The Insider

By Marjorie Censer
January 7, 2019 at 11:13 AM

Serco said today it has named Craig Reed chief growth officer, overseeing corporate strategy and business development.

"He will be responsible for strategic planning activities, mergers and acquisitions, and business development operations which include maintaining a pipeline of business opportunities, capture and proposals management, and market intelligence," the company said.

Reed previously was president and chief operating officer of NT Concepts, senior vice president of strategy and corporate development at Engility and senior vice president of strategy and corporate development at DynCorp International. He has also worked at Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin.

By Tony Bertuca
January 7, 2019 at 5:15 AM

A newly minted Congress comes to work this week needing to address a partial government shutdown, while the Pentagon hosts a public meeting on contractor payments and performance incentives.

Monday

Science Applications International Corp. hosts an investor day in New York.

The Brookings Institute holds a discussion on the New START Treaty and strategic modernization.

Gen. Stephen Townsend, chief of Army Training and Doctrine Command, is scheduled speak at an Association of the United States Army event.

Thursday

The National Defense Industrial Association hosts a breakfast with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.

The Defense Department hosts a public meeting in Alexandria, VA, to discuss contractor payments and performance incentives.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a discussion on maritime security priorities from the perspective of senior enlisted officers.

By John Liang
January 7, 2019 at 5:10 AM

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

1. After several years of planning and discussions, the Defense Department notified Congress last week that it would pursue a two-ship buy of the third and fourth Gerald Ford-class aircraft carriers, a move that will save an estimated $4 billion, a congressman overseeing Navy shipbuilding told Inside Defense.

Full story: Courtney: Navy to purchase CVN-80, CVN-81 in dual-buy format, saving $4B

2. The Navy last year braced for the prospect that faulty welding on a key Columbia-class submarine subsystem could devour 15 of the 23 months reserved for potential schedule delays in building the first missile tubes, but eventually crafted a "recovery" plan that aims to limit delays to 10 months -- a course that keeps construction plans for the new weapon system on track.

Full story: Navy dodging worst case scenario on faulty missile tube work, limiting delay to 10 months

3. The "speed of change" in the Navy's space domain is a top concern as it works to stay abreast of technological advancements, according to the space lead in the service's information warfare office (N2/N6).

Full story: Navy official: 'Speed of change' is a concern in space domain

4. Just a couple weeks ago, the Pentagon was scheduled to receive a $50 billion Christmas present from President Trump, but the future of the defense budget has been called into question as he has ordered a speedier-than-expected exit for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and a surprise promotion for Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.

Full story: Spotlight on Shanahan as DOD finalizes budget without Mattis

By John Liang
January 7, 2019 at 5:05 AM

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

1. An Army research agency has issued a call for white papers on tools to improve situational awareness in complex operating environments like those expected in future conflict and laid out in the service's new multidomain operations concept.

Full story: Army seeks situational awareness training tool for complex environments

2. The Missile Defense Agency has rebranded the Missile Defense Tracking System -- a space-based sensor network envisioned to track enemy long-range ballistic and hypersonic missiles from launch to impact -- the Space Sensor Layer program and plans to brief industry this month on a second round of technology prototyping for the desired orbital capability.

Full story: Missile Defense Agency to release Space Sensor Layer prototype RFP

3. Just a couple weeks ago, the Pentagon was scheduled to receive a $50 billion Christmas present from President Trump, but the future of the defense budget has been called into question as he has ordered a speedier-than-expected exit for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and a surprise promotion for Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.

Full story: Spotlight on Shanahan as DOD finalizes budget without Mattis

4. The Defense Department's chief information officer is about to get increased power to review military spending plans for information technology and cyber capabilities, as DOD makes a concerted push into cloud computing and prioritizes artificial intelligence.

Full story: Pentagon CIO to get new authorities as military makes push into cloud, AI

By Justin Katz
January 4, 2019 at 3:48 PM

The Defense Department has assigned the Defense Logistics Agency and U.S. Transportation Command as responsible for the F-35 global transportation and distribution networks, along with North American regional warehousing, according to an F-35 Joint Program Office statement issued today.

"This assignment is the next in the series of assignments that have previously designated airframe, propulsion and component repair maintenance, repair, overhaul [and] upkeep providers across the F-35 Global Support Solution's three region construct," the statement reads.

Those three regions include North America, the Pacific and Europe.

"This assignment is an enabler of the F-35 global sustainment strategy and will facilitate the movement of materiel around the world, through a single integrator," the statement continues.

The transition for DLA and TRANSCOM to take over managing the networks is expected to take between 12 and 24 months.

By John Liang
January 4, 2019 at 3:41 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Navy avoiding major delays to the Columbia-class submarine program.

It looks like delays to the Navy's Columbia-class submarine program won't be as bad as originally thought:

Navy dodging worst-case scenario on faulty missile tube work, limiting delay to 10 months

The Navy last year braced for the prospect that faulty welding on a key Columbia-class submarine subsystem could devour 15 of the 23 months reserved for potential schedule delays in building the first missile tubes, but eventually crafted a "recovery" plan that aims to limit delays to 10 months -- a course that keeps construction plans for the new weapon system on track.

Two senators are introducing legislation that would set up a White House office to fight Chinese intellectual property theft:

Warner, Rubio offer bill creating new White House office focused on Chinese, other supply-chain threats

Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) today announced a new bill that would establish an office within the White House aimed at galvanizing stakeholders to stem the threat of intellectual property theft from China through forced technology transfers, and to secure the supply chain for critical technologies.

In case you missed it yesterday, Raytheon will be getting an Air Force FAB-T contract and the service also has a new approach to developing munitions:

Air Force to award Raytheon risk-reduction contract for airborne FAB-T terminals in early 2019

The Air Force appears to be moving forward with a drawn-out effort to develop airborne satellite communication terminals as part of its Family of Advanced Beyond Line of Sight Terminals program, releasing a justification document late last month that details its plan to sole-source the effort to Raytheon.

New approach to munitions development could cut down on long-term, sole-source production awards

The Air Force is changing how it develops and buys certain munitions by using "weapons design agents," an approach that lets the service own technical data and broadly compete production contracts.

By Justin Katz
January 4, 2019 at 2:24 PM

The Navy plans to release the final request for proposals for its next training helicopter, TH-XX, later this month, according to documents the service published yesterday.

The Navy held a presolicitation conference with industry last month, and published documents from that conference Jan. 3 on the Federal Business Opportunities website. Those documents state the service plans to publish the final RFP this month.

Additionally, "the government intends to release the formal RFP no earlier than 22 January 2019," the FBO notice states. Proposals will be due in April, and a contract award is anticipated in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.

The service plans to procure 130 helicopters to replace the legacy TH-57 Sea Rangers. In full rate production, the winning company could produce up to 28 aircraft in FY-20, and the government will have options to procure the rest of the program of record through FY-24, according to the documents.

Earlier this year, several companies began staking out their positions on the trainer replacement competition, including Bell, Leonardo Helicopters and Airbus Helicopters, Inside the Navy reported.

By Rick Weber
January 4, 2019 at 2:10 PM

A MITRE Corp. group that tracks software vulnerabilities has issued an updated list by adding more than one hundred entities, with most of those new items posing indirect risks that could be difficult to identify or fix.

"In all, 534 entries had important changes, primarily due to relationship changes, references, names, and descriptions," according to a statement posted on MITRE's "Common Weakness Enumeration" webpage Thursday. The CWE update, dubbed version 3.2, includes 137 new entries and one "deprecated" item, according to the MITRE website.

"The main changes include: (1) adding 89 new entries related to quality issues that only indirectly make it easier to introduce a vulnerability and/or make the vulnerability more difficult to detect or mitigate (see the CWE-1040: Quality Weaknesses with Indirect Security Impacts view); (2) adding 1 new weakness, CWE-1173: Improper Use of Validation Framework, detailing the improper use of an available input validation framework; (3) adding 1 new view, CWE-1128: CISQ Quality Measures (2016), to map to the Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ) Automated Quality Characteristic Measures released in 2016; and (4) updating the views and categories associated with the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Coding Standards," the announcement of the CWE update states.

The previous CWE update, or version 3.1, was issued March 29, 2018.

The CWE initiative is intended to serve as a "common language for describing software security weaknesses in architecture, design, or code . . . a standard measuring stick for software security tools targeting these weaknesses [and] Provide a common baseline standard for weakness identification, mitigation, and prevention efforts," the MITRE statement reads.

The MITRE initiative for listing software vulnerabilities dates back to the 1990s and builds on its "preliminary list of vulnerability examples for researchers," or PLOVER, issued in 2006. That work was done with the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Technology as part of the Software Assurance Metrics and Tool Evaluation project. MITRE describes the CWE initiative as a "community-developed" list.

"The next step after PLOVER was to establish acceptable definitions and descriptions of these common weaknesses by the community under the NIST SAMATE project, which led to the creation of the 'Common Weakness Enumeration' list and associated classification taxonomy," the MITRE statement reads.

The updated CWE list "now serves as a mechanism for describing code vulnerability assessment capabilities in terms of their coverage of the different CWEs," MITRE said.

By John Liang
January 4, 2019 at 5:00 AM

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

1. The Air Force appears to be moving forward with a drawn-out effort to develop airborne satellite communication terminals as part of its Family of Advanced Beyond Line of Sight Terminals program, releasing a justification document late last month that details its plan to sole-source the effort to Raytheon.

Full story: USAF to award Raytheon contract for airborne FAB-T terminals in early 2019

2. The Air Force is changing how it develops and buys certain munitions by using "weapons design agents," an approach that lets the service own technical data and broadly compete production contracts.

Full story: Air Force using 'weapons design agents' to develop, buy certain munitions

3. The team in charge of the Air Force's new Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Flight Plan is working with the Air Staff's strategic plans and programs branch to see how the ISR strategy released earlier this year could affect the future force structure, a service spokesman recently confirmed to Inside Defense.

Full story: ISR Flight Plan group working with force structure team on future platform mix

4. An Air Force team is crafting a study on live, virtual and constructive training concepts meant to inform near-term budget and strategy around how to improve training for fifth-generation aircraft.

Full story: Air Force team developing options for greater LVC training integration

By John Liang
January 3, 2019 at 1:37 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest looks as how the Air Force is using "weapons design agents" to develop and buy certain munitions as well as a pending Raytheon contract for airborne FAB-T terminals.

The Air Force is using "weapons design agents" to develop and buy certain munitions:

New approach to munitions development could cut down on long-term, sole-source production awards

The Air Force is changing how it develops and buys certain munitions by using "weapons design agents," an approach that lets the service own technical data and broadly compete production contracts.

It looks like Raytheon will be getting a contract for airborne FAB-T terminals:

Air Force to award Raytheon risk-reduction contract for airborne FAB-T terminals in early 2019

The Air Force appears to be moving forward with a drawn-out effort to develop airborne satellite communication terminals as part of its Family of Advanced Beyond Line of Sight Terminals program, releasing a justification document late last month that details its plan to sole-source the effort to Raytheon.

Document: Air Force FAB-T J&A document

In case you missed it while getting back into the work groove after the holiday break, the Missile Defense Agency has renamed its Missile Defense Tracking System:

MDA rebrands Missile Defense Tracking System the Space Sensor Layer, readies prototype RFP

The Missile Defense Agency has rebranded the Missile Defense Tracking System -- a space-based sensor network envisioned to track enemy long-range ballistic and hypersonic missiles from launch to impact -- the Space Sensor Layer program and plans to brief industry this month on a second round of technology prototyping for the desired orbital capability.

Also ICYMI, Inside the Navy had the scoop this week on the service's decision to pursue a two-ship aircraft carrier buy:

Courtney: Navy to purchase CVN-80, CVN-81 in dual-buy format, saving $4 billion

After several years of planning and discussions, the Defense Department notified Congress today that it would pursue a two-ship buy of the third and fourth Gerald Ford-class aircraft carriers, a move that will save an estimated $4 billion, a congressman overseeing Navy shipbuilding told Inside Defense.

Additionally, here's another look at a story that ran during the break on the budget challenges facing now-acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan:

Spotlight on Shanahan as DOD finalizes budget without Mattis

Just a week ago the Pentagon was scheduled to receive a $50 billion Christmas present from President Trump, but the future of the defense budget has been called into question as he has ordered a speedier-than-expected exit for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and a surprise promotion for Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.

By John Liang
January 3, 2019 at 5:00 AM

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

1. The Missile Defense Agency has rebranded the Missile Defense Tracking System -- a space-based sensor network envisioned to track enemy long-range ballistic and hypersonic missiles from launch to impact -- the Space Sensor Layer program and plans to brief industry this month on a second round of technology prototyping for the desired orbital capability.

Full story: MDA to release Space Sensor Layer prototype RFP

2. Just a couple weeks ago, the Pentagon was scheduled to receive a $50 billion Christmas present from President Trump, but the future of the defense budget has been called into question as he has ordered a speedier-than-expected exit for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and a surprise promotion for Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.

Full story: Spotlight on Shanahan as DOD finalizes budget without Mattis

3. Contractors should expect a more uncertain year, given that the country will now have divided government, industry advocates and experts told Inside Defense.

Full story: Looking to 2019: Contracting advocates and experts lay out key issues

4. After several years of planning and discussions, the Defense Department notified Congress this week that it would pursue a two-ship buy of the third and fourth Gerald Ford-class aircraft carriers, a move that will save an estimated $4 billion, a congressman overseeing Navy shipbuilding told Inside Defense.

Full story: Courtney: Navy to purchase CVN-80, CVN-81 in dual-buy format, saving $4B

By Marjorie Censer
January 2, 2019 at 4:04 PM

The MITRE Corp. said today it has named Wilson Wang chief financial officer.

"As CFO, Wang will lead the company's overall business management function and activities including accounting; internal audit; contracts and pricing; financial planning, program control, treasury and investments, financial business systems, and analytics," MITRE said.

He joined the organization in 2009, most recently serving as head of the enterprise transformation office.

Before joining MITRE, Wang worked at CSC, Lockheed Martin and BearingPoint.

By Courtney Albon
January 2, 2019 at 3:58 PM

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will remain the Pentagon's point person for shaping a legislative proposal for a new Space Force.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Joe Buccino confirmed the responsibility would remain in Shanahan's purview, even though it was originally delegated to him while he served in the deputy defense secretary role.

Shanahan and a team of top DOD officials submitted their proposal for a new Space Force to the White House late last year, and the final version of the plan will be released next month with the fiscal year 2020 budget request.

The Pentagon had reportedly been weighing whether the new service would reside under the Air Force's authority or stand alone as its own department -- which is the model President Trump initially called for last summer. Multiple sources have said the Pentagon's proposal favors the former option, but it's unclear whether the White House will accept something that differs from the president's original intent.

By Justin Doubleday
January 2, 2019 at 3:27 PM

The Pentagon has shifted $10 million in fiscal year 2019 appropriations to support the establishment of the new “National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.”

The Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act established the commission and allows up to $10 million to be spent on the commission this year. The Defense Department made notice of the transfer in a Dec. 26 memo posted to the Pentagon comptroller’s website.

The panel sits under the executive branch, but is supposed to be an “independent commission to review advances in artificial intelligence, related machine learning developments, and associated technologies,” according to the law.

Various cabinet members, including the defense secretary, and lawmakers are able to appoint commissioners to the 15-member panel. In November, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) appointed former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to the commission, while committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) selected Eric Horvitz, a technical fellow and director of Microsoft Research Labs.

The commission is directed to study a range of AI-related issues, including the “competitiveness” of the United States in AI and ways the nation can maintain an edge in the field. The NDAA directs the panel to submit an initial report to the White House by February, with a comprehensive report due in August. The commission is then expected to produce a comprehensive report annually until Congress decides to terminate the panel.

By John Liang
January 2, 2019 at 3:09 PM

The first INSIDER Daily Digest of 2019 has news on the Missile Defense Agency rebranding its Missile Defense Tracking System, the Navy deciding on a two-ship aircraft carrier buy, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan taking charge of DOD earlier than expected and much more.

The Missile Defense Agency has renamed its Missile Defense Tracking System:

MDA rebrands Missile Defense Tracking System the Space Sensor Layer, readies prototype RFP

The Missile Defense Agency has rebranded the Missile Defense Tracking System -- a space-based sensor network envisioned to track enemy long-range ballistic and hypersonic missiles from launch to impact -- the Space Sensor Layer program and plans to brief industry this month on a second round of technology prototyping for the desired orbital capability.

Inside the Navy had the scoop this week on the service's decision to pursue a two-ship aircraft carrier buy:

Courtney: Navy to purchase CVN-80, CVN-81 in dual-buy format, saving $4 billion

After several years of planning and discussions, the Defense Department notified Congress today that it would pursue a two-ship buy of the third and fourth Gerald Ford-class aircraft carriers, a move that will save an estimated $4 billion, a congressman overseeing Navy shipbuilding told Inside Defense.

Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan has his hands full barely two days into the job as acting defense secretary:

Spotlight on Shanahan as DOD finalizes budget without Mattis

Just a week ago the Pentagon was scheduled to receive a $50 billion Christmas present from President Trump, but the future of the defense budget has been called into question as he has ordered a speedier-than-expected exit for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and a surprise promotion for Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.

Some defense business news:

Looking to 2019: Contracting advocates and experts lay out key issues in the year ahead

Contractors should expect a more uncertain year, given that the country will now have divided government, industry advocates and experts told Inside Defense.

M&A experts say they expect an active start to 2019, but potentially a more 'tactical year'

After a busy 2018, industry experts say they expect continued mergers and acquisitions in 2019 -- but the pace may slow as the year goes on.

Looking to technology, Serco CEO pursues new acquisitions, avoids LPTA work

Serco's chief executive, on the job for about a year and a half, is seeking to convince the Pentagon to turn to technology in its services contracts rather than just focus on price.

The Navy recently released an early look at its training and testing plans for future sonars:

Navy's training, testing plans include 'degree of risk' to not meet future national emergencies

The Navy's plans to train and test future sonars and explosives in Hawaii and Southern California are modeled off of fluctuations in training and deployment cycles, which means the service is accepting "a degree of risk" that it will not have sufficient capacity to conduct that training to meet future national emergencies, the service announced last month.

Check out a slew of stories we posted over the holiday break:

Pentagon watchdog calls USAFE plan to buy deployable air base kits 'not achievable'

U.S. Air Forces Europe won't have the equipment for its first rapidly deployable air base until the early 2020s -- at least two fiscal years after the service thought it would own five such kits, according to a new report by the Pentagon's inspector general.

Early test results indicate EPAA Phase 3 upgrade of BMDS 'performed as designed'

Early results of a mid-December Ballistic Missile Defense System operational assessment -- which still must be validated by the Pentagon's top weapons tester -- indicate the set of capabilities the Defense Department plans to soon deploy as part of the third and last increment of the European Phased Adaptive Approach "performed as designed," according to a DOD spokeswoman.

Air Force using agile approach to build counter-UAS strategy, programs

The Air Force is pulling together technologies to incrementally create a system that can counter encroaching unmanned aerial systems, rather than waiting for a complete solution to be ready.

Pentagon CIO to get new authorities as military makes push into cloud, artificial intelligence

The Defense Department's chief information officer is about to get increased power to review military spending plans for information technology and cyber capabilities, as DOD makes a concerted push into cloud computing and prioritizes artificial intelligence.

Navy official: 'Speed of change' is a concern in space domain

The "speed of change" in the Navy's space domain is a top concern as it works to stay abreast of technological advancements, according to the space lead in the service's information dominance office (N2/N6).

Air Force team developing options for greater LVC training integration

An Air Force team is crafting a study on live, virtual and constructive training concepts meant to inform near-term budget and strategy around how to improve training for fifth-generation aircraft.

Army seeks situational awareness training tool for complex environments

An Army research agency has issued a call for white papers on tools to improve situational awareness in complex operating environments like those expected in future conflict and laid out in the service's new multidomain operations concept.

Navy mulling 'phased approach' to potential CHAMP program

The Navy is considering a "phased approach" to recapitalizing the five mission sets bound for a potential common hull shipbuilding program, according to a service spokeswoman.