“Through our reports and testimonies, we have emphasized a need to build more quality and quality monitoring into the clearances process… We find [the current] measure to be problematic… (the clearance process has six phases: the requirements setting, application-submission, investigation, adjudication, appeal, and clearance updating). As noted in our February 13, 2008 report, we are encouraged by some department specific and governmentwide efforts that have improved DOD’s personnel security clearance program… Current and future efforts to reform personnel security clearance processes should consider, among other things, the following four key factors: (1) determining whether clearances are required for a specific position, (2) incorporating quality control steps throughout the clearance processes, (3) establishing metrics for assessing all aspects of clearance processes, and (4) providing Congress with the long-term funding requirements of security clearance reform. The timeliness statistics that OMB and OPM have provided to Congress may not convey the full magnitude of the time required to complete clearance investigations and adjudications… there may be continuing problems in these areas.”
While orders and shipments of blast-resistant MRAP vehicles continue to roll, the flat-bottomed, vulnerable, but lighter Hummers remain the core of the US wheeled vehicle fleet. They are still seeing extensive use on the front lines, and the early wear created by the weight of their add-on armor has led to RESET maintenance programs for some Hummers and allied giveaways for others.
The US Army had about 19,000 HMMWV vehicles in Iraq alone in mid-2007, and even accelerating shipments of MRAPs have only reached 5,200+ to all services throughout all of CENTCOM as of April 2008. As Hummers wear out and are given away, or sent to a depot, they must be replaced. Some replacement involves cycling vehicles from other units into theater, but those units must eventually have their lost vehicles replaced with Hummers or with something else, in order to maintain their own readiness rates for deployment. Hence the necessity for ongoing buys of more Hummers, in the absence of a plan to provide immediate replacements on a fleet-wide basis.
AM General, LLC in South Bend, IN recently received a $650.1 million firm-fixed price contract for 4,526 HMMWVs of various types. That’s about $144,000 per Hummer, compared with the $500-550 thousand average for more survivable MRAP vehicles. Note that this is not the final cost, however, as all vehicles will also receive expensive additional equipment like electronics, mounted weapons, up-armoring kits, et. al. after they’re produced. Production be performed in Mishawaka, IN and is expected to be complete by Dec 31/09. One bid was solicited on March 17/06 by US Army TACOM in Warren, MI (DAAE07-01-C-S0001).
Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems of Woburn, MA received a maximum $400 million indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract to support the design, development, and activation of a European-based mid-course radar for ballistic missile defense. Work will be performed at the contractor’s facility and in Europe, and is expected to be complete by February 2013. This is a sole source award by the US Missile Defense Agency in Huntsville, AL is the contracting activity (HQ0147-08-D-0001).
This effort will be accomplished through task orders, each with distinct scope and pricing. Subject to final negotiations, the X-band radar will be located in the Czech Republic. It is related to the $80 million July 2007 award to Boeing for a missile defense complex.
April 15/08: Initial award and task order. The first task order will use FY 2008 research and development funds of $5.3 million, and will be limited to site surveys, studies, analysis, planning, design, and similar activities specifically permitted in section 226(d) of the FY08 National Defense Authorization Act. Additional activities necessary to this deployment will be conducted by or through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. See also Raytheon release.