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October 7, 2013

News Briefs October 7, 2013

United Technologies cancels furlough plans

United Technologies Corp. has canceled plans to furlough employees at its aerospace businesses following the recall of Defense Contract Management Agency inspectors responsible for auditing and approving operations throughout the manufacturing process for military products.

United Technologies greatly appreciates the efforts of those in the Administration and Congress who facilitated the recall of the furloughed civilian employees in the U.S. Department of Defense.

Small California fire forces evacuation at Marine base

Some 260 residents and hospital patients remained evacuated at a Southern California military base on Sunday, as crews worked to contain a wildfire fueled by strong winds.

The fire broke out at the Marine Corps’ Camp Pendleton amid hot, dry and windy conditions throughout the region Oct. 5. The growing blaze prompted the evacuation of 230 residents from a housing unit near Lake O’Neil and caused minor damage to four buildings, base officials said.

Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton was not threatened by the fire, but a power outage prompted officials to evacuate about 30 patients to other hospitals in the area and stop accepting new patients. Service at the hospital was restored by late Saturday, but the transferred patients remained at the new locations.
By early morning Oct. 6, the blaze had scorched 1,500 acres and firefighters had worked through the night, according to public affairs chief Sgt. Leo Salinas.

More than 200 firefighters were at the scene. The fire was 15 percent contained. Its cause was under investigation. AP

Germany hands over military base to Afghans

Germany handed Afghanistan’s security forces control Oct. 6 of a key military base in the country’s northern province of Kunduz, where German troops spent almost a decade as part of the international effort to combat Taliban insurgents.

The handover is part of the gradual pullout of Western forces due to be completed by the end of next year.
The Kunduz base, which lies some 155 miles north of Kabul, shaped the German armed forces ìlike hardly any other place,î German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said according to prepared remarks. Nowhere else since World War II have more German soldiers died in combat.

ì(We) built, fought, cried and consoled, killed and fell here,î de Maiziere was quoted as saying.

Some 20,000 German troops were deployed in Kunduz during a 10-year operation, and 20 of Germany’s 35 combat deaths in Afghanistan occurred in the province. Another 17 died of noncombat injuries, including seven who were killed in a 2002 helicopter crash in Kabul.

Germany, the third-largest international troop contributor in Afghanistan after the United States and Britain, plans to reduce its force levels in the country from 4,000 to about 800 by 2015. Those remaining will be stationed in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, responsible largely for training and support of Afghan troops. AP

Navy mulls redesign of D.C. building where 12 killed

The Navy is considering an extensive redesign of the Washington Navy Yard building where 12 workers were gunned down last month.

A contract for repairs to Navy Yard Building 197 directs the contractor to create ìa different sense of placeî to soften the impact on returning occupants.

The Navy says it hasn’t decided whether Naval Sea Systems Command will still be headquartered in the five-story, red brick building damaged by the shootings on Sept. 16.

Bethesda, Md., consultant Rich Harwood helped Newtown, Conn., devise a proposal to demolish the elementary school were 26 people were killed in a shooting last December, and to build a new school nearby.

He says the Navy’s decision isn’t about a building, but about whether people are ready to move from trauma and despair to healing and hope. AP

Washington governor wants to extend Boeing tax breaks

Gov. Jay Inslee says the state should extend tax breaks for Boeing so it will build the next version of the 777 in Washington.

Inslee told the Aerospace Summit Wednesday in Everett that Washington needs to do everything possible to protect its position in the aerospace industry.

The Daily Herald reports the tax incentives that were granted to secure production of the 787 are set to expire in 2024. Inslee would extend them to 2034.

Boeing is soon expected to announce the launch of the 777X with a newly designed wing.

Boeing and the rest of the aerospace industry – a total of 1,350 companies in the state_ employ nearly 133,000 workers and account for 11 percent of the wages, according to a study from the Washington Aerospace Partnership. AP

Boeing plane deliveries accelerate in third quarter

Boeing said it delivered 170 commercial planes during the third quarter as deliveries accelerated for three of its most important planes.

Compared to the same period last year, deliveries sped up for its smaller, workhorse 737, its long-range best-seller 777, and its new 787.

The pace of deliveries so far this year slowed for its super-jumbo 747, which has been a slow seller, and its 767, which is in declining use as a passenger jet but will be the basis for an aerial refueling tanker Boeing is making for the U.S. Air Force.

For the quarter, deliveries included 23 787s, bringing its total for the year so far to 40. Deliveries were halted for several months because of problems with its lithium batteries, but Boeing has said it still expects to hand over at least 60 of those planes this year.

Boeing delivered four 747s during the quarter, half as many as during the same period last year. It has slowed its production line for those planes because demand has been less than it had hoped.

Boeing has said it expects to deliver 635 to 645 commercial planes this year. Its total as of the end of September was 476, compared to 436 at the same time a year earlier.

Boeing’s defense unit delivered 15 Chinook cargo helicopters and 12 jets in the F-18 fighter family. It also delivered 11 Apache combat helicopters.

Boeing shares fell $2.52, or 2.1 percent, to $115.32 in midday trading. They have fallen 4 percent since hitting a 52-week high of $120.38 on Sept. 19.

Investors have become worried about the impact of the federal government shutdown on the company. Some of Boeing’s planes – including 787s made at its new facility in North Charleston, S.C. – need a sign-off by workers from the Federal Aviation Administration before they can be delivered, and those workers have been furloughed. That facility makes slightly more than two planes per month, so a short shutdown wouldn’t automatically delay deliveries. AP




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