Rapid Fire Jan. 11, 2013: Pentagon Preempts Budget Squeeze

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* Soon-departing US SecDef Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dempsey held a press conference (transcript, video) mostly focused on budget issues: “The continuing resolution (CR) expires on March 27th. If Congress fails to pass the appropriations bill for FY 13 and simply extends the CR through the year, our overall operating accounts would decrease by about 5% below the proposed budget presented by the president for our 2013 budget. That amount roughly comes to about $11 billion that would come out of Operations and Maintenance (O&M).” * As colliding deadlines loom ever closer and Congress has been stuck in a holding pattern, Panetta is directing the department to “curtail facility maintenance for non-mission-critical activities, freezing civilian hiring, delaying certain contract awards.” Dempsey was somewhat confused about how much sequestration would impact the remaining part of FY13 (about $43B-$45B according to Comptroller Dale and CSBA, not $52B) but nonetheless took a comment from Bloomberg’s Capaccio in stride: “Actually you’re not correcting me, because I’m right.” (Dempsey’s point on the burn rate was right but his number was incorrect.) * President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that Russia would spend $132B on naval modernization over the rest of […]

* Soon-departing US SecDef Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dempsey held a press conference (transcript, video) mostly focused on budget issues:

“The continuing resolution (CR) expires on March 27th. If Congress fails to pass the appropriations bill for FY 13 and simply extends the CR through the year, our overall operating accounts would decrease by about 5% below the proposed budget presented by the president for our 2013 budget. That amount roughly comes to about $11 billion that would come out of Operations and Maintenance (O&M).”

* As colliding deadlines loom ever closer and Congress has been stuck in a holding pattern, Panetta is directing the department to “curtail facility maintenance for non-mission-critical activities, freezing civilian hiring, delaying certain contract awards.” Dempsey was somewhat confused about how much sequestration would impact the remaining part of FY13 (about $43B-$45B according to Comptroller Dale and CSBA, not $52B) but nonetheless took a comment from Bloomberg’s Capaccio in stride: “Actually you’re not correcting me, because I’m right.” (Dempsey’s point on the burn rate was right but his number was incorrect.)

* President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that Russia would spend $132B on naval modernization over the rest of the decade, out of an overall $657B multi-year spending projection for new weapons. If this comes to pass, this suggests a modernization pace of Chinese proportions. Putin did not say to what extent his plans rely on sustained high oil prices, which booming production in the US may contribute to undermine. This follows recent promises that space programs would too see new riches.

* The GAO reviewed the US Army’s portfolio of network projects (sons of JTRS et. al.) and concludes that the service intends to spend $3B+/year on them indefinitely. This is followed by the standard-issue GAO-spec recommendation: apply more oversight.

* The OSD’s Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP) released a useful slideshow [MS PPTX] about how Foreign Military Sales are contracted. It’s a big business.

* The USAF’s Air Education and Training Command Contracting Squadron (AETC CONS) has extended by another month the due date for International Multi-Aircraft Flight Training proposals, which mostly involve training with simulators and commercial aircraft for FMS customers. The RFP was released on August 24, 2012 but the due date for submissions has now been postponed 5 times in a row, almost like clockwork. The new deadline is Feb. 7, 2013. FBO.

* USMC Forces Command (MARFORCOM)located in Norfolk, VA, is hosting an Industry Day [MS Word] on Jan. 28, 2013 where its MCIEAST Contracting Department (Camp Lejeune, NC) will present their requirement for aircraft maintenance services across the Marines’ fleet, in the US and Japan.

* William J. Deligne is the new Executive Director at US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).

* Update on our website redesign: we appreciate the input we have received so far, and have already done a number of adjustments based on your emails. Please keep your constructive feedback coming at [email protected].

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