CAVASSHIPS Podcast [Oct 16, 21] Episode 19…”Happy Birthday US Navy”


Welcome to the CavasShips Podcast with Christopher P. Cavas and Chris Servello…a weekly podcast looking at naval and maritime events and issues of the day – in the US, across the seas and around the world.

This Week…lessons from the past are often guidelines to the present. Just over a century ago the British Royal Navy got rid of huge numbers of old ships to reinvest in a more modern fleet. How did that go? Are there lessons for a US Navy trying to divest to invest? We’ll talk with naval thinker Jerry Hendrix.  

In this Week’s Squawk Chris Servello discusses the the highs and lows of social media birthday posts.

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This Week’s Naval Round Up:

 The carrier USS CARL VINSON is leading a group of ships and aircraft from the US, India, Japan and Australia taking part in Malabar exercises in the Bay of Bengal during mid-October. The exercises are an annual feature for the QUAD nations, the Quadrilateral Security strategic dialogue between the four countries. Emphasizing the importance of the exercises, US Chief of Naval Operations Michael Gilday, on a visit to India, hosted India’s Chief of Navy Admiral Karamir Singh on board the VINSON on October 14.

The British carrier HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH left Singapore October 13 to begin the return leg of the Carrier Strike Group 21 deployment, which began in May. The strike group will carry out a series of exercises with other nations over the next two months before the carrier returns in December to her homeport of Portsmouth, England.                                                          

The French government revealed October 13 the intelligence ship DEPOY DE LOME had carried out a Taiwan Strait transit between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan. It was the second such French transit this year, as the frigate SURCOUF made a similar passage in May. The US Navy has been keeping up a roughly once-a-month Taiwan Strait movement to demonstrate freedom of the seas navigation – the last US transit was on September 17.

Japan launched the submarine HAKUGEI October 14 at Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Kobe. The sub is the second lithium-ion-powered boat building in Japan – the first, TAH-GAY, is nearing completion. Japan is the first country to install a safe lithium-ion battery plant, able to outperform  air-independent subs as well as all other diesel-electric submarines. In some ways the lithium-ion and air-independent submarines are superior to nuclear-powered subs, particularly in self-generated noise.

The remains of all five crew members lost August 31 when their MH-60S helicopter crashed at sea have been recovered, the US Navy said October 12. The Seahawk helicopter from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8 was flying from the carrier ABRAHAM LINCOLN when it crashed into the sea; one crewmember survived and five others aboard the carrier were injured. The wreckage of the helicopter with the remains were recovered by the chartered service vessel HOS BAYOU from a depth of about 5,300 feet off the coast of southern California.

An Australian Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter suffered a mishap and ditched in the Philippine Sea October 14. All three aboard were safely rescued from the helo, which was assigned to the frigate WARRAMUNGA. Australia grounded its other 23 Seahawks pending an investigation. Australia is also buying another 12 of the Sikorsky helicopters from the US.


SERVELLO SQUAWK–Happy Birthday US Navy

This week the Navy celebrated its 246th Birthday…this is actually one of my favorite holidays…believe it or not. I love that people come out of the woodwork on social media to wish the Navy and its Sailors well….sharing their own memories of personal or familial connections to America’s sea service. Pictures of fleet weeks, airshows, boot camp graduations or commissioning ceremonies warm my heart. 

In fact, what I also look forward to each year are the cringe worthy moments associated with the social outpouring of love and affection. Those members of congress, industry partners or even fellow government agencies who appreciate the Navy so much they share pictures of Russian or Chinese ships. Hey nothing says Happy Birthday and thank you for your service like a tweet with a picture of a Chinese-built Thai patrol boat instead of an American littoral combat ship or Arleigh Burke destroyer.

But let’s assume not everyone feels the same way I do…so here’s my simple and easy to follow advice for the junior staffer or digital media guru tasked with putting together Senator So-and-So’s I love you US Navy’ social media post. 

Do not google ship, sub, navy or any other nautical term and grab the first image you see. Actually go to…the official website of the US Navy and pick a photo that has been vetted and properly shared for such occasions. I promise the extra 45 secs it takes to do this staff work will be worth your time and will prevent your boss or agency from being ridiculed on social media. 

See…I told you it was simple…Happy Birthday Shipmates!

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