Naval Takeaways from 2018 Defense Budget

November 9, 2017

The combined House and Senate Armed Services Committees have vetted the administration’s defense budget request. Naval highlights include:

“Authorizes multiyear contract authority and advance procurement for up to 13 Virginia-class submarines.

 Authorizes multiyear contract authority and advance procurement for up to 15 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to procure the first polar-class heavy icebreaker and includes a review of Navy capabilities in the Arctic region.

Codifies at least a 355-ship Navy with the optimal mix of ships as U.S. policy.

Authorizes limited aspects of the Department’s proposal to recapitalize the Ready Reserve Force.

Expands the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund to include multiyear procurement of critical components.

Directs reports of maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting; defense of combat logistics and strategic mobility forces; the acquisition strategy to recapitalize undersea fixed surveillance systems; Los Angeles-class submarine service life extensions; and mine warfare readiness.” (Committees highlights report, 5) 

Page 4 presents a breakdown of what authorizations are included for shipbuilding, among them “… $30 million for preliminary design of a smaller aircraft carrier….”

Defense News has an analysis of this approval.

 

 

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Free Audiobooks of Naval Fiction

October 18, 2017

More than one hundred audiobooks of naval and maritime fiction are available for your listening pleasure. While these books are in the public domain, there are many classic good reads that pre-date 1923. For example, here is the fourteen-hour audiobook entitled Thrilling Narratives of Mutiny, Murder and Piracy; this and other reads, such as some of the works of Frederick Marryat,  can be downloaded to your computer or a portable device. Enjoy the rousing adventures!

The Funeral of Lord Nelson

October 12, 2017

The hearse carrying Lord Nelson’s coffin is seen below in an 1806 aquatint. Contemporary accounts of the funeral can be found in: Fairburn’s (2nd) edition of the funeral of admiral lord Nelson (1806); [London] Gazette, January 14, 1806; Monthly Mirror, January 1806; and more depictions of the funeral.

(The Funeral Car of our late Vice Admiral  Horatio Viscount Nelson)

Writings of Admiral Samuel Hood

October 11, 2017

Admiral Hood had a long and distinguished career in the Royal Navy, but few of his writings are publicly available. His autobiography (including some correspondence) is contained on pages 1-37 of volume 17 of the Naval Chronicle, and there was an edition of his letters – Letters written by Sir Samuel Hood (Viscount Hood) in 1781-2-3, illustrated by extracts from logs and public records – published in 1895. In addition, scattered official letters from earlier times can be found in Letters to the ministry, from Governor Bernard, General Gage, and Commodore Hood (1769).

However, a new major project – Georgian Papers Online – has uncovered many more letters by this worthy. Identified as Letters from Rear-Adm. Sir Samuel (later Lord) Hood to General Jacob de Budé, including some copies of related correspondence to and from Hood, this source contains writings to and from Hood that have never been available before. While the documents themselves are in various hands, the full descriptions of each letter, as well as transcriptions in some cases, allow the reader to fully appreciate these missives.

 

History of the German Navy, 1848 to 2016

October 4, 2017

In the most recent issue of Naval War College Review, you will find German Navies from 1848 to 2016.

U.S. Coast Guard’s Need for New Cutters

September 27, 2017

That the Coast Guard has an aging fleet is not to be denied; a unique needs cutter built in 1944 was taken out of service in 2011. A history of the procurement of cutters, funding, and Congressional options are all explained in this recent CRS report – Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress. And this at a time when the Coast Guard, for the second year in a row, has interdicted a record amount of cocaine.

 

Rising Sea Levels and the Navy

September 21, 2017

Although it may seem a little paradoxical to consider the impact of rising seas on the Navy, it needs to be emphasized that so much of what supplies the Navy (and the Marines) is land-based. Even Naval Air Stations are not resistant to rising sea levels. The Navy’s recognition and response to this threat is found within this document that contains a summary of a conference held by the National Academy of Engineering – Responding to the Threat of Sea Level Rise.

How Does the House of Lords Work?

September 20, 2017

Customs and Traditions of the House of Lords sheds some light on how this body operates. In a short but informative way, this entity is examined from its inception. Numerous footnotes and appendices help to explain what this institution actually does. For those of us not really familiar with the workings of the House of Lords, this primer really does help. So when we encounter Lord Bombast or Viscount Haughty in our readings, we can place them in context.

“The Explosion of the Spanish Battleship during the Battle of Gibraltar”

September 13, 2017

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This remarkable painting memorializes the Dutch victory over the Spanish fleet in 1607; the entire Spanish fleet engaged in the battle was destroyed along with 2,000 – 4,000 men. Details of this painting can be seen in a series of pictures found here.

The First Pacific Voyages

September 6, 2017

This 1990 monograph – Background To Discovery: Pacific Exploration from Dampier to Cook – explores the first English and French incursions into the area. Editor Derek Howse has assembled a first-rate team of authors to tell the tales of that era, supplemented by informative notes and explanations.