In the news...

April 25, 2014

Headlines April 25, 2014

News:

Russia plans new military exercise near border with Ukraine -

Russian military officials said they plan to engage in a new series of military exercises near the Ukraine border in response to ongoing NATO training exercises in Poland.

 

Business:

Zumwalt class costs have risen $2 billion in last five years -

The cost of the three ships in the Navy’s Zumwalt-class (DDG-1000) has risen more than $2 billion over the last five years — $450 million in the last year alone, according to Navy budget data aggregated by the Congressional Research Service.

Raytheon sees acquisitions as key part of its long-term strategy -

Raytheon Chief Executive Thomas Kennedy April 24 said the company continued to view acquisitions as a key part of its long-term strategy to achieve growth.

New Growler construction may depend on upcoming Navy exercise -

The Navy’s Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group will conduct three days of exercises to see whether seven or eight Growlers on an aircraft carrier — rather than the five currently assigned — would provide better support for attacks from fighter jets and ground forces. A Navy vice admiral said that paper analysis indicated the higher number was more effective and that exercises off the Carl Vinson would be conducted to verify it.

Contractor speeds up deliveries of Russian engines -

A U.S. defense firm is accelerating deliveries of rocket engines from Russia as members of Congress seek to end contracts with the country over the conflict in Ukraine.

Nexter scoops up Chemring’s European munitions operations -

Chemring has sold its European munitions business to French armaments producer Nexter Systems in a deal that could net the British-based company up to £138 million ($231.9 million).

Vietnam to arm new Gepard-class frigates with Palma CIWS -

The People’s Army of Vietnam Navy will equip its third and fourth Russian-built Gepard 3.9 (Project 11661) light frigates with the Palma close-in weapon system, Nudelman Precision Engineering Design Bureau confirmed in a statement issued 22 April.

 

Defense:

Pentagon to devise three budget plans on U.S. troops in Afghanistan -

The Defense Department will prepare three scenarios for war funding next year depending on how many U.S. troops, if any, will remain in Afghanistan, according to an internal Pentagon e-mail obtained April 24 by Bloomberg News.

AP sources: Work to free U.S. soldier disorganized -

Critics of the U.S. government’s nearly five-year effort to seek the release of the only American soldier held captive in Afghanistan claim the work suffers from disorganization and poor communication among numerous federal agencies involved, leaving his captors unclear which U.S. officials have the authority to make a deal. 

Nonpartisan commission needed in Army/National Guard debate -

Forty-seven of our nation’s governors recently made an emphatic suggestion to Congress: The acrimonious debate between the Army and the National Guard should end and a dialogue should begin with the enactment of H.R. 3930. The proposed legislation sets up an objective, nonpartisan commission to answer a vital question: “What strengths and what force structure of active duty, National Guard and Reserve Army forces will most cost-effectively protect our country at home and abroad?” 

 

Veterans:

Troubled VA project behind schedule, over budget -

On the heels that reports that negligence at the Veterans Affairs Department may have had fatal consequences for ailing veterans, the department is facing new headaches on another front – construction.

VA director at Phoenix hospital got $9,000 bonus after 40 vets died from delays -

The director the Phoenix VA hospital where at least 40 military veterans died from delays received more than $9,000 on bonus pay in 2013, public records show.

 

International:

U.S. lifts ban on attack helicopters for Egypt; Apaches sent to counter al Qaeda -

The Obama administration has reversed course and will send Egypt new Apache attack helicopters that were urgently requested by Cairo in March to counter the growing threat from al Qaeda terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.

 

Viewpoint:

Ten reasons why you shouldn’t vote for a vet -

So long as veterans running for office promote their military service as a job qualification, the relative value of their service should be on the debate table. But American veterans are taking unfair advantage of the population’s newfound reverence for “our heroes.” No civilian politician can debate the merits of military service in government without becoming a pariah, and no veteran candidate will undermine their ace in the hole. So it falls to a veteran with Shermanesque interest in political office to submit, for the benefit of public discourse, the 10 most inconvenient reasons why you shouldn’t vote for a veteran.

The role of Europe in American defense strategy -

The United States appears to be entering a period of having to do less with less, particularly in the military realm. In part, this reflects a more discerning attitude on the part of the Obama administration toward national security policy — that is, a more realistic appraisal of American interests at stake in various regions of the globe, and of whether, when, and how U.S. military force can promote those interests, especially in coordination with foreign partners.




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VG01

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