Army Breaks Ground on National Museum at Ft Belvoir

first_imgArmy leaders broke ground Wednesday at Fort Belvoir in northern Virginia on the site of the long-awaited National Museum of the U.S. Army.The 186,000-square-foot facility will cost about $200 million and is scheduled to open in 2019. The Army Historical Foundation, which has worked more than a decade on the project, has raised more than $135 million, primarily from individuals. The organization hopes to raise the additional funds as quickly as possible to keep the construction on track, reported Stars and Stripes.The Army is the only branch of the military without a national museum covering its entire history. The museum, which will be located just outside Fort Belvoir’s gates, will cover the Army’s history from the initial militias formed in Massachusetts in 1663 that would become the foundation for the National Guard through to the modern-day Army. It will feature about 30,000 artifacts and documents — including uniforms, weapons, protective equipment and letters — and more than 15,000 pieces of artwork.Officials estimate the museum will attract 500,000 to 700,000 visitors a year.Army Secretary Eric Fanning said the museum will honor the service and sacrifice of the more than 30 million Americans who have served in the regular Army, the National Guard and the reserves, but it will especially serve to honor men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in battle, according to the story.“This museum will serve as a monument to them — a memorial to all who we have lost and to war’s incredible cost,” Fanning said. “From the Revolutionary War to our fights in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is the Army that has borne the greatest share or our nation’s loss — fully 85 percent of all Americans who have given their lives in our nation’s wars.” Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Search for crashed Indonesia aircraft widens

first_imgA rescue ship is seen near the location of the Lion Air flight JT610 crash during rescue operations off the north coast of Karawang regency. Photo: ReutersThe search for an Indonesian aircraft which crashed into the sea with 189 people onboard will expand on Wednesday to 15 nautical miles from the area where the plane lost contact, according to search and rescue officials.Ground staff lost contact with flight JT610 of Indonesian budget airline Lion Air 13 minutes after the Boeing 737 MAX 8 took off early on Monday from Jakarta on its way to the tin-mining town of Pangkal Pinang.It is now almost certain that everyone on the plane died, but relatives are desperate to find traces of their loved ones though so far only debris and body parts have been found.Indonesia has deployed teams of divers to search for the aircraft while also using “pinger locators” in a bid to zero in on its cockpit recorders and find out why an almost-new plane went down in the sea minutes after take off.A Reuters witness on a boat at the crash site on Tuesday saw about 60 divers scattered in inflatable boats over the slightly choppy waters entering the sea, which is about 35 metres (115 feet) deep. In all, 35 vessels are helping in the search.Only debris, personal items, including 52 identification cards and passports, and body parts have been found off the shore of Karawang district, east of Jakarta.President Joko Widodo visited Jakarta’s port on Tuesday where the pile of debris has been laid out on tarpaulins, examining the items including mangled seats, bags, shoes and flight attendant uniforms.Officials said human remains were collected in 37 body bags after sweeps of the site, roughly 15 km (nine miles) off the coast.Dozens of relatives of those on board gathered at a police hospital where body bags were brought for forensic doctors to try to identify victims, including by taking saliva swabs from family members for DNA tests.“I keep praying for a miracle although logically, the plane has sunk in the ocean,” said Toni Priyono Adhi, whose daughter was on the flight.“But as a parent, I want a miracle.”The pilot of the downed aircraft had asked to return to base shortly after take-off. Investigators are trying to determine why the pilot issued the request, which was granted.The deputy of the national transportation safety committee has said that the plane had technical problems on its previous flight, from the city of Denpasar on Bali island on Sunday, including an issue over “unreliable airspeed”.The accident is the first to be reported involving the widely sold Boeing 737 MAX, an updated, more fuel-efficient version of the manufacturer’s workhorse single-aisle jet.Privately owned Lion Air, founded in 1999, said the aircraft, which had been in operation since August, was airworthy, with its pilot and co-pilot together having amassed 11,000 hours of flying time.Lion Air said on Tuesday it would meet a team from Boeing on Wednesday to discuss the fate of its 737 MAX 8 plane that crashed into the sea minutes after takeoff from Jakarta airport. “We have many questions for them … This was a new plane,” Lion Air director Daniel Putut told reporters.last_img read more

Draft Rules on Commercial Drones Keep Some Limits on Use

first_img This story originally appeared on Reuters Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now The U.S. aviation regulator proposed rules on Sunday for commercial drone flights that would lift some restrictions but would still bar activities such as the delivery of packages and inspection of pipelines that have been eyed by companies as a potentially breakthrough use of the technology.The long-awaited draft rules from the Federal Aviation Administration would require unmanned aircraft pilots to obtain special pilot certificates, stay away from bystanders and fly only during the day. They limit flying speed to 100 miles per hour (160 kph) and the altitude to 500 feet (152 meters) above ground level.The rules also say pilots must remain in the line of sight of its radio-control pilot, which could limit inspection of pipelines, crops, and electrical towers that are one of the major uses envisioned by companies.The FAA acknowledged the limitation but said those flights could be made possible with a secondary spotter working with the pilot of the drone.”This rule does not deal with beyond line of sight, but does allow for the use of a visual observer to augment line of sight by the operator of the unmanned aircraft,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a conference call with reporters on Sunday.The draft rules, nearly 10 years in the making, still must undergo public comment and revision before becoming final, a process expected to take at least a year.If they survive in their current form, they would be unlikely to help Amazon.com in its quest to eventually deliver packages with unmanned drones, since they require an FAA-certified small drone pilot to fly the aircraft and keep it in line of sight at all times – factors not envisioned in the online retailer’s plan.Huerta also said, “We don’t consider or contemplate in this rule carrying packages outside of the aircraft itself.”Amazon’s vice president of global public policy, Paul Misener, said the proposal would bar the company’s delivery drones in the United States. Misener also urged the FAA to address the needs of Amazon and its customers as it carried out its formal rulemaking process.”We are committed to realizing our vision … and are prepared to deploy where we have the regulatory support we need,” Misener said in an emailed statement.Other countries have taken a more permissive stance towards delivery drones. In September, logistics firm DHL said its use of drones to drop off packages to residents of a German island was the first such authorized flight in Europe.”The United States cannot afford to lag behind other countries in technological innovation because of regulatory foot-dragging,” U.S. Senator Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, said in an emailed statement.Rules Expected to EvolveHuerta, who said the agency had tried to be “flexible” in writing the rules, said they set a framework and would evolve based on discussions with industry and technology developments.The rules continue current restrictions against filming of crowds by news organizations, but Huerta said he expected those procedures to be developed as part of discussions with news groups.Separately, President Barack Obama issued a memo outlining principles for government use of drones, covering such issues as privacy protections and oversight of federal drone use.The FAA’s draft rules appeared less onerous in some aspects than the industry had been worried about. There had been concern, for example, that they would require drone operators to attend a flight-training school and obtain a certification similar to that of a manned aircraft pilot.Commercial drone operators would need to be at least 17 years old, pass an aeronautical knowledge test and be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration. But they would not need to undergo the medical tests or flight hours required of manned aircraft pilots.”I am very pleased to see a much more reasonable approach to future regulation than many feared,” said Brendan Schulman, a lawyer who works on drone issues at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel in New York.The proposal would benefit U.S. farmers and ranchers as it would enable them to scout fields more efficiently, said R.J. Karney, director of Congressional relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation.The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), also praised the draft. The group’s president, Brian Wynne, called it a “good first step in an evolutionary process.”But privacy advocates were concerned there were not enough limits on when law enforcement agencies would be permitted to use drones for surveillance.The proposal “allows the use of data gathered by domestic drones for any ‘authorized purpose’, which is not defined, leaving the door open to inappropriate drone use by federal agencies,” said Neema Singh Guliani, legislative counsel at the Washington legislative office of the American Civil Liberties Union, in an emailed statement. (Additional reporting by Lucia Mutikani and Susan Cornwell in Washington and Peter Rudegeair in New York; Editing by Mark Heinrich, Nick Zieminski and Frances Kerry) This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 5 min read February 16, 2015 Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more