Monday, August 31, 2009

LCS: it just keeps on giving ...

The full story is behind the subscription firewall (if you could cut-n-paste it to me, that would be great) - but the rest is enough to make you bust a gut when spin meats reality.

LCS, the Little Crappy Ship - like we have been telling you from the beginning.

Byron, take a bow.
LCS 'Challenges' Top List of Unfunded Issues for Surface Warfare
Inside the Navy, Aug. 31, 2009
-- The Navy finds itself unable to budget millions of dollars in fiscal year 2011 to FY-15 to complete the first two Littoral Combat Ship vessels, integrate the mission packages for the ships and complete crew replacement and training among other priorities, according to a recent briefing by the admiral who heads the Navy's surface warfare directorate.
I. Told. You. So.

As this rolling train wreck continues forward we will hear more and more. SECDEF Gates, please kill this pig before it disgraces anymore of the taxpayers children's IOUs that we are writing to pay for it.

Once again - contract build the best EuroFig you can find until our shipyards come up with their own design. Make a run of 12-24, then transition to FFG(X).

Name, shame, fire --- or just invite those in the way to go home. It isn't too late.

Is that really an O6 job?

Not the guy relieved of command .... but his second.
The U.S. Naval Academy says the head of its preparatory school has been relieved of his command "for loss of confidence in his ability to command" the school.

Capt. Leland Hart Sebring has been commanding officer of the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, R.I., since July 2007.
Capt. Anthony Barnes, the academy's chief diversity officer, has temporarily assumed duties at the prep school until a permanent replacement is found.
Need to cut down on excess O6 billets? You can downgrade a few steps.

Hat tip Mike.

Phib, why nothing about Teddy?

Read this.

There are more reasons, but they tire me.

Sell the MIGs on Ebay pal ...

The upkeep ain't worth it and you have bigger fish to fry.
Iraqi officials have discovered that they may have a real air force, after all.

The Defense Ministry revealed Sunday that it had recently learned that Iraq owns 19 MIG-21 and MIG-23 jet fighters, which are in storage in Serbia. Ministry officials are negotiating with the Serbs to restore and return the aircraft.
I know someone who might take a '21 for the mid-five figures.

The '69 Anglo-Irish War

With everything else that went wobbly in the late '60s, imagine if this went down as well.
Ireland plotted to send special forces to attack BBC studios in Belfast as part of plans to invade Northern Ireland, it emerged yesterday.
With just 2,000 soldiers, they knew they could not mount a conventional military campaign against Britain's vastly superior numbers.

So strategists proposed using 'unconventional operations' - believed to mean bombings or machine-gun attacks - to help defend Catholics from loyalist mobs and gangs.

At the same time, they would launch two infantry-company attacks, involving about 120 troops, into Derry and Newry.
Cooler heads prevailed though.
But the planners admitted in the memo that such a momentous move would open the way to 'retaliatory punitive military action by United Kingdom forces on the republic.
Planners also realised the invading infantry faced being surrounded by British forces, and would need to dig in for a protracted defence.

It seemed, however, that doubts about their ability to wage such a campaign won the day, and the proposals were abandoned
Would it have been that easy for the British in '69?
'Despite what the British military might say in relation to conventional military operations, guerilla warfare could have had them on their knees in about a year.
'At the height of the Troubles, the Provisional IRA had about 1,000 active service unit members and 60,000 armed elements were not able to control them.'

A retired senior British officer who served in Northern Ireland, Michael Dewar, said the Irish would have faced annihilation.

'It is an absurdity to think that a puny military force like the Irish Army could in any form take on the British Army,' he said.
True sir ... but you don't have Cromwell anymore - and look what happened in '16-21.

Glad we didn't have to find out. Things have a way of finding their own path.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Funnies

Strange things in the new PQS requirements for a SWO pin, I guess.

Would a 1120 allow unquals to do this?

Not to be a stick in the mud because the blogger in me likes this - but;

Qualifications of a Naval Officer:
It is by no means enough that an officer of the Navy should be a capable mariner. He must be that, of course, but also a great deal more. He should be as well a gentleman of liberal education, refined manners, punctilious courtesy, and the nicest sense of personal honor.

He should be the soul of tact, patience, justice, firmness, kindness, and charity. No meritorious act of a subordinate should escape his attention or be left to pass without its reward, even if the reward is only a word of approval. Conversely, he should not be blind to a single fault in any subordinate, though at the same time, he should be quick and unfailing to distinguish error from malice, thoughtfulness from incompetency, and well meant shortcomings from heedless or stupid.

In one word, every commander should keep constantly before him the great truth, that to be well obeyed, he must be perfectly esteemed.

- Written by Augustus C. Buell in 1900 to reflect his views of John Paul Jones
.... and yes, I know I push the limits here as well. Just saying ....

Friday, August 28, 2009

Seduced by the Net

Galrahn has a nice read over at his place that is a good example of the ongoing effort my many to get a grip around what the Navy should be doing. Well worth your time reading.

However, I think though that there are several flaws in the foundation of what he is going for. In short:

---- Yes, Network Centric Warfare is seductive as a theory - ignore the abuse of its NCW buzzword theories and focus on the core. If, as is mentioned in Mukunda and Troy's article he quotes, NCW is just that - a sexy theory;
Sophisticated modern networks, linked by computer systems and flows of trade goods, have resulted in an enormous increase in world productivity, much of it derived from firms’ greater ability to specialize in a global market. This is the tantalizing promise of NCW—the potential to vastly increase capabilities without a concomitant increase in resources. Unfortunately, networks of specialized units can also be vulnerable to unforeseen or unforeseeable disruptions. Even networks that seem highly resilient can fail abruptly and catastrophically when they suffer unanticipated shocks. Just as the globalized world economy shows the potential benefits of networks and specialization, the worldwide financial crisis demonstrates their dangers.
I continue to state that if you rely on a network based especially on satellite communications to execute even the most basic at sea functions in wartime - without a reliable off-line capability to fight through the loss - I will defeat you with little loss to my own forces. It is a fool's love of technology that opens a huge strategic risk factor in war. The human desire to be attracted to the sparkling bits will get you.

Gal then goes into a very real seductive idea - specialization vs. generalization. He doesn't seem to be a big fan of generalization, something I prefer to call "multi-mission capabilities."

I also think that he is missing something here that might be helped with a few more examples, as his angle isn't clear.
There is no evidence at all that the Navy has made any significant effort to field specialized units and leverage NCW to gain more capability through specialization as NCW proponents envisioned. If anything, the more integrated the Navy has become with NCW, the more generalization has become an institutional priority. In fact, despite NCW and its promises, specialization has been shoved in its own box of general capabilities. The ugly reality, based on action, is that in the Navy specializations are neglected and treated with bias primarily because of their specialized skill, and the promotion boards have historically reflected it. Lets examine this in detail.
Most of the bias I have seen is simply parochial in nature. Nothing against specialists per se --- just the classic "His career doesn't look like mine." problem.

Gal goes on to discuss aviation and what I think is a criticism of the shrinking use of specialized aircraft. A fair critique and one I roughly agree with, but I don't think anti-NCW think has anything to do with it. A deck full of F-18s has everything to do with Fighter Mafia myopia and the accountant's love of common airframes folded up with budget mismanagement. The P-8 from 737 mostly has to do with a well earned distrust (see P-7) of Lockheed Martin's broken promises track record than anything else.

His surface discussion also has an off-phase angle to it.
The great naval surface warfare idea of 2009 is the same great naval surface warfare idea of John Lehman, 20 years ago: build the big multi-mission Arleigh Burkes. The Littoral Combat Ship is rightfully questioned in the way David Axe presented the other day, the hull is specifically a massive generalization of possibilities without having the necessary characteristics to make it a specialization in any specific area of warfare. Indeed, the way the SWOs look at Network-Centric Warfare in their approach to new ships, one will not find specialization anywhere as a future priority.
Full stop there. LCS is a perfect example of a love OF specialization and NCW. The whole Mission Module idea is the bastard step child of NCW thinking .... which is why it is expensive, unexecutable, nonoperational garbage. LCS sold as a system of system, NCW enabling platform is why we are losing our specialized units. Once again, LCS is not a multi-mission platform. It is a specialized platform as without its mission modules (specialized) it is simply a very empty, undermanned, expensive gunboat.

BTW, I recommend David Axe's article, and I welcome him to the LCS skeptic's club. Nothing there that we have not been discussing here since '06, but the more voices the better. Back to Gal though.

After a submarine discussion that I think is also a missing the multi-mission requirement of a modern SSN, Gal comes to something that we can agree on is an incredibly foolish thing;
I must be missing something, because I think sending a 9000 ton destroyer to build maritime security cooperation with a nation that fields 9 little coast guard boats is an embarrassing reflection of the attitude that promotes generalization in the Navy, something of an arrogance that the fleet can meet any obligation regardless of how little the US Navy may have in common with the specific requirements and tasks to be done.
Actually, no. The problem is that we decided we needed the "NCW leveraging power" of the mission module lov'n LCS, and therefore no longer needed a Frigate sized ship in our Fleet. Being that LCS continues to be this century's Patrol Hydrofoil of a success and our FF(no-so-G) are being sold to the likes to Turkey, the only available surface combatant out there are our DDG (which are really light cruisers). The Navy doesn't have a choice.

Gal has part of the larger problem, but again misses some critical aspects of the result.
The public face of Navy leadership today suggests the general consensus is that all of this generalization is OK, probably because generalization is all today's Navy officer has ever known. As the Navy has built itself through the 80s and since the end of the cold war, the specialization of generalization has become the requirement and direction resulting in massive, multi-mission capable warships.
A ship does not have to be large to have a multi-mission capability. Just look at the EuroFrigates that are being built by Norway, The Netherlands, Denmark, and others. Good, solid, reasonably priced ships that are ready to meet a variety of challenges without being the size of the Graf Spee.

I do agree that there is a problem of wanting ships to have it all, but that is not a new problem. Almost 100 years ago, there was the feeling that Battle Cruisers should also carry torpedoes - a fatal design flaw for many classes, but who studies history anymore, right Sid?

No, our problem has been a lack of discipline and parochialism - two things Gal does briefly hint towards in his post.

Gal, the intellectual churn is good - but I have to disagree with much of your post. I think you may have spread a bit too far in applying NCW and the generalization vs. specialization concepts. Maybe break your post into specific arguments instead of addressing them all in one post, maybe? ;)

I think NCW is a related problem from a generalization vs. specialization standpoint, but not as interrelated as you propose in your post.

Many of the problem in your post are, in reality, micro decisions that manifiest themselves in macro concepts, and not macro concepts manifesting themselves in micro decisions ... except for LCS. That dog's breakfast is the child of NCW-think. The results speak for themselves.

Also, NCW isn't a promise, it is a mirage.

Fullbore Friday

Just another old man walking around in his garage, eh?
These days he’s long retired, living with his wife, Shirley, in a trim split-level below a wall of rimrocks near the college where he used to teach. Every day he tramps out to the studio behind his house to paint and draw.
You ever wonder what they have seen? Maybe, just maybe --- you don't want to know.
He is 91 years old now, among the handful of last men surviving from America’s worst military defeat, the fall of the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines during that desperate winter and early spring of 1942.
American Heritage magazine has a must read article that personalizes what is often forgotten --- and rarely read in detail like this.
He tried to stay aloof. So many were dropping to the road, he thought, it was better not to get close to anyone. But north of Layac Junction, about 50 miles into the march, he lost his resolve and befriended a march mate. They had talked a bit while walking: about where they’d been, where they might be headed, what might happen when they got there. Talking made the walking easier, the heat a little less intense. Next afternoon on the road, he noticed his new friend beginning to wobble, and a mile or two later the man gave out and went down, grabbing for Steele’s leg.

“Come on, Ben—help me!”

He and another man hauled the dropout to his feet. They hadn’t gone far before a guard rushed up and shouted at them to let go. His helper obeyed, but for reasons beyond all understanding, Steele hung on, and the next thing he knew, his buttocks were on fire. He thought the guard’s blade had penetrated to his pelvis. Blood was beginning to course down his leg, and flies were starting to swarm the wound. He looked at the man he was holding, hoped he’d understand, then let him sink slowly to the road at the guard’s feet.

“No!” the man said. “No. Please.”
Ben Steele; well done on a long, good life. Read it all.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Less work - more life ..... no balance for the fleet

The quote earlier this AM about the Navy's failure to fill the gaps in the manning document due to IA's brought to my nogg'n a very touchy subject, and an article in NavyTimes about it on my desk.
... pregnancy in the ranks is rising—especially among those in deploying units. That’s because the service does track—as a group—female sailors who have been sent to shore duty after their 20th week of pregnancy or those on an “operational deferment”—the guaranteed time the Navy gives women while they recover from childbirth.

These women are put on shore duty during their 12 months of deferment, then return to sea duty.

The Navy increased this deferment time in June 2007 from four to 12 months. As a result, the number of women leaving deploying units to have children has increased steadily from 1,770 in June 2006 to 3,125 as of Aug. 1. Junior enlisted women make up the bulk of those redirected to shore duty. Sailors in grades E-3 through E-5 account for 2,852 of the 3,125.
Just like the fact that it is complete professional malpractice that almost eight years into the war, that we still put Commanding Officers on the spot because Big Navy DOES NOT have a system to,
Reflect clearly in manning documents (and in readiness reports) Sailors who are on IA assignment and therefore unable to fill critical mission roles within the parent unit
Likewise we do not adequately address pregnancy.

Early on in the article, this brought a chuckle.
Pregnancy in the Navy is on the rise—but exactly how much isn’t exactly clear. That’s because the Navy says it doesn’t have the means to track exact pregnancy statistics servicewide.
Of course it doesn't - institutionally we are terrified of even discussing it. One of the greatest secrets held at the Strike Group Commander level is the pregnancy rate. Oh, and don't dare ask how many are single.

We also lie to ourselves and our Sailors,
‘The Navy strongly believes that having children and a career in the Navy don’t have to be at odds,” she said.
Lack of clear conversation.

Anyone who has children knows that having them, except for very rare cases, is at odds. You can make it work, but it is very hard and requires a great partner that is also willing to make sacrifices. That is, of course, unless you have a stay at home Dad or spend almost all your career on shore duty. Otherwise, if you are in a warfare area - someone else is raising your kids for you. Fact.

You cannot do both well (see
Jack Welsh). That is especially true if you want to have more than one child and/or are a single parent.

Fair? Life isn't fair .... but the most valuable and precious thing you will ever have in what little time you have on this earth are your children. Full stop.

This is not an anti-woman thing; this is about mature people talking bluntly with each other. Some of the best leaders on the Enlisted side of the house I have known have been female. Here, I think, is one.
A senior enlisted woman from the destroyer Ross said her ship was having an epidemic of pregnancies in the crew, with 15 women becoming pregnant in the past year among a female population that averaged 36 over the same period of time.

Another said that she’s seen too many women elect to get pregnant to avoid making deployments of six months or longer—swapping that for an 18- to 21-year commitment to raise a child. Another said she still sees too many young male sailors eyeing newly reporting female sailors as targets of opportunity more than shipmates. More counseling in responsible behavior, she said, was needed immediately after these young sailors get to their command.
Have a few of them with "high demand, low density" NECC and you are in a pickle.

There is also a background story that isn't talked about much. A big tragedy I have had to deal with too often. A young woman joins the Navy at 18. Gets pregnant by her 19th birthday and MILPERSMAN's her way out and winds up back with her parents with a child by age 20 having done nothing for 2 years. She won't identify the father because he is a married E5 with two kids, etc.

How do you address that? Tough. We don't address it enough with our Sailors, I think. I always get a kick (not in a happy way) out of the expression on the face of that E4 when I tell him how much money we are going to take out of his paycheck for the next 18 years. Then he tells me another female E2 is pregnant by him .... and I tell him the new number.

People are mammals. You need to find a way to get the higher brain functions to override the lower brain functions - then you might get some success.

Oh, before I leave - let me put a wobble on this mindless spin.
“We see a decline in pregnancy rates on ships where there is a strong presence of females in leadership roles at the command,” she (Stephanie Miller, head of women’s policy for Chief of Naval Personnel ) said. “It’s only been 15 years or so since the combat exclusion was lifted, and it’s taken time to grow these women.”
Bravo Sierra. Many parts of the Navy have had women fully integrated from day one. Heck, as a LTJG, the best Senior Chief I had the honor to serve with was a female - and she was more of a mean old goat than her Master Chief husband - and she was worth her substantial weight in gold. (BTW, some of you who deployed with the USS EISENHOWER on her first girl-boy-girl-boy cruise know who I am talking about)

That, Stephanie is a bogus excuse. You are right about the leadership - but like all leadership, you have to grow the right ones. The Oprahesque stuff we are putting out there does not work in the fleet except for those hot-house flowers who spend their career on shore duty.

Anyway, women having children will always, thank goodness, be with us. If Big Navy wants to have a high percentage of females in its ranks, it better find a better way of dealing with it.

Let me offer some help; the servicemembers need to find ways to adjust to the requirements of the armed service, not the other way around.

Sub-optimal manning

Some great replies to ADM Harvey's request,
I would like to hear from you regarding the fundamental manpower requirements for your ship, squadron, or unit. What changes would you make to your Officer Distribution Control and Enlisted Data Verification Reports that would better enable you to execute your current operational requirements?
..... over at his blog at CFFCBlog.

You should read it all, but here are two - one by a Surface CDR, one by a Aviation CDR - both just completed their O5 Command tour. First, Surface:
Maintenance actions are being levied on ships that used to be performed by SIMA. Now we have growing ship’s force work lists and reduced manning has forced some CO’s to live with temporary standing orders, departures from specifications in a way that sends a negative message about redundant capability. We have devolved to a philosophy of ‘if the minimum wasn’t good enough, it wouldn’t be the minimum’. Most people don’t seem to understand the need to have redundant features in equipment. Our loss of manpower means that we must rely on our equipment even more and we keep cutting corners. I often found that my maintenance team was perfectly willing to fix something but the operational requirements prevented them from doing their job. Again, a plan AT THE START of the training cycle articulating the risks to the 4-star might be the best way to ensure that all players are aware of the risks.

Finally, I would submit that the current training processes for both enlisted and officers are flawed. My division officers didn’t understand PMS, PQS, admin, supply, etc. All the good things we used to get at SWOSDOC are being levied on the ships. That’s fine when we didn’t compress the training and deployment cycle and reduce the manning. Some of my enlisted technicians never put a wrench to a valve or pushed a button on an actual console until they got on my ship. I would argue that virtual training on a computer IS a necessity but it has to be balanced with real world, hands-on training and the current mantra of ‘you will do that on the ship’ does not work. If you reduce the manning on ships and increase the requirement for self training (and increase maintenance) then you are setting up good Sailors for failure.

I recognize that this is a long way to say “get everyone together at the end of a deployment to plan the next deployment and have the fleet commander certify the plan to the 4-star.” This model could be accomplished without any expense and would allow for increased levels of success and even reduce costs created by last minute pre-deployment requirements “discovered” at the D-90 or D-45 gates.
Second; Aviation.
1. 4 of 8 squadrons in our airwing operated without assigned CMCs in the job. We’ve heard anecdotally that the CMC rate is manned at over 140%. Recommend that sea duty CMC billets be the first CMC billets filled.
3. Fully ‘unmask’ the Individual Augmentees in two ways.
a) Give O5 commanders the ability to “look in the window of the store” at what IA billets are filled, coming around for rotation, and filled by what claimancy. They may be able to offer “right fit” solutions by volunteers within their command before echelons 3/4/5 get tasked, and they can see first hand how IA billets are fair-shared across claimancies. There is currently no visibility to this information at the unit/wing level. If the information were available, it would generate much more collaboration and would put the right Sailors in the jobs with longer lead times to prepare. It would also reduce the odds of losing a Sailor in a critical job just when you need that Sailor most.

b) Reflect clearly in manning documents (and in readiness reports) Sailors who are on IA assignment and therefore unable to fill critical mission roles within the parent unit. Provides accurate readiness reporting.

Diversity Thursday

From Professor David Levy, a little something to keep in your back pocket whenever Diversity Bullies or their hired hands in the Diversity Industry come calling and you are having trouble understanding what they are saying, vice what they mean to say.
All points of view are equally valid

- I am willing to abandon all logic and evidence just to maintain the illusion that I am being open-minded and fair.

There is no objective reality

- except for what I’m saying right now.

In our culture, empiricism is over-privileged

- I don’t have any facts to back up my argument.

I’m not saying better,I’m saying different

- I’m saying better.

Let us start a dialogue

- Let me start a monologue.

This warrants more conversation

- I can’t believe that you have the temerity not to agree with me.

Don’t you think that sounds kind of racist?

- good luck disagreeing with me now.

One can prove anything with statistics

- I should have paid more attention in stats class.

The interreferential nature of our phenomenological field can be neither deconstructed nor decontextualized from our ontological meta-narrative

- Don’t I sound really intellectual and hip?

Science is merely one more opinion

- My Uncle Bill told me so.
A found in Skeptical Inquirer Vol32, No. 6 Nov/Dec 2008.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Eight Fundamentals of Victory

Over at USNIBlog, Jim Dolbow has a good snag; a detailed article on the Eight Fundamentals of Victory or the ‘Rajapaksa Model’ of fighting terror by V. K. Shashikumar.

I left my thoughts in comments. Good stuff.

Retro Wednesday

What can you do with a Navy reserve? Hmmmm .....

... the USS Cabot as AVT-28 in 1949 and Reserve Naval Aviators practicing flying F6F's and TBM-3's off her as part of their two weeks a summer thing. The USS Cabot was a world war 2 carrier one of the Independence class. She participated in the Battle of the Phil Sea, Leyte Gulf, and the Japanese home island raids after that. She was laid up in 1955 and then in 1967 was to the Spanish after they joined NATO. She was renamed by Dedalo where she served as an anti-submarine carrier in the Spanish Navy from 1967 till 1989. She was disposed off between 2001 and 2007.
If you want to see one of the last views of the CABOT, click here.

I like the hat - a lot

The green one up front. I want one. Seriously. How much, and where do I send my order.

The caption reads:
U.S. Navy special warfare combatant craft crewmen assigned to Special Boat Team (SBT) 22 align the sights of their M-4 rifles during small-arms training at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi Feb. 19, 2008. SBT-22 crewmen use a special operations craft-riverine armed with an M-240 belt-fed machine gun, a GAU-17 mini-gun and an M-2 .50-caliber machine gun. Each special boat operator must be proficient with each weapon and with personal firearms. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robyn Gerstenslager) (Released) Photographer's Name: MC3 ROBYN GERSTENSLAGERLocation: STENNIS SPACE CENTER
The real Navy.

Note the BDU, not NWU. These guys actually need a real camo uniform, therefore they wear one (though they really need Multi-Cam). As for the hat; why couldn't TFU come up with something like that? Instead we have a USMC wannabe uniform. Sigh.

In any event, it isn't radical. Admiral Halsey would like it,
I bet.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Change you can choke on ...

I am not a big fan of all things Glenn Beck - but this is a public service on his part. It proves many things - one is more proof that green is the new red.

Another example of the legacy media not doing its job.

Don't make fun of British cooking...

Either that or they didn't like his maps it seems. Silly really. No OPSEC violation unless you are totally out of the loop. This isn't a Geraldo thing. All that Michael puts out is well know to all - and fixed.

Michael Yon has been de-embedded from the Brits for some silly reason we don't quite know.

What you do need to know is that he continues to be, by far, the best wartime reporter we - the West - have. You are not earning your O2 if you are not reading his dispatches.

Michael - BZ, and I look forward to the next embed pick-up.

For those who feel the same, make sure and throw a couple of bucks his way. Support him, or the history of this war will be written by the likes of Keith Olberman.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bump'n uglies with Sen. Boxer

John J. Miller has given everyone a reason not to, well, shudder, think of the small but feisty Senator talking dirty to you.

Do you know that Senator Boxer (D-CA) writes books? Well, ahem, one is named A Time to Run. Senator Boxer; time to visit her again. I wonder how much research went into her book?
Sex scene #1. It's between people.

Greg's naked body was long and elegant, his embrace enveloped her utterly, and they meshed with ease and grace. He smelled good too, faintly and astringently of aftershave. He was clinging to her as if he'd never let her go, it was all so easy and right.

Sex scene #2. It's between people as well, and once again they "mesh."

The bed was huge and soft with a blue and white comforter. He didn't notice Jane taking her clothes off but suddenly she was naked: long legged, lithe, and bronzed. The sheets were cool, her body warm, her limbs strong and supple, and they meshed with his just as he remembered. "Oh Greg, dearheart," she whispered in his ear, "I've missed you so. Welcome home."

Sex scene #3. Okay, okay, it isn't really about sex. It's about lust. But it's extraordinarily weird. Kneecaps?

Her skirt was very short, and Josh found himself mesmerized by her perfectly shaped, silken legs with kneecaps that reminded him of golden apples — he couldn't remember having been captivated by knees before — and her lustrous thighs. He tore his eyes away from Bianca's legs with the utmost difficulty.

Sex scene #4. It's between horses. No kidding. No "meshing." (And the first sentence is side-splittingly ungrammatical.)

A ton of finely tuned muscle, hide glistening, the crest of his mane risen in full sexual display, and his neck curved in an exaggerated arch that reminded Greg of a horse he'd seen in an old tapestry in some castle in Europe Jane had dragged him to. The stallion approached, nostrils flared, hooves lifting with delicate precision, the wranglers hanging on grimly. ... The stallion rubbed his nose against the mare's neck and nuzzled her withers. She promptly bit him on the shoulder and, when he attempted to mount, instantly became a plunging devil of teeth and hooves. ... Greg clutched the rails with white knuckles, wondering, as these two fierce animals were coerced into the majestic coupling by at least six people, how foals ever got born in the wild.

So, after reading this, anyone pondering "nuzzl'n withers" anytime soon? As for "kneecaps like apples" - I would thing that a woman of a certain age would be more likely to think of "elbow skin like dried apricots" or sump'n.

No one can complain of my blogg'n hobby anymore. If a Senator can write this bad - so can I.

Adds you won't see in the USA


Hat tip Theo.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sober up

"Daddy - why did you steal my piggybank?"
The White House next week will revise the 10-year budget deficit from $7.1 trillion to $9 trillion.

Officials at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) confirmed the enormous debt revision late Friday afternoon, hours after President Obama left for a 10-day vacation. ...

The new projections bring the White House numbers in line with estimates by the independent and non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). In June, CBO projected a 9.1 trillion deficit.

....and yes, I noticed the "Just in time for the 2012 election" trendline ...

Hat tip PowerLine.

Earn that sea pay ...

Or whatever GS-types get.

The things people will do for a WESTPAC liberty.

Aren't you glad it doesn't have a DDG-1000 hull?

Friday, August 21, 2009

So sue me ....

From the anonoblogger chronicles via JustOneMinute ....
... a Canadian model wanted to sue for defamation an anonymous blogger who called her a "skank" - and she won the right to learn the identity of her accuser.

If calling someone a
racist or a moonbat is defamatory, there are a lot of heroic yet anonymous (or pseudonymous) bloggers who might be unveiled.
This is similar to a weird case of "separation of Church and City Police Powers" in Byron's neck of the woods where the case is often not what is being said, but that the sayer is an anonoblogger.

I don't think anyone in the USA is going to be punished for speaking - but you can be dragged into court and that can cost a lot of $$$$$. In the Jax case the anonoblogger was outed - but not charged. It looks like the same will happen above. If we reach the point where you can observe and deduct - but cannot say, then we don't have a First Amendment. A lot of people forget that the 1st is there so others can say things that you don't like. You may think you look sexy - someone else may think you look like a streetwalker. You may think you will personally make all past wrongs right - others may think you are doing nothing but perpetuating racism.

You counter speech with more speech - not a ball gag. In my area, I think that is well understood.

Awhile ago I received an email from a trusted and long-time reader who happened to be part of a conversation with a senior Flag Officer who I recently described as supporting a racist policy. He was not pleased, and in many ways thought that I was way out of line - but he stated something to the effect of "I will not interfere with his right to free speech."

Of course, if I said what I said under my actual name while on active duty, then I would put my boss in a very uncomfortable position when the call came in - and I would unquestionably have some difficulty when orders/FITREP time came around. That is just the way things work.

I guess in the anonoblogger world, the key is twofold:
  • First, only be anon if you have no other choice, but be ready to defend your statements as yourself.
  • Second, look at your reasons for being anon. Are they still valid? Do you really have to stay anon? If you are no longer anon, then you take away a huge power others can have over you by threatening the anon nature you have become comfortable with. You can be out without having a bold-faced "I am Barney Greenwald!" on the top of every post. I think Lex, John, and Greyhawk do that quite well.

Oh, to follow Vinnie's lead; outing anonobloggers is only for racist, moonbat skanks.
UPDATE:Skippy, here are the pics. One is the racist, moonbat, skank - and the other is who we, or at least you, should get behind in her hour of need.

Fullbore Friday

The war is only 10 months old and two months after the defeat at the Battle of Savo Island.

The night action of 10-11 OCT, sometimes know as the Second Battle of Savo Island - but usually as The Battle of Cape Esperance, is an excellent example of the critical importance of training, flexibility, initiative, and aggression - combined with a measure of luck. Luck is always essential, as even the most simple plans become complicated once the battle begins.

First background.
DIVISION 6 of the Imperial Japanese Navy was pretty pleased with itself following its engagement with the Americans off Savo the night of August 8-9, and perhaps with reason. The Japanese felt that they had won a victory, greater than their usual "victories," and although the loss of the KAKO outside the harbor of Kavieng following the battle had cut into their forces by a quarter, they felt themselves to be the backbone of Japan in the Solomons.

But the Americans still clung tenaciously to their ground in the Guadalcanal and Florida islands despite air raids and night bombardments from the "Tokyo Express. " And although their position was precarious, it wasn't enough so for the Jap.

If the Japanese headquarters on Rabaul was busy with plans for marshaling their strength for a knockdown battle for the Solomons, so were the Americans at Espiritu Santo. Something had to be done to stop the Japanese from reinforcing their troops, and from storming Marine positions from the sea, and obviously one way to do it was to reinforce our own land forces at Guadalcanal. For this, a large convoy with Army reinforcements for Guadalcanal was soon to depart from Noumea, in French New Caledonia, halfway between Fiji and Australia. By October 1 1 it would be about 250 miles west of Espiritu Santo, protected by two task forces: one built around the carrier HORNET, the other around the new battleship WASHINGTON.

In Espiritu was a newly organized task force. Its ships had engaged only in target practice together but they were good ships. It would do well, as protection for the left flank of the Army convoy approaching Guadalcanal, to station this task force off the southern shore of that island to intercept any enemy units moving in from the west.

Remember, this is still the "go to war with the Navy you have" part of the war, as the entire Solomon Islands Campaign was.

The post Midway march to Tokyo was on, but this was only the beginning of the beginning.

Let's look at the lineup.

TF 64

Rear-Admiral Norman C. Scott
Bombardment Group

Rear-Admiral Goto
And so, off they went.
Departing New Caledonia on October 8, ships carrying the US 164th Infantry moved north towards Guadalcanal. To screen this convoy, Vice Admiral Robert Ghormley assigned Task Force 64 ... to operate near the island. ... Initially taking station off Rennell Island, Hall moved north on the 11th after receiving reports that Japanese ships had been sited in The Slot.
MicroWorks calls this "Stumbling into Victory." That is one way to look at it.

Me? I call it a lesson on the need for trusting your Commanding Officers with short, direct orders. As an editorial note for brevity, there are two IJN groups NW of Guadalcanal, Goto's Bombardment Group and RADM Jojima's landing force with 4,500 troops.
As he moved north, Hall, aware that the Americans had faired badly in previous night battles with the Japanese, crafted a simple battle plan. Ordering his ships to form a column with destroyers at the head and rear, he instructed them to illuminate any targets with their searchlights so that the cruisers could fire accurately. Hall also informed his captains that they were open fire when the enemy was sited rather than waiting for orders.

Approaching Cape Hunter on the northwest corner of Guadalcanal, Hall, flying his flag from San Francisco, ordered his cruisers to launch their float planes at 10:00 PM. An hour later, San Francisco's float plane sighted Jojima's force off of Guadalcanal. Expecting more Japanese ships to be sighted, Hall maintained his course northeast, passing to the west of Savo Island. Reversing course at 11:30, some confusion led to the three lead destroyers (Farenholt, Duncan, and Laffey) being out of position. About this time, Goto's ships began appearing on the American radars.

Initially believing these contacts to be the out of position destroyers, Hall took no action. As Farenholt and Laffey accelerated to reassume their proper positions, Duncan moved to attack the approaching Japanese ships.
But ahhhh, one man's brevity code is another's order.
A mere 5000 yards distant Goto's ships were moving directly into the center of the American line, which Goto, deeply feeling that no American was present, considered to be Joshima's reinforcement group. It was up to Helena to teach him otherwise. Captain Hoover was certain he had the enemy before him and queried Scott to open fire. Scott replied, "Roger", which he intended as a confirmation of receipt, but if unqualified it meant open fire as well, and Hoover interpreted it as such. He switched on his searchlights, aiming them on Hatsuyuki, the left-wing destroyer, and opened fire with his fifteen 155mm guns at 2346.

That action caught Scott off-guard, but he did not prevent the rest of his line from opening fire on the enemy. Duncan, now only a few hundred yards from Kinugasa, joined in, but was quickly disabled.
Another account describes this classic thus;
At 11:45, Goto's ships were visible to the American lookouts and Helena radioed asking permission to open fire using the general procedure request, "Interrogatory Roger" (meaning "are we clear to act"). Hall responded in the affirmative, and his surprise the entire American line opened fire. Aboard his flagship, Aoba, Goto was taken by complete surprise.
Let's talk about VADM Goto for a second. In a battle that lasted only 30 minutes, the first few were an all-American show. Why? Well, confusion and an inability to realize that your plan was no longer going to happen and that all you were told was wrong. The enemy always gets a vote.
Gotō's force was taken almost completely by surprise. At 23:43 Aoba's lookouts sighted Scott's force, but Gotō assumed that they were Jojima's ships. Two minutes later, Aoba's lookouts identified the ships as American, but Gotō remained skeptical and directed his ships to flash identification signals. As Aoba's crew executed Gotō's order, the first American salvo smashed into Aoba's superstructure. Aoba was quickly hit by up to 40 shells from Helena, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Farenholt, and Laffey. The shell hits heavily damaged Aoba's communications systems and demolished two of her main gun turrets as well as her main gun director. Several large-caliber projectiles passed through Aoba's flag bridge without exploding, but the force of their passage killed many men and mortally wounded Gotō.
CAPT Kijuma, VADM Goto's Chief of Staff stated,
"At first we thought the fire was from our own supply ships. It was a surprise attack. All ships but the KINUGASA immediately reversed course to the right. Due to the shellfire and the congestion, the KINUGASA turned left. As a result of
this turn the KINUGASA only received minor damage from three hits. The AOBA was hit about forty times and was badly damaged. The FURUTAKA and FUBUKI were sunk. The FUBUKI sank before it completed the turn, although it only received four hits. Due to the smoke from the AOBA, the MURAKUMO was not hit. The KINUGASA did most of the fighting for our force.

"Soon after the action started Admiral Goto was mortally wounded. While he was dying, I told him that he could die with easy mind because we had sunk two of your heavy cruisers.

"Following this action we retired to the northwest. The MURAKUMO turned back and rescued about four hundred survivors. When your forces reappeared it departed the area trying to make you chase it within range of our aircraft."
Chaos, on both sides.
Over the next few minutes, Aoba was hit more than 40 times by Helena, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Farenholt, and Laffey. Burning, with many of its guns out of action and Goto dead, Aoba turned to disengage. At 11:47, concerned that he was firing on his own ships, Hall ordered a ceasefire and asked his destroyers to confirm their positions. This done, the American ships resumed firing at 11:51 and pummeled the cruiser Furutaka. Burning from a hit to its torpedo tubes, Furutaka lost power after taking a torpedo from Buchanan. While the cruiser was burning, the Americans shifted their fire to the destroyer Fubuki sinking it.
Two minutes of firing - four minutes of "where and the h311 is everyone" and then firing again. That 4 minutes must have seemed like an hour.
As the battle raged, the cruiser Kinugasa and destoryer Hatsuyuki turned away and missed the brunt of the American attack. Pursuing the fleeing Japanese ships, Boise was nearly hit by torpedoes from Kinugasa at 12:06 AM. Turning on their search lights to illuminate the Japanese cruiser, Boise and Salt Lake City immediately took fire, with the former taking a hit to its magazine. At 12:20, with the Japanese retreating and his ships disorganized, Hall broke off the action.

Later that night, Furutaka sank as result of battle damage, and Duncan was lost to raging fires. Learning of the bombardment force's crisis, Jojima detached four destroyers to its aid after disembarking his troops. The next day, two of these, Murakumo and Shirayuki, were sunk by aircraft from Henderson Field.
The end result of the battle was a complete smacking. Losses:

  • 1 destroyer sunk,
  • 1 cruiser,
  • 1 destroyer heavily damaged,
  • 163 killed
  • 1 cruiser,
  • 3 destroyers sunk,
  • 1 cruiser heavily damaged,
  • 341–454 killed,
  • 111 captured
This was unquestionably a great tactical victory for the USN, but an operational failure as Jojima was still able to get his troops ashore. It also did not supply the right lessons to take forward as we continued not to appreciate the true night fighting capabilities of the IJN and the exceptional danger posed by the Long Lance torpedo.

This battle was the happy middle between two sobering hammers - The Battle of Savo Island for one, and two months later
Tassafaronga. In the end, I think this best catches the results,
A junior officer on Helena later wrote, "Cape Esperance was a three-sided battle in which chance was the major winner."
A great take-away would be this quote that could be heard after any sea battle for the last 2,500 years, I bet.
In the words of one petty officer who was overheard talking with another on the way back to Espiritu Santo, "I'll never complain of another drill, and I'll deck the man who does."
BTW, that quote and a few others come from Battle Report: Pacific War: Middle Phase by CDR Walter Purdon, USN and CAPT Eric Karig, USN which you can get for free online here, or get the 1947 hardback original here.

This will be crossposted at USNIBlog as part of the SJS led Solomon Islands Campaign thread.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Double-take quote of the day?

What could go wrong?
“Assuming we don’t make any errors, I think it should work and we should have the first synthetic species by the end of the year,” he said.

New Strategic Concept: de-romanticize?

Yes, I understand INFO-OPS/STRATCOM, etc; but I also understand its limits as reported by Andrew Scuto at NavyTimes.

First, in your mind I want you to capture your MK1 MOD0 Somali pirate or his ilk elsewhere. These people don't give a d@man what you think of them. Most are functional illerates who are just trying to find a buck the best way they can -- and some even thing that their religion allows it.

Do you think they give a donkey's a55 about this?
“Part of our message is to de-romanticize piracy,” said Rear Adm. Scott Sanders, commander of counter-piracy Task Force 151. “Pirates are bad people. They are holding over 100 people against their will.”
What are you going to do, run PSAs on "Pimp My Ride?" MSNBC?

New flash - these are not First World Westerners. They don't care what their international image is - and they don't even know what it is anyway.

What is the only thing worse than sociologists running Strategic Concepts? Ah, yes -- LAWFARE.
The number of opportunities for a ‘legal finish’ — the term we use for a successful prosecution — those avenues are expanding all the time. So I’d fully expect to see more successful legal prosecutions,” said Capt. Keith Blount, of the British Royal Navy and chief of staff for 151. “If we frame a good case, that case will go to Kenya, it will go to the Seychelles, and these criminals will be put behind bars. Absolutely.”
I know this isn't popular, but this is what we know from a few thousand years of dealing with pirates. It works every time.

You kill them and you destroy their bases and support structure - rinse, repeat. They then go away to the point they only need occasional spot cleaning.

That simple. Unless, of course, you had no top cover politically to do what needs to be done. Then you do a bunch of ineffective steaming until the pirates find a better economic model to make a living off of, you take 10 years to do a 2 year job .... or you just go away and let someone else solve the problem for you.

Interesting stats here though --- maybe we are on the 10 year slow boil.
And while 2008 and the first half of 2009 saw high levels of hijackings, including several high-profile situations, Blount said the pirates are indeed working harder for the money.

“In 2007, there were 19 attacks, and 12 were successful. That’s a pretty good strike rate. There are a number of people who became pretty rich in that particular year,” he said. “The year after that there were 130 attacks, of which 44 were successful. This year alone we’ve seen 137 attacks, but only 28 of those have been successful.”

According to 5th Fleet, 199 small arms have been captured, along with 85 rocket-propelled grenades, 41 RPG launchers, assorted climbing gear and communications devices have been captured since last August.

Of the 514 pirates “encountered,” in that time, 10 were killed and 235 were turned over for prosecution in Kenya, France, U.S. and Seychelles.
Faster please.

Diversity Thursday

Well, this is an interesting happening at the Severn School for Boys and Girls. What 'cha do'n next month?
"... the entire faculty is also asked to attend a special presentation on 10 Sept (Thursday) beginning at 1300 in Alumni Hall by Dr. Samuel Betances, an internationally recognized diversity training consultant. You can read more about Dr. Betances at this URL:
The class schedule for that day will follow the "early schedule" used on the day prior to Thanksgiving in order to permit everyone to attend and not cancel any classes."
Priorities. Very interesting priority for the day before 11 SEP.

I want you to watch Samuel Betances, you can view a little of him

Classic example of the archaic nature of much of what the Diversity Industry puts out. He is mostly
talking about his perceptions from his generation. Generally about how others should try to understand him, not how he should try to understand others.

I especially got a kick out of his references to West Side Story. I hope he does not use that at Annapolis as probably only 5% of those in the audiance have even seen it; if he is lucky. Like his movie/play reference - his perspective is stuck in the '60 and '70s.

This is 2009. The MIDN he will be talking to were all born from the second term of the Reagan Administration to the end of Bush 41. His presentation may be fine for Baby Boomer group therapy - but for those younger he is totally out of phase with their experience in the last decade that most of them have been paying attention to such things.

Especially the young, we live in a diverse world, I know I do. I don't need a Boomer going over his own problems from decades ago. He seems like a fine guy, but what relevance to these young men and women to listen to
his parade of personal grievance? A history lesson in first person spoken word? Fine. Three months until 2010? Little use.

I have spent almost a year of my life in Puerto Rico. That culture is much closer to the one I grew up in than the culture of my cousins in Idaho or my shipmates from Wisconsin - not to mention the Irish of Boston who might as well be from Thailand from my cultural point of view. Where are their cultural awareness speakers ... if that is what we need for an understanding of diversity.

Also, note the "I, I, Me, Me." Not good form.

This could all be done a lot easier. At the next planned gathering of the MIDN, have the SUP simply say,
"In the United States Navy we do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, or national origin. If you don't understand and embrace that, then leave. If you will not understand and embrace that, then I will ensure that you leave. The UCMJ will take care of the details.

Have a great Navy day."
That will get the MIDN's attention. That will get them talking. That will be remembered. As a leader, I can use that over, and over, and over ...... with a straight face.

As a final note, let's talk about opportunity cost. Betances charges between
$10,000 to $15,000 to travel from Chicago to give a speech.

For now, ignore the lost productivity from pulling everyone in to hear him and just ponder the expense, assuming he sticks with his traditional fee, to have him speak. Ponder this: how many hours of math tutoring will that buy? Why math tutoring? Ask someone you know who works at USNA, they'll tell you.