U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,176
As of March 25, 2014, at least 2,176 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 of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers.
Outside of Afghanistan, the department reports at least 133 more members of the U.S. military died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Of those, 11 were the result of hostile action.
The AP count of total OEF casualties outside of Afghanistan is two more than the department’s tally.
The Defense Department also counts three military civilian deaths.
Since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, 19,677 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department. AP
French plane diverted after Russia closes airspace
Air France says a plane carrying 495 passengers and 22 crew was diverted on its way from Shanghai to Paris after Russia announced at short notice that part of its airspace was closed for a military exercise.
The company said flight AF111 was forced to land in Hamburg, Germany, early March 26 to refuel because the plane had too little fuel on board to complete the flight following its detour.
Hamburg Airport confirmed that the plane landed shortly after 6 a.m. and was able to take off for Paris again after an hour and a half.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Russia’s military exercise was linked to the increased troop activity on its western border with Ukraine. AP
GE Aviation plans Indiana engine plant
GE Aviation officials said March 26 that a $100 million jet engine manufacturing factory that it’s building in Lafayette, Ind., will be a key in producing its new-generation engine for passenger airliners.
The company already has orders for more than 6,000 of its new LEAP engine that’s now undergoing development testing and will have its final assembly at the Lafayette factory, said David Joyce, the president and CEO of GE Aviation.
The company expects the factory will open in 2016 in a Lafayette industrial park and have more than 200 workers within five years. The new engine will be used by passenger jets built by Airbus, Boeing and Chinese company Comac for airlines worldwide, according to GE Aviation, which is based in suburban Cincinnati.
The new engine is expected to have a 15 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over current engines along with being quieter and having lower emissions, the company said. AP