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12 Mar 12. Norwegian State Secretary for the Ministry of Defence Roger Ingebrigsten met with Northrop Grumman Corporation executives Feb. 29 in Palmdale, Calif., where Northrop Grumman produces the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter center fuselage. As part of his visit to the United States for an update on the F-35 program, Ingebrigsten was accompanied by members of the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, Norwegian air force, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace and the Norwegian media. The group also visited Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., for a flight test demonstration. The Norwegian contingent received a program update from Randy Secor, deputy of the F-35 program for Northrop Grumman, who complimented the technical capabilities of Kongsberg and the quality of the composite parts they supply for the center fuselage. In addition, the Norwegian officials toured the Integrated Assembly Line (IAL), which plays a major role in producing the center fuselage. The IAL maximizes robotics and automation, providing additional capacity and assembly capability while meeting engineering tolerances not easily achieved manually. The IAL is one of the ways Northrop Grumman increases the program’s affordability by reducing program costs and labor requirements.

12 Mar 12. An unexploded bomb, an enemy HAZMAT lab, and a building fire recently combined to create havoc in Georgia. When the Air National Guards’ 125th Fighter Wing CBRNE and Emergency Management Teams responded, they found themselves deployed away from the city of Savannah and deep into the remote backwoods of Fort Stewart, GA. In this challenging power and communications sterile environment, the responding CBRNE and EM teams were left to establish incident command and operate with only the mobile command tools that they brought. Given intelligence indicating an enemy hazardous materials lab hidden within a multi-story building, a recon unit responded and was quick to recognize the need for additional resources. The recon team requested support, and a man-portable TAC-PAK mobile command system, manufactured by 308 SYSTEMS (www.308systems.com) was quickly transferred and operational within 5 minutes. “I was handed a TAC-PAK and told to set it up. Once I opened it, it was really easy to get things going” said one Staff Sargent. Activating their TAC-PAK, the command post created a wireless data network that enabled team leaders to coordinate essential tasks using readily available smart phones. This enabled the recon unit to share information, request support and coordinate with the arriving forces. Now acting as a coordinated team with the newly arrived forces, CBRNE personnel were able to effectively clear the building, locate the lab and complete their mission. Just then, chaos struck as one observation post lost its satellite signal and thus its ability to exchange valuable data within the response. A nearby post quickly deployed their SATPAK Internet data repeater, also manufactured by 308 SYSTEMS(www.308systems.com), and lit up the crippled observation post with satellite Internet from their operational TAC-PAK, thus quickly transitioning the observation post back to fully functional status.

17 Mar 12. Eurocopter plans to expand its production in Germany, German weekly magazine Wirtschafts Woche reported, citing Chief Executive Lutz Bertling.
“We are doing research for the next generation of especially environmentally friendly helicopters in Germany. And we are also talking to the governments of Bavaria and Germany about support for a new civil program,” the magazine cited Bertling as saying in an interview, without providing further details.
Bertling, who is also on the management board of Eurocopter parent EADS said the company was investing 100m euros ($132m) in a new development centre at its German base in Donauwoerth. (Source: Reuters)

13 Mar 12. The King’s Troop: New Lines. HRH The Duchess of Cornwall opened the new Woolwich home of The King’s Troop,

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