The INSIDER daily digest -- March 23, 2020

By John Liang / March 23, 2020 at 2:22 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on DOD efforts to keep the defense industrial base humming amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Marine Corps' 2030 force design effort and more.

We start off with various departmental efforts to ensure the defense industrial base is able to continue supplying the Pentagon with needed weapons and equipment:

Defense industrial base deemed 'critical' amid COVID-19 shutdowns

Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord sent a memo to defense contractors today laying out which ones are deemed "critical" by the U.S. government and therefore expected to maintain their normal work schedules, despite the national emergency over COVID-19.

Document: Lord memo on 'critical' defense industrial base

New Pentagon memo increases progress payment rates in response to COVID-19 outbreak

In a memo signed late last week, the Defense Department says it is immediately increasing progress payment rates to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

Document: DOD memo on progress payment rates

Geurts directs Navy contracting officers to increase cash flow in response to COVID-19

The Navy's acquisition executive is ordering contracting officers to take steps to increase cash flow to contractors and their supply chains in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a memo obtained by Inside Defense.

Document: Geurts memo on withholds, retentions amid COVID-19

The Marine Corps has issued details of its 2030 force design effort:

Marine Corps trimming F-35 squadron numbers, cutting tank battalions in 2030 force design effort

As it gears up to fight China in a period of great power competition, the Marine Corps will trim the size of its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter squadrons and cut all tank battalions in the next 10 years.

The Defense Department wants the military services to be able to use operations and maintenance funding for the "rapid creation, testing, fielding, and operation of cyber capabilities that would be developed and used within the one-year appropriation period":

Pentagon asks for legislation allowing flexible funding of cyber developments

The Pentagon is asking Congress to adopt a legislative proposal allowing Defense Department organizations to use operations and maintenance funding to develop "cyber-operations peculiar" capabilities.