Tag: US navy

The US Navy Faces Off Kamikazes at Okinawa

 

As the war turned against them in World War II, Japan tried a new tactic: the kamikaze. Pilots used their aircraft as one-way bombs against Allied warships and transports.  The campaign started during the invasion of the Philippines in October 1944 and continued until the last day of the war.

“Rain of Steel: Mitscher’s Task Force 58, Ukagi’s Thunder Gods and the Kamikaze War off Okinawa,” by Stephen L. Moore, examines the most intense phase of the kamikaze campaign, that fought during the Allied invasion of Okinawa.

Moore touches on the whole of the kamikaze effort. He looks at its origins, how the Japanese developed it, and their kamikaze attacks prior to and after the conquest of Okinawa. He also examines the US reaction to the campaign, including the tactics developed to counter the kamikazes. The meat of the book is the fighting off Okinawa, however.

USS Fitzgerald: The Fort Report

 

Sightline Media is an independent media group (formerly part of Gannett) that focuses on the US military and publishes The Navy Times and her sister publications for the Army, Marines and Air Force. On Monday they published part of the Navy’s internal review of the 2017 incident aboard the USS Fitzgerald that claimed the lives of seven sailors. It is not pretty.

Overseen by Rear Adm. Brian Fort, it describes a ship (and a Navy) in disarray, stretched to the limit by multiple deployments, ill-trained and ill-prepared, low on morale and distrustful of leadership on the bridge. Fort describes finding bottles of urine all over the combat information center as evidently the crews were so bereft of trained personnel that those who knew what they were doing couldn’t even take bathroom breaks.

The Navy sought to bury this report for fear of lawsuits from the families of the dead and injured. It is a four part series and can be read here.

Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday. Book Review ‘Silver State’ looks at a forgotten veteran By MARK LARDAS Preview […]

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Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday. Book Review Biography offers intimate look at WWII fighter pilot By MARK LARDAS […]

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Recorded on December 11, 2017
As the US Navy carries out high-profile missions in the Persian Gulf and off the Korean coast, China’s navy quietly continues its expansion: a maritime silk road stretching across the Indian Ocean to the Gulf of Aden. Admiral Gary Roughead, former US Navy chief of naval operations and Hoover’s Robert and Marion Oster Distinguished Military Fellow, discusses the stakes in the Middle East and Indo-Pacific theatres and assesses the US Navy’s current operational, maintenance, and shipbuilding needs.

In Memoriam: Petty Officer Joseph Ashley, MM2

 
USS San Francisco

The USS San Francisco in drydock, 2005, with MM2 Joseph Ashley.

The USS San Francisco left its port in Guam for a much-anticipated cruise to Australia. Following months of boring repairs, the crew was ready for the 3,000-mile trip and already planning what to do in Brisbane once they arrived. Since 2002, the Los Angeles-class nuclear attack sub had been stationed on the western Pacific island allowing more frequent trips to foreign ports instead of its less eventful patrols around Pearl Harbor.

Drones of the Sea: DARPA Unveils Sea Hunter

 

Sea HunterFacing threats from a new wave of potentially hostile submarines, DARPA has launched a self-driving sub detector prototype named Sea Hunter. The 130-foot twin-screw trimaran was designed to be stable in all types of weather and can sail for thousands of miles and for months at a time. The unarmed prototype has a small cabin for a human to operate the vessel if needed, but the final version will not house any crew.

“This is an inflection point,” Deputy U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Work said in an interview, adding he hoped such ships might find a place in the western Pacific in as few as five years. “This is the first time we’ve ever had a totally robotic, trans-oceanic-capable ship.”

It also comes as China’s naval investments, including in its expanding submarine fleet, stoke concern in Washington about the vulnerability of the aircraft carrier battle groups and submarines that remain critical to America’s military superiority in the western Pacific.

Iranian Capture of Navy Boats — a SEAL’s Analysis

 

iran-surrender-US_3548568bA close and many-decades friend was in Class 29 of the SEALs and served three tours in Vietnam. He forwarded this from a good friend of his:

“I rarely pull out my dusty old trident, but in this case, here goes. I was a Navy SEAL officer in the 1980s, and this kind of operation (transiting small boats in foreign waters) was our bread and butter. Today, these boats both not only had radar, but multiple GPS devices, including chart plotters that place your boat’s icon right on the chart. The claim by Iran that the USN boats “strayed into Iranian waters” is complete [expletive].

For an open-water transit between nations, the course is studied and planned in advance by the leaders of the Riverine Squadron, with specific attention given to staying wide and clear of any hostile nation’s claimed territorial waters. The boats are given a complete mechanical check before departure, and they have sufficient fuel to accomplish their mission plus extra. If, for some unexplainable and rare circumstance one boat broke down, the other would tow it, that’s why two boats go on these trips and not one! It’s called “self-rescue” and it’s SOP.

Member Post

 

Earlier this month, Japan’s Prime Minister once again expressed his thanks for U.S. support following the huge magnitude 9 earthquake near Japan in 2011. However, this time he did it in a very public way, becoming the first sitting Japanese prime minister to visit a U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS RONALD REAGAN, which is now […]

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On the Passing of a Leader: David C. Richardson

 

VADM_David_C_Richardson_USNI ordinarily confine my contributions here on Ricochet to law enforcement matters, about which I feel qualified to offer opinions. But permit me to stray from that realm for the moment and tell you just a bit about David C. Richardson, who passed away in June at the age of 101. I had the honor of attending his memorial service in San Diego on July 16.

In the late summer of 1942, Richardson was a young Navy pilot assigned to VF-5, the “Fighting Five,” a fighter squadron aboard the USS Saratoga. Flying a Grumman F4F Wildcat, Richardson flew missions during the Guadalcanal campaign, downing four Japanese planes and becoming one of the Navy’s first combat pilots in the Second World War.

When the Saratoga was torpedoed and unable to recover her aircraft, the squadrons that were airborne at the time were directed elsewhere. Some went to the Enterprise and other carriers, but the pilots of VF-5 were directed to Henderson Field, a Marine air base on Guadalcanal. Richardson and some other members of VF-5 remained there for several weeks, flying combat missions during the day and enduring regular bombardment from Japanese warships at night.

Book Review: Warships of the Great Lakes

 

American History textbooks rarely spend much time on the Great Lakes; their importance as the barrier between the original thirteen colonies and French Canada — and later the barrier between the United States and British Canada — is seldom mentioned, nor is their roll in the calculations of power and trade in the early American interior given its just due.  If the lakes are even mentioned, it is only to note that Commodore Perry won a famous battle and secured the lakes for us in the War of 1812.  Theyrarely discuss is just why securing the lakes was vital, which is exactly what Warships of the Great Lakes: 1754 – 1834 by Robert Malcomson does so well.

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 12.23.17 AMThere were only three main arteries into the American interior in colonial times: up the Mississippi River, up the Saint Lawrence River, or overland through the Appalachians.  The latter option was treacherous for lack of roads, while the other two were under French control.  The Saint Lawrence drains Lake Ontario and the other lakes beyond, but also drains — by way of navigable feeder rivers — Lake Champlain which, in turn, gives access to the interior of upstate New York and New England.  The Great Lakes, however, allow access to the entire interior of North America as far as the Mississippi.