Sunday, 12 February 2012

The state of YOUR military today....thought you should know.


Thank you to Marty Rice USN Veteran for his permission to post.

If you’ve never been in the military, you probably won’t understand this…
Unless you have what is known as common sense.

What Happened to the Military?

We used to go to the Officers Club or NCO Club Stag Bar on Friday afternoons to drink, smoke and swap lies with our comrades. Think about this when you read the rest of the letter below.

What happened to our Air Force/Marines/Army/Navy............. (or Military)?

Drinking then became frowned on. Smoking caused cancer and could "harm you." Stag bars became seen as 'sexist'. Gradually, our men quit patronizing their clubs because what happened in the club became fodder for a performance report. It was the same thing at the Airman's Club and the NCO and/or Top 3 clubs. Now we don't have separate clubs for the ranks.

Instead we have something called All Ranks Clubs or community clubs. They're open to men and women of all ranks....from airman basic to general officer. Still, no one is there. Gee, I wonder why.
The latest brilliant thought out of Washington is that the operators ("pilots?") flying remote aircraft in combat areas from their plush desk at duty stations in Nevada or Arizona should draw the same combat pay as those real world pilots actually on board a plane in a hostile environment. More politically correct logic?

They say that remote vehicle operators are subject to the same stress levels as the combat pilot actually flying in combat. ----- REALLY...you're bull-shitting me, right!!!???

Now that I've primed you a little, read on.

There are many who will agree with these sentiments, but they apply to more than just fighter pilots. Unfortunately, the ones with the guts to speak up or push for what they believe in are beaten down by the "system."

"Unfortunately there is a lot of truth in the following text - supposedly, Secretary Gates had a force beating the bushes to learn who wrote this....

Where have all the fighter pilots gone?

Good Question.

Here is a rant from a retired fighter pilot that is worth reading:

It is rumored that our current Secretary of Defense recently asked the question, "Where are all the dynamic leaders of the past?"
I can only assume, if that is true, that he was referring to Robin Olds, Jimmy Doolittle, Patton, Ike, Boyington, Nimitz, etc.?

Well, I've got the answer:

They were fired before they made Major!

Our nation doesn't want those kinds of leaders anymore. Squadron commanders don't run squadrons and wing commanders don't run wings.
They are managed by higher ranking dildos with other esoteric goals in mind.

Can you imagine someone today looking for a LEADER to execute that Doolittle Raid and suggesting that it be given to a dare-devil boozer - his only attributes:
he had the respect of his men, an awesome ability to fly, and the organizational skills to put it all together? If someone told me there was a chance in hell of selecting
that man today, I would tell them they were either a liar or dumber than shit.

I find it ironic that the Air Force put Brigadier General Robin Olds on the cover of the company rag last month.

While it made me extremely proud to see his face, he wouldn't make it across any base in America (or overseas) without ten enlisted folks telling him to zip up his
flight suit, get rid of the cigarette, and shave his mustache off.

I have a feeling that his response would be predictable and for that crime he would probably get a trip home and an Article 15. We have lost the war on rugged
individualism and that, unfortunately, is what fighter pilots want to follow; not because they have to but because they respect leaders of that ilk. We've all run
across that leader that made us proud to follow him because you wanted to be like him and make a difference. The individual who you would drag your testicles
through glass for rather than disappoint him.

We better wake the hell up! We're asking our young men and women to go to really shitty places; some with unbearable climates, never have a drink, have little
or no contact with the opposite sex, not look at magazines of a suggestive nature of any type, and adhere to ridiculous regs that require you to tuck your shirt into
your PT uniform on the way to the porta-shitter at night, in a blinding dust storm, because it's a uniform.

These people we're sending to combat are some of the brightest I've met but they are looking for a little sanity, which they will only find on the outside if we
don't get a friggin' clue. You can't continue asking people to live for months or years at a time acting like nuns and priests. Hell, even they get to have a beer.

Who are we afraid of offending? The guys that already hate us enough to strap C-4 to their own bodies and walk into a crowd of us? Think about it.
I'm extremely proud of our young men and women who continue to serve. I'm also very in tune with what they are considering for the future and I've got news
for whoever sits in the White House, Congress, and our so-called military leaders. Much talent has and will continue to hemorrhage from our services, because
wanna-be warriors are tired of fighting on two fronts - - one with our enemies, another against our lack of common sense.

Take it or leave it....that's just the way it is, no. if's and's or but's...................

'We will defend ourselves': Argentine defence minister ups the ante over Falklands

'We will defend ourselves': Argentine defence minister ups the ante over Falklands

Argentina's defence minister has heated up the rhetoric over the Falkland Islands by warning that if
Arturo Puricelli accused Britain of trying to provoke Argentina into turning a diplomatic conflict into an armed conflict.

He said that Argentina will "put up with" British armed forces in the Falklands.

"But if they reach our continental territory we will exercise our legitimate right of defence and we have the resources and the skills to do so," he warned.

Mr Puricelli told reporters in Buenos Aires that Britain "is hoping Argentina will fall in the temptation of taking arms".

But, despite his defiant words, he added that the Argentine government's strategy regarding the Falklands "will always be to go through diplomatic channels".

Speaking just a day after President Cristina Kirchner said she would complain to the UN over Britain's "militarisation" of the islands, Mr Puricelli continued: "We will not give in to any provocation like the one the English are expecting, because we believe in conflict resolution through diplomatic channels, which has caught them off guard.

"They want to destabilise us and see if we fall into the temptation of taking this conflict to an armed territory. Rest assured we will not do that."

Yesterday a Downing Street spokesman said there would be no further negotiation on the Falklands and its decision to send the warship HMS Dauntless - as well as deploying the Duke of Cambridge - to the islands was entirely routine.

"We are not militarising the South Atlantic. Our defensive posture in the Falkland Islands remains unchanged," the spokesman said.

"The people of the Falklands choose to be British. Their right to self determination is a principle that's enshrined in the UN charter."

Tensions between Britain and Argentina have risen ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War.

The Argentine government has recently named the upcoming football season in honour of the Belgrano, a naval ship sunk by British forces in the conflict.

British army will be extinct by 2020


.A military expert has warned that after the British government’s cuts to the military Britain would no longer have an army by 2020.

Commander John Muxworthy, founder and director of the pressure group UK National Defence Association, said the British army could no longer be classified as an army after the country’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) reduces the number of its troops to the lowest level since 1835 to plug a £42 billion black hole in its budget.

“According to all international military definitions, and the generals I have spoken with, it will be too small to technically be called an army if all the proposed cuts go through - it should be a home defence force instead,” said Muxworthy.

According to the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the MoD is obliged to axe 7,000 troops by 2015 while the current proposed cuts are planned to reduce the number of British troops from 101,300 to 82,000 by 2020.

This comes as similar reductions in the number of army soldiers in other countries have never gone below the 100,000 cut-off.

The reductions in the number of British soldiers come as the Commons Public Accounts Committee launched a scathing attack on the MoD for its “wasteful” projects after it was revealed that the MoD’s 15 largest projects would cost £6.1billion more than the ministry’s budget.

Conservative MP Patrick Mercer called on the British government to give its planned cuts to the British army a second thought, saying “the prospect of our Army being called a Home Defence Force” should be considered quite embarrassing by British officials.

Russian superlaser to be as good as H-bomb


Russia has launched a $1.5 billion project to create a high-energy superlaser site which designers pledge will be the best in the world. Capable of igniting nuclear fusion, the facility will be used both for thermonuclear weapon and civil purposes.

The new laser device will be used for inertial confinement fusion (ICF) studies. The field aims to recreate in the lab the processes which happen inside a star or in a hydrogen bomb explosion. ICF is similar to what scientists are trying to do with the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project, but takes an alternative approach to how nuclear fusion is started.

The laser facility will be developed by the Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF), a leading Russian nuclear laboratory. In its six decades of history, it was involved in the development of both the military and civilian nuclear programs in Russia.

The site will have the size of a 360-meter long 10-story building and be built near the Sarov technology park in Nizhny Novgorod region in central Russia, said the institute’s head of research, Radiy Ilkaev, who said it will be a dual-purpose device.

“On the one hand, there is the defense component, because high energy density plasma physics can be productively studied on such devices. It’s necessary for developing thermonuclear weapons. On the other hand, there is the power industry component. The world’s leading physicists believe that laser nuclear fusion can be useful for future energetics,” the scientist said.

The Russian device will be compatible with the American National Ignition Facility (NIF) and the French Laser Mégajoule (LMJ) in terms of their capabilities. The US laboratory is currently online. The French counterpart is due to be launched in 2012. The Russian facility may be ready in a decade, Ilkaev estimates.
A NIF target (photo from lasers.llnl.gov)
A NIF target (photo from lasers.llnl.gov)

Ilkaev says the future Russian facility will be able to deliver 2.8 megajoules of energy to its target, as compared to energy levels of about 2 megajoules for the American and French lasers.

“We are making our device later than they did, because such projects are costly, but ours will be the best in the world,” the scientist promised.

An ICF laser device takes a powerful laser beam, splits it into a dozen separate “beamlets”, amplifies each one individually and shoots all of them at a pellet of fusion fuel. If carefully timed, the pinhead-sized target implodes on itself, which makes the mix of deuterium and tritium in it 100 times denser than lead and heats it up to 100 million degrees. This is enough to start a chain nuclear fusion reaction.

The process is somewhat similar to what happens in a thermonuclear bomb. In such a weapon an ordinary fission bomb is used to produce energy to trigger reaction in fusion fuel. An ICF attempts re-release the same nuclear energy in a more controlled manner.

It may sound simple, but in practice it took scientists and engineers decades to create powerful lasers, special optic systems, techniques for precise target fabrication and other technologies to even come close to success. So far no laboratory has managed to produce more energy in this fashion than the amount used to power the laser.
NIF target chamber (photo from lasers.llnl.gov)
NIF target chamber (photo from lasers.llnl.gov)

But when this ignition milestone is reached, the result could be a source of clean power with fuel reserves lasting for centuries to come. Unlike uranium, which is used in present-day nuclear power plants, deuterium and tritium, which are rare variations of hydrogen, are abundant in the oceans.

And for the generals an ICF facility gives an opportunity to find out more about how thermonuclear weapons work. Currently the US, France and Russia are signatories to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which forbids any kind of tests involving nuclear explosions.

It means the military cannot just take an old bomb and detonate it to see if it's still operational after decades of storage. A superlaser capable of performing a mini-H-bomb blast can provide the data to alleviate those professional fears.

February 13th - On This Date - Royal Australian Navy

1913
The first entry of cadets to the Royal Australian Naval College arrived at Geelong. The cadets were:-O. E. Albert, N. K. Calder, J. A. Collins, A. D. Conder, E. S. Cunningham, J. C. D. Esdaile, H. B. Farncomb, E. B. Howells, H. A. Mackenzie, J. B. Newman, E. S. Nurse, W. L. Reilly, C. A. R. Sadlier, H. A. Showers, H. J. H. Thompson, H. B, Vallentine, L. L. Watkins, A. J. B. Watts. Collins, Farncomb, and Showers, reached the rank of Admiral.
1942
HMS SCORPION, (destroyer), sunk south of Singapore. Among her crew who were killed was AB Daniel Ingram of the RAN. Ingram had been serving in HMAS BENDIGO when he was caught ashore in Singapore during an air raid in early February, and missed the ships sailing. He was then allotted to SCORPION and lost his life when that ship was sunk. Japanese bombers attacked a convoy escorted by HMA Ships BALLARAT, TOOWOOMBA, and WOLLONGONG, (corvettes), in Banka Straits. The aircraft were driven off by fire from the escorts.
1945
The air/sea rescue vessels, (search and rescue craft), HMA Ships AIR HOPE, (LEUT R. W. Dunn, RANVR), and AIR SPRAY, (SBLT W. A. Booth, RANVR), were commissioned.
1964
The Australian Prime Minister, Mr. R. G. Menzies, announced the setting up of a Royal Commission to inquire into the loss of HMAS VOYAGER. The decision was a precedent, the normal procedure was to convene a naval court martial.
1969
The former HMAS ARUNTA, (Tribal class destroyer), sank north of Sydney while under tow to Japan for breaking up. While it was never proven the rumour at the time was that former members of ARUNTA's World War II crew had sabotaged the ship to prevent it reaching Japan to be scrapped.
1984
Ships of the RAN were placed on standby for a possible rescue mission following reports of earthquakes close to Rabaul.
1992
HMAS OXLEY, the first Oberon class submarine built for the RAN, paid off at HMAS STIRLING, WA. The stripped hull was sold for scrap.

'On This Day' is based on the book "Navy Day by Day: Historic Naval Events in Australia and Abroad" written by the late Lew Lind.

Argentine Media - Argentine primate Cardinal support's CFK's claims over Malvinas

IDIOT - Religion has NO place in Politics

The head of the Argentine Episcopal Conference (CEA) José María Arancedo showed their support for the Government's strategy to claim the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands, and considered it “a matter of state.”

“I heard the President’s address and as she said it is important to give peace a chance,” Arancedo told reporters of DyN news agency and added, “Therefore, I believe that is correct both the sovereignty claim and the diplomatic path chosen to do it.”

The sayings of the Archbishop of Santa Fe, who came as successor of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as head of the Argentine Church, came at a time of escalating diplomatic tensions between the UK and Argentina in the verge of the 30th anniversary of the armed conflict between the two countries.

Arab League adds UN personnel to Syrian observer corps

Arab League adds UN personnel to Syrian observer corps - could work if Russia is NOT involved.


The observer mission in Syria may be boosted to a truly international level. The Arab League is ready to include “well-equipped” non-Arab agents into its thus-far entirely Arabic team, bringing the number of observers to some 3,000 people.

Ministers from the Arab League are meeting in Cairo on Sunday to discuss the Syrian issue.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal has called on the Arab League to halt all forms of diplomatic cooperation with Syria and to implement harsher sanctions on Assad’s regime. However, the offer of a collective diplomatic break has been met with controversy, Itar-Tass reports.

Some member states are also reportedly seeking that the Arab League grants a formal recognition to the opposition Syrian National Council.­

Meanwhile, Tunisia has offered to host an international "Friends of Syria" meeting on February 24, in attempt to reach a consensus on the issue. The meeting will include Arab, regional and international states. Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani and Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal have already confirmed their countries will take part in the conference.

Another discussion on the table is a possible change of the mission status from “observer” to “peacekeeping”.

The new mission is expected to include representatives not only from the Arab League states, but also from several non-Arab Islamic nations and other countries, Al Jazeera reported. The new team will be supplied with all necessary equipment to aid the mission.

The chief of the current observer mission, General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi, has resigned on Sunday. The reasons of his resignation have not been announced yet.

A former UN Special envoy to Libya, Abdul-Illah al-Khatib, is expected to be named as the Arab League's new special envoy to Syria.

The Arab League observer mission was frozen on January 28 due to the escalation of violence in the country. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad earlier stated he is ready for a revival of international observer mission in the country, after negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The 165-member Arab League mission first went to Syria in December. Six Gulf Arab states, Jordan and Morocco have withdrawn their teams since then, but other members are still in Syria.
­Phantom resolution

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has denied reports that it presented its own draft resolution on Syria at the UN General Assembly. Earlier reports suggested that a new draft was circulating among the Arab League members. It was believed to duplicate the previous draft that had been vetoed by Russia and China at the UNSC due to its unbalanced and biased approach to solving the crisis.

The General Assembly is due to discuss the Syrian issue on Monday.

Russia will not be able to block the resolution in case the vote takes place, as no country has a veto force at the General Assembly. However, the UNGA resolutions, unlike the UNSC ones, have no legal power.
­Funerals as fighting continues

­There are continuing reports of violent clashes taking place between Assad’s security forces and rebels in many parts of Syria.

Meanwhile, in the largest Syrian city of Aleppo, activists held a massive funeral procession for the victims of the recent twin blast. Two cars stuffed with explosives exploded near security compounds on Friday, killing 28 people and injuring 235.

So far no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Syrian government earlier said it suspected Al-Qaeda of being behind the suicide terrorist attacks. The Syrian opposition however accuses President Bashar al-Assad of masterminding the bombings to discredit them.

On Sunday, the leader of Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri, has voiced his support for the Syrian uprising, calling on Muslims to join the opposition in Syria in their drive to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

The bombings in the Syrian capital Damascus on December 23 and January 6 are also believe to have been carried out by the Iraqi branch of Al-Qaeda.

B&W Announces $600 Million Order Under Naval Nuclear Reactor Components Contract


CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb 09, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) BWC +1.03% announced today that its subsidiary, Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Operations Group, Inc. (B&W NOG), received its second release under the $2 billion contract awarded in 2010. The $600 million order was funded in the fourth quarter of 2011 and is for the manufacture of nuclear components to support U.S. defense programs including the manufacture of naval nuclear power systems for submarines and aircraft carriers. Combined with the annual award for naval nuclear fuel announced during the fourth quarter, B&W NOG reported total fourth-quarter bookings of $777.6 million, and ended 2011 with total backlog of approximately $3.0 billion.

Work will be performed at B&W NOG's Lynchburg, Va., Barberton and Euclid, Ohio and Mt. Vernon, Ind. facilities over an eight-year period, beginning in January 2012.

"We are pleased to receive this additional work and continue B&W's ongoing support of U.S. defense programs," said Peyton S. Baker, President of B&W NOG. "We look forward to continuing to provide reliable and technologically advanced nuclear products that play an important role in our nation's security."

B&W NOG offers a complete range of nuclear components and services, including the manufacture of nuclear reactor components for U.S. Naval submarines and aircraft carriers and other nuclear and non-nuclear R&D and component production. The organization employs more than 3,900 people with operations in Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and a subsidiary in Tennessee.

About B&W

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., The Babcock & Wilcox Company is a leader in clean energy technology and services, primarily for the nuclear, fossil and renewable power markets, as well as a premier advanced technology and mission critical defense contractor. B&W has locations worldwide and employs approximately 12,700 people, in addition to approximately 10,400 joint venture employees. Learn more at www.babcock.com .

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Statements

B&W cautions that this release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to backlog, to the extent backlog may be viewed as an indicator of future revenues, and performance of work under the order. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, delays or other difficulties executing on our contracts in backlog and modifications of the Government contract. If one or more of these or other risks materialize, actual results may vary materially from those expected. For a more complete discussion of these and other risk factors, please see B&W's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. B&W cautions not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, except to the extent required by applicable law.