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June 12, 2013

News Briefs June 12, 2013

Air Force admits error on support

The U.S. Air Force is admitting giving out wrong information on public support for basing the F-35 fighter jet in Burlington, Vt.

In a revised draft environmental impact statement, the Air Force said last month it had received 913 public comments on the proposal to base up to 24 of the next-generation fighter jets at the Burlington International Airport, and that 80 percent of them were in support, with 20 percent opposed.

The Air Force now says it got those numbers wrong, and that public comments actually ran 65 percent against basing the F-35 in Burlington, with 35 percent in favor.

An Air Force civilian project manager, Nicholas Germanos, says the error was found before the revised report was issued and was supposed to be fixed, but was not. AP

Navy task force to set goals for women on subs

The commander of a Groton, Conn.,-based submarine group is leading a task force dedicated to the integration of enlisted women on Navy submarines.

Female officers already have begun serving aboard ballistic missile and guided-missile subs. In 2015, female officers will begin reporting for assignment on the smaller attack submarines, where berthing is more of a privacy problem.

The panel led by Navy Rear Adm. Kenneth Perry, commander of Submarine Group Two, is developing integration goals for all submarines. A detailed plan is due to the chief of Naval Operations by March 2015.

The Navy reversed a ban on women in submarines in April 2010.

The commander of the Navy’s submarine force, Vice Adm. Michael Connor, set up the task force to develop studies on the feasibility of enlisted women serving aboard submarines, potential courses of action and candidate timelines, according to a Navy news release.

Electric Boat in Groton is working on a design for a new submarine to replace the aging Ohio-class ballistic missile subs. The Navy said it is working with contractors on a design that would accommodate female officers as well as mixed-gender crews. AP

New radios at Georgia Army base jammed garage doors

Authorities say a new radio system being installed at a Georgia Army base is frustrating hundreds of homeowners in the Augusta area who have been locked out of their garages because of jammed remote-control signals.

The Augusta Chronicle reports the confusion began last week, when Fort Gordon upgraded its land-mobile radios to a 390 megahertz bandwidth, the same frequency used in automatic garage door remotes.

Since then, nearly 500 residents have called or visited the Overhead Door Co. of Augusta to complain about garage doors that fail to open and close on command.

Fort Gordon spokesman Buz Yarnell said in a statement June 10 that the Army post intended to conduct widespread public notifications on the transition but testing began earlier than expected. AP

Iran launches rearmed destroyer on Persian Gulf

Iran says it has launched a 50-year-old destroyer on the Persian Gulf after overhauling it and rearming with modern missiles.

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

Tuesday’s report by state TV quotes Rear Adm. Abbas Zamini as saying that experts had equipped the destroyer Bayandor with anti-ship missiles capable of firing 160 kilometers (100 miles) during its 20-month overhauled.

Zamini says the destroyer joined Iran’s navy in 1964 and is named after a World War II war hero. AP

Air Force pushes back hearings on Eielson transfer

The U.S. Air Force is pushing back the public hearing schedule on its proposal to transfer the F-16 fighter jet squadron from Fairbanks to Anchorage, both in Alaska.

Meetings had been scheduled to begin next week on the draft report. But the Air Force, on its project website, said it was moving back the dates at the request of the Alaska congressional delegation. Locations had yet to be announced.

The Air Force says the new meeting dates will be July 15-18, to allow more time for Alaskans to review the draft.

The draft recommends pursuing the transfer of the fighter jet squadron at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. It also recommends keeping Eielson as a temporary base for the aircraft several times a year for training. AP

World air fleet to double in 20 years, Boeing says

Boeing expects its global aircraft demand to double in the next two decades with most of the orders coming from Asia, an executive from the US airplane-maker says.

Speaking ahead of the Bourget International Air Salon, Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing, says rising oil prices are forcing carriers to think harder about efficiency, and that means smaller planes that burn less fuel. It also means design changes and streamlined air traffic control.

The 20-year forecast, which Boeing puts out annually, predicts 60 percent of the demand for aircraft will come from Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. The rest comes from carriers in Europe and North America.

The commercial fleet today stands at 20,310 aircraft, Boeing says. In 2032, the company said that will rise to 41,240. AP




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