Congress

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[UPDATED with Congressional staffer comment] WASHINGTON: The Pentagon’s coy about the next iteration of its Better Buying Power initiative, but it’s clear that “BBP 3.0” is coming. We even have some hints of what will be in it: more encouragement for rapid prototyping and other forms of innovative acquisition to keep America’s technological edge, a… Keep reading →

A National Guard AH-64 Apache lands on a Navy ship -- a rare skill in the Army. But the Pentagon's budget plans would move all Guard Apaches to active-duty units.

WASHINGTON: National Guard attack helicopter units just can’t be as battle-ready as full-time regular Army ones, Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox has been telling the Hill. That’s why the Guard should give all its AH-64 Apache gunships to the active-duty force to replace older aircraft lost to budget cuts. “Combat elements must be in… Keep reading →

General Dynamics says the Army's AMPV (Armored Mutli-Purpose Vehicle) competition is stacked against its 8x8 Stryker.

WASHINGTON: General Dynamics has pulled back from the long-shot path of formal protests over the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), but its quieter campaigns on Capitol Hill and in the Pentagon will continue — and those efforts may have better odds. At stake is the Army’s largest weapons program to survive sequestration (so far), its $6 billion replacement for… Keep reading →

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CAPITOL HILL: The Pentagon’s top space officials told Congress today they have launched a study to ascertain if the United States can build its own rocket engines so expensive and large spy and GPS satellites don’t have to be launched using Russian rocket engines, as they are now. Gen. William Shelton, head of Air Force Space… Keep reading →

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Military Deals With Humvee Vulnerability

UPDATED Friday April 4th: Army denies General Dynamics protest General Dynamics Land Systems cannot and will not compete for the Army’s largest surviving weapons program, the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, unless the service changes how it is handling the program, GDLS’s senior spokesman told me yesterday afternoon. A GDLS withdrawal would be yet another embarrassment for… Keep reading →

Observer, Mentor, Liaison Team members, Maj. Jim Hickman and Latvian army Maj. Juris Abolins, patrols through the village of Nishagam, in Konar province, Afghanistan alongside members of the Afghan national army, March 18. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Moeller) http://www.nationalguard.mil/news/archives/2009/03/033009-Afghanistan.aspx

After more than two months of escalating conflict, the powerful National Guard Association of the US downshifted today and took a markedly more conciliatory tone towards the Army leaders it had been savaging just last week. As Army Sec. John McHugh and Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno testified before the House Armed Services Committee,… Keep reading →

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Maj. Gen. William Rapp couldn’t have picked a better time get a ticket out of DC. As the Army’s Chief Legislative Liaison, he’s been the embattled service’s point man presenting its 2015 budget on Capitol Hill, where on top of all the usual budget shenanigans, the National Guard Association of the US is raising calculated hell… Keep reading →

A California National Guard soldier in Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON: Late Friday, the powerful National Guard Association of the US escalated the already bitter conflict between the Guard community and regular Army leaders by another notch — and they did so in response to something an Army general told Breaking Defense. On Tuesday, Breaking Defense published an interview I’d done with Maj. Gen.  John Rossi,… Keep reading →

A-10 from below

CAPITOL HILL: Aside from Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the reaction from Capitol Hill to the Air Force plan for retiring the ugly and beloved A-10 has been relatively muted and may remain so. Why would Congress, beloved for going slightly nuts whenever the military tries to retire a ship, aircraft squadron, or anything else that means jobs… Keep reading →

The US Capitol seen from the Newseum this morning during a US Naval Institute conference.

After two weeks of covering the 2015 defense budget, I can assure you it is confusing. Every budget includes fudges, silliness and an enormous amount of information. They are hard to make sense of and often their import doesn’t become clear for a year or two. But this budget may be the most complex one… Keep reading →

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