Monday, December 29, 2008

One Week of R & R

Happy New year for all and Peace on Earth.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas

Today is Christmas' Eve and I post in my blog these two songs in honor to all the soldiers and sailors that are in harm's way defending freedom, but most of all doing their duty.

The responsibility of their mission is only of their commanders and politicians who put them in harm's way. The soldiers have only the burden to die, to do their duty and to be far away from their loved ones. More than 4.200 brave and young soldiers, men and women, already gave their lives doing their duty.

Last year, we had one more genocide in Africa, and once again we play dead.

So, let's hope that 2009 it's going to be different, let's pray for peace, freedom and happines all over the world.

That Cuba step forward and release all the political prisioners they have today. Not because America do any concession, but because it's right.

Let's hope Hamas wake up and try to really make peace with the Israelis. And also let's hope more moderate Israelis come to power and really seek for peace with the Palestinians.

Let's hope that Hezbollah give up the guns and integrate itself in the political process in Lebanon bringing peace.

Let's hope that Iran give up the nuclear ambition and deepen the democratization of their society.

Let's hope that Latin America give up the temptation of dictatorship - Venezuela, Equador, Bolivia and even Brazil - and step forward to democracy and, more important, real freedom of speech.

Let's hope the rulers of every country in the world can see the poor and common people as a human being like themselves and try to make all the efforts to improve the social conditions and the dignity of their people, respecting other countries, the environment and the human rights.

So, let's hope that 2009 instead of being an year to be forgotten, become, even being an year of crisis, an year to be remembered as an year of freedom, liberty, democracy and peace for all.

Ary Dib Dias

I’m Already There - Lonestar

(richie mcdonald/gary baker/frank myers)

He called her on the road
From a lonely cold hotel room
Just to hear her say I love you one more time
But when he heard the sound
Of the kids laughing in the background
He had to wipe away a tear from his eye
A little voice came on the phone
Said daddy when you coming home
He said the first thing that came to his mind

Im already there
Take a look around
Im the sunshine in your hair
Im the shadow on the ground
Im the whisper in the wind
Im your imaginary friend
And I know Im in your prayers
Oh Im already there

She got back on the phone
Said I really miss you darling
Dont worry about the kids theyll be alright
Wish I was in your arms
Lying right there beside you
But I know that Ill be in your dreams tonight
And Ill gently kiss your lips
Touch you with my fingertips
So turn out the light and close your eyes

Im already there
Dont make a sound
Im the beat in your heart
Im the moonlight shining down
Im the whisper in the wind
And Ill be there until the end
Can you feel the love that we share
Oh Im already there

We may be a thousand miles apart
But Ill be with you wherever you are

Im already there
Take a look around
Im the sunshine in your hair
Im the shadow on the ground
Im the whisper in the wind
And Ill be there until the end
Can you feel the love that we share
Oh Im already there
Oh Im already

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon Lyrics

So this is Xmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Xmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Xmas (war is over)
For weak and for strong (if you want it)
For rich and the poor ones (war is over)
The world is so wrong (if you want it)
And so happy Xmas (war is over)
For black and for white (if you want it)
For yellow and red ones (war is over)
Let's stop all the fight (now)

A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Xmas (war is over)
And what have we done (if you want it)
Another year over (war is over)
A new one just begun (if you want it)
And so happy Xmas (war is over)
We hope you have fun (if you want it)
The near and the dear one (war is over)
The old and the young (now)

A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

War is over, if you want it
War is over now

Happy Xmas

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oil to play for - Could Cuba's oil end the embargo?

Cuba has long been assumed to be a minor oil producer, with estimated 2007 reserves of 124 million barrels. However, in October Rafael Tenreyro Pérez, the exploration manager for the state-owned oil company Cubapetroleo (CUPET) announced that the country had potential oil reserves of more than 20 billion barrels - a major increase on previous estimates and only nine billion fewer than the reserves of its northern neighbour, the US

[first posted to - 11 December 2008]

Argentina cancels Patagón tank project

Argentina's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced the cancellation of its Patagón light tank project. The Patagón is a hybrid locally built vehicle similar to the Austrian SK-105 Kürassier. It consists of a new SK-105 chassis fitted with an overhauled Fives-Cail-Babcock 105 mm FL-12 turret taken from an AMX-13 tank (Argentina's AMX-13s have been phased out of service

[first posted to - 12 December 2008]

Power curve: UK puts its faith in full electric propulsion for Future Carriers

In early October 2008, Thales UK - as part of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) charged to deliver the UK Royal Navy's (RN's) Future Carrier (CVF) programme - signed an agreement with Rolls-Royce, Converteam and L-3 Marine Systems UK (a subsidiary of L-3 MAPPS) for the manufacture of an integrated power and propulsion system for the two new 65,000-tonne vessels. This 'sub-alliance' to the ACA has been awarded contracts aggregating to GBP235 million (USD353 million) by Thales, which has responsibility for leading the power and propulsion element of CVF

[first posted to - 15 December 2008]

UN General Assembly Calls on Iran to Meet Human Rights Obligations

Press Releases: UN General Assembly Calls on Iran to Meet Human Rights Obligations
Fri, 19 Dec 2008 12:16:52 -0600

DoS Press Statement
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC - December 19, 2008

The United States welcomes UN General Assembly Resolution 63/191 adopted on December 18 calling upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to fully respect its human rights obligations, and to abolish, in particular, torture, arbitrary imprisonment, and juvenile and public executions, including stonings, carried out in disregard of due process and other safeguards. The resolution also calls on Iran to eliminate discrimination and other human rights violations against women and girls, and religious, linguistic and ethnic minorities.

This resolution demonstrates to the Iranian regime the resolve of the international community in speaking out when the government of Iran attempts to silence its own people. The international community will not ignore Iran’s violations of the human rights and dignity of its people and its denial of their aspirations for fundamental freedoms.

2008/1084 Released on December 19, 2008

Obama Chooses Retired Admiral as Intelligence Chief

Dec. 19, 2008 – 12:58 p.m.

President-elect Barack Obama will nominate retired Adm. Dennis Blair, former commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, as national intelligence director, congressional sources said Friday.

“I am pleased President-elect Obama selected someone with such extensive hands-on knowledge of national security issues in the Asia-Pacific region,” Sen. Daniel K. Akaka , D-Hawaii, said. “He served our country well as commander in chief of the Pacific and I trust he will serve with the same level of duty and honor if confirmed as director of national intelligence.”

If confirmed by the Senate, Blair would be the third director of national intelligence overseeing all U.S. intelligence agencies and delivering the president’s daily briefing on critical global intelligence. He would succeed Michael McConnell , another retired Navy admiral.

Blair has a range of experience at senior levels of the U.S. government. He served 34 years in the Navy, retiring in 2002 as a four-star admiral after serving four years as Pacific commander. He commanded several warships and worked in numerous budget and policy positions — on the Joint Staff, the National Security Council and the Navy. He also was the CIA’s first associate director for military support.

Upon retiring from the Navy, he worked with several think tanks and universities. From 2003 to 2006, he was president of the Institute for Defense Analyses, a Pentagon-funded research organization. He left there after the Pentagon inspector general concluded in 2006 that he should have recused himself from involvement in two institute reports about the F-22 fighter, because he served on the boards of two companies that worked on the program. The report found, though, that Blair had not influenced the institute’s analysis of the F-22 or used his position for personal gain.

For a full version of this story and the latest coverage, please visit CQ Politics.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Publication of 2007 Digest of United States Practice in International Law

Press Releases: Publication of 2007 Digest of United States Practice in International Law
Thu, 18 Dec 2008 22:00:00 -0600

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 19, 2008

The Department of State is pleased to announce the publication of the 2007 Digest of United States Practice in International Law, with an introduction by Legal Adviser John B. Bellinger, III. Mr. Bellinger’s introduction and documents related to Digest 2007 are available at

The Digest traces its history back to an 1877 treatise by John Cadwalader, which was followed by multi-volume encyclopedias covering selected areas of international law. The Digest later came to be known to many as “Whiteman’s” after Marjorie Whiteman, the editor from 1963-1971. Beginning in 1973, the Office of the Legal Adviser published the Digest on an annual basis, changing its focus to documentation current to the year. Although publication was temporarily suspended after 1988, the office resumed publication in 2000 and has since produced volumes covering 1989 through 2007. A cumulative index covering 1989-2006 was published in 2007.

In renewing publication of the Digest, the Office of the Legal Adviser continues its commitment to provide current information and documentation reflecting U.S. practice in various arenas of international legal endeavor. Where original source documents excerpted in the volumes may not otherwise be readily available, the full text is provided on a dedicated web site at:

The Digest, edited by Sally J. Cummins of the Office of the Legal Adviser, is co-published by Oxford University Press and the International Law Institute. Annual volumes of the Digest for the years 2004-2007, and the cumulative index for 1989-2006, can be purchased from Oxford University Press Order Department, 2001 Evans Road, Cary, NC 27513, 1-800-445-9714 (phone), 1-919-677-1303 (fax), Volumes covering 1989 through 2003 can be purchased from the International Law Institute, The Foundry Building, 1055 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, Washington, DC 20007; contact William Mays, Publications Department, (202) 247-6006 (phone), (202) 247-6010 (fax).

2008/1087 Released on December 19, 2008

US Navy Anthem (Anchors Away)

(Words And Music: Capt. Alfred H. Miles U.S.N. and Charles A. Zimmerman - 1907)

Anchors Aweigh, my boys, Anchors Aweigh.

Farewell to college joys, we sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay.

Through our last night on shore, drink to the foam,

Until we meet once more:

Here's wishing you a happy voyage home.

Stand, Navy, out to sea, Fight our battle cry;

We'll never change our course, So vicious foe steer shy-y-y-y.

Roll out the TNT, Anchors Aweigh.

Sail on to victory

And sink their bones to Davy Jones, hooray!

Stand Navy, down the field,

Sail set to the sky

We'll never change our course

So Army you steer shy-y-y-y

Roll up the score Navy

Anchors Aweigh

Sail, Navy, down the field,

And sink the Army, sink the Army gray.

Brazilian Judicial year

End of Brazilian Judicial year. The Brazilian Courts close today and only be open again on Jan. 7th of 2009. Only emergencies will heard in this closing time.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lucky by Jason Mraz - Lyrics

Do you hear me, I'm talking to you
Across the water across the deep blue ocean
Under the open sky, oh my, baby I'm trying

Boy I hear you in my dreams
I feel your whisper across the sea
I keep you with me in my heart
You make it easier when life gets hard

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
Ooohh ooooh oooh oooh ooh ooh

They don't know how long it takes
Waiting for a love like this
Every time we say goodbye
I wish we had one more kiss
I'll wait for you I promise you, I will

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
Lucky we're in love every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday

And so I'm sailing through the sea
To an island where we'll meet
You'll hear the music fill the air
I'll put a flower in your hair
though the breezes through trees
Move so pretty you're all I see
As the world keeps spinning round
You hold me right here right now

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
I'm lucky we're in love every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday

Ooohh ooooh oooh oooh
Ooooh ooooh oooh oooh

Tomorrow is always a new day with hope, if you have freedom,

Sunday, December 14, 2008

'Suicide is Painless' - Lyrics

Through early morning fog I see
visions of the things to be
the pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see...

that suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.

The game of life is hard to play
I'm gonna lose it anyway
The losing card I'll someday lay
so this is all I have to say.

suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.

The sword of time will pierce our skins
It doesn't hurt when it begins
But as it works its way on in
The pain grows it grin...

suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.

A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
is it to be or not to be
and I replied 'oh why ask me?'

Suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.
...and you can do the same thing if you please.

Join the Constitutional Convention 2.0

Saturday, December 13, 2008

‘Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience’

In the edition of NY Times of today: ‘Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience’. The unpublished 513-page document is the base of very interesting report by JAMES GLANZ and T. CHRISTIAN MILLER; "Report Spotlights Iraq Rebuilding Blunders", take a look.

U.S. Forces on Track to Be out of Iraqi Cities by Summer, General Says

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

BALAD, Iraq, Dec. 13, 2008 - U.S. combat forces are on track to be out of Iraqi cities by June 30 in accordance with the recently signed status of forces agreement between the United States and Iraq, the top U.S. general in Iraq said today.

Combat forces are already out of the major cities in more than half of Iraq, said Army Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of Multinational Force Iraq. Odierno spoke here to reporters traveling with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

Gates flew here this afternoon, after speaking at the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain, to meet with Odierno and get his assessment of the way ahead in Iraq under the new agreement.

Odierno said the new agreement does not change the U.S. mission here, only its operating environment. Some U.S. forces will remain inside the cities working out of the joint security stations and acting as transition teams or providing support to the Iraqi security forces, Odierno said.

"We'll still maintain our very close partnership with the Iraqi security forces throughout Iraq, even after the summer," he said.

Odierno said he is already removing troops from the cities, and will continue as security progress continues and Iraqi security forces can take over. Combat troops have already moved out of the cities in Anbar Province, most of the cities in southern Iraq and out of parts of Baghdad.

"In a large part the security agreement is really stating what we're doing in many places in Iraq already," he said.

Implementation committees made up of representatives of both two countries are being set up to work out the details of executing the agreement.

"I believe this agreement allows us to continue to move forward in making Iraq a sovereign nation," he said.

Odierno also expressed confidence in the Iraqi security force's growing capabilities and said he is confident that U.S. troops will be able to leave by the 2011 deadline set in the agreement.

"I expect us, frankly, right now, to be out with our military forces by 2011," he said.

Odierno said he will make a recommendation for any reductions of troops after the elections in January, and continue to reassess and make recommendations through the year. Provincial elections are slated for next month, with district elections following this summer and national elections by the end of the year.

"The bottom line is what we want to prevent is trying to use intimidation and coercion in order to influence the elections," he said. "I think many Iraqis feel that our presence here provides them stability for their elections. It provides them some confidence."

Overall, though, troop levels will likely drop here next year, he said, despite what he called an important time of transition.

"As the Iraqis are able to go through this transition, it will move them to a more stable government and we think that'll be a major milestone," he said.

"It's about stability. And what we want to do through 2009 is maintain stability inside of Iraq," Odierno said.

Despite improving security conditions, Odierno conceded that there are still challenges and al-Qaida, though weakened, is still able to carry out high-profile attacks such as the one this week in Kirkuk. Fifty-five Iraqis died in a suicide bombing at a restaurant.

Still, Odierno said there were only six security incidents across Iraq yesterday.

"All it takes is one suicide bomber ... who cares very little for the value of life, and they will do anything they can to garner attention," he said. "It still shows that it's still a fragile environment and there are still terrorists that operate inside of Iraq."

Brazilian Sailor´s Day

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

Approved and proposed for signature and ratification or accession by General Assembly resolution 260 A (III) of 9 December 1948

Entry into force: 12 January 1951, in accordance with article XIII

The Contracting Parties ,

Having considered the declaration made by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 96 (I) dated 11 December 1946 that genocide is a crime under international law, contrary to the spirit and aims of the United Nations and condemned by the civilized world,

Recognizing that at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity, and

Being convinced that, in order to liberate mankind from such an odious scourge, international co-operation is required,

Hereby agree as hereinafter provided :

Article I

The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.

Article II

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

( a ) Killing members of the group;

( b ) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

( c ) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

( d ) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

( e ) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article III

The following acts shall be punishable:

( a ) Genocide;

( b ) Conspiracy to commit genocide;

( c ) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;

( d ) Attempt to commit genocide;

( e ) Complicity in genocide.

Article IV

Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.

Article V

The Contracting Parties undertake to enact, in accordance with their respective Constitutions, the necessary legislation to give effect to the provisions of the present Convention, and, in particular, to provide effective penalties for persons guilty of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III.

Article VI

Persons charged with genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be tried by a competent tribunal of the State in the territory of which the act was committed, or by such international penal tribunal as may have jurisdiction with respect to those Contracting Parties which shall have accepted its jurisdiction.

Article VII

Genocide and the other acts enumerated in article III shall not be considered as political crimes for the purpose of extradition.

The Contracting Parties pledge themselves in such cases to grant extradition in accordance with their laws and treaties in force.

Article VIII

Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III.

Article IX

Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfilment of the present Convention, including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or for any of the other acts enumerated in article III, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute.

Article X

The present Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall bear the date of 9 December 1948.

Article XI

The present Convention shall be open until 31 December 1949 for signature on behalf of any Member of the United Nations and of any non-member State to which an invitation to sign has been addressed by the General Assembly.

The present Convention shall be ratified, and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

After 1 January 1950, the present Convention may be acceded to on behalf of any Member of the United Nations and of any non-member State which has received an invitation as aforesaid.

Instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article XII

Any Contracting Party may at any time, by notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, extend the application of the present Convention to all or any of the territories for the conduct of whose foreign relations that Contracting Party is responsible.

Article XIII

On the day when the first twenty instruments of ratification or accession have been deposited, the Secretary-General shall draw up a procès-verbal and transmit a copy thereof to each Member of the United Nations and to each of the non-member States contemplated in article XI.

The present Convention shall come into force on the ninetieth day following the date of deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.

Any ratification or accession effected subsequent to the latter date shall become effective on the ninetieth day following the deposit of the instrument of ratification or accession.

Article XIV

The present Convention shall remain in effect for a period of ten years as from the date of its coming into force.

It shall thereafter remain in force for successive periods of five years for such Contracting Parties as have not denounced it at least six months before the expiration of the current period.

Denunciation shall be effected by a written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article XV

If, as a result of denunciations, the number of Parties to the present Convention should become less than sixteen, the Convention shall cease to be in force as from the date on which the last of these denunciations shall become effective.

Article XVI

A request for the revision of the present Convention may be made at any time by any Contracting Party by means of a notification in writing addressed to the Secretary-General.

The General Assembly shall decide upon the steps, if any, to be taken in respect of such request.

Article XVII

The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify all Members of the United Nations and the non-member States contemplated in article XI of the following:

( a ) Signatures, ratifications and accessions received in accordance with article XI;

( b ) Notifications received in accordance with article XII;

( c ) The date upon which the present Convention comes into force in accordance with article XIII;

( d ) Denunciations received in accordance with article XIV;

( e ) The abrogation of the Convention in accordance with article XV;

( f ) Notifications received in accordance with article XVI.

Article XVIII

The original of the present Convention shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.

A certified copy of the Convention shall be transmitted to each Member of the United Nations and to each of the non-member States contemplated in article XI.

Article XIX

The present Convention shall be registered by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the date of its coming into force.

West Assumes Duties as Navy's 12th MCPON

Story Number: NNS081212-06
Release Date: 12/12/2008 6:21:00 PM

By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Bill Houlihan, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) (SS/SW) Rick D. West took the helm of the enlisted force as the Navy's 12th MCPON, receiving the ceremonial cutlass from MCPON (SW/FMF) Joe R. Campa, Jr., in a change-of-office ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard Dec. 12.

The ceremony marked the end of a 29-year career for Campa, who had served as MCPON since July 10, 2006. During his time as MCPON, Campa emphasized a return to "deckplate leadership" for the Navy's chief petty officer community and stressed the importance of infusing the fleet with a sense of the Navy's heritage, traditions and rich history.

"With a singular drive, he infused in our chief petty officers' mess a renewed spirit of heritage, service and high standards," said Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Gary Roughead, who served as the ceremony's guest speaker. "He formed the MCPON's Leadership Mess to coalesce fleetwide chiefs around those renewed standards and expectations. He created and enforced The Chief Petty Officer Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles."

Campa wasted little time beginning a process he referred to as "re-setting the Navy's Chief's Mess." He introduced the Chiefs' Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles (MVGP) just two months after taking office then used that document as a foundation for a series of CPO Mess changes and recommendations to senior Navy leadership.

During the 30-month period he was in office, Campa deliberately introduced the MVGP to the Navy and inserted the language into Chief Petty Officer Selection Board precepts, as well as the recently developed new CPO evaluation.

He was instrumental in the decision to rescind a policy requiring an associate degree for selection to senior chief and also successfully pushed for opening up advancement exams to Sailors serving in theaters such as Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.

Campa discussed none of his personal accomplishments during his retirement remarks, though, instead focusing on the gratitude he felt at the opportunities the Navy has provided him and the memories he'll take with him of his years as a United States Sailor.

"In the years to come I can guarantee you that the Sailor in me will never fade," said Campa. "I'll miss everything about our great Navy. I'll miss the Sailors with their energy, their swagger and their courage to speak their minds. I'll miss the culture and the attitude that is ours and ours alone, and I'll miss the sea more than I care to admit."

West, joined the Navy in 1981 and most recently served as Fleet Master Chief for Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk. He had previously served as Pacific Fleet Master Chief. In his remarks, he discussed the honor associated with leading an entire enlisted force.

"You all exemplify what it is to be a United States Sailor," said West. "Honor, courage and commitment.

"You are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan; are on I-As in Cuba, Africa and Bahrain and are forward deployed on ships and other duty stations throughout the world. I will honor your commitment by upholding the ideal of service that my predecessors have established."

Campa and West, in a tribute to CPO heritage, accepted the ceremonial cutlass from Ima Black, widow of the Navy's first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, MCPON Del Black. Campa made Mrs. Black an honorary master chief in 2007.

For more news from Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, visit

For more news from Chief of Naval Operations, visit

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Three Dead, One Missing in San Diego Crash

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2008 - The crash of a Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter jet in San Diego yesterday killed three people on the ground, and one person is missing, city fire officials said.

The Hornet, from Fighter/Attack Training Squadron 101 of Marine Aircraft Group 11, crashed into two houses after going down around noon PST in a neighborhood near Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, officials said.

The pilot is in stable condition at Naval Medical Center San Diego, Marine officials said.

The pilot – part of the 3rd Marine Air Wing – radioed that there was trouble and tried to steer the aircraft to an uninhabited canyon, Marine officials said. But the pilot was forced to eject, and the jet crashed two miles from the airport, they said.

The jet was returning from training exercises aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln when the crash occurred.

Monday, December 8, 2008

F-18 Crashes in California Neighborhood

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2008 - An F/A-18D Hornet jet based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., crashed today into a civilian neighborhood about two miles northwest of the airfield, Marine Corps officials announced.

The aircraft, assigned to Vertical Marine Fighter/Attack Training Squadron 101 from Marine Aircraft Group 11, went down at 11 a.m. PST, officials said.

Initial reports indicate the pilot ejected from the aircraft.

The incident is under investigation, officials said.

Related Sites: Marine Aircraft Group 11

F/A - 18 mishap

A F/A-18 from USMC just crash as preparing to land in Miramar Airfield. Two causalities reported on the ground. The pilot ejects safely.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

"December 8, 1941,

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. This morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounded determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire."

President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941.

The Navy Memorial commemorates Pearl Harbor

DNU Flash

Remembering Pearl Harbor

In the early morning hours of December 7, 1941 the mettle and determination of a generation were challenged when the Imperial Japanese Navy unleashed a sneak attack on the U.S. Navy fleet at anchor in Pearl Harbor.

In the face of these attacks the Sailors of the U.S. Navy responded with honor, courage and undying commitment.

Heroic actions were embodied by common men who, when suddenly faced with the challenge of battle, responded with the resolve and character that defined the Navy and nation.

The personal stories and accounts listed here provide a chance to reflect upon, ponder and understand what a rich heritage Sailors today share with veteran shipmates.

These accounts come from Sailors associated with six of the many commands and ships affected that fateful day.

In addition, they resonate the faithfulness, valor and ethos of that day and what it means to be a Sailor in the United States Navy.

Sailors today are part of this long blue line who have provided protection and security to the nation and the world.

Pearl Harbor Raid, 7 December 1941 -- Overview

WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

The 7 December 1941 Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor was one of the great defining moments in history. A single carefully-planned and well-executed stroke removed the United States Navy's battleship force as a possible threat to the Japanese Empire's southward expansion. America, unprepared and now considerably weakened, was abruptly brought into the Second World War as a full combatant.

Eighteen months earlier, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had transferred the United States Fleet to Pearl Harbor as a presumed deterrent to Japanese agression. The Japanese military, deeply engaged in the seemingly endless war it had started against China in mid-1937, badly needed oil and other raw materials. Commercial access to these was gradually curtailed as the conquests continued. In July 1941 the Western powers effectively halted trade with Japan. From then on, as the desperate Japanese schemed to seize the oil and mineral-rich East Indies and Southeast Asia, a Pacific war was virtually inevitable.

By late November 1941, with peace negotiations clearly approaching an end, informed U.S. officials (and they were well-informed, they believed, through an ability to read Japan's diplomatic codes) fully expected a Japanese attack into the Indies, Malaya and probably the Philippines. Completely unanticipated was the prospect that Japan would attack east, as well.

The U.S. Fleet's Pearl Harbor base was reachable by an aircraft carrier force, and the Japanese Navy secretly sent one across the Pacific with greater aerial striking power than had ever been seen on the World's oceans. Its planes hit just before 8AM on 7 December. Within a short time five of eight battleships at Pearl Harbor were sunk or sinking, with the rest damaged. Several other ships and most Hawaii-based combat planes were also knocked out and over 2400 Americans were dead. Soon after, Japanese planes eliminated much of the American air force in the Philippines, and a Japanese Army was ashore in Malaya.

These great Japanese successes, achieved without prior diplomatic formalities, shocked and enraged the previously divided American people into a level of purposeful unity hardly seen before or since. For the next five months, until the Battle of the Coral Sea in early May, Japan's far-reaching offensives proceeded untroubled by fruitful opposition. American and Allied morale suffered accordingly. Under normal political circumstances, an accomodation might have been considered.

However, the memory of the "sneak attack" on Pearl Harbor fueled a determination to fight on. Once the Battle of Midway in early June 1942 had eliminated much of Japan's striking power, that same memory stoked a relentless war to reverse her conquests and remove her, and her German and Italian allies, as future threats to World peace.

This page features a historical overview and special image selection on the Pearl Harbor raid, chosen from the more comprehensive coverage featured in the following pages, and those linked from them:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

NAVY beats the Army again!!!!

PHILADELPHIA (Dec. 6, 2008) The U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen run off the filed after beating the U.S. Military Academy Black Knights 34 to 0 in the 109th Army-Navy college football game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tommy Gilligan/Released)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Go Navy!!! Beat Army!!! DNU Flash - 12/1/2008

USS Nassau (LHA 4) sends message to support Naval Academy football team.

Medic Earns Three Purple Hearts During One Deployment to Iraq

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2008 - If Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Sims was a cat, he'd have only six lives left after his yearlong deployment to Iraq with the 1st Armored Division's Company B, 270th Armor Battalion, out of Fort Riley, Kan.

"I was wounded three times in Iraq the last time I was there," Sims said of the deployment that began in January 2005.

Sims, a medic, was riding in a tracked ambulance between two M1-A1 Abrams tanks when a roadside bomb detonated. Shrapnel pierced the vehicle and penetrated his flak vest, puncturing his left lung.

He was evacuated to the hospital in Balad. He spent about three weeks recovering before returning to his unit, but it was only the first of three stays at the hospital.

"They know me there," he said with a chuckle.

Three months after he'd returned to duty, his unit was on a foot patrol when it started taking enemy mortar fire. One mortar landed near Sims.

"Shrapnel hit near my lower left leg, penetrating through the front lower part and coming out the back," he said. "[I] almost, almost lost that limb in that incident, but everything's fine now."

Again, Sims was transported to Balad, where he spent another four weeks recovering from his injuries before rejoining his unit to finish his tour.

Unfortunately, he would endure one more interruption before rotating back home.

It was about 4 a.m., and Company B was patrolling Main Supply Route Tampa, one of the main roads in Iraq, when Sims, who was riding in an Abrams tank, started seeing flashes in the distance. He doesn't remember anything after calling in the attack, however.

"I took a sniper bullet – 7.62 mm – to the front of the helmet -- straight in front, almost right between the eyes," Sims said. The bullet fractured his neck and skull and knocked him unconscious.

"I fell into the turret of the tank," he said, "and when ... [it] turned to fire at the enemy, it broke my right femur."

That earned him a two-month stay in the Balad hospital. He said the care he received there was excellent, and he gave the men in his unit kudos for their part in his survival and recovery.

"I attribute a lot of my speedy recovery ... [to] the care that I received actually on site at the point of injury -- quick response from all the people that were there," he said, referring to the soldiers he'd trained in the new Combat Life Saver program. "The people that were actually treating me were people that I had trained. By the time I got to Balad, I was pretty much good to go. They just had to kind of patch me up."

Sims' last tour in Iraq may have resulted in three Purple Hearts, but he said he's not hesitant about returning.

"No, not at all," he said. "I think that it's a lot safer than when I was there. I think the time that I was there, it was right around the national election time, [and] it was really the peak of all the main [bomb] attacks.

"I think now, it's almost 100 percent turnaround," he added.

It's good he's not timid about returning. His current unit, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Engineer Battalion based out of Schweinfurt, Germany, is certain to deploy at some time.

"We're trying to get all the equipment in and get this unit stood up, because it's the only construction battalion in Europe right now," Sims said. "So, we don't know exactly where we're going yet, but we know we're going to go somewhere."

Sims, who has served 10 years since enlisting right out of high school, recently re-enlisted indefinitely. He hopes to become a doctor or a physician assistant, he said, but he has his sights on one of the Army's top spots if he remains in the Army as an enlisted soldier. He said he'd like to be the first medic to serve as sergeant major of the Army.

"As a medic, you get a broad spectrum of everything that's in the Army," he added. "You can go to any type of unit, so you're more well-rounded, I think."

Sims and his wife call St. Charles, Mo., home.

Clinton’s Selection Draws Bipartisan Praise


Dec. 1, 2008 – 1:23 p.m.

Despite some questions about campaign statements and her husband’s work, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton , D-N.Y., appears to face a smooth path to Senate confirmation as secretary of State.

John Kerry , the Massachusetts Democrat who will chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and its confirmation hearings next month, praised her Monday, along with the rest of the national security team announced by President-elect Barack Obama .

“My friend and colleague Hillary Clinton will bring her years of experience and her remarkable intellect to the effort to restore our alliances and advance the President’s agenda in the world,” Kerry said.

On Sunday, Sen. Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, the top Republican on Foreign Relations, praised the appointments. “I think they’re excellent selections. I think it will be a strong team,” he said on ABC’s “This Week,” adding that the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, gave new urgency to confirming Obama’s picks.

“Bipartisan support of this team really is of the essence right now,” Lugar said.

Obama called Clinton an “American of tremendous stature who will have my complete confidence, who knows many of the world’s leaders, who will command respect in every capital, and who will clearly have the ability to advance our interests around the world.”

Clinton said that challenges such as terrorism, global warming and the global economy convinced her to accept the post and leave the Senate after serving there for eight years.

“The fate of our nation and the future of our children will be forged in the crucible of these global challenges,” she said.

In order to avoid potential conflicts of interest with his wife’s diplomatic work, former President Bill Clinton has agreed to disclose all past and future donors to the foundation that runs his charitable programs overseas and funds his presidential library. He also agreed to incorporate the Clinton Global Initiative separately from the Clinton Foundation and submit his future work to ethics review.

Lugar said he supports Sen. Clinton’s nomination, but noted that there would be “legitimate questions” about that arrangement during the confirmation process.

For a full version of this story and the latest coverage, please visit CQ Politics.

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Obama’s National Security Team Will Face Multiple Challenges


Dec. 1, 2008 – 12:46 p.m.

As President-elect Barack Obama announced his national security team Monday, he faced two early hurdles: The Senate must confirm most of his nominees, and they must help him chart a new course on defense, foreign policy and homeland security.

The latter will no doubt be the more difficult task.

Obama made official his selections of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton , D-N.Y., 61, to be secretary of State; Robert M. Gates , 65, to stay on as secretary of Defense; James L. Jones, 64, retired Marine Corps commandant and Supreme Allied commander, Europe, as national security adviser; Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano , 51, as Homeland Security secretary; former deputy attorney general Eric Holder, 57, as attorney general; and Susan E. Rice, 44, former assistant secretary of State and one of his top foreign policy advisers, as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

“The national security challenges we face are just as grave — and just as urgent — as our economic crisis,” Obama said.

Among other immediate tasks, this team will have to figure out how to implement Obama’s plan to withdraw most U.S. forces from Iraq in 16 months and renew focus on the war in Afghanistan.

“As Bob said not too long ago, Afghanistan is where the war on terror began, and it is where it must end,” Obama said, referring to Gates.

The nominees are not expected to face much opposition in the Obama-friendly, Democratic Senate.

“Given the range of threats that we face — and the vulnerability that can be a part of every presidential transition — I hope that we can proceed swiftly for those national security officials who demand confirmation,” Obama said.

Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which must approve Clinton and Rice, praised the picks.

“I think they’re excellent selections. I think it will be a strong team,” he said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” adding that the attacks in Mumbai, India, gave a new sense of urgency to approving Obama’s picks.

For the full version of this story, and the latest coverage, please visit CQ Politics.

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Statement by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

"I am deeply honored that the President-Elect has asked me to continue as Secretary of Defense.

Mindful that we are engaged in two wars and face other serious challenges at home and around the world, and with a profound sense of personal responsibility to and for our men and women in uniform and their families, I must do my duty - as they do theirs. How could I do otherwise?

Serving in this position for nearly two years - and especially the opportunity to lead our brave and dedicated Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Defense Civilians - has been the most gratifying experience of my life. I am honored to continue to serve them and our country, and I will be honored to serve President-Elect Obama."


Obama Taps Gates to Keep Serving as Defense Secretary

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2008 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will remain in the Pentagon's top post when President-elect Barack Obama's administration takes office.

Obama, who also announced his other nominees for top national security posts today, cited the necessity of continuity as the United States fights wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as his rationale for asking Gates to stay.

In a statement, Gates said he is "deeply honored" that the president-elect asked him to continue serving.

"Mindful that we are engaged in two wars and face other serious challenges at home and around the world, and with a profound sense of personal responsibility to and for our men and women in uniform and their families, I must do my duty -- as they do theirs," Gates said in his statement. "How could I do otherwise?

"Serving in this position for nearly two years -- and especially the opportunity to lead our brave and dedicated soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and defense civilians -- has been the most gratifying experience of my life. I am honored to continue to serve them and our country, and I will be honored to serve President-elect Obama," Gates said.

Obama also announced his intent to nominate the following people to serve in his administration:

-- New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to be secretary of state;

-- Retired Marine Corps Gen. James L. Jones Jr. to be national security advisor;

-- Eric H. Holder to be attorney general;

-- Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano to be secretary of homeland security; and

-- Susan Rice to hold Cabinet rank as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Gates will not have to go through the Senate confirmation process. President George W. Bush nominated Gates as defense secretary in November 2006. The Senate approved the nomination, and he was sworn into office in December 2006 to succeed Donald H. Rumsfeld. Gates will be the first Cabinet officer to continue serving in an administration from a different political party.

Clinton has represented New York since her election in 2000 and has served on the Senate Armed Services Committee. She served as the chairwoman of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform in 1993. She has supported military action in Afghanistan, and has opposed recent actions in Iraq. In the Senate, she sponsored legislation to increase the size of the Army and has consistently worked to help military families. If confirmed, she will replace Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Jones retired in 2007 after serving as NATO's supreme allied commander for Europe and commander of U.S. European Command. Before that assignment, he was the Marine Corps commandant. Jones received his commission through Georgetown University in Washington in 1967 and served in Vietnam. He received the Silver Star for his actions there. As NATO commander, he led the expansion of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. As national security advisor, he will help to coordinate all aspects of U.S. power in the war on terror. He is currently chairman of the Atlantic Council of the United States. If approved, he would replace Stephen Hadley.

Holder served as deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration. He also has served as a judge, a prosecutor and as a front-line lawyer in the Justice Department. A native New Yorker, Holder received his law degree from Columbia University. If confirmed, he would succeed Michael Mukasey.

If confirmed, Napolitano would be responsible for the Coast Guard as part of her portfolio as homeland security secretary. A lawyer, she served as Arizona's attorney general before being elected as governor in 2002. Napolitano would replace Michael B. Chertoff.

Rice served on the National Security Council in the Clinton administration as assistant secretary of state for African affairs. She will replace Zalmay Khalilzad in the U.N. post.

Robert M. Gates

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