When I first contacted the Pentagon public affairs office for an interview on the Better Buying Power initiative ("Transforming Defense Acquisition From the Inside"), I was willing to interview any subject matter expert they could line me up with.
Lockheed Martin Corp., Owego, N.Y., has been awarded a maximum $30,814,317 firm-fixed-price contract for receiver transmitters. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPRWA1-13-D-2000-THAC).
CACI Inc. - Federal, Chantilly, Va., is being awarded a $10,803,390 modification to previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (HC1028-08-D-2016-9R01) to provide on-site operational support to the mission systems of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) in the areas relating to system maintenance, system conversion and migration, report generation and documentation, training and guidance on the Comptroller Mission Systems as well as service desk and network operations. Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Contract Services Directorate, Columbus, Ohio is the contracting activity.
Navmar Applied Sciences Corp., Warminster, Pa., is being awarded a $44,695,815 cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price contract for a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) effort in support of the Copperhead Unmanned Air Systems, specifically Tigershark Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This project is for the improvement of sensor and platform capabilities, expansion to additional detachments and sustainment of current detachments. This contract includes continued improvements of the Tigershark UAV airframe, incorporation of improved sensors, and integration of improved command and control systems to current and future Copperhead platforms.
Sierra Nevada Corp., Sparks, Nev. (M67854-14-D-2521) and Northrop Grumman Corp., Herndon, Va. (M67854-14-D-2522) are each being awarded a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contract for the counter radio-controlled improvised explosive device (IED) electronic warfare Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operation capable (CREW MEU (SOC), dismounted systems. The CREW MEU (SOC) program addresses an urgent and compelling need for a capability to counter the threat posed by IEDs.
Raytheon Co., McKinney, Texas, is being awarded a $9,522,446 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N68836-13-C-0084) for the full design, manufacture, and installation of test equipment, associated testing, and training to standup an organic depot maintenance facility to support the AN/APY-10 Radar. Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions, Gaithersburg Md., has been awarded a $16,421,355 modification (P000064) for an existing cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (FA8726-09-C-0006) for Global Broadcast Service (GBS) Defense Enterprise Computing Center (DEC C) Software Sustainment and GBS Operations Center (GBSOC) Operations. This contract modification adds software sustainment to maintain the GBS DECC software baseline and provide personnel to staff the GBSOC 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year in support of worldwide GBS operations. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity.
Storming ashore from the sea is becoming increasingly difficult for the U.S. Marine Corps as it faces new missions on the heels of personnel cuts. The nature of Marine assault from the sea is changing, and its aging fleet of amphibious ships are losing their effectiveness both chronologically and evolutionarily.
New technologies and capabilities may be necessary to address both challenges. Gen. James F. Amos, USMC, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, told the audience at the West 2014 Thursday luncheon town hall in San Diego that the Corps needs connecting vessels to bring its force from the sea to the shore quickly and effectively.
Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, Herndon, Va., has been awarded a $12,430,650 firm-fixed-price contract for Spectrum Monitoring Subsystem to be installed at U.S. Army Remote Monitor Control Equipment locations. The U.S. Army Contracting Command – Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-14-C-0021).
Plateau Software Inc., Issaquah, Wash., has been awarded a $9,000,000 firm-fixed-price, sole-source, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for support and maintenance of existing information technology systems that support the Environmental Protection and Sustainment program. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Mobile District, Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity (W91278-14-D-0018).
The U.S. Navy will depend heavily on technology innovation to meet increasing operational demands on a fleet that is aging and suffering from budget constraints, according to the vice chief of naval operations. Adm. Mark E. Ferguson, USN, told the audience at the Thursday luncheon town hall that the Navy needs to work cooperatively with industry to develop the innovative technologies and capabilities it needs.
“The best ideas come out of your laboratories,” he said, addressing industry representatives. “The edge we will need will come from innovation.”
The realm of cyberspace, created by the United States, could be the undoing of its next major military operation unless the country regains control of its own creation. The virtual realm was let loose on the world where it was embraced by all manner of users, and some of them are counting on their expertise in it to overcome the overwhelming power of the U.S. military.
Unmanned systems for reconnaissance, surveillance and warfighting have grown so quickly in popularity that they are spawning a familiar list of challenges that must be met sooner rather than later. Many of these issues have arisen with other military technologies that became popular quickly, and planners found that fixing these problems was significantly more difficult the deeper the technologies were embedded in everyday military operations.
The U.S. Marine Corps is considering a new relationship with special operations forces as it faces a personnel drawdown, said a Marine Expeditionary Force commander. Lt. Gen. John Toolan, USMC, commanding general of the I Marine Expeditionary Force, told a Wednesday panel audience at West 2014 in San Diego that the Corps is looking harder at how it integrates with special operations forces.
Gen. Toolan stated that the Corps has special operations force elements that tie into Marine forces directly when the Corps deploys. The next deployment of the 11 Marine Expeditionary Unit will feature these new ties, he said.
The U.S. Navy is developing a new fleet readiness plan that aims to enable more operations amid less funding. It is designed to avoid redundant activities or situations that might delay operations, and it will provide structure as well as flexibility in a coordinated effort across the fleet.
This endeavor was described by Adm. William E. Gortney, USN, commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Speaking at the Wednesday keynote luncheon at West 2014 in San Diego, the admiral said the command faced some tough choices when confronted with substantial funding reductions.
“We can complain, or we can lead,” he offered. “We’re choosing to lead.”
The U.S. Navy must “achieve a balance” between using custom information technology and adopting commercial products, according to its chief information officer. Terry Halvorsen, appearing in the Wednesday keynote panel at West 2014 in San Diego, told the audience that this balance must weigh all factors in determining the Navy’s information technology direction.
“We are going to be in a declining resource environment,” Halvorsen said. This will require understanding the value of all data from all aspects. Even cyber, funding for which will increase, also must be balanced.
The U.S. Navy of the future will strongly resemble the U.S. Navy of the present, according to a group of admirals. Budget cuts and changing missions are impelling the Navy to rely on its existing platforms and improve them by implementing new technologies.
Vice Adm. Thomas H. Copeman III, USN, commander, Naval Surface Forces, told a Wednesday panel audience at West 2014 in San Diego that the Navy will not see an increasing budget any time in the next 20 years, so it must “squeeze the best” out of what it has.
“The surface fleet we have sitting in the harbor now is the surface fleet we will have 15-20 years from now,” he predicted.
Having vast amounts of intelligence data will not serve U.S. military needs if it is applied only tactically, according to a U.S. Navy information dominance leader. This data must be used to understand an adversary’s strategic intent, or leaders may not act effectively.
Rear Adm. Paul Becker, USN, director for intelligence, J-2, Joint Chiefs of Staff, raised that issue during the Wednesday morning keynote panel at West 2014 in San Diego. Adm. Becker warned that military leaders must be able to glean a deep understanding of an adversary’s mindset, strategy and intent. “We often are at an information deficit in that area,” he stated.
The U.S. Navy’s focus on information dominance is increasing along with its reach. Having organized the force along its lines, the Navy now is applying new operational tasks to its menu.
Vice Adm. Ted Branch, USN, deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance and director of naval intelligence, declared at a West 2014 keynote panel that information dominance is a warfighting domain just like air, sea, land and space. And, being successful in information dominance is as important as being successful in those four other warfighting domains. Cyber is just a component of information dominance, the admiral pointed out.
L-3 Communications Corp., Communication Systems West, Salt Lake City, Utah, has been awarded a $17,919,946 delivery order (0003) on an existing firm-fixed-price and cost-reimbursable contract (FA8620-13-G-4051) for supply of Satellite Communications Terminals, Test and Monitor Sub-Systems, Satellite Earth Terminal Sub-Systems (SETTS) Site Monitor and Radomes for the United States, United Kingdom and France. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Medium Altitude Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.