Tag Archives | Navy

U.S. Sailors Sick From Fukushima Radiation

200px-D-W005_Warnung_vor_radioaktiven_Stoffen_oder_ionisierenden_Strahlen_ty.svgHarvey Wasserman writes at CounterPunch:

Citing a wide range of ailments from leukemia to blindness to birth defects, 79 American veterans of 2011’s earthquake/tsunami relief Operation Tomadachi (“Friendship”) have filed a new $1 billion class action lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power.

The suit includes an infant born with a genetic condition to a sailor who served on the USS Ronald Reagan as radiation poured over it during the Fukushima melt-downs, and an American teenager living near the stricken site. It has also been left open for “up to 70,000 U.S. citizens [who were] potentially affected by the radiation and will be able to join the class action suit.”

The re-filing comes as Tepco admits that it has underestimated certain radiation readings by a factor of five. And as eight more thyroid cancers have surfaced among children in the downwind region.Two new earthquakes have also struck near the Fukushima site.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Drone Wars Go Underwater With New U.S. Navy ‘Glider’

US Navy 101021-N-5972N-006 Daniel Braun, left, Eric Sanchez and David Barney, Systems Center Pacific engineers at Space and Naval Warfare Systems CThanks to activists like Robert Greenwald and his new film Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars, many Americans are well aware of the ominous threat of weaponized aerial drones. Few, however, know that the United States Navy also has a drone program. From TIME Swampland:

While you were out shopping Sunday for those last-minute holiday gifts, the Navy pushed ahead with its own vision of an underwater sugar plum: a fleet of “long endurance, transoceanic gliders harvesting all energy from the ocean thermocline.”

And you thought Jules Verne died in 1905.

Fact is, the Navy has been seeking—pretty much under the surface—a way to do underwater what the Air Force has been doing in the sky: prowl stealthily for long periods of time, and gather the kind of data that could turn the tide in war.

The Navy’s goal is to send an underwater drone, which it calls a “glider,” on a roller-coaster-like path for up to five years.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

American Navy Sailors Suffering From Fukushima Radiation Sickness

US Navy 110323-N-IC111-436 Sailors scrub the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) following a countermeasure wash dowSorry to say I highly doubt that these American sailors are the only people outside of Japan who will suffer from radiation-induced illnesses in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. The New York Post reports:

Navy sailor Lindsay Cooper knew something was wrong when billows of metallic-tasting snow began drifting over USS Ronald Reagan.

“I was standing on the flight deck, and we felt this warm gust of air, and, suddenly, it was snowing,” Cooper recalled of the day in March 2011 when she and scores of crewmates watched a sudden storm blow toward them from the tsunami-torn coast of Fukushima, Japan.

The tall 24-year-old with a winning smile didn’t know it then, but the snow was caused by the freezing Pacific air mixing with a plume of radioactive steam from the city’s shattered nuclear reactor.

Now, nearly three years after their deployment on a humanitarian mission to Japan’s ravaged coast, Cooper and scores of her fellow crew members on the aircraft carrier and a half-dozen other support ships are battling cancers, thyroid disease, uterine bleeding and other ailments.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Lasers Before Butter

Picture credit: Teh Intertubes

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side” – Han Solo

The military’s Star Wars generation looks set to finally get what they surely always wanted, kick ass lazers!

Wired reports:

“On directed energy” — the term for the Navy’s laser cannons, “I’d say two years,” Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, the chief of the Office of Naval Research, told Danger Room in a Monday interview. The previous estimate, which came from Klunder’s laser technicians earlier this year, was that it will take four years at the earliest for a laser gun to come aboard.

“We’re well past physics,” Klunder said, echoing a mantra for the Office of Naval Research’s laser specialists. Now, the questions surrounding a weapon once thought to be purely science fiction sound almost pedestrian. “We’re just going through the integration efforts,” Klunder continued. “Hopefully, that tells you we’re well mature, and we’re ready to put these on naval ships.”

Wired full story

With a mounting fiscal deficit in America the political hot potato that is military funding has been thrown around quite a lot recently.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

U.S. Navy Wants To Keep Prying Eyes Away From Ocean Floor

LIDO Listening To The Deep Sea Ocean Environment

LIDO Listening To The Deep Sea Ocean Environment

Satellite photos used to be for military eyes only, but Google Earth changed all that. Now something similar is happening to the ocean depths, with any web user able to listen in and “surf the sea floor” – and the US Navy is not happy. Rhitu Chatterjee and Rob Hugh-Jones report for PRI’s The World via BBC News:

“The cable is going underneath here,” says Benoit Pirenne, standing at the water’s edge on Canada’s Vancouver Island. “It’s going out 500 miles (800km) in a big loop in the ocean, coming back in the same place.”

The Vancouver cable connects a network of scientific instruments on the floor of the north Pacific, some as deep as 1.5 miles (2.5km).

Set up by Pirenne and his colleagues at the University of Victoria, and called Neptune Canada, they continuously monitor the marine environment.

The scientists are harvesting large amounts of information, including water pressure readings that help them better understand the movement of tsunamis through oceans, which they hope will lead to more accurate warning systems.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Navy SEAL Team 6 Members Killed in Afghanistan Helicopter Crash Not Osama bin Laden’s Killers

Navy SEAL InsigniaSo official sources say. A dramatic loss of life to one of America’s elite military forces. Christine Haverkamp reports on the AP via KTLV:

U.S. officials tell the Associated Press that they believe that none of the Navy SEALs who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan had participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, although they were from the same unit that carried out the bin Laden mission.

Sources say that more than 20 Navy SEALs were among those lost in the crash in Afghanistan.

The operators from SEAL Team Six were flown by a regular Army crew. That’s according to AP military sources.

Another source says the team was thought to include 22 SEALs, three Air Force air controllers, seven Afghan Army troops, a dog and his handler, and a civilian interpreter, plus the helicopter crew.

The sources thought this was the largest single loss of life ever for SEAL Team Six, known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Navy Turns To Online Gamers In Fight Against Somali Pirates

wargames_video_boxIf you have spent the past fifteen years in a dank basement playing video games while immersed in a thin layer of Dorito crumbs, the U.S. military needs you to sort out the geopolitical mess around the Horn of Africa for them, please. AFP reports:

The Office of Naval Research plans this month to launch the US military’s first online war game to draw on the ideas of thousands of people instead of the traditional strategy session held inside the Pentagon’s offices.

“Piracy off the Horn of Africa has been an enduring problem that has many stakeholders. We selected this topic for the pilot scenario,” Schuette said.

The game will have three rounds over three weeks, with players in the first stage faced with a piracy scenario and asked to propose brief, Twitter-length solutions. Players will be presented with boxes labeled, “Innovate” and “Defend,” with questions such as: “What new resources could turn the tide in the Somali pirate situation?” In the second round, there are more scenarios to grapple with and then in the third, players are grouped in teams and will come up with a more detailed “action plan.”

The precise details of the war game scenarios are being kept under wraps for the moment by the game designers, the Institute for the Future, a non-profit group based in Palo Alto, California.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Navy Issues Guidance on Use of Marine Mammals

dolphinSteven Aftergood writes on Secrecy News, a publication of the Federation of American Scientists:

A new U.S. Navy Instruction (pdf) updates Navy policy on the use of marine mammals for national security missions.

It seems that by law (10 USC 7524), the Secretary of Defense is authorized to “take” (or acquire) up to 25 wild marine mammals each year “for national defense purposes.”  These mammals — including whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions — are used for military missions such as locating and marking underwater mines, and providing force protection against unauthorized swimmers or vehicles, among other things.

The new Secretary of the Navy Instruction 3900.41F, dated 13 November 2009 and published this week, provides guidance on “Acquisition, Transport, Care and Maintenance of Marine Mammals.”

The U.S. military marine mammal program has labored under a cloud of public suspicion, the Navy admits, and such suspicion has only been aggravated by the secrecy that surrounded the program for many years.

Read the rest

Continue Reading