Happy Friday! Here’s what hit the headlines in the defense this week:
Equalizing the Battlefield
On Thursday, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signed a directive that allows the roughly 200,000 active-duty women in the military to move to the front lines of the battlefield. The move—which lifts the 1994 ban on women in such specialties as armor, infantry, and artillery—may ease the military’s problems with sexual harassment.
Navy to Begin Personnel Cuts
To cut expenses, Navy flag officers and executives have been ordered to lay off thousands of temporary civilian workers, reduce base operations, and cancel maintenance on dozens of ships and hundreds of aircraft. Because Congress has not yet decided on an annual budget, the Navy is left with $4.6 billion less than it requires for 2013.