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August 19, 2013

News Briefs August 19, 2013

17 punished for placing sex ads while deployed

The Marine Corps says 17 people have been punished for placing ads on the Internet seeking sex while they were deployed to Afghanistan.

The Los Angeles Times reports Aug. 17 those punished included 11 military personnel and six civilian employees of the Department of Defense.

The ads were discovered during a 2012 investigation. Those who placed the ads were deployed to Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province, which was then under the command of the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

The investigations were revealed by the Marine Corps Times, which noted that military personnel were specifically told not to place sex ads on websites.

Punishment for the military personnel was meted out by their unit commanders, with possible loss of rank, extra duty, fines and restriction of privileges. AP

Army moving forward with Pohakuloa training course

The U.S. Army is moving forward with a $29 million infantry training course at its Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii Island.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz told the Honolulu Advertiser that the project will create jobs and provide training for troops.

The decision to move forward, recently revealed, does not affect the contested Makua Military Reservation on Oahu.

The newspaper reports that the formal decision document calls for construction of a new course for live-fire training with small arms, machine guns, mortars and rockets.

The 132,000-acre Pohakuloa training area includes a 51,000-acre artillery impact field. It’s used by all branches of the U.S. military.

The existing battle course can’t be expanded because it’s next to an unexploded ordnance area.
Construction is expected to begin in 2014. AP

Small plane makes emergency landing at California air base

Authorities say engine problem forced the pilot of a small plane to make an emergency landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Airfield officials say the Cessna 206 made a safe, unpowered landing on the runway about 4:20 p.m., Aug .15.

Four people were on board, and one person parachuted out of the plane when it was about 2,000 feet above ground. Lt. Col. Dieter Haney told the Los Angeles Times that person was turned over to security.

The plane was part of Sky Drive Santa Barbara, which operates out of nearby Lompoc Airport.

A Vandenberg official told KSBY-TV it was the second time the aircraft landed at the base due to a blown engine. AP

New aircraft carrier marks another milestone

Another milestone is being marked for the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier.

Huntington Ingalls Industries says workers at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia have installed the third and final aircraft elevator on the USS Gerald R. Ford.

The elevator is used to move aircraft from the hangar bay to the flight deck.

Officials say work continues on piping and electrical systems and habitability areas such as the galley and mess spaces.

Construction of the Ford began in November 2009. The ship’s christening is scheduled for Nov. 9.
The Ford is the lead ship in a new class of carriers. It features a new nuclear power plant, a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults, improved weapons movement and an enhanced flight deck.

The Ford will replace the USS Enterprise, which was inactivated last year. AP




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