Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Gratuitous Fractures in Submarine World's Traditional Silence

Note:  Molten Eagle has emphasized some portions of quotations  with color and/or underlining:

( 1 ) 

Britain - Strategy Page10 SEP 16
Morale: How The Internet Cripples SSBN Operations

"In Britain the Royal Navy has found it impossible to attract enough qualified sailors to operate all its nuclear submarines, especially the SSBNs (nuclear powered subs carrying ballistic missiles). The reason is that SSBNs stay at sea for 90 days at a time wanting for a brief message to fire its missiles at pre-arranged targets. The problem is that too many otherwise qualified sailors and officers are not willing to spend 90 days without Internet access.  This shortage has already reduced the number of days British SSBNs can spend at sea."  

( 2 )  

U.S. - The Seattle Times Opinion by David Hall and Leonard Eiger | 27 SEP 16
Next president has a nuclear option: Scrap the program 

"HAVE you seen the Seattle bus ads?  They read: “20 miles west of Seattle is the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the U.S.” ...

One hydrogen bomb deployed from Naval Base Kitsap on Hood Canal could wipe out a large city like Seattle and make the land uninhabitable for centuries. Look up the presentation “One city, one bomb” to understand the devastating potential of modern nuclear weapons."


*******

The item below is not submarine-related. However, U.S. submarine aficionados may  appreciate the obvious contrast in: (1) The speed of removing Navy Bios for "loss of confidence" submarine COs with the still live link for the Rear Admiral mentioned below; as well as (2) The guilty plea of an *NCIS Supervisory Special Agent.

( 3 ) 

U.S.  - The FCPA Blog  | 16 SEP 16
Two new indictments in Navy's ‘Fat Leonard’ bribery scandal 

A total of 16 individuals have now been charged in connection with the scandal. Of those, 11 are current or former U.S. Navy officials.

Most of the Navy personnel have been charged with taking bribes from Francis in exchange for passing to him sensitive information about ship movements and schedules. Some were charged with lying to investigators about their relationship with Francis and his company.

They are:
*Admiral Robert Gilbeau
Captain (ret.) Michael Brooks
Commander Bobby Pitts
Lt. Commander Gentry Debord
Captain Daniel Dusek
Commander Michael Misiewicz
Lt. Commander Todd Malaki
Commander Jose Luis Sanchez
Petty Officer First Class Daniel Layug
*NCIS Supervisory Special Agent John Beliveau, and
Paul Simpkins, a former DoD civilian employee who oversaw contracting in Singapore.

*Gilbeau, Dusek, Misiewicz, Malaki, *Beliveau, Sanchez, Layug, and Simpkins have pleaded guilty.



Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Answers: Submarine QOTW 12 SEP 16

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

Answers to Submarine Questions of the Week  

1- Identify the vessels and location pictured [in photo by Sean D. Elliot/The Day].  ANS:
The schooners Mystic Whaler (background), and Spirit of South Carolina (foreground) pass Ledge Light sailing up the Thames River.  

2- During what event was this [photo by Sean D. Elliot/The Day] taken? ANS: The Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival Parade of Sail, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016.

The Maritime Heritage Festival is considered one of the last events tied to Submarine Century, a yearlong celebration to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton

******
According to the The Day, the 500-foot U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer USS Ramage dominated "the landscape" outside Fort Trumbull.  (My tongue-in-cheek guess is that somewhere quite hidden an SSN was actually dominating, well, you know, the actual non-landscape naval domain).
Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Recent Submarine Curiosities Around Globe

 Curiosity 1  (?)
Can you identify the vessels and location pictured below?
During what event was this?
M.E. CommentAnswers Friday
Curiosity 2  (US)
(Actual accompanying photo)
M.E. Comment:  Are those storm clouds rising?
 
 Curiosity 3 (INDIA)
A critical component of the almost $100 million training programme was a group of 11 officers who were to be trained by Russian experts for operating nuclear reactors on submarines. This group was to play a critical leadership role as India’s nuclear submarine capabilities reached the maturity to launch nuclear missiles.

In a bizarre twist to that pioneering effort, all the senior reactor operators, nine of them, have been denied promotion to the rank of Captain, despite their expensive and exclusive skills in commissioning, operating and maintaining nuclear reactors on submarines
 
 M.E. Comment:  Did Vice-Admiral Chatterjee manipulate the promotion process in such a way that he has been the Reviewing Officer for his own son-in-law for family benefit, or because the unpromoted officers are too valuable to INS nuclear subs to promote?  Well, read the linked story. 

 Curiosity 4 (Canada)
Partner with Australia for submarines
The Canadian government has an opportunity to partner with Australia to build DCNS Barracuda-class subs for the Royal Canadian Navy. 

 M.E. Comment:  But read the next curiosity --- is the price of those boats about to rise with India cancelling its big INS order?  India Drops Plans to Add 3 More French Stealth Attack Submarines.

Curiosity 5  (India)
The Indian Navy has purportedly shelved plans to add more French submarines to its fleet following the DCNS leak.  The INS will not procure additional Scorpene-class (Kalvari-class) diesel-electric attack submarines from France's DCNS, following the leak of documents detailing the top-secret combat capabilities of India’s new submarine fleet, according to media reports.
“India has ordered only six Scorpene submarines and orders have not been placed for three more as reported by some media. Therefore question of cancellation does not arise,” an Indian naval officer told Reuters.

 M.E. Comment: The less work for DCNS, the higher its residual overhead costs per hour of production.  If there was no agreement for 3 additional subs, why has justification been cited? India's defence official said he did not expect any movement on that project until the investigation into the Scorpene leak was completed and new security measures put in place. In other words, for leverage.

 Curiosity 6 (United Kingdom)
Morale: How The Internet Cripples SSBN Operations
In Britain the Royal Navy has found it impossible to attract enough qualified sailors to operate all its nuclear submarines, especially the SSBNs (nuclear powered subs carrying ballistic missiles). The reason is that SSBNs stay at sea for 90 days at a time .... The problem is that too many otherwise qualified sailors and officers are not willing to spend 90 days without Internet access. This shortage has already reduced the number of days British SSBNs can spend at sea 
 
 M.E. Comment:  What has changed since the Cold War has been the waning interest of the recruiting pool in military service and modern youths' dependence upon their communication culture. (U.K., France, U.S., etc.).  

 Curiosity 7 (Australia)
Submarine Data Leak Roils Three Governments
The revelation Aug. 24 by an Australian newspaper that thousands of pages of presumably secret submarine documents were on the loose shook governments in Canberra, New Delhi and Paris. The news threatened the operational security of India’s new Scorpene-class submarines, embarrassed French shipbuilder DCNS, and raised security questions about Australia’s recent Australian $50 billion deal with DCNS for 12 Shortfin Barracuda submarines, of a design similar to the Scorpenes.

As reported by The Australian newspaper, a reporter was shown samples of up to 24,500 pages of highly technical data on the Scorpene submarine, an advanced, non-nuclear design that has been exported by DCNS to several countries. The documents, said The Australian, include highly technical drawings, specifications and operational capability descriptions of the submarine’s stealth features; noise signatures at different speeds; range, endurance, diving depths, magnetic and infrared data.  

DCNS has been made aware of articles published in the Australian press related to the leakage of sensitive data about (the) Indian Scorpene,” the company told Defense News on Aug. 23. “This serious matter is being thoroughly investigated by the ...  French national authorities for defense security,” DCNS said."

M.E. Comment:  There is ample blame to go around, hence very expensive learning opportunities.


Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Unfathomable Submarine Quote of the Month (29 AUG 2016)

BACKGROUND

MELBOURNE, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- A French shipbuilder plans to seek an injunction to prevent further publication of information contained in 22,400 secret documents about stealth submarines built for India. 

UNFATHOMABLE Quotes  

First, with previously hidden Scorpene data now revealed...

"Any leak of information is viewed very seriously. We have viewed the leak of Scorpene data very seriously and we have asked (French firm) DCNS to launch an urgent investigation into this." - Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, Indian Navy 

Yet, before mitigation measures are even identified and certainly unimplemented... 

"This is not a matter of much worry. The committee is analysing and they will see what data has been compromised and what mitigation steps have to be taken." - Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, Indian Navy 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ <>_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Retired Rear Adm. John Padgett, former commander of U.S. Pacific fleet Submarine Force, warned the leaks would undermine confidence in ability of French companies to protect classified information. Padgett, also the current president of the U.S. Naval Submarine League, said, "It is never good for an opponent to have your playbook."

He said "aggressive action" is needed to investigate the leak and France should share the outcome with Australia.

M. E. Comment:  According to today's NDTV article (Press Trust of India),  the high-level review committee responsible for analysing risks connected with the leak(s) will issue its findings to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in three weeks ( by September 20 ).
Also, some of the pages leaked cover top secret data on the capabilities of six highly advanced submarines being built for the Navy in Mumbai in collaboration with French company DCNS in a project worth more than $3 billion. DCNS also recently won a contract to design Australia's new $50 billion submarine fleet.

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Answers to Submarine Q.O.T.W. from AUG 11, 2016

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

Questions of the Week (Q.O.T.W.) with ANSWERS

1 - Which, if any, of the 5 closures on the SecDef's 2005 hit list were major naval installations?
ANSWERTwo - (1) Naval Submarine Base New London and, (2) Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. 

2 - Which, if any, of the major naval installations on the SecDef's 2005 hit list were submarine related installations?   ANSWER:  Originally, Naval Submarine Base New London and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, but both were later removed from the original closure list.
[ibid]

3 - How many members are appointed to serve on the BRAC Commission?  ANSWER: The latest (2005) Defense Base Closure and Realignments Commission (BRAC) was comprised of 9-members.  [ibid.]

4 - Who chaired the 2005 BRAC Commission?  ANSWERAnthony Principi 

5 - When did a SecDef last seek a new BRAC Commission, and who was he?  ANSWEROn March 2015,  Defense secretary Ashton Carter directed his (acting) Asst. Secretary of Defense,
John Conger to request authority for another BRAC during Congressional testimony.  

6 - What high ranking Navy appointee spoke very recently of a new BRAC round?   ANSWERNavy Seretary Ray Mabus was quoted August 9th as supporting another Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round.   

 7 -  State officials recently claimed that there are national security interests in keeping waterways clear for the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, Conn., and U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.  What state expressed such a claim, and in what context was that claim made?  ANSWER: Connecticut, of course, made the national security claim to defend its controversial plan to relocate dredged materials into New York state Long Island Sound.    

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Submarine QOTW 11 AUG 2016

Background

BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) is the federal government's method of assuring Department of Defense efficiency in use and upkeep of U.S. military installations. More than 350 installations have been closed in five BRAC rounds since 1988.  The current process was created in 1988 to reduce pork barrel politics when facilities in Congress's home states face reduction.

The most recent process began in May 2005, when the U.S. Secretary of Defense forwarded his recommendations for realignments and closures to the  BRAC Commission.  The BRAC Commission removed 5 major installations from the Secretary of Defenses's closure list.

Questions of the Week

1 - Which, if any, of the 5 closures on the SecDef's 2005 hit list were major naval installations?

2 - Which, if any, of the major naval installations on the SecDef's 2005 hit list were submarine related installations?

3 - How many members are appointed to serve on the BRAC Commission?

4 - Who chaired the 2005 BRAC Commission?

5 - When did a SecDef last seek a new BRAC Commission, and who was he.

6 - What high ranking Navy appointee also spoke recently of a new BRAC round?

7 -  State officials recently claimed that there are national security interests in keeping waterways clear for the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, Conn., and U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.  What state expressed such a claim, and in what context was that claim made? 

ANSWERS:  Monday, 15 August

Submarines are always silemt and strange.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Submarine Quote of the Month (August 2016)

Background 

“It’s very clear (the Defense Department) as a whole has excess capacity, you need something to shrink that,” said Mabus in an interview with the Connecticut Mirror. “I’m sure we’d have something (on the base-closure list), but I don’t know what that would be.”

He said all Navy facilities, including sub bases like the one in New London, would be scrutinized in a new BRAC round, but he indicated the impact on the Navy and Marine Corps would be less severe than on the Army or Air Force.

Submarine Quote of the Month

Washington —

“The last BRAC round was in 2004, and the first several years I was here, I was still writing checks for that,” Mabus said. “If you are going to do something like this, you have to be more the ‘C’ than just the ‘R.’  If you just realign, it’s going to take a long time to save money…you actually have to close things.”  - Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, "Outgoing Navy secretary still urging a base-closing round",  Connecticut Mirror,  August 9, 2016.

Braggadocio [exaggerated talk of someone trying to sound very proud]

Mabus set a Navy goal of 308 battle force ships, consisting of aircraft carriers, submarines, surface combatants, amphibious, combat logistics, and support ships. That plan includes an increase of 10 Virginia-class attack submarines built by Electric Boat. The fleet today numbers 273 ships and subs.

“When I got here the fleet was declining, declining precipitously,” said Mabus, who took the reins of the Navy in 2009.  [implying the U.S. Navy is declining no longer]

Questions of the Week

1 - When did the U.S. Navy's fleet last have 273 ships?  1930 (eleven years before WW2)
2 - When did the U.S. Navy's fleet last have 308 ships?  1931 (ten years before WW2).
3 - Did Secretary Mabus brag in hopes of a future Democrat Navy Secretary naming a naval combatant the USS Ray Mabus?

Submarines are always silent and strange.
 

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