CH-53

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

CAPITOL HILL: UPDATE BEGINS The administration’s nominee for Marine Corps Commandant, Lt. Gen. Bob Neller, set off a firestorm from Sen. John McCain this morning. After two hours of an otherwise congenial confirmation hearing, the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman erupted over Neller’s description of the current administration strategy against the Islamic State. That strategy relies on airpower and advisors… Keep reading →

Kai Boyce makes a repair in the APU compartment on the aft right side of an F/A-18 hornet at Cecil Commerce Center.

CAPITOL HILL: Marines pride themselves on being ready for anything. But as of today, 19 percent of their air fleet is out of action “long-term” awaiting repairs and spares, the deputy commandant for aviation said today. “It’s 158 — actually, today, 159 aircraft — that the taxpayer paid $8.4 billion dollars for,” said Lt. Gen.… Keep reading →


A christening of a ship of the line is rare. When it happens, thoughts of how that ship might be used, where it might operate and how it might make new naval history are part of the excitement.

This was clearly evident at the Oct. 20 christening of the USS America, the fourth ship of that name, in Pascagoula, Miss. This ship is not only the lead ship in a new class but will integrate the newest aircraft of the Marine-Navy team aboard a single operational platform at sea. F-35 Bravos, Ospreys and CH-53Ks will fly from her in the years to come. The first ship will operate out of San Diego, sure to be part of the Pacific Century. Keep reading →