Wednesday, December 30, 2015


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 Movie Poster: Check availability

On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina struck the United States Gulf Coast. The storm and its tidal action left southern Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama in ruins and 80% of New Orleans underwater. With all the chaos that surrounded the relief efforts, one federal agency stood our as ready and immediately taking action. The United States Coast Guard would make the difference between life and death for hundreds of the endangered. With all the odds against them, the Coast Guard was able to execute one of the largest search and rescue operations in their history. Having lost vital communication and operational support systems to the storm, the Coast Guard none the less was still able to immediately carry out their duties. Only a few short hours after the hurricane's initial passage, Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans and Aviation Training Center, Mobile began dispatching aircraft across the region. As the extent of the disaster became manifest Coast Guard units from across the nation began sending aircraft and crews for support. Over 5,600 Coast Guard personnel participated in the relief efforts. This was the largest single search and rescue effort in Coast Guard history. The Alabama PBS documentary film PARATUS 14:50 tells the story with excellent photography and beautiful sound track.  American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies   To view the film:

                Original sound Track  PARATUS 14:50

Monday, December 28, 2015


 Photo: USCG

American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies   EU VISITORS WARNING POSSIBLE COOKIES AHEAD

A Mexican owned and operated "fishing vessel", which local news reports do not distinguish as either commercial or recreational ,was spotted by a U.S. Coast Guard patrol vessel out of the Coast Guard's South Padre Island Station last week. The vessel was observed to be fishing illegally in U.S. waters. Upon hailing the Mexican vessel refused to heave to and sped off at high speed. A chase ensued and eventually the Mexican vessel rammed the Coast Guard vessel on its port side, left the water and ended up briefly on the Coast Guard vessel's deck before sliding back into the water, sinking. One U.S. Coast Guard crewman was injured. The Coast Guard crew rescued the Mexican crew after they entered the water following the loss of their vessel. The Mexican Captain Jose Luis Saucedo-Lopez is under arrest for failing to obey orders from a Coast Guard vessel. Charges may ultimately be increased to reflect fleeing the scene , resisting arrest, etc.. The injuries to the Coast Guard Crewman have been described as "superficial".  There were two other fishermen on the Mexican boat, apparently none were of the Mexican crew were injured beyond getting wet. Saucedo-Lopez underwent a preliminary hearing on Christmas Eve and is bound over.


Sunday, December 27, 2015


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Nalanda was perhaps the first true University, surely the  the finest in the ancient world. India as far back as 3500 BC was th emost scientifically advanced civilization on earth. Until 1200 AD India led the world in Mathematics, Metallurgy, Medicine and Astronomy. Then the Muslims invaded and not only did they Muslims impose their usual reign of terror, and mass murder, but they began to destroy India's great universities and centers of learning such as Vikramshila, Samath, and perhaps the greatest of them all Nalanda . What the Muslims did at Nalanda illustrates the depths of the depravity when it comes to the destruction of any traces of prior civilizations before the onslaught of their savagery. Contrary to Islamic propaganda there was never a golden age of Islam where they led the world in knowledge. At best some Muslims preserved some of the knowledge of the ancient Greeks and a few things found at places like Nalanda before they utterly destroyed them. Islam is now and always has been retrogressive and is based on lies. Their system has never known a golden age, they are the destroyers of multiple golden ages and the agents of both physical and cultural genocide  See Also THE SIEGE OF INDIA

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


 Cute Baby Elf Photo by Petr Kratochvil only known photo of a library elf

We have no idea how many of these are about the premises here in cyber space, or their names. None of us have actually seen one but we see the results of their work all the time. Even as I write this they are at work building our blog. These are the couriers who move  messages back and forth, stack and sort our information, proof read, correct grammar and spell check, store and retrieve useful images, receive and sort the mail, the list is endless. They live inside our computers and must be really tiny....and fast. But I swear they are real, look Petr got a clear picture of one through a electron microscope! When you are 66 and new to cyber space they are about as close to a logical explanation of how cyber space reality works as I'll ever come up with. So that's why we often attribute our progress to the amazing "library elves", they are crew too believe it or not. To quote a line from the movie "STRIPES"...."and that's the fact Jack!". Look at the intelligence behind those beady little eyes caught on camera just before dashing off at light speed to accomplish our bidding,
We usually can't see 'em but we want them to know we appreciate all they do.
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Wednesday, December 16, 2015


American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies   


 Photo by Ciacho5,  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license
In our MERCHANT MARINE INTEREST SECTION  we have posted the serialized version of the American Mariner's Association Report titled "BLOOD ON BROWN WATER" which is about the present day working conditions in America's "work boat fleets" especially those vessels belonging to the offshore oil and mineral industry and commercial towing. This portion of the American Merchant Marine is mostly non union and the working conditions are not what the public imagines from the what is known of the better known, but much smaller employment sector of the "deep draft" merchant marine. We encourage all Americans to read "BLOOD ON BROWN WATER" as it has the potential to do for America's "workboatmen" what "TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST"did for blue water transport workers in the late part of the 19th century. We recognize however that it is very difficult for the average American to even envision what this maritime industry sector lokks like much less what work a day life out there is like. So we provide this link to a very short musical video titled  TIDEWATER MARINE YOUR BOATS RIDE LOW.  It only takes a few minutes to watch and listen to, we think its entertaining and should enable the reader to visualize what "BLOOD ON BROWN WATER" is all about. Incidentally we are not singling out TIDEWATER MARINE as a egregious employer. We had nothing to do with the production of the video, that simply is the title of the song.


Drawing by North American Shipbuilding, 

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According to a recent article published in MILITARY .COM President Obama went to Alaska to talk climate change as he is wont to do regardless of facts , and his  need to do more to combat what he views as its destructive consequences. But while actually on the ground at his perceived critical ground of climate change he apparently was moved by some readily observable facts. 
The inescapable situation  he saw there demonstrated to him the need for new icebreakers that the U.S. Coast Guard has been requesting for years.Retired Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp told Congress last week of the President's epiphany ,asserting Presidential commitment to the concept of an expanded Coast Guard Arctic capable ice breaker fleet, or more properly, being down to just two operable ships, we might say flotilla.  .
Admiral Papp, as reported in this blog over a year ago, is now the U.S. special representative to the Arctic Council.  
The Coast Guard has exactly  two operable Arctic capable icebreakers, both of which are decades old.
Papp said Obama is committed to speeding up the construction of the icebreaker the administration agreed to in 2013, "and he's now talking plural in terms of icebreakers, and I am assured we're moving in that direction."
The icebreaker that has already gotten a White House commitment is expected to cost about $1 billion. We think the nation needs more than three and that they need not all be of the exact same capability or cost so much per unit. Admiral Zukunfit, the Coast Guard's Commandant believes the service has need of three heavy and three medium-sized icebreakers to cover American interest in the Arctic as well as the Antarctic, according to the U.S. Naval Institute. We don't think that is quite enough, more can be had if a price reduction can be found. When it comes to ice breaking ships for a nation with responsibilities in both polar regions more is better. 
 At the top of this page is an illustration of a medium Arctic capable Ice breaker available from North American Ship Building. This very capable Arctic capable Ice Breaker is a commercial design available for $200,000 million. For the price of one of the Coast Guard's billion dollar units we can probably get three quarters the mission capacity spread across five hulls. We're not saying that the Coast Guard should not build any billion dollar super breakers but we are saying that cheaper ships operating in a networked manner may be able to provide even the top of the line services while providing more available mission time, easier repair and service rotations, and the protections that always come with redundancy, a very basic military operational concept.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015


MOST PEOPLE WILL NEVER SEE A BAD DAY AS ROUGH AS THIS ONE: Updated 2/4/2016 W/BM1 Bernie Webber Bio link
                                             Update 8/18/2016 Now available in DVD, Blue Ray, Movies on Demand etc.
PHOTO CREDIT: U.S. Coast Guard
Disney's new movie FINEST HOURS is highly likely to eclipse THE GUARDIAN as the best Coast Guard movie ever made. While we felt the Guardian gave an accurate depiction of at least the aviation search and rescue culture of the modern U.S. Coast Guard, it was fiction loosely based on fact. FINEST HOURS is a true story apparently faithfully told from an earlier era of the U.S. Coast Guard than the more recent years depicted in the Guardian.  Set in the mid 1950s it was still the era of bell bottoms, the cracker jack dress blues, difficult to use AM marine radios, no satellite navigation systems, and far less post casualty hand wringing and second guessing. It was, in the U.S. Merchant Marine still within the service life of  WWII era T-2 tankers, though these were aging rapidly. In the true story behind FINEST HOURS set in the dead of winter off the coast of New England we are given a very realistic look into an era that ended by 1970, the days before mustang suits, and personal emergency radio locators. This was the last era where we so frequently heard the old Coast Guard unofficial motto: "The book says you have to go out, It doesn't say you have to come back."
Today the missions are no easier but the equipment is much better.

 A number of us here at the AAB are products of the latter part of the era (1965-1970) and remember it well and the technological and operational doctrine revolution in SAR (search and rescue) that followed. FINEST HOURS is a story of the recent past when the Coast Guard's "soldiers of the storm" did the best they could with what they had. They have better equipment today, but still suffer fatalities annually.  The sea has no limits as to what it can throw at you. The special effects in FINEST HOURS rival and in some cases exceed those in the GUARDIAN  or THE PERFECT STORM. The story is shown from both the view point of the rescuers and the merchant seamen in need of rescue, some of us here have been in both situations over the space of our long in the tooth maritime careers. Fortunately, few of us have been in the position of the Chief Boatswain's mate in the film whose future wife invades the operations center and demands that the SAR Incident Controller ( a warrant boatswain) bring the crew back, then accuses him of "sending them out to die". This is one of the reasons why we never talked much about work with our wives, and why such spaces are locked to non watch standers today. This is a visual and audio roller coaster of a film. It will be in theaters January 28, 2015. Buckle up and go, strap in and watch. Be prepared to hold your breath and experience the emotion, if not the moisture of a cold dunking. Water torture? This film will give you a whole new understanding of the concept. 

 Watch the trailers linked to below. If you tend to agree with our assessment re-tweet our tweets, forward the trailer links, encourage your friends to see it. This film finally does for Coast Guard SAR boat crews what BACK DRAFT did for firemen.
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Finest Hours Trailer 1
Finest Hours Trailer 2


 The Book

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015


 Image: Japanese Coast Guard
<a target="_blank" href="">AMAZON GIFT CARDS</a><img src="" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
"The South Korean navy fired warning shots Tuesday at a Chinese patrol boat that crossed the disputed maritime border between South and North Korea, military officials in Seoul said." Read more @: THE JAPAN TIMES

  Unfortunately the apparently errant vessel , was actually a Chinese patrol boat cracking down on illegal Chinese fishing vessels. South Korea has been asking China to regulate Chinese vessels that have been entering S. Korean territorial waters pursuing fish. Small wooden Chinese commercial fishing vessels were once tolerated in the area, but they are now being increasingly replaced by large steel vessels depreciating the S. Korean commercial fish stocks. 
 Our view is that the incident reflects the growing pains of the Chinese Coast Guard. In the South China Sea,since the inception of the Chinese Coast Guard, in that area it is being used as an aggressive instrument of marine territorial national policy in conflict with international law. Such a deployment doesn't exactly build sensitivity in a coast guard officer corps for what it takes to run a legitimate operation in concert with a neighbor state. 



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Saturday, December 5, 2015

TODAY IS THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF PEARL HARBOR: December 7th this year is Wednesday.....It happened on a quiet Sunday
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Battleships USS WEST VIRGINIA and USS TENNESSEE after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 Department of the Navy. Fourteenth Naval District. (1916 - 09/18/1947), Photographer (NARA record: 1172763 Click on the link below for an hour and half documentary on the attack at Pearl Harbor:

Damage at Pearl Harbor, early color photo by U.S. Coast Guard

  Explosion of the USS SHAW at Pearl Harbor Public Domain photo.

  USS TENNESSEE (middle) fights her fires at Pearl Harbor. The ARIZONA (foreground) and the WEST VIRGINIA were also afire. TENNESSEE damage control teams fought fires of both of these adjacent ships which threatened to spread to the TENNESSEE.

Today is also the 46 Anniversary of what was once the worst peace time loss of Coast Guard crew men in the history of the service.

Unfortunately the loss of 17 crewmen would be exceeded before the 20th century was over in the loss of the CGC BLACK THORN.  The WHITE ALDER sank on the lower Mississippi River just above New Orleans when it was cut in half by the Freighter HELENA registered in Taiwan on December 7, 1968.
 The CGC WHITE ALDER is pictured left in an official USCG photo. Oddly this photo was taken about a year prior to the loss of the CGC WHITE ALDER while she was attempting to salvage the sunken CGC LOGANBERRY, a smaller buoy tender/aids to navigation cutter that sank in rough weather after striking an uncharted submerged object. Our own Johnas Presbyter was there for the LOGAN BERRY mission in charge of a smaller responding Coast Guard vessel. The entire crew of the CGC LOGANBERRY was rescued and the vessel raised and repaired. For the complete story of the WHITE ALDER click here:

 In 1980 a larger Coast Guard Buoy tender the CGC BLACK THORN was sunk after a collision in Tampa Bay with a loss of 23 Coast Guard crew members.   The Loss of the BLACK THORN now stands as the Coast Guard's largest single day loss of personnel in peace time.

  CGC BLACK THORN, Official USCG Photo
 Between the two Buoy tender losses the service lost a training vessel.  The CGC CUYAHOGA was sunk in a collision on the Chesapeake Bay on October 20, 1978. Aboard the CUYAHOGA 10 Coast Guard crew and Officer Trainees were lost as well as one Indonesian Navy Trainee.  USCGC CUYAHOGA 1974 CGC CUYAHOGA, Official USCG Photo:

To put the Coast Guard peace time losses in perspective that started on December 7, 1968 consider that each of these losses of 17, then 10, then 23 members occurred in a single day in a service smaller than the New York city police department at the time. 

 The Coast Guard was present at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941:
 The CGC TANEY was present at Pearl Harbor and returned fire. The TANEY survived the rest of the war as well and now is a museum ship in Baltimore harbor. In addition to the Taney at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 were the unarmed 190 foot buoy tender the CGC KUKUI, Two 125 foot armed cutters the RELIANCE and the TIGER. The CGC TIGER was outside the harbor at the time of the attack and was subjected to fire from Japanese air craft which signaled its immediate change of course to its war time predesignated station as the outer harbor entrance patrol vessel, the station from which it rode out the rest of the attack. The actions of the CGC RELIANCE were not posted to the official Coast Guard website on the USCG at Pearl Harbor, nor were those of most of the several smaller numbered vessels ( generally the Coast Guard does not name vessels under 65 feet) with the exception of CG-8 which was under aerial attack, was underway in the harbor and participated in an evacuation of unarmed personnel from a harbor facility and other search and rescue duties during and after the attack. In one of the little know actions of the Pearl harbor attack nearly 1,000 miles away at Midway Japanese destroyers shelled the harbor in the hopes of destroying any naval vessels present. Among the few present was the Coast Guard buoy tender WALNUT which was unarmed. The shells of the Japanese destroyer all fell short of the WALNUT which got under way after the shelling stopped and made a bee line for Pearl Harbor arriving a few days later. At Pearl Harbor the WALNUT was promptly armed.

As we continue to monitor the transgressions of the Chinese Navy and Coast Guard  ( and recently air forces) towards their neighbors Japan and the Philippines, December 7th seems a good time to pause and remember that Japanese and American naval forces are still vulnerable to surprise attack at places like Guam where China recently moved shore base missiles on their mainland to within range of Guam. Both U.S. and Japanese forces are vulnerable to sneak attack at Yokosuka and it is publicly stated Chinese national policy to drive the United States Navy back to Pearl Harbor. It is the Coast Guard forces of both Japan and China that mostly confront each other over the disputed islands at the moment. Both sides have emphasized Coast Guard forces in the hopes that their police like nature will enhance legal claims of "effective administration" and save face over any confrontations that look like backing down. Unfortunately China has a poor legal case and no right what so ever to be invading the relevant sea and air spaces. With the recent establishment of an aerial defense zone over the disputed islands by China , air force to air force confrontations are going to occur. December 7, 2014 finds us in a situation all too similar to 1941. In the blink of an eye the distinction between Coast Guard and naval forces can be lost for the duration of a long and costly war. Lets hope the Dragon finally awakens to common sense and the rule of international law. But lets not lull ourselves into the slumber that enveloped Honolulu on December 6, 1941 nor the distraction that the Islamofascists constantly present. It is time to begin building up our naval strength and protecting it.

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Saturday, November 28, 2015



Photo Credit Brandi Breece
American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies

Chinese residents in Mexico as well as local Mexicans, welcomed visiting ships of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) at the port of Acapulco, Mexico, on Nov. 24, 2015. A flotilla of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) arrived in the Mexican port of Acapulco on Tuesday to begin a friendly visit, after a stop in Cuba. The Dragon is pretty much swimming in our home waters, making friends and influencing people , mostly to the detriment of the United States. The U.S. is of course responding as we have responded to everything the last seven years. The mass media ignores these significant events as does the occupant of the White House that the media adores and the Congress which is simply clueless. Sorry , I suppose that sounds a little bitter, I was going for angry as hell but its hard to sustain on a daily basis.

To read a more neutral sounding account of the event and gain more details click here:

Johnas Prebyter, editor


Monday, November 23, 2015

Another kind of sea monster

Russia’s Unprecedented Monster "Aircraft Ship" (53 photos, video and story)

The genius design paid off and for a few short years, it was the most destructive force on the ocean. There was nothing else like it and no vessel had the capabilities that the Ekranoplan had.
Low Flying Transpot Air Craft or Very High Speed Surface effect Ship?
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In 1987 Russia produced a surface effect vessel that could reach speeds achieved only by airplanes but stayed low enough that it would hide under radar much like a stealthy boat. It had a cargo or troop capacity to rival more than one C130 transport aircraft, or a small ship. Meet the Soviet's 1987 Ekranoplan 

The recently featured a post on this unusual technology from the 1980's. Use any of the links in this post to reach the feature. There you will find a narrative text with a full description of this unusual craft which once plied the Caspian Sea, a total of 53 photographs of the "vessel" on the water and hauled out, as well as interior views. In our opinion while the short wings do provide some lift, as you will note in the photographs there is quite a bit of "hull" visible out of the water, that you do not see in these "in water" photos. 

We believe that while the wings definitely reduced hull friction , much of the hull length remained in contact with the water, thus we classify the Ekranoplan  as a high speed vessel. In her day, the Ekranoplan .was probably the highest speed vessel large enough to be of commercial or military utility. Of course this kind of speed on water is never very economical. There is no fleet of these "ships" in use today. To Read more and take in some photo and a video click on Ekranoplan 

Friday, November 20, 2015


Marine Learning Alliance (MLA)

 We recently learned of this organization and felt it was well worth your attention. This is a partnership with Plymouth University in the UK. This seems an excellent way to improve your professional competence in navigation, or to prepare for a career related to the sea vice one at sea. The system works in or out of range of the internet. If you are going to be at sea download before you go and you can complete a course or course segment from anywhere in the world. Send in for evaluation once you regain internet access. MLA is not a paid advertiser of this site. MLA joins the U.S. Naval Institute as simply one of the institutions that we recommend to professional mariners that can prove vital to your professional development. 



E-courses in meteorology, oceanography, data management, hydrography, marine operations, navigation, underwater acoustics, maritime law: Study on line for degree and certificate programs or down load & study from your lap top at sea. 


Image by NOAA & Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary 

Click here to take an underwater tour of the well preserved ship wreck the E.B. ALLEN, sunk November 20, 1871. This ship wreck and many others are protected by the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration's Marine Sanctuary Program. On scene research and enforcement is often conducted by America's least known and smallest naval service the NOAA CORPS. 

GPS Location: N45° 00.976’ W83° 09.899’
Depth: 100 Feet
Wreck Length: 134 Feet
Beam: 26 Feet
Gross Tonnage: 276
Cargo: Grain
Launched: 1864 by H.C. Piersons at Ogdensburg, New York
Wrecked: November 20, 1871
Description: On its last voyage, the E.B. Allen was bound for Buffalo, New York, carrying a cargo of grain. When it was about 2 miles southeast of Thunder Bay Island, it met the bark Newsboy in heavy fog. The two ships collided, and the Newsboy tore a large hole in the Allen’s portside. As the ship began to sink, the Allen's crew was removed and taken on board the other vessel. Today, theE.B. Allen sits on an even keel, with its hull largely intact. Although the masts are broken and most of the decking is gone, the windlass, anchor chains, and rudder are still in place.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


THE HOLLIS "REBREATHERS"American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies       `


"Rebreathers" differ from traditional SCUBA gear in that they recycle the air that the diver breathes by removing carbon dioxide by use of chemical "scrubbers", and periodically replacing the oxygen that the diver metabolizes. 

When those of us with diving backgrounds here at AAB first started out in training 30 to 40 years ago, oxygen rebreathers were military equipment occasionally also used in shallow waters by photographers and marine biologists who wanted to get close to marine life without making the disturbing bubbles associated with standard SCUBA gear. The biggest advantage to rebreathers was this stealth aspect and their biggest drawback was their restriction to shallow waters (less than about 33 feet in depth). Things have changed radically in recent years but we still consider rebreathers in the realm of "technical diving" meaning something that is not covered in basic SCUBA certification courses, though it might be considered within the realm of "recreational" as well as commercial diving. We divide our our DIVING PAGES into two sections DIVING and TECHNICAL DIVING, with anything that has hazards that we feel a recreational diver should receive special training and guided experience with before undertaking as a recreational dive unaccompanied by a professional instructor as "technical". This rebreather post will eventually appear in both sections because we want to alert the recreational diving community to the new and improved rebreathers with their potential attractions especially for underwater photographers, and yet alert recreational divers that using these things requires training beyond your basic SCUBA certification. The good news is that the leading manufacturer provides reasonably priced instruction along with reasonably priced equipment. Learn more about modern rebreather diving at: Discover Rebreather Diving 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


PHOTO CREDIT: US Navy 100228-N-1082Z-076        American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies

The House of Representatives has  passed defense authorizations that includes a much sought after increase in funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) for Fiscal Year 2016. Under the House terms of the legislation, in Fiscal Year 2016 each vessel in the Maritime Security Program would be authorized a  $0.3 million increase to $3.5 million  vice the currently authorized $3.1 million.
An earlier version of the defense bill had been vetoed by the President, however he has indicated he will sign the new version. 

Congressional observers believe the  defense authorizations will be considered and passed by the Senate prior to the Congressional Thanksgiving recess. 
Then comes the appropriations process during which the participating American Merchant Marine companies and organized U.S. maritime labor will lobby for passage.

The legislation as passed by the House states that “dedicated and enhanced support is necessary to stabilize and preserve the Maritime Security Fleet program, which provides the Department of Defense with on-demand access to world class, economical commercial sealift capacity; assures a U.S.-flag presence in international commerce; supports a pool of qualified U.S. merchant mariners to crew U.S.-flag vessels during times of war or national emergency; and serves as a critical component of our national security infrastructure."

Pictured above is a U.S. Navy owned and civil service merchant mariner manned transport. Without the MSP program there is no back up to the few navy owned and operated transports, which aren't sufficient for a major combat sea lift task on a sustained basis. The U.S. Merchant Marine has always by statute been a naval auxiliary charged with sea lift augmentation for the U.S. Navy. Without a blue water U.S. Merchant Marine the U.S. Navy would have  to maintain a very large transport fleet, no doubt at the expense of combat capacity.  


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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Dragon in the Arctic


Photo by: Markus Pössel licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unportedlicense.
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China's national shipping and shipping services company China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) intends to provide regular Asia to Europe freight services through the Arctic.  If successful, in season, this service would shave two weeks off of the traditional transit time via the Suez canal. The plan is dependent on rising temperatures making the icy route increasingly viable. That is something we have cautioned investors in such ventures from betting on. Despite U.S. government, other governments, and even Papal pronouncements that assert that global warming is an assured future trend, it has been about 18 years since the average global temperature actually rose. That rise did create something of a diminished supply of "old" (multi season) ice. But given the reality of the climatological data vice the propaganda we don't have much faith in natural help in keeping Arctic shipping routes clear for an extended season. On the other hand the Russians, with their deep commitment to High Arctic development and the worlds largest fleet of heavy duty ice breakers are doing a pretty good job of keeping their 3,400 mile route open for an extensive portion of the Arctic summer. Russia actively advertises the Northern Sea Route as an attractive alternative to the Suez route.  Indeed the Russian Ministry of Transport has estimated that the route will pass over ten million tons of cargo annually sometime over the next decade. So far the route's best year has been 2013 when it passed about 1.4 billion tons of cargo in 71 ships. The ship crossings dropped to about 50 in 2014. Mother nature hasn't been living up to its media hype as a helper for the icy route but Russia has the ice breakers to at least assure something of a navigation season most any year. 

 COSCO seems committed to the Northern Sea route though also shows some signs of hedging its bets.  COSCO has admitted that among its options it is considering buying some second hand ships for testing new routes. If adopted that measure could save some serious expenses if a new route of any sort doesn't work out. However, commitment to the Northern Sea Route is at least in the feasibility study realm right now and with previous commercial transits under their belt COSCO is positioned well to be a major Northern Route Player if Russia can keep the route open each season. One development that takes some of the cost considerations for managing the route off of COSCO is the construction of the Siberian Port Novatek. This port as well as other the Arctic cargo movements related on on scene natural resources development assure an increase in Arctic traffic regardless of how relatively open the ice leads become. Thanks to Russian interests in Arctic natural resource development Russia is highly likely to continue funding large ice breaker fleets. Regular through services by COSCO would help pay the management bill for Russia and could lead other customers to follow on, But Russia is in the Arctic to stay and expand, so at least in terms of a Russian managed Northern Route  COSCO has a pretty fair bet for some sort of annual navigation season for the short cut. The transit window for the Northern Route usually opens in July and closes in November. The best transit conditions occur in September and early October. . Presently Arctic ice concentration is around half of what it was in 1979, according to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center. ” Current Arctic ice concentration is around half of what it was in 1979, according to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center. We simply don't have much reliable data about Arctic ice concentrations much prior to 1979 or much basis for predicting what the normal 5, 10 , or 20 year cycles are like, but everything about weather and climates cycles. To the extent that anyone should consider investment in High Arctic shipping routes it should be based on regional governmental investment in managing such routes, and not on weather / climate speculation. At the moment the only reasonably safe bet is the Russian route.

 2014 American Arctic Strategy: Russia and China, Minerals and Resources, Recoverable Oil in the Arctic Circle, Arctic Militarization, Freedom of Navigation, Sea Lines of communication Kindle Edition



This Image released by the United States Navy Photo ID ID 040528-N-2383B-006      American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies

 Actually, our headline is an unfair exaggeration. The Midshipmen of Annapolis are among the most dedicated and serious minded "twenty somethings" on the planet and have been for generations major contributors to the cultural scene of "Nap Town" (Annapolis). But they are "twenty somethings" and in fact do like to have fun. Even at their most outrageous their fun seems to have a penchant for team effort, coordination and discipline, and a kind of funky decorum. click on the link below and get down with the boys and girls of the Naval Academy in their musical video NAPTOWN FUNK:

NAP TOWN FUNK:  ( as presented By Fox News)