This is the In Depth show blog. Here you can listen to our interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day, as well as links to other stories and resources we discuss. Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu is filling in for Francis Rose this week
Traditionally, the bulk of the Defense Department’s budget has been split roughly evenly between the three military departments, with the Army, the Air Force and the Navy Department each staking out their “fair share” of the pie. But in a new op-ed, two members of the House Armed Services Committee, Reps. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) and Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), argue that the practice never made much sense. And with budget’s getting tighter, it’s time to start budgeting based on strategy rather than on simple division. Forbes joins In Depth with his idea for a “fair share” defense strategy.
This week, Defense secretary Chuck Hagel sent Congress a contingency plan for sequestration , in case the cuts remain in place through fiscal 2014. The plan came in response to a request from the Senate Armed Services Committee, which wanted more detail than DoD wound up providing. The panel had asked for specific areas in which the Pentagon would recommend the more than $50 billion in cuts be applied. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, joins In Depth to discuss his take on Hagel’s letter.
Cancelled training exercises and furloughs aren’t the only ways the Defense Department is feeling sequestration. Military readiness as a whole is taking a hit with reduced flying hours and placing a financial strain on our allies, too. Adm. Samuel Locklear, the commander of Pacific Command, spoke before the Pentagon press corps today. He said he joined a “hollow” Navy 40 years ago, which has since turned into a highly productive force. But sequestration is threatening to undo that progress, he said.
President Obama recently nominated retired Vice Adm. Dennis McGinn to be the Navy’s new secretary for energy, installations and the environment. The energy chief would lead the Navy’s environmental projects and maintain their naval installations. McGinn supported new biofuel and other renewable resources in the past. But the Navy has recently come under fire for using experimental and expensive jet biofuel instead of conventional fuel. Sam LaGrone, the editor of USNI News, joins in Depth, to discuss the Navy’s new energy chief and the role of biofuels in the service.
The General Services Administration in the next three weeks will release the solicitations for the OASIS and OASIS small-business multiple-award contracts. As GSA nears this milestone, the discussion of whether the government needs another large multiple-award contract again comes to the forefront. Federal News Radio’s executive editor Jason Miller joins In Depth with details on OASIS and why some experts say enough is enough when it comes to multiple-award contracts.