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October 7, 2013

Headlines October 7, 2013

News:

Most furloughed DOD civilians will return to work Oct. 7 -

Most furloughed Defense Department civilians are returning to work Oct. 7. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced just before 3 p.m. Saturday that “most DOD civilians placed on emergency furlough during the government shutdown will be asked to return to work beginning next week.”

 

Business:

Defense shares up after Pentagon recalls civilian workers -

Shares of Lockheed martin, the Pentagon’s biggest supplier, and other defense companies rallied Oct. 7 after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recalled most civilian defense employees despite the ongoing shutdown of the U.S. government.

Lockheed will trim furlough to 2,400, as Pentagon recalls most civilian workers -

Bethesda, Md.,-based Lockheed Martin said Oct. 7 that it would trim its planned furloughs to about 2,400 employees—most of whom are based in the D.C. area—in light of the Pentagon’s decision to recall most of its civilians workers.

Debt ceiling fight will imperil defense spending -

In the week following the U.S. government shutdown, tea party Republicans are now poised for a new attack on federal spending as lawmakers and the White House battle over the nation’s borrowing limit.

Airbus clinches landmark jet order with Japan Airlines -

Airbus clinched its first jet order from Japan Airlines Oct. 7, cracking a big national market long dominated by the European firm’s main rival, Boeing.

Supreme owner made billionaire Feeding U.S. war machine -

Chemical warfare and car bombings are just a few of the hazards working in war-torn countries such as Iraq and Syria. For Supreme Group BV, it’s the cost of doing business.

 

Defense:

Giant Pentagon budget is unauditable year after year -

The federal government is currently in a state of shutdown thanks to a small faction of extremist Republicans who vehemently bellow that the Affordable Care Act will have a catastrophic economic effect on our country. These members of Congress are so irrational about the ACA that they have caused the furlough of nearly 800,000 federal workers – some of whom handle vitally important tasks such as safety inspections, monitoring our food supply and detecting epidemic outbreaks.

Army redesigns fusion server of battlefield intel system, but ‘next generation’ draws skeptics -

The Army is redesigning a major component of its battlefield intelligence network in Afghanistan that has been criticized by soldiers, weapons testers and lawmakers.

AMC, DOD disagree over cutting C-130s to save money -

The Air Force could lose up to 78 C-130s as the Defense Department determines its intra-theater airlift requirement, Air Mobility Command officials said. The results of a Defense Department study are classified, but one proposal calls for cutting the C-130 fleet from 358 to 280 aircraft, officials said.

New Air Force cargo planes fly straight into mothballs -

The Pentagon is sending $50 million cargo planes straight from the assembly line to mothballs because it has no use for them, yet it still hasn’t stopped ordering the aircraft, according to a report.

 

Space:

Massive planet eight times the size of Jupiter -

A massive world 2,500 times the size of Earth has been discovered by an international team of astronomers

What happened to Mars’ vast oceans? -

A mission that will scan Mars’ atmosphere to better understand what happened to its water will be launched by NASA next month. The space agency has given the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission an emergency exemption from the U.S. government shutdown which is now entering its second week.

 

Technology:

Pentagon-funded Atlas robot refuses to be knocked over -

Meet Atlas, a humanoid robot capable of crossing rough terrain and maintaining its balance on one leg even when hit from the side. And WildCat, the four-legged robot that can gallop untethered at up to 16mph.

 

International:

United Kingdom: Army struggling to find recruits since system was overhauled to cut costs -

The government’s 10-year, £440?million deal to privatise recruitment was supposed to save £300?million, but has resulted in a sharp drop in the number of recruits going through the system. Figures obtained by The Daily Telegraph show that the number of people attending Army interviews and selection tests to be regular soldiers has fallen by 35 per cent since Capita, the services company, took charge of hiring.

Scotland benefits from all £34 billion of U.K. defense spending -

The U.K. Defence Secretary will unveil an 86-page analysis Oct. 8 that explains how Scotland is defended by the three armed forces and cyber and intelligence services as part of an “integrated” system that stretches across the U.K. Highlighting how difficult it would be to unpick this, the civil service report warns Alex Salmond he may be faced with forming a separate defense force from scratch as he could not “co-opt” Scottish servicemen currently serving in the British armed forces.

United Kingdom: Clergymen shut down base that operates drones in Afghanistan -

The six protesters broke into RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, the home of 13 Squadron, which pilots the unmanned drones, and planted a peace garden of a fig tree and a vine. The judge described the six as “dutiful people” and said it was only with a “heavy heart” he found them guilty of criminal damage to the base.

Australia: Guards to be cut at military bases as Defence battles with budget -

The anti-terrorism protection force at some of Australia’s key military bases is to be slashed, as the Defence Department struggles to find budget savings. Australian Protective Service officers will be taken off guard duty at Sydney’s Holsworthy Barracks, the navy’s Garden Island base, Victoria Barracks in Melbourne and the army’s officer training college at Duntroon. It is understood the 500-strong protection force will be cut by up to 110, with gaps to be filled by security guards provided by private sector contractors.

Canadian Armed Forces targets waste and inefficiency in redeploying funds -

In 2005, the enemy was the Taliban, but now in 2013 the Canadian Armed Forces has slapped a target on a fresh adversary: waste and inefficiency. The Canadian military will squeeze up to $1.2-billion in annual savings from existing spending and redirect this into higher priority areas in a effort to keep soldiers, sailors and air force personnel in a higher state of readiness, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson announced Oct. 7.

Afghanistan: Hamid Karzai says NATO caused ‘great suffering’ -

President Hamid Karzai has criticized NATO for failing to bring stability to Afghanistan in over a decade there. “On the security front the entire NATO exercise was one that caused Afghanistan a lot of suffering, a lot of loss of life, and no gains because the country is not secure,” he said.




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NASA photograph by David Olive

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