JohnJ
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U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:53 am

I posted a thread earlier asking about which carriers might be in Norfolk next week, and ultimately found most of what I was looking for by doing some fairly in-depth Google searching. In particular, I stumbled across a site called Globalsecurity.org, which lists all the active carriers with their status. I was surprised to find that I'll hit pay dirt in Norfolk - as many as six carriers will be in the Hampton Roads area (if you include the Bush, under construction). It appears that only three of the Navy's 11 active carriers are currently deployed, four if you count the forward-deployed Kitty Hawk. That means 2/3 of the Navy's carrier fleet is sitting in port, or in drydock, right now. Is this common, particularly since we're currently at war? With all the angst over the Navy possibly going down to a 10-carrier fleet, it's difficult for me to imagine how that would be a hardship.

It further strikes me as a bad idea to have six carriers, more than half the fleet, in one location at one time (Norfolk). It seems the trend over the past decade has been to centralize everything on the east coast in Norfolk, but we'd be in an awfully bad way if some type of successful attack against the carrier fleet were carried out in Hampton Roads.
 
BladeLWS
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:09 am

It IS rare to have that many in one spot at a time. Usually there is 1-3 tied up at the dock.
 
halls120
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:36 am

Quoting JohnJ (Thread starter):
It appears that only three of the Navy's 11 active carriers are currently deployed, four if you count the forward-deployed Kitty Hawk.

According to the US Navy website, six carriers are currently underway as of August 13, 2007:

USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - Pacific Ocean
USS Enterprise (CVN 65) - Persian Gulf
USS Nimitz (CVN 68) - Pacific Ocean
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - Atlantic Ocean
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - Pacific Ocean
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) - Pacific Ocean

http://www.navy.mil/navydata/navy_legacy_hr.asp?id=146

Global security's listing shows the Lincoln in port, yet their news section notes the carrier has just finished a maintenance availability, and is out performing carrier quals.

The way I look at it, four carriers are forward deployed, one is surge ready, two have just returned from deployment, one has just finished a maintenance period, and three are in maintenance status.

That translates to six carriers at sea or ready for sea, and five carriers in port for maintenance or post deployment, not ready for sea. What's the problem?
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
bigjku
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:03 pm

The navy used to basically keep 1/3 in refit, 1/3 in work-up and 1/3rd in deployment through the Cold War. The deployment policy is changing somewhat to more or a surge concept. You will see more carriers in or close to port when they are not needed so that the ability to surge carriers in a crisis can be increased.
 
usnseallt82
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:11 pm

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 2):
According to the US Navy website, six carriers are currently underway as of August 13, 2007

Halls has it right on.  checkmark 

You can go to the Navy's website at anytime, click on the Status of the Navy link on the left menu, and it will tell you which major ships are out right now.

Quoting JohnJ (Thread starter):
but we'd be in an awfully bad way if some type of successful attack against the carrier fleet were carried out in Hampton Roads.

Realize that it would take an enormous amount of firepower to take down just one single carrier. To take down an entire port full of them, along with the air defenses in and around that port, would take more than most developed nations could ever imagine....let alone a relatively poor terrorist group.
Crye me a river
 
mark5388916
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:58 pm

Another problem with taking out say Hampton roads, you'd better take out at least a couple of the DDGs, FFGs and CGs that go with the carrier or they will pull lines and follow the attacker to the other end of the planet. Thats assuming a sea based threat could even get close to any of the vessels. Also, you have several military airports int the vicinity that could scramble in the case of an air attack. Not to mention the USMC guarding the ground access ways. I would be much more concerned about another USS Cole style attack at a foreign port of call.

Just my views.

Mark
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JohnJ
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:58 pm

You all make good points. I guess I've been watching too much "Tora, Tora, Tora" to do me much good. Still, it seems difficult to argue that there wouldn't be at least some merit in spreading the ships out a bit. On the west coast, carriers are based in San Diego, Everett, and Bremerton. On the east coast, Norfolk is all she wrote.
 
studedave
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:04 pm

Why go to all the trouble of taking out ships in port? All you'd have to do is sink a few large ships in the channel and EVERYTHNG in port would be useless anyway!!!
Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
 
deltadc9
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:08 am

Quoting JohnJ (Thread starter):
Is this common, particularly since we're currently at war? With all the angst over the Navy possibly going down to a 10-carrier fleet, it's difficult for me to imagine how that would be a hardship.

As long as I have been paying attention, over 25 years, the navy has rarely had more than 6-7 carriers at sea at any given point in time. After each deplyment they are in port for months.

As for being at war, we have only had a few years since the end of WWII when we were not at war, Cold War included.

[Edited 2007-08-14 17:10:46]
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
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par13del
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:36 pm

StudeDave you raise a good point, how plausible is another question. When someone says attack we automatically think warships or aircraft, we don't usually consider out of the box on this site unless you specifically say so - in general -.
With that said, could it be done? We know that the Chesapeak bridge concept had to have underwater tunnels becase the Navy was concerned of the bridge collapse closing the lanes for Navy ships to leave port, so port closure is one thing that they probably do consider, any mine sweepers in the port area and how many?

As with most things military today, the beancounters are in charge, I am certain they can provide millions of economic data which show how much more cost effective it is to keep all the capital ships in one area, maintenance, housing of personnel, schooling for kids, stability for families, concentration of expertise, reduced infrastuctural cost as the requirements of these ships are unique, limited suppliers makeing it easier to monitor cost and quality control, etc, etc., guess you could get a good idea from all that, besides, in peace time tax payers are more prone to want more return on their investments.


Cheers
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:47 pm

Quoting JohnJ (Thread starter):
It further strikes me as a bad idea to have six carriers, more than half the fleet, in one location at one time (Norfolk).

So you too see the falacy in the situation.

We used to have JFK down at Mayport, and I still think we need another carrier down there. Not just for the base, but to split up the assets- simply too much iron in one place if you ask me. The Pacific guys have it right, three different places for the boats- used to have Alameda so that was four places even.

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
Lumberton
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:53 pm

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 4):
Realize that it would take an enormous amount of firepower to take down just one single carrier. To take down an entire port full of them, along with the air defenses in and around that port, would take more than most developed nations could ever imagine....let alone a relatively poor terrorist group.

A single suitcase nuke could cause havoc. We have known for years that concentrating the fleet in places like Norfolk or San Diego is not the best idea, but the cost considerations from consolidating the expensive support infrastructure have held sway.

It's a disaster waiting to happen....
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
usnseallt82
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:26 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 11):
We have known for years that concentrating the fleet in places like Norfolk or San Diego is not the best idea

That's WWII logic....nothing more. Concentrating your forces is never a good idea, but we aren't looking at the Japs coming in over the horizon and bombing the bay. To get a weapon powerful enough anywhere close to the base would be a feat by itself.

Now, I'm not too arrogant to say that it couldn't happen, but realize that there are contingency plans in place and defenses surrounding these bases that are there to prevent something like this from happening. You wouldn't be able to sneak anything that gives off the slightest radioactive signature anywhere near some of these bases.

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 11):
It's a disaster waiting to happen....

Not really. Like I said, there are tons of defenses in place to prevent something from happening. If something DID happen, there are plans in place to minimize the blow. It would have to be a very large and very powerful device to do enough harm that would cripple the base.
Crye me a river
 
studedave
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:59 pm

Quoting Par13del (Reply 9):
StudeDave you raise a good point, how plausible is another question.

Watching ships come and go everyday right outside my window at work I've notice a few things. NAVY ships coming and going are hit-and-miss with security. Some have it, some don't. While a NAVY ship may or may not be the easist target in this day and age~ It'd be pretty easy to hit some commercial freighter or ocean liner coming or going...
Bremerton and Norfolk would be the easiest to block, San Diego and Mayport are also pretty simple.
Everett would not be so easy, if it could be done at all.

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 12):
Now, I'm not too arrogant to say that it couldn't happen, but realize that there are contingency plans in place and defenses surrounding these bases that are there to prevent something like this from happening.



Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 12):
Not really. Like I said, there are tons of defenses in place to prevent something from happening.

Just my  twocents  (and)  stirthepot 
Having been to sea on three Carriers in the last four years, (eight total in the last 19 years) and given the fact that I drive on and off a NAVY base everyday~right by whatever Carrier (or Carriers) may be tied to the pier each day~

 shhh   scratchchin 

Nevermind-- it's not worth the trouble I could get into...

 no 
Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
 
halls120
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:59 pm

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 13):
Bremerton and Norfolk would be the easiest to block, San Diego and Mayport are also pretty simple.

Sure they would, if the Navy was stupid enough to have a large combatant sit in one place over each of the Hampton Roads tunnels, and wait to be attacked, and they sunk precisely on that spot.

Otherwise, just how do you imagine the channels would be blocked? You don't think that the CO of any vessel, when being attacked, suffers damage to his/her vessel that makes sinking a possibility, won't head for shallow water?

As a former CO, I can tell you with certainty that if I thought my vessel was in danger of sinking, staying in the navigable channel is the last thing I'd do.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
usnseallt82
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:26 pm

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 13):
Nevermind-- it's not worth the trouble I could get into...

I don't think you guys are understanding what I'm saying.

Is the base perfectly protected? Hell no. But it would take a very large device to cripple the entire bay in the way you guys are mentioning and something that large will likely be detected far out. Can it still happen? Maybe....let's just hope it doesn't get to that point.

Like I was takling to another member about, the rent-a-cop guards are still there who will wave damn near anyone through the front gate. However, to do the damage you guys are talking about would require a lot more firepower than would be slipped through a front gate.
Crye me a river
 
studedave
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:32 am

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 14):
Sure they would, if the Navy was stupid enough to have a large combatant sit in one place over each of the Hampton Roads tunnels, and wait to be attacked, and they sunk precisely on that spot.

Otherwise, just how do you imagine the channels would be blocked? You don't think that the CO of any vessel, when being attacked, suffers damage to his/her vessel that makes sinking a possibility, won't head for shallow water?

As a former CO, I can tell you with certainty that if I thought my vessel was in danger of sinking, staying in the navigable channel is the last thing I'd do.



Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 15):
I don't think you guys are understanding what I'm saying...

And you both are missing what I'm saying~
I'm not talking about hitting a base, or even trying to take out a NAVY ship!
If you re-read what I've writen- you (and anybody else) will be able to figure it out...
Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
 
halls120
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:46 am

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 16):
And you both are missing what I'm saying~
I'm not talking about hitting a base, or even trying to take out a NAVY ship!
If you re-read what I've writen- you (and anybody else) will be able to figure it out...

If you think that we aren't paying attention to merchant ships possibly being used as a weapon, you would be wrong.

And what I said about a navy ship being a target in a confined channel applies equally to a merchant ship.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
usnseallt82
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:11 am

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 16):
And you both are missing what I'm saying~

Really? Let's take a look...

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 16):
I'm not talking about hitting a base, or even trying to take out a NAVY ship!

Really? Because the rest of us ARE...

The thread title....

Quoting JohnJ (Thread starter):
U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

I don't really give two shits about a merchant ship or cruise line coming in and out because they don't have anywhere close to the defenses of a U.S. carrier. If you would have paid more attention to the topic at hand, you would have realized this. What the thread starter was implying was that having all those ships in one port at any given time would be a larger security risk. However, taking down just ONE carrier is far beyond the capabilities of most groups out there, let alone 5 or 6.

Now, to your point about blocking a port.....who knows. I definitely agree that some of these ports could be easily blocked, especially San Diego with that narrow little pass. However, to block the entire port would take the downing of an entire ship in that opening, which is more protected than off the coast of Yemen. Do you see my point here?

Could it be done? Yeah, I'm sure it could be. But it would take far more firepower and operational capabilities than most of these terrorist groups could ever dream of. Even if they could get it done, the chances of taking down an entire ship in one pass are pretty slim. Any dreams of a sustained attack would require the knocking out of our defenses in the region.

Mark my words....I understand your point here. But realize that we're talking about the security of the carriers, not the merchant ships. So what if they block the port? I can guaran-damn-tee you that if someone did, you would have more U.S. assets protecting those ships that are blocked than you've probably ever seen at any given time in your career.

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 16):
If you re-read what I've writen- you (and anybody else) will be able to figure it out...

Careful.....I may be a Texan, but I can still figure a few things out. Realize the company you're in sometime soon.
Crye me a river
 
halls120
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:20 am

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 18):
Now, to your point about blocking a port.....who knows. I definitely agree that some of these ports could be easily blocked, especially San Diego with that narrow little pass. However, to block the entire port would take the downing of an entire ship in that opening, which is more protected than off the coast of Yemen. Do you see my point here?

The only way a single ship could realistically block a shipping channel is to scuttle itself in the channel. And that takes time, especially if you are talking about a large vessel.

To have that happen, the crew of the ship would have to be in on the plan, or the would have to been hijacked. The former is highly unlikely, and we do have measures in place to deter the latter.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
studedave
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:58 am

First let me say that I've edited this heavily. The more I have to say the more I realize it would be bad to do so. I see alot happen in the Bay here in San Diego everyday. Some of it (and my thoughts) are best kept to myself.




Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 18):
Really? Because the rest of us ARE...

The thread title....

So I may have got off topic a little bit. Or not~ isn't "Security" in that title? Only difference is that a Carrier has a little more armor plate then the others might have...

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 18):
What the thread starter was implying was that having all those ships in one port at any given time would be a larger security risk. However, taking down just ONE carrier is far beyond the capabilities of most groups out there, let alone 5 or 6.


True, BUT, if a port is useless due to a ship (or two) blocking it's channel, then ships in said port are also useless for bringing the fight to an 'area of interest'. Have them tied up in a blocked port somewhere, and now what do you do if you really need them? That's gotta count for something, does it not? I'd say yes, it does.

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 18):
Realize the company you're in sometime soon.

I do, and that's why I won't say what I really want to. If I did, there'd be some guys in suits at my door faster then it would take me to type it!!! I'm on your side, not the side of the ones who want us all dead!!

I have much, much more I could add to this, but I won't. It's just not worth it~ I've already said too much. Maybe when I retire next year I can get some sort of Security job and fix what I see broken here in San Diego.
I'll bet the pay would be better!!!
Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
 
halls120
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:29 pm

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 20):
True, BUT, if a port is useless due to a ship (or two) blocking it's channel, then ships in said port are also useless for bringing the fight to an 'area of interest'. Have them tied up in a blocked port somewhere, and now what do you do if you really need them? That's gotta count for something, does it not? I'd say yes, it does.

So explain to us from all your hidden knowledge how one or two merchant ships could successfully bottle up San Diego harbor.

And don't hide behind the "guys in suits" explanation for your reticence.

Part of my job inside he Beltway is maritime security. I've offered many observations about the state of maritime security on Anet, and no one has yet threatened me - because anything I say on these threads about that subject is unclassified.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
usnseallt82
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:39 am

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 19):
To have that happen, the crew of the ship would have to be in on the plan, or the would have to been hijacked. The former is highly unlikely, and we do have measures in place to deter the latter.

I agree completely.  checkmark 

It would be such a far stretch of the imagination for the port to be completely blocked that it almost borders on the unrealistic side of things. There are far easier targets out there to go after besides trying to hijack an entire ship, probably 2 or 3, and try to clog up the port. It just isn't realistic.

What's bugging me are these "what if" accusations from people that are being put forth as if they are proven facts.

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 20):
Some of it (and my thoughts) are best kept to myself.

Listen, we're on an internet forum, not the wardroom. You aren't rattling the cages of flags here when you speak your opinion. If you think you have an argument, put it forward. Don't hide behind that veil now.

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 20):
Only difference is that a Carrier has a little more armor plate then the others might have...

You think that's the ONLY difference?  no 

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 20):
True, BUT, if a port is useless due to a ship (or two) blocking it's channel, then ships in said port are also useless for bringing the fight to an 'area of interest'.

But that's the entire point we're trying to get across....the idea of blocking the whole port is pretty unrealistic right now. Even if it were to happen, do you realize how quickly that port would be cleared out....if we actually have assets being confined?

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 20):
That's gotta count for something, does it not? I'd say yes, it does.

Yeah, it counts for something....which is why people study maritime security. But what we're talking about it the safety of the carrier itself, not the port. The whole thread was started by the guy wondering how much of a security risk it would be to put so many ships in one location at any given time. The fact of the matter is, if something were to happen to one of those ports, the security net would exponentially tighten around those ships. Not only the defensive capabilities of each ship coming together as one combined force, but the port security and base security wouldn't let anything get within an earshot of those ships.

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 20):
I do, and that's why I won't say what I really want to. If I did, there'd be some guys in suits at my door faster then it would take me to type it!!!

Like Halls said, don't keep giving yourself these easy outs. If there's stuff you want to say, on the open source level, spit it out. Don't hide behind guys in grey suits. Keep it unclass and get on with it.
Crye me a river
 
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fxramper
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:37 am

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 2):
According to the US Navy website, six carriers are currently underway as of August 13, 2007:

USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - Pacific Ocean
USS Enterprise (CVN 65) - Persian Gulf
USS Nimitz (CVN 68) - Pacific Ocean
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - Atlantic Ocean
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) - Pacific Ocean
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) - Pacific Ocean

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) - Atlantic Ocean

My old Sunday School teacher is a Commander on the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). I haven't heard from him in a few months, I'm not sure if they are on deployment right now...


 twocents 
 
studedave
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:57 am

I guess you guys are right~ I'm just a lowly AM1~ what could an E6 possibly know about anything???
I'll try harder to watch less television, be less observant, and stop letting my imagination run so wild.
What was it they told me 19 years ago in boot camp? Oh, I remember now~
"Believe none of what you hear, a quarter of what you read, and only half of what you see"
I've been paying attention to the wrong half way too much I suppose!!!
Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
 
usnseallt82
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:29 pm

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 24):
I'm just a lowly AM1

Don't give me that horseshit. I told you plenty of times to let it out. If you take constructive criticism this badly, I hate to see what you do when senior comes knocking on your door at night.

Get on with it or don't....your choice. But don't pull this lowly man on the totem poll crap because it won't work in an audience who's been there and done that.





Now, like I said before....stay open source and unclass and we can talk about this all day long. Nothing wrong with that.
Crye me a river
 
studedave
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RE: U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Utilization/Security

Sun Aug 26, 2007 12:02 am

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 25):
I told you plenty of times to let it out. Get on with it or don't....your choice. But don't pull this lowly man on the totem poll crap because it won't work in an audience who's been there and done that. Now, like I said before....stay open source and unclass and we can talk about this all day long. Nothing wrong with that.

If you can't read between the lines enough to figure it out, I'm really sorry about that.
I've already said all that I have to say, and I will not be giving a detailed play-by-play.
For some reason a lone sheep and a pack of wolves comes to mind.
Re-reading every word I've written, and then connecting the dots may help.

Anyone can see what I'm talking about just about everyday in San Diego Bay...
You just have to have an imagination, and be able to 'think outside the box' a little bit.
Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???

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