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January 15, 2014

Headlines – January 15, 2014

News:

Navy divers recover remains of missing MH-53E pilot –

Navy divers searching the wreckage of the MH-53E “Sea Dragon” recovered the remains of missing pilot, Lt. Sean Christopher Snyder Jan. 14. 

War funding climbs in omnibus bill for first time since 2010 –

A massive U.S. government spending bill introduced Jan. 13 evening would ramp up war spending for the first time in four years, and it includes billions for new weapon systems. 

Man arrested in N.J. for attempted smuggling of F-35 data to Iran –

A man was arrested Jan. 9 at Newark International Airport in New Jersey and charged with attempting to give blueprints for the F-35 fighter jet to Iran.

 

Business:

Lockheed poised to marry Aegis, AMDR –

Now that Lockheed Martin has decided to drop its protest against the recent award of the U.S. Navy’s Air And Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) contract to Raytheon, the next step for the company is to find a way to stitch its vaunted Aegis combat system together with the service’s future radar.

Lockheed F-35 comes out ahead in spending bill’s defense accord –

Tanks and submarines being built by General Dynamics and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter made by Lockheed Martin came out ahead in military provisions of the omnibus U.S. spending bill. 

F-35 weapons tests in 2014 focus on Amraam –

With weapons testing becoming a more regular event for the F-35 program, developers are looking ahead to a fast pace of trials this year to prepare for the first operational use of the stealthy, single-engine fighter by the U.S. Marine Corps in 2015.

 

Defense:

Establishing a floor under the Army’s end strength –

The number 490,000 is not yet the floor as indicated in news reports on the new Army budget wherein the number is now 420,000. 490,000 may well be the ceiling. 

Federal spending bill calls for $572 billion for Pentagon –

Congressional appropriators Jan. 13 evening unveiled a massive federal spending bill that includes a full 2014 Pentagon appropriations measure that would provide nearly $93 billion to buy new weapons.

Congress seeks to improve military sex assault investigations –

Lawmakers are taking fresh aim at the problem of sexual assault in the ranks, ordering the Defense Department to move forward on recommendations made last July by the department’s own inspector general.

Omnibus bill funds combat rescue helicopter –

The U.S. Air Force’s replacement for the long-running Pave Hawk helicopter is slated to receive funds under a massive spending bill unveiled Jan. 13. 

McKeon: Obama should do more to support US troops in Afghanistan –

President Obama needs to do more to highlight U.S. successes in Afghanistan and support U.S. troops there, Republican lawmakers said Tuesday after a classified briefing with White House officials. 

Carrier swap: Reagan to be replaced in 2015 –

The Navy is changing the homeport of three of its 10 aircraft carriers, sending San Diego’s Ronald Reagan to Japan, bringing the Theordore Roosevelt here from Norfolk, Virginia, and recalling the George Washington from Asia for a major overhaul in the United States.

 

Veterans:

VA allots $600 million more to veterans program –

Veterans Affairs officials will spend $600 million to continue the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, community grants they say are key in ending homelessness among veterans. 

VA still dragging feet in answering congressional inquiries –

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ pattern of selective responsiveness – and sometimes total unresponsiveness – to oversight inquiries from the House Veterans Affairs Committee has continued into 2014.

 

Space:

Has NASA’s Kepler space probe solved mystery of exploding stars? –

They are cosmic detonations that briefly outshine the light of entire galaxies. And they were a crucial tool in the discovery of dark energy, the force that is accelerating the expansion of the Universe. Yet the process that gives rise to type Ia supernovae has remained mysterious.

 

International:

Singapore to buy upgrade for F-16s –

Singapore is ready to invest $2.43 billion to modernize its F-16 fighter jets in an arms deal with the United States, the Pentagon announced Jan. 14.

Pentagon advances V-22 sale to Israel –

The Pentagon notified Congress of a possible $1.13 billion sale of V-22s to Israel on Jan. 14, the same day that Israel’s leading daily published a verbal assault on Washington’s top diplomat attributed to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe “Bogey” Ya’alon. 

Indonesia purchases air defense system from Thales –

The Indonesian Army has turned to the British arm of Thales to plug a gap in its short-range air defenses with a deal to purchase its Forceshield integrated system of vehicle-mounted missiles and radars. 

Uruguay considers plan to buy fighters from Ecuador –

IHS Jane’s has learned from local sources that the Uruguayan Air Force is considering a deal to acquire four Cessna A-37B Dragonfly combat aircraft from the Ecuadorian Air Force as an interim measure because of the lack of a government decision on procuring a new fighter.

 

Viewpoint:

Still time to attack Iran –

Much has changed in the two years since I wrote “Time to Attack Iran,” but one basic fact hasn’t: Diplomacy remains unlikely to neutralize the threat from Iran’s nuclear program. A truly comprehensive diplomatic settlement between Iran and the West is still the best possible outcome, but there is little reason to believe that one can be achieved.

Robert Gates waited too long to speak out –

Gates should have made his objections known sooner, when he still might have been able to do something about them. Instead, by his own account, he seethed quietly. Had he spoken up at the time — privately or, if that didn’t work, publicly — he might have had some influence in changing the problems he saw: a worthless Congress, an insular White House staff and a president insufficiently devoted to his own policies.




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B-52s demonstrate strategic reach

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Soldier missing from Korean War accounted for

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NASA awards Raytheon $240 million contract for earth science data system

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