The music was an inspired choice.
Kraken, Confederate and High Caliber- that’s the trifecta of awards in WoWs.
This video came out a couple years ago at the Centennial of Naval Aviation. Any documentary with Jimmy Triple-sticks and MOH recipient Thomas Hudner can’t be bad. And I don’t care what you think, I think the T-45 is a damn fine looking jet.
Grab a cup of coffee, and a donut.
The top U.S. military officer confirmed Thursday that Islamic State militants targeted a military base in Iraq where U.S. troops were stationed with a potentially deadly chemical weapon this week.
“We assess it to be a sulfur-mustard blister agent,” Marine Gen.
Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Dunford did not elaborate, but the shell landed at a military base in northern Iraq where U.S. military advisers are helping Iraqi forces prepare for an upcoming offensive, according to an earlier account from two defense officials. They asked not to be named because they were not authorize to discuss the issue publicly. The defense officials suspected the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, of launching the attack.
Sulfur mustard agent is rather nasty. It's rarely fatal, but leaves terrible chemical burns on the victims.
And one of the more pernicious facts is, it isn't immediately incapacitating. It takes hours, as much as two days, before the effects manifest themselves. That means exposed troops who might have decontaminated themselves earlier instead suffer the full effects of the agent.
Sulfur mustard also is what is known as a persistent agent. That is, an area contaminated with mustard gas stays contaminated for days, weeks, and even months. Some places that receive little or no sunlight can remain contaminated for years.
Droplets or fumes of mustard are readily inhaled, and damage the esophagus and lungs. Very minor amounts might seemingly be treated and yet still inflict long term damage to the respiratory system.
The current US MOPP suits and protective masks provide robust defense against the immediate effects of mustard, but simply wearing them reduces a soldier's effectiveness even in the most benign of environments to a drastic degree.
Over at The Lexicans, Bill Brandt and Rick Lobbes collaborated to publish a series of the “Best of” pieces from the late Neptunus Lex, CAPT Carroll LeFon, USN (Ret.). And today, Bill shared the last in the series- Early Go.
There’s a haunting bit of foreshadowing in there, for those who know.
Many thanks to Mary and the rest of the wonderful LeFon family for allowing us to share Lex’s writings.
After World War II, the Air Force recognized the need for long ranged transports that could move outsized vehicles such as trucks and tanks. After the abortive, but attractive, C-74 Globemaster, Douglas Aircraft came forth with the rather ugly, but highly effective C-124 Globemaster II. Entering service in 1950, “Old Shakey” would shudder and shake across the skies for the Air Force and the Guard and Reserves all through the Vietnam War, retiring in 1974. 448 were built.
Lessons learned from the C-124 and improvements in powerplant technology lead to the design of the first turboprop strategic airlifter, the C-133 Cargomaster. While it bears a great deal of resemblance to the C-130 Hercules, they are entirely separate developments. The Cargomaster was a much larger, longer ranged aircraft.
Intended as a replacement for the C-124, budget pressures, the large existing fleet of relatively new Globemaster IIs, and the prospect of larger jet powered transports being available soon meant that the C-133 would not be built in anything like the numbers of its predecessor. In fact, only 50 ever rolled off the assembly lines.
Still, while there weren’t many of them, they were highly useful, and in constant demand. About half the fleet had modifications to permit them to transport various ballistic missiles from the factory to the missile fields, and they spent a lot of time doing just that. The fleet also spent a lot of time moving time-critical cargo to Vietnam, and returning wounded troops on the way back.
Entering service in 1957, the Cargomasters were originally designed for just a 10,000 hour service life. In the event, the demand for their services meant that the service life had to be extended to 19,000 hours. Also, the C-133 was plagued by a series of accidents, with 9 lost in crashes, and one in a ground fire, a total of 20% of the fleet. As soon as the Lockheed C-5A became available, the C-133s were quickly retired.
Douglas Aircraft, apparently trying to gin up support for more sales, produced a short movie about the importance of airlift, and of course, it prominently features both the C-124, and the C-133. I especially enjoyed some of the airdrop scenes.
Distortion is to infect truth with a lie. People who distort use the Hegelian method of Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis. In English this is usally accomplished by pairing a fact with something that is not fact and then simplifying it adverbially or adjectivally to create a new ‘truth.’
One very popular example of this is “Dissent Is Patriotic.” Patriotism is the belief in one’s nation or country to such an extent that one supports the people who run the nation, its policies, actions, and the results of all of these. This is the Thesis. Dissent is the acting against a thing, be it a person, policy, actions or results. That is the antithesis. Synthesis is achieved by pairing the two opposing concepts with “Is.” A new ‘truth’ was created for the purpose of providing protection for a level of dissent that gave active aid and comfort to Islamic terrorists.
Another method of distortion is to replace facts but keeping the same label of truth. “Dissent is patriotic.” Is it? We’ve seen in the past 8 years that principled dissent by the Right has been criminalized. Dissent may be patriotic depending on who is facing jail time. As we saw during Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, dissent was defined broadly to include actively recruiting soldiers to ‘frag’ (assassinate) their officers, preventing trains carrying supplies from leaving factories for ports, and exceptionally odious programs to undermine the integrity of the election system. After January 2009, dissent was redefined so that any person who dissented was patriotic except for their inherent racism, homophobia, and so on so that the patriotism of the dissenter became a fouled, evil miasma that infected everyone who stands for the National Anthem.
Worth the read of every brilliant word. Solid advice for Keydets and all who value honor and liberty. Pay attention. And arm up. We are the enemies of those in power. Plan accordingly. (URR here.)
We’ve been struggling with some technical difficulties the last couple days, so that’s one reason why posting has been slim.
Here’s an interesting video about the USS Alabama, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of her commissioning.
And amazingly, given all the times I’ve been to Alabama, I’ve never managed to head south to tour her.
One pilot is dead following a military plane crash near the Sutter Butte mountain range in Sutter County. There is no word on the condition of the other pilot at this time.
The unidentified pilot died sometime after ejecting from the U-2 “Dragon Lady” reconnaissance plane, which sent a mayday call around 9 a.m. Tuesday morning. The plane was seen going down in a flat spin minutes after the emergency call.
It is unclear how or when the pilot was killed.
I'd heard reports of three parachutes (the airframe was reportedly the two seat trainer version) for two crew and a mission payload module. But looking at the video at the link, I only see one parachute, some white smoke, and barely notice the airframe falling to the ground.
Prayers for the loved ones of the deceased.
URR here. It doesn't get much better. XBRAD may have posted this at some point previously, but I don't care. It's a damned fine documentary.
Some superb video of the old "four pipers" bouncing around in the North Atlantic circa World War I, to boot! If I'd been a destroyerman, this would have been a must-have. Narrated by Senior Drill Instructor T/Sgt Moore? Can't beat it. Even if he steals a line or two from Victory at Sea...
THE PENTAGON — Littoral Combat Ship USS Montgomery (LCS-8) suffered at least one engineering casualty during a transit in the Gulf of Mexico and is heading to Florida for repairs, two defense officials told USNI News on Friday.
Sometime on Thursday, the Independence-class ship was bound for the Panama Canal when Montgomery suffered the engineering failure. Now the ship is headed to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo, Cuba under its own power but under propulsion restrictions before returning to Naval Station Mayport, Fla. for repairs, the officials confirmed to USNI News.
Both variants sure seem to be having a string of bad luck. On the other hand, sooner or later, they’ll make good targets for the annual SINKEX during RIMPAC.
Even the most amateur historian is aware of the strategic consequences chronic fuel shortages caused the Germans and Japanese during World War II. But at the operational level, early in the war, the US also face enormous challenges supplying fuel to the fleet in the South Pacific.
The US, of course, had its own robust domestic production of oil, as well as access to large supplies in Venezuala, Aruba, and in the Middle East. The challenge was getting the fuel where it needed to be. The US had to transport crude oil to refineries, and then refined product to England and later the Mediterranean and Europe, and of course, across vast swaths of the Pacific. And to do that, it needed tankers.
Most people are familiar with the stupendous production run of the 10,000 ton Liberty ship. Less well known is the large numbers of tankers built for the war effort.
The iron rule of mass production is to fix an existing design, and build it. That means you are stuck building a design that isn’t the latest and most innovative. But it also means the production learning curve can be quickly mastered.
Prior to the war, the Maritime Commission subsidized the production of several private tankers, with the provision that their design include militarily useful features which otherwise would not have been included for economic reasons. Two such ships, Mobilfuel and Mobilube, were built for the Sconoy-Vacuum Oil Company at the Bethlehem Steel shipyard in 1938-1939.
These 9,900 Gross Rated Tonnage tankers would form the basis for what became known as the T-2 tankers. About 500 T-2s would be build by a host of shipyards during the war. T-2s would come in a variety of configurations, mostly differing in their propulsion plants. The length of the T-2s might vary somewhat, depending on which yard built them, and what plant they used. The most common variant was the T-2-SE-A1. Four hundred eighty one T-2-SE-A1s would be built. Because of shortages of reduction gearing for steam ships, the A1’s used a steam plant to drive a turboelectric powerplant, with a 7,200 horsepower output, giving the ships a top speed of about 15 knots.
Existing yards didn’t have enough slipways to build the required numbers, so early in 1942, Marinships was formed, and began building a new shipyard in Sausilito. Even as the yard was still under construction, Marinships began building Liberty ships. But soon, Liberty ship production elsewhere was clearly sufficient, and Marinships was tasked to switch to tanker production.
It’s important to note that tankers had three major role. First, tankers were used to transport crude oil from the production fields to refineries. Second, tankers were used to transport refined product overseas. And finally, some tankers were used as oilers, that is, they were used to refuel the fleet at sea. The primary difference between tankers and oilers was that tankers were generally civilian ships with merchant marine crews, whereas oilers were commissioned ships of the US Navy, with Navy crews. They also had the appropriate rigging for underway refueling. Generally, those ships intended as oilers were built with a more powerful 10,000 horsepower plant, giving them a slightly higher top speed of 16 knots.
Marinships, and several other yards, also changed a lot of the way ships were built. We tend to think of shipbuilding as happening on the slipway. But in truth, the major part of ship fabrication takes place in the nearby shops, where plates, piping, wiring and other subassemblies are made. At Marinships (and other yards) rather than just cutting the plating in the shops, and then welding on the ways, major assemblies were built ashore, and then lifted into place on the ways. This approach allowed for specialization. That is, if your job was assembling the deckhouse, that was something you would quickly learn to do, over and over, rapidly. This greatly speeded up construction time. The average production time for a T-2 tanker was only 70 days from laying the keel to sea trials. Marinships actually produced one tanker in only 33 days.
The T-2s also suffered from the stress fractures that plagued the Liberty ships, with several suffering failures.
All of this is a rather lengthy introduction to a fairly interesting, if long, film Marinships put out at the end of the war. Mind you, with the end of the war, there was no more need for a massive shipbuilding program, and Marinships was shut down.
The Mark IV tank, on which the replica is modelled, was first used in warfare in the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916.
With 57,000 casualties on the first day it is regarded as the bloodiest day in British military history.
The tank will be in position in the square until 11:00 BST.
And here’s 10 minutes of tanks from the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, North Carolina Army National Guard.