Monday, February 20, 2017

Russian Spy Ship

The media is abuzz with reports of a Russian spy ship off the northeast coast of the US.  Congressmen are demanding action and expressing outrage.  You’d think we were being invaded.  Good grief, this is exactly what we do to countries around the world.  The Russians have every right to be there and I have no problem with that.

Having said that, if I were the Navy/Military I’d give some thought to scheduling our pilots for some low level flying training in that area.  If some pilot happened to make a closer than “safe” pass, well, that happens during training, doesn’t it?

I’d also consider having some Navy ships conduct close quarter maneuvering drills in the area.  If they happened to inadvertently cross paths with the Russian ship and violate some rules of the road, well, again, those things happen during training. 

Finally, I’d send some ships and electronic warfare aircraft to conduct training in the area.  If that training happened to interfere with the Russian ship’s communications and whatnot, well, that happens during training, right?

Seriously, this is a golden opportunity for the US to send a message to Russia in response to all the Russian actions that are aimed at sending messages to us.


  1. That's a fantastic idea.

    You could also play games like buzzing them at odd hours of the night and day to keep them up. You know, training doesn't have regular hours.

    If they are listening to certain navy radio channels maybe have normal traffic interrupted by full throated Ted Nugent solo's.... :-)

    1. I would think the recordings would be digitised for later consumption, its not like the 1960s with reel tapes and headphones.

  2. Off-piste, if you haven't read the USNI report Feb. 15 American Society of Naval Engineers conference headed "Navy to Impose More Rigorous Oversight in New Ship Classes; Will Hire More Engineers" on a subject you've highlighted before. The Navy now acknowledging it committed a major error of judgement and it's taken a generation to correct its mistake and cost $billions, partially reinstating the old BuShips, some quotes.

    Re. Vice Adm. Tom Moore, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, NAVSEA, engineering directorate (SEA 05) 

    Resume a proper level of oversight. Specifically, in SEA 05, where there had been 1,292 engineers in 1990 and only 251 in 2005, Moore said he’s hiring. SEA 05 is up to 568 today and expects to reach 750 engineers by 2025

    the mid-90s was, hey, industry knows best // moved to where the Navy was very specific about what we wanted on our ships, to an era of what we like to call performance-based specs, where we kind of told industry, this is kind of what we want. // transitioning over to what we call American Bureau of Shipping naval vessel rules // an era where we went from [production-based specifications], where the Navy was very specific about what we wanted on our ships, to an era of what we like to call performance-based specs, where we kind of told industry, this is kind of what we want // Coupled with a shift away from Navy-dictated ship specifications and towards contractor-friendly “performance-based specifications,” four major ship classes designed in that period suffered from a lack of oversight // problems faced in past ship classes like the Littoral Combat Ship and the Zumwalt guided missile destroyer stemming from the Navy being too hands-off on technical specifications // challenges we’ve had with LCS and DDG-1000, and to a lesser extent with LPD-17 and Ford

    After these four ship classes entered the fleet and the Navy realized the problems that stemmed from the performance-based standards, NAVSEA in 2012 moved away from the naval vessel rules and to a new Naval Combatant Design Specifications, which more closely resembled the old general specifications.

    (The new 2012) Naval Combat System Development rules and we will be much more in a procurement-based spec environment with them. That doesn’t mean that we’re back to an era in the ‘60s where NAVSEA basically did the design and handed it to them – and I don’t think it makes sense for us to go back to those days – but we will provide a lot more specificity to the shipbuilder, working side by side with them, but we’ll be a lot more specific in our contracts

    DDG-1000 program manager Capt. Kevin Smith // turning the program over to the contractor to simply meet a performance requirement led to “unique solutions” in components that otherwise could have been common with other ship classes, complicating the sustainment of the ship class // challenges with a three-ship class is you have some systems out there like the Advanced Gun System. We have a steering gear that’s revolutionary but nothing else exists like this in the universe.
    Rich Dumas, Raytheon’s Zumwalt-class systems engineer and architect lead //design choices, equipment choices, that don’t have a pedigree behind them and don’t have the sustaining infrastructure behind them // decisions and point solutions that, as it turned out, might not exactly have been palatable in the long term // led to an innovative but complex total ship systems engineering effort that relied on new interrelated systems instead of proven and sustainable ones.

  3. As to the original topic above:

    The "cookbook gouge" or Rooskies 101, on how to deal with AGI's off Nantucket, fly-overs, SSN patrols near sub bases, intercepts, games of "naval chicken" and intimidation, floodlight fly overs, etc., etc. can easily be re-discovered just by asking those of us who were on Active Duty in the Navy and over 60 years of age. Any younger and its just second hand talk.... We can tell you or you can go to the operational logs of the day and read them for this gouge.

    The best thing to do overall until we have an adult policy is to quit whining like old ladies (no offense to old ladies) about it every time it happens and "contain it". Remember what Teddy Roosevelt said? Got it?


  4. Funny thing is that this ship is probably there to make up for the capabilities the Russians lost when Obama shut down their Glen Cove, NY compound.

    I grew up around there, and vaguely remember that Russian spy ships 13 miles offshore were pretty common page 12 of the newspaper stuff.

    1. As I'm fond of saying, we've forgotten what war is but we've also forgotten what Cold War is. The tit-for-tat antics of the Cold War seem unusual to us now. We need to relearn how to conduct a Cold War. Russia is giving us lessons but we are, thus far, reluctant to engage.

  5. I'm getting a vision. A spy ship swarmed by a dozen news helicopters. Circling closer and closer, while reporters shout questions on various radio frequencies and the cameras stream live footage to their news stations day and night.


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