Rapid Fire Oct. 4, 2013: Surface Transportation Remains Key to Afghan Exit Cost ControlOct 04, 2013 11:30 UTC
- BAE Systems CEO Linda Hudson wrote that following the government shutdown, about 1,000 employees from the company’s Intelligence & Security sector have already been “excused from work at their customer sites.”
- DARPA is cancelling its industry day for the XS-1 program whose objective is to create a reusable Mach 10 aircraft to put payloads into low earth orbit for relatively low costs.
- The US Army’s Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment (PM SCIE) is maintaining its Parachute Navigation System (PARANAVSYS) industry day, though that may still change by the end of next week.
- In another chart-full report [PDF], the conservative CSIS think tank uses bold red font to drive the point home that “the underlying cause of [the] federal spending crisis is [a] failure to save for retirement and the impact of rising medical costs.”
- USMC Lt. Gen. William Faulkner, Deputy Commandant Installations and Logistics, gave some drawdown data in a recent hearing testimony [PDF] with the House Armed Services Committee (HASC):
“[S]ince our first Marine Corps units redeployed at the end of 2011, 67% of the 72,000 equipment items have already been removed from our Marine Corps portion of the joint and coalition Afghanistan battle space. We have reduced 5.35 million square feet of aviation matting to 150 thousand square feet today. Additionally, of the over 42,000 total items retrograded to date, 60% of those are being inducted for reset actions at our depot maintenance plants”.
- At the same HASC hearing, US Army LTG Raymon Mason (G4) said [PDF] the following on logistics costs out of Afghanistan:
“One cost driver is multi-modal transportation. While over the past several months multi-modal has been the primary means to move retrograde and redeployment cargo out of Afghanistan, projected volumes of cargo along the Pakistan Ground Lines of Communication (PAKGLOC) are increasing and are currently trending at or near 50%. Surface lines of communication, the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) and PAKGLOC are critical to achieving the retrograde velocity necessary to meet timelines and they are less expensive than multi-modal and direct air transportation.”
Al-Qaeda’s Resurgence in Iraq
- A report [PDF] by the Institute for the Study of War details the use of vehicle-borne bomb attacks by al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and fears that gains made by the US in 2007 may not only be lost, but also that Iraq may become a front in what increasingly looks like a regional conflict.
Large Acquisition Programs Struggle to Retain Key Staff
- The Performance Assessments and Root Cause Analysis (PARCA) office created within the Pentagon to find out why large programs bust their budgets seems to have outsourced some of its work to the RAND Corporation. RAND’s latest of a series of reports on Nunn-McCurdy breaches is inconclusive on whether policies meant to retain program manager for longer tenures are working. They note that a “fundamental conflict exists between what military officers need to do to be promoted and their tenure as PMs. Unless these two objectives are connected so that lengthy tenure in a program can be advantageous for promotion, it is unlikely that these tenure policies will consistently yield positive results.”
Keeping Helos Safe
- The UK MOD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DTSL) is looking for ways [PDF] to simulate and conduct field trials of counters to ground-based man-in-the-loop (MITL) operated weapons used against helicopters.
DID Email Ops
- We’ve been tinkering with our newsletter template to make it more readable in a variety of email clients. Too bad burning hate for Microsoft developers cannot be bottled as an energy source. Does today’s issue look better, worse, the same? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Running Free, In the Wild (Almost)
- Today’s video shows Boston Dynamics’ WildCat galloping outdoors at up to 16mph. It’s part of DARPA’s M3 program, and while it’s not going to win awards for grace or stealth, this looks like another milestone as such ground robots seemed confined to the treadmill until recently: