Swim Kick Sets You Won’t Hate

In life, there are always things we despise, but that must endure in order to be better at what we do like. Swim kicks are one of those things. Often the bane of many a swimmer’s existence, it is nonetheless recommended, mandatory even, that we complete them in order to get stronger, faster, and better. That said, I stumbled across this blog post that makes swim kicks—bearable? I don’t know, they’re better than usual at least. Check it out!

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Kansas City cited as rail and road hub that could help it win federal smart-city dollars

Despite the sheer enormity of all the data that’s available in the modern day world, so much of it is irrelevant; thus inspiring inaccurate misperceptions that lead innovation down the wrong path. What we really need is not more data, but more accurate data. This fantastic article does a fantastic job of delving into this issue. Not to mention, it’s wonderfully written, concise, and engaging. Enjoy!

The Pentagon On Guard as Technology Evolves

It seems like nothing is impossible when it comes to technology in this day an age. As the years pass, technology continues to evolve with more and more advanced techniques. Many have celebrated the freedom they experience when it comes to being able to reaching out to people in the farthest corners of the Earth. For agencies like the State Department and the Defense Department, it brings up nothing but worry and fear. Threats to their networks from robots, viruses, and advanced cyber spying techniques are a constant battle.

In an attempt to cope with the advancement of technology, three agencies of the government have created an innovative summit, which took place on March 2nd. The three agencies – the U.S. Agency for International Development, the State Department, and the Defense Department – joined together to strategize the best ways to combat and solve worldwide security problems.

One government agency that has sought help in combating cyber attacks is the Pentagon. The defense technology they have and was only accessible to the defense industry has now become easily obtainable by hackers. Frank Kendall, the Undersecretary of Defense, spoke at the summit about one of the consequences of constant hacker attacks on their top secret military information. Paired up with Ashton Carter, the Defense Secretary, the two men have reached out to anyone who could help – including the commercial industry. After a trip to Silicon Valley earlier this year, Carter has started to structure a board of 12 members to help come up with defense technology against the attacks and how to improve the Pentagon’s technology.

At the panel Kendall stated that the Pentagon plans to spend $35 billion dollars over the course of five years into their budget for cybersecurity. This will help to accelerate various projects and products to help fight against the barrage of threats. It’s not a shock to anyone that the threats come from both inside and outside the Pentagon, yet they can’t figure out a way to measure them. In fact, it seems to be impossible.

Touching upon this, Kendall was quoted saying; “We don’t know how vulnerable we are in some cases. It is constantly moving. We have made great strides in DoD to protect ourselves. But there are lots of unknowns. An adversary can plant a weapon and leave it there indefinitely. That’s the sort of problem we’re dealing with.”

Asking for help from the commercial industry has resulted with mixed feelings from various parties. Kendall feels that a lack of resources has hindered the defense industry, but asking for help will allow them to grow. Hopefully with the amount of money flowing into their budget, the Pentagon will be able to protect themselves and learn to defend before the strike even happens.

Navy Veteran Brad Snyder Shatters Two American Records

Recently Brad Snyder, a United States Navy veteran, shattered records at the ECAC Swimming Championships. Brad broke his own record in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 53.12. He first set the record back in 2014 with a time of 55.59. It was followed by a new American record in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 1:03. The previous record had been 8 seconds longer.

Mr. Snyder sets two new records within his S11 categories. S11 is a category used within the Paralympics. Anyone who swims under this category denotes that they are severely visually impaired or blind. Swimmers are required to wear black out goggles and receive a tap on the shoulder as they approach the wall.

Snyder is an inspiration for his fellow Paralympic athletes, and to all Americans. After graduating from the Naval Academy in 2006, he proudly served his country as an explosive ordnance disposal officer. It was in 2011 during a tour in Afghanistan that Brad lost his eyesight after stepping on an IED while trying to help the victims of a separate bombing. As a true hero, Brad was in the water less than a year later competing for a spot on the US Paralympic Team. Fate granted him that wish and he quickly became one of the world’s fastest blind swimmers, taking home two gold medals and a silver.

The competition was held on the first weekend of the month at the US Naval Academy, which is located in Annapolis, Maryland. ECAC stands for the Eastern College Athletic Competition and includes team such as the University of Virginia, Army West Point, and the Naval Academy. For the first time in competition the ECAC launched it’s Inclusive Sports Initiative. It allows Paralympic athletes to score at meets and it blew expectations out of the water. Brad was not the only one who set records – in fact, there were 8 others.

Speaking to Swimming World, Brad released a statement showcasing his pride and approval of the inclusion initiative;  “I’m immensely proud and excited about the ECAC inclusion initiative! I was honored to compete in the exhibition and I’m looking forward to seeing how the “disability” category is integrated next year. It is my most sincere hope that this inclusion initiative will serve as a model for other conferences to follow in the future. I think this is a win-win for all those involved.”

I salute Brad for his service to our country and for being a great American!

The History of Navy vs Army Football Game

One the most ardent rivalries in college football is the Army Black Knights vs Navy Midshipmen. Every year, the game draws more viewers as it’s seen as one of the greatest game of the season. As an alumni of the Naval Academy, Navy football holds a significant place in my heart. The big game is something that I look forward to watching every fall.  In 2015, the game played in Philadelphia, PA at the Lincoln Financial Field on December 12th with Navy winning 21 to 17. As a result of this win, Navy has been on a 14 year winning streak, the longest they have ever had.

The first game between the two great military rivals took place in 1890. Except for four years, the game has been held at various locations throughout the country. Considered neutral territory, New York City, Baltimore, and Philadelphia are often the host cities for the game due to their location between the two campuses. They haven’t been the only cities to hold the big game over the years. Chicago, Pasadena, and East Rutherford have all been hosts as well.

Only six games over the 125 years have taken place on the school’s campuses. While there are various reasons for this, the major reason is due to the stadium’s capacity. Due to the demand of the current students, alumni, civilians, and other military personnel to see such a historic game, it was logical to move to a bigger venue. Army’s Michie Stadium holds 38,000 people while Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium holds 34,000 people. It was in 1899, the first neutral territory game occurred. Since then, the only two games to play at one of the school’s stadium occurred in 1942 and 1943 due to World War II’s travel ban.

At first the games played the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the day the rest of the college teams ended their season. In recent years, it is now played the second Saturday of December as the last game of the season for both teams. One reason the date moved to the second weekend in December is due to the conference championship games for the other teams, which are always held on the first weekend of the month.

Besides winning the game this year, the Navy won the Commander in Chief trophy for the 15th time – a competition between the three branches of the military’s football teams. As of 2016, Navy leads against Army with a record of 60-49-7.

Go Navy, beat Army!

THE BIG GREEN GIANT – THE NAVY LAUNCHES THE FIRST GREEN FLEET

In mid January, the Navy launched the “Great Green Fleet” out of San Diego. The Fleet represents the Navy and Marine Corps’ first strides into adopting alternative energy sources to enhance military operations. The energy-saving capability will help to combat the over usage of the Earth’s natural resources and protect the economic welfare of rural America. The launch of the fleet is a milestone in the military not relying on foreign sources for their energy.

Tom Vilsack, the Navy’s Agriculture Secretary, was joined by Navy Secretary, Ray Mabus, at the launch of the Navy’s latest achievement. Mabus was appointed the Secretary of the Navy back in 2009, and set an aggressive goal in his first years in office. He stated that by 2020 the Navy would be using over 50 percent of alternative sources to fuel their energy. During his speech in San Diego, he spoke about how America plans to lower the risk of American’s lives when it comes to obtaining fossil fuels.

“At the height of the fighting in Afghanistan we were losing one Marine, killed or wounded, for every 50 convoys of fuels brought in. That’s way too high of a price to pay.”

recycle-24023_960_720As the world’s greatest consumer of energy, the Defense Department has been pursing ways to cut their carbon footprint down. The Navy, who uses more than a third of the energy, have been forerunners in ending their ties with foreign oils as part of a national security plan.

Early plans to switch to biofuels were met with outrage when the Pentagon bought biofuels at $26 per gallon back in 2012. As a result of the high price tag, lawmakers passed a law that would restrict the purchase of biofuels, unless the price was on par with the price of petroleum. Now, the purchase of 77 million gallons of a 10 percent biofuel mix cost $2.05 a gallon. At 13 times less than 2012 only three and half years later, it’s a victory for Mabus. As a result of the price drop, other contracts are in the works to fuel ships in other places.

The biofuel is a mix made from waste beef fat that was provided by Midwestern farmers and ranchers. By purchasing from rural America, it will help create a sustainable economy for the 15% of Americans who reside there. Besides providing new energy sources for the fleet, the small towns of the Midwest provide around 40% of the military. Mabus stressed that land used for farming will not used in the creation of biofuel. Besides working towards eliminating the carbon footprint made by the Navy, the usage of biofuel should add thousands of jobs in a hard pressed area.

Using the biofuel will not change how the ships operate either. With rigid Navy stipulations in place, there will be no modifications to the ship transports, equipment, procedures or engines. In the next four years, the Navy is aiming to move from a 90-10 mix to a 50-50 mix.

Pearl Harbor Plane Uncovered

Admiral-Mark-Heinrich-navy-plane1

A day that will live on in infamy has somehow found a way to reveal yet another lost artifact from the past. As the 74th anniversary of the attack of Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor approaches new photos have surfaced showing a US Navy seaplane that was lost during the battle. Archaeologists from NOAA and the University of Hawaii released the images only a few hours ago and said the plane was sunk in the opening minutes of the attack.

Admiral-Mark-Heinrich-navy-planeNOAA and the University of Hawaii uncovered information that before the attack on Pearl Harbor, aircrafts that were part of the Japanese Imperial Navy bombed the nearby U.S. Naval Air Station on the eastern coast of Oahu. About 27 Catalina PBY, also known as “flying boats” were destroyed and sunk.

 

This past June students from the University of Hawaii dove into the waters of Kāne‛ohe Bay to photograph the wreckage. The students were a part of the Marine Option Program and conducted a full archaeological survey of the Bay’s floor. Hans Van Tilburg is a longtime maritime archaeologist with the NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and was responsible for the efforts to photograph the planes.

 

Van Tilburg said the plane is protected by the Sunken Military Craft Act of 2004 which allows the plane, currently resting in three large pieces 30 feet below the surface, to remain in its place. Van Tilburg went on to say, “The new images and site plan help tell the story of a largely forgotten casualty of the attack,” Van Tilburg said, in the press release. “The sunken PBY plane is a very important reminder of the ‘Day of Infamy,’ just like the USS Arizona and USS Utah. They are all direct casualties of December 7.”

June Cleghorn, senior archaeologist at Marine Corps Base Hawaii was also quoted on the new photos and the plane wreckage, “This sunken flying boat is a window into the events of the attack, a moment in time that reshaped the Pacific region. Understanding this site sheds light on the mystery of the lost PBYs and honors the legacy of the Navy and Marine Corps Base in Hawaii.”

 

Thank you for reading!

Admiral Mark Heinrich