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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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