The INSIDER daily digest -- March 13, 2018

By Thomas Duffy / March 13, 2018 at 3:15 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER starts with a request from the Missile Defense Agency for more money, a combatant commander giving his opinion on Russia's Middle East posture, two service secretaries making public appearances and a new Navy services contract approach.

The Missile Defense Agency has needs beyond its most recent budget request:

MDA's top unfunded FY-19 requirement is new space-based sensor network project

The Missile Defense Agency's top unfunded requirement in fiscal year 2019 is a new space-based network of sensors to track enemy long-range ballistic missiles during the midcourse of flight, giving the Missile Defense Tracking System -- a program launched in FY-18 but curiously zeroed in MDA's FY-19 budget request -- a potential new path to funding.

The U.S. Central Command chief has views on Russia:

Votel warns of Russian influence in Middle East

Gen. Joseph Votel, chief of U.S. Central Command, said today that Russia plays the role of both “arsonist and firefighter” in the Middle East by fueling conflict in Syria and then posturing itself as a peacemaker.

The Army secretary talked about the service's future:

Esper: NDS reshaping Army's priorities in new era

Guided by the new National Defense Strategy, the Army is “opening up the aperture for high-intensity conflict,” while continuing operations around the world, says Secretary Mark Esper.

The Air Force may get a new S&T approach:

Wilson: Service secretaries seeking ‘complementary’ S&T efforts, including one Navy-USAF project

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said this week the civilian heads of each service are looking at ways to approach science and technology efforts as a joint force, among other initiatives to become a more integrated and prepared military.

A big Navy services contract is getting a new look:

Analysts: SeaPort-e to Next Gen changes will better competition

The Navy's next generation contracting vehicle for services contracts has refined its work requirements in two key ways that analysts believe will help it create greater competition among contractors.