Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Presidential Unit Citation Submarine Questions of the Week: 3-30-2010

...............................BACKGROUND
Her last war patrol was conducted in company with 2 other U.S. subs. She fired torpedoes making two good hits on a large tanker, and she received depth charge attacks from 4 enemy escorts. She was soon damaged, began leaking and lost depth control at 300 feet.
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Unable to control the flooding or maintain depth, she battle surfaced from about 4oo feet with an awkward list to fight for her survival. As the enemy began to close she managed to offset her list and, passing within 50 yards of one attacker, she raked it with 20mm gunfire and her deck gun. She then exchanged gunfire with a second enemy and sent plain language directions for all other subs in the vicinity to attack. The prospect of other subs in the vicinity probably frightened or confused the enemy who had been pinging with sound gear.

She managed to slip away in a rain squall. Other than the serious internal damage caused by depth charges, she had suffered only small caliber hits from the enemy.

This sub was later awarded The Presidential Unit Citation (PUC) for valor. Recipient units must display such gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions so as to set it apart from and above other units participating in the same campaign. The degree of heroism required is the same as that which would warrant award of the Distinguished Service Cross, Air Force Cross or Navy Cross to an individual.
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QUESTIONS of the WEEK
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1 - Which WW2 U.S. submarine was this?
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2 - Her surface displacement was practically identical to the recently sunk South Korean naval corvette. What was the standard displacement (surface) of this sub?
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3 - The sub's patch emblem is shaped like one of the playing card suits. Which one?
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4 - How many submarines were ever awarded The Presidential Unit Citation during WW2?
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5 - How many submarines were awarded Presidential Unit Citations during the Cold War (1947 - 1991)?
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6 - How many of the subs in the answer to 5 were awarded PUCs more than once?
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7 - How many U.S. submarines were lost (sunk) during the Cold War?
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ANSWERS Saturday
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Out-on-a-Limb Submarine Prediction

As background for my latest prediction, readers must be familiar with Bubblehead's (The Stupid Shall Be Punished) posting Whither The Smoking Lamp? In the last week, or so Bubblehead has been posting as frequently as ever. Welcome back, my friend!

You may also wish to read Vigilis's comment to BH's posting, because it will not be repeated here. As further background, however, here is a pertinent M.E. prediction from last year, which seems to be materializing ever since:

Molten Eagle's pertinent 2009 prediction: Non USNA graduates will be systematically culled from the submarine hierarchy in advance of the women's liberation movement into "one of the last bastions of of gender segregation".

At any rate, and for brevity's sake, here is my latest prediction as regards how the admirals may try to accomodate women into submarines by creating in submarines the highly regimented and politically correct regime of the surface navy:

M.E.'s Latest PREDICTION on creation of an environment favorable to female submariners: Wearing of uniform hats on duty like skimmers will soon be required on boomers. Will it mean more saluting, too? Yes, saluting would improve the overall health of the entire crew. NOTE: Traditionally, U.S. submariners have not been required to wear hats (yes, even ballcaps) below decks, such as in a submerged submarines. Such ridiculous formalities from the rigid surface navy have been an important and distinguishing feature of the U.S. Submarine Service since its early inception.

What is the desired female submarine environment? One in which the entire chain of command ignores: All but grave female shortcomings (Capt Nowak); Benchmarking to male counterpart performance (Capt Graf); PREGNANCY (First Known Case of Pregnancy at Naval Academy).

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

ANSWERS: Submarine Questions of the Week (3-25-2010)

For background see original submarine QUESTIONS of the Week posting.
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1- The brochure refers to the elite submarine service; in what year was this brochure approved?
ANS: 1970
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2- The brochure's reviewing and approving officer was in the USNR; what was his rank?
ANS: CAPT
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3- A quotation from H.G. Rickover appears inside the front cover. What rank was Rickover?
ANS: Rear Admiral
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4- The telephone number of the branch recruiting station imprinted on the rubber-stamped address block (rear cover) is 636-5158. In which city was this Florida branch located?
ANS: COCOA, FL
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Some Strained Russian Sub Crews

..............For a larger photo, click image to open in new tab
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One of the best U.S. submarine designs for function (as opposed to cost and function) have been boats of the USS Seawolf class. The nominal ratio of officers (less the CO) to men in SSN-21, for example, is 1 officer per 7 enlisted men. This will vary of course, and nominal refers to berthing arrangements in large measure, not how many men would actually ever be onboard.

Contrast the Seawolf's 1:7 ratio with that of Russia's latest, state-of-the-art, multi-purpose nuclear submarine Yasen, Project 855, to be launched in May. The highly automated Russian boat (allegedly no nuclear propulsion crew aft, at all) will have an officer ratio of 1 to 1.1.

A ratio of one officer per sailor would no doubt scare the bejesus out of surface sailors worldwide. Can we even imagine what it will be like for Russia's enlisted submarine 'volunteers'?

U.S., submariners have historically developed a closer officer-enlisted bond than almost all other submarine navies, which have tended toward relationships preserving the formalities of surface warfare sailors (skimmers).

Speaking of U.S. history, we must start with the Confederate sub Hunley (one officer and 7 enlisted), which no doubt employed the informal bond of today's U.S. subs, as well as EXACTLY the same officer ratio as the modern USS Seawolf (SSN-21) nominally does.

Russian sub history has been notably different. Consider the venerated Alpha class (decommissioned since July 1996), for instance. What was the ratio of officers to enlisted crew like on the Alphas? Ignoring the CO again, the given ratio was 26 officers to 4 enlisted (a ratio of about 6.5 officers to each enlisted man). It must be noted that the enlisted on Alphas were in fact petty officers and some sources give the entire complement (31) as all-officer. Unless usual Russian naval rigidity was somehow relaxed, such submarine duty must have been hellish for those 4 POs.

Submarines are always silent and strange.




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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Submarine Questions of the Week: 3-25-2010

The center graphic and text reproduced below come from an enlisted recruiting brochure for the NUCLEAR NAVY. General Entrance Requirements: Male U.S. citizen; 17 to 23-1/2 years old; Pass the security clearance; Be a high school graduate, or pass GED test.
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The symbolic sidebars were added to emphasize changes anticipated lately.

Questions of the Week

1- The brochure refers to the elite submarine service; in what year was this brochure approved?

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2- The brochure's reviewing and approving officer was in the USNR; what was his rank?

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3- A quotation from H.G. Rickover appears inside the front cover. What rank was Rickover?

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4- The telephone number of the branch recruiting station imprinted on the rubber-stamped address block (rear cover) is 636-5158. In which city was this Florida branch located?

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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Neither of the 2 Pilots Was a Female USNA Grad, This Time


Instead of flying over Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium at 1,000 feet above the ground the two jets passed at 1,000 feet above sea level. Atlanta's elevation above sea level ranges from 738 - 1050 feet. Experienced pilots can certainly judge lower elevations in very clear weather.
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YouTubes of the flyovers can be seen here (1:03) and here (0:39).
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The Field Naval Aviator Evaluation Board (FNAEB) concluded the pilots chose to use barometric altitude measurements (feet above sea level) instead of radar altitude measurements (feet above ground level) but failed to adjust their warning systems accordingly.

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If one of these pilots had been a female USNA graduate, would the punishment have been any different? If not, and M.E. certainly hopes not, despite evidence to the contrary, time will clarify whether regulation enforcement is really gender and USNA graduate neutral.
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The Navy evaluation board found the pilots' lapse was neither intentional nor malicious, the Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported. The board recommended putting both pilots on probation. By the time the alarm sounded, it was too late to correct the mistake. Rear Adm. R.J. O'Hanlon, commander of AirLant, was unforgiving in his assessment of the incident and in Fryman and Condon’s future in naval aviation, however. O'Hanlon said, "Continued aviation service involving flying is not in the best interest of Lt. Cmdr. Fryman or the United States Navy."
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Condon ignored low-altitude warnings, O'Hanlon wrote. His report noted it was only Condon's second flyover, his first as pilot of the lead jet, and described both men as motivated and dedicated officers. The Navy is not commenting publicly on the situation.
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According to the StrategyPage.com,
This kind of punishment is increasingly common in the U.S. Navy. The "zero tolerance" attitude has been around since the 1990s, and only gets cut back somewhat during an emergency, or in combat zones.
M.E. says, We shall see. Exceptions for women USNA grads have been extraordinary to date, as an unwritten policy has been enforced.
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About the 2 Pilots
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Lt. Cmdr. Marc Fryman, 36, graduated from Georgia Tech in 1996. He earned the his Navy flight school class's Top Hook award for most consistent landings of an F-14 onto an aircraft carrier. Fryman is a decorated fighter pilot with more than 2,500 hours. He flew combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, but is now headed to Afghanistan on his third Middle East deployment. Fryman will now serve in ground capacities only.
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Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Condon, is also a Tech grad. Condon has been reassigned to AirLant since Feb. 12th.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Tatoo Implications of Never-Ending Military Diversity Goals

The U.S. military and British Armed Forces share longstanding histories of tattooing. At the same time, conspicuous tattoos, body piercings and radical hair styles may sill block gainful employment in some lines of work, including the military.
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When military diversity goals have been prioritized for all genders and certain orientations, how far behind can BM (body modification) recruiting really be among those otherwise qualified to serve in equal opportunity militaries?
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What makes anyone believe the clean-shaven person above would be any more difficult to supervise than contemporaries? Prison record? Addict? Gang member? High school dropout? Not fluent in English? Cannot swim? Unwilling to volunteer for military service?
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Guess again. Legally, the person pictured is entitled to every right you would have, although a career in Surface Warfare linehandling seems more appropriate than submarines. (WARNING: Could this really be an undercover NCIS agent in disguise?)
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Diversity goals have evolved to a point where the real question becomes when, not if, the Navy sees such shipmates. Can you imagine?
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.................Tatoos for Mothers and Fathers Day
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While we are on the topic of tatoos, will you be retiring soon? No, then perhaps you have been wondering about gifts for your parents, even those now in retirement homes. For anyone who’s still "cool", here’s a set of non-permanent transfer tattoos guaranteed to get stares from Arizona to Florida, and any retirement community in-between. From The Spoon Sisters, Inc. (Hat tip: bookofjoe).

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Submarine EVIDENCE HAS JUST SURFACED

Consider mutual agreement between France and the UK to conduct a low speed collision. Beyond the pale? In the current financial crisis, think of the money each country would save by abandoning boomer subs. Molten Eagle - February 16, 2009
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A still better theory of why the collision occurred involves the U.S. and is less damaging to the reputations of France and the UK. If a bit of supportive evidence materializes, you will read about the latter at Molten Eagle. - February 17, 2009
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..................... THE EVIDENCE HAS JUST SURFACED
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Mar 20, 2010 - LONDON MediaCorp Press Ltd
Britain, France to cooperate more on nuclear defence: PM Brown
But both sides will retain their own independent at-sea deterrents

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he had reached an agreement with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on nuclear cooperation during Mr Sarkozy's visit to London last week.

Britain's independent deterrent could cost the country £100 billion ($211 billion), according to some estimates, once modernisation to the fleet has been completed.Last September, Mr Brown said the country's submarine fleet could be reduced from four to three as a gesture towards disarmament, but the total financial savings were reported as relatively small.France maintains a four-submarine Strategic Oceanic Force, with each submarine armed with 16 missiles. AFP
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Strategic thinkers will understand immediately how this involves the U.S. The UK could make the sole purpose of its nuclear arsenal to deter nuclear threats, similar to a new declaratory policy under consideration at the White House (Julian Borger, London Guardian II, March 18). This nuclear posture would conceivably remove all non-nuclear states from a national target list. .
Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Latest Submarine Incident Off Argentina - What the Royal Navy Wanted the Press to Report

18 de marzo de 2010 Daily NewsARGENTINA - Tense Situation
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The British press says that Great Britain sent a nuclear submarine to the Falkland Islands. Experts warned that significant oil discovery could heighten tension in what already is a political hotspot.
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According to a report in English daily newspaper The Sun, military authorities in Great Britain gave the order last month to send an HMS Sceptre submarine, 82 meters long and weighing 5000 tons. The English daily says that military sources hope the presence of the Sceptre in the waters of the Falklands will be enough to put an end to Argentina's "ambitions" regarding the sovereignty of the islands. The Desire Petroleum firm discovered oil along the northern basin of the Falklands and it is the first company to begin hydrocarbons exploration work in that area. However, this firm is only one of seven British firms looking for oil and gas in the waters of the Falklands with the goal of finding up to 60 billion barrels of crude. The daily also mentioned that last week a group of 100 protestors hurled molotov cocktails at the British embassy in Buenos Aires to protest the oil exploration.


"We do not comment on submarine operations," a British government spokesman told The Sun. However, an anonymous source confirmed the paper that the HMS Sceptre "is a fully-equipped, nuclear-powered submarine."

Naval expert Steve Bush said the submarine will remain an invisible threat while it’s there.
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Experts claim there could be as much as 60 billion barrels of crude oil under Falkland's waters. The U.K.'s Desire Petroleum, currently drilling for oil, is expected to announce next week if it has had success. Argentina still claims the drilling site 300 miles from its coast.
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Submarines are always silent or strange.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Presented for your Information: Unwritten Navy Policy or Merely a Pattern

..........................FOR THE RECORD

The challenge: Tell us exactly why Capt. Holy Graf * and the famous female astronaut (Capt. Nowak**, arrested February, 2007) are still in the Navy! HINT: Is it because positive PR trumps basic fairness, or because it is time women got a break and men (non-USNA) must suffer?

There was one answer to the challenge at the popular submarine blog here: Rubber Ducky said...Regarding both Lisa Nowak (astronaut) and Holly Graf: each are facing administrative boards to determine if either one is to remain on active duty.

Meanwhile, Captain James E. Horten has been named CO of the submarine USS CHICAGO (SSN 721). CAPT. Horten graduated from the United States Naval Academy and replaces fired, former USS Chicago CO, Cmdr. Jeff Cima, who was NOT not an USNA graduate.

Molten Eagle's 2009 prediction: Non USNA graduates will be systematically culled from the submarine hierarchy in advance of the women's liberation movement into "one of the last bastions of of gender segregation".

Rationale: We can expect more non-academy COs to be relieved as only USNA-minted males can properly assure female underlings are accomodated in the desired PC naval environment.

What is the desired submarine environment? One in which the entire chain of command ignores: All but grave female shortcomings (Capt Nowak); Benchmarking to male counterpart performance (Capt Graf); PREGNANCY (First Known Case of Pregnancy at Naval Academy).

What many NROTC grads lack is the peculiar political conditioning that is de rigueur at the Naval Academy. The culture there assures that all of the males who graduate are reliably PC when it comes to never criticizing and always assisting women officers in their careers.

Submarines are always silent and strange.

Notes:
* booted as captain of a billion-dollar warship for "cruelty and maltreatment" of her 400-member crew.
** The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is still investigating the possibility of military punishment, which could range up to imprisonment, dismissal from the Navy, and loss of pension.[71]

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Submarine Understatement of the Year by Civilian Undersecretary


In a statement provided for the Senate Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on personnel, Juan Garcia, Navy assistant secretary for manpower said...

“As a measure of extra caution, the Navy will not reduce the number of male officers training and qualified for submarine duty until we have experience with successfully placing female officers in those roles.”

Mr. Garcia appears to be hedging its bets on whether women are going to work out as members of submarine crews, according to the NavyTimes article by Rick Maze.
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Is Mr. Garcia's quote contradictory? A shortfall in male officers for the submarine service were claimed as compelling justification for female officers by The StrategyPage recently:


One compelling reason for allowing women to serve is a growing shortage of men willing to do so. Last September, the Naval Academy produced only 92 male officers for submarine duty that required 120.

Garcia himself added that ending the gender ban and also helps insulate us from the anticipated surge in hiring by the civilian nuclear power industry in the decades to come. While one might believe the latter when construction of new nuclear power plants in significant numbers is ever approved, it requires the suspension of disbelief now.
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Garcia's comment tends to answer another question for men, although for the related answer to this question women are still A.W.O.L.
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Training more women to compete with men at existing nuclear power plants will likely result in limiting the future salaries of both. As utility rate-payers we should probably applaud such insightful government planning. Hmmm!
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Barbarians to be Barred

For more background on Icelandic Hell's Angels (deportation, etc.) go here.
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11 March 2010 - Minister of Justice to Bar Hells Angels from Iceland -
Iceland's Minister of Justice, Ragna Árnadóttir (pictured above), is keen on preventing the Hells Angels motorcycle club from launching operations in Iceland. “It is very interesting that the Danish believe they cannot be banned before harm is done,” the minister said. Icelandic authorities are gravely concerned Iceland might become part of an international criminal community.
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12 March 2010 - Weymouth ridgeway skeletons 'Scandinavian Vikings' -
Archaeologists from Oxford believe the men were probably executed by local Anglo Saxons in front of an audience sometime between AD 910 and AD 1030. The mass grave is one of the largest examples of executed foreigners buried in one spot.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Public WARNING

.....................Beware of This Affliction
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A century ago two letters might define the few dreaded diseases;
TB and VD were heard less than grandpa's wintry sneezes.
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Then three letters sufficed to expand short-hand, scientific notation,

And PMS became a legitimate, monthly explanation.
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Decades later we now hear some long, four-letter code;

ADHD, for example, is one of a modern mother load.
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No acronym is mentioned below to alarm an electronic eye;

These* have Deficit Inattention Economic Disorder and stink to the sky.
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*Career politicians (Obama, Reid, Pelosi, 111th Congress)
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Juan Caruso 2010 All Rights Reserved
........................................^^^^
Juan Caruso Davenport is an occasional guest cartoonist and author of the poem Extreme Creatures. A veteran submariner, Juan was raised in Puerto Rico and is currently a professional chef living in the South with his lovely wife and two young children.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Clues from an overlooked bastion of gender segregation

Thought you had it all figured out like the lady quoted below ... why women on submarines would not be a readiness issue? Think again.




"This time around, Congress should facilitate the Navy policy change that will eliminate one of the last bastions of gender segregation." - Taraneh Ghajar Jerven, Navy submarines: What’s really in the way of women serving?; The Christian Science Monitor, March 9, 2010.

If you were ever a submariner, consider some comparisons with another marvel and the last bastion of gender segregation...





COMPARISONS

Definition: close combat = face-to-face fighting. - Neither M1A2 tanks nor SSNs involve face-to-face fighting (although both contain small arms and trained combatants).

Road Speed: 42 mph; crowded, limited, emergency lavoratory facilities BUT do not approach submarines in typical duration of overnights away (months at a time). The M1A2's operational range is only 290 miles.

M1A2 Crew: 4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver) Which of those jobs can't a woman do? Compare to submarine crews where dozens of critical, simultaneous functions are required and wherein survival may depend upon the unhesitating action of the only qualified person available to respond with adequate knowledge and strength.

M1A2s are in use by the United States Army and Marine Corps, the armies of Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Australia (yes, the same country allowing women on their submarines which also rarely conduct lengthy overnight, and Iraq (2010). Unlike the US [M1A2] version, the Australian tanks will not use depleted uranium in its armour." So, Australia must certainly allow women in its tank corps, then? (Note 4)

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Reality: Modern Answers Some Will Not Like
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The original evolution known as Battlestations (during which highly cross-trained submariners have historically had to remain at their stations and pee into cans) is no longer a pertinent submarine issue because (Notes 1 and 2); women could simply 'wet' themselves at their battlestations. (Note 3).
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Notes (but certainly NOT M.E.'s opinions):
1 - U.S. submarines have come to be considered glorified, underwater buses used to transport VIPs on show-and-tells, dependents on tiger cruises, missiles on deterrent patrols, and sometimes even SEALs on combat missons, but Navy subs are certainly no longer considered combat vessels by politicians and some latter day brass. It will be just dandy if subs are used to transport women temporarily out to sea until their helo medivac.
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2 - Battle readiness is no longer a realistic paradigm for U.S. submarines. As sophisticated cruise missile and torpedo predators, our subs are safe from any prey, and automated systems provide unparalleled redundancy of major sea safety factors. In such an environment, women may be slightly more than inconvenient baggage, but at only 15% of the entire Navy, their presence could rarely rise to a level compromising a vessel's role or mission, as long as males provide the brawn.
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3- When the first sub with a female crew on board is lost, the mainstream media (advised by DoD experts, no doubt) will gladly assert that her limited role and abilities had nothing whatever to do with the likely cause(s) of failure involved in the sinking. A sunk sub however, eliminates the primary political risk to female service on subs (Note 4).
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4 - Un-Modern REALITY - After the establishment of the IDF women were removed from all front-line positions. This decision was based upon the possibility of falling into enemy hands as prisoners of war. It was fair and equitable, some had argued, to demand from women equal sacrifices and risks; but for women prisoners the risks of rape and sexual molestation are considered far greater. [16]
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5 - Conflicted by their emotional zest for gender liberation, U.S. women remain complacently blind to the rising tide of male populations in Asia and the liklihood of a world war it may foretell. Likewise, the growing footprint of a religion that considers females breeding chattel appears not to threaten liberated American women in the least; Islam (literally the religion of submission) should frighten liberated women particularly. U.S. voters (a majority of whom those eligible are female) have scant reluctance making gender inroads that weaken our military readiness.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Senior Pakistani official said he does not believe Mr. Gadahn had been arrested.

M.E.'s prediction appears safe thus far:

On June 2, 2008, ABC News reported that the U.S. Is Stepping Up Efforts to Capture California Boy Turned al Qaeda Operative,[47] and MSNBC on June 13 reported that 'U.S. tries to smoke out accused terrorist Adam Gadahn',[48] although Associated Press reported that 'Pakistani news sources reported in February that Gadahn was killed in a missile strike, but the FBI has not received conclusive evidence of his death, Eimiller said.'[49]

Gadahn was indicted based on the testimony of the FBI case agent E.J. Hilbert II, in the Southern Division of the United States District Court for the Central District of California by a federal grand jury for the capital crime of treason for aiding an enemy of the United States (i.e. Al-Qaeda). Gadahn is the first American charged with treason since Tomoya Kawakita in 1952.[6]

Do these extremists really believe being Hellfired with the applause of the civilized world grants them a magic carpet ride to Muslim paradise? Al-Zarqawi (who died exactly 90 days after M.E. had predicted) will not be happy to have al-Liki's and Gadahn's company. When fanatics become common, none is truly a martyr.

What is born every minute? - Not martyrs. Gadahn may be the ultimate sucker, because in seeking an easy way to gain respect and celebrity he has outsmarted himself. What a beacon of youthful example he is!

The Wall Street Journal reports

Senior Pakistani official identified the detainee as Abu Yahya or Abu Yahaya.

Earlier, media reports quoted officials in Pakistan as saying the man was an American-born spokesman for al Qaeda, Adam Gadahn. But the senior Pakistani official said he didn't believe Mr. Gadahn had been arrested. A second senior Pakistani official also denied that any American national has been seized. "Adam Gadahn has not been captured," he said.

It wasn't clear late Sunday who Abu Yahya was, or what role he might have played in the extremist group. If the suspect proves to be a U.S. citizen, it could highlight the small, but troublesome, role played by U.S. nationals in Islamic extremism.

If captured, only two questions pertain to Adam Gadahn.

1) Would he face U.S. charges of being a traitor? Absolutely NOT! For U.S. purposes a captured traitor is as good as dead; Gadahn WILL NEVER BE CAPTURED ALIVE!

2) What would Gadahn's California family say to excuse their traitor son? Was he abused as a child (the abuse excuse), or is he perhaps bi-polar?

Our prediction stands: the sucker is DEAD!

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Friday, March 05, 2010

Quote of the Week, and Questions of the Week

Mar 05, 2010 USA TODAY - N.Y. Rep. Massa to step down next week
Rep. Eric Massa, a first-term Democrat from New York, will resign from Congress effective next week according to a statement on the lawmaker's website. The decision comes a day after the House ethics committee said it is investigating allegations made against Massa.

Regarding the allegations, Massa said, "There is no doubt in my mind that I did in fact, use language in the privacy of my own home and in my inner office that, after 24 years in the Navy, might make a Chief Petty Officer feel uncomfortable
- N.Y. Rep. Eric Massa (D) NY

Massa graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1981 and went on to serve in the Navy for 24 years. He qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer on the USS New Jersey (BB-62). source This indicates to M.E. that Rep. Massa is probably an honorable man being framed by those in his own party for purely political purposes (see HINTS below). M.E. wishes Rep. Massa and his family a swift recovery.
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Massa lives in Corning, New York with his wife Beverly, daughter Alexandra and son Justin. His eldest son Richard lives in California.
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QUESTIONS (bold emphasis added)
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In another statement Massa said he will resign with a "profound sense of failure and a deep apology to all those whom, for the past year, I tried to represent as our nation struggles with problems far greater than anyone can possibly imagine."
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1. What problems far greater than we can possibly imagine does Congressman Massa have in mind?
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2. Why would Massa drag the USNA into his scandal (or at least his Navy career and CPOs?)
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3 Hints?
- Massa described his behavior and his language as "salty," he claimed that he had apologized to the parties in question, did not know of the specific allegations, and that such allegations were not the reason (recurrence of cancer) behind his retirement.
- House Majority Leader Hoyer confirmed that the House Ethics Committee is investigating allegations of sexual misconduct against Massa, the result of a complaint that a senior member of Massa's staff had filed with the committee on February 8. The investigation is said to involve alleged sexual advances and harassment toward a younger male member of Massa's staff.[16][17][18][19]
- Massa generally supports a health care reform plan, he opposes, and voted against, the current plans put forth by the Obama administration, due to the cost, and prefers a single-payer health care system instead..[12]
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Informed answers are welcomed, M.E. suspects a political setup, but certainly has proof no proof.

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Navy Surface Warfare Officers drag-race their vessels - not surprising to most male sailors

March 5, 2010 WASHINGTON — AP Probe Shows Drag-race
Navy Capt. Holly Graf was demoted because she berated and assaulted her crew, not because she led her guided missile cruiser on a drag-race with another U.S. warship in the Pacific, an investigation shows.

One Navy official with years of sea duty said races on the open seas are not uncommon and are done to bolster morale or as a kind of maneuver drill.

Among unsubstantiated allegations in the inspector general report of Capt. Graf' was that she endangered the ship while allowing a drag-race between the USS Cowpens and the destroyer USS John S. McCain in February 2009.

Four witnesses described the 2009 race off of Okinawa, but differed in how close the two vessels came before the race was halted. One sailor said that during the race, aimed at boosting morale, the McCain got ahead of the Cowpens and began drifting to the left into the path of the Cowpens. Though the report did not question that the race took place, it said the allegation of "hazarding a vessel" was unsubstantiated.

"In order to show that (she) improperly hazarded the USS Cowpens, the evidence must show that an actual event occurred in which the ship was lost or damaged, or that there was a situation in which the ship was placed in imminent danger of loss or serious damage" and that she did it willfully, the inspector general said.

Either two of the four witnesses were female, or male SWO sailors are weenies. M.E. seriously doubts the latter!

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

She Who Could Not be named - the Submarine Connections

Within modern poltical correctness, the term Napoleon complex has become a derogatory social stereotype. [4] The term, also known as Napoleon syndrome,[1], no longer appears in formal, psychiatric literature such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)[3]
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What a Napoleon complex is...
Conventional thought presumed Napoleon's notorious aggressive and tyrannical demeanor resulted from his need to overcompensate for his (Napolean was of Italian ancestry) physical stature; he was shorter than average for both French military officers or its imperial guard.
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Female officers will soon be assigned to the crews of U.S. submarines. They will have USNA and perhaps SWO backgrounds. Implications for submarine force esprit will be overwhelmingly negative due to associated legal issues alone. The tradition of the service (silence) will be use to hide anticipated female shortcomings (e.g. sudden gynecological absences), no doubt.
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Pride in U.S. Navy submarine service derives not only from its uncomfortable sacrifices and its heritage of enormous military successes, but from comfortable differences from the surface fleet. Would anyone in his right mind volunteer to endure the unusual sacrifices of submarine duty under a regime of rigid, surface-fleet-type discipline?
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Surface fleet type discipline is coming to SSBN/GNs, perhaps not during your active career,s but it is coming. Why, the addition of rigid discipline between enlisted and officers will be the only way to accomodate the assignment of female officers on subs in time to reach desired quotas.
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Currently, there is no serious mention, nor should their be, of attempting to integrate females into SSNs. If you are nuclear enlisted, you probably do not care because your onboard service is rigidly dictated as it is, and you would probably appreciate the variety.
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What are female officers who get pushed through the Navy's pipeline like? While not typical,
some have been like this one, this one, and Napolean. They cannot help being tyrants. They are protected, even in abject failure, such as by reassignment to a Navy weapons lab outside the capital.
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Do M.E.'s predictions ever come true? Check out #9 here, for but the latest example.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.
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WORLD SUBMARINE HISTORY TIMELINEPART ONE: 1580-1869
Englishman THOMAS JOHNSTONE may – or may not – have participated in Fulton's efforts on behalf of the French and may – or may not – have been hired to build a 100-foot-long submarine to be used in a planned rescue of Napoleon Bonaparte from exile on the island of Elba. Whatever the facts of the case – Napoleon died before the (possible) submarine was finished.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Submerged in more ways than one


Back one early winter in the 1980s, M.E. had a temporary assignment near Wassau, Wisconsin. My team and I would fly to the Steven's Point Airport (STE) once a week. Posted at the airport was an unofficial sign announcing a contest worth $500 to guess when a discarded auto would melt through the ice of a nearby lake (or what residents called a "flowage").
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When we got to Wassau we asked the locals about the contest (believe chances were $5). It was an annual contest, and a form of entertainment to break the winter doldrums. By the time we left, 11 weeks later, the ice had not melted yet.
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Thirty years later such entertainment is obviously an environmental no-no, and any mention of it in Stevens Point history seems to have been deleted. Perhaps our Wisconsin readers will be able to shed more light on the exotic spectacle.
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What reminded me of the preceeding is this similar tale that ended well:
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03/03/2010 Car Falls Through Ice on Reykjavík Lake firefighters and search and rescue team members had to be called out to pull the jeep out of the lake. It is not yet clear how much damage it suffered.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.



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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

"Loss of Sea Legs" in Military Ops


A legendary submariner once said...

...No other water journey causes an equal amount of suffering. The most hardened traveller becomes seasick there. - Holland, John P., "The Submarine Boat and its Future," North American Review, December 1900.
In my August 28, 2007 post, Submarines: "Loss of Sea Legs"? , M.E. took issue with Submarine Medecine's [18.7.4. Ship's motion] observation: ... Certain factors as the type of ship and state of the sea are important, and the fact that most of the submarine crew are crowded below decks while the ship is on the surface might be contributory. The submarine's roll is believed to be gentler in comparison to surface vessels because of its round hull and its low transverse metacentric height.
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This month's (March 2010) The American Legion Magazine one page article, "Motion Sickness takes toll on military ops" is well worth reading and offers selected facts about interferences with military operations during Europe's D-Day, wolfpack attacks on Allied shipping in the North Atlantic, and modern implications for naval aviators (e.g. as much as 16% motion sickness attrition), Marines and astronauts.
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In the article, author Jerome Greer Chandler also clarifies the motion sickness problem for submariners:
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Motion sickness remains a serious health problem among U.S. servicemembers. ...Submariners and special-operations troops are also at particular risk - that's because their vessels are comparatively unstable.
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Cmdr. Rita Simmons, Officer in Charge of the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory (NAMRL) said,

"If you are vomiting, you really aren't able to do anything else but that. And when you're finished you're pretty much physiologically worn out." ...Simmons believes in "two or three years," the military will have "a fast-acting, field-expedient countermeasure" for one of the most persistent ailments ever to afflict those headed into harm's way.

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, March 01, 2010

About the Next Large-Scale Terror Attack on the US


Just giving terrorist suicide bombers a good idea? Not at all, we first detected this concept in June of 2006, on the Chiapas site here. STRAP-ON 'STEALTH WINGS' ARE NOW AVAILABLE attributed to “Autor(a): Islamic Community”.
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Fast forward to
February 2, 2010 - WASHINGTON — The New York Times - America’s top intelligence official told lawmakers that Al Qaeda had made it a high priority to attempt a large-scale attack on American soil within the next six months.
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Molten Eagle assigns only a low 9% probability of a large-scale attack on American soil within the next six months (most likely between April 15 and June 16th, we would guess). M.E.'s 9% estimate is almost double the 5% odds we gave such an attack during the post 9/11 Bush administrations, however, when newspapers had carried official estimates of > 50% probability.
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As we had said in 2006, a terrorist stealth attack launched from outside the 24-mile limit could be more problematic for an administration beset by intimidating lawmakers who regularly question the legality of every move against radical islamist terror and want to impeach the man responsible for checking its secretive spread. With good reasons: 'Wings' to carry paratroopers 200km - Peter Felstead, the editor of Jane's Defence Weekly, says the new system has been in use with the German Army since 2003. ESG claimed in 2006, that the next stage of development would add small turbo-jets to the wings for extended range. The sophistication of related training would exclude nearly the entire suicide bomber gene pool, however.
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What would make 91% (our estimate) of Islamist paradise-seekers reluctant to adopt batwings to detonate 40 pounds of Semtex or c-4 on targets within 100 miles of our coast? Extremists intelligent, brave and fit enough to successfully pass ‘batwing’ training are unlikely to focus on a suicide mission afterward - their sense of accomplishment would overpower their religious despondency.
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Finally, what aircraft could approach unnoticed within 24 miles of U.S. air space in order to drop dozens of batty suicide bombers? Weather must also be good enough to permit successful navigation to targets on the fly. Odds seem very low.
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Al-Qaeda's wishing will not make their lofty batwing scheme so.

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