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September 11, 2013

Dear Shipmates,


The 2013 AOM Reunion will be soon upon us.  You may want to review the Reunion page  to make sure that you get the utmost from this gathering.  Details on how to get to Whidbey and the many opportunities for food, drink and entertainment are covered in detail. Hope to see y'all there.




 Yet another fraud scheme has been attempted on minemen. I reported earlier that the late Fred Dane was a target of a fraud scheme. An e-mail was sent to minemen whose e-mail addresses had been harvested from someone's e-mail address book. The scheme purported to represent Fred Dane who "was stranded in London" because of the loss of wallet, passport and other important documents. The one claiming to be Fred Dane asked the addressee to wire money to him in London so he could pay his hotel bill, etc. The subject of the e-mail was entitled "Horrible Ordeal." His sending address was genuine but the return address had been tweaked a little.

The same scheme was perpetrated on John Loonam, Jeff White and now, Thomas Payne. It took John a while to disinfect his computer. If any of you receives an e-mail purporting to be from a familiar mineman claiming to be stranded in a foreign country (Fred in London, John and Chad in Manila, Tom Payne in the Ukraine), do the following:


1. copy the e-mail and pull ALL the headers and send it to the provider of the fake address (, yahoo, others) Address the mail containing the scheme and all the headers to:  abuse@ [provider name]


2. File a report with


The sooner you report these schemes, the faster the authorities can track them down and prosecute.






NGA's Map Was Wrong By 8 Miles


The January grounding of the minesweeper USS Guardian in a Philippine coral reef was caused in large part by a National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) map that was, quite simply, wrong by eight nautical miles, Breaking Defense has learned.


 "It really was just a terrible fluke that caused the error," NGA spokeswoman Christine Phillips said in a frank discussion of the incident and its aftermath. The Sulu Sea grounding prompted NGA to order an agency-wide review of the nautical charts detailing the entire surface of the earth covered by the oceans. Also, NGA and the Navy have convened a team of maritime experts to take "an exhaustive look to make sure we are as sound as we can be," Phillips told me.


 The error boiled down to someone at NGA failing to update a map with corrected data after cartographers discovered an inaccuracy.

Here's what happened. "Prior to 2008, charts in that area included many 'phantom' reefs and islands legacies of old maps and data. In response to customer requests to remove these, NGA used LANDSAT-derived commercial imagery to update the charts," Phillips said, noting the commercial data was the only information source available for that area. The Landsat data was wrong.


 "In 2011, we obtained survey data that corrected this error, and two of the three charts that included it were updated. Procedures in effect at the time should have caused the third to be fixed, as well." But one map, the Coastal Scale - was not updated due to "human error." And that was the map the Guardian's crew relied on. [Source : Breaking Defense, courtesy of Don Jones]





The HONOR ROLL of MINEMAN AWARDS page has been revised. If you know of any Mineman who were decorated and not listed, or listed incorrectly, please notify me so they may be properly recognized and listed.






New Fleet of Destroyers and Manning Rules




 The Department of Defense is proud to announce a new fleet of Class 69 destroyers. Having initially named the first two ships USS Daring and USS Dauntless, the Naming Committee has, after intensive pressure from Congress, renamed them USS Cautious and USS Prudent. The next five ships are to be USS Empathy, USS Circumspect, USS Nervous, USS Timorous and USS Apologist. Costing $850 million each they comply with the very latest employment, equality, health and safety and human rights laws. The U.S. Navy fully expects any future enemy to be decent and to comply with the same high standards of our behavior.


 The viewer-friendly exhaust stacks will be painted in the "gay pride" colors. Live ammunition has been replaced with paintballs to reduce the risk of anyone getting hurt and to cut down on the number of compensation claims.  Stress counselors and lawyers will be on board, as will a union representative for each of the trades on board.


 The crew will be 50% men and 50% women and will contain the correct balance of race, gender, sexuality and disability. Sailors will only work a maximum of 40 hours per week per union rules on working hours, time and a half for overtime and double time on Sundays and holidays, even in wartime.

 All the vessels are equipped with a maternity ward and a gay disco. Tobacco will be banned throughout the ship, but recreational cannabis will be allowed in wardrooms and messes.

 Saluting of officers is now considered elitist and has been replaced by "Hi Sailor".


 All information on notice boards will be in 37 different languages. Crew members will now have permission to grow beards and/or mustaches. This applies equally to female crew.


 A majority of Senators have suggested a "non-specific" flag because the current "Stars and Stripes" may offend some Nations during port calls.

 The newly re-named USS Cautious will be commissioned shortly by a Muslim cleric from the Washington, DC Mosque who will detonate a small explosive device near the hull. As she will gently slide into the sea the Marines Corp Band will play "In the Navy" by the Village People. Her first deployment will be to escort boatloads of illegal immigrants to ports on the East coast.


The President said, "Our ships reflect the very latest in modern thinking and they will always be able to comply with any new legislation from the U.N."  His final words were, "I told you there would be "CHANGE!"


Thanks to Toby Horn for this tongue-in-cheek projection of a future navy.





If you don't know the history of mining and minemen, YOU NEED THIS BOOK!

A complete history from the earliest use of mines to present. Biographies of your shipmates. Every mineman needs to have this book in their library.  $49.99.





Memorabilia--WE GOT IT!  Like this belt buckle, for instance. There probably won't be any more of these due to the inappropriate logo. Get 'em now before they are just a memory. This and other stuff on the SHIP'S STORE PAGE.