US Ship Captain Criticized for Giving Sailors “Bread and Water” Punishment

I had no idea that the US Navy had such a regulation:

Image via NY Daily News.

Sailors aboard the cruiser Shiloh during the 26-month command of Capt. Adam M. Aycock often worried about the CO’s use of one of the Navy’s most arcane punishments: confinement for three days in the brig while being fed only bread and water.

Over time, Aycock’s proclivity for using bread and water to punish junior sailors became well-known on the Yokosuka, Japan, waterfront, where the Shiloh is based, according to sailor comments in three of the ship’s command climate surveys.

“I do not wear my ballcap at the (Navy Exchange store),” one sailor wrote. “Even the taxi drivers on base know us for being the ‘USS Bread and Water.’”  [Navy Times]

You can read the rest at the link, but I am willing to be that many servicemembers would rather suck up three days of bread and water instead of getting hit with extra duty and restriction of up to 45 days through the Article 15 process.

US Navy Ships In Congested Waters Have Begun Reporting Their Positions Online

It appears that anyone can start tracking US Navy vessels online whenever they are traveling through congested waters:

A tweet posted on Sunday, Oct. 1. 2017, that maps the location of a “US GOV VSL” approaching Hong Kong reads: “Reason to believe this is USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).”

Naval enthusiasts are tweeting what they believe are U.S. warship positions after commanders ordered the vessels to activate their beacons while in congested waters to avoid collisions.

The order to turn on the Automatic Identification System (AIS) locators, reported by National Public Radio on Sept. 29, follows a series of collisions that have killed 17 sailors in the Pacific in recent months.

However, it appears that the new procedure is also allowing people to track the warships online.

A tweet posted on Sunday that maps the location of a “US GOV VSL” approaching Hong Kong reads: “Reason to believe this is USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).”

The aircraft carrier and the guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee anchored near Hong Kong on Monday, a Pacific Fleet statement said.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

USS Ronald Reagan To Arrive in the East Sea Later This Month

It will be interesting to see if the USS Ronald Reagan crosses the Northern Limit Line in the East Sea during this upcoming training mission:

The United States is expected to send the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), a forward-deployed aircraft carrier, to waters near the Korean Peninsula this month for a combined exercise with South Korea’s Navy, a defense official here said Sunday.

“We are in consultations (with the U.S.) on a plan for the aircraft strike group led by the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan to operate in the East Sea around Oct. 15,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

The Reagan will likely be accompanied by several other warships belonging to the strike group, such as an Aegis destroyer, a guided-missile cruiser and a nuclear-powered submarine.

The two sides plan to conduct joint drills to detect, track and intercept the North’s ballistic missiles in addition to anti-submarine warfare training, according to the official.

A U.S Forces Korea (USFK) official said no date of the Reagan’s arrival has been fixed yet.

“It’s likely to hold the combined training around Oct. 20. The exact schedule has not been set, depending on the conditions. And then it will likely make a port call in Busan,” he said.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

North Korea Makes Light of US Navy Collisions in Latest Propaganda Jab

North Korea has decided to pile on in regards to the US Navy’s recent high-profile collisions:

The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain is seen after a collision, in Singapore waters August 21, 2017. North Korea mocked the deadly incident in its latest threats. Ahmad Masood/Reuters

North Korea has used the recent fatal incidents involving two U.S. warships in its latest anti-American diatribe.

An article published in several state-controlled North Korean publications on Thursday derided the collisions involving the USS John S. McCain and USS Fitzgerald, which resulted in a combined death toll of 17 U.S. Navy sailors, and described them as a foreshadowing of America’s own destruction.

“When the American empire is sinking into the bottom of sea with the Aegis ship, strategic rockets soared into the space in the East, shaking the world with great thunder and spouting grenadine fire,” the article read, attempting to draw a link between Pyongyang’s missile tests and the accidents.  (………….)

The article goes on to lecture the U.S. on philosophy, quoting an Ancient Greek aphorism about wisdom being derived from the acknowledgment of one’s ignorance.

“‘Know thyself,’” the article read, before adding: “The U.S. should realize that if it disregards this warning of history and behaves recklessly, threatening peace in the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia, the U.S. mainland will be wrecked tomorrow just like the Aegis destroyer wrecked today.”  [Newsweek]

You can read more at the link.

US Navy and Malaysian Authorities Continue Search for Missing USS John S. McCain Sailors

It seems like the odds of finding someone alive seem pretty remote, but lets all hope at least one of the missing is alive:

In this photo released by the Royal Malaysian Navy, the U.S guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain is seen after a collision, off Johor, Malaysia, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.

Ongoing search-and-rescue efforts for 10 missing USS John S. McCain sailors have turned up a number of bodies, Adm. Scott Swift, Pacific Fleet commander, told reporters Tuesday evening.

The Yokosuka-based guided-missile destroyer was traveling to Singapore for a routine port visit early Monday when it collided with the Liberian-flagged Alnic MC oil tanker east of the city-state, injuring five sailors and leaving 10 missing.

During a news conference at Singapore’s Changi Naval Base, Swift said that Navy and Marine Corps divers discovered remains while searching sealed compartments in damaged areas of the ship. The Malaysian navy also discovered remains that could be one of the missing sailors.

“We have a report from the Malaysians … that they have found a body,” Swift said. “We are in the process of effecting the transfer of that body so we can start the identification process and determine whether it’s one of the missing sailors or not. We have discovered other bodies during the diving on McCain today. The divers were able to locate some remains in those sealed compartments during their search.”  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link, but initially the damage to the ship at least visually doesn’t appear as bad as with the USS Fitzgerald.

US Sailor Makes Marriage to Japanese Military Servicemember Work

It is pretty cool that this couple has been able to make this marriage work despite being in two different militaries:

Brandon and Yuriko Reed pose with their 9-month-old son, Lucas, last month at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. Brandon is a Navy religious program specialist, while Yuriko is an intelligence specialist serving in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. TYLER HLAVAC/STARS AND STRIPES

While it’s not unusual to see American servicemembers with Japanese spouses in Japan, couples like Brandon and Yuriko Reed are a lot less common.

Brandon, a Navy petty officer first class and religious program specialist, is married to Yuriko, a petty officer third class and intelligence specialist serving in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

The Reeds, who wed in 2012 and have two children, met while both were stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni. It was Brandon’s first duty station and Yuriko’s second, after a stint as a trumpet player at a Japanese base near Hiroshima.

The couple met through mutual friends after Yuriko sought an American who could help her practice English.

“Everyone wants this crazy story,” Brandon said. “But that’s really all there is. Nothing spectacular.”

Through careful coordination with their respective services, the Reeds managed to secure orders for both to be stationed at Yokosuka. Brandon said he and Yuriko are lucky that his job allows him to be stationed at any major Navy or Marine Corps base. Because the JMSDF has no permanent installations outside of Japan, Yuriko is generally limited to just a handful of U.S. and Japanese bases in Japan.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link, but I can’t ever recall meeting anyone in the US military married to someone in the South Korean military.  Has anyone else seen such a marriage?

US Admiral Makes Point that Military is Under Civilian Control and News Media Freaks Out

A US admiral makes a point about the US military being under civilian control of the military and of course the media runs with sensational headlines such as “If Trump Asked, We’d Nuke China Next Week,’ Says U.S. Navy Fleet Commander”.  The Pacific Fleet Commander probably should have been more careful in his wording considering the pathetically poor state of journalism in the United States currently:

Admiral Scott Swift

But the head of the largest fleet in the U.S. Navy, Admiral Scott Swift, was quick to swear his loyalty to the commander-in-chief Thursday, to the point that the admiral said he would hypothetically follow the president’s orders to launch a nuclear missile at China.

“The answer would be: yes,” said Swift, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, when asked a question during an Australian National University security conference in the Australian capital, Canberra, the AP reported.

Swift made no suggestion that any such order had been given, but seemed to make the remark in the context of underscoring the U.S. military’s oath of allegiance to whoever holds the office of the president of the United States.  [Newsweek]

Really Newsweek do you have to add the statement “Swift made no suggestion that any such order had been given…”  I would think we would be at a state of war with China before any order to nuke the country was given.  Reading the various media articles on this topic almost seems like the media wanted Admiral Swift to say he would not follow President Trump’s orders

US, Canada, and South Korea Conduct Trilateral Naval Exercise this Week

Here is another example of strategic messaging against North Korea that the Canadians are ready to stand with the ROK if needed:

Battleships from the Incheon Naval Sector Defense Command take part in a drill near Incheon and Ijak Island on June 14 and 15 to mark the month of national defense and veterans’ welfare. / Yonhap

South Korea said Monday it will hold a combined live-fire naval exercise with the United States and Canada this week in its southern waters.

Hosted by South Korea’s Maritime Task Flotilla Seven (MTF7), the three-day training exercise will be staged in waters near Jeju Island from Friday, according to the Navy.

It will involve five South Korean warships, including the Aegis cruiser DDG-992 Yulgok Yii, P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft and Lynx multi-role planes as well as the USS Dewey (DDG-105), an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer from the U.S. Navy, and MH-60R helicopters.

Two major Canadian frigates — Winnipeg and Ottawa — and SH-3 choppers will also take part in the practice.

The three sides plan to hold various drills on interdiction, air defense, anti-submarine operations and ballistic missile detection, along with live-fire training, said the Navy.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.