Tuesday, July 15, 2014

On this Day in WWII in 1942

On This Day In The Navy:
1942: USS Terror (CM 5), the first minelayer built as such, is commissioned. During World War II she participates in Operation Torch, the Battle for Iwo Jima, and the Okinawa Invasion, where she is struck by a kamikaze on May 1, 1945.
 
Career
Name:USS Terror
Builder:Philadelphia Navy Yard
Laid down:3 September 1940
Launched:6 June 1941
Commissioned:15 July 1942
Decommissioned:6 August 1956
Reclassified:MM-5, 7 February 1955
MMF-5, October 1955
Struck:1 November 1970
Honours and
awards:
battle stars (WWII)
Fate:Sold for scrapping, 1971
General characteristics
Type:Minelayer
Displacement:5,875 long tons (5,969 t)
Length:454 ft 10 in (138.63 m)
Beam:60 ft 2 in (18.34 m)
Draft:19 ft 7 in (5.97 m)
Propulsion:2 × General Electric double-reduction geared steam turbines, 2 shafts, 22,000 shp (16,405 kW)
Speed:20.3 knots (37.6 km/h; 23.4 mph)
Complement:481
Armament:• 4 × 5"/38 caliber guns
• 4 × quad 1.1 in (28 mm) guns (replaced by 4 × quad 40 mm guns in May 1943)
• 14 × 20 mm guns

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Rebanding at 800 MHz Celebrates its 10th Anniversary!

A history lesson for those who still believe that the 2012 Congressional give away of $20 billion dollars worth of spectrum to the Public Safety community to create and deploy a nationwide Federal Government owned and operated First Responder LTE network by 2023 is remotely possible.  Keep in mind rebanding was a privately funded 3 year project by Nextel to reband/reconfigure (not build from scratch) an existing network.  

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Ten years later, 800 MHz rebanding proves to be an enlightening exercise

RSS

Table of Contents:

It has taken much longer than originally expected, but 800 MHz rebanding is complete in most of the United States 10 years after the FCC established a plan for the spectral reconfiguration of the band. Was it worth the effort?
“I don’t know whether this rebanding thing will work or not, but I can guarantee you this: There’s no way this is going to be finished in three years. There’s just too much to do.”
This quote was uttered to me in early 2005 by a public-safety official who was standing in line for food during a break taken at a meeting being conducted in the Tomorrowland Hotel at Walt Disney World, where the ambitious three-year schedule for 800 MHz reconfiguration had just been unveiled.

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To add more irony/evidence to those who still say "On Marc, get a grip, this is the federal government they can do it", let me point out that since rebanding started Nextel has been absorbed by Sprint and the Nextel network, which drove the rebanding project, has been decommissioned by Sprint.  Yet the rebinding process started 10 years ago today continues.  

Go Figure!  



Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Magic Bank Account - One you may not know you have!

The Magic Bank Account

Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest: 

Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use.  However, this prize has rules: 

1. Everything that you don’t spend during each day
would be taken away from you.

2. You may not simply transfer money into some other
account.
3. You may only spend it.
4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.
5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time by just saying “Game Over!". It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.

What would you personally do? 

My guess is that you would buy anything and everything you wantedright? Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for. Even for people you don't know, because you couldn't possibly spend it all on yourself, right? You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?

*ACTUALLY, This GAME is REAL ... YES, each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE*.  We just can't seem to see it!


The PRIZE is *TIME*
1. Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a
gift of life.
3. What we haven't used up that day is forever lost.
4. Yesterday is gone.
5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING...

SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds today?

Allegedly this was found in Bear Bryant’s papers when he died.  Whether it was or was not found there is irrelevant.  This is great story!  Enjoy!  - Marc


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

D-Day Landing Sites Then and Now: Normandy Beaches in 1944 and 70 Years Later

On June 6, 1944, Allied soldiers descended on the beaches of Normandy for D-Day, an operation that turned the tide of the Second World War against the Nazis, marking the beginning of the end of the conflict.
Recently many around the world commemorated the 70th anniversary of the landings, pictures of tourists soaking up the sun on Normandy's beaches stand in stark contrast to images taken around the time of the invasion.
Reuters photographer Chris Helgren compiled archive pictures taken during the invasion and went back to the same places to photograph them as they appear today.
Enjoy!
Marc

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Little Mid Week Humor from Boudreaux

Boudreaux suddenly quit drinking, took a bath, quit chasing women, quit his poker games and stopped laying around. He started cutting the grass around the church, even painted it and was faithful to be first to attend on Sundays! 

Father Thibodeaux asked him what about dis wonderful change that had done overtook him. 

Boudreaux explained, "I heard "Crisis in the Gulf" and if He’s dat close,  I wanna to be good to go!

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, May 30, 2014

10 Life Lessons from a Navy Seal!

Naval Admiral William H. McRaven returned to his alma mater last week (May 2014) and spoke to the graduates with lessons he learned from his basic SEAL training.

Here’s his amazing Commencement Address at University of Texas at Austin 2014 from Business Insider.

AP Photo/The University of Texas at Austin, Marsha Miller




Read his speech

The University’s slogan is,
“What starts here changes the world.”
I have to admit—I kinda like it.
“What starts here changes the world.”
Tonight there are almost 8,000 students graduating from UT.
That great paragon of analytical rigor, Ask.Com says that the average American will meet 10,000 people in their lifetime.
That’s a lot of folks.
But, if every one of you changed the lives of just ten people—and each one of those folks changed the lives of another ten people—just ten—then in five generations—125 years—the class of 2014 will have changed the lives of 800 million people.
800 million people—think of it—over twice the population of the United States. Go one more generation and you can change the entire population of the world—8 billion people.
If you think it’s hard to change the lives of ten people—change their lives forever—you’re wrong.
I saw it happen every day in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A young Army officer makes a decision to go left instead of right down a road in Baghdad and the ten soldiers in his squad are saved from close-in ambush.
In Kandahar province, Afghanistan, a non-commissioned officer from the Female Engagement Team senses something isn’t right and directs the infantry platoon away from a 500 pound IED, saving the lives of a dozen soldiers.
But, if you think about it, not only were these soldiers saved by the decisions of one person, but their children yet unborn—were also saved. And their children’s children—were saved.
Generations were saved by one decision—by one person.
But changing the world can happen anywhere and anyone can do it.
So, what starts here can indeed change the world, but the question is… what will the world look like after you change it?
Well, I am confident that it will look much, much better, but if you will humor this old sailor for just a moment, I have a few suggestions that may help you on your way to a better a world.
And while these lessons were learned during my time in the military, I can assure you that it matters not whether you ever served a day in uniform.
It matters not your gender, your ethnic or religious background, your orientation, or your social status.
Our struggles in this world are similar and the lessons to overcome those struggles and to move forward—changing ourselves and the world around us—will apply equally to all.
I have been a Navy SEAL for 36 years. But it all began when I left UT for Basic SEAL training in Coronado, California.
Basic SEAL training is six months of long torturous runs in the soft sand, midnight swims in the cold water off San Diego, obstacles courses, unending calisthenics, days without sleep and always being cold, wet and miserable.
It is six months of being constantly harassed by professionally trained warriors who seek to find the weak of mind and body and eliminate them from ever becoming a Navy SEAL.
But, the training also seeks to find those students who can lead in an environment of constant stress, chaos, failure and hardships.
To me basic SEAL training was a life time of challenges crammed into six months.
So, here are the ten lessons I learned from basic SEAL training that hopefully will be of value to you as you move forward in life.
Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed.
If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack—rack—that’s Navy talk for bed.
It was a simple task—mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle hardened SEALs—but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.
If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.
By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.
If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.
#1. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
During SEAL training the students are broken down into boat crews. Each crew is seven students—three on each side of a small rubber boat and one coxswain to help guide the dingy.
Every day your boat crew forms up on the beach and is instructed to get through the surf zone and paddle several miles down the coast.
In the winter, the surf off San Diego can get to be 8 to 10 feet high and it is exceedingly difficult to paddle through the plunging surf unless everyone digs in.
Every paddle must be synchronized to the stroke count of the coxswain. Everyone must exert equal effort or the boat will turn against the wave and be unceremoniously tossed back on the beach.
For the boat to make it to its destination, everyone must paddle.
You can’t change the world alone—you will need some help— and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the good will of strangers and a strong coxswain to guide them.
#2. If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.
Over a few weeks of difficult training my SEAL class which started with 150 men was down to just 35. There were now six boat crews of seven men each.
I was in the boat with the tall guys, but the best boat crew we had was made up of the the little guys—the munchkin crew we called them—no one was over about 5-foot five.
The munchkin boat crew had one American Indian, one African American, one Polish American, one Greek American, one Italian American, and two tough kids from the mid-west.
They out paddled, out-ran, and out swam all the other boat crews.
The big men in the other boat crews would always make good natured fun of the tiny little flippers the munchkins put on their tiny little feet prior to every swim.
But somehow these little guys, from every corner of the Nation and the world, always had the last laugh— swimming faster than everyone and reaching the shore long before the rest of us.
SEAL training was a great equalizer. Nothing mattered but your will to succeed. Not your color, not your ethnic background, not your education and not your social status.
#3. If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.
Several times a week, the instructors would line up the class and do a uniform inspection. It was exceptionally thorough.
Your hat had to be perfectly starched, your uniform immaculately pressed and your belt buckle shiny and void of any smudges.
But it seemed that no matter how much effort you put into starching your hat, or pressing your uniform or polishing your belt buckle—- it just wasn’t good enough.
The instructors would find “something” wrong.
For failing the uniform inspection, the student had to run, fully clothed into the surfzone and then, wet from head to toe, roll around on the beach until every part of your body was covered with sand.
The effect was known as a “sugar cookie.” You stayed in that uniform the rest of the day—cold, wet and sandy.
There were many a student who just couldn’t accept the fact that all their effort was in vain. That no matter how hard they tried to get the uniform right—it was unappreciated.
Those students didn’t make it through training.
Those students didn’t understand the purpose of the drill. You were never going to succeed. You were never going to have a perfect uniform.
Sometimes no matter how well you prepare or how well you perform you still end up as a sugar cookie.
It’s just the way life is sometimes.
#4. If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.
Every day during training you were challenged with multiple physical events—long runs, long swims, obstacle courses, hours of calisthenics—something designed to test your mettle.
Every event had standards—times you had to meet. If you failed to meet those standards your name was posted on a list and at the end of the day those on the list were invited to—a “circus.”
A circus was two hours of additional calisthenics—designed to wear you down, to break your spirit, to force you to quit.
No one wanted a circus.
A circus meant that for that day you didn’t measure up. A circus meant more fatigue—and more fatigue meant that the following day would be more difficult—and more circuses were likely.
But at some time during SEAL training, everyone—everyone—made the circus list.
But an interesting thing happened to those who were constantly on the list. Over time those students-—who did two hours of extra calisthenics—got stronger and stronger.
The pain of the circuses built inner strength-built physical resiliency.
Life is filled with circuses.
You will fail. You will likely fail often. It will be painful. It will be discouraging. At times it will test you to your very core.
#5. But if you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circuses.
At least twice a week, the trainees were required to run the obstacle course. The obstacle course contained 25 obstacles including a 10-foot high wall, a 30-foot cargo net, and a barbed wire crawl to name a few.
But the most challenging obstacle was the slide for life. It had a three level 30 foot tower at one end and a one level tower at the other. In between was a 200-foot long rope.
You had to climb the three tiered tower and once at the top, you grabbed the rope, swung underneath the rope and pulled yourself hand over hand until you got to the other end.
The record for the obstacle course had stood for years when my class began training in 1977.
The record seemed unbeatable, until one day, a student decided to go down the slide for life—head first.
Instead of swinging his body underneath the rope and inching his way down, he bravely mounted the TOP of the rope and thrust himself forward.
It was a dangerous move—seemingly foolish, and fraught with risk. Failure could mean injury and being dropped from the training.
Without hesitation—the student slid down the rope—perilously fast, instead of several minutes, it only took him half that time and by the end of the course he had broken the record.
#6. If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.
During the land warfare phase of training, the students are flown out to San Clemente Island which lies off the coast of San Diego.
The waters off San Clemente are a breeding ground for the great white sharks. To pass SEAL training there are a series of long swims that must be completed. One—is the night swim.
Before the swim the instructors joyfully brief the trainees on all the species of sharks that inhabit the waters off San Clemente.
They assure you, however, that no student has ever been eaten by a shark—at least not recently.
But, you are also taught that if a shark begins to circle your position—stand your ground. Do not swim away. Do not act afraid.
And if the shark, hungry for a midnight snack, darts towards you—then summons up all your strength and punch him in the snout and he will turn and swim away.
There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim you will have to deal with them.
#7. So, if you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.
As Navy SEALs one of our jobs is to conduct underwater attacks against enemy shipping. We practiced this technique extensively during basic training.
The ship attack mission is where a pair of SEAL divers is dropped off outside an enemy harbor and then swims well over two miles—underwater—using nothing but a depth gauge and a compass to get to their target.
During the entire swim, even well below the surface there is some light that comes through. It is comforting to know that there is open water above you.
But as you approach the ship, which is tied to a pier, the light begins to fade. The steel structure of the ship blocks the moonlight—it blocks the surrounding street lamps—it blocks all ambient light.
To be successful in your mission, you have to swim under the ship and find the keel—the center line and the deepest part of the ship.
This is your objective. But the keel is also the darkest part of the ship—where you cannot see your hand in front of your face, where the noise from the ship’s machinery is deafening and where it is easy to get disoriented and fail.
Every SEAL knows that under the keel, at the darkest moment of the mission—is the time when you must be calm, composed—when all your tactical skills, your physical power and all your inner strength must be brought to bear.
#8. If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.
The ninth week of training is referred to as “Hell Week.” It is six days of no sleep, constant physical and mental harassment and—one special day at the Mud Flats—the Mud Flats are an area between San Diego and Tijuana where the water runs off and creates the Tijuana slue’s—a swampy patch of terrain where the mud will engulf you.
It is on Wednesday of Hell Week that you paddle down to the mud flats and spend the next 15 hours trying to survive the freezing cold mud, the howling wind and the incessant pressure to quit from the instructors.
As the sun began to set that Wednesday evening, my training class, having committed some “egregious infraction of the rules” was ordered into the mud.
The mud consumed each man till there was nothing visible but our heads. The instructors told us we could leave the mud if only five men would quit—just five men and we could get out of the oppressive cold.
Looking around the mud flat it was apparent that some students were about to give up. It was still over eight hours till the sun came up—eight more hours of bone chilling cold.
The chattering teeth and shivering moans of the trainees were so loud it was hard to hear anything and then, one voice began to echo through the night—one voice raised in song.
The song was terribly out of tune, but sung with great enthusiasm.
One voice became two and two became three and before long everyone in the class was singing.
We knew that if one man could rise above the misery then others could as well.
The instructors threatened us with more time in the mud if we kept up the singing—but the singing persisted.
And somehow—the mud seemed a little warmer, the wind a little tamer and the dawn not so far away.
If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person—Washington, Lincoln, King, Mandela and even a young girl from Pakistan—Malala—one person can change the world by giving people hope.
#9. So, if you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.
Finally, in SEAL training there is a bell. A brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all the students to see.
All you have to do to quit—is ring the bell. Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at 5 o’clock. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the freezing cold swims.
Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the runs, the obstacle course, the PT—and you no longer have to endure the hardships of training.
Just ring the bell.
#10. If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.
To the graduating class of 2014, you are moments away from graduating. Moments away from beginning your journey through life. Moments away from starting to change the world—for the better.
It will not be easy.
But, YOU are the class of 2014—the class that can affect the lives of 800 million people in the next century.
Start each day with a task completed.
Find someone to help you through life.
Respect everyone.
Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if you take take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up—if you do these things, then next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today and—what started here will indeed have changed the world—for the better.
Thank you very much. Hook ‘em horns.

Watch the video.

USS Yorktown (CV 5) World War II Lost in the Battle of Midway in June 1942




 The USS Yorktown preparing for sea trails in June 1937!















The USS Yorktown (CV 5) at Pearl Harbor on May 29, 1942.   After Coral Sea, the Japanese thought they would never see her again and with only 48 hours of repairs she put out to sea again heading to Midway to join the fight.

 









The USS Yorktown (CV 5) was lost at Midway on June 7, 1942!