19 May 06. Noel Forgeard, co-chief executive of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), has agreed to resume negotiations over the closure of a factory at Merignac, near Bordeaux, belonging to airline maintenance subsidiary Sogerma, which made losses of 238m euros last year. Mr Forgeard agreed to postpone the closure following a meeting with three government ministers yesterday, and industry minister Francois Loos declared himself satisfied with the outcome. The government said that Mr Forgeard had given assurances that all efforts would be made to re-deploy staff within the EADS network. In all, around 1,050 jobs are under threat.EADS later confirmed that it had agreed to delay closure of the plant and discuss future projects with local businesses. (Source: Abstracted from Les Echos/FT.com)
23 May 06. Northrop Grumman Corp. broke ground on a new information technology center in Chesterfield County, Va., on Tuesday. In addition to Northrop IT operations, the Northrop Grumman Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center will also house the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
25 May 2006. The publication today of the Ministry of Defence’s latest Armed
Forces manning figures show that the UK Armed Forces are currently at
98.4 percent Full Time Trained Strength. As at 1 April 2006, the Full Time Trained Strength of the UK Armed Forces of was 182,980p against a target of 185,920. This comprises 178,110 p UK Regular Forces, 1,540 Full Time Reserve Service personnel and 3,330 Gurkhas. There were also 17,760 p untrained UK
Regulars and 330 untrained Gurkhas. Since 1 April 2005, the proportion of females in the UK Regular Forces has risen 0.4 percent to 11.3 percent for officers and remains unchanged at 8.7 percent for Other Ranks. The percentage of UK Regular Forces from ethnic minority backgrounds continues to rise; at 1 April 2006 ethnic minorities accounted for 5.5 percent compared to 5.3 percent at 1 April 2005.
25 May 06. Australians head for East Timor. Disgruntled ex-soldiers are fighting street battles with troops. Fresh clashes have broken out in East Timor, as Australia prepares to send troops to help quell the violence. Fighting has erupted in various parts of the capital Dili, and at least one soldier has been killed. Australian Prime Minister John Howard said 150 commandos would arrive later on Thursday to help secure the airport. The troops, part of an international team, are responding to a call from the East Timorese government, after weeks of rioting by disaffected ex-soldiers. Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta admitted on Wednesday that his government “could not control the situation”. Australia has experience of providing military aid to East Timor, as it led a UN-military force into the country in 1999 to end the unrest sparked when the population voted for independence from Indonesia. (Source: BBC)
May 2006. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. Focus (May 2006), the MoD’s monthly newspaper, has defined the composition and tasks of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT):-
* PRT are military and civilian teams, based in the Afghan Provinces with capabilities tailored to the need of each area.
* PRT core tasks are: extending the authority of the Afghan Government, supporting security sector reform and facilitating development & reconstruction.
* The UK-led team in Helmand Province includes personnel from the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development.
* PRT military elements are required to liase with the local inhabitants and provide security.
Comment: The MoD has also been keen to stress that the UK mission is part of the NATO contribution and separate from US-led Operations. “Unlike the Americans, British troops are not in Afghanistan to seek out terrorists. But they will have the robust rules of engagement necessary to defend themselves.” (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0620, 22 May 06)
23 Tue 06. Mr