Deck is green

Deck is green

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Saturday Is Old Radio Day: "Twelve O'Clock High" (1950)

In honor of veterans, a radio version of the classic film Twelve O'Clock High.

Back in the day we used the film to teach principles of leadership - the contrast between the "Theory X" and "Theory Y" styles of motivation, leadership, and management

While the film and this radio adaptation take place in the Air Corps during WWII, the lessons it has to teach apply to much of our lives, in and out of the service.

This film also taught me about my father's WWII experiences flying B-17s over Germany in those infamous daylight raids, which he discussed only on the rarest of occasions.

Thanks, Vets! Proud and humbled to be among your number.

Monday, November 05, 2018

U.S. Navy Office of Naval Intelligence Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) Report 1 - 31 October 2018 and HORN OF AFRICA/GULF OF GUINEA/ SOUTHEAST ASIA: Piracy Analysis and Warning Weekly (PAWW) Report for 25 - 31 October 2018

B. (U) ReCAAP WARNIING 01-10-2018 Date: 30 Oct 2018: The ReCAAP ISC has received information from the
Philippine Focal Point (Philippine Coast Guard) that a group of approximately 10 ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) members armed
with pistol, rifles and grenade launcher is planning to conduct kidnapping activities at any opportune time in undisclosed
areas in Sabah primarily targeting businessmen or ship's crew of foreign vessels passing through the area. They are using
unmarked colored blue and white motorbanca locally known as jungkong. Ship masters and crew are strongly urged to
exercise extra vigilance when transiting the waters off eastern Sabah and Sulu-Celebes Seas.

Issues continue to arise in the Gulf of Guinea, especially off Nigeria, including kidnappings and ship hijackings.

An attempted Somali pirate attack on a merchant ship ended with EU forces seizing and destroying one of the skiffs identified as participating in the attack. See here.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Friday Film: "Air Raid Warning" (WWII)

Except for a few balloon bombs, during WWII the mainland U.S. was not threatened by air attack. However, the failure to black out lights in cities along the East and Gulf coasts helped the U-boats target ship silhouetted by the lights. So blackouts along the coasts mattered greatly and the folks who helped make sure they were effective were the "Air Raid Wardens" - recruited by films like this one.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Somali Pirates: EU Task Force Acts, Destroys Pirate Craft

Pirate whaler seized and destroyed by EU NAVFOR
In the morning of Sunday 28th October 2018, EU NAVFOR military personnel seized an active Pirate Action Group (PAG) whaler and destroyed it. This followed a sustained period of surveillance after a piracy attack was conducted against the Hong Kong-flagged Bulk Carrier KSL Sydney. EU NAVFOR is committed to disrupting PAG’s wherever and whenever the opportunity arises and Sunday 28th October was one such occasion.
. . . EU NAVFOR Spanish Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) flew over the area to gain as much detailed information on suspected pirate activity as they could. The ability to deploy aircraft and ships immediately to this area proved vital in identifying this latest PAG. The information the MPRA provided made it apparent that PAG whalers were active in the area, which would be used to launch further attacks on maritime shipping transiting the area.

The suspicious whaler identified by the MPRA was later tracked down by the crew of ESPS Castilla to a small bay just off the Somali coast. The Force Commander then ordered it to be seized and towed out to sea where it was safely destroyed.

More at EU NAVFOR destruction of pirate vessel: timeline of events
16 Oct 18
During the afternoon; a single skiff approached MV KSL SYDNEY in a fast and aggressive manner from the stern and opened fire at the ship’s bridge.
The skiff approached to within five metres of the vessel’s port rear (beam). The suspected pirates had ropes and hooks ready for boarding.
MV KSL Sydney’s armed security team were activated and engaged the suspected pirates in an exchange of small arms fire; this lasted for approximately two minutes.
After the exchange of fire, the skiff disengaged and fled from the scene.
EU NAVFOR resources were deployed to search for the pirate vessel. Continuous surveillance by naval and air assets was maintained in the area.

17 Oct 18
The following morning, a suspicious whaler and a single skiff were sighted by EU NAVFOR surveillance aircraft around 167Nm off the coastline of Somalia, approximately 130Nm from the scene of the attack on MV KSL Sydney.
In a bid to deter surveillance, the suspected pirates used mirrors to flash EU NAVFOR aircraft. Subsequently, they separated and made off at speed in different directions to avoid being tracked.

17-27 Oct 18
During this period, EU NAVFOR maintained ongoing and continuous surveillance in the area using air and naval assets.

27 Oct 18
The search identified the suspect whaler in an area known to have been associated with pirate activity.
The vessel was seized and, after a thorough search, the whaler was confirmed as being the one EU NAVFOR had tracked on 17 Oct 18.
A decision was made by EU NAVFOR to destroy the vessel to prevent it being used for pirate acts.

Not Going Away: "US airstrikes in the Long War"

The Long War Journal reports on the little known airstrikes in Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, and Libya in US airstrikes in the Long War, which is interesting for many reasons.

So far in 2018, those strikes are reported as:

Somalia    28
Yemen      33
Pakistan    4
Libya        5

Keeping the pressure on the bad actors is a good thing.