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National Defense News Impacting Wisconsin 2/4/2013
05 Feb 2013

National Defense News Impacting Wisconsin 2/4/2013

Debt Deal May Increase Risk Of Sequestration

The federal debt limit extension deal passed by House Republicans last week assures that the federal government will not default on its loans through mid-May. But that might not be good news for Pentagon officials gearing up for the next showdown: sequestration. Military budget experts say the extension deal could increase the risk that the automatic budget cuts set for March 1 will kick in, at least temporarily.


Army Freezes Hiring & Reduces Training

In advance of possible extreme budget cuts that could arrive in March, Army leadership has called for an immediate hiring freeze and spelled out other pre-emptive measures meant to help the service prepare for a fiscal cliff.


Pentagon Expanding Cybersecurity Force

The Pentagon is moving toward a major expansion of its cybersecurity force to counter increasing attacks on the nation’s computer networks, as well as to expand offensive computer operations on foreign adversaries. The expansion would increase the Defense Department’s Cyber Command by more than 4,000 people, up from the current 900.


Historic Los Alamitos Base Now Army Reserve Headquarters

The 79th Sustainment Support Command officially opened its new 53,000-square-foot headquarters facility on Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos. This state-of-the-art facility is well equipped to enhance mission readiness and family well-being for such a geographically dispersed unit.


Africa-Based Threats Emerging

Senior U.S. officials and lawmakers are coming to grips with the emerging reality that the U.S. military and intelligence agencies must increase their efforts in a region where Washington has been reluctant to do so: Africa. The Obama administration and lawmakers now believe — somewhat reluctantly — that America’s light footprint in Africa simply is no longer good enough.


Panetta To Lift Ban On Women In Combat

The Pentagon is lifting its ban on women in combat roles, opening thousands of previously closed jobs in the most dangerous units in the military, but the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee said it might not mean major changes by the time all is said and done.


Navy Warns Of Delayed Deployments

Increasingly alarmed by the inability of Congress to pass a spending bill or avoid sequestration, the military service chiefs are providing more details about what will happen if lawmakers don’t take action. For the U.S. Navy, the rising crescendo of warnings now hits at the heart of the fleet’s activities.


Pentagon Furloughs Could Start In Mid-April

The Defense Department plans to submit a request to Congress in mid-February for approval to furlough civilian employees. If sequestration indeed happened and Congress approved the DoD’s request, notification letters would go out to the employees affected.


Pentagon Increases Focus On AFRICOM

In the five years since U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) was created, there have been rumblings that its duties would be absorbed by another regional combatant command amid other global and budgetary priorities. But that could be changing, as the Pentagon plans to boost military training and engagement in the coming months across Africa.


Why Defense Spending Plunged 22% Last Quarter

Government defense expenditures plunged by a staggering 22.2 percent between October and December. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Pentagon spent significantly less on just about everything except military pay. Had the Pentagon not cut back on spending, the economy would have grown at a weak but positive 1.27 percent pace.


Defense Industry & The Cities That Rely On It

As Washington debates “sequestration” — automatic budget cuts that threaten to slash $600 billion from the Pentagon budget by 2023, beginning March 1 — the defense industry, and cities relying on it, know sequestration isn’t half the problem.


USAF Starts Contractor Hunt For Afghani C-130s

The U.S. Air Force is reaching out to contractors to gather information on support and maintenance for a quartet of C-130H transportation planes earmarked for the Afghani Air Force. A “request for information” on a federal contracting site regarding Contractor Logistics Support in Afghanistan has been issued.

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