Irregular warfare and counterinsurgency capabilities not surprisingly are among key focus areas to be scrutinized in the just-commenced Quadrennial Defense Review, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy told the Defense Writers Group Wednesday morning. Flournoy acknowledged that this QDR will be a “leader driven process” that involves Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn, and other senior leadership. One thing that makes this QDR unique, said Flournoy, is that it is jumping off from an established National Defense Strategy, the one Gates released last year. In fact, she said, there is a “pretty clear consensus internally and interagency” on guidance and priorities and that this QDR will inform program and budget decisions. She added, “This is not some separate process; this is creating a strategic framework to drive that process.” Flournoy also acknowledged that the rebalancing Gates started with the Fiscal 2010 budget proposal will move forward under this review. She expects various working groups to complete their work by the end of the summer, making it possible for the QDR insights to help “frame and guide decision making” for the 2011 program objective memorandum.
The Pentagon awarded a $2.02 billion contract for Lot 17 of F-35 engines to contractor Pratt & Whitney on June 5. Work on the F135 engine is expected to be completed by December 2025.