The INSIDER - August 21, 2012
Cash and Carrier.
Inside the Navy sat down with the PEO for carriers last week:
PEO Carriers: 'Significant' Amount Of Work Moved Up In CVN-79 Build Plan
As the Navy seeks to build its next aircraft carrier in less time and for less money, program officials are working with the Newport News Shipbuilding staff near Norfolk, VA, to sift through a slew of ideas to boost efficiency.
So far, officials have come up with 450 ideas, with the shipyard having completed a business case analysis for about 150 of them, Rear Adm. Thomas Moore, program executive officer for aircraft carriers, told Inside the Navy during an Aug. 15 interview. "We're off and running on a bunch of them," he said.
One idea the Navy and the shipyard wanted to pursue was a way to introduce a learning curve into carrier construction. With other classes of ships, yards build the ships frequently enough that workers get more efficient as they perform the same tasks over and over again; but with carriers, which take about seven years to build and are only being procured every five or six years now, it is much harder to retain that knowledge in the work force.
More from Moore:
PEOs Discussing Pilot Program To Buy Jointly, Request Common Specs
Program executive officers for ships, submarines and aircraft carriers are in the "formulation stage" of planning an effort to work across programs to more affordably procure common items, such as air-conditioning plants or welding labor.
Rear Adm. Thomas Moore, PEO for aircraft carriers, said the idea is just "to the point where we're starting to meet at the flag officer level" and look at what might make for a good pilot program. "We haven't gotten to the point where we have one single materiel command that does all the buying for us," Moore said. "But there's some power in that idea, so we're looking for anything that could reduce our costs."
More Navy news below.
Next up is Inside the Army's top story:
State Guard Leaders Oppose Army Chief's Brigade-Design Proposal
The adjutants general of seven U.S. states have rejected an idea by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno to optimize four of the Army National Guard's 28 brigade combat teams for security assistance missions, according to a previously unreported letter.
"We understood you would like the Guard to consider converting four . . . [brigade combat teams] to some other structure, such as Advise and Assist Brigades," or AABs, the two-star guard leaders from Arkansas, Indiana, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas wrote in the June 28 letter to Odierno.
Such a plan "does not appear to be a realistic option" because it would create a mismatch between the unit designs of the active-duty Army and the reserves, they contend. "'Advise and assist' is a mission that is and has been conducted by BCTs, not a viable force structure," the adjutants general write.
Adjutants General Letter To Odierno On National Guard Force Structure
In a June 28, 2012, letter to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno, the adjutants general of seven U.S. states reject an idea by Odierno to optimize four of the Army National Guard's 28 brigade combat teams for security assistance missions.
And while we're on the Army, a story from yesterday afternoon on a future helicopter effort:
Army Issues Draft Plans For $200M JMR Air Vehicle Tech Development
The Army has unveiled draft plans for a seven-year, $200-million effort to demonstrate technologies critical to its next-generation helicopter fleet, issuing a draft solicitation for the Joint Multi-Role air vehicle that is expected to yield two contracts with an opportunity to influence the design of the military's future rotorcraft.
On Aug. 17, the Army issued a draft broad agency announcement soliciting technical and cost proposals for "JMR Technology Development Phase-Air Vehicle Development," a key part of the Defense Department's effort to design an aircraft family that meets the military's and the Department of Homeland Security's vertical-lift needs by 2030 for a broad range of missions and size classes.
"The JMR TD Phase 1 effort will address technical risk associated with achieving next-generation . . . vertical take-off and landing flight performance, affordability and reliability that greatly surpasses the DOD's currently fielded VTOL capability," the draft solicitation states.
Army Draft BAA For JMR Air Vehicle Tech Development
On Aug. 17, 2012, the Army issued a draft broad agency announcement soliciting technical and cost proposals for Joint Multi-Role "Technology Development Phase-Air Vehicle Development."
Back to the Navy, with sequestration in the headlines again:
Source: Angst Over Sequestration Causes Navy To Push For P-8A Savings
Sequestration fears are prompting the Navy to aggressively push for savings in the P-8A Poseidon aircraft program to preserve as many aircraft as possible should it happen, according to an industry source.
The source said he was "surprised" at how open P-8 officials were at last week's industry day as they explained they needed to find ways to reduce costs in the program to reduce risk. While the P-8 is generally seen as a necessary and functional program, the Navy still hasn't made a full-rate production decision on the aircraft and, with cost pressures on every program today along with the looming threat of sequestration on Jan. 2, the reality is that the P-8 is an expensive aircraft and officials seem to want to position the program in the best way possible, the source added.
Earlier this month, Inside the Navy reported that industry representatives were displeased with the service's decision under a broad agency announcement to award engineering study contracts for Increment 3 of the P-8A to four companies that already worked on the aircraft, snubbing the other eight bidders. . . . The industry source said the Navy explained during last week's industry day that the purpose of conducting the BAA was so the service could get the data necessary to provide industry so others can compete on a level playing field down the line.
On the Water.
More Navy news:
Official: Navy To Release RFP For SEWIP Block III 'Any Day' Now
The Navy could release a request for proposals for the third block of a next-generation surface electronic warfare system "any day" now as the program gears up to begin production of the second block this fall, the program manager told Inside the Navy last week.
DOCUMENT: Draft SEWIP Block 3 Statement Of Work
House Committee Rejects $100M Reprogramming Request To Repair Miami
The House Appropriations Committee denied the Navy's request to transfer $100 million to begin funding repairs for the attack submarine Miami (SSN-755), which was badly damaged in a May 23 arson, but the panel "reluctantly" agreed to reprogram $220 million in current year funding for repairs to the vessel, according to documents obtained by InsideDefense.com.
Inside the Army on THAAD:
Decision On THAAD Deployment Strategy In The Works, Expected This Fall
The Army is preparing courses of action for the Joint Staff and the Global Force Management Board that could spur a final deployment strategy for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system this fall, according to Army officials.
The ongoing analysis aims to match operational requirements of the combatant commands with available THAAD assets, Army Space and Missile Defense Command chief Lt. Gen. Richard Formica said.
Generally, "we need to consider the implications of our current operational perspective. And we're assessing our strategic way ahead as we look to shift our aperture towards integrated air and missile defense," Formica said.
Aegis BMD Will Participate In Test With Army THAAD, Patriot Systems
The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense program is gearing up for a test event this quarter that will mark the first time Aegis, Patriot and Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense systems have performed together, according to a Lockheed Martin executive.
Next Series Of BMD War Games To Involve Middle East Nations
An unclassified series of wargaming events that help mold U.S. and international ballistic missile defense policy and operations will likely expand to include countries in the Middle East region over the course of its next campaign, according to the official in charge of the effort.
More Money Matters.
The Army, again:
Fixes To Army Financial-Management Shortfalls Will Take Years Longer
Implementing fixes to Army financial-management shortfalls in the areas of service contract oversight and logistics reporting will take longer than initially expected, according to a new report signed by Army Secretary John McHugh.
The finding is included in the Army fiscal year 2012 statement of assurance required under the 1982 Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act. McHugh forwarded the assessment, crafted by the Army Audit Agency, to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta earlier this month.
As was the case last year, the Army has identified four so-called material weaknesses. One of them, oversight of service contracts, has been on the books since 2006. In its FY-11 filing, the Army said the weakness would be resolved this spring. In his report this month, McHugh writes it would take until the summer of 2013. "Specific elements of this weakness include poorly trained contracting officer representatives, weak requirements justification, and improper use of contractor labor," the report states. As for the delay, the document states that "results of field data submission did not substantiate sufficient implementation to initiate AAA validation."
Army's Annual Statement Of Assurance On Financial Controls
On Aug. 8, 2012, Army Secretary John McHugh sent the service's fiscal year 2012 statement of assurance required under the 1982 Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
More Army news:
High-Energy Laser Testing Expected In Fall As Part Of Incremental Development
Boeing is waiting for the Army's go-ahead to begin a series of tests anticipated in the fall of a high-energy laser on a mobile demonstrator that would defend against rockets, artillery shells and mortar rounds, according to service and company officials.
Gray Eagle IOT&E Wraps Up, Outcome Key To Full-Rate Production Decision
The Army wrapped up its Gray Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle initial operational testing and evaluation last week and results are expected to be a key factor in decisions on the program's way forward toward a full-rate production decision, according to service officials.
Army Gets Passing Grades On Energy, But Vehicle Concerns Remain
Sharon Burke, the Defense Department's first overseer of energy-efficiency plans, has certified the Army's fiscal year 2013 budget plan as adequate for achieving military energy goals, but expressed concerns over the service's future vehicle fleet and attention paid to energy in requirements-formulation and acquisition.
DOD Report On Energy Investments
In a report released on Aug. 15, 2012, the Defense Department certifies that its fiscal year 2013 budget request supports the military's operational energy goals.
-- Dan Dupont
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