Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Military News

Defense contractor Conax to close St. Petersburg plant, cutting 141 jobs

Conax Florida, a division of British defense contractor Cobham PLC, is closing its St. Petersburg plant by September, idling 141 workers.

The shutdown was disclosed in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification notice filed with state and local officials Tuesday.

The company, which does business under the name Cobham Life Support, blamed the closing on "a continuing downturn in government and commercial business over a period of several years." The layoffs at 2801 75th St. N will occur over a period of months, Cobham Life Support human resources director Clifford Nigh wrote in a letter accompanying the WARN notice. Some workers will be able to transfer to other Cobham locations, Nigh said, but the number is uncertain.

In 2009, officials from half a dozen government agencies, including the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, raided Conax's three-building complex in St. Petersburg. According to search warrants, the raid was focused on the components, performance and inspection of products that Conax makes which are used in parachuting devices.

The raid prompted U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young to withdraw support for a $4 million funding request for the defense contractor. Young, R-Indian Shores, had been a major proponent for the contractor, securing $28.5 million in federal earmarks for the company since 2005.

Conax has been best known for making safety devices, including life preservers that automatically inflate when they hit water. The company also makes pyrovalves or pyrotechnical valves used mainly in spacecraft and rocketry. The life support branch is responsible for small restraints such as seat belts and ejection seat components.

Comments
Navy files criminal charges in connection with deadly ship collisions, including negligent homicide

Navy files criminal charges in connection with deadly ship collisions, including negligent homicide

Washington PostFive Navy officers involved in ship collisions that killed a combined 17 sailors last year will face a variety of criminal charges, including negligent homicide, the service announced Tuesday night.The individuals include Cmdr. Bryce B...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Vultures drawn by fish killed during cold snap pose hazard for MacDill flights

Vultures drawn by fish killed during cold snap pose hazard for MacDill flights

TAMPA — The recent cold snap has been more than just an inconvenience for Floridians. It’s been tough on fish and potentially hazardous to flights at MacDill Air Force Base.The National Weather Service says temperatures in early January fell to as lo...
Published: 01/16/18
Hawaii false alarm hints at thin line between mishap and nuclear war

Hawaii false alarm hints at thin line between mishap and nuclear war

Nuclear experts are warning, using some of their most urgent language since President Donald Trump took office, that Hawaii’s false alarm Saturday, in which state agencies alerted locals to a nonexistent missile attack, underscores a growing risk of ...
Published: 01/14/18

Leaked draft of Pentagon’s nuclear review shows desire for new kinds of weapons

A leaked draft of the Pentagon’s forthcoming nuclear weapons review shows that senior defense officials are keen to not only modernize the aging U.S. arsenal, but add new ways to wage nuclear war as Russia, China and other adversaries bolster their o...
Published: 01/13/18
Howard Altman: Gasparilla to honor first female four-star general

Howard Altman: Gasparilla to honor first female four-star general

The military’s first female four-star general will serve as the Community Hero for the 2018 Gasparilla Pirate Fest.The Community Hero is an individual living in the Tampa Bay area who offers courage, strength and self-sacrifice in the service of othe...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18
CentCom investigating video that appears to show a service member opening fire on a civilian

CentCom investigating video that appears to show a service member opening fire on a civilian

The U.S. military is investigating a video posted to YouTube that appears to depict a U.S. service member opening fire on a civilian driving a truck in Afghanistan, U.S. military officials said.The video, apparently recorded on a camera attached to a...
Published: 01/11/18
2019 Warrior Games coming to Tampa

2019 Warrior Games coming to Tampa

TAMPA — The 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games are coming to Tampa.U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson made the announcement Monday after receiving a letter from the Pentagon.In a recent letter, the Pentagon informed Nelson that the games, which drew about 5...
Published: 01/08/18
U.S. intelligence failed to foresee North Korea’s nuclear Strides

U.S. intelligence failed to foresee North Korea’s nuclear Strides

WASHINGTON — At the start of Donald Trump’s presidency, U.S. intelligence agencies told the new administration that while North Korea had built the bomb, there was still ample time — upward of four years — to slow or stop its development of a missile...
Published: 01/07/18
‘12 Strong’ story: First, they conquered the horses they rode, then the Taliban

‘12 Strong’ story: First, they conquered the horses they rode, then the Taliban

ST. PETERSBURG — Mark Nutsch and Bob Pennington, Army Green Berets, were assigned to help Afghan fighters take back their nation from the Taliban during the weeks after the 9/11 attacks on the United States.One thing no one thought about, though, was...
Published: 01/04/18
Updated: 01/05/18
Howard Altman: Military veterans may find right fit in today’s agriculture jobs

Howard Altman: Military veterans may find right fit in today’s agriculture jobs

If you’ve seen images of strawberry farmers spraying down their crops to protect them against a freeze, you know agriculture is big business in Hillsborough County.It’s an industry that worth $1 billion a year in crops, livestock and ancillary produc...
Published: 01/04/18
Updated: 01/05/18