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October 23, 2013

News Briefs October 23, 2013

Navy Blue Angels to resume performances next year

The Blue Angels are set to return to the skies above air shows nationwide in 2014.

The Navy has announced that the popular flight demonstration team will have a full schedule for the 2014 season.

The team suspended its 2013 performance schedule this spring after forced federal spending cuts.

Adm. John Kirby announced Oct. 21 that the Blue Angels and other Navy outreach groups – including the Leap Frogs parachute team and the Navy band – would return next year. AP

United Tech posts slight third quarter profit, revenue rise

United Technologies Corp. says third-quarter profit edged up 1 percent on a slight increase in revenue, but warned that a weak military aerospace market will cut into 2013 revenue.

The Hartford, Conn., aerospace and building systems conglomerate said Oct. 22 that net income for the three months ended Sept. 30 was $1.43 billion, or $1.57 per share, including 2 cents per share from discontinued operations

Revenue of $15.46 billion for the quarter was up 3 percent over the year-ago quarter.
Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, expected earnings of $1.54 per share on revenue of $16.21 billion.

United Technologies cut its revenue estimate for 2013 to about $63 billion from $64 billion, citing weak military aerospace markets and the slow economic recovery in Europe. Analysts expected $63.85 billion. AP

U.S. sends armored cars to arms inspectors in Syria

The U.S. has given 10 armored vehicles to the United Nations to help support efforts to verify and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons.

The United States spent $1.55 million from the State Department’s Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund to pay for the armored vehicles, which were shipped recently.

The State Department said Oct. 21 that the Royal Canadian Air Force provided an aircraft to transport the vehicles from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland to the Middle East.

So far, the U.S. has provided nearly $6 million in financial and in-kind contributions to help rid Syria of chemical arms.

Car bombs and mortar shells recently have exploded close to a Damascus hotel where inspectors with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are staying, underscoring the risky nature of their work. AP

Military personnel face Arizona criminal charges

Nearly two dozen current and former members of the Arizona Air National Guard have been indicted on charges including theft and money laundering in a $1.4 million scam to defraud the federal government, authorities announced Monday.

The eight officers and 13 enlisted men and women, including the colonel and former commander of the 214 Reconnaissance Group, falsified their records and used fake home addresses in order to receive money meant for those traveling outside of their home regions for duty assignments, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said.

Between November 2007 and September 2010, authorities said some of the defendants took home salaries that were up to five times the amount they should have been receiving.

Some of the suspects defrauded the government of more than $100,000 each, Horne said.

The indictment announced Oct. 21 comes after an 18-month investigation by state and federal agencies. AP

New U.S. monument honors military service dogs

The first national monument honoring the war dogs that have fought and died with U.S. troops while also bringing them comfort is to be dedicated in San Antonio.

The U.S. Working Dog Teams National Monument will be dedicated Oct. 28 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. That’s where many of the U.S. military dogs are trained, as well as treated when wounded.

The dedication marks the end of a tour that began in January at the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, Calif.

The driving force behind the monument is John Burnam, a 65-year-old veteran military dog handler who designed the monument. The monument depicts the modern military handler and four dogs – a Doberman, German shepherd, Labrador retriever and Belgian Malinois, all breeds used in wars. AP

General Dynamics reports higher third quarter earnings

Defense contractor General Dynamics Corp. said Oct. 23 that its net income rose 8.5 percent as cost cuts more than offset lower revenue. The results beat Wall Street forecasts.

The company offset weaker defense spending by trimming operating costs and generating strong results in its Gulfstream business jets division.

Net income climbed to $651 million, or $1.84 per share, for the July-September period, from $600 million, or $1.70 per share, a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected adjusted earnings of $1.68 per share, on average.

Revenue fell 1.7 percent to $7.80 billion but still came in above analysts’ $7.75 billion forecast. Sales in the company’s aerospace division, which includes Gulfstream jets, jumped by 17.2 percent, partly offsetting a 30.1 percent plunge in revenue in the combat-systems segment. Two other units, marine systems and information technology, grew slightly.

General Dynamics cut operating costs by 2.7 percent. The overall operating profit margin grew to 12.3 percent, up from 11.4 percent a year earlier. AP




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Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

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