April 13, 2012

News Briefs April 13, 2012

U.S. drone crashes on Seychelles runway

A U.S. Embassy statement from Nairobi, Kenya, says an American military drone used to monitor piracy off the East African coast has crashed at an airport on the island nation of Seychelles.

A U.S. statement said the unmanned, unarmed Air Force drone crashed April 4 near the Seychelles International Airport runway.

The aircraft “came to rest in sea water” adjacent to the airfield. The statement said there were no indications that any hostile act contributed to the crash.

A drone crashed at the same airport in December when it wasn’t able to stop before the end of the runway.

The April 4 statement did not speculate on the cause of the most recent crash.

The U.S. military has a small team in the Seychelles to operate a drone program. AP


India inducts Russian nuclear submarine into navy

India has added a Russian Nerpa nuclear submarine to its navy, becoming the sixth country to operate underwater nuclear-powered vessels.

The ship renamed INS Chakra-II is on a 10-year lease from Russia at a cost of nearly $1 billion.

The April 4 induction of the submarine takes India into an elite group of countries operating underwater nuclear-powered vessels. It joins the United States, France, Russia, Britain and China.

Defense Minister A.K. Antony says the submarine will strengthen the Indian navy.

Over recent years, India has emerged as one of the world’s leading defense spenders spurred by rivalries with both its major neighbors – Pakistan and China.

Modernizing its army is also part of India’s ambition to become a regional and global power. AP


First Boeing 787 made in South Carolina rolling out this month

The first Boeing 787 made in South Carolina is being rolled out in a few weeks.

Boeing has announced that the rollout ceremony is set for April 27 at the aircraft manufacturer’s plant in North Charleston.

State officials and Boeing executives are planning to speak at the ceremonies.

The aircraft is being built in Boeing’s $750 million assembly plant in North Charleston. The plant, which opened last summer, represents the largest single industrial investment in South Carolina history.


Marines seek DOD guidance on social media use

Marine Corps officials are seeking additional guidance from the Pentagon regarding service members’ use of social media.

California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter’s office says the Marine Corps notified him of the plans April 6.

They come amid discharge proceedings against Camp Pendleton Marine Sgt. Gary Stein, who criticized President Barack Obama on Facebook.

Hunter had urged military authorities to withdraw the proceedings because policies regarding service members’ use of social media are ambiguous.

A Marine Corps administrative board concluded after a daylong hearing Thursday that Stein violated the Pentagon policy limiting free speech and should be dismissed.

The case now goes to a general who can accept or deny the recommendation. AP


Seven injured in U.K. military helicopter mishap

Seven people were hospitalized with minor injuries after a British Chinook helicopter suffered a “mishap” April 7 during a landing exercise in the Arizona desert, a military spokeswoman said.

The crew was practicing how to land the aircraft 15 miles northeast of Yuma when “something went wrong,” said Michelle Dee, a spokeswoman for Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif.

The people aboard the Chinook had non-life-threatening injuries and were sent to the hospital for evaluations as a precaution, Dee said. The helicopter sustained damage but Dee said she didn’t know the extent of the damages. She did not disclose their nationalities.

The cause of the mishap was under investigation.

The Chinook was operating out of the naval base in California’s Imperial Valley. The facility hosts allied troops throughout the year for training over the California-Arizona border because the area’s craggy mountains and hot, dusty conditions are similar to Afghanistan’s harsh environment. The clear weather also allows for constant flying.

In February, seven Marines were killed when two helicopters crashed in midair during a routine exercise over the Yuma Training Range Complex. AP


U.S. Navy deploys second aircraft carrier to Gulf

The U.S. Navy says it has deployed a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf amid rising tensions with Iran over its nuclear program.

Cmdr. Amy Derrick-Frost of the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet said April 9 that the deployment of the nuclear-powered USS Enterprise along the Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group marks only the fourth time in the past decade that the Navy has had two aircraft carriers operating at the same time in the region.

The two carriers will support the American military operations in Afghanistan and anti-piracy efforts off Somalia’s coast and in the Gulf of Aden.

The warships also patrol the Gulf’s strategic oil routes that Iran has threatened to shut down in retaliation for economic sanctions. AP


Veterans sign petitions for new VA hospital

Hundreds of veterans have signed petitions in support of a new hospital in East Tennessee.

WBIR-TV reports that veterans gave the petitions to elected leaders during a meeting April 7 in the hope of enticing them to vote in favor of a plan that would create a veteran’s facility from an old hospital in the city of Harriman, Tenn. The city has offered to lease the space to the Department of Veterans Affairs for a dollar a year.

Officials say if approved, the hospital would serve a 10-county area and assist close to 50,000 veterans.

Officials say April 7 was the first of a five-step process to in a move to get approval for a third VA hospital in the state. AP

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News Briefs – July 30, 2012

Mechanical failure blamed in Arizona Harrier crash Military officials say early findings point to mechanical failure in the crash of a U.S. Marine Corps Harrier attack jet on a training mission in southwestern Arizona. The AV-8B Harrier went down July 25 afternoon about 15 miles northwest of the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma near the...

News Briefs – July 27, 2012

Pilot killed in Nevada crash was low on gas A fighter pilot on a Navy training mission told air traffic controllers he was running out of gas before he crashed and died at Fallon Naval Air Station in March. Retired Capt. Carroll LeFon had been playing the enemy in an Israeli-built F-21 before attempting to...
DOD photograph by PO1 Chad J. McNeeley

Carter visits DMZ, U.S. troops at end of Asia-Pacific tour

DOD photograph by PO1 Chad J. McNeeley U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter arrives for a town hall meeting with service members on Camp Humphreys, South Korea, July 26, 2012. With his stop in South Korea, Carter conc...


Misawa F-16s resume flying

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) — The 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base, Japan, resumed flying operations July 26, 2012, following a five-day review of the wing’s F-16s. Col. Al Wimmer, 35th Fighter Wing and Misawa Air Base installation vice commander, ordered a temporary suspension to flying operations after a Misawa-based F-16 developed a problem...
Boeing photograph by Tim Stake

Boeing delivers Nippon Cargo Airlines’ first 747-8 Freighter

Boeing photograph by Tim Stake A Nippon Cargo Airlines 747-8 Freighter takes off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. Boeing has delivered a 747-8 Freighter to Narita-based Nippon Cargo Airlines, marking the Japanese debut for th...

Japan says no flights until Osprey confirmed safe

Japan’s prime minister says he will not allow any flights of the U.S. military’s latest transport aircraft in this country until its safety after two recent crashes has been confirmed. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told Parliament July 24 that no flights would take place until investigations into the April and June crashes were completed and...


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