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Saturday, February 23, 2013

The folly of the LCS class ships

A very good friend sent me an article written for Bloomberg News about the design faults and failures of the LCS Class ships.  It referenced hull cracking, severe bi-metallic corrosion problems, gun malfunctions and under performance, and other issues that I have commented on in the past.  It was almost like I had written the article, but I did not.

But, the thing that shocked me was that the authors placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Navy's Engineering Duty Officer community.  Time and time again, I have commented on the Navy's ED Mafia and their choke hold on the technical development of the Navy.  They live and rigidly enforce the "Not invented here" dogma!  If they did not think of it, or if their direct contractor did not design it and give the ED Community the credit, it does not go on Navy ships.

So, we have a big class of ships that can't do their mission, as easy as that mission was designed to be.  We spent billions of dollars on ships that can't do what a plywood PT boat of World War Two did and did well.  But, we keep building them, in two drastically different designs, from two shipyards  The parts are not interchangeable, the training pipelines are different, and the ships are equally useless.  But, we are going to purchase 58 of them!!  Another case of dumb ass!

The LPD class is the same thing, and the new LHA will be the same.  Imagine, we are building ONE LHA with NO well deck.  A class of one is useless.  All parts, all maintenance, all training, is one hull specific!

The truth is, we have not delivered a ship that meets design and contract specs since the Adams Class DDG's!  The Spruance Class came close, but required serious modification to meet their designed mission.  The CG 47 class required tons of concrete to be poured into the lower hull to increase stability!  Things like that should NOT get past the design phase!!

With the National debt where it is, we need to be good stewards of the taxpayer's money.  Any ship, aircraft, or system design should be independently tested in virtual labs, scale models, and if possible, in industry BEFORE we purchase it.

Back to the LCS ships.  The Navy has known about and dealt with bi-metallic corrosion for decades. Why would we build an aluminum hulled ship with ferrous metal connectors through it to secure the ship's propulsion system?  Why would we build 58 ships that cannot operate in the open seas?  That can't perform underway refueling or replenishment?  Why would we design a ship class that has only 7 days of station keeping capabilities?  The list of stupid design faults foisted on the Navy by the ED Mafia goes on, but no one listens.  Hopefully the article in Bloomberg News will open someone's eyes.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A piece of advice!

At the very end of the Viet Nam conflict, it was apparent that the Military was going to take a big budget hit.  I was a GMG1 on a Know Class Frigate and I knew that meant the money we got to run the ship would be cut.  So, I used my quarterly expendable funding to go to Servmart and purchase every thing I would need to keep things running.  Oils, bails of rags, dry cleaning solvent, greases, small arms cleaning supplies, and toilet paper!  I squirreled all that "Booty" away in the Landing Force Locker.

The ship did not get underway for over nine months!  Fuel was all but nonexistent.   And our OPTAR funding was cut by two thirds!  It was a terribly austere time.  There was little or no training funds, greatly reduced reenlistment bonuses, and low morale.  Even repair parts for our systems were difficult to get.  And for the first time, repair parts were charged to the ship!  Before that time, repair parts were "no cost" to the ship.  That policy encouraged us to always keep our systems "Up".  But the end of the Viet Nam conflict changed that.

But, I has the things I needed to keep Mount 51 clean and lubricated.  I even had some common repair parts squirreled away!   And that is my tip to each of you on active duty.  Now is the time,  or it may even be past time,  to get those things you will need over the next year or so to keep your systems running!   Your budgets will shrink even more, but your operational commitments may not.  You have to look out for yourself and your system.  That's your responsibility as the work center supervisor, Leading Petty Officer, or teh Division Chief.  Leadership now will pay big dividends later.

The past does predict the future, sometimes.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Sequester is phony BS!

The sequester will reduce the growth of the federal budget $85 billion.  That is $85 billion of $3.8 trillion.  To put that is layman's terms, the Sequester reduced the growth of our federal budget over the next ten years by five cents of every dollar of increase in the budget over the next ten years!  It does NOT reduce the amount budgeted to spend this year at all.

That means, we, the American people are being lied too by our politicians, the President, and our Military Flag Officers!  It also means the canceled deployment of the Strike Carrier Battle Group was for theatrical reasons, not budgetary issues.  It also means delaying and canceling ship repairs and overhauls was a lie and an act of symbolism over substance!

This entire Kabuki Theater is being played to increase the size of government and increase taxes on the American people.  The players are the politicians who are trying to use the American largess to buy votes, expand their power, and to further weaken the ability of America to defend herself.   Those players include the thousands of Military Flag Officers who are political hacks, without loyalty to the troops they supposedly lead or the Country they supposedly serve.  The audience of this tragedy is the American people who are so poorly informed that they buy the convoluted plot, hook, line, and sinker.  Not only do they buy it, they think it is good for them.  But the time the American public understands that they have been dipped, the hook will have been set and there will be no escape!

America is being lead over the cliff like a pack of lemurs.  Our freedoms are being deleted like a bad paragraph of a term paper in a WORD program.  I am convinced that we are at the tipping point for our Republic and if we, the American people, do not strike back and retake control of our government, all will be lost.  The Constitution states that our government is "of the People, by the People and for the People."  Otherwise, we are supposed to be in charge and the Politicians, including those in uniform, work FOR us!!  If your Representative or Senator does not do his or her job, get together with others and FIRE them!   That includes Congress controlling the budget and the President!

Yes, you can watch sports, play your video games, and eat and drink yourself into a fat ball of dependence.  Or, you can get off the couch, turn off the television, and start to be that rugged individual that once showed the way in America.   It is your choice, but it will impact those around you.  So choose carefully.

One other point.  Going against the flow WILL make you unpopular.  That seems to be uncomfortable for some of you.  You would rather just go with the flow, follow the pack, be invisible.  Well, remember those lemurs running off the cliff?  The one in the middle of that pack is YOU!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Yet another shipmate goes to his reward.

Today, I was reading the Hampton Roads obituaries as I always do while I wait for my 30 minutes to pass after I take my thyroid medicine.  It is just a part of getting older.  However, today I discovered that yet another of my shipmates had passed away.

Master Chief Tom Shupe passed away on Friday, February 15, 2013.  Tom was an exceptional man.  He served 31 years in the Navy.  He was an Aviation Engine Mechanic, first in reciprocating engines and later in jet engines.   He was severely injured when he was blown off the flight deck of an Aircraft Carrier resulting in a broken back!  But, he continues to serve being returned to full duty after his recovery.   That back trauma left Tom with a permanent stoop that only increased as he aged.  Still, he never complained and continued to drive his convertible Mustang GT every time he got a chance.

Tom was a dedicated member of Grace Community Church in Virginia Beach where he worked untiringly to build the Church buildings and the Church body.  I remember when we were planning to tear down an out building that was built without a foundation.  Tom warned me to wear a mask because they had put Seven dust below the floor boards twenty-five years ago when he built that shed.  He was always devoted to helping the body.

Tom was a devoted family man.  He lived his wife deeply and often told the story of how they met.  He was always there to help his family with guidance and love.  Tom was a wonderful mixture of gruffness and gentleness and he always knew which trait was right for the moment.

I have reached that time in life where I attend many more funerals than weddings.  Each time a friend passes ways, I realize that I have more friends in Heaven than here.  I will miss Tom, but I will see him again soon!  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The growth of the nuclear club;

Today, North Korea tested a nuclear weapon, at least twice as large as their previous test.  It was a successful test.  They have also successfully tested a three stage missile that could carry tat nuclear weapon to American cities.  Iran is close to testing a nuclear weapon, and they have also tested a three stage missile with less success.  China is providing the technology for both of these countries nuclear growth.  Pakistan has had nuclear weapons for a while and they are certainly not our friends.  There is confusion as to where the chemical weapons are in Syria and who has control of them.   The WMD that were in Iraq were trucked to Syria before the American invasion.  Where are those weapons now?

The word picture I am painting is that of a very dangerous and volatile world.  We have more enemies than friends!  And our friends are militarily weak!  So, why are we busy dismantling our military?  We now have less Navy combat ships in the entire fleet than we had home ported in Norfolk, Virginia when I was the Force Master Chief!!!  Think about that fact for a minute.

So, over the last two years, the Muslim Brotherhood, a sworn enemy of America and Christianity, has taken over Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and other Arab countries.  Korea and Iran are getting more militant in their attitude towards the world, and China, who owns most of our foreign debt, is supplying both of them.  The actual allies we have that we can count on, that actually have a military worth a spit, is non-existent.  Oh and then there is the Soviet Union (Russia) ruled by an ex KGB leader, who has doubled his countries military spending, is not our friend and never has been.   This is a bad time to disarm.

But, that's what we are doing and all the Flag Officers in all of the services, are doing nothing!  And, recently there was a story that stated that the President polled all his flag officers as to whether they would use deadly force against American citizens.  If they said no, they were asked to retire.

Makes you wonder, I hope.




The wolf is at the door!

Deputy Defense Chief Ash Carter told Congress today that the sequestration cuts to Defense will be devastating!   The news media acts like this is a shock!  Well, let me tell you it is just part of the Progressives plan.  They have wanted to gut the military and turn America into a defenseless paper tiger since President Clinton.  It is the stated goal of the Democrat (Progressive) Party to reduce the U.S. Military to that of a third world nation.  They have stated and they believe that America should not be a world leader and that we consume too much of the world's resources.

This massive military cut comes when Russia and China are making massive increases into their defense budgets and today, North Korea exploded a miniaturized plutonium bomb.  The exact type that fits on a ballistic missile.  At the same time, we cut deployments of Navy ships to the region, stopped ship and aircraft maintenance, and will reduce military man power.

But this does not only impact those in uniform, it negatively impacts those civilians that repair ships, aircraft, and military vehicles.  There will be thousands of lay off because of these decisions.

I see bad decision after bad decision being made, in a plan to decimate the U.S. Military!  It is almost like those in charge in our political positions want to destroy America!

Thats how I see it.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Food for thought

Let me bring forth an idea, a thought, a premise I have about the publicly stated fiscal difficulties of the Nation and in turn our Military.

We have been told that because of the Sequestration deal that the White House and Congress agreed on to deal with their inability to balance the budget and live within our means our Military cannot do their job, we cannot repair our ships and aircraft, and we are not combat ready.  Much of our so called, dirty laundry, has been openly discussed on television, radio, the Internet, and in print.  So, it should be safe to say, our enemies know more about our problems than we do.  They have intelligence teams looking into every nook and cranny trying to learn our deepest secrets!  Remember what I said in an earlier post; "Never believe your own press releases."

Now, I have two different premises to present;

1.  Our Nation's financial problems are much worse that we have been lead to believe.

2.  The talk about our financial problems are a ruse and we are not in fiscal difficulty as the entire government is selling.

If my first premise is correct, I must ask the questions; How did we get in this mess?  Who put us here?  Were we put in this fiscal extremes on purpose?  If so, why?

If my second premise is correct, why are we following this line of deceit to the American people and the world?

I don't have a factual answer to any of these questions.   Why, because like you, all I know is what I hear from the media.  But rest assured, someone knows the answer and I am afraid the American people will NOT know the answers until it is too late for America.

Something to think about!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Remote monitoring

I just saw a commercial on the television for Norfolk and Southern Railroad touting their "Talking Trains"!  It went on to tell, very proudly, how their trains talk to the controllers and keep them informed of fuel usage, equipment performance, and in turn enhance the fuel mileage of the train and save money!  That money savings reduces your costs to use Norfolk and Southern Railroad to ship your goods!!

I tried for my last three years as a senior civil servant working for the Navy to sell the Navy on remote monitoring.   We had a number of corporate partners including one of the biggest weapons  systems manufacturer.  We proved that the idea of "Remote Monitoring" works and adds to the maintainability of any shipboard system.  We did a live, battlefield, demonstration that lasted three years!  The system did not fail nor did it impede the operation of the systems.  It did permit the engineers back at the In Service Engineering Agency the ability to predict component failures before they failed and became catastrophic or cascading!   Therefore, "Remote Monitoring" saved money.  Something the Navy and the government needs desperately.

However, the Navy Engineering Duty Officer Mafia invoked their "Not invented HERE" rule and squashed "Remote Monitoring".    Even after numerous meetings, demonstrations, and agreements, NAVSEA would not permit "Remote Monitoring" to go forward.

Now, the commercial industry is promoting their revolutionary, forward looking, technically advanced, use of "Remote Monitoring".  We could have had this six or seven years before industry.  But, we were more interested in keeping the ED Mafia happy than saving money on system maintenance and increasing Combat Readiness without increasing manning!  It was a "Force Multiplier"!

Now we can't refuel the USS Lincoln?!

I read today in numerous venues that the U.S. Navy has announced they do not have the money to refuel the USS Lincoln!  OK, it's time to throw the bullshit flag!!!

Major overhauls including nuclear refuelings are planned and funded incrementally over a long period of time.  That means over many fiscal years.  A single political event, regardless of it's magnitude, should stop the planned refueling of a nuclear Aircraft Carrier.  So, the question is, where did that money go?  Who spent it on what it was not planned for?  Who authorized that unauthorized expenditure?  And finally, when is their Court Martial?

I don't believe the political hype that the Navy does not have the money to start the refueling of the USS Lincoln, on time.  Instead, they are holding the USS Lincoln overhaul and refueling hostage, and along with the ship, the jobs and income of thousands of civilian workers at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia.  No, the more I thin about it, I know we are being deceived, misled, and lied too!  

I was told by a warrior once; "Never believe your own press releases!"  I believe on top of that we should never believe the administration's press releases!   Our Navy and our ability to defend ourselves as a nation are being held hostage to political wranglings.  Those who are elected to govern are using their positions to advance their personal political ideals regardless of what is best for our nation.  It is a sad day!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Navy is out of money!!!

I just read an article in the Virginia Pilot and Ledger Star that the USS Carl Vinson will NOT deploy because the Navy does not have enough money to pay for it!!   Yes, the article says, "due to budget constraints"  but that is Washington speak for "OUT OF MONEY"!!  The article went on to say that we were cutting our carrier commitment in the Persian Gulf to One Carrier!  That is not enough carriers to respond to Iran!  No matter what anyone says.

Also, today that said the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, recommends a PAY CUT for the active duty Military!!

Now if those two facts don't make you stand up and scream, you are dead!  Because of our governmental politicians uncontrolled spending.  Because we have not had a budget to even measure spending against for the last 4 years, we are now $16.5 billion dollars in debt and climbing!  And this debt, uncontrolled spending, Obama care, illegal alliens, bank and auto company bailouts, free money to Green Companies that went broke, and uncontrolled social spending have us unable to defend ourselves against our sworn enemies!!

We are being lead to our National distruction by either incompetents or a group of individuals bent on our distraction.  You decide!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

You hurt my feelings!!

The Executive Officer of a Pac Fleet FFG was relieved because he used offensive language and gestures.  Are we kidding me?!  The XO is supposed to be offensive!!  He is the keeper of good order and discipline!  The XO sets the personality of the crew!  He is tough, rough, feared, and in charge!!

The idea that an XO can be relieved because he used course language or gestures shows haw far our Navy has fallen.  We have turned our Navy and our supposed combat ships into a social experiment and dating service.  Leadership is supposed to set the tone, and if tough language is needed, so be it!

Let me tell you a story from a long time ago.  I was on teh USS Stein and we were is some middle east foreign port.  I was a GMG1 and the Duty Master at Arms.  The First Lieutenant came and got me about 2300 and told me he knew there was someone in the fan room that supplied Officers Country.  He knew this because, if you opened the water tight door, the fan speed actually increased and you could hear that.  We went up to the Fan room and I undogged the door.  I turned the light on and of course, it did not work.  I shined my flashlight around and found two E-3s hiding behind the cooling coil unit.  I beckoned them out and searched them finding nothing.  I then searched the space with the same results.  The First Lieutenant and I took them to the XO who was also aboard.

The XO asked me what I found and I reported my negative findings.  He looked at the non-rates and asked them in a very gruff and loud voice; "What were you smoking up there?"  The said with little respect; "Nothing, you don't have anything on us!"  He repeated his question, this time louder!  Their reply was equally disrespectful.  Then the XO looked at me and asked; " Which one of them had their pants down?  If I can't get them for smoking dope I will get them for sucking dick!"  That loosened their tongues!   They promptly confessed to smoking pot and swallowing the evidence when the door was undogged!  They went to Captain's Mast the next day!

Do you think their feelings were hurt?  Who cares.  They would rather admit to their wrong doing that to the other possibility!  Today, that XO, the First Lieutenant, and myself would have been fired.  I am glad I served in a Navy with good order and discipline!  I feel sorry for today's sailors.  I grieve for our country.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Wounded Warrior is at it again!

I have written before about the Wounded Warrior Project.  How they would not accept donations of any kind from any firearms related company.  Well, now they are showing their anti Christian roots!    I read on Drudge, today, that a Church had signed up with Wounded Warrior to be a contribution collector.  The church paid their $100 registration fee to be a contribution collector.   A few days later, the church received an email from the Wounded Warrior Project telling them they would not accept any contribution from them or any other religious institution!  The said it was in their charter.  The Wounded Warrior Project also said they would return the $100 registration fee.

Wounded Warrior is a liberal anti-military organization.  How do I know, look who supports them.  Hollywood!!!  They have ruled out the participation and support of millions of Americans just because they are a Religious organization or work in the firearms industry!  That sounds ultra-liberal to me.  And the list of stars that appear on the commercials should cause you to think about their motives.

I am not sure what their end game is or how they will use our  brave men and women who were wounded in the service of our country and at the orders of Presidents from both parties.  But I know it will not turn our good for America or Americans.  So again, I besiege you NOT to donate to Wounded Warrior.  There are many patriotic organizations supporting our military men and women including the American Legion and the VFW.  Any organization but the Wounded Warrior Project!