It’s been an entire fiscal year since the Groundbased Midcourse [missile] Defense system underwent a flight test, a congressional aide told me this morning. That failure of the Missile Defense Agency to perform tests for an entire fiscal year has got both Republican and Democratic staff and lawmakers pretty warm under the collar.
John Young, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics (in the picture), is trying to do something lasting about it by signing a memo by the end of the week creating a new director-level position –- one of only seven in the department reporting directly to him –- for space and intelligence capabilities.
Gates’ May 13 message was heard loud and clear on the Hill. A few days later, the top defense appropriator — read money man — in the House of Representatives boldly stepped in front of the nation (also known as the floor of the House) and said Gates’ speech was “simply a rationalization of short-term budget decisions made in the waning months of this Administration.
At a Pentagon briefing May 9, two senior defense officials discussed how they will approach the new roles and missions work, outlining the seven main areas of focus. The one issue Congress told the Pentagon to study is whether there are unnecessary duplications of capabilities among and between the four services and other arms of the Pentagon.
That’s the story of Prompt Global Strike, touted as the answer to one of the country’s most vexing problems — how to take out high-value targets far behind the lines and way beyond line of sight with accuracy and great speed.
The decision to uphold the Boeing protest of the airborne tanker award to Northrop Grumman Corp. raises fundamental questions about the ability of the Air Force — and the Pentagon in general — to buy weapons effectively, according to lawmakers, congressional aides and defense analysts.