Tech. Sgt. Daniel Caban, 1st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, stands in front of an F-22 Raptor at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Oct. 23, 2019. Caban created Portable Magnetic Aircraft Covers, also known as PMAC, made of fibers that aim to protect the jet intakes from the elements and lower the need for maintenance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Monica Roybal)

Air Force Tech Sgt. Daniel Caban doesn't fly the F-22 Raptor, but his soaring imagination could benefit the stealth fighter all the same.

A maintenance crew chief at Langley Air Force Base, Caban has developed a new way to shield intakes on Raptor jets parked on the ground. It utilizes a flexible cover ringed by a series of magnets that attach firmly to the aircraft.

Langley leaders like what they see. In fact, they want to stoke that innovative fire among more airmen.

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Pre-Commissioning Unit John F. Kennedy reaches another milestone in its construction as its dry dock area is flooded three months ahead of its slated production schedule, October 29, 2019. (U.S. Navy/Mass Comm Specialist 3rd Class Adam Ferrero)

The official seal for the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy has been unveiled, and at first glance the design is clean and simple.

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(U.S. Navy/Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Seelbach)

After 15 months at Newport News Shipbuilding, the USS Gerald R. Ford headed to sea Friday with some of its technical problems solved.

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As Rep. Elaine Luria sees it, this week's decision to extend the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln speaks to a more serious problem with the aircraft carrier fleet, and the evidence is front and center in Hampton Roads.

The Lincoln will remain deployed for an unspecified time because repairs are taking longer than expected on the USS Harry S. Truman, the carrier assigned to replace it.

But at the moment, not one of the Navy's six East Coast carriers — either at Naval Station Norfolk or Newport News Shipbuilding — are close to combat-ready, Luria said in a House Armed Services hearing this week.

So when a single carrier is sidelined longer than expected, it can become a problem.

In an exchange with Navy leaders, the Virginia Beach Democrat said: "So the taxpayers have made a good investment to have six carriers on the East Coast, plus I understand one on the West Coast — seven of our 11 carriers — in a non-deployable status, and we're having to extend the Lincoln on deployment because of one emergent casualty on one carrier? That's where you desire to be?"

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Defense Secretary Mark Esper visited the USS Gerald R. Ford during a visit to Newport News Shipbuilding and Naval Station Norfolk, where he addressed the problem of military suicide. (DVIDS/Seaman Zachary Melvin)

The military has the "means and resources" to stem the tide of suicide in its ranks, but continues to struggle in search of answers, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday during a visit to Naval Station Norfolk.

Three sailors assigned to the Norfolk-based USS George H.W. Bush died of apparent suicide within days of each other in the past two weeks. The Navy said the suicides were not related, but it marked the third, fourth, and fifth crew member suicides in the past two years, said Capt. Sean Bailey, the ship's commander, who described himself as heartbroken.

Esper said he shares in the sailors' grief.

"You mourn for the families and for their shipmates," Esper said. "I wish I could tell you we have an answer to prevent future further suicides in the armed services. We don't."

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Diverting $3.6 billion from military construction projects to fortify a southern border wall allows the U.S. to better deploy troops to curb illegal immigration, Defense Secretary Mark Esper says.

The plan, which siphons $77 million from four projects in Hampton Roads, drew strong protests from Democratic lawmakers. They say President Donald Trump is promoting his political agenda at the military's expense, that the wall is ineffective and that the move will hurt morale.

Esper defended the shift of funds. Once construction is complete, the Defense Department can redeploy personnel to "other high-traffic areas on the border without barriers. In short, these barriers will allow DoD to provide support to DHS (Department of Homeland Security) more efficiently and effectively," he wrote in a memo.

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