Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Very, very odd Backtracking

Then (2010 & 11)

SECNAV: Women will serve on attack subs
The Navy lifted its ban on women serving aboard submarines in 2010 and started assigning female officers to  SSBN and  SSGN subs. Female officers are due to begin reporting to attack submarines by January 2015, and,  (27 APR 2011) Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said enlisted women would also have the opportunity to serve onboard attack submarines, not just the guided-missile and ballistic boats open to them today.
"The Navy is "doing whatever needs to be done [ed. APPARENTLY NOT; (see below)] to integrate women into attack submarines as well. That will be a little further down the road. The same thing is true for enlisted, moving forward doing the things we will have to do to integrate them. That effort is well underway and I don't see any insurmountable hurdles to what's happening to women with submarines. I don't think that should be an area that's off-limits to women in the Navy," Mabus said during a breakfast meeting with reporters Wednesday.
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Everyone knows the horse goes before the cart, right?  Apparently, reality recently struck SECNAV Mabus.  Admirals now say, the Navy is considering enlisted women for sub duty:
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Now (2014)

Navy to gauge interest among female sailors in serving on subs      
 - 25 FEB 2014, The Day Publishing Company New London  

Enlisted women may join crews starting in 2016  -  The Navy will soon ask every female sailor whether she is interested in joining the submarine force, and the answers will help shape the strategy for bringing enlisted women aboard subs.

One group is responsible for gauging how many enlisted women will want to serve aboard submarines. Other working groups are looking at ship configuration, what submarines to integrate, or what modifications will be required and when; sailor rate conversion, or what specific rates, or jobs, the submarine force will use to bring current female sailors into the submarine force; and recruiting development and accession planning, or whether any changes are needed in the recruiting practices and policies or in how the training a sailor completes before reporting to a submarine is structured, Hawkins said. Another group will use the findings to craft the initial plan.
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Apparently, the experiment with women officers already onboard more spacious subs has suffered a higher than expected lost-interest rate that makes putting women on even smaller attack subs less auspicious

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Not All We Need to Know - Part 2

Updates below are from Part I  [bold and color emphasis below are mine]:

Update  3 - February 24, 2014

Official: Heart attack and respiratory failure

Seychelles police said samples were being sent to nearby Mauritius for analysis to establish if the men had consumed "a substance" that could have caused a heart attack or respiratory failure    BBC News

Update  #2 (FINALFebruary 22, 2014

Official: Drugs, needles found with dead officers on Maersk  - Sat (CNN)

"Traces of narcotics and hypodermic needles found with the bodies of two American security officers on the container ship Maersk Alabama suggested the deaths resulted from drug overdoses, a Seychelles government official has told CNN.   ... A Seychelles police statement said that despite media accounts of traces of drugs, authorities have not released any reports suggesting the deaths were the result of an overdose. The statement, however, did not deny that drugs were found or suggest an alternative cause of death."

"Based on our experience with the contractor, this is an isolated incident," Maersk said. But it said new drug tests would start immediately and the company's shore-leave policy was under review. 

Lt. Cmdr. Jamie Frederick, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman, said the service was investigating the deaths, as required by American law. But he said the deaths "do not appear to be criminal in nature, related to vessel operations, the material condition of the ship or their duties as security personnel." 

Update  #1  February 21, 2014

Drugs found in room with two dead security officers

Mark Kennedy and Jeffrey Reynolds were found dead in a cabin aboard the Maersk Alabama container ship, police said. The cause of death has yet to be revealed, but officials said the mysterious deaths were not caused by their work. Police believe the men may have overdosed on drugs. source
FEB. 20, 2014


NAIROBI, Kenya —  Dead Guards on Freighter Are Identified as Former Navy SEAL Members
While the causes of death were still under investigation, a spokesman for the ship’s owners said a police report indicated that drugs were in the cabin where the two bodies were found.  New York times 




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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Not All We Need to Know - Part I

Example of insignificant(?) NEWS  #1

20 FEB 2014 - Pollution levels in parts of Iceland peaked yesterday at 40 times the upper safe limit ...  the first time since the last volcanic eruptions in 2010-2011. Particulate matter in air should not exceed 50 micrograms per square meter. In Reykjavík it was 420 micrograms per square meter with spikes of up to 2,000 micrograms. People with respiratory diseases have been urged to avoid areas of heavy traffic.

Kristín Lóa Ólafsdóttir, specialist at the Reykjavík Health Authority, told  Iceland Review online she believes some of the excess dust is due to sand and salt used on the roads during winter but also dust in the environment including sand from the eastern part of the country due to strong wind in recent days. As it hasn’t rained in the capital for quite a few days now the ground is also very dry.


Is dust and winds in the dry U.S. West, or road sand in the U.S. East of little significance?  Apparently it has been insignificant to the mainstream media, which has also been ignoring the possibility of radiation plumes from Fukishima.

In December of 2012, after the 11 March 2011 Fukishima Nuclear disaster, the EPA lowered the level for safe exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) by 20% from 15 µg/m3 to 12 µg/m3.  

The U.S. public has been reassured, so far, possibly? 

Example of insignificant(?) NEWS  #2

Container ship MV Maersk Alabama has been a target for numerous pirate incidents off Somalia. The April 2009 incident (first of two that year) became the basis for a 2013 film, Captain Phillips, which involved a successful rescue of the ship's master by SEALs.

19 FEB 2014 - Deaths of two security contractors
Two former Navy SEALs working as security contractors aboard the Maersk Alabama for the private security firm Trident Group were found dead aboard the container ship, a day after it docked at Port Victoria, Seychelles.  Seychelles police identified the two, found dead Tuesday, as Jeffrey Reynolds,  described by neighbors as a devoted father, and Mark Kennedy, both 44.

Gossip... 
  • Both were found dead in a cabin onboard the ship on February 18 at around 4:30 p.m. local time. The causes of their deaths have not been made publicsource

Official...
  • State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf confirmed the men were U.S. citizens. The Coast Guard is involved in the investigation because the Maersk Alabama is a U.S.-flagged ship, Harf said.
  • The police gave no cause of death and said a post mortem had been scheduled. 
  • The U.S. Coast Guard stated from its headquarters in Washington that it is investigating the deaths.  
  • Kevin N. Speers, a senior director for Maersk Line, said in a statement that the security contractors boarded the vessel on January 29, and that their deaths were "not related to vessel operations or their duties as security personnel... I'm absolutely clueless as to what happened." 
  • Reynolds and Kennedy worked for Trident Group, a Virginia-based maritime security services firm. The company's president, Tom Rothrauff, said the men were former Navy SEALs.
    Requests to Trident for information about the two men were not answered Wednesday.

    Both were found dead in a cabin onboard the ship on February 18 at around 4:30 p.m. local time. The causes of their deaths have not been made public.

    Read more at: http://www.heavy.com/news/2014/02/maersk-alabama-navy-seals-jeffrey-reynolds-mark-kennedy/
    The U.S. public would simply like to know if terrorism of any sort was involved in the deaths of the former SEALS.  One thing is for certain, the two were not victims of Norovirus.  Stay tuned for updates.

    Submarines are always silent and strange.

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    Monday, February 17, 2014

    ANSWERS: Sub QOTW 11 FEB 2014

    Background information and photos presented when Q.O.T.W. were originally posted are found here:  11 FEB 2014.

    ANSWERS  (from video Uss Nautilus Operation Sunshine):

    1.  The arctic passage of USS Nautilus (SSN-571), an historic first, was cloaked in mission secrecy.
    Nautilus first left Seattle for a falsely announced destination of "the equator", but that first arctic attempt was aborted. Prior to her second attempt, Nautilus's navigator posed as a non-submariner (out of uniform) aboard an anti-submarine aircraft. What did he falsely tell the ASW aircraft's crew his purpose would be?  ANS: A Distant Early Warning Line (Dew Line) Inspector.   

    2. Who said, "Some day, they will know about his true mission." ANS: The video's narrator, Vic Perrin.

    3. Had Nautilus painted out the numerals 571 for the classified mission Operation Sunshine II?  ANS: Judging by the documentary film: NO.

    4. Nautilus was extolled as capable of cruising 20,000 leagues on one charge of its nuclear fuel.  What is the equivalent of 20,000 leagues in nautical miles?  ANS: 60,000 nm.

    5. If Nautilus's tabletop jukebox made the arctic voyage, who was the jukebox's manufacturer?   ANS: Seeburg

    6. What Navy medal was awarded to Nautilus and all hands for the first time during a time of peace? ANS: The "Presidential Unit Citation".

    7.  What unusual (for the day) type of navigation equipment had been carried aboard Nautilus, which had been constructed with a teakwood topside deck like the WW2 vintage subs had?  ANS: A shipboard Inertial Navigation unit, the N6A-1 navigation system was used in the arctic voyage. Nautilus ETs Robert Rockefeller and Barry Lerich assisted (perhaps the Navy's first SINS techs).

    Submarines are always silent and strange.

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    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

    "Catch Us If You Can" Tales of Two Lawyers and Vet Charities


    1.  Harvard-trained attorney John Donald Cody 





    2.  Vanderbilt Law School  attorney  Kelly B. Mathis

    Allied Veterans 'mastermind' Kelly Mathis sentenced to 6 years in prison

    SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — An attorney convicted of leading a $300 million gambling ring that used a veterans charity (Allied Veterans of America) as a front was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison.  Mathis was convicted last year of 103 counts of racketeering, possessing slot machines and other charges. He will remain free on bond pending appeals.  - Feb. 12, 2014 

    Submarines are always silent and strange.

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