SEATTLE — The icebreaker Polar Star was 1,000 miles out of its home port of Seattle last December, three days into its yearly voyage to resupply scientific bases in Antarctica, when a powerful swell hit its bow and flooded the deck.

The ship shuddered.

The roar of the ventilators in the galley quit as Joseph Sellar, a stocky 25-year-old Coast Guard culinary specialist from New Hampshire, watched seawater explode from the ceiling.

He lunged toward a switch to close the overhead vents. With a loud pop, an outlet ejected a purple spark.

"Are we sinking?" asked a petty officer on temp duty from Virginia.

Sellar knew better.

"Calm down," he said, whipping out his cellphone to record the gusher.

The United States spends $2 billion a day on the most advanced military ever assembled, with more aircraft carriers, fighter planes and nuclear submarines than any other nation. The Pentagon intends to develop a space fleet of orbiting lasers, missile sensors and satellites.

Then there is the Polar Star.

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Marines embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer recently sailed through the Strait of Hormuz with an armored vehicle strapped to the flight deck, ready to fight off drones and Iranian gunboats.

A light armored vehicle (LAV) belonging to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit can be seen on the flight deck as an AH-1Z Viper lifts off in a recently-released Marine Corps photo, NPR's Phil Ewing first noted.

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The Navy will install physical throttles on destroyers that currently use touch screen systems nearly two years after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker, which investigators blamed partially on the ship's Integrated Bridge and Navigation System.

Ten sailors aboard the McCain were killed on Aug. 21, 2017, when the destroyer turned into an oil tanker in the Singapore Strait. The collision was the result of a series of errors by the McCain's crew that began when a watch stander mistakenly transferred steering to another station.

In the confusion that followed, only one of the McCain's two propellers was slowed, causing the McCain to turn faster into the oil tanker's path, the National Transportation Safety Board found in a recent report.

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The USS Gerald R. Ford, the Navy's new supercarrier, can now land all of the service's planes, except for its new stealth fighter.

The Advanced Arresting Gear has been given a green light to recover all "propeller and jet" aircraft, to include the C-2A Greyhound, E-2C Hawkeye and E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and E/A-18G Growler, the Navy said in a statement Tuesday.

These aircraft can all conduct flight operations aboard the Ford.

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Marine Corps F-35s recently carried out the first at-sea "hot reload" of ordnance, dropping 1,000-pound bombs in the Pacific in rapid succession, the service said in a statement.

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The Deployable Advanced Ground Off-Road (DAGOR) from Polaris

The Army has been on the hunt for a lightweight battlewagon to ferry infantry squads around the battlefield since September 2018. Now, two defense contractors are teaming up on a G.I. Joe-inspired vehicle to get the job done.

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