Posts filed under ‘amphibious warfare’

FRIDAY FOTO (June 7, 2019)

A Different Kind of Pole Dance.

NCTC Gulfport Prepares Seabees to Work on Utility Poles

(U.S. Navy photo by Chief Construction Electrician Lace Johnson)

Last week the Friday Foto showed you Navy SEAL candidates straining under a heavy log or pole as part of their rugged training. This week, we’ve got Navy Seabees high up a pole.

The Navy’s Construction Battalions (CBs or “Seabees”) form the Naval Construction Force (NCF). The Seabees in this photo are attending a Construction Electrician (CE) class at the Naval Construction Training Center in Gulfport, Mississippi.  The three-week course in power distribution systems and line vehicles will advance their skills in  wooden power pole utility work.

With hands-on-instruction, the students gain confidence with using safety gear and climbing equipment — as well as experience in climbing to heights of nine, 18, 27 and 36 feet, while circling the utility pole 360 degrees in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions.

Formed during World War II, the Navy Construction Battalions (CBs or “Seabees”) replaced civilian construction workers who were building naval bases and other Navy facilities in the Central Pacific prior to Pearl Harbor.  Under international law, civilians who took up arms against an enemy attack could be summarily executed as guerrillas when captured.

The first Seabees were skilled construction workers, trained by the Navy and Marine Corps, to fight as well as build in theaters of war.  In all, 325,000 men served as Seabees during the war.

Today Seabees perform a number of tasks from building and repairing bases, airfields, bridges and roads in war zones, to disaster relief work — including debris removal, setting up expeditionary medical facilities, and restoring power and water supplies. Click here to see a short video on the work of modern day Seabees.

June 7, 2019 at 11:52 am Leave a comment

SHAKO: Remembering D-Day 75 Years On

Invasion.

D-Day Ike paratroopers

The Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight Eisenhower, talks with 101st Airborne Division paratroopers before D-Day. (Defense Dept. photo)

The night before the invasion of Normandy 75 years ago this week, a small French boy spent his fifth birthday huddled in a cellar 25 miles from Omaha Beach. That same night, Francis L. Sampson, a Catholic chaplain with the 101st Airborne Division flew through German anti-aircraft fire over Normandy, convinced he was going to die.

Your 4GWAR editor told the story of those two people and how they came to meet in Indiana 40 years later for the Associated Press in 1984. In addition to the priest and the little boy, the story has taken on a subplot — Father Sampson’s actions in the days immediately after D-Day, may have inspired – at least in part – the movie “Saving Private Ryan.”

You can read it all here.

As the war correspondent and author Cornelius Ryan found when he researched his bestseller, “The Longest Day,” there were many, many people with a story to tell about what happened to them in those historic 24 hours.

For instance there’s the significant role weather forecasters played 75 years ago.

A team of six meteorologists – two each from the United Kingdom Meteorological Office, the Royal Navy and the United States military – worked for months honing forecasting techniques, before advising Allied commanders, led by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, on when the optimal time for attack would arrive.

The Allies ended up sailing and landing in relatively calm waters, but documents released in the intervening years showed just how close bad weather came to making the operation a complete failure, according to The Weather Channel U.K.

Higgins Boat LCVP at Normandy photo from NARA

Higgins Boat LCVP at Normandy (photo from the National Archives and Records Administration)

The Voice of America website has a piece on the crucial role the city of New Orleans played in World War II. New Orleans businessman Andrew Higgins and his factories equipped the military with a vessel that became critical to the D-Day invasion — the flat-bottomed, shallow draft boat with a drawbridge life exit ramp.

The Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel or LCVP, often referred to as the Higgins Boat, allowed infantry or small vehicles to exit through a front ramp — a major shift in the way to conduct amphibious warfare, according to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

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SHAKO-West Point cadetsSHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

June 6, 2019 at 11:58 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (May 31, 2019)

Dead Serious.

military dive operations

(U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Jayme Pastoric)

Their swim fins hooked over their wrists and their weapons ready, Navy SEALs, assigned to Naval Special Warfare Group 2, emerge from the shallows during military dive operations training in the Atlantic Ocean on May 29, 2019.

SEALs, it stands for Sea, Air, Land forces, “are expertly trained to deliver highly specialized, intensely challenging warfare capabilities that are beyond the means of standard military forces,” according to the Navy. SEAL teams are the maritime component of U.S. Special Operations Command, however, they are trained to conduct missions from sea, air and land.

Before one gets to wear the distinctive gold SEAL insignia — an eagle clutching a Navy anchor, trident and flintlock style pistol — one must endure a lot of this:

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First Phase Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs (BUD/S) candidates participate in hours of crushing, physical training, in wet, sandy uniforms with little sleep at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. ( U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kyle D. Gahlau)

To get an idea of how difficult their training is, click here.

May 31, 2019 at 12:10 am 1 comment

FRIDAY FOTO (April 5, 2019)

Whites (and) Lighning

USS WASP (LHD 1) OPERATIONS AT SEA

(Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Barker)

Sailors man the rails aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD1) as it arrives for Exercise Balikatan at Subic Bay in the Philippines. This March 30, 2019 photo practically spans the long history of the Navy and Marine Corps — from the sailors in their summer bell-bottomed dress whites, “dixie cup” hats and black neckerchiefs to the Marines’ newest aircraft, the F-35B  Lightning II jet fighter, parked behind them.The stealthy F-35B is a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, designed to meet the land and ship-based needs of the Marines.

Balikatan is an annual U.S.-Philippine military training exercise focusing on missions ranging from humanitarian assistance and counter-terrorism.

April 5, 2019 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

SHAKO: Women’s History Month 2019, Part III

Women in the Navy.

Here is the third installment of 4GWAR’s tribute to Women’s History Month featuring  photos illustrating the contributions of women in the four armed services. With the exception of one historic first or trailblazer for each service, these pictures focus on women doing their jobs — some dirty, difficult or dangerous — but all essential to keeping the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps ready to defend the United States of America. This week we look at women Sailors.

Recruit Training Command Graduation

(Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Spencer Fling)

Sailors celebrate after graduating from Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois on January 4, 2019. Great Lakes, on the western shore of Lake Michigan north of Chicago, is the Navy’s only recruit training  facility, or boot camp. The workload is heavy and the recruits must adjust to a completely new way of life during the eight-week training program. In addition to classroom instruction, recruits spend time learning the fundamentals of small arms marksmanship, seamanship, water survival, line handling, and fire fighting. Long days and intensive training leave the recruits little free time. While male and female recruits train together they have separate sleeping quarters, known as “ships.”

WOMEN NAVY ID3

(Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ford Williams)

Navy Seaman Aliyah Smith (above) stands watch aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) as the ship transits the Bosporus, the entrance to the Black Sea, on February 19, 2019.

Sailors and Marines aboard USS Ashland (LSD 48) execute CRRC operations

(Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Markus Castaneda)

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Nia Baker supervises Marines preparing to depart the well deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD-48) with combat rubber raiding crafts in the Philippine Sea, January 25, 2019.

U.S. Sailor paints a cowling for an MH-60S Sea Hawk

(Navy photo by Seaman Jarrod Schad)

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Itzel Samaniego paints an engine cover for an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter in the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) in the Pacific Ocean on February 16, 2019.

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(Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin Whitley)

Petty Officer 2nd Class Brittany McGhee signals an AV-8B Harrier to take off during flight deck operations aboard the USS Boxer (LHD 4), an amphibious assault ship, in the Pacific Ocean on January 15, 2019. Each crewman has a different task on a very busy and noisy flight deck of assault ships and aircraft carriers, depending on the color of their jacket. Yellow jackets are worn by aircraft handling officers (like petty officer McGhee), catapult and arresting gear officers and plane directors.

WOMEN NAVY ID6

(Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Anaid Banuelos Rodriguez)

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Ashley Zappier fires an M240B machine gun aboard the amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD-20) in the Gulf of Thailand, Feb. 17, 2019, during Cobra Gold, a multinational exercise focused on supporting the humanitarian needs of communities in the region.

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(Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryre Arciaga)

Navy Seaman Sierra Hogard adjusts the rotations of the ship’s shaft aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) in the Mediterranean Sea on January 2, 2019.

WOMEN NAVY ID8

(Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Chandler Harrell)

Navy Hospial Corpsman 2nd Class Victoria Robinson performs a dental examination on Seaman Tyler D’Angelo aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) in the Indian Ocean on January 21, 2019.

NAS OCEANA FLYOVER

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Raymond Maddocks)

Honoring a Trailblazer: Naval aviators participating in a flyover to honor the life and legacy of retired Navy Captain Rosemary Mariner pose for a photo at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia on February 2, 2019. It was the first ever all-female flyover as part of the funeral service for Mariner, a female Naval aviation pioneer. She was one of the Navy’s first female pilots, the first to fly a tactical (jet attack) aircraft and the first woman to command a naval aviation squadron. Captain Mariner was a leader of the organization Women Military Aviators. In 1992, she worked with members of Congress and a Defense Department advisory board to overturn laws and regulations keeping women from combat.

WOMEN NAVY NO ID.JPG

Enter a caption

U.S. Pacific Fleet Band musicians, male and female, perform during a celebration at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on February 27, 2019. Navy Musicians attend the Armed Forces School of Music, located in Little Creek, Virginia, for 21 weeks. The active duty Musician rating requires a 48 month (4 year) minimum enlistment contract.

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SHAKO-West Point cadetsSHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

March 24, 2019 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

SHAKO: Women’s History Month 2019, Part II

Women in the Marine Corps.

Here is the second installment of 4GWAR’s tribute to Women’s History Month featuring  photos illustrating the contributions of women in the four armed services. With the exception of one historic first or trailblazer for each service, these pictures focus on women doing their jobs — some difficult or dangerous — but all essential to keeping the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps ready to defend the United States of America. This week we look at women Marines.

MCRD Band conduct basic warrior training

(Photo by Warrant Officer Bobby Yarbrough)

Even members of the band stationed at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina — male and female — had to undergo basic warrior training in January 2019. The military musicians  were required to refamiliarize themselves with basic military skills — including crawling through the mud — “to develop the leadership mindset of the unit’s noncommissioned officers.”

WOMEN Marine ID2

(Marine Corps photo Lance Corporal Terry Wong)

Marine Corps Sergeant Marrissa Ladwig puts into practice the rappelling techniques she learned at the Jungle Warfare Training Center at Camp Gonsalves in Okinawa, Japan on January 29, 2019.

14th Marines Participate in Exercise Dynamic Front 19

(Photo by Marine Corps Corporal Niles Lee)

Corporal April Flores serves a hot meal at the Adazi Training Area, Latvia on February 28, 2019, during Dynamic Front, an annual multinational exercise. As a rising Russia grows more aggressive with its western neighbors, the Marines have been training with partner nations in the Baltics, the Balkans and Central Europe to show American support for NATO allies and friendly nations.

November Company becomes first company to graduate in new female dress blues

(Photo by Staff Sergeant Tyler Hlavac)

Sergeant Cristal Abregomedina, a warehouse clerk with Headquarters and Service Battalion, examines the new blue dress uniforms of Marines from November Company of the  4th Recruit Training Battalion last year at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.

The female Marines of November company became the first company of recruits to graduate wearing the new female dress blues, which resembles the male uniform with a mandarin collar rather than the old style that features a neck tab over a white blouse.

Marine Corps upgrades GCSS-MC, reduces time from data to decision

(Photo by Lance Corporal A. J. Van Fredenberg)

Lance Corporal Sierra Walker, a supply specialist with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, tests the upgrade to the Global Combat Support System-Marine Corps in October 2018 before its official launch. More than 23,000 logistics and maintenance Marines rely on Global Combat Support System-Marine Corps, or GCSS-MC, to conduct their daily supply and maintenance operations worldwide.  The upgrade, GCSS-MC Release 12,  was needed to strengthen the Corps’ cybersecurity posture, making logistics more efficient while  protecting  Marine Corps supply and maintenance information.

31st MEU ARP sharpen pistol marksmanship skills at sea

(Photo by Lance Corporal Hannah Hall)

1st Lieutenant Samantha Rosales, a logistics planner with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), fires an M1911 .45-caliber pistol during marksmanship training aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) while underway in the East China Sea on September 21, 2018.  The 31st MEU, the Marine Corps’ only continuously forward-deployed expeditionary unit, is a flexible force ready to perform a wide-range of military operations in the Indo-Pacific region.

Minds behind the flight: MAG-13 mechanics support Northern Lightning

(Photo by Sergeant David Bickel)

Lance Corporal Savannah Nickell, an airframes mechanic with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122, performs routine maintenance on an F-35 Lightning II during Exercise Northern Lightning 2018 at Volk Field Counterland Training Center, located at Camp Douglas, Wisconsin. Exercise Northern Lightning 2018 strengthens interoperability between services, particularly aviation capabilities within a joint fighting force.

Alpha and Oscar Co. Grass Week

(Photo by Sergeant Dana Beesley)

Staff Sergeant Estefania Patino corrects the rifle combat optic of a recruit’s weapon in this June 6, 2018 photo at Parris Island, South Carolina. She wears the green jacket of a Primary Marksmanship Instructor, which means her job is making riflemen out of recruits. Before she joined the Marines, Patino had never fired a weapon. Now she is a graduate of the Marines’ Combat Marksmanship Coach course and a former Drill Instructor.

WOMEN Marine ID9

(Still photo captured from a Marine Corps video by Corporal Shannon Doherty)

Trailblazer: Sergeant Tara-Lyn Baker traverses the snowy terrain at the Marines’ Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California. She is the first female Marine to graduate from the arduous Mountain Leader Course. A heavy equipment mechanic, Baker successfully completed the nearly six-week program, which sharpens Marines’ skills in cold weather survival, skiing, snow mobility and mountain warfare.

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(Photo by  Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Parker)

Female Marines don’t just maintain aircraft, they also make up flight crews. Here Captain Brenda Amor helps to prepare an AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter for flight operations on the flight deck of the amphibious transport dock ship, USS Arlington, in the Mediterranean Sea on January 30, 2019.

Our next Women’s History Month 2019 posting, Part III will appear Sunday, March 24.

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West Point cadetsSHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

 

 

 

March 18, 2019 at 1:51 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (March 1, 2019)

The Night Watch.

190215-N-UP035-0107

(U.S. Navy photo Petty Officer 1st Class Michael DiMestico)

O.K. we admit it, your 4GWar editor’s inner artist was taken with the color and shadows of this Navy photo. Who are these folks and what are they doing and where are they doing it?

The Defense Department caption that came with this picture identifies the subjects as Sailors and Marines stand[ing] watch aboard the USS Kearsarge as it transits the Strait of Hormuz, February 15, 2019.

The Kearsarge (LHD-3) is a Wasp-class amphibious assault shipthe largest amphibious ships in the world. Resembling a small aircraft carrier, the Kearsarge’s main job is taking a 1,600-man Marine Expeditionary Unit to trouble a spot — for either combat or humanitarian relief operations — and then putting the Marines ashore via helicopters, tilt-rotor aircraft and various types of waterborne landing craft.

That said, this photo reminded us of Rembrandt’s massive 1642 painting commonly called “The Night Watch.” The Dutch master was commissioned to paint a group portrait of a militia company (the real title of the work is: Officers and Men of the Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Wilhelm van Ruytenburgh). It was not your typical 17th Century class photo and the Captain and his men were not pleased.

It is not a night scene at all, but actually takes place during the day.  The Night Watch name was first applied at the end of the eighteenth century — long after Rembrandt was dead — when the painting had darkened considerably through the accumulation of many layers of dirt and varnish, according to art history professor Wendy Schaller.

Maybe it’s a stretch, but we think the above photo — titled Blue View — like Rembrandt’s Night Watch, does more than capture some sailors and Marines on duty.

March 1, 2019 at 2:20 pm Leave a comment

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