Friday, March 28, 2014

CNO Talks LCS Survivability

CNO Talks LCS Survivability

WASHINGTON (March 27, 2014) Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert testifies during a posture hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee in support of the proposed budget for Department of the Navy spending in fiscal year 2015 and the Future Years Defense Program. Greenert, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos testified during the posture hearing and answered questions from the committee members about the status of the Navy and Marine Corps and how the budget will affect mission capabilities, personnel and infrastructure. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor/Released)
By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Julianne Metzger, Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert assured members of the Senate Armed Services (SASC) Committee March 27 on the survivability of the littoral combat ship (LCS).

Alongside Secretary Ray Mabus the two defended the need for 52 small surface combatants in front of the SASC and in front of media following their testimony. The secretary emphasized how LCS costs have been driven down and Greenert responded to questions on LCS survivability.

"Survivability is a broader term than we're giving it credit for," said Greenert. "There are three elements to survivability."

The three elements of survivability are: susceptibility, the ability for a ship to defend itself; vulnerability, the effects of an initial casualty on a ship; and lastly recoverability, the ability for a ship to conduct damage control, said the admiral.

Responding to U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and media, Greenert explained that LCS meets or exceeds the same standards of those elements of survivability and recoverability. He said the attributes of survivability in the LCS is comparable to frigates and better than the ships it is designed to replace such as mine countermeasures (MCM) and patrol craft (PC).

"We can work on the susceptibility, and we do have a plan in place," said Greenert. "I want better survivability."

The LCS is an important small surface combatant the Navy needs now and in the future, said Greenert.
Although Greenert supports the overall LCS design, he is open to modifications that would increase both survivability and flexibility of the platform.

"This ship has the ability to grow; it has speed, it has volume and it has capacity," said Greenert.
Despite ongoing LCS criticism, the admiral underlined the necessity of the LCS to fulfill the Navy's small surface combatant count.

"We need small surface combatants," said Greenert. "We need 52."

In responding to more questions about the need for a small surface combatant, Greenert described that the next ship after LCS could look quite different although maybe the same LCS hull. Greenert compared it to the evolution of Hornets and destroyers. He pointed out that the Navy is coming up on a fourth flight Arleigh Burke destroyer which the Navy is very, very, satisfied with.

Another aspect about LCS that was highlighted in the hearing is that LCS is a validated requirement that meets the mission it was designed to do. This point was brought up by Levin. Soon after the hearing the Director of Surface Warfare, Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden, confirmed this with interested media.

"There's no doubt we're continually learning more about how we can best employ the ship as part of the integrated force, but the bottom line is that it meets the mission it was intended to do," said Rowden. "We have to remember that the overarching question when looking at survivability is 'how are we going to operate these ships?' LCS has a validated set of requirements - and it meets them."

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

PRESS RELEASE: U.S. Representative Massie Introduces Bipartisan Milk Freedom Legislation

For Immediate Release
Thursday March 27, 2014 (202) 225-3465
U.S. Representative Massie Introduces Bipartisan Milk Freedom Legislation
Bipartisan Coalition of 20 Lawmakers Introduces Legislation to Improve Consumer Choice and Protect Local Farmers. 

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Massie (R–KY), Chellie Pingree (D–ME) and a bipartisan coalition of 18 other lawmakers have introduced legislation to improve consumer food choices and to protect local farmers from federal interference. The two bills – the “Milk Freedom of Act of 2014” and the “Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014” – are the first in a series of “food freedom” bills that Rep. Massie plans to introduce this year.

“As a producer of grass-fed beef, I am familiar with some of the difficulties small farmers face when marketing fresh food directly to consumers.  Our bills would make it easier for families to buy wholesome milk directly from farmers by reversing the criminalization of dairy farmers who offer raw milk,” said Rep. Massie. “The federal government should not punish farmers for providing customers the foods they want, and states should be free to set their own laws regulating food safety.”

"Many consumers want to buy fresh, unpasteurized milk and regulations shouldn't get between them and the farmer who wants to sell it,” said Representative Pingree.  “Given how many food scares there have been involving large-scale producers, it just doesn't make sense to spend money cracking down on small, local farmers who are producing natural, raw milk and cheese. The enforcement of raw milk regulations has been overzealous and needs to be reined in."

"As consumer, advocate, and mother, I have spent over a decade navigating a complex legal and regulatory maze to access raw milk and other fresh, local foods,” said Sarah Donovan of the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation. “These bills are an important step toward removing federal barriers between farmers and families."

"Raw milk is the only food banned in interstate commerce," said Pete Kennedy, President of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. "Congratulations to Representative Massie for starting the process of repealing a regulation that thousands of otherwise law abiding citizens violate every week in this country."

Raw milk is fresh milk that has not been pasteurized, and may contain beneficial nutrients that have not been eliminated by the pasteurization process.  Although Congress has never passed legislation banning raw milk, the federal Food and Drug Administration has used their regulatory authority to prosecute farmers for selling raw milk.

The “Milk Freedom Act of 2014” would provide relief to local farmers, small producers, and others who have been harassed, fined, and in some cases even prosecuted for the “crime” of distributing unpasteurized milk.  This bill would prohibit the federal government from interfering with the interstate traffic of raw milk products.

Likewise, the “Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014” would prevent the federal government from interfering with trade of unpasteurized, natural milk or milk products between states where distribution or sale of such products is already legal.

No provision of either bill would preempt or otherwise interfere with any state law.
Massie concluded, “Today, many people are paying more attention to the food they eat, what it contains, and how it is processed.  Raw milk, which has been with us for thousands of years, is making a comeback among these discerning consumers.  Personal choices as basic as ‘what we feed our families’ should not be limited by the federal government.”

Original co-sponsors of the Milk Freedom Act include Reps Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Jared Polis (D-CO), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Scott Rigell (R-VA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Paul Broun (R-GA), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and Justin Amash (R-MI). Original co-sponsors of the Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014 include Reps Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Jared Polis (D-CO), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Scott Rigell (R-VA), Walter Jones (R-NC) , Paul Broun (R-GA), Andy Harris (R-MD), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Ted Poe (R-TX), Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Scott Perry (R-PA), and Raul Labrador (R-ID). 

Pope Francis Brings Up Pro-Life, Religious Freedom Concerns During Obama Meeting

Pope Francis Brings Up Pro-Life, Religious Freedom Concerns During Obama Meeting

China's new subs to get long-range nuclear missiles for the first time - Washington Times

China's new subs to get long-range nuclear missiles for the first time - Washington Times

China’s Navy Takes Great Leap Forward

China’s Navy Takes Great Leap Forward

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Way Up North: Post #4,000: Is Secession Inevitable?

Way Up North: Post #4,000: Is Secession Inevitable?: This guy thinks so. He presents a thoughtful study based on three types of law. Go there if you wish, and think it over for yourself. Her...

SECNAV Delivers Keynote Address at Jackson Christening

SECNAV Delivers Keynote Address at Jackson Christening

MOBILE, Ala. (March 22, 2014) Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus, left, speaks with Fire Controlman 1st Class Robert Callow after a christening ceremony for the Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Jackson (LCS-6). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Arif Patani/Released)
From Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs
MOBILE, Ala. (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus delivered the keynote address at the christening ceremony of the future USS Jackson (LCS 6) March 22 at Austal in Mobile, Ala.

Dr. Katherine Holmes Cochran, daughter of Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, sponsors Jackson, the third Austal-constructed littoral combat ship to be christened.

"Kate now becomes an honorary member of the Jackson's first crew," said Mabus. "She will maintain a special relationship with this ship and her Sailors, a special relationship that will be shared by the city of Jackson and her people, and by all the people of Mississippi."

Mabus went on to discuss not only Cochran's role in the future of the ship, but Jackson's future as well.

"When USS Jackson joins the fleet," he said, "it will represent not just America's interests, but also the story of Jackson and Mississippi and her people, around the globe."

Jackson will be a key enabler of the U.S. Navy's ability to maintain a worldwide presence.

"Today, the Pacific and Indian oceans are again a focus in U.S. defense strategy, and littoral combat ships like the Jackson will play a critical role," Mabus said. "She's fast, agile, modular, shallow draft, and will allow us to work in many different ways with our partners."

Mabus also took time during his remarks to commend those who worked so hard to build the Jackson.

"The ship before you is a modern marvel, but so too is this incredible shipyard and its workforce," said Mabus. Nearly 3,000 American craftsmen have made this ship possible, both here in Mobile and all around the country making components of the ship and its systems."

These very systems were featured in another portion of Mabus' remarks.

"This is a completely new type of ship, a new concept," he said. "The weapons systems on Jackson can be traded out to fit whatever mission it is given. Those same systems can be upgraded as technology changes without having to build a new ship or changing anything out but that particular weapons system."

Prior to Cochran breaking a bottle of champagne across the bow of Jackson to officially complete the christening ceremony, Mabus left the crowd in attendance with a final reminder of the Navy's history and tradition.

"Now it is time to christen this incredible new ship so the crew can take it to sea and can defend our nation, just as their predecessors have for 238 years," he said.

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