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Pentagon: Two arms programs face live-or-die review after costs jump

An unmanned U.S. Navy helicopter built by Northrop Grumman Corp and a precision ship-landing system built by Raytheon Co face mandatory reviews that could lead to their cancellation after quantity reductions drove unit costs sharply higher in 2013, the Pentagon announced on Thursday. Senior defense officials said the cost increases…

Pentagon unveils plan to extend benefits to same sex couples

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon on Wednesday announced its plan to extend benefits to same-sex spouses of uniformed military personnel and civilian employees, in response to the Supreme Court ruling in June forcing the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages in states where they are legal. The Defense Department will…

Pentagon flash drive ban has many exceptions

By David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon has granted many exceptions, possibly numbering in the thousands, to allow staff members who administer secure computer networks to use flash drives and other portable storage devices, department spokesmen say. The exceptions to policies barring the use of such devices could make…

Chinese hackers jeopardize secrecy of U.S. weapons programs

Chinese hackers have gained access to secret designs for a slew of sophisticated US weapons programs, officials said Tuesday, possibly jeopardizing the American military’s technological edge. The breaches were part of a broad Chinese campaign of espionage against top US defense contractors and government agencies, officials said, confirming a Washington…

Watch live: Secretary Hagel delivers remarks to Pentagon employees

New U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivers remarks to service members and civilian employees at the Pentagon. Watch live, broadcast on Feb. 27 via NBC News. Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy…

Remains of some 9/11 victims ‘dumped at landfill’

Partial remains of some victims of the September 11 attacks were dumped in a landfill, the Pentagon revealed for the first time, issuing a report that exposed years of bungling at the US military’s most important mortuary. The portions of remains that ended up at a landfill came from the…

Lifetime cost to run F-35 fighter: about $1 trillion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon estimates that it will still cost about $1 trillion to operate a fleet of 2,443 F-35 fighter jets over the next 50 years, but is continuing to analyze how to drive that staggering sum down, a top U.S. Marine Corps official told Reuters. Lieutenant General…

Republican congressman calls Pentagon budget ‘irresponsible’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Representative Buck McKeon, who heads the House Armed Services Committee, on Monday blasted the Pentagon’s proposed defense budget for fiscal 2013, saying it “irresponsibly ignores” additional mandatory cuts that are due to take effect in January 2013. “This budget reflects a true reduction, in real terms, of…

U.S. military loosens rules on women in combat units

The US military opened up some dangerous jobs to female troops but stopped short of repealing a ban on women serving in combat, despite a decade of war where women fought and died on the battlefield. The Pentagon announced incremental changes that will allow women to serve in more than…

U.S. plans to cut troops, invest in future

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon on Thursday proposed taking some 100,000 troops off active duty as the debt-ridden United States winds down a decade of war, but vowed new investments to exert power in Asia and the Middle East. With pressure mounting to balance the US books, President Barack Obama’s administration…

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