Friday, February 26, 2010

An SSN SNAFU First


Click to enlarge. More on the first female submariner here.


Submarines are always silent and strange.





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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

UPDATES: Submarine History NOT made; more problem detail surfaces

Did Minister of Defense Zahid dive with the crew? Had the defense minister dived with the crew submarine history would have been made. Unfortunately, Zahid did not live up to his promise, and no new submarine history was made:
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(Latest: Feb 28, 2010): Asked if he had participated in the submarine’s test dive, Ahmad Zahid said he was advised against it but stressed he had faith in the Royal Malaysian Navy officers. [M.E.- Hmmm! Now we know for certain.]
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(February 20, 2010): Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had saidI will join the crew for a dive test,” adding that the problem was “thankfully, quite minor and of no cost to us because the submarine is still under warranty.” He said he would personally test the KD Tunku Abdul Rahman.
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AND...
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What was the a technical defect that prevented this boat from diving for three months (the generalized description used by officials)?
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(LATEST STATEMENT) Zahid said the technical defect, which affected the submarine’s high-pressure air valve system, had been rectified by the manufacturer and contractor under a warranty agreement.
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(PREVIOUS STATEMENTS)
A) RMN Chief Abdul Aziz Jafar told Malay Mail that problems emerged in the submarine's cooling system.
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B) "The damage involves a part that channels water pressure movement which caused the submarine's failure to launch underwater," Royal Malaysian Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar told reporters.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.







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Monday, February 22, 2010

The ANSWERS - Submarine Questions of the Week - 2-18-2010

Submarine Questions of the Week background originally posted here.
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1) Which submarine name brings feral swine to mind?
ANSWER: USS Razorback (SS-394)
Definitions Razorback:
a) a mongrel hog with a thin body and long legs and a ridged back; a wild or semi-wild descendant of improved breeds; found chiefly in the southeastern United States
b) any of several baleen whales of the family Balaenopteridae having longitudinal grooves on the throat and a small pointed dorsal fin
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2) Which submarine was affectionately called the hog?
ANSWER: USS HENRY L. STIMSON (SSBN-655); NICKNAME - "The Hog"
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Submarine History Expected Monday

February 20, 2010 - KUALA LUMPUR - The Star News -

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi wants to take part in an underwater test of the vessel on Monday.

“I will join the crew for a dive test,” he said, adding that the the problem was “thankfully, quite minor and of no cost to us because the submarine is still under warranty.” He said he would personally test the KD Tunku Abdul Rahman.

When was the last time any Defense Minister (or a U.S. Secretary of Defense) participated in a submarine's diving trial? Should Dr. Zahid actually accompany the crew on a sea trial, this would very likely become a first instance in the annals of submarine history. Some background to the underlying French warranty problem can be found here. One way or the other, this story will be updated by M.E.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.


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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Connecting the Dots.. Submarine Questions of the Week - 2-18-2010


Background...

Carrying disease, eating "pretty much anything" and uprooting lawns, crops and golf courses, the pigs are a serious concern for wildlife officials in the 36 states with established populations, said Joseph Corn of the Southern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia.
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Current News...
The World Health Organization’s influenza experts have finished a four-day meeting and decided that protection against H1N1 swine flu should be included in the next regular flu-season vaccine.
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February 14, 2010 - The Beaufort Gazette - Feral pigs go hog wild in South Carolina, worrying naturalists Lethal removal would help keep the numbers down, but it won't control the population, said Jack Mayer, a feral-swine expert at the Savannah River National Laboratory in Aiken . You'd have to kill 70 percent every year for nine years to keep the population under control. That's a tough order. Game hunting now only accounts for 20 to 50 percent of the population. South Carolina has 90,000 to 280,000 wild hogs, according to Jack Mayer
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"We don't have a good handle on the actual population," Mayer said. "We say that there are 2 to 6 million wild hogs nationally.
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Location of wild hogs by state (five largest state populations - estimates)
1. Texas ... 233 of 254 counties ... 1,000,000-3,000,000
2. Florida ... All 67 counties ... 300,000-1,000,000
3. Georgia ... 137 of 159 counties ... 200,000-600,000
4. California ... 56 out of 58 counties ... 200,000-400,000
5. Alabama ... All 67 counties in the state ... 90,000-300,000
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Submarine Questions of the Week (Answers Monday)
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1) Which submarine name brings feral swine to mind?
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2) Which submarine was affectionately called the hog?
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

German Sailors in Foreign Port, 0 - Mothers, 1

This class of German frigates (commissioned between 1994 and 1996) are primarily designed for anti-submarine warfare. The F218 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (photo) arrived in Reykjavík harbor on a friendly visit Monday, docking at Midbakki pier with a its crew of 199 people.

A concerned mother called the police yesterday afternoon complaining about her daughter having been invited to a party on board the ship in the evening where there was supposed to be drinking, Fréttabladid reports. Apparently German marines had distributed invitations to Icelandic girls downtown earlier in the day. The police contacted the frigate’s superiors, who were outraged and ordered that no Icelanders were to be allowed on board in the evening.

Senior officers of the German frigate ordered a guard around the ship to prevent Icelanders from attending an on-board party. Girls as young as 14 had been invited to party with crew.
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German Marines Invite Icelandic Teens to Party - it was a party invitation ploy.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

MARK: Countdown Begun for Aug. 14, 2011

Feb. 03, 2010 - Prediction (see below)
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Feb. 15, 2010 - ISS observation deck (cupola) integrated. Prediction countdown has begun.
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The Prediction (by Aug 14, 2011):

Within 18 months of ISS integration with the Unity Module repairs to the Cupola will be declared necessary by U.S. officials. No, contractor workmanship will not be the cause.

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Submarine Mystery Questions of the Week - 2/13/09 - The ANSWERS

MYSTERY QUESTIONS of the Week with ANSWERS:
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1) - What was the a technical defect that prevented this boat from diving for three months (the generalized description used by officials)?
ans. A) RMN Chief Abdul Aziz Jafar told Malay Mail that problems emerged in the submarine's cooling system.
ans. B) "The damage involves a part that channels water pressure movement which caused the submarine's failure to launch underwater," Royal Malaysian Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar told reporters.
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2) - How long has the builder extended its submarine warranty to the Royal Malaysian Navy?
ans. ) Builder DCNS has extended the warranty for the submarine, which was supposed to expire on Jan 25, by 4 months until May 25.
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3) - What kind of anti-ship missiles missiles does the submarine expect to test fire this year?
ans. ) SM39 Exocet anti-ship missiles.
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4) - What was the duration of the builder's trial for this boat?
ans. ) KD Tunku Abdul Rahman underwent two years of trials in France.
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5) - What other country recently described one of its submarine's problem as not serious when it was taken out of operation, and what was that submarine's hull number?
ans. ) The Russian Federation Project 877V / Kilo class submarine ALROSA (B-871).
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Submarine Mystery Questions of the Week - 2/13/09

Royal Malaysian Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar told reporters his first submarine, the KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, delivered last August, has not been allowed to submerge for fear it could be dangerous in deep tropical water.

It is only a minor fault and repair works are being conducted by the appointed contractor as its spare parts have been obtained, he said.
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Does Adm Jaafar's characterization of the problems preventing his French built (DCNS) sub from diving sound familiar?
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MYSTERY QUESTIONS of the Week:
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1) - What was the a technical defect that prevented this boat from diving for three months (the generalized description used by officials)?
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2) - How long has the builder extended its submarine warranty to the Royal Malaysian Navy?
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3) - What kind of anti-ship missiles missiles does the submarine expect to test fire this year?
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4) - What was the duration of the builder's trial for this boat?
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5) - What other country recently described one of its submarine's problem as not serious when it was taken out of operation, and what was that submarine's hull number?
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Answers: TUESDAY
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Some Nonlinear Logic


In what can be described as a worthy sentiment, Bubblehead of TSSBP, recently said, "-- hopefully the CEOs will hire Submariners when they come looking for a job." ( USS Louisville DV Embark )
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In real-life America such linear logic applies less at the top than those of us below would like to think. The reasons for such disconnects, although sometimes difficult to understand, can be attributed to explanations we get rarely, belatedly, superficially, or not at all from CEOs and/or our political leaders.
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M.E. offers readers two illustrative examples of news that defies prediction. Please bear in mind we have no disagreement whatever with the actual or intended outcomes of either.
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Case 1 - The general manager of Boeing's 747 program
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Bubblehead should be pleased that a naval guy beat out aviators for this vice president and general manager's position in Boeing's 747 program.
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Probably a naval academy graduate, right? Yes, but not the USNA -- this naval academy.
But whose navy was he in, ours, right? No, Mohammad "Mo" Yahyavi is from Tehran and wanted to be in the Shah of Iran's Imperial Navy. Cut off from his roots by the Islamic revolution, Mo got a master's in aerospace engineering from the Navy's Monterey school, then joined Boeing. He is now proudly one of us. You could have predicted all this, right?
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Case 2 - Strategy to grow UK space sector
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The UK space industry can become a much bigger global player, employing thousands more highly skilled workers and turning over perhaps £40bn a year.
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Is the U.S. facilitating the UK's latest economic growth strategy? Consider this: Some in the aerospace industry fear that NASA's direction has become nebulous at best. Thousands of NASA employees are now uncertain about what they'll be doing. The uncertainty is even greater in the private sector, where thousands of NASA contractors are facing the end of a program that has been the foundation of the agency's human spaceflight strategy for the past five years.
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One of the Senate's most vocal advocates for human spaceflight, Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), said on the Senate floor Tuesday that there's a widespread perception in the aerospace industry that Obama has "killed the manned space program." See: Obama overhauls NASA's agenda in budget request. The president hasn't actually spoken a word in public about his new strategy for NASA. You could have predicted this, too, right?
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Submarines are always silent and strange.



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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Black Eye and Robe


Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's supporters swear loyalty to velayat-e faqih, his theory that Shi'ite scholars are best qualified to oversee government prescribed by the the Twelfth Imam. As Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei directs the violent brand of Islamic jurisprudence he has devised.
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Ali Khamenei, criticized protesters as agents of foreign powers ahead of antigovernment demonstrations planned for tomorrow's , setting the stage for clashes that analysts say pose big risks for both sides. Iran's security forces have deployed throughout Tehran to head off what opposition supporters hope will be massive street protests tonight challenging the regime as it prepares to celebrate tomorrow's anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
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Iranian police say they have arrested a number of opposition supporters planning demonstrations during the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
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Yet, Ali Khammenei promises a punch in the mouth to arrogant Western powers. What does he have in mind that will not give him a black eye backlash? Very curious. His regime is in trouble and he pretends to lash out at foreignors on the eve of internal demonstrations.
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The summary execution of certain prisoners held by Iran (alleged spies) might seem deceptively useful to a radical leader beset with extreme problems like Ahmadinejad's last election and rebellious unrest. How very, very stupid any such a move would prove for the Ayatollah, however.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Tehran Will Stun the West - Khamenei, Ahmadinejad

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini promises Westerners a punch in the mouth on the 22nd of Bahman (February 11) after Tehran's decision to raise its uranium enrichment level to 20 percent, just weeks from weapons-grade production.
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Our intelligence apparatus knows exactly what he means. U.S. news media have been silent, as if in the dark - not from ignorance, however, from edict.
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What 'punch' will the West suffer?
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1. It will come as no surprise, and
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2. Tehran will be more surprised by the West's lack of public response.
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Ever hear about dumb bastards that underestimate their adversary?
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Stay tuned for some world-class magic that will leave the Ayatollah and Ahmadinejad drones more than slightly flat-footed.


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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Real NCIS Weekend News

February 5, 2010 - Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms
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Naval Criminal Investigative Service Sets Sights on Fraud Prevention
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Eric MacLennan, an NCIS special agent aboard the Combat Center, said, In the Marine Corps, sometimes it's hard to keep from giving out your social security number.
...Lance Cpl. Tracy Stanley, an ammunition technician with the Tactical Training Exercise Control Group ordered a book from the internet and later noticed money was being taken out of her bank account for items never purchased.
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February 5, 2010 - Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort
February 6, 2010 - UPDATE - Marine detained for questioning in Laurel Bay rape
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service declined to release the Marine’s name Saturday because he has not been formally charged, said Gunnery Sgt. Chad McMeen, an air station spokesman.
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NCIS says it has a person of interest in assault on Laurel Bay resident
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The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has identified a person of interest in the rape of a woman in military housing earlier this week, according to officials at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

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M.E. Comment - I encountered real NCIS at least four times. Only twice, did the agents identify themselves: first at a naval training center barracks in San Diego from the window of which an erstwhile sailor had shot a foreign national (ROK) with slingshot steel-ball ammo; and much later at a fraud-related seminar in Charleston, SC. Another occasion involved an undercover sailor who stood submarine sonar watches at-sea in an investigation of nuclear submarine crew members subsequently discharged. The fourth time? Not at liberty to discuss, but he was an O-5, and perhaps from another agency.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Nasty, Unspoken Reasons for Submarine Laser Communications


ARLINGTON, Va., 31 Jan. 2010 DARPA pushes submarine laser
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The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency requested (DARPA-BAA-10-25) a blue-spectrum laser system linking submerged submarines with ASW aircraft for tactical relay information (TRITON). Submarine laser systems must be capable in both open ocean and murky coastal waters.
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Laser comms would reduce reliance on towed-buoy receivers, enhance communications with ballistic missile subs, and upgrade coordination among ASW aircraft and SSNs.

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Unspoken Reasons
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1)
As some readers know, encrypted aviation IFF sets (Identification Friend or Foe) adapted for submarines have long been available, but as would be expected they are useless at typical depths during battlespace maneuvers.
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2)
During the 2003, Persian Gulf War the DOD relied heavily on commercial satellites to augment overwhelmed military assets, but officials worry those may not always be available.

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The Bright Side
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Laser communication is direct (to multiple interrogation systems simultaneously), instantaneous, and high band-width (permitting lots of encrypted intelligence). Battlespace supremacy could be maintained even if satellites were knocked out of commission and dozens of friendly and hostile subs were in the same battlespace simultaneously.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

















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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Most Military Submariners Cannot Do This. - Bad News Predicted: ISS Cupola


Space station astronauts have been limited to peering out small portholes or one 20-inch window in the US Destiny Laboratory. Soon, a Cupola designed and built by ESA prime contractor Thales Alenia Space (formerly Alenia Spazio, of Italy), will upgrade the ISS.

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The Cupola's 31" diameter top window and six side windows will permit Earth and star-viewing for improved crew enjoyment and provide direct monitoring of robotic arm, docking, and spacewalking operations.

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All windows are equipped with protective shutters against damage form micrometeorites and orbital debris. Scheduled launch is for this Saturday at 4:39 AM.. What could go wrong? Ne me demandez pas comment nous le savons; We do not Know.

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Prediction: Within 18 months of ISS integration with the Unity Module repairs to the Cupola will be declared necessary by U.S. officials. No, contractor workmanship will not be the cause.

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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Best Duty for a U.S. Submariner

Cross-posted from Ultraquiet No More.
Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Imitation is the Sincerest of Flattery

Back on October 25, 2009, M.E. had asked (Questions of the Week):


#3) - For which existing U.S. naval facility could this facility possibly (extremely unlikely, however) substitute?


Two days later we provided our answer:

Guantanamo Bay Naval Base - Since 2002, the naval base has included a detention camp for captured enemy combatants from Afghanistan and Iraq.


Three months later, we find this in Iceland's news, today:

February 1 2010 - Iceland Review -

Should Obama Send Guantanamo Captives to Iceland?

Chairman of Global Economics David Hale suggested in an article in the Financial Times today that US President Barack Obama should reopen a military base in Iceland and place the captives from the infamous Guantanamo camp there. ...He then says it is a fact that no country that plays host for an American base has ever gone into insolvency.
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David Hale's proposal calls for the U.S. terrorist prison at the former U.S. air base at Keflavik rather than Litla-Hraun. As we stated earlier, a prison would be extremely unlikely. Better idea: Move U.N. Headquarters from NYC to Keflavik.
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Imitation is the sincerest of flattery. - Charles Caleb Colton

Molten Eagle has become a very curious stop along the futurist highway.






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