11 Oct 12. RTI International Metals, Inc. (RTI) celebrated the first production of certified commercial aerospace titanium product at its new, $135m forging, grinding and hot rolling manufacturing facility in Martinsville, VA. In addition to RTI executives, key executives of Airbus, which will use much of the factory’s titanium output to produce the company’s passenger jets, and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell attended a ceremony to mark this milestone in the plant’s operations. The startup of commercial titanium production at Martinsville follows more than 10 months of certification testing to meet Airbus’s stringent initial qualification requirements. It is an important milestone for RTI and represents continued strengthening of the business connection between RTI and Airbus, one of the world’s largest commercial aircraft manufacturers. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)
11 Oct 12. Rheinmetall Defence is expanding its presence in Australia with the newly founded subsidiary Rheinmetall Simulation Australia Pty Ltd. The new company underscores its commitment to providing customers with comprehensive advice and support in all aspects of simulation and training technology. Adrian Smith has been appointed Managing Director of Rheinmetall Simulation Australia, which will be headquartered in Adelaide. The move represents another step in Rheinmetall Defence’s progressive inter-nationalisation and systematic expansion into key markets. The Düsseldorf-based German Group has production and sales units in numerous European countries, the United States and Canada, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Asia.
10 Oct 12. DOD Announces Return of Royal Air Force Upwood Clinic. The U.S. Department of Defense announced today it will return the Royal Air Force (RAF) Upwood Clinic in the United Kingdom to the host nation. The return of this site is part of U.S. European Command’s (USEUCOM) continued effort to remove non-enduring sites, bases and installations from its real-property inventory. These actions will permit more resources to be focused on other U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) mission requirements and the command to realize efficiency and cost savings. Based on comparing the current annual operations and maintenance costs, the return of RAF Upwood Clinic will result in an estimated annual savings of $554,000. There are 57 U.S. personnel and four host nation employees associated with the site, who will be offered relocation opportunities at the RAF Alconbury Clinic, located eight miles away. The return will have no impact on military operations in Europe. The United States plans to return the site to the host nation in late 2012. As with all stationing actions, the United States has coordinated with host nation officials prior to this public announcement.
10 Oct 12. A turning of the earth ceremony has taken place at the site of what will become the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) – underlining the UK’s long-term commitment to a secure Afghanistan after combat operations cease by the end of 2014. Once fully operational, the ANAOA will train up to 1,350 male students and 150 female students each year. Based on a model resembling the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, it will help to sustain the ongoing progress being made in building a capable and professional Afghan National Army. This work will take place during and after the transition of security responsibilities to the Afghan Government post-2014. The event coincided with the transfer of authority between British brigades in Helmand with 4th Mechanized Brigade taking command of Task Force Helmand from 12th Mechanized Brigade which is now on its way home. The transfer of authority marks the start of Operation HERRICK 17 which will oversee the drawdown of 500 UK service personnel already announced to take place by the end of this year. The next six months will see 4th Mechanized Brigade working in support of the Afghan National Security Forc