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"Headed by former Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi, the commission could recommend cutting or realigning up to a fourth of the nation's estimated 450 major military installations, the biggest round of base closings since World War II. President Bush and Congress must ratify its recommendations.
Bush submitted the list of nominees in response to a congressional mandate creating the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The commissioners are expected to be confirmed easily by the Senate."
The nominees are:
"In addition to Principi, the nominees are former Rep. James Bilbray, D-Nev.; Clinton administration Assistant Defense Secretary Philip Coyle; retired Adm. Harold Gehman Jr.; former Rep. James Hansen, R-Utah; retired Army Gens. James Hill and Claude Kicklighter; George H.W. Bush administration Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner of Illinois; and retired Air Force Gen. Sue Ellen Turner of Texas."
There is an interesting point in the article regarding the return of nearly 70,000 troops and 100,000 dependents from overseas in Korea and Europe...where to put them?
Also there is a BRAC timeline at the bottom of the article...Go read the story.
Second, regarding the Joint Strike Fighter: The GAO has called the JSF program "unexecutable." Renae Merle of the WaPo has the story (you need to register for free access to WaPo) (HT: Aim Points)
Basically, the JSF program needs a $10 billion dollar increase:
"Nearly half the increase, $4.9 billion, is needed to lower the aircraft's weight because being heavier hurt "the aircraft's key performance capabilities," the report said. The Pentagon said more money was also needed to add anti-tampering technology to keep sensitive technology safe."
"The fighter was designed to be a low-cost replacement to the Air Force's F-16, with different versions being developed for the Navy, Marine Corps and British forces."
More details in the article. Keep a watch on this program.
Finally, thinking of my space weapons school friends (who are in town for their conference): Walter Pincus of the WaPo reports on Pentagon is working to develop a suborbital space capsule by 2010 (no HT to Aim Points on this one).
"This year, the Falcon program will test a launcher for its Common Aero Vehicle (CAV), an unmanned maneuverable spacecraft that would travel at five times the speed of sound and could carry 1,000 pounds of munitions, intelligence sensors or other payloads. Among the system's strengths is that commanders could order a CAV -- an unpowered glide vehicle -- not to release its payload if they decided not to follow through with an attack."
Sounds pretty cool...space launch is the challenge. I wonder what else DARPA is working on or has in mind?
The article has some great quotes from Commander of Air Force Space Command and other potential uses for space. Go read the article.