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May 08. Land Forces Command: Formation. Land Command and Personnel & Training Command merged into a single Land Forces Command on 1 Apr 08. HQ Land Command continues to exist at Wilton and HQ Personnel & Training Command remains at Upavon, but the new HQ is planned to occupy a single site in Andover by 2012.
In conjunction with the merger of the Army’s two major HQ, the Chief of the General Staff has instigated a review of the Army Staff and how it functions.
Comment: The merger of the two HQ (albeit ‘virtual’ at this stage!) brings the Army into line with the RN (Fleet Command) and the RAF (Air Command). As originally announced, Project Hyperion was to have seen the Army’s merged HQ occupying a single site in Andover by March 2009. Apparently, even the revised date of 2012 shown above might be optimistic. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 08178, 05 May 08)

07 May 08. Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter announced today at a ceremony in Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., the name of the newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will be Michael Murphy. Designated as DDG-112, the name honors Lt. Michael Murphy who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during Operation Red Wing in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005. Navy SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) Lt. Michael P. Murphy lead a four-man team tasked with finding a key Taliban leader in the mountainous terrain near Asadabad, Afghanistan, when they came under fire from a much larger enemy force with superior tactical position. Mortally wounded while exposing himself to enemy fire, Murphy knowingly left his position of cover to get a clear signal in order to communicate with his headquarters. While being shot at repeatedly, Murphy calmly provided his unit’s location and requested immediate support for his element. He returned to his cover position to continue the fight until finally succumbing to his wounds.

06 May 08. Forces’ centre gets £24m boost. The armed forces rehabilitation centre, Headley Court, is to get an extra £24m to improve facilities for injured servicemen and women. Defence Secretary Des Browne is expected to confirm the investment when he visits the unit in Surrey later. It will help build an accommodation block, a bigger prosthetic limb workshop and a neurological lab. The facility, which looks after 180 patients, cares for those injured in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. During the last three years, the Defence Medical Services Rehabilitation Centre, near Leatherhead, has increased the number of beds available for “complex trauma” patients from 18 to 66. It also has one of the country’s most advanced prosthetic workshops, dealing with 50 patients who have lost limbs since opening in June 2006. (Source: BBC)

07 May 08. Airbus yesterday abandoned talks on the sale of two French sites, part of the Franco-German aircraft maker’s crucial cost-cutting programme, as concerns mounted over more possible delays to deliveries of its flagship A380 superjumbo. The global credit crisis appears to have dealt a fatal blow to plans to sell the sites at Méaulte and Saint Nazaire Ville to French equipment supplier Latécoère, much as volatile financial markets scuppered talks on three German sites less than two months ago. To buy the sites, Latécoère would have had to raise about $300m from a highly uncertain market and this was a risk that EADS, Airbus’s Franco-German parent, was not prepared to take. The decision to shelve the sale is not expected to alter the group’s target to save €2.1bn ($3.2bn) by 2010. Project Zephyr, as the disposal programme was called, was due to bring about €200m in cost savings and the group had made provisions in case the disposal process failed. Nonetheless, it is a blow to Airbus, which will now have to keep at least five of the 16 sites earmarked for disposal for an indefinite period. Negotiations are continuing to sell part of the UK site at Filton, Bristol, to GKN. The

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