20 Dec 07. QinetiQ says farewell with last ever UK Jaguar flight. Thursday 20th December was a historic day for aviation enthusiasts as XX833, which for the past six months was the only flying UK military registered Jaguar left in service, took its last flight, marking the end of an era for Jaguar flying in UK – the last of the RAF’s Jaguars were themselves all retired this Summer.
19 Dec 07. DCNS launched the industrial production of the first of six Barracuda-type nuclear-powered attack submarines destined to replace the French Navy’s Rubis/Améthyste class. The new-generation submarines will enter service between 2016 and 2027. The first plate, measuring 7.5 by 3.3 metres, for the first-of-class Suffren was shaped at an official ‘first-cut’ ceremony attended by the high authorities of the French Navy and French defence procurement agency DGA at DCNS’s Cherbourg shipyard. The plate will form a bottom strake* of block 7, aft of centre.
20 Dec 07. The Government is pumping $129m into New Zealand’s Ohakea Air Force Base. Defence Minister Phil Goff says it is the start of a major upgrade of the
facilities and will include new helicopter hangars. The funding will also
improve maintenance, support and office facilities and security at the base.
Mr Goff says the upgrade is necessary for the role Ohakea plays as an emergency
airport should North Island airports be closed to international traffic.
Construction is expected to begin in the New Year. (Source: Google)
20 Dec 07. The Boeing Company has formed a new Intelligence and Security Systems (I&SS) division that will provide ground-based and other integrated intelligence and security solutions for a variety of U.S. government customers. Steve Oswald, a retired U.S. Naval Reserve rear admiral and former astronaut, was named vice president and general manager of the new I&SS division, reporting to Roger Krone, president of the Network and Space Systems business of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. Oswald brings to the assignment extensive experience in national security and the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) field. I&SS will be based in the Washington, D.C. area. I&SS has a workforce of approximately 2,000 people at nine locations nationwide and will be comprised of four program areas: Advanced Information Systems, Mission Systems, Security Solutions, which includes SBInet, and Advanced I&SS.
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
20 Dec 07. The president of the Association of the United States Army called the Army’s plan to station its growing force “a positive step forward” in growing and transforming the force in a time of war. “The plan addresses in a holistic and systematic manner the strategic, tactical and practical challenges for the Army itself, the soldiers who serve in it and their families,” Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., and AUSA president, said. The Army announced Dec. 19 where it will station more than 74,000 soldiers as part of its plan to grow the active and reserve component force over the next few years. This growth includes the stationing of six new infantry brigade combat teams, eight support brigades in the active component, and associated growth in smaller combat support and combat service support units required to complement the Army’s overall force-structure growth. Plans are to grow the active force by 65,000 to a total of 547,000. About half of that amount is already in place. At the Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting in October, Secretary Pete Geren and Gen. George Casey, chief of staff, said they planned to add the full 74,000 by 2010. This would be two years earlier than previously announced and help reduce the stress on the force caused by operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. An announcement is expected in 2008 whether the new brigades will be separate or organized under an existing division. The Army is now deploying over 2