Archive for the 'Jim Dolbow' Tag
What inspired you to write Lighthouses & Keepers: The U.S. Lighthouse Service and its Legacy?
At the time I was thinking of doing one volume history of the U.S. Coast Guard. One of the problems with doing such a history is that the service is made of so many former organizations. I felt by doing a history of each of the organizations, it would help me in doing the book. I had already had a book on the USLSS published, so I now turned to the USLHS. I became side tracked on the one volume history. It still needs to be done, but I am not sure I will do it.
Why are people fascinated by lighthouses?
A good question that I am not sure I can answer very well. I have run into people who love lighthouses all over this country and in areas far removed from the sea or large bodies of water. I believe I quoted someone who wrote, paraphrased, that lighthouses are America’s answer to Europe’s castles. It is as good an answer as any. That Americans are interested in them was best illustrated to me by a BM1 who said that when he served on Cape Cod a real estate agent told him that if the light from the local lighthouse–I do not recall which one–fell on a house, it increased the value of the house. No way to prove this, of course, but it is a nice story.
Who should read Lighthouses & Keepers?
Anyone who is interested in the history of not only lighthouses, but also other parts of the old USLHS, such as lightships, buoy tenders, fog signals and buoys. Of course, those interested in the heritage of the USCG should read the book.
If you could go back in time, would you want to be a lighthouse keeper?
Not really, unless the light was in a non isolated area. It is a romantic idea of lighthouse keepers and I hope I have shown that the life was not so easy in those times. If I could be a lighthouse keeper in modern times it would be a different manner.
What was it like working with the Coast Guard Historian’s office on this book?
Very easy. Between the Historian of the U.S. Coast Guard’s office and the National Archives a person can pretty well write the history of the lights. In my experience, the Historian’s office is a lot easier to work with than the National Archives. The National Archives is in a location easier to reach for most researchers, but the ease of working in the Historian’s office off sets the location disadvantage.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I hope readers find this a “fun” read. I really liked doing the section on keepers, which I find the most fascinating in the history of the USLHS. I believe the book is now in paperback, thus somewhat cheaper.
Over at the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum’s Facebook Fan Page, they just added a collection of great Seabee photos. Take a look for yourself!
I can’t wait for their new museum to open!!!
In a story on the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence’s website:
“The world is ready to share our Naval experience”, says Secretary of Defence.
Sri Lanka Navy is one of the best Naval wings in the world.
The world is ready to share the experience of the Sri Lanka Navy’s capability of defeating terrorism. The Sri Lanka Navy is considered one of the most powerful Naval troops in the world to have defeated and disabled the LTTE sea wing.
Speaking at the ceremony in tribute of the gallant Naval personnel at the Navy Dockyard in Trincomalee, yesterday (Aug 28), chief guest Defence Secretary Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa said the Naval troops were dedicated to protect the nation and had made an immense contribution in defeating terrorism.
“I praise their efforts and dedication in protecting the territorial integrity, sovereignty and unity of the motherland,” he added.
He observed that the Naval troops were the main obstacle to the LTTE cadres in bringing arms and weapons via sea.
“The Navy destroyed eight of the LTTE floating stores (vessels) in the local and international seas. This prevented the LTTE from bringing in arms and face severe shortage of arms and weapon during the last battle against the Security Forces,” he added.
Secretary Defence said the Naval troops maintained logistic needs and lifelines to the North. When the Sea Tigers attempted to attack the Jet Liner ship carrying unarmed troops, it was foiled by the sailors in action.
The LTTE’s strategic move to take over the Trincomalee harbour and attack the Security Forces installations was thwarted by the Naval troops.
Her further asserted that the Sri Lanka Navy is one of the best Naval wings in the world which destroyed the terrorist movement in the sea with its limited resources and technology.
“The Navy using its Special Boat Squadron (SBS) destroyed many of the LTTE suicide boats and movements in the sea. There are countries which possessed high sophisticated sea power but were unable to prevent terror movements.
Many countries had requested the Defence Ministry to let them share the experience of the Sri Lanka Navy. Foreign defence delegations wanted to come to Sri Lanka and acquire techniques of the Sri Lanka Navy,” he said.
Sri Lanka Navy members will be sent abroad to enlarge their experience and acquire more knowledge in Maritime work, he said.
Mr. Rajapaksa emphasized that the Sri Lanka Navy will have greater responsibility in the future to protect our territorial waters and prevent illegal activities.
He also thanked the Indian Government for facilitating the acquisition of this vessel for the Sri Lankan Government. “The gesture of goodwill by the Indian Government will strengthen the bilateral relations and build better cooperation between the two neighbouring countries,” he added.
Lots of lessons to learned here for sure.
Scratch one non-state actor Navy. I remember years ago, I wanted to write an article entitled non-state actor navies in review but did not because of security concerns. I am glad the Sri Lankan Navy helped to write the last chapter of the Sea Tigers.
The Naval History & Heritage Command has joined the ranks of military officials and commands utilizing Web 2.0 tools to reach new audiences.
If you are interested in becoming a fan of the NHHC on Facebook, following them on Twitter, joining their group on LinkedIn,viewing their bookshelf on Goodreads, or sharing bookmarks on Delicious, click below:
Goodreads (Goodreads is the largest social network for readers in the world)
Delicious (Delicious (formerly del.icio.us, pronounced “delicious”) is a social bookmarking site for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks)
Stay tuned for future developments!
What do you get somoene who is 219 and is supposed to have everything?
An article in Proceedings that lays out some hard facts with a suggested remedy. Yes, my friends, a Proceedings article that is bold with no pale or pastel colors.
I joined forces with CAPT Jim Howe, USCG-Ret, to co-write an article for the August 2009 Coast Guard edition of Proceedings entitled, “Heavy Weather Ahead for the Coast Guard.” Brief excerpt follows:
Competing priorities and shrinking budgets threaten to swamp the service.
The U.S. Coast Guard faces a stark and troubled future. If our nation’s fifth and smallest military service was a cutter it would be listing severely, crippled by decades of undercapitalization, a lack of political support, an overwhelming workload, and the five words most feared by any Guardian: “the curse of can-do.” In the face of an impending budget meltdown, the Coast Guard must confront severe challenges that threaten its performance and long-term viability, as it comports with the realities of the post-9/11 environment. Will it remain the world’s best Coast Guard or will it proceed down the path of Britain’s Royal Navy, becoming a shadow of its former self?
The rest of the article can be viewed here (free).
Happy Birthday everyone!!!
Tbilisi, Georgia. I am on day 6 of my ten day vacation to the Republic of Georgia. Deeply appreciative that world events did not transform my holiday into a milblog experience.
Georgia is a beautiful country with some of the friendliest people you will ever meet in your life. The food is out of this world and plentiful. If you are not planning a visit to the Republic of Georgia, you should. There is a little bit of everything for everyone.
59 years ago this very day, the Korean War a.k.a. “The Forgotten War” started. If it is even possible, the Coast Guard’s role in the Korean War would be even more forgotten if it were not for the CG Historian’s office.
Scott Price’s piece entitled “The Forgotten Service in the Forgotten War“
does an outstanding job in detailing the many CG operations during the Korean War.
It is well worth your time to read. Full of lessons learned for today’s Coast Guard.
A job well done to Korean War veterans from all service branches!
Does anyone know of any books about the CG’s role in the Korean War?
Coast Guard Veterans of the Korean War, I want to hear from you. Please feel free to drop me a line at jimdolbow @ gmail dot com. Thank you!
What inspired you to first produce booklets commemorating the Korean War and then later compiling them into The U.S. Navy and the Korean War?
One of my primary objectives during my time at Naval Historical Center (now Naval History and Heritage Command) was to stimulate interest in the vital history of the U.S. Navy in the Cold War era. As head of the Contemporary History Branch and then as Senior Historian, I sought to generate works on this period. We began and completed multi-page books on the USN in the Cold War but I anticipated a need for shorter studies during the 50th anniversary of the Korean War from 2000-2003. With the funding assistance of the DOD Korean War Commemoration Committee and the Naval Historical Foundation, we enlisted authors for the booklets and when produced distributed them to numerous commemoration groups and naval activities nationwide. To reach another key audience (the members of the Naval Institute) I then partnered with the USNI and the NHF to produce the book, which I am pleased to say has generated lots of positive comment.
Who were your contributors on this important project?
In addition to the organizations mentioned above, the most important contributors to the project were the individual authors, some of the finest naval historians around, including the late Tom Buell, Joe Alexander, Dick Knott, Tom Cutler, Curtis Utz, Bernie Nalty, and Malcomb (Kip) Muir.
What was the Navy’s role in the Korean War?
Withouth the USN, the UN coalition would not have been able to fight in Korea. Within a few weeks of the North Korean invasion, US, UK, and ROK naval units were driving North Korean naval forces from the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan; sea control was never in question after that. The Navy’s Military Sea Transportation Service rushed troop reinforcements into South Korea that prevented loss of the peninsula. At the same time carrier-based Navy, Marine, and British aviation forces bombed the North Korean capital at Pyongyang, bombarded the enemy’s supply lines leading to Pusan, and provided UN ground forces with close air support. In addition to the masterful amphibious assault at Inchon which changed the power equation in mid-1950, the threat of other amphibious operations throughout the war compelled Mao and Kim to keep powerful forces away from the front line at the 38th parallel. Naval air both shore and carrier-based was critical to the 1st Marine Division’s successful fight to the sea from Chosin Reservoir (in the process badly beating up several PLA armies). Moreover, the fleet successfully withdrew 91,000 troops and their equipment (and 100,000 refugees) from Hungnam to South Korea and they were soon in the fight again. Naval bombardmente from BBs and other combatants denied the enemy free use of his own coastlines.
How did maritime power keep the first “limited war” of the Cold War era confined to Korea?
With the “neutralization” of the Straits of Taiwan by the Seventh Fleet at the outset of the war and carrier task force sweeps along the China coast throughout the war, Washington made it clear to Bejing that any attempt to widen the war beyong Korea would put China’s coastal cities and industries at great risk. The Soviets were equally concerned about the vulnerability of their remote Far Eastern holdings.
What projects are you working on now?
A few years ago (while I worked at the NHC) in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War (one could pick several dates for that, but I chose 1965) in 2015, I inaugurated a new commemorative booklet series. With invaluable assistance of the Naval Historical Foundation, I enlisted distinguished authors to write individual booklets on the following topics: coastal operations, riverine operations, Operation Rolling Thunder, Operation Linebacker, POWs, naval leaders of the Vietnam War, sealift and logistic support, intelligence, Seabees and naval construction, and special operations. As a consultant to the NHHC, I am continuing work on the project as coeditor with Sandra Doyle, the NHHC’s Publications Editor. We hope to have 14 booklets completed by 2015. Soon the first two booklets in the series will be published; The Approaching Storm: Conflict in Asia, 1945-1965 (Marolda) and Nixon’s Trident: Naval Operations in Vietnam, 1968-1973 (John Sherwood).
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I continue to believe there is much more we all can do to preserve and interpret the Navy’s vital contribution to the nation’s success in the the Cold War. In addition to the Vietnam booklet series, the NHHC and the NHF are embarked on a major project, completing a Cold War Gallery to the National Museum of the United States Navy at the Washington Navy Yard.
In a USNI Blog exclusive, I recently had the opportunity to e-interview Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, USAF, Commander, Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern) about Operation Southern Partner. General Seip is one of this nation’s leading authorities on the military’s role in soft power. Early readers of this blog will recall I e-interviewed Gen. Seip earlier this year here, here, and here.
How do you measure the success of missions like Operation Southern Partner?
I believe the success of Operation Southern Partner isn’t measured by our team here at Air Forces Southern – it’s measured by partner nation military and law enforcement participants. The feedback we’ve received from the nations participating in OSP exchanges has been overwhelmingly positive. The tactics, techniques, procedures and ideas exchanged during OSP have an immediate and long-lasting impact on participants. For example, the life saving skills learned during a first responder or disaster response exchange are concepts participants can use in any number of emergencies in their personal and professional lives; anything from a car accident to the aftermath of a major hurricane.
The Air Chiefs and leaders I meet in the region often comment on the impact of these peer-to-peer exchanges -our Airmen, officers and enlisted, are role models, professionals and experts in their field, so the information and experience they bring with them to missions such as OSP is invaluable in preparing the next generation of officers and non-commissioned leaders within Latin America and the Caribbean.
OSP is the chance for Airmen to have a positive influence on those future leaders by empowering them with technical knowledge while building their professional network. It’s important to understand that these exchanges don’t end when Airmen return to their bases. The relationships continue; an aircraft maintainer might email the sergeant he worked with during OSP for advice in the future….the initial exchanges are only the beginning of long-term partnerships between Airmen and their counterparts.
OSP participants are excited to continue working with our Airmen. Partner nations are the ones who let me know if our programs are worthwhile – and they can’t wait to begin the next OSP, cooperation team event or exchange. To me, that’s success.
What are some of the lessons learned from Operation Southern Partner?
The most important lesson Operation Southern Partner has taught our planners is what particular skills are in demand by partner nations. Each of the exchanges is focused on an area of expertise identified by the partner nation during the planning process. We’re ensuring the agenda is set by participating nations – not by planners thousands of miles away.
Other lessons we’ve learned from OSP are the many challenges of deploying Airmen to the U.S. Southern Command area of focus. OSP is a great opportunity for our various staff offices to execute their processes and procedures; departments ranging from personnel, aircraft schedulers and contracting, to operations and cargo handlers, as well as, command and control functions. When an emergency does arise, our team is better able to respond across the region because we’ve practiced these functions during OSP. Most importantly, the relationships built between participants during their exchanges help to prepare us to work together during future contingency operations.
What would you say to the naysayers that question the value of cooperative exchange missions like OSP?
The proof of this formula is in the response Airmen receive during and after OSP. Southern Partner is a great event-but it’s only the beginning of our involvement with partner nations. Afterwards, Airmen are able to address issues brought up during their exchanges with other engagement programs such Cooperation Teams and mobile training events.
As I said before, OSP is the beginning of a relationship between professionals of the same career field. Participants are able to build their network and reach back to the people they’ve worked with for tips and guidance. Participants are better maintainers, doctors, logisticians or safety officers when they can tap into the combined knowledge of their peers. That’s the value of OSP – as partner nation Airmen use the knowledge and professional network they’ve developed to progress and become the next generation of First Sergeants, Commanders and leaders.
I firmly believe OSP exchanges will save lives. The real value of OSP will be demonstrated during the next crisis (such as a hurricane or earthquake) when a participating nation is able to respond in a more effective manner while working closely with U.S. military first responders. The skills participants developed during OSP will help these nations to assist their citizens; and the relationships OSP fostered will lead to a more cooperative effort between our militaries.
When is the next Operation Southern Partner?
While we don’t have a firm date at this point, we’re looking to conduct the next Operation Southern Partner late this year or early 2010. The region we’ll focus on for the third iteration will be partner nations in Central America.
Jim, sincerely hope you (and your readers) will join us for the next Operation Southern Partner!
Many thanks to General Seip for his outstanding responses and to Captain Nathan Broshear, 12th Air Force Public Affairs, for making this e-interview happen.
Rear Admiral Jay DeLoach (USN-Ret) Director of Naval History, says American Girl Day is a “great event for daughters, nieces, friends, and family.”
Meanwhile Laura Hockensmith, Deputy Director of Education and Public Programs at the U.S. Navy Museum, says “Liz, Karin and I are extremely proud to host American Girl Day at the U.S. Navy Museum. As both fans of the book series, and American Naval history, we are excited to link them together for the public. By creating this day dedicated to young ladies, we are encouraging the non-traditional military history audience, a new a generation of young women, to explore American history and spark a life time love of museums.
Hope to see you there! Details include:
Saturday, June 27, 2009
11:00am – 3:00pm:
U.S. Navy Museum
805 Kidder Breese Street, SE
Meet Valerie Tripp, author of many American Girl series! (booksigning from 11-1)
Enter to win a Molly McIntire Doll!
Prizes for those who dress like their favorite character!
Dolls are encouraged to come join in the fun!
Hands-on activities highlighting the era of:
RSVPs are requested to ensure enough materials for all participants. Please call (202) 433-6826 or (202) 433-0280.
For Washington Navy Yard directions & Base access information:
- Midrats this Sunday, May 17 2013 – Episode 167: Intellectual Integrity, PME, and NWC
- Remembering our Fallen Coast Guard Shipmates and their Families
- On Midrats 10 Mar 13, Episode 166: “Expeditionary Fleet Balance”
- Guest Post by LTJG Matthew Hipple: From Epipolae to Cyber War
- For Strength and Courage: Neptunus Lex