The Institute for Defense Analysis in Alexandria, VA recently received a 5-year indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract worth up to $888.8 million, for research and analysis from the 3 Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC) they run. Just to give you some of the flavor, IDA’s recent Research Notes [PDF] publication includes “The Saddam Tapes: The Inner Workings Of A Tyrant’s Regime 1978-2001”, as well as briefings covering cloud computing security, rates and causes of rotorcraft casualties from 2001 – 2009, etc.
The Pentagon’s Defense Business Bureau, an advisory group designed to give private sector expertise to senior leaders, announced its global analysis of DoD practices found potential savings of about $25 billion per year, to be squeezed mostly out of logistics, procurement, property management, HR, and healthcare, in that order.
The savings presume a capacity for the military to create ongoing and cumulative productivity increases – as does the private sector, generally. While the rather top-down analysis is likely to seem far fetched to military professionals, it does starkly compare behaviors in the private sector that differ, and that have resulted in vast, cumulative efficiencies.
When it comes to specifics, speaks generally about four areas of recommendations: renegotiating contracts; cutting the workforce; IT modernization and the catch-all business process re-engineering.
DoD contractors will be interested to see the nature of the target painted on their piece of budget pie. The DDB hopes to realize $9 to $18 billion in savings per year by saving 10-25 percent of contract spending. How they hope to do that? “More rigorous” negotiations; contract aggregation for economies of scale; a push for greater productivity in labor contracts; and the elimination of gold plating requirements.
Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work charged the DDB with producing the report back in October in an effort to gauge the scope of changes that would help modernize the whole of the defense enterprise.
The report doesn’t break too much ground in terms of tactics recommended, as previous reports have largely enumerated the various savings the DDB hopes the military will recognize.
Former National Security Council (NSC) non-proliferation staffer and potential Pentagon AT&L advisor Jofi Joseph isn’t the first person to be undone by social media, and he won’t be the last. The inconvenient truth is that social media security isn’t even close to the main takeaway from this episode.
Our advice re: social media still stands, but we should begin by acknowledging that Twitter just did the US government a big favor…
As fiscal year 2012 came to a close Congress bought time with a continuing resolution. And as the new civil year started, Congress begrudgingly applied a short-term patch to avoid the fiscal cliff, while the President eventually signed a FY13 authorization bill containing language he had threatened to veto for months. By March 2013 everyone seemed to capitulate to wrap up appropriations for the rest of the year. But FY13 appropriations ended up including sequestration, an outcome that few had predicted since the Budget Control Act was passed in 2011. The FY14 budget cycle then started late, with only dim hope of a more reasonable outcome.
India’s new aircraft carrier will have its sea trials delayed. The problem isn’t the contractor this time – it’s the weather in northern Russia.
US base closures: if not this year, maybe the next?
The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) think tank proposes their recipe for “sustainable pre-eminence.” You’ve heard it before: more Asia/Pacific, more Air/Naval, more joint interdependencies. They are sticking their neck out on capabilities: cut 1 CVN, stop LCS in FY17 at 27 ships vs. a planned 55, get less F-35Cs for the Navy and more F/A-18s instead.
Latest updates: Humana for the South, UnitedHealth for the West. TL: over $40 billion.
In July 2009, the US Department of Defense’s TRICARE Management Activity (TMA), which provides health care coverage to 9.4 million active duty military family members, military retirees and their eligible family members, issued a number of regional management contract. Under the regional TRICARE MCS services contracts, the companies provide the US military with management of healthcare provider networks and referrals, medical management, enrollment, claims processing, customer service and access to data, among other requirements. The companies will serve as intermediaries between the U.S. military personnel and the U.S. military’s medical care system, similar to the role of a healthcare insurance provider in the private sector.
M7 Aerospace became an Elbit Systems of America subsidiary in December 2010. Its 6 integrated business segments include Aerostructures Manufacturing; Government Logistics Support Services; Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul; Engineering Services; Aircraft Parts & Support and Supply Chain Management and Purchasing. Their platform specialties include the Shorts Aircraft series of short take-off light transports (incl. US Army’s C-23), and Fairchild’s Merlin & Metro (US C-26 variants).
The US military continues to operate variants of these aircraft, and M7’s strong position in those niches has led to a number of contract wins. A pair of December 2011 support contracts, dating back to FY 2005 and FY 2009, illustrate the point…
In Smithsonian Air & Space magazine’s 10-year, post-9/11 look at the US Air National Guard, Lt. Col. Scott Van Beek talks about the US ANG’s coming pilot crunch, driven by trends in civil aviation, and by the military’s own attempt to shift to UAVs. Going forward, he had this to say:
“For now it’s a good balance, but by the end of 2012, things will get interesting. 9/11 and the economic downturn allowed many of us to put our civilian careers on hold to fill the 9/11 tasking. Employers have been very accommodating, because if their employee came back they would have to lay off someone else, so they would rather let us stay on leave. But there’s a storm brewing. The Air Force had a need for UAV pilots… so they involuntarily transitioned current fighter pilots, and downplayed the fighter track to new graduates from the academy. They’re now facing a fighter pilot shortage. The airlines are slowly hiring again. When the airlines are hiring, pilots leaving active duty increases. The age-60 [retirement] rule has delayed airline retirements, because the [new] rule allowed pilots to stay for another five years. That five-year period will be over at the end of 2012, and mandatory retirements will skyrocket. That is when the airlines, short on pilots, will make [Guard] pilots come back. And the Guard units will look to fill the empty positions from a fighter pilot pool that does not exist.”
Deployments aren’t easy for active personnel. They can be even harder on families, and the impacts don’t end when the deployment does. In recent years, the US military has recognized the effect family difficulties have on its all-volunteer force, and placed a higher priority on family assistance programs. The priority is especially urgent with respect to special forces, who are deployed more often because they’re in such high demand. That means trouble if family problems cause them to decide to do something else. Even if replacing existing operators is possible, it’s time-consuming, difficult, and costly.
One example of the US military’s response is the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Resiliency Program, which recently issued a contract worth up to $44.4 million to Loving Couples Loving Children, Inc. in Seattle, WA. This LCLC program was originally developed by John and Julie Gottman for low-income couples expecting a child…
International SOS Assistance in Trevose, PA won a fixed-price requirements contract to provide health care support services, dental care services and claims processing to the US Department of Defense TRICARE Overseas Program. The total potential contract value, including an approximately 10-month base period and 5 one-year option periods for health care delivery, plus a transition-out period, is estimated at $269.1 million.
The TRICARE Management Activity provides health care coverage to 9.4 million active duty military family members, military retirees and their eligible family members.
The new contract includes the establishment of host nation provider networks around military treatment facility (MTFs)…