Tuesday, February 26, 2013

US Navy Ship Status Report

On December 1,2012,the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise(CVN 65) was inactivated at a ceremony in Norfolk,Virginia.The name of a new ship,which is to be a Gerald Ford class carrier,was announced the same day:Enterprise(CVN 80).
January 20,2012,the submarine USS Memphis(SSN 691) was decommissioned and stricken.The USS Chicago(SSN 721) shifted its homeport from Pear Harbor,Hawaii to Guam on April 19,2012.The USS Mississippi(SSN 782) was delivered from General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton,Connecticut on May 2,2012 and commissioned on June 2 in Pascagoula,Mississippi.It is homeported at Groton.
The USS Minnesota(SSN 783) was christened October 27 at Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding  in Newport News,Virginia,and launched on November 9.
The following names of submarines were announced April 13,2012:Illinois(SSN 786);Washington(SSN 787);Colorado(SSN 788);Indiana(SSN 789);and South Dakota(SSN 790).Delaware(SSN 791) was announced November 19.
The USS Maine(SSN 691) was damaged in an arson fire on May 23 while in drydock at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery,Maine.She is being repaired for around 450 million dollars.
The Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Michael Murphy(DDG 112) was commissioned October 6 in New York and is homeported at Pearl Harbor.The name of  destroyer John Finn(DDG 113) was announced February 15.Fabrication started September 3 at Huntington Ingalls Industries Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula,Mississippi.
Two other destroyer names were announced February 15,2012:Ralph Johnson(DDG 114) and Rafael Peralta(DDG 115).A construction contract for Thomas Hudner(DDG 116) was awarded February 28,2012 to Bath Iron Works,Maine.The name of Lyndon Johnson(DDG 1002) was announced April 16 and construction was started April 4,also at Bath Iron Works.
The sequestration budget crisis is not expected to halt construction of ships already under contract,according to Mike Petters,President and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries.The real question is new contracts such as that for carrier Enterprise(CVN 80).
General Dynamics(GD),Huntington Ingalls Industries(HII)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nature Note:Russian Scientists Find Meteorite Fragments

A team of Russian scientists have gathered small fragments of the Chelyabinsk meteorite,which caused a spectacular explosion over the city of one million in the Ural Mountains.These are experts with more than 30 years' experience,said Konstantin Bugrov of Ural Federal University in Yekaterinburg,Russia.The scientists located the fragments from the trajectory of the massive object and talking with local residents.They were able to find more than 50 pieces of the meteorite.
The pieces were small,black chondrites- stony meteorites that contain chondrules,which are small,rounded masses of various minerals of pea-size or smaller.What's unusual about the Chelyabinsk Event is that it happened over a city.We believe most of it went into Lake Chebarkul.Our experts just stayed around the lake,did not dive into it.
Most of the land is covered with snow.You can find them easier than in summer.Our experts found the fragments before the common people did.They would be unable to distinguish them.The only special thing about them is,they are from outer space.Only a very powerful microscope can verify they are from outer space.They have only sentimental value.
Every year,we go to Siberia to collect meteorites.The people wouldn't be able to find these very small pieces,but they will find beautiful nature in the area,and we welcome them.
The region is trying to develop a tourism industry.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Joint Chiefs Paint Somber Picture of Sequestration

Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff bitterly criticised the massive cuts the military will sustain in just a few weeks' time,should Congress fail to halt implementation of sequestration,or arbitrary huge budget cuts,on March 1.Appearing before the Senate Armed Forces Committee,the senior officers painted a bleak picture of a hollowed-out force and a grave threat to national security that Congressional inaction is already imposing on the armed forces and the nation.
Admiral Mark Ferguson,Vice Chief of Naval Operations,said the across the board budget cuts will immediately erode the readiness of the force.We will be compelled to lower our force levels.Our sailors and their families are exhibiting increased anxiety over this.We will make every effort to sustain sailor and family support programs.
On February 15,we will notify private shipyards to defer maintenance.Three carriers are already tied up and delayed.We effectively shut down four air wings on March 1.Our pilots will lose certification.Then it will take 6-9 months to retrain them,at greater cost.
General James Amos,Commandant of the US Marine Corps,feels sequestration will have a devastating impact on readiness.Short term and long term,the effect of disruption to global order will have significant economic consequences for the American people.The devastating impacts on the Marine Corps will include ships being stuck in port;aircraft grounded;units only partially trained;modernisation programs cancelled.
The long term results will put us at an unsustainable tipping point.
Its impact is already being felt.Sequestration does not hurt things;it hurts people.Inadequate training;degraded equipment;reduced survivability-even our wounded warriors will be increasingly placed at risk.
It's a dramatic resourcing cliff that will threaten the foundation of the all-volunteer force.These are all risks that demand our immediate attention.
Senator John McCain said the signal we are sending to the Iranians is don't worry;this aircraft carrier isn't coming.We are in the most unstable period since the end of the Cold War.
It's disgraceful to treat the men and women of our armed forces this way.We owe them a certain amount of certainty.This can have a long term effect on retention.
General Martin Dempsey,US Army,Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,noted that,on a scale of 1-10,it's a 10 danger to our country.It's the steepest,biggest reduction to the Defense Department in history.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Crazed Ex-Marine Kills Navy SEAL Hero Chris Kyle

Eddie Ray Routh,a former US Marine reportedly suffering from PTSD,allegedly shot and killed noted Iraq War veteran Chris Kyle,38,and his friend Chad Littlefield at a Texas shooting range Saturday,February 2.Routh was arrested that night after a brief highway chase and arraigned on two counts of capital murder.
Kyle,who served as a US Navy SEAL from 1999-2009,wrote the best-selling "American Sniper:The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in US Military History" along with Scott McEwen and Jim Defelice.It was published in hardcover last year and in trade paperback on January 29,2013.He is credited with 160 confirmed kills in Iraq,where militants called him "al-Shaitan,"the devil,and put a 20,000 dollar bounty on his head.
In a C-SPAN interview last year,Kyle revealed his mindset.He didn't think of himself as being better than other Navy SEALs or other soldiers generally.It was all a matter of honour.
He got chills and sometimes choked up when the national anthem was played.You're gonna do something for the greater good,Kyle said,for everybody in the country.As a civilian,that's definitely a problem;it's for your own good.This is still the greatest country in the world.
I'm not out there to rack up kills and get these huge numbers.I'd like to be known by how many I saved-not just military,but the Iraqi civilians also.You can't think of the person you're shooting as an actual person.It's unfortunate,but war is hell.It's hit the fan,and we're there to make it stop.I'm just trying to save my guys.
It's doing the right thing at the right time.A lot of math is involved,especially the farther out you go.
I didn't write the book to glorify myself,but those I served with and who are still out there serving.All of my portion of the proceeds are going to the families of the two I lost.Protesters should protest Congress and the President.Leave the military guys alone.They're willing to die for our safety and security.
PTSD is nothing to be looked down on.We need to help them.It's something you have to live with or work around.Just be there for them.Just give them your undying support,Kyle urged.
Kyle achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer.He was awarded two Silver Stars; five Bronze Stars with Valor;and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Awards with V.He fought at Fallujah and Ramadi.Ironically,it was one of his own that brought him down.
"American Sniper" is getting an average rating of about four out of five stars from readers.The paperback is listed at 9.99 new.Another book was reportedly in the works.