Archive for 2009

General Dynamics Conducts Blog PR Campaign

December 23rd, 2009 by xformed

Regarding LCS-2.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that….

I received an email from a member of their Advanced Information Systems Department, letting me know he works with the LCS program and also provided a link to a video of the LCS-2 on the GD website.

Here’s the text of the communique (sent Tuesday, December 22, 2009 2:51 PM):

With an interest in Navy affairs, I have read posts from your blog and thought you might find this video interesting. The LCS or Littoral Combat Ship is a program the Navy is developing for relatively small surface vessels intended for operations in the littoral zone (close to shore). It is “envisioned to be a networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant capable of defeating anti-access and asymmetric threats in the littorals.”. Two ship classes are the first examples of the LCS in the U.S. Navy: the Freedom-class and the Independence-class.

The company I work for is part of the team designing and building the Independence-class which took the unique course of using a trimaran design. When facing pirates, terrorists or other asymmetric threats, this unique and forward design makes the ship fast, highly maneuverable and geared to supporting mine detection/elimination, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare, particularly against small surface craft. Wanted to share this video we produced in case you found it interesting.

I’m sure he has a vested interest n naval affairs. I call it a paycheck in these lean times.

Anyhow, General Dynamics is putting their workforce in play to even let us little guys know, how special a ship almost as big as an FF(G), with a 57mm gun, is going to work great in the close in, shallow waters, chasing pirates.

Yeah…that’s the main threat of the future. I sure hope the Chinese wake up and smell the coffee and begin to employ small groups of men in small boats, armed with RPGs to take us on. It sure would save a lot of money for them.

I did respond with a polite “I don’t think this ship fits the bill…too big for close in, too little for real sea battles, and and that the 57mm gun was a joke, at best” message.

But who am I, but one blogger of many?

Category: Military, Navy, Public Service | Comments Off on General Dynamics Conducts Blog PR Campaign

Toys for the ex-Sailor

December 20th, 2009 by xformed

First, it was the Bionic Dolphin…but there were issues.

Now, NEW AND IMPROVED! and you can do 360 rolls in it.

Rotary engine, 215hp, 3 feet deep, 12 feet in the air are the parameters.

Let’s go to the video:

And…if you’re curious, at the end of the video, they disclose the “damage,”  somewhere about $48K and change.

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Category: Technology | Comments Off on Toys for the ex-Sailor

Today in History: Linebacker II Begins

December 18th, 2009 by xformed

When the enemy thinks they can stall peace talks, how do you respond?  With a diplomatic tools that “communicates” beyond the Paris meeting room.

On this day in 1972, Linebacker II, the largest air campaign since WWII began, with Air force and Navy planes filling the skies over North Vietnam.

For 11 days, the fury of America was unleashed over their capital and sea ports. On this day, 189 bombers (B-52D/Gs) and 39 support aircraft from the 7th Air force, and Navy and Marine Corps assets (EB-66/EA-6B/KC-135s/F-4/A-6/A-7/F-111/F-105), as well as SAR (Search and Rescue) aircraft took to the skies for a night attack. This mission targeted airfields and warehouses.

3 B-52s were shot down, and three more heavily damaged. One F-111 was also shot down, as the North Vietnamese put and estimated 220 SAMs in the air.

This afternoon, I attended an MOAA lunch and one of the men there reminded the MC to mention the history of today. It turns out that gentlemen had spent time in a B-17 over Schweinfurt, B-29s over Korea and B-52s over Vietnam. I suspect he was in the cockpit for this operation, but I did not have the opportunity to speak with him, as the room was full of living history.

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Category: Air Force, History, INternational Relations, Marines, Military, Military History, Navy | Comments Off on Today in History: Linebacker II Begins

Happy D.B. Cooper Day!

November 24th, 2009 by xformed

Yes, it’s hard to believe it’s been 39 years, since that epic skydive took place… is.

embedded by Embedded Video

Yes, D.B. Cooper is quite the man. The FBI remains on the hunt today…can you believe it?

His jump caused a major shift in airline travel comfort, and actually spawned the word: Skyjacking.

Brave soul to exit via the tail ramp at faster than terminal velocity. Worse yet, without being able to spot the pilot to give him a sporting chance of hitting the intended DZ.

To top it off, he did it with a “round.” I suspect it was a C-9 28′ flat circular canopy, which, unless you were pretty light, it would have made for a tough landing, so you needed to be well practiced for PLFs, and tree landings, too. Heck, toss in the fact you may have had to pull off a successful water landing at night, without a few buddies in a boat nearby, and in November in the North West.

Guts…and we still don’t know if he made it, or became worm food that night.

Never fear, the tradition continues: Many years back, the annual World Freefall Convention began bringing in a 727 with the DB Cooper Lock removed, so skydivers could jump the ramp.

Category: History | Comments Off on Happy D.B. Cooper Day!

FedEx: Honoring the Sacrifices of the Vietnam War

November 21st, 2009 by xformed

I have been alerted of this recently begun project by FedEx to created a “Digital Wall,” to honor those service members who died in the Vietnam War.

Impact: Huge.
Ease of execution: Easy. Take up to three pictures of those any of the FedEx/Kinko’s offices to be captured for history.

Do you have friends/family members who died in that war? Get them out and stop in. You have until May 13th, 2010 to do this.

No excuses. No cost, just a few minutes out of your day.

Thanks, FedEx, for continuing to honor those who have served, in particular the ones who perished.

Category: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Jointness, Marines, Military, Military History, Navy, Public Service, Supporting the Troops | Comments Off on FedEx: Honoring the Sacrifices of the Vietnam War

Happy Birthday, USMC!

November 10th, 2009 by xformed

I attended a cake cutting ceremony Saturday morning, with the local heroes. Over of the establishment funded the early in the day meal as his thank you to some old war horses, and some of the rest of us who wore a uniform who sit around and tell sea and war stories, and we all take them in stride. None the less, thre is some evidence here. And those who have eagle eyes, will know what they know, others: Enjoy the picture!

The Oldest marine was cutting the cake, began in 1942 and flew PBYs for the cause. The next one over, the youngest Devil Dog started in PBJs, and still has the first 75mm shell he fired from same…chromed, full of change.

The guy in the orange T flew something called Slicks for the Army…was only 4 hours short of the one year tour for combat hours…but he thinks these guys are heroes.

I’m a really lucky guy.

Category: History, Marines, Military, Military History | Comments Off on Happy Birthday, USMC!

Stop the Murdoch (Flt 93) Blogburst: Ground broken for Terrorist memorial mosque

November 10th, 2009 by xformed

Blogburst logo, petition

The desecration has begun. A ground-breaking ceremony was held at the Shanksville crash site on Saturday. Bulldozers will start reshaping the land this week. Never mind that the only rule for the Flight 93 memorial’s design competition was that the landscape had to be left as it was. In order to complete the full arc of the Crescent of Embrace (now called a broken circle, but still a giant Islamic-shaped crescent), an earthen causeway will have to be built across the wetlands that lie about 50 vertical feet below the crash site.

A contractor posted recently about his decision to turn down work on the memorial, despite economic hard times. Our friend Jeff just could not stomach the idea of helping to build a tribute to the enemy, a sentiment that is easy to understand and much appreciated. To anyone else who might find themselves in this situation, just be aware that there are other options. Someone is going to do the work, and if the pay is lucrative, it could be better for our cause to have that money go to someone who is on our side.

Blogburst author Alec Rawls has succeeded in driving driving quite a bit of Western Pennsylvania news coverage through the purchase of a half-dozen half-page full-color ads in the local Somerset paper. If anybody wants to fund another, Alec will gladly put the ad together. Call it anti-dhimmi jiu-jitsu. We can use the Park Service’s own money against them.

If we don’t succeed, then you have to live with knowing that you helped to build an abomination. There is no simple answer.

On the subject of worthy causes, long-time blogburst participant Curt at the excellent Flopping Aces blog is helping to orchestrate fundraising for Project Valour-IT, which helps provide voice-controlled computers and other technology to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand wounds and other severe injuries.

Soldiers Angels, which hosts Valour-IT, is also fundraising for the victims of the jihad attack on Fort Hood.

To join our blogbursts, just send your blog’s url.

Category: Leadership, Political, Public Service | Comments Off on Stop the Murdoch (Flt 93) Blogburst: Ground broken for Terrorist memorial mosque

Technology Tuesday

November 3rd, 2009 by xformed

Technology.   Someone commented on a blog elsewhere a few weeks back most of mankind’s greatest accomplishments were driven as a function of the need to conduct warfare. I’ll have to go along with that. While going to the moon has had a vast array of technological advancements, it was to help improve our missile/rocket technology and the abilty to function on the “high ground” That being said, there is technology developments, more like a “fusion” of hardware and software to help our wounded warriors. Laptops and Dragon Naturally Speaking. Life changing, capability restoring. Project VALOur-IT running on raw volunteer power and passion. Join up…serve the cause. Change a life. Invest in a future citizen out of uniform.

Just when you’d thought you’d read enough about VALOur-IT, Jeff Bacon a noted naval cartoonist, has done his duty to help promote the fund raising campaign.

Not only has Jeff jumped in, he connected with Steven Pastis, creator of “Pearls Before Swine” (an excellent cartoon strip, I might add) to jointly promote helping our wounded warriors.

Here is the first frame

YOu have to go to Jeff’s post to see the rest of the story.

And…if you still haven’t been convinced to contribute…please reconsider and chip in a few bucks, and send the information to your friends, family and co-workers.

Category: Air Force, Army, Charities, Coast Guard, Leadership, Marines, Military, Navy, Public Service, Supporting the Troops, Technology Tuesday, Valour-IT | 1 Comment »

Monday Maritime Matters

November 2nd, 2009 by xformed

Today, after a bit of a hiatus, another “regular” post.

First note of interest: In case you’re not aware already, the annual fund raising drive for the Soldier’s Angels VALOur-IT project has been underway since the 26th of Oct, but…the good news, it runs through 11/11. In other words, you can still contribute!

If you’re in the mood (even a little bit helps), the widget to the upper right of the blog page here (the thermometer looking dodad) is clickable and will get you to the right place to chip in a few bucks.

Now, on to some meat for the day in Naval History: 42 years (and three days….just found this) ago, one then LCDR Charles B. Hunter, USN, flying with VA-196 off the USS CONSTELLATION (CVA-64) and his BN performed a mission that earned now RADM Hunter, USN (Ret) a Navy Cross. Here is the citation:

Hunter, Charles Bryan

Commander, U.S. Navy
Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED NINETY SIX (VA-196), U.S.S. Constellation (CVA-64)
Date of Action: 30 October 1967

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Commander [then Lieutenant Commander] Charles Bryan Hunter (NSN: 0-584531), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 30 October 1967 as a pilot in Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED NINETY-SIX (VA-196), embarked in U.S.S. CONSTELLATION (CVA-64). Exercising exceptional professional skill and sound judgment, Commander Hunter, planned and executed an extremely dangerous, single-plane, night, radar bombing attack on the strategically located and heavily defended Hanoi railroad ferry slip in North Vietnam. Although the entire Hanoi defensive effort was concentrated upon his lone bomber, he flawlessly piloted his aircraft to the target area and commenced his attack. Seconds before bomb release, six enemy surface-to-air missiles were observed to be tracking on his plane. Undaunted by this threat to his personal safety, Commander Hunter took swift and effective action to avoid the missiles and then proceeded to complete his attack, releasing all weapons in the target area with extreme accuracy. After release, he guided his plane through the intense anti-aircraft-artillery fire and four additional missiles which were fired at his aircraft. In spite of this intense enemy opposition, Commander Hunter completed his mission and was directly responsible for dealing a significant blow to the North Vietnamese logistics efforts. His indomitable perseverance and conspicuous gallantry were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

He’s a humble man, just one of the guys at the table.  I’ll be having breakfast with him this coming Saturday morning, along with several other vets of some significance from WWII on.

Category: Charities, History, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy, Valour-IT | Comments Off on Monday Maritime Matters

2009 VALOur-IT: Out of the starting blocks!

October 26th, 2009 by xformed

This post will remain at the top of the posts through 11/11/2009, when the drive ends. Look below for new posts.

It begins today, the drive to make a difference for those who have suffered in defense of the nation, and defense of others around the world.

From a practical need for a blogger and a blog reader sprang a project that has now aided over 4000 wounded warriors in getting some normalcy into their lives. The project blog is here.

Even a few bucks adds up. Times are lean, but consider the “leaness” for those who will never recover what they have lost in the service.

Thanks for helping out.

If you have no preference for a service team to donate to, please drop your funds under the Navy, but know they still go into the same pot at the end of the day.

Category: Air Force, Army, Blogging, Charities, Jointness, Leadership, Marines, Military, Navy, Public Service, Supporting the Troops, Valour-IT | Comments Off on 2009 VALOur-IT: Out of the starting blocks!

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