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July 18, 2014

News Briefs July 18, 2014

Six F-16s damaged during July 8 storm in Vermont

The Vermont National Guard says a total of six F-16 fighter jets were damaged during a severe thunderstorm on July 8.

The Guard says the storm with high winds caused the hangar doors at the Burlington Air National Guard station to collapse inward and damage the aircraft.

Officials said July 17 that four of the damaged aircraft will be returned to service within the next two to three weeks.

The 158th Fighter Wing Maintenance Group will do the repairs.

The damage to the building is still being assessed. AP

U.S. military didn’t seek Afghan pullout in 2017

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan is telling senators that military commanders did not recommend the White House announce the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2017, as the president ordered.

Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford said U.S. and Afghan military leaders would have preferred to see American officials be ìa bit more ambiguousî in troop numbers for 2017, and not telegraph to the enemy that international troops would leave.

Dunford was testifying before a Senate committee, which is considering his nomination to head the U.S. Marine Corps.

President Barack Obama ordered the U.S. to withdraw all but nearly 10,000 troops by the end of 2014, cut that number in half by the end of 2015, and leave only about 1,000 in a security office after the end of 2016. AP

Air Force cites bird strikes for copter crash

U.S. Air Force investigators say multiple bird strikes caused the helicopter crash that killed four Air Force crew members in England in January.

The Columbian reports that Capt. Christopher Stover, of Vancouver, Wash., was piloting the Pave Hawk helicopter when it came down in a marshland nature reserve during a low-level training mission.

In a report issued last week, investigators said three geese smashed through the helicopter windscreen, striking the pilot and co-pilot and knocking them unconscious. At least one goose hit the front of the helicopter, disabling its flight path stabilization systems.

The report says the two-aircraft exercise followed the United Kingdom military recommendations on bird hazards.

Killed in the crash were Capt. Sean M. Ruane, Tech. Sgt. Dale E. Mathews and Staff Sgt. Afton M. Ponce. AP




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