FRCSW/COMFRC Top News Clips – Week of October 11, 2016

Teammates,

 

Attached and below are the COMFRC/AIR 6.0 Top Clips for the week Of Oct. 11. Also, please join me in wishing the U.S. Navy a Happy 241st Birthday!

 

LOCAL COVERAGE

FRCSW Shop Saves Navy Thousands in Tooling Costs

NADP provides veterans with second careers

 

WORLD/NATIONAL NEWS

McCain agrees to drop veterans hiring preference changes from NDAA

Navy COOL Unveils New Credentialing Program for DON Civilians

Rear Adm. Manazir Speaks On Allied Force Transformation, A2AD

DoN Grapples With Need For Rapid Prototyping Amid Congressional Concerns

Election could bring big changes to the Senate Armed Services Committee

Iwo Jima’s top enlisted says crew is ready for Haiti relief mission

Ford Carrier Problems Worse Than LCS: Navy Secretary Mabus

Mabus: Actions ‘Assure that Our Navy Has Never Been Stronger’

 

 

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CNO’s 241st Navy Birthday Message

 

Team, we’re all proud of our Navy’s 241 years of history and heritage. From 1775 to today, our Navy, with our Marine Corps teammates, has protected America from attack, and preserved our influence in key regions around the world. At and from the sea, we have enhanced safety, security and stability, which has led to American prosperity.

 

To succeed in today’s super-complex environment we must be the force that provides our national leadership with thoughtful solutions to tough problems.

 

We must represent our Navy and our Nation with pride and professionalism. We must look to our core attributes of Integrity, Accountability, Initiative and Toughness as our guide to living by our core values.

 

Dana and I are proud of each Sailor, civilian and family member. We are blessed to be part of the Navy team. Happy Birthday, Shipmates!

 

– Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson

 

 

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LOCAL COVERAGE

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FRCSW Shop Saves Navy Thousands in Tooling Costs

(FLEET READINESS CENTER SOUTHWEST, 07 Oct 16) . Fleet Readiness Center Southwest Public Affairs

 

NAVAL AIR STATION NORTH ISLAND – Would you want to pay $200 to replace one drill bit or $500 for a new reamer? No? The Navy doesn’t want to either.

 

Many of the artisans at Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) routinely use a variety of drill bits, reamers and cutting tools in the course of their work.

 

Instead of replacing these tools as they become dull or buying new ones vice modifying to a specific task, FRCSW turns to toolmakers Luis Quiambao and Henrico Fulgencio in the cutter and tool grinder shop in Building 379 for sharpening and adapting the command’s tools to meet the artisans’ needs.

 

A department of the command’s jig and fixture shop, the cutter and tool grinder shop is a sprawling area containing about a dozen grinding and milling machines where Quiambao and Fulgencio handle 200 to 500 tools quarterly.

 

“Both of us were machinist repairmen while serving in the Navy. We had been to Machinery Repairman ‘C’ School, grinding school, and we were able to revive this shop and start accepting jobs from different production shops here,” Quiambao said.

 

Both toolmakers were previously assigned to the production shop in Building 94, repairing F/A-18 Hornet wings. Quiambao left in December 2014 and Fulgencio joined him in the cutter and tool grinder shop this past January.

 

“In the wing shop you could be told that you need to work from a half inch to five thousandths or until you remove enough corrosion from the surface so a new bushing could be installed. Since you don’t have that exact size of reamer, you would send them to this shop for modification to a new dimension specified by engineers,” Quiambao said.

 

In grinding reamers and cutters the work is typically within ½ of a thousandth tolerance; the thickness of copier paper is roughly 4 thousandths of an inch.

 

The shop recently completed work on 87 reamers for FRCSW Site Yuma, Fulgencio noted.

 

Another recurring customer is the production shop in Building 472 that consistently requests sharpening of milling cutters. Milling cutters are tools normally used in milling machines that remove material by movement within the machine. The production shop’s handheld teardrop cutters that are used to cut finished machining metals are also routinely modified.

 

“We can get an urgent request for a two or three day turnaround time. I have an urgent call now from FRCSW Site Camp Pendleton for a reamer to fix a helicopter panel. For modifying reamers we use about four different machines, one step at a time. We have each machine setup to cut a certain way so we don’t have to re-set for each step,” Quiambao said.

 

“Before, these were contracted out for sharpening. But Louis noticed that the company that sharpened the reamer did it at the wrong angle, which is why it wouldn’t cut properly. So the command decided to save money and bought the diamond wheels and started having us provide that sharpening service,” Fulgencio said.

 

The F/A-18 canopy shop in Building 250 routinely sends its one-pass drill bits to the shop for sharpening and adjustment. The bits, made of carbide, are solely used by artisans to ream holes in the Hornet canopies.

 

In addition to carbide, the shop also modifies and sharpens tools and bits made of high speed steel and cobalt, saving FRCSW tens of thousands of dollars annually in replacement costs.

 

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.NAVAIRNewsStory&id=6380

 

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NADP provides veterans with second careers

(NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, 06 Oct 16) . Naval Air Systems Command Air-6.0 Public Affairs

 

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — Eight logistics management specialists graduated from the Navy Acquisition Development Program (NADP) in a ceremony Sept. 29 at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Logistics and Industrial Operations (AIR 6.0) Complex, Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland, launching their new careers.

 

AIR 6.0 Deputy Assistant Commander Todd Balazs, who emceed the event, told the graduates that as much as they have learned from the co-workers and mentors, the NAVAIR workforce also learned from them.   “All of the graduates here have prior military experience,” he said.  “Before you entered the program two years ago, you already had developed leadership skills and passion for supporting the warfighter.  You brought and shared your unique perspective with our workforce.”

 

One of seven graduates recruited to the program through the NAVAIR Wounded Warrior program, Dwight Laushaw said NADP offered him the flexibility to see what his 32 years working supply in the Marine Corps could bring to logistics. “I took advantage of every rotation because I wanted to learn about the Navy and see how it does things,” he said.  “NADP allowed me to grow, train and meet other Wounded Warriors.”

 

Retired Navy aircraft controller Christopher League said that before NADP, he had only viewed the process as an end user. “Before, I didn’t know how in depth it was. This was a great program to learn through experience,” he said.

 

Mario Haddad, also recruited through the Wounded Warrior program while living in Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, credited NADP with giving him a second opportunity to contribute the nation’s defense. “How the Navy and Marine Corps handle logistics are completely different than the Army,” the former supply specialist said.  “I got to learn from the experts. I want to thank everyone for believing in me.  That confidence is what motivated me to continue to serve.”

 

In the next phase of their careers, Balazs said, new graduates should strive to nurture current relationships, build up their networks and seek additional mentors to guide them through their careers. “You will find out that you will cross paths with those whom you have worked with previously,” he said.  “Those connections will always be needed and should be maintained.”

 

Capt. Timothy Pfannenstein, AIR 6.0 executive director, advised graduates to always keep the importance of their work in focus, especially as they go through difficult times throughout their career. “Capability comes from NAVAIR.  If it is not right here, the fleet can’t do it out there, either,” he said.  “Lives depend on what you do.”

 

Laushaw, League and Haddad are assigned to Industrial and Logistics Maintenance Planning/Sustainment Department (AIR 6.7) at the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office (JPO); the Logistics Management Integration Department (AIR 6.6) with the Small Tactical Unmanned Air Systems Program Office (PMA-263); and the Logistics Management Integration Department (AIR 6.6) in the Foreign Military Sales Office, respectively.

 

Jo Hartso-Pretty, Jay Lindsay, Calvin Mack and Doug Olson were also in the graduating class. Hartso-Pretty is assigned to AIR 6.7 in the F-35 Lightning II JPO and Mack is assigned to the Logistics Production Data Division (AIR 6.8.5) for the MQ-4C Triton. Both Olson and Lindsay will work in Logistics and Maintenance Information Systems and Technology Division (AIR 6.8.4).

 

Sandra German-Vasquez graduated as an associate and will be working in the Logistics Management Integration Department with the Tactical Airlift, Adversary, and Support Aircraft Program Office (PMA-207).

 

NADP is a management program that trains and develops future Department of the Navy leadership for up to three years in the areas of finance, contracting, logistics, science and engineering. Current civilian employees can participate in NADP’s professional development track as associates.

 

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.NAVAIRNewsStory&id=6377

 

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WORLD/NATIONAL NEWS

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McCain agrees to drop veterans hiring preference changes from NDAA

(MILITARY TIMES, 06 OCT 16) . Leo Shane III

 

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain told veterans groups this week that he’ll oppose controversial plans to limit federal hiring preferences for individuals with military experience, an advantage advocates argue is critical in helping them find employment.

 

Earlier this year, House lawmakers approved a draft of the annual defense authorization bill which included limiting veterans preference in federal hiring procedures to a one-time use. Veterans who applied for a second federal job or a transfer from their first position would be evaluated by hiring officials as just another civilian federal worker under the plan.

 

In a letter to the American Legion, McCain — Arizona’s senior Republican senator — said given the opposition from their leadership and other veterans groups, he will work to remove the provision from the final draft of the authorization bill.

 

His opposition doesn’t guarantee the death of the proposal, but it comes close. The proposal already rankled numerous lawmakers, and McCain’s role as the Senate’s lead negotiator on the legislation gives him significant influence over the final compromise legislation.

 

Veterans make up almost a third of the federal workforce, up significantly from the 26 percent they totaled in fiscal 2009.

 

Critics of the veterans preference policy — which include some officials at the Department of Defense — have argued that the hiring advantage is too generous, all but eliminating applicants without military experience from some federal posts.

 

But the White House and Congress in recent years have pushed veterans employment as a top priority, and said government agencies should set an example in hiring highly skilled, highly desirable veteran candidates.

 

The authorization bill, which sets a host of military policy and spending priorities, has been stalled in negotiations between House and Senate officials since August. But leaders from both chambers have said they are still confident a compromise can be reached when lawmakers return to Capitol Hill after the November elections.

 

http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/mccain-veterans-hiring-preference-ndaa

 

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Navy COOL Unveils New Credentialing Program for DON Civilians

(NAVY.MIL, 04 OCT 16) . Petty Officer 3rd Class Taylor L. Jackson, Center for Information Warfare Training Public Affairs

 

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) — Department of the Navy (DON) Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) launched a new website aimed at providing certification opportunities for DON civilian employees, Oct. 3.

 

Just like Navy COOL for Sailors, DON Civilian COOL is a resource tool, mapping certifications and licensure based on formal training and on-the-job experience. The DON COOL website portal at http://www.cool.navy.mil/ now has a site specifically for civilians that is searchable by federal occupation code or title.

 

“Our intention, since Navy COOL’s inception, has always been to eventually include DON civilians,” said Michael Talley, assistant program director for Navy COOL. Navy COOL has helped more than 52,000 Sailors obtain civilian credentialing, which can contribute to career development while on active duty and when a Sailor joins the civilian workforce, possibly even as a federal employee.

 

DON Civilian COOL was developed in partnership with U.S. Fleet Forces Command and is the first of its kind for DOD civilians.

 

The initial group of 37 federal civilian occupations includes fields such as information technology, human resources, administrative, financial, engineering, education, legal, supply and security careers. It also has information for the cyber security workforce.

 

Keith Boring, program director for Navy COOL, said his team plans to continue connecting credentialing prospects for more DON civilian occupations by updating the program at regular intervals.

 

“Civilian COOL provides an expanded opportunity for DON personnel to pursue personal and professional development,” said Boring. “This program sets the foundation for all the other branches of service to offer credential opportunities for their civilian employees.”

 

Navy employees will find explanations for the different types of credentials and the four-step credentialing process, including costs and possible avenues for funding. DON Civilian COOL does not provide funding for costs associated with initial credential attainment and maintaining and renewing the credential.

 

Navy COOL may only fund application fees, exam fees and annual maintenance fees for DON civilians in the Navy’s Cyberspace Information Technology/Cyber Security Workforce. For most employees, some costs may be funded by the Navy if an employee’s command approves and budgets for it. In other cases, veterans eligible for the GI Bill may tap into that resource.

 

The DON COOL program is part of a joint-service initiative to promote civilian credentialing opportunities for military service members and civilian employees. DON COOL reflects the Navy’s ongoing commitment to Sailors, Marines and civilians in providing world-class training, experience and opportunities that will serve them well, whether during active-duty, federal service or post-service civilian careers.

 

For more information about DON Civilian COOL, visit http://www.cool.navy.mil/dciv/ and for DON COOL, visit http://www.cool.navy.mil/.

 

Navy COOL is located with the Center for Information Warfare Training, which delivers trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services, enabling optimal performance of information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.

 

For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.

 

For more news from the Center for Information Warfare Training organization, visit www.navy.mil/local/cid/, www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT

 

http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=97018

 

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Rear Adm. Manazir Speaks On Allied Force Transformation, A2AD

(BREAKING DEFENSE 11 Oct 16) … Robbin Laird and Ed Timperlake

 

Recently, Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson drove home the point that using the term Anti-Access Area Denial (A2AD), was too vague as to be useful to define the effort of US and allied forces to deal with peer competitors.

 

“The term ‘denial,’ as in anti-access/area denial is too often taken as a fait accompli,” the CNO said, “when it is, more accurately, an aspiration. Often, I get into A2AD discussions accompanied by maps with red arcs extending off the coastlines of countries like China or Iran. The images imply that any military force that enters the red area faces certain defeat – it’s a ‘no-go’ zone!”

 

But for the CNO not only does A2AD ascribe capabilities to peer competitors that are not demonstrated, but the term suggests an outcome when in fact U.S. and allied forces are being shaped to operate very differently than in the period of the dominance of the land wars.

 

Richardson is focused as well on the reshaping of the maritime forces to operate in a much more effective manner throughout an extended battlespace. The CNO has crafted a concept which he calls kill webs to describe the way ahead for the maritime and joint force.

 

We recently discussed the evolving approach to this issue with one of the senior Naval officers charged with translating the approach into combat reality, namely Rear Adm. Michael Manazir, deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems (OPNAV N9). He is responsible for the integration of manpower, training, sustainment, modernization and procurement of the Navy’s warfare systems.

 

It is clear that both the Air Force, the Navy and Marine Corps team are focused on shaping the force for the high-end fight against peer competitors. The Army’s main contribution in such considerations is the expanding and evolving role of Army Air Defense and Missile Defense systems. But in so doing, the focus is upon shaping a modular, agile force, which can operate across the spectrum of military operations; not just be honed simply for the high-end fight. It is about shaping multi-mission and multi-tasking platforms into an integrated force, which can deliver lethal and non-lethal effects throughout the distributed battlespace.

 

Recently, the new Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. David Goldfein, underscored that preparing for the high-end fight was a moral imperative. Given similar language and statements by the Chief of Naval Operations, this raises the question of the evolving working relationship between the Air Force and the Navy and Marine Corps Team.

“We are working closely with General Goldfein through various service interaction groups; most effectively at the highly classified level,” Manazir told us. “The core commonality between the two is that both are expeditionary services. When we get into the battle area, Air Force assets can strike, reset, and strike again.

 

Naval forces operating in the maritime domain provide persistence. If you combine Air Force and Naval combat capabilities you have a winning combination. If you architect the joint force together, you achieve a great effect.”

 

A key focus for the changes needed is the kind of command and control for a distributed force to ensure decision-making superiority. The hierarchical CAOC (Combined Air and Space Operations Center) is an aging artifact of nearly 16 years of ground war which assumes the US and the allies had complete air superiority.

 

Dealing with peer competitors and drawing upon the assets in a distributed approach requires different force configuration, training and operational foci.

 

Manazir underscored that, “C2 is ubiquitous across the kill web. Where is information being processed? Where is knowledge being gained? Where is the human in the loop? Where can core C2 decisions best be made and what will they look like in the fluid battlespace? The key task is to create decision superiority. But what is the best way to achieve that in the fluid battlespace we will continue to operate in? What equipment and what systems allow me to ensure decision superiority?”

 

As the technology changes and as the force becomes more effectively in the extended battlespace changes are necessary to shape appropriate rules of engagement for the distributed force. “The rules of engagement (ROE) need to keep up with the technology,” the admiral said. “An F-35 is going to have electronic means that can affect somebody a long way away. We didn’t have those electronic means before, and so the ROE should be able to allow us to employ weapons based on the technology that we have.”

 

One of the key aspects of changes involves weapons in the kill web. Target identification and weapons delivery will not be necessarily located on the same platform. Indeed, the ability to deliver lethal effect in the electro-magnetic battlespace will be distributed throughout the kill web. Weapons are distributed throughout the kill web and can be fired by platforms also operating throughout the kill web capable of firing weapons not carried by that platform.

 

Distributed strike will become increasingly significant as well as weapons modernization accelerates and the problem of providing new capabilities to the force, a force that is distributed in operations.

 

A new capability already in the fleet but whose future has just begun are directed energy weapons. As Manazir put it: “directed energy weapons are part of our overall transformation in the weapons enterprise. Directed energy weapons are fifth generation weapons. Directed energy weapons, coupled with other new types of weapons, are critical to empowering a distributed force.”

 

Put simply, the 30-kilowatt laser on USS Ponce works right now. But the overall approach is to build from deployed capabilities to more optimal directed energy weapons. Manazir outlined the Navy’ strategy: “In order to have the higher-end kinetic effect, you have to have the space for the weight of the laser itself, the power for it, and then the cooling-wherever the source.

 

“Obviously, with a ship in the water, you have an unlimited source of cooling water. Then, in order to have a very, very deep magazine for a laser shot, you either have to have a constant source of fairly high electrical power, or you have to have a very large battery. We are not waiting until we have what many see as the ultimate goal, a one-megawatt laser weapon; we would like to build capability incrementally.

 

“Over time we will be able to field higher and higher power laser weapons. It is about putting it into the fleet and evolving the capability; it is not about waiting until we have the optimal weapon. We need not just the weapon, but the training and the tactics shaped by the fleet to provide inputs to how best to integrate the capability into the force.”

 

Manazir outlined some of these ideas in a recent presentation at the Williams Foundation Seminar on air-sea integration held in Canberra on August 10. With the Aussies and Brits participating, it was clear these core allies share that the Navy’s focus on kill webs as well. Manazir underscored the importance of the allied-US engagement in force transformation in our interview.

 

“In effect, when we can operate together in this new environment and work from the same page, we can support core allies or allies can support us in the battlespace,” he said. “We can function as each other’s wingman. We are moving from a platform-centric mindset to a capability-centric mindset.”

 

The entire kill web approach affects the modernization and acquisition of platforms as well as the high-end training necessary to shape an integrated force.

 

According to Rear Admiral Manazir, the Navy is focused on innovations in the man-machine interactive capabilities. By so doing, the Navy is focused on leveraging the interactive capabilities of manned and unmanned systems as well as kinetic and non-kinetic ones. In the famous OODA loop the focus is upon finding ways for the machine to work more effectively in delivering the OO part of the OODA loop and innovating in how the combat warriors then can make decisions in the extended battlespace.

 

According to Rear Admiral Manazir: “The key is continually evolving combinations of capabilities that enhance the defensive and offensive power of the platforms that you put into the kill web. We are very focused on the evolving man-machine relationship, and the ability of manned and unmanned systems, as well as kinetic and non-kinetic systems, to deliver a broader spectrum of capability to the force.

 

“We are aiming to use the machine for the OO (Observe-Orient) part of the OODA (Observe-Orient-Decide-Act) Loop and optimize our human capabilities to do the DA (Decide-Act). Fighter pilots have always been “thinking aviators” but we are adjusting what we expect from them as they become key nodes and crucial enablers in the kill web. Becoming a Top Gun pilot in this world will be quite different than in the legacy one,” Manazir said.

 

Rear Adm. Manazir Speaks On Allied Force Transformation, A2AD

 

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DoN Grapples With Need For Rapid Prototyping Amid Congressional Concerns

(USNI News, 07 Oct 16) . Megan Eckstein

 

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. – The Department of the Navy is working with Congress to gain support and trust for prototyping and rapid fielding efforts that help the military keep up with evolving technologies and threats while balancing lawmakers’ need for oversight, the Navy’s acquisition chief told USNI News.

 

The Navy and Marine Corps have both launched innovation campaigns to identify and address areas where the services can invest in technologies – sometimes commercial off-the-shelf products, sometimes products used elsewhere in the U.S. or foreign militaries – to improve warfighter effectiveness.

 

And yet, lawmakers have seemed uneasy. This spring a Defense Department reprogramming request – which allows funding to be moved from its original line item into others mid-year, with the approval of the House and Senate armed services committees and defense appropriations subcommittees – was denied. According to documents obtained by USNI News, the House and Senate appropriators denied the request to move $10.2 million into an Advanced Combat Systems Technology budget line in the Navy’s research, development, test and evaluation account.

 

That money would have paid for “rapid prototype development and experimentation in FY 2016 to transition technology solutions into products that address recently identified emerging warfighting capability needs as defined by the fleet, operational commands, and to include the newly established Naval Warfighting Development Centers,” according to the reprogramming request document. Specifically, $8.7 million would go to developing unmanned aerial vehicles that can perform “long range, persistent Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance – Targeting (ISR-T) and strike” missions for a Surface Action Group, with electronic warfare payloads mentioned in the program description. The other $2 million would develop a “low-cost high-speed precision mortar capability with significantly increased range.”

 

The Marine Corps’ Assistant Deputy Commandant for Resources Edward Gardiner last week at the Modern Day Marine exposition expressed his frustration in the inability to get money moved around in the year of execution.

 

“The Congress is getting more and more difficult to deal with in the year of execution. For example, the Department of the Navy sent over a $600, $700 million reprogramming request; a substantial amount of that was not approved out of the committees just because it’s a more contentious environment,” he told a group of most industry representatives.

 

“So if you come to us with good ideas of what you want to do and you need to do it right now, there’s only so much we can do. I’ve got less money lying around that we can put up on a reprogramming to send to the Congress, and the chances of it getting through the Congress are even less. So we can’t really rely on that anymore. We’ll do it for the commandant’s top priorities, but it will take a lot of resources and time away from the leaders of the Marine Corps to get that through. So for the 50 other great ideas that are out there, I don’t have the resources or the capital to be able to bring that home in the year of execution.”

 

Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Sean Stackley told USNI News on Thursday that he has engaged with lawmakers to help explain not only the need for flexible funding for prototyping efforts and the need for rapid fielding in some cases, but also how lawmakers can maintain an oversight role outside of the traditional acquisition process.

 

“We’re spending a lot of time working across the four committees to try to give them clear understanding of what our strategy is and, as specific to the extent we can . provide specifics on these rapid prototype-type projects, because the first go out of the shoot with the budget, they saw the line items, they saw the request, they didn’t fully understand what’s inside of it,” he said of the reprogramming request.

 

“So we’ve been spending time with them to explain: here’s what’s inside of it; here are the types of projects that we have cued up that come from the fleet, that they have identified as these are important, urgent; and that we would look to go ahead and press forward first with prototyping to understand what the solution is.”

 

Stackley said that explaining what was in the reprogramming package was step one, as a short-term fix. Step two, to ensure future success when requesting rapid prototyping funding, “is ensuring that they have the degree of visibility and ability to perform their responsibilities as it relates to oversight. And so we want them to understand the process that we’re using, for identifying and prioritizing the needs, these needs that we want to move out on. And not just the process: how do they then monitor that process so they can see how we’re selecting, but equally important, how we’re executing the funds that they entrust with us.”

 

Lawmakers – led by Houser Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) – began a push for acquisition reform in 2014 with an eye towards simplifying the normal acquisition process to help design, test and field new systems more quickly and cheaply. Still, the military services working entirely outside that traditional acquisition system has caused some unease.

 

Stackley made clear that the Navy is not trying to use the guise of rapid prototyping to buy major systems. Instead, it’s helped the Navy and Marine Corps buy quadcopters, tablets, 3D printers and other technologies to begin to understand how they could help change the way warfighters operate.

 

“We’re talking about taking emerging needs and getting those requirements into the hands of our labs, our warfare centers, our engineers, our scientists and industry to start to identify what the technical solution is, what the fix is that will fill the need, so that we can cut time out of the equation.”

 

The executive and legislative branch will have to agree upon some way to budget money for these prototyping efforts, some of which may not have surfaced as requirements during the months lawmakers and service officials are hammering out a final budget. Stackley noted that relying on mid-year reprogramming requests to fund prototyping efforts as they’re identified would be untenable.

 

“You don’t want to have to rely on the reprogramming process to deal with urgent types of requirements. It’s not a reliable process – and I say not reliable, you can’t count on it and it’s not necessarily timely,” he said.

“And if you don’t have the ability to count on it and it is not timely, then everything that you’re trying to do in terms of increasing your speed (for fielding technology) is defeated.”

 

Stackley highlighted the need to get technology development right, in a speech to the Marine Corps Association on Thursday night. He called the new Marine Corps Operating Concept a “call to arms” to develop “those next-generation capabilities that are critical to supporting the operating concept, and we need to do so with a sense of urgency unlike the pattern we are so familiar with as we develop today’s large weapons systems.” While impossible to predict what the next fight would be, he said it would be important to invest in technological superiority in intelligence-collecting, information warfare, air dominance, sea control, logistics and the ability to maneuver in blue water or the littorals.

 

https://news.usni.org/2016/10/07/don-grapples-with-need-for-rapid-prototyping-amid-congressional-concerns

 

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Election could bring big changes to the Senate Armed Services Committee

(WASHINGTON EXAMINER, 12 Oct 16) . Jacqueline Klimas

 

Four members of the Senate Armed Services Committee will be on the ballot in November, some in tight races that could see the committee’s membership, and priorities, shift.

 

In addition to Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the other three up for re-election are Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Richard Blumenthal D-Conn.

 

McCain’s fate on Election Day likely has the most influence over the future of the committee, since he wields the committee’s gavel, sets its hearing schedule, and invites witnesses to testify. His race against Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., is rated “likely R” by the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. A RealClearPolitics average of the polls puts McCain ahead by more than 13 points.

 

Ultimately, not having McCain at the helm of the committee would not necessarily change the broad priorities of making sure the military is ready to meet the threats it faces, but could mean a significant shift in tone without McCain’s big personality and confrontations with the Pentagon, experts say.

 

If Republicans maintain control of the Senate, but McCain loses, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., would be “the favorite” to take over as chairman, said Justin Johnson, an analyst with the Heritage Foundation. Inhofe has served as the committee’s ranking member when Democrats were in the majority and is still a senior member on the committee.

 

“He would certainly have at least a different style to Sen. McCain,” Johnson said. “He’d be more collaborative with the Pentagon, less of a headline driver perhaps. At the biggest level, there would still be similar priorities in terms of changing the budget trajectory, focusing on current conflicts and what we need to do to win them and conclude them successfully.”

 

Roger Zakheim, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said he thinks McCain will keep his seat. But even so, Democrats regaining control of the Senate means McCain could still lose his chairmanship.

 

In that case, Ranking Member Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., would likely take over as chair, according to Zakheim, who is also a partner at Covington and Burling.

 

Both analysts agreed that Reed’s leadership style would differ drastically from McCain’s.

 

“It would definitely be a dramatic change in style of committee leadership. McCain is just a uniquely powerful personality, whereas I think Sen. Reed is a little bit quieter, a little bit more deliberative in his approach to things,” Johnson said.

 

A leadership change would also mean a change in some priorities. Democrats and Republicans agree defense budgets need to increase, but McCain has pushed for higher military spending alone while Reed, and most Democrats, want nondefense spending increased to match any boost in defense funding. How the committee tackles the next budget could depend on which party is in charge, Zakheim said.

 

McCain has also placed a heavy emphasis on reform, including changing the acquisition system and the organizational structure of the military created thirty years ago by Goldwater-Nichols. But Johnson said that, while some reform efforts will likely continue under whoever is chair, it won’t be at the top of the priority list for whoever takes over next.

 

“I would expect the aggressiveness of them to ramp down under basically anyone other than McCain,” he said. “There’d still be reform efforts, whether acquisition or personnel, they’d still be in the mix just not quite as aggressively or as high a priority.”

 

Other members are also at risk. Whether Ayotte returns to the Senate is a toss-up, according to experts, and a RealClearPolitics average of polls puts the incumbent senator only 1.6 points ahead of Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan.

 

Ayotte has been a vocal advocate on the committee for several key issues, such as keeping the detention center at Guantanamo Bay open and keeping the Air Force’s A-10s flying, despite efforts by the service to retire the planes.

 

The New Hampshire senator’s absence from the committee would be a loss “felt across the board,” but on the Gitmo fight, Johnson said he predicted other senators would jump in to keep pushing the issue. On the retirement of the A-10s, however, the loss of both McCain and Ayotte could allow the service an opening to begin taking the planes out of service.

 

“If you were to lose Sen. McCain and Ayotte, two of the strongest voices in the Senate on the A-10 issue, that could certainly put the issue back in play in the Senate next year if the Air Force were to propose retiring them once again,” Johnson said.

 

The Air Force has tried for several years to retire the A-10s, saying it needs to free up those resources to begin bringing the Lockheed Martin F-35 online. But lawmakers have prevented it because it is roundly considering the best aircraft for close-air support. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., and a former A-10 pilot, has been the most vocal ally of keeping the planes flying in the House.

 

McCain has also spent much energy criticizing performance and cost overruns of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program and the Gerald R. Ford-class of aircraft carriers.

 

Supporting Donald Trump has hurt both McCain and Ayotte in their re-election bids, but a leaked video of the GOP nominee making lewd remarks about women prompted both senators to revoke their endorsement of Trump.

 

“I’m a mom and an American first, and I cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women,” Ayotte said in a statement.

 

It’s unclear how distancing themselves from Trump will impact the outcome of the election. Ayotte said she will write in the name of Trump’s vice president, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, and McCain suggested on Tuesday that he would write in Sen. Lindsey Graham, another long-time Senate Armed Services Committee member and close friend of McCain.

 

If McCain and Ayotte do not return to Washington, it could open a space for new members to become more powerful players in terms of national defense, including two recently-elected members who are also veterans: Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa.

 

“Ernst is probably the top contender for stepping up more into the spotlight,” Johnson said.

 

Two of the committee members up for reelection are almost certainly returning to Congress in 2017. Lee’s race in Utah is rated safely Republican and one poll has him leading his opponent by 30 points.

 

Blumenthal, the only Democrat on the committee up for reelection, is also likely to keep his seat. Both the Center for Politics and RealClearPolitics rate the race as safely Democratic with Blumenthal 21 points ahead of his opponent, according to one poll.

 

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/election-may-bring-changes-to-senate-armed-services-committee/article/2604311?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Early%20Bird%20Brief%2010.12.2016&utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Military%20-%20Early%20Bird%20Brief

 

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Iwo Jima’s top enlisted says crew is ready for Haiti relief mission

(NAVY TIMES, 12 Oct 16) . David B. Larter

 

ATLANTIC OCEAN, ABOARD THE AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIP IWO JIMA – This gator flattop wasn’t planning on getting underway last Wednesday from its Mayport, Florida,nea homeport. Then Hurricane Matthew swirled towards Haiti and the East Coast, the storm’s path becoming more menacing just as the ship sortied on Oct. 5.

 

The state of Florida issued mandatory evacuation orders for the area the amphibious assault ship calls home. As the crew members’ families prepped for the storm, Iwo, on its way north to avoid the tempest, received new orders – a deployment to Haiti.

 

Iwo Jima had just been starting its pre-deployment workups. Within three days, Iwo and its crew were in Norfolk, Virginia, on-loading bulldozers, seven-ton trucks, water purification equipment and forklifts and more into its well deck.

 

As the storm bore down on Virginia’s Tidewater region, the outfitted big deck cut through the difficult Hampton Roads navigation channel amid a 70-knot gale, bound for Haiti.

 

Loaded with about 650 Marines, four MV-22 Ospreys, four MH-60s Knighthawks and 1,200 sailors, Iwo Jima neared Haiti on Wednesday, where it will pick up 300 more Marines and three more CH-53 helicopters from the amphibious transport dock Mesa Verde.

 

The ship’s top enlisted said the crew is focused on relief efforts and that the rapid on-load and deployment “validates what we do in training.”

 

Command Master Chief (SW/AW/IW) William Mullinax – callsign “Swamp Fox” – talked about the ad-hoc deployment, the crew’s families in Mayport, and wider fleet issues in an interview as the ship sailed to Haiti. Questions and answers have been edited for brevity.

 

  1. What’s the mood of Iwo’s crew right now, how are they feeling given the last-minute nature of this mission?

 

  1. I think they are excited about the mission. They are wanting to put boots on ground and actually help, so they are excited about that. But there is that piece of anxiety about what’s going on back in Mayport. So they’re saying, ‘Let’s get this done so we can get back to Mayport and take care of our own.’

 

  1. Have you had any reports of damage to sailors’ homes or any injuries?

 

  1. We’ve had a little bit, trees falling in the yard, things like that. We’ve been working with the ombudsmen to get the resources they need. But nobody is in dire straits because of the hurricane.

 

When we left the storm was supposed to track up the coast about but it was supposed to be about 150 miles out to sea. But as it started getting through the Bahamas and shifted over to the west a bit, word started coming out about the evacuation.

 

The worst that I’ve heard is the houses on the beach took on some water but I don’t know if any of our sailors live right on the beach. We’ve been in contact with our two ombudsmen and with the base to make sure the families have the resources they need.

 

  1. What’s the value to the crew of throwing a mission like this together at the last minute?

 

  1. Well, I think it validates what we do in our training. On any given day this platform could be tasked to do flight ops or well-deck ops or whatever the case may be. So obviously the crew has to be well versed, so it validates what we do.

 

I’ve been here since February of 2014, I would tell you that by far: anything that’s thrown at this crew, they respond without hesitation. Whenever anyone comes on board, I tell people, you’re walking on the best ship in the fleet. I admit I’m biased.

 

  1. You are a senior leader on this ship and therefore are in charge of executing the Navy’s new move to no longer identify sailors by their ratings. How is that going? What are you doing to make it successful?

 

  1. Well, it’s a loaded topic right now; everybody is talking about it, not only on this ship, but throughout the fleet. It affects everyone in the enlisted ranks. You know, when you do something for so many years, you get used to doing it that way. And when there is a rudder change in the way we do business, naturally there is going to be push-back, typically from the sailor who’s a little longer in the tooth, who is used to doing things a certain way.

 

But you know, from my perspective: The Navy has told us this is the way we are going to do business. And what I told my chiefs was, ‘Hey, these are our marching orders and this is what we’ve got to do.’

 

There are going to be missteps. There will be sailors who say, ‘Hey, DC1,’ and that’s going to happen for a little bit until we get in the rhythm. So you correct and move on.

 

It’s going to be difficult to get used to but it’s about the way we train. The sailors coming into boot camp now, this will be all they ever know. So it’s going to be a change in the way of thinking.

 

  1. The Navy is working on improved fire-resistant variant coveralls and they are moving to Navy Working Uniform Type IIIs. Since this is still in the works, any feedback on what you think would help accomplish the mission?

 

  1. I’ve been in the Navy since 1987 and I’ve seen a plethora of uniforms. So for me, I think where the sailors get frustrated is you get well versed on a uniform, how to wear it, how to keep it, how to make it look sharp. And then when you get there it’s changed to another version or a different type. And it gets frustrating because you have to buy all new uniforms.

 

Good, bad or indifferent, I think we need to develop the uniform and stick with it. If there are improvements we can make to the uniform, then so be it. Let’s make the improvements.

 

https://www.navytimes.com/articles/iwo-jimas-top-enlisted-says-crew-is-ready-for-haiti-relief-mission?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Mil%20EBB%2010.13.16&utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Military%20-%20Early%20Bird%20Brief

 

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Ford Carrier Problems Worse Than LCS: Navy Secretary Mabus

(BREAKING DEFENSE, 12 Oct 16) . Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

 

NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: The $13 billion supercarrier USS Ford and the $500 million Littoral Combat Ship are both suffering engine trouble. But Navy Secretary Ray Mabus took pains today to defend LCS even as he derided Ford as “a textbook example of how not to build a ship.”

 

Mabus’ determination to draw a distinction says a lot about his preferences and priorities, especially since much of his critique of Ford would apply equally well to LCS. Both programs originated in the era of Donald Rumsfeld’s “transformation,” after then-candidate George H.W. Bush had promised to skip a generation of technology.

 

“The Ford is a textbook example of how not to build a ship,” Ford told reporters. “(We were) building it while it’s still being designed” – which results in costly do-overs of already-finished components – “(and) trying to force too much new and unproven technology on it” – whose teething troubles result in unplanned delays and costs.

 

“That was already on fire when I got in,” said Mabus, who became Navy Secretary the year the Ford’s keel was laid. “But we’ve stopped the cost growth.” The carrier’s schedule is still slipping, however, with a November delivery to the fleet postponed indefinitely due to problems in the Main Turbine Generators (MTG).

 

Meanwhile, however, five Littoral Combat Ships have suffered crippling breakdowns in 15 months. Isn’t LCS also a textbook example of a troubled ship program, I asked Mabus, for much the same reasons as Ford?

 

“No,” said Mabus. LCS is more an example of typical teething troubles on a new design, he argued.

 

“Every time you start a new class of ship.you’re going to have issues,” he said. “LCS gets a lot of attention, but during the first deployment of an LCS to Singapore.it was ready for sea more than the (US) Pacific Fleet average.”

 

“It’s got a lot of attention mainly because it looks different,” Mabus said. “It is a different kind of ship.”

 

In fact, it’s two different kinds of ship. The LCS-1 Freedom class, built by Lockheed to a design inspired by racing yachts, and the LCS-2 Independence, which famously resembles Star Trek’s Klingon Bird of Prey, is built by Austal. Both variants have suffered breakdowns. Both, like Ford, combined multiple untested innovations in ways that greatly complicated their development: the unusual hulls, a high-speed propulsion system unlike anything else in the Navy, and an extremely small crew highly dependent on automation aboard ship and contractors ashore. There was even a last-minute decision to redesign the first ship of each type for greater resistance to battle damage, requiring expensive refits when they were already half-built.

 

So LCS’s agonies strongly resemble the Ford’s. The crucial mistakes on both ships also predated Mabus’s appointment. “The main issue I had to deal with when I got there was they were just costing way too much, and we’ve driven that down,” Mabus said of LCS.

 

Why do two programs with similar troubles get such a different reaction from Mabus? It’s especially striking because the carrier program matters much more to naval traditionalists, who often disdain the relatively tiny and lightly armed LCS. But throughout Mabus’s seven years in office – the longest tenure of a Navy Secretary since World War I – he’s measured his success in terms of numbers of ships.

 

From 2001 to 2008, Mabus said today (as he says in every speech he makes) the US Navy fell from 316 ships to 278 and put only 41 new ships on contract. In the seven years since 2009, Mabus has contracted for 86.

 

“Quantity has a quality all of its own,” Mabus said – and you don’t get quantity without a small ship cheap enough to build in bulk. In the face of two skeptical Defense Secretaries and sometimes bitter criticism from Congress, Mabus’s commitment to LCS explains a lot about its survival.

 

On current plans, Mabus said, the Navy will reach 300 ships by 2019 and 308 by 2021. 308 is the current official requirement, but the Navy’s currently reassessing – and almost certainly raising – that number in light of growing Russian and Chinese threats.

 

“308.is what we’ve been building to,” Mabus said. “We are undergoing a force structure assessment right now. The CNO (Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson) said during hearings last year that he would bet a paycheck that the number as going up. I’m happy to bet the CNO’s paycheck too.

 

“Going forward whatever that force structure assessment is, that’s what we’ll have to build for,” Mabus said.

 

That will be after President Obama and, presumably, most of his officials depart. But the long time scales for developing and building a class of ships don’t respect political deadlines, Mabus made clear.

 

“Building ships is not the job of one administration, not the job of one secretary. If you miss a year you never get it back,” He said. “And it’s taken from 2009 until 2021 just to reverse it and get it back up to where we thought we needed to be – and we’re pretty much at the capacity of our shipyards now.”

 

Ford Carrier Problems Worse Than LCS: Navy Secretary Mabus

 

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Mabus: Actions ‘Assure that Our Navy Has Never Been Stronger’

(SEAPOWER, 12 Oct 16) . Richard B. Burgess

 

WASHINGTON – The secretary of the Navy expressed confidence in the future of the Navy and Marine Corps as he reflected on the Navy Department’s accomplishments over the course of his eight-year tenure as secretary, the longest since that of Josephus Daniels in the early 20th century.

 

“I will depart in a few months knowing that this administration has taken the necessary steps to assure that our Navy has never been stronger,” Ray Mabus told an audience Oct. 12 during what likely was his last appearance as Navy secretary at the National Press Club. “We are getting the right number of the right kind of platforms to meet our mission; our disciplined and deliberate use of energy has made us better warfighters; we represent the greatest America has to offer, the absolute best in the world; and we continue to provide presence – around the globe, around the clock.”

 

Mabus chose to focus his remarks on three of his top priorities while secretary: shipbuilding, energy and personnel reforms.

 

“Among the challenges, when I came into office, we had a shrinking fleet in a very bad economy; we had our hands tied by sequestration, which continues to hang over and limit our ability to plan; oil dependency and volatility threatened operations and training; and bad laws and an antiquated personnel system limited our ability to attract and keep America’s most talented young people,” Mabus said. “All of this, of course, occurring amid increasing threats, a far more complicated world and an ever-increasing demand for naval forces.”

 

He stressed the importance of maintaining a naval presence, attainable only by having the ships to sustain it.

 

“That unrivaled advantage – on, above, beneath and from the sea – ensures stability, reassures allies, deters adversaries and gives our nation’s leaders options in times of crisis,” he said. “We are ‘America’s away team’ because Sailors and Marines, equally in times of peace and war, are not just in the right place at the right time, but in the right place all the time. There is no next best thing to being there. In every case, from high-end combat to irregular warfare to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, our naval assets get on station faster, we stay longer, we bring what we need with us, and, because our ships are sovereign U.S. territory, we can act without having to ask anyone’s permission to get the job done.

 

“To get that presence, you have to have grey hulls on the horizon,” Mabus said. “Quantity has a quality all of its own. To say that a Navy is too focused on building ships is to admit an ignorance of its purpose. So I made shipbuilding one of my top priorities, and we’ve dramatically reversed the decline in our fleet.”

 

Mabus said the Navy has put 86 ships under contract during his tenure, on track to increase the size of the battle fleet from 278 ships in 2008 to 308 in 2021. He also noted savings of $2 billion in the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer program and a similar number in the current Virginia-class submarine contract.

 

“Essentially, we got a submarine for free,” he said. “It’s like having one of those punch cards: buy nine, get your 10th sub free.”

 

Mabus also mentioned the 8,000 new manufacturing jobs in the shipbuilding industry that added $37 billion to the national Gross Domestic Product.

 

He noted the advancements made in unmanned systems, laser weapons and the electromagnetic rail gun.

 

Mabus also focused on his efforts to wean naval forces off addiction to fossil fuels and to provide alternative forms of energy to power Navy and Marine Corps systems and installations.

 

“So in 2009, I set a number of specific, ambitious energy goals, the most significant of which was to have at least half of naval energy – both ashore and afloat – come from non-fossil fueled sources by 2020,” he said. “President Obama reiterated the goal ashore of 50 percent or 1 gigawatt in his 2012 State of the Union Address. That is one of the many reasons why I’m particularly proud to say to you today, in my State of the Navy Address, that we surpassed our goal ashore last year – five years early. Today, at our shore installations, we get more than 1.2 gigawatts of energy, of our total requirement for 2 gigawatts, from alternative sources.”

 

He said the biofuel that is now powering some ships costs only $2.14 per gallon. Oil use by the fleet has declined 15 percent and by the Marine Corps by 60 percent, noting that some of the Marine Corps’ savings has been achieved because of reduction in combat operations.

 

He also described technologies that are reducing the fuel requirements of the fleet and Marine Corps units, such as hybrid electric drive; kinetic knee braces to power radios; and LED lighting for ships.

 

Mabus’ third emphasis was on reforms in the personnel programs. He defended his controversial decision to name ships for civil- and human rights heroes in addition to the more traditional military heroes, such as Medal of Honor recipients. He touted his support of increases in the number of female midshipmen at the Naval Academy; opening of all combat positions to women; ending of the ban on the service of gay, lesbian and transgender personnel; and the opening of Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps units at several universities that once had banned such units.

 

He also started the 21st Century Sailor and Marine Initiative to “foster a professional, supportive and inclusive workplace,” including combating the crime of sexual assault, treating personnel suffering from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress syndrome; addressing suicide; increasing child care hours and maternity leave; increased co-location for couples; and providing a three-year career intermission.

 

Mabus stressed that the Navy and Marine Corps were not lowering their standards.

 

“But just as there is no good argument to lower standards, there is also no good argument to bar anyone who has met those standards from serving alongside his or her fellow Sailors and Marines – in every clime and place,” he said.

 

“So looking to the horizon, looking ahead,” he said, “I am confident that the policies we’ve enacted, the decisions we’ve made and the priorities we’ve set guarantee that our Navy and Marine Corps will remain the greatest expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known – for as far into the future as the eye can see.”

 

http://seapowermagazine.org/stories/20161012-mabus.html