23 May 10. The governor of Japan’s Okinawa said on Sunday it would be tough to accept a U.S.-Japan plan to keep a controversial U.S. air base on the southern island, dealing a blow to the government ahead of a mid-year election. Voter perception that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has mishandled the Futenma air base row has eroded government support, threatening the ruling Democratic Party’s chances in the upper house election, which it must win to avoid policy deadlock. Hatoyama has set himself an end-May deadline to resolve the problem, which has also frayed ties with Tokyo’s key security ally Washington just as the two countries confront security challenges such as an unpredictable North Korea and a rising China. The prime minister said on Sunday he had concluded the base should be shifted to the Henoko area of the northern Okinawa city of Nago — largely in line with a 2006 U.S-Japan agreement.
“Concerns and anger that people in Okinawa have are understandable,” Hatoyama told Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima in a meeting at the Okinawa prefecture office, as a crowd of protesters stood outside carrying signs opposing the plan and shouting “Go home”.
“But as shown in recent developments in the Korean peninsula, uncertainty
remains over security in East Asia and we cannot let the deterrence of U.S. military forces in Japan decline.”
“It is a heart-rending decision for me,” Hatoyama added and apologised to the people of Okinawa, for failing to succeed in shifting the base off the island. (Source: Reuters)
24 May 10. General Dynamics Information Technology has been awarded a $146.2m, three-year contract for Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Act support by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Washington Headquarters Services. General Dynamics will deploy a turnkey enterprise information technology network infrastructure for the more than 6,400 employees in support of the Washington Headquarters Services’ (WHS) move from several locations in the National Capital region to the recently acquired Mark Center facility in Alexandria, Va.
“General Dynamics will work in concert with Washington Headquarters Services to provide a resilient, survivable, reliable, scalable, flexible and secure information technology infrastructure,” said Zannie Smith, senior vice president of General Dynamics Information Technology’s Army Solutions Division. “We will leverage our extensive network and systems installation and integration capabilities to adhere to an aggressive schedule and remain on the budget established by WHS.”
24 May 10. A new training squadron has been activated by the US Air Force at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, to train aircrew on how to remotely operate unmanned aircraft. The 558th Flying Training Squadron will offer undergraduate training to remotely operate MQ-1 Predator aircraft, according to the Business Journal. Equipped with two anti-tank missiles, the MQ-1 aircraft can be used to strike targets or engage in surveillance and intelligence gathering. It is equipped with a camera and sensors to transmit data back to fighting forces via a satellite uplink and can be deployed for intelligence gathering for 24-hour periods with a rotation of crews. The MQ-1 Predator is operated by a ground crew including a pilot, a sensor operator and a mission intelligence coordinator. Randolph Air Force Base, which has currently 60 students assigned for training in the new squadron, will increase the number to 120 by the summer of 2011. (Source: airforcetechnology.com)
27 May 10. EADS Defence & Security (DS) has invested in an extension to its Microwave Factory (MWF) in Ulm and has thus increased its high-tech capacity for specialised high-performance electronics, e.g. next generation radars, to reach a leading level worldwide. In this context, Defence Electronics, an integrated activity of DS, has invested 1.5 million euros to extend its skills and capacity for the production of high-frequency modules under c