All posts in “Admin”

Update – We Have News

Admittedly, there has been a bit of light posting around here of late – but with good cause.  With the new year we shifted location and jobs, moving from the purple world back to Navy blue and gold.  Still very much involved in the operational world and much more analytical work, but from a different perspective.  That and a much longer daily commute though have served to lessen the available hours during the week for writing.

About that writing – the project I was involved with last year is reaching fruition in March, via Stanford University Press.  Securing Freedom in the Global Commons is the title and I wrote one of the chapters:

Securing Freedom in the Global Commons

Scott Jasper

Forthcoming: Paperback available in March

Buy this book

Preliminary Table of Contents

The new millennium has brought with it an ever-expanding range of threats to global security: from cyber attacks to blue-water piracy to provocative missile tests. Now, more than ever then, national security and prosperity depend on the safekeeping of a global system of mutually supporting networks of commerce, communication, and governance. The global commons—outer space, international waters, international airspace, and cyberspace—are assets outside of national jurisdiction that serve as essential conduits for these networks, facilitating the free flow of trade, finance, information, people, and technology. These commons also comprise much of the international security environment, enabling the physical and virtual movement and operations of allied forces. Securing freedom of use of the global commons is therefore fundamental to safeguarding the global system.

The book is written for security professionals, policy makers, policy analysts, military officers in professional military education programs, students of security studies and international relations, and anyone wishing to understand the challenges we face to our use of the global commons.

The really good news is that this project is going to dramatically expand in the coming year, with more writing and other responsibilities — in other words, whole new avenues have and are opening up in ways not imagined even a year ago.  And yes, there is also a novel underway as well as other venues too.

All of which, of course, will also impact  free time for posting.  Yet it remains a target rich environment, so to speak, and I have no intention of stepping away from here either.  There had been some consideration about short posting – two or three lines and a link or two, to keep the daily count up, but that runs counter to the original intent of honing writing skills with thoughtful, meaningful posts that offer insight and understanding on critical subjects as well as historical perspective.

So, to our vast readership of five or so, fret not, the posts will continue in the coming year, albeit on something less than a daily basis.

And watch this space for more developments…

Admin notes

Just a quick note about a new feature – Table of Contents.  On more than one occasion I know I have used a category search to find a particular post, only to have to wade through pages of hits. Well, this nifty new plugin for WP blogs generates a table of contents by Category type on a single, scrollable page:


Now you can just hit the “Table of Contents” tab at the top of the page, and scroll down to say, Flightdeck Friday to find that post you’ve been looking for on remembering the S-3 Viking:


Catching Up

For the past few weeks this site’s attention has been focused on the Project VALOUR-IT 2009 fundraiser, and forgoing other topics in the interest of keeping it upfront.  Now that the campaign is over, we’ll use this post to catch up on a couple of items put on ice during that time.

I.  Thanks and Appreciation.

Patina_Barnstar_with_Helm_BZ_2 I hold to the idea of this country’s exceptionalism – and one of the strengths of this country are the people with the heart of a volunteer.  The recently completed Valour-IT campign was possible only because of the volunteers who put in untold hours (days/weeks/… you get the picture) worth of effort.  I want to take a moment to highlight and pass my thanks and appreciation to the following whose efforts were mostly behind the public veil and in no way sought the public light for themselves:

  • Mary R. at USNI’s blog:  Mary stepped to the plate early on and accepted the mantle as Team Navy’s lead.  No mean feat as this entailed coordinating, cajoling and motivating a diverse group of Navy-centric milbloggers.  She was instrumental in acquiring items for the auction and serving as the interface with the larger organization and outsiders.  For someone relatively new to the game (USNI blog has been online for less than a year) she deserves strong applause for her efforts.
  • Xformed @ chaoticsynapticactivity: The old hand at the Valour-IT campaign, xformed was the business developer behind the scenes, bursting with ideas for pushing the campaign into new and unfamiliar territory.  One of the ideas, decidedly low tech, may have turned out to be our biggest advertising point with 2nd and 3rd order effects well past the formal end of the fundraiser.  “Bravo Zulu” (and I’ve got some ideas for next year BTW)
  • Jeff Bacon of Broadsides: Jeff came aboard at first call and has been a strong supporter.  I think his contribution had substantially more impact than other cartoonists with a national exposure supporting the other teams.  Jeff — hope t see you back next year!
  • Phil Ewing @ ScoopDeck:  Phil was another from the traditional media side who pitched in and highlighted Team Navy’s efforts, again giving us a larger platform and audience tha we’ve had in year’s past.  Like Jeff, we hope to see you back next year!
  • Maggie @ Boston Maggie:  At once both team cheerleader and enforcer, the drumbeat of support and advocacy to outside organizations and entities combined with the emails to team members (ever seen a virtual whip cracked?  Yeah – I hadn’t either 😉 ) kept the effort going.  And her efforts haven’t ended with the end of the campaign either – we’ll leave that to her to discuss further.  Just remember what I said about the strength of this country being in the hearts of its volunteers…
  • Team Navy:  With the odds stacked against us before even the green flag was waved, you all still persevered and in an economic climate that is still less than shining, enabled us to cross the finish line with more than half of our goal met.  Congrats to Team Marines and Army for their finishes as well.  Ditto Team Air Force.  Oh, and I would definitely be lax if I didn’t mention Coast Guard too who joined Team Navy this year.  Thanks to all who worked, cajoled, bargained and bartered to provide the needed funds for our wounded heros.  Those folks are the real winners and you all kept that forefront throughout the competition.
  • Finally, you the readers and contributors, without whom the effort would have completely foundered.  Thank you from the bottom of our collective hearts for your generosity – all total, over $103,000 was raised in a few short weeks.

II.  Thanks and Appreciation (II)

Shortly before the Valour-IT campaign began, we attended the commissioning of the USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) in Philadelphia, by way of invitation of the PAO and XO.  I say “we” because the Steeljaw tribe turned out in force for the (very wet) drive up to Philly to witness the ceremony, held at Penns Landing.  What a great forum for a commissioning as it lent itself to being near the ship and what a crowd of attendees, ranging from CJCS, ADM Mullen to vets from WWII several of whom showed up in their uniforms.  Great looking ship and crew – more than enough to make even this ol’ brown shoe wish he was headed back to sea.  Thanks for making this a memorable day for all concerned…

Here’s wishing the Wayne E. Meyer and all who sail in her safety in peace and victory in battle.


P.S.  If you look close (and of course, know what to look for) you will see the assembled SJS clan 🙂

And. . .We’re Back

*Finally*  After almost five weeks of “interfacing” with two (almost three) different internet service providers, untold numbers of hours on the phone with incompetent technicians and unhelpful customer “service” reps (don’t even get me started with the ‘survey’ requirements), we are finally back online and no longer wifi whoring a few minutes at a time at the various public establishments offering ‘free’ wifi service.  So what’s it been like on this end?  Kind of like:


. . .yeah, that pretty well hits the mark.

So, coming up – we have two posts from guest writers CINCLAX and URR as part of the Solomon Islands Campaign project, taking us back to the land side of the fight; a recap of our trip to Philly for the commissioning of the newest Burke-class DDG; a reprise of the release of the maritime strategy released two years ago this week — and some questions about its impact; and a replay of an interview with a noted Navy ace.

All coming up in the next few days as we catch up on lost time — Launch ’em!





Light posting for a bit over the next few days as we shift our pennant from the two bedroom apartment we have shared with SWMBO and two college-age kids to the new digs.  In between, it’s another DITY move.  Provided fortune smiles upon us (read: the internet provider doesn’t goober up the connection), we should be up to speed eary next week.  In the meantime, we have one or two posts scheduled to fill the gap.

Announcing USNI Essay Contest: Robotics

Your browser may not support display of this image.Northrop Grumman Annual ROBOTICS Essay Contest

Goal: Discuss the most pressing needs where ROBOTICS may be a solution

x-47pegasus_4The Challenge: “Next year, the US Air Force will procure more unmanned aircraft than manned aircraft,” Air Force Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, commander of Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern), has predicted.   Will advances keep up with the needs of our military, first responders and the hazmat industry?  Have developers bumped up against technological obstacles, or are new breakthroughs the inevitable outcome of ongoing research?

About Robotics: The extraordinary capability of hazardous duty robotics to save lives on the battlefield is an extension of similar work ranging from local law enforcement to hazmat and first responders.  In the field of science they have made possible the exploration of hostile environments from space to the crushing depths of our oceans.  The ability to control these remarkable machines remotely, from great distances has implications for safety, costs and control of missions that would otherwise be impractical.  Often great advances in technology come as distinctions between the scientific disciplines blur.  The new science produces startling new capabilities that open advanced applications from those willing to peer into the future.  Few have more practical uses than robotics.

* * Contest Highlights * *

Eligibility: Open to all members of the Naval Institute. Join at

Focus: New and Enhanced Applications for Robotics.

Papers Due: July 15, 2009.  Submit to with full contact information.

Publication: Winners will be announced and will publish the work, in the September, 2009 issue of Proceedings.

Cash Awards:  Will be presented at USNI Honors Night, in October 2009.

* * Contest Awards * *

1st Prize – $10,000 & Life Membership

2nd Prize – $5000 & Life Membership

Two 3rd Prizes – $2500 & One-Year Membership

“Upgrades” and such

So – sitemeter does us all a favor and “upgrades” the website.  Of course, we’d *love* to be able to checkout the “improvements” – but it won’t allow us to access our account. All the more aggravating as we had gone the paid path some several months earlier.  Evidently others are equally “enamored” of the upgrade too.

“…it was supposed to be a simple server migration…”

Update: Not so fast

Admin Update

As promised, the Flightdeck Friday Index has been completed and is now available under the "Pages" heading on the sidebar.  Future topics will include Brewster’s F2A Buffalo, Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, Boeing PB-1W, Blackburn Buccaneer and de Havilland Sea Vixen (among many others).  If there are any favorites out there, drop a line and we’ll add them to the list.  Also, if you have any material that would add to the topic at hand – be it imagery or a sea story, pass it along and we will give appropriate credit, statue of limitations notwithstanding…   We are also considering expanding into the X-plane program of the 50’s since a fair number of Naval Aviators participated in that and Navy had a few notable airframes of its own (e.g., Douglas’  Skyrocket I & II).

The other project we mentioned at year’s start was the set-up of a Virtual Library.  That too is under construction and available as we have begun to populate it with some documents via Adobe’s SHARE (beta) facility.  You may need to have Flash ver 9.0 loaded to take full advantage of this capability, but at the very least, you should be able to download and read the PDFs locally if you chose not to go the SHARE route.  As always, feedback and suggestions are welcome – use the email link in the sidebar to do so and thanks for your time and continued readership.


Admin Notes

Midway POSTEX: Southern Air Pirate passes a couple of links related to the Battle of Midway well worth tucking into your “Favorites” folders.  Some good, rare and poignant imagery at those sites.  See especially the color series on VT-8 and what is probably the last photo of VT-8 as a squadron joining up overhead to push out for that morning’s strike against the Japanese CV’s.

New Pages: A couple of new pages have been added (check up in the title bar) – one page has the collection of 9/11-related posts and the other the Reflections series:

  • 9/11 Remembered: This blog is a participant in the 2996 Project.  What’s that (you may well ask)?  This is a project that brought 2996+ bloggers together on the 5th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11 wherein each blog hosted a tribute to a victim of those attacks – putting more than a face to the name as it were.  Since YHS was present in the Pentagon, witnessed the attack and in the aftermath, lost many shipmates and friends (including most of one of my three branches), you will find some extended posts that include our losses on the Navy staff from N3N5 and N513 as well as a first hand account of that day.
  • Reflections: Reflections are a series of posts about – well, about life as encountered and savoured by your humble scribe.  Many of the entries have a distinct theme of naval aviation because for the better part of a quarter century – that’s what YHS was involved in.  As with anything else though, there are moments to stop, sniff the roses and treat the occasional bee sting that results.  Some of that will be found there as well.  Where to start? Save for those marked “Part I, etc.” jump in where you feel comfortable and enjoy.



Breaking my pennant aboard the new site and in the process, offering a warm welcome to those coming from the legacy site.  Please use this posting to place comments/suggestions/toss brickbats etc. re your impressions of the site.  Thanks!