Articles by Colin Clark

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HASC Questions GCV; Wonders If Upgrades Better

The new chairman of the House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee launched his first Army modernization hearing asking why the service didn’t build upgrades of its existing equipment instead of buying the new Ground Combat Vehicle.


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Dicks Worries DoD Wastes R&D Billions

The Chief of Naval Operations told House defense appropriators today he worries that the Pentagon is “enslaved to a process” of buying weapons rather than buying what it needs when it needs it in the most expeditious manner possible. Adm. Gary Roughead made his comments in response to questions from Rep. Norm Dicks, who voiced concerns about the speed and efficiency of the acquisition process.


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Marines Face Huge CR Procurement Loss

The Marines face the “catastrophic” loss of up to one-third of their acquisition money –$563 million — if Congress does not pass an annual defense spending bill, Commandant Gen. James Amos told the Senate Armed Services Committee today.


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‘I’m Optimistic’ On F-35B: Gen. Amos

The program manager for the vertical takeoff version of the F-35 — also known as the commandant of the Marine Corps — told the Senate Armed Services Committee today that he is “optimistic” about the plane’s prospects. “What I am seeing now is very encouraging,” Gen. James Amos said.


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Scan Eagle Stars In Piracy Fight

The number of hostages taken by Somali pirates has almost doubled although multinational naval task forces have grown and improved in coordination. At the same…


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Fly F-22s Over Libya, Advocates Say

It is becoming a drumbeat of supporters of the F-22 and the F-35: We built them. Let’s use them when conditions are right. And advocates believe conditions are right over Libya.


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Navy Hearings: The Week Ahead

This week in Congress it’s all about the Navy and its shipbuilding programs, with a dash of radical Muslims and some worldwide threat analysis thrown…


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In Praise of Tac Air, Bombers

The Air Force must continue changing, focusing more on the joint fight, keeping its focus on increased UAV deployments and seeking balance between transport, rescue and the other missions demanded of it today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Air Force Academy. Lest he be accused of hammering fighter pilots again, Gates said he has been misunderstood when he has made speeches at West Point and before the Navy League criticizing basic systems and how they are used and built.


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No Protest; EADS Urges Close Boeing Tanker Oversight

UPDATED: Rep. Norm Dicks Comments

Arguing that Boeing may well find it difficult to build and fly its airborne tanker on cost and on schedule, EADS NA made clear the Air Force had run the competition with integrity and fairlness and would not pursue a bid protest on one of the largest Pentagon procurements ever.


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Prez Helos Flying Black Soon?

When Defense Secretary Robert Gates put the presidential helicopter program on ice in 2009, he left nine completely built birds sitting in a hangar. Given…


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EADS May Pass On KC-X Protest

While it’s not official, there are indications that EADS NA will not file a bid protest about the airborne tanker deal with the Government Accountability Office.


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About That Pakistani Anvil

Ever since the Afghan surge began there’s been considerable behind the scenes talk of a hammer and anvil strategy toward Al Qaeda, its friends in…


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CR Harm ‘May Take Years’ to Fix

While Congress averted a government shutdown this week, its current course could lead to lasting damage to weapons programs, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs made clear today. “Some programs may take years to recover if the continuing resolution is extended through the end of September,” Adm. Mike Mullen told the House Appropriations Committee.


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Furloughs For Half DoD Civvies If Shutdown

UPDATED: House Passes Two Week Budget Reprieve

The Defense Department would be forced to furlough half of its civliian employees if the government were to shut down, Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn told the Senate today. On top of that, Lynn said the department would be hard-pressed to pay its both its civilian and military employees in mid-March should a shutdown occur.


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Vox Pops on Gates Doctrine

Sometimes policymakers face no better test of their ideas than simply exposing them to the public, especially when that public is well informed. I combed…


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EADS Mum On Tanker Debrief

The tanker competition did not change much publicly this morning after EADS NA received its briefing from the Air Force on just why Boeing won the $35 billion program. “Our objective has always been that the U.S. warfighter receive the most capable tanker, following a fair and transparent competition. That remains our position today,” company spokesman Guy Hicks said.


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Budget Hearings: The Week Ahead

As congressional staff continue to pour through the budget documents as they roll in from the Pentagon, we are entering the beginning of the detailed hearings on the services, agencies and their budget requests.


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The Gates Doctrine: Avoid Big Land Wars

The United States should not deploy large numbers of combat troops on the ground to most of the world, outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in his last speech to the West Point corps of cadets.


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Budget ‘Catastrophe’ Means DoD Cuts

The United States stands on “the brink of catastrophe” as the budget deficit keeps growing and national security spending must be a major part of the answer, former Sen. Pete Domenici told about 150 people on Capitol Hill today.


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Boeing Shocks With ‘Clear’ Tanker Win

UPDATES: Boeing Pledges ‘On Time, On Budget’

Boeing continued its dominance of the US airborne tanker business, winning the $35 billion contract to build 175 KC-X tankers, one of the biggest defense contracts in the next decade. The award shocked experienced observers who had predicted a big win for EADS NA. Word came from a Pentagon email announcing the initial $3.5 billion contract.