Thursday, July 28, 2016

Geopolitical Games with Submarine Pawns

Case #1  U.K.  v. Spain  (Gibraltar)

Background:  26 Jun, 2016 | UK sent a nuclear submarine to Gibraltar yesterday in a show of force against Spain. The move was seen as a response to the Spanish who, emboldened by the shock Brexit result, had demanded joint sovereignty over the Rock on the very same day. 

“There will be no discussion on joint sovereignty – the UK Government has made that clear.”  - source

Interim:
Damaged nuclear-powered submarine HMS Ambush still in port following Gibraltar collision

Foreground:
The chief minister of HM Government of Gibraltar said in a statement last week that "Gibraltar has proudly served as a port of call to provide shelter to the Royal Navy for centuries and this latest visit is no different. HMS Ambush is therefore as welcome today on the Rock as ever."  source


Case #2  U.S.  v.  N.K.  (DPRK)

"The United States imposed economic sanctions Wednesday on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other government officials for their role in human rights abuses in the isolated country, particularly the running of forced labor camps and the torture and executions of dissidents.

The unusual but not unprecedented step of blacklisting a head of state is part of a concerted effort to step up pressure on Pyongyang that began in March when the U.N. Security Council and then the United States imposed harsh restrictions on trade with North Korea over its testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Interim:
July 26 | North Korea reportedly constructing new larger submarine pens

North Korea has accused the United States of declaring war after Kim Jong Un was put on its list of sanctioned people.  Today

Foreground:  Special Operations Command has contracted Lockheed Martin to provide midget submarines to support US Navy SEALs
The DCS is strictly a transportation submarine, capable of carrying six or more SEALs. The most recent prototype can travel up to 60 nautical miles at a depth of 190 feet.

Mini-submarines are used to infiltrate hostile areas with accessible coastlines. SEALs reportedly infiltrated Somalia in 2003 using mini-subs. They would also be useful in countries such as North Korea, Pakistan, China, or even Russia.


Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

ANSWERS Submarine Multiple Choice Questions of the Week - 18 July 2016

Related information, photo(s) and links for questions are found in the original posting here. 

Questions of the Week with ANSWERS

1 -  What 'Consumer Discretionary' company recently agreed to assist the U.S. Navy in development of hydrogen fuel cells for fleets of submarine drones (UUVs)?
a) Duracell
b) Eveready
c) ANSWER > General Motors  
d) Electric Boat

The following relate to the Royal Navy's ballistic nuclear missile subs:
2 -  What are"letters of last resort"?
a)  pleas by ballistic missile sub sailors addressed to wives / girlfriends.
b)  ANSWER > identically-worded, handwritten letters from the Prime Minister to commanding officers of his four British ballistic missile submarines.  many sources
c)  pleas by creditors addressed to ballistic missile sub sailors to make payments before repossession.
d)  offers from the Chief Admiral of the Royal Australian Navy to transfer to his Collins-class subs.

3 - Does Brittain's royal monarch sign or receive a copy of such"letters of last resort"?
a)  absolutely
b)  definitely not
c)  never even consulted about them
d)  ANSWER > 
unknown: no authoritative reference was found 

4 - What part does BBC-4 Radio play in using such "letters of last resort"?
a)  BBC-4 has a strong reputation for comedy, plus experimental and alternative comedy.
b)  BBC-4 broadcasts a wide variety of of spoken-word programmes including news and science.
c)  BBC-4 never goes off air.
d)  ANSWER > BBC-4 signals British Trident ballistic missile subs when to open "letters of last resort"?  (According to Peter Hennessy's book The Secret State: Whitehall and the Cold War, 1945 to 1970, the process by which a Vanguard-class submarine commander would determine if the British government continues to function includes, amongst other checks, establishing whether BBC Radio 4 continues broadcasting.
[8])
 
5 - Is it necessary for British Royal Navy (RN) Trident ballistic missile subs to ascertain the health or disposition of the Royal Monarch prior to opening "letters of last resort"?
a)  unnecessary
b)  absolutely
c)  ANSWER > unknown: no authoritative reference was found
d)  not possible

6 - In what section of a Trident sub are "letters of last resort" maintained?
a)  the mess deck
b)  ANSWER > the control room
c)  the commanding officer's stateroom
d)  the reactor compartment

7 - Within the above submarine section how are "letters of last resort" stored?
a)  in a locked file cabinet by sailor name
b)  under a sailor's mattress, usually
c)   ANSWER > in a double safe (outer and an inner)
d)  they are immediately incinerated after reading

8 - When must "letters of last resort" be destroyed?
a)  Only when a new skipper assumes command.
b)  Only when related debts have been paid.
c)  Only when the British government, Prime Minister and his "second" have been been incapacitated.
d)  ANSWER > When a newer version is authorized by a successor PM.     


Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Submarine (Multiple Choice) Questions of the Week

This week's theme: Paradoxes in recent (the past 30 days) news...

The Questions

1 -  What 'Consumer Discretionary' company recently agreed to assist the U.S. Navy in development of hydrogen fuel cells for fleets of submarine drones (UUVs)?
a) Duracell
b) Eveready
c) General Motors
d) Electric Boat

The following relate to the Royal Navy's ballistic nuclear missile subs: 
2 -  What are"letters of last resort"?
a)  pleas by ballistic missile sub sailors addressed to wives / girlfriends.
b)  identically-worded, handwritten letters from the Prime Minister to commanding officers of his four British ballistic missile submarines.
c)  pleas by creditors addressed to ballistic missile sub sailors to make payments before repossession(s).
d)  offers from the Chief Admiral of the Royal Australian Navy to transfer to his Collins-class subs.

3 - Does Brittain's royal monarch sign or receive a copy of such"letters of last resort"?
a)  absolutely
b)  definitely not 
c)  never even consulted about them
d)  unknown

4 - What part does BBC-4 Radio play in using such "letters of last resort"?
a)  BBC-4 has a strong reputation for comedy, plus experimental and alternative comedy.
b)  BBC-4 broadcasts a wide variety of of spoken-word programmes including news and science.
c)  BBC-4 never goes off air.
d)  BBC-4 signals British Trident ballistic missile subs when to open "letters of last resort"?

5 - Is it necessary for British Royal Navy (RN) Trident ballistic missile subs to ascertain the health or disposition of the Royal Monarch prior to opening "letters of last resort"?
a)  unnecessary
b)  absolutely
c)  unknown
d)  not possible

6 - In what section of a Trident sub are "letters of last resort" maintained? 
a)  the mess deck
b)  the control room
c)  the commanding officer's stateroom
d)  the reactor compartment

7 - Within the above submarine section how are "letters of last resort" stored?
a)  in a locked file cabinet by sailor name
b)  under a sailor's mattress, usually
c)  in a double safe
d)  they are immediately incinerated after reading

8 - When must "letters of last resort" be destroyed?
a)  Only when a new skipper assumes command.
b)  Only when related debts have been paid.
c)  Only when the British government, Prime Minister and his "second" have been been incapacitated.
d)  When a newer version is authorized by a successor PM.

ANSWERS: Thursday, 21 July

Submarines are always silent and strange.





 


 

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Morale? Perhaps, But Intrigue for Sure

Background: July 2016

"US navy researchers conduct tests to grow vegetables on submarines

 The $100,000 research project was born out of a hackathon at the Under Sea Warfare Center where sailors said they wanted salads to be served on submarines. Holman said providing fresh food will act as a morale booster and help the navy retain sailors. ...Fresh vegetables only last the first seven to 10 days of submarine deployment, which tend to be three months. After that, sailors have to resort to frozen fruit and vegetables."


note 1- The "hackathon" began ...[in Oct. 2014] when 35 NUWC scientists and engineers pitched 47 ideas in response to four undersea technology challenges: submarine stealth, platform design, payload technology and sailors’ quality of life.

note 2 -  The main hurdle facing Holman will be how to get the gardens onto submarines that have limited space. He is confident the current 40ft shipping container could be scaled down but submariners he’s spoken with have expressed doubt. 


Submarine Quote of the Week 

note 3- Retired navy captain Ronald Steed, a former sub skipper, expressed doubts over how much it could feed a crew of 170 on board a submarine for three months.

[I]t would be a real challenge to fit a garden on a submarine, where space is extremely tight, “but if they could do it, that would be awesome”. - Ronald Steed, former sub skipper [ibid.]  

A Lame Cover Story at Best 

How so, we may ask?

We should not confuse NASA's zero-gravity and elevated radiation crop production research to enable human space pioneering with submarine hydroponics (although space limitations are similarly constraining).  Much of NASA's research has been done here on the planet as shown in the photo below.  


note 4-  One of the earliest hydroponics successes dates from 1936. Wake Island was used as a refuelling stop for Pan American Airlines (due to the long distances of Pacific flights. Hydroponics provided vegetables for passengers because Wake Island had virtually no soil and it was also too expensive to airlift in fresh vegetables at the time.

note 5-  Fast forward to 2016. There is hardly a need to re-invent innovations like this one, which already exists:

What then might be the purpose of such a ridiculous cover story?
  •  Could explain frequent loading and offloading of suspicious shipping containers around the globe (e.g. labeled "HYDROPONICS")
  •     The more such containers are observed, the less conspicuous they would appear to observers.
  •     Fits nicely with recent assignment of women to subs. Should anyone be surprised if the underlying "salad research" persists for years?
note 4-  Some of Vigilis's shipmates recall the frog discovered by their culinary staff among fresh salad greens barged in as we "anchored out" from Naples.  Yes, "it" was excellent for our submariners' morale!

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Latest Court News - No Submarine Evidence (Photo)

Known Timeline (2004 - 2016)

2004 - French trawler BUGALED BREIZH sinks on January 15th with the loss of its (5-man) crew.

2007 - British and Dutch submarines were cleared by French court officials of any involvement in the sinking.

2008 - Inquiry concludes a nuclear submarine snagging the boat's trawl was the "highly probable cause" of the sinking, but the judges recommended the investigation be wound up, with no guilty party traced.

2010 - [April] A French appeal court relaunches investigation to try to identify what US submarines were in the vicinity at the time.

2010 - [May]   No "Submarine Expert" Would Even Ask: Story Unravelled   Molten Eagle's observed, "Salles is hoping that the transformational Obama administration will share more details about any subs in the area of casualty on 15 January 2004. Is he correct?" Note: Molten Eagle has always said, "Submarines are always silent and strange."

2014 - The inquiry was eventually thrown out by a court in Nantes in 2014.

2015 - Appeal court in Rennes rules there was no evidence that a submarine was involved or that it was a fishing accident.

2016 - France's Court of Cassation, France's court of final appeal for civil and criminal matters, said there was no evidence to support the claim, nor that it was a fishing accident. The latest decision of France's highest judicial court backs up the ruling by the appeal court in Rennes in May 2015. 

Photo: Salvaged Trawler BUGALED BREIZH 

Note the circled hull depression (which was evident on port side, as well).  The depressions have been explained in the opinion of some experts [translated] as follows [color emphasis mine]:
"4 / The hull of BUGALED BREIZH presents a depression of the shell, on both sides, at the fish hold. It is the sign of a quick drive to the bottom, causing the implosion of the fish hold remained closed by the water pressure. If classic shipwreck by water such as water seeps everywhere, but the process takes time and leaves the crew of survival."  five more expert opinions (untranslated) here
When state security is involved, evidential protocols regarding "Submarines are always silent and strange". 

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Monday, July 04, 2016

ANSWERS: Submarine Questions from 29 JUN 2016

Related information, photo(s) and links for questions are found in the original posting here

Questions of the Week with ANSWERS

1 -  Whose eponymous work, often found in the wardrooms of commissioned U.S. submarines (for example) has one author become renowned for in the context of open source intelligence (OSINT) (author's name and volume's title)?  
ANS:  Early military gamer (John) 'Fred T' Jane (6 August 1865 – 8 March 1916) authored All the World’s Fighting Ships (known currently as Jane’s Fighting Ships). Its volumes catalogued warships of each country, providing details of armaments, crew composition, etc.

2 -  When did the author referenced above first publish his naval version of such works?

ANS:   Jane's published the first volume of All the World’s Fighting Ships was published in 1898, by the American publisher Little, Brown and Co.

3 -  What was the late author's nationality? 

ANS:  Jane, born in Richmond, Surrey, was English.
 
4 -  In what science fiction novel did this author decribe a 'matter transmitter' for space travel (title and year of publication).

ANSTo Venus in Five Seconds: An Account of the Strange Disappearance of Thomas Plummer, Pillmaker.  To Venus in Five Seconds was published in 1897.
 
5 -  What Medical Doctor and university professor currently curates a digital library of world naval operational news from open source intelligence (name, specialty and university where tenured)?

ANSMichael P. D'Alessandro, M.D., Professor of Radiology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Pediatric Radiologist, The University of Iowa Children's Hospital
 
6 -  What is the name of the web address and name of the digital library referenced in 5-?
ANSNOSI – Naval Open Source Intelligence™

Below [ss shown originally] are two examples of photographic open source submarine history from other OSINT sources. One taken before a tragedy, the other after a different tragedy.

7 - Identify the two subs and describe the fates of those crew members shown. 
ANS:
"In 1939 the Sargo-class submarine USS Squalus (SS-192) sank off the coast of New Hampshire during a test dive. On May 23, the diesel-electric submarine went down resulting in the death of 26 sailors. Thirty-three [photo above] survived." source
 

Submarines are always silent and strange. 

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Open Source Questions of the Week: 29 JUN 16

Background

In a temporary departure from our Questions of the Week, which have related almost entirely to naval submarines, this edition's quizzes the vital, underlying concept called OSINT (open source intelli-gence):
"Open-source intelligence under one name or another has been around for hundreds of years. The significance today of OSINT in the USA is the conflict between military, government, and the private sector as to how the bulk of intelligence should be obtained. With the advent of instant communications and rapid information transfer, a great deal of actionable and predictive intelligence can now be obtained from public, unclassified sources." - Wikipedia, open source intelligence

OSINT Questions of the Week

1 -  Whose eponymous work, often found in the wardrooms of commissioned U.S. submarines (for example) has one author become renowned for in the context of open source intelligence (OSINT) (author's name and volume's title)?

2 -  When did the author referenced above first publish his naval version of such works?

3 -  What was the late author's nationality?

4 -  In what science fiction novel did this author decribe a 'matter transmitter' for space travel (title and year of publication).

5 -  What Medical Doctor and university professor currently currates a digital library of world naval operational news from open source intelligence (name, specialty and university where tenured)?

6 -  What is the name of the web address and name of the digital library referenced in 5-?

Below are two examples of photographic open source submarine history from other OSINT sources. One taken before a tragedy, the other after a different tragedy.

7 - Identify the two subs and describe the fates of those crew members shown.



ANSWERS:   MONDAY, 4 JULY 16

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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