Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Monday, August 30, 2021

A Government of Thugs, Acting Thuggish: "China to require foreign vessels to report in ‘territorial waters" The Hindu reports

The Hindu
reports China to require foreign vessels to report in ‘territorial waters

Over $5 trillion trade passes through the South China Sea, and 55% of India’s trade pass through its waters and the Malacca Straits, according to estimates by India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). China claims under a so-called “nine dash line” on its maps most of the South China Sea’s waters, which are disputed by several other countries, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

While it remains unclear how, whether, and where China plans to enforce this new regulation starting Wednesday, the Maritime Safety Administration said in a notice “operators of submersibles, nuclear vessels, ships carrying radioactive materials and ships carrying bulk oil, chemicals, liquefied gas and other toxic and harmful substances are required to report their detailed information upon their visits to Chinese territorial waters,” the Communist Party-run Global Times reported.

There's more to the story, as set out in China's Global Times, a cheesy stalking horse Chinese government propaganda publication, story is here:

Some people connected the regulation to unmanned spy devices that coastal fishermen have captured from time to time.

By mid-April, China has rewarded 91 fishermen living in coastal cities for capturing different types of foreign devices with spying functions since 2016 as the country faces a growing threat to its maritime security.

But the submersibles mentioned in the announcement refer to manned rather than unmanned spy devices, Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Song said that the new announcement showcases China's determination to regulate the foreign vessels' right of use within the country's territorial waters, which should be based on proper identification.

Guess they have a lot to hide in addition to their outright aggression. It seems they are determined to irritate their neighbors and their neighbors' allies.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Saturday Is Old Radio Day: "Three Skeleton Key" from Suspense

Always worth a repeat performance:

On Midrats 29 August 2021 - Episode 602: The US Navy's Unmanned Programs, with CAPT Captain Pete Small, USN

Please join us at 5pm EDT for Midrats Episode 602: The US Navy's Unmanned Programs, with CAPT Captain Pete Small, USN

While a lot of the attention in unmanned systems the last two decades has been in the air, significant developments on and under the surface of the oceans were happening in parallel.

From small mine hunting unmanned surface vessels and the development of the Large Unmanned Surface Vessel above the seas, to unmanned systems the size of lightweight torpedoes to midget submarines below the surface, unmanned maritime systems capabilities are growing each year.

With each incremental advance in engineering automation to autonomous operations, their utility from maritime security to war fighting increases as well.

For the full hour this Sunday to discuss the potential of unmanned platforms will be Captain Pete Small, USN, Program Manager for Unmanned Maritime Systems (PMS 406) in PEO Unmanned and Small Combatants.

A submariner by trade, CAPT Small has led PMS 406 since 2018 after multiple tours on submarines at sea, and ashore as an instructor, and leading program management and development.

He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia as well as earning a Master of Science Degree in Operations Research in 2002 from Columbia University and a Master of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Naval Engineer Degree in 2005 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

If you use Apple Podcasts, and miss the show live, you can pick up this episode and others and add Midrats to your podcast list simply by going to here. Or on Spreaker. Or on Spotify.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Some Amusing History

The news these days is dreary enough.  It is worth looking into history for some wit. Here, from the pen of a long ago governor of Georgia (and a distant relative), George R. Gilmer, in his book, Sketches of Some of the First Settlers of Upper Georgia, of the Cherokees, and the Author (1855), a description of the presence of George Washington and how it affected the famed General "Light Horse" Harry Lee, father of Robert E. Lee. The discussion reports a tale told by Robert Grattan.

He (Grattan) commanded a splendid company of cavalry against the whiskey insurgents of Pennsylvania. His intercourse with General Washington during the time, made the strongest impression upon his excitable nature.

One of the incidents of this service which he used to tell, was of a bet made by Harry Lee, the most impudent of men, that he could tap General Washington on the shoulder, look him in the face, and ask him an impertinent question. How when General Lee went up to the side of General Washington, then standing on the parade ground directing the movements of the army, and placed his hand familiarly on the general’s arm, the great chief turned upon him his stern commanding look, until Lee shrunk away, and paid his bet—the only kind of debts he ever paid.

Perfect tale of the majesty of Washington and a couple of slaps against Harry Lee, who did, indeed leave his family in great debt when he died.

Whiskey Rebellion

Friday, August 13, 2021

Intermittent Posting

Everything is good, just on a project for a few days.

“The problem isn't that Johnny can't read. The problem isn't even that Johnny can't think. The problem is that Johnny doesn't know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.”
― Thomas Sowell

Friday Film: Damage Control - "Basic Shipboard Firefighting (1960)

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Project Overmatch

From National Defense magazine comes "Navy Dedicates More Resources To Secretive Project Overmatch" with this buzzword filled quote:
Project Overmatch “is a seamless network that will leverage demonstrated progress in command-and-control in all domains and facilitate the manned-unmanned teaming of the future that would be required for future warfare,” said Frederick Stefany, acting assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition.

Hmmm. I am always concerned when a project isn't explainable in simple terms - I would have said, "We want to be able to make all our toys war-fighting things play well together when needed."

Perhaps this discussion with RADM Doug Small presented by CSIS and the US Naval Institute helps clarify matters with this project:

Saturday, August 07, 2021

Saturday Is Old Radio Day - Suspense "The Kettler Method" (1942)

On Midrats 8 August 2021 - Episode 600: Shipping in the time of COVID with Sal Mercogliano

Please join us at 5pm EDT on 8 August 2021 for Midrats Episode 600: Shipping in the time of COVID

Shipping rates, supply bottlenecks, and some nightmare abandonment stories for some mariners, like everything else on our water plant, COVID-19 impacted our shipping industry hard at sea and ashore. The impacts of which rippled in to everything.

As economies, nations, and corporations adjust to the new reality, what trends can the consumer and maritime professional expect?

It’s time to catch up with returning guest, Salvatore Mercogliano.

Sal sailed with MSC from 1989 to 1992, and worked MSC HQ as Operations Officer for the Afloat Prepositioning Force 1992-1996. He has a BS Marine Transportation from SUNY Maritime College, a MA Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology from East Carolina University, and received his Ph.D. in Military and Naval History from University of Alabama. He is the chair if the Dept of History, Criminal Justice & Political Science at Campbell University. He was awarded 2nd place in the 2019 CNO History Essay Contest with his submission, "Suppose There Was a War and the Merchant Marine Didn't Come."

If you use Apple Podcasts, and miss the show live, you can pick up this episode and others and add Midrats to your podcast list simply by going to here. Or on Spreaker. Or on Spotify.

Monday, August 02, 2021

U.S. Navy Office of Naval Intelligence Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) for 30 June - 28 July 2021

U.S. Navy Office of Naval I... by lawofsea

On Midrats 1 August 2021- Episode 599: American Generalship in the Long War, with Gray Connolly

A pre-recorded show due to the time difference between Australia and the U.S. Midrats Episode 599: American Generalship in the Long War, with Gray Connolly

For coming up on two decades, the United States military has been engaged - if you want to call it by the medal they give everyone for it - a Global War on Terrorism.As we have invested two decades, trillions of dollars, and thousands dead across the globe in response to the attacks of September, 2001 - our best friends have been with us.They do this of their own free will, and share the good fortune and bad with us in our contact of the war.

Today’s Midrats is a wide ranging discussion on the history, theory, and application of American leadership with our guest, Gray Connolly.

Gray Connolly (Graham Alfred Frederick Connolly) is an Honors graduate in Arts and Law from the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales. He is a graduate of the Royal Australian Naval College and holds the Queen's Commission in the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Australian Navy [Naval Intelligence]. Gray has served on operational Naval Intelligence deployments at sea and ashore in the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, East Timor, and the Middle East.

Gray served as a Naval Intelligence officer in the Iraq War (two deployments) and in the Afghanistan War.

These days, Gray is a Barrister in Sir Edmund Barton Chambers in Sydney. He has advised and represented the State of New South Wales and the Australian Government, including in national security matters. Gray was before that a Judge’s Associate in both the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia. Gray lectures in Australian Constitutional Law.Gray is a frequent panelist for ABC radio and television, and he has been published in various newspapers and journals. Gray is married, has had basset hounds named Churchill, and is a life-long supporter of the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Richmond Football Club. He still plays football/soccer and is a plodding midfielder.

Listen to "Episode 599: American Generalship in the Long War, with Gray Connolly" on Spreaker.