Marines Allowed To Smoke In Afghanistan

Be it Afghanistan or Saipan, Marines want their smokes.  Now Marines, and other servicemembers, will be allowed to smoke,

The Pentagon reassured troops Wednesday that it won’t ban tobacco products in war zones. Defense officials hadn’t actually planned to eliminate smoking — at least for now. But fear of a ban arose among some troops after the Defense Department received a study recommending the military move toward becoming tobacco-free — perhaps in about 20 years.Battle Weary, Cigarette Smoking Marine on Saipan During Fight to Wrest the Island from Japanese Photographic Print

Press secretary Geoff Morrell pointedly told a Pentagon news conference that Defense Secretary Robert Gates is not planning to prohibit the use of cigarettes, chewing tobacco or other tobacco products by troops in combat.

“He knows that the situation they are confronting is stressful enough as it is,” Morrell said, noting the wars inIraq and Afghanistan. “I don’t think he is interested in adding to the stress levels by taking away one of the few outlets they may have to relieve stress.”

yojoe out

Somali Pirates Want Revenge Not Money

The Pirates of Somalia previously stated that all they wanted was money, because that is their business. Now, apparently the pirates want more than money, they want revenge,

“The aim of this attack was totally different. We were not after a ransom. We also assigned a team with special equipment to chase and destroy any ship flying the American flag in retaliation for the brutal killing of our friends.”

So much for the strategy of deterrence by payment.  For an excellent explanation of the problem of dealing with the Somali pirates, see Strategy Page,

Continue reading

Charlie Weis Makes History At Notre Dame Against Navy

Charlie “The Disaster” Weis has done something no Notre Dame coach has done in the past 44 years: he has turned the annual game against Navy into a true rivalry.

For as long as most of us can remember, the Notre Dame Navy game was almost a buy for Notre Dame.  Last year Notre Dame lost to Navy.  This year Navy had a chance to win on the last play of the game.  Final: Notre Dame 27  Navy 21.

yojoe out

Supreme Court Rules Navy May Use Sonar During Training Despite Possible Harm To Whales

As previously reported here, the National Resources Defense Counsel has sued the Navy to prohibit the use of sonar during training exercises off Southern California because such training may be harmful to whales.  This case made its way through the 9th Circuit, and was recently ruled on by the Supreme Court.  Chief Judge Roberts authored the opinion,

Roberts wrote that “the Navy’s need to conduct realistic training with active sonar to respond to the threat posed by enemy submarines plainly outweighs” the environmental concerns raised by advocacy groups. “We do not discount the importance of [the challengers’] ecological, scientific, and recreational interest in marine mammals,” the opinion remarked.

Continue reading

Navy SEALs Rescue Hostage In Afghanistan

Great story from Sean D. Naylor of the Army Times:

The rattle of the stone against the door failed to rouse the guards. “They were both zipped up inside their sleeping bags, sleeping,” one behind the hostage on the floor of the darkened hut and the other outside, the engineer said. But their prisoner was awake and suddenly alert.

“I heard the latch rattling and somebody came in,” he said. “The first guy came in with a LED light, and I just presumed that somebody was coming to visit. I didn’t think of it anymore until the second guy came in and I saw the silhouette of the first fellow. Then I knew it was U.S. mil that was coming in. I don’t know how many guys actually came into the room, but it was soon filled up, and it was soon obvious that I was being rescued.

“I don’t know what I said in English, but whatever I said I said it rather loudly evidently, because they said ‘Quiet!’ ”

Continue reading

Navy Abandons Zumwalt-Class Destroyer

The Zumwalt-Class Destroyer (DDG 1000) was to be a class of next-generation, multi-mission surface combatants tailored for land attack and littoral dominance, with capabilities designed to defeat current and projected threats as well as improve battle force defense.

The destroyer was designed to be,

adaptable, affordable, survivable, flexible and responsive.

Evidently, the goal of affordability was not attained.

Growing costs and vulnerability to anti-ship missiles sank the Navy’s once-heralded “stealth destroyer,” a highly advanced warship designed to slip close to the shore unnoticed and pummel targets with big guns boasting pinpoint accuracy.

Faced with cost estimates upward of $5 billion per ship, the Navy had no choice but to let its prized Zumwalt destroyer program end after the first two ships are built, analysts said Wednesday.

The official rationale provided by the Navy for discontinuing the DDG 1000 is the cost.

The scuttlebutt, however, suggests that sailors were troubled by a Z-gram that indicated that they may be forced to wear sideburns if assigned to one of the destroyers.  In all likelihood this is rumor is completely unfounded.

yojoe (in no-sideburns mode) out

Video: Test Of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

This video is of the Marine Corps’s version of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35B.

yojoe out

Notre Dame Football Coach Charlie Weis Disparages U.S. Military

Hoodlum – noun – a young street ruffian, esp. one belonging to a gang.

Thug – noun – a cruel or vicious ruffian, robber, or murderer.

Notre Dame Football Coach Charlie Weis was quoted as saying “I could get hoodlums and thugs and win tomorrow. I won’t do it that way.”

Evidently Coach Weis is referring to the hoodlums and thugs that defeated his football team last year, which included a loss to the United States Naval Academy and the United States Air Force Academy. This is unacceptable for Coach Weis to label Midshipmen and Cadets as thugs and hoodlums to justify his abysmal coaching and Notre Dame’s lack of success on the football field.

Coach Weis was correct when he recognized he was a disaster. The jury from his failed malpractice case was correct when they returned the verdict: you are fat.

Coach Weis should concentrate on losing a record 10th bowl game, and stop besmirching the fine men and women of the Navy and Air Force.

yojoe out

US Navy: Carrier Air Wing To Be Unmanned By 2025

The Carrier Air Wing (CVW) in the U.S. Navy currently consists of:

By the year 2025 the CVW will include a squadron of UAV, dubbed the Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS). The UCAS will replace the F/A-18s. This will extend the range and loitering ability of the CVW.

The U.S. Navy’s program to determine the airframe to replace the F/A-18 is the F/A-XX program. This program underscores both the Navy and Marine Corps’s intensified interest in the future of unmanned air systems. Continue reading

Navy’s Latest Ship Constructed From Steel Salvaged From The World Trade Center

USS NEW YORKThe latest San Antonio Class LPD is USS NEW YORK. The mission of the LPD is to transport Marines and their equipment, including AAAVs, LCAC, and MV-22 Osprey. The all-important-and-inspiring difference with the NEW YORK, is that the bow stern is constructed of 8 tons of steel salvaged from the wreckage of the Wold Trade Center.

This is the most fitting tribute to the men and women who lost their lives during 9/11. Send the WTC to the tip of the spear.

yojoe (in blue mode) out

Air Force: No Blogs For You

The Air Force has determined that airmen will find no useful information on blogs. Thus, from this point forward the Air Force will block all websites with “blog” in the name. A spokesman for the Air Force explained that sites such as the New York Times will be authorized, because it is a reputable media outlet. Reputable? Does anyone remember Jayson Blair?

To suggest that any site with “blog” in its name has no useful information for servicemembers is preposterous. Take for example CAAFlog, a blog administered by a Marine Corps colonel dedicated to news and opinion on military justice and the latest developments in case law from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. No useful information there.

Also there is a bit of irony in the Air Force’s move vis-à-vis CAAFLog. The Marine Corps colonel who administers CAAFlog is employed by the Air Force as a civilian working for the Air Force Appellate Government Division representing servicemembers during their criminal appeals. Just to keep things straight, the Air Force has hired Col Sullivan, precisely for his education, experience, and opinions, yet members of the Air Force are prohibited from accessing a blog he administers, which relates to the subject matter for which he was hired. Is there a disconnect?

Let us hope that this does not spread to the other services.

yojoe (in protect-blogs mode) out

Upgrades To President’s Helicopter To Cost Additional One Billion Dollars

According to Aviation Week, the Navy, specifically the Marine Corps, will stick with the US 101, aka the VH-71, helicopter for the helicopter version of Air Force One, known as Marine One. The upgrades will cost an additional $1 billion, on top of the original $6.1 billion price tag. The Navy had also considered the Sikorsky H-3s as an alternative airframe.
The original decision by the Navy to select the VH-71 caused some controversy because the aircraft is manufactured by a foreign company. The VH-71 is manufactured by AgustaWestland, a joint partnership between British and Italian companies.

yojoe (buy USA, or not) out

US Military Maritime Strategy For The 21st Century: Congress Not Impressed

In October 2007 the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard released their combined proposal for maritime strategy: A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower. As would be expected, given the group preparing the report, the strategic importance of the world’s oceans was stressed. The report lists six key tasks, or strategic imperatives:

  1. Limit regional conflict with forward deployed, decisive maritime power.
  2. Deter major power war.
  3. Win our Nation’s wars.
  4. Contribute to homeland defense in depth.
  5. Foster and sustain cooperative relationships with more international partners.
  6. Prevent or contain local disruptions before they impact the global system. Continue reading

Marine Corps: Demonstration of F-35B Joint Strike Fighter

On 18DEC07, Lockheed Martin gave a demonstration of the F-35B, Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), to the U.S. Marine Corps. The F-35B uses short-takeoff/vertical-landing (STOVL) to allow it to launch from either a short runway or to launch vertically. The F-35B will replace the AV-8B Harrier. Lockheed Martin is scheduled to make its first delivery of F-35Bs to the Marine Corps in 2012. That is if Lockheed does not experience further redesigns, as it was forced to do three years ago.

The F-35B is one of the three variants of the JSF: Continue reading

Notre Dame v Navy: Navy Wins In 3rd Overtime, Weis Worst ND Coach In History

It is official, Charlie Weis is the worst Notre Dame coach in the history of color television. The Midshipmen of Navy defeated the Irish 46-44, to break a 43-game winning streak by the Irish. Coach Weis has led the Fighting Irish to a record of 1 win and 8 losses. The loss comes two weeks after the Trojans handed the Irish their worst lost since 1956. Both of these losses took place at South Bend.

yojoe Fight On!

Google Earth: Two New Chinese Nuclear-Powered Submarines

It appears there is a continuing problem with submarines being visible on both Google Earth and Microsoft’s Live Search. Last month, the propeller of an U.S. Ohio-Class ballistic-missile submarine was viable on Live Search. Then details of a Russian submarine were posted a city’s website. Now, two Chinese Continue reading

U.S. Navy Building Resembles Swastika When Viewed From Above

Navies around the world have been bedeviled by new problems created by the Internet. Be it the U.S. Navy having a photograph of the propeller of an Ohio-Class ballistic-missile submarine visible on Microsoft’s Live Search, or the Russian Navy having details of its latest submarine posted on a city’s website. It is again the U.S. Navy’s turn to have a satellite image cause embarrassment. At the Naval Amphibious Base (NAB), Coronado there is a barracks building, which when viewed from above, bears a sticking resemblance to a swastika.

Link to map.

This picture demonstrates one of the problems created by the use of the swastika by the Nazi Party. The swastika has an appealing look to it, which was probably the reason the Navy happened to use this shape. Note: there is no suggestion in this post, nor is there any evidence that the Navy intended to portray the symbol when designing the building. The swastika is used in numerous cultures and religions, including Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and the Navajo.

That being said, it may be unfortunate, but the swastika is not an acceptable image in the Western world, because of its use by the Nazi Party. And it is unlikely that this will change any time soon. The same fate has befallen the mustache style worn by Hitler. It is just not acceptable. Although, that does presuppose that any mustache is acceptable, which in this author’s opinion is never the case.
yojoe out

Russian Top-Secret Submarine 20120: Details Posted on Internet

In a previous post, it was discovered that the propeller of an U.S. Ohio-Class ballistic-missile submarine was viable on Microsoft’s Russia Developing Top-Secret Submarine-PaperLive Search.

Now the Russians are having a problem with submarine details being released on the web. According to a post at zerohostel, the commander of a submarine met with local city officials and revealed the project number, technical, and tactical characteristics of his boat. The data then appeared on the city’s website. This was later removed.

The speculation is that this new submarine is either a combination-diesel- atomic submarine or that it is equipped with a new type of nuclear reactor. See Javno for details.

Details of new Russian top-secret submarine revealed on city website.

The Internet, can’t live with it, can’t live without it.

yojoe out

Update: US Ohio Class Submarine Visible on Microsoft’s Live Search

After it was revealed that the propeller on a Ohio-Class ballistic-missile submarine was available on Microsoft’s Live Search, there has been much made of this very sensitive naval technology. With some military experts bemoaning the fact that people “in places like Waziristan who want us dead” now have access to the image. Continue reading