Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Report suggests unlawful submarine detention and rape

As M.E. has long maintained, problems with reporting by U.S. journalists often result from professional standards that do not YET bind them to such basic requirements as admission of inexpertise, disclaimer of nothing but the truth, and reference to reliable sources. Here is a recent submarine news example.
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Sep 27, 2010 NORFOLK, Va. (AP) Norwegian Sub Makes Maiden Voyage To US Port ― A Norwegian submarine is due to arrive in Norfolk for what the Navy says is the first arrival of a sub from that nation in a U.S. port. The diesel electric submarine HNoMS UTVAER is scheduled to arrive Monday for training with U.S. vessels. It will join a Norwegian frigate, which is already at Naval Station Norfolk.The ships will operate together with the USS Enterprise Carrier Strike Group during the training.
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The maiden voyage of a ship is the first journey made after shakedown. HNoMS Utvær (S303), an Ula-class submarine, was commissioned November 8, 1990. How many naval enthusiasts believe her maiden voyage could possibly be twenty (20) years later? ANSWER: None! As a matter of fact, a more accurate report was presented by FoxNEWS (WAVY) -Norwegian sub arrives at NS Norfolk - 1st visit by a Norwegian sub to a U.S. port.
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No 'maiden' is mentioned by name. Was one kidnapped in Voss, or is she actually a member of the crew (the Royal Norwegian Navy became the first to allow female crew on submarines in 1985)?
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Was unlawfulness similar to UCMJ article 97 (Unlawful detention) involved? Of course not.
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Was unlawfulness similar to UCMJ article 120 (Rape and carnal knowledge) involved? Certainly not.
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Why then, was this unidentified maiden made "to voyage to US Port"? ANSWER: Obviously, like other crew members she would have been required not to miss her ship's movement (UCMJ article 87).
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Why was ambiguous language used in the news article's title, then? Are all news editors and reporters really so ignorant a lot, or do some merely feign ignorance in order to subliminally promote their propoganda?
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Presented for your Interpretation - Was Sgt. Schultz Right?

Dr. Othman (above center) is currently head of the United Nation's Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), an organization established in 1962, within the General Assembly. UNOOSA is headquartered in UNOV (Vienna).

“Othman is absolutely the nearest thing we have to a ‘take me to your leader’ person.” - Prof. Richard Crowther, expert in space law and governance at the UK Space Agency

Prof Mazlan Othman, a Malaysian astrophysicist, was reportedly appointed Earth's ambassador to meet extraterrestrials who may come to our planet.
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The U.K.'s Guardian News says, however, that Othman is quashing the suggestion. "It sounds really cool but I have to deny it," Othman reportedly said in an e-mail cited by the online newspaper.
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theory 1 - Perhaps NASA had approached the United Nations, in connection with President Obama's space exploration priority (Muslim outreach), to propose Dr. Othman's ambassadorial appointment.
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theory 2 - Perhaps extraterrestrial contact has been scripted by the UN as a ruse to unify radical Islam with modern civilization. Even Ahmadinejad would be highly skeptical of such a ploy, however. WRONG!!!
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Maybe Sgt Schultz had the right attitude, then (35 seconds).

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Unbroken Ocean Environmental Pollution Record - Not nuclear subs, not oil wells, not even oil

May 31, 2010 - Worst US Environmental Disaster Definitely Not from an Oil Well revisited...


Even Columbia University's (the highest) estimate for BP's Gulf Oil spill (~185 million gallons total) is much less than the raw sewage releases into the ocean by just New York and the District of Columbia (30 Billion gallons per year, not counting discharges from any other coastal cities, and nations). In addition to fecal coliform and disease, other pollutants may include pharmaceutical trace drugs, nickel, copper, zinc, cadmium, lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

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The government's final best estimate of the BP spill was a shade more than 172 million gallons reported Thursday. According to a zany study by two Columbia University researchers based upon watching a video of oil spewing from the well, the real number is nearly 185 million gallons of spilled oil [same link].

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Every year, old sewers flooded by stormwater release more than 27 billion gallons of untreated sewage into the New York Harbor alone... An inadequate sewage treatment infrastructure jeopardizes the viability of current and future businesses, stymies economic growth and threatens the quality of life for New York State residents. - 2010 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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and...
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The District of Columbia, in a settlement with federal environmental officials, agreed to build a $1.4 billion underground storm water storage system over the next 20 years to prevent raw sewage from entering rivers during heavy storms, the Justice Department said. The agreement should stop the annual discharge of an estimated 3.2 billion gallons of untreated sewage into the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers and Rock Creek. Eric Lipton (NYT)
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Brownfield Syndrome

Who was this former nuclear submarine officer, Iraq war veteran and why had he said such outlandish things as author of My Nuclear Family ?

Well, we finally have an answer to Mr. Brownfield's bold, public suggestion for using unconventional explosions to stop the oil leak in the Gulf.
My previous mention of a nuclear demolition—which I immediately ruled out for political reasons—has turned into a straw man that distracts our attention from the pragmatic solution I advocated publicly weeks ago. - Christopher Brownfield, The Case for Blowing Up the Oil Well, THE DAILY BEAST, June 5, 2010.
Can there be any doubt Mr. Brownfield's bold, public suggestion to use unconventional explosions to stop the oil leak in the Gulf had been a publicity tactic for his forthcoming book? Hardly, because Mr. Brownfield has continued to agitate print media with further attention-getting claims from his 15,000 hours (less than 2 years) of underwater experience. Yet, there are significant political overtones to other key allegations Brownfield makes in his book, as well:
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He tries to make the case (popular with liberal-leaning lawyer-politicians to speed up declassification of military documents------
"[E]very classified document I ever read in the submarine force could replace the word SECRET with another six-letter word—BORING"
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He even attempts to discredit the ongoing need for this nation's most potent platforms-----
"After the 9/11 attacks, the submarine force suddenly found itself without a mission. Unless Osama bin Laden commandeered a rubber raft with WMD, there was nothing of unique value that a submarine could provide. This didn’t stop the admirals, who fought tirelessly to justify the existence of the force that had become a white elephant in the swimming pool, a relic of the Cold War costing hundreds of billions of dollars. Washington's bureaucratic mêlée for defense dollars continued, new submarine missions were invented, new core competencies were contrived, and the submarine force stayed afloat." [color emphasis M.E.'s]
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Not only are we able to ascertain Brownfield's ostensible political stripe (very liberal), we may deduce another possible reason for the timing of his curious book.----
Mr. Brownfield explains that, for a submarine crew on rare shore leave in distant locales, the phrase “jumping on a hand grenade” means intentionally talking to less attractive women in a bar so your friends can zero in on the more comely ones. - Dwight Garner, What’s a Submarine Officer Doing in the Desert? , Books, The New York Times, September 21, 2010.
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Could Mr. Brownfield's acerbic allegations of cheating by submarine junior officers be just another way to defuse the expected travails female officers may face when they take the same exams to qualify on submarines? Hmmm!
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Brownfield, of course is another USNA grad who should probably have been weeded out in a truly diligent admissions process. That is, of course, unless things like actual commitment to a naval career, respect for the military and its history of accomplishments, and wasting taxpayer dollars really mattered much less than attaining gender quotas and points with liberal poiticians for educating their relatives for free. Any relatives in high places, Mr. Brownfield?
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Great PR, or the Worst Submarine Omen Ever


From 2008: Private Submarine is Strange - The myth of submarine safety has spread in the current craze, totally devoid of meaningfiul comparisons, for personal submarines. As every submariner well knows, however, it is just a matter of time before certain tragedy and wreckless folly end this shallow craze.
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On one dive a window cracked 600 feet down, spraying seawater on a passenger. That scared the crap out of me, he admits. (He has broken three more windows since.) Stanley conducts about 100 dives a year and posts annual revenues of slightly more than $100,000.

The terrible prophecy is about to be fulfilled...

Academy Award-winning AVATAR director acquired a high-tech submarine with highly resistant materials, enabling it to resist "tremendous pressures.

[Cameron] has commissioned engineers to design a deep-sea submersible that can reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench, 36,000ft down in the Pacific. He intends to dive into the trench and capture footage he can use in the next two films.“We are building a vehicle to do the dive”, Cameron told The Sunday Times. “It’s about half completed in Australia.” - Coventry Telegraph SEPT 12, 2010

The Epoch Times - ‘Avatar’ Sequel to Film in Mariana Trench Seven Miles Underneath Ocean - September 21, 2010
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Ordinarily, one might be safe in the assumption that this totally unnecessary Mariana Trench plan is typical Hollywood hype to garner public interest in Cameron's latest movie venture. What makes this claim different, however, are Cameron's very deep pockets nowadays and his exaggerated sense of self-confidence. Consult any Greek tragedy you like, either of these mortal attributes is a recipe for disaster, and that is what M.E. is predicting, if Cameron follows through on his foolish, high-tech submarining.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Space Shuttle's "fail-to-fly" tiles meet submarines' "fail-to-sail" issue

What country's navy has been using high-energy active sonars (normally for detection of submarines) as abrasive blasting weapons? Or did someone forget to read the preparation WARNING: Surface must be free from any corrosive scale, dust, moisture, contaminants, clean and dry before application of anechoic bonding agent.
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Juan Caruso wonders if Global Climate Disruption has really been to blame.
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Will EB Green (special duct tape) solve the problem? There is little doubt EB green ($$$$$) probably will eventually help solve this problem. For now, the silence from those who know is deafening. That means the guys have been doing a great job maintaining their silence, unlike certain analysts:
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J. Michael Gilmore, director of operational testing and evaluation, presented the findings in a June 30 letter to Ashton B. Carter, the Pentagon's acquisition chief. In the letter, Gilmore said the Virginia class program has experienced multiple "fail-to-sail" issues — problems that could delay a ship's deployment — including the hull coating problem. dailypress.com, 2010.09.18
"When pieces of the hull coating fall off, the sub gets noisier because it interrupts the water flow over the hull. When you put more noise in the water, you're easier to detect." - Norman Polmar, naval analyst and author [ibid]

[I]n a high-threat environment "where you don't want to be detected, it's not wise to have your sub falling apart on you," said Craig Hooper, a San Francisco-based national security consultant and one-time lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School. [ibid]
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Rotten Roots

Rotten Roots Monday Guest Post by Juan Caruso (SC)
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Well-intended legislation that aims to reform South Carolina’s anti-competitive legal climate gets watered down in the State Senate, usually thanks to a handful of wealthy trail lawyer-legislators who reap hundreds of thousands of dollars each year based on the failed status quo. FITSNews: It happens every yearLawyer-Legislators Water Down SC Tort Reform Bill, May 4, 2010




Vincent A. Sheheen, a 39-year-old member of South Carolina's Senate, is the Democratic nominee for Governor of South Carolina.

The income tax returns Sheheen released Tuesday show his income rose from $73,641 in 2000 before he won a state House seat to $372,509 in 2009 as he served in the state Senate and launched his bid for governor. Nearly all the income is from his Camden law practice. - COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - WTLX NEWS19 Vincent Sheheen Releases Income Tax Information, 7/20/2010

The party crafty enough to present SC voters with Alvin Greene for U.S. Senate in 2010, also picked lawyer Vincent Sheheen for Governor. (Greene faces felony obscenity charges from indictment in a 2009 arrest, and although not expected to win a senate seat, is the first African-American nominated for the U.S. Senate by a major SC party.) African-American voter turnout in November will be unusually high despite any discouraging problems in Washington's oval office.
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Sheheen's hope to recapture the Governor's office for SC trial lawyers clearly hinges on the strength of Democrat turnout in November.
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The bumper sticker (above) is much closer to the truth than this one. Lawyers are a crafty bunch, who connive to deceive voters from noticing their lock on major political parties.
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What is at stake in SC and throughout the country are contests that will determine whether the lawyer-political complex tightens its parasitic stranglehold or is forced to loosen its grip for the next 4 years.
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Juan Caruso 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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Friday, September 17, 2010

The Admiral's freudian slip and Hints of first U.S. mixed gender Submarine

In highly unusual parlance for a first-world navy admiral, this one referred to the fall 2011 billeting of women on submarines as 'to house women'. Are female sailors happy or resentful of being termed 'housed' on surface vessels of the U.S. Navy? After all, surface vessel history since integration of female crew has not been without the obvious, sinister connotation of the term house: bordello.
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Molten Eagle suspects the good admiral merely slipped in his rather unfortunate choice of wording. That would be as in a freudian slip (a slip of the tongue that is motivated by and reveals some unconscious aspect of the mind). Did the admiral really have in mind fraternity housing? If so, we have long suspected that the exclusive fraternity evolving in wardrooms of U.S. subs is the fraternity of USNA graduates, who have an almost unique attitude toward fostering a suitable command environment for female success.
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What is the desired command environment for females on subs? One in which the entire chain of command: ignores all but the most serious female shortcomings (Capt Nowak); declines benchmarking female performance to that of their male counterparts (Capt Graf); and overlooks the inevitable, mission-critical consequences of imptomptu PREGNANCIES and gynecological difficulties (First Known Case of Pregnancy at Naval Academy).
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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.
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PREDICTION UPDATE (FIRST Mixed Gender Sub: USS Rhode Island)
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September 15, 2010 - Times-Union/Jacksonville - Sub Force CO says Kings Bay model for all sub bases [color emphasis added]

We are going to have women in subs and the first submarine to house the women will be from Kings Bay. - Vice Adm. John J. Donnelly, September 2010.
August 20, 2009 - Molten Eagle - Unusual Public Relations History -

[T]his submarine [USS Rhode Island, home port; Kings Bay] is destined to make the news again in what promises to be story of momentous gravity for the U.S. submarine service. An experiment involving a second gender, perhaps? - Vigilis, August 2009.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Body has to sink to the bottom rapidly and permanently


Sept. 15, 2010 - The Associated Press - Fla. sea burial botched as man’s body resurfaces A fisherman spotted the body about four miles offshore in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday after his burial at sea went awry.
Sea burials are legal but certain rules must be followed. The body has to sink to the bottom rapidly and permanently.
Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

So, you know enough about naval combat and modern installations. One of these naval basins does not belong.

Julius Caesar held the first ever-recorded one in Rome (46 BC). Claudius held his 106 years later (52 AD) on a natural lake that no longer exists, Lago Fucino. The thousands of participants who fought each other in mortal, naval combat were actually condemned prisoners. Relevant historical records indicate the naval combatants saluted emperor Claudius with the phrase morituri te salutant (those who are about to die salute you). There is no evidence this salute was ever used on an occasion other than Claudius's single naval battle. [1]

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In 1896, David Taylor designed Washington Navy Yard's Experimental Model Basin (EMB). The Basin named for him was built in 1939, in Bethesda, Maryland. The David Taylor Model Basin has been one of the world's largest ship model basins, and was one of the an earliest users of computer technology. It was one of three government agencies at the 1959 meeting where the primitive COBOL computer language was created. The David Taylor Model Basin is currently operated as a field activity of the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center.
However, ...
Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced - Pond-o-ray) ..covers almost 150 square miles of Idaho's northern Panhandle. It is also fairly deep -- up to 1,150 feet deep and fairly secluded.
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A small Navy base, formerly the western field station of the David Taylor Model Basin, is involved in acoustic research and development to make ships and subs operate more quietly. The LSV (shown above) should look very familiar to all submariners. Small subs provide big payoffs for SUBMARINE STEALTH.
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There have been approximately 100 employees and contractors assigned to the base.
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Idaho is certainly not the only landlocked, U.S. naval facility on the mainland. Below is another, much larger part of the Navy Installations Command. Home to both a navy analysis center and an Army Corps of Engineers unit, 7,500 military and civilian people are assigned to this base. As we can plainly see, it features another natural test basin. Only some of you will recognize where this is located, and not many of you submariners.
Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

NOT funny for the British: Investigation after crane drops heavy load on nuclear sub


12 Sep 2010 - The Herald Scotland -The Ministry of Defence has launched an investigation after a crane dropped a heavy load on to a new nuclear submarine berthed at Faslane naval base on the Firth of Clyde.

The accident happened on September 3, but was only revealed after enquiries from the Sunday Herald following a tip-off from insiders. HMS Astute, the Royal Navy’s latest reactor-driven submarine, was hit by a ramp slipping from a crane during loading.
Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

ANSWERS - Submarine Mystery Question of the Week - 9/7/2010

Background information and original questions may be found here.
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Submarine Mystery Questions & Answers
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1) Approximately when was air conditioning first availed on a U.S. Navy submarine?
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ANS: The first U. S. Navy submarine with built-in air conditioning was USS Plunger (SS-179), commissioned in November of 1936.
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2) Approximately when was a laundry machine first availed on a U.S. Navy submarine?
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ANS: Not later than early 1945.


Eternal Patrol note: The above photo and others like it taken during Bullhead's first 2 war patrols, were received by the Navy Photo Science Laboratory on 20 June 1945. Less than 2 months later, probably on 6 August 45, USS Bullhead and her 84 crewmen were lost on her Third patrol off Bali. Evidence suggests Bullhead was sunk in a Japanese aircraft attack with depth charges. Japanese records indicate two direct hits, and a great amount of oil and air bubbles gushing to the ocean's surface over the next 10 minutes.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Submarine Identity Leak Took 72 Days, and Remembering 9-11

From 6-30-2010: 1) On what date (if ever) will the name of the Dutch sub actually patrolling [the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean where pirates have been active] finally be leaked to the public for the first time? ANSWER: 10 September 2010.
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M.E. comment: Maybe; naval identity games concerning ship movements have been utilized since before WW1.
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Remembering 9-11
After the heinous WTC deed, most of us began learning more about Islamist jihadi culture than we ever wished to know.
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By 2005, I knew that Muslims lied to infidels when opportunity to advanced Islam presented itself. I also learned in October 2005, how barbaric the Muslim breed can be Three Indonesian girls beheaded. The girls attended a private Christian school and one of the heads was left outside a church leading to speculation that it might have had a religious motive. It has been said that Islamic tolerance gets no better than this for Christians, right-minded academics and dissenters in general. Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province has a roughly equal number of Muslims and Christians.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Selected News Curiousities Traced to Italy

July 11, 2008 - GROTON, Conn. (NNS) - Italian Submarine Todaro Visits Groton
Salvatore Todaro S-526 arrives at Naval Station Mayport, Florida to participate in a Joint TaskForce Exercise with the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group. full story
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Aug. 28, 2009 - GROTON, Conn. (NNS) - Italian Submarine Scire Visits Groton
Scire is preparing to participate in a Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) with the Harry S. Truman Strike Group. full story
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Sept. 7, 2010 - Associated Press - Joint Military Exercise Planned Off Ga. Coast BRUNSWICK, GA. — The U.S. Coast Guard and Navy will conduct a joint exercise in Cumberland Sound at the entrance to coastal Georgia's Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base.
[M.E. wonders: Where was an Italian sub? Did the well-publicized, and noisey (machine guns) task force encounter anything unexpected lurking about? Hmmm!]

The Florida Times-Union reports that blank ammunition will be fired from machine guns, and officials say aggressive vessel attack maneuvers will add realism to the exercise. The security zone will move down Cumberland Sound as the exercise progresses toward the mouths of the St. Mary's and Amelia rivers, then back towards Kings Bay. full story
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Aug. 30, 2010 - Associated Press - Questions loom over drug given to sleepless vets
Thousands of soldiers suffering from PTSD have received the same medication over the last nine years, helping to make Seroquel one of the Veteran Affairs Department's top drug expenditures and the No. 5 best-selling drug in the nation. ... The only published study of Seroquel for PTSD-related insomnia involved 20 patients followed for six weeks at a VA medical center. The study, which showed moderate improvement in sleep, was funded by AstraZeneca at the request of a VA psychiatrist. Seroquel is also made in Italy.

"He was told if he had trouble sleeping he could take another (Seroquel) pill," said his father, Stan White, a retired high school principal.
A short time later, the 23-year-old Marine corporal died in his sleep. full story
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Aug. 30, 2010 - Associated Press - Italy health minister apologizes for botched birth
Italy's health minister traveled to Sicily on Monday to apologize to a woman whose delivery of a son was botched when her two doctors got into a fistfight in the operating room.

The fistfight occurred at a state hospital between a doctor who works there and a private physician Mrs. Salpietro paid as her gynecologist.
The incident was the latest evidence of medical mistakes frequently reported in southern Italian hospitals, and it underscored Italians' increasing use of private doctors if they can afford them. Italy has universal health care, but some Italians use private doctors to avoid long waits for procedures. full story
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Aug. 31, 2010 - Associated Press - Air Force: Sergeant may have exposed others to HIV

The military has arrested an Air Force sergeant and accused him of having unprotected sex with partners he met at "swinger" parties in central Kansas even though he knew he was HIV positive, according to a military affidavit.
The affidavit filed for a search warrant stated that the sergeant had engaged in numerous unprotected sex acts with multiple partners over the past three years. His wife told authorities her husband became infected in 2007 while stationed in Italy. full story
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Submarines are always silent and strange.





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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Submarine Mystery Question of the Week - 9/7/2010

Background
The concept of air conditioning is known to have been applied in Ancient Rome, where aqueduct water was circulated through the walls of certain houses to cool them. Similar techniques in medieval Persia involved the use of cisterns and wind towers to cool buildings during the hot season. Modern air conditioning emerged from advances in chemistry during the 19th century, and the first large-scale electrical air conditioning was invented and used in 1902 by Willis Haviland Carrier
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For centuries, people on sea voyages washed their clothes by placing the dirty laundry in a strong cloth bag, and tossing it overboard, letting the ship drag the bag for hours. The principle was sound: forcing water through clothes to remove dirt.
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M.E. allows introduction of verifiable facts to update opinions instantly.
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Answers to this weeks questions, for instance, although likely to surprise many submariners, may not be the final word. Why? Because the history of U.S. submarines has traditioinally been one of trial and error. Before something new is adapted fleetwide (on newer construction, at least) trial(s) on selected platform(s) was/were necessary to prove it performs at least as well as expected.
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For this week' questions particularly, documentation is required to prove earlier dates and platforms than M.E. has tentatively found.
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Submarine Mystery Questions
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1) Approximately when was air conditioning first availed on a U.S. Navy submarine?
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2) Approximately when was a laundry machine first availed on a U.S. Navy submarine?
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ANSWERS: Saturday, September 11, 2010.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor Day - Don't Forget Our Submariners at Sea

The photo depicts disciplined effort to control an upset event under totally unrealistic circumstances (out-of-doors in abundant daylight, ample space, and negligible possibility of drowning, entrapment, electrocution or being crushed at depth).
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M.E. thanks active duty submariners for what you do.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Saturday, September 04, 2010

ANSWERS: Submarine Mystery Questions of the Week - 8/27/2010

The answer to Submarine Mystery Questions of the Week - 8/27/2010 follows each question below.
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1) - Who (name and rank required) first issued an order to recruit only volunteer submarine crew members, and to whom was such an order first given? ANS: C.S.A. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard issued permission for Lieutenants George E. Dixon and William A. Alexander to recruit volunteers for the submarine Hunley from the crew of CSS Indian Chief.
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2) - Approximately when was this order given? ANS: Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard issued his recruiting order during November of 1863.
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3) - What circumstances surrounded the issuance of said order? ANS:
On August 29, as Hunley was being towed with a full crew of 9 men on board, Lt. Payne accidentally kicked the diving plane to the down position. Hunley dived rapidly with both hatches open. Payne and 2 others survived, but 6, including five sailors from the CSS Chicora who could not escape, and Charles Hasker possibly from the CSS Palmetto State, who was snagged in the (14" x 15¾") forward hatch, sank to the bottom and drowned. The Confederate Navy salvaged the vessel and returned her to service.
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On the morning of October 15th, Horace L. Hunley insisted on commanding the submarine for demonstration and training dive under CSS Indian Chief. After several successful dives, the submarine again went beneath Indian Chief, but air bubbles marked a final, downward glide from which the Hunley failed to surface. Including Hunley, a full crew of 8 men perished. Although the hatches had been successfully unbolted to enable escape, water pressure kept the hatches closed; Hunley and his first officer asphyxiated in the conning towers as the rest of the crew drowned. Again, the Confederate Navy salvaged the vessel and returned her to service.
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Although sailors from CSS Indian Chief had witnessed the fatal sinking of the H.L. Hunley just one month earlier, volunteers for her replacement crew stepped forward.
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4) - What was the fate of those first recruited under said order? ANS: On the night of February 17, 1864, the H.L. Hunley rammed her explosive torpedo 8 feet below USS Housatonic 's waterline to sink her in the first successful naval attack of its kind. Unfortunately, the final crew of 8 (Lt. George E. Dixon, Arnold Becker, Cpl J. F. Carlsen, Frank Collins, Lumpkin Miller, James A. Wicks, and Joseph Ridgaway) perished.
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5) - Are military submarines safe except in times of war? ANS: No, on the contrary (see the next question) even U.S. submarines, considered among the safest and best crewed of the world's navies, have not been without accidents in peactime.
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6) - What year was USS Scorpion (SSN-589) lost with all hands, and was it lost during a time of peace or war? ANS: The Scorpion one of the only 2 nuclear submarines the U.S. Navy has ever lost (both with all hands) was lost in 1968, [2]. Neither loss occurred during a time of war.
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7) - Has there yet been a definitive identification of the causative event(s) triggering Scorpion's loss, or an official determination of cause published by the U.S. Navy? ANS: Not yet.
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8) - What year was the most recent submarine tragedy involving dozens of deaths? ANS: On August 12, 2000, the Russian Navy's K-141 Kursk nuclear-powered submarine was lost with all hands in the Barents Sea.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.




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Friday, September 03, 2010

The Origin of Submariners as a Volunteer Service



In addition to the question exploring who actually gave the first order for volunteers, 7 related questions were posed for readers. The Comments section has been intentionally closed until today, to provide more time for interested enthusiasts. The Comments section has now been opened as promised last Friday.


If you have correct answers, be first to get credit by leaving them now. Otherwise, wait until M.E. posts them as scheduled tomorrow.


If you have not read the questions or related background to this fascinating service and wish to do so, please refer to the link in the first sentence at top.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.




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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

"May the Force be with you." - Hans Solo, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, 1977


Has there really been a chronic shortage of male, nuclear-officer, volunteers for subs?
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Follow this time line to its 17MAY2010 conclusion and decide for yourself:
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27OCT 2009 - NAVYTIMES - Academy falls short of sub volunteers -

Too few Naval Academy seniors opted to become nuclear-qualified submarine officers this fall, so the school’s administration has asked more students to make that their career path and, if necessary, will force them. [bold, italic and color emphases are added]


... Although the Navy’s top leaders have said they want women to serve on subs, female midshipmen aren’t yet permitted to choose the submarine career path.

. Three and a half months later
19 FEB 2010 - KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) - NAVY.mil - From Commander, Submarine Group 10 Public Affairs


"On February 19, 2010, the Secretary of Defense signed letters notifying Congress of the Navy's intention to change the policy regarding the assignment of women to submarines," said [Rear Adm. Barry] Bruner, the lead for the Navy's Women in Submarines Task Force. "The law required both houses of Congress to be in session for 30 days prior to the change in policy taking effect. Those 30 days have now passed and the Navy intends to proceed with the plan to integrate women into submarines."

Implementing the policy change will begin by assigning 24 female officer to the submarine force. Eight different crews of guided-missile attack (SSGNs) and ballistic-missile (SSBNs) submarines will be integrated with three female officers.

two month later
9 APR 2010 - eMaxhealth.com - Navy Extends No Smoking to Submarines -

Commander, Submarine Forces (COMSUBFOR) on April 8 announced the extension of the no smoking ban to below decks aboard all U.S. Navy submarines. The smoking ban will become effective no later than Dec. 31, 2010.

...Vice Adm. John J. Donnelly, COMSUBFOR said, “Our Sailors are our most important asset to accomplishing our missions. Recent testing has proven that, despite our atmosphere purification technology, there are unacceptable levels of secondhand smoke in the atmosphere of a submerged submarine. The only way to eliminate risk to our non smoking Sailors is to stop smoking aboard our submarines."
twenty days later
29 APR 2010 - NORFOLK, Va (NNS)- NAVY.mil - Navy Policy Will Allow Women To Serve Aboard Submarines -

The Department of the Navy has announced a policy change that will allow women to serve on submarines. The change was considered by Congress after Secretary of Defense Robert Gates formally presented a letter to congressional leaders Feb. 19, 2010 notifying them of the Department of Navy's desire to reverse current policy of prohibiting submarine service to women.
eleven days later
10 MAY 2010 - ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) - NAVY.mil - Midshipmen Selected for Submarine Service

Eleven female midshipmen from the Naval Academy's Class of 2010 have been selected for submarine service upon graduation, following the Department of the Navy's announcement two weeks ago that female officers now have the option to serve on board subs.


... Many of the selected midshipmen first became interested in submarine warfare after spending 24 hours on board a submarine, something all midshipmen have the opportunity to experience as part of their summer training.
one week later
17 MAY 2010 - NUPOC Program Information - Wanted: SWO(N)'s and NR Engineers -

Navy Recruiting is looking is looking for NUPOC submarine volunteers who will be graduating this year to switch to SWO(N). Let your recruiter know if you are interested and tell your recruiter to forward your request to the NUPOC Program Manager.
What about the announced shortage of sub volunteers (27 OCT 2009)? Was it just a small refinement of capricious numbers, or was the NUPOC announcement an unfortunate weakness in some armor-plated, but bogus rationale? The Naval Academy provided 119 submarine ensigns in its 2009 graduating class, 2 more than in 2008's, and 31 more than 2006's.
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May the Force not be wielded on or against committed male submariners to accomodate uncommitted, unsuitable, or biologically-conflicted female submarine recruits. - M.E. 2010.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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