After months of talking about the size of the Republican presidential hopefuls list and the question of Hillary Clinton’s right to refuse to share emails stored on her private server, the U.S. Congress finally is getting down to what's really important to running a government: the budget. Don’t get too excited. Talk of talking about thinking about what should be done to avoid a government shutdown or halting sequestration still is only in the whispering stage. But the conversations are getting louder, and that’s encouraging, considering it’s only August.
The future of U.S. Navy shipbuilding may depend on savings realized elsewhere in the sea service, according to a panel at West 2012 in San Diego. With shipbuilding constituting only about 10 percent of the Navy budget, other cost savings may be necessary for the Navy to build the ships it needs to meet new strategic realities. Ronald O'Rourke, a specialist in naval affairs with the Congressional Research Service, urged the Navy to cut costs in other areas while applying smart procurement lessons to shipbuilding. Traditional lessons include having requirements up front, managing risk by not trying to do too much, accepting 70-80 percent solutions and providing stability for industry.
Lt. Gen. Susan S. Lawrence, USA, chief information officer/G-6, opened LandWarNet 2011, by promising that every one of the 453 vendors at the conference will be visited by a member of her senior team. They will fill out surveys describing the technologies they saw, which she will review, and she encourage all attendees also to contribute their insights about solutions that can address the Army's challenges by filling out the surveys. Gen. Lawrence introduced Maj. Gen. Alan R. Lynn, USA, Chief of Signal, Fort Gordon, who described some of the changes that are on the way, including the use of avatars to track each soldier as he or she enters the Army.