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September 27, 2013

Headlines September 27, 2013

News:

Airplanes fly as mail delivered even if government shuts -

Planes will still fly and land safely with the aid of federal air traffic controllers even if Congress can’t reach a deal to fund the federal government. FBI agents will investigate crimes, mail will be delivered, Social Security checks and Medicare payments will go out and U.S. military personnel will still report to duty.

 

Business:

Swiss parliament backs purchase of 22 Saab Gripen fighter jets -

The Swiss parliament backed the purchase of 22 Gripen combat jets from Sweden’s Saab AB for $3.4 billion with opponents given about three months to seek a national vote on the deal.

 

Defense:

U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan down nearly 20 percent -

The Pentagon has quietly removed nearly 12,000 troops from Afghanistan during the past several months, scaling back the military’s combat power before the end of the fighting season. U.S. troop levels have fallen nearly 20 percent, from 66,000 in April down to about 54,500 in late September, Pentagon data show.

Pentagon aims to finalize Lockheed F-35 contract within days -

The Pentagon expects to finalize a contract with Lockheed Martin for the sixth and seventh batches of F-35 fighter jets within days, the deputy director of the $392 billion program said Sept. 25.

N.H. senator puts nomination of new Air Force secretary on hold -

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., is holding up the confirmation of Air Force Secretary-nominee Deborah Lee over the senator’s concern that the Air Force may retire all A-10 jets. The Republican from New Hampshire is worried that dumping the A-10 might hurt U.S. military strength and questions whether there’s an adequate replacement for it, one of her aides told The Hill.

Pentagon sees decisions on U.S. weather satellite in next months -

The Pentagon is expected to reach decisions in coming months on how to meet its weather forecasting needs after the 2012 termination of a nearly $15 billion program being built by Northrop Grumman, a senior official told Reuters Sept. 26.

Watchdog faults U.S. Navy approach to building unmanned carrier planes -

The Government Accountability Office Sept. 26 faulted the U.S. navy’s plan to spend $3.7 billion to develop, build and field a new unmanned carrier-based warplane without subjecting the program to a rigorous review until 2020.

The Pentagon’s biggest, baddest – and costliest – piece of hardware ever -

When the USS Gerald R. Ford is finally christened, the massive aircraft carrier will be the biggest and baddest piece of Pentagon hardware ever built – and the most expensive.

Golden Hammer: Army gun shopping spree came up empty -

Move over, shopping addicts, you’ve got nothing on Uncle Sam. In the latest example of wasted tax dollars, the Pentagon spent a whopping $14 million to go shopping for semi-automatic rifles that the Army now acknowledges it doesn’t need or want.

 

Space:

Scientists unravel the mystery of the supermassive black hole at center of our galaxy -

The mystery as to why our galaxy’s supermassive black hole is dormant has stumped scientists for decades. But new evidence suggests that the ‘sleeping dragon’ was in fact active at some point- we just weren’t around to see it.

Mars water surprise in Curiosity rover soil samples -

There is a surprising amount of water bound up in the soil of Mars, according to an analysis done onboard the U.S. space agency’s (NASA) Curiosity rover. When it heated a small pinch of dirt scooped up from the ground, the most abundant vapor detected was H2O.

China to launch space station by 2023 -

China expects to complete its first orbiting space station within a decade. The station, in low-Earth orbit, will be able to support six crew on short-term missions and three for long-term stays.

 

International:

U.S. sanctioned Chinese firm wins Turkey missile defense system tender -

NATO member Turkey has chosen a Chinese firm that has been sanctioned by Washington to co-produce a $4 billion long-range air and missile defense system, rejecting rival bids from Russian, U.S. and European firms.

Iraqi interpreters feel frightened and ‘fooled’ as U.S. visa program ends -

As a U.S. visa program for Iraqi interpreters nears its end Sept. 30, one of those former military aides fears that he — as well as thousands others like him — will be left behind to face the wrath of insurgents who view him as a traitor amid intensifying sectarian combat in Iraq.

United Kingdom: ‘We must make war more acceptable’ -

Repatriation ceremonies for the remains of dead soldiers should have a lower profile in order to make war more palatable to the British public, according to a report for the Ministry of Defence. It examines how to sway ‘casualty averse’ public opinion, a situation commonly known as ‘body bag syndrome’, and was published by the MoD’s strategy formulation unit.

United Kingdom: MPs ‘unconvinced’ by SNP defence plan for independent Scotland -

The Commons defense select committee said it was “unconvinced” the proposed budget of £2.5 billion can support new Scottish armed forces and the purchase of equipment including fast jets and submarines. Planes for a Scottish air force could cost up to £1.7 billion alone, the report found, while the SNP’s planned fleet of non-nuclear submarines could only be bought abroad “at considerable cost and risk.”

U.K. to host NATO annual summit next year -

The United Kingdom is to host the annual summit of NATO members next year, for the first time since 1990, No 10 has announced. Margaret Thatcher was the last British prime minister to host the event, previously held in the U.K. in 1977.




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Headlines January 23, 2015

News: Two Marines identified in deadly California helo crash - Two Marine Corps officers killed when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise in the Southern California desert were remembered Jan. 25 as talented pilots. Greek F-16 crashes in Spain during NATO exercise - Ten people died Jan. 26 after a Greek air force F-16 jet crashed...
 
 

News Briefs January 26, 2015

Navy wants to increase use of sonar-emitting buoys The U.S. Navy is seeking permits to expand sonar and other training exercises off the Pacific Coast, a proposal raising concerns from animal advocates who say that more sonar-emitting buoys would harm whales. The Navy now wants to deploy up to 720 sonobuoys about 12 miles off...
 
 
Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards

ANG conducts air refueling training with NATO allies in Germany

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards A NATO E-3A AWACS aircraft approaches a Utah Air National Guard KC-135R Stratotanker for air refueling during a training flight over Germany on Jan. 13, 2015. Nearly 30 airme...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales

Ramstein Airmen train with French air force

Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales Two U.S. Air Force pilots and a French air force navigator discuss the route to the drop zone during a simulated low-level drop Jan. 21, 2015, at Orleans – Bricy Air...
 
 

Marines receive first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant

The first F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for the U.S. Marine Corps touched-down on the flight line at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 13, from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations. U.S. Marine Lt. Col. J.T. Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander...
 
 

VA announces single regional framework under MyVA initiative

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Jan. 26 that it is taking the first steps under the MyVA initiative to realign its many organizational maps into one map with five regions to better serve Veterans. The new regions under the MyVA alignment will allow VA to begin the process of integrating disparate organizational boundaries into...
 




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