WASHINGTON: As the wars draw down and budgets shrink, the massive Army Materiel Command — 70,000 military and civilian personnel at arsenals, depots, and other facilities in all 50 states — is shifting gears and taking on new missions.

Some longstanding efforts are winding down, explained Lt. Gen. Patricia McQuistion, AMC’s new deputy commander, at a breakfast hosted this morning by the Association of the US Army. The command is buying less ammunition and more of what it buys will be training ammo as opposed to live rounds for combat. Likewise, after a massive investment in uparmored Humvees and MRAPs, the Army has more trucks than it expects to need, and it’s up to AMC to get rid of them. “As tactical wheeled vehicles come down, we’ll be able to divest some of those,” McQuistion said. Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: US foreign military sales are growing so fast the Pentagon can’t keep its PowerPoint slides updated — and they may well grow still more if a Defense Department policy easing exports of unmanned aircraft to 66 countries gets interagency and Congressional approval.

When Defense Security Cooperation Agency staff put together a briefing for DSCA deputy director Richard Genaille to give today at the National Press Club, new Foreign Military Sales (FMS) for fiscal year 2012 were at $64 billion. “It’s now $65 billion and will probably go up more in this fiscal year,” Genaille told the audience this morning at the ComDef 2012 conference. All told, Genaille said, “the FMS portfolio is valued at $385 billion dollars,” and supports “at least 3.5 million jobs, [at] a conservative estimate.” Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

Greg Sanders CSIS photo

  As the Defense Department’s budget goes down, the number of contracts awarded without competitive bids is going up. The share of contracts awarded without competition has risen from 39 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2012, according to a report I co-authored with Jesse Ellman and Rhys McCormick on DoD Contracting Trends. The news for… Keep reading →

Washington: Defense giant Boeing is wasting no time pushing its newest attack helicopter onto the international market.

Boeing is already fielding informal solicitations from a number of foreign militaries about the newest version of the Army’s AH-64 Apache. Representatives from several foreign militaries visited Boeing’s facility in Mesa, Arizona to commemorate the delivery of the first Block III Apache to the Army, Mike Burke, director of business development for the company’s attack helicopter division, said yesterday. Keep reading →