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The Navy's Most Important Party Yacht Is Almost Ready For Its Next Adventure
The USS Blue Ridge — the oldest deployable warship in the U.S. Navy and the apparent epicenter of the Fat Leonard scandal that's roiled the service — is preparing to hit the high seas this summer after almost two years of extended maintenance and upkeep, Stars and Stripes reports.
- The brains of the fleet: Just one of two Blue Ridge-class command ships, the vessel is a critical node for the indispensable 7th Fleet that's been roiled by surface mishaps and years of high operational tempo in response to Chinese and North Korean activity.
A legacy in the making ... “It has been 23 months since we started this [maintenance period], making it the longest in Blue Ridge’s history,” Capt. Brett Crozier, the ship’s skipper, said in the statement. “But it was essential, as we extended the life of the ship another 20 years, meaning this will one day be a 70-year-old ship.”
- ... but a reputation to address: The Washington Post reported in January that 15 of the 30 individuals subject to civilian charges for their connection to Singapore-based business magnate and Glenn Defense Marine Asia owner ”Fat” Leonard Francis, 16 were assigned to the Blue Ridge, making the vessel “perhaps the most widely compromised U.S. military headquarters of the modern era."
- And that's (probably) the tip of the iceberg: As recently as this month, Australian Navy officer Lt. Cmdr. Alex Gillet was reportedly ensnared in the Fat Leonard scandal while performing his duties as liaison to the 7th Fleet aboard the Blue Ridge, enjoying luxurious meals, prostitutes, and stays in hotels on Francis' dime.
We wish Capt. Cozier well in his efforts to keep the Blue Ridge both operational and reliable over the next two decades in light of the scandal, as do plenty of other T&P; readers who expressed dismay over the initial Washington Post report back in January. But let's be real, it's not like we'll ever know if he makes headway or not: As of May 2, the Navy will no longer publically disclose the names of commanders removed from their posts for misconduct, Fat Leonard-related or otherwise. Hooray transparency!
The Veterans of Foreign Wars has demanded an apology from President Trump over recent comments in which he downplayed the seriousness of traumatic brain injuries suffered by American troops in an Iranian missile attack.
"The Veterans of Foreign Wars cannot stand idle on this matter," William "Doc" Schmitz, VFW National Commander, said in a statement Friday, noting TBI is a serious injury known to cause depression, memory loss, severe headaches and other symptoms in the short and long-term.
President Donald Trump tweeted out the logo for the brand-new U.S. Space Force on Friday, presenting it as a collaboration between "Great Military Leaders, designers and others."
Thing is, fans of Star Trek will find that the logo looks strikingly familiar. In fact, it looks almost exactly like the emblem of Starfleet, the uniformed space force maintained by the United Federation of Planets.
The Navy is investigating dozens of videos of service members changing in a bathroom which were then shared on the website PornHub, according to a NBC News report.
According to the report, an agent from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service found the videos on PornHub earlier this month. The videos, which have since been taken down, show civilians, sailors and Marines, some of whom have visible name tapes.
Two Army Ranger medics saved lives by taking fresh blood from uninjured soldiers in the middle of a firefight
We already knew that Army Rangers were a unique breed of badass, but performing real-time blood transfusions while under enemy fire on the battlefield takes it to an entirely new level.