Most people think “defense procurement” and think “weapons,” but the truth is that infrastructure and associated services consumes at least as much money. In December 2007 (FY 2008), the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP, now the US Defense Logistics Agency’s Troop Support group) in Philadelphia, PA issued awards by region for “tailored logistics support” involving fire and emergency equipment on behalf of US military installations, other federal agencies and departments, and other approved customers. In practice, all of the contracts below may involve the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, federal civilian agencies, or even state and local governments as end customers.
These FES contracts involved hundreds of millions of dollars over a 2-year base contract, followed by 3 more 1-year options, with FY 2012 as the final option year.
The US Senate unanimously approved the Combating Military Counterfeits Act (S 1228) as an amendment to the FY12 Appropriations bill. It involves criminal penalties and is part of a broader effort to tighten the military supply chain after the revelation that suspect electronic parts from China had been installed on a variety of military systems. Another approved amendment (S 1025) intends to give the National Guard a seat at the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Similar language is already in the House’s version of the bill so this has significant chances of making it through reconciliation, whenever that will finally happen. CJCS Martin Dempsey thinks it’s a bad idea.
Michele A. Flournoy, US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, published DoD procedures on how to share information with the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security (DoDI 3025.19 PDF).
The US Government Accountability Office finds there’s too much overlap and not enough coordination between the 5 federal agencies with cybersecurity personnel. That’s what happens when everyone think they’re in charge.
Latest updates: Re-competes lead to a winner other than Maersk.
USNS Sgt. Matej Kocak
The USA’s Maritime Prepositioning Ships serve as vast, floating stocks of equipment, ammunition, and supplies that can be sailed into friendly ports to meet up with flown-in Marines. This critical but often-unrecognized force includes a combination of U.S. government-owned ships and chartered U.S.-flagged ships, and can also include ships activated from the Maritime Administration’s Ready Reserve Force. They are not crewed by US Navy personnel, but use U.S. civilian mariners (“CIVMARs”), who work for ship operating companies under contract to the federal government.
Most of Military Sealift Command’s prepositioning ships are able to discharge cargo pierside, or use shallow-draft barges (lighterage), that are carried aboard in case ports are non-existent or in poor condition. In May 2010, US MSC made one of the largest buys in its history – which, of course, led to a GAO protest and accompanying delays. Those are all resolved now…
Still no progress in India’s long negotiations with France’s SNECMA, to develop a Kaveri jet engine successor as an alternate engine for India’s Tejas LCA Mk.2 fighter. GE’s F404 equips the Mk.1 variant, and their F414 has been picked for future versions.
US Senators Carl Levin and John McCain (Chairman and Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, respectively) cowrote a defense of their position on how to handle detained terrorist suspects. This is the sticking point between the Senate and the Obama administration that has been delaying the FY12 defense authorization bill – the latter threatens a veto.
Since the US Senate has been unable to vote on regular spending bills in a timely fashion, majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wants to lump everything into a $1T “omnibus” appropriations bill next month instead of passing another continuing resolution.
USMC Sgt. and Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer sues his former employer BAE Systems in a Texas state court, reports the WSJ.
It is recommended to post Sole Source Justifications on FedBizOps prior to contract awards rather than after the fact.
The transfer of munitions squadrons responsible within the US Air Force for nuclear mission support from Air Force Materiel Command to Air Force Global Strike Command should be complete next month.
Thales intends to increase its share in DCNS from 25% to 35%, according to La Tribune [in French]. Thales acquired this option back in 2009 and must exercise or lose it by next March.
The British Royal Navy is deploying HMS Protector, its new ice patrol ship, to to the Antarctic Peninsula. The ship has been leased by Norway to the UK for 3 years.
The video below shows what a supply air drop using JPADS looks like:
The US Army is evaluating its latest build of field networking equipment, after the 3-week NIE 12.1 event. The spring 2012 event will test NIE 13, which will include the new WIN-T Increment 2 on-the-move networking system.
Point Trading’s misleading & deceptive conduct case against ITL Optronics and Elbit Systems will be heard solely in Australia, and is moving ahead under a recent Federal Court of Australia decision. The dispute concerns a long-term contract for the right to sell thermal vision devices to the Australian military. Key takeaway: “An exclusive jurisdiction clause does not deprive an Australian court of its jurisdiction to try the proceedings,” when the proceedings by their nature refer to Australian laws.
Japan would like China’s help in investigating the source of a cyber attack against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, but nobody is holding their breath. Meanwhile the British MoD is setting up a Joint Cyber Unit involving private contractors. Video below:
In 2007, India’s amphibious capabilities took a big step forward, as the US Navy transferred the Austin Class LPD USS Trenton [LPD 14] to India. The 16,590t INS Jalashwa [L41] now serves alongside 2 smaller 5,600t Shardul Class LST-Ls, and 4 remaining 1,324t Polnochny Class LST-Ms. As India looks to project power within the Indian Ocean, however, and upgrade its disaster response capabilities, larger amphibious operations ships become a high priority.
Reports to date indicate that India is looking for up to 4 LHD type aviation & amphibious ships, with designs to come from foreign firms. The expected candidates come from France, Italy, Spain, and even South Korea…
It’s that time of year again. For those of you celebrating American Thanksgiving, or who just want a feast, the US Defense Commissary Agency has some tips for cooking turkey, and some recipes.
Our big recommendation: if you’re deep-frying your turkey, be safe. Hundreds of years ago, boiling oil was a weapon we would have covered. Treat it accordingly. Common tips include making 100% sure that adding the turkey to the oil will not cause an overflow or near-overflow. The turkey has displacement, and on top of that, oil will boil up a bit when the moisture of the turkey skin hits it. So test displacement first, then make sure it’s fully thawed, and pat that bird dry inside and out. Fire Marshals also advise people to set up the fryer away from one’s house, on a flat, non-wooden surface, and have oil-rated fire extinguishers handy as you monitor the frying. Keep your home safe, and don’t forget to take precautions for yourself and your family, too.
DID offers thanks to all of our readers, and to all American and allied soldiers in uniform. We’ve added a few stories and updates for our international readers today, but won’t be publishing at all tomorrow.
In late November 2011, South Korea’s left-wing Hankyoreh newspaper reports that a combination of unauthorized examination of an F-15K’s Lockheed Martin “Tiger Eyes” IRST(InfraRed Search and Track) sensor, and concerns that a number of South Korean products contain copied technologies, have halted “strategic weapons exports” from the USA to South Korea. That reportedly includes the proposed RQ-4B Global Hawk deal.
Rheinmetall Defence and ADS GmbH successfully demonstrate their AMAP Active Defense Systems against an RPG-7 rocket, protecting a Fuchs wheeled vehicle. This technology is growing in importance on modern battlefields, because tandem-warhead missiles can beat armor defenses.
Research nonprofit RAND investigates whether applying a rotational equipping strategy can help the US Army save money.
The US Army War College updated its Information Operations (IO) primer [PDF], mostly to reflect the DoD’s latest strategic and organizational changes in the cyberspace realm. Recently US Army Lieutenant Colonel John A. Mowchan argued that maintaining ambiguity on the nature of the US military response in the digital domain would have benefits.
US Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 1 (VMAQ-1) received the Phoenix Maintenance Award from DoD. The unit reduced the annual cost in ordered components almost by half while it supported 590 combat missions totaling 2,293 combat flight hours so far this year.
US Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) compared the effects of the sequester [PDF] on spending by category. It is worth noting that DoD’s budget would still grow by 2% over the period between 2012 and 2021, but that’s in nominal terms and would mean a decline of more than 20% in real terms (i.e. with inflation factored in).
Sappers of the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion show a Bobcat dubbed “Minotaur” modified to detect IEDs in the video below: