Tuesday, November 30, 2021
U.S. Navy Office of Naval Intelligence Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) Report, 27 October - 24 November 2021
Sunday, November 28, 2021
Gene Klebe; 1965
One of the interesting aspects of the Vietnam War was the substantial naval effort to stop the sea transport of arms and other material to enemy forces in South Vietnam. This effort include aircrat, naval and Coast Guard vessels. As set out in Operation Market Time it was largely successful in cutting off the supply from the sea.
The Navy established Operation Market Time (March 1965-1972) to prevent North Vietnamese ships from supplying enemy forces in South Vietnam by sea. The Coastal Surveillance Force (Task Force 115) used a system of three barriers to patrol the South Vietnamese coast. Patrol aircraft covered the outermost barrier to identify, photograph, and report suspicious vessels and U.S. Coast Guard cutters stopped and searched cargo vessels in the middle barrier forty miles off the coast. The South Vietnamese Navy, the Junk Force, and U.S. Navy Patrol Craft Fast (PCF( Swift boats cruised the coastal waters of the inner barriers. By 1968, these forces stopped virtually all seaborne infiltration from North Vietnam to South Vietnam. The blockade forced the North Vietnamese to rely on the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville to transport supplies to the Viet Cong.
A longer history and analysis of Market Time can be found at the U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command here in a paper prepared by Judith C. Erdheim of the Center for Naval Analysis in 1975. That report follows below.
And a look at the U.S. Coast Guard involvement:
Update2: A 1970 fight between Market Time wooden hulled U.S. Navy minesweeper USS Endurance (MSO-435) and a metal hulled NV trawler in the "Sea Battle off the Cua Co Chien River" as depicted by Richard DeRosset as used in part as the cover illustration for David Bruhn's Wooden Ships and Iron Men: The U.S. Navy's Ocean Minesweepers, 1953–1994:
Saturday, November 27, 2021
Friday, November 26, 2021
Thursday, November 25, 2021
While our kids are spread from coast to coast and in between, we have one of ours and his family on their way down to share dinner with us. My daughter-in-law's brother and his wife will join us, too.
No one deployed.
All adults and grandchildren healthy.
We have so very much for which to be thankful.
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
U.S. Navy Office of Naval Intelligence Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) Report, 20 October - 17 November 2021
Sunday, November 21, 2021
If you are even remotely connected to the US Navy you have directly or indirectly been impacted by the "Fat Leonard" scandal.
A husbanding agent who used every tool in a very old book - greed, sex, power, influence, and envy - managed to have have naval officers and high ranking law enforcement officers become party to his drive for wealth and influence.
One of the best places to find the details of the scandal and to hear from Leonard Glenn Frances himself, is in "The Fat Leonard Podcast."
Our guest today will be the podcast's creator, Tom Wright, the coauthor of Billion Dollar Whale and the cofounder of Project Brazen, a journalism-focused production studio.
Tom worked for the Wall Street Journal for over twenty years. He’s a Pulitzer finalist and has won numerous journalism awards, including the Gerald Loeb award for international reporting. In 2020, Stanford University honored Tom with its Shorenstein award in recognition of his services to journalism in Asia.
More of interest on Alliance here
The year 1779 opens with the departure of the Alliance, 32, for France. It has already been stated that the command of this ship had been given to a Captain Landais, who was said to be a French officer of gallantry and merit. Unfortunately the prejudices of the seamen did not answer to the complaisance of the Marine Committee in this respect, and it was found difficult to obtain a crew willing to enlist under a French captain. When General Lafayette reached Boston near the close of 1778, in order to embark in the Alliance, it was found that the frigate was not yet manned. Desirous of rendering themselves useful to their illustrious guest, the government of Massachusetts offered to complete the ship's complement by impressment, an expedient that had been adopted on more than one occasion during the war ; but the just-minded and benevolent Lafayette would not consent to the measure. Anxious to sail, however, for he was entrusted with important interests, recourse was had to a plan to man the ship, which, if less objectionable on the score of principle, was scarcely less so in every other point of view.
The Somerset 64, had been wrecked on the coast of New England, and part of her crew had found their way to Boston. By accepting the proffered services of these men, those of some volunteers from among the prisoners, and those of a few French seamen that were also found in Boston after the departure of their fleet, a motley number was raised in sufficient time to enable the ship to sail on the 11th of January. With this incomplete and mixed crew, Lafayette trusted himself on the ocean, and the result was near justifying the worst forebodings that so ill-advised a measure could have suggested.
After a tempestuous passage, the Alliance got within two days' run of the English coast, when her officers and passengers, of the latter of whom there were many besides General Lafayette and his suite, received the startling information that a conspiracy existed among the English portion of the crew, some seventy or eighty men in all, to kill the officers, seize the vessel, and carry the frigate into England. With a view to encourage such acts of mutiny, the British Parliament had passed a law to reward all those crews that should run away with American ships ; and this temptation was too strong for men whose service, however voluntary it might be in appearances, was probably reluctant, and which had been compelled by circumstances, if not by direct coercion.
The plot, however, was betrayed, and by the spirited conduct of the officers and passengers, the ringleaders were arrested.
On reaching Brest, the mutineers were placed in a French gaol, and after some delay, were exchanged as prisoners of war, without any other punishment; the noble-minded Lafayette, in particular, feeling averse to treating foreigners as it would have been a duty to treat natives under similar circumstances.
Friday, November 19, 2021
Thursday, November 18, 2021
U.S. Navy Office of Naval Intelligence Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) Report, 13 October - 10 November 2021
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
CDR Salamander pointed this video out, so full credit to him, but it's too important not to put up here, too:
LTG McMasters expresses a large amount of hard-won knowledge. Falling in love with theory instead of dealing with reality is a path to ruination.
For a further look at this, you might want to listen to our Midrats show about the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan: Listen to "Episode 607: The NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan - Hopes & Lessons" on Spreaker.
Saturday, November 13, 2021
I don't practice law anymore, but every now and then I read a court ruling for some reason or another. It's not often that such a ruling is as interesting and readable as the one you can find here, portions of which are pasted below, without footnote numbers and with emphasis added.
Not many punches pulled in this one:
Many of the petitioners are covered private employers within the geographical boundaries of this circuit. Their standing to sue is obvious— the Mandate imposes a financial burden upon them by deputizing their participation in OSHA’s regulatory scheme, exposes them to severe financial risk if they refuse or fail to comply, and threatens to decimate their workforces (and business prospects) by forcing unwilling employees to take their shots, take their tests, or hit the road.
We begin by stating the obvious. The Occupational Safety and Health Act, which created OSHA, was enacted by Congress to assure Americans “safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources.” See 29 U.S.C. § 651 (statement of findings and declaration of purpose and policy). It was not—and likely could not be, under the Commerce Clause and nondelegation doctrine—intended to authorize a workplace safety administration in the deep recesses of the federal bureaucracy to make sweeping pronouncements on matters of public health affecting every member of society in the profoundest of ways. ....
On the dubious assumption that the Mandate does pass constitutional muster—which we need not decide today—it is nonetheless fatally flawed on its own terms. Indeed, the Mandate’s strained prescriptions combine to make it the rare government pronouncement that is both overinclusive (applying to employers and employees in virtually all industries and workplaces in America, with little attempt to account for the obvious differences between the risks facing, say, a security guard on a lonely night shift, and a meatpacker working shoulder to shoulder in a cramped warehouse) and underinclusive (purporting to save employees with 99 or more coworkers from a “grave danger” in the workplace, while making no attempt to shield employees with 98 or fewer coworkers from the very same threat). The Mandate’s stated impetus—a purported “emergency” that the entire globe has now endured for nearly two years, and which OSHA itself spent nearly two months responding to11—is unavailing as well. And its promulgation grossly exceeds OSHA’s statutory authority.</p>
After the President voiced his displeasure with the country’s vaccination rate in September, the Administration pored over the U.S. Code in search of authority, or a “work-around,” for imposing a national vaccine mandate. The vehicle it landed on was an OSHA ETS. The statute empowering OSHA allows OSHA to bypass typical notice-and-comment proceedings for six months by providing “for an emergency temporary standard to take immediate effect upon publication in the Federal Register” if it “determines (A) that employees are exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards, and (B) that such emergency standard is necessary to protect employees from such danger.” 29 U.S.C. § 655(c)(1).
As the name suggests, emergency temporary standards “are an ‘unusual response’ to ‘exceptional circumstances.’” Int’l Chem. Workers, 830 F.2d at 371 (quoting Pub. Citizen Health Rsch. Grp. v. Auchter, 702 F.2d 1150, 1155 (D.C. Cir. 1983)). Thus, courts have uniformly observed that OSHA’s authority to establish emergency temporary standards under § 655(c) “is an ‘extraordinary power’ that is to be ‘delicately exercised’ in only certain ‘limited situations.’” Id. at 370 (quoting Pub. Citizen, 702 F.2d at 1155).
But the Mandate at issue here is anything but a “delicate exercise” of this “extraordinary power.” Cf. Pub. Citizen, 702 F.2d at 1155. Quite the opposite, rather than a delicately handled scalpel, the Mandate is a one-size fits-all sledgehammer that makes hardly any attempt to account for differences in workplaces (and workers) that have more than a little bearing on workers’ varying degrees of susceptibility to the supposedly “grave danger” the Mandate purports to address.***
We next consider the necessity of the Mandate. The Mandate is staggeringly overbroad. Applying to 2 out of 3 private-sector employees in America, in workplaces as diverse as the country itself, the Mandate fails to consider what is perhaps the most salient fact of all: the ongoing threat of COVID-19 is more dangerous to some employees than to other employees. All else equal, a 28 year-old trucker spending the bulk of his workday in the solitude of his cab is simply less vulnerable to COVID-19 than a 62 year-old prison janitor. Likewise, a naturally immune unvaccinated worker is presumably at less risk than an unvaccinated worker who has never had the virus. The list goes on, but one constant remains—the Mandate fails almost completely to address, or even respond to, much of this reality and common sense.
Please join us at 5pm EST on 14 November 2021 for Midrats Episode 608: Time for a Maritime Department?
All you need to do is look at a map to tell that we are a maritime nation. A strong Navy is only part of being a maritime power. As everyone is starting to appreciate as they look at empty shelves, rising prices, and fleets of merchant ships waiting for their turn off overburdened ports - the other side of a maritime power can impact everyone's quality of life overnight.
If most Americans knew the relative weakness - and in areas complete absence - of America in the maritime trade that keeps up employed, fed, and secure, they would probably have a mild panic attack.
Is part of the problem simply that we lack a national focus? Could a solution be to establish a cabinet-level Maritime Department with a mission of integrating applications of national power to ensure maritime security and prosperity?
Making a return to visit, our guest for the full hour will be Lieutenant Commander Jimmy Drennan, U.S. Navy, and we'll use his recent article, Beyond Defense: America's Past and Future Interests at Sea" as a starting point for a broad ranging discussion.
Jimmy is a surface warfare officer and the soon to be outgoing president of the Center for International Maritime Security - a topic we may discuss as well.
Friday, November 12, 2021
Thursday, November 11, 2021
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Monday, November 08, 2021
U.S. Navy Office of Naval Intelligence Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) Report, 6 October - 3 November 2021
Sunday, November 07, 2021
Oddly enough, no mention of CDR Ernest E. Evans, Medal of Honor awardee, so here's a link to the story of Commander Ernest E. Evans of Johnston (DD-557).
On Midrats 7 November 2021 - Episode 607: The NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan - Hopes & Lessons
Please join us at 5pm EST for Midrats Episode 607: The NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan - Hopes & Lessons
In what history will show was a failed effort, for almost two decades, the most advanced military and police forces in the West tried to build a security force for the people of Afghanistan, an effort that took off with great urgency towards the end of the first decade of the conflict. A cornerstone of that effort was NATO Training Mission–Afghanistan (NTM-A).
Our guests to discuss this effort and what lessons it holds for the future will be Dr. Martin Loicano and Dr. Craig C. “C. C.” Felker. Using extensive research and two combined years in Afghanistan, they've documented the 2009-2010 effort in their book, No Moment of Victory: the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan from 2009-2011.
Dr. Loicano served as chief historian, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). In that capacity, he advised the SHAPE commander and also was part of the SHAPE Strategic Planning Group. Previously, he was an associate professor in the Department of Strategy at the Air War College (AWC). Prior to joining the AWC faculty, Dr. Loicano served with the NATO Training Mission–Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012. He holds a PhD in history from Cornell University, specializing in Cold War conflicts, Southeast Asia, and China.
Dr. Felker is a retired Navy captain and author of Testing American Sea Power: U.S. Navy Strategic Exercises, 1923–1940. He received his PhD from Duke University in 2004 and afterward served as a permanent military professor in the History Department of the United States Naval Academy, chairing the department from 2014 to 2016. He is currently the executive director of the Society for Military History.