The Insider

The INSIDER daily digest -- Oct. 6, 2017

October 6, 2017 at 1:18 PM

In today's INSIDER Daily Digest, the defense secretary is calling on Pentagon employees to remain focused, the Marine Corps is building a close relationship with U.S. Special Operations Command and Congress has denied a Pentagon reprogramming request.

First up, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has issued a new memo to Pentagon personnel:

Mattis seeks to rally Pentagon amid fiscal gridlock

The Defense Department has begun fiscal year 2018 without a new budget, but Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is calling on all Pentagon personnel to remain committed to three core lines of effort: restoring military readiness, strengthening global alliances and reforming DOD business practices.

The Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command have just signed the terms of reference for a new joint board:

Marine Corps, SOCOM establish joint board with integration focus

The Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command have established a joint board for better integration between the two organizations and plan to release a concept on how to operate in the future, according to a Marine Corps official.

And Capitol Hill has rejected a July request from the Pentagon to transfer defense health funding that was no longer needed into a new synthetic aperture radar satellite effort:

Appropriators deny DOD funding transfer for new-start satellite program

House and Senate appropriators have denied the Defense Department's request to transfer $50 million to begin a new program to develop a commercially based, micro-synthetic aperture radar satellite prototype aimed at "deep learning analytics" to improve the speed and exploitation of raw satellite imagery.

Lawmakers also rejected and reduced parts of a military intelligence reprogramming request:

House appropriators blunt military intelligence reprogramming request

Lawmakers have given the Defense Department permission to shift millions of dollars between military intelligence accounts, but House appropriators rejected or reduced some of the Pentagon's requests.

The National Space Council met this week and announced a new strategy:

National Space Council building integrated space strategic framework

The National Space Council is crafting an integrated space strategic framework it expects to be available for review by President Trump within 45 days.

We also have quite a few Air Force stories:

In prelude to new AF Arctic Strategy, service drafting concept of operations due spring 2018

The Air Force is drafting a concept of operations for the Arctic as a first step in preparing a new service strategy for the polar region -- drawing on insights collected last month during a trip by service leaders across the Arctic -- that will provide a blueprint for how the service will adjust its footing in light of the growing militarization of the area by Russia and China.

Two companies begin TMRR phase to replace airborne ICBM control system

Lockheed Martin and Rockwell Collins this week each won contracts worth about $80 million to design a new system to allow U.S. Strategic Command to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles from an aircraft if ground control stations are unusable.

Air Force: 'Legislative obstacles' hindering force integration efforts

The Air Force has fully implemented 10 of 42 recommendations made by the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, but the service said in a recent report that "numerous legislative obstacles" are hampering its progress on the remaining proposals.

Air Force to upgrade more than half of Huey fleet through FY-22

As the Air Force prepares to choose a helicopter to replace its UH-1N Huey fleet, it is simultaneously moving forward with a service-life extension program for 42 aircraft to keep them airworthy until the new helicopters are delivered.