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The Navy's Newest Carrier Finally Has The Critical Weapons System That The Navy Secretary Staked His Job On — And It Actually Works
The bigger and faster electromagnetic weapons elevator on the new aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford is finally ready for use, an achievement the Navy called a "major milestone" for the program and other Ford-class carriers to be built in the future.
Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer said earlier this month that he had bet his job on getting all the Ford's elevators to work, telling President Donald Trump that the project would be done by this summer "or you can fire me."
In a release last week, the Navy said the Advanced Weapons Elevator (AWE) was turned over to the ship Dec. 21 by engineers from Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, in Newport News, Virginia, where the Ford is going through its post-shakedown availability (PSA) to become the 11th carrier in the fleet.
The AWE uses electromagnetic, linear synchronous motors to accommodate heavier loads and swifter movement than the cable elevators on Nimitz-classcarriers, according to the service.
With the new elevator, the Ford will be able to move up to 24,000 pounds of ordnance at 150 feet-per-minute compared to 10,500 pounds at up to 100 feet-per-minute on a Nimitz-class carrier, the Navy said.
Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer is briefed by Lt. Cmdr. Chabonnie Alexander, USS Gerald R. Ford's (CVN 78) ordnance handling officer, on the Upper Stage 1 advanced weapons elevator during a tour of the Navy's newest aircraft carrier (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kiana A. Raines)
The results will be seen in smoother operations and more flights from the carrier's deck, said Lt. Cmdr. Chabonnie Alexander, the Ford's ordnance handling officer.
"This will allow us to load more aircraft faster and, in the long run, increase our overall sortie generation rates," he said in the Navy release.
"To be able to finally push the buttons and watch it operate like it's designed to do was a great feeling," Alexander said. "Once these systems are proven, they are going to pay huge dividends for naval strike capability."
The Ford has three upper-stage elevators that move ordnance between the main deck and flight deck, and seven lower-stage elevators that move ordnance between the main deck and the lower levels of the ship.
Getting all of the elevators working was one of his main concerns, Spencer said earlier this month at an event sponsored by the Center for a New American Security.
Spencer said he told Trump at December's Army-Navy football game that "all the elevators will be ready to go" on the Ford this summer "or you can fire me. We're going to get it done. I know I'm going to get it done."
"I haven't been fired yet by anyone," he said, and "being fired by the president really isn't on the top of my list."
The USS Gerald R. Ford in 2017(U.S. Navy)
The $13 billion Ford was delivered to the Navy in June 2017, two years late and over budget. It was commissioned a month later without any working weapons elevators.
In the long process from design to delivery, the Ford has also experienced technical problems in its new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and the Advanced Arresting Gear.
This article originally appeared on Military.com
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Army study recommends more sleep for recruits at basic, which drill sergeants will absolutely not disregard or anything
(Reuters Health) - Soldiers who experience sleep problems during basic combat training may be more likely to struggle with psychological distress, attention difficulties, and anger issues during their entry into the military, a recent study suggests.
"These results show that it would probably be useful to check in with new soldiers over time because sleep problems can be a signal that a soldier is encountering difficulties," said Amanda Adrian, lead author of the study and a research psychologist at the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland.
"Addressing sleep problems early on should help set soldiers up for success as they transition into their next unit of assignment," she said by email.
Thousands of U.S. service members who've been sent to operate along the Mexico border will receive a military award reserved for troops who "encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action."
The Pentagon has authorized troops who have deployed to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since last April to receive the Armed Forces Service Medal. Details about the decision were included in a Marine Corps administrative message in response to authorization from the Defense Department.
There is no end date for the award since the operation remains ongoing.
A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.
Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.
It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.
It all began with a medical check.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
The US military now has to ask the Iraqis for permission before giving close air support to troops in combat
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.
However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.