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28 Jan 14. MoD to hand over running of bases to private sector. The Ministry of Defence is expected to appoint a private sector partner to manage its entire military estate – from airfields to training bases – within weeks in a trailblazing deal that will pave the way for sales of properties including Deepcut barracks estate in Surrey. The MoD is one of Britain’s biggest land owners, with 230,000 acres of land covering conservation sites, office blocks, barracks, homes and military bases. But with budgets under pressure, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, which employs 2,500 staff managing the estate, is seeking a private sector partner to help manage employees, and sell off prime property. Although the staff will remain civil servants, their numbers are expected to be cut, as are a number of subcontractors. The troubled outsourcing giant Serco is leading one of three consortiums in the race to win the £400m, 10-year deal. But the company is still to hear whether it will be allowed to win future government work after being referred – along with rival G4S – to the Serious Fraud Office for overcharging the government on electronic monitoring contracts. A decision by the Cabinet Office on whether the company has overhauled its practices sufficiently is due as early as this week. Capita and Telereal Trillium are leading the other two consortiums competing for the contract. The decision to outsource the management of the DIO comes as the MoD seeks to meet aggressive cost-saving targets at a time of operational upheaval. The government also faces a huge challenge to ensure that troops in Germany and Afghanistan expected to return to the UK in the next few years are adequately housed. Meanwhile, the number of troops is also expected to shrink to its lowest number since the Napoleonic wars 200 years ago, providing opportunities for land sell-offs as the department faces an 8 per cent cut in its £37bn a year budget. The DIO is one of Britain’s largest land owners, controlling 1.1 per cent of the land mass in the UK. Its 130,000 assets include natural conservation sites such as Salisbury Plain, as well as prime central London properties. These include several sites such as the Old War Office in Whitehall – where Sir Winston Churchill once worked – which are expected to be put up for sale. Other sites set for sale include the Deepcut site in Surrey, which will close in 2016, as part of the MoD’s plans to move to a few larger so-called “super barracks”. (Source: FT.com)

30 Jan 14. ATK Opens its Northridge Location to Better Serve Defense Industry Customers. On Wednesday, Jan. 22, ATK’s Defense Electronic Systems (DES) hosted a ceremony commemorating the opening of its new operations facility with the lease and conversion of 120,000 square feet of industrial space in Northridge, CA. DES is consolidating into a single building from five buildings in two different locations in southern California. This will allow DES to centralize its team members to support increased production. The first phase of the move was completed in December 2013 with approximately 200 employees relocated to the Northridge location. An additional 80 employees and production operations will relocate in May when construction is completed. (Source: Open Source Information Report/ASD Network)


30 Jan 14. U.S. Navy christens second Mobile Landing Platform. The Navy christened Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) John Glenn on Feb. 1, during a 10 a.m. PST ceremony in San Diego, Calif. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Lyn Glenn, daughter of Sen. John Glenn, served as the ship’s sponsor. The future USNS John Glenn (MLP 2), will honor Sen. Glenn, the legendary astronaut who is the last surviving member of the Mercury 7 crew. He was the first American to orbit the Earth on Friendship 7 and even flew aboard the Discovery space shuttle at the age of 77. Upon delivery to the U.S. N

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