Navy probe prompted by suicides condemns conditions at shipyard: 'We let our people down'
A Navy investigation triggered by a series of suicides is recommending widespread improvements in housing, food, parking and internet for sailors, as well as changes to mental health and other personnel programs.
Navy expands boot camp to sharpen focus on character issues
The Navy is adding two weeks to boot camp in a major overhaul aimed at improving recruits' war fighting and emergency skills while also focusing on suicide prevention and character issues such as sexual assault, hazing and extremism in the ranks.
Across services, troops face discipline for refusing vaccine
U.S. officials say all of the military services have now begun disciplinary actions and discharges for troops who have refused to get the mandated coronavirus vaccine, with as many as 20,000 unvaccinated forces at risk of being removed from service.
Coworkers: Man charged in Capitol riot had a Hitler mustache
FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo rioters supporting President Donald Trump storm the Capitol in Washington. An Army reservist charged with taking part in the attack on the U.S. Capitol was known as a Nazi sympathizer who wore a Hitler mustache, coworkers told federal investigators. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)WASHINGTON – An Army reservist charged with taking part in the attack on the U.S. Capitol was known as a Nazi sympathizer who wore a Hitler mustache, coworkers told federal investigators. The filing included photos from Hale-Cusanelli’s cellphone of him with a Hitler mustache, along with pro-Nazi cartoons. Jonathan Zucker, Hale-Cusanelli’s attorney, wrote in a filing that there was no evidence his client belongs to any white supremacist organizations.
Mexico's last island penal colony may now host cruise ships
Visitors will be able to tour the remote island jail, but not stay overnight. Ad“Visitors will have their first contact with the former island prison which for 100 years sheltered numerous criminals,” Torruco said. When Panama closed its Isla Coiba penal colony in 2004, Isla Marias became the last one remaining in the Americas. But in the end, the Islas Marias wound up costing Mexico far more per prisoner than did mainland jails. Chile closed its Santa Maria prison island in the late 1980s, Costa Rica’s Isla San Lucas penal colony closed in 1991 and Brazil’s Isla Grande in 1994.
Rocky Mount veteran receives new roof through national program
ROCKY MOUNT, Va. – A Rocky Mount veteran now has a new roof thanks to a nationwide effort giving back to those who have served our country. Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County identified a Navy veteran in need and teamed up with Vinton Roofing Company to make it happen. It’s all part of the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project. Vinton Roofing Company general manager Jason Webb said this home was in desperate need of repair, but the veteran wasn’t able to afford it on his own. The Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project has given free roofs to more than 225 military members.
3 sailors have COVID on US ship that saw outbreak last year
FILE - In this July 9, 2020 file photo the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier makes its way into San Diego Bay as seen from San Diego. Three sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for COVID-19, the Navy said Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, less than a year after a massive outbreak on the ship sidelined it in Guam for nearly two months. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)WASHINGTON – Three sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for COVID-19, the Navy said Monday, less than a year after a massive outbreak on the ship sidelined it in Guam for nearly two months. The outbreak on the ship last year was the largest the military has seen so far, with more than 1,000 sailors testing positive. Other ships that have been underway or at their home ports over the past year have had smaller numbers of sailors test positive, but none have had such a major outbreak.
Agriculture secretary nominee Vilsack endorses biofuels push
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2020, file photo former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who the Biden administration chose to reprise that role, speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)WASHINGTON – Tom Vilsack, President Joe Biden's nominee for secretary of agriculture, pledged Tuesday to focus on climate change initiatives and work to address racial inequities in agricultural assistance programs. Vilsack, who testified before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, would bring much on-the-job experience to the position. In addition to serving two terms as the governor of Iowa, he spent eight years as President Barack Obama's Agriculture Secretary. But if you don’t have a grocery store, what then?”AdVilsack seems to enjoy bipartisan support and faced no serious criticism from Republicans on the committee.
Navy pauses plan to move Wisconsin badger to Virginia museum
Naval Academy wants the state of Wisconsin to return the statue. The statue, crafted from melted-down cannons seized from Cuba during the Spanish-American War, was affixed to the first USS Wisconsin prior to World War I. The academy museum contacted state officials last March seeking the statue's return so it could be loaned to the nonprofit Nauticus Museum in Norfolk, Virginia, where the second USS Wisconsin is berthed as an exhibit. Academy museum director Claude Berube last week consulted with U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Wisconsin Republican and former Marine. AdThe academy museum previously extended the state loan until mid-September due to COVID-induced closures in Norfolk.
Army left out in Bowl Day marred by cancellations, opt outs
When that bowl game was called off because there was not another team available, it suddenly left Army looking for a postseason opponent. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)At a time when team after team had opted out of bowl games, Army found itself in a different sort of situation — left out. “It was a difficult day for all of college football,” said Nick Carparelli, the executive director of Bowl Season, the renamed Football Bowl Association. For the Hokies, the decision ended a 27 straight bowl game run. Some of the canceled bowl games — 15 in all, including three on Sunday alone — included the Bahamas Bowl, Celebration Bowl, Hawaii Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Las Vegas Bowl, LA Bowl, Pinstripe Bowl, Quick Lane Bowl, Redbox Bowl and Sun Bowl.
Shipyard, union are getting back on same page after strike
BATH, Maine – Months after a bitter strike during a pandemic, Bath Iron Works managers and production workers are starting to get on the same page when it comes to catching up on the production schedule. Machinists Union Local S6 and shipyard managers have been meeting with help from a federal mediator since the two-month strike ended in August. Bath Iron Works is one of the Navy’s largest shipbuilders and is a major employer with 6,800 workers in Maine. Bath Iron Works will be competing against the Ingalls shipyard in Mississippi on that contract. The Bath-built Thomas Hudner in 2019 scored the highest in the program history, outperforming a destroyer from the Ingalls shipyard, according the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey.
Local Korean War Veteran remembers her time in the WAVES
ROANOKE, Va. – Women can now serve in every branch of the military but that wasn’t always the case. She added on one more year of service and moved to Hawaii, serving during the Korean War. For this Navy Veteran, serving our country is not something she takes lightly. She continued serving when she got out of the Navy and went to school on the GI Bill in Hawaii. She moved back to Roanoke, where she taught school for 27 years finishing at Monterrey Elementary School.
Veterans Day in 2020: quiet parades, somber virtual events
Residents and staff listen to the national anthem during a socially-distanced Veterans Day ceremony at the Southern Nevada State Veterans Home, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, in Boulder City, Nev. With infections raging again nationwide, several veterans homes are fighting new outbreaks. At the annual Veterans Day gathering at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery, many participants wore masks and kept their distance from others. “Veterans Day looks a lot different this year than it has in the past,” said Andy Patterson, commander of the Disabled American Veterans of New Hampshire. Ninety-eight veterans have died from COVID-19 in Missouri’s seven veterans homes since Sept. 1, and Gov.
No. 1 Alabama-LSU, No. 5 Texas A&M-Tennessee postponed
5 Texas A&M at Tennessee will not be played Saturday because of COVID-19 issues, raising the number of Southeastern Conference games postponed this week to three. 24 Auburn's game at Mississippi State was postponed because of COVID-19 positive tests and contact tracing within the Bulldogs' program. Auburn also has “a handful of close contact” cases having to quarantine, in addition to the positive tests, coach Gus Malzahn said. 6 Florida on Saturday after having two positive COVID-19 tests. In the American Athletic Conference, Navy's game at Memphis on Saturday was postponed because of positive COVID-19 tests at the Naval Academy.
Cal-Washington game canceled after player's positive test
California doesn’t have the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game as a result of the positive test and the need for other players to isolate under contact tracing protocols, the Pac-12 said in a statement Thursday. Wilcox had said Wednesday night that the game was in jeopardy because of the large number of players needing contact tracing. The school said the player with a positive test is asymptomatic. This marked the first positive test on Cal’s football team since practices began last month. This is the fourth time a Tulsa game has been postponed or canceled because of COVID cases.
The Latest: Lions put Jalen Elliott on reserve/COVID-19 list
(Jose Sena Goulao, Pool via AP)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Detroit Lions have put safety Jalen Elliott on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The list is for players who either test positive or have been in close contact with an infected person. ___UConn has suspended all men's basketball activities after a player tested positive for the coronavirus. The confirmation of a positive COVID-19 case occurs when a player receives two consecutive positive test results. He was placed on it because he had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive.
Navy jet crashes in California, but pilot ejects safely
The Navy says a fighter jet has crashed in the Mojave Desert but its pilot safely ejected. The F/A-18E Super Hornet from Naval Air Station Lemoore in California's Central Valley went down Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 in Superior Valley south of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)CHINA LAKE, Calif. – A Navy fighter jet crashed Tuesday in the Mojave Desert, but its pilot safely ejected, the Navy said. “The pilot ejected safely and was taken to a local medical facility for examination,” it said. Last month, a Marine Corps fighter pilot safely ejected from a F-35B jet after colliding in mid-air with another plane during a refueling operation in a remote desert area of Southern California.
Pearl Harbor shooting probe finds mental health care flaws
The Navy said Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, its investigation into a shooting at Pearl Harbor last December was unable to determine what caused a submarine sailor to kill two civilian workers before fatally shooting himself. Romero was assigned to the USS Columbia submarine, which was in dry dock at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard at the time of the Dec. 4 shooting. The report singled out shortcomings by the submarine force's mental health program, which diagnosed Romero with “phase of life problems.” Romero met with a licensed provider at the program's Pearl Harbor clinic once. A forensic psychiatrist who reviewed Romero's case for the investigation said Romero showed signs of an undiagnosed mental disorder. The psychiatrist said the most probable diagnoses for Romero, in order of likelihood, were as follows: autistic spectrum disorder, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, social anxiety disorder, personality disorder, anxiety disorder, depressive disorder and adjustment disorder.
Navy releases documents from Cold War loss of submarine
The first of the documents released were 300 pages from the official inquiry into the sinking of the USS Thresher on April 10, 1963. The crew of an accompanying rescue ship heard something about the “test depth.” Then the sailors listened as the sub disintegrated under the crushing pressure of the sea. The documents released Wednesday included the timeline of the sinking, evidence lists, reports, testimony and correspondence. Even more than 50 years later, technical details including the test depth were redacted. His suspicion is that the Navy was pushing the limits and placing personnel at risk during the Cold War.
Gray, Green Teams winners in The Last Inning
SALEM, Va. In game one of the action on Saturday, the Gray team defeated the Red team 13-9 in a comeback effort. In game two of action, the Green team prevailed with a 6-4 victory over the Navy team. The Gray team was made up of players from Staunton River, William Byrd, Eastern Montgomery, Radford and Cave Spring. The green team was made up of players from Salem, Glenvar, Auburn, Nothside and Craig County. The Navy team was made up of players from Blacksburg, Christiansburg, William Fleming, Hidden Valley and North Cross.
Marine vehicle deep under sea, complicating rescue search
Still the Marine Corps commandant, Gen. David Berger, said the search was continuing while he was suspending waterborne operations of all of its more than 800 amphibious assault vehicles across the branch until the cause of the accident is determined. Troops on board two other amphibious assault vehicles responded quickly but could not stop the 26-ton vehicle from sinking, Osterman said. All of the Marines on the vehicle, which resembles a seafaring tank, were attached to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Thursday's accident marks the third time in recent years that Camp Pendleton Marines have been injured or died in amphibious assault vehicles during training exercises. And in 2011, a Marine died when an amphibious assault vehicle in a training exercise sank off the shores of Camp Pendleton.
More military bases increase health protections due to virus
The military, however, still has a dramatically low death rate, losing three active-duty service members out of nearly 23,000 virus cases so far. I find that each base does things a little bit different, and theyve adapted very carefully, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said when he traveled to Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri this week. The military has relied largely on its local commanders to make decisions about their base restrictions. For example, Army, Navy and Marine commanders had loosened restrictions at those bases in Japan, but reversed those decisions this month. Active-duty military cases of COVID-19 increased steadily through the spring, but began to escalate more sharply in June, jumping by about 3,000 or more a week.
2020 Senior softball shines in night two
Roanoke, Va. The second night of 2020 senior softball games at Burton fields produced a pair of quality games. In the Red vs Grey game, Abby Weaver jacked the go-ahead home run to grab MVP honors as the Red edged teh Grey 5-4. Meanwhile the Navy team toppled the Black team 4-2. For the second straight night Lord Botetourts Meredith Wells hit a three-run home run, and this one decided the game. Wells was named game MVP for a second consecutive game.
Virginia woman to become the Navys first Black female tactical pilot
LTJG Madeline Swegle is blazing a new trail. A tweet by Naval Air Training announced Swegles accomplishment on Thursday afternoon. Madeline Swegle on completing the Tactical Air (Strike) aviator syllabus. Swegle is the @USNavys first known Black female TACAIR pilot and will receive her Wings of Gold later this month. @FlyNavy @NASKPAO #ForgedByTheSea #CNATRA #CNATRAgrads pic.twitter.com/FKSlURWQhJ Naval Air Training (@CNATRA) July 9, 2020Swegle is from Burke, Virginia and graduated from the U.S.
Shipbuilder files complaint over union threats during strike
Strikers picket outside the district lodge of Local 6 across from Bath Iron Works, Monday, June 22, 2020, in Bath, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)Navy shipbuilder Bath Iron Works on Friday filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, accusing its largest union of threatening workers who cross the picket line during an ongoing strike in Maine. The company accused leaders of Machinists Local S6 of threatening so-called scabs with fines and loss of benefits and hinting at violence. We are extremely disappointed that union leaders would make false and threatening statements to the very employees they are supposed to represent, said BIW President Dirk Lesko. Wadleigh insisted that production workers who cross the picket line are no longer eligible for union benefits, and may face fines, as well.
As COVID-19 cases spike, where are the Comfort and Mercy ships now?
The ships were deployed in late March to help assist frontline hospital workers and provide care on the ships, should hospitals overflow with patients. Comfort arrived in New York City on March 30, a day after it left Virginia, according to Business Insider. Comfort left New York City after treating 182 patients, 70% of whom had COVID-19, according to NavyTimes. Comfort is available in case it is needed for future help, according to NavyTimes, while USNI News reported the same is true for Mercy. (Getty Images)The USNS Comfort departs for its home port of Norfolk, Virginia on April 30, 2020 in New York City.
Striking shipbuilders are losing health coverage in pandemic
PORTLAND, Maine The stakes are growing in a strike against Navy shipbuilder Bath Iron Works during a global pandemic as company-provided health insurance is running out for 4,300 shipbuilders who've left their jobs. Keeping health insurance through the so-called COBRA program can cost up to a couple of thousand dollars a month. Others said they will simply do without health insurance. Kelley Hammond, a 58-year-old marine electrician, opted to forgo purchasing insurance and filled a blood pressure prescription Tuesday, before the expiration of the companys insurance. The shipyard is already about six months behind scheduled, partly because of the pandemic, and it will need subcontractors to help get back on schedule, Bath Iron Works President Dirk Lesko has said.
US naval buildup in Indo-Pacific seen as warning to China
This week, however, Navy commanders said they were able to take advantage of the timing, particularly during this period of great power competition with China. Carriers and carrier strike groups writ large are phenomenal symbols of American naval power. Koehler said that most recently China deployed aircraft to Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands and is now operating them out of there. The USS Theodore Roosevelt and its strike group are operating in the Philippine Sea near Guam. The USS Ronald Reagan has left port in Japan and is operating in the Philippine Sea south of there.
Navy carrier sidelined by virus is back operating in Pacific
WASHINGTON WASHINGTON (AP) Ten long weeks after a massive coronavirus outbreak sidelined one of the Navy's signature warships, the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt has returned to sea and is conducting military operations in the Pacific region. So I thought it was appropriate, said Sardiello, who asked one of the other Navy ships to borrow their flag. She had tested positive for the virus and was in quarantine for about five weeks. There are still about 350 sailors on Guam who are either in isolation or are there as support staff.
Naval Academy holds its first-ever virtual graduation event
On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Kenneth Braithwaite, a former U.S. ambassador to Norway and a 1984 graduate of the Naval Academy, as Navy secretary. The decision not to have a live Naval Academy graduation ceremony reflects concern about the coronavirus pandemic. It stands in contrast to the Air Force, which held a scaled-back live graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado on April 18. The Army is scheduled to hold a U.S. Military Academy live graduation ceremony at West Point, New York, on June 13 with President Donald Trump as the commencement speaker. In the virtual spirit of Friday's Naval Academy event, Milley, chimed in with a Twitter note of encouragement to the graduates.
FBI says Texas naval base shooting is 'terrorism-related'
The entrances to the Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi are closed following an active shooter threat, Thursday, May 21, 2020, in Corpus Christi, Texas. (Annie Rice/Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP)CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas A shooting at a Texas naval air station that wounded a sailor and left the gunman dead early Thursday was being investigated as terrorism-related, the FBI said, but divulged few details as to why. A police spokesman would not confirm that the activity was related to the shooting at the Naval station. We have determined that the incident this morning at the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi is terrorism related, Greeves said. According to U.S. officials, unlike Pensacola, there are no international or foreign national students at the Texas base.
8 more sailors aboard US ship test positive a second time
WASHINGTON Eight more sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive again for the coronavirus, raising to 13 the number who appear to have become infected a second time while serving aboard the sidelined aircraft carrier. All the sailors had previously tested positive for the virus and had gone through at least two weeks of isolation. On Saturday, a Navy official confirmed eight additional sailors had tested positive again. A day earlier the Navy had said in a statement that five had tested positive a second time. That some crew were testing positive again has puzzled officials and raised questions about reintegrating troops into the military if a second infection were possible.
10 Things to Know for Today
The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort passes lower Manhattan on its way to docking in New York, Monday, March 30, 2020. The ship has 1,000 beds and 12 operating rooms that could be up and running within 24 hours of its arrival on Monday morning. It's expected to bolster a besieged health care system by treating non-coronavirus patients while hospitals treat people with COVID-19. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:1. POLITICAL PRISONERS FEAR INFECTION In some cells in Iran, Syria and other countries in the Middle East, prisoners crammed into filthy jails fear the coronavirus could run rampant.
Army closing recruiting stations, moves effort online
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Army on Friday became the first military service to announce it is shutting down all of its recruiting stations around the country in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Navy and Marine Corps said that they are keeping their recruiting stations open, but the services will also follow state or local guidelines. The Marine Corps, meanwhile, said recruiters are taking steps to protect themselves and any recruits that come in. “If a Navy Region directs teleworking in specific cities, counties, or states, we will switch those specific recruiting stations to 100% virtual recruiting," he said. Army leaders have increased the number of recruiters and beefed up efforts to connect with young people through online sports and similar events.
Esper to urge Trump not to intervene in war crimes cases
Administration officials say Esper will recommend to the President that he let the Uniform Code of Military Justice prevail. WASHINGTON, D.C. - Defense Secretary Mark Esper will urge President Donald Trump not to dismiss or change the sentences of service members facing war crimes allegations, CNN has learned. Esper and senior military officials want to get to Trump before he makes a decision and ensure he understands the gravity of what these soldiers have been found guilty of or, in the case of Goldsteyn, the pending charges. Administration officials say Esper will recommend to the President that he let the Uniform Code of Military Justice prevail. Already, military officials are considering their public posture if the President doesn't listen to their advice and moves forward.
Virginia Tech class ring to honor fallen alumna who died during Navy training exercise
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Virginia Tech is going big to honor an alumna who died. Sarah Mitchell, a 2017 graduate of Virginia Tech and the Corps of Cadets, died in July 2018 during a Navy training exercise in the Red Sea. Mitchell will be featured on the Virginia Tech Class of 2021 ring. Virginia Tech revealed the design this week. A section of the ring memorializes Mitchell, complete with "S.M."
Navy dad surprises kids at school after return from Iraq
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - An exciting day for four siblings in Florida as their father, a Navy chief, surprised them at school. Senior Chief Michael Forjan is surprising his 6th grade son Gabriel, who thinks his father is still in Iraq. The kids in the cafeteria first focusing on the school principal, then noticing Senior Chief Forjan walking into the room. Forjan surprised his three other kids earlier in the day at different schools. A wife happy to have him home.
Closing arguments set for Monday in murder trial of Navy SEAL
(CNN) - Closing arguments are expected to begin Monday in the trial of Chief Special Warfare Operator Eddie Gallagher, a Navy SEAL accused of stabbing an ISIS prisoner to death, among other violations of military law. Other SEALs who served alongside Gallagher testified they saw Gallagher stab the ISIS fighter. SEAL Special Operations Chief Craig Miller testified he saw Gallagher stab the prisoner "on the right side of his neck, toward the jugular vein." He posed for pictures with prisoner's body, witnesses saySeveral SEALs testified during the first week they saw Gallagher take pictures with the body. Former SEAL Dylan Dille told the court he saw Gallagher pose for individual and group photos with the body.
Graves of 30 World War II service members are found
CNN imageThe remains of 30 US Marines and Navy service members lost since a bloody WWII battle in the South Pacific have been found on remote Tarawa Atoll, said an organization that recovers lost US service members. History Flight, founded in 2003, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to "researching, recovering, and repatriating" American service members missing after past conflicts, according to its website. The organization has had a hand in recovering hundreds of sets of remains from both the European and Pacific theaters of World War II. At Tarawa Atoll, the primary American objective was to win the airfield on the thin Betio Island. Remains from more than 500 of the US service members were buried in a cemetery on the island.
Prosecution rests in SEAL Eddie Gallagher's military murder trial
Edward Gallagher is accused of stabbing a wounded teenage ISIS fighter in the neck in Mosul in May 2017. A Navy judge has removed the lead prosecutor in the case against a Navy SEAL charged with murdering a wounded person and shooting at(CNN) - Prosecutors in the military trial of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, accused of committing multiple violations of military law in Iraq, rested their case Tuesday. But by week's end, one of the prosecution's own witnesses dropped a bombshell, testifying that he was the one responsible for the ISIS fighter's death. After the prosecution rested, the court-martial members, who act as a jury, were dismissed from the courtroom. The judge denied the motion, and the trial will continue Wednesday at 12 p.m.