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July 23 Weekly Defense Industry Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

Arms Export Reforms Kick Into High Gear

Sandra Erwin, National Defense – NDIA. It seems that aggressive efforts at reforming the convoluted export controls system for U.S. military equipment is beginning to pay dividends after years of stops and starts at reform. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates jump-started efforts that resulted in the creation of the Technology Security and Foreign Disclosure Office and the creation of a single electronic database for sharing of requests between the State Department and DoD. State is continuing efforts to clarify complicated rules that in one example classify not just the F-16 aircraft itself as unable to be exported, but the generic bolts holding it together, under the same blanket. Industry is pushing hard to make these changes happen as the foreign market becomes the lifeline for many to stay alive as U.S. defense dollars dry up.

Staying Calm as Sequestration Looms

Marjorie Censer, Washington Post Capital Business. While the major defense contractors and manufacturers have been sounding the alarms about sequestration including recent notices on potential layoffs, smaller firms in the sector are looking to weather the storm though they may pay a heavier price. Many small firms are part of a specific piece of a larger contract. For example providing the project management on a weapons contract. Without guidance from DoD there is no telling how their programs will make out if the worst case scenario comes to pass. Most CEO’s are simply driving on without threats of layoffs that might not take place for over a year.

Global Defense Sales Slip 3.3%; Aerospace Rises

Pierre Tran, Defense News. Consulting firm Deloitte is out with their global review of the defense and aerospace industry. Not surprisingly they are reporting an overall 3.3% drop in sales for defense firms worldwide. This bad news is buoyed by what many have seen already as a rise in civil aerospace of about 2.3%, mostly on the backs of rising purchases of civilian airliners for more fuel-efficient models.

Get the full report hereDeloitte 2012 Global Aerospace and Defense Industry Outlook Report

Execs: Sequestration Hype Could Hurt Firms

Zachary Fryer-Biggs, Defense News. Not all defense industry leaders are comfortable with the aggressive tone taken by the major defense firm CEO’s and industry associations. In anonymous interviews with Defense News, more than a few worry that the exhortations of destruction will actually hurt the industry in the end. Actions like threatened layoffs lead to unplanned effects such as a loss of talented workers fleeing to more secure industries. Failure to come up with reasonable plans to deal with the situation threaten to turn what should be a speed-bump into a cliff. It’s interesting that more stories are coming out with some in the industry seeming to shake their head at the overall air of panic in their ranks.

The week ahead:

Tradeshows and Conferences: 

IDGA Counter IED Summit 2012, (Mon-Wed, 23-25 July) Wyndham Tampa Westshore, Tampa FL. This conference focuses on solutions to the continuing IED threat to forces worldwide.  This year will also include a focus on homeland security and law enforcement which comes at a fortuitous time in light of the elaborate IED booby traps in the Aurora Batman shooting suspects apartment this weekend.  High level attendees from many of the organizations working to fight the IED threat will be in attendance.

Congress:   The full Congress is in session this week.

Senate: 

Senate Appropriations Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Wed, 25 July) Energy and Water Development Subcommittee hearing on hearing on “Examining the proper size of the nuclear weapons stockpile to maintain a credible U.S. deterrent.” Witnesses: TBD

Location: 192 Dirksen Senate Office Building

House of Representatives: 

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Tues, 24 July) National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations Subcommittee hearing on “Dawood National Military Hospital, Afghanistan: What Happened and What Went Wrong?” focusing on the Defense Department’s investigation into allegations of mismanagement and patient abuse at the U.S.-backed military hospital in Kabul. Witnesses: TBD Location: 2154 Rayburn House Office Building

House Armed Services Committee – Hearing (2:00 PM, Tues, 24 July) Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on “Afghan National Security Forces and Security Lead Transition: The Assessment Process, Metrics, and Efforts to Build Capability.” Witnesses: Anthony Cordesman, chair in strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; retired Army Col. Joseph Felter, senior research scholar in Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation; Kenneth Moorefield, deputy inspector general for special plans and operations in the Defense Department’s Office of the Inspector General; Charles Johnson Jr., director of international affairs and trade at the Government Accountability Office, testify Location:  2212 Rayburn House Office Building

House Armed Services Committee and House Veterans’ Affairs Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Wed, 25 July) House Armed Services Committee and House Veterans’ Affairs Committee joint hearing on “Back From the Battlefield: DoD (Defense Department) and VA (Veterans Affairs Department) Collaboration to Assist Servicemembers Returning to Civilian Life.” Witnesses:   Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki testify Location: 2118 Rayburn House Office Building

House Armed Services Committee – Hearing (3:30 PM, Wed, 25 July) Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee hearing on “Digital Warriors: Improving Military Capabilities for Cyber Operations.” Witnesses: Navy Vice Adm. Michael Rogers, commander of the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and commander of the U.S. Tenth Fleet; Army Lt. Gen. Rhett Hernandez, commander of the U.S. Army Cyber Command; Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, deputy commandant for combat development and integration and commanding general of the Combat Development Command; and Air Force Maj. Gen. Suzanne Vautrinot, commander of the 24th Air Force and commander of Air Force Network Operations, testify Location: 2118 Rayburn House Office Building

House Armed Services Committee – Hearing (11:30 AM, Thurs, 26 July) Readiness Subcommittee hearing on “Civilian Workforce Requirements – Now and Across the Future Years Defense Program.” Witnesses:  Defense Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness Erin Conaton testifies Location:   2212 Rayburn House Office Building

Think tanks and other news events: 

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation: Making Voting Accessible for Disabled Veterans, Washington, DC (9:30 AM, Tues 24 July) Description: More than 40,000 American military personnel have been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many of these Americans are undergoing lengthy recovery and rehabilitation treatments at hospitals far from home. Many barriers exist that may prevent these Americans from registering and voting in elections. Technology can facilitate voting for these Americans and others who face barriers to participating in the electoral process. Conclusions from a series of studies that investigated how to improve voting accessibility for disabled service members will be shared. RSVP online. Participants: Senator Johnny Isakson, Georgia, Daniel Castro, Senior Analyst, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Brad Fain, Technical Director, Expeditionary Medical Facility Human Systems Integration, Carol Paquette, Board Secretary, Operation BRAVO Foundation Location: Room 188, Russell Senate Office Building, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street NE, Washington, DC 20001

The Brookings Institution: The Obama and Romney Foreign Policy Agendas: A Discussion with the Candidates’ Leading Advisers, Washington, DC (2:00 PM, Wed 25 July) Description: A discussion examining the foreign policy, defense and national security agendas of candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, featuring Michele Flournoy, co-chair of the National Security Advisory Committee for Obama for America and Rich Williamson, senior adviser for foreign and defense policy for Romney for President, Inc. RSVP online. Participants: Michele Flournoy, Co-Chair, National Security Advisory Committee, Obama for America, Rich Williamson, Senior Adviser for Foreign and Defense Policy, Romney for President, Inc. Location: Falk Auditorium, Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036

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, July 23, 2012 9:44 am

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