Posts filed under ‘U.S. Navy’

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:

110411-N-JR159-138

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

SHAKO: Memorial Day 2019

The North Remembers.

Grant_Memorial

Cavalry charge figures at the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial between the Capitol and the National Mall in Washington D.C. (Photo by Ad Meskens via Wikipedia, sculpture by Henry Merwin Shrady )

Memorial Day, by federal law, is commemorated annually on the last Monday in May to honor those who gave their lives for their country. The holiday grew out of local ceremonies throughout the North and South after the American Civil War (1861-1865). In many places, the day — traditionally May 30 — was known as Decoration Day for the flowers and flags that locals used to decorate soldiers’ and sailors’ graves.

In past years, 4GWAR postings on Memorial Day have focused on U.S. military cemeteries, the tradition of decorating graves with small American flags at Arlington National Cemetery and remembering the price paid by those we honor on the holiday.

But this year, we note the controversy surrounding Civil War monuments and statues honoring Confederate heroes. To many, they are racist icons created during the Jim Crow er. For others, they are reminders of the “Lost Cause,” and part of an honorable heritage. So we thought we’d look at the monuments and statues — mostly in Northern states — dedicated to those who fought to preserve the Union.

For example, the charging cavalry group pictured above is just part of a massive memorial to Union Army commander and 18th U.S. president, Ulysses S. Grant. In fact, that sculpture group, and another depicting a team of artillery horses hurtling along with a caisson and cannon in tow, are far more dramatic than the centerpiece equestrian statute of old “Unconditional Surrender” Grant.

Even monuments like this, are not without critics, mainly for honoring leaders who mistreated or ignored the mistreatment of blacks and Indians after the Civil War. Nevertheless, cities and towns from Maine to California have dedicated monuments of all shapes and sizes to Union troops and their leaders. Below is a small sampling from around the country.

Many statues and monuments — particularly in Washington, D.C. — are dedicated to generals like Grant,  William Tecumseh Sherman and George Henry Thomas, and admirals like Samuel Francis DuPont and David Glasgow Farragut (see photo below).

Admiral_David_Farragut_Statue

(Photo by David Washington, via Wikipedia)

Admiral Farragut, of “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead,” fame, stands atop a granite base in a park and city square named for him. The statue was sculpted by female artist Vinnie Ream. This monument to the U.S. Navy’s first admiral, was dedicated in 1881 in an extravagant ceremony attended by President James A. Garfield  and thousands of spectators. It was the first monument erected in Washington, to honor  a naval war hero.

Other outdoor art works are dedicated to local heroes or favorite sons like the monument to Pennsylvania’s George Gordon Meade, commander of the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg and later Civil War battles. Paid for by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania when few in Washington favored lionizing Meade — the monument stands on Pennsylvania Avenue, the main route of parades in the nation’s capital.

In Boston, the memorial to young Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, also pays tribute to his 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, one of the first African American army units to fight in the Civil War.   The high relief bronze was created by noted sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and readers may remember it was featured at the end of the 1989 Oscar-winning film Glory.

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(Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial, Photo by Jarek Tuszyński via wikipedia commons)

In Washington, D.C., all of the 200,000 African Americans who served in the Union army and navy are remembered in the African American Civil War Memorial.

African-American-Civil-War-Memorial-3_1

(Spirit of Freedom statue by Ed Hamilton 1997, National Park Service photo)

Elsewhere, a single soldier was enough for memorials like the Kent County Civil War Monument in Grand Rapids, Michigan …

KentCountyCivilWarMonumentGrandRapidsMI

(Caption)

Or two in front of the DeKalb County courthouse in Sycamore, Illinois …

Sycamore_Il_Civil_War_Memorial AMurray

(Photo by A. McMurray via wikipedia)

A lone artillery man in Scituate, Rhode Island …

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(Photo by Beth Hurd via Rhode Island USGenWeb Genealogy and History Project)

A member of New York’s “silk stocking” 7th Militia Regiment, formed by many of the city’s socially elite …

7th_Regt_Memorial_Steele_MacKaye_jeh

(Photo by Jim.henderson)

Monuments to the Union army aren’t limited to the North. This statue, known as “Taps”, is located in Little Rock National Cemetery in Arkansas. It is dedicated to the 36 soldiers from Minnesota who are buried there.

Minnesota_Monument in Ark

(Photo by Valis55 )

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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.

May 27, 2019 at 7:46 pm 2 comments

FRIDAY FOTO (April 26, 2019)

Even D.I.s Have to Practice.

Drill Instructor School Drill Practice

( U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sergeant Dana Beesley)

It isn’t easy to become a Marine Corps Drill Instructor, or D.I.

Here we see drill instructor candidates practicing their marching leadership at the Marines’ East Coast Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina on April 17, 2019.

After passing the screening process and being selected for the 36-month Drill Instructor Duty tour, a Marine must first attend Drill Instructor School at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in California, or Marine Corps Recruit Duty, at Parris Island.

April 26, 2019 at 12:12 am Leave a 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.

190115-N-PX867-1223

(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.

190102-N-KW492-0077

(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

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