Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Few Good Men, Too Many Chemicals By Robert O'Dowd





The book is available from Amazon now. See:  https://www.amazon.com/Few-Good-Men-Many-Chemicals/dp/1542442397. Please tell others about the book. The information may help veterans and their dependents file VA compensation claims and save lives for those at risk for toxic exposures and serious medical conditions. The water contamination at Camp Lejeune has been published on the internet and discussed in Congressional hearings. El Toro is a totally difference story. The base was closed in July 1999. The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing moved to Miramar. No effort was made by the Navy or the Marine Corps or the Defense Department or any federal government agency to alert El Toro veterans, dependents and civilian workers to risk of toxic exposure to a lengthy lists of contaminants in the soil and groundwater. There is no presumptive disability for El Toro veterans. Veterans will have to wage a battle with the VA to win compensation. Unfortunately, those fighting this battle have to wage it one veteran at a time. None of us are healthy. The fight becomes even more difficult with those of us with cancers and weakened immune systems. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your spouse and children.  

Looking to the Sky: Solar Eclipse 2017 August 16, 2017 by Kristi Finefield

Looking to the Sky: Solar Eclipse 2017

“Thousands of residents stood with necks craned and peered wide-eyed through smudged glass as the moon sped between the sun and earth, gradually shutting off the bright morning light. From President Coolidge to the urchins with bundles of papers under their arms, the city marvelled at the awesome but magnificent sight.”  - The Washington Post, Jan. 25, 1925.

If you take away the obvious differences (Coolidge is President, paperboys on the streets), I imagine a similar scene taking place during our upcoming solar eclipse on August 21. As in 1925, Washington, D.C. is outside the “path of totality” but will still be able to witness a partial eclipse, with the moon covering about 80% of the sun. (In 1925, it was 95% covered.)  I expect many will step outside, myself included, and turn their eyes to the sky to witness the phenomenon firsthand. (I plan to wear specially made glasses, rather than relying on “smudged glass,” as mentioned in the article.)

President and Mrs. Coolidge both stood on the White House lawn on a freezing day in January 1925 to view the partial eclipse during as it began, as seen below. They watched in the cold for a short while, and after the President returned to work, he used his darkened glass plate (which was likely a developed photographic glass plate) to view the eclipse at its peak from inside the White House.

Pres. & Mrs. Coolidge viewing eclipse of sun, 1/24/25. Photo by National Photo Company, [19]25 January 24. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/npcc.12900

Pres. & Mrs. Coolidge viewing eclipse of sun, 1/24/25. Photo by National Photo Company, [19]25 January 24. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/npcc.12900

Other prominent Washington, D.C. officials took the time to view the 1925 eclipse, such as Postmaster General Harry New and Gen. John A. LeJeune, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. Most relied on a piece of darkened glass for viewing, as depicted in these photos.

The wheels of the great government machine and of private business marked time today while thousands of employees and the departmental heads viewed the eclipse. Postmaster General New snapped as he was watching the eclipse with the aid of a photographic plate. Photo by Harris & Ewing, 1925 January. ttp://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.44777

The wheels of the great government machine and of private business marked time today while thousands of employees and the departmental heads viewed the eclipse. Postmaster General New snapped as he was watching the eclipse with the aid of a photographic plate. Photo by Harris & Ewing, 1925 January. ttp://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.44777

General John A. LeJeune, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, viewing the eclipse in front of the Navy Department at Washington. Photo by Harris & Ewing, 1925 January. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.44780

General John A. LeJeune, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, viewing the eclipse in front of the Navy Department at Washington. Photo by Harris & Ewing, 1925 January. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.44780

Not satisfied with a casual look with the naked eye, astronomers at the U.S. Naval Observatory lined up with their telescopes to get a better view of the 1925 eclipse:

Astronomers at Naval Observatory viewing eclipse of sun, 1/24/25. Photo by National Photo Company, [19]25 January 24. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/npcc.12896

Astronomers at Naval Observatory viewing eclipse of sun, 1/24/25. Photo by National Photo Company, [19]25 January 24. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/npcc.12896

And of course, many are not content to simply watch a solar eclipse, but endeavor to capture and document the event. The eclipse on January 24, 1925 was photographed and filmed from the dirigible U.S.S. Los Angeles by a team formed by the U.S. Naval Observatory and the U.S. Bureau of Standards. Some members of the team posed with one of the specially designed cameras destined for the airship in the photo below.

Scientists of Naval Observation with special camera to photograph eclipse of sun, 1/7/25. Photo by National Photo Company, [19]25 January 7. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/npcc.26572

Scientists of Naval Observation with special camera to photograph eclipse of sun, 1/7/25. Photo by National Photo Company, [19]25 January 7. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/npcc.26572

Flown into Washington, D.C. in order to be christened by President Coolidge in November 1924, the U.S.S. Los Angeles took a tour over the nation’s capital a few months before its eclipse expedition. In the photo below, the airship is above the National Mall, with the U.S. Capitol in the background.

ZR-3 Los Angeles. Photo by National Photo Company, [1924 Nov.] //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.40794

ZR-3 Los Angeles. Photo by National Photo Company, [1924 Nov.] //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.40794

Capturing natural phenomena through a camera lens was nothing new, however. The usefulness of photography in their work was recognized by scientists almost immediately after its invention. By the 1850s, photographers began documenting eclipses for scientific study. A volume of photos in the Prints and Photographs Division’s collections systematically shows the incremental phases of the solar eclipse of May 26, 1854. An example of one of the photos is featured below on the left. For comparison, on the right is a photo taken in New York during the January 1925 eclipse.

 
[Photograph of the solar eclipse of May 26, 1854, taken at West Point, no. 16] from Bartlett's photographs of solar eclipse of May 26, 1854, taken at West Point. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c17397

[Photograph of the solar eclipse of May 26, 1854, taken at West Point, no. 16] from Bartlett’s photographs of solar eclipse of May 26, 1854, taken at West Point. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c17397

 Diamond ring of the solar eclipse - Jan. 24, 1925. Photo by Frederick W. Goetz, copyrighted 1925 July 13. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3a50267

Diamond ring of the solar eclipse – Jan. 24, 1925. Photo by Frederick W. Goetz, copyrighted 1925 July 13. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3a50267

Celestial events such as solar eclipses are studied and documented by scientists and armchair astronomers. Witnessing the totality is an event which drives people to travel thousands of miles. Photographers study methods for capturing images of the moon blocking the sun. But even if you aren’t going to such lengths, all you really have to do on August 21 to see something remarkable is take a few minutes, and look to the sky – with proper eye protection, of course!

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45,000 gather for rally against new base construction in Henoko, Governor Onaga renews determination to repeal landfill approval

August 13, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

On August 12, The All Okinawa Kaigi (All Okinawa Coalition) held a mass rally to support Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga and resist the construction of a new U.S. base in Henoko, Nago, at Onoyama Athletic Stadium, Naha.

The rally called for the cancellation of the new base and the withdrawal of MV-22 Osprey vertical take-off and landing transport aircraft belonging to the Futenma base and the halting of MV-22 Osprey flights.

According to the organizer, about 45,000 people gathered at the rally.

In addition to a declaration stating that they will continue to resist absurdity in order to protect local autonomy, democracy and human rights, participants adopted a special resolution calling for the withdrawal of MV-22 Ospreys from Okinawa and the halting the flights in the wake of the Osprey crash in Australia.

Governor Onaga renewed his determination to repeal the previous governor's approval of land reclamation in Oura Bay, saying, "Based on all the information available, I will decide the time to repeal the approval."

Participants held placards stating, "We will not give up" at the mass rally held at Onoyama Athletic Stadium, Naha, at 3:22 p.m. on August 12. (Photograph taken by Naoya Oshiro)

The declaration called for "an immediate halt to the illegal landfill by the central government which has been suppressing Okinawa's popular will.

" It further criticized the government saying, "We ask these questions. Is there a true democracy in this country, and what is a law-abiding country?"

Moreover, it stressed, "We will totally support the lawsuit brought by Governor Onaga with full power."

A special resolution protesting against the Osprey crash stated; "There have been abnormal situations such as crashes and emergency landings occurring in succession around the world, including Okinawa in only eight months."

It sought the withdrawal of the Osprey deployment and the halting of flight operations, investigations into the cause of the accidents, the immediate closure and removal of the Futenma airfield, a halt to nighttime aircraft training, sling loads, and rappelling training in helicopters.

Members of the organization behind the event will visit Tokyo later to hand the special resolution to the prime minister's official residence and the U.S. embassy in Japan.

Co-representative of the All Okinawa Kaigi Ai Tamaki, a student at the Ryukyu University's Graduate School, said in her speech, "The lives of individuals living in the prefecture should not be allowed to become 'sacrifice stones' in order to maintain and strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance."

Co-representative of the All Okinawa Kaigi Tetsumi Takara, a professor at the University of the Ryukyus, urged participants to convey the fact that many residents gathered here in order to seek the right to survive in peace and live without fear.

In tandem with the rally in Okinawa, gatherings were held in other prefectures, including Kyoto and Hyogo, demanding cancellation of the new base's construction in Henoko.

The All Okinawa Kaigi announced at the rally that it would send a delegation to the Unites States in order to convey the Okinawan popular will, which opposes the construction of the new base in Henoko.

A delegation will be sent for the second time to the U.S. since January this year.

The delegation will visit San Francisco and other cities from August 16 to 24, and will meet with members of Congress, labor unions and civil groups.

(English translation by T&CT)

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Original Page: http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2017/08/17/27508/



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Retired Army Colonel wins huge defamation award based on an allegation that he committed an in-service sexual assault

Here is Washington Post coverage (alternate link) of an $8.5 million jury award in a defamation case brought by retired Army Col. David Riggins against Susan Shannon who, in 2013, alleged that Riggins raped her in 1986 when they were both cadets at the United States Military Academy (West Point). The allegation was investigated by Army CID, and Riggins was subsequently removed from the promotion list for brigadier general.

After Shannon made her claim, Riggins told investigators that he had a consensual sexual relationship with her while at the Academy but he denied assaulting her:

The CID also contacted Riggins. A report in court records shows that Riggins described a consensual sexual encounter with Shannon after a Halloween party in 1983, and a short relationship with an amicable breakup. Riggins said he had no significant contact with her in 1986. In Washington state, Shannon told investigators there was no sex or relationship in 1983, only a rape after Riggins saw her staggering out of a pedestrian tunnel on campus in the spring of 1986. She claimed Riggins offered her a ride in his car, and that she had no memory of the actual assault, although she said Riggins "smugly admitted he did indeed rape" Shannon, according to a Fairfax court filing.

Riggins sued Shannon in Virginia, asserting:

that every aspect of her rape claim on the West Point campus was "provably false," and that she wrote two blog posts and a Facebook post "to intentionally derail [his] promotion" to brigadier general. During a six-day trial that ended Aug. 1, a jury in Fairfax County, Va., heard from both Riggins and Shannon at length. And after 2½ hours of deliberation, they sided emphatically with Riggins, awarding him $8.4 million in damages, an extraordinary amount for a defamation case between two private citizens. The jury ordered Shannon to pay $3.4 million in compensatory damages for injury to his reputation and lost wages, and $5 million in punitive damages, "to make sure nothing like this will ever happen again," according to one of the jurors.

A juror told the Post:

"Honestly," said juror Marshall Reinsdorf, "we thought who was telling the truth was too obvious to be discussing. We held a vote, and everybody believed the colonel. The only argument was how big the damages were going to be." Of the four women and three men on the jury, two other jurors declined to comment, two jurors did not return messages and two could not be reached.



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GAO-17-609, Surplus Missile Motors: Sale Price Drives Potential Effects on DOD and Commercial Launch Providers, August 16, 2017

What GAO Found

The Department of Defense (DOD) could use several methods to set the sale prices of surplus intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) motors that could be converted and used in vehicles for commercial launch if current rules prohibiting such sales were changed. One method would be to determine a breakeven price. Below this price, DOD would not recuperate its costs, and, above this price, DOD would potentially save. GAO estimated that DOD could sell three Peacekeeper motors—the number required for one launch, or, a "motor set"—at a breakeven price of about $8.36 million and two Minuteman II motors for about $3.96 million, as shown below. Other methods for determining motor prices, such as fair market value as described in the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board Handbook, resulted in stakeholder estimates ranging from $1.3 million per motor set to $11.2 million for a first stage Peacekeeper motor.

Estimated Per Motor Set Breakeven Price after Storage and Disposal Cost Avoidance Discount

Estimated Per Motor Set Breakeven Price after Storage and Disposal Cost Avoidance Discount

The prices at which surplus ICBM motors are sold is an important factor for determining the extent of potential benefits and challenges of allowing the motors to be used for commercial launch. Potential benefits include

increasing the global competitiveness of U.S. launch services, and

providing customers more launch options and greater flexibility.

Potential challenges include

affecting private investment negatively, hindering innovation, and disrupting competition among emerging commercial space launch companies; and

expanding the workload of the Air Force program office responsible for maintaining and refurbishing the motors.

Further, uncertainties in underlying assumptions and cost estimates—such as Peacekeeper motor storage and disposal costs—could hinder effective decision making. DOD is also conducting a study on the potential effects of allowing surplus ICBM motors to be used for commercial launch. Because DOD's study is not completed, it is not clear the extent to which its study addresses such uncertainties.

Why GAO Did This Study

The U.S. government spends over a billion dollars each year on launch activities as it strives to help develop a competitive market for space launches and assure its access to space. Among others, one launch option is to use vehicles derived from surplus ICBM motors such as those used on the Peacekeeper and Minuteman missiles. The Commercial Space Act of 1998 prohibits the use of these motors for commercial launches and limits their use in government launches in part to encourage the development of the commercial space launch industry in the United States. Legislative and policy changes would be needed to allow DOD to sell these motors for use on commercial launches.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 contains a provision for GAO to analyze the potential effects of allowing the use of surplus ICBM motors for commercial space launch. This report addresses (1) the options for pricing surplus ICBM motors; and (2) the potential benefits and challenges of allowing surplus ICBM motors to be used for commercial space launch.

GAO used Office of Management and Budget criteria to develop a range of breakeven prices, collected detailed motor storage and disposal costs from the Air Force, reviewed industry stakeholder responses to an Air Force request for information about other pricing methods, and interviewed DOD and industry officials.

What GAO Recommends

GAO is not making recommendations in this report.

For more information, contact Cristina Chaplain at (202) 512-4841 or chaplainc@gao.gov.



Original Page: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-17-609?source=ra



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U.S. Pays $50 Mil for Luxury Cars, Weapons, Booze to Mentor Afghan Intel Officers

AUGUST 16, 2017

A foreign company hired by the U.S. government to mentor and train Afghan intelligence officers billed Uncle Sam for more than $50 million in luxury cars — including Porsches, an Aston Martin, and a Bentley — and the lucrative salaries of executives and their spouses (who didn't do any work). The firm also spent $1,500 on alcohol and $42,000 on automatic weapons prohibited under the terms of the contract, according to figures provided by a U.S. Senator from a federal audit that has not been released to the public. It marks the latest of many scandals involving the free-flow of American dollars to controversial causes in Afghanistan, where fraud and corruption are rampant in all sectors.

In this latest case, the Department of Defense (DOD) hired a British firm called New Century Consulting (NCC) to operate a program called "Legacy East" that was supposed to provide counterinsurgency intelligence experts to mentor and train Afghan National Security Forces. Instead, NCC billed the Pentagon millions of dollars in questionable or unallowable expenses, including seven luxury cars and exorbitant $400,000 average salaries for the "significant others" of corporate officers to serve as "executive assistants." Other prohibited expenses include severance payments, rent, unnecessary licensing fees, extensive austerity pay, and the cost of personal air travel. The outrageous figures became public when the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Claire McCaskill, wrote a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis demanding answers. As a federal lawmaker McCaskill had access to the information after viewing a report from the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), which provides financial oversight of government contracts for the Pentagon and operates under the Secretary of Defense.

McCaskill discloses that the British firm continued receiving lucrative DOD contracts despite having "many previous problems," involving billing and performance practices. The senator also questions why the Pentagon kept pouring money into a "troubled" program that a separate federal audit had determined was likely ineffective. That assessment, made by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), came after investigators found that a lack of performance metrics makes it nearly impossible to assess whether the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on the mentoring and training programs for Afghan intel personnel are effective. "Despite all of the listed issues with NCC's performance and billing practices, the Army continued to engage in contracting with NCC for sensitive work in Afghanistan," McCaskill states in her letter to Mattis.

Afghanistan reconstruction has been a huge debacle that continues fleecing American taxpayers to the tune of billions and Judicial Watch has reported extensively on it over the years. Many of the details are regularly disclosed in provoking reports published on the SIGAR website. Highlights include the mysterious disappearance of nearly half a billion dollars in oil destined for the Afghan National Army, a $335 million Afghan power plant that's seldom used and an $18.5 million renovation for a prison that remains unfinished and unused years after the U.S.-funded work began. Among the more outrageous expenditures are U.S. Army contracts with dozens of companies tied to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The reconstruction watchdog recommended that the Army immediately cut business ties to the terrorists but the deals continued. Another big waste reported by Judicial Watch a few years ago, involves a $65 million initiative to help Afghan women escape repression. The government admits that, because there's no accountability, record-keeping or follow-up, it has no clue if the program was effective.

Back in 2013 Judicial Watch reported that, despite multiple warnings of fraud and corruption inside the Afghan Ministry of Public Health, the U.S. keeps sending hundreds of millions of dollars to support the Islamic republic's scandal-plagued healthcare system. In that infuriating case, the money—$236 million over nine years—flowed through the scandal-plagued U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which is charged with providing economic, development and humanitarian assistance worldwide. It was supposed to fund prenatal care for women, hospitals, physicians' salaries and other medical costs. Instead, a federal audit found pervasive, waste, fraud and abuse that warranted an immediate cutoff of U.S. assistance. In a scathing report SIGAR called it a reckless disregard toward the management of U.S. taxpayer dollars.




Original Page: https://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2017/08/u-s-pays-50-mil-luxury-cars-weapons-booze-mentor-afghan-intel-officers/



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Rear Admiral Mark Buzby Sworn In as U.S. Maritime Administrator

Secretary Elaine L. Chao swears in Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, USN, Ret. as the Administrator of the Maritime Administration, August 16, 2017.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has sworn in Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby (USN, Ret.) as the Administrator of the Maritime Administration.

Prior to his appointment, Buzby served as president of the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA), a global association of transportation and logistics professionals. Prior to his retirement from the U.S. Navy in 2013, Buzby served as the Commander of the Military Sealift Command (MSC) from 2009 to 2013.

"Our maritime industry is facing unprecedented challenges in our increasingly globalized world," said Secretary Elaine L. Chao. "Administrator Buzby's extensive naval and maritime background will serve as a tremendous asset to the Maritime Administration."

As Maritime Administrator, Buzby will lead an agency tasked with promoting the use of waterborne transportation and its seamless integration with other segments of the transportation system; and the development and maintenance of an adequate, well-balanced U.S. merchant marine, sufficient to carry a substantial portion of the Nation's waterborne commerce, and capable of service in time of war or national emergency. The Maritime Administration also oversees the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

"I grew up on the water, piloting vessels from the time I was nine years old, and have a lifelong love for the sea," Admiral Buzby said. "It is one of the great honors of my life to serve as Maritime Administrator, and to start working to grow and revitalize the U.S. Merchant Marine, and ensure our nation continues its maritime leadership."

Buzby is a career Naval officer with over 34 years of service and an extensive background in maritime transportation, having served on the staffs of the Sixth Fleet, the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, the Navy staff, and the Joint Staff. Buzby served as the Commander of the Military Sealift Command (MSC) from October 2009 to March 2013 prior to his retirement from the Navy in 2013. MSC is the provider of ocean transportation for the Department of Defense, operating approximately 120 ships daily around the globe.

During his career, Buzby commanded destroyer USS CARNEY (DDG 64), Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-ONE, Surface Warfare Officers School Command, and Joint Task Force GUANTANAMO BAY.

Buzby graduated from U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 1979, earning Bachelor of Science in Nautical Science and U.S. Coast Guard Third Mate License. He is a graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College and holds master's degrees from the U.S. Naval War College and Salve Regina University.

The position of Maritime Administrator at MARAD went unfilled since January following the departure of Paul "Chip" Jaenichen. Jaenichen was appointed to the Maritime Administrator role in July 2014 by President Obama, before which he served as Acting Maritime Administrator starting in June 2013. Jaenichen had been Deputy Maritime Administrator since July 2012.



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Construction of World’s Largest Cargo Sailing Ship Moves Step Closer to Reality

largest sailing cargo ship
The Quadriga sailing cargo ship will be equipped with four masts, and will be capable of transporting up to 2,000 vehicles. Image: Lloyd's Register/Quadriga

A German-led initiative to build the world's largest sailing cargo ship has moved one step closer to realization with Lloyd's Register signing on to ensure compliance of the project.

Lloyd's Register announced Monday it has joined the Quadriga sustainable shipping project, an initiative from Hamburg-based Sailing Cargo aiming to build the world's largest sail-powered cargo ship.

The project outlines a plan to build a 170-meter car carrier, capable of carrying between 1,700 and 2,000 cars, which will be equipped with four masts and will operate on hybrid propulsion with sails and diesel-electric engines, and an optional battery system for peak loads. The vessel will be capable of sailing at 10-12 knots with the aim of reaching 14-16 knots in the next few years through combined expertise.

"Wind-assisted propulsion offers one of the few realistic options for introducing renewable power into shipping. The IMO target for CO2 emissions requires a 50% reduction in global ship-sourced CO2 emissions by 2020, this means significant changes in the industry are required. LR's Low Carbon Pathways 2050 study found that low carbon ships will need to enter the fleet by 2030 to help achieve this goal," Lloyd's Register said in a statement.

Uwe Köhler, founder of the Quadriga project, commented: "We must do the right thing for the future of our industry; the Quadriga project combines traditionally proven systems with cutting edge technology and aims to provide a solution to achieving the CO2 emissions reduction target. We are delighted to be working with Lloyd's Register on this project."

LR will help to ensure compliance with technical, safety and environmental standards upon realization of the project, from the design and specification stage to onsite new construction supervision. LR will also verify whether the predicted performance parameters have been achieved.

LR's Nico Dettmann, Marketing and Sales Manager for Central and Eastern Europe, Marine & Offshore, said: "It's a very exciting initiative to be involved in. It's always motivating for us to be involved from the concept stage of any project, especially those that involve innovative technology and new ways of doing things. We have a long history of working with and supporting our clients to bring their new and novel concepts, safely and robustly from inception to operational reality."



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PHOTOS: UK’s Biggest Warship HMS Queen Elizabeth Sails Into Portsmouth

The Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, arrives in Portsmouth, Britain August 16, 2017. POPHOT Ian Simpson/Royal Navy/MoD/Crown Copyright/Handout via REUTERS

Reuters

By Peter Nicholls PORTSMOUTH, England, Aug 16 (Reuters) – Britain's most advanced and biggest warship, the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, berthed for the first time at its home port of Portsmouth on Wednesday.

The 280-metre (920-foot) vessel entered the harbour on England's southern coast at 0610 GMT, greeted by thousands of spectators.

LPHOT Kyle Heller/Royal Navy/MoD/Crown Copyright/Handout via REUTERS
LPHOT Kyle Heller/Royal Navy/MoD/Crown Copyright/Handout via REUTERS

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy, according to the Ministry of Defence.

"Today we welcome our mighty new warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, to her home for the very first time," said Defence Secretary Michael Fallon. "She is Britain's statement to the world: a demonstration of British military power and our commitment to a bigger global role."

POPHOT Ian Simpson/Royal Navy/MoD/Crown Copyright/Handout via REUTERS

The ship is currently undergoing sea trials. It cannot yet deploy planes, but flying trials from its deck are due to begin in 2018.

It took eight years to build HMS Queen Elizabeth, with construction taking place in six cities and involving 10,000 people.

Along with its sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, it is part of a defence programme worth 6 billion pounds ($7.65 billion).

REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Commanding officer Captain Jerry Kyd told the BBC that the carrier "sends the right signals to our allies and indeed potentially to our enemies that we mean business." (Reporting by Peter Nicholls, writing by Fanny Potkin, editing by Estelle Shirbon)



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Remembering a Veteran: Wm. Brown, 9th Infantry, AEF, Catches the Flu


I was sent back to the hospital at Toul in October, 1918, sick with the famous "flu." I was kept there two days, transferred to a hospital train and taken clear across France to the Beau Desert Hospital, a few miles from Bordeaux. There the "flu" developed into pneumonia and then empyema (pus abscesses between the lung and chest walls) and I lay there for five months between life and death. 

This hospital was built of cement and had very little heat in it and sometimes the cold was intense. It was hard to be sick and cold too — but we made the best of it, and say, we had the best bunch of nurses. They did everything in their power to make us well and happy — they always had a new joke for us to laugh at. Laughing helped like thunder; it was so easy to be blue in France every time you thought how wide the ocean was. 

One of our nurses was such a dear. Every morning when she reported for duty — she always greeted us with a "How are you, my dear children," and somehow, I always felt better — she was so like a mother to us. 

The overseas Red Cross Nurses underwent a great many hardships too. The field hospitals were near the front, and sometimes under fire. Many times I have seen German planes bombing our field hospitals — without any excuse for the outrage, four large Red Crosses were painted on the roofs of the hospitals, plainly visible from an aeroplane. 

Sometimes, too, the nurses had to live on the same kind of grub that we did — just plain "canned Willie" and hardtack, but they never grumbled. They deserve a special niche in history. 

The Salvation Army, the Red Cross and the Knights of Columbus were so good to us at the front and in the hospital. While we were lying in bed, death staring us in the face, they did far more than we ever expected them to. They brought us practically everything we asked for. Uncle Sam's boys will always have a warm spot in their hearts for these institutions and no one who ever donated anything to these organizations need regret it. 

After five months of terrible suffering at Beau Desert Hospital I had the choice of staying there until well or coming home. I couldn't see that there was any choice — home was dearer to me than heaven — so I took the chance. If I didn't last thru — at least I'd be buried in my own country. 

We were loaded onto a hospital ship — at least, the officers called it that. It was an old English boat called the Henderson and she was supposed to make the voyage in ten to twelve days. We went by the southern route, by the Azores, hoping to avoid the storms, but we ran into one after another— each worse than the last until I thought the ship would turn turtle. The drainage tube in the abscess in my side was so long that every roll of the ship drove it farther into my side and the 19 days that it took to cross the ocean seemed like 19 years. I was sent for 11 days to the Debarkation Hospital in New York. The people of New York gave us royal treatment, took us out for long automobile rides, to the theaters, etc., and did everything they could for us. They made France and its horrors seem far away. 


Flu Ward at Camp Funston, KS, Where It Is Believed the Pandemic Originated

On March 1st, 1919, I was sent to the Base Hospital at Camp Lewis, Washington. All along the route, the Red Cross Chapters of each town and city met us, and nearly killed us, giving us so much to eat, and so much to smoke. I never had any idea that there were so many kind women in the world. 

At Camp Lewis, I stayed in the empyema ward until my discharge on the 29th of June, 1919. In my estimation, the hospital at this camp had the finest staff of officers in the army. I had begun to think I would never get well — but my recovery under their care was fairly rapid and thanks to them, I am well today — perhaps, not as well as before my enlistment, but as a doughboy once said, "As long as we're alive, we should worry." 

Camp Lewis Hospital had a great many visitors then, who brought us flowers, candies, cakes, and everything. Some came out of curiosity to hear the stories from overseas — but sick men don't like to talk — and some came to cheer us up. 

There was one woman who will remain in my memory forever. She rarely missed a day in coming to our ward, and she always came with a smile — one that seemed to say, "You're all going to get well." She nursed us all in her happy, motherly way, and made us all well. She was Mrs. Hiram Tuttle of Tacoma, Washington, and she was known as the Mother of Ward 81 at the Base Hospital. The boys of 81 will never forget her. 

I was in France 15 months — ten months on the firing line with the shock troops, and five months in the hospital. I spent nine months [total] in the hospital. Altogether I was in the army two years and three months, and I'd willingly do it again, if our Country needed me.

From
The Adventures of an American Doughboy
William Brown, 9th Infantry, 2nd Division, AEF


Original Page: http://roadstothegreatwar-ww1.blogspot.com/2017/08/remembering-veteran-wm-brown-9th.html



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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

USS BENNINGTON-PG4

WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Photo # NH 89081:  Removing the dead from USS Bennington following her boiler explosion, at San Diego, California, 21 July 1905

Online Library of Selected Images:
-- EVENTS -- The 1900s -- 1905

Boiler Explosion on USS Bennington, 21 July 1905

At about 10:30 a.m. on 21 July 1905 the gunboat Bennington suffered one of the Navy's worst peacetime disasters. She had arrived at San Diego, California, just two days earlier, after a difficult seventeen-day voyage from the Hawaiian Islands. Though both the ship and her men could have used a rest, they were soon ordered back to sea to assist the monitor Wyoming, which had broken down and needed a tow.

While steam was being raised, much of Bennington's crew, having completing the hard and dirty job of coaling, were cleaning their ship and themselves. Below decks, an improperly closed steam line valve, oily feed water and a malfunctioning safety valve conspired to generate steam pressures far beyond the boilers' tolerance. Suddenly, one of them exploded. Men and equipment were hurled into the air, living compartments and deck space filled with scalding steam, and the ship's hull was opened to the sea. But for quick work by the tug Santa Fe, which beached Bennington in relatively shallow water, the gunboat would probably have sunk. As it was, she was so badly damaged as to be not worth repairing. Even worse, more than sixty of her crew had been killed outright or were so severely injured that they did not long survive.

The number of casualties overhelmed the then-small city of San Diego's hospitals, and badly burned Sailors had to be cared for in improvised facilities largely staffed by volunteers. Local morticians were hard pressed to prepare the Bennington's dead for burial. On the 23rd of July, the great majority were interred at the Army's Fort Rosecrans, located on the Point Loma heights overlooking the entrance to San Diego Harbor and what would, years later, become the North Island Naval Air Station.

Despite the awful death toll, which far exceeded that sustained by the Navy in the Spanish-American War, and sometimes lurid rumors of misconduct on the part of some members of Bennington's engineering force, official investigations concluded that the tragedy had not resulted from negligence. Eleven surviving crewmen were awarded the Medal of Honor for " extraordinary heroism displayed at the time of the explosion". USS Benningtonwas raised, but remained inactive and unrepaired until sold in 1910.

This page features, and provides links to, all the views we have concerning the 21 July 1905 boiler explosion on USS Bennington (Gunboat # 4).

For more images related to the USS Bennington boiler explosion and its aftermath, see:

  • Boiler Explosion on USS Bennington, 21 July 1905 -- Part II;
  • USS Bennington Monument, San Diego, California; and
  • USS Bennington Monument, San Diego, California -- Part II.

    For pictures and information concerning the ship's last Commanding Officer, and a sailor who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his conduct at the time of her boiler explosion, see:

  • Rear Admiral Lucien Young, USN, (1852-1912); and
  • Seaman Edward William Boers, USN, (1884-1929).


    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see: How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions.

    Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

    Photo #: NH 89081

    USS Bennington
     (Gunboat # 4)

    Removing the dead from the ship, following her boiler explosion at San Diego, California, 21 July 1905.
    Photographed and published on a stereograph card by C.H. Graves, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    The inscription published on the reverse of the original card is provided on Photo #: NH 89081 (extended caption).

    Courtesy of Commander Donald J. Robinson, USN(MSC), 1979

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 105KB; 605 x 675 pixels

    A stereo pair version of this image is available as Photo # NH 89081-A

    Online Image of stereo pair: 63KB; 675 x 360 pixels

      
    Photo #: NH 100929

    USS Bennington
     (Gunboat # 4)

    Halftone reproduction of a photograph, published as a postal card by Wood's Print, Los Angeles, California, showing the ship partially sunk in San Diego harbor following her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion.
    Note the sailboats in the foreground, among them one named Nellie.

    Courtesy of H.E. ("Ed") Coffer, 1986.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 83KB; 465 x 765 pixels

      
    Photo #: NH 102778-KN (color)

    USS Bennington (Gunboat # 4)

    Fine-screen reproduction of a photograph showing the ship partially sunk, soon after her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion in San Diego harbor, California. It was published on a postal card by the Special View Company, Los Angeles, California.

    Donation of H.E. ("Ed") Coffer.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 58KB; 740 x 485 pixels

      
    Photo #: NH 85695

    USS Bennington
     (Gunboat # 4)

    Salvage party at work on the partially sunken ship, in San Diego harbor, California, after her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion.

    Donation of William L. Graham, 1977.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 91KB; 740 x 525 pixels

      
    Photo #: NH 85694

    USS Bennington
     (Gunboat # 4)

    Partially sunk in San Diego harbor, California, after her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion.

    Donation of William L. Graham, 1977.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 68KB; 740 x 515 pixels

      
    Photo #: NH 105306-KN (color)

    USS Bennington (Gunboat # 4)

    Partially sunk in San Diego Bay, California, two hours after her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion.
    This fine-screen halftone photograph, with a commemorative message, is printed on a postcard published soon after the tragedy by Sewards' Post Cards, Los Angeles, California.
    For a view of the reverse of the original postcard, see: Photo # NH 105306-A-KN.

    Courtesy of Harrell E. ("Ed") Coffer, 2007.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image size: 98KB; 740 x 500 pixels

      
    Photo #: NH 105306-A-KN (color)

    USS Bennington (Gunboat # 4)

    Reverse of a postcard published circa mid-1905 by Sewards' Post Cards, Los Angeles, California, commemorating the 21 July 1905 boiler explosion that killed many of USS Bennington's crew members.
    For a view of the front of the original postcard, featuring a photograph of Bennington taken shortly after the tragedy, see: Photo # NH 105306-KN.

    Courtesy of Harrell E. ("Ed") Coffer, 2007.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image size: 88KB; 740 x 500 pixels

      
    Photo #: NH 105307-KN (color)

    USS Bennington (Gunboat # 4)

    Partially sunk in San Diego Bay, California, following her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion.
    This fine-screen halftone photograph, with a commemorative message, is printed on a postcard published soon after the tragedy by Sewards' Post Cards, Los Angeles, California.
    The reverse of the original postcard is essentially identical to that seen in Photo # NH 105306-A-KN.

    Courtesy of Harrell E. ("Ed") Coffer, 2007.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image size: 93KB; 740 x 495 pixels

      
    Photo #: NH 95245-KN (color)

    USS Bennington (Gunboat # 4)

    Partially sunk in San Diego Bay, California, soon after her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion.
    This fine-screen halftone image was published on a postal card by Wood's Print, Los Angeles, California.

    Courtesy of H.E. ("Ed") Coffer, 1983.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 64KB; 740 x 485 pixels

      
    Photo #: NH 85696

    USS Bennington
     (Gunboat # 4)

    Salvage party at work on the partially sunken ship, in San Diego harbor, California, after her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion.
    Bennington's National Ensign is flying at half staff.

    Donation of William L. Graham, 1977.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 79KB; 740 x 530 pixels

      
    Photo #: NH 56383-B

    USS Bennington
     (Gunboat # 4)

    Halftone reproduction of a photograph, showing the ship as her engine room was being pumped out, soon after her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion at San Diego, California. Note her National Ensign flying at half-staff.

    Donation of Rear Admiral Ammen Farenholt, USN (Medical Corps), November 1931.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 102KB; 690 x 660 pixels

      
    Photo #: NH 56383-C

    USS Bennington
     (Gunboat # 4)

    Halftone reproduction of a photograph, showing the ship half sunk and beached at San Diego, California, soon after her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion.
    A steam launch from Bennington is in the foreground.

    Donation of Rear Admiral Ammen Farenholt, USN (Medical Corps), November 1931.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 78KB; 740 x 355 pixels

      
    Photo #: NH 56383-A

    USS Bennington
     (Gunboat # 4)

    Halftone reproduction of a photograph, showing the ship's starboard side, amidships, as she was beached at San Diego, California, soon after her 21 July 1905 boiler explosion. A disabled six-inch gun is in the center of the image.

    Donation of Rear Admiral Ammen Farenholt, USN (Medical Corps), November 1931.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 98KB; 740 x 585 pixels

      

    For more images related to the USS Bennington boiler explosion and its aftermath, see:

  • Boiler Explosion on USS Bennington, 21 July 1905 -- Part II;
  • USS Bennington Monument, San Diego, California; and
  • USS Bennington Monument, San Diego, California -- Part II.


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