House and Senate lawmakers have agreed to a compromise version of the annual defense authorization bill, filing the 3000-page legislation late Wednesday night.
Watch Inside Defense for further reporting on this developing story.
House and Senate lawmakers have agreed to a compromise version of the annual defense authorization bill, filing the 3000-page legislation late Wednesday night.
Watch Inside Defense for further reporting on this developing story.
Reducing an enemy's information command and capabilities are the Army's priorities when it comes to information warfare, according to a chapter in a new doctrine published last week.
“The threat is increasingly reliant on space, cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance,” the doctrine states. “Affecting the threat’s ability to use data and information to communicate, command and control its forces or conduct information warfare provides the friendly force an advantage.”
Consisting of eight chapters and titled “Information” (ADP 3-13), the doctrine’s seventh chapter outlines how the Army should degrade an enemy’s command and control as well as its information warfare capabilities during combat operations.
To degrade an enemy’s command and control, the doctrine directs the Army to reduce the enemy’s ability to collect, access or use information while affecting an enemy’s information warfare capabilities would include attacking an enemy’s communications and network systems.
“Information is central to everything we do,” Lt. Gen. Milford Beagle, commanding general of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, KS said in a press release. “It is the basis of intelligence, a fundamental component of command and control, and the foundation for communicating thoughts, opinions and ideas.”
“As a dynamic of combat power, Army forces fight for, defend, and fight with information to create and exploit information advantages -- the use, protection and exploitation of information to achieve objectives more effectively than enemies and adversaries,” he added.
Depending on the unit size, the doctrine’s attack methods include physical destruction, electromagnetic attacks, cyberattacks and space operations.
Brigade-level units would use physical destruction as their primary attack methods through missiles and artillery, depending on the specific unit.
“Physical destruction capabilities are inherent in combined arms formations and often provide more immediate results than employing other methods of attack,” the doctrine adds.
Larger units would conduct electromagnetic attacks using “electromagnetic energy, directed energy or antiradiation weapons” as well as cyberattacks to deny cyberspace capabilities or create manipulation effects.
“The effects from these attacks provide windows of opportunity Army forces can exploit,” the doctrine reads. “In some cases, cyberspace attack actions can lead to physical destruction.”
Space operations would be carried as joint operations with the other services to “enable freedom of action.”
Prior to all types of attacks, the doctrine directs commanders to consider rules of engagement, resources and intelligence.
“Our new doctrine makes it clear that everyone plays some role in achieving information advantage,” retired Army colonel and CADD Director Richard Creed said in a press release. “Similarly, commanders need to consider information from a combined arms perspective because all Army capabilities create effects in the information dimension of our operational environment.”
This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on bolstering domestic arms production in Ukraine, a multibillion-dollar supplemental spending bill proposed by Senate Democrats, a DOD inspector general report on cybersecurity and more.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke this morning at the inaugural Ukraine Defense Industrial Base Summit hosted by the Commerce Department:
Senior military officials are meeting with industry executives in Washington today to discuss a strategy for bolstering domestic arms production in Ukraine, with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin calling on the "full might of American industry" to aid Kyiv in what is expected to be a long-term battle against Russia.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) has released a new national security supplemental spending bill:
Senate Democrats have put forth a $110.5 billion national security supplemental funding package, highlighting $43.6 billion that would be invested in the U.S. defense industrial base, along with establishing a new special inspector general to oversee assistance to Ukraine.
Document: Senate's national security supplemental
Our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity have the latest on a new Defense Department inspector general's report on cybersecurity "weaknesses" among defense contractors:
A new report from the Defense Department inspector general details common cybersecurity "weaknesses" on federal contractor networks that are handling controlled unclassified information for military services and agencies.
More coverage of this past weekend's Reagan National Defense Forum in California:
SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The Defense Department's fiscal year 2025 budget request will -- at best -- squeeze investment accounts compared to Pentagon plans earlier this year as a result of the June debt-limit deal demanded by House Republicans, forcing what DOD's top weapons buyer calls "difficult choices" about where to trim planned spending.
SIMI VALLEY, CA -- A Navy destroyer shot down three incoming drones in the southern Red Sea on Sunday, a day after Pentagon acquisition chief Bill LaPlante announced that investments to counter unmanned aerial systems must go "through the roof" to meet an ongoing "crisis" in that area that has been highlighted by the ongoing wars fought by Ukraine and Israel.
After more than four months without a three-star officer at the helm, the Missile Defense Agency today has a full-fledged leader after Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) abandoned his quixotic quest to change Pentagon health services for woman and the Senate confirmed Air Force Lt. Gen. Heath Collins' promotion.
MDA today announced Collins -- the 12th MDA director since the agency was founded in 2004 -- was quickly installed following confirmation of his promotion to lieutenant general.
Rear Adm. Douglas Williams -- promoted from captain in June -- who was acting MDA director since late July, will still testify tomorrow before the House Armed Services Committee hearing on missile defense, according to a government official.
The Defense Department today announced a $175 million weapons package for Ukraine as Congress argues over a major national security supplemental spending bill that would continue assistance to Kyiv and replenish U.S. weapons that have been sent there.
The new package, being funded via presidential “drawdown” authority, includes:
The announcement is the 52nd such transfer made to Ukraine using PDA since August 2021.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is seeking tens of billions more for Ukraine and the White House has warned that money is running out. Pentagon officials say they have around $4 billion in transfer authority remaining but only $1 billion to replenish U.S. weapons being transferred.
In related news, senior U.S. and Ukrainian military officials convened with defense industry executives in Washington today to discuss a strategy to rebuild Ukraine’s domestic weapons production capabilities.
The Space Development Agency is planning to procure 20 Tranche 2 Transport Layer Gamma variant satellites that are scheduled to launch by June 2027, according to a draft solicitation notice issued Monday.
“T2TL features multiple space vehicles and mission configuration variants procured through a multi-solicitation and multi-vendor acquisition approach,” the agency said in the notice.
The T2TL Gamma satellites will be equipped with unique payloads designed to “close future kill chains” through the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture, the notice states.
Describing the system design, the agency noted that 20 SVs will be divided into two constellations, each with 10 satellites and will include optical communications terminals to assist in-plane and cross-plane links; links to terrestrial OCTs; and links to compatible SVs external to the Transport Layer.
SDA said the T2TL SVs, SDA operations centers and the T1TL SVs will create a communication web that will provide resilient, low-latency and high-throughput data exchange from anywhere across the globe.
The contract will be awarded to a single vendor who can develop OCTs; warlock mission payload; space vehicle bus; perform system integration; operations and sustainment personnel; and Network Established Beyond the Upper Limits of the Atmosphere operations, the agency noted.
The initial launch capability of the T2TL Gamma space vehicles is scheduled for September 2026, the notice reads.
Recently, the Defense Department also issued a request for information for developing warlock capacity for the T2TL-Gamma variant satellite constellation.
The Defense Department and the Chinese military are currently working at the staff-level to re-establish communication among the nations' top defense officials following a meeting between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in San Francisco last month, according to a senior Pentagon policy official.
Ely Ratner, assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, told reporters at a Defense Writers Group breakfast today that senior U.S. and Chinese military leaders have not yet spoken, but stressed that “active discussions” are going on at the “working level” right now regarding the “sequencing” for planned meetings and engagements over the next 12 months.
“We are currently in the process of discussing with the PRC Defense Department about what that is going to look like in the months and years ahead,” he said.
Ratner would not give a specific timeline but said it should take “months” at “the very latest.”
Despite this, Ratner said, DOD does not believe China has changed its aggressive posture in the Indo-Pacific, especially regarding Taiwan.
“Leaders in Beijing have been crystal clear about their ambitions toward Taiwan,” he said. “They have already been engaged in an intensive pressure campaign . . . against Taiwan. They have yet to renounce the use of force. . . . I see my job as, in part, ensuring that the United States is prepared.”
Tuberville, who had been blocking military nominations and promotions since February over his opposition to the Defense Department’s travel and leave policy for servicemembers seeking abortions, told several media outlets that his holds, though lifted for about 440 nominees below the four-star level, will continue on approximately 10 senior nominees.
"I'm not going to hold the promotions of these people any longer," Tuberville told reporters. "We just released them -- about 440 of them. Everybody but 10 or 11 four-stars."
Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon's chief spokesman, said DOD is "encouraged by the news" but will work to get Tuberville to lift all his holds.
"There would be at least 11 four-stars that would be impacted by those continued holds,” he said. “All of those positions are key senior leadership positions to including the vice chiefs of the various services.”
Other holds impact the senior leaders of the Pacific fleet, U.S. Cyber Command and U.S. Space Command.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI), who has spearheaded a resolution to override Tuberville, released a statement saying the holds “have been an affront to the United States military and the Senate.”
Reed said Tuberville has “jeopardized our national security and abused the rights afforded to all Senators.”
“I am glad that hundreds of our nation’s finest military leaders will finally receive their hard-won, merit-based promotions,” he said. “They, and their families, have shown us what grace and grit look like in the face of hardship.”
The Senate soon after confirmed 425 military nominations, a move Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called "long overdue."
"These holds have already dragged on needlessly for months, degrading our military readiness and forcing far too many of our outstanding military families to put their lives on hold and endure even greater sacrifices," he said in a statement. "These unnecessary and unprecedented holds have forced multiple military services to operate without Senate-confirmed leaders and obligated some military leaders to take on two exceptionally demanding jobs at once.
"We also look forward to the Senate's confirmation of the remainder of our highly qualified and apolitical military leaders, so that America can have the fully fielded team it deserves during this critical moment for our national security," Austin added.
This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has a deep dive into the Pentagon's Microelectronics Commons program's regional innovation "hubs," plus the congressional response to the Defense Department's 2023 omnibus reprogramming request and more.
We start off with a deep dive into the Microelectronics Commons program's regional innovation "hubs":
Amid newly announced timelines for upcoming Microelectronics Commons project proposals, the program's regional innovation "hubs," which act as connection points for government and the commercial sector, are working to get their programs up and running.
Lawmakers on the House and Senate defense committees have responded to DOD's 2023 omnibus reprogramming request:
Congress has granted most of the Pentagon's annual request to shift billions of dollars between budget accounts, approving more than $3 billion in transfers for a wide array of priority weapon systems, including money for engineering work for the MQ-25 unmanned air system and several new-start projects.
More coverage from this past weekend's Reagan National Defense Forum in California:
SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The Defense Department is readying plans to integrate a 2024 advanced technology experimentation exercise with similar Australian efforts down under after both nations this fall exchanged observers at key events, according to the Pentagon's top technology development official.
SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The Defense Department -- after 18 months of problems with both the two-stage missile and the ground launcher for the U.S. military's premier long-range hypersonic strike weapon -- has determined the original development path is no longer viable and remedial work on both elements of the Army's Dark Eagle program is now necessary.
In a request for information issued last week, the Marine Corps "seeks industry input to identify potential sources for an unmanned surface vessel, and mission enabling systems, initially focused on an integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability":
Marine Corps Systems Command is seeking industry input regarding unmanned surface vessel and integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, according to a request for information posted last week.
The National Reconnaissance Office has awarded five Strategic Commercial Enhancements contracts to evaluate and enhance commercial electro-optical capabilities, according to an announcement today.
The five companies -- Airbus U.S.; Space and Defense; Albedo Space; Hydrosat; Muon Space; and Turion Space -- received awards under NRO SCE’s Broad Agency Announcement Framework.
“These SCC BAA commercial EO capabilities contracts are smaller in scope, are designed to assess emerging providers and capabilities and intended to leverage those capabilities to meet mission needs,” NRO said in the announcement.
The intelligence agency noted assessments are accomplished through a “two-stage effort.”
The first stage focuses on analytic studies to provide valuations of system capabilities at the individual sensor and constellation level, along with “business and cybersecurity planning.”
At the same time, the second stage focuses on evaluating on-orbit capabilities and buying data products.
Additionally, in May 2022, NRO awarded the EO commercial layer contract to BlackSky, Maxar and Planet Lab, which is considered the largest commercial imagery contract to be awarded by the intelligence agency.
The EOCL is an operational subscription-type contract aligning the requirements of the Intelligence Community and the Defense Department, NRO said.
Previously, NRO also awarded six SCE contracts for commercial hyperspectral imaging in March, six commercial radio frequency remote sensing contracts in September 2022 and five commercial radar contracts in January 2022.
“Combined with EOCL and our previous SCE radar, radio frequency and hyperspectral imaging contracts, these contracts continue NRO’S historic expansion of the acquisition of commercial data,” Pete Muend, NRO’s commercial systems program office director, said in the announcement.
The White House is warning Congress it doesn't have a "magical pot of money" available to continue U.S. military assistance to Ukraine amid an ongoing war with Russia and is urging lawmakers to pass President Biden's $106 billion security supplemental spending package.
"I want to be clear: without congressional action, by the end of the year we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to provide equipment from U.S. military stocks," White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young wrote in a recent letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA).
"There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment,” she said. “We are out of money -- and nearly out of time."
The Pentagon has said it has about $5 billion remaining in presidential “drawdown” authority that it can use to send weapons to Ukraine but only $1 billion to replenish them, thereby increasing risks to U.S. military readiness.
Congress has already approved more than $110 billion for Ukraine since Russia's February 2022 invasion. But lawmakers, beset by intra-GOP chaos, have not approved any new funding since January.
Biden, as part of a large supplemental spending request, is seeking an additional $61 billion for Ukraine. Funds are also being sought for efforts related to Israel, Taiwan, the U.S. submarine industrial base and southwest border security.
Young, in her letter, points out that Biden’s request would bolster the U.S. defense industrial base, highlighting potential investments in Alabama, Texas and Georgia -- states dominated by Republican voters.
“The President’s most recent national security supplemental request will build on our successful efforts to date and will direct over $50 billion into our nation’s DIB, which builds on the funding that has already been invested in manufacturing lines across 35 states,” she said. “While we cannot predict exactly which U.S companies will be awarded new contracts, we do know the funding will be used to acquire advanced capabilities to defend against attacks on civilians in Israel and Ukraine -- for example, air defense systems built in Alabama, Texas and Georgia and vital subcomponents sourced from nearly all 50 states.”
Young said the administration, through replenishment of munitions being sent to Ukraine, “intends to modernize vital munitions and equipment like Javelins made in Alabama; Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) made in West Virginia, Arkansas and Texas; tactical vehicles made in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana; and 155mm artillery shells made in Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Iowa and many other states.”
An infographic obtained by Inside Defense last week shows DOD’s plans to spend billions in requested supplemental funding on the replacement of "priority" weapon systems that have been transferred to Ukraine, along with identifying U.S. states where DOD would invest in the expansion of manufacturing capacity.
The infographic is being circulated on Capitol Hill by the White House in an attempt to garner GOP support for the supplemental spending request.
Meanwhile, DOD has also drafted a first-ever defense industrial base strategy which states today’s defense industrial base -- as highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic and DOD’s work to aid Ukraine and Israel -- "does not possess the capacity, capability, responsiveness, or resilience required to satisfy the full range of military production needs at speed and scale."
Congress, however, has been unable to agree to a full-year appropriations deal and the Defense Department, along with some other federal agencies, is operating under a funding patch set to expire Feb. 2.
But Young, in her letter, said that funding Ukraine’s fight against Russia “isn’t a next year problem.”
“The time to help a democratic Ukraine fight against Russian aggression is right now,” she said. “It is time for Congress to act.”
The Air Force is seeking sensors that can perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions at high speeds and high altitudes.
The sensors would need to operate at altitudes above 60,000 feet and at high speeds, though specific speeds were not included in the request for information released Friday.
The service expects to run exercises and test events with the technology through fiscal year 2029.
The Air Force is looking for both geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) and signals intelligence (SIGINT) sensors.
GEOINT sensors would need a digital zoom capability of eight times or more and should have a Laser Ranger Finder able to differentiate targets in inclement weather or low visibility.
SIGINT sensors would need to be able to detect and capture eight or more channels of electronic and communications signals and collect information from multiple targets.
All sensors would need to be able to interface with current line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight datalinks, be loaded with and maintain mission and target profiles and be loaded with mission parameters ahead of missions or through in-flight data links, according to the post.
The first site of the Space Force's new deep radar system will be operational in Western Australia beginning in 2026, according to a Dec. 1 announcement.
The Deep Space Advanced Radar Capability is a ground-based system to detect and track deep space objects 24/7 using solar gap exclusion, which is supported by the trilateral security partnership between Australia, the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
“AUKUS is accelerating capabilities that provide trilateral partners with advanced technology to identify emerging threats in space,” the announcement states.
According to an announcement in August, the DARC Site-2 will be operational in June 2028 and Site-3 in June 2029.
The Defense Department awarded Northrop Grumman a sole-source contract to complete the fielding of DARC Sites 2 and 3 as well as to provide logistics support for operations and support for all 3 sites and the Mission Operations Center, Inside Defense reported in August.
Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Office has reported the DARC program is estimated to take an additional year to complete the program beyond the middle-tier acquisition timeframe of five years, indicating a schedule risk.
This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has coverage from the past weekend's Reagan National Defense Forum in California, plus news on AUKUS and more.
We start off with coverage from this past weekend's Reagan National Defense Forum:
SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The Pentagon says it has become "acutely aware of significant challenges" facing the U.S. defense industrial base and has produced a strategy -- to be followed by an implementation plan -- that details key areas where U.S. weapons suppliers can be strengthened, according to a draft copy of the new National Defense Industrial Strategy obtained by Inside Defense.
Document: DOD's draft industrial base strategy
SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The first fruits of the Defense Department's high-profile Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve -- nearly two years in the making -- are at risk of stalling out due to budget uncertainty, potentially slowing delivery to combatant commanders of new capabilities recently validated through experimentation earlier this year as having warfighting utility.
SIMI VALLEY, CA -- Top U.S. defense officials said a new era of AI warfare has arrived and that the Pentagon needs to significantly increase funding on artificially intelligence programs to enable new weapon systems, rapidly provide senior military commanders with targets, and, in some cases, do the shooting.
SIMI VALLEY, CA -- Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin addressed the 10th gathering of the Reagan National Defense Forum by calling on Congress to provide fiscal year 2024 funding certainty in an address that did not outline any new initiatives or policy objectives but focused on the unique role of the United States leadership in the world.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hosted United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence Grant Shapps and Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles at the Defense Innovation Unit in Mountain View, CA for the second AUKUS defense ministerial meeting late last week:
Military leaders from the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom appeared on Friday night to foot-stomp recent progress within the AUKUS security partnership and announce several new initiatives in the agreement’s technology-focused second pillar.
Defense officials are preparing to launch multiple new initiatives within the technology-focused second pillar of AUKUS, including a string of joint exercises using autonomous maritime systems and a series of innovation challenges aiming to incentivize companies from the three nations to compete to fill key capability gaps.
Inside Defense recently interviewed Bill Sheehy, the AMPV program director for BAE Systems:
BAE Systems expects the Army to award the next "option year proposal" for the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle before the end of the calendar year, a company official told Inside Defense last week.
In FY-23, the Navy awarded two contracts worth a combined $116 million to Lockheed Martin and RTX to develop separate prototypes of the Hypersonic Air-Launched Offensive Anti-Surface (HALO) system -- a carrier-based surface strike weapon the sea service aims to field before the end of the decade:
The Navy has completed the initial technical review for a developing hypersonic weapon system and will publish an official request for proposals for the program's engineering and manufacturing development phase in the second quarter of fiscal year 2024.
Senior defense officials speak at a plethora of congressional and industry events this week.
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Christopher Grady speaks at an Atlantic Council event.
General Dynamics Information Technology hosts its "Emerge Quantum" event.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies' Project on Nuclear Issues holds its 2023 Fall Conference.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallander testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Africa subcommittee.
The House Armed Services cyber subcommittee holds a hearing on "using military advancements of the past to guide the Department of Defense's technological advancements in the future."
The Senate Armed Services personnel subcommittee holds a hearing on DOD recruiting efforts.
GovExec holds a webcast on "Enhancing Cloud Security."
The House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee holds a hearing on "Regional Missile Defense Assets -- Assessing COCOM and Allied Demand for Capabilities."
Army Under Secretary Gabe Camarillo speaks at an AUSA George Washington Chapter luncheon.
Space Development Agency Director Derek Tournear speaks at an online National Security Space Association session.
Defense One hosts a "Future of Defense Acquisition" event.
The U.S. Naval Institute holds its Defense Forum Washington 2023.
U.S. Cyber Command chief and National Security Agency Director Gen. Paul Nakasone speaks at an Intelligence and National Security Alliance breakfast event.