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The Navy Is Mourning The Two ‘Heroes’ Killed In A Super Hornet Crash Off Florida
The Navy has identified two aviators who were killed in a March 14 crash off Florida as Lt. Cmdr. James Brice Johnson and Lt. Caleb Nathaniel King.
“As warfighters they excelled in combat; as naval officers they exemplified the qualities of what our Navy values most dear,” said Cmdr. Kevin Robb, who leads their squadron. “I was extremely proud to have led, flown, and served with both Brice and Caleb.
“I would ask that during this trying time we all keep the families of our two heroes in our thoughts and prayers,” he added.
Both men died when their F/A-18F Super Hornet went down about a mile from the runway while on final approach to Boca Chica Field at Naval Air Station Key West. They were assigned to the “Blacklions” of Strike Fighter Squadron 213 based out of Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia.
Barbie Wilson, a professional photographer who lives in Key West, told Task & Purpose that she saw the plane explode in flight before plummeting into the water below.
“This thing went a little sideways and then I saw a fireball and then it literally just dropped out of the sky,” Wilson said in a March 14 interview.
Johnson graduated from the Air Force Academy on a personnel exchange program in 2007 and then attended Naval Aviation Schools Command in Pensacola, Florida, according to the Navy. He was piloting the Super Hornet at the time of the crash while King, who graduated from the Naval Academy in 2012, was serving as the weapons systems operator.
“The entire Blacklion Family is grieving the loss of two great Americans,” Robb said in a March 15 news release. “Lt. Cmdr. Johnson and Lt. King were phenomenal young men, exceptional naval aviators, and were living models of what honor, courage, and commitment really mean.”
The cause of the crash is under investigation. The plane will remain in the water where it crashed until the Mishap Investigation Board has completed its work, according to the news release from Navy Air Force, Atlantic.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and squadron mates of these two aviators,” Rear Adm. Roy J. Kelley, commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, said in the news release. “A full investigation will be conducted to discover the cause of this mishap.”
'What happens after that is out of their control' — Former military leaders and lawyers react to Trump's war crimes pardons
On Friday, President Donald Trump intervened in the cases of three U.S. service members accused of war crimes, granting pardons to two Army soldiers accused of murder in Afghanistan and restoring the rank of a Navy SEAL found guilty of wrongdoing in Iraq.
While the statements coming out of the Pentagon regarding Trump's actions have been understandably measured, comments from former military leaders and other knowledgable veterans help paint a picture as to why the president's Friday actions are so controversial.
Raccoon infestations and extreme rust didn’t stop an anonymous buyer from nabbing this Soviet-era submarine
A former Soviet submarine that became a tourist attraction docked adjacent to the Queen Mary in Long Beach is expected to be sold soon to an anonymous buyer, with plans to remove the rusting sub by mid-May.
The 48-year-old Russian Foxtrot-class submarine, known as the Scorpion, had hosted paying visitors for 17 years before it fell into such disrepair that it became infested with raccoons and was closed to the public in 2015.
Former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, whom President Donald Trump recently pardoned of his 2013 murder conviction, claims he was nothing more than a pawn whom generals sacrificed for political expediency.
The infantry officer had been sentenced to 19 years in prison for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men in 2012. Two of the men were killed.
During a Monday interview on Fox & Friends, Lorance accused his superiors of betraying him.
"A service member who knows that their commanders love them will go to the gates of hell for their country and knock them down," Lorance said. "I think that's extremely important. Anybody who is not part of the senior Pentagon brass will tell you the same thing."
"I think folks that start putting stars on their collar — anybody that has got to be confirmed by the Senate for a promotion — they are no longer a soldier, they are a politician," he continued. "And so I think they lose some of their values — and they certainly lose a lot of their respect from their subordinates — when they do what they did to me, which was throw me under the bus."
Fifteen years after the U.S. military toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Army's massive two-volume study of the Iraq War closed with a sobering assessment of the campaign's outcome: With nearly 3,500 U.S. service members killed in action and trillions of dollars spent, "an emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor.
Thanks to roughly 700 pages of newly-publicized secret Iranian intelligence cables, we now have a good idea as to why.
A U.S. Air Force combat controller will receive the nation's third highest award for valor this week for playing an essential role in two intense firefight missions against the Taliban in Afghanistan last year.
Tech. Sgt. Cody Smith, an airman with the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing at Air Force Special Operations Command, will receive the Silver Star at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico on Nov. 22, the service announced Monday.