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September 17 Weekly Defense Industry Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

DoD Conference Expenses Under Scrutiny

Marcus Weisgerber and Zachary Fryer-Biggs, Defense News. We have been predicting for some time that the growth of defense trade shows since 9/11 would hit a ceiling at some point soon and the scandal involving the General Services Administration conferences this past year seem to have brought us to that point. This is an extensive story that is a must read for those in the military and defense industry as you contemplate your spending on shows like AUSA. The Army announced last week they would be imposing a limit on unit booths at AUSA’s massive annual conference in Washington that was expected to include 75 slots and has now been consolidated all the way down to just one single Army booth. Some organizations had spent millions of dollars for their booths. Attendance is also being curtailed as travel is scrutinized for official purposes. Pay attention to this trend.

BAE and EADS in Merger Talks: Are More Mergers Ahead?

Staff, Defense News. The surprising news this week that European defense giants BAE and EADS were in merger talks finally begins the process many have been predicting of a realignment in the defense industry after the explosive growth since 9/11. If the merger goes through it will lead to a host of other companies reassessing their positions as the now larger company spanning military and civil aerospace brings a new level of competition to what had been fairly stable markets. Likely to start next in Europe in coming months, most analysts believe U.S. based firms are waiting for the election results and final disposition of the budget debates that are still in flux before making any moves though cash is being saved and plans made.

White House Hands Republicans Sequestration Estimates, and Little Else

Kevin Baron, Foreign Policy, The E-Ring. Congressional Republicans managed to force through a law demanding the administration lay out the details of how sequestration will affect the government budget in a report due last week. It came in past the deadline and was briefed at the exact same moment the President and other leaders were participating in the repatriation ceremony for those lost in Libya. The report laying out all cuts came in at 394-pages. Defense spending would be cut by $54.7 billion in fiscal 2013, though the White House long ago declared many operational and war accounts exempt. The law would require, according to the OMB, a 9.4% cut to non-exempted defense discretionary spending, and 10% to defense mandatory funds, but little else was laid out for political fodder in this election season. Many questions remain to be answered and Congress doesn’t seem to be in a big hurry to fix this self-inflicted wound until after the election.

Medics Being All They Can Be Find Civilian Job Barriers

Sharon L. Lynch, Bloomberg. One of the major challenges facing transitioning service members looking for work goes beyond the availability of jobs at this point but having the proper certifications to fill roles that are natural for their military positions. Bloomberg finds that most military medics are only certified as basic EMT’s instead of the more appropriate, and higher paying, paramedic if they are even certified at all. This means that when they leave the service they can’t find work that pays the bills or must pay out of pocket or the treasured GI Bill benefits to get the certifications needed to qualify for Paramedic positions that can cost upwards of $8,500 depending on the state. Veterans organizations are urging states to find ways to accommodate military medics and progress is being made though a total solution remains elusive as long as certifications are a state-by-state set of rules and DoD trains to its own needs and not the long term needs of the service member upon leaving the military.

The week ahead:

Tradeshows and Conferences: 

Air Force Association Air and Space Conference, National Harbor, MD (Mon-Weds, 17-19 Sep) AFA’s annual conference is first in line for the fall defense trade show season and brings together Air Force leadership, industry experts, academia and current aerospace specialists from around the world to discuss the issues and challenges facing America and the aerospace community today. This year’s expo kicks off in the shadow of major defense cuts, changes in strategy and the looming sequestration cliff so expect a lot of discussions on what it all means to the service and aerospace industry.

Maneuver Center of Excellence 2012 Maneuver Conference, Columbus, GA (Mon-Thurs, 17-20 Sep) The annual Maneuver Warfare Conference is an official military event sponsored by the Ft. Benning Maneuver Center of Excellence that focuses on the professional development and updates for leaders in the infantry and armor branches specifically. There are typically around 4,000 attendees representing many of the senior leaders and organizations in the two maneuver branches of the Army. There is also an accompanying tradeshow well attended by many weapons and vehicle manufacturers among others.

Next week’s big event:  Modern Day Marine at Quantico Marine Corps Base, Virginia

Congress:   The full Congress is in session part time this week. The Senate is in session only on Wednesday and Thursday. The House is in session Wednesday through Friday.

Senate:

Senate- Full Meeting (10:00 AM, Wed, 10 Sept) Senate meets to resume consideration of S.3457, the “Veterans Jobs Corps Act.” Location: Senate Chamber

House of Representatives: 

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Thurs, 20 Sept) Full committee hearing on “Veterans Affairs in the 112th Congress: Reviewing VA’s Performance and Accountability.” Witnesses:  TBD Location:  334 Cannon House Office Building

House Appropriations Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Thurs, 20 Sept) Defense Subcommittee hearing on “United States Army – Joint Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Defeat Organization.” Witnesses:   Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, director of the Joint IED Defeat Organization, testifies Location: TBD

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee – Hearing (2:00 PM, Thurs, 20 Sept) Economic Opportunity Subcommittee hearing on “Examining the Re-Design of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP).” Witnesses:  TBD Location: 334 Cannon House Office Building

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Fri, 21 Sept) Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee hearing on “Breaking Through the Backlog: Evaluating the Effectiveness of the New State Strike Force Team.” Witnesses: TBD Location: 334 Cannon House Office Building

Think tanks and other news events: 

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars: Reviewing the U.S.-Mexico Security Relationship Washington, DC (12:00 PM, Mon Sept 17) Description: Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and her counterpart in the Mexican government, Alejandro Poiré, will speak about the U.S.-Mexico security situation. RSVP online. Participants: Hon. Janet Napolitano, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Hon. Alejandro Poiré, Mexico’s Secretary of the Interior Location: One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20004

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Ambassador Ryan Crocker on Afghanistan Washington, DC (12:30 PM, Mon Sept 17) Description: In his first public event since returning from Kabul, Ambassador Ryan Crocker will deliver an address at Carnegie on the challenges and opportunities ahead in Afghanistan. Registration is closed. Participants: Ambassador Ryan Crocker Location: 1779 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036

Center for Strategic and International Studies: National Security & America’s Debt Washington, DC (12:30 PM, Mon Sept 17) Description: A bipartisan forum looks at the fiscal challenge facing America and how national security and the nation’s debt are intertwined. RSVP online. Participants:  Robert Gates, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense (via Satellite), Michael Mullen, Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Erskine Bowles, Former White House Chief of Staff, Pete Domenici, Former U.S. Senator (R-NM); Senior Fellow and Co-Chair, Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force, Alan Simpson, Former U.S. Senator (R-WY) (via Satellite), Alice Rivlin, Former Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget Location: CSIS, B1 Conference Center, 1800 K Street, NW, Washington DC, 20006

Center for Strategic and International Studies: DoD Contract Trends Report Release, Washington, DC (1:00 PM, Tue Sept 18) Description: The Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group (DIIG) at CSIS is releasing its annual report on trends in DoD contracting for products, services, and R&D. The report analyzes multi-year trends in obligations by DoD overall and by key DoD components, the types of contracts used, and the extent of competition. It also examines the industrial base supporting DoD, including the top contractors and a breakdown of the industrial base by contractor size. RSVP online. Participants:  David J. Berteau and Guy Ben-Ari, CSIS Defense Industrial Initiatives Group Location: CSIS, B1 Conference Center, 1800 K Street, NW, Washington DC, 20006

Heritage Foundation: The Dire Effects of Sequestration and A Middle East In Chaos, Washington, DC (12:00 PM, Thu Sept 20) Description: In light of recent aggressive acts in the Middle East, it is clear that the world remains a very dangerous place with new, emerging threats. Furthermore, the Office of Management and Budget has just released its report on the effect of sequestration cuts on our military, confirming fears that the Department of Defense will suffer severe across the board funding reductions. These cuts will jeopardize modernization for the Armed Services, who are already on the verge of a readiness crisis. Congress should act to make sure that our military is prepared to deal with possible threats like we see rising in the Middle East.  RSVP online. Participants: Peter Brookes, Senior Fellow, The Heritage Foundation, Robert Zarate, Policy Director, The Foreign Policy Initiative, Mackenzie Eaglen, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute Location: Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

Extra Sauce: Did you make it this far?  Then you should watch SNL’s take on the YouTube K-Pop madness “Gangnam Style”.

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, September 17, 2012 9:03 am

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