Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sailors Team Up With Fort Schuyler To Offer STCW Like Training To Boaters And Kids

SOLAS Flare STCW Demonstration
A Safety-At-Sea instructor Charles Goodrich demonstrates the use of a SOLAS flare. Photo by John Konrad

By John Konrad (gCaptain) The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), revolutionized training in the maritime industry by giving mariners hands on and practical safety training. Now one organization is using that model to train boaters.

Despite heavy rain and unseasonably cold temperatures in the Bronx racing and recreational sailors packed shoulder to shoulder into SUNY Maritime College's (Fort Schuyler) modern event space over-looking a wind-swept and foggy East River.

Sailors flew in from around the country to take part in a Hands-on Safety-at-Sea 2018 a seminar organized by the Storm Trysail Foundation, a day of training geared to teach boaters practical, STCW/SOLAS like skills. At the event boat owners and crew participated in four 90-minute hands-on "blocks" bracketed by talks about leadership and seamanship.

The four blocks included:

  • On-the-Water man overboard and storm sails training.
  • Survival Training in the swimming pool using inflatable PFDs and life rafts.
  • Firefighting, where fires were extinguished by the participants.
  • Emergency Signaling, where held flares and parachute flares were fired by every participant. 
  • Damage Control both demonstrated and hands-on practice of key damage control skills. 

"Merchant Marine officers have long known that hands on practice under pressure is the best training for emergencies at sea." said Richard DuMoulin, chairman of yesterday's event. "In the days of sailing ships it was no coincidence that merchant ship captains became the great explorers. Men like Nansen, Amundsen, Shackleton, Scott and Peary were first mariners then explorers."

Richard DuMoulin is a recognized leader in the worlds of commercial shipping, maritime safety, and sailing. In sailing Richard has crewed five Americas Cup campaigns and shares the world sailing record from Hong Kong to New York with American Vendée Globe sailor Rich Wilson. In safety Dumoulin is recipient of the US Coast Guards highest civilian award, the Distinguished Service Ribbon. In commercial shipping he has been Chairman of the Seamens Church Institute and Intertanko

According to DuMoulin letting students do practical SOLAS skills – like firing a flare or entering a liferaft with clothes and PFDs on – are critical for surviving emergencies at sea but those skills are not the core lessons his instructors are teaching. 

"Far more important are basic leadership and seamanship skills" said DuMoulin. "In addition to core competency, men who have survived extreme conditions at sea, men like Ernest Shackleton, could visualize things ahead, remain flexible and inspire optimism in everyone."

Industry Experience

USCG Rescue Swimmer Safety Training Sailors
A USCG Rescue Swimmer training sailors in the use of liferafts yesterday at SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx. Photo by John Konrad

The most inspiring aspect of the event for gCaptain was the interaction between maritime industry veterans, USCG rescue teams and both professional and recreational sailors. "I was most eager to learn from the professional SUNY Maritime staff and the numerous Storm Trysail instructors with experience on ships" said participant Ian Rose, a sailor gearing up for a race to Bermuda. "The venue and involvement of guys who sail ships and tugboats at sea, is what convinced me to attend this seminar."

"We are learning from real ship captains, mates and veteran racing sailors" said another participant. "This combination adds a high level of professionalism and realism to the training."

"SUNY Maritime has always used sailboats and dingy's to train future ship captains." said Joe Sullivan, Assistant Waterfront Director at SUNY Maritime. "Now we get to give back by helping Storm Trysail train sailors." 

Many participants and instructors where excited to see gCaptain staff at the event and most where quick to discuss the value of these two communities, sailing and commercial shipping, working together in the future.

"The safety at sea seminars contain a lot of detail and useful information." said bestselling author, America Cup Champion and SUNY Maritime College Alumnus Gary Jobson in the introductory video posted below. "The value in this safety at sea seminar is not limited to racing or offshore sailing. The course content is invaluable for anyone heading to sea." 

Safety At Sea Training For Kids

Kids Safety At Sea Sailboat Training - Storm Trysail
Jack Konrad, son of the article author, participating in the liferaft training at yesterday's event. Photo by John Konrad.

In addition to offering training for adults at SUNY Maritime College, the Storm Trysail foundation also sponsors events for Women sailors and travels around the united states offering this type of practical leadership and seamanship training to kids

Storm Trysail hosted its first Junior Safety-at-Sea Seminar in 1997 at Larchmont Yacht Club. "Storm Trysail's highest priority is to introduce junior sailors to big boats in a fun and safe manner," said Richard du Moulin. "As much as they need to understand the basics of sailboat racing in order to be successful, junior sailors also must know safety at sea to be responsible sailors." 

This practical safety and leadership training has improved over the past twenty years and has already resulted in one remarkable success… A documented life saved of a junior girl who fell overboard during a sailboat race on Long Island Sound.

"That was so much fun!" said Jack Konrad, my 12 year old son who got to extinguish a fire, shoot a flare and jump into a liferaft with an active duty Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer. "I want to do more classes like this."

Related Video by Gary Jobson

Original Page: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Gcaptain/~3/XjKUxws83xg/

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Cooking At Sea, A Guidebook For Ship Chefs

Cooking eggs and burgers
Photo By KucherAV, Shutterstock

Cooking at Sea
Cooking at Sea, A Guidebook by Eric Mahoney
A new book brings passion to cooking aboard ships.

From our first post published over a decade ago gCaptain has been dedicated to bring news and information to everyone from ordinary sailors to shipping company CEO's. We are inspired by all professionals who work aboard and around the sea but what really excites us is learning about a passionate and engaged individual in a mostly overlooked maritime job. Eric Mahoney is one of these people. 

After working aboard freighters and tugs for the past 20 years , Mahoney still finds passion and excitement everyday in his work cook/deckhand at sea.  Now he hopes to pass on his experience and knowledge in a new book Cooking at Sea, A Guidebook.

"This cooking guidebook was created to help anyone learn to cook good, basic meals." says Mahoney "I wrote it specifically for someone new to cooking in the maritime industry, who gets thrown into the job as cook for a vessel and has to survive."

Mahoney has also become a minor internet celebrity among sailors working in the galley. His  posts on the gCaptain forum offering help to young mariners have accumulated hundreds of questions and comments and the two dozen videos he has posted to his weekly vlog has a small but dedicated community of subscribers.

What makes his advice helpful is the fact it's simple and takes into account the unique difficulties of cooking at sea for a crew of professional sailors. "I'm no gourmet chef." admits Mahoney. "But I do know how to cook and if I don't know something, I'm willing to find out."

You can purchase Eric Mahoney's book "Cooking at Sea, A Guidebook" on Lulu and he hopes to have it available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble soon but, even if you never read the book, you will surely thankful if the cooks aboard your vessel do.

Here's one video from his Youtube channel which demonstrates Mahoney's simple and practical advice.

Original Page: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Gcaptain/~3/hImjbmOD1Uw/

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Trump White House Seeking Public Comment on Which Maritime Regulations to Remove

bulk carrier ballast waterThe White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is seeking public input on how the federal government can reduce the regulatory burdens imposed on the maritime sector as part of the Trump Administration's broad plan to deregulate American industries. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) posted the public Request for Information (RFI) […]

Original Page: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Gcaptain/~3/jcx3U26kDiE/

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Born before Okinawa’s reversion to Japan, Michiko Oshiro will be reunited with her ex-Marine father at his grave

Born before Okinawa's reversion to Japan, Michiko Oshiro will be reunited with her ex-Marine father at his grave

Michiko Oshiro with pictures of her late father Michiko Oshiro's father's grave. Her grandmother, Barbara, center

May 15, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo

By Hiroshi Massaki

A woman began searching for her estranged father, an ex-U.S. Marine, 30 years after she was separated from him shortly after birth in 1969, just before the reversion of Okinawa to Japan.

Her name is Michiko Oshiro, 48, from Haebaru. Her father had already passed away in the U.S., however Oshiro got in touch with her American grandmother and aunt, and at the end of next month will get to visit his hometown for the first time.

Oshiro, who has kept pictures of her father close, said, "In trying times, and when I was sad, I would always lean on the existence of my father.

I thought 'I finally get to meet him,' and I want to embrace his gravestone."

Oshiro's mother, Keiko, met Jimmy Morales when he was stationed in Okinawa, and later gave birth to Michiko.

They gave up on getting married due to opposition from Morales' mother, so Jimmy returned to the U.S. Also, the military would send him here and there as they pleased.

Oshiro does not remember ever seeing her father's face.

Since her mother rarely spoke of him, to this day she still does not know many details about him.

Starting in 1996, Oshiro began searching for news of her father, inquiring at places like the U.S. consulate in Okinawa. Three years later, she found an envelope with her father's home address written on it.

She wrote a letter to the address, and one month later, received a reply from America.

The sender was her father's parents.

"This is the first I've heard of your existence, for which I am surprised and moved.

However, I have some awful news I must share with you," was written, after which Oshiro learned that Jimmy had been killed nine years before.

Oshiro's mother, who usually does not cry, sobbed loudly. Oshiro cried as well. "Of course, I wanted to meet him at least once. I just wanted him to embrace me."

Meanwhile, Oshiro continued to exchange letters with her American grandmother and aunt.

Letters came about once or twice a year, and Oshiro saved them all in a folder.

Now, she uses an app on her smartphone to exchange pictures and messages with her aunt.

On her birthday she received flowers and a message that said, "Even though it has been lonely up until now, you are not alone." Oshiro was brought to tears again.

When she was a child she was called "gaijin," and lived a hard life being raised by a single mother.

She also battled illness.

When times were tough, she would take out the pictures of her father and say out loud, "Papa, watch over me."

From June 20, Oshiro will visit her father's tombstone in his Texas hometown.

Since her mother died 10 years ago, she will be accompanied by her husband Masanobu, 52.

It has been 19 years since she got in contact with her American grandmother, and 48 years since she was separated from her father.

She learned that she has nine half-siblings.

According to Oshiro, "It's truly like a dream.

From my mother who gave birth to me and raised me, and the father who supported me, I am thankful for my family.

I am glad I did not give up."

(English translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)

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Original Page: http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2018/05/19/28834/

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Prefectural citizens’ rally gathers 3500 people protesting military base reinforcement

Prefectural citizens' rally gathers 3500 people protesting military base reinforcement

On May 13 at Ginowan Seaside Park's Outdoor Theater, all participants chant "Ganbaro" ("Let's do our best") three times following rally declarations that oppose the expansion of U.S. bases driven by the U.S. and Japanese governments.

May 14, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo

In the afternoon on May 13 at Ginowan Seaside Park's Outdoor Theater, the 5/15 Peace March Action Committee and the Okinawa Peace Movement Center held a prefectural citizens' rally to protect peace and life.

In commemoration of 46 years since Okinawa's return to Japan following its postwar occupation by the U.S. military, those gathered called for a peaceful Okinawa devoid of U.S. bases to be made a reality.

The organizers estimated that from May 11 through 13, 3500 people attended the prefectural rally following their participation in the Peace March.

Those gathered fervently called for alleviation of Okinawa's overlarge share of the base burden.

Chairman of the 5/15 Peace March Action Committee and the Okinawa Peace Movement Center Hiroji Yamashiro spoke at a greeting from the organizers.

He said, "Matters like land reclamation in Henoko and reinforcement of bases in the Sakishima Islands are teeming with many problems.

We have clasped hands with our colleagues nationwide and throughout Okinawa, and renewed our determination to proceed with vigor."

House of Representatives member Kantoku Teruya called for solidarity and participation from outside Okinawa.

He said, "I hope that over these three days of the march that our true sentiments cross prefectural boundaries and are felt throughout Japan, and cross national boundaries to produce a huge movement of solidarity throughout the world." Teruya went on to express that Okinawans are not seeking pity or charity, rather, they want to be earnestly supported as equals.

An announcement at the rally touched on the denuclearization agreement made at the inter-Korea summit, stating, "As East Asia speeds toward peace and security, the time is coming to make drastic revisions to the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty and the Status of Forces Agreement."

In addition it was declared that, "We must stand firm against the reckless charge of our self-righteous government, which would renounce war and specify a self-defense force in Article 9, then in a return to the pre-war period would push toward war. We oppose the reinforcement and expansion of U.S. military bases that the U.S. and Japanese governments are forcing through."

On the morning of May 13, the final day of the 5/15 Peace March, participants separated into two groups and walked around Futenma Air Station along a central north region "base" course and a southern "old battlefield" course, converging at the meeting place of the prefectual rally.

According to organizers, about 5400 people in total participated in the Peace March along the "base" and "old battlefield" courses over the three days from May 11 through 13.

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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Original Page: http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2018/05/19/28837/

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New Hydrographic Survey Vessel for USACE

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Norfolk District accepted delivery of a new high-speed foil assisted hydrographic survey vessel, due to be commissioned on May 31, 2018.The all-aluminum catamaran, S/V Ewell, measures 61'-4" length overall with a 24' beam. The vessel has two levels; the first has survey stations, and a pilot house is on the second level. The vessel has a galley, mess and sleeping accommodations.Designed to conduct hydrographic surveys using sophisticated multibeam and single beam sonars, the new vessel features Norbit Multibeam sonars and single frequency sonars mounted inside a retractable survey pod.Ewell is equipped with two 985 BHP MAN V8 propulsion engines which each turn a Hamilton waterjet allowing for quick mobilization and response at high speeds in excess of 34 knots and survey speeds up to 10 knots. It has crew accommodations, a galley, lounge and three surveyor stations.Technology Associates, Inc. (TAI) was the prime design-build contractor of the vessel. TAI and Aluma Marine personnel worked together on the construction of the Ewell under TAI's supervision at Aluma's facility in Harvey, La. It was designed and built to Lloyd's Special Service Craft rules.

"This vessel design and build program was delivered on budget and on schedule," noted TAI president, Anil Raj, who said the vessel is the result of a partnership between the USACE Marine Design Center (MDC), USACE Norfolk District and TAI.

Raj continued, "The fabrication yard, Aluma Marine and the craftsmen who worked with and supported TAI personnel at the facility, are to be commended. We are happy that the USACE received its second of three custom crafts suiting all of its requirements, and that the USACE is pleased with the craft's performance and the crew training provided under the contract. The third larger vessel is planned be delivered to the USACE Mobile district this summer."

TAI, who also offers a patrol boat variant design of this vessel, said the foil assisted catamaran system offers high speeds with minimal installed BHP and fuel consumption. This configuration with a 400 NM range and swift speed capability makes such a craft suited for near coastal and harbor patrol, interdiction and search and rescue.

Original Page: https://www.marinelink.com/news/hydrographic-survey437765

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Spring 1918: The U.S. Air Service Takes Off, Part II

Continued from yesterday...
French Spad XIII from the U.S. 22nd Aero Squadron (Smithsonian Collection)
By Patrick Gregory


Despite those limitations, the U.S. air effort proper did finally get underway in early 1918, albeit in small, incremental stages. The first personnel of the First Pursuit Group began to assemble in January and early February at the Villeneuve-les-Vertus aerodrome in the Champagne sector south of Reims. The 95th "Kicking Mule" and 94th "Hat in the Ring" squadrons reported for duty there between mid-February and early March.

On 19 February some of the famous Lafayette Escadrille 124 began operations as an American unit, with Major William Thaw leading 17 of his transferred pilots to form the new 103rd Pursuit Squadron with a new group of American mechanics. 

In time, a number of his veterans would go on to become squadron leaders of other units being assembled, forming an important spine of the fledgling service. But for the next five months, the 103rd would actually remain outside U.S. Air Service control, continuing to operate under the banner of the French Air Service. So the distinction of being the first actual air service unit into action fell to a balloon observation crew of the 2nd Balloon Company, which was moved into position some 100 miles to the east of the others at Royaumeix near Toul on 26 February.

When German forces launched their first spring offensive in late March, the only mainstream units of American planes in any way capable of combat operations were three observation squadrons – although even they were still going through final training – and the two pursuit squadrons of the 94th and 95th. As it happens, the offensive saw the latter pair moved from their Villeneuve base to make way for French and British night bombardment squadrons.

But even before their move, fresh teething problems had seen some of their number take off on their first patrols in an oddly vulnerable position. Pilots of the 95th Aero did so without guns in their new Nieuport 28 planes because the weapons had not yet arrived; others had yet to receive the necessary gunnery training. Sixteen pilots were ordered to Cazaux in southwest France to complete their courses.

The first to do so were transferred to the 94th Squadron. Under the watchful eye of Major Raoul Lufbery, a key figure and top ace of the old Lafayette Escadrille, the "Hat in the Ring" benefited from a new consignment of machine guns finally arriving in late March. 

Aerial photograph of a U.S. military observation balloon flying near Pont-à-Mousson, France
So it was that the stage was finally set for a combat-capable air service to take to the skies with some degree of assuredness. Within weeks the 94th had recorded its first kills. On Sunday morning 14 April 1918, Lieutenants Alan Winslow and Douglas Campbell shot down two German fighter planes near their new Gengault airbase outside Toul. Just over a fortnight later, Eddie Rickenbacker had followed suit. Late in the afternoon of 29 April the call went out that a German plane had been spotted crossing enemy lines and heading south not far from the 94th's base. Scrambling up in the air and flying alongside Lafayette veteran James Norman Hall, Rickenbacker maneuvered with Hall around a German Pfalz pursuit plane. Within minutes they had brought it down. Six weeks later, the 94th had notched up 17 official kills and several other unconfirmed victories. Rickenbacker himself would go on to achieve 26 victories in the war in his own right. The U.S. Air Service had finally arrived.

Patrick Gregory is co-author with Elizabeth Nurser of An American on the Western Front: The First World War Letters of Arthur Clifford Kimber 1917–18  (The History Press) American on the Western Front , @AmericanOnTheWF.

Source: Originally presented in Centenary News, 29 April 2018, by permission of the author

Original Page: http://roadstothegreatwar-ww1.blogspot.com/2018/05/spring-1918-us-air-service-takes-off_6.html

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Spring 1918: The U.S. Air Service Takes Off, Part I

By Patrick Gregory
Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker

On 29 April 1918, Lieutenant Edward V. Rickenbacker of the U.S. Air Service was to score the first of the air victories that would, within a few short months, catapult him to the status of America's "Ace of Aces" in World War I. For many, Rickenbacker, the All-American hero, came to symbolize his country's air effort, but it had taken a long time to bring the Air Service to the point in spring 1918 when his and others' squadrons would finally make their mark in combat, as Patrick Gregory reports.

"Eddie" Rickenbacker was already a very public figure—and a dashing figure at that—before he even set off for wartime France. A career as a racing driver had seen him take part in the first Indianapolis 500 race and set the auto speed record at Daytona Beach, Florida, at an astonishing 134 miles per hour. By 1917, though, he was anxious to get to Europe, and to use his speed skills in America's war effort. 

Beginning as a driver for General John Pershing's AEF staff officers, Rickenbacker acted as chauffeur for, among others, the man credited with developing the doctrine of American air power in the war, Colonel—later General—"Billy" Mitchell. Within a few short months, Rickenbacker had joined the nascent U.S. air effort. Yet for him, as for his colleagues, building that capability would be a long drawn-out process.


American aviators had already been in action over the front in different guises in the years preceding, first in ones and twos with the French Air Service and British RFC. Then in 1916 and 1917 that became more organized with the Lafayette Escadrille and Lafayette Flying Corps units of volunteer American pilots. But it would not be until 1918 that the U.S. Air Service was in a position to operate as a stand-alone force.

When America entered the First World War in 1917, U.S. military aviation found itself in a parlous state. Both men and machines were in chronically short supply. The fledgling Aviation Section of the Signal Corps, as it was still then officially described, could boast only 131 officers, mainly pilots and student pilots. But of those 131 only 26 were deemed fully trained, and none of those had had proper combat experience.

Aircraft under construction in 1918 at the Dayton Wright Airplane Company, Dayton, Ohio
(Photo: US National Archives—17340798/Wikimedia Commons)

A flurry of activity saw Congress voting through an appropriations bill for a hefty $640 million to try to bring the service up to speed, and plans were drawn up to both manufacture and try to buy in prodigious quantities of new military aircraft. As this was happening, a large pilot-training initiative got under way in both Europe and the U.S.

It was an ambitious rebuilding program, and one that would take time to bear fruit. The first new recruits of the training schools began to come on stream early in 1918, but matching men up to machines and organizing them into fully rounded U.S. Air Service squadrons was a slow process.


Guaranteeing a steady supply of aircraft would remain an ongoing problem for the service. At the outset, the Aircraft Production Board and its successor had drawn up plans to manufacture what aircraft and engines they could in the United States and to deliver them into theater or to flying schools. The JN-4 "Jenny" trainer and American-adapted De Havilland DH-4 reconnaissance bombers with U.S.-built Liberty engines were the most successful product of that drive. The 12-cylinder Liberty was a particular success story. But the planes were slow to come on stream. Of the total 11,760 planes produced in America, of all types, only around 1,200 combat aircraft ever reached Europe during the Great War.

It had always been understood, and planned, that the bulk of fighter aircraft would be bought in and supplied by the Allied nations in Europe. But even that conveyor belt remained faulty. A plan signed off in late summer 1917 by Pershing with the French Air Ministry had promised 5,000 service aircraft and 875 trainers by June 1918. In fact, by the time that date came along less than a quarter of the total had been delivered.

Continued with Part II tomorrow. . .

Source: Originally presented in Centenary News, 29 April 2018, by Permission of the Author

Original Page: http://roadstothegreatwar-ww1.blogspot.com/2018/05/spring-1918-us-air-service-takes-off.html

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A Doughboy Gourmet Meal

Out of ideas for tonight's dinner?  Why not try this gourmet meal once served at Café des Doughboys, a chain of eating establishments (such as shown above) located along the Western Front c. 1917–1919.


   Goldfish Loaf

   Bullets in a Pot

   Fried Mush (Dessert)

   Mess Sergeant's Java


Original Page: http://roadstothegreatwar-ww1.blogspot.com/2018/05/a-doughboy-gourmet-meal.html

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This Week in Military Justice – May 20, 2018

This week at SCOTUS: The Solicitor General filed this brief in opposition to the cert. petition in Gray. I'm not aware of any other military justice developments at the Supreme Court, where I'm tracking six cases:

This week at CAAF: CAAF has completed its oral argument calendar for the term. Details about the cases reviewed by CAAF this term are available at our 2017 Term of Court page.

This week at the ACCA: The Army CCA will hear oral argument in one case this week, on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, at 10 a.m.:

United States v. Jesko, No. 20160439




This week at the AFCCA: The next scheduled oral argument at the Air Force CCA is on June 28, 2018.

This week at the CGCCA: The Coast Guard CCA's oral argument schedule shows no scheduled oral arguments at the CCA.

This week at the NMCCA: The Navy-Marine Corps CCA's website shows no scheduled oral arguments.

Original Page: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/caaflog/~3/gE-4jr6yltE/

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Curtis Wilbur Arrives to Shimoda Black Ship Festival

SHIMODA, Japan (NNS) -- The forward-deployed, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) arrived in Shimoda, Shizuoka, Japan, May 17, to participate in the 79th Annual Shimoda Black Ship Festival. The festival commemorates the 164th anniversary of the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry and the signing of the Japan-American Treaty of Trade and Amity June 17, 1854, which opened trade opportunities with Japan. "It is my second visit to Shimoda and I'm very excited," said Cmdr. Simon McKeon, commanding officer of Curtis Wilbur. "The people of Shimoda were very nice and welcoming on the first visit, and we look forward to continuing the relations we've established in the past." The Black Ship Festival is hosted by Shimoda each year in May and brings tourists in from all around Japan. The festival promotes peaceful relations between the Japanese and American people. The festival's activities will include a parade and a memorial ceremony to honor the five Sailors lost during the first arrival to Shimoda. The term "black ship" was the name given to western boats that started arriving in Japan in the 16th and 19th centuries. The four ships of the Perry Expedition arrived in Uraga Harbor July 14, 1853, to start trade relations with Japan. This is Curtis Wilbur's fourth visit to Shimoda. Sailors will participate in community service activities such as visits to local elementary schools and sporting events, to include beach volleyball and a tug-of-war contest. Curtis Wilbur is on a regularly scheduled deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operation in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

For more news from Commander, Task Force 70, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/ctf70/.

For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.

Original Page: http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=105646

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GAO-18-325, Veterans Affairs Research: Actions Needed to Help Better Identify Agency Inventions, April 25, 2018

What GAO Found

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has taken steps to educate agency researchers about its requirements to disclose inventions to VA, but officials reported that researchers have not consistently done so. VA policy requires researchers to disclose inventions to both VA and the university they work for even when they do not use VA resources. GAO found, through discussions with VA officials and researchers, that several factors contribute to researchers not consistently disclosing their inventions, including that VA researchers may have:

disclosed inventions to their university, assuming the university would then disclose them to VA;

not been familiar with VA's invention disclosure process, because they may not have frequently developed inventions; or

thought that invention disclosure was unnecessary when they did not use VA resources to develop their invention.

In 2017, VA staff visited universities and VA medical centers 26 times to meet with researchers about invention disclosure. Also, VA created an online training course to educate researchers on the need to disclose inventions, but the training is not mandatory, and about 4 percent of researchers took it. Without mandatory training to communicate invention disclosure requirements—consistent with federal internal control standards for internally communicating quality information—VA researchers may not be fully informed about those requirements, which can result in lost technology transfer opportunities and royalties for VA.

Path of Invention Disclosures at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)


VA has improved communication with universities but has not ensured that they are consistently reporting information on commercialization activities for joint inventions. VA reported that about three-quarters of VA's 79 university partners did not submit the annual reports required by VA in 2017. GAO reviewed a nongeneralizable sample of agreements VA has with universities and found that reporting requirements about timing and content of reports were unclear. Without providing a standardized method that clearly guides universities in fulfilling VA's reporting requirements, consistent with federal standards for internal control, VA cannot ensure that it has adequate information to account for its licenses and royalties.

Why GAO Did This Study

VA manages a $1.9 billion research program that has produced numerous healthcare inventions, such as the pacemaker. In 2000, VA created a program to help transfer VA inventions to the private sector so that they can be commercialized and used by veterans and the public, while VA retains ownership and collects royalties. Many of VA's 3,000 researchers also hold positions at universities, which take the lead in commercializing inventions developed by these researchers. Researchers and universities are required to disclose such inventions to VA, and universities are to report on commercialization activities according to their agreements with VA.

GAO was asked to examine VA's ability to ensure its ownership of inventions made with VA resources. This report examines, among other things, the extent to which VA has taken steps to ensure that (1) researchers disclose inventions and (2) universities report on commercialization activities for joint inventions. GAO reviewed laws; policies; a nongeneralizable sample of university agreements based on backlogs of disclosures, among other factors; and interviews with officials and researchers from VA medical centers and their affiliated universities.

What GAO Recommends

GAO recommends that VA (1) make training about invention disclosure mandatory and (2) provide universities with a standardized method for annual reporting. VA concurred with GAO's recommendations.

For more information, contact John Neumann at (202) 512-3841 or neumannj@gao.gov.

Original Page: https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-18-325?source=ra

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GAO-18-407, Protecting Classified Information: Defense Security Service Should Address Challenges as New Approach Is Piloted, May 14, 2018

What GAO Found The Defense Security Service (DSS) has upgraded its capabilities but also faces challenges in administering the National Industrial Security Program, which applies to all executive branch departments and agencies, and was established to safeguard federal government classified information that current or prospective contractors may access. Since we last reported on this program in 2005, DSS has: streamlined facility clearance and monitoring processes, and strengthened the process for identifying contractors with potential foreign influence. However, under its current approach, DSS officials indicated that they face resource constraints, such as an inability to manage workloads and complete training necessary to stay informed on current threats and technologies. In its most recent report to Congress, DSS stated that it was unable to conduct security reviews at about 60 percent of cleared facilities in fiscal year 2016. Further, DSS recently declared that the United States is facing the most significant foreign intelligence threat it has ever encountered. As a result, in 2017, DSS announced plans to transition to a new monitoring approach to address emerging threats at facilities in the program. For a comparison of the current and new approaches, see below.   Comparison of the Defense Security Service's (DSS) Current and New Approaches for Monitoring Cleared Facilities Current Monitoring Approach New Approach – DSS in Transition Schedules security reviews on a 90-day work plan starting with specific facilities, such as those with mitigation agreements for foreign influence or classified information systems. Will use national intelligence and Department of Defense's list of critical technologies and programs to prioritize security reviews at facilities based on their assets and the threats to those assets. Conducts security reviews that focus on a contractor's adherence with National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual requirements. Will conduct security reviews to develop customized security plans and assess implementation of such plans to ensure contractors protect assets. Source: GAO analysis of DSS documentation and interviews with DSS officials. | GAO-18-407 DSS has not addressed immediate challenges that are critical to piloting this new approach. For example, GAO found it is unclear how DSS will determine what resources it needs as it has not identified roles and responsibilities. Moreover, DSS has not established how it will collaborate with stakeholders—government contracting activities, the government intelligence community, other government agencies, and contractors—under the new approach. Federal Internal Control Standards establish the importance of coordinating with stakeholders, including clearly defining roles and responsibilities. In addition, GAO's leading practices for interagency collaboration state that it is important for organizations to identify the resources necessary to accomplish objectives. Until DSS identifies roles and responsibilities and determines how it will collaborate with stakeholders for the piloting effort, it will be difficult to assess whether the new approach is effective in protecting classified information. Why GAO Did This Study Industrial security addresses the information systems, personnel, and physical security of facilities and their cleared employees who have access to or handle classified information. The National Industrial Security Program was established in 1993 to safeguard federal government classified information that may be or has been released to contractors, among others. GAO last reported on this program in 2005 and the Department of Defense has since implemented 13 of the 16 related recommendations. GAO was asked to examine how DSS administers the program. This report assesses to what extent DSS: 1) changed how it administers the program since GAO's last report; and 2) addressed challenges as it pilots a new approach to monitoring contractors with access to classified information. GAO reviewed guidance and regulations since 2005, including the program's operating manual. GAO analyzed data from DSS's electronic databases and also selected a non-generalizable sample of contractor facilities based on clearance level, geographic location, and type of agreement to address foreign influence. We also reviewed documents and interviewed relevant government and contractor officials. What GAO Recommends GAO recommends DSS determine how it will collaborate with stakeholders, including identifying roles and responsibilities and related resources, as it pilots a new approach. DSS concurred with the recommendation. For more information, contact Marie A. Mak at (202) 512-4841 or MakM@gao.gov.

Original Page: https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-18-407?source=ra

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GAO-18-341, Medicare: CMS Should Take Actions to Continue Prior Authorization Efforts to Reduce Spending, April 20, 2018

What GAO Found Prior authorization is a payment approach used by private insurers that generally requires health care providers and suppliers to first demonstrate compliance with coverage and payment rules before certain items or services are provided to patients, rather than after the items or services have been provided. This approach may be used to reduce expenditures, unnecessary utilization, and improper payments. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has begun using prior authorization in Medicare through a series of fixed-length demonstrations designed to measure their effectiveness, and one permanent program. According to GAO's analyses, expenditures decreased for items and services subject to a demonstration. GAO's analyses of actual expenditures and estimated expenditures in the absence of the demonstrations found that estimated savings from all demonstrations through March 2017 could be as high as about $1.1 to $1.9 billion. While CMS officials said that prior authorization likely played a large role in reducing expenditures, it is difficult to separate the effects of prior authorization from other program integrity efforts. For example, CMS implemented a durable medical equipment competitive bidding program in January 2011, and according to the agency, it resulted in lower expenditures. Many provider, supplier, and beneficiary group officials GAO spoke with reported benefits of prior authorization, such as reducing unnecessary utilization. However, provider and supplier group officials reported that providers and suppliers experienced some challenges. These include difficulty obtaining the necessary documentation from referring physicians to submit a prior authorization request, although CMS has created templates and other tools to address this concern. In addition, providers and suppliers reported concerns about whether accessories deemed essential to the power wheelchairs under the permanent durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) program are subject to prior authorization. In practice, Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC) that administer prior authorization programs review these accessories when making prior authorization determinations, even though they are not technically included in the program and therefore cannot be provisionally affirmed. As a result, providers and suppliers lack assurance about whether Medicare is likely to pay for these accessories. This is contrary to a CMS stated benefit of prior authorization—to provide assurance about whether Medicare is likely to pay for an item or service—and to federal internal control standards, which call for agencies to design control activities that enable an agency to achieve its objectives. CMS monitors prior authorization through various MAC reports. CMS also reviews MAC accuracy and timeliness in processing prior authorization requests and has contracted for independent evaluations of the demonstrations. Currently, prior authorization demonstrations are scheduled to end in 2018. Despite its interest in using prior authorization for additional items, CMS has not made plans to continue its efforts. Federal internal control standards state that agencies should identify, analyze, and respond to risks related to achieving objectives. CMS risks missed opportunities for achieving its stated goals of reducing costs and realizing program savings by reducing unnecessary utilization and improper payments. Why GAO Did This Study CMS required prior authorization as a demonstration in 2012 for certain power mobility devices, such as power wheelchairs, in seven states. Under the prior authorization process, MACs review prior authorization requests and make determinations to approve or deny them based on Medicare coverage and payment rules. Approved requests will be paid as long as all other Medicare payment requirements are met. GAO was asked to examine CMS's prior authorization programs. GAO examined 1) the changes in expenditures and the potential savings for items and services subject to prior authorization demonstrations, 2) reported benefits and challenges of prior authorization, and 3) CMS's monitoring of the programs and plans for future prior authorization. To do this, GAO examined prior authorization program data, CMS documentation, and federal internal control standards. GAO also interviewed CMS and MAC officials, as well as selected provider, supplier, and beneficiary groups. What GAO Recommends GAO recommends that CMS (1) subject accessories essential to the power wheelchairs in the permanent DMEPOS program to prior authorization and (2) take steps, based on results from evaluations, to continue prior authorization. The Department of Health and Human Services neither agreed nor disagreed with GAO's recommendations but said it would continue to evaluate prior authorization programs and take GAO's findings and recommendations into consideration in developing plans or determining appropriate next steps. For more information, contact A. Nicole Clowers at (202) 512-7114 or clowera@gao.gov or Kathleen M. King at (202) 512-7114 or kingk@gao.gov.

Original Page: https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-18-341?source=ra

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Friday, May 4, 2018

Continued safety concerns about production of “plutonium pits” for nuclear bombs

Safety concerns plague key sites proposed for nuclear bomb production, USA Today , 

Decision due soon on where plutonium parts for the next generation of nuclear weapons are to be made 

The Department of Energy is scheduled to decide within days where plutonium parts for the next generation of nuclear weapons are to be made, but recent internal government reports indicate serious and persistent safety issues plague both of the two candidate sites.

Some experts are worried about the safety records of either choice: Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, where plutonium parts have historically been assembled, and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, where other nuclear materials for America's bombs have been made since in the 1950s.

An announcement by the Trump administration about the location is expected by May 11 in preparation for the ramped-up production of nuclear warheads called for by the Defense Department's recent review of America's nuclear weapons policy.

Recent internal government reports obtained by the Center for Public Integrity have warned that workers at these plants have been handling nuclear materials sloppily or have failed to monitor safety issues aggressively.

……….The continued mistakes at Los Alamos follow a three-year period of stasis in the U.S. plutonium production program forced by the lab's inability to meet safety standards for plutonium operations. Los Alamos' plutonium facility shelved all the nation's high-hazard plutonium work, including the production of nuclear weapons cores or "pits," in the summer of 2013, and has recently resumed most but not all of the wor

The prolonged shutdown at Los Alamos — the birthplace of the nuclear bomb — provoked National Nuclear Security Administration's principal assistant deputy administrator for defense, Philip Calbos, to remark during a panel discussion at National Defense University in February that nuclear rivals are noticing America's missteps.

………..Plutonium pits are the shiny metallic, softball-size orbs that hold the most potent destructive force man has ever harnessed in a weapon. During the Cold War, the Rocky Flats production site in Colorado made as many as 2,000 a year. Decades of poor disposal of nuclear wastes and other dangerous environmental practices culminated in a dramatic FBI raid in 1989 that led to the site's closure in 1992.

Nuclear criticality safety, the craft of avoiding a self-starting, potentially lethal, nuclear chain reaction merely from positioning too much plutonium too closely together, is an ever-present concern during such production……..https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/05/02/safety-concerns-nuclear-bomb-manufacture-sites/572697002/

Original Page: http://nuclear-news.net/2018/05/04/continued-safety-concerns-about-production-of-plutonium-pits-for-nuclear-bombs/

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Coast Guard Vessel Capsizes in Mobile Bay

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.


The U.S. Coast Guard said one of its vessels has capsized in Mobile Bay near Gaillard Island, Ala., Thursday. All four crew members aboard at the time of the incident have been rescued.The stricken vessel, a 26-foot Trailerable Aids to Navigation Boat from Coast Guard Sector Mobile, capsized while transiting in Mobile Bay to conduct aids to navigation operations at approximately 10:45 a.m.A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Dauphin Island arrived on scene at 11:44 a.m. to recover the four crew members who were all wearing lifejackets and had climbed on top of the capsized vessel's hull. The four crew were transferred to EMS and then Coast Guard Sector Mobile.The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Original Page: https://www.marinelink.com/news/capsizes-vessel-mobile437144

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Prefectural rally of 1500 people gathers in Henoko to observe Okinawa’s day of humiliation and protest persistent issues

Prefectural rally of 1500 people gathers in Henoko to observe Okinawa's day of humiliation and protest persistent issues

On April 28 in front of the gate to Camp Schwab in Henoko prefectural rally participants listen attentively to speakers protesting the overlarge share of the base burden.

April 29, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo

April 28 marked 66 years since the day in 1952 that the San Francisco Peace Treaty came into effect and separated Okinawa from Japanese sovereignty, known to Okinawans as a day of humiliation.

A group pledging to never forget this day of humiliation held a prefectural rally in front of the gate to Camp Schwab.

According to the organizers, about 1500 people participated. As it has now been two years since the incident in which a young Okinawan woman was sexually assaulted and killed by a former Marine, at the beginning of the gathering all participants silently prayed together for the young woman's happiness in the next world.

This rally was held to protest Okinawa's overlarge share of the base burden, and to speak up against things related to Futenma Air Station's relocation to Henoko such as the construction of a new base and the revision of Article 9 of the Constitution.

Tetsumi Takara, the head of the action committee of the group that organized the rally and a professor at the University of the Ryukyus' Graduate School of Law, spoke on behalf of the rally's organizers.

Talking about the day of humiliation, he said, "Our thoughts have been ignored. Okinawa was estranged from the Constitution, and our fundamental human rights, pacifism, and sovereignty have been removed from us.

" He went on speak about the new base in Henoko, saying, "

Our sentiment against the base being built is also being ignored. Our humiliation has stretched on for 70 years." Takara's words criticized Japan's stance on these issues.

Mamoru Nakamura of the Okinawa-Ken Toitsuren touched on the incident of the ex-Marine assaulting and killing the young Okinawan woman two years ago.

He mentioned, "Her father said, 'It is an incident that occurred due to the presence of military bases. I wish that all U.S. military bases did not exist.' With this considered, actions such as building a new base are unreasonable."

The rally also addressed that the objectives of denuclearization efforts brought up in the inter-Korea summit on April 27 have been verified.

Emiko Miyagi, a representative of the Okinawa Peace Citizens' Network said, "I support this move by North and South Korea, I don't want to let them backtrack. If they can achieve peace, soon the bases here will not be needed."

The construction of a new base in Henoko will continue in Oura Bay.

Chief Secretary Koshin Nakamoto of the Helicopter Base Objection Association spoke in a low voice, saying, "In the morning work will be conducted on the ocean. That place is the dugongs' feeding ground. There are also precious corals there, and my heart aches badly for them."

The rally participants raised the message: "From here on out, a matter of great importance is the activities of the Island-Wide Council. Let's fight from this region to change politics."

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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Original Page: http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2018/05/03/28790/

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China Installs Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles on South China Sea Outposts -Report

A U.S. Navy crewman aboard a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft views a computer screen purportedly showing Chinese construction on the reclaimed land of Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015. U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters

ReutersWASHINGTON, May 2 (Reuters) – China has installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three of its outposts in the South China Sea, U.S. news network CNBC reported on Wednesday, citing sources with direct knowledge of U.S. intelligence reports.

The installations, if confirmed, would mark the first Chinese missile deployments in the Spratly Islands, where several Asian countries including Vietnam and Taiwan have rival claims.

China has made no mention of any missile deployments but says its military facilities in the Spratlys are purely defensive, and that it can do what it likes on its own territory.

China's Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the latest report.

The foreign ministry said China has irrefutable sovereignty over the Spratly Islands and that its necessary defensive deployments were for national security needs and not aimed at any country.

"Those who do not intend to be aggressive have no need to be worried or scared," ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing.

China "hopes relevant parties can objectively and calmly view this," she added.

CNBC quoted unnamed sources as saying that according to U.S. intelligence assessments, the missiles were moved to Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef within the past 30 days.

The U.S. Defense Department, which opposes China's installation of military facilities on outposts it has built up in the South China Sea, declined comment. "We don't comment on matters of intelligence," a spokesman said.

Greg Poling, a South China Sea expert at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank, said deploying missiles on the outposts would be important.

"These would be the first missiles in the Spratlys, either surface to air, or anti-ship," he said.

He added that such deployments were expected as China built missile shelters on the reefs last year and already deployed such missile systems on Woody Island further to the north.

Poling said it would be a major step on China's road to dominating the South China Sea, a key global trade route.

"Before this, if you were one of the other claimants … you knew that China was monitoring your every move. Now you will know that you're operating inside Chinese missile range. That's a pretty strong, if implicit, threat," he said.

CNBC said the YJ-12B anti-ship cruise missiles allowed China to strike vessels within 295 nautical miles. It said the HQ-9B long-range, surface-to-air missiles could target aircraft, drones and cruise missiles within 160 nautical miles.

Last month, U.S. Admiral Philip Davidson, nominated to head U.S. Pacific Command, said China's "forward operating bases" in the South China Sea appeared complete.

"The only thing lacking are the deployed forces," he said. Once these were added, "China will be able to extend its influence thousands of miles to the south and project power deep into Oceania."

Davidson said China could use the bases to challenge the U.S. regional presence, and "would easily overwhelm the military forces of any other South China Sea-claimants.

"China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States," he said. (Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in BEIJING Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Darren Schuettler)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2018.

Original Page: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Gcaptain/~3/YUgqiAX8OTU/

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Over Here: The First World War and American Society Reviewed byJames M. Gallen

Over Here: The First World War and American Society
Oxford University Press, 25th anniversary edition, 2004

The war was fought Over There, but it was also lived Over Here. This volume is David Kennedy's study of the American Experience during the Great War and how it reflects and shaped American society in the 20th century. The author sets the stage for the momentous spring of 1917 when America finally entered the war. The campaigns of 1916 included the five-month siege of Verdun, during which 350,000 Frenchmen and 330,000 Germans died, and the British offensive along the Somme, in which men, horses, and guns disappeared in the mud leaving over one million casualties. During spring 1917 cracks in Reichstag solidarity began to appear in wake of privation occasioned by the blockade of north German ports and martial demands. It was a season in which French discipline was breaking down under the horrendous casualties and Britain worried about its food supply being cut off by German submarine warfare. Russia was in revolution and President Wilson made his case to Congress for a declaration of war.
Seattle at War
The first item on the Allies' wish list was money, and loans were readily supplied. More controversial was the call for troops. A prominent senator's proclamation that "Congress will not permit American soldiers to be sent to Europe" went unrefuted by the administration, while the suggestion that an army may be sent to France elicited a senator's response "Good Lord! You're not going to send soldiers over there, are you?" How to raise the army was a hotly contested issue. Some favored traditional volunteer units, whereas others proposed universal military training, a concept denounced as Prussian to the core. Ultimately a Selective Service System was adopted that included authorization for volunteer units that was never implemented. Both title words were important in describing the system. Although initially envisioned as a fallback plan if voluntary enlistments were insufficient, it was used to enable the government to be selective in choosing who would serve. Selections were made with the need to minimize disruption of the labor supply and social stability in mind; however, the concept of patriotic service was elevated above individual self-interest. The common spirit of service did not eradicate ethnic differences as companies of Slavs and Italians were organized and the induction of black troops into segregated units was halted. Conscientious objectors were accommodated to a point, while draft dodgers were prosecuted.

For many of those troops who got Over There the experience was their first travels from home, the initial sight of an ocean, plus introduction to the age, sights, and sounds of the Old World. The enthusiastic spirit of service turned to disappointment as the troops returned home and the Versailles Treaty was rejected. Postwar literature, some of it by veterans, replaced notions of romance and nobility with senses of disillusionment.

Those who remained at home contested questions of whether to finance the war by taxation or borrowing. Balancing between ensuring support for the war effort and protecting civil liberties was troublesome. The transformation of industry from civilian to military production, while on a much smaller scale, provided a model for World War II conversions. Prosecutions under the Espionage and Sedition Acts and censorship of the mails provide case studies into how patriotic enthusiasm can become a threat to the ideals that made for American exceptionalism. As with any major social movements, the war was a political football tossed by Democrats, a divided Republican Party and Socialists, with a sharp partisanship and personal attacks to rival anything in the contemporary scene.

Although this tome has been available for some years, it remains an excellent study of the impact of the Great War on the United States from political, economic, and social aspects. Author David Kennedy has skillfully crafted a continuum following prewar movements through the conflict and into the uneasy peace that followed. Over Here assists the reader in placing the Great War in the pageant of American history and appreciating how it affected the lives of the World War I era people whom we have known.

James M. Gallen

Original Page: http://roadstothegreatwar-ww1.blogspot.com/2018/05/over-here-first-world-war-and-american.html

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Sir Edward Grey Perfectly Describes the Kaiser

In this prewar photo that perfectly captures the Kaiser's militaristic enthusiasms, he is inspecting a Guards detachment, probably at Potsdam. As Wilhelm marches past, each of the soldier's heads snaps forward from the "eyes-right" position. Like their British equivalents, the "Old Contemptibles," most of these men were probably killed or wounded in the coming war. 

In November 1908, British foreign minister Sir Edward Grey perfectly captured in words this same disposition of Germany's ruler and foresaw its consequences:

[The Kaiser] is like a battleship with steam up and screws going, but with no rudder, and he will run into something some day and cause a catastrophe. He has the strongest army in the world and the Germans don't like being laughed at and are looking for somebody on whom to vent their temper and use their strength...Now it is 38 years since Germany had her last war, and she is very strong and very restless, like a person whose boots are too small for him. I don't think there will be war at present, but it will be difficult to keep the peace of Europe for another five years.

Original Page: http://roadstothegreatwar-ww1.blogspot.com/2018/05/sir-edward-grey-perfectly-describes.html

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Navy's Newest LPD to be Named in Honor of WWII Medal of Honor Recipient

A graphic illustration of the future San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29).

180502-N-BB269-001 WASHINGTON (May 2, 2018) A graphic illustration of the future San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Raymond D. Diaz III/Released)

May 2, 2018

Original Page: http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=105395

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John Paul Jones and the North Channel Naval Duel

Dear reader, have you heard of John Paul Jones? Prior to working at the Naval Institute, I would have an easier time discussing Davey Jones than John Paul Jones. The first time he came up in conversation I could only nod my head and feign understanding, making a mental note to trawl the internet for information later. Thinking back on all the American History I've absorbed in every level of schooling, I cannot recall a single mention of John Paul Jones and that is a detriment to education. Jones is a fascinating character in history. Today, April 24, is the... Read the rest of this entry »

Original Page: https://www.navalhistory.org/2018/04/24/john-paul-jones-and-the-north-channel-naval-duel

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The Sydney Ducks and the San Francisco 49ers

BEWARE! Engraving, c 1872, Matt Morgan in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. What ties San Francisco 1856 to the Australian National Maritime Museum Collection? ANMM Collection <a href="http://collections.anmm.gov.au/en/objects/details/29928/beware?ctx=ad66dbba-8a2a-47eb-99d3-5c8285fcba37&amp;idx=0">00019630</a>.

BEWARE! Engraving, c 1872, Matt Morgan in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. What ties San Francisco 1856 to the Australian National Maritime Museum Collection? ANMM Collection 00019630.

I often come across intriguing objects as I digitise the collection. Recently, in a box containing 263 engravings, covering topics including migration, the wrecking of vessels and ambitious shipbuilding commissions, there was one object which stood out: An engraving, illustrated by Matt Morgan, from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper (c 1872).

It appeared to be a depiction of the American 'Lady Justice', an allegorical personification of the moral force of judicial systems. Oddly, she was depicted here with neither her balanced scales nor the blindfold of impartiality. Standing beside her were a group of politicians, all cowering under her gaze as she pointed towards a historical event from six years earlier. The event, headed by the words 'San Francisco 1856', depicts a public lynching. I was instantly curious and so put my detective's hat on: What was the historical precedent that influenced Matt Morgan's choice of subject?

The Golden Gate and San Francisco 49ers

California was home to a diverse group of peoples and had a very colourful settlement history. From pre-Columbian times to 1846 the area of California and Alta California had been home to 70 distinct indigenous groups, Spanish, Portuguese, Mexicans and Americans. It had changed administration numerous times as a conquered state, territory of Mexico, republic and a Mexican concession, before becoming a 'free state' of the United States in 1850.

San Francisco 1849, lithograph painted on the spot by Henry Firks. This lithograph provides a view of the transition of the city of San Francisco from a small trading post to a major port due to the Californian Gold Rush. ANMM Collection 00005550.

San Francisco 1849, lithograph painted on the spot by Henry Firks. This lithograph provides a view of the transition of the city of San Francisco from a small trading post to a major port due to the Californian Gold Rush. ANMM Collection 00005550.

During the late 1840's and early 1850's thousands of people flocked into San Francisco Harbour. Vessels entered the harbour through a connecting strait originally called the 'Boca del Puerto de San Francisco' (mouth of the Port of San Francisco) by the Spanish. From the 1840's onwards it came to be known by a different name: 'The Golden Gate'. Although now a common phrase, it predated the discovery of gold and the wealth associated with the area. The fortuitously appropriate term was first used by John C Fermont in 1846 as it reminded him of the Golden Horn in Constantinople.[i]

But in 1848, gold was discovered in Sutter Creek, near Coloma in California. When the news spread abroad the resulting frenzy bought a dramatic influx of immigration from all corners of the globe including Latin America, Hawaii, China, Australia; more than half of which arrived by sea. While this movement of people started late in 1848, the main impact was felt in 1849, bequeathing the name 'forty-niners' to these immigrants and henceforth known as the San Francisco 49ers.

Prior to 1849, the population of California was estimated at approximately 15,000. By 1851, it reached had 250,000.[ii] San Francisco, with a population of 1,000, did not have the government nor infrastructure to accommodate the unexpected arrival of the 36, 000 immigrants that had drastically swelled its population by 1852. As the settlement grew, smaller scattered towns began to be established, and as they were often composed of distinct cultural groups, there were few that knew the law of the land, and the legal systems that had been in place pre-gold rush now failed to meet the needs of a rapidly growing society.[iii]

 "The inroad of nearly a hundred thousand strangers, who were likewise strangers to each other, scattered among a dozen newly established towns, and over the various mining districts, and who themselves knew not the laws of the land, … produced a state of things which greatly favoured the increase of crime…The legal institutions and executive, that just before [1850] had served the needs of a population of twenty or thirty thousand, now failed to secure safety to a quarter of a million."[iv] – The Annals of San Francisco

San Francisco. Chromolithograph, 1851 M. &amp; N. Hanhart. The image portrays a view looking east towards the Bay and features a number of people from different nationalities, including Spanish and Chinese in the foreground. The bay is exceedingly crowded with boats. ANMM Collection 00015148.

San Francisco. Chromolithograph, 1851 M. & N. Hanhart. The image portrays a view looking east towards the Bay and features a number of people from different nationalities, including Spanish and Chinese in the foreground. The bay is exceedingly crowded with boats. ANMM Collection 00015148.

The Sydney Ducks – A 'Quacking' Tale

Although numbers are not definitive, the California census of 1852 quite often lists the last place of residence, something with was not the usual practice across America.[v] Between April 1849 and May 1850, some 11,000 Australians arrived in California. Of these, it is estimated 7,500 were from Sydney.[vi] A balance of men and women,[vii] the former Sydney-siders were a combination of general fortune-seekers and ticket-of-leavers,[viii] who found the three-to-four month voyage from Sydney neither tedious nor too expensive for their chance at the gold fields.

There were some Australians that prospered in the California goldfields, sending for their wives and children; others were not and would elect to return to Australia for a chance at the new goldfields of Victoria.[ix] The Annals records this pattern continued for some time, with people travelling back and forth. Over 200 vessels sailed from Australia to California during 1849-1851, carrying not only passengers, but also prospecting and food supplies. The transport of these goods and the prolific movement of people facilitated high trade during the gold rush years. These waves of migration would not have been possible without various shipping companies such as Pacific Mail Steamship Company, the Black Ball Line and the Empire City Line of San Francisco.

<em>Julia Ann</em> entering San Francisco, 1852. The <em>Julia Ann</em> was one of over 200 vessels used for transporting cargo during the American and Australian Gold Rush. The artist produced this painting based on information from historical records of the <em>Julia Ann</em> in the harbour. ANMM Collection <a href="http://collections.anmm.gov.au/en/objects/details/16202/julia--ann-entering-san-francisco-1852?ctx=38b7f99d-ebc3-4f47-96d3-e9e36cd85919&amp;idx=14">00032140</a>, © David Thimgan.

Julia Ann entering San Francisco, 1852. The Julia Ann was one of over 200 vessels used for transporting cargo during the American and Australian Gold Rush. The artist produced this painting based on information from historical records of the Julia Ann in the harbour. ANMM Collection 00032140, © David Thimgan.

The majority of Australians were often documented as thugs, scoundrels, thieves, aggressors, queue jumpers, and as 'the most abandoned men and women.'[x] They dominated an area of San Francisco located near the base of Telegraph Hill, near the harbour in the area of Pacific and Broadway Street. Due to the concentration of those from Australia (as distinguished by their accents) the area became known as 'Sydney Town'. The residents of Sydney Town, aka the 'Sydney Ducks', are alleged to have set up shady hotels and establishments by the dozen, which drew in wealthy patrons who were then robbed.

The association between the Australians in California and the moniker of 'Ducks' remains unclear, but it is the consistent term used, along with 'Sidney Ducks' and 'Sydney Coves'. It could possibly be that 'Ducks' and 'Cove' were used to indicate a specific closed community whose residents had migratory patterns. In the eyes of the Annals authors, Sydney Town reflected the worst traits of society: lowly drinking, gambling, constant lewdness, lawlessness, assault and strife.[xi] The 'Ducks' actions were deemed brazen, however, due to the general laxed understanding of the law, along with corruption and bribery, courts and juries had very low conviction rates and were often seen to aid and abet the crime. [xii]  The 'Ducks' were relatively safe and went unpunished for their blatant crimes.

"These Sydney Ducks lived and competed with a California population of mixed urban-rural background… Conflict was inevitable, and it is scarcely surprising that Americans unfairly maligned [slander, smeer, criticise] the Sydney Ducks as a group for the misdeeds of the criminal element."[xiii] – The Sydney Ducks; A Demographic Analysis

Criminal activity was not confined to the Sydney Ducks, in the late 1840's a group known as the 'Hounds' or 'San Francisco Society of Regulators' ran riot through prospecting communities. They were American veterans of the Mexican-American War, who in early 1848 drove mainly Mexican, Chinese and Spanish immigrants from the goldfields using physical assault and property damage.[xiv] Only by joint community action (of approximately 230 people) were members of the Hounds captured. Although captured by the community, the Hounds were tried and sentenced under the impartiality of a court of law.

Post Office, San Francisco California, Lithograph c 1850, H.F Cox. The discovery of gold caused a massive increase in the population and maritime activity in San Francisco. On arrival in the city many miners sought lodgings in shanties, tents and houses of 'Sydney Town' on Telegraph Hill. The post office was the link to home for many and was located at the centre of town. ANMM Collection 00006900.

Post Office, San Francisco California, Lithograph c 1850, H.F Cox. The discovery of gold caused a massive increase in the population and maritime activity in San Francisco. On arrival in the city many miners sought lodgings in shanties, tents and houses of 'Sydney Town' on Telegraph Hill. The post office was the link to home for many and was located at the centre of town. ANMM Collection 00006900.

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