11 Mar 10. British troops will hand control of the largest town in northern Helmand to US forces next month, a move that will allow soldiers to be redeployed to the centre of the province. In a long-expected rebalancing of Nato forces in Helmand, 500 British troops are to leave Musa Qala next month. Announcing the move, Bob Ainsworth, defence secretary, said it was one of a number of changes that will take place in
Helmand as a result of the significant build-up of US troops in the province. The withdrawal of UK forces from Musa Qala will have a strong emotional impact on members of the British armed forces. In 2006 it was the scene of heavy fighting when the UK first moved into Helmand province. The town was then lost to the Taliban as a result of an ill-fated peace deal heavily criticised by the US at the time. It therefore had to be retaken by a mixed US and British force in 2007. In total, 23 British service personnel have died in or near Musa Qala in the past four years and the town has taken on iconic importance. Major General Gordon Messenger, a military representative in London, indicated that the British had done much to improve life in the town. “We are handing over a going concern, a success story. This is not about transferring a failing enterprise, there is real progress in Musa Qala.”
16 Mar 10. Oshkosh Corporation announced today plans for its Defense Division to expand technical operations in Michigan and move into a new leased state-of-the-art technical facility in Warren, Mich., replacing its existing Warren office. The announcement was made at a press conference with the Governor of Michigan and the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) Board which announced funding for Oshkosh and other companies. The MEGA Board has approved a state tax credit of $6.4m spanning 12 years for Oshkosh. Oshkosh Defense will move current operations from its existing leased Warren office into the new facility and plans to hire up to 190 new employees locally. This new facility will provide advanced system technical support and systems engineering for the Defense division’s work on the U.S. Army medium and heavy truck fleets. Oshkosh Corporation anticipates a capital investment in the new site of approximately $6.5m over a five-year period. The facility will support Oshkosh Defense’s work on the five-year Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) rebuy contract, which the Army reaffirmed on Feb. 12 and its work on the Army’s Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles (FHTV), including the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT A4), Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) and Palletized Load System (PLS).
17 Mar 10. Raytheon Company’s Missile Systems business has established a missile defense product line. Already a world leader in missile defense, the company’s new Air and Missile Defense Systems product line will create even greater alignment with its Missile Defense Agency customer. “Missile defense is a major component of the company’s portfolio,” said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. “With a broad array of products and solutions, Raytheon is ideally positioned to meet present and emerging missile defense requirements.” The Air and Missile Defense Systems product line includes proven RMS missile defense programs such as Standard Missile-3, Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle and development programs such as the Network Centric Airborne Defense Element. “This move positions us for greater customer and mission focus, which will lead to even higher quality and execution,” added Lawrence.
16 Mar 10. Magna Parva Ltd – the international provider of engineering design services for applications in hostile environments – has announced further expansion with the opening of a new office at Harwell in Oxfordshire. The new facility is at the Start Electron offices within the Innovation Centre on the Harwell Science & Innovation Campus. This campus also houses well known research organisations