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No liberty in Hong Kong for US Navy sailors as China tries to strangle democracy in its cradle
Geopolitics aside, the ongoing demonstrations by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong against Red China's tyrannical rule have already produced strategic ramifications for U.S. sailors: cancelled liberty.
That's right, the godless communists have cancelled two planned port calls by U.S. Navy ships.
The amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay was scheduled to visit Hong Kong on Aug. 17, followed by the cruiser USS Lake Erie in September, said Cmdr. Nate Christensen, deputy spokesman for U.S. Pacific Fleet.
"The U.S. Navy has a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect them to continue," Christensen told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.
Christensen referred questions about why the Green Bay and Lake Erie sailors would not be able to spend their liberty in Hong Kong to the Chinese government.
China has been ruled by the communist party since 1949. Thirty years later, the Chinese began adopting capitalism, but so far the powers that be have refused to consider political reforms in part because they blame Mikhail Gorbachev's efforts to democratize the Soviet Union for its collapse in 1991.
A former British colony, Hong Kong came under Chinese control in 1997. The current protests there come almost exactly 30 years after the People's Liberation Army massacred students in Tiananmen Square.
As of Wednesday, the communist bureaucrats whose hands are firmly clasped around democracy's throat seemed indifferent to the fact that sailors will not be spending their liberty in Hong Kong.
The last Navy ship to visit Hong Kong was the 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge in April, a defense official said. The last time the Chinese denied a port visit to Hong Kong was in September 2018, when the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp was not allowed to dock there.
A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.
At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."
Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.
The Navy could deploy a second carrier to the Middle East if Trump orders an Iran surge, top admiral says
The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.
Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.
I didn't think a movie about World War I would, or even could, remind me of Afghanistan.
Somehow 1917 did, and that's probably the highest praise I can give Sam Mendes' newest war drama: It took a century-old conflict and made it relatable.
An internal investigation spurred by a nude photo scandal shows just how deep sexism runs in the Marine Corps
"I will still have to work harder to get the perception away from peers and seniors that women can't do the job."
Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.
At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.
Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.
"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."
She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."
It was one story among hundreds of others shared by Marines for a study initiated in July 2017 by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Finalized in March 2018, the center's report was quietly published to its website in September 2019 with little fanfare.
The culture of the Marine Corps is ripe for analysis. A 2015 Rand Corporation study found that women felt far more isolated among men in the Corps, while the Pentagon's Office of People Analytics noted in 2018 that female Marines rated hostility toward them as "significantly higher" than their male counterparts.
But the center's report, Marines' Perspectives on Various Aspects of Marine Corps Organizational Culture, offers a proverbial wakeup call to leaders, particularly when paired alongside previous studies, since it was commissioned by the Marine Corps itself in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandal that rocked the service in 2017.
The scandal, researchers found, was merely a symptom of a much larger problem.