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May 20, 2013

News Briefs May 20, 2013

United Technologies completes civestiture of Pratt & Whitney Power Systems unit to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

United Technologies Corp. announced May 17 it has completed the divestiture of its Pratt & Whitney Power Systems unit to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.† Divesting Power Systems allows UTC to focus on its core aerospace and commercial businesses.

Pratt & Whitney has entered into a long-term agreement with MHI under which Pratt & Whitney will provide certain engineering and manufacturing services to MHI in connection with the development of the FT4000, Power Systems’ next-generation industrial gas turbine.† Under the long term agreement, P&W has also agreed to provide GG8 turbines to MHI.

General Dynamics NASSCO delivers USNS Montford Point

General Dynamics NASSCO recently delivered USNS Montford Point (MLP-1), the lead ship of the Mobile Landing Platform class, to the U.S. Navy.

The ship is named in honor of Camp Montford Point, the Jacksonville, N.C., site where the first African-American Marines were trained.

Construction of the USNS Montford Point began in May 2011, incorporating a “design-build” approach to improve the ship’s readiness for production. The 785-foot-long auxiliary ship will serve as a floating base for amphibious operations, and operate as a transfer point between large ships and small landing craft.

“Congratulations to the NASSCO-Navy-MSC team and to the entire group who built this ship,” said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “The approach we have taken in building this first-of-class ship, with the requirements and planning complete and the material available at the start of construction, has resulted in the delivery of MLP-1 under budget and on schedule.† This reflects NASSCO’s tradition of delivering high-quality, mission-ready ships.”

NASSCO is currently building the second ship of the class, MLP-2, scheduled for undocking in September and delivery in the first quarter of 2014. Construction of MLP-3, the third ship in the class, began in February.

Report: Combat troop discharges increase sharply

A newspaper investigation has found that the number of soldiers discharged from the Army for misconduct has risen to its highest rate in recent times, and some are wounded combat troops who’ve lost their medical care and other veterans benefits because of other-than-honorable discharges.

The Gazette [Colorado Springs, Colo.] investigation based on Army data found that annual misconduct discharges have increased more than 25 percent Army-wide since 2009, mirroring the rise in wounded. Among combat troops, the increase is especially sharp.

Total discharges at the eight Army posts that house most of the service’s combat units have increased 67 percent since 2009. Those figures include soldiers diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.

The newspaper reports soldiers were sometimes cut loose for minor offenses the Army acknowledges can be symptoms of TBI and PTSD. AP

Karzai seeks Indian military aid amid Pakistan row

Afghan President Hamid Karzai will seek increased military aid from India during a three-day visit starting May 20 and will discuss recent cross-border clashes with Pakistan, India’s archrival, an aide said.

The comments follow a weekend report by the Times of India that said Afghanistan’s ambassador to India had said the country needs India’s help with ìequipment and weapons to fight.î The Press Trust of India later quoted a spokesman for New Delhi’s Foreign Ministry as saying the country is ready to meet any such request.

ìYes, we will ask for assistance for the strengthening of our security forces,î Karzai spokesman Aimal Faizi said in a briefing ahead of the trip. He did not comment on the Indian reports.

Karzai’s visit could irk Pakistan, especially if any arms deal materializes. Pakistan considers Afghanistan its own backyard and suspects rival India of seeking greater influence there as a strategy to hem in the country from both sides. Pakistan and India have fought three wars since they were divided into two countries when they gained independence from Britain in 1947.

Afghanistan and India signed a strategic partnership agreement in 2011 that has included Indian military training of Afghan security forces. Faizi indicated in Saturday’s briefing that Karzai would seek to expand that cooperation. ìWhatever our Afghan security forces would need for assistance and help, India would help us,î he said. AP

Wild turkeys relocated from Davis-Monthan air base

A group of wild turkeys is now roaming Mount Lemmon after being captured at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson, Ariz.

Managers with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the base’s cultural and natural resources office had been monitoring the birds’ movement through eastside neighborhoods until they were in a location where they could be captured without harm.

They were released May 17 atop Mount Lemmon.

The turkeys were among 17 released by the department in February in the Happy Valley area.

Gould’s turkeys were first reintroduced to the Rincon Mountains in 2012. They are the largest of five wild turkey species.

Game and Fish and the National Wild Turkey Federation have been reintroducing them since 1980 into the Sky Island mountain ranges across southeastern Arizona. They now number around 1,000. AP




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Army photograph by John Andrew Hamilton

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