The British ocean liner, the Lusitania, is sunk by a German submarine, killing 1,195, 128 of which are Americans. The sinking of the Lusitania expedites the U.S. entry into World War I.
It’s cool and damp in Washington. But that isn’t keeping President Barack Obama from getting in a round of golf. Intercepts will leave the inevitable presidential golfing jokes to others. But it’s worth noting Republican Sens. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Bob Corker of Tennessee will be part of Obama’s foursome. Both are advocates of the kind of “grand bargain” fiscal deal needed to lessen or totally replace planned cuts to national defense spending.
The unseasonably chilly conditions the trio and Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado will encounter provide a fitting metaphor for the grand-bargain issue, which they likely will discuss. After all, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Ranking Member James Inhofe, R-Okla., said Friday “there has been virtually no sign of movement toward a bipartisan agreement.”
Each of Obama’s golfing partners has talked forcefully and passionately about striking a “grand bargain” accord this year. Is this the beginning of what experts say is the second-term president’s last chance to get a big fiscal bill through Congress? More
The Solar Impulse, an experimental super-lightweight aircraft powered by the sun, is busy flying across the US, making various stops along the way. Follow its progress over at http://www.solarimpulse.com/en/.
The Obama administration is sending two senior officials to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to brief Senate Armed Services Committee members in a classified session on the situation in Syria. Notably, the briefers are both senior Pentagon officials.
Undersecretary of Defense for Policy James Miller and Army Lt. Gen. Terry Wolf, director of the Joint Staff’s strategic plans and policy directorate (J-5) are scheduled to brief SASC members on May 14 in a secure room in the Capitol Visitors Center. There are no senior State Department, intelligence or National Security Council officials slated to brief lawmakers, according to a hearing notice posted on the SASC website. Which is, as we say in the news business, notable. More
Sequestration or no, the defense industry and Pentagon procurement officials are just going to keep going along for as long as there’s business to be done – even if everyone knows that the numbers they’re currently working with are going to change.
On April 23, the US Army held its second Industry Day for the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) program, the planned multi-billion dollar replacement for thousands of ancient M113 infantry carriers.
The competition is a critical one for the defense industrial base, since the Army will pick a single winner for the engineering, manufacturing and development phase of the program next May for the right to build 2,897 vehicles once full rate production begins in 2020.
Slides presented at the event pinpoint June 28 as the release date for the official RFP (a draft RFP was issued in March), which gives the two main competitors–BAE Systems and General Dynamics—eleven months to get final designs in.
The service continues to maintain that it’s looking to spend at most $1.8 million per vehicle, which means that to purchase 2,897 vehicles at the rate of 2- 3 brigade combat teams a year, the price tag will be $5.2 billion for the full-rate production contract.
The Army is also planning to spend $390 million between 2014 and 2017, and another billion for low rate initial production between 2018 and 2020, on the program, bringing the total price tag up to about $6 billion in pre-sequester dollars.
What those numbers might look like once the impact of sequestration and the flattening yearly budgets the Army has to look forward to in the near-term is still up in the air.