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Search Tags: Pentagon & Beyond
A failure by Navy air traffic controllers to follow standard procedures contributed to a midair collision that killed seven Coast Guard members and two Marines off Southern California last year, according to a Coast Guard report released Tuesday. The Associated Press says controllers at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, near San Diego, failed to notify the pilot of a Coast Guard C-130 plane that four Marine helicopters were in the area. The Marine flyers were also unaware of the Coast Guard plane's presence. The report said there is no single reason or person to blame for the crash on the night of Oct. 29, 2009. It made a series of recommendations to improve safety in the largely unregulated airspace.
Gen. John D. Lavelle has been vindicated 30 years after he died. He was an Air Force General who was stripped of two stars and removed from his command from his command in 1972 because of allegations that he ordered unauthorized bombings in North Vietnam and keep them secret. The Pentagon now says tapes from the Nixon Administration reveal he had permission to do so.
The Associated Press says it's obtained a thousand emails showing DHS sent FOIA requests to senior political advisers who turned scoured them for information about the requesters and delaying disclosures deemed too politically sensitive. DHS spokesman Sean Smith says, they were just giving senior leadership visibility into FOIA releases to enable the Department to be as responsive as possible. FOIA's are designed to be insulated from political considerations. AP says DHS stopped the practice after their investigation.
Gen. David Petraeus is a little bit closer to becoming the next commander of the Afghanistan war. The Senate Armed Services Committee has voted in favor of the appointment. It now goes to the full Senate. He will replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal. He was fired last week for making disparaging remarks in an interview about administration officials. Petraeus could be confirmed by the weekend.
Many people are still wondering what General Stanley McChrystal was thinking. "He really in meeting with him didn't try to explain it, he just acknowledged that he had made a terrible decision," said Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. The Rolling Stone article that will leave a black mark on his career made Admiral Mike Mullen sick when he saw it. "He is a friend, an extraordinary officer. He made a severe mistake and I think the actions that were taken were appropriate."
The U.S. is better off with a new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia than without it. That's what Secretary of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen, also urged the committee to ratify the agreement, saying the treaty has the full support of uniformed leaders. The agreement reduces U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces in a way that strengthens the stability of the U.S.-Russian relationship, Gates said.
In spite of the billions of dollars the U.S. government has provided Iraq to train it's military forces, there is evidence still of deep concern about whether they can do it. The State Department is reportedly putting together a diplomatic protection force to take the place of the U.S. military once they leave the country next year. Department officials are asking the Pentagon to provide heavy military gear, including Black Hawk helicopters, and say they will also need substantial support from private contractors.
The Senate is considering a $60 billion that incorporates $30 billion for President Barack Obama's troop surge in Afghanistan with more than $5 billion to replenish disaster aid accounts, provide Haitian earthquake relief, and make a down payment on aid to flood-drenched Tennessee and Rhode Island. The Associate Press reports the must-pass legislation is the only appropriations bill likely to advance to Obama's desk until the fall and is a tempting target for Democrats seeking to add money for a summer jobs program or to help to local school district to retain teachers.
About 4 years ago, computer worms began nibbling at the Pentagon's sensitive computer based information networks. One in particular managed to infiltrate computers linked to U.S. Central Command. Now it appears that original version of the worm has been improved several times over and attempting even more damaging attacks of Pentagon systems. The Chinese are commonly accused of the attack, but experts who've studied the constant assaults, they say it bears the hallmarks of Russian Intelligence.
Department of Defense Undersecretary Ashton Carter has told Congress that it would keep working on Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk reconnaissance drone even though it's way over budget. He notified Congress on Tuesday that the program was essential to national security and that there were no alternatives that would meet the department's requirements for less money.