A lot of people from the Gulf Coast were paying close attention during the week when they learned that Sean O’Keefe was aboard a plane that crashed in Alaska.
O’Keefe, the CEO of EADS North America, did survive the crash, as did his son, Kevin, and two others. But five people, including former Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, were killed when the float plane hit a steep mountainside some 300 miles from Anchorage. The group had been on a fishing trip.
O’Keefe served as chancellor of Louisiana State University after he left NASA. Before the week drew to a close, O'Keefe's condition was upgraded from critical to serious.
The Marine Corps is updating its fleet of small transport airplanes and has designated a newly formed squadron at the Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse, La., as home for the first two of the new aircraft. The first UC-12W Huron arrived Tuesday. The "Whiskey" model replaces the older UC-12Bs. The Marines have purchased six of the airplanes from Hawker Beechcraft for $8 million each.
- The 345th Airlift Squadron was officially re-activated as an active associate unit to the 403rd Wing this week at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The 345th AS is the first C-130J active associate unit in the Air Force and the third active associate unit to activate under its parent wing, the 19th Airlift Wing from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.
- Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ said early in the week that he'll eliminate the Joint Forces Command at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., and assign operational functions to other organizations. That's not sitting well with Virginia congressional leaders, who say such closings should be part of the Base Realignment and Closure process, which requires legislative input.(STORY)
What this may mean for the 144 members of Eglin's Joint Fires Integration and Interoperability Team is still unclear. They've not been told whether the directorate will be eliminated or assigned to another organization.(STORY)
The Eglin team, started in 2005, teaches new equipment tactics, techniques and procedures. It seeks out ways to improve the armed forces' ability to execute joint missions while testing and improving the hardware and software used at the tactical level.
Boeing Co., St Louis, Mo., was awarded a $20.3 million contract modification to provide eight Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) extended user evaluation assets: eight MOP warheads and eight MOP toolkits. The modification will also provide various support items. AAC/EDBK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Raytheon Co., Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $450.8 million contract to provide engineering and manufacturing development phase of the Small Diameter Bomb Increment II (SDB II) program, GBU-53/B. AAC/EBMK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity.