Monday, February 28, 2005

Anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Straight

48 hours ago you were the best warship of a multi-national Strike Force of two heavy cruisers, three light cruisers, and 10 destroyers.

You now find yourself alone with one other badly damaged cruiser, trapped in the Java Sea on the bloody loosing end of a failed attempt to stall the Japanese advance on
Dutch East Indies, no air cover, no chance to fully refuel or rearm, and only one way to escape to Australia and safety – The Sunda Strait.

Already sunk, or soon to be finished off are your former Strike Group ships HMS Exeter; HNMS De Ruyter, HNMS Java, HMS Electra, HMS Encounter, HMS Jupiter, HNMS Witte de With, and HNMS Kortenaer.

The only surviving destroyers, USS John D. Edwards, USS Paul Jones, USS John D. Ford, USS Alden, out of torpedoes and low on ammo and fuel, were detached from the Force the day before and are trying to escape on their own.

After a quick stop in Batavia to get HMAS Perth enough fuel to make it home, the exhausted cruisers make the run; the USS Houston had about 50 rounds each for her six operative 8" guns while HMAS Perth had only 20 rounds for each of her 6" guns.

The weather couldn’t be better for a
night action, if you were Japanese: Clear/night, full moon 6 or 7 miles/calm seas.

never even made it to the strait. The battle was fought just in sight of the Sunda Straight. The Battle of Sunda Straight started at about 2230, and though fought well and honorably on both sides, but in little more than two hours, both ships were lost.
At 11.55pm PERTH started to turn to make a run for Sunda Strait. At the same time SHIRAYUKI, MURAKUMO, HARUKAZE and HATAKAZE all fired torpedoes toward her. PERTH was hit by four torpedoes over the next 15 minutes, 3 on the port side and one on the starboard. She also received numerous shell hits. At 0025 on 1st March 1942, she finally sank a few miles ENE of St Nicholas Point not far from the entrance to Sunda Strait. HOUSTON now received all the attention and sank at 0045, not far from PERTH. In all, the Japanese had fired over 90 torpedoes at our ships.

Japanese losses were four transports, SAKURA MARU, HORAI MARU, RYUJO MARU, TATSUNO MARU and the minesweeper W2 ( Photo). All these ships were believed to have been sunk by the torpedoes fired by MIKUMA that missed the two allied cruisers.
Of the Houston’s 1,060 Sailors, 368 survived the battle and 278 the prison camps to return home.

Of the Perth’s 682
Sailors, only 331 survived the battle and 229 the prison camps to return home.

Sometimes you have to fight a battle with the Navy you have, not the Navy you wished you had.

The lessons here are legion. How not to run coalition operations, the dangers of fighting in a non-Joint environment, not having a full understanding of your weapons capabilities, wasting limited ammunition, underestimating your enemy. There is a lot to remember as well. Bravery, honor, dedication, and what happens when peace time leaders take charge of a wartime fleet.

BTW, Friday March 01, 2002 was
U.S. Navy Asiatic Fleet Memorial Day. Perhaps every March 1st should.

Update: SleeplessMind has a pic of two USS Houston survivors at the USS Houston monument back on 05 MAR.

Apres Theo van Gogh, le deluge

The growing story of the battle for the future of Europe in Holland has finally reached The New York Times. As discussed here, here, here, and here; Holland is the Canary in the European coalmine.

The tinderbox of non-assimilation, Islamofascism, and the self-destructive nature of the Socialist Welfare State seen throughout Western Europe is best seen there. It has reached the point that native Dutch are leaving their country, surrendering it to an aggressive, hostile, violent Golem - a monster of their own creation.
Leave this stable and prosperous corner of Europe? Leave this land with its generous social benefits and ample salaries, a place of fine schools, museums, sports grounds and bicycle paths, all set in a lively democracy?
Ummmm, yes NYT. And the real interesting part will happen over the next 50 years.
There is more than the concern about the rising complications of absorbing newcomers, now one-tenth of the population, many of them from largely Muslim countries. Many Dutch also seem bewildered that their country, run for decades on a cozy, political consensus, now seems so tense and prickly and bent on confrontation.
Yes, but you have made your bed, now you have to sleep in it. Or move to another bed and ruin that too (not unlike the looney-Boomer Californians who ruined that state and have now moved their bodies, politics, and votes to Oregon, Colorado, Arizona and other Western U.S. states).

In interviews, emigrants rarely cited a fear of militant Islam as their main reason for packing their bags.
Of course not.......

But he was still taken aback in November when a Dutch filmmaker was shot and his throat was slit, execution style, on an Amsterdam street.

In the weeks that followed, Mr. Hiltemann was inundated by e-mail messages and telephone calls. "There was a big panic," he said, "a flood of people saying they wanted to leave the country."

.... after they lie to the interviewer about why they want to leave. Watch what people do, not what they say. That is the core to the European problem, and the cancer of their Liberal Left philosophy. They would rather quit than admit that they were wrong and work to correct their problem. Denial is a river in Holland.

Ruud Konings, an accountant, has just sold his comfortable home in the small town of Hilvarenbeek. In March, after a year's worth of paperwork, the family will leave for Australia. The couple said the main reason was their fear for the welfare and security of their two teenage children.

"When I grew up, this place was spontaneous and free, but my kids cannot safely cycle home at night," said Mr. Konings, 49. "My son just had his fifth bicycle stolen." At school, his children and their friends feel uneasy, he added. "They're afraid of being roughed up by the gangs of foreign kids."
Yes, too bad you were too busy voting for ideas that made you feel good as opposed to voting for those things that would have left your children a Holland they could be proud of.

Immigrant youths now make up half the prison population. More than 40 percent of immigrants receive some form of government assistance, a source of resentment among native Dutch. Immigrants say, though, that they are widely discriminated against.
I am sure they do. But they are not leaving The Netherlands, now are they?

"They are successful people, I mean, urban professionals, managers, physiotherapists, computer specialists," he said. Five years ago, he said, most of his clients were farmers looking for more land.

Mr. Buysse, who employs a staff of eight to process visas, concurred. He said farmers were still emigrating as Europe cut agricultural subsidies. '"What is new," he said, "is that Dutch people who are rich or at least very comfortable are now wanting to leave the country."
Sounds familiar to me. The Jewish families I grew up with would always have the Grandparent-Uncle-Aunt who would be described as "Aunt Rose grew up in Germany. She came here in 1935 with her father who saw what was going to happen. Everyone else on that side of the family died during WWII."

Not a perfect analogy, but I'll use it. The smart professionals that have the money and foresight to leave are usually the first to leave. Not a good sign.

Ms. Konings said the Dutch themselves brought on some of the social frictions. The Dutch "thought that we had to adapt to the immigrants and that we had to give them handouts," she said. "We've been too lenient; now it's difficult to turn the tide."
But as always, there is hope the Dutch can fix their problems if they come to terms with them and take action.

Many who settle abroad may not appear in migration statistics, like the growing contingent of retirees who flock to warmer places. But official statistics show a trend. In 1999, nearly 30,000 native Dutch moved elsewhere, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. For 2004, the provisional figure is close to 40,000.
That's not good. The quitters don't vote...or fight.
Let's do the math here. Holland has a population of almost 16 million. Let's say the US population is 300 million. 40,000 Dutch is the same as 750,000 Americans. A year.

That's a story. I don't think that many Americans are going to Canada.

Sunday Funnies

Friday, February 25, 2005

Ward Churchill: He lies about his service too

Once more I want to make a pitch for B.G. Burkett's book Stolen Valor. Those who have read the book know how bad the "poseur" crowd is. From those who never served claiming to be SEALs, to those that were, say truck drivers in Vietnam claiming to be members of a LRRP team; lot of pathetic people claim to be more than they are.

Every person in a war is important. From the Unrated Seaman on the FFG doing Maritime Interdiction Operations, to the Commander of CENTCOM; every job is critical.

Churchill is already a known liar by claiming to be an American Indian when he is not. He also recently proved to be a artistic fraud as well. The Denver Post has also proved that he lied about his service in Vietnam.
U.S. Army records produced in 2004 in response to a request from the organization News From Indian Country show that Churchill was inducted on Nov. 16, 1966, and trained as a light-truck driver and projectionist. He spent most of a year in Vietnam.

The stories he has told over the years of his Vietnam service have varied dramatically. On a 1980 résumé submitted to the University of Colorado, Churchill wrote that he served as a public-information specialist who "wrote and edited the battalion newsletter and wrote news releases."

In a 1987 interview with The Denver Post, and as recently as two weeks ago, Churchill described his Vietnam service as more complicated. In the 1987 interview, he said he had attended paratrooper school and been assigned as part of an elite long- range reconnaissance patrol to hunt the enemy. His service records do not reflect paratrooper school, or training or assignment on reconnaissance.

At his recent trial on charges of disrupting Denver's Columbus Day parade, he said he had walked "point" in a combat unit in Vietnam and was called "chief" because of his Indian heritage. "I was on the ground pulling triggers. You can't undo that. And I have an obligation to do what I can by way of compensation," Churchill said in a recent interview. "You can say that is the foundational reason that I do most all of what I do."
What a poseur. Having done the better part of a year doing important, honorable service in Vietnam isn't good enough. What a crock.
Oh, and I pulled Saddam out of his spider hole

Hat tip to LGF and Michelle Malkin.

Freedom is not free: the Dutch example

Often in the history of Western Civilization, it is not those in uniform who are the bravest, or make the greatest contributions to Liberty. Just as a couple of examples, Americans can look to Ben Franklin and M.L. King. For now, the Dutch have Hirsh Ali and Geert Wilders.

In the face of death threats and the total disruption of their lives, Ali and Wilders continue to refuse to bend.

I am of two minds on this: first we should be strengthened by THEIR resolve, secondly saddened by the fact that they have to be prisoners in their own country because they speak for freedom.

As I have mentioned,
here, here, and here, what is happening in Holland is critical. In some ways, perhaps the Dutch are sticking their finger in the dike to resist the growing flood of Islamofascism in Europe.

Will their efforts be in vain? We'll see.

Hat tip to the outstanding
Dutch Report .

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Navy riverine "Brown Water Navy" forces in Iraq

Actually, that title should be a question. Heck, I'm on active duty and have been looking for these guys, the modern version of "Swift Boats", but there are none to be found. The only reference I can find is the Royal Navy's mentoring the Iraqi Riverine Patrol Service and our Special Boat Units who have nothing to do with regular riverine patrols.

Sooooo, while the Army, Reservists, and National Guard are busting a nut with the ground combat part of OIF with multiple 12 month deployments and extensions over the last few years, where is the Navy to shoulder more of the combat load? Seems like our traditional
"Brown Water Navy" experience would be a start, but noooooooo. You know who is doing this Navy mission? Well, the 1st CAV Engineers, Army Reservists, and other National Guard and Army units.

This has nothing to do with "rice bowl" issues. This has everything to do with carrying your load during war. The Army and Marines are asking a lot from their personnel on extended tours in Iraq. The Navy, honestly, is taking a rest with the Fleet Response Plan with a lot of underutilized Sailors that know how to run a damn boat and pull a trigger. We should cowboy up and take the Riverine Patrol from the Army so they can specialize on what they do best: ground combat.

Check out
Squidly for some great mini-movies shot on patrol in Iraq. One has some footage of the Army doing the Navy's "Brown Water" job.

Speaking of doing their job, this would be a natural area for the "Tits on a Boar", errrr, I mean Navy Reserve, especially since the Active Navy seems to think it is more important to man
FF(no-G with the MK-13 removal) with hundreds of Sailors to service a 3" gun than to contribute to the fighting in Iraq. The Coast Guard harbor defense experts could train them in a few months.

Soldiers doing a Sailor's job results in
people drowning and boats capsizing.

We have lost a lot of our blood earned corporate knowledge, and the Army is having to learn it all over again.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Rum, Buggery, and the Lash!!

"You say that I am ignoring the time-honored traditions of the Royal Navy? And what might they be? I shall tell you in three words. Rum, buggery, and the lash! Good morning sirs."

- Winston Churchill addressing the Sea Lords, 1912

Well, it looks like Winston got it right.
The navy announced Monday that it had asked Stonewall, a group that lobbies for gay rights, to help it develop better strategies for recruiting and retaining gay and lesbian sailors. It said, too, that it would most likely advertise for recruits in the employment sections of gay magazines and newspapers.

Recruiting? Advertising? I thought we were already doing that.

Where, oh where is Monty Python when you need them? Oh, that's right, they're on Broadway.

The change in the law followed a long and agonized debate here, similar to that in the United States, over the possible consequences of allowing gays and lesbians to serve. But when it took place, it was an anticlimax.

Well, that is an interesting choice of words. Why did it have to be the Royal Navy? The RAF has many more, ummm, errrr, alternative lifestyle choices. (not that there is anything wrong with that)

One should be careful to advertise that this is a no bashing zone at the Salamander hidey-hole (bad choice of words, again). Though brave, we do live in fear of punishment for poor behavior.

"Rum, buggery, and the lash." OK. From batting .333 to .666. Coming to a base near you. Should be interesting to watch.

The question is, could I work with gay personnel? Answer: I have for almost my entire career. 'Nuff said.

Come to think of it, I don’t remember a lot of strays in Hawaii…

It has reached the point that they have to a bill in Hawaii to make it illegal to eat Fido and Fluffy. While I was stationed there, I lived where H1 and H2 come together, I don't remember this being a big deal outside the jokes.

For those who have lived in Hawaii, you know that this was a great opportunity for the race-baiting, any excuse to be a victim crowd to come out.

State Rep. Alex Sonson says the proposed measure is a reaction to hearsay and would harm the image of Filipinos, Koreans and other Asian ethnic groups who make up the majority of the state's population.

"It perpetuates this myth that every Filipino is eating it," Sonson said. "But they're not."

Frank Wu, dean of Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, believes the issue of eating dog is stressed "to caricature and condemn particular populations," namely Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese and other Asians. Wu wrote about dog-eating in his book "Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White."

As is often true in the PDRH (Peoples Democratic Republic of Hawaii), just because there isn't a need doesn't mean we shoudn't have a law.

Honolulu resident Kim Soiti, who has a dog and two cats, thinks Wakai's bill should be passed even if there is no evidence that anyone in the state is consuming dog or cat meat.
Ah, but is there a grain of truth?
State Rep. Glenn Wakai (not an Irish name), who introduced the measure, said it is aimed at stemming the growth of a "cottage industry" with the potential to threaten public health. He said news reports last August about dogs being stolen and butchered in some Oahu neighborhoods proves there's a problem.
Sometimes I miss Hawaii. Then again, Anne - have PalmPilot lock up the pets.

I always love a good food fight.

UPDATE: PalmTree Pundit has a link to a local write-up in the Honululu Pravdatiser that still doesn't answer the question: can you get that as a Plate Lunch at L and L Drive in?

Sunday, February 20, 2005

60 Years Ago Today - Iwo Jima

For some perspective on the war we are in the middle of today. Check out this link. Great pics. Important perspective.

Success has many fathers.....and mothers it seems

Take a deep breath. Think about the first 10 months of 2004 and what the political Left was saying about Iraq. Think about a political tipping point where the legions of opposition start to abandon their posts to join the forces of victory. It started a couple of weeks ago with some of the auxillary troops.

I will leave you with this quote from an AP story. Try not to read the author of the quote. I will leave it in small font.
“The concerted effort to disrupt the elections was an abject failure. Not one polling place was shut down or overrun …The fact that you have these suicide bombers now, wreaking such hatred and violence while people pray, is to me, an indication of their failure..”
Senator Hillary R. Clinton, (D) NY

Welcome aboard Senator. You can find your stateroom in the Blue Tile area.

'Nuff said. Howard Dean, call you office.

Hat tip LGF and Austin Bay

Thursday, February 17, 2005

What is one thing we got for OIF?

If you are interested in the Iraqi elections, there is no better place than IEDs - Iraq Election Discussions. Visit early, visit often. For Iraqi election news, there is no better place.

For all you fans of the
Commissar and miss the days of his frequent posting, he is busy there.

Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

(Best sung to Alanis Morissett's "Ironic")

It’s like hypocrisy
About almost everything
I hate the President
And all of his things
I feel real important
About all the important things

And wouldn't you know
I’m a Moonbat

Honestly, I really couldn’t care less. It is like the pine cone at your feet, you just can’t help but kick it.

Amazing how proud she is to be an American.
"I will never renounce my Canadian citizenship," Morissette said in a statement Wednesday. "I consider myself a Canadian-American.
"There was a turning point during the ceremony where I felt connected to this country in a way that I didn't quite expect,"
There are, I don’t know, millions of poor, hard working people that love this country dearly that wish to have any chance to be Americans. Just plain American-Americans. Many have given their lives trying.

Congrats Alanis Morissette; don’t forget to pay your taxes.

UPDATE: I think Bookworm is on to something. I smell motivation, and a lot of George Wa$hington$ are all over it.

Keeping and eye on the long game: Part IX

Geeeezzzzeeeeee people!!!!
CIA issues warning on China’s military efforts: The director of the US Central Intelligence Agency has warned that China's military modernisation is tilting the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait and increasing the threat to US forces in the region.
You think?

OK. The sky is blue, the grass is green, and a Sailor is bitching about something. Any other statements of wisdom out there?

Lets pick
this apart a bit.

Porter Goss, ..... who was named in September to head the CIA, dropped any mention of the co-operative elements of the US-China relationship that characterized recent CIA statements. Instead, he said China was making determined military and diplomatic efforts to “counter what it sees as US efforts to contain or encircle China”.

What was that? I can't believe it. Truth!!! Unvarnished truth!!!

Phibian now fully supports the CIA Director's direction on China

But wait, there's more:
The change in tone was notable given US concerns over Europe's plan to end its embargo on arms sales to China. Experts on China said that, while warnings about China's military capabilities were not new, the CIA had in the past underscored the co-operation between the US and China.
Oh, rapture!! I can't believe my eyes!! Where has this guy been all my life?

Anyway, read the whole thing, it may strip away some of your sarcasm. It did for me. If you have followed the kow-tow from Foggy Bottom and Langley for long, you wonder if it is them or you. Porter Goss has a cluebat, and it sounds like he is cracking heads. Ahhh.

One last note. Ever wonder why in the 1990's we gave the Communist Chinese government the means to MIRV their missiles and make them more accurate? Wonder why they received, by hook and by crook, the ability to gain generational jumps in technology? Wonder why they paid so much money through their agents to support one American political party over another?
James Steinberg, deputy national security adviser in the Clinton administration, said: “It is a little surprising that it didn't say anything about the enormous emphasis China places on a stable international environment and constructive relations with the US.”


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

"Jimmy Carter - returning"

A perfect example of bitter sweet. "Good news, you screened for operational command. Bad news, it's the Jimmy Carter.

Great boat, unfortunate name.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Tokyo needs nukes?

Big hat tip to the irreplaceable Jonah Goldberg at “The Corner” on this one. Sparked a thoughtstream of more than one beer drenched conversation in my little career.

“If you were Japanese and you lived in their neighborhood, would you want a nuclear deterrent?” Answer,
“You bet your sake soaked ass I would!”

First of all, I have a lot of respect for the Japanese people and the Japanese military. Look what they have done in the last 125 years, and especially what they have done in since WWII. This is a strong, successful culture that is now, as imperfect as all democratic governments are, a bulwark of Western Civilization. And yes, I called them Western. Democratic. Free. Capitalistic. Western. Perhaps you could call them an “Adjunct Western Society with Eastern Underpinnings”, but don’t call them an Eastern culture.

Probably the Bill Murray movie
“Lost in Translation” showed it best. From a distance it looks Western, but when you step into it, it isn’t. Anyway, hard to explain. If you want to throw the BS flag, fine. In my mind, the “Western” construct is not an ethnic or racial construct; it is a cultural one that grew out of The Enlightenment. I sweep Japan, South Korea, and Singapore in that bundle for Asian countries. They have thrown off the shackles of Eastern traditional despotism for Freedom that Locke, Jefferson, and Franklin would all understand and be proud of. They might not like the Emperor and all, but what is a monarch or two among friends.

Back to the point. Anyone that has done a RIMPAC or two knows the ins and outs of the Japanese military. Their aircraft are in outstanding condition, their crews top notch (especially in my experience their submarine Skippers), and I would have no problem stepping into the breech with the
Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) anytime.

They are starting to come out of their pacifistic shell, especially after 9/11, and as have always been ready to go alone (smart cookies) if needed. They understand, as I wish all did, that you cannot 100% guarantee that the U.S.A. will be there to defend you from your enemies.

Outside a Tom Clancy novel or two, a nuclear Japan is no more of a threat to the United States than a nuclear Britain or France. It is generally accepted that Japan is ready to go nuclear, on very short notice, if they need to. To think otherwise is to be a fool.

In some ways, a
nuclear Japan may make America safer. They would be much less susceptible to nuclear blackmail, i.e.
“Do this or we will attack you. Do you think Americans will take the risk of loosing San Francisco, Honolulu, and Seattle by responding to our attack on your cities? Under President (put your nightmare president here)’s leadership? Do you trust (him/her) to do this? ….. I didn’t think so.”
Let Japan shoulder her own defense burden some more. Almost 50 years after the war, she has earned it. I would rather have Japan face down a bully from the front than to have them do it from behind Americans strung around the bow of their defensive bulwark. If Charles Krauthammer is right, as he almost always is, in his 2003 article, we only threaten a nuclear Japan and China will take care of the immediate problem of North Korea.

General Patton had a great
'I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French division behind me.'
Well, outside the British, I would rather head out over the horizon in the company of the JMSDF than anyone else.

More nukes better? Well, in theory no, but we have to live in the world we are given, not the world we wish we had.

Corner readers - Welcome aboard! Instalanche. Impressive. Visit awhile, the Wardroom is open for MIDRATS.

Monday, February 14, 2005

4 minutes 13 seconds in Falluja

1Lt. Prakash at Armor Geddon has a great link to a Soldier made movie made during the takedown of Falluja. Bravo Zulu the U.S. ARMY's TF2-2IN in their efforts to tell their story. If you have Torrent is it a great help, but if not go here for all your download options.

It isn't as "intellectual" as the outstanding
"20 Minutes in Falluja", and no one is as pretty as Harrison Ford but it gives you a feel what the Soldier wants you to see.

USS San Francisco grounding secondaries

The absolute best coverage of the USS San Francisco grounding and its follow on actions and finer details is found at Bubblehead's The Stupid Will be Punished. This is required reading if you want to get as close to the truth as you can without being "in the loop."

If you don't know by now, the CO CDR Mooney was permanently
relieved of command last week. Like I stated before a couple of times, I don't have all the facts. What I do know is that the surface and submarine community have a habit of going high-and-right in these situations, and I just don't see why a drone-like firing of CDR Mooney increases safety, combat readiness, or general morale of the fleet. I am concerned that we are encouraging, and therefore promoting, the less aggressive and meek peacetime leader that gets people killed. We have a history of doing that, and it isn't good for anyone.

Unlike WWII, we don't have a few years to push our best leaders to command and
get our torpedoes to work right; this is a "come-as-you-are" war environment.

Maybe CDR Mooney should have been fired, but I don't see it yet. The core to this though is that his Chain of Command has made that decision based on the information they had, and in a way we have to accept that and move forward.


Sunday, February 13, 2005

Chief of the Boat: Get me a corn broom!

Behold the power of cheese? Heck, behold the power of the blogosphere!!

First Howell Raines's, the editor of the New York Times was keel-hauled; then Memogate and Dan Rather's head on a pike; now Eason Jordan is gibbeted from the yardarm. A couple more MSM types, and we need to start thinking about the broom. While we are doing that, we should cue John's recommended musical score.

UPDATE: Llamabutchers has an excellent scorecard. While Vodkapundit and Lileks are having reasonable concerns we may get too carried away head-hunting, methinks it is healthy. Few things are as self correcting and self policed than the blogosphere. If you dork-up, the instalanche of pain is massive.
UPDATE II: Electric Boogaloo. 'What is it with the broom thing?', you say. Bubblehead gives a good overview, and Nineme plays around with it. Why do I care? Well, Dusty over at Argghhh! puts it quite well.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


I'll be out of comms until next week. 09 FEB 05 is the 39th anniversary of the first U.S. combat troops being sent to Vietnam many say. The USS Greenville sank the Ehimi-Maru, and Jeff Davis was elected as the first (and only) president of the Confederate States of America.

Sooooooo, in the big picture, my time away isn't that much.

Here. Enjoy the pic. My Grandfather served on the big one.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

USS San Francisco Grounding - DOOW's perspective

John at Argghhh! does my job for me. Bill the Rotorhead was sent the following email, I'll quote in full. This is slightly edited from the first few hours of this post. This sounds ligit and I will let those who can judge it. I will run it, and leave it at that.

Some of the abbreviations are:

DOOD - Diving Officer of the Deck
OOD - Officer of the Deck
SBO - Switch Board Operator - my job at sea
COB - Chief of the Boat
EOOW - Engineering Officer of the Watch

"To say that I've had a bad year so far would be a little short on the tooth I think. Last year was a good one for the boat. After spending 5 months away from home in drydock (Sandy Eggo) we got our second BA on ORSE (bad juju), received the highest score in PacFlt for a submarine TRE inspection, aced our mine readiness inspection with 4 out of 4 hits, completed 2 outstanding missions (will have to shoot you), and completed a early ORSE just before Christmas with an EXCELLENT. It was also the first year that Auxiliary Division had a Christmas stand-down since coming out of the yards in 2002. A-division also took the CSS-15 Red DC award for the second year in a row. My retention has been 100% since I checked onboard in Oct 2002 amongst 1st/2nd and turd termers.

We were going to our first true liberty port 2 weeks ago, heading for Brisbane and fun in the sun. As this WOG knows, we were getting ready for our crossing the line ceremony and the crew was really upbeat, and hard charging, we had just completed a great year for the San Fran. To say the world went to shyte in a hand basket would be an understatement. I would put it closer to a nightmare that becomes reality.

The seamount that is a large part of the discussion the last 2 weeks is un- named. The charts we carried onboard were up to date as far as we can tell. No modern geographic data for this area was available to us onboard as it is a remote area not often traveled by the Navy. We have one of the BEST ANav's in the fleet onboard, a true quartergasket that takes pride in his job. We have RLGN's onboard, when they are running, they are accurate as hell for our position, they also drive Tomahawks. We knew where we were. All of my depth gauges and digital read the same depths as we changed depth to our SOE depth for flank. I can't discuss alot, because I'm still a participant of at least 2 investigations....LOL.

I was the Diving Officer of the Watch when we grounded. If you read the emails from ComSubPac, you will get some of the details, from flank speed to less than 4 knots in less than 4 seconds. We have it recorded on the RLGN's-those cranky bastages actually stayed up and recorded everything. For you guys that don't understand that, take a Winnebego full of people milling around and eating, slam it into a concrete wall at about 40mph, and then try to drive the damn thing home and pick up the pieces of the passengers.

As for the actual grounding, I can tell you that it was fortunate that myself and the Chief of the Watch were blessed by somebody. I was standing up, changing the expected soundings for a new depth on the chart (yes, we had just moved into deeper water) leaning against the ship's control panel with a hand grip, and the COW was leaning down to call the COB on the MJ.

The next thing to cross my mind was why am I pushing myself off of the SCP and where the hell the air rupture in the control room come from? I didn't know it, but I did a greater than 3g spiderman against the panel, punched a palm through the only plexiglass gauge on the SCP and had my leg crushed by the DOOW chair that I had just unbuckled from. The DOOW chair was broken loose by the QMOW flying more than 15 feet into it and smashing my leg against a hydraulic valve and the SCP. I don't remember freeing myself from it. If I had been buckled in, I don't think I would be writing this. The COW was slammed against the base of the Ballast Control Panel, and only injured his right arm. He could of destroyed the BCP, he was a big boy. Everybody else in control, with the exception of the helm, was severely thrown to the deck or other items that were in their way, and at least partially dazed. Within about 5 seconds of the deceleration, we blew to the surface, it took that 5 seconds for the COW to climb up the BCP and actuate the EMBT blow. We prepared to surface right away and got the blower running asap, I didn't know how much damage we had forward but knew it was not good, I wanted that blower running.

I would say that about 80% of the crew was injured in some way, but do not know the number. We grounded in the middle of a meal hour, just after field day, so most of the crew was up. Once we got the boat on the surface and semi-stable with the blower running the rest of the ship conditions started sinking in to our minds. We were receiving 4MC's for injured men all over the boat. I was worried that those reports were over whelming any equipment/boat casualties that could make our life worse. I had teams form up of able bodied men to inspect all of the forward elliptical bulkhead, lower level, and tanks below those spaces. I couldn't believe that we did not have flooding, it just didn't fit in. At one point I looked around in the control room, and saw the disaster. The entire control room deck was covered in paper from destroyed binders, and blood. It looked like a slaughterhouse, we had to clean it up.

I knew that Ash was severely injured and brought to the messdecks, he was one of my best men, and one of our best sailors onboard, he was like a son to me. After surfacing I was the control room supervisor, I had a boat to keep on the surface and fight and knew that if I went below to see how he was doing, it would teeter me on the brink of something that the ship did not need, the ship needed somebody who knew her. I have to say that the design engineers at Electric Boat, NavSea and others have designed a submarine that can withstand incredible amounts of damage and survive. We lost no systems, equipment, or anything broke loose during the impact. The damage to our sailors was almost all from them impacting into the equipment.

The crew is a testament to training and watch team backup. When a casualty occurs, you fight like you train, and train like you fight. It kept us alive during that 2+day period. [emphasis mine - ed]

I've just returned from the honor of escorting my sailor home to his family. God bless them, they are truly good people and patriotic. The Navy is doing everything they can for them and they are learning how submariner's take care of each other. During the memorial and viewing on Saturday, CSS-15 provided a video from the coast guard of us on the surface and the SEAL/Dr. medical team being helo'd in, the family had this video played on 2 screens in the background. It was a sobering reminder of what a hard woman the ocean can be. We had to call off the helo because of the sea state, it was becoming too dangerous for the aircraft, we almost hit it with the sail a couple of times. The sea would not allow us to medivac in our condition and that sea state. I was one of the 23 sent to the hospital that Monday. I was fortunate, my leg was not broken, just trashed/bruised. I walked on that leg for almost 24 hours before it gave out on me and they had it splinted. The SEAL made me promise not to walk on it, how do you refuse a SEAL? LOL. So I hopped around on a single leg for awhile, the other chief's were calling me Tiny Tim, LOL. "God bless each and every one! Except you, and you, that guy behind you!". The COB threatened to beat my @ss if I walk onboard before my leg is otay, he's about the only man onboard that I'd take that from, hehe.

The crew is doing better, we've lost a few due to the shock of the incident. We will make sure they are taken care of. The investigation goes on, and I have a new CO. I will only say that the San Fran was the best damn sub in the Navy under CDR Mooneys leadership. We proved that. God bless him and his family no matter what happens in the future, he is truly a good man.

I just need to get my leg healed and get back to fighting my favorite
steel bitch..."

I am hearing from here and a couple of other places that Skipper Mooney might be under the gun. I know there is more out there that we don't know, but if things are as they seem, I hope he doesn't go down.

You know, in aviation if you are in a multi-engine plane that due to no fault of your own, one engine blows itself and one other out of 4 engines and you manage to get back, they don't fire you-they give you an Air Medal with Bronze Star. Go figure. I need Bubblehead's take on this.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Keeping perspective on LT GEN Mattis

As usual, Mac Owens writing on National Review Online sets the right perspective how everyone should be thinking about this. Those that are attacking a great man and making assumptions about his character should read then-Major General Mattis speech to his troops as they prepared to enter Iraq in March 2003.
For decades, Saddam Hussein has tortured, imprisoned, raped and murdered the Iraqi people; invaded neighboring countries without provocation; and threatened the world with weapons of mass destruction. The time has come to end his reign of terror. On your young shoulders rest the hopes of mankind.

When I give you the word, together we will cross the Line of Departure, close with those forces that choose to fight, and destroy them. Our fight is not with the Iraqi people, nor is it with members of the Iraqi army who choose to surrender. While we will move swiftly and aggressively against those who resist, we will treat all others with decency, demonstrating chivalry and soldierly compassion for people who have endured a lifetime under Saddam's oppression. Chemical attacks, treachery, and the use of the innocent as human shields can be expected, as can unethical tactics. Take it all in stride. Be the hunter, not the hunted: never allow your unit to be caught with its guard down. Use good judgment and act in the best interest of our Nation. "You are part of the world's most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon. Share your courage with each other as we enter the uncertain terrain north of the Line of Departure. Keep faith with your comrades on your left and right and Marine Air overhead. Fight with a happy heart and strong spirit.

For the mission's sake, our country's sake, and the sake of the men who carried the Division's colors in past battles — who fought for life and never lost their nerve — carry out you mission and keep your honor clean. Demonstrate to the world that there is 'No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy' than a U.S. Marine.

J.N. Mattis

Major General, US Marines


Read Mac Owens article and remember the type of world we live, and the blessings to this country men like LT GEN Mattis represent.

NB: Other entries on LT GEN Mattis here and here.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

A man was slaughtered for this

I know, I know. I'm drifting away from the fleet......but as I mentioned before, what is happening in Europe is of critical importance to long term strategic plans.

Anyway, remember Theo Van Gogh who was slaughtered like a goat for his film Submission? Well here is the reason why. You can watch the film that led to his death and the protective escort and "safe house" life of elected representatives of the Dutch people.

One of those is Ayaa Hirsi Ali, whose blog, if you read Dutch, you can find on my list.

You don't have to like his work, but if you want to understand what drives Islamofascist to murder, you need to watch it.

Hat tip LGF

Alpha Bravo this is Pelican One: Standby DUSTBIN on my third “NOW” – Break – NOW:NOW: ……

It is a true phrase that when your enemies are destroying themselves, it is best just to get out of their way. However, it is also true that schadenfreude requires that you take a peak or two in-process. I am going to let Sisyphean Musings do the heavy lifting here.

In some ways, you have to feel sorry for ‘ole Eason Jordan at CNN.

But not really.

If you ever wondered why at ever base from Alaska to Baghdad it is all Fox News on the monitors and very little CNN, this story should help explain it.

During one of the discussions about the number of journalists killed in the Iraq War, Eason Jordan asserted that he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by US troops in Iraq, but they had in fact been targeted. He repeated the assertion a few times, which seemed to win favor in parts of the audience (the anti-US crowd) and cause great strain on others.

Hugh, La Shawn, and CAPT Ed among others are all over this.
Just beyond all reason, logic, or explanation. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Let’s roll the tape………

UPDATE: Poor Mr. Eason. There is now a dedicated blog to "EasonGate" and it is mentioned at the UberBlog Powerline. Oh goodness. There is blood in the blogosphere water.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Death of Europe Continued – “We hate ourselves. Will you love us now?”

Sometimes it seems as if the collective governments of Europe have been taken over by some strange mix of the New York City Teachers Union and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

The sheer mindless Moonbattyness of this is almost beyond description. Scrappleface couldn’t make this stuff up.

Read the whole thing here (get your Dutch dictionary handy), but let me give you a “Pu-Pu Platter” sampler:

In the Netherlands the national flag is now banned on most schools. If a student wears the national flag of his own country he will be suspended or expelled from school. The reason for this is that this provokes the immigrants (the Muslims) and therefore it is considered discrimination if you wear your country's flag in your own country. Even people who have a bumpersticker with the flag on their car are harassed and called a fascist by the Muslims. Most schools also ban certain clothing like the Lonsdale brand and combat boots with white or red laces. This is also considered a sign of racism.

There are of course no restrictions for the immigrants on clothing.

Combine an imploding demographic profile with the lack of moral courage to defend you culture, and I am sorry, you are done. Grab fork. There is hope out there in wooden shoe land, but the Right is going to have to deport their Left to Brussels before it is too late. Well, deport is just too strong of a word. Just vote them out of office. It’s fun.

Hat tip to Anne at PalmTree Pundit, she beat me to the punch on this one, but she pointed me towards Bookworm Room, so I will forgive her....again. Looks like a nice place to visit. If you want hear more of my take on Europe, I hit it here, here, and here.

UPDATE-EXTRA-EXTRA-UPDATE: BAAAAWAAAHAHHHAHAHHAAAA!!! Much better stuff here the further you dig. Recommend going to DutchReport and DownEastBlog for some better detail.
I think, in Holland at least, we may.....may... be reaching a tipping point. Good Dutch citizens all over are starting to throw the BS flag. Additionally, some (myself included) should be careful throwing around the "L" word (Leftist) term that can be from a "American-centric" perspective. The "Christian" Democratic MP's are running for their Dhimmi corner on this as well. Sounds like the Dutch people need to start wearing Ukrainian Orange .....
......oh, remember the "racist" charge? Take a gander of one of the two 16yr old boys that started the whole ruckus........his mother is of African extraction!! BAWAHHHAAAAA. I love it when reality beats the PC race baiters over the head. Their “everyone breeds like we do" worldview is just outdated. This issue has nothing (of course) to do with has everything to do with culture. Patrick Balk and Mark De Mooij, keep it up. We are on your side. From one mutt to another.....wear it with pride - and sing your national anthem (what is that anyway - "My Tulip Grows out of my Wood Shoe at my Windmill"?) while you are at it!
UPDATE II Electric Boogaloo: Not England too!! Sigh.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

LT General Mattis - Any further questions?

My regular readers already know I would follow Lieutenant General Mattis about anywhere. Those that know him or his type will understand why.

Reuters crowd is all a'titter because they happened to hear the good General speak what is, as blunt as it is direct, true for many - though not all.
Lt. Gen. James Mattis, who led troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, made the comments at a conference Tuesday in San Diego.

"Actually it's quite fun to fight 'em, you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up front with you, I like brawling," said Mattis.

"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil," Mattis said during a panel discussion. "You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

His boss (Commandant of the Marine Corps General Hagee) had something to say,
"I have counseled him concerning his remarks and he agrees he should have chosen his words more carefully,"
Ahhhhh, to be a fly on that wall. I'm not sure my feelings are exactly in-line with LT GEN Mattis, but I'm not a Marine.

I will tell you who's feelings LT GEN Mattis is in line with. He looks like him, he kind of talks like him (the real one-not George C. Scott), and if you take time to General Patton's famous speach, you will know what I mean.

Glad he is on our side.

UPDATE: Good news. Both CAPT Ed and Hugh are giving General Mattis some topcover. Chester makes some very valid points as well.

First Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Medal of Honor

Sergeant First Class Smith, Bravo Zulu and may God rest your soul.

I know there are more out there that deserve this medal, and I wish we didn't have to give this posthumously. The full story here, but as a Standing Order, you must see this multi-media presentation that tells the story, background, and justification. It speaks for itself.
"I'm going first!" - Sergeant First Class Smith, upon seeing 100 Iraqis with RPGs heading for his platoon, instructs his men to wait for his fire as the signal to try to fight their way out.
"I'm going first!" - That, my friend, is a leader's core. You can add that to your lexicon of military quotes.

Hat tip:

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Two Army guys that speak with "Big Medicine"

Everyone on active duty has to deal with the "Oh you are in the military? Let me tell you what I think about ...bla...bla...bla"

Personally, I love a solid conversation about everything POLMIL, but now and then you get on the receiving end of a one-way conversation with one of the Moonbat Legions. Never fun, and always a great opportunity to demure and walk away.

Well, these two Army guys put is like a Marine should (snark, snark). Go to their page
"Schadenfreude" (BTW: Top 5 word, Soldier. I am red with envy. That should have been my blog name!!!!!) Here is a teaser quote, though you have to go to their page for the rest of the pics that set the mood;
You sit there and pontificate on subjects you know nothing about. The best you can do is regurgitate what your favorite LSAH spewed on CNN last night.....You attempt to make judgments on me and my fellows from a position of ignorance. The amount of truth you actually know is so insignificant as to be ridiculous. We are all a little more stupid for listening to you.
Demure my ass. Well said Soldier!

Hat tip: