Author Archives: xbradtc

About xbradtc

Kicking poon and taking names since March 2009

National Security Cutter

So, back on December 10, the Coast Guard commissioned the fourth of a planned eight of the “Legends” class National Security Cutters. The NSCs are the replacement for the long serving Hamilton class high endurance cutters.

The CGC Hamilton, the newest national security cutter, joined the Coast Guard fleet at a commissioning ceremony held Dec. 6, 2014, in Charleston, South Carolina. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen Lehmann

The development of the NSC was part of the troubled “Deepwater” Coast Guard/industry partnership to recapitalize the Coast Guard’s inventory of ships and aircraft with modern, integrated systems. If the development was sometimes troubled, it was in the end successful in fielding the NSC, the Fast Response Cutter (as a replacement for the 110’ cutters) and the HC-144A patrol plane, as well as new classes of small craft.

At 418’ long, and displacing about 4500 tons, the NSCs have enough endurance to patrol for 60 to 90 days at a time. They have a combined diesel and gas turbine propulsion system, with a pair of diesel engines providing economical cruise power, and a dash capability from the LM2500 turbine for a top speed of about 28 knots.

They’re large enough to carry and support an aviation detachment with up to two helicopters. They have a very respectable sensor suite, and are able to datalink with other Coast Guard assets, Navy networks, and allied forces.

The NSCs were built with a great deal of attention paid to crew comfort. The largest berthing compartments have only six racks. Furthermore, they were designed with excess capacity. The crew consists of 113 officers and men, but the ship has accommodations for up to 148.

The Coast Guard’s virtual tour gives an excellent look inside, and I highly recommend it.

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Filed under Coast Guard

Budget experts: Move Tricare beneficiaries to Obamacare

And, John Mayer, a military health and energy analyst with Booz Allen Hamilton, added the Pentagon should be under no obligation to continue providing “free health” care to those who have retired from military service and have access to health care either through their employers or the Affordable Care Act.

“Having a program where they can go in and get free health care, and do it as often as they want seems to be a burden that the American public shouldn’t have to bear,” Mayer said, speaking of the military retiree population who uses Tricare.

The growing cost of health care is a longtime concern for the Pentagon and is one of the benefits being reviewed by the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, an independent panel commissioned by Congress to review military pay and benefits, to include housing, health care and retirement packages.

via Budget experts: Move Tricare beneficiaries to Obamacare.

TriCare For Life has been a godsend for my mother. She’s received excellent health care through civilian health care providers, and has not had the usual hassle that civilian insurance programs always seem to put their customers through.

The veteran community, especially military retirees, is a powerful political force. I can’t imagine they won’t vigorously oppose such a betrayal of the families of the military by even considering shunting them from a program that was promised to them unto the utter disaster that is Obamacare.



Breaking: Federal Gun Law Unconstitutional

For the first time since Washington, DC’s firearma’s ban was tossed out in 2008, a federal gun law has been ruled unconstitutional.

In 1986, Charles Clifford Tyler spent a month in a mental health care institution, and as a result he’s been banned from firearm ownership ever since. When he tried to purchase a gun for his own protection, he was arrested and charged with a felony.

Now, the law that kept Tyler from freely exercising his constitutional rights has been thrown out by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinatti, OH. The three judges voted unanimously to restore Tyler’s rights as an American citizen.

via Breaking: Federal Gun Law Unconstitutional.

I keep seeing this case reported, and virtually every time, it makes the same mistake this particular article makes.

The court didn’t rule that Tyler had to be allowed to possess or purchase a firearm.

Tyler was prohibited from possessing or purchasing a firearm, as a result of his commitment to a mental health facility.

That’s a pretty reasonable restriction in keeping withe 2nd Amendment.

The issue was that there was no mechanism by which Tyler could appeal to the state for reinstatement of his civil rights. Absent a review on the state’s power, the 2nd Amendment rights of many could be arbitrarily denied. Here the court simply said that a method of review must be constituted.



All Time Favorite Splodey

I somehow threw out my back, so it hurts like heck, which also makes writing difficult. So I’m not. In the meantime, here’s a repost of a video, pretty much my all time favorite.


Filed under Artillery

Sony, North Korea, Torts and Cowardice

The interwebs are livid that the US is capitulating to North Korea.

A little while back, a group calling itself Guardians of Peace hacked into Sony’s files, and in addition to releasing embarrassing emails, and compromising personal and health information on Sony employees, apparently took umbrage at the (then) forthcoming Christmas day release of a spoof movie called The Interview. In the movie, a pair of hapless reporters somehow score an interview with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, and are recruited by the CIA to assassinate him.

Guardians of Peace threatened moviegoers:


We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.

Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.

The world will be full of fear.

Remember the 11th of September 2001.

We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.

(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)

Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

All the world will denounce the SONY.

In response, Sony cancelled the release of the movie.

Was Sony in genuine fear of Guardians of Peace? Probably not. But they had a very healthy and reasonable fear of US trial lawyers. Had Sony proceeded wit the release, and any, any untoward incident happened, they would have been at terrible risk for enormous liability in the US court system. Let us imagine that the threat isn’t even real, just some kid making an idle boast. But some disgruntled third party, eager for infamy, decided to take some rash action that lead to some injury or worse for an attendee at a screening. The line of lawyers eager to sue Sony would be longer than Hands Across America.

Sony looked at the loss of roughly a $100 million investment in the movie, versus a potentially unlimited liability, and chose a rational course, in terms of business economics. Was it the only rational course? No, but it is a defensible one.

But not everyone agreed with that decision, as is their right. The Alamo Drafthouse, a popular theater in Texas, decided that if they couldn’t show The Interview, they’d show the next best thing, an encore presentation of Team America: World Police.

But Paramount Pictures, who apparently hold the rights to TA;WP, put the kibosh on that.

That, my friends, is cowardice. It is an undue reaction. Sony at least had the fact of an articulated, if somewhat vague, threat of some specificity.

And Paramount’s decision is the one that effectively endorses the heckler’s veto on artistic expression and commerce.

But Sony isn’t totally off the hook here in the moral failure department. It’s decision to denounce a release of The Interview via DVD or VOD in the future only rewards Guardians of Peace.

The supposition is that Guardians of Peace are either agents of, or proxies for, the government of North Korea. I don’t know. It is plausible. But not as yet definitive.

Sony’s lack of technical security is their fault. But the subsequent actions of Guardians of Peace are a matter for federal authorities. At a minimum communication of a terroristic threat is a federal law enforcement matter. If Guardians of Peace are proxies for the North Korean government, that certainly becomes a matter for the national security apparatus.

But the failings of Paramount are on Paramount’s head alone.



Ukrainian BMD crew takes 2 RPGs

Look, guys, adding the grate armor was a good idea. Not sitting still in an open field is an even better idea.

Stick around to the end and see what the improvised armor looked like.



Daily Dose of Splodey



by | December 17, 2014 · 8:49 pm