February 6 Weekly Defense Industry Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

UK Surveillance Drone Industry Plans PR Effort to Counter Negative Image

Ryan Gallagher, The Guardian UK. The UK’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Association is said to be launching a campaign to improve the image of UAV’s in the country in hopes of distancing the peaceful use of remotely piloted aircraft from those in the war zones. This is being considered as the members of the group work with the British government to open airspace to UAV flights using special air corridors and remote locations. Public distrust of the systems is seen as a major hurdle to the effort so there are hopes of using them for clearly humanitarian and law enforcement purposes 

Deltek: IT contractors Face Major Changes in Acquisition Policy

Deniece Peterson, Washington Post. Deltek senior manager Peterson has an interesting look at the changes in IT acquisition policy the market analysis firm sees in the coming years as the federal government eyes ways to reduce expenditures in IT contracting. She sees increases in the use of modular contracting which breaks work into smaller contracts; business case development which means a higher hurdle to create new contracts; and strategic sourcing where the federal government will leverage its large scale buying power to collaborate on common needs. All in all she feels there is little doubt the massive growth in IT contracts will be flattening and contractors need to prepare for the new environment to compete.

Air Force Details Force Structure Cuts

Michael Hoffman, DoD Buzz. The Air Force leadership held two separate briefings this week to detail their plans for the new budget picture and the changes to the services force structure.  The new plan will mean larger cuts for the Air National Guard than the active Air Force, which has already been cutting back. In all five A-10 squadrons, one F-16 squadron and one F-15 training squadron will retire or reclassify to new missions over the next five years. As expected the affected Congress members are already stepping up to fight the changes and preserve their local units. Official Air Force White Paper: USAF Force Structure Changes: Sustaining Readiness and Modernizing the Total Force

Boeing-Textron V-22 Said to Be Cut $1.75 Billion by Pentagon

Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg Business Week. More details of the various programs being cut back are still coming out.This week it was revealed that the Navy will slice some 24 planned aircraft from the five-year contract plan being negotiated with manufacturers Boeing and Textron. Capaccio reports that “the cumulative effect in fiscal 2013 of program terminations and cutbacks will result in a procurement request of $98.8 billion and $69.4 billion for research and development.”

Administration Unveils Veterans Job Corps

Kevin Freking, Associated Press. In a program reminiscent of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the ‘30’s the Obama administration rolled out their plans for a Veterans Job Corps with a portion dedicated to give veterans jobs working in the nations’ wilderness areas, and another side dedicated to grants to hire more vets as police and firefighters. The reaction has been decidedly mixed and somewhat underwhelming from the veterans’ community. Interestingly this month the Department of Labor says new veteran unemployment rate dropped fully 3% from last month. White House Announcement: President Obama’s Plan to Put Veterans Back to Work

Bill Would Force Rehiring of More Reservists

Rick Maze, Army Times. A California Congressman wants to close a glaring loophole in current law that requires the rehiring of reserve service members called away for service. The Veterans Reemployment Act of 2012, introduced Wednesday by Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., would allow only small businesses to claim an economic hardship for not rehiring a reserve or National Guard service member upon their return from active duty. Many companies have been using this open-ended definition to replace employees and not bring them back upon their return, driving an increasing unemployment problem for reserve members.

The week ahead:

Themes:  With the hearings planned this week you should expect a lot of talk about care for veterans, and the maneuvering for the 2013 budget will be in full swing ahead of the formal presentation next week. 


NDIA SO/LIC Conference: (Mon-Weds, 6-8 Feb) Washington, D.C. This is the 23rd meeting of the National Defense Industrial Association conference on Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict and will examine the changing roles of Special Operations Forces (SOF) and General Purpose Forces (GPF) in the new world dynamic. Speakers will discuss increasing interoperability between SOF and GPF, how to enhance the inherent capabilities of the SOF Warrior, and how SOF, its enablers, and Interagency partners support global objectives in the new world dynamic.

NDIA Tactical Wheeled Vehicle Conference: (Sun-Tues, 5-7 Feb) Monterrey, CA The NDIA TWV conference is a popular meeting with official representation from all of the services wheeled vehicle program leaders and industry representatives.  In addition, this year Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Land and Maritime will conduct an Industry Outreach Briefing.  The briefing is a forum to share the results of their analysis of projected sustainment requirements for tactical wheeled vehicles for 2012 to 2013. Expect a lot of talk on the cut off of funds for HUMMV upgrades and the future of the JLTV.

Congress:   The full Congress is in session this week.

Senate Armed Services Committee – Hearing (9:30 AM, Thurs, 9 February) Full committee hearing on the nominations of Navy Adm. Samuel Locklear III, for reappointment to the grade of admiral and to be commander of the U.S. Pacific Command; and Army Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick for reappointment to the grade of lieutenant general and to be chief of engineers/commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Witnesses: Nominees, testify Location: G-5 Dirksen Senate Office Building

House Armed Services Committee – Hearing (3:00 PM, Mon, 6 February) Business Challenges within the Defense Industry Panel Subcommittee hearing on “Doing Business with DOD: Contracting and Regulatory Issues.” Witnesses: TBD Location: 2212 Rayburn House Office Building

House Foreign Affairs Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Tues, 7 February) Full committee hearing on “Export Controls, Arms Sales, and Reform: Balancing U.S. Interests, Part II.”

Witnesses: Marion Blakey, president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association; Mikel Williams, CEO of DDi Corp.; and Patricia Cooper, president of the Satellite Industry Association, testify Location: 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Tues, 7 February) Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and Procurement Reform Subcommittee hearing on “Jobs for Wounded Warriors: Increasing Access to Contracts for Service Disabled Veterans.” Witnesses: TBD Location: 2154 Rayburn House Office Building

House Energy and Commerce Committee – Hearing (9:30 AM, Weds, 8 February)

Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing on “Cybersecurity: Threats to Communications Networks and Private-Sector Responses.” Witnesses: TBD Location: 2128 Rayburn House Office Building

House Appropriations Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Weds, 8 February) Defense Subcommittee hearing on “Military Health Systems Governance – Army, Navy & Air Force Surgeons General.” Witnesses: Air Force Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Charles Green; Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho; and Navy Surgeon General Vice Adm. Matthew Nathan testify Location: 2359 Rayburn House Office Building

House Veterans Affairs Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Thurs, 9 February)

Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee hearing on “Reforming the VA’s Flawed Fiduciary System.” Witnesses: TBD Location: 334 Cannon House Office Building

Think tanks and other news events: 

Center for Strategic and International Studies – The Acquisition Implications of the DoD Strategic Guidance and the FY 2013 Budget (9:00 AM, Mon, 6 February) Description: The CSIS Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group is hosting this event featuring The Honorable Frank Kendall, Acting Under Secretary of Defense, AT&L.  Following his remarks, questions will be taken from the floor. Participants:  Frank Kendall, DoD Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Location: CSIS B1 Conference Center, CSIS 1800 K. St. NW, Washington, DC 20006

Washington Security Forum – New Stealth Bomber and Future Warfare (9:30 AM, Tues, 7 February) Description: A $55 billion program to build 80 to 100 new stealth intercontinental bombers has moved to the top of Pentagon priorities with the Obama Administration’s swing to an Asia-Pacific strategy.  Dr. Rebecca Grant and General John Corley, USAF, Ret., will discuss the case for the new stealth bomber, why the time is right to invest in a new program, and what the impact may be on the aerospace industrial base.  Grant will release her White Paper, The Case for a New Stealth Bomber, the first in a series from the Washington Security Forum. Participants:  Dr. Rebecca Grant is President of IRIS Independent Research, a public-policy research organization in Washington, DC. General John Corley, USAF, Ret., concluded his assignment as Commander, Air Combat Command in November 2009. Location: National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, Washington DC


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, February 06, 2012 8:53 am

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