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September 16, 2013

Headlines September 16, 2013

News:

Multiple deaths in Navy Yard shooting rampage -

Multiple people were killed Sept. 16 after a shooter opened fire in a rampage at a Navy yard in the nation’s capital, putting government buildings on lockdown and sending police SWAT teams rushing to the scene. One suspect is dead, but two others may be on the loose, Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier said.

 

Business:

Pratt sees 2.5 percent or more cost cut on next F-35 engines -

Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp , on Sept. 16 said it expects to drive down the cost of the F135 engines it builds for the U.S. F-35 fighter jet at least 2.5 percent, and perhaps more, in its next two production contracts.

Kennametal to buy Allegheny unit for $605 million -

Kennametal Inc., a maker of metal-cutting tools, agreed to buy the tungsten materials unit of supplier Allegheny Technologies Inc. for $605 million to help expand its aerospace and energy business.

Bombardier CSeries jet takes off to start first flight -

Bombardier’s CSeries jet completed its maiden flight, ending more than eight months of delays for the $3.4 billion aircraft program intended to challenge Boeing and Airbus.

 

Defense:

Air Force considers scrapping A-10s, KC-10s, F-15Cs, CSAR helos -

Faced with steep budget cuts and the desire to keep existing procurement initiatives on track, the Air Force is considering scrapping its entire fleet of A-10 attack jets and KC-10 tankers, according to multiple military and defense sources. Also on the chopping block are F-15C fighters and a planned $6.8 billion purchase of new combat search-and-rescue helicopters, these sources say.

Key GOP chairman prepared to cut troop benefits -

A key Republican subcommittee chairman is ready to accept pay and benefits cuts for future service members, but he won’t support base closing or significant force structure cuts. Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., who oversees about 40 percent of the defense budget in his role as chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on readiness, said he’s convinced after talking with defense and service leaders that compensation-related military personnel costs need to be reduced to protect other programs.

Army consolidates deployment processing -

In one month, the new Continental United States Replacement Center at Fort Bliss, Texas, has processed almost 250 soldiers and Army civilians for their overseas deployments. The Army consolidated its CRC operation Aug. 9, moving it from Fort Benning, Ga., to Fort Bliss.

Pentagon overlooks living Iraq veterans for Medal of Honor -

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the Second War in Iraq. Yet to date not one living veteran out of 1.5 million soldiers, sailors, and air-force personnel who fought in that conflict has been awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed posted Sept. 15, James C. Roberts, president of the American Veterans Center, slammed the lack of recognition as a “serious injustice.”

Army, Air Force readying to issue new contract vehicles -

Several noteworthy Defense Department contracts are coming up for competition in the spring, and incumbents and newcomers alike are bracing for new opportunities.

U.S. to triple Afghan cargo shipments on Pakistan routes -

The United States wants to triple the volume of its cargo traffic leaving Afghanistan by road through Pakistan as NATO combat forces withdraw from the South Asian nation by the end of 2014.

 

Space:

Japan launches new, cheaper rocket after postponement due to computer glitch -

Japan successfully launched a new rocket Sept. 14 that it hopes will be a cheaper and more efficient way of sending satellites into space. The three-stage Epsilon lifted off from a space center on Japan’s southern main island of Kyushu, following a two-week postponement. An earlier launch last month was aborted 19 seconds before a planned liftoff due to a computer glitch.

Violent cosmic crashes can spawn life across the solar system: Comets deliver building blocks of life to other planets -

Building blocks of life can spring into existence spontaneously when icy comets smash into planets, a study has shown. A similar process can create amino acids – bits of proteins – when a rocky meteorite strikes an ice-covered world. The discovery suggests that life could be getting a kick start just about everywhere in the universe.

Mars rover makes science ‘pit stop’ -

After two months of solid driving, the Curiosity Mars rover has finally parked for a few days of intense science. It will be studying the rocks under its wheels, trying to relate them to the outcrops seen earlier in the mission. The NASA robot will be using just its remote-sensing instruments. There is no expectation to drill.

 

International:

United Kingdom: Forces to be tested for combat stress -

Every member of the Armed Forces will be given a mental health test under a new scheme to spot signs of PTSD in veterans. The questionnaire will also look for signs of alcoholism or depression and will become part of routine medicals for those still serving.

United Kingdom: Tory MPs revolt over Army cuts -

Ministers are facing a revolt by Conservative MPs over plans to cut the size of the regular Army by 20,000 while boosting the numbers of part-time soldiers. Some 25 backbenchers have written to Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, asking him to halt the proposals to disband regular infantry battalions.




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