31 December 2006

Looking Ahead to '07

Some thoughts and wishes on the cusp of the New Year:

  • Blog direction: Have taken the downtime during the holiday interregnum to map out some new directions. There are ample commentaries re. the war in Iraq and the ongoing GWOT (or GWAT if one prefers). Adding my 2-pence worth would be but another pebble in that ocean while there are other issues that need addressing. This is not to relegate the conflict to 2nd class status and there is genuine concern in these parts about the direction and will of uniformed and civilian leadership. Nevertheless, that endeavor continues to sap efforts to build forces that enable our ability to act on a number of other geo-political fronts. It is to these theaters that interest and focus of these writings will turn. To wit -- several regional powers with messianic leaders at the helm look to assert themselves at our and our allies', partners' and friends' expense; North Korea, Iran and in our own backyard, Venezuela. Another regional player looks to breakout and become a global military power and an old foe is on the move again. We will examine political and economic decisions, force elements, strategy and tactics and implications for the US. For example, next week we meet the DF-31, MaRVs, open ocean surveillance and the challenges it poses.

  • Features to remain. Flightdeck Fridays and TINS Tuesdays will remain. Lots of interesting items for each are in the offing for the coming year -- heaven knows, one only need look to the Navy's experiments in the early 40's for the weird or downright bizzare to find material for Flightdeck Fridays. Additionally, the AEW story will continue, picking up with Cadillac II, the land-based leg of the Navy's AEW effort. Reflections too will continue to include the next installment in the resurrection of BuNo 160992 as well as some adventures on JFK, fun with missiles and little blue bombs (can a VAW squadron really win a bombing derby?) and chasing bad guys and battling Mom Nature in some of the most remote areas of this hemisphere.

  • Service and remembrance. Of course we will continue to support Project VALOUR-IT (bless you FbL!) and look forward to working closely with Curt and Team Navy for the '07 fundraiser. We also will be a continuing participant in the 2996 Project's 9/11 remembrance and possible similar effort for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And finally, some callouts/wishes for old/new friends and acquaintances from across the blogsphere:
  • For Skippy-san: Here's hoping the coming year provides the clarity, direction and venue you seek;
  • For Curt: What else but to build on Team Navy's success, for we all know who the real winners are;
  • For FbL: That the Fates or Powers That Be repay in full the extraordinary kindness and heart she has poured into supporting our men and women in uniform with a job that takes full advantage of her talents and nature;
  • For Mike: Success in the new curriculum as well as wisdom and discernment in deciding his future, near and long-term;
  • For Pinch: Continued healing (how's the shoulder coming?);
  • For Chap: Success in his new field of endeavor;
  • For Lex: Continued close association/partnership with Calliope; and finally
  • For all who have graced these pages with their presence and thoughts this year, my heartfelt thanks and hope that (1) we have a chance to meet and swap bald-faced lies at this spring's Milblogger's conference and (2) that you will have a safe and prosperous year to come!
Happy New Year y'all !

Steeljaw Scribe