26 Jan 07. USAF’s New Intel Directorate Opens for Business March 1. The U.S. Air Force’s intelligence programs and personnel are in the process of a complete reorganization, taking all intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) out from under the operations umbrella and creating a free-standing air intelligence directorate, or A2. The new directorate is expected to be fully formed by March 1, said Lt. Gen David Deptula, who will head the realigned A2. It will encompass the responsibilities of the Air Intelligence Agency — the current central clearing house for Air Force intelligence, based at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas — as well as oversight of ISR activities. Control over the service’s ISR programs now is scattered across the service in Air Combat Command, Air Space Command, Special Operations Command and others. (Source: Defense News)
19 Jan 07. Aircraft Carriers: Change of Decommissioning Dates. In a Written Answer (19 Jan 07) the Armed Forces’ Minister said that: “On present plans the out of service dates for HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS ILLUSTRIOUS are 2012 and 2015 respectively.”.
Comment: The above represents an interesting change of plan. Written Answers on 30 Jan 04, 25 Mar 04, 23 Nov 05 and 1 Mar 06 all gave the carriers’ out of service dates as: INVINCIBLE in 2010; ILLUSTRIOUS in 2012 and ARK ROYAL in 2013. ARK ROYAL has now been brought forward by a year while ILLUSTRIOUS is to serve on for an extra three years. Doubtless official confirmation will follow in due course that the in-service dates for the new carriers (and their aircraft) are no longer 2012 and 2015. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0705, 29 Jan 07)
24 Jan 07. Doctrine Centre: Extension Opened. The Armed Forces’ Minister opened (24 Jan 07) an extension to the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC) at Shrivenham. The extension is to be the location for some 100 Central Staff from DCDC HQ. The work of the Centre “provides the intellectual bases that inform coherent decisions in Defence Policy, Capability Development and Operations, both now and into the future.”.
Comment: According to the ‘blurb’, the DCDC is “to provide cross-dimensional analysis of the future context for Defence, from current Operations out to 30 years”. The MoD must have invested in a new set of crystal balls since the days when Combat Development only forecasted for 20 years ahead (!)(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0705, 29 Jan 07)
29 Jan 07. Production of the Royal Navy’s sixth Type 45 Anti-Air Warfare Destroyer, HMS Duncan, has started at VT Shipbuilding in Portsmouth after David Gould, Deputy Chief Executive of the Defence Procurement Agency, carried out the official cutting of the first steel. Mr Gould pressed the start button on VT’s advanced laser steel cutting machine at the Group’s shipbuilding facility in Portsmouth Naval Base as guests from the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy looked on. The steel will form part of the bow section, which VT is building along with the funnel and masts of the 7,500 tonnes ship.
Jan 07. The Army’s 57th Medical Company, which helped save hundreds of thousands of lives in wars and hurricanes, is being disbanded and spread among other units as part of the Pentagon’s military reorganization plan. The company’s Huey helicopters evacuated more than 100,000 casualties in Vietnam alone. In Iraq, the 57th evacuated more than 4,500 troops, Iraqi civilians and U.S. contractors. The unit also played a major role after devastating hurricanes Fran, Floyd and Katrina. (Source: Shephard)
30 Jan 07. With test work to improve the U.S. presidential helicopter and other projects, ARINC Inc. is going to need a lot more office space in Huntsville. The company, which started out in the aircraft communications business, is expanding here to support military customers. “We will probably look to double the size (of office facilities) later this year,” said Laura Walters, director of