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#KEM Quarterly on Defense: FY2018 PBR – Fixing Military Readiness First, then Military Growth

The President’s Fy2018 Budget Request (PBR) was delivered May 23, 2017 focused on rebuilding the U.S. Armed Forces according to the following themes:

  • Improving warfighter readiness
  • Address evolving national security challenges
  • Recapitalize and modernize nuclear enterprise
  • Prioritize key investments in cyber and space capabilities
  • Focus on innovation to maintain technological advantage
  • Sustain the finest fighting force in the world
  • Identify reforms to improve efficiencies and achieve savings
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Featured Image Source: Defense.gov

#KEM Continues to Monitor the 2018 “Skinny Budget” and Its Prospects of Getting Through Congress

Able to Strike a Defense Balance? Defense Increases for 2018, $30 Billion Supplemental for 2017

Proposed Changes to Agency Discretionary Budgets in 2018 (Bloomberg Politics)

President Trump released his 2018 Budget, known as “the skinny budget” in Washington, which includes defense spending of $639 billion, including $65 billion for ongoing emergency war-fighting. This represents a $54 billion increase in defense spending, to be offset by corresponding reductions to non-Defense programs. In addition, the Trump Administration sent a $30 billion 2017 defense supplemental budget request to add $25 billion into 2017 Department of Defense base budget bringing it to $576 billion and adding $5 billion to the emergency wartime spending fund.

#KEM continues to monitor the 2018 “skinny budget’s” prospect of getting through Congress as it seems to not please the left, middle, and far right.  In addition, #KEM continues to track the extent to which budget deliberations ultimately strike a balance between readiness, modernization, and acquisition programs to support the base-budget programs, cyber and intelligence, and counter terrorism capabilities of the current defense strategy.  The full budget will be released in May and needs Congressional approval to become law.

Katherine Blakeley, research fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) on the Defense and Aerospace Report: CSBA Blakely on Trump Budget Proposal

Featured Image (Defense.gov)

#KEM Quarterly on Defense: What is a Continuing Resolution & Why Does it Matter?

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#KEM with top defense budget experts continues to monitor the start of FY 2107 on 1 October with DoD and the wider federal government’s funding from yet another continuing resolution (CR) through the opening months of the fiscal year.

Congress approved a simple stop-gap budget measure, the CR, on 28 September 2016 to keep DoD funded when FY 2017 began on 1 October.  The timing of this CR creates even more constrained and uncertain budget conditions further impacted by the ongoing impacts of sequestration, the November elections, and the inauguration and change of administrations in January 2017 with the attendant turnover of key personnel.

So What is a Continuing Resolution & Why Does it Matter?

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(Feature Image, “Today’s Word” Source: www.whitehouse.gov)

#KEM Quarterly on Defense: 2016 Defense Trend & 2017 Budget Request

With 2017 defense budget request release ($582.7 billion base budget and overseas contingent operations, 2/2/2016) & the President’s last State of the Union address (1/12/2016), it is key to take a moment for the A&D market to reflect and understand the trend for the rest of the year and his administration.

2017 Defense Budget Proposal

Source: Defense.gov

As #KEM looks to the future and growing global challenges, we focus on Secretary Carter’s comments regarding trade-offs between force structure for modernization to support the U.S.’s technological innovation edge across air, land, sea, cyber, space, and electronic warfare.

Carter further outlined five challenges for budget planning including Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and terrorism that will focus DoD for FY 2017.

SD spoke at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.

Source: Defense.gov

“Where trade-offs among force structure, modernization and readiness posture needed to be made, we generally pushed to favor the latter two. This is important, because our military has to have the agility and ability to win not only the wars that could happen today, but also the wars that could happen in the future,” SECDEF Carter, Economic Club of Washington.

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Check out Ken Miller’s Speech: Rethinking Defense Acquisition (#KEM at Capitol Hill, 11.13.2015)

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Kenneth E. Miller, CEO & President of KEM and Associates LLC

On 11/13/2015 #KEM’s Kenneth E. Miller had the opportunity to be one of the highlighted speakers at Lexington Institute’s Capitol Hill Defense Acquisition Reform Event.

Below is a copy of Ken’s remarks and a CSPAN stream of the entire event focused on the extremely complex subject of Defense Acquisition Reform while providing our warfighters the capabilities they need to keep them and our nation safe.  It was an honor to be included in this event and to partner with Lexington Institute.

Watch CSPAN stream:

http://www.c-span.org/video/?400704-1/discussion-defense-acquisition.

Check Out Kenneth Miller’s Speech: Rethinking Defense Acquisition:

lexingtoninstitute.org-Kenneth-Millers-Speech-Rethinking-Defense-Acquisition-1

Connect Here for Photos & Commentary- including gracious remarks by The Honorable Christine Fox, former acting Deputy Secretary of Defense, on Ken Miller’s Speech

#KEM Goes to Capitol Hill – Speaker at Lexington Institute’s Capitol Hill Defense Acquisition Reform Event, 11.13.2015

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Kenneth E. Miller and Lauren Durante Longwell of KEM and Associates LLC at Defense Acquisition Reform Event 11.13.15 on Capitol Hill (right to left)

KEM and Associates’ CEO, Kenneth E. Miller,  joined by his Director of Strategic Analysis and Communications, Lauren Durante Longwell, was honored to go to Capitol Hill as a highlighted speaker at The Lexington Institute’s Capitol Hill Defense Acquisition Event on Friday, November 13, 2015, at the Rayburn House Office Building.

Mr. Miller was honored to be included in The Lexington Institute’s esteemed speaker group discussing the extremely complex subject of Defense Acquisition Reform while focused on providing warfighters the capabilities they need to keep them and our great nation safe. 

Ken Miller’s remarks that, “Over my 35 years in government and six plus years in private consulting there are many ideas being championed to improve the Acquisition process; however, in my view “THERE ARE NO NEW IDEAS” nor “A SINGLE SILVER BULLET” to improve or energize the process.  DO we need to rethink Defense Acquisition or just improve what we have now?  Today, we have 4 key areas that must be aligned for program success: Requirements, Acquisition, Budget / Congress and Private Sector communities.  My view is that improving congruency and harmonization of these 4 key communities will do a lot to improve the process.” resonated with many of the speakers, media, and industry leadership

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The Honorable Christine Fox, former acting Deputy Secretary of Defense and Kenneth E. Miller at Rayburn House Office building 11.13.15 (right to left)

The Honorable Christine Fox, former acting Deputy Secretary of Defense and current Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, Assistant Director for Policy and Analysis, noted Ken Miller’s 11.13.15 comments graciously in her own outstanding remarks surrounding the need for new game changing capabilities that give operators applications that work today by stating that, “I hope everyone wrote down Ken Miller’s list – Spot On, on what we need to do”.  

KEM continues to support their strategic partners and clients globally to build responsive, adaptable, and agile capabilities that are affordable yet keeping pace with technology and international threats.  KEM continues to work daily to support their corporate mission: Support the warfighter and strong national defense by creating tailored, high performance strategic solutions for our global clients.

Thank you again to The Lexington Institute including Mac Carey and Constance Baroudos for all their valuable efforts on behalf of the warfighter and for including KEM and Associates LLC in this forum.

 

#KEM Quarterly on Defense: FY 2016 Defense Budget Strategy vs. “Agile, Efficient, Ready & Lethal” U.S. Forces

KEM continues to monitor and work with partners on the FY 2016 Defense Budget Strategy’s ability to ensure that U.S. Armed Forces are “agile, efficient, ready, and lethal” and able to sustain national defense capacities in a complex and unsafe world.

This ability is eroding due to a combination of (but not limited to) the following:

  • Acquisition system dysfunctions and growing budget uncertainty (Sequestration, BCA Caps, CR again & using OCO to fill the gaps
  • Emerging and unprecedented global threats including sophistication of cyber capabilities and military intelligence
  • Rapid technology changes and a closing technology gap
  • Required 21st Century U.S. DoD personnel reforms
Ashton Carter

Secretary Carter, 10/14/2015 (Defense.gov)

As Defense Secretary Ash Carter remarked at the Association of the U.S. Army in Washington, D.C., October 14, 2015, “We cannot as a nation allow this to become the new normal,” he said. “In today’s security environment we need to be dynamic and we need to be responsive. What we have now is a straitjacket.”

Add to this that for the 7th year in a row Congress has failed to pass a defense appropriations bill while for 4 years The Department of Defense (DoD) has worked against sequestration impacts, as noted by Secretary Carter, further impacts DoD’s ability to preserve agility and responsiveness.  In addition to providing for the common defense, it is key for the U.S. to provide funding for identified platforms and programs noted in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016  above and beyond the necessary operations and maintenance activities.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 is a bill that does not appropriate funding but sets the funding.  The NDAA creates the authority to spend money on a wider range of programs across the different services; however, due to the continuing resolution (CR) passed on 9/30/2015, this stop gap measure keeps spending at FY 2015 levels with a slight bump due to the temporary war fund.

KEM continues to monitor and work with partners on the FY 2016 Defense Budget Strategy especially over the next week as the President is expected to veto the NDAA FY 2016 mainly due to funding concerns in the overseas contingency operations (OCO) account.

KEM DEFENSE QUARTERLY – October 2015: 

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