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Daily News

April 21, 2000

April 21, 2000 -- One month ago Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Jones ordered a two-day, service-wide standown to focus on retaining those Marines whose enlistment time was coming to a close. The results of that move, and other efforts to keep more Marines in uniform, are starting to pay dividends and Jones thinks the service has a good shot at meeting its goal of retaining 5,778 Marines through fiscal year 2000.

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April 21, 2000 -- The Pentagon has received a $210 million request from the United Kingdom for a possible sale of C-17A Globemaster support equipment. The potential foreign military sale was one of three worth a total of $290 million announced yesterday by the Defense Department.

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April 20, 2000

April 20, 2000 -- Bath Iron Works and Lockheed Martin, leaders on a team competing for the Navy's DD-21 destroyer program, announced today that IBM and Cisco Systems have joined them in their pursuit of the lucrative shipbuilding program.

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April 20, 2000 -- The head of Marine Corps aviation said today the V-22 that crashed in the Arizona desert April 8 had all major systems -- engines, drive shaft and propellers -- operating normally when it went down. Lt. Gen. Fred McCorkle told reporters in Washington that while investigators have not ruled out anything, "there is no evidence at this time to indicate mechanical failure or human error."

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April 19, 2000

April 19, 2000 -- In the wake of alleged thefts of classified documents from the State Department, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has launched a comprehensive investigation of the agency's security and counterintelligence programs, Committee Chairman Porter Goss (R-RL) announced yesterday.

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April 19, 2000 -- During the long, dark days of the Cold War, the Navy's P-3 antisubmarine aircraft logged thousands of hours patrolling the coastlines of the United States and its allies in search of Soviet submarines. Revamped to take on other missions since the end of the Cold War, the P-3 is now nearing the end of its service life and the outlook for replacing it is "bleak," two Navy under secretaries said at an industry conference yesterday.

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April 19, 2000 -- Twenty-five senior Senate Republicans have told President Bill Clinton the Senate will reject any ABM agreement the administration reaches with Russia if it trades Russian consent to a U.S. National Missile Defense system for U.S. "reaffirmation of a new, very limiting, legally binding accord." The April 17 letter foreshadows a fierce fight between Republicans and the administration over arms control and, more specifically, the administration's NMD plan.

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April 19, 2000 -- The Marine Corps recently completed the first high-speed water test of the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle at NAS Patuxent River, MD. General Dynamics Land Systems, which builds the AAAV, declared the test a success in an April 17 statement.

"During the test on the Patuxent river," the statement reads, "AAAV prototype number one recorded speeds in excess of 20 knots over a one-mile distance. This test also marked the first attempt to power the AAAV at the full-up plane position it uses to ride on the water."

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April 18, 2000

April 18, 2000 -- Sometime in the late 1980s, the lines marking commercial and military technology development crossed, with the commercial sector taking the lead in many areas for the first time in history. The Navy is now feeling the effects of that event and is changing the way the it looks at developing major war fighting platforms like ships, submarines and aircraft, the service's top acquisition official told an industry conference today.

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April 17, 2000

April 17, 2000 -- The Navy has begun work on an environmental analysis of the western quarter of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, site of a Navy training range, in preparation for turning the land over to Puerto Rico if the island's populace votes to close down the range. The referendum is part of a deal the Clinton administration struck with the Puerto Rican government following protests over the Navy's presence stemming from the accidental death of a range security guard.

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April 14, 2000

April 14, 2000 -- By 2005, half of all the Defense Department's contracts for support services ranging from health care to telecommunications are to be handled through performance-based agreements, according to a new directive from Pentagon acquisition chief Jacques Gansler.

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April 14, 2000 -- Despite a generally positive view of the Marine Corps among active duty and reserve Marines, a 1999 Marine Corps survey indicates sexual harassment of female enlisted Marines and officers is on the rise. In the case of female officers, the harassment is coming from both senior officers and subordinates.

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April 14, 2000 -- Twenty-seven House Republicans, including Majority Leader Dick Armey (TX) and Majority Whip Tom DeLay (TX), are pressing Defense Secretary William Cohen to send Congress a report on the technical feasibility of fielding a naval component of the National Missile Defense system. The members claim the Pentagon may be holding onto the report, due last month, because its conclusions could damage the Clinton administration's arms control dealings with Russia.

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April 14, 2000 -- U.S. Special Operations Command has awarded Raytheon a four-year contract for multiband multimission radio systems, the company announced yesterday. The deal is worth $179 million if all options are exercised.

MBMMR, an enhanced version of Raytheon's PSC-5D radio, will replace several single-band radio systems currently used to communicate on different networks. Under the initial $5.75 million contract, Raytheon will provide two systems for mounting on a vehicle and 227 soldier-portable "manpack" systems, according to an April 13 Raytheon statement.

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April 13, 2000

April 13, 2000 -- A recently completed NATO "troop-to-task" analysis supports the current requirement of 31 battalions for the Kosovo peacekeeping operation, Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon said today. Yesterday, NATO headquarters sent a letter to all member countries outlining the analysis and asking for approximately 3,500 troops to fill out five battalions. Some of the troops in those battalions will soon be rotating out of their assigned sectors in Kosovo, Bacon said.

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April 13, 2000 -- The price tag for developing the Pentagon's National Missile Defense system has grown by more than $3 billion, according to the latest cost estimates released by the Defense Department today. The total development cost has increased from $8.8 billion to $12 billion, and the total cost for developing and building the system is now estimated to be $20 billion.

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April 12, 2000

April 12, 2000 -- The House Budget Committee will agree to the Senate's higher level of defense spending for fiscal year 2001 -- about $3 billion more than the House approved -- and the reestablishment of a so-called firewall between defense and non-defense spending, a committee spokesman told InsideDefense.com.

Both sides are nearing the end of a conference on the FY-01 budget resolution, and a Senate Budget Committee spokeswoman said the conference report should be filed by late this afternoon.

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April 12, 2000 -- The Senate Republican leadership is preparing to resist any U.S.-Russian deal to modify the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty that will continue to prevent effective defense of the United States, Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) told a Capitol Hill audience yesterday.

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April 12, 2000 -- Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said today he wants to add money to the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile program to accelerate its production and is looking at the fiscal year 2000 supplemental appropriation as the vehicle to do it.

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April 11, 2000

April 11, 2000 -- The Marine Corps' top aviation official said today investigators may recover by tomorrow the flight data recorder carried aboard an MV-22 aircraft that crashed late Saturday night in the Arizona desert, killing all 19 Marines on board.

Lt. Gen. Fred McCorkle, deputy chief of staff for aviation, told reporters recovery of the bodies began at 8 o'clock this morning and should be completed today. If all are recovered today, investigators should get to the recorder tomorrow morning, McCorkle said.

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