Now that the realisation has dawned on virtually everyone that international travel to defence exhibitions, conferences and events will likely be on hold until at least after the summer, a ‘green shoot’ of information exchange is appearing in the form of online industry briefings and webinars.
DEFENCE AND COVID-19
Sea, Air, Space Holds Webinars To Replace Expo
One of the earliest was organised by the US Navy League to take place during the week when its annual Sea, Air, Space expo would have been staged, 13-17 April. Over the five days that the expo should have been held, webinars covered a topic per day: US Coast Guard; Maritime Administration; US Navy; Modern Warfighter; and on the last day the subject was Cyber.
As an example, the US Navy brief on Wednesday 15 April began with an address made by Admiral James Foggo III, Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, US Naval Forces Europe / Africa.
Speaking from Italy, he pointed out that his region had been hit weeks before the US started showing serious virus contagion. He called for the domain of ‘germs/viruses’ to be added to the the exercise schedule that the military need to prepare for. He echoed the view of many medical experts that testing was crucial and that those with ‘negative’ results need to be quickly identified. “We can’t afford to take people off the line,” he emphasised, underlining the fact that military forces had an ongoing duty to provide security and defence.
He highlighted the role that the Navy’s hospital ships, USNS Mercy and Comfort were now playing in supporting the civilian populations in New York and the West Coast.
With his long service record in Naples, Admiral Foggo stressed that “all nations have responsibilities to adhere to the standards of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its standards. The most important thing you can do is share date,” he said, adding that “collaboration and cooperation is the key to fighting this and future pandemics.” He added that while China had been providing international assistance, it had to provide quicker and more accurate reporting.
James Geurts, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Acquisitions, and Development, followed Admiral Foggo is speaking to online delegates.
Geurts highlighted the need for continuity even during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have three phases of operations:
- protect the health of workforce, sharing best practise,
- support economic wellness,
- work closely and understand priority of efforts.”
He said that research stated before the virus had appeared had indicated a need for “real time tracking of company shut-downs as we try to get ahead and see which suppliers are at risk – to get ahead.”
Mitigating risks, he said, meant “identify the best technique to ensure continuity of operations. If a hot spot develops we try to move away as soon as we can. We need to understand the system – so we can make smart adaptive decisions.”
He stated that the Government and industrial base were working together “through regular calls to all of the shipyards and industry.” Disruption needed to be avoided where possible. That meant adopting “best practise on health and welfare of workforce – sharing those among all parties, and accelerating work to create a backlog to recover from any interruption we experience.”
Geurts highlighted the positive effect that the Joint Acquisition Task Force, which was set up within the DoD to deal with daily requests for medical and personal protective equipment from organisations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security.
He said that this meant there was a “common view of the crisis.’ One of the benefits to arise, he said, was that it had “networked 3D printers across the department of the Navy so we understand demand and can leverage the assets that we have [creating items such as medical supplies}. While each service traditionally had its own ‘contract vehicles’ – the JATF was able to provide one source to coordinate the requests. This, he said would be an improvement that would be carried forward beyond the end of the COVID crisis. He said that urgent necessity was “already mending some business process” and although more time was required, it was resulting in “an understanding of how to collaborate and not duplicate functions.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: (If your company is donating equipment or services to the military or government to help in the fight against COVID-19, let us know and we will publicise it here in the weekly briefing).
GENERAL NEWS AND ITEMS OF INTEREST
‘Safety Bubble’ Allows Army Recruit Training to Continue
On Friday 17 April, the US Department of Defense stated that around 700 coronavirus tests will be conducted at one of the Army’s largest training posts — Fort Jackson, South Carolina — beginning during the week of 20 April.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville, who visited the installation last week, stated: ”We have not stopped training…During the training, they were six feet apart and they were either wearing masks or gaiters when they got closer. So we’re going to see this type of training continue to happen.’’
Gen McConville stated that when recruits arrive, they go through screening then a placed in a ”safety bubble” environment to reduce exposure to other soldiers.
NATO Coordination Showing Results in Fight Against COVID-19
On Wednesday 15 April NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, during a a virtual meeting of Allied Defence Ministers, stated: “NATOs top operational commander, General Wolters, was tasked by foreign ministers two weeks ago to coordinate military support.” He said that this had resulted in:
- military forces from across the Alliance [flying] more than 100 missions to transport medical personnel, supplies, and treatment capabilities.
- the construction of 25 field hospitals.
- the addition of over 25,000 treatment beds.
- over 4,000 military medical personnel have been deployed in support of civilian efforts.
Stoltenberg further stated: “All NATO Allies are affected by the pandemic. But not in the same way at the same time. So when we effectively coordinate our resources, we make a real difference.”
The Alliance’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC), is also coordinating the delivery of medical supplies between nations that have spare and those who are close to shortages. According to a NATO statement on 18 April: “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 11 countries have asked the NATO centre for help. Among others, the centre has facilitated the delivery of disinfectants from Ukraine, ventilators from Germany, protection equipment from Turkey, and respirators from the Czech Republic. A shipment of thousands of surgical masks from Estonia to Italy and Spain is expected in the coming days.”
US GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS
Highlighting a selection of $100 million+ government awarded contracts awarded between 13-17 April 2020:
Valiant Government Services; Acepex Management; Emcor Government Services; Electronic Metrology Laboratory; Facility Services Management; J & J Maintenance; Johnson Controls Building Automation Systems; Quality Services International; Sodexo Management; and V W International, were awarded $586 million in modifications in support of the presidential national emergency declaration over coronavirus. The overall ceiling is now $1.6 billion. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order placed through the US Army Corps of Engineers.
US Air Force
Chromalloy Component Services was awarded a $461million contract with options for the remanufacture of the F108 Module 13/15 low pressure turbine assembly. The order is through the Air Force Sustainment Centre.
Huntington-Ingalls Industries – Ingalls Shipbuilding has received a $107 million modification to a contract for the accomplishment of the planning yard services for the littoral combat in-service ships. Work will be performed in Hampton, Virginia (50%); Pascagoula, Mississippi (37%); San Diego, California (7%); and Jacksonville, Florida (6%). The requirements under this contract include, but are not limited to: ship installation drawings development; ship change document updates; operating cycle integration program management; work integration package engineering; type commander response; ship configuration logistics support information system support; configuration data management; research engineering and modelling; provisioned items order; cost and feasibility studies; integrated planning yard material support; provisioning technical documentation; naval ships engineering drawing repository system input and data management; interface and coordination with regional maintenance centres and fleet entities; design alteration and modification development; review and tracing; managing related class ship selected record documents; and hull, mechanical and electrical engineering standardisation efforts. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.
American Electronic Warfare Associates (AMEWAS); BAE Systems; DCS Corp; Northrop Grumman Systems; Perspecta Engineering; Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services; Gnostech; Long Wave; Monterey Technologies; SOLUTE; Tyonek Engineering and Agile Manufacturing; and Young’s Engineering Services and KIHOMAC are awarded $497 million in contracts for Strike Planning and Execution Systems hardware and software development and sustainment for both domestic and Foreign Military Sales customers. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contract originator.
Textron was awarded a $386 million modification to a contract for the construction of landing craft, air cushion (LCAC) 100 Class Craft 109 through 123. Work will be performed in New Orleans, Louisiana (80 percent); Camden, New Jersey (8 percent); Cincinnati, Ohio (8 percent); and Gloucester, United Kingdom (4 percent). The Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) Programme is the functional replacement of the existing fleet of LCAC vehicles, which are nearing the end of their service life. It is an air cushion vehicle designed for a 30-year service life. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.
Akima Logistics Services was awarded a $385 million contract for C-21 aircraft contractor logistics support services. This contract provides for program management, aircraft base and depot maintenance, engine maintenance, modifications and modification support and deployment support. Contract managed by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Centre.
Aerovation; Ampex Data Systems; BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services; The Boeing Company; Coherent Technical Services; Crestview Aerospace; Dayton T. Brown; EFW; Erickson; General Dynamics Mission Systems; Honeywell International; Intellisense Systems; J.F. Taylor; KIHOMAC; L3 Aviation Products; L3 Communications Integrated Systems; L3 Communication Systems – West; M7 Aerospace; Means Engineering; Physical Optics; Raytheon; Rockwell Collins; Science and Engineering Services; Science Applications International; Sechan Electronics; Sierra Nevada; Tyonek Worldwide Services; and Yulista Aviation were awarded $7.1 billion in contracts in support of the Naval Air Warfare Centre, Aircraft Division. These contracts are for three distinct lots, each with established vendor pools supporting different requirements. Lot I provides full rate production of mission system avionics. Lot II provides full rate production of other aircraft components, production and installation of modification kits. Lot III provides full rate production of other aircraft components, production and installation of modification kits. The Naval Warfare Centre, Aircraft Division, is the contractor.
Defense Information Systems Agency
ACE Electronics Defense Systems was awarded a contract for the production of Army installation kits with a ceiling of $205 million. Contract from the Defense Information Technology Contracting Organisation.
Cherokee Nation Red Wing; ACE Aeronautics; Orbis Sibro; Coherent Technical Services; Precision Turbines; Platform Aerospace; Skyquest Aviation doing business as Gold Coast Helicopters; Delaware Resource Group; Erickson; Atlantic Diving Supply; ASES doing business as Field Aerospace; AVMAC; Support Systems Associates; Aircraft Services Alliance; ASR International; F3 Logistics; Logmet; Kay and Associates; Telford Aviation; Talentscale; Keystone Turbine Services; AXXEUM; Mint Turbines; EagleSystems; J.F. Taylor; Naval Systems; Strategic Technology Institute Resicum International; Yulista Tactical Services; KIHOMAC; Akima Logistics Services; Adams Communication and Engineering Technology; Science and Engineering Services; ACET JV; AOC Global Services; Magee Technologies; Commuter Air Technology; Y-Tech Services; Battlespace Flight Services; King Aerospace; Affordable Engineering Services and Powerhouse Resources International, were awarded $6.1 billion contracts. Work includes modification kit build and installations; recovery of downed aircraft; repair of aircraft and components; overhaul of engines; and augmentation labor supplement for maintenance where custody of the aircraft is not required. Additionally, KRACEn will support single satellite site, simple platform and organizational level contractor logistics support requirements involving limited aircraft quantities in support of Navy Fleet Readiness Centers. Each company having an opportunity to compete for individual orders. The Commander Fleet Readiness Center Procurement Group is the contracting activity.
BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair; Vigor Marine; General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding; Marine Group Boat Works; Pacific Ship Repair and Fabrication; and East Coast Repair and Fabrication were each awarded a $550 million increase to the maximum potential cumulative total orders for multiple award Tier I contracts (MAC I). This is an increase to support sustainment execution efforts for Littoral Combat Ships homeported in San Diego, California; the continental US (OCONUS); and contiguous US (CONUS). Work will be performed in San Diego, California, and these efforts consist of Chief of Naval Operations availabilities, continuous maintenance, emergent maintenance, preventative maintenance, facilities maintenance and corrosion control in CONUS; and continuous maintenance, emergent maintenance, preventative maintenance, and corrosion control outside OCONUS. Contracts through Naval Sea Systems Command.
BFBC was awarded a $569 million modification contract for 17.17 miles of border wall design-build construction. Work will be performed in San Diego and El Centro, California. Contract via the US Army Corps of Engineers.
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
General Electric Aviation was awarded a maximum $138 million contract for supplies related to the TF-34 engine. Using military service is Air Force.
US SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND
United States Marine was awarded a $108 million contract with a five-year ordering period in support of US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for the production of Combatant Craft Assault. Contracting through USSOCOM Headquarters.
NEW EVENT CANCELLATIONS
DEFENCE IQ EVENTS
27-29 May, 2020 – Future Ground Combat Vehicles Summit, Detroit, USA.
The event organiser stated: “We will now be hosting the summit in December 2020 with the exact date to be confirmed in the coming weeks. All registrations will be automatically transferred…We have decided to host an online event between 28-29 May, which comes at no additional cost to you [attendees].”
25-26 June – Directed Energy Systems, Washington DC, USA
The event organiser stated: “We will now be hosting the conference in 2021 with the exact date to be confirmed in the coming weeks. All attendees will be given a credit note that they can use on any future IDGA event…We have decided to host an online event 25-26 June, which comes at no additional cost.”
Keep safe and healthy everyone.
Armada International / Asian Military Review