February 11 Weekly Defense Industry Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

Double Whammy for Pentagon

David Rogers, Politico. While much of what little public focus there is about impending defense cuts focuses on the sequestration train wreck set to come crashing into the station on March 1, it’s actually a double tap situation for DoD as they struggle now under a Continuing Resolution as well. The CR was put into effect last summer as political cover for the parties in an election year and is set to expire on March 27, but if the past is any guide it will likely extend to the whole year as Congress once again kicks the can on a budget decision. The CR leaves funding in the wrong pots from 2012 and the services have been spending under that plan. They have left themselves underfunded if the CR is extended and sequester kicks in, which has led to what amounts to a major league freak out of drastic cuts and increasingly dire decisions like not deploying the Truman Carrier Strike Group to the Persian Gulf. This will only get uglier.

City in Virginia Becomes First to Pass Anti-drone Legislation 

Jason Koebler (@jason_koebler), US News and World Report. Last Monday, Charlottesville, Virginia passed a resolution calling on the Congress and General Assembly of the Commonwealth to adopt legislation banning information gained from drones to be used in courts and to never do so with city-owned UAVs. The rules passed fell short of the original call for a “No Drone Zone” over the city. The movement came at the urging of the local ACLU chapter in this city that hosts the University of Virginia as well as a large Defense Intelligence Agency facility. The latest tactic of anti-drone coalitions across the country is building grassroots support to stop the domestic use of unmanned systems. Later in the week the mayor of Seattle canceled his nascent police drone effort before it even was operating to focus on “community policing” instead. Clearly at this point UAV supporters and manufacturers seem outgunned and outmaneuvered and are falling further behind each day. While experts say the most likely market for domestic drones will be for farmers and other industries, the focus on privacy and police surveillance is upending the entire technology.

Amid Dire Predictions, Sen. Mark Warner Says Defense Industry Shares Blame for Sequester

Ben Pershing (@benpershing) and Lori Montgomery (@loriamontgomery), Washington Post. At a meeting with the Northern Virginia Technology Council last week Sen. Mark Warner and his colleague Sen. Tim Kaine were taking a beating from the audience for Congress’s failure to solve the sequestration debacle. In response to a pointed question from Cord Sterling of the Aerospace Industries Association, Warner asserted that while Congress deserves “80, 90, whatever percent of the blame,” industry also deserved some for failing to support previous efforts to find a debt deal. This comes as the White House is simply throwing out numbers of how bad it will be if Congress doesn’t act. Our take is there is less and less likelihood that this Congress and White House could possibly fix this mess in two weeks but both will likely find a way to kick the can yet again.

Budget Cuts May Cost U.S. Trip to Paris Air Show 

Agence France-Presse. The drastic cuts forced by the ‘Budget Perfect Storm’ of a Continuing Resolution and sequester may leave the U.S. military out of the Paris Air Show this year for the first time in its long history. The Air Force will see a $12.4 billion cut if the automatic cuts go into effect and it’s looking at canceling a third of all flight hours for the rest of the year, furloughing all 180,000 employees, and cutting deployments of squadrons overseas. Aircraft participation in airshows would be canceled, too. Oddly, the Air Force did announce they would still sponsor a NASCAR team though which was met with little enthusiasm from the ranks. The Paris Air Show alternates years with the British Farnborough show and is considered the foremost military trade event in the world and occurs this summer.

Navy’s First 4G Network Will Head Out to Sea in March 

Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman), Wired. The Navy will be sending two ships out to the Persian Gulf next month equipped with its first 4G LTE microwave-based wireless wide-area network (WWAN) and some 400 Android based handsets to select sailors on board the ships. The devices will be able to call, text and transfer data between ships and aircraft up to 20 nautical miles apart. Using this technology, an aircraft pursuing a pirate ship could shoot video and send it right to a ship or to the handhelds on a patrol boat in hot pursuit in real time thus dramatically increasing situational awareness among combatants. This comes on top of the deployment this year of the Army’s first two brigades equipped with the Army’s new WIN-T network giving similar capabilities to dismounted troops in Afghanistan. Certainly an interesting time for the connection between wide-area networks and almost off-the-shelf hand held technology.

Yesterday’s Army BRAC ‘Winners’ Could be Tomorrow’s Losers

John Grady, ScoutComms. The Army has quietly sent notice to installations world-wide to conduct environmental impact studies and other reviews under several possible scenarios involving cuts in troops and civilians on posts that came out as relative winners in the 2005 BRAC cuts. With scenarios including cuts of some 8,000 soldiers and civilians, adding some 3,000 as other bases are cut, and no change at all, planners are assessing what it would mean to bases that have been surviving relatively well through the turmoil of recent months. Whether a new BRAC is asked for, the Army will be cutting troops dramatically so changes are coming no matter what to installations and their surrounding communities.

The week ahead:

Tradeshows and Conferences: 

Marine West, Camp Pendleton (Wed-Thu, 13-14 Feb) Like its Quantico-based cousin Modern Day Marine, the Marine West tradeshow is an opportunity for the defense industry to put its wares in front of Marines. The Marine Corps League sponsors this annual event that dates back to 1992. The Marine Corps Systems Command and Camp Pendleton co-sponsor.

Congress: Both chambers are in session this week.


House Armed Services Committee (10:00 AM, Wed 13 Feb) Impacts of a Continuing Resolution and Sequestration on Defense Witnesses: Honorable Ashton B. Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense, General Martin E. Dempsey, USA, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Raymond T. Odierno, USA, Chief of Staff of the Army, Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, USN, Chief of Naval Operations, General James F. Amos, USMC, Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Mark A. Welsh III, USAF, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Frank J. Grass, NGB, Chief, National Guard Bureau Location: 2118 Rayburn

House Veterans Affairs Committee (10:00 AM, Wed 13 Feb) Honoring the Commitment: Overcoming Barriers to Quality Mental Health Care for Veterans Witnesses: TBD Location: 334 Cannon

House Armed Services Committee (2:00 PM, Wed 13 Feb) Perspectives on the Future National Security Environment: Technological, Geopolitical and Economic Trends Affecting the Defense Strategic Guidance Witnesses: TBD Location: 2118 Rayburn

House Veterans Affairs Committee (10:00 AM, Thu 14 Feb) Increasing the Functionality of the Post 9/11 GI Bill Claims Processing to Reduce Delays Witnesses: TBD Location: 334 Cannon


Senate Armed Services Committee (9:30 AM, Tue 12 Feb) Oversight hearing on the impacts of sequestration or a continuing resolution. Witnesses: Honorable Ashton B. Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Honorable Robert F. Hale, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), General Martin E. Dempsey, USA, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Raymond T. Odierno, USA, Chief of Staff of the Army, Admiral Mark E. Ferguson III, USN, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, General James F. Amos, USMC, Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Mark A. Welsh III, USAF, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Frank J. Grass, NGB, Chief, National Guard Bureau Location: G50 Dirksen

Senate Armed Services Committee (10:00 AM, Thu 14 Feb) Nomination hearing for future commanders of CENTCOM and AFRICOM. Witnesses: General Lloyd J. Austin, III, USA, for reappointment to the grade of general and to be Commander, United States Central Command, General David M. Rodriguez, USA, for reappointment to the grade of general and to be Commander, United States Africa Command Location: G50 Dirksen

Think tanks and other news events: 

Nextgov: Transforming Intelligence Operations Through IT, Washington, DC (7:30 AM, Tues 12 Feb) Description: As the intelligence community moves into 2013, agencies need technology more than ever to continue to shape and improve intelligence operations. In light of shrinking budgets and fiscal concerns, intelligence leaders are looking towards the evolution of the IC IT Enterprise to streamline technology investments and enhance collaboration across all elements in the intelligence community. RSVP online. Participants: Paige Atkins, Vice President for Cyber/IT Research, Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation, Gus Hunt, Chief Technology Officer, Central Intelligence Agency, Jill Singer, Chief Information Officer, National Reconnaissance Office Location: Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

New America Foundation: Invisible Armies, Washington, DC (1:30 PM, Tue 12 Feb) Description: Though often considered unconventional, guerrilla warfare has been the predominant form of warfare throughout human history. In his new book, Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present, Max Boot examines the origins of guerrilla warfare and describes what has changed — and what hasn’t —over the ages. Boot analyzes how various states have attempted to fight insurgents, and shows how important it is for the future of warfare to understand this potent threat. RSVP online. Participants: Max Boot, author, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations Location: New America Foundation, 1899 L Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036

New America Foundation: Film Screening: The Invisible War, Washington, DC (6:30 PM, Wed 13 Feb) Description: Women will soon be serving in combat roles, yet in today’s military they are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. The U.S. Department of Defense estimates there were a staggering 19,000 sex crimes in the military in 2010 alone. The film exposes the widespread occurrence of sexual assault within the U.S. military. RSVP online. Participants: Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Michèle Flournoy, Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Kirby Dick, Director and Writer, The Invisible War, Maria Cuomo Cole, Executive Producer, The Invisible War, Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal, M.D. (ret.), Former U.S. Assistant Surgeon General Location: E Street Cinema, 555 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

Center for Strategic and International Studies: The Future of U.S. Ground Forces, Washington, DC (9:00 AM, Thu 14 Feb) Description: As U.S. forces have exited Iraq and continue to drawdown in Afghanistan, the future role of U.S. ground forces is not yet clearly defined. At the same time, resources are becoming increasingly scarce. What should U.S. ground forces be able to do in the future? How should they be organized, trained, equipped, and stationed to meet those demands? RSVP online. Participants: Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee Location: B1 A/B Conference Room, 1800 K St. NW, Washington, DC 20006

American Enterprise Institute: Squaring the circle: General James F. Amos on American military strategy in a time of declining resources, Washington, DC (10:00 AM, Thu 14 Feb) Description: The US military is entering a period of widespread and discontinuous change. With forces transitioning out of lead combat roles in the Middle East and rebalancing to the Pacific, along with large-scale budget reductions, the military of the next 10 or 20 years may look very different than the force that has been at war for over a decade. RSVP online. Participants: General James F. Amos, Commandant, United States Marine Corps Location: Twelfth Floor, 1150 Seventeenth Street, 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, February 11, 2013 8:18 am

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