Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

China Testing New Administration At Sea

Just like they did with the EP-3 forcedown at the beginning of the Bush Administration, it appears that the Chinese military is seeing how far they can go with the new Obama Administration with respect to keeping the U.S. military out of international waters near China. Excerpts:
China lashed out Tuesday at the United States, accusing a U.S. Navy ship of violating international law during a tense confrontation near a secret Chinese submarine base.
The Pentagon said five Chinese vessels blocked and surrounded a U.S. surveillance ship, the Impeccable, in international waters on Sunday. One of the ships came within 25 feet, or 8 meters, of the U.S. boat, the Pentagon said...
...The encounter on Sunday was the latest in a series of recent incidents in which Chinese ships shadowed the towering, twin-hulled Impeccable. The Pentagon said the confrontation took place in the South China Sea, about 120 kilometers, or 75 miles, from Hainan Island, where China has an underground naval complex with submarine caves.
A U.S. Navy photograph obtained by The New York Times showed a Chinese sailor holding a long pole, and a navy spokesman confirmed that the Chinese had used a grappling hook to try to snag a cable that the Impeccable was using to tow an underwater listening device known as a Surtass array.
Information Dissemination, as expected, has much more on this story. Since China isn't even able to claim we're violating their coastal waters, but rather their 200 nm "exclusive economic zone", it's clear we need to do whatever is needed to ensure the freedom of navigation for all in these international waters. I suggest sending a destroyer or two, with a Carrier Strike Group within range to provide support if needed. This is one case where President Obama can't afford even the perception of weakness. If history serves as a guide here, once he demonstrates his will, the Chinese will back down. If he doesn't, it could get ugly, and fast.

Update 1007 12 March: It has happened as I foretold:
The Navy has assigned a heavily armed destroyer to escort the U.S. surveillance ship that got into a high-seas confrontation with Chinese ships last weekend.
A defense official says the Hawaii-based destroyer "Chung-Hoon" is keeping a close eye on the unarmed sub-hunting ship "Impeccable" as it continues operations in the South China Sea. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to describe sensitive ship movements.
The official says the escort ship joined the Impeccable on Wednesday.
USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) was last in the news for being a "Love Boat" back in 2005. I'm guessing that President Obama did exactly what he was supposed to do in this case-- approve the recommendation of his military advisors to not back down and let the Chinese know our policies with respect to freedom of navigation haven't changed. I'm calling this a good sign of things to come.


Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Man, has the Hong Kong stock exchange taken a hit since 2008. They are right next to China. Down 60% or so. We are in a unprecedented worldwide planetary crises....why do you want to antagonize anyone sitting on a hair trigger.

You could get submarine out there with the requisite gear...and they could do the same thing. They wouldn't be detected...or even if known, it would be impossible for them to interrupt it. You would never be able to get any surface images of hosing other ships and confrontations. Wonder what the depth is of the water.

Are the admiral's gaming international relations in order to get new submarines? Are the admirals, in a Obama teaching moment saying, you see how vulnerable these surface spy ships are with hostile national relationships, remember the USS Pueblo and the USS Liberty. I wonder whose cheap idea it was to come up with a surface spy ships.

3/11/2009 12:40 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

The Chinese seem to have huge sensitivity to anything in the vicinity of Hainan. Curious...

3/11/2009 12:54 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Sounds like oil to me?

3/11/2009 1:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hair trigger.....What?????? What are you smoking Mulligan?????

This is a rerun of a very old game played out with the soviets in international waters in the late 60's and 70's. I remember a Photo of one of our old DesRon 25 2100 ton destroyers (I think it was USS Walke) being crunched by a soviet Skory Class DD. Our SS and SSN have been "presecuted" many-many times by soviets both inside and outside their territorial waters. Experienced that myself on several occasions. China Navy doesn't have a history of doing this stuff because they RARELY GET UNDERWAY!!!!

China is not North Korea, and this is not a rerun of the Pueblo incident. BTW, C7F has already scrambled the USS Chun Hoon, a Burke Class DD to provide cover.

Relax Mulligan, let the Navy go about their business, and you go ahead and concentrate on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

If I recall correctly from a trip into that area on a smoke boat during VN War, there were still some danger marked areas on the charts due to unswept WWII mine fields. Wonder if that stuff ever got swept up?

My two cents and keep a zero bubble.......


3/11/2009 1:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it is simply intelligence gathering, than submarines are a way to go, but they are risky because submarines are stealthy and very threatening if discovered. We also classify submarine movements, so it is absolutely useless to use them to assert our rights to navigate the South China sea.

A surface ship, on the other hand, is not so threatening (unless it is a carrier or amphib assault group). It can also collect intelligence. Since it is not stealthy, it can also publicly assert our right to navigate these waters. The Chinese aren't likely to try to sieze an American ship, unless we were to sail it into Hainan. Sending a Frigate or two out there seems to be a fairly cautious course of action that should not be unduly alarming.

The alternative is to yield our right to navigate our ships there. I don't know the consequences to that, but I can speculate that this would impact our relations with other countries in there area who would want to have free access to the sea. I also speculate that this would embolden China to assert their claim in Taiwan sooner rather than later, raising the risk for war.


3/11/2009 1:41 PM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

Having sailed in those waters during the Viet Nam War and can testify that the depth of water is around 100 feet. I can remember giving services to the DDs on Yankee Station cruising around at ninty feet, ten feet from the bottom with the top of the sail about thirty feet from the surface. It really was "take her down, take her deep, make your depth five five feet."

3/11/2009 2:16 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Hmm, I didn't mean on a hair trigger with China, but the world has caught on fire with our economic troubles...I think we are at risk for a planet wide WWII style conflagration as in any time since the 1930s.

This already has disrupted so many countries and the weaker one are so vulnerable.

I just saying the things we did a year ago we can't get away with today...that goes for all the nations on this planet.

3/11/2009 2:25 PM

Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

I'm sure Impeccable is doing a lot more than conducting freedom of navigation ops. Not surprised since she is a special ops boat, and by boat I mean she's less than 300ft in length.

I was thinking undersea cables, but we'd send a sub in for that instead of a catamaran.

3/11/2009 2:44 PM

Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

Just another comment, sorry.

Thinking in mind about the Chinese when they tested our previous administration, I wonder if they managed to make off with any of our crypto assets (i.e. KG-84) before the crew could finalize emergency destruction, and I wonder if they made it past destroying superseded keying material?

Some may gawk at the Chinese testing our new president's patience, but I wouldn't throw any of my "conservative" attitude toward Obama in that he would cave.

I don't think he would.

But I really can't say that considering the manner in which our last apologist in office carried himself.

3/11/2009 3:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hong Kong" is "right next to China." Wow Mulligan, you really know your geography.

"Worldwide planetary crises." Is that as opposed to a non-worldwide planetary crisis?

Trolligan - how about staying home in your Mom's basement and let the big boys talk about this one.


3/11/2009 5:12 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Well, I still have issues that China owns it?

3/11/2009 5:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike: I think you'd have issues no matter what, little fella.

All: (via Wikipedia)

"Hainan is home to the People's Liberation Army Navy strategic nuclear submarine naval harbor 18°13′16″N 109°41′10″E / 18.221°N 109.686°E / 18.221; 109.686. The naval harbor is estimated to be 60ft high, built into hillsides around a military base. The caverns are capable of hiding up to 20 nuclear submarines from spy satellites. The harbor houses nuclear ballistic missile submarines and is large enough to accommodate aircraft carriers. The US Department of Defence has estimated that China will have five Type 094 nuclear submarines operational by 2010 with each capable of carrying 12 JL-2 intercontinental ballistic missile. Two 950 metre piers and three smaller ones would be enough to accommodate two carrier strike groups or amphibious assault ships."

Here's a satellite view of the port.

And here's a close-up of a couple of their boats, pierside.

3/11/2009 6:26 PM

Blogger commoncents said...

Nice post!

Would you like a link exchange with my blog COMMON CENTS where we blog about the issues of the day??

3/11/2009 6:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And here is the likely point of entry for the caverns that make up their "submarine locker."

3/11/2009 6:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice eng. Did you see the roadway entry points on the opposite side of the island?


3/11/2009 7:12 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

You are all fixated on familiar phallic symbols...what about that crackdown in Tibet.

I have questions if the China as we know it will last another year.

So I can see them heading south economically, rebellion breaking out throughout the lands, they begin selling our bonds, basically our trading relationships ending. So in order not to get branded with mismanagement, the Chinese gin up a confrontation with our forces...thereby they can blame the Americans for the collapse of China. Hope that America hating would mitigate the collapse?

You are all a bunch of girls?

3/11/2009 7:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

COB: Good catch...I hadn't noticed that til you pointed it out. Looking around, I found this as well, which looks similar to fields I've seen via Google around, Russian...SSBN facilities up on the Kola.

3/11/2009 8:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eng, any idea? Looks sorta used, but what purpose? If you follow apparent path of one of the roadways into the tree cover it looks like they had a cave in at some point. Surprising given the Chicom's care and expertise in coal mining.


3/11/2009 8:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dunno, COB. In the Russian's case, I was guessing they'd simply left old rocket motor engines lying around til they'd successfully blackmailed someone else -- like the U.S. -- to pay them to remove them.

The Chinese are a bit more fastidious, so they may be inert motor shapes for test loading, but then again maybe it's simply a truck depot. I truly don't know, but the last guess is the closest I can come via Google, as they're clearly too close together for something combustible or explosive.

Note that there is another egress point close by to that same area.

This looks like their equivalent of submarine school and nuclear power school...with nearby barracks and all.

Note that you don't see any weapons bunkers in the guessing they're keeping them closer to home inside the submarine locker, likely off in a corner somewhere. That, or they're a little more cavalier about weapons storage than we are.

The cave-in area you're referring to looks under-development to me. Note the lack of trees.

3/11/2009 8:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eng, very nice. Barracks, school house, track, sports fields, ?obstacle course?, large area for self-criticism, etc. I'll bet liberty really sucks.


3/11/2009 8:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This doesn't look too shabby, COB. Am guessing that there's a bikini or two under those grass huts on the beach.

The Chinese are not fools.

3/11/2009 9:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old COB and Ex SSN Eng, jobs are waiting for you guys as CIA analysts....

Mulligan, just keep tracking the Hong Kong stock market. BTW, I've got an interview set up for you with a comic book publisher. He's hot for your fantasies......... there may be a movie script in for you...

My two cents, and keep a zero bubble...........

3/11/2009 10:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't blame 'em for trying...

It's not like we'd take very nicely to Chinese SURTASS array ships hanging out off Pt Loma, Papa Hotel or Orote Pt either.

Things must be bad in the sub force if we can't even spare a full time SSN to monitor the PLAN's master sub base!

3/12/2009 12:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, in the good ol' days, the Soviets DID keep an AGI (intel gathering ship) pretty much on a routine patrol off of Papa Hotel (of course outside 12nm from land). As part of the cost of being the world's foremost democracy - we let them. And we actually negotiated an agreement for the control of Incidents at Sea (INCSEA) to ensure that "confrontations" would not happen. That would be the logical next step for our Chinese friends.

3/12/2009 5:14 AM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

"Can't blame 'em for trying...

It's not like we'd take very nicely to Chinese SURTASS array ships hanging out off Pt Loma, Papa Hotel or Orote Pt either."

A very good point, but then we typically consider the Pacific to be territorial waters. The Soviets and Russians have parked AGIs right off those places, but we never attempted to collide with them. However, their repeated efforts to endanger -both- ships resulted in the INCSEA agreement and it is probably time we sit down with the PRC to come up with something similar.

Just because it came up, that EP-3 crew was criminally stupid. TOP priority for destruction is equipment and crypto. If any one of them had a brain they could have destroyed the gear before the PRC could board them. But no, they couldn't be bothered.

3/12/2009 5:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We do have an accord with China, signed in 1998, it was based on the INCSEA agreement that we have with Russia:

Please be careful when talking about past, present or future ops. Think about those who are currently serving and thier safety.

Mike Mulligan: China and Hong Kong are one...knucklhead!

Retired ANAV.

3/12/2009 6:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


According to the reference Joel gave, the crew did destroy or attempt to destroy the classified material on the aircraft. The pilot was awarded a DFC. It doesn't sound like to me that crew's bosses thought they were criminal-- quite the contrary they were treated as heroes.

Now assume for the moment that Wikipedia is full of sh*t, as it can be sometimes. The reality is that I wasn't there and neither were you. Who knows what would have happened if you or I were in that plane under those circumstances. Maybe a former submarine commander might have done a better job than these guys did under the circumstances, but maybe not.


3/12/2009 7:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


This from today's Early Bird:
"The Navy on Wednesday assigned a destroyer escort to the ship that narrowly missed colliding with the Chinese vessels Sunday.

A defense official, speaking on background, confirmed Wednesday that the destroyer Chung-Hoon is keeping a close eye on the surveillance ship Impeccable, which continues to operate in the South China Sea."

3/12/2009 7:45 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

I am just saying that it is contextual beyond Chinese and American little boys playing with ships and submarines in their bathtubs....submarine base envy too?

45 percent of world's wealth destroyed: Blackstone CEO
Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:42pm EDT

[-] Text [+]
By Megan Davies and Walden Siew
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Private equity company Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) CEO Stephen Schwarzman said on Tuesday that up to 45 percent of the world's wealth has been destroyed by the global credit crisis.
"Between 40 and 45 percent of the world's wealth has been destroyed in little less than a year and a half," Schwarzman told an audience at the Japan Society. "This is absolutely unprecedented in our lifetime."

3/12/2009 11:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trolligan, you're mother wants you to come home. Time for your treatment.

3/12/2009 11:53 AM

Blogger beadlizard said...

Joel, over at Blackfive one of the commenters suggested trailing a charged "sonar array" to give a shock to the guy with the grappling hook. I know you can't predict when someone's going to come at your array like that so it's an impractical solution, but is it even feasible? How does a person tow an electric fence in the water? Curious. Figure if anyone knows how, it's the people reading your blog.

Hope you're doing well. You're in our prayers. --Syl

3/12/2009 12:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Mulligan,

I really should know better than to respond to one of your posts, especially one so far off topic to be non-sensical, but here goes.

If half the wealth has been destroyed then we should all be happy since we live in a world with a debt based monetary system. So if you want to look at the bright side half of the world's debt has been lost.

3/12/2009 1:31 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Unfortunately it is well known that the EP-3 crew did not destroy the KG-84s or the keymat prior to the PRC taking 'ownership' of the aircraft, nor was the APS-137B circuitry destroyed. It took us many years to recover after the DPRK was able to seize the PUEBLO crypto gear intact. Once again, while armed resistance was undoubtedly futile, destruction of crytographic material was not only possible but obligatory.

As for the pilot's DFC, I could recommend another type of DFC.

3/12/2009 1:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, what happened? Did the pilot get his medal and get reassigned a non-flying role? Or did the crew get back to the fleet?


3/12/2009 3:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, I'm glad to see the Navy is able to send in an armed escort to watch over and protect the Impeccable. One would think the Chinese will think twice about dropping their pants in front of one of our newest Destroyers. That's great to see.

Now, as for a question off topic, but Submarine related...

Did any of our WWII Diesel boats have the distinction of fighting on both war fronts at one time or another during WWII? In other words, did any boat ever fight in the Atlantic at one point and then later on get transferred to the Pacific (or vice/versa) before WWII was over? My simple curiosity has gotten the better of me, and that's why I'm asking.

Thanks, J.

3/12/2009 4:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't imagine that we would have any submarines operating in the atlantic during WWII given that Germany didn't do a whole lot of trade over the ocean.


3/12/2009 4:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stand corrected. We did have submarines operating in the Atlantic. Apparently after 1943, what submarines we had in the Atlantic were mainly on sea trials or training.


3/12/2009 4:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Mulligan,

Are you presently, or have you ever been a member of the communist party? It's clear from your last series of statements that you could very well be a communist sympathizer.

Yup, that's about how rediculous some of your latest thoughts here have been. I'll bet Joe McCarthy would have had a field day with you back in the mid 50s.

What medication are you presently taking? Hang on, allow me to re-phrase, what types of meds are you supposed to be taking? You've clearly missed pill time habitually. I'm sure that's not good for you, so find your meds, shut up and go away.

3/12/2009 6:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Opinion: Joel, you underestimate troll Mulligan. He's the kind of idiot that can destroy your blog, and he knows it.

Disrupt the flow of thought enough, piss people off enough, and the blog will be dead in the water.

I'm not telling you what to do, but I am giving my opinion on what will happen if nothing is done about the trolligan. Think of it as your own, personal, Chinese provocation: if you don't respond, it will be viewed as a sign of weakness.

Were all of his intentionally baiting posts to disappear, along with the mad-hatter responses, including this one, they would not be missed.

Good luck. Do you have any DDG's in your own private fleet that you can employ?

3/12/2009 6:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Q. re: submarine patrols in the Atlantic in WWII. the answer is yes.

Quote: "In all, these submarines conducted 86 patrols in 1942. Mackeral made two, Marlin made two, Barracuda six, Bass four, Bonita seven, the R boats six, and the S boats fifty-nine. confirmed sinkings zero."

"Late in the year 1942, the United States sent a small force of fleet boats to the British Isles... The boats conducted twenty seven war patrols in 1942-1943, claiming the sinking of four Nazi ships or submarines for 8,100 tons. None of the four sinkings was confirmed in post war German records."

Source: Clay Blair, Silent victory

Keep a zero bubble......


3/12/2009 8:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mulligan: You are an individual with an average IQ and an over inflated sense of self-worth. From your profile; "I have “blown the whistle” on issues in many businesses in the recent past. I have created enormous institutional changes across these organizations."
BZ to you (do you even know what BZ means shippy?) or are you another "wanna be"? Did you even earn "fish"? Come on whistle blower", prove you know what you're commenting about without resorting to "cut-n-paste" (aka patchwork prose) from Google. I'm sure you have trouble relating to your fellow man and troll the blogs to leave mindless commentary for posterity. I have one more question for you; does the aluminum foil helmet interfere with your CB while driving?

Shipmates, sorry for going active on this bilge monkey.

3/13/2009 8:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noted a post on MSN News this morning that Chinese Premier "cautioned" US Government about protecting "their" investment in US Treasuries to the tune of a TRILLION dollars.

Just waiting for this shoe to drop and it finally did. China in a pickle with our financial problems. If they don't buy more Treasuries from us $$$ devaluation will result, they'll loose a bundle on what they currently hold. So... they better buy more treasuries. Gee...Think the US is to big to fail????

The ship confrontation in South China Sea is small potatos compared to the financial stuff

My two cents and keep a zero bubble..............


3/13/2009 12:21 PM

Blogger phw said...


It seems that people are being impersonated... I will now sign in as a Google blogger.


3/13/2009 12:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your getting paranoid again. Time to take your meds...

It's an all volunteer Navy today. If the youngsters don't like it they get out--simple. Why do you care? You got nothing to do with it....

Go back outside and get on the swing and quite bothering the grownups....

Dangit!! I swore I wouldn't get suckered by Mulligans acting-out-behavior play for attention....


3/13/2009 2:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, they humiliate me in their message talk....then strip away messages that lends me any credibility.

I guess we got our own religion and commie factions...the censorship brigade who can’t openly compete with ideas and intelligence....within our own Navy and their support organizations.

If they compete with censor them. I get it with how good you are with this. All your manipulations. You are really good at it.
I can just imagine you guys with how you bully these young sailors and our children?

3/13/2009 4:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, this is a lot more easy not signing in with a blog.

Yea, but they just can’t quit their enlistment....walk away like us civilians can. Anyways, if they are coerced or improperly pressured, then they are not functioning at their best for this country.

Although, they are all heroes in my books, especially these submarine sailors, they sacrifice a lot for us all...most especially our troops fighting and dying for us in Iraq and Obama said, these folks have signed up for an endeavor bigger that self.

These all are our American heroes of our times.

mike mulligan

3/13/2009 5:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

March 12@5PM... I am imagine how the Chinese factions would see it.

I even got time now to fix it up a little.

That is a great idea, the armed escort is being pulled off other duties, the sailors are going to be out to sea more, the work is going to cost three of four times what it cost before this event came. I still don’t get it, such a nascent navy that will take decades to develop, that base is surrounded by choke points all around it...why the show of military force? Why is our navy pressing China? They haven’t disrupted any of our shipping and economic interest. What a terrible place to put a sub base. China got no good place to construct a Naval base. Wonder why we are hyping up this threat?

Man, for the Chinese, in exposing even more the big bad Americans, what a attention getting tool two ships are now, one a bristling destroyer, imagine the very fine pictures the Chinese would get out of this destroyer confrontation against speed boats and junkets. Can’t you see, shots fired, maybe the American’s having to ram a junket, unintended causalities as they split a speed boat in half....

My bet is the American political system is much more vulnerable than the Chinese. If these pictures of videos get into the press Obama would pay the price not the communist Chinese. That American destroyer is like a magnet for attention.

If I was defending my homeland against as a asymmetrical military force with a hypercritical political system behind the big boys ...if I was in charge of the Chinese speedboat fleet. ...I beat the hell out the American’s public relation wise. I know for a fact the Americans were too chicken to fire on me....what a opportunity for me to show how stupid the Americans are to my homeland. I have Mrs. Clinton flying in twice a week. I put these stupid Americans on the front page of every newspapers on the planet every other day....every TV station and the internet. It would be a internet public relation war the Americans would lose.

They will beat me in a nuclear war...but I’ll clean their clocks in a internet war...half the world hates them. I make them pull resources away from other trouble spots...while this making them even more vulnerable. We will exhaust them all throughout the world...pulling them this way then that. We will rope-a-dope them into senselessness.

I know a lot about fighting a asymmetrical force much bigger and better financed than me. They are clumsy, they are so big, the communication channels are fragmented, they will be dealing with a lot of personalities, I a few. I am dealing with Americans with a amazing complex system and so many moving parts, they are sitting on the most powerful and modern weapons the world has ever known. This will make them arrogant and over confident, this makes them mistake prone, they are sitting ducks sitting in a ocean of mistakes. They are arrogant, the asymmetric superpower status make them stupid ...that is even more of a mistake generator...they are going to make 10 mistakes to my one.

mike mulligan

3/13/2009 5:26 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Although sending a DDG51 sends a message, the PRC destroyers stationed in the South China Sea are equal to the task. It's all just back to the future...just the same kind of cold war game we have seen before.

3/13/2009 5:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our objectives with discussing this has been to “out” the apparent and real motives on both sides. It’s when this stuff stays hidden and unexpressed...that is when sailors and other lives are lost. It’s better to see the beast than make believe it’s not around. My objective was to get people thinking about the deeper motivations of why this occurred.

3/13/2009 6:44 PM

Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

Unfortunately it is well known that the EP-3 crew did not destroy the KG-84s or the keymat prior to the PRC taking 'ownership' of the aircraft, nor was the APS-137B circuitry destroyed.

I'm sure that several changes were made to try and help circumvent any compromises and also sure that at least some superseded and current keymat was destroyed prior to boarding. But one thing's for certain - when I was in nine years ago, I criticized the entire emergency destruction process. It is far too slow and cumbersome and there's too much reading going on back and forth. Screw that, just destroy it!

3/13/2009 8:13 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Anon-great discussion on this topic.

Harkonen (how did you pick that name?) said: "...I criticized the entire emergency destruction process. It is far too slow and cumbersome and there's too much reading going on back and forth. Screw that, just destroy it!"

Damn straight! Clearly a case where 'train like you fight' cannot be maintained.

3/14/2009 4:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets see, president Bush was sworn into office on Jan 21, 2001 with the EP 3 incident occurring 2 months later. In the new President Bush presidential cycle, you had in Feb 2001 an emergency blow of the USS Greenville SNN772 crashing into a Japanese training ship and a few months later the EP-3. We are about two weeks earlier with the “Chinese test” during this cycle than the last new presidential cycle. Are the Chinese testing us or is the Navy testing their new president?

I got so tantalizing close to it when I raised the specter of political cycles with Navy incidences on the USNI website...the USS Port Royal being aground off Hawaii and the USS Greenville. The USS Port Royal stranding occurred Feb 5 2009 and the Greenville on Feb 9 2001. I was so tantalizingly close to identifying the relationship and maybe averting something. I just neglected to look at the Navy’s historical record post election cycles of the first 6 months...a change in political party leadership in the White House. I was warned to that there was a relationship. There would have been a high likelihood of using my imagination to guess what the future holds for us if I wasn’t so mentally lazy with looking up the EP-3 event.

That is the trouble when you have influence or notoriety...a high level of people hating you have a voice louder than any one else. I just have a getter chance of influencing events that other people don’t have. It is very troublesome thinking I could interact with events...but I was just to lazy to a take a few extra steps in order to widen my view. It gnaws on my conscience. I am sorry I didn’t propose the idea that we could be heading for trouble with China...

It boggles the mind to think this is going on when both countries having such economic connections...the levels of access the Americans’ and everyone else has with China.

I think both Navies are using a attention getting device in order to increase their budgets, status and revelry within their individual services.

I don’t even think this is close to the cold war....towards the ends Russia was isolated and there was little economic cooperation between the superpowers.

Hey, why did we have so many Secretaries of the Navy during this Bush era? What a mess. I wish SECNAV Winter well. Who is going to replace him?

Mike Mulligan

3/14/2009 9:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posted on: Sunday, March 15, 2009
China naval confrontation tests Obama
By Richard Halloran
A touch of irony surfaced a week ago when an American destroyer patrolling in the South China Sea sailed to the aid of the U.S. ocean surveillance ship Impeccable, which was being harassed by three Chinese government vessels and two trawlers.

A question being addressed in the Pacific Command's headquarters above Pearl Harbor was whether the Chinese assault had been ordered by the political authorities in Beijing or had been mounted by the People's Liberation Army that comprises all of China's armed forces.

"It's hard to tell," an American analyst said. "But the PLA sometimes goes off on its own without telling anyone."
The educated consensus held that the confrontation was authorized by Beijing because it was conducted so deliberately and was timed to test the new American president.

In addition, spokesmen for China's leaders were immediately prepared to assert that the U.S. had intruded into China's territorial waters. In contrast, when Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was in Washington to meet with President Obama, all the White House would say was that the national security adviser, Gen. James Jones, had "raised the recent incident in the South China Sea."

The concern among U.S. military officers in the Pacific was that the Chinese would miscalculate in the future and overtly threaten to attack an American warship. Since the ship's captain would have the inherent duty to defend his ship, he could order his crew to fire on the Chinese. The consequences would be incalculable.

3/15/2009 9:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets see here--Whats wrong with this article.

First, no PLAN ships were involved in the confrontation with Impeccable. No explanation of how the PLAN organized the two government and three fishing boats as the OpFor.

Second, It was not an assault. to my knowledge there were no threats of violence involved. The better term would be confrontation.

Third, Impeccable is unarmed. Her only defense is to clear the area as fast as possible.

You can learn more about Impeccable on the Military Sealift Command website.

Crappy article... Richard Halloran just looking to stir it up on Sunday.

My two cents and keep a zero bubble...........


3/15/2009 4:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hasn’t this site modeled this with me?

Challenges facing surface fleet

Broken, bullying command structure may be behind surface fleet’s many problems

By Donnie Horner
Posted : Sunday Mar 15, 2009 10:36:37 EDT

The typical recent query from these young officers goes something like this: “Why, Professor, is the leadership you teach and the leadership we learn not in line with what we’ve encountered in the fleet?”
One junior officer in Mayport, Fla., explained: “I typically get thrown off the bridge at least once during a watch by a senior officer in some sort of profanity-laced tirade. Most of the time I have no idea what I did to cause the explosion.”

Maybe there’s more to the recent calamities than “poor seamanship and weak navigation skills” — these being perhaps only indicators of more significant problems. Maybe there’s something more deeply wrong with the SWO culture — something that produces a dysfunctional command climate which erodes effectiveness, teamwork, cohesion and war-fighting skills.

A female O-4 select reported: “There’s definitely a SWO culture. Thrive off of getting as little sleep as humanly possible, think Aegis is the greatest thing to happen to the human race, make fun of the folks who ‘don’t get it,’ talk down about the non-watchstanding supply rates, and you’re ‘in.’ It’s a bit like high school. SWOs eat their young. You earn respect for ripping into people and just being generally ‘hard-core.’ ”

A male O-4 select reported: “SWOs eat their young. Your job: stay on the good side of the bullies, the feared and unrelenting senior officers on your ship. Avoid being on the receiving end of their wrath. I am ashamed to say that I contributed to this culture to avoid finding myself on the other side of the table. To deal with the bullies, you become a bully. And, if you survive, you wear your SWO pin ‘like a badge of honor.’ ”
These comments provide a classic illustration of in-groups and out-groups, and the enormous amount of wasted energy that goes into their formation and maintenance. Far from reinforcing the value prioritization of ship-shipmate-self, these groups create conflict, inhibit information flow, and have a negative effect on the good order and discipline of the unit.

Unscientific and anecdotal but nonetheless striking, the results would indicate that something is amiss. If the descriptions of the dominant SWO culture are accurate, then it’s no wonder ships are running aground, boats are colliding and sailors are being lost overboard.

Think about it: Verbal abuse. Public degradation. Sleep deprivation. Fear. Temperamental outbursts. High school antics. Bullying. These descriptors are more indicative of hazing rituals than meaningful combat training aspiring to build watch team cohesion and capable war-fighters.
“He should be the soul of tact, patience, justice, firmness, and charity. No meritorious act of a subordinate should escape his attention or be left to pass without its reward, even if the reward is only a word of approval. Conversely, he shouldn’t be blind to a single fault in any subordinate, though at the same time, he should be quick and unfailing to distinguish error from malice, thoughtlessness from incompetence, and well meant shortcoming from heedless or stupid blunder.”

Leaders who mentor not menace, develop not demean, challenge not castigate — Jones’ prescription may be the starting point for addressing the problems at hand.

I don't think Joel has the guts to put this up on his front page?

Mike Mulligan

3/15/2009 5:56 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Mike-off target, off topic, and really dumb. There is no indication that our host shies away from any topic.

3/16/2009 3:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mulligan you do realize the difference between Surface Warfare and Submarine Warfare? Please join a SWO blog. Or just start blogging on the trucker blogs. Maybe one discussing BJ and the Bear (man I miss that show). I'm positive Chinese-CIA conspiracy theories could benefit from your astute "professional whistle blowers" approach (but don't try that in Beijing). I have a suggestion; START YOUR OWN BLOG and let us long-suffering recipients of your dubious wit and poor logic fire back.
SNAP SHOT tube 2.

3/17/2009 7:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


15 on Sub injured.

Mike Mulligan

3/20/2009 7:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

See how the SWO and submarines are connected?

Mike Mulligan

3/20/2009 7:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On 25 October 2003 Hartford ran aground near La Maddalena in Sardinia with such force that rudders, sonar and other electronic equipment were severely damaged[1].

Mike Mulligan

3/20/2009 8:15 AM


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