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September 12, 2001

Sept. 12, 2001 -- In the aftermath of Tuesday's horrific terrorist attacks, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) said today that Senate Democrats and Republicans should reach quick agreement on issues such as missile defense and base closings and pass the fiscal year 2002 defense authorization bill or defer those arguments to a future date.

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Sept. 12, 2001 -- A day after the deadliest terror attacks ever directed against U.S. citizens, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) said indicted international terrorist Osama bin Laden's past actions justify military action against him, perhaps even before the investigation into the Tuesday attacks against the Pentagon and the World Trade Center are complete.

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Sept. 12, 2001 -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today called on government employees to take greater care with classified information, suggesting leaks could put the lives of "men and women in uniform" at risk and compromise U.S. responses to terrorist attacks.

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September 10, 2001

Sept. 10, 2001 -- The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today said the United States would be better off spending its defense dollars on conventional weapon systems rather than on a less-than-proven national missile defense.

"Missile defense has to be weighed carefully against all other spending and all other military priorities," Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) said at the National Press Club. "In truth, our real security needs are much more earthbound and far less costly than missile defense."

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Sept. 10, 2001 -- The Senate Armed Services Committee has added an amendment to its fiscal year 2002 defense bill that would give service personnel, diplomats and other federal employees the ability to keep frequent flier miles they earn while on official government travel.

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Sept. 10, 2001 -- House Armed Services readiness subcommittee Chairman Curt Weldon (R-PA) plans to propose a $6 billion emergency supplemental spending bill to address critical military readiness issues.

Weldon, who last month took a nationwide tour of military bases, said in a statement issued today that the supplemental -- to be announced tomorrow -- would help combat a "crisis at our military bases."

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September 07, 2001

Sept. 7, 2001 -- The Defense Threat Reduction Agency has awarded an estimated $5 billion contract to a group of five companies for threat reduction work in the former Soviet Union, the Defense Department announced today.

The "indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity" contract covers work to eliminate solid- and liquid- fueled rockets, air-breathing weapons, bombers, submarines and the "disposal of the residual products and by-products of such systems" in the former Soviet Union, the announcement states.

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Sept. 7, 2001 -- In a party line vote, the Senate Armed Services Committee today defied a Bush administration veto threat and elected to cut missile defense spending by $1.3 billion in the fiscal year 2002 Defense Authorization Bill.

"The committee has produced a good, balanced bill that meets our defense needs and supports the priorities the committee adopted for the fiscal year 2002 defense program," Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) said at a press conference following the mark-up.

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September 06, 2001

Sept. 6, 2001 -- Several aerospace and defense financial analysts yesterday said they are skeptical that the Pentagon will adhere to its "winner-take-all" strategy of awarding the multibillion-dollar Joint Strike Fighter contract to a single prime contractor.

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Sept. 6, 2001 -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today reiterated the Pentagon's need for "every nickel" of its $328 billion fiscal year 2002 defense budget.

"We need the money that's in that budget, and we need it with as few changes as is possible," Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon press conference. "We've spent time on it, and we have sent forward the bill that we feel together provides the kind of approach that we feel is appropriate for the year 2002, and we're going to be working our heads off trying to get it."

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Sept. 6, 2001 -- Lockheed Martin has completed the first phase of F-16 flight testing with conformal fuel tanks, the company announced today. The testing with an Air Force Falcon required a cooperative arrangement between the company and the service at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, which netted the government $3.3 million to cover expenses.

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Sept. 6, 2001 -- Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) is polishing a final draft proposal for a far-reaching relationship between the United States and Russia, he said today during a missile defense debate with Rep. Tom Allen (D-ME).

Weldon chairs the House Armed Services military readiness subcommittee and has been working on the document for about 45 days, he said. The National Defense University Foundation and National Defense Industrial Association sponsored the debate as part of their ongoing missile defense series held at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, DC.

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September 05, 2001

Sept. 5, 2001 -- The Air Force has approved the preliminary design of the contractor team working on the Defense Department's next-generation protected satellite communications system, team leader Lockheed Martin announced today.

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Sept. 5, 2001 -- A joint U.S.-Russian early warning center in Moscow could be up and running by late next year if recent negotiating progress ends an impasse over taxes and contract liability within a couple of months, according to a Defense Department official working the issue.

Russian refusal to exempt U.S. equipment imported for the center from Russian taxes "and other garbage" has slowed work on the Joint Data Exchange Center (JDEC) outside central Moscow, but recent talks have shown Russian willingness to resolve the issue, the Pentagon official said.

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Sept. 5, 2001 -- If preventative measures fail, the Pentagon must prepare to respond to attacks on its interests with the aid of a new warfighting strategy and a new way of sizing its forces, according to Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), the House Armed Services Committee's ranking member.

His recommendations would mean a larger military force than today's. Skelton also called for a larger defense topline and a greater share of discretionary spending to match the military's force structure with his strategy proposals.

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Sept. 5, 2001 -- A senior Pentagon official yesterday highlighted the administration's difficulties trying to persuade skeptical members of Congress and foreign countries that the way it views security issues is no longer framed in the Cold War-style mentality of arms control agreements.

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Sept. 5, 2001 -- Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), chairman of the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee, told InsideDefense.com today he would seek a waiver to the fiscal year 2002 congressional budget resolution preventing spending that takes money from the government's Medicare surplus. Inouye said he needs the waiver to fully fund the Bush administration's request of $328 billion in FY-02 Pentagon spending.

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Sept. 5, 2001 -- The Defense Department and industry have failed to produce weapons for the military "faster, better and cheaper" because the Pentagon is buying more systems at once than it can afford, according to retired Air Force Gen. Larry Welch, president of the Institute for Defense Analyses.

Speaking today at the "ComDef 2001" conference held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Welch challenged the Pentagon and industry to curtail the number of programs the Defense Department buys simultaneously.

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September 04, 2001

Sept. 4, 2001 -- Senior administration officials have declined to give unconditional support to the embattled V-22 program in recent weeks, instead choosing to express support for the tiltrotor concept only and reserving judgment about the merits of the Osprey program itself until after engineering studies and other reviews are complete.

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Sept. 4, 2001 -- Air Force Col. Ronald Haeckel has been named the National Nuclear Security Administration's principal deputy administrator for defense programs, the agency announced today. Haeckel, slated for promotion to brigadier general, officially assumed the defense programs job this morning.

"In this position . . . Haeckel will be responsible for helping to ensure a secure and reliable stockpile of nuclear weapons and associated materials, capabilities, and technologies in a safe, environmentally sound, and cost-effective manner," according to the announcement.

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