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April 8 Weekly Defense Industry Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

U.S. Would Save $14 Billion Buying German Combat Vehicle

Tony Capaccio (@ACapaccio) and Nick Taborek, Bloomberg Business Week. The Congressional Budget Office issued a report this week examining the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle and concluded that simply purchasing the German-made Puma or other similar vehicles would be a better option than the current slate of vehicles in the competition for the replacement of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Although the Puma doesn’t meet all of the desires for the GCV, carrying only six passengers instead of the desired nine for example, it would be purchased with significantly less risk and “at only half the cost”. Currently BAE and General Dynamics are competing in the competition to develop alternatives through 2014 when one will be selected to go to production. The Army and the two competitors quickly responded, claiming that the CBO analysis was flawed as they had used an old design of the GCV and that the report weighted categories incorrectly such as carrying 9 passengers as only 10% of the score. Regardless, the entire issue points to the budget environment that maybe the military might just have to settle for “good enough now” for a few years instead of “revolutionary later” technology and equipment. It’s clear they haven’t gotten that message yet.

Whither The Hunter-Killers? USAF Ponders Post-Afghan Glut of Reapers, Predators

Aram Roston (@AramRoston), C4ISR Journal. The Air Forces faces an unusual problem as the drawdown in Afghanistan continues as the many UAVs supporting the war effort will need to find a home somewhere, but unlike conventional forces, these armed drones have never had a home on U.S. soil.  Most of the medium-sized UAVs have been built and gone straight to war and U.S. airspace is closed to large UAVs below 60,000 feet, which is where Predators and Reapers fly. It doesn’t help that the U.S. continues to fight an ongoing battle on opening domestic airspace to any kinds of drones as more cities have taken stands against them. Just this week St. Bonifacius, Mn. leaders courageously voted to protect their 2,300 citizens and one square mile of town from the prying eyes of UAV’s…well at least in the 400 feet above ground level they control. So, with the ‘Asia Pivot’ and ongoing challenges with criminal gangs in the Southern Command region, it’s likely these stalwart systems of the last ten years of war will have to find bases in new regions and remain overseas.

Paris Air Show is Sold Out; Big Names are Coming

Zachary Fryer-Biggs, Defense News. In spite of drastic budget cuts that are taking a bite out of military attendance at domestic trade shows and events, the biannual Paris Air Show appears to still be attracting a crowd as exhibition space sold out in January. Most major defense players will be attending except Northrop-Grumman, who also skipped last years Farnborough International Airshow in England due to cost concerns. The 2,000 spaces at Paris will be full but one change is that more companies “further down the supply chain” are attending while the larger companies have trimmed their usually massive footprints. In addition, commercial companies will take up two-thirds of exhibits and are continuing to grow vs. defense firms. This will be the 50th occurrence of the show that started in 1909 and opens June 13th.

Kaine to Introduce Bill Aimed at Easing Veterans’ Transition Into Civilian Jobs

Errin Whack (@emarvelous), The Washington Post. Newly elected Senator Tim Kaine will introduce a bill to make it easier for veterans to get professional accreditation for their military service. The bill would expand DoD pilot programs already aligning military training with professional certifications and create an oversight board within VA. Kaine says the bill has already garnered support among his peers, but expect an uphill battle for the freshman senator who sits on the Armed Services and Budget committees. The bill would include certifications within the information technology industry, a field with growing demand for qualified workers, but not enough supply. An Oracle representative noted his company would love to hire veterans, but they need industry standard certification. Nevertheless, the latest job numbers for young Iraq and Afghanistan numbers show improvement—last month marked their highest employment levels yet.

Clearance Form Now Lets Sexual Assault Victims Keep Counseling Private

Rick Maze (@RmazeTns) Military Times. In a move spurred by veterans’ advocates, women applying for security clearances will no longer have to disclose mental health treatment sought after sexual trauma. Previously only family counseling, grief and marital counseling unrelated to violence, and post-combat counseling were exempted from disclosure. The new privacy rules are expected to ease fears that some women would avoid mental health treatment in order to preserve their clearances and thus their careers. This is a welcome shift in encouraging healthy behavior and easing the stigma of seeking mental health treatment.

The week ahead:

Tradeshows and Conferences:

Navy League Sea-Air-Space Expo (Mon-Wed, 8-10 April) Gaylord National Convention Center, National Harbor, MD The Sea-Air-Space Expo is the Navy’s largest and foremost trade show and professional symposium. Over 200 exhibitors and sixteen military commands will be exhibiting and professional development opportunities abound. Secretary of the Navy Mabus and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Carl Levin will be speaking at the expo. The event is not open to the general public but active duty service members, military retirees, defense industry representatives, and others are allowed.

Association of the US Army LANPAC Symposium (Tue-Thu, 9-11 April) Sheraton Waikiki, Honolulu, HI The inaugural LANPAC symposium from AUSA looks to highlight the Army and land forces within the “Asia Pivot” and counter proponents of Air-Sea Battle who argue land forces are not the future of warfare. U.S. Army Pacific and U.S. PACOM are participating in the symposium along with military leaders from allied nations in the Pacific region.

Marine Corps League Marine South (Wed-Thu, 10-11 April) Camp Lejeune, NC Not one to be left out of the fun, the Marines at Lejeune get their tradeshow this week with Marine South. Over 130 exhibitors will be on hand to put the latest technology in front of Marines. The Marine Corps League sponsors this annual event that was first held in 1993.

Congress: Both chambers are in session this week.

House:

Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity (10:00 AM, Wed 10 April) Legislative Hearing on H.R. 357, H.R. 562, H.R. 631, H.R. 844, H.R. 1305, H.R. 1316, H.R. 1402, a draft bill entitled “Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2013”, and a draft bill entitled “To amend title 39, United States Code, to extend the authority to provide work-study allowance for certain activities by individuals receiving educational assistance by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Witnesses: TBA Location: 334 Cannon

Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel (3:30 PM, Wed 10 April) Mental Health Research Witnesses: Commander Russell B. Carr M.D., Service Chief, Adult Behavioral Health Clinic, U.S. Navy, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda, Lieutenant General Patricia D. Horoho, Surgeon General, United States Army, Vice Admiral Matthew L. Nathan, Surgeon General, United States Navy, Lieutenant General Thomas W. Travis, Surgeon General, United States Air Force, Dr. Jonathan Woodson, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Department of Defense Location: 2118 Rayburn

Veterans’ Affairs (10:00 AM, Thu 11 April) U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2014 Witnesses: TBA Location: 334 Cannon

Armed Services (10:00 AM, Thu 11 April) The Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Budget Request from the Department of Defense Witnesses: Honorable Charles T. Hagel, Secretary of Defense, General Martin E. Dempsey, USA, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Location: 2118 Rayburn

Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces (3:30 PM, Thu 11 April) Equipping the Individual Soldier and Marine: Current and Future Year Acquisition and Modernization Strategies and the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request Witnesses: Mr. Peter B. Bechtel, Director, Capabilities Integration, Prioritization, and Analysis, U.S. Department of the Army, Brigadier General Frank L. Kelley, Commander, Marine Corps Systems Command, U.S. Marine Corps, Brigadier General Paul A. Ostrowski, Program Executive Officer, Soldier, U.S. Army Location: 2118 Rayburn

Armed Services (10:00 AM, Fri 12 April) The Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Budget Request from the Department of the Air Force Witnesses: The Honorable Michael B. Donley, Secretary of the Air Force, Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, USAF, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force Location: 2118 Rayburn

Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies (10:30 AM, Fri 12 April) Installations, Environment, Energy, and BRAC Witnesses: The Honorable John Conger, Deputy Under Secretary, Installations and Environment, Department of Defense, The Honorable Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary, Installations, Energy and Environment, United States Army, The Honorable Roger Natsuhara, Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary, Installations and Environment, United States Navy, The Honorable Kathleen I. Ferguson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Installations, Environment and Logistics, United States Air Force Location: 2359 Rayburn

Senate:

Armed Services (9:30 AM, Tue 9 April) To receive testimony on U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Forces Korea in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2014 and the Future Years Defense Program. Witnesses: Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, USN, Commander, U.S Pacific Command, General James D. Thurman, USA, Commander, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, U.S. Forces Korea Location: G-50 Dirksen

Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities (2:15 PM, Tue 9 April) To receive testimony on Department of Defense programs and policies with respect to emerging counterterrorism threats in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2014 and the Future Years Defense Program. Witnesses: Honorable Derek H. Chollet, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Honorable Michael A. Sheehan, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict and Interdependent Capabilities, Admiral William H. McRaven, USN, Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command Location: 222 Russell

Foreign Relations (10:00 AM, Thu 11 April) U.S. Policy Towards Syria. Witnesses: The Honorable Robert Ford, U.S. Ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic, U.S. Department of State, The Honorable Elizabeth Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, U.S. Department of State, The Honorable Daniel Glaser, Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing, U.S. Department of Treasury Location: 419 Dirksen

Armed Services (2:30 PM, Thu 11 April) To receive a briefing on the situation in Syria. Witnesses: Honorable Charles T. Hagel, Secretary of Defense, General Martin E. Dempsey, USA, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Location: G-50 Dirksen

Think tanks and other news events: 

Center for Strategic and International Studies: China Reality Check Speaker Series: China’s Defense Budget, Washington, DC (10:00 AM, Mon 8 April) Description: China recently announced a projected 10.7% increase in defense spending for 2013, prompting a new round of commentary in the Western and regional press concerning the intent behind China’s robust military modernization program and Beijing’s ultimate military ambitions. The panel will aim to get behind the headlines with a deeper examination of the trendlines in Chinese defense spending and in the level of transparency in China’s official defense budget. RSVP online. Participants: Dr. Andrew S. Erickson, Associate in Research, John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University, Dr. James Mulvenon, Vice-President, Intelligence Division; Director, Center for Intelligence and Research Analysis, Defense Group, Inc., Jack Georgieff, CSIS Visiting Scholar, Lowy Institute Location: B1 Conference Center, 1800 K Street, NW, Washington DC, 20006 

Center for Strategic and International Studies: Statesmen’s Forum: The Honorable Ashton B. Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense, United States Department of Defense, Washington, DC (3:00 PM, Mon 8 April) Description: During his second trip to the Asia-Pacific region since President Obama announced a new strategic concept for the United States, Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter recently visited Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Indonesia to discuss America’s future in the region and the United States’ commitment to making sure that it remains safe, secure and prosperous for all nations. This CSIS Statesmen’s Forum will feature a trip report on Deputy Secretary Carter’s recent travel and meetings across the region regarding America’s defense commitments to the Asia-Pacific. RSVP online. Participants: The Honorable Ashton B. Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense, United States Department of Defense Location: B1 Conference Center, 1800 K Street, NW, Washington DC, 20006

United States Institute for Peace: Lessons Learned from Iraq and How They Apply to North Africa, Washington, DC (10:00 Am, Tue 10 April) Description: The event will highlight SIGIR’s experience in Iraq and examine the major problems it discovered, such as America’s ‘ad hoc’ approach, the effectiveness of oversight, funding challenges, and the larger issue of nation-building. Experts will explore how lessons learned from Iraq can be applied to other American-led efforts, such as those associated with emerging democracies. RSVP online. Participants: Stuart Bowen, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), Amb. William B. Taylor, Jr., Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions, Middle East Transitions (MET), U.S. Department of State, John Nagl, Minerva Research Professor, U.S. Naval Academy, Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security, Manal Omar, Director of Iraq, Iran, and North Africa Programs, U.S. Institute of Peace, Quil Lawrence, Veterans Correspondent, Former Baghdad Bureau Chief, NPR Location: 2301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20037

International Institute for Strategic Studies: How To Be Strategic About Cyber Security, Washington, DC (10:00 AM, Fri 12 April) Description: Cyber security has evolved into a highly complex competition between states, involving both their national security prerogatives and sovereign interests. Given the global design of information infrastructure and diverging national capabilities in developing and using ICTs, however, governments are struggling to formulate a grand strategy for mitigating cyber threats. This panel discussion with four cyber security experts will offer strategic insight and policy analysis for governments that goes beyond simply raising awareness about the threat. RSVP online. Participants: James Lewis, Director and Senior Fellow, Technology and Public Policy Program, CSIS, Rafal Rohozinski, Principal, The SecDev Group, Christopher Spirito, International Cyber Lead, The MITRE Corporation Location: 2121 K Street, NW, Suite 801, Washington, DC 20037

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.

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This entry was posted on Monday, April 08, 2013 8:24 am

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