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14 Dec 12. The U.S. will send two batteries of Patriot missiles and 400 troops to Turkey as part of a NATO force meant to protect Turkish territory from potential Syrian missile attack, the Pentagon said
Friday. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed a deployment order en route to Turkey from Afghanistan calling for 400 U.S. soldiers to operate two batteries of Patriots at undisclosed locations in Turkey, Pentagon press secretary George Little told reporters flying with Panetta. Germany and the Netherlands have already agreed to provide two batteries of the
U.S.-built defense systems and send up to 400 German and 360 Dutch troops to man them, bringing the total number of Patriot batteries slated for Turkey to six. The German Parliament is expected to formally agree to the deployment on Friday. NATO foreign ministers endorsed Turkey’s request for the Patriots on Nov. 30. A number of Syrian shells have landed in Turkish territory since the conflict in the Arab state began in March 2011. Turkey has condemned the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad, supported Syrian rebels and provided shelter to Syrian refugees. Ankara is particularly worried that Assad may get desperate enough to use chemical weapons. (Source: AP)
06 Dec 12. In its efforts to promote a systematic approach towards Pooling & Sharing, the European Defence Agency (EDA) proposed and ministers adopted a code of conduct on 19 November 2012. By signing the code, defence ministers agreed to systematically consider cooperation in their national defence planning. The code comprises a series of actions to support cooperative efforts of EU Member States to develop defence capabilities. The actions herein are aimed at mainstreaming Pooling & Sharing in Member States’ planning and decision-making processes. They are to be implemented on a national and voluntary basis, in line with defence policies of Member States. The main pillars of the code are:
To systematically consider cooperation from the outset in national defence planning of Member States for the whole life-cycle of a capability, including cooperation in R&T.
Investment. To endeavour to accord Pooling & Sharing projects a higher degree of protection from potential cuts. To take advantage of synergies with wider European policies, including regulatory frameworks, standards and certification.
Coherence. EDA functions as a platform for information exchange to avoid gaps or duplication, to share expertise and best practises and to increase transparency.
Assessment. EDA will submit to defence ministers an annual state of play of Pooling & Sharing on the status of current initiatives, new opportunities and an analysis of the capability situation in Europe.
16 Dec 12. Price tag of £1bn on military airwaves. The Treasury stands to raise as much as £1bn by selling Ministry of Defence airwaves currently reserved for military purposes, according to industry analysts. The MoD will on Monday reveal plans to sell part of its spectrum holdings in 2014, as part of a longer-term government strategy to auction unused public sector airwaves to support next generation 4G mobile networks. In his Autumn Statement, George Osborne controversially booked the estimated
£3.5bn proceeds from another planned auction of 4G spectrum, helping avoid a rise in Britain’s annual debt. About half of the most valuable spectrum is controlled by the government, which has allocated the majority of it for military use. This has led to a government review as leading telecoms groups warn of an impending “capacity crunch” unless they are allowed to buy more of the airwaves needed to broadcast mobile signals. The government’s 2010 spending review recommended that 500MHz of the m