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November 22, 2013

Headlines November 22, 2013

News:

U.S. has deal on Afghan pact before tribal leaders meet –

U.S. and Afghan officials have reached an accord permitting some American forces to remain in Afghanistan after next year, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Nov. 21.

Karzai lauds U.S. accord as Afghans debate keeping troops –

Afghan President Hamid Karzai hailed a pact to keep U.S. troops in the country after 2014, telling national leaders meeting to assess the agreement that it would bring stability to the war-torn nation.

 

Business:

South Korea to buy 40 fighter jets with stealth capabilities –

South Korean military leaders recommended purchasing 40 fighter jets with stealth capabilities and indicated Lockheed Martin’s F-35 provided the best defense against North Korean’s growing nuclear threat.

EADS bids for stake in Italy’s Avio space propulsion business –

European Aeronautic, Defence and Space said it’s aiming to buy a stake in Italy’s Avio SpA as private equity firm Cinven Ltd. seeks to cut its holding in a company whose remaining business is focused on rocket engines.

Drone maker General Atomics may face layoffs –

Privately held drone maker General Atomics Aeronautical Systems may have to lay off about one quarter of its production staff if it does not receive further U.S. or foreign orders, a senior company executive said this week.

Gulf buyers eye future purchases of Lockheed’s F-35 –

Gulf buyers are nearing decisions to buy more current generation fighter jets, but the buzz at the Dubai Airshow was about Lockheed Martin’s radar-evading F-35 fighter – a plane not yet operational and not even on display at the air show.

Lockheed sees more clarity on Saudi naval buy in next months –

Lockheed Martin expects news about a multibillion dollar program to modernize the Saudi Arabian Navy in the next several months, senior company executives told Reuters at the Dubai Airshow Nov. 20 after meetings with Saudi officials.

German union calls on EADS management to clarify job cut plans –

Germany’s IG Metall labor union called on management at EADS to show its hand following reports that the European aerospace group is planning thousands of job cuts.

 

Defense:

Two soldiers killed in South Korea during training –

Two soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division were killed after their military vehicle went into a river near the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex in South Korea Nov. 21, Army officials confirmed.

DOD seeks plan to shut all U.S. commissaries –

Defense officials have reportedly asked the Defense Commissary Agency to develop a plan to close all U.S. commissaries — about three-fourths of its stores, according to a resale community source familiar with details of a meeting with representatives of the Joint Staff and Pentagon comptroller’s office.

First female Marines complete infantry training –

The first females have graduated from the Marines infantry school — and now two of the three women who completed the historical feat are talking.

F-35 production depends on tests not budgets, Carter says –

Increased production of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 depends more on how the fighter fares in testing than how deeply the Pentagon’s budget is cut, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said.

U.S. military says it may have to cut Europe budget by fifth –

The United States may be compelled to cut its military spending in Europe next year by as much as a fifth in the latest round of reductions under ‘sequestration,’ America’s top general in the region said Nov. 21.

Pentagon tightens cybersecurity rules for defense contractors –

The Pentagon said Nov. 19 it had approved new rules that would require defense contractors to tighten their computer security procedures and to report any cyber intrusions that resulted in the loss of controlled technical information.

New deployment system begins in October –

Beginning in October 2014, most airmen will start deploying under a new system that aims to keep them with their units and that follows six months of deployment with 12 months at home.

Air Force pilots pass up $225,000 bonuses –

An extra $225,000 is apparently not enough to keep a fighter pilot in the Air Force. In June, the Air Force announced a $225,000 bonus for eligible fighter pilots in exchange for a nine-year commitment. However, pilots are not taking the service up on the offer because of reduced flying hours caused by budget cuts, acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning said.

Another Navy officer implicated in bribery scandal, sacked –

A sixth senior Navy officer was implicated Thursday in connection with the continuing investigation into the practices of the husbanding company Glenn Defense Marine Asia and fired from his post, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command said in a Nov. 21 news release.

Gay Army couple says chaplain barred them from marriage retreat –

A same-sex couple at Fort Irwin, Calif., says they have been denied participation in an Army marriage enrichment program because of their sexual orientation, even though they are legally married.

 

Space:

‘Monster’ gamma ray burst zipped By Earth, astronomers say –

Astronomers call it the monster. It was the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed. Had it been closer, Earth would have been toast. Orbiting telescopes got the fireworks show of a lifetime last spring when they spotted what is known as a gamma ray burst in a far-off galaxy.

Mars rover idle As NASA checks out Curiosity’s electrical glitch –

The Mars rover Curiosity has temporarily stopped science observations while NASA checks out an electrical problem. The space agency said Nov. 20 the voltage change was first discovered on Nov. 17 and engineers think it might be some kind of short.

ESA’s satellite Swarm launch to map Earth’s magnetism –

The Swarm mission to map the Earth’s global magnetic field in unprecedented detail has launched from Russia. The trio of European Space Agency satellites left the Plesetsk Cosmodrome at 12:02, GMT, riding a Rockot vehicle.

First moan in space –

A letter from an astronaut shows his jealousy of John Glenn after he was not picked to be the first American to orbit Earth. In October 1961, Gus Grissom glumly confided to his mother in a letter that is now up for auction that he and his fellow Mercury 7 astronauts resented John Glenn after he was chosen for the mission.

 

Technology:

Scientists hope ‘bio patch’ lab successes bring bone regeneration to future troops –

Missing teeth, broken bones on the battlefield or a bad slip on the job — the University of Iowa is working on making all your worries go away.

 

International:

China ‘flies first stealth drone’ –

China successfully flew a stealth drone for the first time Nov. 21, state media said, citing eyewitness reports. A drone, called “Sharp Sword” by the media, made a test flight for around 20 minutes in Chengdu, reports said.




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