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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 April 18, 2014

Business: Lockheed to Lose 17 F-35s Under Automatic Pentagon Cuts - Pentagon will cut 17 of the 343 F-35 fighters it planned to buy from Lockheed Martin in fiscal 2016 through 2019 unless Congress repeals automatic budget cuts, according to a new Defense Department report. DOD looking for ways not to break MH-60R helo deal - The...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2013

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,177 As of April 15, 2014, at least 2,177 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,802 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
LM-F35-hours

F-35 fleet surpasses 15,000 flying hours

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program.  “Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is e...
 

 
nasa-cassini

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of new Saturn moon

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons. Images taken w...
 
 

NASA completes LADEE mission with planned impact on Moon’s surface

Ground controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon, as planned, between 9:30 and 10:22 p.m., PDT, April 17. LADEE lacked fuel to maintain a long-term lunar orbit or continue science operations and was intentionally sent...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler telescope discovers first Earth-size planet in ‘habitable zone’

Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech Kepler-186f resides in the Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The system is also home to four inner planets, seen lined up...
 




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