Author David Larter

A petition to award Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Mark Mayo the Medal of Honor has appeared on the White House’s website, but a leading expert in military decorations says that’s not in the cards. Navy officials say Mayo was gunned down the night of March 24 while attempting to protect quarterdeck watch standers on the destroyer Mahan, after a man identified as 35-year-old truck driver Jeffrey Savage, an ex-convict, gained access to the pier and disarmed the ship’s petty officer of the watch. “He doesn’t qualify for the Medal of Honor because it wasn’t in combat,” said Doug Sterner, a Vietnam…

Navy Times’ intrepid reporter Mark D. Faram got an all-access pass on the latest littoral combat ship, USS Coronado, this week. The takeaway? It’s as fast as a cheetah in Air Jordans. Cmdr. John Kochendorfer, the ship’s captain, told Faram that it handles like an Italian sports car. “What you have here is a big military Jet Ski with a flight deck, payload areas and weapons, and the thing handles like a Ferrari,” Kochendorfer said. “This ship is built to go fast; it likes to go fast; it rides better when it goes fast.” With a top speed of…

“Joe Versus the Volcano” star Tom Hanks is rumored to have been cast as Capt. Richard Phillips — who achieved 15 minutes of fame when his merchant ship, the Maersk Alabama, was hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden in 2009 — in the screen adaptation of Phillip’s book “A Captain’s Duty.” Put 15 minutes back on the clock. The film is being produced by the same team who brought us the Oscar-winning film The Social Network last summer, according to the A.V. Club. This will be Hanks’ second time playing a captain — Capt. Jim Lovell in “Apollo…

The Navy held its “first cut” ceremony for the yet-to-be-named CVN 79 last week. Naming a carrier is a big deal and there are plenty of politics involved. Ultimately Navy Secretary Ray Mabus will make the call but he should have the benefit of input from Scoop Deck readers. Leave your suggestions in the comment section. Here are a few to get you started: 1. USS James Greer — Adm. James Greer retired from an illustrious Navy career to head the Central Intelligence Agency. He served as a mentor to CIA SuperSpy-turned-President  Jack Ryan and was instrumental in the successful…

The recruits at Great Lakes had a visit last week from the Cubs. The picture above shows Cubs’ top-prospect reliever Andrew Cashner talking to future sailors on Jan. 13. Things change at Great Lakes from year to year: stress cards or no stress cards, boots or tennis shoes, utilities or NWUs. But the one thing that remains constant is the coke bottle, Jerry Lewis-esque eye wear the recruits call “BCGs” or “birth control glasses.” Cheer up, guys. It’s only eight weeks.

It appears sailors aren’t that superstitious since the Navy let this hull number slide. The Navy has been around for a while, and there have been a lot of ships in its service with fascinating histories. So it would seem appropriate to highlight a ship and its story from time to time on Scoop Deck. To start it off: The destroyer Black In service: 1943-1946 and 1951-1969 Class: Fletcher Built: Kearny, New Jersey Dimensions: 376 feet long, 39-foot beam and displaced 2,934 tons History: Named for Lt. Cmdr. Hugh Black, killed in action in 1942, the ship served in the…

Iranian media reported Friday the country was getting ready to invest in new Jamaran-type frigates. The Iranian Navy launched the first of its Mowj-class frigates in February of last year. It was the first domestically produced surface combatant of its kind and a second is well along in production at Bandar Abbas, according to Jane’s. The ship is fairly well outfitted: 1,500 ton displacement with six Mk 32 torpedoes and launchers for four C-802 anti-ship and SM-1 anti-air missiles. But let’s not get carried away here, this is a trinket of a ship relative to the 9,700-ton CG 47s. Which…

Well it’s that time again: time to change the wallpaper on your desktop. Last time the theme was carrier aviation. But for this winter update, a little surface warfare seems about right. And nothing says surface warfare quite like underway replenishment. That’s right, messengers, sailors hauling lines, two ships sailing side-by-side in a complex ship maneuvering exercise and bridge-to-bridge coordination: surface warfare.  This is the testing ground where junior officers get their conning officers PQS signed off and young blue shirts earn their stripes on line handlers (and that’s no picnic if you’ve never done it). It also happens to…

Navy Times sister publication Defense News is reporting that the Chinese have tested their new J-20 stealth fighter, coinciding with Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ visit with the Chinese president. The New York Times reported that the test took place just hours before the visit and that Gates asked President Hu Jintao about the timing. Hu said the test had nothing to do with Gates. The Times article infers there may be some disconnect between the Chinese government and the test, implying  that perhaps Hu had not authorized the test. Mr. Gates said he directly asked Mr. Hu why it was…

Apparently China’s super death ray carrier-sinking missile is still on Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ radar as he travels to China this week. Gates told The Telegraph that he had been concerned about the development of anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles since he took the job in 2006, and remained so. The trip was designed to ease tensions between the two powers, but so far it seems to have highlighted the jitters China’s recent military advancements have given the U.S. The AP reports: China has made strides in building a new stealth fighter jet, and Washington is also concerned about a…

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