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The Navy Wants To Do Two Carriers At The Same Time
What would you do if you had billions of dollars? Two carriers at the same time, man.
The Pentagon has ramped up its evaluation of a Navy proposal to purchase both the third and fourth vessels in the beleaguered Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier program in one fell swoop, Bloomberg News reports, a significant step in the branch's push for a 12-carrier fleet.
A contract with Huntington Ingalls industries for the next two of the $13 billion super carriers could potentially save the service around $2.5 billion, as Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told reporters in August. Funds for a fourth Ford-class carrier were approved as part of the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.
While the Navy has been eyeing a two-carrier purchase since March as part of the service's push for a 355-hull fleet, the single contract could prove a major boon for a program that, per The Diplomat, has failed to meet cost-cutting goals amid the prospect of future cuts to defense spending.
“We are conducting an evaluation to ensure we have the warfighting capabilities to compete and win,” Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan told Bloomberg News in an Oct. 19 statement. “Any decision will factor in strengthening the industrial base and delivering best value for taxpayers."
Savings are great, but there's a big problem with the contract beyond the opportunity it presents for Office Space innuendo: It's a sweet deal for a boat that, last we checked, had a bunch of serious problems.
The DoD Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation's intensive assessment of the Ford, published in January, detailed “poor or unknown reliability” issues across critical systems from weapons elevators to radar, deficiencies that could "affect the ability of CVN 78 to generate sorties, make the ship more vulnerable to attack, or create limitations during routine operations."
More embarrassing issues have cropped up in the intervening months. In May, the Ford was forced to return to Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia due to an alarming manufacturing defect in the propulsion train, a problem that came just as NAVSEA announced that the total cost of the carrier would balloon to around $13.03 billion — well above the $12.9 billion cap lawmakers set the previous April.
F--kin' A, man ... F--kin' A.
Editor's note: A combat wounded veteran, Ryan served in the U.S. Army as an armor officer assigned to 1st Battalion, 13th Armor Regiment. While deployed to Iraq in 2005, his vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device buried in the road. He works as the Wounded Warrior Project's national Combat Stress Recovery Program director.
On Nov. 29, 2005, my life changed forever. I was a 24-year-old U.S. Army armor captain deployed to Taji, Iraq, when my vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. On that day, I lost two of my soldiers, Sgts. Jerry Mills and Donald Hasse, and I lost my right arm and left leg.
Fatal training accidents are on the rise. Now the families of the fallen are pushing lawmakers to do something about it
CAMP PENDLETON — Susan and Michael McDowell attended a memorial in June for their son, 1st Lt. Conor McDowell. Kathleen Isabel Bourque, the love of Conor's life, joined them. None of them had anticipated what they would be going through.
Conor, the McDowells' only child, was killed during a vehicle rollover accident in the Las Pulgas area of Camp Pendleton during routine Marine training on May 9. He was 24.
Just weeks before that emotional ceremony, Alexandrina Braica, her husband and five children attended a similar memorial at the same military base, this to honor Staff Sgt. Joshua Braica, a member of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion who also was killed in a rollover accident, April 13, at age 29.
Braica, of Sacramento, was married and had a 4 1/2-month-old son.
"To see the love they had for Josh and to see the respect and appreciation was very emotional," Alexandrina Braica said of the battalion. "They spoke very highly of him and what a great leader he was. One of his commanders said, 'He was already the man he was because of the way he was raised.' As parents, we were given some credit."
While the tributes helped the McDowells and Braicas process their grief, the families remain unclear about what caused the training fatalities. They expected their sons eventually would deploy and put their lives at risk, but they didn't expect either would die while training on base.
"We're all still in denial, 'Did this really happen? Is he really gone?' Braica said. "When I got the phone call, Josh was not on my mind. That's why we were at peace. He was always in training and I never felt that it would happen at Camp Pendleton."
North Korea threatens to resume nuclear weapons and ICBM tests if US-South Korea military exercises proceed
SEOUL (Reuters) - The United States looks set to break a promise not to hold military exercises with South Korea, putting talks aimed at getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons at risk, the North Korean Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
The United States' pattern of "unilaterally reneging on its commitments" is leading Pyongyang to reconsider its own commitments to discontinue tests of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), the ministry said in a pair of statements released through state news agency KCNA.
Customs and Border Patrol denied a Marine vet entry into the US for his a scheduled citizenship interview
A deported Marine Corps veteran who has been unable to come back to the U.S. for more than a decade was denied entry to the country Monday morning when he asked to be let in for a scheduled citizenship interview.
Roman Sabal, 58, originally from Belize, came to the San Ysidro Port of Entry around 7:30 on Monday morning with an attorney to ask for "parole" to attend his naturalization interview scheduled for a little before noon in downtown San Diego. Border officials have the authority to temporarily allow people into the country on parole for "humanitarian or significant public benefit" reasons.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer took the reins at the Pentagon on Monday, becoming the third acting defense secretary since January.
Spencer is expected to temporarily lead the Pentagon while the Senate considers Army Secretary Mark Esper's nomination to succeed James Mattis as defense secretary. The Senate officially received Esper's nomination on Monday.