Sunday, October 20, 2019

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on this blog. We lost our dashboard and all  the King's horses and all the King's men couldn't put it together again. But IT Tech Joshua Falgout did. If you need a cracker jack IT tech in the New Orleans/ Baton Rouge area Call Joshua Falgout at  318 331 7843

If you have serious questions contact our resident ISM expert via E-mail or phone

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William H. Toohey III AFNI
Toohey Marine LLC
Master Unlimited
ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor Class
(Bureau Veritas)
ISM Lead Auditor (ABS Certified)
IMCA CMID Vessel Inspector
Vessel Compliance/Training/Safety Officer
Cell: 504-432-1958
Email: skiffrunner@gmail.com
SEE: https://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2019/07/our-senior-legal-correspondent-with.html
for a growing number of informative posts on the ISM (International Safety Management Code)

THE MISSION OF AMERICAN ADMIRALTY BOOKS: 
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HELIOS RUEHLS, INC: Cooperates with the American Admiralty Books blog in the production of a variety of scientific papers of a maritime nature found within this site, and is building a parallel and linked blog related to our mission which includes many maritime applications especially in optical physics. We are now building a Helios Ruehls special interest page within the blog. Helios Ruehls, Inc. is a "net worked skunk works" focused on research projects "above the Newtonian / Euclidian Line" with an emphasis on optical physics especially in maritime and naval applications. TO VISIT THE HELIOS RUEHLS SPECIAL INTEREST PAGE (UNDER CONSTRUCTION) CLICK ON: http://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html


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NOTICE: 10/3/2019 The US Navy Reports to Congress on their future Ship building plans. These first appear as a post and then are archived through the NAVAL INTEREST SECTION

NOTICE : 10/1/2019 the  Great Catfish predicts what we can expect from China in space based on parallel maritime History: https://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2019/10/the-dragon-in-south-china-sea-and-outer.html

NOTICE : 9/29/2019: Another blockbuster on climate change by the Great Catfish:  
 https://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2019/09/th-e-great-catfish-comments-on-climate.html

NOTICE:  AS OF 3 / 12/2018: We have begun reviewing naval and maritime related video games and posting reviews and links to our NAVAL INTEREST special interest page.  

NOTICE: 4/2/2018 There is now a Helios Ruehls, Inc. Special Interest page (Optical physics, complexity theory math, cutting edge science often in a maritime context) http://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

NOTICE: 4 /22/ 2018: Find USCG Merchant Marine officer license exam study materials at:  http://americanadmiraltybooks2.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_7.html 

TO VIEW OUR DAILY BLOG POSTS ON AN ECLECTIC MIX OF MARITIME SUBJECTS SIMPLY SCROLL PAST THIS STATION IDENTIFICATION. OUR POSTS APPEAR ON THIS SCROLL IN DAY TIME ORDER. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A PARTICULAR POSTING BY TITLE OR DATE THE LISTS OF POSTS ARE ALSO LIVE LINKS TO YOUR RIGHT. FOR ADDITIONAL HELP IN FINDING A PARTICULAR BLOG CLICK HERE  OR ON THE "SITE GUIDE AND INDEXES" LINE IN THE RIGHT HAND MARGIN.


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OUR PHILOSOPHY:   We  are an encyclopedic treatment of all things maritime from professional advancement in the naval or Merchant Marine Professions to recreational sailing and paddle sports. Each of our "special interest sections" starts with a basic introduction to the subject then provides you with links to expert sites, reviews of books and videos of interest, links to free pertinent videos that can be viewed on line. While our staff consists of maritime professionals we don't try to duplicate or compete with older more comprehensive special interest sites. We try to help you find them and link to them instantly.  Links to free videos are for videos you can view on line via hyper link providing easy return to this site. While there are links to specialty sites all over this site, we provide below our BIG LINKS LOCKER in case you only came here looking for a link, THE  BIG LINKS LOCKER WILL TAKE YOU TO SPECIALIZED MARITIME SUBJECT MATTER LINKS ALL OVER THE INTERNET:


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If you don't find the book you need among those we have reviewed so far or linked to click into the Amazon general search engine via the link below or as provided within our special interest sections.  


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OCEANOGRAPHY: The Scripts Institute


SHIP RESEARCH: 


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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

USS PORTER ENTERS BLACK SEA ON DELICATE POLITICALLY SENSITIVE PRESENCE MISSION




Guided-Missile Destroyer USS Porter Has Entered The Black Sea. Weekend Port Call Made At Odessa , Ukraine 



USS Porter (DDG-78) transits the Bosphorus Strait on Oct. 12, 2019. US Navy Photo
Guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG-78) entered the Black Sea earlier this October  (probably on Saturday Oct.12,2019) . We believe this information is correct and assume this deployment is  part of the Navy’s ongoing presence operation in the region. 
Port records indicate the PORTER moored at Odessa, Ukraine on Sunday . Local media indicates the purpose of the stop was for a port visit. We monitor U.S. Navy ship movements through the same channels we use to track merchant ships of interest, However we don't usually report specific Navy ship movements unless a movement is highly public already and of U.S news media interest. We make an exception to this general rule for this movement of the PORTER. While the movement draws little if any media attention in the United States, it simply is well known in the Black Sea region. The entry into the Black Sea was noted by Turkey and the local Odessa media reported the ship' visit.  We report this movement because the national media for the most part has not, with their present fixation on events in Syria. Presence operations are an important part of the Navy's mission of maintaining our national "Sea lines of Communication". The mission usually fails to draw the media attention it should in the U.S..  It is an important mission that is very costly in terms of money , ship wear and tear, crew fatigue, and a major rationale for an increase in ship numbers. The mission and necessary increase in ship numbers needs public support.

 The presence mission has drawn a little attention of late when it has involved the South China Sea because of the tension between  the Chinese Navy and Coast Guard  with their neighbors and virtually every ship transiting the area. China claims this very open arm of the sea as her maritime territory ignoring the claims of her neighbors to their own exclusive economic zones under the UN Law of the Sea Convention, and the long standing International law concerning innocent passage through the area including the various Exclusive Economic Zones. By contrast the Black Sea mission and other presence missions don't draw the media attention they should. Of these other presence missions the Black Sea missions are among the most complex and politicized. 

 US entry into the Black Sea has been limited but not forbidden for many decades. Entry is governed by a treaty of the nations bordering the Black Sea and acknowledged if not signed by the Western Powers including the United States. Our war ships are permitted to enter the area in very limited numbers and to stay for specified limited times. This wasn't a big problem until the Ukraine and Georgia achieved independence from the old Soviet Union, We now have obligations to at least these two nations that border the Black Sea. The Russians object strenuously. So far however we have been able to operate within the treaty specified numbers and limited time frames. The PORTER sails a delicate diplomatic and political sea. Watches are strained because of the political tension  that may often manifest it self in shadowing and low fly overs in the old Cold War style by Russian Black Sea Forces. The treaty limits the crew's exposure to these tensions where one misinterpretation of intentions could lead to at least regional shooting. What the treaty does nothing to alleviate is the level of fatigue of crews entering the Black Sea for this mission. Navy crews are already stressed to the point that retention is affected by prolonged and frequent deployments. If we don't want fatigued and stressed crews undertaking these delicate assignments we're going to need more ships and sailors.  

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on this blog. We lost our dashboard and all  the King's horses and all the King's men couldn't put it together again. But IT Tech Joshua Falgout did. If you need a cracker jack IT tech in the New Orleans/ Baton Rouge area Call Joshua Falgout at  318 331 7843

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If you have serious questions about ISM obligations and compliance contact our resident ISM expert via E-mail or phone
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William H. Toohey III AFNI
Toohey Marine LLC
Master Unlimited
ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor Class
(Bureau Veritas)
ISM Lead Auditor (ABS Certified)
IMCA CMID Vessel Inspector
Vessel Compliance/Training/Safety Officer
Cell: 504-432-1958
Email: skiffrunner@gmail.com
SEE: https://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2019/07/our-senior-legal-correspondent-with.html
for a growing number of informative posts on the ISM (International Safety Management Code)
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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

October 13, 2019 Leif Erickson Day







The Maryland based Viking long boat replica SAE HRAFIN when she was near the end of construction



Leif Erickson Day was October 12, 2019. Leif Erickson was the first known European to visit the North American Coast about 500 years before the voyages of Columbus
Take a look at the start of the Maryland Long Boat Company's 50 th voyage and a presentation put together by the Long Boat Company, your friendly neighborhood Viking raiding party on the voyages of Leif Erickson. . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjQK1IsDgdA&feature=youtu.be

Monday, October 14, 2019

THE US NAVY AT TURNED 244 YEARS OLD ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13th 2019

The United States Navy is celebrated its 244th birthday on October 13, 2019. The Navy was Founded on Oct. 13, 1775. 
PHOTO: The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) operate in the Arabian Sea conducting maritime security operations.
PHOTO CREDIT : US NAVY

THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY'S NAVY BIRTHDAY MESSAGE

THE BIRTHDAY MESSAGES OF THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS AND THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS

The history of the United States Navy begins with the Continental Navy but is not continuous or uninterrupted . The Continental Navy was  established at the beginning of the American Revolution. On October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the purchase two armed ships to attack British supply ships and keep their supplies from reaching British soldiers ashore  in the colonies. A second resolution passed on the same day created a naval committee to oversee the purchase of the ships and write a set of regulations for their management. After the Revolution the Continental Navy would be disbanded. but the idea of a naval committee was not. Shortly after the adoption of the Constitution Congress would fund a small fleet of armed cutters to enforce our customs laws known as the Revenue Marine. The officers would be assigned naval ranks and the entire service was designated as a "Naval Auxiliary" though for a few years the cutters of the Revenue Marine were the only armed public vessels of the United States. Then the U.S. Navy was officially "restarted" by Congress in response to the Barbary Pirates. Many Revenue Marine Officers would join the "New Navy". The Revenue Marine would eventually form the core agency of the founding agencies of the service that would become known as the U,S, Coast Guard.

 That little peace of historical trivia explains the definition of the Coast Guard often heard at Cape May Basic Training Center and on the grounds of the Coast Guard Academy: "The U.S. Coast Guard is the hard core nucleolus around which the Navy forms in times of  emergency"  .  For a while that definition was very close to accurate because funding for the Navy waxed and wained between conflicts . The "Barbary Pirates" as the Maritime Islamic Jihadists  of their day were called  literally spawned the other service in the former "Department of the Navy" ( now Department of the Navy and Marine Corps ) the Marine Corps. It has only been in years since WWII that Congress has steadily supported a large standing Navy and Marine Corps. Thanks to a never ending series of serious maritime threats, especially to our sea lines of communication . The Navy , Marine Corps and Coast Guard have all evolved into free standing and permanent organizations. In time of war all three services come under the direct command of the Chief of Naval Operations. Happy Birthday U.S. Navy !

SEE: 

THE BARBARY PIRATES AND THEIR 

PRESENT DAY DESCENDANTS


If you have serious questions about ISM obligations and compliance contact our resident ISM expert via E-mail or phone
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William H. Toohey III AFNI
Toohey Marine LLC
Master Unlimited
ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor Class
(Bureau Veritas)
ISM Lead Auditor (ABS Certified)
IMCA CMID Vessel Inspector
Vessel Compliance/Training/Safety Officer
Cell: 504-432-1958
Email: skiffrunner@gmail.com
SEE: https://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2019/07/our-senior-legal-correspondent-with.html
for a growing number of informative posts on the ISM (International Safety Management Code)
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Sunday, October 13, 2019

A COLUMBUS DAY THOUGHT FOR THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT

ESSAY NUMBER 12 of " PROTOCOLS " Read the evolving book on line for free:https://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2019/07/space-as-ocean-or-protocols-twitter.html

CHAPTER 4 THE PERILS OF FIRST CONTACT
WHY WE DON'T WANT TO REPEAT THE COLOMBIAN EXCHANGE ON A COSMIC SCALE 


LESSONS FROM THE AGE OF EUROPEAN MARINE EXPLORATION FOR THE SPACE AGE.

No matter what propulsion system we may be using at the time, inevitably we will encounter extra terrestrial life. The first time it might be microbes, which in fact might be the most dangerous encounter we will experience. We'll discuss the odds, later but we have to be prepared for the possibility of encountering other civilizations . Again our ocean planet's history can provide some insight on how we should prepare to handle this contingency and how to avoid the mistakes of our past.


WHEN COLUMBUS MET GUACANAGARI  The Perils Of First Contact, A Case Study


 The first landfall of Columbus in the New World is a subject of considerable academic debate. Wherever the landing actually took place, Columbus called the island "San Salvador". For many years historians generally believed this to be an island known as "Wattling Island"in the Bahamas which later was renamed "San Salvador". At least nine other islands have been seriously examined as possibilities. The most often discussed seems to be Samana Cay. There has been debate over the issue for years and strong cases have been made for other islands as the first landfall of Columbus. Some of the most scholarly debate in terms of forensic navigation have been carried in the pages of the Naval Institute PROCEEDINGS and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. However, the where of the first landfall of Columbus is not as important for an examination of the lessons of the first contact.


 The first lesson to be derived from the first voyage of Columbus is the definition of "first contact". Is "first contact" as a matter of gravest concern, the first contact between emissaries of an alien culture and the first inhabitants met? Or is "first contact" the first meeting between the emissaries and the first officials of the culture visited. The first contact between Columbus and native Americans made little impression on the culture of San Salvador, an apparent rural back water  but provided Columbus with some vital intelligence. His next contact with a real Chief of numerous villages Guacanagari would set the course for European /Native American relations for centuries. There is a high probability when exploring unknown areas that actual first contact will be unplanned. Let us examine the first days of Columbus in the New World and ask our selves what there is to learn from the Columbus experience if initial contact in our own explorations will be with non official persons. Let us also look for lessons for that first contact with officials;  what we might learn that would allow us to be better prepared in the event of an encounter with another civilization in outer space.


 Columbus became convinced that he was near land on October 11, 1492. Land birds were seen from his ships and a carved wooden object had been recovered from the sea. However by sundown nothing else had been seen. At 2200 (10 PM) Columbus and crewman Pedro Guttierrez and Rodrigo Sanchez saw a light to the Southwest. The Pinta set course for the light. At 0200 (2 AM) October 12, 1492 crewman Rudrigo de Triana sighted land. Columbus fell to his knees in gratitude to God. To quell a potential mutiny Columbus had agreed to sail westward for only three days more on October 10, 1492. As dawn broke Columbus and his men saw a small green Island. A small boat was  launched and the crew with Columbus embarked pulled for shore. While still offshore Columbus observed a group of people come out of the forest. First contact was about to happen. The people came down to the beach and stood looking at the approaching boat. Columbus dressed in his finest for the occasion buckled on his sword and armor when he saw the people on the beach. The sailors were also armed.


 When the boat landed Columbus and the sailors disembarked. The people from the forest stood a little distance off while Columbus unfurled the Spanish flag and proclaimed himself viceroy of the island he named "San Salvador". The people from the forest continued to stand a little ways off. Gripping , but not brandishing his sword, Columbus approached. The people proved friendly and curious. They accepted a few trinkets with apparent pleasure and ran off. The crew set out exploring the island. The next day the islanders returned in great numbers. Columbus noticed that some of the natives wore ornaments of gold. Communicating mostly through sign language Columbus discovered that the source of the gold was a large island nearby to the south east. Columbus set sail for the south east where he found another island and more friendly inhabitants, some with gold ornaments. Once again Columbus was told the gold producing island was elsewhere.  Again Columbus set sail. Columbus island hopped for two weeks in the Bahamas meeting people on each island and eventually ended up off the coast of the island that we now call Cuba.


 On November 21, 1492 a strong wind separated the PINTA from the SANTA MARIA and the NINA. THE SANTA MARIA and the NINA headed east and arrived off the island of Hispaniola. Here Columbus met the first real native "official" since landing on "San Salvador", a local chief named Guacanagari. Columbus was impressed with Guacanagari who arrived with flourishes and the entourage Columbus thought worthy of a minor Oriental prince; but displayed a friendly , outgoing nature, apparently tempered with great humility. Guacanagari, a chief of the peaceful Tainos in turn was impressed with Columbus. Guacanagari feared the cannibalistic Caribs, Columbus looked like a potentially powerful ally. In turn Columbus would shortly be in need of Guacangari's assistance.


 On Christmas day 1492 the SANTA MARIA fetched aground on a reef. The ship did not sink but could not be re-floated. She was so badly damaged that it was clear that the SANTA MARIA would never return to Spain. Now Columbus really needed Guacanagari. Guacanagari provided men to help offload the  SANTA MARIA" and strip her of useful fittings. The NINA was too small to carry both crews back to Spain. Columbus would have to leave some of the men with Guacanagari.Columbus had grown to trust Guacanagari and Guacanagari had apparently developed a genuine interest in and apparent affection for the Europeans.


 There can be little doubt that the civilized behavior,apparent command of resources, obvious authority, and the gift of a mask made partially of gold by Guacanagari helped convince Columbus that he was on the outskirts of the Orient. It would be to Guacanagari that Columbus would entrust nearly a third of his crew, and to Guacanagari that Columbus would return on his second voyage. The crew must have also been impressed with the Tianos people, Guacanagari, and the climate and terrain of the Bahamas because many crewmen volunteered, even begged to remain. Thirty nine were chosen from an abundance of volunteers. Diego de Arana , the Master at Arms was left in command. With the help of the Tianos the crew built a fort from the remains of the ship and stored it with provisions and weapons. Since the ship wreck had occurred on Christmas Columbus called the fort "la Navidad". After a farewell banquet with Guacanagari Columbus departed for Spain during the first week of the new year 1493.


 Shortly after the start of the return voyage the Nina sighted the Pinta. They would separate again in a storm before reaching Spain. The story of Columbus's return voyage from his first visit to the New World, the rivalry between Columbus and the Captain of the PINTA , the intrigue at court after the return of the NINA and  PINTA could fill a book. But these details detract from the examination of the events surrounding Columbus and Guacanagari. Consequently we will leave the details of the return voyage and organization of the second voyage back to Guacanagari's island to others and cut to the return of Columbus to "La Navidad".


 The sovereigns of Spain authorized a second voyage and issued formal instructions. These formal instructions included a call for the conversion of the natives to Christianity but stipulated that the natives be treated "well and honorably". Communications would be facilitated on this second voyage by the presence of former captive "Indians" who had been baptized, learned Spanish, and could act as interpreters. This second expedition would consist of seventeen vessels and 1,200 to 1500 men. On September 25, 1493 Columbus left the port of Cadiz to great fanfare for a return in force to La Navidad. Before reaching La Navidad Columbus landed on an island he called Guadeloupe. This turned out to be the home island of the free ranging and raiding cannibal Caribs so feared by Guacanagari. No violence ensued because most of the warriors were gone on a raiding party off island. The remaining Caribs, mostly women, old men and a few captives explained this mostly by hand gestures. The Europeans took twelve young women and two boys who had been captives of the Caribs with them as they departed the island.


 After leaving Guadeloupe the fleet sailed along the south coast of Puerto Rico to the north shore of Hispaniola. Columbus looked forward to seeing La Navidad and the progress he hoped had been made there in the interval since his departure. He looked forward to seeing Guacanagari who he was certain would impress his fellow adventurers. But when they anchored off the island, there was no answer to their salute. Indeed there was little sign of life. Shore parties found bodies near the remains of the fort which had been burned. Shore parties found bodies near the remains of the fort which had been burned,the first were badly decomposed and could not be identified. Two however were bearded and surely European,  What would come to be known as America , had lost its first European colony. Guacanagari sent regrets to Columbus by envoy blaming the massacre on the Caribs. Guacanagari claimed that he had tried to defend the Spaniards and was wounded as a result. Columbus and several men went to visit Guacangari but noticed that he bore no scars. Little by little Columbus learned the truth.  The men he left behind had behaved badly, lusting after gold and taking "Indian" women. The Tianos defended and avenged themselves. The first European settlement in the New World came to a bitter end as a bloody massacre. The trust between the Tianos and the Europeans was broken. Though immediate relations between the new landing party and Guacanagari's Tianos were cordial on the surface, storm clouds were gathering.

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Saturday, October 12, 2019

HAPPY BIRTH DAY NAVAL INSTITUTE

October 2019:
 The US NAVAL INSTITUTE TURNS 146 YEARS OLD THIS MONTH

Image result for united states naval institute founded atNOTE: The United States Naval Institute, is based in Annapolis, Maryland and located on the grounds of the Naval Academy. It was founded by naval officers in October of 1873 the Institute , is a private, non-profit, professional military association that seeks to offer independent, nonpartisan forums for debate of primarily sea services matters, but also national defense and security issues. 
FoundedOctober 9, 1873
PHOTO: The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) operate in the Arabian Sea conducting maritime security operations.
PHOTO :US NAVY

The  Naval Institute's 146th birthday, is this month The Institutes's various on line and print media will be focused on  the future of the Sea Services, with articles examining the use of metameterials, a three-tiered fleet, and the Marine Corps' new focus on China. Infrared, radar, acoustic, and optical stealth are the new frontiers in low-observability aka "Stealth" . The front runner in the metamaterial competition must be the US Navy. The stealthiest fleet will  have an enormous advantage in this era of ship killing missals.  The Navy's current fleet is somewhat  homogeneous and high end. The lesson of the BISMARK is that quantity has a quality all its own. A gang of cheap combatant ships can down even the best war ship. Our surface combatant fleet is not an affordable force structure for the future. A proposed solution to this problem is to go beyond the current high-low framework to a three-tier, high-medium-low fleet.

  We have dealt with this issue in the pages of the American Admiralty Books blog before. Our insight that we are not seeing anywhere else in the naval establishment is to include on the low end vessels of high lethality but relatively low range and on scene endurance for strictly constabulary duties. If we have to surge to the Pacific, there are places we can not leave unguarded. Take for example the Mediterranean Sea . Small combatants permanently attached to the sixth fleet and stationed near the the narrow openings from the Atlantic Ocean, Black Sea, or Red Sea home ported at Gibraltar Greece. and Israel could be formed cheaply from commercial off the shelf vessels common to the US off shore oil industry supply vessels. These "Boat Trucks' with their large aft decks and low free board can be readily configured with a variety of weapons packages. Operating in threes, all would have some ship to ship  weaponry, but one could be primarily anti ship, one primarily anti submarine and one primarily anti air. The  basic little ships are presently available at fire sail prices in Louisiana and Texas due to the down turn in the offshore oil industry caused by cheaper on shore tight sands oil coming in from new finds in the Dakotas, Texas and elsewhere. So if we need a name for this type of fleet building we would suggest Constabulary Forces consisting largely of craft of opportunity. Here is what we had to say when we first addressed the subject .

U.S. OFFSHORE SUPPLY VESSEL available in lengths 165' to 295'+

Wikipedia Commons Photo released under  GNU Free Documentation License.

This tiny Russian warship just shocked the world

Russian Buyan class Missile boat LOA 203 ft.

Updated 5/15/2018

Four ships of Russia's Caspian Sea flotilla, all under 1,000 tons and most under 207 feet in length, performed a combat mission normally associated only with the largest of war ships. The four Russian vessels which we may think of as tiny warships or large patrol boats fired 26 SS-N-30A land attack cruise type missiles at rebel forces in western Syria, more than a thousand miles from the landlocked Caspian Sea.

 According to the Russian Ministry of Defense the ships were DagestanGrad SviyazhskVeliky Ustyug, and Uglich. All but the Dagestan are 203 foot missile boats displacing about 950 tons of the Buyan Class. The Dagestan is a 355 foot Gepard -class frigate displacing about 1900 tons.  The missile boats are smaller than some U.S. offshore supply boats. But apparently all are large enough to mount more than one cruise type missile. While the vessels themselves can't exit the Caspian sea obviously the area targeted in Western Syria was within range of their individual missile batteries. Using a long advocated U.S. Navy tactic, the Russians net worked four of their smaller vessels  and loosed a barrage of deadly and destructive missiles accurately at a target over a 1,000 miles away. Russia is the biggest naval power on the Caspian Sea the world's largest landlocked body of water. The Coastlines of the Caspian Sea are shared by  AzerbaijanIranKazakhstanRussia, and Turkmenistan The naval fleets that are there must be mostly built or assembled on the shoreline and once launched are really unavailable for service anywhere else. However, their recent launch of a networked and coordinated 26 missile barrage to a target a thousand miles distant indicates that their military utility extends far beyond the immediate shores of the Caspian. These tiny war ships are actually very effective warships and there in is a lesson for the U.S. Navy. By contrast the smallest U.S. Navy warship to possess an equivalent weapon, the Tomahawk cruise missile is an Arleigh Burke class destroyer which is over 500 feet in length overall and displaces more than 3,000 tons or nearly three times the size of the largest Russian vessel used in this recent networked missile strike. 

 There has been a debate that has been raging in the pages of the NAVAL INSTITUTE'S PROCEEDINGS and other naval trade journals about "quantity verses quality" for decades. Since the end of WWII the U.S. Navy has been putting its' ship building dollars into nuclear propulsion, and globe circling capable big warships with sophisticated weaponry. The United States has global sea lines of communication to protect, and must have global reach. So our fleet has been constructed so that the capital ships of our Atlantic or Pacific fleets can detach as individual vessels or small flotillas and go join U.S. forces offshore of anywhere in the world. The U.S. Navy is the master of under way replenishment at sea. But something always nags at the mind of real naval thinkers as our ships grew larger and more expensive. Its been said many time in the pages of the U.S. Naval Institute's PROCEEDINGS "quantity often has a quality all its' own" . This is after all the great lesson of the BISMARK . In that pivotal battle of WWII a bunch of relatively small and inexpensive British destroyers ganged up on the "Death star" BISMARK  and put an end to her. The Russian use of networked missile fire from vessels thought too small to warrant such weapons illustrates that the ability to gang up on more expensive vessels is not the only virtue of small inexpensive vessels. The quality that small vessels have is definitely related to their quantity whether "ganging up" on superior war ships or net working to take out over the horizon targets.

 The most obvious case in point where the U.S. could take a cue from the Russian Caspian Sea fleet  is our own phantom Sixth Fleet. Once we had a powerful naval fleet in the Mediterranean and we still do at the moment but the ships actually belong to the Atlantic Fleet and could at any moment need to be deployed elsewhere. The so called sixth fleet now actually only owns a command and control ship based in Italy, and an Admiral and staff. Everything else is now borrowed from the Atlantic Fleet which is also expected to send a portion of its standing force for the "pivot to the Pacific". Who would dare venture an opinion that frightful events in the Mediterranean are about to slow down? We need a standing force in the Mediterranean, one that doesn't leave the area. In these tight budget times perhaps our best bet is to go for some low cost quantity vessels with a mix of innovative but cheap high performance weapons. Used offshore supply boats can be bought by the dozen for less than the cost of a single Arleigh Burke destroyer. Their range is not great but we have plenty of secure fuel in Italy and we could have it in Israel , Perhaps President Trump who appears to be a pragmatist will see fit to consider the basic idea. These offshore supply vessels do have a great deal of compartmentalization that can be retained from their typical below deck liquid cargo tanks for drilling mud. This gives them remarkable survive-ability for their size. The little supply vessels come with comfortable accommodations for a two watch navigation and engineering crew, and extra berthing for ordinance rates that a war ship would need. The little ships are basically designed for an unmanned engine room and some commercially sail with a single "Designated Engineer". Converted to small war ships they would only be expected to conduct short patrols south of the Bosphorus  or offshore of Israel unless called upon to mass forces for a strike similar to what the Russians pulled off with their Caspian fleet. 

 Such commercial conversions could be formidably armed with tripod mounted stinger missiles, normally a soldiers shoulder mounted anti aircraft defense weapon , anti armor weapons mounted piggy back atop 50 cal machine guns as the Coast Guard 82 footers did in Vietnam, and that big roomy aft deck could accommodate land attack missiles or ASW weapons. The crews could live in Greece or Israel, and use commercial facilities, all coordinated by the existing Admiral and staff in Italy. While the shell game will continue with the sixth fleet borrowing from the Atlantic fleet ; there will be a big disincentive to redeploy the Sixth Fleet's small warship heart, they simply don't have the range to be globe trotters , this is an inexpensive center piece of a constabulary force. Over time the commercial conversions can be replaced with purpose designed, and purpose built state of the art small war ships, but costs count. If you go small in size you need a low unit cost because you fail to achieve the quality that is an integral part of quantity, if your quantity is small. 

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