China will soon start building its second locally designed aircraft carrier in Shanghai, according to a Canadian report.
Kanwa Asian Defence, an English-language monthly defence review produced in Toronto, said Shanghai’s Jiangnan Shipyard was preparing to start work on the carrier.
When completed, the carrier and another under construction in Dalian will give the PLA Navy two fully functioning, battle-ready aircraft carriers.
The recently completed Liaoning, the refitted former Soviet carrier Varyag, is classed as a training platform, not a full combat vessel, by the navy, since it went into service in September 2012.
Counter to many expectations, the new carrier about to be built at the Jiangnan Shipyard will use conventional, not nuclear power.
via Shanghai shipyard ‘to build second Chinese designed aircraft carrier’ | South China Morning Post.
This is the second new-build, in addition to the Liaoning. It will be interesting to see what the configuration is. And the choice of conventional power isn’t terribly surprising. Nuclear power of the kind needed for an aircraft carrier is a tough nut to crack. You can build a 30,000 horsepower nuke for a sub fairly easily. The quarter million horsepower for a carrier is somewhat harder.
Alaska’s governor has removed three leaders of the Alaska National Guard, effective immediately.
A release from Gov. Sean Parnell’s office states that these transitions in the Guard’s senior leadership were made Monday at the governor’s direction. The removal of the three officials comes at a time when Parnell is in the process of selecting a permanent adjutant general of the Guard.
“Today, I directed acting Adjutant General Mike Bridges to immediately remove three members of the Alaska National Guard leadership, as I have lost confidence in them,” Parnell said in an official statement. “This is only the latest step in our effort to restore trust in Guard leadership.”
via Parnell fires more National Guard leaders; Walker says ‘too little, too late’ | KTVA Anchorage CBS 11.
National Guard leadership is at the whim of the governor. But this is something of a bloodbath.
We’ve mentioned the issue of inflated numbers of general officers in the services. And nowhere is there a better example than in the Guard. Every state has an adjudant general, appointed by the state governor, who holds the rank of Major General (two stars). Here we see the Alaska Guard with the acting Adjudant General as a Brigadier General being directed to relieve two other BGs. All that in a state that has a total Air and Army Guard membership of roughly 4500 people. That’s roughly the size of a Brigade Combat Team, which is a Colonel’s command.
Global Aviation Review has a fascinating photo essay on the Beijing Air and Space Museum. Located at Beijing University and sometimes called the China Aviaiton Museum, there’s a rare and unique collection of aircraft that those outside of China rarely get to see and it offers an interesting glimpse of Chinese aviation history.
Something you won’t see anywhere else, a P-47 and across the way a MiG-9.
The Beijing Air and Space Museum has one of the very few Northrop P-61 Black Widow:
Another unique exhibit featuring the Chinese built MiG-15 and MiG-17 with the Northrop P-61 Black Widow.
Head on over to Global Aviation Resource to take a gander at more of the Museum.
Fascinating stuff behind the Bamboo Curtain
A U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal Soldier removed a grenade from a man’s leg in an ambulance outside of the University of Alabama Hospital here, Oct. 11.
Staff Sgt. David Mensink from the Fort Benning, Georgia-based 789th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company received a call from the Birmingham Police Department Bomb Squad around 1 a.m.
The police sought Mensink’s advice to determine what kind of explosive item was stuck in the man’s leg.
“From the initial X-ray, it looked like a 40mm grenade,” said Mensink, a 27-year-old Iraq and Afghanistan veteran from Seale, Alabama.
via U.S. Army EOD Soldier pulls grenade from man’s leg | Article | The United States Army.
From the “I’m surprised it wasn’t Florida” files.
I didn’t know the Army had an EOD unit dedicated to support of civilian law enforcement, but it makes sense. There’s plenty of ordnance and duds laying around from the past couple hundred years. Having the experts on hand to help remove or neutralize it makes sense.
By the way, here’s the type of grenade in the article:
Swedish signals intelligence officials first heard an emergency call on Thursday evening, the newspaper said. Fourteen hours later, at around midday on Friday, a foreign vessel was spotted in the Stockholm archipelago.
Sweden intercepted further communications after it began its military operation in the waters off Stockholm, as encrypted messages were relayed between transmitters in the Stockholm archipelago and the Russian exclave Kaliningrad, SvD said.
The Swedish military said it could neither confirm nor deny the report.
An underwater craft in distress can be difficult to manoeuvre, which might explain why it was spotted above the waterline, the newspaper said.
A damaged submarine would need help from a support vessel, SvD said, adding that a Russian-owned oil tanker, the NS Concord, had been observed circling in international waters near Stockholm.
via Sweden hunts damaged Russian sub: report – The Local.
It’s hardly the first time the Russians have put subs deep in Swedish waters. The infamous 1981 Whiskey on the Rocks incident pops into my mind.
Coupled with recent aggressive Russian air patrols near Swedish territory, one suspects that the prime target here isn’t really so much Sweden as it is the Baltic states. Attempting to show an ability to operate with impunity near Sweden and the western powers is a means of cowing small nations such as Latvia.
Plus: “The rest of the article is worth your time. Five of the 58 medical professionals involved in the Science Magazine study died of Ebola before the paper was published. . . . Nine Doctors Without Borders physicians, all equipped with the best of isolation and prophylactic gear, have died of Ebola. Of the physicians and nurses who have died of Ebola in this epidemic, most (more than 60%) had what was considered more than adequate protective gear and were instructed in its use. The US Military being sent into the plague zone have had four hours of instruction.”
via Instapundit » Blog Archive » JERRY POURNELLE: A New Ebola Czar; Military deploys to plague zone. Competence in government. “God….
Fifteen years ago, I’d have felt fairly comfortable with a four hour block of instruction.
First, usually monthly, but at least quarterly, I would undergo actual hands on training in donning personal protective equipment (PPE). More importantly, I’d also undergo hands on training in removing contaminated PPE, and decontamination procedures. To be sure, the contaminant in question was usually mustard gas or nerve agent, both of which can be treated. But the key was, don’t get contaminated doffing your gear.
But the past decade has seen the Army emphasis on training in nuclear, biological and chemical warfare environments wither. Not because the Army doesn’t see the need, but rather relatively low chance of needed to operate in NBC compared to the huge numbers of tasks that absolutely troops will be required to perform in a combat deployment. That means that both the average individual skill level and the institutional knowledge in avoiding contamination has faded.
Another key aspect of any successful training program is repetition. You don’t train until you get it right. You train until you can’t get it wrong. How many times will troops deploying to Liberia actually practice the techniques they need to master?
God bless them and keep them.