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December 11, 2013

Headlines December 11, 2013

News

New budget deal still leaves big DOD funding gap

Capitol Hill’s budget deal is good news for the Pentagon. But it is unlikely to eliminate the need to set in motion long-term money-saving measures such as reducing troop levels, delaying weapons programs and making controversial cuts to military pay and benefits.

Lawmakers reach deal on U.S. defense authorization bill

U.S. House and Senate negotiators settled on a $552.1 billion defense authorization bill for fiscal 2014 that would revmap how the U.S. military handles sexual assault cases and approve the Pentagon’s request for F-35 fighters.

 

Business

No ‘Last Supper’ for EU arms makers amid national blinders

It has gone done in Pentagon lore as the “Last Supper;” a 1993 dinner party in which William Perry, then deputy U.S. defense secretary, told bosses of weapons manufacturers that post-Cold War budget cuts would force them to merge or go out of business.

EADS strategy to stress Airbus commercial jets; defense, space revenues flat

Airbus parent EADS was poised Dec. 11 to set out a two-tier strategy stressing growth in civil jetliners with a forecast of flat defense and space activities throughout the decade.

 

Defense

Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic

The U.S. military will begin transporting troops from Burundi to the Central African Republic to help with an international mission to quell sectarian violence, the Pentagon said Dec. 9.

Under Obama, troops forced to rely on welfare, holiday charity to make ends meet

Jamie Boling and her husband, Joseph, know that providing for a military family can be trying — waiting for orders, often living on a single income, and, in especially tough cases, supporting a spouse wounded in the line of duty.

Environmental group objects to Florida military training plan

A leading Florida environmental group Dec. 11 officially objected to plans for expanding military training exercises on Panhandle land that includes two state parks.

Military camouflage must look the same under defense bill

Camouflage combat uniforms are going to get the same look across four U.S. military branches.

Gillibrand vows to pursue military sexual assault bill

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., plans to push for legislation removing sexual assault prosecutions from the military’s chain of command after congressional leaders spurned her approach in crafting a compromise defense bill.

Planes parked in weeds in Kabul after $486 million spent

Sixteen broken down transport planes that cost U.S. taxpayers at least $486 million are languishing among the weeds, wooden cargo boxes and old tires at Kabul International Airport, waiting to be destroyed without ever being delivered to the Afghan Air Force.

Bombardier pushes CSeries as Air Canada nears time for jet order

Bombardier is continuing talks with Air Canada about a possible order for the CSeries jet, the new model struggling with development delays, as the carrier nears its target for a decision on buying new planes.

 

Veterans

VA questioned on benefits claims progress

The Veterans Affairs Department’s top benefits official predicted Dec. 11 that the backlog of almost 400,000 benefits claims will continue to drop in 2014 and is on course to be eliminated in 2015.

Report: VA lobotomized 2,000 disturbed veterans

The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans — and likely hundreds more — during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal.

 

Space

China-Brazil satellite fails to enter orbit

A joint Chinese-Brazilian environmental monitoring satellite launched Dec. 9 from northern China failed to enter orbit, state media and experts said, in a rare setback for the country’s ambitious space program.

‘Rosetta’ comet probe on track for daring rendezvous, ESA says

When Europe’s Rosetta probe gets roused from its deep space slumber next month, scientists are hoping it will wake up fit and ready for the final stage of its daring mission to land a spacecraft on a comet.

 

International

United Kingdom: First test flight of latest Typhoon jet

Costing £80 million the latest version of the Typhoon jet fighter will be capable of carrying a larger payload of weapons and an updated radar syste, while a larger fuel capacity should increase its operational range.

Germany may get full-spec A400M airlifter later than planned

The German army may have to wait another six months to get its first fully kitted out Airbus A400M military airlifter, the defense ministry said Dec. 11.

Hagel warns Pakistani leaders of U.S. aid losses over drone-strike protests

The Pentagon issued a warning Dec. 9 to Pakistani leaders: Stop protesters from hindering U.S. military equipment leaving Afghanistan or else lose U.S. aid.

Japan panel urges strong military amid China rise

A near-final draft of a new Japanese national security strategy calls for a stronger military to deal with a rising China and other growing risks close to home.

Russia may answer conventional attack with nukes

Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to a conventional strike and sees them as a “great equalizer” reducing the likelihood of aggression, a senior Russian official said Dec. 11.




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