Job Of The Week!
Business Manager – Defence
Salary: £80000 to £80000 Location: Lincoln
A technology company with over 35 years’ experience service Defence, Government and Busines in the UK and around the world is looking for a Business Manager for one of their defence business areas – Electronic Warfare Operational Support (EWOS). The Role As Business Manager you’ll report directly into the MD and take responsibility for all technical, programme and commercial issues associated with the EWOS division (c£15m turnover and 50 employees). You’ll be responsible for the P&L for the business area as well as defining the overall business plan and strategy – you’ll need to work closely with the BD teams to meet this strategy and contribute to the new business opportunities by using your network and experience. You… In order to succeed in this role, you’ll ideally have knowledge of the global EW marketplace, although significant experience in other defence markets may be considered – please do not apply if you don’t have at least experience of a similar role in the defence sector. You’ll also need to have run a multi-million pound P&L along with having had experience of leading teams to develop a strategy in a commercial environment. The Package In return for your skills and experience you’ll receive a salary of up to c£90,000 + bonus. This type of role doesn’t come around often so if you’re interested in being considered please send your CV through the apply now button. JAM Recruitment is acting as an employment agency with regards to this position. View our latest jobs today on our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn
20 Jan 21. USMC logs maiden fleet flight for CH-53K helo. The US Marine Corps (USMC) flew the first fleet flight of the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter on 15 January. Announced by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) on the same day, the milestone saw Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VMX-1) fly the first non-developmental sortie from Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina.
“The aircraft now enters a new phase of testing to train marines as they prepare for [initial] operational test and evaluation later this year,” NAVAIR said.
Sikorsky has been awarded USD550m to build low-rate initial production (LRIP) Lot 4 CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters for the USMC, parent company Lockheed Martin announced on 26 October. As previously noted by NAVAIR, the first operational test aircraft configured for initial operational capability was delivered in 2020 for use as an initial CH-53K operator and maintenance training, and along with three other aircraft to be delivered early this year, will support the execution of initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E). News of the latest milestone came three months after NAVAIR awarded the Lot 4 production deal, bringing to 24 the number of King Stallions now under contract out of a programme of record of 200 helicopters. Recent trials of the King Stallion have included air-to-air refuelling while carrying a 27,000 lb (12,247 kg) external load, sea trials aboard the USS Wasp landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious assault ship, and flight testing in a degraded visual environment in Yuma, Arizona. (Source: Jane’s)
18 Jan 21. Russian MiG-31BMs deploy to new Arctic base. Russian Naval Aviation MiG-31BM combat aircraft have stood up a quick-reaction alert (QRA) detachment in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in Russia’s Arctic north. The deployment of the aircraft was announced on the Russian Ministry of Defence website on 16 January by the Northern Fleet press service, which said the interceptors would perform “combat duty” – the Russian military term for QRA – from Rogachevo airfield in Novaya Zemlya.
“MiG-31BM fighter-interceptors of the Northern Fleet’s separate mixed aviation regiment took up combat duty to protect the Russian Federation’s state border in the airspace of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago,” the announcement said. “The ceremony taking up combat duty was held at Rogachevo airfield. Carrying out combat duty on the archipelago will significantly increase the reach of Northern Fleet fighter aircraft in the Arctic and significantly expand control of airspace over the waters of the Northern Sea Route.”
The deployment of the aircraft followed a series of training deployments to Rogachevo airfield by MiG-31BMs in 2020, according to the Northern Fleet. (Source: Jane’s)
16 Jan 21. Ukraine considers resuming An-74 light cargo plane production. Ukraine is considering resuming production of the Antonov-74 air cargo plane and supplying them to the country’s armed forces, the government said on Saturday.
The Soviet-designed An-74 is a light transport aircraft with jet engines capable of flying 4,600 km at a speed of 560 km per hour. It made its first flight in 1979.
A total of 62 An-74 were built in the period from 1985 to 2004.
Ukraine, the designer of the world’s largest transport aircraft An-225, has all but stopped building planes in recent years due to a severe economic crisis and the severing of relations with Russia, where a significant part of the components was produced. (Source: Reuters)
15 Jan 21. Ukraine to field An-178 airlifter. Ukraine is to field the Antonov An-178, with the announcement in early January that the manufacturer has received USD105m for three of the airlifters for the country’s armed forces. The order, which represents the first domestic contract for Antonov to supply aircraft to the military since Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, will see the twin jet engine transport aircraft delivered in 2023. News of the order came some 19 months after the Ukrainian government announced its intent in June 2019 to buy 13 An-178s, with entry into service slated for 2022. Having been announced in 2010 and making its maiden flight in May 2015, the An-178 is essentially an An-158 regional jet with a rear-loading ramp, while specifications listed in Janes All The World’s Aircraft: Development & Production give the An-178 a cargo hold measuring 16.65 m including ramp (12.85 m excluding ramp); a 2.745 m width at the floor and a height of 2.75 m; and a floor area of 40 m² and a hold volume of 125 m³ (both including the ramp). Its wingspan is 28.84 m and it is 32.95 m long and 10.14 m tall. The aircraft has a maximum payload of 18 tonnes and a range of 1,000 km fully loaded. Its cruise speed is 445 kt and requires a 2,500 m runway from which to operate. (Source: Jane’s)
18 Jan 21. Slovenia to procure Spartan airlifter. Slovenia is to acquire the Leonardo C-27J Spartan transport aircraft, with the country’s government announcing on 15 January that the Covid-19 pandemic had exposed a lack of national airlift capacity and capability. Having evaluated a number of options, the Slovenian 15th Aviation Wing (15th Polk Vojaskega Letalstva: 15th PVL) component of the joint Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) is to receive one or two of the Italian-built airlifters by 2025.
“A market study was conducted involving manufacturers and users of potential types of aircraft belonging to the category of light (CASA C295 manufactured by Airbus, and C-27J Spartan manufactured by Leonardo), and medium (C-130J-30 Hercules manufactured by Lockheed Martin, C-390 Millennium by Embraer, A400M by Airbus) transport aircraft and used aircraft providers,” the government said.
As the government noted, with Slovenia’s medium and heavy-lift requirements already adequately catered for under both the NATO-supported Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) and NATO-supported Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) programmes, the decision was taken to acquire a light transport aircraft, which in turn led to the decision to go with the C-27J. “Two types of tactical transport aircraft were included in the final assessment, but after examining the minimum military technical requirements, the C-27J Spartan proved to be the best,” the government said. “The purchase of one C-27J Spartan aircraft will also partially meet the [NATO] alliance’s performance targets. Two such aircraft would be needed to fully meet the performance targets.” (Source: Jane’s)
15 Jan 21. Globemaster III marks 4 million hours. The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic transport aircraft surpassed the 4 million flight hours milestone. The milestone was announced on 15 January by the UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) 99 Squadron that operates the type. Having entered service with the US Air Force (USAF) in 1993, it took 13 years for the type to reach one million hours in March 2006, with the two million hours coming only five years later in December 2010. This was followed five years later by three million hours in May 2015, and now the four millionth hour mark. All of these figures amount to the many hours flown by all C-17s built since the type entered service. (Source: Jane’s)
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
18 Jan 21. Norway scraps frigate Helge Ingstad. The Forsvarsmateriell (FMA), the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency, signed a contract with Norscrap West on 11 January to scrap the Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate KNM Helge Ingstad. The company will scrap the frigate at its facility at Hanøytangen by the end of the year, according to the FMA website. The agency valued the contract at approximately NOK60m (nearly USD7m), with sales of the metal recovered expected to reduce the cost by several million kroner. The FMA said the vessel will be scrapped in Norway by a domestic company to protect the ship’s secrets, with agency technical experts overseeing the work in accordance with Norway’s Security Act. Helge Ingstad was seriously damaged on 8 November 2018 after colliding with the tanker Sola TS in waters just outside Ågåtnes oil terminal in Hjeltefjorden, running aground and later sinking in shallow water, after which the frigate’s missiles and torpedoes were recovered.
The Norwegian Ministry of Defence told Janes on 15 January that sailing activity by the navy’s remaining frigates has been reduced this month as a follow-up to the findings of a draft report by the Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) submitted on 14 December 2020. The ministry said the three frigates will not sail in January but did not expect this to have an immediate effect on operational capabilities. Two of the frigates, KNM Roald Amundsen and KNM Thor Heyerdahl, are undergoing planned scheduled maintenance this month and temporary measures have been implemented so the third, KNM Otto Sverdrup , can conduct a planned exercise with the UK Royal Navy. (Source: Jane’s)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
21 Jan 21. Biden keeps Trump appointee as acting nuclear weapons chief.
Here’s why America’s next nuclear gravity bomb could be delayed.
Charles Verdon will serve as acting administrator for the National Nuclear Security Agency, serving under acting energy secretary David Huizenga as the Biden administration begins.
Huizenga, the new acting energy secretary, had been serving as associate principal deputy administrator for NNSA. He comes from the nonproliferation side of the agency and has experience with DoE’s office of environmental management.
Verdon, who was confirmed in 2018 as head of defense programs at the National Nuclear Security Administration, is one of the few Trump political appointees being kept in a national security position. Previously a career NNSA employee, Verdon has largely avoided politics during his time in office, focusing instead on the technical details behind America’s planned nuclear warhead modernization efforts.
The NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency located within the DoE. While the Pentagon is in charge of developing the planes, submarines and missiles that deliver nuclear weapons, the NNSA is in charge of developing and producing the actual warheads. The department’s fiscal 2021 budget request for nuclear weapons activities was $15.6 billion.
The confirmed head of the NNSA, Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, was pushed out in early November following repeated clashes with Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette. Her replacement, William Bookless, resigned as the administration switched over.
While Biden’s pick of Jennifer Granholm to run the department is likely to have a confirmation hearing soon, it is unclear how long Verdon — or Huizenga, if he is pushed down from the energy secretary role — may be in office. While nuclear modernization is a priority for the Pentagon, the NNSA is a lower-profile agency, and with a number of key spots to fill across the government it could take weeks or months before a nominee is named and the confirmation process begins.
Given that, it is likely an acting secretary will have to guide the NNSA through its budget development process, a complicated, and politically fraught, situation involving input from the Defense Department as well as multiple congressional committees.
During a Tuesday confirmation hearing, Lloyd Austin, the retired Army general who is Joe Biden’s pick for defense secretary, showed support for the nuclear triad, but stopped short of endorsing the current full modernization plan.
“I believe that the triad has served us well in the past and I certainly believe that it will continue to do so going forward. And, I personally support the triad,” Austin said, but when asked about specific modernization programs, he repeatedly said he needed to discuss the issue with Pentagon experts. (Source: Defense News)
20 Jan 21. Pentagon announces new acting CIO as Deasy departs. Former intelligence community IT chief John Sherman will fill in as acting Defense Department chief information officer during a high-profile review to root out any damage from a major government cybersecurity breach through a software supplier.
Sherman, who served three years as intelligence community CIO, will replace DoD CIO Dana Deasy, who left as the presidential administration changed Wednesday. Sherman will lead the department’s IT operations until President Joe Biden nominates, and the Senate confirms, a new CIO. The job became a Senate-confirmed position for the first time under Deasy’s tenure, which started in April 2018.
Sherman served as Deasy’s top deputy since June 2020. With the intelligence community, he led major information technology efforts to implement cloud computing and break down collaboration barriers across the IC’s then-17 agencies. (There are now 18 with the Space Force.)
During his time as Pentagon CIO, most employees will still work remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, the department will continue its search for potential damage from the hack pinned on Russia, a breach that one U.S. senator called Tuesday “the greatest cyber intrusion in the history, I think, perhaps, of the world.” The hackers infiltrated numerous government agencies through IT software from contractor SolarWinds.
Under Deasy, the department released a digital modernization strategy that included a heavy focus on cloud computing and emerging technology, though the department failed to acquire a long-desired enterprise cloud environment, known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, due to court challenges and protests. Sherman’s cloud computing experience includes helping prepare the intelligence community for a multicloud, multivendor environment known as the IC’s Commercial Cloud Enterprise.
“Moving to a cloud enterprise is not just a technical question. It’s a question of culture, making sure people think cloud first,” Sherman told C4ISRNET last year. “As they do things like software development and DevSecOps, not just forklifting capabilities to the cloud, but really focusing on cloud native approaches. That’s one big area, and this is a major paradigm shift for agencies and enterprises to get their head around.”
The DoD, like the intelligence community, is challenged by the isolated nature of its agencies and offices. To enable joint war fighting, a major effort across the Pentagon, the silos will have to break to enable the services to share the data critical to multidomain operations. The key to breaking down those stovepipes is “leadership, plain and simple,” Sherman said in an interview with C4ISRNET last year.
“There are technical, where are you going to store the data, how you’re going to compute. But in my experience, a lot of it is pure leadership, and doing those structural sort of things to make sure you can surface it in a timely and efficient way,” he said.
While serving as principal deputy CIO, Sherman led the department’s modernization effort for its fourth estate agencies, those that don’t fit squarely under a military department. That effort, known as fourth estate network optimization, is expected to increase efficiency and save money by consolidating networks and other IT systems across those entities, such as the Missile Defense Agency or Defense Information Systems Agency. (Source: Defense News)
21 Jan 21. Former GOP operative Michael Ellis placed on administrative leave from NSA’s top lawyer job. The director of the National Security Agency on Wednesday put the agency’s top lawyer on administrative leave days after the Pentagon ordered the ex-GOP operative be installed in the job, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter.
NSA Director Gen. Paul Nakasone placed Michael Ellis, a former Trump White House official, on leave pending an inquiry by the Pentagon inspector general into the circumstances of his selection as NSA general counsel, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity.
Nakasone was ordered on Saturday by then-acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller to install Ellis by 6 p.m. that day.
An NSA spokesman declined to comment.
Acting Defense Secretary orders NSA to immediately install Ellis as general counsel
Ellis, then a political appointee, had been named to the post in November after a civil service competition. His selection by the Pentagon general counsel, Paul Ney, came under pressure from the White House, according to people familiar with the matter.
But as of the weekend Ellis had not taken up the job. The delay was due in part to the need for him to complete administrative and security requirements, such as passing a polygraph test. Nakasone also had concerns about Ellis’s selection and took steps to ensure it was consistent with personnel policies that apply to senior career officials in the intelligence community.
Under pressure from Miller, the agency on Sunday announced it was moving forward with the installation, and on Tuesday, Ellis assumed his post.
Nakasone has no authority over Ellis’s hiring or firing. That power lies with the Pentagon general counsel.
Ellis could not be reached for comment Wednesday. On Saturday, he informed a reporter he did not “talk to the press” before hanging up.
Miller’s order days before the Biden administration was to take over raised eyebrows and alarmed critics who said Ellis’s appointment represented the politicization of a career job at the helm of the nation’s largest spy agency.
Critics said they feared it was an effort to “burrow in” or embed a political appointee in a career civil service position as one administration gave way to another.
Pelosi calls for halt in efforts to install ex-GOP operative as NSA’s top lawyer
Ellis’s placement on administrative leave was first reported by CBS News.
Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), now chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), who now leads the Senate Armed Services Committee, in November asked the Pentagon acting inspector general to investigate Ellis’s selection. They raised concerns of “improper political influence” and also that Ellis was picked over other more qualified candidates.
Concerns with Ellis are linked to his relationship with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), a Trump loyalist whom Ellis helped gain access to intelligence documents in early 2017 to buttress President Donald Trump’s political attacks against Democrats. Ellis served as chief counsel to Nunes when Nunes chaired the House Intelligence Committee.
Ellis also was caught up in the controversy surrounding the prepublication review of former national security adviser John Bolton’s book for classified information. According to Ellen Knight, a former career White House official in charge of the review, Ellis tried to prevent the release of a portion of the manuscript that dealt with Ukraine and that presumably would be damaging to Trump were it to come out during his 2020 impeachment trial in the Senate.
Ellis also conducted his own review of the manuscript and, as a political appointee, countermanded the career officials’ conclusion that the book was cleared for publication, according to Knight, who documented her concerns in a September 2020 letter.
Ellis joined the White House in 2017, when he became a lawyer on the National Security Council, and in 2019, he was elevated to senior director. He held that position as recently as earlier this month. (Source: Washington Post)
18 Jan 21. British Army faces loss of 10,000 soldiers in shift towards drones. The size of the army could be reduced by 10,000 under plans being considered as part of a strategic review. Government ministers have repeatedly pledged to keep a permanent force of 82,000 soldiers but are considering reducing it to 72,000.
Plans included in drafts of the integrated review, which is due to be published next month but is likely to be delayed, suggest that the size of the army should be cut. It forms part of an increased focus on unmanned drones and vehicles along with enhanced technological capabilities.
The integrated review is a blueprint for Britain’s global role over the coming decade and how armed forces should adapt to meet changes. Infantry commanders are said to face an anxious wait for its publication amid concerns that their regiments could be reduced in size or redeployed after a change in priorities.
Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the Commons defence select committee, told The Mail on Sunday he feared that cuts to troop numbers were on the way.
“All the indications suggest we are moving towards an even smaller, high-tech force,” he said. “But retaining relationships with our allies is critical and cannot be achieved if we cut the army by 10,000. I fear the army is bracing itself for cuts to numbers, especially infantry regiments, before its wider fundamental purpose has been established.
“Any further delay to the publication of the review denies the Ministry of Defence the clarity it seeks in understanding our global ambitions and the threats we face. We must not forget our allies and adversaries are watching this.”
The British Army’s full-time strength was 79,010 last April, 2,990 below the government’s target of 82,000, but is thought to have increased since then.
Any job losses are expected to come from natural wastage rather than from redundancies.
John Healey, the shadow defence secretary, said: “Highly trained service personnel are indispensable and should be at the heart of this review. Since 2010 full-time forces have been cut by a quarter.”
A statement from the Ministry of Defence said: “The integrated review is not yet complete and decisions about army force structure have not been finalised. The defence secretary has been clear that ambitions must match resources. Taxpayers are entitled to expect the armed forces to be credible, capable and ready to confront the threats of the future.” (Source: The Times)
15 Jan 21. Department of Defense Statement on Unified Command Plan Change. The United States has made a change to the Unified Command Plan. The 2020 UCP shifts Israel from the U.S European Command area of responsibility to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. DOD reviews the UCP every two years and reassesses all boundaries and relationships against the operational environment. We structure boundaries to best mitigate risk and protect U.S interests and partners.
The easing of tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors subsequent to the Abraham Accords has provided a strategic opportunity for the United States to align key partners against shared threats in the Middle East. Israel is a leading strategic partner for the United States, and this will open up additional opportunities for cooperation with our U.S. Central Command partners while maintaining strong cooperation between Israel and our European allies. (Source: US DoD)
21 Jan 21. Deputy Cabinet Secretary to stand down. The Deputy Cabinet Secretary, Helen MacNamara, has today announced that she will be standing down from her role in the Civil Service
Helen MacNamara, the Deputy Cabinet Secretary, will be leaving the Civil Service in February. She will take up a new role in the private sector later this year.
Helen has spent the last three years at the Cabinet Office, joining as DG, Propriety & Ethics before being promoted to Deputy Cabinet Secretary in March 2020.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said, “I would like to congratulate Helen on her tremendous public service over the last two decades. I am hugely grateful for her support during my time in office and I wish her all the best in her future endeavours.”
Cabinet Secretary, Simon Case said, “Helen and I have worked together in various roles over the last decade and throughout that time she has been a close friend and colleague. She has been instrumental in transforming the Cabinet Office over the last three years and I am especially grateful for the personal support she has given to me in my role. She will be greatly missed and I hope that she may one day return to the Civil Service.”
Helen MacNamara said, “It’s been an absolute honour to have served as a civil servant over the last two decades. I am very grateful for the support I’ve had from the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Secretary and I wish them and all my friends and colleagues in public service every success for the future.”
Before joining the Cabinet Office in 2018, Helen was Director General for Housing and Planning from 2016 to 2018.
She was previously Director of the Economic and Domestic Secretariat in the Cabinet Office, working for the Cabinet Secretary from 2013 to 2016. She was responsible for brokering collective agreement in the coalition government, coordinating government preparations for the 2015 General Election and contingency preparations for the Greek Eurozone crisis.
She worked in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport from 2002 to 2013 where she held a variety of roles including working on the Olympic bid, as Principal Private Secretary to the Rt Hon Tessa Jowell and as Director for media policy.
She spent the early part of her career working in the digital and creative industries. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
21 Jan 21. Change of Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Croatia: Simon Thomas. Mr Simon Thomas OBE has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia in succession to Mr Andrew Dalgleish, who will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment. Mr Thomas will take up his appointment during July 2021.
Full name: Simon Derek Thomas
Married to: Kristina Thomas
Children: One daughter and one son
2020 to present
Full-time Language Training (Croatian)
2019 to 2020
Royal College of Defence Studies
2016 to 2019
Harare, Deputy Head of Mission
2013 to 2015
FCO, Head, Intelligence Policy Department
2009 to 2013
Buenos Aires, Deputy Head of Mission
2006 to 2009
New York, First Secretary, UK Mission to the United Nations
2003 to 2005
FCO, Head, Russia Section, Eastern Department
2002 to 2003
Cabinet Office, Desk Officer, Counter-Terrorism
Brussels, First Secretary, UK Representation to the European Union
New York, Second Secretary, UK Mission to the United Nations
1998 to 2001
Warsaw, Second Secretary
1997 to 1998
FCO, Desk Officer, Russia, Eastern Research Group (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
20 Jan 21. Change of Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the UN in Vienna: Lindsay Skoll.
Lindsay Skoll CMG has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the UN in Vienna in succession to Mr Leigh Turner.
Ms Lindsay Skoll CMG has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Austria and United Kingdom Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna in succession to Mr Leigh Turner CMG who will be retiring from the Diplomatic Service. Ms Skoll will take up her appointment during September 2021.
Full name: Lindsay Samantha Skoll
Married to: Richard Skoll
Full-time Language Training (German)
2018 to 2020
Moscow, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission
Full-time Language Training (Russian)
FCO, Head, Zika Virus Crisis Response
2012 to 2015
Victoria, British High Commissioner
2010 to 2012
FCO, Head of Climate, and Deputy Head Climate Change and Energy Department
FCO, Senior Policy Secretary to the Gulf and UAE Initiatives, Middle East North Africa Directorate
2007 to 2009
Maternity Leave and Special Unpaid Leave
2006 to 2007
Cabinet Office, Head, North East Asia Policy
2004 to 2006
Pyongyang, Deputy Head of Mission and later Chargé d’Affaires a.i.
2003 to 2004
Cabinet Office, Joint Assessments Staff
Full-time Language Training (Japanese)
2001 to 2002
FCO, Head – Korea and Mongolia Section, North East Asia Pacific Department
1999 to 2001
FCO, Head – VIP and State Visits Section, Conference and Visits Group, Protocol Directorate
1997 to 1998
FCO, Media Services Officer for Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), EU Presidency and G8
1996 to 1997
FCO, Information and Visits Officer, Information Department
19 Jan 21. Change of Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Mexico: Jon Benjamin. Mr Jon Benjamin has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Mexico in succession to Ms Corin Robertson who will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment. Mr Benjamin will take up his appointment during August 2021.
Full name: Jonathan Benjamin
Married to: Carolina Vasquez
Children: One son
2017 to 2020
FCDO, Director of Learning, Principal of the Diplomatic Academy; also FCO, Alternate Director, Operations, COVID-19 Taskforce (March – June 2020)
2014 to 2017
Accra, High Commissioner and Her Majesty’s Non-Resident Ambassador to Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso
2009 to 2014
Santiago, Her Majesty’s Ambassador
Full-time Language Training (Spanish)
2008 to 2009
Secondments as adviser to the Boards of AIG (New York) and Eurasia Group (New York)
2005 to 2008
New York, Deputy, later Acting, Consul-General
2002 to 2005
FCO, Head, Human Rights Policy Department
2000 to 2001
FCO, Deputy Head, Drugs and International Crime Department
FCO, Head, Zimbabwe Emergency Unit
1996 to 1999
Ankara, First Secretary (Head of Political Section)
1995 to 1996
Full-time Language Training (Turkish)
1993 to 1995
FCO, Private Secretary to Minister for Europe and Latin America
1992 to 1993
FCO, Head of Section (Central Asia/Caucasus), Eastern Department
1988 to 1991
Jakarta, Third, later Second Secretary (Political)
1987 to 1988
Full-time Language Training (Indonesian)
1986 to 1987
FCO, Desk Officer for Burma and Laos
DFID (then ODA), Desk Officer for Pakistan
21 Jan 21. Change of United Kingdom Head of Mission to the European Union: Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby.
The Foreign Secretary has appointed Mr Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby CMG as Head of the United Kingdom Mission (UKMis) to the European Union in succession to Sir Tim Barrow GCMG LVO MBE, who is transferring to another Diplomatic Service role.
This has been duly notified to the European Union as part of the normal process.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:
As we begin a new chapter in our relationship with the EU, I am delighted to appoint Lindsay as head of UKMis.
His previous knowledge and expertise will be vital as our friendly cooperation with the EU continues.
Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby said:
I am delighted to lead the UK Mission to the EU as we develop a new bilateral partnership, following the agreement of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement at the end of last year.
Full name: Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby
Married to: Barbara Croisdale-Appleby
No.10, Deputy UK Sherpa, Director General and Deputy Chief Negotiator, Task Force Europe
2017 to 2020
FCO, Director General, EU Exit
FCO, Acting Director General, Global Britain
2015 to 2017
FCO, Director, Europe Directorate
2012 to 2015
Bogota, Her Majesty’s Ambassador
2010 to 2012
FCO, Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary
2008 to 2010
FCO, Assistant Director, Human Resources Directorate
2002 to 2008
Brussels, First Secretary including Antici and Environment/Climate, UK Permanent Representation to the EU
2001 to 2002
FCO, Desk Officer, Afghanistan Emergency Unit
1998 to 2001
Caracas, Second Secretary Political and Press, British Embassy
New York, Second Secretary, UK Mission to the UN
1996 to 1997
FCO, Desk Officer for Nigeria (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
18 Jan 21. Service Complaints Ombudsman Appointment announcement. The Ministry of Defence is pleased to announce the appointment of Mariette Hughes as the next Service Complaints Ombudsman for the UK Armed Forces. Ms Hughes appointed from 12 January 2021, succeeds Nicola Williams who has carried out the role since 2015.
The role of the Service Complaints Ombudsman was established by the Armed Forces Act 2006, as part of the Service Complaints system which came into effect from 1 January 2016. The complaints system allows a member of the UK Armed Forces to make a complaint if they believe they have been wronged in a matter relating to their service.
The Ombudsman is responsible for providing independent assurance on the fairness, effectiveness and efficiency of the Service Complaints system to the Secretary of State for Defence by way of an annual report which is laid before Parliament.
Ms Hughes has been appointed following open competition and a rigorous selection process which was overseen by an Advisory Assessment Panel including an Independent Panel Member in line with the Governance Code for Public Appointments.
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said, “The Service Complaints Ombudsman provides an independent voice to the armed forces and helps to ensure that all of our personnel can have the confidence to raise matters of concern about their service life. Mariette Hughes is an excellent candidate for this post and I have no doubt she will build successfully on the work of her predecessor, Nicola Williams. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Nicola for all she has achieved as the Service Complaints Ombudsman and wish her well for her future endeavours.”
Mariette Hughes has since 2014, worked for the Legal Ombudsman Service. Initially as an Investigator and now acting as Interim Chief Ombudsman and Director of Operations. The Legal Ombudsman is responsible for the resolution of disputes between consumers and legal service providers in line with the Legal Services Act.
In addition, she is also Head of External Affairs, Service Policy and Impact. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
20 Jan 21. New Officials Sworn-in at the Department of Defense. The following individuals were sworn-in virtually or in-person today at the Pentagon:
- Adil Ahmed, Attorney Advisor, Office of the General Counsel, Department of the Army
- Terry Adirim, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs
- Scott Arceneaux, Special Assistant for White House Liaison Office
- Patricia Barron, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
- Susanna Blume, performing the duties of Director, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation
- Tanya Bradsher, Senior Director for Partnerships and Global Engagement
- Melissa Dalton, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans and Capabilities
- Morgan Dwyer, Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering
- Beth Foster, Senior Advisor, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
- Beth George, Principal Deputy General Counsel
- Ozge Guzelsu, Deputy General Counsel (Legislation)
- Storm Horncastle, Residential Manager and Social Secretary of the Vice President
- Brian Katz, Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence & Security)
- Jongsun Kim, Deputy Comptroller for Budget and Appropriations Affairs, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
- John Kirby, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs
- Kelly Magsamen, Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense
- Christopher Maier, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations / Low Intensity Conflict
- Farouk Ophaso, Senior Advisor, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
- Ely Ratner, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (China)
- Eric Ridge, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development
- Max Rose, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Senior Advisor, COVID-19)
- Tommy Ross, Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the Navy, Department of the Navy
- Leonor Tomero, Deputy Assistant Director for Nuclear and Missile Defense Programs
- Veronica Valdez, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs
- Matthew Williams, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Senate Affairs (Source: US DoD)
20 Jan 21. DOD Announces New Acting Secretary of Defense, Service Secretaries. At 12:01 p.m., Jan. 20, David L. Norquist assumed the duties of Acting Secretary of Defense. In his capacity as acting secretary, Norquist will maintain continuity and readiness of the Department until a defense secretary is confirmed. Norquist has served as the Deputy Secretary of Defense since July 2019.
The acting secretary of the Army is John Whitley. The acting secretary of the Navy is Tom Harker. The acting secretary of the Air Force is John Roth. (Source: US DoD)
18 Jan 21. DOD Announces New Members of the Defense Policy Board. The Department of Defense welcomes three new members of the Defense Policy Board who completed all onboarding requirements and were sworn in today – Retired Army Brigadier General Anthony Tata, Mr. Scott O’Grady and Ambassador Charles Glazer.
About the Defense Policy Board
The Defense Policy Board was established to provide the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense independent advice and recommendations on matters concerning defense policy through the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (USD(P)).
17 Jan 21. The NSA is ‘moving forward’ to install Michael Ellis, a former GOP operative, as its top lawyer, the agency said Sunday. The National Security Agency is “moving forward” to install Michael Ellis, a former GOP political operative and White House official, as the agency’s top lawyer, the agency said Sunday. The announcement came a day after acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller ordered the NSA director, Gen. Paul Nakasone, to immediately place Ellis in position as the agency’s general counsel.
Acting defense secretary orders NSA head to immediately install former GOP operative as agency’s top lawyer
Ellis had been selected for the job in November by the Pentagon general counsel after a civil service competition. But Nakasone was not in favor of Ellis’s selection and sought to delay his installation, according to several people familiar with the issue, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity.
Though Nakasone is not the hiring authority — the decision is made by the Pentagon general counsel — by tradition the NSA director weighs in on the selection.
“Mr. Ellis accepted his final job offer yesterday afternoon,” the NSA said in a statement Sunday. “NSA is moving forward with his employment.”
The Pentagon declined to comment.
Ellis was selected under pressure from the White House, people familiar with the matter said at the time. The move drew criticism from national security legal experts as an attempt to politicize a career position.
White House official and former GOP political operative named as NSA general counsel
It comes just a few days before President Trump leaves office, and complicates the Biden administration’s options for immediately replacing him, former officials said.
There have also been concerns about Ellis’s qualifications for the job, according to several people. One individual said those issues included the possibility that he was picked over candidates who scored higher during the interview process. (Source: Washington Post)
15 Jan 21. The Defense Department is proud to announce the appointment of retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Barre R. Seguin as the new Director for the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Seguin retired in October 2020 after more than 30 years of active service. He succeeds retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith W. Dayton who has served in the position for more than ten years. Dayton’s current term will end on May 31, 2021. Seguin was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1988 through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps after graduating from the State University of New York at Potsdam. During his time on active duty, Seguin held leadership positions both in the U.S. and abroad, including six assignments in Europe, one of which was as a Fellow with the Marshall Center. His final assignment in the Air Force was as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Employment for Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. Seguin’s assignments with NATO, SHAPE and U.S. Africa Command ensures he is uniquely qualified for the role of Director. The Marshall Center was established in November 1992 by former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney. On December 2, 1994 the Marshall Center officially became a German-American partnership between EUCOM and the German Ministry of Defense. The mission of the Marshall Center is to enable solutions to regional and transnational security challenges through capacity building, access and a globally connected network. The Marshall Center contributes to security cooperation with tailored, professional education and research, dialogue, and the persistent, thorough and thoughtful examination of issues that confront our region and the world both today and in the years ahead. The Department wants to express its gratitude to retired Lt. Gen. Dayton for his continued service and leadership over the last ten years as the Director and wishes him well in future endeavors. (Source: US DoD)
21 Jan 21. Quickstep, Volansi sign MOU to boost global footprint. The firms have entered into a strategic partnership in a bid to expand their presence in the global marketplace. Australia-based advanced composites manufacturer Quickstep and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) supplier Volansi have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The firms have agreed to jointly engage various regulatory, operational, and commercial stakeholders to promote the delivery of Volansi drones to the commercial and defence services markets across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. In exchange, Volansi has committed to consider leveraging Quickstep’s proprietary aerospace manufacturing process, ‘AeroQure’, to manufacture its drones.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Volansi,” Hannan Parvizian, CEO and co-founder of Volansi, said. “This MOU will allow us the opportunity to combine our depth of industry knowledge with Quickstep’s composite component expertise to grow our market presence in Australia as well as the Asia-Pacific region.”
Mark Burgess, CEO of Quickstep, said the MOU would enable the Australian firm to further expand its presence in the unmanned sector as part of its broader growth strategy. “We are excited by this opportunity to build our relationship with Volansi, who have already established credibility in the Advanced Air Mobility market with their mature platform range,” he said. “This is aligned to our plan for ongoing expansion across the aerospace manufacturing and services markets and we look forward to bringing Volansi’s aircraft to Australia soon.”
The signing of the MOU comes just a month after Volansi secured a $400m contract to support the US Air Force’s Skyborg program. (Source: Defence Connect)
18 Jan 21. HENSOLDT AG is reorganising its sales organisation: Stefan Hess, Head of Public Affairs, will now also be responsible for the Governmental Business Development for Germany, France and the UK as well as with the EU / NATO. Russell Gould, Managing Director of HENSOLDT UK, is taking over responsibility for the international Business Development to further strengthen HENSOLDT’s business in global growth markets. Both will become members of the Group Executive Committee and succeed Sabine Hipp, Head of Sales & Marketing, who is taking early-retirement after more than 35 years with the company. She will continue to serve the Executive Board as a Special Advisor until the end of March 2021. The sales organisation will be divided into two segments: Governmental Business Development and International Business Development. HENSOLDT thus is taking account of its global presence and increasingly international strategic orientation. With a stronger focus on the national and international markets HENSOLDT is moving even closer to its customers and can serve them even more individually.
Stefan Hess has been working for HENSOLDT since 2016 and has built up the Public Affairs department. He has many years of experience in industrial policy, customer needs and major programmes and in addition has an excellent network throughout the German and European defence industry.
Russell Gould has led the UK operations of HENSOLDT and its predecessor companies for more than 13 years. He has been involved in the strategic development of international business for more than 35 years. In addition to leading the International Business Development, he will continue to serve as the Managing Director for HENSOLDT UK.
15 Jan 21. Boeing Elects Lynne Doughtie to Board of Directors, Following Resignation of Director Caroline Kennedy. The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) board of directors today announced that Lynne Doughtie has been elected to the board, replacing Caroline Kennedy who has resigned following three years of dedicated service.
Doughtie, 58, retired from KPMG in 2020, after serving as U.S. Chairman and CEO since 2015. One of the world’s leading professional services firms, KPMG operates in 147 countries and territories employing more than 219,000 people. She will serve on the Audit and Finance committees.
“Lynne Doughtie is a highly-accomplished executive with a demonstrated track record of leading a world-class organization,” said Boeing Chairman Larry Kellner. “She will provide perspective reflecting her global leadership roles and experience advising clients on complex matters as well as significant risk management expertise. We look forward to working with her.”
As the first woman to be elected U.S. Chairman and CEO of KPMG, Doughtie served as a member of KPMG’s Global Board and Executive Committee. Doughtie joined KPMG’s Audit practice in 1985, before serving as the lead partner for several strategic clients across industries and holding leadership roles including Vice Chair of the firm’s U.S. Advisory business. During her tenure, KPMG experienced strong growth and made significant investments in quality and advanced the firm’s culture and values.
Doughtie has been recognized by Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, Crain’s New York Business’ 50 Most Powerful Women in New York, Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People, the National Association of Corporate Directors’ 100 most influential people in the boardroom, and Glassdoor’s list of Top CEOs.
“We welcome Lynne Doughtie’s impressive track record of advancing organizational goals through culture and innovation,” said David Calhoun, Boeing President and CEO, and member of the board of directors. “Lynne’s values-based leadership will further strengthen our board.”
“Boeing is a remarkable American company serving a critical role in the global economy,” said Doughtie. “I look forward to joining this distinguished board.”
Kennedy, who joined the board in 2017, served as a member of the Audit; Compensation; Finance; and Governance, Nominating and Organization committees. Previously, Kennedy served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 2013 to 2017.
“On behalf of Boeing and its board of directors, I want to express my gratitude to Ambassador Kennedy for her leadership and exemplary service,” Kellner said.
“It’s been a privilege to serve alongside Ambassador Kennedy,” Calhoun said. “I’m grateful not only for her contributions to Boeing, but for her service on behalf of our country.”
19 Jan 21. Dedrone, the market leader in airspace security, appointed Mary-Lou Smulders as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and Ben Wenger as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). Smulders will lead Dedrone’s global marketing and communications team, and Wenger will head global sales to provide best-in-class counter-drone technology to enterprise and government customers around the world.
Mary-Lou Smulders joins Dedrone, having served as strategic advisor at the company since February 2020, formally being appointed CMO in December 2020. Prior to Dedrone, Smulders served as CMO at financial technology company 9th Gear Technologies as well as at crisis communication systems leader AtHoc, growing the brand and supporting their acquisition by security software and services provider BlackBerry in 2015. During her twenty-year career in enterprise software, Smulders also served as Senior Vice President of Global Applications and Services Marketing for Oracle Corporation and has advised on strategic transformation initiatives at Booz & Co. Early in her career, she was an engineer on multiple oil rigs for ExxonMobil and Shell Oil.
Ben Wenger joins Dedrone as CRO following a two-decade career in enterprise technology sales and was formally appointed as Dedrone CRO in December 2020. Wenger was previously the Vice President of Sales for emergency communication technology company Everbridge, where built the go-to-market strategy to include strategic global integrators and scaled the global sales team to meet significant revenue growth. An experienced enterprise software sales leader, Wenger built his career at enterprise software company CA Technologies, where he managed a team of sales directors focused on CA’s most strategic customers, culminating in CA Technologies acquisition by Broadcom, Inc. in 2018. (Source: PR Newswire)
21 Jan 21. OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, is pleased to announce that Eric Gillenwater has been appointed to the role of Vice President and Business Head of Global Carrier and Enterprise, leading the Company’s Enterprise division. In his new role, Eric is responsible for engaging distribution partners who can bring OneWeb’s forward-thinking, enterprise-grade connectivity solutions to market. Eric will ensure the enterprise market is taking full advantage of OneWeb’s LEO network capabilities which will offer unprecedented speed and low latency connectivity to customers as early as the end of 2021. Eric brings more than 20 years of global telecommunications experience to OneWeb, most recently with Airtel as Vice President and Business Head of Airtel USA. (Source: PR Newswire)
19 Jan 21. Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX) has named Michael Dumais chief transformation officer to drive high-impact business transformation initiatives over the next 12 months. Dumais has served the company in a range of executive positions since joining predecessor company United Technologies Corporation in 1998.
In this role, Dumais will continue reporting directly to Chief Executive Officer Gregory Hayes and maintains responsibility for the company’s corporate strategy and development function.
As chief transformation officer, Dumais will be responsible for accelerating Raytheon’s strategic transformation initiatives, focusing company-wide technologies on key market opportunities, digitally enabling key business processes and reducing cost.
“Nine months into the post-merger integration, and in light of the downturn and continued uncertainty in commercial aerospace, we see clear opportunities to further harness efficiencies and reduce redundancies across our operations to meet the challenges and capture the opportunities in front of us,” said Hayes. “In this new role, Mike will lead company-wide initiatives to drive top-line growth and bottom-line cost reductions to deliver optimal value to stakeholders.”
Dumais added, “With a focus on optimizing commonality of processes and streamlining critical business drivers with digitization, I am excited by this opportunity to help the company fully leverage its depth, breadth and scale to enhance the value we can bring to all stakeholders.”
Dumais has more than 20 years of experience in business strategy and execution and, prior to his current role, served as executive vice president of operations and strategy at United Technologies Corporation. Before that, Dumais served as senior vice president for strategic planning for UTC. He previously led the Power, Controls & Sensing Systems business segment at UTC Aerospace Systems and held numerous leadership positions at UTC’s Hamilton Sundstrand division, including President. Prior to joining UTC, he held various strategic business roles with the consulting firm Bain & Company.
Dumais holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering from Virginia Tech, a master’s degree in electronics engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, where he was a Palmer Scholar.
19 Jan 21. 6K, the world’s leading developer of microwave plasma technology for the production of advanced materials, today announced that Dr. Joe Felter, a former senior Department of Defense official under then Secretary of Defense James Mattis, has joined 6K’s advisory board. Dr. Felter will guide 6K’s strategy in working with the US Department of Defense and other Federal agencies for the innovation and deployment of advanced materials products to support the national interest of the US. He joins other industry luminaries including Magnus Rene, prior CEO ARCAM, and Robert Galyen, prior CTO CATL. (Source: PR Newswire)
19 Jan 21. SpaceLink, a company that is redrawing the map of space connectivity, announced it has built out its senior executive team with four highly experienced satellite industry leaders, all with strong track records of success. The company is building a satellite relay system for secure, continuous, high-capacity data relay service between Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and the ground to meet pent up demand for fast and affordable access to the growing flood of data available from space.
Tony Colucci has been named Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer and Larry Rubin joins as Chief Operating Officer. Both were instrumental in establishing the company’s vision of a service that will help advance humanity to a new age of space commerce, exploration, environmental awareness, and security. Rob Singh, formerly of Maxar Technologies, has joined as Chief Technology Officer, and David Lihani, formerly of Astrolabe Enterprises, was named General Counsel.
“I joined SpaceLink knowing that a superior executive team would be supporting me in my role as CEO,” said David Bettinger, Chief Executive Officer at SpaceLink. “Tony, Larry, Rob and David all have stellar lists of accomplishments developing communications satellite networks around the world. They understand the value of our substantial bandwidth in MEO and are driving the design and construction of an advanced communications network that will serve both commercial and government spacecraft in near Earth orbit.”
SpaceLink is a subsidiary of Electro Optic Systems of Australia (EOS) and benefits from resources, financing, and advanced technology from its corporate parent, including advanced optical communications. The relay system will optimize access to imagery from Earth observation satellites and will provide continuous communications for human spaceflight. It will provide a secure connection for the defense and intelligence communities and fast data transfer for space agencies.
SpaceLink continues to build its team and is recruiting engineering talent with a focus on satellite network, ground, and antenna systems. It recently launched a website at www.eosSpaceLink.com where more information is available. (Source: PR Newswire)
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