News Briefs – September 2, 2016


Four pilots on restricted duty after low pass over stadium

U.S. Air Force officials say four Georgia-based pilots are restricted from flight duties after their military jets swooped low over a football stadium in Charlotte, N.C., as the Carolina Panthers practiced.
Officials at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., say four A-10C Thunderbolt IIs flew over Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte at low altitude Monday and the pilots will be on restricted duty pending results of inquiry into the incident.
Air Force Col. Thomas Kunkel said in a statement to The Associated Press the base is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to look into the matter.
Carolina Panthers Coach Ron Rivera, who witnessed the flyover, said the pilots “waved at us as they went over.” Rivera said the team was caught off-guard, but that it was “pretty awesome” to see. AP

Japanese Defense Ministry seeks record $51 billion budget

Japan’s Defense Ministry is seeking a record-high 5.17 trillion yen ($51 billion) budget for the 2017 fiscal year to bolster missile defense capability amid an escalating North Korean threat and better protect disputed islands also claimed by China in the East China Sea.
If approved by parliament, the budget request submitted Wednesday would be the fifth annual increase under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who ended a decade of defense budget cuts.
The request includes the purchase of next-generation missile interceptors and an upgrade of surface-to-air missile defense systems to extend range and accuracy. It also calls for the development of a new submarine with advanced surveillance capabilities, upgrades to destroyers and the purchase of F-35 fighter jets. AP

Sikorsky lays off 150, including 109 in Connecticut

Helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft is laying off 109 Connecticut workers.
They’re among the 150 job cuts announced Aug. 30 by Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky’s parent company. Maryland-based Lockheed Martin says the employees are no longer needed in its Rotary and Mission Systems division.
Spokesman Paul Jackson says all 150 layoffs are Sikorsky employees.
Jackson said in a written statement that the layoffs are “necessary to stay competitive in the marketplace, secure future business opportunities and keep our infrastructure appropriately aligned with customer demands.”
About 8,000 Sikorsky workers are based in Connecticut at multiple locations, including Stratford, Shelton and Trumbull. Lockheed Martin, an aerospace company, acquired Sikorsky in 2015. AP