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Course correction in carriers’ future
Sign On San Diego ^ | 5/23/2010 | Jeanette Steele

Posted on 05/23/2010 6:05:56 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld

On the bridge of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, there’s a 20-year-old quartermaster with a No. 2 pencil, a compass and a big map unfurled on a table.

In one of the ironies of America’s modern Navy, that map and that quartermaster are the official method of navigation for the $4 billion carrier and the 5,000 souls on board.

Even as the Navy installs the most high-tech equipment on its carriers — including the San Diego-based Carl Vinson, which recently returned to the fleet after a four-year overhaul — none of the nation’s 11 flattops is certified to rely on electronic navigation.

So if the United States put a man on the moon in 1969, why is it still using pencils on the bridges of nuclear-powered ships?

Because the Navy, like an aircraft carrier, doesn’t change direction quickly.

“It’s only been 10 to 12 years ago that we started down this road, transitioning from a paper Navy for navigation to a paperless Navy for navigation,” said Cmdr. Ashley Evans, deputy navigator for the Navy in Washington, D.C.

The Navy is poised to radically change the way it has sailed since the days of wooden ships. This summer, Navy leaders are expected to issue an order that allows skippers to stop maintaining up-to-date paper “charts” — what sailors call maps — on board.

Four of the Navy’s carriers possess the electronics to navigate by computer; the rest are set to receive the gear by 2013.

It takes about a year to become certified for operating the equipment, and none of the Navy’s carrier crews has done so yet. But some destroyers and cruisers currently sail with the computer readout as the primary guide.

(Excerpt) Read more at signonsandiego.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aircraftcarrier; carrier; flattop; gps; navair; navigation; quartermaster; usn; usnavy
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1 posted on 05/23/2010 6:05:56 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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To: sonofstrangelove

I won’t name the boat, but I was on a carrier where they lost power to the whole island for a while. We received a request (on the sound powered phone system) to send a hand held gps to the bridge so they could maintain a plot.


2 posted on 05/23/2010 6:08:26 PM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: sonofstrangelove

Actually, I am kind of relieved that the navy isn’t dependent on computers that can be hacked, attacked or blown up and on fire when they are needed.


3 posted on 05/23/2010 6:09:30 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: sonofstrangelove

Of course, they’ll still keep the charts up to date so it will be double work. No captain would risk dropping the load with no back up.


4 posted on 05/23/2010 6:10:41 PM PDT by neodad (USS Vincennes (CG 49) "Freedom's Fortress")
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To: Vince Ferrer

They can buy a firewall from McAfee


5 posted on 05/23/2010 6:10:47 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("You hit somebody with your fist and not with your fingers spread:-General Heinz Guderian)
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To: magslinger

Tangential NAVAIR ping...


6 posted on 05/23/2010 6:11:37 PM PDT by neodad (USS Vincennes (CG 49) "Freedom's Fortress")
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To: Vince Ferrer
Agreed - they need to keep those QM's and keep training them for old-time navigation.

Lamh Foistenach Abu!
7 posted on 05/23/2010 6:11:59 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines, RVN '69 - St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!)
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To: sonofstrangelove
...“charts” — what sailors call maps....

'Maps' get looked at: 'charts' get written on. Very old distinction.

8 posted on 05/23/2010 6:13:54 PM PDT by Grut
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To: USNBandit
Moronic decision if they don't maintain both methods. It's too easy for an enemy to sabotage satellites or use an EMP weapon. If they don't maintain traditional navigation skills and rely only on the gizmos, someone will take advantage, and the results will not be good.
9 posted on 05/23/2010 6:14:55 PM PDT by bitterohiogunclinger (America held hostage - day 393)
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To: sonofstrangelove

Gee, you can get a nice cheap GPS at Best Buy for next to nothing.


10 posted on 05/23/2010 6:15:10 PM PDT by garyhope (It's World War IV, right here, right now, courtesy of Islam.)
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To: Vince Ferrer

Just ask the pirates the Ruskies let go if they wished they had studied celestial/solar navigation a little harder.


11 posted on 05/23/2010 6:15:39 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: neodad

“True Virgins Make Dull Company At Weddings”

...or, more appropriate for this forum,

“Can Dead Men Vote Twice At Elections”


12 posted on 05/23/2010 6:16:05 PM PDT by Former War Criminal (My senior Senator (who served in Vietnam) said so.)
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To: ConorMacNessa

All I need is a fast ship and a star to steer her by.....


13 posted on 05/23/2010 6:16:07 PM PDT by The Klingon
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To: Vince Ferrer
You were saying ...

Actually, I am kind of relieved that the navy isn’t dependent on computers that can be hacked, attacked or blown up and on fire when they are needed.

Ah yes... the Battlestar Galactica syndrome ... :-)


14 posted on 05/23/2010 6:19:06 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: The Klingon
I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

Lamh Foistenach Abu!
15 posted on 05/23/2010 6:19:11 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines, RVN '69 - St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!)
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To: USNBandit

Damned right. It’s a war machine not a New England @SSHat’s yacht. That 20 year old with a CHART is the last line between us and slavery.


16 posted on 05/23/2010 6:20:42 PM PDT by Dead Dog (Hope is Dope)
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To: USNBandit
I won’t name the boat, but I was on a carrier where they lost power to the whole island for a while. We received a request (on the sound powered phone system) to send a hand held gps to the bridge so they could maintain a plot.

That sounds fascinatingly unbelievable, LOL!

17 posted on 05/23/2010 6:21:03 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: Vince Ferrer
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2010/05/world-cup-want-a-cheap-hotel-room.html

Been watching Battlestar Galactica lately?

18 posted on 05/23/2010 6:21:33 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: sonofstrangelove

This reminds me of the behind-the-scenes tour I took at NASA a couple years ago. (The “VIP” tour for $80 or so is some of the best money you’ll ever spend.) In mission control, I noticed that one of the big wall screens had what looked like a DOS command shell up in one corner. I asked what it was for and found out that in today’s space shuttles, commands are entered into the main computer in HEX. Same software that was in use during the Apollo era is in use today. HEX. I kid you not.

MM (in TX)


19 posted on 05/23/2010 6:22:03 PM PDT by MississippiMan (http://gogmagogblog.wordpress.com/)
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To: Vince Ferrer

How many folks on any vessels (military or commercial) at sea today know how to get a 3 star fix (with 2 mile accuracy) using a sextant, chronometer, and tables?


20 posted on 05/23/2010 6:23:54 PM PDT by B-Cause (Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: sonofstrangelove

Our submarines depend on inertial navigation by computer, however there are supposed to be people in the conn that monitor modern charts, particularly undersea mountain charts. This did not happen with the USS San Francisco, which hit a previously uncharted (either on computer or in real new charts) undersea volcanic mountain several hundred miles from Guam. They hit it at 500 feet depth at what was said to be flank speed (making a speed run), killed one sailor and even still the sub survived the crushing blow which buckled the keel. Amazing. The captain was relieved of command. There has to be BOTH charts and satellite for a carrier, and everyone should know how to navigate the old fashioned way, by shooting the sun or by stars and compass. It can be done. Too much at risk with our positioning satellites.


21 posted on 05/23/2010 6:24:21 PM PDT by John S Mosby (Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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To: MississippiMan

Backup, surely. But it does work when all else fails.


22 posted on 05/23/2010 6:25:55 PM PDT by John S Mosby (Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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To: USNBandit

They best keep those maps handy, as well as well trained Quater Masters. It’s fine to use the new stuff but it quits from time to time.


23 posted on 05/23/2010 6:26:52 PM PDT by RC2
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To: sonofstrangelove

Some kind of electronic interaction with the chart (as in e-paper) would be handy. The computer can double check the course mapping and update it or mark warnings on it in real time. I hope a well evolved human interface is not lost in the interest of the latest gee-whiz gimcracks.


24 posted on 05/23/2010 6:27:14 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: B-Cause

The Navigation team on EVERY Navy ship, it is still a required skill for the quartermasters


25 posted on 05/23/2010 6:27:45 PM PDT by The Klingon
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To: sonofstrangelove
The do it that way because it is the method that is least likely to fail in either peace or war.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

26 posted on 05/23/2010 6:28:24 PM PDT by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: B-Cause

Experienced this on a private charter plane in Caribbean. The pilot totally depended on his GPS avionics. He could not fly dead reckoning or a compass. This should be like spelling- you have to know the word to know what to answer spellcheck with.... maybe that’s too much to ask. But the basics are still taught at Annapolis.


27 posted on 05/23/2010 6:28:44 PM PDT by John S Mosby (Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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To: sonofstrangelove

I think they still teach Midshipmen at Annapolis how to navigate using a hand-held sextant, and I hope they never stop no matter how many GPS units the Navy buys....


28 posted on 05/23/2010 6:29:56 PM PDT by Bean Counter (Will the last American to leave California please bring the flag??)
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To: sonofstrangelove

Just how long does anyone expect GPS to be up and running during a war? Of course all the ships have GPS! Don’t be naive, they would be stupid not to. But they do not depend on GPS.

Quartermasters still must know how to use their brains and do things the old fashioned way. That means dead reckoning, sextants, chronometers, etc. That the writer even thinks this is slightly odd just goes to show basic difference in civilian and military mentalities.

Satellites can be spoofed. Radar can be jammed. LORAN is GONE. But the wet-ware computer between the sailor’s ears will still function as long as it is backed up with training and the good old fashioned Mark 1 Eyeball.


29 posted on 05/23/2010 6:29:58 PM PDT by Ronin
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To: John S Mosby
If GPS fails, we can always LORAN. Oh, wait.....

/johnny

30 posted on 05/23/2010 6:30:31 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Dead Dog

Exactly...It’s called dead reckoning and every seaman knows it.


31 posted on 05/23/2010 6:32:02 PM PDT by maxsand
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To: MississippiMan

With HEX, there is no disputing who is to blame. There is no (t much anyway) abstraction.


32 posted on 05/23/2010 6:32:05 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Vroomfondel; SC Swamp Fox; Fred Hayek; NY Attitude; P3_Acoustic; Bean Counter; investigateworld; ...
SONOBUOY PING!

Click on pic for past Navair pings.

Post or FReepmail me if you wish to be enlisted in or discharged from the Navair Pinglist.
The only requirement for inclusion in the Navair Pinglist is an interest in Naval Aviation.
This is a medium to low volume pinglist.

33 posted on 05/23/2010 6:36:34 PM PDT by magslinger ("If I have money, I buy fishing gear. If I have money left over, I buy beer." - Hank Thoreau)
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To: sonofstrangelove

If your electronics quit for what ever reason, you will have to rely upon the old way. Learn traditional navigation and read your Bowditch!!


34 posted on 05/23/2010 6:37:03 PM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: John S Mosby
Backup, surely. But it does work when all else fails.

Nope, primary. I was so surprised by this that I asked specifically if this was some backup system. Nope, primary computer. And BTW, it still requires big old rack-mounted memory modules. I forget what the capacity was of each module but it was something absurdly low. When I asked why they'd still be using such antiquated systems, he said, "It works and it's one of the most solid pieces of software ever built."

MM (in TX)

35 posted on 05/23/2010 6:39:59 PM PDT by MississippiMan (http://gogmagogblog.wordpress.com/)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Speaking of LORAN, I have four Micrologics that I brought back from the dead. They are now used as bookends.

When cruising to and from the Bahamas, I still DR every 30 minutes.


36 posted on 05/23/2010 6:41:49 PM PDT by Capt_Hank (btu's...kcal's...to kJ's, but my activation energy is still high.)
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To: sonofstrangelove

If anyone has seen marine navigational software they would realize just how grossly undercapable that software is. You know that software your bank uses, or online reservations use, or that crappy DMV software, well, they were all writen by the same type of programmers with the same type of managers.

Next time your phone has a dial tone, be thankful.


37 posted on 05/23/2010 6:52:23 PM PDT by CodeToad
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To: sonofstrangelove
So if the United States put a man on the moon in 1969, why is it still using pencils on the bridges of nuclear-powered ships?

Because some things just work. Navigating an aircraft carrier from somebody's iPod, for all the computational capability of the thing, is just stoopid. It goes down and where are you...?

I've spent a good part of my career designing the bleeding edge. I've also spent a good part of my life depending on critical stuff a bit further behind, letting someone else take the arrows.

No contradiction here; some folks need the bleeding edge. I haven't.

38 posted on 05/23/2010 7:01:33 PM PDT by sionnsar (IranAzadi|5yst3m 0wn3d-it's N0t Y0ur5:SONY|Remember Neda Agha-Soltan|TV--it's NOT news you can trust)
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To: sionnsar

carrier


39 posted on 05/23/2010 7:08:12 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("You hit somebody with your fist and not with your fingers spread:-General Heinz Guderian)
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To: CodeToad

ping


40 posted on 05/23/2010 7:08:19 PM PDT by mick (Central Banker Capitalism is NOT Free Enterprise)
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To: B-Cause

“How many folks on any vessels (military or commercial) at sea today know how to get a 3 star fix (with 2 mile accuracy) using a sextant, chronometer, and tables?”

Guilty sir!


41 posted on 05/23/2010 7:11:58 PM PDT by navyblue (<u>)
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To: USNBandit
I think even the Vinson still uses a Ouja Board.
42 posted on 05/23/2010 7:12:21 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Don't go chasing waterfalls.....)
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To: Star Traveler

Excellent analogy!


43 posted on 05/23/2010 7:13:25 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Don't go chasing waterfalls.....)
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To: sonofstrangelove
Paper maps with details of the sea bed are really good if you don't want to run aground. An accurate clock, sextant and star charts will get you by if the GPS satellites are wiped out. We are talking navy ships here that must be functional if forced into a war after EMP has knocked out critical infrastructure.
44 posted on 05/23/2010 7:14:11 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: sonofstrangelove

This argument re GPS vs. “charts-and-darts” applies to the field artillery as well.


45 posted on 05/23/2010 7:18:49 PM PDT by Snickersnee (Where are we going? And what's with this handbasket?)
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To: Grut

I’ve never known anyone who calls a navigational chart a “map”.
A proper sailor who navigates the oceans had better be able to take star-shots for dead reckoning. It may be one of the only choices he has in an emergency black-out.
One of the major flaws that bite people, here on the Great Lakes, is a over-reliance on GPS. They punch in a destination, hit go-to, and never consult a chart, which would show the rocky shoals that lie directly between them, and the destination, lakeside bar.
The ship I served on still had a quaint blow-pipe, a ships telegraph, a brass binnacle (complete w/navigators’ nuts), and a very large wooden wheel. No GPS. We were hi-tech with Loran, Radar, an intermitant Gyro, and charts.
The Captain was a crusty old Aussie (40), who would drink us young-uns under the the table, and then could circum-navigate us across the oceans with nary a care.


46 posted on 05/23/2010 7:20:53 PM PDT by gigster
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To: mad_as_he$$
If you are talking about the flight deck model in Flight Deck Control, I heard they were coming up with an electronic version of that. Blasphemy, I tell ya.

They even got rid of Mr. Hand, the guy that used to move side numbers around the CCA pattern for Case III ops.

47 posted on 05/23/2010 7:33:33 PM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: ConorMacNessa
I must go down to the sea again - to the lonely sea and the sky.
(I left my shirt and trousies there - I wonder if they're dry.)

. . . don't blame me, blame Spike Milligan (may he rest in peace.)

48 posted on 05/23/2010 7:38:15 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)T)
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To: AnAmericanMother
LOL! Masefield, of course, is spinning in his grave!

Lamh Foistenach Abu!
49 posted on 05/23/2010 7:40:17 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines, RVN '69 - St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!)
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To: gigster
Dang, you had BETTER know how to use the charts or you are going to be in heap big trouble.

I heard about some non-navigating idiot in the Atlantic Race for Cruisers who accidentally programmed BOTH his GPSs at 700 kts instead of 7. Several days into the race he radio'd at large in a panic because the GPS said he was in the Sea of Japan somewhere.

50 posted on 05/23/2010 7:41:19 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)T)
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