Congress

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WASHINGTON: Most Americans think it’s obvious: Change the rules to ensure the Pentagon will save money and it will save money. Congress after Congress has tried this, most recently in the form of the widely praised Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act. Sadly, the assumption that acquisition reform makes things better does not appear to stand up to… Keep reading →

Frank Kendall

CAPITOL HILL: The United States will begin serious development of prototypes for so-called sixth generation fighters — successors to the F-35 and F-22 — for the Navy and the Air Force in the 2016 budget, says the head of Pentagon acquisition, Frank Kendall. The Aviation Innovation Initiative is a new effort, not an agglomeration of existing DARPA… Keep reading →

New HASC chairman Mac Thornberry is mobbed by questioners at AEI this morning.

WASHINGTON: Mac Thornberry won’t save the world. The soft-spoken Texan faces high expectations as the new head of the House Armed Services Committee, but he spent his first DC speech as chairman lowering them on what’s become his signature issue, reforming how the Pentagon buys weapons. After more than a year working quietly on acquisition… Keep reading →

Maj. Gen Gus Hargett

The regular Army and the National Guard are increasingly at loggerheads — not because they don’t respect each other, but because both want to protect their funding, their mission, and their people from zero-sum budget cuts. We asked the chiefs of the two leading advocacy groups involved to present their very different views for the way… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

WASHINGTON: One of the Pentagon procurement system’s top officials and one of its harshest critics sounded optimistic today that the military can improve how it buys weapons. The key, both said, is for Congress to repeal old laws that now get in the way before it writes anything new — an idea to which the… Keep reading →

USS Washington

Smooth sailing is not in the Navy’s forecast for the next year.The service faces big decisions on major programs, and we can expect clashes between Navy plans, congressional politics and budgetary realities on three of the biggest: the upgunned Littoral Combat Ship, the UCLASS armed drone, and the jewel in the Navy’s crown, the nuclear aircraft carrier. The… Keep reading →

A US Apache helicopter overflies FOB (Fo

WASHINGTON: A major battle is brewing between the regular Army and National Guard. While Congress has frozen the planned transfer of the Guard’s Apache gunships to active-duty units, the Army is already taking steps that may make it much harder to keep the helicopters in the Guard. The Aviation Restructure Initiative calls for all Apaches to be moved from the Guard… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: Marion Blakey stepped up her three-year campaign against sequestration by challenging Congress more directly than ever in her annual address. Last year, the head of the Aerospace Industries Association called on legislators to “step up.” This year, she suggested that if they don’t, “fed up” voters may force them to step down. “Look at the… Keep reading →

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee

WASHINGTON: The parlor game of where ‘will the top staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee go’ can be declared over. Peter Levine will be heading over to the Pentagon, where almost all long-time Democratic staff have headed since the Obama administration took power. He may be taking the newly created post of chief management… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine

WASHINGTON: The Navy rebuffed today a Congressional Budget Office estimate that the service is too optimistic about the cost of its new nuclear missile submarine. Still, whatever the final cost, it’s certain to be high — so high the Navy officially admits its own figures show the sub is unaffordable under current budget plans. In… Keep reading →

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