Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Funnies

URR .... is that you?

Mr. President - You Went too Far

I'm sorry - maybe it is just me and one of my moods, but ... 

The President has a cadre of people who, 24/7 are within a second willing to put themselves between the President and a bullet. They are someones father, brother, husband, mother, sister, wife - friend, lover and neighbor. In a second, they will willingly give all of that away for one thing - you. 

Then he returned to the lighter side: "I have to get the Secret Service home in time for their new curfew."
There should be lines. That was one.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

CDR Lippold & the USS COLE, on Midrats

As many are looking back at the last decade+ of war, many want to forget. Indeed, as reported by Michael Hirsh in National Journal,
"The war on terror is over," one senior State Department official who works on Mideast issues told me. "Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism."
Perhaps it is time to look back even further, before 911, to see how we got here. Our guest this Sunday, 29 APR from 5-6pm EST will be Kirk Lippold, CDR USN (Ret), Commanding Officer of the USS COLE (DDG-67) at the time of her attack 12 OCT 2000 in the port of Aden, Yemen - and author of the new book, a first hand account of the attack from the Commander's perspective, Front Burner: Al Qaeda's Attack on the USS Cole

Join us live if you can, but if you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at blogtalkradio - the best way to get the show and download the archive to your audio player is to get a free account and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fullbore Friday

I cannot add more than the last 5.
The last 5 surviving members of Doolittle's Tokyo Raid, which took place on April 18, 1942, share their experiences of the mission and the impact it had on their lives and the lives of the country.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Deployment 'Stash Slow Working ...

You can ping on the ship all you want - but you have to give a respectful nod to those who serve. They didn't build the ship - they just follow orders to make it work the best they can. 

Here is a chance to look at LCS-2 a little closer.

First thing I noticed is; I sure hope he doesn't need to get anywhere on the bridge in a hurry (is that the best we can do ergonomically on our most modern warship?). 

My petty comment is; we really don't need to be wearing NWU on warships. They are silly and expensive. What is wrong with coveralls? Our good conning officer looks quite fine, functional, and professional.
120423-N-ZS026-044 MANZANILLO, Mexico (April 23, 2012) Lt. j.g. James Masterson, weapons officer aboard the littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2), stands watch as conning officer on the bridge as the ship pulls into Manzanillo, Mexico, for its first foreign port visit since its commissioning in 2010. Manzanillo is home to the Mexican navy Pacific Naval Force and 6th Naval Region. Independence's Gold Crew and embarked Mine Countermeasures Detachment 1 are underway for the ship's transit to its homeport of San Diego. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Trevor Welsh/Released)
For the few of you who have access to my Samuel Clemens FB page knows ... LTJG Masterson has some work to do in order to meet Salamander deployment standards with the flavor saver ... but we'll give him time. Other that that - very good job with your "Bridge Face," Shipmate.

For the ladies I will add this; it seems that he isn't married ... if so, with those eyes he should do quite fine in San Diego. Right Mary? 

 Hat tip Lee.

Diversity Thursday

One of the themes of DivThu is the corrosive and warping effect support of this socio-political Cultural Marxist agenda on otherwise intelligent, dedicated, and motivated professionals. 

There are a few believers, a few useful idiots, but that vast majority of people have just accepted it in a way anyone who tried to lived their lives in a Communist country would understand; you say the right things at the right time to the right people - and just try to do you job with as little interference from the soulless oxygen thieves as possible. Along those lines; NAVSEA's VADM McCoy gave an interview to Chris Cavas at DefenseNews. Chris asked a rather important but simple question:
Q. One problem with hiring new engineers is that of finding qualified U.S. citizens in the engineering schools. How have you dealt with that?
Solid Q. Fair Q. Initial instinct from VADM McCoy ... not bad.
A. We established a program at the University of Michigan with a consortium of about 15 schools where we have scholarships for folks to come into the naval architecture pipeline. And we give them unclassified but real Navy projects to go work on. There are not a lot of U.S. citizens in this country taking naval architecture. So we’re trying to build a cadre of folks to come do this work.
Ahhhh .... but I think his Loop is trying to shift him to decaf. Almost as if the "Random PAO infused Flag Officer phrases generator" was switched on. Sadly - here we go.
We have a very strong relationship with historically black colleges and universities. Just about a hundred percent of their graduates are U.S. citizens. And we fund 46 NAVSEA scholars at historically black colleges and universities and bring them into our business. Compared to some of the bigger-name schools, they’re a great place to get U.S. citizens to do this business.
Right answer to the wrong question, or the other way around. Either way ... it is funny. 

Some DivThu ... you need a laugh. VADM McCoy has chanted that mantra so many times, that you say "engineer" and the first, well actually second, thing he thinks of is the color of someones skin. Check a one in the "V" column for the Diversity Bullies; our leaders don't think about getting the best engineers, or enough engineers ... just engineers that are of a race they approve of more than others.

Oops - there goes the laugh.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Did we Lose the GWOT Bubble?

It is important for a man to have self-doubt. You must nurture your self-doubt; question your own motives and preconceptions. Take what you "know" is true, and seek out those who say it is false.

When you do that, one of two things happen. Either you find other side's argument lacking and so build something else a man must have; self-confidence - or you find your own ideas weak or off-center. When that happens, you reassess, modify, and reposition to a stronger place.  Self-generated creative friction, if you will. 

In that light, many of you may find the following useful in whole, or for me, in part. 

Over at the Claremont Review of Books, Angelo M. Codevilla brings us to, well, in a word; dyspepsia. 

Read it all - but here is how it winds up;
After 9/11 President George W. Bush told the American people to go shopping and behave normally. In short: forget that you will never again be free to live as before. Think about money. This advice followed naturally from the government's decision to persist in its ways instead of lifting terrorism's burden from America. What might have happened if, instead, Bush had told Americans that the terror threat would not last forever, because their government would now undertake some expensive military operations that would soon allow normal life to resume? To support those operations the government would have had to cut back other spending and perhaps raise some taxes. No doubt, in fall 2001 the American people would have accepted these sacrifices. But they would have demanded results. Since the administration was not about to try that, it sought to satisfy the American people with the pretend-safety of "homeland security," with images of U.S. troops in combat, and perhaps above all with domestic prosperity fueled by record-low interest rates and massive deficit-spending. This pretend-prosperity aimed not only to anesthetize criticism of endless war, but also to feed both political parties' many constituencies—the ruling class's standard procedure. Both parties joined in expanding federal guarantees for sub-prime mortgages, subsidies for education, alternative fuels, and countless activities dear to well-connected players. Both parties congratulated themselves for establishing new entitlements for prescription drugs and for medical care for children. When the "great recession" began in 2007 Democrats blamed Republicans' excessive spending on "the wars," while Republicans blamed it on Democrats' excessive spending on everything else. Both are correct, and both are responsible.
Hard Choices
Ten years after 9/11, America is not at peace, is poorer, less civil, and less hopeful. But the experts are in charge as never before. In the American political marketplace of 2012, the American ruling class's stock is at a historic low. President Obama and nearly all who vie to replace him try to disassociate themselves from the decisions of the past decade. So do most of our elites. But since none explains and accuses his own errors, it is by no means clear whether any have learned from their mistakes. More important is what the rest of the country may or may not have learned. For us to understand how these mostly intelligent people could have made errors so big for so long requires understanding the principles they violated, and the moral as well as the intellectual dimensions of their errors. More difficult yet, both intellectually and morally, is the essential task of explaining the hard choices that will be required to deal with the troubles bequeathed us by this decade of defeat.
Wow, even in my darkest moments of self-doubt I have trouble reaching that deep. Thing is - in many ways, I can't disagree with most of his points. 

One thing I do know though is this; we could be in a worse place if we did less - it could have been better if we did more; or the other way around. We don't know, do we? What we do know is where we are. What we need to focus on is how to make things better and to avoid repeating our mistakes.

Even with all this - worse nations have prospered after worse mistakes. We'll get there; we'll just have to work for it.

Hat tip SWJ.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

LCS: The Unbearable Sight of Crackl'ns

This pic if one from POGO's letter about LCS that was bouncing around twitter yesterday. 

When someone mentions problems with cracks in a ship, I look over to the corner of the front porch toward the sound of crunching pork rinds and the smell of Vienna Sausages to the ready yardbird. 

Byron? Thoughts?
Cracks in the port and starboard forward corners of the deckhouse right about the bi-metallic and steel coming (same arrangement as found on FFG and CG) is telling us that the entire front of the house is wobbling from side to side. More or less, the aluminum is being compressed down, then stretched up. Eventually metal fatigue will have it's way and you'll have cracks there. Navy will try to fix this by establishing "critical weld procedures" for certain areas where cracks show up (from bad design and lack of stress analysis) and by inserting thicker plates in these locations. As you can guess, the problem hasn't gone away; the cracks will move above, inboard or aft of the thicker plate. It's the same system they've used on FFGs and CGs when they don't want to admit they had faulty design. BTW, the black material you see where the arrows say, "Crack" is polysulphide, something the Navy uses a lot like old body men used to use on rusty cars to fill holes; high dollar "bondo". Lately we seem to use it a lot. Matter of fact, we sent USS Spruance to her fate during the decom with about a gallon of it on top of a holed fuel tank. ISYN. Also, the choice of material comes into play here: 6061 aluminum is used on these vessels. Unlike 5456 (as used on the existing aluminum ships), 6061 is "stiff"; it does not react well to bending forces, i.e, it will crack before it bends. ... the Navy is already blaming poor welding for the cracks, just like they did on FFG and CG. No offense, but the crack in the forward corners of the deckhouse were NOT in the welds, but above them! Stupid ass-covering bastards, they’re going to seriously add costs to the lifecycle of these ships. Worst of all, these started in the first year of the ships life! FFGs had the decency to wait a few years more. Then again, they weren’t built of that crappy 6061 aluminum, either.
Finally - everyone should look over this additional goodie from our friends at POGO. No, those aren't new Klingon Warbird designs ... those are limiting speed-heading profiles.

GOFO Right; GOFO Wrong

Well - we sure have gone after the enlisted ranks recently with PTS and ERB .... but as we have asked before her; are we leading from the front? Our friends over at POGO have made a good point last Novermber. Remember?
Seventeen general and flag officers were scheduled to be eliminated between May and September through Gates’ Efficiency Initiatives. But the DoD didn’t reduce its top brass at all. Instead, six generals were added from May to September, increasing the number of general and flag officers from 964 to 970. Moreover, from July 1, 2011—Panetta’s first day as Secretary of Defense—to September 30, the Pentagon added three four-star officers. Coincidentally, this is precisely the number of four-star officers Gates cut during his final year as SecDef, from June 2010 to the end of June 2011. Thus, in just three months, Panetta undid a year’s worth of Gates’ attempts to cut the Pentagon’s very top brass. It’s doubtful that Gates would consider Panetta’s current rate of adding a new four-star officer every month conducive to efficiency. One of these new four-star officers is Admiral Mark Ferguson, who became vice chief of naval operations and consequently a four-star admiral less than a month before he testified at Senator Webb’s hearing. Ironically, this beneficiary of Star Creep wrote in his prepared statement that the “Navy supports these efficiency actions and anticipates additional review to reduce or merge flag officer positions.” At the hearing he expanded upon this, stating that “We [the Navy] remain absolutely committed to create a more agile, flexible, and effective flag officer staff structure.” Apparently, this support and commitment to flag officer efficiencies includes adding admirals.
Well ... in the Spring of 2012 I have a solution. Let's follow the lead, ahem, of the Italians. Benchmark the Italians!?!?! ... what?
"We currently have 183,000 soldiers and 30,000 civilians in defence. We will gradually bring that down to 150,000 soldiers and 20,000 civlians, with a reduction of around 43,000," Defence Minister Giampaolo Di Paola said. "This target can be achieved in a decade with a 20-percent or 30-percent reduction in hirings, transfers to other civil service jobs and temporary work options," Di Paola told lawmakers at a defence committee hearing. The number of admirals and generals would also be reduced by "more than 30 percent" from the 425 currently in service, Di Paola said.
That is at a higher rate than the overall reductions. Smart, and leading from the front. The Italians.

T.E. Ricks' Parallel Universe

No, no, no, no, and no. I can sympathize with how he got here - but just no.
This is precisely the reason it is time to get rid of the all-volunteer force. It has been too successful. Our relatively small and highly adept military has made it all too easy for our nation to go to war — and to ignore the consequences. The drawbacks of the all-volunteer force are not military, but political and ethical. One percent of the nation has carried almost all the burden of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while the rest of us essentially went shopping. When the wars turned sour, we could turn our backs. A nation that disregards the consequences of its gravest decisions is operating in morally hazardous territory. We invaded Iraq recklessly. If we had a draft, a retired general said to me recently, we probably would not have invaded at all.
Talk about baby and bathwater. 

I have served with those who are in a military with a draft (Germans). It is random, expensive, unfair, and an unnecessary burden.  On top of that, it is inefficient in both blood and treasure.

The only time you need a draft is in a general mobilization - otherwise too few are brought in and it becomes a lottery of suck; not a draft as Ricks think as you never get a critical mass of people to make a difference and as a result, you rely even more on the professionals. No, the draft is not something we either want or need. In any event - unless it faces an existential threat; a free nation does not force servitude on its citizens. A free nation also does not do well with a large standing Army with little to do. Move our land forces to National Guard if you want more buy in - but don't turn a free republic in to something it shouldn't be

If you do not like the policies your government is pursuing, then there is a remedy for you - it is called the ballot box.

Monday, April 23, 2012

USNA - Priorities in Training Leaders for War

Both here and over at Midrats, I have often asked the question of those with an connection to leadership development at Annapolis and the Naval War College - where are the battlefield tours?

Especially in the Commonwealth nations, battlefield tours - hosted, led, and supported by senior officers - are considered a critical part of professional development and an important part of team building and perspective.

As such - especially with the War of 1812 bicentennial going on - why aren't we doing this? There are scores of battles in the Annapolis to DC corridor that are perfect for Navy-Marine Corps battlefield tours. Forget the senior officers - why not just give the job to a few 1/C MIDN? They'd probably do a better job anyway.

Heck ... just look at what you could do with Commodore Barney ... but no. I've asked and asked ... but no battlefield tours organized by anyone from the history or leadership cadre at Annapolis or anywhere from what I have been told ... I've even asked around from people who would know. Someone show me something ... at least the USMC at Quantico must be doing something ... right? 

I guess we have more important things to do.
Please join us for an evening of laughter and reflection as Gender Matters presents the 8th annual performance of Under Covers, a Midshipman-written and Midshipman-performed series of monologues that explores attitudes toward gender in the Brigade. Performances will run on 2 nights‚ Tuesday, April 24 and Thursday, April 26, at 1930 in Mahan Theatre. The free show lasts about one hour and is followed by a Q & A period. All in the Naval Academy community are invited to attend, although the performance is closed to the general public.
We hope to see you there!

Michelle [redacted]-[redacted]
Department of English
US Naval Academy
107 Maryland Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21402
... and yes - I really want the video if anyone can steal it for me. I will offer you what taste of h311 is in store for those who do go. Here is, as it is reported, a bit from the 2009; performance.

Oh in the name that all is wholesome and good; that is bad poetry. 

Almost as bad as, yes, I think we can benchmark in this case ... it is less painful in German. 

For the record - no one will ever force you to do something like this, much less in uniform, if you take an NROTC scholarship.

Jerry, in all your spare time ....

We have a little follow -up to my post at USNIBlog earlier this month.
The director of the Navy’s historical command resigned Monday, in the wake of an inspector general report that found his command struggling with decaying records and fraying ties to historians, the Navy’s top spokesman said. Jay DeLoach, a retired rear admiral, had led the Naval History and Heritage Command, which is based at Washington Navy Yard, since 2008. In that job, he had overseen 112 employees who preserve and archive the Navy’s historical collections, a voluminous collection of records, artifacts, art and photographs, as well as 12 Navy museums. DeLoach arrived as an iconoclast — challenging what he saw as a hidebound, “introverted” center to better serve the needs of the fleet. He called for “forward-looking historians.” ... Capt. Jerry Hendrix, the director of the Navy Secretary’s historical advisory panel, has been named the command’s interim director,
.... yes, that would be "our" Captain Hendrix - frequent guest on Midrats.

Hat tip Lee.

Dr. Phil Joins the Smear Parade

Dr. Phil should be ashamed of himself. He should immediately apologize and then do the right thing - bring on the vast majority of veterans who have been through multiple combat tours and are .... just fine. Either that are bring on others who have PTSD who are ... just fine. As Casey has covered over at YouServed;
Dr. Phil, arguably one of the most popular talk show hosts on the planet, decided to feature this issue on his show this week. And while he could have taken a reasonable approach, he went straight for the gut instead. Titling the show “From Heroes To Monsters”, he painted a picture of vets with PTSD as ticking time bombs of violence, describing them as damaged goods who “destroy families” and “dismantle marriages”. One of Dr. Phil’s guests, Matt, is a former Marine who struggles with PTSD. He speaks about how, while deployed to Afghanistan, he repeatedly stabbed an enemy combatant in the face, even after he was dead, to get his anger out. He also claims he saw “lots” of innocent people killed, including women and children. (His last name isn’t given, so it’s impossible to verify his claims of killing women and children while deployed to Afghanistan.) After Matt, Dr. Phil featured Mark and Heather. Mark is another veteran with PTSD who admits he has violent rages, says his life has been destroyed, and is afraid of what he will do to his family. Heather’s husband, Duane, had PTSD. He beat her and set her on fire. The common thread between all of these stories: violence. Did Dr. Phil ever stop to point out that most veterans with PTSD don’t end up setting their wives on fire or stabbing people repeatedly in the face? Of course not.
Read it all.

Let's go back to one of my first posts back in 2004 quoting one of my first sources,
Right after Vietnam, an entire army of poseurs, fakers, and professional victim pimps began a process of smearing and mal-defining an entire generation of men that served their country with distinction and honor; the Vietnam Generation. The whole “We are creating monsters” theme of the article brought me back to a book that every military professional should read as part of their professional education; Stolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of its Heroes and its History, by B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley;
Here is a short clip from the show.  

Great job Dr. Phil. As you know - most Americans don't have someone close who have served in the military - this is the image you are giving everyone.

Remember the formula. If all vets have PTSD, then they are victims. If they are victims, they are to be pitied. If they are to be pitied, they are not your equal. If they are not your equal, their options do not carry the same impact. If their opinions do not carry the same impact, they are marginalized. If they are marginalized, they can be ignored. If they can be ignored, then I don't need to include them in our national discourse. Etc ... etc ... etc.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

No, We're Losing Faith in the Left

National Journal has a very neat story out about how Americans are "losing faith" in what cold generally called the American Dream. I am just old enough to remember the 1970s .... so from a thematic point of view, I've seen this movie before - but like many remakes, this one is different. In broad strokes, the funk we were in during the 1970s was caused by external issues; the Soviet Union at its high-water mark, oil shock, post-Vietnam War navel picking. The funk now is derived by largely internal internal issues; debt and dysfunction. It is interesting the filters people and organization see things through. Check out NJ's take.
... a nation whose motto could be, “In Nothing We Trust.” Seven in 10 Americans believe that the country is on the wrong track; eight in 10 are dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed.
Only 23 percent have confidence in banks, and just 19 percent have confidence in big business. Less than half the population expresses “a great deal” of confidence in the public-school system or organized religion. “We have lost our gods,” says Laura Hansen, an assistant professor of sociology at Western New England University in Springfield, Mass. “We lost [faith] in the media: Remember Walter Cronkite? We lost it in our culture: You can’t point to a movie star who might inspire us, because we know too much about them. We lost it in politics, because we know too much about politicians’ lives. We’ve lost it—that basic sense of trust and confidence—in everything.”
Mainline churches are losing relevancy and worshippers because they have failed to adapt to the changing needs of their communities. From 1981 to 2011, High Street’s membership dropped 52 percent to 700. The average Sunday attendance declined 27 percent to 379.
Maranda Whitehead remembers fondly her son Jordan’s first days at the neighborhood public school. He was “excited, happy, thrilled to go to kindergarten,” she says. It was downhill from there. Teachers could barely keep track of the students in their crowded classrooms; they had no money to keep up with modern trends in technology or education; they didn’t form relationships with parents, not even Whitehead and others who wanted to get involved; and after the early grades, they taught a rote style focused on the state’s compulsory tests. “Every year,” Whitehead says of Jordan, “the light got dimmer and dimmer, and finally he hated school.” His joy of learning didn’t return until she enrolled him in the sixth grade at Hoosier Academy, one of many charter schools that have sprung up across Indiana to provide an alternative. It’s a national trend: Parents are fed up with traditional public schools because they are failing to adapt—or failing outright.
He and his wife are still unemployed. He is no longer eligible for the federal mortgage-relief program. He is bankrupt. His credit is destroyed. And he’s living in a trailer, with no expectation of rejoining the middle class. He has been buffeted, again and again, by forces that never had his interests at heart. As he strolls out of City Hall and makes plans to cut the grass at 1900 W. 10th St., this man from Middletown still has little reason to believe in the system that took so much from him.
Well ... let's all grab the straight razor and look for a warm tub ... but wait. 

Let's look at the graphic they used on the right. What do I see? Well - I'll tell you what my filter sees. People have finally seen that a century of leftist theory from TR's Progressives and Wilson's big government fetish
to the New-New Left and their Obama orgy of spending have failed.

Military and police have remained roughly the same along with big business, within the margin of error in spite of all the bad press both get. Criminal justice strongly up. Church and religion? Up strong as well.

You know that "horrible" US medical system and those grim reapers in the HMOs .... up strong. 

Look at the above ... things the Left have been ranting about since I was old enough to start paying attention.

What are the things the Left puts their trust in? Big activist government, mainstream media, big labor. Those are all in the red. The only thing the Left loves - public schools (for everyone except their kids) - isn't really that far down either - almost within margin of error.

There is no crisis in this nation - this nation is just loosing faith in the false promise a century of Leftists have told them.

This is great news - when you lose faith in the nanny-state and those who want to tell you what to think, what is the only option? Liberty and individualism.

Is this an indication of a long term shift? Who knows .... but I like it. Have hope ... if anything trends towards liberty and individualism then that will build a move back in the direction you need to go ... it will just take a long time to move things.

Case in point is the once Golden State - the place for a long time the has been a living experiment on what happens when the Left in the US is allowed to run wild.
...the Golden State's fastest-growing entity is government and its biggest product is red tape. The first thing that comes to many American minds when you mention California isn't Hollywood or tanned girls on a beach, but Greece. Many progressives in California take that as a compliment since Greeks are ostensibly happier. But as Mr. Kotkin notes, Californians are increasingly pursuing happiness elsewhere. Nearly four million more people have left the Golden State in the last two decades than have come from other states. This is a sharp reversal from the 1980s, when 100,000 more Americans were settling in California each year than were leaving. According to Mr. Kotkin, most of those leaving are between the ages of 5 and 14 or 34 to 45. In other words, young families. ... California is turning into a two-and-a-half-class society. On top are the "entrenched incumbents" who inherited their wealth or came to California early and made their money. Then there's a shrunken middle class of public employees and, miles below, a permanent welfare class. As it stands today, about 40% of Californians don't pay any income tax and a quarter are on Medicaid. It's "a very scary political dynamic," he says. "One day somebody's going to put on the ballot, let's take every penny over $100,000 a year, and you'll get it through because there's no real restraint. What you've done by exempting people from paying taxes is that they feel no responsibility. That's certainly a big part of it. And the welfare recipients, he emphasizes, "aren't leaving. Why would they? They get much better benefits in California or New York than if they go to Texas. In Texas the expectation is that people work." ... As progressive policies drive out moderate and conservative members of the middle class, California's politics become even more left-wing. It's a classic case of natural selection, and increasingly the only ones fit to survive in California are the very rich and those who rely on government spending. In a nutshell, "the state is run for the very rich, the very poor, and the public employees."
That is not a sustainable system - and it will crash. The smart ones have left and are leaving - the rest of the nation will be able to watch and learn. It won't be pretty or easy - but tough lessons rarely aren't.

National Journal folks - glass is half full; have a drink!

The Navy's Pacific Problem, on Midrats

Throughout out nation's history in the Pacific and more recently, the Indian Ocean, there have been a few cornerstone challenges that remain regardless of technology, strategy, or geopolitics; the tyranny of distance and the reality of square miles.  The large open ocean, and the challenge of bases and resupply.

Both theaters are defined by their ocean, and no power can impact events these areas without a strong naval presence.

In an environment of shrinking budgets, a fleet with a paucity of auxiliaries, and a future fleet that will have as a major portion of units a shallow water, limited mission, short range, LCS with a high reliance on base support - are we building a navy to meet strategic requirements, or are we trying to find a strategy to meet the fleet we are building?

Join me with my co-host EagleOne with our guest for the full hour,  Robert Haddick, Managing Editor of Small Wars Journal.

He writes the "This Week at War" column for Foreign Policy Magazine that covers current military developments, defense strategy, emerging threats, Pentagon planning, service doctrine, and related topics. We will use his article, The Navy's Pacific Problem, as a reference point for the show's discussion.

Haddick was a U.S. Marine Corps officer, served in the 3rd and 23rd Marine Regiments, and deployed to Asia and Africa. He has advised the State Department and the National Intelligence Council on strategy and irregular warfare issues.

Join us live if you can, but if you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at blogtalkradio - the best way to get the show and download the archive to your audio player is to get a free account and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Friday, April 20, 2012

LCS: Confusing Even its Friends

I will have to agree with Phil on this one;
Things got even more confusing:...
As the transition from PPT to pierside continues, the LCS true believers are having to tie themselves in knots to justify and explain their program. If it weren't sad, it would be funny.

The issues with LCS for years are now out of theory and floating next to the pier, so you really can't yell, "Shut up!" to critics like was done for years. Instead, LCS advocates are either turning a bug to a feature, or are playing a game of make believe. A few points from Undersecretary Works comments at SAS12 as reported by Phil.
"It is a WAR-ship,” he said. “A WAR-ship. It is going to make every [small attack craft] out there worry about coming out to sea, because it will kick their ASS — and you can quote me on that.”
That does conflict with the CNO's statement,
"I don't worry per se about its survivability where I would intend to send it," Greenert said of the LCS. "You won't send it into an anti-access area."
... but let's move on.

Define "small craft." Right now, we have a glass jaw, large, underarmed Corvette with a 57mm primary and 30mm secondary armament. It was designed around NLOS that will never see the light of day, and the other backup missiles are rather pathetic and we still are not sure if they will work. Little to no reach, and isn't robust enough to get close. Hyperbole is unattractive when not backed up by anything but hope.
Work said the resistance to LCS reminded him of what people said about the Navy’s plan to convert its first four Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines to carry conventional cruise missiles and large teams of SEAL special operators. “I can’t tell you how many people told me, ‘We have too many Tomahawk hulls, that’s a waste of money, don’t buy that ship. But they didn’t understand the fleet design decision … and now the COCOMs can’t get enough of the SSGNs.”
I don't know who he was talking to - but no one that I discussed SSGNs before, during and after had a problem with the program or concept - just the opposite. I/we absolutely love/loved the SSGN concept, the only non-cheerleading types I talked to were along the "nice-to-have vs. if-we-can't-have-an-arsenal ship-this-is-better-than-nothing" meh - which is in itself positive. As a little bit of a TLAM bubba myself, I have my biases, but anyone who looks at that capability would support it. I'm still trying to think of anyone of substance who didn't like the idea. If you know of one - please ad links in comments. Straw men are not attractive either.
Work said that when Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert talked about LCS not being “survivable,” he only meant it wouldn’t be survival “in the strait” — though Work didn’t say which — in a time of war. “But it’s not going into the straits. The only thing that could survive in the straits if a war started would be a submarine.” Then Work said LCS also would “escort combat logistics force ships.” Those ships, the oilers and supply vessels that keep Navy strike groups fueled, fed and ready, are some of the biggest targets in the fleet. So would assigning LCSes to them make them more or less safe?
This is very strange, and I don't agree with the Under that is what the CNO meant. His words, in the quote further in this post, is clear. The Under's "a55 kicking" with small boats is a scenario specifically from narrow straits vignettes. That is where swarms come from. Either LCS are "kicking a55" or they are playing Sir Robbin - it can't be one or the other.

Also the job to “escort combat logistics force ships” - ummmm ... as stated before; that is a frigate's job. Work has stated often before that we don't need frigates .... but he just outlined a requirement for one.

Along those lines, the ability to sprint at 40-kts and "create a wake that is a weapon itself" is one of the features sold for LCS. OK. If you are escorting slow ships - you ain't running away. You are maintaining station and engaging the enemy. You don't run away to fight another day; the best use of your speed is to play not Sir Robbin, but Taffy-3 - turn to and engage the enemy large or small.

With the lack of punch or weapons range - LCS will get one run at that - and it all assumes that it has the right mission module. If your escort is ASUW and you get a message about a SSK ... you can't call a training timeout to change your CONEX box. If you are ASW configured and you find out you have a half-dozen fast attack craft coming your way - hope that you have .... what is that again ... a multi-mission warship nearby to do your work. Any EuroFrigate design - or even the much aligned OHP - would be ready for both. SM-1 in surface attack mode had a fine combat record even if the heavily masked 76mm gun wasn't ideal; but it was good. The modern EuroFrigates are even better than the pre-castration OHP, and just a little bit better than the modernized MK-41VLS Australian OHP.

Speaking of good, let's go back to the CNO. I'm taking this from another article by Phil. Admiral Greenert is going positively Salamander.
“Perfect will not work in the future,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said Tuesday. “It’s got to be good enough.” Meanwhile, he is “buying back” sea billets to reverse the dip in crew sizes; increasing live training events and generally trying to make sure the Navy can “shoot straight.” Greenert wants to explore “common hulls” to save money and expects tough talk from vendors about requirements discipline.
How many times have we discussed the "Perfect vs Good" quandary here? Buy back BA/NMP to put back on ships? The Tiffany issue? The exquisite issue? I may never have to pay for beer again - but I will take some off all the beer people owe me and will credit Admiral Greenert. Read that again. He wants evolutionary. He knows ships need Sailors. That my friend, is a radial change from the last decade. A very welcome walk back. I like that trend.

But again; where do we find ourselves with LCS. They are coming to the Fleet - in mass. More show up every few months. No mission modules. No actual proof of concept. Still slathered with technology risk and some things we do know; only 4-months deployable in an 8-11 month new normal .......... all disjointed and still not getting me closer to where I want to be - I want to be proven wrong, but so far I am only being proved right with each passing fiscal quarter. Each fiscal quarter I also see those who careers, reputations and ego are wrapped up in LCS act like the below when they have to explain away hard facts - and rely on hope.

We are a few years past the point of stopping all the damage LCS will cause in opportunity cost ... but not too late to mitigate its full impact. We won't be able to stop at 24, but not too late for 36. If we get all 55, it will be too late. We will have paid Bentley prices for a Yugo.

Fullbore Friday

There are some missions that represent much more than just the raw stats and reports ... there is something deeper to them.

A sad thing is - people are still second guessing the mission. Regardless of what side of the "why" you may stand - the tactical performance is simply Fullbore.
Eighteen Mosquitoes took off from RAF Hunsdon in Hertfordshire. They were supported by Typhoons. They immediately hit very poor weather and four Mosquitoes lost contact with the other fourteen and had to turn back. The crews later stated that the weather they had to fly in was the worst they had ever experienced.
One of the pilots on the raid was Maxwell Sparks of the RNZAF. He later stated that the weather was so bad that when the order to take-off came through “to fly in this stuff” he considered that it was “either some form of practice or some form of practical joke”. One other Mosquito had to return to RAF Hunsdon because of engine problems. Therefore, Pickard had thirteen
Mosquitoes to carry out the attack when the plan had been for a force of eighteen. Nine Mosquitoes were used in the attack while four were held in reserve. The crews themselves had been told that Operation Jericho was to free captured Resistance men and Pickard himself had called the raid “death or glory”.
The crews that crossed the French coast were helped in their navigation to Amiens as all they needed to do was find the main road into the city from the coast and it went in a straight line to Amiens. After crossing the coast, the Mosquitoes flew over Tocqueville, Bourdon, Doullens, Albert and then directly to Amiens following the very straight road built by the Romans.
Film of the actual attack exists as one of the Mosquitoes carried photoreconnaissance equipment aboard. The first wave attacked the prison at 12.01 targeting the outer walls. They dropped 500 lbs fuse-delayed bombs. These breached the outer wall and offered prisoners a way out of the prison. A planned precision hit on a guardroom killed and wounded many of the German guards thus making escape far easier.
To disguise the target of their attack, two Mosquitoes peeled off from the rest and attacked Amiens railway station – a more probable target from a defender’s perspective. This seemed to work and it took German forces in the city two hours to organise themselves and head towards the prison as they expected further attacks on key points within the city – and the prison did not fit such a description from their point of view.
By the time German soldiers got to the prison some 258 prisoners had escaped, including 79 members of the Resistance. However, 155 of the escapees were recaptured. 102 prisoners were killed in the raid by the bombs.

If you have an hour - here is a very nice BBC documentary.

Women & Combo Covers

Oh come on - almost all of us have seen women wearing combo covers that men wear ... just not outside the bedroom (Am I bad for saying that? Deny it .... ).

This is interesting.
1. Purpose. To publish the policies and procedures governing a Department of the Navy initiative to conduct a fit and wear evaluation of the current male combination cap by female Midshipmen assigned to the U.S. Naval Academy and female members of the U.S. Naval Academy Band. This is part of the Department of the Navy’s goal to further a climate of inclusion for female Sailors and officers. Enclosure (1) depicts the proper wear of the male combination cap.
Ummmmmm, yea. It is the combo cover that is making women want to stay at home with their children in the 30s instead of doing the LCDR to make CDR grind mid-career. I knew it was something that simple.

Should be interesting to see how it works out. I am sure women will find it just as difficult to fit in a seabag as the men ... and it won't make a hill of beans difference. 

For a lot of the smaller women with small nogg'ns - they may look a bit Soviet .... but good luck.

Yep .... look at page 4 of the link above (the pic above ain't it). It actually manages to make the female in uniform even less attractive - and almost Soviet with the comparative size of the lid.

Note to the Navy. If you want a good female uniform; go visit the French Air Force or the Czech or Slovak military for a start.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Naval Wiki

BZ to USNI for getting this off the ground. Great potential as a superb UNCLAS gouge book.

Diversity Thursday

Interesting. When does a reasonable and good-natured desire become naked racism, red in tooth and claw? Simple - you hand it over to the (D)iversity Bullies.
Florida Harbor Pilots Association Minority Scholarship

Each year, the Florida Harbor Pilots Association (FHPA) identifies two minority cadets who attend one of the six maritime colleges nationwide and show enthusiasm and aptitude for a possible career as a state pilot. Each recipient will be awarded a two thousand five hundred dollar ($2,500.00) scholarship during the school year. In addition to the $2,500.00 scholarship, each recipient will receive $500.00 for travel expenses to attend a training session with a state pilot association in Florida, where they will experience hands-on training so they are exposed to all aspects of a state harbor pilot’s career.

To qualify for this scholarship, the successful candidate must satisfy the following criteria:

Must be a “minority person” pursuant to s. 288.703(3), Florida Statutes (2008):

An African American, a person having origins in any of the racial groups of the African Diaspora, regardless of cultural origin.

A Hispanic American, a person of Spanish or Portuguese culture with origins in Spain, Portugal, Mexico, South America, Central America, or the Caribbean, regardless of race.

An Asian American, a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands, including the Hawaiian Islands prior to 1778.

A Native American, a person who has origins in any of the Indian Tribes of North America prior to 1835, upon presentation of proper documentation thereof as established by rule of the Department of Management Services.

An American woman.

Must have completed your first-year sea-term requirements and have a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Must be enrolled in one of the following maritime academies:

Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Maine Maritime Academy, S.U.N.Y. Maritime College, The California Maritime Academy, Texas A&M University at Galveston and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy – Kings Point

Planning to pursue a career as a state harbor pilot, preferably in the State of Florida.

Write a maximum 250-word essay explaining why you are interested in becoming a harbor pilot.
So, basically, you can be anyone EXCEPT a male who self-identifies himself as being of non-Iberian European extraction, Arab, Turkish, Persian, or "other" ethnicity considered by some as "white."

So residents of FL and those who are alumni of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Maine Maritime Academy, S.U.N.Y. Maritime College, The California Maritime Academy, Texas A&M University at Galveston and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy – Kings Point; proud of being part of this?

Parents of mixed race children - ready to ask your kids to cut themselves in half, quarters, eights for a few pieces of silver? Is this the mentality you want to leave the generations that follow you?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Weapons Development: Doing it Right

Yes - it look awhile, but this is how it is done right. Take a core of proven technology and fold in new potential. You minimize technology risk and cost.

Via DangerRoom;
After more than a decade of development, the Pentagon’s finally sending its newest laser-guided rocket into battle. First stop for the relatively svelte weapon: Afghanistan.

The Navy on Tuesday confirmed that they’ve deployed the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) to several Marine Corps units in Afghanistan. Right now, the weapons are integrated with two different helicopters — the AH-1W Super Cobra and the UH-1Y Super Huey — but they’ve got the capability to be fired off from pretty much any aerial vehicle.

With a pricetag that’s around $10,000 per missile, the systems are an order of magnitude less expensive than Hellfire missiles, the military standbys that run around $100,000 each. And it’s not just the cost. At 35 pounds, the APKWS is a third as heavy as the Hellfire,
Yep, your friend and mine - the 2.75" Hydra rocket.

Low collateral damage and can be carried by almost everything, including toys.
The APKWS could also aid another star-crossed military endeavor. The Navy’s Fire Scout robotic helicopters, which were grounded last week after recent mishaps and crash-landings, are expected to be armed with the APKWS missiles when they next hit the skies.
Well done.

P-8A - How Others See It

I guess it is MPR week at CDRSalamander ....

My take is as it has been ... the P-8A program has actually gone quite well. I think some of the compromises will have to be fixed down the road if it actually sees combat (such as the lack of MAD gear), and computer interface and bandwidth issues are sloppy - but on balance it has gone well.

That being said - it is healthy to read different opinions. From ThinkDefense in the UK;
The Indian versions will come with a Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) that is not present on the US version

The point of the P8 is that it is multi mission but if we consider its roots and the mission focus of the USN and USGC it is very much a military system, the US version of the P8 for example, does not have any provision for SAR equipment.

One of the problems that will prove rather thorny is in-flight refuelling, unrefuelled, the P8 can transit for 1200 miles, remain on station for 4 hours and return. This is much less than the MRA4 and even the P3 although it will be quicker than the latter, in-flight refuelling might therefore be considered something high on the optional extras list. Although the US version does not have an in-flight refuelling capability the base design is equipped with something called the Universal Air Refuelable Receptacle Slipway (UARSSI) that can take fuel from a boom.

Another issue is that of weapons and sensor integration, in order to reduce airframe stress and fuel burn, and of course, to compensate for the simple fact that 737’s are not designed for low altitude tight turn flying, the concept of operations developed means that anti-submarine detection, classification and attack is carried out at a medium altitude (hence the omission of a MAD detector which is only of use at low levels and to save weight). To support this, the US has developed a wing kit for the Mk 54 lightweight torpedo, called the High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapons Concept (HAAWC) that might also be developed to allow a sonobouy pattern to be deployed from higher altitudes.

The US Navy has also contracted Boeing to develop an air launched UAV that will carry a MAD sensor. The UAV will be based on the Boeing/Insitu Scan Eagle, called the MagEagle Compressed Carriage (MECC) and carried in the bomb bay or wing pylons with recovery by surface vessel or on land. It is an interesting and neat concept, but we don’t use the Scan Eagle.

A lot of work has gone into compensating for the lack of low level capability, or to provide a stand-off distance for the aircraft, depending on how cynical you are.
The sticker price for the initial Indian P8I buy is $2.1 billion for 8, roughly $260 million each inclusive of initial logistics and support.
A few comments are due. Modern digital MAD systems do not require an aircraft to fly as low as they had in the past. MAD via disposable UAS is just silly in the extreme. In no way affordable for any sustained air-ASW operation.

Also, the P-8 is more than capable of flying low enough to drop a weapon without any appreciable loss of range.

The altitude issues really isn't an issue on balance. Everything is a compromise, and I think those made here are good.

The whole article is worth your time to read as it gives a nice summary of reconnaissance and surveillance options out there for nations. It also reminded me of one of my hobby horses since I was in NROTC.

Why on God's green earth don't we have any type of seaplane capability? SOF, SAR, and remote access - it just screams to have this in our toolkit. Just watch this video of the BOMBARDIER 415 and tell me you can find no reason to have at least four squadrons of these.

I know ... yes, yes, yes, the Millington diktat would throw up the career path slide .... but again, imagine the additional access for SOF and more ... heck make them 2 active and 2 reserve squadrons based out of NAS Norfolk. Mix it up USN/USCG if you need to. You'd have to hold a lottery to determine who would get to fly them. Fill the squadrons up with non-command select CDR and LCDR. They won't mind.

What was that FITREP bullet in the 90s .... "think outside the box."

Hat tip Lee.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Seaman Proctor, Report to the Scullery

The full story will come out - but this via The Capital is in many way just sad.
Kriss Proctor, Navy’s starting quarterback last season, will not graduate from the Naval Academy. Proctor has submitted his resignation from the academy, a school spokesman confirmed to The Capital.
An inside source at the academy with knowledge of the situation told The Capital that Proctor’s resignation comes on the heels of an alleged honor code violation. The source said Proctor knew that academy officials were going to hold him accountable for the alleged transgression.
Sad in a few ways:
1. He is a 1/C MIDN, just weeks from a commission. Like the poor guy who drank himself into a B&E last year - you hate to see someone so close blow it. Was he close to failing out? We'll find out soon enough I guess what the exact honor violation was. Any way - it makes everyone look bad.

2. Admission in to USNA is a zero sum game. Somewhere out there is a guy or gal who did not get in because he took their slot. A nation and a person lost an opportunity.

3. Most of the interest in this guy - guilty in parts here - is because he is a football player. We know the warping the D1 football fetish has on Annapolis even with the best leadership (which BTW this Supe has demonstrated far and above the last few before him). If this was MIND Schmuckatelli from St. Paul, MN - no one would care.

One last point for #3 above. Why does Chet Gladchuck, the AD, not paid by USNA but by NAAA, supervises USNA staff and has a front row seat on the dais every year next to the Supe during graduation?


That should tell you a lot. What it tells me is that there are a lot of sad, insecure men who find some hole in their lives that they need to fill with a game played by others - a need they are willing to put ahead of more important and outwardly focused things.

So back to the beginning. MIDN Proctor has most likely, at a very young age found his terminal rank. Also, most likely being that we don't send these types to the Fleet as an E1 anymore, he will find himself without a degree this year unless he can find some place to let him finish up next fall - and with a non-small bill from Uncle Sam to pay off.

At 6-foot-1, 200-pounds - he isn't going to be able to play pro.

Well, sometimes you make your own luck. Good luck Kriss.

Where do we get such men ...

In a Pentagon hallway hung an austere portrait of a Navy man lost at sea in 1908, with his brass buttons, blue-knit uniform and what looks like meticulously blow-dried hair.

Wait. Blow-dried hair?
Sadly .... it takes men from the Commonwealth.

For the full story - click here.

PS: Are the 438,832 people who send me this link happy now?

The 127mm Solution

BZ to the Dutch.
Pirate camps on the Somali coast may now also be tackled from Dutch ships. The Dutch Government approved the expansion of the Atalanta counterpiracy mission and informed the House of Representatives of the decision on 6 April. However, military personnel will not set foot on land for the purposes of this EU operation.The multipurpose frigate HNLMS Van Amstel, currently at sea just off the coast of East Africa, is deployed in the area until June 2012.
The HNLMS Evertsen is from the exceptional De Zeven Provinciën class of frigates. Really more of a destroyer ....
5×8 Mk41 vertical launch system with 8 cells each
Standard armament: 8×4 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and 32 SM-2 IIIA surface-to-air missiles
Another 8 cell MK41 VLS can be added
2 Goalkeeper CIWS guns
2 quadruple Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers
1 Oto Melara 127 mm/54 dual-purpose gun
2 Oerlikon Contraves 20 mm machine guns
2 twin MK32 Mod 9 torpedo launchers with Raytheon MK46 Mod 5 torpedoes
.. but call it what you will - that will do nicely, thank you. Not bad for $806 million, and you can get a beer after watch.

Hat tip Herb

Monday, April 16, 2012

USS LBJ (DDG-1002)

Good googly moogly, the naming foolishness continues. Is SECNAV just phoning it in now?
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today the next Zumwalt-class destroyer will be named the USS Lyndon B. Johnson.

The selection of Lyndon B. Johnson, designated DDG 1002, continues the Navy tradition of naming ships after presidents and honors the nation’s 36th president.

The USS Lyndon B. Johnson is the 34th ship named by the Navy after a U.S. president.

“I am pleased to honor President Johnson with the naming of this ship,” Mabus said. “His dedication to a life of public service included bravely stepping forward to fight for his country during our entry into World War II.”
OK SECNAV, let's fact check this decision, shall we?

First of all - the nice version.
On June 21, 1940, Lyndon Johnson was appointed Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve (USNR). Reporting for active duty on December 10, 1941, three days after Pearl Harbor, he was ordered to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, D. C., for instruction. He began working on production and manpower problems that were slowing the production of ships and planes, and he traveled in Texas, California, and Washington, assessing labor needs in war production plants. In May 1942, he proceeded to Headquarters, Twelfth Naval District, San Francisco, California, for inspection duty in the Pacific. Stationed in New Zealand and Australia, he participated as an observer on a number of bomber missions in the South Pacific. He was awarded the Army Silver Star Medal by General Douglas MacArthur and cited as follows:

"For gallantry in action in the vicinity of Port Moresby and Salamaua, New Guinea, on June 9, 1942. While on a mission of obtaining information in the Southwest Pacific area, Lieutenant Commander Johnson, in order to obtain personal knowledge of combat conditions, volunteered as an observer on a hazardous aerial combat mission over hostile positions in New Guinea. As our planes neared the target area they were intercepted by eight hostile fighters. When, at this time, the plane in which Lieutenant Commander Johnson was an observer, developed mechanical trouble and was forced to turn back alone, presenting a favorable target to the enemy fighters, he evidenced marked coolness in spite of the hazards involved. His gallant actions enabled him to obtain and return with valuable information."

In addition to the Army Silver Star Medal, Commander Johnson has the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

On July 16, 1942, Johnson was released from active duty under honorable conditions. (President Roosevelt had ruled that national legislators might not serve in the armed forces). On October 19, 1949, he was promoted to Commander, USNR, his date of rank, June 1, 1948. His resignation from the Naval Reserve was accepted by the Secretary of the Navy, effective January 18, 1964.
Five months of DC duty. Two months in Australia and New Zealand, got a ride of a NMC-M bomber with a follow-on politician's Silver Star? 8-months active duty total.

You can get the full story of his Silver Star from Barrett Tillman and Henry Sakaida authoritative piece on the story, LBJ’s Silver Star: The Mission That Never Was. That or the executive summary from The Guardian;
For most of his political life, Lyndon B Johnson wore a second world war military decoration for valour under fire despite never having seen combat, an investigation broadcast on CNN yesterday revealed.

LBJ was awarded the Silver Star, the third-highest US combat medal, for a 1942 fact-finding mission over the Pacific while he was a Texas congressman and an acting lieutenant commander in the navy.

The citation, issued in the name of General Douglas MacArthur, said the plane, a B-26 bomber, was "intercepted by eight hostile fighters" and that Johnson "evidenced coolness".

In fact, according to surviving members of the crew, the plane developed mechanical problems before reaching its target and never came under fire. No other crew member received a medal for the mission.

The biographer of LBJ, Robert Dallek, said the medal was the outcome of a deal with Gen MacArthur, under which Johnson was honoured in return for a pledge "that he would lobby the president, FDR, to provide greater resources for the southwest Pacific theatre".
Perfect. Could there be a greater poster child for what has happened to the once honored practice of naming ships?

We don't even need to go in to what impact LBJ had on this nation and its military during the Vietnam War.

Is that really where we are now? Like some inbred, lead poisoned, flabby, late-Roman Empire Senate - the only thing that matters is petty political pandering, and shallow narcissistic proclamations? Will DDG-1003 be the USS INCITATUS?

I guess I should find some snarky way of folding in the fact DDG-1002 has so much balsa wood in the superstructure (yes, really) - but, naw. I don't want to get in to a composite-sandwich geek fight.

Well, at least it wasn't a CVN.

UPDATE Laugh, cry, or scream. I choose to laugh. As such, I have started a rather lame attempt at sophomoric humor not worthy of a Navy officer (except for Skippy) on twitter using #USSLBJ.