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December 21, 2012

News Briefs December 21, 2012

Panetta cites turning point in Afghan war

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan believe the U.S. and its allies have ìturned the tideî after 11 years of war.

In a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, Panetta said the international military coalition has reversed a five-year trend of growing violence. He said Afghan forces are on track to take the lead for securing the entire country next year.

Panetta spent two days in Afghanistan last week, consulting with top U.S. commanders and with Afghan government officials. He announced during his visit that President Hamid Karzai will come to Washington next month to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss the way ahead.

By all accounts, Panetta is in the final weeks of his tenure as Pentagon chief. AP

Bulgaria considers fighter jet purchase

Bulgaria has renewed efforts to choose a supplier of eight fighter jets by March to replace its old Russian-built aircraft and bring its air force in line with NATO standards.

Defense Minister Anyo Angelov said Dec. 19 that talks will be held with countries that have or produce fighter jets, such as the U.S., Germany, Portugal, Italy, Israel and Sweden.

He also said that no financial threshold has been imposed ìto allow flexible negotiationsî and that no open competition will be held to retain the option of buying secondhand aircraft.

Local media suggested that Bulgaria was considering buying secondhand F-16s from Portugal or the U.S., or new Saab AB Gripen jets from Sweden.

Earlier, the ministry had said that about (euro) 350 million was needed for the purchase. AP

Army seeks death penalty in Afghan massacre case

The Army says it will seek the death penalty against the soldier accused of massacring 16 Afghan villagers during pre-dawn raids in March.

The announcement Dec. 19 followed a pretrial hearing last month for SSgt. Robert Bales, who faces premeditated murder and other charges in the attack on two villages in southern Afghanistan.

Prosecutors say Bales left his remote base in southern Afghanistan early on March 11. Prosecutors say he first attacked one village, returned to the base, and then slipped away again to attack another nearby compound. Sixteen people were killed, nine of them children.

No date has been set for his court martial, which will be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle, Wash. AP

Arianespace launches rocket from French Guiana

The European space consortium Arianespace has launched a rocket with two satellites from the South American country of French Guiana.

An Ariane 5 rocket first deployed a payload for the British military’s Skynet 5 satellite system. It will be in orbit over the Middle East. The second was for Mexsat Bicentenario and is designed to provide communication services to Mexico and its surrounding waters.

The Dec. 19 evening launch was the last one for 2012 from the French Guiana spaceport.

Arianespace has 21 shareholders from 10 European countries, including France’s CNES space agency. AP




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Headlines December 22, 2014

News: Report: DOD bomb hunters pried into U.S. firms, citizens - During some of the bloodiest days of U.S. combat in Afghanistan and the roadside bomb threat there, the Pentagon’s Joint IED Defeat Organization “improperly collected” intelligence on U.S. citizens and corporations to try to stem the threat, a Pentagon Inspector General report has found.  ...
 
 

News Briefs December 22, 2014

U.K., Canadian military leaves to join Ebola fight Reservists and troops from Britain and Canada have left for Sierra Leone to help in the battle to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. British officials said Dec. 20 that 16 reservists and 100 regular military personnel left on a morning flight from the Brize Norton military airbase....
 
 
Boeing photograph

Boeing, Malaysia Airlines celebrate 100th 737 delivery

Boeing photograph Boeing and Malaysia Airlines celebrated the direct delivery of the airline’s 100th 737 aircraft at an event in Seattle. Shown here Aminuddin Zakaria, senior vice president, airline engineering group, Malaysi...
 

 

Navy helicopter crashes in Kuwait; all crewmembers ok

A U.S. Navy MH-60S helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26 (HSC 26) crashed at 11:22 a.m., EST, Dec.21, while on an overland training flight at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. All six personnel aboard the helicopter survived the crash and were transported to nearby medical facilities for evaluation. Three of the six crewmembers sustained minor...
 
 

AMC relocates KC-135 simulator

As Air Mobility Command fields the KC-46A Pegasus, displaced KC-135 Stratotanker pilot simulators will be relocated across the Total Force to maximize simulator access across the mobility enterprise. As a result, AMC, in coordination with the Air National Guard, recently identified four KC-135 pilot flight simulators and one KC-135 Boom Operator Weapons System Trainer to...
 
 

SpaceX completes first milestone for Commercial Crew Transportation System

NASA has approved the completion of SpaceX’s first milestone in the company’s path toward launching crews to the International Space Station from U.S. soil under a Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract with the agency. During the Certification Baseline Review, SpaceX described its current design baseline including how the company plans to manufacture its Crew Dragon spacecraft...
 




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