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

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!!