WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta delayed deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East on Wednesday because of budget uncertainty, hours after warning that congressional inaction on financial matters threatened U.S. security.
The Pentagon also announced it would seek a smaller-than-expected 1 percent pay increase for service members during the 2014 fiscal year that begins in October, another sign of fiscal pressures on the military after nearly a decade of growth.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta delayed deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East due to budget uncertainty on Wednesday, hours after warning that financial concerns were a threat to U.S. security.
The outgoing Pentagon chief delayed the deployment of the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier and the USS Gettysburg guided missile cruiser, which were due to leave Virginia later this week, because of uncertainty over the department’s finances, Pentagon spokesman George Little said.
WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (Reuters) – A $7.3 million base camp
built to house 175 Afghan Border Police was sitting virtually
empty two months after it was handed over to Afghan authorities,
and some equipment like wood-burning stoves had been dismantled,
U.S. inspectors reported on Tuesday.
The facility, located in Kunduz Province, consisted of 12
buildings, including a dining hall, that were contracted by the
Army Corps of Engineers and completed Sept. 3, 2012, according
to a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon has begun laying off many of its 46,000 temporary and contract employees and cutting maintenance on ships and aircraft in an effort to slow spending due to fears of new defense budget cuts, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said on Friday.
Carter said he had asked the military services to produce detailed plans by February 1 to say what they are doing to reduce short-term spending before roughly $45 billion in new cuts are due to go into effect on March 1.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon on Thursday lifted its ban on women in front-line combat roles, a move hailed by supporters as a historic step toward gender equality in U.S. armed forces after 11 years of non-stop war.
There are important caveats, and change will not happen overnight for women who have already been serving and dying in the past decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where nearly 300,000 of them have deployed.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The sexual assault of 59 military recruits by drill instructors at a Texas air base was a “stunning” case that cannot be allowed to happen again, the top U.S. Air Force general told lawmakers on Wednesday as he testified before Congress about steps to address the problem.
But victims groups at a hearing on the attacks at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio said the incident was just the latest example of a sexual assault problem that has bedeviled the military for decades. They said the military had failed to fully address the problem for far too long.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military will formally end its ban on women serving in front-line combat roles, officials said on Wednesday, in a move that could open thousands of fighting jobs to female service members.
The move knocks down another societal barrier, after the Pentagon scrapped its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban in 2011 on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.
LONDON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called on Friday for NATO to reinvent itself as a more agile alliance with a broader outlook embracing the Asia-Pacific and able to respond to new threats from Islamic militancy.
Panetta said as the alliance winds down the Afghanistan war and cuts defense spending to fit shrinking budgets, it would still face challenges from Islamist militants as well as countries like Iran and North Korea.
VICENZA, Italy (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday that Congress should “suck it up” and show the leadership needed to fix the fiscal crisis that has thrown Pentagon budgeting into confusion and threatened national security.
Responding to questions from Army soldiers worried about looming spending cuts, Panetta said the Defense Department faced a “perfect storm” in the coming months. He cited the need for the U.S. debt ceiling to be raised, the Pentagon’s current funding approval due to expire, and $500 billion in spending cuts about to go into effect.
VICENZA, Italy (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta joined the U.S. gun control debate on Thursday when he told troops at a military base in Italy that only soldiers needed armor-piercing bullets or assault weapons.
Asked by a soldier what President Barack Obama would do to protect U.S. school children from gun violence without infringing Americans’ right to own guns, Panetta said action was needed after the attack on a Connecticut school in December in which a gunman killed 20 children and six adults.