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20 May 20. Raytheon to move Albuquerque operations to other US sites. A national aerospace and defense contractor has confirmed plans to pack up operations in New Mexico and move to Arizona and elsewhere. Raytheon Technologies Corp. will close its office in Albuquerque, where it employs about 200 people, the Albuquerque Journal reported Tuesday.

Company spokeswoman Heather Uberuaga said Raytheon is looking to streamline its capabilities with pursuits and programs located at other sites around the country.

She described the move as being in the best interest of customers and said the company will work with employees on individual options for employment going forward. That could include transferring to a new site or applying for different positions within the company.

All laid-off workers will receive severance packages, and health care coverage will continue during the severance.

Raytheon’s Albuquerque division has worked closely in recent years with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base to develop modern laser and microwave weapons. That work will be transferred to Raytheon Missiles and Defense headquarters in Tucson, Arizona.

Raytheon expanded its operations at the Sandia Science and Technology Park on Albuquerque’s south side in 2017. The company received $850,000 in economic development funding from the state to offset the expansion costs. Uberuaga said that money has been returned. (Source: Defense News)


18 May 20. The construction of the first new Replenishment Vessel for the French Navy starts at Chantiers de l’Atlantique Shipyard, in cooperation with Naval Group. The first steel plate of the hull of the first of the four new Bâtiments Ravitailleurs de Force (BRF) – replenishment vessels – of the French Navy has been cut today during a ceremony held in the machining workshop of Chantiers de l’Atlantique, in presence of Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, and Admiral Prazuck, Chief of French Navy. This ceremony marked symbolically the start of the construction of the first vessel of the FLOTLOG program.

18 May 20. Alexandria Shipyard launches fourth Gowind corvette for Egypt. Alexandria Shipyard (ASY) launched the fourth and final Gowind 2500-class corvette for the Egyptian Navy at its facilities on 12 May. Luxor (986) was launched at Alexandria Shipyard in Egypt on 12 May.

The 102 m ship, named Luxor (986), is the third corvette of the class to be built by the yard under a contract for four Gowind 2500 corvettes signed with French shipbuilder Naval Group in 2014. Under the terms of the agreement, the first of class was built by Naval Group at its yard in Lorient, northwest France, with the follow-on ships to be built at ASY under a transfer of technology arrangement. The first ship, El Fateh, was commissioned in 2017, while second-in-class Port Said is expected to enter service by the end of this year. The third ship, Al Moez, was launched at ASY in May 2019. The Gowind corvettes are 102m long, have full load displacement of 2,600 tonnes, a maximum speed of 25kt, and a crew complement of 80. They are armed with eight MBDA Exocet MM40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles, 16 MBDA VL MICA surface-to-air missiles, a Leonardo 76 mm/62 Super Rapid gun, and six (two- triple) 324mm tubes for MU90 torpedoes. (Source: Jane’s)

18 May 20. Philippine Navy’s first Jose-Rizal class frigate leaves South Korea. The Philippine Navy’s (PN’s) future BRP José Rizal multirole frigate left the facilities of South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in the southeastern coastal city of Ulsan on 18 May en route for the Philippines, according to a statement by the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN). The 107.5m long frigate, which was launched on 23 May 2019 and is the first of two warships of the class built by HHI, is expected to arrive in the Philippine province of Zambales five days later – on the first anniversary of the ship’s launch – after which an official acceptance ceremony is set to be held. The first of two José Rizal-class frigates seen here shortly after being launched in Ulsan on 23 May 2019.

In recent months the frigate (with pennant number 150) conducted a series of sea trials, including replenishment trials off the coast of South Korea with the Royal New Zealand Navy’s future fleet tanker/replenishment vessel HMNZS Aotearoa, which was also built by HHI. The second frigate of the class, which will be known as BPR Antonio Luna (pennant number 151) once commissioned, entered the water at HHI’s facilities in Ulsan on 8 November. It has been scheduled for delivery to the PN between September and October 2020, but it is unclear whether the handover will be delayed due to the impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. The ships are derivatives of the HDF-3000 frigate design, which is a smaller version of the Incheon (FFX-1) frigate class operated by the RoKN. Both vessels were ordered by Manila under a PHP16bn (USD315m) contract awarded to HHI in 2016, with an additional PHP2bn set aside for weapon systems and munitions, according to the state-owned Philippine News Agency (PNA). (Source: Jane’s)

20 May 20. Australian Navy officially welcomes final air warfare destroyer to fleet. Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, have officially welcomed the commissioning of the third and final Hobart Class guided-missile destroyer, HMAS Sydney (V).

The government’s air warfare destroyer program has officially come to an end with the commissioning of HMAS Sydney at sea. Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the commissioning of HMAS Sydney marks a significant milestone in the Morrison government’s $90bn Naval Shipbuilding Plan.

“The commissioning of the final Hobart Class destroyer not only marks the beginning of a new era for the Navy, but also demonstrates the success of this government’s Australian Naval Shipbuilding Plan,” Minister Reynolds said.

“The Navy is now equipped with a new level of flexibility and lethality to protect maritime task groups operating in an increasingly complex region, while also allowing us to work even closer with our allies.”

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, said as the fifth warship to bear this name, she inherits an important legacy.

“Sydney was technically upgraded during her build to integrate the MH-60R ‘Romeo’ Seahawk submarine-hunting helicopter and her close-in weapons systems, making her Australia’s most lethal ship,” VADM Noonan said.

He expanded on the roles expected of Sydney and her sister-ships, saying, “She is designed to protect task groups by providing air defence to accompanying ships, in addition to land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas, and self-protection against missiles and aircraft.”

The ship, alongside HMA Ships Hobart and Brisbane, will primarily provide air defence for accompanying ships, in addition to land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas.  The Hobart Class’ Spanish counterparts entered service with the Spanish Navy beginning in the early 2000s, working alongside key NATO and US maritime assets.

When deployed to the Persian Gulf, the F100s became the first foreign Aegis-equipped ships to fully integrate into a US Navy Carrier Strike Group, while the class has also successfully deployed as the flagship of NATO’s Maritime Group Standing Reaction Force, highlighting the individual and interoperable capabilities of Navy’s new destroyers.

Minister Reynolds added, “The Hobart Class destroyers are the first Australian warships equipped with the US Aegis combat management system, and will allow us to work closer with our allies than ever before.”

The vessels will be capable across the full spectrum of joint maritime operations, from area air defence and escort duties, right through to peacetime national tasking and diplomatic missions.

The Hobart Class combat system is built around the Aegis weapon system. Incorporating the state-of-the-art phased array radar, AN/SPY 1D(V), will provide an advanced air defence system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges in excess of 150 kilometres.

While based upon the Spanish F100s, the Australian vessels incorporate a number of modifications and Australian-specific structural/design and combat system modifications to provide a uniquely Australian surface combatant with international provenance. (Source: Defence Connect)


17 May 20. First Cessna SkyCourier twin utility turboprop takes flight. During the Cessna SkyCourier’s 2-hour and 15-minute flight, the team tested the aircraft’s performance, stability and control, as well as its propulsion, environmental, flight controls and avionics systems. Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, today announced the successful first flight of its new twin utility turboprop, the Cessna SkyCourier. The milestone flight is a significant step toward entry into service for the clean-sheet aircraft, and it kicks off the important flight test program that validates the performance of the Cessna SkyCourier.

“Today was an exciting day for our employees, our suppliers and our customers. The Cessna SkyCourier performed exactly as we expected, which is a testament to the entire team of men and women who worked together to prepare for this day,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation. “I’m proud of the way the team has persevered through disruptions caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic and remained focused on getting us to this point. The Cessna SkyCourier will be an excellent product in its segment due to its combination of cabin flexibility, payload capability, superior performance and low operating costs. Our customers will be very pleased with what they experience from this aircraft.”

The Cessna SkyCourier took off from the company’s east campus Beech Field Airport, piloted by Corey Eckhart, senior test pilot, and Aaron Tobias, chief test pilot. During the 2-hour and 15-minute flight, the team tested the aircraft’s performance, stability and control, as well as its propulsion, environmental, flight controls and avionics systems.

“We were very pleased with how the Cessna SkyCourier performed throughout its first flight,” Eckhart said. “It was particularly impressive to see how stable the aircraft handled on takeoff and landing. The Cessna SkyCourier already displays a high level of maturity in its flight characteristics, especially for a first flight. We were able to accomplish everything we wanted on this flight, and that’s an excellent start to the flight test program.”

The prototype aircraft, along with five additional flight and ground test articles, will continue to expand on performance goals, focusing on testing flight controls and aerodynamics. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)

15 May 20. USAF 354th Fighter Wing activates 354th RANS. The US Air Force (USAF) 354th Fighter Wing has activated the 354th Range Squadron (RANS), which will manage 77,000 square miles of airspace. The 354th Fighter Wing squadron was activated to increase the significance of the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC) as a venue for high-end air combat training.

USAF 354th RANS commander Lieutenant Colonel Russell Reese said: “With the arrival of the F-35 [A Lightning II] at Eielson and the growing number of coalition partners buying fifth-gen aircraft, there is a need to improve airspace and range capabilities to allow pilots of these aircraft the ability to practice and refine their tactics, techniques and procedures.

“The range squadron is dedicated to modernising the range infrastructure to provide the necessary training aids to hone these warfighter skills.”

The JPARC is managed by the USAF’s 354th RANS, which will work with nearby Fort Wainwright partners and the US Army, to continue the modernisation of infrastructure.

Reese added: “In coordination with our army partners on the range, we aim to provide expansive airspace coupled with a world-class bombing and electronic warfare range for joint and coalition partner training while enhancing and modernising the JPARC for the future warfighter.”

The squadron addresses training infrastructure concerns in the JPARC by functioning as a centralised location for units.

USAF 354th Operations Group commander Colonel David Skalicky said: “Activating the range squadron is a huge step not just for Eielson but for the entire airforce.

“As we bring new capabilities online, especially here at Eielson, having the appropriate range to train on and having the type of systems we have to train with is key to being able to train for the future fight.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)


20 May 20. Britain’s Rolls-Royce to cut 9,000 jobs amid air travel slump. Britain’s Rolls-Royce (RR.L) said it would cut at least 9,000 jobs from its global staff of 52,000 to adapt to the much smaller aviation market that will emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. Rolls-Royce, which supplies engines for large aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350, said the job losses would predominantly affect its civil aerospace business, plus its central support functions. The job losses would help it to make annual cost savings of 1.3bn pounds ($1.59bn), with cash restructuring costs of around 800m pounds. The company said it would also cut costs across plant, property and other areas. Air travel has slumped since March because of travel restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic. Airlines have grounded planes and may not need as many new planes in future, hurting Rolls-Royce which earns revenues from the number of hours its engines fly. Rolls-Royce’s headquarters are in Derby, England and about two-thirds of its civil aerospace jobs are based in the UK. Consultations with unions would now get underway, said the company in its statement on Wednesday. ($1 = 0.8160 pounds) (Source: Reuters)



21 May 20. Spain reorganises national defence structure. Spain is reorganising its armed forces to take into account ‘a constantly evolving strategic environment’, the government has announced. The Joint Defence General Staff will be strengthened and a Joint Cyberspace Command will be established under a new Royal Decree that was approved by the Council of Ministers on 19 May. The Joint Cyberspace Command replaces the Joint Cyber Defence Command. The Royal Decree places digital transformation at the heart of Spanish military organisation, using knowledge-based work process management to promote quality, eliminate duplication, improve agility and save time and resources. (Source: Shephard)

20 May 20. U.S. Army Reactivates V Corps for Europe Mission. The U.S. Army has reactivated V Corps, a unit of 635 soldiers that will bring more command and control support to missions in Europe, the service announced Tuesday. The unit will be based at Fort Knox, Ky., and will include a command post in Europe that will be supported by 200 rotational troops. The location of the Europe post hasn’t yet been announced. The headquarters is expected to be operational by the fall, the Army said.

The corps was inactivated in 2013 as part of an Army force reduction in Europe.

However, over the past five years as the Army has expanded its mission on the Continent in connection with Russia’s forced annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and concerns about other aggressive moves directed at NATO allies and partners.

“The activation of an additional Corps headquarters provides the needed level of command and control focused on synchronizing U.S. Army, allied, and partner nation tactical formations operating in Europe,” said Gen. James McConville, chief of staff of the Army, said in a statement.

The move came after a U.S. European Command request, the Army said.

The corps’ history dates back to 1918, when the unit was activated during World War I. It activated again for World War II. It was a fixture in Europe during the Cold War and later supported the Army during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Source: Military.com)

15 May 20. PLA begins recruiting graduates for officer roles. The Chinese Ministry of National Defence (MND) reported on 14 May that it has begun recruiting university graduates for non-commissioned officer roles for the first time. Applications will be made online and will take place alongside the recruitment processes of compulsory service personnel beginning from 1 August until 30 September 2020. Recruitment to the People’s Liberation Army will mainly focus on science and engineering graduates but the MND is also interested in medical technology students and linguists, with priority granted to fresh graduates. Online applications were opened via the MND website on 15 May. (Source: Shephard)


21 May 20. The Senate voted along party lines to confirm President Donald Trump’s pick for national intelligence director on Thursday, making former Texas prosecutor John Ratcliffe easily the most controversial appointee to be confirmed to the post in its 15-year history. Bottom of FormThe Senate voted 49-44 to confirm Ratcliffe, who received more “no” votes than any previous nominee for the position. (His predecessor under Trump, the Republican senator Dan Coats, was confirmed 85-12.)  The vote brings to an end an unusually lengthy confirmation process for Racliffe. Trump informally nominated him to the post in June of last year, but bipartisan opposition to his nomination quickly derailed Ratcliffe’s chances. He withdrew from consideration in August. (Source: Defense One)

21 May 20. MG Sean A. Gainey, deputy director, force protection, J-8, Joint Staff, Washington, D.C., to director, Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office; and director of fires, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.

21 May 20. BG George N. Appenzeller, commanding general, Regional Health Command-Central, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, to director, healthcare operations, Defense Health Agency, Falls Church, Virginia.

21 May 20. BG Brian R. Bisacre, commandant, U.S. Army Military Police School, U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, to deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7, U.S. Army Reserve Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

21 May 20. BG Heidi J. Hoyle, commandant, U.S. Army Ordnance School, U.S. Army Sustainment Center of Excellence, Fort Lee, Virginia, to commanding general, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

21 May 20. BG Antonio V. Munera, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Cadet Command, Fort Knox, Kentucky, to commanding general, 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

21 May 20. BG William A. Ryan III, chief of staff, I Corps, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, to senior advisor to the Ministry of Defense, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Afghanistan.

21 May 20. BG Michelle A. Schmidt, deputy commanding general (Support),10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, New York, to deputy chief of staff, intelligence, Resolute Support Mission, NATO; and director, J-2, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Reserve

21 May 20. BG John C. Hafley, commander (Troop Program Unit), 11th Military Police Brigade, Los Alamitos, California, to deputy commanding general – support (Troop Program Unit), 88th Readiness Division, Fort Snelling, Minnesota.


15 May 20. USAF LG Kenneth S. Wilsbach for appointment to the rank of general, with assignment as commander, Pacific Air Forces; and air component commander for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.  Wilsbach is currently serving as deputy commander, U.S. Forces Korea; commander, Air Component Command, United Nations Command; commander, Air Component Command, Combined Forces Command; and commander, Seventh Air Force, Pacific Air Forces, Camp Humphreys, Korea.

15 May 20. USAF LG Marc H. Sasseville for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, with assignment as vice chief of the National Guard Bureau, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.  Sasseville is currently serving as the commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region; and commander, First Air Force (Air Forces Northern), Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

15 May 20. USAF MG (select) Samuel C. Hinote for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, with assignment as deputy chief of staff, strategy, integration, and requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.  Hinote is currently serving as deputy director, Air Force Warfighting Integration Capability, Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategy, Integration, and Requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

15 May 20. USAF MG Shaun Q. Morris for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, with assignment as commander, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.  Morris is currently serving as commander, Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center; and Air Force program executive officer for strategic systems, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.

15 May 20. USAF MG Kirk W. Smith for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, with assignment as deputy commander, U.S. Africa Command, Stuttgart, Germany.  Smith is currently serving as commander, Special Operations Command Europe; and director, Special Operations, Headquarters U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany.



21 May 20. New report clashes with Trump’s job growth claims from Saudi arms sales. President Donald Trump has claimed as many as “over a million” American jobs were created by U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia that are facing fresh scrutiny this week, but don’t take that to the bank, according to a new think tank report. The actual number of jobs likely ranges from 20,000 to 40,000, according to the Center for International Policy, based in Washington, D.C. Its new 38-page report, released Thursday, comes amid a new focus on the administration’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Trump’s firing of the State Department’s inspector general, who was probing those sales.

“The Trump administration continues to aggressively promote arms sales based on their supposed economic benefits, to the detriment of security and human rights concerns,” said William Hartung, a co-author of the report. “The most obvious example has been the administration’s dogged determination to continue sending arms to Saudi Arabia despite its brutal war in Yemen, which has killed thousands of civilians in airstrikes using U.S.-supplied bombs.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday confirmed his department’s inspector general, Steve Linick, who Trump fired last week, was investigating a massive arms sale to Saudi Arabia made last year. Democrats said on Monday that Linick was probing how the department pushed through the deal despite congressional objections.

Trump fired Linick late Friday in what congressional aides have suggested was a move to preempt investigations into Pompeo’s personal conduct or possible impropriety in the Saudi arms sale. Pompeo declined to explain the move and maintained he did not know the scope or scale of the arms sale investigation.

As the country was debating a halt to Saudi arms sales in 2018 after the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi ― who the American intelligence community says was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Turkey under orders by the Saudi kingdom ― The Washington Post broke down Trump’s escalating claims about the jobs it created.

Over just a few days, Trump equated Saudi arms deals he secured in 2017 to 450,000 jobs, then 500,000, then 600,000 and then “over a million” — all while the White House’s 2017 statement said the deal would be “potentially supporting tens of thousands of new jobs in the United States,” the Post reported.

Those larger numbers already strain credulity because the national security and defense segment of the aerospace and defense industry supported 370,000 direct jobs, according to the Aerospace Industries Association’s latest public estimate.

In the CIP report, Hartung concluded that a more accurate number to associate with Saudi arms sales would be 20,000 to 40,000. He arrived at it, he said, by multiplying the cost of the initial deliveries under the sale, roughly $4bn, by 7,000, which is the standard number of jobs economists estimated per $1bn in the defense industry — and then adding a buffer.

“Despite unprecedented efforts by Congress to stop U.S. support for the war [in Yemen] and stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the Trump administration has gone full speed ahead — and if you ask the president about why, it’s all about jobs and profits,” Hartung said. “So if he’s going to talk about jobs, we should give that some scrutiny.”

In May 2019, Trump declared an emergency under the Arms Export Control Act to bypass Congress and expedite $8.1bn in weapon sales for Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. At the time, Pompeo said the sales were needed “to deter further the malign influence of the Government of Iran throughout the Middle East region.”

Lawmakers at the time were delaying the sales over humanitarian concerns, and Democrats pushed back over what they saw as overreach by the executive branch. Congress passed a series of measures on a bipartisan basis aimed at curbing U.S. support for Riyadh’s involvement in Yemen’s civil war, but Trump vetoed the measures and the Senate failed to override the veto.

More broadly, the CIP’s report found the Trump administration made at least $85.1 bn in arms sales offers during the year 2019. But because 10 percent of U.S. arms offers for 2019 involved licenses for the production of U.S. weapons overseas, called offsets, that undercut job creation in the United States.

The top three exporting firms — Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon — were involved in more than $59bn worth of arms deals in 2019, which amounts to more than two-thirds of total offers by the Trump administration. The report’s authors say their totals are a “conservative estimate,” citing a “lack of full transparency on Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) licensed by the State Department.”

To cite one example, Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson used an April 2019 earnings call to tout State Department approvals for $1 bn in F-16 sales to Morocco — the third-largest customer for U.S. arms in 2019 — as well as F-16 deals with Bahrain, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Greece. America’s largest customer, Japan, was approved to receive Aegis Combat Systems for two Atago ships, while the U.K. awarded a $3.6bn contract under its atomic weapons program, alongside helicopter buys in India and Poland.

One surprising finding is that in spite of Trump’s personal push on arms sales, figures under his administration do not surpass the Obama administration by much. When adjusted for inflation, offers in the first three years of the Trump administration averaged $63 bn per year, versus $61.5 bn per year under the Obama administration.

Echoing the administration’s more confrontational stance toward China, arms sales saw a “sharp shift” between 2018 and 2019, as East Asia and the Pacific region received the largest share of offers by value. They made up 39 percent of total deals during that time period. Meanwhile, offers fell dramatically in Europe and Eurasia, from 55 percent of deals in 2018 to 16 percent in 2019.

The report was critical of the administration’s change in policy for the American sales of small arms and light weapons as detrimental to humanitarian concerns, and it came with a series of recommendations aimed at strengthening Congress’ hand in overseeing arms sales more broadly. The report recommended stopping all U.S. arms from going to countries engaged in genocide, violation of the laws of war or severe internal repression, as called for in Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Stop Arming Human Rights Abusers Act. Among other recommendations, it also recommends all major arms sales require congressional approval, rather than assuming sales will go forward unless Congress votes them down by a veto-proof majority. (Source: Defense News)

18 May 20. As the UK government unveils new guidelines for making workplaces ‘COVID-secure’, global health and safety expert Bureau Veritas is advising aerospace businesses that their safe return to work depends on their ability to “win the hearts and minds of employees” alongside creating clear policy, systems and processes with regular monitoring.  On 11 May, the government published guidance for employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating safely following almost two months of strict coronavirus restrictions. The new guidance covers eight workplace settings that are allowed to be open, from outdoor environments and construction sites through to factories and takeaways. The guidelines focus on five key points; work from home if you can, carry out COVID-19 risk assessments in consultation with workers or trade unions, maintain social distancing and, where this is not possible, manage transmission risk, all of which must be supported with more stringent cleaning processes. And with many businesses now facing the daunting challenge of implementing the guidelines, Bureau Veritas, which has been working with a number of sectors to help them safely resume operations, believes that those firms that work collaboratively with their workforce to introduce new ways of working are likely to fair better.

Ken Smith, UK Chief Executive at Bureau Veritas UK, said: “For almost all aerospace businesses, introducing the appropriate health, safety and hygiene measures required to make workplaces ‘COVID-secure’ as per the new government guidelines will require a complete overhaul of their current operations. It’s a mammoth undertaking which will only be successful if employers win the hearts and minds of employees to ensure they are empowered and committed – and must be underpinned by clear policy, systems and processes with regular monitoring. To achieve this, firms are advised to introduce measures in consultation and consensus with staff, have regular communication and active engagement on whether these are effective as well as creating a system that encourages staff to come forward and voice concerns if at any point they feel unsafe at work.”

Other challenges the sector should consider, says Bureau Veritas – which recently launched its ‘Restart Your Business’ assurance service to help firms manage their return to work strategies – includes how the government’s advice to avoid using public transport will impact employees as well as having a better understanding of the movement of people around business premises.

“Taking the time to understand the occupational use of buildings – logistics, deliveries, how lifts, if present, are used, or the queues at toilet facilities are managed and the hygiene of frequently used touchpoints – will stand duty holders in good stead for resuming operations.

“Given the sheer size and complexity of making workplaces safe against the threat of coronavirus transmission, a nuanced approach that truly reflects best practice, could ultimately, help to save lives.”

The ‘Restart Your Business With Bureau Veritas’ service provides a voluntary, independent assessment of a firm’s COVID-19 readiness to re-open their business premises, with a statement of assurance issued on completion that can be displayed on its website and at its properties.


18 May 20. Lockheed Martin has appointed Rod Drury as the vice president international, Lockheed Martin Space. In his new position, Drury will focus on delivering growth through the execution of Lockheed Martin Space’s integrated international strategy. Drury brings a wealth of experience to his new role having previously held the role of country executive and international business development director for space based in Australia, combined with a career in the Royal Australian Air Force culminating with significant experience gained through a variety of leadership roles. In his new role, Drury will lead the business area’s global growth activities and teams across multiple regions. He will report to Lockheed Martin Space’s headquarters strategy and business development organisation. (Source: Space Connect)


20 May 20. Beca expands Australian defence and national security business. Beca has appointed Mick Richardson as general manager of the Australian defence and national security business, further strengthening the company’s local defence leadership and capability offering.

Since joining Beca three years ago, Richardson has delivered outcomes for a range of clients including the Royal Australian Navy and the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group. Prior to Beca, he had an accomplished 31-year career as a marine engineer officer in the Royal Australian Navy in a wide variety of operational, maritime sustainment, and capability development roles. (Source: Defence Connect)


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