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  Issue/Date 20190218

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Sunday, February 17, 2019 06:42 AM

 

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U. S. SUBMARINE VETERANS BREMERTON BASE

P O. Box 465, Silverdale, WA 98383-0465

"Stuff you won't see in the local fish wrappers"

Left Click on Headline to go Directly to Article

The Navy is pondering its future, and the only answer is this: Build, build, build

A Navy Ship Sailed to Hawaii and Back With No One on Board

Leaders Need a Game Plan

Rising tide: Submarines and the future of undersea warfare

Last survivor of Doolittle Tokyo Raiders still tells stories of WWII raid at age 103

China's Supersonic Submarine? Not Gonna Happen

Recent Improvements to SWO Training Are Not Enough

The Supersonic Submarine - New Secret US Army Development?

Aircraft Carrier: Guardian of the Seas' Offers Breathtaking Look at Navy Technology

The Navy is pondering its future, and the only answer is this: Build, build, build

By Harold Hutchison February 12, 2019 04:12 PM

https://youtu.be/PABlVzeldaM

Reports that the Navy is re-evaluating its 355-ship goal in the wake of the new national security strategy are a good sign. That said, those who are thinking the number should be lower are all wet. Ideally, the Navy will revise that number significantly upward.

The U.S. Navy, at present, is arguably the most powerful navy in the world. Its 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers can operate four squadrons of multirole fighters and assorted support aircraft. Its major surface combatants, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, are arguably among the best in the world, and there’s a lot of them. Nuclear-powered attack submarines, like the Virginia, Los Angeles, and Seawolf classes pretty much rule under the sea.

There’s just one big problem. As impressive as these ships and submarines are, there is one capability they don’t have, and won’t have, barring some breakthrough from the realms of science fiction: the ability to be two places at once. The Navy has 288 ships in service of all types. Thirty years ago, according to the Naval Historical Center, the Navy had 592 vessels, more than twice the current number, with a force of 15 aircraft carriers, plus one more for training. In 1999, 10 years later, that number dwindled to 336 and 12 carriers, largely due to the “peace dividend.” By 2009, the Navy was down to 285 ships. Under former President Barack Obama, the force stagnated at that level, and at times dropped to as few as 10 carriers.

Some of the ships decommissioned during the “peace dividend,” aging guided-missile destroyers of the Charles F. Adams and Farragut classes, as well as the Leahy and Belknap classes of guided-missile cruisers, were due for replacement. That was a total of 51 ships, and the planned 62 Arleigh Burke-class ships would have replaced them with a decent margin of error.

The problem was, the Navy retired another 40 ships — the Spruance-class destroyers, the Kidd-class guided-missile destroyers, nine nuclear-powered guided-missile cruisers, and five Ticonderoga-class cruisers — and also wanted the Burkes to replace them. Then 21 of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigates were retired, along with the 46 Knox-class frigates. Those 67 vessels were not immediately replaced. That meant the Burkes had to replace 167 ships as opposed to 51. Production of the Burke-class has re-started, but with 62 Burkes currently in service, the difficulties are apparent. Resuming production of the Zumwalt-class destroyers to the 32 ships originally planned would help.

The submarine force has also seen its numbers decline. The “peace dividend” saw the warranted retirement of the aging Permit and Sturgeon classes of nuclear attack submarines, but the Seawolf-class, intended to replace the older subs, was halted at three vessels. Worse, the early Los Angeles-class attack submarines were retired instead of being refueled. The force is now roughly half of what it was in 1989. Again, the Virginia-class submarines are incredibly advanced, but they do not have the ability to be in two places at once.

The decline has been bipartisan. While former President Bill Clinton and Obama did a lot of slashing, former President George W. Bush did precious little to reverse the decline. In some ways, it was understandable, given that we were fighting the global War on Terror. While his administration did develop the littoral combat ship, both classes were badly underarmed. He also missed the opportunity to license production of Spain’s Alvaro de Bazan-class guided missile frigates to start replacing the Perry-class vessels.

There is hope, though: The Navy’s FFG(X) program does offer one chance to start addressing the shortfall. The Bazan design is one of five competing for the contract, so are variants of both classes of littoral combat ship. In addition, a version of the Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter is also in the mix. Buying all four of these designs would help alleviate the shortfall of hulls in the water.

The Navy has suffered decades of cuts, leading to a dwindling force structure. That can be reversed, but ships take a long time to build. The Navy can get out of the present hole, but the work must start now.
^
 

A Navy Ship Sailed to Hawaii and Back With No One on Board
A 132-foot-long self-driving ship made history by traveling from San Diego to Hawaii's Pearl Harbor and back again without sailors aboard to guide its way.

The Sea Hunter, an autonomous trimaran developed for submarine hunting and counter-mine missions, traveled thousands of miles between San Diego and Pearl Harbor last month. Naval News was first to report on the ship's breakthrough voyage.

Crew members from an escort vessel boarded the Sea Hunter for short durations to check electrical and propulsion systems, according to a press release from Leidos, a science and technology company that designed and built the Sea Hunter. For most of the voyage, though, the ship was unmanned.

"The recent long-range mission is the first of its kind and demonstrates to the U.S. Navy that autonomy technology is ready to move from the developmental and experimental stages to advanced mission testing," Gerry Fasano, the defense group president at Leidos, said in the release.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR), which led the test transit to and from Hawaii, declined a request for an interview, citing operational security concerns.

Dan Brintzinghoffer, with Leidos' maritime systems division, said the idea isn't to replace ships with vehicles like Sea Hunter, but to free up personnel aboard bigger vessels to take on more complex tasks.

"Autonomous vehicles will likely focus on the 'dull, dirty or dangerous' missions sets and could operate around the world's oceans," Brintzinghoffer said. "For example, an autonomous vessel can conduct hydrographic survey missions, freeing manned ships to accomplish other missions."

When the Navy christened the Sea Hunter in 2016, officials said it could change the nature of U.S. maritime operations. It uses a suite of navigation tools and automated lookouts that allow it to safely sail near other vessels in any weather or traffic conditions during the day or night.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency led the design and construction of the vessel and then teamed with ONR for open-water testing.

The project was fully transferred to ONR in early 2018, said Bob Freeman, an agency spokesman, when it moved into a "much more security-sensitive area of research."

Leidos is currently building a second Sea Hunter hull, Brintzinghoffer said. The company was awarded a $43 million contract to start construction on the ship that will build on some of the first Sea Hunter's capabilities, Leidos announced last month.

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.   ^

Leaders Need a Game Plan

The Man in the Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for self

and the world makes you king for a day

Just go to the mirror and look at yourself

and see what that man has to say

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife

whose judgment upon you must pass

The fellow whose verdict counts the most in your life

is the one staring back from the glass

Some people may think you a straight-shooting chum

and call you a wonderful guy

But the guy in the glass says you’re only a bum

if you can’t look him straight in the eye

He’s the fellow to please never mind all the rest

for he’s with you clear up to the end

And you’ve passed your most dangerous difficult test

if the man in the glass is your friend

You may fool the whole world down the pathway

of life and get pats on the back as you pass

But your final reward will be heartaches and tears

if you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

The poet, Dale Wimbrow, reminds us that you can trick everyone and have everything, but if you do not respect the ways you have done it, you have cheated yourself. You have to live with yourself, your actions, and your decisions until you die. If you cheat yourself, you will regret it your entire life.

I did not discuss the poem with my mother until decades later. She remembered the occasion and the poem as if the event had occurred yesterday. During our discussion, she mentioned that back in 1959 she had hoped that “The Man in the Glass” poem would provide me some self-direction as I navigated life.

I keep “The Man in the Glass” on my desk at home along with an old fortune cookie saying that simply states, “Successful leader knows the way, shows the way, and goes the way.” Over the decades, I have found that self direction and a game plan are helpful as we navigate the ups and downs of life and seek to know the way, show the way, and go the way.

We all need a game plan to maximize our effectiveness in life. We do better when we know that our lives are planned, when we know how to control a thought, when we know what we stand for, and when we are able to focus our dreams for the future. When an individual ignores his or her game plan, any direction or focus is possible, and results often are not what were desired. This situation reminds me of grocery shopping without a list. The results often are not what was desired or needed!

Your personal game plan does not need to be formal and should be a list of traits that you hope to emulate over life. Investor’s Business Daily ( IBD ) has spent years analyzing leaders and successful people in all walks of life. The publication’s research indicates that most successful people share ten important traits, the “ Ten Secrets to Success ”:

  1. How you think is everything. Always be positive. Think success, not failure. Beware of a negative environment.
  2. Decide your true dreams and goals. Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them.
  3. Take action. Goals are nothing without action. Just do it.
  4. Never stop learning. Go back to school or read books. Get training and acquire skills.
  5. Be persistent and work hard. Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up.
  6. Learn to analyze details. Get all the facts. Learn from your mistakes.
  7. Focus your time and money. Don’t let people or things distract you.
  8. Innovate and be different. Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.
  9. Deal and communicate effectively with people. Learn to understand and motivate.
  10. Be honest and dependable. Take responsibility. Otherwise, numbers one through nine won’t matter.

These traits nicely lend themselves to the development of a game plan to provide self-direction. They can provide value in recognizing your strengths and playing to those strengths, but also in recognizing one’s weaknesses so an individual is able to work to improve these areas or at least be cognizant they exist.

At the end of the day, each of us needs to be able to look in the mirror and honestly evaluate whether we have screwed something up and how we could do better the next time.

I often tell young folk that all it takes is trying and getting a little better daily in our personal and professional lives. When you think this way and continue to move forward in life you soon will be successful. Self-direction, a game plan, and personal honesty provide a map to success, happiness, and fulfillment.


Vice Admiral Konetzni , known as “Big Al, the Sailor’s Pal,” served as the deputy and chief of staff to the commander, Fleet Forces Command, before retiring from the Navy in 2004. Prior to Fleet Forces, he was commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. In 2016, he retired as vice president and general manager of Oceaneering International Inc.’s Advanced Technologies Marine Services Division.

Editor’s Note : This is part eight of a ten-part series on behaviors that Vice Admiral Konetzni learned during his years of service. They apply to individuals and define superb organizations. Admiral Konetzni believes these ten behaviors can give people energy to thrive and overcome obstacles. For the rest of the series by Admiral Konetzni, click here. Part 1: Self Image . Part 2: Self Motivation . Part 3: Self Projection . Part 4: Self Control . Part 5: Self Discipline . Part 6: Self Esteem . Part 7: Self Image ^

 

Rising tide: Submarines and the future of undersea warfare

NEW ATLAS

The submarine is the single most powerful piece of military hardware ever devised. Inside the hull of a single nuclear ballistic missile boat is more firepower than was unleashed by all the armed forces of the world during the Second World War. Submarines played a key role during the Cold War, and in a modern world marked by globalization and emerging regional powers these undersea behemoths are more important than ever. But what role does the submarine play in the 21st century and how will emerging technologies change it?


The next time you're on a ship or at the ocean shore, look out at the water. It might be a quiet day with the sea as calm as a mill pond. There might not be a single vessel in sight from horizon to horizon, suggesting a scene as it was a million years ago. And yet, beneath that placid surface, silently cruising hundreds of feet below, may be a submarine – unseen and undetected.

And that is the essence of a naval submarine. Although the term "stealth" conjures up images of futuristic angular aircraft that can evade radar, military submarine development has been driven by a quest for stealth since their earliest days. Their job is not to be seen, to go where no ship can go and, if necessary, to strike without warning.

In many ways, the submarine is the opposite of the surface ship. Where an aircraft carrier gains much of its strength from being visible, the submarine is invisible. The carrier can show the flag, make a nation's presence known in disputed waters, act as a show of force, or display support for an ally via a friendly visit.

The submarine, on the other hand, is discreet. In volatile situations it can be quietly dispatched to keep an eye on things or it can apply pressure without being overt. In fact, being invisible means that a naval power can simply drop hints that a submarine is in an area and it can have the same effect, whether it's there or not.

This stealth allows a submarine to put a massive amount of uncertainty into the mind of an enemy, forcing them to waste resources trying to hunt down subs that they aren't sure are even there, or cause them to completely abandon an area. During the Falklands War in 1982, for example, the sinking of the General Belgrano by HMS Conqueror kept almost the entire Argentine fleet bottled up in port.
 
From a strategic point of view, this element of uncertainty has been key to nuclear deterrence. An enemy might be able to so precisely locate another nation's missile bases and airfields as to make a nuclear first strike something worth considering, but a submarine armed with nuclear missiles will still represent the threat of devastating retaliation, which is part of the reason the US keeps half of its nuclear forces – and the UK its entire deterrent – on subs.
 
Small wonder that submariners regard their vessels as the true capital ships – whatever the carrier fans might say.

Read all for a complete review of why submarines are the prime warships.^

 

Last survivor of Doolittle Tokyo Raiders still tells stories of WWII raid at age 103

(Base Life Member Don "Mac" Smith Shares)

CINCINNATI: The last surviving Doolittle Tokyo Raider is still telling his World War II stories, and he enjoys hearing new ones that have been passed down to younger generations.

Retired Lt. Col. Dick Cole recently celebrated his 103rd birthday. And he’s getting ready to attend another air show, this one in Hillsboro, Oregon, starting Sept. 28. The Comfort, Texas, resident attended one in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, this summer.

Youngsters tell him about their great-grandfathers’ World War II memories.

“It’s fun,” Cole, originally from Dayton, Ohio, said by telephone Thursday. “You meet a lot of people and shake a lot of hands. I like to talk to kids.

“I enjoy it, and I think they do, too, because they keep coming back.”

He was mission commander Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot in the 1942 bombing attack less than five months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The bold raid on Japan is credited with lifting U.S. spirits and helping turn the tide of the war in the Pacific.

“I think the main thing was that you had to go in with a positive attitude,” Cole said of the against-the-odds mission. “I really didn’t worry about it. It was our job, and we knew what to expect.”

The 80 Raiders were four years ago honored with the Congressional Gold Medal for their “outstanding heroism, valor, skill and service to the United States.”

Three Raiders died trying to reach China after the attack, and eight were captured by Japanese soldiers. Three were executed, and a fourth died in captivity. Cole parachuted, and he and other Raiders were helped to safety by Chinese partisans.

Cole has attended Raider-related events over the years, including funeral services in Missoula, Montana, in 2016 for retired Staff Sgt. David Thatcher, the 79th Raider to die. He also participated in 75th anniversary events in 2017.

Cole said since he was older than many of the other Raiders, he didn’t expect to be the last.

“I figured that Mother Nature and the good man upstairs would pick the time, and I wouldn’t have any control over it.”

He chuckled when asked what it’s like to be 103

“A little bit slower than when you’re 102.”

...............................................................................

Don "Mac" Smith reminds us of a 2009 USSVI South Sound Base (SSB) Meeting that recognized one of the Doolittle Raider`s, Ed Saylor. (Left Picture Below)

Right Upper Picture: Don "Mac", Ed in center, Greg Cox on right. Greg and Don were base officers giving Ed some items of thanks.

Lower Right Picture shows Ed's Crew.

^

 

China's Supersonic Submarine? Not Gonna Happen

Time.Com

There are a whole lot of things that won’t be happening anytime soon. Pigs flying, for instance; that won’t happen. All of the raindrops becoming lemon drops and gumdrops; that won’t happen either. And despite what you have been reading practically everywhere today, no, China won’t be deploying a submarine capable of moving at 6,100 mph (9,800 k/h) and covering the distance from Shanghai to San Francisco in 100 minutes—at least not in anything remotely like the near future.

Let’s begin with the source of the story: engineer Li Fengchen, of the Harbin Institute of Technology, the project’s lead researcher. Mr. Li is surely an impeccably honest man and a very good engineer, but the Chinese government has not always covered itself in glory when it comes to candor and there’s no reason to believe they’d start with a program as sensitive as this.


“The idea that any Chinese research association would talk about its best ideas is ludicrous beyond words,” says physicist and naval weapons expert Norman Friedman, of the U.S. Naval Institute. “They simply don’t go public with this kind of project, though they do sometimes show off things that don’t exist.”
 


The bigger problem involves a couple of matters Friedman knows a thing or two about: physics and engineering. The technology that has caused all the buzz is something called supercavitation, and there’s nothing fanciful about it—it’s been around since the Cold War, though it’s been used only in torpedoes. Supercavitation involves agitating water in such a way that it forms a bubble of vapor completely surrounding the moving body, dramatically reducing friction, and dramatically increasing speed. Traditional propellers can’t be used to generate that speed, since they have to touch the water and all any part of the sub or torpedo touches is vapor. Instead, rocket engines provide the push, relying on the same action-reaction principle rockets use in space.

“It’s not a friction-free ride,” says Friedman, “but you do get some distance out of it and it can move at high speeds.”

But how much distance and how high a speed? There, it turns out, is the rub. The best-known supercavitating torpedo, the Russian Shkval—or squall—achieves a speed of around 200 knots (230 mph), according to Friedman, but it’s a short-range weapon, able to sprint only about 10,000 yards, since it must be stuffed with enough hardware both to churn water to vapor and run the rocket engines and still have enough room left over for an explosive charge. With all that, it can carry only a limited amount of fuel.

A submarine, Friedman estimates, could possibly stretch the range to 40 mi. (64 km). But as for somehow increasing the speed from 230 mph to 6,100 mph? Even the Chinese spokesfolks who are talking so freely don’t pretend to have an answer for that one.

Finally, there’s the problem of trying to point the sub where you want it to go. For both surface vessels and submersibles, that job is achieved by turning a rudder against the water, but poke a rudder into the water of a supercavitating vessel and you pop the bubble that surrounds the ship—not to mention snapping the rudder completely off when it suddenly encounters resistance. “Steering,” Friedman says, “wouldn’t be any fun.”

None of this is to suggest that these problems won’t be solved some day. But that’s true of almost any technical challenge you can name. Despite what China is saying, the submarine’s some day isn’t a soon day.

Write to Jeffrey Kluger at jeffrey.kluger@time.com
^

 

The Supersonic Submarine - New Secret US Army Development?

Is the United States Army really developing a supersonic submarines? How would a supersonic submarine even work? In today's educational video we're taking a look at The Supersonic Submarines - New Secret US Army Development?

Submarines haunt the dreams of sailors around the world. Secretive, stealthy, and able to strike from out of nowhere, they remain the greatest threat to surface ships. Thankfully, submarines are limited in just how fast they can move, typically with a top speed of 29 mph (46 kmh), which is well short of a typical destroyer's top speed of 40 mph (64 kmh). Lagging behind their potential prey, submarines must typically intercept their targets or lurk in sea lanes and wait for an enemy to stumble into them. But what if subs could move much, much faster than they currently do? Hello and welcome to another episode of The Infographics Show- today we're taking a look at supersonic submarines- the US Navy's new Superweapon.


SUBSCRIBE TO US -► http://bit.ly/TheInfographicsShow ^

 

'Aircraft Carrier: Guardian of the Seas' Offers Breathtaking Look at Navy Technology

Under the Radar

The IMAX smash "Aircraft Carrier: Guardian of the Seas" has just been released by Shout Factory home video in a 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital Copy set. IMAX movies have been a great source of 4K home video content, and this film is one of the best you can find for a home setup.

The film joints the Nimitz-class carrier Ronald Reagan as it participates in RIMPAC, the world's largest joint maritime training exercise. Nothing compares with the overwhelming experience of being on one of these ships in person, but this movie does an admirable job of capturing the scope and size of life on an aircraft carrier.

Gearheads will enjoy the extensive detail about the mechanical workings of the ship, including animated recreations that show the inner workings of some technology that isn't easily accessible on board the ships.

Since the Navy uses movies like they are recruiting tools, there's also a basic history of naval warfare for the school kids who get bused into the museums that show this kind of film

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Most importantly, these visuals do not disappoint. One of the complications of owning a fancy new 4K HDR television and the still-expensive 4K Blu-ray players is that many filmmakers aren't yet adapting their working styles to take advantage of the new, higher-resolution technology.

"Aircraft Carrier: Guardian of the Seas" was conceived for the giant, immersive IMAX format, and the stunning visuals required for that setting translate beautifully to 4K. If you've got the right home setup, this one is a great choice that will let you enjoy your investment to its full potential. ^

 
Recent Improvements to SWO Training Are Not Enough


Surface warfare officers (SWOs) tasked with safely and effectively operating U.S. Navy ships are no longer expert mariners. A lack of standardized, practical training prior to commissioning, changes to post-commissioning instructional courses, and a lack of focus on classic deck officer skills account for SWO shiphandling atrophy.

Following the 2017 ship collisions in the Pacific, the October 2017 “ Comprehensive Review of Recent Surface Force Incidents ” highlighted a multitude of deficiencies at the ship and fleet level. It recommended corrective action to many facets of early SWO training, but failed to call for a large-scale transformation in training. As a result, action beyond a slight increase to the rigor of Surface Warfare Officer School (SWOS) has not been taken. It is time expansive change to SWO development programs be made. Anything less is setting our SWOs up for failure.

A History of SWO Training

From 1970 to 2003, all newly commissioned SWO candidates reported first to the Surface Warfare Officer School Division Officer Course (SWOSDOC) based out of Newport, Rhode Island, and, for part of that period, San Diego, California. During an initial course of instruction lasting up to six months, SWO candidates received intensive training on deck officer skills, shiphandling, seamanship, and the basic responsibilities of a division officer.

Responding mainly to budget constraints, the Navy replaced SWOSDOC in 2003 with a new SWOS-At Sea program that promised more affordable and practical, hands-on instruction . SWO candidates reported directly to their ships with a set of CD-ROMS covering the basics of navigation, combat systems, and engineering. The officers were required to complete the computer-based training (CBT) at their own pace while also meeting their division officer responsibilities.    Read All 
^
 

Big Snow Storm Hits Kitsap

 

Memorial to be dedicated to loss of USS Thresher
Tragedy prompted new safety program

Andy Hershberger, WMUR News Updated: 6:45 PM EST Feb 8, 2019

KITTERY, Maine —
A memorial will be dedicated this fall in Arlington National Cemetery in memory of the USS Thresher, a submarine that was lost off the New England coast more than 55 years ago.

The memorial was announced Friday at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, where the submarine was built.

Carol Norton said she remembers every detail of the day in 1963 she learned that her father was lost at sea. Her mother told her and her brother that the USS Thresher sank, killing her father, Fred Philip Abrams, and 128 other men.

"Our collective loss was devastating," Norton said. "Our families were torn apart, and life as we all knew it would never be the same again."

The submarine was doing test dives when it sank, killing everyone on board.

The USS Thresher and the crew will now be given a memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. It's a project that has been years in the making, and those who fought for the recognition said they believed it was important to recognize the gravity of the sacrifice.

The legacy of the tragedy is the institution of the Submarine Safety Program, a system of safety guidelines that was put in place after the USS Thresher sank.

"The SUBSAFE Program that resulted from the loss of the Thresher has meant that, since that time, no SUBSAFE-certified submarine has ever been lost," U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said.

"He did not die in vain," Norton said of her father. "This is a memorial for all the crew on the USS Thresher, and it is very important that people know the story."
^
 

 

Sailor's Combat Death Leads to Navy-Wide Policy Changes

Navy officials are changing what a top admiral called "fundamental flaws" in its waiver and appeal process for commissioning programs after a sailor who was denied a chance to pursue a career as an officer was sent to Syria, where she was killed in a suicide bombing.

Adm. William Moran, vice chief of naval operations, sent a letter detailing the changes to the family of Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon Kent, Stars and Stripes reported Wednesday.

The action follows a call from seven lawmakers demanding that Navy leaders explain how they planned to update the policies that left Kent deployed to the war zone after rejecting a plan that would have allowed her to pursue a doctorate degree as part of a commissioning program.

The Navy denied Kent's plans to attend a clinical psychology program, Stripes reported, because the 35-year-old mother of two had previously been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Despite that, the service considered her fit to deploy, and the linguist landed on her fifth combat tour in November when she was sent to Syria where she -- along with 18 other people -- was killed by a suicide bomber on Jan. 16.

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In his Tuesday letter, Moran told the Kent family he had reviewed and discussed "every aspect of the policies and processes in place during Shannon's application to become a clinical psychologist," according to Stripes. 

"There were many shortcomings in Shannon's case, mainly in our communications throughout and in fundamental flaws in our waiver and appeal process -- I offer no excuses," Moran wrote to the family. "... We believe this new policy will improve the quality, fairness, and consistency of the medical waiver process for all enlisted to officer commissioning programs, and I will report back to you in one year to inform you of our progress."

Now, sailors who are deployed and seek a waiver, like Kent did, will have the highest consideration, according to a memo detailing the changes that Moran’s office provided to Military.com. The Navy will also standardize its appeals process, including peer reviews for waivers and an option for sailors to get a second medical opinion, the memo states.

Kent's family had asked Moran to review the policies after her death. It's work Kent started last summer when she, along with her husband, sought the help from lawmakers after her waiver requests to pursue her doctorate had been denied.

Enlisted troops who want to become officers must meet higher medical standards than those already in uniform, Stripes reported. Since Kent had previously been diagnosed with cancer, she was disqualified.

Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican congressman from North Carolina who has gone to bat with several Pentagon leaders on troops' behalf, wrote to the Navy secretary last summer to get that rule changed. He called the policies discriminatory, adding that they prohibited upward mobility for enlisted personnel.

When asked whether the Navy would take the policy review a step further by allowing personnel who have previously been diagnosed with cancer but are now in remission a chance at a commission, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson told reporters last week that it would require help from Defense Department leaders.

"That's a DoD rule," Richardson said. "The first thing we ought to make sure is that we honor Chief Kent for her tremendous sacrifice and her commitment to her oath to support and defend the constitution. We want to be mindful that we're ... communicating with her family first and foremost as we work through this."

Kent's family told Stripes they hope to take up the issue with Defense Department leaders next for a military-wide fix. In the meantime, Kent's husband said he is pleased with Moran's response.

"The Navy has done all they can and moved rather quickly," Joe Kent told Stripes. "They "changed as much of the commissioning process and waiver process as they can in their capacity as an individual service." (Sounds like upper echelon including congressional oversight covering their tracks by deflecting to a "commissioning" subject/ed) ^

 

Retired Navy Captain Sentenced in Sweeping Corruption Case

SAN DIEGO -- A former Navy captain has been sentenced to six months in prison for moonlighting for a Malaysian contractor nicknamed "Fat Leonard" at the center of one of the maritime service's worst corruption scandals.

Former Capt. Jeffrey Breslau was sentenced Friday by a federal judge in San Diego after pleading guilty to criminal conflict of interest. He was fined $20,000 and ordered to pay the Navy the $65,000 he earned moonlighting.

Prosecutors say Breslau ghostwrote emails and provided talking points to the contractor, Leonard Francis, to help him win over five Navy admirals and land lucrative contracts for his company that supplied ships in the Pacific.

Prosecutors say Francis overbilled the U.S. Navy by more than $35 million for services for ships.

Nearly two dozen people have pleaded guilty in the case.^

 

Chinese Student Sentenced to 1 Year for Taking Photos of Key West Naval Base

MIAMI -- Zhao Qianli says he's a musicology student from China who traveled to the United States for a summer exchange program. After he finished his studies in September, he booked a flight to Miami and then headed for Key West.

But rather than see the Hemingway House and other sights, Qianli got caught by Key West police for trespassing onto the high-security Naval Air Station. He later told federal authorities that he lost his way on the tourist trail and did not realize it was a military base.

Investigators found photos and videos on Qianli's smartphone as well as on his digital camera that he had taken of government buildings and a Defense Department antenna field on the military base.

Qianli, 20, who is being held in Monroe County Jail, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of photographing defense installations at the Key West military facility and was sentenced to one year in prison by U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore. The judge gave him the maximum sentence, which was higher than the sentencing guidelines between zero and six months. The U.S. attorney's office sought nine months in prison.

Five other counts in his indictment were dismissed as part of Qianli's plea deal. He made his appearance via a remote video hookup from the federal courthouse in Key West, with his defense attorney by his side. He admitted through a Chinese interpreter that he took the unlawful photos on Sept. 26 while trespassing the restricted grounds of the Naval Air Station, but expressed no remorse.

Although federal authorities charged Qianli with photographing defense installations, they implied in court filings and during Tuesday's hearing that he was not just a tourist but rather a possible spy for the Chinese government who lied when he was questioned by FBI agents after his arrest.

Federal prosecutor Michael Sherwin said that Qianli waded into the water in his clothes to go around the security fence on the southern end of the naval base, where signs say it is a restricted area -- and to keep out. He said that, contrary to his claim that he was just a tourist and got lost, FBI agents found no pictures of the typical tourist spots such as Mallory Square on his smartphone or digital camera.

"The primary pictures on that camera were of the military facility," Sherwin said, noting that a witness saw Qianli go directly to the Defense Department antenna field and snap pictures. "It did not have the hallmark of a tourist who got lost and wandered onto the military facility."

But Qianli's defense attorney, Hongwei Shang, repeatedly said her client was a college student at North University of China who was visiting Key West as a tourist after completing a summer exchange program.

"He's not a spy," Shang argued at Tuesday's hearing. "A spy would not do things like him. There's no proof. ... He committed a stupid mistake. He confessed to it. He just wants to go home."

Shang talked about Qianli's parents and their desire to see him again, as she choked up during her comments to the judge.

Seeking mercy for her client, Shang talked about North Korea's detention of an American student, Otto Warmbier, who was released in 2017 after 17 months in captivity and one year in a coma. Warmbier, a Ohio native who later died, had visited North Korea with a tour group after traveling in China. He was charged and convicted of a "hostile act" -- trying to steal a propaganda poster -- against North Korea's authoritarian government.

Shang's reference to that highly controversial case clearly offended the judge, who noted that Warmbier was not caught taking pictures and videos of North Korean military installations, as her client did at the Naval Air Station in Key West.

Qianli's conviction and sentencing followed a recent CNN report that said U.S. intelligence officials have warned that China is enlisting some of its students studying in the United States to act as spies in gathering information on business, technology and science for the Beijing government.  

Might want to go to this map to view Google map for orientation/ed  ^     

      
 

Lest We Forget: Fishtailing on the Franks at Leyte


The war came into sharp focus for Quartermaster Bak on the morning of 25 October, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The loudspeaker sounded general quarters.

We ran to our battle stations. I ran to the bridge and looked out, and I saw what looked like toothpicks on the horizon, right across the horizon—many, many ships.

Our carrier planes started taking off. We were protecting the jeep carriers at that point, the USS White Plains [CVE-66], St. Lo [CVE-63], and Gambier Bay [CVE-73]. When the Japanese fleet was coming at us, our job was to stay between the carriers and the Japanese ships.

We were going back and forth, sort of fishtailing, because our carriers couldn’t go too fast. The Japs were shooting at us and dropping shells around us, 150, 200 yards. We were going right full rudder, left full rudder, right full rudder, and the shells were coming all around us. We were told to go in for a torpedo run. Then, they decided it was crazy to go in. They found a couple of ships had been sunk. We were told to lay a smoke screen between the Jap fleet and the carriers—all the time fishtailing.

I was on the bridge at the quartermaster station, putting entries in the ship’s log. The shells were dropping around us. I went under the chart table, which was a ridiculous place to go. Then I was on a long glass, and I couldn’t believe you could see these ships so close. I couldn’t believe that that fleet had got so close to us without our admirals knowing about it in advance. It was Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita’s fleet, the Japanese commander involved.

From about 0715 to 1030, it was several hours of not knowing what was happening. We did see some burning out there. We got a report later that the burning was our ships being sunk. If we had held one course, they would have blown us out of the water that day. That’s what I liked about our skipper, Commander David Stephan. He was out there giving orders, right full rudder, left full rudder.

For some reason, later on the Japs turned around and went the other way. They left us when they could have had a kill. They didn’t realize what they had. I believe, reading back in history, they thought our destroyers were cruisers.

During all this, the planes were taking off and landing. I remember getting behind these carriers. We had sort of dual duty, fishtailing, trying to pick our pilots out of the water when they crashed or went overboard, and keeping between the Jap fleet and the escort carriers. I saw the smoke and the hit when the Gambier Bay went down. The jeep carriers didn’t have the maneuverability we had.

In a fight like that, when you’re quartermaster, you can see what’s going on, but the people below decks can’t. The captain would give the results later on to all hands, but never during the battle.

Mr. Clift is the U.S. Naval Institute’s vice president for planning and operations and president emeritus of the National Intelligence University ^
 

 

Fighting To Serve

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