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November 15, 2013

News Briefs November 15, 2013

VA pays out more than $800 million for malpractice

An analysis shows that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has paid out about $845 million in malpractice cases during the past 10 years.

Reporters for Cox Media Group analyzed federal treasury data and found taxpayers spent more than $800 million paying 4,426 veterans and their family members who brought malpractice claims against the VA medical system since 2003.

In 2012, a total of 454 financial settlements and awards added up to $98.3 million.

VA officials say they manage one of the nation’s largest medical networks, and the number of malpractice claims is relatively low. In 2012, the VA treated more than 6.3 million veterans and had 1,544 claims filed. AP

Four Marines die during safety sweep at Calif. base

A routine sweep to make a range safe for future training exercises at California’s Camp Pendleton Nov. 13 led to the deaths of four Marines who were trying to clear unexploded ordnance, a Marine official said.

There was no live firing on the range at the time of the periodic sweep of explosive materials, said a Marine official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
Base officials released no details on the 11 a.m. accident. Authorities were investigating the cause.
The identities of the dead were withheld pending notification of relatives.

We offer our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the families of the Marines lost today in this tragic accident, said Brig. Gen. John W. Bullard, commanding general of Marine Corps Installations West at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Our first priority is to provide the families with the support they need during this difficult time.

The deaths come about eight months after a mortar explosion killed seven Marines during a live-fire training exercise in Nevada.

A military investigation determined human error was to blame for that accident. According to the probe’s findings, a Marine operating a 60 mm mortar tube and ammunition did not follow correct procedures, resulting in the detonation of a high explosive round at the mortar position.

The investigation also determined the mortar team involved in the accident had not conducted appropriate preparatory training. AP

Lockheed Martin cutting 4,000 jobs, closing plants

Lockheed Martin is cutting 4,000 jobs, about 3.5 percent of its workforce, as the defense contractor continues to look for ways to lower costs amid reduced government spending.

Bethesda, Md.,-based Lockheed Martin said Nov. 14 that it will close plants in Arizona, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas, as well as four buildings in a California campus, by mid-2015, eliminating 2,000 jobs.

Another 2,000 positions will be cut in its information systems and global solutions, mission system and training and space systems units by 2014’s end.

Work will be transitioned to other Lockheed plants, and some employees will move to other facilities.
Lockheed Martin said it has cut its workforce to 116,000 employees from 146,000 since 2008. AP

Northrop Grumman: 80 job openings in Louisiana

Northrop Grumman’s Lake Charles, La., Maintenance and Modification Center is looking to hire at least 80 people by January to help perform additional maintenance on aircraft refueling tankers known as the KC-10 Extender.

The American Press reports site director Marty Thompson said Nov. 12 the Lake Charles plant will be doing double the work that they’re doing now over the next two years.

Thompson says major inspections are done every two years on the KC-10 planes. Workers at the Lake Charles site have performed maintenance on the aircraft since 2009.

Thompson said the company will likely interview students who complete an apprenticeship program that Sowela Technical Community College started Monday. He said Northrop Grumman officials have also visited schools in Lafayette that offer technical training. AP




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Headlines January 23, 2015

News: Two Marines identified in deadly California helo crash - Two Marine Corps officers killed when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise in the Southern California desert were remembered Jan. 25 as talented pilots. Greek F-16 crashes in Spain during NATO exercise - Ten people died Jan. 26 after a Greek air force F-16 jet crashed...
 
 

News Briefs January 26, 2015

Navy wants to increase use of sonar-emitting buoys The U.S. Navy is seeking permits to expand sonar and other training exercises off the Pacific Coast, a proposal raising concerns from animal advocates who say that more sonar-emitting buoys would harm whales. The Navy now wants to deploy up to 720 sonobuoys about 12 miles off...
 
 
Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards

ANG conducts air refueling training with NATO allies in Germany

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards A NATO E-3A AWACS aircraft approaches a Utah Air National Guard KC-135R Stratotanker for air refueling during a training flight over Germany on Jan. 13, 2015. Nearly 30 airme...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales

Ramstein Airmen train with French air force

Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales Two U.S. Air Force pilots and a French air force navigator discuss the route to the drop zone during a simulated low-level drop Jan. 21, 2015, at Orleans – Bricy Air...
 
 

Marines receive first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant

The first F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for the U.S. Marine Corps touched-down on the flight line at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 13, from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations. U.S. Marine Lt. Col. J.T. Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander...
 
 

VA announces single regional framework under MyVA initiative

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Jan. 26 that it is taking the first steps under the MyVA initiative to realign its many organizational maps into one map with five regions to better serve Veterans. The new regions under the MyVA alignment will allow VA to begin the process of integrating disparate organizational boundaries into...
 




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