Author Bill McMichael

Hampton Roads Bureau Chief

The carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower began a six-month Planned Incremental Availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va., Monday — coincidentally, the 33rd anniversary of the flattop’s commissioning at Norfolk Naval Station’s Pier 12. The scheduled but much-needed maintenance and modernization period follows an extraordinarily busy time for Ike, which came home July 28 following the second of two nearly back-to-back deployments in a 17-month period — the so-called “double-shot.” During the cake-cutting ceremony marking the occasion, shipyard project superintendent Chrystal Brady said the period will be the “largest PIA ever done” in six months; Capt. Marcus Hitchcock, Ike’s CO,…

A sequel to the smash 1986 movie that provided a soundtrack for a generation of naval aviators and turned Tom Cruise into a star might be in the cards. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Paramount Pictures has made offers to the original producer and director of “Top Gun” to produce a sequel. According to the paper, Cruise would be expected to make an appearance as Maverick, the hotshot F-14 Tomcat pilot who bends or breaks the rules in his constant efforts to be the best. Two quick questions come to mind here: 1. Hollywood LIVES on sequels. How did this…

Concern over use of the synthetic marijuana sold as “Spice” and under other names has prompted the Navy and Air Force to ban the legal drug, with the Army and Marine Corps taking steps in that direction. The catch is that it doesn’t show up in drug tests, so the services are in a bind when it comes to enforcing the ban. Navy Times wants to hear from sailors who are current or former users, or if you’ve known sailors or others who have used Spice. Do you or your friends use it? How prevalent is Spice use in your unit?…

Was watching C-Span’s U.S. House coverage this afternoon to hear what might get said about the proposed multi-year Super Hornet buy when Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., rose to speak in support of House Resolution 1251, “Recognizing and Honoring the United States troops who gave their lives on D-day at the Battle of Normandy.” It’s obviously a worthy gesture, and one that was shortly seconded by Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who would soon rise to tout his Super Hornet bill. The 66th anniversary  of D-day, however, took place on June 6, 2010 — more than three months ago. The resolution, sponsored…

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