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March 18, 2013

News Briefs March 18, 2013

Army names crew killed in helicopter crash

The U.S. Army has identified the five-member crew killed in the crash of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in Afghanistan.

The crew was flying a training mission March 11 in Kandahar using night-vision goggles. Army Maj. Gen. Robert A. Abrams has said no enemy attacks were reported.

The five crew members trained at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, which falls under the command of Fort Stewart, Ga. They were identified as: Staff Sgt. Steven P. Blass of Estherville, Iowa; Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Henderson of Franklin, La.; Capt. Sara M. Knutson of Eldersburg, Md.; Staff Sgt. Marc A. Scialdo of Naples, Fla.; and Spc. Zachary L. Shannon of Dunedin, Fla.

A ceremony is planned at Fort Stewart in April to honor the soldiers.

The cause of the crash is being investigated. AP

Air Force trainer gets four years for raping trainee

A military judge has sentenced an Air Force instructor to four years in prison for raping a female trainee at the South Texas base where he worked.

Lt. Col. Matthew Van Dalen also sentenced SSgt. Eddy Soto to a dishonorable discharge after convicting him of rape March 16 during a military trial at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

More than 30 Lackland instructors have been investigated in the military sex scandal. Soto was the ninth trainer convicted in the scandal and sentenced to prison or hard labor.

Van Dalen acquitted Soto on charges of aggravated sexual assault and wrongful sexual contact.

Soto previously pleaded guilty to five counts, including having had sex with a female trainee and with the wife of a male trainee. AP

Boeing boosts CEO pay 15 percent

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney’s compensation rose 15 percent last year to $21.1 million, as the company rewarded him for better-than-expected profits and faster airplane production.

McNerney’s pay was disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday and analyzed by The Associated Press. It covered 2012, before problems emerged with Boeing’s new 787 that have grounded the plane for two months and counting.

Other reasons cited by the company for the CEO’s pay raise included more orders and deliveries of Boeing’s 737 and 777, and cost-cutting efforts in Boeing’s defense business.

McNerney’s stock and option awards both rose 10 percent from 2011. His incentive-based cash bonus jumped 24 percent because Boeing’s profits were higher in 2010 through 2012 than the target set by its directors. AP

United Technologies completes sale of pump, engine control unit

United Technologies Corp. announced March 18 it has completed the sale of the former Goodrich Corporation pump and engine control systems business to Triumph Group, Inc.

Sale of the pump and engine control systems unit was one of the divestitures required by regulatory authorities as a condition of UTC’s acquisition of Goodrich Corporation. UTC has reached agreement to sell a second unit, the legacy Goodrich electric power systems business, which remains pending subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the building and aerospace industries.

Iran launches destroyer in the Caspian Sea

Iran on first heavy military presence in the oil-rich sea, state TV reported.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated the guided-missile destroyer Jamaran-2 in the port city of Anzali, about 150 miles northwest of Tehran.

After final tests, the report said, Jamaran-2 will join Iran’s naval fleet in the sea in coming months.

The 1,400-ton destroyer, which has a helicopter landing pad, is 94 meters (yards) long and can cruise at 30 knots. It is equipped to surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles as well as anti-aircraft batteries and sophisticated radar and communications terminals, the report said.

Iran launched a previous version of the Jamaran destroyer in 2010 in the Persian Gulf.
Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan that surround the Caspian have not reached an agreement on exploitation of its resources. Iran supports equally sharing the sea, but the other four countries have reached agreements on exploiting the resources through mutual pacts, putting Iran’s share at about 12 percent of the resources of the sea.

Since 1992, Iran has been building a self-sufficient military, reportedly producing its own jet fighters, military tanks, missiles and light submarines as well as torpedoes. AP

Israeli premier names new defense minister

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed former military chief Moshe Yaalon as defense minister.

Yaalon, widely known by his nickname Bogie, has said the Iranian nuclear program is Israel’s top security concern. He also is known to hold hard-line views toward the Palestinians.

Yaalon was Israel’s military chief from 2002 to 2005, and served as vice premier in Israel’s outgoing government. In that position, he served in Netanyahu’s security Cabinet, which dealt with sensitive matters.

Yaalon will replace Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who is retiring.

Netanyahu said March 16 that Yaalon has the experience to lead the country’s defense during a √¨decisive period for the security of Israel, as the region around us rages. AP




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