That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY TACTICAL

That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

Ships are often handed down from one nation’s navy to another. More often than not, the countries responsible for passing ships along are leading naval powers, like the United States, France, or the United Kingdom. Usually, the ships that get handed down are warships, but recently, the U.S. Navy gave up a replenishment oiler, which ended up going halfway across the world — and then came back.


The Henry J. Kaiser-class oiler, USNS Andrew J. Higgins (T-AO 190), named after the man who designed the famous “Higgins boat,” entered service in 1987. In 1996, after less than a decade of service, she was laid up in reserve for 12 years, part of the post-Cold War drawdown, before the George W. Bush administration offered her to Chile.

That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

USNS Andrew J.Higgins (T-AO 190) during her service with the United States Navy.

(US Navy)

Originally, there were plans to build 18 Henry J. Kaiser-class oilers. Two of these, the planned Benjamin Isherwood (T-AO 191) and Henry Eckford (T-AO 192), were halted when nearly complete. Of the remaining 16 vessels, 15 still serve in the United States Navy. In 2010, the USNS Andrew J. Higgins was renamed the Almirante Montt as she was commissioned into the Chilean Navy.

These oilers can hold up to 180,000 barrels of fuel — that’s a lot when you consider that each barrel holds 42 gallons. They have a top speed of 20 knots, a range of 6,000 nautical miles, and have a crew of 86 merchant mariners and 23 Navy personnel. And, to make sure they can keep all that oil, it can be equipped with two Mk 15 Phalanx close-in weapon systems and also pack a pair of M2 .50-caliber machine guns.

That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

The Almirante Montt refuels the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Boone (FFG 28) in 2011, shortly after entering Chilean service.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Steve Smith)

Chile maintains a rather prominent navy in South America. For a while, it operated a pair of Brooklyn-class light cruisers alongside a Swedish cruiser. These days, their Navy centers on a mix of former British and Dutch frigates, as well as German-designed submarines.

The Almirante Montt has not exclusively stayed south of the equator. In 2014, Canada got rid of its Protecteur-class replenishment oilers before their replacements could enter service. So, they signed a deal with Chile. In 2015, 2016, and 2017, this Chilean oiler went north to keep the Royal Canadian Navy’s at-sea refueling skills sharp.

MIGHTY HISTORY

The story of the legendary Black Samurai

The Black Samurai, despite sounding like a name that’d be more at home in a movie or a comic book than the real world, is a genuine nickname given to a mysterious man from feudal Japan, otherwise known only as Yasuke.

The rank of samurai was, of course, considered one of great prestige and it came with a number of perks including a salary, land, a stipend of rice, servants and the ability to kill commoners who offended them without consequence. In regards to that last one, kiri-sute gomen (literally: authorization to cut and leave) was a right granted to samurai that allowed them to kill anyone of a lower rank (even other samurai of lower rank) for any perceived slight against their honor. While this has little to do with the story of Yasuke, we couldn’t not mention the fact that samurai had the ability to basically murder people without consequence, so long as a given set of restrictions was honored, such as doctors and midwives were exempt to a certain extent, that the blow had to come directly after the affront and not later, a witness to the slight was required for proof a slight was in fact made, etc. etc. But in the general case, samurai were of such high standing that dishonoring one in front of a witness was a great way to end one’s life.


Given the highly regarded position samurai enjoyed, it was seldom an honor doled out to foreigners and, as such, there are less than a dozen confirmed examples of a person outside of feudal Japan being allowed to call themselves samurai. Amongst this select group of foreigners, Yasuke not only stands out for being speculated to have been the first, but also because he was the only one who was black.

That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

Little is known about Yasuke’s past, so little in fact that we know neither where he was born nor his original name. It’s mostly agreed that Yasuke hailed from somewhere in Africa, though which area exactly has never been conclusively established, with Mozambique mentioned most in accounts of his life. This is thanks to the Histoire Ecclesiastique Des Isles Et Royaumes Du Japon written in 1627 by one Francois Solier where he claims Yasuke was from that region. However, it’s not clear what his own source for that information was and he wrote it almost a half century after the last known direct documented evidence of Yasuke.

Whatever the case, originally believed to have been a slave captured sometime in the 1570s by the Portuguese, Yasuke was bought by and became the servant of an Italian Jesuit and missionary called Alessandro Valignano. Valignano was famed for his insistence that missionaries to Japan become fluent with the language, requiring a full two years of study in Japanese, which helped his group stand out and be more successful than others. As for Yasuke, he travelled with and served Valignano for several years until the pair made port in Japan around 1579.

Upon arriving in Japan, as you might expect Yasuke immediately became a subject of intrigue and curiosity, both because of his apparently extremely dark skin and his intimidating stature. Variously described as being between 6 feet 2 inches and 6 feet 5 inches tall, Yasuke towered over the Japanese populace of the period, with males only averaging about 5 feet tall at the time. Beyond his height, he is said to have possessed a powerful, chiselled physique. According to legend, Yasuke’s very presence inspired both terror and curiosity in locals to such an extent that several people were supposedly crushed to death in an attempt to make their way through a large crowd that had gathered to see him. Other stories tell of people breaking down the doors of the places Yasuke was staying just to catch a glimpse.

Yasuke: Story of the African Samurai in Japan

www.youtube.com

Whether any of that is true or not, sometime in 1581 while visiting Japan’s capital, Yasuke came to the attention of a man who is considered one of the people ultimately responsible for the unification of Japan, famed Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga. Nobunaga apparently insisted on meeting the mysterious dark-skinned stranger who was causing such a commotion in his city. Upon meeting Yasuke, according to an account by Jesuit Luis Frois, Nobunaga apparently ordered Yaskue to be roughly scrubbed with brushes to prove that his dark skin was real and not artificially done with ash, charcoal, or the like.

It’s from this first meeting that one of the only known accounts of Yasuke’s appearance comes from, with this fateful meeting documented in the Lord Nobunaga Chronicle:

On the 23rd of the 2nd month March 23, 1581, a black page (“kuro-bōzu”) came from the Christian countries. He looked about 26, 24 or 25 by Western count or 27 years old; his entire body was black like that of an ox. The man was healthy and good-looking. Moreover, his strength was greater than that of 10 men…. Nobunaga’s nephew gave him a sum of money at this first meeting.

Presumably thanks to Valignano requiring missionaries to Japan to learn Japanese, it appears at this point he also required it of Yasuke, as Nobunaga was said to have greatly enjoyed conversing with Yasuke and was intrigued to learn about his homeland. He ended up liking Yasuke so much that he eventually took him as his own, or rather officially Valignano gifted him to the warlord.

Nobunaga, who was known to have a fondness for other cultures, which is in part why he was allowing Christian missionaries to operate in the area, gave his newly found confidant the name Yasuke. Although technically still a slave in the sense that he had to serve Nobunaga, Yasuke quickly rose in stature in the eyes of Nobunaga, with Yasuke ultimately given a house, salary, and servants of his own. During his rise, he apparently served as Nobunaga’s weapon bearer and bodyguard and was otherwise seemingly treated as an equal by his peers. Yasuke was also eventually given a katana from Nobunaga, apparently conferring the title of samurai upon him as only samurai were permitted to carry such a weapon at the time. It’s also noteworthy that he wore the traditional armor of the samurai when in battle. Yasuke also had the frequent extreme honor of dining with Nobunaga, something few others were allowed to do.

That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

Oda Nobunaga.

Yasuke’s time with Nobunaga was cut short, however, when the warlord was betrayed by one of his generals, Akechi Mitsuhide, a year later in 1582. In a nutshell, Nobunaga was at the Honnō-ji temple in Kyoto, taking with him only a contingent of 30 pages and guards. For reasons unknown, though perhaps just a simple power grab, Mitsuhide chose to betray Nobunaga at this point, surrounding the temple and attacking. Yasuke is known to have been there and fought alongside Nobunaga, but ultimately when defeat was imminent as the temple burned around them, Nobunaga chose to commit ritual suicide rather than be captured.

Legend has it, whether true or not isn’t known, that one of Nobunaga’s last acts was to order Yasuke to carry Nobunaga’s head and sword to his son and heir, Oda Nobutada.

Whether he actually did this or not, it is known Yasuke managed to escape and joined Nobutada who himself was under attack at the time by a separate contingent of Mitsuhide’s soldiers at nearby Nijō Castle.

Nobunaga’s son was eventually defeated, committed ritual suicide, and Yasuke was captured by Mitsuhide’s men. Apparently unsure what to do with the foreign samurai, or even whether they should consider him a true samurai or not despite that he wielded the sword and wore the traditional armor, they chose not to kill him and instead left it to Mitsuhide to tell them what to do.

In the end, while there is some contention, it would seem Mitsuhide decided to dishonor Yasuke by not allowing him to commit ritual suicide and instead had him returned to the Jesuits. Whether Mitsuhide did this out of pity or contempt for Yasuke is a matter of contention, though it’s noteworthy that there was little in the way of racism towards black people in Japan at the time because so few black people ever visited the country anyway.

From here, as unlikely as it’s going to sound, Yasuke, the giant, Japanese speaking black, now ronin, samurai who supposedly caused crushing crowds wherever he went, disappeared from history, even in the Jesuit’s own accounts. This has led some to speculate that he did not stay with the Jesuits and even some speculation that, if becoming a samurai wasn’t enough, that he became a pirate after this, meaning his moniker could have potentially been not just The Black Samurai, but the ultimate in badass nicknames- The Black Pirate Samurai, though there is unfortunately no hard documented evidence that he actually became a pirate.

This article originally appeared on Today I Found Out. Follow @TodayIFoundOut on Twitter.

Also read:

  • Saburō Sakai: The Samurai of the Skies
  • The Man Who Was Too Sexy For Hollywood
  • A Japanese Soldier Who Continued Fighting WWII 29 Years After the Japanese Surrendered, Because He Didn’t Know
  • The Man Who Fought in WWII With a Sword and Bow
  • MIGHTY TACTICAL

    Vought 1600: The plan to put the F-16 on America’s carriers

    The F-16 Fighting Falcon has been the U.S. Air Force’s workhorse fighter for more than forty years, and at one point, it looked like a carrier-capable version would do the same for the U.S. Navy.

    More than 4,600 F-16s have rolled out off the assembly line since it first took to the sky in 1974, and even amid this era of stealthy supercomputers like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F-16 force remains the backbone of America’s air dominance. With some 1,245 of the fighter still in operation under the Air Force’s banner, the F-16’s broad multi-role capabilities and sheer performance make it one of the world’s top fighter jets, despite being old enough to have seen the original “Star Wars” in theaters.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada
    Still pretty spry for a bird in its 40s. (U.S. Air Force photo)

    Today, F-16s fly for the United States, Israel, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, and more… but the most surprising place this highly capable 4th generation fighter may have ended up is on the deck of America’s supercarriers. Shortly after the F-16 won the Air Force’s new Air Combat Fighter (ACF) contract in 1975, then-Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger pushed the U.S. Navy to adopt the new fighter as well.

    The F-16 had performed well in its pursuit of the Air Force contract, and if the Navy could also find use for the Fighting Falcon, Schlesinger reasoned, the Defense Department could procure the jet in higher numbers and streamline logistics for both branches.

    This line of thinking, of course, would eventually lead to the acquisition nightmare that has been the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which was also intended to be a single fighter platform that could meet the disparate needs of the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, as well as foreign buyers. The F-16, then, could have become a similar boondoggle (or maybe proven the concept sound) if the Vought Model 1600, or carrier-capable F-16, had ever made it into service.

    Precursors to the F-16 and F/A-18 squared off more than once

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada
    A right-side view of a YF-16 (foreground) and a Northrop YF-17, each armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles. (U.S. Navy photo by R.L. House)

    In order for the YF-16 to find its destiny as the Air Force’s workhorse fighter, it first had to contend with stiff competition in the form of Northrop’s YF-17. The YF-17 was a lightweight prototype fighter first designed to serve as a lower-cost alternative to America’s most dominant air superiority fighter in the modern era, the F-15 Eagle. In the minds of military leaders, the large, powerful, and expensive F-15 brought more power to bear than was really necessary for many combat operations, and as such, a cheaper but still highly capable jet could complement America’s fleet of Eagles by assuming those lower stakes roles.

    Ultimately, the YF-16 would outperform the Northrop’s YF-17 in testing oriented specifically toward the Air Force’s needs, but it wouldn’t be the last time these two highly-capable platforms would find themselves competing over a contract. In fact, as the Navy mulled over the idea of converting the F-16 for carrier use, it once again found stiff competition in the form of Northrop’s YF-17.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    Neither General Dynamics (the maker of the F-16) nor Northrop (who made the YF-17) had ever built a carrier-fighter before. With a lucrative contract on the line, both firms sought out partners with carrier-aircraft experience. General Dynamics teamed up with Vought to convert their new F-16 Fighting Falcon into the Vought Model 1600, and Northrop paired off with McDonnell Douglas to improve upon their YF-17 design.

    The new iterations of both of these fighters had to place a larger emphasis on the Navy’s primary needs at the time: Namely, long-range radar capabilities for intercept missions and multi-role capabilities to support the sort of air-to-ground combat operations America has come to leverage heavily throughout the past few decades.

    Making the F-16 into the Vought 1600

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada
    An artist’s rendering of the Vought 1600, which removed Sidewinder pylons for the folding mechanism in the wings for carrier storage. (U.S. Navy)

    It seems counterintuitive today, with the F-16 so expertly filling the role of an attack aircraft as well as a fighter, but the original concept behind the F-16 was to create a no-frills fighter built to do nothing but dominate the skies. Its designers at General Dynamics, internally known as the “Lightweight Fighter Mafia,” sought to keep the “gold-plating” they believed common in new fighter programs away from their new jet. “Gold-plating,” in their minds, including a number of things we now think of as practically standard in a 4th or 5th generation fighter, like fire control radar, electronic countermeasures for flying in highly contested airspace, radar-guided missiles, and–perhaps most importantly–ground attack capabilities.

    By the time the F-16A began to emerge, it would have some of that gold-plating the “Lightweight Fighter Mafia” so disdained, like an AN/APG-66 radar and some intrinsic ground-attack capabilities. It still lacked radar-guided air-to-air weapons, forgoing them in favor of the heat-seeking Sidewinder missile. These additions made the F-16 a better candidate for the Navy’s needs than it would have been as originally imagined, but it still didn’t quite fit the bill.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada
    (Vought Aircraft)

    In order to meet the needs of the Navy, the Vought 1600 was larger than the F-16A, stretching some three feet longer, with a 33-foot 3-inch wingspan that was a full two feet broader than the Air Force’s version of the fighter. The breadth of the wings grew, covering a total of 269 feet and giving the aircraft better stability at lower speeds. The fuselage was flattened a bit and made broader, and its canopy was designed to pivot forward, which was different from the F-16, but can now be found on the F-35.

    In order to withstand carrier landings, heavier duty landing gear had to be affixed to the Vought 1600’s belly, alongside the standard carrier equipment like a landing hook. The fuselage itself was made stronger and in order to offer the engagement range the Navy needed, a pulse-doppler radar for beyond visual range targeting was also added.

    All told, the structural changes needed to make the F-16 into the Vought 1600 added more than 3,000 pounds to the aircraft. Further changes were made to the fuselage and wings as subsequent iterations of the Vought 1600 came to fruition. The V-1602, for instance, had even more wing area at 399 square feet, and was given a heavier GE F101 engine.

    For the YF-17, the second time was a charm

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada
    (U.S. Air Force photo)

    Despite the changes made to the F-16 to meet the Navy’s needs, the combined General Dynamics/Vought effort would ultimately lose out to Northrop and McDonnell Douglas’ YF-17, which would later come to be known as the F/A-18 Hornet, and its own successor, the Block II Super Hornet.

    The YF-17 may not have cut it for the Air Force, but the Navy saw promise in a scaled-up version of the fighter, thanks to its superior range, and likely, safety.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada
    Size comparison of the YF-17, F/A-18A and F/A-18F (WikiMedia Commons)

    The Vought 1600’s low-lying intake located just above the nose-wheel was considered a real risk on the flight deck of a Navy carrier, as it could literally suck unsuspecting sailors straight into it. This wasn’t the first time Vought faced this sort of criticism, as the pilot-favorite Vought F-8 Crusader’s large, low intake had already earned it the nickname “the Gator,” because of its tenacity for gobbling up sailors.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada
    The F-8’s low-slung intake scoop earned it the nickname, “The Gator,” thanks its propensity for swallowing up Sailors. (U.S. Navy photo)

    Importantly, the F-16’s lightweight design and lack of radar-specific weapons made it poorly suited for all-weather operations like intercepting fighters or bombers en route to a carrier strike group.

    “I pointed out that the F-16 carried only AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and they were clear-air-mass missiles. In clouds, a radar missile like the AIM-7 Sparrow III was required,” former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. James L. Holloway explains in his book, “Aircraft Carriers at War: A Personal Retrospective of Korea, Vietnam, and the Soviet Confrontation.

    “This capability, with the necessary radar guidance system and heavier pylons, had been incorporated into the F-18 design, but the F-16 would not accommodate an all-weather missile system without extensive redesign and added weight.”

    However, according to Holloway’s book, Defense Secretary James Schlesinger was still dead set on pushing the Vought 1600 onto the Navy. In order to settle the debate once and for all, Schlesinger invited Admiral Holloway to his office to discuss the Navy’s next fighter. Despite Schlesinger telling Holloway that his office was too small to bring more than two of his subordinates to the discussion, Holloway walked into the Secretary of Defense’s office to find more than a dozen people waiting for him. Schlesinger ambushed the admiral, keen to use his superior numbers to push the Vought 1600 onto the Navy.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    Holloway stood firm, however, highlighting the concern of his engineers that the Vought 1600 was apt to bang its engine on the flight deck during carrier landings, which could cause damage to both the deck and the aircraft. When the men gathered in Schlesinger’s office argued that problems like that could be mitigated with better pilot technique, Holloway grew frustrated. Clearly, anyone peaching about improved pilot technique to offset a fighter’s design shortcomings had never attempted to land on the pitching deck of an aircraft carrier that was barely visible against a seemingly endless backdrop of stormy seas during nighttime operations.

    The YF-17 also offered a second engine, which could mean the difference between getting a jet back to its carrier or having to dump it in the sea if anything went wrong with one of them.

    The Vought 1600 misses the boat

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    Ultimately, it may have been the intended weapons for each platform that became the deciding factor. Because the F-16’s design wouldn’t accommodate an all-weather missile system without extensive modifications, the Vought 1600 may have been able to manage carrier operations, but still wouldn’t meet the exacting needs of the branch.

    Of course, the F-16 would eventually gain the very capabilities it lacked at the time, both in the form of Sparrow missiles and eventually AMRAAMs. Had similar capabilities been a part of the Vought 1600’s pitch, we may not have seen the nearly four decades’ worth of service out of the Hornet and Super Hornet family that we have. Instead, the Navy would have been flying F-16s alongside F-14 Tomcats off of their flattops, and the Super Hornet would be another what-if fighter in the annals of military history.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada
    (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Matthew Lotz)

    Of course, the Vought 1600 wasn’t the only legendary American fighter that very nearly found its way into Uncle Sam’s carrier fleet. At one point, a significantly upgraded iteration of the F-117 Nighthawk nearly found its way into Naval service. And just a few years later, a similar effort almost placed F-22 Raptors on the Navy’s flight decks.

    This article originally appeared on Sandboxx. Follow Sandboxx on Facebook.

    MIGHTY CULTURE

    The FBI released their files on Bigfoot

    Ever since its inception in 1908, the FBI has been tasked with investigating the sorts of mysteries that keep Americans up at night. From foreign espionage to bank heists, the FBI has earned a global reputation for its investigative prowess for a reason; but despite all their training, resources, and pedigree, even the FBI’s most capable sometimes fall short of finding their suspect. Of course, when the suspect is Bigfoot, it seems a bit more excusable.

    Back in 1976, Bigfoot was, well, big. Less than ten years after the Patterson-Gimlin footage took the country by storm with what certainly looked like a living, breathing, ape-monster trudging through the California woods, the Sasquatch had become a fixture at the box office. Theaters all across the country showed films like “Curse of the Bigfoot” and “The Legend of Bigfoot,” along with at least two other ape-man features that year, and even an episode of the “Six Million Dollar Man” had a Bigfoot cameo.

    But the most intriguing place Bigfoot popped up in 1976 wasn’t on screen; it was in a file folder at the FBI.


    Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film slowed down and stablised

    youtu.be

    Not everyone in the Bigfoot game back in 1976 had a Hollywood address. Just like today, Bigfoot had a fervent scientific following already scouring the North American forests for any evidence of the missing primate. One of the most respected in the field at the time was Peter Byrne, who served as the director of the Bigfoot Information Center and Exhibition in The Dalles, Oregon.

    Byrne got his hands on a small patch of hair attached to a bit of skin that was supposedly from the ape-man himself, but soon realized that he and his team lacked the capability to conclusively determine the hair’s origin. So Byrne made the decision to send the sample to a reputable third party for analysis: the FBI.

    His letter was received by Jay Cochran Jr., Assistant Director of the FBI at the Scientific and Technical Services Division. Cochran started by explaining to Byrne that the FBI isn’t in the business of chasing down unusual hair samples from the woods unless there was some kind of crime involved, but, because of the unique scientific implications, he was willing to make an exception.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    Hair samples sent into the FBI for testing

    (Federal Bureau of Investigation)

    The FBI files on Bigfoot contain a number of letters between Byrne and FBI officials from that point forward, as Byrne prodded the FBI to take his sample (and pursuit) seriously. Byrne forwarded clippings of articles from large media outlets like the New York Times to show that not only did he have a reputation as a legitimate researcher, but the American people had a vested interest in solving the Bigfoot mystery. Finally, the FBI responded to Byrne with the results of their analysis.

    “The examinations included a study of morphological characteristics such as root structure, medullary structure, and cuticle thickness in addition to scale casts. Also, the hairs were compared directly with hairs of known origin under a comparison microscope,” Cochran wrote to Byrne.

    “It was concluded as a result of these examinations that the hairs are of the deer family origin.”

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    Letter from Jay Cochran, Jr. to Howard Curtis

    (Federal Bureau of Investigation)

    Cochran returned the sample with the letter, though, according to Byrne, he never received that final bit of correspondence. Because he was traveling at the time, the letter was sent to the executive vice president of the Academy of Applied Science, an organization Byrne’s Bigfoot Information Center maintained close formal ties with. Byrne was presented with the results earlier this week by the Washington Post, and reacted as though the FBI’s conclusion was entirely new to him.

    That may well be true, as the files were only uploaded to the FBI’s website this week, though the documents were actually declassified years ago and have been publicly available on websites like The Black Vault ever since.

    Of course, it’s impossible to say if the FBI maintains any other files on Bigfoot, but at least for now, it seems the North American ape-man has eluded authorities once again.

    MIGHTY CULTURE

    Of course ‘Murphy’s Law’ was created by a veteran

    The axiom we know as “Murphy’s Law” today has been kicking around for centuries. Instances of similar phrases can be found as early as 1877, and even George Orwell (himself a veteran of the Spanish Civil War) used it in his diaries. But when something truly catches on, it’s kept alive for posterity – and that’s how “Murphy’s Law” is remembered nowadays.


    What was once quoted as, “It is found that anything that can go wrong at sea generally does go wrong sooner or later.” Is now – forever – the much snappier “Whatever can go wrong, will.” But who was the Murphy whose name is now synonymous with accidents and mishaps?

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    A strapping young man, that’s who.

    Edward Aloysius Murphy was a West Point graduate, Army Air Forces veteran of World War II and an Air Force officer. Later in life, he would continue his work with the Air Force in testing experimental vehicles. This, of course, required a degree of delicacy; not only because building rocket sleds is as incredibly dangerous as testing them, but also because testing them requires exact parameters to record exact results.

    That’s science.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    *Rocket* Science. DAB.

    Seriously, after World War II, Murphy became the research and development officer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s Air Development Center, where they conducted rocket sled tests. A rocket sled is exactly what it sounds like: a chair, a rocket, all on a sled-like slab on which someone sits. And is then propelled forward. In order to remind his crews to plan for the worst-case scenario in every experiment, he began telling them “whatever can go wrong, will.”

    This was especially true when they decided that 18 Gs was probably not the most a human could withstand and set out to test the limitations of G-forces on the human body. One Air Force officer, John Stapp, proved that humans could take at least 35 Gs and that anyone who passed out after 18 probably shouldn’t be in his Air Force. Murphy was designing new sensor setups to measure everything that would happen on these sled runs. One day, something went wrong.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    Here’s Stapp’s face as he becomes the fastest man ever, in what is essentially an open-top rocket convertible. Man, the Air Force used to be fun.

    The details of the snafu that caused Murphy to remind his crews to check every detail are disputed. All we need to know is that something went wrong and Stapp’s test run did not acquire any sensor data. Basically, Stapp put his life on the line for funsies, because other than a rocket boom, nothing else was recorded. Upon realizing this, Murphy apparently yelled at an assistant, “whatever can go wrong, will.”

    And it became their mantra. Then it became everyone’s mantra when Stapp told a group of reporters at a press conference that they keep fatalities at zero because everyone on their team repeats “Murphy’s Law” to prevent any oversights or mishaps. Once the press got hold of it, that was it. Murphy’s Law is now enshrined in everyone’s lexicon, not just the military’s.

    MIGHTY TACTICAL

    Russia’s new exoskeleton probably isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

    One of Russia’s largest defense contractors, Rostec, released new footage of their most advanced military exoskeleton in use on Monday, and as is so often the case when Russia makes such an announcement, a number of media outlets have taken their claims at face value in their reporting.


    https://www.twitter.com/gunfighter2020/status/1311379576573001730
    Twitter

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    However, historical precedent would suggest that we might want to hold off on congratulating Russia on cracking the exoskeleton egg. Russia has a long history of headline-grabbing military tech claims that have repeatedly proven misleading at best, and downright fabricated at worst.

    Perhaps the most egregious falsehood Western Media briefly fell for in recent past was the Russian bipedal robot dubbed “Borris” that was unveiled in December of 2018 at the Putin Youth Forum in the city of Yaroslavl, Russia. The robot performed impressively, seemingly handling a number of complex tasks with ease, suggesting to many that Russia may be further along in the robotics game than many had previously suspected.

    https://www.twitter.com/Soviet_flag/status/1072750313692631040
    Twitter

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    That is, until some people began to notice that it looked an awful lot like their incredible new Boris robot was actually nothing more than a person in a robot suit.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    (Screen capture from Russian State television)

    That theory was soon proven true.

    Twitter

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    The tweets translate to:

    “At the youth forum Putin was shown “the most modern robot Boris”. But this is just a man in a suit.”
    “Here is that “modern robot” for you – an exclusive photo of the preparations for Putin’s youth forum in Yaroslavl.”

    Of course, that wasn’t Russia’s first robotic claim to be full of hot air in 2018. In April, famed AK-47 maker Kalashnikov unveiled their own intimidating battle suit that was hailed by Western media outlets as something “straight out of Aliens the movie,” despite actually being little more than a statue with automated arms… that bears a closer resemblance to Robocop’s Ed-209… in that it too can’t go up stairs.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    Kalashnikov claimed a more mobile version would be unveiled in 2020, but has yet to manifest. (Kalashnikov)

    Not all of Russia’s exoskeleton or robotic failures have been quite so openly fabricated, and indeed some could be chalked up to little more than Russia’s propaganda machine spinning up faster than the nation’s real military technology could keep pace. Such was likely the case with Russia’s (once again) headline-grabbing Uran-9 unmanned ground combat, or infantry support, vehicle.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    Russia’s Uran-9 in rehearsal for the Moscow Parade (Dmitriy Fomin on Flickr)

    The entire world reported on Russia’s announcement that their armed infantry drone, the Uran-9, would be deployed to Syria for combat operations and further testing. The fact that Russia was already placing an armed, semi-autonomous robot into combat suggested to many that Moscow was demonstrating a significant lead when compared to Western efforts to do the same… but after a flurry of coverage regarding the deployment, coverage ceased regarding it’s use. The reason was that Russian state-media outlets (where most Western coverage of these advancements are derived) stopped covering the platform.

    It wasn’t until months later that the Uran-9’s long list of deficiencies made its way to the public, not through press coverage picked up by the West initially, but rather after discussions between military leaders held months later found their way online.

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    Uran-9 unmanned combat ground vehicle displayed in 2016 (WikiMedia Commons)

    In 2018 discussions at a Russian security conference called “Actual Problems of Protection and Security,” held at the N.G. Kuznetsov Naval Academy in St. Petersburg, made their way to the press. The truth regarding the Uran-9, it was revealed, was not nearly as impressive as its coverage in the West would have suggested.

    A.P. Anisimov, a Senior Research Officer from the 3rd Central Research Institute of the Russian Defence Ministry, concluded that the platform was incapable of performing the tasks it was designed for. Press coverage claimed a three-kilometer range for the control of the ground drone, but the truth was that operators lost control of it at distances as short as 300 meters or any time they lost line of sight. Operators lost complete control of the vehicle for at least one minute on new fewer than seventeen separate occasions, with two of those instances lasting longer than an hour.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    Keeping it on the truck for the Moscow Parade was probably a good decision. (Dmitriy Fomin on Flickr)

    Other significant issues included the chassis repeatedly failing, forcing repairs in the field, the cannon failing to function on six different occasions, and its targeting system proving so poor that engaging targets at any distance was almost impossible.

    Of course, does a history of making up news related to Russia’s military exoskeleton and robotic capabilities in the past mean this new Rostec system is similarly more hype than function? Not necessarily. Exoskeleton design has been at the top of many firm’s priority list in recent years. In fact, the Marine Corps started receiving real robotic exoskeletons for testing earlier this year, though the Corps is focused on using them for logistics, rather than combat — as the margin for error is much higher in a warehouse than a firefight.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    Marine Corps exoskeleton (Sarcos Defense)

    Of course, America’s tech innovations aren’t immune to being propagandized either, but the Marine Corps’ decision to slow the introduction of exoskeletons until the technology is robust enough for combat at least seems like a more realistic progression.

    There are a few more related announcements made by Russian military tech firms recently that later proved to be bunk, aside from their unconfirmed claims about the capabilities of real (and likely largely functional) platforms like the Su-57 stealth fighter, the PAK-DA stealth bomber, or the Su-70 Okhotnik-B stealth UCAV.

    In 2018, Russia claimed to have developed active camouflage that could hide soldiers and even vehicles behind a Predator-style cloak of invisibility. Those claims were also made by Rostec, the same firm responsible for this new exoskeleton, and have yet to materialize.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    The Ratnik-3 combat suit. (Rostec)

    In another social media gaff, Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti tweeted that Vladimir Putin was observing the exercises of Russian military robots, again hyping Russia’s emphasis on combat robotics. The news outlet reported that the students were demonstrating their own robot invention.

    Twitter

    twitter.com

    However, it was soon revealed that the robots were actually South Korean-sourced toys that can be purchased on Amazon.

    In other words, based on historical precedent… it would be logical that we hold our applause until some evidence of Rostec’s system actually functioning properly in field conditions finds its way to the media.

    This article originally appeared on Sandboxx. Follow Sandboxx on Facebook.


    MIGHTY TRENDING

    This is what happens when an aircraft breaks the record for hypersonic flight

    Aerodynamic heating at Mach 6.72 (4,534 mph) almost melted the airframe.

    On Oct. 3, 1967, the North American X-15A-2 serial number 56-6671 hypersonic rocket-powered research aircraft achieved a maximum Mach 6.72 piloted by Major Pete Knight.


    Operated by the United States Air Force and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as part of the X-plane series of experimental aircraft in the 1960s, the X-15 was a missile-shaped vehicle built in 3 examples and powered by the XLR-99 rocket engine capable of 57,000 lb of thrust.

    The aircraft featured an unusual wedge-shaped vertical tail, thin stubby wings, and unique side fairings that extended along the side of the fuselage.

    The X-15 was brought to the launch altitude of 45,000 feet by a NASA NB-52B “mothership” then air dropped to that the rocket plane would have enough fuel to reach its high speed and altitude test points. Depending on the mission, the rocket engine provided thrust for the first 80 to 120 sec of flight. The remainder of the normal 10 to 11 min. flight was powerless and ended with a 200-mph glide landing.

    Read Also: Air Force developing hypersonic weapons by 2020s

    An interesting account of Oct. 3, 1967 record flight was written by Flight Engineer Johnny G. Armstrong on his interesting website. Here’s an excerpt:

    As the X-15 was falling from the B-52 he lit the engine and locked on to 12 degrees angle of attack. He was pushed back into his seat with 1.5 g’s longitudinal acceleration. The X-15 rounded the corner and started its climb.

    During the rotation as normal acceleration built up to 2 g’s Pete had to hold in considerable right deflection of the side arm controller to keep the X-15 from rolling to the left due to the heavier LOX in the left external tank. When the aircraft reached the planned pitch angle of 35 degrees his scan pattern switched from the angle of attack gauge to the attitude direction indicator and a vernier index that was set to the precise climb angle.

    The climb continued as the fuel was consumed from the external tanks, then at about 60 seconds he reached the tank jettison conditions of about Mach 2 and 70,000 feet. He pushed over to low angle of attack and ejected the tanks. He was now on his way and would not be making an emergency landing at Mud Lake.

    “We shut down at 6500 (fps), and I took careful note to see what the final got to. It went to 6600 maximum on the indicator. As I told Johnny before, the longest time period is going to be from zero h dot getting down to 100 to 200 feet per second starting down hill after shutdown.”

    Final post flight data recorded an official max Mach number of 6.72 equivalent to a speed of 4534 miles per hour.

    From there down Pete was very busy with the planned data maneuvers and managing the energy of the gliding X-15. He approached Edwards higher on energy than planned and had to keep the speed brakes out to decelerate.

    On final approach he pushed the dummy ramjet eject button and landed on Rogers lakebed runway 18. He indicated he did not feel anything when he activated the ramjet eject and the ground crew reported they did not see it. Pete said that he knew something was not right when the recovery crew did not come to the cockpit area to help him out of the cockpit, but went directly to the back of the airplane.

    Finally when he did get out and saw the damage to the tail of the X-15 he understood. There were large holes in the skin of the sides of the fin with evidence of melting and skin rollback. Now we are talking Inconel-X steel that melts at 2200 degrees F. Later analysis would show that the shock wave from the leading edge of the ramjet’s spike nose had intersected the fin and caused the aerodynamic heating to increase seven times higher than normal. So now maybe we knew why the ramjet was not there.

    The following 48-sec footage shows the extent of the damages to the X-15-2 aircraft. Noteworthy, the ramjet detached from the aircraft at over 90,000 feet and crashed into the desert over 100 miles from Edwards Air Force Base.

    The X-15A-2 never flew again after the record flight. It is currently preserved and displayed at the United States Air Force Museum, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

    Lists

    5 things enlisted troops love but officers hate

    No matter what branch you serve in, there will always be a solid line between enlisted personnel and officers — they rarely understand each other.


    Enlisted troops do some crazy sh*t, which causes officers to get in a bad mood — and vice versa.

    Most officers want their troops to abide by all the rules and regulations while the members of the E-4 mafia just want to push the envelope as often as possible and have a little fun.

    Related: 6 reasons why you need a sense of humor in the infantry

    So check out five things enlisted troops love, but officers freakin’ hate — according to our resident military officers.

    5. Practical jokes

    We all love to play some grab ass to liven up a dull situation, and some jokes do go too far — f*ck it. Once the principal officer shows up, consider the fun is over. Most officers aren’t fans of practical jokes especially if they’re the butt of that joke — but enlisted folks love it!

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada
    Don’t think an officer can’t prank their troops right back. They did graduate from college.

    (Note: I’m told this doesn’t apply to pilots…)

     4. Mustaches

    It’s common for service members to grow mustaches — especially on deployment. The military has strict grooming standards for all facial hair and officers keep a close eye out on them. We wouldn’t want a single hair follicle to fell out of line — we’d probably end up losing the war.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada
    Master Sgt. Bryan McCoy, Staff Sgt. Clayton Morris, and Master Sgt. Anthony Foster show off their whiskers that were grown for Mustache March, March 27, 2014, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. (U.S. Air Force photo: Airman 1st Class Zachary Cacicia)

    (Note: The exception appears to be “Movember”)

    3. Dipping tobacco while standing duty

    Sometimes we need a nicotine fix and aren’t allowed to walk outside for a smoke. So we tend to dip tobacco and leave the spit bottles laying around. We’ll give this one to the officers since spit cups aren’t sexy.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada
    At least he’s not just spitting it on the ground. Keeping it in a clear bottle is a much better idea. (Source: Pinterest)

    Also Read: 6 ways you can tell a troop isn’t an infantryman

    2. Out PTing their company commanders

    When you’re just starting out in a leadership position and trying to lead from the front — no officer wants to get beaten in a sprint contest by someone who just graduated high school 6-months ago.

    It’s probably why enlisted troops always have to run at the officer’s pace.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada
    Lt. Col. David Bardorf and Sgt. Maj. Michael Rowan lead their battalion on a run during the annual battalion’s physical training session to support the Combined Federal Campaign. (U.S. Marine Corps photo: Lance Cpl. Nik S. Phongsisattanak)

    1. Buying expensive vehicles right out the gate

    Some branches are supposed to clear significant purchases with their command before executing on the sale. This system helps the enlisted troop from blowing his or her already low paycheck on a car with 30% APR — that’s bad.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada
    Troops love buying brand new trucks — until they have to actually pay for it. (Source: Ford)

    Can you think of any others? Comment below.

    MIGHTY TRENDING

    Coast Guard thinks it can only stop 25 percent of cocaine

    During fiscal year 2018, which ended Sept. 30, 2018, the US Coast Guard intercepted just over 458,000 pounds of cocaine. That was the second most in a year on record, behind fiscal year 2017, when 493,000 pounds were seized, which topped the previous record of 443,000 pounds in fiscal year 2016.

    “The Coast Guard has interdicted more than … 1.3 million pounds of illicit cocaine in the last three years, and that rolls up to be about $18 billion of wholesale value on American streets,” Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz said Nov. 15, 2018, aboard the cutter James, which was offloading nearly 38,000 pounds of cocaine seized in the eastern Pacific Ocean.


    The pursuit of traffickers on the high seas, working with other US agencies and international partners, was part of what Schultz described as a “push-out-the-border strategy” to target the smuggling process at the point when the loads were the largest and most vulnerable.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    US Coast Guardsmen board a narco sub as part of a drug seizure in early September 2016.

    (US Coast Guard photo)

    “We’re pushing our land border 1,500 miles deep into the ocean here a little bit, and that’s where we find the success taking large loads of cocaine down at sea,” Shultz said aboard the James, which seized more than 19,000 pounds of the cocaine offloaded on Nov. 15, 2018.

    “When we take down drugs at sea it reduces the violence. It maximizes the impact. When these loads land in Mexico, in Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, they get distributed into very small loads, very hard to detect, and there’s associated violence,” he added.

    But the Coast Guard can see much more than it can catch.

    In the eastern Pacific Ocean, where about 85% of the cocaine smuggling between South America and the US takes place, “We have visibility on about 85% of that activity,” Schultz said. “Because of the capacity — the number of ships, the number of aircraft — [we act on] about 25% to 30% of that,” he added.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    A suspected smuggler, who jumped from his burning vessel, is pulled aboard an interceptor boat from the USS Zephyr by members of the US Coast Guard and Navy in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean on April 7, 2018.

    (US Coast Guard photo)

    Schultz is not the first Coast Guard official to note the gap between what the service can see and what it can stop.

    In September 2017, Adm. Charles Ray told senators that the service has “good intelligence on between 80% and 90% of these movements,” referring to trafficking in the eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean.

    But “we only have the capacity to get after about 30% of those” shipments, added Ray, who is now the Coast Guard’s vice commandant.

    The eastern Pacific Ocean from the west coast of South America to the Galapagos Islands and up to waters off western Mexico and the southwest US is an area about the size of the continental US, Ray said.

    “On any given day we’ll have between six to 10 Coast Guard cutters down here,” he added. “If you imagine placing that on [an area the size of] the United States … it’s a capacity challenge.”

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    (Adam Isacson / US Southern Command)

    Schultz’s predecessor, now-retired Adm. Paul Zukunft, noted a similar gap.

    The Coast Guard provides the “biggest bang for the buck,” Zukunft told The New York Times in summer 2017. “But our resources are limited.”

    “As a result, we can’t catch all the drug smuggling we know about,” Zukunft added. “Just last year we had intelligence on nearly 580 possible shipments but couldn’t go intercept them because we didn’t have the ships or planes to go after them.”

    Schultz acknowledged that with more resources the Coast Guard could stop more, but said the service was getting the most out of its assets and its partners — including the Defense and Homeland Security departments and other countries in the region.

    “We have DoD support, we have partner-nation contributions … so it’s that team sport, but there is a conversation about capacity,” Schultz said. “More Coast Guard capability, more enablers like long-range surveillance airplanes and … we’d take more drugs off the water.”

    “What I’m proud about is we’re putting every ounce of energy we’ve got into this fight.”

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    The Coast Guard cutter James interdicts a low-profile vessel in the eastern Pacific Ocean, Oct. 22, 2018.

    (US Coast Guard photo)

    A ‘resurgence’

    Booming cocaine production in Colombia has kept a steady flow of drugs heading north. Smugglers use a variety of vessels, from simple outboard boats to commercial fishing vessels. The more frequent appearance of low-profile vessels, often called narco subs, points to traffickers’ increasing sophistication.

    The Coast Guard has said it caught a record six narco subs in fiscal year 2016, which ended in September 2016. In September 2017, the service said it had seen a “resurgence” of such vessels, catching seven of them since June that year.

    “We’re seeing more of these low-profile vessels; 40-plus feet long … it rides on the surface, multiple outboard engines, moves 18, 22 knots … and they can carry large loads of contraband,” Schultz told Business Insider in 2018.

    Narco subs can cost id=”listicle-2620799501″ million to million but can carry multiton loads of cocaine worth tens of millions of dollars in the US.

    Mike Vigil, former chief of international operations for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, estimated Colombian traffickers were building 100 narco subs a year and said the DEA believed at least 30% to 40% of drugs coming to the US were moving on those vessels, but authorities were likely only intercepting 5% of them.

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    A Coast Guard Cutter Stratton boarding team investigates a self-propelled semi-submersible interdicted in international waters off the coast of Central America, July 19, 2015.

    (US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class LaNola Stone)

    The Coast Guard’s own estimate indicates that it can block only a sliver of the narcotics coming to the US by sea.

    Asked what was needed to address the flow of narcotics, Ray in late 2017 pointed to the offshore-patrol-cutter program, which the Coast Guard has said will bridge the gap between national-security cutters like the James, which patrol open ocean, and fast-response cutters, which patrol closer to shore.

    The first offshore-patrol cutter isn’t scheduled to be delivered until 2021.

    Coast Guard officials have touted the capabilities of national-security cutters, like the James, which were introduced in 2008 and of which six are in service.

    But the other cutters that seized drugs offloaded by the James on Nov. 15, 2018, were, on average, 41 years old, “and are increasingly more difficult to maintain and more costly to operate” Claire Grady, the Homeland Security Department’s chief of management, said on Nov. 15, 2018.

    “For the Coast Guard to remain always ready to combat transnational crime and conduct its 10 other statutory missions,” Grady added, “it’s imperative to recapitalize its aging fleet.”

    This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

    MIGHTY HISTORY

    5 people who were erased from history

    It’s not easy to remove a person from history, but brutal leaders throughout history have erased some of their formerly close advisors.

    After news of the execution of Jang Song-thaek, Kim Jong Un’s uncle and close advisor, broke in December 2013, North Korean state media has erased the man from history entirely, deleting him from online archives and photographs.


    This extreme measure makes it “the largest deletion ever carried out by the official KCNA news agency and the Rodong Sinmun newspaper,” according to the Guardian.

    But it wasn’t the first time a political leader has attempted to wipe a person clean out of history — here are five other people who were erased from existence:

    Nikolai Yezhov, Joseph Stalin’s head of secret police

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    Stalin (center) with Nikolai Yezhov to his left. After Yezhov’s execution, he was airbrushed out of the photo.

    Yezhov earned the nickname “The Vanishing Commissar” among art historians for his disappearance from photographs after his execution in 1940.

    Yezhov, a loyal Stalinist, was head of the secret police during Stalin’s Great Purge, overseeing mass arrests and executions of those deemed disloyal to the Soviet regime before ironically being arrested, tortured, tried, and executed himself for disloyalty.

    Stalin was known for eliminating all traces of those who fell out of his good side, or whom he no longer had use for, Yezhov included.

    Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister

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    Goebbels (second from right) appears with Adolf Hitler and others at the home of film maker Leni Riefenstahl in 1937. In later images, he is missing.

    Goebbels was immensely valued by Hitler for his enthusiasm, brilliant ideas, and vehement anti-semitism. Hitler made Goebbels his chief of propaganda, and sent him all over Germany to establish a Nazi presence and boost morale during the war. Goebbels was one of just a few people in Hitler’s inner-circle, even trusted with helping burn Hitler’s body after he committed suicide.

    Like Stalin, Hitler was known for “erasing” people who fell out of his favor, though it remains unknown what Goebbels did that led to his being deleted from this famous 1937 photo taken at the home of German film maker Leni Riefenstahl.

    Leon Trotsky, Russian revolutionary

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    Formerly close comrades, Trotsky appears in the image on the left at one of Lenin’s speeches; the same image, altered after the two split, shows Trotsky deleted.

    An influential voice in the early days of the Soviet Union, Trotsky was initially a leader in the Bolshevik revolution, but references to Trotsky were eliminated after he switched his allegiance to the Mensheviks, splitting from comrade and fellow revolutionary Vladimir Lenin.

    Lenin later denounced Trotsky as a “scoundrel” in 1917 (though Trotsky eventually rejoined the Bolsheviks), and after Lenin’s death Trotsky was eliminated from photos by Stalin. Trotsky was eventually exiled from the Soviet Union completely.

    Bo Gu, senior leader of the Chinese Communist Party

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada
    Bo Gu, far left, appears in the photo with Mao Zedong and comrades; in the later photo, he is missing.

    Qin Bangxian, better known as Bo Gu, was the “person with overall responsibility of the CCP,” and so had tremendous responsibility under leader Mao Zedong.

    However, as a result of some miscommunication on tactical military defense at the Zunyi Conference during the Long March, Bo Gu was criticized for “serious partial political mistakes” and replaced in command by Zhang Wentian in 1935.

    The exact miscommunication differs in most historical accounts, but it could be what led to Bo Gu’s fallout with Mao Zedong, and therefore could have been the reason for his elimination from this photo.

    Grigoriy Nelyubov, Soviet cosmonaut

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    Hand-picked for the first cosmonaut detachment in 1960, Nelyubov was a star choice for space flight for being “a remarkable person, an excellent pilot, a sportsman…”

    A founding member of the top space team known as the Sochi Six, some say Nelyubov was the third or fourth person in space; others say he never made it into space before being expelled from the Soviet space program for alcohol-related misconduct. The incident led to his being deleted from program records.

    Nelyubov was ultimately struck by a train and killed; his death was ruled a suicide.

    This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

    MIGHTY TACTICAL

    The Marines’ newly-armed Osprey tests guns, rockets, and missiles

    The Marine Corps is now arming its Osprey tiltrotor aircraft with a range of weapons to enable its assault support and escort missions in increasingly high-threat combat environments.

    Rockets, guns, and missiles are among the weapons now under consideration, as the Corps examines requirements for an “all-quadrant” weapons application versus other possible configurations such as purely “forward firing” weapons.


    “The current requirement is for an allquadrant weapons system. We are re-examining that requirement—we may find that initially, forward firing weapons could bridge the escort gap until we get a new rotary wing or tiltotor attack platform, with comparable range and speed to the Osprey,” Capt. Sarah Burns, Marine Corps Aviation, told Warrior Maven in a statement.

    Some weapons, possibly including Hydra 2.75inch folding fin laser guided rockets or .50-cal and 7.62mm guns, have been fired as a proof of concept, Burns said.

    “Further testing would have to be done to ensure we could properly integrate them,” she added.

    All weapons under consideration have already been fired in combat by some type of aircraft, however additional testing and assessment of the weapons and their supporting systems are necessary to take the integration to the next step.

    “We want to arm the MV-22B because there is a gap in escort capability. With the right weapons and associated systems, armed MV-22Bs will be able to escort other Ospreys performing the traditional personnel transport role,” Burns added.

    The Hydra 2.75inch rockets, called the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS), have been fired in combat on a range of Army and Marine Corps helicopters; they offer an alternative to a larger Hellfire missiles when smaller, fast-moving targets need to be attacked with less potential damage to a surrounding area.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada
    (BAE)

    Over the years, the weapon has been fired from AH-64 Apaches, Navy Fire Scout Drones, Marine Corps UH-1Ys, A-10s, MH-60s Navy helicopters and Air Force F-16s, among others.

    Bell-Boeing designed a special pylon on the side of the aircraft to ensure common weapons carriage. The Corps is now considering questions such as the needed stand-off distance and level of lethality.

    Adding weapons to the Osprey would naturally allow the aircraft to better defend itself should it come under attack from small arms fire, missiles or surface rockets while conducting transport missions; in addition, precision fire will enable the Osprey to support amphibious operations with suppressive or offensive fire as Marines approach enemy territory.

    Furthermore, weapons will better facilitate an Osprey-centric tactic known as “Mounted Vertical Maneuver” wherein the tiltrotor uses its airplane speeds and helicopter hover and maneuver technology to transport weapons such as mobile mortars and light vehicles, supplies, and Marines behind enemy lines for a range of combat missions — to include surprise attacks.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada


    Also, while arming the Osprey is primarily oriented toward supporting escort and maneuver operations, there are without question a few combat engagements the aircraft could easily find itself in while conducting these missions.

    For example, an armed Osprey would be better positioned to prevent or stop swarming small boat attack wherein enemy surface vessels attacked the aircraft. An Osprey with weapons could also thwart enemy ground attacks from RPGs, MANPADS or small arms fire.

    Finally, given the fast pace of Marine Corps and Navy amphibious operations strategy evolution, armed Ospreys could support amphibious assaults by transporting Marines to combat across wider swaths of combat areas.

    This article originally appeared on Warrior Maven. Follow @warriormaven1 on Twitter.

    MIGHTY HISTORY

    4 famous lines from legendary speeches that were made up on the spot

    A good speech from a great leader can change the world. After the Battle of Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, a speech that strengthened the resolve of the Union to continue fighting battles like that for another two years. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt told the American people that day would live in infamy, and it has ever since.

    But it might surprise you to discover that some of history’s greatest lines were improvised by the speaker, instead of written into the script of the age.


    President Bush’s Ground Zero “Bullhorn Speech”

    George W. Bush has been accused of a lot of things, but being one of history’s greatest orators is not one of them. Still, in the days following the Sept. 11 attacks, the United States needed its fearless leader to show up at the center of it all and encourage the nation to stand tall, and George W. Bush was able to do that. What started out as an impromptu, unprepared remark about empathy turned into one of the most memorable speeches of modern presidential history when a worker in the back shouted, “we can’t hear you,” referring to the president’s bullhorn.

    President Bush, contrary to what some might believe, is quick on his feet and responded with the legendary line “I can hear you. The whole world hears you. And whoever knocked down these buildings will hear all of us real soon.”

    Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. walked to the podium on Aug. 28, 1963, intent on sticking to the script. His prepared remarks mentioned nothing about the dream King had. He’d mentioned the dream speech before, but was convinced the speech wouldn’t have the same effect on such a gathered crowd for such a long speech. In the middle of the speech, Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson shouted to Dr. King, telling him to use the “dream” line.

    At around 12:00 above, you can see the shift in Dr. King’s face. He stops looking down at his notes as he had for the previous 12 minutes and begins to address the crowd directly, flawlessly delivering the “dream” portion of the speech. This part of the speech is much less measured and more emotional than a banking analogy.

    Winston Churchill’s “The Few” Speech

    By August 1940, Britain stood alone in Europe against the Nazi war machine. Poland and France had already fallen, and the only things protecting England was the English Channel and the Royal Air Force. British airmen were giving everything they had to defend the island nation from the relentless attacks of the Nazi Luftwaffe, day and night, and they were running low on planes and pilots. Churchill was moved by the pilots who survived the bombing of an RAF airfield just days before and told the assembled men that ‘never in the history of mankind has so much been owed by so many to so few.’

    He delivered a speech on that to Parliament on Aug. 20, 1940.

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    (Smithsonian Institution)

    George Washington “Grows Blind”

    The Continental Army was growing restless in 1783. Victory in independence was just around the corner, but they didn’t know that. They were upset at having not been paid by Congress. Officers and soldiers of the army decided to meet in Newburgh, N.Y. to draw up a letter to Congress. Their demand was to be paid or warn the body of a coming mutiny. When George Washington heard about it, he decided to address the men on a day of his choosing.

    When he entered the hall, he entered through a side door instead of the main door and proceeded to give a nine-page speech warning them against such a mutiny. He also expressed support for their sentiments and went to share a letter from a Congressman who shared it too. As he pulled out the letter, he also pulled out his glasses and said the immortal words:

    “Gentlemen, you must pardon me. I have grown gray in your service and now find myself growing blind.”

    It was that improvised line that prevented the mutiny, reaffirmed their loyalty to their graying commander, and won the war.

    MIGHTY TACTICAL

    A senate report says the US government’s current plan to prepare for cyber doomsday isn’t nearly strong enough

    The US cyber strategy needs some major improvements if the country hopes to defend itself against threats from China, Russia, and other adversaries, according to a report released this week by a bipartisan group of senators.


    Among its 80+ recommendations are the creation of a “national cyber director” overseen by new congressional committees on cybersecurity, more personnel trained in cyber operations, and increased funding to ensure federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and Election Assistance Commission are equipped to carry out increasingly complicated missions.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    “The U.S. government is currently not designed to act with the speed and agility necessary to defend the country in cyberspace,” concluded the report, the result of a year-long study by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, a group created by Congress in 2018.

    “We want this to be the 9/11 Commission Report without the 9/11,” Sen. Angus King, one of the commission’s co-chairs, told Cyberscoop, adding that the group is “trying to urge and foment change without a catastrophic event.”

    To accomplish that goal, the commission suggested the US adopt a “layered cyber deterrence” strategy. Broadly, that involves encouraging allies to promote responsible behavior in cyberspace, shoring up vulnerabilities in private and public networks that enemies could exploit, and being able to retaliate against attackers.

    “China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea all probed U.S. critical infrastructure with impunity,” the report said, while globally connected networks allowed criminals to commit cyber theft and extremist groups to raise funds and recruit followers.

    “American restraint was met with unchecked predation,” the report said, advocating that the US take a more active role in deterring bad actors.

    That time Chile used a US Navy hand-me-down to bail out Canada

    However, the report did not address some of the more controversial topics surrounding cybersecurity, like encryption — a frequent target of US Attorney General William Barr and others in law enforcement — and which offensive capabilities the US might be willing to give up to secure similar agreements from adversaries.

    The Cyberspace Solarium Commission was modeled after President Dwight Eisenhower’s Project Solarium, which was formed in the 1950s to help the US devise a new foreign policy strategy around the Cold War, showing that the US is fundamentally rethinking how it’s approaching new digital battlegrounds as the nature of warfare evolves.

    This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

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