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September 6, 2013

Headlines September 6, 2013

News:

U.S. has bombs designed to ‘vaporize’ chemical, biological weapons - 

If the United States takes part in a military strike on Syria, the Air Force will likely be using bombs designed specifically for the destruction of chemical and biological weapons. If successful, these weapons would “vaporize” stockpiles of deadly agents and stop any particles from being inadvertently released into the air.

 

Defense:

U.S. military has revised Syria strike plan 50 times, source says -

Even as Congress considers President Obama’s push for military strikes on Syria, the details of that plan continue to change by the day – with one source telling Fox News that military officials have been asked to revise their plans 50 times since the Pentagon first began considering a “limited” action.

Revealed: Pentagon knew in 2012 that it would take 75,000 GROUND TROOPS to secure Syria’s chemical weapons facilities -

Securing Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles and the facilities that produced them would likely require the U.S. to send more than 75,000 ground troops into the Middle Eastern country, MailOnline learned Sept. 4.

Report warns of cost overruns on new U.S. aircraft carrier -

The first Ford-class aircraft carrier being built by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc may see further cost increases after it is commissioned, according to a congressional report that urged the U.S. Navy to delay a contract for a follow-on ship.

GOLDEN HAMMER: Army wing office buy doesn’t fly for waste watchers -

Like paying for a car repair you don’t need, the Army dished out $8 million for helicopter parts it wasn’t going to use, the service’s own investigators say. The Army’s Non-Standard Rotary Wing Aircraft office overhauled five Pakistani Mi-17 helicopters intended for use by the Afghan armed forces, but instead of using items already owned by the Defense Department, officials bought completely new parts.

Guard, reserve units fight for funds amid budget cuts -

The military’s reserve components are facing an uphill battle to preserve people, missions and money at a time of shrinking budgets across the force. A reserve advisory board is formally urging the Defense Department to continue the operational use of Guard and reserve units despite the end of the Iraq war and the drawdown in Afghanistan. Reserve advocates say part-time troops offer an affordable way to preserve military readiness.

 

Veterans:

Veterans start nonpartisan Capitol Hill job network -

A new organization, part social club and part professional network, has formed on Capitol Hill for veterans working in or with congressional offices. Called HillVets, the group aims to help other veterans succeed professionally in Washington without getting involved in partisan issues.

Army officer freed from POW camp kept promise to return -

A British Army officer captured by the Germans during World War One was granted temporary leave from a prisoner of war camp to visit his dying mother on one condition – that he returns. And in a remarkable example of wartime honesty, Capt. Robert Campbell, 29, kept his promise to the Kaiser by returning to the German prison, a historian has discovered.

 

Space:

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo completes 2nd powered flight -

Billionaire Richard Branson’s planned commercial spacecraft had a successful test flight Sept. 5, rocketing into the skies over California after being dropped from its carrier plane, his company announced. Branson’s Virgin Galactic said SpaceShipTwo broke the sound barrier, climbed from 42,000 feet to 69,000 feet over the Mojave Desert under rocket power and descended using its tilt-wing “feathering” maneuver. It’s the second powered flight for SpaceShipTwo, which is designed to carry up to six passengers on what will be suborbital flights at first.

Houston unveils plans for America’s largest space port in bid to retain title ‘Space City USA’ -

A bold plan to breathe new life into Houston’s ailing space industry has been unveiled with a futuristic spaceport designed to cope with increased demand from thrill-seeking tourists. The city announced yesterday that it had applied for a license to build the United States’ latest and biggest spaceport, and has already drawn up a detailed proposal of what the state-of-the-art facility would look if it gets the green light.

Super-Earth 40 light years away ‘is rich in water with a thick, steamy atmosphere’, confirm Japanese astronomers -

Blue light observations of a super-Earth 40 light years from our planet suggest that it is a world with a thick, steamy water-rich atmosphere. Japanese astronomers used the Subaru telescope to observe planetary transits of the super-Earth, which is located at the centre of the Milky Way.

NASA to send rocket on 30-day mission to the moon to investigate ‘evil’ lunar dust -

It has been over four decades since NASA left the moon, but now the space agency is at it again. NASA is launching a small rocket to investigate an unusual discovery made by the crew on Apollo 17 – moon dust.

 

Technology:

The design firms pioneering space suit fashion -

Final Frontier Design wants to be the number one space suit designer for commercial space flights. But with no private company yet to get a craft with passengers onboard into orbit, or even sub-orbit, how can you best endeavour to lead an industry that is still very much in an embryonic state?

 

International:

John Kerry reveals Arab countries have offered to PAY America to carry out full-scale invasion of Syria -

Secretary of State John Kerry said during a hearing Sept. 4 in the House of Representatives that countries in the Arab world have offered to foot the entire bill for a U.S. military mission that destroys the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. ‘With respect to Arab countries offering to bear costs and to assist, the answer is profoundly yes,’ Kerry said. ‘They have. That offer is on the table.’

Will Putin sell missile defenses to Iran? Russian President issues threat to route technology elsewhere if the West attacks Syria -

Vladimir Putin yesterday issued a thinly-veiled threat to arm Iran with missile defenses if the West attacks Syria. The Russian leader said Moscow had provided elements of the S-300 military technology to Syria but had frozen further shipments, suggesting they could be routed elsewhere.

Al Qaeda reportedly seeking ways to target U.S. drones -

Al Qaeda’s leadership has reportedly set up cells of engineers to find ways to destroy and sabotage unmanned aircraft in an effort to curb the U.S. drone campaign against militants in the Middle East and North Africa. U.S. intelligence officials have tracked the group’s efforts to create a counter-drone strategy since 2010, according to secret intelligence documents obtained by the Washington Post from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

U.K. increases use of armed drones in Afghanistan -

The proportion of U.K. drones using missiles in Afghanistan has doubled in the last five years, official figures show. In 2012, 10 percent of drone missions released weapons, compared to 5 percent in 2008. The number of drone missions has also increased from 296 five years ago, to 892 last year.

Inside China: Military entertainers -

The People’s Liberation Army operates a large “entertainment corps” known for its extraordinary privilege, unique access to power elites and wasteful extravagance. Now President Xi Jinping is vowing to tighten controls on military entertainers.




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Headlines July 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...
 
 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 

 

Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 




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