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12 Dec 07. Association of the United States Army (AUSA) president and chief operating officer General Gordon R. Sullivan (USA-Ret.) today presented a $1 million check toward the design and construction of the National Museum of the United States Army to General William W. Hartzog, president of the board of directors of the Army Historical Foundation. The foundation is spearheading the $200 million capital campaign to build the Museum at nearby Fort Belvoir, Virginia. “The National Museum of the United States Army is an important project, and one that the Association of the United States Army supports wholeheartedly because our mission is to advance the interests of America’s Army and the men and women who serve,” said GEN Sullivan. “That’s one of the many things the National Army Museum will also do in a very unique and engaging way based on stories of Soldiers’ service and sacrifice,” he added. In accepting the check on behalf of the foundation, GEN Hartzog expressed gratitude for the association’s continuing commitment to the project. “AUSA has been a dedicated partner in this important effort, and we appreciate the organization’s support and generosity,” he said. Also present from the Army Historical Foundation were Brigadier General Creighton W. Abrams, Jr. (USA-Ret.), executive director, and Major General John P. Herrling (USA-Ret.), campaign executive director, who echoed GEN Hartzog’s thanks to GEN Sullivan and members of the AUSA staff for the gift.

Dec 07. The Pentagon is closing down three of the 20 NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) early-warning radar sites in northern Alaska because the ground they’re built on in some cases is literally crumbling into the Arctic Ocean as a result of erosion caused by waves on ice-free waters, say military officials at the U.S. Northern Command. (Source: Google)

13 Dec 07. Sudan to have shuttle government. Sudan’s power-sharing government is to shift every three months from Khartoum to the southern town of Juba as part of the peace process, officials say. The move is part of an agreement to improve relations between the predominantly Muslim north and the Christian and Animist south. The ex-rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement is to rejoin the government two months after pulling out. More time has also been allocated to resolve outstanding issues. A key sticking-point was the demarcation of the disputed oil-rich Abyei region. The SPLM secretary general, Pagan Amum, said in Khartoum he was hopeful the peace agreement was back on track, and that the dispute over Abyei would be resolved soon. (Source: BBC)

28 Nov 07. HMS ENDURANCE: Antarctic Deployment. The ice patrol ship HMS ENDURANCE left Portsmouth on 28 Nov 07 for 18 months in the Antarctic, with the ship’s company due to rotate in order to minimise their time away. Among other tasks, HMS ENDURANCE is to survey the seabed on behalf of the Hydrographic Office and to support scientists working with the British Antarctic Survey.
Comment: The ship’s distinctive red hull has led to her being known as The Red Plum. Once in the Antarctic, ENDURANCE will be breaking ice with her specially-designed bow in order to take scientists and their supplies to otherwise inaccessible areas.

03 Dec 07. Attack Submarines (SSN): Numbers. The Armed Forces’ Minister confirmed (3 Dec 07) that the number of SSN would reduce to eight by December 2008. Planning assumptions were stated to be for seven SSN from 2022. The Minister had earlier (29 Oct 07) given the number of boats as eight from 2008 to 2010 and seven from 2011 to 2016.
Comment: ‘Delivery Security in a Changing World’ (Command 6269 of 21 Jul 04) announced a reduction in the number of SSN to eight, having previously been reduced from 12 to 10. It now appears that the number will be seven from 2011 onwards. HMS TRIUMPH is due to be decommissioned in 2022, leaving seven Astute Class in service. Long lead items have been ordered

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