Sunday, 22 January 2012


In ocean wastes no poppies blow,
No crosses stand in ordered row,
There young hearts sleep... beneath the wave...
The spirited, the good, the brave.

But stars a constant vigil keep,
For them who lie beneath the deep.
'Tis true you cannot kneel in prayer
On certain spot and think. "He's there."

But you can to the ocean go...
See whitecaps marching row on row;
Know one for him will always ride...
In and out... with every tide.

And when your span of life is passed,
He'll meet you at the "Captain's Mast."
And they who mourn on distant shore
For sailors who'll come home no more.

Can dry their tears and pray for these
Who rest beneath the heaving seas...
For stars that shine and winds that blow
And whitecaps marching row on row.

And they can never lonely be
For when they lived... they chose the sea.

UPDATE - US aircraft carriers to deliver 'direct message to Iran'

In an apparent show of strength, Washington is deploying a second carrier strike group in the Gulf. US officials also confirmed their commitment to maintaining a global fleet of 11 aircraft carriers despite budget pressure to cut the fleet's size.

“That’s the reason we maintain a presence in the Middle East,” AP cited US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, as saying in a speech to about 1,700 sailors aboard the USS Enterprise. “We want them to know that we are fully prepared to deal with any contingency and it’s better for them to try to deal with us through diplomacy.”

Panetta added that the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise is on course for the Persian Gulf – and will steam through the Strait of Hormuz in a direct message to Iran, AP reports.

"We'll continue to make those messages clear. The most important way to make those messages clear is to show that we are prepared, that we are strong, that we'll have a presence in that part of the world," Panetta added.

The USS Enterprise, along with the other six ships in the carrier strike group, will deploy to the Middle East in March. It means the US will maintain two carrier strike groups in the Persian Gulf region. The warships are expected to support the country’s battle operations in Afghanistan, its anti-piracy efforts and other missions.

Meanwhile, Iran claims it is not concerned with the move, saying it is a part of routine activity.

"US warships and military forces have been in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East region for many years and their decision in relation to the dispatch of a new warship is not a new issue and it should be interpreted as part of their permanent presence," Revolutionary Guard Deputy Commander Hossein Salami was quoted by the IRNA news agency on Saturday.

Tensions escalated in the Gulf after Iran warned the US that it might block the Strait, which is a major transit route for global oil supplies, if the West places an embargo on its oil exports.

Tehran also urged Washington not to send carriers into the Gulf. In return, Washington said it would continue to deploy its ships in the region.

The USS Enterprise, along with the other six ships in the carrier strike group, will deploy to the Middle East in March. Therefore, the US will maintain two carrier strike groups in the Persian Gulf region. The warships are expected to support the country’s battle operations in Afghanistan, its anti-piracy efforts and other missions.

Next week the EU is set to agree an embargo on Iranian oil. The West expects the sanctions to force Iran to suspend the nuclear weapon activities it is allegedly practicing.

Israel to give US 12 hours’ notice before striking Iran – report

Israel has told the US authorities it will give them 12 hours’ notice before delivering a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, reports the Sunday Times, citing its own sources. The newspaper observes that the scant notice period would not permit Washington to block the operation. 

Israel does not intend to coordinate the attack with the US. The report comes after General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, held a meeting with the Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, last week in Tel-Aviv. Israel is concerned Iran is developing nuclear weapons which would ultimately threaten the security of the Jewish state.

IRAN - Daily Crap from Iranian Leadership - Iran Says Has Built ‘Smart’ Remote-Controled Submarine

January 22, 2012

Iranian researchers have built a ‘smart’ remote-control submarine with the subsurface speed of 10 meters per second, according to the semi-official Iranian news agency ISNA.

According to ISNA, the submarine, dubbed the ‘Phoenix’,  ”also possesses beautiful appearance and capable of carrying out different maneuvers.”

The 3-Kg Phoenix is a mono-propelled propulsion system that has a fin maneuverability system, and can “can carry out surveillance for one meter,” according to ISNA, adding that a camera can be installed on the submarine and the system can be employed in maritime and military industries.

NEWS FLASH - 01.44 GMT 01.01.12 - US sending aircraft carriers to Hormuz in direct message to Iran

The US is committed to maintaining a global fleet of 11 aircraft carriers despite budget pressures to reduce the fleet's size. The reason is in part to project sea power against Iran in the Middle East, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told an audience of nearly two thousand sailors aboard the USS Enterprise. 

Panetta added that the ship is on due course for the Persian Gulf – and will steam through the Strait of Hormuz in a direct message to Iran. Earlier, Iran had warned the US that it might block the strait, which is a major transit route for global oil supplies, urging Washington not to send carriers into the Gulf.

Hate and Betrayal: Taliban infiltrate Afghan Army

The Taliban says it recruited the Afghan soldier who killed four French troops on Friday, increasing fears the country’s rag-tag security forces are turning on their Western backers in the run-up to the planned 2014 NATO troop withdrawal.
"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has recruited people in important positions," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters by telephone. "Some of them have already accomplished their missions," he said, adding that the four French soldiers died on the spot.

On Saturday, French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet confirmed the 21 year-old Afghan, identified as Abdul Mansour, was working on behalf of the Taliban.

"It was evidently a Taliban (who had) infiltrated (the Afghan army) for a long time," Mr Longuet said after meeting General Nazar, commander of the 3rd Afghan army brigade, AFP reports.

Longuet said Mansour, who was arrested after the attack, was an Afghan army deserter who had most likely fled to Pakistan before returning to the Afghan army.

Longuer also said the insurgents were seeking to "break the confidence between the French forces and the Afghan army.”

While the attack in eastern Afghanistan prompted France to consider an early withdrawal from the NATO-backed coalition, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said France is unlikely to carry through with its threat of an early troop pullout.

"We are in close contact with our French colleagues and we have no reason to believe that France will do anything other than continue to be part of the very carefully considered transition process as we look at our exit as previously agreed upon in Lisbon," AFP cites Clinton as saying.

In late November 2010, NATO leaders met in Lisbon, Portugal to endorse a plan which would hand over full control of the country’s security to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.  

However, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Friday he might speed up the withdrawal of France’s 3,600 troops after a gunman in an Afghan army uniform shot dead four unarmed soldiers and wounded several others at a base in Kapisa province earlier that day.

The attack has cast further doubts on the efficacy of the Afghan National Army and police force as they struggle to gain public confidence.

Friday’s killing of the French troops is anything but an isolated event.  In October 2010 Dr Antonio Maria Costa, former head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, told the BBC that Taliban sleeper cells had already been set up inside the country’s security forces.

"We have plenty of evidence. We had a number of suicide attacks carried out by people who had been in the army, who were trusted because they were affiliated," he said.

"Certainly there are sleeper cells, certainly there are individuals who are waiting for instruction to hit, and that is one of the biggest problems which we have seen in Afghanistan as of late."

On top of the Taliban’s creeping infiltration of the country’s security forces, animosity between regulars in the Afghan army and coalition forces have reached  boiling point.

According to a classified coalition report obtained by the New York Times, Afghan security forces have attacked American and coalition troops nearly three dozen times since 2007.

In fact, the classified report found that between May 2007 and May 2011, 58 Western service members were killed in 26 separate attacks by Afghan security forces nationwide.  With the frequency of attacks ratcheting up since October 2009, the report concluded that six per cent of all hostile coalition deaths during that period were committed by Afghan security forces.

For example, last April, an Afghan Air Force pilot went on a shooting rampage at Kabul's main airport, killing eight US soldiers as well as an American contractor.

And in 2010, an Afghan policeman shot dead six US soldiers near the Pakistani border.

Many now fear such violent attacks committed against Western forces at the hands of Afghan troops are likely to escalate in the wake of an inflammatory video which surfaced earlier this month depicting American Marines urinating on the corpses of slain Afghans.

And despite over 100,000 foreign troops currently being deployed in Afghanistan to keep the peace, the United Nations recently reported that violence across the country had returned to levels not seen since the Taliban were initially toppled by US-backed forces over a decade ago.

January 22nd - On This Date - Royal Australian Navy


RADM Sir George Tryon, the first Flag Officer to command the RN Squadron on the Australia Station, hoisted his flag in HMS NELSON at Sydney.


The Australian Government approved the establishment of a Fleet Air Arm in the RAN. The Commonwealth Naval Order (137/25), signed 8 days later declared “The Naval Board has decided to establish a Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Australian Navy, based as far as practicable on the scheme adopted in the Royal Navy”.


The first Sovereign’s Colours, (King George V), was presented to the RAN at Flinders Naval Depot by the Governor General, Lord Stonehaven. A second colour for use by the Fleet was presented five days later at a parade at the Domain in Sydney.


HMA Ships AUSTRALIA and SYDNEY, (cruisers), fired a 21-gun royal salute at sea on the accession to the throne of Edward VIII.


Event #1
The Japanese submarine I-21 torpedoed the merchant ship PETER H BURNETT 420 miles east of Sydney. The destroyer USS ZANE, and corvettes HMAS DELORAINE and HMAS GYMPIE, were sent to tow her back to Sydney. They failed, and eventually the task was handed to the corvette HMAS MILDURA, (LCDR C. J. P. Guille, OBE, RANR), which carried a heavier, (but non-regulation), towing cable. MILDURA succeeded in bringing the stricken vessel safely to Sydney Harbour. Within weeks all corvettes were instructed to carry the heavier style towing cable.

Event #2
The stores vessel, HMAS PATRICIA CAM, (LEUT A. C. Meldrum, RANR), was attacked and sunk by a Japanese sea plane off the Wessel Islands in northern Australia. The plane attacked from out of the sun with engines cut and dropped a single bomb which struck amidships, and blew the bottom out of the ship. PATRICIA CAM sank within one minute. The Japanese aircraft then attacked the survivors in the water with another bomb, and machine gun fire, before landing among the survivors, picking up the Reverend L. N. Kentish, who was taking passage in PATRICIA CAM to his mission at Echo Island. The aircraft then departed. The survivors from PATRACIA CAM managed to get ashore and were rescued seven days later by HMAS KURU. 5 ratings and 3 natives onboard were killed in the attack, or died from wounds and exposure. The Reverend Kentish was taken to Dobo, (Aru Islands Group), where he was questioned and later executed by the Japanese.


The Fremantle-based USS TINOSA, (submarine), sank the Japanese merchant ships KOSHIN MARU and SEINAN MARU in the South China Sea.


The Australian Cabinet approved a contract with Scott’s Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Ltd., of Greenock, Scotland, to build eight Oberon class submarines for the RAN. The order was later reduced to six.


The Anzac class frigate, HMAS BALLARAT, (CMDR S. Hunter, CSC, RAN), ran aground at Flying Fish Cove, Christmas Island, while conducting Operation Reflex border protection patrols. BALLARAT was able to return to HMAS STIRLING, under her own steam for repairs to her propellers and rudder.