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Pentagon chief defends tanker decision

March 1, 2011 Defense Secretary Robert Gates Tuesday defended the Air Force's selection of aerospace giant Boeing's bid for a $35 billion deal to build aerial refueling tankers. He said he does not believe that a protest of the lucrative award would be successful. Gates's comments came a day after the losing bidder,...

EADS weighing tanker protest

February 28, 2011 EADS North America, the losing bidder in the $35 billion competition to build aerial-refueling tankers for the military, said it is evaluating the information received during an Air Force briefing Monday before deciding on its next move. In a statement, the company was mum on whether it would protest the...

Marine Corps chief closely watching F-35

February 18, 2011 Marine Corps Commandant James Amos on Friday said he has adopted the role of "player-coach" to get his service's version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter on track. Gen. Amos, who became the Corps's top officer last October, told reporters he is actively engaged in the program and gets daily...

Administration considers expanding Afghan security forces

February 17, 2011 The Obama administration is considering boosting the Afghan security forces by as many as 73,000 as the United States prepares to begin a gradual drawdown of troops from the country in July, top Defense officials told Congress Thursday. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the...

Lawmakers push back on planned troop cuts

February 16, 2011 House Armed Services Committee members from both parties pushed back Wednesday on the Pentagon's cost-saving plans to reduce the size of the Army and the Marine Corps to make room in tighter-than-projected future budgets for other high-priority investments. At a hearing with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of...

House votes to cut alternate F-35 engine backed by speaker

February 16, 2011 In a significant victory for the Pentagon, the House voted 233-198 Wednesday to ax the controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter second-engine program that the White House and military have long contended is unnecessary and too costly. The much-anticipated vote came after both sides mounted a fierce lobbying battle, focusing particularly...

Defense-related spending bill amendments progress

February 16, 2011 The House moved forward on Tuesday on a handful of amendments to the defense portion of legislation on the House floor that would fund the remainder of the fiscal year and cut about $60 billion from current levels, as President Obama threatened to veto the measure. It appeared late Tuesday...

F-35 second engine under fire in spending debate

February 15, 2011 As the House begins debate on legislation to fund the remainder of the fiscal year, opponents of a provision allocating $450 million for the controversial "second-engine" program for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are hoping to convince GOP freshmen to support their amendment to kill the funding. A vote on...

Unprecedented Pentagon growth comes to halt

February 14, 2011 After enjoying a decade of historic growth fueled by the demands put on a force at war and the collective assumption that defense accounts were off limits for cuts, the Pentagon is no longer immune to fiscal belt-tightening. The president's fiscal 2012 defense budget blueprint -- not including the wars...

All eyes on freshmen for fighter engine vote

February 10, 2011 The budget battle scheduled for the House floor next week over whether to keep alive or kill the controversial alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be an interesting test case for deficit-conscious Republican freshmen. Despite strong objections from the White House, the fiscal 2011 defense spending bill...

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