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The Navy's Brand New Supercarrier Has (Yet Another) Major Problem
Brand-new Navy aircraft carrier and floating catastrophe USS Gerald R. Ford was forced to return to Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia after encountering issues with its propulsion train, Navy Times reports — the second critical failure in the propulsion system to roil the next-generation supercarrier, after a previously undisclosed failure was initially discovered months ago.
- The engines don't work. Well, sort of: According to Navy Times, problems "reside in the mechanical components associated in turning steam created by the nuclear plant into spinning screws that power the ship through the water," although Naval Sea Systems Command spokesman Bill Couch asserted that the new problem was different from an earlier problem identified by the crew in January and publicly disclosed this month. NAVSEA told Bloomberg that shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls identified the issue as a "manufacturing defect" rather than an overall design flaw.
- This is what testing is supposed to accomplish. Sure, headlines make the Ford sound like the spiritual ancestor to the USS Shitty Kitty, but naval warfare reporter Chris Cavas rightfully points out that these errors turn up all the time in pre-service shakedown; indeed, the Associated Press notes that the Ford was expected to steam to the Newport News in July to fix any existing technical issues, of which there are many.“Ford has been tasked with conducting critical test and evaluation operations that identify construction and design issues,” NAVSEA spokesman Colleen O’Rourke told Navy Times. “As a continuation of that testing and evaluation process, Ford got underway to conduct an independent steaming event that would allow the ship and its crew to continue testing its systems and procedures.”
- Yet another issue... News of the Ford's propulsion issues comes months after an intensive assessment, conducted by the Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation and published in January, revealed a slew of technical problems plaguing the Pentagon's first new carrier design in nearly four decades. Those problems included “poor or unknown reliability” among critical systems and, most embarrassingly, inconsistencies with that brand-new "digital” Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System (EMALS) that President Donald Trump railed against last year.
- ... and bad timing: Even if the Ford's myriad issues are worked out through the Navy's standard testing evaluation protocol, news of the propulsion issues couldn't have emerged at a worse time for the service. NAVSEA announced on May 11 that the Navy would have to shell out an additional $120 million for the carrier, bringing its total cost to around $13.03 billion — well above the $12.9 billion cap set by Congress back in April. It doesn't help that the Navy is currently pushing lawmakers to expedite the purchase of a fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier.
Aircraft carriers: They're just like us! By which I mean broken and expensive. Are you reading this, boss? I need a raise and some vacation. Thanks.
ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday Turkey would press on with its offensive into northeastern Syria and "crush the heads of terrorists" if a deal with Washington on the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the area were not fully implemented.
Erdogan agreed on Thursday in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence a five-day pause in the offensive to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a "safe zone" Turkey aims to establish in northeast Syria near the Turkish border.
President Trump stoked confusion Friday by declaring the U.S. has "secured the Oil" in the Middle East amid continued fallout from the Turkish invasion of northern Syria that he enabled by pulling American troops out of the region.
It wasn't immediately clear what the president was talking about, as there were no publicly known developments in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East relating to oil. White House aides did not return requests for comment.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. State Department investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state has found no evidence of deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees.
The investigation, the results of which were released on Friday by Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley's office, centered on whether Clinton, who served as the top U.S. diplomat from 2009 to 2013, jeopardized classified information by using a private email server rather than a government one.
BYESVILLE — A Meadowbrook High School student removed from class last Friday for being intoxicated is now facing a felony charge after allegedly threatening to shoot people if the previous incident harmed his chances to join a branch of the United States military.
Gabriel D. Blackledge, 18, of Cambridge, is facing one count of making terrorist threats, a third-degree felony, filed by the Guernsey County Sheriff's Office on Thursday. Blackledge remained incarcerated in the county jail on a $250,000 bond with no 10 percent allowed, according to the sheriff's office's website.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that no U.S. troops will take part in enforcing the so-called safe zone in northern Syria and the United States "is continuing our deliberate withdrawal from northeastern Syria."
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan earlier on Friday said Turkey will set up a dozen observation posts across northeast Syria, insisting that a planned "safe zone" will extend much further than U.S. officials said was covered under a fragile ceasefire deal.