• Ground Based Sense and Avoid Demonstration Is a Success

    In one vignette of the GBSAA demonstration June 20 at Dugway Proving Ground, UT, two Shadow UAS were flown toward one another. One was participating as a noncooperative aircraft and unaware of the traffic situation, while the other Shadow used the GBSAA system to recommend maneuvers to separate safely. Here, VIPs watch as a Shadow UAS receives course correction information from GBSAA. (Photo by Ryan Sims, Media Fusion)

    Mary Ottman

    The Army’s Unmanned Systems Airspace Integration Product Directorate, one of eight offices within the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Project Office of Program Executive Office (PEO) Aviation, has conducted a successful demonstration of current Ground Based Sense and Avoid (GBSAA) capabilities at Dugway Proving Ground, UT. The June 20 demonstration was successful beyond expectations, clearing a major hurdle for testing the capability before the certification process begins. The Army will begin fielding these systems to Gray Eagle UAS training sites in early 2014.

    In every case, the GBSAA system exceeded expectations. The system proved to be capable of providing safe separation and collision avoidance to all aircraft in every vignette. Although some technology growth and improvements remain, this demonstration provided many lessons learned that can lead to advancing GBSAA technologies.

    In 2008, the Army, designated as the lead service by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense UAS Task Force, began developing technology to allow for UAS access to the National Airspace System (NAS). The GBSAA system uses ground-based sensors (existing air traffic control and supplemental, 3-D radar) and associated technology to fuse, classify, and track air traffic for maneuver algorithms that calculate and evaluate threats, before providing the information needed to safely separate the UAS from other traffic. Many years of research and technology development have been dedicated to developing a system that provides the much-needed operational capability and has the pedigree associated with safety-critical hardware and software.

    The Army first demonstrated a system in 2011 at El Mirage, CA. Development efforts were then moved to restricted airspace in Utah, which allowed a shift in focus to developing a more operationally capable system. The June 20 demonstration followed two weeks of intense testing on the system and subsystems. Specific objectives included:
    • Demonstrate technology out of the laboratory in actual flight operations.
    • Demonstrate the functionality and adaptability of the GBSAA system by conducting operations targeting multiple service sites.
    • Highlight open-architecture, plug-and-play functionality of the GBSAA system.
    • Demonstrate the ability to fuse data from 3-D and air traffic control radar (Airport Surveillance Radar-9) in real time.
    • Early validation of common (cross-service) GBSAA requirements.

    Seven vignettes were used to achieve the objectives. Three used live flights with unmanned systems, and four included synthetic aircraft and terrain. Sister service locations and flights against live traffic in Salt Lake City, UT, and recorded traffic from Boston, MA, were used to demonstrate the capability of the system. To show the versatility of GBSAA, two different types of radar were fused, and three different UAS—Sky Warrior-A, Hunter, and Shadow—were used for the live flights. In the third vignette, two Shadow UAS were flown toward one another. One was participating as a noncooperative aircraft and unaware of the traffic situation, while the other Shadow used the GBSAA system to recommend maneuvers to separate safely.

    One of two radars used at Dugway Proving Ground’s test bed. The GBSAA system uses ground-based sensors (existing air traffic control and supplemental, 3-D radar) and associated technology to fuse, classify, and track air traffic for maneuver algorithms that calculate and evaluate threats, (U.S. Army photo by Sofia Bledsoe)

    In every case, the GBSAA system exceeded expectations. The system proved to be capable of providing safe separation and collision avoidance to all aircraft in every vignette. Although some technology growth and improvements remain, this demonstration provided many lessons learned that can lead to advancing GBSAA technologies.

    For instance, the tests enlightened users to possible human factors that will be considered when designing the GBSAA display. An example: A mathematically correct maneuver from the algorithm advises the most efficient and safe maneuver, but in some cases this may seem to contradict the mitigating actions an operator might take. In those cases, additional research will be done to explore how the algorithm can be tuned to take into account common convention without affecting the safety of the system.

    The results of the GBSAA demonstration have significant implications for opening the NAS to UAS. Large numbers of unmanned aircraft are returning from overseas contingency operational support and need to continue operating and training to maintain proficiency. First responders, DoD, the U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security are providing critical support to the Nation at home by using unmanned systems. This system will complement those missions while ensuring that the airspace remains safe for other users.

    Several years of research and development have culminated in a successful demonstration of GBSAA capabilities, leaving observers and developers excited about the way ahead. The system certification effort is underway and on track to be operational at Fort Hood, TX, in early 2014, with continued fielding to the next Gray Eagle locations. It’s an ambitious goal, but an achievable one in the hands of an ambitious GBSAA Team.

     


    • MARY OTTMAN is Deputy Product Manager of the Unmanned Systems Airspace Integration Concepts Product Office in PEO Aviation’s UAS Program Management Office. She holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, an M.B.A. from Auburn University, and an M.A. in management and leadership from Webster University. She is also a graduate of the Senior Service College Fellowship program. Ottman is Level III certified in systems planning, research, development, and engineering (SPRDE) – systems engineering I, Level II certified in SPRDE – program systems engineering, and Level II certified in program management tools.

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  • New Product Office Focuses on Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle

    LTC Doug Miller, Product Manager for the newly created AMPV program, cuts the cake during the June 14 ceremony marking his assumption of charter. Alongside Miller are COL William Sheehy, Project Manager HBCT, and Deputy Program Executive Officer Ground Combat Systems Dr. Paul Rogers. (U.S. Army photo)

    Bill Good

    “The AMPV will provide the Army heavy brigade combat team with improved maneuverability, force protection, and networking capability. We have recently brought together a fantastic group of individuals to stand up this office, and we are ready to move out and start working with industry to develop this capability for our Soldiers in the HBCTs.”

    The U.S. Army, in its continued dedication to modernizing its heavy brigade combat team (HBCT) vehicle fleet, has stood up a new product management office dedicated to fielding the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV).

    At a ceremony in Warren, MI, June 14, LTC Doug Miller assumed the charter of Product Manager for the AMPV program within Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS). The AMPV will be a new family of vehicles designed to replace a portion of the Army’s M113 fleet.

    “The AMPV will provide the Army heavy brigade combat team with improved maneuverability, force protection, and networking capability. We have recently brought together a fantastic group of individuals to stand up this office, and we are ready to move out and start working with industry to develop this capability for our Soldiers in the HBCTs,” Miller said.

    Under the current plan, the AMPV will replace all M113s in formations at brigade level and below. A decision on the remaining M113s, in units above the brigade level, will be made at a later date. The AMPV family of vehicles will have five variants: general purpose, mortar carrier, medical evacuation, medical treatment, and mission command.

    The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Analysis Center at Fort Leavenworth, KS, (TRAC Leavenworth) recently conducted an analysis of alternatives (AoA) for the M113 vehicle. After the AoA report is approved by the Office of the Secretary of Defense Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, the Army will release to industry a request for proposal outlining the specific capabilities it is looking for. An industry day has been tentatively scheduled for September.

    “The M113 has been and will be a longstanding member of our formations. However, as we look to the future and see the types of systems that will need to be incorporated on our vehicles, it has become evident that certain variants of the M113 needed more SWaP-C [size, weight, power, and cooling]. The AMPV program will address those needs and provide our Soldiers with a modern platform,” said COL William Sheehy, Project Manager HBCT.

    The key premise for the Army’s AMPV revolves around additional SWaP-C. The current M113 has been in service for almost five decades and, although it has been upgraded over the years, it has reached its full potential on the modern battlefield. The new AMPV will not only incorporate all of the Army’s current systems but also additional SWaP-C to allow for future growth.

     


    • BILL GOOD is a Public Affairs Specialist for PEO GCS. He holds a B.S. in broadcasting from Siena Heights University and an M.A in public relations and organizational communication from Wayne State University.

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  • Bradley Urban Survivability Kits Installed Early and Under Budget

    COL Ross Davidson, Commander, 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 2nd Infantry Division, with BAE Systems’ BUSK III Modification Team. The team was able to complete the mission of enhancing the Bradley Fighting Vehicles of the 1st BCT and the U.S. Army Materiel Command prepositioned stock a month ahead of time and 20 percent under budget. (U.S. Army photo)

    Bill Good

    In mid-June, the Bradley A3 Fighting Vehicles assigned to units stationed in the Republic of Korea became the latest in the fleet to receive the Bradley Urban Survivability Kit III (BUSK III) upgrades.

    The BUSK III Modification Work Order (MWO) application began for the 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (ID) and U.S. Army Materiel Command prepositioned stocks in January and concluded on June 4, a month ahead of schedule.

    The BUSKs allow the Army’s infantry fighting vehicle to better adapt to the rigors of urban combat. BUSK III incorporates four modifications, including a blast-proof fuel cell, a blast-resistant driver seat, a turret survivability system, and an emergency ramp release.

    “The team involved did an amazing job, when you consider the statistics,” said LTC Glenn Dean, Product Manager for Bradley within Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS). “Our BUSK III installation team applied approximately 2,400 total MWOs and repairs on 236 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, finishing a month earlier than projected and 20 percent under budget. That constitutes roughly $700,000 in savings.”

    The BUSKs allow the Army’s infantry fighting vehicle to better adapt to the rigors of urban combat. BUSK III incorporates four modifications, including a blast-proof fuel cell, a blast-resistant driver seat, a turret survivability system, and an emergency ramp release.

    The team was able to save time and money by bundling other pending MWOs while installing BUSK III on the vehicles. Modifications applied in addition to the four BUSK III MWOs were electrical ground improvements, a fire suppression guard improvement, an automatic fire suppression system control panel switch guard, and a hotbox protection system enhancement. The installation team also conducted check and repair activities to address the control panel retrofit, track adjuster, driver’s hatch bearings, and generator re-torque.

    “Events like this demonstrate the best of both worlds. Operationally, our teams installed critical force protection enhancements to the Bradley A3, which will allow our forces to maintain battlefield dominance well into the future. Simultaneously, we did it ahead of schedule and well below cost. The BUSK III team did a marvelous job,” said COL William Sheehy, PEO GCS’ Project Manager Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT).

    After finishing work in Korea, the BUSK III installation team’s next stop was Fort Carson, CO, to begin servicing the 4th ID’s Bradleys.

     


    • BILL GOOD is a Public Affairs Specialist for PEO GCS. He holds a B.S. in broadcasting from Siena Heights University and an M.A in public relations and organizational communication from Wayne State University.

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  • Army Designing Upgraded, Next-Generation Stryker

    A Stryker vehicle rounds a corner in a Taloqan District village, Takhar province, Afghanistan, Oct. 22, 2011, as SPC Josh Bates, a medic with 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division (1/25 SBCT), keeps watch. (U.S. Army photo by SSG Lindsey Kibler, 1/25 SBCT Public Affairs)

    Kris Osborn

    “The Army’s cost-benefit analysis will look closely at these four technology areas and determine the best way to get the most efficiency out of the dollars available to improve the platform.”

    Engineers from the U.S. Army and General Dynamics are making progress designing and implementing Engineering Change Proposals (ECPs) for Stryker vehicles, focusing on technologies that will provide the platform a stronger engine, improved suspension, more on-board electrical power, and next-generation networking and computing technology.

    The Army’s fleet of more than 4,187 Strykers includes 10 variants of the flat-bottom platform and an additional seven variants of the double-V hull design. The fleet continues to maintain an overall readiness availability rate of more than 96 percent throughout operations in theater, Army officials said.

    “We’re taking a leap forward to bring this platform to where it will benefit the Army for years to come,” said Steven Campbell, DA Systems Coordinator, Stryker.

    Phase 1 of the Stryker ECPs will lead to a preliminary design review and the construction of a demonstrator vehicle next summer. Phase 1 includes key improvements to the platform designed to, among other things, improve the vehicle’s overall performance, computing, and onboard electronics capabilities.

    The thrust of Phase 1 includes a clear focus on four specific technologies, including an electrical power upgrade designed to replace the current Stryker’s 570-ampere alternator with a more powerful 910-amp alternator, and an engine upgrade replacing the existing 350-horsepower (hp) engine with a stronger, 450-hp engine. The new engine, a commercial-off-the-shelf item, reflects an emphasis on acquiring technically mature capabilities.

    “We’re using a Caterpillar C9 engine, a mature technology already in use. We will package this to fit inside the engine compartment and provide enough cooling for it to operate effectively,” said LTC Jim Schirmer, Product Manager Stryker.

    “The Stryker ECP also includes a redesigned, stronger suspension that will improve vehicle mobility at higher weights, and an in-vehicle network giving the platform a ‘digital backbone’ able to improve data and video sharing between crew stations in the vehicle,” Schirmer explained.

    The in-vehicle network will include a managed switch, intelligent software, display screens, and processing units, which will allow secure and reliable data sharing between the systems onboard the vehicle. This will also reduce the size, weight, and power requirements of the future systems integration of components on the vehicle platform.

    “For example, data and video from the driver’s thermal viewer, odometer readings, Blue Force Tracker, One-System-Remote Video Terminals, and screens which show weapons and targeting-related information will all be shared seamlessly across the various workstations,” Schirmer said. “We have already started some of the early software development for this.”

    “We’re taking a leap forward to bring this platform to where it will benefit the Army for years to come.”

    The in-vehicle network approach is grounded in “open architecture,” meaning that computing technologies, information technology systems, and electronics all will be built to a common set of technical standards, ensuring maximum interoperability. This set of standards, referred to as VICTORY, will enable a single computer or system to run a host of interoperable applications and functions. With the VICTORY architecture, the vehicle will be able to streamline and more easily exchange and transmit information, while ensuring that the maximum number of programs and applications are available on any given computer or display screen.

    These areas of improvement for the Stryker are now being examined as part of an ongoing cost-benefit analysis, slated for completion later this year.

    “The Army’s cost-benefit analysis will look closely at these four technology areas and determine the best way to get the most efficiency out of the dollars available to improve the platform. We want to make sure that we capture what we need to do, and do so within fiscal reality and other Army priorities,” said Norman Stuckey, DA Systems Coordinator, Stryker.

    The Strykers receiving the ECPs will be better equipped to receive a host of new networking gear already being outfitted on vehicle platforms, including Warfighter Information Network – Tactical, a mobile satellite communications and radio network, and a next-generation force tracking application called Joint Battle Command – Platform, among other things.

     


    • KRIS OSBORN is a Highly Qualified Expert for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Office of Strategic Communications. He holds a B.A. in English and political science from Kenyon College and an M.A. in comparative literature from Columbia University.

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  • APEX, PRSA Awards for Army AL&T Magazine

    The U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) recently won a 2012 APEX Award for Publication Excellence for Best Redesign in the category of Design and Illustration for its work on Army AL&T Magazine, the flagship publication of the Army’s Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (AL&T) community. The award is given for excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and overall communications effectiveness. The twenty-fourth annual APEX Awards for Publication Excellence, sponsored by the editors of Writer’s Web Watch, are a competition for communication professionals who create print, Web, electronic, and social media products. This year, 3,382 entries were judged.

    This award closely follows a Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Bronze Anvil Award in the Magazine category for Army AL&T Magazine. Bronze Anvil Awards annually recognizes outstanding tactics and elements that create successful public relations programs in multiple fields.

    Army AL&T Magazine is USAASC’s quarterly professional journal, consisting of in-depth, analytically focused articles and current information of value to the Army AL&T Workforce. Army AL&T Magazine keeps readers informed about acquisition processes, procedures, and management philosophy pertinent to the professional development of acquisition workforce members and others engaged in Army AL&T activities. The magazine is available in both hard copy and on the USAASC website at asc.army.mil.

     


    • —Army AL&T Staff

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  • Olympic Experience Resonates with Commanding General

    MG Camille M. Nichols, CG of ACC, was a manager and assistant coach for the 1984 U.S. Olympic Women’s Handball Team. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Olympic Committee)

    Larry D. McCaskill

    Every four years, people around the globe focus their attention on the Olympic Games. For many, the attraction is watching their national athletes compete to bring home medals for their countries; for others, it’s a dream of one day making the team. For MG Camille M. Nichols, Commanding General (CG), U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC), the games evoke memories of past accomplishments and friendships.

    “The dedication and commitment and tireless pursuit of excellence helped me focus even more on my professionalism as I continued in the Army after my Olympic experience. Honing your craft, being an expert, giving it your all: these things ring true in our Army. These things can be seen on the fields of strife and the fields of glory.”

    A member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Women’s Handball Team, Nichols remembers that time fondly. “It was one of the most memorable times of my life,” said Nichols, who was a manager and assistant coach for the Women’s Handball Team. “To work with elite athletes and travel the world competing allowed me to see other countries and cultures. It also allowed me to see the immense similarities all of us humans have—pursuit of excellence and dreams. The spirit of the games is strong, healthy, and very healing.”

    Many are unaware of Nichols’ athletic background, although it’s normally in plain sight. “I had been to many different ceremonies and seen bios, so I thought I would put that tagline on my bio to see if people actually read it. I was surprised because it does catch their interest,” she said. “As I was moving around a lot, I was taking plaques out of boxes and I found my 1984 Olympic Certificate, and I realized I was really proud of it and it is a part of who I am today, and that I should show that off.

    “My time with the U.S. National Team taught me a lot about the sacrifices that other Americans make each and every day,” said Nichols, who became involved in women’s handball when she was a cadet at West Point. “The dedication and commitment and tireless pursuit of excellence helped me focus even more on my professionalism as I continued in the Army after my Olympic experience. Honing your craft, being an expert, giving it your all: These things ring true in our Army. These things can be seen on the fields of strife and the fields of glory.”

    Nichols believes it takes great teams to accomplish tough and incredible things, on and off the battlefield.

    “This is true in athletics as well as the military. Even the individual competitive sports take a team of coaches, managers, trainers, family, and friends to be successful,” she said.

    Not the most popular sport of the Olympics, the handball competition tends to receive little if any television time.

    “Every event should be televised,” Nichols said with a smile. “It is a culmination of years of sweat and tears that these athletes went through for their five minutes of fame. The problem is, no one person could actually sit through it all; it would take months. Seriously, the gold medal round for each sport should get some TV time for those thousands of supporters at home. This sport is very exciting and could really use the exposure.”

    A few years ago, Nichols’ Olympic teammates held their 25th reunion, but she was unable to attend. She hopes that doesn’t happen again.

    “I have a couple of teammates I connect with via email. I believe they are working on the 30th reunion. I hope to be able to get there. I know they are watching the Olympics, and I am with them in spirit,” she said.

     


    • LARRY D. MCCASKILL is Senior Command Information Officer in the Office of Public and Congressional Affairs at ACC, Redstone Arsenal, AL. He is a U.S. Army veteran and a graduate of Queensboro Community College and the Defense Information School.

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  • Materiel Enterprise International Engagement Strategy: Strengthening Partnerships and Supporting the Defense Industrial Base

    The development and implementation of the MEIES is divided into four main phases.

    Chuck Meixner and Chris Mewett

    Last of three installments from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation (DASA (DE&C))

    Recognizing the dual imperatives of building strong and capable partners to meet global security challenges and a need to adapt to the increasingly difficult fiscal environment facing DoD, the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation (DASA (DE&C)) is working to shape our security cooperation efforts in line with a more proactive approach called the Materiel Enterprise International Engagement Strategy (MEIES).

    The intent of the MEIES is to move the Army’s relationship with partner nations from its traditional reactive footing to one in which partners’ capability gaps can be identified and materiel requirements anticipated well before equipment is needed on the ground. This approach can offer the ancillary benefit of providing greater stability and predictability to the acquisition community’s projections of international requirements—and by extension, to the domestic defense industrial base. The result is to allow for consolidated contracts, production-line sustainment, and economies of scale.

    The development and implementation of the MEIES is divided into four main phases: assessing partner nation capabilities, determining appropriate materiel solutions, identifying potential policy roadblocks and working to address them, and communicating the Army’s recommended solutions.

    The key to achieving this evolution in our security relationships is the creation and maintenance of comprehensive strategic assessments of partner nations. By developing a basic understanding of each country’s current capabilities, equipment, and level of engagement with the United States, analysts can better determine the most appropriate means to support the partner nation. Each report also includes an analysis of current capabilities and a projection of what materiel and/or training the country may need given specific contingencies, while taking into account the partner nation’s ultimate responsibility for determining its own requirements. DASA (DE&C) is currently compiling these assessments.

    The intent of the MEIES is to move the Army’s relationship with partner nations from its traditional reactive footing to one in which partners’ capability gaps can be identified and materiel requirements anticipated well before equipment is needed on the ground.

    The next phase of the MEIES involves identifying appropriate materiel solutions to meet a partner nation’s projected capability gap. The strategy seeks to ensure that partner nations are prepared for the types of missions they may face, and highlights the Army’s assessment of which capability areas may be usefully supported with U.S. materiel solutions. Partner nations face a wide variety of security challenges—combating insurgencies, improving border security, responding to natural disasters, defending against external aggression, contributing to regional security organizations, and supporting coalition operations. U.S. equipment and training can help them address threats and accomplish missions across this operational spectrum, but it is important to match the right solution to each capability gap.

    Identifying a possible materiel solution then allows DASA (DE&C) personnel to review policy for potential roadblocks to a materiel sale, such as technology transfer or foreign disclosure issues. DASA (DE&C) will work with project managers to identify exportable configurations of appropriate systems and gain an understanding of the authorizations and permissions that may be necessary for a sale. A proactive approach is key to ensuring that these concerns are addressed as far in advance of a sale as possible, either by expediting transfer or by leading the Army and the partner nation to find a more appropriate solution when submitting a Letter of Request.

    With a solution identified and policy issues addressed, the final phase of the MEIES involves communicating the recommended solution to the partner nation through all available channels. Developing this engagement strategy provides a common baseline assessment for Combatant Commands, Theater Armies, and Country Teams to draw upon so as to present a unified voice when advocating solutions to these complex security challenges.

    Moving toward the anticipatory footing outlined in the MEIES will allow the Army to face an uncertain future with confidence. As Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “plans are nothing, [but] planning is everything.” By planning for the future of security cooperation, the Army can help to support partner nations with the most appropriate materiel and training solutions while achieving greater predictability in its own acquisition programs.

     


    • CHUCK MEIXNER is a government employee with the DASA (DE&C) Strategy and Plans Directorate. He holds a B.S. in industrial studies from Moorhead State University and an M.S. in information systems from Strayer University. Meixner is Level III certified in international affairs.

      CHRIS MEWETT is a support contractor with General Dynamics Information Technology Inc. in the DASA (DE&C) Strategy and Plans Directorate. He studied history at Texas A&M University and central and eastern European studies at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.


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  • Implementing Security Cooperation Reform

    After looking at a variety of areas (top row), the Security Cooperation Reform Task Force developed a final report with more than 50 recommendations, including four proposed initiatives (bottom row) that could dramatically improve the way we conduct our security cooperation business and improve support to our friends, partners, and allies.

    Floyd Baker

    Second of three installments from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation (DASA (DE&C))

    In response to complaints from commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan that the security cooperation program was too slow and cumbersome to respond to the urgent requirements of our friends and allies, the Secretary of Defense (SecDef) directed the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (USD(P)) to conduct a comprehensive review of security cooperation.

    Together, these reforms will help make the security cooperation program more responsive to the ever-increasing demands of the 21st century, and a continued important tool in U.S. security and foreign policy.

    The Security Cooperation Reform Task Force conducted a series of workshops over a span of three months in late 2010 to look at a variety of areas including planning, workforce development, authorities, transportation, contracting, and technology security. The result was a set of more than 50 recommendations to improve the security cooperation process. The final report was approved by the SecDef in July 2011.

    Among the recommendations, which ranged from improvements to the Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management curriculum to updating weight and cube information in the catalog system, four proposals stand out as major initiatives with the potential to dramatically improve the way we conduct our security cooperation business and improve support to our friends, partners, and allies in the future.

    Special Defense Acquisition Fund
    The authority to establish a Special Defense Acquisition Fund (SDAF) has existed since the 1980s; in fact, the fund allowed for procurement of more than $2 billion in assets before it was decapitalized in the mid-1990s due to budget pressures. The purpose of the SDAF is to procure high-demand, long-lead items in advance of customer requests so that the items will be available when needed instead of being lead-time away. Congress agreed in fall 2012 to recapitalize the fund with $100 million from the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) administrative trust fund. After reviewing recommended items from all three services, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) agreed with Army recommendations to fund the purchase of small arms, night vision devices, and body armor in the first tranche of SDAF.

    Efforts are now underway to distribute the funds for these procurements, and the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation (DASA (DE&C)) is beginning to look at potential items for a second tranche that could be authorized later this year.

    Defense Coalition Repair Fund
    The SDAF is designed to obtain items from new procurement in anticipation of future sales. The Defense Coalition Repair Fund would allow for the repair and refurbishment of items already in the inventory, again in anticipation of future sales. The Army first submitted a legislative proposal to establish this fund in 2010. Concerns raised in the interagency staffing process over the proposed size of the fund and the length of authority led to the proposal being killed before it reached Congress.

    A proposal modified to address those concerns was resubmitted last year and is now being reviewed by committee staffers on Capitol Hill. If it is included in this year’s legislative changes, the fund could be established as early as October 2012.

    Expeditionary Requirements Generation Teams
    The task force also determined that there was no process for performing capability package planning. This lack of planning support led to disjointed letters of request that focused on end-item procurement rather than development of a capability.

    The resulting recommendation was to establish Expeditionary Requirements Generation Teams (ERGTs) that could travel on relatively short notice to assist countries and the U.S. Security Cooperation Office in identifying capability needs and requirements packages, in the form of letters of request, to meet those needs. The team would consist of members with varying expertise who could not only identify capability shortfalls, but also identify systems to meet those shortfalls quickly and affordably.

    The Security Cooperation Reform Task Force conducted a series of workshops over a span of three months in late 2010 to look at a variety of areas including planning, workforce development, authorities, transportation, contracting, and technology security. The result was a set of more than 50 recommendations to improve the security cooperation process. The final report was approved by the SecDef in July 2011.

    To date, ERGTs have been deployed to Bulgaria, Uzbekistan, and Iraq, with an Armenian-bound team and a second team to Iraq in the works. As a result of these teams’ work, 34 letters of request have been submitted by the host governments.

    Compressed Rapid Acquisition, Fielding, and Training
    The security assistance process was designed for a peacetime environment. Systems ordered through FMS typically take several years before final delivery of not only the end item, but also of related support and training, Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as efforts to challenge drug cartels south of our border, made clear the occasional need to respond in a much shorter timeframe. While there are provisions for expediting delivery under urgent circumstances, for example by diverting assets from a production line, there may be extreme circumstances when even these processes are insufficient.

    To address these extreme contingencies, the task force recommended—and DSCA has developed—procedures for Compressed Rapid Acquisition, Fielding, and Training (CRAFT). If a requirement is identified as a potential CRAFT candidate, a Senior Steering Group consisting of members from DSCA, the Office of the USD(P), the Joint Staff, the Office of the USD for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, and the military departments will make a recommendation to the SecDef. The SecDef, in consultation with the Secretary of State, will then provide direction and authorization to use whatever means are necessary to expedite procurement, support, and training for the required system.

    Together, these reforms will help make the security cooperation program more responsive to the ever-increasing demands of the 21st century, and a continued important tool in U.S. security and foreign policy.

    NEXT: Strengthening Partnerships and Supporting the Defense Industrial Base


    • FLOYD BAKER works in the FMS Policy and Resources Directorate at DASA (DE&C). He has a B.A. in history and political science from Kent State University and an M.P.A. from the University of Dayton. Baker has worked in various international acquisition and security cooperation roles for the Army and Air Force for more than 20 years.

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  • Export Control Reform: an Overview of President Obama’s Initiative

    In 2010, the Obama administration announced a comprehensive, three-phased approach to export control reform. As of August 2012, Phase I tasks are complete, and the administration is about halfway through implementation of Phase II.

    Charles Wray


    First of three installments from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation (DASA (DE&C))

    In August 2009, President Obama initiated a comprehensive review of the United States’ export control system to identify possible reforms. Although the United States has one of the most robust export control systems in the world, it is rooted in the Cold War era and must be updated to address the threats we face today and the changing economic and technological landscape.

    This new element of the Commerce Department CCL harmonizes the overall effort as the administration moves to the objective of fewer controls. It also ensures that all items moving from the jurisdiction of the Department of State are initially controlled but that control is under the flexibility of the Export Administration Regulations.

    The assessment, conducted by an interagency task force created at the direction of the President, included all departments and agencies with roles in export control. The task force report—known as Presidential Study Directive 8, published January 29, 2010—indicated that the U.S. export control system does not sufficiently reduce national security risk, based on the fact that its structure is overly complicated, contains too many redundancies, and tries to protect too much.

    The task force reported that the system is based on two different control lists—the U.S. Munitions List (USML) and Commerce Control List (CCL)—administered by two different departments (the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce, respectively), three different primary licensing agencies, and a multitude of enforcement agencies with overlapping and duplicative authorities, using a number of separate information technology (IT) systems, none of which is accessible to or easily compatible with the others. Some of the agencies had no IT system at all that issues licenses.

    Given the extensive list of controlled items, this fragmented system deals with almost 130,000 licenses per year. The volume of licenses dilutes our ability to adequately control those key items and technologies that must be protected for our national security.

    Key Recommendation
    The administration determined that fundamental reform of the U.S. export control system was needed in each of its four component areas, with transformation over time to consolidate the various elements into a single control list, a single enforcement coordination agency, a single IT system, and a single licensing agency.

    In 2010, the administration announced a comprehensive, three-phased approach. As of August 2012, the export control reform (ECR) initiative has completed the Phase I tasks and is about halfway through implementation of Phase II.

    In Phase I, the interagency stakeholders (DoD, State, Commerce, and the U.S. Departments of Energy, Treasury, Justice, and Homeland Security) made significant improvements to the export control system and established the control list framework necessary to create the new system, including preparing for a legislative proposal necessary to create a single licensing agency. This phase included implementing specific reform actions already in process and initiating reviews of new opportunities. Specific actions included the following.

    • Control List: Refined and harmonized definitions to end jurisdictional confusion between the two lists, and established new criteria to screen items for control.
    • Licensing: Implemented improvements to streamline licensing processes, and standardized policy and processes to increase efficiencies.
    • Enforcement: Synchronized enforcement by creating an Export Enforcement Coordination Center (EECC).
    • IT: Determined enterprise-wide needs and began the process to reduce confusion by establishing DoD’s USEXPORTS IT system as the single U.S. government license review tool.

    In Phase II, deployment of specific Phase I reforms was completed, and new actions were initiated, contingent on completion of Phase I items. As of this writing, State and Commerce, in coordination with the other stakeholders, published Federal Register notices advising the public of results of the Phase I review (proposed definitional, scope, policy, and procedural changes) and solicited public comment on revisions being made to all the categories in the USML and corresponding controls in the CCL.

    The task force report—known as Presidential Study Directive 8, published January 29, 2010—indicated that the U.S. export control system does not sufficiently reduce national security risk, based on the fact that its structure is overly complicated, contains too many redundancies, and tries to protect too much.

    Not all groupings of technologies or items have completed the review process through to requests for public comment. (See related article, “Proposed Changes to Export Control of Certain Categories of the United States Munitions List,” on the discussions and progress of the proposed changes and anticipated impacts for the Army industrial base and others.)

    When the proposed changes are implemented later this calendar year, a fundamentally new U.S. export control system will emerge. Congressional notification will be required to remove International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) controls and transfer items from the USML to the CCL.

    • Control List: Create a new list of items that cascade from the USML and still merit a specific degree of export control due to international arrangement or the sensitivity of technology. The interagency process has resulted in drafting new parameters within the USML categories to clearly identify the technology being controlled by the ITAR, as well as creating new controls in the CCL for defense articles no longer subject to the ITAR.

    This new element of the Commerce Department CCL harmonizes the overall effort as the administration moves to the objective of fewer controls. It also ensures that all items moving from the jurisdiction of the Department of State are initially controlled but that control is under the flexibility of the Export Administration Regulations. This will help ensure that the other objective of the ECR effort is met: to help provide support to close allies quickly.

    Finalize the restructuring and synchronization of controls and definitions, apply redefined control criteria (especially the adoption of a new definition for “specially designed” by both regulatory departments), remove unilateral controls as appropriate, and submit proposals multilaterally to add or remove controls.

    • Licensing: Complete transition to a revised export control list system and fully implement licensing harmonization.

    • Enforcement: Export Enforcement Coordination Center (EECC) established and stood up, expanding outreach and compliance.

    • IT: Final transition toward State and Commerce adopting USEXPORTS as the single electronic licensing system. Initial operational capability in both organizations is scheduled by the end of this month, based upon rule sets and license review functionality.

    In Phase III, the transition to the new U.S. export control system will be completed. Legislation will be required for this phase to create a single licensing agency.

    • Control List: Begin restructuring the two lists so that in the future, they can be merged into a single list. Implement a systematic process to keep current.

    • Licensing: Establish a single licensing agency.

    • IT: Implement a single, enterprise-wide IT system (both licensing and enforcement) with the rest of the interagency group (Departments of Energy and Transportation).

    Conclusion
    ECR has presented a complex, multifaceted challenge to all stakeholder agencies. It is slightly behind schedule but has yielded outstanding progress in reconciling decades-old issues of control definitions, jurisdiction, and harmonization or synchronization between export control lists. In addition, the process of review has substantially improved communication between stakeholder agencies. The public response so far to ECR Federal Register notices has been helpful and positive. It is anticipated that all initial draft Federal Register notices will be published for comment by the end of this year.

    NEXT: Implementing Security Cooperation Reform

     


    • Charles Wray serves as a Special Assistant to the DASA (DE&C). He is Level III Security Assistance certified, and has worked in security cooperation staff and management roles with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, U.S. European
      Command, the U.S. Embassy in Portugal, and the Department of the Army.

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  • Proposed Changes to Export Control of Certain Categories of the U.S. Munitions List

    The various categories of the U.S. Munitions List are being reviewed for possible revision, including transfer from Department of State to more relaxed Department of Commerce export rules.

    As part of Phase II of the export control reform (ECR) initiative, the various categories of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) are being reviewed for possible revision, including transfer from Department of State to more relaxed Department of Commerce export rules. This process involves several steps: consideration by subject-matter experts of those items currently being controlled; identification of proposed changes; notification in the Federal Register; and a period for public comment. Each category review is proceeding at a slightly different pace, and not all categories have undergone the same segments of review. The following summaries present details from a representative sample of USML categories.

    Category I: Firearms
    Firearms with a caliber of .50 inch or smaller, with the exception of handguns and noncombat shotguns, are currently controlled by the Department of State under the USML. Under rules being considered, only fully automatic firearms would remain under State’s control. Most firearms would move to Commerce Department jurisdiction under the Commerce Control List (CCL). These firearms are similar to those used for hunting, target practice, and self-defense. They have wide distribution and are rarely used for military purposes. Most military firearms, with the exception of some sniper weapons, have a fully automatic mode.

    Also under discussion is the export control of new and future firearms that may contain software, computers, and the capability of being integrated into a fire control network. These include new weapons that fire more than one bullet through the same barrel while the trigger is depressed, and firearms with multiple barrels. These firearms are considered automatic, and new language is being considered to ensure their inclusion on the State Department list.

    Category II: Guns and Armaments
    Guns with a caliber larger than .50” (12.7mm) are currently controlled by the State Department. These guns include howitzers, mortars, cannons, and recoilless rifles, whether towed or self-propelled. These weapons are considered inherently military with no civil use, and the proposed rules would leave them subject to State’s control.

    Consistent with the overarching rules of the ECR process, specially designed components that are not specifically identified would be allowed to transfer to the CCL. Flamethrowers are no longer used in most militaries; as such, they are also being considered for Commerce Department control. Certain other sections of the State Department rules for concealing and controlling the signatures of these weapons are also under review to harmonize them with the other parts of the department’s rules concerning signature management.

    Category III: Ammunition/Ordnance
    Ammunition for all firearms, with the exception of shotguns shells, is currently controlled under State Department rules. Under rule changes being discussed, most ammunition for firearms with a caliber smaller than .50 inch (12.7mm) would move to the CCL. This ammunition is used by hunters and shooting enthusiasts and has wide civil use and distribution.
    Armor-piercing ammunition and other specialized military ammunition smaller than .50 caliber would remain under State’s rules, as well as ammunition for all guns with a caliber of .50 inch and larger. This ammunition is considered inherently military with no civil applications.

    Again, some specially designed components that are not specifically identified would be allowed to transfer to Commerce control, in line with the overarching rules of the ECR process.

    Category IV: Launch Vehicles, Guided Missiles, Rockets, Torpedoes, Bombs, and Mines
    Under rules being discussed, the Commerce Department would assume control over various systems, subsystems, components, parts, accessories, attachments, or associated equipment found in launch vehicles and rockets that the State Department previously controlled.

    Under current rules, State controls the export of rockets, including meteorological and other sounding rockets. Many of the components found in military weapons have commercial application as well (for example, flight control systems for airplanes and surveillance unmanned aircraft, guidance systems used in civil aviation, and nose fairings). For that reason, the State Department export rules are being rewritten to exclude components that have commercial use. The new rules will clarify that only components that are “specially designed” for military systems will be controlled by State.

    Meteorological and other sounding rockets would fall under Commerce control. State would maintain control of rockets, bombs, torpedoes, depth charges, guided missiles, ballistic missiles, and mines.

    This process involves several steps: consideration by subject-matter experts of those items currently being controlled; identification of proposed changes; notification in the Federal Register; and a period for public comment. Each category review is proceeding at a slightly different pace, and not all categories have undergone the same segments of review.

    Category V: Explosive Materials
    Under newly proposed rules, the Commerce Department would assume control over some of the aluminum powder, hydrazine, and derivatives that are used to manufacture explosives and rocket motor propellants. These items are currently controlled by State Department under the USML, but they were determined to no longer warrant such stringent control. Once implemented, this change would allow companies to export these compounds to foreign countries and foreign companies that are authorized under Commerce rules but which are not allowed to receive exports under State’s rules.

    Commerce also proposes to move production equipment and software for manufacturing explosives and solid propellants, currently under existing control standards, to new U.S. interagency standards. This change to its regulations would not affect DoD.

    The USML will be rewritten to remove the catchall phrase that broadly controls explosives designed and manufactured for military use. The review process determined that this phrase is too broad and that most of the items this provision controls no longer warrant control on the USML. One explosive, 2,4-dinitroanisole (DNAN), which is currently controlled by this catchall phrase, would get its own category because it has significant military and little commercial application. This change would allow the export of certain explosives under Commerce rules while ensuring that DNAN stays on the USML.

    Another section of the USML would be modified to ensure that certain insensitive energetic compounds used in military explosives are properly identified on the USML. This change would lower the control for detonation velocity of certain explosives from 8,700 meters per second to 8,000 meters per second. This change would harmonize the USML with multilateral regimes and give better guidance to U.S. exporters.

    Category VII: Ground Vehicles
    Under newly proposed rules, export control of military ground vehicles would change. The new rules would remove from the USML unarmored vehicles, unless they include firing mounts for .50 caliber or larger weapons. Unarmored vehicles would move to the CCL under the jurisdiction of the Commerce Department.

    Major items such as tanks and fighting vehicles—as well as components that are inherently military and specifically called out, such as gun mounts, armoring, turrets, protection against electromagnetic pulse, and so on—would remain under State Department jurisdiction.

    The components of many trucks and military vehicles are similar (for example, brakes, tie rods, skid plates, engines, etc.). These parts would be controlled under new Commerce rules that would specifically control military equipment components. This significant change would reduce the licensing burden, in time and personnel, on exporters. Many components are specially designed for use in military vehicles but are simply commercial items modified by testing to military standards or by adding specialty paints or making dimensional modifications to integrate them with military vehicles.

    One of the goals of the review process is to establish a “bright line” between what is and is not controlled under the Departments of State and Commerce. These newly proposed rules would allow for greater understanding of the jurisdictional lines. This grouping of ground vehicles, equipment, and technologies is expected to be the lead category for finalization as it best establishes the methodology undergirding the ECR initiative and objectives by making the rules more transparent and less burdensome.

    Category VIII: Aircraft and Related Articles
    Under revised rules being discussed, the Commerce Department would assume control over various aircraft systems, subsystems, components, parts, accessories, attachments, or associated equipment found in aircraft and related systems currently controlled by State.

    State currently controls a wide variety of aircraft and related items identified as defense articles. Many aircraft under its control have commercial applicability and designs that are no inherently military (for example, cargo aircraft or utility and cargo helicopters not capable of in-flight refueling). Certain of these aircraft are under consideration for control by Commerce.

    Other proposed rules that would optimize and streamline State Department export control include movement of similar aircraft-borne systems, subsystems, and equipment into common control categories (for example, inertial navigation systems, formerly grouped for control under aviation items, equipment, and technologies, are likely to be moved to a grouping for auxiliary equipment on the CCL, and gas turbine engines would be grouped under a new category altogether).

    Additionally, proposed rules would transfer control of generic aircraft parts, components, accessories, and attachments—even some specifically designed or modified for a defense article—to the CCL, with the exception of a few items specially designed for specific aircraft with unique features. All other aircraft parts, components, accessories, and attachments now subject to control under the USML will be proposed for transfer to the CCL.

    Category IX: Military Training and Associated Equipment

    Certain training technologies have been identified by Departments of Defense, State, and Commerce as inherently military or sensitive for national security reasons and are proposed for continued control under the USML. They include training equipment that mimics characteristics of specific military articles, items, or people, such as air combat, antisubmarine, missile launchers, and physiological flight trainers for fighter aircraft and attack helicopters. Likewise, certain simulators that replicate these characteristics will continue to be controlled under the USML, such as radar target generators or infrared scene generators. All classified items and classified information used in production of this category are also controlled under State’s jurisdiction.

    Other trainers or simulators not specified on the USML but having a dual use would move to the jurisdiction of Commerce under more relaxed export control regulations. These include parts and components not identified as integral to items specified on the USML as well as test, inspection, and production equipment for related items.

    It is also important to note that the title for this particular USML category would change to clarify that it covers only the military training equipment, not the training itself. Training for a particular defense article would fall under the category in which that article is export-controlled and would be called a defense service. Defense services are defined separately and carry their own rules and regulations for export under the State Department’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations, of which the USML is one part.

    Category X: Protective Personnel Equipment and Shelters
    Under the new export rules, body armor with a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) standard of Type IV or greater will remain under State Department control. Body armors categorized as Type III or less would be moved to the jurisdiction of Commerce. Additionally, certain atmospheric suits previously controlled by State would now move to Commerce (for example, G suits, pressure suits, and deep diving suits). Goggles and other protective eyewear meeting a specified optical density threshold will remain under State Department rules. Shelters, production equipment for shelters and protective gear, and other parts and components not considered sensitive for national security reasons would also move to Commerce jurisdiction. Other parts or components meeting specified qualities will remain under State’s rules.

    Category XI: Electronics
    Most types of ground and air surveillance radars are currently under State Department jurisdiction; this includes radar systems with the capabilities of search, acquisition, tracking, moving target indication, and imaging. This broad definition includes most types of surveillance radars. The USML will be rewritten to identify radars “specially designed” for military use or with performance criteria that must be controlled by State. Providing thresholds in terms of performance will mean that many surveillance radars that also have commercial applications would move to the CCL. The USML rewrite will also address other radars with commercial applications. These include sea surveillance, instrumentation, ground penetration, sense-through-wall, and synthetic aperture radars.

    Most types of electronic combat equipment, active and passive countermeasures, counter-countermeasures, and all radios designed or modified to interfere with communication devices will remain under State Department jurisdiction.

    One of the objectives of ECR is to provide more precise definitions of what is to be controlled and by which authority. As such, the USML will be rewritten to include specific definitions of equipment types that will remain under State’s control. Some examples follow.

    Electronic support (ES): Systems and equipment that search for, intercept and identify, or locate sources of intentional or unintentional electromagnetic energy for the purpose of immediate threat detection, recognition, targeting, planning, or conduct of future operations, to include tactical situational awareness, automatic cueing, targeting, electronic order of battle planning, electronic intelligence, communication intelligence, and signals intelligence.

    Acoustic sensors: Systems and equipment that detect and automatically discriminate acoustic energy emanating from weapons fire (for example, gunfire, artillery, rocket-propelled grenades, or other projectiles), determining location or direction of weapons fire in less than two seconds from receipt of event signal, and are able to operate on the move (for example, on personnel, land vehicles, sea vessels, or aircraft in motion).

    Electronic Attack: Systems and equipment “specially designed” to introduce extraneous or erroneous signals into radar, infrared-based seekers, electro-optical-based seekers, radio communication receivers, or navigation receivers, or that otherwise hinder the reception, operation, or effectiveness of adversary electronics (for example, active or passive electronic attack, electronic countermeasure, electronic counter-countermeasure equipment, jamming and counter-jamming equipment).

    It is anticipated that the proposed new rules will be put into effect by the end of calendar 2012.

    Category XIII: Materials and Miscellaneous Articles
    Under newly proposed rules, there would be many changes in the export of miscellaneous military equipment. It is noteworthy that the name has been changed to add “Materials” to the old title. Certain materials having specific military use are identified.

    Certain camera equipment used for military surveillance would be removed and would now be exported under Commerce Department jurisdiction with reduced controls. Additionally, self-contained diving apparatuses would also move under the Commerce rules for export.

    Body armor, currently controlled under a different grouping, would be moved to this expanded category of equipment and materials. Significantly, the rules that determine whether armor is controlled under State Department rules have changed to incorporate testing standards established by the NIJ. Certain materials that are components in the manufacture of armor plates are also specifically called out if they meet the material strength requirements of the NIJ standard Level III or greater. Exporters would be able to apply objective test standards to know whether their armor is controlled by the State or Commerce rules.

    The section on classified materials was expanded to call out export controls when classified materials, classified production processes, or classified information is used. These changes were made to clarify what is controlled under State’s rules.

    Some materials used in the construction of military vehicles and aircraft are currently controlled under Category XIII but would be moved to the category controlling their parent system.

    Signature control software used for controlling the infrared/radar/visual signature, methods used to identify military equipment, would get its own paragraph that expands the depth of coverage.

    Finally, to aid exporters, the “MT” designation was added to materials that also fall under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), so as to more clearly denote those items that can only be exported to regime partners as determined by the MTCR guidelines.

    Category XV: Spacecraft Systems and Associated Equipment
    Section 1248 of Public Law 111-84, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, required the Secretaries of Defense and State to assess the national security risks of removing satellites and related components from the USML. The assessment included a review of space and space-related technologies currently on the USML, and the national security risks of removing certain space and space-related technologies from the list.

    The report provided recommendations for removal from the USML based on risk assessment; proposed safeguards and verification necessary to prevent proliferation and diversion of space and space-related technologies; confirmed appropriateness of end uses and end users; minimized the risk that such space and space-related technologies could be used in foreign missile, space, or other applications that may pose a threat to the security of the United States; and proposed improvements to space export control policy and processes.

    Under discussion are rule changes that would move most communication satellites and certain sensing satellites to the CCL, under Commerce jurisdiction. These changes, however, remain subject to congressional authorization, which is required to move the items from the USML to the CCL.

    A great deal of the review work has focused on methods to determine which rules should control the parts, components, and accessories of satellites. Satellites are very complex, containing as many as 100,000 parts and components. Under discussion for remaining on the USML under State’s jurisdiction are critical items such as atomic clocks, space-qualified sensors with imaging and sensing capabilities that are of strategic importance, and other key components (for example, stabilization components) of satellites that are important to military applications.

    If this is implemented, most communication satellites, less sensitive components, certain radiation-hardened components, and accessories would be allowed to move to Commerce export controls.

    Category XVIII: Directed Energy Weapons
    Equipment developed for generating and propelling high-power laser beams, plasmas, and subatomic particles—used to destroy, degrade, or cause a mission abort of military equipment—is under State Department export jurisdiction.

    Under discussion are rule changes to create a better understanding by exporters of these weapons’ measurable attributes that would allow them to be easily distinguished from commercial applications that use similar components for civil applications such as welding, cutting, medical treatments, and high-energy physics research.

    The core of the review work and proposed revisions is to identify power levels and related destructive capacity of the energy beams. An associated problem is the need to keep the rules unclassified so that they can be published broadly. Discussions continue on how best to identify these items so that exporters can easily distinguish the export regime to be used.

    If the rule changes are implemented, specially designed components not specifically identified could be exported under Commerce jurisdiction.

     


    • Sections of this piece were contributed by a number of individuals from DASA(DE&C)’s Security Cooperation Integration and Exports Directorate. They include Leroy Chamness (Categories I, II, III, V, VII, XIII, XV, and XVIII), Rich Catano (Cats. IV and XI), Mike Yarnoff (VIII), Chris Landon (Cats. IX and X), and A.J. Vaughn (XI).

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