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The Navy is negotiating to get advanced screenings of 'Top Gun: Maverick'
The Navy's top admiral has access to some of the most highly-classified intelligence in the world, but not even he's gotten a sneak peek at the much-anticipated sequel to the movie "Top Gun."
Despite the Navy's significant help in producing the feature film, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday told The Virginian-Pilot he's only seen the same trailers for "Top Gun: Maverick" on YouTube as everyone else.
"I've not been privy to that yet," Gilday said during a recent visit to Norfolk. "I hope to be."
The Navy is in negotiations with Paramount Studios to get some advanced screenings of the film in "select locations" before it hits theaters June 26, according to Cmdr. Ron Flanders, spokesman for Naval Air Forces.
It's unclear how many screenings there might be or where, but there will be considerable interest in Hampton Roads. Virginia Beach is home to F/A-18 fighter squadrons like those featured in the film, as well as real-life Top Gun graduates. Also, Norfolk is home to about half of the nation's aircraft carriers.
While most aerial filming took place in training ranges in the West, a production crew spent time aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln in 2018 off the coast of Virginia. The film crew's visit to the Lincoln coincided with training that was occurring with F-35 and F/A-18 aircraft.
When the Navy worked with other filmmakers, advanced screenings were typically held in relevant locations. Screenings for the 2018 feature film "Hunter Killer" starring Gerard Butler and Virginia-class submarines were shown locally and in Groton, Connecticut. A screening for the 2019 film "Midway" about the World War II battle was held in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The original "Top Gun" featuring Tom Cruise was a runaway success at the box office and for Navy recruiting. It inspired an entire generation of Navy fighter pilots like those based at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach.
The popularity of the 1986 film has endured, and lines from the movie are still commonly referenced in popular culture. Even official Air Force Twitter accounts occasionally reference the film, which is focused entirely on the Navy. The Navy is hopeful that the sequel will have a similar, mutually beneficial impact.
The newest trailer for the movie was shown before kickoff at the Super Bowl and immediately after a televised flyover by Navy fighter jets. Miles Teller, who plays the son of the original character "Goose" in the sequel, met with the real-life pilots before the big game.
Previews of the movie have also garnered tens of millions of views on YouTube.
In the sequel, Tom Cruise's character, "Maverick," is now a test pilot who is chosen to train a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a special mission.
Those pilots include the character played by Teller, whose father "Goose" in the original movie died during training.
"Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it," promotional material from Paramount Studios says.
©2020 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.) - Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Some Fort Bragg paratroopers who left for the Middle East on a no-notice deployment last month came home Thursday.
About 3,500 soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team were sent to Kuwait beginning Jan. 1 as tensions were rising in the region. The first soldiers were in the air within 18 hours of being told to go.
KABUL/WASHINGTON/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The United States and the Taliban will sign an agreement on Feb. 29 at the end of a week long period of violence reduction in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Taliban said on Friday.
Large cargo ships, small fishing boats and other watercraft sail safely past Naval Station Norfolk every day, but there's always a possibility that terrorists could use any one of them to attack the world's largest naval base.
While Navy security keeps a close eye on every vessel that passes, there's an inherent risk for the sailors aboard small patrol boats who are tasked with helping keep aircraft carriers, submarines and destroyers on base safe from waterborne attacks.
So the Navy experimented Wednesday to test whether an unmanned vessel could stop a small boat threatening the base from the Elizabeth River.
Nancy Turner's modern version of keeping a candle in the window while her soldier son is away is a string of electric lights on the front porch that burn red, white and blue.
But where Turner sees patriotism and support for the troops, her Garner homeowners association sees a covenant violation and a potential $50-per-day fine.
Turner was surprised to receive a threatening email last week after an employee from Sentry Management, which manages the Sheldon Place HOA, spotted the illegal illumination during a neighborhood patrol.
"I honestly had no idea it would be a problem," Turner said.
The HOA did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent as a message through its Facebook page.
In the wee hours of Jan. 8, Tehran retaliated over the U.S. killing of Iran's most powerful general by bombarding the al-Asad air base in Iraq.
Among the 2,000 troops stationed there was U.S. Army Specialist Kimo Keltz, who recalls hearing a missile whistling through the sky as he lay on the deck of a guard tower. The explosion lifted his body - in full armor - an inch or two off the floor.
Keltz says he thought he had escaped with little more than a mild headache. Initial assessments around the base found no serious injuries or deaths from the attack. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, "All is well!"
The next day was different.
"My head kinda felt like I got hit with a truck," Keltz told Reuters in an interview from al-Asad air base in Iraq's western Anbar desert. "My stomach was grinding."