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April 16 Defense Industry Weekly Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

Bidding Reopens Next Week on Controversial Afghan Aircraft Contract

Agence France-Presse. The Air Force announced it will try again to reopen the contract competition for the Afghan Air Force light attack aircraft, after canceling the award of the contract to Brazil’s Embraer and Sierra Nevada two months ago amid allocations of mishandling of the competition. The new contract will not see award until early 2013 most likely, and comes as rumors of an impending bankruptcy by competitor Hawker-Beechcraft swirl. Overall the new plan means a delay of just over 15 months from the original plan to give the Afghans their own ground support aircraft.

U.S. Navy’s LCS Yet to Fullfill its Promise

Christopher Cavas, Defense News. This is a thorough nuts-to-bolts review of the challenges of the Navy’s somewhat troubled LCS ship building program as multiple delays and design issues have kept the two existing ships from joining the fleet. @CavasShips explains very well how much the Navy has placed their faith in this new and vastly different ship, and just how much rides on its success in spite of continuing issues with possible design flaws and other limits.

Pentagon Sets Up Fast Track for Buying Cyber War Tools

David Alexander, Reuters. The DoD has sent a report to Congress outlining a new fast-track process to acquire needed cyber warfare capabilities, which would be overseen by a new senior-level Cyber Investment Management Board. The goal of this new system would be to get around the excruciatingly long defense acquisition process to meet the rapidly changing cyber environment, and give the department the capability to get the most current technology to combat the constantly changing cyber threat to the U.S. Some pieces of the plan are already in place while the remainder would be rolled out over the next six months.

Pentagon Defends Millions to Contractor Despite Unpaid Taxes

Tom Vanden Brook and Ray Locker, USA Today. Vanden Brook and Locker are continuing to beat Leonie Industries over the award of contracts to the firm for information operations support in Afghanistan in spite of the owners reportedly owing millions in federal taxes. The issue has caught the eye of Congressman who feel the issue should have been a factor in awarding the contract to the firm, while the Pentagon is pushing back saying they did check and nothing came up. The owners claim they were already on a payment plan with the IRS. Overall this could make contracts even more drawn out and complicated as another hurdle is added to the awarding of DoD contracts to winning firms, as the department checks with the IRS to see if the companies are current on their taxes.

Military Spouse Training Program Under Scrutiny

Fredereka Schouten, USA Today. The military spouse program called My Career Advancement Accounts, commonly MyCAA, is once again being looked at for misuse of funds and inappropriate schools getting the proceeds. The program was designed in 2009 as a way to help military spouses gain certificates, licenses or associates degrees to advance their careers.  Instead it seems a good bit of the money goes to schools that aren’t offering job training as much as classes for personal growth. The example in the article is an obedience training class for a military spouse to better control her household pet. Schools insist they are complying with the rules but whether or not the rules are correct is the real issue, as MyCAA was previously shut down for similar reasons.

The week ahead:

Themes: The Congress is back in session and the GSA and Secret Service scandals will likely get most of the focus as scandals are always compelling news. The budget battle is still in flux.

Tradeshows:

Navy League Sea, Air, Space Symposium (Mon-Weds, 16-18 April) Gaylord National Harbor, National Harbor, MD. The Sea, Air, Space Symposium is the premier Navy focused trade show and professional symposium for the Navy. There will be over 150 exhibitors and approximately 12,000 attendees representing all commands of the Navy and a large chunk of the Marine Corps as well. Last year’s show had the largest Marine Corps turn out in the shows history. The event is not open to the general public but military retirees, defense industry representatives and others are allowed to visit for free.

Space Foundation National Space Symposium (Mon-Thurs, 16-19 April) Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs, CO. This event is known as the premier gathering of space professionals in the world and this year they are expecting a record 9,000 attendees and over 165 exhibitors and 800 organizations to have representatives.  Anyone working in any aspect of the space industry from missile systems to satellites will find something interesting at this symposium.

Congress: The full Congress is in session this week.

Senate:

Senate Armed Services Committee – Hearing (2:30PM, Tues, 7 April) Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee hearing on the health and status of the Defense Department science and technology laboratories and enterprise in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY2013 and the Future Years Defense Program. Witnesses: Assistant Defense Secretary for Research and Engineering Zachary Lemnios; Marilyn Freeman, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for research and technology; Mary Lacey, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development, test, and evaluation; and Steven Walker, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for science, technology, and engineering testify Location: 222 Russell Senate Office Building

Senate Appropriations Committee – Hearing (9:30 AM, Wed, 18 April) Defense Subcommittee hearing on the FY2013 budget request for the Missile Defense Agency. Witnesses: Missile Defense Agency Director Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly testifies Location: 192 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Senate Armed Services Committee – Hearing (2:30 PM, Wed, 18 April) Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee hearing on financial management and business transformation at the Defense Department. Witnesses: Defense Undersecretary/Comptroller Robert Hale; Elizabeth McGrath, deputy chief management officer for the Defense Department; Joseph Westphal, chief management officer of the Army; Mary Sally Matiella, assistant secretary of the Army for financial management and comptroller; Robert Work, chief management officer of the Navy; Gladys Commons, assistant secretary of the Navy for financial management and comptroller; Jamie Morin, assistant secretary of the Air Force for financial management and comptroller; David Tillotson III, deputy chief management officer of the Air Force; and Asif Khan, director of financial management and assurance at the Government Accountability Office, testify Location: G-50 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Senate Armed Services Committee – Hearing (2:30, Wed, 18 April) Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing on the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) management of its National Security Laboratories. Witnesses: Charles McMillan, director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory; Paul Hommert, director of Sandia National Laboratories; Penrose Albright, director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Charles Shank, senior fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and co-chair of the Committee to Review the Quality of the Management and of the Science and Engineering Research at the Department of Energy’s National Security Laboratories-Phase 1; C. Kumar Patel, president and CEO of the Pranalytica, Inc., co-chair, Committee to Review the Quality of the Management and of the Science and Engineering Research at the Energy Department’s National Security Laboratories-Phase 1, testify Location: 222 Russell Senate Office Building

Senate Armed Services Committee – Hearing (9:30 AM, Thurs, 19 April) Seapower Subcommittee hearing on Navy shipbuilding programs in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY2013 and the Future Years Defense Program. Witnesses: Sean Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition; Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command; Vice Adm. John Blake, deputy chief of naval operations, integration of capabilities and resources (N8); Vice Adm. William Burke, deputy chief of naval operations, warfare systems (N9); and Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, deputy commandant for combat development and integration/commanding general of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, testify Location: 232-A Russell Senate Office Building

House of Representatives:

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee – Hearing (4:00 PM, Mon, 16 April) Health Subcommittee hearing on H.R.1460, to provide for automatic enrollment of veterans returning from combat zones into the VA medical system; H.R.3016, to direct the secretary of Defense and the secretary of Veterans Affairs to jointly operate the Federal Recovery Coordination Program; H.R.3245, the “Efficient Service for Veterans Act”; H.R.3279, to clarify that caregivers for veterans with serious illnesses are eligible for assistance and support services provided by the secretary of Veterans Affairs; H.R.3337, the “Open Burn Pit Registry Act of 2011”; H.R.3723, the “Enhanced Veteran Healthcare Experience Act of 2011”; and H.R.4079, the “Safe Housing for Homeless Veterans Act.” Witnesses: TBD Location: 334 Cannon House Office Building

House Armed Services Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Tues, 17 April) Full committee hearing on “National Defense Priorities from Members for the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act.” Witnesses: Members of Congress testify Location: 2118 Rayburn House Office Building

House Armed Services Committee – Hearing (3:00 PM, Tues, 17 April) Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing on “The FY2013 National Defense Budget Request for Atomic Energy Defense Activities and Nuclear Forces Programs.” Witnesses: Assistant Defense Secretary for Global Strategic Affairs Madelyn Creedon; Air Force Gen. C. Robert Kehler, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command; Energy Undersecretary for Nuclear Security Thomas D’Agostino, administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration; David Huizenga, senior adviser for environmental management at the Energy Department; and Peter Winokur, chairman of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, testify Location: 2212 Rayburn House Office Building

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee – Hearing (10:00AM, Wed, 18 April) Full committee hearing on “From the Inside Out: A Look at Claims Representatives’ Role in the Disability Claims Process. Witnesses: TBD Location: 334 Cannon House Office Building

House Armed Services Committee – Hearing (3:00PM, Weds, 18 April) Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on “The Navy’s 30 Year Shipbuilding Plan – Assumptions and Associated Risks to National Security.” Witnesses: TBD Location: 2118 Rayburn House Office Building

House Armed Services Committee – Hearing (10:00AM, Thurs, 19 April) Full committee hearing on “Recent Developments in the Middle East: The Security Situation in the Syrian Arab Republic.” Witnesses: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta; and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey testify Location: 2118 Rayburn House Office Building

Think tanks and other news events:

Stimson Center: The Arms Trade Treaty: Setting The Stage For U.S. Leadership In The July 2012 Negotiations Washington D.C. (10:00 AM, Mon, 16 April) Description: In July 2012, the United States will take part in negotiations to develop an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) at the United Nations. The ATT would be the first treaty regulating the international trade in conventional arms. The absence of such international standards has fueled crime and violence around the world by allowing criminals, terrorists, militant groups, and rogue regimes to be armed with impunity. RSVP online. Participants: Thomas Countryman, Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of State, Major General Roger R. Blunt (Ret.), CEO, Essex Construction, LLC, Ann Ganzer, Director, Office of Conventional Arms Threat Reduction, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of State, Peter Lichtenbaum, Partner, Covington & Burling and former Vice President, BAE Systems, Inc., Paul O’Brien, Vice President for Policy and Campaigns, Oxfam America Location: 1111 19th Street NW, Twelfth Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036

The Brookings Institution: NATO, Deterrence and Reassurance: Looking Toward the Chicago Summit and Beyond Washington D.C. (2:00 PM, Mon 16 April) Description: At the November 2010 summit in Lisbon, NATO leaders commissioned a deterrence and defense posture review which, among other things, examines the rationale and requirement for U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe. The review will be presented to NATO leaders at the upcoming summit in Chicago from May 20-21. What questions and perspectives shape NATO’s consideration of its nuclear posture? Given possible changes in NATO forces in the coming decade, are there other steps the alliance should take to maintain a deterrent that reassures its members that their security will be safeguarded? RSVP online. Participants: Malcolm Chalmers, Research Director, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, Jeffrey McCausland, Visiting Professor of Research and Minerva Chair, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, Leo Michel, Research Fellow, Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Thomas Nichols, Professor, U.S. Naval War College, George Perkovich, Vice President for Studies and Director, Nuclear Policy Program, Steven Pifer, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center on the United States and Europe, Paul Schulte, Nonresident Senior Associate, Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program and Carnegie Europe, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Location: Falk Auditorium, The Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20009

The Brookings Institution: Conflict and Stabilization Operations: A Conversation with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Rick Barton Washington D.C. (10:00 AM, Tue 17 April)

Description: For years, the U.S. government has been grappling with how to manage conflict prevention and stabilize crises and conflict-torn societies. Ongoing reforms at the U.S. Department of State include the transformation of the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization into a new Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. The mission of the new bureau is to advance U.S. national security by driving integrated, civilian-led efforts to prevent, respond to, and stabilize crises in priority states, creating conditions for long-term peace. RSVP online. Participants: Rick Barton, Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations, U.S. Department of State Location: Saul/Zilkha Rooms, The Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20009

Foreign Policy Research Institute: The Future of Professional Military Education Washington D.C. (2:00 PM, Wed 18 April) Description: The education of military officers is an important element of national security decision making and civil-military relations, but much debate surrounds how to educate strategic leaders. On April 18, 2012, the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) and the Reserve Officers Association (ROA) will present a workshop of leading authorities to discuss the current state of professional military education (PME) in the United States. Free for Members of FPRI and ROA, $20 for everyone else. More information on registering here. Participants: Dr. Joan Johnson-Freese, Professor, US Naval War College, Tom Ricks, Senior Fllow, Center for a New American Security, Maj. Gen. Robert Scales (Ret.), formerly Commandant of the US Army War College, Robert E. Feidler, Director, Defense Strategic Education, Reserve Officers Association Location: Reserve Officers Association, One Constitution Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

The Marshall Institute: Grand Strategy and the Strategic Triad Washington D.C. (12:00 PM, Fri 20 April) Description: The Independent Working Group (IWG) on Missile Defense and the Space Relationship will convene a roundtable discussion to discuss U.S. grand strategy and national security. The focus will be space, nuclear modernization, and missile defense within a strategic triad as part of a 21st-century U.S. grand strategy which includes much of the cyber domain and could represent a frontier for U.S. security. More information on registering here. Participants: Dr. Robert Butterworth, President of Aries Analytics, Dr. Keith Payne, President, National Institute for Public Policy, Dr. Henry F. Cooper, Chairman, High Frontier, Dr. Rob Soofer, Strategic Forces Policy Advisor, Office of Senator Jon Kyl, Dr. Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr., Co-Chairman of the Independent Working Group on Missile Defense and the Space Relationship. Location: Senate Visitors Center, Room 200, U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Washington, D.C.

Fred Wellman with General Petraeus in Iraq

Fred Wellman, President ScoutComms, brings us his weekly review of defense industry news via The Scout Report. Fred served over twenty years as an Army officer in both aviation and public affairs. You can follow Fred on Twitter @ScoutComms.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 1:26 pm

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