Saturday, June 25, 2016
By Captain George Livingstone One of the great ‘maritime’ authors of the 20th century is Jan de Hartog, born in Holland, his seagoing career spanned the glory years of Dutch ocean towing. Thankfully for those of us who love a good sea story, he turned to writing. One of my favorite quotes from him – […]
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World | Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:18pm EDT Related: U.S. U.S. Navy mulls punishment for sailors seized by Iran
United States Navy officials are reviewing potential punishments against the American sailors who were briefly held by Iran in January and are close to a decision, a Navy official said on Thursday.
Ten U.S. sailors, who were aboard two patrol craft, were detained by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Jan. 12 when they inadvertently entered Iranian territorial waters. They were released the next day after being held for about 15 hours.
The U.S. military said the Americans were intercepted after the diesel engine in one of their boats developed a mechanical problem.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the investigation also found the incident was caused by communication failures and not enough oversight and training.
Findings of the five-month long investigation will be presented by Admiral John Richardson, the chief of U.S. Naval Operations, at a briefing in the Pentagon on June 30 where he will give more details on the incident, the official said.
If any punishments will have been decided by then, they will be announced by Richardson, the official added.
"The investigation is complete, and is being referred to appropriate commands for adjudication," said U.S. Navy spokesman Commander Mike Kafka.
In May, the U.S. Navy said it had fired the commander of the 10 American sailors. At the time, a Navy statement said that it had lost confidence in Commander Eric Rasch, who was the executive officer of the coastal riverine squadron.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Chris Reese)
As Orlando slowly begins the healing process from the devastation of terror, a celebrity shooting and the loss of two-year-old Lane Graves to an alligator, another loss is on the mind of Airmen here, the passing of a rescue hero, Katrina the beagle.
Friday, June 24, 2016
The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket was rolled to the pad today at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 in preparation for Friday’s liftoff. The flight will deliver the Mobile User Objective System satellite No. 5 into orbit, fulfilling a five-launch, four-year effort to assemble the military’s secure smartphone mobile communications network. Launch is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT).
Photos by United Launch Alliance
See earlier MUOS 5 coverage.
Our Atlas archive.
U.S., Britain Developed Plans to Disable or Destroy Middle Eastern Oil Facilities from Late 1940s to Early 1960s in Event of a Soviet Invasion
Documents stashed at Britain’s National Archives show for the first time the CIA’s dominant role in turning the oil companies into a paramilitary force ready to execute the denial policy. (This posting’s author has written a separate article on these materials published today by Politico.) The intelligence agency’s oversight included inserting undercover operatives into oil-company jobs to spy on some of the companies. The CIA created – with an American oil company’s assistance – an ambitious denial plan for Saudi Arabia and exported similar plans to Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar where Britain was the governing authority. The CIA also assisted British denial plans in Iran and Iraq.
British documents also reveal discussions about using nuclear weapons in Iran and Iraq. State-controlled refineries emerged in both countries and were not covered by existing denial plans which depended on cooperating oil companies. British military officials believed nuclear bombs were an option to destroy these facilities until a plan using ground demolitions with conventional explosives was possible.
The denial policy has grudgingly given up its secrets. NSC 26/2 was mistakenly declassified in 1985 by an archivist at the Truman Presidential Library which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration. A library official in a legal deposition deemed it the worst security breach in the National Archives’ history. A furious CIA demanded the archivist be fired, but he remained a library employee after losing his top-secret clearance. NSC 26/2 was reclassified top secret, but by this time Research Publications, a Connecticut company, had sent it along with other microfiched documents to libraries across the country. The microfiche weren’t recalled after a government decision – it’s not clear by whom – that it would arouse attention. NSC 26/2 became public in 1996 in a story by this writer and Charles Crumpley in The Kansas City Star.
The denial policy even today is partially cloaked by classification restrictions. But American and British documents now available allow the most complete account yet of the murky mix of the CIA, Big Oil and national security injected into the most oil-rich piece of real estate on earth. This account goes beyond revelations about the CIA and nuclear weapons to show a determined effort – replete with successes and setbacks – to organize the denial policy while keeping it secret from targeted countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq.
U.S. documents have some references to the CIA, but not with the detail found at the British archives. But National Security Council files do offer an increasingly insightful account of the overall denial policy. These documents are at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland.
READ THE DOCUMENTSThe Foreign and Commonwealth Office documents in this collection are Crown copyright material and are published with the cooperation of the United Kingdom's National Archives. To meet the National Archive's concerns about unauthorized commercial reproduction of copyright material, the British documents are published with watermarks.
National Security Council, NSC 26 report, “Removal and Demolition of Oil Facilities, Equipment and Supplies in the Middle East,” August 19, 1948, Top Secret
Source: Truman Presidential Library, President’s Secretary’s Files, Box 117
This report set the stage for the denial policy during what the CIA called an “atmosphere of emergency.” The Berlin Blockade crisis was two months old and a Soviet thrust into the Middle East seemed possible. The Joint Chiefs of Staff believed it unlikely the United States and its allies could stop the invasion, but a stop-gap measure could stall the Soviet military by denying it Middle East petroleum.
NSC 26 was a collaboration of the CIA, NSC, State Department and SANACC, also known as the State-Army-Navy-Air force Coordinating Committee. Most of the report’s recommendations found their way into the denial policy that landed on President Truman’s desk for approval in early 1949. American and British oil companies would provide the manpower and expertise to plan and execute the denial policy. Training company employees and stockpiling supplies including explosives in advance would ensure denial plans were ready to execute.
NSC 26 also singled out the issue that bedeviled the denial policy. Destroying a friendly country’s main industry could produce “unfavorable political and economic consequences” against the United States. This report grapples with what to tell Saudi Arabia, which at this stage was the only country the United States expected to be responsible for in the denial policy. It was of the “greatest importance” to tell King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia or his government about the abandonment and demolition program to minimize these negative consequences. The U.S. secretary of state would disclose the denial policy’s existence at his discretion. But Saudi Arabia wasn’t told because of an expected negative reaction, and the State Department again in 1952 refused to disclose the denial policy because it could interfere with planned negotiations to form a military pact in the Middle East. In 1956, the State Department claimed conditions were still not right to tell Saudi Arabia.
National Security Council, (NSC 26/2) report, “Removal and Demolition of Oil Facilities, Equipment and Supplies in the Middle East,” December 30, 1948, Top Secret, with cover note for the President, January 6, 1949
Source: Truman Presidential Library, President’s Secretary’s Files, Box 118
President Harry Truman approved the Middle East denial policy on January 10, 1949. NSC 26/2 called for high-level conversations with Britain, a crucial step since Britain was the governing authority in Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, and British companies controlled Iran and Iraq’s oil industries. The military would help with U.S. denial plans when possible. In fact, a Marine task force was initially assigned, but it was pulled in 1950. Britain believed some troops were necessary to at least assist British oil companies in executing denial plans. But NSC 26/2 was basically conceived as a covert civilian operation. The State Department provided overall supervision and had already brought in the CIA to work with Aramco on the denial plan for Saudi Arabia. Aramco, owned by predecessor companies of Exxon, Chevron, Mobil and Texaco, controlled Saudi Arabia’s oil industry.
The International Maritime Organization is getting ready to celebrate its sixth annual international Day of the Seafarer on June 25th. The theme of this year’s celebration is “At Sea for All”, a reminder to the world of how and why seafarers are indispensable to everyone and not just for the shipping industry or for their […]
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The insurer of a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier which ran aground last week in Mauritius following an apparent brawl on board says that the incident was the result of a serious medical episode suffered by one of the vessel’s crew members, and not the result of a wider conflict. The circumstances of the grounding have led the […]
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He was killed during battle in the Pacific Islands, fighting the Japanese during World War II and was buried in a mass grave with other U.S. Marines.
Haraldson's remains weren't found until last summer, and finally were identified using advanced technology.
Haraldson wil be buried tomorrow in his family's plot in Fort Dodge.
The Patriot Guard will be outside the Bruce funeral home starting at noon.
His great nephew Mark Ellsbury said, "His mom, dad, brothers, sisters, never really knew what happened to him. I hope they're watching, Thank God for the marines bringing him home."
Source and Video
In 2001, a team of marine archaeologists led by Bjørn Lovén of the University of Copenhagen launched the Zea Harbor Project, a major land and underwater investigation in search of the ancient Athenian naval bases of Zea and Mounichia. They got a huge break in 2010, when a local fisherman guided them to a site on the northern side of Mounichia, in an area now used for fishing and yachting.
After searching through a tangle of anchors, chains and modern-day debris, the archaeologists eventually uncovered six ship-sheds, the structures that housed and protected the ancient Greek war vessels known as triremes. As Lovén announced recently in a press release: “Based on pottery and carbon-14 dating from a worked piece of wood found inside the foundations of a colonnade, we dated the ship-sheds to around 520-480 BCE, or shortly thereafter.”
The team’s discovery of the remains of the ancient naval base built at Piraeus, Athens’ harbor city, represent a window into a pivotal moment in Greek history: the triumph of an alliance of Greek city-states over an invading Persian force in the Battle of Salamis, in 480 B.C. A few years before the battle, the Athenian statesman Themistocles had predicted a future attack by Xerxes, the powerful emperor of Persia. He determined that a strong navy would be Greece’s best defense against such an invasion, and pushed for the construction of a fleet of triremes, three-banked war vessels, to be based in Piraeus. In order to protect this vital naval defense system, the ancient Athenians built a massive facility at Piraeus that would rank with the Acropolis and the Parthenon among the most formidable structures in the ancient world.
Triremes would prove to be the key to building Greece’s naval power, both before and after the Battle of Salamis. The vessels were exceedingly vulnerable to damage, not just when at sea or in battle, but also while moored in the harbor. Excessive exposure to the punishing summer sun would dry out and shrink the timbers of the ships’ hulls, creating leaks, while exposure to rain would cause swelling and fungal decay in the wood. Ship-sheds, like those found by Lovén and his colleagues, were used to protect the vessels from these risks, as well as from damage by the wood-eating mollusks known as shipworms, or woodworms.
By the late fourth century B.C., the complex of naval bases built at Piraeus could house more than 350 triremes. The ship-sheds, long parallel buildings measuring some 6 ½ meters wide and up to 80 meters long, had ramps along each side sloping up from the water. According to “The Wooden Wall,” a short film produced by Lovén about the Battle of Salamis and the Athenian naval bases, it took some 140 men to pull a trireme along the ramp and into a shed. A superstructure of stone collonades, walls and tiled roofs covered the sheds, and a sophisticated fortification system of walls protected the entire base.
At the Battle of Salamis, Themistocles’ vision of a strong naval fleet for Greece would end up saving the young democracy and changing the course of history. Despite being severely outnumbered, with fewer than 400 warships against some 1000 Persian vessels, the Greeks managed to win decisively, halting the second Persian invasion of Greece. Two thirds of the ships that took part in the battle came from Athens, and were likely housed in the base Lovén’s team found.
“It is difficult to predict what would have happened if the Greek fleet had lost at Salamis, but it is clear that a Persian victory would have had immense consequences for subsequent cultural and social developments in Europe,” Lovén put it in the press release. “The victory at Salamis rightly echoes through history and awakens awe and inspiration around the world today.”
BBC Newcastle looks at the vital, though secret, role that Cullercoats Coastal Radio station in North Shields, played during World War One.
The station intercepted radio messages sent to and from German ships and U-boats and passed them to Admiralty Headquarters in London.
Although they were encrypted, a number of German code books had been seized during the war, allowing many messages to be interpreted.
The station had been built in 1908 when it was used by the inventor Guglielmo Marconi to send test signals to a station in Denmark.
It continued to operate as a maritime radio station after the two world wars before it was closed in 1998.
Over the past two years around 1400 powerful stories about people and places on the home front of Britain and Ireland during World War One have been broadcast and all are linked to specific places across the country. The final stories will be broadcast from this Saturday.
The project has uncovered surprising stories about familiar neighbourhoods where soldiers trained, the wounded were treated, women worked in factories, crucial front line supplies were produced, major scientific breakthroughs were made, prisoners of war were held and where heroes and heroines are buried.
Diane Lees, Director-General of IWM, said: “The World War One at Home project has inspired countless people across the UK to engage with and uncover stories about the impact of the First World War.”
All BBC Local Radio stations across England will broadcast five World War One At Home stories, from June 25 to June 29
All the final World War One At Home stories and many more will then be available online on a dedicated website at www.bbc.co.uk/ww1
Archbishop Eamon Martin and Archbishop Richard Clarke were at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin on Wednesday.
They were joined by bishops and lay people who will accompany them on the pilgrimage for the battle's centenary.
The archbishops said they hope the battle shows the futility of violence and the need for peace.
Fighting for the British were both Ulstermen opposed to Home Rule and former Irish Volunteers fighting for Home Rule, all in the shadow of the 1916 Easter Rising that would eventually pave the way to Irish independence.
The group going to the Somme started their pilgrimage of peace at Glasnevin Cemetery, where many of those who fought in the Easter Rising are buried.
They were given a guided tour that included a visit to the graves of some of those who died fighting in World War One.
Dr Martin, the Catholic primate of All-Ireland, hopes to find the grave of a granduncle who is buried in Flanders fields, while Dr Clarke's late wife also had a granduncle buried there.
"It really cemented within me the sense of the futility of war, where hundreds of thousands of young people had their lives uprooted and destroyed," Dr Martin said.
"And for me as a religious leader it re-affirms my commitment to peace, reconciliation and healing."
"And that's why I hope and say with Archbishop Eamon that peace has got to be the priority for all of us."
Young people accompanying the two archbishops and Bishop Denis Nulty, the Catholic bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, and Bishop John McDowell, the Church of Ireland bishop of Clogher, said it is hard to believe the scale of casualties at the Somme.
Ciaran McManus, a history teacher from Naas in County Kildare, said: "We now regard a small number of deaths as catastrophic and terrible, but for over 200,000 to lose their lives at one time seems very hard to fathom."
Members of her family fought in World War One and she said it is interesting to see that "people my own age fought in this battle and that interests me a lot".
The pilgrims from both parts of the island and from two different political and spiritual traditions said they hope their journey through past battlefields will emphasise how much is shared between them and how peace, as an end in itself, must be valued.
Today’s post features four black-and-white photographs each by Arthur Rothstein and Dorothea Lange from the Library’s Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection. Rothstein’s four, from March 1936, capture the blowing dust and the stark desolation on abandoned farms in Texas and Oklahoma. Lange’s four show the migrant refugees encamped in California, having fled their farming lives, looking for work, shelter, and a second chance to make a go of it. Rothstein and Lange’s photos, augmented by their captions — his brief and simple; hers longer, detailed, and descriptive – tell the Dust Bowl story clearly, concisely.
- View more of the pictorial record of American life between 1935 and 1944 in the Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection. If you’re at a loss on how to begin exploring this daunting collection of some 175,000 digitized black-and-white film negatives, the annotated photographic series from Documenting America presents a guided next step. Seven portfolios are available as web documents from Documenting America, 1935-1943, a 1988 book edited by Carl Fleischhauer and Beverly Brannan.
- In Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection, listen to ethnographic field recordings of residents of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941.
- Study the extensive resources for teaching and learning about The Great Depression. The Library of Congress offers classroom materials and professional development to help teachers effectively use primary sources from the Library’s vast digital collections in their teaching.