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April 10, 2013

Headlines April 10, 2013

News

Pentagon’s $526.6 billion budget asks Congress for unpopular cuts

The Pentagon unveiled a $526.6 billion budget April 10 that calls for base closures, program cancellations and smaller pay increases, but which is still $52 billion higher than spending caps set by law, putting the department on a path toward another year of financial uncertainty.

Reduced flying hours forces grounding of 17 Air Force combat air squadrons

The Air Force will begin grounding combat air squadrons Tuesday in response to forced spending cuts that have eliminated more than 44,000 flying hours through September, according to internal documents obtained by Air Force Times.

Air Force begins grounding combat aircraft due to sequestration

The Air Force began grounding about one-third of its active-duty combat aircraft April 9 because of automatic federal spending cuts, including squadrons of fighters, bombers and airborne warning and control craft.

 

Defense

What’s the price of a life?

It’s going to be hard for the Defense Department to meet the challenges laid out by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey. “We can’t afford excess equipment,” Dempsey said at a March 28 news conference. “We have to reform how we buy weapons and services. We have to reduce redundancy.”

New U.S. defense budget means more financial uncertainty for Pentagon

The Obama Administration is poised to roll out a 2014 defense budget that is billions of dollars higher than legally mandated spending caps, setting the stage for another year of financial uncertainty and turmoil at the Pentagon, defense analysts say.

U.S. approves final year funding for Lockheed Martin missile system

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has told his German and Italian counterparts the Pentagon plans spent about $310 million to help fund the final year of development of Lockheed Martin’s MEADS missile defense system, a spokeswoman said April 9.

Six U.S. Air Force cyber capabilities designated ‘weapons’

The U.S. Air Force has designated six cyber tools as weapons, which should help the programs compete for increasingly scarce dollars in the Pentagon budget, an Air Force official said April 8.

U.S. Air Force eyes mixed approach for next weather satellite

The U.S. Air Force will likely opt for a mixed approach for a next-generation satellite that includes smaller spacecraft, according to top Air Force officials.

Navy cancels Blue Angels shows for 2013 due to sequester

The Blue Angels, the Navy’s revered aerial acrobats, have been grounded for the rest of the year due to sequestration cuts. The Navy announced the cancellation April 9 of more than 30 shows for the stunt-flying team that were planned through November, citing budget cuts imposed by the Department of Defense.

Sequestration halts Tops in Blue 60th tour

Tops in Blue has canceled its 60th anniversary tour for at least the next six months because of sequestration. The troupe of about 35 airmen, who perform for airmen, Air Force families and communities around the world, anticipates it will start building the 2013 show Oct. 1, which will be the start of the new fiscal year, according to the Tops in Blue Website.

 

Veterans

VA still prescribing tranquilizers to veterans with PTSD, despite warnings

Veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder are still being prescribed tranquilizers – such as Valium and Xanax – by doctors from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Stars and Stripes reported.

As VA backlog grows, ‘baffled’ veteran allies begin to turn on president

America’s 23 million veterans are facing an unprecedented crisis as the backlog of disability claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs has grown to nearly 1 million—more than double what it was when President Obama took office.

 

International

An independent Scotland would have to ‘support nuclear weapons’ to gain access to NATO

AN independent Scotland would not be able to join NATO unless it formally accepted its “nuclear umbrella”, according to the organization’s former secretary general.

North Korea’s missile program

North Korea is believed to have more than 1,000 missiles of varying capabilities, including long-range missiles which could one day strike the United States.

 

 

 

 




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