Starting off this Monday INSIDER with the first story from the Air Force Association's annual conference, taking place this week:
The program office overseeing the Air Force's E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System recapitalization effort plans to release a draft set of requirements for the next-generation system to industry by the end of the month. The release will inform a solicitation in fiscal year 2015 for risk-reduction work and prototype demonstrations.
The disclosure in a Sept. 10 notice on the Federal Business Opportunities website comes as the program office at Hanscom Air Force Base, MA, prepares to move the multibillion-dollar recapitalization effort to a critical risk-reduction phase.
Operated by the 461st and 116th air control wings at Robins Air Force Base, GA, the current JSTARS fleet provides wide-area surveillance, ground-moving target indication and airborne battle management.
Stay tuned for more.
Inside the Army's top story today is on cyber:
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, MD -- The Army has been experimenting with systems meant to counter improvised explosive devices to see if they can also provide capabilities relevant for cyber operations.
The service is working toward building an integrated system of multifunctional electronic warfare capabilities that can provide offensive and defensive electronic attacks, as well as associated planning and management tools, according to Mike Ryan, the deputy project manager for electronic warfare.
"The next step after that, and we're just starting to experiment, is how does electronic warfare and cyber play together at the tactical edge?" he said.
More cyber news:
U.S. Cyber Command chief Adm. Michael Rogers has pleaded a zero-tolerance policy to service infighting, as the military builds a cyber force numbering upwards of 6,000.
Rogers seemed intent on striking a conciliatory tone when he spoke to members of the Pentagon's Reserve Forces Policy Board on Sept. 10. Referring numerous times to his childhood in an Illinois Guard family, with time spent playing as a young boy in the local armory motor pool, he said the experience shaped him to allow no distinction today between active and reserve forces in the key area of cyber operations.
The Defense Department is assembling a cyber mission force consisting of 133 teams, or 6,200 individuals. Reserve-component advocates have complained that too few reservists are part of these teams, particularly given their expertise gained in civilian jobs.
Human performance is high on the Army's list of capability gaps:
The defense industry needs to take advantage of technology that optimizes human performance on the battlefield, according to a top Army official.
Lt. Gen. Robert Brown, commander of the Combined Arms Center at Ft. Leavenworth, KS, said improving human performance is at the top of his list of capability gaps that industry needs to address by 2030.
"That's out there in industry, how do you learn better, what's the best way you learn, how do you train more effectively, more realistically?" Brown told Inside the Army following a Sept. 10 Association of the United States Army forum in Arlington, VA.
Continuing our coverage of DOD's recent multibillion-dollar OCO reprogramming request:
The Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget are looking to move $1.89 billion in Army wartime funding to buy six new F-35B Joint Strike Fighters for the Marine Corps and two F-35s for the Air Force, among other equipment, according to a reprogramming request obtained by Inside the Army.
The request to Congress, signed Sept. 8 by Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord, includes $852 million for six F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing variants to replace the AV-8B Harriers that were destroyed during a terrorist attack in September 2012 at Forward Operating Base Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. The request also includes $247.5 million for two F-35A variants for the Air Force to replace two F-15 aircraft lost in combat, as well as $404 million for 21 upgraded AH-64E Apache attack helicopters set to replace OH-58D Kiowa Warriors in the Army.
Army spokesman Lt. Col. Donald Peters told ITA the service was able to offer the funds "due to the accelerated reduction in the number of deployed units in Afghanistan," and the resulting "decreased spending on supplies and support contracts in theater." Peters added that OCO operation and maintenance funds are not authorized to resource base-program readiness.
Document: DOD's OCO Reprogramming Request
More reprogramming news:
The Air Force wants to ramp up development and modification work on its 30,000-pound, bunker-buster bomb and has requested authority from Congress to realign $121 million in fiscal year 2014 overseas contingency operations funds to get started.
In a Sept. 8 reprogramming request obtained by InsideDefense.com, the Pentagon asks to shift $104.5 million to the Air Force's Hard and Deeply Buried Target Defeat System program to develop and test "a specific mission-critical modification" on the GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bomb.
As part of the request, a further $16.5 million would be shifted to the Air Force's General Purpose Bombs procurement account for modification purchases. The request needs approval from all four congressional defense committees but just one committee can derail it.
Some new documents of note:
The Sept. 8, 2014, draft Army Training and Doctrine Command pamphlet "describes the future operational environment and how the Army will maneuver and employ capabilities, as part of globally integrated operations, to accomplish campaign objectives across the range of military operations."
In an Aug. 25, 2014, letter, Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall informs the Senate Armed Services Committee that a Defense Department report on the potential of using U.S.-made helicopters for Afghan Security Forces will be delayed until January 2015.
In an Aug. 4, 2014, letter, Army Secretary John McHugh tells Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) how some segments of the Army may have been operating with "de facto" caps on its civilian workforce due to budgetary pressures like sequestration, possibly putting the service in violation of Title 10.
-- John Liang