Defense Secretary Robert Gates dropped the bomb of the week. In his first invitation to the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space symposium, Gates suggested a need for cutting carriers, sinking SSBN(X) and eliminating Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles. You can read Gates’ speech here, and find out how this affects you in Monday’s edition of Navy Times.
Speaking of amphibious operations, the personnel bubbas in Millington are starting to dry out. Two days of rain dumped more than 14 inches in the area. A levee couldn’t hold the water back and the base was flooded. This delayed one promotion board and threw many administrative matters into chaos, but the crew weathered the storm in true Navy fashion.
Here’s seven stories in seven minutes from the past seven days that you may not have seen, but are worthy of notice:
1. SEALs 3, Terrorists 0. Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew McCabe was found not guilty Thursday by a military jury. He was the last of three SEALs accused of punching suspected Iraqi terrorist Ahmed Hashim Abed in the gut after his September capture in Iraq. Abed is suspected of plotting the 2004 slayings of four U.S. contractors in Fallujah in which the bodies were dragged through the streets, burned and strung up from a bridge.
Jurors deliberated about an hour and 40 minutes before returning their verdict. The other two SEALs were acquitted in trials last month in Baghdad.
2. Ding, ding – Women, arriving! The Navy picked 11 Naval Academy and two NROTC seniors to be first 13 women to serve aboard submarines. The announcement came May 6, exactly one week after the change became official.
These women are at the top of their game, and Navy Times was there to meet them. Check out Monday’s edition to meet a few of these pioneers.
3. Headaches for LCS. Scoop Deck’s own Philip Ewing is keeping a close watch on all things littoral as the downselect draws near.
First is this report that details how the Army’s plan to cancel the Non-Line-Of-Sight missile would rob LCS of a main weapon. The Army says it costs way too much and doesn’t work.
And in this story, we learn that LCS1 Freedom is heading into a five-day dry dock to repair one of the ship’s water jets. The repairs are not expected to affect Freedom’s spring schedule, according to officials.
4. Former Stennis skipper kills wife, self. Norfolk police said Robert Klosterman, 63, shot his wife Rebecca, 57, and then himself on Sunday. The couple’s final divorce hearing was scheduled for Tuesday. Robert Klosterman was the first commander of the carrier John C. Stennis, commissioned in 1995.
5. Love and marriage. Seventeen people got busted Wednesday for allegedly hooking up sham marriages between Navy personnel and Russian women. The feds say the women got immigration benefits, and the sailors got to pocket the BAH. You can read about it here.
6. What’s in a name? A decade-long effort by a North Carolina congressman to rename the Department of the Navy as the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps passed the House by voice vote Tuesday.
Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., said he wants to ensure the Marine Corps receives equal recognition as a military branch. It’s worth noting the House has approved similar legislation for the past eight years, only to see it shot down by the Senate.
7. On the road again.
Riverine Squadron 1 on May 1 started a six-month deployment to Iraq – its third since 2007, when the unit became the first riverine squadron to deploy since the Vietnam era.
RIVRON 1 will train Iraqis in maritime security and operations. You can read about the mission here.