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, April 2, 2011

Refurbished US Frigate Transferred to Pakistan Navy | Navy News at DefenseTalk

Refurbished US Frigate Transferred to Pakistan Navy Navy News at DefenseTalk Pretty sure - this is the one that went 'boom, pow, bang' and 'oops' when someone put, if memory serves, the ship in gear, not following the proper procedures, pierside, at FULL POWER! Big 'dent' in the bow, and lot's of embarrassment in the Pakastani Navy.

All-female team launches historic mission over Afghanistan | Air Force News at DefenseTalk

All-female team launches historic mission over Afghanistan Air Force News at DefenseTalk

British Minister Advocates British-French Nuclear Deterrent - Defense News

British Minister Advocates British-French Nuclear Deterrent - Defense News Sounds good in theory - but this really is a legacy of social spending that is out of control all over the world. This is just an excuse to cut defense spending. What happens the next time when social spending is not put under control?

Must Every Carrier be a Supercarrier? More GREAT comments at USNI Blog

virgil xenophon Says:

Grandpa Bluewater speak heap big medicine. The sad, horrible, ugly truth is that all the retained expertise in both the active and retired force is all for naught unless our politics get fixed. And to do THAT means doing something which most of us absolutely LOATH–which is to become VERY active 24/7 (in the same manner the communists burrow in–live, eat and sleep it) in both local AND national politics. At the local level the school board is vital. Checked out whats actually being taught in K-12 these days? Its naught but a propaganda/brain-washing exercise to install socialism/eco-fascism in all too many jurisdictions. Not overtly, mind you, most of the teachers are too–how shall I say this politely?–”politically unaware” to realize the source behind much of what is taught in Univ Education Depts and curriculum development associations like the ones William Ayers rides herd on. Latest surveys say 67% of those under 30 have a favorable view of socialism. Where do you think that’s coming from? Unless we get a grip on the culture wars long-term and electoral politics in the short-term, it’s all, as GB says, about re-arranging the deck chairs..

  • virgil xenophon Says:

    PS: Look at the PC rot within our own house. When the CNO of the Navy and the Super at Annapolis say “diversity” is their number one priority, and when the Chief of Staff of the Army states that, if the shooting at Ft. Hood harmed the concept of “diversity” in the armed forces, it would be an even GREATER tragedy than the death of his OWN TROOPS, one has ABSOLUTE living proof of the extent to which the leftist tide of cultural marxism–PC–has overwhelmed even people who should know better. The budget is out of whack because of the attempt of the left to “spread the wealth around” in the best leftist fashion. How do you think the mind-set of those that voted for Obama came to be developed? Did you know that Obama’s approval ratings among the college-age crowd has just hit a new HIGH!?–even as I type this?
    Yes, we have big short-term DOD budget problems, but they can ONLY get worse unless we fix/reverse the long-term cultural trends.

  • Harrier Ops Making Case for F-35B - Defense News

    Harrier Ops Making Case for F-35B - Defense News

    Wall Street Journal - We've Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers

    Absolutely frightening................

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    From Powerline - Are We Doomed?

    Dependency on foreign oil?...................

    Petraeus, Stavridis, and Willard Rise to the Top

    great read at Galhran's place

    Record Page Views Today - here's where they're from - 153 and counting

    United States77
    United Kingdom4

    Nassau decommissioned after 32 years of service - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

    sad photo, but proud ship
    Nassau decommissioned after 32 years of service - Navy News News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

    The Scoop Deck – Daly: Amphibious forces are more relevant than ever

    The Scoop Deck – Daly: Amphibious forces are more relevant than ever

    Read this comment - SPOT ON!

    Grandpa Bluewater Says:

    Here’s the deal. The government is broke and in unsustainable debt. The Congress is functionally deadlocked, having overpromised everybody to the point of inability to cut anything in the line of a social program for fear of loss of (the horror!) seats long considered safe.
    The nation’s will to fight has been sapped by forces obvious to anyone who watches the news and has read 2 history books about wars fought before 1955.
    Folks were told there was to be a “peace dividend” from transfer of funds from military readiness to income redistribution at the end of the cold war, and cut the armed services in half, and then in half again. The current “plan” in some quarters is to back away from any conflict in progress, ASAP… and do it again.
    At the same time deindustrialization proceeds apace, justified by the rush to “free” trade. The green’s environmental agenda has placed in-country natural resources increasingly out of reach, sopping up capital beyond that available to import resources, most notably energy.
    It’s all economics kids, and we’re in a death spiral. Thus the pressure for cheaper, less capable combatants and the snuffing out of auxiliaries. Not to mention jettisoning personnel with irreplacable expertise like a drunk lighting cigars with the cash in his wallet.
    Admirals, we’ve got lots of, and all problems are defined as failures of leadership and trust on the part of the jo’s (which includes anybody not an Admiral.) Summary relief is the universal remedy. That’ll fix it. Decisive career termination with prejudice, that’s the ticket! No straw for the bricks, it’s a failure of trust/leadership, pack your bags.
    We’re just imitating the decline of the Royal Navy, but 40 years behind. Only worse.
    Should present trends continue, what will the US Navy look like in 2111?
    Look upon the destiny set for you by the powers that be today, ye seamen, firemen, airmen, constructionmen, and commissioning aspirants….and despair.
    Don’t mind me, though. Feel free to return to rearranging deck chairs.

    Must Every Carrier be a Supercarrier?

    Great discussion at USNI blog - my take is that its good to have options.  Nothing prevents the US Navy from using a LHD as a 'harrier carrier' right now for hot spots that don't need a super carrier.  But I don't want people to think that this should in anyway take place of funding for super carriers.  We don't have enough of them.

    Size Doesn't Matter


    Thursday, March 31, 2011

    To President George W. Bush, From Barack, With Apologies -

    To President George W. Bush, From Barack, With Apologies - I admit this strays from the Navy mission a bit - thought it was an article that will draw reactions from both sides....

    Marines assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (22nd MEU) embark aboard the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5). (US Navy Photo)


    An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Knighthawks of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 136 launches from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). (US Navy Photo)

    How do they make them balance like this?

    USS Boxer (LHD 4) transits the Indian Ocean during well deck operations. (US Navy Photo)

    Port clearance in Miyako - March 30 - from 7th Fleet Facebook - update from Japan

    Port clearance in Miyako - March 30

    by U.S. 7th Fleet on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 6:23am

    Divers from Underwater Construction Team 2 ride a rigid-hull inflatable boat into Miyako harbor

    Seventh Fleet forces continue support of Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) in Operation Tomodachi. With Sendai airport now open for military flights – and soon to be opened for commercial flights as well -- 7th Fleet’s focus has shifted to harbor clearance, consolidating relief supplies at airfields ashore, and preparing to assist with clean-up of debris.

    USNS Safeguard (ARS 50) and USS Tortuga (LSD 46), Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5 and Underwater Construction Team 2 conducted additional surveys in preparation for port clearance operations at the port of Miyako.  Visual surveys show extensive damage including commercial and pleasure craft sunk, concrete pier supports washed ashore and a permanent pier destroyed.  Tortuga launched a Landing Craft Unit (LCU) equipped with side scan sonar to survey additional areas of the port.  The side scan sonar provides detailed visuals of the harbor bottom to identify and prioritize dive sites for clearing. During today’s survey, the dive team discovered the remains of a victim of the tsunami of March 11.  The Navy team immediately communicated the discovery to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, whose divers retrieved them.

    Sailors and Marines from the USS Essex amphibious ready group and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are planning for Operation “Field Day”, a clearing and clean up mission on the remote island of Oshima off the coast of Kessennuma.  In conjunction with the Japan Ground Self Defense Force, the effort will include clearing the port, and clearing debris from local schools and government buildings.  The island is dependent upon ferry service to and from the mainland, is the primary method for travel to/from the island and clearing the port allows this vital lifeline to resume.  Clearing and opening of schools and government buildings is a significant step towards restoring the island to normal.
    Helicopters from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 moved an additional 13 pallets of relief supplies from USS Essex (LHD 2), USS Germantown (LSD 42) and USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) to Misawa, where they will moved via C-130 aircraft to Sendai.  From there, JGSDF and civilian relief authorities will able to distribute the items to disaster areas as needed. The JGSDF has opened most roads in the disaster areas, and are able to move most goods to displaced persons via ground transportation.

    USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204) and USNS Pecos (T-AO 197) arrived at the port of Yokosuka today.  The Rappahannock transported 312 pallets of water it picked up from the port city of Gwangyang, South Korea. The water will be used by Fleet Industrial Supply Center (FISC) to support ongoing relief efforts. USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7) arrived in Sasebo.  Both Pecos and Carl Brashear are taking on fuel and ships stores prior to returning to the fleet to support relief operations.

    A P-3 “Orion” aircraft from the Skinny Dragons of Patrol Squadron Four (VP-4) conducted a search and rescue flight down the east coast of Japan to search for debris or objects at sea that could interfere with shipping.  The P-3 returned to Kadena Air Force Base (AFB) upon completion of the mission and will stage from there for continued relief efforts.

    The first of two U.S. Navy barges containing 500,000 gallons of fresh water from Commander, Facilities Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) was moved to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant today.  The second will arrive tomorrow. Japanese authorities will use the fresh water to replace salt water currently in some of the reactors.

    USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10) conducted resupply at sea (RAS) activities with USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Preble (DDG 88), USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), USS Mustin (DDG 89), USS Cowpens (CG 63), and USS Shiloh (CG 67),  ships of the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Carrier Strike Group (CSG), supplying fuel and additional supplies.  Most of the relief supplies on these ships have been moved ashore to airfields in Misawa or Sendai where the JSDF can better access them to deliver to people in need.

    Currently 16 ships, 130 aircraft and 13,076 personnel are actively engaged in operation Tomodachi.  Those ships include USS Tortuga (LSD 46), USNS Safeguard (T-ARS-50), USS Essex (LHD 2), USS Germantown (LSD 42), USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Preble (DDG 88), USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), USS Mustin (DDG 89), USS Cowpens (CG 63), USS Shiloh (CG 67), USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10), USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) and USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4).

    Since Operation Tomodachi started, U.S. 7th Fleet forces have delivered more than 250 tons of relief supplies to survivors of the tsunami and earthquake in support of Japan Self Defense Force efforts.

    Please "Like" U.S. 7th Fleet to receive future updates in your news feed.

    Yokota airmen help cool Japanese reactor - Air Force News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Air Force Times

    Yokota airmen help cool Japanese reactor - Air Force News News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Air Force Times Very cool - nice job guys!

    Strategist: Guam in reach of Chinese missiles - Air Force News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Air Force Times

    Strategist: Guam in reach of Chinese missiles - Air Force News News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Air Force Times

    Navy now says 11 hurt in Hornet engine fire - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

    Navy now says 11 hurt in Hornet engine fire - Navy News News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

    Northrop Grumman shipbuilding spinoff complete - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

    Northrop Grumman shipbuilding spinoff complete - Navy News News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times What impact on US Navy shipbuilding will it have?

    Ship building news -

    The Navy took delivery of the USNS Washington Chambers, (T-AKE 11), in San Diego on Wednesday.  Read the announcement from MSC here.  Only three T-AKEs still to go.  Bring on the T-AO program ASAP.  February 26, 2011.

    The Navy took delivery of the USS William P. Lawrence, (DDG 110), today in Pascagoula.  Read the announcement from Northrop Grumman here.  NGSB now has no DDGs left to build.  Three more were authorized in FY 2010 - two for NGSB and one for BIW - but as we all know, there has been no 2010 appropriation yet.  Unbelievably disruptive: major lay-offs seem inevitable, just as NGSB is about to become HuntIng Industries.  February 24, 2011. 

    Defense News reports that the Navy thinks it can get the cost of a new SSBN down from the original estimate of $7 billion to a mere $6 billion.  Read the story here.  Well, that's certainly great news.  That means that, all being well, we'll be able to afford a Navy with maybe 60 ships.  Whoopy-doo. 
    Let's see now.  According to the CBO, the Ohio class of SSBNs, which the new boats would replace, cost about $1.4 billion each, in 1983 dollars.  $1.4 billion to $6 billion over 28 years, that's an average growth rate of about 5.4%.  Over the same period, the Producer Price Index grew at 3.0%, giving a present value for $1.4 billion of $3.2 billion, roughly half what the Navy is aiming for.  What do we conclude?  First, shipbuilding costs are still going up, even in constant dollars, and, second, the Navy is still specifying gold-plated systems.  Why do we need these monsters, anyway?  Here's one program that is definitely going to be delayed, scaled down and stretched out.  February 23, 2011.

    Last week, NGSB delivered DDG 110 and started fabrication of CVN 79.  Both these events were announced with the usual overblown press releases.  Not so the launch of LPD 23, which took place the week before.  Not only no press release, the event wasn't even covered by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.  It did, however, make it into NGSB's employee newsletter, a copy of which you can read here.  So, how long before she is moved to Pascagoula?  Note that it took Avondale 176 weeks to erect this ship and based on past experience, as shown below, it will be another 90 before she's delivered.  Disgraceful.  February 27, 2011.
    #NameBuilderContract AwardKeel LayingLaunchDeliveryKL-L (weeks)L-D (weeks)KL-D (weeks)
    17San AntonioAvondale17-Dec-969-Dec-0012-Jul-0320-Jul-05135105241
    18New OrleansAvondale18-Dec-9814-Oct-0211-Dec-0422-Dec-06113106219
    19Mesa VerdeIngalls29-Feb-0025-Feb-0319-Nov-0428-Sep-0790148238
    20Green BayAvondale30-May-0011-Aug-0311-Aug-0629-Aug-08157107264
    21New YorkAvondale25-Nov-0310-Sep-0419-Dec-0721-Aug-0918187268
    22San DiegoIngalls1-Jun-0623-May-07 7-May-10154
    26John P. MurthaIngalls


    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    Deja Vu all over again - great post at Lex's place on arming the rebels in Libya

    Intelligence here would be a good thing.................

    Last time arriving, United States Ship Nassau LHA 4, Naval Station Norfolk after a 7 month deployment

    USS Nassau (LHA-4) returns to Naval Station Norfolk after a seven-month deployment supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.
    US Navy photo # 100815-N-0634R-002 NORFOLK (Aug. 15, 2010) by MC2 Kristan Robertson.

    USS Nassau LHA 4 - Update - Decommissioning tomorrow March 31, 2011 - Fair Winds to this grand lady

    Interesting information on decommissioning details...............

    USS Nassau (LHA-4) underway in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo by Mario Mederos, crew chief Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM-263) was taken during the Blue Eagles cruise to the Mediterranean in 1983.

    USS Nassau (LHA-4)underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    USS Nassau (LHA-4) pierside, Naval Station Rota Spain, date unknown.

    Right Call - Mayport is still important - bringing back a carrier

    Great post over at Sal's place..........................

    Repair, Maintenance Facility Assists with Japan Relief

    Repair, Maintenance Facility Assists with Japan Relief It pays to have the US Navy around..............outstanding support

    Rebels Retreat From Libya Oil Port Under Attack

    We continue to wonder who these rebels are..................some good?  some bad?

    America Returns to sea! In June 2007 the USS America Carrier Veterans Association got their wish - returning 'America' back to sea.

     Artists Rendoring of Precommissioning Unit America LHA 6
     Naming Ceremony of USS America LHA 6 with Board of Directors of USS America Carrier Veterans Association, Walt Wait, President (dark suite to right of placard).  SECNAV just to left of placard, Ships Sponsor Lynne Pace just left of SECNAV.  Wharf Rat is last one on the right.
     SECNAV, Miss America 2008, Mrs. Lynne Pace, Ships Sponsor, and General Peter Pace, former Chair of the Joint Chiefs
     Miss America 2008 with Wharf Rat's daughter
    Keel Authentication Ceremony, July 2009, Pascagula, MS

    Commissioning a US Navy Warship - The Great Start of American History. I've had the good fortune of attending 3 ceremonies in the last two years.

    USS Gravely DDG 107 Commissioning Day - Wharf Rat on deck!
     Commissioning Day in San Diego, USS Makin Island LHD 8, October 2009.  Wharf Rat with the middle kid
    Commissioning Day, January 2009, USS George H W Bush with the oldest on the flight deck right above the date stamp on the photo
            Every US Navy Ship I've ever been on has been tied to a wharf, museum or active duty.  I need to get my sea bag and get to see the sea!

    Relief Operations continue on USS Essex LHD 2 (US Navy Photo)

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    More than 5,000 choose to leave Japan - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

    More than 5,000 choose to leave Japan - Navy News News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

    Workers at Japan Nuke Plant 'Lost the Race' to Save Reactor, Expert Says

    The question I have is now what are the implications for the Japanese people in and around the area, and the relief workers, including US Military members who are in the area?

    US Navy P-3C, USAF A-10 and USS Barry Engage Libyan VesselsJoint Task Force Odyssey Dawn Public Affairs

    U.S. Africa Command Home Now this is what I'm talkin' those Harrier pilots from Kearsarge would have wanted to be in the mix! This is the first report I've seen where an A-10 Warthog was deployed to the area. One of the best aircraft in any Air Force's inventory.

    C-17 checked for radiation - this will be a serious situation for some time to come

     Senior Airman Eva Gaus, left, and Senior Airman Jonathan Jones, right, both assigned to 374th Civil Engineer Squadron, indicate all clear to the pilot after checking beta and gamma radiation at Yokota Air Base. A C-17 Globemaster III aircraft transported troops from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force and vehicles from Okinawa for relief efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Yasuo Osakabe/Released)

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    Despite the success that the carrier has demonstrated over the years, we still have guys like this one who argues they are not essential.

    Harriers on the USS Kearsarge LHD 3 - now you see them, now you don't

    A Harrier jet aircraft assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU) returns to the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) for fuel and ammunition resupply while conducting air strikes supporting Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn. (US Navy Photo)

    All F-35s Cleared To Resume Flight Tests - Defense News

    UK aircraft carrier for sale on Internet - just doesn't seem right

    Farewell to a grand lady......fair winds to you...............

    Russia warns Poland against hosting US fighter jets | Air Force News at DefenseTalk

    Russia warns Poland against hosting US fighter jets Air Force News at DefenseTalk Russia is a paper tiger - and other than blowing smoke so they can give the illusion they are a super power, they know we have no interest in bothering them militarily........................

    Royal Navy's decline in a picture - at Sal's Place
    ex-HMS Invincible, with HMS Ark Royal awaiting her fate

    Fact File

    Invincible Class Aircraft Carriers
    NamePennant Number
    Invincible (Decomissioned)RO5
    Ark Royal (Decomissioned)RO7