Come back when you’ve got your varsity letter:
Come back when you’ve got your varsity letter:
* Telegraph from Patrol Wing Two Headquarters warning of the attack on Pearl Harbor
Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:
Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
Congressman Randy Forbes (R-Va) has delivered a letter to the Army Chief of Staff outlining the need for Army to develop and deploy long-range anti-ship missiles. Because China has:
So much shallow analysis here and accompanying articles – one wonders where to start…
1. Be careful about discussing either re-opening the INF Treaty or abrogating it all together. The Russians are spoiling for the least little pretext to walk away from it and are likely poised for a breakout in MRBM/IRBM fielding – which would be a bad thing overall but especially for Europe (cf. l’affaire de SS-20). Oh and “breakout” – one of those Cold War terms, where another country suddenly fields a system (usually nuclear) in capabilities and quantity that leave a gap in terms of years before it can be adequately countered. Years which constitute a window of opportunity for mischief (at best) by the guy fielding the system to play the field. Precisely where we were in 1979 as Jimmy Carter fumbled around to find a workable deterrent to the SS-20 acceptable by Europe. Which begat the GLCM and more importantly the Pershing II deployments as part of the Two Track approach that was executed under Reagan. But times were different then because:
2. In 1979 we had a fairly robust industry (not as robust as the Soviets) insofar as battlefield BMs went – the Pershing II was already well under way for development and deployment. Today? Because of INF and a general stagnation in terms of long-range, sub-ICBM development as a result, we have…nada. But that might be moot because:
3. Where are you going to put these missiles? Guam? Japan? China has strategic depth and interior LOC’s to support and conceal a land-based *ground-mobile* ASBM which complicates counter-targeting. ‘Just kill the launchers’ you say? Given our (not so) stellar record in that very endeavor reaching all the way back to Operation CROSSBOW in WWII, plus the fact you’d be directly attacking a nuclear near peer — well, that requires some cogitation. Oh – and by concentrating a force like that on an island you are painting a nice big sign that says “strike me first.” But even that is somewhat irrelevant because:
4. What is your target? The Chinese ASBM is quite clearly meant to exercise control over the broad ocean areas in/around the 1st island chain and inside – as are their ASCM forces which are more numerous and dispersed. Also, clearly, it is meant for capitol ships. Just saying we will build a system to take out PLAN ships beggars the reality of real-time OTH-T and something the armed forces have had to deal with for sometime now – what will the ROE be to permit their use? Anyone remember OUTLAW SHARK? Bueller? Bueller?
So how about this. let’s set aside this silly talk of tit-for-tat ballistic missiles and instead focus on putting long-range (500km+), supersonic (Mach 2+), over-the-horizon ASCMs on our surface combatants and subs. All of them. Expand the target set. Sell them to our allies (if they haven’t already begun work). Make them capable of being launched from all variants of the F-35 such that F-35Bs off an America-class LHA can provide another layer of complexity to PLA leadership. Make the P-8 and B-1/B-52 compatible for carriage so that they can hangout outside of PLAAF/PLANAF fighter range and salvo missles at PLAN ships. heck, why not even give it a LACM capability too. Too much you say? Can’t be done you say? I know a few overseas firms that would argue otherwise.
WORLD WAR 2 was really the first multi-media war. True – photography was present in the American Civil War (or as my late grandma used to call it “The Late Unpleasantness” among some of her milder epithets – but we digress). Motion pictures were still embryonic and grainy when WWI burst on the scene and so most people’s information of the war came via print — newspapers mostly. WW2 changed that as along with “traditional” media, a new breed of journalist, the photo-journalist, appeared and significantly added to the wartime narrative via imagery. Human beings are visual creatures (and some say the male of the species especially so) and while the best of the traditional journalists could still catch you with a compelling story, it was the photo-journals that brought the war home. In stark black and white or color (Kodachrome™ no less) we were flooded with imagery from the banal to the heart wrenching. Through the pages of magazines like Look and Life we followed the war from the images of still burning ships in Pearl Harbor, across North Africa with Patton, above Occupied Europe in a Flying Fortress or from the decks of a warship like the USS Indianapolis, the war was in our parlors, soda stands, five-and-dimes and scattered about break rooms at our work places. From the skyscrapers of New York, to the manufacturing plants outside Detroit to a Nebraska farm, the work of photographers like Edward Steichen (who assembled what came to be perhaps the most famous team of photographers during the war) gave heretofore unprecedented access into a global war supported by those most distant from it.
But it wasn’t just the “name” photographers who set this precedent. Unheralded unit photographers captured and documented all the details of this massive war effort. Photographers such as Alfred Joseph Sedivi, ship’s photographer onboard USS Indianapolis were every bit as important as the byline photogs and the story they told gives us today, a window into a piece of America’s history and heritage we might otherwise miss. Except that today, that history, that noble heritage is literally crumbling away in the ace of the onslaught of time and environment. The Naval Institute is endeavoring to preserve this heritage though and is working to both preserve and transfer photos to digital form — their first major undertaking in this effort is the preservation of Sedivi’s work and other rare images from the Indianapolis. Doing so requires fiscal support and hereto, the Institute is trying something new by funding through Kickstarter. To quote the Institute:
…the Institute has launched a effort to raise the funds needed to restore and digitize all 1,650 photos. With your generous donation, we can ensure that this important collection of photographs will be available for the survivors and their families, as well as historians, the public, and future generations. Once digitized, the collection will be made available for viewing online via the Institute’s website. More information about the photography collection of Alfred Joseph Sedivi in the current issue of Naval History magazine. $3,000 goal would provide the funds to digitize the entire 1,650 photo collection and preserve the original photos, including preservation materials (archive boxes, poly slides for each photo). The Institute’s stretch goal of $7,000 would enable the purchase of a quality digital camera and copy stand mount allowing for the photo albums to be digitized without being taken apart. The albums would then be preserved and properly stored in their original and current condition. If funds raised total $10,000 or more, the Naval Institute will develop a traveling exhibition of the photographs to be displayed at museums and locations across the US.
It is a worthy endeavor and early success would aid larger and more complex projects in the future. Head over and read more about it here. It’s our heritage at stake – let’s see what we can do to preserve it.
A good friend, fellow scribe and most importantly, a shipmate of the very best kind, CAPT Kevin Miller, USN-Ret. has just published his first novel, Raven One as an ebook with Kindle Books. Hozer was an F/A-18 driver and served penance with me on the Navy Staff many passings of the Moon ago. Over time we’ve gone back and forth over whether it was worth the effort to flesh-out the stories he was putting together into a skeleton novel and go through the grinding editing and marketing process to get published. It is therefore that with a firmly penned OK that recommend this book to tailhookers and shorebound alike. A quick bit about the book itself from it’s spot on Amazon:
“Lieutenant Commander Jim Wilson, a fighter pilot aboard the carrier USS Valley Forge, is weary of combat over the skies of Iraq. He has been there many times since the late 90s, but now, as each passing minute draws him once again closer to combat, various other conflicts also complicate his life. His executive officer Commander “Saint” Patrick becomes unreasonably overbearing; his wife Mary, fed-up with their long separations, applies pressure for him to resign from the Navy; junior officers test his leadership skills as they act in unpredictable ways; and the raging sea outside serves as the only thing that separates him from events that will change forever his life and career. Imminent combat with the inhospitable and hostile countries over the horizon is the only constant he can depend on.
Raven One places you with Wilson in the cockpit of a carrier-based FA-18 Hornet…and in the ready rooms and bunkrooms of men and women who struggle with their fears and uncertainty in this new way of war. They must all survive a deployment that takes a sudden and unexpected turn when Washington orders Valley Forge to respond to a crisis no one saw coming. The world watches – and holds its breath.
Retired Navy Captain Kevin Miller fills his novel with flying action and adventure – and also examines the actions of imperfect humans as they follow their own agendas in a disciplined world of unrelenting pressure and danger.”
Here’s this link: Raven One now go and enjoy.
If, like your humble scribe, you spent anytime turning the pages of the Tailhook Association’s quarterly pub, The Hook, between 1991 and 2011, you undoubtedly paused for Jack Woodul’s column “The Further Adventures of Youthly Puresome” drawn from his deep reservoir of stories from his time flying the A-4 and F-8 Â – and other sundry endeavors. Â They were (are) great stories and something those of us who came along in the immediate aftermath of Vietnam and before the PC police hijacked the narrative can relate and attest to. Â In his own words:
We Naval Aviators of my ancient era occupy a shared space and time that was unique, heroic, funny, outrageous, and tragic. We circled the wagons against a society that repudiated us, picked off a bunch, and said frabb anyone that couldnâ€™t take a joke. We share a common bond that I am unwilling to let perish when I am hustled off to the Non-PC Gulag.
Those stories, regrettably, ended after 2011 and eventually disappeared from the web, leaving me to resort every once in a while to make the trip to the basement, pullout the box(es) of old Hook magazines and pull a random issue for a YP fix. Â And given the current baleful look SWMBO casts at my library of Hook magazines, I fear for their continued existence on this earth, at least in current form and not recycling in a dump someplace. Â It is therefore with no small amount of joy to note that YP is available once again at a new, dedicated site: Â http://youthlypuresome.com/Â – and we’ve added it to the roll over there on the left under “Naval Aviation.”
BTW – these stories also formed the kernel of an idea with YHS that rattled around in his brain bucket until the blogging platform arrived. Â So – while I count Lex, Sal, Xformed and Far East Cynic as my motivators for getting into blogging, it was through theÂ auspicesÂ of The Hook and “Youthly Pursesome” that kicked my tail into writing outside of work or the classroom. Â
Welcome back YP – we missed ya!
This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the E-2 Hawkeye’s entry into Fleet operations. Â Over the course of those fifty-years the aircraft has radically changed and grown in capabilities and mission focus, while visually remaining much the same as the first E-2A . Â From Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, Â it has been a part of every conflict and some notable special missions. Developed as a purpose-built AEW platform to guide carrier-based fighters to intercept Soviet missile carrying bombers, it counts a multitude of missions that include battle management, post-disaster relief (air traffic control), SAR, counter-narcotics, and ASUW, to name but a few. Â In its forthcoming iteration, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, it will be a centerpiece in Navy’s integrated fires plan. Â All that said, the E-2 also played a major role in my life for the better part of a 26-year career, and still influences it today.
So how do you recognize 50 years of service? Â Well – you certainly throw a celebration – and this year’s Hawkeye Ball and Hawkeye Week in October will feature the 50 year celebration (more on that to follow). Â An E-2CÂ will be inducted into the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola (finally!). Â And in the run up to Hawkeye Week this site and the Hawkeye-Greyhound Association’s site will feature articles on the historical background and lineage of the Hawkeye, along with personal memories collected from those who have flown and worked on the Hummer. Â We’ll kick it off here in the coming days with an updated re-run of the CADILLAC I & II series from a few years back. Â If any out there have stories or memories to share (and especially photos – we need photos particularly from the early days, due credit will be given and copyright enforced) please send them along.
Watch for the hashtag #HawkeyeAt50