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March 26, 2014

News Briefs March 26, 2014

U.S. military: Budget cuts hurt readiness in Asia

Top U.S. military officers in the Asia-Pacific region say budget cuts could hurt the ability of American forces to respond to a security crisis, including on the Korean peninsula.

Pacific commander Adm. Samuel Locklear says U.S. allies are starting to question U.S. ìstaying powerî as a guarantor of security.

Locklear and Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti who commands U.S. forces in South Korea were testifying Tuesday before the Senate Armed Forces Committee on the defense budget for 2015.

Scaparotti said U.S. forces in Korea are ìfully resourcedî but he voiced concern about the readiness of ìfollow-onî forces that would be needed if a security crisis broke out on the divided peninsula.

Scaparotti said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is less predictable than his predecessor and poses a greater threat. AP

Obama: Russia’s military now controls Crimea

President Barack Obama says there’s no expectation that Russian forces will be dislodged from Crimea by force.

Obama says Russian’s annexation of Crimea isn’t a done deal because the international community isn’t recognizing it. But he says the fact is Russia’s military is in control there.

He says it would be dishonest to say there’s a simple resolution to what’s taken place.

Obama says what world leaders can do is use legal, diplomatic and political arguments to pressure Russia.

Obama also says that the build-up of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border appears to be an attempt to intimidate Ukraine. But he says the troops are on Russian soil and it is Moscow’s right to have troops there.

Obama spoke at a news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. AP

Norway suspends military cooperation with Russia

NATO member Norway has suspended all joint activities with the Russian military through May because of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.

The Defense Ministry March 25 scrapped a series of plans, including visits to Norway by Russia’s navy chief and defense minister, Russian warships coming to Oslo for the Norwegian navy’s bicentenary celebrations, and Russian participation in a Norwegian military festival.

Norway had already cancelled a naval exercise with Russia and the U.S. set for May.

Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said Norway will re-evaluate its military cooperation with Russia at the end of May ìin light of the development of the situation in Ukraine, and discuss the issue with NATO allies.

Norway and Russia share land and sea borders in the Arctic. AP

Company hoping to carry NASA astronauts at Michoud

Lockheed Martin is working in New Orleans on parts for a mini-shuttle designed to take NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

It also has two other projects underway at the Michoud Assembly Facility in eastern New Orleans, where thousands of people built space shuttle fuel tanks until NASA retired the shuttles.

Lockheed Martin vice president Jim Crocker said Tuesday it’s good to see the lights on again.

The company is working for Sierra Nevada Corp. of Sparks, Nev. – one of three aerospace companies picked in 2012 to build small rocketships to take astronauts to the space station.

Sierra Nevada official Mark Sirangelo says the Dream Chaser vehicles could help with satellite repairs and serve as space laboratories as well as astronaut shuttles. AP




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Headlines November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s future - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

Headlines November 24, 2014

News: Hagel said to be stepping down as defense chief under pressure - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises. Afghan mission for U.S....
 

 

News Briefs November 24, 2014

Fog forces five U.S. choppers to land in Polish field Officials say that that fog forced five U.S. Army helicopters to make an emergency landing in a Polish field and spend the night there, the second such incident since September. The U.S. Army said 15 soldiers were moving equipment to their base in Germany Nov....
 
 
Courtesy photograph

President announces Hagel’s resignation as defense secretary

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel shakes hands with President Barack Obama at the White House Nov. 24. The president announced that Hagel would resign his position as defense secretary. Praising Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’...
 
 

Headlines November 21, 2014

News: Dempsey lays groundwork for larger 2016 defense budget - The top U.S. military official on Wednesday made the case for growing the base defense budget significantly over the $535 billion spending cap imposed by Congress for fiscal 2015.   Business: Boeing can bill $61 million that Pentagon withheld for months - The Pentagon withheld $60.5 million...
 




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