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July 15, 2013

News Briefs July 15, 2013

First Air Force One plane decaying in Arizona field

The first plane to be designated as Air Force One now sits in a southern Arizona field that’s part of Marana Regional Airport.

The aircraft that once spirited President Dwight D. Eisenhower on cross-country voyages is nearly forgotten on a 10-acre parcel, decaying under the relentless glare of the sun.

Efforts to sell the aircraft at auction were unsuccessful and it was parked at the Marana airport in 2005 in a lease agreement.

The aircraft has no hangar to shelter it from the sun’s rays, which are gradually breaking down the aircraft.

The Arizona Daily Star says a New Mexico man now owns the plane.

A contractor who serves as the aircraft’s caretaker is looking for a museum willing to take it and restore it. AP

Military works to change culture to combat rape

Roving patrols of senior enlisted officers have been policing drinking and other reckless behavior at Naval Base San Diego nightly in an effort to combat sexual assaults.

Every branch in the armed forces is implementing various measures to curb behavior that military officials believe could lead to sexual assault.

Some Army bases have been imposing 9 p.m. curfews for new soldiers, while thousands of service members have been attending interactive trainings to drive home a zero-tolerance message.

The Navy plans to replicate its patrols at 70 shore installations.

Some have bristled at the new restrictions, calling them unfair for punishing all for the sins of a few.

The effort follows a Pentagon report released in May that estimates as many as 26,000 service members may have been sexually assaulted last year. AP

Turkey redefines armed forces’ duties

Turkey’s parliament has amended an armed forces regulation which once-powerful military leaders have held up in the past as justification for intervening in politics.

In a vote late July 12, legislators amended the regulation which defined the military’s duty as watching over and protecting the Turkish republic, changing it to ìdefending the Turkish nation against external threats.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted government has already significantly curtailed the military’s clout through reforms asserting civilian control and the amendment was seen as being largely symbolic.

The Turkish military, which long regarded itself as protector of the country’s secular system, forced four governments out of power between 1960 and 1997.

The vote follows a spate of anti-government protests in June, which Erdogan has labeled a conspiracy against his democratically-elected government. AP




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Lockheed Martin photograph by Andrew McMurtrie

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