VIEWS: 89 PAGES: 24 POSTED ON: 11/7/2009
CHINFO NEWS CLIPS Monday, November 05, 2007 Further reproduction or distribution is subject to original copyright restrictions. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org NEW FEATURE: In an effort to integrate broadcast news into our existing print news summary, CHINFO clips now contains selected broadcast video news stories from major U.S. networks and major network affiliates. Video clips include a short summary and a link to the video file that is viewable from any computer with a broadband connection. TOP STORIES: 1. Navy Secretary Proposes Improving Acquisition Process (DEFENSE DAILY 05 NOV 07) ... Geoff Fein Navy Secretary Donald Winter is looking to reinvigorate the service's acquisition process and at the same time restore some discipline in the way the Navy determines what assets it needs for the future. 2. In CNO's First Month, No Rocking The Boat Unlike Marine Chief, Roughead Stresses Continuity (NAVY TIMES 12 NOV 07) ... Zachary M. Peterson It has been a relatively quiet first month for Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, who took over for Adm. Mike Mullen in late September. But naval observers say there is no reason for the new CNO to make major changes in his initial months on the job. CURRENT OPERATIONS: 3. US Military Takes On Latter-Day Pirates (ASSOCIATED PRESS 02 NOV 07) ... Edward Harris The U.S. military is once again tangling with pirates, intervening in waters off Somalia twice this week to help ships seized by hijackers — and bringing to mind another century's battles off Africa. 4. In Chasing Pirates, Navy Comes Full Circle (NAVY TIMES 04 NOV 07) ... Andrew Scutro The Navy is getting back to its roots. Re-established specifically after the Revolutionary War to combat North African pirates who were plundering merchant ships, American sailors now find themselves toe-to-toe with seagoing thugs again, called on to rid the seas of violent hijackers. 5. US Navy To Stage Oil Spill Exercise At Bahrain Port (AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 04 NOV 07) US naval forces in the Gulf are on Tuesday to conduct a crisis response exercise involving a mock oil spill at a Bahraini port, the US Fifth Fleet said. 6. Should The Navy Be In The Business Of Combating Piracy? (CNN 04 NOV 07) ... Broadcast Clip Analyst Gal Luft and reporter Barbara Starr discuss the prevalence of piracy in recent months in the African and Asian regions, and the technical sophistication with which these pirates operate. (Run Time 5:30) View Clip 7. US Navy To Hold 'Crisis Response' Exercises (GULF DAILY NEWS (BAHRAIN) 03 NOV 07) THE US Navy in Bahrain will hold several exercises in the Gulf this month to demonstrate its range of capabilities including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief assistance, officials said yesterday. 8. 300 Naval Coastal Warfare Sailors Returning Home To San Diego (XETV-TV FOX 6 (SAN DIEGO) 03 NOV 07) ... Broadcast Clip Tom Stringfellow reports as almost 300 Sailors from the Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron come home to Coronado tonight after a six-month tour of duty in Kuwait. Not by ship, but by plane. Interviews with Lt. Mark Franzen, Naval Coastal Warfare officer and navy spouse Jackie Wolover. (Run time 2:29 min) View Clip 9. 24-Hour Tour Offers Look At USS Lincoln’s Choreography (ENIDNEWS.COM (OK) 04 NOV 07) ... Robert Barron The C-2 Greyhound transport aircraft approaches its destination, the USS Abraham Lincoln, at sea off the coast of San Diego. GLOBAL MARITIME ENVIRONMENT: 10. Arctic Thaw Defrosts A Sea Treaty (WALL STREET JOURNAL 03 NOV 07) ... Nick Timiraos, The Senate moved closer to ratifying a sweeping international treaty that governs every aspect of maritime law, from ocean shipping to deep-sea mining. A 17-4 panel vote sent the Law of the Sea Treaty to the full Senate, where it must win a two-thirds vote for ratification. 11. Gates In China For Military Talks (AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 04 NOV 07) ... Jim Mannion US Defence Secretary Robert Gates arrived here Sunday for talks with Chinese leaders about a military buildup that has raised US concerns about Beijing's intentions. 12. UK Sends Battleship To Persian Gulf (PRESS TV 02 NOV 07) Britain sends a battle cruiser to Persian Gulf, says the country's Ministry of Defense (MOD), noting the measure was not against Iran. 13. Israeli Navy Nearly Doubles Fast Patrol Fleet (DEFENSE NEWS 05 NOV 07) ... Barbara Opall-Rome The Israeli Navy soon will receive the first of seven fast patrol craft, aiming to nearly double its coastal defense capabilities by 2009. 14. Pak Army, Navy To Take Part In Military Exercise In Egypt (THE HINDU 03 NOV 07) A contingent of Pakistani army and navy personnel has left for Egypt to participate in a military exercise along with forces from the US, Kuwait, Yemen, France and the host country. PERSONNEL: 15. Wounded Navy Personnel Help Senior Citizens - And Themselves (VIRGINIAN-PILOT 04 NOV 07) ... Steven G. Vegh James Shipp, a Navy Reserve petty officer, is stationed in Norfolk pending surgery for a hernia he pulled while deployed in the Persian Gulf. The injury didn't keep him and other sailors awaiting treatment from volunteering to help Lydia Ramos, 68, with yardwork at her Kempsville home. 16. Female Pilots Thrive In Iraq Sky Strides Made Since The Navy's Tailhook Scandal Prompted Change (COX NEWS SERVICE 03 NOV 07) ... Margaret Coker Navy Lt. Kelly Gander's regular workday goes something like this: Fly over Iraq. Fuel combat planes in midair. Gather intelligence for the U.S. armada patrolling the Persian Gulf. Land a 26-ton plane on an aircraft carrier. 17. Sub Scandal Prompts Admirals To Meet With COs (NAVY TIMES 12 NOV 07) ... Andrew Scutro The investigation into doctored reactor logs onboard the attack submarine Hampton continues with a sharp eye on the rest of the undersea fleet, according to Vice Adm. Jay Donnelly, submarine force commander. 18. USS Hampton Incident Getting A 'Hard' Look 'I Think They Were Pushing The Easy Button,' Commander Of Sub Force Says (NEW LONDON DAY (CT) 02 NOV 07) ... Jennifer Grogan Vice Adm. John J. Donnelly said Thursday that he is trying to determine whether the alleged misconduct on the USS Hampton is an isolated incident. 19. GAO Upset With DOD Medical System Plan (STARS AND STRIPES 3 NOV 07) ... Tom Philpott The Government Accountability Office has chided the Department of Defense for adopting a restructuring plan for the military health system without conducting a comprehensive analysis of the costs, benefits and risks. 20. Prosecutors See 'Motive' In Navy Doctor Case (BALTIMORE SUN 03 NOV 07) ... Josh Mitchell A Navy physician's home computer stored gay pornography in a folder titled "lectures" -- the label of one of the sex videos of Naval Academy midshipmen that the doctor is accused of secretly recording, a computer specialist testified yesterday. 21. No Shortage Of Drama In Academy Court-Martial (NAVY TIMES 04 NOV 07) ... Chris Amos The court-martial of a Navy doctor accused of secretly taping the sexual encounters of several Naval Academy midshipmen at his Annapolis home packed some drama into its first week, with allegations that the prosecution‟s chief witness could be a deserter and was trying to blackmail the accused, and that that doctor was sexually attracted to the “young, athletic men” he treated. 22. Judge Tosses Interview, Search In Nowak Case (ASSOCIATED PRESS 02 NOV 07) ... Travis Reed A judge agreed Friday to toss much of the evidence against a former astronaut accused of making a diaper-assisted, 1,000-mile drive to confront a woman vying for the affections of the same space shuttle pilot. FORCE STRUCTURE/PROGRAMS: 23. House Lawmakers Push For Nuclear-Powered Ship Requirement (DEFENSE DAILY 05 NOV 07) ... Jen Dimascio Without a commitment this year to mandate that future Navy cruisers should be powered by nuclear propulsion systems, Congress might miss its opportunity to make the change, the leaders of a House panel on Navy issues argue. 24. Building A Better BMD Admiral Seeks An Expanded Upgrade For Anti-Missile Ships (NAVY TIMES 04 NOV 07) ... Ben Iannotta North Korea was hot on everyone‟s minds when the Navy decided to rush missile-defense software and interceptors onto 18 of its 84 ships equipped with the Aegis computerized weapon systems. But now, with Iran increasingly on the minds of U.S. strategists, the admiral who runs the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense program for the Missile Defense Agency is asking to expand the upgrade effort — even before the large-scale Aegis upgrade planned to start in 2012. 25. Below The Sea (DEFENSE DAILY 05 NOV 07) Submarines are an important part of the maritime strategy, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, commander Fleet Forces Command, tells attendees at the 25th Naval Submarine League expo in McLean, Va. Greenert notes that submarines remain the best, and right now, the only anti-access platform. 26. On Cost, On Schedule, On The Way (DEFENSE DAILY 05 NOV 07) The four converted Ohio-class guided missile submarines (SSGN) achieved their IOC Nov. 1. The lead boat in the new class, the USS Ohio (SSGN-726), has been deployed, the Navy says. BASES / NAVY COMMUNITIES: 27. Walter Reed Move To Double Patient And Traffic Load (WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL 2 NOV 07) ... Vandana Sinha If designs by the Navy are carried out as planned, the Bethesda merger of the National Naval and Walter Reed Army medical centers will bring 690,000 square feet of new construction, add at least two new parking garages -- and handle double the number of patients currently treated at the Rockville Pike campus. NEWS OF INTEREST: 28. Navy Victory Earns Mids A Free Day Academy Lets Students Celebrate Off Campus After Football Team's Win Over Notre Dame (BALTIMORE SUN 05 NOV 07) ... Justin Fenton First-year midshipmen, or plebes, were allowed off campus yesterday, a break from rules that typically keep them in their dorms or at the library on Sundays, and classes today are canceled - all in recognition of the Naval Academy's thrilling football victory over the University of Notre Dame. 29. New Number Two? (DEFENSE DAILY 05 NOV 07) Current Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy Marshall Billingslea is rumored to be Navy Secretary Donald Winter's choice to be the next Undersecretary of the Navy. The slot has been vacant since the departure of Dino Aviles in December 2006. OPINION: 30. My Favorite Menace (NEW YORK TIMES 03 NOV 07) ... Gail Collins The Law of the Sea Treaty has become a hot-button item in the Republican presidential race. 31. The Admiral Crowe I Knew (WASHINGTON POST 03 NOV 07) ... Letter The Oct. 19 obituary by staff writer Patricia Sullivan on Adm. William J. Crowe distorted the respect held by the Navy for this outstanding officer. 32. If Lt. Murphy Had Been A Cold-Blooded Killer (WALL STREET JOURNAL 05 NOV 07) ... Letter As a former Army officer from Long Island, I was moved by Mark Lasswell's account of how Lt. Michael Murphy won the Medal of Honor and the story of the one Navy SEAL who made it back to tell the story ("Lone Survivor," Oct. 27, editorial page). TOP STORIES: 1. Navy Secretary Proposes Improving Acquisition Process (DEFENSE DAILY 05 NOV 07) ... Geoff Fein Navy Secretary Donald Winter is looking to reinvigorate the service's acquisition process and at the same time restore some discipline in the way the Navy determines what assets it needs for the future. "What I am trying to do right now is develop a very formal process that we can go ahead and establish within Navy, as the standard by which we connect, in terms of developing the program and building the budget with what the acquisition people do--in terms of going out and acquiring it-with a level of specificity that what we get out the other end really serves the interests and objectives of the department," he told Defense Daily in a recent interview. With little time left on the job, he would like to make a notable improvement in acquisition. "One of the things I have chosen to really focus on is the what I sometimes refer to as the big 'A' acquisition problem, as opposed to the little 'A' acquisition problem, which sometimes is referred to as procurement," Winter said. Although he has fewer than 18 months left to set his plan in motion, Winter believes it is doable. "It won't be implemented in the sense of fully up and running....[but] getting it started, I definitely believe we can," he said. Although it would appear that shipbuilding would be high on the list of areas to first use his strategy, Winter said the ideas he is proposing can be applied to everything the Navy builds and buys. "One of the areas that, quite frankly, is becoming the poster child...the path finder for this whole process, is NextGen, the follow on to NMCI (Navy Marine Corps Internet)," Winter noted. "Have we figured out what we want to do with this and what is the impact? What does it mean to the fleet and to deployed bases...overseas bases? What does it mean to personnel? Has anybody worked through all of these issues?" The current NMCI contract with Electronic Data Systems [EDS] is scheduled to expire in 2010 (Defense Daily, July 31). The Navy is now holding sessions on the next iteration of NMCI, Winter added. "We even have the CNO showing up for these sessions." Besides NMCI, Winter believes the Navy's next cruiser, CG(X), is another good example. "It is a little earlier, just being in the AoA (Analysis of Alternatives) phase," he said. "That should prove to be another good example of how we could go through this process and work through it." Personnel at the Naval Support Activity, Philadelphia, are attempting to use some of these ideas in the area of logistics. They are looking at the different types of valves the Navy buys from manufacturers to see if there is a way to standardize this, Winter said. Just the issue of types and quantities of valves has huge implications for the Navy, he added. "The numbers of valves Return to Index and the numbers of different types of valves is just huge and the cost is incredible." The more the Navy can do to define and control the acquisition process, the better off it will be, Winter said. "The more we can do by nailing down what it is we want to buy, the better off we are going to be, and the more likely it is we are able to develop program concepts, costs, schedules, all of which can actually be achieved," he added. Winter recently briefed industry representatives on his proposal, which includes aspects of Australia's Two Pass acquisition system--an acquisition process where programs are reviewed twice. "The first time is more like what we do, 'we need something, it is going to look like this, it is going to have so many guns, this type of radar, this type of range,' then they go back and spend a lot of time working through it...[putting out] exactly what it is going to be," Winter said. "It's that second pass that I am trying to reinvigorate here." Winter said he wants to make sure that once a program is approved and after Congress has said they will fund it, when the Navy examines what it wants, that decision is developed through a proper systems engineering process. "I want to make sure that product gets reviewed at the senior levels of not only the secretariat, but also at the services that are involved, because again, these are critical decisions, there are significant issues here that are going to impact us," Winter said. For example, with regard to a new ship, officials will have to make decisions on such things as crew size, as well as the competency level and maturity level of sailors. All of that has to be factored into these decisions, he added. "It's got to be the result of a systems engineering process to look at the options to decide how to optimize the fleet with this new capability, so that you add a optimized capability that optimizes the fleet. And there are some trade-offs there. You may wind up in a little bit of a compromise here on that particular platform to make it consistent with what is available in the fleet. And you have to work through all of those trade offs, and you have to do that with proper systems engineering and then you have to bring it back to the seniors.," Winter said. "I want to have the CNO and the commandant, and their staffs, reviewing this material afterward and making the decisions. I am not talking about taking every single one of this myriad of hundreds of components, but it has to be put into a context in which the major trades there...and there will be these trades...performance versus commonality, performance versus crew size...training issues, have that all properly reviewed and assessed," he added. "And that's a review process we don't have right now, at least not formally within the Navy." 2. In CNO's First Month, No Rocking The Boat Unlike Marine Chief, Roughead Stresses Continuity (NAVY TIMES 12 NOV 07) ... Zachary M. Peterson It has been a relatively quiet first month for Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, who took over for Adm. Mike Mullen in late September. But naval observers say there is no reason for the new CNO to make major changes in his initial months on the job. Since assuming command Sept. 29, Roughead has unveiled the new sea service maritime strategy, which was championed by his predecessor and signed by all three naval service chiefs; visited sailors in the Middle East; and released his guidance, which presented a continuation of the former CNO's vision for the Navy. "The lack of a major direction shift contrasts starkly with his peers at the Coast Guard and Marine Corps, who shifted gears quickly after taking command. "I would be more surprised if he made a significant departure [from Mullen's initiatives]," said retired Adm. Bob Natter, referring to Roughead's first 30 days on the job. With Mullen taking over as chairman of the Joint Chiefs on Oct. 1 and his Senate confirmation vote taking place Sept. 28, there was little time for the usual transition period, Natter noted. Nonetheless, the re-tired four-star described the transition as "healthy and normal." Ron O'Rourke, a naval analyst at the Congressional Research Service, argues it will take time for Roughead to make his mark as CNO. "It's not particularly surprising that the transition from Mullen to Roughead has not resulted in any earthshaking changes, because Roughead's statements prior to be-coming CNO suggested that there would be a lot of continuity between him and Mullen on major issues," O'Rourke explained. He cited the transition from Adm. Vern Clark to Mullen in 2005 to show that Mullen initially endorsed Clark's initiatives before eventually moving away from some of them. "When Mullen took over from Clark, Mullen initially continued to support key Clark initiatives, such as the push to make the Navy more efficient and cost-effective, and Clark's Seapower 21 framework for talking about the Navy's future," O'Rourke said. "Eventually, however, Mullen established his own direction with things like the 313-ship Navy plan, the `1,000-ship navy' concept, the emphasis on global maritime security and the new maritime strategy writing effort. By the end of Mullen's term as CNO, the Seapower 21 framework had faded from discussion. "Roughead's own mark will be-come clearer with time." Norman Polmar, a naval observer and author of several books on Navy ships, spoke along those same lines. "I expect the Navy will be very quiet for the next 14 months," Polmar said, in light of the November 2008 presidential election. Loren Thompson, a defense analyst at the Lexington Institute, said Roughead's time as CNO may not be defined by a new vision, but rather by the implementation of existing initiatives. Shipbuilding is the "No. 1 issue the Navy faces," Thompson said. Funding shipbuilding is particularly difficult in light of the ongoing ground wars, which, despite Return to Index supplemental funding from Congress, are draining Navy and Air Force investment accounts, he argued. Natter said Roughead is working with lawmakers to find ways to fund crucial shipbuilding pro-grams such as the Littoral Combat Ship. Nonetheless, the Navy terminated the contract for the fourth LCS in the series Nov. 1, citing cost overruns on LCS 2, which is being built by General Dynamics. LCS 3, which Lock-heed Martin was set to build, was canceled earlier this year. Roughead's first month as CNO contrasts with the initial weeks of his fellow sea service chiefs. Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway, who took over for Gen. Michael Hagee last November, began his tenure by calling for a boost in Marine Corps special operations forces, a new physical training uniform, the possibility of Marines deploying again to Afghanistan and longer dwell time for Marines back from deployments. He also argued that the continuing war in Iraq had eroded the service's core strength. By early this year, he started pushing to add 22,000 Marines to the ranks, directed that every active Marine needed to deploy to the war zone and cracked down on large tattoos. Likewise, within his first two hours on the job in June 2006, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen released an all-hands communique containing his strategic vision for the Coast Guard. The vision outlined Allen's intentions to work more closely with the Navy to execute the two ser-vices' National Fleet Plan, which outlines how the services should operate together. He also called for a unified command-and-control structure over port security units, the maritime safety and security teams, and the oil and hazmat teams — units that are used based on programming needs and had not previously been put under one umbrella. Explaining Roughead's early approach, Thompson argued that be-cause the Navy is not "at war the way the Army [or Marine Corps]is," continuity is a "very good thing for the Navy" With the new maritime strategy, there is "less latitude for [Roughead I putting his own unique stamp on the institution," Thompson said. Nonetheless, he said Roughead was "wired in" on all major policy deliberations beginning in summer and "signed off" on four different iterations of the strategy before the final document was released. The strategy has garnered mixed reviews, with some observers saying it restates many accepted naval platitudes without giving many specifics. On Oct. 26, Roughead released his guidance for the fleet, which primarily called for implementing the new maritime strategy. Robert Work, an analyst for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said Roughead is "getting his feet on the ground" after a "relatively smooth transition" into the CNO's office. "We have a lot more to learn about his specific priorities" as time goes on, Work said. CURRENT OPERATIONS: 3. US Military Takes On Latter-Day Pirates (ASSOCIATED PRESS 02 NOV 07) ... Edward Harris NAIROBI, Kenya — The U.S. military is once again tangling with pirates, intervening in waters off Somalia twice this week to help ships seized by hijackers — and bringing to mind another century's battles off Africa. Pirates may have swapped muskets and the Jolly Roger for AK-47s and satellite phones, but the root causes of piracy are little-changed from when Thomas Jefferson contemplated how to handle attacks on American merchant ships two centuries ago. "Instead of swinging from ropes, now it's boarding vessels with automatic weapons," said Cyrus Mody, a senior analyst at the International Maritime Bureau, which tracks pirate attacks. The Barbary pirates of Jefferson's day took advantage of vast, unpatrolled African territory and leaders that encouraged criminality to prey on American merchant ships. Writing in 1786, Jefferson urged using "ships and men to fight these pirates," and the U.S. military did just that, battling the Barbary pirates into submission in fighting off the shores of Tripoli. Today, impoverished and weak governments in Africa have few resources to police on land, much less patrol territorial waters that can stretch a dozen or more miles into the ocean. The lack of security near major shipping lanes has created fertile ground for hijackers, and the U.S. Navy came to the aid of hijacked vessels from North Korea and Japan this week in the waters off Somalia. "This is a very serious security problem on the African coast. These are not pirates who will remind you of Johnny Depp. These are quite different kinds of pirates," Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill told reporters Friday in Seoul, South Korea. Latter-day pirates frequently travel in open skiffs with outboard engines, often working with larger mother ships that tow them far out to sea, said Mody. Armed with heavy weaponry, satellite navigational and communications equipment and an intimate knowledge of local waters, they clamber aboard commercial vessels with ladders and grappling hooks. Virtually nowhere in Africa does a government wield less authority than in Somalia, a land awash in weapons and displaced people, with Islamic insurgents battling government and allied Ethiopian troops. The U.S. military has targeted suspected al-Qaida fighters with airstrikes in Somalia. Some Somali pirates are linked to the clans that have carved the country into armed fiefdoms. They have seized merchant ships, aid vessels and even a cruise ship. The motives aren't always to loot or seek ransom. Andrew Mwangura, a Kenya-based program coordinator of the Seafarers Assistance Program, which monitors pirate activity, said a recent attack off Somalia appeared to have been a local ship agent's way of resolving a financial dispute. Pirate attacks rose dramatically off Somalia in the first nine months of 2007, with 26 reported cases, up from eight during the same period last year, according to International Maritime Bureau figures. Nigeria also suffered 26 attacks so far this year, up from nine previously, the bureau said. Almost all of southern Nigeria, where Africa's largest oil producer pumps its crude, is a vast wetland of creeks and swamps. Militants attack government and commercial vessels, destroying property and kidnapping foreign oil workers — over 150 this year alone. While some claim to be pursuing political goals, they are frequently pirates, with many of their attacks included in International Maritime Bureau data. Capt. Henry Babalola, a spokesman for the Nigerian navy, said Nigeria's coast is too long to patrol effectively; the two oil-rich states where most of the attacks occur have only 15 navy patrol vessels. From Africa to Southeast Asia, pirate activity is on the rise. Maritime pirate attacks worldwide shot up 14 percent in the first nine months of 2007 from a year earlier, with Somalia and Nigeria among the biggest increases. The total economic cost is incalculable, the maritime bureau said. A total of 198 attacks on ships were reported between January and September, up from 174 in the same period in 2006, the bureau said. It said 15 vessels were hijacked, 63 crew kidnapped and three killed. Indonesia remains the world's worst piracy hotspot, with 37 attacks in the first nine months of 2007 — a slight improvement from 40 in the same period a year earlier, the bureau said. Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur, welcomed U.S. Navy action against pirates in African waters, which he says would otherwise be unpoliced. "There is no law there. But if you allow foreign navies to patrol the area, it will be a major deterrent," Choong told The Associated Press. The U.S. military intervention this week to help the North Korean tanker came after its crew members managed to overpower the hijackers and retake the vessel in a bloody fight. U.S. military personnel boarded the ship to help the wounded. The rare maritime collaboration between the U.S. and North Korea came as relations between the two countries have markedly improved, helped by progress in the prolonged standoff over North Korea's nuclear program. Analysts said the incident could fuel the positive mood. "You'll always find our Navy prepared to help any ship in distress and certainly any ship that is confronting pirates," said Hill, the top American envoy to nuclear talks with North Korea. "I think we were pleased to be able to help in this regard and I hope the (North) understands that we did this out of the sense of goodwill that we have on this." On Sunday, a U.S. destroyer destroyed two pirate skiffs lashed to a hijacked Japanese tanker carrying highly flammable benzene and 23 crew members. The Navy said Friday it continued to monitor the ship, which is still under the pirates' control. The U.S. military says it doesn't intend to act as the sole police force on the open oceans, but says a long tradition demands rendering help to any ship that requests it, regardless of origin. Security on the high seas would mean less smuggling, piracy and terrorism, says Cmdr. Lydia Robertson, of the U.S. Fifth Fleet in Bahrain. Capt. Sellathurai Mahalingam recalled the 2005 hijacking of the MD Semlow as it carried 850 tons of World Food Program rice from Mombasa, Kenya, to Somalia's war-ruined capital Mogadishu. Return to Index Armed with pistols, rocket-propelled grenades and Kalashnikov assault rifles, the pirates pulled alongside the ship. "They climbed on board tired and hungry," the 60-yearold captain said. "After they threatened us, they went to the kitchen and ate all our food." The pirates held the crew for nearly 100 days, finally releasing them after prolonged negotiations between the pirates and the ship's Kenyan owner and the U.N. agency, Mahalingam said. "These pirates, I think what they're doing is terrible," he said. 4. In Chasing Pirates, Navy Comes Full Circle (NAVY TIMES 04 NOV 07) ... Andrew Scutro The Navy is getting back to its roots. Re-established specifically after the Revolutionary War to combat North African pirates who were plundering merchant ships, American sailors now find themselves toe-to-toe with seagoing thugs again, called on to rid the seas of violent hijackers. At least three American destroyers engaged hijacked vessels off the coast of Somalia the week of late October, early November. On Oct. 28, U.S. ships responded to a distress call from the hijacked Japanese-owned but Panamanian-flagged cargo ship Golden Nori, firing warning shots over the bow and tearing into two pirate skiffs with their 25mm chain guns, setting the boats ablaze. Lt. John Gay, spokesman for 5th Fleet in Bahrain, could not confirm the action was taken by American warships. But news reports have said the Norfolk, Va.-based destroyers Arleigh Burke and Porter were involved, and that the Golden Nori was carrying the chemical benzene. A caption in an official Navy photo said the Porter sank the skiffs. “[The Golden Nori] was seized by pirates in the Gulf of Aden, then taken around the Horn [of Africa] and south to an area where there has been piracy in the past,” he said. The destroyers reacted to a distress call, and tried to get the hijacked cargo ship to change course, then “warning shots were fired in front of the vessel, and subsequently the skiffs were engaged, disabled and sunk,” he said. CNN reported that Somali government officials gave the Arleigh Burke permission to follow Golden Nori into Somali waters. As of press time Nov. 2, the Golden Nori remained under pirate control, but coalition forces “continue to monitor the situation” somewhere off the Somali coast, Gay said. He would not say if additional U.S. or coalition forces are being dispatched to the scene. In the second incident of the week, coalition forces the morning of Oct. 30 were informed by the International Maritime Bureau in Kuala Lumpur that the North Korean cargo ship Dai Hong Dan was in distress about 60 miles northeast of Mogadishu. Gay said the Norfolk-based destroyer James E. Williams launched a helicopter to observe the scene while the ship closed the distance to the Dai Hong Dan. Williams was 50 miles away when U.S. forces got the distress call. One news account reported that as the Americans commanded the pirates to put down their weapons over the bridge-to-bridge radio, the Korean crew stormed the bridge and retook control of the ship. In the process, one pirate was killed and three wounded. Three crewmen were also wounded, reportedly suffering gunshot wounds. Gay said a team of three Navy corpsmen, a Koreanspeaking U.S. sailor and a ship security force boarded the Korean vessel to aid the wounded. The three wounded Koreans were taken back to the U.S. ship for treatment but returned to the Dai Hong Dan. “All the U.S. sailors are back on the James E. Williams without incident, and the U.S. Navy has departed the area,” he said. But that incident may not be over, either. A Nov. 2 news report out of Nairobi, Kenya, said a maritime organization has raised suspicions about the North Korean vessel and has called for further action. “The U.S. Navy should detain the vessel, its crew and the pirates because they are involved in suspicious activities,” said Andrew Mwangura, of the Seafarers Assistance Program in Kenya. He called on the Navy to bring the Dai Hong Dan into port in Mombasa so the crew can be interviewed. A hunting ground Pirate activity off eastern Africa has gained the attention of world naval forces over the past few years. Coalition Task Force 150, made up of U.S., Australian, French, German, Pakistani, Italian and British naval forces, patrols the Red Sea, Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden. As recently as June, the Danish ship Danica White was captured by Somali pirates and then pursued by the dock landing ship Carter Hall. The Little Creek, Va.-based ship was in the area at the time and tried to prevent the capture by shooting flares and firing over the bow of the cargo ship, but the hijackers managed to drive the captured ship and crew into territorial waters. Gunfire from the Carter Hall did ignite the pirate skiffs in tow behind the Danica White. Asked why the ship pulled back from a hot pursuit to respect the territorial waters of what‟s described as a “transitional” government, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters June 8 that “we abide by, on the high seas, the international standards that are applied to territorial waters.” The Danica White crew was released from captivity 83 days later, after a ransom was paid to the hijackers. In another high-profile incident, back in November 2005, passengers aboard the cruise ship Seabourn Spirit, while 200 miles off the coast of Somalia, awoke to the sound of AK47 and rocket-propelled-grenade fire hitting the ship. The ship‟s captain was able to maneuver to safety. The destroyer Gonzalez was later dispatched to aid the cruise ship. On Jan. 21, 2006, the destroyer Winston S. Churchill rescued the hijacked crew of the freighter Delta Ranger off the coast of Somalia after responding to a distress call. It took several shots over the bow from Churchill‟s guns to get the pirates to pull over. Ten pirates were captured in that incident. Then on March 18 of that year, the crews of the cruiser Cape St. George and Gonzalez got in a 10-minute shootout with pirates off the coast of Somalia. In the melee, one suspected pirate was killed. The remaining 12, including five wounded, were taken aboard the cruiser. The skiffs — containing assault rifles, RPGs and “climbing gear” — were hoisted aboard, too. According to 5th Fleet data, four other vessels were under pirate control off southern Somalia as of Nov. 2. But eastern Africa does not corner the market on piracy. The International Maritime Bureau reported recently that the waters off Nigeria match Somalia in terms of pirate incidents. The Little Creek-based dock landing ship Fort McHenry deployed Oct. 16 to that region — the Gulf of Guinea — to establish a persistent U.S. naval presence there under the billing “Africa Partnership Station.” The Straits of Malacca near Singapore are also notorious hunting grounds for ship hijackers. Stepped-up training As a result of the activity in recent years, U.S. sailors heading to these areas are deploying with new weapons and training. Under a ramped-up program, warships send selected sailors to special boarding team schools prior to deployment. Any sailor, male or female, from culinary specialist to fire controlman, is eligible as long as he or she meets physical fitness requirements, has a second-class swimmer qualification and can pass a background check, said Bill Goodnoah, functional team leader for visit, board, search and seizure training at the Center for Security Forces in Norfolk. Return to Index Deploying destroyers, for example, are now required to have three qualified boarding teams of about seven sailors each, drawn from the ship‟s crew. Some 2,000 sailors a year train in four sites — Chesapeake, Mayport, Fla., San Diego and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii — under a curriculum provided by the center. After a prerequisite three-week armed sentry/security reaction force course, candidates attend a two-week advanced tactics course before getting the three-week session on vessel boardings. Graduates are qualified for Level 2 noncompliant boardings on ships with a freeboard of 25 feet or less. They do not participate in Level 3 boardings, which involve helicopter insertion on ships with greater than 25-foot freeboard, and Level 4, which is a contested boarding, the purview of special warfare operators. “We train to a generic level,” Goodnoah said. “We can‟t cover each and every scenario, but we do train to protect yourself and protect your buddy.” Boarding team candidates spend a week on the gun range shooting the M9 pistol and the M4 carbine. The VBSS course does not specifically address how to deal with pirates, as far as their tactics and methods. Instead, sailors are given standards that can be applied to any situation. “In the context of Level 2 VBSS, we do not tailor it to dhows or ... dealing with pirates or ... to some place in the Straits of Malacca,” said Larry McFarland, director of training at CSF. “They get the generic tool set so when they are doing approaches and boardings on dhows, or if they are off the Horn of Africa, they‟ve got the basic skills so the unit can then launch that mission if it does look like it‟s going to turn south.” Cmdr. Mike Knapp, VBSS program manager at CSF, said sailors are taught “escalation of force.” “You teach them how to self-protect, both themselves and their buddies, and how to react quickly if something crops up,” Knapp said. “It doesn‟t happen every day. A lot of this is, „Go meet the [ship‟s] master, look at his papers and move on to the next guy.‟” However, as sailors have learned, what appears to be a compliant boarding can quickly get ugly. 5. US Navy To Stage Oil Spill Exercise At Bahrain Port (AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 04 NOV 07) MANAMA — US naval forces in the Gulf are on Tuesday to conduct a crisis response exercise involving a mock oil spill at a Bahraini port, the US Fifth Fleet said. US forces began exercises in the Gulf on Thursday including response to "a tropical cyclone that devastates a notional regional nation, destroying its critical infrastructure ... and displacing thousands of citizens," the Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said. It said the week-long drills will also include a response to a mock oil spill from a damaged tanker at sea, to be staged at Mina Salman Port in Manama on Tuesday. The Fifth Fleet earlier said the exercises were aimed at enhancing capacity to respond to crises, and it linked the drills Return to Index to potential disaster situations or oil spills without mentioning military conflict. But the exercises come as the White House ramps up its rhetoric against Iran, warning of "World War III" if Tehran obtained atomic weapons. Britain has announced it will send an aircraft carrier to the Gulf in early 2008, although it said the deployment was not linked to possible military action against Iran, which denies seeking an atomic bomb. 6. Should The Navy Be In The Business Of Combating Piracy? (CNN 04 NOV 07) ... Broadcast Clip Analyst Gal Luft and reporter Barbara Starr discuss the prevalence of piracy in recent months in the African and Asian regions, and the technical sophistication with which these pirates operate. (Run Time 5:30) View Clip Return to Index 7. US Navy To Hold 'Crisis Response' Exercises (GULF DAILY NEWS (BAHRAIN) 03 NOV 07) MANAMA -- THE US Navy in Bahrain will hold several exercises in the Gulf this month to demonstrate its range of capabilities including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief assistance, officials said yesterday. The assault ship USS Wasp began a five-day crisis response exercise on Thursday, involving many of the region's amphibious, air and medical forces. The Commander Task Force (CTF) 59 is leading the exercise, focusing on strengthening the region's humanitarian and disaster response capability. It is designed to practice and evaluate the ships' ability to serve as 'first responders' after a natural disaster. "The purpose of the exercise is to continually improve the Fifth Fleet skills in completing complex missions that require Return to Index capabilities broader than one ship or unit," said US Fifth Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff. The exercise tests the navy force's ability to rush personnel and supplies from the sea to an affected area within the 72 hours. Crisis response exercises also develop the capabilities of military personnel to respond to hazards affecting maritime infrastructure such as a problem on an oil platform could cause an oil spill, officials said. The USS Enterprise (CVN 65) carrier strike group and USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) expeditionary strike group are also currently operating and training in the region. 8. 300 Naval Coastal Warfare Sailors Returning Home To San Diego (XETV-TV FOX 6 (SAN DIEGO) 03 NOV 07) ... Broadcast Clip Tom Stringfellow reports as almost 300 Sailors from the Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron come home to Coronado tonight after a six-month tour of duty in Kuwait. Not by ship, but by plane. Interviews with Lt. Mark Franzen, Naval Coastal Warfare officer and navy spouse Jackie Wolover. (Run time 2:29 min) View Clip Return to Index 9. 24-Hour Tour Offers Look At USS Lincoln’s Choreography (ENIDNEWS.COM (OK) 04 NOV 07) ... Robert Barron ABOARD THE USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN — The C-2 Greyhound transport aircraft approaches its destination, the USS Abraham Lincoln, at sea off the coast of San Diego. The 10 passengers, wearing headgear and inflatable life preservers, sit back in their seats. The C-2 makes a nearperfect landing on the deck of the aircraft carrier, and as the tailhook catches the deck cable, the plane goes from 105 mph to zero in two seconds, pushing the passengers back into their seats. The cable extends 120 feet across the carrier deck. That portion of the cable is replaced after 125 strikes. The following day the plane will take off from the deck of the carrier and be catapulted into the air, going from zero to 128 mph in three seconds. By making that landing and takeoff, the passengers get an idea what Navy aviators feel every time they land and take off from the deck of the carrier. Everything works with precision The passengers disembark and walk along the landing deck to the ship‟s interior, entering a totally different world than the one they left. The USS Abraham Lincoln is more than 1,000 feet long with 17 floors, each one carefully planned to maximize use of space. It is equipped with several dining areas, berthing areas for men and women, showers, offices and operating centers, a hospital and even a television studio. Enid residents Dr. Lynn Phillips and Robert Barron were invited to take the 24-hour tour aboard ship. On deck, there are flights around the clock every day. Fighters capable of doing battle with aircraft anywhere in the world take off and land repeatedly, aiming for perfection. Sometimes they will land, catching the tailhook, other times it will be touch and go, with the aircraft taking off again immediately. The sailors keeping the planes flying are mostly 18- to 20-year-old men and women who work together in closely choreographed movements, not unlike a dance. They move toward the plane and away, signaling it to take off, rotating gracefully from point to point, job to job. Like dancers, they glide across the deck, moving with the precision of some internal nocturne gained from hours and hours of practice. These sailors have the life of a pilot and the fate a $40 million aircraft and all its ordnance in their hands. Occasionally, a plane cannot take off and is pushed to its deck space as another plane moves into place. The catapult is hooked on, and it is hurled into the air. At the same time, aircraft are traversing the deck in touchand-go flights or catching the cable to land. Everything works with precision. Whenever there are flight operations ongoing, helicopters are aloft in case there is a problem. They will go to a downed plane, drop rescue swimmers into the water and bring the pilot to safety. Just the facts, ma‟am The mission of the Lincoln is to provide an independent forward presence for the United States and conventional deterrent in peacetime, to operate as part of joint/allied maritime expeditionary forces during times of crisis and to operate and support aircraft attacks on enemies, protect friendly forces and engage in sustained war operations. The aircraft carrier is the centerpiece of the forward presence. It is the first unit called upon during a crisis. Carrier battle groups are deployed worldwide in support of U.S. interests and can respond to global crises in peacetime and in war. Including the Lincoln, there are eight operational Nimitzclass carriers and two under construction. They are the largest warships in the world. Carriers cost about $4.5 billion each. The regular ship‟s company is 3,200, and the air wing adds another 2,480 personnel. The Lincoln is powered by two nuclear reactors and four propeller shafts. The United States is one of only a few countries that use carriers effectively. The infrastructure of the USS Abraham Lincoln is like supplying a city of 5,600 people. For a ship 1,092 feet long, the Lincoln surprisingly is fast, with a maximum speed of 30 to 35 knots. The height from keel to mast is 206 feet, 6 inches, and the breadth is 257 feet, 5 inches, with a flight deck area of 4.5 acres. The Lincoln has four elevators to lift aircraft to the deck and four catapults that launch aircraft. Complementing the ship‟s infrastructure are four evaporators that distill more than 400,000 gallons of fresh Return to Index water per day and air conditioning capacity that would serve 800 homes. There are 15,000 to 20,000 meals prepared, 600 to 800 loaves of bread baked, 13,000 sodas consumed and 600 gallons of milk used each day. More than 620 pounds of hamburger are consumed daily, along with 180 dozen eggs, 800 pounds of fresh vegetables and 900 pounds of fruit. About 5,550 pounds of laundry are cleaned daily and about 250 haircuts are given each day. Completing the mission In 1991, the Lincoln was deployed in response to Iraq‟s annexation of Kuwait but was diverted instead to support evacuation efforts resulting from the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. Operation Fiery Vigil became the largest recorded peacetime evacuation of active duty military personnel and families, and the Lincoln led a 23-ship armada that moved 45,000 people from Subic Bay Naval Station to the port of Cebu. The ship eventually arrived in the Arabian Gulf, where the air wing provided combat air patrol, reconnaissance and support for air operations over Kuwait and Iraq during Operation Desert Storm, said Capt. Patrick D. Hall, commanding officer of the Lincoln. Rear Admiral Scott Van Buskirk also is aboard the Lincoln. Van Buskirk is commander of Carrier Strike Group Nine. Van Buskirk is trained as a submariner, and commanding an air strike group is rare. He is a 1979 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. After other duties in many ports, the Lincoln returned in July 2002 and assumed duties in the Arabian Gulf, following the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The deployment was extended to support Operation Southern Watch and Iraqi Freedom as U.S. forces occupied Iraq and ended in 2003, Hall said. The motto of the USS Abraham Lincoln comes from the words of Lincoln himself, “Shall Not Perish.” (The Enid News & Eagle is a northwest Oklahoma newspaper.) GLOBAL MARITIME ENVIRONMENT: 10. Arctic Thaw Defrosts A Sea Treaty (WALL STREET JOURNAL 03 NOV 07) ... Nick Timiraos, The Senate moved closer to ratifying a sweeping international treaty that governs every aspect of maritime law, from ocean shipping to deep-sea mining. A 17-4 panel vote sent the Law of the Sea Treaty to the full Senate, where it must win a two-thirds vote for ratification. The treaty enjoys an odd mix of support from the Bush administration, top diplomats and military leaders, the oil industry and environmentalists. But it is opposed by conservatives who worry it would undermine U.S. sovereignty, and Senate critics repeatedly have blocked the 25-year-old treaty, to which 155 nations have signed on. POINTS OF VIEW "Joining will serve the national security interests of theUnited States. …And it will give the United States a seat at the table when the rights that are vital to our interests are debated and interpreted." President Bush "I cannot support the creation of yet another unaccountable international bureaucracy that might infringe on American sovereignty." Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani The renewed push for ratification comes as the Arctic ice cap thaws, offering the prospect of new shipping lanes and access to underwater oil and mineral resources. Here's a closer look: Natural resources: The treaty gives coastal nations, including nonsignatories, rights to manage resources in an "exclusive economic zone" that extends 200 nautical miles from their shores. Nations also can apply to explore for resources on their continental shelf extending as far as 350 nautical miles offshore. Oil and mining companies support the treaty because it could grant the U.S. access to an additional 291,000 square miles of seabed in the Gulf of Mexico, North Atlantic, Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean. Recent estimates suggest more than 400 billion barrels of oil and gas could be located in the Arctic, along with deep-sea deposits of precious metals. Russia has reported 32 oil and gas discoveries in the Arctic region and underscored the race for resource rights this summer when it planted its flag on a seabed more than 15,000 feet below the North Pole. Canada has disputed the claim. Taxes are another point of contention. Companies must pay 1% of revenue to an international body on any resources extracted beyond the 200-mile limit after five years of production, with rates rising by 1% annually to a maximum of 7%. Critics object to such payments. National security: The Navy remains one of the treaty's top supporters because the treaty ensures the right of free passage through international straits and archipelagoes such as Indonesia. Earlier this year, the heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines signed a letter urging the Senate to ratify the treaty. The Bush administration has argued that the treaty would bolster the Proliferation Security Initiative, a U.S.-led global effort to interdict shipments of nuclear and missile technology from nations such as North Korea or Iran, but critics have warned that the antiproliferation measures would violate the treaty. Critics most strongly object to the loss of U.S. sovereignty that would result from ratification, including the delegation of authority to the International Seabed Authority. Critics also claim that the treaty's dispute-resolution mechanism could allow foreign judges to determine the Return to Index Navy's right to seize a ship believed to be carrying terrorists or contraband. Environment: Environmental organizations support U.S. ratification because the treaty requires signatories to enforce environmental standards in their exclusive economic zones. Critics say the treaty could give other nations or thirdparty environmental groups leverage in influencing U.S. environmental policies and that the pact could be used to oppose the very oil and gas exploration that it promises to open up. Facts • In 1702, Dutch jurist Cornelius Bynkershoek articulated the "cannon shot" rule that, for centuries, led nations to establish rights to their territorial waters at three nautical miles off their shores, roughly the distance that a cannon ball could be shot. • President Reagan supported most of the Law of the Sea Treaty as it was conceived in 1982, but refused to sign it because of provisions on deep-sea mining. The agreement was amended in 1994 and signed by President Clinton. • Oceans cover about 70% of the Earth's surface. • The U.S. portion of the "exclusive economic zone" created by the treaty is the largest of any country's, and at 3.36 million square miles, is larger than the continental U.S. • The first successful offshore oil platform was established in the Gulf of Mexico in 1947. • Fewer than 40 nations have opted not to join the Law of the Sea Treaty. The U.S. is the only major power that hasn't joined. 11. Gates In China For Military Talks (AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 04 NOV 07) ... Jim Mannion BEIJING - US Defence Secretary Robert Gates arrived here Sunday for talks with Chinese leaders about a military buildup that has raised US concerns about Beijing's intentions. A Chinese anti-satellite test in January, advances in cyber warfare, and the development of missiles capable of striking US naval forces and air bases at long ranges have fueled the unease, officials said. "These increasing capabilities and this capacity raises questions with us and our allies," a senior defence official traveling with Gates said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Getting a clearer understanding of China's intentions is at the heart of Gates' two-day visit, the official said, adding that Washington has not yet concluded that China has become a military threat. "We're not in that part of the game yet," he said. "We are in the part of the game of exploring what's really happening, what's really going on, encouraging China to understand that it is more and more important to all of us, including China, to have that understanding." Gates meets Monday with Defence Minister Cao Guangchan; Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo; General Guo Boxiong, the senior vice chairman of the Central Military Commission; and General Xu Caihou, vice chairman. On Tuesday, he is scheduled to meet President Hu Jintao, who chairs the military committee and has overseen sharp increases in China's military budgets, which rose 17.8 percent this year to 45 billion dollars. The Pentagon estimates that Chinese annual military spending is higher than advertised, up to 125 billion dollars a year, and has closely followed its acquisition and deployment in recent years of sophisticated aircraft, warships, submarines and missiles. Gates, who is making his first visit to China as defence secretary, is the most senior US official to meet with the Chinese leadership since the recent 17th Communist Party Congress. Senior US defence officials said the visit will be an opportunity to gauge the impact of the leadership changes on China's policies and diplomatic priorities. "It's likely that the views of the Chinese leadership towards some, if not all of these issues, may be changing over time as they look at the regional reactions to their military activities," said a second senior US official. Among the issues Gates is expected to raise is China's opposition to further UN sanctions against Iran for pressing ahead with its uranium enrichment program, the officials said. Resistance to tougher UN action has come from China and Russia, both veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council. US officials also hope to learn more about China's January 11 anti-satellite test, which Gates has said exposed the vulnerability of US space systems in low Earth orbit to attack by Chinese ballistic missiles. "All the questions we had before we still have now," said the senior defence official of the test. The officials said military relations with China have been improving despite the uncertainties but they wanted to see military exchanges and visits to broaden and deepen. Return to Index The US side expects to see progress on establishing a telephone hotline between the Pentagon and the Chinese Defence Ministry, officials said. The senior defence official said he hoped the Chinese would move away from "canned talking points, move away from a rehash of things we've done before, and get into a broader strategic dialogue." 12. UK Sends Battleship To Persian Gulf (PRESS TV 02 NOV 07) Britain sends a battle cruiser to Persian Gulf, says the country's Ministry of Defense (MOD), noting the measure was not against Iran. The dispatch was routine according to the MOD and was not in aid of military engagement involving Iran. Royal Navy aircraft carrier Illustrious is earmarked for patrolling the Persian Gulf at the beginning of 2008 alongside Edinburgh, a Type 42 destroyer whose main role is providing air defense, and Westminster, a Type 23 frigate. Return to Index The ship goes on duty in the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea for about six months. Also intended for deployment are two minesweepers and three support vessels from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. (Press TV is an English-language satellite television station run by the Iranian government, which also maintains a Web site.) 13. Israeli Navy Nearly Doubles Fast Patrol Fleet (DEFENSE NEWS 05 NOV 07) ... Barbara Opall-Rome Tel Aviv — The Israeli Navy soon will receive the first of seven fast patrol craft, aiming to nearly double its coastal defense capabilities by 2009. Contracted in January 2006 under a combined U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and locally funded MoD program, the acquisition includes four Super Dvora Mk-IIIs by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and three Shaldag, or Kingfisher, craft by Israel Shipyards. According to Israel‟s MoD, about 54 percent, or $19 million, of the estimated $35 million program is funded by U.S. military assistance, with the remainder covered by national funds. All seven ships will feature a German-Swedish jet propulsion system provided by MTU Detroit Diesel through the FMS program, which is supplying local shipbuilders with raw materials and parts. The acquisition will supplement eight fast patrol vessels deployed over the past three years as part of the Navy‟s twopart coastal patrol modernization program. Under a January 2002 contract, the Navy bought six Super Dvora Mk-IIIs and two Shaldag IIs, only the latter two of which featured the jet propulsion system designed for the service‟s second procurement batch. “Our insistence on jet propulsion for all seven of the new builds was intended in large part to provide the critical mass lacking in the first procurement round,” said Omri Dagul, a rear admiral in the Israel Navy reserves who presided over the 2006 acquisition. Beyond common logistics and economies of scale, Dagul said, the jets offered operational advantages. “Our studies showed significantly enhanced maneuverability, especially in brown-water scenarios,” said Dagul, the recently retired head of Navy Materiel Command. Return to Index IAI‟s Ramta Division, producer of the Super Dvora MkIII, plans to deliver the first of the new four boats later this month. The first of the three Shaldags will be delivered to the Israeli Navy in early January, said Josef Ophir, vice president for marketing at Israel Shipyards. MoD spokeswoman Maayan Malchin said all seven ships should be delivered by the end of 2009, at which time the Navy‟s fast patrol and interdiction fleet will include 10 Super Dvoras and five Shaldags. In addition to traditional patrol, search-and-rescue and coastal-defense roles, the ships will be optimized for counterterrorism, anti-infiltration and weapon-smuggling missions, defense officials said. Each ship is designed for rapid acceleration to top speeds of about 50 knots and to cruise at approximately 32 knots at ranges of about 700 nautical miles. Built to accommodate crews of up to 10, both vessels feature sleek, hydrodynamic lines above and below water lines. The Super Dvora Mk-III measures 25 meters long and 5.65 meters wide and carries a full displacement of up to 72 tons, while the Shaldag is slightly shorter and wider, with a 56-ton displacement. Defense and industry sources here said that like the current Super Dvora/Shaldag fleet, the new ships will be armed with a manual 20mm cannon on the stern and two smaller machine guns on each side. Additionally, the new ships will be equipped with the Rafael Typhoon, a 25mm automated cannon. As for command and control, each ship will be integrated into the Navy‟s servicewide digital network, which will feed into a larger system servicing all military echelons. 14. Pak Army, Navy To Take Part In Military Exercise In Egypt (THE HINDU 03 NOV 07) Islamabad (PTI) - A contingent of Pakistani army and navy personnel has left for Egypt to participate in a military exercise along with forces from the US, Kuwait, Yemen, France and the host country. The 20-day 'Bright Star' military exercise beginning on Saturday is aimed at developing better understanding among the armed forces of these countries and enhancing a "common operational perspective". The "Bright Star" series of war games began in 1981 and Pakistan has been an observer in these exercises since 1997. Return to Index This will be the first time that Pakistani army and navy personnel will be participating in the exercise. The Pakistani warship Tipu Sultan will berth at Alexandria during the harbour phase of the exercise and then participate in the sea training phase in the Mediterranean Sea. Elite troops from the army's Special Services Group (SSG) will take part in field training exercises at Mubarak Military City. The focus of this training will be on minor operations and low intensity conflict. A command post exercise will also be held in Cairo. PERSONNEL: 15. Wounded Navy Personnel Help Senior Citizens - And Themselves (VIRGINIAN-PILOT 04 NOV 07) ... Steven G. Vegh VIRGINIA BEACH -- James Shipp, a Navy Reserve petty officer, is stationed in Norfolk pending surgery for a hernia he pulled while deployed in the Persian Gulf. The injury didn't keep him and other sailors awaiting treatment from volunteering to help Lydia Ramos, 68, with yardwork at her Kempsville home. "I've just come from Kuwait," Shipp said Thursday after raking leaves. "It's good to be back home and it's good to be connecting with people and being able to help." Boosting injured sailors' morale while helping senior citizens is the goal of Project Lifting Spirits, a collaboration between Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia and Navy Chaplain Patrick Finn. He's assigned to the mobilization processing center that works with military personnel headed for - or returning from - overseas deployments. Finn, a reservist who is an Episcopal priest in South Carolina, contacted Catholic Charities in August to find volunteer opportunities for wounded sailors. Among them are reservists and sailors hurt while serving in war zones. Finn said many are at Norfolk Naval Station waiting for treatment before returning home. Community service by Navy personnel is nothing new for South Hampton Roads. Last year, 1,400 sailors from the aircraft carrier George Washington performed 6,800 hours of charity work in Norfolk, including neighborhood cleanups and senior citizen assistance. Finn said there are emotional, psychological and spiritual benefits when "wounded warriors" can lend a hand to people. "By connecting with people less fortunate, they realize God will still use them," he said of the injured sailors. "Even if they're limited in some ways, they're really not when God uses them." Return to Index Adrienne Soroka of Catholic Charities said some earlier work parties included sailors wounded in combat. "They're such nice individuals, and they're spending their time giving back to others when we should be taking care of them," she said. On Thursday, four sailors raked and cut Ramos' lawn and garden while she cared for her 95-year-old mother, Juanita Banuchi, and 16-month-old great-grandaughter, Lilly Ann Ramos. Finn and Elvin Aguilar, a reservist who is a police officer in Orlando, Fla., eyeballed Ramos' white brick ranch home, listing further chores - repairing a porch screen, power washing mildew-stained soffits and repainting the front door. Aguilar needs surgery after damaging his arm and leg in an accident while providing security aboard a ship in the Persian Gulf. He said volunteer work helped him work off stress and sleep soundly. "I feel good with God and myself - it's like I'm doing something for God," he said. Nearby, Michael Baligrocki, a boatswain's mate from Bronxville, N.Y., raked leaves despite a pinched nerve he developed while on customs duty in Kuwait. "I'm helping somebody out and I feel good at the end of the day," Baligrocki said. "I deliver M eals on W heels back home, so I know what community service is." Ramos, who depends on Catholic Charities for transportation to medical appointments, called the Navy work team a blessing. "It's almost unreal, like a guardian angel sent this troop here," she said. "I think the Lord had a hand in this." 16. Female Pilots Thrive In Iraq Sky Strides Made Since The Navy's Tailhook Scandal Prompted Change (COX NEWS SERVICE 03 NOV 07) ... Margaret Coker ABOARD THE USS ENTERPRISE — Navy Lt. Kelly Gander's regular workday goes something like this: Fly over Iraq. Fuel combat planes in midair. Gather intelligence for the U.S. armada patrolling the Persian Gulf. Land a 26-ton plane on an aircraft carrier. It's an extraordinary routine made more remarkable because neither Gander's colleagues nor commanders see anything unusual in the fact that this 28-year-old Florida native or her female colleagues are responsible for such work. That's quite a sea change from the early 1990s, when the infamous Tailhook scandal engulfed the Navy and sparked a rancorous national debate about the role of women in the armed forces and whether women could — or should — serve in combat roles. Veteran and current female Navy officers view the Iraq war as a positive litmus test for women's integration in the Navy. "When I joined the Navy (in 2001), the only restrictions I had to my career were related to my height. Ten years ago that wasn't the case. There weren't many (women) doing what I'm doing. Now, women are pretty firmly implemented" throughout the service, Gander said. What a difference a generation makes. Gander and her colleagues were barely teenagers when the 1991 Gulf War ended and one of the biggest sexual harassment scandals in modern America rocked the armed forces and the nation. The Tailhook scandal During a Naval aviators' alcohol-fueled weekend convention in September 1991, some of the service's most decorated pilots sexually assaulted dozens of women, including many who were fellow sailors, with the knowledge — and sometimes encouragement — of their commanders. The Tailhook scandal, named after the private club associated with the Navy that organized the convention, resulted in 40 disciplinary actions, 11 courts-martial investigations, a Navy secretary's resignation and near firing of the top admiral. National outrage and congressional hearings forced major changes on all branches of the military, especially the Navy. In 1993, women for the first time gained the right to serve on ships. Although they had been trained to fly for years before Tailhook, it was only in the mid-1990s that they won the right to fly in combat. Immediate reaction to the integration within the Navy ranks was mixed. Almost all the female pilots assigned to the USS Lincoln as part of the first experimental deployment aboard aircraft carriers left their squadron, citing a hostile workplace. Return to Index But as more ships integrated and more women proved their expertise, commanders worked to keep them and their skills aboard. "The first years of integration in the aftermath of Tailhook were awful," said Lory Manning, a retired Navy lieutenant colonel who served during the Tailhook era in the Navy's department of personnel and is now a historian specializing in the military's gender integration policy. "The whole institution had to learn, like many U.S. corporations had to learn, what constituted professional behavior," she said. 'I just see sailors' It's into that transformed atmosphere that Gander and many of her colleagues find themselves as they serve their country in this war. "I understood that the Navy was where there was opportunity," she said. Today's Navy has more than 4,600 women serving in combat roles, most of them in the Iraq theater of operations. Working as aviators, intelligence officers and surface warfare experts, they are deployed on nearly 100 ships or on bases worldwide. Pilots aboard the Enterprise are responsible for onequarter of the daily aviation operations ordered by the U.S. commander in Iraq. That means a taxing schedule. Gander and her squadron fly six-hour missions once a day for six days a week. None of the bugaboos cited in the early 1990s against gender integration — less military preparedness or more emotional distraction — has affected the carrier's mission, said Capt. Ron Horton. "Out here, I don't see women or men. I just see sailors. Anyone is welcome on this ship," said Horton, who took command of the Enterprise in May. "All that matters is that you can fly and land and stay alert under some difficult circumstances." 17. Sub Scandal Prompts Admirals To Meet With COs (NAVY TIMES 12 NOV 07) ... Andrew Scutro The investigation into doctored reactor logs onboard the attack submarine Hampton continues with a sharp eye on the rest of the undersea fleet, according to Vice Adm. Jay Donnelly, submarine force commander. "We're looking very, very carefully at the root causes of what happened on Hampton, and the investigation is ongoing, so it's a little early to draw conclusions, but I expect we'll wrap this up in the very near future," he told an annual gathering of the Naval Submarine League in McLean, Va., on Nov. 1. "We had a group of individuals — not a single individual, but a group — [that] was working together, and they compromised our integrity. I think they were pushing the `easy button.'" The Hampton investigation already has led to administrative discipline for one officer and five enlisted crewmen who allegedly skipped regular chemical tests of reactor water and then falsified records to make it appear the work had been completed. Donnelly described it as several crew-men "working in collusion and falsifying some records." On Oct. 25, Hampton's captain, Cmdr. Michael Portland, was relieved of command for loss of confidence. Another officer and two more enlisted crew members were also reassigned. A total of 10 Hampton personnel have been. punished since the problems were discovered in September. Donnelly said the discrepancies aboard Hampton were discovered by a chief petty officer from the squadron who came aboard for routine inspections, "noticed irregularities and began pulling the thread, and brought this whole incident to light, and that light is very bright." In the aftermath, Donnelly said he plans to meet "eyeball to eye-ball" with all submarine commanders and command teams on the East Coast, and Rear Adm. Joe Walsh, commander of the Pacific submarine force, will do the same throughout his command. "My question is, 'Is this a one-time isolated incident, or do we have this problem throughout the force?' I don't have indications now that I have a forcewide problem, certainly not on the magnitude that we had on Hampton," he said. Coincidental to the Hampton investigation, officials at the submarine symposium said the force has begun a deckplate inquiry intolow morale and shortfalls in officer and enlisted retention. Submarine Force Master Chief (SS) Jeff Garrison said in an earlier presentation that ongoing retention problems in the community will be addressed with "deep-dive" teams that will go onboard Groton, Conn.-based boats beginning Nov. 5 to Return to Index determine the "root cause" of low morale and high personnel departures. Garrison said the teams also will board submarines with high morale and high retention to determine what those commands are doing right. The teams include a reserve-component captain, a command master chief from out of the area and a career counselor. 18. USS Hampton Incident Getting A 'Hard' Look 'I Think They Were Pushing The Easy Button,' Commander Of Sub Force Says (NEW LONDON DAY (CT) 02 NOV 07) ... Jennifer Grogan McLean, Va. — Vice Adm. John J. Donnelly said Thursday that he is trying to determine whether the alleged misconduct on the USS Hampton is an isolated incident. “I do not have any indications now of a forcewide problem, certainly not of the magnitude that we have there,” said Donnelly, commander of the Submarine Force. “But I am asking those questions, and we're looking very hard at this.” Donnelly answered a question about the incident during a panel discussion at the Naval Submarine League 25th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Symposium, a two-day conference on submarine issues. Navy officials have said that sailors on the ship failed to do daily safety checks on the submarine's nuclear reactor for a month, and then falsified records to make it appear that the work had been done. Return to Index “We have a group of individuals, not a single individual, but a group who were working together, and they compromised their integrity,” Donnelly said. “I think they were pushing the easy button, perhaps to avoid the pain of long hours and hard work.” A chief petty officer in the squadron's staff noticed irregularities in the records during a routine engineering check, Donnelly said. The commanding officer of the Hampton, Cmdr. Michael B. Portland, was relieved of his duty late last month. The Los Angeles-class submarine is homeported in San Diego. “We're looking very, very carefully at the root causes of what happened on the Hampton, and the investigation is still ongoing, so it's a little early for me to draw conclusions there,” Donnelly said. “I expect we'll wrap it up in the very near future.” 19. GAO Upset With DOD Medical System Plan (STARS AND STRIPES 3 NOV 07) ... Tom Philpott The Government Accountability Office has chided the Department of Defense for adopting a restructuring plan for the military health system without conducting a comprehensive analysis of the costs, benefits and risks. The GAO report released in October also suggests that Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England opted for the path of least resistance last November when he rejected three options for consolidating Army, Navy and Air Force medical bureaucracies in favor of a plan that merely would combine some key support functions such as finance, logistics and medical research. Phased implementation of this option is under way, but it won‟t be too far along by January 2009 when a new administration assumes control. Influencing England, officials said last December, were Air Force arguments that cultural differences between the services make a unified medical command impractical and could harm medical readiness. The Navy, Army and joint staff had endorsed a unified command. They were backed by an advisory board of business executives and by a Pentagon working group established specifically to weigh England rejected three options presented to him for a joint or unified command. Instead, he embraced a fourth developed by his senior advisers. This plan calls for keeping the three service medical departments but combining some support functions. This “incremental” approach, officials argue, would also result in cost efficiencies while preserving the service-unique cultures of the three medical components. Ironically, it also might involve establishing a new layer of bureaucracy to oversee consolidated functions. The GAO suggested that claims of cultural differences can block many transformational changes for the military if defense leaders allow them to do so. “The department‟s view that there is a strong cultural challenge to successful implementation [of a unified medical command] should underscore the need for department leadership to address the challenge,” GAO said, “rather than be used to justify a decision by the department to avoid necessary change.” The report cites a RAND Corporation finding that at least 13 studies have been conducted over five decades to restructure military health care. All but three favored moving to a unified system or at least toward stronger central control over service departments. But what most bothered the GAO about England‟s “fourth option” was a lack of “comprehensive analysis” to support the decision. The business case presented “does not demonstrate how DOD determined the fourth option to be better than the other three in terms of its potential impact on medical readiness, quality of care, beneficiaries‟ access to care, costs, implementation time and risks,” the report says. Without analysis to justify the choice, GAO said, neither the secretary of defense nor Congress can be assured that DOD “made an informed decision” to consolidate key support functions and to reject the other options. In a written response to GAO, Dr. S. Ward Casscells, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, said his department overall concurs with its findings. He gave assurances that the team tasked to implement the restructuring plan would be preparing a more comprehensive business case with findings on risks and benefits. In a phone interview, Army Col. Thom Kurmel, Casscells‟ chief of staff, said that while the department “doesn‟t disagree” with GAO, the auditors “failed to realize” that senior leaders like the deputy defense secretary are authorized to make these kinds of “governance decisions.” “Perhaps if we had known there was a rule book to play by we might have used it,” Kurmel said. “But in the end, the deputy is the final decision maker on these kinds of issues and he made a decision last year.” Kurmel said the “hybrid” option chosen had been analyzed by the Pentagon working group. One factor in choosing the plan, he said, was concern that “we don‟t break anything” critical to troops in wartime. Another factor, he said, “was preserving service equities.” England‟s memo of last November also contained important decisions for implementing the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure round as it impacts the medical system. One of these will have a profound effect on military Return to Index direct care for 500,000 patients in and around Washington, D.C., Kurmel said. England authorized a Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical Command to oversee all medical centers, hospitals and clinics in the D.C. area. That includes Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, and 29 smaller hospitals and clinics from Quantico, Va., up to Sugar Grove, W.Va. and across to Lakehurst, N.J. On Oct. 1, Rear Adm. John M. Mateczun, Navy‟s deputy surgeon general, took charge of the task force. He faces two big challenges tied to the BRAC deadline of 2011. He will oversee the merger of Walter Reed and Bethesda into the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda. He also will execute a major shift in regional health care from Walter Reed and Bethesda down to Fort Belvoir, Va. DeWitt hospital at Belvoir will gain primary care capabilities as well as most specialty care for the D.C. area, thus improving access for the large beneficiary population living in Northern Virginia. Walter Reed will retain primary care capability as well as major teaching programs, amputee care, traumatic brain injury care and psychological health. 20. Prosecutors See 'Motive' In Navy Doctor Case (BALTIMORE SUN 03 NOV 07) ... Josh Mitchell A Navy physician's home computer stored gay pornography in a folder titled "lectures" -- the label of one of the sex videos of Naval Academy midshipmen that the doctor is accused of secretly recording, a computer specialist testified yesterday. The file on Navy Cmdr. Kevin Ronan's computer contained pictures of young shirtless men and more than 2,000 still frames from gay pornographic movies, said Michael Wavada, a specialist with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Washington. Prosecutors in Ronan's court-martial at the Washington Navy Yard said the folder not only provides a "motive" for the doctor to secretly tape the midshipmen -- a sexual desire for young men -- but also provides a link between Ronan and at least one of the discs allegedly found at the physician's Annapolis home. The testimony came on the final day of the prosecution's case against Ronan, who is charged with conduct unbecoming an officer, illegal wiretapping and obstruction of justice. In an interview after yesterday's session, defense attorney William Ferris accused prosecutors of introducing the gay pornography to "prejudice" the jury and obscure the fact that they had nothing directly linking Ronan to secretly taping the midshipmen. Return to Index The defense attorneys have denied that Ronan, who used to host midshipmen on weekends as part of a Naval Academy sponsor program, had anything to do with the sex videos of midshipmen. Defense attorneys say the videos were made to blackmail the doctor and likely were made by one or both of the midshipmen who prosecutors say found the videos in Ronan's home in January. While it is unclear when the midshipmen sex videos were recorded, Wavada testified that computer data shows the videos were burned onto the three DVDs in May and June of 2006. Prosecutors have noted that the two midshipmen Ronan accuses of trying to extort him were out of town on Naval Academy business when the DVDs were burned. Wavada's testimony came a day after a handwriting expert testified that the labels on one of the discs, including the word "Lectures," was written by Ronan, and that it was "highly probable" he wrote the labels on two others. After Wavada testified, Ferris unsuccessfully moved for the presiding judge, Marine Col. Steven F. Day, to dismiss all charges. Ferris said he expects to call more witnesses Monday and for Ronan to take the stand Tuesday. 21. No Shortage Of Drama In Academy Court-Martial (NAVY TIMES 04 NOV 07) ... Chris Amos The court-martial of a Navy doctor accused of secretly taping the sexual encounters of several Naval Academy midshipmen at his Annapolis home packed some drama into its first week, with allegations that the prosecution‟s chief witness could be a deserter and was trying to blackmail the accused, and that that doctor was sexually attracted to the “young, athletic men” he treated. The proceedings also included the airing of a sex tape on a film screen before a jury made up of senior Navy officers. Cmdr. Kevin Ronan could be dismissed from the Navy, lose his medical license and be sentenced to up to 18 years in prison if he is convicted on 11 counts of conduct unbecoming an officer and seven counts of violating state and federal wiretapping laws. He is accused of secretly videotaping sexual activity by members of the Navy football, soccer and gymnastics teams while they stayed at his Annapolis home. Prosecutors say Ronan, an Ivy League-trained pediatrician, ordered an air purifier equipped with a hidden camera and microphone from a New York-based business, placed the purifier in guest bedrooms used by midshipmen, recorded sex activity between them and then watched the recordings from his master bedroom. But they say that came to an end in January, when former midshipman Addy Strasdas went into Ronan‟s bedroom to borrow toothpaste, noticed a stack of DVDs and tapes that he deemed suspicious, turned on his television only to see a live feed of the guest bedroom, and later watched footage of himself and several other midshipmen that had been downloaded onto tapes. Ensign McKenzie Plank, one of the midshipmen in the tapes, said Strasdas picked him up from the Naval Academy dormitory the next morning and drove him to Ronan‟s house, where the two searched the house and found the hidden camera, a receiver on the back of Ronan‟s television and the videotapes and DVDs scattered about Ronan‟s bedroom. Ronan did not testify in the first week of the trial, which will last at least another week. During the trial, prosecutors played three recordings of sexual activity involving midshipmen at Ronan‟s home. As the people on the tapes moaned onscreen, spectators in the courtroom shifted anxiously in their seats. Ronan looked away from the screen, taking notes instead of watching. Ronan, who is assigned to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington, D.C., previously worked as a brigade medical officer at the Naval Academy, seeing midshipmen who reported to sick call and even shepherding the midshipmen he is accused of secretly recording to the front of the line when they showed up for treatment. While working as a team doctor and officer liaison within the Naval Academy athletic department, he befriended midshipmen from several teams and invited them into his home, which was equipped with several high-definition televisions, game systems, a personal computer, plentiful food and a foosball table. Ronan, described by defense lawyer William Ferris as a “lifelong bachelor,” also had bunk beds in his basement and two upstairs bedrooms where midshipmen were welcome to stay. Plank said he gave them career advice, picked them up at the airport, let them borrow his truck, hosted Sunday dinners for them and left the back door to his home unlocked when he was away so they could let themselves in. But Ronan had one rule — no parties — and Ferris said he ordered the hidden camera after he overheard midshipmen joking about throwing parties at his home while he was away. When the camera arrived at his house — a camera that Ronan allegedly upgraded so it could film in low levels of Return to Index light — Ronan tried to assemble it but couldn‟t, Ferris said. Ferris said he placed it back in its box and took it to his attic, where it remained until Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents and Anne Arundel County police searched his Annapolis home in January. But a prosecution witness, the owner of the hidden camera business, cast doubts on Ferris‟ claim that he was unable to operate the camera. “It‟s very easy to make it function,” he said Oct. 29. “All you have to do is plug it in and hook a receiver to a monitor or recorder.” Strasdas testified that he moved to Ronan‟s house after flunking out of the Naval Academy four months before his class was to graduate; Plank‟s girlfriend stayed there whenever she visited from California. Both said they had seen the purifier that housed the hidden camera in different places around the house, but never really noticed it. Ferris said previous lies by Strasdas — he told an Article 32 hearing that he had given all the tapes that he took from Ronan‟s house to NCIS agents, only to contact them one month later to tell them he had given one tape to his lawyer and another to his stepfather for safekeeping — cast doubts on the prosecution witness‟s reliability. At the Article 32 hearing, Strasdas admitted that he fabricated an acceptance letter from San Jose State University and gave that letter to former Naval Academy superintendent Vice Adm. Rodney Rempt in order to secure a deferral from serving three years as an enlisted sailor, which is typically ordered when midshipmen are expelled from the academy. At the court-martial, Lt. Elisabeth Gronvall, Ronan‟s Navy defense lawyer, showed Strasdas paperwork ordering him to active duty at the Washington Navy Yard last March. “Why aren‟t you on active duty?” she asked him. Strasdas replied that he thought he had been granted a deferment but admitted that he had not enrolled at a civilian college and had not received written verification of his deferment. Prosecutors said that even if jurors did not find Strasdas and Plank credible witnesses, there was other evidence that proved Ronan‟s guilt. “The circumstantial evidence against Dr. Ronan will be so overwhelming and so strong that it will leave you with only one reasonable choice,” Lt. Cmdr. Peter Clemow, the lead prosecutor, said in his opening remarks to the five captains and one commander who made up the jury. That evidence included receipts showing that Ronan ordered an air purifier with a camera hidden inside it, handwriting samples that they say prove Ronan labeled the sex tapes, and gay pornography seized from a computer in his home during a January search that showed his “interest in young, athletic males.” Ferris insisted that the case was brought on by Strasdas‟ desire to extort tuition money to finish his degree at a civilian school. When Ronan refused to give him money, Ferris said, Strasdas began plotting against him. Strasdas adamantly denied this, saying he never asked Ronan for money for school. 22. Judge Tosses Interview, Search In Nowak Case (ASSOCIATED PRESS 02 NOV 07) ... Travis Reed ORLANDO, Fla. — A judge agreed Friday to toss much of the evidence against a former astronaut accused of making a diaper-assisted, 1,000-mile drive to confront a woman vying for the affections of the same space shuttle pilot. Investigators took advantage of 44-year-old Lisa Nowak, who had not slept for more than 24 hours, coercing her into giving information in a lengthy arrest interview, Orange County Circuit Judge Marc L. Lubet said. Lubet granted a defense motion to throw out comments she made during the six-hour interview and items seized during a search of her BMW, including maps to alleged victim Colleen Shipman‟s home, large garbage bags, latex gloves and some soiled toddler-sized diapers. Nowak‟s defense steadfastly denies she ever wore or soiled them to avoid stopping during her drive from Houston, but a detective said Nowak told him she had. Nowak was arrested in February after allegedly confronting Colleen Shipman, the girlfriend of former space shuttle pilot Bill Oefelein. Authorities say Nowak stalked Shipman at the Orlando airport and tried to get into her car, then attacked her with pepper spray. Shipman was able to drive away. Lubet‟s ruling was a big win for the defense. But evidence from a duffel bag Nowak was carrying — a steel mallet, buck knife, BB gun resembling a real 9mm handgun, gloves and six feet of rubber tubing — remains in the case. Return to Index The order was entered late Friday, and prosecutors did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Defense attorney Donald Lykkebak said in a brief statement he was “extremely pleased and gratified” by the ruling. Nowak is charged with attempted kidnapping, battery and burglary with assault. She has pleaded not guilty, though her attorney has filed notice of intent to use an insanity defense. In pretrial testimony, Nowak said she never consented to the car search, and felt strong-armed into talking with officers because they mentioned carjacking charges. Orlando police Detective Chris Becton testified that Nowak was hardly the sleep-deprived, confused suspect she purported to be. He characterized the Navy captain as a cunning suspect who bargained with information in an interview similar to a “chess match.” The judge ruled Becton had been evasive when Nowak asked about an attorney, and hadn‟t read her Miranda rights before he started questioning. Lubet said Becton wrongly made “direct and implied promises of benefit,” vowing to talk to prosecutors on her behalf if she cooperated. “He made threats and used coercive psychological techniques,” Lubet wrote. FORCE STRUCTURE/PROGRAMS: 23. House Lawmakers Push For Nuclear-Powered Ship Requirement (DEFENSE DAILY 05 NOV 07) ... Jen Dimascio Without a commitment this year to mandate that future Navy cruisers should be powered by nuclear propulsion systems, Congress might miss its opportunity to make the change, the leaders of a House panel on Navy issues argue. Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) and Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (RMd.), the chairman and ranking member of the House Armed Services seapower subcommittee, have long been supporters of nuclear propulsion systems and this year added language to the defense authorization bill that would require the systems on future ships. As the conference on the authorization bill nears its conclusion, the provision on nuclear-powered vessels remains one of the remaining sticking points in the subcommittee conference. Bartlett was eager to promote the merits of nuclear propulsion last week. The move makes sense operationally and economically, he said. For instance, the nuclear-powered carriers have a 30year supply of fuel, but the Navy's escort vehicles with diesel engines have only a three- to five- day supply, making them reliant on refueling ships and sometimes dangerous foreign ports. The Navy's own studies show that destroyers and cruisers are cheaper over their life span when oil is $60 or $70 dollars per barrel, and the cost of oil is more likely to rise over time. Moreover, the cost of producing nuclear plants would reduce as the nation builds more of them, he said. But there are complications with requiring a move away from conventional engines. The up-front cost of going nuclear is a main deterrent, especially as lawmakers seek to increase the size of the shipbuilding budget to buy 10 or more ships per year. In addition, the Navy prefers basing the design of the hull on the conventionally powered DDG-1000, according to a Congressional Research Service report updated in June. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), a former Navy secretary, said last week he supports the idea--"in theory." Over the long term, it is more affordable to buy nuclear, he said, but that might not be enough. "The question for me is practicality at this point," Webb said. "My understanding is the Navy wants to look hard at the practicalities of it, and we should allow them to do that." The Navy in May discussed an analysis that would look at specific warfighting requirements and the role of industry in developing nuclear cruisers (Defense Daily, May 4). But the results of additional studies won't change the long-term benefits of buying nuclear ships, Bartlett argued. Lawmakers need to weigh in on the decision while they still have a chance, because the Navy is in the process of locking in the design for the next cruisers, Bartlett said. "We won't have another chance for 30 years," he said, because the service is buying 30 years worth of cruisers. "It will be increasingly more difficult to talk about this in the future, because they will have their design more locked in, and it will cost more to change. So this is the right time." Taylor agreed, saying that he learned the hard way on the DDG-1000 program that once the Navy blesses a design, the service will argue that changing the propulsion system would lead to a delay. Return to Index Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), who leads the Senate Armed Services seapower panel, said last week he was prepared to talk with Taylor about the issue but did not have a comment on the topic right now. "What I've done to date has me moving in another direction, but I haven't talked to [Taylor]," Kennedy said. 24. Building A Better BMD Admiral Seeks An Expanded Upgrade For Anti-Missile Ships (NAVY TIMES 04 NOV 07) ... Ben Iannotta North Korea was hot on everyone‟s minds when the Navy decided to rush missile-defense software and interceptors onto 18 of its 84 ships equipped with the Aegis computerized weapon systems. But now, with Iran increasingly on the minds of U.S. strategists, the admiral who runs the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense program for the Missile Defense Agency is asking to expand the upgrade effort — even before the largescale Aegis upgrade planned to start in 2012. “The question right now is: With 18 ships, is that an adequate number? I‟m not sure it is,” said Rear Adm. Alan Hicks, who noted that Navy plans call for basing all but two of the BMD ships in the Pacific. “One of the concerns I have today is that if we had to surge for both a North Korean and Iranian scenario, you would end up taking ships [that would be used for] defense against North Korea. You have to augment the two Atlantic fleet ships to do anything in either the [Persian] Gulf or Mediterranean if there was an Iranian threat.” Hicks approached Adm. Mike Mullen when Mullen was the chief of naval operations about adding more BMD ships to handle simultaneous missile threats from North Korea and Iran. Mullen agreed to a series of discussions as the Navy builds its portion of the 2009 White House budget request. Fifteen of the 18 ships in the current Aegis BMD plan are destroyers, and so the obvious option is to add more cruisers. “Right now, we have three BMD cruisers,” Hicks said. “Will [Navy officials] make a decision to upgrade any more of the cruisers? That‟s what they‟ll be discussing.” So far, Lockheed Martin reports it has completed 16 Aegis BMD ships, with the final two scheduled to be ready by mid-2008. Hicks said the full contingent must be ready for fielding by early 2009. These ships are a stopgap, or “pre-modernization,” measure until Navy and Pentagon officials decide how to incorporate ballistic missile defense into the massive Aegis modernization program scheduled to start in 2012. At that time, all 62 destroyers and 22 cruisers in the Aegis fleet will begin rotating into port for 40-week computer modernization programs. How many of those modernized ships will be equipped to fire missile interceptors is another topic for talks, Hicks said. Under the pre-modernization program, the initial 18 ships will retain their original computers, which were built to military specifications exclusively for the Aegis program. New processors and software will be added to modify the core combat system, including the weapon control system and visual displays. Lockheed Martin calls this system the Aegis BMD 3.6 Weapons System. A new system, Aegis BMD 4.0.1, is scheduled to be ready by 2010. The Aegis BMD system “focuses the radar and takes energy waveforms from the radar in such a way that it more effectively uses the SPY radar to do optical space tracking,” Hicks said. The work will not, however, amount to a complete modernization. “The 18 ships are kind of in a hybrid configuration with some mil-standard equipment in the computing infrastructure, and then some adjunct processors,” said Jim Sheridan, the director of Aegis programs at Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors. Rewiring the Aegis ships By contrast, the 2012 modernization program will update the entire Aegis fleet with commercial, off-the-shelf computers, which can be updated more easily. The modernized ships will be capable of receiving the newest missile defense system. The Navy must decide how many of the modernized ships should carry the systems and how many should continue to focus primarily on anti-aircraft warfare. “Think of it along the lines as you‟ve got an older home, but you want to put a Viking range in,” Sheridan said. “You‟ve got to rewire your home. That‟s what this modernization does.” In developing Aegis BMD, Lockheed Martin engineers had to figure out how to track objects hurtling on the fringes of space at thousands of kilometers per hour without ruining Aegis‟ ability to see low-flying aircraft or cruise missiles. The fear was that while Aegis was staring off into space, an enemy could sneak low-flying cruise missiles or aircraft under its radar. It proved a balancing act. “There is no free lunch here,” Hicks said. “If you‟re going to use a lot of radar resources, which are finite, for ballistic missile defense, then you‟re going to give up something for air defense. So in this case, what we‟ve tried to do is balance what we need to do with a BMD mission while retaining a robust air-defense capability.” Missile defense officials know that in the real world, warheads are likely to come in messy clouds of rocket debris and decoys such as balloons and chaff. The trick for Aegis BMD will be to find the warhead and destroy it. Lockheed Martin officials are working on an improved computer, called the BMD Signal Processor. Starting in 2010, the new processor could help the Aegis ships do a better job of discriminating targets. “I don‟t want to get into too much detail, but it essentially improves the resolution of the radar, the ability to see two objects very close together,” said Nick Bucci, Lockheed Martin‟s director of Aegis BMD development programs. “It Return to Index can better tell which object is which in a missile complex.“ 25. Below The Sea (DEFENSE DAILY 05 NOV 07) Submarines are an important part of the maritime strategy, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, commander Fleet Forces Command, tells attendees at the 25th Naval Submarine League expo in McLean, Va. "The capabilities that the sub community brings are right in line with those that evolve the character of the Navy and the character of this maritime strategy. Undersea domain awareness and undersea warfare are very important elements of it," he adds. Greenert notes that submarines Return to Index remain the best, and right now, the only anti-access platform. "If you go out and look at a major command operation and say what are the COCOMs shortfalls, what are the capabilities we are looking for in the future, it's access...it's capacity of our SOF, and capacity for strike and to have a mobile command and control platform. All of those are right there in the SSGN. We've got a great great contribution from the sub community." 26. On Cost, On Schedule, On The Way (DEFENSE DAILY 05 NOV 07) The four converted Ohio-class guided missile submarines (SSGN) achieved their IOC Nov. 1. The lead boat in the new class, the USS Ohio (SSGN-726), has been deployed, the Navy says. PEO Submarines Rear Adm. William Hilarides says the 2002 Milestone C cost estimate for RDT&E and procurement was $4.052 billion, and the current estimate is $4.095 billion. "Delivering four SSGNs within one percent of Return to Index budget and on time within a month per ship gives us credibility with Congress and the American people," Hilarides adds. "With both the SSGN Conversion Program and the Virginia-class Cost Reduction Program, I think that we have gone a long way in proving that we can meet our execution goals." BASES / NAVY COMMUNITIES: 27. Walter Reed Move To Double Patient And Traffic Load (WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL 2 NOV 07) ... Vandana Sinha If designs by the Navy are carried out as planned, the Bethesda merger of the National Naval and Walter Reed Army medical centers will bring 690,000 square feet of new construction, add at least two new parking garages -- and handle double the number of patients currently treated at the Rockville Pike campus. At the same time, employees and patients who use the new facilities, not to mention nearby residents, will have to contend with the current traffic-carrying capacity of Wisconsin Avenue and four of Montgomery County's busiest intersections. "There's already significant congestion on Wisconsin," said Ollie Oliveria, a program manager for Navy Medicine in the National Capital Area. "Our addition is going to obviously further exacerbate the problem. But we are working with the county and local officials to see what options are available to us." In four years, the merger of the two military hospitals is expected to see more than 1 million new or renovated square feet of space in an expansion estimated to cost upwards of $1 billion. In preliminary concept designs for the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the product of the federal Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) process, the Navy is calling for 261,000 square feet in hospital renovations and 690,000 square feet in new construction of inpatient and outpatient towers. The initial concept design is just that -- initial. BRAC officials are planning for further campus adjustments, including at least two parking garages and additional administrative and rehab space, as portions of Walter Reed Army Medical Center pack up from its current location in the District to move in with the National Naval Medical Center at the latter's 243-acre home by 2011. The new Bethesda campus blueprint is designed to handle double the Naval hospital's 435,000 annual patients and almost a third more of its 7,700 total head count. The Navy's plans come at the same time as nearby Suburban Hospital continues its own $135 million quest to grow, to meet the area's medical needs. Oliveria said road improvement options the Navy is exploring with county officials range from adding a turn lane on Wisconsin Avenue, to giving the campus its own Beltway exit ramp, to changing campus exit and entranceways. After delays in June and September, the Navy Department said it's still finalizing its master and transportation plans, and their effects on surrounding traffic -- key ingredients for the transformed campus to win final regulatory approval. "The Navy has worked very hard to work with affected agencies," said David Levy, director of the urban design and planning review division of the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), the federal government's central planning agency. For now, BRAC officials on Sept. 27 won NCPC approval for initial hospital renovations that bump up its bed count from 219 to roughly 345, turning them into private rooms. The NCPC also gave the nod to a four-story, 157,000square-foot addition for more inpatient space, as well as a new six-story, 533,000-square-foot outpatient building. They will flank the campus' flagship building, a 20-story tower built during Franklin Roosevelt's era. In addition, BRAC officials are planning, but have yet to receive initial approval, for at least two new parking garages totaling 1,700 spaces -- one a nine-story structure for patients and the other an eight-story structure for staff. They hope to build in a third garage, hiking their new space capacity up to 2,300. They said the campus will also need another severalthousand square feet worth of new administrative, as well as fitness and rehab, space. All of that is expected to nearly double the original $500 million cost estimate. They hope to win final approval by next spring, followed by shovels hitting dirt in the summer. Construction must finish in 2010 in time for the 2,500 additional staffers and average 2,500 daily patient load expected to change their District addresses to Bethesda. And neighbors will be watching each step to ensure their home addresses aren't harmed in the process. "We need to know what that means on a daily basis," said Ilaya Hopkins, president of the East Bethesda Citizens Association, a group of 1,200 households just south of the Return to Index National Naval Medical Center campus. "The intersections are all already at maximum capacity. There's a lot of cut-through traffic in neighborhoods not build to handle that." Suburban Hospital, which aims to file for a county zoning exception by early next year for its own three-phase campus overhaul through 2020, said it doesn't expect the new Walter Reed campus to affect its initial plans to build a new patient tower, physician office building and parking garage. Big plans The preliminary design plans for the merged hospital include: Renovations to bump up the number of beds from 219 to about 345, which will be private rooms. Construction of a four-story, 157,000-square-foot addition for to serve more inpatients. Construction of a six-story, 533,000-square-foot outpatient building. Two new parking garages totalling 1,700 spaces. Officials also hope to build a third garage at some point to bring the number of spaces up to 2,300. (Not yet approved.) Another several-thousand square feet worth of new administrative offices, as well as fitness and rehab space. (Not yet approved.) NEWS OF INTEREST: 28. Navy Victory Earns Mids A Free Day Academy Lets Students Celebrate Off Campus After Football Team's Win Over Notre Dame (BALTIMORE SUN 05 NOV 07) ... Justin Fenton First-year midshipmen, or plebes, were allowed off campus yesterday, a break from rules that typically keep them in their dorms or at the library on Sundays, and classes today are canceled - all in recognition of the Naval Academy's thrilling football victory over the University of Notre Dame. Such reprieves come at a time when the academy has made headlines for cutting back on Mids' free time, canceling pep rallies and scaling back incentives for attending out-oftown football games. Then again, Saturday's game wasn't just another victory: The Navy football team snapped a 43-game losing streak against the Irish in a triple-overtime shootout in South Bend, Ind., defeating a down-on-its-luck Notre Dame squad and tilting one of the most lopsided rivalries in college sports. After the game, there were parties and celebrations that lasted into the night. But the feeling yesterday in Annapolis was one of quiet pride and relief. At morning Mass at the academy chapel, the chaplain called the win a "miracle," one midshipman said. "You see all the guys and girls walking around, and they're obviously enjoying themselves," said David Uffelman, 54, of Sherwood Forest in Anne Arundel County. "You can tell it's lifted the town." Uffelman was one of the many people milling around downtown Annapolis who were congratulating the midshipmen. He stopped Mike Porcelli and Aaron Rosa, both 18-year-old plebes, for a quick chat about the game as he walked into a City Dock bookstore. "Every place we've gone into, someone has said something," said Porcelli, of New York state. "We definitely haven't come down from our cloud yet." Plebes have free time on Saturdays, but must stay on campus on Sunday to study for a weekly quiz. "We owe this beautiful day to the football team," smiled Michael Smithson, 18, of Durham, N.C. He said he found out about the canceled classes from a passer-by. Ben McNulty, a manager at Middleton Tavern, said downtown businesses have seen a lot fewer midshipmen since new orders were imposed by Vice Admiral Jeffrey L. Fowler to put more emphasis on studying and military preparedness. "We rarely get to see those kids out here, so when we do, it's nice," McNulty said. Fowler said that the day off was not out of step with military policy - plus, the team and campus deserved it. He said football players "demonstrated honor, courage and commitment." "Taking a day off after a significant effort and successful completion of a mission is consistent with what commanding officers do with their crew at sea," said Fowler in a telephone interview. "We are preparing our midshipmen for life in the fleet." Ray Weaver, a spokesman for the city of Annapolis, said officials are planning some type of celebration for this week. Mayor Ellen O. Moyer was in Seattle and had called "several times to make sure we are doing something," Weaver said. "A parade is possible, certainly a proclamation from the mayor's office." That's not to say Annapolis was necessarily out of control yesterday. There were no formal events hosted by alumni associations or the academy to mark the victory. Restaurants reported normal traffic and had turned their attention to food and drink specials to attract NFL fans; apparel store managers said academy jerseys weren't flying off the shelves. The heavy celebrating came Saturday night, when Tecumseh Court was flooded with an estimated 1,000 revelers who threw white streamers and listened to dance music from the campus radio station. The impromptu event was thrown together by two midshipmen on watch duty. Annapolis resident Jack Perry graduated from the academy in 1967 and was a plebe the last time Navy defeated Return to Index Notre Dame, 33-15. Now a sponsor who hosts midshipmen at his home, Perry walked down Main Street with a group of plebes. Said Perry: "There's been a lot of shoulda-been, couldabeen, woulda-beens, so this is great to see." 29. New Number Two? (DEFENSE DAILY 05 NOV 07) Current Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy Marshall Billingslea is rumored to be Navy Secretary Donald Winter's choice to be the next Undersecretary of the Navy. The slot has been vacant since the departure of Dino Aviles in December Return to Index 2006. In May, retired Marine Col. Frank Ryan surfaced as a candidate for the post, but he withdrew his name in September. If nominated for the position, Billingslea would require Senate confirmation. OPINION: 30. My Favorite Menace (NEW YORK TIMES 03 NOV 07) ... Gail Collins The Law of the Sea Treaty has become a hot-button item in the Republican presidential race. “One of the defining issues of our time,” declared Mike Huckabee, who is leading an anti-treaty charge. People, what do you think of when you hear “defining issues of our time?” Middle East? Global warming? Did it ever occur to you there are Americans who would say: “Law of the Sea Treaty?” Americans who are running for president of the United States? Americans who are rapidly moving up in the Iowa polls? This is close to “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” territory. The treaty has been theoretically under consideration in Washington for a quarter of a century. Some might regard it nostalgically, like a 202-page lava lamp. It was approved by the United Nations in 1982, after endless negotiation during which attending Law of the Sea debates was named one of the Ten Most Boring Things To Do in New York. Its intent was to clarify rules for navigation and mining in international waters and set up a system for settling disputes. When it got to Washington, Britney Spears was still a toddler and Rudy Giuliani had a full head of hair. Ronald Reagan rejected it because he was worried about deep sea mining rights — manganese nodule mining to be exact. Happily, that‟s no longer an issue because: a) The United Nations fixed the part Reagan had a problem with. b) Manganese nodules not quite as hot an item as they were when disco ruled. Bill Clinton wanted the treaty, but gave up trying to find 67 votes in the Senate. Nothing much has happened since, except 155 other countries have ratified it, including several that didn‟t exist when it was first passed. The United States, of course, is not the only nation holding back because of wellconsidered reservations. I hear Libya made some excellent points. And our side also includes all the parts of the Axis of Evil we have yet to invade. Huckabee gave a speech to the values voters convention recently in which bashing the Law of the Sea got a roaring response from the social conservatives. This seemed to unnerve the other Republican candidates, most of whom are burdened by a personal history that does not involve quite as big a dose of family values as they might wish. Perhaps they are hoping that having a crazy position on the treaty makes up for one divorce. (Mitt Romney would want it to wipe out one waffle.) I would love to give you all the arguments about the virtues of the Law of the Sea Treaty, but it seems like a cruel thing to do to readers on a Saturday. One problem with the debate is that the earnestness of the proponents is equaled only by their lack of pizazz. (The opponents call the treaty “LOST,” causing many innocent journalists to open their emails in hopes of getting new information on what really killed Mr. Eko in Season Three. The advocates call it “The Law of the Sea Convention.”) While the pros will tell you all about the importance of having a rational system for arbitrating disputes over the Alaskan continental shelf, the cons spin up conspiracy theories about how the International Seabed Authority will force us to give up our cars and cancel the war on terror. Just take my word. The Navy wants the treaty. Greenpeace wants the treaty. The oil and gas industry wants the treaty. George W. Bush wants the treaty. (Look at it this way: he‟s definitely due to be right on something.) The number of people who really care about stopping the treaty is not large. But even if there were only 200, what if 120 of them go to the Iowa caucus? John McCain, who used to support the treaty, recently waved the white flag on a conservative Web site. “I think that we need a Law of the Sea,” he blogged. “I think it‟s important, but I have not frankly looked too carefully at the latest situation as it is, but it would be nice if we had some of the provisions in it. But I do worry a lot about American sovereignty aspects of it, so I would probably vote against it in its present form.” The other candidates have issued statements that seem to reflect an inability to come up with any rational arguments. Rudy Giuliani said he “cannot support the creation of yet another unaccountable international bureaucracy that might infringe on American sovereignty and curtail America‟s freedoms,” and Fred Thompson roused himself long enough to announce that “the efforts of treaty proponents would be better spent reforming an ineffective, unaccountable and corrupt United Nations.” Mitt Romney‟s spokesman just said Mitt has “concerns.” Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee called the treaty “the dumbest thing we‟ve ever done.” Return to Index Pause now to make a list of things we‟ve done that you think might be dumber. 31. The Admiral Crowe I Knew (WASHINGTON POST 03 NOV 07) ... Letter The Oct. 19 obituary by staff writer Patricia Sullivan on Adm. William J. Crowe distorted the respect held by the Navy for this outstanding officer. I speak with considerable authority since I was chief of naval operations during the time that Sullivan incorrectly proclaimed that not only did the Navy not appreciate Adm. Crowe but we openly opposed his selection as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Sullivan wrote that in 1980 the Navy had planned to send Adm. Crowe to London and subsequently force him into retirement. In point of fact, shortly after I chose him to go to London as commander of the U.S. naval forces in Europe, a Return to Index three-star assignment, a situational change made it possible to order him instead to Naples as commander in chief of the Allied forces in Southern Europe, a four-star position. It is patently wrong to assert that "Naval officials, outraged at the interference, fought . . . " against this promotion. Likewise, I had considerable influence with his subsequent assignment as commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, where he gave superior service, leading to his final assignment as chairman of the joint chiefs. --Thomas B. Hayward, Seattle The writer is a retired Navy admiral. 32. If Lt. Murphy Had Been A Cold-Blooded Killer (WALL STREET JOURNAL 05 NOV 07) ... Letter As a former Army officer from Long Island, I was moved by Mark Lasswell's account of how Lt. Michael Murphy won the Medal of Honor and the story of the one Navy SEAL who made it back to tell the story ("Lone Survivor," Oct. 27, editorial page). What struck me was that Lt. Murphy's unit was discovered by three goat herders. If the SEALs executed those herders, Lt. Murphy and his men might have survived. But we Return to Index train officers in morality in the U.S. military. By doing the right thing, Lt. Murphy and 18 other Americans perished. Why didn't the media pick up on this part of the story? Is it because it doesn't fit the assumption that our soldiers are murderous thugs, killing and terrorizing women and children in the night? Rich Bilello, USMA '90, Bay Shore, N.Y.
Pages to are hidden for
"Navy Secretary Proposes Improving Acquisition Process - US "Please download to view full document