Posts tagged ‘Navy’
Belize River Patrol
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Galla trains with the Belize Special Boat Unit during Southern Partnership Station 2014 on the Moho River, Belize, July 8, 2014.
Southern Partnership is a U.S. Navy deployment, sponsored by U.S. Southern Command, focusing on exchanging expertise with partner nation militaries and security forces.
Galla is a gunner’s mate assigned to Coastal Riverine Squadron 2.
To see more photos of this riverine training exercise, click here.
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brooks Graham (left) directs a landing craft air cushion (LCAC) into the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu following a training exercise in the Pacific Ocean, June 25, 2014.
The Peleliu was on its way to Hawaii to participate in the multi-national sea-and-air exercise, Rim of the Pacific 2014. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in what is billed as the world’s largest maritime exercise — commonly known as RIMPAC — in and around the Hawaiian Islands.
To see more photos of RIMPAC 2014, click here.
Video of an LCAC in action
4GWAR’s FRIDAY FOTO feature didn’t take a day off for the Fourth of July holiday. A summer storm in the Washington, DC area Thursday afternoon (July 3) caused a power outage at 4GWAR “World Headquarters” knocking out our cable/internet access until today. We apologize to our visitors for the delay.
U.S. Victory at Sea.
On June 28, at the mouth of the English Channel, the American sloop of war, USS Wasp, captures and destroys the British sloop, HMS Reindeer.
The Wasp, a ship-rigged sloop of war, is the fifth American ship to bear the name — the fourth in two years. The 24-gun Wasp, under the command of Master Commandant Johnston Blakely set sail on May 1 with orders to raid British commerce in the English Channel.
By late June the Wasp has taken seven British merchant vessels and is closing in on two more on the morning of the 28th, when the Reindeer, a 21-gun Cruizer-class brig-sloop, comes on the scene. The Reindeer, sailing out of Plymouth, is under orders to hunt down the Wasp.
The Wasp is the bigger ship with a bigger crew (173 sailors and Marines compared to 118 on the Reindeer) and more powerful guns. Because the winds were light, it took the two vessels half the day to draw close enough to fire effectively. The two ships traded broadsides for 20 minutes before the the Reindeer’s bow came to rest against the Wasp making them close enough for boarding parties to attack. The British boarding party was driven back under heavy fire from Marines in the Wasp’s rigging.
After repulsing the British boarding party, the American sailors and Marines swarmed over the shattered Reindeer, forcing the British to seek shelter below deck. The British commander, Captain William Manners, was killed along with 24 other sailors and Marines, 42 more were wounded. American casualties were nine dead and 15 wounded.
The Reindeer was so badly damaged it couldn’t be salvaged, so Blakely ordered her set afire. The prisoners were taken aboard the Wasp or transferred to a neutral ship. Wasp had to sail to the French port of L’Orient for repairs for her own battle damage.
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War in Quebec.
On the same day, across the Atlantic on the New York-Canadian border, U.S. troops skirmish for second time in two days with British forces at Odelltown, Lower Canada. There have been a series of indecisive skirmishes on the border between New York and Lower Canada (what is now Quebec) during the spring and summer of 1814.
Military records of the time, according to the Website North Country Now, report that U.S. troops from the 30th and 31st U.S. Infantry regiments advance from Plattsburgh to Champlain and Chazy near the border west of Lake Champlain. Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Forsyth, with 70 riflemen, advances to Odelltown, south of LaColle in Quebec, where they are attacked by about 200 lightly armed British troops. The Americans suffer one killed and five wounded. The British, three killed and five wounded. Forsyth withdraws to Champlain in New York.
But on the 28th, Forsyth is ordered to advance into Canada again to lure the British into attacking the Americans and chasing them back across the border where other U.S. troops are waiting to ambush them. The plan works but as 150 Canadian Indians allied with the British advance toward the ambush site, Forsyth steps up on a log to get a better view and is shot and killed by an Indian. The U.S. troops open fire, driving off the Indians, who suffer 17 dead.
Needs and Wants, Part III.
TAMPA, Florida – At last month’s National Defense Industry Association’s Special Operations Industry Conference (SOFIC), the generals and admirals who oversee Army Rangers, Navy Seals, Air Force combat controllers and other Special Operations Forces explained what they need to operate in vastly different environments. Today we finish our roundup with a focus on another world region followed by the 4GWAR Blog: The Arctic.
THE HIGH NORTH
“It’s said by some of our European partners that Africa is the challenge for this generation and the Arctic will be the challenge for the next,” said Air Force Major General Marshall Webb, the head of Special Operations Command Europe, one of three three theater special operations commands that share responsibility for the Arctic region. He noted that communications north of the Arctic Circle was “a challenge” for his people “as they operate in that environment.”
He also noted that high tech airborne intelligence gathering and surveillance is important but “the ability to share [ISR] with our European partners is paramount from my perspective.”
U.S. Northern Command’s area of responsibility includes Alaska and Canada. And Pentagon officials have said that as polar sea ice melts — as it has been doing for several years — maritime access will open up in the high north and present a “true strategic approach to the [U.S.] homeland.” Northern Command has been working with Canada to develop communications, maritime domain awareness (both on and under the sea) and infrastructure for safety, security and defense needs.
Rear Admiral Kerry Metz, commander of Special Operations Command-North, said like Africa Command, the Arctic poses communications challenges over vast distances “as SOF [special operations forces] re-engages in extreme cold weather maritime operations — both surface and subsurface.”
Skirmishes at St. Leonard’s Creek
A Royal Navy fleet under the command of Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn continues to harry and raid the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Beginning June 8, 1814, Cockburn’s ships drive a flotilla of American gunboats to retreat seven miles up the Patuxent River in Maryland into St. Leonard’s Creek.
The flotilla of gunboats – actually 18 barges each armed with a single large cannon – is the idea of Captain Joshua Barney, a veteran of the Continental Navy during the Revolution. After seeing action at sea numerous times, Barney leaves the U.S. Navy in 1794. He joins the French navy and is made a captain.
In 1800 he resigns his French commission and returns to America. Now that the United States is at war with Britain again, Barney rejoins the Navy after a successful stint as a privateer, capturing 17 British vessels early in the war.
The Navy Department accepts Barney’s Chesapeake Defense idea – a flotilla of barges assembled and outfitted to serve as a delaying tactic against the expected British attack on Washington. Barney is promoted to commodore in the U.S. Navy.
The larger, more heavily armed Royal Navy ships drive Barney to shelter his tiny fleet upstream where the bigger vessels can’t follow.
While the American flotilla is bottled up in the creek, the British conduct raids along the Patuxent. The American ships finally fight their way out of the British blockade on June 26.
U.S. Army Specialist Josh Schleuss talks with students at Sheragha Shahed High School in Afghanistan’s Parwan province. Schleuss is assigned to the 101st Airborne Division’s 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment.
To see more photos of this school visit, click here.
Ships Vs. Fort.
Things are beginning to heat up on Lake Champlain, an avenue from Canada into New York and New England. Both the Americans and British are building ships to battle for supremacy on the long, narrow lake. The Americans are based at Vergennes, Vermont on Otter Creek, which feeds into the lake. The British were based at Isle aux Noix at the northern end of the lake.
On May 9, 1814, a small British fleet sails down to the mouth of Otter Creek, hoping to blockade the creek or sail in and destroy the U.S. fleet. But an earthworks, dubbed Fort Cassin, bars the way.
Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough, who is charge of naval operations on Lake Champlain, has the defenses built when he learns the British force is coming south to attack his shipyard. Macdonough, along with with Lieut. Stephen Cassin – for whom the “fort” is named – some sailors, and a company of artillery sent from Burlington, Vermont, trade cannon fire with the British for about 90 minutes on May 14. There are few casualties on either side but the British withdraw, although what the British naval commander, Captain Daniel Pring, sees at Vergennes prompts him to begin construction of the Confiance, a 37-gun frigate.
The Fort Cassin skirmish protects the American fleet, but sets in motion the naval arms race that will result in the Battle of Plattburgh in September.
Raid on Oswego.
A British-Canadian raid in force sails across Lake Ontario from Kingston, Canada in the early hours of May 3, 1814 heading for the U.S. fort at Oswego, New York.
Fort is a relative term for the facility at Oswego, built by the British before the French and Indian War, the fortress has deteriorated over the years. Now less than 300 American troops – including 240 regular Army troops, 200 New York militiamen and 25 sailors of the U.S. Navy – guard a massive amount of supplies including arms and ammunition intended for the naval base at Sackets Harbor.
The Americans only have five cannon and most of them have no carriage or mounting. But in the time it takes the squadron of British ships to sail within cannon shot of Fort Oswego since their sails were first spotted at dawn on May 5, the cannons are mounted and positioned to defend against attack from the lake.
The British forces number about 1,000 troops from two British units — the 2nd Battalion, Royal Marines and the Regiment de Watteville — as well as the Canadian Glenngarry Light Infantry and about 200 Royal Navy sailors. They mount an amphibious attack while two frigates and six smaller ships shell the Americans’ positions.
Although most of the British troops’ ammunition is ruined while they wade ashore through deep water, they manage to overwhelm the Americans with sheer numbers and a bayonet charge despite withering fire.
Once its clear the fort will be taken, Major General George Mitchell of the 3rd U.S. Regiment of Artillery orders his men to retreat to Frdericksburgh. The British suffer about 80-to-90 casualties in the assault. The Americans lose between 70 and 119 killed, wounded and captured.
The USS Peacock, a ship-rigged sloop of war slips out of New York harbor and through the British blockade in late March 1814. After delivering supplies to Georgia, the Peacock is supposed to rendezvous with the frigate USS President, but the bigger American warship is unable to break through the blockade.
Peacock’s skipper, Master Commandant Lewis Warrington, decides to go hunting in the waters of the Bahamas for British merchantmen sailing from Jamaica. On the morning of April 29, Peacock’s lookouts spot the sails of a small convoy escorted by HMS Epervier, a Cruizer-class brig-sloop. The 18-gun Epervier, slightly smaller and less well-armed than the 22-gun Peacock, makes ready to fight while the three merchant ships flee.
Both warships fire broadsides at each other about 10:20 a.m. off the coast of Florida. In less than hour, Epervier — with 45 holes from cannon shot in her hull and five feet of water in her hold — strikes her colors. The British ship loses eight killed and 15 wounded compared to only two casualties for the Peacock, which sustains damage to her rigging. Not one British cannon ball pierces her hull.
It is one of the most lop-sided naval victories for the United States during the War of 1812. But, like many engagements on land and sea during that conflict, victory goes to the side that is better equipped, better trained or better led. Much of Epervier’s crew were said to be recovering invalids or on the brink of mutiny, while several of her guns — which had been insufficiently tested in gunnery practice — came apart early in the battle.
The Peacock took Epervier as a prize and after hasty repairs, both ships elude two British frigates and make it safely to port at Savannah, Georgia. Epervier is commissioned into the U.S. Navy as USS Epervier. Think you remember another sea battle where the Peacock fought on the other side? You’re correct. The USS Peacock was named after a British ship, also named Peacock, sunk by the Americans earlier in the war.
Now this is a different kind of photo bomb.
These two U.S. Navy parachutists are conducting free fall training above Naval Station Rota, Spain. They are assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 8. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians are the Navy’s bomb squad, but they are much more than that. They are highly trained in parachuting and underwater diving as well as explosives handling and removal.
EODs “clear the way” for Special Operations Forces including Army Green Berets as well as Navy SEALS. For more information on this military specialty, click here.
For another view of this high altitude training, click here.