Author Bill McMichael

Hampton Roads Bureau Chief

A Canadian security firm has added the former commander of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic to its board of directors. On Jan. 3, security and identity management company Route1 Inc. announced the appointment of Rear Adm. Mark S. Boensel, who retired Jan. 1 after more than 33 years of service. Boensel, who spent his last four years of active service at Mid-Atlantic Region, had an exceedingly diverse career that included years as a naval flight officer and flight instructor — he accumulated more than 3,200 flight hours and more than 600 carrier arrested landings — as a military assistant in the office…

It’s one of those end-of-year best-of/worst-of lists that multiply like flies this time of year. But this one caught the eye for two reasons: It purports to list America’s Worst Bosses — and who hasn’t got a story to tell about an awful supervisor? — and it lists a former Navy commanding officer and a fired executive officer among its 100 worst for 2011. According to “the eBossWatch panel of workplace experts,” coming in at No. 25 was Cmdr. Liam Bruen, former commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 136 out of Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., who was censured by…

No matter what the service, military rescue swimmers are a pretty remarkable bunch. In addition to being skilled at their normal rating duties, they’re able — and willing — to be lowered into some pretty hair-raising situations that most normal folks would regard as out of the realm of possibility. The Atlantic waters looked to be fairly calm when the dock landing ship Gunston Hall conducted a man-overboard drill last week, as you can see: That’s a long way down, though. In addition, the water temperature was on the cool side. According to the National Oceanographic Data Center, the average…

By custom, the surface warfare officer with the earliest Officer of the Deck qualification is recognized as the Navy’s “Old Salt” — an award initiated in 1988 by the Surface Navy Association. On Friday, that distinction will be bestowed on Adm. John Harvey, commander of Fleet Forces Command, in a ceremony aboard the amphibious transport dock ship San Antonio at Naval Station Norfolk. The current Old Salt is the recently retired Adm. Mike Mullen, who stepped back into civilian life Sept. 30 following four years as the nation’s top military officer and 43 years of service. There was no interim…

East Coast aviation buffs should mark their calendars for Saturday, Dec. 17, when the 108th Celebration of Powered Flight will be held at the Wright Brothers National Monument in Kill Devil Hills, N.C. Well, it’s probably not exactly the 108th celebration … no one likely paid any attention to such things for a few decades. But this event does promise to be special. It starts at 8:30 a.m. and, weather permitting, there’ll be a military aircraft flyover at exactly 10:35 a.m. — precisely when the Orville Wright “powered” off a 60-foot monorail guide and flew the brothers’ biplane a total…

On May 7, 1970, the Beatles released their last single: “The Long and Winding Road.” Last week, the amphibious transport dock Ponce, launched 13 days after the song and commissioned in July 1971, completed its own long journey, coming home for the last time after four decades of service. Those years were filled with significant events. Ponce helped evacuate nearly 300 mostly U.S. and British Westerners from Lebanon during the 1976 civil war, and supported 6th Fleet air strikes on pro-Syrian militia positions in defense of U.S. Marines ashore. It supported military disaster relief in Florida following 1992’s devastating Hurricane…

The sixth San Antonio-class ship completed its acceptance trials last week, and the Navy is sure hoping that the future USS San Diego can jump out of the gates after its December delivery without the problems that have plagued the rest of the class. Dock Landing Ship 22 has something going for it: It wasn’t built at Avondale, La. While all five previous 17s have had issues, one, the Mesa Verde, overcame its initial power plant problems and shock trial issues. The Pascagoula, Miss.-built ship is now on its second full deployment, replacing San Antonio, which had to stay home…

Next year marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, and the Navy is helping the state of Maryland kick off its multi-year commemoration with a two-ship visit to Baltimore’s beautiful Inner Harbor. The war with Great Britain that gave us the Star-Spangled Banner and “Don’t give up the ship!” was declared on June 18, 1812, and lasted another 2 1/2 years. The Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard will be marking the bicentennial through 2015 with week-long events, parades of sail, public visits and numerous other community relations activities in Baltimore, New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Boston, and…

Retired Adm. Gary Roughead will spend calendar year 2012 as the Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Director John Raisian announced Monday. Roughead, who stepped down as chief of naval operations and retired in September, will spend the year in residence at Hoover, located in Stanford, Calif. According to an announcement posted on Business Wire, Roughead will examine the “critical role of the military as part of the American way of life.” The announcement says that Roughead will work with former cabinet members George P. Shultz and William Perry, who also are in residence at Hoover. Roughead’s research…

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