June 4 Defense Industry Weekly Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

Robots Go to War:  March of the Robots

The Economist. This is an interesting look at the growth of robotics in the military around the world today. It is a growth market with billions likely to be spent in coming years as various types of new robots are brought to market including throw able recon robots to mule like logistics machines for combat squads on foot. The story touches on the usual ‘what happens when humans aren’t in the loop’ routine a bit even though no one is even suggesting letting robots make decisions without human guidance. Still it’s an interesting read.

Contractors Concerned About Proposed Rule for Workers with Disabilities

Marjorie Censer, Washington Post. The Obama administration issued a proposed rule in December that would require that 7% of all employees for federal contractors be disabled. The industry is pushing back pretty hard at what is seen as yet another rule that makes the hurdles to government contracting even greater and the price of doing business with the government higher. The issue is that it is another impractical and unachievable goal. The number itself is based on the estimated 5% of the workforce that is disabled and 1.7% which is the number the government believes might be enticed into working if there were more jobs. It seems a pretty loose calculation to base a rule that could spell the end of many companies unable to compete.

Ground Vehicle Industry on Edge as Army Weighs Fix Or Buy Options

Sandra Erwin, The National Defense. It’s becoming increasingly clear that major changes are afoot for the Army’s ground vehicle fleet. Postponing key milestones and components has not made the industry any less worried about the loss of business as the Pentagon cuts back. It is expected that a consolidation wave of mid-tier companies will be more likely as the Army cuts back on new vehicle productions and needs fewer repairs on the existing fleet.

Unemployed Veterans Skilled in Doing Jobs, Not in Finding Them

Mary Wiltenburg, Christian Science Monitor. The folks at and released their second Veterans Talent Index survey this week and found that while many in the military are well trained for jobs in the civilian sector, few are prepared to find one. It seems both veterans and civilian hiring managers are talking past each other due to lack of understanding of the other’s skills and needs. They recommend more effort on defining those job skills a military specialty impart on a service member to smooth the transition into the jobs market.

Mismatch Between Veteran Job Seekers and Employer Needs

Megan McCloskey, Stars and Stripes. Another interesting set of facts from the VTI is that there exists a distinct gap between what employers are looking for on the website and what veterans bring to the table. For example, 53% of the job postings on the site require a college degree but only 21% of the veterans on the site are college grads. On the opposite side, only 13% of jobs on Monster are for executive level positions yet 22% of vets are seeking those positions. Get the full report here. It’s a pretty handy reference for veteran’s statistics as well: Veterans Talent Index

The week ahead:

Tradeshows and Conferences: No significant shows that we are aware of this week.

Congress: The full Congress is in session this week.


Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Tues, 5 June) Contracting Oversight Subcommittee hearing on “Veterans Employment and Government Contractors.” Witnesses: Ted Daywalt, president and CEO of VetJobs; Spencer Kympton, COO of The Mission Continues; Ramsey Sulayman, legislative associate for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; Pamela Hardy, senior manager of the Diversity and Inclusion Team at Booz Allen Hamilton; and Sally Sullivan, executive vice president of ManTech International Corporation, testify Location: 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Senate Appropriations Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Wed, 6 June) Defense Subcommittee hearing to receive testimony from outside witnesses. Witnesses: TBD Location: 192 Dirksen Senate Office Building 

House of Representatives: 

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee – Hearing (2:00 PM, Wed, 6 June) Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee hearing on H.R.2355, the “Hallowed Grounds Act”; H.R.2996, the “Gulf War Syndrome `Presumptive Illness’ Extension Act of 2011”; H.R.4299, the “Quality Housing for Veterans Act”; H.R.5735, to provide for the establishment of a Tomb of Remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery for interment of cremated fragments of the remains of members of the Armed Forces killed in Afghanistan, Iraq, or a subsequent conflict when the fragments are unidentifiable by use of DNA testing or other means because of the condition of the fragments, are unclaimed, or are identified and authorized by the person designated to direct disposition of the remains for internment in such memorial; H.R.5880, the “Veterans Disability Examination Access Improvement Act”; H.R.5881, the “Access to Veterans Benefits Improvement Act”; and H.R.2720, to clarify the role of the Veterans Affairs Department in providing a benefit or service related to the interment or funeral of a veteran. Witnesses: TBD Location: 334 Cannon House Office Building

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee – Hearing (9:30 AM, Thurs, 7 June) National Security Subcommittee hearing on “Assessment of the Transition from a Military to a Civilian-Led Mission in Iraq.” Witnesses: TBD Location:   2154 Rayburn House Office Building

House Armed Services Committee – Hearing (2:00 PM, Thurs, 7 June) Military Personnel Subcommittee hearing on “Military Resale Programs Overview.” Witnesses:   Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Military Community and Family Policy Robert Gordon; Air Force Brig. Gen. Francis Hendricks, commander of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service; retired Navy Rear Adm. Robert Bianchi, CEO of the Navy Exchange Service Command; Joseph Jeu, director and CEO of the Defense Commissary Agency; William Dillon, director of the Semper Fit and Exchange Services, Marine Corps; Patrick Nixon, president of the American Logistics Association; and Thomas Gordy, president of the Armed Forces Marketing Council, testify Location: 2118 Rayburn House Office Building 

Think tanks and other news events: 

Center for Strategic and International Studies: The Future of U.S. Navy Humanitarian Assistance, Washington, D.C. (9:30 AM, Mon, 4 June) Description: n June 4, CSIS will launch an independent task force of experts, chaired by former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead, to study the value of the U.S. Navy’s proactive humanitarian assistance; to examine the Navy’s capacity for such missions in the future; to review the history and evolution of policy and programs in this area; to forecast the demands on military medicine and humanitarian missions in an age of new technologies and evolving threats to global health; and to inform a sensible, long-term strategy for naval medical diplomacy going forward. Participants: Adm. (R) Gary Roughead, former Chief of Naval Operations, Rear Admiral Michael Mittelman, U.S. Navy, Deputy Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Deputy Surgeon General, Doctor Stephen Morrison, SVP CSIS. Location: CSIS, 1800 K Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20006

Changes in the Defense Media

The Washington Post is losing their very talented Cairo bureau chief, Leila Fadel, to NPR in July when she will assume the role of…Cairo bureau chief. Leila has covered the upheavals in the Middle East and spent five years covering the Iraq war.  More from NPR here:

Defense News has launched an official blog called Intercepts that will be a feed from their network of reporters and analysts. Marcus Weisgerber is blogging his trip with the Secretary of Defense across the Pacific and Asia this week.

The Navy announced this week that Captain John Kirby, currently the military spokesman for the Department of Defense, would be nominated for promotion to Admiral and duty as the Chief of Information (CHINFO) for the Navy.

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, June 04, 2012 11:05 am

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