The military personnel panel of the House Armed Services Committee is recommending a 3.5 percent military pay raise for the Fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill, raising the amount by 0.5 percent over the President’s request. A statement from panel chairman Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.) notes that this would mark the ninth consecutive year of pay raises that exceed the employment cost index and “would further reduce the gap between military and private sector raises from 3.9 percent to 3.4 percent from a high of 13.5 percent during fiscal year 1999.” In its markup of the 2008 bill, the panel also would, at DOD’s request, consolidate authorities for special pay, incentive pay, and bonuses “to provide greater flexibility” to manage recruiting and retention. We reported Friday on the panel’s intention to reject Tricare fee hikes and to boost USAF endstrength slightly.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.