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Sea Links

March 5, 2010

The guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) with the Brazilian navy ship BNS Niterai (F40) off the coast of Rio de Janeiro .

US Navy

USS Dewey Joins the Fleet.

Navy official calls for rapid deployment of unmanned vessels.

2,000th Tomahawk Block IV Cruise Missile Delivered to USN.

Carrier visit to Brazil seen as prop to push Boeing buy.

General Dynamics Launches cargo ship USNS Charles Drew.

Navy Flees Pearl Harbor in Wake of Tsunami.

HSV Swift, Nicholas Train with Seychelles Coast Guard. More.

Coast Guard labors to finish Deepwater Program.

Pentagon Agency Plans for Sub-Hunting ‘Ghost Ship’.

New chain gun to help frigate do its job.

The Rise and Fall of a Female Captain Bligh. More. Still More.


Warships of the World

Putin presents deal on aircraft carrier.

Russia one step closer to buying French warship.

US offers India the Aegis Combat System.

British Captain defends Troubled Submarine.

Construction Begins At Navy’s New Carriers’ Portsmouth Base.

Can Britain afford not to build £5bn Royal Navy aircraft carriers?

HMCS Halifax ends Haiti deployment.

China concerned by ASEAN subs.

Chilean navy accepts responsibility for untimely warning on tsunami.


New Wars at Sea

Turkey sends one more frigate to Gulf against piracy.

U.S. Mulls Maritime Interdiction Off Iran.

Armed Spanish trawler repels pirate attack.

Danish Ship Absalon sinks pirate mothership off Somalia. More.

Somali Navy Admiral Optimistic about Pirate Fight.

Somali pirates hijack Saudi tanker.


From the Navy Vaults

Post WW 2 Soviet Cruisers. (Air, Land, and Sea)

An Overdue Pacific War Perspective. (USNI Blog)

Rowing Means Rowing Well! (Cog and Galley)

The Royal Galley of Juan de Austria. (Cog and Galley)

Korean War Era F3H Demon. (Steeljaw Scribe)

I helped sink the pride of Nazi Germany’s naval threat. (Halifax Courier)

Star-Spangled Banner” becomes national anthem. (Western Courier)

The Navy’s Lone Ranger. (Today’s History Lesson)

HMCS Sackville gets set to celebrate 2010 Canadian Navy centennial. (Sackville Tribune Post)

USS Olympia seeks a new caretaker. (Philadelphia Inquirer)


24 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2010 5:38 pm

    Any comment about the French ROE? History suggests that French tend to be a little harder than we Brits and you Yanks. It isn’t so much what they are doing, more what the French government are prepared to tolerate. In many ways the French and Israelis have a similar outlook on security.

  2. D. E. Reddick permalink
    March 8, 2010 12:19 pm

    Here’s an English language confirmation of the last report, this time from the Christian Science Monitor.

    Somali pirates: Does France have the most effective navy against the buccaneers?

    When it comes to taking on Somali pirates, France is emerging as the most effective naval force. French officials announced Sunday that the French frigate Nivose had captured 35 suspected Somali pirates and four mother ships since Friday.

    By Matthew Clark Staff writer / March 8, 2010

    France has long been maligned in certain US political circles as – how shall we say this? – not very strong on defense. Other choice words have been used, of course. (Remember “Cheese-eating surrender monkeys”?) But when it comes to taking on Somali pirates, France is emerging as the most effective naval force.

    French officials announced Sunday that the French frigate Nivose had captured 35 suspected Somali pirates, four pirate mother ships, and six smaller boats in four operations since Friday.

    The French military hailed this as “the biggest seizure” since the European Union launched its Atalanta mission in December 2008 to protect one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes (the Gulf of Aden) from the growing threat of Somali pirates.

  3. D. E. Reddick permalink
    March 7, 2010 3:11 pm

    I’ve been participating in a discussion of Somali pirate swarming activity over at Solomon’s SNAFU blog and I just posted this there:

    France’s frigate FS Nivose keeps sweeping up those swarming Somali pirates. That small frigate is now holding 35 captured pirates and has taken four motherships and six skiffs.

    Une frégate française capture 35 pirates au large de la Somalie

    PARIS (Reuters) – Une frégate française engagée dans le cadre de l’opération européenne Atalante a capturé 35 pirates au large de la Somalie depuis vendredi, annonce l’état-major des armées françaises dans un communiqué.

    Translation: “A French frigate taking part in Operation Atalanta has captured 35 pirates off the Somali coast since Friday, according to a communique from the High Command of the French armies. Frigate Nivose made prizes of 4 “mother-ships” and 6 skiffs in operations that have lasted since Friday, with assistance from a Spanish patrol plane and 2 helicopters.”

    Original report in French:,14-0,39-41878800@7-37,0.html

  4. March 7, 2010 8:11 am

    Dear all about skiffs I was joking………….

    I hadn’t heard anything about that USN female officer. She has probably set back the careers of many outstanding females in her own service for a good few years to come.

  5. Mike Burleson permalink*
    March 7, 2010 5:52 am

    “doesn’t the Churchill always have a RN officer onboard?”

    Thats the first time I heard that! makes sense though…

    It almost does a disservice to Captain Bligh to describe Graf as a Female Capt. Bligh, since despite his people issues, the historical Captain went on to perform other stellar service for the Royal Navy, as he was a superb seaman. Don’t see that here, though Bligh did have issues with his subordinates.

    “I like how all pirates have “skiffs””

    In Iran that would be known as a destroyer. In the USN, it would cost about half billion dollars without the weapons! LOL

  6. D. E. Reddick permalink
    March 6, 2010 9:57 pm

    The UK press has finally noticed Holly Graf. I wonder how long it will take for information regarding the assaulted Royal Navy officer to surface?

    Times Online: From The Sunday Times
    March 7, 2010
    Captain Holly Graf ‘maltreated’ staff says US navy report
    Tony Allen-Mills

    EVEN Captain Bligh might have blushed. The first woman captain of a US navy guided-missile destroyer was relieved of her command for using language so foul that it amounted to “cruelty and maltreatment”, it emerged yesterday.

  7. D. E. Reddick permalink
    March 6, 2010 6:39 pm


    About the the skiffs… There was a program in the 1980s or ’90s which taught Somali boat builders and fishermen how to build fiberglass fishing boats. Thus the Somali pirates’ fiberglass skiffs.

    About USS Winston S. Churchill… There is always a Royal Navy exchange officer serving aboard DDG-81. When then-Cmdr. Holly Graf ‘commanded’ the WSC she became upset with the actions of the then RN Lt. serving aboard DDG-81. She then grabbed and took him out onto the bridge wing. At which point she assaulted him by wrapping both hands around his neck / throat and began to throttle / choke him in view of other crew members. This action has been described on several naval-centric blogs and in the general media.

    Holly Graf certainly enjoyed hi-octane protection while her career was still on track…

  8. March 6, 2010 5:55 pm

    And doesn’t the Churchill always have a RN officer onboard?

  9. March 6, 2010 5:54 pm

    I like how all pirates have “skiffs”………

  10. D. E. Reddick permalink
    March 6, 2010 5:20 pm

    Things do appear to be aboil in Somali Basin. The Turkish Navy has taken into custody a group of Somali pirates.

    Turkish navy captures seven pirates off Somalia

    ANKARA — A Turkish frigate intercepted a skiff in the Gulf of Aden and captured seven alleged pirates on Saturday on suspicion that they were preparing for attacks, the Turkish military said.

    The Gemlik, operating with NATO forces in the region, spotted the skiff at around 3:00 a.m. (0100 GMT), about 55 miles from the shore in a transit corridor commercial vessels are encouraged to use for safe passage.

    The Turkish frigate stopped the boat, detained those on board and seized an assault rifle, along with equipment used in piracy operations, the general staff said in a statement on its Internet site.

  11. D. E. Reddick permalink
    March 6, 2010 5:06 pm

    More about the Female Captain Bligh – Capt. Holly Graf. This report includes the observations of a Navy Chaplain (Rabbi and Commander Maurice Kaprow) who served aboard the USS Winston S. Churchill while then Commander Holly Graf ‘commanded’ that DDG.

    TIME: Complaints About Female ‘Captain Bligh’ Began Early, Says a Navy Chaplain
    By Mark Thompson / Washington Saturday, Mar. 06, 2010

    Navy Cmdr. Maurice “Mo” Kaprow was stunned to watch then-Cmdr. Holly Graf in action. He saw her for the first time after arriving aboard her ship, the destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill, in Italy just before the Iraq war began in 2003. A Jewish rabbi and a Navy chaplain, he’d been sent to the Churchill on temporary assignment as the vessel readied for war. Usually pulling out of port is a methodical and precise process. “But I never in my life saw such chaos as there was on that bridge — Holly Graf began yelling and screaming rudder orders, engine orders, insulting people,” Kaprow recalled Friday. “I’d never seen anything like this.”

    It got more bizarre as the ship pulled out of Sicily’s Augusta harbor. “Just after clearing the breakwater the ship began to rumble and shake — now she’s screaming even louder because nobody knows what’s happening,” Kaprow recalls. “I begin to hear young sailors’ voices from the fantail and they’re singing, `Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead.'” Kaprow remembers being perplexed at the sudden song. “Then someone came up to me and said, `We’ve ran aground. She’s finished” — assuming the accident would mean the end of their commander’s career. “They were jumping for joy and singing on the fantail.” Actually, one of the ship’s props had broken, but the crew’s reaction still amazes Kaprow. “I was flabbergasted.”,8599,1970226,00.html

  12. March 6, 2010 4:30 pm

    A Pakistani Type 21 was at the 2005 Festival of the Sea; but for all sorts of reasons I didn’t get to visit her (despite being there for two days.)

    There are two interesting books about T21s in the Falklands War. “Call for Fire” by Craig who commanded Alacrity; famed for her “mine sweeping” run up Falkland Sound. And “Through Fire and Water” by Mark Higgitt concerning Ardent, her ship’s company, and her role as sacrificial lamb during the landings in San Carlos water. One tiny passage concerning preparations for going South always comes to mind when I see the book on my shelf. Not long before leaving a crate turned up containing another GPMG; they thought they had enough already so didn’t take it onboard. I also think of Ardent every time I am below the waterline in any ship; hull steel is so thin…..

  13. elgatoso permalink
    March 5, 2010 7:51 pm

    SOME pics from Russia
    One is the old caspian monster and in the other one you can see a sunken sub.

  14. D. E. Reddick permalink
    March 5, 2010 6:05 pm

    CNN International is reporting that French naval forces operating under EU direction have taken 28 Somali pirates into custody. Comparing this report with earlier reports, I’m wondering whether some double-counting is occurring on the part of CNN.

    French warship team destroys pirate boats
    March 5, 2010 3:14 p.m. EST

    (CNN) — Twenty-eight suspected pirates were taken into custody Friday by the European Union Naval Force after a handful of failed attacks on fishing vessels in the Indian Ocean, the EU mission said.

  15. D. E. Reddick permalink
    March 5, 2010 5:32 pm

    Okay, it appears as though there is a NEW WAR strategy being utilized in the Indian Ocean (the so-called Somali Basin). The news reporting on this has been developing through the afternoon. Scoop Deck has picked up on the change in strategy. Well, that is – if it’s actual and real.

    Somali pirates, security personnel in 4 shootouts


    NAIROBI, Kenya — Signaling a new offensive mindset, international military officials vowed Friday to fight the pirates as swarms of Somalis moved into the waters off East Africa. Four shootouts with pirates showed that high-seas attacks are intensifying with the end of the monsoon season.

    Nearly half the 47 ships hijacked off Somalia last year were taken in March and April — the most dangerous months of the year for ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.

  16. James Daly permalink
    March 5, 2010 5:23 pm

    My Grandad worked for VT as a painter about the time they would have been in build, I will have to ask if he worked on any Brazilian ships.

    I gather they 21’s were very much a stop-gap, the Admiralty ship design department were busy with the Type 22 and Type 42 Designs so commissioned a commercially designed cheap patrol frigate. Apparently they suffered structural problems when spending prolonged periods in heavy seas. Mind you some of them are still in service with Pakistan.

  17. Mike Burleson permalink*
    March 5, 2010 4:40 pm

    “That Brazilian ship in the pic looks very much like one of the old RN type 21 Frigates”

    My initial thought as well! A very distinct class of ships, from the Falklands War fame. Not a successful design I seem to recall. Maybe Brazil had better luck.

  18. Chuck Hill permalink
    March 5, 2010 4:23 pm

    James Daly said, “That Brazilian ship in the pic looks very much like one of the old RN type 21 Frigates (Amazon class). Ah, seems that they are pretty much the same Vosper Thorneycroft design – hence the yacht-like lines.”

    Good eye, yes a Vosper Thorneycroft design, built at the same time as the Type 21s. The Brazilian ships are a little bigger. Kind of ironic the Type 21s were the “Amazon” class.

  19. James Daly permalink
    March 5, 2010 4:13 pm

    That Brazilian ship in the pic looks very much like one of the old RN type 21 Frigates (Amazon class). Ah, seems that they are pretty much the same Vosper Thorneycroft design – hence the yacht-like lines.

  20. D. E. Reddick permalink
    March 5, 2010 1:18 pm


    There may be more going on than is generally being reported. Read the following and especially the last two sentences. One might wonder…

    Vikings Sink Pirate Skiff Off Somali Coast, NATO News Issues Overblown Report

    By Alan Gray, NewsBlaze

    “Though overstated, the Danish Navy and NATO at least are honest and report such incidents”, commented an analyst working with ECOTERRA International. He added: “We observe an increasing number of such attacks by the international navies against Somalis – those caught red-handed and potential pirates as well as innocent fishermen alike, which go completely unreported by the navies. Over four hundred names are now on our list of Somalis missing at sea.”

  21. Chuck Hill permalink
    March 5, 2010 12:55 pm

    DER, Good news. Sounds like the French are taking the proper steps to make piracy a dying profession.

  22. D. E. Reddick permalink
    March 5, 2010 10:49 am

    French vessels and EU military forces have been sinking Somali pirate skiffs and a mothership.

    Somali pirates, security personnel in 4 shootouts


    In the most serious skirmish Friday, six pirates attacked a vessel before breaking off and chasing the French fishing boat Torre Giulia, Harbour said. Two other French fishing vessels nearby — the Jalenduic and the Trevignon — aided the Torre Giula.

    A French military detachment onboard the Trevignon fired warning shots at the pirates, but failed to stop the attack. The Trevignon approached the skiff and collided with it, said Harbour, sinking the skiff and throwing the pirates into the water. Four were rescued and a military aircraft was searching for the other two, he said.

    In a second incident Friday, the EU Naval Force intercepted a pirate group of one mothership and two skiffs that had attacked a separate French vessel. That attack was also repelled by military personnel onboard.

    An EU Naval Force helicopter tracked the pirates and watched them throw a rocket launcher, grappling hooks and fuel barrels into the ocean. The naval force said it destroyed the mothership and one skiff and took 11 pirates into custody.

  23. Mike Burleson permalink*
    March 5, 2010 10:38 am

    She has been very busy.

  24. CBD permalink
    March 5, 2010 9:01 am

    You know, I was wondering what was happening with the Swift.

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