Archive for the ‘Navy’ Category

Ex-Marine Murtha (Not former Marine Murtha, EX-Marine Murtha.  In the Marine Corps that’s a significant difference.) was given a citation for his “selfless devotion to the Nation’s Sailors and Marines…”?   Really?  For his devotion to repeatedly claiming on national television that eight United States Marines were cold-blooded killers?

That would be these eight Marines he’s taling about. From the Don’t Honor John Murtha Petition to the Secretary of the Navy:

Eight Marines were originally charged. As of March 17th, 2009 all charges were dropped against six Marines, one was found not guilty on all counts in courts martial. The prosecution has delayed the court martial of the final defendant indefinitely. The original allegations of a massacre and the statements of Congressman Murtha have been thoroughly discredited. Despite the facts, John Murtha refuses to apologize to those he slandered.

Is this citation really about Murtha’s devotion to United States Sailors and Marines?

Sign the Petition. I already did.

12:58 am EST

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Remember the Fallen

241 Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers killed on October 23, 1983 by Islamists in the Beirut barracks bombing.  There’s a reason it’s called the Long War.  (h/t B5)

1:43 pm EST

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The USS McFaul, an Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer, and the first of three United States ships scheduled to arrive this week with humanitarian aid for Georgians, dropped anchor at the Georgian port of Batumi today.  The port of Batumi is 30 miles south of the Russian-occupied port of Poti.  Stay alert guys!

There’s other current information on the conflict at both links.

2:03 pm EST

UPDATE @ 3:13 pm EST:  Instapundit links to a post at Wired’s Danger Room noting the other two ships scheduled to deliver Georgian aid are the USCGC Dallas (WHEC-716) and the USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20).  Rumor is that Polish and Canadian frigates will be escorting the USS Mount Whitney.  Interestingly, Dallas also utilizes helicopters.  In addition, Danger Room notes the Russians have announced that their only aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, is heading to the eastern Mediterranean, and further notes that in 1991 the Kuznetsov illegally transited Turkey’s Bosporus Strait from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.

You can follow information on our humanitarian aid to Georgia at the Headquarters United States European Command website.

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US Navy Seal Mike Monsoor

Today the President of the United States awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, to US Navy Seal Michael Anthony Monsoor. He had previously earned a Silver Star for rescuing another SEAL on May 9, 2006, and was also awarded a Bronze Star for 11 different opertions in Ramadi, Iraq between April and September, 2006. Blackfive has much more information and a wonderful tribute to Monsoor, including two video tributes, a transcript of the President’s remarks at the presentation, and the Medal of Honor citation. These two paragraphs from the President’s remarks are a glimpse of the essence of the hero:

On Saint Michael’s Day — September 29, 2006 — Michael Monsoor would make the ultimate sacrifice. Mike and two teammates had taken position on the outcropping of a rooftop when an insurgent grenade bounced off Mike’s chest and landed on the roof. Mike had a clear chance to escape, but he realized that the other two SEALs did not. In that terrible moment, he had two options — to save himself, or to save his friends. For Mike, this was no choice at all. He threw himself onto the grenade, and absorbed the blast with his body. One of the survivors puts it this way: “Mikey looked death in the face that day and said, ‘You cannot take my brothers. I will go in their stead.'”

Perhaps the greatest tribute to Mike’s life is the way different service members all across the world responded to his death. Army soldiers in Ramadi hosted a memorial service for the valiant man who had fought beside them. Iraqi Army scouts — whom Mike helped train — lowered their flag, and sent it to his parents. Nearly every SEAL on the West Coast turned out for Mike’s funeral in California. As the SEALs filed past the casket, they removed their golden tridents from their uniforms, pressed them onto the walls of the coffin. The procession went on nearly half an hour. And when it was all over, the simple wooden coffin had become a gold-plated memorial to a hero who will never be forgotten.

Please, go read it all. Honor a hero’s life and sacrifice by never forgetting his name or his story.

10:06:50 pm EST
UPDATE (4/09/08 @ 7:32 pm EST):   Here is the Navy’s Medal of Honor page for MA2 Michael Monsoor, USN, including video of the White House Medal of Honor Ceremony, and a Photo Tribute.

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Life Aboard a Destroyer

In recent years, I’ve often found myself wondering what day-to-day life aboard a destroyer was really like. Dad’s passing, and the global war on terror, have renewed my interest in such things. There are so many more questions about Dad’s life in the Navy, and his duties as a Gunners’ Mate, I would ask him today if I could.

The world has changed since the early 1950s, and so have destroyers. Fletcher Class ships, like Dad’s ship, the USS ISHERWOOD (DD-520), are long gone from service. Only a few have been preserved as museum ships. The Navy now has guided missile destroyers, and Gunners’ Mates’ responsibilities are obviously more technologically demanding. The Arleigh Burke class ships are currently the Navy’s only active destroyers. One of those is the USS RUSSELL (DDG-59).

Earlier this evening (now yesterday evening), via Neptunus Lex, I became aware of a brand new blog, The Destroyermen, about “Life Aboard United States Ship RUSSELL (DDG 59), Through the Eyes of its Crew.” Yes! I am excited. I look forward to following the crew of the RUSSELL and getting a tiny glimpse into the life of today’s Tin Can Sailor. The destroyers may have changed, but I suspect sailors haven’t really changed that much.

I wish the crew of the RUSSELL success in the mission, and a safe return to homeport.

1:05:20 am EST

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The White House announced yesterday, October 11, that Lt. Murphy will posthumously be awarded the Medal of Honor.

If you haven’t read Lone Survivor yet, you really should. It’s an amazing story.

6:07:05 pm EST

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He frets, worries and is troubled? Is Admiral Mullen a warrior or someone’s granny? He also seems to suffer from political correctness.

I’m not seeing negative things from milblogs concerning Admiral Mullen’s nomination this past June. Of course, most of it is praise for General Pace. A comment at Blackfive pegs Mullen as a “manager, not a warrior.” Here’s Admiral Mullen’s bio. Make up your own mind.

However, Bear Creek Ledger links to this unsettling story about UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) and Mullen. An excerpt:

Mullen is said to be the brain behind the 1,000-ship Navy concept. One story notes that Mullen’s concept is “to build on existing international security agreements to extend the global reach of sea power.” That power, he says, includes the ability to “share and unite” nations.

Sounding like a U.N. Secretary-General, rather than a U.S. military leader, Mullen says, “Our vision is to extend the peace through an interconnected community of maritime nations working together.” That includes UNCLOS.

There is one big problem with Mullen’s “vision.” What happens when a country like China violates the treaty? It is clear, based on the EP-3 incident, that the U.S. doesn’t have the political will or military capability to confront China. So what happens when the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea rules for China and against the U.S.? It can only mean further surrender by the U.S. in the face of Chinese military power.

Read the whole thing.

We shall see what Gates and Congress have wrought.

2:57:33 pm EST

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