The Insider

By Marjorie Censer
May 2, 2019 at 9:26 AM

Following DynCorp International's protest of the Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, or LOGCAP V, AECOM, Fluor and a PAE-Parsons team have also filed protests with the Government Accountability Office.

According to GAO's docket, all of the companies' cases were filed yesterday and are now set to be decided by Aug. 9.

DynCorp last week filed its protest.

Earlier this month, the Army said it had awarded spots on the program to KBR, Vectrus, Fluor and a PAE-Parsons team. KBR, Fluor and DynCorp International were the incumbents on the previous version of the program.

By Ashley Tressel
May 1, 2019 at 7:43 PM

As the congressional defense committees prepare to review the Army’s fiscal year 2020 budget request, the service continues to defend its drastic reorganization of funding to bolster its modernization priorities.

Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ), chairman of the House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee, in a hearing today said he has received requests from members of Congress to make 300 adjustments to the Army’s proposal. A congressional staffer later said on background that number of member requests is slightly higher than prior years.

Norcross told Inside Defense after the hearing that “because of the massive review, restructuring, downsizing, upsizing, everybody’s being touched.”

“There’s a major impact on companies here that didn’t make it across the finish line with the review,” he added.

Norcross said the Army’s unprecedented push to modernize requires Congress to ensure the plans are executed as designed.

“This appears to be different -- that we just don’t have to wait for the administration to change and we’ll go back to another way -- it seems that this is really, fundamentally making a change,” he said.

Army Futures Command chief Gen. Mike Murray said during the hearing that the service sought to previously lay the groundwork for its plans.

“We can’t communicate exactly what’s in the budget before it’s released, but there was an attempt, I know, by the secretary 203099 and the chief to communicate where we were going,” he said. “The Army is going to have to pivot sometime, and every day you wait is one day later before you make the pivot, and . . . we’ve been very clear about communicating what our priorities are for the specific programs. And really what we’re asking industry to do . . . is meet us in the future. So we tend to look at this in terms of near-term losses, but there is tremendous opportunity as we begin to invest in the future, and that’s been pretty much a consistent message.”

Army acquisition executive Bruce Jette said during the same hearing he has several calls a week “with CEOs of major corporations,” who don’t always agree with what the service is doing.

“But we at least always know where our disagreement is,” he said.

By Justin Katz
May 1, 2019 at 4:29 PM

The Navy late last week awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries a contract worth up to $931 million for Littoral Combat Ship planning yard services, according to a company statement published today.

“The planning yard design services contract will provide the LCS program with post-delivery life-cycle support, which includes fleet modernization program planning, design engineering and modeling, logistics support, long-lead-time material support, and preventative and planned maintenance system item development and scheduling,” according to the statement.

“Unique to this planning yard effort is the requirement to manage the scheduling of all planned, continuous and emergent maintenance and associated availabilities,” the statement added.

The contract includes options over a six-year period that would raise its cumulative value to $931 million.

The contract was not publicized in the Defense Department's daily announcements because the $5 million initial award was under the Pentagon's $7 million threshold.

“If all options are exercised, work will continue through April 2025,” a Navy spokesman told Inside Defense today. “This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with three offers received.”

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works was the incumbent. A company spokesman declined to comment.

By Marjorie Censer
May 1, 2019 at 2:55 PM

Leidos said it is “on track” to meet its headcount goals for the year and hired more than 2,000 employees in its most recent quarter.

During a call with analysts this week, Jim Reagan, Leidos' chief financial officer, said the company's “ability to ramp successfully on our new programs depends heavily on hiring the best available talent.”

He said that while 2,000 is a gross number, meaning it does not take attrition into account, the company still added more than 600 net new jobs in the quarter.

Roger Krone, Leidos' chief executive, said during the same call the company is looking to hire beyond just the Washington area.

He noted the company is doing software work in Morgantown, WV; Colorado Springs, CO; and San Diego, CA, among other locations.

“We still have some customers who want our team -- think of it within 50 miles of their facility -- and that puts some constraints on where we hire,” he said. “But we are seeing -- I won't call it a sea change -- but we are seeing more flexibility on behalf of customers for us to move the work to where we can hire people.”

Meanwhile, Leidos said sales in its defense solutions group during the quarter reached nearly $1.3 billion, up about 7% from the same period a year earlier. Krone said the company has seen a “notable acceleration of growth” in this unit.

By Tony Bertuca
May 1, 2019 at 2:42 PM

The House Appropriations defense subcommittee is scheduled to convene May 15 to mark up its version of the fiscal year 2020 defense spending bill, according to subcommittee Chairman Pete Visclosky (D-IN).

“Our bill is gonna be done on May 15 and, of course, then we have the process ahead of us,” he said during a subcommittee hearing today.

Meanwhile, the Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to mark up its version of the FY-20 defense authorization bill the week of May 20.

Republicans and Democrats on both sides of Capitol Hill remain at odds over whether the FY-20 defense topline should be $750 billion or closer to $733 billion.

By Thomas Duffy
May 1, 2019 at 2:08 PM

Today's INSIDER looks at new hypersonics research, a complete reversal of a Trump administration budget move, Army thinking on multidomain operations, and hurricane cleanup at Tyndall Air Force Base.

We start with a look at Pentagon research into hypersonics:

Dueling DOD hypersonic projects racing to flight tests by end of ‘19

A pair of Defense Department programs being pursued to develop air-launched, hypersonic weapons are racing to reach their initial flight tests by the end of calendar year 2019, although hardware integration issues could push the trials into 2020, according to the head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The Trump administration will now keep an aircraft carrier it planned to retire:

Pence: Navy will not retire Truman aircraft carrier

Vice President Mike Pence told sailors aboard the Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) today the service will not retire the aircraft carrier, despite the Pentagon’s push to opt out of the vessels’ mid-life refueling and complex overhaul.

Possible sticker shock on a new Navy ship:

Senate: Navy pegs potential CHAMP price tag at 'more than $1 billion'

The Navy estimates a new multimission auxiliary ship meant to recapitalize the aging Ready Reserve Force could cost “more than $1 billion,” according to policy questions sent by Senate lawmakers to the nominee to be the next chief of naval operations.

More from Inside Defense's recent trip to a robotics conference:

Wesley: Services still need to come together on multidomain operations

COLUMBUS, GA -- As the Army prepares to publish this fall the second iteration of its multidomain operations concept, called MDO 2.0, the official in charge of the concept says coordination of the joint force to solve the No. 1 problem it faces in future warfare is “problematic.”

The Air Force is trying to clean up one of its bases from last year's hurricane Michael:

Without supplemental funding, USAF to halt all new rebuilding efforts at Tyndall AFB

In the absence of supplemental funding from Congress, the Air Force will uphold its planned halt on all new rebuilding efforts at Tyndall Air Force Base, FL, which was destroyed in a category 5 hurricane in October.

And finally, the Navy secretary talks about the risks to the service's newest submarine:

Spencer acknowledges risk in Columbia-class program goals

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer today acknowledged risk in the service’s goals for the Columbia-class submarine program, noting the Navy is working to alleviate concerns.

“We are balancing risk in both of those portfolios,” Spencer told the House Appropriations defense subcommittee panel, referring to the Virginia-class and Columbia-class submarine programs.

By Tony Bertuca
May 1, 2019 at 1:36 PM

The new National Defense Strategy calls for “urgent change at a significant scale” to reposition the U.S. military for global competitions with China and Russia, but the Defense Department lacks a sound strategic analysis process to drive the tough budget decisions likely required for major transformation, according to the Government Accountability Office and former Pentagon officials who spent years crafting national security policy.

The Pentagon's analytical shortcomings have also been noticed by Congress, which in the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act called DOD's ability to conduct detailed joint force assessments “particularly moribund.”

Get the free story here.

By Marjorie Censer
May 1, 2019 at 12:36 PM

Aerojet Rocketdyne this week reported aerospace and defense segment sales in its most recent quarter hit $490 million, essentially flat from the same three-month period a year earlier.

The company said it saw a decline in space program sales as a result of the RS-68 program and the winding down of the AJ60 solid rocket motor, but saw an increase of $8.6 million in defense program sales, driven by the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 program.

The company's aerospace and defense segment reported quarterly profit of nearly $65 million, close to double its income from the same period a year ago. However, Aerojet Rocketdyne said its 2018 profit was a result of “performance issues” related to its Commercial Crew Development program.

By Tony Bertuca
May 1, 2019 at 11:37 AM

Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan said today the Pentagon may hold a “space day” on Capitol Hill to convince lawmakers who remain skeptical about the Trump administration's proposal for a new Space Force.

Shanahan, who appeared today before the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, said the briefing would have “less DOD vernacular.”

House Appropriations defense subcommittee Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX) said it is “astonishing” that after a recent Space Force briefing she left with the impression that “we don't really know what we're doing.”

She urged Shanahan to better engage Congress as she would “hate” for the idea to go by the wayside.

Time is also running out for the Pentagon to make its case as the Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to begin marking up the defense authorization bill later this month.

The administration's Space Force proposal met stiff resistance from Senate authorizers last month.

By Ashley Tressel
May 1, 2019 at 10:55 AM

Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood has assumed command of the Army's Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, which now includes the service's new hypersonic project office, according to the service.

Thurgood's new role as director of hypersonics, directed energy, space and rapid acquisition for the Army includes overseeing development of a new hypersonic weapon the service aims to field at the battery level in fiscal year 2023, according to an Army news release.

The hypersonic project office, previously housed within the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Strategic Forces Command at Redstone Arsenal, AL, is tasked with developing the Army's Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon, “a prototype strategic attack weapon system to defeat Anti Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) capabilities, suppress adversary Long Range Fires, and engage other high payoff/time sensitive targets,” according to the service's fiscal year 2020 budget request.

“All of my energies are focused on a single outcome, fielding in 2023,” Thurgood said during his promotion ceremony at Redstone Arsenal last week. “Our refocused effort demands our full attention, our full measure of strength, and it requires our leaders to make difficult decisions. But there is no other outcome.”

Thurgood was confirmed by the Senate March 28, earning his third star.

He most recently served as director for test at the Missile Defense Agency and prior to that was the program executive officer for missiles and space.

By Marjorie Censer
May 1, 2019 at 9:27 AM

DynCorp International last week filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office over the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, or LOGCAP V.

Earlier this month, the Army said it had awarded spots on the program to KBR, Vectrus, Fluor and a PAE-Parsons team. KBR, Fluor and DynCorp International were the incumbents on the previous version of the program.

In an interview with Inside Defense last year, George Krivo, DynCorp's chief executive, called the program a must-win. In a new report, Moody's Investors Service called DynCorp's failure to win a spot “the worst possible outcome for the company.”

It “was also unexpected based on the level of mission support tasks the Army had been steering toward DI's areas of responsibility under LOGCAP IV,” the report added, noting DynCorp generated about 20 percent of its annual sales from the program.

By Marjorie Censer
May 1, 2019 at 9:24 AM

AeroVironment announced this week it has established what it's calling its New England Innovation Center, an office that will “lead development of advanced solutions complementing AeroVironment’s market-leading small [unmanned aircraft systems] and furthering the company’s growth strategy.”

The company noted the Boston area is a center of both development and talent in key technologies, including robotics and artificial intelligence.

AeroVironment has named Tom Vaneck to serve as vice president and managing director of the new center. He previously worked as vice president of InstantEye Robotics, a division of Physical Sciences, and as general manager of Aurora Flight Sciences' Cambridge Research and Development Center.

By Marjorie Censer
May 1, 2019 at 9:22 AM

Lockheed Martin said this week it has named Robert Lightfoot, former acting administrator of NASA, vice president for strategy and business development at Lockheed Martin Space, effective next week.

The move is one of five recent strategy and business development hires the contractor unveiled.

“In his new role, Lightfoot will lead strategic planning, advanced technology concepts, and new business strategy for the corporation's Space business area,” the company said, noting Lockheed Martin Space comprises 18,000 employees. “The business area's programs include GPS, missile warning and communications satellites for the Department of Defense; human and robotic exploration systems for NASA; weather and commercial communications satellites, and strategic missile and missile defense systems.”

Additionally, Lockheed said it has named Doug Laurendeau, a 35-year Lockheed employee, vice president of strategy and business development for the company's rotary and mission systems business.

Ken Kota joins Lockheed from Cobham and has been named vice president of strategy and business development for the missiles and fire control unit.

Lockheed said it has tapped Mike Smith, formerly of Huntington Ingalls Industries, to serve as vice president and strategic planning, and Erin Moseley, who was previously at Inglee, Sauer, Moseley Strategies, to be vice president of strategy and business development within the aeronautics division.

By Marjorie Censer
May 1, 2019 at 9:17 AM

Cubic said this week it has added three new executives to its defense business.

Mark Schmaltz has been named vice president and general manager of synthetic/digital solutions, which is a newly created unit consisting of Cubic's maritime, virtual, immersive and game-based technologies.

“Synthetic/Digital Solutions will focus on growing Cubic’s simulation and digital transformation initiatives and is comprised of Cubic’s Orlando, Austin and Denmark studios,” the company said.

Schmaltz spent more than 30 years at Rockwell Collins.

Michael Maughan has been named vice president of business development and strategy. He was senior director of advanced programs and strategic development for General Atomics.

Additionally, Kenneth Lowe, formerly vice president of finance for L3 Technologies' electron devices division, has been named vice president.

By Ashley Tressel
April 30, 2019 at 5:07 PM

The Senate yesterday confirmed Army Gen. Stephen Townsend as the chief of U.S. Africa Command.

As the head of AFRICOM, Townsend will be responsible for military relations with African nations, the African Union and African regional security organizations. Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser had led the command since July 2016.

Townsend previously served as the head of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, since last March, and before that commanded the XVIII Airborne Corps at Ft. Bragg, NC.

Lt. Gen. Paul Funk will replace Townsend as TRADOC chief, according to a press release from the Army. Funk currently serves as commanding general of III Armored Corps and Ft. Hood, TX.