Tonight: a walk-back from the school board association on its claim of “terror” threats from concerned parents; and a military campaign being prepared in Myanmar/Burma.
Parents as “domestic terrorists”; or, Not So Much. Possibly the most striking thing about this is that it was only yesterday (Thursday, 21 October) that I was in a rather extended exchange on Twitter on this topic. (This Ready Room edition is actually going up on 23 October, but was started Friday evening.)
Greetings, readers. This is the inaugural edition of the TOC Ready Room, which will be an open thread and drop-by briefing space in the spirit of the ready rooms used by military aviators.
My experience being with U.S. Navy ready rooms, the feature image is of a ready room on the carrier USS Constellation (CV64) used by a squadron from Carrier Air Wing 2. The image is tagged as being from March 2003, when Constellation was on her final operational deployment supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. (The CVW-2 patch is visible on one of the flight jackets, incidentally.) Constellation was decommissioned only a few months later, in August 2003.
On a carrier, the ready room is used for planning and squadron briefings, but also serves as a gathering space subject to availability. It’s the center of squadron life during underway periods and deployment.
Media reported a U.S. Navy statement Thursday that USS Connecticut (SSN-22), a nuclear-powered attack submarine, had suffered an underwater collision on 2 October 2021 while operating in the South China Sea, and was headed to Guam for inspection. No sailors were killed in the collision; 11 were injured, but the Navy hasn’t indicated the injuries are life-threatening.
The statement, quoted at the U.S. Naval Institute website, is as follows:
“The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN-22) struck an object while submerged on the afternoon of Oct. 2, while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region. The safety of the crew remains the Navy’s top priority. There are no life-threatening injuries,” Capt. Bill Clinton told USNI News.
“The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition. USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational. The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed. The U.S. Navy has not requested assistance. The incident will be investigated.”
The Ropucha-class tank landing ship Tsesar Kunikov (BDK-158) was heading from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, conducting a southbound transit of the Turkish Straits. (As documented at the excellent Bosphorus Naval News blog, BDK-158 has been back and forth through the Turkish Straits several times over the last few months. The ship was most recently off Syria in November, and returned to the Black Sea on 25 November before Friday’s southbound transit.)
The war in Syria is metastasizing, as long predicted by this author and others. It’s perilously close to a direct confrontation of Turkey and Russia in combat — a situation that didn’t start with the warplane shootdown today, but rather seems to have culminated in it. The ground picture in the area of the shootdown is the key.
What we know for sure today is that Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 Fencer attack aircraft, which the Turks say was violating their air space. The Turks report that an F-16 fighter pair took out the Russian aircraft.
It also appears that Russian helicopters sent on a rescue mission for the Su-24 air crew were destroyed. If a video posted by Syrian rebels (below) is valid – assuming it shows something the rebels pulled off today (24 November) – it looks like the rebels used TOW missiles to attack the Russian helos while they were on the ground at the Su-24 crash site.