Tuesday, April 28, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: TARGET TOKYO

TARGET TOKYO, JIMMY DOOLITTLE AND THE RAID THAT AVENGED PEARL HARBOR. By James M. Scott,


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  • PD US NAVY PHOTO Doolittle's Raiders on Flight Deck

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (April 13, 2015)
  • ISBN-10: 0393089622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393089622

The dramatic account of one of America’s most celebrated― and controversial World War II operations. 
In December 1941,  American forces were still licking their wounds from the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor.  President Franklin Roosevelt wanted a reply to the unprovoked attack that would bring the reality of war home to the Japanese people,  Four months later, on April 18, 1942, sixteen U.S. Army bombers under the command of Col. Jimmy Doolittle lifted off from the deck of the USS Hornet on a one-way trip to drop bombs on the capital of Imperial Japan. and then escape to Free China. For American President, the raid was a propaganda victory.  In Japan, outraged over the deaths of innocent civilians―including children caused military leaders to launch an attempt to seize Midway that would fail miserably and turn the tide of the PAcific war in favor of the Americans and her allies. Unfortunately it was the Chinese who suffered the brunt of a Japanese retaliatory campaign by the "Rape of Nanking which ultimately claimed an estimated 250,000 lives.
At the center of the story is Doolittle, a one of a kind uniquely American character  and other unique characters , including Chiang Kai-shek, Lieutenant General Joseph “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, ( who parachuted into China at the age of 65 and worked with the Chinese resistance until the end of the war) and  Vice Admiral William “Bull” Halsey Jr. The book doesn't neglect the junior players who bore the brunt of the mission it contains vivid portraits of the young air crew members., many of them little more than teenagers, who stepped forward to volunteer for a mission designed to be a one way trip behind enemy lines.  Most of the bombers ran out of fuel and crashed over over Japan. Captured raiders suffered torture and starvation in Japanese POW camps. Those who made into Chinese air space faced a harrowing escape across China aided by the Chinese resistance with the Japanese Army in hot pursuit.
This new telling of a now oft told tale is based on scores of never-before-published records as well as new interviews with survivors, Target Tokyo is World War II history of the highest order:, An American Admiralty Books RECOMMENDED read! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

PHILIPPINES LABELS CHINESE COAST GUARD "ARMED ROBBERS"

HOW FAR WILL THE DRAGON SWIM? 

 Your Backyard Is His Backyard.

 pd swimming dragon

The Philippines has accused the Chinese Coast Guard of Armed robbery. The Dragon's coast guard robbed filipino commercial fishermen at gunpoint during a series  of confrontations in a hotly disputed shoal area in the South China Sea. Crewmen from clearly marked Chinese coast guard vessels forcefully boarded two Philippine fishing boats near the disputed Scarborough Shoal on April 14, 2015. After subduing the Philippine boat's crew the Chinese crewmen confiscated the vessel's catch. Reportedly the catches were confiscated at gunpoint. The two boats were among 20 or so Philippine registered commercial fishing boats at Scarborough Shoal at the pertinent time. The shoal is located about 140 miles off of the main Philippine island of Luzon easily within the traditional and internationally recognized 200 mile Philippines exclusive economic zone. The shoal is about 408 miles from the nearest Chinese land mass and thus more than 200 miles outside any conceivable range that China could claim under present international law as part of their exclusive economic zone. The Philippines have filed a diplomatic protest with China. We doubt that China is impressed. We agree with the Philippine assessment of the event, outright armed robbery conducted by the Chinese coast guard. 

 The Chinese coast guard has been occupying the shoal since 2012  when they took it by the simple expedient of simply showing up there with overwhelming naval forces. A week after the armed robbery, by April 23, 2015 Philippine sources were also reporting that a Chinese coast guard vessel had hit a Philippine fishing boat with water cannon, causing enough damage to send it back to port. The boarding team which took the catch in the first described incident also deliberately damaged fishing equipment aboard the Philippine vessel.

As we have described before, China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, even waters and islands close to the coast of the Philippines and other Asian neighbours. Their claim is utterly meritless in law or history but is simply being enforced by armed coast guard forces. China has bothered to create the world's largest coast guard so as to distinguish this thevery from "naval action". Coast guard forces internationally are distinguished from naval forces by lighter armament, and police authority over civilians. By claiming their state sponsored nautical thugs are "coast guard" crews China delays some international outrage and tries to build some credibility for their bogus argument via "effective administration". They will claim before international maritime tribunals and the court of world opinion that they have been effectively enforcing mineral licensing and commercial fisheries for years in the claimed areas. They will of course gloss over the fact that they had to first eject by superior arms the rightful sovereigns. 

 To any scholar of international law the case is simple. China is a thug state, a swimming dragon devouring the wealth of its neighbors. Their "coast guard" is a blight upon the good name of the world's coast guards largely legitimate law enforcement and search and rescue naval auxiliaries doing humanitarian within the national waters of their national sponsors. China has created the world's first gang of thieves to formally achieve official state sanction as seagoing bandits.  The Chinese coast guard all 930 vessels richly deserves  to be sent to the bottom of the sea. 

COAST GUARD OCCUPATIONAL CREDENTIALING "DECK OFFICER" REVIEW MATERIALS

UNDER CONSTRUCTION ON OUR PARALLEL BLOG: http://americanadmiraltybooks2.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_7.html 

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COAST GUARD OCCUPATIONAL CREDENTIALING "ABLE SEAMAN" "DECK OFFICER" REVIEW MATERIALS

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Check Back frequently

 PD New Merchant Mariner Pass Port Style Credential

 If you are preparing for an upgrade from "ordinary seaman" to "able seaman" or from "Able Seaman" to any of the various mates, limited masters, or motorboat operator "licenses" you will probably take a "license prep course". There are many excellent sources for such courses public, private, and union. Nearly all such courses designed for working American commercial mariners attempting to advance through the ranks of the American Merchant Marine are designed to be between one and two weeks in length. There is no way anyone can expect to pass these lengthy and comprehensive professional competency exams if  such a course is the only preparation that you have.  

 Typically these courses are designed around the specific examination that the course is titled after and the instructional program assumes that the student has fulfilled the minimal service and experience requirements for the examination and has been preparings by studying appropriate materials for quite some time before signing up for the course. The focus of such course is on passing the exam. "How to instruction" is minimal and focused on the finer points of the portions of the exam requiring a minimum 90% ratio of correct answers. Such courses also focus on general strategies for multiple choice test taking and lots of practice exam exercises.

 Most licenses and AB documents are valid for multiple vessel types and a range of sizes and services so candidates approaching the upgrade exams after completing minimum service requirements may see many items of the test that they have never seen or operated, on the one or two vessels of the pertinent class they served on. While the "license prep" courses are very good at tracking the Coast Guard's typical exam questions no two tests are alike. There is a large pool of questions for each subject area of the exam and the Coast Guard pulls from this pool at random for each individual test. All applicants take the same number of questions in the same categories of questions, subject to the same minimal test score requirements but in fact no two applicants take the same test.   The best assurance of a passing score is a broad and deep knowledge of the required subjects. Such a broad and deep familiarity with a subject comes from a combination of experience and formal study.

 Most upgrade exam applicants usually obtain any number of commercially available study guides and classic books such as Chapman's, Bowditch, Dutton, The AB and Deck Officer's "Guides", etc. And, these are good and necessary. The Coast Guard in fact publishes a "reading list" and most of the exam questions are drawn from these books. So a familiarity with these books is helpful when preparing for the exam. However, Professional vocational educators know that humans tend to retain only about 10% of what they read over protracted time, 50% of what we see and hear, and about 90% of what we say and do ourselves. What we try to do in this section is to provide in one convenient location links to such free video sources of instruction in the various examination subjects as we are able to locate so that the student preparing for attendance at a "license prep" course will be able to add at no additional expense some of that "see and hear" type material that tends to increase retention to about 50%. Moreover, we suggest to those who make use of this free resource that you view each video you select several times and take notes after the first run through. By putting things in your own words and writing them out you introduce the "Say and do " function in learning and rise that 50% comprehension/retention rate to closer to 90%.

 Make early contact with the Coast Guard regional exam center or school for a more precise feel of which subjects are pertinent to your targeted exam. For example if you are applying for an inland towing vessel mate or pilot license you will be tested on navigation, but not on celestial navigation.  Inland route exams will generally not have as much "ships business and law" as blue water officer exams. The section that we are building up will have videos covering the broadest possible range of subjects. You need not pay a great deal of time looking at videos on subjects that you won't be tested on. For the time being it is up to the visitor to this section to research through the targeted school or Coast Guard regional exam center ,which subjects or which levels within the subjects are applicable for your individual needs.

 The Deck Department Credential Exam Preparation Section is under construction and like the license system and exams themselves even after "completion" will have to be periodically revised. So check back frequently. However despite still being "under construction" we now feel that the collection of videos is sufficient to be a significant help to those preparing for the exams, and so we now link you to the section. 


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

CONSTRUCTION HAS ALREADY BEGUN ON CHINA'S SECOND AIRCRAFT CARRIER

The Hong Kong Commercial Daily is a Chinese language daily published in Hong Kong. In early March 2015 the paper reported the government's industrial and manufacturing agencies have already begun construction on China's second aircraft carrier. The paper cited information from a former political commissar of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy. China's first carrier the LIAONING was commissioned in September 2012 and has been under going trials and training ever since. The Chinese according to AAIS (AMERICAN ADMIRALTY INFORMATION SERVICES) sources are now able to conduct flight deck operations, though not yet at typical combat tempos. We have unconfirmed reports that the LIAONING has successfully completed under way replenishment exercises. All reports indicate that even with a second aircraft carrier on the way the LIAONING will be  in full service mode with a few experienced flight deck hands to spare for the commissioning of a sister ship. But all reports indicate that the new carrier will not exactly be a sister ship. The Dragon's second Carrier will not be another Russian rebuild but a first from the keel up Chinese build. 
 It is reported that there will be significant differences between the two Dragon carriers but Chinese sources maintain that only a small official circle know what they will be.  While the construction of the second carrier is being carried out by civilian concerns, it will be turned over to the PLA Navy immediately upon completion for final outfitting and crew training. According to the Hong Kong Commercial Daily, European press reports indicating a possible launch date for the new carrier in late 2015 are simply not true. The reporter did not speculate on an alternative launch date. We think a 2017 launch is likely which provides ample time for design changes, construction adjustments, and delivers the ship just about the time that the LIAONING flight deck has produced a slight surplus of experienced carrier qualified aircraft pilots and flight deck plane handlers and ordinance men. 
 While the U.S. has ten super carriers it is unable to mass more than three in any one place or time. This has been more than enough to deal with the post Cold War world so far. Things change. The U.S. is engaged around the world, especially with European partners in the Middle East and Mediterranean. When the Dragon have three carriers manned by trained and experienced crews we expect the Chinese PLA NAVY to begin its long stated goal of "pushing the U.S. back to Pearl Harbor."  
 This year as we have been doing for the past decade we are again shrinking the naval budget. By 2020 the Chinese could be a match for our Pacific fleet based on their constant build up and our matching build down. It doesn't help matters that the public never has its attention focused on these developments via the national media. Only those who follow maritime and naval blogs and trade journals are aware of what is going on. Consequently a White House that we are convinced is treasonous, and the Congress which is at least ineffectual are not being subjected to real public scrutiny as our national naval capacity is being scrapped.
 China by contrast has publicly stated its intent to build at least three carriers, but doesn't draw the line there. As one PLA Navy wag is quoted; "I think if we need carriers , the more is better". 
 MA Weiming, an expert cited in the Hong Kong Daily in electrical and electronic engineering has publicly speculated that the new carrier's plane launching system is proceeding smoothly and is definitely expected to be more efficient than the "Ski Jump" system on the LIAONING. There are hints that the new system will be electro magnetic and possibly more efficient that those used by the U.S. Navy. 
 While we sleep, the swimming dragon is hatching flying pups. 
READ MORE ABOUT IT:  

Deciphering Chinese Strategic Deception: The Middle Kingdom's First Aircraft Carrier 

The study examines China’s employment of strategic deception in the acquisition and development of its first aircraft carrier —the Liaoning in 2012. By examining China’s national goals, strategy and propensity to employ deception, this study aims to: 

1. Explain how China’s national goals and strategy drove it to develop an aircraft carrier. 
2. Explain the aircraft carrier’s role in China’s maritime strategy. 
3. Explain how China employed deception in the acquisition and development of the aircraft carrier. 
4. Assess the implications of China’s use of strategic deception in developing its first aircraft carrier. 
5. Assess the future role of China’s first aircraft carrier.  CLICK ON THE BOOK ICON FOR MORE INFO:




Monday, April 20, 2015

USCG COMMANDANT : U.S. IS PRACTICALLY A BYSTANDER IN THE ARCTIC REGION

Coast Guard Commandant Says U.S. Falling Far Behind Russia in Arctic

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 Read a detailed article from the DOD BUZZ by Bryant Jordan: 

 NOAA IMAGE: RUSSIAN ICEBREAKER 


The U.S. Coast Guard has only one Icebreaker less than 40 years old and only two operational with a third legally "in commission but basically being cannibalized for parts to keep the other older vessel running. Meanwhile Russia is militarizing the High Arctic, exploring for oil and claiming an expanded exclusive Arctic economic zone extending clear to the North Pole. In comparison to our two ice breakers the Bear cruises about its Arctic domain in 27 very serviceable ice breakers, some larger than the one depicted above. China which has no Arctic coast, is conducting research in areas considered an undersea extension of our outer continental shelf and eligible for an extended OCS or EEZ claim by the United States. Admiral Paul Zukunft, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard has described out naval/ coast guard Arctic presence as that practically of a bystander.  

 Beneath the Arctic it is believed about 13 percent of the world’s oil and nearly 30 percent of its natural gas is deposited. Probably on the seabed is about a trillion dollars’ worth of minerals, according to  Zukunft . Coast Guard cited NOAA and other sources indicates that an area about twice the size of California would be considered America’s extended continental shelf under the U.N. sea convention,which has not signed by the U.S.. A more detailed description of the Commandant's recent public observations may be found at : http://www.dodbuzz.com/2015/04/14/coast-guard-commandant-says-u-s-falling-far-behind-russia-in-arctic/


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

NAMAZU ON RECENT SEAPOWER PRONOUNCEMENTS

NAMAZU CRITIQUES THE NEWLY PUBLISHED COOPERATIVE STRATEGY FOR 21ST CENTURY SEAPOWER  

by The Chief of Naval Operations, the Commandants of the Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

 GREETINGS BIPEDS!  

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 The April 2015 issue of the most respected U.S. Naval Institute's PROCEEDINGS carries the full reprint of the newly published "A COOPERATIVE STRATEGY FOR 21st CENTURY SEAPOWER". The paper is signed and we presumed mostly authored by Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations; General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps and Admiral Paul F. ZUKUNFT, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. The directors of the AAIS organization asked me to critique this new dissertation on how the Chiefs of our armed sea services intend to "design, organize and employ the Sea Services in support of our national defense, and homeland security strategies." This "paper" is also supposed  to "set maritime priorities in an era of constrained resources, while emphasizing warfighting capabilities and forward naval presence to advance national interests today and guide preparations for tomorrow's challenges."

Frankly my maritime biped friends I was a bit disappointed. I might have been less so had they titled the paper "A COOPERATIVE STRATEGY FOR U.S. ARMED 21ST.CENTURY SEA SERVICES.   . However,  they use the titles "Sea Services" collectively to describe their three services, and their armed contributions to seapower as one and the same as "seapower". Alfred Thayer Mahan had quite a different view of "seapower" and all three of the authors of the latest official public policy pronouncements on "Seapower" were supposed to have learned their earliest lesson about "seapower" from the wisdom of Mahan back in their academy days. 
  Alfred Thayer Mahan the theorists at the heart of "Seapower" as taught at the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

 According to the gospel of Mahan "Seapower" is far more than a nation's armed naval might, despite the fact that he never really clearly defined the term that he seems to have coined, he was very clear in describing a nation's "seapower" as a totality of its capacity to conduct and sustain war operations and operations other than war at sea. To Mahan "power" not only meant kinetic energy on target now, but the ability to sustain operations of all sorts over a protracted time frame. Most commentators on Mahan are unified in concluding that his definition of "seapower" included a nation's merchant marine, shipyards, and overall maritime industrial capacity, especially those capacities that could be reshaped quickly to support war operations at sea. When the authors of A COOPERATIVE STRATEGY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY SEAPOWER failed to address or even acknowledge the support roles of such "sea services" as the NOAA CORPS, The U.S. Public Health Service Uniformed Corps, and U.S. Merchant Marine they basically left the reader looking for a "part 2."  It is as though they described their plans for the three sharp points of a trident, but somehow envisioned it without a shaft.

P.D.        Notice the three sharp points of the trident illustrated. The center and longest would be the U.S. Navy in our analytic comparison, the two slightly shorter sharp points are the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Coast Guard. The document under examination deals in detail and in a coordinated fashion with the three points and by coordinating the sharpening of the points and avoiding redundancy between and among themselves the heads of the armed sea services do have a nice blueprint for the the three tines and points. But a trident is not very effective without the strength, support, and most especially reach provided by the shaft. The shaft is formed near the base of the tines by naval owned and operated sealift capabilities such as the Military Sealift Command (MSC). The three normally unarmed "sea services" the NOAA Corps, USPHS, and the U.S. Merchant Marine are the core of the long and strong staff that can support protracted naval operations. By "protracted" we mean both extended over time and geography, Additionally, if one does not consider the composition and design of the shaft of the trident there will surely be hell to pay in operations where a determined and sea competent enemy sets about to disrupt the supply lines .

  Part of the NOAA Pacific Fleet


 Let's examine  an example from recent history. During what we now sometimes call "First Iraq" the U.S. Navy wanted some of the Coast Guard's larger patrol vessels to assist  with littoral warfare chores. The Coast Guard, true to tradition, saluted the the Chief of Naval Operations and began to prepare to deploy.   Then the Congress got wind of the operation and demanded to know who was going to replace these Coast Guard vessels on the domestic anti drug line. Nobody seemed to have an answer. The net result was that the Coast Guard stayed on the drug line and the Navy went forward with a less than optimum presence.

 Did this have to happen? We think not. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's "NOAA Corps" is a uniformed paranaval service that operates ships, boats and air craft, diving programs, and scientific research in "arduous maritime environments". The ships operated by the NOAA corps are very similar to Coast Guard patrol craft and medium endurance cutters. By adding Coast Guard reserve boarding teams and weapons and a Coast Guard or Coast Guard Reserve "officer in tactical command", these NOAA vessels and crews could have quickly filled in on the drug line for armed Coast Guard vessels departing in support of naval combat operations. But there was no pre-planning, and it appears there is still none today. The NOAA Corps normal work of charting, surveying, marine sanctuary patrolling, and oceanographic research would no doubt have fallen behind schedule. But apparently that is more acceptable than abandoning the anti drug line in the Straits of Yucatan and elsewhere.

 We are kidding ourselves if we think that we are operating a "national fleet" just because the Navy and Coast Guard are coordinating. When part of your "national fleet" has homeland security and unarmed civil missions that are viewed as important by Congress or the President, and when most of the naval deployments anticipating combat operations are in situations short of a formally declared war, your "reserve fleet" may be "otherwise engaged" when most needed and bogged down in political wrangling over which mission takes precedence.

  

Some Typical NOAA ships


 In terms of combatant vessels at the point of armament where a "law enforcement configuration" overlaps or approaches a coastal small combatant vessel it would be foolish to ignore a fleet of comparably sized vessels needing only portable weapons installed and boarding team trained and authorized crews. The NOAA Atlantic and Pacific Fleets , routinely officered by a uniformed corps carrying naval rank and subject to naval discipline is simply too valuable to ignore. They have a vital mission but few would argue that the science and cartography missions of the NOAA fleet and corps if delayed, deferred a bit, or under performed for a while could do the harm to the  U.S. national security that losing a gun fight at sea, at a critical time and place could. Moreover, the U.S. Coast Guard, so in need of some medium endurance cutter back up while the shooting starts but the drug line can't be abandoned, nor outer harbor entrance port security activities abandoned, has a means to return the favor to NOAA and decrease the impact of the deployment of NOAA ships and NOAA officers deployed as back up to the Coast Guard.

 The Coast Guard Auxiliary is a uniformed group of volunteers who routinely augment all of the civil missions of the Coast Guard. The boats and planes of the Auxiliary routinely make aids to navigation verification patrols. If some of the survey trained crews of NOAA are released from impressed into Coast Guard service NOAA research /survey vessels to make room for armed Coast Guard personnel these personnel could continue much of NOAA's disrupted work from USCG Auxiliary vessels.  Many Auxiliary missions are compatible with harbor, waterway, near coastal chart updating surveys of NOAA. . 

 So why not just toss the NOAA fleet into the Coast Guard as an integral part? Because then the vitally important charting, research, and marine sanctuary protection missions of the NOAA corps fleet and air arm would join the Coast Guard's existing "mission creep" problem. As the newly absorbed fleet and air arm aged it would probably not be replaced. The Congress is notorious, and has been so for 50 years, in adding missions but no additional finances to the Coast Guard periodically. As a separate budget request from the Commerce Department what we now call the "NOAA Corps" has survived since the end of the Lewis and Clarke expedition under various names such as the "Coast Survey" as a separate and distinct uniformed service and government fleet since the early 1800s. It is highly unlikely to be defunded entirely as long as it stays independent of the Coast Guard. At the end of the Cold War, the Coast Guard like all of the armed services was expected to pay a "peace dividend." The end of the Cold War didn't really end a single ongoing daily mission of the Coast Guard but they had to pay like the other services and lost thousands of paid reserve billets, authorized strength of the reserve, and the fleet's anti submarine warfare capabilities.

 A first step toward building a shaft to the naval trident would be to form a Coast Guard / NOAA Corps Board to anticipate emergency needs, coordinate, cooperate, set up permanent lines of communication, but never ever consider "integration". It must be clearly understood that history tells us that integration with the Coast Guard of any national capacity of naval utility eventually leads to its disappearance until emergency needs arise. The main way that the Coast Guard has dealt with mission creep has been serial attention, funding most effectively whatever appears to be the "mission dejour" and letting other missions suffer. This is a numbers game where the U.S. sea services must fight with landlubbing legislators, executives and publics for enough ships and air craft to effectively defend the nation. Let's not lose an auxiliary fleet by forcing integration. But we have effectively lost the naval utility of the NOAA corps , fleets and air arm by ignoring them in naval planning. The Coast Guard must coordinate with the NOAA Corps, fleet, and air arm like the Navy coordinates with the Coast Guard.

  Some typical NOAA air craft.

 As giant catfish with 3,000 years of observations of biped naval activity behind me.  I have to say that I'm in favor of "organic" sealift capacity within the Navy and Coast Guard just as I favor some "organic" air power and air lift capacity in all military service branches. But when the Navy attempts to provide more than initial sealift, it eats into available funds for combatant vessels. In recent years the U.S. Navy has literally accepted the mission of providing sealift, the traditional function of the U.S. Merchant Marine in the mistaken belief that the U.S. Merchant Marine is commercially dead and no longer really available to perform the heavy and sustained sealift mission . By statute the U.S. Merchant Marine is a "naval auxiliary" bound to cooperate and provide services to the Navy in time of "war" or "national emergency". However, since the end of WWII we have not had a full return to naval control of shipping and the U.S. Merchant Marine's international blue water transport (traditional freighters, tankers, and bulk carriers)  were denied operational and differential subsidies by Congress after the end of the Vietnam sealift. That fleet of vessels in the common thinking of typical U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard line officers THE U.S. MERCHANT MARINE has shrunk from a WWII fleet of about 5,000 vessels to about 200 carefully Maritime Administration nurtured vessels today part of a national reserve fleet that is at least partly sustained by commercial operations. In a nut shell, American Merchant Mariners can not compete with third world mariners who will work for a rice bowl in carrying international cargoes.

 Continuing construction and operational differential subsidies would have been an inexpensive and effective way of maintaining the fleet of U.S. Merchant blue water transports available for emergency naval service. But there is a Merchant Marine besides the blue water transport fleets. You do  have, at least as long as Senator John McCain's efforts to kill it are thwarted, a protected "Jones Act Fleet". These are the vessels of the inland and "cabotage" or "coastwise' trades. These are the vessels which transport goods and commodities between and among the American States. That trade is limited by law to vessels registered under the American flag, and manned by American Merchant Mariners. Unlike current and recent past Coast Guard institutional thought the Jones Act fleet while characterised by some unique vessel types and generally vessels of smaller size than the traditional blue water transports is not an after thought or appendage of "THE MERCHANT MARINE" as envisioned by typical Navy and Coast Guard officers.  Since colonial times more commerce has moved by water between the states than arrives or departs via our international trading ports. In times of peace the American blue water transport fleet has never fared very well in relation to international shipping where there is a long tradition of abusive labor practices. You simply can't man an American ship with seamen willing to work for a rice bowl.

 It is also near impossible to get foreign seamen to haul beans and bullets to U.S. troops if they must face the danger of running a submarine gadulet or other combat vessel or mine barrier to routine delivery. By contrast the U.S. Merchant Marine has historically taken pride in its statutory role as a naval auxiliary and have never failed to deliver. Where have all of these merchant mariners come from, and where did the ship building skills and capacities emerge from in times of need like the eve of World War II? Plain and simply they didn't come out of a sort of "reserve" but out of the heart and core of the American Merchant Marine, the Jones Act fleet , "second tier" shipyards that serve it, and the merchant mariners who man it. The Jones Act fleets are the root , the heart and the core of the American Merchant Marine and unless enemies like John McCain succeed in engineering its demise the economic health of these fleets is good. Moreover the military utility of many of its vessels and crews are immediate as well as potentially convertible.

 An offshore supply vessel as typically found in the OCS waters of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

 Typical Jones Act integrated tug barge combo in coastal trade.

   Now I also mentioned a non fleet owning naval uniformed organization, the U.S. Public Health Service. These uniformed officers are doing yeoman service right now with the Department of Homeland Security in disease prevention and control, particularly guarding against the introduction of pathogens by our terrorist enemies. This potential force multiplier of the naval medical corps doesn't fit very well in a discussion focused mostly on naval combat logistics until you realize that they were once routinely considered a part of something that still exists in law but is not exercised, "the Naval Establishment".  The U.S. Navy and its Reserve components, The Marine Corps and its Reserve components, The U.S. Coast Guard and its Reserve and Auxiliary components, The NOAA Corps (formerly the Coast Survey) and the U.S. Merchant Marine all at one time in WWII under naval control of shipping responded in unison to the Chief of Naval operations. They are spoken of in law collectively as the "Naval Establishment". This naval establishment can only be as effective in the first stages of a war as it has practiced and coordinated in peace time. In reviewing this latest "seapower' discourse from the heads of three of the five "sea services" I have to wonder if modern day flag officers have any concept of the "Naval Establishment".  

 Of course no one is obligated to listen to me I'm just a 3,000 year old former demigod giant catfish but my over all impression of the COOPERATIVE STRATEGY FOR 21st CENTURY SEAPOWER by uniformed heads of our three military sea services with a preface by none other than Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy is that it is only half a strategy. Its good as far as it goes which is how to sharpen the points of the trident. But a trident without a shaft is just an unwieldy dagger. You must affix the trident head to a long shaft. Where is the rest of the plan? Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower?  SHOW ME THE SHAFT! 



 Every Naval Officer ought to read this book to truly understand the American Merchant Marine

                                                
 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A GENERATIONAL BATTLE WE'D ALL LIKE TO HAVE!

Father vs. Son on Redfish Charter this Morning.. Great Action!

Good Fishing again today on board the "Wizard". We hit the water this morning to find flat calm water conditions and beautiful weather near St. Simons Island in Coastal Georgia.

Joining us today was Mike Longmore and his son, Hunter.
Hunter caught his biggest fish to date this morning on the trip, tapping out his father by just a few pounds as they Battled with some seriously good size Bull Redfish. It was a close run for the biggest Redfish and Mike hooked up with a nice Red at the end of the trip that came close to taking the gold at 44 inches, but Hunter's 46 inch Redfish prevailed from earlier in the trip.

Great company and a great trip. Josh Cook was on deck giving up an awesome performance as usual to help round out another great day on board the "Wizard".

Here are pics of the two largest Reds of the day. For Fishing Charter information in Coastal Georgia, please seewww.georgiasportfishing.com
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Capt. Richie Lott
Josh Cook
2 photos