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Rapid Fire Oct. 1, 2013: Military Pay Exempt from US Government Shutdown

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* Just as the US federal government was heading into a shutdown, President Obama signed a law exempting military pay from delay (HR 3210 aka Pay Our Military Act). That still puts a lot of DoD civilian staffers on furlough. Sustaining military pay is about the only thing Congress and the Administration have agreed to so far, apart from the fact it’s the other side’s shutdown, obviously. * It’s been crunch time at the Pentagon, as showcased by humongous lists of contract awards each of the past few days. * The new reality kicks in: The US Navy just cancelled their draft RFP for a Crashworthy Troop Seat (CWTS) System for the MH-60S, while the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) postponed a forthcoming industry day for its Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) mission support. * The US Air Force finalized its solicitation for the Advanced Technical Exploitation Program II (ATEP II) in support of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC). This involves small business set asides with a $960M ceiling (in total) over 4 years. NASIC is in charge of the Pentagon’s intelligence gathering on foreign aircraft. * Industry analyst Richard Aboulafia reviews Boeing’s options in military aircraft markets […]

* Just as the US federal government was heading into a shutdown, President Obama signed a law exempting military pay from delay (HR 3210 aka Pay Our Military Act). That still puts a lot of DoD civilian staffers on furlough. Sustaining military pay is about the only thing Congress and the Administration have agreed to so far, apart from the fact it’s the other side’s shutdown, obviously.

* It’s been crunch time at the Pentagon, as showcased by humongous lists of contract awards each of the past few days.

* The new reality kicks in: The US Navy just cancelled their draft RFP for a Crashworthy Troop Seat (CWTS) System for the MH-60S, while the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) postponed a forthcoming industry day for its Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) mission support.

* The US Air Force finalized its solicitation for the Advanced Technical Exploitation Program II (ATEP II) in support of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC). This involves small business set asides with a $960M ceiling (in total) over 4 years. NASIC is in charge of the Pentagon’s intelligence gathering on foreign aircraft.

* Industry analyst Richard Aboulafia reviews Boeing’s options in military aircraft markets as the company is seeing many of its existing platforms ramp down.

* Following USMC Commandant Gen. James F. Amos’ unusual recommendation, two commanding generals have been relieved of their duties following the 2012 attack on Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.

* Turkey’s announcement last week that it was selecting a Chinese missile defense system was met with concern from the US. But President Abdullah Gül then said that the decision is not final as CPMIEC is still at the top of their shortlist, rather than a definitive contract winner.

* Nexter CEO Philippe Burtin urged French parliamentarians to support the start of the EBRC armored reconnaissance vehicle program in a recent hearing with the defense commission. AMX 10RCs and ERC 90 “Sagaie” from the 70s and 80s are starting to show their age and have weak protection. There is also a need to replace VAB mechanized infantry vehicles with the VBMR project, which can probably wait a few more years but is a program 10 times the size of the EBRC, with a total of more than 2,000 vehicles to be delivered next decade.

* The US Air Force is considering cutting its fleet of A-10s, but the Thunderbolts found some ground support from both some House members and Senator Kelly Ayotte, whose husband used to be an A-10 pilot. While the USAF still operates these aircraft, here’s how they refuel from a KC-135 in the video below:

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