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SCA Weekly Report | March 2-6, 2020


Shipbuilders Council of America

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SCA Weekly Report | March 2-6, 2020




NSRIC 2020


Registration for the 2020 National Ship Repair Industry Conference (NSRIC) is now open. The conference will take place at the Westin Crystal City in Arlington, VA, from March 23-26, 2020


Click here to Register


NSRIC 2020 is only open to SCA members and Ship Repair Association Members and is closed to the press.



2020 SCA Spring Membership Meeting Registration Now Open


Registration for the 2020 SCA Spring Meeting is now open. The conference will take place at the Adams and Reese offices in Washington, D.C. from May 13-14, 2020.


Click here to Register



DC Propeller Club Luncheon Speaker Event - March 12, 2020

Featuring: Rear Admiral Richard V. Timme, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, United States Coast Guard


Register for the event here >





SASC: Withholding of Navy Shipbuilding Plan from Congress ‘Unacceptable’

A key senator this week called Defense Secretary Mark Esper's decision to withhold from Congress the Navy's newest shipbuilding plan "unacceptable" and promised to publicly hold the Pentagon's top official accountable at a Senate hearing later today. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), chairman of the Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee, expressed frustration with Esper's decision to hold in abeyance the Navy's 30-year shipbuilding plan -- required by law to be delivered with the president's annual budget request -- in order to further analyze it with promises to send it at some undetermined future date.


"That response that he's going to get it to us when he's ready is unacceptable," Perdue told Navy acquisition executive Hondo Geurts during a shipbuilding hearing this morning. "We have a due date. You don't allow your soldiers and Marines and sailors to do that. We can't allow that here. It is law. We're going to have that conversation later. We understand where that plan is. But it should be here."


A webcast of the hearing can be viewed HERE.






White House Officially Nominates Braithwaite for SECNAV

The Trump administration has sent to the Senate U.S. Ambassador to Norway Ken Braithwaite’s nomination to serve as the new Navy secretary. The White House in an email this week announced it delivered the nomination to the upper chamber after confirming last week that President Trump still planned to nominate Braithwaite for the position. Trump first disclosed his plans to tap Braithwaite for the job in a series of tweets on Nov. 24. In those tweets, he also announced former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer’s ouster over the management of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s case.


Gilday Disagrees with Acting Secretary on Navy Optimized Fleet Response Plan

In remarks before the 2020 West conference, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday took issue with Defense Secretary Mark Esper's judgement that the Optimized-Fleet Response Plan (O-FRP) does not work, arguing the Navy has met all of its deployments. "I don't necessarily agree with the secretary's assessment. I say that with all due respect," Gilday said. "But we have [met] and projecting to the future continue to meet every commitment, every deployment, that we've been directed to do." The CNO said upon assuming his position, he ordered U.S. Pacific Fleet and U.S. Fleet Forces Command to launch an evaluation of the O-FRP, while Esper also requested an "independent assessment" that is still "ongoing." The O-FRP is a 36-month cycle for training, maintenance and deployments that the Navy created to bring consistency to the fleet.


Modly Sketches Out Potential Navy Force Structure Changes; Anticipated 390-Ship Fleet

In remarks before the Brookings Institution, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly forecasted details of the service's forthcoming force structure assessment, despite a temporary hold on the document from Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Modly said the recently conducted Integrated Naval Force Structure Assessment, or INFSA, showed the Navy working toward a 390-ship fleet of manned platforms and a 435-ship fleet when including unmanned platforms. "It would be part of the future mix, but I’m not sure 355 is the right number anymore," Modly said of unmanned vessels. "I just think that gets into a debate about a number that's not really that relevant," he added, referring to working toward a 355-vessel fleet by including unmanned vessels in the battleforce ship count. "So we are talking about capability," Modly said. "Unmanned systems will be a critical part of our future maritime capability, for sure. We are investing [in] that."


The acting secretary said the new INFSA is based on the same 12-aircraft carrier requirement as the previous 2016 evaluation, which provided the Navy with its 355-ship objective.


RELATED: USNI News: CNO, Commandant Asking for Fleet Wholenss Amid Pause in Future Force Structure Planning


Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Working on ‘Tri-Service’ Maritime Strategy

The Navy is working with both the Marine Corps and Coast Guard on a joint maritime strategy the services expect to receive from staff this summer. Asked for details by Inside Defense, Gilday said he has yet to see the results of the initiative, but noted staff has been working on the effort for about two-and-a-half to three months. "It will be informed by the National Defense Strategy, but I can't provide any additional details yet," Gilday said. The CNO said he anticipates receiving the results by the summer and the services could share information about the work "shortly thereafter." The initiative comes as the Navy and Marine Corps emphasize the importance of naval integration, as the Pentagon works to adjust to a new National Defense Strategy that focuses on great power competition with countries like Russia and China.


Navy Planning Hammerhead Industry Day to Discuss Design, Production Contract

The Navy is planning a March 23 industry day to discuss the contract award for design, development and production of Hammerhead, a maritime mining system deployed from an unmanned undersea vehicle to detect and destroy anti-submarine warfare assets, according to a Navy notice published last month.

"The system is conceptually designed to be organic and modular; minimum modular components include the capsule module, energy module, mooring module, and the effector," according to the notice. A request for proposals is expected in fiscal year 2020, the notice says. Hammerhead, which the Navy also dubbed an "encapsulated effector," was designated as a maritime accelerated acquisition program, according to the service's FY-21 budget documents. That designation grants the program certain contracting authorities to streamline acquisition.


Department of Navy Unveils Education for Seapower Strategy

The Education for Seapower Strategy was released this week and outlines the Department of the Navy’s effort to revitalize the way it educates sailors and Marines. The strategy is the DoN’s guide to implementing many of the organizational and functional changes proposed in the Navy’s Education for Seapower report released a year ago. The strategy seeks to align how the Navy and Marine Corps educates the force with evolving mission demands, said John Kroger, the Navy’s chief learning officer, during a media conference call on Tuesday. Building on the Education for Seapower study’s recommendations, the education strategy is based on three pillars: creating a continuum of learning for the entire force, integrating education into talent management, and strengthening the Naval University System.




Lord Says U.S. Allies Interested in Adopting CMMC Standards

Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord said today that U.S. allies are eying the new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification process for possible adoption in their own countries. "The CMMC team is working with multiple countries, including Canada, the U.K., Denmark, Italy, Australia, Singapore, Sweden, Poland and the E.U. cybersecurity body," she said during a McAleese & Associates conference in Washington. "All of these countries and groups acknowledged the challenge we have with cybersecurity," she continued. "They're looking at what is the most efficient and effective way to secure their industrial base, and there are significant conversations about perhaps adopting our CMMC. So, more to come." In the coming years, companies will need CMMC accreditation to bid on defense contracts at different security levels. Contractors must be certified at the required level to win a contract. The government will hire third-party companies to audit certifications, a departure from the past practice of industry "self-attestation."


Lord said the government has also planned a public hearing for CMMC in late April or early May and will announce the exact date soon.




HASC: Hearing on FY21 Navy and Marine Corps Readiness

9:00 AM | March 12, 2020


-         Honorable James Geurts, ASN RDA

-         Admiral Robert P. Burke, Vice Chief of Naval Operations

-         General Gary Thomas, Assistant Commandant, U.S. Maine Corps




Protectionist Shipping Restrictions Are Choking the U.S. Economy

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Before It’s News

Economists rightly criticize President Trump’s tariffs for their pernicious effects on U.S. producers and consumers. Import taxes on intermediate goods—inputs like steel, aluminum, and electronic components—drive up production costs and operating expenses for businesses along supply chains on down to the end users. But we must broaden the inquiry to include trade restrictions on the most common intermediate input: freight transportation. 




MARAD makes $9 Million in Grants Available for Marine Highway Program

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration announced the availability of $9.5 million in grant funding for the America’s Marine Highway Program (AMHP). The AMHP supports the increased use of the nation’s navigable waterways to relieve landside congestion, provides new and efficient transportation options, and increases the productivity of the surface transportation system. By working closely with public and private organizations, the AMHP is also able to create and sustain U.S. jobs in U.S. ports, vessels, and shipyards.


DOT Announces $225 Million in Funding for Port Infrastructure Development Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently announced the availability of $225 million in discretionary grant funding through the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP). The PIDP supports U.S. ports by improving the safety, efficiency, or reliability of goods movement into, out of, or within a port. Investments in port infrastructure will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects within or outside of and directly related to operations of coastal seaports, inland river ports, and Great Lakes ports. 


Wärtsilä to Split up Marine Business

Finnish technology group Wärtsilä will reorganize its marine business into three independent businesses. The new businesses will consist of Marine Power, Marine Systems and Marine Voyage, and will be operational as of 1 July 2020. The group said the objective of the reorganization is to accelerate strategy execution, simplify the business structure, and strengthen business presence in the Board of Management.


Virus Hit to World Trade Much Worse Than U.S.-China Row

The coronavirus epidemic and the attempt by governments to contain it may slash about $320 billion off global trade each quarter while it lasts, delivering a much bigger hit than the dispute between the U.S. and China, according to research from Allianz. Measured by volume, trade is likely to contract 2.5% in the current quarter on an annual basis and continue shrinking in the three months through June. 



If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Paula Zorensky on the SCA staff.