By Mike Mount
The Iranian military says it has successfully test-fired a number of advanced missiles and air defense systems during coastal defense exercises near the strategic oil passageway of the Strait of Hormuz.
Iranian government press reports said its navy launched anti-ship "Qader" cruise missiles and a new "optimized" version of a long-range surface-to-surface missile, called the "Nour" missile. Both models are made in Iran, according to the reports.
The exercises are part of what Iran says is a six-day naval maneuver that started on December 28 and is designed to, "display the country's capabilities in defending its maritime borders."
By Mike Mount
Hundreds of thousands of Defense Department civilian employees could receive mandatory unpaid leave notices now that the U.S. government has gone over the fiscal cliff while uniformed troops would be shielded from pay cuts and layoffs for a year, defense officials said.
Congress missed its midnight Monday deadline to avert the automatic tax increases and spending cuts that comprise the cliff, but there was a possibility the situation could be resolved on Tuesday.
Still, if there is no resolution and heavy military and domestic spending cuts take effect, the Defense Department has plans to “issue notices to 800,000 civilian employees of the department that furloughs are almost certain to occur," a senior Pentagon official said.