News Briefs – September 30, 2019

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Army helicopter crashes, killing 1 person, injuring 3 others

Military officials say a helicopter has crashed on an Army base in Louisiana, killing one person and injuring three others.
Fort Polk officials said in a statement that the Army chopper crashed at 12:50 a.m., Sept. 36 in the Fort Polk training area.
The soldier who died has been identified as Maj. Trevor Joseph, the was the commander of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Aviation Regiment medical evacuation unit known across the Army as “Cajun Dustoff,” service officials said in a statement.
Joseph is from Collierville, Tenn., and is survived by his wife, Erin Joseph.
Brig. Gen. Patrick D. Frank, commander of the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, mourned the loss of Joseph in a statement released Sept. 28.
“Major Trevor Joseph led the most active MEDEVAC Company in our Army,” Frank said. “He excelled leading Cajun Dustoff and ensuring Soldiers in rotation at JRTC had rapid access to medical coverage — his team built readiness for the US Army.”
“Trevor’s spouse, Erin, and his entire Family are in our thoughts and prayers,” Frank added. “All 8,000 Soldiers assigned to JRTC and Fort Polk salute Major Joseph and his proud service to our Army and Nation.”
The fort said the cause of the crash is under investigation. No further details were immediately released. About 8,000 soldiers are stationed at Fort Polk, its website states. The base is in central Louisiana, about 150 miles northwest of Baton Rouge. AP
 

Air Force wants to continue recovery training in Southwest

The U.S. Air Force wants to use 179 public and private properties across the Southwest for training on recovering personnel such as downed pilots.
Davis-Monthan Air Force, Ariz., officials announced that a draft environmental assessment calls for continued use of 154 training sites as well as 25 additional sites.
The sites are in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Nevada.
Davis-Monthan in Tucson is home to an Air Force personnel recovery unit that hosts large multinational exercises in the region.
A public comment period on the draft environmental assessment runs until Oct. 26. AP
 

Air Force general confirmed as vice chairman of Joint Chiefs

The Senate has confirmed the nomination of an Air Force general to become the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, largely dismissing an aide’s allegations that he had subjected her to unwanted sexual advances.
The 75-22 vote on Sept. 26 to approve Gen. John Hyten indicates a bit more opposition than most military nominations, which often get near-unanimous Senate support. Ten of the 22 “no” votes came from female senators, including Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, the only Republican to vote against him.
Hyten vigorously denied the aide’s allegations during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in July. And Pentagon officials have conducted a number of meetings on Capitol Hill to give lawmakers more information on the matter. An Air Force investigation found no evidence to support the accusations. AP
 

Senate confirms former Ranger as new Army secretary

The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Ryan McCarthy to be secretary of the Army, moving to permanently fill a number of Pentagon posts that were affected by the defense secretary shuffle over the summer.
McCarthy, a former Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan, has been acting secretary for months since his predecessor, Mark Esper, was nominated and confirmed to be Pentagon chief.
A former vice president at Lockheed Martin, McCarthy was a senior aide to former defense secretary Robert Gates and also was a Capitol Hill staffer.
Pentagon leadership has been in flux this year, after Jim Mattis resigned as defense secretary in late December. But Congress has been filling slots, including confirmation of the Joint Chiefs vice chairman Thursday and an expected vote on Air Force secretary soon. AP
 

Boeing CEO to testify before House committee on 737 Max

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has agreed to testify before a congressional committee investigating the grounded 737 Max.
He’ll be joined at an Oct. 30 hearing by the chief engineer of the company’s commercial airplanes division and its chief pilot for the 737.
Last week House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., formally asked that they appear.
The committee has held three hearings since May on the Max, but no one from Boeing has testified.
The plane has been grounded since shortly after the second of two crashes that together killed 346 people.
Congress, the Justice Department and the Transportation Department inspector general are investigating the Max and how it was certified for flight by the Federal Aviation Administration. Lawyers have filed dozens of lawsuits against Boeing. AP
 

Lockheed Martin increases repurchase, declares dividend

Lockheed Martin’s board of directors has authorized the purchase of up to an additional $1.0 billion of Lockheed Martin common stock under its share repurchase program. With this increase, the total remaining authorization for future repurchases under the share repurchase program is approximately $3.3 billion. The number of shares purchased and the timing of purchases are at the discretion of management and subject to compliance with applicable law and regulation.
The board has also authorized a fourth quarter 2019 dividend of $2.40 per share, representing an increase of $0.20 per share over last quarter. The dividend is payable on Dec. 27, 2019, to holders of record as of the close of business on Dec. 2, 2019. AP