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The ARA San Juan has been missing since 15 November

Some 44 people are on board the sub and the search is in a “critical phase” as the crew’s oxygen supply could be running low.

The US says an object its navy detected near to where an Argentinian submarine sent its last signal is not the missing vessel.

A P-8A Poseidon plane made the discovery but analysis later ruled the object out as being the ARA San Juan, said the American embassy.

Some 44 people are on board the missing sub and the search is in a “critical phase” as the crew’s oxygen supply could be running low.

Dozens of planes and boats are searching for the ARA San Juan, which has been missing in the South Atlantic since 15 November.

But the submarine has only seven days of oxygen and, if it has sunk or been unable to surface since it was last heard from, then it could be using the last of its supply.

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Master-at-Arms 1st Class Cathy Garcia sprays pepper spray into the eyes of Electronics Technician 3rd Marie Matlock.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andrew Wiskow)

U.S. Navy sailors will no longer have to relive the painful pepper spray experience every three years.

The Navy announced Tuesday sailors will only have to get pepper sprayed in the eyes once, instead of the every three-year requirement that had been in place, after it received complaints about the agonizing training.

“One and done! Effective immediately we are ELIMINATING the 3-year recertification requirement for pepper spray as part of our force protection training,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson wrote in a Facebook post with a video.

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The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan steams the Philippine Sea during Annual Exercise 2017, joint military training between the US Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, in this handout photo taken on Nov. 20, 2017. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/US Navy/Handout via REUTERS)

TOKYO—A U.S. Navy transport plane carrying 11 people crashed in the Philippine Sea south of Japan on Wednesday as it flew to the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, the U.S. Seventh Fleet said.

Eight people were rescued, with three others missing, it said, adding that all of the rescued personnel were transferred to the carrier for medical evaluation and were in good condition.

“Search and rescue efforts for three personnel continue with U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships and aircraft on scene,” the U.S. Seventh Fleet said in a news release.

“The incident will be investigated,” it added.

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By Edward Chang By 1987, the Iran-Iraq War had turned the Persian Gulf into a shooting gallery. As part of a total war strategy, both Baghdad and Tehran targeted

By 1987, the Iran-Iraq War had turned the Persian Gulf into a shooting gallery. As part of a total war strategy, both Baghdad and Tehran targeted merchant shipping to impede the other side’s war effort. During eight years of brutal fighting, hundreds of commercial vessels, many belonging to neutral countries, were attacked, costing the lives of hundreds of merchant seamen and causing millions of dollars in damage.

The perilous security situation in one of the world’s vital waterways influenced the Reagan administration’s decision to intervene. From 1987 to 1988, the United States escorted Kuwaiti oil tankers during Operation Earnest Will. Superpower intervention did not result in an expansion of the conflict, but the one-and-a-half-year period became arguably the closest America and Iran came to full-scale war.

In the foreground, the U.S. escorted convoys through the dangerous region, while fighting a shadowy conflict in the background against Iran’s unconventional forces. Tehran’s mine-laying and small boat attacks in the Gulf were countered with increasingly forceful responses, culminating in Operation Praying Mantis in April 1988

In a single day, the U.S. and Iran fought the largest air-sea battle since World War II, with the latter losing the bout in lopsided fashion. With Iran now weary of war, Ayatollah Khomeini sought peace, and the 20th century’s third-deadliest armed conflict came to an end in August 1988. Earnest Will concluded a month later.

To this day, there exists no shortage of animosity between the U.S. and Iran. Yet, the “Tanker War” period of 1987 to 1988 remains the only instance the bitter enemies came to blows. But instead of merely acting as safeguard of the Gulf, what if the United States had chosen to take the fight directly to Iran earlier on and settle the score, once and for all?

David Crist, senior historian to the U.S. government and Marine Corps Reserve officer, devoted an entire chapter to a little-known, eye-opening episode in his epic 2012 chronicle of U.S.-Iran relations since the rise of the Islamic Republic.

Years of research, access to classified documents, and extensive interviews conducted by Crist with the key participants, revealed Adm. James “Ace” Lyons, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, intended to start a war with Iran in 1987, using an idea he had developed independently. He sought to execute it by exploiting an operational advantage that would come late summer of that year and, hopefully, after having sold it to his superiors in Washington.

The idea, codenamed Operation Window of Opportunity, was first developed by Lyons in late 1986. In June the following year, Lyons made his pitch to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. The “opportunity” the admiral was referring to would come on Aug. 26. The aircraft carrier USS Constellation and her battle group, deployed to the Gulf of Oman in support of Earnest Will, was due to be relieved by USS Ranger and her battle group.

This created a brief “window” where two carrier battle groups would be on-station to provide air power. In addition, the recently-recommissioned World War II-era battleship USS Missouri plus five other warships had also been tasked to Earnest Will. Rarely would so much firepower be available in-theater at once.

Ace Lyons’s scheme called for the use of ConstellationRanger and Missouri in two days of attacks on Iranian military targets up and down the Gulf coast. On the first day, airfields, command-and-control centers, missile sites and ports, among other military facilities, would be struck. On the second day, Iran’s economy would be targeted, with strikes proposed on oil facilities on Kharg Island, commercial harbors, as well as mining the major Iranian ports at Bushehr and Bandar Abbas.

A U.S. Navy F-14A Tomcat, Fighter Squadron 154 getting ready for launch off the deck of USS Constellation. (Photo: U.S. Navy, 247Sports)


“We can cut 70 percent of their imports and exports,” Lyons informed Weinberger. “The objective of these strikes is to facilitate freedom of navigation and apply pressure to Iran to enter into serious negotiations to end the Iran-Iraq War.” The admiral also believed the strikes could topple the Khomeini regime.

“Ace” then took his case to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. William Crowe, in August. “I have come to the conclusion that no amount of ships and aircraft will deter Iran as long as its leaders believe we will not respond to isolated attacks,” Lyons stated. The pitch to Crowe featured new proposals, including using Missouri to bombard the Silkworm missile sites around the Strait of Hormuz, a recent addition to Iran’s arsenal that posed a grave threat to Gulf shipping and U.S. naval forces.

It also called for the 13th Marine Amphibious Unit to conduct an amphibious assault and seizure of the island of Abu Musa, which belonged to Iran. Emphasizing the need to be “vigorous and decisive,” Lyons specified Aug. 29 as the date to execute the operation.

Reaction to the idea was lukewarm, however. The publicly-hawkish, but restrained-in-practice Weinberger had no desire for the United States to take on Iran in a war without a major provocation. Crowe found it a difficult sell for Reagan, especially at a time when the administration was mired in the Iran-Contra scandal.

While Lyons believed his idea would “save the president,” the administration sought to avoid a confrontation with Iran. Even at the height of hostilities, the president downplayed the risk of war, even though the facts on the ground indicated a different trendline.

But if his superiors would not green-light a war on Iran, Ace Lyons would give them a reason to. He encouraged the Constellation battle group to act aggressively, in hopes of either strong-arming Iran into submission or provoking them into a confrontation.

One almost took place. On Aug. 8, two F-14 Tomcat fighters from Conniefired at what they believed was an Iranian air force F-4 Phantom II fighter attempting to engage a U.S. P-3C Orion monitoring a convoy operation. Despite multiple missiles fired by the F-14s, none found their target, and both sides elected to disengage before the situation escalated any further.

Undeterred, Lyons continued to encourage and order his subordinate officers to take part in his scheme, in hopes Washington would eventually approve Window of Opportunity.

But Washington never did and Aug. 29 came and went without America going to war with Iran. Furthermore, Lyons’ unilateralism exposed a rift that existed between him and many of the other officers in charge of Persian Gulf operations. Gen. George Crist, commander-in-chief of Central Command — and father of David Crist — felt as though Lyons was hindering operations by trying to pick his own fight with Iran, one neither Crist, the Reagan administration, nor even Tehran, sought. Eventually, Lyons’ rogue-ish behavior and toe-stepping got the best of him.

By the time he had earned his fourth star, Ace Lyons, a career surface warfare officer, had established himself as an aggressive and unorthodox problem-solver, earning him favor of influential figures such as Crowe. But his best assets were also his greatest liabilities. His tendency to disregard political considerations in the conduct of war concerned many of those above him, who in turn frustrated him by not endorsing his proposals.

An Iranian P-3 patrol plane. (Photo: U.S. Navy, 247Sports)


Worse, he deliberately side-stepped his immediate superiors, such as Adm. Ronald Hays, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Command, and even the Navy’s most senior officer at the time, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Carlisle Trost. The latter harbored reservations regarding Lyons’ practices, which included mock air attacks on Soviet forces stationed in the Pacific. The Navy’s top leader believed the intrepid four-star was reckless enough to start a war with the Soviet Union.

Window of Opportunity was the last straw. Having been kept out of the loop repeatedly during Lyons’ push for war, Hays, with the backing of Reagan adviser Richard Armitage and Adm. Trost, lobbied Weinberger to have the Pacific Fleet commander forced into retirement. Weinberger concurred and even Lyons’ most powerful ally, Crowe, found it impossible to defend him.

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A photo of guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) from their Facebook Page in 2010.

A United States Navy destroyer rescued three sailors just minutes after their boat sank off the coast of La Jolla Saturday morning.

Sailors aboard a 32-foot recreational boat sent an emergency alert signal around 8 a.m., when their vessel began to take on water about 40 miles off the coast of La Jolla.

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) disseminated the signal to boaters in the area and immediately, guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) responded.

The San Diego-based ship was able to locate the distressed crew just after their boat submerged, Navy Cmdr. Alex Mamikonian said. Navy sailors deployed an inflatable boat and with it, were able to pull all three sailors out of the water.

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The US Navy has completed the second in a series of ballistic missile defence flight tests for its next-generation AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR), US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) announced on 3 August.

An artist’s rendition of the Flight III DDG 51 shows the new AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR antenna array, which is slightly larger than current AN/SPY-1D(V) apertures. (HII)

For the test, held on 27 July, a medium-range ballistic missile target was launched from the US Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii and the AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR “searched for, detected, and maintained track on the target throughout its trajectory”, the navy said. The test is the second in a series for the AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR.

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The U.S. Navy has identified the sailor who went missing from the USS Stethem on August 1 as Lt. Steven D. Hopkins. Lt. Hopkins, a graduate of the Citadel and a father of two, had previously served aboard USS Ramage, USS Normandy and with the Navy’s Operational Test and Evaluation Force. The circumstances of his disappearance are under investigation.

At the time that Lt. Hopkins went missing, Stethem was conducting routine operations at a position about 120 nm to the west of Subic Bay, putting her near to disputed Scarborough Shoal. When Hopkins was reported missing, the Navy worked with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) to search an area of roughly 10,000 square nm. The search was called off at 1500 hours August 4.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our lost shipmate, their family, and the officers and crew of USS Stethem,” said Rear Adm. Charles Williams, commander of Task Force 70, at the time the search was ended. “I appreciate greatly the dedication and professionalism shown by all who participated in the search efforts.”

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Members of Britain’s new carrier strike group are engaged with the US Navy and other international allies in Exercise Saxon Warrior, aboard American aircraft carrier the USS George HW Bush.

The 97,000-tonne and 1,092ft Nimitz class aircraft carrier was off the coast of Scotland on Sunday in the latest phase of the war game, ahead of the UK’s carrier strike group setting up on the Queen Elizabeth in the coming months

Commander Betton, commander of the Royal Navy’s carrier strike group, told the Press Association the two new carriers marked a huge step for UK defence that would “usher in a new era of carrier strike activity”.

Speaking aboard USS George HW Bush, he added: “Carrier enabled power projection, which is the formal term for this capability, offers strategic choice to Her Majesty’s Government.

“The ability to scale from humanitarian assistance, response to natural disasters, through to a poise to try and deter a potential conflict and if necessary to engage as a serious tier one partner in the international coalition to take our place at the top table.

“As a United Nations permanent security council member, I feel it’s firmly the right thing for the United Kingdom to be doing.”

The Royal United Services Institute recently warned that the £3 billion carrier could be disabled with a single strike from a relatively cheap missile costing less than £500,000, and sunk by multiple missiles.

Other recent warnings around the Queen Elizabeth have concerned its technology and vulnerability to cyber attack, as well as the number of ships and maritime aircraft available to protect it.

Captain Ken Houlberg, the UK carrier strike group chief of staff, said the capability delivered by an aircraft carrier and strike group “sets that nation on the world map – it’s a player”.

He added: “It’s got hard power tools that can deliver capability across the spectrum of conflict, from humanitarian and disaster relief through defence engagement to full high-end war fighting with our coalition allies.

“It sets Britain apart.”

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America’s Navy is coming to Asheville during its 2017 tour, making it one of five cities in two states to host a performance by the United States Navy Band.

The tour is one of the U.S. Navy’s signature outreach programs.

The performance by Country Current, the U.S. Navy Band’s country-bluegrass ensemble, is scheduled for 1 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Charles George VA Medical Center.

Country Current is renowned for its versatility and phenomenal musicianship, performing a blend of modern country music and cutting-edge bluegrass. Reaching out to communities both locally and nationally, the band regularly performs for veterans, elementary schools and in support of active-duty sailors.

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