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U.S. President Signs USD 633 Billion Defense Authorization Act

first_img View post tag: Naval Share this article U.S. President Signs USD 633 Billion Defense Authorization Act View post tag: 633 View post tag: Navy January 7, 2013 View post tag: President Industry news View post tag: billion View post tag: Authorization View post tag: Defense View post tag: US View post tag: Signs View post tag: USD View post tag: News by topic Back to overview,Home naval-today U.S. President Signs USD 633 Billion Defense Authorization Act President Barack Obama signed the $633 billion fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act into law yesterday.The legislation, which cleared Congress last month, authorizes the department to act in any number of instances. “There are certain things that cannot be done without [the authorization act],” said a senior defense official speaking on background.The act allows the department to institute pay raises, bonuses and incentive pay for personnel. “All military construction has to be authorized under this act,” the official said.It includes a 1.7 percent pay raise for military personnel, and contains $527.5 billion for DOD’s base budget, $88.5 billion for overseas contingency operations and $17.8 billion for national security programs in the Energy Department and Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.It also extends the Commanders’ Emergency Response Program that has been used in Afghanistan and Iraq. It authorizes a one-year extension of the Afghan Infrastructure Fund and extends the Coalition Support Fund and the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund. In Iraq, the law authorizes U.S. training activities, the official said.The law also authorizes changes needed to deter sexual assault in the military.In addition, it establishes the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, which will examine all aspects of military compensation. Officials stress that any possible changes to military retirement benefits that the group recommends will not affect current service members.Air Force structure was of some concern to the department going into the process, but officials say they were pleased with the outcome. The Air Force also received 32 more C-130 aircraft than requested.“But the Air Force is allowed to do everything else. They are allowed to do their divestures and moves,” the official said. “The only thing kept out of service’s force structure plan was we had to keep the Global Hawk Block 30 [unmanned aircraft].”The act raises the co-pay for medications under TRICARE through 2022. The legislation also limits any annual increases in pharmacy co-payments to increases in retiree cost of living adjustments.“It is a little bit toward what we need to start paying for how much health care is costing,” the official said.The authorization also provides DOD funds for servicewomen who need abortions in case of rape or incest. “So they don’t have to take leave and come home or go out on the economy,” the official said. “This is the first time this has been approved.”Among other programs, the act authorizes the defense biofuel initiative as well as counternarcotic authorities. “We use this a little bit in Afghanistan, but it’s mostly in the southern border and Colombia,” she said. “It has to get done.”Passage of the legislation is particularly important this year because the department is operating on a continuing resolution through March, which may be continued again through the rest of the fiscal year. The resolution maintains funding at 2012 budget levels. Without this authority, “Things really do shut down,” the official said.“It actually is things that keep the war going and things that … keep the economy going because it is pay, recruiting, military construction,” the official said.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, January 7, 2013; Image: White House View post tag: Act View post tag: Defencelast_img read more

WMAW: ’Innovation isn’t just reinventing the wheel’

first_imgWinning a Baking Innovation Award at the 2017 BIAs for a crumpet is no mean feat, but Village Bakery succeeded in doing just that. Here’s how…These aren’t any ordinary crumpets, these are M&S Ultimate Five Grain Crumpets.Created by family business Village Bakery, they feature five grains – rye, spelt, linseed, sunflower and wheat – soaked in a rye sourdough, which gives depth of flavour and a soft bite to the palate.“We wanted to develop a new product that wouldn’t cannibalise sales from our existing range of sourdough crumpets,” explains Village Bakery MD Robin Jones (pictured left). “So we came up with the idea of a five-grain crumpet which is slightly healthier.”Working with Marks & Spencer, the Coedpoeth-based company sought to innovate, add value and ultimately make customers pick up the product. Health was a definite driver of that agenda.“We wanted to look at what other health benefits we could add. We made it high in fibre, using chicory fibre to do that, we added a live sourdough, looked at a source of vitamin D which is naturally provided by a yeast product and then we blended a range of flours – wholemeal and a very strong white flour – to carry the soft grains.”This, Jones notes, results in a unique taste and twist on a standard crumpet. Going into the Baking Industry Awards, Jones was confident in his product but admits he was unsure of their chances in such a strong category.“You never know what you’re up against,” he says. “But that’s the great thing about the Baking Industry Awards.”Confident or not, they took the award home, reinforcing the decade-long relationship between M&S and Village Bakery. “It was so nice to share the awards with Marks & Spencer,” Jones adds.If that wasn’t enough, the Five Grain Crumpets are flying off the shelves with repeat sales in M&S’ national stores and Simply Food outlets. “That is the greatest accolade, and that it hasn’t cannibalised any of our existing sourdough crumpet sales,” he notes. “It has been a fantastic success.”Sales are key. If consumers aren’t into the product, there’s no point in making it. Finding the sweet spot between innovation and strong sellers can be tricky – sometimes the wackiest ideas don’t have mass appeal. “The bakery market is tough. The only way we can have a point of difference is to develop new products, to add value and, in particular, value that consumers recognise,” Jones says.He suggests starting with up-and-coming trends, but turning an eye to the past can also pay off. “We like to look at products that people have forgotten about. Who would have thought about making a sourdough crumpet three or four years ago?” he says.“We’re trying to take those unloved products and make them special again. Innovation isn’t just about reinventing the wheel, it’s about making it better.”Steve Merritt, managing director of award sponsor EPP; Mark Waples, food technologist at Marks & Spencer; Denise van OutenSponsor’s commentThere are always risks when tinkering with a well-loved product, but get it right and it delights existing consumers and brings new people into the category. This is exactly what The Village Bakery did when creating a sourdough-based Ultimate Five Grain Crumpets. The business overcame significant technical challenges in introducing grains into the product and has produced something that has successfully built sales within the category by bringing in new consumers. The key eating characteristics that consumers demand of a crumpet are delivered, while offering an improved flavour and eating experience.Steve Merritt, managing director, European Process Plant (EPP)last_img read more