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May 15, 2000

May 15, 2000 -- Defense Secretary William Cohen today described the political situations in Russia and China as long-term, major challenges the Defense Department will have to monitor as department officials decide how to structure U.S. forces in the future.

"Western thought" has not swept through Russia and China like it has throughout much of the world, leaving a variety of uncertainties, Cohen said in Washington, DC, at a conference sponsored by the Economic Strategy Institute.

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May 12, 2000

May 12, 2000 -- Senate appropriators have selected the Army to lead the military's efforts to use biometric technologies for information security applications, a nomination that comes with a $5 million funding boost in fiscal year 2000.

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May 11, 2000

May 11, 2000 -- The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence says the director of the National Security Agency needs greater control over the signals intelligence budget in order to overhaul the nation's troubled SIGINT infrastructure.

In its newly released fiscal year 2001 intelligence authorization report, the committee says it plans to work with NSA chief Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden "to improve his ability to provide centralized direction across the SIGINT infrastructure as he implements his modernization strategy."

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May 11, 2000 -- Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Jacques Gansler this week signed a memorandum of understanding that will govern the continued development of the Multifunctional Information Distribution System. Germany, France, Italy and Spain are partners with the United States on the MIDS program, and their armaments directors are expected to sign the MOU soon, according to a Pentagon statement.

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May 11, 2000 -- Gen. Wesley Clark, the former NATO commander in Kosovo, told InsideDefense.com today that a Senate amendment aimed at pulling United States troops out of Kosovo will damage U.S. credibility in diplomatic and military circles around the world.

"If we are going to be accepted as responsible and reliable partners around the world, we have to follow through on the obligations we have undertaken," Clark said.

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May 10, 2000

May 10, 2000 -- The Greek and U.S. governments have signed a letter of offer and acceptance providing for the sale of 50 new F-16 fighters, prime contractor Lockheed Martin announced today. The total contract value is expected to be approximately $2.1 billion, with deliveries expected to begin in mid-2002.

Deliveries will conclude in 2004. This sale will bring to 130 the number of F-16s flown by Greece, as that nation has made two prior purchases of 40 Falcons each. The country retains an option for an additional 10 F-16s as part of this agreement.

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May 10, 2000 -- The Army and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have chosen the four contractors that will spend the next two years developing competing concepts for the Future Combat System, an effort that will total $65.6 million in industry and government funds, the Pentagon announced yesterday.

The FCS has become a top Army priority over the past year as the service has begun a massive transformation spearheaded by Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki. The FCS will serve as the main battle platform for the Army's Objective Force once it is fielded beginning in 2012.

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May 10, 2000 -- The Senate Armed Services Committee's just-completed version of the fiscal year 2001 defense authorization bill includes a variety of provisions intended to improve Defense Department management and operations, including a measure that establishes a preference for using performance-based contracts for the acquisition of support services.

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May 10, 2000 -- The Army's controversial School of the Americas will be replaced by the Western Hemisphere Institute for Professional Education and Training if a plan approved this week by the Senate Armed Services Committee is signed into law.

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May 09, 2000

May 9, 2000 -- The Navy has asked its senior scientific advisory board to examine quality-of-life issues for future sailors and Marines and recommend a strategy for the development of a next-generation maritime command and control capability.

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May 9, 2000 -- The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved a measure that cuts off all funds for U.S. peacekeeping forces in Kosovo by July 1, 2000 unless the president seeks and receives congressional approval to keep troops in the region. The amendment, offered by Ranking Member Robert Byrd (D-WV), was attached to the fiscal year 2000 defense supplemental appropriations bill the committee considered as part of the FY-01 military construction bill.

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May 08, 2000

May 8, 2000 -- The General Accounting Office, citing its review of the Defense Department's antiarmor weapons plan, suggests in a new report that Congress either restrict the military's funding until a more comprehensive report is produced or establish an annual funding cap to force DOD to prioritize among its many tank killers.

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May 8, 2000 -- The Army has selected Computer Sciences Corporation to take part in a $2.5 billion support services program for the Army's Aviation and Missile Command, the company announced today.

The program has three major areas -- technical, logistics, and programmatics -- that will be carried out under separate multi-award contracts. CSC has been chosen as prime contractor for the technical contract. The company was also given two subcontracts, one for the logistics area and the other for the programmatics area.

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May 8, 2000 -- Following a nine-week investigation last fall, U.S. military investigators found approximately 26 tank carcasses and enough evidentiary data to add 67 more tanks to the total number destroyed by U.S. and allied pilots during the 78-day air war with Serbia, the Air Force general in charge of the review told reporters today. Reacting to a recent press report indicating the Air Force has wildly inflated the number of targets destroyed during the campaign, Brig. Gen. John Corley said "in no way have we understated or overstated the total number of targets destroyed."

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May 04, 2000

May 4, 2000 -- Conceding the United States will likely never be able to prevent all terrorist acts against U.S. military and government facilities, the Pentagon plans to spend $130 million over the next six years on eight research programs aimed mostly at the early detection of terrorist devices, according to research plans the Pentagon released last month.

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May 4, 2000 -- Now that the Justice Department has removed local protesters from the Naval Training Range on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, a senior Navy official said today the service might resume training on Vieques within a few weeks.

The George Washington carrier battle group is nearing the end of its training for an overseas tour at another site, but could finish that training on Vieques if given the chance, Vice Adm. Robert Natter told reporters. Natter is the deputy chief of naval operations for plans, policy and operations.

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May 4, 2000 -- President Clinton has nominated James Sheaks for the new position of assistant secretary of state for verification and compliance, the White House announced today.

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May 4, 2000 -- Concerned the Navy and the Air Force might not fully support the Joint Strike Fighter program in their long-term budget plans, Deputy Defense Secretary Rudy de Leon issued a letter Tuesday to civilian and uniformed leaders of both departments, urging them to fully fund the tri-service fighter program.

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May 03, 2000

May 3, 2000 -- The Marine Corps' top aviation official will brief reporters tomorrow on the ongoing investigations into what caused a V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft to crash in Marana, AZ, on April 8, killing 19 Marines. Though the cause of the crash remains undetermined, investigators continue to focus on the possibility that the flight control software was a factor in the accident.

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May 3, 2000 -- The Clinton administration's plan to spend more than $200 million to broaden a program that encourages Russian chemical and biological weapons experts to conduct peaceful civilian research poses potential risks to the United States, the General Accounting Office said in a report released today. One of those risks involves the possible misuse of U.S. dollars to pay for offensive weapons research, a danger that worries one senior lawmaker.

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