The Insider

May 14, 2018 at 2:22 PM | John Liang

Continued coverage of the Army's latest modernization strategy leads off this Monday INSIDER Daily Digest.

In an annex to its comprehensive modernization strategy submitted to Congress last month, the Army details the work of the A-PNT cross-functional team:

Army previews plan to spend $580 million on assured PNT across FYDP

The Army intends to spend $580 million from fiscal year 2020 through FY-24 on efforts to provide assured position, navigation and timing capability, according to a recent report.

Document: Army's modernization strategy (FOUO)


The Navy is nearing the end of preliminary testing of its new air-launched, anti-surface warfare missile:

Navy begins final pre-EOC test event for OASuW Increment 1

The Navy has begun modeling and simulation testing for its new air-launched, anti-surface warfare missile this month, the final test event before the strike weapon heads to Navy and Air Force leadership for an early operational capability decision, according to the program manager.

The Army is interested in more interoperable systems that allow for the native exchange of data:

Army PM Mission Command may let allies access tactical network

The Army's project manager for mission command is examining the possibility of granting coalition forces direct connection to tactical network systems, according to a service official.

The Senate Armed Services Committee recently held a hearing to consider the nominations of several people for Pentagon posts, one of which was the No. 2 official at the new research and engineering shop:

In-Q-Tel exec nominated for DOD post favors 'light touch' on venture-backed firms

An In-Q-Tel executive nominated to serve as deputy under secretary for research and engineering said she believes there are major opportunities for the Defense Department to team with commercial technology firms backed by venture capital, but only if the government is willing to "take a back seat."

Document: Senate hearing on Porter-Stewart-Anderson-Slavonic-Verdon nominations


DARPA, as part of the U.S. military's campaign to develop and field a new class of ultra-fast weapons, is working with the Army on a new joint program called Operational Fires:

DOD wants Army equipped with new hypersonic, tactical weapon

The Defense Department wants Army ground forces outfitted with a tactical, hypersonic boost-glide vehicle to penetrate enemy air defenses and destroy time-sensitive targets, a notional weapon that would leverage investments in an air-launched, ultra-fast missile capability for the Air Force.

Document: DARPA's OpFires proposers day notice


May 14, 2018 at 10:00 AM | Lee Hudson

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

1. Members of the House Armed Services Committee are concerned the Navy's carrier air wing is not configured to support long-range strikes required by the current and future threat and requests the service secretary brief Congress on options that include manned and unmanned capabilities to fulfill the requirement.

Full Story: House lawmakers direct SECNAV to present long-range strike options

2. Roughly one week after the Pentagon characterized an uptick in aviation mishaps as "not a crisis," the House Armed Services Committee's mark of the fiscal year 2019 defense policy bill directs the Defense Department to conduct a study on military aviation safety and establish a national commission.

Full Story: House mark introduces national commission on military safety

3. The Navy has begun modeling and simulation testing for its new air-launched, anti-surface warfare missile this month, the final test event before the strike weapon heads to Navy and Air Force leadership for an early operational capability decision.

Full Story: Navy begins final pre-EOC test event for OASuW Increment 1

4. Lawmakers last week approved an amendment that would fence $187.7 million in fiscal year 2019 funding for the Strategic Capabilities Office's Ghost Fleet project until the Pentagon certifies three items to Congress.

Full Story: House lawmakers fence $187M for SCO’s Ghost Fleet Project

May 14, 2018 at 9:56 AM | Courtney McBride

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

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

Full story: House panel to impose reporting requirements on Army Futures Command

2. The Army's project manager for mission command is examining the possibility of granting coalition forces direct connection to tactical network systems, according to a service official.

Full story: PM Mission Command may let allies access tactical network

3. The Army intends to spend $580 million from fiscal year 2020 through FY-24 on efforts to provide assured position, navigation and timing capability, according to a recent report.

Full story: Army previews plan to spend $580 million on assured PNT across FYDP

4. The Defense Department wants Army ground forces outfitted with a tactical, hypersonic boost-glide vehicle to penetrate enemy air defenses and destroy time-sensitive targets, a notional weapon that would leverage investments in an air-launched, ultra-fast missile capability for the Air Force.

Full story: DOD wants Army equipped with new hypersonic, tactical weapon

May 14, 2018 at 5:00 AM | Tony Bertuca

The Shipbuilders Council of America holds a major conference in Washington this week, while several think tanks host events featuring senior Pentagon officials.

Monday

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts an event on Russia's ground forces and armament prospects.

Tuesday

Bloomberg Government hosts a discussion with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) about the fiscal year 2019 defense authorization bill.

The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee holds a hearing on the Army's FY-19 budget request.

The Washington Space Business Roundtable hosts the chief of Air Force Space Command.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts an event on "gray zone tactics."

Wednesday

The Shipbuilders Council of America holds its annual general membership meeting in Washington featuring senior lawmakers and Navy officials.

The Center for a New American Security hosts a discussion with Army Secretary Mark Esper.

The Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance hosts a congressional roundtable discussion featuring Missile Defense Agency Deputy Director Rear Adm. Jon Hill.

The Stimson Center hosts an event on counterterrorism spending.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a discussion of Russian forces in Syria.

Thursday

The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee holds a hearing on the Air Force's FY-19 budget request.

Friday

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts an event on the "future of force."

May 11, 2018 at 4:15 PM | John Liang

(This occasional feature highlights protests decided by the Government Accountability Office.)

Agency: Air Force

Awardee: JPATS Logistics Services

Protesters: DynCorp International, AAR Supply Chain, Inc.

What GAO found: DynCorp International and AAR Supply Chain, Inc. protested the Air Force's award of an aircraft supply chain management services contract to JPATS Logistics Services, LLC, taking issue with the service's past performance evaluations and source-selection decision.

Four offerors, including JLS, AAR, and DynCorp -- the incumbent contractor -- submitted proposals, according to GAO's decision. DynCorp offered a price of $2 billion, compared to AAR's $1.8 billion and JLS' $1.7 billion.

"A source selection advisory council (SSAC) reviewed the [Source Selection Evaluation Board]'s evaluation findings, conducted a comparative analysis and tradeoff, and recommended award be made to JLS as the offeror with the highest past performance confidence assessment and lowest total evaluated price," the decision reads. Following a subsequent debrief, the other two companies filed protests.

AAR and DynCorp protested "the evaluation of JLS's past performance, as well as the agency's best-value tradeoff and source selection decision." Additionally, DynCorp also took issue with "the evaluation of its own past performance, as well as AAR's," according to GAO.

Upon reviewing the case, GAO found "the Air Force reasonably evaluated the offerors' past performance. Although we do not address each of the protesters' arguments, we have considered all of the protesters' contentions and find that none provide a basis to sustain the protests."

Read GAO's full decision, which was issued April 12 but subject to a protective order and publicly released in redacted form May 10.

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.