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13 Aug 11. The Ministry of Defence decision to move the army out of Edinburgh and sell off its historic buildings is financially driven, unpopular and gives the impression of “chaos at the top”, one of Scotland’s most senior former officers has said. Lieutenant-Colonel Allister Thom told The Scotsman the move made no sense. “I am amazed that the MoD should contemplate giving up excellent facilities at Dreghorn and banish our soldiers and their families to a lonely spot some 12-and-a- half miles from the city,” he said. His intervention was supported by politicians across the board, who said the plan to leave Edinburgh for a new “super barracks” in West Lothian is based on cost rather than military strategy. One MSP is now considering a campaign to convince the MoD to reverse the decision. The criticism intensified yesterday as it emerged senior officers in Scotland were not consulted and were “stunned” when they were told. Last night, one serving officer said: “There is a lot of unhappiness about this. The barracks in Edinburgh are so much more convenient for everyone and particularly those with families, as they are close to schools and shops. “Kirknewton is an old RAF base, and there’s not a lot there. It will all have to be built up from scratch and even then it’s a long way out from the city centre. People just don’t fancy living out there, and if families are not happy, soldiers serving abroad are not happy.” (Source: The Scotsman)

09 Aug 11. VSD Global (VSDG) has openned a new branch office in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). VSDG was established in early 2011 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. VSDG UAE Branch Manager Ahmad Halabi stated, “It is an exciting time in the Middle East and the UAE. Our VSDG office in the UAE will help expand our client base and allow us to focus on growing VSD and VSDG products and services in that area of the world.”

10 Aug 11. PEI-Genesis, Inc. announced the opening of their new branch office in Istanbul, Turkey. While many companies are retracting and eliminating staff, PEI-Genesis continues to invest in its local branch model. PEI-Genesis has 27 branches in 8 countries, and is continually expanding their international footprint. “Istanbul is a key location for a strong global presence. Today, the smartest companies are turning to emerging or growing markets to ensure their future growth. PEI-Genesis is well-situated to play a part in Istanbul’s local economy – and in the region generally,” explained Russel Dorwart, president, PEI-Genesis.

MARITIME

10 Aug 11. China’s first aircraft carrier. China has sent its first aircraft carrier to sea in a sign of the country’s burgeoning naval power. The defence ministry said the Varyag, which the People’s Liberation Army purchased as an unfinished hull from Ukraine in 1998, started its first sea trial in the early hours of Wednesday. While the long-awaited maiden voyage triggered an outpouring of joy among patriotic Chinese, the PLA Navy could struggle for years to master the skills
needed to operate the ship.
“China has resolved some of the most fundamental physical issues involved in launching and landing aircraft from a small moving airfield, but the process remains immensely difficult,” Andrew Erickson, a China expert at the US Naval War College, wrote in a note on Wednesday. Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo said on state television that it could take up to four more years to train pilots for carrier operations. (Source: FT.com)

07 Aug 11. The Navy took delivery of PCU California (SSN 781) from Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS), Aug. 7, more than eight months earlier than the scheduled contract delivery date. “The quality and professionalism of our Navy/shipbuilding team is evident in California’s outstanding performance duri

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