The Insider

Marjorie Censer | September 7, 2018 at 2:17 PM

The Army today said it has set a tentative award date of April 12 for the new version of the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, dubbed LOGCAP V.

Inside the Army reported in January the projected award date was set for Oct. 10, delayed from a Sept. 13 planned award.

Mallory Shelbourne | September 7, 2018 at 12:31 PM

The Marine Corps can protect its supply chains from potential cyberattacks by implementing standards early in the acquisition process, the service's commander for cyberspace said this week.

"A lot of what [Defense Department Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy] is trying to do [is] ensure that standards are right upfront, which will solve hopefully some of the silliness, that we know what we need, when we need it, and again, back to the standards, for it to be part of our network," Maj. Gen. Matthew Glavy said at the Billington Cybersecurity Summit in Washington this week.

The commander's remarks come after Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord told reporters in July the Defense Department provided a list of "do not buy" software to acquisition officials to prevent the Pentagon from using software connected to China or Russia.

Glavy on Thursday said focusing on protection during acquisition could "solve a lot of our problems."

"I know DOD CIO and others are trying to get at this from an acquisition process," he said. "Get the standards right so we get them done early so now we can proceed at a relevant pace."

Asked whether the Marine Corps has received guidance from the Pentagon about the "do not buy" list, Glavy told Inside the Navy he was "not familiar," noting he does not work on the service's acquisition efforts.

Details surrounding the "do not buy" list have remained unclear since Lord's disclosure to reporters, but the under secretary said at the time the Defense Department started assembling its list six months ago. Lord did not identify specific companies or software.

Tony Bertuca | September 7, 2018 at 11:20 AM

House and Senate lawmakers have begun negotiations on a final $675 billion defense spending bill, among other federal appropriations measures, that must pass before the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

The FY-19 defense appropriations bill is attached to a "minibus," which includes funding for the departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Labor and other government agencies.

Staffers said they expect bipartisan and bicameral consensus on the defense portion of the "minibus," but noted that differences over non-defense funding could prove challenging for a conference committee.

The House and Senate announced conference committee members for the defense minibus Thursday.

Senate members include Richard Shelby (R-AL), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee; Roy Blunt (R-MO); Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Jerry Moran (R-KS); Patrick Leahy (D-VT), ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Committee; Patty Murray (D-WA); and Dick Durbin (D-IL).

House members include Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee; Robert Aderholt (R-AL); Mike Simpson (R-ID); Ken Calvert (R-CA); Tom Cole (R-OK); Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL); Tom Graves (R-GA); David Young (R-IA); John Rutherford (R-FL); Nita Lowey (D-NY), ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee; Pete Visclosky (D-IN); Rosa DeLauro (D-CT); Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA); and Betty McCollum (D-MN).

Meanwhile, the House and Senate have also begun conference committee meetings on two other non-defense minibuses.

"It's too early in the process to expect a conference report on the defense minibus," one appropriations staffer said, but noted conference reports on the other minibus measures could be seen "in the next few days."

If Congress can pass a final defense appropriations package before the beginning of FY-19, it will be the first time in recent memory. If lawmakers cannot meet the deadline, they must either pass a stopgap continuing resolution or face a government shutdown.

The Pentagon has begun each of the past nine fiscal years on a CR that locks spending at previous-year levels and prohibits the start of new programs or production increases for weapon systems.

President Trump, who has said he would shut down the federal government if Congress does not pass a bill funding a new wall on the southern border with Mexico, softened his rhetoric somewhat at a Thursday rally in Montana, saying he did not want to cause negative political consequences for the GOP ahead of November's midterm elections.

"Most likely, I will not do that," he said. "If it was up to me, I'd shut down government over border security. And I guess when you get right down to it, it is up to me, but I don't want to do anything to hurt us or potentially hurt us."

Marjorie Censer | September 7, 2018 at 11:16 AM

LMI said today it has named retired CIA officer Bradford Karony director of national security operations.

"In this role, Karony will oversee an expanding service line whose core offerings include human, imagery, and signals intelligence support; intelligence training; and testing and evaluation of national security-specific machinery, equipment, and process protection," the company said.

He joins from the CIA's Directorate of Operations training center, where he instructed new hires as a contractor. He has more than two decades of experience as an intelligence professional and manager for the CIA Directorate of Operations, according to LMI.

John Liang | September 7, 2018 at 5:00 AM

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

1. The chairman and ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee this week said they are hopeful efforts to reform national security space organization and management remain bipartisan -- regardless of which party is in charge after the November election.

Full story: Thornberry, Smith hope for bipartisan Space Force debate

2. Compressing the research and development pipeline could help mature and field new technologies faster, the head of the Air Force Research Laboratory said this week.

Full story: AFRL chief aims to break down research stovepipes for faster development

3. The head of the Missile Defense Agency says more work is needed to mature the configuration of an updated missile-tracking sensor on General Atomics' MQ-9 Reaper ahead of flight tests in 2020.

Full story: MDA chief says MQ-9 missile-tracking sensor configuration needs more work

4. Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord said this week the Pentagon is working on new standards for the procurement of intellectual property, something she acknowledged has long been a "thorny" issue between the government and defense contractors.

Full story: Lord: Pentagon drafting new intellectual property acquisition standards

John Liang | September 6, 2018 at 2:26 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest features news on missile defense, the Air Force Research Lab, intellectual property and more.

We start off with a Pentagon effort to boost missile defense early warning radar protection:

DOD looking to bolster protection of key missile defense radars against hypersonic threats

The Pentagon is exploring options to harden protection of radars in the Ballistic Missile Defense System from attack against hypersonic glide missiles and is planning new "activities" to demonstrate increased protection of select sensors critical to the $180 billion missile shield.

Inside Defense chatted with Air Force Research Command chief Maj. Gen. Bill Cooley this week:

AFRL commander aims to break down research stovepipes for faster development

Compressing the research and development pipeline could help mature and field new technologies faster, the head of the Air Force Research Laboratory said this week.

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord also spoke at this week's Defense News conference:

Lord: Pentagon drafting new intellectual property acquisition standards

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord said today the Pentagon is working on new standards for the procurement of intellectual property, something she acknowledged has long been a "thorny" issue between the government and defense contractors.

The top two lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee hope the debate on setting up the president's proposed Space Force remains bipartisan:

Thornberry, Smith hope for bipartisan Space Force debate, regardless of election outcome

The chairman and ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee this week said they are hopeful efforts to reform national security space organization and management remain bipartisan -- regardless of which party is in charge after the November election.

Keep an eye out for an upcoming Pentagon industrial base report:

Chewning: Industrial base report includes 'robust classified annex' with 'detailed recommendations'

The soon-to-be-released industrial base report overseen by the Pentagon includes “very detailed recommendations,” the Defense Department's top industrial policy official said Wednesday.

The Navy will be sending lawmakers a quick look at its force structure requirements:

Ahead of FSA, Navy will send quick look to Congress to inform FY-20 budget

Ahead of the Navy's next force structure assessment, the service aims to "pull together something" quicker to help inform the fiscal year 2020 budget request, according to the Navy's top requirements officer.

Finally, some defense-related news from our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity:

Pentagon working with financial sector, DHS on model program for sharing cyber-threat indicators

The Pentagon is working with the Department of Homeland Security in gathering cyber-threat indicators from the financial services industry as part of a model program that is expected to be applied to other sectors, according to Defense Department Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy.

Ashley Tressel | September 6, 2018 at 11:14 AM

Army senior leaders have chosen Maj. Gen. Jim Richardson to be the deputy chief of Army Futures Command, the service under secretary announced this week.

Richardson currently serves as special advisor for program integration in the Office of the Vice Chief of Staff. His new position as Gen. Mike Murray's No. 2 will earn him his third star.

Army Under Secretary Ryan McCarthy at a Defense News conference Sept. 5 said Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, military deputy to the acquisition executive, will initially take on the role of deputy commander until Richardson assumes the duty.

Marjorie Censer | September 6, 2018 at 10:08 AM

AeroVironment said this week sales in its most recent quarter hit $78 million, up 127 percent from the same three-month period a year earlier.

The company partly attributed the improvement to nearly $37 million more in product sales.

AeroVironment recorded quarterly profit of $27.3 million, up from a loss of $5.9 million the prior year. The contractor said it benefited from a one-time litigation settlement.

In a call with analysts this week, Wahid Nawabi, AeroVironment's chief executive, said the company, which closed on the divestiture of its efficient energy systems business during the most recent quarter, has been transformed into "a pure-play unmanned technology solutions provider."

Marjorie Censer | September 6, 2018 at 9:18 AM

Raytheon said today its board of directors has elected retired Air Force Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski as a director, effective immediately.

Pawlikowski retired as commander of Air Force Materiel Command on Sept. 1. She has also served as military deputy to the service's top acquisition official.

Justin Katz | September 6, 2018 at 9:11 AM

The Navy yesterday awarded Perspecta a contract worth up to $787 million to extend the existing Next Generation Enterprise Network contract.

"This modification will add a new option period that will extend the potential ordering period by 12 months from Oct. 1, 2018 through Sept. 30, 2019," according to a Defense Department release. The existing NGEN contract was set to conclude at the end of this month.

Mac Curtis, chief executive of Perspecta, told analysts last month he anticipated the extension to the NGEN contract, which delivers the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet. Perspecta was formed by combining Vencore with DXC Technology's U.S. public sector business -- the incumbent on the NGEN program -- and KeyPoint Government Solutions.

Perspecta said in a statement today it expects the Navy to also award a contract modification to add an option for an additional eight-month extension.

The Navy's recompetition, NGEN-R, is underway, but has faced delays. NGEN-R will be split into a hardware contract and a services management contract.

Last year, the service announced it had delayed by five months the awards. That schedule dictated the awards be made this November and December.

Earlier this year, the Navy announced its intent to release the final request for proposals around the end of July, but that RFP has still not been published.

"We are in the process of finalizing the RFP documents for release in the near future," Capt. Ben McNeal, Naval Enterprise Networks program manager, said in a Sept. 5 statement.

John Liang | September 6, 2018 at 5:00 AM

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

1. Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord said this week the Pentagon is working on new standards for the procurement of intellectual property, something she acknowledged has long been a "thorny" issue between the government and defense contractors.

Full story: Lord: Pentagon drafting new intellectual property acquisition standards

2. The House Armed Services Committee's top Democrat, in line to become the next chairman should his party win a majority in November, said this week the defense budget is too big and that the United States should not "cling" to notions of post-World War II dominance given today's fiscal and geopolitical realities.

Full story: Smith: U.S. should cut defense spending and not 'cling' to notions of post-WWII dominance

3. The Pentagon's technology chief, who worked on the Strategic Defense Initiative in the 1980s, says past cost estimates of space-based missile defense interceptors are overblown, as he believes a constellation of 1,000 interceptors could cost $20 billion.

Full story: Griffin estimates 1,000 space-based interceptors could cost $20 billion

4. Pentagon officials have been mulling over a new initiative aimed at raising the importance of security in acquisition for at least two months, but industry groups are awaiting further clarity on how the Defense Department will implement the "deliver uncompromised" effort.

Full story: Contractors await further clarity from DOD on 'deliver uncompromised'

Rachel Cohen | September 5, 2018 at 2:23 PM

Afghanistan's A-29 Super Tucano fleet could grow larger than previously planned, under a contract Sierra Nevada received this week worth up to $1.8 billion.

The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity award covers "potential procurement, sustainment, modifications, ferry and related equipment," but obligates only about $115,000 up front for a site survey in Afghanistan. Work will run through the end of 2024 at Moody Air Force Base, GA, the Air Force's training site for Afghan A-29 pilots, and at three Afghan air bases. Neither the service nor the company immediately responded to questions Wednesday.

Super Tucanos, equipped with laser-guided and unguided bombs, are a key piece of the Afghan military's growing light-attack capability.

Inside Defense previously reported the Defense Department projected the Afghan Air Force would receive 25 A-29s in total, and the U.S. Air Force has ordered 26 from the SNC-Embraer team so far. One crashed in a training flight at Moody AFB last year; another crashed, killing its pilot, during the Air Force's light-attack experiment at Holloman AFB, NM, in June.

John Liang | September 5, 2018 at 2:16 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest features coverage from the Defense News conference in Arlington, VA.

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) likely made his communications director uncomfortable today:

Smith: U.S. should cut defense spending and not 'cling' to notions of post-WWII dominance

The House Armed Services Committee's top Democrat, in line to become the next chairman should his party win a majority in November, said today the defense budget is too big and that the United States should not "cling" to notions of post-World War II dominance given today's fiscal and geopolitical realities.

The Air Force will likely call for more operational squadrons across its mission portfolio:

Air Force to reveal plan to revitalize squadrons later this month

The Air Force later this month will roll out its vision for a right-sized service that can meet the demands of the National Defense Strategy, focusing on the importance of the service's squadrons rather than the size of its aircraft fleet.

See more coverage of the Defense News conference in the INSIDER:

SECAF on Space Force: 'If we're going to do this, we should do it right'

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said today she is in "complete alignment" with President Trump's plan for a Space Force, despite her past criticism of plans to significantly reorganize the Defense Department's space mission.

CNO: Navy needs to provide 'increased oversight' of Columbia-class sub program

The Navy's top admiral is pushing the service to pay close attention to the already-tight schedule for the Columbia-class submarine program.

Tony Bertuca | September 5, 2018 at 2:13 PM

Tina Kaidanow, acting assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, will be leaving the State Department to become the Pentagon's director of international cooperation, according to Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord.

Lord made the announcement at the National Press Club in Washington during the ComDef 2018 conference.

While at State, Kaidanow has been an advocate for streamlining and increasing foreign military sales.

"Under this administration, there will be no more active advocate for arms sales than the U.S. government itself," she said Aug. 8 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Tony Bertuca | September 5, 2018 at 1:29 PM

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has been chosen to succeed the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

McConnell made the announcement today on the Senate floor.

The announcement comes as no surprise as Inhofe is the most senior Republican committee member and has been standing in for McCain in recent months.

“I’m happy that our colleagues on the armed services committee have officially chosen Sen. Inhofe to serve as their next chairman,” McConnell said. “Jim Inhofe filled in for Sen. McCain during a difficult year. He rose to the occasion and helped lead the committee in passing crucial legislation that honored the example of his predecessor and the volunteers who defend our nation.”

In November, Inhofe said his “style” differs from that of McCain, known for grilling defense contractors, military officials and President Trump's nominees.

"They're bringing knowledge with them," Inhofe said at the time of defense contractors tapped for key Pentagon posts.

"There's kind of a tendency to assume . . . that somehow industry is all on the take and they're the bad guy,” he continued. “But look, there are knowledgeable ones too.”