03 Apr 06. Royal Navy: Fleet Headquarters. The Headquarters of Commander-in-Chief Fleet and the Second Sea Lord, the RN’s Operational and Personnel Commanders, were merged on 3 Apr 06. Leach Building on Whale Island in Portsmouth is now referred to as Fleet Headquarters. Comment: The amalgamation has meant a reduction in staff of 450 at Fleet HQ, including 300 civilian posts. The MoD is claiming ‘savings’ from the merger of both £130m over 10 years and £16m annually (without explaining how either sum has been calculated). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0616, 24 Apr 06)
Apr 06. The Army’s chief information officer and Materiel Command are establishing a net centric data center of excellence at Fort Monmouth, N.J., and it should begin operating next month. The center should reach its full capability by November, says Lt. Gen. Steven Boutelle, Army CIO.
20 Apr 06. Soldiers will bear the unit’s own insignia. An elite force has been set up to strengthen counter-terrorism and support special forces, Defence Secretary John Reid has confirmed. The Special Forces Support Group (SFSG) based in Wales, will be drawn from Royal Marines, Parachute Regiment and the RAF Regiment. Its insignia is a dagger run through by a lightning flash. Based at St Athan, the SFSG will train with special forces to be deployed around the world at short notice. In a statement to the House of Commons on Thursday, Defence Secretary John Reid said: “The new Special Forces Support Group will enhance the capability of the UK Special Forces to operate around the world and will provide the UK with an additional counter-terrorist capability. (Source: BBC)
27 Mar 06. Northern Ireland (NI): Army Air Corps (AAC) Squadron to Disband
The Armed Forces’ Minister announced that 655 Squadron AAC, the NI based Lynx Squadron, was to be disbanded by April 2007. Comment: The reduction in helicopter support was said to be part of “the ongoing normalisation process in NI….”. However the Minister added that there was a need to reduce the size of the Lynx fleet, which was due to leave service in 2012. As at 9 Mar 06 there were 63 Lynx Mk7 and 14 Lynx Mk9 in the Unit Operating Fleet
(i.e. located with the front line and training units) of which 42 and 10 were ‘fit for purpose’ (on that date). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0616, 24 Apr 06)
21 Apr 06. The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information
Integration and DoD Chief Information Officer John G. Grimes has directed the
director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to establish the
Defense Spectrum Organization as a center of excellence for radio frequency
spectrum analysis, planning and support.
19 Apr 06. Sikorsky To Hire 300 More Engineers. Sikorsky Aircraft riding a wave of orders for commercial and military helicopters, said it plans to hire 300 more engineers in coming months, including about 150 in Connecticut. Word of Sikorsky’s hiring plans came a day after the company signed a $3 billion agreement with the government to develop a new heavy-lift helicopter for the Marines. (Source: Hartford Courant/Defense News)
20 Apr 06. Rear Adm. (select) John T. Blake is being assigned as commander,
Carrier Strike Group Eleven, San Diego, Calif. Blake is currently serving as
deputy director for Resources and Acquisitions, J8, Joint Staff, Washington,
24 Apr 06. Brig. Gen. Stephen V. Reeves, for promotion to the rank of major
general. He is currently serving as Joint Program executive officer for
Chemical and Biological Defense, Falls Church, Va.
20 Apr 06. Maj. Gen. Vincent E. Boles, commanding general, Army Ordnance
Center/commandant, Army Ordnance Schools, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., to
assistant deputy chief of staff, G-4, Army, Washington, D.C.
13 Apr 06. An RAF Doctor, Flight Lieutenant M Kendall-Smith MB ChB, was found guilty at a Court Martial of five charges connected with his refusal to go to Iraq. The Officer is appealing agai