Author Gidget Fuentes

The hospital ship Mercy got a unique recognition last month when the National Conflict Resolution Center gave the ship its National Peacemaker Award for bringing medical and humanitarian aid overseas, including annual “Pacific Partnership” missions in 2008, 2010 and 2012. It was the first time the San Diego-based center gave the award to a “thing” and not a person. “The amount of humanitarian aid that everybody on the ship provides – really as a team – they really reach out around the world,” Lisa Cole-Jones, the center’s fund development program manager, told us. The ship’s crew was elated. “The more…

There are picture books, you know, those stacked gracefully on coffee tables. And then there are those voluminous tomes, thickly bound with pages heavy with history and colorful photographs, that can stand on their own, with no need for a supporting cast. That’s what a reader will find in “United States Naval Special Warfare,” a new photo-anthology recently published by NSW Publications, LLC. The book is the brainchild of Greg E. Mathieson Sr., an Army veteran and longtime photographer with a reputable photo career that’s literally spanned the globe, from combat zones to palaces and the usually classified world of SEALs and SWCCs. The…

A lengthy article in the March issue of Esquire magazine told the story of the saga of the Navy SEAL who claimed to have shot most-wanted terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden to death in that May 2, 2011, operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The member of famed SEAL Team 6, in the article penned by Phil Bronstein, executive chair of the Berkeley, Calif.-based Center for Investigative Reporting (and ex-husband of actress Sharon Stone), went on to complain about his shoddy treatment by the Navy and struggles to keep his family and finances, as well as his health, in order after deciding to toss aside…

[HTML1] The March issue of Esquire magazine – it’s due to hit the newsstands Feb. 19 – has a lengthy story about the plight of the Navy SEAL who claims he fired the three shots that killed terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. The former SEAL, whose identity the magazine did not reveal, is referred to as “The Shooter” in an article written by San Francisco-based investigative journalist Phil Bronstein. The magazine’s cover image screams “The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden…Is Screwed.” Bronstein took to NBC’s “Today” show earlier today to talk about the article and the SEAL who…

The rising popularity of designer drugs like marijuana-like “spice” and so-called “bath salts” concocted with chemical combinations meant to give users an illegal high has emergency medical responders grappling with users who risk losing their lives – or minds – for a cheap fleeting euphoria. Worse, using bath salts could make your life seem like it is a real nightmare and cause hallucinations and paranoia so you believe your roommate and your girlfriend have turned into crazy demons. That’s the gist of a video that Navy Medicine created last month as a public service announcement to deter sailors and Marines from…

It’s tough enough trying to become a Navy SEAL, so you can image the sharp skills and good luck needed to nab one of the coveted spots on the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the “Leap Frogs.” But who says you can’t jump with them, in a virtual kind of way? The video (above) was produced in high definition by local production firm Surf’s Up Studios, which went wheels up to record the Navy’s famous parachute demonstration team make its entrance at the annual Coronado Speed Festival. On September 22-23, the annual racing car fest that is part of the ongoing…

A navy ship stuck in port for maintenance? Yes, but not the U.S. Navy this time. Down Under this past week, one of Australia’s newer ships developed problems with its propulsion system, according to reports. The amphibious landing ship HMAS Choules was heading from Sydney for a scheduled exercise in Queensland when the ship lost half its power, forcing the ship to return to Sydney. The 16,000-ton Choules is relatively new to the Royal Australian Navy, but it’s not a brand new ship. Australia bought the ship in December from the Brits – the Largs Bay operated in the fleet since…

Pulled by a beefy ocean-going tug appropriately called Warrior, the 45,000-ton battleship Iowa left its retirement berth with the mothball fleet in the San Francisco Bay area for a new life as a museum ship. As of Tuesday afternoon, the 877-foot-long Iowa was south of the Channel Islands on course for San Pedro, home to the port of Los Angeles. That put the ship a bit ahead of schedule. “The Iowa came in way too fast,” Anthony Broude, whose own historic group, the merchant ship SS Lane Victory, planned a Wednesday escort for Iowa’s early-morning arrival at San Pedro, told the Contra…

Their ship’s maiden deployment now on the homestretch to San Diego, Calif., after duty in the 5th Fleet region, the crew aboard amphibious assault ship Makin Island took a little time to mark that long-held seagoing tradition of crossing the equator, the Shellback Ceremony. No, it’s not exactly the casting call for the next sequel to “Pirates of the Caribbean.” But from the looks of these photos, a little fun was had by the pollywogs, even the “Boss Wog.” Not as crazy as those ceremonies of years gone by, for sure, but for the sailors aboard the ship, it gives…

Let’s face it: Once you step into a new car – or even a previously-owned vehicle, as used-car dealers say – it’s just not exciting to drive older wheels. Classic rebuilt cars, the exception of course. Trading down just isn’t fun. So we can feel for the sailors and officers of amphibious assault ship Essex, who this spring took the Wasp-class big-deck Bonhomme Richard from their home in San Diego, Calif., and swapped hulls in Japan, where they exchanged ships and even the official Facebook pages with their Sasebo-based counterparts in the Navy’s latest scheduled hull swap. The San Diego-based crew…

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