Tag Archives: International Maritime Satire Week

Putin Announces New, Innovative Naval Policy: Build Massive Navy

International Maritime Satire Week Warning: The following is a piece of fiction intended to elicit insight through the use of satire and written by those who do not make a living being funny – so it’s not serious and very well might not be funny.

In what is being hailed as a new direction for Russian defense, President Vladimir Putin announced today that Russia is launching a massive naval construction program with the goal of developing an absolutely huge navy.  At 518 vessels in service, Putin declared the Russian Federation Navy far too small to meet Russian security needs.

Speaking at a press conference held at Admiralty Shipyard in St Petersburg, the Russian president said the proposed funding binge on the navy was an entirely novel idea and neccesary to protect the nation’s shores and foreign interests from its many enemies.

“Russia is a maritime state,” said Putin, dripping with seawater after single-handidly recovering the remains of an 18th-century shipwreck on a dive.  “It is puzzling that never before has Russia developed a large navy like we are planning.  We will add over one thousand ships to our fleet to protect our shores against foreign threats and secure our trade and ocean resources.”

“This is an unprecedented buildup of naval forces for the Russian state,” he continued, towelling off before mounting a brilliant white stallion, bare-chested.  “But it is appropriate.”

File:Project 1135M Pytlivyy 2009 G1.jpg
Two dozen heavily upgraded Krivak-class frigates, to be christened the Admiral Grigorovich-class, are on order as part of the build-up, and “a sight never before seen on the seas,” said Admiral Viktor Chirkov.

Documents released ahead of the press conference shed greater light on the details of Russia’s shipbuilding program.  The plan calls for an additional 1,114 ships to be built over the next 15 years, with hundreds of new attack submarines and surface ships.  Russia’s sea-based nuclear deterrent will also be recapitalized.  Once completed, the ships will be spread equally among the four existing fleets of the Russian Federation Navy – Baltic, Black Sea, Pacific, and Northern.

Russian government officials were quick to offer their support for the program.

“This is definately a sustainable level of naval power that our growing economy and population can support,” said Admiral Viktor Chirkov, commander-in-chief of the soon-to-be enlarged Russian Federation Navy.  “We were just sitting around befuddled, trying to figure out how we could defend our fisheries, oil, and overseas trade with only 500 ships, when the President came up with this plan to build a lot more ships.  It’s brilliant!  And it is only natural that we have a navy capable of defending these assets.  Anything less than 1,000 ships is preposterous – I can’t believe we haven’t been invaded already!”

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev offered another justification for the new policy.

“America, a continental state, is bordered by only two oceans and one gulf.  Russia faces two oceans and three seas.  If a continental state like the United States can have a huge navy, why cannot a maritime state like Russia?”

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev inspects the bridge wing of a Russian naval vessel during a fact-finding mission for the first Russian naval construction program ever.

In Washington, D.C., U.S. officials were skeptical of the Russian government’s new plans.

“There is no conceivable need for Russia to have such a large navy,” said U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert, questioning the economic rationale for the Russian government’s new shipbuilding plans.

“The Russians don’t engage in all that much trade, and what they do, they do with the countries they share land borders with, like EU members or Central Asian states.”

Greenert also questioned the novelty of the program.

“What are they talking about, ‘new policy,’?” he asked.  “The Soviet Union had a massive fleet when it collapsed just over twenty years ago.  The huge naval build-up that the Soviet Union conducted was one of the reasons its economy stagnated and communism collapsed.  Are these guys suffering collective amnesia?”

“I mean, I spent the first 15 years of my career in submarines chasing their ships around the world.  There were tons of them.”

Asked for comments, Chirkov found Greenert’s claims less than convincing.

“If we had built a huge navy, why is it not around today?  No one builds an enormous navy and then just lets it fall to pieces,” said Chirkov.  “Such claim is ridiculous.  Russia has never had a big navy.  This is an unprecedented new policy, and a reasonable size given the strength of Russia’s economy and its position of global influence.”

In a related announcement, Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov said the Ministry of Defense was investigating the creation of a fifth, mobile fleet.  “We are calling it the Ocean-Going Fleet,” Serdyukov said.  “The idea has never been studied before, and its development would truly be an innovation.  This study demonstrates President Putin’s commitment to a strong national defense.  It is an untested idea, but we are confident the Navy could execute it exceedingly well – even if we have no historical models upon which to draw lessons.”

President Deploys US 10th Fleet

International Maritime Satire Week Warning: The following is a piece of fiction intended to elicit insight through the use of satire and written by those who do not make a living being funny – so it’s not serious and very well might not be funny.

Navy 10th Fleet Sailors test out their new digital digital camoflauge uniforms for their deployment to cyberspace.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced today that the U.S. Navy’s 10th Fleet will make a groundbreaking deployment directly into cyberspace later this month.  Citing a “clear and present danger” to the nation’s cyber security, over 500 Sailors will enter the internet and confront cyber threats head on.  “We have a very real need to eliminate these threats to our national security,” said Panetta.  “Nothing less than the full commitment of our forces will be sufficient.”

New technologies will be used for the ground-breaking deployment, including an experimental laser developed by ENCOM Cyber Technologies, which will enable the Sailors direct access to cyberspace.  In a statement released by Vice Admiral Michael S. Rogers, 10th Fleet’s Commander, he stressed the importance of cooperation between the Navy and ENCOM.  “Without access to this technology our warriors would not be able to confront our enemies,” wrote Rogers.  “We thank our industry partners for their impressive developments.”

PT: A 10th Fleet Navy LT plays a game of virtual ultimate frisbee to condition himself to the rigors of cyberspace.

The deployment of 10th Fleet – expected to last six-months barring any emergent tasking – provides an exciting opportunity for the fleet’s Sailors, including port calls in cyber cafes in Estonia, apartment blocks in Russia, and a military academy in China.  But it will be a challenge and strain on family ties.  Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Second Class Kevin Flynn of Grand Forks, ND will be one of the Sailors participating in the deployment.  “I didn’t join the Navy to sit behind a desk” said Flynn, “even though I have to leave my family this is going to be an amazing few months.”

While much of the deployment’s goals are shrouded in secrecy, a DoD official who asked not to be named because she is not allowed to speak to the press did provide some details.  A specific piece of software known as the Master Control Program (MCP) is high on the list of targets due to its potential to harm highly vulnerable DoD cyber assets.

At a press conference yesterday President Obama commented briefly on the deployment.  “As Commander-in-Chief one of my most sobering duties is to ask our young men and women to go into harm’s way,” said Obama.  “But let me be clear, there is no other way to eliminate these grave threats to our freedom.”

The U.S. Navy’s 10th Fleet was reactivated in 2010 and is headquartered at Fort Meade, MD.

Mothership Tours and Skiff Rides at Somali Piracy Week

International Maritime Satire Week Warning: The following is a piece of fiction intended to elicit insight through the use of satire and written by those who do not make a living being funny – so it’s not serious and very well might not be funny.

If you go: Be sure to arrive early for a tour of a real pirate mothership at the scenic port of Hobyo, Mudug province, Somalia.

October 1st-7th will bring a special treat to the Mudug town of Hobyo in central Somalia. To mark the start of the 2012-2013 “pirate season” and revive support for a flagging business, local pirates have organized “Somali Piracy Week,” modeled on the success of the U.S. Navy’s series of Fleet Weeks throughout the United States.

“It’s going to be quite the event!” said Ayub Yusuf, a spokesman for the pirates and commander in a pirate fleet.  “Bring your whole family if you can, there will be something for everyone – skiff rides, a grappling-hook toss, and tours of a mothership.  This week will show young men what exciting opportunities and careers the field of piracy holds:  Join the pirates – see the Horn of Africa, and possibly Norfolk!”

While the pirates will spend a good deal of time sizing up potential recruits against the rigorous standards of whether they can hold an AK-47 assault rifle and not fall off the back of a fishing dhow, the week is not solely about potential recruits.  Responding to hostility towards the piracy trade from fellow Somalis, the group organizing the event under pirate financier Aden Abdirahman Ismail of the Reer-Aden subclan has sought to win over the support of locals who earlier in the year attacked another group of pirates.

“We hope to change some of the misperceptions that local citizens and clans harbor about our service,” said Yusuf.  “For example, did you know piracy was the fastest-growing job-sector in the last decade, or that our patronage helped keep unemployment below 40% in many pirate towns?  But some of the locals think we’re no more than criminals with guns,” Yusuf said as he polished his AK-47.

Local support may prove critical as 2012 is shaping up to be one of the worst on record for the pirates.  International military efforts, shore-based counter-piracy, and defensive actions taken by the ships themselves – such as convoy programs, armed guards, and ships’ physical countermeasures have all taken their toll, with only 5 successful Somali pirate attacks to date this year.

Freighter or Foreign Warship? – You be the judge! Just one of many events at Somali Piracy Week in Hobyo, Somalia from Oct 1st-7th.

Hoping to see a return to piracy’s heyday and the money it brings, some private businesses have helped sponsor the event.  Mahad Nahar’s Hobyo House of Whores, the Weli Lexus Dealership of Galmudug, and RPGs ‘R Us are among the key backers of Somali Piracy Week.  “It’s a real opportunity to show our support for our brave boys in scarves and t-shirts and remind them that if they don’t continue to make payments on their SUVs I do have the means to repossess them,” said Abdi Weli.

Local fisherman Mohamed said he wanted no part in the events, and that the presence of pirates only brought violence and vice to Hobyo.  His young son Aadan, however, said he hoped his father would relent. “I really want to try my luck in the ‘Freighter, or Foreign Warship?’ visual identification challenge.”

As part of the events the pirate mothership MV Iceberg 1 has been moved to an anchorage in the city’s port to accommodate tours.  The Panamanian-flagged MV Iceberg 1 was captured in March 2010 outside Aden, Yemen; its crew enduring over 2 grueling years of captivity.  The ship’s second engineer Francis Kasoom said, “It’s been like living a fresh hell every day without knowing whether we’ll see our loved ones again.  But I hear premiums are down on shipping insurance, so I guess piracy is beaten.”

Asked his future plans for boosting piracy’s support if Somali Piracy Week turn out a success, Yusuf said he’d like to release a movie.  “Battleship has been a real inspiration for me,” said Yusuf.  “It showed the American public in an entertaining and realistic manner how crucial it is to maintain a strong Navy in the event of a strictly maritime-based alien attack.”

Somali Piracy Week runs from Oct 1st-7th, 10am-5pm, at the Port of Hobyo, Somalia. 

International Maritime Satire Week

Jonathan Swift, author of “A Modest LCS CONOPS Proposal”

Prepare to unleash your broadsides!  In order to keep spirits from sinking under a barrage of stories over conflict and confrontations, next week will be International Maritime Satire Week here at CIMSEC.  We’ll be sharpening our wit and delivering pointed critiques of contemporary naval and maritime issues through the time-honored technique of parodic ridicule (see “A Modest Proposal”).


We’re also seeking submissions from readers and members.  So, if you’ve waited to write until you could do so in a shroud of satire, now’s your chance!  As an idea of what we’re looking for, check out The Onion or The Duffelblog and apply to the nautical world.  Shoot me or LT Matt Hipple an email if you’re interested in participating.