The Insider

June 12, 2018 at 10:28 PM | John Liang

The House Appropriations defense subcommittee has released the report accompanying the fiscal year 2019 defense spending bill.

Read the report, and the bill text -- released last week.

June 12, 2018 at 8:11 PM | Marjorie Censer

Science Applications International Corp. said today sales in its most recent quarter reached nearly $1.2 billion, up 7 percent from the same three-month period a year earlier.

The contractor's quarterly profit hit $49 million, flat from the prior year.

SAIC attributed the sales boost to new contracts supporting NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency and “increased orders in our supply chain portfolio.”

June 12, 2018 at 4:44 PM | Justin Doubleday

The State Department has approved a possible sale of Apache helicopter equipment and weapons to India.

The approved deal supports the direct commercial sale of six Apache AH-64E helicopters to India and includes 14 T700-GE-701D engines, four AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars, four Radar Electronic Units (REU) Block III and four AN/APR-48B Modernized Radar Frequency Interferometers, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced today.

The approved sale also includes 180 AGM-114L-3 Hellfire Longbow missiles, 90 AGM-114R-3 Hellfire II missiles, 200 Stinger Block I-92H missiles, seven Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensors, and 14 Embedded GPS Inertial Navigation Systems, according to DSCA.

The agency said the possible sale is worth as much as $930 million.

Last fall, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the U.S. military is working to strengthen ties with India and alluded to new efforts under the defense trade and technology initiative started by the Obama administration.

The Defense Department also recently decided to re-name its Asia-based geographic combatant command to "U.S. Indo-Pacific Command" to recognize the “increasing connectivity of the Indian and Pacific Oceans,” according to Mattis.

June 12, 2018 at 2:21 PM | Tony Bertuca

The Pentagon, in lieu of details or reaction concerning President Trump's unexpected announcement today that the United States would cease military exercises with South Korea, released a statement praising Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"The Department of Defense welcomes the positive news coming out of the summit and fully supports the ongoing, diplomatically-led efforts with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Our alliances remain ironclad, and ensure peace and stability in the region," Dana White, the Pentagon's chief spokeswoman said. "The Presidential summit outcome is the first step along the path to the goal: complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and a free and open Indo-Pacific."

Meanwhile, a GOP senator has said he is "troubled" by the president's pledge to cease military exercises with South Korea.

"I am troubled by the military cooperation comments made today," Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Armed Services and Appropriations committees, told reporters at a breakfast in Washington today.

Trump told reporters in Singapore he is “stopping the war games” with South Korea, citing the "tremendous amount of money" it would save the federal government.

"Plus, I think it's very provocative," the president said.

June 12, 2018 at 1:53 PM | John Liang

News on Army Futures Command leads off this Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest.

Inside the Army has the scoop on the final five possible locations for Army Futures Command:

Army picks five finalists for Futures Command location

With the Army's Futures Command stationing team having so far visited Boston, Raleigh and Austin as potential locations for its new headquarters, Inside Defense has learned that Philadelphia and Minneapolis are the two cities left awaiting site visits before the service makes its final decision.

Related Army Futures Command coverage:

General selected to lead Army Futures Command

Army senior leaders have selected Lt. Gen. Mike Murray to lead Army Futures Command, slated to reach initial operational capability in July of this year.

Meadows amendment on real property leases could affect AFC site

A proposed amendment to the House version of the fiscal year 2019 defense policy bill would impose new restrictions on real property leases by the Defense Department, and could add new hurdles to the headquarters selection for Army Futures Command.

House panel to impose reporting requirements on Army Futures Command

As the Army prepares to stand up a new organization tasked with overseeing modernization, a congressional committee is seeking further insight into the process.

The Defense Contract Audit Agency recently released its annual report:

DCAA reduced backlog in FY-17, says on track to eliminate it by Oct. 1

The Defense Contract Audit Agency in its annual report states it has reduced the backlog of incurred cost audits to an average age of 14 months and is set to clear the backlog this fiscal year.

Document: DCAA report to Congress on FY-17 activities

Air Force Special Operations Command is getting more Reaper squadrons:

AFSOC to stand up new MQ-9 squadron as Shaw AFB ramps up Reaper operations

Hurlburt Field, FL, is expanding its active-duty MQ-9 Reaper pilot workforce to allow for a second combat line under Air Force Special Operations Command.

House appropriators aren't on the same page as House authorizers when it comes to fast-attack submarines and aircraft carriers:

House appropriators leave out CVN-81, additional Virginia subs in mark

Two major House Armed Services Committee initiatives for fast-attack submarines and aircraft carriers are absent in the House Appropriations defense subcommittee's mark-up of the fiscal year 2019 military spending bill.

June 12, 2018 at 12:47 PM | Tony Bertuca

Senate deliberations on the $716 billion fiscal year 2019 defense authorization bill have stalled because of arguments among Republicans, according to Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK).

"Many times on legislation that comes to the floor, it's Democrat versus Republican and Republican versus Democrat," he said on the Senate floor. "This is one of the rare occasions where I guess all the problems we're having objecting to amendments are all on the Republican side."

Inhofe explained that Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Mike Lee (R-UT) are using their powers under the Senate's procedural process to block further consideration of the defense authorization bill until their individual amendments are heard.

"Each one is blocking unless he receives a vote," Inhofe said.

However, Inhofe said, other GOP senators who oppose the amendments are saying they will use their powers to halt consideration of the bill in the event amendments from Corker, Paul and Lee receive votes.

Corker's amendment would require congressional approval for tariffs, while Paul and Lee have proposed similar amendments prohibiting indefinite detention of enemy combatants. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have said they will halt the bill if the indefinite detention amendments receive votes.

Inhofe pointed out that he and his Democratic counterpart Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) have no disagreements on the process and are ready to continue with a package of 45 amendments that have been approved for votes.

"There's nothing that we can do except get them together to decide," Inhofe said. "That's where we are."

June 12, 2018 at 11:23 AM | Tony Bertuca

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) said today he is unsettled by President Trump's promise to cease military exercises with South Korea as a concession to North Korea.

"I am troubled by the military cooperation comments made today," Perdue, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Appropriations committees, told reporters at a breakfast in Washington.

Trump told reporters in Singapore that the U.S. military would be "stopping the war games" with South Korea, citing the "tremendous amount of money" it would save the federal government.

"Plus, I think it's very provocative," the president said.

Perdue, meanwhile, said that Trump's words should not be taken at face value, adding that lawmakers should wait until they hear from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"The idea that the president has said this might be on the table doesn't mean that it's a signed part of any agreement," Perdue said. "He's totally capable of backing up. I wouldn't be surprised if it weren't part of the final deal, frankly, if they don't get the right reaction from North Korea."

Trump also reiterated his desire to "bring home" the 32,000 U.S. soldiers stationed in South Korea.

"At some point, I have to be honest -- and I used to say this during my campaign, as you know, probably, better than most -- I want to get our soldiers out," he said. "I want to bring our soldiers back home. We have, right now, 32,000 soldiers in South Korea, and I’d like to be able to bring them back home.  But that’s not part of the equation right now. At some point, I hope it will be, but not right now."

Perdue said the Senate, which is negotiating its versions of the fiscal year 2019 defense authorization and appropriations bills, might use legislative tactics to ensure continued military cooperation with South Korea.

He also said that any deal with North Korea should be considered a treaty that needs to be ratified by Congress.

"I have never agreed with 100 percent of what this president says off the cuff like that," Perdue said. "I personally think that our commitment to South Korea cannot be wavering or even questioned at this point in time."

June 12, 2018 at 10:04 AM | Marjorie Censer

ManTech International said today it has named Matt Tait president of its mission solutions and services group, effective July 1.

"In this role, Tait will lead the company's mission-critical support to national security and federal civilian departments and agencies," the contractor said.

Tait succeeds Dan Keefe, who has led the group for five years and is retiring. Tait will join ManTech on June 19, but take over MSS on July 1.

He joins ManTech from Accenture, where he served as senior managing director and defense lead. From 2010 to 2015, he was civilian health lead at Accenture, according to ManTech.

Tait also spent a decade as an officer in the Navy.

June 11, 2018 at 5:34 PM | Tony Bertuca

The White House, citing a compressed legislative schedule, is opting to withhold comment on the Senate's version of the fiscal year 2019 defense authorization bill but plans to do so in the near future, according to a statement from the Office of Management and Budget.

The Senate is scheduled to begin debating the $716 billion bill tonight.

"Given the short time frame between public release of the bill and Senate action, the administration is not presenting detailed views at this time," OMB said. "The Administration looks forward to presenting its views on S. 2987 in the near future and working with the Congress to address them."

Meanwhile, the bill includes provisions that could prove thorny for the administration, such as a major military roles and missions review that could upend a host of the Pentagon's top weapons programs.

June 11, 2018 at 2:50 PM | Marjorie Censer

MAG Aerospace announced this month it has teamed up with private-equity firm New Mountain Capital as it pursues growth.

Fairfax, VA-based MAG Aerospace specializes in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, including operations, training, technical services and specialty aviation services. The company operates more than 200 aerial platforms, and counts U.S. defense and civilian agencies, intergovernmental organizations and allied governments among its customers.

"New Mountain, a New York-based private equity firm, identified MAG through a proactive focus on the federal services industry," MAG said in a statement. "New Mountain is providing MAG with significant financial and strategic resources to support future growth initiatives which include launching new contracts and pursuing acquisitions."

June 11, 2018 at 1:55 PM | John Liang

Nuclear weapons and the fiscal year 2019 defense authorization bill dominate this Monday INSIDER Daily Digest.

The military's nuclear command, control and communications should be run by one person, according to Senate authorizers:

Senate proposes one person should govern NC3 programs, suggests launching dedicated career field

As Defense Department leaders study how best to organize the military's nuclear command, control and communications, Senate authorizers have proposed a slew of changes to that portfolio's oversight.

The Senate Armed Services Committee wants a conventional variant of the Long-Range Standoff Weapon developed earlier:

Senate's defense policy bill proposes conventional LRSO fielding deadline

Senate authorizers want to tie a congressional requirement to develop a conventional variant of the Long-Range Standoff Weapon to initial operational test and evaluation, not initial operational capability as current law stipulates.

Related, recent LRSO news from the House version of the FY-19 defense policy bill:

Thornberry proposes spending boost for GBSD, LRSO in FY-19

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee wants to grant the Air Force's wish to boost funding for its nuclear missile modernization programs, which the service included in its fiscal year 2019 unfunded requirements list submitted to Congress earlier this year.

House lawmakers keep pushing for conventional LRSO despite Air Force opposition

Congress is doubling down on its position that the Air Force should pursue a conventional variant of the Long-Range Standoff Weapon, adding new language in the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee's mark of the fiscal year 2019 defense policy bill.

Senate authorizers want more information from the Army on how the service plans to equip and field future armored brigade combat teams:

Senate panel wants report on future of armored brigade combat teams

Senate lawmakers are asking how the Army plans to equip and field future armored brigade combat teams in order to fit the requirements in the National Defense Strategy.

The Army should think about setting up a multiyear procurement strategy for Stryker A1 vehicles:

Senate panel questions Stryker production funding

The Senate Armed Services Committee is recommending the Army consider a multiyear procurement strategy for Stryker A1 vehicles, which include the Double-V Hull upgrade.

The Air Force says its OCX cybersecurity defenses are "robust":

Air Force, Raytheon complete two OCX cybersecurity assessments

The Air Force confirmed last week it has completed two key cybersecurity tests on the Next-Generation GPS Operational Control Segment, telling Inside Defense the tests validate that the service has "a robust cybersecurity implementation on the OCX system."

June 11, 2018 at 10:12 AM | Justin Katz

Two MQ-4C Tritons have begun operational testing focused on the aircraft's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities at Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, CA, according to a Navy spokeswoman.

"Specifically, this test will assess persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations. [Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1]  will test the system's capability to contribute to the common operating picture in the open-ocean and littoral environments," Navy spokeswoman Jamie Cosgrove told Inside the Navy in a June 8 written statement.

The Tritons became operational last month as a part of the Navy's first unmanned patrol squadron VUP-19, ITN reported.

The testing is in preparation for the aircraft's deployment to Guam later this year. The aircraft are being deployed to Guam based on operational need, Cosgrove said.

June 11, 2018 at 8:08 AM | John Liang

Some must-reads from this week's issue of Inside the Navy:

1. The Senate Armed Services Committee's version of the fiscal year 2019 defense policy bill adopts several provisions from a surface warfare reform bill introduced earlier this year by an influential Republican senator.

Full story: Senate authorizers include most of Wicker's surface warfare reform provisions

2. The Marine Corps would like to purchase a shipboard-capable, unmanned aerial system that can operate from both a large-deck amphibious assault ship and a Navy destroyer for roughly $25 million a copy, according to a senior official.

Full story: Walsh: Marine Corps pegs MUX at roughly $25 million per air vehicle

3. Senate lawmakers are calling for the Marine Corps to purchase a medium-altitude, long-endurance Group 5 unmanned aerial system because the lawmakers believe the RQ-21 Blackjack has repeatedly proved to be ineffective.

Full story: Lawmakers direct USMC to purchase interim Group 5 UAS capability

4. Senate lawmakers want the Marine Corps to follow the Air Force's lead in buying a fleet of light attack jets because members believe the Marines are too reliant on the Joint Strike Fighter.

Full story: Senate authorizers push Marines to purchase light attack aircraft

June 11, 2018 at 7:57 AM | John Liang

Some must-reads from this week's edition of Inside the Army:

1. The Senate Armed Services Committee is seeking to impose limits on the Army's funding for the Next Generation Combat Vehicle, which is in the experimental prototype phase.

Full story: Senate lawmakers fence NGCV funding in FY-19 bill

2. A Senate panel is recommending a $500 million increase to the Army's fiscal year 2019 budget to quickly field a new cruise missile defense capability -- the single largest adjustment to the service's proposed procurement spending by the defense authorization committee -- in a move intended to produce two interim, fixed-site defensive batteries by 2020.

Full story: Senate panel, concerned by IBCS delays, directs new CMD program

3. Two cities so far are confirmed as top contenders for the location of Army Futures Command -- Raleigh, NC, and Boston.

Full story: Army names two Futures Command location finalists

4. The Senate has begun debate on legislation that could force a broad review and restructuring of the Pentagon's top acquisition programs as the U.S. military wrestles with plans to prioritize global competitions with China and Russia over counterterrorism missions in the Middle East.

Full story: DOD's top-tier weapon programs could be swept up in massive military review

June 11, 2018 at 5:00 AM | Tony Bertuca

The full Senate is expected to debate the fiscal year 2019 defense authorization bill this week, while the House Appropriations Committee will vote on the defense spending bill.

Tuesday

The Association of the United States Army hosts a breakfast with the assistant chief for installation management.

Leidos is set to present at a conference hosted by Stifel.

Science Applications International Corp. executives are slated to discuss the company's quarterly earnings.

NextGov hosts its Combating the Threat from Within conference.

Wednesday

The House Appropriations Committee debates the fiscal year 2019 defense spending bill.

The House Armed Services tactical air and land subcommittee holds a hearing on defense aviation safety mishaps.

Engility and KeyW are slated to present at the Stifel conference.

Thursday

The House Armed Services readiness subcommittee holds a hearing on Navy and Air Force depot policy issues and infrastructure concerns.

Senior defense officials are scheduled to speak at the Women in Defense Conference.

The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association hosts a cybersecurity luncheon.