The Insider

May 11, 2018 at 2:34 PM | John Liang

Science Applications International Corp. is building a new platform integration and engineering center in Berkeley County, SC, the company announced today.

Slated to be open later this year, the new "Platform Innovation Center" will expand SAIC's operations in the Charleston region and will add approximately 200 jobs over the next five years, according to a company statement.

"SAIC has a long legacy of doing business in South Carolina and this investment underscores our long-term commitment to the state," SAIC CEO Tony Moraco said. "We are excited about the new opportunities this state-of-the-art facility will provide and to better enable us to deliver mission critical solutions to our customers."

The new facility is directly tied to the expansion of the company's work on systems engineering, ground tactical vehicles, logistics, and full life-cycle services and solutions. "It is a critical component of SAIC's long-term strategy," the company said.

May 11, 2018 at 1:58 PM | Courtney Albon

The Air Force Research Laboratory will hold its annual three-day Wright Dialogue with Industry event in July, a chance for companies to learn more about Air Force and NASA technology interests and key research and development efforts.

The event will run from July 17 to 19 in Dayton, Ohio, and will include briefings from Air Force Materiel Command, Air Force Research Laboratory leadership discussing the new Air Force Warfighting Integration Capability, the service's S&T 2030 initiative, and AFRL's budget outlook. Industry will also meet one on one with directorate leaders and command leadership.

May 11, 2018 at 1:27 PM | John Liang

House authorizers' passage of the FY-19 defense policy bill continues to dominate this Friday INSIDER Daily Digest.

Looks like most of the "Fourth Estate" will live to see another day:

Thornberry faces bipartisan resistance on 'Fourth Estate' cuts

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry's (R-TX) effort to cut Pentagon bureaucracy was met with bipartisan opposition this week, despite paring back his initial proposal, which would have eliminated seven non-military management agencies in the so-called "Fourth Estate."

House authorizers want a report on 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 House Armed Services Committee wants more KC-46 airborne refueling tankers to enter the Air Force fleet:

House lawmakers want Air Force to accept KC-46 deliveries at a faster pace

As the Air Force works with Boeing to assure timely delivery of the first new KC-46 tanker, House policymakers want the service to increase its planned aircraft acceptance rate to more than three new tankers per month.

Don't expect the Air Force to get new versions of its Open Skies Treaty sureveillance aircraft anytime soon:

Lawmakers aim to block OC-135B recap funding to rebuke Russia

The House Armed Services Committee wants to restrict funding for the Air Force's recapitalization of the two 57-year-old OC-135B aircraft until the Trump administration implements countermeasures to Russia's violations of the 1992 Open Skies Treaty, which allows 34 signatory countries to observe each other's domestic military operations.

The Navy wants to increase the level of training at Point Mugu Sea Range in California:

Navy plans to study effects of increased training at Point Mugu

The Navy intends to study the environmental effects of increasing the training tempo at Point Mugu Sea Range in California, a reflection of an increased operational tempo.

Document: Navy notice on Point Mugu Sea Range

May 11, 2018 at 10:59 AM | Justin Katz

Marine Corps Air Station New River, NC, will receive the first delivery of the CH-53K King Stallion next week, according to a May 11 service statement.

"The helicopter's arrival to New River enters it into the supportability test plan where U.S. Marines will conduct a logistics assessment on the maintenance, sustainment and overall aviation logistics support of the King Stallion," the service said.

The CH-53K King Stallion is the Marine Corps' new heavy-lift helicopter expected to carry three times the load of its predecessor, the CH-53E Super Stallion. The aircraft has the same logistical footprint as the Super Stallion, but is fly-by-wire and is software driven, the statement added.

May 11, 2018 at 10:00 AM | Justin Katz

Huntington Ingalls Industries announced yesterday it would partner with 3D Systems to accelerate the adoption of metal 3D printing into the shipbuilding industry, according to a company statement.

"The joint effort is expected to support future qualification and certification programs necessary to implement advanced manufacturing technology for the U.S. Navy," the statement said.

Further, as part of the agreement, 3D Systems delivered to Newport News Shipbuilding a high-performance metal 3D printer which is "capable of making three-dimensional, marine-based, alloy parts for castings or other fabricated parts, such as valves, housings and brackets," the statement said.

May 11, 2018 at 9:50 AM | Courtney Albon

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

1. As the Air Force works with Boeing to assure timely delivery of the first new KC-46 tanker, House policymakers want the service to increase its planned aircraft acceptance rate to more than three new tankers per month.

Full Story: House lawmakers want Air Force to accept KC-46 deliveries at a faster pace

2. The House Armed Services Committee is nudging the Air Force to invest more in its EQ-4B Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft, a modified version of Northrop Grumman's RQ-4 Global Hawk, in the chairman's mark of the fiscal year 2019 defense policy bill.

Full Story: Congress proposes more money for BACN, push for RQ-4 upgrades

3. Lawmakers this week approved an amendment to the House Armed Services Committee's fiscal year 2019 defense authorization bill that would fence all funding for the Air Force's Joint Space Operations Center Mission System upgrade and impose significant spending restrictions on the service's Enterprise Space Battle Management Command and Control research and development efforts.

Full Story: House authorizers propose spending limits for JMS, ESBMC2

May 10, 2018 at 1:27 PM | John Liang

The House Armed Services Committee's mark-up of the FY-19 defense policy bill dominates this Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest.

Funding for the Air Force's Joint Space Operations Center Mission System could be limited:

House authorizers propose spending limits for JMS, ESBMC2

Lawmakers this week approved an amendment to the House Armed Services Committee's fiscal year 2019 defense authorization bill that would fence all funding for the Air Force's Joint Space Operations Center Mission System upgrade and impose significant spending restrictions on the service's Enterprise Space Battle Management Command and Control research and development efforts.

House authorizers want more information on the military's push for multidomain command and control:

House lawmakers recommend MDC2 briefing requirement to proposed defense policy legislation

House lawmakers support the military's push for multidomain command and control but request more information on how the services will fund, experiment with and field those capabilities, according to a proposed amendment to the House Armed Services Committee's version of the fiscal year 2019 defense policy bill.

The Army's Soldier Borne Sensor program is under scrutiny by House authorizers:

House authorizers call for SBS thermal sensor report

House authorizers on Wednesday approved an amendment to the House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee's mark of the fiscal year 2019 defense policy bill requiring the Army to address concerns about its Soldier Borne Sensor platform.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis testified before Senate appropriators this week:

Mattis vows to make most of historic defense budget

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Wednesday the Defense Department would make budgetary history under his watch.

Document: Mattis' prepared testimony to House, Senate appropriators

The Air Force and National Science Foundation have formed a new partnership:

Air Force, National Science Foundation create partnership to advance joint research

Working groups comprised of Air Force and National Science Foundation staff have identified several areas of mutual interest where the two organizations can collaborate to advance those technologies, service Secretary Heather Wilson said this week.

Document: Air Force, NSF agreement for joint research partnership

May 10, 2018 at 10:58 AM | Tony Bertuca

The House Armed Services Committee passed its version of the fiscal year 2019 defense authorization bill by a 60-1 vote early this morning, setting up a final vote on the House floor in the coming weeks.

"For 57 straight years with presidents from both parties and congressional majorities from both parties, a defense authorization bill has been signed into law," Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) said. "It is so important, maybe even more now than it has been in the past, for our troops and for the world to see that unity in support of our men and women in uniform and in support of strengthening American national security. We had that unity in committee and I am hopeful we will see this same spirit of bipartisan cooperation when the bill comes to the House floor in the next few weeks."

The lone dissenting vote came from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a repeat of last year.

Watch Inside Defense for detailed reporting on the bill.

May 10, 2018 at 10:13 AM | Tony Bertuca

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

1. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday the Defense Department would make budgetary history under his watch. 

Full story: Mattis vows to make most of historic defense budget

2. The Defense Department has established a new line in its spending forecast to account for shifting $190 billion from war costs back into the base budget between fiscal years 2020 and 2023, according to the office of the Pentagon's comptroller.

Full story: DOD plans to shift $190B from OCO to base budget between FY-20 and FY-23

3. Defense Department Chief Management Officer Jay Gibson, who is in charge of the Pentagon's latest effort in a long history of initiatives to find business efficiencies that can be redirected to new spending on military readiness and weapon systems, says this time is different.

Full story: New chief management officer wants to redirect spending to 'tip of the spear'

May 9, 2018 at 5:26 PM | John Liang

Oshkosh Corp. announced today that retired Army Gen. Raymond Odierno has been appointed to the company's board of directors.

Odierno, who capped off his 39-year Army career as chief of staff, is one of only two U.S. military officers "to command at the division, corps and army level during the same conflict with distinction" since the Vietnam War, according to an Oshkosh statement.

"We are honored to have such a distinguished military leader join our board of directors," Oshkosh CEO Wilson Jones said in the statement. Odierno's leadership experience as well as his military and international expertise "will enhance our board and our ability to serve our military customers."

Odierno graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and holds master's degrees from North Carolina State University and the Naval War College. He is also a graduate of the Army War College.

May 9, 2018 at 4:09 PM | John Liang

Lockheed Martin announced today it has appointed retired Navy Vice Adm. Barry McCullough vice president of strategy and business development in the company's Rotary and Mission Systems business unit.

McCullough will be responsible for developing and executing the business strategy for the multibillion-dollar Rotary and Mission Systems portfolio, according to a company statement. He has "extensive experience in international and domestic business development and strategy, particularly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and India, two key countries for the corporation," Dale Bennett, executive vice president for Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, said in the statement.

McCullough joined Lockheed Martin more than six years ago, serving first as vice president of business development for New Ventures and then as vice president of business strategy. More recently he was the vice president of international business development.

McCullough served more than 36 years in the Navy. He is the former head of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet, as well as the deputy chief of naval operations for integration of capabilities and director of surface warfare.

May 9, 2018 at 3:09 PM | Justin Katz

The Navy is seeking information from industry about a common hull configuration for military cargo ships as the House Armed Services Committee moves to maintain pressure on the service to advance the platform's development.

Naval Sea Systems Command plans to hold an industry day May 23 about the Common Hull Auxiliary Multi-Mission Platform, also called CHAMP, and is seeking information from sources capable of building ships with certain notional characteristics, according to a May 7 Federal Business Opportunities notice.

Today, the House Armed Services Committee passed provisions to the fiscal year 2019 defense policy bill that would tie the development of the common hull into part of Military Sealift Command's budget and future Navy acquisitions. The bill is being marked up by the full committee today and will await a vote on the House floor.

One provision fences off 25 percent of Military Sealift Command's FY-19 budget until the Navy completes its capability development documents for CHAMP. The common hull design is a key part of the Navy's plan to recapitalize its surge sealift fleet by replacing "aging mission specific sealift and auxiliary designs to reduce life cycle costs, leverage reconfigurable force packages and stabilize the industrial base," according to the FBO notice.

The legislation further stipulates that the Navy could not enter into a contract for two used vessels -- a separate requirement fencing MSC's budget -- until CHAMP's capability development document is completed.

Some of the ship characteristics the Navy is interested in include a total roll-on/roll-off area of 200,000 to 400,000 square feet and an arrangeable enclosed deck area with 150,000 to 300,000 square feet. Deck area requirements are important because the surge sealift fleet's mission is to transport Army and Marine Corps ground operations equipment.

"Additional potential missions [for the common hull] include: sealift, aviation intermediate maintenance support, medical services, command and control and submarine tending," the FBO notice said.

May 9, 2018 at 2:23 PM | John Liang

The Pentagon's latest "Green Book," the RQ-4 Global Hawk, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program and more highlight this Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest.

The Pentagon's latest "Green Book" introduces a new budget subfunction called "OCO to base":

DOD plans to shift $190 billion from OCO to base budget between FY-20 and FY-23

The Defense Department has established a new line in its spending forecast to account for shifting $190 billion from war costs back into the base budget between fiscal years 2020 and 2023, according to the office of the Pentagon's comptroller.

Document: DOD's FY-19 'green book'


Unmanned systems coverage:

Lawmakers propose briefings on progress of enlisted RPA pilots, suggest enlisted could fly all aircraft

The House Armed Services Committee today passed an amendment to its version of the fiscal year 2019 defense policy bill requiring the Air Force secretary to brief lawmakers by spring 2019 on plans for allowing enlisted airmen to fly all remotely piloted aircraft, as well as on the possibility of creating a path for enlisted airmen to pilot any aircraft.

Lawmakers propose more money for BACN aircraft, push for RQ-4 communications upgrades

The House Armed Services Committee is nudging the Air Force to invest more in its EQ-4B Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft, a modified version of Northrop Grumman's RQ-4 Global Hawk, in the chairman's mark of the fiscal year 2019 defense policy bill.

A new DOD IG report on the Army's Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program is out:

DOD IG concerned with JLTV preparedness

The Pentagon's inspector general is concerned about whether the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle will be ready for full-rate production as the Army gears up for a final production decision in December, according to a newly released audit of the program.

Document: DOD IG report on the JLTV program


The Air Force will not likely release a report on an upcoming safety review's findings and noted the effort will not be led by a member of the air staff:

Air Force to conduct operational safety review following increase in aviation mishaps

The Air Force announced Tuesday it will conduct a one-day operational safety review across all of its flying and maintenance wings in response to a recent increase in Class A mishaps within the service.

May 9, 2018 at 10:27 AM | Courtney McBride

Several Army general officers were nominated for promotion on May 7.

Lt. Gen. Austin Miller, commander of Joint Special Operations Command and Joint Special Operations Command Forward, has been nominated for promotion to the rank of general. Miller has held his current position since March 2016.

While the Defense Department has not identified a billet for Miller, a potential destination is the top post at U.S. Special Operations Command. The current SOCOM commander, Gen. Tony Thomas, has held his post since March 2016. His predecessor, Gen. Joseph Votel, led SOCOM from August 2014 to March 2016 before departing to lead U.S. Central Command.

The Defense Department also announced yesterday that Air Force Lt. Gen. Scott Howell will assume command of JSOC.

Maj. Gen. Darsie Rogers has been tapped for a third star. Rogers heads Special Operations Command Central; he has held this position since October 2015.

Additionally, Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker, chief of the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq, has been nominated for promotion to lieutenant general. Becker previously served as commanding general of the Military District of Washington.

May 9, 2018 at 9:54 AM | Justin Katz

United Technologies Corp. subsidiary UTC Aerospace Systems announced today the components it's providing to the Marine Corps' heavy-lift helicopter will reduce the amount of regular maintenance the aircraft requires.

UTC Aerospace is supplying the power transmission system for the tail rotor, including drive shafts, couplings and bearing assemblies for the Marine Corps' CH-53K King Stallion.

"Unlike flexible disc couplings, which typically need to be replaced at regular intervals over the life of the aircraft, UTC Aerospace Systems couplings are qualified to last the life of the helicopter, further reducing required maintenance," according to a company statement.

The company also said the drive shaft system is constructed of titanium and high-strength aluminum to reduce corrosion and decrease weight.

Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky is the prime contractor for the CH-53K, which is the replacement for the CH-53E Super Stallion. The King Stallion is the Marine Corps' highly anticipated heavy-lift helicopter expected to carry three times the load of its predecessor. The program of record will purchase 200 helicopters.

Marine Corps officials have repeatedly insisted they can meet an initial operational capability deadline of December 2019 despite two Pentagon offices casting doubt.

The helicopter's first deployment is expected in the 2023-2024 time frame.