Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Admiral James Stavridis Honored

Admiral James G. Stavridis,U.S. Navy,and the U.S. Armed Forces received the Athenagoras Human Rights Award at the New York Hilton on 15 October.The award was presented by Archbishop Demetrios,Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Western Hemisphere,and Dr.Anthony Limberakis,National Commander of the Order of St.Andrew the Apostle,Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.The award is presented to one who exemplifies in word and deed the commitment to liberty.
In his acceptance,Admiral Stavridis,who leads the NATO defense alliance as Supreme Allied Commander Europe(SACEUR),a post once held by President Dwight D. Eisenhower,recalled his father from Asia Minor and the values he imparted,including pride in their Hellenic heritage.It is the duty of the strong to protect the weak,the admiral observed.We live in an imperfect world in which human rights sadly are not the norm.
Also attending the awards banquet were the Honorable Dr.Suzan Johnson Cook,U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom;ABC Chief Political Correspondent George Stephanopoulos,Master of Ceremonies;and Fox News Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emmanuel,who introduced those seated on the dais.The latter two are Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate-a Greek Orhtodox distinction similar to being Knights of Columbus.
Patriarch Bartholomew is the current Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch,the spiritual leader of all Orthodox Christians.He is based in Istanbul,Turkey.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Marines Exercise Near Controversial Islands

Six Asian countries,including China and the Philippines,lay claim to some of the Spratly Islands.Nonetheless,U.S. and Philippine Marines are holding two weeks of military exercises near the disputed islands.Some 3,000 troops are participating.The most sensitive exercise will be a mock raid by the forces to capture a hostile beach head on the South China Sea.
A U.S. Marine Corps spokesman denied the exercises were aimed at a specific country;they are merely intended to improve regional security capability.
The Spratlys are part of a vast archipelago of more than 750 islands,reefs and atolls off the Philppine and Malaysian coasts in the South China Sea,which China considers to be its territorial waters.The international community doesn't agree with China's expansive concept.
The Spratlys consist of only four square kilometers of land,but the archipelago is flung across more than 425 square kilometers of sea.
The Spratlys are considered important as way marks for territorial claims on natural resources believed to be in and under the South China Sea,including fisheries and oil and gas.A number of the islands are patrolled by small military units of China;Vietnam;Taiwan;Malaysia;and the Philippines,as a way to assert these claims.This has resulted in minor armed clashes over the past thirty years.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Findings From The Edge:Brookhaven National Laboratory

Located on a 5200 acre site 60 miles east of New York City in Upton,Long Island,Brookhaven National Laboratory does basic and applied research in long term,high-risk programs at the frontiers of science to develop advanced technologies that address national needs,transferring them to other organizations and the commercial sector.Its staff of 3,000 scientists,engineers,technicians and support personnel host over 4,000 guest researchers annually and carry out the strategic missions of the Department of Energy.
BNL's major programs include Nuclear and high energy physics;Physics and chemistry of materials;Environmental and energy research;Nonproliferation;Neuroscience and medical imagery;and Structural biology.
The Nonproliferation and National Security Department has developed the Conceptual Design of Safeguards,the first systematic nuclear materials safeguard system that integrates material control and accountability;physical protection;and records and reporting.
The NND has also developed international nuclear safeguards and expanded into technology for counter-terrorism;critical infrastructure protection;and advanced detection development and testing.It has a special interest in Material Protection Control and Accountability in Russia and the Newly Independent States.
Ironically,BNL may now be applying some of these findings to its own activities as an investigation and procedural review have been prompted by a minor radiation leak from a monitor testing device on 28 September.Radiological operations were stood down pending completion of the inquest.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Destroyer Joins The Fleet

The granddaughter of a great World War II commander,Admiral Raymond Ames Spruance,participated in the sunset commissioning of an Arleigh Burke class destroyer,the USS Spruance(DDG 111),on Saturday 1 October in Key West,Florida.Ellen Spruance Holscher,Sponsor of the new ship,ordered the 285-member crew to man the ship and bring her to life,at which they ran up the gangways in their dress whites.Ms.Holscher had also taken part in the ship's christening on 5 June,helping to smash a bottle of champagne against the bow.
General Dynamics built the warship at its Bath Iron Works in Maine.Commander Tate Westbrook is her commanding officer.
The ship is armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles;a 5-inch gun;25mm machine gun;and torpedo tubes.It also carries two MH60-R helicopters.
Admiral Spruance led naval forces in the Battle of Midway and the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
Several other of this type of destroyer are under construction or in the planning phase.