No Strategy, No Money. HASC Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said Friday, in anticipation of a White House request for $5.6 billion more to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), that the president needs a clearer strategy if he wants more funding. “I will give any new funding request fair consideration. However, I remain concerned that the president’s strategy to defeat ISIL is insufficient. I would urge the president to reconsider his strategy and clearly explain how this additional funding supports a new direction. Such clarity is more likely to find swift congressional approval.” The White House requested $58.6 billion for its Overseas Contingency Operations fund and the House of Representatives voted to provide $79.4 billion. The Senate has not yet passed its defense bill.

Turner Asks NATO To Buy Russia-bound Warship. Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), a HASC member and chair of the United States Delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Parliamentary Assembly, wrote to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to ask that NATO buy the amphibious warship France plans to sell to Russia. “As [Russian President Vladimir] Putin continues his efforts to intimidate our allies and destabilize the region, our NATO Alliance must demonstrate its resolve in the face of this aggressor state. We must ensure Putin is incapable of procuring these highly sophisticated assault ships and instead, take this opportunity to bolster our own capabilities,” Turner said in a press statement.

Departing the Dry Dock. The USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, went back into the water on Nov. 3, completing the dry dock portion of the ship’s nuclear refueling and overhaul, the Navy says. The ship will now transition from what the Navy calls the “rip-out” phase to the “rebuilding” phase. “The ship went from being tugged from Norfolk Naval Station, put into dry dock, to back in the water floating and this is the first time we have been so since the very first stages of RCOH,” Capt. Ron Ravelo, the carrier’s commanding officer, says. When it returns to the fleet in a couple years, it will have the latest technology and capability being put on Nimitz carriers.

Third MLP launches. The Navy’s third Mobile Landing Platform, a ship designed to operate like an at-sea base, launched Friday into the water at the General Dynamics operated NASSCO shipyard in San Diego. The ship, named the Lewis B. Puller, is the first Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) variant of the MLP. “The maturity and stability of the Mobile Landing Platform shipbuilding program has allowed for the smooth transition to the Afloat Forward Staging Base variant,” Capt. Henry Stevens, the strategic and theater sealift program manager in the Program Executive Office for Ships at Naval Air Systems Command, says. “Even with the design changes to accommodate the increased capability, this ship is on track deliver on cost and on schedule.”


TSA Term Limit. Outgoing Transportation Security Administration Chief John Pistole says that one change he would make to his position if he had the power to do so would be to institute a five-year term limit similar to how the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration is term limited. The top job at TSA would still be a political appointment, he says.

…Record Gun Seizures. The TSA says that as of early November it had sized 1,855 firearms at aviation security checkpoints nationwide this year, already surpassing the 2013 total of 1,813. The top five airports for gun seizures are Dallas/Fort Worth, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Phoenix Sky Harbor, Houston George Bush Intercontinental, and Denver, the agency says. Pistole says his large amount of gun seizures is a point of “frustration” and that it is a “distraction” for Transportation Security Officers who are working to keep terrorists off of planes.

Air Force LISC Contract. The Air Force awards Range Generation Next LLC the long awaited Launch and Test Range Integrated Service Contract (LISC), according to a DoD statement. The contract is initially worth $86 million, but the service says the total contract value, including all potential options, is $2 billion. LISC will provide the government with a single prime contractor responsible and accountable for operations, organizational- and depot-level maintenance as well as sustainment at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Range Generation Next is a joint venture lead by Raytheon in partnership with General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), according to Raytheon spokesman Mike Doble. Range Generation Next LLC beats out InSpace 21 LLC, a joint venture of PAE and Honeywell; IBL JV LLC, a joint venture of Exelis, L-3 Communications and BAE Systems; and Consolidated Range Enterprise (CoRE), a joint venture of InDyne Corp., Lockheed Martin and URS Corp.

Boeing JDAM. The Air Force on Oct. 30 awards Boeing a $308 million firm-fixed-price contract for Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), according to a DoD statement. This award is an undefinitized contract action for the production of Lot 18 JDAM tailkits. Work is expected to be completed by October 2016. The contract, the result of a sole-source acquisition, is also an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contract not to exceed $1.1 billion, according to a notice posted on Federal Business Opportunities (FBO).