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September 13, 2013

Headlines September 13, 2013


Four destroyers, aircraft carrier to remain near Syria -

The Navy will keep four destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean and an aircraft carrier strike group in the Red Sea to maintain a “strong military posture” for a potential strike on Syria, the Pentagon said Sept. 12. “We have no plans at this time to change our military posture in the Mediterranean,” Pentagon press secretary George Little said. “We’re prepared for any potential military contingencies that might involve Syria.”



Machine guns, missiles and even warships: The huge array of military equipment available in London at world’s largest arms fair -

The deadliest and most advanced weapons in the world are currently being displayed for top military brass at a conference centre in east London. The Defence and Security Equipment International weapons conference at the ExCeL centre is the largest arms fair on the planet, featuring state-of-the-art vehicles, firearms, protective equipment and communications technology.

Huntington $4 billion carrier deal said to be delayed -

The Navy will delay by as much as a year awarding Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., a contract for at least $4 billion to start construction on the second vessel in a new class of aircraft carriers, according to U.S. officials.

Boeing poised to be sole bidder on Air Force one jet replacement -

Boeing, whose aircraft have carried U.S. presidents for more than half a century, is poised to be the only contender for a Pentagon contract to provide the next Air Force one jetliner early next decade.

Honeywell wins $550 million for Air Force satellite work -

Honeywell International Inc. has won up to $550 million in additional work under a large umbrella contract to manage the U.S. Air Force Satellite Control Network.

Lockheed Martin pursues tech deals in Britain, Australia -

U.S. defense company Lockheed Martin is looking to make more technology acquisitions in Britain and Australia after buying U.K. technology frim Amor Group.

Rolls Royce joins BAE in U.S. Air Force trainer competition -

British engineer Rolls Royce is joining a BAE Systems team to compete for a $10 billion deal to replace the U.S. Air Force’s ageing T-38 training jets.



In Afghanistan drawdown, U.S. forced to take costly option in transporting military gear out -

As it intensifies its withdrawal from Afghanistan, the U.S. military is being forced to fly massive amounts of gear and equipment out of the country instead of using cheaper overland and sea routes, according to Pentagon officials.

Navy warns Congress against further funding cuts -

Top U.S. Navy officials warned Congress that any further delays or cuts in funding would undercut the readiness of the declining submarine fleet, already slated for reduction by nearly 30 percent to 52 ships from 73, before an expected 2030s’ rebound.

Sites for potential East Coast missile defense plan selected -

The Missile Defense Agency is looking at five potential locations to house a controversial third domestic ground-based interceptor site, which would guard the continental United States against ballistic missile attack. While a site hasn’t been chosen, whittling the potential locations down to a few sites will allow to Pentagon to begin environmental and other assessments if Congress provides the money to go ahead with the build.

Head of Air Force Quadrennial Defense Review reassigned -

The head of Air Force’s planning for the Quadrennial Defense Review has been taken off the assignment five months before the review is expected to be completed.

Obama: Changes to compensation should grandfather current troops -

President Obama wants to consider sweeping changes to the military’s retirement and compensation system, but he also said that all current troops should be grandfathered under the current retirement plan if they choose. Obama Sept. 12 issued instructions to the Military Retirement and Compensation Modernization Commission, a task force created by Congress and intended to inform and jump start efforts to overhaul the current military pay and benefits scheme.



World War II Airmen Valorie Pollard, Dominick Licari to get Arlington burial -

The recently identified remains of a World War II airman from upstate New York and a pilot from California will be buried as a group next week at Arlington National Cemetery.



NASA Voyager 1 leaves our solar system and entered interstellar space after 36-year journey -

Voyager 1 has crossed a new frontier, becoming the first spacecraft ever to leave the solar system. Thirty-six years after it was launched from Earth on a tour of the outer planets, the plutonium-powered probe is more than 11 1/2 billion miles from the sun, cruising through what scientists call interstellar space — the vast, cold emptiness between the stars, the space agency said.

NASA loses contact with comet probe -

NASA has lost radio contact with a pioneering comet probe that hunted for planets beyond the solar system, officials said Sept. 11. The last radio communications with the Deep Impact spacecraft were Aug. 8, and recent attempts to contact the probe have failed, NASA said.



Golden Eye-style energy beam is developed by NATO scientists -

The device uses an intense pulse of electromagnetic energy that can be directed at a moving vehicle to interfere with the electronics on board. Tests conducted by NATO scientists who have been developing the device in Norway show that it can stop a car approaching a roadblock and could be used to thwart suicide bomb attacks.

National Nuclear Security Administration spending comes under fire for cost overruns -

At Los Alamos National Laboratory, a seven-year, $213 million upgrade to the security system that protects the lab’s most sensitive nuclear bomb-making facilities doesn’t work. Those same facilities, which sit atop a fault line, remain susceptible to collapse and dangerous radiation releases, despite millions more spent on improvement plans.



China navy chief says operational aircraft carrier a few years away -

The Chinese navy is using its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, for training and testing and will decide on an operation carrier for the fleet after a few years of evaluation, Admiral Wu Shengli said Sept. 12.

South Korea’s ex air force chiefs slam Boeing choice in fighter deal -

South Korea’s 15 former air force chiefs have signed a petition opposing the selection of Boeing’s F-15 Silent Eagle for the country $7.64 billion fighter jet program, one former chief said Sept. 12, saying the plane lacked the cutting-edge stealth capabilities of more modern fighters.



U.S. war decisions rightfully belong to elected civilian leaders, not the military -

The Sept. 6 commentary by retired Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales [“A war the Pentagon doesn’t want,” Washington Forum] marks a dangerous breach of the fundamental civilian-military relationship in the United States. Its corrosive premise — that our civilian leadership is not up to the task of deciding the nation’s course in war — must be addressed before our military begins to believe that it should have the biggest say in decisions to go to war.

Syria: Pro-war senators took 83 percent more money from military industry -

Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10 to 7 to approve the use of military force in Syria. A Maplight analysis reveals that senators voting ‘yes’ received, on average, 83 percent more campaign money from defense contractors than senators voting ‘no.’

An international commander in chief -

President Obama’s remarks at the Group of 20 conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, that he was “elected to stop wars, not start them” certainly implies that he sees himself endowed with an expanded global mandate. While it’s far from clear that he understands the oath of office he took to be president of the United States — which is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic — he apparently has no trouble viewing himself as more of an “international president.”

The folly of rushing to war -

Standing against military adventurism is not an isolationist ploy

It seems the most common thing for serial interventionists to do these days is to lob the term “isolationist” at anyone who does not agree with their latest folly, and then set up a straw man about those people not wanting to be involved in the world.

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