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Daily News

May 30, 2001

May 30, 2001 -- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton has delayed an overseas trip because of high-level Quadrennial Defense Review meetings, the Defense Department said today.

Shelton was expected to skip the QDR meetings because of a scheduled trip to India, Oman and Qatar, but "delayed his departure due to commitments in Washington," the Pentagon said. "The Department of Defense is currently conducting meetings concerning the Quadrennial Defense Review, which will affect the shaping of the U.S. armed forces into the next decade," the announcement continues.

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May 30, 2001 -- The White House today announced President Bush's picks for several top Defense Department posts, including the deputy under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics and the Army acquisition executive.

The president plans to nominate Michael Wynne for the deputy DOD acquisition slot and George Williams for the position of Army assistant secretary for acquisition, logistics and technology, according to the May 30 announcement.

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May 29, 2001

May 29, 2001 -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is holding daily meetings this week with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to discuss the direction of the Quadrennial Defense Review and the construction of the fiscal year 2003 budget, Pentagon spokesman rear Adm. Craig Quigley said today. On Saturday, Rumsfeld will wind up the week of meetings when he sits down with the unified commanders.

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May 29, 2001 -- The Pentagon should improve its plans for the basing of combat aircraft during future conflicts in Europe, the General Accounting Office recommends in a report released today.

The Defense Department and U.S. European Command faced special challenges in deploying combat aircraft in support of operations over Kosovo two years ago, GAO states, urging DOD to avoid repeating its mistakes.

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May 29, 2001 -- NATO today voiced limited support for President Bush's plans to engage U.S. allies in National Missile Defense negotiations and to pursue cuts in numbers of U.S. nuclear weapons independent of formal treaties.

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SAN DIEGO, May 29, 2001 -- As part of Operation Southern Watch over Iraq, a U.S. military aircraft launched a Joint Direct Attack Munition on May 18 against a target and destroyed it, according to the Navy's program manager for the JDAM weapon, Capt. Bob Wirt. The Pentagon and U.S. Central Command said U.S. military aircraft attacked an Iraqi surface-to-air missile site on May 18 but are not commenting on whether the air strike destroyed the SAM site or on the weapons used.

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May 29, 2001 -- The Pentagon will ask Congress for an additional $6.1 billion in fiscal year 2001 to cover the cost of extended military health care, accelerate several programs including the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle and meet energy costs that have risen by as much as 158 percent over the past year, according to a copy of the Defense Department's FY-01 supplemental request.

InsideDefense.com obtained a copy of the request, sent to the Office of Management and Budget on May 21.

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May 25, 2001

May 25, 2001 -- House Budget Committee Ranking Member John Spratt (D-SC) today criticized President Bush's call to transform the military, saying the president's fiscal year 2002 budget won't be able to accommodate a large increase in defense spending.

"The budget has a gaping hole when it comes to defense funding," Spratt said in a statement. "Republicans claim that they have a contingency fund to accommodate a large defense build-up, but I can't find it."

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May 25, 2001 -- The Air Force is expected to sign a contract with Boeing by the end of fiscal year 2002 to extend Delta II launch operations by at least four years in order to send remaining Global Positioning System satellites into orbit, according to documents and Air Force officials.

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May 25, 2001 -- The Justice Department has asked General Dynamics for additional information about the company's proposed acquisition of Newport News Shipbuilding, GD announced today.

In a statement released late this afternoon, General Dynamics said that along with NNS it "intends to comply promptly" with the DOJ's request. Justice Department officials were not available for comment at press time.

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COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, May 25, 2001 -- U.S. Space Command chief Gen. Ed Eberhart said this week that shifting command of the Space and Missile Systems Center from Air Force Materiel Command to Air Force Space Command is "not a hostile takeover," but a "merger of the willing," and critical to forging a cadre of space professionals in uniform.

Eberhart was responding to some uncertainties that have emerged over the future of certain missions handled at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA, acquisition and development center.

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May 25, 2001 -- The White House yesterday submitted Thomas Christie's name to the Senate to be the Pentagon's chief tester.

Christie has worked at the Institute for Defense Analyses since 1989 and is currently director of IDA's operational evaluation division. From 1973 to 1989 he worked in a variety of acquisition positions within the Pentagon, culminating as the director of program integration in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition. He began his DOD career as an Air Force analyst.

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May 25, 2001 -- The Senate yesterday confirmed by unanimous consent Thomas White to be secretary of the Army and James Roche to be secretary of the Air Force.

Roche is president of Northrop Grumman's Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector. He served in the Navy for 23 years, retiring as a captain in 1983. He has worked at Northrop Grumman since 1984. Before that, Roche was the Democratic staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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May 25, 2001 -- In a visit to Capitol Hill yesterday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told lawmakers he might launch three new national security studies, pending the arrival at the Pentagon of a number of administration nominees who have not yet been confirmed by the Senate. The "possible future studies," according to a list Rumsfeld gave to Senate members, include one on metrics, another on intelligence, and a third study on environmental and base encroachment issues.

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May 24, 2001

May 24, 2001 -- The change in the Senate Armed Services Committee leadership in the wake of this morning's party switch by Sen. James Jeffords (R-VT) will likely not affect spending on most Pentagon weapons programs, according to a national security analyst.

Jeffords this morning announced that he was abandoning the Republican Party to become an Independent. As a result, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) is slated to become chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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May 24, 2001 -- Lockheed Martin and Microsoft today announced they had made a pact to work together to pursue new business opportunities in the federal information technology market.

The agreement builds on existing relationships between the two companies on projects including the Air Force Integrated Space Command and Control (ISC2) program; the integrated warfare system for the Navy's next nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, CVN 77; the Global Command Support System-Air Force; and the Defense Messaging System, according to a statement released today.

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May 24, 2001 -- During the tremors caused by Sen. James Jeffords' (R-VT) earliest indication he intended to switch parties, a small caucus of Republican lawmakers led by Sen. John Warner (R-VA) gathered with Jeffords in two meetings yesterday to "share our views of what he was considering," the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee told reporters today.

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May 24, 2001 -- Greece has decided to delay consideration of contractor proposals for its main battle tank, according to a government statement released today.

The Greek government said it would extend the implementation of its 5-year defense procurement plan through 2008. "All procurement programs will proceed without reductions, however for certain programs delays will occur," the statement reads. Final proposals for the tank procurement are now expected to be submitted "in the next 2-3 months," the government said.

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May 23, 2001

May 23, 2001 -- Most defense stocks were not spared from today's downturn on the New York Stock Exchange, with some analysts attributing the decline in defense stocks to Sen. James Jeffords' (R-VT) pending party switch.

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May 23, 2001 -- The Senate last night confirmed former General Dynamics executive Gordon England to be the secretary of the Navy, by unanimous consent.

During his nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, England was pressed by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) over his intentions to recuse himself from decisions involving General Dynamics. England told McCain that he would do so on a case-by-case basis, an answer McCain said was "not good enough."

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