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March 14, 2016
 

News Briefs – March 14, 2016

Putin: Russian arms upgrade won’t be affected by budget cuts

The Russian military’s arms modernization program won’t be affected by budget cuts prompted by the country’s economic problems, President Vladimir Putin said March 11.
Putin, who spoke at a meeting with the top military brass and leaders of arms industries, said the military last year received hundreds of new aircraft, missiles and armored vehicles as part of an ambitious weapons upgrade.
He noted that the new Russian weapons have proven their worth during Moscow’s air campaign in Syria.
Putin said Russia’s arms industries have significantly reduced their reliance on imports, but still remain dependent on some foreign-made components. He urged the industries to move more quickly to develop production of local substitutes.
Putin said the military last year received 96 new warplanes, 81 helicopters, 152 air defense systems, 291 radars and more than 400 armored vehicles and artillery systems.
While arms industries honored most of the contracts, some haven’t been fulfilled on time, Putin said.
Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov told the meeting that arms plants have missed delivery schedules on 15 warplanes, eight navy ships and 240 armored vehicles among other weapons systems.
Borisov said that some of the delays were linked to subcontractors going out of business and missing technology.
He claimed that the Western ban on the sales of weapons and arms technologies to Russia and Ukraine’s decision to halt military industrial cooperation with Russia “had no significant impact” on Russian arms production. AP
 

U.S. general in Korea nominated as next NATO supreme commander

NATO’s chief decision-making body says it has approved the nomination of the U.S. Army general currently in charge of American forces in Korea to become the next supreme allied commander Europe, or SACEUR.
The North Atlantic Council said March 11 that subject to congressional approval, Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti is expected to succeed U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove this spring as leader of all NATO military operations. By tradition, the SACEUR is an American, and also serves as head of the U.S. European Command.
NATO said Scaparrotti is currently serving as commander, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, United States Forces Korea.
Breedlove has been SACEUR since May 13, 2013. NATO said a change of command ceremony is planned at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) outside Mons, Belgium. AP
 

Wounded Warrior fires execs over spending accusations

The board of Wounded Warrior Project, one of the nation’s largest veteran support groups, has fired two top officials amid news reports accusing the group of wasteful spending.
According to a statement released on behalf of Wounded Warrior Project, chief executive officer Steve Nardizzi and chief operating officer Al Giordano are no longer with the organization. CBS News reports the two were fired after a March 10 afternoon meeting in New York.
According to CBS, Wounded Warrior Project spends 40 to 50 percent of its money on overhead — including extravagant parties — while other veterans charities have overhead costs of 10 to 15 percent. The CBS report also talked to former employees who accused the organization of making money off their injuries.
One former employee told CBS that how Wounded Warrior Project spends money is equivalent to “what the military calls fraud, waste and abuse.” AP




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