The Insider

John Liang | August 21, 2018 at 1:56 PM

Lockheed Martin's fourth multidomain command-and-control tabletop exercise leads off this Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest.

Our continuing coverage of Lockheed Martin's fourth multidomain command-and-control tabletop exercise:

Airmen, Lockheed share ideas on future of AOCs under MDC2

SUFFOLK, VA -- Launching a multidomain command-and-control enterprise could spur significant changes to the Air Force's global network of Air Operations Centers, including standing up C2 centers that transcend combatant command boundaries as well as creating new leadership positions and authorities.

Previous MDC2 coverage from this week, in case you missed it:

Lockheed seeks path forward for MDC2 as wargame tools, processes mature

SUFFOLK, VA -- Lockheed Martin officials say the Air Force needs to give industry a better sense of how the military wants to approach multidomain command-and-control so companies can tailor their investments.

Lockheed launched the exercises in 2016 to better understand the process of multidomain planning and to piece together existing and new systems that enable those operators. Check out our curtain-raiser from last March:

Lockheed builds on MDC2 exercises with new objectives, technology

Lockheed Martin is planning its fourth multidomain command-and-control tabletop exercise this summer that will use automated tools to plan kinetic and non-kinetic effects in air, space and cyberspace.

Also ICYMI, the big Army combat vehicle news:

Army accelerates NGCV, planning draft RFP for October and two EMD awards next year

Army Secretary Mark Esper has directed the service to accelerate the Next Generation Combat Vehicle program, establishing a two-pronged project to immediately launch a major competition to replace the Bradley fleet with NGCV optionally manned fighting vehicles, while also establishing an NGCV robotic combat vehicle project to mature technologies for future platforms.

Document: NGCV industry day briefing slides, Q&A


In other news, the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning held a hearing to consider several Trump administration nominees to serve in senior-level Defense Department and Army posts.

Among them are Alan Shaffer to be deputy under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, Veronica Daigle to be assistant secretary of defense for readiness, Robert McMahon to be assistant secretary of defense for sustainment, E. Casey Wardynski to be assistant Army secretary for manpower and reserve affairs, and Alex Beehler to be assistant Army secretary for installations, energy and environment.

View their prepared testimony and answers to advance policy questions

Justin Katz | August 21, 2018 at 12:12 PM

The Navy plans to hold an industry day Sept. 20 for the purpose of developing a new system that would provide real-time updates on an aviator's cognitive status in an effort to prevent physiological episodes, according to an Aug. 20 Federal Business Opportunities Notice.

The system must be capable of real-time monitoring of physiologic and cognitive parameters; prediction of an impending physiological event that "may result in degradation of psychomotor performance" and alert the aircrew as necessary.

"The system should function within the tactical military aviation environment and should not interfere with existing flight support equipment, clothing, and other aircraft warning systems," according to the notice.

"It also should not require modification of aircraft and be able to function independently of the host aircraft," the notice states.

The industry day will include briefings about aircrew systems, F/A-18 physiological episodes, T-45 physiological episodes and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.

Naval Air Systems Command in late March issued a call for white papers from industry regarding a system capable of detecting physiological episodes.

John Liang | August 21, 2018 at 10:36 AM

The Senate Armed Services Committee is holding a hearing this morning to consider several Trump administration nominees to serve in senior-level Defense Department and Army posts.

Among them are Alan Shaffer to be deputy under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, Veronica Daigle to be assistant secretary of defense for readiness, Robert McMahon to be assistant secretary of defense for sustainment, E. Casey Wardynski to be assistant Army secretary for manpower and reserve affairs, and Alex Beehler to be assistant Army secretary for installations, energy and environment.

View their prepared testimony and answers to advance policy questions

Rachel Cohen | August 21, 2018 at 10:05 AM

Air Force Reserve Gen. Maryanne Miller will become the next leader of Air Mobility Command following a promotion from lieutenant general, the service said Tuesday.

"Miller will become the first citizen airman in the history of the Air Force Reserve to pin on a fourth star," according to an Air Force press release. "In 2016, she became the first female in the history of the Air Force Reserve to be chief of the Air Force Reserve and commander of the Air Force Reserve Command. . . . Miller will become the first Reserve citizen airman to lead Air Mobility Command."

An AMC spokesman said Wednesday Miller will take over for Gen. Carlton Everhart on Sept. 7. Everhart is retiring after holding the post for three years. The command is in the midst of bringing on Boeing's KC-46 tanker fleet, replacing Air Force One and exploring the future of moving military cargo and personnel around the globe, among other efforts.

Miller joined the Air Force in 1981 and has served as a pilot and wing commander, on the Air Staff and Joint Staff and as deputy to the Air Force Reserve Command chief. The Senate confirmed her promotion by voice vote Monday.

Tony Bertuca | August 21, 2018 at 8:47 AM

The Senate has confirmed Lt. Gen. Mike Murray to lead Army Futures Command, slated to be established in Austin, TX, in the coming year.  

The job comes with a four-star rank for Murray, who has served as the deputy chief of staff (G-8) since August 2015, responsible for programming the Army’s budgets. 

Inside Defense first broke news of Murray’s selection in May.  

Tony Bertuca | August 20, 2018 at 4:45 PM

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) said today he hopes the Senate can pass a "minibus" spending bill this week that includes $675 billion for defense.

"I simply want to remind my colleagues what is at stake with this legislation and our path to success -- hopefully this week," he said on the Senate floor.

Shelby said past appropriations bills failed because of controversial amendments, often called "poison pills."

"We know where the fault lines run," he said. "Hopefully we can avoid them."

Along with defense spending, the "minibus" also includes funding for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education departments as well as related agencies.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the top Democratic appropriator, said he and Shelby have been successful at achieving bipartisan consensus in part because of a "rejection of poison pill riders and controversial authorizing language."

Meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has offered an amendment to the bill that would defund Planned Parenthood, which provides abortion services.

If the bill is to avoid a Democratic filibuster, it is likely that measures like Paul's will need to be excluded.

On the Senate floor, Shelby said he understands that "one senator's poison pill is often another senator's priority," and urged his colleagues to focus "on accomplishing the big-picture priorities" in the bill, such as an increase in defense spending.

"I hope my optimism is not misplaced," he said.

John Liang | August 20, 2018 at 2:12 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has some big news about the Army's combat vehicle programs as well as coverage of Lockheed Martin's multidomain command-and-control efforts and more.

To help finance the new Next Generation Combat Vehicle program, the Army is terminating the planned Bradley A5 upgrade effort:

Army accelerates NGCV, planning draft RFP for October and two EMD awards next year

Army Secretary Mike Esper has directed the service to accelerate the Next Generation Combat Vehicle program, establishing a two-pronged project to immediately launch a major competition to replace the Bradley fleet with NGCV optionally manned fighting vehicles, while also establishing an NGCV robotic combat vehicle project to mature technologies for future platforms.

Lockheed Martin recently invited reporters to watch part of its fourth, week-long event in a series of multidomain command-and-control tabletop exercises at a company facility in Suffolk, VA:

Lockheed seeks path forward for MDC2 as wargame tools, processes mature

SUFFOLK, VA -- Lockheed Martin officials say the Air Force needs to give industry a better sense of how the military wants to approach multidomain command-and-control so companies can tailor their investments.

A Navy aircraft carrier will be getting 3D printers:

Stennis to be first aircraft carrier with additive manufacturing lab

The aircraft carrier John C. Stennis (CVN-74) will become the first Navy ship in its class to receive an advanced manufacturing lab consisting of four 3D printers, according to a Navy spokeswoman.

Defense cyber news from our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity:

Bolton touts cyber deterrence amid reports of Mattis poised to issue cybersecurity statement

President Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, is touting the deterrence benefit of offensive operations in cyberspace, as the administration has reportedly unleashed the U.S. military to pursue cyber aggressors and as high-ranking officials have pledged a more active role in countering foreign cyber adversaries, including sources indicating Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is poised to issue a cybersecurity statement.

China's cyber operations are modeled on CYBERCOM, Pentagon report says

China's development of a Strategic Support Force for cyber and electronic warfare is modeled on the consolidation of operations under U.S. Cyber Command, according to a new Pentagon report, which describes China's push for global dominance in cyberspace.

Document: DOD's 2018 report on China's military power

Tony Bertuca | August 20, 2018 at 5:15 AM

The Senate will meet to consider the defense appropriations bill this week, while the Senate Armed Services Committee holds a nomination hearing for several key Pentagon positions. Senior defense officials are also scheduled to speak at various conferences around the Washington area.

Monday

The Senate convenes to debate the fiscal year 2019 defense appropriations bill.

Tuesday

The Senate Armed Services Committee holds nomination hearings for several senior Pentagon positions.

The National Defense Industrial Association hosts the Army science and technology symposium in Washington through Thursday.

FedScoop hosts a FedTalks event featuring senior DOD officials.

Wednesday

The Atlantic Council hosts an event on U.S. cyber strategy.

Splunk and Government Executive host an event on data-driven cybersecurity.

John Liang | August 20, 2018 at 5:05 AM

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

1. SAPA Transmission, the U.S. subsidiary of a Spanish defense contractor, is moving forward with support from the state of Michigan to establish a bona fide industrial operation there, advancing plans for a domestic manufacturing beachhead to challenge the Pentagon's two long-standing combat vehicle transmission suppliers.

Full story: Spanish firm establishes U.S. industrial operation in Michigan

2. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva on July 25 signed the Joint Concept for Operating in the Information Environment, detailing the joint force's new approach to information warfare.

Full story: JCS vice chairman signs joint concept on role of information

3. Army senior leaders in developing its six-year spending plan required program managers to "justify" the purpose of any effort that does not directly support one of the service's six modernization priorities, according to the vice chief of staff.

Full story: McConville: S&T realignment 'a good first step' toward NDS, modernization

4. The Chinese military is "likely training" for strikes against the United States and its allies, according to a new "special topic" section in the Pentagon's annual report on China's military capabilities.

Full story: Pentagon: China is 'likely training' for strikes against U.S. targets

John Liang | August 20, 2018 at 5:00 AM

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

1. When Huntington Ingalls Industries bought Camber in late 2016, it paired the government services company with six other businesses -- from an oil and gas company to its unmanned systems group -- to create a new division called technical solutions.

Full story: HII hunts for new opportunities with technical solutions division

2. China's strategy to become the world's science and technology leader relies on advances in dual-use technologies, such as artificial intelligence, likely to be driven by the commercial sector, but adopted by its military to fight "informatized warfare," according to a new Pentagon report.

Full story: DOD focusing on China's dual-use tech ambitions for new era of warfare

3. The F-35 Joint Program Office projects it will cost $643 million to upgrade 54 F-35C Joint Strike Fighters to Block 3F software between April 2016 and January 2020, among other modifications.

Full story: Navy will spend $643M to upgrade 54 F-35Cs, including software to Block 3F

4. When President Trump signed the 2019 defense policy bill on Aug. 13, he authorized multiyear buys of two major aircraft programs for the Navy.

Full story: NDAA authorizes multiyear deals for Hawkeyes, Super Hornets

Tony Bertuca | August 17, 2018 at 3:33 PM

The Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to hold a nomination hearing Tuesday for several senior Pentagon positions.

Appearing before the committee will be Alan Shaffer, nominated to be deputy under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment; Veronica Daigle, tapped to be assistant defense secretary for readiness and force management; Robert McMahon, nominated to be assistant defense secretary for sustainment; Casey Wardynski, picked to be assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs; and Alex Beehler, nominated to be assistant secretary of the Army for energy, installations and environment.

Lawmakers have been trying to move quickly on President Trump's defense nominees. The White House, for instance, only announced Trump's intent to nominate McMahon last week.

Should the nominees be approved by the committee, they will join a long list of others waiting to be considered by the full Senate, including Lisa Porter, who has been nominated to be the under secretary of defense for research and engineering.

Some congressional staffers have said they are concerned Porter and Shaffer's jobs will be long vacant as the Pentagon reorganizes its entire acquisition management structure.

Ashley Tressel | August 17, 2018 at 3:25 PM

The Army has awarded a $92.5 million sole-source contract for at least 180 Husky Mounted Detection Systems, the Defense Department announced this week.

Chemring Sensors and Electronic Systems, the parent company of NIITEK, on Aug. 15 received the four-year indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity award to produce new systems, replace fielded parts  and provide spare parts.

The HMDS, an armored vehicle-mounted ground-penetrating radar system, is used by the Army to detect and mark land mines and other explosive hazards.

The service also has plans to upgrade its current HMDSs, part of a total $78.5 million funding line in the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

John Liang | August 17, 2018 at 2:42 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest includes news on an expanding combat vehicle transmission manufacturer, DOD's annual report to Congress on China and more.

The Army's current ground combat vehicle transmission manufacturers could be getting more foreign competition:

Spanish firm establishes U.S. industrial operation in Michigan

SAPA Transmission, the U.S. subsidiary of a Spanish defense contractor, is moving forward with support from the state of Michigan to establish a bona fide industrial operation there, advancing plans for a domestic manufacturing beachhead to challenge the Pentagon's two long-standing combat vehicle transmission suppliers.

The Defense Department's annual report to Congress on China's military capabilities is out:

Pentagon: China is 'likely training' for strikes against U.S. targets

The Chinese military is "likely training" for strikes against the United States and its allies, according to a new "special topic" section in the Pentagon's annual report on China's military capabilities.

Document: DOD's 2018 report on China's military power


Navy Secretary Richard Spencer recently said many surface warfare reforms are "fully underway," but not necessarily complete:

Spencer: 78 of 111 surface warfare reform recommendations are 'fully underway'

The Navy will finish implementing by the end of the fiscal year 78 of 111 surface warfare reform recommendations made by the service's two major reviews, according to the Navy.

The joint force has a new approach to information warfare:

Selva signs joint concept on role of information

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva on July 25 signed the Joint Concept for Operating in the Information Environment, detailing the joint force's new approach to information warfare.

Document: Army's joint concept on role of information


The Navy has started independent risk assessments of certain programs:

MQ-25 requirements for 'independent technical risk assessments' fulfilled; JPALS, G/ATOR next in line

The Navy has begun conducting "independent technical risk assessments," which were mandated by the Pentagon's chief technology officer in June, starting with the service's highly anticipated unmanned aerial tanker and followed by an all-weather landing system for land- and sea-based aircraft as well as a multimission radar, according to a Navy spokesman.

Defense cyber news from our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity:

Sen. Rounds: Update was due for directive on cyber-offense; ex-officials weigh impact

Senate Armed Services cybersecurity subcommittee Chairman Mike Rounds (R-SD) is praising the Trump administration for scrapping an Obama-era order on offensive military actions in cyberspace, while former top cybersecurity officials found positives as well as concerning elements in the policy move.

New law grants Pentagon broad powers to counter cyberattacks, protect critical infrastructure

The recently enacted annual defense authorization measure gives the Defense Department broad authority to take a more active role in defending privately owned critical infrastructure, deterring and "defeating" cyber aggression from foreign adversaries -- specifically Russia, China, North Korea and Iran -- and securing industrial operations relied on by the military.

Maximilian Kwiatkowski | August 17, 2018 at 1:06 PM

The Army recently met with industry to lay out its plans for maintaining and updating the Apache attack helicopter until the Future Vertical Lift aircraft is fielded.

In an Aug. 7 meeting with industry, the service said its modernization focus areas are the weapons, sensors, flight performance and electronic communication systems for the next version of the AH-64E, capability version six.

Some of these upgrades include a radar with a longer range to detect unmanned aircraft systems, a system to geo-locate targets and enhanced cameras with color displays and better range.

The Army wants development for capability version six to start in 2018 and end in 2026, when another version would begin development. The Apache is expected to serve as the Army's main attack helicopter until at least 2048.

The next industry days for the Apache are scheduled for February and August next year.

The first meeting will introduce the Army's priorities for the helicopter over the next three to five years as well as their plans for the next six and beyond, while the second will discuss modernization requirements previously discussed. Sometime after these meetings, a request for proposal for the next round of modernization in fiscal year 2020 is expected to be posted.

The Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, recently signed by President Trump, includes a provision requiring the Army secretary to brief both armed services committees on the FVL program by March 1. The briefing will go over how the aircraft would survive anti-air attacks, the total number needed, budget requirements and a review of how the needs were determined.

According to a time line shown at the industry day, production of the FVL aircraft is scheduled to start in 2034.

Marjorie Censer | August 17, 2018 at 12:47 PM

Larry Prior, the former chief executive of CSRA, which was sold to General Dynamics earlier this year, said today he expects additional consolidation among government contractors.

Speaking at a breakfast hosted by Washington Technology, Prior said there's a "summer lull" at the moment.

"It feels a little quiet, but I think under the surface there's a lot going on," he said. "You're going to see, I think, another wave of consolidation."

Prior singled out Leidos and CACI International as contractors likely pursuing more acquisitions.

"I think everything around tech services is begging for consolidation, and then everybody's trying to gain advantage in the IT stack," Prior said. "We're just beginning, I think, to consolidate this marketplace."