowed to keep his blanket hold in place unless the Defense Department changes its travel and leave policies for servicemembers seeking abortions. The Senate, however, has begun moving some senior DOD nominees on an individual basis.

Previously, Dalton served as principal deputy assistant defense secretary for strategy, plans and capabilities from January 2021 to March 2022.

Prior to joining the Biden administration, Dalton was an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

By John Liang
September 21, 2023 at 2:58 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on artificial intelligence, the AUKUS agreement, the Missile Defense Agency's Next-Generation Interceptor program and more.

Mara Karlin, assistant defense secretary for strategy, plans and capabilities, who is also performing the duties of the deputy defense under secretary for policy, reiterated at the Ronald Reagan Institute in Washington this week that the Pentagon seeks to counter China by investing in cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence:

Pentagon official speaks about DOD's artificial intelligence goals

A senior Pentagon official spoke Wednesday about steps the Defense Department is taking to advance artificial intelligence.

The latest AUKUS news:

Australian official calls for easing of U.S. export controls on AUKUS Pillar II

The United States must loosen its export control system to enable closer collaboration under the AUKUS security partnership, an Australian defense official said today, underscoring "congressional changes" within all three nations as a key step to implementing the agreement's technology-focused second pillar.

The Missile Defense Agency is scheduled this month to conduct a preliminary design review of Lockheed Martin's NGI proposal and a corollary review of the Northrop Grumman-Raytheon NGI design is slated to begin as soon as January, according to the agency’s most recent published schedule:

DOD gears up for major review of Next Generation Interceptor designs; Lockheed up first

The Defense Department is set to begin reviewing Next Generation Interceptor designs, a major mid-point assessment in the $17 billion contest between Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman that will determine whether the respective proposals are sufficiently mature to proceed with developing prototype intercontinental ballistic missile killers.

The House Armed Services cyber, information technologies and innovation subcommittee held a hearing this week on industry perspectives on defense innovation and deterrence:

Defense industry execs outline innovation concerns for House lawmakers

Top defense industry executives appeared before House lawmakers today to list steps they believe the Pentagon should take to streamline weapons system development and acquisition.

Document: House hearing on defense innovation and deterrence

The Pentagon this week set up a "Microelectronics Commons":

CHIPS Act DOD 'Microelectronics Commons' awardees announced

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks today unveiled the Pentagon's plans to create a stronger U.S. microchip industrial base by awarding several contracts to fund the establishment of eight "Microelectronics Commons" regional innovation hubs for prototyping, manufacturing and producing at scale.

By Nick Wilson
September 21, 2023 at 2:38 PM

The Senate voted 96-0 to confirm Gen. Eric Smith to become the next Marine Corps commandant, filling the service's top post after Sen. Tommy Tuberville's (R-AL) continuing hold on military nominations left the position vacant for more than two months.

While Tuberville continues to block the Senate’s normal confirmation process, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) scheduled individual votes for Smith and two other senior Defense Department officials this week, also confirming Air Force Gen. Charles "C.Q." Brown as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Gen. Randy George as the Army chief of staff.

Smith has served as the Marine Corps’ acting commandant since former Commandant Gen. David Berger retired in July at the conclusion of his four-year term. In this role, Smith has juggled the responsibilities of the service’s top two positions, shouldering the duties of commandant while continuing to manage the responsibilities of his prior role as assistant commandant.

Smith, who was initially nominated to serve as the 39th commandant in May, has said performing both roles at once is not sustainable and indicated the growing list of unconfirmed officials is a drag on Marine Corps readiness.

In an interim guidance published in August, Smith committed to continuing the Marine Corps’ Force Design 2030 trajectory and outlined accelerated modernization, naval integration and organic mobility as warfighting priorities.

In the Senate, Tuberville has unilaterally stalled more than 300 nominations across the Defense Department in opposition to a policy that provides leave and travel assistance for servicemembers seeking abortion services.

Until this week, Schumer resisted bringing individual nominations to the floor for consideration, warning the move could set a precedent that slows the nomination process further.

A Congressional Research Service report found it would take more than 30 days of around-the-clock work -- over 700 continuous hours -- for the Senate to confirm all of these nominees by individual vote, or about 89 days if Senators worked for eight hours a day.

Meanwhile, the Navy still lacks a confirmed service chief, with assistant Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti serving as the acting CNO while her nomination awaits Senate approval. The Air Force is also without a confirmed leader with Gen. David Allvin’s nomination pending.

By Dan Schere
September 21, 2023 at 12:54 PM

The Senate confirmed Gen. Randy George as the Army's 41st chief of staff Thursday afternoon by a 96-1 vote.

George was nominated by President Biden in April to succeed former Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville, who retired in early August. However, George’s nomination, along with that of more than 300 military nominations, was held up due to Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-AL) blockade, based on the senator’s objections to the Pentagon’s leave and travel reimbursement policies for servicemembers seeking abortions.

With the Senate’s confirmation of George, he becomes the second military officer to be confirmed over Tuberville’s blockade. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), on Wednesday, scheduled individual votes for Air Force Gen. Charles “C.Q.” Brown, Biden’s nominee to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, George and Gen. Eric Smith -- the nominee to be the Marine Corps’ next commandant.

The Senate confirmed Brown on Wednesday evening 83-11, and a vote on Smith’s nomination is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Lt. Gen. James Mingus, the director of the Joint Staff, was nominated in July to serve as the service’s next vice chief.

Since becoming acting chief following McConville’s retirement last month, George has essentially been doing two jobs due to Tuberville’s blockade, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth noted this week at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“The role of the chief and the role of the vice are both more than full-time jobs, and we have multiple examples of our general officers who are doing that,” she said.

George has served as the Army’s vice chief of staff since August 2022. His service also includes working as a military assistant to the secretary of defense, and tours of duty in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

By Tony Bertuca
September 21, 2023 at 12:10 PM

House Republicans have again failed to advance the fiscal year 2024 defense appropriations bill, with several members of the GOP siding with Democrats to help to sink it by a vote of 212-216.

Today marks the third time in recent days that the House was unable to begin debate on the bill, which would provide $826 billion for the Pentagon, in line with the overall $886 billion for national defense -- which includes funding for other government agencies, like the Energy Department -- sought by President Biden. The House lost a similar vote yesterday and had to pull the bill from consideration last week because it lacked support.

The failure of the measure comes despite previous media coverage saying that Republican lawmakers believed the bill would be successful this time because GOP hardliners had been appeased.

Because Democrats uniformly oppose the bill as they say it is filled with conservative “culture war” provisions, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who is having difficulty gaining support from the far-right of his party, has only a slim margin by which legislation can be passed by his own caucus. Thus far, he has been unable to win the support of several Republicans who demand deep cuts to non-defense spending. At least one holdout, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), has said she wants the bill to block military aid for Ukraine.

McCarthy has also been unable to muster the 218 votes required to pass a stopgap continuing resolution required to stave off a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

Prior to the vote, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), the ranking member of the House Rules Committee, compared the process to the film “Groundhog Day,” where star Bill Murray is relegated to re-living the same day over and over again.

House Rules Committee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) said he believes the process, though chaotic at the moment, will eventually result in a compromise between House Republicans -- and then between the GOP-led House and Democrat-led Senate -- ultimately bringing both sides together. The government, however, may shutter before that can happen.

Cole noted, however, that “Groundhog Day” had a “happy ending.”

"Everybody learned some lessons and they got where they needed to be,” he said. “I think we may be involved in a process something like that.”

By Tony Bertuca
September 20, 2023 at 8:22 PM

The Senate has voted 83-11 to confirm Air Force Gen. Charles "C.Q." Brown to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff after months of being stalled by Sen. Tommy Tuberville's (R-AL) ongoing hold on military nominations.

In advance of the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he decided to schedule individual votes for Brown and two other senior defense nominees, even though the chamber often advances such picks through a speedier, bipartisan process that Tuberville is blocking over his opposition to the Pentagon’s leave and travel policies for servicemembers seeking abortions. His hold covers more than 300 military nominations.

The other two nominees, who are scheduled to receive confirmation votes tomorrow, are Gen. Randy George to become Army chief of staff and Gen. Eric Smith to become Marine Corps commandant.

“Due to the extraordinary circumstances of Sen. Tuberville’s reckless decisions, Democrats will take action,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “Democrats have said all along that these promotions should move forward together, as these nominations have for decades in the past. They should have happened a long time ago; they should have happened the way these promotions have been done in the Senate until Sen. Tuberville arrived.”

Schumer had previously said he did not want the Senate to confirm the nominees individually as it could set a precedent in the future that could further slow the nomination process.

Meanwhile, a Congressional Research Service report found that it would take the Senate more than 30 days to confirm the nominees impacted by Tuberville’s hold if lawmakers worked 24 hours per day without stopping. It would take 89 days if the Senate worked eight hours a day on the nominations, CRS said.

Tuberville, using a privilege granted to senators, is holding up the speedy consideration of the nominations over his opposition to a DOD policy that provides leave and travel assistance for servicemembers seeking abortions if they are stationed somewhere the procedure is outlawed or cannot be obtained. The Biden administration established the policy following the June 2022 Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.

Democrats and Republicans alike have criticized Tuberville’s blanket hold, while defense officials have said for months it threatens national security.

Brown’s confirmation as chairman comes as Gen. Mark Milley prepares to retire from the post at the end of this month.

Following the news that Schumer would allow the three nominees to be considered individually, Tuberville took to X, formerly Twitter, to vow that he would never give up his holds unless DOD changed its abortion policy.

“One of us was bluffing. It wasn't me,” Tuberville wrote. “Democrats are taking the same action they could've taken months ago. As long as the Pentagon keeps the unlawful elective abortion policy in place, my holds will remain.”

By John Liang
September 20, 2023 at 2:16 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the influence of the Ukraine war on U.S. Army training, the potential impact of the looming government shutdown on the military services and industry, the proposed creation of a new critical infrastructure sector for space and more.

The Army's top civilian and uniformed officials spoke this week at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies:

Acting Army chief, SECARMY say Ukraine war is shaping training

Acting Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George and Secretary Christine Wormuth say the Russian invasion of Ukraine is transforming the way the U.S. Army trains, particularly when it comes to unmanned systems.

The Army's acquisition chief added his voice to the growing chorus of DOD officials warning of the perils of a government shutdown:

Army acquisition head says potential shutdown would hurt contracting workforce

If fiscal year 2024 begins with a government shutdown, one of the biggest negative impacts to the Army would be on the contracting workforce, service acquisition chief Doug Bush told reporters Tuesday.

More shutdown news:

Business group tells defense contractors to prep for government shutdown

An influential Washington business association that represents Pentagon contractors said today that companies should prepare for all contingencies related to a possible government shutdown on Oct. 1, even if they believe their work is fully funded.

AIA President and CEO Eric Fanning sent a letter to National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan opposing the creation of a new critical infrastructure sector for space:

AIA urges NSC to conduct 'cost-benefit' analysis on space sector designation

The Aerospace Industries Association is asking the National Security Council to conduct a "cost-benefit" analysis when considering whether to designate any specific space capabilities as critical infrastructure, and to consider "space" itself as a domain, rather than creating a new critical infrastructure sector.

Keep an eye out tomorrow for a new solicitation seeking contractors interested in working on putting the Navy's nuclear missile submarine communication system onto a C-130 aircraft:

Navy RFP advances Super Hercules as E-6B TACAMO replacement

Naval Air Systems Command will issue a request for proposals Thursday for integrating "take charge and move out" (TACAMO) mission systems into a modified C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft.

Last but by no means least, more coverage from last week's Air, Space, Cyber conference:

Air Force moving ahead with Agile Combat Employment in Indo-Pacific

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- The Air Force's Agile Combat Employment concept for basing will need more funding for logistics as it aims to improve resiliency in the Indo-Pacific, Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach told reporters.

By Nickolai Sukharev
September 20, 2023 at 9:20 AM

The Army awarded BAE Systems a contract to produce additional Bradley Fighting Vehicles, the Defense Department announced Tuesday.

Following an earlier contract last month, BAE will produce M2A4 and M7A4 Bradley vehicles for $128 million to be completed by Jan. 31, 2026, according to the announcement.

While earlier contracts for the Bradley were completed at BAE’s facility in York, PA, the work sites for this contract will be determined with each order, the announcement reads.

Serving as the Army’s primary infantry fighting vehicle, the M2A4 is designed to carry and support dismounted troops in combat. It has a 25mm cannon, a coaxial 7.62mm caliber machine gun and can carry antitank missiles.

The M7A4 Bradley Fire Support Team Vehicle carries sensor and sighting systems designed to relay targeting information to support artillery fire.

Entering service in 1981, other variants of the Bradley include the M2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle, M3 Cavalry Vehicle, a command vehicle and engineer vehicle.

The Army previously operated the M6 Bradley Linebacker, a now-retired air defense variant that carried Stinger surface-to-air missiles.

The Army is slated to replace the Bradley with the XM30 Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle, previously called the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle.

By Tony Bertuca
September 19, 2023 at 5:44 PM

House Republicans and Democrats have named conferees to begin negotiations with the Senate over the fiscal year 2024 defense authorization bill.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has named as "core" conferees:

  • House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (AL)
  • Rep. Joe Wilson (SC)
  • Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO)
  • Rep. Robert Wittman (VA)
  • Rep. Austin Scott (GA)
  • Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY)
  • Rep. Scott DesJarlais (TN)
  • Rep. Trent Kelly (MS)
  • Rep. Mike Gallagher (WI)
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL)
  • Rep. Don Bacon (NE)
  • Rep. Jim Banks (IN)
  • Rep. Jack Bergman (MI)
  • Rep. Michael Waltz (FL)
  • Rep. Mike Johnson (LA)
  • Rep. Lisa McClain (MI)
  • Rep. Ronny Jackson (TX)
  • Rep. Pat Fallon (TX)
  • Rep. Carlos Gimenez (FL)
  • Rep. Nancy Mace (SC)
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA)

Additional "outside conferees" were also named.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), meanwhile, has also named conferees.

The Democratic conferees who are members of the House Armed Services Committee are:

  • Ranking Member Adam Smith (WA)
  • Rep. Joe Courtney (CT)
  • Rep. John Garamendi (CA)
  • Rep. Donald Norcross (NJ)
  • Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ)
  • Rep. Seth Moulton (MA)
  • Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA)
  • Rep. Ro Khanna (CA)
  • Rep. William Keating (MA)
  • Rep. Andy Kim (NJ)
  • Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (PA)
  • Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI)
  • Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ)
  • Rep. Veronica Escobar (TX)

Other Democratic conferees are:

  • Rep. Bobby Scott (VA)
  • Rep. Frank Pallone (NJ)
  • Rep. Maxine Waters (CA)
  • Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY)
  • Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY)
  • Rep. Raúl Grijalva (AZ)
  • Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD)
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA)
  • Rep. Nydia Velázquez (NY)
  • Rep. Rick Larsen (WA)
  • Rep. Mark Takano (CA)
By Tony Bertuca
September 19, 2023 at 4:25 PM

The House voted 212-214 against beginning debate on the fiscal year 2024 defense spending bill, dealing another blow to Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who has seen his efforts to pass legislation frustrated by the far-right flank of his own party.

Five Republicans broke ranks in voting against a rule to begin consideration of the bill, a significant defeat for McCarthy, who had to pull the measure from the floor schedule last week amid concerns that it could not garner the 218 votes needed for passage. Republicans who opposed the procedural vote to begin debate on the defense spending bill today are demanding steeper cuts to federal spending elsewhere in the appropriations process.

House GOP appropriators held a press conference last week urging support for the bill, which has drawn a veto threat from the White House for its inclusion of "culture war" provisions related to abortion, diversity initiatives and climate change.

"What's happening is the military is being held hostage to these procedural votes, so that can't happen," Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, said on Friday. He restated his position today on X, formerly Twitter.

Meanwhile, the House GOP is divided by an intraparty fight over federal spending that has stalled legislation intended to avert a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

The five Republicans who voted against moving the defense spending bill are Reps. Matt Rosendale (R-MT), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Andy Biggs (R-AZ) Dan Bishop (R-NC) and Ken Buck (R-CO).

The House floor became raucous during the vote as House Democrats screamed for “regular order” while some Republicans crowded around Norman in a vain attempt to get him to change his vote and keep the defense bill from being voted down.

“You don’t have the votes,” one Democratic lawmaker screamed.

By Tony Bertuca
September 19, 2023 at 3:21 PM

The House voted 393-27 today to begin conference negotiations with the Senate over the fiscal year 2024 defense authorization bill.

The House version of the bill, which barely passed in July by a 219-210 vote, is opposed by Democrats because it contains “culture war” provisions targeting diversity initiatives, climate change mitigation and the Pentagon’s leave and travel policy for servicemembers seeking abortion.

The massive defense policy bill was passed out of the House Armed Services Committee by a vote of 58-1 but was amended to include the politically controversial provisions sought by GOP conservatives.

The Senate, meanwhile, passed a version of the bill by a vote of 86-11.

The House bill authorizes -- but doesn't appropriate -- $886 billion in total national defense funding as sought by the Biden administration.

Congress has passed the defense authorization bill for more than 60 consecutive years and it is considered one of the most reliable pieces of legislation in Washington.

Meanwhile, House Republicans are embroiled in a chaotic fight over federal spending that could lead to a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

By John Liang
September 19, 2023 at 2:18 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on cruise missile defense, a Navy hypersonic missile program and more.

A Missile Defense Agency-led cruise missile defense project is a nearly two-year effort in response to a U.S. Northern Command requirement for an improved homeland defense capability to counter advanced air-breathing missiles:

DOD completes 'successful' demo of data exchange key for domestic cruise missile defense

The Defense Department earlier this month completed a joint tactical integrated fire control demonstration that culminated with simulated missile attack and response in skies over the Washington, DC area that will now inform an ongoing Air Force effort to design a program of record for a domestic cruise missile defense capability.

An upcoming technical review is the first of five such assessments scheduled over the next four years to monitor and validate the Hypersonic Air-Launched Offensive Anti-Surface (HALO) program -- a carrier-based surface strike weapon the Navy plans to field before the end of the decade:

Navy to conduct first HALO technical review this month ahead of FY-24 RFP

The Navy will conduct the initial technical review of a developing hypersonic weapon system before the end of September, ahead of an official request for proposals expected in the first half of fiscal year 2024, a Navy spokesperson confirmed to Inside Defense.

The chances a Republican-backed continuing resolution makes its way successfully through the Senate are slim to none:

Congress poised for funding fight this week following GOP's opening bid to avert shutdown

The House Rules Committee has voted to advance a stopgap continuing resolution backed by some GOP conservatives that stands little likelihood of passing the Democrat-led Senate as it contains politically controversial and divisive provisions and doesn't include funding for disaster relief or Ukraine.

The Navy is pulling every lever in its authority to grow active-duty enlistments, Adm. Lisa Franchetti said at her recent confirmation hearing to be the next chief of naval operations:

Franchetti: The Navy is in a 'war for talent'

With the Navy projecting it will fall short of fiscal year 2023 recruitment goals, acting Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti told lawmakers last week the sea service is fighting "a war for talent."

Last but by no means least, the latest cyber defense news from our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity:

OMB kicks off meetings with industry stakeholders ahead of CMMC proposed rule release

The White House Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is meeting with stakeholders in the Pentagon's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program, as the interagency process gets underway to review a proposed rule that will implement major changes to the Defense Department initiative.