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February 19, 2014

News Briefs February 19, 2014

Captured U.S. soldiers family cautiously optimistic

The parents of the only known U.S. prisoner of war say they are ìcautiously optimisticî about reported renewed efforts to win his freedom.

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was captured more than four years ago in Afghanistan and is believed to be held in Pakistan.

The Washington Post reported Feb. 17 that the Obama administration is seeking to resume talks with the Taliban in hopes of exchanging Bergdahl for imprisoned members of the group. The Post cited current and former officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to outline parts of a strategy they described as a last-ditch effort.

In a statement Feb. 18, the soldiers parents said they welcome the development. Bob and Jani Bergdahl say they hope all sides take this opportunity seriously. AP

Bad controller caused Florida drone crash

Officials say a defective controller led to the crash of an Air Force drone that forced the closure of a Florida Panhandle highway last year.

The Panama City News Herald reports that an Air Force investigation concluded a system that controls the up and down movement of the drone sent incorrect information to an autopilot system. The inaccurate inputs caused the aircraft to pitch up and down rapidly.

The QF-4C Phantom II drone crashed seconds after takeoff at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The Air Force said total losses came to $4.6 million, including the drone and its cargo and damage to a runway and barrier. The drone was carrying 120 flares.

The fire and smoke led authorities to shut down U.S. Highway 98 for more than a day last summer. AP

Hearing scheduled for refueling tankers in New Hampshire

A public hearing has been scheduled for next month to evaluate the potential environmental consequences of a new generation of air refueling tankers at New Hampshires Pease Air National Guard Base.

The National Guard Bureau has prepared a draft Environmental Impact Statement regarding the 12 KC-46A tankers.

The Air Force selected Pease ANGB in Portsmouth, N.H., as its top choice for the Air National Guard-led KC-46A operating base. It is evaluating environmental conditions at the site and at alternative locations: Forbes Air National Guard Station, Kansas; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.; Pittsburg ANGS, Penn.; and Rickenbacker ANGS, Ohio.

A public hearing will be held at each location. New Hampshires has been scheduled for 5-8 p.m., March 6 in Portsmouth. AP

Boeing picks Everett, Wash., to build 777X wings

Boeing says it has picked Everett, Wash., as the site to build the wings for its new 777X aircraft.

The company said Feb. 18 that the wing center will be located north of its Everett factory and sustain thousands of area jobs in the years to come. Construction on the new facility is scheduled to being later this year.

On Jan. 3, area Boeing machinists narrowly approved a contract in which they conceded some benefits in order to secure assembly of the new 777X in Washington state. The same machinists rejected a Boeing proposal in November. Local union leaders had argued against a second vote saying the offers were too similar. National Machinists union leaders pushed for ñ and got- the second vote.

Because of the large size of the 777X wing, a location close to the Everett final-assembly line was seen as a logical choice. At 114 feet long and 23 feet wide, the 777X swing will be the largest Boeing has ever built. AP




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Headlines July 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...
 
 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 

 

Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 




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