Intercepts

Dollar here, dollar there. The incredible Marine Corps tactical radio shortfall. JTRS update: Not really one. No vouchers for radios.

Dollar here, dollar there

Don't worry, the Army probably won't repossess your prosthesis.

In the same week the United States recorded its 2,000th combat death in Iraq, the Army issued a press release stating that the service's wounded-in-action (WIA) pay database "may still have a few bugs to iron out before the dust settles for at least a few soldiers now undergoing rehabilitation stateside.''

G. Eric Reid, director of the Army Finance Command, said that until those bugs are worked out, the Army might bill wounded soldiers for housing or transportation costs because, "unfortunately, a housing office or a travel computation office may not always be aware of a WIA soldier's circumstances. So they simply process billing actions like any normal ones.''

Reid said that because the Army put the WIA pay database online a year ago, you would think it would have exterminated the bugs by now. We're talking databases here, not loopy megabillion-dollar Future Combat Systems.

The incredible Marine Corps tactical radio shortfall

Earlier this month, the Marine Corps awarded Harris a $205 million blanket purchase agreement for a standardized radio program that would yield products that can cross the radio spectrum and help fulfill different missions. The agreement includes a $67 million contract for delivery of the radios this year.

But Lt. Col. Jay Storms, the Marines' program manager for tactical radios, said the Harris contract is just a drop in the bucket compared with the Marines' requirements. He estimated that the shortfall of tactical radios currently amounts to about $1.1 billion.

Storms was politically astute enough to not blame the way-over-budget and way-behind-schedule Joint Tactical Radio System program for this mind-boggling shortage of essential gear. But Storms added that he did not expect the Marine Corps to receive any JTRS gear until 2011, which may be why the service calls the new Harris radios "standard." The radios operate across a wide swath of military spectrum, from 30 MHz to 512 MHz.

Dana Mehnert, vice president and general manager of U.S. government products at Harris' RF Communications Division, agreed with Storms and said he did not expect JTRS radios to be available to troops until well into the next decade. That would put the JTRS gestation period at 20 years. Where's Marconi when we really need him?

Our pals at the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego, which inherited the JTRS fiasco from the Army earlier this year, tell us that the Defense Acquisition Board will determine the program's fate at a meeting next month.

JTRS update: Not really one

In preparing for JTRS judgment day, Spawar, under the auspices of the new JTRS Joint Program Executive Office, has been holding a series of mini-Defense Acquisition Board meetings to assess the radio system's four clusters, said Richard North, technical director of the JTRS JPEO, speaking a couple of weeks ago at the Milcom 2005 conference.

North wouldn't divulge any of the conclusions reached to date on the status of the clusters since Spawar took over the ill-fated program in February. He said the JTRS JPEO is still doing assessments and meeting with the Joint Staff to prioritize JTRS requirements.

The Interceptors would like to know how the Boeing-built JTRS radio fared during a hastily called test this spring to see what it could do. Has anyone heard?

No vouchers for radios

And while we're beating the drum on tactical radios, the Army will not reimburse soldiers who bought radios from Crutchfield and Radio Shack so they could communicate in Iraq, according to a new policy issued earlier this month.

The Army said it would pay for protective, safety or health equipment -- including shipping costs -- for soldiers who bought the tools for duty in Iraq or Afghanistan or for homeland security-related work.

"No, radios are not being considered," wrote Margaret McBride, an Army spokeswoman, in an e-mail response to us.

She added that the Army is spending $32 million for 20,000 handheld Icom radios. n

Intercept something? Send it to bbrewin@fcw.com or ftiboni@fcw.com.

NEXT STORY: DOD fills biz agency post

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.