Thursday, June 18, 2015


Sometimes it is a little difficult to understand my fellow man. Recently, the U.S. Navy named an Independent-class littoral combat ship (LCS) after Gabrielle Gifford, which is the 16th ship the Navy named for a woman and the 13th named for a living person. It was big news when Austal’s facility launched the LCS 10. However, what was most surprising was the nature of the comments this event evoked. In fact, the comments were more shocking in their ignorance than surprising. War is changing. The way we fight a war is changing as well. The concept of a littoral or “close to shore” combat ships is not drastic. These ships are lightweight, fast, and maneuverable but not conventionally armed but still heavily armed, also a helicopter pad. They are smaller than a standard destroyer, which is bristling with six 5-inch guns and numerous 3-inch gun turrets. Apparently, the combination of naming a ship after a gun violence victim, especially one who has been active in promoting anti-gun legislation was too much for tired old retired military brass. It provoked them to make ridiculous comments about a “combat ship with no guns” when in fact it is a heavily armed ship. Helicopters are changing the way we think about air power. Drones are a big example of a notable change in war hardware. The combination of drone helicopters is even a bigger change. Recently, we remembered the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. How would you think that event would be different if the President gave the modern Pentagon that task on June 6, 2014? Compare in your mind the difference between an aircraft carrier designed for fighter jets and one designed for helicopters. I ask these questions knowing you are not generals, admirals, or engineers schooled in design of war machines; however, I expect you would be able to provide reasonable answers to these questions because they are so basic. It is because of this I was shocked at the comments about the design of an LCS made by retired military brass. Clearly, the ship design per se is not what provoked the comments, but rather ridiculous comments are a sad commentary about Gabrielle Gifford’s stand against gun control. The right wing radical gun nuts are so low that they are not above attacking a seriously wounded female victim of gun violence. In what kind of a twisted mind would think, she would support crazy people, such as the one who shot her, owning guns. URL: Comments Invited and not moderated

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