Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Our great U.S. Postal Service at wurk....

I posted both these articles on my blog yesterday....thought that some a y'all out there might this interestin.......

Now Sir....below y'all are gonna find a montage Commemoration Gallery for sale by the United States Postal Service. It is supposed to honor and remember the various branches of the Navy....HOWEVER...a sharp eyed "bubblehead" (Submariner) noticed that the submarine pictured in the lower right of this $29.95 Commemorative ( on sale at yur local PO )...is...in fact...a fucking SOUTH KOREAN Submarine. Way to go Post Office...way to go. It's nice to know our tax dollars are so spent well.....

This below picture is taken from a Research Library Center regarding Submarines of the world...and this is a "Chang Bogo"...Type 209/1200...Republic of South Korea (ROK)...NOTICE the picture in the montage is the same as this research photograph...

Y'all can check this out at... NTI: Submarine: South Korea Capabilities

...The later that day, 28 Nov, 06....I posted this....

Duz ANYONE at the U. S. Postal Service know WTF they are doing...???

Yesterday, I posted the below post regarding how the United States Postal Service published a Commemorative Gallery about the United States Navy...and in this publication...used...can you believe it...a freakin SOUTH KOREAN SUBMARINE!!

Now at the time of my posting...I didn't know who the astute bubblehead (Submariner fer all you land-lubbers) was that made this discovery...but I have since received communications from him and his name is John (Jack) Sandy. Great catch Jack...great catch!

Jack informed me that he notified the U.S.Postal Service regarding this immensely gross and insulting error. Here are copies of the response he received from the Postal Service....beginning with his initial communique....

Customer (JOHN SANDY) - 11/27/2006 08:50 AM

The US Navy "Postmark Gallery" (custom framed) has a photo in the lower right corner in the photo montage of a submarine that is supposed to be a US Navy submarine. It is NOT. After some research I have identifed it as a South Korean (Republic of Korea) submarine. It is a Type 209/1200 that was designed in Germany. Can somebody at the USPS please tell me how this error occured and what will be done to correct it?

...and this is the response he received from some airhead that completely misunderstood his E-Mail....

Response (Pam B.) - 11/27/2006 04:09 PM

Thank you for contacting us about the US Navy Submarine stamps from 2000. I understand that there is an error on the stamp. I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Almost all subjects chosen to appear on U.S. stamps and postal stationery are suggested by the public. Each year, Americans submit proposals to the Postal Service on literally thousands of different topics. Every stamp suggestion is considered, regardless of who makes it or how it is presented.

The five U.S. Navy Submarines stamp designs depict different periods in submarine technology. The U.S. Navy Submarines stamps were illustrated by Jim Griffiths of Glenview, Ill. Carl Herrman of Carlsbad, Calif., was art director.

If I can be of assistance to you in the future, please don't hesitate to contact me. Thank you for choosing the United States Postal Service®.


Pam B.

...er...ah...excuse me Pam...but if you actually take the time to read Mr. Sandy's E-mail...you might just notice that ...HE DOESN'T MENTION THE WORD STAMP!! He wrote about the "Postmark Gallery"...which is a montage of branches of the United States Navy.....not the ROK Navy ( that's the Republic of Korea to you Pam).

If anyone out there readin this knows someone in the Postal Service who has a modicum of knowledge about what they are doing...PLEASE let them know about this error....

Posted by Cookie....

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Update On JDS Asashio

Cross-posted from The Stupid Shall Be Punished:

The Japanese training submarine JDS Asashio, which collided with a Panamanian-flagged chemical tanker yesterday, has pulled into port for inspection. From the linked article:
The Asashio was cruising submerged with its periscope up when the crew felt a shock. It made contact with the tanker at around 9:49 a.m. Because the sub crew did not immediately realize the cause of the impact, it maintained course, the MSDF officials said.
According to the Japan Coast Guard, the tanker also kept to its course, unaware that the impact it felt came from a submarine.
Later in the day, the tanker arrived at Shibushi port in Kagoshima Prefecture to undergo an inspection, and the Asashio arrived at Aburatsu port, as instructed by Japan Coast Guard, for questioning, the MSDF said.
The article also has a picture of the sub's damaged rudder; I wouldn't want to submerge in that thing until it gets fixed:

(Note for non-submariners: The rudder is supposed to be vertical.)

Staying at PD...

Welcome Home!

[Crossposted from Unconsidered Trifles]. Welcome home to my old boat, the USS ALBANY (SSN 753):
NORFOLK -- The USS Albany, a Norfolk-based fast attack submarine, is returning home Monday after a six-month deployment in the Atlantic and Caribbean.

In addition to working with the U.S. European and Southern Commands, which oversee operations in Europe, part of Africa and South Americas, the crew made port calls to Rota, Spain, Port Canaveral and Kings Bay.

The Albany, a 360-foot sub that can travel more than 25 knots, can support special forces operations, launch strikes close to shore and perform underwater security.
Such an interesting deployment compared to my experiences "up North," though I did of course go to AUTEC in the Bahamas a few times.

Indeed, one of the best sea stories I have is how we were about to play "rabbit" for the JFK group when we pulled into Roosevelt Roads, PR. A couple of my fellow JO's got the bright idea to play a trick on the JFK air wing.

Dressed in uniform one evening, they borrowed a DOD van, flashed credentials at the gate of the air base, then made a beeline for the JFK air wing. Anytime they saw a P-3, S-3, or other ASW aircraft, they gave a sporty new USS ALBANY (SSN 753) sticker.

So we go to sea and start to play "rabbit" for the battle group--only to realize (very quickly!) that the JFK's aircraft are all over us. We couldn't come to PD without having to call "Emergency Deep" from aircraft screeching directly overhead. The CO was convinced that they were cheating somehow, but couldn't explain why they would be motivated to do so.

We could. And my shipmates explained their prank. The CO took it well and wasn't mad...I think he even chuckled.

Anybody have good sea stories &/or strong opinions about their Caribbean / South American deployments?

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Chinese Subs are Coming!

Reaction to the Bill Gertz story on a Chinese submarine intrusion comes with degree of bias from Submarine Bloggers and others in our community. Was the Intrusion into the Kitty Hawk battle group really a big deal? Does Bill Gertz have a lack of knowledge in current US Navy and submarine operating strategies to sound a alarm? I guess it all depends on your reference point. Bill Gertz has been the modern day Paul Revere on China’s military preparedness for some time now. With the release of his book The China Threat, he laid out a potential plot for Communist China’s ability to threaten the United States with military force. Presently, China’s ability to confront America’s Naval superiority would result in severe devastation to the PLA Navy. But how long will this superiority last? I think that is more of the point of were Gertz is going with his recent article.

China has a shared power structure between its military and its communist although very capitalist minded civilian government. They exist in a harmony that encourages the growth of both of their agendas. China’s one way trade policies with the U.S. have not only encouraged a economic benefit for both countries, but have also given the Chinese a unprecedented access to U.S. technologies. Because of this, China’s military spy net is now vast and has been cast into all levels of our society.

Chinese spies had open door to Oval Office
China spies and war games
Revving Up the China Threat
FBI sees big threat from Chinese spies
Four arrests linked to Chinese spy ring

Our open trade policies with China which translates to low priced goods for American consumers has made it easy for China to set up illegitimate companies or fronts for covert operations. China has also benefited from our off the shelf technology in computers, networks and communications. The U.S. has been the leader in the development and use of these advanced technologies which have both civilian and military uses. Couple this with the examples above and its safe to say that China is doing their home work and preparing for something. Ex-operatives from the Soviet Union only wish they had it this good during the Cold War.

(Cross Posted from TheSubReport.com Blog) Click here for the rest of the Story.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Wahoo found!

(Crossposted at The Online Magazine Formerly Known As Rob's Blog)

Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet declared Oct. 31 that the sunken submarine recently discovered by divers in the Western Pacific is, indeed, the World War II submarine USS Wahoo (SS 238).

Skippered by one of the submarine force's icons, one of it's greatest heroes, and for five patrols XO'ed by another submarine great, the Wahoo's loss has been a mystery for over six decades. Now the mystery is no more...Wahoo, commanded by the famous CDR "Mush" Morton, has been found in the La Perouse Strait near Japan.

I have read a lot about Wahoo, given my personal interest in her former XO (and later CO of Tang), the late RADM Richard O'Kane. O'Kane and Morton in Wahoo revolutionized submarine warfare at the outset of the war in the Pacific, turning their backs on peacetime tactics that were of little use against the Japanese and rewriting the book on tactics almost by the seat of their pants. That Morton's records for sunken enemy shipping were topped only by O'Kane's in Tang says volumes about Wahoo's legacy. Few names are so recognizable to sailors wearing dolphins as "Morton", "O'Kane", and "Wahoo".

During Wahoo’s rare foray in the Sea of Japan, Morton reportedly sunk at least four Japanese ships. For the patrol, Morton was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross – his fourth.

Morton is credited with sinking 19 ships totaling nearly 55,000 tons during his four patrols in command of Wahoo; his total was second only to his own executive officer, Richard H. O’Kane. Retired Rear Adm. O’Kane went on to command USS Tang (SS 306) and to receive the Medal of Honor.

Let's all raise another salute this Veteran's Day to the men of Wahoo, on Eternal Patrol but lost no more.

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Veteran's Day

(Crossposted at The Online Magazine Formerly Known As Rob's Blog)

Today we commemorate Veteran's Day (though the actual date of Veteran's Day is tomorrow, 11/11). The U.S. Marine Corps also celebrates it's birthday today, as would Marine Corporal Jason Dunham of Scio, New York. He would have been 25.

Corporal Dunham was involved in a hand-to-hand fight with an occupant of an automobile leaving the scene of an attack on a Marine convoy. The other individual tossed out a grenade, and Corporal Dunham, in an effort to save his fellow Marines, covered the grenade with his helmet and himself. His efforts were successful, as his fellow troops were saved, but Corporal Dunham gave his life in his selfless act.

It's only fitting then that on the day that marks not only his birthday, but the anniversary of the creation of the Marine Corps and the day we set aside to honor veterans, that President Bush posthumously awarded Corporal Jason Dunham, USMC, the Medal Of Honor.

Let's remember not only Corporal Dunham's sacrifice, but the sacrifice of all veterans on this day. Views of various wars and policy decisions aside, our veterans have, for over two centuries, paid a price we can never repay to preserve our freedom.

Let's not forget that.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Searching For The Truth

(Cross-posted from Zero Bubble)

The problem with reading books like Sewell’s Red Star Rogue, Dunham’s Spy Sub and Craven’s The Silent War is that you’re inexplicably drawn into the story of the Soviet Golf II submarine that was lost in 1968 and the subsequent accounts that follow and are left with an increasing amount of questions after each page.

Searching for the truth

Everything that’s written about the Soviet submarine, the submariners that lost their lives, the search and discovery by the HALIBUT and then the infamous Project Jennifer has to be taken in with a healthy dose of skepticism and the eventual acknowledgement that regardless of how badly you may wish for it, the full truth will never be revealed to you.

The details of the actual events that unfolded over the course of seven years and that still reverberate through both the military and intelligence community to this day are blurred by time, disinformation and outright lies. Some people might argue that these lies are necessary in order to preserve national security or the reputations of those involved at higher levels.

But what about the Soviet submariners and their families; what about honoring their sacrifice? And what about the efforts of the U.S. submariners aboard the HALIBUT that found them? Is protecting 40-year-old national security more important than openly honoring these men?

I’m reminded every so often why it’s called the Silent Service when my non-qual puke questions seem to fall off the edge of cyberspace when I post them in the usual forums. When I look at my unanswered post sit idle and eventually fall off the boards, at first I think that maybe no one was interested and that I’d finally found a way to ask a truly stupid question that wasn’t worth answering. Then I realize what it is that I had asked and who I had asked it to. All that crap about OpSec, top secret and need-to-know do actually have meaning. Who wants to be fined or imprisoned because they answered some NQP’s question that was posted on the internet?

They don’t call it the Silent Service for the sheer hell of it, that’s for sure.

But that doesn’t make it any easier to silence the questions that get kicked up from reading about the Soviet missile boat or the SCORPION. Those questions and doubts just seem to hang there, waiting to find a home - kind of like the souls of lost submariners.

I try to quiet my questions and doubts with the half-ass belief that someday, in my lifetime, the truth of Cold War incidents like this will see the light of day. That all of the puzzle pieces will be there, laid out and only waiting to be fitted together by anyone interested enough to care. And with the truth known, those that deserve the recognition will be honored in the way they should and the sailors on Eternal Patrol can at last find peace and return home.

Maybe. Someday.