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November 5 Weekly Defense Industry Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

Army Eyes Better Humvee Survivability

Paul Mcleary, Army Times. All that is old is new again as the Army issued an RFP last week seeking industry input focusing on survivability of the Humvee fleet. Proposals are for the Modernized Expanded Capacity Vehicle-Survivability program and include provisions for the upgrade of some 5,750 Humvees in the fleet. Earlier attempts at blended survivability and automotive improvements ultimately doomed the effort in favor of the JLTV program. This new MECV-S program is designed just for survival issues and has a better prospect of making its way through the budget challenges than previous attempts according to industry insiders.

Air Force Struggles with Aging Fleet

Eric Talmadge, Associated Press. As the “Asia pivot” looms and the new strategy of Air-Sea Battle becomes the focus for the U.S. military, the Pentagon faces an Air Force fleet that is increasingly older and a bit greyer owing to a lack of focus after the end of the Cold War and cost overruns and delays from new aircraft programs. From the KC-135, which first flew when Ike was President, to the not much younger B-52 bomber and fighters of the 1970s, the U.S. arsenal is showing its wrinkles. While still the most dominant air armada in the world, most strategists understand that bombers like the B-52 will never survive in a stand up fight in a modern conflict and budget cuts mean relief is not on the way anytime soon.

Justice Department Sues Reston Contractor, Alleges it Provided Unqualified Guards in Iraq

Sari Horowitz, Washington Post. Security contractor Triple Canopy is facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit after the Justice Department alleged the company provided unqualified local guards for a $10 million contract providing security for coalition installations in Iraq. The company is alleged to have billed the U.S. government for hundreds of guards that did not have the right training on weapons and proficiency to serve in the positions. The suit is the result of a whistle blower lawsuit filed last year by a former employee and is significant because the company was just awarded a $159 million contract to provide similar guards in Afghanistan.

The Next $1 Trillion Market: F-35 Sustainment Work

Aaron Mehta and Marcus Weisgerber, Defense News. The Department of Defense is hoping that a good dose of competition will help reduce the costs of sustaining the most expensive weapons system in history, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Over 100 companies are expected for a November 14th industry day with the F-35 Joint Program Office as they all seek a piece of what is expected to be a $1 trillion dollar, 50-year sustainment effort for the multinational fighter aircraft. Sticker shock was the first reaction when the JPO issued the trillion dollar lifetime cost estimate so cutting that down a bit is a major priority as DoD and industry sit down to find partnerships that will help that number get smaller.

Veterans Unemployment Drops to Lowest Level in Four Years 

Leo Shane, Stars and Stripes. The October jobs report was released on Friday and had good news overall for the veteran population as the overall number continued its downward trend with the veteran population facing a 6.9% rate compared to 7.9% for the general population. The post-9/11 veterans did see a slight rise up to 10%, though within that group females saw a four point drop compared to last month.

A Shining Light for America’s Returning Veterans: “Get Skills to Work”

Martin Scaglione, Huffington Post. The President of Workforce Development at ACT has high praise for the recently launched “Get Skills to Work” program from GE and a host of partners designed to get veterans skills they need to transition into the advanced manufacturing industry. Scaglione believes the effort is an excellent springboard off of the Right Skills Now coalition his organization launched last year with manufacturers and academic partners, but with the extra benefit of targeting veterans in need of solid careers. Keep your eyes peeled for my announcements from Get Skills to Work as pilot programs begin in January.

The week ahead:

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

Congress:   The full Congress is not session this week except for pro forma sessions. There are no defense or veteran’s related hearings or events.

Think tanks and other news events: 

Center for Strategic and International and Studies: Crisis Response and Expeditionary Operations: The Future of the United States Marine Corps, Washington, DC (9:15 AM, Thu 8 Nov) Description: A conversation with General James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, about the future of the force. RSVP online. Participants: General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps

Location: B1 Conference Room, CSIS, 1800 K Street, NW, Washington DC, 20006

Center for a New American Security: Book Launch Event: The Generals by Thomas E. Ricks Washington, DC (6:00 PM, Thu 8 Nov) Description: A book launch for The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today by Tom Ricks. Ricks will discuss his study of the history of American military leaders and the growing divide between military performance and accountability. Susan Glasser, Editor in Chief of Foreign Policy, will interview Ricks. RSVP online. Participants: Thomas E. Ricks, Senior Fellow at CNAS, and Susan Glasser, Editor in Chief of Foreign Policy

Location: The Willard InterContinental Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20004

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, November 05, 2012 12:38 pm

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