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January 29, 2014

News Briefs January 29, 2014

Navy: Jet crash pilot listed in good condition

The Navy says the condition of a fighter pilot whose jet crashed off the coast of Virginia is improving.

Naval Air Force Atlantic spokesman Mike Maus said Jan. 28 that the pilot is listed in good condition. He was originally listed in critical condition by medical staff after being flown by Navy helicopters to a civilian hospital in Norfolk on Jan. 15. The pilot has since been transferred to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

The pilot was on a routine training mission in an F/A-18E Super Hornet when something went wrong and he ejected about 45 miles off Virginia Beach.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The name of the pilot has not been released. AP

Lawmakers revisit COLA cut for military retirees

Congress is revisiting its decision to cut annual cost-of living adjustments to pensions for most working-age military retirees in the wake of outrage from veterans groups and others.

The budget agreement approved this month reduced those adjustments by 1 percent.

Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, says it was wrong to single out military retirees in the effort to reduce the deficit. Not a single member of the committee voiced disagreement.

The COLA change is scheduled to take effect at the end of 2015.

Pentagon officials asked Congress not to make any more changes to military pensions until a commission completes an extensive review of compensation and retirement benefits. That report is due February 2015. AP

Environmental groups sue Navy, fisheries service

More environmental groups are challenging the National Marine Fisheries Service’s decision to allow the Navy to inadvertently harm whales and dolphins while conducting sonar and other training off Hawaii and Southern California.

Groups led by the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit against the fisheries service and the Navy in federal court in San Francisco Jan. 27.

The fisheries service last month issued the Navy a permit for the training.

Navy officials estimate its activities would have a negligible impact on marine mammal populations. But the NRDC argues sonar is responsible for population declines in marine mammal populations.

The lawsuit comes a several weeks after Earthjustice and other environmental groups filed a similar lawsuit in federal court in Honolulu. AP

Marine Corps to retry sergeant in Iraq war case

The Marine Corps has decided to retry a sergeant whose murder conviction from the Iraq war has been overturned twice by military courts.

Marine Corps spokesman Lt. Col. Joseph Kloppel announced Jan. 27 that the military branch had determined that the seriousness of the crime warranted a retrial of the case of Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins.

Hutchins led an eight-man squad accused of kidnapping retired Iraqi policeman Hashim Ibrahim Awad from his home in April 2006, marching him to a ditch and shooting him to death in the village of Hamdania.

The military’s highest court overturned his murder conviction and ordered Hutchins released from the brig last year after ruling there were errors in his case.

Hutchins has had had his conviction overturned twice in the past three years. 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...
 
 

Headlines January 23, 2015

News: Yemen chaos threatens U.S. counterterror efforts, including drone program - The White House’s strategy for fighting al-Qaeda in Yemen – repeatedly presented as a model by President Obama – was left in tatters Thursday by the resignation of the man who personally approved U.S. drone strikes in the country and the collapse of its central...
 

 

News Briefs January 23, 2015

NATO detects key Russian military equipment in east Ukraine NATO’s top commander in Europe says the alliance has detected the presence of key Russian military equipment in eastern Ukraine that, in the past, has accompanied large inflows of Russian troops. Gen. Philip Breedlove told a news conference Jan. 22 in Brussels that Russian electronic warfare...
 
 

Headlines January 19, 2015

News Schools on military bases struggle with maintenance Water leaks stain the ceiling of Irving L. Branch Elementary School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Electrical wiring is exposed, and students are careful to avoid cracks in the playground’s asphalt.   Business Shrouded in mystery, new bomber makes waves With a winner expected to be...
 
 

News Briefs January 19, 2015

Decommissioned USS Constellation arrives in Texas for scrap The decommissioned USS Constellation has reached a South Texas shipyard where it will be scrapped. Officials with towing company Foss Maritime announced the former aircraft carrier arrived the afternoon of Jan. 16 in Brownsville. International Shipbreaking Ltd. will be paid $3 million to scrap the former military...
 




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