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August 23, 2014

Oil and Gas Industry Finding Talent with Military Veterans

Rigzone reports that “as many as 120,000 new oil and gas workers worldwide will be needed over the next decade as the industry’s senior-most workers head toward retirement, according to a Sept. 5, 2013 story in the Telegraph. For oil and gas companies faced with the daunting task of finding all the high-quality workers needed to fill the void created by those departing workers, turning to military veterans could be one of the best moves they can make, according to the team at Orion International, a major military veteran search firm that focuses on finding the best available talent for their clients.”

“There is certainly a large pool of talented workers with invaluable experience and diverse backgrounds available to work in the oil and gas industry, David Coe, Orion’s vice president of Strategic Programs, told Rigzone.”

“‘Each calendar year, about 180,000 to 200,000 people leave active military service in the United States and transition out into the civilian workforce,’ Coe said. ‘There is a real diversity of talent from the various branches of the Armed Forces to choose from.’”

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Hagel: Islamic State Bigger Threat Than al-Qaida Was

Stars and Stripes reports that “Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Thursday that the Islamic State is now more dangerous than al-Qaida ever was, and raised the possibility airstrikes might be launched against the group in Syria.”

“The Islamic State, which has taken over much of Iraq since June, ‘is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen. They’re beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology [with] a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded. Oh, this is beyond anything that we’ve seen,’ Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon Thursday.”

Gov. Perry Pushes for More Aggressive U.S. Military Response in Iraq

The New York Daily News reports that “Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday pressed for a more aggressive U.S. military response in Iraq to combat Islamic state militants, including a sustained air campaign, and signaled he would support sending American ground troops.”

“’We need to have all of our options open,’ Perry told a standing-room-only crowd at the conservative Heritage Foundation.”

“The potential 2016 presidential candidate dismissed the ‘limited’ air strikes that President Obama has ordered as insufficient as the U.S. tries to help Iraqi and Kurdish forces regain control of large sections of Iraq.”

Boeing Commercial Crew Program Completes Critical Design and Safety Reviews

Boeing recently completed the Phase Two Spacecraft Safety Review of its Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft and the Critical Design Review (CDR) of its integrated systems, meeting all of the company’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) milestones on time and on budget.


Photo credit: Boeing

Completed in July, the CDR milestone marks a significant step in reaching the ultimate design that will be used for the spacecraft, launch vehicle and related systems. Propulsion, software, avionics, landing, power and docking systems were among 44 individual CDRs conducted as part of the broader review.

The CST-100 is being developed as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which aims to make crew transportation systems available for low-Earth orbit destinations such as the International Space Station by 2017. The capsule could accommodate up to seven crew members or a mix of crew and cargo and features a weld less structure, wireless internet and Boeing LED “Sky Lighting” technology.

The Phase Two Spacecraft Safety Review included an overall hazard analysis of the spacecraft, identifying life-threatening situations and ensuring that the current design mitigated any safety risks.

Watch this video on America’s first space taxi:

More information about the future of human space exploration can be found at

Congress Wary of U.S. Military Expansion

The New York Times reports that “for weeks, Capitol Hill has tried to keep America’s military engagement in Iraq at arm’s length: Democrats and Republicans warily backed President Obama’s limited airstrikes against Sunni militants, but nobody — aside from Senator John McCain and a few fellow hawks — demonstrated an appetite for deeper involvement.”

“Now, though, the gruesome execution of an American journalist, James Foley, has drawn an intensely emotional reaction from lawmakers in both parties, with many issuing statements condemning the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the group responsible for Mr. Foley’s killing, and some urging Mr. Obama to redouble the fight against it.”

“There were signs on Thursday that the Obama administration is weighing that, with the White House and the Pentagon refusing to rule out military action against the group in Syria. But far from satisfying Congress, a wider conflict could put lawmakers, particularly Democrats, in a difficult position, since most deeply oppose any new war in the Middle East.”

Two Studies to Address Military Children’s Education

Army Times reports that “two studies that could affect the future of military children’s education are in their final stages, officials said.”

“A Rand Corp. study is looking at whether the Defense Department needs to continue operating schools on installations in the continental U.S. That study is expected to be ready for DoD leadership review in late summer, said Frank O’Gara, spokesman for the Department of Defense Education Activity. The schools being reviewed are collectively referred to as Department of Defense Elementary and Secondary Schools.”

Navy Removes 34 for Nuclear Training Site Cheating

The Associated Press reports that “at least 34 sailors are being kicked out of the Navy for their roles in a cheating ring that operated undetected for at least seven years at a nuclear power training site, and 10 others are under criminal investigation, the admiral in charge of the Navy’s nuclear reactors program told The Associated Press.”

“The number of accused and the duration of cheating are greater than was known when the Navy announced in February that it had discovered cheating on qualification exams by an estimated 20 to 30 sailors seeking to be certified as instructors at the nuclear training unit at Charleston, South Carolina. Students there are trained in nuclear reactor operations to prepare for service on any of the Navy’s 83 nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers.”

“Neither the instructors nor the students are involved in handling nuclear weapons.”

Singing Torpedoes to Sleep

Nixie, a siren-like creature of European legends, is said to sing a sweet song that entrances listeners and lures them away. Boeing’s modern-day ‘Nixie,’ or the AN/SLQ-25, sings its sweet lullaby confusing the torpedo’s sensors as it mimics the acoustic signature of the surface ship it protects. As the torpedo is lured away from the ship and its crew, it falls into a peaceful slumber at the bottom of the sea as its fuel is depleted.

Boeing subsidiary Argon ST has been providing navies around the world with the Nixie surface ship torpedo defense system for more than a decade, delivering more than 400 systems to the US Navy and coalition partners worldwide. This summer, the company enters a new chapter in producing high-end acoustics and anti-submarine warfare capabilities by bringing production of the voice of the Nixie system, the singing towed counter measure, in-house for the first time.

With this move, Argon ST expands into a whole new line of work to support Nixie customers with additional towed body repair capabilities and modernization of existing devices. In addition to opening doors to new innovation of the Nixie system through enhancements to the towed acoustics counter measure, the company is better positioned to expand system capabilities to new sensor payloads beyond torpedo defense to meet future customer and mission requirements.

Find out more about Nixie system’s potentially life-saving noise in this video:

How National Guard Balances Equipment Demands

Defense News reports that “the US Air National Guard has always been defined by its ability to fulfill both military and civil missions. But with budget draw downs, the service faces increasingly tough choices about how to spend what remains of its modernization budget while serving two masters.”

“A March report by the Pentagon warned that ‘many support equipment items critical to daily operations are rapidly nearing the end of their expected lives and are becoming increasingly difficult to sustain economically.’ Air Guard assets are an average of 25 years old.”

‘The tough choice between modernizing its equipment and sustaining capability is one the active is struggling with as well. Top generals, such as Air Combat Command head Gen. Mike Hostage, have identified that as incredibly difficult in the current budget environment.”

“But unlike the active, the Guard has an additional challenge: balancing its twin civil-overseas missions.”

U.S. Military Considers More Troops to Iraq

CBS News reports that “American fighter jets and drones continued to pound Islamic State militants in Iraq Wednesday, and military planners weighed the possibility of sending a small number of additional U.S. troops to Baghdad, U.S. officials said, even as the insurgents threatened to kill a second American captive in retribution for any continued attacks.”

“CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan reports that the State Department has requested additional security personnel to protect U.S. facilities in and around Baghdad. That request has to be reviewed by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and has not yet been approved. The Pentagon is seriously considering fulfilling the request.”

“According to a senior U.S. official, the number of additional troops currently under discussion would be fewer than 300, but there has been no final decision yet by Pentagon leaders.”

Pentagon Defends Program that Transfers Arms to Police

Stars and Stripes reports that “the Defense Department is pushing back against criticism that it’s helping militarize local police forces by supplying them with surplus gear.”

“’We don’t push equipment on anybody … It is made available to law enforcement agencies if they want it and if they qualify for it,’ Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Tuesday. ‘There’s a lot of due diligence here. This isn’t some program run amok.’”

The DOD’s 1033 Program is a congressionally mandated initiative that enables law enforcement agencies to obtain equipment and weapons that the military no longer needs. State and local authorities have to apply for the items and explain to the Defense Logistics Agency whey they need them.”

Soaring the skies for more than 500,000 flight hours

It’s time to celebrate – U.S. Navy T-45 Training Air Wing One stationed at Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, Miss. hit the 500,000 flight hour milestone this summer.

Keeping aircraft in the sky for 500,000 flight hours is quite the accomplishment for Training Air Wing One. Reaching this milestone requires a continuous partnership between the U.S. Navy and Boeing to ensure fleet readiness.

This relationship stretches back to 1997, when the first T-45C was delivered to NAS Meridian. The T-45C has been flown by Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and allied pilots during their advanced training at NAS Meridian since then and will continue to be flown into the foreseeable future.

The 500,000th-flight-hour award was presented by Boeing at a winging ceremony to U.S. Navy Capt. Brian Goszkowicz and the student and instructor pilots who were aboard multiple airborne T-45C aircraft when the milestone was reached at NAS Meridian.

The journey continues for these pilots, students and operators as they strive to reach the next 500,000th flight hour milestone with the support of all involved.

t45 goshawk

Photo credit: Boeing

Sequester Fears Return

Military Times reports that “for the past three years, US military officials have frequently voiced opposition to defense budget caps that went into effect in 2013.”

“But for the past eight months, US defense officials have spoken less about sequestration and more about immediate plans for this year and next. After all, Congress agreed on a budget plan for 2014 and 2015 that boosted Defense Department spending by more than $30 billion above the levels mandated under the Budget Control Act.”

“But now as crunch time begins inside the Pentagon as the services’ craft their 2016 budget plans, sequestration fears have returned. And at the annual Space and Missile Defense Symposium here last week, numerous officials used speeches to warn of the looming defense budget caps.”

U.S. Military Quits Identifying Iraq Airstrike Planes

Navy Times reports that “the U.S. military, at the request of host nations in the region, is no longer identifying the specific land-based aircraft carrying out airstrikes in Iraq, a defense official told Military Times on Tuesday.”

“When airstrikes against the Islamic State began Aug. 8, a Pentagon spokesman identified the aircraft involved as carrier-based F/A-18s. But when land-based aircraft joined the mission, U.S. Central Command identified them only generically, as fighters, bombers or drones.”

“If CENTCOM specifies which land-based aircraft are taking part in the mission, it would be possible to deduce where they are based, and host nations have asked not to publicize the fact that airstrikes against Iraq are being launched from their countries, the defense official said.”


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