Defense

The Pentagon Spent Nearly $1 Billion on an Audit — And Failed

The Defense Department failed its first-ever audit as investigators found weak information technology security that could endanger weapon inventories and equipment mislabeled in far-flung warehouses.

Auditors found no evidence of fraud in the review of finances that Congress required, even as they flagged a laundry list of problems, including uncontrolled access to computer systems and listing functioning rocket motors as out-of-order, according to Pentagon Comptroller David Norquist.

Defense Chief Mattis Ramps Up Global Travel as Reassuring Voice

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis crisscrossed three continents in the month of October alone: from Belgium to Vietnam and Mexico to India and Bahrain. He’s been to the Indo-Pacific region eight times, and has clocked four visits to Afghanistan since becoming defense chief in January 2017.

Thin Bench, Senate Gauntlet Would Complicate a Nielsen Ouster

President Donald Trump’s ouster of Jeff Sessions as attorney general the day after the midterm elections raises the question: Who could be shown the door next?

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, the reported target of Trump’s ire over migrants trying to cross the Southwest border, would be difficult to replace because of a small number of potential candidates and a tough confirmation process, lobbyists, academics and former government officials said.

Once-Embattled Visclosky Comes Into Spotlight With Defense Gavel

Rep. Pete Visclosky is on track to become the defense industry’s most courted man as the likely chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Visclosky, who has kept a very low public profile as the ranking member of the panel, is about to be in charge of the largest slice of federal discretionary spending, which this year is close to $700 billion.

Military Vets Head for the House: Meet the Next Freshmen

A veritable platoon of military veterans, including a former Marine who participated in a rare combat mission to rescue a prisoner of war, is ready to march onto the House floor as new members of Congress.

Trump May Seek Budget Change to Get Wall Money

President Donald Trump’s next budget request may propose taking decisions about border-wall funding away from Congress, according to aides to House Republicans who back the change.

The idea is to switch border wall money from discretionary spending — subject to the annual appropriations votes — to mandatory spending, according to the aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private discussions.

Army Gears Up for Predictive Maintenance OTA Competition

The U.S. Army says it’s looking for ideas and feedback for a prototype predictive maintenance system for tanks, Stryker wheeled vehicles and attack helicopters. The system would be developed using an other transaction agreement (OTA) contracting approach, which simplifies the acquisition process.

Pentagon Girds for Audit Backlash That May Echo $435 Hammer Era

The results of the Pentagon’s first-ever audit could generate public backlash against boosting defense spending, according to Comptroller David Norquist.

After years of congressional and public criticism, the Defense Department is conducting an audit of its more than $2.4 trillion in assets. The audit findings will be released on Nov.15 or Nov. 16, Norquist said.

Synagogue Massacre Spurs Calls for New DHS Anti-Terrorism Grants

Lawmakers from both parties are calling for more funding for grants to help synagogues, churches, and other non-profits at high risk for terrorism to bolster their security in the wake of Saturday’s fatal shootings at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

House Republicans and Democrats are championing legislation (H.R. 1486) that would create a grant program within the Department Homeland of Security to help non-profits buy security cameras, gates, barriers and train employees against attacks.

Pentagon ‘Rebel Alliance’ Uses Hacking to Find Cyber Skywalkers

The Defense Department’s digital team is launching a series of new hacking-centric initiatives in the hopes of recruiting skilled cybersecurity professionals – from both outside the Pentagon and among its active-duty members.