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October 3, 2012

News Briefs – October 3, 2012

Fewer submarines planned in Connecticut

The Navy’s top admiral says the Navy plans to keep fewer submarines in Groton, Conn., as the military shifts its focus toward Asia.

Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert told The Day of New London that by 2020, the Naval Submarine Base is expected to have two squadrons with six attack submarines per squadron, instead of the 16 submarines it now has.

Greenert says there won’t be a major departure of submarines and crews. He says submarines that retire will not always be replaced.

He says the Navy wants to establish or re-establish relationships with numerous allies throughout Asia.

Greenert dismissed as an oversimplification the idea that the strategy, announced in January, is a way to contain China’s growing military power. AP

 

Air Force insiders foresaw F-22 woes

A small circle of U.S. Air Force experts knew something was wrong with the prized F-22 stealth fighter years before problems with pilots’ oxygen supplies became known. They recommended solutions, but the Air Force rejected them as too costly.

Internal documents and emails obtained by The Associated Press show that F-22 experts took it upon themselves to form a working group 10 years ago to address issues with the advanced aircraft. It proposed several changes that were rejected.

Now many of those recommendations are being adopted or considered after recent investigations echoed the working group’s findings. The group’s documents reveal that the Air Force missed an opportunity to fix the issues before they turned into high-profile problems for a jet that was being assailed in Congress as too expensive. AP

 

U.S. Navy tests mine-seeking sub during Gulf drills

The admiral in charge of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet says a prototype mine-detecting drone was put through more tests during military exercises in and around the Persian Gulf this month.

The advanced sonar-equipped Kingfish sub is being evaluated by the Pentagon. Vice Adm. John W. Miller says the sub was used for the first time internationally during the maneuvers of more than 30 nations that wrapped up this week.

The Navy says drills were not designed to specifically confront a threat from Iran. Tehran has warned it would try to close the Gulf’s strategic Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for sanctions over its nuclear program.

Miller told reporters Sept. 27 that the Kingfish could eventually be deployed with the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet and other places around the world. AP

 

Holloman AFB to lose 250 jobs when F-22

An estimated 250 jobs will be lost at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., next year when the base loses its F-22 Raptor fighters.

The detachment of the 44th Fighter Group and its fleet of F-22s is moving to Tyndall Air Force Base. Col. Scott Crogg says the detachment is an Air Force Reserve unit that will support a new F-22 combat squadron standing up at Tyndall in spring 2013.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Holloman has been a schoolhouse for F-22 pilots since mid-2008. The Air Force announced the base outside Alamogordo would lose its F-22s in a consolidation effort after a 2009 decision to stop buying the costly planes in favor of the new F-35 fighter. AP

 

Russia: deal to keep troops in Tajikistan in 2013

A top Russian general says Moscow will secure a deal to extend Russian military presence in the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan by the first half of 2013.

Central Asian nations are apprehensive at the prospect of the NATO coalition’s withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 and have expressed fears that violence could spill over.

Russia’s ground forces commander Vladimir Chirkin said Sept. 29 that outstanding issues on the terms of the deal will continue to be discussed with Tajikistan until the end of March.

Some 7,000 Russian soldiers are posted across three garrisons in the former Soviet republic neighboring Afghanistan.

An agreement to extend the current lease, which expires in 2014, has been delayed amid reported disagreements about the financial terms. AP

 

U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan hit 2,000

The U.S. military is confirming the death of an American service member in eastern Afghanistan, bringing the number of American troops dead in Afghanistan in the long-running conflict to 2,000.

The international coalition in Afghanistan said earlier Sept. 30 that one of its service members was killed in a suspected insider attack by Afghan forces Sept. 29. A U.S. official said that the dead service member was American. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the nationality of the dead had not yet been formally announced.

The number of American dead reflects an Associated Press count of those members of the armed services killed inside Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion on Oct. 7, 2001. AP

 




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