The INSIDER - August 9, 2012
Editor's Note: Updated August 10 at 11:57 a.m.
Air Force Friday.
The top stories from today's Inside the Air Force:
Air Force's Future B-1 Sustainment Construct To Rely Heavily On Boeing
The Air Force is preparing to implement a new sustainment contracting strategy for its B-1 bomber fleet that will compete sustainment work when possible but sole-source a large piece of that activity to prime integrator Boeing at a cost of as much as $1 billion over five years.
Congressional Delegate Asks USAF To Adjust EIS For Asia-Pacific Region
The congressional delegate for the Northern Mariana Islands is pushing back against an Air Force plan to use Saipan International Airport in the Northern Mariana Islands as its top alternative for divert activities and exercises in the Asia-Pacific region, citing concerns that a military presence would disrupt the airport's commercial flights and impact an endangered species.
USMC-To-USAF UH-1N Conversion Presents Tech Data, Other Challenges
Two officials involved in modifying retired Marine Corps helicopters for the Air Force to use in an operational capacity told Inside the Air Force this week that those 1970s-era aircraft are in good condition because of the Marines' unique depot maintenance policies, and they said one of the key tasks they will need to accomplish to give the Air Force usable aircraft is to develop appropriate technical manuals for their continued maintenance.
Senate Appropriators Reject DOD's Request To Flatline ORS, STP
Senate appropriators are recommending a funding boost for several space programs, despite the Defense Department's continued insistence that the programs be defunded for the upcoming fiscal year.
Aug. 9 -- CRAFT Project.
Inside the Pentagon's top story today:
New DOD Process Aims To Rush Weapons To Foreign Militaries In Need
The Defense Department has launched a new "fast track" process for delivering weapons and services to foreign militaries with extraordinary urgent needs, according to new internal guidance.
In a July 31 memo, Defense Security Cooperation Agency Director Vice Adm. William Landay lays out the details of the Compressed, Rapid Acquisition, Fielding and Training (CRAFT) policy approved by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta -- an effort to "accelerate the delivery of defense articles and services to build partner nation capabilities for unexpected or urgent cases" that cannot be fulfilled by the special defense acquisition fund or addressed by the improved FMS process in the time required.
"The CRAFT process recognizes that combatant commanders and the secretaries of defense and state occasionally require exceptional measures to answer the most urgent partner requirements," Landay writes. The process is for capabilities that meet a "clearly definable, urgent need . . . which, if not addressed, would endanger personnel or pose a major threat to ongoing or imminent operations involving the security interests of the United States, the partner nation, or both," the memo states.
DSCA Guidance On The CRAFT Process
In July 31, 2012, guidance, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency lays out details of the new Compressed, Rapid Acquisition, Fielding and Training (CRAFT) process.
Another front-pager today is based on a report from naval auditors:
Report: Navy Lacks Adequate Oversight Of Multibillion-Dollar Drone Investments
The Navy lacks a comprehensive, integrated strategic plan to ensure its multibillion-dollar investments in unmanned systems will result in the efficient integration of drones into the fleet's force structure, according to an internal assessment.
A June 27 report by the Naval Audit Service states the Navy secretary's top adviser on foreign policy, strategy and intelligence concurs with auditors that the department is missing the vision, organization and governance process needed to properly oversee its drone-related investments, including all warfighting domains and Marine Corps systems. The Navy is pledging to fix the management shortfall within a year.
"Without the necessary governance oversight process and controls in place for unmanned systems, [the Navy Department] may not be well-positioned to validate requirements, evaluate and integrate services plans, establish program and funding priorities, or make sound programmatic decisions for unmanned systems," the report states.
Naval Audit Service Report On Unmanned Systems Management
In a June 27, 2012, report, the Naval Audit Service determines that the Navy lacks a comprehensive, integrated strategic plan to ensure its multibillion-dollar investments in unmanned systems will result in the efficient integration of drones into the fleet's force structure.
Looking deeper into the Senate Appropriations Committee's actions on Prompt Global Strike and related efforts:
Senate Panel Nearly Doubles CPGS Dollars, Limits To Existing Designs
Senate appropriators have nearly doubled the Pentagon's multimillion-dollar request for an effort designed to strike targets worldwide in under an hour -- but they want to restrict all the program funds to existing payload delivery vehicle designs.
The Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved a fiscal year 2013 defense spending bill that plusses up the Pentagon's $110.4 million request for Conventional Prompt Global Strike funds by $90 million. The money is to "continue planning for and completing a second, longer-range flight test" of the Army's Advanced Hypersonic Weapon, the committee writes. In November 2011, AHW successfully traveled 2,400 miles from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii to Kwajalein Atoll.
"Considering the recent test outcomes and the fiscal constraints under which the department is operating, the committee believes the department should focus efforts and resources on the initiative that achieved its flight test and data collection expectations," the committee writes, noting that the Defense Department intends to develop a new hypersonic vehicle design with a new booster and payload delivery vehicle.
More from the story:
An industry source supported the Senate bill's language, noting that Congress has "properly observed" the success of AHW and the failure of the HTV-2.
But aerospace consultant Leon McKinney, who tracks the issue and has been critical of HTV-2, said that the Senate committee's language makes "no sense." He questioned why the committee would point out HTV-2's test failures, and yet not only fund that program but also exclude funding for new designs.
Senate Appropriators' FY-13 Defense Spending Report
On Aug. 2, 2012, the Senate Appropriations Committee released the report accompanying the fiscal year 2013 military spending bill.
What to do with all that leftover cash:
Pentagon Working To Reduce $328 Billion In Unobligated Balances
As the Defense Department stares down the twin challenges posed by a continuing resolution and sequestration, DOD is working to reduce $328 billion in unobligated balances by putting money under contract before it expires or becomes subject to cuts.
As of June 30, the end of the third quarter of fiscal year 2012, DOD had $275 billion in unobligated FY-12 funds, of which $112 billion was in one-year accounts that would no longer be available for new obligations after Sept. 30, said Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Elizabeth Robbins.
Nearly all of the one-year money will likely be obligated, Robbins said. "As we meet operating needs around the world, more than 99 percent of the funds in these one-year accounts are typically obligated by Sept. 30," she said. DOD will also aim to obligate a large chunk of the remaining $163 billion. "A significant portion -- but not all -- of the other unobligated funds will also be obligated by Sept. 30," Robbins said. "Congress provides DOD with funds that are available for obligation for several years to provide managers time to enter into good contracts that acquire goods and services efficiently."
Hale Disputes Senate Appropriators' Accusations About Lacking Oversight
Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale is disputing Senate appropriators' charges that his office has failed to properly oversee the Defense Department's massive budget.
The fiscal year 2013 defense-spending bill approved last week by the Senate Appropriations Committee provides $511.2 billion in baseline funding and $93.3 billion for overseas contingency operations -- but also includes stern guidance on the need for greater scrutiny within DOD's internal budget process.
Another money shift:
DOD Reprogramming Action On MRAP
In a July 23, 2012, reprogramming action, Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale approves the shifting of $90 million from the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle line item to fund the transfer of MRAPs to Afghanistan.
And in case you missed this, from earlier this week:
Economists Claim MRAPs Did Not Lower Casualties, Aren't Worth The Cost
One of the most unshakable Pentagon acquisition narratives to emerge from the past decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan holds that Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles saved lives and were well worth the government's $40 billion investment.
The vehicles were introduced into the Iraq war in 2006 to better protect soldiers from improvised explosive devices and have proliferated ever since with the blessing of the Defense Department. But a controversial academic paper surfaced last week challenging the DOD's touted MRAP efforts, claiming the government was making safety claims based on "faulty information." The paper, which was obtained by Inside the Army, was swiftly dismissed by the military as uninformed.
More documents of note:
DOD Reprogramming Action For Air Force Activities
In a July 31, 2012, reprogramming action, Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale realigns $10.4 million within the Air Force's "other procurement" appropriation.
Army Information Paper On Warfighter Outcomes
The June 14, 2012, information paper provides "the purpose, relevance and some background on the origin" of Army Warfighter Outcomes (WFOs).
Panetta Speech To The Association Of Defense Communities
On Aug. 6, 2012, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta discussed sequestration and other national security issues during a speech in Monterey, CA.
Quadrennial Roles And Missions Review
On July 20, 2012, the Pentagon submitted its quadrennial roles and missions review.
Defense Legal Policy Board Roster And Initial Tasking
On Aug. 3, 2012, the Pentagon released the roster for the Defense Legal Policy Board and the board's initial tasking on military justice in combat zones.
Cyber Defense Strategies
Protecting critical infrastructure & enterprise
August 28, 2012 - Sentry Centers - Midtown West, New York
IDGA's Cyber Defense Strategies is specifically designed to serve as the venue where we can gather as a community to confront the growing Cyber threat and develop responsive tactics and solutions. The growing severity and frequency of these attacks demonstrate a need for increased protection. In order to remain economically competitive, and even more so important, to safeguard our nation's critical infrastructure, we must be sufficiently armed with the latest resources and knowledge to stay ahead of potential assaults.
-- Dan Dupont
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