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US Naval Operations Chief: ‘Our Advantage is Shrinking’

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The US Navy must expand its fleet to improve readiness against adversaries such as Russia, Iran and China, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said.

Richardson explained the changes he is advocating for are needed because the current state of the security environment is more fast-paced and increasingly competitive.

“Our advantage is shrinking,” Richardson told Fox News on Monday. “We must reverse this trend.”

In the next 30 years, the US Navy proposes to create a 355-ship fleet with 12 aircraft carriers, 104 large surface combatants, 52 small surface combatants, 38 amphibious ships and 66 submarines.

US Navy spokesperson Kara Yingling noted that in the fiscal year 2017 the Navy expects to build 13 and retire six ships.

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Navy

US Navy’s Most Advanced Submarine Flies the Infamous Jolly Roger

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Sailing back home to Bangor, Washington, the USS Jimmy Carter found itself heading straight into a metaphorical web of questions after a vigilant journalist spotted a familiar banner alongside the beloved American flag.

Swaying with the winds of the Evergreen State’s Hood Canal, Ian Keddie, a Scottish freelance defense journalist, spotted the jolly roger, an age-old flag typically associated with pirate folk.

Why would a US Navy vessel be compelled to hoist up a flag synonymous with raiders, you wonder? Well, it seems unclear at the moment since government officials are keeping mum on the matter, but some experts have a theory and it has to do with the British Royal Navy.

Back in 1901 Admiral Arthur Wilson, the First Sea Lord of the British Royal Navy, said that submarines were “underhanded, unfair, and damned un-English.” Disgusted by the sneaky capabilities of submarines, Wilson later suggested sub crews should be captured and hanged just as was done to pirates.

USS Jimmy Carter, 1 of the most secretive subs in the USN, returns to home port flying the Jolly Roger flag – indicating operational action. (Photo: Twitter/Ian Keddie)

However, more than a decade later, Commander Max Horton of the HMS E9 urged his crewmen to hoist up the skull and crossbones proudly after the vessel successfully sank a German cruiser during World War I. According to The Drive, Horton’s move was a play on Wilson’s disdain — in the end, this was the moment that would forever link the usage of the jolly roger with underwater crafts.

Though it’s unlikely the Seawolf-class nuclear-powered boat sank any ships during its journey, The Drive’s Tyler Rogoway says the American submarine likely just completed one of its “secret missions” successfully.

The 450-foot-long boat is in fact one of three in its class that’s specifically modified to take on some of the Land of the Free’s most covert underwater operations. The Carter can deploy unmanned submersible vehicles, insert commandos, and, according to some, it could even splice undersea cables.

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USS Wasp Loaded with Joint Strike Fighters Heads to North Korea

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The USS Wasp is sailing from its homeport in Virginia to Sasebo, Japan, to join the US Navy’s 7th Fleet and bring Washington’s most advanced fighter jets to North Korea’s backyard.

The Wasp, an Amphibious Assault Ship and lead ship of her class, doesn’t have quite as much surface area for jets to take off and land as the larger Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, but the ship will still bring a new squadron of carrier-compatible F-35B aircraft to the 7th Fleet’s area of operations.

The F-35B jets have the AV-8B Harrier’s capability of taking off vertically, as a helicopter does, while also being able to operate in the air like fighter jets.

Placing the Amphibious Assault Ship in proximity to the Korean Peninsula “ensured that our most technologically-advanced air warfare platforms are forward deployed,” USS Wasp Cmdr. Andrew Smith said in an August 30 release.

Our capabilities, paired with the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, increases our Navy’s precision strike capabilities within the 7th Fleet region,” Smith said. “Wasp will help America’s commitment to maritime security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

The Wasp inserts a second squadron of F-35s into the region. The first arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Okinawa in March, the eight-plane squadron’s new permanent home. Another cadre of Joint Strike Fighters arrived in July, the Marine Corps said.

Up to 100 F-35 aircraft are set to fly near the Korean Peninsula over the coming years, as Seoul and Tokyo have each agreed to buy more than 40 of them from Lockheed Martin.

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