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#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)

Capitol Hill Event: Lexington Institute Defense Acquisition Reform – 6.3.16

#KEM agrees with our strategic partners at The Lexington Institute that acquisition reform is crucial to sustaining the technological edge of America’s military. 

Learn More about #KEM Capabilities:  Acquisition Management

We don’t believe there is a single “silver bullet” that will improve or energize the process, rather it takes solid execution by the Requirements, Acquisition, Budget/Congress, and Private Sector communities all working together.  One way we work with our clients on complex programs is to help them improve their schedule and ultimately reduce their cost by executing the following:

  • Focus on compressing the drawn out requirements development process which is characterized by continual debate and changes in requirements causing ongoing delays.
  • Create a Definitive Requirements Process.
  • Coordinate disciplined execution by the Requirements, Acquisition, Budget/Congress, and Private Sector communities all working together.

If we want to improve the schedule, a focus on the requirements process is required.  The good news is that the requirements piece is the easiest one to change.

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Capitol Hill Event: Defense Acquisition Reform – 6.3.16

The Lexington Institute (@LexNextDC) conducted a Capitol Hill forum at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Friday, June 3rd to discuss defense acquisition reform opportunities.

“Acquisition reform is crucial to sustaining the technological edge of America’s military. With defense budgets capped and other nations investing heavily in new warfighting technology, the United States cannot allow its military investments to be stalled or wasted by inefficient practices.

The defense department’s Better Buying Power initiatives have made a good start at slowing cost increases in major weapons programs and improving the professionalism of the acquisition workforce.  But the department needs further improvement if it is to be a truly efficient buyer of military hardware and services.

In particular, the Department of Defense needs to become a customer that can unlock the full innovative potential of American industry.  That requires both incentivizing traditional suppliers to perform and reaching out to non-traditional suppliers.  The government-industry team needs to minimize tensions and build trust so that American warfighting technology is unsurpassed in its performance and cost-effectiveness.”

#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
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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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#KEM’s 4th of July Defense Spotlight: New National Military Strategy & Defense Acquisition Reform Focus

KEM’s Defense Spotlight:  New National Military Strategy & Defense Acquisition Reform Focus
 
KEM has been monitoring the drivers in the release of the new National Military Strategy and heightened focus on acquisition reform.  Experts in the defense and acquisition field point to a global security crisis reflecting simultaneous security challenges increasing for the long term.  The United States faces 1) increasing global threats from near peer to militant groups combined with, 2) cyber espionage growth, 3) budgets caps & cost overruns, 4) and technology superiority erosion.  This dangerous reality, the warfighter’s advanced capability needs, and our outdated acquisition system have created an urgency for the roll out of a new National Military strategy and created an innovation opportunity in Defense Acquisition Reform to position the United States “to protect and advance U.S. national and security interests”.
 
As KEM focuses on this new strategy & reform, we celebrate Independence Day – sharing our gratitude with our service members and their families that do so much to keep our nation safe.  We are reminded always that America’s freedoms do not come without sacrifice or cost.
Flag and fireworks-American fourth of July
To Learn More about the design for how the U.S. military will utilize resources to protect & advance:   http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=129191
 
For a Spotlight on Acquisition Reform, here is Senator John Cornyn’s Speech on Defense Acquisition Reform at the Lexington Institute’s Capitol Hill Defense Acquisition Reform even on June 24, 2015:  http://lexingtoninstitute.org/senator-john-cornyns-speech-on-defense-acquisition-reform/
 

#KEM Global Market News: Whiskey, Middle East & Putin

LATEST NEWS AND INSIGHTS FROM KEM’S GLOBAL MARKET:

  • Cheers to our Partner’s Success!  Boston Harbor Distillery Ribbon Cutting 
  • Emerging Defense Trends – $110 billion in Middle East Opportunities
  • Recommended Thought Leadership – Putin & Russian Literature with our friend ADM Stavridis

#KEM PARTNER’S SUCCESS

All roads – even KEM’s Washington D.C. road – leads to Boston Harbor Distillery!  

Congratulations to our partners at BHD on this successful journey & Ribbon Cutting.  CHEERS!

Follow us at @KEMllc on twitter to learnmore about our Strategy & Leadership:  Business Development Services

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#KEM EMERGING DEFENSE TRENDS

The Middle East is likely to present $110 billion in military-export opportunities in the coming decade per Bloomberg.com. Check out the latest #KEM Defense Trends:

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/saudi-arabia-said-raise-military-spending–60bn-by-2020-594944.html

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

The Gulf kingdom is forecast to boost its arms budget to $60 billion by 2020 from a current level of $49 billion, following a slowdown in the short-term caused by the lower price of oil, reported Bloomberg which cited the study.

Follow us at @KEMllc on twitter to learn more about our Global Network

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#KEM THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Insightful thought from Ken Miller’s (CEO of KEM) friend, retired ADMIRAL Stavridis, that Russia’s great authors put the country’s aggression in context better than an intel briefing:

What Russian Literature Tells Us About Vladimir Putin’s World

What Russian Literature Tells Us About Vladimir Putin’s World

James Stavridis is a retired four-star U.S. Navy admiral who serves today as the dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Follow us at @KEMllc on twitter to learn more about our Thought Leadership

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