13 May 05. The Pentagon proposed Friday shutting about 180 military installations from Maine to Hawaii including 33 major bases, triggering the first round of base closures in a decade and an intense struggle by communities to save their facilities. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld also recommended a list of scores of other domestic installations — including 29 major bases — that will remain open but with thousands fewer troops. Dozens of others will gain troops from other domestic or foreign bases. Overall, he has said his plan would save $48.8bn over 20 years while making the military more mobile and better suited for the global effort against terrorism. Rumsfeld’s proposal calls for a massive shift of U.S. forces that would result in a net loss of 29,005 military and civilian jobs at domestic installations. Overall, he proposes pulling 218,570 military and civilian positions out of some U.S. bases while adding 189,565 positions to others, according to documents obtained by
The AP. The closures and downsizings would occur over six years starting in 2006. Among the major closures were Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, which would lose more than 2,700 jobs, the Naval Station in Ingleside, Texas, costing more than 2,100 jobs, and Fort McPherson in Georgia, costing nearly 4,200 jobs. Other major bases — including the Army’s Fort Bliss in Texas, the Naval Shipyard in Norfolk, Va., and Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland –
would see gains, as they absorb troops whosencurrent home bases are slated for closure. Before closures or downsizings can take effect, the Defense Department’s proposal must be approved or changed by a federal base closing commission by Sept. 8, and then agreed to by Congress and President Bush, in a process that will run into the fall. (Source: Associated Press European edition)
06 May 05. Northrop Grumman Corporation has opened a land-based test and training facility to provide specialized training for U.S. Navy personnel in operating and maintaining the machinery control system (MCS) being installed on the Navy’s newest amphibious assault ship, the USS Makin Island (LHD-8). The 2,700-square-foot, seven-room complex, located inside the Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine plant in Charlottesville, Va., contains a configurable suite of networked MCS hardware and software, providing shipboard personnel with realistic hands-on training in a simulated environment. The facility contains dedicated conference rooms for meetings and training sessions, and will also be used to develop and test new software applications and hardware configurations. The operators will interface with the tactical hardware and software used on the ship via a sophisticated simulation/stimulation suite, enabling training for normal and casualty operation scenarios. The facility also provides for hands-on maintenance training using tactical hardware in an electronic classroom environment in which the full suite of Sperry-developed Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals will be available. The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art electronics to support highly interactive design reviews with the customer, facilitating rapid human-machine interface development with maximum customer involvement. The Makin Island is a transformational multipurpose amphibious assault ship currently under construction by Northrop Grumman’s Ship Systems sector in Pascagoula, Miss. It’s the first Navy LHD ship built with gas turbine engines and electric drive, as well as all-electric auxiliary systems and sophisticated command, control and combat systems. Sperry Marine is responsible for developing and installing the ship’s platform management system, which encompasses all aspects of ship machinery control and damage control in an integrated network. The ship is scheduled for delivery in May 2007.
May 2005. Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC): Now Active
Soldier noted the opening of the JCCC at RAF Innsworth, near Gloucester. The JCCC i