October 24 Weekly Defense Industry Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

Air Force Focuses on Turning ‘Tail to Tooth’ in Face of Budget Crunch

Dan Parson, National Defense. In a speech to the National Defense University Foundation and National Defense Industrial Association, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley last week walked through the efforts the service has made to be more combat focused and to reduce their logistics base to save money. The force has already shed some 25,000 members and 400 aircraft since 9/11 and now is looking at compensation and benefits to find more savings. He admits there really isn’t much more they can do as they are pretty much to the bone in their view on the number of cuts.

U.S. Military Sees JLTV Development Gain Speed

Lance M. Bacon and Michael Hoffman, Defense News. The U.S. Army and Marines have made a huge effort to trim the fat off of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program to get the costs down, get the program built faster, and meet the needs of the two services in mobility and survivability. The Army expects to eventually buy 20,000 of the new combat trucks with the Marine Corps buying an additional 5,500 to replace about a third of both services’ Humvee fleets. Bacon and Hoffman take a look at the program and the various teams pursuing the expected 2015 single source contract award.

‘Messengers of Death’: Are Drones Creating a New Global Arms Race?

Andreas Lorenz, Julianne von Mittelstaedt and Gregor Peter Schmitz, SPIEGEL ONLINE. This article has a distinctly European flavor with phrases such as “the execution of Bin Laden,” but it offers a very comprehensive look at the booming Unmanned Aerial Vehicles market. In the U.S. it has increased from just $550 million in the U.S. budget in 2002 to upwards of $5 billion last year. Analysts estimate that it will grow to a $94 billion market in the next decade as more and more countries seek the many abilities effective UAV’s offer.

Tech America Issues Forecast for Annual DoD Budget

Staff, Defense News. The Tech American Foundation issued its annual forecast for the defense budget based on defense industry executives and past years results. They put the odds of the worst case scenario of sequestration based on the super committee to be just a 10% probability and at the other end a 20% chance of no more additional defense cuts. They envision a plan of mixed cuts and revenue increases that will result in $1.2 trillion additional cuts above the existing $900 billion already delineated in the Budget Control Act.

Veterans Groups Mobilize Against Defense Cuts

Steve Vogel, Washington Post. The nation’s largest veteran’s service organizations are mobilizing their members against large scale cuts to the defense and veterans’ affairs budgets after letters were issued by the Armed Service Committee heads of both houses supporting more cuts. The Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion were both blindsided when normally “friendly” members of Congress appeared willing to support more dramatic cuts last week. The groups are ramping up their lobbying in anticipation of a battle to come.

Vets Say the VA Fails to Give Former Warriors Preference in Contracting

David Goldstein, McClatchy Newspapers. The issue is buried a bit in this story but veteran small businesses are struggling to get contracts with the VA according to the GAO because most purchases are made using the Federal Supply Schedule which does not necessarily distinguish them as a veteran-owned business. The VA disagrees with GAO and feels that they are giving more business than any other federal agency to veteran-owned small businesses.

Feeding the US Frontline in Afghanistan

Rachel O’Brien, Agence France Press. Here is a nice little take on what it’s like to feed U.S. service members in combat today, from the remarkable “surf and turf” nights on the large Forward Operating Bases, to the pre-made menus hard-working sergeants try to turn into something different for the troops at the Combat Outposts across Afghanistan. Food is still the number one morale booster for any soldier in combat, just as it has been since the Roman’s headed north to Goth.

The Week Ahead

Tradeshows: The 11th Annual C4ISR Journal Conference and Big 25 Awards (27-28 October) Crystal City Marriott, Arlington, Virginia. Two days of lectures, panels and roundtable discussions on a comprehensive selection of ISR topics taught by industry experts. From year to year, the C4ISR Journal Conference continues to provide a unique forum in which all the year’s important C4ISR-related developments can not only be discussed and critiqued at the conference, but also recognized at the Big25 Awards Presentation.

Congress:   The United States Senate is not in session this week for a State Work Week though there are selected committee hearings, pro forma sessions and events around the country. The Full House of Representatives is in session.

House Armed Services Committee- Hearing (3:00, Monday, 24 October) Business Challenges within the Defense Industry Panel Subcommittee hearing on “The Defense Industrial Base: A National Security Imperative.” Witnesses: TBD Location: 2212 Rayburn House Office Building

House Foreign Affairs Committee – Hearing (10:00, Tuesday, 25 October) Full committee hearing on “Deployment of U.S. Forces in Central Africa and Implementation of The Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act.” Witnesses: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto; and Assistant Defense Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow, testify Location: 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

House Armed Services Committee- Hearing (1:00, Tuesday, 25 October) Military Personnel Subcommittee hearing on “Military Retirement Reform.” Witnesses: Principal Deputy Defense Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness Jo Ann Rooney; Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Military Personnel Policy Vee Penrod; Steve Strobridge, director of government relations for the Military Officers Association of America; and John Davis, director of the Fleet Reserve Association’s Legislative Programs, testify Location: 2212 Rayburn House Office Building

House Armed Services Committee- Hearing (10:00, Wednesday, 26 October) Full committee hearing on “Economic Consequences of Defense Sequestration.” Witnesses:  TBD Location: 2218 Rayburn House Office Building

House Homeland Security Committee- Hearing (10:00, Wednesday, 26 October) Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee and Oversight, Investigations, and Management Subcommittee joint hearing on “Iranian Terror Operations on American Soil.” Witnesses:  TBD Location: 311 Cannon House Office Building

House Armed Services Committee- Hearing (2:00, Wednesday, 26 October) Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee hearing on “Army Acquisition and Modernization.” Witnesses:  Lt. Gen. Robert Lennox, deputy chief of staff of the Army; Lt. Gen. William Phillips, military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology; and Belva Martin, director of acquisition and sourcing management at the Government Accountability Office, testify Location: 2218 Rayburn House Office Building

House Armed Services Committee- Hearing (8:00, Thursday, 27 October) Defense Financial Management and Auditability Reform Panel Subcommittee hearing on “DOD’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System Implementation Efforts.” Witnesses:  Elizabeth McGrath, deputy chief management officer a the Defense Department; Mark Lewis, deputy chief management officer of the Army; Eric Fanning, deputy undersecretary of the Navy and deputy chief management officer; David Tillotson III, deputy chief management officer of the Air Force; and Asif Khan, director of financial management and assurance at the Government Accountability Office, testify Location: 2212 Rayburn House Office Building

House Armed Services Committee- Hearing (10:00, Thursday, 27 October) Readiness Subcommittee hearing on “Readiness in the Age of Austerity.” Witnesses:  Gen. Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff of the Army; Adm. Mark Ferguson III, vice chief of naval operations; Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., assistant commandant of the Marine Corps; and General Phillip Breedlove, vice chief of staff of the Air Force, testify Location: 2212 Rayburn House Office Building

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.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 24, 2011 9:27 am

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