Amphibious Vehicles Are the Military’s Latest Tax Dollar Sinkhole

One of the worst symptoms of the paralysis in Washington and at the Pentagon has been the inability to correctly match weapon systems with current enemy threat capabilities. Hence the United States Marine Corps is set to announce the final winner between defense contractors BAE Systems and SAIC to build and field their new Amphibious Combat Vehicle, or ACV.

Or should we say the old Amphibious Combat Vehicle? Because after 46 years and tens of billions of dollars, the Marines are right back where they started with this technology, which leaves no one—except maybe the contractors feeding off this farcical routine—feeling very satisfied.

So how did we get here?

The naval campaigns in the Pacific theater of World War II were successful due to the capability of the Marine Corps to conduct amphibious assaults against Japanese-held islands. Following the war this capability was written into law via the National Security Act of 1947, which stipulated that the Marine Corps was responsible for the seizure of advanced naval bases.

In order to move from Navy ships to enemy-held territory, the Marines must be transported across a distance of water and rely on what is generally called a connector. Both the Navy and Marine Corps operate various connectors from ship to shore, while the job of the Marines is to fight their way into enemy territory. Marine connectors only carry one weapon: Marines. Step one is to take the beach.

During World War II, the Navy ships could move to within a few miles of the Japanese-held islands before loading Marines into connectors. But with the advent of ballistic missile technology during the Cold War, a new weapon made its debut: the anti-ship missile.

The idea is simple. If Navy ships are within range of an anti-ship missile, they risk being severely damaged or even sunk. The solution is standoff. The Navy ships must stay outside the effective range of the missiles or use defensive measures to shoot the missiles down. This forces the ships further out to sea and increases the distance the connectors must travel over the open ocean to transport the Marines.

The connector vehicle the Marines adopted in 1972 was the Amphibious Assault Vehicle or AAV. AAVs are stored in hollow lower sections of naval ships known as well decks, which can be flooded so the AAV can exit the aft end of the ship into the ocean. The vehicle moves through the water using two traditional water propellers and also has tracks similar to a tank in order to drive on land. The AAV can carry around 20 Marines, swim through the water at seven knots (nautical miles per hour; seven knots is eight mph for comparison), and has an advertised water range of approximately 20 nautical miles, which in reality is closer to five nautical miles.

But anti-ship missile technology advanced in the 1980s, and proved deadly in the 1982 Falklands War between Great Britain and Argentina as the British lost two ships* to French-built Exocet missiles. So the Marine Corps and Navy rewrote their doctrine to move their ships over the horizon to approximately 12 nautical miles.

This strategy necessitated a new connector vehicle. Marine amphibious doctrine requires a “swift introduction of sufficient combat power ashore.” If the AAV can only swim at seven knots and the ships are 12 nautical miles away, you are looking at close to a two-hour ride to the beach. Time equals distance divided by speed. For the Marines stacked like sardines in full combat gear in the sweltering troop compartment of the AAV, this bumpy two hours becomes a rather nauseating and incapacitating experience.

So work began in earnest on the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, or EFV, in the 1980s. It was designed with a powerful jet propulsion system that allowed it to plane above the water like a speedboat and achieve 25 knots, three times as fast as the AAV with a water range of approximately 65 nautical miles. Over the course of 20 years, more than $3 billion was invested in the program. Operational EFVs were due to be in service by 2015, completely replacing the aging AAVs.

But potential adversaries didn’t stagnate. They developed a defensive Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) strategy. Waters around potential landing sites would be mined, and the range, speed, and lethality of anti-ship missiles enhanced significantly.

The increasing complexity of the operating environment did not go unnoticed. During the Obama administration’s first term, Undersecretary of the Navy Robert O. Work envisioned an either/or type of scenario for the future of amphibious conflict. Either Marines would land essentially unopposed as in Grenada in 1983 or the A2/AD posture of our enemies would be so preventative as to require a massive bombardment using long-range stand-off weapons like Tomahawk missiles and bombers to clear out anti-ship missiles and other defenses. Neither situation necessitated the use of a high-speed, heavily armored connector like the EFV.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates canceled the EFV program in 2011. Immediately afterwards, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Amos, decided to pursue the next iteration of troop connector named the Amphibious Combat Vehicle, or ACV. High speed on water remained a top priority as late as 2013.

After some research proposals were explored, General Amos decided in January 2014 that the ACV would be developed in a phased approach with a decreased need for speed on water. The ACV 1.1 was to be an off-the-shelf, armored, wheeled vehicle that met requirements for armor protection on land but would rely on connectors like the Navy’s Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC, aka Hovercraft) to move it swiftly from over the horizon at 40 knots to a few miles from its objectives, where it would then swim the last few miles. The LCAC has a large deck area that can accommodate several ACVs. Traditionally the LCAC would bring in heavy equipment like tanks or trucks after Marines secured a beach since the LCAC lacks armor protection.

The phased acquisitions approach was a tacit admission that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. The Marine Corps asked industry for a vehicle that offered protection first and then speed on the water at some point in the future.

The ACV 1.1 would not be able to self-deploy and swim from a ship like the AAV or EFV. The Marine Corps would buy a smaller number of the ACV 1.1, upgrade older AAVs and keep them in service until 2030, and research and develop ACV 1.2, a high-speed, fully amphibious vehicle.

But this solution appears to have been smoke and mirrors. In March 2015, Marine Commandant Joseph Dunford testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee concerning the program. He said industry might merge the ACV 1.1 and ACV 1.2 requirements together.

BAE Systems and SAIC were awarded $100 million each in December of 2015 to develop 16 test vehicles for ACV 1.1. And lo and behold, abracadabra, both company’s test vehicles could self-deploy and swim from a ship at, wait for it, seven knots—as fast as, you guessed it, the 1972 version.

Since the introduction of the AAV, almost 50 years have passed and many billions have been spent in research and development. And now the taxpayer will be footing the bill for a connector that holds fewer Marines than in 1972 (13 versus 20), swims at the same speed, and is more expensive.

The Marine Corps and industry are touting the fact that the ACV is under cost and ahead of schedule. The program is projected to cost $1.2 billion with 204 vehicles operational by 2020.

In October 2017, deputy Marine commandant Lieutenant General Beaudreault stated that “we have to find a solution to getting Marines to shore, from over the horizon, at something greater than seven knots. We’ve got to have high-speed connectors.”

It appears the deputy commandant didn’t get the memo. As the F-35 and USS Gerald Ford programs have shown, whenever the system wins, the warfighter and taxpayer lose.

*Story has been changed to reflect the British loss of one destroyer and one container ship during the Falklands War in 1982.

Jeff Groom is a former Marine officer. He is the author of American Cobra Pilot: A Marine Remembers a Dog and Pony Show (2018).

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Asian stocks decline, with trade, US politics in focus

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stock markets fell Friday as investors remained cautious about U.S. plans to raise tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. Uncertainty over White House politics also cast a shadow. KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell …

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Factbox: Prominent Japanese women speak out on sexual harassment

TOKYO (Reuters) – The resignation of Japan’s top finance bureaucrat after accusations that he sexually harassed female journalists has sparked heated debate and protests in a country where women have traditionally been afraid to speak out for fear of …

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Time to Defend with Two New ParaClaw Watches from Outdoor Edge

Outdoor Edge ParaClaw CQD Watch
Outdoor Edge ParaClaw CQD Watch – Zinc Alloy

DENVER –-(Ammoland.com)- The overwhelming popularity of last year’s introduction of Outdoor Edge’s ParaClaw—a paracord survival bracelet with an inconspicuous utility/personal-defense knife designed into its patent-pending sheath/buckle system—inspired the company to expand this line to include two ParaClaw Close Quarter Defense (CQD) watches. These precisely crafted timepieces feature reliable Japanese quartz movements in rugged water-resistant cases with paracord bands for the ultimate in style and function.

The Stainless Steel model features Miyota quartz movement, mineral glass, Titanium PVD coating, Lume indexed display and is water resistant to 170 ft./52 m. The Zinc Alloy model offers Seiko quartz movement, mineral glass, Titanium PVD coating, Lume indexed display and is water resistant to 100 ft./ 30 m. Both include the proprietary ParaClaw buckle that houses the razor-sharp 1.5-inch stainless steel hawksbill blade that carries discreetly yet can be drawn quickly and easily should a situation arise.

Both of the ParaClaw CQD watch bracelets are hand-tied from black 550 paracord and are available in two sizes. The bracelet has an adjustable loop to fine-tune the fit and a steel T-post for easy attachment. The medium fits a wrist size of 6.25 to 7 inches and the large fits a 7-inch or larger wrist.

The new ParaClaw CQD watches are available at retailers nationwide and conveniently online at www.outdooredge.com. The Stainless Steel has a suggested retail of $134.95 and the Zinc Alloy retails for $79.95.

Outdoor Edge logoAbout Outdoor Edge

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Denver, Outdoor Edge is a leading designer and manufacturer of knives and tools. Today, Outdoor Edge continues to innovate and develop state-of-the-art products for outdoor enthusiasts, game processors, survivalists, handymen and others who require the very best knives and tools available for leisure, work and everyday-carry needs. The company prides itself in offering a variety of products that undergo extensive field-testing in harsh, rugged environments resulting in durable, long-lasting products that come with a lifetime guarantee. For additional information on Outdoor Edge and its full line of products write to: Outdoor Edge, 5000 Osage Street, Suite 800, Denver, CO 80221; call toll-free 800-477-3343; email [email protected]; or visit www.outdooredge.com.

Be sure to visit Outdoor Edge at ICAST Booth #2000

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Ambassador: Korea pact could help Connecticut

The Korean peninsula was never reunified as intended and the counties of North and South Korea were established. 1948: After the Korean peninsula was freed from Japanese occupation following WWII, the United Nations divided Korea at the 38th parallel, with the Soviet Union occupying the north and the United States the 1948: The Soviet Union officially recognized the communist government of Kim Il Sung.

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David Guzman’s childhood dream comes to fruition with spot on Costa Rica’s World Cup roster

David Guzman still remembers crawling out of his bed in San Jose, Costa Rica at 2 a.m. to watch his country compete at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan. As he watched his heroes perform on the world stage, Guzman, who was 12 at the time …

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I Am a Gun & This Is What I Have to Say

By Roger J. Katz, Attorney at Law and Stephen L. D’Andrilli

Kahr & Outlaw Ordnance Desert Eagle 1911CSS Left
I Am a Gun & This Is What I Have to Say
Arbalest Quarrel
Arbalest Quarrel

New York, NY  -(Ammoland.com)-  I am a Gun. I am not a person. I, myself, am incapable of harming anyone. Only a person is capable of harming another person. I cannot, myself, harm a person. And I cannot force a person to use me for an evil purpose. In the hands of a rational, competent, law-abiding person, I serve a greater good. In the hands of an irrational, incompetent, lawless individual, I serve a dark end. But, I, myself, must be held blameless because I am not a person.

Many ill-informed individuals are quick to cast aspersions on me. They will say or suggest that I am evil incarnate. I am not. I do not have the power of choice. I do not have “free will.” Only a human being has the power of choice; only a human being has free will. I do not. Only a human being can choose to do good or ill, in accordance with that person’s “will.” I cannot. Still, there are those who believe, falsely, that I am evil, and strenuously make that claim. That truly puzzles me; for, only a person who misuses me can be deemed evil.

Those who denigrate and demean me fail to realize the enormous benefit that I have brought and continue to bring to this Nation. The United States could not exist but for me. The founders of this free Republic used my great great grandfather, the flintlock, to forge a mighty Nation. During the Second World War, my cousins—including, among others, the M1 Garand Rifle, the Thompson submachine gun, and the Browning Automatic Rifle—in the competent hands of our Nation’s troops, helped to defeat two of our most powerful and intractable foes: Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan. I have also assisted and continue to assist our police officers in helping protect our communities from lawless elements.

And, I Am, To The Countless Average, Law-Abiding, Rational, Responsible American Citizens–As The Framers Of The United States Constitution Intended–The Most Effective Means Available Through Which These Citizens Are Able To Preserve And Defend Their Life, Safety, And Well-Being And The Life, Safety, And Well-Being Of Their Families—From Those Ruthless, Terrible, Evil Elements In Society Who Seek To Do Harm.

Going back far earlier in time, my ancestors, the matchlock and wheel lock firearms, gave to the common man the ability to grapple effectively with powerful nobility, who wore formidable suits of armor, wielding massive lances and swords, sitting atop powerful steeds.

There is much to commend me. Unfortunately, history’s revisionists dismiss me out-of-hand, selectively  focusing only on those who have misused me. In recent months, young men who gained access to me, and who should never have gained access to me, have committed monstrous acts. Those monstrous acts have been wrongly ascribed principally to me, rather than to the individuals who have misused me. I am well aware of the horrific acts that deranged young people have done. Their monstrous acts should not have occurred and would not have occurred but for crucial missteps by irresponsible people who failed to properly secure me.

In 2012, a severely mentally unstable young man, (NOT TO BE NAMED), gained access to his mother’s firearms. Had I been able, I would have warned Nancy Lanza, the man’s mother, to properly secure me so that her mentally disturbed son could not gain access to me. She failed to do so. Her irresponsible act in failing to properly secure me led directly to her death at her son’s hands. This sad, deranged young man, (NOT TO BE NAMED), then carried me to a public school, Sandy Hook Elementary School, located in Newtown, Connecticut. In his hands, (NOT TO BE NAMED) used me to kill innocent children and teachers. But for Nancy Lanza’s irresponsible actions, this horrific incident would never have happened and could never have happened. Major media organizations wrongly blamed me for the tragedy.

A similar horrific event occurred, in February of 2018. Another deranged young man, by the initials NC (NOT TO BE NAMED), wrongfully gained access to me, and used me to murder or seriously injure many innocent students and teachers—this time at another public school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, located in Parkland, Florida. Once again media people, reporting on this event, at the urging of those individuals who profess a pathological hatred toward me, blame me for the senseless tragedy, claiming that it is I, rather than this young man, (NOT TO BE NAMED), who is the principal cause of the tragedy.

Legislators, members of the mass media, and members of groups who call for my eradication, fail to realize that it is not I that cause violence. To cause violence I must have the desire to do violence, and once having the desire to do violence, I must then act on that desire. But, I am incapable of desire, and I am incapable of action. People, alone, are capable of desire and people alone are capable of acting on their desires. People are causal agents of harm. I am not a causal agent, but merely an object, a tool. Yet, I am blamed for the evil actions of those who misuse me. On careful reflection, though, it is clear that it is the killer, (NOT TO BE NAMED), 19 years old, and it is those agents of Government who knew or should have known of the danger (NOT TO BE NAMED) posed to the community, who are the principal causes for harm done to others. I, however, am held to account. I, the Gun, am deemed responsible for the myriad failings of people.

Irresponsible, lawless acts, uncorrected, tend to repeat themselves—an endless loop of tragedy occurring ever again. So it is that yet another severely disturbed young man, with the initials DP (NOT TO BE NAMED), went on a shooting rampage at a high school, in Santa Fe, Texas. That tragedy unfolded recently. How did this happen? Quite simply, the young man’s father failed to properly secure me. The father breached a duty of care owed to the community to prevent his son from gaining access to me. That failure led to horrific tragedy.

The pattern is disturbingly familiar, replaying itself over and over again, and each time, the tragedy was preventable, and would have been prevented but for the failure of adults residing in the community, and but for the failure of Governmental authorities to act to thwart the tragedy. And, once again, the blame for the tragedy is laid at my feet. I, who cannot do any act, good or ill, but for an agent who wields me, is ever the scapegoat.

Of course, the vast majority of gun owners are responsible. They treat me with respect. They handle me competently; and they properly secure me, preventing those who must not gain access to me, from doing so. Yet, there are individuals in Government, in industry, and even foreigners who bear a personal grudge against me and who hold me in contempt. And there are groups, comprising individuals whose sole purpose for existence is to eradicate me. These individuals think that by dispossessing millions of average, law-abiding, rational, responsible American citizens of me, the Gun, that violence will stop. It will not stop.

Ban Guns Pawn
The drumbeat continues for my banishment from so-called “civilized” society. Those individuals who detest me argue that violence can be stemmed simply by outlawing me.

Still, the drumbeat continues for my banishment from so-called “civilized” society. Those individuals who detest me argue that violence can be stemmed simply by outlawing me. But, arbitrarily denying the average responsible citizen from owning and possessing me will do nothing to prevent lawless and deranged individuals from doing harm, whether by wielding me, or by wielding or utilizing another object. And, when all is said and done, I am just that—an object, a tool, nothing more. Those who seek to blame me, profane me, debase me, denigrate me, castigate me, would do well to recall a quotation from the classic 1953 Western film, Shane,” where the protagonist offered this sage advice concerning me, as he addressed the wife of a rancher:

“A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it.”

Those who desire to ban me outright would do well to remember that banning me will do nothing to prevent the occurrence of and recurrence of evil acts. Evil cannot be legislated away, even as some people seem to believe that it can be legislated away or would like to believe that evil can be legislated away through the simplistic, implausible, unconscionable, and constitutionally impermissible, unlawful expedient of denying to the average, rational, responsible, law-abiding American citizen the fundamental right to own and possess me. At the end of the day, evil remains, and monstrous acts of violence will, unfortunately, continue to occur because evil exists in the heart of those people who seek to do evil, and there are, unhappily, all too many of those in the world. Evil does not and never did exist in me, “The Gun.”

About The Arbalest Quarrel:

Arbalest Group created `The Arbalest Quarrel’ website for a special purpose. That purpose is to educate the American public about recent Federal and State firearms control legislation. No other website, to our knowledge, provides as deep an analysis or as thorough an analysis. Arbalest Group offers this information free.

For more information, visit: www.arbalestquarrel.com.

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‘Boy Scout’ annual Jamboree event releases new guidelines mandating condoms, green lights alcohol

Boy Scouts leadership has mandated a disturbing requirement for its World Jamboree event next year.

The 24th World Scout Jamboree will be held in West Virginia next summer and it seems the World Scout Committee is requiring that condoms be “readily and easily accessible” at the event, according to the Florida Family Policy Council.

The World Organization of the Scout Movement released its health and safety guidelines which require that host organizations, including Scouts BSA – formerly the Boy Scouts of America, “ensure that condoms are readily and easily accessible for all participants and [International Service Team] at a number of locations on the site.”

But that’s not all.

According to the Florida Family Policy Council:

Stunningly, the World Jamboree Guideline 7.3 also has “exceptions,” allowances and instructions for the consumption of alcohol in “confined areas” at the 12-day camping event. (It appears the Jamboree guidelines were drafted after the 2015 World Jamboree in Japan in preparation for the 2019 event and were just recently released in an email.)

 

Billed as “a celebration of cultural exchange, mutual understanding, peace, and friendship,” according to an announcement on the event’s page, the jamboree will be hosted by three national Scout organizations: Scouts Canada, Asociación de Scouts de México, and the Boy Scouts of America.

The “Unlock a New World” theme for the jamboree “speaks to the new adventures, cultures, and friendships that will be shared by Scouts from around the world during the event,” the statement added.

“More than 160 national scout organizations representing more than 200 nations and territories are expected to participate in this massive West Virginia 12-day camping event, which based on recent membership policy changes should include openly-gay boys, openly-gay adult scout leaders, transgendered boys and adults and now also girls,” the Florida Family Policy Council stated.

The organization has faced criticism, most recently over the name change from “Boy Scouts of America” to simply “Scouts BSA” in order to accommodate girls who are joining. And after more than century-long relationship, the Mormon Church severed ties with the organization as their values seemed to continue to diverge.

“In light of the mandatory condom policy, it is not clear how far down the rabbit hole the Boy Scouts will continue to fall,” John Stemberger, Florida Family Policy Council president, said in a statement.

“With the addition of condoms and alcohol, the World Jamboree is starting to sound more like a 1960s Woodstock festival rather than a campout that parents would want to send their children to!” he added.

“All of this should be deeply disturbing to the churches that are chartering Boy Scout Troops. These policies present a clear youth protection problem that the BSA absolutely refuses to recognize. The fact that they are requiring that condoms be ‘readily accessible’ and are communicating this to everyone– including youth participants–shows that the BSA is both anticipating and facilitating sexual conduct between minors at this event,” Stemberger said. “These policies are both outrageous and completely irresponsible.”

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IDENTILOCK, Biometric Fingerprint Trigger Lock, Now Shipping Internationally

Making the world a safer place, one home at a time, IDENTILOCK® is now shipping internationally at extremely competitive prices.

IDENTILOCK biometric trigger lock
IDENTILOCK biometric trigger lock

Detroit, Mich. (Ammoland.com) – IDENTILOCK®, the world’s first biometric finger trigger lock, are proud to announce that international customers can now enjoy that piece of mind that comes from knowing that a personal or home defense firearm cannot be used by unauthorized persons.

IDENTILOCK products will ship via USPS or DHL for cost effective shipping prices. Countries with a Free Trade Area (FTA) will have no import tax. Countries under a Most Favored Nation (MFN) agreement will have only a 2.6 percent import tax. All customers will be responsible for any customs or taxes in their respective countries.

Customers can find their pricing by clicking the USD dropdown button beside the BUY NOW button on the top of IDENTILOCK’s website. Prices are available in US, Canadian, Australian and Euro dollars, British pounds and Japanese yen.

IDENTILOCK, the world's first biometric fingerprint trigger lock
IDENTILOCK, the world’s first biometric fingerprint trigger lock

“Firearm safety is not just a concern in our country, but worldwide,” Omer Kiyani, founder and CEO of IDENTILOCK, said. “I wanted to make our innovative biometric fingerprint trigger lock available to any responsible gun owner across the globe.”

As a longtime NRA member and vocal advocate for our 2nd Amendment Rights, Kiyani faced a life-changing crisis when he suffered a life-threatening gunshot wound as a young man. Only after he emigrated to the United States working as an engineer in the automotive industry did he decide to build a business around his hobby and belief around his constitutional and basic human rights. Kiyani founded IDENTILOCK and began to develop the most advanced gun lock system on the market. The IDENTILOCK was introduced in 2017 and offered firearm users, civilian and law enforcement, a trigger locking system that blended speed, usability and practicality with all the safety and security for peace of mind.

The IDENTILOCK biometric fingerprint trigger lock system is available for many of the most popular pistols.

IDENTILOCK FIT GUIDE:

IDENTILOCK Model Firearm Fit Guide
1911-A1 Smith & Wesson 1911

Remington 1911

Colt 1911

Ruger 1911

Most Springfield, Kimber, Ed Brown and SIG Sauer 1911’s

S&W-B1 M&P 40 SHIELD

M&P 9 SHIELD

S&W-A1 SD9

M&P

M&P M2.0

M&P 45 SHIELD

GLK-A1 G19, G17, G20, G21, G22, G23, G26, G27, G29, G34, G37, G38, G39, G40
SIG-A1 SIG Sauer P229 variants 

For more on IDENTILOCK and to sign up for their email newsletter featuring exclusive news and offers, visit https://getidentilock.com. Available online and at Amazon, Brownell’s Zanders and Optics Planet. Stay in the conversation on Facebook and YouTube.


About IDENTILOCK:

Founded by Omer Kiyani, a 2nd Amendment advocate, gunshot victim survivor and former automobile industry safety systems engineer, IDENTILOCK® develops the world’s most innovative gun safety products. The IDENTILOCK® firearm trigger lock is the first product utilizing state-of-the-art biometric technology to enhance user safety and security while prohibiting non-recognized users from accessing the firearm.

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The Japanese Show That Saved the Power Rangers Is Coming to America

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