US Marine Aircraft Crashes Near Southern California Base, Possibly Killing 4

A U.S. military aircraft belonging to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing crashed Wednesday near the Naval Air Facility El Centro in Glamis, California, close to the Arizona border, the installation confirmed on Facebook.

“We can confirm that an aircraft belonging to 3d Marine Aircraft Wing crashed near Glamis, Calif.,” the military base said Wednesday afternoon on Facebook. “Military and civilian first responders are on site.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that a federal source said four people were killed in the crash, but officials have yet to confirm that report.

According to base officials, the aircraft went down in the vicinity of Coachella Canal Road and state highway 78, and first responders from the base and Imperial County responded to the crash site.

The LA Times reported that Cpl. Sarah Marshall of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing said the aircraft was an MV-22B Osprey that did not contain any nuclear materials on board, contrary to earlier reports about the crash.

According to the U.S. Navy, the MV-22B Osprey, made by Bell-Boeing, is a tiltrotor aircraft that “can operate as a helicopter or a turboprop aircraft” and that has “twice the speed, six times the range, and three times the payload of the CH-46E” aircraft.

The aircraft can carry 24 troops and a crew of two pilots and a chief and has a maximum weight limit of between 52,600 and 60,500 pounds.

The Navy entered into a multiyear purchase agreement with Bell-Boeing worth $6.4 billion for 100 units between 2013 and 2017, with 93 going to the Marines, the Navy reported in September 2020.

The El Centro base is located in the Imperial Valley in Southern California, about two hours from San Diego and an hour from Yuma, Arizona, and about 15 minutes away from the border with Mexico, according to the facility.

It is the second military aircraft crash in California in the past week.

The New York Post reported June 3 that Navy Lt. Richard Bullock, assigned to the Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113 based at the Naval Air Station Lemoore, was killed during a routine training flight when his F/A-18E Super Hornet went down in a “remote and unpopulated area.”

“No civilians were harmed as a result of this incident,” a statement from the Naval Air Forces Public Affairs Office to the Post said at the time.


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Navy Pilot Killed in Super Hornet Jet Crash

A Navy pilot was killed Friday in a Super Hornet fighter jet crash in a California desert, reported the Navy Times.

The jet, which was based out of Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, crashed at about 2:30 p.m. near Trona, in San Bernardino County. Nobody on the ground was hurt. The pilot’s identity and details of the crash weren’t immediately released.

Last October, another Navy Super Hornet went down during a training mission in Death Valley National Park, but the pilot safely ejected. However, a 2019 Super Hornet crash in the park killed the pilot and injured seven people on the ground.

The F/A-18E Super Hornet is the same type of jet that the Navy Blue Angels fly.

Lemoore is home to Commander Strike Fighter Wing Pacific and Commander Joint Strike Fighter Wing and hosts 16 operational Strike Fighter squadrons, according to its website.

In 2019, a Navy Super Hornet crashed in Death Valley National Park during a routine training mission, killing the pilot and slightly injuring seven park visitors who were struck by debris. They had gathered at a scenic overlook where aviation enthusiasts watch military pilots speeding low through a chasm dubbed Star Wars Canyon, officials said.

Last October, a Navy Super Hornet from Naval Air Station China Lake also crashed, and in 2020 another from Lemoore went down — both during training missions. The pilots safely ejected, one in a remote southern area of Death Valley National Park near the Nevada border and the other in the Mojave Desert.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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Navy Pilot Killed in Super Hornet Jet Crash

A Navy pilot was killed Friday in a Super Hornet fighter jet crash in a California desert, reports the Navy Times.

The jet crashed around 2:30 p.m. near Trona, in San Bernardino County. Nobody on the ground was hurt. The pilot’s identity and details of the crash weren’t immediately released.

Last October, another Navy Super Hornet went down during a training mission in Death Valley National Park but the pilot safely ejected. However, a 2019 Super Hornet crash in the park killed the pilot and injured seven people on the ground.

The F/A-18E Super Hornet is the same type of jet that the Navy Blue Angels fly.

Lemoore is home to Commander Strike Fighter Wing Pacific and Commander Joint Strike Fighter Wing and hosts 16 operational Strike Fighter squadrons, according to its website.

In 2019, a Navy Super Hornet crashed in Death Valley National Park during a routine training mission, killing the pilot and slightly injuring seven park visitors who were struck by debris. They had gathered at a scenic overlook where aviation enthusiasts watch military pilots speeding low through a chasm dubbed Star Wars Canyon, officials said.

Last October, a Navy Super Hornet from Naval Air Station China Lake also crashed, and in 2020 another from Lemoore went down, both during training missions. The pilots safely ejected, one in a remote southern area of Death Valley National Park near the Nevada border and the other in the Mojave Desert.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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Navy Chief Defends Decision to Scrap Nine Warships

The head of the U.S. Navy this week defended the military branch’s decision to scrap nine fairly new warships over the next fiscal year, CNN reports.

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday said before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that the vessels, which are anti-submarine ships, are unable to carry out their primary function. 

Gilday told the panel on Wednesday, “I refuse to put an additional dollar against a system that would not be able to track a high-end submarine in today’s environment.”

He noted that the ships’ anti-submarine warfare systems “did not work out technically,” and that this move would save about $391 million according to a budget proposal.

Bloomberg reports that the nine ships are part of 16 littoral combat ships that were built for the Navy by Lockheed Martin and were intended to last 25 years at sea. Many of the ships set for retirement have only been in service for five years or less. Three of these ships were only commissioned in 2019: USS Indianapolis, USS Billings, and USS Wichita.

The nine littoral combat ships cost the Navy roughly $3.2 billion. However, the Navy projects it will save $4.3 billion that would have been spent on maintenance and upgrades for the vessels.


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Navy Removes ‘Anti-American’ Books From Sailors’ Reading List

Several controversial books deemed to be “anti-American” or “Marxist” were removed from the U.S. Navy’s recommended reading list.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday on Friday released an updated version of the Professional Reading Program (CNO-PRP). Among books missing on the latest list were “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi, “Sexual Minorities and Politics: An Introduction” by Jason Pierceson, and “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander. Those books were included on last year’s list.

Republican lawmakers said the books would promote “a racial form of Marxist philosophy” and “reinforce the view that America is a confederation of identity categories of the oppressed and their oppressors,” The Epoch Times reported.

Lawmakers also urged the removal of what they said could further “poison” the U.S. military.

Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., sent a letter to Gilday after the Navy included Kendi’s book on its 2021 reading list.

Banks, a Naval Reserve officer since 2012 and ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems, argued in his letter that the views promoted in the book were “explicitly anti-American” and called on Gilday to explain the Navy’s decision to include it on the CNO-PRP list or remove it.

“The views promoted in ‘How to Be an Antiracist’ are explicitly anti-American. According to Kendi, America is fundamentally racist, so anti-Americanism is a moral imperative,” Banks wrote, Fox News reported. “Cohesiveness and unity in our armed services is essential. Kendi’s ideas are divisive and will undermine morale and weaken our national security.”

The CNO-PRP is a list of recommended books intended to help the Navy’s effort to develop the professionalism of all sailors. It is comprised of 12 books, a mix of writing genres including fiction, non-fiction, military, strategy, management, and technology, among others.

“A learning mindset is essential to accelerating our warfighting advantage,” Gilday said. “A Navy that learns, adapts, and improves the fastest will be the most successful. Knowledge sharing is essential to creating a learning culture.

“We are driving a fleet-wide campaign of self-improvement. We must foster an organization that supports and empowers sailors to have an independent quest for knowledge through reading and information sharing. What you know and how fast you learn is relevant in this era of strategic competition.”

The updated list includes:

  • “To Rule the Waves” by Bruce Jones
  • “A Brief Guide to Maritime Strategy” by James Holmes
  • “China as a 21st Century Naval Power” by Michael. A. McDevitt
  • “Not One Inch” by Mary E. Sarotte
  • “The Sailor’s Bookshelf: Fifty Books to Know the Sea” by Admiral James G. Stavridis
  • “Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War” by Paul Scharre
  • “Fortune Favors Boldness” by Barry Costello
  • “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour” by James Hornfischer
  • “World War II at Sea: A Global History” by Craig Symonds
  • “Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield” by Gayle T. Lemmon
  • “Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown
  • “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck


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Navy Greenlights Sailors to Move off USS George Washington

The United States Navy has greenlit sailors to move off the USS George Washington aircraft carrier and live at a local installation nearby following a string of deaths and suicides, The Hill reported.

“The Commanding Officer of USS George Washington has taken steps to provide an opportunity to every sailor who is currently living on the ship to elect to move to off-ship accommodations at a local installation,” Lt. Cmdr. Rob Myers, a Naval Air Forces Atlantic spokesman, informed The Hill.

Myers says the sailors began moving off the aircraft carrier on Monday and, as such, will continue to until “all sailors who wish to move off-ship have done so.”

Military.com first broke the story last Thursday and obtained a recording from the ship’s commanding officer Capt. Brent Gaut announcing the change. The outlet suggests 422 sailors are living aboard the ship.

Following the deaths by suicides aboard the ship, the Navy is taking steps to address the mental health of its sailors. In doing so, it will provide tele-mental health services through network providers.

The USS George Washington is currently docked and has been so since 2017 in Newport News, Va., for a “mid-life” refueling and a “complex overhaul.”

But still, the option to move off-ship will be granted to all sailors regardless of pay grade. However, Myers has cautioned that a “certain number of sailors” would still be required to stay aboard in order to run the ship’s essential equipment, “provide essential services to the crew, maintain fire and flooding watches,” as well as maintain the ship’s security.


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Kremlin Video Shows Allegedly Killed Moskva Admiral Alive, Well

Despite reports of hundreds of Russians sailors missing after the sinking of the Russian guided-missile cruise Moskva, the Kremlin released a video showing survivors.

The video even showed the Moskva captain who had been reportedly killed, The Sun reported Saturday.

The video reportedly showed the Russian navy chief meeting with the Moskva surviving crew in Sevastopol while hundreds of shipmen are allegedly still missing. In the meeting shown on video, Adm. Nikolai Yevmenov, 60, who had been reported to have gone down with his ship, was addressing naval officers and seamen.

“The crew of Moskva cruiser is at the main base, hero city of Sevastopol,” Yevmenov reportedly says in the video. “Officers, midshipmen, contract personnel will continue service in the Navy.”

He added conscript sailors on the Moskva – those drafted to serve – would be relieved of their duty in the future – although Vladimir Putin has claimed his military was not using conscripts in its “special military operation” with Ukraine.

“Compulsory service personnel, in line with the law, will be released from May to July, and will leave to be put on military register,” Yevmenov added, according to the report.

Verification of the timing, location, or authenticity of the video was not able to be confirmed by The Sun or other media.

The Moskva sank Thursday after Ukraine was alleged to have hit it with missiles, targeting the vessel in the Black Sea because it was the location of missile launches against Ukraine’s southern cities.

There were reportedly 510 on board, but Russia claims the Moskva sank being towed after a fire broke out when munitions on the ship caught fire.

“All the crew of the cruiser Moskva died,” Ukraine’s government in Kyiv claimed, while Russia claimed the crew was evacuated and taken to the Sevastopol port.

The claim of total deaths of the crew was already challenged by reports a Turkish ship rescued more than 50 Russian sailors from the ship.

Also, allegedly in the video, was someone who “resembled 1st rank Captain Anton Kuprin, commander of the Moskva,” according to the report.

The Sun’s review of the video noted the line up of the survivors was done to create the impression of large numbers of survivors. Also, there were no references in the meeting to casualties.

The city of Sevastopol, however, held a vigil Friday, holding prayers for lost sailors, according to The Sun.

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USS Abraham Lincoln Now Operating Off Korean Peninsula

The Navy has confirmed a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group is operating off the Korean Peninsula for the first time in years.

The nuclear-powered USS Abraham Lincoln and its strike group are located in international waters off South Korea’s southeastern coast. They are conducting bilateral operations with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force, said Lt. Mark Langford, a U.S. Navy spokesperson, The Hill reported.

“Routine bilateral operations like this one, reassure our allies and partners of the U.S. commitment to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Langford wrote in an email. “Our training enhances the credibility of conventional deterrence by demonstrating the strength of our bilateral partnerships.”

The last time the Navy carried out an exercise over the Sea of Japan was November 2017, when the USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt, and USS Nimitz carriers were involved in air defense drills, sea surveillance, and other drills, Reuters reported.

This year North Korea conducted multiple missile tests. The rogue nation fired a ballistic missile into the sea March 5, and later in March conducted its first intercontinental ballistic missile test (ICBM) since 2017.

South Korea last month elected a conservative president who promises to take a tougher line with the Kim regime than the current left-leaning administration that advocates for engagement, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Last week, a delegation representing South Korea’s President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol sought deployment of American strategic assets or military hardware such as a nuclear-powered submarines or long-range bombers to help deter North Korea, according to the Journal.

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Navy to Name Future Oiler Ship After Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The U.S. Navy announced through a press release on Thursday that the military branch will dedicate a future ship to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

According to Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, the future T-AO 212 replenishment oiler will be named USNS Ruth Bader Ginsburg in honor of her work on the high court and women’s rights. Ginsburg passed away in 2020.

Her daughter, Jane Ginsburg, will sponsor the new ship.

“As we close out women’s history month, it is my absolute honor to name the next T-AO after the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is a historic figure who vigorously advocated for women’s rights and gender equality,” Del Toro said.

“As Secretary of the Navy, it is my aim to ensure equality and eliminate gender discrimination across the Department of the Navy,” he continued, adding that Ginsburg was “instrumental to why we now have women of all backgrounds, experiences and talents serving within our ranks, side by side with their male Sailor and Marine counterparts.”

The selection of the name for the John Lewis-class replenishment oiler follows the  convention of honoringthose who fought for civil and human rights. Georgia congressman John Lewis passed away in 2020.

T-AO fleet oilers are designed to transfer fuel to the Navy’s active carrier strike groups and can carry up to 162,000 barrels of oil each.

The ships were designed by General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. They are 742 feet in length, can carry 49,850 tons, and have a speed of 20 knots.

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Navy Refuses to Deploy Warship While Commander Remains Unvaccinated


U.S. Navy officials have said a warship can’t be deployed because its commander has refused the COVID-19 vaccine.

The service said an East Coast guided-missile destroyer is “out of commission” after a Florida federal judge ruled that the Navy and Marine Corps cannot remove its officer for being unvaccinated against COVID-19.

The warship now remains docked in Norfolk, Virginia.

It comes after U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday, a George H. W. Bush nominee, ruled on Feb. 2 to bar Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and all other military officials from taking punitive action against the unnamed Navy officer, who sought religious exemptions to the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Merryday wrote that the Navy’s rejection failed to note that the branch has separately granted hundreds of medical exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate

The Navy officer was told he would be removed from command of his ship on Feb. 3 if he didn’t start a COVID-19 vaccination series.

Top military officials determined that the commander’s religious beliefs were sincere and that they would be “substantially burdened” by being forced to get vaccinated, but also claimed that granting the exemption request “would have a predictable and detrimental effect on the readiness of you and the Sailors who serve alongside you.”

On Feb. 28, the Navy asked Merryday for an emergency stay on the preliminary injunction, arguing that the judge’s ruling prevents it “from removing an officer from … commanding officer billets who the military has deemed unfit for command.”

“The order is an extraordinary intrusion upon the inner workings of the military that presents a direct and imminent threat to national security during a global military crisis, and it indefinitely sidelines a Navy warship,” the Navy said, according to court papers, Stripes and Stars reported.

“With respect to Navy Commander, the Navy has lost confidence in his ability to lead and will not deploy the warship with him in command,” the filing states.

Admiral Daryl Caudle filed a statement on Feb. 28 saying that the Navy “cannot have a Sailor who disobeys a lawful order to receive a vaccine because they harbor a personal objection any more than we can have a Sailor who disobeys the technical manual for operating a nuclear reactor because he or she believes they know better.”

Merryday on Thursday denied the U.S. Department of Defense’s request to halt the injunction, and accused the defense of attempting “to evoke the frightening prospect of a dire national emergency resulting from allegedly reckless and unlawful overreaching by the district judge.”

The Epoch Times has reached out to the Navy for comment.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

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Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master’s in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.



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