MARITIME INSTRUCTOR IN LOUISIANA CHARGED WITH SELLING FAKE DP TRAINING CERTIFICATES:
|Image From Linked gCaptain Post|
|Nautical chart of Portuguese cartographer Fernão Vaz Dourado (c. 1520 - c. 1580), Public Domain Based on Age of Work (More Than 70 Years Since Death of Author)|
|A NOAA PAPER CHART, IMAGE COURTESY NOAA|
Navigational forensic experts of the American Admiralty Bureau, Ltd have frequently described for American courts the standard of navigational accuracy for non electronic navigation. In terms of fixing position when navigating with magnetic compass, paper charts, parallel rules and dividers it is generally plus or minus 200 yards of true position. "True position" today may be determined within 50 feet or less using GPS. Unfortunately the value of knowing your "True Position" ( exact latitude and longitude on the face of the earth ) isn't of the same value at all times and in all places. Crossing a deep portion of ocean with no surface features and depths far beyond the deepest ship's draft there is little to worry about whether you are 200 yards off or less than 50 feet off. But in confined or obstructed waters, or waters transitioning from deep to shallow the tendency to crank up and rely on the GPS linked electronic chart display even when it is working to its most efficient performance can prove deadly. Despite the fact that mariners can now print out their own paper charts or dial up electronic charts "updated" to the day you print them out, there are hidden dangers. The new "updating" may alert you to the location or approximate location of new known obstructions but that is not enough to warrant the seemingly blind trust than many younger professional mariners put in electronic navigation. The GPS may show you on the chart your precise position in terms of longitude and latitude but you might be 200 yards nearer or farther off from that rock, shoal, shallow area, or beach line than your "updated chart " indicates.
The "datum" on your navigation chart, unlike your own GPS generated position may be decades or even centuries old, and formulated using pre-electronic navigational systems. NOAA and the British Admiralty are working on improving basic chart datum like depths, bottom types, positions of land forms, rocks, etc.. But this is still slow time consuming work. The painstaking nature of updating basic chart datum is the one of the main reasons why NOAA maintains its Atlantic and Pacific Fleets of research ships, boats, and air craft. Satellites help but most often there has to be a survey ship visit to the sites incorporated onto navigation charts. Time, skills, professional effort, and serious expense are involved, the work is never finished, and tends to move slowly. The prudent mariner never fully relies on assumptions , if you can't verify the accuracy of your chart's under lying data, don't assume that your estimated proximity to navigational hazards is vastly improved by your electronically produced fix of position. You must always consider datum reliability in factoring safety margins. The older your chart datum, the less reliable it is, and the greater margin for error for safe passage you should allow.
Fortunately today , at least the new NOAA charts help you to estimate the reliability of datum. NOAA now marks its chart products with notations /diagrams on "ZONES OF CONFIDENCE" (ZOC) . The ZOC diagrams and notations address information on such datum as age of information , position accuracy, and seafloor coverage.
|USNS BOWDITCH, NAVAL RESEARCH VESSEL|
Under international law, war ships (combatants and auxiliaries) are treated as sovereign parets of the flag state's territory and immune from search and seizure. One might debate the status of a naval research vessel, byt the BOWDITCH is a US naval ship and generally her "ship's boats" should enjoy the same immunities as the ship itself. Underwater drones present something of a grey area. But this incident does illustrate China's extreme disregard of the sovereignty of the Philippines , and a willingness to push its illegal claims in the South China Sea right up a potential act of war with the United States. The amount of legal "grey" cover that the unique status of the Bowditch and an unmanned drone provide China with is so thin than only extreme confidence in the Obama Administrations determination to do nothing in the face of provocation could account for their callus disregard for International law. If the Dragon makes a similar move 50 days from now the results might be very different.
|Illustration from the Post :THE BATTLE FOR THE ARCTIC as published in NATIONAL INTEREST MAGAZINE|
|CHINESE HY-6 BOMBER Photo by Li Pang Ahuhai Air Show 2008 GNU Free Documentation License,|
|Image by J. S. Bond, This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.|
|SS UNITED STATES FROM A POST CARD SOLD ABOARD (Public Domain, Date Unknown)|
- OCTOBER 21 2016 -MEMO: AS NAVY UNVEILS NEW ADVANCED DESTROYER, TRUMP ANNOUNCES NATIONWIDE SHIP-BUILDING PLAN TO CREATE 350 SHIP NAVY
FROM: Alexander Gray, Senior Military Advisor
TO: Interested Parties
“The Navy has just commissioned the USS Zumwalt, showcasing the Navy's role as the most effective instrument of American power projection. Under a Trump administration we will build the 350 ship Fleet we need and harness American workers, American know how, and American materials to create the Navy of the 21st century." - Congressman Randy Forbes (R-VA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower & Projection Forces SubcommitteeDonald Trump has promised to rebuild America with American hands and American steel. On Day One of his administration, he will immediately begin to fulfill that promise with a Manhattan Project urgency to rebuild our navy, which has shrunk under the Obama-Clinton years to its lowest level since World War I.
Fewer ships and growing threats from the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific has meant increasing and inordinate strains on our shrinking navy and over-taxed crews. Budget defense sequestration has cut training hours for personnel across the U.S. military, including our Naval Aviators, and contributed to the most serious military readiness gap in decades.
In the tradition of Ronald Reagan’s doctrine of “peace through strength” and a Reagan focus on naval power, Donald Trump has proposed a significant increase in the size of our Navy. The 350-ship goal conforms to that blueprint outlined by the bipartisan National Defense Panel.
Facilities like the Philadelphia Navy Yard can help lead the way – and the defense of America. This yard was shut down in the 1990s but still retains a variety of Navy Department facilities. It has substantial latent capacity to grow in support of the expanding Fleet, it is home to a Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility and retains several specialized engineering activities.
A Trump administration would fully utilize those parts of the Philadelphia Yard that remain in Navy hands and rapidly expand its activities to meet the Fleet's growing science and technology needs – creating thousands of new jobs in the process. Leveraging the under-utilized capacity of the Philadelphia yard will alleviate pressure on other over-stretched facilities and provide an ideal location for tasks the Navy desperately needs accomplished.
Mr. Trump's plan would grow the Navy's surface and undersea assets, modernize a significant number of the Navy's Ticonderoga-class cruisers, and invest in Flight III of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer as the backbone of a serious ballistic missile defense strategy.
As the most comprehensive naval buildup since President Reagan's in the 1980s, Mr. Trump's plan will require a significant partnership with a defense industrial base that has been strained by years of significant cuts to shipbuilding and ship repair. The nationwide infrastructure of yards, depots, and support facilities that created and sustained the World War II and Cold War-era Navy has been largely dismantled, with shipbuilding and repair functions now consolidated in only a handful of locations with limited capacity for enlargement to meet the Fleet's expanded needs.
As Mr. Trump works with Congress to rebuild and modernize our Fleet, he will instruct his Secretary of the Navy to undertake a major review of our shipbuilding and repair infrastructure to ensure a robust network of yards and maintenance facilities to support his rebuilding program. A particular emphasis will be placed on facilities with a previous history of service to the Navy, proximity to diverse and vibrant private employers in the relevant industries, and a capacity for expansion to meet the needs of our soon-to-be revitalized Navy.
The Trump plan recognizes that the Navy must further invest in the continued professional growth of its highly skilled tradesmen in shipbuilding and repair fields like pipefitting, welding, and metalworking. Much as military officers attend war colleges as they progress to the pinnacle of their career, tradesmen in government-owned shipyards require continued professional development as they attain a "master" designation in their chosen field.
"Centers of excellence" for the highly-skilled tradesmen who support our shipbuilding and repair industries established in places like Philadelphia, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Hampton Roads in Virginia would develop our Navy's civilian human capital, strengthen the defense industrial base by institutionalizing the critical knowledge these specialists need to maintain our Fleet in the decades ahead, and meet an important need that our over-stretched and space-constrained shipyards struggle to meet. Philadelphia's historic ties to highly skilled industries relevant to the shipbuilding and repair fields makes it a particularly advantageous location to consider for this important task.
Donald Trump's pledge to rebuild the U.S. Navy is a national undertaking, and it requires a national effort across our industrial base. The national security case for an expanded Navy is clear and shared across the political spectrum. As President, Mr. Trump will use the deep reservoirs of industrial talent and skill found in locations across this country to rebuild our shrunken Navy, strengthen our depleted military, enhance employment opportunities in critical industries, and truly Make America Great Again.