In the news...

April 21, 2014

News Briefs April 21, 2014

Navy OKs changes for submariners’ sleep schedules

The U.S. Navy has endorsed changes to submarine sailors’ schedules based on research into sleep patterns by a military laboratory in Connecticut.

With no sunlight to set day apart from night on a submarine, the Navy for decades has staggered sailors’ working hours on schedules with little resemblance to life above the ocean’s surface.

But the scientists at the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory concluded submarine sailors, who traditionally begin a new workday every 18 hours, show less fatigue on a 24-hour schedule.

The first submarine to try the new schedule on a full deployment was the USS Scranton, led by Cmdr. Seth Burton. He said he found during the seven-month deployment that the more consistent sleep pattern made up for any effects of working slightly longer shifts. AP

U.S. weighing military exercises in Eastern Europe

The United States is considering deploying about 150 soldiers for military exercises to begin in Poland and Estonia in the next few weeks, a Western official said Saturday. The exercises would follow Russia’s buildup of forces near its border with Ukraine and its annexation last month of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in recent days has said the U.S. is looking for ways to reassure its NATO allies of its strong commitment to collective defense. The Pentagon’s press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said in a statement April 18 that American officials are considering a range of additional measures to strengthen air, maritime and ground readiness in Europe.

Ground exercises in Poland and Estonia would last about two weeks, but such exercises would continue off and on over time, the official said, and other locations in Eastern Europe would be considered. The official was not authorized to discuss the plan by name because it has not been made final and requested anonymity.

No specific date for the deployment of an Army company, which usually consists of 150 soldiers, has been set but an announcement is expected next week, the official said.

Kirby’s statement about additional measures didn’t offer specifics. Some of those activities will be pursued bilaterally with individual NATO nations. Some will be pursued through the alliance itself, he said.

April 17, Hagel met at the Pentagon with his Polish counterpart, Tomasz Siemoniak, and told reporters that they had identified new areas of military-to-military cooperation, including special operations forces, air forces and additional military exercises and training, as part of their discussion of closer defense ties. AP

Air Force to change testing for missile operators

Changes are being made in the wake of a cheating scandal at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, including the way the monthly certification tests that missile launch officers must take are graded, the nation’s land-based nuclear force commander said.

Dozens of missile officers have been implicated in cheating on the test gauging their knowledge on how to operate the missiles.

The scandal is one component of widespread troubles in the nation’s nuclear forces documented by The Associated Press that also include failed inspections, low morale and burnout and a drug investigation that involves three intercontinental ballistic missile launch officers.

Air Force leaders fired several senior leaders at Malmstrom last month and ordered a review of operations at all three bases following the cheating revelations.

Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein leads the 20th Air Force, which is responsible for 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles surrounding three bases in Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota. He told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle April 18 that reforms are underway to ease the pressure on airmen who aim for perfect scores on the monthly tests.

Previously, airmen needed to score 90 percent or better on the tests to keep their certification. Now, the Air Force is moving to a pass/fail system.

That should relieve the perception by many that the airmen had to score perfectly to avoid reprimand or to advance their careers, Weinstein said.

You don’t have to be perfect in testing, and you don’t have to be perfect in training, he said. But you do have to be perfect when you are doing the mission.

Weinstein said he is also pushing cultural changes to empower junior-level officers and others to take on more responsibilities, instead of waiting for orders from senior officers.

The changes are being made based on 350 recommendations from junior officers and airmen who participated in an Air Force study.
Weinstein said he believes morale is improving as a result. AP




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 23, 2014

News: Israel’s Iron Dome defense in line for tripled U.S. spending - Israel’s iron Dome missile defense system may end up getting triple the U.S. funding that the Defense Department sought for it in March. Ukraine asked U.S. for systems to counter Russian missiles - A month before the United States says a Russian missile likely brought...
 
 

News Briefs July 23, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,194 As of July 22, 2014, at least 2,194 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. The AP count is three less than the Defense Department’s tally. At least...
 
 
Raytheon photograph

Raytheon completes key Air, Missile Defense Radar reviews

Raytheon photograph Partially-populated, full-sized Air and Missile Defense Radar array. Raytheon has completed two critical program reviews for the new Air and Missile Defense Radar, the U.S. Navy’s next generation integ...
 

 
Insitu photograph

Insitu demonstrates long endurance capabilities of Integrator unmanned aircraft

Insitu photograph Insitu’s Integrator unmanned aircraft recovers via SkyHook; the aircraft recently completed a 24-hour endurance flight. Insitu announced July 22 the successful 24-hour flight of its Integrator unmanned a...
 
 

NASA partners punctuate summer with spacecraft development advances

Spacecraft and rocket development is on pace this summer for NASA’s aerospace industry partners for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program as they progress through systems testing, review boards and quarterly sessions under their† Space Act Agreements with the agency. NASA engineers and specialists continue their review of the progress as the agency and partners move...
 
 

U.S. Navy selects Northrop Grumman for ship self-defense system

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman a $12 million task order for a full range of engineering services to continue modernizing the Ship Self-Defense System Mark 2. The contract has a potential value of $61 million over five years, if all options are exercised. SSDS MK2 is a combat system designed for anti-air defense...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>