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Part LIV Epilogue

The ship’s Captain stood by his chair on the bridge in his Service Dress Blues, his binoculars fixed on the channel marker just outside the carrier turning basin at Naval Station North Island, California. He briefly suppressed, and then just as briefly gave in to the temptation to sweep the pier with the binos, looking for his wife and children. Seven months. It had been such a very long seven months. There were thousands of people thronging on the pier, waving flags and signs – “Welcome Home, Son!” and “We Missed You Mommy!”

The civilian harbor pilot stood just to his right, in amiable but meaningless conversation with the Officer of the Deck – this was an experienced crew, and the pilot’s main purpose was to control the three tugboats that brought the great warship alongside the pier after it had made its final turn, gliding in.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, Books, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Lex, Life on an Aircraft Carrier, Naval Aviation, Neptunus Lex, Rhythms, Rhythms by Neptunus Lex, Tales Of The Sea Service

Part XLVIII  Tanker rendezvous, and troubleshooting

Down in CATCC, the XO gathered himself before speaking into the UHF radio handset, “Good news, Skipper – we’re taking you guys first – you need to head down to angels six to take a couple hundred pounds off the tanker – if that doesn’t unstick 311’s drop tank, have him stop transfer on the left. The trapped gas there will put him back in asymmetric limits for the landing. Worst comes to worst, he can use that gas after he bolters on the way to Shaikh Isa.”

“304, roger,” replied the squadron CO before switching to his aux radio. “Good news, pard – they’re taking us first.”

“311, roger,” answered the wingman, suddenly realizing that in the gloomy tension of his cockpit, his right hand had been “squeezing the black juice” out of the control stick while he had been waiting for the invisible and unknowable forces that governed his fate to come to a decision – any decision – about the next half hour of his life. Or maybe, he reflected, about the rest of it. “Good news.”

“Let’s head for the tanker.”

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French Liberty

By lex, on April 15th, 2011

Not all that, aboard the FN Charles de Gaulle *:

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Sign of the Times

Posted By lex, on March 9th, 2011

The Naval Academy is changing its core curriculum to include two courses on cyber security. These are the first major changes to the curriculum in ten years:

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Zero Tolerance

Posted by Lex, on Sat July 24, 2004 at 07:00 PM

 

As a squadron commanding officer, I had to discharge two otherwise fine Sailors who had “popped positive” on urinalysis screens for having THC in their systems. They were good kids, from bad backgrounds – the service had been a lifeline for them, a chance to remove themselves from bad situations.

And I had cut that lifeline – sent one back to the gang infested streets of El Paso. The other returned to East Los Angeles. Truly, my hands were tied.

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Rhythms the Compendium

Welcome to the “Rhythms” home page, a blogvel of sorts in several parts. The author’s attempt was to reveal elements of life aboard an aircraft carrier on the line. He had no idea it would take so long, and leave so very much untold.

Carroll F. “Lex” LeFon

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Guest Blogging

By Lex, on Mon – February 14, 2005

From a frequent correspondent, and former Navy Sailor, I bring you:

Flooding

In 1994 I reported for duty to the USS Guam (LPH-9). A venerable old ship to be sure, she had seen many things in her years. From recovering spacecraft to the re-enactment of D-Day and the support of Operation Restore Hope in Somalia (remember BlackHawk Down?). She was also not a small ship. She was designed as a sort of “mini-carrier” for Helicopters and Harriers, and a launching platform for what the Marines call “Verticle Envelopement”. Smaller than the newer LHA’s and LHD’s but still large enough to be the flagship of the Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG).

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It is to weep

Coming as I have come to know Lex, if only vicariously, and who he admired, I believe this is what he would have said upon  getting news like this:

“I feel like I’m watching our foundation, our culture erode in front of our eyes,” commander of Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Capt. Jamie Sands said in a closed-door meeting as part of the standdown, according to video obtained by CBS.”

 

H/T to one of the Lexicans for finding this.

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A New Tool For Big Oil

BigOilsNewTool

Courtesy Wall Street Journal / BP

Here I am all ready to call it a night – it is 0051 – and I come across an interesting article [Paywall] in the WSJ on a new tool the big oil companies are using to aid in exploration: Super Computers.

In my programming career, I came from an era where the true mainframes were starting to fade away, and the upstart micro computers were taking over.

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The problem with being on the take….

Is that once on that road, there’s no going back. And eventually you’re caught.

An incredible story of corruption and security breaches…

 

“As the flagship for the Navy’s 7th Fleet, the USS Blue Ridge plays a critical role in national security by overseeing all U.S. maritime operations in Asia and the western Pacific. The venerable warship is the Navy’s second-oldest active-duty vessel and has survived the Vietnam War, the Cold War and tensions with China and North Korea.

But there is one foreign threat against which the Blue Ridge proved utterly defenseless for many years: a 6-foot-3, 350-pound tugboat owner known as “Fat Leonard.”

In a case that ranks as the worst corruption scandal in Navy history, the Justice Department has charged 15 officers and one enlisted sailor who served on the Blue Ridge with taking bribes from or lying about their ties to Leonard Glenn Francis, a Singapore-based tycoon who held lucrative contracts to service Navy ships and submarines in Asian ports.” 

 

H/T to one of the Lexicans…

 

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