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February 26, 2014

Headlines – February 26, 2014

News:

President Obama pressures Afghanistan leader Karzai on security deal -

Signaling his frustration with events in Afghanistan, President Obama ordered the Pentagon on Tuesday to step up plans to withdraw all U.S. troops by January if Afghan leaders don’t sign a bilateral security agreement.  

DOD war budget submission up in the air -

The Pentagon’s 2015 war spending proposal is on hold as the US waits to see if Afghan officials approve a deal that would allow NATO forces to remain in the country beyond the end of the year, according to a senior DOD official.

 

Business:

DOD’s 2015 budget to protect at-risk sectors of defense industry -

The Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget proposal will put money toward preserving the industrial base in at-risk sectors to protect technological know-how at a time of decreased defense spending, a senior U.S. Defense Department official said. 

Lockheed secretly demonstrates new stealthy fighter comms -

Lockheed Martin has demonstrated a secretly developed capability to fix one of the shortfalls of its stealthy F-22 and F-35 fighters: their inability to link to one another, or to legacy fighters, for air campaigns. 

Allies intensify pressure on Turkey over China missile deal -

The Turkish government and the country’s largest defense company are under increasing pressure from Turkey’s NATO allies to rethink a September decision to award a $3.44 billion air defense contract to a Chinese bidder. 

Algeria to sign for two more ‘Kilo’ subs -

Algeria plans to order an additional two Project 636 Varshavyanka (‘Kilo’)-class diesel electric submarines from Russia by the end of the first quarter of this year, Russia’s ITAR-TASS and Interfax news agencies reported Feb. 24. 

France cleared to sell Falcon Eye satellite to UAE -

The White House has swept aside attempts by Lockheed Martin to overturn a French sale of military spy satellites to the United Arab Emirates, a senior French defense official said.

Cracking found in Marine Joint Strike Fighter won’t delay program -

Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office have discovered additional structural cracks on the U.S. Marine Corps version of the tri-service stealth fighter during durability testing. However, the cracks are not expected to delay the USMC’s 2015 Initial Operational Capability date. 

Lockheed/Piasecki team tackles cargo UAV -

What was once a Pentagon research program to demonstrate a flying jeep has been given a new name and a new direction. Formerly called Transformer, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s rechristened Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded Systems program will now fly a modular, unmanned vertical-takeoff-and-landing delivery system. 

Report: Airbus wants money for Germany’s scrapped Eurofighter order -

Airbus is demanding €900 million ($1.2 billion) in compensation from Germany for canceling an order for a batch of 37 Eurofighter jets, according to a newspaper report Feb. 24.

 

Defense:

Extra $26 billion for DOD would go toward ‘base budget’ readiness -

The extra $26 billion eyed for the U.S. Defense Department in 2015 would fund readiness initiatives and other “base budget type of stuff,” the Pentagon’s top buyer said.

U.S. Air Force declares IOC for C-5M -

The U.S. Air Force has declared initial operating capability for its Lockheed Martin C-5M Galaxy strategic airlifter following a successful Qualification Test, Operational Test and Evaluation, and delivery of the 16th aircraft, the service announced Feb. 21. 

Pentagon changes course, halts LCS at 32 ships -

The Pentagon leadership doubled back Monday on its direction for the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program, returning to where things stood at the beginning of the year: End procurement at 32 ships — 20 short of the previously planned goal — and begin work on development of a new small surface combatant. 

DOD budget to lay-up 11 cruisers but keep all flattops -

The Navy is advancing a plan to temporarily lay-up half of its cruisers, freeing crews to plus-up other hulls and dollars to build new ships and subs, according to a budget outlined Monday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Prowlers depart on last carrier deployment -

The Feb. 14 departure of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush on its current deployment from Norfolk Naval Station, Va., marks the final scheduled carrier deployment of the EA-6B Prowler electronic attack aircraft.

 

Veterans:

Disabled veterans group rallies for full VA advance funding -

Despite a budget detente on Capitol Hill, veterans advocates are worried about what another government shutdown could do to Veterans Affairs Department benefits checks and assistance programs.

VA to issue new health care ID cards -

The Veterans Affairs Department will replace millions of identification cards for veterans who use the Veterans Health Administration system for medical care, the VA announced Feb. 20.

DNA results get U.S. soldier buried with enemy one step closer to home -

Mistaken for a German soldier and buried with the enemy at the end of World War II, a U.S. soldier may finally be coming home thanks in large part to the efforts of a Middleton filmmaker — and despite foot-dragging by U.S. officials.




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Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

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