Tuesday, December 7, 2010
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.
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
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:
For additional information and related resources on the Pearl Harbor attack, see:
At NatGeo: http://plasma.nationalgeographic.com/pearlharbor/
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Today, 08.21.08, the Brazilian government decided to unifies the data base from Brazilian Information Agency (used basically to spy Brazilians citizens), Military Intelligence agencies (used almost for the same reasons, but in the Military), Central Bank data base, IRS, Brazilian Federal Police Intel. Agency, Assents Recuperation and Juridical International Cooperation Department, Financial Actives Control Agency (control every financial trasation over US$ 5,000.00); all under the control of Brazilian Information Agency.
Since 2002 there isn´t anymore in Brazil any kind of banking privacy, in the same way, if you are called to splain our privacy life you are gilt until you are able to prove your innocence.
And the Brazilian Court granted already more than 10,000 permition of wiretapping in the last 5 years, some of then without any previous proves, just "fishing". Last week the Brazilian Supreme Court decides that the Federal Police must be have more caution in the use of ...algemas... , and the Federal Police replies that is a no can do situation, opening a crise with even one Supreme threatening to beat other one, all without any cover from the press, witch is more interest in the Olympic Games.
So technically I do believe we are already living in a Policial State. 8/21/08
Sunday, September 19, 2010
ON JULY 19, 2004, I didn’t die.
Physically, I was unhurt, but I was living with the loss of my friends, recurring nightmares of the events of the day, and an overwhelming guilt for being alive. I’m not even really sure you could call it living. I felt worthless; although I was newly married with a daughter, I thought about suicide.
I didn’t know what to call it then, but I was suffering from survivor guilt and post-traumatic stress disorder. The only people I could listen to were those who had been there with me. Hearing from them that they cared for me and that I could be proud of myself and my service meant so much more somehow than hearing it from my family, who love you in spite of a turmoil they don’t understand.
I had to get better not only to care for my family but to honor the friends we had lost by living a full life.
I underwent treatment at the VA, which involved group therapy sessions and meeting with counselors. But the thing that broke through more than any session was talking one-on-one with veterans of the Vietnam War. Those guys put me on a personal mission. “Don’t let your generation become like ours,” they told me. “Make your buddies aware, make the public aware.”
I could tell them things — one guy in particular. With all the doctors and social workers and other vets there, this big, tough Vietnam vet chose me to share a story that, although half a world and four decades apart, was a lot like mine. As he helped me, I was helping him, too.
This offered me a starting point. I didn’t have to open up completely then, but I could start, little by little, to unload the weight of my emotions and experiences.
If this set me on an upward slope, I reached a peak at a combat-stress retreat run through the Wounded Warrior Project. I didn’t say as much as I could have, and I can’t really explain what that week meant to me. I learned to look at things a different way and to process my feelings differently.
I won’t say that I was cured that week. There is no cure for post-traumatic stress or survivor guilt, just as there is no way to bring Lloyd or Persing back.
But I have fewer, less-intense nightmares. When I have a flashback, I know how to ground myself back into my surrounding reality. I have learned to control my symptoms rather than letting them control me.
A lot of combat veterans believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness. I will admit that I once felt the same, but reaching out saved my life. The help doesn’t need to come from a doctor. It can be another vet, or just someone you can trust. It can be hard to talk. But just take one thing out at a time, something small. You don’t have to dump it all out; just lighten your load, bit by bit, and you’ll get there.
PTSD is a wound. Like any other wound, it will fester and spread if you don’t treat it. Just like you would with a wound to your arm or leg, you treat it, you stop the infection. It may not work quite as it did before, and you may have a scar, but you will start to heal and find strength and ability to do things you didn’t before.
I am pursuing my education now through the TRACK program, working out and loving my wife and daughter. I won’t waste the life that was spared on July 19, 2004, and I will honor the friends I lost by living a better life.
Andrew Coughlan, a Michigan resident, served in the war in Iraq. He is participating in the nonprofit Wounded Warrior Project’s TRACK program, which provides education and transition service to wounded vets in Jacksonville, Fla.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
DNU Flash - Headlines from around the fleet: Commander, Naval Installations Command stresses hurricane preparedness; Sailors participate in Pacific Reach 2010; USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Sailors participate in the Give a Kid a Backpack program.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
- 49 BC – Julius Caesar's general Gaius Scribonius Curio is defeated in the Second Battle of the Bagradas River by the Numidians under Publius Attius Varus and King Juba of Numidia. Curio commits suicide to avoid capture.
- 79 – Mount Vesuvius erupts. The cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae are buried in volcanic ash.
- 410 – The Visigoths under Alaric begin to pillage Rome for three days.
- 1200 – King John of England, signee of the first Magna Carta, married Isabella of Angouleme in Bordeaux Cathedral.
- 1215 – Pope Innocent III declares Magna Carta invalid.
- 1349 – Six thousand Jews are killed in Mainz after being blamed for the bubonic plague.
- 1391 – Jews massacred in Palma de Mallorca.
- 1456 – The printing of the Gutenberg Bible is completed.
- 1511 – Afonso de Albuquerque of Portugal conquers Malacca, the capital of the Sultanate of Malacca.
- 1561 – Willem of Orange marries duchess Anna of Saxony.
- 1572 – St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre: On the orders of king Charles IX of France, a massacre of Huguenots (French Protestants) begins.
- 1608 – The first official English representative to India lands in Surat.
- 1662 – Act of Uniformity requires England to accept the Book of Common Prayer.
- 1682 – William Penn receives the area that is now the state of Delaware, and adds it to his colony of Pennsylvania.
- 1690 – Calcutta, India is founded.
- 1814 – British troops invade Washington, D.C. and burn down the White House and several other buildings.
- 1815 – The modern Constitution of the Netherlands is signed.
- 1816 – The Treaty of St. Louis is signed in St. Louis, Missouri.
- 1820 – Constitutionalist insurrection at Oporto, Portugal; see Portugal's crises of the Nineteenth Century.
- 1821 – The Treaty of Córdoba is signed in Córdoba, now in Veracruz, Mexico, concluding the Mexican War of Independence from Spain.
- 1831 – Charles Darwin is asked to travel on HMS Beagle.
- 1857 – The Panic of 1857 begins, setting off one of the most severe economic crises in U.S. history.
- 1858 – In Richmond, Virginia, 90 blacks are arrested for learning.
- 1870 – The Wolseley Expedition reaches Manitoba to end the Red River Rebellion.
- 1875 – Captain Matthew Webb became first person to swim English Channel
- 1891 – Thomas Edison patents the motion picture camera.
- 1892 – Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, one of the world's first purpose-built football grounds, opens.
- 1898 – Count Muravyov, Foreign Minister of Russia presented a rescript
- 1902 – A statue of Joan of Arc is unveiled in Saint-Pierre-le-Moûtier.
- 1909 – Workers start pouring concrete for the Panama Canal.
- 1912 – Alaska becomes a United States territory.
- 1914 – World War I: German troops capture Namur.
- 1929 – Turkey and Persia sign a friendship treaty.
- 1929 – Second day of two-day Hebron massacre during the 1929 Palestine riots: Arab attack on the Jewish community in Hebron in the British Mandate of Palestine, resulted in the death of 65-68 Jews and the remaining Jews being forced to leave the city.
- 1931 – France and the Soviet Union sign a neutrality/no attack treaty.
- 1931 – Resignation of the United Kingdom's Second Labour Government. Formation of the UK National Government.
- 1932 – Amelia Earhart is the first woman to fly across the United States non-stop (from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey).
- 1936 – The Australian Antarctic Territory is created.
- 1937 – In the Spanish Civil War, the Basque Army surrenders to the Italian Corpo Truppe Volontarie following the Santoña Agreement.
- 1942 – World War II: The Battle of the Eastern Solomons. Japanese aircraft carrier Ryūjō is sunk and US carrier Enterprise heavily damaged.
- 1944 – World War II: Allied troops start the attack on Paris.
- 1949 – The treaty creating NATO goes into effect.
- 1950 – Edith Sampson becomes the first black U.S. delegate to the UN.
- 1954 – The Communist Control Act goes into effect. The American Communist Party is outlawed.
- 1954 – Getúlio Dornelles Vargas, president of Brazil, commits suicide and is succeeded by João Café Filho.
- 1960 – A temperature of −88°C (−127°F) is measured in Vostok, Antarctica — a world-record low.
- 1963 – Buddhist crisis: As a result of the Xa Loi Pagoda raids, the US State Department cabled the US Embassy in Saigon to encourage Army of the Republic of Vietnam generals to launch a coup against President Ngo Dinh Diem if he did not remove his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu.
- 1963 – The 200-metre freestyle is swum in less than 2 minutes for the first time by Don Schollander (1:58).
- 1967 – Led by Abbie Hoffman, a group of hippies temporarily disrupt trading at the NYSE by throwing dollar bills from the viewing gallery, causing a cease in trading as the brokers scramble to grab them up.
- 1968 – France explodes its first hydrogen bomb, thus becoming the world's fifth nuclear power.
- 1981 – Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon.
- 1989 – Colombian drug barons declare "total war" on the Colombian government.
- 1989 – Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose is banned from baseball for gambling by Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti.
- 1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
- 1991 – Ukraine declares itself independent from the Soviet Union.
- 1992 – Diplomatic relations are established between the People's Republic of China and South Korea.
- 1992 – Hurricane Andrew hits South Florida as a Category 5 Hurricane.
- 1994 – Initial accord between Israel and the PLO about partial self-rule of the Palestinians on the West Bank.
- 1995 – Computer software developer Microsoft releases their Windows 95 operating system.
- 1998 – The Netherlands is selected as the site for the trial of the two Libyan suspects of the 1988 Pan Am bombing.
- 1998 – First RFID human implantation tested in the United Kingdom.
- 2000 – Argon fluorohydride, the first Argon compound ever known, is discovered at the University of Helsinki by Finnish scientists.
- 2001 – Air Transat Flight 236 runs out of fuel over the Atlantic Ocean (en route to Lisbon from Toronto) and makes an emergency landing in the Azores.
- 2004 – Eighty-nine passengers die after two airliners explode after flying out of Domodedovo International Airport, near Moscow. The explosions are caused by suicide bombers (reportedly female) from the Russian Republic of Chechnya.
- 2006 – The International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefines the term "planet" such that Pluto is considered a Dwarf Planet.
Monday, August 23, 2010
ABOARD THE USS RHODE ISLAND, Aug. 23, 2010 - On a recent sun-soaked morning hundreds of miles off Florida's Atlantic coast, this Trident ballistic missile submarine surfaced for an unusual operation.
About a dozen journalists, many representing the military, watched from a contracted 250-foot support vessel as the sleek, black back of the submarine ascended above gentle waters in the open ocean and maneuvered alongside the boat. With just a few feet separating the two vessels and a Coast Guard cutter on watch, the support boat's crew extended a catwalk bridge from its deck over to the Rhode Island.
A pod of dolphins played in the wake below as the journalists hobbled quickly over to the submarine. "Keep moving! Keep moving!" a submariner shouted, as a slowdown easily could lead to a foot or leg getting caught and injured, or causing a "man overboard" situation.
After exchanging quick greetings with the attending crew, the journalists climbed in turn through the hatch and down the steep, narrow ladder into the belly of the sub.
The Aug. 16 media visit offered a rare glimpse into what is known as "the silent service," the community of Navy submariners who man and control the vessels that carry weapons under the sea. Journalists were invited to embed on the Trident after a military-commissioned survey showed that Americans know less about the Navy than the other services, and even less about submarines and those who serve on them, Lt. Rebecca Rebarich, public affairs officer for Submarine Group 10 at King's Bay Naval Base, Ga., said.
The visit also coincided with increasing media attention on the submarine community following two major changes in Navy policy earlier this year: lifting the ban on women serving on submarines, and ending smoking on subs. The Navy chose 21 women early this summer to begin the 15-month training to serve on subs beginning in the fall of 2011. The smoking ban takes effect Jan. 1.
The Nuclear Triad
The Rhode Island is an Ohio-class submarine, the largest model in the U.S. fleet. At about 560 feet long and 42 feet in diameter, Ohio-class submarines hold 24 Trident ballistic missile tubes and four torpedo tubes. The Navy's fleet of 14 SSBNs is based at King's Bay and at Bangor, Wash.
The Trident subs, known as "boomers," are powered by a single-shaft nuclear reactor. They can carry more than 16 tons, travel more than 20 knots -- more than 23 miles per hour -- and submerge more than 800 feet, according to Navy officials who keep their exact capabilities secret.
Part of the nuclear deterrent triad along with land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and Air Force bombers, the Tridents' sole mission is to deter a nuclear attack through its ultimate strike capabilities. A command from the president, passed through U.S. Strategic Command and ultimately to the ship's captain, allows the crew to fire a long-range ballistic missile in a matter of minutes.
The Trident is a three-stage missile powered by solid rocket motors. It's about 44 feet long and 7 feet in diameter, and weighs about 120,000 pounds, according to information provided by public affairs officials. Each has a range of more than 4,000 miles.
Touring the Boomer
The boomer's design of massive missile tubes occupying the bulk of the midsection and extending vertically through four levels is the focal point of the vessel and a reminder of the singular mission of deterrence. The space between the tanks makes up the hallways. Small rooms, such as the nine-person enlisted berthing cabins -- three sets of bunks with three beds each -- and a couple of bathrooms, known as "heads," are tucked in between.
The galley and crew's mess are nearby on the same level and they present a nearly constant hub of activity. The Navy is known for providing good meals, and if the Rhode Island is an indication, submarines are among the best. The boat's head chef, Petty Officer 1st Class Daniell Pinero, a former chef for the secretary of defense, and his crew provide three hot meals each day as well as late-evening snacks.
Stocking the galley for a three-month tour is no small undertaking. A lengthy shopping list includes, for example, 530 pounds of coffee, 22,140 eggs, 800 pounds of butter, 504 bags of microwave popcorn and 21,000 biodegradable weights to sink trash in the ocean. Because all food must be purchased and stored before the start of the tours, fresh produce is a scarce commodity enjoyed in the early days of each patrol. Still, there are few complaints. Pizza, spaghetti, turkey and dressing, ham and sweet potatoes, rolls, cakes and pies -– all homemade -– were provided during the media visit.
"I gain 10 pounds every time we go out," Cmdr. Robert J. Clark, commanding officer and captain for one of the Rhode Island's two rotating crews, said.
Exercise equipment is placed sporadically around the ship – cardio machines and free weights – wherever there is a little spare room. But as Clark and others noted, any weight gained on board is lost during shore duty.
A Tight-knit Community
Clark is the commanding officer and captain of the Rhode Island's blue crew, which carried the media representatives during their visit. His executive officer, or second in command, is Lt. Cmdr. Paul Pampuro.
Each Trident sub includes two crews of 15 officers and about 140 enlisted men, known as the blue and gold crews, each with its own commanding officer. Each crew rotates onto submarine duty about every 112 days, while the other crew stays at base for training and preparation for the next time at sea.
A snapshot of the crew is one that is young, smart, and committed to the mission and fellow crewmembers. The average age is 23, and many have engineering, math or science degrees.
Ask submariners what they enjoy most about their work and the answer usually is the camaraderie of a tight-knit community, the highly specialized work, and the importance of the mission.
Lt. Colin Myers is a Naval Academy graduate who serves as the sub's main propulsion assistant, assistant security manager, intelligence officer and ship self-assessment coordinator. He said he enjoys the Rhode Island because of the quality of the crew.
"These are a lot of really smart guys," Myers said. "Some are double majors. It's a volunteer force, so they really want to be here." He added that because the submarine force is small, there are many opportunities and officers advance quickly; some obtain command by their mid-30s.
Serving on a submarine -– mostly submerged for three months with only periscopes to see out -- also can be stressful, tedious and boring, submariners say. The days are long, sleep is minimal, and submariners are surprisingly disconnected. E-mail is sporadic, only coming through every couple of days when an antenna is connected to the sail -- a submarine's exterior tower-like structure -- and attachments are not allowed. There are no phone calls; no text messages. Still, some say they don't mind being disconnected.
"You either love it or hate it," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Calvin Hurt, the torpedo room supervisor.
Reality in Mission Control
Around 9 p.m., some off-duty crew members gather in the mess to wind down with a movie. The chef has made pizza and Buffalo wings, and someone pops in the 1990 movie, "The Hunt for Red October."
"This is a comedy!" a long-time submariner proclaimed as the crew laughed at the creative license Hollywood took in producing the action-packed drama of a Trident submarine executive officer, played by Denzel Washington, who leads a mutiny after the captain, played by Gene Hackman, decides to launch a ballistic missile at a perceived Soviet threat.
In the real world of Trident subs, protocol and procedures rule. In the control room, the sub's nerve center, each area is manned in six-hour shifts with full attention on the equipment. The mission is to keep the boomer undetected, while detecting everything else around it.
In the front of the room, three enlisted men watch location and conditions on monitors while two of them do their part to "drive" the sub with long-handled steering wheels. Behind them, two others man multiple screens that track sonar and acoustics, analyzing sounds from as far away as 75,000 yards. Behind them, an officer always is watching through the periscope, and those images are provided on computer screens. Coordinates are constantly being called out above the sound of the equipment, and the standard response "very well" acknowledges receipt of the information.
Many of the screens are marked "Secret," and all of the crew has security clearances. While each has his own job specialty, all are cross-trained and expected to be able to do multiple jobs, Rolinger said. "Everyone is an expert at damage control," he said, noting the crew practices multiple drills -– from firing torpedoes to putting out fires –- several times per week.
During a missile release test, Clark stands in the center of the control room receiving information from every possible data point, some relayed repeatedly to ensure conditions have not changed. "All missiles will be released," he announces along with the exact time so all clocks are synchronized to the exact second.
"This is the captain. This is an exercise," Clark says over the sub's speaker system.
Down the hall, two crew members man the missile control center, divided between "launcher" and "fire" controls. The U.S. ballistic missile fleet fires four test missiles each year, and has had 124 consecutive successful tests in 20 years, Cmdr. Michael Sowa, deputy chief of staff of strategic weapons for Submarine Group 10, said. The tests also serve as a deterrent, and foreign countries are notified before testing begins, he added.
"The system works well, even better than it was designed to work," Sowa said. The British, French, and Russians also test ballistic missiles, and the Chinese are developing the capabilities, he said.
"The SSBN mission is to deter," Sowa added. "So, if we must launch, we've failed our mission."
Earning Their Dolphins
A more likely scenario than the release of a Trident missile is the release of a torpedo. Back toward the front end of the sub and down the stairs next to the smoking room, two crew members man the torpedo controls, watching red and green lights for the status of torpedoes that lie horizontally on hydraulic lifts. They hold several exercises each week to practice firing torpedoes, and avoiding torpedoes from an enemy.
"Everything we do down here, we get one minute to do it in," Hurt said. A submariner for four years, he said he now loves the job that is very trying for the first two years.
Three sailors earned the title of submariner here on Aug. 16 when they were presented the coveted Dolphin pins, which come only after a new crew member proves within 10 months that he has a basic understanding of everything on the boat. Clark presented the pins during a ceremony in the crew's mess.
"The whole thing is a little overwhelming," Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Iverson, 20, of Freeport, Ill., said after receiving his pin. "With this, you know you've earned the respect of your fellow shipmates."
Petty Officer 1st Class Herwin Marcia, who has served on submarines for 13 years, still remembers the stress of being new on a submarine.
"It's a big culture shock," he said. "You have to catch up to where you can support everyone else. You have to be ready when called on. We don't have time to wait."
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