27 Jul 23. Royal Navy’s most advanced destroyer back on front-line duties in major military drills in Colombia. The Royal Navy’s most advanced destroyer has completed a large-scale exercise off the coast of Colombia – marking a return to full front-line action after a major overhaul. HMS Dauntless has deployed to the Caribbean Sea to counter drugs smugglers alongside the US Coast Guard and provide support and reassurance to British Overseas Territories during the region’s hurricane season from June to November. Kicking off the deployment, Dauntless – which returns to action fitted with brand new efficient engines – took part in the world’s longest-running multinational military drills, sailing into Cartagena in Colombia for Exercise Unitas. Dating back to 1959, Unitas (Latin for ‘united’) brings nations together to show a united front in the fight for stability and prosperity in the region, making it the United States Southern Command’s most important exercise.
The Type 45 destroyer’s presence – Dauntless was participating in her second Unitas (the first was in 2012) – shows the UK’s commitment to the deepening relationship with Colombia, which is the only Latin American country to be a NATO partner nation.
The ship’s Wildcat from 815 Naval Air Squadron was in the thick of the action carrying Sting Ray light torpedoes, hunting down submarines and simulating attacks.
Assisted by Dauntless’ powerful array of sensors and a US Navy P8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft, the Wildcat showed its prowess in anti-submarine warfare.
It was a major step forward with the Wildcat fitted with new weapon wings – which can hold a variety of armaments for use on a range of targets – as it proves its ability to hunt and destroy submarines and ships.
Flight Observer, Lieutenant Wayne Henaghen, said: “Our ability to equip Wildcat with Sting Ray torpedoes demonstrates the versatility of the helicopter, and it is the combined effort of 815 Naval Air Squadron and HMS Dauntless which proves this capability on operations.”
In all 26 ships, three submarines, 25 aircraft and around 7,000 sailors and marines from 20 countries were involved in Unitas, which took place off the coast of Cartagena, as Colombia’s navy celebrated its 200th anniversary.
Commander Ben Dorrington, Commanding Officer of HMS Dauntless, said: “It is an honour to be here in Colombia to mark the bicentenary of the Armada Nacional Colombia and to test the capabilities of Dauntless with 20 allies and partners from across the region.”
Alongside the UK, participating nations included Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, Spain, South Korea, United States, and Uruguay.
The task group took part in warfare operations, including firing weapons and amphibious landings, while Dauntless operated in her main role as air defence destroyer.
For Dauntless’ Sub Lieutenant Anastazja Masters participation in Unitas meant a reunion with Sub Lieutenant Silvia Santana, a Colombian officer whom she trained with at Britannia Royal Naval College in the UK.
She said: “It is a privilege to be work alongside Silvia again. The friendships made early on in our careers will last a life time and it is an honour to be in Cartagena to celebrate the formation of the Armada Nacional Colombia.
“Unitas has been an incredible experience to work with partners such as the Armada Nacional Colombia across an array of tasks with assets such as submarines and helicopters. This enables us to test our abilities from war fighting to supporting humanitarian aid and disaster relief.”
Silvia added: “I am delighted that HMS Dauntless is here to celebrate the bicentenary of the Colombian Navy and that we can enhance our understanding of how we work together. The Royal Navy is one of our oldest allies and I am proud to be part of the history of our two nations.”
While in Cartagena, the Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Martin Connell, visited as Dauntless hosted dignitaries and a reception – which included a performance by the Royal Marines Band.
He said: “We work very closely with the Armed Forces of Colombia and in particular the Colombia Navy in order to co-operate against illicit trading.
“I expect we’ll continue to do so closely in the years ahead, so that perhaps when the Colombia Navy is perhaps celebrating its 300th anniversary there will be another Royal Navy ship here.”
Dauntless now heads for Caribbean patrols with a US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment, Royal Marines sniper team and the Wildcat helicopter on board – making her suitably equipped to counter illicit trafficking activity.
The destroyer is also on standby to provide humanitarian and disaster relief, giving British Overseas Territories a valuable lifeline if a storm were to sweep the region.
Commander Dorrington added: “Dauntless is deployed to the Caribbean as part of the UK’s enduring commitment to our overseas territories and nations in the Commonwealth. We stand ready to support in the event of a natural disaster.” (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
21 Jul 23. US donates boats to Ghana’s naval special forces. The US government has donated two 38 ft Defender-class boats to Ghana’s Special Boat Squadron (SBS), the Ghana Navy announced on 19 July.
It said a ceremony was held on 14 July at Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC) in Nutekpor to commission the boats that were delivered with associated equipment, as well as a new pontoon pier at the facility.
“The boats will enable the SBS to respond swiftly to maritime challenges and carry out critical operations with enhanced efficiency in the Gulf of Guinea,” said Chief of the Defence Staff Vice Admiral Seth Amoama.
The Ghana Navy also said a newly assembled prefabricated mobile camp that was donated by the Danish government was commissioned, adding that it will “serve as a vital operational base, providing the SBS with the necessary infrastructure and facilities to effectively plan and execute missions [and] as a hub for training, co-ordination, and joint operations”.
This is part of a five-year trilateral agreement signed with US Africa Command (USAFRICOM) and Denmark’s Frogman Corps to develop the SBS into an elite, tier-one special operations force by 2026, according to the navy. (Source: Janes)
21 Jul 23. Singapore’s Navy receives first of four new German-built submarines. The first of four German-built diesel-electric attack submarines has arrived in Singapore, the Southeast Asian nation’s Defence Ministry announced. The Impeccable was received at Singapore’s RSS Singapura—Changi Naval Base on Thursday during a homecoming ceremony attended by the Republic of Singapore Navy chief Rear Adm. Sean Wat and other senior officers. The submarine was brought to Singapore from the facilities of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems onboard the chartered, civilian-operated heavy load carrier Rolldock Storm. The vessel had arrived in Singapore on July 8 after a voyage from the German port of Kiel that started in late May.
Launched in December 2022, the Impeccable is the second of four Invincible-class submarines ordered by Singapore. Also known as the Type 218SG, the boats are designed for operations in Singapore’s shallow and busy tropical waters, having been custom-built for the nation’s needs, according to a media release issued by the Defence Ministry.
The ministry noted the submarines “possess state-of-the-art capabilities, including high levels of automation, significant payload capacity, enhanced underwater endurance, and ergonomics optimised for the Asian physique.”
Invincible-class subs measure 230 feet and displace 2,200 tons when submerged. The boats feature air-independent propulsion systems and have an X-rudder configuration similar to the ThyssenKrupp-made Type 212 design for better maneuverability in shallow, congested waters.
The Impeccable will subsequently undergo a series of local sea trials to reach full operational capability with the Republic of Singapore Navy. The lead boat of the class, the Invincible, remains in Germany to support the training of Singaporean submariners.
The last two submarines of the class are currently under construction in Germany. Singapore plans to use the new submarines to replace a similar number of secondhand subs acquired from Sweden and customized for operations in waterways around Singapore.
The island nation sits astride the Strait of Malacca and South China Sea, which are some of the busiest commercial shipping lanes in the world. Singapore’s economy is highly dependent on the global maritime trade, and the country is a close security partner of the U.S. and has longstanding agreements to allow American military ships and aircraft to use its facilities. (Source: Defense News)
24 Jul 23. Handing Over of INS Kirpan to VPN. “Today’s handing-over ceremony symbolises the deep-rooted friendship and strategic partnership between India and Vietnam. What makes this occasion even more significant is the fact that this is the first-ever occasion that India is offering a fully-operational Corvette to any Friendly Foreign Country” – Adm R Hari Kumar, CNS
On completing 32 years of illustrious service to the nation, Indian Naval Ship Kirpan has been Decommissioned from the Indian Navy and Handed Over to Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) today at Cam Ranh, Vietnam. The Decommissioning and Handing Over Ceremony of INS Kirpan to VPN was presided over by Adm R Hari Kumar, Chief of Naval Staff, Indian Navy and Rear Adm Pham Manh Hung, Deputy Commander-in-Chief and Chief of Staff, VPN.
INS Kirpan, since commissioning in 1991, has been an integral part of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet and has participated in many operations over the last 32 years. Manned by about 12 officers and 100 sailors, the ship is 90 meters long and 10.45 meters in width with a maximum displacement of 1450 tons. The ship has been handed over today to Vietnam People’s Navy with a complete weapon complement.
Speaking on the occasion Adm R Hari Kumar stated that “It is a matter of great honour for me to be a part of the handing over ceremony of one of the finest and longest-serving warships of the Indian Navy – Kirpan, to the esteemed Vietnam People’s Navy. On behalf of the Indian Navy, it is my privilege to extend a warm welcome to all the distinguished guests present here. The transfer of Kirpan to the Vietnam People’s Navy resonates with India’s G20 vision of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – One Earth, One Family, One Future”
The transfer of INS Kirpan from the Indian Navy to the Vietnam People’s Navy symbolises the status of Indian Navy of being the ‘Preferred Security partner’ in the Indian Ocean Region and would definitely be a catalyst for enhancing the existing bilateral relations between the two navies. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Indian Ministry of Defence)
24 Jul 23. PLA Holds Cross-Sea Troop Transport Drill Using Large Ferry Ship. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently conducted a cross sea troop transport exercise using a large ferry ship, which could play a vital role in large-scale amphibious landing missions, experts said on Sunday.
Such drills were linked by foreign media to the Taiwan question.
During the integrated military-civilian long-range power projection exercise, a brigade affiliated with the PLA Navy used a roll-on/roll-off, or ro-ro, passenger ship with a displacement of tens of thousands of tons to transport troops in the Bohai Sea, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Sunday.
The brigade divided its troops into multiple combat groups based on personnel and equipment, and used the ship to transport the entire unit in a single voyage, the report said.
According to the CCTV report, multiple types of military vehicles, including off-road tactical vehicles, wheeled infantry fighting vehicles, trucks and jeeps together with a large number of troops, took the Chang Shan Dao ro-ro passenger ship during the drills.
Having doors and ramps at both the bow and stern that enable vehicles to enter and exit without turning around, the Chang Shan Dao has a length of 167.5 meters, a width of 25.2 meters and a displacement of 23,000 tons, according to the website of the COSCO Shipping Ferry Co Ltd, the operator of the ship.
The exercise tested the PLA Navy troops’ capabilities to carry out maritime transport under special conditions, CCTV said.
It is common for the PLA to practice troop transport with large ferry ships. Official media reports have been covering such exercises since 2021.
Such an approach is also common in amphibious landing tasks around the world, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity, told the Global Times on Sunday.
With a limited number of dedicated amphibious landing ships, ferries could join maritime transport missions in large numbers once sea lanes and ports are secured, the expert said.
Foreign media outlets, including the Associated Press and Defense News, said that the ferries could be used in a potential PLA reunification-by-force operation on the island of Taiwan.
With the island of Taiwan reportedly preparing to hold the five-day Han Kuang live-fire military exercises, which practice resisting reunification by force, starting on Monday, the PLA recently ramped up its regular exercises and patrols around the island, sending increased numbers of aircraft and vessels, according to the defense authority on the island. The PLA’s drills should be viewed by “Taiwan independence” secessionists and external interference forces as a strong warning, analysts said. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/)
24 Jul 23. Pakistan Navy’s Induction of Chinese Frigates: Strengthening Maritime Capabilities. The Pakistani Navy has introduced to active service two Chinese-made Type 054 A/P Frigates, PNS Shahjahan and PNS Tippu Sultan, joining two similar ships already in service. The Pakistani Navy (PN), while keeping in view the security challenges at Indian Ocean Region (IOR), is stepping up efforts to modernize its fleet in order to maintain a reasonable force at sea. PN has revised its development plans and is inducting new technological advanced platforms into the service. Previously, PN had relied on UK and US for military equipment and in fact these military platforms had provided essential tenets of training and professionalism to PN. However, due to geo-political tilt and military-technological partnership with China, PN has worked on a comprehensive program to transform its naval platforms especially the destroyers and frigates.
PN had historically been operating with eight to nine major surface ships which constrains country’s regional footprints and influence. To redress this, the fleet size comprising of more than 50 ships was envisioned by the PN. Under this, the Navy has recently acquired new platforms, including the MILGEM Class Turkish Corvettes and Chinese 054 A/P frigates.
Recently, two Type 054 A/P Frigates, PNS Shahjahan and PNS Tippu Sultan have been commissioned together at Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard, Shanghai, China. And their induction ceremony is going to be held in the month of July 2023. The induction of these ships marks the successful culmination of Type 054A/P project with four ships of the class constructed for PN. The first and second Type 054A/P Frigates PNS Tughril and PNS Taimur joined PN fleet in Jan 22 and Aug 22 respectively.
Both ships are one of the most advanced platforms of PN Surface Fleet. The construction of both frigates is hinged upon modern stealth design with capability to simultaneously execute number of naval warfare missions in a highly intense multi-threat environment. The 4000 tons frigates are technologically advanced and highly capable platforms with enormous surface to surface, land attack, surface to air and underwater firepower coupled with extensive surveillance potential.
Both frigates are fitted with potent weapons including surface to air (SAM) and supersonic surface to surface missiles (SSM). Besides, ships have guns, torpedoes and torpedo defence systems. Weapons and Sensors installed onboard ships make them state-of-the-art platforms which can perform variety of maritime operations including anti surface, anti-air, anti-submarine and maritime security operations. These ships will provide deterrence and means for averting threats in our region while contributing towards protection of Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCS).
Induction of these new Chinese platforms is undoubtedly a milestone for the PN. There is no doubt in concluding that in response to the transforming nature of the threat posted to national and maritime security, PN is developing multi-dimensional response framework.
(Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Pakistan Observer)
21 Jul 23. Releases Command Investigation Into the MV-22B Osprey Mishap in California on June 8, 2022. The investigation into the cause of the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 364, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing MV-22B Osprey mishap in Glamis, California, on June 8, 2022, is complete. We have provided the results of the investigation to the families of our fallen Marines and provided all available resources to them during this difficult time. The loss of Capt. Nicholas P. Losapio, Capt. John J. Sax, Cpl. Nathan E. Carlson, Cpl. Seth D. Rasmuson, and Lance Cpl. Evan A. Strickland continues to be felt across the Marine Corps.
The investigation revealed the cause of the mishap was a dual hard clutch engagement (HCE) which created a Single Engine and Interconnect Drive System (Single Engine/ICDS) failure; the failure resulted in a catastrophic loss of thrust on the right-hand (RH) proprotor. The degraded drivetrain caused by the dual HCE event and subsequent Single Engine/ICDS failure created an unrecoverable departure from controlled flight, resulting in the tragic crash that occurred on June 8, 2022.
It is clear from the investigation that there was no error on the part of the pilots and aircrew and nothing they could have done to anticipate or prevent this mishap. They were conducting routine flight operations in accordance with applicable regulations when this catastrophic and unanticipated mechanical failure occurred. The investigation also found there was no maintenance error on the part of the team whose job it was to prepare the aircraft to fly on the day of the flight.
The Marine Corps has taken the following actions in coordination with the original equipment manufacturer: design and field a new Proprotor Gearbox Input Quill Assembly that mitigates unintentional clutch disengagements and hard clutch engagement events; improve MV-22B drivetrain and flight control system software, drivetrain component material strength, and inspection requirements; and integrate a crash survivable, high-temperature, fire-resistant flight data recorder into all MV-22B aircraft. All USMC MV-22B commands will also present this investigation to pilots and aircrew to discuss the hazards of hard clutch engagements and its potential to cause a Single Engine/Interconnect Drive System failure compound emergency. On February 3, 2023, the Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force Special Operations Command issued Dynamic Component Bulletin 63 which directed the replacement of all input quill assemblies over a predetermined flight hour threshold at the recommendation of the V-22 Joint Program Office. Replacing the input quill assembly at this threshold significantly reduces the likelihood of a Hard Clutch Engagement occurring by 99 percent, based on the data.
We will never forget Capt. Nicholas P. Losapio, Capt. John J. Sax, Cpl. Nathan E. Carlson, Cpl. Seth D. Rasmuson, and Lance Cpl. Evan A. Strickland, and their loved ones, as we continue with our quest to provide the safest, most lethal platforms to the men and women who fly them. The redacted command investigation is available to the public via the Marine Corps Freedom of Information Act website: hqmc.marines.mil/Agencies/USMC-FOIA/FRR. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/USMC)
24 Jul 23. Israeli Air Force Receives Three Additional F-35Is. Three “Adir” (F-35I) airplanes landed yesterday (July 20–Ed.) at the Nabatim air force base. The Air Force emblem was painted on the three airplanes, who will now join the “Golden Eagle” squadron (N° 140).
The Air Force is proud to be part of a global community that promotes the Adir aircraft and helps expand its operational capability. As part of this, a test flight was successfully completed this week in the aircraft with heavy external armament, thus making Israel the second country in the world to do so.
The experiment took place in collaboration between the Air Force, the Lockheed Martin Corporation and the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO), which promotes a new capability to carry weapons in the F-35I Adir, a development which is intended to significantly increase its attack capability.
The flight was led by the Air Force Flight Test Center Squadron, during which an F-35I Adir aircraft flew with heavy munitions (JDAM-84), which were hung under its wings, in addition to the weapons carried in the internal weapon bays. This is an advanced engineering capability for conducting flight experiments.
(defense-aerospace.com EDITOR’S NOTE: The ‘JDAM 84’ mentioned above is the 2,000-pound version of the Joint Direct Attach Munition, which converts a 2,000 lb BLU-109 Mk 84 iron bomb into a guided weapon.
The Pentagon in late June stopped taking delivery of F-35s because of deficient software, and “Deliveries of new F-35s are on hold until December at the earliest and April at the latest, according to F-35 Joint Program Office spokesperson Russ Goemaere,” Defense One reported June 28. “The Pentagon is updating several technologies in its fleet of F-35s, an effort known as Block 4. But before the fleet can receive the upgrades, the jets need a suite of hardware and software improvements, known as Technology Refresh 3, or TR-3, which is already one year behind schedule.”
It is not clear why Israel is continuing to take delivery of its F-35 despite the lack of functioning TR3 components.) (Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com) (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Israeli Air Force)
24 Jul 23. First two H225M helicopters delivered to Hungary. The Hungarian Defence Forces have received the first two of 16 H225M multi-purpose helicopters on schedule. The helicopter was officially handed over at Szolnok Airbase by Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters.
“I am very happy that we have delivered the first H225Ms to Hungary today,” said Bruno Even. “The Defence Forces are receiving a combat-proven, multi-role platform, which is the latest version of a very successful helicopter family. Together with the light twin engine H145M, which is already in operation, Hungary now has a modern helicopter fleet that can fly a broad range of military missions, and we are proud that they decided our helicopters were the right choice for their extremely important operations.”
Additionally, Airbus is also providing an extensive training and support package to ensure the highest level of operational availability.
The H225Ms selected by Hungary are equipped with state-of-the-art communication capabilities and will be used for transport, combat search and rescue, and special operations missions. Its advanced avionics and four axis autopilot, exceptional range and payload capacities, combined with a large cabin designed to carry up to 24 troops and powerful air-to-ground and air-to-surface armament as well as electronic warfare systems allow the H225M to carry out the most demanding missions. The helicopter has an all-weather capability supported by its night vision goggle compatibility.
A part of the Hungarian H225M fleet will be fitted with the HForce weapon management system, adding air support capabilities thus creating further communality with the Hungarian H145M fleet also equipped with HForce. Flight trials have recently been conducted in Hungary as part of the integration of a gun pod and rocket launchers on the Hungarian H225M.
A member of the multi-role Super Puma family of helicopters, this military variant is currently operational in France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Kuwait, and Singapore.
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
28 Jul 23. Mr Dominic Jermey CVO OBE has been appointed His Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia and non-resident Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.
26 Jul 23. The Prime Minister has reappointed Sir Guy Weston and Professor Margaret MacMillan as trustees of the Imperial War Museum.
24 Jul 23. DOD Establishes Assistant Secretaries of Defense in the Office of the Under Secretary for Research and Engineering. On July 12, the Department of Defense announced the establishment of three new Assistant Secretary of Defense positions, along with eight Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Defense, in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. The ASDs will replace the role of Deputy Chief Technology Officer.
“The establishment of these roles within Research & Engineering better positions our team to execute upon our mission of preserving our nation’s technological edge, now and into the future,” said Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering Heidi Shyu. “We thank our partners in Congress and across the DOD for getting us to this point.”
Pursuant to Title 10, U.S.C., section 138, and the Deputy Secretary of Defense memorandum of July 12, the following are established:
- The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology (S&T). Dr. Steven Wax will perform the duties of the ASD(S&T) until an individual is first appointed to the position by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. Dr. Wax will also remain the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology.
o Three Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Defense are also established:
- DASD Science & Technology Foundations – Dr. Jagadeesh Pamulapati
- DASD Science & Technology Futures – Dr. Kevin Geiss
- DASD Science & Technology Program Protection – Dr. Robert Irie
- The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Critical Technologies (CT). Mr. Maynard Holliday will perform the duties of the ASD(CT) until an individual is first appointed to the position by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.
o Two Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Defense are also established:
- DASD Applied Technology – Mr. Michael Holthe (acting)
- DASD Enabling Technology – Mr. Michael Holthe
- The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Mission Capabilities (MC). Mr. Thomas Browning will perform the duties of the ASD(MC) until an individual is first appointed to the position by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.
o Ms. Marcia Holmes is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Mission Capabilities.
o Three Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Defense are also established:
- DASD Multi-Domain Joint Operations – Dr. Paul Zablocky
- DASD Prototypes and Experiments – Mr. Alex Lovett
- DASD Mission Integration – Mr. Elmer Roman
The ASDs are under the authority, direction, and control of the Under Secretary of
Defense for Research and Engineering (R&E) and are the principal advisors to the USD(R&E) for their respective areas in helping improve U.S. capability and concepts to degrade an adversary’ s effects, as well as for related matters.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering is the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Defense. The USD(R&E) champions research, science, technology, engineering, and innovation to maintain the United States military’s technological advantage. Learn more at www.cto.mil, follow us on Twitter @DoDCTO, or visit us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/ousdre. (Source: U.S. DoD)
27 Jul 23. Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti for appointment to the grade of admiral, with assignment as chief of naval operations, Washington, D.C. Franchetti is currently serving as vice chief of naval operations, Washington, D.C.
27 Jul 23. Adm. Samuel J. Paparo Jr. for appointment to the grade of admiral, with assignment as commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Paparo is currently serving as commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
27 Jul 23. Vice Adm. James W. Kilby for appointment to the grade of admiral, with assignment as vice chief of naval operations, Washington, D.C. Kilby is currently serving as deputy commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, Virginia.
27 Jul 23. Vice Adm. Stephen T. Koehler for appointment to the grade of admiral, with assignment as commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Koehler is currently serving as director for Strategy, Plans and Policy, J5, Joint Staff; and senior member, U.S. Delegation to the United States Military Staff, Washington, D.C.
27 Jul 23. USAF Gen. David W. Allvin for appointment to the grade of general, with assignment as chief of staff, U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Allvin is currently serving as vice chief of staff, U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
25 Jul 23. President Joe Biden announced Wednesday his replacement for former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, who led the defense policy shop since April 2021. Derek Chollet, who currently serves as the counselor at the State Department, was tapped by Biden after Kahl announced he would go back to teaching at Stanford University at the start of this school year. Chollet’s nomination, however, comes as Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., has placed holds on all uniformed and civilian Pentagon nominees over the department’s abortion policy for service members who reside in states where the procedure is restricted. Tuberville has been steadfast in his opposition, blocking more than 250 military nominations. Kahl announced his departure in May and leaves the Pentagon policy shop after crafting the administration’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and dealing with a rising China. His own confirmation process hit some road bumps along the way, including during his confirmation hearing, when he apologized for remarks he made about Republican lawmakers on social media during his time in the private sector. He was also criticized for his work on the Iran nuclear agreement. (Source: Defense News)
21 Jul 23. Another Polish general has succeeded to the role of the deputy commanding officer of the ‘V Corps’ of the US Army, based in Poznań, in western Poland. The Polish Major General Jabloński has taken over the responsibilities from Major General Joks. It is a historic second time when Polish officer takes over such an important and prestigious post. V Corps is an important military unit since its forward element deployed in Poznań commands all US forces on the Nato’s eastern flank. (Source: army-technology.com)
25 Jul 23. Fairbanks Morse Defense Teams with Marand for Global Expansion. Fairbanks Morse Defense (FMD), a portfolio company of Arcline Investment Management (Arcline), is teaming with Marand Precision Engineering (Marand) to expand its best-in-class marine technologies, OEM products, and service solutions to marine defense customers in Australia. Under the terms of the long-term agreement with FMD, Marand will manufacture and service components, as well as provide integrated solutions for FMD’s global customer base.
“Our collaboration with Marand positions us to support the sale, design and manufacture of specialized components for the Royal Australian Navy’s future programs while also giving Marand access to our highly trained field service technicians and service centers,” said FMD CEO George Whittier. “All our customers benefit from this arrangement.”
Fairbanks Morse Defense has over 80 years of working with the US Navy on their nuclear projects, and this partnership will allow the Australian market to take advantage of FMD’s expertise and experience for their own new nuclear submarine programs.
“This collaboration combines the expertise of two highly respected defense contractors, giving our customers worldwide access to an even broader range of manufacturing and engineering solutions,” said Stuart Lindley, Future Business and Strategy for Marand Defence. “We’re looking forward to working with Fairbanks Morse Defense and expanding our ability to serve customers globally.”
Based in Victoria, Australia, Marand has established itself as a global provider of precision-engineered solutions for the defense industry.
(Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
24 Jul 23. Aerospace, Defense Industries Struggling To Attract Talent.
Whether it is in Europe or the United States, companies in the aerospace and defense sectors are facing a wave of retiring workers and struggling to attract skilled personnel to take their place, according to the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
There is a deficit of highly skilled engineers and trade workers globally, Andy Voelker, associate at the firm, said in a press briefing at the Paris Air Show. There is a “gray to green” workforce transition. There is a retirement bubble on the horizon for both manufacturing jobs and engineers, with one out of every three employees in the sector nearing a “retirement window.”
The aerospace and defense sector has long benefited from veteran employees with a wealth of knowledge that have worked their entire careers almost exclusively in the sector, he said, and they are needed to onboard the “greener,” or less experienced workers.
“We also know that the greener talent has fundamentally different expectations [of work life], so this presents a real challenge as we think about building the next generation of leaders,” he said.
However, these different expectations have led to attrition problems with the younger workers, he added.
Younger workers leaving — coupled with the retirement bubble — is making it harder for aerospace and defense companies to be fully staffed, he said.
The nature of the jobs is also undergoing a big change, he said.
“The hardware to software transition in the aerospace and defense sector is truly real. It is happening. It is alive and well,” he said. What that means is the demand for highly skilled software engineers is “significantly outpacing” the demand for traditional engineers, he added.
There will be a 13-fold difference in the demand between the two kinds of engineers in the U.S. market over the next 10 years, the firm predicts.
The workplace culture, or what McKinsey calls “organizational health,” is also a factor when workers decide to leave a company. Aerospace and defense companies have a good reputation for aligning employees around a common vision and are known for innovation and doing cutting edge work, Voelker said. The problem is that other industries such as automotive and technology companies have an even better reputation, he said.
“We are seeing more and more movement in and out of the sector. Employees have options, and culture plays a part of that,” he said.
Another trend is the need for speed. Younger generation workers expect things to happen fast in all facets of how a company operates, and aerospace and defense companies are known for operating at a more deliberate pace, he said.
All the company’s data show that the aerospace and defense sector slightly lags other industries in the important factors that keep and retain talent, but it is significantly behind when it comes to tech companies, he said.
There is one exception, he noted: motivation. “Anecdotally, we know the mission is incredibly strong and that is something companies can lean into,” he said. Nevertheless, there are many things that matter beyond “the mission,” he said.
The tech sector currently is much better at attracting the software engineering talent that the aerospace and defense companies so desperately need. McKinsey’s research shows that senior managers are often clueless about what younger workers want, he added.
With the wave of retirements, the influx of younger workers and the transition to more software engineering workforce, companies must be mindful of the value propositions they offer employees, he said. The ones winning in the war for talent are those that are agile and offer workers something unique about their specific workplace that will make them choose to go there.
But what about salaries? Money talks.
“Pay matters,” at least initially, Brooke Weddle, a partner at the firm, said. McKinsey’s research shows that the entry level pay for software engineers in aerospace and defense is not keeping up with other sectors like tech.
“We see opportunity to double down beyond just pay,” she said. The opportunity to make “physical things” is appealing. “Compensation will get an employee through the door … flexibility, meaning and purpose are the three things that get them to stay,” she said. ND
(Source: glstrade.com/National Defense)
24 Jul 23. Airbus weighs separate boss for planemaking arm – sources.
Airbus (AIR.PA) is contemplating a management shake-up that could restore a de facto separate leader for its planemaking business and free CEO Guillaume Faury to tackle broader strategic priorities, people familiar with the matter said.
French-born Faury currently combines the job of running the world’s largest jetmaker, at a time of widespread disruption following the pandemic, with CEO of the wider aerospace and defence group, to which he was re-appointed last year.
That mirrors a structure under which the planemaking business technically owns the two smaller divisions, Helicopters and Defence & Space, following an internal merger.
But the people said a series of crises, including supply chain disruptions, had transformed a succession planning exercise into early examination of a possible reorganisation to tighten industrial control and free Faury for other priorities, like defence.
The timing and definition of the new role remain unclear and depend on board approval, which is not guaranteed, they said. One source stressed that the decision was far from automatic.
“We don’t comment on rumours or speculation regarding organisational or personnel changes,” an Airbus spokesperson said.
Any discussion of Airbus’ management structure is fraught with sensitivities because of its history of internal disputes, which sometimes strained industrial relations between founding nations that still own stakes: France, Germany and Spain.
Airbus says it is no longer politically driven following an agreement to limit government interference a decade ago.
But such a structure would draw inevitable comparisons with the era of former planemaking chief Fabrice Bregier, who left Airbus in 2018 after a power battle with then CEO Tom Enders.
Airbus is keen not to re-create organisational fault lines seen in the past but must balance this with the need to give any new planemaking boss clear authority, something that could jar with Faury’s reputation as a hands-on manager, one person said.
One executive most likely to be sounded out for such a role is Bruno Even, a Faury loyalist who has overseen growth as CEO of Airbus Helicopters, the people said. It remains unclear whether Even, also French, is willing to make such a move.
Having a visible planemaking leader would more closely echo rival Boeing (BA.N), each of whose divisions has its own boss.
Although insiders argued it made sense to combine leadership of the group with its dominant civil arm when Faury stepped up from the jet unit to become CEO in 2019, the pandemic aftermath and war in Ukraine have redrawn the strategic environment.
Analysts note Airbus has been peaceful of late after years of internal strife. But several senior operational leaders outside Faury’s immediate circle have left in recent years, leaving the group short of senior civil jetmaking experience.
Jet deliveries sped up in May and June after a weak start to the year but Airbus remains focused on ambitious output targets.
Much could depend on how far any leader role went beyond the functions of operations chief Alberto Gutierrez and how it left the national balance on Airbus’ executive committee, already strained by the six-month wait for a new German finance chief. Airbus reports half-yearly earnings on Wednesday. (Source: Google/Reuters)
25 Jul 23. Mr. Raimo Jyväsjärvi appointed as an Advisor to the Board of Directors of Bittium Corporation. Bittium Corporation has signed an agreement with Lieutenant General (ret) Raimo Jyväsjärvi (67 years, Master of Science in National Resource Strategy), according to which, effective immediately, Mr. Jyväsjärvi will act as an advisor to Bittium Corporation’s Board of Directors, especially regarding Defense & Security business. Since the beginning of 2016, Mr. Jyväsjärvi has worked at the Finnish Ministry of Defense as the national armaments director (NAD), department head and director general of the Resource Policy Department. Prior to this, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff Logistics and Armaments in the Defence Command in 2014-2015, Commander of the Finnish Army in 2011-2014, and Commanding General of the Army Materiel Command in 2009-2011. In 2008 and 2009, he held special assignments at the National Defense University in the United States.
25 Jul 23. Bluestone Investment Partners Announces Board of Advisors.
Bluestone Investment Partners, LP (“Bluestone”), a McLean, Virginia-based private equity firm focused on investing in defense, intelligence, and federal technology solutions providers, announced today the formation of its Board of Advisors, which includes five renowned industry leaders. The Board will provide strategic guidance and subject matter expertise to Bluestone and its portfolio companies.
“Bluestone considers the defense and government services industry to be the leadership sector because it’s a community of outstanding leaders that are as committed to the mission and operating with integrity as they are to creating great companies. Our Board of Advisors fits this description perfectly. We look forward to their engagement with Bluestone and our portfolio companies,” said John Allen, Managing Partner of Bluestone.
The Bluestone Advisory Board members are:
Rene LaVigne: Mr. LaVigne is the CEO and co-founder of Iron Bow Technologies, a leading provider of technology solutions in the areas of IT modernization, workforce experience, digital transformation, and cyber security. Mr. LaVigne has led the company through multiple M&A transactions, growing the company to more than $1bn in annual revenue. Mr. LaVigne co-founded Iron Bow after a successful career as president of Northrop Grumman Computing Systems, SVP of Federal Data Corporation, and 10 years with Ernst & Young.
Tom Mutryn: Most recently, Mr. Mutryn served as Chief Financial Officer for CACI International, a $6.6bn dollar firm with over 22,000 employees supporting U.S. Federal government clients. Mr. Mutryn helped support the rapid growth of CACI from $2bn to well over $6 bn in annual revenue, offering unique perspectives on the government contracting sector and executing successful M&A strategies. He previously served as the CFO for GTSI and US Airways.
General (Ret.) Gustave Perna: General Perna retired in 2021 after 38 years of honorable service to our Nation. During his distinguished military career, General Perna served as COO of Operation Warp Speed, was the 19th Commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) from 2016-2020, and served as the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4. As the COO of Operation Warp Speed, General Perna managed an organization responsible for ensuring delivery of over 400M doses of vaccine to the American people in 13 months and securing production for over 1.6B doses. As AMC Commander, General Perna led one of the Army’s largest commands with 190,000 military, civilian, and contractor employees, in all 50 states and 152 countries.
Teresa Smetzer: Ms. Smetzer’s career has spanned both the public and private sectors, focused on accelerating the identification and adoption of industry leading digital technologies with the goal of modernizing, advancing, and transforming national security missions. She served 20 years at the CIA as a technical analyst, senior manager, and most recently as the Director of Digital Futures in the Directorate of Digital Innovation. She previously founded and led Jasmah Consulting until its sale to LMI. Earlier in her career, Ms. Smetzer served on the White House Commission on the the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. She is also the former VP of National Security Programs for Salesforce.
Colonel (Ret.) Jen Sovada: Colonel Sovada is a retired Air Force Officer whose career in Intelligence focused on higher-end technological capabilities. She’s held various positions in operational test, systems interoperability, and requirements definition. She served as the Chief of Talent Management for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Cyber Effects Operations, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, where she was responsible for the career development of over 35,000 Airmen. She also served as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff for ISR and conducted outreach to the private sector, where she fostered communication and transparency to enable improved DoD, IC, and USAF strategy development, acquisition, tech advancements, and operational capability. She is currently the President of SandboxAQ’s Public Sector and was previously the Chief Futures Officer and SVP for the Intelligence Community start-up, MissionTech Solutions, which was acquired by Avantus Federal in 2020.
25 Jul 23. Echelon Risk + Cyber, a cybersecurity professional services firm, today announced the addition of Chad LeMaire as Chief Security Officer. Chad is a veteran who served in senior executive cybersecurity roles including the Air Force Special Operations Command, Pacific Air Forces, and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. As CSO, Chad will offer strategic advisory to Echelon clients and lead client-facing offensive and defensive security teams. Chad is an accomplished senior cybersecurity executive and CIO with more than 30 years of experience leading large organizations and teams, as well as directing strategic cybersecurity efforts. He has held multiple senior level cybersecurity roles for large organizations where he identified cybersecurity gaps, authored strategies, and implemented cybersecurity capabilities. He was a qualified cyber warfare officer in the U.S. Air Force, commanded the Air Force Blue Team, and led cyber incident responses and vulnerability assessments on critical networks and systems within the Department of Defense. Chad pioneered the development of cyber protection teams and the concept of the Director of Cyber Forces within the Air Force. He also built and led small teams and large organizations which conducted offensive, defensive, and cybersecurity operations. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
25 Jul 23. Empower AI (formerly NCI Information Systems), a leading provider of advanced information technology solutions and professional services to U.S. government agencies, today announced the appointment of Pamela Rothka as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer. A member of the executive leadership team, Pamela will partner with CEO Jeff Bohling and the Board of Empower AI to drive the company’s strategy and financial integrity during a time of significant growth. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
21 Jul 23. Second Front Systems announced that Tyler Sweatt as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Sweatt, a former Army officer, previously drove the company’s notable market traction as VP Growth and Chief Revenue Officer within Second Front. Prior to joining Second Front, Mr. Sweatt was a founding team member at CalypsoAI, founded and sold technology consulting firm Future Tense, and led the emerging technology and security practice at Toffler Associates. (Source: PR Newswire)