The Navy's first kiss tradition enters the post Don't Ask, Don't Tell era If you're like me you may never have heard of the Navy's first kiss tradition. But it's not unusual for a ship returning from deployment to run a contest or raffle which gives the winner the first kiss with their sweetie on the dock; you can find wikipedia media showing past events. After tonight's news broadcasts pretty much everyone in the country will have heard of it because you can be sure, whether it's portrayed as a step forward or a sign of the end times, every broadcast is going to lead with the first same-sex Navy first kiss between disembarking Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta and her girlfriend, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell of Los Angeles.
The U.S.S. Carl Vinson, which has provided relief in Haiti after an earthquake, launched air strikes in the Middle East after 9/11 and, most recently, dumped Osama bin Laden’s body out at sea hosted an uncharacteristically maritime event this evening: a basketball game on the flight deck. [more inside]
Not content to keep funding expeditions of Westerners to learn about Tanna, in 2007 the National Geographic funded an expedition of five men from Tanna's Prince Philip movement cargo cult to visit England, stay with families, and eventually meet Prince Philip himself whom they revere as the son of their God. Jimmy, who was a member of the expedition and the narrator for the film has posted the video on his youtube account. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In 2009 the Travel Channel aired Meet the Natives: USA, which brought five men from another group from Tanna to the United States. Their tribe within Tanna reveres Tom Navy, an American World War II sailor who generations ago had taught the inhabitants to live in peace. The Tanna ambassadors were taken across, visiting five states, and eventually meeting former United States Secretary of State Colin Powell and verifying with him that the spirit of peace taught by Tom Navy lives on in the current U.S. President, Barack Obama. While visiting with a family on Fort Stewart, a US Army Major-General conferred a World War II Victory Medal and an Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal upon the chief in representation of the contribution the people of Tanna in World War II. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Be sure to look for Jimmy's responses to questions in the mercifully uncharacteristic youtube comments [more inside]
There are an increasing number of homeless military vets living in Los Angeles. The VA in Los Angeles has a 400 acre parcel of land meant to house vets. Slight problem: the VA has decided to lease the property to various area businesses instead of using the land for its intended purpose.
"Tanks Are Mighty Fine Things!" And Other Tales Of Truthiness... At the end of World War II, Chrysler sent small hardbound books to shareholders chronicling ways the company had contributed to the war effort. Two have now been placed online at the Chrysler Imperial Club's website: "Tanks are Mighty Fine Things" and "A War Job 'Thought Impossible' (The story of the Chrysler-Sperry Gyro-Compass)" (Via) [more inside]
Smithsonian Magazine's new blog Past Imperfect has already told some interesting stories in its first weeks, but none more compelling than that of Lt. Commander Minter Dial's Annapolis class ring.
It's not surprising that a college like St. John's College isn't big on intramural sports (Where I learned To Read, Where Plato is Your
ProfessorTutor). What may be surprising is that the small college has bested the Naval Academy in 24 of the last 29 championships for the sport it does participate in. [more inside]
"ALL U-BOATS. ATTENTION ALL U-BOATS. CEASE-FIRE AT ONCE. STOP ALL HOSTILE ACTION AGAINST ALLIED SHIPPING. DÖNITZ." [more inside]
"Sailors and cats have a special relationship that dates back thousands of years." The U.S. Naval Institute posts pictures of sailors and their cats, with photos from the 1880:s through the 1950:s.
For the second year in a row, the U.S. Military has lost more troops to suicide than it has to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Previous posts regarding PTSD) [more inside]
The ambulance that was used to carry the body of John F. Kennedy from Andrews Air Force Base to Bethesda Naval Hospital was sold at auction last night for $120,000. Or was it? [more inside]
In 1975, desperate to escape Vietnam following the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War, twenty thousand refugees boarded the few remaining ships of the South Vietnamese army and fishing boats. They were escorted by the USS Kirk, a Knox-class destroyer escort, which led them to the Philippines. This mission, Operation New Life lives on as one of the largest humanitarian missions in the history of the United States military, but has been largely forgotten by history. [more inside]
Liquid antenna turns sea water into signal. "The US Navy has created a device which turns a jet of sea water into an impromptu liquid antenna, creating a powerful, high frequency broadcast tower for ships, emergency situations and easy transportation." [more inside]
In 2015, if all goes well, the USS Gerald R. Ford, the most powerful warship ever built, will begin service in the U.S. Navy - retiring the venerable Enterprise (CVN-65). Though displacing the same 100,000 tons as her Nimitz-class counterparts, increased automation will let her operate with hundreds fewer crewmembers. Capable of launching 90 planes, including the F-35C Lightning II, on 220 sorties a day, she will defend herself against anti-ship missiles with the Raytheon RIM-162 ESSM. [more inside]
More than 1000 diaries kept by surgeons of Britain's Royal Navy between 1793 and 1800 have been cataloged by the National Archives, and are now available for public study. [more inside]
Operation Ivy Bells was a joint US Navy/NSA effort to tap into a Soviet communications cable deep under water and bring back recordings of military communications traffic. [more inside]
Less than a year after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States detonated the fourth and fifth nuclear weapons under the name Operation Crossroads in July 1946. Beyond testing the capabilities of nuclear bombs, the Navy said it wanted the Bikini tests treated like "the story of the year, maybe of the decade, and possibly of a lifetime." Only two of the three bombs were detonated, and the project was shut down over the next months. To celebrate the efforts of Operation Crossroads, a cake in the shape of a mushroom cloud was featured at a publicized event on November 5, 1946. In response to this display, Reverend Arthur Powell Davies, the minister of the Unitarian All Souls Church in Washington, D.C., gave a sermon on the "utterly loathsome picture" and the message it sent to other nations. That sermon set off a flurry of replies and reactions, that extended around the world, including a connection formed between Reverend Davies' All Souls Unitarian Church and school children in Hiroshima. [more inside]
On the morning of June 4th, 1942, US Navy Reserve Commander John Ford awoke to the sounds of a Japanese air raid. [more inside]
From 1945 to 1946, Leonard Rudoff served as Apprentice Seaman, 3rd Class on the troop transport USS Gen. H.F Hodge as it made its way to India, Egypt, NYC, and San Francisco. And he took photos along the way..[via mefi projects] [more inside]
Choice of Broadsides is a choose-your-own-adventure game set in an alternate 19th Century world that is much like our own, where Albion and Gaul fight for naval supremacy. You can choose to be a gentleman in a standard patriarchal society, or a gentlewoman in a matriarchal one. Later on in the game you can choose your sexual orientation. Originally there were no options for a same-sex relationship, but after demands from players, it was added in. Spoilers below the cut. [more inside]
u.s navy vintage fire control computers : An intriguing look at the mechanical workings of the computers of World War 2.
A Mind in the Water: The dolphin as our beast of burden. "The shocking double life of the dolphin, featuring neuropsychologists, hippies, spies, and extraterrestrials."
Started in 1930 (by the by the lieutenant governor while the sitting governor was out of state) to protect the great state of Nebraska from all that wish it harm, Nebraska has it's own navy. Want a commission? Just ask the governor and join these notable members.
I've never really had a clear understanding of how mechanical computing worked, until today when I watched these US Navy training films from 1953. Part 1 focuses on shafts, gears, cams and differentials. Part 2 explains mechanical component solvers, integrators and multipliers. More information about ship gun fire-control systems here.
SS-N-22 Sunburn is the NATO designation for a Russian-made anti-ship missile that the US Navy (it seems) currently has no defense against. [more inside]
The Fore River Shipyard was in service between 1886 and 1985, first under the management of the Fore River Ship and Engine Building Company, then Bethlehem Steel, and finally General Dynamics. She helped to close out the age of sail with the construction of the largest sailing vessel in history without any kind of engine. Besides providing a substantial number of liberty ships, surface warships of various classes, and submarines during WWII, it may also be the source of the "Kilroy was here" graffiti. [more inside]
The 30,000 men of the British Merchant Navy (one-fifth of its pre-war strength) who fell victim to the U-boats between 1939 and 1945, the majority drowned or killed by exposure on the cruel North Atlantic sea*, were quite as certainly front-line warriors as the guardsmen and fighter pilots to whom they ferried the necessities of combat. Neither they nor their American, Dutch, Norwegian, or Greek fellow mariners wore uniform and few have any memorial. They stood nevertheless between the Wehrmacht and the domination of the world. - John Keegan
A handful of female seniors at the Naval Academy or in the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps could very well be the first women to be assigned to a U.S. submarine. And if initial plans fall into place, those women — joined by some seasoned supply and surface nuke lieutenants already in the fleet — will be included in four crews assigned to two Ohio-class submarines by late 2011. [more inside]
Pictures of military subjects, many of them annotated, from all over such as Russia, Malaysia, Japan (Special Police), Ireland, Cyprus, Sri Lanka and Canada. [more inside]
The aircraft carrier, a majestic and grand symbol of American naval might... susceptible to swarming small-boat assault and weak against ballistic missiles, nevermind an anti-ship ballistic missile. Is it time to reevaluate the role of the aircraft carrier in a modern naval strategy?
What's as big as a battleship, looks like a star destroyer, and can't do much of anything? [more inside]
Sailing from Sumatra back to Fremantle in November 1941, the Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney encountered a Dutch freighter off the West Australian coast. The freighter turned out to be the disguised German mercantile raider Kormoran. After an ensuing fight, the Sydney went down with all hands, the reasons for which have been debated ever since. First the Kormoran, then over night the Sydney have been found by research organisation, Finding Sydney Foundation.
I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me is a new book by author and interesting person Trevor Paglen. He collects patches designed by military personnel to commemorate secret "black-ops" projects.
A visual history of floating prisons shows that using ships at prisons did not end with the infamous prison hulks along the Thames. Today, New York (home to the Prison Ship Martyr's Monument commemorating the most deadly part of the Revolutionary War) uses the impressive Bain, anchored off the Bronx, as a prison barge, while the Australians have the sleek-looking Triton as a mobile prison ship patrolling national waters.
The USNS Swift (HSV-2) looks like something a Bond villian would own, but it's actually one of the most advanced ships owned by the US Navy. Highly manueverable and having a top speed of 51mph, it's heavily automated, capable of handling helicopters, carrying cargo, and launching both manned and unmanned vehicles -- all with only 42 people. It's assisted with relief efforts in Indonesia, Lebanon, and after Hurricane Katrina. But the best thing about the ship? It can be remote controlled through a web browser.
An Unfortunate View From the Sky. The U.S. Navy has decided to spend as much as $600,000 for landscaping and architectural modifications to obscure the fact that one its building complexes looks like a swastika from the air.
TED does it again. See you in Monterey. What happens when the war machine goes improv?
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you combined In the Navy with the Numa Numa song? The crew of the USS Enterprise has the answer.
It began with an innocent-looking Valentine's Day card in 2005. Inside the card were several slips of paper, a hastily cut-up printout of names of 550 secret detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The human rights lawyer who received "this weird valentine" handed it over to authorities, and this week the court martial begins for JAG LtCmdr Matthew Diaz, facing 36 years for divulging state secrets.
Whither goest thou, American Jurisprudence?>
Whither goest thou, American Jurisprudence?>
We regret to inform you that we your husband's submarine is missing, and possibly sunk. Oh, wait. Never mind[pdf].
Life-size blue whale. A Flash project from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. And in other news: Secret Language of Whales Revealed! [Via MammalFilter.]
The Navy's detention facility at Hanrahan has a created a secret prison-within-a-prison and, per the article, developed elaborate plans to dodge public scrutiny of its operations to detain enemy combatants. "In detaining American citizens, full constitutional rights are afforded except where curtailed by higher guidance or accepted prison practice," the report said.
Added January 8, 2007: The US Navy has a message for you(Tube) concerning the Navy Seals: "They are warrior diplomats and trusted teammates in the war against terrorism. They understand the political and cultural sensitivities of the countries in which they operate." Added October 22, 2006: This former Marine commander has a message for you(Tube) as well, concerning "cultural sensitivities". Speaking of his part in the assault on Fallujah: "I started to cry... the woman seeing my reaction... put her hand on my cheek and said Insha'Allah... cause these people over there can accept it as God's will... but no, it wasn't God's will, it was my fucking order. I gave the order to fire those rockets into the building, and I killed her family. I have to live with that..."
When is an aircraft carrier no longer an aircraft carrier? When its flight decks have been decertified by the Navy for the unsafe condition of arresting gear and other equipment, and it can no longer conduct flight operations. One of the two remaining conventionally powered carriers on "active duty" in the U.S. Navy, "Big John" (CV-67) aka The John F. Kennedy sits ignobly at dock in Mayport, Florida, unfit for anything more than basic seamanship training, and waiting for decommissioning. August 2006 decommissioning recommendation to Congress. 24 page PDF file [more inside]
Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift is the Navy lawyer who took the case of defending Salim Ahmed Hamdan (aka Osama bin Laden's driver). A quick plea-bargain was expected, but Swift managed to get his client a hearing before the Supreme Court in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. While a complicated and nuanced decision, most would agree that "Swift, one of five judge advocate general lawyers assigned to represent the first round of commission defendants, determinedly stepped through this looking glass, defying skepticism at home and abroad that he and his colleagues would do more than a perfunctory job." However, despite all of his efforts and obvious legal abilities, he was recently passed over for promotion and effectively fired under the military's "up or out" promotion system. (Previously:   )
The cruiser Emden was launched in 1910. When World War One broke out, she was under the command of Korvettenkapitän Karl Friedrich Max von Müller, with Kapitänleutnant Hellmuth von Mücke as executive officer, who "was as extroverted as his commander was modest." When Graf von Spee, commander of the East Asiatic Squadron, decided to keep it united and head for Chile to coal up, Müller said he'd rather go off on his own and harass British shipping. Spee agreed, and the Emden embarked on a spree of destruction that made him a hero not only to the Germans but even to the British; when it was over, the Telegraph said: "It is almost in our hearts to regret that the Emden has been captured and destroyed.... There is not a survivor who does not speak well of this young German, the officers under him and the crew obedient to his orders. The war on the sea will lose some of its piquancy, its humour and its interest now that the Emden has gone."