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Author: TriSec    Date: 05/07/2019 10:01:56

Good Morning.

It is playoff season for winter sports, and baseball is in full swing. Except for the Red Sox, but I digress. Ah, what does this have to do with veterans? I'm sure some here will remember the NBA great David Robinson.

He is actually a product of the United States Naval Academy, graduating from there in 1987. He had a convoluted path both in and out of the Navy before actually reaching the NBA, and several rules were changed or waived so that he could both stay at the Academy, and then go on to the NBA.

For decades afterwards, there has been a gray area around military student-athletes, but the rules were changed just in 2017, so now all student-athletes at a a Service Academy must fulfill their military obligation before they can attempt to go pro at their chosen sport. You know, that whole, Honor, Service, Duty, business?

Well, guess who wants to change that? Of course in this country, sports are king.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Monday he is looking into offering a waiver that would allow athletes attending the nation's military academies to play professional sports immediately upon graduation.

Trump made the announcement Monday while presenting the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy to the U.S. Military Academy football team during a Rose Garden ceremony. The Army Black Knights completed an 11-2 season, including wins over the Air Force and Navy. Army earned the trophy for the second consecutive year.

Trump said that, under the plan he envisions, athletes would "serve their time after they're finished with professional sports." He said that should make recruiting a little easier for the military academies.

Trump's own Defense Department rescinded a policy in 2017 that allowed the best athletes from the military's service academies to go straight to the pros upon graduation instead of having to first serve in active duty.

Then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in an April 2017 memo, said that the service academies "exist to develop future officers," and that graduates would serve as "full-fledged military officers carrying out the normal work and career expectations" of someone who received an education at the taxpayers' expense.

The Pentagon on Monday was not aware of any impending changes to the Mattis policy.

Under the current framework, athletes have to serve two years of active duty before applying for reserve status to pursue a career in professional sports.

Trump paid tribute to the Army football team, which has the nation's second-longest active winning streak at nine games, behind Clemson University. Trump described the players as "star athletes and stars in every way."

Moving on, you've probably heard that we're taking swings at the hornet's nest again. A carrier group has been deployed to the Middle East, once again projecting power at Iran. Probably nothing will come of it, but provoking an adversary on their home turf almost guarantees something will happen.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is rushing an aircraft carrier and other military resources to the Middle East after seeing Iranian troops and proxy forces making preparations for attacks against U.S. forces and interests in the region, a defense official told The Associated Press.

At the White House, National Security Adviser John Bolton said Sunday night that the U.S. was deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region, an area that includes the Middle East. In a statement, he said the move was in response to "a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings," but did not provide more details.

The request would get the ships into the region two weeks earlier than initially planned, according to the defense official, who wasn't authorized to speak publicly so spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The Abraham Lincoln and its strike group of ships and combat aircraft have been operating in the Mediterranean Sea recently. Bolton's reference to the Central Command area would mean the Lincoln is headed east to the Red Sea and perhaps then to the Arabian Sea or the Persian Gulf, which would take several days.

For years, the U.S. maintained a carrier presence in the Persian Gulf and Middle East region. During the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there were two carriers in the area, but that was reduced to one.

Last year the administration decided to end the continuous carrier presence, and only send a strike group intermittently into the region. The U.S. Navy currently has no aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.

Bolton said the U.S. wants to send a message that "unrelenting force" will meet any attack on U.S. interests or those of America's allies.

I'm sure no good will come of this.

We'll finish with a story from the home front - and another time. Most of us know the Isle of Chappaquiddick from it's unfortunate association with the Kennedys. But before that, it was mostly uninhabited, and the Navy used it as a bombing range during WWII.

Training to fly a Naval Aircraft is quite difficult, so it should come as no surprise that some planes have crashed in those waters. The Army thinks it might have found one of them - crashed there actually after the war in 1946. Research continues...and the families of the men lost may get closure at last.

The Army Corps of Engineers has cleared about 60 acres of land and began surveying the location around Cape Poge on Martha’s Vineyard for munitions and undetonated ordnance over the last three years.

Little Neck — a barren, sandy finger of Chappaquiddick’s eastern shore, according to the Vineyard Gazette — was used as a Navy practice bombing site during and after World War II.

But the recovery of a five-foot propeller and a .30 caliber machine gun in the waters off Chappaquiddick led researchers to think they have discovered a Curtiss SB2C Helldiver that crashed in 1946.

According to the Gazette, an expert at Quonset Naval Air Station identified the fragments as part of the Helldiver, a carrier-based bomber notorious for its difficult handling.

But researchers had to turn to old newspaper accounts to determine when the crash may have occurred — Feb. 22, 1946 — and the potential identity of the pilots: Ensign Cecil M. Richards and Aviation Radioman 2nd Class William Robert Garrett. While the two sailors have gravestones, it’s unknown if their remains are interred at the sites.

The Corps of Engineers plan to recover the plane with a 30-foot barge with a crane, but it’s yet to be determined if there was live ammunition on the plane or if it still holds any human remains.


3 comments (Latest Comment: 05/07/2019 14:39:17 by livingonli)
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