The INSIDER - October 23, 2012
It's AUSA week. Our coverage so far begins with this short item and accompanying memo:
McHugh: New Army 'Total Force Policy' Aims To Better Integrate Active, Reserve Forces
Army Secretary John McHugh has approved a "total force policy" designed to better synchronize the training and equipping of the active-duty force with that of the reserve component.
McHugh made the announcement today in his opening speech at the annual convention of the Association of the United States Army. The policy is designed to craft what McHugh dubbed an "integrated operational force," bringing together processes for personnel management, equipping, training and professional development, among others.
McHugh Memo On Army 'Total Force Policy'
In a Sept. 4, 2012, memo, Army Secretary John McHugh approves a "total force policy" designed to better synchronize the training and equipping of the active-duty force with that of the reserve component.
For more from AUSA, scroll down.
While the president, as you might have heard, said last night that it isn't going to happen, sequestration was also in the news at AUSA, as planning -- finally -- may be under way:
Army Begins 'Initial Planning' For Sequestration, Eyes 'Flexibility' Beyond FY-13
Army leaders have begun planning for sequestration, trying to determine whether the service will have any flexibility in managing billions of dollars in cuts that will be required if a long-term deficit reduction deal is not enacted by Jan. 2.
But it's not just the Army:
Vice CNO: Navy To Begin Sequestration Planning In Late November Or Early December
The Navy will start planning for across-the-board sequestration cuts in late November or early December if Congress has not moved to spare the military by then, the vice chief of naval operations said today.
Air Force, Unlike Sister Services, Not Planning For Sequestration
Senior leaders from the Army and Navy said yesterday that their services are already planning for sequestration or will soon begin doing so, but the Air Force has not started to plan and will not until formal guidance from the Office of Management and Budget is issued.
Finally, one more -- from late last week -- on financial issues:
DOD Pushing Ahead On Multiyear Procurement Talks Despite Current Ban
The Defense Department is bullish about securing multiyear procurement authority for big-ticket weapons programs -- which could save $2.7 billion -- despite the ban on such deals enacted by Congress in the stopgap spending law that governs military spending through March.
More ground-service news from Inside the Army:
Giant Hybrid Airship's Trip To Afghanistan Uncertain, General Says
The Army may have flown its giant, hybrid airship -- the Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle -- in August, but the plan to deploy the airship in Afghanistan has become uncertain, according to Brig. Gen. Robert "Bo" Dyess, force development director in the G-8 directorate.
The service has been tight-lipped since LEMV's first flight about whether the aircraft will ultimately deploy to Afghanistan, as had been the plan. The window to send the airship to the battlefield is closing as U.S. troops prepare for a withdrawal in 2014. . . . "Whether it's going to Afghanistan or not, I am not sure, because all of that is based on safety, getting it over there and what the time line is," Dyess said in an Oct. 17 interview at the Pentagon.
MRAP Detractors, Once Sponsored By OSD, Dig In Against DOD Critics
Two economists who penned a controversial study claiming the Defense Department's $45 billion Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle program was a waste are doubling down on their assertion even though their work, which was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, has drawn fire from top Pentagon officials.
The economists -- Chris Rohlfs of Syracuse University and Ryan Sullivan of the Naval Postgraduate School -- were initially tapped by OSD's cost assessment and program evaluation shop to examine the cost-effectiveness of DOD efforts to replace medium-weight up-armored humvees with heavier MRAPs to protect soldiers from improvised explosive devices.
Army Pushes Back Against Allegations Of Blocking Palantir At 3rd ID
The Army is pushing back against allegations that service officials tried to prevent a unit at Ft. Stewart, GA, from using Palantir Technologies' intelligence software, designed to track improvised explosive devices, for pre-deployment training.
News surrounding the Ft. Stewart-based 3rd Infantry Division's alleged back-door Palantir software order comes in the midst of a heated debate about whether the Army should use Palantir over its own system -- the Distributed Common Ground System-Army -- for certain intelligence-analysis work required by deployed forces.
For the Army the issue was not based on what the 3rd ID obtained, but how it was obtained, according to officials. "We recently learned that 3rd ID had received training services and equipment from Palantir without proper contract agreements in place. Any goods and services used by the Army require a contract in place to avoid an unauthorized commitment of public resources," Army spokesman Lt. Col. Freddie Mack wrote in an Oct. 12 statement.
Army General Weighs In On Force Structure Reductions, Vehicle Plans
Changes to the Army's force structure will begin manifesting themselves in the fiscal year 2015 program objective memorandum budget cycle, according to the G-8 force development director.
On the Water.
Steaming over to Inside the Navy's front page:
Proprietary Data Rights Continue To Limit Competition Options Navy-Wide
As the Navy pushes to open programs up to competition to drive down costs and increase flexibility, the service remains concerned by proprietary data rights that companies are unwilling to relinquish -- an obstacle especially prevalent in systems derived from commercial off-the-shelf products.
The Navy has for years pursued "open architecture" systems, which refers to a Pentagon-wide effort to develop software-based systems that can be opened up to competition, allowing for quick and inexpensive software refreshes to keep them up to date. However, several recent justification and approval (J&A) documents illustrate that the service frequently has to resort to sole-source contracts because it doesn't have rights to most of the data and can't acquire them.
Navy Sends Heavy-Lift Amphibious Connector To Singapore For Tests
The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab and Office of Naval Research recently wrapped up testing of a half-scale model Ultra Heavy-lift Amphibious Connector, a possible supplement to existing connectors that could carry about three times more weight and operate near more types of shores.
Unlike the Landing Craft, Air Cushion and its follow-on Ship-to-Shore Connector, which rely on giant fans on the back to propel them over waves and up onto beaches, the UHAC moves forward with a conveyer belt of highly buoyant panels -- one belt on each side of the ship -- and effectively rolls over top of the water, MCWL commanding general Brig. Gen. Mark Wise told Inside the Navy during an Oct. 16 interview at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.
Connor: Navy Must Rebuild Torpedo Inventory And Increase Range
The Navy needs to rebuild its torpedo inventory and extend the range of its torpedoes because the service can detect targets at a greater range due to improved technology, according to the submarine forces commander.
Combatant commanders continue to assign more targets to the submarine force due to the fleet's ability to reach them, and technology could further improve a torpedo's range, Vice Adm. Michael Connor said Oct. 17 at the Naval Submarine League's annual symposium in Falls Church, VA.
Connor said existing internal navigation technology can aid the torpedo in reaching long-range targets as long as the service is willing to compromise a little bit of top-end speed. "First off, we must rebuild that [torpedo] inventory and we also need to extend the range in which we target critical targets and the range of our current torpedos," he said.
Officials: Sub-Launched Missiles, UUVs Must Undergo Dynamic Changes
The most dynamic change for the submarine fleet must take place with sub-launched missiles -- an area where the Navy will find the greatest return on investment -- and unmanned underwater vehicles must take on a greater role, several officials said last week.
As the Navy shifts from fighting on land in two countries to operating in a dispersed area, missiles will come to the forefront, and the service's sub-launched missiles must evolve so the Navy can influence a larger area at sea, Vice Adm. Mike Connor, submarine forces commander, said on Oct. 17. "In order to be flexible across the mission set, we must have a single missile that has credible capability against both land and sea targets," he said.
As we reported right here earlier this month, the Pentagon in November will begin publicly exploring ways to open up select portions of the Joint Strike Fighter program to competition, which could create opportunities for other defense contractors to grab a small slice of the estimated $1.1 trillion cost to sustain the new fighter fleet.
From our story:
On Nov. 14th and 15th, the F-35 joint program office will host an industry event "to identify potential business sources, capabilities, and experience to successfully deliver a wide range of hardware and infrastructure services in support for F-35 JPO sustainment," the Pentagon announced on Sept. 28
The Pentagon is eying four areas for potential competition: supply chain management, the Autonomic Logistics Information System, training systems, and support equipment, according to the notice. Lockheed Martin is the F-35 program's prime contractor.
"The results of this industry day will be used to assess tradeoffs and alternatives available for determining how to proceed in the acquisition process," it adds.
We've now got the briefing set to be used during the industry day:
JSF Supply Chain Management Industry Day Presentation
On Oct. 19, 2012, the F-35 joint program office released briefing slides that will be used at a Nov. 14-15, 2012, industry day on supply chain management issues related to the aircraft.
And from late last week:
DOD Accelerates Weapons Integration Into Air Force JSF Variant To 'Reduce Program Risk'
The Defense Department is accelerating weapons integration on the F-35A and plans to outfit the Block 2B -- previously slated to carry no ordnance -- with precision-guided bombs, a move the Joint Strike Fighter joint program office says is part of a plan to "reduce program risk" and allow the early Air Force variant to be rebranded as an "initial warfighting" configuration.
-- Dan Dupont
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