U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,031
As of Dec. 4, 2012, at least 2,031 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 1,694 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 118 more members of the U.S. military died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Of those, 11 were the result of hostile action.
The AP count of total OEF casualties outside of Afghanistan is four 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, 18,071 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department. AP
Vietnam veterans group sues military over PTSD
An advocacy group for Vietnam veterans says in a federal lawsuit the military has failed to correct the wrongful discharges of thousands of veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Vietnam Veterans of America Dec. 3 joined a proposed class action lawsuit against the Army, Navy and Air Force. The lawsuit, first filed last year by a veteran, says the Vietnam veterans suffered PTSD before the condition was recognized and were discharged under other-than-honorable conditions that made them ineligible for disability compensation and other benefits.
The lawsuit says the military has refused to upgrade the discharge status of thousands of Vietnam War era veterans with service-related PTSD.
The U.S. Attorney’s office says it’s reviewing the mater and will respond in court. AP
EADS: Confirms talks on shareholder structure
European aerospace and defense company EADS NV says its key shareholders are discussing potential changes to its structure and management.
EADS, parent company of aircraft maker Airbus, is jointly French- and German-owned.
The French government owns 15 percent and French media company Lagardere has 7.5 percent. Germany’s government does not have direct stakes, but has influence through auto maker Daimler, which holds a 22.5 percent stake.
French president Francois Hollande said a deal was “close.”
“EADS’s state shareholdings are going to change … and we will therefore have to revise the shareholder pact,” Hollande said during a news conference in Lyon, France. “We are working on it, and a deal is close.”
In response to media reports that EADS was talking about capping state stakes and giving both France and Germany voting shares of 12 percent each, the company issued a statement Dec. 3 that it was in discussions whose objective was to “preserve and enhance … the interests of all stakeholders.”
But it says “there can be no certainty that these decisions will be conclusive.” AP
Northrop Grumman’s facility achieves European certification
Northrop Grumman’s aircraft systems repair station in Rolling Meadows, Ill., has been granted Part 145 certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency.
The company’s repair station was established to meet regulatory requirements for customers operating aircraft under civil aviation rules. Opened in 2009, the station services Northrop Grumman’s infrared countermeasures systems. EASA Part 145 Repair Station Certification regulates the standards for qualifying as a repair station and the maintenance requirements for aircraft. “We understand the importance of keeping critical systems in top condition and doing so affordably,” said Carl Smith, vice president of infrared countermeasures for Northrop Grumman’s Land and Self Protection Systems division. “This EASA Part 145 certification will allow us to extend our award-winning service to customers who operate aircraft registered in Europe.”
The repair station also holds Part 145 certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and has been awarded the FAA’s Diamond Award for Excellence for two consecutive years. The station was also recognized by the National Air Transport Association with two consecutive Five Star Awards for its dedication to aviation maintenance technician training.
No U.S. drones missing after Iran claim
A U.S. Navy spokesman says no American drones are missing in the Middle East following Iranian claims it had captured an unmanned American surveillance aircraft.
Cmdr. Jason Salata, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, says all U.S. drones in the region are “fully accounted for.” He also cast doubt on Iranian claims Dec. 4 that the U.S. ScanEagle drone entered Iranian airspace, saying U.S. operations in the Persian Gulf are “confined to internationally recognized water and airspace.”
He says that U.S. ScanEagles have been lost into the sea in the past, but none have gone down recently.
Other nations in the Gulf, including the United Arab Emirates, have ScanEagle drones in service.
The 5th Fleet is based in Bahrain. AP