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Weapon Wednesday – Replacing Navy’s Ouija Board

DSIMS replaces an analog system called the
DSIMS replaces an analog system called the “Ouija board” that’s been in use since the Second World War (Credit: ONR)

Modern aircraft carriers may seem like the bleeding edge of technology, but they still rely on some remarkably low-tech tools to get the job done. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Navy Unmanned Mine Hunter

Knifefish can autonomously hunt and identify buried and unburied seamines
Knifefish can autonomously hunt and identify buried and unburied seamines (Credit: General Dynamics)

Underwater mine-hunting is one job you don’t mind a robot taking away from you, which is why General Dynamics Mission Systems in developing the Knifefish robotic mine-hunter. The unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) recently completed evaluation tests with the US Navy in a dummy minefield off the coast of Boston, Massachusetts, demonstrating its ability to detect and classify mines submerged at various depths. read more

Podcast – President Calls for a Total Ban – Happenings in Rio – Navy Dumps the Blue Camo

No, it’s not Obama or the Trumpster, but the president of the Czech Republic who is calling for a total ban on all migrants into his country. President Milos Zeman has urged his country to seal the border due to the fear of terrorist attacks as have happened in other European nations. And that’s not all he is proposing.

The Olympic Games have begun, and with them have also begun local upheaval, riots, gun-fire and athletes doing what they are not supposed to. Just another great choice of the International Olympic Committee to select a third world nation to host the games.

The U.S. Navy is finally getting rid of possibly the worlds dumbest camouflage uniform – the blueberry and replacing it with yet another camo work uniform. I question the sanity of this decision. read more

The Great Green Waste of Taxpayer Dollars

by: the Common Constitutionalist

 

What will we tell our children and grandchildren? When they look us in the eye and ask how we could’ve let it get this bad and what we did to help prevent it?

Did we just stand by and watch as our governments, local, state and federal frittered away trillions of dollars on giveaways and boondoggle projects?

One such boondoggle project that comes to mind is that of the U.S. Navy’s “Great Green Fleet”.

Having been in the Navy and spent some time aboard a carrier, this is particularly disturbing to me.

Defending the nation is one of a very few things our government is actually constitutionally charged with. So it’s more than just upsetting when in February it was announced that the aircraft carrier Lincoln (CVN 72) would have to indefinitely postpone it’s refueling and overhaul due to budgetary constraints.

Great news! A carrier that is undeployable. Oh wait… make that two. The deployment of the carrier Harry S Truman (CVN 75) will also be delayed for the same reason.

Yet the Marine Corps can spend $350 million on solar panel field communications equipment. As with all dimwitted government programs, they have charming acronyms. The programs are called “GREENS”, Ground Renewable Expeditionary Energy Network System and “SPACES”, Solar Portable Alternative Communication Energy System.

As an aside, you know darn well that some bureaucrat thought up the acronym GREENS first, then just assigned words to each letter.

Col. Bob Charette said: “Solar is the best technology for us.” He explained that the Marines could lay the array on the ground to achieve a low profile.

Well, that all sounds great until the soldiers realize it can take up to 12 hours to recharge their equipment. “Wait, Mr. Insurgent, we are not finished recharging!”

Not to be one-upped, the Navy, or should I say the hacks in the White House that command the military, have been purchasing biofuel to power the “Great Green Fleet”. My goodness, how the Chinese and Russians must be laughing about this one.

In 2009 the Pentagon bought 20,000 gallons of algae oil. It was a bargain at $424 a gallon. They paid a mere $27 a gallon for 450,000 gallons of biofuel. Why pay $3.60 a gallon for diesel? Genius!

The grand theory of the brainiacs in Washington is these purchases will create demand, which will drive the price down to be competitive with petroleum products. But as long as the dolts in Washington are happy to pay 20 some bucks a gallon, the suppliers will happily oblige.

To make things worse, the Navy, Agriculture and Energy departments will “invest” $170 million each in bio refineries. That’s $510 million! Why? Because the private sector knows it’s a waste of time and money.

So when your children ask how this could’ve happened, you can assure them that it wasn’t due to projects like the “Great Green Fleet”. You can tell them, with a straight face, that it was a smashing success, a wise “investment” and we helped save the planet for you, little Johnny.

Funeral for a Hero

If you don’t shed a tear, you’re not human!

Thousands Gather in Dallas to Honor Slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle

Thousands Gather in Dallas to Honor Slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle

The mood was somber at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Monday as thousands gathered to honor slain Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle who was shot to death at a Texas shooting range earlier this month. Photos of Kyle taken throughout his life flashed on the stadium’s giant Jumbotron as loved ones, as well as complete strangers whose lives he touched, remembered his legacy.

While millions of Americans know him as the deadliest sniper in U.S. history, others that knew Kyle closely spoke about the charitable work he did off the battlefield to help struggling veterans and his role as a caring, loving father and husband. It wasn’t his confirmed kills tally that he wanted to be remembered for. The “American Sniper” author said he wanted to be remembered as someone who gave everything he had to help others.

A cross, helmet, vest, boots and a sniper rifle were flanked by flowers on the stage, placed right behind the Cowboy star.

Though Kyle’s wife, Taya, was one of the last people to speak at the memorial service, her message was arguably the most powerful and by far the most emotional. Please Continue

Fire the Laser

Once the stuff of science fiction and James Bond movies, the U.S. Navy is now just two years away from arming it’s ships with the first generation of ‘directed energy’ laser weapons.

The weapons are designed to track and fire on threats to a warship that could include anything from armed drones and small ‘swarm’ boats to incoming missiles and aircraft.

According to Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, the chief of the Office of Naval Research, a  series of successful tests in recent months have enabled the Navy to halve its predicted timeline for mounting laser weapons on vessels.

‘We’re well past physics,’ he told WIRED.com.

‘We’re just going through the integration  efforts… Hopefully that tells you we’re well mature, and we’re ready to put these on naval ships.’

In April 2011 the Navy released a video of a test in which its prototype Maritime Laser Demonstrator blasted a hole in the engine of a small boat at sea off the California coast, leaving it dead in the water.

In July of this year, an officer in the Solid-State Laser Technology Maturation (SSL-TM) program said the Navy believed it was ‘time to move forward with solid-state lasers and shift the focus from limited demonstrations to weapon prototype development and related technology advancement.’

Solid-state lasers are one of several  different types of laser-based weapons systems currently being developed by the Navy and other military services in conjunction with major defense contractors.

The military has spent hundreds of millions on the development of the various systems, but once installed, the government predicts they will be relatively cheap to operate since they don’t use conventional munitions.

A shot from a laser weapon is estimated to  cost the Navy the equivalent of less than a dollar, compared to short-range air-defense interceptor missiles which cost between $800,000 and $1.4 million  each.

Up until now one of the Navy’s key concerns  with lasers has been how to generate  enough energy to fill the laser gun’s magazine,  however Klunder says that it is no longer an issue.

‘I’ve got the power,’ said Klunder, who spoke during the Office of Naval Research’s biennial science and technology conference.

‘I just need to know on this ship, this particular naval vessel, what are the power requirements, and how do I integrate that directed energy system or railgun system.’

With the technology almost now in place, there does however remain a concern over funding to make the laser weapons a reality. Admiral Mark Ferguson, vice chief of naval operations, has warned that ‘research and development is part of that reduction’ in defense budgets currently scheduled to take effect in January.

Attribution: Mail Online

Battle Buddies

 I love my Dad and I personally know how large a carrier is, but it wouldn’t have been large enough. Kudos to this Father / daughter team.

Among the many difficulties that hardworking  members of the U.S military must endure, is the long periods of separation from  family and friends.

For one father and daughter that burden has become a little lighter after they were both deployed to the USS Harry S. Truman.

It is Breanna Janssen’s first deployment to the ship where she  will serve as a Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class while her father David is the leading  chief petty officer of maintenance for the Seahawks, of  Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126, part of the tactical air  force.

Duty calls: Father and daughter, Breanna and David Janssen have been deployed at the same time to the USS Harry S Truman

Duty calls: Father and daughter, Breanna and David  Janssen have been deployed at the same time to the USS Harry S Truman
Family calling: Both father and daughter were delighted to be on the same ship in what is Miss Janssen's first deployment and likely to her father's final one

Family calling: Both father and daughter were delighted  to be on the same ship in what is Miss Janssen’s first deployment and likely to  her father’s final one

The father and daughter, are originally from  Welsh, Louisiana. Miss Janssen, 21, who is stationed at Norfolk, Virginia, told News Channel  3: ‘It’s  comforting to know that there’s always someone to talk to, no matter what’s  going on in my life. Having my dad on  board provides me with a great stress reliever.’

Her father added: ‘With  all of my years of experience of life in the Navy, I can help her with problems  I’ve already faced myself.’

Mr Janssen said the experience is  made extra  special by the fact that while it is his daughter’s first time at sea, this is  likely to be his last.

The young woman said that she was inspired to  join the Navy because of her father’s example and distinguished career which  includes eight previous deployments.

Honor: Breanna Janssen reads the Oath of Enlistment to her father David

Honor: Breanna Janssen reads the Oath of Enlistment to  her father David
Deployment: Father and daughter are serving on the USS Harry S Truman, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier

Deployment: Father and daughter are serving on the USS  Harry S Truman, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier

The Navy allows siblings to serve together  however a parent serving with a child is unusual.

The USS Harry S Truman was built in 1993 and  is named after the 33rd President of the United States.

Attribution: Louise Boyle

A Flag for All

Jim Parks may be 93-year-old, but he isn’t slowing down. The former Navy sailor and World War II service member is on a mission to officially honor his fellow veterans.

Parks, who has a passion for commemorating those who have given back to the United States of America, has created a flag that serves this very purpose — a symbol that he hopes to eventually see flying in all 50 states.

Parks, who pushes on despite health problems, has stated his surprise with the fact that there are already flags for each branch of the military and for individuals who are missing in combat. But the dearth of a more general symbol to represent the many individuals who have served has been a concern to him, so he has set out on a crusade to see that this alleged wrong is righted. 

“Twenty-three million veterans that served our country: Don’t they deserve to have an emblem that represents them?, Parks recently asked. ”You always have to be optimistic. If it doesn’t work one way, try another way. So, I keep trying. I’ve come a long way in 10 years.”

Already, Parks is halfway to his goal, as 25 states have voiced support for the flag. The California state legislature was the first to take up the motion back in 2006 for what Parks has dubbed the “Veterans Remembered Flag.” The symbol, rather than singling out a specific group of servicemen and women, is intended to serve as a memorial for “past, present, and future veterans,“ while providing ”an enduring symbol to support tomorrow’s veterans today.”

For more information and to order a flag click on the following link:

http://veteransrememberedflag.com/index.html

The New Navy

I recently read that former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who, last year, survived an assassination attempt is receiving a real honor. She is having a Navy ship named after her.

 My first thought was, good for her. Then I began to ponder it further. Why her? I feel for her & her family but I’m not sure this is appropriate. Yes, she was in congress. So what?

 As is usually my want, I started to look a little further.

 It seems this is the “New, socially conscious, Navy”. In 2010 the USS John P. Murtha was unveiled, of course, named after said liberal shady dealer.  Earlier this year, the Navy announced plans for the USNS Cesar Chavez, after the labor leader.

 Are you kidding me? What’s next, the USS George Soros or maybe the Saul Alinsky? Are there no American traditions left?

 Rather than ranting over it, I’ve compiled a history of how naval ships were named. You may be the judge of whether this new nepotistic method is appropriate.

 The Navy traces its ancestry to 13 October 1775, when an act of the Continental Congress authorized the first ship of a new navy for the United Colonies, as they were then known. The ships of the Continental Navy, and of the Navy later established under the Federal Constitution, were not named in any strictly categorical manner.

Ship names in the Continental Navy and the early Federal navy came from a variety of sources. As if to emphasize the ties that many Americans still felt to Britain, the first ship of the new Continental Navy was named Alfred in honor of Alfred the Great, the king of Wessex who is credited with building the first English naval force.

On 3 March 1819 an act of Congress formally placed the responsibility for assigning names to the Navy’s ships in the hands of the Secretary of the Navy, a prerogative that he still exercises. This act stated that “all of the ships, of the Navy of the United States, now building, or hereafter to be built, shall be named by the Secretary of the Navy, under the direction of the President of the United States, according to the following rule: Those of the first class shall be called after the States of this Union; those of the second class after the rivers; and those of the third class after the principal cities and towns; taking care that no two vessels of the navy shall bear the same name.” The last-cited provision remains in the United States Code today.

Ships armed with 40 guns or more were of the “first class”; those carrying fewer than 40, but more than 20, guns were of the “second class.” The name source for the second class was expanded to include principal towns as well as rivers.

An act of May 4, 1898, specified that “all first-class battleships and monitors [shallow-draft coast-defense ships completed between 1891 and 1903, armed with heavy guns] shall be named for the States, and shall not be named for any city, place, or person, until the names of the States have been exhausted, provided that nothing herein contained shall be construed as to interfere with the names of states already assigned to any such battleship or monitor.”

However, in 1894 the famed Civil War sloop-of-war Kearsarge ran aground in the Caribbean and had to be written off as unsalvageable. There was so much affection for that ship in the Fleet that the Secretary of the Navy asked Congress to permit her name to be perpetuated by a new battleship. This was done, and Kearsarge (Battleship Number 5) became the only American battleship not to be named for a state.

Ship name recommendations are conditioned by such factors as the name categories for ship types now being built, as approved by the Secretary of the Navy; the distribution of geographic names of ships of the Fleet; names borne by previous ships which distinguished themselves in service; names recommended by individuals and groups; and names of naval leaders, national figures, and deceased members of the Navy and Marine Corps who have been honored for heroism in war or for extraordinary achievement in peace.
As battleship construction went on through the early 1900s, state names began to run short. The law stated that battleships (first class) had to bear state names; to comply with this, monitors and armored cruisers were renamed for cities within their respective name states to free the names of their states for assignment to new battleships. The monitors Florida and Nevada, for instance, became Tallahassee and Tonopah, while the armored cruisers Maryland and West Virginia became Frederick and Huntington. By 1920, state names were the sole preserve of battleships.

World War I brought the development of mine warfare necessitating the introduction of a new type of ship, the minesweeper. A new type of ship required a new name source. The then-Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, had a keen interest in amateur ornithology. This led him to select bird names as the name source for these new ships, and “F.D.R.” signed the General Order assigning names to the first 36 ships of the Lapwing class.

Between World War I & II, the Navy’s first aircraft carriers came into service. Our first carrier, converted from the collier Jupiter, was named Langley (CV 1), in honor of aviation pioneer Samuel Pierpont Langley. Our next two carriers were built on the unfinished hulls of battle cruisers, two of a canceled class of six fast capital ships, which had already been assigned the names of American battles, and famous former Navy ships. These new carriers kept their original names, Lexington and Saratoga. The original battle-cruiser name source continued as carriers Ranger, Yorktown, Enterprise, Wasp, and Hornet entered service between 1934 and 1941, carrying on through World War II and into the postwar years.

Having their names reassigned to new construction normally honored ships lost in wartime. Names like Lexington, Yorktown, Atlanta, Houston, Triton and Shark were perpetuated in memory of lost ships and gallant crews. Unique among these names awarded in honor of lost ships was Canberra, assigned to a heavy cruiser in honor of the Australian cruiser Canberra. It was sunk while operating with American warships during the Battle of Savo Island in August 1942. This was seen to be an appropriate exception to the custom of naming cruisers for American cities.

During World War II the names of individuals were once again assigned to aircraft carriers. The Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first aircraft carrier (CVB 42) to be named for an American statesman. Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal suggested that name to President Harry S. Truman, shortly after FDR’s death in 1945. The first “Supercarrier,” the Forrestal (CVA 59), was named after the aforementioned Sec. Nav.

With the onset of the new age, Nuclear-powered fleet ballistic missile submarines, built to carry the Polaris strategic deterrent missile, began to go into commission in the early 1960s. These were rightly regarded as ships without precedent. Thus, a name source of their own was deemed appropriate. Our first ballistic missile submarine was named George Washington. They were classified as the  “41 for freedom” and bore the names of famous Americans and others who contributed to the growth of democracy, such as Patrick Henry and Ethan Allen.

All the ships of the current Nimitz class bear the names of such national figures as Theodore Roosevelt, George Washington, and Ronald Reagan

Many naval ships are non-combatant in nature. Examples include, Submarine tenders that bear the names of sub pioneers, such as Simon Lake, Hunley & Holland. Ammunition ship names are of volcanoes or words denoting fire and explosives, such as Suribachi or Pyro. Fleet tugs, rescue & firefighting craft bear American Indian names like Powhatan and Navajo.

I’m sorry but I don’t see our naval history replete with any junior congressman or labor leaders.

Attribution: Naval Archives