Friday, October 04, 2013

RIA Novosti: Tymoshenko Agrees to Medical Treatment in Germany

RIA NovostiFormer Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (archive)Tymoshenko Agrees to Medical Treatment in Germany
20:56 04/10/2013 Lawyers for jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko say she has agreed to undergo medical treatment in Germany in the hope of improving her nation’s ties with the European Union, UNIAN news agency reported Friday.>>

RIA Novosti: Russia to Receive First Mistral Warship in November 2014

RIA NovostiMistral-class helicopter carrierRussia to Receive First Mistral Warship in November 2014
17:28 04/10/2013 The Russian Navy will receive its first Mistral-class helicopter carrier from France on November 1, 2014, a high-ranking defense industry official told RIA Novosti on Friday.>>

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Rand Paul: President Obama Sent More Security To Shut Down WWII Memorial Than To Benghazi



h/t: Eduardo89rp

Chosin Unites with World Navies for an International Exercise

Chosin Unites with World Navies for an International Exercise

By Ensign Peter Walz, USS Chosin (CG 65) Public Affairs
JERVIS BAY, Australia (NNS) -- The exercise, scheduled to run through Oct. 18, dubbed ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM+) brought together Navy personal and ships from a number of Indo-Asian-Pacific countries and global navies.

"The aim of the exercise is to promote training and information sharing among participating countries and build a common understanding of procedures pertaining to maritime security matters," said Lt. Cmdr. Brandon Booher, operations officer of Chosin.

Key naval staff were ferried from their mother ships anchored in Jervis Bay by a small personnel boat. The vessel was filled with a diverse blend of military dress and camouflage uniforms, each with their unique design and color as the cultures they came from.

Participants included staff from: Australia, Brunei, China, France, FS Micronesia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jebat, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Spain, Tonga, Thailand, Vietnam, and the USA.

As part of the exercise, some military leaders exchanged views while living aboard partner ships. Three Vietnamese Officers joined the crew of Chosin.

"This is a great learning opportunity for all involved" said, Sr. Capt. Mai Duc Tran. of the Vietnam Navy.

The three day exercise included ship boarding and security exercises, flight operations and fleet movements which will culminate with an International Fleet Review to include public ship tours, pyrotechnic lightshow and parade to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the entry of the Royal Australian Navy's Fleet into Sydney.

Chosin is currently operating in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility to enhance maritime partnerships and promote peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit www.navy.mil/local/ctf70/.

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day

KOREAN PENINSULA (Oct. 3, 2013) Republic of Korea (ROK) and U.S. Navy ships are underway in formation with the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), center. The George Washington Carrier Strike Group is conducting exercises with the ROK navy to strengthen maritime interoperability and U.S.-ROK alliance. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Peter Burghart/Released)

South Carolina House passes bill making 'Obamacare' implementation a crime - Washington Times

South Carolina House passes bill making 'Obamacare' implementation a crime - Washington Times

ReasonTV - Unprecedented: The Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare

USS Charlotte Returns to Pearl Harbor

USS Charlotte Returns to Pearl Harbor

131002-N-CB621-068 PEARL HARBOR (Oct. 2, 2013) Sailors aboard the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Charlotte (SSN 766) shift colors after returning to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam from a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Swink/Released)

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Swink
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- Friends and families of the crew of USS Charlotte (SSN 766) gathered at the submarine piers to welcome back the Los Angeles-class submarine as she returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after completing a deployment to the Western Pacific, Oct. 2.

"I am very pleased with our crew's performance during the deployment and our ability to contribute to the overall effort of the 7th Fleet and Submarine Group Seven Commanders," said Cmdr. Drew Miller, Charlotte's commanding officer. "Each crewmember made full use of the deployment period to enhance his personal level of knowledge while assisting in improving our teams' professional competency, a hallmark of the submarine force."

During the deployment, 12 Sailors and four Officers earned their designation as qualified in submarines and now wear their dolphin warfare insignia.

Along with this accomplishment, 15 Sailors advanced in rank and three Sailors were initiated into the Chiefs' Mess.

With this being the first deployment for over a third of the crew, Miller said one of the keys to the mission's success was how well new Sailors were welcomed into the Charlotte family.

"Our new Sailors have been able to quickly acclimate to the high paced life aboard our fast attack submarine and experienced tremendous professional growth," said Miller. "For the officers and enlisted who completed their first deployment, they were able to gain real-world experience of how to successfully execute a wide-array of submarine missions important to theater and national security."

During the six month deployment, Charlotte took part in Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training 2013 (CARAT), and a theater security cooperation port visit to Singapore. Charlotte's crew also hosted distinguished visitors and enjoyed liberty in Yokosuka, Japan.

"I developed an appreciation for different cultures in Singapore and Japan," said Yeoman 3rd Class Bryan Means. "I realized that when visiting other countries, it's really important to respect the way the nationals in those countries live, as they've honored us by allowing us to visit."

Friends and family crowded the pier to welcome them home.

"I can hardly stand it, I want to cry, laugh, and jump and down" said Gerri Bosch while waiting for the submarine's arrival. She traveled from Jenison, Mich. with her husband to welcome home their son Fire Control Technician 3rd Class Tyler Bosch, from his first deployment. "I am so proud of him. This has been a really positive experience."

"I am looking forward to spending time with my family in Oahu," said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Samuel Villarreal. "Six months is a long time to be away from your family and it feels good to be welcomed home by loved ones."

Charlotte is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of the North Carolina city. Commissioned on September 16, 1994 at Norfolk, Va., the 360-feet long, 6,900 tons displacement submarine arrived at its new homeport, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Nov. 17, 1995.


For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
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For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit
www.navy.mil/local/subpac/.

USS Asheville Returns from Deployment

USS Asheville Returns from Deployment

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Anthony Walker
NAVAL BASE POINT LOMA, Calif. (NNS) -- Friends and family of Sailors aboard the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Asheville (SSN 758) welcomed home Asheville's crew October 2nd following a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific.

The deployment supported the Chief of Naval Operations' Maritime Strategy, which includes maritime security, forward presence, sea control, and power projection.

During the deployment, Asheville executed missions vital to national security and participated in U.S. and multinational naval exercises. The ship visited Yokosuka, Japan, Subic Bay, Philippines and Guam while traveling more than 30,000 nautical miles during the course of its deployment.

"I could not be more proud of our accomplishments on WESTPAC. Asheville had an extremely high operational tempo in theater, met all assigned tasking and picked up some unexpected jobs along the way," said Cmdr. Douglas Bradley, Asheville's commanding officer. "Our success has truly been a team effort. Our many hours of training enabled us to do our missions safely, under any conditions."

Asheville was commissioned September 28, 1991. Measuring more than 360 feet long and displacing more than 6,900 tons, Asheville has a crew of nearly 140 Sailors. Asheville is capable of supporting various missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, surveillance, and reconnaissance.


For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
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For more news from Commander, Submarine Squadron 11, visit
www.navy.mil/local/css11/.

Rand Paul: Democrat 'Intransigence' Keeping Government Shut Down



h/t: Eduardo89rp

Paratroopers Dominate in Brigade-Wide Drill in Northern Israel

The IDF Paratroopers Brigade recently concluded an annual brigade-wide exercise, which took them from the shores of the Kinneret to the northern Golan Heights. The large-scale exercise came as the peak event of three months of intensive training for the historic brigade.
 
The IDF Paratroopers Brigade concluded an intensive brigade-wide exercise in the Northern Command this week. During the exercise, the paratroopers advanced from the northern shores of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) to the northern limits of the Golan Heights, while practicing a wide-range of combat techniques and tactics through various terrains. Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon and Chief of the Central Command Major General Nitzan Alon were among the special visitors who arrived at the exercise to review the troops and meet with the commanders in the field.
 
“The exercise trained us properly for the sensitive reality with which we are all familiar,” said the brigade’s Operations Branch officer. “The brigade is capable of contending with every kind of combat and every kind of enemy. We are always preparing, emphasized by the recent training period that the brigade began in July. The brigade-wide exercise was the peak of this training period, and the brigade arrived with a high level of readiness.”
 
IDF Paratroopers stormed through Israel's north in the annual brigade-wide exercise.
IDF Paratroopers stormed through Israel’s north in the annual brigade-wide exercise.

Read more at: http://www.idfblog.com/2013/10/03/paratroopers-dominate-brigade-wide-drill-northern-israel/

Governor Nikki Haley At FujiFilm: It's not always about business, it's also about quality of life


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

More Government Shutdown, Please

More Government Shutdown, Please

As Jesse Walker pointed out, approximately 80 percent of federal workers are still on the job, poking and prodding us in the usual fashion on this, the first day of AnarchFest 2013. Arizona Public Radio reports that National Park Service workers have been told to report as usual to Grand Canyon, though some will be sent home, others will be stationed at the gates to turn people away, and still others will be sent to the overlooks which are outside the park gates and remain open. Somebody was also detailed to pull NPS Websites offline to emphasize just how shut-down it is. Clearly, the apocalypse is upon us. Or...maybe the good folks at the NPS and their colleagues elsewhere are concerned that we all might discover just how much we don't need them.

Read more at: http://reason.com/blog/2013/10/01/more-government-shutdown-please

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 26, 2013) A landing craft air cushion from Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4 approaches the well deck of the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5). Bataan is underway conducting routine qualifications in support of amphibious assault squadron and marine expeditionary unit integrated training. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Mark Hays/Released)

ReasonTV: Obamacare vs. Samaritan Health-Care Ministry: A Case Study


The Keeper of the Burning Border: 4 Years at the Only Israel-Syria Border Crossing

The Keeper of the Burning Border: 4 Years at the Only Israel-Syria Border Crossing

For nearly 40 years, the Quneitra crossing on the Israeli-Syrian border was a quiet point on the map, mainly known as a crossing for the commercial apple trade between Druze villages in the Golan Heights. Today the strategic crossing has come under fire as a result of the escalating violence of Syria’s civil war. The outgoing commander of the Israeli side of the crossing talks about the changes that have taken place at Quneitra over the past four years.
 
On a bright summer’s morning in June, Major Adham Ra’ad, commander of the Quneitra Crossing on the Israeli border with Syria in the Golan Heights, woke up to the sound of heavy gunfire. A group of rebels had managed to storm and take control of the Syrian side of the strategic crossing, and to rout the Assad forces who had been in control of the crossing since its establishment. However, like all recent matters concerning Syria, stability was not forthcoming; six hours after the rebels took the crossing, Assad forces returned with heavy fire and took back control. The clashes, just hundreds of meters from the Israeli border, though posing no threat to Israeli forces, did make clear the great strategic importance of the area.

After nearly 4 decades of quiet: A change in the security approach

Quneitra is the only border crossing between Israel and Syria. It was opened under the supervision of UN forces in 1974 following the Yom Kippur War. A border crossing between enemy states is no simple matter, as the outgoing commander explained.
 
“The crossing became active in serving the civilian populations and merchants between the two enemy nations, and operated in that format until 2011, when the upheaval in Syria began,” Maj. Ra’ad explained.
 
Major Adham Ra’ad commander of the Quneitra Crossing
Major Adham Ra’ad, commander of the Quneitra Crossing

Read more at: http://www.idfblog.com/2013/10/01/keeper-burning-border-4-years-israel-syria-border-crossing/

Maine Gold CO Wins Vice Adm. Stockdale Leadership Award

Maine Gold CO Wins Vice Adm. Stockdale Leadership Award

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ahron Arendes, Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs
SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- USS Maine (SSBN 741) Gold crew commanding officer has been selected as a recipient of the Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award Sept. 26.

According to NAVADMIN 252/13, Cmdr. Richard N. Massie was selected for his performance as Gold crew commanding officer out of a group of four other Pacific Fleet finalists.

The award was established in honor of Stockdale whose distinguished naval career symbolized the highest standards of excellence in both personal conduct and leadership. It is presented annually to two commissioned officers on active duty in the grade of commander or below who are serving in command of a single unit and serve as examples of excellence in leadership and conspicuous contribution to the improvement of leadership in the Navy. All candidates are nominated by peers who themselves must be eligible for the award.

"Admiral Stockdale is a legendary figure in our Navy's and our nation's history. His leadership under the most extreme adversity continues to provide inspiration for generations of leaders," said Massie. "For me, it is the honor of a lifetime to be presented this award named for him. If you look at past recipients and my fellow nominees this year, there are some truly impressive people. To even be mentioned alongside these great officers is humbling."

Massie, who is in his first tour command tour, takes an involved approach to his leadership style, making sure his Sailors understand their role in supporting the fleet ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) mission and the Navy.

"I don't have a command philosophy typed up and framed in the passageway. However, I do spend time with every individual Sailor discussing what I think is important to make our crew and ship strong," he said. "This includes a focus on the mission - ours is strategic deterrence, providing survivable second-strike capability for the United States. Every Sailor, no matter how junior, plays an integral role in this mission. Without all of us, we cannot succeed.

"It also includes rock-solid integrity. Without this, no command can function effectively. And lastly, we are all volunteers, first for naval service and second for submarines. Accordingly, we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We need to focus, not on our individual differences, but what we have in common: our mission and a drive toward our common goals," he said.

The award is the latest in a string of successes for both Maine crews this year. They were named the 2012 Submarine Squadron 17 Battle Efficiency (Battle "E") Award winner in January and the Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Award winner for earning runner-up in the Submarine Category July 19. On Sept. 26, just hours prior to Massie winning the Stockdale award, Maine received the Meritorious Unit Commendation.

Massie's counterpart, Cmdr. William E. Johnson, Maine Blue crew commanding officer, said his selection is the culmination of his highly successful 40-month command tour.

"[While] winning the Submarine Squadron 17 Battle Efficiency "E" for 2012 and earning a Meritorious Unit Citation for demonstrated sustained superior performance, he provided the vision, commitment and inspirational leadership to motivate and focus his crew and those around him to work as a team and consistently achieve superior results," said Johnson. "His selection by his peers for this prestigious award is well deserved.

"As the commanding officer opposite Cmdr. Massie, I learned how vital it is for our individual crews to work as a team for the success of Maine as a whole. SSBNs are somewhat unique in that they have two crews, Blue & Gold, for one ship. This is done to maximize the operational readiness of the submarines and ensure they are at sea executing their strategic deterrent mission. Even when our crew doesn't 'own' the ship, our support is critical to ensure Maine deploys on time in 100% material readiness and receives the necessary support while at sea to fully execute her tasking," he said.

According to Massie, the award is a result of what his crew has been able to accomplish.

"Clearly this award is all about Maine and the crews' impressive performance," Massie said. Without their efforts, we wouldn't be having this conversation, and we wouldn't have earned the recent meritorious unit citation, the 2012 Squadron 17 Battle "E", or any of the other accolades that Maine has received. I am honored to be part of such an impressive and motivated team. I like to think that I have something to do with our success, but we have some exceptional deck plate leaders who I'm confident would excel regardless of who was in charge. I hope that the crew is justifiably proud of their accomplishments."

Massie is scheduled to receive his award from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert at a ceremony later this fall.

"I am very proud of my crew and their accomplishments. I also feel incredibly humbled and honored that my fellow commanding officers chose to recognize my crew and me with their nominations, and that our fleet leadership had the confidence in me to make this selection," said Massie.

For more news from Commander, Submarine Group 9, visit www.navy.mil/local/csg9/.

Coast Guard assists 2 separate disabled vessels in Lake Superior

Coast Guard assists 2 separate disabled vessels in Lake Superior

News Release
Date: Sept. 30, 2013
Ninth Coast Guard District
Office: (216) 902-6020
Mobile: (216) 310-2608

Coast Guard assists 2 separate disabled vessels in Lake Superior

CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard assisted two separate disabled vessels in Lake Superior late Sunday night, towing the vessels to local marinas.

The Coast Guard is not releasing the names of the people assisted, and there is no Coast Guard imagery.

At 8:53 p.m., a rescue boat crew, aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Coast Guard Station Bayfield, Wis., responded to an urgent marine information broadcast issued by the harbor master at Saxon Harbor, which is located on Lake Superior's Oronto Bay in Iron County, Wis. The Cassie-K a 38-foot tribal fishing tug had contacted the harbor master from near the Apostle Islands via VHF-FM radio channel 68 reporting a loss of power and propulsion.

The captain of the Cassie-K lost communications with the harbor master prior to giving an exact location of his vessel.

After locating the Cassie-K, the rescue boat crew connected a side tow and towed the vessel to the Apostle Island Marina. The rescue efforts were completed just after 1 a.m. A post Coast Guard post search-and-rescue boarding found three violations - expired flares; inoperable fire extinguishers and no garbage placard.

At 9 p.m., a Coast Guard boat crew, aboard a RB-M from Station Duluth, Minn., came across a disabled 16-foot pleasure craft, with two people aboard, drifting toward the rocks near the entry to Duluth Harbor.

The rescue boat crew immediately threw a line to the disabled vessel to keep it from grounding and then towed the vessel to Rice's Point boat launch where the boat was safely secured at 9:47 p.m.

"The crews from both Station Duluth and Station Bayfield responded quickly and professionally to these two incidents and were able to assist these mariners and prevent loss of life and property," said Cmdr. Richard Kavanaugh, chief of response at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie. "Im very proud of the diligence demonstrated by the Coast Guard men and women across Sector Sault Ste Marie."
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- See more at: http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/1917886/Coast-Guard-assists-2-separate-disabled-vessels-in-Lake-Superior#sthash.XXwCVy0E.dpuf

PHOTOs: Pennsylvania-native Coast Guardsman retires after 26 years military service in Navy, Coast Guard

PHOTOs: Pennsylvania-native Coast Guardsman retires after 26 years military service in Navy, Coast Guard

News Release
Date: Sept. 30, 2013
Ninth Coast Guard District
Office: (216) 902-6020
Mobile: (216) 310-2608

PHOTOs: Pennsylvania-native Coast Guardsman retires after 26 years military service in Navy, Coast Guard


Dugas retirementDugas retirement
Rear Adm. Michael Parks, former commander of the Coast Guard 9th District, shares a story about Chief Petty Officer Michael Dugas (right) during Dugas' retirement ceremony at the Willoughby Hills Community Center in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, Sept. 30, 2013.

Dugas retired after a combined 26 years of service in the Navy, Navy Reserve, Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Kyle Niemi
     Rear Adm. Michael Parks, former commander of the Coast Guard 9th District, presents Chief Petty Officer Michael Dugas with his certificate of retirement at a ceremony at the Willoughby Hills Community Center in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, Sept. 30, 2013.

Dugas retired after a combined 26 years of service in the Navy, Navy Reserve, Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Kyle Niemi
Dugas retirementDugas retirement
Chief Petty Officer Michael Dugas is videotaped as he gives a speech during his retirement ceremony at the Willoughby Hills Community Center in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, Sept. 30, 2013.
Dugas retired after a combined 26 years of service in the Navy, Navy Reserve, Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Kyle Niemi
Chief Petty Officer Michael Dugas is "piped ashore" by active and retired chief petty officers at the conclusion of his retirement ceremony at the Willoughby Hills Community Center in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, Sept. 30, 2013.
Dugas retired after a combined 26 years of service in the Navy, Navy Reserve, Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Kyle Niemi

CLEVELAND — A Pennsylvania native retired Monday at the Willoughby Hills Community Center in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, after serving a combined 26 years in the Navy and Coast Guard.

Chief Petty Officer Michael S. Dugas, originally from Slovan, Pa., served his last tour of duty as the operations unit supervisor at the Coast Guard 9th District Command Center in Cleveland.

Dugas enlisted in the Navy's delayed entry program in the summer of 1979 and attended Recruit Training Command Great Lakes after he graduated high school in 1980. After serving two tours, aboard the USS McCandless out of Norfolk, Va., and Military Entrance Processing Station Pittsburgh, Dugas shifted to the Navy Reserve and was assigned to the Naval Embarked Advisory Team 105 and the USNS 2nd Lt. John P. Bobo.

He left the Navy Reserve in 1997 and joined the Coast Guard Reserve and was assigned to Coast Guard Group Hampton Roads in Portsmouth, Va. Following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Dugas was recalled to active-duty status and assigned to Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Hampton Roads in Norfolk, Va.

In 2003, Dugas shifted to permanent active-duty status and was assigned to Coast Guard Group Buffalo, N.Y. Finally, in 2008, he was assigned to the 9th District. He advanced to chief petty officer in 2009. Dugas recently oversaw the demolition and renovation of the district command center, for which he was awarded a Coast Guard Commendation Medal.

Dugas began his career in the Navy's radioman rating, became a telecommunications specialist when he transferred to the Coast Guard, and retired as an operations specialist after the TC rating dissolved in 2003.

Dugas plans to remain in the Cleveland area and hopes to continue to serve by finding a job at either the Cleveland Clinic or the Cleveland Food Bank.
His wife is Deborah, and they have a son, Andrew.
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- See more at: http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/1917882/PHOTOs-Pennsylvania-native-Coast-Guardsman-retires-after-26-years-military-service-in-Navy-Coast-Guard#sthash.w4rTvlOk.dpuf

Governor Nikki Haley At Columbia Rotary Club

Sunday, September 29, 2013

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day

WHITE BEACH, Okinawa (Sept. 27, 2013) The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) is moored in White Beach, Okinawa, during a scheduled port visit. Bonhomme Richard is the flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and is conducting routine operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Hammond/Released)