Author Kevin Lilley

Navy Times subscribers will get the full story about the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award in Monday’s print edition. Like most Navy awards, it involves a children’s book, a visit to a baseball-bat factory and a city councilman from Long Island. OK, maybe not “most.” But the nomination window closes June 17, so here are the basics in advance: Click here for eligibility rules and nomination procedures. The honor is open to chiefs only, paying tribute to Feller, a Navy chief who pitched his way into the Baseball Hall of Fame with the Cleveland Indians. Click here for background…

First, watch this trailer. Then, read on for some background on how a fictional destroyer will try to save the world next year: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Vng00SYRL0[/youtube] Wedged between signature special effects from Michael ( “Transformers”) Bay and close-ups of Capt. Tom Chandler (Eric “Dr. McSteamy” Dane) is the plot of “The Last Ship,” based loosely on the 1989 William Brinkley novel of the same name. In the TV version, which will air on TNT in the summer of 2014, the destroyer Nathan James ends four months of radio silence off Antarctica only to find out the world’s been ravaged by a global…

It took late-night TV legend David Letterman about 50 seconds to do what loads of PowerPoint presentations, deployment-schedule shifts and turn-down-that-thermostat directives couldn’t: Solve the Navy’s budget mess. The fix involves overweight comedian Louie Anderson in a wet suit. Which doesn’t come up in any of those Navy PowerPoints. Not even in the footnotes. The “Late Show” weapons initiative has to be seen to be appreciated; click this link for video or skip to the 1:05 mark in the clip below. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_eZgbfweK0&t=65[/youtube] Letterman’s no stranger to military strategy at its highest levels. And he’s good with the enlisted side, too,…

Earth Day came and went Monday, with more than 45 Navy installations celebrating the day via fundraising runs, trash pickups, tree plantings and similar activities. But a week before, the Navy released the goats. More than 100 of the grass-munching mammals descended upon Naval Magazine Indian Island, Wash., last week, according to a Navy release put out Wednesday. They’re clearing some unwanted vegetation in “a very natural way,” according to Tammy Dunakin, who has one of the better official titles (“chief goat wrangler”) at one of the better-named companies (Rent-A-Ruminant, LLC) you’re likely to see. The goats will be munching…

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus named seven ships earlier this month, putting out a news release that was remarkable for, if anything, being unremarkable. All seven ships — two littoral combat ships, three joint high speed vessels, one oceanographic research vessel and one amphib — were named within existing naming protocol for their respective classes. No controversial honoring of former Marines-turned-legislators, no convention-breaking decisions, no “Sense of the Senate” suggestions — just six cities and NASA pioneer Sally Ride. But Maine’s senators aren’t happy with how the April 12 release reads. Specifically, Republican Susan Collins and independent Angus King have sent…

Most stories about auto-racing drivers supporting the Navy come in variations of the same flavor: Either a NASCAR superstar visits a fleet concentration area somewhere stateside, or a flag officer makes his way to Charlotte and ends up talking to a future Sprint Cup champion casually leaning on a pile of raw horsepower. Rarely do you see, say, a 21-year-old American driving on the world’s most elite racing circuit spend some of his downtime before a big race taking sailors out for joyrides. Pierside. In Bahrain. Alexander Rossi is a “reserve driver” for the Caterham Formula One team. In addition to…

On one side: A former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former chief of naval operations, 43-year naval officer, Harvard Business School graduate and occasional late-night TV conversationalist. On the other side: A lucky contest winner. In the middle: The greatest Navy-themed board game ever to be turned into a motion picture starring Ray Mabus and Liam Neeson. Not necessarily in that order. Yes, for the low price of $10 (or less), you can enter for a chance to play Battleship against retired Adm. Mike Mullen at the Naval Academy, part of an online fundraiser benefiting The Mission Continues,…

The Blue Angels may be hiring, but for the rest of the year, they won’t be flying. All remaining performances on the 2013 schedule have been canceled, according to a release posted Tuesday on the Flight Demonstration Squadron’s website. And while the release says the unit “will continue to train to maintain flying proficiency until further notice,” a report from AL.com citing an email from the group’s events coordinator says public practices at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., also have been called off. Cuts to the team’s performance schedule have been part of the Navy’s budget-cut plans for months, triggering…

[HTML1] By now, you probably know that despite some budget-related hiccups, the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln has arrived in dry dock for its midlife refueling — a process that will take until November 2016 and cost about $3.3 billion. What does a three-year, $3 billion refueling procedure look like? Well, the folks at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding gave us a bit of an idea with the above video — a time-lapse recording of the flattop making its way into its new home. It appears to be a tight fit, and it’ll get even tighter: More than 3,800 shipyard…

First, watch the video. Then, read below for a bit more about what you’ve witnessed. [brightcove video=”2257275625001″ /] We told you earlier this month about former Intelligence Specialist 1st Class Ron White’s memory feat: He knows the name of every service member, and many U.S. civilians, killed during the war in Afghanistan. That’s almost 2,200 people. It took 10 months for the memory expert to find a home for more than 7,000 words — names and ranks — in his brain, using the same type of memory tricks that have earned him national recognition. On March 19 in San Antonio,…

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