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September 27, 2013

News Briefs September 27, 2013

Minuteman missile test-launched from California

The U.S. Air Force has test-launched an unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile from California.

The missile lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 3:33 a.m., PDT, Sept. 26

It was the second Minuteman launch from Vandenberg this week. The first was launched early Sunday.
No details of the test were released. Such tests typically involve a flight over the Pacific Ocean to a target in the Kwajalein Atoll.

Col. Scott Fox, vice commander of the 20th Air Force, said in a statement that the test was a visible demonstration of the nation’s nuclear deterrent. AP

Spokane, Wash., commissioners buffer Fairchild Air Base

The possibility of a sniper is one reason Spokane County commissioners decided to bar development on 400 acres on the east side of Fairchild Air Force Base.

The base commander recently raised concerns that an industrial facility could provide a hiding place for a sniper.

The Spokesman-Review reports the decision Sept. 25 also addresses concerns raised last week by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee that industrial development near Fairchild could threaten the future of the base.

The commission reduced the proposed expansion of an urban growth area from 4,100 acres to 3,700 acres. AP

Air Force report says Vermont still best F-35 spot

An Air Force report says the Burlington International Airport in Vermont remains its top choice as the location to base up to 24 F-35 fighter planes with a National Guard unit.

Nicholas Germanos, the Air Force’s project manager for studying F-35 basing, tells the Burlington Free Press, the Burlington airport remains the preferred alternative as the first guard location to receive the aircraft that would be ready to be used in war.

A final decision on where to base the planes will be made by the Air Force secretary at a later date.
In Vermont, the planes would replace the guard’s aging F-16s.

Opponents claim the planes would be too noisy and cause other problems. Another segment of the local population supports bringing the planes to Vermont. AP

EADS slams Europe over defense industry policies

The top executive at Airbus’ parent company, EADS, has criticized the European Union for being slow to integrate its defense industry.

Tom Enders says he’s skeptical of the outcome of the upcoming EU defense summit in December, adding that any progress will have to come from the leaders of France and Britain, not via Brussels.

Enders told reporters in Paris we are further away from a common EU foreign and security policy than at any time in the last 20 years.

He said Germany is unwilling to take the lead, and other countries lack the financial muscle power, so that means France and the U.K. must lead the way.

Enders added How can Europe be taken seriously when it continues with the fragmentation it demonstrates today? AP




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Courtesy photograph

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