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News | July 22, 2016

FRCSW/COMFRC Top News Clips - Week of July 18, 2016

By frcsw

Teammates,   Attached and below are the COMFRC/AIR-6.0 clips for the week of July 18:   LOCAL COVERAGE FRCSE avionics shop becomes first Navy depot repair site for P-8A FRCSW Sailor Helps Suicidal Man On The Bridge   WORLD/NATIONAL NEWS Army Aviator Receives Medal of Honor for Heroism in Vietnam War Defense Firm Banks on 'Chemputer' to Spit Out Aircraft Parts Carter Voices Support for Veto of Defense Bill in Letter to McCain Drones able to inspect manned aircraft in record time F-35 impact from unrest in Turkey unclear: Lockheed Sailors to get more training on finances, new retirement system Pentagon's Quest For Single IT Architecture Needs Work, Says GAO Defense Secretary Warns Of 'Widespread Negative Consequences' If Senior Executive Corps Is Cut Pentagon Wants To Automate Social-Media Checks On Clearance Holders   NAVY LIVE: Do's and Don'ts for Voicing Your Political Opinion on Social Media +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   WE'RE SOCIAL! Follow us on Twitter @COMFRC_Sustains, Facebook at and YouTube at   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ LOCAL COVERAGE   FRCSE avionics shop becomes first Navy depot repair site for P-8A (FLEET READINESS CENTER SOUTHEAST, 15 July 16) . Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Public Affairs   JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Fleet Readiness Center Southeast's (FRCSE) avionics shop celebrated becoming the first U.S. Navy site to establish depot repair capability on a component of the P-8A "Poseidon" aircraft with a ribbon cutting July 12.   This new capability means that Naval Air Station Jacksonville's (NAS Jax) P-8As will now have a quick, readily accessible repair site for its radars, right down the runway. The result will be faster turnaround time and reduced cost compared to sending the radars off to be repaired or modified.   "When I look at FRCSE doing this workload, especially because the P-8s are based here, I realize how we're moving maintenance capability forward to the flight line - which is where we are here," said FRCSE Commanding Officer Capt. Chuck Stuart.   However, Stuart told the artisans of another reason for the location of the workload.   "The reason we put this here in this building wasn't simply because of the building or the capability," he said. "It's because of you and the expertise you have with radar systems. That's why this work had to come here."   The radar is crucial to the P-8's patrol mission, and the AN/APY-10 provides the new planes with increased detection capabilities and range.   "The APY-10 works over water, on the littorals and over land with incredible high-resolution capabilities," Stuart said. "It also has aircraft mission systems like weather avoidance. It does it all."   The new Poseidons are quickly becoming a crucial tool for the U.S. Navy. The planes perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in hot spots across the globe, in addition to anti-submarine patrols and other duties.   This fact is not lost on the men who keep the planes mission-ready.   "This mission is incredibly important to us," said Adam Perry, supervisor of the FRCSE radar shop. "We're proud that we are on that tip of the spear. We're supporting the squadrons who are deploying to Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific.   "We're supporting all of this right now. They're flying these systems as we speak."   The achievement at FRCSE was a result of three years of hard work between the depot, Naval Air Systems Command and Raytheon, the radar's manufacturer.   "I remember walking in here to an empty room and just having a vision of what this would all eventually look like," Raytheon's depot program manager, Alex Sedillo, said as he looked around the room stacked with test equipment and diagnostic machines. "This will seriously cut the turnaround time for repairs and upgrades.   "Any repairs or upgrades that are required for the AN/APY-10 radar, they can bring them right off the flight line and they'll get repaired right here."   The new workspace was already paying off for the P-8 squadrons at NAS Jax before the ribbon was even cut.   "Just in the last couple of days we had a mission code update to the radars," Sedillo said. "In the past, they had to go out to each of the aircraft, which is not the easiest thing to do - to upgrade the hardware.   "Yesterday, the Sailors were bringing the parts in and updating them and the job was done in about half the time."   (return to top)   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   FRCSW Sailor Helps Suicidal Man On The Bridge (FLEET READINESS CENTER SOUTHWEST, 11 July 16) . Jim Markle     While others drove on by, Lt. Jordan Walma had to stop.   "I could tell he was distraught as he was crying as he was walking and I thought, `I can't let this guy go. I need to try something.' I was in the number one lane and said, `Hey, just get on my bike and I'll give you a ride across the bridge,'" Walma recounted.   Walma, the Level II Legal Officer and 400 Division Officer at Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW), knew something wasn't right yesterday morning as he rode his motorcycle to work crossing the Coronado Bridge to North Island and he saw someone running from the number two lane toward the bridge's edge.   Believing there was an accident he slowed down to anticipate a stopping point of vehicles. That's when he found the lone pedestrian walking toward the mid-span of the bridge.   The man acted erratically and moved from lane to lane in front of traffic, and then to the side of the bridge where he paused to look down at the water; then slowly made his way toward the bridge's high point.   At about 6 a.m. Walma called 9-11 via his motorcycle helmet's Bluetooth to notify authorities.   "I trailed him on the bike just trying to get him to talk to me. Every time we got higher and higher on the bridge span, his pause would get a little bit longer like he was trying to decide if he was going to jump from there, so I just kept following him trying to get closer and closer so in case he jumped, that I might be able to stop him," Walma said.   Cars continued to maneuver past before help from two other Sailors arrived. The female petty officers stopped their car in front of the man, and all traffic came to a stop.   "The driver stayed in the car and the passenger got out. She suggested he get in the car, so I stopped my bike and put my arm around him and told him that things would be okay, and that he should get in the car," Walma said.   "We were in the number two lane, and I was coaxing him away from the bridge when the police arrived. As soon as he saw them, he spun around like he was going to make a run toward the water. He was a slight guy, maybe 5 foot 8 inches, 150 pounds and I didn't see a weapon on him, so I wrapped him up and held on to him until the police could get there."   At 6 feet 3 inches tall, the 44-year-old Walma said he never felt that he was in danger during the almost 10 minute ordeal.   "He fought a bit and said he would hit me, but I had my helmet on and (motorcycle) padding. When the police arrived, they told me to let him go. So I did. I pointed him toward the middle of the bridge but he spun around and walked to the edge of the bridge where he sat for about a half an hour," Walma said.   "He sat with his hands behind him, to keep him from falling if he leaned too far forward. I was thinking it was more of a cry for help than anything. If you're going to jump, you'd put your hands in front of you so you can push off. There was 15 to 20 feet between him and anybody else. After I let him go I couldn't look anymore. Had he jumped, I would've been the last person he was in contact with."   But he didn't jump, and was eventually coaxed into police custody for the help he desperately needed.   Maybe that's because someone cared enough to stop.   And throughout the chaotic pressure to prevent a potential deadly tragedy, Walma never got the name of the man whose life he very well may have saved.   (return to top)   ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ WORLD/NATIONAL NEWS ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   Army Aviator Receives Medal of Honor for Heroism in Vietnam War (ARMY NEWS SERVICE, 18 July 16) . David Vergun     WASHINGTON, July 18, 2016 - President Barack Obama today awarded retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles the Medal of Honor during a White House ceremony for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War almost 50 years ago.   "You couldn't make this up. It's like a bad Rambo movie," Obama said, describing the harrowing exploits of then-Major Kettles on that fateful day, May 15, 1967, in "Chump Valley," South Vietnam.   As commander of the 176th Aviation Company, Kettles' mission was to fly in reinforcements and evacuate wounded soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division, who were outgunned and outnumbered by the North Vietnamese in a rural riverbed near Duc Pho. "They needed support fast," the president said.   Towering above Chump Valley was a 1,500-foot-high hill where the enemy was entrenched in an extensive series of tunnels and bunkers. It was "the ideal spot for an ambush," Obama said.   Despite the dangers that they all were aware of, Kettles and his fellow company of soldiers took off in their "Huey" helicopters. As they approached the landing zone, they met a "solid wall of enemy tracers coming right at them," Obama said. "None of them had ever seen fire that intense. Soldiers in the helos were hit and killed before they could even leap off." Despite the withering fire, Kettles landed his helicopter and kept it there, exposed, so the wounded could board, Obama said.   Second Rescue Mission   After flying the wounded to safety, Kettles returned to the valley, the president recounted. He dropped off four soldiers and supplies and picked up more wounded.   "Once more, machine-gun bullets and mortar rounds came screaming after them. . Rounds pierced the arm and leg of Chuck's door gunner, Roland Scheck," Obama said. His Huey was hit. Fuel was pouring out as he flew away. His helicopter was so badly damaged that he couldn't make it to the field hospital so Kettles found another helicopter and took them to safety, the president said.   By then it was near evening. Back in the riverbed, 44 American soldiers were still pinned down. "The air was thick with gunpowder, the smell of burning metal," the president described. "Then they heard a faint sound. As the sun started to set, they saw something rise over the horizon -- six American helicopters, one of them said, 'as beautiful as could be.'"   Third Rescue Mission   For a third time, Chuck and his unit "headed into that hell on earth," Obama said. "Death or injury was all but certain," a fellow pilot had said, "and a lesser person would not return," the president related.   Once again, the enemy unloaded everything they had on Kettles as he landed: small arms, automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, Obama said. Soldiers ran to the helicopters as they had before. When Kettles was told all were accounted for, he took off, the president said.   On the return flight, Kettles received a radio call informing him that eight men had not made it aboard. "They'd been providing cover for the others," the president said. They "could only watch as [the helicopters] floated away. 'We all figured we were done for,'" one later said. Kettles came to the same conclusion, the commander in chief said, conveying his words: "If we'd left them for 10 minutes, they'd become POWs or dead."   A soldier who was there that day said "Major Kettles became our John Wayne," Obama said, adding his own take: "With all due respect to John Wayne, he couldn't do what Chuck Kettles did."   Fourth Rescue Mission   Kettles couldn't shake from his mind the idea of leaving the eight behind, so "he broke off from formation, took a steep, sharp descending turn back toward the valley, this time with no aerial or artillery support, a lone helicopter heading back in," Obama said.   "Chuck's Huey was the only target for the enemy to attack. And they did," he continued. Tracers lit up the sky once more. "Chuck came in so hot his chopper bounced for several hundred feet before coming to a stop," the president said.   As soon as he landed, a mortar round shattered his windshield. Another hit the main rotor blade. Shrapnel tore through the cockpit and Kettles' chair. Yet, Obama said, those eight soldiers sprinted to the Huey through the firestorm.   The president described what happened next: "Chuck's helo, now badly damaged, was carrying 13 souls and was 600 pounds over the [weight] limit. He said 'it felt like flying a two-and-a-half-ton truck.' He couldn't hover long enough to take off, but the cool customer that he is, he saw his shattered windshield and thought, 'that's pretty good air conditioning.'   "The cabin filled with black smoke as Chuck hopped and skipped the helo across the ground to pick up enough speed to take off, 'like a jackrabbit bouncing across the riverbed,'" the president said, relating Kettle's analogy.   The instant he got airborne, another mortar ripped into the tail and the Huey fishtailed violently. A soldier was tossed from the helicopter, but managed to grab a skid, hanging on as Kettles flew them to safety," Obama said.   Warrior Ethos   "The Army's Warrior Ethos is based on a simple principle: A soldier never leaves his comrades behind," Obama said. "Chuck Kettles honored that creed. Not with a single act of heroism, but over and over and over and over. And, because of that heroism, 44 American Soldiers made it out that day."   The most gratifying part of this whole story "is that Dewey's name and Roland's name and the names of 42 other Americans he saved are not etched in the solemn granite wall not far from here that memorializes the fallen in the Vietnam War," the president remarked.   "To the dozens of American soldiers that he saved in Vietnam half a century ago, Chuck is the reason they lived and came home and had children and grandchildren. Entire family trees, made possible by the actions of this one man," the president concluded.   White House Ceremony   Kettles, 86, was joined at the ceremony by his wife, Anne. They will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary in March, the president said. With them were eight of their 10 children and three grandchildren.   "It's the Kettles family reunion in the White House," the president noted.   Also attending were some of the soldiers Kettles served with that day, including Scheck, Dewey Smith, who was among the last eight soldiers rescued that day, and a number of other soldiers who fought in that battle. Past Medal of Honor recipients attended as well.   (return to top)   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   Defense Firm Banks on 'Chemputer' to Spit Out Aircraft Parts (DEFENSE NEWS, 14 July 16) . Valerie Insinna   FARNBOROUGH, England - Forget 3-D printing. BAE Systems is working with a UK scientist on an advanced computer it hopes may one day be able to grow aircraft molecule by molecule.   The "Chemputer," developed by University of Glasgow scientist Lee Cronin, looks a lot like a 3-D printer, but builds objects through a very different process, said Nick Colosimo, a BAE Systems global engineering fellow and futurist, during a Wednesday briefing at Farnborough International Airshow.   Instead of depositing a material layer by layer via robotics to gradually build up a structure - the process used for 3-D printing - the Chemputer operates at a molecular level, combining a variety of molecules together and then using that chemical reaction to synthesize the object.   "This is really an idea that you use a machine which has access to a number of different chemicals, and you effectively enact chemistry," he said. "You provide a data file to the machine and say, 'I want ibuprofen,' and the machine will produce ibuprofen or a range of other pharmaceuticals. Because in principle you can produce molecules in different shapes and different size."   Through a UK government-funded program called Digital Synthesis, Cronin has used the Chemputer to produce tiny metal objects, such as small gold pyramids or rods. Colosimo, who works as Cronin's industrial adviser, compared the computer's process to a robotic lab assistant who is constantly running millions of experiments.   "The machine will mix some chemicals together and see what happens in terms of the reaction, and look at the reaction products. But it will do this very, very quickly," he said. "What the machine will do is use an algorithm in order to conduct these directed trial and error experiments. So the experiments that don't work, they will die off. The experiments that do work will be continued and adapted, ultimately producing small nanoparticles."   Once the machine learns how to make an object, it can put those structures together in new ways. For example, after making the gold pyramid and rod, it was told to create a rod with a pyramid on each end and was able to use its prior experience to do so. It has also made small, Lego-like bricks.   BAE believes the technology may one day be used to create small unmanned aircraft quicker than through the typical manufacturing process. Users could choose the aircraft's capabilities from a menu of options, and then the computer would figure out the best way to grow the drone, the company envisions.   Another potential application is the development of completely novel materials by combining molecules in new ways to create substances that are more durable or lightweight, Colosimo said.   "We've still got a long way to go before we start producing something as complex and as capable as an aircraft," he said.   The discovery of new materials could occur much sooner. Cronin is working on data files that contain information about particular molecules and materials, which the Chemputer can use to run trial-and-error style experiments.   "New materials discovery - certainly I think we're talking years. Whether it's three years or whether its 10 years, it's too hard to say at this particular stage," he said. "But certainly the discovery of new materials, certainly that's in the cards. The machine has already produced one of the world's largest molecules."   Cronin and Colosimo have some ideas of what types of new materials they would like to create and what molecules could possibly give rise to them. But that information is too sensitive to be released, Colosimo said.   (return to top)   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   Carter Voices Support for Veto of Defense Bill in Letter to McCain (DEFENSE NEWS, 18 July 16) . Joe Gould   WASHINGTON - US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he will recommend President Obama veto the 2017 defense policy bill over a laundry list of congressional proposals, including a tangle of bureaucratic reforms and a House-passed plan to shift war funding, Carter said in a letter to Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain last week.   "If a bill is presented to the President in the current form of either version of the NDAA, I will join with the President's other senior advisors in recommending that he veto the legislation," Carter said in the July 13 letter. "I am, however, hopeful that you will address the Department's concerns during your conference negotiations."   The threat, which came as House and Senate conferees began to reconcile differences between the two bills, follows Carter's broader public objections to Congress' "micromanagement" of the Pentagon. The letter spells out grievances with the Senate-passed bill's overhaul of DoD's acquisition leadership, among other organizational prescriptions, as well as the bills' rejection of ways for DoD to cut costs.   Pushing back against raft of aggressive bureaucratic overhaul provisions, Carter called for more study and review, to be done by a new bipartisan panel in the style of the Packard Commission, whose recommendations were rolled into the defense reforms of the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act. He drew a contrast with this year's proposed reforms and those, which he said grew from "years of study and debate" for a better understanding of the ripple effects from those changes, and "more responsible timing and timelines."   Under the banner of Goldwater-Nichols bureaucratic reforms, both policy bills took a number of steps which Carter called, "excessive micromanagement." Carter counted 131 acquisition policy provisions, 120 military personnel policy provisions, and 69 health care provisions from both bills that would "require extensive implementation efforts," for the military.   Carter lamented potential chaos involved in implementing overlapping restructuring efforts, which would need added staff, just as Congress would mandate a new round of personnel reductions for senior civilians and uniformed officials. For instance, a plan to shift responsibility for personnel security and background checks would require more headquarters personnel to implement, not less.   "The Department is engaged in multiple overseas conflicts, including in the ongoing fight against [the Islamic State group], and is about to experience a transition to a new presidential administration," Carter wrote. "With this backdrop, the first rule for the NDAA must be: do no harm. The scope, specificity, and pace of the prescribed major reforms and policy changes in the Senate bill, in particular do not meet this standard.   President Obama has threatened to veto the House and Senate versions of the bills - the House bill over its unorthodox treatment of overseas contingency operations (OCO) funds, and the Senate bill over its acquisition reform provisions and limits it would place on the closure of the Guantanamo military detainment facility in Cuba - objections Carter echoed.   The House passed a version of the policy bill that shifts $18 billion in OCO toward base budget requirements, and adds more troops, jet aircraft, shipbuilding and rotorcraft than the president's budget. The House bill also cuts off OCO after April 30, 2017, a gambit to force the next president to ask Congress for supplemental defense spending next year.   The Senate did not take the same route.   The approach threatens to upend the two-year budget deal reached last year by congressional leaders and the White House, Carter warned, and it flirts with sequestration budget cuts, which would kick in if the federal budget topped statutory caps.   "By gambling with warfighting funds, the bill risks the safety of our men and women fighting to keep America safe, undercuts stable planning and efficient use of taxpayer dollars, dispirits troops and their families, baffles our allies, and emboldens our enemies," Carter's letter reads. "In short, it is an approach that is objectionable on its face."   (return to top)   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   Drones able to inspect manned aircraft in record time (C4ISRNET, 19 July 16) . Michael Peck   Airbus has demonstrated how a drone can conduct a visual aircraft inspection.   At the Farnborough Air Show, a drone with a high-definition camera inspected the upper part of an aircraft on the ground, according to an Airbus announcement. Inspections take 10 to 15 minutes versus two hours for a human inspector, according to Airbus.   The drone was flown "using an automatic flight control system supervised by a human pilot," Airbus said. "The UAV follows a predetermined flight path and takes a series of pictures automatically. All these images and especially those showing any potential non-quality such as scratches, dents and painting defects, are compiled in a 3-D digital model, recorded in a database and then analyzed. This data helps improve traceability, prevention and reduction of damage."   Airbus is now conducting full-scale industrial testing on A330 aircraft.     (return to top)   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   F-35 impact from unrest in Turkey unclear: Lockheed (FLIGHTGLOBAL, 19 July 16) . Leigh Giangreco   A failed military coup last week will not affect Lockheed Martin's business relationship with Turkey, though it could be too early to make that call, according to top Lockheed Martin executives.   In a Tuesday earnings call, Lockheed's chief executive, Marillyn Hewson, and chief financial officer, Bruce Tanner, offered different views over whether recent events in Turkey would affect Lockheed's business deals there.   "If you look at Turkey, I know there's been a lot of churn recently," Hewson says. "But it's an essential security partner for the US and our allies . we have not seen an indication it will affect our business."   Tanner measured Hewson's comments, saying it's too early to call up implications for the F-35 programme in Turkey. He also notes Lockheed's business history with Turkish aerospace companies, including the Lockheed's foreign military sale deal with TAI to upgrade the Turkish Air Force's F-16 fighters.   "We've got a long history with Turkey," Tanner says. "They've been a trusted partner."   On July 15, members of the Turkish military attempted to seize government buildings in the country's capital of Ankara and at least two rebel pilots hijacked F-16 fighters. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the former head of Turkey's Air Force, Gen. Akin Ozturk, as the coup's leader.   Turkey's participation in the F-35 programme goes back 14 years. The Turkish government signed a memorandum of understanding with the US Defense Department in 2002 to join the nine-member international partnership, pledging to contribute $175 million to develop the fighter. Northrop Grumman later named Turkish Aerospace Industries as a second source for producing the F-35's complex centre fuselage. In 2014, the US DOD announced that Turkey would host the first heavy engine maintenance centre in Europe in 2018, supporting the Pratt & Whitney F135 powerplant for the F-35A.   Turkey plans to order 100 conventional takeoff and landing F-35As, with the first 30 scheduled for delivery by 2022, according to a 14 June presentation by a Lockheed official at Defense Acquisition University's "Insight Day" event.   (return to top)   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   Sailors to get more training on finances, new retirement system (NAVY TIMES, 19 July 16) . Mark D. Faram   Sailors are about to get more financial training throughout their career as the military moves to a new retirement system in coming years.   Congress has mandated the services revamp their financial management training to educate them on retirement, and on how to manage the major financial hurdles sailors encounter in a career and beyond.   As a result, the service released NAVADMIN 161/16 Tuesday, the first of many messages expected over the next two years about what's being called the Navy's Financial Literacy Education Program as the military shifts to a blended retirement system.   "The goal of Navy's financial education program is to arm sailors and their families with skills and tools for use to make informed decisions about their financial future," said Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, spokesman for the chief of naval personnel. "Personal financial readiness is a key component of the overall Family Readiness System, a network of agencies, programs, services and individuals that work in a collaborative manner to assist service members and their families to meet the unique challenges associated with military service."   The new retirement system will be implemented in 2018. Sailors who are currently serving will be grandfathered into the current retirement system, known as the 20-year cliff-vesting system. Some will have the choice to opt into the new scheme, which shrinks the current pension but also offers government contributions to retirement accounts and retirement benefits for those who leave the service before reaching 20 years.   If you have 12 years or more of service as of Dec. 31, 2017, the current retirement system is your only option. Likewise, those who join on or after Jan. 1, 2018, their only option will be the new Blended Retirement System.   But for those who joined between Jan 1, 2006, and Jan. 1, 2018 will have the choice to keep the current retirement or switch to the new plan.   Christensen said the service has long provided financial management training as part of Navy accessions training and is often revisited by commands as part of the General Military Training program.   The new training plan mandates sailors revisit their financial training at crucial times in their careers.   For example, in addition to the accessions training, sailors will also get a financial check when they arrive at their initial and subsequent duty stations through the ranks of E-5 and O-4, as well as each time they advance up those ranks.   Other "touch points" for financial training will be when sailors vest in the Thrift Savings Program or receive continuation pay under the new retirement plan. Marriage, divorce and childbirth are also considered key points for follow-on financial training.   "This training will help assist sailors in maintaining their financial readiness throughout their military service and as they transition into civilian life," Christensen said. "The Navy recognizes that personal financial readiness of Sailors and their families must be maintained to sustain mission readiness."   The new financial training will incorporate existing training from various points, including accession training, GMT, pre- and post-deployment training and transition courses.   A key facet of the new training will be front-loaded to educate sailors on the new retirement system that's only a year and a half away.   (return to top)   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   Pentagon's Quest For Single IT Architecture Needs Work, Says GAO (GOVERNMENT EXECUTIVE 18 JUL 16) ... Charles S. Clark   The Pentagon's efforts to harmonize the information technology systems on which it is spending $38 billion this fiscal year have fallen behind on specifying costs, workforce needs and cybersecurity strategies, a watchdog found.   The so-called Joint Information Environment--established in 2010 by then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates as an architecture for the Defense Department's IT infrastructure-is at risk unless the department can "fully define JIE's scope and expected cost, and take steps to improve workforce and security planning," the Government Accountability Office said in a report released on July 14.   The fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act required the Pentagon to assess resources needed to achieve the vision of the Joint Information Environment to save in acquisition spending, speed up communications, modernize training and protect data from intruders.   The final product would include such elements as a reduction in the number of IT networks; a standardized virtual desktop environment; a cloud-enabled command and control capability; and a common set of standards, protocols and interfaces to enhance data sharing with other agencies, allies, coalition partners and private-sector organizations, GAO noted.   This March, DoD officials reported that cost estimates are in preparation following a January recommendation to Congress from the Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation that oversight of the admittedly complex cost estimates be improved.   In addition, the auditors found, the department "has not determined the number of staff and the specific skills and abilities needed" to make the JIE a reality, and "DoD also lacks a strategy to ensure required JIE security assessments are conducted."   In interviews over the past year, officials said the department has taken steps to address JIE personnel and security needs, "but it does not have plans in place to address these existing gaps," GAO wrote. "As a result, DoD risks having a deficient security posture and not being able to ensure that it will have the appropriate workforce knowledge and skills needed to support JIE."   Until officials and congressional committees are provided with accurate estimates, GAO continued, "they are limited in their ability to provide oversight for performance and make effective resource decisions."   GAO recommended that the department fully define JIE's scope and expected cost, and improve workforce and security planning. In the report, DoD described steps it is taking along those lines.   (return to top)   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   Defense Secretary Warns Of 'Widespread Negative Consequences' If Senior Executive Corps Is Cut (GOVERNMENT EXECUTIVE 20 JUL 16) ... By Kellie Lunney   Reducing the number of senior executives at the Pentagon would have "widespread negative consequences" on the department's mission-critical programs and services, the Defense secretary told the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee in a new letter.   In a 23-page letter to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Defense Secretary Ash Carter outlined a litany of concerns with the current House and Senate fiscal 2017 Defense policy bills, including a provision in the Senate version that would require the department to cut its career Senior Executive Service ranks by 25 percent by Jan. 1, 2019.   Carter called the provision arbitrary and without justification, arguing that Defense has reduced the size of its SES workforce by 105 since 2010. He also said that the department operates with fewer senior executives compared to the ratio that exists between SESers and employees in the rest of the federal civilian workforce.   "DoD's SES population is 0.17 percent of the DoD workforce (one SES member to every 586 non-SES employees), compared to the average of 0.89 percent SES members to the overall civilian workforce of the other Cabinet-level agencies, a factor of five difference," said the July 13 letter. "Arbitrarily reducing this already low factor even further would have widespread negative consequences." It also would demoralize the DoD's civilian workforce "when opportunities for promotion to SES in the short- to medium-terms are severely curtailed and eliminated," Carter wrote.   The provision in the Senate bill would exempt those SES employees considered "highly qualified experts," limiting that designation to 200 employees, accord to the Armed Services Committee report on the fiscal 2017 NDAA. Defense - the largest department in the federal government - has roughly 1,000 career senior executives. The measure also would not apply to "those employees of the department who are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate." The House fiscal 2017 NDAA does not contain a similar provision; a congressional conference committee currently is ironing out the differences between the two versions.   Carter also sent the letter to the House Armed Services Committee.   President Obama has threatened to veto the NDAA, in part over of the provision calling for the SES reduction.   (The statement from the administration actually said DoD eliminated 97 SES positions in 2011 and more than 140 positions since then.) Carter in his July letter said he would recommend the president veto both current versions of the NDAA if they reached him.   "I am surprised and disappointed about the extent to which provisions in the [House and Senate] bills could adversely affect our enterprise, to include discarding well-reasoned, necessary force management and budgetary decisions of the department's senior, expert civilian and uniformed leaders," Carter wrote.   The Defense secretary also took issue with other "workforce limitations" in the bills, including new restrictions on the size of the civilian and contractor workforces at DoD headquarters as well as a call for reducing general and flag officer positions and the legislation's "micromanagement of department personnel and infrastructure."   In addition, Carter objected to the 2.1 percent military pay raise for troops next year, which is included in the House bill, saying that "a 1.6 percent pay raise represents the best judgment of our military and civilian leaders on how to balance responsible compensation increases with our readiness and modernization needs."   As for the House and Senate legislation's provisions on parental and adoption leave, the Pentagon chief said many of the provisions would restrict DoD's discretion when it comes to maternity leave, and in the case of the House version would provide more adoption leave for dual-military couples than for single-military couples, granting the former an extra benefit not available to the latter. Carter said he supports provisions that would expand parental (non-maternity) leave from 10 to 14 days, which the department had proposed as part of its Force of the Future initiative.   The majority for the House and Senate Armed Services committees did not immediately respond to questions for comment.   Jason Briefel, interim president of the Senior Executives Association, said there appears to be "little to no rationale or analysis" behind the Senate proposal to slash the department's SES ranks. "SEA applauds the Defense secretary and the administration for pushing back on this arbitrary proposal which, if enacted, would significantly undermine the department's career leadership capacity and threaten the expertise, knowledge, stability and consistency provided by senior executives," said Briefel.   (return to top)   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   Pentagon Wants To Automate Social-Media Checks On Clearance Holders The program would analyze public posts to help determine an employee's suitability for Defense Intelligence Agency classified work. (DEFENSE ONE 20 JUL 16) ... Aliya Sternstein   The Pentagon is conducting market research for a planned 12-month "social media checks" pilot that would analyze public posts to help determine an employee's suitability for Defense Intelligence Agency classified work.   The effort is part of a shift away from screening intelligence and military staff every five years, as is current practice. The program is meant to support "continuous evaluation" through automated searches of various data sources, including social media posts, DIA says.   The scope of this particular trial run would involve generating "social media reports" that provide "comprehensive and objective data" and expertise to carry out a "whole of person review," in line with Office of Director of National Intelligence guidelines, states a newly released January draft statement of work.   In May, DNI chief James Clapper issued a directive approving the use of social media in the public domain to vet personnel.   If DIA goes through with a contract, "at a minimum, the service would have to analyze foreign comments and postings, foreign contacts and any information regarding: allegiance to the United States, foreign influence and/or preference, sexual behavior, personal conduct, financial, alcohol, legal and/or illegal drug involvement, psychological conditions and criminal conduct," the work statement says.   A DIA official told Nextgov there is no guarantee the agency will solicit any vendor; rather, DIA is figuring out what features companies might be able to offer.   The social media reports would help out that agency's existing Personnel Security, Insider Threat, Continuous Evaluation, Counterintelligence and Investigation program, DIA spokesman James Kudla said.   "This is part of the larger government effort" for "continuous evaluation monitoring," Kudla said in a brief interview. It's not restricted to the intelligence community; "it's really part of the Department of Defense program as well."   "Social media reports are required to identify national security concerns on individuals who are required to obtain and retain a national security clearance" for handling sensitive material, states a July 14 sources sought notice accompanying the work description.   The reports should include checks of "all publicly available social media sites," the work statement says. DIA does not specify particular websites, like Facebook, Twitter or other online networks.   The analyses also would cross-check an individual's various online personas through "social media profile comparisons," the work statement adds.   Clapper's policy states that security clearance investigators cannot create shadow accounts to "follow" or "friend" an employee under review. In addition, social media content about other people inadvertently collected during a check cannot be retained unless the information is relevant to the review of the employee, the directive says.   Other intelligence agencies have experimented with social media monitoring to aid the background investigation process.   The National Security Agency, for example, says it performed a successful social media test that tracked 175 NSA employees on their online networks.   About 45 percent of the searches returned information that aligned with criteria NSA currently uses to judge candidates - "some of which we didn't know before," Kemp Ensor, NSA director of security, said in April at an Intelligence and National Security Alliance symposium in Chantilly, Virginia.   The DIA market research notice says the agency would like social media reports for routine investigations turned around within five days and two-day delivery for most "expedited" social media reports.   The agency is looking for prospective vendors that would be able to use a secure, encrypted internet website or document transfer tool to furnish the social media reports, the work statement says.   Defense writ large is building a massive information-sharing system that can profile security clearance-holders, to flag who among them might become traitors or other "insider threats."   The DoD Component Insider Threat Records System is part of the governmentwide reaction to the 2010 sharing of classified diplomatic cables with WikiLeaks by former Pfc. Chelsea Manning.   (return to top)   +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   Do's and Don'ts for Voicing Your Political Opinion on Social Media (NAVY LIVE, 19 July 16) . Jason Kelly   Back in 2008, political and media analysts dubbed that year's presidential election the YouTube election since the candidates used the platform to post videos longer than traditional political ads.   Fast forward to 2016 where now a third of 18- to 29-year-olds say social media is their most helpful source for learning about this year's presidential election, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.   More social media opportunities exist now for Americans to share everything from their favorite cat photos to their personal opinions, including about this year's presidential election.   So what do Sailors and Department of the Navy civilians need to know before they post, tweet and snap their political opinions The information below doesn't cover everything but, if in doubt, consult your command's ethics representative.   Service members.   Let's start with Sailors. NAVADMIN 055-16 and DoD Directive 1344.10 spell it out.   Active-duty Sailors may generally express their personal views about public issues or political candidates using social media - just like they can write a letter to a newspaper's editor. If the social media site or content identifies the Sailor as on active duty (or if they're reasonably identifiable as an active-duty Sailor), then the content needs to clearly and prominently state that the views expressed are those of the individual only and not those of the Department of Defense (DoD). However, active-duty service members may not engage in any partisan political activity such as posting or making direct links to a political party, partisan political candidate, campaign, group or cause. That's the equivalent of distributing literature on behalf of those entities or individuals, which is prohibited.   Active-duty Sailors can like or follow accounts of a political party or partisan candidate, campaign, group or cause. However, they cannot suggest that others like, friend or follow them or forward an invitation or solicitation.   Remember, active-duty service members are subject to additional restrictions based on the Joint Ethics Regulation, the Uniform Code of Military Justice and rules about the use of government resources and government communications systems, including email and internet.   What about Sailors who aren't on active duty They're not subject to the above social media restrictions so long as they don't reasonably create the perception or appearance of official sponsorship, approval or endorsement by the DoD.   Department of the Defense civilians.   DoD civilians need to consider the Hatch Act and DoD policy.   In general, federal employees may use social media and email and comply with the Hatch Act if they: .Don't engage in political activity while on duty or in the workplace, even if the employee is using their personal smartphone, tablet or laptop to do so. Federal employees are "on duty" when they're in a pay status (including during telework hours) other than paid leave or are representing the government in an official capacity .Don't engage in political activity in an official capacity at any time .Don't solicit or receive political contributions at any time   Political activity refers to any activity directed at the success or failure of a political party or partisan political group or candidate in a partisan race.   Below is a list of some frequently asked questions. For additional FAQs, visit   Q: May a federal employee engage in political activity on social media   A: Yes, they may express their opinions about a partisan group or candidate in a partisan race by posting, liking, sharing, tweeting or retweeting, but there are a few limitations. The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from: .Engaging in any political activity via social media while on duty or in the workplace .Referring to their official titles or positions while engaged in political activity at any time (note that including an employee's official title or position on one's social media profile, without more, is not an improper use of official authority) .Suggesting or asking anyone to make political contributions at any time, including providing links to the political contribution page of any partisan group or candidate in a partisan race or liking, sharing or retweeting a solicitation from one of those entities and invitation to a political fundraising event. However, an employee may accept an invitation to a political fundraising event from such entities via social media.   Further restricted employees also may express their opinions about a partisan group or candidate in a partisan race by posting or sharing content, but there are a few limitations. In addition to the limitations above, the Hatch Act prohibits further restricted employees from: .Posting or linking to campaign or other partisan material of a partisan group or candidate in a partisan race .Sharing those entities' social media sites or their content, including retweeting   Q: If a federal employee lists his or her official title or position on Facebook, may he or she also complete the "political views"   A: Yes, identifying political party affiliation on a social media profile, which also contains one's official title or position, without more, isn't an improper use of official authority.   Q: May a federal employee display a political party or campaign logo or a candidate photograph as his profile picture   A: Yes, but subject to the following limitations. Because a profile picture accompanies most actions on social media, a federal employee would not be permitted-while on duty or in the workplace-to post, share, tweet or retweet any social media content because each such action would show their support for a partisan group or candidate in a partisan race, even if the content of the action is not about those entities.   Q: May a federal employee - while on duty or in the work place - send or forward a partisan political email from his or her government email account or their personal email account to others   A: No, they can't send or forward a partisan political email from either their government email account or their personal email account (even using a personal device) while at work. A partisan political email is defined as one that is directed at the success or failure of a partisan group or candidate in a partisan race.   Again, the above information doesn't cover every situation. If in doubt, consult your command's ethics counselor.   Don't forget the presidential election is November 8. For voting information, visit DoD's Federal Voting Assistance Program's website.            

Nov. 21, 2023

FRCSW at Fleet Week San Diego

On November 8 2023, Fleet Week in San Diego unfolded as a grand spectacle of innovation and technology, transforming the Port Pavilion Building into a vibrant hub of the future.

Nov. 10, 2023

Honor Flight San Diego’s Tribute to American Veterans

Veterans Day not only offers a moment to reflect upon the sacrifices of service members, but also serves as a poignant reminder of the price of liberty and the importance of acknowledging those who have borne its cost. This day reinforces the timeless truth: freedom is never free, and gratitude towards its guardians is eternally owed. Building on this spirit of reverence, organizations like Honor Flight San Diego (HFSD) work tirelessly to show tangible appreciation to these heroes.

Sept. 5, 2023

FRCSW STEM in Action

When Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) STEM ambassadors visit local communities, their goal is to utilize the STEM outreach program to inspire and create valuable opportunities to learn for both students and educators. The program also tries to empower both the students and FRCSW employees by fostering meaningful connections between Naval STEM efforts and the upcoming generation.

July 20, 2023

FRCSW Engineer Receives Assistant Secretary of Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists & Engineers of the Year Award

FRCSW Engineer Receives Assistant Secretary of Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists & Engineers of the Year Award

May 15, 2023

FRCSW Comptroller Receives Department of the Navy and Secretary of Defense Financial Management Awards

FRCSW Comptroller Receives Department of the Navy and Secretary of Defense Financial Management Awards

April 27, 2023

FRCSW E-2D Team Wins NAVAIR Commander’s Award

FRCSW E-2D Team Wins NAVAIR Commander’s Award

April 18, 2023

FRCSW Sailors Named 2023 Sailor of the Year

FRCSW Sailors Named 2023 Sailor of the Year

April 6, 2023

FRCSW Ally Support Strengthens Royal Australian Air Force

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) successfully completed a first of its kind reconfiguration of a U.S. Navy EA-6B Growler for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

March 31, 2023

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest - Eliminating Waste and Improving Efficiency

For over 100 years, Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) has provided the men and women of the Navy and Marine Corps with the highest quality products and services in the most efficient manner possible. One of the state of the art management systems that makes this possible is the “Lean” process which focuses its attention on eliminating waste and error. FRCSW began the command’s most recent “Lean” process by integrating pre-expendable bins (PEB). Lieutenant Commander Jeffrey Legg, Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Industrial Supply Officer, in collaboration with the other PEB managers, played a pivotal role in the improvement of PEB inventory.

Sept. 26, 2022

FRCSW Navy’s Sole Maintainer of Rotodome Radar

A primary tool of the Hawkeye’s defensive posture is the rotodome radar system, maintained by Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW).