Defense

  • A civilian employee of the Navy faces up to life in prison for allegedly setting fire to the USS Miami, a nuclear-powered attack submarine while it was dry docked in Maine. The fire caused more than $400 million in damages, mostly to the torpedo room and command area inside the submarine's forward compartment. The Miami was dry docked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine for a complete overhaul.

    July 23, 2012
  • Several U.S. Osprey military transport aircraft were slated to arrive in Japan today despite opposition from residents over safety issues following two recent crashes. 12 of the tilt-rotor aircraft will be assembled at a Marine base in Iwakuni in western Japan before being deployed to the southern island of Okinawa for use by U.S. forces there. Last month, a U.S. Air Force Osprey crashed in Florida, injuring all five airmen aboard. Another crash in Morocco in April left two Marines dead.

    July 23, 2012
  • A new report details mixed progress on a law requiring agencies to write using plain language when dealing with the public. The Center for Plain Language awarded the Agriculture Department an "A" for its efforts, the highest score of 12 large agencies and departments it surveyed. The Veterans Affairs Department, however, earned an "F" for its mostly incomplete progress.

    July 20, 2012
  • President Barack Obama issued a memorandum Thursday calling on agencies to comply with protections laid out in The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 when hiring returning veterans.

    July 20, 2012
  • A Congressional Research Service report found DoD accounts for 63 percent of energy consumption in the U.S. The White House's move to consolidate data centers could save at least $3 billion by 2015.

    July 20, 2012
  • More than one million man hours have gone into building a new Naval Hospital at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton without any "DART" incidents. That means there have been no injuries severe enough to workers to cause them days away from work, restriction of their work activities or transfer to a another type of work because of injury. The Marine Corps calls it a "safety milestone."

    July 19, 2012
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs has made strides toward increasing the number of disability claims it can process every year. But new claims from veterans are growing even faster than ever. House legislators are frustrated by the VA's lack of progress over the years.

    July 19, 2012
  • The service is taking a four-pronged approach to improve its procurement process and find savings. A review board looks at all acquisitions to make sure its strategy and contract formation are beneficial. Other agencies, like NASA and DHS, are consolidating more contracts into larger buys.

    July 19, 2012
  • A slate of defense industry executives lined up to testify before the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday, telling lawmakers that the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration would be devastating to their businesses and could lead to mass layoffs. The lack of action by Congress, so far, to avert the cuts has led to a "fog of uncertainty" even now, five months away from when sequestration would take effect, the CEO of Lockheed Martin testified.

    July 18, 2012
  • Just four months after returning from the Middle East, about 5,500 sailors attached to the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier and strike group will return to Central Command, a region that includes Iran, to relieve a carrier group currently stationed in the area.

    July 18, 2012
  • Despite planned budget cuts, the military is moving ahead to design a new tactical truck to replace the Humvee, which is vulnerable to roadside bombs and isn't expected meet the demands of future conflicts.

    July 18, 2012
  • Dan Hughes, who was recently promoted to Army brigadier general, is the director of the Army's System of Systems Integration Directorate within the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. His office is one of the key players in the agile acquisition process the Army's trying to build.

    July 18, 2012
  • "Call Me Maybe" is a hit ... in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Check out this cover by the U.S. Marines.

    July 18, 2012
  • United States and Pakistan intelligence officials are resetting high-level counterterrorism duscussions later this month. Pakistan's spy chief set to visit Washington. The talks and the relationship broke down over a deadly border incident last year. Among the issues to be discussed --CIA drone strikes. Pakistani officials want to replace the CIA drones with Pakistani F-16 strikes, and eventually its own armed drone fleet - something U.S. officials are not keen on.

    July 18, 2012