Tag Archives: Navy

Second Navy Combat Ship Goes Down Because Someone Forgot To Check The Oil

By Jonah Bennett  The USS Fort Worth, a Navy littoral combat ship, has suffered extensive gear damage while docked at a port in Singapore. The Navy is blaming the incident on a crew error.

According to reports, the crew failed to use sufficient lube oil, leading to excessively high temperatures on the gears. Debris also found its way into the lubrication system, which also contributed to failure, Defense News reports. The crew did not follow standard operating procedures.

[dcquiz] Immediately following the incident, ship repair experts arrived on the scene to assess the damage. Until the investigation wraps up, the ship will remain at the Changi Naval Base in Singapore.

“We have the right resources in place to conduct the necessary inspections, determine the extent of the damage and required repairs, and return Fort Worth back to operational status,” Lt. Cmdr. Matt Knight, a spokesman for the US Pacific Fleet, told Defense News. “USS Fort Worth has been a model of reliability for more than one year while deployed in the US 7th Fleet.  We are working diligently to minimize the operational impact of this maintenance casualty.”

This marks the second incident over the last couple months that an LCS ship has been brought down due to mechanical failure. The Milwaukee broke down approximately 40 miles off the coast of Virginia. The Navy had to collect the ship and tow it back to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.

Navy officials told Defense News that the problem with the USS Fort Worth and the USS Milwaukee is somewhat similar, though the actual causes are distinct. It is unknown when the problems with Fort Worth will clear up. A few weeks ago, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Navy Secretary Ray Mabus that orders of LCS ships were to be capped at 40, rather than the original amount of 52. The Navy disputed the decision at the time and still hopes Carter will have a change of heart.

Fort Worth has been deployed to Asia since November 2014.

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Ex-SEAL steps up, says he killed Osama bin Laden

Robert O’Neill, a former Navy SEAL, spoke with the Washington Post and revealed he was the shooter who killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.

O’Neill, 38, was a 15 year veteran with the SEALs and was involved in various other missions before, said he thought this mission would be his most difficult up to that point.

When he and other SEALs stormed the compound holding bin Laden, O’Neill says he was near the front of the column and thought he would be killed.

Upon entering the room holding bin Laden, O’Neill says bin Laden “had his hands on a woman’s shoulders pushing her ahead,” in the hopes of deflecting the attackers.  O’Neill then says he shot bin Laden in the head twice before other members of the SEAL team shot bin Laden’s already dead body.

Leading up to O’Neill’s decision to disclose this information, he says he was struggling with whether or not to go public with his identity.  He says there was already a network of people who knew his identity, including various members of congress and at least two news organizations.

Colleagues have voiced their displeasure with his decision, and B.L. Losey, the Naval Special Warfare commanding officer, and M.L. Magaraci, the force’s master chief, wrote a letter saying one tenet of their profession is to “not advertise the nature of [their] work nor seek recognition for [their] actions.”

However, after speaking with the families of victims of the 9/11 attacks, O’Neill said he decided to come forward.  “The families told me it helped bring them some closure,” said O’Neill.

This was not his first high profile mission, O’Neill said.  He also disclosed he was part of the rescue effort of Capt. Richard Phillips in 2009 after his vessel was taken captive by Somali pirates.

Vice President’s Son Discharged from Navy for Cocaine Use, Keeps License to Practice Law

On Thursday, it was revealed that Vice President Joe Biden’s youngest son, 44-year-old Hunter Biden, was released from the Navy in February, after he tested positive for cocaine use.

In a statement from Hunter Biden’s lawyer, he said:

It was the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge. I respect the navy’s decision. With the love and support of my family I’m moving forward.

Hunter Biden graduated from Yale with a law degree, and he currently works in Washington as the private equity executive and board director of an international energy firm, in addition to practicing law in Connecticut.

Yahoo News reported that Biden, “faces no automatic review of his law license in Connecticut following his discharge from the U.S. Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine use.

According to Connecticut’s Statewide Bar Counselor, Michael P. Bowler, lawyers in Connecticut face automatic review of their bar admission only when they have been convicted of a crime.

At this point, I’m not aware that Mr. Biden has been arrested for anything, and certainly not convicted,” Bowler said.

According to Business Insider, Biden was “commissioned as a Navy ensign May 7, 2013 and assigned as a public affairs officer at a reserve unit” in Norfolk, Virginia. However, one month after he checked into his new unit, he failed a regular drug test, and was discharged in February.

USA Today reported that, according to the commander of the Navy Public Affairs Support Element based in Norfolk, Capt. Jack Hanzlik, “There should have been no question in Hunter Biden’s mind about the possibility of a random drug test.”

All sailors would be advised of the zero-tolerance policies when reporting aboard,” said Hanzlik. “And they would be advised of the testing practices of the organization, as well.”

Regarding the fact that Biden tested positive for cocaine in June 2013, but was not discharged until February 2014, Hanzlik said, “Until an issue like that is adjudicated, the member continues to serve.”

Drug tests are given to both active and reserve members, at least once a year, scanning for everything from marijuana to heroin to cocaine.

Although Hanzlik said it was a random process, he explained that for members of the military, “The expectation, always, is that you need to be ready. Because you could have to give a sample today, you might have to give a sample again tomorrow. And two weeks from now, you might have to give a sample.

We have this kind of conversation with our sailors all the time — about expectations for performance,” said Hanzlik. “Expectations for standards. Reliability on one another.

More illegal immigrants to be able to serve in military

A policy adopted by the Department of Defense in 2008 which allows a number of illegal immigrants to serve in the US armed forces for the first time in decades, has been extended by two years.

The program is known as the Military Ascensions Vital to National Interest, or MAVNI, and is open to immigrants who do not hold a proper visa.  The caveat though is these individuals had to come to the US with their parents before they were 16.  Those eligible must also meet the requirements for the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals policy, which was adopted by the Obama administration in 2012.  Requirements range from having no criminal record to have graduated high school or working towards a GED.

When it was adopted, MAVNI was meant to target immigrants who can comprehend and understand foreign languages such as Chinese, Persian, Pashto, and Arabic.  However one insider revealed to the Daily Mail, out of the 3 million people who might apply for the military, the administration is unsure how many of those have the language skills to meet the basic requirements.

“We’re just not sure how many within that existing population of DACA would have the linguistic skills to qualify,” said a defense official according to USA Today. “These are kids who entered the country at a fairly young age and have basically grown up in the United States, so the limit of their language talents would probably be the language that they received at home.”

The MAVNI program has only been open to a small number of illegal immigrants, but the cap has been raised to 1,500 recruits, according to the Military Times.  The program has one large incentive for illegal immigrants and that is a path to citizenship upon the completion of their service.

One important note though is the military branches are not required to accept MAVNI recruits, and since the program’s inception, many of those who have qualified for the program have been accepted into the Army.  The Air Force has accepted a small number of these recruits while the Navy and Marine Corps have not accepted any MAVNI recruits.

Navy Shooter Taking “Mass Murder Suicide Pills”?

The story is a long way from coming into focus. The little we do know about Monday’s tragic mass shooting at a Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. is stirring a national debate.

First, here’s the back-story. It was September 16th, around 8:20 A.M. when 34 year-old Aaron Alexis opened fire inside a Navy facility. According to the FBI, he was a contract employee who had legitimate access to the Navy Yard and used a valid pass.

Alexis reportedly killed 12 people ranging in age from 46 to 73. Alexis was killed by police in a gun battle. He reportedly entered the facility with a shotgun purchased legally at a local gun shop.

This shooting is the worst at a U.S. military installation since the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas in which Major Nadal Hasan opened fire, killing 13 people and wounding 39 others. The shooting in the Ft. Hood case was religiously motivated.

Navy Shooting Gunman

Religion, however, does not seem to be a motivating factor in the Navy Yard shooting. As we are learning more about Alexis, reports indicate that he was a Buddhist and according to Bloomberg News, had been discharged from the Navy Reserves.

“Alexis was discharged from the Navy Reserves because of a ‘pattern of misconduct’ during his service years that included the 2010 Texas arrest, even though the charges were later dropped, according to a Navy official who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters.”

Almost predictably, the national debate has turned to gun control once again. But are the media and the public missing something crucial here? Story after story being written about Aaron Alexis indicate there were mental issues.

According to the Associated Press: “(Alexis) had been suffering a host of serious mental issues, including paranoia and a sleep disorder. He also had been hearing voices in his head, the officials said.”

In addition, CBS in Washington D.C. is reporting that since August, Alexis had been treated by the Veterans Administration for his mental problems.

The question therefore must be asked… HOW was Aaron Alexis being treated for those problems? In January, when radio host Alex Jones had his blowup with CNN’s Piers Morgan after the Sandy Hook school shooting, Jones shouted about something called “mass murder suicide pills.” The next day, that term was one of the top trending terms on Google.

The reality is that the national media has their preconceived outcome of these kinds of tragic events.

On the left, politicians and media immediately turn to the narrative that stricter gun controls are the answer; that the tragedy is only possible because of the availability of so called “assault weapons”. Immediately after initial reports indicated that perhaps an AR-15 rifle was used, Sen. Dianne Feinstein released a statement saying “When will enough be enough?”

According to CNN, “The sources, who have detailed knowledge of the investigation, cautioned that initial information that an AR-15 was used in the shootings may have been incorrect. It is believed that Alexis had rented an AR-15, but returned it before Monday morning’s shootings. Authorities are still investigating precisely how many weapons Alexis had access to and when.”

On the left their narrative didn’t fit.

On the right, the usual narrative is that these shootings are the work of radical religious beliefs. The early thought from the right was that Aaron Alexis, like Major Nadal Hasan, must be a radicalized Muslim. An early warning on Drudge Report linked back to a September 13 article that Al Qaeda had “warned of small scale attacks on the U.S.”

That narrative also fell apart when we learned that Aaron Alexis was a Buddhist and not a Muslim.

But what about that “mass murder suicide pills”? The one area media avoids and politicians won’t touch is whether or not there is a correlation between “mental health treatment” in the form of medication and the psychosis that leads to these kinds of shootings. Reports indicate that Alexis had claimed at times that he suffered from PTSD. Was he being treated for that? What kind of treatment did he receive from the V.A.? Was he being medicated? If so, what kind of drug was he taking? These are questions that have not only not been answered, they aren’t even being asked.

There is a growing body of evidence that many of the drugs Americans are regularly taking have powerful mental effects. Clearly, we don’t know if that was the case here and it would be irresponsible to claim mental health treatment through drugs was the cause of this shooting. It would be equally irresponsible not question that possibility.

WAR IN YEMEN: U.S. NAVY IS SOLICITING 12 MORE DRONES FOR POSSIBLE YEMEN STRIKES

According to FedBizOpps.gov, the U.S. Navy is soliciting “12 Light Observation Aircraft to Yemen for use by the Yemeni Air Force (YAF) equipped with EO/IR sensor.”

You can find, here, the request.

Ron Paul states in his weekly column that over the past two weeks the U.S. has launched at least eight drone attacks in Yemen, in which dozens have been killed.

“It is the largest U.S. escalation of attacks on Yemen in more than a decade,” said Paul.

Paul cites that there have been previous reports of civilian deaths due to drone attacks, but the U.S. denies that there were any civilian deaths.

Drone attacks

“The US government is clearly at war in Yemen,” Paul said. “It is claimed they are fighting al-Qaeda, but the drone strikes are creating as many or more al-Qaeda members as they are eliminating.”

The U.S. foreign policy is in crisis.

Recently Senators John McCain’s and Lindsey Graham went to Egypt with the White House’s “blessing” to help the ousted Muslim Brotherhood talk with the new Egyptian government.

“We told [the Muslim Brother leaders] that in our view, the best way to resolve this issue was to renounce and condemn violence, that they should be willing to negotiate if some of the brotherhood were released from prison,” McCain said. “We were not negotiating, we were just saying what we thought had to be done to get back to the negotiating table.”

McCain’s suggestion of releasing Muslim Brotherhood prisoners, calling them “political prisoners,” infuriated Egyptians who suffered under Muhammad Morsi reign.

According to PJMedia, “A top advisor to Egypt’s Interim President Adly Mansour formally accused McCain of distorting facts to the benefit of the Brotherhood,” the article said. “He dismissed McCain’s recent remarks as ‘irrational’ and ‘moronic.’”

Secular political commentator Ahmed Musa asserted:

These two men have made more shameless demands than the Brotherhood themselves would dare.

[McCain] is not a man elected by the American people to speak on their behalf; today, he speaks on behalf of an armed terrorist organization — the Muslim Brotherhood. …  We had expected [better] from these two men who came to speak with the tongue of the Brotherhood’s leadership, as if they had been recruited as two new leaders of the Brotherhood, which killed, destroyed, and burned in al-Muqattam, and now in Rab‘a al-Adawiya [the main Brotherhood militant camp]. The only thing missing is to see them in Rab‘a, surrounded by armed groups, and in their midst Muhammad Badie [supreme leader of the Brotherhood] and [U.S. Ambassador] Anne Patterson. That’s all that’s missing! Here comes Brother McCain today saying that we must “release the [Brotherhood] prisoners”.

Are you not aware that these people are accused of murder? Are you not aware that hundreds of Egyptians have been killed at the hands of the Brotherhood, Morsi, Shatter, Qatatni, Badie, Baltagi — have you forgotten? Did you not read the report on what happened? Or did you just blindly accept your ambassador’s words that it was a coup, that 33 million people did not go out?