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Jul 16, 2013

Hagel says more budget cuts will force Pentagon layoffs

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Tuesday that a new round of automatic spending cuts next year would force the department to cut personnel and that he already has decided to reduce jobs in the offices of the Pentagon’s top leadership by 20 percent.

Hagel, speaking to aircraft maintenance workers at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, defended his decision to put civilian workers on unpaid leave for 11 days through the end of the fiscal year on September 30, saying further cuts in other areas could have jeopardized military readiness.

Jul 16, 2013

U.S. defense chief says more budget cuts will force Pentagon layoffs

, July 16 (Reuters) – Defense Secretary
Chuck Hagel said on Tuesday that a new round of automatic
spending cuts next year would force the department to cut
personnel and that he already has decided to reduce jobs in the
offices of the Pentagon’s top leadership by 20 percent.

Hagel, speaking to aircraft maintenance workers at Naval Air
Station Jacksonville, defended his decision to put civilian
workers on unpaid leave for 11 days through the end of the
fiscal year on Sept. 30, saying further cuts in other areas
could have jeopardized military readiness.

Jul 11, 2013

Glitch forces experimental U.S. drone ashore after historic carrier landing

WASHINGTON, July 11 (Reuters) – The experimental unmanned
jet that made aviation history by landing on an aircraft carrier
this week detected a problem with its systems during a third
touchdown attempt and diverted safely to a nearby airfield, Navy
officials said on Thursday.

The X-47B aircraft dubbed “Salty Dog 502″ landed twice on
the USS George H.W. Bush off the coast of Virginia on Wednesday
as Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Admiral Jonathan Greenert, chief
of naval operations, looked on.

Jul 10, 2013

Unmanned jet lands aboard U.S. Navy carrier in historic first

BUSH (Reuters) – An unmanned U.S. jet carried out a maneuver on Wednesday long considered the most challenging in naval aviation – landing aboard an aircraft carrier – in a milestone that lifted expectations about basing drones with reconnaissance and strike capabilities on ships.

A Northrop Grumman X-47B aircraft nicknamed “Salty Dog 502″ slipped out of a cloudy sky off the Virginia coast after a flight from Patuxent River Naval Air Station and dropped its tailhook to snag an arresting cable on the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush sailing in the Atlantic Ocean.

Jul 8, 2013

Civilians on unpaid leave in Pentagon austerity move

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Civilian defense workers across the United States began taking unpaid leave on Monday in a Pentagon-imposed austerity move expected to save $1.8 billion through September 30 by effectively cutting the pay of about 650,000 workers by nearly 20 percent.

Defense officials said they could not say exactly how many people took a day of unpaid leave because those decisions are handled locally at workplaces across the country. But absences were evident at the Pentagon.

Jun 28, 2013

U.S. watchdog raps Pentagon for buying aircraft for Afghan unit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A government watchdog criticized the Pentagon on Friday for forging ahead with controversial helicopter purchases from a Russian arms dealer despite warnings the Afghan special forces unit due to receive the aircraft could not fly or maintain them.

The watchdog – the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction – urged the Pentagon to suspend the $553 million Russian arms deal as well as a $218 million contract for 18 planes from a U.S. firm until plans were in place to fully recruit and train the Afghan special forces unit.

Jun 27, 2013

Top officer rejects comparison of U.S., Chinese cyber snooping

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. military officer on Thursday dismissed comparisons of Chinese and American snooping in cyber space, saying all countries gathered intelligence on their potential adversaries but Beijing’s problematic “niche” was intellectual property theft.

Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also said the U.S. government was close to completing an update of its rules of engagement in cyber space and that Americans needed to understand a cyber attack could trigger a real-world military response.

Jun 25, 2013

Army to eliminate 10 brigades at U.S. bases in drawdown: Odierno

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Army said on Tuesday it would eliminate 10 brigade combat teams at bases across the United States and cancel some $400 million in construction projects as it cuts about 80,000 soldiers over the next four years.

General Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, said the move was part of the largest organizational change in the Army since World War Two as the service winds down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and responds to tighter U.S. budgets.

Jun 25, 2013

U.S. Army to eliminate 10 brigades at bases in drawdown – Odierno

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Army said on Tuesday it would eliminate 10 brigade combat teams at bases across the United States and cancel some $400 million in construction projects as it cuts about 80,000 soldiers over the next four years.

General Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, said the move was part of the largest organizational change in the Army since World War Two as the service winds down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and responds to tighter U.S. budgets.

Jun 22, 2013

Pentagon flash drive ban has many exceptions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon has granted many exceptions, possibly numbering in the thousands, to allow staff members who administer secure computer networks to use flash drives and other portable storage devices, department spokesmen say.

The exceptions to policies barring the use of such devices could make it easier for rogue employees to remove sensitive documents. But officials say waivers go to people who update software and run helpdesk services for the Pentagon’s vast computer network and are needed to run the system efficiently.

    • About David

      "David has been a journalist for 30 years, based in Washington, London, New Delhi, Jerusalem and Philadelphia. He covered the first Gulf war, the Palestinian intifada and the conflict in Kashmir. Since 1998 he has been an editor and reporter in Washington, covering politics, the White House and other stories."
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