Preserving a piece of US Maritime History - invaluable

The USS Olympia is a cruiser that fought in the Spanish American War in 1898 and has been preserved in Philadelphia. She's a one of a kind ship, a national historic monument, and in danger. She needs approximately $10-15 million in repairs to keep her a viable museum for years to come. If you have the resources, or connections to those resources, please consider helping. (full disclosure - there is no financial benefit to me to ask the question - we need to save this ship for posterity). Please contact me at 612-599-1935 or if you have additional questions.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Marines are coming to help with CH 46's

US Navy Photo 110312-M-5425B-002

Aircraft carrier Reagan now in Japanese waters - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

Aircraft carrier Reagan now in Japanese waters - Navy News News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

The news keeps coming.

USS Bataan to deploy near the end of March to replace Kearsarge

USS Bataan to deploy near the end of March to replace Kearsarge

Credit: Navy Photo
USS Bataan
by 13 News
13NEWS /
Posted on March 10, 2011 at 8:04 PM
Updated Thursday, Mar 10 at 8:33 PM

NORFOLK--There's word Thursday that the USS Bataan, homeported in Norfolk,  will head out on deployment later this month.
Navy officials tell that  the Bataan is surging to replace the Kearsarge, as part of a contingency operation.
The surge is designed to give the president flexibility regarding the recent uprising in Northern Africa and in the Middle East.
There's no word on the exact time of the deployment or for how long it will last.

The Decline of U.S. Naval Power;article=24366;title=USS%20Yorktown%20Sailor%7EVeterans%20Forum%7E

"And yet the fleet has been made to wither even in time of war. We have the smallest navy in almost a century, declining in the past 50 years to 286 from 1,000 principal combatants. Apologists may cite typical postwar diminutions, but the ongoing 17% reduction from 1998 to the present applies to a navy that unlike its wartime predecessors was not previously built up. These are reductions upon reductions. Nor can there be comfort in the fact that modern ships are more capable, for so are the ships of potential opponents. And even if the capacity of a whole navy could be packed into a small number of super ships, they could be in only a limited number of places at a time, and the loss of just a few of them would be catastrophic."

Key section of the article - all this said - we have capabilities that no other Navy has:

Our DDG's individually are said to be the most powerful surface combantants ever deployed
Our 22 Aegis cruisers - you wouldn't want to meet in a fight
Our 11 CVN's - each are the 5th largest air force in the world, or so I'm told - with advanced weaponary
Our 53 fast attack submarines simply can't be found
Our 10 Big Deck Amphibs have capabilities no other countries have - do you want to face 6 or 7 really mean Marine Harrier pilots?

Wharf Rat

Japan Earthquake: Helicopter aerial view video of giant tsunami waves

this is the video you want to see - incredible

Raw Video: Navy Loads Supplies for Japan Relief

here come the hero's!

URGENT: Hundreds Dead, Thousands Missing as Aftershocks Hold Rescue

The news just keeps gettting worse and worse.  I suspect the US Navy warships approaching Japan are making best speed to help out. 

U.S. ships en route to disaster-stricken Japan - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

U.S. ships en route to disaster-stricken Japan - Navy News News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

An update on the news coming out of Japan.

No one will know for weeks how many people really perished in the disaster. My heart goes out to our allies and friends.

UPDATE: Tsunami shook two Navy subs loose from moorings; tugboats recovered the submarines without damage

Looks like all 3 Guam based fast attack subs were in port at the time the tsunami hit Guam, and even in protected ancorage, ripped two from their moorings.  One commentor stated that it took 5-6 hours to get the subs tied up again.  If that is true, this is no small matter.  You can't have subs weighing an estimated 7,000 tons drifting near each other.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Army reprimands 9 officers in Fort Hood shooting -

Army reprimands 9 officers in Fort Hood shooting -

Are you kidding me? The US Military, the media, politicians, create an environment of fear, resulting in paralysis, and they go after officers in the shooters chain of command?

If the officers had done something, they would have been accused of any number of things.

This is a crock. You need to support the supperior officers so they can do their jobs and ferrit out the bad guys. The culture of fear that allowed this guy to get promoted should be indicted.

U.S. forces set to aid Japan in disaster’s wake - Air Force News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Air Force Times

U.S. forces set to aid Japan in disaster’s wake - Air Force News News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Air Force Times

Navy Units Prepare to Support Tsunami-Damaged Areas

Navy Units Prepare to Support Tsunami-Damaged Areas

The United States Navy trains to fit, and trains to provide support for natural and man made disasters. The value in forward deployed warships is their ability to react quickly when the need is greatest.

Unbelieveable event.  So what happens now with the US Navy?

1.  The USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Battle Group was just reported to have arrived in the 7th Fleet.  What timing.  Her 4.5 acres of flight deck and approx. 17 helo's will absolutely be used.
2.  Clearly the USS George Washington will deploy from Yokosuka
3.  USS Essex LHD 8 will also likely deploy with her Ampibious Ready Group to assist in the efforts
4.  USS Abraham Lincoln?  She arrived on 3/10 in Hawaii.  She will be on standby to help should there be damage in HI from a tsunami.  The real question is - will she be turned around to go help in the Pacific basin?  I doubt it, but it wouldn't be the first time that's happened
5.  The USS Boxer Ampibious Ready Group.  She was reported to be in the Pacific Ocean - so look for her to be tasked to assist where necessary
6.  The Japenese Navy - they have at least 2 big deck amphibs (helicopter destroyers) that will likely get underway with Seahawks to assist in rescue and relief.
7.  Just as we did with Haiti - the United States Navy within days, and hours will be all over this.  Military Sealift Command ships will be dispatched to assist - each one with supplies and helo decks on their sterns
8.  The US Air Force will like dispatch tons of supplies with a mix of C-17's, C-5's, and C-130's.  They have without a doubt the most capable airlift capability in the world
9.  Private carriers - FedEx, UPS, Evergreen Air Cargo, etc. will likely offer up lift to get supplies where needed
10.  USS Enterprise and USS Carl Vinson - both in the 5th Fleet.  Does the US Navy move the Vinson to help?  The CNO has committed to 2 carriers in the 5th Fleet 9 months out of the year.  The Vinson is on the tail end of her deployment and she is a Pacific Fleet carrier.  My money is that she gets tasked to help.

This is a all hands on deck situation. Pray, pray, pray.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Iranian Rockets Aiding Taliban

March 9, 2011 Posted by John at 5:44 PM
The Telegraph reports that SAS forces in Afghanistan captured a convoy of three trucks that contained 48 hidden 122 mm rockets that were manufactured in Iran and were en route to the Taliban:
The haul is the strongest evidence yet of a significant escalation in Tehran's support for the Taliban, military officials said.
The consignment of 48 rockets hidden in three trucks was intercepted last month after a fierce fire fight which left several insurgents dead in the remote southern province of Nimroz, bordering Iran. ...
The 122mm rockets have twice the range and twice the blast radius of the Taliban's more commonly used 107mm missiles and have not been seen in action against Nato forces for the past four years. ... The rockets have a range of more than 12 miles and shower shrapnel to a radius of nearly 100 feet.
Iran has been in the business of killing American and allied troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan for some years now. It would be nice to do something about it.

Flyover of USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) Air Wing MVI_0208.MOV

USS Ronald Reagan 2011 Deployment San Diego

Navy JSF makes first supersonic flight - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

Navy JSF makes first supersonic flight - Navy News News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

Nothing better than going faster than the speed of sound!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

From Information Dissemination

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ray Mabus on FY2011 Budget

Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus, gave testimony this morning in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee regarding the FY 2012 budget. His opening remarks began with a discussion of the yet-to-pass FY 2011 budget, and is I believe critical to highlight in full. From here (PDF).
But today we are very concerned about the absence of a Defense Appropriations Bill for FY 2011 and the negative effects of operating under a continuing resolution for the remainder of the year. We are equally concerned about passage of a bill that reduces the topline from the level requested in the FY 2011 President’s budget. Either course of action significantly impacts the resources available to grow the fleet and jeopardizes recent efforts to restore and maintain readiness levels commensurate with the standards expected of the Navy and Marine Corps.

Without legislative action, limiting FY 2011 procurement accounts to FY 2010 levels will:
  • Prevent start of construction of one VIRGINIA-class submarine to be built in Groton and Newport News which will break the existing Multi-year Contract.
  • Prevent start of construction of one Mobile Landing Platform to be built in San Diego.
  • Prevent start of construction of one or possibly both programmed ARLEIGH BURKE-class destroyers to be built in Bath and Pascagoula due to DDG 1000/DDG 51 swap language that prevents award of either ship unless both are authorized and appropriated.
  • Preclude fourth and final increment of full funding for construction of CVN 78 (USS GERALD FORD) and advance procurement for CVN 79.
  • Prevent procurement of two nuclear reactor cores for refueling of one aircraft carrier and one ballistic missile submarine, as well as delay increased funding for research and development of the OHIO-class replacement and replacement of two Moored Training Ships that provide half of the force’s nuclear training capability.
  • Prevent completion of one ARLEIGH BURKE-class modernization.
  • Reduce Marine Corps procurement by $563 million. This would add to equipment shortfalls generated by 9 years of conflict and prevent equipment replacement or purchase of 4 H-1 helicopters, numerous LAVs, MTVRs, LVSRs; tech upgrades to counter IED jammers; communication and intelligence equipment; tactical fuel systems to power our vehicles and generators; engineering equipment to move ammo, gear and supplies; air conditioners and heaters to take care of Marines and sensitive gear; and EOD improvements to protect them.
Reductions to expected procurement levels will create additional stress on the force, as units in service pick up additional commitments to cover the seams created by fewer available platforms.

Likewise, fixing FY 2011 operations to FY 2010 levels has created a $4.6 billion shortfall in Navy and Marine Corps operations, maintenance, and training accounts. Faced with this prospect, the Department began efforts in January to mitigate the impacts of operating under the continuing resolution, which over the course of the Fiscal Year will cause us to:
  • Reduce aircraft flight hours and ship steaming days, including a reduction of four non-deployed air wings’ flight hours to minimal flight-safety levels.
  • Cancel up to 29 of 85 Surface Ship availabilities.
  • Defer maintenance on 70 aircraft and 290 aircraft engines, bringing the combined backlog of aviation maintenance close to one-year redlines.
  • Defer 41 facilities maintenance projects and 89 new construction projects in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, and Guam. These cuts equal an approximate 50 percent reduction and will eliminate, among many projects, dry dock certifications, bachelor quarters maintenance projects, repairs to Explosive Handling Wharves (EHW) at Bangor and Kings Bay that support ballistic missile operations, and modernization projects to support introduction of new training aircraft.
  • The combined effects of the continuing resolution will directly impact the strength of the industrial base and over 10,000 private sector jobs at shipyards, factories, and Navy and Marine Corps facilities across the country. The degradation or loss of perishable skillsets within our workforce, including many nuclear workers, and the disruption to both our fleet and shore maintenance and modernization schedules will take three years to recover based on rotational schedules alone – and only at significantly greater cost than requested in the FY 2011 President’s Budget.
Finally, there is almost a $600 million shortfall in Navy and Marine Corps manpower accounts. As a result of this shortfall, the Services must raid other accounts in order to meet payroll for the duration of the year. We are currently living within funding constraints by limiting or conducting short-notice permanent change of station moves; however, this tactic places significant hardship on our military families and is not sustainable over the entire fiscal year.

We strongly request Congressional action to address the implications of the Continuing Resolution on our forces and our people by taking action to enact the FY 2011 President’s Budget.
Nothing in FY12 means a thing until FY11 budget passes, because the cost of damage for a late FY11 budget will have further impacts in FY12. How do we claim we are a nation at war when elected officials will make the defense budget a pawn for political games? Perhaps that fact alone reflects just how desensitized the US has become towards the very serious business of war.

Monday, March 7, 2011

US Navy Photo 110228-N-ZS026-203

US Navy Photo 110228-N-ZS026-203

USS Boxer - cleanest ship in the fleet!!

US Navy Photo 110301-N-SB672-331

US Navy Photo 110301-N-SB672-331

Greatest Tug of War ever!!

Minot keeps operating B-52 bombers - Air Force News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Air Force Times

Minot keeps operating B-52 bombers - Air Force News News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Air Force Times

B-52's - Shock and Awe - yeah, that's us.

U.S.: Raids have taken out 900 Taliban leaders - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

U.S.: Raids have taken out 900 Taliban leaders - Navy News News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

Now we're talkin'!

USS Ronald Reagan Strike Group Deploys

USS Ronald Reagan Strike Group Deploys

Monterey deploys for European missile defense - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

Monterey deploys for European missile defense - Navy News News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Come See the Blue Angels and Celebrate 100 Years of Naval Aviation

One of the great airshows in the country is again headlining your United States Navy Blue Angels. 

From - A Blast From the Past, and Maybe the Future

Does this news story bring back memories, or what? Iran is arranging to buy yellowcake in Africa:
A leaked intelligence report suggests Iran will be awarded with exclusive access to Zimbabwe's uranium in return for providing the country with fuel.
The report - compiled by the United Nations' nuclear watchdog - said Iran's Foreign and Co-operative Ministers had visited Zimbabwe to strike a deal, and sent engineers to assess uranium deposits. ...
Uranium ore, or yellow cake, can be converted to a uranium gas which is then processed into nuclear fuel or enriched to make nuclear weapons. ...
Zimbabwe's uranium stocks consist of an estimated 455,000 tons at Kanyemba, north of Harare. One metallurgist with knowledge of the deposit said it would take two to three years of development before it produced uranium and it would be exhausted in about five years.
Iran, of course, takes the long view. That report should be read in tandem with the Jerusalem Post's story titled "New Evidence of Iran's Nuclear Ambitions." I don't believe I had previously heard about the new National Intelligence Estimate to which the Post refers:
On March 1, the Pentagon announced it was sending the USS Monterey - a vessel equipped with the sophisticated Aegis radar system, capable of protecting Europe from a potential Iranian nuclear missile strike - to the Mediterranean. ...
Its deployment comes one week after the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a notably outspoken report on Iran's nuclear activities and lack of cooperation with inspectors operating under the UN Security Council's mandate.
Issued on February 25, the report appears to agree, at least in part, with the conclusions of a new US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, about which members of Congress and their staff were briefed a week earlier.
Together, the reports paint a picture of Iran persisting in its controversial nuclear activities despite international concern, although the US report suggests that sanctions and sabotage have slowed the program.
The latest NIE reportedly revises the conclusions of a controversial 2007 NIE on Iran, which argued that the regime had halted its clandestine work on a nuclear weapons program.
Well, sure. A Democrat is now in the White House, which changes the politics of what the intelligence community says about Iran.
You really should read the entire article as it relates to the IAEA report, which sets out in some detail how Iran is proceeding on various fronts and thumbing its nose at the IAEA. This struck me as especially notable:
Under a section titled "Possible Military Dimensions," the IAEA report refers to "new information recently received" as well as concerns "about the possible existence in Iran... of activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile."
This disturbing conclusion reinforces previous evidence that Iran is working hard to design a nuclear weapon small enough to fit on top of a missile less than three feet in diameter. It also suggests that Iran intends to design an implosion-type device, which is more challenging than the gun-type design used in the Hiroshima bomb and later developed by apartheid-era South Africa.
What we need now is for every liberal in America to explain why it is impossible for a tyrannical Middle Eastern regime that is bitterly hostile to the United States and the West to get yellowcake from Africa.

USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) frees Japanese merchant ship from pirate control


Bankcruptcy or Not - that is the question

The Chickens Come Home to Roost

A Fired Admiral

100 Years of Flying Off a Postage Stamp!

In the 100 years of Naval Aviation - there have been great names of US Navy Aircraft Carriers.  Name some of them - and tell me why.

Blue Angels and Turn of the Century Sailors Needed!

Where do I go to sign up??