Navy Front Page: It's All About The Submarines
It'll be gone pretty soon, but for right now the navy.mil home page has three (!) stories about submarines -- right at the top! For future reference, the stories are about USS Charlotte's recent trip to the North Pole, USS Chicago's departure on a deployment, and, at the very top, a throw-away picture of USS Asheville returning to port.
Update 2148 01 Dec: After I posted this, I started wondering why the Navy would put the picture of the Asheville at the top, in a more prominent place than the other two, seemingly more important, submarine stories. Then it hit me -- there must be more to the photo than I had seen at first glance. Maybe they were trying to send a message to potential adversaries. I went back and looked at the picture of the Asheville, and immediately saw what I had missed. Do you see it?
No? How about in this blow-up of the shot, highlighting the important part:
See it now? The import of this picture in terms of international geo-mili-politics cannot be misunderestimated. This can only be a shot of the B1rD system, CGU-11 mod, in action. The Chinese have nothing like it, as this shot of three Chinese submarines shows -- nary a B1rD in sight. The Navy's clearly trying to send a signal to the Chinese to back off from international troublemaking now... if they don't want to be on the receiving end of the CGU-11's deadly payload (known formally as the "B1rD-p00P Bomb").
And did you notice the one attached to the rudder? I didn't at first, but here it is:
I'm just glad that the Submarine Force isn't afraid to invest in the technology needed to keep us a generation or two ahead of our potential rivals. Never can we allow our lead in avian-submarine synergy to lapse. As long as we don't repeat the mistake we made with the "B1rD floating wire install" (where the distant observer would see a straight line of birds sailing along at four knots for no apparent reason), we should maintain our advantage well into this century.
Update 0618 02 Dec: The picture of Asheville is gone from the top of the page now on the Navy site... I guess the message was delivered!