Odds And Ends

Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:

WWII torpedo boat wreck surfaces in Pacific
quote:

The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Apr 30, 2007 15:27:55 EDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – The explosive-laden wreck of a World War II torpedo boat has risen from the Pacific Ocean off the Solomon Islands, pushed above the water by a powerful earthquake, an official said Friday.

The boat was exposed when reefs rose 10 feet above sea level during a 8.1-magnitude quake that caused a devastating tsunami, killing 52 people in the western Solomons in early April, said Jay Waura of the National Disaster Management Office.
Story at http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/04/ap_wwii_torpedoboat_070427/

Comment: I trust the Explosive Ordnance Disposal people will be careful with this one. Vintage explosive fillers from World War Two don't need a lot of incentive to go BOOM!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Contra Costa Times:

Alameda still waits to reap benefits of Navy base closure
quote:

By Kelly Rayburn
MEDIANEWS STAFF

Article Launched: 04/30/2007 03:07:15 AM PDT


ALAMEDA -- Even before the Navy left Alameda in April 1997 federal and local officials had laid the groundwork to convert the former naval air station into residential neighborhoods and commercial districts. Post-Cold War base closures were devastating for many military cities, and the Clinton administration was taking steps to soften the blow to communities affected by them.
In Alameda, the redevelopment proved much more difficult than anyone anticipated.

Today marks an anniversary in the city that will not be celebrated with a community gala or proclamations from the mayor. Ten years after the Naval Air Station here officially shut its operations on April 30, 1997, the island's west end is still largely dominated by deteriorating old buildings and contaminated land.

And the Navy still owns the property.

"The city thought that it was pretty straightforward," said Doug deHaan, who had a 36-year career at the air base and now serves on the Alameda City Council. "We didn't really realize the difficulty we were facing."

The past decade has been marked by shifting Navy land-transfer policies, disputes over how much contamination clean-up will cost, swings in the high-tech and housing markets, broken plans and muddled expectations.

There have been some notable successes:
Story at http://www.contracostatimes.com/bayandstate/ci_5784369

From The Miami Harald:

Warships arrive at Port Everglades
quote:

Six U.S. Navy ships and four Coast Guard vessels sailed into Port Everglades Monday morning at the start of Fleet Week celebrations.

Under blue skies in a light breeze, uniformed sailors ''manned the rails,'' standing at parade rest. By 10:30 a.m., all were docked except a Los Angeles class fast attack submarine.
Story at http://www.miamiherald.com/466/story/91440.html
 

Eric Longo

Member
Aug 13, 2004
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Hi Michael,

That was an interesting and unusual story about the "rising" WW2 vessel. Thanks!

Best,
Eric
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>That was an interesting and unusual story about the "rising" WW2 vessel.<<

That's why I post the articles. I just hope there aren't any more earthquakes pushing any surprise packages like this near the surface. The EOD people will know how to handle it, but the same can't be said of souvenier hunters. Messing around with old ordnance is a good way to find out whether or not there's anything to your religion!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From Defence News.com:

U.S. House Seapower Panel Adds 3 Ships To Navy Request
quote:

By unanimous vote and without debate, the House seapower subcommittee approved almost all of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps’ 2008 budget request – and kicked in three unrequested ships as well.
The additions include:
- $1.7 billion to add an LPD-17 amphibious transport dock.
- $456 million to add a T-AKE dry cargo ship.
- $588 million for advance procurement of a nuclear reactor for a Virginia-class attack submarine.
Story at http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=2732884&C=america

Comment: The budget games are afoot! Stay tuned for further developments.

Why?

Because the house panal adding things to the budget doesn't mean they'll actually stay on the budget!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From Defence News.com:

U.S. House Panel Pushes Nuclear Surface Ships
quote:

The prospect of the U.S. Navy once again using nuclear energy to propel its larger surface warships edged a bit closer to reality May 3 with a push from a powerful congressional subcommittee.
“We are requiring that new classes of major surface combatants are designed and constructed with integrated nuclear power systems,”￾ Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., chairman of the House Armed Services seapower subcommittee, said during the panel’s markup of the 2008 defense authorization bill.
Taylor’s predecessor as chairman, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., echoed the call.
“Nuclear propulsion is simply the right thing to do,”￾ said Bartlett, now the panel’s ranking minority member.
Story at http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=2736132&C=navwar

Comment: Except for aircraft carriers, the U.S. Navy has not built a single nuclear powered surface warship since the USS Arkansas was laid down in 1977. This might sound surprising but when you take a look at the economics, it's a bit easier to understand. Nuclear powered vessels are sufficiently expensive to build and operate that it just isn't worthwhile for anything save an aircraft carrier, and for obvious tactical reasons, combat submarines. However, with the price of oil tending to go up more then down, the economics of this are changing.

For an interesting discussion of some of the advantages and disadvantages, go to http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-019.htm
 

Jim Hathaway

Member
Dec 18, 2004
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Hi Michael-
I remember the CO of another Burke being sacked a few months ago as well-
The Constitution CO is interesting- two months before his term was due to expire-
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>two months before his term was due to expire-<<

Yeah, I nticed that. Makes you wonder just what's going on, but I don't expect we'll ever get any sort of answer. That "Administrative matters" thing is a way of saying something while revealing nothing.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:

Newest MSC ship to be christened Tuesday
quote:

By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Monday May 14, 2007 20:29:42 EDT

SAN DIEGO – The late Richard E. Byrd, one of the nation’s most preeminent explorers of his time, on Tuesday will have his name on the Navy’s newest seagoing cargo ship to be launched.

Navy Rear Adm. Robert D. Reilly, Jr., who commands Military Sealift Command, will be the keynote speaker at the morning christening ceremony in San Diego, where the Richard E. Byrd – which will bear the hull number of T-AKE 4 – will slide into the sea.
Story at http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/05/navy_richard_byrd_070514/
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Lockheed Martin press release:

Lockheed Martin-Built Trident II D5 Successfully Launched in Two-Missile U.S. Navy Test in the Atlantic
quote:

Test Brings Record to 119 Consecutive Successful Launches; Includes
Roll-out of New Test Missile Kits

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., May 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The U.S. Navy
conducted a successful test launch yesterday, May 15, of two Trident II D5
Fleet Ballistic Missiles (FBMs) built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT). The
Navy launched the unarmed missiles from USS Tennessee (SSBN 734) in the
Eastern Range in the Atlantic Ocean.
With this two-missile Follow-on Commander Evaluation Test, the Trident
II D5 missile has achieved 119 consecutive successful test launches since
1989 -- a record unmatched by any other large ballistic missile or space
launch vehicle. The launches are part of a continuing series of operational
system evaluation tests conducted by the Navy to assure the safety,
reliability, readiness and performance of the Trident II D5 Strategic
Weapon System, as required by the Department of Defense's National Command
Authority and conducted under the testing guidelines of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff.
For the rest, go to http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/05-16-2007/0004590325&EDATE=
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Newstand:

USS Helena Commanding Officer Relieved of Command
quote:

POINT LOMA, Calif. (NNS) -- Commodore of Submarine Squadron 11, Capt. Paul N. Jaenichen, relieved the commanding officer of USS Helena (SSN 725), Cmdr. William A. Schwalm, due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command May 16.
Story at http://www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=29453

Comment: What the hell is going on here? Three skippers sacked in as many weeks!
 

Jack Devine

Member
Jan 23, 2004
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"a loss of confidence in his ability to command"
It sounds like a bureaucratic code phrase. The dismissals didn't involve any courts martial, and drooling idiots don't advance to command. Since these sacked CO's didn't run aground or attack Manitoba, what IS going on?
Wonder if moral problems might be at fault: getting involved with female subordinates, that sort of thing. Plenty of distinguished careers have ended that way.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Wonder if moral problems might be at fault: getting involved with female subordinates, that sort of thing. <<

I doubt that one. Submarines don't carry female crewmembers. While that's no barrier to some inapproriate groping while on the beach, particularly at the Officers Club, if something like this was going on, the media would be all over it like buzzards on a dead horse.

In any event, according to an article in The Navy Times, it would appear that five skippers have been sacked! See http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/05/navy_cofirings_070517w/

That number may well be going up to six in very short order. The Arliegh Burke had a soft grounding incident the other day and there's something about the Samuel B. Roberts having been towed into port for some reason.

See http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/05/navy_sammyfrigate_problems_070515w/ and http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/05/navy_arleighburke_destroyergrounding_070516w/
 

Jack Devine

Member
Jan 23, 2004
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From the Navy Times: "sources have unofficially hinted that potential causes range from simple incompetence to improper fraternization to an allegation that a captain struck an enlisted crew member."
Looks like we could pick and choose from a whole menu of causes. A captain struck an enlisted crew member? The ghost of George Patton must have joined the Navy.
 

Jim Hathaway

Member
Dec 18, 2004
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I remember about 3 months ago, the CO of a Burke Class DDG was relieved, same reason given.
I did a web search that seemed to hint at an incident involving letting on duty crew drink during some sort of function aboard, in port, and an emergency occurring while in port.
I don't know if he actually knew anything, or just talk-
Interesting about the Roberts, it would be good to know more. I wonder if, or why she could not make headway using her APUs.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I wonder if, or why she could not make headway using her APUs.<<

I was wondering about that myself. Perhaps it was damaged in whatever incident took place or it may not have been operable at all. About the only thing we can do now is specualate unless somebody with an inside track knows what the real deal is.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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More on the proposed nuclear powered ships from the Navy Times:

Navy mulling more nukes, SecNav says
quote:

SAN DIEGO – Aircraft carriers might not be the only nuclear-powered surface ships in the future fleet.

Navy Secretary Donald C. Winter told a San Diego audience that service officials are closely studying the possibility of nuclear power for a new class of cruisers, a strategy that has drawn some congressional interest.

“We are folding in a nuclear option, a nuclear power option, into the analysis of alternatives that’s ongoing for the next-generation cruiser, the CGX,”￾ Winter told a May 16 breakfast meeting of the Military Affairs Council in San Diego at the Admiral Kidd Club in San Diego. Winter said the preliminary analysis of a nuclear-powered cruiser suggests the biggest power drain isn’t on keeping the ship running but in maintaining the constant operation of the large air and missile defense radar that’s planned.
Story at http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/05/navy_secnav_sandiego_070518w/

Comment: This article touches a bit more on what the Navy has to consider before greenlighting the project. All else aside, there are currently only two nuclear certified shipyards that are actually engaged in building nuclear powered ships. You can plan all the numbers you want, but if the capacity isn't there to build them, it ain't gonna happen.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From Rueters:

U.S. navy to fight crime, terror along African coast
quote:

By Daniel Flynn

DAKAR (Reuters) - The United States is boosting its naval presence along the lawless West African coast to combat terrorism, illegal migration and drug trafficking and to secure U.S. oil interests, senior naval and coastguard officials said.

Amid concerns that weak government controls in some West African states has made the region fertile for drug cartels, people smugglers and Islamist groups, the U.S. navy command in Europe has focused its activities southward.
For the rest of the story, go to http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=reutersEdge&storyID=2007-05-19T145210Z_01_L19151194_RTRUKOC_0_US-AFRICA-USA.xml&WTmodLoc=NewsHome_ R4_reutersEdge-1

Comment: I don't know how much good it'll do but in light of how piracy is on the rise off the coast of Africa, it's a start.