News

February 2, 2018
 

News Briefs – February 2, 2018

19th Air Force commander directs T-6 operational pause

The 19th Air Force commander has issued an operational pause for all T-6 Texan II operations to ensure aircrew safety after a cluster of unexplained physiological events occurred at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., Vance AFB, Okla., and Sheppard AFB, Texas, within the last week.

Maj. Gen. Patrick Doherty directed the operational pause, beginning Feb. 1, to enable the Air Force to examine the root causes of the incidents, educate and listen to aircrew, develop and deliver mitigation solutions.

“The safety of our instructors and student pilots is paramount and has been our priority and focus,” said Doherty, 19th Air Force commander. “We’re acting swiftly, making temporary, but necessary, changes to everyone’s training, general awareness, checklist procedures, and possibly modify aircrew flying equipment to mitigate risk to the aircrew while we tackle this issue head-on to safeguard everyone flying T-6s.”

The Air Force established a general officer-led team to integrate and coordinate efforts across the Air Force to address aircrew unexplained physiological events in early 2018. Brig. Gen. Bobbi Jo Doorenbos is leading the team and will work closely with 19th Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, and other major commands to examine the causes of these incidents and ensure industry and enterprise-wide solutions are given high priority to find root causes and deliver solutions across all weapon systems.
 

Maine Shipyard requests $60 million in tax credits

Representatives of a Maine shipyard are asking legislators to renew a bill that guarantees $60 million in tax credits, a move that critics say will become a donation to the shipyard’s parent company, General Dynamics.

The Portland Press Herald reports Bath Iron Works representatives testified before the Legislature’s Taxation Committee Jan. 30. BIW says the tax credits spread over a period of 20 years will help the shipyard compete for Navy contracts.

Opponents of the bill argue General Dynamics is trying to take advantage of the state. The company has reported $2.9 billion in earnings for 2017, and it is requesting similar tax incentives in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Critics of the bill say the $60 million should go toward public schools, combating the opioid crisis or improving infrastructure. AP
 

Navy plans re-examination of former San Francisco shipyard

The U.S. Navy is planning a re-examination of the former federal Superfund site at a shipyard in San Francisco after finding fraudulent and flawed data collected by a contractor hired to clean it.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the Navy is planning to collect samples from the soil and buildings at the former Hunters Point Shipyard, which is in the process of being redeveloped with commercial spaces and more than 12,000 housing units.

Project environmental coordinator Derek Robinson says the goal is to see if the property is safe or requires additional work.

Environmental firms were hired to check the data collected by Tetra Tech, which was hired to clean up the shipyard.

The consultants’ preliminary report found that nearly half of the contractor’s data was flawed. AP
 

German FM meets Netanyahu after talks canceled last year

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem after talks were canceled last year when the diplomat met with an Israeli whistleblower group critical of the military.

Standing alongside Netanyahu Jan. 31, Gabriel said, “Israel always can count on Germany as a fair partner to defend the security of Israel.”

Netanyahu abruptly canceled a meeting in April with Gabriel over his meeting with Breaking the Silence, a group of Israeli army veterans critical of the country’s military actions in the West Bank and Gaza.

Israeli leaders oppose the group’s work, citing the anonymity of its claims and its outreach efforts abroad to foreign audiences.

The incident sparked a rare diplomatic feud with Germany, one of Israel’s closest and most important allies. AP




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