President Barack Obama’s June 22, 2011 address to the nation confirmed that the decision he made in 2009 to send an additional 33,000 troops into Afghanistan was by no means an open-ended commitment. Starting in July, the United States will begin removing 10,000 troops from Afghanistan, with a further commitment to bring home the additional 23,000 troops by next summer. Reflecting that the United States’ mission in Afghanistan will change from combat to support, troop withdrawals will progress at a steady place until 2014. It is anticipated that by this time Afghanistan will be responsible for its own security.
In his final budget testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee, outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates addresses the planned reductions in the size of the ground forces, reforms to the Tricare program and saving targets laid out by President Obama.
The UK Ministry of Defence denies reports in The Telegraph newspaper that it has finalized a $34 million deal to sell its Harrier jump-jets to the United States Marine Corps for spare parts.
Saab announces the publication of its Gripen Czech Offset Program annual performance report. The company reveals that it has delivered offset transactions worth almost $1.5 billion to the year ending 2010.
Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn thanks the Czech Republic for increasing their commitment in Afghanistan just as the United States abandons its plans to deploy a missile early warning center on Czech soil.
The Aerospace Industries Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) announces [PDF] the appointment of James Quick as the organization’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
Leon Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee that his main objective as the new Defense Secretary will be to ensure that the United States continues to have the best trained, best equipped and strongest military in the world. Despite the Department of Defense’ efforts to cut $400 billion as part of deficit reduction measures Panetta also stressed to the Committee the United States does not need to choose between strong fiscal discipline and a strong national defense. Instead the challenge lies in designing budgets that eliminate wasteful spending while protecting those core elements deemed vital to national security.
DJ Elliott is a retired USN Intelligence Specialist (22 years active duty) who has been analyzing and writing on Iraqi Security Forces developments since 2006. His Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle is an open-source compilation that attempts to map and detail Iraqi units and equipment, as their military branches and internal security forces grow and mature. While “good enough for government use” is not usually uttered as a compliment, US Army TRADOC has maintained permission to use the ISF OOB for their unclassified handouts since 2008.
This compilation is reproduced here with full permission. It offers a set of updates highlighting recent changes in the ISF’s composition and development, followed by the full updated ISF OOBs in PDF format.
The Battle over the F-35 fighter‘s costs is quickly becoming a strategic issue for Lockheed Martin. The firm is worried that the rising Pentagon cost estimates per fighter will spook both domestic and foreign buyers, right in the crucial period between FY 2010-2015, when it is supposed to move to full-rate production. If that happens, it could create a vicious spiral of slower cost drop-offs, followed by more cutbacks, followed by rising costs and delays. On the other hand, if concerns are allayed, and then the pessimistic estimates turn out to be right, a number of countries and governments will find the future of their air forces hung out to dry, via unaffordable contracts. The problem is, Lockheed Martin and the US government disagree sharply over what the F-35’s cost is. That is why so much is riding on who is eventually right, and on who is perceived to be right.
Bill Sweetman is arguably aviation’s most respected journalist. “JSF – Talking Real Money” helps explain why, as it dissects the 2 colliding viewpoints of the fighter’s future costs. Here’s the core of the debate…
With over a half million US soldiers in uniform, the US Army has the formidable task of providing human resources (HR) services to all of them. To help with this massive HR requirement, the Army uses contractors.
The primary office that handles HR outsourcing is the Army’s HRsolutions Program Office launched in 2004. HRsolutions manages 4 competitively awarded HR contracts in the areas of studies and analysis, recruitment and retention, personnel services and support, and management and administrative support.
HRsolutions recently awarded 12 multiple-award indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contracts for the HR studies and analysis program, worth up to $1.3 billion in total, for the period 2010-2015. The office expects to award HR contracts in the other areas in the next few months.
The Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Norfolk awarded 3 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contracts, worth up to $103.2 million, to provide decision support services for the Navy Personnel Research Studies and Technology Division of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS) in Millington, TN.
The BUPERS organization serves to provide administrative leadership, policy planning, and general oversight of the Naval Personnel Command. BUPERS’ Navy Personnel Research Studies and Technology Division conducts research and develops technologies to recruit, retain and manage Navy and Marine Corps personnel.
Each of the 3 contracts contains a 1-year base period with two 1-year option periods. The 3 contractors and their contracts are: