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Defense Roundup: Veterans Increasingly Orange Blooded, New Navy Scandals That You Can Talk to Your Mom About

Posted by Fred Wellman

Defense Industry Layoffs Picking Up Steam

Sandra Erwin (@nationaldefense), National Defense Magazine. The defense industry is shedding jobs after a slight lull in the pace thanks to years of downsizing in anticipation of coming budget cuts. For the last five years an estimated 160,000 jobs have been cut from the defense industry and this year will push that number substantially higher. A new report by consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas says that about 30,000 jobs have been eliminated so far in 2013 and represents a pace that will exceed last year’s losses by over 30%. Aircraft manufacturing alone is down approximately 10,000 jobs in the last 12 months and the next round of sequestration cuts will only make it worse. Deep in this story is the realization that many of the job losses aren’t in the main defense manufacturers but the secondary economies that support their payroll spending in local businesses. Lockheed Martin just announced the cut of some 4,000 workers and the closing for four plants across the country. That is another 3.5% of its workforce but also represents the contractors that did the cleaning, local restaurants, suppliers and other secondary businesses that will leave with those plants. The impact on communities across the nation is much more complex at this point.

Senior Navy Civilians Investigated in Alleged Scheme to Defraud Military for $1.6 Million

Craig Whitlock (@craigmwhitlock), Washington Post. Craig Whitlock has found himself in the unique niche of being the reporter who uncovers scandals in the military and the Navy is having a really rough run of things these days. With the unfolding scandal surrounding Glenn Defense Marine Asia, the Navy really doesn’t need any more bad news, but it came this week when it was announced that three senior civilian Navy intelligence officials are under investigation for a scheme that charged the military $1.6 million for homemade weapon silencers that cost just $8,000 to make. The bizarre case revolves around the arrest of a California auto mechanic whose brother is one of the accused conspirators. After arranging a $2 million budget for research, he passed the money to CACI with directions to hire the newly created company in California to make silencers. The plan unraveled after the batch of silencers arrived at a Naval Research Lab warehouse without serial numbers or identification of the manufacturer. None of the three officials have been formally charged and no information has been issued on what effect the conspiracy will have on CACI who acted as the middleman. The steady drip of scandals in the military has been just unprecedented in our collective memory. It is almost inevitable that there will be more of these deals exposed after a decade of rushed spending and massive amounts of money being thrown around by DoD to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Get Skills to Work Solves Two Job Market Issues

Steve Bajza, Military.com. While veteran unemployment is no longer at crisis levels, young veterans and those transitioning out of the military still have a more difficult time finding full-time, stable work. Meanwhile, the manufacturing industry is looking for skilled employees for over 600,000 jobs. Get Skills to Work, an initiative from GE and other leading manufacturing companies and non-profit organizations, exists to fill those manufacturing jobs with veterans trained through Get Skills to Work programs at colleges and universities. In a Q&A with Military.com, GE and the Manufacturing Institute provide an overview of Get Skills to Work and updates on progress towards the program’s goals.

At Home Depot, Building a Strong Corps of Veterans

Steve Vogel (@steve_vogel), Washington Post. If you’ve been following ScoutComms for any length of time, you should know by now that The Home Depot and The Home Depot Foundation have made a huge commitment to veterans. But beyond the 35,000 veteran employees and the $80 million for veterans’ housing, there are individuals and stories behind the numbers. Walk into any Home Depot store and you are likely to run into a veteran wearing an orange apron. It’s a company that draws veterans to its ranks and supports them as they rise in their careers. Through the Foundation, Home Depot associates and veterans get to give back through community service that renovates and rehabilitates veterans’ homes. Non-profits, too, benefit from the generosity of the Foundation. Unlike some companies that tout hiring numbers or discounts, The Home Depot takes a holistic approach to supporting veterans in many ways.

Number of Veterans Enrolled at Elite Colleges… Drops?

Wick Sloane, Inside Higher Ed. This week, Google announced $3.2 million in grants to investigate how student veterans are doing in college and what programs and services are most effective in supporting their success. This comes just a week after the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that there are now over 1 million Post-9/11 GI Bill beneficiaries. But when you break the numbers down, it doesn’t look good for the number of veterans at top tier colleges. Yale has two veterans, Princeton has one. Georgetown, on the other hand, has 81. “Veterans can’t do the work,” an Ivy League president told the author as a reason for the low numbers of veterans at these small liberal arts schools and selective colleges. Obviously, that’s an untrue stereotype rooted in a much deeper problem that, unfortunately, these colleges should be solving: the civilian-military divide. Just as the military develops the future leaders of our nation, so too do these vaunted academic institutions. These colleges and universities should be ground zero for bringing together students with diverse backgrounds and points of view. While some have made the argument that veterans are not drawn to these colleges, the author makes the good point that it is the responsibility of these colleges to do more to recruit veterans the same way they recruit lacrosse players. The build a better educational institution, elite colleges need more veterans.

A Veteran Brings New Meaning to Coming Home

Bill Murphy Jr. (@BillMurphyJr), Inc. There are a lot of non-profit organizations dedicated to “supporting veterans”—over 40,000 of them in fact. But in 2010, Army officer and grad student Mike Erwin realized that while a lot of organizations help veterans with finances, education, or employment, there were none dedicated to helping veterans on a deeper level. That’s when Team Red White & Blue was born. Erwin wanted to bring veterans together with their local communities through physical activity—like running—in order to build that sense of belonging that many veterans say they miss when they leave the military. (Apparently some also miss running. Some. –Ed.) Just three years later, Team RWB has over 24,000 members running, CrossFitting, and biking together. If you’re in Fredericksburg, Virginia, you might just see some of ScoutComms wearing the Eagle on the road.

Veterans Team Uses Combat Skills to Help Typhoon Victims

Seth Robson, Stars and Stripes. Just hours after the storm cleared in the Philippines, veteran volunteers from Team Rubicon were on planes to some of the hardest hit parts of the foreign country. Now, as international aid organizations struggle to stand up operations on the ground, Team Rubicon volunteers are surveying needs of local communities, performing medical procedures on the injured, and coordinating delivery of emergency supplies. The skills these veterans honed in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to serve them today as they continue to serve their nation. For the veterans responding to this disaster, the camaraderie and teamwork while participating in Team Rubicon missions is a welcome return to their most cherished parts of military life.

Chief: Reservists’ Specialties Still in Demand

Jennifer Svan, Stars and Stripes. Just because the war in Afghanistan is ending doesn’t mean the nation’s more than 200,000 Army reservists can look forward to fewer deployments. The opposite, in fact, may be true as the Army looks to offset the pain of budget cuts and cuts in force size with the unique skills reservists can bring to the field in Africa, Europe, and other overseas deployments.

Tradeshows & Conferences

Dubai Air Show, (Sun-Thu, 17-21 November); Dubai World Central, Dubai, UAE

AFCEA MILCOM (Mon-Wed, 18-20 November); San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA

Our website has a full list of upcoming tradeshows.

Congressional Hearings

House:

Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security: What Does a Secure Maritime Border Look Like? Who: Rear Admiral William “Dean” Lee, Deputy for Operations Policy and Capabilities, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Mr. Randolph D. Alles, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Air and Marine, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Mr. Steve Caldwell, Director, Maritime and Security Coast Guard Issues, Homeland Security and Justice Team, U.S. Government Accountability Office, Captain Marcus Woodring, USCG (ret), Managing Director, Health, Safety, Security and Environmental, Port of Houston Authority When: 10:00 AM, Tuesday, November 19, 2013 Where: 311 Cannon House Office Building

Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa: US Policy Toward the Arabian Peninsula: Yemen and Bahrain Who: Ms. Barbara Leaf, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Arabian Peninsula, U.S. Department of State When: 2:30 PM, Tuesday, November 19, 2013 Where: 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs: Building VA’s Future: Confronting Persistent Challenges in VA Major Construction and Lease Programs When: 9:30 AM, Wednesday. November 20, 2013 Where: 334 Cannon House Office Building

Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Space: Commercial Space Who: The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Member, Majority Whip, U.S. House of Representatives, Ms. Patricia Cooper, President, Satellite Industry Association, Mr. Stuart Witt, CEO and General Manager, Mojave Air and Space Port, Mr. Dennis Tito, Chairman, Inspiration Mars Foundation When: 10:00 AM, Wednesday, November 20, 2013 Where: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building

Committee on Armed Services: 2013 Report to Congress of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission When: 10:00 AM, Wednesday, November 20, 2013 Where: 2118 Rayburn House Office Building

Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade: Terrorist Groups in Syria When: 1:30 PM, Wednesday, November 20, 2013 Where: 2200 Rayburn House Office Building

Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel: Military Resale Programs Overview Who: Rear Admiral Lower Half Robert J. Bianchi (ret), Chief Executive Officer, Navy Exchange Service Command, Mr. William C Dillion, Director, Semper Fit and Exchange Services U.S. Marine Corps, Mr. Thomas T. Gordy, President, Armed Forces Marketing Council, Mr. Joseph H. Jeu, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Defense Commissary Agency, Mr. Patrick B. Nixon, President, American Logistics Association, Mr. Thomas C. Shull, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Mrs. Rosemary Freitas Williams, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, Department of Defense When: 2:00 PM, Wednesday, November 20, 2013 Where: 2212 Rayburn House Office Building

Senate:

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: Beyond Silk Road: Potential Risks, Threats, and Promises of Virtual Currencies When: 3:00 PM, Monday, November 18, 2013 Where: 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce: Strengthening Government Oversight: Examining the Roles and Effectiveness of Oversight Positions within the Federal Workforce Who: The Honorable Peggy Gustafson, Inspector General, U.S. Small Business Administration, The Honorable Michael Horowitz, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice, The Honorable Carolyn Lerner, Special Counsel, U.S. Office of Special Counsel, Karen Neuman, Chief Privacy and Freedom of Information Act Officer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Wendy Ginsberg, Ph.D., Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress When: 2:30 PM, Tuesday, November 19, 2013 Where: 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce: Safeguarding Our Nation’s Secrets: Examining the National Security Workforce Who: Brian A. Prioletti, Assistant Director, Special Security Directorate, National Counterintelligence Executive, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Tim Curry, Deputy Associate Director for Partnership and Labor Relations, Office of Personnel Management, Brenda Farrell, Director, Defense Capabilities and Management, U.S. Government Accountability Office, David Borer, General Counsel, The American Federation of Government Employees, Angela Canterbury, Director of Public Policy, Project on Government Oversight When: 2:00 PM, Wednesday, November 20, 2013 Where: 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Commerce, Science, and Transportation: Soldiers as Consumers: Predatory and Unfair Business Practices Harming the Military Community When: 2:30 PM, Wednesday, November 20, 2013 Where: 253 Russell Senate Office Building

Think Tanks & Other Events

Georgetown Law: Surveillance & Intelligence Gathering in the US Who: Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin), Chairman, House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, Jameel Jaffer, Director, American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Democracy, Robert Litt, General Counsel, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Matthew Olson, Director, National Counterterrorism Center, Marc Rotenberg, President and Executive Director, Electronic Privacy Information Center When: 9:30 AM, Tuesday, November 19, 2013 Where: 600 New jersey Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

Atlantic Council: Atlantic Council Captains of Industry: Linda Hudson, BAE Systems, Inc. When: 10:30 AM, Tuesday, November 19, 2013 Where: 1030 15th Street, Washington, DC 20005

Brookings Institution: A New Model for Defense Intelligence Who: David R. Ellison, Rear Admiral, USN(Ret.), President, National Intelligence University, Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency When: 3:00 PM, Wednesday, November 20, 2013 Where: 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW Washington, DC 20036

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, November 18, 2013 11:31 am

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