News Briefs – April 22, 2019


U.S. gives 3 Black Hawk helicopters to Albania military

Albania’s Defense Ministry says the United States has provided three Black Hawk helicopters to bolster its military capacities.
A statement April 20 said Defense Minister Olta Xhacka, who is visiting the United States, signed the deal at the New Jersey National Guard.
Helicopters are part of a U.S. support package for Albania, which joined NATO in 2009 and has been replacing outdated weaponry with new material in line with the alliance’s standards.
The U.S. army will train Albanian pilots and maintain the helicopters while the tiny Balkan country will pay an annual fee, the amount of which is not disclosed.
The U.S. has provided Albania with a number of Humvee and Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles.
Albania has regularly provided small army units in international peacekeeping missions or NATO operations. AP

SpaceX capsule suffers ‘anomaly,’ smoke seen for miles

Officials say SpaceX’s new capsule for astronauts suffered an “anomaly” during a routine engine test firing in Florida, causing smoke to be seen for miles.
Forty-fifth Space Wing Spokesman Jim Williams tells Florida Today that the anomaly happened April 210 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station while the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule was undergoing a “static test fire.”
Williams says no one was injured and the anomaly was contained.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon successfully flew without a crew to the International Space Station in March. Officials had previously said the first flight with astronauts could be as early as this summer, but the schedule is under review.
In a statement, SpaceX said it’s committed to ensuring that its systems “meet rigorous safety standards.” It says it is investigating why the anomaly occurred. AP