The INSIDER daily digest -- Jan. 12, 2021

By John Liang / January 12, 2021 at 1:56 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on questions surrounding retired Gen. Lloyd Austin's nomination to be President-elect Biden's defense secretary and more.

Lindsay Cohn from the Naval War College and Kathleen McInnis from the Congressional Research Service testified this morning before the Senate Armed Services Committee on civilian control of the Armed Forces:

Senators wrestling with implications of Austin's nomination

The Senate Armed Services Committee, in advance of a scheduled Jan. 19 nomination hearing for retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve as defense secretary, today questioned experts about the perceived erosion of civil-military relations at the Pentagon.

Document: Senate hearing on civilian control of the armed forces

The extent of the disparity between Raytheon and Lockheed Martin's work on the Long Range Standoff Weapon program appears to have been even wider than previously known:

Lockheed's design performance may have motivated ouster from LRSO program

The Air Force's decision last year to bet on Raytheon to build the multibillion-dollar Long Range Standoff Weapon and later remove Lockheed Martin from the program entirely may have come down to inferior design performance by the latter company.

Last week's violence on Capitol Hill has caused defense contractors to rethink their political donations:

Multiple defense contractors pause political giving following last week's insurrection

Several defense contractors confirmed today that they have paused their political action committee giving while assessing the insurrection at the Capitol last week.

The Navy's top uniformed official spoke this week during the virtual Surface Navy Association conference:

Gilday: Navy committed to LCS program despite engineering issues

The Navy is committed to the Littoral Combat Ship despite engineering issues plaguing the program, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said Monday.

Lockheed Martin's High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler with Surveillance system is undergoing testing:

Lockheed: HELIOS laser shows early potential for area defense; exceeding ship self-defense objective

Government testers are evaluating a Lockheed Martin-built laser that promises a better-than-expected capability that, when paired with the Aegis combat system, provides area defense far more robust than simply self-defense against small boats and unmanned aircraft promised at the outset of the project, according to a company representative.

Some Army combat vehicle news:

Jette: OMFV is 'pointy end of the spear' for open architectures

The Army could adapt the open and modular architecture being developed for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle to other ground vehicles, Bruce Jette, the Army's acquisition executive, told Inside Defense last week.

Last but certainly not least, we conclude with coverage of what the Pentagon will do now that the chief management officer position no longer exists:

Congressional axe falls on DOD chief management officer

Congress, after overriding President Trump's veto, has passed a defense policy bill that immediately eliminates the office of the Defense Department's chief management officer, a post lawmakers established in 2017 intending it become the third-most senior job in the Pentagon.

Document: DOD memo on disestablishment of the CMO

New Pentagon management structure to fill CMO vacuum

The Pentagon is restructuring several key offices and beefing up their authorities now that Congress has eliminated the post of chief management officer, according to Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist.

Document: DOD memo on ASD for intel oversight