We start off this Thursday INSIDER with Inside the Pentagon's top story:
The Defense Department has ordered a possible revision to its Air-Sea Battle concept with the aim of increasing military jointness, a DOD spokesman confirmed.
"In September 2014, the service chiefs approved a plan for the Air-Sea Battle Office to explore a concept revision and submit a joint prospectus in coordination with the Joint Staff," Army Lt. Col. Joe Sowers wrote in an Oct. 15 email. "As the joint prospectus navigates the Joint Staff's concept development process, the Air-Sea Battle Office, with its existing governance structure, will be retained to sponsor the writing of the prospectus and resulting concept, as well as to ensure oversight of existing service implementation efforts."
Sowers explained that the revised Air-Sea Battle concept "will have the potential to become a supporting joint concept under the Joint Operational Access Concept (JOAC)."
GAO is slated to complete an audit of DOD's DOT&E office next May:
A Government Accountability Office audit of the Pentagon's chief weapons testing office is underway and scheduled to be released in May, according to a GAO spokeswoman.
The audit of the office of J. Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department's director of operational test and evaluation, was ordered by House lawmakers who are concerned DOT&E has become an impediment to the Pentagon's acquisition system.
"GAO will look at policies, processes, and criteria DOT&E uses in conducting oversight of weapon system programs; the extent, if any, to which DOT&E's involvement has led to additional testing requirements on weapon system programs to demonstrate operational effectiveness and suitability; and the benefits and costs to weapon system programs as a result of DOT&E oversight processes and activities," GAO spokeswoman Jennifer Ashley told Inside the Pentagon.
Outgoing Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) thinks the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress would be a great time to get rid of sequestration:
Retiring Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) said there is bipartisan support to end sequestration and he thinks a future lame-duck congressional session could finally end the across-the-board cuts.
Speaking Oct. 15 at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, Levin said he hopes that his Sept. 24 roadmap to undo sequestration can provide guidance to leaders.
"Maybe after an election in a lame-duck session our leaders can see it's in everyone's interest to [end sequestration], maybe that could set us on a better course," Levin said.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke at this week's AUSA convention:
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has proposed that the Army could "broaden" its role in the Asia-Pacific region by employing precision missiles and air-defense weapons there.
Those classes of arms could help harden U.S. installations, enable "greater mobility" of Navy missile-defense destroyers and defend critical shipping lanes, Hagel said in an Oct. 15 speech at the Association of the United States Army's annual convention in Washington.
The tack, which Hagel said is "worthy of consideration," differs from the mostly non-kinetic role of security cooperation with countries in the region that the Army has portrayed as its main contribution to the so-called U.S. "pivot" to Asia.
Document: Hagel's AUSA Keynote Speech
DOD still wants defense contractors to pony up as much technical data as possible:
The Pentagon's lead acquisition action officer for intellectual property rights asserts that the Defense Department will continue to evaluate defense contractors' bids based on their willingness to offer technical data packages, despite criticism from industry.
Tim Guertin, the Navy's director for transformation who also leads DOD's data rights team operating under the Better Buying Power acquisition improvement initiative, said the government has for too long allowed a "murkiness" to grow over intellectual property.
"We've let the horse out of the barn, it went into the pasture, it died and there are flowers growing on it," he said in an interview with Inside the Pentagon. "We want to establish competitive alternatives and [industry] wants to try to hem us in a little bit to try to sustain business over a protracted period of time. Why shouldn't they? After a while, if you don't assert your rights, you lose them."
Performance-based logistics could save DOD a lot of money:
The Defense Department is missing out on as much as $10 billion in operations and management savings a year, according to defense industry experts.
By not putting full resources into performance-based logistics (PBL), DOD is passing on billions of dollars in long-term annual savings, industry experts said Oct. 14 during a panel in Washington.
"It seems like low-hanging fruit, it seems like a no brainer," Jay DeFrank, vice president of communications and government relations at Pratt & Whitney, said.
DOD needs to improve its electronic warfare efforts:
The Pentagon suffers from poor coordination when it comes to electronic warfare and needs to establish a high-level post or office to oversee and advocate for it, according to a defense official.
Speaking Oct. 9 at an electronic warfare conference in Washington, Karl Dahlhauser, the associate director for space and sensor systems in the research directorate of the Pentagon's research and engineering shop, said the department lacks a single advocate to push for EW. He noted that the department's very intricate, exquisite systems for communications, targeting, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance rely on networks that could be negatively impacted in contested environments.
"The department has spent hundreds of billions of dollars working [communications] and ISR and weapon systems that no one can match," Dahlhauser said. "But the problem with those systems is that . . . as great as they are, they are all vulnerable to the networks that are connecting them."
-- John Liang