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Trump to US troops in Japan: 'When we build a new aircraft carrier, we're going to use steam'
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump told U.S. troops stationed in Japan he plans to order traditional steam powered catapults aboard American warships instead of newer electromagnetic systems that he said may not work as well during wartime.
Trump polled the sailors and Marines on the USS Wasp on steam versus electric catapults Tuesday during a visit to the Yokosuka naval base south of Tokyo, the biggest overseas U.S. naval installation.
The tour came at the end of the president's four-day state visit to Japan, a key military ally. The troops' cheers were audibly larger for steam catapults — used to launch aircraft off navy ships — and Trump took note.
"We're spending all that money on electric and nobody knows what it's going to be like in bad conditions," he said. "So I think I'm going to put an order — when we build a new aircraft carrier, we're going to use steam."
The U.S. Navy intends to buy two Ford-class aircraft carriers, Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said earlier this year. The Ford has long been a source of frustration for Trump, who has bashed the carrier's Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, or EMALS, which is replacing the steam catapults.
Trump told the Japan base's personnel that steam catapults work better than the newer, higher-tech systems.
"Steam's only worked for about 65 years perfectly. And I won't tell you this because it's before my time by a little bit, but they have a $900 million cost overrun on this crazy electric catapult," he said. "They want to show — next, next, next. And we all want innovation, but it's too much."
©2019 Bloomberg News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
WATCH NEXT: A Look At The USS Gerald R. Ford
A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.
It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.
Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.
No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.
Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.
"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.
Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.
In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.
"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.