Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The INSIDER - October 20, 2014

Posted on InsideDefense.com: October 20, 2014
Army In Asia.

We start off this Monday INSIDER with Inside the Army's coverage of last week's AUSA conference:

Competing Plans Emerge For The Army In Asia-Pacific: Mediator And Shooter

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has outlined new Army combat roles for the Asia-Pacific region that stand in contrast with the service's narrative as a bridge-builder with China.

Hagel has proposed that the Army "broaden" its role in the region by "leveraging its current suite of long-range precision-guided missiles, rockets, artillery, and air defense systems." The weapons could help defend U.S. bases and enable "greater mobility" of Navy missile-defense ships, he said at the annual gathering of the Association of the United States Army in Washington last week.

"Such a mission is not as foreign to the Army as it might seem -- after the War of 1812, the Army was tasked with America's coastal defense for over 100 years," Hagel said, leaving unanswered the question of whose coast the service's guns would defend in the future.

Future Combat.

Fiscal year 2016 could be crucial for an Army next-generation combat vehicle:

Army Eyes FY-16 As Key Decision Point For Future Fighting Vehicle

The Army is targeting fiscal year 2016 as a major decision point for whether it will launch a next-generation combat vehicle program in FY-21 or instead pursue more upgrades of the Bradley, according to officials overseeing the effort.

Brig. Gen. David Bassett, program executive officer for ground combat systems, said the current budget outlook, which contributed to the cancellation of the Ground Combat Vehicle in February, prompted the Army to reexamine its requirements for a next-generation Bradley replacement.

"We've laid out a series of decision points," he told reporters Oct. 14 during the annual Association of the United States Army conference in Washington.

Going Tactical.

The Army is still looking at the pros and cons of upgrading Humvees:

Army Still Pondering Humvee Upgrades, As Northrop Pitches New Chassis

As the Army crunches its report for Congress on the plans for its tactical wheeled vehicle fleets, officials are still debating whether they should upgrade humvees or buy additional Joint Light Tactical Vehicles instead.

Scott Davis, the program executive officer for combat support and combat service support (PEO CS&CSS), said the Army is "in the very early stages" of an analysis that will help decide how much of the future fleet of light tactical vehicles will need to be armor-capable, and what the service can afford. Officials are working with the Army's Training and Doctrine Command on the analysis -- which will be finished in the middle of next year -- but the tactical wheeled vehicle report to Congress is due in December, according to Davis.

"We know that the JLTV is going to cover the first 50,000 of those armored-capable light tactical vehicles . . . there's still another gap, we think, for some additional armor-capable vehicles," Davis told reporters Oct. 15 at the Association of the United States Army's annual meeting in Washington. "And the assessment is, obviously: 'You could buy more JLTVs or you could do something with a humvee kind of upgrade.' Those are the kinds of things we'll be analyzing and taking a look at to see where we go for that."

Cyber Tech.

Cyber attack was among the issues discussed at last week's AUSA conference:

Army Seeking 'Enterprise' Open-Source Intelligence Technologies

More than four years after social media drove the revolutions known collectively as the Arab Spring, the Army is taking a closer look at open-source information and how it fits into the service's broader intelligence operations.

"This has become a very, very important indicator for us," Lt. Gen. Mary Legere, the Army's chief of intelligence, said of open source information during an Oct. 15 event at the Association of the United States Army conference in Washington. "We get how it adds to, but does not take the place of, our traditional understanding of intelligence disciplines."

The Army defines "open source" as any publicly available information that can be used for intelligence purposes, Legere said. A large part of that is social media, which revolutionaries in Libya, Egypt and elsewhere used in 2011 to help coordinate large scale protests and the eventual overthrow of their respective governments. Legere said open source can be used to provide early warning and enhance situational awareness, especially where traditional intelligence -- spy planes, signals interception and the like -- is limited.

ICYMI.

Reprogramming news reported on Friday morning:

Congressional Denials Squeeze Nearly $600M From DOD-Proposed Reprogramming Actions

Lawmakers have rejected dozens of Pentagon-proposed changes to reallocate prior-year funds, forcing the U.S. military to scrap plans to immediately shift nearly $600 million between programs -- including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Ground-based Midcourse Defense efforts -- while protecting funds for key Army radio and helicopter modernization projects.

Document: DOD's Final FY-14 Omnibus Reprogramming Action

-- John Liang

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