Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday Notes & Tidbits (2015, #004)

Submarines are always silent and strange. - Tidbits  No. 04

CURIOUSLY ENTERTAINING  19 JUN 2015 - "After more than three decades Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden finally has what he’s always wanted – a Top Gun school for surface warfare officers."  The Naval Surface Forces commander emceed the ceremony earlier this month to celebrate the establishment of the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) at San Diego's navy Base

M.E.:  Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but co-location must have been over the top:
"The new school will be located at the Top Gun school at Naval Air Station Fallon in Nevada." - NavyTimes (18 JAN 2015)

EMBARRASSING  23 JUN 2015 - "US Navy Picks First Female Enlisted Sailors to Serve Aboard Submarines... 

"Under pressure from lawmakers and Pentagon leaders to integrate more military jobs to women, the Navy in 2011 began allowing female officers to serve on submarines.  Women, meanwhile, make up 15 percent of the [entire U.S.] sea service."

With more interested female candidates than there were open slots, Navy officials said qualified sailors not chosen for the jobs will be placed on an alternate list and automatically considered for the next group to be chosen. 

M.E.: Really?  Apparently an "open slot" is not due to an actual shortage of male submariners, but an allocation of enlisted billets to slightly fewer interested female candidates. The result: Slightly more female candidates than appropriate billets.

SUBLIME CAPITALISM (by China) 26 JUN 2015 -"How Did China Just Win Thailand’s New Submarine Bid?"

The official line from military sources is that the decision to go with Chinese-made submarines was based largely on value. In a separate report, The Bangkok Post cited various sources from the navy and the procurement committee as saying that China was chosen because its submarines were not only the cheapest, but of good quality as well contrary to concerns on this score. But a committee member also disclosed that Beijing had offered military technology transfer and training as part of the package, which other countries would otherwise charge more for. That member likened buying submarines to a car purchase. “If we are able to buy a Mercedes but have no money left for petrol, we should look at a top model Toyota instead, which would still leave some money for petrol,” the source said.

M.E.:  The U.S., German and South Korean auto industries had better take notice!

BOON for LITIGATION ATTORNEYS  26 JUN 2015 - "Here are the most fascinating innovations in underwater travel"
"British travel company Oliver’s Travels created a specially adapted submarine in St. Lucia known as Lovers Deep, an underwater vessel where couples can spend the night in a private accommodation. The submarine, which is already available for use, is staffed by a crew of three, a captain, chef, and butler, and can be taken to locations chosen by the customer.

It’s not cheap, at £175,000 per night ($US274,694), but each interior of the private submarine room is set to be designed and manufactured to your specifications and includes a two-person bathroom and double bedroom with ocean views. Speedboat transfers come with the package, but you can also request helicopter transfer with a beach landing through the company’s Concierge Service.

M.E.:  Well, although very few "dates" may willingly wish to spend even one night in a submerged suite, evasion of certain statutes will attract some well-heeled sex predators.  There is also an ever-present risks of fire, drowning, and asphyxiation.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

UPDATED (from 2013) - The Palatka Connection


  • “Let me be clear,’’ wrote Kings Bay Commander Capt. Harvey Guffey Jr., “parachutist intrusions on the base must be eliminated.”  Subsequently,  the offending skydiving business relocated to Palatka, Florida.
  •  Skydiver missing near Seattle thought to be dead.  Kurt Ruppert of  Lake City, Florida was reported missing last Thursday when he failed to drop in at the expected landing zone in King's County, Washington. It is important to note that Kings County is adjacent to Kitsap County, home of a Trident submarine base. Friends say Ruppert is an experienced wing suit jumper.  Ruppert has been skydiving seven or eight years and is good at handling a wing suit, said a friend, Art Shaffer, owner of Skydive Palatka in Palatka, Florida.
Evident coincidences of this magnitude will not be ignored by Naval intelligence, this time." -  Molten Eagle  

"Will Ruppert's body eventually be found in the Puget Sound or even Hood Canal?  Or perhaps he will be found in a tree near Si Mountain?  Either way, the likely cause of death will be the same: hypothermia.      more

UPDATE  #1 -  20 June 2015 

The detective says the items had been in the area much longer than 2 1/2 years, so they would not solve one mystery. Wing suit-wearing skydiver Kurt Ruppert of Lake City, Florida, vanished over Mount Si during a jump in January 2013.  more

+++++++++++ NOTE +++++++++++ 

 How close was Ruppert to Kitsap's Trident Sub Base?  What is the range of a wing suit and direction of prevailing winds at his jump altitude (about 6500 feet)?  Was he immediately apprehended by Kitsap Base authorities and held incommunicado for several months like Ariel J Weinmann, who, it was claimed, had been held in secret for four months after his arrest? - M.E.

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Submarine quote of the month: June 2015

Background ---from interviews with CO USS Texas (SSN-775) and crew

Being almost entirely cut off from the United States, it really matters what’s in the box of new DVDs when they leave port. Submarine movies are out, because the audience nitpicks the details and they see enough submarine already. When they surface, the men find they are culturally out of touch. “What do you mean Robin Williams died? There’s a Taken 3?” said Senior Chief Glamm. “The only NFL game we saw last year was the Super Bowl.”   - Rodd Wagner, Forbes, 8 June 2015, Ice Cream and Individualism.

Author Wagner, is a self-described New York Times bestselling author of books about employees’ working relationships with their leaders, managers, and each other.

If the average workplace were sealed up for a few months, chances are when the doors were reopened, inside would be a circus. Assuming there hadn’t been a mutiny, no one would want to hear another word from the CEO or the rest of the leadership. Colleagues would be at each other’s throats. No one would sign on for another stint under those conditions. Little would have been accomplished.

Quote of the Month 

"But the Navy submarine fleet creates exceptional levels of accomplishment under trying conditions. Where they succeed, they do it not because they recruit super-humans, not ultimately through military compulsion, not because they have some trick to suspend the laws of human nature, but because a long history of failures and successes taught them how to combine the elements of leadership and support that gets non-quals their dolphins and makes serving undersea an invigorating experience, even if the Norwegian ice cream must be left behind."  - Rodd Wagner

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, June 08, 2015

Kim Jong Un - Takeaway



December 2013 - The Takeaways: Execution of North Korea's #2

  • Suh Sang-ki, a lawmaker in South Korea's governing Saenuri Party who sits on a parliamentary intelligence committee, said the decision to kill Jang suggests Kim's power is weaker than that of his father.
  • There will be many more executions of Jang's allies and confidants," said Park Syung-je, a North Korea expert and chairman of South Korea's Asia Strategy Institute.
  • "I think there's going to be a clear amount of brinksmanship," said Philip Yun, executive director of the Ploughshares Fund, a nuclear nonproliferation group. "I think if we continue to wait for him to do things, he's going to continue to shoot missiles, and he'll probably at some point decide to test a nuclear weapon."
Predicted then: Expect a coup in North Korea leadership before Kim Jong-un's birthday in 2017. - M.E.

May 2015 - Kim Jong Un's Next Purge for the BLBM (Barge Launched Strategic Missile)

Predicted then:  Obviously Kim Jong Un cannot excuse another purge by admission of his regime's flawed deceit in the DPRK's SLBM capability.  However, if he accuses the careless propaganda minister of sleeping, well there is already a stern precedent for handling inattentiveness to duty.  The only questions now are the identity of the scapegoat, the method of execution (bullet, is our guess), and how long before the world learns of the purge. - M.E.

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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