Sailors of ‘War Eagle’ and ‘Huntsmen’ return to base after 6 month deployment
The “War Eagles” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 and the “Huntsmen” of Mobile Tactical Operations Center-11 begin their transition back to Naval Air Station Jacksonville on Saturday after a six-month deployment to the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.
Witness says cadets at ceremony were standing in formation when some fell out
A witness tells News4JAX he was at the award ceremony for students from Andrew Jackson High School’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps, where on Wednesday evening seven cadets needed to be taken to a hospital.
‘Airdogs’ return to NAS Jacksonville for first time in 9 months
Sailors were greeted with hugs and kisses from loved ones as they returned to NAS Jacksonville this week. JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It was all smiles Thursday and Friday as the Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70.2 “Airdogs” returned home to Jacksonville for the first time in nine months. The HSM 70.2 left Jacksonville last June for Norfolk, Virginia, where they embarked on the USS Winston S. Churchill for their work-ups and deployment, according to NAS Jacksonville. The Airdogs began their deployment in August, playing a key role in the 5th Fleet’s mission, including 14 trips through the Bab-el-Mandeb and eight more through the Strait of Hormuz as they escorted merchant ships safely through those areas. The crew’s mission continued into early 2021 as they worked with the U.S. Coast Guard’s Advance Interdiction Team.
F-15 Eagles honored, celebrated service members during local flyover
125th Fighter Wing to bring the “Sound of Freedom” to entire community on Tuesday’s Military Appreciation Day at THE PLAYERSJACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Four F-15 Eagles flew over various Northeast Florida locations on Tuesday to honor and celebrate service members, bringing the “Sound of Freedom” to the entire community for The Players’ Military Appreciation Day. The 125th Fighter Wing/FLANG conducted the flyover near NAS Mayport, TPC Sawgrass, NAS Jacksonville and downtown Jacksonville. RELATED: The Players Championship returns: Fan’s guide to the 2021 tournamentOver the last year, the 125th Fighter Wing have played an especially crucial role in Florida’s COVID-19 response. AdAerial footage captured by an F-15 pilot“The 125th Fighter Wing, Home of the Thunder, is extremely proud to perform the flyover for military appreciation day in honor of our fellow service members and community of supporters,” Col. Matthew J. French, 125th Fighter Wing commander, said. Again, thanks to all, and when you hear our mighty F15 eagles thundering over, know that they’re from your 125th Fighter Wing, Where the Thunder is the Sound of Freedom!”Ad
Documents: FBI tracked Brianna Williams’ movements in Alabama via cellphone
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – News4Jax on Thursday obtained new discovery material in the case of Brianna Williams, the mother accused of abusing her 5-year-old daughter, Taylor. It includes several maps that show how Williams’ trips from Jacksonville to Alabama were traced via her cellphone, including to the wooded area where Taylor’s remains were found. The documents show Williams’ movements were tracked down to the minute. Williams, according to the documents, called her mother on Oct. 31. RELATED: Autopsy inconclusive on 5-year-old Taylor Williams’ cause of deathWilliams has plead not guilty to her charges.
Navy IDs Kings Bay sailor, 26, who died of COVID complications
A 26-year-old sailor assigned to the USS Tennessee in Kings Bay died Thursday due to complications after contracting COVID-19, according to the U.S. Navy. The Navy later identified the sailor as Petty Officer 2nd Class Cody Andrew-Godfredson Myers, an Information Systems Technician from Washington. According to a news release from the Navy, Myers was admitted to the hospital at NAS Jacksonville on Jan. 30 and was transferred to ICU at UF Health Jacksonville on Jan. 31. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family, shipmates and friends of Petty Officer Myers during this extremely difficult time,” the Navy wrote in a news release. AdThe Navy said USS Tennessee crewmembers are supported by chaplains, embedded mental health specialists, and Fleet and Family Support Center counselors at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.
Serviceman stationed at NAS Jacksonville charged with possession of child porn
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A decorated Naval serviceman stationed at NAS Jacksonville has been arrested a second time on charges of possessing child porn. Kelly Squire, 38, was taken into custody Thursday morning at the Tactical Operations Center and handed over to Clay County deputies as part of an investigation that began in Jacksonville. A Clay County warrant was issued for the sailor’s arrest on top of his arrest in Duval County back in August when investigators said they found child pornography on his cellphone. Natalie Mashburn, Squire’s wife, was not home when News4Jax visited his address, but she spoke with us remotely through a Ring doorbell camera. According to the Navy, Squire’s status is still active but that could change if he’s found guilty of the charges.
Homecoming surprise for family at NAS Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – VP-26 Tridents returned home to NAS Jacksonville on Thursday afternoon. “It’s just crazy being here after not seeing them for so long.”Fitts and his wife, Chelsea, surprised their three kids with his homecoming. “I love surprises, so this is the ultimate surprise,” said Chelsea Fitts. The Fitts family said it was hard but they overcame the challenges by focusing on the positive. During deployment, VP-26 flew a variety of missions including airborne anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Second Lady Karen Pence in Jacksonville to launch military spouses program
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Second Lady Karen Pence and Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia visited Jacksonville on Wednesday to launch a new employee assistance program for military spouses, pet some K9s and sip some coffee. Pence spoke to military spouses at NAS Jacksonville to launch the Transition Employment Assistance for Military Spouses (TEAMS) Program. It is designed to help military spouses advance their careers through training, workshops, and networking tailored to their unique circumstances. The owner of Social Grounds, Jason Kelloway, was presented a Second Lady coin and his wife and co-owner Mandi Kelloway was given a bracelet for military spouses. Pence’s visit supports her ongoing campaign to elevate and encourage military spouses while also recognizing their unique employment challenges.
Aircraft depart NAS Jacksonville ahead of Isaias
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Naval Air Station Jacksonville is preparing for possible severe weather from Tropical Storm Isaias. The aircrew and maintenance sailors assigned to the P-8A Poseidon and P-3C Orion squadrons worked through the night and into the morning to evacuate the aircraft to predetermined locations ahead of Isaias, NAS Jacksonville said Sunday. Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic authorized the evacuation of 31 P-8A Poseidon aircraft and five P-3C Orion aircraft from NAS Jacksonville, with remaining aircraft assigned to Commander, Patrol & Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW) 11 and Patrol Squadron 30 to remain safely in their squadron hangars. Squadrons assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Atlantic will remain in hangars aboard Naval Station Mayport and NAS Jacksonville. The aircrew and maintenance Sailors assigned to our P-8A Poseidon and P-3C Orion squadrons worked through the night and... Posted by NAS Jacksonville on Sunday, August 2, 2020NAS Jacksonville preparingThe NAS Jacksonville commanding officer is minimizing command operations and the footprint on base Monday to minimum personnel only.
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After COVID-19 pandemic delays return, Red Lancers arrive back home in Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. There was an emotional homecoming two months overdue for a squadron at Naval Air Station Jacksonville on Wednesday. The Red Lancers of Patrol Squadron (VP) 10, based at NAS Jacksonville, returned home on Wednesday afternoon. Their return was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic after the secretary of defense on March 25 issued a 60-day stop movement order. The Red Lancers executed more than 9,000 sorties and put in more than 4,500 hours of flight time. The Red Lancers of Patrol Squadron (VP) 10, based at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, return home.
Jacksonville family sending donated Girl Scout cookies to NAS Jax
The public health crisis began to unfold during peak Girl Scout cookie season. With stay-at-home orders in place, it left families like Cordelia Ray’s with stockpiles of cookies and no place to sell them. She reached out on Facebook to people willing to buy boxes for medical workers at NAS Jacksonville. Girl Scouts USA is encouraging people nationwide to buy cookies, which can be delivered to their front doors. You can also donate boxes to first responders and medical workers.
We all felt it, but here’s where storm left most damage
Strong storms Thursday night left a trail of damage and debris across Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. The second landed on a building, puncturing the ceiling of one classroom and leaving water damage and debris. A few doors down from that incident, a sleeping baby also had a close call when a large tree branch fell through a roof. In a Lake Geneva neighborhood in southern Clay County where five homes were reported to have received damage. Winds stripped the tar paper off the roof of the Whiskey River Saloon in Starke, leading to significant water damage to the business.
Gusts take down trees, leave thousands in dark
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Wind gusts of 50, 60 to over 70 mph across our viewing area Thursday night took down a few trees, dozens of power lines and littered yards with limbs and other debris. Trees were blown down on a mobile home and a kindergarten in Orange Park. Several more trees and power lines in were down in Clay and Bradford counties. We’ve collected some of the damage photos in a gallery at the top of this story. You can help document the damage by sending photos, video to StormPins, either on the Weather Authority App or here on News4Jax.com.
Trial date set for Navy lieutenant, Chinese nationals charged with conspiracy
Fan Yang and Yang Yang asked for 6 months to prepare for a criminal trial against them. The process will also involve the use of a classified information security officer to review classified information that is expected to be part of the pretrial discovery process. The government wants to avoid the “unnecessary disclosure” of classified information in the case. A separate detention hearing for the Yangs’ co-defendants, Ge Song Tao and Zheng Yan, was postponed until Jan. 16. Fan Yang is a lieutenant in the anti-submarine warfare unit at NAS Jacksonville and has top security clearances.
2 weeks later, few answers in Taylor Williams’ disappearance
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s been a week since Jacksonville’s Sheriff Mike Williams announced remains were found near Demopolis, Alabama. While investigators believe the remains are likely those of missing Jacksonville 5-year-old Taylor Rose Williams, there’s still no confirmation. I know they’re highly skilled. Smith has followed the Taylor Williams case closely and told News4Jax that finding out how she died will be a long process that requires patience. Her mother, Brianna Williams, an active-duty sailor based at NAS Jacksonville, stopped cooperating with investigators one day after reporting her daughter missing, according to Sheriff Williams.
Community invited to attend candlelight vigil to honor Taylor Rose Williams
The gathering for Taylor Rose Williams will be held at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 23 at Losco Park. Sheriff Mike Williams said that while family members have been cooperating, Brianna Williams stopped cooperating Nov. 7. Three sources told News4Jax that authorities pinged Brianna Williams' phone in Alabama, and thats what led them to search there. Brianna Williams was flown Tuesday to UF Health hospital in downtown Jacksonville after a suicide attempt at NAS Jacksonville, police said. Did police suspect Brianna Williams all along?
Missing girl's mother received 9 awards in 7 years in Navy
A Navy spokesman said Brianna Williams has returned to work after spending time with police the day she reported Taylor missing. A former valedictorian at her high school in Alabama, Brianna Williams has received nine awards for her naval service and was deployed overseas twice. Her Brentwood neighbors have said they did not see her daughter at the home in the days before Brianna Williams reported Taylor missing at 7:22 a.m. Wednesday. On Thursday, when Sheriff Mike Williams announced Brianna Williams stopped cooperating with detectives when they pointed out inconsistencies in her stories, he added that she is not considered a suspect. GALLERIES: Police swarm neighborhood | Hundreds join search | Taylor Rose WilliamsCopyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.
Missing girl's mother received 9 awards in 7 years in Navy
A Navy spokesman said Brianna Williams has returned to work after spending time with police the day she reported Tiffany missing. Biographical data obtained from the Navy shows Brianna Williams has been on active duty since 2012 and was stationed at NAS Pensacola and Naval Station Norfolk before moving to Jacksonville in April 2018. A former valedictorian at her high school in Alabama, Brianna Williams has received nine awards for her naval service and was deployed overseas twice. Her Brentwood neighbors have said they did not see her daughter at the home in the days before Brianna Williams reported Tiffany missing at 7:22 a.m. Wednesday. On Thursday, when Sheriff Mike Williams announced Brianna Williams stopped cooperating with detectives when they pointed out inconsistencies in her stories, he added that she is not considered a suspect.
Co-defendants in Chinese conspiracy case plead not guilty
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Two co-defendants in a highly publicized conspiracy case appeared in federal court in Jacksonville Monday afternoon. Zheng Yan and Ge Songtao appeared before a judge for their arraignment, and with the help of a Chinese translator, pleaded not guilty. Yan and Songtao, Chinese citizens who were working in the U.S., were arrested Oct. 17 in Louisiana. Fan Yang and his wife, Yang Yang. Fan Yang and Yang Yang were not in court Monday but are expected to appear Tuesday.
Ex-NAS Jacksonville employee sentenced in online enticement case
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A former NAS Jacksonville employee has been sentenced to nearly two decades in federal prison after he was convicted on a charge of online enticement of a minor. On Monday morning, a federal judge sentenced Erold Panopio, 24, to 19 years and seven months behind bars. According to a complaint affidavit, Panopio had inappropriate online communications with a 15-year-old girl until her custodian found out and contacted law enforcement. An undercover detective pretended to be the girl and began communicating with Panopio. At the time of his arrest, Panopio was employed at NAS Jacksonville as an aviation mechanic.
Did info Lt. Yang gave to China compromise national security?
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A former FBI agent said damage done by Navy Lt. Fan Yang, who is now facing multiple federal charges, represents a grave threat to all three area military bases and our entire country's national security. "This is someone that we trained, someone who has access to some of the most sensitive information," Chrabot said. The government also knows that Yang and his wife helped get two hard drives to China. Ge Song Tao and Zheng Yan, the two Chinese nationals arrested this week in Louisiana in connection with the Yangs' case, are expected to be transferred to Florida.
New twist in federal case involving Navy lieutenant, Chinese nationals
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The FBI investigation into a Jacksonville Navy lieutenant with connections to Chinese nationals added a new twist Friday. Zheng Yan is named in the United States District Court complaint along with Lt. Yang and Yang Yang. According to a series of emails reviewed by investigators, Yang Yang corresponded with a California-based marine manufacturer about buying the military-grade boat engines. Yang Yang and Fan Yang said in a recording obtained by the FBI that the end user was to be the People's Republic of China. The Justice Department confirmed Friday that Fan Yang and Yang Yang were in custody pending a detention hearing.
Former FBI agent weighs in on local Naval officer, Chinese national arrests
Fan Yang, a Chinese-born man who became an officer with the US Navy, garnering top secret clearance with an NAS Jacksonville P-8 anti-submarine squadron. RELATED: Navy lieutenant, Chinese national connected to FBI raid in Jacksonville |New twist in federal case involving Navy lieutenant, Chinese nationalsIn another document obtained by the I-TEAM, the Yangs are accused of working with a Chinese company called Shanghai Breeze. Agents contend the four defendants were smuggling American-made vessels and equipment to Shanghai Breeze, to eventually wind up with the Chinese government. The company that makes the vessels also makes vessels for the Navy, so it may have been prohibited from selling to the Chinese government. The I-TEAM found the Yangs and a Chinese national, Ge Song Toa, have all been detained as the investigation continues.
Former FBI agent weighs in on local Naval officer, Chinese national arrests
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Navy supervisor based at NAS Jacksonville, his wife and two Chinese nationals are in custody Friday, accused of a scheme to get U.S. military goods to the Chinese government. Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.
Head-on crash leaves man dead, another hurt on Roosevelt Boulevard
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Florida Highway Patrol said one man died and another man was seriously injured in a head-on collision on Roosevelt Boulevard near NAS Jacksonville about 1:15 a.m. Sunday. Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.
Head-on crash leaves man dead, another hurt on Roosevelt Boulevard
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Florida Highway Patrol said one man died and another man was seriously injured in a head-on collision on Roosevelt Boulevard near NAS Jacksonville about 1:15 a.m. Sunday. Troopers said a 2008 Scion TC was headed south on U.S. 17 when the driver lost control of the vehicle and veered over the concrete median, entering the northbound lanes. The FHP said that's where the Scion TC hit a northbound 1996 Ford SUV head-on, causing both vehicles to overturn and block the northbound lanes for several hours. Troopers said the 55-year-old man driving the Ford SUV died at the scene, while the Scion driver, identified as Royce Tovar, 21, was taken to Orange Park Medical Center with serious injuries. All northbound lanes of Roosevelt Boulevard were closed for several hours due to the crash but have since reopened.
PFA Hearing in Washington grills companies on efforts to conceal health risks
Congress is looking into whether companies tried to conceal the health risks of an industrial chemical used in firefighting foam at military bases across the country. NAS Jacksonville is one of more than 600 sites exposed to the toxic compound. READ MORE:Navy testing drinking water wells around Mayport for chemicalNAS Jacksonville among 610 water sites exposed to toxic compoundThese chemicals were used by the company 3M to make those products. The company fired back, testifying that there is "no cause and effect" between these chemicals and health problems. The results from the water testing in Jacksonville should be available by the end of the month.
Jacksonville's 2 Navy bases prepare ahead of Dorian
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - With Hurricane Dorian and Northeast Florida on a potential collision course, those in charge of NAS Jacksonville and Naval Station Mayport arent taking any chances. | Know your evacuation zoneNaval Station Mayport sits on the edge of the river and the ocean and has numerous planes, helicopters and ships. Naval Station Mayport has approximately 11,000 people who live and work on the base, and safety personnel are making plans for those in base housing. According to the Department of Defense, NAS Jacksonville has a population that includes over 10,000 DoD personnel, nearly, 7,000 federal employees, 2,500 contractors, and 34,000 family members. The team at NAS Jacksonville is also watching the weather closely and preparing for what could come.
Vice president inspired by visits to Operation New Hope, Miller Electric
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Vice President Mike Pence and first daughter and adviser to the president Ivanka Trump joined Florida Gov. The three toured Miller Electric and hosted a roundtable discussion at Operation New Hope in Springfield. WATCH: Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Miller ElectricThe courageous men and women who have come through this place, who have chosen a better life, seizing the opportunity, Pence said. Ivanka Trump said the federal government wants to fuel programs that show success, like Operation New Hope. After the roundtable discussion, Pence, Ivanka Trump and DeSantis toured Miller Electric, a contractor that employs clients of Operation New Hope.
Lawsuits mount against Miami Air over injuries from 737 crash
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Two additional lawsuits have been filed against Miami Air, the charter company whose Boeing 737 skidded over the runway at NAS Jacksonville and into the St. Johns River. This brings the number of passengers seeking damages after the May crash to more than a dozen. One man contends he suffered permanent injuries which will require continuing medical care. The other plaintiff says he will incur medical expenses and other expenses for the cure and treatment of his injuries. The lawsuits accuse Miami Air of failing to properly maintain the plane and claim the pilot was not qualified and knowledgeable on the safe operation of the aircraft.