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X-47B Accomplishes First Ever Carrier Touch and Go aboard CVN 77
United States Navy ^ | 17 May 2013 | Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brandon Vinson

Posted on 05/18/2013 3:59:55 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham

X-47B Accomplishes First Ever Carrier Touch and Go aboard CVN 77

Story Number: NNS130517-15Release Date: 5/17/2013 5:11:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brandon Vinson, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Public Affairs

USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH, At Sea (NNS) -- The Navy's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D) has begun touch and go landing operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) May 17.

For UCAS-D, this represents the most significant technology maturation of the program. Ship relative navigation and precision touchdown of the X-47B are critical technology elements for all future Unmanned Carrier Aviation (UCA) aircraft.

Don Blottenberger, UCAS-D Deputy Program manager, commented, "This landing, rubber hitting deck, is extremely fulfilling for the team and is the culmination of years of relative navigation development. Now, we are set to demonstrate the final pieces of the demonstration."

Earlier in the week, the UCAS-D test team and CVN 77 worked together to successfully complete the first ever launch of an unmanned aircraft from an aircraft carrier proving the importance of introducing unmanned aviation into the already powerful arsenal of aircraft squadrons.

"We are proud to be a part of another historic first for Naval Aviation. The landing was spot-on and it's impressive to witness the evolution of the Carrier Air Wing," said Capt. Brian E. Luther, Commanding Officer USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)

The various launch and landing operations of the X-47B on the flight deck of George H. W. Bush signify historic events for naval aviation history. These demonstrations display the Navy's readiness to move forward with unmanned carrier aviation operations.

Capt. Jaime Engdahl, program manager for Unmanned Combat Air Systems program office, said, "When we operate in a very dynamic and harsh carrier environment, we need networks and communication links that have high integrity and reliability to ensure mission success and provide precise navigation and placement of an unmanned vehicle."

"Today, we have demonstrated this with the X-47B, and we will continue to demonstrate, consistent, reliable, repeatable touch-down locations on a moving carrier flight deck," he continued. "This precision relative navigation technology is key to ensuring future unmanned systems can operate off our aircraft carriers."

The UCAS-D program plans to conduct shore-based arrested landings of the X-47B at NAS Patuxent River in the coming months before final carrier-based arrestments later in 2013.

George H.W. Bush is currently conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean, strengthening the Navy's forward operating and war fighting ability.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; US: Maryland; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: cvn77; navair; ucas; x47b
130517-N-FU443-090 ATLANTIC OCEAN (May 17, 2013) An X-47B unmanned combat air system (UCAS) demonstrator prepares to execute a touch and go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). This is the first time any unmanned aircraft has completed a touch and go landing at sea. George H.W. Bush is conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy Walter/Released)

130517-N-MW819-046 ATLANTIC OCEAN (May 17, 2013) An X-47B unmanned combat air system (UCAS) demonstrator prepares to execute a touch and go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). This is the first time any unmanned aircraft has completed a touch and go landing at sea. George H.W. Bush is conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brian Stephens/Released)

130517-N-FU443-065 ATLANTIC OCEAN (May 17, 2013) An X-47B unmanned combat air system (UCAS) demonstrator conducts a touch and go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). This is the first time any unmanned aircraft has completed a touch and go landing at sea. George H.W. Bush is conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy Walter/Released)

130517-N-YZ751-017 ATLANTIC OCEAN (May 17, 2013) An X-47B unmanned combat air system (UCAS) demonstrator conducts a touch and go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). This is the first time any unmanned aircraft has completed a touch and go landing at sea. George H.W. Bush is conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tony D. Curtis/Released)

130517-O-ZZ999-001 ATLANTIC OCEAN (May 17, 2013) An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator conducts a touch and go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), marking the first time any unmanned aircraft has completed a touch and go landing at sea. George H.W. Bush is conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Alan Radecki courtesy Northrop Grumman/Released)

130517-N-TB177-187 ATLANTIC OCEAN (May 17, 2013) An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator conducts a touch and go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), marking the first time any unmanned aircraft has completed a touch and go landing at sea. George H.W. Bush is conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin J. Steinberg/Released)

1 posted on 05/18/2013 3:59:55 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: A.A. Cunningham

cool pictures


2 posted on 05/18/2013 4:06:04 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (I voted Republican, no Conservative was on the ballot. 969 yall.)
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To: A.A. Cunningham
This is what computers are meant for.
3 posted on 05/18/2013 4:22:05 AM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum -- "The Taliban is inside the building")
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Looks wicked.. and, I believe, a game changer.


4 posted on 05/18/2013 4:25:03 AM PDT by tje
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To: tje

Not that impressed.

Ok you bucket-of-bolts - do a landing at night in stormy weather with the ship pitching about in the sea.

Then I will be impressed


5 posted on 05/18/2013 4:32:05 AM PDT by TheShaz
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Bump.


6 posted on 05/18/2013 4:32:24 AM PDT by EternalVigilance (Dismantle the IRS and the income tax. Impeach Obama and all his minions. Problem solved.)
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To: A.A. Cunningham; wita
Awesome technology!

And I believe in-flight refueling has already been demonstrated…but maybe with a different platform. VSTOL cannot be far behind.

Plus, there’s been tremendous progress with unmanned naval helicopters with prototype successful drug interdiction demonstrated in the Caribbean. Half a century later, DASH is very close to finally being viable. Naval Aviation is one the edge of a quantum leap in effectiveness across the Fleet!

Add to this the imminent fielding of shipboard rail-guns and beam weapons while shifting to all electric operations on stealthy, evolved hull design, rapidly reconfigurable, high-speed warships and the US Navy will be beyond anyone’s capability to match for at least a generation. Huge changes in crewing and training are in development to support this. Joint operations and logistics is now damn near seamless with Combined operations integration not far behind.

Our remaining biggest problem is shifting the Fleet over to these new capabilities while retaining numbers. Politicians will always try to whittle us down to a fleet which cannot afford to take losses. With huge construction and training lead-times required for this type of Navy, we will have to fight the coming war with what we have. And the first battle is with politicians who are spendthrift with everything except defense.

Finally, we must guard against this being just another R&D effort for the Democrats to give to the Chinese.

7 posted on 05/18/2013 4:46:33 AM PDT by DakotaGator (Weep for the lost Republic! And keep your powder dry!!)
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To: DakotaGator

Bump!


8 posted on 05/18/2013 4:54:55 AM PDT by Texas Fossil
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To: A.A. Cunningham

With an unmanned aircraft who / what is “calling the ball”?


9 posted on 05/18/2013 5:03:06 AM PDT by Flick Lives (We're going to be just like the old Soviet Union, but with free cell phones!)
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To: tje

Yeppers. Iran will do what it can five finger discount this baby when it’s flying over or near their airspace. Just spoof the GPS signal and it’s all theirs.


10 posted on 05/18/2013 5:03:44 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I’m a conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

“Maverick” ain’t gonna like this.

(Go Navy!)


11 posted on 05/18/2013 5:14:18 AM PDT by moovova
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To: Flick Lives; All

“Robot has the ball...” [snicker]

Now, the real test(ing) will be at night, and in inclement weather...

They accomplish this, then I’ll be sold on this technology...

Also...Does this aircraft accomplish taxiing ops on a crowded flight deck??? of id it going to need help from “special” handlers to move it to its spot???

I would think you could marry (hardline) a remote connection to someone walking bedside the aircraft and move it more efficiently that way than rely upon data links or the remote control (wherever that is) for safety considerations...

Just my initial knee-jerk reaction...


12 posted on 05/18/2013 5:16:42 AM PDT by stevie_d_64 (It's not the color of one's skin that offends people...it's how thin it is.)
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To: Jeff Head

BTTT !


13 posted on 05/18/2013 5:18:03 AM PDT by Squantos ( Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet ...)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

They had better make for sure that Iran can’t control them.


14 posted on 05/18/2013 5:19:31 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: DakotaGator

Trust our blue water types to figure out how to eliminate pilots. Now it’s a gamer’s game.

On the more serious side, Maybe the need for night bad weather landings on a deck going up and down over fifty feet and trying to catch a wire, will be a thing of the past.

It finally appears as if the Navy has the ability to remain number one with a fleet of less than 300 ships, which a whole lot smaller than in the past.

Now if we could just make the ships radio controlled...


15 posted on 05/18/2013 5:21:06 AM PDT by wita
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To: Flick Lives

“call the link”

“digits in link”

all via “ones and zeros”


16 posted on 05/18/2013 5:25:21 AM PDT by wxgesr (I want to be the first person to surf on another planet (Uranus)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

This subsonic aircraft is a fighter the way the F-117 was a fighter, which is to say it’s a bomb truck.


17 posted on 05/18/2013 5:27:15 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

That`s a byte of a rattlesnake.


18 posted on 05/18/2013 5:30:35 AM PDT by bunkerhill7 (("The Second Amendment has no limits on firepower"-NY State Senator Kathleen A. Marchione.))
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Just a question.... What and or who is the handler signaling in that last picture ?


19 posted on 05/18/2013 5:35:07 AM PDT by Squantos ( Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet ...)
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To: Squantos

“Just a question.... What and or who is the handler signaling in that last picture ?”

Not sure, but I for one would not stand that close to a landing pilot-less vehicle.


20 posted on 05/18/2013 5:39:38 AM PDT by Ronald_Magnus
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To: A.A. Cunningham

The IRS just ordered 20 of them....


21 posted on 05/18/2013 5:55:36 AM PDT by baddog 219
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To: Ronald_Magnus

I don’t think he was signaling anyone. I think he just had his hands in the air in a “Yeah, we did it!” kind of moment.


22 posted on 05/18/2013 6:01:37 AM PDT by hoagy62 ("Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered..."-Thomas Paine. 1776)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

I saw the YT videos earlier in the week. This is one impressive aircraft! Only when it was poised for ‘cat launch’, did I see an F-18 nearby, and got the size of this thing! It is NOT small.

I believe that this might be a new generation of, at least, three squadrons, when they are through! I hope to be of life and mind enough, to see that reality.


23 posted on 05/18/2013 6:03:27 AM PDT by Terry L Smith
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To: Ronald_Magnus

Agree....:o)

....Guess they have value, eye in the sky loiter ability etc ...300 miles out as pickets protecting perimeter etc .... Seems our DOD has become far to dependent on GPS satellites that are far to easy for an enemy to kill IMO.

Hopefully backup satellites are stashed and ready in vertical launchers at sea and on land for emergency replenishment.....

Love the technology, do not get me wrong, but my EDC bag still has a couple of compasses and topographic maps in it.


24 posted on 05/18/2013 6:12:27 AM PDT by Squantos ( Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet ...)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

You can’t send a kid up in a crate like that!


25 posted on 05/18/2013 6:12:54 AM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the blind obedience of fools - Solon, Lawmaker of Athens)
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To: Squantos
Maybe the rest of the deck crew. Lots if hand signals are used there and that doesn't change even if the pilot isn't in the plane.

One thing I didn't notice was whether the X-47 is remotely piloted or autonomous. Was "Maverick" sitting in the carrier with a dozen video screens or did the plane truly land on its own?

26 posted on 05/18/2013 6:13:03 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Choose one: the yellow and black flag of the Tea Party or the white flag of the Republican Party.)
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To: hoagy62

The first pic perfectly captures the significance...with the LSO “Paddles” standing there watching it land..


27 posted on 05/18/2013 6:25:53 AM PDT by ken5050 (Due to all the WH scandals, MSNBC is changing its slogan from "Lean Forward" to "BOHICA")
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To: A.A. Cunningham
Notice how rapidly this flight test program is advancing. It was just days ago it made a carrier take-off, now a touch and go. Landing is next is my guess, then the ones @ night with a pitching deck etc. That would tell me this is well engineered and project management wise, they have it wired as well.

The engine is an older type Pratt F-100 series, low cost it works etc, to reduce program risk. I'd love to see one of their small commerical cores and a gearbox for a mini-geared-turbofan like the ones they are working on for the commerical side, but that is money and risk. The range gained from that might be an eye opener, if you look @ the numbers they are getting for the big commerical geared turbofans.

28 posted on 05/18/2013 6:31:20 AM PDT by taildragger (( Tighten the 5 point harness and brace for Impact Freepers, ya know it's coming..... ))
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To: KarlInOhio

I’m gonna suggest a remote operator vs autonomous pilot named “chip” ..

.. Not yet ready for that I suppose.....:o)

Good question ....


29 posted on 05/18/2013 6:31:28 AM PDT by Squantos ( Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet ...)
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To: Jack Hydrazine
Yeppers. Iran will do what it can five finger discount this baby when it’s flying over or near their airspace. Just spoof the GPS signal and it’s all theirs.

Nav is probably augmented with inertial guidance. They can't spoof that.

30 posted on 05/18/2013 7:04:51 AM PDT by Spirochete (Sic transit gloria mundi)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Freepers cheering another advance in surveillance technology. Bunch of dolts.


31 posted on 05/18/2013 7:28:11 AM PDT by Romulus
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Now if we could apply technology to the ACTUAL 21st century battle front, the propaganda war, we might stand a chance of lasting another generation.


32 posted on 05/18/2013 9:08:23 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: A.A. Cunningham
The X-47B is a technology demonstrator (hence the -D designator) for the upcoming UCLASS project - Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike system.

Kinda like a concept car.

33 posted on 05/18/2013 10:07:33 AM PDT by diogenes ghost
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To: Romulus
"Freepers cheering another advance in surveillance technology. Bunch of dolts."

This is NOT an advance in surveillance technology, it is an advance in aircraft carrier/unmanned aircraft interface technology. All of the surveillance technology on this aircraft is already in use on other platforms.

So who is the dolt now?

34 posted on 05/18/2013 10:13:44 AM PDT by diogenes ghost
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To: TheShaz

“Ok you bucket-of-bolts - do a landing at night in stormy weather with the ship pitching about in the sea.”

You first!


35 posted on 05/18/2013 10:55:14 AM PDT by Owl558 (Those who remember George Satayana and doomed to repeat him)
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To: wita
Now if we could just make the ships radio controlled...

Coming soon to a Navy near you ;-)

36 posted on 05/18/2013 11:22:50 AM PDT by DakotaGator (Weep for the lost Republic! And keep your powder dry!!)
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To: TheShaz
Ok you bucket-of-bolts - do a landing at night in stormy weather with the ship pitching about in the sea.

No need - they can develop a version that in rough weather will perform a gentle splashdown near the carrier and deploy inflatable devices to hold it up until it can be fished out of the sea by the carrier's crew. They might even come up with a Harrier/Osprey type version that needs no runway at all.

The day of manned combat aircraft is all but over. Old-school Air Force fighter jocks sound just like old-school battleship commanders scoffing at Billy Mitchell.

37 posted on 05/18/2013 11:37:58 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: stevie_d_64

Good knee-jerk reaction, Stevie, and you called it right. We had an article mid-week that showed a contractor on the flight deck taxiing the UAV around. He had an arm-mounted controller attached to a cable. I don’t know if the cable was attached to the aircraft, or a controlling system somewhere on the carrier...


38 posted on 05/18/2013 5:30:02 PM PDT by HiJinx (Just kill the bill, already...)
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To: HiJinx

I believe puting the aircraft on a leash for subsequent trials (for now) would be good for crew safety...

Who knows, it might be a good thing for speed, communications on the flight deck, control...Your Plane Captains (Sr.Petty Officers) could theoretically take the A/C from engine start up to the Cat by themselves...

Cat team hooks it up and let it fly...

Might be very efficient, cost savings for the need for multiple crew to work the A/C on the flight deck...

Just thinking outside the box...

I only worked on an CV (64) for a few weeks to do some TDY for another rating (OS1, old friend of mine, I heard he was sick and volunteered to take his place for a while during that deployment) who had to have some surgery (Appendicitis, very near P.I.) in mid-deployment years ago...

Got to meet some of the crews flying off that stamp...Good folks!!!

Those damn things never rest...I loved getting back to the relative quiet of the DDG when I was in the fleet...


39 posted on 05/18/2013 6:16:32 PM PDT by stevie_d_64 (It's not the color of one's skin that offends people...it's how thin it is.)
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To: Spirochete

True!


40 posted on 05/18/2013 7:20:07 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I’m a conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Cool.


41 posted on 05/18/2013 7:21:25 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
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To: A.A. Cunningham
U.S. Navy video of the touch and go landing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKtlfQ1YYJI&feature=player_profilepage
42 posted on 05/18/2013 8:58:54 PM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: A.A. Cunningham
Not the most advanced craft to fly off a carrier.


43 posted on 05/18/2013 9:27:47 PM PDT by Pilsner
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To: Pilsner

That’s a good one. Too good.


44 posted on 05/18/2013 9:31:23 PM PDT by BlueDragon (the fox knows many things, but the badger knows one Great thing)
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To: Romulus

Sit up higher in your chair so reality doesn’t fly so far over your tinfoil dunce cap.


45 posted on 05/19/2013 8:44:50 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

As a famous aero genius I know once said, aspect ratios are extremist, they work best at both ends.

The X-47B is IMHO esentially a Blended Wing Body.

Low Aspect Ratio center section, and stub High Aspect Ratio Wings.

Notice the center section might be flying off of Vortex Lift @ a High AOA on this approach and the outer-wings have split flaps killing lift...

Brilliant, Absolutely Brilliant...

46 posted on 07/10/2013 5:16:32 PM PDT by taildragger (The E-GOP won't know what hit them, The Party of Reagan is almost here, hang tight folks.....)
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