Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Red Osier Dogwood Survives Snowtober

The red osier dogwood had gone missing since the rare October snow,Snowtober.It was buried underneath the snow-downed limbs and branches of an Asian pear.Surely it was gone for good,a native planting that had been adapting so very well.
Just the other day,however,a characteristic red twig was spotted in the strengthening late January sun,barely lifting off the ground and emerging from the mass of leaves and dead timber from Snowtober.With careful effort,it was gently extricated from its choking tangle of storm debris with gloved hands and pruning shears.The young shrub was in excellent condition,saved by its flexibility.Indeed,it wasn't damaged at all.Such is the resilience of a native species.
The red osier dogwood,cornus sericea,grows from Alaska east to Newfoundland,and south to West Virginia and California.It is a prized ornamental for its white flowers and fruit,as well as its red twigs in winter.The shrub is well-suited to grow in wetland areas along rivers and streams.Birds eat the white berries,which native Americans also consumed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

U.S. Navy Status Report-as of autumn 2011

As of autumn 2011,the U.S. Navy had 325,123 personnel on active duty,along with 103,015 in the Ready Reserve.The Department of the Navy employed 203,952 civilian personnel.
The Navy's battle force consisted of 286 vessels,including eleven aircraft carriers and their Carrier Strike Groups,as well as 48 attack submarines and the 14 ballistic missile submarines in the strategic deterrent force.
There were more than 3700 aircraft in the Navy's operational inventory.
The Navy,along with the other armed forces,is gravely concerned about the prospect of the arbitrary spending cuts Congress has set in motion for 2013.These would significantly damage the Navy's global reach and missions across the board.Senator John McCain(R-Arizona)and others are working to halt this sequestration process brought about by budgetary gridlock.
Congress is not bound by this-it's something we passed;we can reverse it,Senator McCain insisted.The former presidential candidate was a Navy officer and POW during the Vietnam War.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Navy Construction Workers Help Young Family

A convoy of U.S. Navy Seabees,the service's legendary construction battalions,happened across an horrific wreck on California 101,north of Santa Barbara,on Thursday.A semi truck had rear-ended a BMW sedan driven by Kelly Lynn Groves,36,a first grade teacher,who was accompanied by her two daughters,Sage,10, and Mila,10 months.The impact crunched the car to practically nothing and pushed it over a concrete retaining wall,leaving first responders with a very precarious task.
The semi truck had careened off the highway and plunged 100 feet into a ravine below,killing the truck driver.As the firefighters and others attempted to rescue the young family in the BMW,it kept slipping little by little over the edge,threatening the mother and daughters with the same fate as the truck driver,Charles Allison.
Incredibly,a convoy of Navy Seabees,clad in their camouflage uniforms,arrived by chance exactly when they were needed,with exactly what was needed-a heavy duty forklift with a telescoping arm.The forklift can lift up to 11,000 pounds.They managed to stabilize the vehicle with it so the first responders could extract Ms.Groves and her girls.
One of the Seabees explained that they are trained to adapt and overcome any obstacle.They once again proved that they are fully capable of doing just that.
The Seabees have a base at Naval Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme,which is part of Naval Base Ventura County.It is the West Coast homeport of the Seabees.The name "Seabees" is derived from "C.B.s,"for "Construction Battalions."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Bluebird,A North American Favorite

An Eastern Bluebird family of four has been noted along the Pennsylvania-Maryland border.Such a sighting is fairly common in open woods and farms.Bluebirds,which are cavity nesters,stay in the Mid-Atlantic region year-round.It's probably the parents and their two young of the year.
The three bluebird species of North America are some of the most popular birds.There are Western and Mountain Bluebirds as well as Eastern.You really can't mistake them for anything else.As Thoreau noted,they carry the sky on their backs.On a cloudy day,however,they may well go undetected by humans rushing around.Their plumage isn't so obvious in low light conditions.
At this time of year,the bluebird family is looking for berries to eat,as insects are in short supply.The little Asian pears,which are just pits covered by a very thin layer of fruit,are also sustaining them.Their two-note call is often given on the wing.
Building a trail of bluebird boxes has become one of the leading scout and nature center projects.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Air-Sea Battle Concept Moves Forward

With the establishment of the Air-Sea Battle Office on 12 August 2011,which was subsequently announced on 9 November,the U.S. Navy,Marine Corps and Air Force have begun an era of unprecedented collaboration and integration.In response to a recent Quadrennial Defense Review,the office has been stood up by the Pentagon to integrate air and naval combat capabilities in support of emerging national security requirements.
The Air-Sea Battle concept is being developed to counter anti-access/area denial challenges posed by global proliferation of a range of advanced military technologies,including conventional ballistic missiles;long-range precision cruise missiles;advanced integrated air and missile defense systems;electronic and cyber warfare capabilities;submarines;surface warships;and advanced combat aircraft.
The Air-Sea Battle Office will do this by facilitating interservice coordination;influencing war games;fostering development and integration of air and naval capabilities;and collaborating with the joint forces.Furthermore,the ASBO will foster the integration of acquisition strategies and the conceptual approach to warfare as warfighters counter these emerging A2/AD threats.ASBO will ensure the defense of U.S. and allied interests and sustain stability and freedom throughout the global commons.
The joint forces concept has been developing for many years,but has recently been accelerated by both economic necessity and strategic reality.

Navy News Service - Eye on the Fleet

Navy News Service - Eye on the Fleet