Rapid Fire Feb. 28, 2012: ITARred and FeatheredFeb 28, 2012 07:45 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
- No less than four congressional hearings are scheduled today to review the FY13 Pentagon budget. See our full schedule. Opposition to base closures continues with this letter [PDF] written by Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) and co-signed by 41 other members of Congress. Meanwhile representatives from districts with a small defense footprint can afford to sound virtuous about cuts.
- The US Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) published the public comments [PDF] they received in response to proposed amendments [PDF] to ITAR Part 129 on brokering licensing and activities. The British Export Group for Aerospace and Defence (EGAD) captured well the pushback expressed by many other parties against the overreach that the proposed changes would translate into:
“[T]he brokering regulations have been under review since 2003. It is, therefore, unfortunate that the proposed new rule falls at the very first fence by failing to produce a remotely clear, concise and acceptable definition of what exactly constitutes an act of ‘brokering’. [...] In our view, the new proposed drafting is so broadly drawn as to raise a significant need for detailed legal interpretation even for Industry’s own highly experienced practitioners – especially given the extended gestation period for these proposals, we had been expecting something with far greater clarity to be produced than this”
- DDTC also clarified [PDF] which freight forwarders are currently debarred from government contracting; Ceva Logistics LLC is no longer on that list.
- The Pentagon updated several information security issuances in DoD manual 5200.01: Overview, Classification, and Declassification; Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI); Marking of Classified Information; Protection of Classified Information [all PDFs]. The FAS Project on Government Secrecy offers some context.
- Steve Carr, corrosion program manager at the US Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM): “Problems with corrosion represent 20% of AMCOM’s total annual maintenance program. [...] Corrosion affects missiles, aviation and supplies [...] Dehumidification facilities and airtight storage facilities can assist with preventing corrosion. But a lot of the units, especially those deployed, don’t have the facilities and tools to prevent corrosion.”
- In light of recent setbacks, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta seems to be backtracking from earlier talk of early withdrawal from Afghanistan. The stated aim is still to continue “operations aimed at turning over security responsibility to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.” HASC Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) is to introduce a bill meant to forbid private contractors or Afghan forces from guarding US bases. Small Wars Journal asks: drawing down to a winning strategy in Afghanistan?
- Speaking of basing in Stan countries: Kyrgyzstan’s President Almazbek Atambayev wants to put an end to his country’s unique situation as the host of bases from both Russia and the USA.
- Loren B. Thompson at the Lexington Institute thinks the Chinese are mistaken in merging mature electronic warfare (EW) with nascent cyber warfare teams, and the US should not follow suit. Meanwhile Foreign Policy argues that there’s more hype than reality to cyberwar.
- Finmeccanica subsidiary Alenia Aermacchi plays offense vs. the USAF: you can sell your C-27Js, but then we won’t support them. But Finmeccanica is playing defense in the wake of a corruption probe in India over helicopter sales.
- Teledyne Technologies bought VariSystems, a Canadian manufacturer of rugged interconnects. The acquired company made slightly less than $30M in annual sales and will be renamed Teledyne VariSystems.
- The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) would like to hear from federal contractors about the impact, if any, of recent regulation on payment expediency – or lack of – from prime to subcontractors.