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March 15, 2023 | International, Naval

How the US plans to expand its submarine industrial base for AUKUS

The Defense Department and Congress will need to pour billions of dollars into the submarine industrial base to prepare to sell Australia AUKUS submarines.

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  • Latest emergency coronavirus funding package includes tens of billions for defense, VA

    March 26, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Latest emergency coronavirus funding package includes tens of billions for defense, VA

    Leo Shane III The Department of Defense is poised to get another $10.5 billion in emergency funding and the Department of Veterans Affairs another $19.6 billion as part of a $2 trillion package designed to blunt the economic impact of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak throughout America. The money includes $1.4 billion in direct funding for National Guard deployments to help state governments respond to emerging health needs, $1.5 billion for the expansion of military hospitals and mobile medical centers if needed, and $1 billion for the Defense Department to help with production of medical supplies running short because of the pandemic. The measure — which if passed would be the third major coronavirus response by Congress this month — also includes provisions to deliver billions of dollars to hospitals, new state and local government support, expanded unemployment compensation and massive business loans, all designed to help stabilize the economy amid unprecedented social shut-downs to curb the virus spread. Senate lawmakers are expected to vote on the measure sometime Wednesday afternoon. The House could take it up soon afterwards. Nationally, more than 54,000 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19, the strain of coronavirus causing worldwide disruptions and panic. More than 730 deaths have been connected to the illness in the United States alone, all in the last month. "Combating this disease has forced our country to put huge parts of our national life on pause and triggered layoffs at a breath-taking pace,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said after the deal was reached Wednesday morning. “This strange new reality has forced our nation on to something like war-time footing. A fight has arrived on our shores.” Lawmakers who worked on the agreement said the Defense Department funding is targeted “primarily for the protection of members of the Armed Forces, their families, and military retirees.” None of the funds can be transferred to accounts connected with the construction of a southern border wall, a sticking point between Democrats and President Donald Trump in past appropriations fights. Of the $10.5 billion total, $1 billion will be set aside for use with the Defense Production Act, allowing department officials to “invest in manufacturing capabilities that are key to increasing the production rate of personal protective equipment and medical equipment.” Those items have been in short supply in recent weeks. Trump invoked the act earlier this week but has yet to order any civilian production of the scare items. Veterans Affairs Within VA, the majority of the money — nearly $15.9 billion — will be used for direct care specifically in response to veterans health needs. “This covers treatment of veterans nationwide for coronavirus within VA hospitals as well as in community urgent care clinics and emergency rooms,” a bill summary stated. “These funds allow VA to cover overtime for their clinical staff, the purchase of personal protective equipment, test kits, and other necessary equipment to manage the impacts of this pandemic among the veteran population.” Another $3.1 billion will be set aside for new telemedicine efforts within VA, including staffing and equipping mobile treatment sites and “remodeling to VA facilities and state run veterans homes to address the needs of veterans being treated for coronavirus.” Nearly 300 veterans have already been diagnosed with the coronavirus strain, and four deaths of VA patients connected to the illness. The bill also includes a number of expanded authorities for VA officials to respond to the threat, including extended overtime pay rules for medical providers, new agreements with broadband internet suppliers to increase telemedicine options for veterans, and waiving some rules regarding income-level eligibility for department benefits. Lawmakers also included $360 million for the Department of Labor to invest in programs providing training and supportive services for dislocated workers, to specifically include homeless veterans. White House officials have indicated Trump will sign the measure into law if it passes Congress. Earlier this week, Trump called on lawmakers to quickly pass some deal, saying that the economic impact of the illness on the country could be more devastating than the health complications.

  • C-130Hs to get avionics upgrade in half-billion dollar deal

    June 11, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    C-130Hs to get avionics upgrade in half-billion dollar deal

    By: Stephen Losey The Air Force has awarded a $499 million contract to L3 Technologies to modernize avionics for the service's Guard and Reserve C-130H Herculesfleet. In a June 6 release, L3 said it had received the Air Force's C-130H Avionics Modernization Program Increment 2 contract, to design, produce and certify a plan to upgrade the 176 Hercules aircraft belonging to the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. L3 said its upgrades will improve the Hercules' availability, reliability and sustainability, while lowering its costs to operate the transport aircraft. The aircraft will receive a commercial off-the-shelf avionics suite and L3 will provide training services, according to the release. The contractor will carry out the work at its facility in Waco, Texas. “L3 is committed to delivering innovative, cost-effective solutions to ensure mission readiness in support of the U.S. Air Force's modernization strategy,” L3 CEO and president Christopher Kubasik said in the release. “We are focused on providing an agile and low-risk approach to modernizing the Air Force's diverse fleet of C-130s, enabling these assets to operate well into the future.” The Air Force's C-130Hs are among the older transport aircraft in the fleet. In 2017, the most recent year for which data is available, the Air Force's 188 C-130Hs had an average age of 28 years.


    November 12, 2018 | International, C4ISR


    SUE GORDON, THE principal deputy director of national intelligence, wakes up every day at 3 am, jumps on a Peloton, and reads up on all the ways the world is trying to destroy the United States. By the afternoon, she has usually visited the Oval Office and met with the heads of the 17 intelligence agencies to get threat reports. The self-described “chief operating officer of the intelligence community” has a lot to worry about, but the nearly-30-year veteran is generally optimistic about America's future. Now, she says, she just needs Silicon Valley to realize that tech and government don't have to be opposed. On a recent trip to Silicon Valley, Gordon sat down with WIRED to talk about how much government needs Silicon Valley to join the fight to keep the US safe. She was in town to speak at conference at Stanford, but also to convince tech industry leaders industry that despite increasing employee concerns, the government and tech have a lot of shared goals. “I had a meeting with Google where my opening bid was: ‘We're in the same business'. And they're like ‘What?' And I said: ‘Using information for good,'” Gordon says. That's a hard sell in Silicon Valley, especially in the post-Snowden years. After Snowden's leaks, tech companies and tech workers didn't want to be seen as complicit with a government that spied on its own people—a fact Gordon disputes, saying that any collection of citizen's information was incidental and purged by their systems. This led to a much-publicized disconnect between the two power centers, one that has only grown more entrenched and public in 2018, as Silicon Valley has undergone something of an ethical awakening. Gordon agrees with and supports a broader awareness that technology can be abused, but came to Silicon Valley to explain why government and tech should solve those problems hand in hand. Pairing Up Gordon knows from public-private partnerships. The CIA's venture capital accelerator In-Q-Tel—which for nearly 20 years has invested in everything from malware-detection software to biochemical sensors to micro-batteries—was Gordon's idea. Groundbreaking at its conception, In-Q-Tel directly funds startups that could be of interest to national security, without limits on how that money can be used, and without owning the intellectual property. Among other successful investments, In-Q-Tel backed a company called Keyhole, which Google would go on to acquire and turn into Google Earth. Full article:

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