Sealed with SEAL

Frankly, seeing the SEALs in the public eye is getting to be a bit much. Still, Greg E. Mathieson Sr. and David Gatley wrote a book, called US Navy SEALs, and some of their pictures are great:

A UDT combat swimmer wearing a dry suit protective dress places a demolition charge on the propeller of a large capital ship during daylight training operations. A ship attack like this would normally be conducted under cover of darkness.

A UDT combat swimmer wearing a dry suit protective dress places a demolition charge on the propeller of a large capital ship during daylight training operations. A ship attack like this would normally be conducted under cover of darkness.

And what would a SEAL be without a swoopy sloop:

Emerging from the shadows of it's closed dock, the SEALION is a technology demonstrator project under the direction of NAVSEA's Future Concepts and Surface Ship Design Group (SEA 05D1), and SEALION II is currently operationally controlled by Naval Special Warfare Group (NSWG) 4 at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va. The craft was designed by Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Carderock's Combatant Craft Division and was constructed by Oregon Iron Works, Inc. Azimuth Inc. of Morgantown, WV is the electronics systems integrator. The craft is being operated by NSWG 4 as a clandestine insertion and extraction platform for special forces. SEALION II is a high-speed, low observable/low radar signature craft that can operate in the littorals. It can carry an unspecified number of SEALs and a modular mission payload. It has a state-of-the-art electronics suite

Emerging from the shadows of it’s closed dock, the SEALION is a technology demonstrator project under the direction of NAVSEA’s Future Concepts and Surface Ship Design Group (SEA 05D1), and SEALION II is currently operationally controlled by Naval Special Warfare Group (NSWG) 4 at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va. The craft was designed by Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Carderock’s Combatant Craft Division and was constructed by Oregon Iron Works, Inc. Azimuth Inc. of Morgantown, WV is the electronics systems integrator.
The craft is being operated by NSWG 4 as a clandestine insertion and extraction platform for special forces. SEALION II is a high-speed, low observable/low radar signature craft that can operate in the littorals. It can carry an unspecified number of SEALs and a modular mission payload. It has a state-of-the-art electronics suite.

Or the color green:

US Naval Special Warfare Combatant-crew Crewman fires a 50 caliber machine gun from Riverine boat in the darkness of night, as seen through night vision goggles.

US Naval Special Warfare Combatant-crew Crewman fires a 50 caliber machine gun from Riverine boat in the darkness of night, as seen through night vision goggles.

Yellow:

US Navy SEALs driving in heavily armored MRAP vehicles in a dust storm in Iraq.

US Navy SEALs driving in heavily armored MRAP vehicles in a dust storm in Iraq.

Let’s hope that is the last we hear about them. . .

SEAL Swindles his Shipmates

I have no desire to swindle folks out of money (as a blogger, I’m busy swindling you out of your time.) But even if I did, I would not cheat SEALs. One of them could get ideas. Former SEAL Jason Mullaney was ordered Monday to face trial on 30 felony charges, including grand theft and fraud. He’s pleaded not guilty but remains jailed and faces up to 34 years in state prison if convicted. . .

John Wayne, the Green Berets, and Generation Z

The Military Channel has a special called An Officer and a Movie. And I just watched one of the current features, The Green Berets, starring John Wayne. Guess what car popped up? You bet, the world’s most beautiful car, none other than the Citroen DS:

The movie “Green Berets” with John Wayne and a Citroen DS

Joining Lou Diamond Phillips, the host, was Green Beret Major Rusty Bradley, a veteran of 5 tours in Afghanistan. He speaks of his admiration for current and past Green Berets. 

As for the movie, I’d never seen it. And the fact that it was put out in 1968 speaks volumes about John Wayne. Of course, the other actors pale in comparison to the Duke, but Bruce Cabot’s Colonel tricked me. I just imagined the casting director grabbed some grizzled Colonel to cameo the role.

Aldo Ray was good as Sergeant Muldoon. Bet you did not know Mr. Ray was both a frogman (SEAL) and a Berkeley grad: Aldo DaRe was born in the borough of Pen Argyl, in Northampton County, Pennsylvania on 25 September 1926. He attended the University of California at Berkeley, served as a US Navy frogman during WWII and saw action on Iwo Jima. You know what this means, right? Jokes about Berkeley grads will no longer be tolerated.

I work with a Senior Chief and she mentioned that her son, all of nine years old, is a John Wayne fan. Yes, Senior is married to a Master Chief, but has done nothing to encourage the young American to pursue his cinematic hero. This fact alone has given me faith in the world. Carry on, Generation Z. . .

SEAL Team Six Movie: Zero Dark Thirty

I’m on record how I feel about SEAL movies: that is, we should not be putting these guys in the limelight. Come December of this year, the SEAL Team Six movie should hit theaters.

Zero Dark Thirty

And it is called Zero Dark Thirty:

The trailer for a controversial new Hollywood film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden was released, offering the first glimpse of the project that was made with high-level cooperation from the Pentagon and the CIA.

Zero Dark Thirty, directed by the Oscar-winner Kathyrn Bigelow, is still in production but has already provoked anger among. . .

Ach, Kathyrn Bigelow? Did she not direct Hurt Locker? Although I enjoyed seeing the movie, I knew it was an utter work of fiction. Ask any EOD tech and you will get snorted at. Yeah, we’re all cowboys like that, an Army Sapper told me sarcastically.

I’ll take cowboy over baby-killer. . .

SEALs Looking for Diversity

Join the SEALs, travel to exotic distant lands. . . bumper sticker

Do you want to travel to exotic lands, meet new and interesting locals, and then kill them? Are you a minority?

Of course, if you want to do the above (with the locals), I imagine that makes you a minority. But the minority the Navy is looking for is those of the racial variety:

Those minority communities of Detroit, Miami and the area from Atlanta to North Carolina’s Research Triangle are the Navy’s latest hopes to find and recruit young men with diversified backgrounds and the physical stamina and desire to undergo the famously rigorous training it takes to become a Navy SEAL.

Random picture of two SEALs, one of whom is a minority

The force today is about 85 percent white, much higher than the Navy overall, so the Coronado, Calif.-based Naval Special Warfare Command wants to broaden the look of the community and draw in men of different ethnicities and races that more reflect U.S. society. Doing so, officials have said, would enable its forces to blend into foreign places where they may operate and help build relationships with allies.

The diversity effort, part of a June 22 request for proposals issued by NSWC, extends to the community of SWCCs, the special warfare combatant-craft crewmen who man gunboats and operate with SEALs.

BUD/S is the hardest training the Navy can throw at a recruit. We had better not water it down just to get Sailors of a certain look. It’ll get people killed. . .

New Hampshire Gone Wrong

Let the Punishment Fit the Crime

You can’t paint a state with the misdeeds of a couple of its citizens, but this does not make me smile favorable upon the Granite State:

For the second time in two months, a New Hampshire monument honoring a fallen Navy SEAL has been vandalized.

A porcelain picture of Navy Senior Chief Information Systems Technician (SEAL) Daniel Healy on the Exeter monument has been smashed to pieces. The image was recently replaced.

When the miscreants are caught, make the punishment public and extreme. (Screw the 8th Amendment.) Let the punishment fit the crime. . . 

New Coveralls

When I go camping, and it has been some years, I wear a pair of Navy coveralls. When I was doing this training evolution with the SEALs, I also wore them. They were easy to get into and comfortable. Unfortunately, when I was wandering around in the dark, I ran into a metal post sticking out of the ground. And it sliced through my coveralls and then my knee. One of the SEALs saw what happened and he ran his bare finger up and down the bloody wound and told me I would be alright. I shudder now at the thought.

But still, I need new coveralls. Let’s see, here is a pair that has muscles stitched in to them:

 

Hey, it even has a medal! I wonder if comes in extra-large?

Navy SEALs and UC Berkeley

When I was deployed to the Middle East, I met an officer who had washed out of BUDs (SEAL training.) He had gotten injured and had to find another officer community.

Long story short: he and I were chatting and he asked me where I went to school. I told him Cal and he responded that he had too. I thought he was joking, but he assured me he had indeed gone to Berkeley. A SEAL wannabe at Bezerkeley. I love it.

Here is a woman who met her husband, a future SEAL, at Berkeley. In philosophy class: 

We met my freshman year of college at UC Berkeley. Through my Philosophy class, I was introduced to one of his teammates and quickly fell in “like” with the guy. Because I ate in the same dining commons as my Navy SEAL and his entire team, I came to know each and every one of the athletes. He was the first guy to walk over and introduce himself. We dated other people over the years, but became close friends and spent a good deal of time together, cultivating a unique platonic relationship.

Yes, Berkeley and the military, we are like two peas in the pod!

USS Ponce: From Mothballs to SEAL Mothership

There is talk of making the USS Ponce a sort of SEAL super-ship. Where the very special operator types, the extremely special warriors, camp out waiting for wabbits:

The Pentagon is rushing to send a large floating base for commando teams to the Middle East as tensions rise with Iran, al-Qaeda in Yemen and Somali pirates, among other threats.

In response to requests from U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, the Navy is converting an aging warship it had planned to decommission into a makeshift staging base for the commandos.

Unofficially dubbed a “mothership,” the floating base could accommodate smaller high-speed boats and helicopters commonly used by Navy SEALs, procurement documents show.

The USS Ponce (LPD-15) was scheduled to be mothballed, to be sent up to Philly to be part of the ghost fleet. Its namesake is Ponce de Leon; its long life makes sense, no?