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Sequestration Whacks National Space Symposium: NASA Drops Out, Some Air Force Cancel

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: For those who aren’t part of the insular space community, you need to know that the National Space Symposium is the most important conference on space issues in the world. Everyone goes: the intelligence community; the Air Force; Army; Navy; industry; allies; even senior Chinese officials show up fairly regularly these days. Some 9,000… Keep reading →

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Aircraft Carriers: How Budget Cuts Delay Overhauls And Trim The Fleet

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


With all the services reining in spending to cope with the current budget crisis, the second and third-order effects of cutbacks will ripple through the force for years. While the Army “has it worst” by the Pentagon comptroller’s own assessment, the most complicated impacts are on the Navy, whose carefully planned maintenance schedule is falling… Keep reading →

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Love Letters To Robots: Why Marines Extended K-MAX In Afghanistan (EXCLUSIVE)

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Half the US forces in Afghanistan may be coming home, but K-MAX, the little unmanned helicopter, will stay until the end. A pair of the remote-controlled cargo choppers arrived in Afghanistan in late 2011 for what was billed as a short-term experiment, but the Marines liked it so much that the trial deployment was repeatedly… Keep reading →

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Raytheon’s ‘Tippy Two’ Radar Gets Back In The Budget — Knock On Wood

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


[UPDATED 7pm with Sec. Hagel remarks] WASHINGTON: This afternoon, newly installed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gave a nod to a high-tech radar, the AN/TPY-2 — improbably nicknamed “Tippy Two” — as a key component of America’s burgeoning missile defenses. Next week could bring more good news for the radar’s manufacturer, Raytheon: Not only will the… Keep reading →

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CNO Adm. Greenert Emphasizes Navy’s Bright Future, Not Budget Crisis

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: The Navy’s top admiral talked up cheap ships and high tech this morning, from laser weapons to a new double-decker version of the Mobile Landing Platform vessel (pictured above). Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said precious little about the rolling budget cuts called sequestration. He clearly preferred to emphasize a bold vision… Keep reading →

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Reps. Mac Thornberry, Adam Smith Lead House Push For More Foreign Military Training; Leahy Amendment Targeted

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: Sequestration, Continuing Resolution, and snow be damned; the House Armed Services Committee met this morning to wrestle with long-term strategy. In a hearing not only overshadowed but outright interrupted by the House’s desperate effort to band-aid the budget crisis, top HASC leaders from both parties argued for expanding the military’s authorities to work… Keep reading →

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F-35 Cleared For Flight; Turbine Crack Cause Identified

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: The entire F-35 fleet has been cleared to resume flying only one week after being grounded for the second time this year. In vintage Pentagonese, this is how the return to flight was announced today to Capitol Hill: “Upon completion and compliance with the immediate action Time Compliant Technical Directive (TCTD) issued this week… Keep reading →

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Sequestration: Buck McKeon’s 3-Front War Will Fail — But At Least CR May End

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: As House Speaker John Boehner went to the White House for fruitless talks on sequestration, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon convened reporters to tell both the President and his own party leadership, “we are done cutting our defense.” But the very fact that McKeon had to send this message via the media… Keep reading →

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Army: Sequester Ripples Will Harm Everything From Garbage Pickups To Training

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


PENTAGON: With the arbitrary and automatic cuts called sequestration to take effect on Friday, the Army is scrambling to figure out exactly how budget shortfalls will screw up everything from barracks repairs to combat training. “As recently as yesterday,” the Army’s budget director, Maj. Gen. Karen Dyson, told reporters this morning, “the Army senior leaders… Keep reading →

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Army Generals Detail Huge Sequestration Impacts On Retention, Morale

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


FORT LAUDERDALE: When war comes down to boots on the ground, the Army’s greatest asset is its people. But in fiscal terms people are also its greatest liability. And now some procedural peculiarities of the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, set to start on Friday, will make personnel costs much harder to handle in… Keep reading →

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