Work Retires. Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work received a “clap-out” on Friday, bidding him farewell as he departs the Pentagon. Work will remain as the Pentagon’s Number 2 official until the next deputy is sworn in. The Trump administration has nominated former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan, who is not yet up for consideration by the full Senate. Work conducted his “departure activities” Friday, according to the Pentagon.

Huey Replacement RFP. The Air Force has released the final request for proposals to replace its 62 UH-1N Huey utility helicopters. “This acquisition will replace the fleet of Vietnam-era UH-1N helicopters with an airframe that addresses shortfalls in speed, range, endurance, payload and survivability,” the Air Force says in a statement July 13. The Air Force expects to award a contract in the third quarter of fiscal year 2018 and achieve an initial operational fielding in FY 2020 or 2021. Potential bidders include a Boeing-Leonardo team, Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky unit and Bell Helicopter Textron.DF-ST-87-06962

Air Force Launch RFP. The Air Force has released a final request for proposals to launch five spacecraft, including three Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. Bids for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program are due Aug. 14, and the Air Force expects to award contracts in fiscal year 2018. The launches will be for GPS III satellites 4, 5 and 6 and for Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) missions 8 and 12. AFSPC-8 consists of two identical Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program satellites, and AFSPC-12 consists of the Wide Field of View Testbed and a secondary payload adapter. The Air Force says the RFP is the fifth competitive launch solicitation under its Phase 1A procurement strategy, which reintroduces competition for national security space launches.

DDG-113. The U.S. Navy plans to commission the newest guided missile destroyer, the future USS John Funn (DDG-113), at a ceremony on July 15 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. DDG-113 is named after a World War II Medal of Honor recipient for defensive actions during the Japanese attack on the base. Laura Stavridis, wife of retired Adm. James Stavridis, is the ship’s sponsor. DDG-113 is the 63rd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and first commissioned since 2012.

Speeding Software. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, the head of Air Force Material Command, wants to start co-locating software developers and users to increase collaboration between the two groups and speed up the delivery of software upgrades. “We need to bring the coders and the operators together,” Pawlikowski says July 14 at a Capitol Hill event. “These software teams that will be co-located with guys that are doing the operations could be a combination of blue-suiters, civilians and industry.” Currently, developers and users typically work in different locations, slowing the ability of users to provide feedback. Users do not even see software until it has gone through extensive testing, Pawlikowski says.

Panetta To HASC. Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-Wash.) welcomed the appointment of Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) to the House Armed Services Committee. Jimmy Panetta is the son of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. “I am pleased to welcome Congressman Jimmy Panetta as our newest member of the House Armed Services Committee,” Smith says in a statement. “He is an accomplished public servant and military veteran. I look forward to his contributions and insights as we work to advance the national security of the United States.” Panetta says he is honored to serve on the committee. “The central coast of California is home to numerous military installations that teach foreign languages to our armed forces, research and develop our cybersecurity and technology used on and off the battlefield, and educate and foster leadership skills of the men and women in uniform,” says Panetta, who served as intelligence officer in Afghanistan.

DHS Markup on Tap. On Tuesday morning the House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to markup the Homeland Security subcommittee’s markup last week of a $44.3 billion discretionary funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security in FY ’18. The subcommittee’s recommendation is $200 million more than the Trump administration requested and $1.9 billion higher than Congress enacted in FY ’17.

Short on Counterterrorism. The Democratic staff of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last Tuesday released a report saying the Trump administration’s FY ’18 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security proposes $582.8 million in cuts from counterterrorism programs administered by the department. Those cuts are mostly to grant programs to states and localities, and to mobile security teams managed by the Transportation Security Administration. The report says that “Budgetary cuts of this magnitude to a variety of important counterterrorism efforts will have significant negative impacts.” A House panel that oversees appropriations for DHS last week proposed restoring the grant funding to FY ’17 levels.

Threat from al Qaeda. A House panel last week heard testimony from terrorism experts on the potential resurgence of al Qaeda amid the decline of the Islamic State. Katherine Zimmerman, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, tells the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism that with the United States’ “myopic” focus on defeating the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria, al Qaeda “has become more resilient and ready to exploit our own strategic weaknesses,” working below alarm bell levels and embedding its insurgents in Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan. Seth Jones, an analyst with Rand Corp., says the assessments of al Qaeda’s strengths vary widely, arguing that a resurgence of the that group or another terrorist organization will depend on other factors such as another Arab Spring, a new charismatic leader, U.S. withdrawal from battlefields, or the ability to “co-op extremists in the wake of an Islamic State collapse.”

New Battelle Chief. Battelle on Friday named Lou Von Thaer as its new president and CEO, succeeding Jeff Wadsworth, who has led the non-profit research, development and manufacturing company since Jan. 2009. Von Thaer, CEO of DynCorp International for the past two years, will begin his new role on Oct. 1. Von Thaer has also worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories, General Dynamics, and Leidos.

Space Secretary. Scott Pace, director of George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute, is President Donald Trump’s pick to be executive secretary of the newly revived National Space Council, according to a White House announcement. Chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, the council is charged with advising the president on space policy and strategy and coordinating space policy among various government agencies.

Air Force Aide. Stuart “Bryce” Dustman has been appointed chief of staff to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. From 2001 to 2009, Dustman held the same title in Wilson’s congressional office.

Fitz Dry Dock. The USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), which suffered a collision with a civilian cargo ship last month (Defense Daily, June 19), enters dry dock in Yokosuka, Japan, to continue repairs and assess damage. The Navy used two yard tugboats and four pusher boats to move the ship from Berth 12 to Dry Dock #4. While this maneuver normally takes three boats, the Navy used the additional boat as an extra safety to limit further damage to the Fitzgerald.

…CO also Relieved. The commanding officer of the Fitzgerald, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, has been temporarily relieved of duty for medical reasons by Capt. Jeffrey Bennet, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 15. Benson suffered injuries so severe during the collision that he had to be evacuated to a hospital before the ship maked its way to port. Cmdr. John Fay will assume temporary duties as commanding officer. He is currently assigned as commander to the Task Force 70 staff and previously served as commanding officer of the USS Howard (DDG-83).

HII Labor Contract. Huntington Ingalls Industries reached a new labor agreement with Newport News Shipbuilding United Steelworkers members. The old contract expired July 9 while the new one took effect July 10 and will run through Nov. 14, 2021. Under the new contract, all represented employees receive a 1.5 percent wage increase followed by a 2.6 percent increase in 2018 and a 3 percent increase in 2019 and 2020. This averages to a 2.33 percent wage increase per year per employee. The agreement also increases the monthly pension for employees with continuous service on or before June 6, 2004, while all newly hired employees will participate in a Retirement Account Contribution Plan.

USNS Puller. The Navy’s first purpose-built expeditionary sea base, the USNS Lewis B. Puller (ESB-3) left Naval Station Norfolk for its first operational deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet. It has a hybrid manned crew with a combination of military personnel and civilian mariners, with civilians focused on ship operations like navigation and propulsion. ESB-3 has a 52,000 square foot flight deck, repair spaces, fuel and equipment storage, magazines, and mission-planning space. It can accommodate up to 250 personnel and support missions including air mine countermeasures, counter-piracy, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief, and crisis response. The Puller will be permanently deployed overseas and is a variant of the expeditionary transfer dock.

Sea Breeze. The U.S. Navy is participating in the Sea Breeze exercise in the Black Sea, lasting from July 10 to 22. Air, land, sea, and amphibious forces from 17 countries are participating in the exercise co-hosted this year by the U.S. and Ukraine. The annual exercise is focusing on several maritime and air defense exercise missions and is designed to enhance flexibility and interoperability, strengthening combined response capabilities, and demonstrate resolve among allied and partner countries for stability in the region. The U.S. contingent includes the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG-66), the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG-64), a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, elements from Naval Special Warfare Unit 2, and other naval groups totaling 800 sailors and Marines.

Navy Appointment. Defense Secretary James Mattis appointedJohn Odegaard to the Senior Executive Service and for assignment as chief of staff to the secretary of the Navy. Odegaard previously served as the CEO of the Naval War College Foundation.

Talisman Saber. The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) participates in the Talisman Saber 2017 (TS 17) exercise off the coast of Australia. TS 17 is a joint exercise sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command and the Australian Defence Force Headquarters Joint Operations Command meant to enhance U.S.-Australia military interoperability through several maritime, land, and air operations scenarios. This seventh iteration of TS includes 21 ships including the Reagan Carrier Strike Group, the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, and over 200 joint aircraft. It is conducted in various locations in the U.S. and Australia and the maritime areas of the Coral Sea.

PACOM. The Commander of U.S. Pacific Command (Pacom), Navy Admr. Harry Harris Jr., visits Bangladesh to meet with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and military service chiefs to discuss cooperation, regional security initiatives, and learn about the country’s role in peacekeeping operations. This is Harris’ first visit to Bangaldesh as head of Pacom and while there participated in the dedication of a $3.6 million multinational training facility at the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operations Training. “Pacom is pleased, indeed honored, to partner with our friends in Bangladesh in support of the State Department’s Global Peace Operations Initiative to train multinational military forces to conduct real-world United Nations global peacekeeping operations,” Harris says in a statement.

AEGIS FMS. The Naval Sea Systems Command awarded Lockheed Martin a $42 million cost-plus-fixed fee modification to a contract to exercise an option for AEGIS foreign military sales lifetime support services to support the Royal Australian Navy Hobart-class ships. The services consist of computer program maintenance of the AEGIS system.The work will largely be performed in Moorestown, N.J., with about 5 percent conducted in Australia. Work is expected to be finished by Nov. 2019.