Things you DON’T want to see…

Talk about a Rut Roh moment…

Dunno if the photog survived, but the camera obviously did, well up till the last moment there…

In news closer to home, Sequestration strikes yet again…

Navy pulls plug on Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Lexingon Park, MD – By Dick Myers

Artist’s rendering of new Patuxent River Naval Air Museum <>

Artist’s rendering of new Patuxent River Naval Air Museum

The Navy has pulled the plug on the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum. With only a week’s notice the Navy in a letter dated September 24 informed the association that operates the museum that they were revoking a U.S. Government License that allowed the Navy to maintain the three buildings that constitute the museum. The effective date of the revocations was October 1. The Navy has also halted paying for the museum’s annual utility bill of $40,000.

In a letter to the county commissioners, Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association (PRNAMA) President Arvid “Ed’ Forsman, Capt. USN (Ret) wrote: “The letter comes as no surprise to our Museum Association as they notified us approximately two years ago that this may eventually happen due to continued cutbacks to the DOD and Navy Budgets. Funding of other small Navy museums at other Navy sites has been terminated as well due to budget considerations.”

Forsman told the commissioners the Navy’s decision may have a silver lining. “While it is disappointing that they have terminated their relationship as a formal Navy museum, this decision will provide us with new opportunities that were not possible before this decision was made. We now have the flexibility to charge fees for the use of our museum for meetings and conferences, which we were not allowed to do previously according to Navy rules,” he wrote.

Forsman said charging rentals for events such as Change of Commands, Navy Retirement functions and community events could allow the museum to offset the lost Navy revenue. He wrote, additionally, “We will also be able to charge a small admission fee to visit the museum should it be necessary in the future.”

The lost $40,000 revenue amounts to 20 percent of the museum annual operating expenses of $180,000.

The Navy decision comes as the county is about to relaunch construction of a new facility after more than a year delay. The county rescinded the museum’s original construction contract with Broughton, a minority-owned business, when it was learned that the company had supplied “fraudulent performance bonds” according to the county Director of Finance Elaine Kramer.

In August the county accepted a new $4.8 million bid by Biscayne Contractors. The bid was $200,000 more than the original bid.  The county is now awaiting approval from the state for the new bid since the state is administering the federal monies that have been received for the project. Of the bid price, the federal government will kick in $3.373 million, the state $350,000 (from a bond bill), the museum association $945,000 and the county the remainder, which represents 10 percent of the total.

I have my doubts that they will be able to succeed and the Navy ‘may’ pull the airplanes back which are the real reason the few folks that actually go there want to see… To say it’s off the beaten path is putting it mildly…

And the Early Bird is dead too… 50 years…

The Early Bird is dead

By Gordon Lubold

The Early Bird is dead and Steve Warren is the one who shot it down. The Early Bird, the compendium of news stories distributed each day to DOD officials, other government officials and journalists since 1948, is gone, Situation Report has learned. The Bird, which had ceased publication due to the shutdown, never made a comeback after the government opened and Col. Steve Warren, who heads the Pentagon’s press operations, had said it was under review. Insiders knew it was on life support, but it was Warren who wanted the plug pulled. The Bird, which had an audience of 1.5 million each month, had grown too big, was too dated – simply providing a daily snapshot at 5:40 a.m. each day when it arrived by e-mail, and the publication, which was also appeared online to authorized users, had amounted to a copyright infringement against media outlets who never saw the “clicks.”

The Bird had also become a major headache to Pentagon officials who would in effect chase their tails each day after a story ran in it. Still, it was also a valuable and begrudgingly loved publication that had turned 50 years old. Longtime staffers Taft Phoebus and Linda Lee, who were behind the Bird for years, will remain on Warren’s staff.

“This is the end of an era,” Col. Steve Warren told Situation Report. “And I will probably be the first inductee into the Public Affairs Hall of Infamy. There is a lot of anger out there.”

What killed the Bird more specifically? Three things: Concerns over copyright infringement, the advent of the Internet and thirdly, the fact that it had become, as Warren termed it, “The Early Beast.” As the Bird’s audience grew over the years, and as “clicks” reflecting interest in any one story have become of extreme importance to media outlets, Pentagon officials knew they were increasingly pilfering content. The Early Bird did not contain Internet links to news site’s home pages but was an internal document containing whole stories. Media outlets had begun asking questions of the Pentagon. Also, it was also created at a time long before the Internet provided global information in real time. When Warren was a lieutenant in Korea in the 1990s, it was the only way for commanders to know what was in The New York Times that day, for example, was through the Early Bird. Not so anymore. But the Bird, once termed by The Times as the most influential government publication, had become too influential, Warren said, “driving the entire train at the Pentagon and across the force” every day. A story in the Bird was given sometimes disproportional weight simply because it appeared there. Warren: “The Early Bird would very often dictate the day’s events for countless numbers of staffers and commanders. People would organize their day around what was in the Early Bird.”

And while it was supposed to provide “situational awareness” to commanders and other DOD officials, Warren said, it was often seen as doing public relations  – containing only the stories top officials wanted people to see – instead of true SA. 

It must have changed from when I was reading it on a daily basis, because there used to be quite a bit of ‘consternation’ depending on what showed up in the “Bird”…

More impacts, not very visible outside a fairly small audience; but it’s looking like death by a thousand cuts…



Things you DON’T want to see… — 5 Comments

  1. Used to read The Early Bird when I was stationed in Oki.
    It’s true, by the time we were stationed in England, everyone had the internet and I didn’t bother with the Bird anymore.

  2. The Early Bird won’t be missed. The pubs that they link aren’t… varied? even-handed? Besides, between Drudgereport, Instapundit, Gatewaypundit, etc, this blog, and others, I don’t need Early Bird any more.
    The museum, however, that’s a problem. I live just a few miles away and pass it at least twice a day. I was wondering why construction has been stop-and-go for so long. But to lose aircraft going back on base would be a huge disappointment. Having those aircraft, most of them prototype or test models, locked away where normal folks can’t see them would be a shame. And it’s one of the few reasons people come to this area to visit.

  3. I read Roberts link which confirmed my opinion on the tank shell. Otherwise, I imagine it would have to have been a remote feed for the media to survive.

  4. More impacts, not very visible outside a fairly small audience; but it’s looking like death by a thousand cuts…


    Too true.

    Regarding the tank video,
    very dramatic and good propaganda. Having been bore sighted and followed as we worked by a East German tank, can say tank turrents don’t move in that jerky a fashion.