Wisconsin-made combat ship in Chinese sights

Waves wash over the forward deck and 57mm gun, temporarily blinding the video camera mounted on the bridge of the USS Fort Worth as it makes its way across a stormy East China Sea.

The scene is part of an online video showing the Wisconsin-built ship en route to military exercises near Korea last winter, illustrating the critical role the sleek vessel is playing in shallow coastal regions where Chinese ambitions are inflaming tensions with neighbors and locking the U.S. Navy in a game of cat-and-mouse around disputed waters.

Continue reading at http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/local/2015/07/10/wisconsin-made-combat-ship-chinese-sights/29939445/

Joint Medical Exercise Trains for Future Interoperability

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2015 – One of the largest Defense Department field medical training exercises, combining 1,600 active-duty and reserve personnel from 17 states and three countries, wrapped up June 26.

Exercises Global Medic and Combined Joint Atlantic Serpent came together for the first time beginning June 6 at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, for the two-week exercise involving U.S., British and Canadian medical forces, Joint Staff officials said.

Army Maj. Gen. (Dr.) Nadja Y. West, the Joint Staff surgeon, explained that in a simulated combat-medicine scenario, the joint exercise helps prepare active-duty and reserve troops from all three countries with capabilities for any situation they could be called upon to support in the future. In addition to combat medical scenarios, the exercise also included scenarios for potential humanitarian and disaster relief missions, she noted.


Continue reading at http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=129245.

Key changes in the CPARS Version 5.0.0 Release

Release Date: July 19, 2015


  • Registration (contract information) data that originated in the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) cannot be changed in CPARS. Any changes or corrections to the registration data must be made in FPDS. Information that must be updated in FPDS includes Company Name, Company Address, DUNS Number, PSC, NAICS, Business Sector-Subsector, Contracting Office, Awarded Date, Effective Date, Completion Date, Total Dollar Value, Current Dollar Value, Competition Type, and Contract Type.
  • CPARS will automatically initiate the first evaluation at the time the contract is registered. The Assessing Official Representative’s (if assigned) or Assessing Official’s To Do List will be populated with the automatically initiated evaluation.
  • CPARS will automatically initiate follow on evaluations (if required) for evaluations that are completed after version 5.0 release.

Continue reading at https://www.cpars.gov/cparsapp_release500.htm.


Buy Indian Act: Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service Need Greater Insight into Implementation at Regional Offices

What GAO Found

The Department of the Interior’s (Interior) Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Indian Health Service (IHS) have requirements in place to implement the Buy Indian Act. Through supplements to the Federal Acquisition Regulation, both BIA and IHS have policies and procedures to implement key requirements:

  • Indian-owned status . Eligible firms must be 51 percent Indian-owned. The agencies rely on firms to self certify that they are Indian-owned and interested parties may challenge a firm’s self-certification.
  • Indian preference . The agencies require that contractors give preference to Indians in employment and training opportunities, and use a contract clause to implement this requirement.
  • Subcontracting . The agencies require contractors to give preference to Indian firms in the award of any subcontracts.

Continue reading at http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-588.

Army Announces Force Structure, Stationing Decisions

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2015 – Army officials today announced force structure decisions and stationing plans for the reduction of the regular Army from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers.

The reduction of force structure will occur in fiscal years 2016 and 2017. The end-strength reduction of 40,000 will be completed by the end of fiscal year 2018, and will be accompanied by the reduction of 17,000 Army civilian employees, officials said, adding that the cuts will affect nearly every Army installation in the United States and overseas.

As part of these reductions, the number of regular Army brigade combat teams, the basic deployable units of maneuver in the Army, will continue to decline from a wartime high of 45 to 30 by the end of fiscal year 2017.

The Army will convert the 3rd Infantry Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team at Fort Benning, Georgia, and the 25th Infantry Division’s 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, into smaller units — maneuver battalion task forces — by the end of fiscal 2017.

Brigade combat teams consist of about 4,000 soldiers; the battalion task forces will have about 1,050 soldiers.

Continue reading at http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=129246.

Small business contracts: Digging into agencies’ performance

The federal government awarded 24.99 percent ($91.1 billion) of its annual budget to small business contractors in FY 2014, marking its highest percentage since 1997, according to a PR Newswire press release.

In accordance with the federal government’s goal for small business spending (23 percent), the Small Business Association compiles contracting data and releases its assessment each year to ensure agencies are meeting their goals. Of the 24 grades assigned for FY 2014, 17 received an A and 3 received an A+–including USAID, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Homeland Security)–where grades are derived from an assessment of prime contracts, subcontracts and the agency’s plan for meeting future goals.

Continue reading at http://fcw.com/articles/2015/07/02/data-sba-contracts.aspx?s=fcwdaily_070715.

The private-sector focus of the Pentagon’s annual cyber exercise

An annual cyber defense exercise held last month by the departments of Defense and Homeland Security and the FBI simulated a “whole-of-nation response” to attacks on critical infrastructure, with an emphasis on the private sector, where most of the potential targets reside.

The exercise held at a Joint Staff J-7 facility in Suffolk, Va., from June 8 to June 26 had more than 1,000 participants from over 100 organizations, including information-sharing hubs for the electric and financial sectors. All five military services, including National Guard and Reserve units, took part, as did the Federal Aviation Administration, according to a U.S. Cyber Command statement.

VMWare, Carahsoft to pay $75.5M to settle False Claims Act allegations

The Justice Department and the General Services Administration can add another False Claims Act settlement to its ever growing list.

Justice announced today VMWare and Carahsoft Technology agreed to pay $75.5 million to resolve allegations that it misrepresented their commercial pricing practices and overcharged the government on VMware software products and related services under the GSA schedule.

DoJ said Dane Smith, a former vice president of the Americas at VMWare, filed suit as a whistleblower. Smith alleged VMWare and Carahsoft made false statements to the government on the sale of VMWare products under Carahsoft’s multiple award schedule contract. Smith claimed these false statements allowed the companies to overcharge the government between 2007 and 2013.

Continue reading at http://federalnewsradio.com/acquisition/2015/06/vmware-carahsoft-pay-75-5m-settle-false-claims-act-allegations/

Oshkosh Defense to Build 698 Additional FMTVs for U.S. Army

OSHKOSH, Wis. (July 2, 2015) —  Following a $184 million order from the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC), Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) company will produce 698 Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) trucks for the U.S. Army. Deliveries will begin in 2016.

“The Oshkosh FMTV delivers unprecedented durability and reliability while meeting the demands of the mission and our soldiers on today’s battlefields,” said John Bryant, senior vice president of defense programs at Oshkosh Defense. “The FMTV program is a prime example of how Oshkosh has worked with the U.S. Army to deliver a very successful vehicle program that achieves all of the quality, performance, schedule and cost objectives – and ultimately puts a great truck in the hands of our soldiers, who deserve nothing less.”

Continue reading at http://oshkoshdefense.com/news/oshkosh-defense-build-698-additional-fmtvs-u-s-army/