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U.S. Air Force deploying a dozen F-35s to Japan
by Richard Tomkins
Washington (UPI) Oct 24, 2017

Orbital ATK making additional F-35 parts for Lockheed Martin
Washington (UPI) Oct 24, 2017 - Orbital ATK said Tuesday it has been tapped to produce additional composite components for Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II fighters.

The requested components are F-35 bullnose and blade seals, the Virginia-based company said in a release. The company already makes upper and lower wing skins, engine nacelles and access covers for the aircraft.

The contract is for three years and is worth $24 million, Orbital ATK said.

"Orbital ATK excels at providing advanced composite structures that require robust manufacturing processes to affordably fit our customer's needs," Steve Earl, vice president and general manager of Orbital ATK's Aerospace Structures Division, said in a statement.

"We are pleased Lockheed Martin is entrusting us with additional work on the most advanced combat aircraft in the world - the F-35 Lightning II."

Workers will make the products at Orbital ATK's facility in Clearfield, Utah.

The U.S. Air Force is deploying a dozen F-35A Lightning II aircraft to Japan next month, marking U.S. Pacific Command's first operational tasking for the aircraft.

The Air Force said in a release Tuesday the planes, with 300 crew members, are scheduled to arrive at Kadena Air Base early next month for a six-month term.

The planes and personnel are from the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base in Utah.

"The F-35A gives the joint warfighter unprecedented global precision attack capability against current and emerging threats while complementing our air superiority fleet," Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander, said in a statement. "The airframe is ideally suited to meet our command's obligations, and we look forward to integrating it into our training and operations."

The Air Force said it's deploying the jets under U.S. Pacific Command's theater security package program, adding that the deployment will "demonstrate the continuing U.S. commitment to stability and security in the region."

The deployment comes amid tensions between North Korea and the United States and its Pacific allies over North Korea's nuclear program and ballistic missile tests. The U.S. Navy currently has two aircraft carrier groups in the region.

The decision announced this week marks the first in-theater deployment for the F-35A aircraft, but F-35Bs of the Marine Corps have been stationed at Iwakuni, Japan, since January.

Lawsuit seeks records regarding 2000 V-22 Osprey crash
Washington (UPI) Oct 20, 2017
After a 14-year battle to vindicate two U.S. Marine Corps aviators who were killed and subsequently blamed for crashing of a MV-22 Osprey claimed the lives of 17 other Marines, a Republican Congressman wants information as to why the pilots were incorrectly faulted for the crash itself. During a joint press conference in Washington, D.C., Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., along with Trisha Bro ... read more

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