The Navy's traditions live on in the hearts of those who serve

Monday, July 6, 2015

Politics Three

I didn't win them all!  I was invited to a meeting about Ship's Force Security in D.C.  The main view of the attendees, except me, was to increase small arms training, provide sniper training for ship board sailors, and increase the number of personnel in the duty section to man numerous high perch positions.  Now, this was before the 25mm Chain gun, Surface CIWS, and other improvements.

I got in a protracted discussion (read argument) with a Marine Colonel over this position.  My view was two fold.

First; Unlike Marines, Sailors unlike Marines, are not trained, encouraged or backed up, to pull the trigger when they evaluate the threat.  Just look at the attack on the USS Cole!!   Navy personnel in the Navy of the last 60 years, are not empowered to fire a weapon unless ordered too by a Commissioned Officer!!!  In the case of the CIWS system, the Navy does not even operate it in Air Ready because they do not want a system firing on it's own.  The Army had no problem with that !!

Second;  The purpose of ship's self defense is to prevent the unauthorized use of the ship's weapons.  Now, I understand the 25mm Chain Gun and the war on terror has changed that, but, those were not factors in 1982.  In any case, for shipboard defense, the best weapon is a shotgun!  Contained in a steel lined passageway, 9mm, .45 cal, 5.56 mm and 7.65 X 51 bullets ricochet all over the place!  And, if they hit a cableway or fiber optic run, the damage will be devastating.

The Marine O-6 asked me how I was going to deal with a sniper in a tower 2000 meters away.  I replied;  I would light off the forward 5"/54 and blow the tower up!  He did not like that answer and his face got very red!

The bottom line is, I did not get the security weapon changed to the shot gun and the Navy did move to heavy machine guns for external security.  But, the Navy has still not dealt with the culture that does not trust their enlisted personnel to use the weapon they are assigned to defend the ship from obvious attack.

Hell, the C.O of the CG that shot the Iranian passenger jet down in a hostile area, that WAS blipping F-4 IFF was relieved and hounded so badly he committed suicide!!   We will never learn...

Politics Two

During the run up to the release of VLS, I was sitting in as the GMM Detailer when Vern Van Matre was out with some very serious surgery.  I attended a meeting to decide what Enlisted Community would perform the maintenance on this new system.

The previous meetings were ramrodded by a CWO4 ex-Fire Control man.  I soon found out he had NEVER been on a modern ship!  Not even an Adams Class DDG!!

He also had the mis-informed perception that Gunner's Mates knew nothing about electricity, electronics, or anything else more complicated than a hammer and chisel!  I immediately attacked him, being very factual, if not disrespectful, about his lack of up to date knowledge about the Navy and the Gunner's Mate community.  I brought up all the solid state electronics that the GM's maintained and successfully troubleshoot in the MK 13 Mod 4, MK 26, MK 45, MK 42 Mod 9&10, and the MK 1o GMLS.  He was completely unarmed and uninformed.  He had no answer to my points and the Gunner's Mate Community won the VLS system.

Today, VLS systems on DDG's and CG's is successful maintained by well trained, dedicated, Gunner's Mates.  The system is the apes of surface ship fire power, and is one of the most dependable systems in the Surface Navy!  Why, because we went to a meeting, completely informed, and well armed to defeat a neanderthal with personal prejudices to grind!  Too bad a Gunner's Mate was not at the CIWS meeting!!  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The political side of the Navy

I was the Gunner's Mate Guns Detailer from 1980 to 1983.  It was a wonderful time to be on the tip of the spear in our community.  Many new systems were being introduced, the Iowa Class Battleships were being modernized and commissioned, and it was a wonderful tie to help our community move into the future.  I had the honor to represent our community at a number of high level meetings discussing the future of ordnance systems.  I was involved in the early manning decisions for VLS, The Battleships, and I was one of the authors for the GM Rating restructure.  But, one of the most interesting and political meetings I ever attended was the DART Program Review for the MK 42 and MK 45 Gun Mounts.

DART was an early predecessor to the "Troubled Systems" program.  We had issues with the MK 42 and MK 45 gun mounts, almost always related to the availability of repair parts to the Fleet Gunner's Mates.

I attended the Naval Supply Lead DART meeting in Washington D.C. The Captain in charge of Naval Gun Systems at NAVSEA (62Y1) was  Captain Beggs at the time.  He called me and told me to be at a specific room at Crystal Mall on the next Monday.  He did not tell me what the topic of the meeting was or who the attendees were.  Just show up, and I did.

When I arrived, I walked past the room he gave me and there were three Admirals, more Captains than I could count, and Commanders serving coffee.  I knew that was NOT the room or meeting for me!  But, one of the high level civilians from 62Y1, Big John Morris, saw me and brought me into the room, sitting against the wall, in the outer circle with him.  I noticed Captain Beggs was at the table with the Admirals.

The Three Admirals were;  The Head of Naval Supply, and two Cruised Destroyer Group Admirals.  The briefing was being conducted by a Supply Corp Commander from SPCC Mechanicsburg.  He had a very slick presentation, complete with slides being projected on a rear view screen!  

I noticed his presentation spoke of 5"/54 gun mounts as if they were all the same.  I noticed this but kept quiet.   About three slides into this Commander's slick briefing, the Supply Corp Admiral asked;  "Commander, you do not break out the MK 42 and MK 45 gun mounts separately.  Why?"  The Commander replied;  Because their are the same gun mount, except for age."  At that time, I must have looked like "Horshack" from "Welcome Back Kotter"!!  I was jumping up and down, raising my hand, and making grunting noises!!

The Supply Corp Admiral looks at the source of this interruption and asks me:  "Who are you?" in a very indignant tone.  I told him I was the Gunner's Mate Gun Detailer and had MK 42 and MK 45 NEC.  I went on to say;  The only thing the same between these two systems was the Bullet!!  The Admiral looked at Captain Beggs and asked; "Is this true?"  The Captain said yes.  The Admiral then told the Commander to sit down, his briefing was done!

The Naval Supply world was again trying to place the blame for their incompetence on the Fleet Gunner's Mate instead of themselves and their poor management of repair parts.  We won!

But we won much more than supply parts.  A month or so before, the Manning Control Authority had deleted the Chief Gunner's Mate Guns billets from all MK 42 and MK 45 ships!   When I said that, the two Cruiser Destroyer Group Commanders asked me how to change that.   directed them to the N1 Shops of CINCLANT and CINCPAC Fleet.  They must have taken my advice, because two weeks later, there was a GMGC billet on EVERY MK 42 and MK 45 ship!!

I was blessed to be able to help our community and none of it would have been possible without people like Captains Beggs and Sovey at NAVSEA and our friends a the ISEA in Louisville including Charlie Ford and Paul Bissig.  Those were some of the best days in my career. Thanks to all!!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Jim Webb for President?! Please,just kill me now!

Honest, I try to stay away from politics.  But the morons in D.C.  make that all but impossible!  I saw that Jim Webb announced he is running for President of the United States.   Is he kidding me?!

Mr. Webb was SECNAV during my tour as Force Master Chief, Surface Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.  He was SECNAV for 9 months!!  The, he quit. He was the junior Senator from Virginia for one tour, then he quit.  He was in the Marines, for the required time to repay his Naval Academy education, then he quit!  See the pattern here?

When he was SECNAV, the CNO Advisory Committee, of which I was a member, met twice with him.  He never listened to the issues we brought to him.  We researched, documented, morale issues effecting the enlisted members of the United States Navy.  Instead, he looked at our ribbons and wrote nones to us on yellow stickies, telling us we had this ribbon upside down, in the wrong order, or some other superfluous  BS!  He never did anything as SECNAV.  We could have saved 9 months of SECNAV salary by leaving the office EMPTY!!

But to hear him, he built the 600 ship Navy, singlehandedly.  Well, Mr. Webb, the 600 ship Navy was complete and commissioned she Secretary Lehman left office!

No, Mr, Webb is a first class self promoter who is only interested in himself.  When the going gets tough, he leaves!  He has no legacy anywhere except in HIS MIND!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

How we got where we are.

The man who raised me, who I call my Dad, was a kind, hard working, loving man.   Even though he left school after the sixth grade, he was well read, intelligent, and well informed on world events.  Did I mention he was born in 1901?!  He died in 1991 and saw America change drastically from an agrarian economy to an industrial economy.   He grew upon a home built in 1756 without indoor plumbing or electricity.  He lived to see men on the moon!  He also lived through World War One and Two, the Korean Way, and the Vietnam War!  Not to mention the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Cold War!  He and his wife raised three children and then took me in when he was 50!

Dad used to tell me, when I was an early teenager, about a group of powerful men that ran the world!   He told me they financed Hitler's rise to power and other despots.

Now Dad did not join or belong to any groups.  Yes, he was Teamster truck driver and he belonged to the American Automobile Association, but that was it!  Yet, he was completely sure the Bildeberger Group existed as well and the Tri-Lateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations.  He told me of these groups when I was 13 and against the war in Vietnam.  He explained, in depth, how these powerful men ran everything in the world, controlling oil, gold, economies, and who was elected or placed into the leadership positions in all the nations of the world.  At 13, I thought he was crazy!!  Of course I did, I was 13 and knew everything!!

As I have aged, it amazes me how correct Dad was.  Even with my memory issues, I remember what Dad told me like it was yesterday!!  And what we see in our country and in the world, are directly in line with what my Dad told me.  What is happening is not by chance!  It is engineered, planned, and orchestrated by the very few, rich, powerful men that control all the chips on the board of world power.

How we vote, what we want, or even what is best for us as citizens of America is not important to them or even on their minds!  The move the pieces of their world dominance game to make more money and consolidate their power.  The lives of the 99.99% of the world's population is of no concern to them.  As a matter of fact, if we all died today, as long as they continued to be in control, they would be happy.

My wife and I are frustrated, sad, and angry about the moral decay of our nation and the world.  We are depressed over the fact that America and the world has turned it's back on God.  But, it was foretold in the Bible, so we should NOT be surprised.  But, our hearts still ache.

If you do not believe me, Google it!    But the question in you mind must be;  How can we get America back on an even keel?  We can't!  It is impossible!  Were do not have the power to accomplish this on our own and collectively as a nation, we will not turn our faces towards God.  

So, to answer my question, how did we get here?  Through the manipulation of the secretive, powerful, unelected, self-serving Bildeberger Group and the members of the Tri-Lateral Commission.  Dad was right, and he told me this day would come, in 1964!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Duty, Honor, Country, Self-Sacrifice

When a person joins the Military it was said that they were "In the service"!  They were paid very little, they were young, they were impressionable.  They were dedicated to what they had to do.  In World War Two, almost every able bodied man, from 15- 50 enlisted or sought a commission in the Service of our Country.  They dedicated their LIVES to the preservation of our freedom and our way of life!

They did their DUTY.  They preserved their HONOR and our COUNTRY.   And we all owe them a large debt of gratitude.

Things have changed with today's Military.  You rarely hers it called "In the Service".  Pay is on par with the civilian world and in some cases, even higher.  Living conditions are luxurious compared to World War one and two.  And we deploy for a prescribed period of time.  Yes, many have made multiple deployments to the Sand Box.  But, our WW II brethren deployed for the entire war!  They were deployed until it was DONE!   The truth is, we have it much better today.  And because of all of this, the sacrifice is diminished or maybe even gone.  Our deployed Military have instant contact with their families through the Internet including SKYPE calls and Cell Phone calls.  They can even pay their bills and manage their 401K from the front lines!  They have their TUNES in the IPODS, the latest movies, and all the sports scores, right in their Humvee!

Duty, Honor, Country, and self-sacrifice seem to be a thing of the past.  But, maybe I am also.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

How the Veteran's Administration SCREWS and IGNORES us!

I just saw a report that a VA Hospital in Florida was infested with rats and cockroaches.   Let's look at the facts.  The VA and the government of the United States wants us to go and fight their wars, get wounded, maimed, and maybe die.  Then when they are done using us, they want us to suffer in private and silence!

Nothing has changed in the VA health care system since I was a kid!  The fact is, you go to the VA Hospital to die!!  

Then, there is the issue with Agent Orange.  Congress just extended coverage to those who delivered Agent Orange.  Great, but what about those of us who DRANK Agent Orange because our ship's sucked the ocean water in and made fresh water out of it.  Nope, you're on your own!

Then, I can write an epistle on my fight with the VA over my exposure to a Carcinogenic and Neurotoxic chemical in the hydraulic fluid that we used in the Gun Mounts, Turrets, and Missile Launchers.  We were NEVER warned of this hazard until 1990!  Yet, even though I have been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, the VA denies me assistance or disability.  And, my Congressman has been silent in my case!  And he is the chairman of the House Sub-Committee on Veteran's Affairs!!

No, our politicians only want us to fight their wars.  They would rather we died than survived since their liability dies with the SGLI payment.  If we survive, we are a living problem to them.

So, we are sent to substandard, ill-equipped poorly staffed, medical facilities.  The staff does not care about us.  Congress does not care about us.  And for the most part, the citizens don't care about us.  Well, America, let me remind you;  If you break it, you bought it!!   And in the case of my brother and sister Veterans. you bought us!  So, take care of us NOW.