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Army To Piggy Back On Bio War Protection Device With Flu Tests

The recent issue with the swine flu is a major concern for the U.S. Army and other military organizations. With so many people in close proximity and the need for fully capable people at all times flu could devastate a unit for a period of weeks. This is why the Army has announced that they are giving a contract to Idaho Technology to develop tests that can be implemented with the Joint Biological Agent Identification and Diagnostic System.

The JBAIDS was designed to test for biological warfare agents to support battlefield operations. The standard flu test may take a few days to identify the exact strain. By implementing these tests in to JBAIDS the pathogen may be identified quicker allowing actions to be taken to prevent the spread of the flu among a unit. This will maximize the availability of troops for action.

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More on the Alaskan Missile Range Corruption Case

We have written in the past about Mr. Cantrell, an manager at the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC), and his corruption scheme that will lead to his jailing on taking bribes from contractors in the past here and here. Now The Kodiak Daily Mirror has more details on how Mr. Cantrell used Alaskan Senator Stephens to build a range on Kodiak Island which allowed him to get the necessary work in order to generate the kickbacks. Read more

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Missile Defense corruption

Last year the US Government arrested two employees of the US Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) on charges that they were taking bribes to steer contracts to selected companies. Now the New York Times has done some further research on the issue and have found out that the main figure, the head of SMDC S&T center, had created a whole scheme to make Congress fund a large test program that would then be self-perpetuating. As part of this he broke Federal law by lobbying Congress directly.

The scheme he concocted was one that when I worked supporting the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), now Missile Defense Agency (MDA), never made much sense to me. The MDA had an issue with testing the systems against long range targets. They targets required could not be tested in the United States as there was no range big enough to hold them. The Navy invested in improving their range on the West Coast of Kuaii in Hawaii that faced a broad open area. Targets would be air launched and fired into the range. The Army looked at building a launch facility on Midway to fire that targets at their main range in Kwajalien. The gentlemen at the core of the scandal, Mr. Cantrell, worked a proposal directly with Congress and various contractors to build a facility in Alaska on Kodiak Island and then use an old Navy helicopter carrier to fire the targets at Kodiak. This never really made sense due to its cost and the creation of all new facilities and modifying the ship at some cost.

Ultimately the idea went nowhere, although a launch facility has been built at Kodiak which supports Air Force operations right now. MDA made the sensible decision to begin testing US Army systems in Hawaii using the range there. Now that it turns out the Mr. Cantrell and various Senators using the earmark system was doing this for personal gain.

See an article in the Huntsville Times here.

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Army buys more force protection FLIR systems

September 11, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: Contract Awards, FLIR, production program, SMDC, U.S. Army 

FLIR Inc, known more for their aircraft installed systems, won a continuation of the contract to provide ground based systems for base and force protection. The US Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command awarded the $96 M contract. FLIR has won several contracts related to this system which provides surveillance of the areas around bases.

The Associated Press reports here.

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Future Combat Systems (FCS) technology acceleration good to Arizona

This article describes the economic effect of the Army decision to begin pushing components of the multi-system Future Combat System (FCS) out-the-door faster. Due to this decision several hundred million dollars are flowing to Arizona companies earlier then originally planned by the Army. The two systems with the most effect are the non-line of sight missile system that uses a box launcher with integrated fire control and several unmanned systems. The Army benefits two ways by this type of decision; first, they get needed technology upgrades into the field earlier; and secondly they get testing under real world conditions.

Picture by Derek Farr

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SAIC wins NBC defense contract

May 29, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: Contract Awards, logistics, SAIC, SMDC, U.S. Army 

The US Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) awarded SAIC a one year plus four option years contract to provide NBC defense for US military bases. See an article here. If the full contract is executed it could be worth up to $500 M. Since 9/11 the US has greatly increased the ability of their bases to respond to chemical and nuclear attacks.

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Story on earmarks illustrates issue

The Wall Street Journal and The Huntsville Times both have stories today on Congressional Earmarks, the Defense budget and corruption. See the stories here and here. The Journal highlights how a Huntsville company, Digital Fusion, received an earmarked contract from a Texas Democrat at around the same time they gave him a large campaign contribution. The Times is following up on a recent case where Federal workers at the Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) were taking bribes from contractors for giving contracts to them. In that case the contractors have yet to be named. The Federal investigators as part of their follow-up are looking at companies that received earmarked contracts through SMDC. The first case is not a crime unless you can tie the contribution directly to the contract award which is almost impossible without some kind of documentation. That is what befell Congressman Cunningham from California as they had written evidence linking the two events. SMDC spreads a lot of RDT&E money around each year, much of it earmarked by local Senators and Congressman. All received campaign contributions from contractors and deny any linkage. You be the judge.

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Corruption case at Redstone Arsenal continues

February 22, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: Contract Awards, crime, Federal Budget Process, SMDC 

According to this story in The Huntsville Times, an official from the Army’s Redstone Arsenal pleaded guilty in a corruption cast that broke a few months ago. His boss was the one who was more dirty. Both took bribes from contractors to steer business there way. The interesting part of the story is that more is starting to come out. Previously there had been no mention of the companies involved, but in the article they refer to a unnamed minority owned company. It also discusses that a contractor lobbied Congress for earmarks that were then steered to that contractor. Another example of how the Federal Budget is manipulated.

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MDA awards space resarch contract to Miltec

February 14, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: Contract Awards, development program, Ducommun, Miltec, SMDC, space 

The Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) gave Ducommun subsidiary Miltec a $69 M contract to conduct research and development on space vehicles. See Bizjournals.com, here, for more on the story. This will support the Operationally Responsive Space program.

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Army acquisition manager found guilty of bribery and kickbacks

January 16, 2008 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Federal Budget Process, Industry Analysis, SMDC 

In Huntsville, AL a Army official at the Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) was found guilty of taking bribes and kickbacks from contractors. He and his deputy would unfairly influence procurements to favor those companies. The Huntsville Times reports on this here. Mike Cantrell was convicted of receiving almost $1.6 M in bribes and also of filing a false tax return. With the defense budget so large and with so many companies trying to win contracts there are a few cases of bribary here and there. There was a much worse one recently in Korea where a contracting officer was taking money from local Korean vendors. See that story here.

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