I was afforded the opportunity to attend Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s Armed Forces Farewell Tribute. The preparation for the event was significant with numerous hours invested by every aspect including the training of each Military Services’ Honor Guard (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard). It even included this segment performed by the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.
All that said and with the perspective from the video… can you find me in the image below?
Defense Systems has a decent summary of the major military programs affect by the recent FY13 budget submission. Titled “Winners and losers in the fiscal 2013 budget” it highlights the following for each service:
- Small Tactical Unmanned System (UAV) will receive $32 million in FY13, and $300 million in FY13-FY17.
- Fire Scout vertical take-off and landing aircraft, the service will instead procure a larger Fire Scout based on a larger Bell Helicopter air frame.
- Medium-Range Maritime Unmanned Aerial System was terminated based on the Fire Scout changes.
- Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) will receive $900 million in FY13, and $6.1 billion from FY13 through FY17. FY13 includes purchase of net-centric warfare IP modems and low-rate initial production (LRIP) to support testing.
- Modification of Stryker vehicles to incorporate command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems to facilitate mission command-on-the-move.
- Cyber capabilities take precedence for U.S. Cyber Command is $3.4 billion in FY13, and $18 billion from FY13 through FY17.
- Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites (fully funded part of $8B FY13 and $40.1B through FY17).
- Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) for surveillance (fully funded part of $8B FY13 and $40.1B through FY17).
- Operationally Responsive Space program will be restructured to provide “more responsive and timely space capabilities to the warfighter.” Included in $8B FY13 and $40.1B through FY17.
- (3) NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) systems $200M in FY13. Based on Global Hawk Block 40.
- Global Hawk Block 30 is cancelled as previously discussed in the initial Defense Budget Priorities post. Will continue to use U-2 through FY25. Reducing $800 million in expenditures for fiscal 2013, and $2.5 billion from fiscal 2013 through fiscal 2017.
- Reduce MQ-9 Reaper armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) purchase by 24. But the funding will still be expended for ground stations.
- Predator will be utilized for a longer period then initially planned to fence funding for the Army’s Gray Eagle.
The hardest part about all of these changes is the adjustment. The Defense Industrial Base must flex in order to ensure those programs that are designated to provide capability longer must be examined to ensure fatigue and extended failure does not adversely limit their mission up time ability. Likewise those entities with program that were cut will immediately request reassessment and ultimately reduce their workforce or reorganize and retask. This is not an easy task but it is the contractor’s role. The intention when utilizing contractors is for this very purpose. The entities within the Government and Military will also require retasking which is much harder to effectively achieve.
This reexamination is not much different then when I strive to get more and more effective dollar out of my diesel VW Jetta. At 150,000 miles there is maintenance to be done but there is no need to purchase a new vehicle when the current one is providing all the capabilities required. The difference is the human element and that should always be handled with care.
In the end there are no “Winners” or “Losers” but the goal is better efficiency and effectiveness. If this is achieved at least you can look a taxpayer in the eye with confidence you maximized every dollar they provided.
[via Defense Systems]