FRCSW/COMFRC Top News Clips – Week of March 6, 2017

LOCAL COVERAGE

  1. FRCSE mustang makes leap at Mayport commissioning
  2. FRCSW Paints Its First MV-22 Osprey
  3. FRCSW, FRCSE Collaborate on JASDF E-2C Requirement

 

WORLD/NATIONAL NEWS

  1. USAF and Navy could team up on E-6 recap
  2. Marine Corps considers opening Hornet maintenance to industry
  3. Foreign Cyber Weapons ‘Far Exceed’ U.S. Ability To Defend Critical Infrastructure, Defense Panel Says
  4. Commentary: The looming crisis for US tritium production
  5. A Pilot Explains All of the Amazing Reasons Why the F-35 Is a Stealth Super Weapon
  6. Three Chinese Air Force Officers Scout AFA Show — In Civvies
  7. Defense Services Contractors Brace For Pentagon Spending Shakeup
  8. Trump Is Right To Spend More On Defense. Here’s How To Do So Wisely
  9. FY ’17 Defense Spending Bill Slams F-35 Program; Air Force, Navy Programs Get Boosts
  10. Pentagon Advisers Want Cyber ‘Tiger Teams,’ More Authorities For Cyber Command
  11. Embracing Creativity: A Leadership Challenge
  12. Enabling Leadership From The Bottom

 

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LOCAL COVERAGE

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FRCSE mustang makes leap at Mayport commissioning

 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ruby Richey choked-up as tears welled in her eyes when asked how she felt watching her son be commissioned as chief warrant officer in U.S. Navy on March 1.

 

She raised CWO2 Daniel Richey and his four siblings on her own in Aliceville, Alabama by working in factories and restaurants to make ends meet.

 

“I just did what I needed to do as a mother,” she said. “It’s a very proud moment for me.”

 

CWO2 Richey’s wife, daughter, son and brother were also on hand for the ceremony, along with detachment Mayport Sailors and officers in charge both past and present.

 

Cmdr. Claude Taylor, Richey’s former officer in charge at the detachment came to Mayport from his new command at Naval Air Station Patuxent River to be the guest speaker.

 

“He’s a man of the highest integrity and embodies the virtues of honor, integrity and commitment,” Taylor said of Richey. “He’s a godly man, and he walks that same walk whether he’s at work or at home.”

 

Richey joined the Navy out of high school in 1996, but left active duty in 1999 for the Navy Reserve. But by 2001, he wanted back in.

 

“I missed it, to be quite honest with you,” he said. “You get out, assuming the civilian world is just like the military, then you quickly realize it is not.

 

“I missed the camaraderie, and just missed the people.”

 

With a renewed focus, Richey threw himself into his work. Then an encounter with a division officer, who was a prior-enlisted Sailor and then warrant officer, planted a seed of ambition that grew to fruition with the ceremony Wednesday.

 

“It felt like he really understood the issues that junior sailors were facing,” he said. “The more I learned of what that position was about, it really made me want to become a warrant officer.

 

“I’ve been tracking ever since.”

 

Unfortunately for detachment Mayport, Richey’s promotion means he’ll be leaving for his new position with the “Skinny Dragons” of Patrol Squadron four at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington in June.

 

“I’ve valued PRC Richey’s leadership and assistance since I came to this detachment last year, and I’m sorry to see him go,” said detachment Mayport Officer in Charge Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Tindell. “But I know that CWO2 Richey will be a valuable asset for his new squadron and the United States Navy.”

 

The bittersweet emotions ran both ways.

 

“I love the Sailors, the leadership and the opportunities this command afforded me,” Richey said. “FRC detachment Mayport is the best command I’ve ever been a part of, hands down.”

 

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.NAVAIRNewsStory&id=6497

 

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FRCSW Paints Its First MV-22 Osprey

 

From FRC Southwest Almanac – Volume 9 – February 9, 2017

 

All roads lead to the paint complex in Building 466, where Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) aircraft

products are concerned.

 

Most recently, that road was traveled by the first MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft to undergo painting at the command. The Osprey was inducted in November and flown from its Planned Maintenance Interval-2 (PMI-2) event that was completed at FRCSW Site Miramar.

 

This course of events was quite unique: FRCSW Site Miramar completed the PMI-2 earlier in the year, returning the aircraft to the Marines of Marine Medium Tilt-rotor Squadron 161 (VMM-161) for build-up and testing before flying it to FRCSW for final painting and weight/balance as part of the PMI-2 process.

 

Final paint at FRCSW is typically applied before the build-up and testing of the aircraft prior to delivery to the customer; however, adequate paint facilities and the proper certifications are not available at Site Miramar, and so, required a different flow of events.

 

Preparation for the MV-22 paint event began more than a year ago when two journeyman, crew leader David Powers and painter Charles Broadnax, traveled to FRC East (FRCE) at Cherry Point to receive training on the MV-

22’s strip and paint operations.

 

While FRCE’s operations and facilities differ from those of FRCSW’s, the team learned the unique differences and challenges involving the removal the aircraft’s original coatings, preparing the surfaces for painting, and applying the new Type IV paint, including the required stenciling and markings.

 

Logistics preparations continued throughout the year with stakeholder meetings that included materials lab engineers; deputy IPT leads; production control; production managers; planning department; paint crew leaders and artisans; supervisors; financial; safety office; and business office personnel. These critical preparations

ensured the right materials were ordered along with the appropriate source documentation, and solutions to concerns were tailored to successfully assist the paint complex.

 

As an airframe, the MV-22 is a unique configuration both in its body and its large nacelles and subsequently massive 38- foot propellers.

 

The propellers require appropriate masking for sanding, and then separately for paint operations to include rotation during the painting process. Planning when to rotate the propellers, as well as the stenciling/marking of the areas, was critical due to the need to raise or lower the aircraft’s struts to allow clearance in the dual-bay operation.

 

The V-22 fuselage and empennage are comprised of aluminum, carbon/epoxy composite, and carbon/epoxy composite overlaid with 5 thousandths-of-an-inch copper mesh. The wing and nacelles are comprised of carbon/epoxy composite and fiberglass.

 

This mix of substrate materials and subsequent treatments fell under the expertise of materials engineer Esther Chan. Her dedication was critical in the timely success of the project, as she became respirator-certified and suited up to provide the necessary guidance to the artisan team.

 

Pre-training on the copper mesh (Astro- Strike) and the new primer and Type IV paint were stepping stones to success for the paint complex. Powers and Chan developed a training regimen consisting of an eight-hour education and lab environment for the artisans.

 

Using donated aircraft surfaces from the composite shop so as not to damage the Astro- Strike surface, the artisans learned new sanding techniques with new sanding materials, as well as painting with the new Type IV paint.

 

After induction of the MV-22, artisans and materials lab engineers overcame their first objective: fitting the new fall protection stands to the airframe under the instruction of FRCSW safety specialist Javier Trujillo.

 

FRCE crew leader James Kanuck and materials lab engineer Ryan Glembocki provided direct support and guidance to the FRCSW crew leaders and team members. The experience of the FRCE members translated directly to the paint artisans, reducing a potential 30-day estimated turn-around-time to a 14-day delivery from the paint complex to the weight/ balance team.

 

The MV-22 paint process requires hand/ scuff sanding of the entire surface of the airframe; and with such a large aircraft, the paint complex team needed to ensure enough members were trained. The aircraft was swarmed, creating a “leopard” pattern look on the airframe without sanding into the Astro-Strike.

 

Wiping the aircraft down following sanding, the artisans masked it for painting the tri-color paint scheme. The stenciling and marking of the aircraft with several hundred stencils of various sizes was another challenge, as well.

 

Since FRCE and FRCSW are the only FRCs to provide paint services to the fleet for this aircraft and with a growing population of MV-22s on the horizon that includes Navy models, it is anticipated that FRCSW will paint upwards of 15 units per year.

 

Currently, the paint complex is scheduled for three units in fiscal year 2017, with a goal to reduce the TAT through experience gained from this and future evolutions.

 

The success of FRCSW’s first MV-22 paint operation may be attributed to excellent logistics integration planning and good material sourcing. But success is also truly rooted within the people involved: the artisans, engineers, logisticians, P/Cs, QAs, and other members who take pride in their work, teaming together, determined to succeed for the fleet.

 

For FRCSW aircraft, all roads lead to paint: Taking the “Pain” out of Paint, leaving the “T” for on target delivery!

 

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FRCSW, FRCSE Collaborate on JASDF E-2C Requirement

 

From FRC Southwest Almanac – Volume 9 – February 9, 2017

 

In a move that exemplifies teamwork and cooperation, Fleet Readiness Centers Southwest (FRCSW) and Southeast (FRCSE) recently joined forces to ensure the timely return of E-2C Hawkeye components to the Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF).

 

Work on the JASDF E-2C assets was derived from a 2011 Repair Commercial Services Agreement (CSA) between FRCSW and Aeronautical Systems Incorporated (ASI). ASI provides maintenance, repair, overhaul and logistical support to foreign militaries.

 

The JASDF operates approximately 13 E-2C aircraft, and was in need of crucial repairs to the nose steering assembly units of eight aircraft to meet mission requirements. Steering assembly units enable pilots to taxi the airplane prior to takeoff and after landing.

 

Under the terms of the CSA, FRCSW ordered all repair materials through the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and provided the touch labor to service the steering assemblies, said Lee Strother, performance-based logistics program coordinator, who ensured the on-time delivery schedules and cost requirements of the project.

 

“We do a complete overhaul to these,” said hydraulics/pneudraulics shop supervisor Jack Jackson. “That means we’ll completely disassemble the unit, evaluate, order any outstanding material required; then send it out for cleaning, remove any corrosion, run a non-destructive inspection on them and assemble and test them

before they’re sent to paint and returned to the customer.”

 

The units were inducted into the FRCSW components program in Building 472 last August and September and were returned in less than five months, thanks to cooperative problem solving between the two FRCs.

 

“As the first few units were nearing completion of repair, ASI was notified that the test bench for the nose steering assembly was down for service,” wrote Carlos Pichardo, ASI director of operations in his April 12, 2016, letter of commendation to FRCSW.

 

“(Then FRCSW Components IPT Lead) Wade Wendell took initiative to identify solutions for testing. Mr. Wendell worked directly with engineering at FRCSW to see if there was any way to bring the test stand back up, and when it was deemed that it would take a number of weeks, Mr. Wendell identified that there was an active test bench located at FRCSE. This out-of-the-box thinking allowed ASI to work with FRCSW for the repair of the assets and the final testing was performed by FRCSE so that the final delivery made it to the customer within their fiscal year requirement.”

 

Pichardo noted that “… any items not delivered within the JASDF fiscal year lose funding.”

 

“ASI has recently sent additional JASDF assets to FRCSW for repair and with the assistance of the Components Integrated Product Team at FRCSW and its management, we look forward to continued success in the support of availability delivered for United States allies,” Pichardo wrote.

 

The FRCSW test bench used to assess the E-2C nose steering assembly units is currently under an update modification.

 

In addition to E-2C components work, FRCSW also services legacy Hornet Aircraft Mounted Accessory Drives (AMAD) under its service agreement with ASI.

 

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WORLD/NATIONAL NEWS

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Flight Global

 

USAF and Navy could team up on E-6 recap

 

BY: Leigh Giangreco

 

The US Navy is looking at recapitalising its airborne command and control fleet, which could produce a joint venture with the US Air Force.

 

The Navy’s E6-B aircraft supports the service’s ballistic missile submarines and allows the USAF to launch missiles from the air should command centres on the ground become inoperable during a nuclear crisis. During an 8 March Congressional hearing, the head of US Strategic Command told lawmakers he directed the Navy to examine the E-6B’s replacement. The service is analysing options, including the possibility of leveraging a common platform with the USAF.

 

The Navy last refreshed the E-6B Mercury in 2002, when Boeing upgraded the 707s with a new flight deck, broadband communications system and battle management, command and control equipment, FlightGlobal reported. Boeing completed retrofits on all 16 aircraft in 2003. That extends the fleet well into the 2030s, but the Navy must attack the recapitalisation now, US Strategic Command head Gen John Hyten says.

 

“We’re only 20 years from 2038, but if you’re going to build large aircraft with huge command and control you need to start thinking about those things right now,” he told reporters. “That’s what the Navy is starting to do, I’ve requested that they start looking at defining what comes next.”

 

The E-6B, which is equipped with an airborne launch control system, can fulfill the legacy E-6A’s ballistic submarine mission or the airborne strategic command post mission. The Navy is considering whether separate aircraft should fulfill those missions or a common aircraft that can complete both, Hyten says.

 

A joint USAF and Navy programme could piggyback off of the air force’s ongoing command and control recapitalisations. The Northrop Grumman E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System and Boeing E-3 airborne warning and control system (AWACS), both 707-derived aircraft, are undergoing a protracted replacement. The OC-135B Open Skies aircraft, another close cousin of Boeing’s 707 manufactured in 1962, is experiencing sustainment issues. Subsystem failures aside, the USAF expects to phase out the OC-135 around 2040. Last month, the USAF released a request for information seeking viable options for the Open Skies Treaty aircraft.

 

The E-6B’s 2038 replacement timeline could align with those other 707 aircraft, according to Admiral Bill Moran, vice chief of Naval Operations.

 

“We should look at doing this together because the requirements on the air force side, the size and shape of the airplane, the capacity, the endurance are very similar missions,” he says. “We’re always looking for places where we cannot be duplicative.”

 

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-and-navy-could-team-up-on-e-6-recap-434963/

 

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Marine Corps considers opening Hornet maintenance to industry

 

Inside the Navy, March 03 | Lee Hudson <https://insidedefense.com/authors/Lee-Hudson>

 

Faced with increased demand, the Marine Corps said the service is considering turning to industry to help maintain legacy F/A-18 Hornets, according to a service official. Bill Taylor, assistant deputy commandant for aviation focused on sustainment, told Inside the Navy that the size of the inventory and the jets’ condition are putting pressure on turnaround time. “It’s like peeling back an onion — you don’t know what you don’t know until you start reworking these aircraft at the depot. As you pull a panel off, you see corrosion; pull another panel off and the corrosion is worse,” he said during an interview at his Pentagon office on March 2. “There have actually been cases where we have inducted aircraft into the depot rework, only to have to turn around and strike the aircraft halfway through the depot repair process because it was not salvageable.”

 

Though Taylor said that example is rare, it makes clear the intensity of the Marine Corps’ challenge. At times, the service must wait months for a particular spare part. It’s difficult for suppliers to forecast demand, Taylor said, because it could be the first time in five years that a particular part needs to be replaced. One option under consideration to address the throughput at Navy depots is contracting out legacy Hornet maintenance to a vendor, he said. Indeed, the Navy has turned to this option in the past.

 

“An example of that is Boeing has augmented the Navy’s organic capability to rework the legacy Hornet down at Cecil Field, [FL],” he said. “They’re under contract to augment that capacity.” The Navy and Marine Corps are also prototyping a new planned maintenance interval to streamline activities at the depots. The initiative consolidates intermediate-level and organization-level maintenance into two PMI events, according to Taylor. “Right now, you could literally turn out an aircraft from the depot, and literally a couple of weeks later put it back into a field event for something different,” he said. “It was illogical. [This] is a logical consolidation of maintenance requirements.” The services kicked off the prototyping period in February and expect it to take about 18 months, Taylor said. Additionally, the Marine Corps is conducting recurring executive support suitability summits (ESS) for each type of model series that has undergone an independent readiness review.

 

To date, the service has conducted independent readiness reviews for the AV-8B Harrier, H-1, H-53, V-22 Osprey and ground mishaps. The service may also perform an independent readiness review for the legacy Hornet, Taylor said. The ESSs are meant to allow the Marine Corps to effectively execute its readiness recovery plan by involving all stakeholders. For example, representatives from the prime contractor, the Defense Logistics Agency, Naval Air Systems Command and Naval Supply Systems Command attend, Taylor said.

 

Two weeks ago, the Marine Corps held three ESSs — for AV-8B, H-1 and V-22 — in Yuma, AZ, he said. The summit for the AV-8B assessed parts obsolescence and forecasting depot maintenance availabilities. For the H-53, the biggest risk for sustainment is basic supply support. Thirty percent of those helicopters are down on the flight line because of spare parts availability, Taylor said. The Marines have a maintainer-to-aircraft issue for the H-1 because of the different configurations. The H-1N is transitioning to the H-1Y, and the AH-1W is transitioning to the AH-1Z, he said.

 

Budget

Taylor detailed four priorities if the near-term budgets allot additional funding for aviation sustainment. The top priority is sending more funding to the flight-hour program, both for fuel and depot-level repair. The second priority for aviation readiness is adding more spare parts to the inventory. Those priorities, Taylor said, are followed by performance-based logistics and procurement.

 

Procurement plays a role in aviation readiness because the service thought it would transition from the legacy Hornet and the Harrier fleet to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter years ago. Since completing an independent readiness review for the Harrier two years ago, the aircraft’s reliability has greatly increased, according to Taylor. Instead of transitioning from three Harrier squadrons to the F-35, the Marine Corps instead selected three legacy Hornet squadrons because the Harrier is having fewer readiness problems, he said.

 

https://insidedefense.com/inside-navy/marine-corps-considers-opening-hornet-maintenance-industry

 

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Foreign Cyber Weapons ‘Far Exceed’ U.S. Ability To Defend Critical Infrastructure, Defense Panel Says

 

(WFED AM RADIO WASHINGTON DC 07 MAR 17) … Jared Serbu

 

The Defense Science Board’s latest study on the state of cyber defense in the U.S. reaches some worrying conclusions, both for civil infrastructure and for military capability. The panel assesses that even after foreign intrusions into election systems, financial institutions and Defense contractors, the U.S. has only seen the “virtual tip of the cyberattack iceberg.”

 

On the civilian side, the new report warns that for at least the next five-to-10 years, other nations will have offensive cyber capabilities that “far exceed the United States’ ability to defend and adequately strengthen the resilience of its critical infrastructures.”

 

To make matters worse, the traditional weapons systems the military relies on to deter countries from actually launching those attacks are themselves vulnerable to cyberattack, undermining a deterrence policy one Defense official articulated six years ago: “If you shut down our power grid, maybe we’ll put a missile down one of your smokestacks.”

 

Consequently, the advisory panel says the Pentagon needs to devote “urgent and sustained attention” to making its strike systems immune from cyberattack and make it clear to adversaries that it’s done that. Otherwise, its threats vis-a-vis missiles and smokestacks will rightly be seen as – well, blowing smoke.

 

“To be able to credibly impose unacceptable costs in response to cyberattack by major powers, Russia and China, the U.S. needs its key strike systems – cyber, nuclear and nonnuclear strike – to be able to function even after the most advanced cyberattack,” James Miller, a former undersecretary of Defense for policy and a co-chair of the task force that authored the report, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “And this is not a simple task.”

The board gave several examples of complex systems that need urgent attention in order to harden them against cyberattack. Strike platforms like guided missile submarines and heavy weapons bombers are on the list, and the authors advise that that new nuclear weapons systems not be “networked by default.”

 

But so is IT infrastructure for command and control and logistics, because a cyberattack on military systems “might result in U.S. guns, missiles, and bombs failing to fire or detonate or being directed against our own troops; or food, water, ammo, and fuel not arriving when or where needed; or the loss of position/navigation ability or other critical warfighter enablers.”

 

That’s just part two of the report.

 

Part one strongly hints that the federal government doesn’t have a unified national policy on how to deter cyberattacks and says it must develop one, and then implement ongoing, tailored campaigns to deal with the most potentially troublesome attackers, including not just China and Russia, but also countries with mid-level capabilities, like North Korea and Iran.

 

The panel said the U.S needs a pre-exercised, tailored playbook of options that, above all, makes clear that the government will respond to any and all cyberattacks, rather than a piecemeal approach which inevitably lets at least some of them slide.

 

“The question should be not whether we respond, the question should be how,” Miller said. “You have to look at what [another nation’s] leadership values across a range of potential targets that we could hold at risk. The value of campaign planning is you have a sense of what level of response and what specific types of targets might be most appropriate for a given scenario.”

 

The DSB report was, in many ways, concordant with the views of Sen. John. McCain (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, who frequently criticized the Obama administration for failing to come up with a coherent cyber policy that, in his view, would help deter future attacks. But McCain also acknowledged that Congress contributed to the problem by dividing its cyber oversight responsibilities among numerous committees.

 

Keith Alexander, who served as the commander of U.S. Cyber Command from its inception in 2010 until his retirement in 2014, agreed that both the executive and legislative branches had a hand in creating dysfunction. Alexander, who frequently championed a “team sport” and “whole of government” approach to cyber while he headed CYBERCOM, said last week that the government’s current approach to cyber suffers from fundamental structural problems.

 

“It’s not working. There are four stovepipes,” he said, referring to the Defense Department, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the intelligence community. “If we were running this like a business, we’d put them together. You also have all these committees in Congress looking at all this, and it’s messed up.”

 

Alexander said he and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates had, at one time, discussed a proposal to rearrange the government’s cyber defense responsibilities so as to bring a more unified approach to tasks that are now performed by federal law enforcement agencies and DHS; they believed that DoD and the intelligence community were already fairly well-integrated.

 

“I think that’s where we ultimately need to go, but before we do that, I would highly recommend that we get those four groups together and practice: do a couple of exercises with Congress and with the government and potentially with industry and show how this should work. What you have now is agencies acting independently, and with those seams, we will never defend this country. When industry looks at our government, they are quite frankly dismayed. We’re all over the map, and no one can answer who’s responsible.”

 

But if the current state of cyber defense is partly a matter of deterrence and retaliation, it’s important to keep other domestic agencies in mind. The Treasury and Justice departments, for example, have played key roles in prior responses to cyber attacks, including through crippling financial sanctions targeting key leaders of state-sponsored hacks and criminal prosecutions of those officials.

 

“I don’t see duplication of effort, I see gaps in effort. We don’t have an orchestra conductor to ensure that we don’t have those gaps,” said Dr. Craig Fields, the chairman of the Defense Science Board. “On the board, we’ve talked about the National Security Council playing that role, but we’re not completely comfortable with that. It’s an unsolved problem, because we do need a campaign strategy to make this a continuous process, including exercises … We have a long list of execution issues like whether we have the right number of offensive cyber folks or whether the intelligence community is collecting the right stuff at the right time, but unless we have policy and the orchestra conductor and the strategy, we’ll never go where we need to go.”

 

Foreign cyber weapons ‘far exceed’ US ability to defend critical infrastructure, Defense panel says

 

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Defense News

 

Commentary: The looming crisis for US tritium production

 

By: John R. Harvey and Franklin C. Miller

 

Tritium, an isotope of hydrogen, is an essential component in all U.S. nuclear weapons and bombs. It is radioactive with a decay half-life of 12 years and, thus, must be replenished in U.S. warheads every few years. Absent timely replenishment, our warheads become duds.

 

The United States, however, will be unable to produce enough tritium in coming years to support the nuclear stockpile. How did this dire prospect come about?

 

Today, the U.S. produces tritium by irradiating special rods in a single light water reactor run by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). This reactor burns low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel and also produces electricity to power homes in the Southeast. To meet demand, a second TVA reactor will begin producing tritium early next decade.

 

U.S. nonproliferation policy generally seeks to separate atomic energy defense activities, including past production of “special nuclear materials” — plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) for nuclear weapons — from peaceful activities enabling domestic nuclear power.

 

The U.S., however, determined in 1998 that production of tritium in government-owned TVA reactors would be cost effective and consistent with nonproliferation interests so long as the reactors burned U.S.-origin LEU fuel.

 

Unfortunately, the U.S. does not now have a domestic source to produce that fuel. In 2013, its one remaining uranium enrichment plant, the aging and costly-to-operate gaseous diffusion plant in Paducah, Kentucky, was shutdown. Moreover, funding to support a U.S. company seeking to build a centrifuge enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio, was terminated.

 

Existing U.S.-origin LEU will run out by mid next decade given the two-reactor production strategy. Reasonably low-cost options are available to extend stocks until 2030 or so. Beyond that, it would force down-blend of HEU now reserved for the nuclear stockpile and naval ship propulsion. This is imprudent from a national security perspective, and wasteful given the initial large cost to highly enrich this material.

 

By the early 2030s, the viability of the entire U.S. nuclear deterrent is at risk from an inability to produce tritium for nuclear warheads. The Trump administration will need to take action soon to manage this long-term problem.

 

Cheap oil and gas today make new enrichment plants uneconomical. There is thus a national security imperative for the U.S. government to either renew subsidies to U.S. firms willing to take on this mission, or do this itself.

 

The Department of Energy estimates many billions of dollars and a decade or more to design and build a U.S.-origin centrifuge plant. Given DOE’s sorry experience in failing to field critical nuclear infrastructure on time and cost — for example, facilities to produce plutonium and HEU parts for nuclear warheads, and for mixed oxide (MOX) fuel — we anticipate these estimates are overly optimistic. Therefore, it is not too soon to start now.

 

Failure to restore domestic enrichment by the early 2030s leaves only one alternative: use of foreign-origin LEU. But there are many drawbacks. Some exporting countries will not sell LEU for tritium production because agreements in place limit use solely for peaceful purposes. Earlier, an international consortium (URENCO) agreed to provide LEU for TVA reactors, whether tritium producing or not, but previous administrations rejected this on the grounds that it further weakened separation of national defense-related and commercial nuclear activities. And, to be clear, because nuclear weapons play such a critical role in U.S. security, and the security extended to allies, our nation cannot rely on global markets, or other countries’ decisions, to provide means to ensure that security.

 

Restoring domestic enrichment capacity offers security benefits beyond a viable nuclear deterrent. HEU reserves to fuel nuclear-powered ships will run out in about 40 years; capability for high enrichment assures the long-term viability of the nuclear Navy. While it may not, in itself, restore U.S. global leadership in shaping the future of nuclear power, building and operating a modern enrichment plant would help reverse declining U.S. technical capabilities in the commercial nuclear arena.

 

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/commentary-the-looming-crisis-for-us-tritium-production

 

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The National Interest

 

A Pilot Explains All of the Amazing Reasons Why the F-35 Is a Stealth Super Weapon

 

Kris Osborn

 

Apart from its individual technologies, weapons, sensors and systems, the F-35 is perhaps best appreciated for its multi-role capabilities, meaning it can perform a wide range of different missions from close-air support and air-to-ground attack to air-to-air engagements and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR.

 

The aircraft’s sensor technologies allow the platform to perform a much greater ISR function than previous aircraft can, giving it a “drone-like” ability to gather and disseminate surveillance information. As part of this, the F-35 can also use a specially engineered data-link to communicate in real-time with other F-35s and other aircraft and fighter jets.

 

“With the data-link’s network interoperability, we can talk to each other and talk to fourth-generation aircraft as well,” Canterbury explained.

 

The F-35A can function as a reconnaissance aircraft, air-to-air fighter, air-to-ground fighter or stealth aircraft engineered to evade enemy air defenses, Canterbury explained.

 

The Air Force’s new F-35A multi-role, stealth Joint Strike Fighter brings an unprecedented ability to destroy targets in the air, attack moving enemies on the ground and beam battlefield images across the force in real time, an Air Force pilot told Scout Warrior in a special interview.

 

The stealth fighter makes it much easier for pilots to locate, track and destroy enemy targets across a wide range of combat circumstances — including attacks from farther ranges than existing fighters can operate, the F-35A pilot said.

 

Speaking to Scout Warrior as part of a special “Inside the Cockpit” feature on the F-35A, Air Force Col. Todd Canterbury, a former F-35 pilot and instructor, said the new fighter brings a wide range of new technologies including advanced sensors, radar, weapons for attack and next-generation computers.

 

Although he serves now as Chief, Operations Division of the F-35 Integration Office at the Pentagon, Canterbury previously trained F-35 pilots at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Canterbury is uniquely positioned to know the F-35’s margins of difference because he has spent thousands of hours flying legacy aircraft such as the service’s F-15 and F-16 fighters.

 

“The F-35 is a dream to fly. It is the easiest airplane to fly. I can now focus on employment and winning the battle at hand as opposed to looking at disparate information and trying to handle the airplane,” Canterbury told Scout Warrior.

 

Canterbury was referring to an often-discussed technological advance with the F-35 called “sensor fusion,” a system which places radar, targeting, navigation and altitude information on a single integrated screen for pilots to view.   As a result, pilots can rely upon computer algorithms to see a “fused” picture of their battlespace and no longer need to look at different screens for targeting coordinates, air speed, mapping and terrain information, sensor feeds or incoming data from a radar warning receiver.

 

The F-35s Electro-Optical Targeting System, or EOTS, combines forward-looking infrared and infrared search and track sensor technology for pilots – allowing them to find and track targets before attacking with laser and GPS-guided precision weapons.

 

“I can turn my head and look left or right. There is an aiming cross on my helmet, an aiming symbology that tells me how to get there. The system will swivel over to the point on the ground I have designated,” Canterbury described.

 

The EOTs system is engineered to work in tandem with a technology called the Distributed Aperture System, or DAS, a collection of six cameras strategically mounted around the aircraft to give the pilot a 360-degree view.

 

“I can look through the airplane and see the ground below me. I can look directly below me without having to obscure my vision,” Canterbury said.

 

The DAS includes precision tracking, fire control capabilities and the ability to warn the pilot of an approaching threat or missile.

 

The next increment, Blocks 3i will increase the combat capability even further and Block 3F will bring a vastly increased ability to suppress enemy air defenses.

 

The Air Force plans to reach operational status with software Block 3i this year. Full operational capability will come with Block 3F, service officials said.

 

Block 3F will increase the weapons delivery capacity of the JSF as well, giving it the ability to drop a Small Diameter Bomb, 500-pound JDAM and AIM 9X short-range air-to-air missile, Air Force officials said.

 

Canterbury also talked about how Air Force engineers and experts were making progress building a computer library in the aircraft called the Mission Data Files.

 

“Experts are working feverishly to catalogue all of the threats we might face,” he said.

 

Described as the brains of the airplane, the mission data files are extensive on-board data systems compiling information on geography, air space and potential threats in known areas of the world where the F-35 might be expected to perform combat operations, he explained.

 

Consisting of hardware and software, the mission data files are essentially a data base of known threats and friendly aircraft in specific parts the world. The files are being worked on at reprogramming laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Air Force officials have said.

 

The mission data packages are loaded with a wide range of information to include commercial airliner information and specifics on Russian and Chinese fighter jets. For example, the mission data system would enable a pilot to quickly identify a Russian MiG-29 if it were detected by the F-35’s sensors.

 

The mission data files are being engineered to accommodate new threat and intelligence information as it emerges. For instance, the system might one day have all the details on a Chinese J-20 stealth fighter or Russian T-50 PAK FA stealth aircraft.

 

The first operational F-35A fighters have already been delivered to Hill Air Force Base in Utah, and Air Force leaders say the service has launched some small mini-deployments within the US to prepare the platform for deployment.

 

The F-35 is also engineered with an Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar which is able to track a host of electromagnetic signals, including returns from Synthetic Aperture Radar, or SAR. This paints a picture of the contours of the ground or surrounding terrain and, along with Ground Moving Target Indicator, or GMTI, locates something on-the-move on the ground and airborne objects or threats.

 

The F-35’s software packages are being developed in increments; the Marine Corps declared their Short-Take-off-and-Vertical-Landing F-35B with software increment or “drop” 2B.

 

Block 2B builds upon the enhanced simulated weapons, data link capabilities and early fused sensor integration of the earlier Block 2A software drop. Block 2B enables the JSF to provide basic close air support and fire an AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile), JDADM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) or GBU 12 (laser-guided aerial bomb), JSF program officials have said.

 

Apart from its individual technologies, weapons, sensors and systems, the F-35 is perhaps best appreciated for its multi-role capabilities, meaning it can perform a wide range of different missions from close-air support and air-to-ground attack to air-to-air engagements and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR.

 

The aircraft’s sensor technologies allow the platform to perform a much greater ISR function than previous aircraft can, giving it a “drone-like” ability to gather and disseminate surveillance information. As part of this, the F-35 can also use a specially engineered data-link to communicate in real-time with other F-35s and other aircraft and fighter jets.

 

“With the data-link’s network interoperability, we can talk to each other and talk to fourth-generation aircraft as well,” Canterbury explained.

 

The F-35A can function as a reconnaissance aircraft, air-to-air fighter, air-to-ground fighter or stealth aircraft engineered to evade enemy air defenses, Canterbury explained.

 

“While stealth is important in the early phases of warfare to knock out integrated air defenses and allow fourth-generation fighters to fly in, we don’t need stealth all the time,” Canterbury said. “I can use my stealth and electronic attack to see an adversary well before he sees me.”

 

For instance, the F-35A is well-suited to loiter over an area and provide fire support to units on the ground in a close-in fight. In order to execute these kinds of missions, the F-35 will have a 25mm Gatling Gun mounted on top of the aircraft operational by 2017.

 

The F-35 has 11 weapons stations, which includes seven external weapons stations for bombs or fuel.

 

“If we don’t need stealth, I can load this up with weapons and be a bomb truck,” Canterbury explained.

 

Eventually, the Air Force plans to acquire more than 1,700 F-35As.

 

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/pilot-explains-all-the-amazing-reasons-why-the-f-35-stealth-19683

 

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Three Chinese Air Force Officers Scout AFA Show — In Civvies

 

By Colin Clark

 

ORLANDO: Three PLA Air Force (PLAAF) were identified by a senior defense official roaming this year’s Air Force Association conference here.

 

The exhibit floor here boasts scale models of a wide array of America’s highest tech weaponry. Just outside the main hall, for example, is a large scale model of Boeing and SAAB’s offering for the Air Force’s T-X trainer competition.

 

The senior defense official, who clearly wanted reporters to note the Chinese presence, was sanguine about their attendance but a bit miffed they were walking around in civilian clothes. After all, it makes such folks harder to spot. Many of their colleagues from other countries wore uniforms. (They may all have, but we can’t confirm that).

 

The PLAAF officers were spotted by the senior defense official who knew at least one of them from a previous encounter. One of the PLAAF officers may have been a J-20 pilot. Folks manning the booths at the show said they had seen the PLAAF officers taking photos all around the floor. Those who’ve read Nick Eftiamedes’ groundbreaking book, Chinese Intelligence Operations, and the occasional reports by American counterintelligence on foreign espionage know how prevalent this behavior is. The FBI mounts serious counterintelligence efforts at some events to discourage, or at least monitor and complicate, the lives of foreign intelligence and military officers.

 

Foreign militaries are welcome at the conference, but the great majority come from allied and partner nations — America’s friends, in other words. Foreign military get a special rate to attend the conference. Military and intelligence industry events are notorious centers of espionage by both friendlies and what we can smilingly call our competitors: Russia and China et al.

 

I heard about these gentlemen too late in the day to get a chance to find and interview them. Here’s hoping they got better photos than they could download from defense company websites (or this reporter could shoot) and didn’t overhear any unguarded hallway conversations.

 

Three Chinese Air Force Officers Scout AFA Show — In Civvies

 

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Defense Services Contractors Brace For Pentagon Spending Shakeup

 

(POLITICO 01 MAR 17) … Ellen Mitchell

 

President Donald Trump’s much-anticipated pitch to expand the Army and Navy and invest more in the nuclear arsenal and missile defenses is also expected to spell a big boost for defense services like equipment maintenance and training.

 

But at the same time it could lead to cuts in other areas of the vast services market that accounts for more than half of what the Pentagon buys each year and its own advisers say is ripe with waste and fraud.

 

I would not say that a rising tide lifts all boats,” said Doug Berenson, managing director of Avacent, a defense consultancy. “There will be some categories of services that will do better, and I think that there are some categories of services that clearly will not.”

 

For example, he said, “some professional and administrative services related to headquarters will not. In certain categories of professional and administrative services you probably will see a near-term decline.”

 

Defense services are the connective tissue of the military, covering everything from basic needs like base air conditioning, food service, construction and snow removal to more complex tasks such as providing IT and cybersecurity services, compiling studies for Pentagon offices and even running many military headquarters.

On the campaign trail Trump pledged to help pay for a military buildup by initiating a Pentagon audit and “eliminating government waste and budget gimmicks.”

 

“Everybody remembers Trump talking about increasing the military during the campaign; nobody seems to remember that he said he was going to cover a lot of those costs by cutting Pentagon waste,” Loren Thompson, another defense industry consultant.

 

Trump first trumpeted those defense spending cuts on NBC’s Meet the Press in October 2015.

 

“I’m gonna build a military that’s gonna be much stronger than it is right now. It’s gonna be so strong, nobody’s gonna mess with us. But you know what? We can do it for a lot less,” Trump said.

 

Shortly following his inauguration, Trump set out to do just that, initiating an executive memorandum on Jan. 27 that directs Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to conduct a 30-day review of military personnel, training, equipment and maintenance, the nuclear triad and missile defenses.

 

The memo notably calls for “reducing commitments not directly related to the highest priority operations, in order to make resources available for training and maintenance.”

 

The document did not offer specifics on which commitments will be reduced, but Trump’s campaign promises – including expanding the Army to 540,000 troops, building a 350-ship Navy, and increasing the number of Marine Corps battalions to 36 and the number of fighter aircraft to 1,200 – are likely to take precedent over services that don’t support such efforts.

 

Following the memorandum, Mattis issued guidance for reviewing the Pentagon’s budget proposals. In it, he acknowledges that directing new dollars to the Pentagon this year could lead to cuts in “lower priority programs.”

 

CACI International chief executive Kenneth Asbury told POLITICO he expects such Pentagon changes to possibly put the IT services firm at a disadvantage.

 

“Changing a program that we’re working on today – somebody decides they want to go in a different direction and somebody’s got a better mouse track to that – that could have an impact,” Asbury said. “It’s a potential threat as somebody changes the priority about something.”

 

One lower priority area likely on the chopping block is what Thompson refers to as “term papers,” the numerous and constant stream of studies that recommend various improvements to the Pentagon, its personnel and its weapons systems.

 

Firms that generate the studies “could be in for a rough ride,” he said.

 

“The department spends a lot of money on studies and the fact of the matter is that there’s not going to be a whole lot of money for growing the military,” Thompson said. “I think at some point here Mattis and the new administration are going to ask themselves whether a lot of these studies – and the other sort of intellectual products that get generated out of the service sector – will be needed.”

 

There are other reasons to be concerned.

 

Service contractors have reason to fear Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney who is eager to slash and shape federal spending levels, including the Pentagon’s budget. Company lobbyists may find it difficult to defend their projects thanks to a turbulent change of administration at the Pentagon.

 

Trump still must appoint and have the Senate confirm about 50 DoD positions. So far only Mattis has made it through the confirmation pipeline.

 

“The transition is not far enough along for companies to know precisely who they should be lobbying,” Thompson said. “So far this seems very much like a Trump-centric administration and so companies like Lockheed and Boeing have gone directly to [Trump] to plead their case. But if you can’t do that or you don’t want to do that, then it’s not clear yet who you should be talking to underneath him because nobody is in place yet.”

 

Thompson added that the response to the administration’s goals has been mixed. “Among the companies that have indicated what they’re doing it’s a pretty diverse approach; everybody is not on the same sheet of music.”

As one defense services industry official phrased it, “we’re kind of in some uncharted territory here. D.C. is in a frenzy.”

 

One potential way to stay on the new administration’s good side: Advertising.

 

IT services giant CSRA launched a new marketing campaign following Trump’s inauguration. The date was “not entirely a coincidence,” said George Batsakis, the chief growth officer of the Falls Church, Va.-based company.

Batsakis said the campaign – which he insisted would be running regardless of who was elected – conveys “the position of CSRA versus the competition and the value of things we bring to the government,” with advertisements strewn across the Pentagon Metro station starting Jan. 30 and broadcast on local radio.

 

The company, which holds $1.5 billion in defense contracts – a third of its portfolio – also ran two local 30-second ads in the DC area during the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.

 

The forecast for service contractors is not all doom and gloom, however.

 

In addition to a boost for training, logistics and maintenance support contracts needed to increase the size of the military, Leidos CEO Roger Krone told POLITICO the government-services company is also readying itself to pick up work as a result of the Trump’s Jan. 23 directive to freeze federal hiring.

 

The military is exempted from the order’s constraints, but the Pentagon’s civilian workforce is not.

 

“I would think that once [Trump] better understands his priorities that they will continue hiring in some of the agencies, but in the short term, if those agencies have an expanded scope of work they will have to rely on contractors,” Krone said. “I think we’re going to do OK.”

 

https://www.politicopro.com/defense/story/2017/03/defense-services-contractors-brace-for-pentagon-spending-shakeup-146438

 

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Trump Is Right To Spend More On Defense. Here’s How To Do So Wisely.

 

(WASHINGTON POST 02 MAR 17) … Michèle Flournoy

 

In his address Tuesday to Congress, President Trump promised to make sure that the U.S. military gets what it needs to carry out its mission by securing “one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.” More funding would surely be a good thing, although the issues of how much and what for are complicated. No one should be under any illusions that a higher Defense Department topline guarantees a more capable armed forces.

 

Trump is reportedly seeking $54 billion over the sequester caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act, which would bring 2018 defense spending to $603 billion. While Trump may view this proposal as historic, it’s only 3 percent more than President Obama’s final budget request. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee has called for a much larger increase – to nearly $640 billion.

 

And as the post-9/11 defense buildup taught us, throwing more money at the Pentagon is not a panacea. What matters is how the money is spent. So what should we look for in the president’s budget request?

 

First, how is spending allocated across readiness, force structure and modernization?

 

There is broad consensus in the Pentagon and Congress that the most urgent priority is addressing readiness shortfalls that affect the military’s ability to respond quickly to crises and other near-term demands. Every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has highlighted readiness problems – such as inadequate training time and maintenance and replacement of equipment – as a source of accumulating risk. While Congress’s willingness to provide war funding – “overseas contingency operations” funds – above baseline defense spending has helped, it has not solved the problem.

 

The larger challenge will be striking the right balance between building a bigger force and building a better one. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has rightly defined his priority as building a “larger, more capable, and more lethal joint force” to contend with a more challenging international security environment and increasingly capable adversaries. But there are tradeoffs between paying for additional personnel and force structure vs. investing in the technology and capabilities necessary to prevail in more contested air, land, maritime, cyber and space domains. Although some increases in force size may be warranted, such as a larger Navy fleet and modest increases elsewhere, the dramatic across-the-board hikes in force structure that Trump proposed during his campaign are both unaffordable and unwise.

 

The bulk of any additional defense investment must focus on maintaining and extending our technological and warfighting edge, including in cyber, electronic and anti-submarine arenas, unmanned systems, automation, long-range striking and protected communications. U.S. military leaders should moderate their appetite for a bigger force today to protect critical investments in cutting-edge capabilities that will determine whether we succeed on the battlefield tomorrow.

 

Second, are deterrence and alliance capabilities being strengthened?

 

Critical to the United States’ ability to deter aggression and prevent conflict in regions where we have vital interests is deploying U.S. military forces forward and helping allies and partners build their own defense capacity. Some of these costs, such as those associated with routinely deploying naval forces around the world, reside in the base defense budget. Others, such as the European Reassurance Initiative, will be covered by annual overseas contingency funding. Still others, such as helping Israel field more robust missile defense systems, are enabled by the State Department’s foreign military financing. These investments, although relatively small in dollars, are disproportionately important to reducing the risk of more costly U.S. military engagements.

 

Third, does the budget keep faith with the men and women who serve? Any budget that claims to strengthen the U.S. military must put people first. Doing so requires reform. For example, does the budget adopt sensible reforms to military health care to improve quality while reining in costs? Does it improve education and professional development? Does it enable more flexible career paths to retain the best and brightest? Does it include a round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) to shed the 30 percent of infrastructure the service chiefs say they no longer need, enabling savings to be reinvested in better training and equipment for those we send into harm’s way?

 

Fourth, how will we pay for the increase in defense spending? The Trump administration has promised dollar-for-dollar cuts in non-defense programs, reportedly targeting State Department and USAID funding for cuts of 30 percent or more. This would create an even more imbalanced national security toolkit limit on our ability to prevent crises through diplomacy and development and result in an overreliance on the military. As Mattis said while head of the U.S. Central Command, “If you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more ammunition.” Furthermore, this approach is unlikely to fly in Congress. Absent a larger budget deal that includes tax reform and reins in non-discretionary spending on Social Security and Medicare, the most likely result is a larger deficit.

 

Finally, if this defense spending increase isn’t part of a larger budget deal providing predictable spending levels for the next several years, it won’t have the desired impact. If the Pentagon is forced to operate under the threat of sequestration, it will not have the predictability necessary to make smart multiyear investments in the capabilities on which our security will hinge.

 

Trump is right to raise the need for more defense dollars, but Congress should scrub his request carefully to ensure that the money is spent wisely and not at the expense of non-defense programs that are critical to U.S. national security.

 

Michèle Flournoy, chief executive of the Center for a New American Security, was undersecretary of defense for policy from 2009 to 2012.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-right-to-spend-more-on-defense-heres-how-to-do-so-wisely/2017/03/01/ca776f74-fe8e-11e6-8f41-ea6ed597e4ca_story.html

 

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FY ’17 Defense Spending Bill Slams F-35 Program; Air Force, Navy Programs Get Boosts

 

(DEFENSE DAILY 02 MAR 17) … Pat Host

 

The fiscal year 2017 defense appropriations bill released Thursday slams the F-35 program, accusing it of, among other things, allegedly not contracting for the proper number of aircraft in each year as appropriated by Congress.

 

The bill, drafted by the House Appropriation Committee (HAC), said four F-35s included in the FY ’15 Defense Appropriations Act and 13 aircraft included in the FY ’16 Appropriations Act were not part of their respective low rate initial production (LRIP) contracts to the contracting strategy of F-35 Program Executive Officer (PEO) Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan. Specifically, the bill said, only four F-35Cs were included on LRIPs nine and 10, rather than the 10 F-35Cs enacted the fiscal years 2015 and 2016 National Defense Authorization acts, impeding production efficiencies.

 

The bill directs the F-35 PEO to use a contracting approach that would award all aircraft included in each appropriations act on the respective production contract for that fiscal year. The agreement includes funding for 74 F-35 aircraft. The F-35 PEO is also directed to brief the congressional defense committees no later than 45 days after the enactment of the bill on the contracting strategy of the aircraft.

 

The F-35 is being developed and produced by Lockheed Martin.

 

The bill also accuses the F-35 program of providing insufficient justification and incomplete information in an untimely manner. It said the potential alternative management structures for the F-35 program being reviewed by the defense secretary will provide an opportunity to improve communication between the F-35 PEO, the military services and the congressional defense committees to ensure the program’s funding requirements are fully understood, communicated and justified. The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) did not return a request for comment by press time Thursday.

 

The bill provides $578 billion, an increase of $5.2 billion over the FY ’16 enacted level and $1.6 billion more than the request by the former administration of President Barack Obama. This includes $516 billion in base funding, an increase of $2 billion above current levels, and $62 billion in overseas contingency operations (OCO), or wartime, spending.

 

Andrew Hunter, director of the defense-industrials initiatives group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank in Washington, said Thursday appropriations bills providing more than authorized amounts happen from time to time. He said usually the authorizers will retroactively authorize the money in the following year’s bill to retain the notional authority to authorize, but it doesn’t have a substantive effect.

 

Hunter said the only defense accounts where the lack of an authorization has a material effect is military construction and intelligence programs. Multi-year procurements, he said, also have to be authorized.

 

When combined with the $5.8 billion in supplemental funding enacted in the continuing resolution (CR) passed in December, the total defense funding for FY ’17 is $583.7 billion, an increase of $10.9 billion over FY ’16. The current CR expires April 28. The appropriations bill will be considered on the House floor next week, according to a HAC statement. CSIS defense budget guru Todd Harrison said on Twitter because the spending bill doesn’t include military construction and family housing, it is not the full DoD budget.

 

Among Air Force programs, the bill bans obligating or expending funds made available by the legislation for pre-milestone B activities after March 31, 2018, for the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS). The bill provides $4.6 billion for the F-35 program, an additional $414 million more than the roughly $4.2 billion authorized by the FY ’17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It also provides $2.6 billion for the KC-46 aerial refueling tanker program, roughly $200 million less than authorized by the NDAA.

 

Among Air Force programs, the bill provides $4.6 billion for the F-35 program, $414 million more than the roughly $4.2 billion authorized by the FY ’17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It also provides $2.6 billion for the KC-46 aerial refueling tanker program, roughly $200 million less than authorized by the NDAA. Boeing is developing the tanker.

 

The bill provides $93 million for the UH-1N helicopter replacement effort, roughly $75 million more than authorized by lawmakers. The bill also provides more than twice the amount of money authorized for the Lockheed Martin-built C-130J program. The bill provides $306 million, which includes two additional aircraft for the Air National Guard. But only $146 million was authorized by the NDAA.

 

Among munitions, the appropriations bill funds to authorized levels the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM – $432 million), The Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM – $60 million) and Small Diameter Bomb (SDB – $92 million). But the bill provides slightly less than authorized for Raytheon-built Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM). The bill provides $337.8 million, roughly $1.5 million less than authorized. The bill also provides $291 million for the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), nearly $7 million less than requested.

 

For space programs, the bill funds to authorized levels the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) program at $646 million and the Global Positioning System III (GPS III) space segment at $34 million. The bill provides $717 million for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) capability program, $26 million less than the authorized amount. The bill cites a change to acquisition strategy for the program. The bill funds to the authorized amount of $536 million for the EELV space vehicle program.

 

In Navy programs, the bill funds the CH-53K heavy lift helicopter program at $332 million, $17 million less than the nearly $349 million authorized. The bill provides roughly $1.4 billion for the V-22 program, $143 million more than authorized. The bill funds the P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine warfare aircraft program with $1.8 billion, roughly $43 million less than requested.

 

The bill also funds $1.3 billion for the Navy’s F-35C carrier variant, providing two additional aircraft for the Navy and two more for the Marine Corps. The $1.3 billion is $421 million more than authorized in the FY ’17 NDAA. The bill funds roughly $2.3 billion for the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) portion of the F-35 program, $255 million more than authorized.

 

For Navy ships, the bill provides $3.6 billion for the DDG-51 program, reducing two ships from the amount requested for FY ’17. The $3.6 billion funded for DDG-51 is roughly $300 million more than authorized. The bill also provides the $3.2 billion authorized for the Virginia class submarine program. It funded $1.7 billion for the CVN refueling overhaul, roughly $44 million less than authorized.

 

The bill provides $150 million in advanced procurement funding for the Navy to buy long-lead time material for the lead ship of an affordable polar icebreaker. The bill directs the Navy and Coast Guard to refine requirements and an acquisition strategy for procurement. This collaboration, according to the bill’s explanatory statement, continues to refine program costs and requirements in an effort to award a detailed design and construction contract for the lead ship in FY ’19. No funding was provided for this in the Obama administration’s request.

 

FY ’17 Defense Spending Bill Slams F-35 Program; Air Force, Navy Programs Get Boosts

 

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Pentagon Advisers Want Cyber ‘Tiger Teams,’ More Authorities For Cyber Command

 

Pentagon advisers: We need more infrastructure cybersecurity. Congress: We want more election-hacking security.

 

(DEFENSE ONE 02 MAR 17) … Patrick Tucker

 

U.S. critical infrastructure and military responsiveness is at such high risk to Chinese and Russian hacking that Pentagon advisors are recommending a special task force, or “an offensive cyber capability tiger team,” to help the military acquire new weapons of cyberwar. But the real worry for senators on the Armed Services Committee, who hear from Defense Science Board members Thursday, was not how to respond to Russia shutting off the lights but how to respond to an attack like the DNC hack and John Podesta hack – attacks on sovereignty that are not necessarily an act of war.

 

While the group came to warn Congress about attacks to things like the U.S. electric grid and other “vital U.S. interests,” Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., quickly brought the discussion to the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia was using spearphishing campaigns to destabilize elections, both in the U.S. and abroad. “If an enemy or an adversary is capable of changing the outcome of an election, that’s a blow at the fundamentals of that country’s ability to govern,” said McCain. “The election is a system of democracy … if you destroy it then you have basically dealt an incredible blow to the country, which is far more severe than shutting down an electrical grid.”

 

“Describe the range of options the U.S. has for deterrence?” against that sort of thing demanded Warren.

 

Jim Miller, a member of the Defense Science Board and a former under secretary of defense for policy, squirmed a bit at the question. “One thing we want to do is deny the benefits” of that sort of operation, he said. “Getting that information out earlier would have been very helpful.”

 

The board is a group of civilian experts who advise the Department of Defense on technical matters. On Thursday they presented a new report on cyber deterrence.

 

The military conversation about cyber capabilities and threats (at least the conversation that the public hears) is typically big on buzz words and small on substance. The most recent report breaks somewhat from that tradition. “Major powers’ (Russia and China) have significant and increasing ability to hold U.S. critical infrastructure at risk or otherwise use the information domain to harm vital U.S. interests, and their more limited but growing capability to thwart our military response through cyberattack.”

 

The proposed tiger team would “develop options and recommendations for improved and accelerated acquisition of scalable offensive cyber capabilities, including additional authorities to USCYBERCOM, and the establishment of a small elite rapid/special acquisition organization.”

 

The idea echoes what U.S. Cyber Command head Adm. Michael Rogers has said he wants to do with CYBERCOM in the years ahead. Rogers would structure Cyber Command teams much more like special operations forces and give commanders more license to use offensive cyber weapons, the same way you would use regular weapons largely determined by the guy with the gun or his immediate superior.

 

“At the moment, we tend to differentiate between the offense and defense,” Rogers, said last month at the AFCEA West conference, in San Diego. “Offensive cyber in some ways is treated almost like nuclear weapons in the sense that their application outside of the defined area of hostility is controlled at the chief executive level and not delegated down. What I hope to see in the next five to seven years is can we engender enough confidence in our decision makers and policy makers … you should feel comfortable pushing this down to the tactical level.”

 

Rogers means he wants fast reaction cyber-squads answering to combatant commanders and outfitted with better tools. On the defensive side, he stressed a need for “machine learning at scale,” using robust artificial intelligence methods applied to detecting and understanding what the enemy is doing and what new tools the enemy is working with. On the offensive side, Rogers said he wants to go to industry for more.

“In the application of [conventional] weapons, we go to the private sector and say, build us a JDAM [a Joint Direct Attack Munition]. On the offensive side [in cyber] to date, we do all of our development internally … is that a sustainable model?” he asked.

 

The newly released Task Force report sounds a similar note to Rogers. “Rapidly establishing and sustaining an array of scalable offensive cyber options, including strategic cyber options, will require a different approach to acquisition … Because target systems and software can change, sometimes unexpectedly and at a moment chosen by the adversary, a quick reaction capability with flexible acquisition authorities will be essential.

 

Needless to say, throwing lots of money at private outfits to develop break-in tools for adversarial networks, databases, devices, etc. will likely prove controversial since civilians and may use similar networks and devices. If you find the perfect hack against, say, a Cisco networking product, can Cisco sue you for damages? Can Cisco customers sue you if an outside party then uses the access tool you developed to steal their data? It’s one reason why following the rules of armed conflict becomes much harder when the battle terrain is, in part, other people’s phones and equipment and not physical space.

 

Patrick Tucker is technology editor for Defense One.

 

http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2017/03/pentagon-advisers-want-cyber-tiger-teams-more-authorities-cyber-command/135861/

 

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Embracing Creativity: A Leadership Challenge

 

(CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL MARITIME SECURITY 08 MAR 17) … David Andre

 

In January 2017, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson, released the Navy Leader Development Framework, outlining how the United States Navy will develop future leaders capable of meeting the challenges of a rapidly changing and complex world. The framework recognizes three values that are integral to developing leadership  –  compliance, creativity, and character.

 

Of the three values, creativity represents the biggest challenge to naval leadership. It is challenging because it defies easy characterization and represents a divergence from the traditional values associated with developing Naval leadership. While there is an institutional framework and culture that develops, values, and supports compliance and character from seaman to admiral, the same cannot be said of creativity. Certainly creativity has always existed within the Navy, but until recently, it was not recognized as an integral value of leadership. Placing it on the same level as compliance and character requires change. And balancing the tension that exists between these values is one of the biggest challenges facing the Navy.

 

Creativity is More than just Being Different

 

In order to effectively harness creativity leaders must clearly understand what creativity is and how it differs from more traditional naval leadership values. Naval leaders are accustomed to dealing with issues of compliance and character. These values are well-defined within the Navy’s core values and evaluation process and feature prominently throughout a sailor’s career, regardless of rating or community. Naval culture views compliance and character dichotomously  –  one has either complied or not; one either has good character or not. In both instances, success and failure are easily identifiable. Leaders and followers feel comfortable using these metrics as ranking tools.

 

Creativity  –  using imagination or original ideas to create something  –  defies such simple characterization. Creativity is different; it is subjective and exists on a spectrum not seen with compliance and character. Creativity courts risk, is not easily manageable, and often results in failure. It follows that creativity will likely be costly in terms of resources and egos  –  there’s rarely an immediate payoff in any tangible terms. However costly, creativity and the innovation it sparks holds the key to developing future leaders that are adaptable. The creative mind holds multiple perspectives simultaneously. As such, creative decision-making produces more options, thereby increasing the likelihood of success. This idea is the bedrock for the SECNAV’s Naval Innovation Network, which seeks to bring together disparate ideas from across the ranks in the hopes of fostering creativity.

 

Establish a Direct Relationship with Creativity

 

While acknowledging the importance of creativity is important, leaders need to take concrete actions that encourage and make effective use of that creativity. The difficulty for today’s leaders is how to cultivate that creative environment for leaders and followers within an organization that traditionally measures success and failure objectively. Doing so requires adjustments to the way in which the organization reacts to failure and the way compliance and character are typically measured. These changes need to occur vertically as well as horizontally because, like character and compliance, when properly cultivated creativity is infectious.

 

Making creativity an effective part of the Navy’s leadership model presents some practical challenges. These challenges range from the bureaucratic to the operational and vary from community to community. While forward-leaning leaders speak of thinking outside the box, enlarging the box, or thinking like there is no box, the words can be difficult to translate into action. That is primarily because these well-intentioned challenges to become creative thinkers rarely address the practical limitations that box sailors in every day. From evaluation cycles and ranking boards to tour lengths and qualifications, the personnel organization of the Navy was not designed with creativity in mind. The bureaucracy, when coupled with operational tempos, stifles creativity; sailors simply don’t have the time or luxury to be creative. However, creativity must have time and room to flourish.

 

Creating this time and space within the disciplined constraints of the Navy is the primary issue facing today’s deckplate leaders. To meet this challenge, these leaders need to move beyond encouraging creativity and provide defined pathways through the bureaucracy and operational tempo. To create these pathways, it is essential that leaders first acknowledge the limitations and potential of creativity. Acknowledging limitations and potential allows leaders to adopt the CNOs line of effort toward High Velocity Learning, whereby leaders strive to accelerate learning through the adoption of the “best concepts, techniques, and technologies.” In doing so, leaders can set aspirational goals while ensuring that creativity yields results and is not wasted time.

 

Foremost, leaders need to identify where and when to tolerate creativity within their particular missions. A sailor performing a Planned Maintenance System (PMS) check is not an acceptable time for encouraging creativity. Yet, a junior officer conducting Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) activities or an Information Systems Technician identifying systems installations onboard a new platform could flourish in a creative environment. Making these differences clear to subordinates will set the stage for creativity to become an effective tool. Meanwhile, adapting processes outlined in the model of high velocity learning that embolden innovation and creativity will leave sailors feeling confident in exercising their creativity, while leaders will feel confident encouraging creativity.

 

Along with creating an environment conducive for creativity, leaders need to establish a balance between creativity and compliance. In many practical ways, creativity opposes the Navy’s concept of compliance. By its nature, creativity eschews following the standard rules as it searches for new and innovative ways to achieve something. Resolving the tension that exists between these values will involve sustained involvement from leadership. The CNO’s guidance makes specific mention of the tension created when the notions of competence and character meet the principles of creativity and compliance. Within this tension lies the potential for failure.

 

There’s an immediate danger in too much creativity and not enough compliance, but there’s a long-term danger in too much compliance and not enough creativity.

 

Moving Past the Fear of Failure

 

Perhaps the greatest impediment to embracing creativity is the potential for failure. Fear of failure does more to stifle creativity than any bureaucracy or operational tempo ever can. The fear manifests itself in two distinct ways: individual and institutional. There is the individual fear that people have of failure and the repercussions of failure. And then there is the institutional fear that comes from the reticence that peers and leaders have of acknowledging failure in others. While each begets the other, it is important not to conflate the two because they come from different places and, thus, need different solutions. Institutional failure is abstract, while individual failure is personal. Studies show that followers who fear failure focus on that fear rather than the task, while leaders who fear failures tend to ignore the failures. In both instances, people lose the ability to learn lessons.

 

Therefore, mandating reforms to foster an institutional environment that embraces failure is only one part of the equation. The individual must also be convinced of the need to accept and learn from failure, which involves a more nuanced approach. To change the attitude sailors have toward failing the Navy must introduce the concept of failureship. Like the name implies, failureship is the ability to fail; and like leadership, it is a learned concept. Considering the relationship that people have with failure, learning to fail constructively is an important lesson for new sailors. Unfortunately, it’s a lesson that the Navy spends little time teaching.

 

Navy culture encourages success at every stage, and rightly so, because lives often depend on that success. The Navy cites historical examples of battles won and lost, each replete with astounding examples of sailors overcoming staggering odds and arduous circumstances to rise to the occasion. The CNOs Professional Reading Program is replete with these stories of heroism. Often overlooked within these stories are examples of creativity – sailors taking chances when there’s nothing else to lose. While these tales illustrate that creativity can lead to success, there’s a deeper, less obvious lesson. That is, too often creativity is treated as a last-ditch effort, that failure is an acceptable outcome when there’s nothing else to lose. It is time to recognize that, in the proper context, creativity and failure will promote success. Creativity does not need to be reactive; it has a preventative dimension. It’s time to move failure to the forefront.

 

To promote this thinking, the discussion needs to move beyond mere acceptance of failure. It needs to move into a realm where leaders encourage failure and followers embrace the lessons of failure. Instead of getting over failure we need to rally around failure. As the aphorism goes: someone who’s never failed has never tried.

 

Discussions of failure need to move from the posters and books and into wardrooms, messes, and galleys. This involves a paradigm shift in how the Navy treats failure. Unlike success, where we champion and personalize the effects, we take a distanced approach to failure. Failure, when accepted, is something that happens to others.

 

Aside from these cultural biases, failure has psychological limitations – people have a tough time dealing with failure. For some, anonymity may encourage creativity, for others, the motivation to be creative may come from the promise of rewards. Despite these differences, the underlying premise remains the same – leaders must look for ways to foster creativity within themselves and their subordinates.

 

Conclusion

 

For good reason, the Navy has long promoted successful execution over thoughtful rumination. However, global forces are at work today that require a paradigm shift in the way the Navy develops future leaders. To remain on the cutting edge, keep the brightest talent, and sustain the element of surprise, the Navy needs to cultivate a culture that believes in the value of failure, adopts an organizational behavior that encourages creative minds, and balances the application of creativity with its practical limitations. After all, creativity embodies the Navy’s core values: it takes honor to try, courage to fail, and commitment to overcome failure.

 

While incorporating creativity into leadership development presents challenges, the good news is that the Navy already possesses many strengths and initiatives to leverage the creative spirit. From traditional concepts like intrusive leadership to new proposals like career sabbaticals and the Tours with Industry program, the Navy is well poised to begin developing creative leaders. The diversity of the Navy’s workforce is another key component that will bolster creativity through exchanging ideas and experiences. As the Navy strives to innovate and overcome, developing and sustaining creative thinkers will determine the future course.

 

Lt. David M. Andre is a former Intelligence Specialist, has served as an Intelligence Officer and Liaison Officer assigned to AFRICOM and is a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School. He is currently serving as N2 for COMDESRON Seven in Singapore.

 

Embracing Creativity: A Leadership Challenge

 

 

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Enabling Leadership From The Bottom

 

(CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL MARITIME SECURITY 07 MAR 17) … Jacob Wiencek

 

As a junior enlisted Sailor in the U.S Navy, developing as a leader is one of the crucial, overarching aspects of my new naval career. As someone on the lower rungs of the ladder I often think about how I can currently develop my leadership capabilities and how I am capable of leading from where I am now.

 

While we should all strive to develop as a leader, to grow, rise up the ranks, and become a senior leader, what we do now can have a profound impact in how we act as we move further up the chain. What I often see neglected is not so much “How do I improve and move on to the next rung of leadership?” but rather “How can I be a leader now?”

 

After reading through the Chief of Naval Operations’ (CNO) new Navy Leadership Development Framework I see many positive ideas to grow and modernize the Navy as a whole. As we adapt to the needs of the 21st century and the challenges we face, it is important to be engaged in these discussions moving forward. The decisions agreed on today will shape not only our Navy in how it operates, but also in our individual outlooks on leadership, and we how we fit in together within the framework of the Navy.

 

Always an Opportunity to Lead

 

I would argue that junior Sailors can provide more than what the framework envisions. While it is very important for us to be engaged in our own professional leadership development, as both junior Sailors and junior leaders, we can provide unique insight and perspective not available to some levels of leadership. From working on the lower rungs of the leadership ladder we can provide not only a unique view into how things are operating, but also provide our experiences to new Sailors, peers, and superiors that can help better shape informed decision making.

 

Anyone can be a leader at any time, no matter where they are in the chain of command. Even though I am a junior enlisted Sailor at the moment, there are still those who are below me that I can benefit from my example and experiences. I am not far removed from being a Seaman, and I can freshly recall the challenges I experienced as I began my naval journey. From working on qualifications at my first duty station, learning the ropes of my job, and adjusting to Navy life, these are just some of the many challenges I faced starting out. While I have overcome many of these challenges, some still remain, and my experiences are recent enough to where I can provide assistance to those who are also on their journey to develop their naval careers. Experience enables leadership.

 

To those Seamen who are just arriving at my command and to my peers as well, my experiences in meeting these challenges can provide a resource to overcome similar challenges. Having recently completed the processes of becoming qualified in my positions, and having stood them for some time now, I can provide that type of on-the-job training that would help ease the path of others who will come after me. Furthermore, this experience would also translate into helping new Sailors qualify for their positions more rapidly. There is little sense in making each sailor reinvent the wheel to learn their particular job. While I am respectful of the issue that each person should at some level be able to independently learn and operate their tasking on their own, as leaders, even a junior ones, we should seek new ways to pass on what we have learned from our particular experiences, to build on the past experiences of others with our own, and to pass that collective knowledge and development onto the next sailor who can continue to add to that.

 

I am particularly encouraged by how the Navy seeks to reform enlisted occupational training and development. “A” School and subsequent “C” schools are obviously important in not only establishing an initial and basic understanding in the many Navy rates we can join, but it also provides the continuing education piece to where skills are refreshed or augmented by new developments in our particular career tracks. Focusing on my own personal development as a leader, these new changes are highly encouraging and positive in helping chart the path to my career growth and success.

 

Leadership is not just a top-down process where my peers and I provide guidance and assistance to those under us. We can also be leaders to those superior to us and use our experiences and knowledge to help those new higher ups who come to our commands. For instance, my experiences at the command can be drawn from by those above me as they adjust to the new structure of the command. Having that kind of understanding can aid those leaders above me as they work to integrate successfully into the command. My on-the-job knowledge can provide workplace experience in how to navigate the department and division while my direct expertise on the mission itself can better help those above me make better decisions and present them with a greater underlying awareness of the mission itself.

 

Conclusion

 

This new Navy Leadership Development Framework is an important step in growing all levels of the Navy in different ways for senior and junior leaders. As a junior Sailor I am encouraged by the positive developments regarding continued rate education development and the steps outlined that can lead to personal improvement as well. Implementing these changes and developments will no doubt increase the overall operational effectiveness and professional development of the service and I am excited that I can add my voice and perspective to the ongoing conversation. Moving forward, I hope more attention can be paid to how junior leaders in the Navy are already leading and how our experiences can enrich our continuing leadership development as a whole.

 

Jacob Wiencek is a Petty Officer Third Class in the United States Navy and currently stationed with Navy Information Operations Command, Hawaii.

 

Enabling Leadership from the Bottom