Decade Of Navy Personnel Cuts Hinders Current Readiness…

Bet you haven’t seen THIS in any of the MSM have you??? Thank you Mr. Rumsfeld…

By Lisa M. Novak, Stars and Stripes, June 15, 2010

NAPLES, Italy — The Navy’s personnel cuts over the past decade went too far and were based on faulty assumptions, possibly resulting in reduced readiness, according to a recently released Government Accountability Office report.
The Navy has reduced the number of sailors assigned to destroyers and cruisers by 16 percent since 2001. Those reductions were based on a long-held assumption that at-sea workloads were heavier than in-port workloads, but that assumption didn’t jibe with what sailors told the GAO.

But, the Navy made these cuts without undertaking certain analysis to determine how such moves would affect the readiness of ships at sea or in port, the GAO report said.
In 2008 and 2009, the Navy performed readiness inspections on 26 guided-missile cruisers and destroyers. Of those 26 inspections, six destroyers were deemed unfit for sustained combat operations.

In the previous five years, only one destroyer of the 59 inspected failed.
While the report said it couldn’t draw conclusions from such small numbers, it noted that Navy officials told GAO they believed the crew reductions had a “detrimental effect on the condition of these ships.”

Cruisers and destroyers account for around 80 of the Navy’s 287 ships and submarines, with about 25,000 sailors stationed aboard.

The GAO study didn’t reveal issues that the Navy hadn’t already known about, said Lt. Cmdr. Chris Servello, spokesman for Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Several years ago, commanders began “scrubbing” reports to determine if the Navy had the correct number and type of personnel available for the varying missions within the Navy, he said. The scrubbing revealed that some ships’ crews were off by 10 percent to 15 percent. On a ship with a crew of 300, for example, that could mean staff deficits of 30 to 45 sailors.

As a result, commanders — though they might not be able to increase the size of the crew — could use the analysis to fine-tune the crew by seeking sailors with specific skills to get the job done, Servello said.

In 2002, the Navy increased its workweek for sailors from 67 to 70 hours as part of its ongoing “optimal manning initiatives,” and two years later, it reduced the number of enlisted sailors on cruisers and destroyers based on a reduced at-sea workload.
However the Navy didn’t complete the required analysis to justify the move, according to the GAO report.

Workweeks were established as guidelines for planning purposes only — they’re not requirements, according to the Navy’s manpower policies instruction from 2007. The policy gives commanding officers plenty of leeway to adjust work schedules based on operational requirements, but the instruction itself acknowledges the impacts of extended workweeks.

“Under certain circumstances it may become necessary to exceed the standard workweek; however, extending working hours on a routine basis could adversely affect such matters as morale, retention, safety, etc., and as policy, such extensions should be avoided,” the instruction reads.

An increase in force-protection requirements, including antiterrorism training, accounted for part of the added in-port workload, which the Navy didn’t take into account when calculating in-port workload, the GAO report says. Also, a reduction in the workforce at shore maintenance facilities meant crewmembers had to pick up the slack.

In another cost-cutting measure the Navy also made major changes to its training programs, shifting from classroom to computer-based training. But the Navy hadn’t properly measured the impact of computer-based training on job performance, or the time it takes to complete required qualifications, according to the report.

Other initiatives cited as impacting ship crews included the individual augmentee program which temporarily assigns sailors to Army and Marine Corps units. These sailors are sent downrange while they are on shore duty, but some are taken directly from shipboard assignments, the report said. The Navy agreed with the findings and told GAO it would conduct a study based on the report.

You can go HERE and read the full report, and it’s not pretty…

And from Global Security News…

Russia yesterday announced plans to conduct a new test of its experimental Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile in the third quarter of 2010, RIA Novosti reported.

The Bulava is designed to deliver as many as 10 nuclear warheads as far as 5,000 miles. The weapon has had problems; however, Russia’s armed forces have continued defending the weapon as an irreplaceable component of the country’s future nuclear deterrent.

“In the third quarter launches will resume. The first will be from the nuclear Dmitry Donskoy submarine. From which vessel the next launch will come depends on the first launch,” Col. Gen. Dmitry Popovkin, a member of the Russian General Staff, said.

It’s just getting ‘better and better’… sigh…

So what’s going to happen when the Russians deploy the new missile on their new submarine?

And more cuts are coming for the military in FY-11…

Are we having fun yet?

Not Impressed…

Well I, for one, was not impressed…

At least tonight he actually DID have the Flag behind him, but to be honest, I didn’t believe a word he said…


Bait n’ Switch???

Well, tonight’s oval office speech should be interesting for a number of reasons…

1. Will there be a US flag visible? Right now the comments I’m hearing are 50-50…

2. Is the 6 month moratorium on drilling going to stick? If it does, will the US effectively concede drilling rights to the Gulf? The offshore rigs are very expensive and a limited number are available world wide; at least a couple have already been re-routed to Brazil, rather than sit idle waiting for ‘maybe’ approval in the Gulf. China and other countries are already drilling deep wells in the Gulf, and surely will continue/expand that drilling, regardless of what we do. If the rigs go elsewhere, it may literally be 10 years before new ones will be available/off contract to return. Also, by stopping all drilling, the administration has put thousands out of work in the Gulf states, but have you seen any coverage of that???

3. Cap and Trade- I’m betting you’re going to hear yet another push for this crap and tax plan tonight… One can only wonder what are they thinking! If you cut our domestic drilling, and force more coal plants (since it will be a cold day in Hell before a nuclear plant gets environmental approval), and then tax the hell out of the carbon footprint; our domestic power costs will go through the roof. Also, NO other country is voluntarily signing on to the crap and tax scheme… This, along with the unsustainable spending WILL drive us to a third world economy…

4. Alternative energy- Bet there will be a BIG push for this, but there IS a small problem… There are currently NO real alternatives, much less ethanol (the cost of the petroleum required to produce it exceeds the amount of ethanol produced); Nuclear (see above), Wind everybody is doing the NIMBY thing, and the econazis are suing most of the successful windfarms for killing birds (see San Bernadino, CA). Another ‘little’ issue is who is going to pay for the development of alternate energy? I heard a radio bit this morning saying the administration should “require” the oil companies to pay for development. Does this mean nationalization of the oil companies? They already spend billions a year in R&D, but the commentator said they should have to ‘match’ funds on oil/gas research with funds on alternatives…

5. What will be the latest excuse on the Gulf? The reality is the ONLY sure way to stop the leak is to drill a pilot well into the original well and cap it that way. That takes time (Aug/Sept if no hurricanes), and BP is already doing that. Should BP pay for the damage? Hell yes! But I find it interesting that they have been stopped from using dispersant (too toxic? Are they more toxic than the OIL???), have not been allowed to bring in the Dutch sweeper ships; and LA, MS, FL have had problems getting approvals for sand barriers off the coast, apparently because there were “issues” with the environmental approvals for putting SAND ON A BEACH!!! WTF???

Personally I think tonight’s speech will be like that train wreck you see coming, you don’t really want to watch, but the horrified fascination with it keeps you glued to the scene…

REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER, vote these congresscritters out and lets start over, it sure as hell can’t get any worse!!!

A strange little meme…

Got this from William over at The Coroner’s Forensic Files.

1. Pick three US Civil War generals to fight by your side in the Zombie Apocalypse.

2. Same, but WWII generals.

3. Same, but US Presidents.

4. Same, but actors (living or dead)

5. Same, but writers.

6. Same, but rock musicians.

7. Same, but fictional characters.

My picks???

For Civil War generals: Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and John Mosby (The Grey Ghost)

WWII generals: Omar Bradley, Chester Nimitz, and Halsey (yeah, yeah, they’re Admirals, but they were GOOD!)

US Presidents: Ronald Reagan, Dwight David Eisenhower , Theodore Roosevelt.

Actors: David Niven, James Stewart, Lee Marvin.

Writers: Rudyard Kipling, Col Jeff Cooper, Elmer Keith.

Rock Musicians: Ted Nugent, ?, ? (I’m afraid most of them would go to the other side willingly…)

Fictional characters: Jack Ryan, Bob Lee Swagger, Harry Dresden.

Pot- Kettle, Kettle- Pot…

Before any more ‘outrage’ at the Arizona law, read what it’s like from the other side of the fence…

Received the following from Tom O’Malley, who was a Director with SouthwesternBell in Mexico City:

“I spent five years working in Mexico. I worked under a tourist Visa for three months and could legally renew it for three more months. After that you were working illegally. I was technically illegal for three weeks waiting on the FM3 approval.

“During that six months our Mexican and U.S. attorneys were working to secure a permanent work visa called a ‘FM3’. It was in addition to my U.S. passport that I had to show each time I entered and left the country. Barbara’s was the same, except hers did not permit her to work.

“To apply for the FM3, I needed to submit the following notarized originals (not copies):

1. Birth certificate for Barbara and me.

2. Marriage certificate.

3. High school transcripts and proof of graduation.

4. College transcripts for every college I attended and proof of graduation.

5. Two letters of recommendation from supervisors I had worked for at least one year.

6. A letter from the St. Louis Chief of Police indicating that I had no arrest record in the U.S. and no outstanding warrants and, was “a citizen in good standing”.

7. “Finally, I had to write a letter about myself that clearly stated why there was no Mexican citizen with my skills and why my skills were important to Mexico.

We called it our ‘I am the greatest person on Earth’ letter. It was fun to write.”

“All of the above were in English that had to be translated into Spanish and be certified as legal translations, and our signatures notarized. It produced a folder about 1.5 inches thick with English on the left side & Spanish on the right.”

“Once they were completed Barbara and I spent about five hours, accompanied by a Mexican attorney, touring Mexican government office locations and being photographed and fingerprinted at least three times at each location, and we remember at least four locations where we were instructed on Mexican tax, labor, housing, and criminal law and that we
were required to obey their laws or face the consequences. We could not protest any of the government’s actions or we would be committing a felony. We paid out four thousand dollars in fees and bribes to complete the process. When this was done we could legally bring in our household goods that were held by U.S. Customs in Laredo, Texas. This meant we had
rented furniture in Mexico while awaiting our goods. There were extensive fees involved here that the company paid.”

“We could not buy a home and were required to rent at very high rates and under contract and compliance with Mexican law.”

“We were required to get a Mexican driver’s license. This was an amazing process. The company arranged for the licensing agency to come to our headquarters location with their photography and fingerprint equipment and the laminating machine. We showed our U.S. license, were photographed and fingerprinted again and issued the license instantly after paying out a six dollar fee. We did not take a written or driving test and never received
instructions on the rules of the road. Our only instruction was to never give a policeman your license if stopped and asked. We were instructed to hold it against the inside window away from his grasp. If he got his hands on it you would have to pay ransom to get it back. “

“We then had to pay and file Mexican income tax annually using the number of our FM3 as our ID number. The company’s Mexican accountants did this for us and we just signed what they prepared. It was about twenty legal size pages annually.”

“The FM3 was good for three years and renewable for two more after paying more fees.”

“Leaving the country meant turning in the FM3 and certifying we were leaving no debts behind and no outstanding legal affairs (warrants, tickets or liens) before our household goods were released to customs.”

“It was a real adventure and if any of our Senators or Congressmen went through it once they would have a different attitude toward Mexico.”

“The Mexican government uses its vast military and police forces to keep its citizens intimidated and compliant. They never protest at their capitol or government offices, but do protest daily in front of the United States Embassy. The U.S. Embassy looks like a strongly reinforced fortress and during most protests the Mexican military surrounds the block with their men standing shoulder to shoulder in full riot gear to protect the Embassy. These protests are never shown on U.S. or Mexican TV. There is a large public park across the street where they do their protesting. Anything can cause a protest such as proposed law changes in California or Texas.”

Think he’s blowing smoke??? Go HERE and check it out…

Please feel free to share this with everyone who thinks we are being hard on the illegals… I can’t help but think a mirror law just ‘might’ be appropriate… Just sayin…

A little humor…

Ya just gotta love Photoshop… Now if somebody in Arizona had some balls (and translated this into Spanish)…

The Veterinarian-

One Sunday, in counting the money in the weekly offering, the Pastor of a small church found a pink envelope containing $1,000. It happened again the next week! 

The following Sunday, he watched as the offering was collected and saw an elderly woman put the distinctive pink envelope on the plate. This went on for weeks until the pastor, overcome by curiosity, approached her.

“Ma’am, I couldn’t help but notice that you put $1,000 a week in the collection plate,” he stated.
”Why yes,” she replied, “every week my son sends me money and I give some of it to the church.” The pastor replied, “That’s wonderful. But $1000 is a lot, are you sure you can afford this? How much does he send you?” The elderly woman answered, “$10,000 a week.” The pastor was amazed. “Your son is very successful; what does he do for a living?”

“He is a veterinarian,” she answered. 

“That’s an honorable profession, but I had no idea they made that much money,” the pastor said. “Where does he practice?”The woman answered proudly, “In Nevada .. He has two cat houses, one in Las Vegas , and one in Reno’.

And a little food for thought…

Let’s put the seniors in jail, and the criminals in a nursing home…

This way the seniors would have access to showers, hobbies, and walks, they’d receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment , wheel chairs etc. and they’d receive money instead of paying it out.

They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly ,if they fell, or needed assistance. Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them. A guard would check on them every 20 minutes, and bring their meals and snacks to their cell. They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose. They would have access to a library, weight room,spiritual counselling, pool, and education.

Simple clothing , shoes, slippers, P.J.’s and legal aid would be free, on request. Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard ,with gardens. Each senior could have a P.C. a T.V. radio, and daily phone calls. There would be a board of directors, to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct, that would be strictly adhered to.

The “criminals” would get cold food, be left all alone, and unsupervised. lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week; live in a tiny room , and pay $5000.00 per month and have no hope of ever getting out.

Justice for all…

New Directions Veterans Choir

This is a good story… It’s even better in that these Veterans HAVE come back and are productive again…

And below is a link to the Virtual Vietnam Wall…

It is a virtual wall of all those lost during the Vietnam war with the names, bio’s and other information on our lost heroes. Those who remember that time frame, or perhaps lost friends or family can look them up on this site. Pass the link on to others if you like.

Tom McClintock Responds To Caldron Speech…

You’ve gotta appreciate this for a couple of reasons, one- McClintock is from Kalifornia; two- He lays it out and doesn’t pull any punches!!!

It’s also interesting that there was NO response to his speech on the floor…

New Arizona State Flag…

Got this from a friend in Phoenix, AZ today; along with the following comment…

Most especially for all Liberal Mexifornians (that’s most of ’em), boycott us and our DUI rate will drop along with the shoplifting, murder, kidnappings, etc.

Interestingly, there has apparently been a drop in crime since the law was passed… unintended consequences, or a true effect; much like when Florida and Texas authorized concealed carry and violent crimes against persons dropped by 33% ???

You tell me…

Memorial Day 2010…

As we celebrate our 142nd Memorial Day, please take a moment and remember those who gave all for our great country…