Archive for September 6, 2013

FRIDAY FOTO (September 6, 2013)

Amphibian Warfare

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Christopher Q. Stone, 26th MEU Combat Camera)

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Christopher Q. Stone, 26th MEU Combat Camera)

A U.S. Marine assigned to a Force Reconnaissance Platoon in the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), rises from the depths with M-4 carbine at the ready as his teammates conduct an amphibious insertion while training foreign Marines in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).

The 26th MEU is a Marine Air-Ground Task Force forward-deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet aboard the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group serving as a sea-based, expeditionary crisis response force capable of conducting amphibious operations across the full range of military operations.

Meanwhile, some of this sea swimmer’s teammates made it to shore on the interesting little gadget below, known as a diver propulsion device. 

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Christopher Q. Stone)

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Christopher Q. Stone)

To see more photos of this interesting exercise, click here.

To see a brief video of the DPD in action, click here.

September 6, 2013 at 1:00 am Leave a comment

ARCTIC: Arctic Shipping a Myth?

Are Arctic shipping lanes for real?

A continuing concern of the five countries that border the Arctic Ocean is that melting sea ice will create — sooner rather than later — previously non-existent shipping lanes that could pose all sorts of headaches like oil spills and search and rescue operations in a remote and hostile environment with little infrastructure.

Arctic Circle Nations

Arctic Circle Nations

But Tom Ricks’ Best Defense blog  notes there’s an article out by an experienced maritime shipping executive that pooh-poohs the idea that melting sea ice in the Arctic will lead to a “Cold Rush” of commercial interests at the top of the world crowding Arctic waters with cargo ships, tankers and cruise ships.

The article, in the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings magazine, maintains that despite record low formation of Arctic sea ice in recent years, “it is virtually certain” that the Northwest Passage across the top of Canada won’t ever be useful to international trade. That’s because  transiting the Arctic may not be as cheap or fast as proponents suggest, according to the article’s author, Stephen Carmel.

Visibility may still be poor due to fog that is common in the region, winds can blow large chunks of ice into transit lanes. Neither the Northwest Passage nor the Northern Sea route across Russia can accommodate the largest container ships. Also ships will need additional structural toughening and and crews will need more training to transit Arctic waters — all of it expensive., says Carmel, a senior vice president with the Maersk Line and former merchant ship’s master.

September 6, 2013 at 12:16 am Leave a comment


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