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December 3, 2012

News Briefs – December 3, 2012

U.S. Army cutting civilian jobs in Europe

The U.S. Army says it’s cutting 160 civilian support positions in Europe as it moves ahead with plans to reduce the number of soldiers on the continent.

The military said in a statement Nov. 30 that the Department of the Army positions would be cut through September 2013 and that U.S. Army Europe would “continue to transform the civilian workforce to match the demands of supporting its uniformed forces.”

There are currently some 4,700 Department of the Army and local civilians employed by U.S. Army Europe.

The Pentagon is in the process of eliminating two heavy armored brigades based in Germany. That will leave two U.S. Army combat brigades permanently stationed in Europe, one in Germany and one in Italy. AP

Navy dolphins losing out to robots

Dolphins used by the Navy to track down mines will soon lose their jobs to robots.

UT San Diego reports some military-trained dolphins will be replaced starting in 2017 by a 12-foot unmanned torpedo-shaped vehicle.

The military says the machines can do some of the same mine-hunting duties. And they can be manufactured quickly, unlike the seven years it takes to train a dolphin.

The dolphins won’t be relieved of duty. They will still be used for port security and retrieving objects from the sea floor.

The Navy’s $28 million marine mammal program dates back to the late 1950s. It uses 80 bottle-nosed dolphins and 40 California sea lions.
Dolphins have been deployed to Iraq and Bahrain to keep ports safe for American ships. AP




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Courtesy photograph

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