Author Lance Bacon

A Navy brat who spent eight years in the Marines (two years aboard the carrier Independence). Worked in journalism in Eastern North Carolina through the latter part of the 90s, then became editor of Air Force Times in 2000. Stayed there five years, then took a break to finish some school. Now back in the game with Navy Times.

The Navy nabbed a lot of headlines again this week. Leading the way is news that the Green Hornet on Thursday took to flight – the fighter jet, not the super hero. The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet was powered by a 50/50 blend of biofuel and JP-5. That same day, a U.S. military jury cleared a Navy SEAL of failing to prevent the beating of an Iraqi prisoner suspected of masterminding a 2004 attack that killed four American security contractors. Two others will soon have their day in court. And on Wednesday, the Navy implemented its first change in 17 years to…

As further evidence that the Geek Squad provides the best pickings for tomorrow’s Navy, we turn to the latest news out of the Naval Academy. For the Class of 2015, cyberwarfare and cybersecurity will be right up there with the traditional instruction of all things nautical. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to the latest gaggle of plebes. Most spent their elementary recess periods pecking away on a computer, so they get it. For the older salts who are scratching their heads, realize that the Navy righly recognizes cyberwarfare is arguably the greatest threat facing the modern military. This understanding…

Friday was a day when hope and history shared the same waters at Naval Submarine Base New London, in Groton, Conn. The day opened as sailors assigned to the Pre-Commissioning Unit Missouri raised colors for the first time aboard Missouri, the seventh Virginia-class attack submarine. The crew moved aboard and began bringing the sub’s systems to life. Known as “In Service Day,” the 134 officers and sailors accepted day-to-day operations of the sub, as well as its safety and security. The crew also began preparations for sea-trials, work-ups and eventual commissioning, scheduled for July 31. The same day, the attack…

The Navy nabbed a lot of headlines again this week. Leading the way is news that the Navy’s 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock will be named for Rep. John Murtha – a story first reported by Scoop Deck’s own Phillip Ewing. An unfortunate T-39 crash killed four in Georgia also made headlines, as did the Thursday announcement that changes were coming to the performance evaluation system and advancement policy (check Monday’s Navy Times for more on that). And the president also reaffirmed his 2011 Afghan withdrawal plan this week.  Here’s seven stories in seven minutes from the past seven…

Scoop Deck spent an awesome morning with retired Capt. (Dr.) Don Walsh, pilot of the bathyscaphe Trieste, which recorded the deepest dive any man has made. He and Jacques Piccard on Jan. 23, 1960 dove 35,797 feet (6.8 miles) into the deepest known part of any ocean, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. (Navy Times has some special coverage regarding that dive in the upcoming edition.) Walsh, a submariner by trade, shared another interesting story: how he got his doctorate. The Naval Academy grad didn’t finish on the top rungs of his class. In his words, he was “officially stupid.” After…

Scoop Deck has seen many titles on business cards — commander, director, secretary, chairman … but never one as good as the one we received today: Scoop Deck spent an awesome morning with retired Capt. (Dr.) Don Walsh, pilot of the bathyscaphe Trieste, which recorded (by far) the deepest dive any man has made. More to come on that … Also present was Sagalevich, Walsh’s  Russian counterpart who later took Walsh to view the sunken remains of Bismark and Titanic. In fact, Walsh gives a very couteous nod to his good friend, calling him the “true leader in submersible science.” Sagalevich,…

The Navy kicked off the month by kicking pirate butt in three foiled attacks. The stories that nabbed most other headlines this week included the Nuclear Posture Review, which was all the talk in the beltway; F-35 training, which continues despite problems getting the jets; the Fire Scout, which scored its first drug bust;  the smoking ban on subs and the Navy’s decision to restrict the wear of ball caps and coveralls. Here’s seven stories in seven minutes from the past seven days that you may not have seen, but are worthy of notice:

It seems ours is not the only Navy that must contend with shipbuilding delays. New Zealand today took possession of its offshore patrol vessel Otago – two years late. A range of issues delayed delivery, most notably the failure of both engines as the ship was about to leave on its maiden voyage. The ship limped back into port on one engine after that debacle. No doubt everyone was holding their breath (no pun intended) when the ship sailed from Melbourne earlier this week for the four-day voyage across the Tasman Sea. It’s no wonder that the New Zealand Navy…

March was a busy month for the Global Force for Good. You’ve likely heard about the commissionings, the pummeling of pirates and all the other good tidbits. Here are a few highlights that may have slipped under your radar: The carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower launched nearly 620 combat sorties and flew more than 3,600 cumulative hours from the North Arabian Sea supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Nearly three dozen nuggets gave a collective sigh as the carrier John C. Stennis began the journey home to Bremerton, Wash., after 21 days at sea in support of fleet replacement squadron carrier qualifications. Stennis…

With a radar-guided 20mm Gatling gun spitting out 4,500 armor-piercing tungsten rounds per minute, and a 100-percent kill distance in the realm of eight miles, what’s badder than a MK15 Phalanx Close-in Weapon System? An upgraded MK15 Phalanx Close-in Weapon System. Raytheon on March 31 was awarded a $204 million to beef up 32 CIWS systems. John Eagles, a spokesman for Raytheon, today told Scoop Deck that the amount jumped by $10 million because some extra upgrades were ordered – and with good reason. The 32 existing mounts will upgrade to 1B status, which is a defense system with a…

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