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October 17, 2013

Headlines October 17, 2013

News:

Ranger’s unconscious salute inspires, captivates a grateful nation -

There’s tough. There’s Marine Corps tough. And now there’s an entirely new category: Injured, hooked-to-tubes, unconscious — but still saluting — Army Ranger tough.

 

Business:

Pentagon withholding payments from six weapons makers -

The U.S. Defense Department is withholding payments from six arms makers for problems with their internal business systems, including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and two United Technologies Corp. units.

Lockheed to lay off 600 workers in mission systems, training -

Lockheed Martin, the largest U.S. defense contractor, Oct. 16 became the latest weapons maker in recent months to announce layoffs, saying it would let go of 600 workers in its Mission Systems and Training Division later this month.

Raytheon’s interceptor’s quality controls under U.S. review -

The Pentagon’s inspector general has begun a quality review of Raytheon’s manufacturing of the primary interceptor used in the U.S. ballistic missile defense system.

Boeing sees $10 billion aero deals in Latin America -

Latin American countries other than Brazil could order more than $10 billion worth of space and defense products in the next few years, according to a Boeing executive for the region.

Raytheon to get $3 billion missile contract -

Raytheon will be awarded a $3 billion contract to supply missile systems to the U.S. Defense Department, the agency said Oct. 17.

EADS sees test, services sale decision in weeks -

EADS is close to a decision on the sale of its Cassidian test & Service unit, the aerospace group said Oct. 16.

 

Defense:

Pentagon to review progress of F-35 fighter program next week -

Top Pentagon officials will examine the cost of building and operating the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet at a major review of the $392 billion program next week that will also provide updates on lingering technical issues.

Leon Panetta: Military readiness ‘badly damaged’ by sequester -

Remember sequester cuts? In all the brouhaha on Capitol Hill about the fate of Obamacare, the fate of the budget and continuing resolutions and the fate of government’s day-to-day operations, the fallout from mandated cost-cuts has fallen under the radar — but former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta raised the specter Oct. 13.

One percent pay raise likely for troops next year -

Only a last-minute decision by Congress will give service members anything more than a 1 percent across-the-board pay increase on Jan. 1. If Congress does nothing, troops are due a 1 percent increase under a presidential order signed in August, which is the same raise scheduled for federal civilians.

Inspector general: Millions in auto parts missing in Afghanistan -

A U.S.-led international group has spent $368 million for spare auto parts for the Afghan National Army and other agencies, only to have most of the supplies either go missing or end up unused and stacked in warehouses, according to a government inspector.

Pentagon admits Christian ministry not a ‘hate group,’ says label does not reflect official doctrine -

The Pentagon has admitted that information used in an Army briefing that labeled the American Family Association (AFA) as a domestic hate group was not acquired from official sources and does not reflect Army doctrine.

 

Veterans:

Arlington Cemetery will allow small mementos at Section 60 -

Arlington National Cemetery is relaxing its policies to allow family members of those buried in its section for those who died in Iraq and Afghanistan to leave behind small mementos and photos to honor those service members, a spokeswoman said Oct. 16. Section 60 is the part of the cemetery that is home to most of those killed in recent fighting.

 

Space:

Now you can cruise around the Milky Way -

If you ever need a reminder of just how tiny we are relative to the universe, then take a look at this. The interactive Google map called ‘100,000 Stars,’ provides a spectacular fly-through of our galaxy.

Iran to launch a second monkey into space ‘within a month’ -

Iran may be ready to send a monkey into space within a month, according to one of the country’s national newspapers. A report Oct. 13 in the daily Jomhuri Eslami quotes the deputy head of Iran’s space agency, Hamid Fazeli, as saying the planned launch is part of the country’s plans to send a human to space in 2018.

Comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft to awaken from deep-space hibernation -

Europe’s comet-chasing space probe Rosetta has been hibernating for more than two years, but in January, the spacecraft will be jolted awake to prepare for the climax of its mission.

Sunjammer, world’s largest solar sail, passes key test for 2015 launch -

A NASA plan to launch the world’s largest solar sail into space and unfurl it like a giant parasol has passed a major test as the mission moves closer to a planned January 2015 launch. Sunjammer mission successfully deployed part of its huge solar sail in a test on Sept. 30, revealing the craft should be ready to function successfully following its January 2015 launch.

Biggest known star in universe is dying -

The biggest known star in the cosmos is in its death throes and will eventually explode, astronomers said Oct. 16. Using a telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile, the astronomers said they had spotted telltale signs in a star called W26.

Saturn’s bizarre Hexagonal storm system is revealed in true color -

The mysterious six-sided storm on Saturn’s North Pole has long captivated astronomers. But up until now, images taken of it have been in infrared wavelengths, showing false-color shades of red, orange and green.

 

Technology:

How medieval stained-glass is creating the ultimate space camera -

British space scientists are using medieval stained-glass to build a ‘state of the art’ camera bound for Mars. The space team are using the medieval technology to ensure pictures beamed back from Mars accurately show the colors found on the Red Planet.

Hunting rogue asteroids could be a new use for nuclear weapons -

When planetary scientist H. Jay Melosh attended a meeting between nuclear weapons designers from the United States and the former Soviet Union in May 1995, he was surprised by how eagerly the ex-Cold Warriors sought to work together against an unlikely but dangerous extraterrestrial threat: asteroids on a collision course with Earth.

 

International:

U.S. seeks $10.8 billion weapons sale to UAE, Saudis -

The U.S. Defense Department plans to sell Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates $10.8 billion in advanced weaponry, including air-launche cruise missiles and precision munitions.

Russia to test new missile -

Russia will test launch a controversial missile over the next several weeks that U.S. officials say is raising new concerns about Moscow’s growing strategic nuclear arsenal and Russia’s potential violations of arms treaties.

United Kingdom: Reforms have left the Army in chaos -

Controversial plans to restructure the Army are “failing” because cuts to the defense budget are putting off potential new soldiers and making Britain a “hostile recruiting environment”, according to a leaked document. The memo, which is understood to have had wide distribution within the Ministry of Defence, says that “disappointing” recruitment to the new Army Reserve means that targets for a larger part-time force will not be reached.

Experts call for ban on ‘killer robots’ -

The International Committee for Robot Arms Control, which is made up of 270 scientists and engineers from around the world, have warned against allowing machines to make decisions about using violence. They say that using autonomous drones and other robots that carry weapons could “initiate or escalate conflicts” and cause “unjustifiable harm to civilian populations.”

Air India Dreamliner left with gaping hole mid-flight -

A large panel fell off a plane mid-flight leaving a gaping hole in the aircraft while 148 passengers were on board.  An investigation has been launched after the panel came away from the fuselage on the Air India 797 Dreamliner Oct. 12.

EU states urged to cooperate on drones, cyber defense -

European Union states should work together in four areas of defense technology, including developing drones, the bloc’s foreign policy chief said in a report Oct. 16.

India to finalize Rafale deal this fiscal year -

India will finalize a $15 billion deal to buy 126 Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault Aviation by March 2014, an Indian air force official said Oct. 17, after the deal had been held up by differences over local manufacturing.

 

Viewpoint:

Obama’s military contempt: The outrageous treatment of Clint Lorance -

If the fact that the Obama Administration has blocked aging veterans from visiting the World War II memorial and denied death gratuity benefits for fallen warriors doesn’t seem to indicate contempt for our military, how about this most recent story?




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Headlines July 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...
 
 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 

 

Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 




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