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House Reviewing Defense Procurement System

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Morning Coffee is a robust blend of links to news around the internet concerning the Naval Air Station Patuxent River economic community. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the Leader’s owners or staff.Morning Coffee logo

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) is conducting a yearlong probe of the defense procurement system in an effort to address fundamental flaws in the way the Pentagon buys weapons systems, reports National Defense. Congress passed extensive legislation in 2009 to reform weapon acquisitions, but the new rules have done little to control rising costs and keep programs on schedule. Brett B. Lambert of the National Defense Industrial Association believes rigid rules and an industrial-age culture do not allow the Pentagon to adapt to rapid changes in the defense industry. “Budgets, changing technologies, and emerging threats can make this year’s acquisition success story next year’s poster child for failure, and vice versa,” HASC Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon, (R-Calif.) said at a June 24 hearing. “I want to break this cycle of failed acquisition reform. The Pentagon should take immediate steps to change obsolete acquisition policies and understand the new realities of the defense industrial base. As defense budgets flatten or even decrease, our base will become more global, more commercial, and more financially complex.”

The Navy is preparing for “Rim of the Pacific 2014” (RIMPAC) in Hawaii, the world’s largest international maritime exercise. RIMPAC will involve 49 surface ships and six submarines from 23 countries this year, reports The Washington Post. The People’s Liberation Army of China will participate in the exercise for the first time. The event, which starts today, comes at a complicated time, following a series of controversial moves by China within the last year that may complicate an already unusual level of engagement among China, the US and its allies at RIMPAC.

More than 1,000 veterans over the past decade may have died as a result of misconduct by employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), according to a report released Tuesday by Senator Tom Coburn, (R-Okla.), reports Stars & Stripes. Senator Coburn said in a press release that the scandal surrounding secret waiting lists and delays in patient care at VA facilities is “just the tip of the iceberg.” The report is titled “Friendly Fire: Death, Delay, and Dismay at the VA,” and is based on a yearlong investigation of VA hospitals around the country, conducted by the senator’s office.

The USS Nimitz, the fleet’s longest-serving aircraft carrier, is scheduled for a 16-month maintenance period starting in 2015, Naval Air Forces Pacific said Tuesday, according to the Navy Times. Navy Personnel Command says is working to make the transition as smooth as possible by avoiding unnecessary change-of-station moves during the maintenance period.

The Army-Navy arena football game will be played on Saturday in Philadelphia in a 2,500-seat venue usually home to an ice hockey rink, reports the Army Times. Navy won 30-28 last year and is favored again this year. Nearly a dozen Naval Academy graduates are scheduled to participate, including former quarterback Ricky Dobbs. The event includes a “boot camp” for veterans seeking jobs, as well as other employment resources. The game is set to air worldwide on ESPN3 at 6 p.m.

The chief petty officer selection board started the process to decide who will be next to move into the chief’s mess in the coming year, according to the Navy Times. The chance of making chief dips this year to 24.09 percent — 2.5 percentage points lower than last year, which at the time was the best in the previous eight years. However, it’s still one of only four times since 1997 that the chance for promotion exceeded 24 percent.

MobileSmith announced that it has signed an agreement with the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to provide the MobileSmith app development platform and services to NAVAIR in order to accelerate the Command’s mobile application strategy, according to MarketWatch. The agreement will allow NAVAIR to design, build, launch, and securely manage unlimited native applications that meet the needs of Navy stakeholders.

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