“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” – George S. Patton
The predictable Taliban attacks on Afghanistan’s urban centres has begun. News bulletins on Sunday were reporting fighting inside Herat, Lashkar Gah and Kandahar in the west and southwest of the country.
That the Taliban can mount such operations simultaneously says volumes about their organisation, confidence and ability to keep such forces supplied simultaneously. With the rural districts already under their control or falling quickly, it is increasingly looking likely that government forces are being pinned back in their urban centres. Resupply will be a growing problem, particularly by land as it was for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF). The alternative, resupply by air is also threatened by the Taliban’s declared intent to assassinate the pilots of the Afghan Air Force (a strategy that seems to have been planned ahead).
To see this breakdown happening so quickly after nearly two decades of international military support and training of the national army – of which much has been made – brings into question whether a whole force structure was achieved, partially achieved or even attempted.
Bereft of international military support not only in terms of kinetic ability, but also in the management of forces, and lacking that coordination as well as resupply, intelligence, force cohesion and belief that the government forces can be successful (morale), a repeat of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan when they defeated the Rabbani government in 1996 is an increasingly likely outcome.
Best to all,
BEHAVIOURAL INFLUENCED WARGAMING HANDBOOK (Let’s hope the enemy don’t get a copy…)
Integrating wargaming with behavioural influencing “will better represent the current and future character of warfare”, according to a statement from the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).
Military officers and civil servants took part in this training event at QinetiQ’s Training Innovation Facility on Monday 19 July. The scenarios were developed by DSTL’s Representation of Behavioural Effects (RBE) project and are designed to “to improve the representation, integration and synchronisation of non-kinetic / behavioural effects in decision-support tools such as wargaming, modelling and simulation.”
According to DSTL’s Influence Programme lead Jess Lowe: “Information advantage is at the heart of how UK defence must operate to achieve influence in this more complex and competitive world. This Wargaming Influence Conference was an opportunity to share, test and improve the novel concepts and approaches that DSTL is developing to help decision-makers in UK defence and government better plan and achieve influence overseas.”
The results will form a ‘best practice’ guide which will be made available in the form of a Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC) Wargaming Influence Handbook.
The event was supported by the Joint Information Activities Group (JIAG), which trains around 600 people a year in influence activities.
US EMBARKS (BELATEDLY) ON SHORING UP SUPPORT IN SE ASIA
The US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin toured Southeast Asia last week, specifically calling on Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines. The reason, according to Gregory B. Poling, Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, was that they are “the three in which some attention from Washington is likely to deliver concrete progress in the short to medium term.”
US support of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is, writes Poling, “the best hope for developing regional institutions that could someday moderate China’s ambitions.”
But attention to the region has been slow to develop. The initial positive reaction to Joe Biden’s defeat of Donald Trump for the US Presidency was generally welcomed, although this has now waned. Writes Poling: “President Biden has not spoken with a single Southeast Asian leader by phone. Until this week, no cabinet official had visited the region. When it comes to Asia, Washington’s attention has been fixed on elevating the Quad, which includes Australia, India, and Japan, and ensuring Europe is on the same page when it comes to the China challenge.”
There is a real distinction between ‘the Quad’ (the United States, Japan, Australia and India – which hold the key to real military power and are a real buffer to China), and the most of the nations that comprise ASEAN which are more disjointed in military terms (with the exception of Singapore). However both Vietnam and the Philippines stand to be significantly restricted if China continues its economic and geographical expansion.
In Singapore, Austin’s message to SE Asian countries was to re-engage by re-emphasising the ‘allies and partners’ strategy in a bid to put Trump’s damaging ‘America first’ statements in the rear view mirror.
And a real success in the Philippines came from the Philippine Government’s decision to end the process to abrogate the US-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and reconfirm the alliance with the United States.
Expect to see much more US re-engagement in the short-to-medium term, as US credibility needs to be quickly re-established [AD].
Note: Gregory B. Poling’s full report: Austin Accomplishes Two Missions in Southeast Asia
July 30, 2021, can be viewed at: CSIS.org.
US MAJOR ARMS SALES (Defence Security Cooperation Agency – DSCA).
30 July, 2021 – Thailand, Javelin Missiles
The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Thailand of Javelin Missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of
30 July 30, 2021 – Israel CH-53K Helicopters
The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Israel of CH-53K Heavy Lift Helicopters with Support and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.4 billion.
US GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS
Highlighting a selection of $100 million+ government awarded contracts awarded between 26-30 July 2021 and Foreign Military Sales contracts.
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Agfa Healthcare has been awarded a maximum $622 million modification contract for digital imaging network-picture archive communication systems, components, training, maintenance service and incidental services. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.
Hudson Technologies has been awarded a maximum $250 million modification IDIQ contract for the industrial gas and cylinder program. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, federal civilian agencies and foreign military customers from Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Netherlands, Pakistan, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2026 defence working capital funds and Foreign Military Sales funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation.
Delphinus Engineering; Q.E.D. Systems; Epsilon System Solutions; Life Cycle Engineering; McKean Defense Group; Research and Development Solutions; and Transtecs; are awarded a combined $249 million IDIQ contract for engineering and technical services on shipboard and shore-based systems, in the areas of cybersecurity engineering support, integrated logistics support, and quality assurance support. The Naval Surface Warfare Center is the contracting activity.
BCG Federal; Grant Thornton Public Sector; and McKinsey & Company, are awarded a $223 IDIQ multiple award contract that will include terms and conditions for the placement of firm-fixed-price task orders to obtain strategic contractor services to assist with transformation efforts that include Naval Sustainment System – supply, perform to plan logistics, supply chain and logistics technology, and enterprise transformations in support of Naval Supply Systems Command and the Department of the Navy. Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center is the contracting activity.
American Systems is awarded a $165 million IDIQ contract that provides software engineering and technical support services in support of a wide range of naval air programs for aircraft systems and subsystems for the Naval Air Systems Command Software Engineering Department. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin, Rotary and Mission Systems is awarded a $108 million modification contract for AEGIS combat system engineering agent (CSEA) efforts for the design, development, integration, test and delivery of Advanced Capability Build 20. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.
CASS Professional Services; and Omega Aerial Refueling Services, are each awarded an IDIQ contract to provide contractor-owned, contractor-operated, air-to-air refueling services to receivers for receiver pilot initial qualifications, recurring pilot refresher readiness training and supporting fleet exercises for Department of Defense agencies, Department of Navy fleet and test customers, Foreign Military Sales customers and government contractors. The estimated aggregate ceiling for all contracts is $900 million. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin was awarded a $9 million modification contract for missiles for the Army Tactical Missile Systems Guided Missile and Launching Assembly Service Life Extension Program. Fiscal 2010 Foreign Military Sales (Taiwan) funds; and fiscal 2019, 2020 and 2021 missile procurement, Army funds in the amount of $98 million were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.
US AIR FORCE
Raytheon Missiles and Defense has been awarded a $482 million modification contract for Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) Production Lot 35. The modification provides for the exercise of the pre-priced options for Lot 35 production of AMRAAM missiles, AMRAAM Telemetry System, initial and field spares, and other production engineering support hardware and activities. This contract involves unclassified Foreign Military Sales to Canada, Hungary, Korea, Netherlands, and Qatar, which accounts for 28 percent of the contract value. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Dominance Division is the contracting activity.
DynCorp International has been awarded a $301 million task order off of the Aircraft Maintenance Enterprise Solution (ACES) multiple-award, IDIQ contract for aircraft maintenance flight operations support. This contract will provide all Organizational level (O-level), Intermediate level (I-level), and maintenance support services for all training aircraft (T-1A Jayhawk, T-6A Texon II and T-38C Talon. The Air Force Installation Contracting Center is the contracting activity.
Leidos was awarded a $151million contract for the High-Resolution Three-Dimensional Geospatial Information Operations and Technology Integration II. US Army Corps of Engineers’ Army Geospatial Center is the contracting activity.
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
TrillaMed has been awarded a maximum $100 million IDIQ contract for patient monitoring systems, accessories and training. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.
Sentar; Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems; Scientific Research; Boeing; The MIL Corp; Ad Hoc Research; Axiologic Solutions; Command Post Technologies; DigiFlight; Dignitas Technologies; ISYS Technologies; Sealing Technologies; X Technologies; and BAE Systems Technology & Services, will compete for each order of the $2.4 billion hybrid contract for site security services, range modernisation and operations, event planning and execution, and information technology service management for the National Cyber Range Complex. US Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.
Indtai was awarded a $142 million contract to provide support services for the US Army Continuing Education System programme. US Army Field Directorate Office is the contracting activity.
Chugach Consolidated Solutions; Claxton/LT JV; KGJJ Engineering Solutions JV; and Sunik, are awarded a combined maximum-value $99 million IDIQ, multiple-award contract for multiple-function facilities support services at various government installations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Southwest is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin is awarded a $48.7 million order which procures low-rate initial production systems, to include 11 processors and 12 infrared receivers in support of the F/A-18 infrared search and track system. Fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $40.5 million; and Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $8.1 million will be obligated at the time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.
Northrop Grumman Systems, Military Aircraft Systems, is awarded a $19.7 million modification contract which adds scope to provide non-recurring engineering risk reduction efforts to support the delivery schedule of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft FAA1-FAA3 for the government of France. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $19.7 million will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.
US AIR FORCE
Raytheon Technologies has been awarded a $212 million delivery order against the F100 production program’s IDIQ contract for F100-PW-229 install engines. This contract involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to Morocco. Air Force Life Cycle Management Centeris the contracting activity.
Metro Machine was awarded a $129 million IDIQ delivery order for aircraft carrier ship repair. Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility/Northwest Regional Maintenance Center is the contracting activity. (Awarded July 20, 2021)
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is awarded a $62.2 million order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement that procures 190 parachutes and 56 drag chute systems required to meet both full operational capabilities and an urgent requirement in support of delivered air systems for F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft for non- Department of Defense (DOD) participants and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. Non-DOD funds in the amount of $25.4 million; and FMS funds in the amount of $5.7 million will be obligated at the time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity.
SEA, AIR, SPACE – 1-4 August, 2021
Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland, USA.
IDEF21, 17-20 August, 2021
Tüyap İstanbul Fair and Congress Center, Turkey.
DSEI, 14-17 September, 2021
ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, London UK.
Armada International / Asian Military Review