News Briefs – June 10, 2019

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Nevada Guard identifies soldier killed in tank rollover

The Nevada National Guard has identified a soldier who was killed during a training accident June 4 as 51-year-old Guard Staff Sgt. David W. Gallagher of Las Vegas.
Gallagher was killed and three other soldiers were injured when a tank rolled over at Fort Irwin, Calif., where the soldiers’ Idaho-based brigade is undergoing a month-long training.
Lt. Col. Mickey Kirschenbaum says Gallagher was an armor crewman who joined the military in 1988 and enlisted in the Nevada Army Guard in 2009.
The three other soldiers who were injured were released from the hospital.
The cause of the accident is under investigation. AP
 

U.S. commander says Mideast buildup prompted Iran ‘step back’

The top commander of U.S. forces in the Mideast says Iran appears to have decided to “step back and recalculate” in response to a U.S. military buildup in the Persian Gulf area.
Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie says it’s too early to conclude Iran has abandoned plans for potential attacks against American interests that prompted the buildup last month. McKenzie told reporters June 6 that he is assessing Iran’s stance. He says he would not rule out requesting more forces to bolster American defenses.
McKenzie said Iran and its proxies posed what he called an “advanced and imminent” threat to U.S. forces when he asked on May 5 for authority to accelerate the deployment of an aircraft carrier and send four strategic bombers to the Gulf area. AP
 

Marine helicopter catches fire but lands safely

The military says a Marine helicopter caught fire during training at a Southern California base but the crew landed safely.
The CH-53E Super Stallion was on a routine training mission at about 1 p.m., June 6 at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar when flames broke out.
The chopper made a safe emergency landing at the Imperial County Airport, where firefighters put out the flames.
The helicopter, which typically carries a crew of four, is attached to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465 with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. AP
 

Sikorsky closing Pennsylvania helicopter plant by year’s end

Lockheed Martin expects to close its Sikorsky helicopter facility in Coatesville, Penn., by the end of this year.
The facility’s 465 employees were notified about the decision June 5. The company plans to relocate the plant’s production work to other Lockheed Martin sites and hopes to move many of the affected employees to other Lockheed Martin facilities.
In a statement issued June 6, the company said it made “the difficult decision” due to the multiyear slump in the rotorcraft industry and the need to balance footprint and workforce with customer and requirements.
Major programs at the plant included Sikorsky’s S-92 and S-76D helicopter completion work, as well as Canadian Maritime Helicopter Program modifications and upgrades. AP