The NAVAIR Women’s Advisory Group (WAG) Breaking Through Barriers: Entry Level Women is pleased to announce its fifth national event!
Guest Speaker: Emily Harman; Navy Office of Small Business Programs Senior Executive Service (SES)
Topic: Crucial Conversations 101
Date: 19 July 2016
Time: 1100-1200 EST (Brown Bag)
Location: Patuxent River, MD; National VTC
For any questions, please feel free to contact Meghan Wagner (email@example.com) or Sara Gravatt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
COMFRC Change of Command video
Nearly 400 guests gathered June 16 in the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School hangar to honor and to bid farewell to Rear Adm. Paul “LJ” Sohl, Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers (COMFRC), as he handed over the helm to Vice Commander Capt. Mike Zarkowski. View the entire video at https://youtu.be/nrBdiyqL-wk
Vision 2020 Capacity and Capability
Vision 2020 is the strategic plan for regaining readiness across naval aviation. Cross-functional teams are at work on the plan’s seven “threads” — or lines of effort — to evolve the current sustainment system into one that is globally managed in real time and cost effective. In this video, members of the executive leadership team and the capability and capacity team share an update on their progress. Check out the video at https://youtu.be/lT_gkHnf3Ac
Logistics interns tour NIST and learn of innovations that are improving life
(COMMANDER, FLEET READINESS CENTERS, 27 June 16) . Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers Public Affairs
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — Naval Acquisition Development Program (NADP) participants from Naval Air System Command’s (NAVAIR) Logistics and Industrial Operations (AIR 6.0) toured the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) June 16.
The participants received an overview presentation of the facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland, toured several working labs and visited the NIST museum.
“We learned about the surprising impact the organization has on our lives, at both a personal and professional level,” said Jonathan Rosen, operations research analyst. “The NIST creates thousands of its own consumer products (such as peanut butter and detergent), all precisely measured, so that industries can properly measure and calibrate their own production lines. We toured the low-background infrared facility (LBIR), which tests infrared sensors and is responsible for standards that many of contractors use in producing Navy aircraft’s forward laser infrared (FLIR) pods.”
Laquisha Thomas, logistics management specialist, said she didn’t realize the work of the NIST “dealt with almost everything in our everyday lives. I liked the lab that dealt with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening methods. They’re trying to develop new methods to screen us where we won’t have to remove our belts, shoes, etc.”
Arthur Flood, logistics management specialist, said he, too, “learned a lot about the history and the vital role that NIST plays in our everyday lives. NIST does a lot of testing and measuring to help set a standard. From the foods we eat, to the standards for car safety and detection of trace explosives or drugs and countless other things that can be measured or tested for a vast amount of government agencies and the private sector.”
Nicholas Long, logistics management specialist, was impressed with the ballistics traceability lab where the NIST is “using 3-D printing in order to create better technology to detect chemical or ballistic residue.”
The tour was one of many set up to expose NADP participants to different naval acquisition and NAVAIR program offices and activities.
Taylor lauds Sailors at FRCSE Detachment Mayport Change of Charge
(FLEET READINESS CENTER SOUTHEAST, 28 June 16) . Fleet Readiness Center Southeast
Jacksonville, Fla. – The tight-knit group of 200 Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) Detachment Mayport Sailors said goodbye to Officer in Charge Cmdr. Claude Taylor June 24.
The detachment supports Navy helicopter squadrons deployed around the globe with rework and maintenance for their aircraft, engines, components and support equipment. The Sailors have made major strides – both professionally and personally – with Taylor at the reins.
“Detachment Mayport is the premier H-60 I-level maintenance facility in the fleet because of you,” Taylor told the Sailors. “There are helicopters operating off ships and in the desert right now thanks to your skills and dedication. You are exceptional.”
Taylor went on to put specific numbers to a few of the group’s accomplishments in the last 24 months, including the repair and rework of 32,000 aircraft components returned to the fleet.
“You introduced new, advanced repair processes and techniques, enhancing our capabilities in electro-optics, avionics, composites, support equipment and engine repair,” he said. “And, for the first time in more than seven years, established shipboard support equipment rework at this facility.
“You reduced work items in process from a high of 385, to an all-time low of 96.”
Along with Detachment Mayport’s accomplishments in its official role of maintaining Navy helicopters, the team has logged 30 months without an alcohol-related incident. In February, officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office visited the detachment to present Taylor and his Sailors with an award for the achievement.
“When I got here, I challenged each of you to leave here better than when you arrived, and you did,” Taylor said, citing the college courses completed by Sailors during his tenure. “Keep it up.”
To Taylor, those are not just words.
Enlisting in the Navy in 1981, he eventually rose to the rank of senior chief before he was commissioned as a warrant officer in 1997. He later transitioned to aviation maintenance duty officer in 2004, earning a Bachelor of Science and master’s degree along the way.
FRCSE Commanding Officer Capt. Chuck Stuart praised Taylor for his leadership and the Sailors for their accomplishments.
“The importance of Detachment Mayport’s success may be underestimated by those not associated with what we do here, but make no mistake – the very lives of American service members and our allies deployed to conflict zones on the other side of the world hang in the balance,” Stuart told the Sailors in attendance. “Without the helicopter squadrons Detachment Mayport keeps in the air, Navy ships and Sailors would be under-supplied, under-armed and partially blind.
“Thank you so much for all that you and your Sailors have done here.”
Taylor is moving on to Patuxent River, Maryland as the components officer for Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers.
Lt. Cmdr. Joseph “Derek” Tindell, a familiar face around FRCSE, relieved Taylor as Detachment Mayport officer in charge. Though most recently serving as Patrol Squadron 10’s assistant maintenance officer at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Tindell served in several rolls at FRCSE from 2007 to 2011, including as officer in charge of FRCSE Detachment Key West.
FRCMA Sailor saves lives in act of selflessness
(FLEET READINESS CENTER MID-ATLANTIC, 28 June 16) . Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs
VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia – By being at the right place at the right time, one Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic (FRCMA) Sailor helped save the lives of victims of a fiery May 16 automobile crash. Seaman Loreina Campos was honored May 20 at the Naval Air Station Ocean, Virginia, theater for her actions with a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
According to police and media reports, a Nissan Sentra was traveling westbound on Interstate 264 in Virginia Beach when it broke down. The Nissan was struck by a Chevy Silverado, which caused the car to spin out of control and hit an empty Hampton Roads Transit bus. The impact of the crash caused the Nissan to catch on fire.
A 31-year-old woman, a 28-year-old man and a 2-year-old girl were rescued from the burning car by two Good Samaritans, Campos and another witness who was traveling separately. A 5-month-old girl was also in the car but could not be seen due to the flames and died in the fire, police said. The 2-year-old died in the hospital later that week.
Campos, who was four months pregnant at the time, was driving home from work when she witnessed the accident. She said she immediately pulled her vehicle over and ran up to the car to help.
Campos said she attempted to open the driver’s door to pull the driver out, but the door would not open. She said she then ran over to the passenger door and with another person’s help, was able to get the door opened.
As they were pulling the passenger out of the car, Campos said she noticed a small toddler pinned behind the passenger seat. The vehicle was engulfed in flames, and Campos reached into the burning vehicle to pull the toddler, who was on fire, to safety. She carried the toddler, who was struggling to breath, to the side of the highway and remained with her until help arrived.
“I was really scared,” Campos said, recalling the events of the day. “Everything was happening so quick, yet so slow at the same time. It was really strange.
“It was like I wasn’t the one making my body do what it was doing. It was doing it on its own without thinking about it,” she said. “After I got the little girl, my main concern was making her feel comfortable so she didn’t feel alone.”
Once the emergency crews arrived on scene, Campos said she was able to give an accurate account of the child’s injuries and was lauded by emergency medical service personnel for her heroic actions before rushing the little girl to the hospital. The toddler ended up living for four more days before succumbing to her injuries.
For her actions that day, Capt. Joseph Rodriquez, FRCMA commanding officer, presented Campos a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal during a Safety Stand-down at the NAS Ocean theater, calling the Sailor who has been in the Navy less than three years a hero.
“What Seaman Campos did was an absolute selfless act,” Rodriguez said. “It is leadership defined and a shining example of bystander intervention at work.”
Campos recalled what was going through her mind at the scene of the accident.
“I remember that I just kept telling myself to keep doing something; everything was on overdrive,” Campos said. “It took several days for me to process what had happened.”
Logistics interns learn first-hand how their work impacts fleet
(NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, 28 June 16) . Naval Air Systems Command Air-6.0 Public Affairs
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — Naval Acquisition Development Program (NADP) participants from Naval Air System Command (NAVAIR) Logistics and Industrial Operations (AIR 6.0) and Research and Engineering (AIR 4.0) had the opportunity for a pier-side tour of Nimitz-class carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73) in Norfolk, Virginia, June 14.
The 44 participants saw up close what Sailors experience every day aboard a ship. From witnessing the testing of the arresting gear to touring the flight deck, hangar bay and the forecastle, they gained a new perspective on how their jobs at NAVAIR impact the fleet.
“In a prior internship rotation with the Direct Time and Sensitive Strike Weapons Program Management Activity (PMA-242), I had been part of a concepts of operations (CONOPS) meeting which covered how-to stow, assemble and load weapon systems onboard carriers,” said Jacqueline Trenholm, logistics management analyst, Logistics Management Integration (AIR 6.6). “I was able to connect much of the shipboard terminology used in that CONOPS meeting to what I saw on this tour.”
Jennifer Dixon, logistics management analyst, Maintenance Planning and Sustainment (AIR 6.7) also was grateful for the new perspective. Being onboard the carrier gave her “much more respect for the men and women on deployment serving our nation,” she said. “Watching videos does not compare to being there in person.”
Tracy Hurtt, logistics management analyst, Aviation Readiness and Resource Analysis (AIR 6.8) echoed Dixon’s sentiments: “It was great to see the fleet and what we [AIR 6.0] were supporting. I know we support aircraft, but the carrier holds those aircraft. I have never been that close to a ship and I loved it.”
Marines Pull Aircraft From ‘Boneyard,’ Get Used Navy Jets Amid Aviation Crisis
(MARINE TIMES 23 JUN 16) … Jeff Schogol
With most of its F/A-18 strike fighters unable to fly on any given day, the Marine Corps is resurrecting 23 Hornets from the “boneyard” and getting another seven aircraft from the Navy.
The move comes as the Marine Corps and Navy struggle to keep F/A-18s in the skies until the F-35 joint strike fighter can replace the services’ aging aircraft.
“We are very focused on our current readiness, and at the moment, we don’t have enough Hornets for combat, flight instruction and day-to-day training,” said Capt. Sarah Burns, a Marine spokeswoman at the Pentagon.
The Hornet is the first U.S. strike fighter, meaning it can shoot down enemy aircraft, kill bad guys on the ground and bomb enemy targets. The Hornet and the newer F/A-18 E-F Super Hornet were supposed to be phased out in the mid-2020s and 2035 respectively, but delays in the F-35 program have forced the Marine Corps and Navy to find ways to keep the aircraft flying much longer than intended.
The 30 F/A-18C Hornets headed back to the fleet are being upgraded to the C+ configuration, Burns said. That means they’ll include updates to the flight-deck displays and a joint helmet mounted cueing system, which gives the pilot more control over the aircraft, according to Boeing.
Each Hornet takes between nine and 18 months to upgrade, depending in the condition of the aircraft. Boeing expects to refurbish 10 Hornets a year starting in 2017.
Most of the Hornets were placed in storage at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, commonly known as the “boneyard” at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.
“We purposely housed the aircraft in the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group … over the course of a decade with intent to store, maintain and upgrade them for today’s use,” Burns said.
So far, one of the upgraded Hornets has been delivered to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 based at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, she said. Boeing is making sure a second upgraded Hornet is ready for operational missions while work on five more aircraft is underway.
Experts are divided about the efficacy of returning Hornets from the boneyard to service.
It is common practice for the military to “mothball” planes, ships and vehicles since they often end up with more usable equipment than they need, said retired Marine Lt. Col. Dakota Wood, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington.
“When this happens, it makes sense to place the items in long-term storage to avoid both the maintenance costs of keeping the equipment in ready-to-use condition and wasting taxpayer dollars by destroying equipment that still has useful life,” Wood told Marine Corps Times. “Resurrecting older equipment also mitigates the costs in time and money of building new items unless the old item has truly become obsolete relative to threats and missions it was originally designed to handle.”
In February 2015, the B-52H “Ghost Rider” took off from Davis-Monthan for Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, after spending seven years in the boneyard. The Air Force decided to restore the bomber to replace another B-52 damaged in a fire the year prior.
But while the Hornets in the boneyard can be inspected, repaired and returned to full mission-capable status, doing so can be technically risky and expensive, said retired Navy Cmdr. Chris Harmer, senior naval analyst at the Institute for the Study of War.
“After sitting in the desert for a decade, nobody really knows what condition they are in until they get to the depot-level maintenance facility and are opened up and inspected” Harmer said.
Marine Corps aviation is “on the verge of systemic failure” because the fleet has been overused since Sept. 11, 2001, Harmer added, and the F-35s that will ultimately replace current aircraft are years behind schedule.
“This is not the fault of the Marine Corps, but the Marines will pay the price for it through excess pilot mortality, and the U.S. will face a significant strategic risk in the near future if deployable Marine tactical aviation suffers a significant decrease in availability, which now seems inevitable,” he said.
The readiness challenges facing the Marine Corps are common to all of the military services, which have to meet a constant or increasing operational tempo with less money, a congressional staffer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Marine Corps Times. As a result, the Marine Corps is using its aircraft far more than it ever intended to, so the Hornets in the boneyard may have fewer flight hours than F/A-18s being used now.
Readiness for the military overall is “in crisis,” said Rep. Rob Wittman, chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, which will hold a hearing in July about the extent of aviation gaps and how to fix them.
“The Marine Corps has been unequivocal about the aviation readiness challenges it faces,” said Wittman, a Virginia Republican. “They’ve said that they don’t have the number of Hornets they need for combat, flight instruction and training.
“That means we are scraping aircraft together to fly combat operations today at the expense of future generations of Hornet pilots. This is just one example of how our readiness shortfalls are compromising our national security and, unfortunately, it is not limited to the Hornet or the Marine Corps.”
Skipping a generation
As of late April, only 87 of the Marine Corps’ fleet of 276 Hornets were flyable, Marine Corps officials told Congress. Many planes are grounded due to a lack of spare parts and other maintenance issues.
Hornets require heavy maintenance because of their age and how often they are used, but steep across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration created a backlog of aircraft in depot because there wasn’t enough money to do preventative maintenance or replace artisans who retired or took another job, officials said.
The Marine Corps does not expect to dig itself out of its aviation readiness hole until 2020.
Some have suggested that the Marine Corps should have purchased newer F/A-18E and F Super Hornets as a stopgap measure, but that would have slowed the service’s procurement of F-35s, putting even more stress on its Hornets and AV-8B Harriers, said Jesse Sloman, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments think tank in Washington.
“The Corps is in a bind right now because of the service’s decision to skip a generation of fighter aircraft by going directly from the legacy Hornet to the joint strike fighter, Sloman said. “This risky choice has led to some short-term pain due to the brittleness of the F/A-18 and the negative impacts of the 2011 sequestration.”
But the Marine Corps’ aggressive plan to switch to the F-35 should allow the service to phase out its current aircraft quickly rather than spending money to keep less capable planes flying longer, he said.
Meanwhile, the Navy had a shortfall of 104 strike fighters last year – and that number could grow to 134 aircraft by 2020, then-Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert told Congress in March 2015.
That’s why the Navy is upgrading its fleet of F/A-18s, so that the Hornets will continue to make up the majority of carrier aircraft through the end of the 2020s. The Hornets had been designed to fly up to 6,000 hours, but with delays in the F-35 program, Navy officials hope the F/A-18s will be able to fly up to 10,000 hours – or more.
“We might even fly [Super Hornets until] close to 2040,” Rear Adm. Mike Manazir, the Navy’s air warfare director, told the House Armed Services subcommittee on seapower in November.
Navy Budget Squeeze Delays PCS Orders
(MILITARY.COM 23 JUN 16) … Hope Hodge Seck
Navy families are finding themselves waiting longer than usual for orders to their next duty station due to constraints on the service’s manpower budget.
According to information provided to Military.com from Navy Personnel Command, some sailors are receiving orders one month ahead of arrival at their next duty station, instead of the typical three.
“Due to budgetary pressures and a perennially decreased top line for Navy’s Manpower Account, we knew PCS funds would be tight toward the end of the fiscal year,” Personnel Command spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Christensen said in a statement. “Consequently, the Navy began to carefully manage the issuance of PCS orders earlier this year, which resulted in shorter lead times for PCS moves.”
It’s not clear how many sailors are affected by these tighter timelines. Christensen said the Navy was prioritizing PCS moves to stay under budget, giving the highest priority to sailors moving to fill “critical gaps” at sea, individual augmentees, overseas billets, and moves for force protection, humanitarian and safety reasons.
A Defense Department official who requested anonymity to speak freely told Military.com the budget crunch was tied to a continuing resolution that the Navy and other military services had operated under until last December. The CR limited how the Navy could allocate its funds and set the conditions for the current problem.
To date, the Navy has completed planning for these top-priority moves with estimated detach dates through the end of July, Christensen said, and is now working on orders in August and further out. While the end of the fiscal year in September will mean a new defense budget and a replenished manpower account, it’s not clear how long the Navy will continue issuing PCS orders with minimal lead time.
“That’s something we’re going to have a take a look at,” Christensen said. “We just don’t have an answer to that question.”
For Navy families caught in limbo between orders, the wait can be nerve-wracking and expensive.
One military spouse whose husband was a Navy officer stationed at Camp Pendleton told Military.com her family is waiting for orders to the Netherlands so he can begin an exchange tour with the Dutch Navy.
The family remains on the West Coast, with most of their belongings in storage in anticipation of a move they’re expecting to make in August. Because they still don’t have orders, the woman said, her husband hasn’t been able to find a place for the family to live overseas. She estimates that they will have lost between $2,000 and $4,000 in out-of-pocket costs, including lost income from a job she had to quit, because of the uncertainty.
“With this situation, I’ve had to leave work months early,” she said. “If I knew what the timing was, I would have committed longer.”
Another Navy spouse, Nicole Paynter, says her family is waiting on orders from Navy Operations Support Command in Springfield, Oregon, where her husband is a unit commanding officer, to Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee. Paynter said her husband was originally supposed to start at his new post in mid-June, but now they are told the move will happen in the middle of September, with orders coming in mid-August.
The timeline was too tight to schedule military movers, so the family will be moving on their own for the first time in 18 years in the Navy. Paynter said her oldest son continued to attend high school, staying with her parents, when the family moved out to Oregon, and not having a certain return date is an additional stressor.
“The unknowing is the worst part,” she said.
Christensen said he encouraged Navy families to stay in touch with detailers and added that letters of intent will be issued for overseas moves to help dependents accomplish some tasks, such as medical screenings, security clearances, and passport applications.
The Navy is also putting together a working group of officers and enlisted leaders from around the fleet, he said, to examine ways to minimize additional impacts to sailors as the Navy “carefully navigate[s]” PCS orders until the end of the fiscal year. The goal of the working group, he said, is to allow sailors to make planned moves without further reducing lead times for orders.
“We understand that it’s hard on sailors and their families,” Christensen said.
PCS Orders Lead Times – Three Things You Need to Know
(CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL PUBLIC AFFAIRS, 22 June 16) . Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
As the peak season for permanent change-of-station (PCS) moves begins, many Sailors are awaiting orders so they and their families can proceed to their next duty stations. However, due to the current fiscal environment and budget constraints, most Sailors will have less time to plan their moves as order release timelines are compressed.
While this timeline isn’t easy on Sailors or their families, it is important for Sailors to understand why that is the case and what we are doing to improve the timeline.
Image of a family moving
What’s going on?
Due to budgetary pressures and a perennially decreased top line for Navy’s Manpower Account, we knew PCS funds would be tight toward the end of the fiscal year. Consequently, the Navy began to carefully manage the issuance of PCS orders earlier this year, which resulted in shorter lead times for PCS moves. Each year, approximately 66,000 Sailors receive operational, rotational and training orders. The Navy also moves approximately 70,000 Sailors as they are accessed, separate, retire or execute organized unit moves (for homeport changes). Traditionally, operational and rotational moves have averaged three months advance notice for the past several years. However, in some cases this summer, those timelines have been shortened to one month due to budgetary pressure.
What we’re doing?
Navy leadership understands the impact of shortened PCS timelines and the stress this causes Sailors.
As such, we have convened a working group with representatives from throughout the Fleet that are looking at a variety of measures to ensure the Navy is able to maintain current readiness, Fleet manning levels and minimize additional impacts to Sailors as we carefully navigate PCS orders for the remainder of the fiscal year.
The Navy expects the results of this working group will allow Sailors to make planned moves for the remainder of the fiscal year without further reducing orders’ lead times.
However, given the current fiscal constraints, the Navy is prioritizing PCS moves in order to remain within budget. Highest priority moves are those to fill critical gaps at sea, billets for individual augmentees, force protection, humanitarian, safety and overseas billets – they will be issued first. All other orders will be released following a sequenced move schedule to ensure the Fleet is manned properly.
We have released priority one moves (individual augmentee, immediate and OFRP deployers, numbered fleet staffs, overseas billets) and must-moves (safety, early return of dependents, humanitarian) with estimated detach dates through the end of July, and are now working on August orders and beyond.
Also, to help alleviate some pressure, Navy Personnel Command will continue to issue letters of intent for overseas moves. That way, while orders may not be in hand, individuals can start the process of doing overseas and medical screenings, dependent entry approval, passport applications and security clearance requests.
The Navy recognizes that these shortened lead times limit Sailors’ time to prepare for moves, and burdens them and their families.
Leadership is engaged at all levels to develop and implement solutions to minimize the impact to our Sailors. The focus and priority remains on manning the Fleet, and taking care of Sailors and their families.
All Eyes On Farnborough, And F-35
(DEFENSE NEWS 27 JUN 16) … Andrew Chuter
LONDON – Two years after its aborted international debut in the UK, the F-35 Lightning II is set to finally turn up in force for the upcoming Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) and the Farnborough Air Show next month.
The U.S. Defense Department and aircraft prime Lockheed Martin are making up for the no-show in 2014, which was caused by engine troubles, with as many as five jets arriving in the UK to display at the back-to-back aviation shows.
The Farnborough show is not just about the F-35 though.
Major British contract announcements involving the purchase of P-8 Orion maritime surveillance jets and Apache AH-64E attack helicopters are possible.
On the new aircraft front, Brazil’s Embraer will internationally debut it’s KC-390 jet airlifter rival to the Hercules C-130, and there may be a first appearance of the 92m long Airlander 10 airship built by Britain’s Hybrid Air Vehicles.
There’s no doubting though the F-35 will grab much of the attention.
Two U.S. Marine Corps and one British F-35B short take-off and vertical landing variant (STOVL) aircraft, alongside two U.S. Air Force F-35A versions, will display at the annual RIAT show that takes place at the Royal Air Force airfield at Fairford, southern England July 8-10.
The British currently have no requirement for the F-35A version of the jet, but the country may further down the road if it sticks to the commitment to eventually purchase 138 jets during the lifetime of the program.
The three STOVL aircraft will stay on to perform in the skies above Farnborough for the week-long trade show which gets underway July 11. They won’t be touching down at the show, however, returning instead to their temporary base at Fairford.
The F-35B’s appearance marks the first time the STOVL version of the jet has been seen outside the U.S. Local industry has a big stake in building the Lightning II and the British also have an affinity with STOVL aircraft borne out of a history with the Harrier.
Importantly too is the fact that the F-35, along with the Eurofighter Typhoon, will form the backbone of British strike capabilities for decades to come, including providing the cutting edge for two 65,000 tonne Royal Navy aircraft carriers now nearing completion at the Babock International shipyard in Scotland.
Howard Wheeldon of Wheeldon Strategic Advisory says the F-35 appearance in the UK marks a milestone for the introduction of the combat jet in British service.
“Seeing is believing and the appearance of the F-35 at RIAT and Farnborough is reminder to all those involved in the program of how close the UK is now to having this superb capability in service with the RAF and Royal Navy. It is milestone achieved and one that marks a new era for UK air power,” he said.
Farnborough’s part in a planned increase in British airpower may not just be limited to the demonstration of the F-35.
Subject to the state of post referendum politics, the show is expected to be the venue for announcement of two large Foreign Military Sales deals with the U.S. Government: firming up the purchase of Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol jet for the RAF and an order for the Apache AH-64E attack helicopters for the British Army that will replace the existing fleet of older machines.
Whatever happens on the sales front, Farnborough promises to be a big week for Boeing. The company celebrates its 100th birthday on July 15 and Farnborough is the venue for a major display showcasing Boeing’s achievements of the past and opportunities for the future.
The U.S. aerospace industry, along with British companies, will have the biggest representation at Farnborough. But China also has a large presence planned, with one of 22 international pavilions represented at the show.
China, as well as South Korea and Brazil are among those taking pavilions at the show for the first time.
Farnborough International, the show organizers, didn’t have the final flight display list available as Defense News went to press.
Whoever is on the list, it threatens to be a watered down display, particularly for high energy aircraft like the F-35: new flying restrictions were imposed in the wake of the August, 2015, crash of a vintage jet at a public air show at Shoreham on England’s south coast, which killed 11 people on a road adjacent to the aerodrome.
Farnborough’s airspace for aerobatic flying has been significantly restricted in an effort to improve safety. The changes have led to the RAF banning the Red Arrows from carrying out aerobatic maneuvers at the show and instead will limit themselves to a fly-past. Further, Some roads are being closed to people and vehicles in areas surrounding the airfield through the afternoon, so getting away from the show may be even more painful than usual.
A War Plan Against Military Budget Tricks
(BLOOMBERG VIEW 27 JUN 16) … Editorial
For the second year in a row, President Barack Obama is poised to veto Congress’s annual defense legislation. For the second year in row, he’s justified in doing so.
While the congressional approach has several problems – including a ban on transferring prisoners from Guantanamo Bay – one of the most egregious is a budgetary gimmick: The spending package approved by the House on June 11 effectively raids the military’s emergency war fund to pay for normal Pentagon operations.
The so-called Overseas Contingency Operations money is supposed to be used for the fighting in Afghanistan and the Middle East. Instead, because the money is not subject to the spending caps set by last year’s bipartisan budget deal, the House has simply reallocated $16 billion of the $60 billion fund. Some of this spending seems more about saving domestic jobs than military readiness.
Not only is the move foolhardy – the fund could run out by May 1 unless the new president makes an emergency request – but it is also unnecessary. Trimming $16 billion from the $600 billion Pentagon budget, without hurting vital military capabilities, shouldn’t be that hard.
This is not hyperbole. A few back-of-the-envelope calculations, based on such publicly available sources as the Congressional Research Service and Bloomberg Government, show how it might be done.
Canceling the House’s plan to purchase additional (and buggy) F-35 jets, as well as unnecessary F/A-18 Hornet fighters and Black Hawk helicopters, would save about $6.9 billion. Disbanding one of the Navy’s carrier-group air wings, which hasn’t deployed since 2011 and as requested by the Pentagon, would save $200 million.
Reducing personnel by about 37,000 – again as requested by the Pentagon, which has said it would allow the services to better train and equip the remaining forces – would save about $3.25 billion. Delaying and possibly canceling the purchase of two new littoral combat ships – one of the worst-managed acquisitions in military history – and slowing down the construction of other craft would save about $3.1 billion. Delaying non-urgent upgrades of Abrams tanks would save about $558 million. And putting off the repair of some dilapidated buildings on military bases – or, better yet, demolishing them – would save $2.4 billion.
That all adds up to $16.4 billion. As the House and Senate meet to reconcile their separate budget plans, they should feel free to make emendations to this list.
Of course, these sorts of short-term savings are paltry compared to long-term plans to spend $35 billion on three new supercarriers, $55 billion on a new long-range bomber, and $350 billion rebuilding the nuclear arsenal. But if Congress could at least show restraint now from dipping into the war-fighting fund, it would set a precedent for smarter decision making to save big money down the road. If lawmakers refuse, Obama should go ahead and wield his veto.
TruClip Takes Off: US Carrier Invention to be Produced on International Space Station
(USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, 20 June 2016) . Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ethan T. Miller, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs
MEDITERRANEAN SEA (NNS) — A 3D printer invention, developed by a team of Sailors assigned to Norfolk-based aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman’s (CVN 75) Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department, will be sent for production aboard the International Space Station, June 21.
The TruClip design will be transmitted to the ISS as part of the Capitol Hill Maker Faire, celebrating the White House-sponsored National Week of Making, which runs June 17-23.
“It’s an incredible feeling,” said Lt. Casey Staidl, Truman’s IM-4 division officer. “This recognition isn’t something you’d expect when you start searching for a simple solution to a common problem on board. It’s a surprise, but a good one.”
The TruClip was originally designed as a cost-effective replacement part for the ship’s handheld radio system, that could be created with a 3-D printer, and has resulted in the Navy saving more than $42,000 in the few months since its conception.
“The use of a 3-D printer has given us the ability to extend the life of our equipment when supplies are limited,” said Staidl. “We’re able to come up with our own solutions for shipboard issues.”
Additive manufacturing projects, such as the TruClip, represent a new resource for the Navy to produce replacement parts and find creative solutions for challenges faced while at sea. Truman’s 3-D printing lab has also designed pieces for hoses used by the on board anesthesiologist, new oil funnels, deck drains, and switch covers, and provides immediate on board solutions to everyday issues.
Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.
Space Shot: Navy 3D Printed Part Delivered to International Space Station
(24-7 PRESS RELEASE.COM, 23 June 16)
WASHINGTON, DC, June 23, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ — The Department of the Navy and members of the Congressional Maker Caucus made history on June 21, sending the digital file for a part designed by three Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) to ultimately print on the International Space Station’s 3D printer. This “virtual part delivery” marks the first time a Department of Defense-generated part has been transmitted for printing in space, and the first time a Sailor-designed, 3D printed operational solution has been shared with outside government agencies via digital data transfer.
The part, called the Hydra Clip or “Tru-Clip,” was designed by Aviation Electronics Technician Ashley Figert, Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Jerrod Jenkins, and Lt. Casey Staidl in Dec 2016 and originally printed on an ABS thermoplastic polymer “3D printer” aboard the carrier. The Tru-Clip addresses a design issue with handheld radios, reinforcing the structure of radio antennas that tend to break while underway and saving the ship over $42,000 in radio repair costs.
Following brief remarks by Vice Adm. Phil Cullom (Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics) congressmen Mark Takano (D-CA) and Tim Ryan (D-OH), the speakers jointly pressed a large red button labeled, “Make in Space,” which initiated the upload of the file. Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), Lt. General Michael Dana (Deputy Commandant, Installations and Logistics), Mr. Donald McCormack (Executive Director, Naval Surface and Undersea Warfare Centers), and Andrew Rush, CEO of Made in Space, Inc., also participated. The file transfer was graphically depicted in real time on a flat screen monitor, which confirmed delivery to the ISS within approximately two minutes. The part printed successfully on the ISS printer later that evening.
“This demonstration illustrates the power of the digital thread, and is the beginning of our future capability to manufacture mission-critical parts at the point of need–whether ashore, afloat, under the sea, or in space,” said Vice Adm. Cullom. “This is one small step for Navy, and one giant leap for all of us.”
“[This effort] demonstrates deckplate innovation and the creative power of our Navy team. We can, and will, rewrite the supply chain.”
The event took place as part of the 2nd annual Capitol Hill Maker Faire, a series of panel discussions and exhibits that help inform Congress and the public about additive manufacturing concepts and technology developed by students, academia, government agencies, and the private sector, with the intent of bringing manufacturing back to America.
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Nov. 27, 2015) Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class A. Figert uses a 3-D printer aboard aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is deployed to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class B. Siens/Released)
WASHINGTON (June 21, 2016) U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Philip Cullom, Deputy CNO for Fleet Readiness and Logistics, and members of congress, press the button that will send a supply part file to be printed in space, during the Capitol Hill Maker Faire in Washington, D.C. The fair showcased robotics, drones, 3D printing and printed art. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cyrus Roson/Released)
Image 3: Attached
IN SPACE (June 22, 2016) A 3D printer creates a supply part, designed by Sailors from the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), onboard the International Space Station. The digital file for the part was transferred to the space station during the Capitol Hill Maker Faire in Washington, D.C.
Image 4: Attached
Astronaut Jeff Williams, International Space Station Expedition 48 Commander, works on a pair of U.S. spacesuits inside the Quest airlock.
Credit: NASA TV
BAE, Northrop Partner With UK Agency For F-35 Bid
(DEFENSE NEWS 29 JUN 16) … Andrew Chuter
LONDON – Two of the principle companies involved in developing the F-35 Lightning II strike jet have teamed with a British state-owned components repair operation in a bid to secure a significant long-term deal to become the avionics sustainment hub for the aircraft in Europe.
A team involving BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman and the Defence Electronics and Components Agency (DECA) are expected to submit a proposal to the F-35 Joint Program Office in August to secure one of the region’s key support contracts for the aircraft, said executives familiar with the program.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed the involvement of BAE and Northrop Grumman but declined to say anything about whether DECA would have a role.
“BAE and Northrop Grumman, along with other industry partners, have been assisting the UK MoD in developing a solution for the provision of F-35 maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade services. However, at this stage, we cannot discuss the makeup of the bid, as to do so could undermine our position in the down-select process,” a ministry spokesman said in a statement.
DECA’s involvement is, in essence, mandated due to US government insistence that some avionics repairs on the jet here are only undertaken by UK government employees.
“The fact is some repairs will be ring-fenced between industry and government,” according to an executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “That is the basis on which the aircraft has been bought.”
The MoD spokesman did not respond to a question about whether there is a government-eyes-only lock on the repair and overhaul of certain F-35 avionics.
Based at Sealand, northern Wales, DECA supports Tornado strike jets and Chinook helicopters for the British military.
The agency was formed last year when the government opted not to privatize the business as part of the sale of the Defence Support Group to Babcock International.
BAE confirmed it is part of the team working the sustainment center proposal, but Northrop Grumman referred inquiries to the MoD.
Executives here said other teams in Europe were also forming to bid for the work. Italy is likely to be among the country’s putting forward proposals, they said.
Britain’s interest in hosting the European avionics repair center was first revealed by the UK’s defense procurement minister, Philip Dunne, during a visit to the US earlier this year, but the makeup of the industrial team behind the proposal was not released.
News of the makeup of the British team comes ahead of the F-35 jet’s appearance next month at the Royal International Air Tattoo and the Farnborough air show.
The executive said the value of the avionics repair deal depends on the eventual size of the F-35 fleet in Europe but that revenues could be measured in “hundreds of millions of dollars a year.”
“It’s a significant work package and an important part of the framework of the global support program [being introduced for the F-35],” the executive said.
Britain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Turkey and Italy have ordered the jet while nations like Belgium, Finland and Spain could eventually add their names to the customer list.
Italy, Turkey, Norway and the Netherlands have already secured either airframe or engine support contracts as part of the European element of the global support program being implemented by the US.
The Italians also have an F-35 final assembly and checkout line operating at the Cameri Air Base in northern Italy as part of their industrial effort.
Aside from prime contractor Lockheed Martin, BAE and Northrop Grumman are the two largest contractors in the F-35 program.
It’s not clear what avionics are involved in the repair proposal but industry executives here said they would be major, high-value components.
Northrop Grumman supplies a range of key systems including the radar , electro-optical and communications subsystems as well as the communications, navigation and identification avionics and other systems.
BAE’s involvement is likely to center on the company’s logistics management and fleet-support expertise gained from supporting Royal Air Force Typhoon, Tornado and Hawk jets.
Europe’s largest defense player already has a substantial stake in the F-35 program producing the aft fuselage in the UK and key electronic warfare and systems at its US operations.
In April, the company secured a £114 million (US $152 million) deal from Lockheed Martin to build F-35 maintenance, logistics and training facilities at RAF Marham, the base earmarked to be the home of the British Lightning II.
The detailed arrangements relating to who exactly undertakes the maintenance and other work at Marham still has to be hammered out.