The Insider

By Marjorie Censer
March 11, 2019 at 6:47 PM

Science Applications International Corp. said today Tony Moraco, the company's chief executive, will retire July 31, and Nazzic Keene, SAIC's chief operating officer, will succeed him.

Keene joined SAIC in 2012 and most recently oversaw the merger of Engility. Before becoming COO, she was president of SAIC's global markets and mission sector and senior vice president for corporate strategy and planning.

Moraco has led SAIC since 2013, when the company was split into two parts: SAIC and Leidos.

By Courtney Albon
March 11, 2019 at 6:39 PM

The Air Force has approved a corrective action plan for the Boeing-built KC-46 tanker after foreign object debris was discovered on the company's production line last month.

"A KC-46 Pegasus will be delivered to Altus [Air Force Base], Oklahoma, today following completion of Foreign Object Debris (FOD) sweeps on Boeing KC-46 aircraft going through the acceptance process," Air Mobility Command spokeswoman Rose Riley said in a March 11 statement. "The Air Force Service Acquisition Executive and AMC Commander received an outbrief of the Defense Contract Management Agency-approved Corrective Action Plan March 11. As directed by the CAP, subsequent deliveries will occur as Boeing successfully completes each aircraft's inspections and actions assigned from today's review."

Air Force acquisition executive Will Roper told reporters March 1 the service was waiting for additional information from Boeing about improvements to its FOD-prevention processes before approving additional deliveries.

The Seattle Times first reported the acceptance pause, which was put in place in early February after eight tools were found in Air Force tankers.

By John Liang
March 11, 2019 at 2:02 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has some preliminary defense budget numbers for fiscal year 2020.

The White House has released a summary of its fiscal year 2020 budget request. Here's some of the defense-related news from it:

Pentagon will make it easy for lawmakers to deflate massive OCO budget

The Pentagon may be submitting a fiscal year 2020 budget requesting $545 billion in base spending and a controversial $164 billion Overseas Contingency Operations account, but government sources said lawmakers will be able to easily move back $98 billion in OCO funds that actually belong in the base budget.

OMB budget summary confirms 110 new fighters in DOD's FY-20 request

The Defense Department will request funding for 110 new fighter aircraft in the fiscal year 2020 budget request, according to the White House, quantities that appear to align with reports that the Pentagon will seek to reduce F-35 procurement and buy eight new F-15X aircraft.

Army to seek funding in FY-20 to launch humvee recap program

The Army's fiscal year 2020 budget request will include $7.5 million in research and development funding to launch a new program that aims to modernize the balance of the service's humvee fleet -- about 50,000 vehicles -- that will not be replaced by the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.

(Stay tuned to Inside Defense this week for comprehensive coverage of the Pentagon's FY-20 budget request.)

In case you missed it late last week, here's some news on DARPA:

DARPA 'emphasizing execution,' using other transactions in pursuit of $2B AI Next advances

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is seeking to quickly pursue advances in artificial intelligence through 90-day competitions for other transaction agreements as part of its $2 billion AI Next campaign.

Also, Inside Defense recently chatted with the head of LMI:

Zolet: LMI Ventures will look to early-stage companies to find relevant technology

LMI Ventures, the new venture capital fund created by LMI, will focus on key technology areas that could benefit the company's customers and seek to make small bets in early-stage companies, according to LMI's chief executive.

By Tony Bertuca
March 11, 2019 at 1:33 PM

The Trump administration's fiscal year 2020 budget proposes expanding authority to provide foreign military financing loans to boost the sales of U.S. weapons abroad.

“New for 2020, the budget requests interest rate flexibility for the FMF direct loan program to make U.S. defense equipment a more competitive and more affordable option for partner countries,” according to a summary released today by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The budget also requests authority to provide partial U.S. government-backed loan guarantees to “incentivize the private sector to fill the defense financing gap, reducing the risk to U.S. taxpayers,” according to OMB.

The expanded FMF loan program would “complement” the budget's request for $5.4 billion in FMF grant assistance “so that America can still be the defense supplier of choice for partner countries for which loans are not the best option,” OMB states.

Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper, director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, said in October 2018 the government was “exploring flexible financing options” for U.S. allies seeking to procure weapon systems “at a much more economical price.”

U.S. arms sales, meanwhile, have been on a decidedly upward swing. In FY-18, the government secured $55.6 billion in sales, a 33 percent increase above the $41.9 billion secured in FY-17, which was a 25 percent increase above the FY-16 total.

By Marjorie Censer
March 11, 2019 at 12:19 PM

The White House said today the fiscal year 2020 Pentagon budget includes $286 million for DOD efforts “to ensure a robust, resilient, secure, and ready manufacturing and defense industrial base,” following the release of a report last year.

The Pentagon in October issued a defense industrial base report spurred by an executive order.

In a White House overview released today, the administration said the Pentagon will use the funds to follow through on the report's recommendations.

“DOD’s investments to implement this comprehensive, Government-wide effort demonstrate that manufacturing and the defense industrial base are vital not only to the Nation’s economic security, but also to national security,” the document states.

By Marjorie Censer
March 11, 2019 at 11:38 AM

Science Applications International Corp. said today it has hired Bob Ritchie to lead its software practice, effective immediately.

He replaces Kevin Ikeda, who retires this month.

“In this role, Ritchie will be responsible for strategy and investment in software solutions; development, integration, and sustainment of software applications; and migration of legacy code and apps to new environments,” the company said, noting it employs nearly 3,000 software professionals.

Ritchie previously was director of software engineering for Capital One and “helped lead the migration of 400 distributed apps from on-premises to Amazon Web Services,” according to SAIC.

Ritchie started his career as a tech lead for SAIC.

By Tony Bertuca
March 11, 2019 at 9:06 AM

The Pentagon will request a $718 billion budget for fiscal year 2020, with a $545 billion base budget, a $164 billion Overseas Contingency Operations account and a $9 billion "emergency fund" meant to "backfill" reprogrammed money for a wall on the southern border and hurricane relief, according to senior government officials.

The $718 billion Defense Department request is part of a $750 billion overall national security budget expected to be unveiled today by the White House Office of Management and Budget and briefed Tuesday at the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, senior defense officials are scheduled to testify about the budget request this week, including Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan, who will appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

Watch Inside Defense for continuous coverage.
 

By Tony Bertuca
March 11, 2019 at 5:15 AM

The Defense Department is scheduled to submit its budget to Congress this week and senior defense officials will be testifying on Capitol Hill.

Monday

The Hudson Institute hosts an event on China's hypersonic missile advances and the U.S. response.

Tuesday

The Pentagon rolls out its fiscal year 2020 budget featuring briefings from senior defense officials.

The Senate Armed Services emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee holds a hearing on artificial intelligence initiatives within the Defense Department.

The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association hosts the Army Signal Conference in Springfield, VA.

Wednesday

The House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing with the chief of U.S. European Command on the national security challenges and military activities in Europe.

The House Armed Services readiness subcommittee holds a hearing on ensuring military installation resilience.

The House Armed Services emerging threats, capabilities and intelligence subcommittee holds a hearing with the chief of U.S. Cyber Command.

Senior lawmakers and officials from DOD are scheduled to speak at the McAleese/Credit Suisse conference in Washington.

The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee holds a hearing with senior Air Force officials about the service's budget request.

Thursday

Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan and other senior defense officials will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the FY-20 defense budget.

The House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee holds a hearing on the Air Force budget request.

Army Under Secretary Ryan McCarthy speaks at the Brookings Institute about the future of the Army.

Friday

Will Roper, the Air Force's acquisition chief, speaks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies about innovation.

By John Liang
March 11, 2019 at 5:10 AM

Check out the top four stories in this week's issue of Inside the Navy:

1. While standing up Program Executive Office Columbia, the Navy is also shifting roughly a dozen uniformed and civilian personnel among acquisition leadership posts overseeing the surface and subsurface fleets.

Full story: Standing up new PEO only one of multiple personnel swaps planned at NAVSEA

2. Phyllis Bayer, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment, has resigned her position, the Navy announced.

Full story: Bayer, ASN EI&E, resigns one day after Spencer commits to not dissolving position

3. The chief officer responsible for transporting military supplies and personnel around the world said sealift is his command's top readiness issue.

Full story: TRANSCOM chief ranks sealift as top readiness concern

4. The Government Accountability Office recently found that the Pentagon has returned more than $80 billion in canceled funds to the U.S. Treasury since fiscal year 2013, drawing criticism from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who says the unspent cash raises questions about defense budgets that continue to climb year after year.

Full story: DOD draws fire from Sanders for returning $80B in funding between FY-13 and FY-18

By John Liang
March 11, 2019 at 5:05 AM

Here are the top four stories from this week's edition of Inside the Army:

1. The Army's fiscal year 2020 budget request will include $7.5 million in research and development funding to launch a new program that aims to modernize the balance of the service's humvee fleet -- about 50,000 vehicles -- that will not be replaced by the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.

Full story: Army to seek funding in FY-20 to launch humvee recap program

2. The Army's chief information officer/G-6 is planning a new effort to update the Army's enterprise network more quickly, called "Enterprise IT As A Service," and will soon stand up a cloud program office.

Full story: Army to adopt enterprise IT 'as-a-service' model, create cloud program office

3. The Army intends to use a cooperative research and development agreement to obtain 50 mm ammunition for testing in support of the Next Generation Combat Vehicle.

Full story: Army to use CRADA for NGCV ammunition development

4. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) tried today to be more supportive of acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan than he has been in the past, but said he wishes former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis would return to the Pentagon.

Full story: Inhofe softens on Shanahan; supports plan to 'backfill' MILCON funds tapped for wall

By Sara Sirota
March 8, 2019 at 5:09 PM

Preston Dunlap joined the office of the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics as chief architect this week, according to service spokeswoman Capt. Hope Cronin.

Dunlap's first duty will be to lead the advanced battle management system in support of multidomain command and control objectives.

“The Chief Architect position [has] been established by SAF/AQ to enable the development of enterprise-wide combat capability through families of systems,” the statement said. “He will create and manage family of systems trade space, design margins, and define interfaces and standards to ensure interoperability across domains and permissive to highly contested environments.”

ABMS will replace the current E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, which the Air Force intends to keep operational through the mid-2020s. The transition to ABMS supports the Pentagon's renewed focus on great power competition, as outlined in the 2018 National Defense Strategy.

The Air Force's acquisition chief Will Roper said in September that the trade requirements of ABMS mandates a "different kind of person in acquisition that acts like an architect that's an analyst.”

Dunlap previously served as national security analysis mission area executive at the Johns Hopkins University applied physics laboratory, which he joined in 2014 as national security fellow. Prior to this work, he served more than 11 years as a member of the senior executive service in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he held such positions as director of program analysis and chief of staff to the director of cost assessment and program evaluation.

By John Liang
March 8, 2019 at 3:01 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on humvee modernization funding, the new venture capital fund LMI Ventures, DARPA, U.S. Transportation Command and more.

The Army wants money to modernize a bunch of humvees:

Army to seek funding in FY-20 to launch humvee recap program

The Army's fiscal year 2020 budget request will include $7.5 million in research and development funding to launch a new program that aims to modernize the balance of the service's humvee fleet -- about 50,000 vehicles -- that will not be replaced by the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.

Inside Defense recently chatted with the chief executive of LMI:

Zolet: LMI Ventures will look to early-stage companies to find relevant technology

LMI Ventures, the new venture capital fund created by LMI, will focus on key technology areas that could benefit the company's customers and seek to make small bets in early-stage companies, according to LMI's chief executive.

DARPA is expected to unveil a plan in the Pentagon's fiscal year 2020 budget request to pour $2 billion into AI research and development over the next five years:

DARPA 'emphasizing execution,' using other transactions in pursuit of $2B AI Next advances

The Defense Advance Research Projects Agency is seeking to quickly pursue advances in artificial intelligence through 90-day competitions for other transaction agreements as part of its $2 billion AI Next campaign.

The head of U.S. Transportation Command testified before Congress this week:

TRANSCOM chief ranks sealift as top readiness concern

The chief officer responsible for transporting military supplies and personnel around the world said sealift is his command's top readiness issue.

Document: Senate hearing on EUCOM, TRANSCOM

The head of the Missile Defense Agency recently responded to a query from Inside Defense on which companies have proposed conceptual designs for a Space Sensor Layer:

MDA identifies nine companies competing for Space Sensor Layer

The Missile Defense Agency has identified the nine companies that proposed conceptual designs for a Space Sensor Layer, establishing a competitive field for a network of orbiting satellites optimized to give U.S. military commanders a long-desired capability: the means to continuously track long-range missiles from launch to impact -- a tool deemed essential to defend against hypersonic threats.

By Courtney Albon
March 8, 2019 at 2:55 PM

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson has submitted her resignation, after being selected as the 'sole finalist' to serve as the president of the University of Texas at El Paso.

Reuters first reported the news of Wilson's departure.

A University of Texas Board of Regents spokeswoman confirmed to Inside Defense that Wilson had been chosen as the only finalist for the position. A formal decision on her selection will come at the end of the month -- after a mandatory 21-day waiting period.

“Upon a favorable vote by the University of Texas Board of Regents, the Secretary of the Air Force, Heather A. Wilson, will resign as Secretary of the Air Force effective May 31, 2019,” Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in a statement. “This will allow sufficient time for a smooth transition.”

Wilson was confirmed as Air Force secretary in May 2017. She said in the March 8 statement she is “proud of the progress that we have made restoring our nation's defense.”

“We have improved the readiness of the force; we have cut years out of acquisition schedules and gotten better prices through competition; we have repealed hundreds of superfluous regulations; and we have strengthened our ability to deter and dominate in space,” she said.

Since the beginning of her tenure, Wilson has advocated for the space mission to remain within the Air Force and has led the service as it pushes to speed up acquisition time lines and streamline authorities. She oversaw the cancellation of the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System and pushed for increased investment in science and technology programs.

House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) praised Wilson for her service and said he hoped she would one day be selected to lead the Defense Department as its first female secretary.

“Heather Wilson is a dear friend and former colleague of mine,” Turner said. “The importance of her incredible work in the Air Force cannot be overstated. It is not surprising to me that Heather would be sought out by other organizations looking for her strong leadership. I wish Heather all the best in her future endeavors. She will be deeply missed. Hopefully, someday we can see Heather Wilson as the first female secretary of defense.”

Follow Inside Defense throughout the day for more on this story.

By Justin Katz
March 8, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Phyllis Bayer, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment, has resigned her position, the Navy announced today.

"While Navy leadership has been recently evaluating options with this portfolio due to competing priorities, the Secretary of the Navy remains fully committed to the role and responsibilities," the statement reads.

"The Department has begun an active search for an equally qualified candidate to become the next ASN EI&E," the statement continues.

The announcement comes one day after Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) asked Navy Secretary Richard Spencer to not dissolve Bayer's position in lieu of a new senior civilian for information management.

The service had been mulling doing as much, but Inhofe insisted Spencer refrain because of the position's connection to problems with military housing. Inhofe had most of the Defense Department's senior leadership before his committee yesterday to testify about those problems.

The commitment by Spencer came after Inhofe questioned why Spencer moved forward with an "announcement" despite Congress instructing him to refrain.

It is not clear what announcement Inhofe was referring to, but Spencer and Navy Under Secretary Thomas Modly have publicly spoken about creating a new assistant secretary for information management.

Inhofe said doing that "by default" would mean eliminating the energy, installations and environment position.

"We told you not to, and you did it anyway. I'd like to know, first of all, why you did it?" Inhofe said, referring to the announcement. The senator characterized the current senior civilian position as "part of the bureaucracy that is responsible for what led" to the hearing.

Spencer apologized for "getting ahead of the lights," and affirmed that he would not eliminate the position.

Spencer has not publicly spoken about eliminating the ASN EI&E, but under current federal laws, it appears to be a prerequisite to stand up a new assistant secretary. The Navy may only have four assistant secretaries, and the other three -- manpower, acquisition and finance -- are explicitly required under current statutes.

By Sara Sirota
March 8, 2019 at 12:07 PM

Kratos' XQ-58A Valkyrie long-range, high subsonic unmanned aerial system completed its inaugural flight March 5, according to a Wright-Patterson Air Force Base news release.

Kratos was awarded the $40.8 million cost-share contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory to develop a high-speed, long-range, low-cost UAS in 2016. The joint effort is part of AFRL's Low-Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology portfolio, which seeks to reduce development time and cost.

The XQ-58A behaved according to expectation and completed 76 minutes of flight time at Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona. It has a total of five planned test flights in two phases.

The Air Force's stated goals for the program include a 1,500 nautical mile mission radius with a 500-pound payload, Mach 0.9 speed and ability to carry and deliver at least two GBU-39 small diameter bombs.