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May 19, 2014

News Briefs May 19, 2014

Fire crews make progress on Camp Pendleton fires

Marine Corps officials say fire crews are continuing to make progress in battling three fires at Camp Pendleton.

Lt. Ryan Finnegan said May 18 that the largest fire has chewed through 15,000 acres and is 55 percent contained.

Finnegan says another fire that started at a Naval weapons facility has burned 5,400 acres and was 97 percent contained.

A third fire that broke out Thursday and scorched 1,500 acres was 80 percent contained.

Finnegan says most evacuation orders were being lifted.

The fires were among nearly a dozen fires that broke out in the San Diego area last week. The blazes have caused more than $20 million in damages, burning homes and businesses. AP

GOP leader to block military immigration measure

A spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says he’ll block a vote on legislation giving a path to citizenship to people living here illegally who serve in the military.

The May 16 announcement from Cantor comes after a Republican congressman from California announced plans to try to bring the measure to a vote as an amendment to the annual defense bill.

The ENLIST Act championed by Rep. Jeff Denham would give green cards to immigrants living here illegally who serve in the military.

But conservative groups have recently announced their opposition. Cantor himself is facing a primary challenge from a tea party opponent who’s made immigration an issue.

Cantor’s spokesman, Doug Heye, says no amendment on the ENLIST Act will be allowed on the defense bill. AP

Central California base on track for fighter jet

A Central California Navy base is a signature away from becoming home to a new squadron of fighter jets.

A final environmental impact statement released Thursday named Lemoore Naval Air Station the preferred alternative to serve as the West Coast base for the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter jet. Lemoore, which is located 45 miles south of Fresno, was competing against El Centro Naval Air Facility in the Imperial Valley.

The Fresno Bee reports that Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is expected to give his final approval to Lemoore by mid-June.

We are extremely excited for the installation and our surrounding communities, base commander Capt. Monty Ashliman told the newspaper.

The first F-35C fighter jets could arrive in August 2016, and by 2028, Lemoore could be home to 70 jets in addition to 30 others to make up a replacement squadron for training pilots and maintenance crews. The fighter jets will require up to 600 more uniformed personnel.

The base has been a historical center for the Navy’s West Coast fighter jet operations. The new jets will join the FA-18C Super Hornets squad at the base. Ashliman told the newspaper that, with the addition, 60 percent of the Navy’s fighter jets will be based in Lemoore.

Officials said the new squadron will give the region an economic boost.

It will essentially solidify the Navy presence in Kings County for decades to come, said John Lehn, president of the Kings County Economic Development Corporation.

The base employs 7,900 people from the aircraft hangars to the base hospital. Those employees live in surrounding communities and pump $1 billion annually into the economy, officials said.

The squadron will need new buildings for pilot training, administration, flight simulators and supplies.

This will create jobs, county Supervisor Doug Verboon said. There’s no telling where we can go from here. 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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