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July 10, 2013

Headlines July 10, 2013

News

Hagel outlines ‘abrupt, deep’ cuts of $52 billion ahead

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said July 10 that if faced with $52 billion in automatic cuts next year, the Pentagon would do its best to “seek management efficiencies and controls on compensation growth before making cuts to force structure, modernization and readiness.”

Pentagon eyes cuts in danger pay for 56,000 U.S. troops in up to 18 countries

The Pentagon is eyeing plans to eliminate danger pay for service members in as many as 18 countries and five waterways around the world, saving about $120 million each year while taking a bite out of troops’ salaries, The Associated Press has learned.

 

Business

Alcoa earnings exceed estimates as aircraft orders gain

Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum producer, reported earnings that beat analysts’ estimates following a better-than-expected performance at its unit that supplies components to aerospace and power companies.

Oerlikon to expand plane coatings in U.S. without Sulzer tie-up

OC Oerlikon Corp. and Sulzer AG, which both have Victor Vekselberg as their largest shareholder, are making independent forays into metal coatings for airplane parts, the head of Oerlikon’s coating business said.

 

Defense

Fixed-price deals may not control costs, Pentagon says

Fixed-price contracts aren’t necessarily more effective in curbing overruns during the development and initial production of weapons systems, according to a Pentagon study.

Pentagon builds never-used Afghan headquarters as troops depart

The U.S. military is putting finishing touches on a $34 million regional headquarters in Afghanistan that may never be used as American troops pack up to come home.

Fort Hood victims battle over Purple Hearts

For U.S. Army SSergeant Shawn Manning, Nov. 5, 2009, was a routine day at Fort Hood, Texas, waiting for a health checkup before his scheduled deployment to Afghanistan. Suddenly, he heard someone yell “Allahu akbar” – Arabic for God is Great – before the first of six bullets slammed into his chest, piercing his right lung and liver.

Granddaughter qualifies to follow in boot steps of Delta Force founder

A descendant of Col. Charles Beckwith, who in 1977 founded the Army’s Delta Force that today hunts and kills Islamic terrorists, passed the test in May to become a member of the elite special operations forces.

Defense agency looks for ways to spend

Spend the money! Spend it all! Spend it now! That’s the distinct impression created by a recent e-mail sent by Defense Information Systems Agency contracting and budget officers to their colleagues.

 

Veterans

California hiring state workers to help VA with claims

California is moving to help the federal government cut the backlog of veterans’ disability claims with a new law creating a 36-member state strike force to help the Veterans Affairs Department process claims.

Job market for vets is promising, though far from perfect

The job market for veterans “is brighter than it has been,” but the government still needs to concentrate on improving basic job-hunting knowledge and translating military-learned skills into civilian jobs, the vice chairwoman of the Joint Economic Committee said July 10.

How the Pentagon’s payroll quagmire traps America’s soldiers

As Christmas 2011 approached, U.S. Army medic Shawn Aiken was once gain locked in desperate battle with a formidable foe. Not insurgents in Iraq, or Taliban fighters in Afghanistan – enemies he had already encountered with distinguished bravery.

A veteran’s debt

Army medic Shawn Aiken returned to the U.S. with multiple war injuries, and soon found himself struggling to feed his family as the Pentagon charged him for alleged debts that he didn’t actually owe.

Pentagon’s paymasters hound a master sergeant

Four months after 25-year Air Force veteran George Koffler retired, the Defense Department demanded that he give back $4,034.67 in pay it said he hadn’t deserved.

Space

ESA selects Ariane 6 basic design

The basic design for Europe’s next generation rocket, the Ariane 6, has been selected.

 

International

Britain had to rely on German military for first time since Waterloo

During the Libyan conflict in 2011 British forces had to use maps supplied by German intelligence because of cutbacks in the Ministry of Defence, it has emerged.

Up to 2,000 Libyan troops to come to Britain for training

Up to 2,000 Libyan troops are to be brought to the United Kingdom for training by the British Army, the government has announced.

UK troop levels in Afghanistan ‘to fall to 6,000 by autumn’

The number of U.K. troops in Afghanistan will fall to about 6,000 by the autumn, the defence secretary has said.

China has world’s most active missile programs, U.S. says

China’s military has the world’s “most active and diverse ballistic missile program,” with an expanding inventory of nuclear warheads that can reach the U.S., according to a Pentagon intelligence report.




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