The Defense Business Board is meeting today to discuss a pair of task force studies. Inside the Pentagon has an early look at both of them:
The Pentagon's No. 2 official has tasked an influential advisory panel with helping the Defense Department more efficiently modernize its multibillion-dollar business processes enterprise with an eye toward saving money and improving mission performance.
In an Oct. 15 terms of reference document, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work has called for the Defense Business Board to present "specific and actionable" recommendations by January 2015 on how the department could alter its current plan for enterprise modernization. The task group, which is chaired by board member Roxanne Decyk, aims to present preliminary findings during a public board meeting Oct. 23.
"My goal is to modernize our business processes and supporting systems and create an agile enterprise shared services organization in order to reduce costs, maximize return on investment and improve performance while ensuring we maintain system security," Work wrote.
The Defense Department's research and development endeavors often reproduce technology already available in the private sector, lack any focus on a limited set of military-unique technology needs, and conduct scant outreach to independent researchers working on technologies critical to future DOD weapon systems.
That is a preliminary finding of a Defense Business Board task group commissioned by Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work to find new ways for the Pentagon to "optimize" DOD's $12 billion annual science and technology enterprise.
On Oct. 23, the task group is scheduled to present interim findings on two key issues: how DOD can learn from commercial best practices to better manage science and technology funds; and how to attract technology companies to support DOD's future warfighting requirements. A final report is due in January.
Document: DBB Presentation On Pentagon S&T Study
The Center for a New American Security is studying "how the U.S. military can maintain its technological advantage through a period of declining defense budgets":
An influential Washington think tank is positioning itself to lead the charge on Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work's long-term research and development investment strategy aimed at maintaining the U.S. military's technological edge amid declining defense budgets.
The Center for a New American Security is home to many former Pentagon officials. Work served as CEO at CNAS before he became deputy defense secretary earlier this year. Now the think tank has announced a new project titled "Beyond Offset: Will the United States Maintain Its Military Edge?"
William Lynn, a former deputy defense secretary and the CEO of Finmeccanica North America, and Michele Flournoy, the current CEO at CNAS and a former under secretary of defense for policy, are co-chairing the project. Shawn Brimley, CNAS' executive vice president and director of studies who worked closely with Work during his time at the think tank, will co-direct the project along with Ben Fitzgerald, director of CNAS' technology and national security program.
News on the SM-6 interceptor:
A Navy ship testing its Standard Missile-6 interceptors has successfully shot down two anti-ship cruise missile targets prior to its own radar detecting the incoming threats, instead using targeting information from another Aegis ship nearby, according to a Raytheon statement.
"As part of 'engage on remote' scenarios, the ship launched the SM-6 interceptors prior to its own radars 'seeing' the incoming threats, using targeting information from another Aegis ship in the area," Raytheon announced Thursday. "The first SM-6 intercepted a low-altitude, short-range supersonic target (GQM-163A), while the second intercepted a low-altitude, medium-range subsonic target (BQM-74E)."
The destroyer Sampson (DDG-102) detected the targets and SM-6 interceptors were launched from the cruiser Chancellorsville (CG-62). The test was conducted during the Navy's Combat Ship Qualification Trials.
A Navy admiral isn't all that optimistic about the service's Ohio-class replacement ballistic missile submarine program:
The path ahead for the Navy's multibillion-dollar, Ohio-class replacement ballistic missile submarine has all the "ingredients for failure" due to its high level of complexity, according to a top service official.
Adm. John Richardson, naval reactors director, said during his Oct. 22 presentation at the Naval Submarine League's annual symposium in Falls Church, VA, that the Ohio-class replacement program is on track, but warned the situation remained tenuous.
"I'm worried we have oversimplified the problem," he said. "The time is now to get skin in the game."
NATO plans to hold an interoperability industry day in December:
NATO is reaching out to industry to improve weapon system interoperability among member nations by hosting a Dec. 8 industry day in Grafenwoehr, Germany, according to the deputy commander of U.S. Army Europe.
The purpose of the industry day is not to hear companies' solutions, but to show them the interoperability challenges faced by 28 NATO member states, according to Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt.
"We don't want you to bring anything. We don't want a sales pitch. We don't want to look at what you want to sell us," Piatt told reporters Oct. 16 in Washington. "We are going to try to explain [interoperability problems] from every nation's perspective . . . and then show the gaps to industry."
-- John Liang