13 May 05. Air Engineers: End of Formal Training. RAF News noted that the formal training of Air Engineers had ended with 218 Air Engineer Course at Cranwell. Comment: Formal training of Air Engineers originally started at No 4 School of Trade Training, St Athan in May 1942. Flight Engineers, as they were then known, were awarded a flying badge with an ‘E’ brevet from September 1942. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 05/20, 23 May 05)
23 May 05. To accommodate its growing presence in the Huntsville area, Northrop Grumman Corporation will construct a new five-building complex in Cummings Research Park. The company has selected developer Colonial Properties Trust
for the $80m project to be located off Interstate 565. Colonial Properties is a real estate investment trust headquartered in Birmingham, Ala. Northrop Grumman plans to break ground on the first 110,000 square-foot building June 27.
25 May 2005.The UK’s first Apache Attack Helicopter regiment is fully
operational, following the successful completion of Exercise Eagles
Strike today. 9 Regiment Army Air Corps, part of 16 Air Assault Brigade, has been fully trained, tested and exercised as the lead Apache Helicopter
Regiment and is now available for operations.
25 May 05. The RAF’s total strength is to be cut from 48,900 to 41,000 by 2008. The MoD says the cuts are needed to maximise efficiency for the future. On Wednesday, the MoD re-affirmed it will go ahead with 700 job cuts at Lossiemouth.
26 May 05. Tanker plant in jeopardy. A defense bill approved Wednesday by the House could help The Boeing Co. regain a $23bn contract it lost last year amid an ethics scandal and cripple a plan from a foreign aerospace company to possibly build an aerial tanker in Brevard County. The bill, which passed on a 390-39 vote that included “yes” votes from local congressmen Dave Weldon and Tom Feeney, passed with an amendment aimed at the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., which proposes a tanker version of its twin-engine Airbus A-330 passenger jet. Executives of EADS are looking at airport sites in Melbourne, Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina for its project. A site-selection team toured Brevard for most of the day Tuesday, meeting with school and real estate representatives, looking at the land needed for the project and surveying supply routes from Port Canaveral to Melbourne International Airport.
24 May 05. A U.S. military spokesman in Iraq confirmed a Washington Post report that the U.S. plans to consolidate its forces in Iraq onto four big air bases as Washington looks ahead to giving up over 100 bases used by international forces. However the officers told the Post the consolidation plan was not meant to establish a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq and that no timetable exists for turning over all U.S. bases in the war-torn country. The chief determining factor on reducing U.S. forces in Iraq will be “the strength of the insurgency and the ability of Iraq’s security services to fight it,” the paper said.
23 May 05. The unions of the French defence electronics group Thales have said that the cost-cutting plan which the group announced in March will result in the loss of 1,580 jobs by 2007. Management has refused to confirm the figures which, according to the CFDT union, include 447 cuts at Thales Air Defence (TAD) and 250 at Thales Airborne Systems (TAS). Thales hopes to reduce its costs by around 300m euros over the next two years. Half of the savings are expected to be made on internal costs, while around 50m euros will reportedly be cut from the group’s research-and-development programme. (Source: Original article by Michel Cabirol, Abstracted from La Tribune/FT.com)
18 May 05. A Raytheon vice president and retired Defense command and control deputy assistant secretary is rumored to be the next CIO for the Defense Department. John G. Grimes, vice president of Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems of Washington,