Tuesday, August 31, 2010
DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated August 31, 2010 Source: U.S. DoD issued No. 785-10 August 31, 2010 (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - August 31, 2010: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Contracts issued August 31, 2010 are undermentioned;
DTN News: Aerospace/Defense Headlines - News Dated August 31, 2010
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources including latest updates Defense News, Aerospace/Defense Headlines - News& Yahoo
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - August 31, 2010: Comprehensive daily news related to Aerospace/Defense for the world of TODAY.
*Comprehensive daily news related on Aerospace/Defense for the world of TODAY.
DTN News: PHI, Inc. Signs Contract For Ten AW139s Source: DTN News / AgustaWestland
(NSI News Source Info) VERGIATE, Italy - August 31, 2010: AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that PHI, Inc. has signed a contract for ten AW139 medium twin helicopters. These aircraft will be used to perform offshore transport missions. Emilio Dalmasso, Senior Vice President Commercial Business Unit, AgustaWestland said, “We are proud to add PHI to our growing customer base. PHI’s order further confirms the already impressive success of the AW139 as the best selling medium twin helicopter among major players in the offshore world marketplace. As the Oil & Gas industry evolves further and its requirements become more and more demanding, we are sure the AW139 will prove a tremendous addition to the customer’s fleet to maximize operational effectiveness enabling PHI to be primed for any challenge.” The AW139 has quickly become the aircraft of choice for offshore oil and gas support operations offering unparalleled features in its class in terms of performance, capacity and safety. The AW139 is ideally suited for the offshore role, with its large cabin and baggage compartments allowing it to transport 12 to 15 passengers, offering ease of access and egress by its large sliding doors. Remarkable space on board and modular solutions allows an easy and quick conversion to/from various configurations. The superior power of the two installed P&W PT6C-67C engines ensures the AW139 has the best performance in its weight class in all operating conditions. With its power reserve, the AW139 assures Category A (Class 1) superior performance from a helipad (elevated or at ground level) at maximum take-off weight with a superior one engine inoperative capability. Excellent payload and performance ensure unmatched productivity for offshore operations. Energy-absorbing landing gear, fuselage and seats as well as high main and tail rotor ground clearance provide added safety for the passengers and maintenance teams whilst on the ground. In addition to offshore transport, the AW139 can be used for a number of applications including executive/VIP transport, EMS/SAR, law enforcement and government duties. Almost 480 AW139 helicopters have been ordered so far by over 130 customers in almost 50 countries worldwide.
PHI is a world leading helicopter services companies supporting the Offshore Oil and Gas, International, Air Medical, and Technical Services industries. The Company's core business consists of offshore operations in the energy basins around the world. PHI has a long history of operating in the Global Marketplace. In addition to operations in the United States, the company has operated in 43 foreign countries and continues to operate for customers across the globe. PHI helicopters fly 250 miles into the Gulf of Mexico and to locations 200 miles offshore in international waters. PHI's Headquarters are in Lafayette, Louisiana USA, where daily operations are conducted in conjunction with 45 other PHI heliports nationwide.
This handover marks the first AW119Ke to enter service in the European law enforcement and homeland security helicopter market.SEE MORE
Canadian Forces achieve the benchmark of 40,000 operating hours with its fleet of AW101 search and rescue helicopters.
DTN News: U.S. Arms Sales To Return To Normal Track: Taiwan Official
Source: DTN News / Taiwan News Central News Agency 2010-08-26 11:36 AM
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON- August 31, 2010: A senior Taiwan official posted in Washington expressed welcome Wednesday to the U.S. government's recent decision to allow U.S. companies to sell Taiwan defense articles and services directly without having to create "arms packages." The U.S. Department of State confirmed Tuesday that it had notified Congress of its decision to allow U.S. companies to make commercial exports to Taiwan of defense services and articles to support and upgrade the island's existing air defense radar systems. The latest sales, worth over US$100 million, will be carried out under a direct commercial sales (DCS) program between Taiwan and private U.S. companies, said the Taiwan official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "The new practice is poised to put U.S. arms sales to Taiwan back on their normal track," the official said. He attributed the adoption of the DCS -- for the sales of items to support Taiwan's air defense radar system and improve existing radar used in the Ching-kuo indigenous defense fighter aircraft -- mainly to the fact that Taiwan's Air Force "is already familiar with the systems." The U.S.-Taiwan Business Council, which groups U.S. companies with interests in Taiwan, also said Tuesday that it believes the latest State Department decision will contribute to returning U.S. arms sales to Taiwan to normal. In the past, the United States usually sold arms to Taiwan under a more time-consuming Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system, with the U.S. government supervising bidding, production and delivery of the defense articles, services and technological data. Under the FMS system, the U.S. government is responsible for enforcing the sales contracts. The model operates as if it is the U.S. government procuring the items from private contractors and reselling them to the foreign customer. The FMS system is more costly for the procuring countries because they have to pay the U.S. government's administrative bill, but the deal is less risky and offers greater guarantee of success. The Taiwan official also attributed the U.S. decision to the fact that "package" sales and relevant announcements tend to make the matter "too high-profile, " triggering political implications.
DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY August 31, 2010 - If Afghanistan Dissolves Security Firms, Guards Will Join Taliban, Some Predict
DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY August 31, 2010 - If Afghanistan Dissolves Security Firms, Guards Will Join Taliban, Some Predict
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources including The Washington Post By David Nakamura
(NSI News Source Info) KABUL, Afghanistan - August 31, 2010: The Watan Group's trained fighting force of 2,000 men, armed with rifles and rockets, battles daily to secure the most dangerous roads in Afghanistan so that critical supply convoys can reach U.S. and NATO troops.
As many as 50 guards are killed in Taliban ambushes each month, during fighting so fierce that the Afghan army and police force often refuse to help, said brothers Ahmad and Rashid Popal, who own the Watan Group. Now, Afghan President Hamid Karzai wants to do away with Watan and 51 similar firms, both foreign and domestic, which employ more than 24,000 guards working mostly for Western entities. Karzai, who calls the independent fighting forces "thieves by day, terrorists by night," has set a four-month timeline to dissolve the companies and bring their workload under his government's control. If Karzai gets his way, the Popal brothers predicted, transit routes will be impassable, foreign companies will leave Afghanistan, the economy will suffer, and -- perhaps most ominously -- unemployed security guards will turn to the insurgency. Most of Watan's contracts are with the U.S. military and NATO, which use 19,000 private guards. "If you get rid of the guards, 60 to 65 percent of them will join the Taliban," said Rashid Popal, Watan's deputy chairman. "They won't join the government [forces]. If you go and die for the government, they don't take care of your family like we do. Their only alternative is the Taliban." This bleak scenario has alarmed U.S. and NATO officials, who were blindsided by Karzai's announcement Monday. In a decree issued Tuesday, Karzai said private security personnel must join the Afghan police or quit working by the deadline. An exception will be made for guards on the property of international organizations, such as embassies, but the government will provide all off-campus security.
International leaders believe that Karzai's timeline is far too ambitious to ensure a smooth transition to another method of security. "We are concerned that any quick action to remove private security companies may have unintended consequences, including the possible delay of U.S. reconstruction and development assistance efforts," U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said. "Private security companies are currently filling a gap." U.S. Air Force Maj. Joel Harper, a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, said the issues "must be carefully considered by ISAF and the Afghan government in a logical and sequential manner." A strain on U.S. relations The matter threatened to accelerate the deterioration of relations between the United States and Karzai on a day when Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met with the Afghan president in Kabul and pushed him to crack down on government corruption. "President Karzai is right on target in wanting to minimize private security company presence," Kerry said at a lunch with reporters. "Whether the four-month time frame is appropriate or meet-able, achievable with security needs in mind, is beyond me." Major U.S.-based contractors, including Xe Services and DynCorp, which provide security-related services and police training in Afghanistan, declined to comment Tuesday. The union of Afghan security companies published a newspaper advertisement calling on Karzai to reconsider, lest he "disrespect the blood of the people who died defending this country from the Taliban terrorists."
In addition to roads, private security firms in Afghanistan protect airports, guesthouses, businesses, universities and international dignitaries. Their guards are often better trained than Afghan soldiers and police, experts said. But several companies have been implicated in the deaths of Afghan civilians and have been accused of paying the Taliban for safe passage. In May, for instance, a gardener working for a member of parliament was killed during a shootout between private guards and the Taliban in Wardak province. The Watan Group and another company, Dubai-based Compass Integrated Security Solutions, with more than 3,000 employees in Afghanistan, were banned from working on that highway for 10 days until they compensated the gardener's family. The Popal brothers, who are distant cousins of Karzai's, maintain that the man was killed by insurgent fire. Compass officials declined to comment. Tuesday. Ignoring the rules Security firms are required to register with the Interior Ministry, but many don't, especially in the violent southern province of Kandahar, where warlords command massive private militias that flout a government cap of 500 security guards per firm. The Popal brothers -- whose company also ignores the personnel limit -- said many of their guards are ex-Mujaheddin fighters tested in the Afghan civil war. Each employee is required to undergo five weeks of training on weapons and positioning; they earn about $600 monthly. In cities, they may carry assault rifles and pistols, according to government regulations, but in rural areas they can use rockets and heavier guns. Gordon Anderson, vice president of administration and finance for the American University of Afghanistan, said his school has employed about 60 Watan Group guards for more than two years. They watch the front gate and accompany school administrators in vehicles, though they have never fired their weapons. If Watan is disbanded, Anderson said, that would "put us in a real bind." "We would probably have to look seriously at providing our own security" for the university's 800 students and 60 faculty members, he said. But Pierre Fallavier, director of the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, a private organization that terminated security contracts with Watan and the Olive Group, said such firms are mostly ineffective and too costly. "Many are really useless," he said. "The big problem is not whether they are local or foreign, but that there is no accountability for what these guys do. When you start speaking with them -- especially if they've had a few drinks -- they are like murderers on the loose." *Link to this article - Special correspondent Quadratullah Andar contributed to this report.
DTN News: Mexico - The Arrest of La Barbie
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - August 31, 2010: The arrest of a former enforcer for a Mexican drug-trafficking organization will be a public relations coup for the Mexican government even though it will do little to quell the violence in the country.
The Mexican Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) confirmed that members of the Federal Police detained former Beltran Leyva Organization top enforcer, Edgar “La Barbie” Valdez Villarreal. Several Mexican media outlets have reported that the operation that netted Valdez Villarreal took place outside of Toluca, Mexico state, while others have reported that the operation actually took place near the Morelos and Guerrero state borders. Federal Police had reportedly launched an operation to capture Valdez Villarreal on Aug. 9 at a luxury condominium complex in the Bosque de Las Lomas neighborhood of Mexico City but missed him by a few hours, indicating that the Mexican government was close to capturing him for some time before his arrest. The arrest of such high-profile and public figure in the Mexican drug-trafficking scene is a huge success for the Mexican government on both a tactical and public relations level. Valdez Villarreal has been locked in heated battle with his former colleague, Hector “El H” Beltran Leyva, for control over the territory once occupied by the Beltran Leyva Organization under now-deceased leader Arturo Beltran Leyva. Hector has since gone on to form Cartel Pacifico Sur (CPS) and has been waging war against the former BLO elements loyal to Valdez Villarreal. The arrest of Valdez Villarreal is a tremendous blow to the leadership of his faction of the BLO, and it is unclear at this point who if anyone will take the place of Valdez Villarreal. Additionally, the detention of Valdez Villarreal also will provide Mexican authorities with a treasure trove of timely, actionable tactical intelligence about his organization’s operations, which could lead to more arrests in the near future. Furthermore, should Valdez Villarreal choose to cooperate with Mexican authorities, he could provide an enormous amount of information about rival organizations as well. The arrest of Valdez Villarreal also comes at a time when President Felipe Calderon’s war against the cartels has been drawing some negative attention due to the high levels of violence and a recent, ominous escalation in tactics over the past week with increased use of improvised explosive devices. Valdez Villarreal was well known for his ruthlessness and brutality in dealing with his rivals, and his arrest will be a public relations coup for the Mexican government even though it will do little to quell the violence in places like Juarez and Monterrey.
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DTN News: U.S. Air Force Eagles Soar For Last Time At Hickam
Source: DTN News / U.S. Air Force - Posted 8/27/2010 by Tech Sgt. Cohen A. YoungDefense Media Activity-Hawaii
(NSI News Source Info) JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR - HICKAM, Hawaii - August 31, 2010:
Pilots from the 199th Fighter Squadron, Hawaii Air National Guard, completed their last training mission with the F-15 Eagle from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii Aug 25.
The HIANG is upgrading to the F-22 Raptor, a fifth generation fighter, and received their first two Raptors in July.
The ANG is the lead in a total force concept that already exists at JB Hickam with the C-17 Globemaster III. The 199th FS will fly and help maintain the 20 F-22 Raptors that bring another capability to the HIANG.
Many of the current F-15 pilots of the HIANG are eager to start training and flying the Raptor, but will still sorely miss the Eagle aircraft, which the unit has flown since 1987, said Lt. Col. James Sage, a pilot with the 199th FS.
"It's like saying goodbye to a good friend," said Colonel Sage said. "It was exciting flying it for the last time, and especially against a F-22, but at the same time the F-15 has always brought me home safely and been an outstanding aircraft."
The three remaining F-15s will depart JB Hickam Sept. 1, and with that, two of the fighters will move onto the 56th Aggressors Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nev., while the other will move onto the 120th Fighter Wing of the Montana Air National Guard. The Montana unit has assumed the HIANG's air-defense mission for the next year as the HIANG transitions to the F-22 said 199th pilot Lt. Col. Mark Ladtkow.
"It's somewhat a bittersweet feeling flying the last training mission of the F-15 with our unit," Colonel Ladtkow said. "I'm blessed to have the upcoming opportunity to fly the F-22, but the F-15, which I've flown for 17 years, is a friend of mine and will be missed."
Colonel Ladtkow is a 20-year veteran of the military, with the last six being part of the ANG. He is slated to deliver his jet to the Montana ANG in September.
"The 199th (FS) proves that National Guard forces are capable of maintaining a strategic presence with its active-duty association and providing a great value to our nation and the state of Hawaii," said Gen. Craig R. McKinley the chief of the National Guard Bureau.
The F-22, a single-seat, twin-engine aircraft, which utilizes stealth technology, was originally designed as an air-superiority fighter.
"These F-22 Raptors are the state-of-the-art, air-superiority fighters, and couldn't be located at a better place," said General McKinley.
DTN News: UK's Most Powerful Submarine Joins The Navy
(NSI News Source Info) LONDON, U.K. - August 31, 2010: The UK's most powerful attack submarine, HMS Astute, has been welcomed into the Royal Navy today in a commissioning ceremony overseen by the boat's patron, the Duchess of Cornwall.The commissioning pennant is raised on HMS Astute [Picture: LA(Phot) A J MacLeod, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010] HMS Astute, which officially becomes 'Her Majesty's Ship' today, is quieter than any of her predecessors, meaning she has the ability to operate covertly and remain undetected in almost all circumstances despite being fifty per cent bigger than any attack submarine in the Royal Navy's current fleet. The latest nuclear-powered technology means she will never need to be refuelled and can circumnavigate the world submerged, manufacturing the crew's oxygen from seawater as she goes. The submarine has the capacity to carry a mix of up to 38 Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes and Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles, and can target enemy submarines, surface ships and land targets with pinpoint accuracy, while her world-beating sonar system has a range of 3,000 nautical miles (5,500km). The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, said: "The Astute Class is truly next generation - a highly versatile platform, she is capable of contributing across a broad spectrum of maritime operations around the globe, and will play an important role in delivering the fighting power of the Royal Navy for decades to come.Astute arriving at her home base on the Clyde in November 2009[Picture: LA(Phot) J J Massey, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009] "A highly complex feat of naval engineering, she is at the very cutting-edge of technology, with a suite of sensors and weapons required to pack a powerful punch. "Today is an important milestone along the road to full operational capability which will follow after a further series of demanding seagoing trials testing the full range of the submarine's capabilities." Following the successful completion of her first rigorous set of sea trials, which began at the end of 2009, HMS Astute has also now achieved her in-service date, signalling that she has proven her ability to dive, surface and operate across the full range of depth and speed independently of other assets, thereby providing an initial level of capability. Rear Admiral Simon Lister, Director of Submarines, who oversees the build programme of the class for the MOD, said: "To my mind Astute is a 7,000-tonne Swiss watch. There is an extraordinary amount of expertise that goes into putting one of these submarines together. There are stages when it's like blacksmithing and there are stages when it's like brain surgery. "So to see Astute commissioned is momentous not only for the Royal Navy, who have been eagerly anticipating this quantum leap forward in capability, but for the thousands of people around the country who have been involved in the most challenging of engineering projects." Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is escorted by Commander Andy Coles, the Commanding Officer of HMS Astute, at the commissioning ceremony for HMS Astute [Picture: LA(Phot) Stuart Hill, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010] Following the commissioning, HMS Astute will return to sea for further trials before she is declared as operational. As the base port of all the Royal Navy's submarines from 2016, Faslane will be home to the whole Astute Class, including Ambush, Artful and Audacious which are already under construction. Astute was built by BAE Systems at Barrow-in-Furness, with hundreds of suppliers around the country contributing component parts, including Rolls-Royce, Derby (nuclear plant); Thales UK, Bristol (visual system and Sonar 2076); and Babcock, Strachan & Henshaw, Bristol (weapon handling and discharge system). Astute is affiliated to the Wirral in the North West. About HMS Astute -She is 97 metres from bow to stern. -She has a beam of 11.2 metres. -She displaces 7,400 tonnes of seawater. -Her cabling and pipework would stretch from Glasgow to Dundee. -She is the first Royal Navy submarine not to have a traditional periscope, instead using electro-optics to capture a 360-degree image of the surface for subsequent analysis by the commanding officer. -Astute is the first submarine to have an individual bunk for each crew member. -She manufactures her own oxygen from seawater as well as her own drinking water. -She could theoretically remain submerged for her 25-year life, if it were not for the need to restock the crew's food supplies. -She is faster under the water than she is on the surface - capable of speeds in excess of 20 knots (37km/h), although her top speed is classified. -Astute's crew of 98 are fed by five chefs who, on an average patrol, will serve up 18,000 sausages and 4,200 weetabix for breakfast