appointments


WASHINGTON: The Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter is the biggest conventional weapons program in history and Vice Adm. David Venlet has run it to much acclaim and quite a bit of backbiting, depending on who you talk with.

This afternoon the Pentagon very quietly sent out notice that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had nominated Venlet’s deputy, Air Force Maj. Gen. Christopher Bogdan for a third star and assignment as director of the F-35 program. Keep reading →

SASC sent full Senate nomination of Gen. Mark Welsh for CSAF http://aol.it/OcwsYw; also LTG John Kelly for SOUTHCOM, LTG Frank Grass for NGB Sydney%20Freedberg

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 →

Pentagon announces slew of appointments in Army (http://1.usa.gov/NyG9ng), Navy (http://1.usa.gov/MAzVP5), and NATO (http://1.usa.gov/NyG9nc) SydneyFreedberg


PENTAGON: The Defense Department named new chiefs today for the Naval Air Systems Command, responsible for all naval aircraft acquisitions, and for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, better known as Naval Reactors (NR), an obscure but powerful organization shard between the Energy Department and the Navy.

Vice Admiral John Richardson, currently the commander of the Atlantic Fleet’s submarine force, will pin on his fourth star as a full admiral when he takes over NR, the job once held by the legendary Hyman Rickover. Rickover exploited NR’s anomalous position — reporting both to the Navy and to the Atomic Energy Commission (which evolved into the Department of Energy) — to build an almost autonomous empire, and the Navy nuclear propulsion program remains a world unto itself. Richardson, like Rickover and outgoing NR chief Adm. Kirkland Donald, is a career submariner, but he’s unusual in the normally reserved submarine community for writing a blog, including a recent, widely cited post on character that pulls together such diverse strands as the Naval academy cheating scandal, Ahu Ghraib, and Plato’s Republic. Keep reading →

Navy announces a slew of appointments for O-6s and O-7s: http://1.usa.gov/M1veiu SydneyFreedberg


WASHINGTON: Two retired colonels are moving in to the office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, which has the herculean task of improving the Pentagon’s business practices. One is a former Marine logistician who worked on the reconstruction of Iraq, the other a former Air Force IT expert, a rare African-American woman in her high-tech field who published a book about her grandmother’s legacy.

Since Mary Gillam retired from the uniformed Air Force in 2010, she’s been working for the Air Force Secretary’s chief information officer as a contractor, through mega-consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. As an SESer, she’ll work for the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Elizabeth McGrath, as the DCMO’s director for technology and innovation. That’s a long way from one of Gillam’s first assignments as a young lieutenant, when she told a reporter from her alma mater, the University of Phoenix, that she had to take command of an Air Force tactical control center where she was the only female officer. “This was my first taste of what it was like to be a leader, and I had to get in there and learn really fast,” she said in that interview. “My grandma taught me not to be afraid to ask questions because if I was going to be a leader, I had to understand the job.” Gillam later published a memoir of her grandmother, who raised her and died while she was stationed in Korea, entitled I Never Said Good-Bye. Keep reading →

Navy announces new commanders for Carrier Strike Groups 1 and 11 out of San Diego, RADMs Steindl and White – and more: http://1.usa.gov/MntN0E SydneyFreedberg