World

May 23, 2012

News Briefs May 23, 2012

Virginia contractor suspends flights after two crashes

A Virginia company that provides aerial training to the military has suspended flights while it investigates two recent crashes that killed two of its pilots.

Newport News-based Airborne Tactical Advantage Co., known as ATAC, temporarily halted flights operations “while we just kind of review processes and take a breath,” company spokesman Matt Bannon told The Daily Press.

One of ATAC’s Israeli-built F-21 Kfir jets crashed into a building at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev., on March 6. A base spokesman in Fallon had reported snow and fog at the time.

The F21-pilot, Carroll LeFon, was a retired Navy captain, former Top Gun fighter school instructor and military blogger originally from Alexendria, according to the Navy Times.

Last Friday, a British-built Hawker Hunter jet trainer went down near Naval Base Ventura County in Southern California. The military-style aircraft, contracted to play the enemy in training exercises, took off from the base with another jet trainer and went down as it was returning.

Thomas Bennett, the pilot killed in the Californnia crash, was a former Navy pilot who retired as the captain of an aircraft carrier after a 28-year military career, his son Ryan Bennett told the Ventura County Star.

“No words can express the utter and complete shock the company is in, losing two pilots in less than 100 days in completely un-related accidents, in different aircraft, in different weather conditions and in different locations,” ATAC CEO Jeff Parker said in a statement.

Federal authorities also are investigating the crashes. AP

 

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 1,851

As of May 22, 2012, at least 1,851 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.

At least 1,539 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers.

Outside of Afghanistan, the department reports at least 111 more members of the U.S. military died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Of those, 12 were the result of hostile action.

The AP count of total OEF casualties outside of Afghanistan is two more than the department’s tally.

The Defense Department also counts three military civilian deaths.

Since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, 15,950 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department. AP




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Saudi Arabia becomes world’s biggest defense importer

Saudi Arabia has passed India to become the world’s biggest arms importer last year as concerns about Iran’s ambitions increase tensions in the Middle East. Saudi spending rose 54 percent to $6.5 billion last year, while India imported $5.8 billion, according to data released Sunday by IHS, a leading analyst of the global arms trade....
 
 

China defense spending to grow 10.1 percent in 2015

China said March 5 it will boost defense spending by 10.1 percent, a smaller rise than last year but in line with large annual increases that have drawn concern among the country’s neighbors over Beijing’s military and territorial ambitions. Beijing says the higher spending is needed to modernize equipment and improve conditions for the 2.3...
 
 

Kremlin pursues military modernization despite economic woes

Hundreds of new Russian aircraft, tanks and missiles are rolling off assembly lines. Russian jets roar through European skies under NATO’s wary eye. Tens of thousands of troops take part in war games showing off the military’s readiness for all-out war. The muscle flexing suggests that Russia’s economic woes so far are having no impact...
 

 

Ukraine plans $3 billion boost to defense spending

KIEV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s president announced plans Aug. 24 to boost his country’s defense spending by an estimated 50 percent as government forces seek to overpower pro-Russian separatists in the east. President Petro Poroshenko pledged to spend an extra 40 billion hryvnia ($3 billion) by 2017 during a speech marking Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet...
 
 

Iran unveils new short-range missiles, drones

Iran unveiled a new generation of short-range marine missiles and aerial drones Aug. 24, as President Hassan Rouhani said its military doctrine was based on deterring and countering threats from unnamed foreign powers. The official IRNA news agency said the Ghadir missile, with a range of 100 kilometers (62 miles), is designed to destroy marine...
 
 

NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat

NATO is strengthening its military footprint along its eastern border immediately in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the alliance’s chief said April 16. Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO’s air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region west of Ukraine, far from the tensions in the eastern part of the...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>