Gruntington Post – Only months ago, the newly-christened littoral warship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) was the pride of the US Navy. Launched in honor of Congresswoman Giffords from Arizona (below), she was the first completely gun-free warship in the inventory. As reported at the Duffel Blog, the Giffords was immediately stolen in an armed raid by unknown forces believed to be associated with a patriot terrorist group in the southeastern U.S.
That mystery was cleared up yesterday when the USS Giffords was located by local police in the downtown district of New Smyrna Beach on the Atlantic coast of Florida. The ship was found on the street, supported by cinder blocks, stripped of its valuable electronics and fittings and covered in graffiti.
The Navy faces one more roadblock in repatriating the Giffords to its home port. The town of NSB has insisted that the derelict ship is being used in preparations for their Reggae and Island Music Festival planned for this weekend. This wouldn’t be a problem if the ship were still at sea, but it lies – high and dry – within the town limits, and Volusia County acknowledges the squatters rights of the various Reggae musicians and street people who have taken up temporary residence on board the vessel as they practice and set up for the festival. A pre-dawn raid by Navy SEALs was foiled this morning when local officials appealed to the White House, which immediately issued “stand down” orders to the team. It is now believed that the Navy stands the best chance of recovering the vessel on Tuesday of next week when the crowds, and the pot smoke, finally disperse.
Hat tip for Duffel Blog article to the Bluebird of Bitterness.