This summer, the US Army’s research & development command, RDECOM, has kicked off an experiment to try infusing the latest commercial video game technology into the Army’s most important combat simulator. The new tech brings real potential for better military training – but also a very real danger. Famous for powering games like 2012’s Borderlands… Keep reading →
[updated 9:45 am Wednesday with DOT&E data] CRYSTAL CITY: Navy crews don’t have enough sailors, training, or spare parts to keep up with operational demands, the Commander of Naval Surface Forces said bluntly this afternoon. The service needs to make better use of smaller budgets by standardizing equipment and adopting new training simulations, Vice Adm. Tom Copeman said, but even that’s not enough: Ultimately, he said, the Navy must get smaller to stay ready.
That approach doesn’t play well on Capitol Hill, which is so focused on the keeping up the size of the fleet that last year it refused to let the Navy retire three aging Ticonderoga-class cruisers which admirals said cost more they were worth to keep maintained. Keep reading →
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 →
While the active-duty Air Force and the National Guard are at odds over budget cuts in Washington, the relationship seems smoother at Florida’s Eglin Air Force Base, where an Air National Guard officer assigned the an active-duty 33rd Fighter Wing became the first Guard pilot to fly the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the controversial product of the Pentagon’s biggest procurement program. Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: To squeeze the most it can out of every training dollar in an era of shrinking budgets, the Army Reserve will rely more on simulators and long-distance learning to replace traditional drill weekends, outgoing Chief of Army Reserve Lt. Gen. Jack Stulz said today. Those efficiencies, in turn, will free up funds for ambitious new efforts to do more training abroad with allies and in three state-of-the-art training centers in the US: Fort Hunter Liggett in California, Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, and Fort Dix in New Jersey.
“We’re going to have constrained resources,” Lt. Gen. Stultz , who retires this summer, told reporters this morning in a farewell conference call. While his six years as Chief of Army Reserve were a period of virtually “unconstrained” resources but never enough time in the rush to support the war effort, Stultz said, his successor Lt. Gen. Jeff Talley will face the challenge of sustaining the force affordably for the long haul. A key part of that will be a new approach to training. Keep reading →
How do you modernize without money?
Army brass are test-driving a new message at the annual Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) conference in Fort Lauderdale: Modernization is about more than new equipment – which, by the way, we can’t afford. There are plenty of other things we can do to keep our cutting edge. Keep reading →