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January 6, 2014

Headlines – January 6, 2014

News:

U.S. troops prevented from helping even as al Qaeda overruns Iraqi cities -

The U.S. has inserted 200 troops in Iraq since 2012, but they cannot directly help the Iraqi military repel a surge of al Qaeda fighters, even as the country succumbs to sectarian violence and insurgents claim control of two key cities. 

U.S. waived laws to keep F-35 on track with Chinese-made parts -

The Pentagon repeatedly waived laws banning Chinese-built components on U.S. weapons in order to keep the $392 billion Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter program on track in 2012 and 2013, even as U.S. officials were voicing concerns about China’s espionage and military buildup.

 

Business:

Boeing machinists agree to 777X contract on narrow vote -

Members of Boeing’s machinists union Jan. 3 voted by a slim margin to accept the company’s proposal of a long-term contract that will guarantee construction of a new long-range wide-body aircraft in the Puget Sound, Wash., region, in exchange for significant wage and retirement benefit concessions. 

Contractors should resolve to adapt in 2014 -

From shutdowns to changed buying methods, the federal contracting market is evolving. Smart contractors will not only face down these changes, but find the best ways to take advantage of them. 

Five provisions in the new defense policy legislation for contractors to watch -

With the military policy legislation known as the National Defense Authorization Act signed by the president over the holidays, contractors are looking for the changes that matter to them. We’ve singled out five measures that will be of interest to companies that work with the federal government.

 

Defense:

Pentagon looks for ways to weaponize 11,000 drones -

A recent report by the U.S. Defense Department highlights the Pentagon’s desire to adapt roughly 11,000 drones for “lightweight” precision guided weapons” for emerging threats in the Asia-Pacific region.

No more imminent danger pay for 20 areas -

The Defense Department has removed 20 areas from its list of locations that qualify for imminent danger pay, effective June 1, potentially affecting tens of thousands of troops.

 

Veterans:

VA hospital’s release of delirious veteran latest in string of failures -

Doctors at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Puerto Rico released a patient who was suffering from delirium and barely able to function, ignoring evaluations by staff nurses, an investigation found — the latest in a string of high-profile incidents at the department’s medical facilities. 

Christmas controversy at VA hospitals -

Several incidents at Veterans Affairs medical centers over the holidays have prompted the House Veterans Affairs Committee chairman to question whether VA has violated the civil rights of veterans in its care.

 

Space:

Moon dust mystery solved with help of Apollo mission data -

A revisited trove of data from NASA’s Apollo missions more than 40 years ago is helping scientists answer a lingering lunar question: How fast does moon dust build up? 

Triple star system ‘can reveal secrets of gravity’ -

Astronomers have discovered a unique triple star system which could reveal the true nature of gravity. They found a pulsar with two white dwarfs all packed in a space smaller than Earth’s orbit of the Sun.




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News Briefs February 27, 2015

Ukraine will start pulling back heavy weapons in the east Ukraine’s military says it will start pulling back its heavy weapons from the front line with Russian-backed separatists as required under a cease-fire agreement. The Defense Ministry said in a statement Feb. 26 that it reserved the right to revise its withdrawal plans in the...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 
 

Headlines February 25, 2015

News: Army to send headquarters group to Kandahar in first sign of revision to Afghan withdrawal plan - In the first official sign that the Pentagon plans to keep a U.S. military presence in southern Afghanistan after this year, the Army is sending the 7th Infantry Division headquarters from Joint Base Lewis-McChord on a year-long deployment...
 

 

News Briefs February 25, 2015

Lithuania restores compulsory military service Lithuania will restore compulsory military service for young men as tensions in Ukraine continue to worry the small Baltic nation, the government said Feb. 24. After a meeting of military leaders and top government officials, President Dalia Grybauskaite said the measure was necessary because of growing aggression in Ukraine. Military...
 
 

Headlines February 23, 2015

News: Republicans, Democrats want more DOD spending - Republicans and Democrats remain deeply divided about how much the country should spend on the military, but a growing number of all Americans say the Pentagon budget is too small.   Business: New armed UAV export rules help U.S. firms - New U.S. rules loosening restrictions on exports of...
 
 

News Briefs February 23, 2015

New Pentagon chief visits airfield in southern Afghanistan U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is getting briefed on American military operations at Kandahar airfield in southern Afghanistan as part of what he calls a listening tour of the war zone. On his second day in Afghanistan, Carter flew to Kandahar from Kabul, the capital, where he...
 




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