The INSIDER daily digest -- March 16, 2023

By John Liang / March 16, 2023 at 2:06 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news from the annual McAleese & Associates conference in Washington, where top service officials spoke.

Senior Defense Department and service officials spoke at this week's annual McAleese & Associates conference in Washington, from the Pentagon's comptroller:

DOD finalizing $1B spending plan to mitigate inflation on some contracts

The Defense Department is finalizing a proposal for how to spend more than $1 billion lawmakers appropriated for fiscal year 2023 for "revised economic assumptions" related to specific contracts beset by historic inflation, according to Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord.

. . . to the Army chief of staff:

With a flat budget for FY-24, Army chief says 'you'll see some structure changes' in the future

With an Army budget request for fiscal year 2024 that is relatively flat compared to the FY-23 enacted budget, "structure changes" are possible as the service carries out its modernization goals, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said Wednesday.

. . . to the chief of naval operations:

CNO: LPD pause is cost-driven, budget growth will not last

The Navy's pause in amphibious warship procurement is driven by a need to alleviate rising production costs, according to the service's top officer, who said the service must prepare for its topline budget to flatten in the near future.

. . . plus the Marine Corps commandant:

Berger: LSD decommissioning would violate amphib requirement; unfunded priorities coming soon

The decommissioning of three amphibious warships proposed by the Navy's fiscal year 2024 budget request would sink the service's fleet below the legally mandated floor of 31 L-class ships according to the Marine Corps commandant, who told reporters the Marine Corps' unfunded priorities list will be published within the next eight days.

. . . as well as the Army acquisition chief:

Army acquisition chief says ITEP engine deliveries delayed until early next year

Doug Bush, the Army's top acquisition official, told reporters on Wednesday that the deliveries for the Improved Turbine Engine Program that will power the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft have been delayed until early calendar year 2024.

We also have some big naval shipyard news:

Navy floats $2.72 billion in shipyard updates for FY-24

The Navy is continuing its mission to modernize aging shipyard infrastructure with a request for $2.72 billion in fiscal year 2024 to make phased-in improvements at the nation's four public shipyards: Portsmouth (ME), Pearl Harbor (HI), Norfolk (VA) and Puget Sound (WA).

The Pentagon this week released its fiscal year 2024 budget justification book for the Pacific Defense Initiative:

DOD recalibrates, ratchets up Pacific Defense Initiative funding in FY-24 by 33%

The Biden administration is fundamentally recalibrating Indo-Pacific plans in the fiscal year 2024 budget request, increasing total spending to counter China by nearly 33% compared with last year's Pacific Defense Initiative forecast, increasing scores of projects by more than $3 billion in part by shifting $850 million away from previous PDI priorities.

Document: DOD's PDI budget justification book

Last but by no means least, Nickolas Guertin testified on Capitol Hill this week on his nomination to be the Navy's next acquisition chief:

Infrastructure needs underscored at Guertin's Senate nomination hearing

The Senate Armed Services Committee focused Wednesday on "crumbling" infrastructure at defense installations, including naval shipyards, during Nickolas Guertin's nomination hearing to be Navy assistant secretary for research, development and acquisition.

Document: Senate hearing on Keohane, Guertin nominations