Category Archives: Navy

Nostalgia Day

By lex, on May 26th, 2011

Today seems to be  a day of remembrances. Quite out of the blue I got a note from an old shipmate who’s beginning a book project on the last deployment of USS Constellation. My ship. He wanted to touch base for an interview, gather some reflections from those aboard her.

He also attached an email I wrote to my officers and chiefs on my last day aboard. It’s nice that he kept it, I’m not very good at holding on to such things.

CONSTELLATION was my first ship. Tomorrow is my last day aboard Connie, at least as a member of her company. After tomorrow, I will be a guest, someone you used to know, who used to be a part of you.

I may not get the opportunity to say farewell to each of you in person tomorrow, so please forgive me if this seems too impersonal. I just want to say that it has been an incredibly positive experience working with such an outstanding group of professionals.

Your focus, energy and enthusiasm were remarkable to observe.

A warship never sleeps – there are always people on watch, keeping her safe, keeping all of us safe: the ship is, in a sense, alive. Her people give her life.

You made this ship a living thing, working her decks and spaces. You lightened it with laughter, and freighted it with consequence to our country’s enemies. This ship lived fast, and it lived hard, like it meant business, like it knew that what we were doing was too important for half measures. We trained hard, fought hard and played hard, because of your work and that of our CPO’s and Sailors. And we did great things, with style – flawless execution was the standard expectation.

Life is very much more about what you accomplish than what you acquire. I hope you are as proud of what we accomplished together, as I am to have been a part of it.

My very best wishes to everyone. I will not miss all of this, but I will miss all of you. Maybe we’ll meet again in the fleet. Until then, farewell, and following seas.

Very Respectfully,

Commander, United States Navy

Operations Officer

USS Constellation CV-64

I meant it, too.

Still do.

 

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29 Years

By lex, on May 26th, 2011

It was 29 years ago today that the sh!t hit the fleet: The USNA Class of 1982 tossed their hats in the air and exchanged a thin gold strip on their shoulder boards for a single fat one (the Marines pinned on a butterbar). As I have mentioned before, that was a very happy ending to an arduous four years. Perhaps it was only me, but when those hats came clattering back down on our upturned heads again, I had a premonition that life going forward would be a different kind of hard.

Those were leaner years, as I was painfully reminded from page 105 of the current issue of Shipmate magazine, the Boat School’s alumni rag.

29 Years

That was a good day.

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Not Sure If Real

By lex, on May 7th, 2011

Got this through the email pipe. Pretty sure it’s satirical, but these days it’s hard to tell:

Navy Establishes Training for Skippers Being Relieved

By David Jones – Staff writer
Posted: Friday Apr 21, 2011 11:18:23 EDT

Pensacola, Florida – The Navy command charged with setting training standards for everything from teaching sailors how to fold their underwear in basic training to battle operations on the Navy’s most sophisticated ships today announced a new training tactic designed to prepare commanding officers for being relieved of command.

The six week course of study, officially called the Despicable career-Ending Event Preparation, or DEEP 6, will prepare commanding officers on how to salvage a shred of respect when the all-too-frequent career-ending event happens during their tour as a CO.

Rear Admiral (LH) Tom Cat, Deputy Commander, Naval Education and Training Command indicated that this new training is designed to prepare commanding officers for the inevitable. “In today’s high-profile, politically correct Navy where every sailor has access to mass media, it’s more a matter of “when” a CO will be relieved, not “if.”” Cat said.

The DEEP 6 course of study will be offered at major installations throughout the Navy and will be honed for the various command communities such as surface, subsurface, aviation, Naval Special Warfare, and the various commands ashore.

Commanding Officers interested in attending DEEP 6 should contact their Type Commander as well as their detailer for scheduling the assignment of a prospective relief. The Navy Personnel Command asks that the request be submitted in advance of the career-ending event if at all possible. Additionally, they ask that terminal leave paperwork accompany the request.

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And Then There Were Ten

By lex, on April 28th, 2011

Still raining command pins:

The commander of a guided-missile destroyer has been relieved of command while the Navy investigates allegations of misconduct.

The San Diego-based Third Fleet says (the commanding officer) of the USS Momsen was relieved Wednesday due to what’s termed “loss of confidence in his ability to command.” He was reassigned to a San Diego post.

A fleet spokeswoman, Lt. j.g. Beth Teach, says she doesn’t have details about the allegations.

(He is) the second Navy officer removed from a command in less than a week.

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Because Caring Means Sharing

By lex, on March 31st, 2011

Below the fold, a story of intestinal infortitude from naval aviation’s front lines: The story of how a young lieutenant junior grade competed for a new callsign in Operation Enduring Freedom.

You’re not going to want to read this if you’re the delicate sort, nor if bathroom humor with the occasional Anglo-Saxon thrown in offends.

It’s not all beer and skittles in the fleet.

Ladies, Gentlemen, and Bunkopotamus,

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Helos!

By lex, on March 3rd, 2011

Having reached the experience level to do so, Son Number One selected helicopters as his first choice on his preference card, and – having won his first choice – will be heading back to Pensacola for to learn how to fly whirly-gigs. Had the grades to do whatever he wanted, and what he wanted was to learn how to do summat his dear ol’ da cannot: Hover.

Them egg beaters are dangerous, I warned, for they are chiefly constructed of lowest bidder parts whirling in violent opposition one to another. Not to mention the landing in absurdly small places on wee, bitty ships that heave, roll and yaw like drunken sailors in Hong Kong, which is one thing when you’re in Hong Kong and another thing entirely when you’re trying to place the rubber down between the cross-hairs. I need not belabor the categorical absence of ejection seats, which no one has the least need of until they do, at which time the need is turrible acute.

Rubbish, said he, for he was not afraid and he’d kind of like to give beating the air into submission the old college try. If only for the challenge that was in it. Not to mention the potential to while away his off-duty hours in Sandy Eggo rather than Lemoore, the dreary pain and suffering of it.

Good on ya’, I said for every man has to choose his own way through this life, and the important thing is to put yourself in the position to do what you want to do.

Which he did, so it’s proud of him I am, proud to bursting.

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Silver Star

By lex, on February 16th, 2011

Having read the Sigacts summaries back when I was on active duty, I was routinely impressed with the quiet professionalism of the heroes from explosive ordnance disposal, or EOD. When the story of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are finally told, they would be the unsung heroes.

But one among their number was recently awarded the nation’s third highest award for combat valor:

It was approaching midnight Sept. 7, 2009, at the Malmand Bazaar in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, when the leader of an explosives disposal team was horribly wounded after stepping on a pressure-activated IED — an improvised explosive device — buried in the dirt.

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