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February 13, 2013

News Briefs February 13, 2013

U.S. military weighs cutbacks in drone programs

The Pentagon for the first time is considering scaling back the massive buildup of drones it has overseen in the past few years. It would be both to save money and to adapt to changing security threats and new areas of operation – such as east Asia – where drones are more likely to be detected and shot down.

If the Pentagon does slow the huge building and deployment program, it won’t affect CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere against terror suspects.

Air Force leaders are saying the military may already have enough unmanned aircraft systems to wage the wars of the future – and the current number may be more than the service can afford to maintain. AP

 

Obama moves to elevate status of Army in Pacific

The Obama administration is moving to elevate the status of the general who leads soldiers in the Pacific to four stars.

U.S. Army Pacific has been led by a three-star general for years.

The Pentagon said Feb. 11 that President Barack Obama is nominating Third Army commander Lt. Gen. Vincent Brooks to become the new Army Pacific commander and for a promotion to four stars.

Putting a four-star general in charge of U.S. soldiers in the Pacific would put the Army on par with the Navy and Air Force in the region. Both services are led by four-star commanders in the Pacific.

Brooks currently leads soldiers in the U.S. Central Command area.

Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, the current U.S. Army Pacific commander, plans to retire after 34 years of service. AP

 

Iran keeps door open to military site inspections

Iran’s Foreign Ministry says the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s demands to revisit a military site where Tehran is suspected of conducting nuclear-related experiments are still on the table.

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived in Tehran for talks Feb. 13 in hopes of restarting a probe into Iran’s disputed nuclear program.

The agency in particular wants to visit Parchin, a military site southeast of Tehran, where Iran is suspected of testing components needed to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies any such activity.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday that “the discussion over visiting Parchin could be part of a deal” with IAEA inspectors.

Iran and the West are at odds over Tehran’s nuclear program, which the West suspects it aimed at weapons development. Iran denies the charge. AP

 




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Headlines April 18, 2014

Business: Lockheed to Lose 17 F-35s Under Automatic Pentagon Cuts - Pentagon will cut 17 of the 343 F-35 fighters it planned to buy from Lockheed Martin in fiscal 2016 through 2019 unless Congress repeals automatic budget cuts, according to a new Defense Department report. DOD looking for ways not to break MH-60R helo deal - The...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2013

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,177 As of April 15, 2014, at least 2,177 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,802 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
LM-F35-hours

F-35 fleet surpasses 15,000 flying hours

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program.  “Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is e...
 

 
nasa-cassini

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of new Saturn moon

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons. Images taken w...
 
 

NASA completes LADEE mission with planned impact on Moon’s surface

Ground controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon, as planned, between 9:30 and 10:22 p.m., PDT, April 17. LADEE lacked fuel to maintain a long-term lunar orbit or continue science operations and was intentionally sent...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler telescope discovers first Earth-size planet in ‘habitable zone’

Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech Kepler-186f resides in the Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The system is also home to four inner planets, seen lined up...
 




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