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Fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6)

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  • #91
    We could lease the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

    She already has a USMC F-35 airwing assigned

    And beer

    (just saying)

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    • #92
      Originally posted by Gun Grape View Post
      We could lease the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

      She already has a USMC F-35 airwing assigned

      And beer

      (just saying)

      There must be one heck of an interesting Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement going on with that USMC F-35 Airwing on the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

      Comment


      • #93
        Two-Carrier Fire Drill Trains Sailors to Avoid Problems Found in Early Moments of Bonhomme Richard Fire

        When USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) caught fire at the pier over the summer, sailors from across the waterfront rushed to the scene, some in damage control teams from their own ships and some showing up as individuals who wanted to help.

        Though the five-day firefighting effort became very organized, the first minutes were confusing: it was a Sunday morning, when most of the Bonhomme Richard crew and leadership weren’t around, and disparate people who knew how to fight fires but hadn’t trained on how to fold in together in an organized way rushed to the scene.

        A recent training exercise at the pier at Naval Station Norfolk sought to address that challenge.

        Crew members of aircraft carriers USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) and USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) participated in two in-port emergency team (IET) training evolutions on Oct. 24 and 26, to learn how to not only handle an emergency and incorporate help from civilian emergency responders, but also to learn how to integrate help from a nearby ship.

        “This has been a big joint effort,” Lt. Cmdr. Brandon Summers, the damage control assistant on John C. Stennis, said in a Navy news release.

        “The training required coordination between not only us, but the USS Gerald R. Ford and the base fire department. It’s basically what we call ‘game time,’ it’s a chance for the [sailors] to show what they worked and trained so hard for.”

        He added that the drill helped boost the proficiency of fighting a fire on an aircraft carrier but also in “fine-tuning procedures for requesting and integrating assistance from outside the skin of the ship.”

        In the Bonhomme Richard firefight, Navy spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Nicole Schwegman told USNI News during a September visit to the amphibious ship at the pier, “you just saw people running to the ship from all ships. It was a Sunday, so they’re coming in maybe to do some paperwork,” but when the fire broke out, nearby sailors were “just dropping what they were doing. I think some guy ran in in his cowboy boots because they were ready to drop and fight.”

        “I don’t think there was a ship on the waterfront that didn’t send sailors and fire teams out to help, and I think that just shows – this fire was a tragedy, but it proved that we train our sailors superbly. And the reason we saved this ship was because of their training and what they were able to do,” she continued.

        At least 13 different ships in San Diego contributed to the Bonhomme Richard firefight, according to the news release on the Stennis and Ford drill. In addition to those sailors, according to Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, the commanding officer of Expeditionary Strike Group 3 who oversees amphibious ships in San Diego, even more personnel helped send information on how the fire looked from their vantage point on their own ships, on small boats in the water and on helicopters in the air, providing ideas for how to get water onto hot spots or signaling to helos from the water. Sobeck called it an “incredible orchestration of just people coming together,” while speaking to USNI News at the pier in September.

        With so many potential sources of help and information, “it’s key for our teams to learn how to interact with one another in the event of a major casualty,” Lt. Cmdr. Tabitha Edwards, Ford’s damage control assistant, said in the release.

        “Practice makes perfect, and the more we train, the more we will know how to respond in the event of an actual casualty when providing or receiving assistance.”

        Ford and Stennis are docked together at Pier 11 at Naval Station Norfolk, as Stennis awaits its mid-life refueling that will begin next year and Ford conducts post-delivery tests and trials ahead of next year’s in-water full-ship shock trials.

        Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, a spokeswoman for Naval Air Force Atlantic, told USNI News that the Stennis team had started planning a major firefighting drill as early as March, well before the Bonhomme Richard fire. With fires being a serious concern during maintenance periods, especially one as significant as a refueling and complex overhaul, Stennis needed to rehearse firefighting and how to collaborate with local federal firefighters – the carrier was previously homeported in San Diego prior to coming to Virginia for the RCOH, so Mid-Atlantic Fire & Emergency Services was a new partner for the ship in planning this emergency drill.

        Still, she said, “once the BHR fire highlighted the imperative for effective [rescue and assistance] teams, Stennis reached out to Ford.”

        Cragg said the planning process took about a month and involved the Stennis and Ford damage control teams, as well as civilian personnel from Mid-Atlantic Fire & Emergency Services. They did not discuss the training event with the Bonhomme Richard crew or its chain of command, she said.

        Navy leadership has declined to discuss specific lessons learned from the Bonhomme Richard fire but called on ships throughout the fleet to renew their dedication to fire safety and training.

        This particular event, while not inspired directly by the amphibious assault ship fire, gets at some of the early challenges of fighting the fire.

        Cragg said the goals of the event were to improve “interoperability and experience. We wanted the sailors to feel what it was like to go to another platform and assist in combatting a fire and vice versa. Having participants from multiple organizations allows for improved communications and develop experienced sailors and civilians when called upon. Ford and Stennis are different ship classes with significant differences in layout. So, the training familiarizes both teams with those differences before a real-world event. It was also an important opportunity to familiarize the Stennis crew with Norfolk FED Fire communications capabilities and procedures.”

        Stennis fire marshal Chief Warrant Officer 2 Andrew Woods said in the news release that drilling with these two classes of carriers together is just a first step in the training they hope to accomplish.

        “We have never practiced a large-scale firefighting drill like this with other ships supplying all the gear and the sailors we need to back in the space to fight,” he said.
        “That’s why we are integrating carrier teams, and then from here it’s probably going to evolve where small ships will support carriers, and carriers will support smaller ships.”

        “Integrated training allows us the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Shannon Foster, Ford’s fire marshal. “We need to take time to slow down, ask questions, and figure out where we went wrong because in an actual casualty there is no reset button.”
        _______

        Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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        • #94
          Navy will decommission warship damaged in suspected arson

          SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Navy said Monday that it will decommission a warship docked off San Diego after suspected arson this summer caused extensive damage, making it too expensive to restore.

          Fully repairing the USS Bonhomme Richard to warfighting capabilities would cost $2.5 billion to $3 billion and take five to seven years, said Rear Adm. Eric H. Ver Hage of the Navy Regional Maintenance Center.

          The amphibious assault ship burned for more than four days in July and was the Navy’s worst U.S. warship fire outside of combat in recent memory. The ship was left with extensive structural, electrical and mechanical damage.

          Restoring it for another use, perhaps as a hospital, would take almost as long as full restoration and cost $1 billion.

          Decommissioning the ship will take nine months to a year and cost $30 million,
          Ver Hage said.

          Navy officials and industry experts studied the cost and schedule with an eye toward “the art of the possible,” Ver Hage told reporters. They decided it wasn't worth the money to restore, considering the impact it would have on other spending priorities.

          “The dollars definitely would disrupt our strategy for investment,” he said.

          Arson is suspected as the cause of the July 12 fire, and a U.S. Navy sailor was questioned as a potential suspect, a senior defense official said in late August.

          The sailor was questioned as part of the investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, an official with knowledge of the investigation said in August. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to provide details not yet made public. The sailor was not detained.

          Ver Hage declined to comment Monday on the status of several investigations and he didn't give a timeline for their completion, saying they "will conclude when the time is right.”

          Ver Hage said about 60% of the ship would likely need to be replaced to have it fully restored, including the flight deck, mast and many levels directly below the flight deck.

          The ship will likely be decommissioned in San Diego. Crew members will be notified of reassignment.

          The Bonhomme Richard was nearing the end of a two-year upgrade estimated to cost $250 million when the fire started.

          About 160 sailors and officers were on board when the flames sent up a huge plume of dark smoke from the 840-foot (256-meter) amphibious assault vessel, which had been docked at Naval Base San Diego while undergoing the upgrade.

          Firefighters attacked the flames inside the ship while firefighting vessels with water cannons directed streams of seawater into the ship and helicopters made water drops.

          More than 60 sailors and civilians were treated for minor injuries, heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation.
          __________
          Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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          • #95
            https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-...20Bird%20Brief

            Pretty much the same information as Tophatter's post above with just a touch more on how this will impact the deployment schedule and impact on the maintenance cycle.

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            • #96
              Sadly what we feared has come true.

              Hope a future vessel carries the Bonnie Dickname forward.
              “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
              Mark Twain

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              • #97
                Former USS Bonhomme Richard Towed from San Diego Ahead of Scrapping


                Former Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) toed from Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on April 15, 2021.

                The hull of the former warship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) left Naval Base San Diego, Calif., under tow and bound for a Gulf Coast scrapyard on Thursday, according to harbor cameras.

                The remains will now be towed from California, around the tip of South America and to Texas, where the ship will be dismantled, USNI News understands. While there was a contract to salvage the remains of the ship, it’s unclear the status of the contract to scrap the hull.

                The towing of the 22-year-old hull comes the day after the ship was formally decommissioned in a ceremony at the pier in San Diego.

                The crew of the former amphibious warship has largely been reassigned throughout the fleet, with a small contingent still assigned to the ship.
                ________
                Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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                • #98
                  Horrible to see her going out like this! I spent 5 years on her sister, the Essex from April 93 till April 98 and that class of ship holds a special place in my heart!

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                  • #99
                    Bonhomme Richard Hull in the Caribbean Sea After Panama Canal Transit

                    Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) hulk northbound in the Panama Canal in the Agua Clara Locks on May 11, 2021. Photo via Twitter

                    The hull of the former amphibious warship Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) is in the Caribbean Sea after transiting the Panama Canal, according to data from ship tracker Marine Traffic.

                    The tug MV Nicole Foss, which is pulling the hull, is now moving toward its final destination in Brownsville, Texas. The pair had reached Panama on May 5 before transiting the canal earlier this week. To pass through the canal undertow, the ship’s aircraft elevators and island were removed to better navigate the series of locks leading from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic.

                    A source familiar with the transit told USNI News that the ship is scheduled to arrive at the yard of International Shipbreaking LTD., in late May. The company won a $3.66 million bid to salvage the hull last month. The shipbreakers will also harvest equipment that was undamaged in the fire last year that burned for four days. For example, the ship’s propulsion system was largely undamaged from the blaze and could be reclaimed, a source familiar with the damage told USNI News.

                    The 40,000-ton Bonhomme Richard was in the midst of a $250 million renovation to upgrade the 22-year-old ship when a fire broke out on July 12 and burned for four days.

                    The extent of the damage prompted the Navy to decommission the ship rather than attempt repairs.

                    The command investigation into the fire has been completed and is now in a review and endorsement process, according to a Navy official. Other investigations are ongoing.
                    __________
                    Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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                    • Navy Charges Bonhomme Richard Sailor in Devastating 2020 Fire of Amphibious Assault Ship

                      By: Gidget Fuentes

                      July 29, 2021 5:24 PM
                      Federal firefighters assess damage in the hangar bay aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) on July 15, 2020. US Navy Photo

                      The Navy has filed charges against a sailor for allegedly deliberately starting a fire last year that quickly spread and consumed much of the interior of his ship, amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), the service announced Thursday.

                      “The sailor was a member of Bonhomme Richard’s crew at the time and is accused of starting the fire,” Cmdr. Sean Robertson, a U.S. 3rd Fleet spokesperson in San Diego, said in a statement.

                      The fire began in the morning of July 13, 2020, as the ship was berthed at Naval Base San Diego. It burned for nearly five days and later lead to the Navy’s decision to decommission and scrap the ship, which began commissioned service in 1998 and carried tens of thousands of Marines and sailors across the globe and to combat zones over the years.

                      Third Fleet officials didn’t specifically detail what specific charges were filed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which Robertson said “were brought forth against a Navy sailor in response to evidence found during the criminal investigation into the fire started on USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) on July 12, 2020.”

                      Arson is covered under Article 126 of the UCMJ.

                      “Evidence collected during the investigation is sufficient to direct a preliminary hearing in accordance with due process under the military justice system,” Robertson said.

                      “Vice Adm. Steve Koehler, who commands 3rd Fleet, is considering court-martial charges and has directed a preliminary hearing at which an impartial hearing officer will make determinations and recommendations required by the UCMJ prior to any further trial proceedings – including whether or not there is probable cause to believe an offense has been committed and to offer a recommendation as to the disposition of the case,” he said.

                      Under military justice procedures, the preliminary hearing officer would make a recommendation to 3rd Fleet on whether the charges should be dropped or warrant prosecution at a court-martial.

                      The following si the complete statement from U.S. 3rd Fleet.

                      On July 29, charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice were brought forth against a Navy Sailor in response to evidence found during the criminal investigation into the fire started on USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) on July 12, 2020. Evidence collected during the investigation is sufficient to direct a preliminary hearing in accordance with due process under the military justice system. The Sailor was a member of Bonhomme Richard’s crew at the time and is accused of starting the fire.

                      Vice Adm. Steve Koehler, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet is considering court-martial charges and has directed a preliminary hearing at which an impartial hearing officer will make determinations and recommendations required by the UCMJ prior to any further trial proceedings – including whether or not there is probable cause to believe an offense has been committed and to offer a recommendation as to the disposition of the case.
                      Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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                      • Sailor Who ‘Hated’ Navy Torched $1.2B Assault Ship: Warrant

                        A 20-year-old sailor with a grudge against the U.S. Navy and a failed attempt at becoming a Navy SEAL under his belt is accused of setting an amphibious assault ship ablaze and singlehandedly costing the Navy $30 million in damage.

                        According to an NCIS search warrant affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast, Ryan Sawyer Mays aroused the suspicions of investigators almost immediately after the 40,000-ton USS Bonhomme Richard went up in flames on July 12, 2020, burning for nearly five days and leaving dozens injured while extinguishing the ferocious blaze.

                        Mays, whose identity has not previously been revealed, now faces charges of arson within a special maritime and territorial jurisdiction, use of fire to damage federal property, and making a false statement, the warrant states. If the Navy instead proceeds with a court martial, Mays will be charged with aggravated arson and willful hazarding of a vessel, said a Navy spokesman. Mays does not have a lawyer listed in court records, and could not be reached for comment.

                        The fire raged through the 14-deck ship after beginning in a cargo hold, with the temperature onboard exceeding 1,000 degrees at times, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday told reporters last summer. The fire aboard the Bonhomme Richard, which was waiting on a $250 million upgrade at the time, was finally tamed by some 400 sailors from 16 vessels, helicopters dumping water on the flames, the Naval Base San Diego Fire Department, and numerous civilian fire departments from surrounding cities.




                        Every deck above the waterline was damaged, and although no deaths or serious injuries were reported, 71 people were hurt or treated for smoke inhalation. At least 18 firefighters filed workers’ compensation claims following the blaze, specifying they suffered, among other things, concussions, orthopedic issues, and dehydration.

                        Mays was identified by NCIS investigators after they interviewed some 177 sailors assigned to the Bonhomme Richard. One reported that he had seen a “light-skin male” in clean coveralls and a face mask carrying a metal bucket into the Lower V—the ship’s aft section—but didn’t recognize the person in question. But later, the sailor, named in the search warrant affidavit as Kenji Velasco, “did mention a sailor named Mays that ‘hates’ the U.S. Navy and the Fleet,” the filing states.

                        In further interviews, Velasco said he was “fairly sure” and “90 percent sure” he saw Mays descend into the Lower V before the fire broke out. He also noted that firefighting equipment in the area seemed to have been tampered with.

                        “Velasco further explained that in the hours and days after the fire, it had dawned on him that the individual who descended to the Lower V at 0805 on the day of the fire was Mays’s height and build, had fair hair that could be seen coming out from his cover, like Mays, sounded like Mays, and said, ‘I love deck,’ which is an expression Velasco knew Mays to say,” the affidavit states, adding that other sailors had also suggested to investigators that the person in question seemed to be Mays based on his clothing and language and that a command master chief “identified Mays as a person who showed disdain towards authority and the U.S. Navy.”

                        Investigators reviewed Mays’ now-private Instagram account, and found a post that stated, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning,” the affidavit explains. Mays’ service record showed that he joined the Navy in 2019 “with the intent on becoming trained in the Advanced Electronics Computer Fields,” then “changed his career goals to becoming a Navy SEAL.” But five days after beginning SEAL training, Mays dropped out and was reassigned to the Bonhomme Richard as an “undesignated Seaman.”



                        “According to Navy leadership, the morale and behavior of sailors who had aspired to become a SEAL, and then find themselves serving in a more traditional role on a Navy ship, are frequently very challenging,” the affidavit states.

                        Mays told investigators he was willing to take a polygraph exam, after which he was arrested. Mays is said to have then incriminated himself in the presence of two Master-at-Arms designated sailors, who “heard Mays say (unasked) that he was guilty, seemingly talking to himself,” according to the warrant. He later denied ever making the comments, and denied involvement in the arson, claiming he was being “set up.”

                        Investigators also dug into Mays’ personal life and discovered several red flags. After telling investigators during an initial 10-hour interview that he’d recently separated from a female sailor upon discovering that she was pregnant and he was not the father, investigators “later learned this was mostly contradicted by the female sailor” in question, the warrant said.

                        That sailor recounted to investigators that while Mays had gone around telling everyone she was pregnant and that he was “going to be a father,” she had never been pregnant and made that clear to him, even taking a pregnancy test to prove it.

                        It was not clear if that series of events was thought to have pushed Mays toward the alleged arson. NCIS investigators seized Mays’ iPhone, searched his car and apartment, and swabbed his cheek for a DNA sample. So far, Mays’ DNA has not been a match for DNA found at the scene.

                        Last November, the Navy said it would scrap the Bonhomme Richard in light of estimated repair costs of as much as $3.2 billion. The ship cost about $750 million when it was built in 1998, or about $1.2 billion by today’s standards. The investigation, according to the affidavit, is ongoing.
                        ____________
                        Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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                        • Long Chain of Failures Left Sailors Unprepared to Fight USS Bonhomme Richard Fire, Investigation Finds

                          A cascade of failures – from a junior enlisted sailor not recognizing a fire at the end of their duty watch to fundamental problems with how the U.S. Navy trains sailors to fight fires in shipyards – are responsible for the five-day blaze that cost the service an amphibious warship, according to an investigation into the July 2020 USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) fire reviewed by USNI News.

                          The investigation into the fire aboard Bonhomme Richard, overseen by former U.S. 3rd Fleet commander Vice Adm. Scott Conn, found that the two-year-long $249 million maintenance period rendered the ship’s crew unprepared to fight the fire the service says was set by a crew member.

                          “Although the fire was started by an act of arson, the ship was lost due to an inability to extinguish the fire,” Conn wrote in his investigation, which was completed in April and reviewed by USNI News this week.
                          “In the 19 months executing the ship’s maintenance availability, repeated failures allowed for the accumulation of significant risk and an inadequately prepared crew, which led to an ineffective fire response.”

                          Beyond the ship, Conn concluded that training and oversight failures throughout the fleet – from Naval Sea Systems Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Naval Surface Force Pacific Fleet and several other commands – contributed to the loss of the $2 billion warship. Conn singled out 36 individuals, including five admirals, who were responsible for the loss of the ship due to either their actions on July 12 or lack of oversight leading up to the alleged arson.

                          “The training and readiness of the ship’s crew were deficient. They were unprepared to respond. Integration between the ship and supporting shore-based firefighting organizations was inadequate,” wrote Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Samuel Paparo in his Aug. 3 endorsement of the investigation.

                          “There was an absence of effective oversight that should have identified the accumulated risk, and taken independent action to ensure readiness to fight a fire. Common to the failures evident in each of these broad categories was a lack of familiarity with requirements and procedural noncompliance at all levels of command.”
                          ___________

                          I highly recommend clicking on the link to the USNI website. The full article is massive, breaking down the days of the fire practically minute by minute and includes plenty of graphics.
                          Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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                          • I highly recommend clicking on the link to the USNI website. The full article is massive, breaking down the days of the fire practically minute by minute and includes plenty of graphics.

                            My God...what a horror story!
                            “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                            Mark Twain

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                            • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                              I highly recommend clicking on the link to the USNI website. The full article is massive, breaking down the days of the fire practically minute by minute and includes plenty of graphics.

                              My God...what a horror story!
                              Yeah, so much cringe
                              Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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                              • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

                                Yeah, so much cringe
                                Joe, as you know I have gotten into reading a lot of the newer books on WW2 in the Pacific. 2 things I come away with...1. The absolutely Olympian level of production the US was able to do. I mean it is mind bending. & 2. Damage Control was in EVERYBODY'S DNA. Ship, Shipmate, Self was truly drilled into everyone. The story of what my Dad did when his ship got hit by 2 kamikazes...as an 18 year old. I have so many other stories from the adults around me when I was growing up. Even the novels tell the DC story so well...Away All Boats, The Cruel Sea, The Captain and so many others. DC was it's own character in those stories.

                                We have wandered far afield...
                                “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                                Mark Twain

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