The INSIDER daily digest -- September 11, 2023

By John Liang / September 11, 2023 at 2:28 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has coverage of a speech by the Air Force's top civilian official, Guam missile defense, Pentagon services contracts and more.

We start off with coverage from this year's Air and Space Forces Association's annual Air, Space and Cyber Conference:

Kendall calls out Tuberville holds, urges passage of budget

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall used his keynote speech at an Air and Space Forces Association conference Monday to call on Congress to pass a budget and for Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) to lift his blockade of military nominations.

Lt. Gen. Dan Karbler, head of Army Space and Missile Defense Command and the Joint Functional Component Commander for Integrated Missile Defense at U.S. Space Command, is moving to mobilize public opinion to shape ongoing discussion about the architecture for a new 360-degree air and missile defense system for Guam:

Key Army general calls for JLENS-like system for Guam defense, wants very high elevated sensor

The U.S. military should resuscitate a 2004 requirement for a high-flying, stationary radar to bolster defense of Guam, a top Army official argued, noting capabilities demonstrated by the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System before its 2018 termination are now urgently needed.

A new Service Acquisition Executive Steering Committee was established in June to focus on services contracts, which, according to the Government Accountability Office, require stronger management, especially if needless spending is to be detected and cut:

DOD working to tighten oversight of services contracts, per GAO audit

The Defense Department has created a special working group charged with increasing oversight of Pentagon services contracts, which account for about $200 billion in annual spending, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Document: GAO report on DOD service contracts

While the initiation of Constellation-class frigate construction is pushed back, delivery of the ship is still expected to occur on-schedule in September 2027:

Construction of second Constellation-class frigate postponed to FY-24

Construction of the Navy's second Constellation-class frigate, Congress (FFG-63), has been pushed into early fiscal year 2024 -- a delay of at least six months from the April 2023 start date outlined in Navy budget books.

Deputy Defense Secretary for Acquisition and Sustainment Radha Iyengar Plumb explained at a recent Center for Strategic and International Studies event that the department seeks to combat fragility in the U.S. industrial base that the war in Ukraine has exposed:

DOD procurement official highlights push for multiyear contracts to supply Ukraine

A senior Pentagon acquisition official said this week that multiyear contracts are key to the long-term effort to support Ukraine against an ongoing Russian invasion and will serve as a "demand signal" for industry to replenish U.S. weapons that have been transferred there.