The Insider

By John Liang
March 25, 2024 at 9:20 AM

Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun announced today he would step down at the end of 2024, while Chairman of the Board Larry Kellner said he wouldn't stand for re-election at the company's upcoming annual shareholder meeting.

Steve Mollenkopf, the former CEO of Qualcomm who served on Boeing's board since 2020, was subsequently elected to succeed Kellner as independent board chair.

"In this role, Mollenkopf will lead the board's process of selecting Boeing's next CEO," a company statement reads.

Additionally, Stephanie Pope has been appointed to lead Boeing Commercial Airplanes as president and CEO, replacing Stan Deal who announced his retirement.

By Tony Bertuca
March 25, 2024 at 5:00 AM

Two major military service associations host annual conferences this week, while senior defense officials are scheduled to speak at several events around Washington.


The Association of the United States Army holds its annual Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, AL, which runs through Thursday.

The Center for a New American Security hosts a discussion on autonomous systems in the Indo-Pacific.

The Hudson Institute hosts a discussion on “uncrewed systems to hedge against aggression.”


The Air and Space Forces Association’s Mitchell Institute hosts its annual Spacepower Security Forum in Washington.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a discussion on artificial intelligence and autonomy with a senior Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency official.

Defense One hosts an event on the state of the Navy.


Defense One hosts an event on the state of the Air Force.

By John Liang
March 22, 2024 at 3:32 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the military's fiscal year 2025 unfunded priorities lists, the FY-24 defense spending bill and more.

We start off with more FY-25 unfunded priorities lists:

Army submits $2.2 billion unfunded priorities list to Congress with focus on counter UAS

The Army has submitted a $2.2 billion unfunded priorities list to Congress for fiscal year 2025, which places a heavy emphasis on counter UAS, UAS and integrated air and missile defense.

CENTCOM sends lawmakers $450M unfunded list

The chief of U.S. Central Command has sent Congress a $450 million fiscal year 2025 unfunded priorities list, keying the need for counter-drone capabilities, but also reminding lawmakers that he still needs $2.4 billion that is included in a supplemental spending bill that has stalled in the House, according to a document obtained by Inside Defense.

SPACECOM seeking $300M for space domain awareness in $1.2 billion UPL

U.S. Space Command wants more than $300 million for programs relating to space domain awareness, according to its mostly classified unfunded priorities list topping $1.2 billion.

(Read our coverage of all the UPLs we've obtained so far.)

A new Joint Program Office for Guam missile defense has been established:

DOD stands up Joint Program Office for Guam missile defense headed by Army three-star

The Defense Department last month designated a single official to oversee the acquisition of technology needed to develop and field a 360-degree, air-and-missile defense capability for Guam, tapping Army Lt. Gen. Robert Rasch to be executive officer in charge of the newly created Joint Program Office in support of the Guam Defense System.

Aircraft coverage from the FY-24 defense spending bill:

Aircraft to see ramp-up in FY-24 deal, while missiles are slashed

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is on track for a $277 million increase to procure an additional three aircraft as Congress seeks to boost the Air Force's overall aircraft procurement, according to the fiscal year 2024 defense appropriations package released this week.

Congress poised to fund AETP in final FY-24 appropriations bill, just not for F-35

Congress wants to continue to fund the Air Force's Adaptive Engine Transition Program via a $280 million plus up in a looming fiscal year 2024 appropriations bill, despite the service asking for zero dollars for the option in its request for this year, according to documents released by lawmakers Thursday.

Chinook, Black Hawk get procurement boosts in FY-24 spending bill

Congress' fiscal year 2024 appropriations package adds more than $200 million for procurement of Chinook helicopters and more than $60 million for Black Hawk helicopters -- two of the Army's legacy aircraft.

Congress wants Air Force to justify its restructuring plan before making any changes

Congress plans to block the Air Force's restructuring plans unless the service can adequately justify the need, according to documents released today with the fiscal year 2024 appropriations conference bill.

Some Joint All-Domain Command and Control news:

INDOPACOM to test Joint Fires Network later this year, informing CJADC2 development

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command plans to test a developing battle management system connecting "sensors and shooters" across the joint force during a major exercise later this year, in a demonstration that could provide a roadmap for the Pentagon's Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) initiative.

By Georgina DiNardo
March 22, 2024 at 3:10 PM

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) announced his resignation today, effective April 19, from the House of Representatives, opening two key chairmanships and leaving Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) with a one-seat majority.

Gallagher, who has been a key advocate for defense modernization, announced last month that he would not be running for re-election, however, today said he will be ending his final term early.

“After conversations with my family, I have made the decision to resign my position as a member of the House of Representatives for Wisconsin’s Eighth Congressional District Effective April 19, 2024,” Gallagher posted today in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Gallagher’s departure leaves open the chairmanship of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, which he currently holds. It also leaves open his chairmanship on the House Armed Services cyber, information technologies and innovation subcommittee.

“I will forever be proud of the work I did on the Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, chairing the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, and chairing the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party,” his statement said. “It has truly been an honor to serve in the House of Representatives.”

Gallagher’s resignation leaves Republicans with a small majority of 217-213, meaning that if all Democrats vote together, Republicans can only allow one defection to maintain the majority. This tightens the margins even more on a majority that’s already been shrinking, most recently with Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) resigning Friday.

“I’ve worked closely with House Republican leadership on this timeline and look forward to seeing Speaker Johnson appoint a new chair to carry out the important mission of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party,” Gallagher wrote in his statement.

Gallagher said his office will continue operations to serve his constituents for the remainder of his term.

“Four terms serving Northeast Wisconsin in Congress has been the honor of a lifetime and strengthened my conviction that America is the greatest country in the history of the world,” his statement said.

By Tony Bertuca
March 22, 2024 at 12:02 PM

The House voted 286-134 to pass a massive $1.2 trillion, six-bill appropriations package that includes about $824 billion for the Defense Department.

The DOD topline is an increase of $26.8 billion above what Congress enacted in FY-23.

The Senate must pass the bill and sent it to President Biden to be signed before midnight to avert a partial government shutdown.

By Tony Bertuca
March 22, 2024 at 11:59 AM

President Biden intends to nominate Michael Sulmeyer to be the assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy, according to a White House announcement.

Sulmeyer is currently principal cyber adviser to Army Secretary Christine Wormuth. Prior to his appointment with the Army, Sulmeyer served in a variety of roles in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and at U.S. Cyber Command.

By Nick Wilson
March 22, 2024 at 10:50 AM

Contractors BAE Systems and ASC Pty Ltd have been selected to build the future class of SSN-AUKUS submarines under the trilateral security agreement between the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, according to a March 21 Pentagon announcement.

The two shipbuilders will lead industry efforts to design and build this future nuclear-powered attack submarine fleet, which is slated to begin delivering to Australia in the early 2040s. ASC Pty Ltd, an Australian company, will also serve as Australia’s “submarine sustainment partner,” according to the notice.

“The formation of these strategic partnerships with industry is a significant milestone in the AUKUS endeavor,” the announcement states. “It is a demonstration of our trilateral industry supporting the Optimal Pathway becoming a reality and will underpin Australia’s role as a capable security partner and responsible steward of a conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarine capability for decades to come.”

SSN-AUKUS will incorporate technology from all three nations with a design based on the U.K.’s next-generation submarine, currently under development with BAE. The vessels, which will also be fielded and operated by the U.K., “will be equipped for intelligence, surveillance, undersea warfare and strike missions, and will provide maximum interoperability among AUKUS partners,” the notice states.

In the interim, the U.S. plans to sell three Virginia-class submarines to Australia in the early 2030s, with the sale of used vessels expected in FY-32 and FY-35, followed by a newly constructed boat in FY-38.

With Virginia production rates falling below the U.S. Defense Department’s desired rate of two vessels per year, the Pentagon aims to invest over $11 billion in the domestic industrial base over the next five years.

Australia is also making substantial investments in its own industrial base, committing to spend at least $18 billion Australia dollars -- equivalent to about $11.7 billion in U.S. dollars -- on infrastructure upgrades over the next decade, according to the notice. Some of this funding will help establish nuclear-powered submarine construction facilities at Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide.

The U.K. plans to invest £3 billion -- about US$3.8 billion -- in its Defence Nuclear Enterprise, while contractor Rolls-Royce intends to double the size of its U.K.-based industrial site where all of Australia’s nuclear reactors will be built, the notice adds.

“The Optimal Pathway was always designed to create a stronger, more resilient trilateral submarine industrial base, supporting submarine production and maintenance in all three countries,” the notice states. “The announcements today are a testament to that -- the build of SSN-AUKUS will increase opportunities for industrial base collaboration, strengthen our collective industrial base capacity, and generate economic growth in defense and national security sectors in all three countries.”

By Tony Bertuca
March 21, 2024 at 4:15 PM

The Senate Armed Services Committee today voted 14-10 to advance the nomination of Melissa Dalton to be Air Force under secretary.

While a breakdown of the committee vote wasn't immediately available, Dalton, who currently serves as assistant secretary of defense for homeland security and hemispheric affairs, faced fierce criticism from Republican committee members during her Jan. 23 confirmation hearing over U.S. border security and the controversy surrounding a Chinese surveillance balloon.

During the hearing, Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) said: “I just don’t think you are the best person for the job right now.”

Committee staff did say all of the "no" votes were from Republicans.

Dalton now advances to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.

By John Liang
March 21, 2024 at 2:59 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the fiscal year 2024 defense spending bill, U.S. Southern Command's FY-25 unfunded priorities list and lots more.

House and Senate appropriators have at long last released the fiscal year 2024 defense spending bill:

Spending deal approves $320B in defense modernization; includes $1B DIU boost and Replicator money

After months of partisan haggling, Congress has released a final fiscal year 2024 appropriations package that would provide $320 billion for defense modernization, funds some aid to Ukraine, backs multiyear buys for several critical munitions and injects nearly $1 billion into the Defense Innovation Unit, according to documents released by lawmakers.

Document: FY-24 defense spending bill

U.S. Southern Command has submitted its FY-25 unfunded priorities list:

SOUTHCOM sends Congress $322M unfunded priorities request

U.S. Southern Command has sent Congress a list identifying $322 million in unfunded priorities for fiscal year 2025, according to a document obtained by Inside Defense.

Document: SOUTHCOM's FY-25 unfunded priorities list

Unmanned systems news:

ULTRA aims to upend UAS procurement paradigm, be long-endurance eyes over Pacific

The Defense Department is looking to acquire a handful of new high-flying, ultra-long endurance aircraft -- uncrewed systems with "point-and-click" command and control features that can fly up to seven days -- packed with sensors to provide commanders a flavor of intelligence that is crucial in modern conflict: high-quality, pattern-of-life behavior.

Hicks says she knows her reputation is 'on the line' with Replicator

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said today that she is comfortable being the senior-most visible Pentagon official charged with bringing the department's new Replicator program across the finish line, even if it means her own reputation is at stake.

Army will incorporate 'Blue UAS' into training and development

The Army will incorporate commercial-off-the-shelf unmanned systems, also known as Blue UAS, into future training and development initiatives, according to fiscal year 2025 budget documents.

Several senior defense officials spoke at the Ronald Reagan Institute's National Security Innovation Base Summit this week:

Next round of APFIT awards waiting on budget from Congress

A senior Pentagon official said today that the next round of awards through DOD’s Accelerate the Procurement and Fielding of Innovative Technologies, known as APFIT, is ready to be released, pending congressional budget approval.

Strategic capital chief says first funds for new DOD loan program to be issued in coming months

The head of the Defense Department's strategic capital office said the department, for the first time ever, now has a loan program that can help small companies, predicting the first funds could be licensed in the coming months.

The E-6 TACAMO Recapitalization Program (E-XX) is seeking to replace the current, aging E-6B aircraft used for the mission, which allows communication from almost every radio frequency:

Navy TACAMO receives big boost in FY-25 budget to start EMD phase

Funding to bolster communication systems for a Navy class of aircraft meant to survive nuclear warfare received a large push in the service's recently released fiscal year 2025 budget request, anticipating the program will move into the engineering and manufacturing development phase.

Using the Defense Department's Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve (RDER) program, a $64 million Army request will fund four projects that include communications, fires, sensors and expeditionary logistics to improve joint operations with the other services:

Army seeking $64M to fund RDER sensing, targeting and communications prototypes

The Army will seek $64 million in fiscal year 2025 to prototype communications, sensing and logistics capabilities under an accelerated Defense Department program, according to service budget documents released last week.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command chief Adm. John Aquilino said his independent assessment of INDOPACOM resourcing needed to deter China -- an annual assessment required of the organization's commander by the National Defense Authorization Act -- identified a requirement for a roughly $26.5 billion appropriation in FY-25:

Aquilino points to $11 billion shortfall in Pentagon budget compared to his independent assessment of INDOPACOM needs

A day after submitting an $11 billion unfunded priority list to Congress, the outgoing chief of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command recommended additional appropriations beyond the Pentagon's fiscal year 2025 budget request to bolster Guam missile defense and support "blind, see, kill" capabilities.

The Air Force revealed in its proposed fiscal year 2025 budget last week that it wants to all but kill the Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon program, with zero procurement or research and development dollars being requested for the weapon:

Air Force conducts last ARRW test, likely to shift focus to another kind of hypersonic missile

The Air Force on Sunday completed its final planned test for Lockheed Martin's AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon but hasn't said whether the test was successful, according to a statement the service sent to Inside Defense Wednesday.

The Army's FY-25 budget request seeks $5.5 million for an advanced technology project called Integrated Beam Control Systems Demo for C-CM, a new project in the service’s air and missile defense advanced technology portfolio:

Army eyes FY-25 new-start to extend range of IFPC laser against cruise missiles

The Army is looking to launch a new-start project in fiscal year 2025 to extend the effective range of directed-energy weapons -- seeking a capability to sharpen the aim of speed-of-light systems in general and specifically to give the laser-armed Indirect Fire Protection Capability a longer reach against cruise missiles.

In a memo issued late last month, Pentagon research and engineering chief Heidi Shyu directs the Defense Science Board to "identify options for mission defeat of difficult targets to ensure U.S. operational dominance for various scenarios":

DOD sets its sights on a new bomb to tackle deeply buried adversary targets

The Pentagon is calling on the Defense Science Board to investigate the nation's ability to locate and attack deeply buried adversary targets, such as bunker and tunnel facilities, according to a recent memo from Heidi Shyu, the defense under secretary for research and engineering.

Document: DSB terms of reference memo for study on capabilities for difficult target defeat

By John Liang
March 20, 2024 at 1:29 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Marine Corps' fiscal year 2025 unfunded priorities list, Navy shipbuilding plans, Army research and development spending and more.

We start off with the Marine Corps' FY-25 unfunded priorities list:

Marine Corps submits $2.4 billion unfunded priority list

The Marine Corps has sent Congress nearly $2.4 billion in "unfunded priorities" in a list topped by several quality-of-life investments that also includes over $1.2 billion for force design efforts and $492 million for military construction projects.

Document: Marine Corps' FY-25 unfunded priorities list

More Marine Corps news:

Third Marine Littoral Regiment to be stood up in Guam in 2025

A third Marine Littoral Regiment -- an important component of the Marine Corps' Force Design 2030 plan -- will be stood up in 2025 in Guam, according to Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl, commanding general of Combat Development Command and deputy commandant for Combat Development and Integration.

The Navy has turned in its long-awaited 30-year shipbuilding plan to Congress:

Navy submits shipbuilding plan proposing fleet and spending growth, while including budget-constrained alternative

The Navy has submitted a new 30-year shipbuilding plan to Congress, presenting a roadmap to grow the fleet through increased spending, while also providing an alternative, budget-constrained path that would maintain a more modest force size for the coming three decades.

Document: Navy's 30-year shipbuilding plan

More Navy shipbuilding news:

Carrier delays concern industry members, Congress

With the newly released fiscal year 2025 budget pushing procurement of the fifth Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier (CVN-82) back by two years from FY-28 to FY-30, members of the shipbuilding industrial base are sounding the alarm about the potential ramifications.

The Army's acquisition chief spoke this morning at an event in Washington hosted by the Ronald Reagan Institute:

Bush says Army wants more flexibility for R&D budget activity

Research and development is the "most restricted area of funding" in the budget and Army acquisition chief Doug Bush said today the service plans to ask for more flexibility to improve the acquisition process going forward.

Canada wants reciprocity with the Defense Department's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program:

Canadian government urges DOD to establish reciprocity between CMMC and Canadian cyber certification program

The Canadian government is asking the Defense Department to facilitate establishing reciprocity between the Pentagon's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program and Canada's new cybersecurity framework, in response to a DOD proposed rule to implement the U.S. initiative.

By Tony Bertuca
March 19, 2024 at 4:47 PM

Inside Defense is obtaining the fiscal year 2025 unfunded priorities lists that the U.S. military is required by law to send Congress. Subscribers can access them below.

Watch Inside Defense for further reporting as additional UPLs are obtained.

U.S. Africa Command

U.S. European Command

National Guard Bureau

U.S. Central Command

U.S. Strategic Command

Air Force


Under secretary of defense for research and engineering

Space Force


Marine Corps

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command

U.S. Northern Command

U.S. Southern Command

U.S. Space Command

U.S. Cyber Command

U.S. Transportation Command

By John Liang
March 19, 2024 at 1:45 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on INDOPACOM and NORTHCOM submitting their latest unfunded priorities lists, the Missile Defense Agency's Long Range Discrimination Radar and more.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command's fiscal year 2025 unfunded priorities list is broken down into about $3 billion for MILCON, $2.7 billion for procurement, $2 billion for research, development, test and evaluation, $1.2 billion for operations and maintenance and $1.6 billion for classified programs:

INDOPACOM sends Congress $11B unfunded priorities list

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command has sent Congress a list that identifies $11 billion in "unfunded priorities," including a range of weapon systems, munitions, sensors and military construction projects, according to a document obtained by Inside Defense.

Document: INDOPACOM's FY-25 unfunded priorities list

U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command also submitted an unfunded priorities list:

NORTHCOM/NORAD sends Congress $35M UPL

U.S. Northern Command and U.S. North American Aerospace and Defense Command have sent Congress an unfunded priorities list for fiscal year 2025 totaling less than $35 million for "foundational IT," according to a document obtained by Inside Defense.

Document: NORTHCOM/NORAD FY-25 unfunded priorities list

The Missile Defense Agency is seeking $100.8 million for the Long Range Discrimination Radar program in fiscal year 2025:

LRDR plans operational test do-over in FY-25 while readying early space detection role

The Defense Department, which last summer was unable to determine the efficacy of the Long Range Discrimination Radar's ability to detect ballistic missile targets, is pressing ahead with plans to begin early fielding of space domain awareness capabilities as soon as this year.

Document: MDA's FY-25 budget overview, justification books

The Pentagon's fiscal year 2025 budget request includes a new-start project to buy the lead vessel of the Medium Landing Ship class with an estimated average unit cost of $214 million, a mere five years after the then-Marine Corps commandant first publicly broached the idea for a "light amphibious warship":

Navy estimates $3.8 billion for new ship class to create anti-access problems for China

The Navy has unveiled a $3.8 billion blueprint to begin buying a new fleet of 18 relatively low-cost warships to ferry Marines -- particularly units armed with ship-killing guided missiles -- from shore to shore in a highly contested environment during a fight against China.

Although the Marine Corps' Amphibious Combat Vehicle program was fully funded to buy the "approved acquisition objective" of 104 vehicles in FY-25 and 105 in FY-26, procurement has now been reduced "due to 1) the loss of $102 million from the [Fiscal Responsibility Act] across FY-25 and FY-26, 2) the effects of inflationary increases, and 3) a much higher than anticipated vendor proposal," budget documents indicate:

Marine Corps prunes ACV procurement quantities, citing loss of buying power

The Marine Corps is trimming its Amphibious Combat Vehicle procurement plans for fiscal years 2025 and 2026, reducing acquisition quantities by 48 vehicles across the two years due to spending caps under the Fiscal Responsibility Act, inflation and a higher-than-expected vendor proposal.

A new Space Futures Command, which is part of the Air Force's "Reoptimization for Great Power Competition" plan, will be stood up to handle requirements generation and wargaming for the Space Force:

Official: Space Futures Command should assess use case for refueling, cislunar operations

Space Futures Command's first order of business should be determining the military worth of on-orbit refueling capabilities and cislunar operations, according to Lt. Gen. Shawn Bratton, deputy chief of space operations for strategy, plans, programs and requirements.

The M10 Booker combat vehicle will be fielded with the 10th Mountain Division, the 82nd Airborne Division and the 101st Airborne Division, starting in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2025:

Booker combat vehicle to be fielded with Army airborne and mountain units starting in 2025

The Army's newest combat vehicle will be fielded with two airborne units and a mountain unit beginning in 2025, according to a service official.

Last but by no means least, our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity have the latest on the Pentagon's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program:

Electric sector group seeks clarity on addressing CUI in DOD contracts with CMMC requirements

The Edison Electric Institute is making recommendations for how controlled unclassified information should be addressed in Defense Department contracts with Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification requirements in a manner that aligns with current practices for sharing sensitive data in the electric sector.

By Tony Bertuca
March 19, 2024 at 7:56 AM

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute has released a "National Security Innovation Base Report Card” that, citing ongoing congressional dysfunction, has given the U.S. government the grade of an “F-” for failing to provide the Defense Department and private sector with the predictability of timely and stable funding.

The report card, crafted in partnership with McKinsey & Co., defines an “F” grade as signifying a “catastrophic area of weakness that will have major implications for American technical, military, and/or economic leadership, if unaddressed.”

Congress is finalizing negotiations to vote this week on a final fiscal year 2024 appropriations package, but defense officials have said the delay in funding has hurt the department’s efforts to outpace China.

The report card also notes several “green shoots” of progress in defense modernization, like the Collaborative Combat Aircraft program, “have largely been negated by Congressional failure to pass a budget, which is limiting progress and the strength of demand signal to industry and investors.”

The Pentagon has also been unable to scale innovation at levels necessary to send clear demand signals to industry.

“While America still leads in innovation, disconnect persists between progress in digital technologies and scaled implementation,” the report card states.

The Reagan Institute has released the report card ahead of a Washington conference scheduled for Wednesday focused on defense innovation and competition with China.

The rest of this year, the report card states, will be “a litmus test for novel pathways (e.g., Replicator) to match rhetoric and action.”

The Pentagon has declined to provide details about the Replicator program, which aims to field thousands of “attritable,” autonomous drones, but Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks recently said the program seeks to spend $1 billion between FY-24 and FY-25.

Meanwhile, the report card gives the government high marks on “innovation leadership,” however, noting bright spots like the elevation of importance of the Defense Innovation Unit.

Still, the report notes that there have been “no new programs of record that address National Defense Strategy/NSIB priority areas” in the past year.

“Use of commercial tech is trending upwards for select portfolios (e.g., space), but the lack of new programs of record addressing NSIB priorities underscores the lack of scaled progress,” the report card states. “Failure to act on innovation priorities and pull through technologies at scale is materially affecting overall readiness levels and the ability to fight and win against a pacing competitor.”

The report card makes several recommendations, including that DOD and Congress fully fund Replicator in FY-25 and provide “sustained and predictable funding” across the future years defense program.

By John Liang
March 18, 2024 at 2:18 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the possibility of lawmakers breaking the budget caps set by a two-year spending deal, plus coverage from the SATELLITE 2024 Conference and more.

The Senate Armed Services Committee's top Democrat is open to breaking a GOP-championed spending cap if it means getting more money for Ukraine and other needs:

Reed says he's open to revisiting budget caps if Ukraine supp fails in House

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) said today that he would be open to possibly breaking the budget caps set by a two-year spending deal if House Republicans fail to pass a supplemental spending package to aid Ukraine and replenish U.S. weapons that have been transferred there.

The head of the Space Development Agency spoke this morning at the annual SATELLITE Conference:

Tournear: Planning for failure to deorbit could save SDA money

The Space Development Agency isn't interested in on-orbit refueling for its satellites, but it could drive down costs if it plans to contract with deorbiting services to mitigate risks on satellites at the end of their service lives, according to SDA Director Derek Tournear.

Army Maj. Gen. Mark Bennett, the service's budget director, spoke this morning during an Associated of the United States Army breakfast:

Army official: In the absence of supplemental, reprogramming 'an option' for ammo buys

The Army would be willing to consider a reprogramming request to help replenish its critical munitions stockpile in the event Congress doesn't pass the $95 billion supplemental spending package that's currently stalled, according to a service official.

Maj. Gen. Michael Greiner, deputy assistant secretary for the Air Force's budget, spoke last week about munitions spending:

Air Force official: Planned munitions spending in FY-25 will 'probably change'

Lawmakers have yet to agree on a fiscal year 2024 appropriations bill, threatening to undo a significant amount of the Air Force's planned multiyear missile procurement for FY-25, according to a top service official.

The Missile Defense Agency's fiscal year 2025 budget request seeks $218 million and proposes a $694 million reduction between FY-25 and FY-28 for the Glide Phase Interceptor project compared to the same period in the Pentagon’s FY-24 budget proposal:

MDA to pick GPI winner soon; leverage investment from Japan in planned co-development

The Pentagon is sharpening its plan for a clean-sheet hypersonic defense weapon system, revealing decisions to soon pick a winner in a Raytheon-versus-Northrop Grumman contest, trimming near-term funding by nearly $700 million that is expected to be offset by co-development investments from Japan and delaying fielding by a year to 2035.

By Tony Bertuca
March 18, 2024 at 5:00 AM

Senior defense officials are scheduled to speak at several congressional committee hearings this week. Meanwhile, Congress has until midnight Friday to avert a partial government shutdown.


Senior officials from the Space Force and National Reconnaissance Office speak at the Satellite 2024 Conference & Exhibition, which runs through Thursday.

The Association of the United States Army hosts senior service officials for a discussion on the budget.


The Atlantic Council hosts a discussion with Gen. Laura Richardson, chief of U.S. Southern Command.

DefenseOne hosts a discussion on the state of the Marine Corps.


The House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

The House Armed Services intelligence and special operations subcommittee holds a hearing on U.S. Special Operations Command.

The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing with the Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution Reform Commission.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institutes hosts its National Security Innovation Base Summit.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a discussion on U.S. defense industrial cooperation with Japan.

AFCEA Northern Virginia hosts its Space Force IT Day conference.


The House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the Middle East and Africa.

The House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee holds a hearing on U.S. strategic force posture.

DefenseOne hosts a discussion on the state of the Army.


The House Armed Services cyber, information technology and innovation subcommittee holds a hearing on artificial intelligence.

Part of the federal government, including the Defense Department, will experience a lapse in appropriations if Congress does not send a funding bill to be signed into law by President Biden before midnight.