Saturday, August 6, 2016

More Murder, kamikazes and a country at war — how one ship helped shape our nation By Patrick Wood

 

HMAS Australia II entering Sydney Harbour c.1939.PHOTO: HMAS Australia II entering Sydney Harbour c.1939. (Royal Australia Navy)

It was attacked by more kamikaze aircraft than any other Allied ship in WWII and its story helped shape Australia's future, but chances are you've never heard of HMAS Australia II and its wartime exploits.

That's something author Mike Carlton has sought to remedy in his latest book on Australia's naval history, Flagship: The Cruiser HMAS Australia II and the Pacific War on Japan.

"The accepted wisdom is that it was the Army, Australian diggers who stopped the Japanese on the Kokoda Track. And they did. That's true … but it was the Navy that did it first at the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942," he told ABC News Breakfast.

"It's a strange quirk of history but when the two world wars [were fought] the Navy was always first in and last out."

What was Australia II?

HMAS Australia II was a powerful weapon in Australia's arsenal when it was acquired in 1928 and it was sent to the North Atlantic to look out for German battleships when WWII broke out.

By 1942 it had helped stop the great Japanese sweep south in the Battle of the Coral Sea, and in 1944 it took part in one of the greatest maritime battles in history — the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Captain Emile Dechaineux was killed in the Japanese dive bomber attack in 1944.INFOGRAPHIC: Captain Emile Dechaineux was killed in the Japanese dive bomber attack in 1944. (Royal Australian Navy)

It was here that a kamikaze attack killed the ship's captain, Emile Dechaineux, and more than 25 other men.

"It must've been absolutely terrifying," Carlton said of the attacks.

"It was an idea utterly alien to young Australian kids, 19, 20, 21, that a boy their own age a Japanese man their own age, would be willing to kill himself, to commit suicide, to kill you."

By 1945 the repeated kamikaze attacks had taken their toll and the war was over for the cruiser.

Carlton said wartime stories were naturally compelling for Australians, but that the importance of our Navy in this crucial time was often overlooked.

"You could build a house out of the books written on Kokoda," he said.

"We have this natural image of Australia as bushies, as people who live in the outback.

"But in fact we're not, we're a maritime people."

The damage to Australia II's bridge and foremast following the aerial attack of October 21, 1944.PHOTO: The damage to Australia II's bridge and foremast following the aerial attack of October 21, 1944. (Royal Australia Navy)

'We were dragged into nationhood'

The HMAS Australia II has a compelling battle history, but arguably its greatest impact on the nation came not from a frontline encounter, but a murder while the ship was at home.

In March 1942 the crew was stunned to find a sailor, Stoker Riley, stabbed and bleeding to death. Carlton recounted how before he died Riley named his two attackers and said they had sought to kill him because he had threatened to expose their homosexual activities.

HMAS Australia II's company on a visit from Queen Elizabeth II in March 1954.PHOTO: HMAS Australia II's company on a visit from Queen Elizabeth II in March 1954. (Royal Australia Navy)

At a hastily arranged court martial the two men were found guilty and sentenced to death under British Admiralty law.

It was this that left a mark.

"That provoked a constitutional crisis between us and England over the death penalty," Carlton said, explaining that Australia struggled with how to deal with the legalities of such a move and whether it would break from the norms of England.

"We were little better than a colony. We clung to the apron strings of Mother England.

"This dragged Australia towards nationhood."

How Australia has changed since

In researching the history of HMAS Australia II, Carlton reflected on how Australians had changed in the last 70 years.

"We ate different things, we wore different clothes, we had lower expectations [back then]," he said.

"I really think the '39-'45 generation of Australians were the greatest generation we have ever known.

"They grew up in the depression, they had the best years taken from them."



GIF: HMAS Australia II at war.

As the nation and its people changed, so too did their military needs. After a rescue mission to the Antarctic and then a trip with the Queen around the barrier reef, HMAS Australia II was scrapped in 1956.

Carlton said Australians could learn from the stories of these battle cruisers and the men and women that went to war on them.

"When you get to the stories and uncover it, some extraordinary things happened," he said.

"You do need to learn from them, the mistakes that were made.

"It was necessary for us to fight the second world war … but since then we have blundered into wars."

Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.







VIDEO: Mike Carlton discusses HMAS Australia II (ABC News)

Topics: world-war-2, unrest-conflict-and-war, history, community-and-society, australia

Private Robert E Buckley British Army, 16th Lancashire Fusiliers, Service #11730

War has been reburied with the full honours denied him a century ago. Private Walter Buckley died barely 24 hours before the war’s end but his body was never formally identified – until now. A Royal Marines bugler sounds the last post in Tournai cemetery A ROYAL MARINE killed in the final hours of the Great War has been reburied with the full honours denied him a century ago. Private Walter Buckley died barely 24 hours before the war’s end, assaulting German positions in the Belgian industrial town of Mons – the very place where British soldiers had first clashed with the enemy four years early. The 18-year-old was one of ten men from the Anson Battalion of the Royal Naval Division – the sailors and marines sent to the Continent to fight alongside the Army – during the attack on the morning of November 10 1918. Walter’s body was never formally identified and he was buried as an ‘unknown seaman’. Belgian veterans' groups dip their standards in respect A century down the line and research by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre, Royal Marines historical branch and Commonwealth War Graves Commission has formally identified the marine – allowing a named headstone to be installed bearing the epitaph: To live in the hearts those we leave behind is not to die. It was around that new stone in Tournai, between Mons and Lille, that 13 members of Walter’s family – still living in the Plymouth area and still with links to the military (one of Walter’s great nephews is serving in the Army) – plus a Royal Marines bugler, local dignitaries and RN representatives from the British Embassy in the Netherlands gathered as the young marine’s grave was rededicated in a service led by RN chaplain Tim Wilkinson. “Having served in Belgium with the Army for several years not knowing that Walter was buried in Tournai, I could not think of a better resting place for him,” said the marine’s nephew Walter Evans. “The local people are so lovely and I know that they will visit the grave as indeed his family now will.” Walter Buckley had worked as a baker and usher at Plymouth’s Forum cinema until he was apparently handed a white feather – at the time a sign that people regarded you as a coward. It prompted the teenager to falsify his age – he claimed he was 18, not 15 – and follow his father’s footsteps, joining the Royal Marines Light Infantry, forerunners of today’s commandos. At the beginning of September 1918, he was assigned to the Anson Battalion and fought with the RND on the Western Front during the ‘100 Days to Victory’ campaign, pushing the Germans back across northern France and then Belgium. On the morning of November 10 1918 – with armistice negotiations with the Germans already under way – the Ansons were ordered to attack the German line south of Mons alongside 1st London Regiment and The Royal Irish Regiment.


Private Walter Buckley died barely 24 hours before the war’s end but his body was never formally identified – until now.



A Royal Marines bugler sounds the last post in Tournai cemetery

A ROYAL MARINE killed in the final hours of the Great War has been reburied with the full honours denied him a century ago.

Private Walter Buckley died barely 24 hours before the war’s end, assaulting German positions in the Belgian industrial town of Mons – the very place where British soldiers had first clashed with the enemy four years early.

The 18-year-old was one of ten men from the Anson Battalion of the Royal Naval Division – the sailors and marines sent to the Continent to fight alongside the Army – during the attack on the morning of November 10 1918.

Walter’s body was never formally identified and he was buried as an ‘unknown seaman’.



Belgian veterans' groups dip their standards in respect

A century down the line and research by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre, Royal Marines historical branch and Commonwealth War Graves Commission has formally identified the marine – allowing a named headstone to be installed bearing the epitaph: To live in the hearts those we leave behind is not to die.

It was around that new stone in Tournai, between Mons and Lille, that 13 members of Walter’s family – still living in the Plymouth area and still with links to the military (one of Walter’s great nephews is serving in the Army) – plus a Royal Marines bugler, local dignitaries and RN representatives from the British Embassy in the Netherlands gathered as the young marine’s grave was rededicated in a service led by RN chaplain Tim Wilkinson.

“Having served in Belgium with the Army for several years not knowing that Walter was buried in Tournai, I could not think of a better resting place for him,” said the marine’s nephew Walter Evans.

“The local people are so lovely and I know that they will visit the grave as indeed his family now will.”



Walter Buckley had worked as a baker and usher at Plymouth’s Forum cinema until he was apparently handed a white feather – at the time a sign that people regarded you as a coward.

It prompted the teenager to falsify his age – he claimed he was 18, not 15 – and follow his father’s footsteps, joining the Royal Marines Light Infantry, forerunners of today’s commandos.

At the beginning of September 1918, he was assigned to the Anson Battalion and fought with the RND on the Western Front during the ‘100 Days to Victory’ campaign, pushing the Germans back across northern France and then Belgium.

On the morning of November 10 1918 – with armistice negotiations with the Germans already under way – the Ansons were ordered to attack the German line south of Mons alongside 1st London Regiment and The Royal Irish Regiment.

See link

 

Remembering lives lost in World War One - Loughborough Echo

http://www.loughboroughecho.net/news/local-news/remembering-lives-lost-world-war-11693068

Military Making Officers’ Clubs ‘Inclusive,’ Open to All Ranks

Army is changing the rules for one of its last remaining officers’ clubs to be more “inclusive,” opening membership at the storied Fort Myer watering hole to service members of any rank.

The commander of the instillation, which neighbors Arlington National Cemetery and is known officially as Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, cited George S. Patton, the famed general who carried ivory-handled pistols, was independently wealthy, and who spoke French, in opening up the elite club to enlisted men.

“Beginning Thursday, Sept. 1, service members of any rank or military branch will be able to dine at the historic club and will be eligible to apply for membership,” according to an Army news bulletin.

The club’s name, Fort Myer’s Officers’ Club or “O Club” for short, will also be changed, and the Army is taking suggestions from service members.

“Membership at the club is currently for active and retired commissioned officers of the U.S. armed forces and DoD civilians of a corresponding pay grade; the ‘all ranks’ club will be open to any active duty or retired members of the military, family members and federal civilian employees and contractors,” the news bulletin said.

The base commander, Col. Patrick Duggan, said Patton, who was stationed at Fort Myer four times, would approve of officers socializing with enlisted men and women at the social club, and said the values at the base “have changed.”

“What made Patton unique and ahead of his time was his unwavering trust of advocacy of U.S. Army Soldiers,” Duggan said. “Patton believed any well-trained Soldier, regardless of rank, could have monumental impacts in modern-day mechanized battle.”

“Patton believed in Soldiers, not rank,” he said.

Patton was known for slapping and cursing lower-ranking soldiers during World War II.

The joint base said the new policy for the O Club will be “inclusive.”

“Duggan also said the new, inclusive membership policy would provide opportunities for different generations of service members to build relationships and share insight; for retirees and veterans to ‘impart their knowledge and lessons to a younger generation,’” according to the news bulletin.

“There’s a hunger for it,” Duggan said. “This is a good opportunity for them to connect. Why throw that away?”

The Fort Meyer Officers’ Club is a “spacious and elegant” facility with four pools as well as tennis courts. The club sticks to a strict dress code of neat causal attire, a coat and tie for the main dining room, and no jeans allowed.

The move to open the historic club to all ranks is the latest development in the decline in the time-honored tradition of gentlemen’s clubs for ranking officers.

Officers’ clubs have been said to be “instrumental in creating esprit de corps and camaraderie,” and a way to “offer benefits and prestige to often low-paid officers.”

But the clubs have slowly been phased out. In the 1970s the Army boasted 100 officers’ clubs. By 2009, there were only seven remaining.

Many of the remaining clubs have already been changed to allow membership for all ranks.

Ft. Belvoir still has an officers’ club, but it is open to all ranks and DoD personnel, and the Fightertown Beaufort Officers’ Club in South Carolina is open to military and civilians of all ranks for lunch. The Yokota Air Base Officers’ Club in Tokyo is also open to all ranks for lunch and dinner.

Membership at the Naval Academy officers’ club is still reserved only for commissioned officers and for higher-ranking federal employees.

UPDATE 5:25 P.M.: An earlier version of this post described General Patton’s pistols as “pearl-handled.” The handles were made of ivory.

Elizabeth Harrington Email | Full Bio | RSS

Elizabeth Harrington is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. Elizabeth graduated from Temple University in 2010. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, she worked as a staff writer for CNSNews.com. Her email address is elizabeth@freebeacon.com. Her Twitter handle is @LizWFB.

 

On Korean Peninsula, "pragmatic steps toward ideal objectives" Shen Dingli

"Pragmatic steps toward ideal objectives"—that was the motto of Henry L. Stimson, prominent US statesman of an earlier era. On the Korean Peninsula, eliminating nuclear weapons is an ideal objective. But reaching this objective poses severe obstacles, such as the isolationist and rather surreal nature of the North Korean regime, which guarantees there will be no domestic drive to denuclearize (at least not for now). Meanwhile, interactions between Pyongyang on the one hand, and Washington and Seoul on the other, have too often managed only to harm prospects for disarmament.

But this doesn't mean that one should surrender to despair. Rather, in accordance with Stimson's motto, a pragmatic approach might lead down brighter avenues.

Whether Pyongyang possesses nuclear weapons or not, other nations have to peacefully coexist with North Korea—just as, in the 1950s, China coexisted with the United States even though Washington occasionally issued nuclear threats or bluffs against Beijing. China had no choice but to live under the shadow of US nuclear weapons. It handled the threats sensibly and rode out the difficult times until it had built its own atom bomb—and even then it exercised restraint by establishing a policy of minimum deterrence. Later, Beijing normalized relations with Washington, putting aside for the time being the thorny issue of US weapons sales to Taiwan.

Likewise, because Washington had decided not to launch a military strike against Beijing's nascent nuclear weapons program, the United States had to accept the reality of a nuclear China. Eventually, China joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and became a responsible nuclear stakeholder, and Washington has managed to live peacefully with a nuclear China for more than half a century now.

China, the United States, and India don't necessarily accept the legitimacy of one another's nuclear deterrents, but they all manage to live with the reality of those deterrents. Since none of the three countries has the military ability to deny nuclear weapons to the others, each country endeavors to shape the others into responsible nuclear stakeholders.

The same logic should apply to North Korea. No country accepts Pyongyang's nuclear weapons on a political level. But the international community lacks a viable military means of eliminating the North's nuclear wherewithal. This leaves no choice but peaceful coexistence with Pyongyang.

"Peaceful coexistence" doesn't mean simply accepting whatever North Korea does. Rather, nations should take any possible action to shape Pyongyang's behavior—to encourage the North to behave more sensibly and responsibly. Whenever Pyongyang takes a reasonable step, such as its recent adoption of a limited no-first-use nuclear policy, the rest of the world should react positively. To be sure, North Korea probably modified its doctrine mainly to earn international acceptance of its nuclear weapon status, but stating an intention to use nuclear weapons responsibly still deserves commendation.

In July, the North announced a package of five preconditions for its participation in denuclearization. The United States and South Korea expressed no interest in embracing this "propaganda" from Pyongyang—and admittedly, some of the conditions do seem difficult to accept right now, especially the demand that US troops be withdrawn from the South. But, as argued by my roundtable colleague Chung-in Moon, not all of Pyongyang's conditions seem impossible to meet.

The North demanded, for example, that the United States neither attack nor intimidate the North with nuclear weapons. A demand of this sort could easily be an element of negotiations, as the United States has essentially no need to launch a preemptive nuclear attack against the North. In any event, the Obama administration is reportedly reviewing the viability of converting Washington's conditional nuclear no-first-use policy into an unconditional policy.

If the United States and South Korea keep in mind Stimson's motto, nothing prevents them from discussing at least some of Pyongyang's demands. And though total nuclear disarmament on the peninsula might be unrealistic in the short term, easing tensions and encouraging nuclear restraint are useful in themselves. Incremental nuclear disarmament (or at least nuclear arms control) is a pragmatic starting point for eventual denuclearization.

Political mistrust underlies every barrier to denuclearization on the peninsula. All parties should therefore pursue opportunities to enhance trust—rather than searching for reasons to do nothing. Pyongyang's nuclear program won't disappear by itself. Only constructive partnership can remove it.

White House Denies Pallets of Cash to Iran Was Hostage Payment

http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/08/03/white-house-denies-pallet-cash-iran-hostage-payment/

Change of venue denied for Okinawa slaying suspect by: Chiyomi Sumida Stars and Stripes

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Japan’s highest court has rejected a U.S. base worker’s request to move his trial on murder and rape charges from Okinawa to Tokyo.


Kenneth Franklin Gadson, 32, submitted the change-of-venue request last month, arguing he could not get a fair trial under the lay judge system – in which three professional judges and six lay judges hear a case – because of strong anti-military sentiments on the tiny island prefecture. Gadson’s attorney, Toshimitsu Takaesu, said extensive media coverage had influenced public opinion.

The Aug. 1 decision by the Second Petty Bench of the Supreme Court says a fair trial based on laws and evidence is fully guaranteed under the lay judge system, and that there is no reason to fear that impartiality cannot be maintained.

The court also said lay judges are appointed through a procedure that assures fairness and neutrality. A supporting opinion by Supreme Court Judge Katsumi Chiba said lay judges will pursue their duties in a fair manner based on laws and evidence.

Read more at: http://www.stripes.com/1.422299

Friday, August 5, 2016

Iranian Supertanker Collides With Giant MSC Boxship in Singapore Strait - Incident Photos - gCaptain

https://gcaptain.com/vlcc-collides-with-giant-msc-boxship-in-singapore-strait/#.V6Sk13A5S4I.mailto

The DNC emails were not hacked by Russian GRU

http://app.debka.com/p/article/25570/The-DNC-emails-were-not-hacked-by-Russian-GRU

San Diego, CA Gunboat BENNINGTON Explosion, Jul 1905 | GenDisasters ... Genealogy in Tragedy, Disasters, Fires, Floods

http://www3.gendisasters.com/california/265/san-diego,-ca-gunboat-bennington-explosion,-jul-1905

Bennington Gunboat No. 4

http://www.navsource.org/archives/12/09004.htm

Unmanned: The New Normal [feedly]



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Unmanned: The New Normal
// USNI Blog

There's a growing realization that we must leverage the value of unmanned systems across the full range of naval missions—not to pursue "unmanned" for the sake of "unmanned" in a zeal to be more technologically advanced, but because it makes sense, taking us to the next level and beyond. As natural complements to our existing ships, aircraft, and submarines, unmanned systems bring the ability to efficiently increase both the capacity and capability of our force; there are missions where unmanned will bring comparative advantage over existing manned counterparts. In man–machine lash-ups, unmanned technology will take us even further.

Against the backdrop of an increasingly dangerous and volatile world, unmanned systems offer an opportunity to meet defense requirements at every level. Making this case, and making headway on mainstreaming unmanned across all warfare domains, begins with understanding the most fundamental aspects of warfare. Through this deconstruction, the value-added of unmanned becomes readily apparent, cutting through existing practices, communities, domains, and mission sets—all sources of friction when introducing disruptive technology. If we make this case effectively, our force and its many constituents will press to mainstream unmanned as expeditiously as possible. With bottom-up energy and creativity teamed with top-down leadership and fiscal support, we have the best chance to harness unmanned's potential. This is an imperative in a world where competitors and adversaries already are moving out with unmanned technology.

To Understand — So what? . . . Then what?

When we think about what we do in the realm of warfighting, it comes down to four essential elements: observing, orienting, deciding, and acting—the OODA loop. Air Force Colonel John Boyd crafted this concept in part from observations of air combat engagements in the 1950s, but its relevance is more broad, and scalable from the tactical to the strategic. In simplest form, we "observe" with sensors, we "orient and decide," then we "act" with effectors. This process takes place across all domains and is iterative. Technology is both accelerating and fusing the steps, taking us to the point of forecasting.

Marine Lance Cpl. Benjamin Cartwright launches the Instant Eye MK-2 Gen 3 unmanned aerial system during an exercise for Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory's Marine Air-Ground Task Force Integrated Experiment on Camp Pendleton, Calif., July 9, 2016

Marine Lance Cpl. Benjamin Cartwright launches the Instant Eye MK-2 Gen 3 unmanned aerial system during an exercise for Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory's Marine Air-Ground Task Force Integrated Experiment on Camp Pendleton, Calif., July 9, 2016

Increasingly, it is not so much the "with what" (the province of things and the communities that employ them) and the "where" (the domains in which we operate), but rather the "how" and the "how fast." The result is to understand and then take appropriate action, faster than the adversary and inside their OODA loop. Protecting one's decision process while confronting the adversary's is increasingly valued today; it is a foundation for both information warfare and the growing realm of electromagnetic maneuver warfare.

Unmanned brings game in each phase of the process, across all domains (traditional and nontraditional), and in doing so improves the speed of response and subsequent ability to adapt—faster than the adversary. Ultimately, the ability to see farther, understand more quickly, act faster, and adapt continuously become the essential elements of a winning team in today's fast paced threat-filled environments. Unmanned systems are key elements in realizing a learning warfighting system that senses, evaluates, acts and, adapts continuously.

If we accept that the main thing is to understand—and to be able to take appropriate action, faster than the adversary—then we must plumb our system and processes to function as frictionless as possible, and we must populate these systems with platforms, vehicles, and payloads that permit us to fight in constantly adaptive ways. The ability to adapt as rapidly as possible, with as little friction as possible, with systems and lash-ups that permit adaptability—by design—is essential to winning in today's fast-paced battle environments. This concept is not new. The value of "plug-and-play" is well established in the consumer world as an efficient means to leverage rapidly evolving technology. Coupled with modularity and open architecture, these tools can be put together in adaptive, creative configurations producing new ways; and the tools themselves can be adapted, leveraging the best that technology offers, providing new means. This approach arms us to first survive, then operate, and ultimately prevail in an increasingly contested world.

Warfighting Toughness

Speed of action and agility are valued in a fight. Improved speed can be realized both in terms of executing faster and by executing differently, using the same things in new ways. A prime example is how we think about what it takes to execute successfully at the tactical level. Traditionally, it is a linear process progressing through "find, fix, finish"—the sequential steps to consummate full mission execution. Technology and the speed it offers bring nonlinear and cross-domain opportunity. The prospect of executing faster through increased connectivity and multipath solutions is here now.

Sea Hunter, an entirely new class of unmanned ocean-going vessel gets underway on the Williammette River following a christening ceremony in Portland, Oregon

Sea Hunter, an entirely new class of unmanned ocean-going vessel gets underway on the Williammette River following a christening ceremony in Portland, Oregon

Unmanned systems can be an efficient means to populate connection points. Increasing connection points—or nodes—both manned and unmanned, brings density and resilience to our warfighting architectures, whether they be systems, systems-of-systems, or services on demand, and with it the means to prevail in contested environments. Unmanned systems can populate nodes in an increasingly connected/connectable force, bringing the ability to adapt more rapidly to changing environments.

Unmanned systems also bring the possibility of disaggregating functionality for the larger purpose of enabling dispersed fleet operations over much larger areas—scalable and tailorable to ever-changing missions and threats. Over time, many, if not most, of our ships, submarines, and aircraft have evolved into multimission systems, highly capable but also concentrated and expensive. Disaggregating the functions of sensing, understanding, and effecting with unmanned systems brings the potential to more efficiently mass effects without massing force, increase reach, and present the adversary with operational dilemmas.

Value Added

Unmanned systems largely have evolved by matching warfighting need to emerging technology—a requirements pull. Whether as an immediate extension to an existing platform, to see over the hill, extend beyond the visible horizon, or augment existing sensors, they've expanded reach in a linear manner. The ability to distribute and net unmanned systems also has demonstrated great value, bringing with it improved spatial coverage, to include cross-domain opportunities and reach. This compounds the linear contribution even further. Ultimately, with improvements in autonomy comes the prospect of human–machine collaborative teaming, which may well equate to a step change improvement in capability and capacity when compared to forces composed of manned systems exclusively.

Together, these three aspects span the value-added proposition of unmanned systems, natural complements to our existing manned force vice outright replacements. Along this continuum of application is a corresponding relationship that shifts from human-assisted to human-supervised and ultimately to human–machine collaborative teaming. As unmanned systems' use and reliability grow, so too will the confidence we place in them. Trust will drive the pace of man–machine teaming within the larger context of human command and increasing levels of machine control executing human intent.

Fighting at Machine Speed

Sailors unload an underwater unmanned vehicle during mine countermeasures training operations aboard the USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15)

Sailors unload an underwater unmanned vehicle during mine countermeasures training operations aboard the USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15)

The case for unmanned rests in how it brings value to existing capabilities. Ultimately, fighting at machine speed is to combine what humans and machines do best, to create a sum greater than the parts. Unmanned systems make this vision executable. Unmanned systems complement manned through a continuous process of cognition and execution, where machines and humans interact seamlessly—the essence of teaming.

The speed of calculation and raw processing power machines bring in a deterministic realm coupled with the skill, imagination, and wisdom of humans operating in chaotic environments results in better decisions faster. In the fights of today and into the future, the side that harnesses this lash-up most effectively will prevail. With our fusion of technology and talent, coupled with a warfighting philosophy that values initiative, we're the best equipped force to reap these benefits. A well-trained fighting force armed with these ways and means becomes super-empowered down to the mission command level, a combination hard to beat.

Editor's Note: USNI will be publishing a three-part series of execution plans—for undersea, aviation, and surface—in upcoming issues of Proceedings.


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DOJ Arguments “Inconsistent with the Purpose of the FOIA” and More: FRINFORMSUM 8/4/2016 [feedly]



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DOJ Arguments "Inconsistent with the Purpose of the FOIA" and More: FRINFORMSUM 8/4/2016
// UNREDACTED

A recent FOIA ruling from the D.C. Circuit found that agencies can't withhold non-responsive information from a record if there is no basis for exempting the information. Specifically, the panel found "no statutory basis for redacting ostensibly non-responsive information from a record deemed responsive." The ruling, which was made in a case seeking information about […]
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Dragon Hole in South China Sea, World’s Deepest Blue Hole [feedly]



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Dragon Hole in South China Sea, World's Deepest Blue Hole
// Old Salt Blog - a virtual port of call for all those who love the sea

dragon holeA blue hole in the South China Sea, called variously, Dragon Hole, Longdong and the Eye of the South China Sea, is reported to be the deepest blue hole in the world. At 987 feet (300.89 meters) deep, the Dragon Hole is significantly deeper than the previous record holder, Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas, which is about 663 feet deep. A blue hole is a water-filled sinkhole with the entrance below the water level.

As reported by Live Science: Scientists with the Sansha Ship Course Research Institute for Coral Protection in China used an underwater robot and a depth sensor to investigate the mysterious environment of Dragon Hole, which is a well-known feature in Yongle, a coral reef near the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea, according to Xinhua. They found more than 20 marine organisms living in the upper portions of the hole. Below about 328 feet (100 m), the seawater in the blue hole had almost no oxygen, and thus little life, the researchers told Xinhua on July 22.

According to local legend, the Dragon Hole is mentioned in the Ming dynasty novel "Journey to the West," in which a supernatural monkey character gets a magical golden cudgel from an undersea kingdom ruled by a dragon.  So far, however, no dragons have been observed in the blue hole.

South China Sea 'Blue Hole' Is World's Deepest

The post Dragon Hole in South China Sea, World's Deepest Blue Hole appeared first on Old Salt Blog.


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Hiroshima Devastation Recalled [feedly]



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Hiroshima Devastation Recalled
// Naval Historical Foundation

A Japanese soldier walks through the atomic-bomb leveled city, September 1945. Photographed by Lieutenant Wayne Miller, USNR. (Photo # 80-G-473733)

A Japanese soldier walks through the atomic-bomb leveled city, September 1945. Photographed by Lieutenant Wayne Miller, USNR. (Photo # 80-G-473733)

By David F. Winkler

With tomorrow's 71st anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima which, following a second bomb drop at Nagasaki, led to the Japanese surrender ending World War II, we thought we would share a recent find from our ongoing naval history collection efforts.

As part of the Naval Historical Foundation's Oral History and Memoir Collection effort, the Naval Historical Foundation has been working with David T. Leighton. Born in California in 1925, Leighton came into a Navy family. His father would attain the rank of rear admiral before stomach cancer would claim his life in 1943.

The U.S. Navy Baltimore-class heavy cruiser USS Chicago (CA-136) off the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania (USA), 7 May 1945. (USN Photograph/NAVSOURCE)

The U.S. Navy Baltimore-class heavy cruiser USS Chicago (CA-136) off the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania (USA), 7 May 1945. (USN Photograph/NAVSOURCE)

David and his two brothers and sister would also join the Navy. In the case of his older sister Elizabeth, she would be the first ensign sworn in under the WAVE program initiated during World War II. As a member of the Naval Academy Class of 1946, David actually graduated in 1945. Having orders to the USS Indianapolis, he never made it to his destination. He eventually made it to the cruiser USS Chicago which remained as a token American naval presence in support of the occupation forces ashore. En route to his ship, he spent time in San Diego. "That was real luck for me because, due to the delay in leaving San Diego, a good friend introduced me to Helen Milligan. We were married fifteen months later."

That David tied the knot in just over a year thanks to a long-distance relationship that involved a series of lengthy detailed letters that provided a travelogue of his experiences in and around Japan. David would later write: "In my five-month tour in Japan I had learned a lot in my job, and I also learned a lot about the aftermath of war. I had graduated from the Academy too late to engage in combat, but in Japan, I had ample opportunity to see the results of the devastating non-nuclear attacks on such cities as Tokyo and Yokohama, and the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima – where the streets had been cleared but little recovery had been accomplished."

On June 3, 1946, David typed and described what he saw to Helen:

We left Yokosuka Friday for Kure. (This was over a week ago). Kure is on southern Honshu. In order to get there you have to go up the Inland Sea. About 0600 Sunday morning we sighted land and entered the Inland Sea. It had been stormy all day Saturday, but cleared into a perfectly beautiful warm sunny day Sunday. (It took about six hours to get from the entrance up to Kure. We had to twist and turn to follow the channel in. In some places there is only 700yards between islands. The whole inland sea is full of small islands. It looks something like the Puget Sound area expect that all of the islands have hills on them. The hills start right from the water edge. There is no level land on them at all. The Japanese grow something on every piece of land that is fertile enough to grow a weed. All the sides of these hills on all the islands large enough to support people are terraced wherever you look. There are whole fleets of fishing boats in the sea itself. You really have to keep a sharp lookout to keep from running them down. Many of them look like the many pictures you must have seen of Chinese junks with clumsy gaff-rigged sails. Most of them also have small putt-putt engines. It is very hard to describe all this; you really have to see it to tell what I mean. I never was much good at description anyhow. (I'm not very good at typing either, which you can readily see.)

Anyhow about noon we tied up to a buoy in Kure. Kure and the surrounding area are controlled by the British. We have a very small AMG establishment there with two or three American naval officers. All the army there is Australian and Indian and there are a few small ships there. I had the duty Sunday and could not go ashore. The good weather held until the morning we left with was Thursday. Monday three other officers and an enlisted man and myself were lucky enough to get an AMG jeep. We decided to drive to Hiroshima to see what the A-bomb really had done.

The road from Kure to Hiroshima is pretty good as Japanese roads go, which isn't saying much. Japanese roads are pretty grim to say the least. Anyhow, after many bumps and jolts we arrived. I have seen many ruins in Yokohama and Tokyo. Ruins all look alike. You see everything reduced to rubble. Everything is in little pieces. Bricks are in halves, concrete is broken down, wood is burned, tile is chipped into little hunks. That is the way it is in Tokyo and Yokohama. But there are two noticeable differences in Hiroshima. The first is that only one bomb was dropped there. There were none before and none after. There were many thousands of bombs dropped in Tokyo and Yokohama. The second difference is that in Hiroshima the place is not bombed out in sections, it is flat everywhere. It looks like all the ruins of Tokyo and Yokohama all concentrated in one spot. To be sure there are buildings still standing in Hiroshima. Many of the concrete buildings are still standing, but when you get close to them you can see that the insides are all burned out and that the ceilings are caved in. Some of them are still usable, but most are completely ruined. In Hiroshima you can stand where the bomb hit and look around and you see where a city was. It is amazing. You really can't believe it until you see it. For miles there is nothing but rubble. It is a sight to see nature in all its splendor through the blown-out remains of what used to be a big business building. It is hard to describe the complete devastation. I am glad that I have seen it for myself.

After sea duty on a light aircraft carrier, David would eventually receive orders to serve with Rear Admiral Rickover. Retiring as a commander, David would continue working for Naval Reactors in a civilian capacity. One of his contributions was to conceptualize the operation of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier using just two reactors. With the introduction of the Nimitz class carrier, the concept has been proven now for over forty years. Meanwhile, Helen and David had a long-happy marriage, raising two sons. Sadly Helen left us a few years ago leaving David still active at age 91. A proponent of naval history and a member of the Naval Historical Foundation's Holloway Society, the NHF honors him annually with the David T. Leighton Lecture at its annual June meeting.

 

Hiroshima Devastation Recalled was published by the Naval Historical Foundation and originally appeared on Naval Historical Foundation on August 3, 2016.


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GAO-16-613, Arleigh Burke Destroyers: Delaying Procurement of DDG 51 Flight III Ships Would Allow Time to Increase Design Knowledge, August 04, 2016 [feedly]



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GAO-16-613, Arleigh Burke Destroyers: Delaying Procurement of DDG 51 Flight III Ships Would Allow Time to Increase Design Knowledge, August 04, 2016
// GAO Reports

What GAO Found The Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) program's SPY-6 radar is progressing largely as planned, but extensive development and testing remains. Testing of the integrated SPY-6 and full baseline Aegis combat system upgrade—beginning in late 2020—will be crucial for demonstrating readiness to deliver improved air and missile defense capabilities to the first DDG 51 Flight III ship in 2023. After a lengthy debate between the Navy and the Department of Defense's (DOD) Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, the Secretary of Defense directed the Navy to fund unmanned self-defense test ship upgrades for Flight III operational testing, but work remains to finalize a test strategy. Flight III ship design and construction will be complex—primarily due to changes needed to incorporate SPY-6 onto the ship, as shown in the figure. Flight III Ship Configuration Changes Related to SPY-6 Radar Introduction The Navy has not demonstrated sufficient acquisition and design knowledge regarding its Flight III procurement approach and opportunities exist to enhance oversight. If the Navy procures the lead Flight III ship in fiscal year (FY) 2016 as planned, limited detail design knowledge will be available to inform the procurement. In addition, the Navy's anticipated cost savings under the FY 2013-2017 Flight IIA multiyear procurement (MYP) plan do not reflect the planned addition of Flight III ships. While the Navy did not update its cost savings with Flight III information, doing so would increase transparency and could help inform expected savings under the next MYP. The Navy plans to request authority to award new Flight III MYP contracts (FY 2018-2022) in February 2017. The Navy will be asking Congress for this authority to procure nearly half of Flight III ships before being able to meet the criteria to seek this authority. For example, detail design will not be complete and costs will not be informed by any Flight III construction history. Finally, Flight III cost and schedule performance is not distinguished from that of the overall DDG 51 ship class in annual reports to Congress. Establishing Flight III as a major subprogram would improve reporting and offer greater performance insight. Why GAO Did This Study Over the next 10 years, the Navy plans to spend more than $50 billion to design and procure 22 Flight III destroyers, an upgrade from Flight IIA ships. Flight III ships will include the new SPY-6 radar system and Aegis (ballistic missile defense) combat system upgrades. The Navy's MYP approach requires the Navy to seek authority to do so from Congress. House report 114-102 included a provision for GAO to examine the Navy's plans for the DDG 51 Flight III ships and AMDR. This report assesses (1) the status of efforts to develop, test, and integrate SPY-6 and Aegis in support of Flight III; (2) challenges, if any, associated with the Navy's plans to design and construct Flight III ships; and (3) the Flight III acquisition approach and oversight activities, among other issues. GAO reviewed key acquisition documents and met with Navy and other DOD officials and contractors. What GAO Recommends Congress should consider requiring an update of estimated savings for the current DDG 51 MYP to reflect the addition of Flight III ships. The Navy should delay procurement of the lead Flight III ship and refrain from seeking authority for a MYP contract until it can meet criteria required for seeking this authority. DOD should also designate Flight III as a major subprogram to improve oversight. DOD partially concurred with all three recommendations but is not planning to take any new actions to address them. GAO continues to believe the recommendations are valid. For more information, contact Michele Mackin at (202) 512-4841 or mackinm@gao.gov.
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GAO-16-608, Nuclear Waste: Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Recovery Demonstrates Cost and Schedule Requirements Needed for DOE Cleanup Operations, August 04, 2016 [feedly]



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GAO-16-608, Nuclear Waste: Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Recovery Demonstrates Cost and Schedule Requirements Needed for DOE Cleanup Operations, August 04, 2016
// GAO Reports

What GAO Found The Department of Energy (DOE) did not meet its initial cost and schedule estimates for restarting nuclear waste disposal operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), resulting in a cost increase of about $64 million and a delay of nearly 9 months. DOE incurred this cost increase and delay partly because it did not follow all best practices in developing the cost and schedule estimates. In particular, DOE's schedule did not include extra time, or contingency, to account for known project risks. Instead, DOE estimated it would restart waste operations in March 2016 based on a schedule with no contingency that gave DOE less than a 1 percent chance of meeting its restart date. In January 2016, DOE approved new estimates that added 8.5 months to the schedule, extending the restart to December 2016; increased the estimated cost of recovery by $2 million; and resulted in an additional $61.6 million in costs for operating WIPP in fiscal year 2016. DOE's WIPP operations activity manager said the revised schedule included contingency. However, according to DOE officials, they did not follow other best practices. For example, DOE did not provide evidence of having an independent cost estimate to validate the revised estimate. DOE did not follow all best practices for cost and schedule estimates in part because DOE does not require that its cleanup operations, such as WIPP, follow these practices. Therefore, DOE cannot have confidence that its estimates are reliable. In contrast, DOE established new requirements in June 2015 that its capital asset projects, such as the new ventilation system at WIPP, follow these best practices. By also requiring cleanup operations to follow them, DOE would have more confidence in the estimates for cleanup operations and capital asset projects. DOE did not follow all best practices in analyzing and selecting an alternative for the new ventilation system at WIPP. As a result, DOE's analysis was not reliable and DOE cannot be confident that the alternative it selected in December 2015 will best provide the needed capabilities at WIPP. The analysis of alternatives (AOA) process entails identifying, analyzing, and selecting a preferred alternative to best meet the mission need. Of the four categories of best practices for AOAs, DOE's process fully met the category for identifying alternatives. For example, DOE identified a broad range of ventilation alternatives. However, DOE only partially or minimally met the other three categories: general principles, analyzing alternatives, and selecting the preferred alternative. DOE did not follow the best practice to select the preferred alternative based on a cost-benefit analysis that assesses the difference between the life-cycle costs and benefits of each alternative. In addition, an independent review that DOE commissioned consistent with best practices found that DOE's AOA did not adequately document a cost-benefit analysis and that, as a result, the selection of the preferred alternative was not supported by compelling information. The independent review recommended that DOE conduct a cost-benefit analysis consistent with best practices. However, DOE did not conduct the recommended analysis and document it before selecting the final alternative because there was no requirement to do so. In June 2015, the Secretary of Energy directed DOE to develop guidance for conducting AOAs consistent with AOA best practices. A DOE official said the department expected to issue the new guidance by December 2016. Why GAO Did This Study DOE's WIPP is the only deep geologic repository for the disposal of U.S. defense-related nuclear waste. In February 2014, waste operations were suspended following a truck fire and an unrelated radiological release. DOE estimated in February 2015 that it would complete recovery activities and restart limited waste operations by March 2016. To resume full operations, DOE planned to build a new ventilation system at WIPP. DOE completed an AOA to identify the best solution for this system in December 2015. The Senate Report accompanying a bill for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 included a provision for GAO to review WIPP operations. This report examines the extent to which DOE (1) met its initial cost and schedule estimates for restarting waste disposal operations, and (2) followed best practices in analyzing and selecting an alternative for the new ventilation system. GAO examined documentation on the WIPP recovery estimates. GAO compared DOE's February 2015 cost and schedule estimates and AOA with best practices GAO published. What GAO Recommends GAO recommends that DOE require cleanup operations to follow best practices for cost and schedule estimates and require projects, including the WIPP ventilation system, to implement recommendations from independent AOA reviews or document the reasons for not doing so. DOE concurred with the recommendations. View GAO-16-608. For more information, contact David C. Trimble at (202) 512-3841 or trimbled@gao.gov.
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A Look Back: My Chapter of Amphibiosity in 7th Fleet [feedly]



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A Look Back: My Chapter of Amphibiosity in 7th Fleet
// USNI Blog

Relinquishing command is always bitter sweet because of the people and the experiences you have to leave behind and because there always seem to be so many things that you still want to get accomplished.

As I pen this post, a reflection piece, I am in the final moments of command as Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet – 7th Fleet's amphibious arm that also includes a mine countermeasures force and a helicopter sea combat squadron. By the time many of you read this, I will have turned over the reins to my long-time friend Rear Admiral Marc Dalton.

I met the expeditionary strike group—emphasis on strike group versus amphibious ready group—about this time last year on their way back from a very successful summer patrol, capped by completion of Exercise Talisman Saber.

Rear Adm. John B. Nowell, Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7, turns over command to Rear Adm. Marc H. Dalton aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) during a change of command ceremony

Rear Adm. John B. Nowell, Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7, turns over command to Rear Adm. Marc H. Dalton aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) during a change of command ceremony

Our forces are the best of the best in amphibious warfare in the world and have been for years. But, I challenged my staff and the leaders on the deckplate to go higher, to recognize that getting our Marines to the beach is just one component of maritime superiority, a superiority that we should be postured to achieve as an integrated naval force with Marine Corps partners anywhere in the world.

We have applied the Composite Warfare Command (CWC) construct to the operations of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) with great work by Amphibious Squadron 11, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, Destroyer Squadron 7, USS Shiloh (CG-67), USS Preble (DDG-88) amongst others to robustly bolster our ability to defend the amphibious task force. This work will carry forward as we continue to integrate CruDes capabilities into the ESG.

We are operationalizing the concept of an "up-gunned" ESG, a concept now being promoted by Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the Pacific Fleet, and Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, commander, 7th Fleet, in anticipation of USS Wasp (LHD-1) with the F-35B joining the 7th Fleet amphibious force in the near term.

Rear Adm. John B. Nowell acknowledges the achievements of individual sailors from various commands attached to Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7 during a change of command ceremony aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6)

Rear Adm. John B. Nowell acknowledges the achievements of individual sailors from various commands attached to Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7 during a change of command ceremony aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6)

The beautiful thing about our trajectory as a naval expeditionary force in this regard is that our Marine Corps brethren have been equally engaged in trying to be more robust in their expeditionary capabilities. The Marine Corps is already scalable with its MEU-MEB-MEF design, but we've done some important work, as a Blue-Green team, to look at ways to bring Naval-Marine integration beyond the MEU level. It could mean augmenting the MEU with increased capabilities or using MEU assets from a sea-base to augment MEB assets ashore.

But that's the big picture stuff, the stuff that many think-tankers can pontificate on for hours – and so could I, but I won't here. What I'm most proud of is the bonds we have been able to form with our allies in the region, bonds that have true meaning.

It has been said before that while you can surge forces, you cannot surge trust, and trust is what these partnerships have forged.

160419-N-AE545-609 KUMAMOTO, Japan (April 19, 2016) Members of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force load supplies onto an MV-22B Osprey aircraft from Marine Medium Tilitrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 attached to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in support of the Government of Japan's relief efforts following earthquakes near Kumamoto. The long-standing alliance between Japan and the U.S. allows U.S. military forces in Japan to provide rapid, integrated support to the Japan Self-Defense Force and civil relief efforts

Members of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force load supplies onto an MV-22B Osprey aircraft from Marine Medium Tilitrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 attached to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in support of the Government of Japan's relief efforts following earthquakes near Kumamoto

We truly see the power of these partnerships during times of crisis, like the recent earthquakes near Kumamoto, where U.S. and Japanese forces worked hand-in-hand, using the 31st MEU's MV-22 Ospreys ashore and at sea on board JS Hyuga, to deliver critical supplies to those in need. Well before formal messages were sent, critical actions were taken to get the ball rolling, based on our partnerships and trust, at every level.

This is but one example of the many accomplishments made possible through hard work on the deck plates, by Sailors and Marines who have a dedication to duty and a high standard for mission accomplishment day in and day out and second to none.

And so, as I prepare to say those heart-breaking words "I will now read my orders," I know I leave behind a force that is ever-so capable of standing the watch. I was fortunate to have relieved Rear Admiral Denny Wetherald who took the ESG back to sea as a deploying strike group staff, and I now turn over to an old shipmate in Rear Admiral Marc Dalton, who will now set the bar even higher.

I'm so proud to have been part of this amazing Blue-Green team, and I look forward to watching from afar as the Navy's forward-deployed expeditionary force does incredible things.


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