The INSIDER - September 25, 2012
On Friday, we brought you this breaking news:
Senator Lifts Hold On Shyu's Nomination; DOD To Audit Russian Helo Deal
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) last week lifted a hold on Heidi Shyu's nomination to lead the Army's top acquisition office after Defense Department officials agreed to his request to investigate a controversial sole-source helicopter contract with a Russian arms dealer, as well as try to hold a competition for a new helicopter contract, according to government officials and documents.
Cornyn, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, had placed the hold on Shyu, the Army's acting acquisition executive, because of helicopter purchase agreements the Army has made with Rosoboronexport, a Russian arms dealer accused of supplying weapons to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
The Army has awarded a contract worth $375 million to Rosoboronexport, which is slated to supply the Afghan military with 21 Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters. The deal could rise in value by an additional $550 million due to the fact that a requirement for 30 more Mi-17s has been identified.
With this document:
Kendall's Letter To Sen. Cornyn On Rosoboronexport
On Sept. 20, 2012, Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's acquisition executive sent a letter to John Cornyn (R-TX) regarding the Defense Department's plans to audit an Army helicopter contract with Russia-based arms dealer Rosoboronexport.
Which led to this, yesterday afternoon:
Shyu Confirmed By Senate For Top Army Acquisition Post
The Senate approved Heidi Shyu's nomination to the Army's top acquisition post during a late-night weekend session on Capitol Hill, according to a service spokesman.
Stay tuned for more.
Meanwhile, also from yesterday:
DOD: Industrial Edge To 'Shift Against' U.S. Without 'Near-Term' 6th-Gen Fighter
Without "near-term" plans to launch a sixth-generation fighter aircraft program before 2030, the Defense Department estimates the U.S. aerospace industry could forfeit what is believed by the U.S. government to be a five-year technological advantage over foreign combat aircraft makers, according to a previously unreported Pentagon assessment.
In 2011, the Pentagon office responsible for monitoring the health of firms that comprise the defense industrial base looked beyond the $397 billion Joint Strike Fighter acquisition to consider the ability of U.S. aircraft makers to sustain advanced air superiority "in the likely event" there is a gap between the F-35 program and a follow-on, next-generation tactical aircraft program.
"Without a near-term investment decision to sustain . . . key engineering and manufacturing capabilities, the margin of competitive technological superiority is likely to shift against U.S. firms in many areas vital to the development of future TACAIR," according to a summary of the June 2011 "Next Generation TACAIR (F-X) Industrial Base Quick Look."
DOD's 2012 Industrial Capabilities Report To Congress
The August 2012 report "includes several cross-sector, multi-tier issues that were identified particularly at the sub-tiers, in addition to traditional sector-specific industrial base analysis."
Back to the Army, for some good looks into the service's future:
Emerging Capstone Concept Lays Out Army's Post-War, Next-War Agenda
A draft of the Army's forthcoming capstone concept introduces austerity and a return of soldiers to bases in the United States as guiding principles for the ground service of 2020, mincing no words in portraying China's military growth as a source of "instability."
The capstone concept, last updated in 2009, serves to articulate the Army's major themes for the period between 2016 and 2020. More detailed, follow-on concepts are slated to flow from it, ultimately leading to potentially major spending and policy decisions. Inside the Army obtained a late-August draft version of the capstone concept, produced under the auspices of Training and Doctrine Command chief Gen. Robert Cone, ahead of its publication in a month or two.
As spelled out in national-level guidance, the document assumes a "future operational environment" anchored in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region, with Iran and North Korea singled out as the most imminent dangers. "The greater Middle East remains the most likely place where the U.S. will employ ground forces in defense of vital national interests," it states. In Asia, it adds, "China's growth as a military power has resulted in friction throughout Asia and may lead to further instability."
Army Intel Analysts Eye New Challenges, Potential Adversaries Through 2028
Army intelligence analysts looking deep into the next decade have issued a “strategic estimate” document that envisions operational environments and related missions in potential flash points such as Iran, China, Yemen, North Korea, Pakistan and Nigeria.
In the new estimate, Training and Doctrine Command's intelligence directorate anticipates operational environments through 2028 as part of an effort to identify future needs for all aspects of the Army -- including new weapons -- while thinking anew about land operations after more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“This strategic estimate will serve as the foundation to build, train and educate the U.S. Army,” Gen. Robert Cone, TRADOC commanding general, wrote in a foreword to the 100-page document, dated August 2012.
TRADOC 'Strategic Estimate' Document On Potential Operational Environments
In an August 2012 estimate, Army Training and Doctrine Command's intelligence directorate anticipates operational environments through 2028 as part of an effort to identify future needs for all aspects of the Army -- including new weapons -- while thinking anew about land operations after more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Army Doctrine Publication On Protection
The August 2012 Army document "provides guidance on protection and the protection warfighting function."
Army Doctrine Publication On Fires
The August 2012 Army document "incorporates air and missile defense (AMD) and electronic attack (EA) in the Army fires warfighting function."
On the Water.
Turning to the Navy:
Navy Reduces NMCI Contract Ceiling Increase By Nearly $600 Million
The Navy reevaluated a contract ceiling increase for the legacy Navy-Marine Corps Intranet and changed it to $4.924 billion, nearly $600 million lower than the initial increase, which the Navy blamed on Next Generation Enterprise Network program delays.
Steven Davis, a Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command spokesman, said in a Sept. 21 email that while the Navy originally anticipated increasing the contract ceiling to $5.51 billion on Aug. 1, "the initial estimate has been refined to $4.924 billion."
The Navy announced the contract ceiling increase of $1.5 billion -- $2.1 billion at the time -- because the service estimated that, based on current requirements without the contract modification, the service will exceed the ceiling for the NMCI continuity-of-service contract (CoSC) on Oct. 1. A justification and approval document signed on Sept. 7 by Sean Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, stated that the period of performance for the CoSC will be extended through December 2014.
NMCI's prime contractor, Hewlett-Packard, declined to comment. However, Bill Toti, HP's vice president and account executive for Navy and Marine Corps accounts, told Inside the Navy on Aug. 2 that "There has been no increase -- not a single penny -- to basic Continuity of Service Contract (CoSC) costs that would prompt this raised ceiling."
Connector Shortfall Looming As LCACs, LCUs Await Replacements
PANAMA CITY, FL -- Officials throughout the Navy and Marine Corps are bracing for a connector shortfall a few years down the road and are searching for ways to mitigate the effects on amphibious operations and seabasing.
The Landing Craft, Air Cushions are an average of 20 years old, while the Landing Craft Utility vessels average 42 years old, Capt. Sean Geaney, head of the expeditionary prepositioning and connectors branch (OPNAV N954), said on Sept. 13. The LCACs were only designed for a 20-year service life, and an effort to extend that life to 30 years is underway, he added, but the first of the LCACs to go through the service life extension program will hit their 30-year mark in 2015, he said. At that point, the replacement Ship-to-Shore Connectors won't have reached the fleet yet, so the Navy is considering ways to get even more than 30 years out of the LCACs to help the shortfall, as the demand signal for connectors is high and not likely to drop any time soon.
"We have a shortage, we see it coming in the not-too-distant future, and we're working hard to mitigate that shortage," Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, deputy commandant for combat development and integration, said on Sept., noting that "the importance of connectors, it can't be overstated."
Commandant: V-22 Will See Vastly Different Role In Asia-Pacific Region
The V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft's unique abilities will make it an ideal fit in the Asia-Pacific region conducting humanitarian operations, a major shift from its combat focus in Iraq and Afghanistan, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos said last week.
As the Defense Department draws down forces in Afghanistan and prepares to shift its focus to the Asia-Pacific region, the V-22 will also experience a shifting role in a theater with wide expanses of water and near-constant humanitarian crises, Amos said on Sept. 18. The aircraft, which has seen 15 deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been "shot up" but not downed in that region of the world but will face entirely different challenges in the Pacific, the commandant said.
"We know they work well in combat, but what about in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief?" Amos said, noting that 70,000 people in the region are killed each year by natural disasters such as tsunamis, hurricanes and earthquakes.
LCS MCM Module Making Some Late Changes In TTPs, Requirements
PANAMA CITY, FL -- As the Littoral Combat Ship's mine countermeasures mission package nears the end of its testing in fiscal year 2013, the mission module integration program manager said he is done making major changes to the items included in the package, although he added he is continuing to make improvements.
Two mission packages have already been delivered to the Navy, with the third coming in the second quarter of FY-13 and the fourth delivering in the fourth quarter of FY-13, Capt. John Ailes said on Sept. 10 at the National Defense Industrial Association's annual Expeditionary Warfare Conference.
During that same time period, the LCS program will test two Remote Multi-Mission Vehicles together, which could eventually lead to one LCS passing off a RMMV to another LCS to boost the pace of operations, Ailes said. The package faces a technical evaluation and then an operational evaluation in FY-14.
On the Shelf.
New documents of note:
Senators' Letter To Reid, McConnell On Sequestration
In a Sept. 21, 2012, letter, Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI), John McCain (R-AZ), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that "it is imperative to enact a bipartisan deficit reduction package to avoid the severe economic damage that would result from the implementation of sequestration."
CRS Report On The Marine Corps' ACV And MPC Programs
The Sept. 11, 2012, Congressional Research Service report -- originally obtained by Secrecy News -- discusses background and issues for lawmakers regarding the Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle and Marine Personnel Carrier programs.
Aegis SI&T Industry Day Briefing
The briefing slides presented at a Sept. 20, 2012, industry day provide an overview of the Aegis Shipboard and Integration and Test program and a time line for the full and open competition.
GAO Report On Navy Ship Readiness
The Sept. 21, 2012, Government Accountability Office report finds that the Navy "needs to assess risks to its strategy to improve ship readiness."
IDGA's Military Aviation Summit
November 12-14, Jacksonville, FL
IDGA’s Military Aviation Summit will provide the aviation community with a unique forum to discuss and explore current and future programs, business objectives and the evolution of military aviation. Attendees will benefit from direct access and networking opportunities with key program managers, international partners, contractors, industry suppliers and leading academia across the entire military aviation community – all under one roof and at the same time!
-- Dan Dupont
You need to either log in (registered NewsStand users) or create a new account to access this article/document.