Browsing: Life at Sea

For those of you who have never sat through the movie “Napoleon Dynamite,” a scene near the end depicts Napoleon, the high school social outcast, busting some serious moves in front of his peers at a rally for his friend Pedro who is running for class president. See dance scene here. For this week’s bored sailor video, Scoop Deck presents a very haze gray remake of that classic scene.

There are few things on earth that make sailors want to sing as much as preventive maintenance. It may be true that some may loathe the endless hours of cleaning air filters, replacing valves, wire-brushing fire stations and changing water-tight gaskets. But that doesn’t seem to hold true for carrier Abraham Lincoln’s hip-hop artist extraordinaire Dog Zebra. For him, it doesn’t matter how late it is, he’s gonna conduct his maintenance. DZ posted his latest beat this morning and it may just be the single greatest song about the shipboard material maintenance management system of all time. If you can…

Apparently pet birds and warships don’t mix. Sailors on the British frigate Westminster discovered a parakeet (also called a budgie) fluttering around the ship while underway for an exercise near Plymouth. They named the bird Bostie and fed their new friend a meal of nuts, bread and water. Then things took a dark turn, as the Guardian reports: When a routine alarm sounded the budgerigar appeared to suffer a heart attack. Attempts to revive him failed and the crew gave their feathered friend a burial at sea. A Royal Navy spokesman said: “The executive officer found the budgie on board…

Fighting an aircraft fire on the flight deck is a worst-case scenario. But training for it can be fun because it offers sailors an opportunity to dress in snazzy, futuristic space suits that would feel right at home on stage with David Bowie circa 1973.

This photograph – of amphibious assault ship Peleliu’s mascot showing off some of his (or her?) latest dance moves to the amazement of school children in Timor-Leste – arrived in Scoop Deck’s inbox this week. For the scores of high-res photos that jam our mail servers, this one provided a sunny break from all things haze gray and underway. The Peleliu Gator, as the mascot is called, has entertained crowds at college football games and homecomings, but on this deployment it reached out to young children at schools and orphanages in community service projects. Peleliu and her San Diego-based crew…

For the first time ever, all four guided missile subs are deployed to an AOR. We’re not talking about being underway at the same time, and sea trials don’t count. We’re talking about being on the tip of the spear. For you strategists out there, that equals a combined 616 Tomahawk cruise missiles on station, and the ability to deploy up to 264 special ops forces. The historic mark was hit June 10, according to this Navy release. In the article, Rear Adm. Frank Caldwell, commander of Submarine Group 9 said “… back in the mid 90’s this was just a…

    Talk about concentrated power. The folks at San Diego-based 3rd Fleet this week posted this photograph of three Nimitz-class aircraft carriers (yes, that’s the “68” of Nimitz in the middle, nestled between Carl Vinson, at top, and Ronald Reagan, at bottom) nestled at the berths at North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado, Calif. It’s not the first time North Island has supported three aircraft carriers – it was more common in the conventional days – and for a short time after 9/11 it even hosted four carriers. But with the Navy’s busy training and operational tempos, it’s…

 Defense Secretary Robert Gates dropped the bomb of the week. In his first invitation to the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space symposium, Gates suggested a need for cutting carriers, sinking SSBN(X) and eliminating Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles. You can read Gates’ speech here,  and find out how this affects you in Monday’s edition of Navy Times. Speaking of amphibious operations, the personnel bubbas in Millington are starting to dry out. Two days of rain dumped more than 14 inches in the area. A levee couldn’t hold the water back and the base was flooded. This delayed one promotion board and threw many administrative matters into…

The Navy kicked off the month by kicking pirate butt in three foiled attacks. The stories that nabbed most other headlines this week included the Nuclear Posture Review, which was all the talk in the beltway; F-35 training, which continues despite problems getting the jets; the Fire Scout, which scored its first drug bust;  the smoking ban on subs and the Navy’s decision to restrict the wear of ball caps and coveralls. Here’s seven stories in seven minutes from the past seven days that you may not have seen, but are worthy of notice:

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