Thursday, March 26, 2020

Hoist High the Yellow Jack

Time to come up with a few COA around this specific question: what do you do with a ship that has an active COVID-19 outbreak?

Another article by David Larter who, it seems, is a national asset. No one covers the Navy more or better.
To combat a growing outbreak of COVID-19 on the carrier Theodore Roosevelt, the Navy has ordered the ship to pull into Guam and have the whole crew of 5,000-plus sailors tested for the novel coronavirus, the service’s acting secretary announced Thursday.

“We found several more cases,” Thomas Modly said in a news conference. "We are in the process of testing 100 percent of the crew of that ship.

“The ship is operationally capable if called upon to do so,” he added, “but we are pulling the ship into Guam. Nobody from the ship will be allowed to leave the ship other than on the pier.”
That is a hell of a fastcruise.

Most of those who have deployed know how a "crud" can pass through a ship. Almost everyone to one degree or another gets it. A ship is an incredibly close-proximity place.

I don't know if keeping 5,000 Sailors on a ship will do anything but cause more people to get sick. You have to eat, you have to keep the ship going, you have to use the head ... and you cannot self-isolate in 75-man berthing.

What can you do? How many berthing barges, YRBM and YRBM(L) do we have available?

I have no idea, but we need to find out. If you can take division by division off ship in to these barges, you can at least break down the total number of Sailors quarantined together into a number of smaller blocks, containing where you can.

That would be the first step I would take as we looked at other options.

We have ships presently deployed who will be coming home to CA, WA, VA, FL and other locations. How many will have outbreaks on the way home? What do you do when a plague ship pulls in to Norfolk or San Diego and thousands of Sailors' families are demanding their husbands, wives, fathers and mothers back?

We will find out sooner more than later.

And no, I won't second guess this decision. No one can see the future. No one has perfect information. It is what it is.
The Roosevelt was last in port in Da Nang, Vietnam, 15 days ago, Gilday said. The decision to go forward with the port visit in early March was made when Vietnam had only 16 total cases, all isolated in the northern city of Hanoi, he said.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Who will save a Navy for tomorrow from the zombies feeding it to vanity today?

We have learned nothing from our foolish habit of burning out Sailors and ships chasing fevered dreams pumped out by over-caffeinated and under-employed mid-level thinkers.

I'm screaming in to the void again over at USNIBlog.

Come by and bring you autotune machine with you.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Transformed Our Way Out of a Functional Sh1tter

It has been awhile since we covered the second most important thing to a happy Sailor next to good food - that is an easily available and fully functional head.

Want a nasty ship? Worse than the Big E during a Suez transit?

Have the heads crap out on you.

Better yet, have it do so because someone during the Age of Transformationalism had a great PPT slide that, after telling you how equality and modernity required you to get rid of urinals, told you modern technology was going to revolutionize the heads on your transformational warships.

Via Anthony Capaccio at Bloomberg, hug your HT today;
New toilets on the Navy’s two newest aircraft carriers clog so frequently that the ships’ sewage systems must be cleaned periodically with specialized acids costing about $400,000 a flush, according to a new congressional audit outlining $130 billion in underestimated long-term maintenance costs.

The Navy isn’t sure the toilet systems on the USS Gerald R. Ford and the USS George H. W. Bush can withstand the demand without failing frequently, according to the watchdog agency’s report on service sustainment costs released Tuesday.
No, there is no excuse for this. The USN has decades, well, actually over a century of experience having thousands of people use the head on a warship every day. I guess the Boomer designers and program managers just knew better than everyone who came before them.

Of course;
“The pipes are too narrow and when there are a bunch of sailors flushing the toilet at the same time, like in the morning, the suction doesn’t work,” said Oakley. “The Navy didn’t anticipate this problem.”

No, "the Navy" isn't the right answer.

Follow the people.

Follow the money.

Probably the same experts who sold the Navy on titanium fire mains.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Hospital Ships: Build, Buy, or Convert to Them Now

Here and on Midrats we have been calling for new and more hospital ships for over a decade. In a crisis, needs and utility come in to clear focus.

The argument should be over. I give you Rep. Jim Banks R-IN;
We need a fleet of a dozen or more hospital ships, says Navy reservist and Indiana Congressman Jim Banks.

Good people can hold different opinions on things, but good people can be wrong. Those who don’t support something between new hospital ships to replace the ancient MERCY and COMFORT on one end of the scale to taking up Banks’s idea on the other are, well, just wrong.

While there are many more, here are the Top-3 Reasons hospital ships are critical to our Navy:

1. Presence, morale and reassurance are missions. When citizens of LA & NYC see these CVN sized which ships sail in to view, they will know that their government cares and is there to serve.

2. Mobility is a multiplier. A mobile, self-supporting 1,000 bed hospital would be science fiction if it didn’t already exist. Look at the recent videos of hospitals in Spain and Italy with patients laying down on floors in hallways. Tell those people they don’t need a 1,000 bed hospital to help take even the non-COVID load.

3. Nice in peace and war. When not needed for war, pandemics, or natural disasters – imagine the positive effects to our nation of our hospital ships and other ships visiting ports of nations who have limited to no medical care for their citizens. Just ponder what a fleet of 4, 6, or 12 could do? Imagine the training our people will get seeing things they never would in the USA.

That is enough. I’ve read and digested all the reasons not to have hospital ships, and to be frank, they are weak arguments made by myopic minds.

If they can’t change their minds now, then they are just bullheaded.



Sunday, March 22, 2020

Obedience, with Dr. Pauline Shanks Kaurin - on Midrats

What is the nature of obedience for those in the the profession or arms and the civilian political community?

With a review of classical studies, philosophy, history, international relations, literature and military studies, can you get a firm grounding on what it is, what it means, and how it should shape decisions and behavior?

Returning to Midrats Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern to talk about this and more based around her new book, On Obedience: Contrasting Philosophies for the Military, Citizenry, and Community, will be Dr. Pauline Shanks Kaurin.

Pauline holds a PhD in Philosophy from Temple University, and is a specialist in military ethics, just war theory, philosophy of law and applied ethics. She is is a professor in the College of Leadership and Ethics at the US Naval War College. Prior to her arrival in Newport, she was Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA and teaches courses in military ethics, warfare, business ethics, social and political.

You can listen to the show at this link or below, but remember, if you don't already, subscribe to the podcast at Spreaker or any of the other podcast aggregators.

If you use iTunes, you can add Midrats to your podcast list simply by clicking the iTunes button at the main showpage - or you can just click here.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Cruise Ships and the USNR: a COVID-19 Public-Private Partnership we Need Today

This will require nimble, flexible, and imaginative leadership who are willing to adjust and improvise on the fly. 

Leadership that will accept the OK CONOPS today for a good one tomorrow and be willing to make mistakes and correct them quickly. 

We have great people in the Navy Reserve who are underemployed for the skills they have, but know how to work in a disciplined manner on a ship. They don't need to be from a medical field; engineering, deck, admin, security, culinary, and the ability to stand watch are all that would be needed to bulk up and support such efforts as this.

There can be a quick turnaround if the right people with the right top-cover move now.

This is a great offer the USNR can help make better, faster, more effective.
Carnival Corporation has issued an official press release confirming its ships are available to take pressure of land-based healthcare options globally.

The company said that governments and health authorities should consider using cruise ships as temporary healthcare facilities to treat non-COVID-19 patients, freeing up additional space and expanding capacity in land-based hospitals to treat cases of COVID-19, the company said.

As part of the offer, interested parties will be asked to cover only the essential costs of the ship's operations while in port, Carnival announced.

Governments or health authorities with interest can contact Monica Puello by email at or by phone at (305) 406-8656.

According to Carnival, if needed, cruise ships are capable of being quickly provisioned to serve as hospitals with up to 1,000 hospital rooms that can treat patients suffering from less critical, non-COVID-19 conditions. These temporary cruise ship hospital rooms can be quickly converted to install and connect remote patient monitoring devices over the ship's high-speed network – providing cardiac, respiratory, oxygen saturation and video monitoring capabilities. The rooms also have bathroom facilities, private balconies with access to sun and fresh air, as well as isolation capabilities, as needed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

My Eyes Have Seen the Horror of the Coming of the COVID-19

All the plans, plots, and hopes of navalists to avoid the Terrible 20s are effectively dead.

Those who hope to avoid it are simply not paying attention.

It was coming anyway, but now it will only be worse.

355? Try 255. Hope for 275.

The COVID-19 overview at USNIBlog.

Come on over and cheer me up.