March 18 Weekly Defense Industry Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

F-35 ‘Affordable’ at $90 Million Per Aircraft

Sandra I. Erwin (@NationalDefense), National Defense Magazine. The annual Credit Suisse/McAleese defense programs conference always brings out the big guns from acquisition offices at DoD to meet with the investors in, and leaders of, the defense industry. The big news from last week’s event surrounded the F-35 as it continues to weather the budget storm. Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the program executive officer, stated that the manufacturers of the aircraft needed to get the price down to around $90 million per aircraft for it to be affordable to the U.S. and its allies. That’s news because it isn’t even close to that now with the Air Force version extremely conservatively priced out at $119 million and other versions significantly more. The program has more drama than the ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ these days as at the same briefing Bogdan said he plans to do some “housekeeping changes” to the program office to streamline it and encouraged the builders to do the same. Through all of this there is a constant undercurrent of dissatisfaction among the partner countries and even rumblings in the services about why we are buying what seems more and more to be an aircraft that is far from being what it was advertised to be.

At Quantico Area Tavern, Sequester’s Impact Is Already Felt

Jeremy Borden (@Jeremy_Borden), Washington Post. If you’ve ever hung out with a Marine for long, you know all about Tun Tavern, the Philadelphia watering hole where the Marine Corps first recruited in 1775. The second bar you will learn about is Stafford’s Globe and Laurel just south of Quantico. The restaurant has become a perfect symbol of the consequences of the sequestration cuts that many in Congress and the nation see as really a “good start” instead of a disastrous policy choice. The famous bar has seen a clear drop in its customers and revenue as defense contractors and even military personnel start cutting back on dining out and many lose their jobs. Already the staff is being told to seek other work as hours are being cut back and moves are made to preserve the 45-year-old staple of the region. Many businesses are seeing the same trends as the ripples begin to be felt from what seems an inconsequential cut to so many, but is instead a direct hit to many local areas.

USAF Overrides Stop Work On Afghan LAS Contract

Aaron Mehta (@AaronMehta), Defense News. Over at the other dramatic program office we’ve been keeping an eye on for several weeks, the Air Force decided to override the Government Accounting Office’s stop work order on the Light Air Support contract that was recently awarded to Sierra Nevada, and its partner Embraer of Brazil, that was quickly protested, again, by Hawker Beechcraft. Bringing out the clause in the regulations that would normally cause up to a 100-day delay in the program, the service cited the “best interests” of the U.S. to get the aircraft built finally for our Afghan allies. Beechcraft quickly rolled out moms, apple pies, and American flags to question how the “best interests” of the U.S. now rests “on the shoulders of Brazil” even though the systems will be built in Jacksonville, Fla., by American workers. GAO will continue to investigate the award but work will go forward in the mean time.

U.S. Navy Weighs Halving LCS Order

Christopher P. Cavas (@CavasShips), Defense News. The Navy’s other massive program, the Littoral Combat Ship, is also getting a closer look after many have been questioning the plans of continuing to build two different versions of the ship and whether the design is even up to surviving modern combat. Cavas is reporting that a classified memo from late last year designed to examining the future of the Navy surface fleet proposes cutting down to just one version in 2015 and halving the number of total ships to be bought in the lengthy program meant to build 52 of the ships. The document also addresses future builds of destroyers with advanced air defense radars under development. While not a decision study or even an official position by the top leaders of the Navy, it does point to serious discussions in the Pentagon on the programs underway.

Pentagon Creating Teams to Launch Cyberattacks

Ellen Nakashima (@nakashimae), Washington Post. During testimony to Congress last week, Cyber Command’s Gen. Keith Alexander told the Senate Armed Services Committee that his organization is forming some 13 offensive teams by the fall of 2015 to defend against major computer attacks from abroad. This was an unusual admission of cyber activities by the U.S. government and comes amid growing concern that the U.S. is far behind China and other potential adversaries in its ability to wage war in the cyberspace. In addition to those 13 “offensive” teams, 27 others will support military commands around the world and the DoD for protection of computer networks. The first third of this projected force will be up and running by September and the second third a year later as long as the budgets are not cut and the continuing resolution is fixed as some 25% of Cyber Command’s budget is hung up by the CR and they also face furloughs of employees thanks to sequester. Many are pointing out that it will be very hard to recruit the best and brightest from the private sector when they see 20% of their pay is going to be lost over political machinations.

The week ahead:

Tradeshows and Conferences: 

Precision Strike Association Precision Strike Annual Review (Wed-Thu, 19-20 March), Waterford at Springfield, VA

This 13th annual forum will address strike warfare requirements and capability decisions critical to national security. A number of key DoD leaders to discuss the new strategic environment, as well as needed characteristics of future strike weapons and systems.

Congress: Both chambers are in session this week.


House Foreign Affairs Joint Subcommittee (1:00 PM, Tue 19 Mar) After the Withdrawal: The Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan (Part I) Witnesses: Seth G. Jones, Ph.D., Associate Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center, RAND Corporation, Kimberly Kagan, Ph.D., President, Institute for the Study of War, Mr. Peter Bergen, Director, National Security Studies Program, The New America Foundation, Daniel S. Markey, Ph.D., Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia, Council on Foreign Relations Location: 2172 Rayburn

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies (2:00 PM, Tue 19 Mar) Oversight Hearing – Quality of Life in the Military Witnesses: Sergeant Major Raymond F. Chandler III, Sergeant Major of the Army, Sergeant Major Michael P. Barrett, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Master Chief Petty Officer Michael D. Stevens, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Chief Master Sergeant James A. Cody, Sergeant of the Air Force Location: H-140 Capitol

House Veterans Affairs and House Small Business Committee (2:00 PM, Tue 19 Mar) Consistently Inconsistent: Challenges for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Witnesses: Mr. Joseph Wynn, Special Advisor, VET-Force, Mr. Davy Leghorn, Assistant Director, National Economic Division, American Legion, Mr. Marc Goldschmitt, PMP, CEO, Goldschmitt and Associates, LLC, Mr. Jonathan T. Williams, Partner, PilieroMazza, PLLC, Mr. William Shear, Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment, U.S. Government Accountability Office, Mr. A. John Shoraka, Associate Administrator, Office of Government Contracting and Business Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, Mr. Tom Leney, Executive Director, Veterans and Small Business Programs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Location: 2360 Rayburn

House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces (2:00 PM, Tue 19 Mar)

Equipping, Modernizing, and Sustaining the National Guard and Reserve Components as an Operational Force in a time of Budget Uncertainty Witnesses: Lieutenant General Stanley E. Clarke III, Director, Air National Guard, USAF, Lieutenant General William E. Ingram Jr., Director, Army National Guard, USA, Lieutenant General James “JJ” Jackson, Chief, U.S. Air Force Reserve, USAF, Lieutenant General Jeffrey W. Talley, Chief, U.S. Army Reserve and Commanding General, USAR Location: 2118 Rayburn

House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces (3:30 PM, Tue 19 Mar) The U.S. Nuclear Deterrent: What Are the Requirements for A Strong Deterrent In an Era of Defense Sequester? Witnesses: Dr. Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr., President, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Dr. Keith B. Payne, Professor and Head, Graduate Department of Defense and Strategic Studies, Missouri State University Location: 2118 Rayburn

House Veterans’ Affairs (10:00 AM, Wed 20 Mar) Focusing on People: A Review of VA’s Plans for Employee Training, Accountability, and Workload Management to Improve Disability Claims Processing Witnesses: TBD Location: 334 Cannon

House Appropriations Committee (10:00 AM, Wed 20 Mar) National Guard and United States Army Reserve Witnesses: General Frank J. Grass, Chief, National Guard Bureau, Lieutenant General William E. Ingram, Jr.,
Army National Guard, Lieutenant General Stanley E. “Sid” Clarke III,
Air National Guard, Lieutenant General Jeffrey W. Talley,
U.S. Army Reserve Location: H-140 Capitol

House Armed Services (10:00 AM, Wed 20 Mar) The Posture of the U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Southern Command Witnesses: General Charles H. Jacoby Jr, USA, Commander, U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, General John F. Kelly, USMC, Commander, U.S. Southern Command Location: 2118 Rayburn

House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies (2:00 PM, Wed 20 Mar) Cyber Threats from China, Russia and Iran: Protecting American Critical Infrastructure Witnesses: Mr. Frank J. Cilluffo, Director, Homeland Security Policy Institute, Co-Director, Cyber Center for National and Economic Security, The George Washington University, Mr. Richard Bejtlich, Chief Security Officer and Security Services Architect, Mandiant, Mr. Ilan Berman, Vice President, American Foreign Policy Council, Mr. Martin Libicki, Senior Management Scientist, RAND Corporation Location: 311 Cannon

House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats (9:00 AM, Thu 21 Mar) Cyber Attacks: An Unprecedented Threat to U.S. National Security Witnesses: Mr. Richard Bejtlich, Chief Security Officer and Security Services Architect, Mandiant Corporation, Mr. Greg Autry, Senior Economist, Coalition for a Prosperous America Location: 2172 Rayburn

House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel (10:00 AM, Thu 21 Mar)

Update on military suicide prevention Witnesses: Lieutenant General Howard B. Bromberg, USA, Deputy Chief of Staff G-1, United States Army, Ms. Jacqueline Garrick, LCSW-C, Acting Director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, Department of Defense, Brigadier General Robert F. Hedelund, USMC, Director, Marine and Family Programs, United States Marine Corps, Lieutenant General Darrell D. Jones, USAF, Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, United States Air Force, Dr. Jerry Reed, Jr., PhD, MSW, Director, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, Vice Admiral Scott R. Van Buskirk, USN, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Manpower, Personnel, Training, and Education, United States Navy Location: 2118 Rayburn


Senate Armed Services (9:30 AM, Tue 19 Mar) Oversight hearing to receive testimony on U.S. European Command, U.S. Northern Command, and U.S. Southern Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2014 and the Future Years Defense Program. Witnesses: Admiral James G. Stavridis, USN, Commander, U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, General Charles H. Jacoby, Jr., USA, Commander, U.S. Northern Command and Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command, General John F. Kelly, USMC, Commander, U.S. Southern Command Location: 216 Hart

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (10:00 AM, Tue 12 Mar) Current and Projected National Security Threats to the United States Witnesses: TBD Location: 216 Hart

Senate Veterans Affairs (10:00 AM, Wed 13 Mar) VA Claims Process: Review of VA’s Transformation Efforts Witnesses: TBD Location: 418 Russell

Senate Armed Services (10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, Wed 13 Mar) Oversight hearing to receive testimony on sexual assaults in the military. Witnesses: Anu Bhagwati, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Service Women’s Action Network, BriGette McCoy, Former Specialist, United States Army, Rebekah Havrilla, Former Sergeant, United States Army, Brian K. Lewis, Former Petty Officer Third Class, United States Navy Advocacy Board Member, Protect Our Defenders. 2:00 Panel: Robert S. Taylor, Acting General Counsel of the Department of Defense, Lieutenant General Dana K. Chipman, JAGC, USA, Judge Advocate General of the United States Army, Vice Admiral Nanette M. DeRenzi, JAGC, USN, Judge Advocate General of the United States Navy, Lieutenant General Richard C. Harding, JAGC, USAF, Judge Advocate General of the United States Air Force, Vaughn A. Ary, USMC, Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Major General Gary S. Patton, USA, Director, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, Rear Admiral Frederick J. Kenney, Jr., USCG, Judge Advocate General of the United States Coast Guard Location: 216 Hart

Think tanks and other news events: 

Center for Strategic and International Studies: Gulf Roundtable with CJCS General Martin E. Dempsey, Washington, DC (12:00 PM, Mon 18 Mar)  Description: General Dempsey will share his thoughts on the future of security in the Gulf region. RSVP online, webcast available. Participants: General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Location: 1800 K Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20006

The Aspen Institute: Aspen Veterans Initiative Launch: “A Call to Action”, Washington, DC (12:00 PM, Mon 18 Mar) Description: The Aspen Institute will launch its Aspen Veterans Initiative, in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, DoD, HHS, Blue Shield of California Foundation, IAVA, Give an Hour and The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry to foster discussion among clinicians, organizations and policy makers on meeting the challenges related to the mental health needs of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the next 5 years, the program will produce educational materials for frontline providers in the civilian population, develop a track at the Health Forum dedicated to veterans and build a coalition committed to provoking discussions about challenges and solutions related to the well-being of returning veterans. RSVP online.  Participants: Peter Long, PhD, President & Chief Executive Officer, Blue Shield of California Foundation, Koby Langley, JD, Senior Advisor, Veterans, Wounded Warriors and Military Family Initiatives, Corporation for National and Community Service, Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Casey T. Taft, PhD, Staff Psychologist, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston University School of Medicine, Barbara Van Dahlen, PhD, Founder and President, Give an Hour, James Dao, Reporter and Co-editor of the At War Blog New York Times Location: One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20036

Center for National Policy: Media and the Iraq War: Who Changed Whom?, Washington, DC (10:30 AM, Tue 19 Mar) Description: A discussion of the impact of the Iraq War on the media and the military and the relationship between the two institutions. RSVP online.  Participants: Greg Jaffe, reporter for the Washington Post, Lara Jakes, Iraq correspondent for The Associated Press from 2009-2011 and Baghdad bureau chief in 2012, Army LTC Mike Jason, Strategic Planner with the Army Initiatives Group, Marine COL David Lapan, spokesman for the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey Location: One Massachusetts Avenue, NW Suite 333, Washington, D.C. 20001

Center for Strategic and International Studies: Ground Force Maneuver: Why It Still Matters, Washington, DC (12:00 PM, Wed 20 Mar)  Description: As the United States faces a growing range of conventional and unconventional threats, what is the role of ground maneuver warfare in the future global security environment? What capabilities will U.S. ground forces need to operate effectively as part of joint, interdepartmental, and multinational teams? To what degree should the maneuver capabilities of allies and partners affect U.S. force decisions? RSVP online, webcast available. Participants: Major General H.R. McMaster, Commanding General, U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence Location: 1800 K Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20006

American Enterprise Institute: Why this defense drawdown must be different for the Pentagon, Washington, DC (12:00 PM, Wed 20 Mar) Description: America’s military drawdown is well underway. For years, the Pentagon has been cutting capability and capacity, scaling back war plans, absorbing ever more efficiencies, canceling weapons systems, and reducing readiness in response to roughly $1 trillion in defense budget cuts before sequestration. The onset of sequestration means that this approach is no longer feasible. How can Pentagon leaders better target reductions to address structural drivers of military spending while prioritizing national security imperatives? RSVP online, webcast available. Participants: Gordon Adams, Stimson Center, Todd Harrison, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Clark Murdock, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Major General Arnold Punaro (ret.), Punaro Group, Mackenzie Eaglen, AEI 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, March 18, 2013 9:41 am

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