A young sailor from the Navy cruiser USS Shiloh believed to have fallen overboard on June 8 has just been found after a massive 50-hour search-and-rescue operation off the coast of Japan concluded with Navy officials presuming him dead. Not only was the sailor alive (thank God), he was on the ship, hidden in one of the Shiloh’s engine rooms. Like a modern day Huckleberry Finn, Petty Officer 3rd Class Peter Mims appears to have faked his own death. Or at least he let his shipmates believe he had died. This raises a lot of questions, like: Why did he do it? And how the hell did he manage to survive in an engine room for an entire week? Surely, the Navy’s investigation that is now underway will yield the answers to those question, but, in the meantime, here’s a packing list for any other sailors out there thinking about faking their own death while aboard a ship at sea. Because you can never be too prepared.
There’s nothing fun about hiding out in the dark recesses of a naval warship for an extended period of time. You get lonely. There’s nobody to talk to. That’s why you’ll want to pack a volleyball. Use either dirt or engine soot to draw a smiley face on your spherical companion and there you have it: a best friend. (For a more comprehensive how-to, watch Cast Away starring Tom Hanks.)
Gatorade bottles have two primary uses that will come in handy in your fake afterlife. First, they contain gatorade, which you’ll want to drink so you don’t actually die (of dehydration). And second, you can use the empty bottles as portable toilets. Pro tip: Cut one of the bottles in half to accommodate your number twos.
A fidget spinner
Yes, I know what you’re thinking: fidget spinners are for middle school kids and obnoxious man-babies. And you’re right. However, when you’re hiding from thousands of people in the belly of a Navy cruiser, you need to keep your mind sharp and your fingers dextrous, just in case things get dicy. A fidget spinner will do the trick. As a bonus, you can use it as a ninja throwing star to kill rats, which will be your main source of protein.
If you’re a foodie like me, you’ll be repulsed by the thought of eating filthy rats. But you must do it to survive. There’s an easy fix: a bottle of hot sauce (we recommend either Tabasco or Cholula Chipotle). Not only is hot sauce delicious, it also might kill the parasites that you will ingest with every bite of raw rat meat.
A bed sheet
This is perhaps the most crucial item on the packing list, because it’s the most versatile. There’s the obvious utility: warmth. You can also use a bed sheet as a rope, in case you need to climb up into the rafters to evade a search party, or swing from the top of one engine to another in pursuit of a rat. But the best part? In the event you do get found, you can throw it over your head like a spooky ghost. This will send whoever finds you running for the hills, giving you enough time to find another hiding spot.
U.S. Army General Jospeh Votel, head of Central Command, visits an airbase at an undisclosed location in northeast Syria, February 18, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Stewart
AIRBASE IN NORTHEAST SYRIA (Reuters) - The commander of U.S.-backed forces in Syria called on Monday for about 1,000 to 1,500 international forces to remain in Syria to help fight Islamic State and expressed hope that the United States, in particular, would halt plans for a total pullout.
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Nearly a decade ago, the Defense Department was betrothed to an idea called "counterinsurgency;" but the Pentagon ditched COIN at the altar after a Jody named Afghanistan ruined the romance. Now the U.S. military is head over heels in love with countering Russia and China – so much so that the Pentagon has named a cockroach "The Global War on Terrorism" after its ex so it could be fed to a Meerkat.
Homes at Fort Benning undergo lead paint removal as the U.S. Army mobilizes to protect residents against lead poisoning hazards in Fort Benning, Georgia, U.S., September 10, 2018. (Reuters/Andrea Januta)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Deeply troubled by military housing conditions exposed by Reuters reporting, the U.S. Army's top leadership vowed on Friday to renegotiate its housing contracts with private real estate firms, test tens of thousands of homes for toxins and hold its own commanders responsible for protecting Army base residents from dangerous homes.
In an interview, the Secretary of the Army Mark Esper said Reuters reports and a chorus of concerns from military families had opened his eyes to the need for urgent overhauls of the Army's privatized housing system, which accommodates more than 86,000 families.
The secretary's conclusion: Private real estate firms tasked with managing and maintaining the housing stock have been failing the families they serve, and the Army itself neglected its duties.