January 22 Defense Industry Weekly Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

U.S. Services Detail Fiscal Crisis Impact

Defense News Staff. The infamous ‘meat axe’ has begun its work and the cuts being directed by the service secretaries and chiefs in anticipation of the March sequestration deadline and continuing resolution mean painful actions are already occurring. The most dramatic include cuts to training, hiring freezes, furloughs, cuts in support to non-combat training events, aircraft flyovers and airshows among a host of budget tweaks.  Each service has laid out different approaches to the guidance issued by the Secretary of Defense but major programs are in danger along with day-to-day operations. We are hearing widespread reports from contractors from every service of layoffs, cuts of service contracts and non-renewal of upcoming programs. Even if Congress acts quickly the “pain train” has already left the station for many in the defense industry and federal work force.

Army Told to Pick Combat-Vehicle Contractor Next Year

Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg

In a surprising turn this week Undersecretary for Acquisition Frank Kendall directed the Army to select a single contractor to build its Ground Combat Vehicle in 2014 instead of continuing to allow the various competitors to fine-tune their designs through the year. In the same directive the service was told to extend the current 24-month technology demonstration phase that began in 2011 by six months to allow better testing of the technologies. After TMD a single contractor will be chosen to progress to the engineering and manufacturing development phase for the program that will eventually produce some 1,904 heavy vehicles costing as much as $17 million for each system.  BAE Systems and General Dynamics are currently competing on the program.

Digital Map Error May Have Led to Minesweeper Grounding

Christopher Cavas, Defense News. The U.S.S. Guardian ran hard aground on a Philippine reef on the night of January 17th and it appears digital maps provided by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency may have been inaccurate in the region and led to the mishap. The ship is taking on water and most of the crew has been evacuated for safety reasons while attempts are made to remove it from the protected tropical reef. NGA has directed users to compare Digital Nautical Charts in certain areas of the world to traditional printed charts to ensure that ships safely navigate coastal waters. The NGA is telling the Navy the charts will be corrected by Jan. 30 and they are advising ships not to use the Sulu Sea charts the Guardian was relying on until that time.

USAF Selects Storm SRTV as GAARV

Soldier Systems Blog. If you attended Modern Day Marine show at Quantico this year you probably saw a bunch of very unusual looking small vehicles on display competing for the Air Force’s Guardian Angel Air-Deployable Rescue Vehicle program. These original vehicles are designed to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere so Air Force Special Operators can dash to a downed aircrew, rescue them, and then carry their patients safely to an extraction point. The winner of the contract is our old friend’s at HDT Global with their unique Storm SRTV originally designed by BC Customs and developed with the engineering expertise HDT has become famous for through their robotics and unique power system designs. Arnold is going to want one of these bad boys for tooling around the desert.

Military Bases Losing Their Movies

Associated Press. In a sign of the times, some 60 movie theaters will close on Army and Air Force installations around the world as the Army and Air Force Exchange Service is unable to afford the $125,000 upgrade costs to transition the facilities to the new digital movie projection standard for under used theaters. Post theaters usually play second run movies at a substantially reduced price giving military families a cheap entertainment value. As old style film projectors are being phased out AAFES has to shed almost half the theaters that have civilian theaters nearby and focus on about 60 that are well used and in remote locations. 26 of the new digital theaters are in the U.S and the other 34 are overseas where AAFES can show first run movies to audiences far from home.

Wal-Mart Plans to Hire Any Veteran Who Wants a Job

James Dao, New York Times. The nation’s largest retailer announced plans on Tuesday to hire up to 100,000 veterans in the next five years as long as they have left the service in the last year with anything other than a dishonorable discharge. While the program does not set aside any specific jobs for veterans or promise full time employment the company believes that any veterans who want a job will be able to find one in their stores and distribution centers. The company now has some 100,000 veterans among its 1.4 million U.S. employees. Many veterans’ advocates including First Lady Michelle Obama met the announcement with enthusiastic support.

The week ahead:

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

Congress: The full Congress is session this week.


Senate Foreign Relations Committee (9:00 AM, Wed 23 Jan) Benghazi: The Attacks and the Lessons Learned Witnesses: Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State Location: 216 Hart

Senate Foreign Relations Committee (9:00 AM, Wed 23 Jan) Nomination hearing on Senator John Kerry to be Secretary of State. Witnesses: Honorable John Kerry, Senator from Massachusetts Location: 216 Hart

House of Representatives:

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee (10:00 AM, Tue 22 Jan) Business meeting on the organization of the 113th Congress. Witnesses: None Location: 334 Cannon House Office Building

House Armed Services Committee (10:00 AM, Wed 23 Jan) A Review of sexual misconduct by basic training instructors at Lackland Air Force Base. Witnesses: General Mark A. Welsh III, USAF, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force, General Edward A. Rice, Jr., USAF, Commander, Air Education and Training Command

U.S. Air Force, David Lisak, Ph.D., Forensic Consultant, CMSgt Cindy McNally, USAF (ret), Service Women’s Action Network, TSgt Jennifer Norris, USAF (ret), Protect Our Defenders Location: 2118 Rayburn House Office Building

House Foreign Affairs Committee (2:00 PM, Wed 23 Jan) Terrorist Attack in Benghazi: The Secretary of State’s View Witnesses: Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State Location: 2172 Rayburn

Think tanks and other news events: 

Stimson Center: Marine Corps Preparation for the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review Washington, DC (2:30 PM, Tues 22 Jan) Description: This event comes at the beginning of the Marine Corps’ QDR efforts, which include grappling with how to keep the lessons of a decade of ground combat, prepare for an uncertain future, and how it will relate to its sister military services. RSVP online. Participants: Major General Kenneth F. McKenzie, Marine Corps Representative to the Quadrennial Defense Review, Maren Leed, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Senior Adviser in Defense Policy Studies, Benjamin Friedman, Cato Institute, Research Fellow in Defense and Homeland Security Studies Location: 1111 19th St NW, 12th Floor, Washington, DC 20036

Heritage Foundation: Obama’s Nominations for New National Security Team: Issues for the Senate, Washington, DC (10:00 AM, Wed 23 Jan) Description: As the Senate considers several important changes to President Obama’s Administration, difficult questions should be asked of the nominees, Heritage says. A panel will discuss those questions. RSVP online. Participants: Steven P. Bucci, Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, The Heritage Foundation, Ronald Marks, President, Intelligence Enterprises LLC, Helle Dale, Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy, The Heritage Foundation Location: Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

Brookings Institution: Warriors Against Waste: Cutting Defense Spending through Reform?, Washington, DC (9:30 AM, Thu 24 Jan) Description: A panel discussion will address topics such as reforms of military compensation processes; weapons acquisition practices; weapons maintenance practices; base infrastructure; information technology systems; and Department of Defense management. RSVP online. Participants: Alice M. Rivlin, Brookings Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Nick Avdellas, Program Manager, LMI, Col. John Barnett, U.S. Marine Corps Federal Executive Fellow, The Brookings Institution, Jack Mayer, Executive Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton, Bill Moore, Executive Vice President, Logistics Management Institute Location: Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009

Heritage Foundation: Getting the Word Out: International Powers Fight for Global Public Opinion Advantage, Washington, DC (12:00 PM, Thu 24 Jan) Description: A discussion of public diplomacy competition in the world today, and what the U.S. should do to win more hearts and minds around the world. RSVP online. Participants: Amy Zalman, Ph.D., Department of Defense Chair of Information Integration, National War College, J. Michael Waller, Ph.D., Vice President for Information Operations, Center for Security Policy, Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation, Dean Cheng, Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center, The Heritage Foundation Location: Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

United States Institute of Peace: Political and Economic Transition Challenges in Afghanistan Washington, DC (1:00 PM Fri 25 Jan) Description: In the aftermath of the summit meeting between presidents Obama and Karzai on January 11th, many questions still remain regarding the upcoming security, political and economic transitions in Afghanistan, and the impact these various transitions will have on future peace and stability in Afghanistan. A two-panel event with leading experts on Afghanistan and Pakistan will discuss some of the major challenges and opportunities for peace and political stability in Afghanistan. RSVP online. Participants: Omar Samad, President, Silk Road Consulting; Former Afghan Diplomat, Michael Semple, Carr Center Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School; Former Deputy to the EU Special Representative to Afghanistan, Moeed Yusuf, Senior Pakistan Expert, United States Institute of Peace, Matthieu Aikens, magazine writer based in Kabul, Bill Byrd, Senior Afghanistan Expert, United States Institute of Peace, Anand Gopal, Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow, New America Foundation Location: 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, 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.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 7:43 am

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