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Two times during my career I have carried cards with the title "investigative reporter," but I honestly feel there is no difference between investigive work and plain, solid, good reporting. But here are some stories and series that have earned awards -- or places in my heart - for digging a bit deeper for the "real story."

Redeeming Freedom: U.S. Navy Seeks to Renew Faith in LCS Fleet -- November 30, 2012 -- This is a story about the Navy’s desire to rebrand and restore the reputation of what is arguably its most important surface-vessel program, which has faced mounting doubts and criticism, especially in the halls of Congress. As part of that effort, Mike Fabey of Aviation Week was granted exclusive interviews with top Navy officials and unique access to the Freedom, its officers and crew during the first days of November’s certification exercises. Read More >>>

U.S. Navy Officials Suppressed Bad LCS-1 Test Results -- August 16, 2012 -- U.S. Navy emails and other documents suggest that officials muzzled bad test results for the first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS-1) variant, the USS Freedom, at a crucial time in the program’s development, when the service was considering which seaframe to pick for the $30 billion-plus fleet. Read More >>>

Mike talks about LCS on Internet radio program -- July 16, 2012 -- Mike Fabey discusses serious LCS flaws that have caused Senators Levin (D-MI) and McCain (R-AZ) to seriously question the $700 million already spent on the USS Freedom (coastline combat ships). Listen to hear about the ship, the Congressional inquiry, and the moves the Navy is making to attempt to keep Mr. Fabey quiet.

What Price Freedom? LCS-1 Leaves Dry Dock Amid Questions About Worthiness -- May 09, 2012 -- Aviation Week - The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS-1) USS Freedom is plagued by extensive corrosion and manufacturing issues more recent and serious than anything the Pentagon or prime contractor Lockheed Martin has publicly acknowledged thus far. Read More >>>

Come About: U.S. Navy Destroyer Ships And Shields Face Major Course Correction -- December 13-19, 2011 -- For nearly a year, the Aviation Week Intelligence Network scrutinized the U.S. Navy destroyer fleet plan, combat systems and missile defense programs.  At stake is more than $125 billion for ships, radars, missiles and related hardware and software – as well as the defense of the U.S. and its allies against ballistic missiles and related threats.

Miltary Minefields -- 2012 NICAR National Conference Presentation (MS PowerPoint), St. Louis, Missouri, Feb. 24, 2012. Click here for PDF version.

Dangerous Skies -- Pulitzer Prize-nominated series Fabey wrote for the Savannah Morning News in 2004:

  • Duty, death in an Apache -- As an army top gun, Apache longbow helicopter pilot Nicholas Dimona gave his whole being to flying. he died on a night training flight he didn't have to make.

  • Curtain of fire -- Silhouetted by the lights of Iraqi cities, Apache pilots made the perfect targets for roof-top riflemen.

  • Accidents of war? -- The Army sees no peace dividend when it comes to mishaps.

Power failures continue to plague Dolphin choppers coast to coast -- .Savannah Morning News -- March 2005

Airline passenger advocate's credibility under fire -- Travel Weekly, July 2010 -- Top three finalist for the 2010 Jesse H. Neal Awards, widely regarded as the Pulitzer Prize for business journalism.

For a more extensive list of Mike's investigative reporting work, visit the website of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc., a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting since 1975.

NICAR for Dummies -- This guide is meant to help reporters and researchers navigate their way through the reams of government contracting data made available online or through vendors such as the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR).