Archive for January, 2009

Former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the Navy (USA) in the Carter and Reagan administrations, Everett Pyatt, bangs the drum on an increasingly familiar theme here and other places in the ‘sphere. Over at Real Clear World he opens:

The U.S. Navy shipbuilding program has run aground, high tides are not projected and heavy winds are blowing ashore. Sound bad? It is. And the situation is particularly disturbing for those who believe that a nautical pax Americana best serves world peace and stability.

Asserting a lack of leadership and uninformed planning within the uniformed and civilian Navy, particularly in the acquisition realm, he forecasts a force of 200 ships by 2018, based on lost procurement and projected retirements. Besides tossing some well aimed stones, he does offer a prescription for improvement which, in summary entails:

  1. The obvious – define a long-term building plan geared towards producing 10-14 ships per year within a budget of $11-12B per year (excluding overhauls, SLEOP, etc.). Such a plan maintains a 313 ship Navy.
  2. Stop work on DDG-1000 and CVN-78 and use remaining funds to build groups of the latest flight of DDG-51′s and CVN-77 configured Nimitz-class CVNs for the next two decades.
  3. Try to “recover something” from the LCS program. Here he is a little non-specific in what exactly is to be recovered – dollars? technology? re-channel to a foreign design license-built in the US?
  4. Review current designs on the drawing board, particularly the nuke cruiser and next class of SSBNs (which will be needed within the decade) and sort through alternatives – one of which he is apparently fond of is a modification, similar to the initial Polaris subs, of an existing SSN platform.
  5. “Make the Navy more relevant in today’s conflicts” I think the 16,000+ IA’s, carrier-based air over Afghanistan, among others, might have something to say – but snark aside, it is obvious the focus here is on the problem d’jour – piracy off the HOA and in the Gulf of Aden. An anti-piracy force based on a heavy-lift ship deploying high-speed skiffs and supported by airborne surveillance provided by blimps and/or UAVs is the proffered solution. 
  6. Fix NGFS – first step of which is getting the Navy and Marines to once and for all come to terms with what exactly is needed – and if it turns out to be dedicated fire support, then a unique class of up to four ships, employing a current hull form and deploying PGMs, T-LAMs and RPV’s to provide spotting and armed recce should be built.
  7. “(I)increase the experience levels and staff levels of acquisition planners, program managers, procurement personnel, engineers, cost estimators, lawyers and associated personnel…Project management is a profession, not a part-time job.” In that context a retrun to the General Board might also be in order.

Your thoughts?

(cross-posted at Steeljaw Scribe)



An announcement in Insidedefense.com that the M-80 Stiletto is returning to the Caribbean will, naturally, induce another round of “cool ship boosterism” in the milblogosphere. The Stiletto, a hi-tech platform, built by the M-Ship Company, made for ecstatic headlines last year, chasing a drug smuggler through shallow waters.

Time to temper that blogosphere enthusiasm.

Why? We’ve been here before. Anybody remember the Sea Bird Cutters (WSES-2)? Or the Pegasus Class Hydrofoil (PHM-1)? Outside of a small group of naval-gazing aficionados, you probably don’t. They’re all innovative vessels, a collection of strategic oddballs, doctrinal misfits and Big Navy orphans that ended their careers after a sunny Caribbean exile.

I’m hard-pressed to recall a single ship class/tech demonstrator that, once based or made “at home” in the Caribbean, made it out alive.

The Sea Bird Class is an interesting example. Built as oil rig crew boats, the 105 ton (lite) Dorado (WSES-1), Sea Hawk (WSES-2), Shearwater (WSES-3), and Petrel (WSES-4) were pressed into Coast Guard service for a Stiletto-like mission: Fast interdiction in shallow waters (Calling Eagle1!). A surface-effects ship (a 5 foot draft on cushion, 8 feet off), they were, just like Stiletto, an innovative hull form. And, like Stiletto, the vessels had teething problems. The Sea Birds suffered vibration issues, were slow, overweight, had maintenance issues and were pricey to operate. After 10 years, they were sent to layup in 1994, never to be seen again…unless you consider these to be a foundation for Norway’s Skjold Class Patrol Craft.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, these ships got the job done. Here’s a bit from Petrel’s history:

“Petrel is one of the most decorated patrol boats in the Coast Guard with forty three drug busts to her credit (more than any other patrol boat in commissioned service)…In addition to her extensive work in drug law enforcement, Petrel has made some dramatic rescues at sea: most recently the sailing vessel Tampawitha which was disabled off the coast of Cuba in 22 foot seas and 55 knots winds…Petrel was also recognized for her humanitarian efforts involving the steady flow of Cuban refugees and the mass exodus of Haitian migrants…”

Not bad for a five million dollar platform! But they didn’t take. So, no matter how glowing the headlines, don’t bet the house on Stiletto.

But, that said, don’t give up hope, either. With the region now under the close supervision of a Combat Command, SOUTHCOM, the Caribbean may, one hopes, become a sort of Skunk Works for new naval platforms and tactics, rather than a nice, out-of-the-way place to park some otherwise unwanted, career-damaging strategic afterthoughts. So buck up, tech lovers! Stiletto may yet buck the trend. (Photos: US Coast Guard)

Springboard!



Hello there. Some of you may know me for my weekly series Maritime Monday’ over at gCaptain. The nice folks over here at the USNI Blog offered me an opportunity to contribute, so here I am. Oddly enough, I immediately ran into a bit of writer’s block trying to find an appropriate subject, so I decided to comment on the following Baltimore Examiner story that they ran back in December as it touches on a process that many reads here have probably experienced first-hand:

Naval Academy asks Congress for increase in minority minds

By Jason Flanagan, Examiner Staff Writer 12/16/08
Congressional members will be asked next week to push more minorities candidates toward the U.S. Naval Academy in hopes of increasing the military institution’s diversity.

“We want to let Congress know that we can work with them, and tell them what we are all about,” said Craig Duchossois, chairman of the Board of Visitors, the federal oversight board of the academy.

A letter drafted by the board’s diversity subcommittee, which included Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., will be sent to every member of Congress, first focusing on the black and Hispanic caucuses, telling them about how to increase the diversity of their nominees.

Every member of Congress can nominate high schoolers from their districts. But members have complained that they were unaware of opportunities, such as the academy’s preparatory school in Rhode Island, that could afford more minorities a chance at the academy.

Diversity has long been an issue at the Naval Academy and in the Navy since the academy began accepting minorities in the 1940s. – Baltimore Examiner

I am sure that many readers have gone through the process of applying for a congressional nomination to attend one of the Federal Academies. The competition can be quite tough, especially if you live in Maryland, the home of the Naval Academy, and somewhat easier if you happen to live in other urban areas not located in a state that is the home of a Federal Academy.

For the Naval Academy to increase the diversity of their student population, they first need to have a diversified pool of Academy applicants to choose from. In this respect they are somewhat dependent on members of Congress for this. This is surely the driving force behind the news story above. The story below from earlier in 2008 does hint at a possible reason for a lack of diversity, Members of congress themselves.

In the Washington suburbs, hundreds of impressive teens compete each year to win their representative’s nomination to West Point or the Naval, Air Force or Merchant Marine academies. But in the District of Columbia, spots at the service academies often go unused.

At the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, there is not a single cadet nominated by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), according to an academy spokesman. At the Merchant Marine Academy on Long Island, there is but one Norton nominee, a spokesman there says.

Contrast Norton’s record with that of, say, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), who has 14 nominees studying at the Air Force Academy; Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who has six; or Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), with 13.

I asked the academies to break out the number of their students nominated by Washington area House members in the past five years. Norton substantially lags her colleagues, with a total of 20 students inducted, compared, for example, with 62 for Davis and 53 for Wolf. Norton’s suburban counterparts say interest is so high among high school students that they can easily nominate more than enough qualified candidates to be confident of filling their quota of slots at the academies. – Washington Post

This past summer, Congresswoman Norton did nominate two residents to the Naval Academy. She has a team (as do other Members of Congress) who are tasked with handling nominations. I never met my congressman when applying for a nomination from him for both the Naval and Merchant Marine Academies. Surely, she is not the only Congressman who represents an urban area that has nominations that go unused. That is a shame since admission to an Academy is a not only a great way to receive a ‘free’ college education but is also a great way to escape inner city poverty.

So, is the congressional requirement still a good thing or has it outlived its good? Or is this requirement costing academies access to otherwise qualified candidates and contributing to complaints that they are not diversified enough? As for me, I am against the Academies picking students based on race. Because when you do that, you end up disenfranchising others. But by removing obstacles to get to the selection process, you hopefully solve or reduce the problem naturally. Of course, students still need to apply first, but that is another problem.



Posted by FFry in Uncategorized | 8 Comments
Tags: ,
13th

Sonar and the Environment

January 2009

By

Is the Navy a good steward of the environment? I don’t believe it was always the case, but during the recent court battles I requested as much documentation as I could find on the subject, and I have come to the conclusion the Navy has really changed a lot on the issue.

While I don’t agree at all with the pecking order of mammal life being more important than national security, a pecking order several environmental groups do not hide they support, I do think it has been to the benefit of both the Navy and the United States that these lawsuits have forced the Navy to take their role in relation to the environment of the Oceans more seriously.

There are two things most people don’t know about the Navy when it comes to the environment. First, did you know the Navy is the worlds leader in funding environmental research and science of the worlds oceans? It’s true, the figure for 2008 was around $26 million and that number is expected to increase as a result of some of the court settlements made in 2008.

Second, do you have any idea how much effort the Navy takes in mitigating risk to marine species during submarine training? Most people don’t, so below is the list of 29 measures the Navy implements during sonar training.

—-

Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Mitigation Measures during Major Training Exercises or within Established DoD Maritime Ranges and Established Operating Areas

I. General Maritime Protective Measures: Personnel Training:

1. All lookouts onboard platforms involved in ASW training events will review the NMFS approved Marine Species Awareness Training (MSAT) material prior to use of mid-frequency active sonar (MFA).

2. All Commanding Officers, Executive Officers, and officers standing watch on the bridge will have reviewed the MSAT material prior to a training event employing the use of MFA.

3. Navy lookouts will undertake extensive training in order to qualify as a watchstander in accordance with the Lookout Training Handbook (NAVEDTRA 12968-B).

4. Lookout training will include on-the-job instruction under the supervision of a qualified, experienced watch stander. Following successful completion of this supervised training period, lookouts will complete the Personal Qualification Standard program, certifying that they have demonstrated the necessary skills (such as detection and reporting of partially submerged objects). This does not preclude personnel being trained as lookouts fiom being counted as those listed in previous measures so long as supervisors monitor their progress and performance.

5. Lookouts will be trained in the most effective means to ensure quick and effective communication within the command structure in order to facilitate implementation of protective measures if marine species are spotted.

II. General Maritime Protective Measures: Lookout and Watchstander Responsibilities:

6. On the bridge of surface ships, there will always be at least three people on watch whose duties include observing the water surface around the vessel.

7. In addition to the three personnel on watch noted previously, all surface ships participating in ASW exercises will, have at all times during the exercise at least two additional personnel on watch as lookouts.

8. Personnel on lookout and officers on watch on the bridge will have at least one set of binoculars available for each person to aid in the detection of marine mammals.

9. On surface vessels equipped with MFA, pedestal-mounted “Big Eye” (20×1 10) binoculars will be present and in good working order to assist in the detection of marine mammals in the vicinity of the vessel.

10. Personnel on lookout will employ visual search procedures employing a scanning methodology in accordance with the Lookout Training Handbook (NAVEDTRA 12968-B).

11. After sunset and prior to sunrise, lookouts will employ Night Lookout Techniques in accordance with the Lookout Training Handbook.

12. Personnel on lookout will be responsible for reporting all objects of anomalies sighted in the water (regardless of the distance from the vessel) to the Officer of the Deck, since any object or disturbance (e.g. trash, periscope, surface disturbance, discoloration) in the water may be indicative of a threat to the vessel and its crew or indicative of a marine species that may need to be avoided as warranted.

III. Operating Procedures

13. A Letter of Instruction, Mitigation Measures Message, or Environmental Annex to the Operational Order will be issued prior to the exercise to disseminate further the personel training requirement and general marine mammal protective measures.

14. Commanding Officers will make use of marine species detection cues and information to limit interaction with marine species to the maximum extent possible consistent with safety of the ship.

15. All personnel engaged in passive acoustic sonar operation (including aircraft, surface ships, or submarines) will monitor for marine mammal vocalizations and report the detection of any marine mammal to the appropriate watch station for dissemination and appropriate action.

16. During MFA operations, personnel will utilize all available sensor and optical systems (such as Night Vision Goggles) to aid in the detection of marine mammals.

17. Navy aircraft participating in exercises at sea will conduct and maintain, when operationally feasible and safe, surveillance for marine species of concern as long as it does not violate safety constraints or interfere with the accomplishment of primary operational duties.

18. Aircraft with deployed sonobouys will use only the passive capability of sonobouys when marine mammals are detected within 200 yards of the sonobouy.

19. Marine mammal detections will be immediately reported to the assigned Aircraft Control Unit for further dissemination to ships in the vicinity of the marine species as appropriate when it is reasonable to conclude that the course of the ship will likely result in a closing of the distance to the detected marine mammal.

20. Safety Zones – When marine mammals are detected by any means (aircraft, shipboard lookout, or acoustically) within 1,000 yards of the sonar dome (the bow), the ship or submarine will limit active transmission levels to at least 6 dB below normal operating levels.

(i) Ships and submarines will continue to limit maximum transmission levels by this 6 dB factor until the animal has been seen to leave the area, has not been detected for 30 minutes, or the vessel has transited more than 2,000 yards beyond the location of the last detection.

(ii) Should a marine mammal be detected within or closing to inside 500 yards of the sonar dome, active sonar transmissions will be limited to at least 10 dB below the equipment’s normal operating level. Ships and submarines will continue to limit the maximum ping levels by this 10 dB factor until the animal has been seen to leave the area, has not been detected for 30 minutes, or the vessel has transited more than 2,000 yards beyond the location of the last detection.

(iii) Should the marine mammal be detected within or closing to inside 200 yards of the sonar dome, active sonar transmissions will cease. Sonar will not resume until the animal has been seen to leave the area, has not been detected for 30 minutes, or the vessel has transited more than 2,000 yards beyond the location of the last detection.

(iv) Special conditions applicable for dolphins and porpoises only: If, after conducting an initial maneuver to avoid close quarters with dolphins or porpoises, the Officer of the Deck concludes that dolphins or porpoises are deliberately closing to ride the vessel’s bow wave, no further mitigation actions are necessary while the dolphins or porpoises continue to exhibit bow wave riding behavior.

(v) If the need for power-down should arise as detailed in “Safety Zones” above, the ship or submarine shall follow the requirements as though they were operating at 235 dB – the normal operating level (i.e., the first power-down will be to 229 dB, regardless of at what level above 235 sonar was being operated).

21. Prior to start-up or restart of active sonar, operators will check that the Safety Zone radius around the sound source is clear of marine mammals.

22. Sonar levels (generally) – The ship or submarine will operate sonar at the lowest practicable level, not to exceed 235 dB, except as required to meet tactical training objectives.

23. Helicopters shall observe the vicinity of an ASW exercise for 10 minutes before the first deployment of active (dipping) sonar in the water.

24. Helicopters shall not dip their sonar within 200 yards of a marine mammal and shall cease pinging if a marine mammal closes within 200 yards after pinging has begun.

25. Submarine sonar operators will review detection indicators of close-aboard marine mammals prior to the commencement of ASW operations involving active mid-frequency sonar.

26. Increased vigilance during major ASW training exercises with tactical active sonar when critical conditions are present:

Based on lessons learned from strandings in the Bahamas (2000), the Madeiras(2000), the Canaries (2002) and Spain (2006), beached whales are of particular concern since they have been associated with MFA operations. Navy should avoid planning major ASW training exercises with MFA in areas where they will encounter conditions that, in their aggregate, may contribute to a marine mammal stranding event.

The conditions to be considered during exercise planning include:

  1. Areas of at least 1,000 m depth near a shoreline where there is a rapid change in bathmetry on the order of 1,000-6,000 meters occurring across a relatively short horizontal distance (e.g., 5 nm).
  2. Cases for which multiple submarines [2 3)-operating MFA in the same area over extended periods of time [> 6 hours) in close proximity (I 10 nm apart).
  3. An area surrounded by land masses, surrounded by less than 35 nm and at least 10 nm in length or an embayment, wherein operations involving multiple ships/subs (> or = 3) employing MFA near land may produce sound directed toward the channel or embayment that may cut off the lines of egress for marine mammals.
  4. Although not as dominant a condition as bathyrnetric features, the historical presence of a simificant surface duct (i.e., a mixed layer of constant water temperature extending fiom the sea surface to 100 or more feet).

If the major exercise must occur in an area where the above conditions exist in their aggregate, these conditions must be fully analyzed in environmental planning documentation. Navy will increase vigilance by undertaking the following additional protective measure:

A dedicated aircraft (Navy asset or contracted aircraft) will undertake reconnaissance of the embayment or channel ahead of the exercise participants to detect marine mammals that may be in the area exposed to active sonar. Where practical, advance survey should occur within about two hours prior to MFA use, and periodic surveillance should continue for the duration of the exercise. Any unusual conditions (e.g., presence of sensitive species, groups of species milling out of habitat, any stranded animals) shall be reported to the Officer in Tactical Command (OTC), who should give consideration to delaying, suspending or altering the exercise.

All Safety Zone requirements described in Measure 20 apply.

The post-exercise report must include specific reference to any event conducted in areas where the above conditions exist, with exact location and timelduration of the event, and noting results of surveys conducted.

IV. Coordination and Reporting

27. Navy will coordinate with the local NMFS Stranding Coordinator regarding any unusual marine mammal behavior and any stranding, beached liveldead, or floating marine mammals that may occur at any time during or within 24 hours after completion of mid-frequency active sonar use associated with ASW training activities.

28. Navy will submit a report to the Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, within 120 days of the completion of a Major Exercise. This report must contain a discussion of the nature of the effects, if observed, based on both modeled results of real-time events and sightings of marine mammals.

29. If a stranding occurs during an ASW exercise, NMFS and Navy will coordinate to determine if MFA should be temporarily discontinued while the facts surrounding the stranding are collected.

The list of mitigiating actions the Navy takes is so long, it is unreasonable for the media to include them in an article regarding the environment and Navy sonar. It is also noteworthy the list has never, ever been printed by someone in the media, not once. When I asked for the list, the folks at CHINFO seemed puzzled that anyone would care.

In many ways they are right, nobody does care, but I think it should be noted that we are barely halfway through the first month of 2009 and already another Pacific power has contracted for half a dozen more submarines. So while I am proud of the Navy for their commitment to the environment, I’d be more impressed if there was consistent evidence of a commitment to sonar training in the Pacific in 2009. Lawsuits impacted training cycles in 2008, and this is one skill (some consider ASW an art) there can never be enough training focus dedicated to in my opinion.



Posted by galrahn in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

I just finished reading The Soft Side of Airpower by Major John W. Bellflower, Small Wars Journal, and I have to say the Air Force appears to be putting a bit more thought into who they are and what they can do, at least in regards to what is being said publicly. This sample sets the stage for a very interesting article.

Contrary to the advice of General Lorenz and Secretary Wynne, most articles discussing the employment of airpower in irregular warfare often adhere to a myopic view of airpower that considers only what airpower can do to the enemy. Although these articles do indeed discuss such operational functions as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) or airlift, they typically do so only in the context of putting steel on target or assisting ground forces in doing the same. This enemy-centric focus causes many airpower advocates to champion the lethal application of airpower to the near exclusion of its non-lethal aspects. Indeed, this enemy-centric airpower focus has also infected Army thinking as its new counterinsurgency manual devotes merely a single sentence to population-centric airpower. However, the focus in irregular warfare is typically on influencing the population rather than destroying the military capability of the enemy. Certainly irregular warfare will sometimes require killing bad guys, but tailoring the airpower effort to the people would demonstrate that airpower offers much more to the irregular warfare fight – much that is typically ignored.

It is an article worth checking out. The Air Force Live blog apparently enjoyed the article too, the graphic above was posted by Captain Faggard in response to commentary on the article. I think the graphic is interesting too, a reminder that history is a great place to start when building discussions of strategic vision looking into the future.

While I find the content of Major Bellflower’s article stimulating on its own, what I am really finding interesting is the new found interest by the Air Force to tell a broader story. Air Mobility Command has long been involved in supporting humanitarian operations, by itself there is nothing new about it. What is new though is that someone in the Air Force is finally proud enough of these efforts to highlight it, and proclaim it as important enough to tell as a narrative. On the internet, that is VERY new.

A few examples. We never heard anything about the humanitarian response the US Air Force was involved in regarding the earthquake in China. It wasn’t small, or trivial. Same for the Cyclone off Myanmar. Same for the response in Georgia. Any details you know about Air Force involvement in those operations came straight from the mainstream media, and it consisted almost entirely of statistics. Could we be on the verge of learning what the Air Force is doing in global operations other than a statistical total? Does the Air Force have an actual story behind the statistics? We appear to be moving that direction.

We all know the USCGC Dallas (WHEC-716) went to Georgia to deliver humanitarian aid, and that the Navy had several ships off the coast of Myanmar ready to assist, and that Admiral Keating went to China to see the devestating effects of the earthquake in China. Why did we know about these things? Because the Navy and Coast Guard are proud of their soft power efforts. It will be interesting to observe whether the Air Force’s new found desire to tell ‘the rest of their story’ regarding their global operations has any long term influence regarding the perception of the Air Force, much of which isn’t generally very positive in the Web 2.0 space.



Posted by galrahn in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The USCGC Boutwell (WHEC 719) sets sail today from Alameda, CA today as part of the USS Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group. According to a USCG press release:

BOUTWELL’s deployment will take six months to cover a route circumnavigating the globe.

BOUTWELL’s deployment represents the U.S. Coast Guard’s ongoing operational commitment to the Department of Defense and applies the Coast Guard stratgeic imperatives of Maritime Safety, Security and Stewardship in reaching out to foreign Coast Guards and Navies around the world. Additionally, this deployment supports the U.S. cooperative maritime strategy which integrates the Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corps’ sea power with the combined elements of national power: diplomacy, information, economy and military.

The 378-foot high endurance cutter is scheduled to conduct cooperative training engagements and professional exchanges with maritime agencies from several countries in the Western Pacific. The 179-member crew of BOUTWELL will provide training in areas such as shipboard damage control, search and rescue case planning and maritime law enforcement.

While the Coast Guard is most typically known for performing its suite of maritime safety, security and stewardship missions close to home, the service is also called upon to support Department of Defense missions far from U.S. shores. In earlier years, U.S. Coast Guard cutters on similar deployments have guarded Northern Arabian Gulf oil platforms in the opening days of Operation Iraqi Freedom, provided first aid response to Indonesian tsunami victims, and provided humanitarian aid to the nation of Georgia. During a 2006 deployment, Coast Guard Cutter MUNRO worked with Navy counterparts to interdict pirates off the Horn of Africa, which given recent world events, is a mission that BOUTWELL is prepared to encounter.

In addition to exciting and demanding operational missions, the crew of BOUTWELL looks forward to an opportunity rarely afforded to most mariners: making a trip completely around the world, or “entering the Order of Magellan.”

Members of the media and general public will be able follow BOUTWELL’s achievements during this deployment via the Coast Guard’s website at http://www.uscgsanfrancisco.com or via Facebook group Friends of the USCGC Boutwell or Twitter USCG_PACAREAPAO .

I have signed up to follow the Boutwell on Facebook? How about you?

I personally wish the USCG had enough personnel and cutters so that there would be one USCG cutter that deploys with each and every Carrier Strike Group and Expeditionary Strike Group.



So, what’s the reason we can’t take these ships, designed to carry the Mk-71 8″ gun mount fore and aft, and convert them into NGF platforms? It certainly would be a very small fraction of the cost of designing and building from the keel up, would it not? Some of these hulls have less than 20 years of service. We need a NGF platform, we have limited budget, we have a proven gun system, and we have available hulls for conversion.



12th

The verdict is in ….

January 2009

By

Teh name: USS John Warner (SSN 785).

Bubblehead’s puzzler is puzzl’n,

Not An April Fool’s Joke!
….While I know that Sen. Warner served our country with honor, wouldn’t a destroyer, which are named after people anyway, have been more appropriate?

Galrahn ain’t giggl’n,

….after 11 states in a row, a Virginia class submarine is now named after a politician. But there is a catch, at least its a Virginia politician. Doesn’t USS John Warner (SSN 785) just roll off the tongue? There was a time when Senator Warner, a WWII vet, was for using names of historical and naval importance for naming warships. I miss that guy.

Does John Warner being from Virginia excuse this naming disruption? Does it even matter? Am I the only one sick and tired of watching history give way to political pandering when it comes to naming our Navy vessels? Look, this is the call of only one person, Secretary Winter, the Secretary of the Navy unless obligated by a Congressional bill (almost never happens) names ships.

I say the only ships that should be named for politicians should be logistics ships and support ships. If we did that, I bet then we would finally build much needed tenders and ice breakers!

BostonMaggie has a head of steam up,

This is wrong.

Wrong.

Wrong.

I don’t give a fat rat’s ass what Mr. Elizabeth Taylor (h/t Mike, Phib’s emailer) has done over the years. He negated any possible good he may have done with his poor treatment of CDR Lippold.

That’s right……..I hold a grudge.

Me, I have always thought that as a Navy you advertise both your complete politicization and vanity when you conduct such naming foolishness – and everyone sees it. The ultimate vanity plate.

What, USS Virginia wasn’t enough for you?

When you boil it down, it is just plain embarrassing. I can’t look the smart-a55 1290 on the SAT YN3 in the face and explain it; can you?



12th

Open Mic Monday

January 2009

By

What’s on your mind? What are you reading? Do share….



11th

Question of the Week

January 2009

By

What is your favorite ship and why? My favorite is the USS New Jersey (BB-62). A great ship with a fabulous history that I wish could have seen more service during the Cold War.



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