The Insider

By John Liang
July 18, 2019 at 2:13 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program, Army Futures Command and more.

Just because lawmakers don't want a road-mobile ICBM replacement doesn't mean the Trump administration agrees:

Trump administration wants to retain option for road-mobile GBSD variant

The Trump administration wants to retain the option to develop a road-mobile variant of the new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, objecting to legislation that would extend through 2030 the current statutory ban on truck-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles -- which are more difficult for an adversary to target than silo-based weapons.

The Navy hasn't quite abandoned the idea of procuring a system that would defend aircraft carriers against enemy torpedoes:

Navy planning tech refresh contract for NIXIE

The Navy intends to award a contract to refresh a system aimed at protecting aircraft carriers from incoming torpedoes.

Two upcoming United Launch Alliance missions have been delayed:

Air Force delays two upcoming ULA launch missions due to component anomalies

The Air Force has delayed two upcoming United Launch Alliance missions after discovering an anomaly with a component shared by the company's Delta IV and Atlas V rockets.

The head of Army Futures Command briefed reporters at the Pentagon this morning:

Army Futures Command logs first year

Gen. Mike Murray, head of Army Futures Command, said today the command will be fully operationally capable as of July 31, just over a year since its creation.

Murray: Small businesses key to Army Futures Command success

Army Futures Command is looking to engage more with small businesses to achieve its goals.

The Air Force now estimates the cost to install 93 Family of Beyond-Line-of-Sight Force Element Terminals on certain aircraft to be $3.8 billion:

Air Force approves FAB-T acquisition strategy, new cost estimated at $3.8 billion

The Air Force has approved an acquisition strategy to buy at least 93 Family of Beyond-Line-of-Sight Force Element Terminals for an estimated cost of $3.8 billion, years after budget constraints drove the service to separate the airborne terminal acquisition effort from the overall program.

Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord this week spoke about the administration's opposition to Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system:

Pentagon says shifting F-35 supply chain after Turkey's ouster will cost $500M to $600M

The Pentagon's chief weapons buyer says it will cost between $500 million and $600 million to relocate the supply chain for more than 900 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter parts out of Turkey after the country's expulsion from the program.

The nominees to be the next defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff aren't wild about the idea to reorganize the Strategic Capabilities Office:

Esper, Milley decline to endorse SCO realignment under DARPA, pledge to review

At the prompting of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the presumptive next defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff both declined to endorse a controversial reorganization of the Strategic Capabilities Office under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, pledging to review the proposed change.

By Marjorie Censer
July 18, 2019 at 1:03 PM

BAE Systems' U.S. business said today it has made three new appointments to its senior leadership team.

Alice Eldridge has been promoted to general counsel, succeeding Ian Graham, who departed the company in May. She previously was chief counsel for BAE's platforms and services sector. Before joining BAE in 2012, Eldridge worked at Lockheed Martin.

BAE said Eldridge has also been named to the company's board of directors and will serve as board secretary.

Travis Garriss has been tapped to serve as chief information officer, a newly created position. BAE said he "will lead efforts to invest in and maintain critical systems to meet the company's expanding high-technology requirements, while preserving strong information security and governance."

Garriss previously was CIO and vice president of user and functional enablement at Honeywell.

Additionally, BAE said Leslie Jelalian has been named senior vice president of strategy and corporate development. She joined the company in 1988 and has served in multiple roles, including in engineering, program management and strategy development. Most recently, she was vice president of strategy and planning for the electronic systems business.

In her new role, Jelalian will be "focused on pursuing strategic growth through domestic and international business opportunities and identifying key initiatives to strengthen BAE Systems' portfolio with appropriate acquisitions, divestitures, and organic investments," BAE said.

By Tony Bertuca
July 18, 2019 at 12:56 PM

The Senate Armed Services Committee has voted to report the nominations of Army Secretary Mark Esper, picked to be defense secretary, and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, chosen to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to the full Senate.

Appearing before the committee Tuesday, Esper defended his record as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) criticized his past work for Raytheon.

Last week, Milley testified that he is worried about the consequences for the Defense Department if Congress is unable to reach a bipartisan budget agreement.

The full Senate is scheduled to consider Esper's nomination on Monday

By Tony Bertuca
July 18, 2019 at 10:03 AM

The Senate Armed Services Committee has scheduled a July 24 nomination hearing for David Norquist, who has been selected to serve as the Pentagon's deputy defense secretary.

Norquist, whom the Senate confirmed as Pentagon comptroller in June of 2017, has been serving as acting deputy defense secretary since Jan. 1.

Once the White House officially sends Norquist's nomination to the Senate, he will return to his duties as comptroller and await confirmation.

Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI) said they would work to expedite Norquist's nomination. They have also pledged to do so for Army Secretary Mark Esper, who has been tapped to serve as defense secretary.

"The deputy secretary of defense is the number-two civilian role at the Pentagon, so it's incredibly important to receive a formal nomination and confirm the nominee quickly," Inhofe said in a statement. "But while there is a sense of urgency, the committee must thoroughly consider nominations that we receive. Mr. Norquist has been performing the duties of deputy secretary for the past several months to maintain stability and continuity in the department. I believe Mr. Norquist is more than capable of fulfilling the requirements of this critical position."

Reed said it is important to begin moving on Norquist's nomination, as well as those of other senior Pentagon officials, as quickly as possible.

"I commend Chairman Inhofe for scheduling this hearing and look forward to discussing issues with Mr. Norquist," Reed said. "It is very troubling that there are almost 20 top jobs across the Pentagon and military that are vacant or being filled on a temporary basis. The president needs to realize this is a significant problem and quickly nominate qualified nominees for these key positions."

Traditionally, the committee waits seven days between receiving a formal nomination and voting out the nominee. But the committee is going to waive that rule for Norquist, just as it did for Esper, who is awaiting confirmation by the full Senate.

By Justin Katz
July 18, 2019 at 9:20 AM

The White House yesterday nominated Vice Adm. Michael Gilday, director of the Joint Staff, to become the next chief of naval operations as well as receive his fourth star, following the abrupt retirement of the officer previously tapped for that post.

Gilday’s upcoming selection was first reported by the Wall Street Journal earlier this month.

Former Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Moran had been confirmed to become CNO, but declined the position after it had surfaced that he maintained contact with a former Navy officer accused of sexual harassment.

By Sara Sirota
July 17, 2019 at 2:29 PM

An Air Force pilot for the first time flew Sikorsky's HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter on July 11, marking an important milestone as the service moves toward the program's production phase.

The 413th Flight Test Squadron conducted the test at Sikorsky's facility in Florida, according to an announcement posted today on the service's website.

"The crew performed an instrumentation and telemetry checkout with the control room, gathered basic engine start data and flew referred gross weight level flight speed sweeps between 40 knots and maximum horizontal speed," the notice states.

CRH achieved its first flight with a Sikorsky pilot in May and until now, had only undergone tests with the company's personnel.

Per today's notice, the 413 Flight Test Squadron's HH-60W operations are expected to begin at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, this fall. It does not say when a milestone C decision is scheduled, but as of May, the program anticipated a review in September.

The Air Force intends to procure 113 HH-60W helicopters through 2026 to replace the legacy HH-60G fleet, which supports personnel recovery.

By John Liang
July 17, 2019 at 2:10 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Pentagon's Fully Networked Command, Control and Communications effort, Textron's quarterly earnings, the ground-based training system for a new Navy training helicopter and more.

The office of the under secretary of defense for research and engineering will host classified "industry engagement days" later this month to discuss Fully Networked Command, Control and Communications:

Pentagon outlines strategy for 'fully networked' C3, plans meeting with industry

The Pentagon is preparing to meet with industry later this month to discuss its requirements for Fully Networked Command, Control and Communications, as the official in charge of the "FNC3" effort recently laid out his strategy for developing the military's future battle network.

Senior Textron executives this morning discussed the company's quarterly earnings results:

Textron says winning one or two new helicopter programs 'would drive significant growth' for Bell

Textron today reported lower quarterly sales and profit in its Bell Helicopter business, but said new opportunities from the Army and Marine Corps could provide growth.

The Navy last week held an industry day on the ground-based training system that will be used for the service's next-generation training helicopter:

Navy lays out notional schedule for TH-XX training system, contract award in mid-FY-20

The Navy intends to award a contract in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020 for the ground-based training system (GBTS) associated with its new training helicopter, the TH-XX, according to industry day slides.

The two contractors for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program's ongoing technology maturation and risk-reduction phase, Boeing and Northrop Grumman, will both compete for the engineering and manufacturing development contract:

Air Force releases RFP for GBSD engineering and manufacturing development phase

The Air Force has released a request for proposals for the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the service's intercontinental ballistic missile replacement system.

Here is more from yesterday's SECDEF nomination hearing:

Questioned about Raytheon ties, Esper and GOP point to Obama picks

Army Secretary Mark Esper, nominated to be defense secretary, today defended his time as a senior Raytheon executive as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) argued that his failure to commit to several of her recusal proposals "smacks of corruption, plain and simple."

By Justin Doubleday
July 17, 2019 at 12:28 PM

The Defense Department will host a pair of meetings in September to discuss statutory changes to the way DOD acquires technical data rights, according to a notice scheduled to be posted in tomorrow's Federal Register.

"DOD is hosting public meetings to obtain views of experts and interested parties in government and the private sector regarding amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement statutory amendments and revisions to policies and procedures for the acquisition of technical data and computer software and associated license rights," the notice states.

The first meeting will be held Sept. 6, while the second is scheduled for Sept. 16. Both will be hosted at the Mark Center Auditorium in Alexandria, VA.

The meetings will focus on two amendments to the DFARS. One amendment, "Validation of Proprietary and Technical Data," implements Section 865 of the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, according to the notice.

The second DFARS amendment, "Negotiation of Price for Technical Data and Preference for Specially Negotiated Licenses," implements both Section 835 of the FY-18 NDAA and Section 837 of the FY-19 NDAA, according to the notice.

DOD plans on publishing advanced notices of proposed rulemaking, including initial drafts of the proposed DFARS amendments, prior to the September meetings, the notice states.

After the two September events, the department plans to hold further meetings, according to the notice, to discuss more changes to technical data rights policy mandated by recent NDAAs.

In addition to the statutory changes, DOD is also considering recommendations made by the congressionally mandated "Section 813" panel on technical data rights, according to the notice. It does not elaborate on the Section 813 recommendations under consideration.

By Marjorie Censer
July 17, 2019 at 11:34 AM

SOS International said today it has named Heather Gray vice president of capture, proposals.

Gray previously was senior director of capture management at General Dynamics Information Technology. She has also worked at AT&T and CACI International.

By Mallory Shelbourne
July 17, 2019 at 11:22 AM

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger this week unveiled both his "intent" and "planning guidance" for the service now that he has officially assumed the top position.

In a tweet yesterday evening, Berger said the guidance would "serve as the roadmap for where the Marine Corps is going, and why."

The document breaks down five components the service plans to focus on in the coming years, which include warfighting, values, leadership, training and education, and force design.

For the warfighting portion, Berger wrote the service would evaluate new options for its amphibious fleet, including a potential "'hybrid' amphibious ship to transport landing craft and enable the ability to fight in a contested littoral."

"The amphibious fleet must be diversified in composition and increased in capacity by developing smaller, specialized ships, as a complement to the existing family of large multipurpose ships," the document reads.

"Doing so will improve resilience, dispersion, and the ability to operate in complex archipelagoes and contested littorals without incurring unacceptable risk," it continues.

The commandant briefly summarized the five concentrations in a separate "intent" document.

"My vision is for the Marine Corps to be manned, trained, and equipped as the world's premier naval expeditionary force-in-readiness; forward-postured with the fleets to deter conflict and respond to crisis; and globally recognized as an elite Corps of Marines of exceptional talent and virtue," Berger wrote.

Berger formally replaced Gen. Robert Neller as commandant last week. Neller retired after serving in the role since 2015.

Before becoming commandant, Berger led Marine Corps Combat Development Command.

By Marjorie Censer
July 17, 2019 at 9:20 AM

NCI Information Systems said this week it has named Chuck Hicks chief financial officer.

Hicks previously was CFO at Cresa Global and at SC3, a mid-size contractor focused on intelligence agencies. SC3 is now part of General Dynamics Information Technology, NCI said.

Hicks has also worked at ASRC Federal and Science Applications International Corp.

By John Liang
July 16, 2019 at 2:11 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has coverage of Army Secretary Mark Esper testifying this morning before the Senate Armed Services Committee on his nomination to become defense secretary, a new Defense Science Board report on 5G and more.

Army Secretary Mark Esper testified this morning before the Senate Armed Services Committee on his nomination to become defense secretary. Here's our coverage so far:

Esper says new 'high-agility' interceptors needed for hypersonic defense

The U.S. military requires new high-agility interceptors and a layer of space-based sensors to defend against hypersonic threats, the presumed next defense secretary told lawmakers today, shedding new light on Defense Department thinking about elements of a hypersonic defense system.

Esper: F-35 will not meet 80% mission-capable goal

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is not expected to meet the military's goal of 80% mission-capable rates by the end of fiscal year 2019 because of supply shortages, the president's nominee to be defense secretary told Senate lawmakers today, despite confidence from military officials earlier this year.

A new Defense Science Board report is out:

Science board pushes DOD to adopt '5G first' policy, develop secure technologies and infrastructure

The Defense Department should accelerate the deployment of fifth-generation wireless technologies and develop secure, hardened systems that account for 5G's inherent security risks, according to a new Defense Science Board report.

Document: DSB report on defense applications of 5G tech

Col. Chuck Destefani, a deputy in the Air Force's Chief Data Office, chatted with Inside Defense this week:

Air Force CDO revising data policy document, seeing growth in VAULT user base

While interest in the Air Force's VAULT data platform continues to grow, questions abound on the policy, roles and authorities for practitioners incorporating data into their work, leading the service to revise a key policy document that was released to the public in May.

Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski spoke with reporters at an Association of the United States Army breakfast this morning:

Ostrowski: CR would put pause on 81 new programs

Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, military deputy to the Army acquisition executive, said this morning a continuing resolution being considered by the White House would tie the Army's hands on modernization.

By Tony Bertuca
July 16, 2019 at 1:40 PM

President Trump said today the United States will no longer sell Turkey the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter because of the latter country's purchase of a Russian-made missile system.

"We are now telling Turkey . . . we're not going to sell you the F-35 fighter jets," Trump told reporters at the White House.

Turkey's decision to purchase the S-400 missile system now puts Russian technology within the borders of a NATO nation and threatens to further increase tensions with the United States.

The U.S. government is concerned that co-existence of the two systems in Turkey will expose Russian engineers to too much information about the F-35.

"It's a very tough situation that they're in. And it's a very tough situation that we've been placed in the United States," he said. "With all of that being said, we're working through it. We'll see what happens, but it's not really fair."

Earlier, Army Secretary Mark Esper, who has been nominated to become defense secretary, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Turkey’s decision to buy the S-400 is "disappointing."

"You can either have the S-400 or the F-35 -- you cannot have both," Esper said. "Turkey has been a long-standing NATO ally. It is very disheartening to see how they've drifted."

By Tony Bertuca
July 16, 2019 at 9:40 AM

President Trump intends to nominate the Pentagon's acting Chief Management Officer Lisa Hershman to serve in the post as a Senate-confirmed official.

Hershman has been in the acting role since Dec. 1, 2018, after former CMO Jay Gibson resigned.

Government officials say Gibson was forced out by then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who was underwhelmed by the office's effort to shave excess spending.

Pentagon officials say they expect Hershman's nomination to be addressed after those of Mark Esper, Trump's pick to be defense secretary, and David Norquist, the president's pick for deputy defense secretary.

Esper's confirmation hearing is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

By Sara Sirota
July 15, 2019 at 3:59 PM

The Air Force intends to release a request for proposals for production of the BLU-136B Next Generation Area Attack warhead around July 31.

According to a notice posted today on Federal Business Opportunities, the service plans to award two firm-fixed-price and indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts as part of a 100% small business set-aside procurement.

The service is looking for a total production quantity of up to 15,000 warheads, it said in an update to a request for information, originally published in February 2018. The weapon is intended for the U.S. government and potentially foreign military sales.