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June 2, 2014

Headlines June 2, 2014

News:

Military community reaction mixed to Bergdahl release -

Though Americans may be celebrating the release of the only American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan by the Taliban, the reaction of the military community has been mixed at best.  

Freed prisoners were battle-hardened Taliban commanders -

They were among the Taliban’s most influential commanders – five men whom the United States succeeded in removing from the battlefield. 

Lawmakers question deal behind soldier’s release -

The release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after nearly five years in Taliban captivity prompted cheers among U.S. officials May 31, but amid the applause some on Capitol Hill are questioning the risks and legality of how his freedom was brokered.  

U.S. defends captive swap with Taliban, critics stir -

Five years a captive from the Afghanistan war, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is back in American hands, freed for five Guantanamo terrorism detainees in a swap stirring sharp debate in Washington over whether the U.S. should have negotiated with the Taliban over prisoners. 

Did Bowe Bergdahl go AWOL in Afghanistan? -

After five years as a POW, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is headed home. But the circumstances of his capture by the Taliban in Afghanistan remain unclear, indicating he may have walked away from his base.  

Top officials dodge deserter questions -

Top Obama administration officials June 1 avoided question about whether Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was released by the Taliban in exchange for five detainees on Saturday, deserted the Army. 

What’s next for Bowe Bergdahl and his family? -

Retired Maj. Gen. Bob Scales weighs in. 

 

Business:

U.S. experts bank on $50-$70 billion overseas contingency ops budget -

Even though U.S. President Barack Obama announced last week that the Defense Department would leave only 9,800 American troops in Afghanistan in 2015, experts expect the Pentagon to ask Congress to approve $50 billion to $70 billion for war-related efforts. 

Wall Street still unclear on when defense spending will hit bottom -

Defense industry analysts have been perplexed in recent months by higher than expected outlays in the “modernization” portion of the military budget that funds research, development and procurement of weapon systems.  

F-35B will fly, hover, not land vertically at Farnborough -

Will the F-35B land vertically at the Royal International Air Tattoo or the Farnborough Air Show? No. Will it hover? Yes.  

How one Navy contractor navigated Washington’s choppy waters -

Raymond Lopez Jr. spent three decades in the Navy, starting out as a seaman apprentice and retiring with the rank of commander. When Lopez and his wife Carol started Engineering Services Network, a defense services company, in 1997, they built their business on Navy contracts, growing from a small start-up into a $38 million-a-year enterprise. Lopez felt like he had never really retired from the Navy.  

The limits of lasers: Missile defense at speed of light -

Ronald Reagan’s dream of lasers that can shoot down incoming missiles is about to become reality – to an extent. The Navy will deploy a low-power prototype to the Persian Gulf this summer and it sees real potential to zap drones, small boats, and anti-ship cruise missiles. But experts assembled at this week’s Atlantic Council conference on missile defense agreed that directed energy weapons are decades from making a dent in much faster and tougher ballistic missiles, which China, North Korea, and Iran all have a-plenty. 

Israel MoD suspends procurement contracts -

Israel’s Defense Ministry has suspended planned procurement contracts, slowed work on major research and development projects and warned of a wave of industry layoffs to come from programs it will be forced to ax due to budget shortfalls.  

IAI reports record Q1 sales as exchange rates bite -

Israel Aerospace Industries announced that it had made record sales of US $979 million in the first quarter led by the military market as profits decreased due to the impact of weaker U.S. dollar exchange rates.  

Consortium set to dominate U.K. infrastructure work -

A consortium of British support services companies involving Carillion and Amey are primed to secure three significant regional estate management contracts in the United Kingdom. 

Airbus calls for increased Spanish government investment -

Spain needs a strategic plan to support key industries such as aeronautics that create employment and capabilities for the future, according to the CEO of Airbus Operations in the country. 

 

Defense:

House panel deals U.S. defense sector another winning hand -

The U.S. defense sector is having a remarkable year on Capitol Hill. In fact, it is batting 1.000 so far, with three of four congressional defense panels protecting weapon programs and adding funds to buy platforms the military didn’t even request. 

New research links Iraq dust to ill soldiers -

Titanium and other metals found in dust at a base in Iraq have been linked to the dust found in six sick soldiers’ lungs, according to a study set to be released June 2. 




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Headlines September 11, 2014

News: Obama ready to strike at Islamic State militants in Syria, he tells policy experts - President Obama is prepared to use U.S. military airstrikes in Syria as part of an expanded campaign to defeat the Islamic State and does not believe he needs formal congressional approval to take that action, according to people who have...
 
 

News Briefs September 11, 2014

U.S. airstrikes in Iraq hit Islamic State vehicles The U.S. military says it launched five more airstrikes in support of Iraqi government troops and Sunni tribesmen protecting the Haditha Dam against fighters of the Islamic State group that controls parts of northern and western Iraq. Central Command says that a combination of U.S. attack, fighter...
 
 

Headlines September 9, 2014

News: NATO unable to finalize troop numbers for Afghanistan - NATO leaders did not agree on the size of a training and assistance force expected to be based in Afghanistan from 2015 to 2017, as the alliance still waits for Kabul to approve an operating arrangement. F-35 head: Delays coming if test planes grounded through September -...
 

 

News Briefs September 9, 2014

California contractor gets prison in tax case A Southern California military contractor who failed to report millions earned from providing services in Iraq has been sentenced to four years in federal prison. Prosecutors say Nadim Saifan Jr. of Huntington Beach, Calif., was sentenced Sept. 5. He pleaded guilty in May to attempted tax evasion. Authorities...
 
 

Headlines September 4, 2014

News: U.S. military conducts operation in Somalia, Pentagon says - U.S. military forces conducted an operation Sept. 1 against the Al-Shabaab network in Somalia, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said.   Business: Pratt and Whitney halted F-35 engine delivery over titanium - United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt and Whitney unit said it suspended delivery of engines...
 
 

News Briefs September 4, 2014

U.S. military targets extremists in Somalia U.S. military forces targeted the Islamic extremist al-Shabab network in an operation Sept. 1 in Somalia, the Pentagon said. Spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said the U.S. was assessing the results and would provide more information when appropriate. No further details were available. A senior Somali intelligence official said...
 




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