US Navy Gets Funding Support for Biofuels from USDA
Pentagon Contract Flow
- The Pentagon announced 198 contracts for a total of $23B in November, showing a return to norm after October’s shutdown. Bloomberg.
- The US Navy is going to ramp up its biofuel purchases, with financial support from the Department of Agriculture via a joint “Farm-to-Fleet” program. An industry day and solicitations are coming early next year. USDA | Biofuels Digest | Brownfield Ag News (audio with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus).
Can’t Stop Spinning Off
- Exelis just recently dropped the “ITT” from its name but they’re already going through another spin-off cycle. Exelis Mission Systems, its military and government services business, will be floated as an independent public company by the summer of next year. What will remain of Exelis will be focused on C4ISR and get half of its revenue from outside the US.
From the Dept of Bad Precedent
- Why the fuss over China’s new air-defense identification zone (ADIZ)? Beyond the fact it aggravates territorial disputes with some of its neighbors:
“By telling airplanes to comply by its rules even if they have no intention on entering China’s territorial airspace, China is attempting to control airspace far from its shores, thereby limiting freedom of overflight in airspace above what is commonly treated as international waters.”
- Some, but not all, Asian airlines comply with China’s ADIZ. The US State Department has an ambiguous position: they refused to acknowledge the ADIZ itself, but reminded American carriers that they’re expected to comply with Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs). China issued two such NOTAMs following its ADIZ announcement, which show as current in the FAA’s database. The National Business Aviation Association advised its members with planned flights to China (emphasis ours) to check China ADIZ flight-planning requirements.
- From Congressman Randy Forbes [R-VA] and Michael Auslin at the conservative American Enterprise Institute: U.S. Power Loses Altitude in Asia.
- Like the US, the UK is supporting France’s intervention in the Central African Republic with strategic airlift. American C-17s are also flying Burundi peacekeepers in.
- Former defense minister Gérard Longuet supports the government’s decision to intervene, but thinks France is in the CRA for the long haul, rather than the 4 to 6 months mentioned by current defense minister Le Drian and President Hollande. French troops are still in Mali more than 6 months after the initial withdrawal date of what was supposed to be a very brief operation.
New Online Resource for Aircraft Buffs
- The UK’s National Aerospace Library recently opened its extensive catalog of aeronautics books and journals via an online searchable database.
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You Can’t Touch This
- General Mark Welsh III, the US Air Force’s Chief of Staff, explained during an AEI event that there are big swaths of the budget that his service can’t touch, leaving little space to adjust to sequestration. Video below: