A Relief, A Strangling, Possible Graft And Other Mischief: Special Navy Edition

The Long March
US Navy

  • A Navy captain is being court-martialed for having a private business to which she allegedly steered some $600,000 in contracts. Her lawyer says she is being “railroaded.” I’ve never really understood that term.
  • A Navy commander got 30 months in the slammer for his minor role in the Supersized Leonard mess. We are about at the point where we could crew a ship with the Navy’s Fat Leonard convicts. How about putting them on a prison hulk in San Diego Bay? It could be a tourist attraction. But no Mongolian prostitutes allowed!
  • There also were more Navy guilty pleas in the Leonard scandal. Current score is 33 charged, 22 have pled. One of the recent pleaders used to be head of public affairs for the Pacific Fleet. Turns out he did ghostwriting for Mr. Leonard.
  • 14 of the 15 sailors busted in a drug ring on the USS Ronald Reagan worked in the nuclear reactor department. Ay yi yi.
  • Navy SEALs been allegedly stabbin’ and stranglin’ like they’re fresh outta Shantytown..
  • The Navy ousted the commander of Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes.

Meantime, the Air Force booted three officers overseeing pilot training, and in the process threw around words like “irresponsible” and “dangerous.”

The estimable Sig Christenson did a good interview that dug into the background to the removals. I wish more generals were willing to explain their removals of subordinate commanders.

A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense

Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.

It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.

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D-Day veteran James McCue died a hero. About 500 strangers made sure of it.

"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."

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President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."

Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.

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Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)

MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.

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