Surveying the rugged coast of Finland, rocky beaches guarded by an army of small islands and towns once scarred by wars, I am reminded of the resilience and tenacity of the people who call this place home. These attributes were on dramatic display on the shores of Hanko, Finland today as Marines from five nations conducted their first of three amphibious landings. NATO’s inclusion of Finland and Sweden in the BALTOPS 2016 exercise as “Partnership for Peace” nations underscores the fact that their regional security interests in the Baltic are in sync with the 28 members of the Alliance. Just… Read the rest of this entry »
If you have not already, you need to read one of the more important wake up calls written by a navalist this year; Bryan McGrath’s remarks published over at WarOnTheRocks, War and Survivability of U.S. Naval Forces. It will come to no surprise to those who read my post last week, that I am roughly in full alignment with the direct and unblinking comments he brings to the reader; (in the post-Cold War era) …we built and operated a Navy in the post-Cold War era that reflected this. We created a fleet architecture that raised defense to a high art…. Read the rest of this entry »
Please join us at 5pm (EDT) on June 5, 2016, for Midrats Episode 335: War of 1812 in the Chesapeake: A Schoolhouse at Sea Last month started what we hope will be a regular occurrence in the education of our future leaders; the US Naval Academy took 10 Midshipmen along with a group of instructors on-board the topsail schooners Pride of Baltimore and Lynx as part of an elective history course titled “War of 1812 in the Chesapeake: A Schoolhouse at Sea.” We will have two of the instructors for the cruise with us for the full hour, returning guest… Read the rest of this entry »
Introduction Summer, 1777: Two objects made from gunpowder-filled kegs and tied together with line drifts alongside the British frigate Cerberus near the Connecticut coast. Sailors in a captured schooner tied alongside attempt to recover the objects. All at once, an explosion destroys the schooner and kills most of the sailors. These were the first mines, invented by David Bushnell (of Turtle fame). This is the beginning of the story of naval mine warfare. Naval mine warfare has a history as old as the United States. From its beginning in the workshop of David Bushnell through to today’s Quickstrike mines and… Read the rest of this entry »
The ongoing discussion of the meaning of “distributed Lethality” and methods of achieving it at sea is a welcome return to a more forward leaning posture. By its nature, it assumes a more aggressive navy – as all successful navies have been. There is another side to this posture, something that is always there but becomes more apparent with a stronger light thrown on the subject. As the cliche goes, the enemy gets a vote. The enemy gets to shoot back. There are certain timeless fundamentals of the naval service that historically applied to the US Navy in its operations; offensive punch,… Read the rest of this entry »
“The Battle of Anzio shows both the agony of command decisions and the heroism of men who carry them out.” —Gen. William H. Simpson (U.S. Army, Ret.) Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. These words, spoken by the philosopher George Santayana, have enduring truth. Though daily operations claim much attention in a dynamic Europe-Africa theater, it is important to revisit the battles of the past, to contemplate the critical decisions made by military commanders, and reflect on the will of those who fought these battles. With Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2016, the premier Baltic maritime… Read the rest of this entry »
In 1955 Air Force General Curtis LeMay, Commander of the Strategic Air Command, built the service’s first base hobby shop in Offutt, NE. His vision was to provide a facility with tools, material, and resources to allow Airmen the opportunity to repair, modify, or completely rebuild their personal automobiles. The first hobby shop was an overwhelming success and soon become popular among all ranks, including LeMay himself. Auto hobby shops soon proliferated across all SAC bases and eventually, along with their sibling wood hobby shops, to most American military bases around the globe. Many of these workshops eventually formalized their… Read the rest of this entry »
Today, 27 May 2016, the Class of 2016 will be graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. The Naval Institute shares the words of a commanding officer to his son on the occasion of his son’s graduation from the Naval Academy in June, 1955. As today’s graduates enter commissioned service, these words of sixty years ago ring true. To the Class of 2016, the Naval Institute extends heartfelt congratulations.
Part of our naval mythology is informed by fiction as well as real history. With a few exceptions, as a nation, the USA always likes to see itself as the good guys, the shining city on the hill where good people want to go to do good things. In some ways this aspirational self-reflection is good, but it isn’t reality. You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. – Winston Churchill In the Cold War fiction The Hunt for Red October, we had our preferred universe, Capt. Vasili Borodin: I will live in… Read the rest of this entry »
Please join us at 5pm (EDT) on 22 May 2016 for Episode 333: The Battle of Jutland & the Time of the Battleship with Rob Farley: We are coming up on the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of Jutland. Stop for a moment, close your eyes, and then tell me what image comes to mind. If your image is of a huge mass of steel coming at you out from the mist at 25-knots belching out sun-blocking clouds of coal-smoke and burned black powder and searing fingers of flame pushing tons of armor-piercing explosives, then this is the show for… Read the rest of this entry »
- Is it too late for a LCS training time out?
- On Midrats 28 August 2016 – Epsiode 347: Baltic Security with Bruce Acker and Dan Lynch
- The Next Card From the Migration Deck?
- On Midrats 21 August Episode 346: “The Farsi Island Incident – Is the Navy a Learning Institution?”
- Red Pill or Blue Pill in Syria & Iraq?