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October 22 Weekly Defense Industry Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

DoD, Industry Leaders Discuss How to Manage a Downturn

Marcus Weisgerber, Defense News. Most of the senior leadership of the Pentagon held a closed door meeting with a host of retired defense industry leaders to share insights on the last fiscal cutback period the department faced in the 1990’s. Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter arranged the October 11th meeting with officials from the organization Business Executives for National Security (BENS). DoD has been holding a series of meetings with industry reps on the effects of the precipitous defense cuts in the next years but this meeting was the first to talk about how to actually manage those cuts. No one doubts that even if the dreaded and idiotic sequestration cuts are turned back large cuts still loom on the horizon for the military.

EADS Retools US Defense Holdings in Wake of Failed Mega Merger

Carlo Munoz, The Hill. In a call with reporters last week EADS North America Chairman and CEO Sean O’Keefe informed them that after the failed merger with BAE the company was taking a long hard look at its U.S. position and holdings to build a “broader, balanced portfolio”. He offered few details at all but did mention looks at the U.S. cargo aircraft market as an example of potential opportunities for the company.

Lockheed Looks Abroad To Sell LCS, MH-60, Radars – But Who’s Buying?

Sydney J. Freedberg, Jr., AOL Defense. In one of those challenges to convening reporters with exciting news about your company Lockheed’s Mission Systems & Sensors business unit got reporters together ahead of AUSA to talk about their plans for foreign military sales but got caught with the fact they haven’t made any yet. While many in the U.S. defense industry look hopefully at the increasing numbers of foreign sales the problem is that there just aren’t that many buyers out to soften the cuts from U.S. and western powers. In this case MS2 hasn’t had a major sale since getting picked up to integrate avionics on Sikorsky Blackhawk helicopters to Australia last year. It’s a tough market and it’s a really tough pitch sometimes when times are austere.

Iraq Wants Faster Delivery of U.S. F-16’s

United Press International. Less than two weeks after announcing a multi-billion dollar purchase of Russian and Czech military equipment Iraqi Prime Ministry Nuri Al-Maliki urged the U.S. to speed delivery of purchased weapons including F-16 fighters. After visiting with DepSecDef Carter, Maliki signed a deal for 18 F-16IQ Block 52 fighters which is on top of 18 purchased in 2011 that will equip the first two squadrons of the Iraqi Air Force. They are also talking about buying AH-64 Apache helicopters and air defense missiles in a series of fast purchases that are puzzling U.S. officials privately at the sudden urge.

DOD Official Praises Vet Employment Program

Karen Parrish, American Forces Press Service. General Electric and a coalition of partners launched the ‘Get Skills to Work’ program on Monday in New York at a half day long event that featured CEO’s, Department of Defense leaders, iconic journalist Tom Brokaw and actor and philanthropist Gary Sinise. The program aims to train some 100,000 veterans and others in advanced manufacturing skills to fill an estimated 600,000 jobs that lack qualified applicants. In addition, digital badging for promoting their skills and tools for employers will aim to get veterans into jobs with skills that are good for the country. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Warrior Care, John Campbell attended and spoke about the challenges for transitioning service members.  He later posted to the White House blog on the value of programs like this one: Helping Veterans ‘Get Skills to Work

Cartwright: DoD’s Cyber Emphasis Should Be for the ‘Away Game’

John Grady, ScoutComms. Our special correspondent John Grady had the opportunity to chat with former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Retired Marine Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright and get his perspective during a recent United States Naval Institute conference on cyberwarfare challenges. Cartwright expresses dismay over the emphasis of DoD on a defensive posture trying to protect civilian networks and infrastructures instead of building an offensive capability. Cartwright feels private industry should handle their own defense and leave the military to do what it does best and fight the “away game” on the offense overseas. It’s a compelling argument as many ask why is DoD involved in trying to protect business and utility networks?

The week ahead:

Tradeshows and Conferences:

Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Expo, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC (Mon-Wed, 22-24 Oct) The AUSA show has been the largest military conference and tradeshow in the U.S. for many years but this year will be the first after the scandals surrounding the GSA and VA conference spending. The Army slashed the participation of units from some 75 booths down to one and from several thousand attendees on official travel from around the world to just a few hundred. Most defense companies are still participating in force but if the Army leadership fails to make the rounds and visit the companies you can be sure they won’t see a need to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars next year to talk to themselves. We will be attending and hope to see some of you folks there.

Office of Naval Research 2012 Naval Science and Technology Partnership Conference, Hyatt Regency, Crystal City, VA (Mon-Wed, 22-24 Oct) We hear a number of the technology focused defense beat journalists will be attending the ONR conference this week instead of AUSA. The biennial conference offers a chance for members of industry, academia and other government agencies to meet with ONR leaders and program managers and investigate possibilities for collaboration. This year’s confirmed presenters include the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, vice chief of naval operations, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and more.

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: 

American Association for the Advancement of Science: The Science and Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury, Washington, DC (5:30 PM, Tues 23 Oct) Description: A presentation of current research on traumatic brain injury from sport and combat, promising prevention and treatment strategies, and a personal account of the effects of TBI on U.S. soldiers. RSVP online. Participants: Ann McKee, professor of neurology and pathology and director of Neuropathology CORE at Boston University, Col. Geoffrey Ling, program manager at Defense Sciences Office, and Capt. James L. Hancock, deputy commander of Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Location: Auditorium, 1200 New York Avenue NW Washington, DC 20005

National Press Club: Journalists’ Digital Security, Washington, DC (6:30 PM, Wed 24 Oct) Description: Though digital technology has been an enormous boon to journalists, it also comes with significant security pitfalls and far too few reporters are aware of these dangers. More so than the general public, journalists are particularly at risk of being targeted as a result of the unique role they play in accumulating and disseminating highly sensitive information. To raise awareness about just how serious the digital security problem is, the National Press Club’s Press Freedom Committee will hold a panel discussion. RSVP online. Participants: Matthew Cole, former producer for ABC News and an investigative journalist, Joseph Hall, senior staff technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology, Jonathan Hutcheson, public interest lawyer and journalist Location: Conference rooms, National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20045

Center for Strategic and International Studies: Building a Cyber Security Workforce Through Diversity, Washington, DC (8:30 AM, Thu 25 Oct) Description: Cyber-security is a growing sub-field of national security that will require a steady pipeline of talent in the coming years. Women continue to be under-represented in this area. How can public and private sector institutions better attract women for these jobs, and how can women’s leadership opportunities be supported? RSVP online. Participants: Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Location: B1 Conference Room, CSIS, 1800 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006

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, October 22, 2012 7:55 am

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