Browsing: The Pacific

It’s Pablo Escobar meets John Holland: drug lords built a 99-foot-long submarine, believed to be the first Colombian narco-sub capable of traveling fully submerged, Colombian officials said Monday. It even sported a periscope. The fiberglass sub, crewed by four, had been designed to haul up to eight tons of narcotics and could travel 9 feet underwater, powered by two diesel engines, Colombian officials told the Associated Press. Tipped off to its existence, the Colombian military seized the sub from its makeshift berth on a jungle river, hundreds of miles off the country’s northwest coast. No one was aboard, however. Col.…

Remember all those exercises South Korea held with the U.S. a few months ago to send a message to its pugnacious northern neighbor? You know, the ones that had the carrier George Washington steaming with the South Korean navy? The exercises that drove U.S.-Chinese relations to a low-point earlier this year? Well Kim Jong-Il didn’t pick up the phone, apparently. This morning, the news broke that North Korea opened a barrage of artillery fire on South Korean troops, killing at least two people. The question must be asked: How do the U.S. and South Korea abide this? The U.S. pulled…

There is just something about Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training that is, well, photogenic. The grueling, six-month training course at the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, Calif., is no vacation at the beach. Mother Nature at times makes it much more interesting. With ocean temperatures in the mid-60s – that’s relatively mild for the Pacific Ocean along Southern California – the chill isn’t as much a worry as the surf itself, as what students with Class 286 encountered during “surf passage” training Oct. 27. It’s known as “surf torture” for good reason.   

In contemporary rhetoric, one popular way to demonize political adversaries is to compare them to Hitler. That’s just what conservative former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did at a speech at the Hudson Institute think tank on Capitol Hill last Friday. Relations between China and Japan have been rather tense of late, and the war of words seems to be heating up. Abe likened China’s naval expansion to Hitler’s idea of “lebensraum” or “living space.” It was Hitler’s belief that Germany needed and, by their superior nature, deserved space in which to grow and settle. According to Abe’s remarks: Since…

The amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard is getting ready for a roughly $41 million overhaul in dry dock. Sailors on board are doubtless ready for a nine-month spell shore-side and ready to revel in the luxuries of living on a berthing barge. The ship and its Marines returned earlier this year from a rough seven-month deployment to 5th and 7th fleets. Gidget Fuentes reported in April: Bonhomme Richard and two other amphibious ships of the San Diego-based ready group, dock landing ship Rushmore and transport dock Cleveland, spent more than four months in the Persian Gulf and Horn of Africa…

It’s been another busy week for the Navy. Here are seven stories in seven minutes from the past seven days that are worthy of notice: 1. Defense Bill passes HASC. This bill has tons of important stuff – far too much to put in this blog. You can check Monday’s edition of Navy Times for the complete scoop. But among the highlights is this news that lawmakers bucked the Pentagon’s 1.4 percent pay raise request, and looks to instead give service members a 1.9 percent boost. In addition, the bill aligns the 30-year shipbuilding plan with the QDR, which bodes well…

Date: May 13, 2010 Location: Heritage Foundation, Washington D.C. Subj: CNO comments In a speech and response to questions offered at the Heritage Foundation Thursday, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead urged fiscal responsibility yet downplayed talk of further cuts to Navy ships and programs. He agreed with Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ call for greater scrutiny in procurement, and said he is a “proponent” for considering revisions to decades-old laws governing personnel issues. (You can read more about that in Monday’s edition of Navy Times).  Other highlights:

The Navy nabbed a lot of headlines again this week. Leading the way is news that subs are now officially open to women. In other career news, the active duty master chiefs list was released. The Coast Guard is holding its ground in the oil spill – and against critics. and the Army cancelled the Non-Line of Sight Launch System, which will likely have significant ramifications for the Littoral Combat Ship. Here’s seven stories in seven minutes from the past seven days that you may not have seen, but are worthy of notice:

In January, former North Korean four-star Kim Myong Guk was seen wearing only three stars on his collar. Most analysts believed he had been held accountable for North Korea’s loss to South Korea in a naval skirmish off the west coast in November. But North Korean television footage and photographs released over the weekend find the 70-year-old fielding that fourth star once more. The JoongAng Daily, a daily paper printed in Seoul, reported Monday that the demotion-to-promotion turnaround was related to the March 26 sinking of a South Korean naval ship near the western sea border with the North. “It…

Earlier this  month, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead visited the naval forces of India to strengthen the maritime partnership. Now, the SEALs are getting in on that action. The Indian newspaper The Telegraph reported today that the cruiser Shiloh, destroyers Chaffee and Lassen, frigate Curts, attack submarine Annapolis, two P3C Orions and a 28-member special forces team haved teamed with the Indian Navy to practice anti-submarine warfare and special operations in the 14th Malabar exercise. The United States is the only country with which India conducts large-scale naval exercises, and this is the first time we’ve sent SEALs…

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