The search for the new TNT

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  • Looks like the Army can say goodbye to TNT. The military has been looking for something that’s safer, but has just as much “boom.” The new formula is called IMX-101, or Insensitive Munitions Explosive 101. It is safer, more stable, and is easier to transport, store and load. A chemical engineer with Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC, tells Science/ that the new formula is just as lethal as TNT, but is more stable. Experts at ARDEC have been working with Combat Ammunition Systems on this formula for the past four years for the Department of Defense.
  • Will the Pentagon break the law when it closes Joint Forces Command? Members of the Virginia delegation to Congress say the answer is yes. Closing the command is part of a Pentagon plan to save $100 billion. But Government Executive reports the Virginia lawmakers say the move would circumvent the Base Realignment and Closure Law. A Pentagon spokesman, however, says the move isn’t subject to BRAC.
  • The Army has revamped its process for evaluating soldiers it suspects of having a personality disorder. As a result, the numbers of soldiers it discharges has dropped 75 percent. The Army distinguishes between personality disorders, which it considers pre-existing, and metal health problems caused by combat conditions. Veterans groups say many soldiers were wrongly fired and not receiving benefits they have a right to. The army released 1,000 soldiers per year through 2007. The practice was first challenged in an article in The Nation. Last year, the number of soldiers kicked out for personality disorders dropped to 260.

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