The Scout Report 55th Edition
Military, Veterans and Defense Industry Issues and Analysis
February 27, 2012
Congress is roaring back this week with fully 16 hearings on defense and veterans issues including an unusual joint Veterans Affairs committee hearing to receive and annual report from the Disabled American Veterans. The week was dominated by the unfolding catastrophe in Afghanistan over inadvertent burning of discarded Qurans and will continue to be this week. WikiLeaks is back in the news again with release of Stratfor’s stolen emails as well. Its going to be a fascinating week.
The Scout Report is a weekly analysis of the news in the aerospace, defense and veterans sectors written by Fred Wellman and emailed each Monday morning. Its designed to provide insight on what are the hot topics in these unique areas for those working in these areas as well as those with simple interest in them.
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The week ahead:
Themes: The fallout is far from over from the Quran burning episode in Afghanistan and the killings of U.S. forces by our erstwhile Afghan allies. Expect this to generate a loud conversation about the future of U.S. involvement in the country. Congress is ready to hit it hard with a full slate of hearings and there will be a lot of chatter about emails released by WikiLeaks stolen by Anonymous from Austin, Texas firm Stratfor.
IDGA Military Armor Protection (Mon-Wed, 27-29 February) Alexandria, Virginia
This event is a forum for the military armor community to exchange ideas on new armor technologies, challenges and developments in protective equipment for vehicles and personnel. The conference aims to deliver a national, large-scale military armor event where armor protection professionals (both military and non-military) can come to learn the current requirements, latest advancements and future development of military armor. In its sixth year, this event is geared to provide the military armor community with a focused, dedicated event to address the design, development, manufacturing and procurement of armor protection. This includes requirements, testing, material performance, innovations and challenges.
Congress: The full Congress is in session this week…in a big way
Senate Armed Services Committee – Hearing (9:30 AM, Tues, 28 February)
Full committee hearing on “The U.S. Pacific Command and the U.S. Transportation Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY2013 and the Future Years Defense Program.”
Witnesses: Navy Adm. Robert Willard, commander of the U.S Pacific Command; and Air Force Gen. William Fraser III, commander of the U.S. Transportation Command, testify
Location: 106 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Senate Budget Committee – Hearing (9:30 AM, Tues, 28 February)
Full committee hearing on the FY2013 budget request for the Defense Department.
Witnesses: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta; and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey testify
Location: 608 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Weds, 29 February)
Full committee hearing on the “The FY2013 Budget for Veterans’ Programs.”
Location: 418 Russell Senate Office Building
Senate Appropriations Committee – Hearing (10:30 AM, Weds, 29 February)
Defense Subcommittee hearing on “The FY2013 Budget Request for the Department of the Army.”
Witnesses: Secretary of the Army John McHugh; and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno testify
Location: 192 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Senate Armed Services Committee – Hearing (9:30 AM, Thurs, 1 March)
Full committee hearing on “The U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command, and U.S. Transportation Command in review of the Defense Authorization request for FY2013 and the Future Years Defense Program”
Witnesses: Navy Adm. James Stavridis, commander of the U.S. European Command/supreme Allied commander, Europe; Army Gen. Carter Ham, commander of the U.S. Africa Command; Air Force Gen. William Fraser III, commander of the U.S. Transportation Command, testify
Location: 216 Hart Senate Office Building
House Veterans’ Affairs Committee – Hearing (4:00 PM, Mon, 27 February)
Health Subcommittee hearing on “Building Bridges between VA and Community Organizations to Support Veterans and Families.”
Witnesses: Andy Davis, veteran and director of the Saratoga County Veterans Service Agency, Saratoga County, N.Y.; John Morris, Joint Force Headquarters chaplain, Minnesota National Guard; Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, director of Purdue University’s Military Family Research Institute; M. David Rudd, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and scientific director of the National Center for Veteran Studies at the University of Utah; George Ake III, assistant professor of medical psychology at Duke University, American Psychological Association; Rev. E. Terri LaVelle, director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Veterans Affairs Department; Michael McCoy Sr., associate director of the Veterans Health Administration National Chaplain Center, testify
Location: 334 Cannon House Office Building
House Armed Services Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Tues, 28 February)
Full committee hearing on “FY2013 National Defense Authorization Budget Request from the Department of the Air Force.”
Witnesses: Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley; and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz testify
Location: 2118 Rayburn House Office Building
House Armed Services Committee – Hearing (1:30 AM, Tues, 28 February)
Military Personnel Subcommittee hearing on “Military Personnel Budget Overview.”
Witnesses: Acting Defense Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness Jo Ann Rooney; Assistant Defense Secretary for Health Affairs Jonathan Woodson, director of TRICARE Management Activity; Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Military Personnel Policy Virginia Penrod; and Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Civilian Personnel Policy Pasquale “Pat” Tamburrino, Jr., testify
Location: 2118 Rayburn House Office Building
House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and Senate Veterans Affairs Committee – Joint Hearing (2:30 AM, Tues, 28 February)
House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee joint hearing on “The Legislative Presentation of the Disabled American Veterans.”
Location: 345 Cannon House Office Building
House Armed Services Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Weds, 29 February)
Full committee hearing on “FY2013 National Defense Authorization Budget Request from U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command.”
Witnesses: Navy Adm. James Stavridis, commander of the U.S. European Command, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe; and Army Gen. Carter Ham, commander of the U.S. Africa Command testify
Location: 2118 Rayburn House Office Building
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Weds, 29 February)
National Security, Homeland Defense, and Foreign Operations Subcommittee hearing on “Preventing Stolen Valor: Challenges and Solutions,” focusing on issues arising from the fabrication of military service records and awards by those who fraudulently seek to obtain personal and professional benefit.
Location: 2154 Rayburn House Office Building
House Budget Committee – Hearing (2:00 PM, Weds, 29 February)
Full committee hearing on the FY2013 budget for the Defense Department.
Witnesses: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta; and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey testify
Location: 210 Cannon House Office Building
House Armed Services Committee – Hearing (3:00 PM, Weds, 29 February)
Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee hearing on “Department of Defense FY2013 Science and Technology Programs.”
Witnesses: Assistant Defense Secretary for Research and Engineering Zachary Lemnios of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics; Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology Marilyn Freeman of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology; Navy Rear Adm. Mathew Klunder, chief of naval research in the Office of Naval Research; Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology, and Engineering Steven Walker of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition; and Kaigham Gabriel, deputy director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, testify
Location: 2212 Rayburn House Office Building
House Appropriations Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Thurs, 1 March)
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the FY2013 budget for military construction.
Witnesses: Defense Undersecretary/Comptroller Robert Hale; Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond Odierno; Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert; Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos; and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Norton Schwartz testify
Location: 2359 Rayburn House Office Building
House Armed Services Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Thurs, 1 March)
Full committee hearing on “FY2013 National Defense Authorization Budget Request from U.S. Pacific Command.”
Witnesses: Navy Adm. Robert Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command testifies
Location: 2118 Rayburn House Office Building
House Appropriations Committee – Hearing (1:00 PM, Thurs, 1 March)
Defense Subcommittee hearing on the budget for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
Witnesses: Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus; Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert; and Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos, testify
Location: H-140, U.S. Capitol
Think tanks and other news events:
U.S. Institute of Peace/Institute for the Study of War: Policing Iraq Washington D.C. (9:30 AM, Weds, 29 February)
Description: The United States Institute of Peace and the Institute for the Study of War will co-host a panel of distinguished experts who will discuss the history of the Iraqi police and the U.S. police assistance program in Iraq. This public event will introduce a new USIP Special Report by Robert Perito on “The Iraq Federal Police: U.S. Police Building under Fire.”
Participants: General Jim Dubik (U.S. Army, ret.), Panelist, Senior Fellow, Institute for the Study of War, Dr. Austin Long, Panelist, Assistant Professor, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, Ginger Cruz, Panelist, Former Deputy Inspector General, Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) Robert Perito, Moderator, Director, Security Sector Governance Center, U.S. Institute of Peace, Tara Sonenshine, Introduction, Executive Vice President, U.S. Institute of Peace, Marisa Cochrane Sullivan, Introduction, Deputy Director, Institute for the Study of War
Location: U.S. Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20037
Georgetown University: The Future of America’s Army: Adapting to a New Strategy and A Smaller Budget Washington D.C. (12:00 PM, Wed, 29 February) (RSVP Required)
Description: Major General Anthony A. Cucolo III, Director of Force Development for the Deputy Chief of Staff, G8, Department of the Army will discuss the future of the U.S. Army during this key transitional period in history.
Participants: MG Tony Cucolo
Location: Georgetown University Lauinger Library Murray Room, 5th Floor
Tech America Foundation Defense Strategic Planning Forum Washington D.C. (Thurs, 1 March)
Description: The 7th Annual Defense Strategic Planning Forum will be hosted by TechAmerica Foundation. The highly popular panel of defense industry strategists will offer their views on the latest DoD budget request and the major challenges facing the industry in the future. Topics will include: How will the state of the economy and the national debt situation impact future defense spending? What market segments hold the best opportunities for the defense industry? How will the international market position of U.S. defense companies change? What is the role of strategic planning going forward?
Participants: Pierre Chao, Managing Partner, Renaissance Strategic Advisors, Doug Belair, Sr. Vice President, Strategy and Planning, BAE Systems, Inc., Tom Davis, Vice President, Strategic Planning, General Dynamics, Vice Admiral Stanley Szemborski, (USN, Ret.), VP Corporate Strategy, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Glenn Weissinger, Vice President, Strategic Planning, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Dr. Frank Bourne, Vice President, Strategy and M&A, AP&T, GCSD, Harris Corporation, M. Stuart Davis, Executive Vice President, Investor Relations, ManTech International, Rob Mullins, Sr. Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Communications, ATK, John E. Shephard, Jr., Sr. Vice President, Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer, Exelis, Inc., Dave Speiser, Sr. Vice President, Corporate Development, SAIC
Location: The University Club, 1135 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Major themes and issues from last week:
Quran Burning and Fall Out Issues:
Heidi Vogt and Rahim Faiez, Associated Press/ Christian Science Monitor
It started with an announcement from ISAF Commander General John Allen last Monday night after the discovery of charred Qurans in the burn pit at Bagram Air Base by local workers who smuggled them off post and sparked immediate outrage across Afghanistan. Since then dozens have been hurt and four U.S. service members are dead at the hands of their uniformed Afghan partners leaving many to wonder if there is little point in the U.S. continuing to spend lives and money in the country that has so little regard for our efforts.
Greg Jaffe, Washington Post
The killing of two soldiers Friday and the cold blooded execution of two high ranking officers inside the seemingly secure Ministry of Interior Saturday is throwing serious doubt on the entire concept currently being planned to withdraw from Afghanistan and leave a smaller advisory force behind. Incidents like these were almost unheard of in Iraq but increasing amounts of so called ‘green-on-green’ incidents between NATO and Afghan security forces is calling into question how much they can be trusted and whether the entire plan is reasonable at all. Clearly real questions must be asked after a decade of work that an accidental incident can lead to such violence and destruction and it provides fuel to those who doubt more time and money will make any difference at all.
Veterans and Military Issues:
Rick Maze, Navy Times
Ohio Congressman Bill Johnson has introduced legislation to raise the priority of veteran-owned businesses in the buying system for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Under current rules a host of other priorities come before veterans businesses and VA has taken a beating for several months on the issue, as they do not include veterans set-asides when buying from the GSA. Sadly even if the legislation passes it merely moves a veteran business from 8th priority to 6th.
The American Legion
The American Legion hosted an interesting roundtable discussion of veterans homelessness this past week in DC with representatives from a host of organizations including the VA, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, HUD, Department of Labor and other non-profits. What’s interesting is more than just the many programs available and progress being made but the bringing together of leaders from so many organizations to find collaborative solutions. The facts are that the solutions to veterans’ homelessness, unemployment and other challenges are found in a network of support from government, non-profits and increasingly corporate support. It’s a good piece to read to catch up on some of the issues and efforts underway.
Gwen Moran, Entrepreneur
Anecdotally it seems more and more veterans are making the plunge into entrepreneurship and finding success as their own bosses. A study we previously mentioned last year found that veterans are more than 45% more likely than their civilian counterparts to make the dive into self-employment and officers are even more likely. Most experts attribute to how organizational skills and risk tolerance are key parts of successful military leadership as well as entrepreneurial success. Some good resources listed in this story.
Budget and Industry Issues:
Paul McCleary, Aviation Week
The head of the Army’s Ground Combat Systems directorate told reporters at AUSA’s Winter Symposium this week that they are confident that even with the reduced budgets the Army is on track with his heavy vehicle programs. They caveat the confidence with a dose of reality but believe that the Strykers, GCV’s and replacements for the old M113 Armored Personnel Carriers will proceed relatively on schedule due to the overwhelming need for the programs.
Andrea Shelal-Esa, Reuters
The Marine Corps deputy commandant for aviation gave a detailed overview of the Osprey program and mentioned the service’s desire to encourage foreign sales of the tilt-rotor aircraft to keep costs down as they procure over 100 more of the system. While it started off with some difficulty the Osprey has deployed successfully to combat several times now and per hour costs have been steadily declining. The Marines are still troubled by an operation readiness rate hovering around 53% but believe the reliability will continue to increase. The aircraft will fly at the Farnborough airshow in July after appearances in Singapore and Dubai this year.
Bhavan Jaipragas, Agence France-Presse
Another article extoling the growing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle market with a nice summary of the international programs that are growing rapidly. Israel has long held a robust presence as leaders in UAV technology but new offerings from Asian manufacturers are growing as well alongside U.S. made systems from General Atomics and Northrop Grumman. The market is growing at a rapid pace with Teal Group estimating the global drone market will nearly double from the current $5.9 billion to around $11.3 billion over the next decade. It’s a unique new niche that offers huge advantages over current methods and capabilities to countries who could never get into space for satellite programs.
Colin Clark, AOL Defense
The Air Force is going to great pains to keep information about its new Long Range Strike Bomber limited while it assures that the program is underway and will deliver new aircraft in the 2020’s. Speaking at the Air Force Association’s winter gathering Air Force Secretary Mike Donley was rather elusive. Pratt and Whitney is known to be working on engines but little else is public beyond the $4 billion spread over five years in the new 2013 budget submission. All in all there are more questions than answers on the system but expect more contractors to get pieces of the new program from long range sensors to rumors of specialized UAV’s that would fly along with the aircraft.
Communications and Social Media:
Jacey Eckhart, SpouseBuzz
After the deaths of two soldiers last week in Afghanistan during riots associated with the Qoran incidents it came to light that one of the soldier’s wife found out about his death via a text message from one of the other wives in their unit followed by a Facebook post from another before the casualty notification team ever arrived. This has created quite a conversation on SpouseBuzz about who is to blame but the fact is in this day and age many soldiers are packing personal international cell phones and communications black outs just aren’t possible. The Army will have to consider how to deal with this from updated training of military members and their families as well as ways to expedite notification to head off technology’s speed as soon as possible. Either way it’s a horrible way to find out your husband gave his last full measure.
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
Hornaday asks hard questions about the new movie about the Navy SEALs filmed during training missions with actual active duty SEALs as the characters. The movie came in number one at the box office this weekend with over $25 million in ticket sales. Questions abound around the amount of support given to the moviemakers is staggering and the entire concept began as a recruiting piece commissioned by the Navy to before morphing into a feature length film with big name distributorship. It blurs the lines between military “support” to commercial movies and government commissioned propaganda, which is clearly illegal in current legal frameworks. While it seems to be a well-meaning effort with unheard of action sequences the question has to be asked if in the larger picture this kind of approach does more harm to the reputation of the military than helps it?
Kevin Baron, National Journal
Doug Wilson, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, announced his resignation from the position after two years and a lifetime of mostly government service last week. Wilson had the unique honor of being both the highest ranking gay and Jewish official in the Department of Defense during the contentious period of the repeal of ‘Don’ Ask, Don’t Tell’. No replacement has been named as of yet.
Other Items of Interest:
Stephen Grey, Reuters
Wikileaks announced Sunday night that they would release all five million emails stolen by hacking collective Anonymous from Texas based global security company Stratfor. WikiLeaks claims the emails show evidence of nefarious relationships, bribery and plans to attack WikiLeaks itself in the emails. They have partnered with 25 news organizations for the release leaving them to scrub the documents. Interestingly only McClatchy and Rolling Stone have agreed to work with them in the U.S. Many of us in the defense community are somewhat bemused by it all since Stratfor is hardly a mercenary intelligence organization in any way. It’s an analysis firm that mostly uses open source information. Either way the revelations will be interesting and uncomfortable for hundreds of clients and sources in coming weeks.
Tim Hume, CNN
Jeff Weiss is a professional negotiations consultant and thought the Army could use some of the lessons he learned in the boardrooms leading to the West Point Negotiation Project ten years ago. He soon found that Army leaders are pretty good at negotiations and a decade of war has only made them better. He distilled five key lessons including 1) Know your enemy; 2) Creativity, not compromise; 3) Army yourself..and the other side; 4) Win hearts and minds; and 5) Take control. These are certainly points many of us found working in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mark Sherman, Associated Press/USA Today
The Supreme Court this week wrestled with the same issues other courts have dealt with on the Stolen Valor Act while reviewing the first case brought to the highest level. As with others the question of whether the law leads to a slippery slope of restrictions on the First Amendment right of free speech where just lying about something not under oath becomes a crime. Those who support the law believe the integrity of military medals and the honor accorded those who receive them needs to be protected while others feel it criminalizes simple lies and boasts. The decision will likely come out somewhere in between with a very tightly defined ruling that is limited just to this law and doesn’t set precedent for similar future laws restricting such behaviors.
Lara Jakes, Associated Press
The last missing U.S. service member from the Iraq war has been found according to his family and the Army on Sunday. Staff Sgt. Ahmed al-Taie was 41 when he snuck off his base in 2006 to visit his secret Iraqi wife and was snatched off the streets right before her eyes. Nothing has been heard of him since and his remains were handed over to the U.S. in the last three weeks and are now at Dover Air Force Base. No circumstances surrounding his death or the recovery of his remains have been given but this closes a chapter for the U.S. and leaves no missing in action troops. This is significant as no U.S. war has ever been without MIA’s.
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