Rapid Fire Sept. 18, 2013: Rapidgate Access Control System Under Review

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* The Pentagon’s Inspector General released a report [PDF] on the US Navy’s commercial access control (NCACS / Rapidgate). This system will come under heavy scrutiny in the wake of the killing of a dozen people last Monday at the Washington Navy Yard. Aaron Alexis, the shooter who was himself killed at the scene, was […]

* The Pentagon’s Inspector General released a report [PDF] on the US Navy’s commercial access control (NCACS / Rapidgate). This system will come under heavy scrutiny in the wake of the killing of a dozen people last Monday at the Washington Navy Yard. Aaron Alexis, the shooter who was himself killed at the scene, was a subcontractor and former Navy reservist whose track record should probably have raised red flags.

* Is the usual continuing resolution coming or is the US government headed towards a shutdown? Some Republicans, especially in the House, may be looking for another of these big showdowns where everything from Obamacare to the debt ceiling to defense spending is thrown in. Or booby-trapping the CR, which amounts to the same. At least it keeps the Washington press corps busy.

* US lawmakers ask the Attorney General to support probe into Russian Mi-17 contract.

* Information Dissemination: the year the Navy sprinted in circles. Ouch!

* A commander and an investigator from the US Navy were charged by US federal prosecutors, alongside the CEO of Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia, for an alleged conspiracy involving bribery and overcharging for husbanding services.

* The Macalan Group (formerly known as NEK) settled allegations of having submitted false claims for a contract with the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) in Iraq and Afghanistan, with a $2.08M payment to the US government and the relinquishing of a $745K invoice.

* 3 Russian military officers stole 7 tons of diesel fuel intended for a tank biathlon.

* Many or our readers are engineers, and almost all of you work with them. For serious points with your colleagues, share Tim Blais’ mind-blowing musical explanation of string theory. Presenting Bohemian Gravity. “So we need 10 dimensions and I’ll tell you why!” And his Masters’ Thesis [Goog Doc], for those of you who have the chops. All from Canada, eh!

* AgustaWestland delivered the 1st of 7 AW139s ordered by Sweden for its Search and Rescue (SAR). The other helicopters should be all delivered by the end of next year.

* Today’s video gives an update on the UK’s first 5 Merlin MK2s and what the upgrades are all about:

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