August 20 Weekly Defense Industry Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

Sequestration Ground Zero: ‘Fayette-nam’

Stephanie Gaskell, Politico. Politico’s @SGaskell traveled down to Fayetteville, North Carolina to see how sequestration is playing in one of the largest military communities in the country and discovered its not playing too well at all. With over $640 million in government contracting dollars flowing into the local economy the automatic cuts could prove to be devastating to many small companies and individuals as contracts are cut and employees laid off. Most recognize the mess is thanks to Congress’ inability to find a solution to head off the ‘meat axe’ associated with last year’s budget agreement and aren’t interested in hearing excuses or attempts to pass the blame.

Bucking the Trend: High-Tech Defense Contractors Struggling to Fill Jobs

Sandra Erwin, National Defense Blog. While most in the defense industry are bemoaning the cuts in defense spending and the predicted downturn in employment prospects, those in the high tech side of things are wrestling with personnel shortages. IT firms that produce software for DoD can’t keep up with demand for specialty programmers and engineers as demand has not abated at all in cyber security and other needs. Most are offering bounties and bonuses for new employee referrals and working with multiple recruiters. The issue reflects the similar situation we have heard of with high tech manufacturing where some 100,000 jobs across the nation remain unfilled due to lack of skilled candidates. We think that more and more the focus for job prospects for veterans shouldn’t be job fairs as above but a move towards skills development programs as well.

Stealthy, Tiny, Global: The Drone Revolution’s Next Phase

Staff, Danger Room. The folks at Danger Room have a nice little compilation piece of some of the more interesting things coming up in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle space including the stealthy systems needed for contested airspace of the future but micro-drones and light-weight systems capable of taking out precision targets. It’s a good piece to check out for a one over the world of what’s cooking in the UAV world.

Contract to Watch: GSA Preparing New Professional Services Vehicle

Marjorie Censer, Washington Post Capital Business. The Post’s @CommonCenser reports that the GSA is putting together a new contract vehicle just for professional services. The vehicle called One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services, or OASIS, will be designed to help with complex combinations of services and is expected to have a ceiling of around $12 billion. Interestingly it will have a goal of 50% small business awards but GSA is also “considering issuing a second solicitation that would be fully designated for small businesses and include tracks for niche small businesses such as those owned by veterans.” The draft is expected this fall with solicitations this winter and awards by next summer.

The week ahead:

Tradeshows and Conferences:  No significant tradeshows or conferences we are aware of this week.

Congress:   The full Congress is not in session this week with the August recess and will not return until September 10th.

Think tanks and other news events: 

American Security Project: U.S. Drones Policy: Strategic Frameworks and Measuring Effects, Washington, DC (12:00 PM, Mon 20 Aug) Description: Are drones effective at containing al-Qaeda? Can we measure the social and political effects of a drone campaign? Is there a way to empirically determine what effects lethal drone strikes have on a country, on a terrorist movement, and on the broader global war on terrorism? RSVP online. Participants: Aaron Zelin, Richard Borow Fellow at The Washington Institute and the editor of, Will McCants, research analyst at CNA, adjunct faculty at the John’s Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and the editor of, Christine Fair, assistant professor in the Center for Peace and Security Studies (CPASS) at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service Location: 1100 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 710W, Washington, DC, 20005

Government Executive: Turning Around the Largest Defense Program, Washington, DC (7:30 AM, Wed 22 Aug) Description: The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is the largest acquisition program in Defense Department history — and has been one of the most problematic and challenging. With dozens of lawmakers calling for its demise and a price tag nearing $400 billion, Vice Adm. David Venlet took charge of the program in 2010 and sought to put it back on track. In the span of two years, he quieted the critics and proved that strong leadership can lead to better acquisition in even the most distressed of federal programs. RSVP online. Participants: Vice Admiral David Venlet, Program Executive Officer, F-35 Lightning II Program Location: National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, 13th Floor Ballroom, Washington, DC, 20005

Government Executive: Mobilizing the Business of Defense, Washington, DC (7:30 AM, Thu 23 Aug) Description: As early as next year, Department of Defense (DoD) personnel may be able to connect their personal mobile devices – Android, iPhone, iPad – to unclassified DoD networks. To get to a true Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy, however, the DoD will need to focus on four key areas: technology, policy, security and culture. While ensuring that the devices themselves meet minimum-security requirements is important, the greatest challenge will be optimizing the backend, operational elements of the business of defense. How can DOD shift from device-centric thinking to a content-centric approach in order to meet BYOD requirements? RSVP online. Participants: LTC Michael J. Devine III (ret.), President & CEO, Agility Development Group, Inc. Location: National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, 13th Floor Ballroom, Washington, DC, 20005

100,000 Jobs Mission: Bethesda Naval Support Activity Hiring Fair, Walter Reed National Medical Center, Bethesda, Md (10:00 AM, Sat 25 Aug) Description: The 100,000 Jobs Mission is a coalition of 58 companies committed to hiring at least 100,000 veterans by 2020. As part of their ongoing mission to provide jobs for transitioning service members, veterans and their spouses, they are partnering with Naval District Washington (NDW) Family Support Programs to host this hiring event on Saturday, August 25. Over 30 companies will be present representing hundreds of jobs including: JPMorgan Chase, IBM, Cisco, Lockheed Martin, Verizon, Office Depot, Avis, Time Warner and many others. Resumes should be submitted online by the 23rd. Location: Naval Support Activity Bethesda’s Gymnasium (Building 17), 8901 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20889

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.

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This entry was posted on Monday, August 20, 2012 8:44 am

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