Welcome!

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

Friday, December 30, 2011

What are they doing?

Today, again, I took a tour of the USS Alabama.  This time with my two grandsons.  They are 12 and 14.  They asked plenty of questions and paid attention to my stories about the ship and it's systems.  One of the questions they asked was, why did we decommission the Battleships?   That is a very insightful and deep thought provoking question.   I remember when Congress was debating decommissioning the Iowa class Battleships.  No one, not the Navy or any members of the Joint Chief's of Staff, came to the defense of the formidable Battleship.  Not even the Commandant of the Marine Corps!  But, immediately after the last Battleship was  decommissioned, the same Commandant went whimpering and crying to Congress that the Navy did not have a ship capable of providing Shore Bombardment for an Amphibious landing!  Wimp!!  Politician!!

 This almost impervious class of ships, capable of withstanding any weapon held by any military in the world, except a nuke, and still fight.  This class of ship that, in World War Two, was used to sweep mines in harbors, by driving the ship THROUGH the mine field because the 16" armor belt would protect the ship from damage!!  This class of ship that would be unaffected by an Electro Magnetic Pulse, because the 16"/50 triple gun turrets, the 5"/38 twin gun mounts, the power plant, and the ship's controls, are NOT SOLID STATE!!  But the limp wrists decommissioned them anyway.  The obviously have no vision.

Then there is the decommissioning of the A-6 Medium Attack, carrier borne, aircraft.  This aircraft can carry 18,000 pounds of ordnance.  The only ship in the US inventory that can carry more ordnance is the B-52.   They flew from an air field that can be positioned anywhere in the world!  But, the Air Force brass does not like the Navy having an attack capability.  So, they tricked the Navy into giving up their drive for a new medium attack aircraft for the agreement by the Air Force Brass to upgrade the A-6 with an on board Auxiliary Power Plant and self-defense pods on the end of the wings.  The after Congress killed the new Navy Medium Attack Aircraft, they withdrew their support for the mods to the A-6 and the A-6 died of wing fatigue.

Then their is the death of the DD-963 class Destroyers with Vertical Launchers.  Not only did we decommission them, we sunk them!  We did not even put them in mothballs to be used in case of a war.  What do we have in mothballs?  World War Two, rusted out, junk!!

Do you see a trend here?  I can add others, like decommissioning and scrapping of all of the Nuke Powered Cruisers, after they were upgraded with the BEST missile fire control in the world and the longest range shipboard fired surface to air missiles.  Or, decommissioning and selling the Kidd Class DDG's, fully upgraded, to Taiwan.  Or how about the decommissioning and scrapping of Nuke Powered Attack Submarines that are less than 15 years old and just refueled.  Or the decommissioning and scrapping of Nuke Powered Ballistic Missile Submarines that are less than 15 years old.

The morons that have lead our Nation since President Ronald Regan, in uniform and in $5000 suits, have systematically dismantled and scrapped the most impressive Navy in history.  And, like I posted a few days ago, the world is turning against us.  Without a first rate, blue water, Navy, we are without the ability to project power or control the sea lanes.   We are now without the ability to defend our shores from invasion and we are unable to sustain free shipping of much needed oil and other commodity's to this country or food to our allies.  How long do you think we can survive as a nation without foreign oil?  Let me answer that, a month, MAX!! We are in a boat load of trouble and I frankly do not see a way out.  We simply do not have the capitol, human or monetary, to rebuild this Navy.  The politicians knew that when they destroyed the wonderful ships, submarines, and Aircraft carriers we decommissioned and destroyed.  Like I have said before, the United States of America is done.  And we can thank the liberal, progressive, socialist, politicians from BOTH parties.  They have cooked our goose.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The effects of Mil-F-17111 hydraulic fluid

I was a U.S. Navy Gunner's Mate who worked on MK 42 and MK 45 5"/54 gun mounts and as a civil servant, 16"/50 Turrets.    In this capacity, that spanned over 25 years, I was hyper-exposed to the hydraulic fluid that the guns ran on, Mil-F-17111.  This oil had a chemical as a fire retardant.  That chemical was Trichressalphosphate.  My spelling may be off, but the effects of this chemical on Gunner's Mates was devastating.  In 1989, the Navy, through Official channels, informed all of us that this chemical was dangerous if we came in contact with it.  Contact, we were doused in it daily, got it in our wounds, swallowed it, breathed it, every day of our sea duty and for some of us, everyday of our shore duty. On my early sea duty, showers underway were a luxury.   On one deployment, we never had showers underway and we went 30 days without a shower!  Still, we were covered in Hydraulic fluid everyday.  OSHA has published that Tricressalphosphate has a causal effect for cancer, dementia, skin conditions, plural plaque, and other skin and breathing conditions.   I suggest you Google this.  I personally know friends that are terribly effected buy the skin condition.  How effected?  One shipmate has a 100% VA disability and cannot work because his feet swell up.  When I was at NAVSEACENLANT, we hired a retired Gunner's Mate who was anxious to go back to work in the gun mounts.  He lasted one day.  He had is hands in the hydraulic fluid and his fingers immediately swelled up like sausage cooking in a frying pan!  We rushed him to the hospital and in the time we transported him, the skin on his fingers split open!

This stuff is bad!  I have a disability for the skin condition.  My legs used to get so raw that at night, my legs would bleed, then clot to the sheets.  When I rolled over, I would rip the scabs open, and the cycle would start again.  Now, they flare up, red rash, itching, bleeding, crusting, and sore.  My hands suffer from the same issues.  I cannot get any oil on my hands, it exacerbates the problem.  But the real issue is, I have Lewy Body Dementia.  The Cliff Notes version of my disease is Alzheimer's with Parkinson's.  I believe, and my Neurologist and GP, and the Neurologist at UVA all believe my disease is directly related to my exposure to this chemical.  However, the VA disagrees.  They wrote me:  "While we agree that your were exposed to Mil-F-17111 and  Tricressal, and we agree that these chemicals cause Dementia, we don't agree that your Dementia is from this exposure."   The VA has stone walled everyone I know with this disease or any condition related to Mil-F-17111.  I have been in contact with one friend that waited 6 years for help from the VA.  I personally have been waiting for an answer to my appeal for 4 years.  One of the interesting issues in my case is the VA first told me that I was never exposed to Mil-F-17111 even though they were paying me a disability for exposure to it!

Tens of thousands of Gun and Missile Gunner's Mates were hyper-exposed to this chemical, all the time being told it was safe, petroleum bases oil, and now the VA does not want to help us.   I believe this has the potential t be as big a group as Agent Orange exposure or Asbestos inhalation.  Maybe bigger.   If you are a past Gunner's Mate, and you have issues described earlier in my post, apply for a disability from the VA.  You deserve it and the United States of America owes you.  You were injured in the line of duty!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Watch the news! The world is going against us!

If you have been too busy with holiday cheer, you may have missed the stories in the news that should worry you.  I am sure you have seen the articles about Iran's Naval exercise in the Straights of Hormuz.  It is most likely an exercise to draw the U.S. into a trap!  Watch that one.

You may have even seen the news that Iran and Iraq are building a military alliance!  We just pulled out and already Iran is moving in.  This was actually in the planning months before we announced our withdrawal and it was the reason Iraq would not agree to a policy of not prosecuting our troops.

The third story, you may have missed.  China and the Seychelles have negotiated an agreement to station Chinese warships in this small, Indian Ocean, island nation.  This will forward deploy China's ever growing fleet in this strategic region.

The forth story is the turmoil in the Soviet Union.  Remember, I refuse to call the evil empire Russia.  They NEVER quit being the Soviet Union.  They just cut their losses in area they could no longer afford to police!  In any case, Putin is on the verge of setting up a Dictatorship again!  Don't believe me.  Watch the news.  Even the people of "Russia" believe this and are protesting against it, as long as they can!

So, as we dismantle our Fleet, our Air Force, reduce troop strength, and turn our military into a social experiment, the worlds Bad Guys" are amassing their power to destroy us.

Watch the news, there are clues of our future destruction.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The morals of our Country.

If you saw the news today, you saw a photo of two females, one in the Navy uniform, in a passionate kiss, upon the return from deployment of an LSD class ship.  The Sailor won the ship's raffle to be the first off the ship to see their loved one.

As a Pastor, I live by the motto; Love the sinner, hate the sin!"  I personally agree with this view.  I am a sinner.  But the difference is, I don't want my sins paraded on the front page of the newspaper!  America's problem is the lack of a moral compass.  Regardless of what the historical reconstructionists say, America was founded with the guidance of Judeo/Christian values, utilizing the Bible as the guide.  The people who came to America for religious freedom, were Christians and Jews.  While I am willing to agree with what is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, you know, bring me your huddled masses...., I still believe America must have a moral compass.    

Hollywood has been on a campaign to discredit America's morals since movies were invented.  They make movies that push the boundaries of acceptability and we get used to it, thus establishing a new normal.  Hollywood did it with clothing, pre-marital sex, affairs, lies, stealing, cheating, drugs, violence, and now homosexuality.  There is not a television series that does not have at least one homosexual character.  Hell, there are even rumors that Bert and Ernie are gay!

Well, I for one, do not believe that homosexuality is normal or natural!  It, like drug usage, violence, poverty, and alcoholism, is a life style choice.  I really don't care if you agree with me or not.  It is the truth.  AIDS, is proof of that.  Want to stop AIDS, quit having anal sex!!  If we would did that, AIDS would be eradicated.  Where's my NOBEL Prize?

Back to the event that forced me to write this.  We have had people who chose to have sex with people of the same sex forever.  But, they kept their sin hidden.  Now, we want to proudly parade that sin.  The Navy is proud of those two women and I am ashamed for them and ashamed OF my navy.   (Small "n" on purpose)  The demise of our morals is also the demise of good order and discipline!  That "Good order and Discipline" is the motor that powers the military.  Without it, we cease to be effective.

Because of those who want to reduce the morals of America to the lowest common denominator have succeeded in destroying this once great nation.  I mourn the demise of the country I once fought so proudly for.  We failed to pass this Constitutional Republic, this "Beacon on the Hill" as President Regan called America, on to our progeny.  I guess, I failed.  Failed to make moral behavior and personal responsibility attractive to those who came after me.  We failed, shipmates and I for one am sorry.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Angry!!

This is a addition to my earlier post on our lack of underway rearming capabilities.  I am really angry, mad, hacked off, about what the leadership of MY Navy is doing.  Some years ago, we decommissioned all of the Destroyer Tenders and all but two Submarine Tenders.  These ships were mobile, floating, deployable, repair facilities capable of almost any repair including replacing a ships propeller while still in the water.  The Tenders have proved their worth through out history.  The repaired war damage, storm damage, performed normal maintenance, and rearmed ships.  The submarine force heavily depends on the Tender's capabilities to replenish and rearm the subs.  Not to mention repair work!

As I mentioned in my previous post, we are building ships we cannot rearm, at least the primary weapons systems, underway.  Since we have fewer and fewer friends in the world and even fewer places where our ships are safe in port, we must have a way to rearm and replenish our ships in foreign waters.  Now, I know the solution, but I am afraid we have lost that capability forever.  The Tenders are GONE, and there is NO MONEY to build new ones.  The ED's continue to build ships that are not sustainable at sea.  They have no station keeping capability!  So, while I am identifying a BIG problem, no one really cares.

Another related issue;  The Navy's leadership will grab onto any, untested, unproven, management scheme that someone with a PHD after their name writes.  TQM/TQL, LEAN Sigma 6, Just in time management, all of which may be usable in civilian industry but are not adaptable to the military.  Otherwise, they are BUNK!  Our ships are being outfitted by the "Just In Time" idea for supply parts, ammo, and even personnel!  Parts are not kept in the spare parts bin in Supply if there is no usage in the last two years!  It does not matter that the part in question could make the weapon system unusable!  It only matters that IT does not make the "Just In Time" paradyme!!  Furthermore, if "Just In Time" really works, why won't the Navy's ED's buy into the idea of "Remote Monitoring" of the systems on the ships.  Remote Monitoring would at least give the Supply system a "Heads up" that the part was ABOUT to fail!!  Then the "Just I Time" part could be sent to be there when the part failed.  However, when I presented this idea, with proof and support from the Military/Industrial Complex, the Navy ED's ran from it.  Why, because THEY did not think of it!!!  We are truly in deep do do!

The LACK of logistics support.

I toured the USS Alabama today with my son.  I have been to the USS Alabama many times since I commissioned the USS Leftwich (DD 984) in late 1979.  It is the first time my son has seen the inside of a battleship.  The display, the total access to the interior of the ship, is outstanding.  My son asked me about some portable king posts stored on the bulkhead near the fantail.  I explained underway replenishment to him.  During the drive home, we got in a discussion about the replenishment/rearming capability of today's ships.  This is something I have not thought about for a while and now I am really concerned.   We continue to build ships weapon systems that cannot be rearmed underway.  My son then asked, how do we rearm them?  I explained that we have to pull into port and stage the ammo there, reload with a crane, and then get underway again.  Of course this opens our ships up to issues like the USS Cole attack.  In the Persian Gulf, the only friend we have is Bahrain.  If they "unfriend" us, we would have to go a long way for logistic support, like Rota Spain!   Underway replenishment was our secret weapon in World War Two.  

Do we have the smug belief that we will win the war before we run out of ammo?  I hope not.  But it looks like that is exactly what the Engineering Duty Officers are planning and purchasing.  Think I am wrong?  Look at the RAM system.  Look at Vertical Launch on CG 47 class and Burke class DDG.  Yes, the VLS has a reloading crane, but it cannot handle most of the weapons the VLS shoots due to weight limitations!  RAM can only be reloaded in port.  There are other examples but you get the idea.          

With the pending decimation of the Navy due to budget restraints, I guess I am just spouting off to hear myself.  But, this old Master Chief has to tell the truth.  As my Grandson says; "I know what I know!"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I have had an interesting career!

I was talking to my son tonight and reminiscing  about my Navy career, in uniform and as a Civil Servant,  I have done a lot and seen even more!  We were talking about the time, a few years ago, when I was selected to lead a MARMC repair team for the MCM's in Bahrain.  It was a political suicide mission and I guess the powers to be thought it was OK if I died during it.  I was always the guy they went to to fix their foul ups.  I was the clean up man!   That's not a bad thing, just a fact.  I remember a meeting in Louisville about the unloading tray for the MK 75 Otto Melero gun.  The SES n charge of Naval Ordnance was there.  He was a retired Admiral that knew me in my active duty days.  The position of the ISEA was that the unload tray from the manufacureer was not good, even though all the Navies in the world used it.  The ISEA was going to design their own.  The SES asked how long were they going to take, seeing as the MK 75 gun had been in the U.S.Navy for 20 years!  He then said: I want an op eval of the Otto Melero unloading tray and I want Master Chief Dolence to run it.  I had been retired for a long time, but that did not concern the Admiral.  I replied to the Admiral (SES);  I need to remind you Admiral, that I am not a MK 75 Gunner's Mate.   He turned to me, with fire in his eyes and yelled; "You are now, asshole!"

The op eval went well and we proved the OEM unload tray was good and needed to be used in our guns.  That action saved some Navy ships from shooting themselves and probably saved some lives.

I ran the communications for the recovery of the USS Cole from Bahrain.  I got involved in the recovery when I found out that FTSCLANT was tasked with the recovery and it was being planned by a bunch of pump kickers!!  There was not ONE person with a weapons background in the meetings planning the team for the recovery.  I found out that there was a SECRET meeting being held on Saturday morning.  I showed up for the meeting, uninvited, and unwanted.  And I proceeded to ask these pimp kickers and engineers how they planned to provide sprinkler services for the VLS magazines, and the gun magazine. How did they plan to keep dry air in the SPY1 radar wave guides.  How were they going to disarm the CIWS, HARPOON, how were they going to deal with the small arms, pyro lockers, and other ordnance related questions.  Well, they were caught flat footed to say the least.  And, I was added to the team.  I was later replaced by a VLS Gunner's Mate with a "Test Card", a good choice.  As a consolation prize, I got to run the comms from Norfolk and write the CNO's daily SITREP on the USS Cole recovery.  I also got to attend the daily meeting with SURFLANT, Fleet, PMS 400 and some other high priced talent.   One day, during the meeting, SUPSHIP Pascagoula was telling us how deep they planned to dredge the harbor to permit the heavy lift ship to unload the USS Cole.  SUPSHIP's plan was way short of the requirements of the Heavy Lift ship's Master.  I knew how deep he needed the Harbor because I had just talked to him.  SUPSHIP changed their plan and we had no delays.

Another issue with the USS Cole recovery was the disposition of the Crews possessions.  They had been ordered to fly home from Bahrain by the CNO himself.  They left their personal gear in their lockers, their spaces.  There were female sailors, lockers of the diseased and wounded.  This civilian from the Ship Yard in Pascagoula told us he was going to unload the crew's gear as soon as the ship got to Pascagoula.  I told him they were NOT going to do that!  He asked, just who did I think I was.  I told him he would not touch their gear.  The Navy has a documented way of handling the personal gear of the living and the dead and I was NOT going to have some greasy palmed,ape, pawing through the locker of one of MY sailors.  After the phone call, the Captain from PMS 400 in D.C. looked at me and asked;  "What are you going to do, Master Chief"?  I said, watch, and I called the Force Master Chief at SURFLANT and identified myself as one of his predecessor.  He appreciated the insight and told me he would take care of it.  He did!  The Commanding Officer of the USS Cole thanked me for what I did.  We did what was right for those Sailors.

Yes, I had an interesting career.  As a Sailor, I was successful, far younger that anyone before me.  That was great but a liability too.  I made Master Chief in just over 14 years!  I was a semi finalist for MCPON when Duanne Bushey was selected.  I had a great career.  As a civilian, I was a thorn in some peoples side and a blessing to others.  But, I did what I thought was right every time.  Yes, I could be political and play the game.  I could also call the kettle black, throw the BS flag,  and tell people, regardless of their rank or position, if they were wrong.  Remember the MCM repair trip?  I was writing a daily brief report and sending it to my Commander (O-5) back in Norfolk.  It was brutally honest, un-political, and named names.  I found out after I returned that the 4 Star Admiral in charge of Atlantic Fleet was reading my emails every day!  He got the unvarnished truth of what I saw and did.

Now, All I have is my memories and I write this blog to share them with you.  

History is the best teacher

In the late 1980's, Iran and Iraq had a protracted war.  The United States got dragged into the war when the Iranians mined the Straights of Hormuz.  Sound familiar?  It should, Iran is again threatening to close this narrow neck of the funnel that 60% of the available world's oil flows through.  This action would devastate the free world's economy.  With Europe on the brink of failure and the U.S. economy just barely breathing, driving the cost of a barrel of oil above $200 would be the final straw!  And the militant Islamists in Iran know it!

During the Iran/Iraq war, the Iranian's used World War Two Soviet mines to severely limit shipping in the Straights of Hormuz.  The U.S. sent in our antiquated Mine Sweeper Fleet and Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams to clear the mines.  A number of Oil Tankers were hit by mines, resulting in international ships being temporarily flagged as U.S. ships and having U.S. Coast Guard Officers on the bridge of these ships as they transited the Straights.  Also, a U.S. Navy Cruiser, FFG, and LPH were damaged by mines.

Today, Iran has much better equipment, ordnance, and planning.  I fear the closing of the Straights will not be as easy and quick to undo.  And I believe the cost in ships, oil, and men, will be much higher.  Only time will tell.  Stand by!


PS..  Someone sent me a question about my tenure as Force Master Chief at SURFLANT.  I relieved BMCM George Ingram.  BMCM Cal Reynolds relieved me.  GSCM Jerry Danforth and I were stationed together as detailers at NMPC in the early 1980's.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Close the Straights of Hormuz?

The news is like a page of history.  It is like Yogi Berra said; "It's like dejavue, all over again!!" The Islamist extremist Leadership in Iran said they were going to close the Straights of Hormuz as a military exercise.  The also said they would make the world less sable by stopping the oil flow out of the gulf.  This was the issue when Jimmy Carter was the President.  Now we have Jimmy Carter II and Iran is threatening the same thing.  However, there is one very important difference.  Iran now has the weapons and military to carry out their threat.  Who is at fault for that?  China, The Soviet Union, (I refuse to call them Russia) and the United States!  Yes, Us!!  We idly sat by and watched China and The Soviet Union build up the Iranian military.  Iran has Foxtrot class Soviet subs, surface ships that shoot cruise missiles, surface to air missiles, and most likely, an atomic weapon.  At the same time, our military has fought a ten year, two front war, in a region that precludes victory.  We have cut our Navy by 60%, and we have stopped out technological development in weapon systems.  We have a aluminum foil navy in the Persian Gulf, manned with sailors that are not trained to fight and won't pull the trigger first for fear they will be disciplined and a commander in chief (lower case on purpose) who thinks all of Islam is our friends and we should, or must emulate them.

We are truly up the proverbial creek without a paddle!   And our canoe will surely take on water if we do not change direction.  As I wrote yesterday, sitting around, waiting for the enemy to hit us first is a catastrophe waiting to happen.  Why, because that hit may be so devastating that we cannot get off the floor to hit back.  Mark my words, our leadership is leading us down the path of destruction.  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Waiting to get hit is NEVER a good idea!

The infamous attack on Pearl Harbor, 70 years ago, should have taught us something.  Or, if you have been involved in a fight with someone, you should also have learned this lesson.  Waiting to get hit is NEVER a good idea.  It may look good in the movies, and it may play well in a book, but trust me, a fight is never fair.  You don't win by following the Marques De Queensbury  rules.  You win by fighting dirty.  Throwing dirt in your opponents eyes, a knee to the groin, a 2X4 over the head, anything to make that person not want to fight anymore.  Japan tried to do that to us when they launched a "sucker punch" attack, without warning, early in the morning, on a Sunday!  It had us on our heals for a while, but since Japan could not finish us off, we beat them on points!  Well, that and two atom bombs.  But, those bombs were cheating!  They did not have them, but we did, and we used them.  Those bombs equated to you hitting your opponent with a lead pipe!  It worked!  Patton said'  You don't win a war by dieing for your country, you win by making the other dumb, son of a b#@*h die for his country.    When you are fighting for your very existence, you use everything you can to win, to survive.

Now, look at the reports of today, Iran downing our Top Secret Drone, using possible jamming or electronic disrupting weapons.  Iran has become the Soviet Unions test ground for weapons technology.  Much like Israel was for us until this President.  But, if Iran has this technology, then ever thing that flies in the Persian Gulf is in danger of NOT FLYING!  Not to mention what it may be able to do to our electronic ships.

So, what do we do?  Well, first of all, I am not sure if this is the first punch or just more posturing.   But I am sure the folks in the Pentagon know.  But, much like the little fat kid on the play ground, we may choose to let the bully hit us for a while, and hope someone stops the beating before we are seriously hurt.  Trust me, in the world, we don't have any such friends.  So, in my opinion, it may be time to pick up that lear pipe and hit our enemy, before we get hit again!

Again, let history be your teacher.  History and your own experiences in life.  I still believe, waiting to get hit is NEVER a good idea!

PS...  When I was the FTSCLANT rep at SURFLANT, what seems like a long time ago, a ship reported that all the clocks, and all of the individual wrist watches stopped for the exact amount of time!  That ship was deployed somewhere in the world when this happened.  Now think about what I said.  Think about how hard it was for the Commanding Officer of that ship to officially report that happening!!  That CO knew he ws reporting something most of his seniors would consider fantasy or a lie.  As it was, the report was ignored.  But I brought up the idea of electronic impulse or jamming weapons then.  Of course, I was laughed at.  Maybe someone should dust that report off and look again.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Smokeless and Flashless powder

Last night, I was looking on the Internet for a lawn ornament for our new home.  I would like a 16" projectile for either side of my driveway.  I figure, that's something most folks would not have and it would make my place stand out!  That got me to thinking, before I went to sleep, about Smokeless and Flashless Gun Powder.  Today, all Naval Guns use Universal Powder.  But when on my first ship, the USS Mullinnix (DD 944), we had the two types of powder.  Smokeless Powder was used in the day time, because it had a bright flash, but little smoke to give the ship's position away,  Flashless Powder was used at night, because it gave off tons of smoke, but little flash.  That hid the ship's position at night.  Now, you have to remember that these two powder mixtures date back to before World War Two.  Now, with modern radars, sighting ships by lookout is passe.   We can see a ship on radar, miles before a lookout can spot a ship.  So, Universal Powder came into existence.  Some smoke, some flash, all the time.

But, I remember when, on the Mighty Mux, we were shooting Naval Gun Fire Support training, at night, and the Loader Crew loaded some Smokeless Powder in the loader drums.  Now all the powder was Smokeless, just a few rounds, enough to "Blind" the Bridge personnel.   Boy was the Captain angry!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

GMG1 Red Mills

In 1970, I attended MK 42 "C" School at THE Gun School!  That's the way the pro football players do it and I always wanted to highlight where I got my education; "THE Gun School"  Cool!!

In any case, there were many good Gunner's Mates at Gun school at that time.  Many who made Chief, Senior Chief, or Master Chief.  Many I have written about in this Blog.  But today, I thought of Red Mills when I was getting a cup of coffee.  In Gun School, we sat at two man tables.  We all had coffee cups, most has ash trays.  Our tech manuals were on the tables and our notebooks.   Red was an avid coffee drinker.  He would come into the classroom in the morning, make a bee line for his desk, grab his coffee cup without stopping and head for the coffee mess on the carrier deck of the MK 42 Mod 7 training stand.  We decided we would pull a trick on Red, who was also our Class Leader.  One Friday afternoon, as we were doing field day on the classroom, we decided to RTV his coffee cup to the table top.  On Monday morning, we were all in the classroom early, Ted came into the classroom, made a bee line to his table, grabbed his coffee cup while still in motion, and came to an abrupt STOP!!  The table tried t follow him, but he stopped when he felt the resistance.  We all burst into laughter!  It was truly funny!

I also remember when we came back from Christmas leave, Red had left some coffee in his cup, and over two weeks of fermenting, he had a pretty good science experiment growing in his coffee cup.  He picked up his cup, looked at the fuzzy green stuff growing on top of the left over coffee, and drank it down!!  Coffee is coffee.

RE was an ASROC Gunner's Mate who changed over to gun mounts and went to MK 42 "C" school.  He went to the USS Benjamin Stoddard, a DDG, and deployed to WESTPAC, and the gun line off the coast of Viet Nam to provide Naval Gun Fire Support to the ground troops.  He had very little gun mount experience and that lack of experience lead to his death.   He experienced a Foul Bore with a HOT GUN in Mount 51.   During the process of the Foul Bore, he decided the problem was with the firing lock, (firing pin assembly).  He removed the firing lock, leaving a 2.5 inch hole in the breech block.  Just as Red removed the firing lock, the gun cooked off!!  It killed Red, the young GMGSN in the carrier room, and Master Chief Gunner's Mate Hass who was standing behind the gun mount.  The soft patch on the back of the gun, the place where the Gunnar Radar Equipment was mounted in the old days, smashed the Masted Chief between the soft patch and the superstructure of the ship.

That was 1971.  I still miss Red Mills and all the guys I went to "C" school with.  Those were very good days.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A story about holding your liquor.

When I was Force Master Chief at SURFLANT, it was a different time in the military and the Navy in particular.  Drinking  was not only accepted, it was encouraged.  As a matter of fact, it was a requirement in some ratings.  In any case, this story happened during the Christmas season.  We had a tradition at SURFLANT of having a door decorating contest.  The Admiral and the Chief of Staff were the judges.  Bribes were encouraged and those bribes could be anything.  Booze, ice cream, exotic dancers, candy, cake, did I mention BOOZE?  You get the idea.  In any case the last Friday before  the Christmas leave period was the judging of the doors.  Now SURFLANT is spread out over three buildings, so this judging took a while.  During the judging, the Flag Writer, a Senior Chief, came up to the Admiral and discreetly whispered in his ear that the Chief of Staff had been selected for Admiral!!  The door we were judging had a bribe for the judges of Ever Clear!  The Admiral announced that the Chief of Staff had been selected for promotion to Admiral and the final part of that selection was to make sure the Chief of Staff, a Captain, could hold his liquor.  He told the COS that the test was, he had to drink three fingers of the Ever Clear, straight down, and then immediately count to TEN!  Then the Admiral said;  " I will show you how it is done."  And he proceeded to drink the three fingers of Ever Clear straight down and then, very loudly count to TEN.  Then, the Admiral poured the three fingers of Ever Clear for the COS.  He tried to beg off by saying, he did not want to be an Admiral that badly, but the Admiral talked him into the test.  The COS drank his three fingers of Ever Clear down, slower than the Admiral, and then hoarsely counted to TEN.  Then the Chief of Staff looked at me but I told him;  "I got my stars already!"

That was a fun Christmas and a great way to bring the staff together.  But, in today's Navy, we would all be fired!!

The GREAT Depression

My parents lived, as adults, through the Crash of 1929 and the :Great Depression".  As an adult college student, after my Navy career, I researched and wrote a paper on the events that lead up to the "Great Depression".   Remember the often quoted phrase;  " Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."   Let's look at what I learned.

Starting in 1926, the economy was going down hill. Employment was on a roller coaster trip, but mostly going down hill, with short spurts of growth.  Those growth spurts could be directly tracked to a few very rich men, buying stocks that were fundamentally worthless, to prop up a failing stock market.  Rockefeller, Crock, and a few other men would buy, when the market was slipping badly.  This worked, or more correctly, delayed the inevitable, until they ran out of money in 1929.  The market then crashed, BIG!

Now, look at today's news.  The Federal Reserve, a group of rich men, who use money they print, without backing of anything of value, poured billions of dollars into the world banks.  The result. today the stock market was up almost 500 points!   The question is, what happens to the value of our dollar when the Fed prints billions of Monopoly money and spreads it around the globe?   I will tell you, you money in your bank account, your 401K, your Roth, your mattress, is worth a lot less.  But the real question is, when will the Fed run out of ink and paper?  And then, when they do, we will see a crash that makes 1929 look like a toy car falling off the coffee table!

My parents?  They are gone now, but in 1929, my Dad had a great job that endured the depression.  He drove street car in Cleveland, Ohio.  On his route was a street corner comedian that was always at the same place on Euclid Avenue everyday.  Who was that?  Bob Hope.  The moral to this story is, you had better learn to tell jokes or drive a bus.  Everythiong else in in danger.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

British hostages in Iran!?

Does that sound like deijavu all over again?  It does to me.  We have the second act of Jimmy Carter in the White House, the liberals are trying to decimate the military, and Europe is self-destructing.  Iran is lead by Islamic Radicals that now may have the "Bomb"!  They have been emboldened by world events and a weakened America and they decided to stir the pot.  The Iranian Leaders see a chance to destroy Israel because of the President's tepid support of Israel.  The world is perched on the precipice of war.  This is one more step towards that war.  If there are British hostages in Iran, I fear this may be the final step.

As I told my wife on the telephone, before we ran the "Line of Death" of Libya; "Watch the news, this is going to be big!"

Saturday, November 26, 2011

There are NO NATO troops!

I remember a movie with Tom Hanks where he tells a female baseball player; "There is no crying in baseball!".  Well, there are no NATO troops, helicopters, ships, fighters, NOTHING!  Just like there are no United Nations Troops, helicopters ships, fighters, bombs, or peace keepers!  I am getting plenty aggravated with the news media and their stories about these fictitious fighting forces.  Those troops and equipment come from allied countries, mostly the United States.  They joined their respective military forces to fight for and represent their countries.  There is NO world government, regardless of what the liberal media wants to portray to you. In our enlistment oath, there is no loyality sworn to NATO, the United Nations, or any other country.  We solemnly swear to "support and defend, the Constitution of the United States".  Our fighting forces may be under the command or on loan to one of these ficticious "World Forces", an action that I believe is against the Constitution, but they are AMERICANS!  By representing them as NATO of United Nations troops, we hide their deaths in obscurity.  Furthermore, we hide the cost of those excursions in the same foggy obscurity.

I want the news media to report on the actions of our troops and our allies, by nation and by name.  To do less is deceit at  the least and collusion to deceive.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with precious memories for me. It is the day I met my wife.  I asked her to marry me the next day.  This is our 39th Thanksgiving together!  I also have a precious memory of my Mom and Day.  I had just returned from a western Pacific/Viet Nam cruise.  My wife and I were newly weds, my parents came to see us in San Diego, and I had duty on the ship on Thanksgiving day.  I suggested that my Mom, Dad, and Wife, come on board for dinner.  Then I though again, worrying that my Mom, who had cancer surgery a few years before and was not a nimble as she once was, would have troubles with the ladders on the ship.  No, said, absolutely not, she was going to eat Thanksgiving dinner on the USS Stein if I had to lower her to the mess decks with a rope!  As it turned out, she did great with the steep ladders.  As chow was served and we proceeded through the chow line, I can still hear Mom say; "Look Addison, they have real turkey!"  That was a precious, wonderful, day that will live in my memory forever.

Another Thanksgiving memory occurred after my Mom had passed away.  My Dad came to San Diego to visit, and I was again on the USS Stein.  My second tour on her.  I had duty the day after Thanksgiving, and I had just made Chief the preceding September.  I asked the Ship's Executive Officer if my Dad could spend the day on board with me.  He agreed, so Dad stood duty with me.  Of course, I had duties to attend to, so, I would leave Dad in the Chief's Mess, and go do my job.  I would hurry back to the Mess only to find my Dad off touring a different part of the ship with one of the Chief's.  They all adopted my Dad for the day.  He received in depth tours of the entire ship, including the engineering spaces.  He was amazed!  He went to sleep that nigh in the Command Master Chief's bunk and slept all night.  I had the Mid Watch on the Quarterdeck, while he slept.  Dad and I had a wonderful day together.  I miss Mom and Dad terribly, but their memories are still strong.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The new Hypersonic Bomb. What good is it?

I read an article today that our military successfully tested a hypersonic bomb that can hit any where in the world in an hour.  Wow!!  From reading the article, I deduce that it is not a rocket, or at least glides free flight, guided by preset targeting information, to it's intended target.  Again, Wow.  This is the best thing since Tomahawk!  I also saw an article that the Air Force took delivery of six of the largest bunker buster bombs ever made.  I believe the stated explosive charge was 30,000 pounds of explosives.  Probably enhanced with pressurized gas.  Again, wow.

But, what good are they?  We have bunkers and magazines full of nuclear weapons, submarines carrying multi warhead Trident ICBM missiles, Tomahawk missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and other weapons of mass destruction that I don't even know about.  We have been fighting in Afghanistan for over ten years.  Lost countless American lives, physically and mentally crippled thousands more, and left thousands of widows and parentless children.  All this because we refused to learn from history.  The Soviet Union was defeated in Afghanistan in four years or so, and left with their tail between their legs.  What made us think we could win a war in an area of the world that is not a real country, has been engaged in tribal warfare since the Middle Ages, and is populated with people complete happy and comfortable with living in the Eleventh Century?  If we were really determined to wipe out the Taliban we would not have sent the first military man there.  We would have sent a Nuclear weapon on a missile, and ended their existence!

SO, all the "Wow" weapons in the world are useless unless you have the determination to use them.  That is why the Israelis and the Soviets are so respected in the world.  Both of these countries will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who attacks them or kills one of their citizens.  I once wrote about what happened in Beirut when some of the insurgents killed a Soviet Diplomat.  The remaining insurgents NEVER touched a Soviet person again.   If we want to be respected in the world community again, and I am not sure those in leadership today want to be, but if we do, we must show overwhelming strength and determination to protect our people and our interests at any cost.  On September 12, 2001, we should have bombed Afghanistan into the stone age!  That would have settled it once and for all.  Our economy would be better, our troops safe, and the world would have been kissing our ring!  Instead, we are kissing their ass.  The bad guys of the world only understand total destruction delivered quickly and with decisive action.  It is time for America and her leaders to grow a set!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

You can't fight every war!

I see, in the news, that the candidates for the Presidency, except Congressman Ron Paul, want to use military force against Iran over their supposed, but publicly undocumented quest for nuclear weapons.  Let me tell these arm chair, never served a day in their life in uniform, never been in harms way, never shot anyone, never had ANY type of weapon pointed at them, CHICKEN HAWKS, that we do not have enough military might to fight every battle in the world.  Our military has been at war, actively in the field, for over 10 years!  Our men have been deployed time after time.  They are worn out!  When they are home, they are under the constant barrage of political news reports that they are making too much money, are being given too good a benefits package, and are permitted to retire to young with too much money!   Try going to war, every other year, for 13 months, people trying to kill you 24/7.  No rest, no breaks, no home!  Being in the military is hard.   If it was easy, everyone would do it!  And as a career Soldier, Marine, Sailor, Airman, the stress level is multiplied exponentially.  Yes, they try to make it look easy, we even even recruit females, gays, and old guys.  But, most of them are in the rear with the beer and the gear, trust me.  The guys on the pointy end of the spear are battle hardened men with brass balls. All that being said, our military men are tired, even fatigued!  Our equipment needs refreshed at best and probably replaced all together!

So, my advice is, set this one out, you Chicken Hawks.  Or, go fight it yourselves, and let the professional military men critique your performance!    

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A PERFECT Veteran's Day event!

Today, I attended a Veteran's Day breakfast hosted by the Gulf Breeze Middle School in Gulf Breeze Florida.  My youngest Grandson attends that school and this event was superb!!  There were 110 people in attendance and a large number of silver haired veterans.  The students did the majority of the work including the cooking!  My wife and I sat with my Grandson and a friend of his, who cooked the eggs.  I was very impressed with the demeanor of the students.  Remember, these young people are 11-13 years old.  They were honestly interested in the Vets and what they did for our country.  They were respectful, fun, young people to be with and I was very impressed.   But what impressed me even more was the emotional speech made by the Principal of the school.  He explained that they were trying to help the students understand the sacrifice of the Vets and what they went through as service members.  There was a very apparent respect for those who served and I appreciated it, as all the other Vets did.

So, while I tend to be depressed on Veteran's Day, this year, I have found a reason to be hopeful for our future.  That ope is found in the students and staff of Gulf Breeze Middle School.  Thanks!  I needed that.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Veteran's Day, 2011

Here it is, Veteran's Day, again!  Where did this year go? It has been a year of change for me, but it only seems about two days long!  I see that a number of national chain restaurants are offering Veterans a free meal.  Mighty nice of them, considering they don't like us most of the time.  Yes, when we are fighting the bad guys, we are OK with the civilian populace.  But, when peace ensues, we are held in disdain!  Our disabilities from our service to our nation are considered "Dirty" and "Disgusting".  Look at the VA Hospital system!  Now there is a good place to go die!  And the Nation's premier Veteran's Cemetery, Arlington, can't even get the right remains in the correct grave!  I also read an article that the remains of Servicemen killed in action are being miss handles, desecrated, and even, parts of the bodies taken or lost!  Yes, they really care about the warriors of this nation.  I am completely disgusted with the whole topic!

How am I going to celebrate Veteran's Day?  I am going to put on my Wash Khaki uniform, which the Navy saw fit to replace with those Faggot Blue camouflage girlie uniforms, and drink beer until I can't remember why I am disgusted!  That should take all day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Just WHO is the enemy in the war we are fighting?

I just read an article on DRUDGE about a Texas fire arms instructor who refuses to teach Muslims how to fire weapons.  I did this on a break from unpacking from our recent move.

My first reply was "Yes, I agree!".  But on second review, I have questions about that emotion.  Yes, the Muslim faith seems to be at the center of every war, insurrection, and massacre in the world.  And yes, their religious writings, the Koran, does state that anyone who will not convert to the Muslim faith must be killed.  But, does that mean we should treat everyone of the Muslim faith as the enemy?

I have lived for a long time by the mantra that everyone is my friend until they prove otherwise.  This is not a good mantra for those in combat.  But as a civilian, dealing with mostly civilians and feather merchants in uniform, (ie the ED Community) it has served me well.  Just the same, it seems that every Muslim Nation is trying to destroy America.  The results of the supposed Muslim Spring is a number of nations under new leadership swearing allegiance to Sharia Law!  Egypt has recently stated that their laws will be based on Sharia law and have already legalized polygamy!

But, back to the question, should we Americans treat ALL Muslims in our country as our enemy?  I remember what William Randolph Hearst and the Hearst Newspapers did to the American Japanese population during World War Two.  His premise was all Japanese are the enemy and even tough they are American citizens, some of them second and third generation Americans, since they are of Japanese decent, they are a threat to our security and henceforth, they were  interned in camps!  We can see, with the 20/20 hid sight afforded by history, that the internment of these Americans was wrong.

So, using history as our teacher, my answer is;  We should treat everyone who lives in America LEGALLY, as loyal residents of our country.  Until an individual, not a group,   shows us otherwise.  To do less would go against the moral fiber of our country.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cross country transfer.

I have to admit, although I have thought about moving from Virginia Beach to San Diego, Hawaii, even Iowa, I never thought we would ever leave our home port of 28 years.  But, the pull of family, grand kids, no income taxes, and little or no winter, made the move a reality.  We purchased a home which is another thing I never wanted to do again.  But, my mortgage payment is $200+, per month, less than the rent on a 1200 square foot apartment.  Our new home is 1736 square feet with a two car garage and no pet restrictions!  Additionally, no one stomping on the floor above us or having a screaming match below us, like our last Seniors Apartment.

So, here I am, unpacking bodes, moving furniture into that perfect spot, and aching in places I thought would never ache again!  But, it is fun!!  A little disorienting for me with my medical issues, yet even that is manageable thanks to my wonderful wife.  So, we are Floridians, with all the benefits and problems that come with that home port.  My first order of business, after the last picture is hung, is to fine a Black Shoe, in this sea of Airdales, to talk with!!

More later.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cuts in Military retired pay!

I read an article this morning about the bureaucrats wanting to change and reduce the Military retirement program.  Let's loo at history.  Since World War Two, we have had the 50% retirement with 20 years of service for all active duty military members.  Why, because being in the military is a demanding, tough, away from home, divorce prone, career!  I don't care what branch of the military you are in, even the Air Force!  In the years before the monumental changes in health care, the average retired military man lived 4-6 years after retirement.  The government was OK with that.  Now, we live longer and the bureaucrats are not good with that.  The truth is, they want us to fight their wars and then go away!  Death is OK too!  But the truth is, not everyone is dedicated enough to make the military a career.  And, since we have an all voluntary military, if we do not have some enticement, no one will join in the first place.  And another point, the liberals are always trying to re-engineering society and level the playing field for every person.  The military is the true equal opportunity employer.  People are hired, promoted, and trained based on individual talent and determination.  Men and women of all nationalities, races, creeds, and sexual orientations have and will be promoted based on their accomplishments.  So why mess with the military members now?

I honestly can't answer that question, but I can tell you, that based on past attempts to change the military retirement program; "IT WON'T WORK!"  Furthermore, it will result in lower retention, lower recruiting numbers, and and increase in training costs, reduced combat readiness, and more deaths from no experience in the first level leadership.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Defense Cuts!

It is somewhat curious to me to hear all the whopla about future Defense spending cuts.  History is always our best teacher, so let's look at what the founding fathers thought.  They were frightened by the concept of a large standing armed force.  That made sense since we had just won our independence from the Imperial Power of England.  So, in the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, the concept of a Militia, or a Peoples Defense force was established.  In the early days of our nation, we commissioned Army and Navy units for specific wars and then disestablished them after the need was gone.  Even before World War Two, we have a skeleton military.  They were almost a care taker unit.  Then World War Two happened and it was quickly followed by a number of conflicts that we had no business getting into because our National interests were not threatened.  Why do I say that?  Because Congress DID NOT declare War in any conflict SINCE World War Two!!  According to our Constitution, it is the duty of Congress to Declare War on another Nation.  Think about that for a minute.  Even the two Gulf Wars were not declared.  Yes, Congress gave their approval, but they stopper short of doing their Constitutional duty of declaring war!

So, since the completion of World War Two, we have un-Constitutionally wasted Trillions of dollars on the building, scraping and building again, of a military/industrial complex.  Who benefits, the civilians that own those commercial industries that build the equipment of war.  Who looses, the tax payers of our country.  Pretty evolutionary talk from a retired military man!

But, if our men and women are fighting and dieing in foreign lands, shouldn't Congress do their Constitutional duty of declaring war?  Now, I am not saying we should not be able to defend ourselves as a nation.  But we kept the Soviet Union at bay through Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).  Why won't that work now.  For instance, a nice, small, succinct  nuclear device dropped on the mountains of Afghanistan would surely quiet those folks down!  Why have we spent ten years, billions of dollars, and many lives, in a war that we cannot win, fighting an enemy that only understands total destruction?  Again, history is the best teacher.  Other nations have invaded Afghanistan and failed.  Most recently, the Soviet Union.  We should LOOK before we LEAP!

As far as the Navy goes, their job is projection of force and keeping the sea lanes open for trade.  The Marine Corps is a rapid strike force, not designed to occupy lands.  The Army's job is to occupy land.  An, frankly, I don't know what the Air Force's job is except to build beautiful bases with great golf courses.  Especially since we have all by gutted the Strategic Air Command!  Another issue is grade creep!  Today, we have more Flag officers that we had in World War Two, but a factor of TEN!!  Do we really need an Admiral for every ship, submarine, and aircraft carrier in commission?  I think not!

What am I saying?  We can reduce the size of our military drastically if we return to the original missions of each branch of service, and only use military force when Congress declares war.  We need to delete the War Powers Act and require Congress to do their job instead of permitting them to hide behind the President!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thanks!! I am honored.

I learned very early on in my leadership journey to be appreciative of the individuals who work with you.  Without them, I would not succeed!  Therefore, any success I ever had came from those who worked with me and shared my goals and vision of the task at hand.

This time, I am far more humble.  Yesterday, the viewership of this blog went over 20,000 views!!  That is amazing to me on many levels.  First of all, I am amazed that anyone would want to read anything I wrote well enough be interested in the stories related to my Navy career.  Second, I am amazed that so many individuals make comments, pro and con, on the articles I write.

I also want to thank the other blogs that link to my blog.  Your connection has greatly increased my readership.

I deeply appreciate your viewership!  It encourages me to be even more proficient and to search memory deeper for the events that shaped me.  I also appreciate you comments.  Many of you tell me about your experiences in the Navy or the other services.  Sometimes, you disagree with me, but you do so in a thought provoking way.  That also spurs me on to do better.

Since I started this blog as a way to pass my experiences on to my son and grandsons, and others who may be interested, it has also become a sort of therapy for me.  As many of you know, I have a progressive, terminal, neurological disease called Lewy Body Dementia.  The short description of LBD is Parkinson's with Alzheimer's.  In any case, I have received much more from writing this blog than I ever expected.

Again, thanks for being there.  You are more than this old Gunner's Mate deserves!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

You can owe the "Big O"!!

Do you remember that advertising slogan?  You should if you were stationed in Norfolk anytime before the early 1970's.  The "Big O" Naval Tailors was a landmark on the "Strip" in Norfolk.  Admiral Tausig Avenue was a two lane street, with bars, cheap jewelry stores, and a couple of Naval Tailors, biggest of all, was the "Big O".  I bought my first set of gabardine Blues there.  Had liberty cuffs and everything!!  I was hot sh#t!!  Or, at least I thought I was.  I had a locker there also.  Why a locker, because we could not wear civilian clothes on or off the ship!  Chiefs and Officers could, but not enlisted personnel.   So, we would leave the ship in a dress uniform, go to our "Locker Club" and change into some civilian clothes, go on liberty, get drunk, go back to the "Locker Club", try to get our dress uniform on correctly, and walk back to the ship!  Sounds bad, but it was a lot of fun!!  I guess you just had to be part of the Navy at that time to appreciate it.  But, that was the Navy I joined.  What about you?  

Today, Admiral Tausig Blvd is a four lane divided street.  There are no bars, no "Locker Clubs" and no rip off jewelry stores.  That may be better for our "Blue Jackets".  But I really miss the old "Strip".  It was an adventure.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Friends will stick closer than a brother!

During my 20 years in uniform and my follow on career in Civil Service, I have had many good friends.  Good, Loyal, generous shipmates, who would and have sacrificed their own well being to help me out!  I have had friends stay loyal to me when I was a complete jerk!  I have had friends stay by me when I was completely down and out.  When I was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, the out pouring of love, assistance, and companionship was heartwarming.  I have thrown-up in friends back yards because of too much beer, called and canceled events at the last minute, and put my career and desires above my friends.  Yet, my friends have always stood by me. loyally, and with love.  They have even put up with numerous house changes, crazy ideas, and my big headed desire to be the smartest, the best, and first, even when I really was not.  All in all, I am blessed to have such wonderful friends and it is a wonder, knowing me as I do, that any of them ever wanted to be my friend, well enough, stay my friend.  The truth is, I love the people, mostly men, who call me, and I call, friends.  Thanks!  I don't say that enough.  You know your names, Linda, Marcia, Lynette, Joel, Jim, Tim, Pam, Don, Jon, Al, Jerry, Ernie, Wayne, Barry, Steve, Phil, Rob, Doc, Phyllis, Troy, Zaldi, Mary, Fred, Art, Carlo, Ann, Bobby, Tom, Tommy, Dennis, Tracy, Andrea, Shirley, Ed, Paul, Rachel, Pete, Donna, Patricia, Bruce, and many names that I just can't recall at this time.  If I did not list your name, please excuse me.  I really do have issues with memory and it has taken 30 minutes to compile this list.    

But, this posting is about a very special friend.  You can have many friends, good friends, but to have a friend for 35 years, in the Navy, is a real blessing.  My best friend Jerry is that friend!  He is the person that is always there for me, anytime, anyplace.  I have asked him to do some strange things, like drive all the way to Northern Virginia from Hampton Roads, see the "Nations Gun Show" and drive all the way back in one day!  I won't do that again!  We have put shocks on my pick-up in the driveway in the winter, put a roof on a big ranch house in the summer, and watched the three stooges install a window and a patio door.  He has suffered my ego, and believe me it IS big, my opinions on everything under the sun, and my other quirks with a very special understanding.  We have cried together over the deaths of our parents, In-Laws, and friends.  We have walked the isles of more gun shows, car shows, and camper shows, than any two humans in the world.  He is my best friend.  My friend through thick and thin, sun and storm, and I would do anything in the world for him.  Jerry, I thank you from the depths of my soul for your friendship and for the way you have included Linda and I into your family.  I am the luckiest man in the world to have YOU as my friend.  I love you, respect you, and I am proud of you!  Thanks Pal!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hey, YOU!! Admiral!

I write an abundance of articles pertaining to the actual problems that the Navy is going through.  I offer well thought out soloutions, based on 40 years of deck plate Navy experience and a degree in Management.  I worked at the highest levels of the Navy's military and civilian leadership.  Briefed the CNO, the Secretary of the Navy, the Assistant Secretary of Defense, and numerous flag officers and SES civilians.  I am not a johnny come lately when it comes to the way the Navy is run and it's inherent problems.  Yet, I never hear from the actual people who can actually address and constructively change the way the Navy does business.  Yes, I remember this blog is supposed to be my remembrances of my Navy career.  But, I also have something to give to the Navy and I offer it freely!  You would think that at least one Admiral or SES civilian would reply and either agree or tell me I am full of hot air.  Yet, what I see is the senior leadership of the Navy maintaining the status quo, being political, and trying to cover their own collective posteriors.  No one takes on the military industrial complex.  The ED community continues to waste tax payer's money with the "Not Invented Here" mentality.  And our senior leadership is afraid to publicly say that the emperor has no clothes.

For instance, there is not enough money to pay for repair availabilities for our ships.  Instead of saying that, like we did 20 years ago, we pretend that everything is OK.  I remember  Flag Level briefs on the "Bow Wave" of deferred availabilities! We NEVER hear that today.  When I was in Bahrain leading a team of MARMC magicians repairing the MCM's that were in such bad repair that they failed INSURV, I got in a heated discussion with the One Start Admiral that was the Mine Sweeper Commander in Ingleside Texas.  She was angry that I was reporting to the Four Star Admiral, my boss, at Fleet.  She accused me of putting her on report.  I replied that I was just reporting the facts and that her inaction had put her on report.  She did not like that, but it was the truth.  She was taking care of the ships in Texas much better than she was the ships on the pointy end of the spear!

It is time for our senior leaders to stand up, grow a set of balls, and tell the unvarnished truth about maintenance, training, manning, ship design, weapon capability, everything.   Most of you are too young to remember that we had a serious problem with the fuze's used in torpedoes at the beginning of World War Two.  We would shoot a torpedo from a submarine and it would HIT the ship and not explode! A Navy O-5, a Lieutenant Commander, took on the Flag Officers and told hem the truth.  He found a way to fix the problem, and the rest is history.  I also remember the Commanding Officer of an Adam's Class DDG home ported in Norfolk, who, in the early 1980's, refused to deploy because he did not have enough qualified personnel to safely operate his ship.  He lost his command and his career, but his brave actions brought to light the manning shortage that everyone was dealing with.  It is time for today's senior leaders of the Navy take one for the team!   So, who's going to take the first punch?!

Same Stuff Different Day!

Today, I visited the Navy Command that I worked at as a Civil Servant.  The place looks the same.  A few new walls have been put up to accommodate some high grade civilians and Naval Officers.  But, many of the same old faces were there.  It was good to see everyone.  My friend, invited me into a "Brown Bag" managers meeting that the Department Head was holding.  I was reticent to go in, but the boss welcomed me.  As these Division Heads and Branch Heads discussed the problems of the day I noticed that they were discussing the very same issues we discussed before I retired and the very same issues we solved when I was first a Civil Servant in 1990!  It was amazing!  There was nothing different.  And the same "in the grass, cry baby people" were complaining about the same old issues.  They need to get a life!  The Branch Heads were complaining that the In Service Engineering Agencies (ISEA) were on the waterfront doing the job of FTSCLANT, or what ever their name is today.   I truly don't know what name they are going by.  There were complaints that the Branch Heads were not documenting their work on ships sufficiently.  There were complaints from the Branch Heads that the accounting codes did not work in the transition to the new fiscal year.  Nothing was new.  And the Division Heads just sat their like the furry dog in the back of a low rider Chevy!

I could have taken 5 minutes and solved every issue, and still had time for a sea story!  It seems no one learns from the past, or they have more memory problems than I do!  And I take heavy medication for mine!!

For the Government infrastructure to solve the budgetary problems that it has, the managers within Civil Service are going to have to quit reliving past issues.  The turf wars between the ISEA and the waterfront tech assist commands must be solved NOW!  Millions of dollars are being wasted reliving the same issues every 5 years.  Either all tech assist, system development, and system life cycle management belongs to the ISEA's and the other organizations are decommissioned, or the ISEA's are relegated to system development and the maintenance, tech assist, and life cycle management belongs to the waterfront maintenance commands.  I truly don't care.  But it has to be one or the other, NOT both!

And why the Navy, or for that matter the Government, cannot come up with an automated personnel time and accounting system that works, all the time, for any instance, is beyond me.  Hell, hire some computer geek from outside of government, task him to solve the issue and give him 15 minutes to complete the task!  Trust me, it will be done and workable.  But, the Navy continues in the "Not invented here" frame of mind and nothing gets done or something gets done, badly!

So, my take away for today is;  Same stuff, different day.  And, until someone actually grows a set and sets some rules for waterfront maintenance, we will continue to waste billions of tax payer dollars addressing the same issues, all the time.  GOD help us if the federal government ever gets control of health care!  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Thanks for remembering me."

I met the NFL Super Bowl winning quarterback, Ken Stabler for the first time when I was the Force Master Chief.  He was the guest of honor at a banquet on the USS Mobile Bay in Pascagoula.  He was a very personable man and handled the crowd of admiring sailors with class.  He passed his Super Bowl ring to me and let me see it, up close!  He was a real gentleman.

A few years later, I was retired from active duty and working for FTSCLANT.  I was flying out of Mobile airport and I ran into Ken Stabler again.  He was sitting alone, quietly reading the news paper at an abandoned gate, waiting for his flight.  I walked over to him and introduced myself, bringing that event on the USS Mobile Bay back to his memory.  He said he remembered the event and me, and was very congenial again.  I only spent a few minutes talking to him because I respect the privacy of celebrities and did not want to be rude or intrusive.   As we parted company with a hand shake, he said to me; "Thanks for remembering me."  That seemed very strange to me.  Who could forget a Super Bowl quarterback who was also a TV sport personality.  Impossible!!

Now, I understand Mr. Stabler.  As we fade from our professions, as we are replaced by younger talent, as our long time friends retire or pass on, there are fewer folks to remember what we did, our victories and our defeats.  What we did no longer matters because it has been done, quicker, better, cheaper, than we did it!  We are yesterday's news.  Yet, sometimes, I see a friendly face in the crowd, and that individual remembers me.  It makes me feel important, all over again.  Thanks for remembering me!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fast thinking in the midst of cascading failures.

During our Med cruise on the USS Caron (DD 970) in 1985/86. We were moored in Naples, to the quay wall.  The procedure to moor to the quay wall was called "Med Mooring".  That meant we were backed up to the quay wall, with 5 mooring lines from the stern of the ship to the quay wall.  There was no shore power available in this area, so we had to remain on ship's electrical power.  We were running one gas turbine generator with another in stand by.  Two thirds of the crew was on liberty and the duty section was aboard.  I was not on duty but Naples was not my favorite liberty port, so the Chief Hull Technician, Dave Kelly, and I were running on the flight deck, trying to stay in shape.  It was about 6:30 pm (1830).   Dave suddenly spotted is Division Officer, the Damage Control Assistant (DCA) toting a P-250 pump out onto the fantail.  The DCA and a couple of sailors were attempting to start the pump.  Dave chuckled at their efforts while wondering what they were doing, starting a P-250.  Then, another pump appeared on the fantail, carried by two other sailors.  Dave's curiosity was peaked and he headed for the fantail.  I kept running on the flight deck.  Pretty soon, Dave was jumping up and down on the fantail and waving his arms while calling out my name.   I ran down to the fantail and Dave told me the ship was hot, dark, and quiet.  We had dropped the electrical load and the stand by generator failed to start.  I make a quick trip to CCS to find out exactly what happened and what the status was.  I do not remember who the Duty Engineer was, but I quickly deduced that we did not have any monitoring for fire or flooding in any space, no fire main pressure, and we needed to go back to the old way of monitoring spaces for safety, roving sounding and security watches, all over the ship!  The Duty Engineer and Command Duty Officer, took my recommendations to set up Repair 5 as DC Central and run the roving patrols from there.  I assumed the Repair Locker Leader position and organized the teams.   We immediately began checking all the spaces below the water line every thirty minutes and posting the status on the DC Charts in Repair Five.  This all went smooth and Dave and the DCA did a miraculous job restoring fire main pressure for the ship by hooking up four P-250 pumps to the fire main jumper stations.  While this gave up fire main pressure, if we would have had to fight a fire, we still would have been in trouble because the P-250 pumps did not provide the volume of water that the normal electric fire pumps did.  Just the same, it was great!  

Then, about 2030 or so, we faced another problem, the crew members were beginning to return from liberty, some under the influence of adult beverages, and the ship was totally dark!  This was a perfect formula for tragedy.  But, what to do with the crew?  Where do we put them?  A few minutes with the Chief Master at Arms, who's name escapes me, and the CDO and we came to the solution of sequestering the crew on the mess decks.  Not the best place, but all what we had.  The Chief Cook, Al Williams even wrestled up some snakes for the crew.  He was always someone we could depend on.

Some of you may be asking at this point, why were we still hot, dark, and quiet?  We went Hot, Dark, and quiet because one energetic, young, inexperienced, Fireman was chipping rust off of the bracket that held the Uninterrupted Power Supply batteries for the Gas Turbine Generator that was on line.  He struck the battery post, grounding it to the bracket it was mounted to,  and shutting down the generator.  The stand-by generator was all lined up to start and it tried.  But, somebody removed the Air Start valve without authorization, for maintenance.  The start circuit operated and blew all of the compressed air in the flasks out into the space.  Hence forth, we could not start ANY generator!  We even tried to align the four small flasks I had in the two gun mounts, not enough volume.    So, we were without electrical power until the port services folks could get us a generator barge, in the morning, after working hours had started.

So, there we were, no electrical power, doing Damage Control like they did in World War Two, with some inebriated sailors sequestered on the mess decks, and a Mac Guiver fire main system set up on the two boat decks!  The end product was, the ship was safe, no one got hurt, and we restored power before noon.  No harm no foul..  Except, the embarrassment of ending up in that situation because the Duty Engineer did not have control of the situation!  In his defense, things happen!  People want to do the right thing, and in their eagerness, they make mistakes.  These mistakes are not malicious, they are just things that well meaning people do when they try to do more than they should.  Both of these causes to this catastrophic failure can be related to this syndrome.

There were no medals of letters on commendation issued for this event.  Too much embarrassment for the command, but everyone involved knew we did a good job.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What the Hell did I spend my life defending?!

I love the United States of America!  I must, I spent 40 years defending her.  I am affected by a progressive, terminal, neurological disease that is directly related to my service.  As some people say, I love my country, it's the government I hate!

When I grew up in the 1950's, America was the land of opportunity.  The people were free to succeed, or not.  The Nation was a Christian Nation, just as the founding fathers set it up to be.  For those of you who will argue that point, people fled England to the new world, to seek religious freedom.  The Church of England was the only church permitted and it was supported through a mandatory tax. That is why, when the Constitution was written, 11 years after the founding of our country, Thomas Jefferson penned the Amendment that stated no state Church would exist.  That Amendment did not mean religion should be stomped out or that we should be tolerant of every foolish religion in the world.  Our entire legal system is based on Judeo-Christian values.  Regardless of what President Obama say, America IS a Christian nation.    

In any case, our freedoms, the one's those of us who served our country in combat fought to protect, are being eroded by the very government that is sworn to support and defend the Constitution that guarantees those freedoms.  We are being required to pay for the life styles of individuals that will not provide for their own needs and the needs of their families.   Now, we are being directed to purchase things we don't want, drive vehicles that don't meet out needs, and we are prevented from defending ourselves from the religious Islamic Jhadists that seek to destroy us because to single them out would be profiling!

Well, I for one am sick of it.  I am all for living peaceably with my neighbor, regardless of his or her religious beliefs, as long as they afford me the same respect.  But, step across that line and  reserve the right to defend myself, my family, and my faith.

America must return to our roots.  We must become a nation of opportunity for all who will work for it.  A nation of freedom to succeed or fail, as one desires.  And, if someone chooses not to succeed, it is not my responsibility to provide for them.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The feeling of being a new Chief!

It's Chief Petty Officer indoctrination time again!  I have written before about my views on Initiation verses Indoctrination.  No need to rehash old news.  But, I remember the feeling of that first day as a Chief.  Not my initiation day, but the next morning.  Look back in my postings and read about my initiation.  I was stationed on board the USS Stein, (FF 1065) for the second time.  I was initiated on board, underway, with a brief stop in Seal Beach for an major ammo onload!  So, by the time my initiation day was over, I was worn out!  Naturally, they had a top rack in the CPO berthing all set for me and I crashed.  I remember how comfortable that spring backed mattress was.  MUCH better than those Northampton style Locker/racks were.  Two inches of foam mattress on a solid metal platform.  Not good.    In any case, the next morning, the Mess Cook woke me up and asked me what I wanted for breakfast!  If you read my posting, I needed help putting my collar devices on my Khaki shirt, but as I walked out into the mess, I was greeted with a group; "Good morning Chief!"  I felt like a million dollars.

And wearing Khaki's was like having on a $1000 Brook's Brother's suit!  I really did feel like the "Fount of Wisdom",  I was a Chief!   That was a long time ago, 32 years to be exact.  But I still remember how I felt, how my Wash Khaki's felt, how proud I was, and how overwhelmed I was with being a Chief.  I hope, that the new Chief's feel the same amount of excitement, and pride that I felt that first day.  I hope that those of you who greet your new Chief's on the morning after the Indoctrination, greet them with a resounding; Good morning Chief!.  That's when they will know that they are really Chiefs!  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More wasted money by the ED's!!

I just saw an article on Drudge showing a "Stealth" boat called the "Ghost Boat" that will, supposedly, revolutionize warfare.  The one thing that was missing from this "so called great" is a gun mount, or a weapon of any kind.  The purpose of warfare is to kill people and wreck things!!!  This Ghost Boat rides on a cushion of gasses to move over the water.  Great, it can sneak up on the enemy, yell BOO, and scare them to death! 

This love affair with technology is getting ridicules.  We spend billions on engineering ideas that don't work, won't fight, and can't survive.  I wish, n this time of budgetary restraints that we would put our money into know technologies that work, first time, every time.  We would be better off building World War II 2250 class Destroyers than the last 20 years efforts in ship building!  Hell, the 2250's lasted 40 years!!  Or, if we are in need of missile shooters, how about some Adams class DDG's?   According to Jane's Fighting Ships, they were the most potent ship, pound for pound, ever commissioned.  Other world Navies, including Australia and Germany are still using this hull.

But no, we have to design "Star Wars" ships that don't have a chance of succeeding.  It is time that Congress take the Navy to task for their irresponsible spending of the taxpayers money. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Shipmates, the BEST part of my career.

The older I get, the more this disease progresses, the more I look back at my career with great satisfaction.  Not at what I did, because I was not all that good at what I did, but my satisfaction comes from knowing the many great men that I worked with, served with, and watched perform miracles in the face of tremendous adversity.  I mean that!  Many times, we fixed a broken gun mount, elevator, launcher, with little more that an O-Ring kit and our own good sense.  I remember a number of Machinery Repair Petty Officers (MR) who could make a part with a piece of metal, a lathe, and a welder using the broke piece as the pattern.  The truth is, when the USS Caron (DD 970) was prematurely decommissioned and sunk, the lower hoist for Mount 51 had a chain link made of monnel steel, that was completely made by the ship's MR!! That link was made during the Lebanon Naval Gun Fire Support mission time in 1984.  Now that is one good MR!

Thanks to Facebook and the internet I am able to get in touch with shipmates all over the country.  These contacts help me retain my memory and morale!  So, as they did while we were in uniform or when I was a civil servant, these real American hero's come to my rescue again.   I learned, early in my career, that it was the people that you surrounded yourself with that made you successful or a failure.  I was blessed to be surrounded, for over 40 years, with the most dedicated, professional, selfless, individuals any person could be associated with.  Some of them I have called out in past postings, some are just now coming back to memory thanks to Facebook.

I could name them all, but I have a policy of not using individuals names unless they are deceased or I have their permission.  But, they know who they are and I pray that they know how thankful I am for the past and present.

While I travel, less and less, I still travel in by the means of my computer and telephone.  These contacts help me cope with my disease and bring me great pleasure.  Discussing times pat, old sea stories, remembering shipmates past, is renewing to me and I hope to you.  So, look for a shipmate that you have not seen for a long time.  I bet you and them, will be renewed through this new contact.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Line of Death!

During the USS Caron's (DD 970) 1985-86 Med Cruise, we participated in operations against Llybia.  One of those operations were to breach the so called "Line of Death" that Qaddafi had designated.  In preparations for the operation, we were ordered to establish and train an armed boat crew to recover downed pilots of any nation, friendly or not.  The Executive Officer came to me as the Command Master Chief and the Leading Gunner's Mate to select the men for this potentially dangerous detail.  I quickly told him that I would be leading this team.  He told me that I could not and that I was to select only unmarried men!  After a blast of profanity from me, I asked him WHY only single men. His limp wristed reply was that they would not leave behind any family!  I went on to explain the fact that we were military men, in a combat operation, and that the Navy expected the best men for the job to be selected.  Since I was the only person in the crew that I KNEW would shoot someone, I knew I was going.      I also took Konehead, another young Gunner's Mate, a Boatswain's Mate with plenty of boat handling experience and  an engineer who I thought could keep the boat running, no matter what.  Thankfully, we never were needed, but the attitude of that Executive Officer stayed with me forever.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquake!!

Since this blog is about my Navy career, I was just talking to my son and a story about my past came to mind.  I commissioned the USS Leftwich (DD 984).  We were homeported in San Diego and going through training called Refresher Training. (Reftra)  Since we were a new crew on a new ship, I am not sure what they were refreshing.  But, there we were, anchored in San Diego harbor, parallel to the Rueben E. Lee, a paddle wheel ship turned in to a restaurant.  I was standing on the fantail of the ship, in the early evening,
with the CDO who was a young Lieutenant, and all of the sudden the fantail of the ship started to lift up!!  I mean lift up a couple of feet!  It felt like King Neptune had hold of the anchor chain and was pulling down on it.  As the anchor went down, the forecastle went down, and the fantail rose up!  The, just a fast, the fantail would fall back into the water.  This went on for about a minute or so, up, down, up, down, violently!!  The CDO asked me; "Chief, what's going on!!?"  The answer was obvious, earthquake!!  The CDO ran 100 miles in a one foot square!  He was in a panic!  But I thought, what's the big deal, we are floating aren't we?  But he continued to panic until I said; "Sir, when you are in charge, things sure happen!!"  He never liked me.  I wonder why?

American's have become a nation of little girls!

Today, the east coast of the United States experienced a minor earthquake.  Nothing big, a 5.8.  Some damage to poorly built buildings, but nothing big. I did not feel it, but I was in California for a number of destructive quakes.  But my point is, people are running around with their hair on fire, worried about the quake and the possible approach of a hurricane.  I was at the City Treasurer's office, paying for a cat license, (imagine that) and a middle aged woman and her teenage daughter came in and was in a complete panic!  She was saying, over and over; "What is going to happen next?"

The people who settled this country went through natural disasters, that we can't imagine and they went on, stoically, and made this a great country.  Today's Americans loose their nerve if their cell phones loose connection!  Even our troops in the sandbox, at war, call their families at home, on patrol, from their cell phones.  It seems we cannot stand on our own two feet anymore.  What ever happened to "Rugged Individualism".  We are now a country of lemmings!  We have to call Mommy to get permission to go to the head!

Tough men and women made America what it is.  They were on their own, responsible for their own well being, unafraid of anyone or anything.  Today, most men have never been punched in the nose, well enough stood up for anyone or anything.  It's time to "Man Up" America!  Grow a set!!  Stand up for what is right and fight against anything that is wrong.  Yes, there is Right and Wrong! We do not live in "Gray" areas.  It is either right or wrong, and it is high time we stand up for that which is right!!  It is either that, or we will loose our freedom.  It is that simple.  So, it's your choice.  As for me, I will punch anyone in the nose, verbally or physically, who goes against what I believe in, and damn the consequences!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tragedy, Loose lips kill SEALS!

I just read the news that a Helo was shot down in Afghanistan carrying 31 U.S. troops including 25 from SEAL Team Six.  It is believed that many of these men were the ones that brought Usama Bin Laden to justice.   This is a double tragedy.  First, the loss of any American fighting personnel is tragic.  Second, SEAL Team Six is the best of the best!  Replacing them is difficult at best and probably impossible.

The Taliban has taken credit for this kill.  I suspect that they were tracking SEAL Team Six ever since the OBL event.  How did the Taliban know who did the OBL job, Vice President Biden told the press!!!  He blabbed a top secret op in the open to the press to look good!  This moron is a danger to the security of America not to mention the lives of American fighting personnel.

SEAL Team Six has been in operation since the early 1980's.  It was established by President Regan.  They have accomplished many missions and saved many lives, all under the cover of secrecy.  Even their base of operations was classified.  Their secret compound was double guarded and secure within the confines of a Naval Training Base.  They wore civilian clothes, grew beards and long hair, did not carry military ID cards and did everything in secret.  That lasted, until this administration.  The Vice Presidents reckless abandonment of security classifications has lead to the death of 31 military members including 25 members of this elite team.  He should be tried for treason and murder in my book.  His desire to "look good to the press" by showing them he knew what was going on, permitted the Taliban to track and kill these men.  If this was an enlisted man, he would be in a Courts Martial this morning and hung this afternoon.  But not Vice President Biden.  No, he will continue to be a threat to the lives of our military and the security of our Nation.

I have known about Six since 1980, when I was the GMG detailer.  I toured their facility in 1987 when I was the Force Master Chief of the Surface Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.  I am proud to have know some of these men, past and present, who have defended freedom, quietly, secretly, and very effectively for the last four decades.   Now I fear they will cease to be viable because their cover has been blown by a politician of the lowest denominator.  A politician who will sacrifice anyone, lie about anything, and plagiarize anyone, to look good to the press and to get re-elected.  Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Remember this event, these deaths in November 2012!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Balance the budget on the back of the military personnel.

Again, the politicians in Washington want to solve their over spending on the backs of those of us, past, present, and future, who do their dirty work.  They want to reduce the amount of retirement pay we receive in a number of ways.  First, buy changing, again, the way our retirement pay is computed to a "High five" verses a "High Three" as it is now.  Of course it used to be based on your last salary.  Then, they want to change the computation of our COLA!  That COLA is meaningless now because they "Suits" removed fuel and food from the COLA computation already!!  And, some of the wimps in Congress want to lower the pay of our military members.  Look wimps, what we do is dangerous, it shortens our lives, if we even live to retire, and it robs us of family time, if we even keep our families.  We are exposed to dangerous chemicals without protection, explosives, NBC warfare, and other unseen dangers like the mechanized pneumonia virus that has been traced to the deserts in Iraq, Bahrain, and all the way back to Bethesda!  But, the news media does not tell you of that, do they!!  Our military is exposed to dangers, mental and physical, of unbelievable terror, while they do what those in Congress would never have the balls to do, Senator McCain excluded.

Congress, both parties, have spent us into a hole!!  They have spent what we don't have and won't have.  Now they have to pay the piper, but they want those who can least afford it, to make the largest payment on their excesses.  What do we do?  Write, your Congressmen and Senators and tell them this is not acceptable.  Notice, I said write, not call or email.  Why, because letter, in hand writing, carry more weight than any other means of communication.  So, write, unless you like this idea.

It is time to reduce spending to reduce the debt.  I agree, so let's start by reducing the salaries of Congressmen and Senators.  Let's reduce the size of their staffs, the size of the President's staff, the use of military aircraft, and the size of the State Department, The Department of Education, and any other department of the Executive Branch.  Then, we can take on the other no loads and reduce their take.  Is our military too big, does it spend too much money?  Yes, and I have outlined many ways to reduce that size without reducing the personnel ready for combat.  All we have to do is look at the Marine Corps for for our example.  

The time to reduce is now, but the Fighting men and women are not the place to look for savings!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Gays in the Military.

Since the Gay Community has now joined the "Main Stream" they will need to quit being so sensitive about some good natured ribbing.  That's right, good old, morale building, fun poking, (no pun intended) ribbing.  I just read an article where the, now fired, Commanding Officer of a VFA Squadron got censured for assigning an Aviator's Call Sign that made jest of a pilots openly Gay life style.  The Junior Aviator took umbrage and reported the Commander to the Squadron Commander who promptly fired him, lest he be stained with the  Squadron Commander's sin..  Look folks, do you know why Drag Racing gave Don Prudhome the nick name of "The Snake"?  It's not because he is fast on the strike.  It's not because he had a desire to own pet snakes, it's because of a particular part of his body!  Did he go running to Mommy about this teasing?  No, he made a million dollars from it.  As I recall, there was a baseball player in the 1930's they called "No Shoes".   Why, I don't know, maybe he liked being bare footed.  We had kids in our neighborhood who had monikers that were down right embarrassing that they wore with pride.   I worked with a fellow for 20 years that had the nick name of "Big Head".  I knew a Cruiser Commanding Officer who was nick named "Crazy Karl".  The bottom line is, if you are going to play with the big boys, you have to have thick skin.  If you whine about how bad you are treated, the treatment will only get worse.  If you toughen up, grow a set, and take the minor jokes, they will soon respect you for your abilities.  All of us have had to go through it.  It's part of acceptance in a team.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The scrapping of our defense!

It amazes me that those politicians, in uniform and in suits, fail to understand our history.  What do I mean?  We have and are in the process of decommissioning, scrapping, and scuttling every U.S. Navy ship that could be used in the defense of America.  Good ships and submarines with tens of years left in their service life.  First we decommissioned and scrapped the CGN class ships, when each of them had over 20 years of Nuclear fuel left!! Then the New Threat Upgrade Cruisers.  Ships with weapons with far more capability than the AEGIS wonder ships.  Don't believe me.  We had to bring a Leahy class CG out of mothballs to do the ER AEGIS missile shoots because the famed AEGIS weapons systems did not have the range to track the missile!  Then it was the Spruance class destroyers, most with vertical launch systems installed.  Then the DDG 993 class ships with 2 MK 26 missile launchers and two MK 45 Guns, equipped with New Threat Upgrade.  Then the first 5 AEGIS class ships because they had moving missile launchers.  All of these ships have either been sunk, scrapped, or sold to a foreign nation.  Then we removed the only offensive weapon on the Perry class FFG's, the MK 13 Missile launcher, capable of hitting an aircraft 40 miles away!  They could also launch Harpoon anti-ship missiles.  We have scrapped 20+ nuclear Attack Submarines, most equipped to shoot Tomahawk cruise missiles, and a large number of Fleet Ballistic Missile Subs.  We struck ALL of the Iowa class Battleships after extensive, expensive, modernizations that made them as potent in today's world Navy as they were impenetrable.

What the hell is going on?!?!  If a war does start with China, Iran, The Soviet Union, (yes they still exist, only the news media does not talk about them) Venezuela, or any group of bad guys allied together, what are we going to use?  unmanned drones?  They have to get there somehow.  Control of the seas and a free sea lane is the DUTY of the nation's military and the U.S. Navy is the only military unit that can do this.  China, the Soviet Union, Iran, are all building capable, offensive, long range, submarines.  Do you thing they are building them for a new Disney ride?  They are building to go to war, against us!!  And not only did we decommissioning these valuable assets, we sunk, scrapped, or sold them for pennies!  We did not even place them in mothballs for a future war!!  Again, I ask, what the hell is going on.  Have the politicians, in uniform and in suits, surrendered the United States to the enemy?  Do they have a deal to hand over the keys of this great Nation to the next aggressor who shoot one missile.  It appears so to me!  I have no platform from which to sound the alarm, except this blog.  Maybe someone of influence will read this and wake up.  But, I doubt it.  It seems the politicians have sealed our fate!!
I hate to say it, but just like the financial crisis caused by the liberals, progressives, and moderates, they have destroyed our great country.  America is DONE!   We have met the enemy and he is us!