Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Fw: TheList 4687

The List 4687

To All,
A bit of history and some tidbits
This Day In Naval History – March 28, 2018
March 28
1800 - Essex becomes first U.S. Navy vessel to pass Cape of Good Hope
1814—British frigates HMS Phoebe and HMS Cherub capture the frigate USS Essex, commanded by Capt. David Porter, off Valparaiso, Chile after blockading the ship for six weeks. Before capture, Essex had captured 24 British prizes during the War of 1812.
1848—USS Supply, commanded by Lt. William F. Lynch, reaches the Bay of Acre, Israel, during an expedition to explore the Dead Sea and tracing the River Jordan to its source.
1944—Submarines USS Barb (SS 220) and USS Silversides (SS 236) sink Japanese cargo freighter Fukusei Maru off Rasa Island and Japanese cargo ship Kairyu Maru off Manokwari, New Guinea, respectively.
1944—USS Sitkoh Bay (CVE 86) is commissioned. She later supports the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns during World War II and serves during the Korean War.
1953—USS Philippine Sea (CV 47), USS Princeton (CV 37), and USS Oriskany (CV 34) launch 216 sorties against a North Korean supply depot during the Korean War.
1991—The first U.S. Navy carrier battle groups return to CONUS following action during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) battle group returns to Norfolk, VA, and the USS Saratoga (CV 60) battle group returns to Mayport, FL.
Thanks To CHINFO
Executive Summary:
National news headlines are dominated with reports on Kim Jong Un's surprise summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week, and that the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to condemn California's sanctuary law and to join a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit that contends it's unconstitutional. Politico sat down with Navy Secretary Richard Spencer in a question and answer session to discuss the Strategic Readiness Review, the 30-year shipbuilding plan, congressional funding and more. USNI News reports that the Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group is enacting tougher standards ahead of formal policy changes called for in last year's Comprehensive Review and Strategic Readiness Review. The article states that the strike group is developing new ways of promoting proficiency and measuring readiness, hoping that the rest of the fleet will notice and adopt the same best practices. Finally, the Associated Press reports a Seattle area man was charged Tuesday on suspicions of shipping explosive materials and sending suspicious packages to multiple government agencies and military installations around the nation's capital.
Today in History March 28
Britain passes the Coercive Act against rebellious Massachusetts.
Britain and France declare war on Russia.
A group of Copperheads attack Federal soldiers in Charleston, Illinois. Five are killed and twenty wounded.
The Salvation Army is officially organized in the United States.
Automobile owners lobby Congress in support of a bill that calls for vehicle licensing and federal registration.
The first seaplane takes off from water at Martiniques, France.
The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) is founded, Great Britain's first official service women.
President Warren Harding names William Howard Taft as chief justice of the United States.
Constantinople and Angora change their names to Istanbul and Ankara respectively.
Nazis order a ban on all Jews in businesses, professions and schools.
The Spanish Civil War ends as Madrid falls to Francisco Franco.
The Italian fleet is routed by the British at the Battle of Battle of Cape Matapan
English novelist Virginia Woolf throws herself into the River Ouse near her home in Sussex. Her body will not be found until April 18.
A British ship, the HMS Campbeltown, a Lend-Lease American destroyer, which was specifically rammed into a German occupied dry-dock in France, explodes, knocking the area out of action for the German battleship Tirpitz.
Germany launches the last of its V-2 rockets against England.
Juan Peron is elected President of Argentina. He will hold the office for six years.
The U.S. Air Force announces research into the use of lasers to intercept missiles and satellites.
Dwight D. Eisenhower dies at Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, D.C.
A major accident occurs at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island nuclear power plant
The U.S. Senate passes $100 million aid package for the Nicaraguan contras.
Jesse Owens receives the Congressional Gold Medal from President George Bush.
An American Stealth F117 Nighthawk is shot down over northern Yugoslavia during NATO air strikes.
Thanks to Carl….If you have  nothing worth watching on the TV (which is most of the time) this is worth the time.
Secrets of Vietnam The Long Range Recon Patrol - YouTube
(A lengthy video with history of the secretive LRRPs in VN!  An amazing group of unsung heroes with little recognition!)   
Secrets of Vietnam The Long Range Recon Patrol
With our thanks to THE Bear at
March 28, 2018   Bear Taylor  
RIPPLE SALVO… #753… PRESIDENT JOHNSON ONCE DESCRIBED HIS TERM AS PRESIDENT TO BE "SPLENDID MISERY." In his book VANTAGE POINT, he referred to the election year of 1968 as "living in a continuous nightmare." A quick review of the year, and in particular, the first quarter of the bad dream –1968– is today's RS, compliments of Defense Department historian Edward Drea…  but first…
GOOD MORNING: Day SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE of a remembrance of a war and an era of transformation for the United States that produced seeds of discontent, roots of division and forces of self-destruction that plague America today…..
HEAD LINES from The New York Times on a fair Thursday, 28 March 1968…
GROUND WAR & KHESANH: Page 1: "G.I.s BATTLE ENTRENCHED FOE NORTH OF SAIGON"… "…In the ground war, United States infantrymen, crawling through hedgerows and dried up rice paddies, fought a bitter, all-day battle yesterday with an entrenched Vietcong force 28 miles northwest of Saigon. The combat zone, near Trangbang, 10 miles from the Cambodian border, has been the setting for the sharpest fighting of the allied offensive known as Determined to Win, which was begun more than two weeks ago in an effort to destroy, or at least disperse the 8,000 to 10,000 enemy soldiers threatening Saigon…FIRING INTENSE NEAR VILLAGE…A force of about 350 soldiers of the United States Infantry Division came under intense but sporadic fire from Vietcong units in bunkers, tunnels and caves near the village. At times fighting was so close that battalion commanders called lin artillery strikes only 50 yards away. Reports from the scene indicated that 99 Vietcong had been killed, many of them by Tactical aircraft and helicopter gunships. American casualties were reported to be 2 soldiers killed and 38 wounded…. Since the operation began, a total of 161 allied troops have been killed, 69 of them American. The official enemy death toll is 1,842."… Page 2: "U.S. OFFICER SAYS AIR POWER MAKES KHESANH A DISASTER FOR FOES"… Danang. "A Marine colonel leans across his desk at a forward command post and tells his listener to mark his words well: Khesanh will never prove a disaster for the United States Marines, but American air power is making it one for the enemy. Still another colonel, a marine, reads a letter from his wife and flushes with anger. His wife says some neighbors and stateside editorial writers cannot understand why the Marine Corps units hang on at Khesanh, getting pounded day after day by artillery, mortar and rocket fire. 'Damn it,' says the colonel, 'we are hardly getting pounded at all. For every round they drop in on us, we drop a whole planeload of bombs on them.'… The senior officers are so convinced that the aerial bombardment is a major success that they have no plans for pulling the marines out no matter how much the enemy might increase his shelling at Khesanh.'…"… Page 3: "A Defector Tells Of Foe's Hospitals–Surgeon Traces Locations of 5 Stations in Cambodia"… Page 3: "ABRAMS LEAVES FOR VIETNAM AFTER TALKS IN CAPITAL"… Page 4: "In Hue Graves Disclose Executions By The Enemy"… Page 13: "GENERAL SHOUP REVEALS VIETNAM PEACE PLAN"… "General David H. Shoup told an audience of 500 here in Vermont last night that he offered last spring an alternative plan for negotiations in the Vietnam war to Secretary of Defense Robert F. McNamara. He said the proposal never got to the President."…
Page 1: "YURI GAGARIN KILLED AS TEST PLANE FALLS"… "Yuri A. Gagarin, the world's first man in space, was killed yesterday in an air accident… that occurred during a training flight and also killed Colonel Vladimir S. Seryogin, described as chief of the detachment. Both victims will be buried in the Kremlin wall."…
Today on Fighter Sweep
Watch: Take a Tour of the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, VA
There are many smaller aviation museums scattered around the country that are worth seeing. Enjoy this quick tour of the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Military Aviation Museum View More ›
Naval Air: A Disaster Of Epic Proportions

March 18, 2018: In February 2018 the U.S. Navy confirmed that it had major problems with the design and construction of its new EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System) catapult installed in its latest aircraft carrier; the USS Ford (CVN 78) and the three other Ford class carriers under construction. During sea trials the Ford used EMALS heavily, as would be the case in combat and training operations and found EMALS less reliable than the older steam catapult, more labor intensive to operate, put more stress on launched aircraft than expected and due to a basic design flaw if one EMALS catapult becomes inoperable, the other three catapults could not be used in the meantime as was the case with steam catapults. This meant that the older practice of taking one or more steam catapults off line for maintenance or repairs while at sea was not practical because the design of the EMALS system did not allow for it. The navy admitted that in combat if one or more catapults were rendered unusable they remained that way until it was possible to shut down all four catapults for repairs. The navy also asked for another delay in performing mandated shock tests, in which controlled explosions were set off near the hull that generated at least 66 percent of amount of force the ship was designed to handle. This would reveal what equipment was not sufficiently built or installed to handle shock and make changes as well as confirming that the hull can handle the stress overall. The navy wants to wait until the second Ford class carrier enters service in 2024 because, it admits, it is unsure how badly shock tests would damage new systems and design features. Meanwhile there are some other major shortcomings with the Fords, including electronics (the radars), the flight deck arresting gear and some of the elevators. But none of these are as serious as the malfunctioning catapults.
Some of the problems with EMALS were of the sort that could be fixed while the new ship was in service. That included tweaking EMALS operation to generate less stress on aircraft and modifying design of EMALS and reorganizing how sailors use the system to attain the smaller number of personnel required for catapult operations. But the fatal flaws involved reliability. An EMALS catapult was supposed to have a breakdown every 4,100 launches but in heavy use EMALS actually failed every 400 launches. By the end of 2017 the navy concluded that an EMALS equipped carrier had only a seven percent chance of successfully completing a typical four day "surge" (multiple catapult launches for a major combat operation) and only a 70 percent chance of completing a one day surge operation. That was because when one EMALS catapult went down all four were inoperable. In effect the Ford class carriers are much less capable of performing in combat than their predecessors.
With steam catapults when one went down the other three could continue to operate. Worse even minor repairs or maintenance on one catapult means all four had to be out of service. The navy hopes they can come up with some kind of, as yet unknown, modifications to EMALS to fix all these problems. In the meantime the new Ford carrier is much less useful than older ones that use steam catapults. In fact the Ford class carriers are basically worthless, except for training of the non-flight crew (which cannot function without reliable catapults).
There are no easy solutions. For example it would cost over half a billion dollars to remove EMALS and install the older steam catapults. This would also take up to several years and lead to many other internal changes. The navy is now considering bringing a recently retired carrier back to active service as a stopgap because whatever the fix is it will not be quick or cheap. The most worrisome part of this is the apparent inability of navy ship building and design experts to come up with a solution for the problem they created. For the navy officers and civilian officials involved there is another problem. The current Secretary of Defense is a retired Marine Corps general who has a good idea of how the navy operates without being part of the navy (the Marine Corps and Navy are two separate services in the Department of the Navy). The marines have a well-deserved reputation for being less understanding about failure and in a situation like this a former marine general as Secretary of Defense is very bad news for the navy officers responsible for creating, sustaining and being unable to fix this EMALS disaster.
This EMALS catastrophe was avoidable and the problems should have been detected and taken care of before the Ford was on sea trials. Back in 2010 the U.S. Navy plan to equip future aircraft carriers with electromagnetic catapults seemed like a great idea and everyone seemed assured that all was proceeding according to plan. This was especially true after EMALS passed some key tests in 2010. This included the first time an EMALS catapult launched an F-18E carrier jet fighter. This was from a land base equipped with the test version of EMALS. Earlier in 2010 tests had been put on hold for a bit while software problems were fixed. The mechanical aspects of the electromagnetic catapult were believed pretty much solved but the test model the navy was working with has been having some serious problems with the control software. In all the midst of all this there was no mention of the key problems, like being able to repair one catapult while the other three kept working. This had been a key feature of steam catapults for a long time and what is really scary here is that no one caught it.
With the 2010 decision the plan to put electromagnetic catapults into all future carriers (beginning with the Ford) went ahead and apparently serious criticism of real problems was no longer an option. This was a great relief at the time because the Ford was under construction and a massive (and expensive) redesign would be needed to make room for the bulkier steam catapult. Now that option must be again considered, along with the other option, to try and fix the problems that were missed in 2010.
EMALS is still preferred because when it works as designed it puts less stress on launched aircraft (it moves the aircraft forward more gradually), requires fewer people to operate, and is easier to maintain (not much plumbing, fewer mechanical parts and lots of sturdy electronics). The gentler treatment of launched aircraft would means that smaller aircraft could use the catapult and that aircraft with larger payloads could be launched. Without a functional EMALS the steam and electricity generation system of the Ford class carriers, designed to supply large quantities of electric power, would not be able to provide the needed quantities of electricity to operate powerful new weapons like rail guns and high powered lasers as well as EMALS.
The EMALS disaster calls into question the ability of the navy to handle new, untried, technologies. That is not a new problem and has been around since World War II. In retrospect not enough was done to test and address what are now obvious problems. The current solution is to delay the moment of truth as long as possible and then conclude that it was unclear exactly how it happened but that measures would be taken to see that it never happen again. That approach is wearing thin because more people are well aware that is just a cover for the corruption and mismanagement that has been developing within the industries that build warships. The U.S. Navy has been having a growing number of similar problems (the design of the LCS, the DDG 1000 and a lot of smaller systems).
Meanwhile there is a critical need for new carriers. The first ship of the new class of carriers, the Ford is about the same length (333 meters/1,092 feet) and displacement (100,000 tons) of the previous generation (Nimitz class ships) but will look different. The most noticeable difference will be the island set closer to the stern (rear) of the ship. The internal differences are much more obvious, including the power generation and electrical system. The Nimitz ships are rapidly wearing out and with the EMALS disaster the navy will have to improvise and do without for a decade or more.
The Fords were not just replacements for the aging Nimitz class, they were designed to be cheaper to operate. There is a lot more automation and smaller crews. The Ford will be the first modern American warship built without urinals. There are several reasons for this. The Ford will have a smaller crew (by at least 20 percent) and more of them will be women. Currently about ten percent of American warship crews are women, but the Ford crew will be at least 15 percent female. Since women sleep in all-female dormitories ("berthing areas"), a toilet ("head") will now be attached to each berthing area (instead of being down the hall). Moreover, berthing areas will be more spacious (because of the smaller crew) and hold a third to half as many bunks as previous carriers. Finally, drain pipes for urinals more frequently get clogged than those coming from toilets. So eliminating the urinals means less work for the plumbers. Many of the junior sailors, who have to clean the heads, won't miss the urinals, which are more of a chore to keep clean than the toilets. There are a lot of other visible changes to enhance habitability and make long voyages more tolerable. All that will gave to be changed somewhat, at least in the Ford, and perhaps in others of this new class if EMALS cannot be fixed.
Before the EMALS crises the Ford was expected to cost nearly $14 billion. About 40 percent of that is for designing the first ship of the class, so the actual cost of the first ship (CVN 78) itself will be at least $9 billion and about the same for subsequent ships of the class. Except, that is, for the additional cost of fixing the EMALS problems. Against this the navy expects to reduce the carrier's lifetime operating expenses by several billion dollars because of greatly reduced crew size. Compared to the current Nimitz class carriers (which cost over $5 billion each to build) the Fords will feel, well, kind of empty because of the automation and smaller crews. There will also be more computer networking, and robots, reducing the number of people constantly moving around inside a Nimitz class carrier (with a crew of 6,000). The most recent Nimitz class ships have a lot of this automation already but adding EMALS was considered too expensive because of the major engineer changes to the power plant and electrical systems. A lot of that is subject to change depending on what internal alterations are required to make the carrier work at last as well as the Nimitz class.
Thanks to John
Fwd: Major Scandal Questions Never Asked.....Vicror Davis Hanson. One to Read
Scandal Questions Never Asked, Much Less Answered - American Greatness
Sometimes the hysteria of crowds causes them to overlook the obvious. Here is a series of 12 questions that do n...
Item Number:1 Date: 03/28/2018 AFGHANISTAN - AIR FORCE SET TO BEGIN FLYING BLACK HAWK MISSIONS IN MAY (MAR 28/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- The Afghan air force is preparing to make the transition from Soviet-era Mi-17 helicopters to U.S. UH-60 Black Hawks, reports the Stars and Stripes.   The Mi-17 currently forms the core of the air force. However, sanctions against Russia are preventing Kabul from obtaining spare parts for the aircraft. Currently, 21 of 46 Mi-17s are out of service, awaiting scheduled maintenance or repair.   Over the last five months, 11 Black Hawks have been transferred to the air force at Kandahar Airfield with 17 more to be handed over by the end of the year. By 2023, the Afghan air force is expected to have 159 UH-60s.   The helicopters are former U.S. UH-60As that have been modernized to the UH-60A+ configuration.   Sixteen pilots and 16 enlisted aircrew are on track to complete the Black Hawk mission qualification program in May. The goal is to have eight crew of four -- each with two pilots and two aircrew -- operating during the fighting season.   The helicopter transfers are part of a seven-year US$814 million U.S. initiative to build the Afghan air force. The program also includes the AC-208 light aircraft, A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft and MD530 light helicopter.      
  Item Number:3 Date: 03/28/2018 CHINA - KIM WAS HERE, AGREED TO DENUCLEARIZATION, SAYS CHINESE GOVERNMENT (MAR 28/XIN)  XINHUA -- China has confirmed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un paid a visit to Beijing this weekend, reports China's state-run Xinhua news agency.   Kim made an unofficial visit to Beijing from Sunday to Wednesday at the invitation of Chinese Premier Xi Jinping.   In his meeting with Xi, Kim expressed support for denuclearization and a planned meeting with U.S. officials in April, reported Reuters.   China also maintains denuclearization as a goal, said Xi.   During their discussion, Kim said that tensions on the Korean peninsula had eased because of North Korea's proposal for talks.   "The issue of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula can be resolved, if South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace," Kim said.   China reportedly briefed U.S. President Donald Trump after the visit. President Xi conveyed a personal message to his U.S. counterpart, the White House said.   The visit was Kim's first outside of North Korea since assuming power in 2011.   The meeting was believed to be part of Kim's preparation for talks with the U.S.   Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi will travel to Seoul on Thursday to brief officials, including President Moon Jae In, about the talks.  
  Item Number:5 Date: 03/28/2018 FRANCE - SLAIN GENDARME GIVEN STATE FUNERAL (MAR 28/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- The police officer who died after taking the place of a hostage has been laid to rest in a state funeral, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   The body of gendarme Arnaud Beltrame was laid to rest in the cour d'honneur at Les Invalides in Paris on Wednesday.   "At the moment of the final goodbye, I offer you the recognition, the admiration and the affection of the whole country," said President Emmanuel Macron, as quoted by Agence France-Presse.   The gendarme was made a commander of the Legion d'Honneur and posthumously promoted to colonel.   Beltrame took the place of a female hostage during a terrorist attack on March 23.   The gunman, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS), attacked a busy supermarket in the southwestern town of Trebes, killing one and taking a 40-year-old woman hostage.   Beltrame was stabbed while trying to disarm the gunman. He died in the hospital hours later
Item Number:6 Date: 03/28/2018 INDIA - SECURITY FORCES KILL 4 MILITANTS IN KASHMIR GUN BATTLE (MAR 28/GKNN)  GREATER KASHMIR NEWS NETWORK -- Four militants have been killed in a shootout with security forces in India-administered Kashmir, reports Greater Kashmir.   The gunfight erupted Wednesday morning in the Sunderbani area of Rajouri district, less than 8 miles (12 km) from the Line of Control separating Indian and Pakistani territory.   Local reports said the militants opened fire on a search party in the area. Security forces were in the midst of a two-day search operation in the area when they were attacked, said a police spokesman.   The search party was responding to reports of suspicious movements in the area, said police, as cited by News 18 (India).   Security forces recovered three bags of explosives dropped by the militants, reported Kashmir Dispatch.   There were no immediate claims of responsibility.  
Item Number:10 Date: 03/28/2018 POLAND - DEAL INKED FOR PATRIOT DEFENSE SYSTEMS (MAR 28/BLOOMBERG)  BLOOMBERG NEWS -- Poland has signed an agreement with the U.S. for the first phase of a Patriot missile defense system acquisition, reports Bloomberg News.   The letter of offer and acceptance signed on Wednesday in Warsaw covers the first of two phases for Poland's Wisla medium-range integrated air and missile defense project, reported Raytheon.   The agreement sets the stage for the U.S. government to begin contract negotiations with Raytheon and its partners, the company said.   The first phase, valued at US$4.75 billion, covers two PAC-3 batteries of 16 launchers with PAC-3 MSE missiles and the still in-development integrated Battle Command System, reported Defense News. The second phase includes six more launchers, gallium nitride-based 360-degree active electronically scanned array radar and the SkyCeptor missile, said Raytheon.   Further talks on the deal are scheduled for April 16. Payments will take place over five years, with deliveries to begin in 2022 and initial operational capability slated for 2024
  Item Number:11 Date: 03/28/2018 RUSSIA - DELAYS IN ARCTIC PATROL SHIP PROJECT BLAMED ON FUNDING (MAR 28/INDBAROBS)  INDEPENDENT BARENTS OBSERVER -- Two Arctic patrol ships for the Russian navy will be delivered several years late, according to shipyard officials cited by the Independent Barents Observer.   The two Project 23550 vessels were scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2020, but have been pushed back to 2023 or 2024, said Aleksandr Buzakov, the director-general of the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg.   Buzakov blamed "financial factors" for the postponement, including the latest state armaments plan that runs through 2027, noted Russia's Tass news agency.   The vessels, which were announced in 2016, are two examples of the Russian military's broader prioritization of the Arctic region. They will incorporate icebreaking, patrol, tug capabilities and potentially an enclosed helicopter hangar
Item Number:15 Date: 03/28/2018 USA - NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL FINALIZING PLANS TO MAKE IT EASIER TO EXPORT WEAPONS (MAR 28/BREAKDEF)  BREAKING DEFENSE -- The National Security Council is putting the finishing touches on its Arms Transfer Initiative to reduce the timeframes associated with Foreign Military Sales, reports Breaking Defense.   The initiative, which began during the Obama administration, is designed to boost the competitiveness of U.S. defense companies within the global marketplace by reducing bureaucratic hurdles and the associated long timelines with arms exports.   The plan has not yet been finalized, said an unnamed administration official. It includes efforts "to ensure that U.S. industries have every advantage in the global marketplace" and that decisions "are not delayed unnecessarily," the official said.   During internal talks, the State Dept. has emphasized that it will not back down on human rights conditions being met by potential buyers
  Item Number:16 Date: 03/28/2018 USA - TRUMP WANTS MILITARY TO FOOT BILL FOR BORDER WALL (MAR 28/WP)  WASHINGTON POST -- President Trump is privately pushing for the military to pay for a proposed border wall along the U.S.-Mexican frontier, reports the Washington Post.   Trump's suggestion came after a spending bill that was signed last week included only $1.6 billion for the wall, according to the report on Tuesday.   The administration was seeking $25 billion for the wall.   Trump has reportedly floated the idea with Defense Secretary James Mattis, under the pretext of national security.   He later pitched the idea to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in a meeting on March 21.   White House and Defense Dept. officials said the military is unlikely to fund the project.   Diverting money from the military to pay for the wall would require an act of Congress, where support for the proposal seems low.   Building a wall on the border was a key Trump campaign promise. He threatened to veto the spending bill -- which would have triggered a government shutdown -- but ultimately signed the $1.3 trillion bill into law.   The Pentagon received about $700 billion as part of the package.

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