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Like many people, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, altered my life. Before that point, I had focused on several good stories, but there was no overarching trend. But after that fall day -- watching the towers that I had worked in collapse in a steaming fiery heap -- I focused on stories about defense because I could think of nothing more important to write about honestly and completely, given the international state of events. Since that time, I have: flown in F-15s, V-22s and a variety of other aircraft: spent weeks on aircraft carriers and nuclear missile submarines; and lived with troops as they traveled in Bradleys, Humvees and whatever else they they got around in. In that time, I placed as a finalist for an annual Investigative Reporters and Editors group award for stories about improperly installed aircraft carrier torpedo shields and a Pulitzer nomination for another series about unsafe military aircraft.

Here are those and other stories.

Damaged Shield? - A protective foam designed to keep the nation's aircraft carriers afloat in the event of an attack may leave them at risk due to improper installation procedures and a push to beat government deadlines.

Radar Love -
Aegis lessons could shape U.S. Navy's AMDR

Beached Destroyer - U.S. Navy scuttles air, missile defense radar testing at Zumwalt-class facility

Light Show -- Aviation Week, June 2007 -- Tactical laser weapons, Airborne Laser getting ready for prime time.

Counter-insurgency urgency -- Aviation Week, August 2006 -- Development of sensor packages could aid Pentagon's plan for dedicated COIN fleet.