Navy Times reports that “as the nation’s eyes are on the Ebola outbreak and the fight with Islamic State militants, the situation in Europe is getting decidedly colder — think Cold War.”
“In mid-October, two U.S. Navy ships steamed into the Black Sea; hundreds of U.S. Army troops began training with NATO allies in Eastern Europe; and the Navy stood up its first shore-based missile defense site, in the former Soviet bloc state of Romania.”
Defense News reports that “for every campaign contribution from a major arms manufacturer to a Republican candidate or group, one of comparable size to a Democrat is not far behind.”
“Defense-sector insiders have said for months that they would prefer Republicans to control the House, which they have for several years, and the Senate, which most prominent analysts say likely will happen after the Nov. 4 midterm elections.”
“Their thinking is that GOP leaders would move annual Pentagon policy and spending bills much earlier than has Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in recent years. Congress might actually send the president full-year defense appropriations bills under full GOP control, something Pentagon and industry officials want.”
Boeing delivered the 18th P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft on Oct. 15 to the US Navy ahead of schedule, further expanding its fleet. The P-8A joined previously delivered aircraft being used to train Navy crews at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., in preparation for the next deployment.
The 18th Navy P-8A departs from Seattle for NAS Jacksonville. (Boeing photo)
The second operational squadron — the VP-5 ‘Mad Foxes’ — is currently conducting missions operating out of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. Prior to VP-5’s arrival in Japan, the VP-16 ‘War Eagles’ were deployed for seven months before returning to the U.S. in July 2014. While deployed they completed 600 sorties and 3,500 flight hours.
The P-8 is the first new maritime patrol aircraft to enter Navy service in more than 50 years. While on deployment Navy crews are flying anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; maritime domain awareness; search and rescue; carrier strike group coordination; and theater security cooperation missions throughout the Western Pacific.
The P-8A is a revolutionary, low-cost solution and key component of the naval aviation mission offering greater payload capacity, higher operating altitude and easily upgradeable systems. Boeing is using a first-in-industry in-line production process to build P-8A aircraft to military specifications, while leveraging the same processes and tooling that produces 737 commercial aircraft. The result is that the Navy is receiving the maritime patrol aircraft it needs, on cost and on schedule.
Overall, the Navy plans to acquire 117 P-8As to replace its P-3 fleet. Currently, Boeing is on contract to build 53 aircraft. The first P-8A production plane arrived at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., in March 2012.
The White House provides a blog post introducing the U.S. Military Team that is prepared to respond to domestic Ebola issues: “The Department of Defense (DOD), at the request of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced this weekend that U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) is providing a 30-person medical support team to quickly, effectively, and safely respond in the event of additional Ebola cases in the United States.”
“USNORTHCOM is the military’s geographic command responsible for homeland defense, civil support, and security cooperation. It is prepared to support this request and be part of a multi-disciplinary team that, if directed, will give our nation another layer of support providing the highest quality and safest care in responding to any future Ebola cases in the homeland.”
“This team is a deliberate infusion of some of the best medical personnel across all of our nation’s military services. They will stand ready to help civilian medical professionals develop additional capabilities. Following infectious disease protocols and properly using personal protective equipment is essential to success. This DOD team will be prepared to help civilian agencies quickly develop the expertise that will keep their staff safe and prevent the spread of disease.”
The Air Force Times reports that “an Air Force executive jet and aircrew from Joint Base Pearl-Harbor, Hickam, was tasked with landing in North Korea today and picking up an American prisoner who was released by the Pyongyang regime.”
“Detainee Jeffrey Fowle was released after almost six months on charges that he left a Bible in a nightclub. Associated Press photographers spotted the Air Force aircraft, which appeared by a C-40, at Pyongyang’s international airport.”
Army Times reports that “the number of veterans in Congress has been steadily dropping in recent election cycles, but the legislative branch’s meager military credentials could take a major hit this year.”
“According to an analysis from the nonpartisan Veterans Campaign, only 183 of the 865 major-party candidates up for election to Congress this year boast military experience. It’s the first time in recent memory that fewer than 200 veterans were on the campaign trail in the congressional races.”
“Based on recent polling data, those sparse figures could drop the total number of veterans in the House and Senate to under 100 for the first time since the 1950s, when World War II veterans began seeking office for the first time.”
Taking innovation cues from the non-defense world is one way the defense industry can help the U.S. military maintain global technological supremacy. Finding and keeping the right talent to execute on current programs while setting long-range plans to identify what’s next on the horizon is another.
That’s the perspective Boeing Defense, Space & Security President and CEO Chris Chadwick shared in his remarks at the Center for a New American Security on Oct. 14 in Washington. The forum focused on the important partnership between industry and defense to find new and innovative ways to equip the most capable military in the world now and in the future.
Chadwick cited examples, such as the gaming industry, where there’s already heavy investment in R&D as an area where defense companies can leverage technologies to benefit the warfighter. Partnering with non-traditional companies can speed development and make platforms more affordable.
To find these creative solutions for the U.S. military, the defense industry also must attract the best and brightest people. This starts by inspiring young people with the art of the possible and continues with a commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs to foster the talent.
With the right team and a vision for the future, Chadwick said defense companies should also form a strong partnership with government to help the DoD stay ahead of its adversaries. Industry seeks stability and clarity in the requirements while the Defense Department expects companies to deliver on time and on cost. Aligning the defense industry with government achieves these objectives and provides a special opportunity, Chadwick said, to find the way forward, and to write the history together that needs to be written.
Defense News reports that “Andrew Marshall — a Pentagon institution who influenced policy makers from the Cold War to today — has signaled his intention to step down in January, according to sources.”
“Marshall, 93, heads the Office of Net Assessment (ONA), which months ago was spared the budget ax as part of a restructuring of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.”
“Having founded the Pentagon’s internal think tank in 1973, Marshall is the only director it has ever known. His influence over the decades on defense policy analysis in Washington has been vast.”
Stars and Stripes reports that “more U.S. troops are arriving in West Africa to help fight an Ebola outbreak that has claimed more than 4,500 lives, but the rainy season is causing a delay, the Pentagon announced Monday.”
“Slightly more than 500 servicemembers are now in Liberia to build treatment centers and provide logistical support. Another 115 are in Dakar, Senegal, at an ‘air bridge’ transportation hub to support the mission, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters.”
“About 80 more troops will arrive by Wednesday, he said, and thousands of soldiers are scheduled to deploy to the country in the coming weeks. Officials say military personnel will not be assigned to patient treatment, and have repeatedly said there is little risk of infection.”
The New York Times writes of Rear Adm. R. Timothy Ziemer, a former Navy flier, who runs President Obama’s Malaria Initiative: “After a knee-to-knee chat with this hamlet’s chief in the local malaria clinic as rain hammered the tin roof, Rear Adm. R. Timothy Ziemer reached into his pocket for his usual thank-you gift.”
The piece continues: “Accepting the thick gold-colored coin with President Obama’s face on it, the chief looked as thrilled as if he had won the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”
The piece adds: “The moment illustrates how this 67-year-old retired Navy flier who is the coordinator of the President’s Malaria Initiative gets things done: on the ground, with little cash and less fanfare, in faraway African and Asian villages.”
“Although he does nothing to court publicity in status-obsessed Washington, many malaria fighters call him one of the most quietly effective leaders in public health.”
With our adversaries making rapid advances in commercial electronics, the Navy is building a plan to retake control of the electromagnetic spectrum, Breaking Defense reports. In the new plan, the EA-18G Growler will become the cornerstone of a network that will also include drones, surface forces and submarines. Click here to read the article.
Marine Corps Times reports that “companies that do business with the federal government employ a big chunk of the U.S. workforce — and if you’re a veteran looking to join their ranks, federal law requires that they give you a leg up.”
“How can you take advantage?”
“The local One-Stop Career Center should be one of your first stops, according to government and private-sector officials.”
“Thousands of these Labor Department offices, also called American Job Centers, are scattered across the country, offering information and job openings posted online at www.careeronestop.org.”
Defense News reports that “the head of US Air Force Global Strike Command wants the service to consider installing new engines on its aging B-52 fleet, but budget realities could intervene.”
“’I’ve got people looking at it. I can’t say I’m going to gain any traction on it, but I’ve got people looking at it,’ Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson told reporters last week at an event hosted by the Mitchell Institute.”
“While noting that there is no money planned in the fiscal 2016 budget request for such a program, Wilson said industry representatives have expressed confidence that putting newer engines on the bombers could reduce fuel consumption and sustainment costs.”