Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Submarine Questions of the Week: 29 SEP 2015

The answer to one of this week's submarine questions will likely be unknown for an unknown period of time (up to thirty years, or longer in a few cases, according to published submarine history).

Background [translated from French language] 

An American nuclear attack submarine (SNA) made a stop at the naval base of Toulon from 22 to 26 September. This is the Providence SSN-716, based on the east coast of the United States. Presumably for security reasons, [there has been no enlightenment from the crew]. The maritime prefecture of Toulon terms the stopover "routine". "Un stop and go", Le mamouth, mardi 29 septembre 2015

Questions of the Week

1- Is the U.S. submarine identification correct? 

2- Is the sub's given homeport coast correct?

3- When else was the sub USS Providence in Toulon?

4- On what mission was USS Providence at the time of its earlier visit?

5- With what special type of missiles was USS Providence armed during its earlier visit?

6- The purpose of the special missiles is what?

7- Why would USS Providence return to the French port of Toulon? 

ANSWERSQuestions 1-6  --- Monday, 5 OCT 2015; Question 7 --- Unknown

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Prediction: A Quite Unannounced Secretary of Defense Hopeful?


The Secretary of Defense is number 6th in the United States presidential line of succession, after the Vice President, Speaker of the House, President pro tempore of the Senate, Secretary of State, and the Secretary of the Treasury.  

Senator Lindsey Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham is running for POTUS on a peculiarly, practically one-plank military security platform.  Senator Graham faces a very embarrassing problem, however:

"South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham wants voters to understand he would make the best commander in chief, but not even those in his home state agree with him. According to a poll by Public Policy Polling, 78  percent of South Carolina Republicans want Graham to stop running for president. Fifteen percent want him to keep running, and 7 percent were unsure."  source

Little acquaints the nation with name recognition for a senator from an obscure state better than a presidential run.  This retired Air Force colonel (JAG officer) had recently received unfavorable press for his military rank progression with less than usual merit:

"Since leaving active duty in 1989 and joining the Air Force Reserve, Mr. Graham, a Republican from South Carolina who is running for president, appears to have performed very little substantive work for the Air Force. Yet, he rose in rank to colonel and remained in the service until his retirement in June, which entitles him to a monthly $2,773 pension."  source

Additionally, John McLaughlin of The McLaughlin Group predicted at then end of his September 18th broadcast taping that Lindsey Graham would be the next Republican candidate to drop out of the race.   So, one might naturally wonder:  

  • What has John Mclaughlin heard from inside the beltway sources?  
  • What was Graham's real aim in entering the 2016 presidential race? 
  • Has Graham's real aim been largely achieved at this point?
Suppose Graham had obtained Hillary Clinton's (and/or Jeb Bush's, or Rubio's, etc.) assurances that he would be appointed Secretary of Defense in their prospective cabinets.  Nothing highlights a Bronze Star award for a retired Air Force colonel like the national publicity of his presidential campaign.  Moreover, his campaign identifies Graham as Republican (in his home state political primaries are open to all voters, regardless of party affiliation).  

Republican party affiliations are often seen as a political necessity in administrations perceived as militarily weak.  President Obama retained George W. Bush's Defense Secretary, Republican Bob Gates (former Air Force officer), and later appointed another republican, Chuck Hagel (Army infantry sergeant, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, two Purple Hearts, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge).

Graham has consistenly denied suspected liberal preferences during his lifetime of unmarried, unattached and aisle-crossing public service.  If Graham does drop his campaign, it could be an indication he knows the legal weight of Hillary's accumulating baggage will block her eventual nomination.  In that case, any hopes of embellishing her administration's popularity with
liberal support as the first SECDEF to come out of the Republican In Name Only (RINO) or (other) closet would be derailed by an aborted Clinton campaign. Time will tell...

M.E. Predictions

1 - If Graham ends his campaign before April 30, 2016, expect Hillary to abort hers shortly thereafter.

2 - If Graham stays in through April 30, 2016, expect him to have some very laudatory things to say about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Submarines are always silent and strange.


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Friday, September 25, 2015

Submariner's Quotation of the Month - SEPT 2015


We posted our Submarine Quotation of 2015 (first half) only a few weeks ago.  It was a decidedly obscure and an admittedly self-promoting quote from the author of his new book. Yet, we can hardly dismiss the author as out-of-the-loop.  Even an astute non-submariner (the late author Tom Clancy, for instance) managed to obtain and include reliable intel in his commercially successful The Hunt for red October:
“There are multiple instances of the script going from UNCLASSIFIED to TOP-SECRET / CODE-WORD inside the same paragraph.” I didn’t think the Naval Institute wanted to participate in what could have been a huge security breach and I surely didn’t want this lowly Navy commander to be part of that. So my letter back to the Institute stated plainly: “I recommend the Naval Institute not publish this book.” - Captain John L. Byron, USN (Ret.)
 Indicative of the current nature and quickening pace of U.S. submarine operations around the globe, we present this month's second submarine quotation.

Submariner's Quotation of the Month

"The things that our submarine force is expected to do on the first day of some of our potential conflicts are absolutely sobering." 
 -  Vice Admiral Joseph E. Tofalo Commander, Submarine Forces [COMSUBFOR], Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic, Commander, Allied Submarine Command,  "Navy Opens Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center In Groton", The Hartford Courant, September 21, 2015.

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, September 07, 2015

Wow! SUBMARINE scuttlebutt leaks EU Military Arrangements?

[color emphasis added - Molten Eagle]


"Article 42 of the [1992 Maastricht Treaty] Treaty on European Union provides for substantial military integration within the institutional framework of the union. Complete integration is an option that requires unanimity in the European Council of heads of state or government. For now it remains politically gridlocked considering the critical stance of the United Kingdom in particular.

Article 42 does also provide for a permanent structured cooperation between the armed forces of a subset of member states. As of 2015 this option has not been used, despite calls by prominent leaders such as former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt for a common defence for the Union. However the debate has intensified by the standoff between the EU and Russia over Ukraine.
"    source

"...EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and ... other European leaders and policy makers like the head of the German parliament’s foreign policy committee Norbert Röttgen, saying an EU army was “a European vision whose time has come”.[6][7]

Interesting Rumors (Leak?)

"The German submarines will, at the end of 2015, be under Dutch Command due to a bilateral agreement outside of NATO or the EU.  The Dutch and German Armed Forces are in the process of merging into one common armed force.  This is seen as precursor to a common EU Army.  The Air Mobile Infantry of both countries are already merged and under German command and there are plans to merge the last of the Dutch tanks [both Germany and the Netherlands use the German made Leopard 2 tank - the world's second best tank!] and artillery with the German counterparts.

Next step is to place elements of the German Navy under Dutch Admiralty (like the Belgian navy [is already?]. The first units will be German subs.

The Dutch and British expeditionary [surface?] forces are also merging and being placed under the British admiralty.

...snip...   (read more of "KEVIN's BACKGROUND ON THE NETHERLAND and GERMAN SITUATION") at Peter Coates's Submarine Matters

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Saturday, September 05, 2015

Quotation of 2015 (first half)

Background (pertinent facts and official opinions)

  • JUN 21, 2015 -  Assessing the U.S. Navy’s Arctic Roadmap   As outlined at the beginning of the Roadmap, the Navy expects the Arctic “to remain a low threat security environment where nations resolve differences peacefully.”  It sees its role as mostly a supporter of U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) operations and responder to search-and-rescue and disaster situations.   A report from the U.S. Naval War College on this exercise noted the following: The U.S. Navy is inadequately prepared to conduct sustained maritime operations in the Arctic region. ... Within the near-term (2014-2020), the Navy plans to have a limited Arctic presence, “primarily through undersea and air assets.”  Surface operations will only take place in open water conditions.
  • AUG 31, 2015 - US submarine returns from 6-month 'under ice' Arctic mission   When they finally punched through the Arctic ice cap just shy of the North Pole, it took them five hours to break the ice off their submarine's key hatches so they could reach the fresh air.   USS SEAWOLF (SSN 21)  The Navy estimates the potential value of hydrocarbons in the U.S. Arctic alone exceeds $1 trillion."The Arctic is going to be a place of growing strategic importance. The Russians are active there," Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in March.
    Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the same session that "the Russians have just taken a decision to activate six new brigades — and four of them will be in the Arctic."

The Quotation of the Quarter

"The U.S. has a secret weapon that most politicians don’t know about — an invention made in the Naval Research Labs — that can solve the world’s energy needs while actually lowering carbon emissions. If deployed, it could pull the wind out of Putin’s sails, improve the U.S. economy, and mitigate climate change. Unfortunately, government officials appear clueless and are not funding or focusing on this potential world-saving technology." - William Craig Reed, "Writing nonfiction more compelling than a great thriller for author", June 7, 2015.


W. Craig Reed served as a U.S. Navy diver, submarine weapons technician, and espionage photographer for special operations aboard nuclear fast-attack submarines, earning commendations for completing secret missions during the Cold War, several in concert with Navy SEAL teams. He is the author of the non-fiction books Cold War III: How the U.S. Navy can Defeat Putin and Halt Climate Change (RCG Publishing, 2015) and Red November: Inside the Secret U.S. - Soviet Submarine War (HarperCollins, 2010) and he is the only author invited by the U.S. Navy to observe recent ICEX operations in the Arctic.   

Reed's Concluding Speculations

"The U.S. Navy has a working prototype, but they lack funding and awareness to bring it to life. Perhaps it’s time for politicians to stop bickering and posturing for votes, and explore innovative ideas like this to help defeat Putin and halt climate change before it’s too late."  - from Reed's  Say Goodbye to the U.S. Petrodollar.

Submarines are always silent and strange. 


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