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What makes Russia’s new spy ship Yantar special?

Navy's Stealthy Mega-Destroyer Still Doesn't Have a Round for Its Gun

Russia has underwater nuclear drones, leaked Pentagon documents reveal

Bolster the Navy’s Patrol Forces

Gilding the Coucal; NOOK Book; Author - James W Gibson

Putin’s submarines spur Nato to boost its UK nerve centre

A Foreign Navy Screwed Up Its New $3 Billion Nuclear Missile Sub By Leaving Its Hatch OpenEverything You Wanted to Know About Food on a U.S. Submarine

What makes Russia’s new spy ship Yantar special?

Navy's Stealthy Mega-Destroyer Still Doesn't Have a Round for Its Gun |12 Jan 2018 |By Hope Hodge Seck

The Navy's futuristic destroyer Zumwalt is some two years away from being ready for battle -- but service leaders still don't know what to load in its main weapon.

In late 2016, the service canceled plans to buy the long-range land attack projectile, or LRLAP, a round designed to be fired from the ship's massive 155mm Advanced Gun Systems weapon. At about $800,000 per round, the ammo was just too pricey to load up on the three ships in the limited Zumwalt large destroyer class.


The guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) arrives at its new homeport in San Diego on Dec. 8, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Emiline L. M. Senn)

But it's now 2018, and the ship is expected to reach initial operational capability by fiscal 2020. And there's still no substitute round for the AGS.

In a briefing at the Surface Navy Association's annual symposium, Capt. Kevin Smith, Major Program Manager for the DDG-1000 [Zumwalt] Program Office, said the Navy continues to monitor future technologies and watch industry for a solution.

"The threat's always changing out here and the requirements that the U.S. Navy's looking at, as I said, this is a multi-mission ship," Smith said. "There's lots of things this ship can do but, right now, we're going to be looking hard at what is the best technology to meet the requirements for the gun."

Each of the destroyers costs roughly $4 billion. The USS Zumwalt, the first in class, was commissioned in late 2016; its successor, the Michael Monsoor, is expected to be delivered to the Navy in March. The final ship, the Lyndon B. Johnson, is set for delivery by 2020.


Capt. James Kirk, the first commanding officer of the Zumwalt, indicated that the designated purpose of the ship itself might be affected by its lack of a working mega-weapon.

"We're going to be looking at shifting the mission set for this ship to a surface strike, land-and -sea-strike surface platform," he said. "We're predecisional on budget ... but that's what the focus is going to be, on a long-range surface strike platform, in contrast with previous focus on a littoral volume suppressive fires, in close to land."

The AGS is designed to deliver a high rate of fire, as well as precision strikes.

As it stands, the Zumwalt is not without weapons: It's built to carry RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles; Tactical Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles; Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Missiles; and two MK-46 30mm chain guns.

Officials have discussed the possibility of arming the AGS with a hypervelocity projectile, such as the one the Navy is currently testing out with its futuristic railgun prototype, but a decision on whether to move forward has yet to be made.

"We're monitoring that technical maturation to see do we get that to get the kind of ranges and capabilities that we want, what's the right kind of bang for the buck in cost and capability for the Navy," Kirk said. "We're monitoring that, but we have not made a decision on that."

Russia has underwater nuclear drones, leaked Pentagon documents reveal

Russia is in possession of an underwater nuclear drone capable of carrying a 100-megaton nuclear warhead, a recently leaked draft of the Pentagon's Nuclear Posture Review confirmed.

The weapon, referred to in the document as an “AUV,” or autonomous underwater vehicle, is featured in a chart that lays out Russia's multiple nuclear delivery vehicles.

Pentagon officials warn in the posture review that Russia has actively diversified its nuclear capabilities, a strategic advantage it has over the United States:

In addition to modernizing ‘legacy’ Soviet nuclear systems, Russia is developing and deploying new nuclear warheads and launchers. These efforts include multiple upgrades for every leg of the Russian nuclear triad of strategic bombers, sea-based missiles and land-based missiles. Russia is also developing at least two new intercontinental range systems, a hypersonic glide vehicle and a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed undersea autonomous torpedo.

The draft of the posture review was obtained and published by the Huffington Post.

In a statement, the Pentagon did not deny that the draft is authentic:

Our discussion has been robust and several draft have been written. However, the Nuclear Posture Review has not been completed and will ultimately be reviewed and approved by the President and the Secretary of Defense. As a general practice, we do not discuss pre-decisional, draft copies of strategies and reviews.

As outlined by Valerie Insinna of Defense News, the Russian undersea drone, officially known as Ocean Multipurpose System Status-6 and nicknamed "Kanyon" by the Pentagon, was reportedly tested in Nov. 2016. It was launched from a Sarov-class submarine used to test and validate new tech, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon reported in Dec. 2016, citing unnamed Pentagon sources.

The Pentagon had not publicly confirmed the existence of Status-6 prior to Huffington Post's report on this year's posture review.

According to Russian media outlets cited by the Washington Bureau, Status-6 has a range of 6,200 miles, a top speed in excess of 56 knots and can descend to depths of 3,280 feet below sea level. It was built by Rubin Design Bureau, the largest submarine manufacturer in Russia. It was designed to be launched from at least two different classes of nuclear submarines, including the Oscar-class, which can carry four Status-6 drones at a time.

The nuclear posture review reaffirms the need for a full nuclear triad, or a full range of air, sea, and ground-based nuclear missiles. But, as noted by Defense News, the review offers "no sign that the Pentagon is interested in developing unmanned undersea vehicles capable of delivering a nuclear weapon."

The leaked posture review draft made headlines for confirming what many in the nuclear industry suspected for months: The Trump administration is vying to substantially increase the U.S.'s nuclear stockpile. The review also illustrates how the Pentagon plans to match some of Russia's new nuclear capabilities.

Fears of nuclear war have risen to historic levels, in large part due to the verbal back-and-forth between Trump and Kim Jong-Un of North Korea. Those fears percolated on Saturday after an emergency alert was mistakenly sent in Hawaii, warning residents to "seek immediate shelter" from a ballistic missile threat. (For real, or fake news?/ed)


Bolster the Navy’s Patrol Forces

Proceedings Magazine - January 2018 Vol. 145/1/1,379 Lieutenant Commander Matthew E. Dryden, U.S. Navy

A small force of U.S. Navy patrol ships has sailed the waters of the Arabian Gulf for the last 15 years, guarding key maritime infrastructure, conducting escort operations, exercising with international partners, supporting special operations forces, and keeping an eye on regional military moves. The ten Cyclone -class patrol coastals (PC) are some of the Navy’s busiest warships and likely would be the first to see action if Iran becomes openly belligerent.

Though these ships sail almost every day without much notice from most sailors, they have unusually high underway operational tempos averaging 50–60 percent. Built in the early 1990s, these scrappy, simple hulls are being worked hard in Fifth Fleet and elsewhere. As a result, they are far past their originally projected 15-year service lives. They suffer from an increasing frequency of failure, with obsolete parts and worn equipment. Still, the Navy continues to apply scarce resources toward upkeep. Shortages of manpower with these ships add an additional complexity to maintenance and operations.

Refitting the Cyclone -class might buy the Navy some time but ultimately the Cyclones inevitably are wearing and need to be replaced.

Successfully Fielded Solutions

Replacements for the Cyclones exist. The Navy should field a mix of expeditionary fast transports (EPFs)—formerly known as joint high-speed vessels—and Coast Guard Sentinel- class fast response cutters (FRCs). Adopting either the EPF or FRC would increase capability substantially, but a combination of both would better contribute to the surface force vision of distributed lethality . Both ship classes have been in service for more than five years and have worked out many of the problems any new class encounters.

A High-Speed Solution

Converting the U.S. Naval Ship-designated EPFs (operated by Military Sealift Command) to USS-designated guided-missile patrol corvettes (PCGs) would increase mission capacity and capability. Defensive and offensive capabilities would need to be addressed by armoring and “up-gunning” the aluminum ships, but the baseline design offers many benefits. The EPF currently includes:

· 42 staterooms for crew

· 104 bunks for passengers (up to 312 passengers, with “hot bunking”)

· 20,000 square foot reconfigurable mission bay

· Level I / class 2 flight deck

· Boat launch-and-recovery system capable of launching boats up to 40 feet long

· Telescoping boom crane capable of lifting 12 to 18 metric tons.

The EPF, originally born to test the feasibility of the littoral combat ship (LCS) concept, makes a logical small surface combatant focused on littoral operations more limited in scope than an LCS. PCGs would sit at the lower end of warfighting, in a capacity that would cover the phase-zero roles that PCs and mine countermeasure (MCM) ships fill now. PCG would lack the ability to fulfill the LCS’s surface, aviation, and antisubmarine missions, but would be a marked improvement over current PCs and MCMs. Supplementary defense design should focus on limited armor plating to protect key substructures, using lessons learned from the Cyclone -class bridge and combat information center protection program. Carefully rationed coverage will limit additional topside weight while protecting crew and mission survivability.

The existing design has sufficient open-architecture computer infrastructure, internal and external communications, and navigation, aviation, and armament systems to make it possible in the future to add mission modules and adaptive force packages to cover an even broader range of mission sets than current PCs—even support for command and control integration with task force staffs . Read All

Gilding the Coucal; NOOK Book; Author - James W Gibson (Click)


"Author James William Gibson, Lt. Commander, US Navy (retired) joined the US Navy in July 1948. Fresh from high school, he served as an enlisted man for 12 years, reaching the rank of Chief Engineman. Bucking tradition during the post-World War II 1950s, Gibson was then promoted to Ensign and joined the ranks of commissioned officers. He qualified twice as a submariner, first as an enlisted man and later as an officer. Eventually, as a Limited Duty Officer, he finally qualified for a command position on a submarine rescue ship, the USS Coucal (ARS-8), with a crew of 86. Gilding the Coucal is the story of how he went from the loving arms of his adopted parents and a small town in eastern Pennsylvania to command a ship with a poor reputation and lousy physical condition prior to his taking command. Using all that he learned throughout his career, Captain Gibson was able to turn around the morale of the crew and completely refurbish the ship from top to bottom while performing Cold War duties in various Pacific Island ports as well as much of Southeast Asia."


(All should be as lucky as I, to know Jim.  He is a rare type of person that you respect when you first meet him. He, among other "mustangs" I know, deserve the respect for their diligence, and hard work.  I bought the book. You will recognize Jim's character by his accomplishments in life./ed)

_&sourceId=PLGoP75008&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIgrzSjsXS2AIVhvhkCh0MTQCwEAkYASABEgKaGvD_BwE ^


Putin’s submarines spur Nato to boost its UK nerve centre
Deborah Haynes, The Times (UK), January 10

A Royal Navy frigate yesterday escorted Russian warships through the Strait of Dover

NATO plans to expand a naval command post in Britain after a "significant" increase in Russian submarine activity off British waters and across the alliance, The Times understands.

Allied Maritime Command (Marcom) at Northwood, a sprawling base in northwest London, would increase by 100 to 200 NATO personnel from its present strength of 300 under the proposals, according to military sources.

An Atlantic command is also expected to be revived in the United States after a similar structure was disbanded at the end of the Cold War, when NATO relaxed its focus on ensuring the safe passage of reinforcements from America to Europe in a crisis.

A rise in Russian underwater maneuvers in recent years has prompted the rethink. This includes activity from six improved Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines in the Black Sea and Mediterranean. NATO is also concerned about Russian boats interfering with transatlantic communication cables.

"You see them [Russia] active across the entire NATO area of interest," a NATO official said. "It is significant, it is growing . . . They are able to hold much of NATO maritime forces, as well as much of NATO critical infrastructure, at risk from their maritime forces."

A Royal Navy frigate yesterday escorted Russian warships through the Strait of Dover in an increasingly common occurrence. A particular challenge is the enhanced capability of Russian submarines, which are faster and quieter than during the Cold War, making them harder to detect. This has eroded NATO's advantage in quieter boats. It has also made it more difficult for the Royal Navy's four nuclear-armed submarines to avoid detection, something they achieved throughout the Cold War.

Keeping the on-duty Trident submarine undetected is a founding principle of Britain's nuclear deterrent, guaranteeing the ability to fire back if the UK were ever under nuclear attack.

Another problem for NATO is its failure to maintain investment in anti-submarine warfare over the past 25 years when land-based campaigns in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan have dominated. This has resulted in fewer submarines, frigates and submarine-tracking aircraft.

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, a former first sea lord, said that whoever controlled the underwater domain controlled the surface, the air and also, in future, space. "If you don't invest in that arena in peacetime you are not able to respond in war, when the potential enemy has been doing the reverse," the admiral said.

The size of the Russian navy, including its submarine fleet, has also shrunk since the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, it kept partly finished submarines on the production line and maintained its engineering and submariner skills, analysts said.

When the Kremlin increased military spending about a decade ago, the navy and in particular submarines benefited, they said. Russia believes it could use its underwater prowess to exploit NATO's weaknesses.

A final decision has yet to be made on increasing manpower at Northwood and creating the new Atlantic command. No such decision is expected to be reached until a NATO summit of alliance leaders in July in Brussels.

Under the proposals US Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk could provide leadership in the Atlantic at a time of crisis. This would complement the role of Marcom, which is led by a Royal Navy officer.

A second NATO official said: "Details about the geographical footprint and force levels of the new command structure have not yet been determined and will be discussed in the coming months."

A Foreign Navy Screwed Up Its New $3 Billion Nuclear Missile Sub By Leaving Its Hatch Open

By JARED KELLER on January 9, 2018 | Task & Purpose


The modern submarine is not a simple machine. A loss of propulsion, unexpected flooding, or trouble with reactors or weapons can doom a sub crew to a watery grave.

Also, it’s a good idea to, like, close the hatches before you dive.


Call it a lesson learned for the Indian navy, which managed to put the country’s first nuclear-missile submarine, the $2.9 billion INS Arihant, out of commission in the most boneheaded way possible.

The Hindu reported yesterday that the Arihant has been out of commission since suffering “major damage” some 10 months ago, due to what a navy source characterized as a “human error” — to wit: allowing water to flood to sub’s propulsion compartment after failing to secure one of the vessel’s external hatches. (How about the Guitarro?/ed)

Water “rushed in as a hatch on the rear side was left open by mistake while [the Arihant] was at harbor” in February 2017, shortly after the submarine’s launch, The Hindu reports. Since then, the sub “has been undergoing repairs and clean up,” according to the paper: “Besides other repair work, many pipes had to be cut open and replaced.”


It’s hard to articulate how major a fxxx-up this is, but Kyle Mizokami does a good job at Popular Mechanics: Indian authorities ordered the pipe replacement because they “likely felt that pipes exposed to corrosive seawater couldn’t be trusted again, particularly pipes that carry pressurized water coolant to and from the ship’s 83 megawatt nuclear reactor.” For context, a submarine assigned to Britain’s Royal Navy narrowly avoided a complete reactor meltdown in 2012 after the power sources for its coolant system failed.

The incident is also quite an embarrassment — and strategic concern — for the Indian Armed Forces. A Russian Akula-class attack sub modified to accommodate a variety of ballistic missiles, the Arihant represented a major advance in India’s nuclear triad after its completion in October 2016. (India in 1974 became the 6th country to conduct a successful nuclear test.) Indeed, the Arihant’s ability to deliver K-15 short-range and K-4 intermediate-range nuclear missiles was envisioned as a powerful deterrent against India’s uneasy nuclear state neighbor, Pakistan.

“Arihant is the most important platform within India’s nuclear triad covering land-air-sea modes,” the Hindu reports. Well, it’s important if it works — and it probably helps to make your submarine watertight.

This is just some sloppy, dangerous seamanship, and the Indian Navy better get its act together fast. Either that, or perhaps follow the Royal Navy’s lead and install the 2001-era Windows XP as an operating system on all your most vital vessels. That way, you can blame the blue screen of death instead of “human error” for the next critical foul-up. Although even outdated software probably knows enough to dog down on all the hatches.


Everything You Wanted to Know About Food on a U.S. Submarine
Submarine Cuisine is full of anecdotes, recipes, and fascinating details about culinary life on a U.S. Navy submarine.
By Kyle Mizokami | Jan 5, 2018 | Polular Mechanics

Seasoning fish fillets on the ballistic missile submarine USS Louisiana.

The life of a U.S. Navy submariner is not easy. These sailors live for months in a steel tube cruising through freezing cold water, surrounded by explosives, flammable materials, and even nuclear weapons. In peacetime they run the risk of terrible accidents. In wartime they risk being hounded to destruction by enemy ships and helicopters.


But they eat famously well. If you don't believe me, then check out this out-of-print book on feeding submarine crews.


The 2004 book Submarine Cuisine was apparently commissioned by the Submarine Research Center, U.S. Naval Submarine Base Bangor, Washington (by USSVI Bremerton Base Holland Club Member Ed Jones/ed). Detailing life on submarines dating back to World War II, it features interesting notes about the work of a cook aboard a sub; how food is loaded, stored, and prepared; and thekinds of dishes submarines crews could look forward to.

USS Alabama


The book features stories from submarines reaching all the way back to the days when ships were named after fish such as the USS Hardhead, USS Bluegill, and USS Blenny. Contributions were also made to the book from sailors aboard modern submarines, including the ballistic missile submarine USS Alabama.


Modern American submarines, the book explains, feed crews three meals a day for the length of the submarine patrol, which could last weeks or even months without resupply. Omnipresent food distributor Sysco provided the food to Pacific Fleet submarines, while it’s King’s Bay for East Coast submarines. On fast attack subs, the food is lowered into the submarine at port by hand, one box of groceries at a time. On ballistic missile submarines, food is lowered through the escape trunk opening by crane in aluminum modules measuring six by six by five feet.


The book also has recipes for sauces, popular breakfast foods such as creamed eggs (which, admittedly doesn’t sound all that great), corned beef and cabbage, ginger pot roast (now we’re getting somewhere) and Maryland-style fried chicken. Naturally, navy bean soup is on the recipe list. The recipe list wraps up with desserts including cherry pie, rice pudding, and baked apples.


Submarine Cuisine spotlights the cook’s role on board the submarine, one of the more service-oriented jobs on a U.S. Navy submarine. Submarine cooks are constantly under pressure to cook and clean, keep to their schedule, and maintain a monthly food budget. Keeping a tidy

Making pizza on the USS Tennessee.

eating area is important. During non-meal time hours, the eating area is used by the crew for training.


The Navy’s submarine force is known as the Silent Service, not only because submarines are meant to run quietly but because submariners rarely give up details of life on the boat. While not exactly top secret information, Submarine Cuisine is an porthole into the culinary life of a American submariners.^








Second call for nominations for the 2018 National Elections


Posted January 1, 2018


Shipmates you have until March 1st 2018 to put in your nomination letters for the 2018 National Elections.

So far the Nominees are:

National Commander - Wayne Standerfer

National Senior Vice Cdr- Jon Jaques

National Junior Vice Cdr - Steve Bell

National Secretary - Ray Wewers

National Treasurer - Paul Hiser

Western Regional Director - Jim Denzien

Central Regional Director- Tom Williams
- Carl Schmidt

Eastern Region North Director - Les Athschuler

Eastern Region South Director - Ken Nichols

If you feel you would like to run for any of the above positions please send me an e-mail at


with your nomination letter stating your qualifications for the position and a statement that if elected you will accept the position.

Pride Runs Deep,

Al Singleman, Jr. Nomination's Chairman.


Happy New Year From USSVI National Commander

Posted January 5, 2018

Wishing all of you a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous New year.

As always remember our service men and women who are deployed and/or serving in harms way that can not be home to celebrate the New Year with their families and friends.

Keep our veterans in your hearts and prayers as well as many of them are struggling with health and other issues.



Where Russian Information Warfare Is Failing

Proceedings Magazine - January 2018 Vol. 145/1/1,379 | Captain Bill Bray, U.S. Navy (Retired)

Given the news the past few years, one could be forgiven for concluding Vladimir Putin’s Russia is the world’s grand practitioner of information warfare. Moscow ostensibly tried through various information warfare techniques to influence the Brexit referendum, the U.S. presidential election, and several European elections. As a result, there has been much hand-wringing in the West about how to counter this menace.

Much of what Russia is suspected of doing is not new, just a more up-to-date version of the “active measures” employed by the Soviets decades ago. In the digital age, however, the effects can be much more immediate and far-reaching, and destructive cyber attacks are now possible. Thus, it is no overreaction on the part of Western intelligence and security services to take the threat extremely seriously.


That said, Western democracies can, at least to some degree, take heart at how Ukraine has so far stood firm against a ruthless and pervasive Russian information warfare campaign. Indeed, when measuring a national information warfare campaign against the political objectives it intends to achieve, Russia is most likely losing badly against Ukraine.

In 2014, following the Maidan protests in Kiev that ultimately ousted Ukraine’s pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich, Russia intensified a broad information warfare campaign against Ukraine. This complemented Russia’s grabbing—directly or by proxy—Ukrainian territory and creating, as it did in Georgia in 2008, another frozen conflict. The information warfare campaign aimed to undermine Ukrainian popular support for the nation’s pro-European leadership. Or, if that did not work well enough, to sow chaos and confusion to a point where Ukrainians eventually would become apathetic about their government’s decision to defy Moscow and lean harder toward Europe.

For nearly four years Russia has been employing all the information warfare tools it can muster, including cyber attacks, disinformation, and pro-Russian influence campaigns. Yet a comprehensive analysis indicates the Kremlin is failing in its ultimate objective of keeping Ukraine in Russia’s political, economic, and cultural orbit.

For starters, Moscow is bearing a tremendous cost. Because it is having to provide financial support to both the economically depressed Crimean peninsula and the Donetsk and Lugansk separatist regions, and is losing business as a result of sanctions, the whole Ukraine adventure is costing Russia billions of dollars . In fact, while the predominantly Russian-speaking Crimea and separatist Donbass regions were easy targets for an information narrative portraying ethnic Ukrainians as beholden to anti-Russian fascists , the citizens in the Russian-controlled regions are not getting the level of support from Moscow for which they had hoped. While the rest of Ukraine is moving on with economic and governance reforms that, while difficult and painful, will set up Ukrainians for a brighter, more prosperous future, those in Donetsk and Lugansk struggle to make ends meet with meager steel and coal orders from Russia, social stagnation, and a pension of roughly $50 a month . More than 1.5 million Ukrainians from these regions have left for Europe or locations in western Ukraine. Moscow’s failure to back its information warfare narrative with real benefits undermines the whole campaign and fuels a corrosive cynicism. Read All

USS Bremerton Sails for Asian Hot Spots on Last Patrol
William Cole, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, January 2

Official U.S. Navy file photo of Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698).

The USS Bremerton, the oldest commissioned submarine in the Navy, is patrolling Asia hot spots along with other Pearl Harbor subs on what is expected to be the final deployment of its 37-year career.


The Navy said the 362-foot attack submarine arrived in Yokosuka, Japan, for the "final time" on Dec. 22 as part of its deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

"I think it's important for Bremerton to make one last visit to Yokosuka," the sub's commander, Cmdr. Travis Zettel, said in a Navy-produced news story. "The region means a lot to the United States and its Navy."


The Los Angeles-class submarine has a crew of 154 and can support a variety of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence-gathering and reconnaissance. Los Angeles subs can be armed with more than three dozen Mark 48 torpedoes, Tomahawk cruise missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and mines.


Nicknamed "Bad Fish," Bremerton was launched in 1978 and commissioned on March 28, 1981.


In early 2016 the sub visited Singapore, and Cmdr. Wes Bringham, then the commanding officer, said, "It is a testament to the training and professionalism of this wonderful crew and the design of the ship that we are bringing Bremerton back to Singapore almost 33 years after our initial visit. Ninety percent of the crew was not born when 'Bad Fish' first visited Singapore."


Two other Hawaii subs also made recent port stops in Yokosuka as the U.S. continues to seek a way to stop North Korea's nuclear missile program. The newer Virginia-class attack submarine USS Texas moored alongside the Los Angeles-class sub USS Tucson on Dec. 6 in Japan.


The 377-foot Texas can launch 12 Tomahawks, which would be key to inland strikes in a conflict with North Korea.


The Pearl Harbor-based Virginia-class sub USS Mississippi was the first U.S. submarine to visit South Korea's Jeju Island on Nov. 22, while the Ohio-class guided missile submarine USS Michigan out of Bangor, Wash., pulled into Busan, South Korea, on Oct. 13.


The arrival of the Michigan revealed twin "dry deck shelters" to launch SEAL commandos attached to the massive 560-foot converted ballistic missile submarine, which can fire 154 Tomahawks. Both capabilities were probably not lost on North Korea. The Pentagon sometimes uses submarine port visits to reveal to a potential adversary that submarines are operating in the area mostly unseen.


Much of what a submarine does is classified. In one of the Bremerton's more unusual publicly revealed missions, the sub was called upon in 1999 to sink the freighter New Carissa after it grounded off the Oregon coast and was damaged.


The ship, carrying fuel oil, eventually split in two. The 420-foot bow section was towed 300 miles off the coast and withstood 400 pounds of high explosives emplaced by an explosive ordnance disposal team, and then 69 rounds of 5-inch shells fired by the destroyer USS David R. Ray.


A Mark 48 advanced-capability torpedo from the Bremerton finally did the trick, exploding beneath the hulk and causing it to roll over and sink in waters more than 10,000 feet deep.


One publication reported Cmdr. Robert Thomas of the Bremerton saying, "We were surfaced outside of San Francisco ready to go in and pick up an engineering inspection team and we got the message at five in the morning ... to cancel that personnel transfer, turn right around and submerge the ship, go deep and head up off the Oregon coast and be ready to shoot a warshot the next day."


The Bremerton (Wash.)-Olympic Peninsula Council of the Navy League is now preparing for the final chapter of the USS Bremerton.


"The USS Bremerton will be decommissioning in the near future. As one of our adopted units, we will look to ways to memorialize her service to the nation," President Alan Beam wrote on the council's website Dec. 17.


The Navy is slowing replacing Los Angeles-class subs at Pearl Harbor with newer Virginia-class attack subs, which now cost nearly $2.8 billion. Hawaii is now home to about 15 Los Angeles subs and five Virginia vessels with a sixth, the USS Missouri, expected soon.


The USS Jacksonville, another Los Angeles sub at Pearl Harbor, arrived at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton on Dec. 11 to begin the inactivation and decommissioning process.


Commissioned in 1981 like the Bremerton, the Jacksonville completed a deployment Aug. 10 after spending 208 days at sea, steaming more than 48,000 nautical miles and making port calls in Bahrain, Oman, Guam and Singapore.


The Navy said that during the inactivation process, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility will de-fuel the nuclear submarine.^


History Channel - Blind Man's Bluff


Remember when you went to see a movie and said “The book was better.” {if there was a book and you had read it} Well, the book is better; however, the History Channel does a pretty good job of giving you a book report. Better on ‘full screen’.


Set aside a couple hours to get the details of the submarine service's duty since WWII.


(To the right is a photo from video of Engineman Norm Tish on Gudgeon during their episode in the 50's in the SOJ. Norm, retired ENCS(SS), a ship mate of mine on Remora, passed away many years ago, would never talk about this event./ed)

Sunken World War II submarine S-28 located off coast of Oahu

By WILLIAM COLE | The Honolulu Star-Advertiser | Published: December 15, 2017

The ill-fated submarine S-28 is seen at Bremerton, Wash., in an undated photo on 24 June 1943 after a refit.U.S. NAVY

HONOLULU (Tribune News Service) — A wreck-hunting group announced that it has located the sunken World War II submarine USS S-28 in 8,700 feet of water off Oahu.

The S-28, which was lost with 49 crew during training on July 4, 1944, is “considered to be one of the most important lost ships in the central Pacific,” STEP Ventures said on its website.

STEP, which stands for Search for Those on Eternal Patrol, is made up of historians and explorers with a mission of discovering and documenting submerged maritime history. The expedition used autonomous underwater vehicles and a remotely operated vehicle to map and film the wreck, and that data is being shared with the Navy to help determine the cause of the loss.

During the war, the S-28 was the only American submarine to go down in the main Hawaiian Islands area, said Charles Hinman, education director at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park on Oahu.

“We’re extremely confident that it’s the S-28 because it’s within the area that it was lost — very precisely,” said Tim Taylor, who led the expedition. The submerged vessel, which is in two sections, matches modifications made to the S-28, including a 20mm gun that was mounted in the aft tower, he said.

The S-28 was commissioned on Dec. 13, 1923. “It was a riveted hull,” Taylor said in a phone interview. “This is a World War I-era vessel that was brought back for World War II,” he said.

On Dec. 7, 1941, the 219-foot diesel sub was being overhauled near San Francisco. It was initially sent to Alaska to defend the Aleutians and forayed periodically to the Kuril Islands, but recorded just one ship sinking in 1943.

he Naval History and Heritage Command said on its website that the sub got underway from Pearl Harbor on July 3, 1944. The vessel made two practice torpedo approaches on the Coast Guard cutter Reliance.

A day later about 15 miles off the Waianae Coast the S-28 again carried out sonar exercises and made another practice approach on Reliance.

At 5:30 p.m. S-28 dove about four miles from Reliance. The Coast Guard cutter made sound contact with the sub, but at 6:20 p.m. at a distance of 4,700 yards, Reliance permanently lost contact with S-28.

“At no time during the approach or the ensuing sound search were distress signals from S-28 seen or heard, nor was any sound heard which indicated an explosion in S-28,” the Navy said.

A Court of Inquiry determined the S-28 sank shortly after 6:20 p.m. Because of the depth of the water, salvage operations were not possible, the Navy said.

The court said the submarine lost depth control “from either a material casualty or an operating error of personnel, or both, and that depth control was never regained. The exact cause of the loss of S-28 cannot be determined.”

Taylor’s “Lost 52 Project,” dedicated to the legacy of lost World War II submariners, said the S-28 was discovered on Sept. 20. But Taylor said the news was only recently made public.

“Based on preliminary video and other documentation,” the website said, “the team currently speculates that the sub suffered a hull failure that resulted in the eventual separation of the bow, causing a near instant loss.”

Another S-class submarine, the S-35, was used as a target and sunk by U.S. torpedoes in 1946, also off the Waianae Coast. That location is perhaps 20 miles away from where the sub was found by Taylor’s group, Hinman said.

Taylor, who has now discovered three sunken U.S. submarines, said he’s hoping to reach out to families of the fallen on the S-28.

“On the last two discoveries we found family members. We met them,” he said. “We’ve been able to share underwater footage and the story, and it’s very cathartic (for them).”

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Op-Ed: Hezbollah's Global Criminal Empire |29 Dec 2017 |By Joseph V. Micallef

Joseph V. Micallef is a best-selling military history and world affairs author, and keynote speaker.

Hezbollah fighters parade during a ceremony to honor fallen comrades, in Tefahta village, south Lebanon, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)

Over the last several decades, the militant Lebanese organization Hezbollah has morphed from an Iranian-inspired and Iranian-funded Shiite militia into a political and social movement as well. In the process, notwithstanding the $200 to $350 million in financing it allegedly receives from Tehran, it has turned increasingly to criminal activities to fund its operations.

Today, Hezbollah sits astride a worldwide criminal syndicate that generates upwards of a billion dollars a year in income for the group.


Hezbollah's criminal income is generated from four main areas of activity: narcotics, money laundering and currency counterfeiting, widespread low-level crime centered primarily on financial fraud, and extortion.


Subversive organizations have often turned to criminal activities as a way of funding their operations. At the turn of the 20th century the Bolsheviks robbed banks to finance themselves. During the 1970s and 1980s, European groups like Baader Meinhof, Brigate Rosse, and Direct Action supplemented the funds they received from the Soviet Union by staging kidnappings for ransom or robbing banks.


More recently, the FARC in Columbia, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Islamic State have all turned to dealing in narcotics as a source of funds.


Many current criminal organizations, the Yakuza in Japan, the various criminal organizations in South China, and the Sicilian Mafia and its related brethren, the Camorra in Naples and the Ndràngheta in Calabria, all began or were in part inspired by a political agenda.


All of them turned to crime to obtain funds for that agenda. Over time, their political inspiration was watered down and eventually disappeared. The criminal element remained, however, now transformed into a for profit crime syndicate.


The FARC in Colombia has shown a similar evolution. What began as a Maoist-inspired insurgency against the Colombian government, which used cocaine trafficking as a source of funds, has evolved into an organization that is not quite a for profit crime syndicate, but neither is it just an insurgency any longer. Read All ^


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