21 Sep 06. Chelton Avionics (Pty) Ltd has changed its name to Cobham Advanced Technologies (Southern Africa)(Pty) Ltd, to reflect its new role representing Cobham plc in Southern Africa. Based in Centurion, South Africa, the newly named company will make it easier for customers in the region to access the advanced range of Cobham products and services that are at the heart of sophisticated military and civil systems.
JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
22 Sep 06. HP chairman to leave immediately. Patricia Dunn will leave with immediate effect. Hewlett-Packard chairman Patricia Dunn has resigned with immediate effect amid allegations of illegal spying by the US computer firm. Chief executive Mark Hurd said he had accepted the offer from Ms Dunn, who had earlier indicated she would leave in January over the scandal. (Source: WSJ)
26 Sep 06. Threat to aviation firm’s 30 jobs. The firm planned to use the base to MODify wings of Boeing 737s. An aviation company in the Vale of Glamorgan has written to its staff warning them their jobs are at risk. ATC Lasham, at the Aerospace Wales park at RAF St Athan, has begun a 30-day consultation period with its 30 staff. Last October, the firm was part of plans to create hundreds of jobs at the site. It now blames uncertainty over the future of the site for its cuts. The assembly government says it has been working with the firm on an offer for long-term occupancy at St Athan. ATC Lasham, which maintains Boeing aircraft, moved into one of the main hangars at St Athan last year. At the time, the decision by ATC Lasham and another firm was heralded as a major development which could create up to 300 new jobs. It came after the axing of hundreds of jobs at the base, which houses the Defence Aviation Repair Agency, following the loss of a repairs contract. ATC Lasham said it was to use the 100,000 sq ft (9,300 sq m) “Twin Peaks” building, which has the capacity to house up to four Boeing 737 or two Boeing 757/767 aircraft at the same time. The firm said it would create 50 new aircraft maintenance jobs initially, building up to 250-300 jobs over the following 18 months. (Source: BBC)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
21 Sep 06. Concern over UK troop casualties. The British Army is sustaining higher casualties in Afghanistan than official figures suggest, a senior officer has suggested in an army newsletter. In the Fusiliers’ newsletter Major John Swift, a commander in Afghanistan, said political rather than military imperatives are driving the operation. Casualty numbers were very significant and show no signs of reducing, he said. It comes just days after Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, said the operation was harder than expected. The major pointed out that some have argued many casualties are being treated in the field and, therefore, were not getting into the official statistics for wounded in action. (Source: BBC)
10 Sep 06. Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 arrived at Al Asad, Iraq, Aug. 13, taking responsibility from VMFA(AW)-533, Marine Aircraft Group 16 (Reinforced), 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), and allowing them to return to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C. The VMFA(AW)-242 Bats will provide close air support to friendly forces in Iraq just as the Hawks of VMFA(AW)-533 provided during their seven-month rotation in Iraq. Adding to the missions flown in Iraq, the Hawks extended their limited resources to provide leadership training to Marines in and outside their squadron. Having served in Iraq before, the Bats know that taking over responsibility from the Hawks carries with it a constant life and death mission. The Transfer of Authority from the Hawks to the Bats is just one of several scheduled rotations of Marine aviation squadrons in Iraq. The Bats prepared for the tour with training at MCAS Yuma, Ariz., prior to their anticipated return to Al Asad. Just like their predecessors, the Bats know constant maintenance and the drive to carry