The INSIDER daily digest -- April 3, 2020

By John Liang / April 3, 2020 at 1:56 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the Defense Innovation Unit, the Air Force's KC-46 tanker program and more.

An executive summary of a report sent to lawmakers breaks down what U.S. Indo-Pacific Command requires to meet the Pentagon's call to shift to a period of great power competition with countries like Russia and China:

INDOPACOM wants $20B over the next six years to execute National Defense Strategy

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command needs approximately $20 billion in the next six years to execute the Pentagon's National Defense Strategy, according to a document obtained by Inside Defense.

Document: INDOPACOM executive summary of investment plan for implementing the NDS

In an April 1 letter to Small Business Administration officials marked "for official use only," Defense Innovation Unit Director Michael Brown writes the coronavirus has put non-traditional defense suppliers "under intense pressure":

DOD worried struggling tech startups will miss out on U.S. aid and fall prey to foreign investment

The Defense Department's top official in Silicon Valley wants to ensure struggling technology startups will qualify for emergency small business loans, as he worries companies could instead turn to Chinese and Russian investors.

Document: DIU director's letter to SBA

The Air Force has decided to release $992 million it was withholding from Boeing for work on the KC-46 airborne refueling tanker program:

Air Force to release $882M withheld from Boeing due to RVS issues

The Air Force announced today it has reached two significant agreements with Boeing to release $882 million the service had withheld due to continued design challenges with the KC-46 remote visual system and to move ahead with a two-step redesign of the KC-46 remote visual system.

A recent package of legislative proposals includes a provision to amend the FY-18 National Defense Authorization Act which mandated the defense secretary explicitly vest certain missile defense responsibilities in a military service or agency:

DOD seeks relief from requirement to modify missile defense policy for key capabilities

The Pentagon is asking Congress for relief from a statutory requirement that the nation's missile defeat policy and strategy be modified by appointing one or more acquisition executives to oversee homeland cruise missile defense and left-of-launch capabilities.

The Army's Field Artillery Autonomous Resupply Cohort program started in January, supporting the Long Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team. Participating companies were Pratt & Miller, Apptronik, Actuate, CR Tactical, Neya Systems, and Hivemapper:

Industry cohort submits concepts for autonomous artillery resupply

A cohort of six companies has virtually submitted its "capability concepts" on how to automate artillery weapon supply chain systems, the service announced today.

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Mac Thornberry (R-TX) is seeking to reform the Defense Department's acquisition system:

Thornberry offers new DOD reform bill targeting acquisition requirements and sustainment

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Mac Thornberry (R-TX) has unveiled a standalone Pentagon reform bill he hopes to include in the fiscal year 2021 defense authorization bill.

Document: Thornberry's DOD reform bill