April 30 Weekly Defense Industry Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

Women Increasingly Fill Prominent Defense Industry Positions

Marjorie Censer, Washington Post Capital Business. @CommonCenser looks at the rise to prominence of female executives at some of the defense industries’ biggest corporations. This week General Dynamics promoted Phebe Novakovic to become president and chief operating officer just on the heels of Lockheed Martin naming Marilyn Hewson as their new president and chief operating officer as well. They join BAE Systems, Inc. president and CEO Linda Hudson as part of a surge of female leaders in what has been a traditionally male dominated business sector.

C-27J End Not Official, Yet USAF Moves Forward

Marcus Weisgerber, Defense News. Even though Congress has not yet approved a budget which includes the Air Force’s sought after cuts in the C-27J aircraft program, the service has already begun the various processes aimed at mothballing the fleet. They have already stopped training new National Guard pilots and aircraft destined for Battle Creek, Michigan will instead go to a facility in Texas to be finished, and likely headed to storage upon completion. SASC leaders Levin and McCain have already weighed in but the Air Force insists these moves can easily be reversed if plans change. Either way the controversy around the decision to deactivate brand new aircraft that are popular with the Army isn’t soon to die down. DoDBuzz’s Phil Ewing has a review from the field about how much the Army loves the aircraft at the same time its being killed in Washington here: Far from DC battles, C-27 gets glowing reviews

Pentagon Cyber-Sharing Project Expanding to 200 Companies

Gopal Ratnam and Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg Businessweek. The DoD wants to expand a pilot program launched two years ago with 37 companies on the sharing of cyber security threats all the way up to 200 participants. The Defense Industrial Base Information Sharing Environment is a voluntary program for private companies to participate in an information sharing system to minimize cyber threats that are growing each year and seem to be emanating from China.  Increasingly defense contractors are the target of hackers who can then leverage the holes into the larger defense eco-system.

U.S. House Lawmakers Add $1.1 Billion for Army, Air Force Programs

Kate Brannen and Marcus Weisgerber, Defense News. Expressing frustration with the Pentagon’s planned cuts to several major weapons systems, the House Armed Services subcommittee on tactical air and land forces added $1.1 billion above what DoD requested for a few programs. Upgrades include the Global Hawk Block 30 program and additional combat vehicles such as M1’s and Bradley Fighting Vehicles for the Army. In addition, they would fully fund the purchase of 35 more F-35’s and 36 more MQ-9 Reaper UAV’s among other add-ons.  It remains to be seen if the additions will survive through full committee mark-ups and the actual budget vote.

Pentagon Seeks Regulatory Reforms to Stop Price Gouging

Sandra Erwin, National Defense. The Pentagon procurement system is trying to change language in regulations that further defines what is considered “commercial” for off the shelf purchases of equipment. To the DoD this is an effort to get more transparency on pricing models for items they purchase and avoid inflation of price tags. However, to industry this is just another pile of red tape they will have to navigate in an industry that is already buried in the material. Current rules are fairly broad as items that are listed as commercial aren’t even sold to the general public at all but seem to be marked as such to prevent audits of the pricing models.  In the end it will be up to Congress to change existing laws and allow the Pentagon to change the rules.

Former Navy SEAL Powers the Battlefield with Hybrid Generators

Phil McKenna, Danger Room. In another example of veteran entrepreneurship at its best, Wired has the story of Doug Moorehead who is the president of a clean-tech startup he founded that his producing hybrid solar-diesel generators for the military. An idea that was sparked during his service in combat led the veteran to leave his former company and start out on his own to create hybrid power sources that reduced fuel requirements in the field by 93% during testing and are right now in combat in Afghanistan. Always good to see veterans leading the way in industry.

The week ahead:

Themes:  Congress is out for the week so the beatings for the various military branches and VA will be on reprieve for at least a few days. Expect some maneuvering based on the flurry of additions to the Pentagon budget by the House Armed Services sub-committees as the full committee mark-up starts the week after next and both sides seek to stake their positions ahead of this crucial next step.


NDIA Global Explosive Ordnance Disposal Conference and Exhibition (Wed-Thurs, 2-3 May) Emerald Coast Convention Center, Ft. Walton Beach, FL. NDIA’s annual EOD conference is the premier event in this unique space bringing together military EOD leaders and industry to discuss the full spectrum of ordnance disposal missions from combat to homeland security.

Congress:   The full Congress is not in session this week.

Think tanks and other news events: 

Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies: Corporate Social Responsibility In the MENA Region: New Trends and Future Challenges Washington, D.C. (12:00PM, Mon 30 April) Description: A luncheon to discuss the latest CSR initiatives in the MENA region and investigate the obstacles to but also the opportunities for the promotion of responsible business behavior in the region. RSVP online. Participants: Dr. Mohamed Mattar, Executive Director of The Protection Project, and Dr. Amr El Adawi, President of Beirut Arab University in Lebanon. Location: 1717 Massachusetts Ave NW, BOB Building, Room 500, Washington D.C., 20036

Stimson Center: Chairman’s Forum Washington, D.C. (12:00 PM, Tues 1 May) Description: General Norton A. Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, sits down with Lincoln Bloomfield, Jr., Stimson’s Chairman of the Board, for an informal discussion. RSVP online. Participants: General Norton A. Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, and Lincoln Bloomfield, Jr., Stimson’s Chairman of the Board Location: 1111 19th Street, 12th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: A Conversation with General Martin Dempsey Washington, D.C. (2:00 PM, Tues 1 May) Description: General Martin Dempsey, the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will deliver remarks at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  RSVP online. Participants: General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Location: 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 2003

Heritage Foundation: A Nation and Its Veterans – What’s Next? A Plan for Action Washington, D.C. (10:00 AM, Thurs, 3 May) Description: How can Americans best organize their efforts to give back? Three respected organizations working with veterans and their families reflect on their efforts and how their work can point the way to what others can do for this great generation of veterans.  RSVP online. Participants: John A. Baden, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Warriors and Quiet Waters, Lieutenant Commander Edie Rosenthal, USN (Ret.), Public Relations Director, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Colonel Jack Jacobs, USA (Ret.), Medal of Honor Recipient and Vice Chairman, Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation Location: 214 Massachusetts Ave, NE, Washington D.C. 20002

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 30, 2012 9:28 am

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