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April 14, 2014

News Briefs April 14, 2014

U.S. Navy destroyer Zumwalt christened in Maine

The U.S. Navy has christened the first ship of its newest class of destroyers, a 610-foot (186-meter)-long warship with advanced technologies and a stealthy design that will reduce its visibility on enemy radars.

The warship bears the name of the late Adm. Elmo ├ČBud├« Zumwalt, who became the nation’s youngest chief of naval operations and is hailed as a reformer who spearheaded changes that helped minorities and women advance their careers.

The Zumwalt, which will be the Navy’s largest destroyer, was christened April 12 at Maine’s Bath Iron Works with a smash of bottles of champagne against its bow by his two daughters.

The Zumwalt is the first of three in its class to be built. It will be able to go to sea with half the crew of existing destroyers. AP

Textron lays off 128 as Army contract runs out

Textron Marine & Land Systems has laid off 128 employees after a contract to refurbish armored vehicles for the U.S. Army expired.

Spokesman Tom Williams tells WDSU-TV that the last of the layoffs were made Thursday, mostly affecting workers at the company’s New Orleans shipyard. A smaller number of workers at the company’s Slidell operations were also laid off.

About 850 people worked for Textron in Slidell and New Orleans, La., before the layoffs, which began several weeks ago. That figure doesn’t count short-term contract workers.

Williams says jobs could be added if Textron Inc., an industrial conglomerate based in Providence, R.I., wins new contracts.

Textron is building a new generation of air-cushioned hovercraft for the Navy and also has a contract to build 500 armored vehicles for Canada. AP

West Point wins cyber exercise among the academies

The U.S. Military Academy has won a cyber-warfare competition among the service academies.

The annual Cyber Defense Exercise this week tested which of the five academies could create a computer network that would best withstand a four-day barrage from experts at the National Security Agency.

West Point said April 11 its team of 30 cadets finished with more points than Air Force, which won the exercise last year. Coast Guard came in third, followed by Navy. The Merchant Marines participated, but not for points.

The 14-year-old exercise fits into the into the military’s broader strategy of staying ahead of the curve in cyber operations. AP

Boeing moves 1,000 customer support jobs to SoCal

Boeing is moving about 1,000 of its customer support jobs out of Washington and into Southern California.

The company said April 10 that it is centralizing its customer support to its engineering design center in Southern California. It already employs 1,800 people at its Long Beach and Seal Beach sites there.

Boeing says the employees in the Puget Sound region affected by the decision will be given the chance to apply for jobs in California or elsewhere in the company.

The company says the move will tap into existing engineering talent in California and improve customer service by putting its resources in a single location.

Boeing, which is based in Chicago, established engineering design centers last year in South Carolina, Southern California and Washington to meet increasing demand for its airplanes. AP




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