ULA Seminar turns into PR disaster


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Draggendrop

They may have to choose a "pail full" of wrong doings, ones that will stick, to make it fit into a process.

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Unobscured Vision

Yeah. :( Sad that it's come down to this, too. If only ULA could have travelled the straight and narrow.

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DocM

This would go from the DoD IG to Congress for hearings then to DoJ, perhaps with the FBI doing some deep dive forensic accounting for them. Federal court can handle the charges.

 

Still, wotta frackin' mess.  Past and present USAF, Boeing, Lockheed and ULA staffers, and USAF Secretaries....sheesh. 

 

This absolutely vindicates the SpaceX lawsuit.

 

And let's not forget that ULA was a forced marriage of Lockheed and Boeing for the EELV program. This after Boeing was discovered to be doing industrial espinage;  caught red handed with Lockheeds Atlas V plans.

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Unobscured Vision
1 hour ago, DocM said:

This absolutely vindicates the SpaceX lawsuit.

And then some.

 

There's gonna be a laundry list of charges being brought to bear against ULA's Management Team; and they're gonna be extreme. You have a company whose sole purpose was Commercial and Mil/Gov Contracts in multiple theatres and areas of operation. Compartmentalized, Specialized, and very deeply involved with NATO. The parent companies are responsible for perhaps as much as 60% of all NATO Air and Sea gear that's out there. There's so much that Boeing, Lockheed-Martin and ULA collectively do for the U.S. Military and Government that it's nearly impossible to track it all -- that's how deep their hands are in the cookie jar. Then we get into the Commercial Sector ... billions upon billions in sales yearly.

 

If there's such a thing as a "Cartel", these three companies would fit the definition. LH-M and Boeing maintain an illusion that they dislike one another, preferring to use their joint venture ULA as "neutral territory"; but the truth is that the two companies really don't care. They stay out of each others' way, never crossing business interests or stepping on each others' toes anymore. It's been that way for a while, since the fracas with the Atlas-V "Industrial Espionage" thing; and quite a few think that situation was a work to begin with ...

 

No, friends, there's a lot of dynamics at play here that go beyond the surface. ULA, Lockheed-Martin and Boeing are going to be called to task on this one. We're going to witness just how dirty the M/IC really is, and how ineffectual Congress will be at dealing with them too. The U.S. Government is going to end up looking like fools at the end of it, and they'll eventually win; but the cost is going to be very, very high. ULA won't survive, Boeing and LH-M might not survive either by the time it's over. We're going to see several Senators, Generals, DOD personnel and others charged with Corruption and Racketeering, too. NASA even -- there's a boatload of filth all over the place, and it's not gonna leave NASA alone either.

 

We're also going to see who's really been holding back the Space Program all these years -- and it's gonna shock everyone once it's over, when that influence is finally done with, how much progress we make in such a short period of time.

 

All because a round-table full of frightened, greedy, closed-minded little men and women in power suits decided that they were the ones who'd decide what humans would and would not do and how it would and would not be done. Because they had to be the ones to dictate.

 

They deserve whatever happens next.

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FloatingFatMan
2 hours ago, Unobscured Vision said:

They deserve whatever happens next.

One can hope this comes to pass, but honestly? I doubt it will. Way too much crookedness going on in both industry and government, too many powerful heads to roll.

 

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+Mirumir
7 hours ago, Draggendrop said:

Sen. McCain was made to look foolish by him...

With all due respect, Sen. McCain doesn't need anyone's help to make himself look foolish.

 

He's doing a fine job on his own. 

 

:) 

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Unobscured Vision

Yep. Both points carry more truth than they appear on the surface.

 

- McCain is really the only one willing to take them on, and by all appearances he's "bat scat crazy" in the sense that he scares most people to death. He's known to be vicious towards anyone (and any company) that oversteps their boundaries and talks smack, or otherwise does what ULA has done. And he's been looking for an excuse to go after them for a while now; primarily because he knows what we know. In one form or another, they've been right in the middle of M/IC stuff since the 40's if we include the parent companies -- and we really have to, if McCain is -- and they're being ungrateful. The fact that their attitude is "we need to silence McCain" probably didn't help at all ... 

 

- Likely what we'll see is a concerted effort to discredit both Sen. McCain and Tobey. Watch -- there will be some kind of "dirt" dug up about one or both of them that will conveniently appear out of nowhere. We'll know who to blame if that happens. Just remember that I called it ahead of time. ;) 

 

- It's also likely that the DOD will file the investigation and no wrongdoing will actually be found to have occurred. Imagine that ... we'll know who is on who's payroll, then.

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DocM

We'll see as there are more eyes on this than just the IG and McCain. This one raised a bunch of eyebrows.

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T3X4S
16 hours ago, Draggendrop said:

^ We may even have a few uncomfortable military representatives and ex-military, now ULA cushion sitters...this may turn a few rocks...:(

 

16 hours ago, DocM said:

Just heard that Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter is very unhappy over the comments about the GPS III and other bids, and has referred this to the DoD Inspector General.

 

Just imagine if this ends up in a congressional investigation, and someone decides to supoena Tobey, Bruno -- and Sen. Shelby :ninja:

I dont know all of the background info like y'all do - so bare with me on this...

Could this have been a badly designed whistle-blowing by Tobey & the resulting fallout is just silencing the whistle blower ?

He maybe threatened to bring to light some shady practices but went about it in a really crappy way - and now they are just trying to do damage control ?
 

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Unobscured Vision
12 minutes ago, T3X4S said:

 

I dont know all of the background info like y'all do - so bare with me on this...

Could this have been a badly designed whistle-blowing by Tobey & the resulting fallout is just silencing the whistle blower ?

He maybe threatened to bring to light some shady practices but went about it in a really crappy way - and now they are just trying to do damage control ?
 

It's way beyond damage control, now. Maybe this can put it into perspective:

 

sw9wUWE.gif

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DocM

Some flys on the wall say it got really loud in their exec offices and it wasn't pretty.

 

So far this looks to be loose lips in front of aerospace engineering students gone way, way wrong.  

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DocM

And here it comes,

 

On March 29 ULA CEO Tory Bruno will hold a company wide All Hands, sent to satellite locations by remote feeds. 

 

Subject: "workforce reshaping" (read: significant staff reductions)

 

This appears to be hitting their older (experienced, higher salary) workforce hardest in a clear cost-cutting move. After this mess there's no chance their $1B launch assurance subsidy gets renewed after the launcher block buy ends in 2019, so the axe comes out.

 

Previously they announced a reduction in launch pads down to 2, one on each coast. 

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Unobscured Vision

Yeah. :(

 

I've been thinking about this situation and its' ramifications more today. There's going to be some nasty repercussions afoot, and sooner rather than later.

 

- Atlas launches are going to taper down to zero. ULA will complete their booked launches that have been paid for already (ATK and Mil/Gov ones, among others), but likely won't accept any new contracts.

 

- It's also not outside the realm of possibility that they'll end US Operations and move to Russia, since the RD-180's come from there and are in ready supply. Look for this move sometime after the current manifest of launches ends. Wouldn't surprise me if they're already talking about it behind closed doors. Their reasoning will be "Hey, you've already got SpaceX. Think they can do a better job? Have fun with them; we'll go work with Roscosmos. Maybe they'd like some help with Angara, or even be willing to re-badge Vulcan as part of the Angara lineup". Is this the ultimate "thumb-in-the-eye" move? Yes. Would ULA do it out of spite? Absolutely they would, and they'll laugh in your face about it.

 

- ULA, Boeing and Lockheed-Martin together built almost 60% of the gear that NATO and the US Government, Military and NASA uses. Fighter Jets, Naval Vessels, Spacecraft, Weaponry, and the support equipment and internal hardware that makes it all work. Without those three companies, this gear and these vehicles will not get upgrades or new parts regularly. The secondary manufacturing is controlled by these three companies too -- without them to manage it, nobody knows what part comes from where, or what to order from where to get supply lines moving again. All told, these three companies together employ (either directly or indirectly) as many as a million people. Worst-case scenario is that all three close up shop and move elsewhere (Russia) out of the clear blue and it's an unmitigated catastrophe. Oh, and we'd lose a supply of new Jet Airliners too, since Boeing builds those too.

 

There's only so much that a M/IC Conglomerate will tolerate, even from the Government. You cut off their funding and start messing with them, they tend to mess back in the ways that hurt most.

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DocM

ULA is a tiny part of their business, and as Tobey said they considered shutting it down after the block buy. They won't risk the backlash to do it at a spiteful time. After Blue has an EELV class launcher and SpaceX has 2-3 birds they'll have to evaluate Vulcans position wrt commercial and EELV and their future.

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Unobscured Vision

I agree that the two parent companies would shut it down before doing something as monumentally extreme as the "thumb to the eye" routine; but I've got a hunch that there's some retribution in the works over all of this. These people aren't just going to lay down and take it. Remember the mindset and culture -- they're "entitled", and now they feel "dissed" on top of it. Bad combination when you've got an ego and a stone in your shoe.

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Draggendrop

I actually hope that this becomes a bit of a storm. In the end, one can hope that some wrong doing is exposed, but more importantly, opens up many venues to full competition for services. IMHO, putting a dent in the "old boys" club is always a good thing.  :D

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DocM

Yup. A little revolution now and then is a good thing. Unfortunately for ULA it happened fast & hard, and they aren't structured in a way that can react fast enough.

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FloatingFatMan
On 20/03/2016 at 0:55 AM, Unobscured Vision said:

There's only so much that a M/IC Conglomerate will tolerate, even from the Government. You cut off their funding and start messing with them, they tend to mess back in the ways that hurt most.

Fear not, good sir. Your very good friends over in Europe stand ready to sell you sophisticated and reliable war and commercial aircraft at need. :)  We have the technology, the will, and the low low prices you need in your times of corrupt businesses!

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