U.S. Navy Captain Brett Crozier awaits his fate
May 7, 2020 8:54 AM   Subscribe

[PREVIOUSLY] From the Navy Times, here's the latest news for the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71): • Fired Theodore Roosevelt commander Brett Crozier reassigned to San Diego, 5/5/2020: Capt. Brett Crozier arrived at Naval Air Forces Monday night, officials confirmed. • Carrier Theodore Roosevelt prepares to go back to sea after coronavirus outbreak, 5/5/2020: More than 4,000 crew members went ashore last month...more than 2,000 are back on board...at least 1,000 are still testing positive for the virus and remain on land. • Navy halts daily COVID-19 updates for stricken ships Theodore Roosevelt and Kidd, 5/6/2020: The service announced Thursday they will only announce "significant changes" aboard those ships.
posted by cenoxo (29 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Reinstate him. Just quietly reinstate him if touting him as 'right all along' is too much to bear. Just do it.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:40 AM on May 7 [7 favorites]

Probably new positive test results will not be considered significant, are the men are those ships aren't considered significant. This whole thing has been a travesty . . . .
posted by birdhaus at 10:55 AM on May 7 [3 favorites]

Water Wars: Coronavirus Spreads Risk of Conflict Around the South China Sea, Lawfare, Sean Quirk, 4/7/2020 [links added]:
The firing of Capt. Crozier raises several concerns for U.S. naval operations. One concern is that commanding officers will be less likely to raise systemic issues in the future due to a culture of “shoot the messenger,” which contributed to the training and readiness deficiencies that caused the fatal USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) collisions in the Indo-Pacific in 2017. Retired U.S. Vice Adm. William Douglas Crowder, who formerly served as Seventh Fleet commander and deputy chief of naval operations, said that his worry was the signal the stricken carrier sent to China, North Korea and Russia. “They miscalculate our ability to respond,” he told the New York Times. This concern appears well founded, with Chinese media reporting on April 3 that the “outbreak of COVID-19 has significantly lowered the US Navy's warship deployment capability in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The CCP [Chinese Communist Party] has also professed its opposition to the firing of Crozier via the state-run Global Times. Editor Hu Xijin wrote on April 3 [GT article], “[I]n our view, Crozier is more clear-minded than the officials of the Pentagon.” The CCP clearly wants the U.S. Navy to embrace the #StayAtHome mantra. Hu also compared Crozier to the Chinese “martyr” Li Wenliang—the doctor who initially raised alarms about the novel coronavirus spreading in Wuhan before being brutally silenced by the CCP and later dying from COVID-19 [WP]; the CCP has since bestowed its highest title of “martyr” on Li....
Two small pawns on a global chessboard.
posted by cenoxo at 11:13 AM on May 7 [6 favorites]

Reinstate him. Just quietly reinstate him if touting him as 'right all along' is too much to bear. Just do it.

The problem there, of course, is there is no way for his reinstatement to be quiet, with nearly 4000 sailors on-board with internet connections. He'll most likely get another ship assignment, but I doubt it will be the Roosevelt.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:46 AM on May 7

An Accidental Navy Chief Steers His Service Through a Storm — Adm. Michael M. Gilday appears determined that his recommendations on the Roosevelt case will be made based on Navy principles and not on fears of what the White House might want., New York Times, Helene Cooper & Eric Schmitt, Updated 5/5/2020:
...The admiral, who took a bold step last week — recommending that the captain of a virus-stricken aircraft carrier be restored to command after he was removed by the service’s senior civilian — was plucked from the military’s Joint Staff last July to take over a scandal-plagued sea service, leapfrogging several more senior four-star officers. He was “what we needed at the time for the Navy in my eyes,” Richard V. Spencer, the former Navy secretary who selected Admiral Gilday, said in a telephone interview. “When he says he’s going to deliver something, he delivers.”

Admiral Gilday made good on his promise to deliver recommendations after a swift investigation into the decision by Mr. Spencer’s successor to fire Capt. Brett E. Crozier, who pleaded for help fighting the coronavirus on the Theodore Roosevelt. In recommending last week that the Navy reverse the decision of senior civilians and reinstate Captain Crozier to command, Admiral Gilday put the Navy before his own career. It was a move similar to Captain Crozier’s.

Now, just as with Captain Crozier, Admiral Gilday’s fate is up in the air, current and former officials say, as the Pentagon tries to divine what, exactly, President Trump wants it to do. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper declined to endorse Admiral Gilday’s recommendations, and a final decision was kicked down the road when James E. McPherson, the new acting Navy secretary, ordered up another investigation. The Navy said Thursday it would be completed by May 27.
posted by cenoxo at 11:46 AM on May 7 [2 favorites]

Still being a military family our impression is to say the US military common soldiery and officer corps is pretty unhappy about its command right now. Im not sure where that leads. But historically not anywhere good.
posted by Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza at 11:59 AM on May 7 [2 favorites]

EE Spanish Influenza:

Also have a lot of military relatives (well, veterans at this point- no active duty). The military disgruntlement for me is the one silver lining. That's because Trump doesn't really have the institutional support to launch a coup, suspend elections, and become dictator. Trump really only has one window: cheating his way to another electoral college win. If he can't raise some fig leaf of constitutional legitimacy, the military won't support him.
So he can't suspend or postpone the election- he lacks the authority to do so.

And unless he has an electoral college majority, even if there are suspended elections, then Congress and Nancy Pelosi picks the next President.

There's only one viable path for Trump staying in office after January 2020, and that's some simulacra of an electoral mandate that's plausible for the (lenient) scrutiny of the Supreme Court and the mainstream media.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 2:53 PM on May 7 [8 favorites]

Crozier's men know whose side he is on. They will welcome him back, and probably the entire Navy with full regalia. It might be quiet, might be understated, but you can't overstate the value of commanding officers such as he. (Coming from a military brat, whose dad would have said pretty much the same thing.)
posted by Oyéah at 4:19 PM on May 7 [4 favorites]

If Crozier wants it quiet, his men and women will keep it quiet. Nobody in the military is a stranger to social media lockdown orders. This only spread the way it did because they were /pissed/.
posted by corb at 5:26 PM on May 7 [4 favorites]

An Accidental Navy Chief Steers His Service Through a Storm

"Navy Chief" means something very specific and it is not "the guy in charge of the Navy"
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:49 AM on May 8 [5 favorites]

Poor headline phrasing by the NYT: Gildray is specifically the "Chief of Naval Operations" (see also WP).
posted by cenoxo at 7:31 AM on May 8

Pentagon health agency contradicts Esper’s claim that Navy ships at sea are ‘safest place to be’ right now, Task & Purpose, Jeff Schogol, 5/7/2020:
Despite what Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said recently, ships at sea may not be the safest place to be during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

On Monday, Esper said that only two out of more than 90 Navy ships that are currently at sea have experienced coronavirus outbreaks, in part because the Navy tests and quarantines sailors before ships head out. “The statistics show that the safest place to be is on a deployed Navy ship as compared to one that’s in port,” Esper said as part of a webinar with the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, D.C.

However, an April 30 Defense Health Agency report appears to contradict Esper on this matter. The report notes that, “DoD shipboard populations are at increased risk of COVID-19,” [PDF] citing the outbreaks aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and the destroyer USS Kidd.

As of April 30, 1,102 sailors aboard the Theodore Roosevelt and 78 sailors on the Kidd had tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Navy, which has since stopped providing daily updates on the number of sailors aboard both ships with COVID-19....
After this story was initially published on Thursday, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman provided Task & Purpose with a statement about Esper’s remarks about ships being safe as well as the April 30 Defense Health Agency report. [More in the article.]
posted by cenoxo at 8:57 AM on May 8

After Crozier Firing, Top Admiral Tells Sailors to 'Show Courage in Speaking Up', Military.com, Gina Harkins, 5/7/2020:
The Navy's top officer is warning sailors to remain vigilant about their health -- even as states start or prepare to open back up -- in light of the threat the novel coronavirus poses to the force.

Sailors must continue minimizing group gatherings, wear face coverings and keep their distance as the Navy grapples with the military's highest rate of COVID-19 cases in the ranks. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday told the force in a new service-wide message that following the health and safety guidelines is their "new normal."

"Take responsibility," Gilday said. "Show courage in speaking up if you see shipmates falling short. We have obligations for operational readiness and stringent requirements for health protection measures." Gilday urging his personnel to speak up comes as lawmakers expressed concern that the firing of Navy Capt. Brett Crozier had a chilling effect on the rest of the force....
Related: SecNav Nominee [Kenneth J. Braithwaite] Cites Navy 'Failings of Leadership' in Confirmation Hearing.
posted by cenoxo at 10:47 AM on May 8

Aircraft carrier Reagan departs for sea trials following quarantine period for sailors, Navy Times, J.D. Simkins, 5/7/2020:
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan departed its forward-deployed homeport of Yokosuka, Japan, this week for sea trials as it ramps up preparations for an upcoming deployment amid ongoing coronavirus concerns. The trial period, which is expected to last about a week, marks the first time Reagan has pulled out of Yokosuka since November, when it returned from a six-month deployment in the western Pacific.

Reagan sailors underwent phases of required quarantine prior to embarking, officials said. The commander of Carrier Strike Group Five, Rear Adm. George M. Wikoff, initiated the sequestration by ordering 1,300 sailors assigned to the carrier to remain in isolation in barracks scattered across multiple bases, the New York Times first reported....

[More in the article.]
Some of the carrier strike group's sailors remain in isolation, and port liberty calls for Reagan's sailors will be cancelled during this summer's deployment.
posted by cenoxo at 12:55 PM on May 8

Glad to hear Captain Crozier's recovered. He'd tested positive for Covid-19 in early April; he experienced symptoms after the letter but before he disembarked the ship on 4/2. From April 22: This is the plan to get all service members tested for COVID-19 (Military Times) The Defense Department has set a goal to be testing 60,000 service members a day for coronavirus by June, but they won’t get there all at once. The plan is to start testing the most at-risk and most essential troops first, then work their way toward the rest of the force as testing capacity increases. Of highest priority are active and Reserve health care workers at field hospitals and other alternative care centers, followed closely by high-end counter-terror units and members of the nuclear triad, including bomber crews, submariners and ballistic missile units.
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:09 PM on May 8

SWO Boss: ‘Insidious’ COVID-19 Spread on USS Kidd Shows Evolution of Navy Response to Pandemic, USNI News, Sam LaGrone, May 6, 2020:
When COVID-19 was first detected on guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG-100) late last month, the Navy put into action a new set of procedures to stem the spread of the virus. The crew had departed Hawaii in late March after being detached from the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group while USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) was grappling with its own virus outbreak that left aircraft carrier pier-side in Guam.

Almost a month later, the first signs of an outbreak appeared when the destroyer was operating off the Pacific coast of South America. The crew hadn’t left the ship since their Hawaii port call, about a month prior to when the first sailor showed symptoms of an “influenza-like illness” or ILI on April 22. That day, the sailor was evacuated off the ship to a military hospital in San Antonio, Texas, and on April 23 the sailor tested positive for COVID-19. That positive test started a process the Navy has cobbled together over the last two months to purge the virus from deployed ships.

Pretty quickly into the U.S. spread of the pandemic, the Navy realized that the only real way to keep the virus off hulls and keep sailors healthy was to craft and maintain a fragile, virus-free bubble on their warships...

[Details follow in the article.]
This is a considerable, expanding task aboard deployed (and non-deployed) warships. Vice Adm. Richard Brown, commander of Naval Surface Forces and Naval Surface Force Pacific: “When we started out this process, I started to say it was an algebra problem for us. Then it became differential equations, and then it went to multivariable calculus, and in many respects now it’s almost theoretical physics trying to figure out what is the right thing to do.”
posted by cenoxo at 8:23 PM on May 8

USS Nimitz Departs San Diego for Pre-Deployment Exercise, USNI News, Ben Werner, 5/8/2020:
USS Nimitz (CVN-68) left San Diego this week for a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) in the Pacific, Navy officials confirmed to USNI News. The graduation exercise for the carrier strike group will be the first major test of the Navy’s methodology to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks on its deployed ships.

The crew of Nimitz started an isolation period in early April, in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. The Navy screened all crew for COVID-19 before boarding the ship and kept them within the skin of the ship until they departed the ship’s homeport of Bremerton, Wash., on April 27.

The service had secured enough COVID-19 test kits to evaluate the nearly 8,000 sailors of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group. Navy officials previously told USNI News they planned test crew members before deploying. Carrier Air Wing 17, the command staff of Carrier Strike Group 11 and crews of the planned carrier escorts have been isolated in California ahead of the strike group assembling in San Diego....
posted by cenoxo at 6:50 AM on May 9

Chief of Naval Operations quarantined; head of National Guard tests positive for COVID-19, Task & Purpose, Jeff Schogol, 5/10/2020:
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday [WP bio] will be quarantined for one week after coming into contact with a relative who is sickened with the coronavirus, a Defense Department spokesman said on Sunday. Gilday has tested negative for the coronavirus, the spokesman said.

Separately, Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel [WP bio], head of the National Guard Bureau, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Defense Department spokesman said. Lengyel tested negative for COVID-19 on Sunday and will have a third test on Monday to confirm that he does not have the disease.

Neither Gilday nor Lengyel attended a meeting at the White House on Saturday with the president and senior military leaders....
See also: Chief of U.S. National Guard in limbo after conflicting coronavirus tests: officials; Reuters, Idrees Ali & Phil Stewart, 5/10/2020.
posted by cenoxo at 6:37 PM on May 10

After Testing Positive for COVID-19, National Guard Chief Gets Negative Result, Military.com, Oriana Pawlyk, 5/11/2020:
The head of the National Guard has tested negative for the novel coronavirus for the second time since learning he had previously tested positive. Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, received a negative result for COVID-19 at Walter Reed Military Medical Center on Monday, the Guard said in a statement.

Lengyel first tested positive just ahead of Saturday's Joint Chiefs meeting with President Donald Trump. A second test Lengyel took the same day came back negative; officials said he would self-isolate and be screened again "to confirm his negative status."...
posted by cenoxo at 9:31 PM on May 11

SecDef Esper uses the USS Theodore Roosevelt to tout America's naval supremacy amid the COVID-19 crisis, Task & Purpose, Jared Keller, 5/13/2020:
As far as optics go, this isn't nearly as bad as the 'Mission Accomplished' banner on the USS Abraham Lincoln, but it's pretty damn close.

With an aircraft carrier and destroyer sidelined by novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks, Defense Secretary Mark Esper took to social media to tout the U.S. military's naval supremacy in the face of the global pandemic. "No other power on earth can match the capabilities and reach of the U.S. Navy," Esper wrote in social media posts on Twitter and Facebook.

But there's a problem, obviously: to illustrate America's naval power, Esper (or his public affairs officers) opted for a photo of the USS Theodore Roosevelt [image], which is currently laid up in Guam with 1,102 positive cases of COVID-19. This is maybe not the best visual for Esper to use for a few reasons...

[Reasons why follow in the article. The author also links to recent photographs of the USS Roosevelt and its crew in Guam.]
No doubt the U.S. Navy will make the most of the resources they have (or soon will have), but they may not be able to completely prevent COVID-19 infections aboard deployed ships.
posted by cenoxo at 7:09 PM on May 13

5 sailors test positive for COVID-19 after returning to the USS Theodore Roosevelt from isolation, Task & Purpose, Jeff Schogol, 5/14/2020:
Five sailors who returned to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt [in Guam] have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), said Navy spokesman Cmdr. Myers Vasquez. The sailors had previously tested positive for the disease but they had spent more than two weeks in isolation, showed no symptoms for at least three days, and they all tested negative for the disease twice before being allowed back on the aircraft carrier, Vasquez said on Thursday.

“The five sailors developed influenza-like illness symptoms and executed their personal responsibility by reporting to medical for evaluation,” Vasquez said in a statement. “The sailors were immediately removed from the ship and placed back in isolation, their close contacts were mapped, and they are receiving the required medical care.”

Another 18 crew members who are not showing symptoms have been taken off the Theodore Roosevelt as a precaution because they were in close contact with the sailors who tested positive for coronavirus...
Even aboard U.S. Navy warships preparing to be deployed — whose crew members receive multiple tests, strict military isolation/quarantine, and display no visible symptoms — there's no guarantee against testing positive later.
posted by cenoxo at 7:25 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

Naval Health Researchers at Center of Fleet’s Battle Against COVID-19, USNI News, Gidget Fuentes, 5/14/2020 describes COVID-19 screening/testing methods used by the Naval Health Research Center for U.S. warships in the western Pacific.
SAN DIEGO — Before leaving Southern California last week for predeployment training, the crew of aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) spent most of April isolated to prevent a viral outbreak before their scheduled deployment.

The Navy found enough COVID-19 test kits to help ensure no sailor with the Bremerton, Wash.-based Nimitz and the rest of Nimitz Carrier Strike Group would deploy infected with the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. So teams with the Naval Health Research Center jumped in to help process the diagnostic tests for the deploying force of nearly 8,000.

At the time, the San Diego, Calif., based NHRC was in the midst of helping other ships and military treatment facilities process COVID-19 tests, a task that began Feb. 12. So far, “we have tested over 6,000 samples in total. That’s more than we did last year, all together,” Christopher Myers, the director of NHRC’s infectious diseases directorate, said during a media roundtable this week....
posted by cenoxo at 11:30 PM on May 15

13 USS Theodore Roosevelt sailors test positive after recovering from Covid-19 — The Navy also reports one crew member has tuberculosis., Politico - Defense, Lara Seligman, 5/16/2020:
[A total of] Thirteen sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive again for Covid-19 after recovering from the disease and returning to the ship, which has been stranded in Guam since late March after an outbreak of the virus, according to two U.S. defense officials.
[On 5/14/2020] five sailors had tested positive after reboarding the ship, so the new number means the positive cases have more than doubled. The 13 Covid-positive sailors have been removed from the ship and are back in isolation on U.S. Naval Base Guam, according to the officials.
In addition to the outbreak, the Roosevelt now has a new medical problem. One sailor has been diagnosed with tuberculosis and has been removed from the ship... Tuberculosis, or TB, is a bacterial infection that affects the lungs and carries symptoms similar to Covid-19 such as coughing, fever and difficulty breathing. TB kills 1.5 million people per year worldwide — more than any other infectious disease....
See also: 13 sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt test positive for COVID-19 after recovering from the virus, Task & Purpose, James Clark, 5/16/2020.
posted by cenoxo at 4:26 AM on May 17 [1 favorite]

Coronavirus stricken aircraft carrier simulates being at sea in preparation for returning to operations, CNN, Ryan Browne, 5/17/2020:
Sailors aboard the coronavirus stricken aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt "are simulating being at sea while moored at Naval Base Guam," as part of its preparations to return to active operations.

The simulation, known as a "fast cruise," comes as the Navy continues to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic aboard that ship, recently removing 15 sailors from the aircraft carrier that tested positive for coronavirus after they had been returned to the ship as part of the effort to make the ship operational again.

Despite those setbacks the Navy is proceeding with the simulation. "During the simulation, or "fast cruise," the crew will simulate normal underway conditions while testing the critical systems required to sustain the ship during its upcoming underway operations," the US Navy's Seventh Fleet said in a statement Sunday.
About 2,900 of the ship's nearly 4,900 complement are aboard. After a successful fast cruise, the Roosevelt will begin underway training and carrier qualifications. Sailors not required for this phase will be left ashore.
posted by cenoxo at 2:59 AM on May 18

Aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt returns to sea after coronavirus outbreak; Navy Times, Lolita C. Baldor (Associated Press), 5/21/2020:
PHOTO: The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) operates in the Philippine Sea May 21, 2020, following an extended visit to Guam in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic. (Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kaylianna Genier/Navy)

After nearly two months sidelined in Guam with a coronavirus outbreak, the USS Theodore Roosevelt has gone out to sea for training, in preparation to return to duty in the Pacific. The ship has been docked in Guam since March 27, as the 4,800 crew members went through rotations of quarantine, and more than 1,000 of them have tested positive for the virus over that time.

“It feels great to be back at sea,” Rear Adm. Stu Baker, commander of Carrier Strike Group 9, said in a statement. “Getting Theodore Roosevelt and Carrier Air Wing 11 one step closer to returning to their mission in the Indo-Pacific is a great achievement for the crew.”

In an Associated Press interview from the aircraft carrier earlier this week, Navy Capt. Carlos Sardiello said the ship will sail with a scaled-back crew of about 3,000, leaving about 1,800 sailors on shore who are still in quarantine or working with those who are. The sailors in quarantine include up to 14 who recently tested positive again for the virus, just days after getting cleared to return to the carrier....

[More details in the article.]
The puzzling COVID-19 reappearance in the sailors adds to the difficulty in getting the ship’s crew healthy again, and fuels questions about the quality of the testing and just how long sailors may remain infected or contagious.
posted by cenoxo at 6:34 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]

Correction — link to above Navy Times article: Aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt returns to sea after coronavirus outbreak.
posted by cenoxo at 9:49 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]

Pentagon charts its own course on COVID-19, risking Trump's ire, The Hill, Ellen Mitchell, 05/25/2020;
The Pentagon is actively planning on living with the coronavirus well into 2021, putting it at risk of angering President Trump as he expresses confidence that the disease is on the wane.

Defense officials have extended a freeze on troop movement, held ships in port and laid the framework for what the military will look like in an extended pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, a leaked Pentagon memo [Task & Purpose, 5/19/2020] revealed that top Defense Department (DOD) officials are planning for the possibility that the military could be dealing with the virus beyond this year. The extended preparation cuts against White House messaging that the virus will recede in the coming months and that a vaccine could be available by the end of the year.

“There is a disconnect,” said Mackenzie Eaglen, a former congressional adviser on defense now with the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “At the same time, if anyone can take safe cover behind ‘We’re the department of planning for all contingencies,’ they can because that is what they’re supposed to do, over-plan and over-prepare.

The situation is emblematic of the tough position the Pentagon has often been in during Trump’s presidency. Defense officials have frequently had to ensure they outwardly appear in line with the president’s wishes, while quietly navigate realities that might draw the president’s ire ... With the coronavirus, the Pentagon has been charting its own course for months....
Considering that a COVID-19 outbreak is an operational risk for any branch of the military, their protocols/procedures for prevention, testing, quarantine, treatment (including mass, long-range aerial evacuations when necessary/possible), ongoing disinfection, and redeployment must be more stringent and faster than for civilians. As seen with the USS Theodore Roosevelt, infections aboard deployed warships must be contained & controlled ASAP, but their close working quarters may require 'fighting sick' while underway to keep the ship in service.

See also: How the Pandemic Is Helping The Military Prep For World War III, Defense One, Patrick Tucker, 5/27/2020.
posted by cenoxo at 8:47 AM on May 27

Gotta love how, um, aspirational that last headline is.
posted by Lyme Drop at 9:06 AM on May 27

You'll love this one even more: Live nuclear testing could resume in ‘months’ if needed, official says, Defense News, Aaron Mehta, 5/26/2020:
WASHINGTON — A live nuclear test could be arranged within “months” if requested by the president, a top defense department nuclear official said Tuesday, following a report that the Trump administration has discussed the first American nuclear test in decades.

However, Drew Walter, performing the duties of deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear matters, stressed that there “has been no policy change” when it comes to avoiding live nuclear testing.

Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported that there have been high-level discussions around the possibility of doing a live nuclear test for the first time since 1992. Since that time, the United States has relied on simulations and non-explosive testing to assess the health and capabilities of the nuclear arsenal; the National Nuclear Security Administration, a semi-independent branch inside the Department of Energy, currently oversees that effort through its Stockpile Stewardship program...
More details in the article: they're referring to relatively low-power underground testing, but scary nevertheless.
posted by cenoxo at 10:00 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]

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