The thousands of sailors, Coasties and Marines who descend on New York City every year for Fleet Week are an awesome sight to behold on their own, but this year's confab of U.S. service members includes a uniquely powerful homecoming as well.
The USS New York — the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock whose very nose was forged from steel salvaged from the wreckage of the World Trade Center after the September 11th attacks — cruised into New York for the first time since 2011.
"It's a new opportunity for this crew to build a stronger relationship with its namesake city," Navy spokesman Lt. Eric Durie told amNewYork.
USS New York sails across the city's harbour, with One World Trade Center in the background(U.S. Navy photo)
Commissioned in 2009, the New York kicked off the 31st annual Fleet Week by leading the 11 U.S. Navy and two Canadian vessels down the Hudson and into New York Harbor on Wednesday morning, met with a n 11-gun salute from nearby Fort Hamilton, NBC New York reports.
The New York's bow stem was made from 7-and-a-half tons of steel, with a single steel plate recovered from the WTC site slung above one of the ship's most-used passages. Its motto is simple and powerful: "Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget."
"Every ship in the Navy has a namesake room or a legacy room, but on our ship the whole ship is a legacy to what happened," Command Master Chief Ben Hodges told the Florida Times-Union last year. "You can't help when you walk around the ship to notice all the things meant to remind you of why you serve."
You can see a full list of events and participating ships and units for Fleet Week 2019 here.
At least one Air Force base is on the lookout for a sinister new threat: angry men who can't get laid.
Personnel at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland were recently treated to a threat brief regarding an "increase in nationwide activity" by self-described "incels," members of an online subculture of "involuntary celibacy" who adopt an ideology of misogyny, mistrust of women, and violence in response to their failed attempts at romantic relationships.
The brief was first made public via a screenshot posted to the popular Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page on Tuesday. An Air Force spokesman confirmed the authenticity of the screenshot to Task & Purpose.
"The screenshot was taken from a Joint Base Andrews Intel brief created following basic threat analysis on an increase in nationwide activity by the group," 11th Wing spokesman Aletha Frost told Task & Purpose in an email.
From Long Beach to Huntington Beach, residents were greeted Saturday, June 15, at precisely 8 a.m. with "The Star-Spangled Banner." Then 12 hours later, the "Retreat" bugle call bellowed throughout Seal Beach and beyond.
At first, people wondered if the booming sound paid tribute to Flag Day, June 14. Seal Beach neighbors bordering Los Alamitos assumed the music was coming from the nearby Joint Forces Training Base.
But then it happened again Sunday. And Monday. Folks took to the Nextdoor social media app seeking an answer to the mystery.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The main thing to remember about Navy SEAL Chief Craig Miller's testimony on Wednesday is that he didn't seem to remember a lot.
Miller, considered a key witness in the trial of Chief Eddie Gallagher, testified that he saw his former platoon chief stab the wounded ISIS fighter but was unable to recall a number of details surrounding that event. Gallagher is accused of murdering the wounded fighter and separately firing on innocent civilians during a deployment to Mosul, Iraq in 2017. He has pleaded not guilty.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — An enlisted Navy SEAL sniper testified on Wednesday that Chief Eddie Gallagher told his platoon prior to their deployment that if they ever captured a wounded fighter, their medics knew "what to do to nurse them to death."
In early morning testimony, former Special Operator 1st Class Dylan Dille told a packed courtroom that he had heard the phrase during unit training before the men of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon deployed to Mosul, Iraq in 2017.
A Navy SEAL sentenced to one year in prison for the death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar is under investigation for allegedly flirting with Melgar's widow while using a false name and trying to persuade her that he and another SEAL accused of killing her husband were "really good guys," according to the Washington Post.