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Navy clarifies the difference between RUMINT, scuttlebutt and gouge



Sailors of the USS Bulkeley (DDG-84) understand what kind of information they're spreading, since a new Navy instruction was issued today. (Source: U.S. Navy)

WASHINGTON — The Chief of Naval Operations today published a long-awaited instruction clarifying the difference between rumor intelligence, scuttlebutt and gouge.

OPNAV Instruction 9710894.666, Understanding and Disseminating RUMINT, Scuttlebutt and Gouge, was released to wide acclaim by previously-confused seamen and uncomprehending junior officers. The instruction is designed to improve performance and morale by helping the Navy develop a Common Gouge Picture, instead of its current standard of allowing E-4s and O-2s fleet-wide to dictate what disconnected crap the CNO is reading in his office every morning.  

According to the instruction, RUMINT is “single-source information strictly intended for the purpose of sowing discontent, or for allowing that one seaman to act like she’s totally in the know.”

As an example, the instruction cites RUMINT spread by a yeoman in Yemen that a frigate would be stationed at the North Pole since all the ice melted there. This caused well-meaning sailors worldwide to request transfers in order to help save drowning polar bears plus take nude selfies at the top of the world.

Scuttlebutt, on the other hand, is now codified as “RUMINT that has been restated by three or more sailors, one of whom must be at least a petty officer first class.” The recent scuttlebutt that the 2019 JADE HELM exercise would overthrow the Trump administration is considered an excellent example, while also serving as an example of “gouge,” officials said.

Gouge, the instruction says, is considered to be “scuttlebutt that is fact, such as news that the Pacific Fleet was known to be in trouble as early as 2015. In order to become gouge, scuttlebutt must be restated by at least one chief petty officer, three lieutenant commanders, and one captain who isn’t connected to the Fat Leonard scandal and who never crashed a ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

With this instruction, sailors now know that the RUMINT about sending SEALs to fight California forest fires with overwhelming firepower is false. They also know that the scuttlebutt about sailors being allowed to wear man-buns is true. And finally, everyone in the nation’s sea service has the gouge about the Pacific Fleet, so try not to get transferred there for your own safety.

At press time, the Navy’s Office of Information said it would soon publish an instruction clarifying the difference between a captain’s mast, an old-school keelhauling, and being assigned to Norfolk, Va.


Newly promoted admiral buys $500 million warship at 32% interest



WASHINGTON—Moments after counseling a junior sailor about an ill-informed car purchase, newly promoted Rear Adm. (lower half) Richard Limping purchased a $500 million warship with a 32 percent interest rate loan.

Sources say Limping made the purchase after he found out what a “sweet hookup” he could get from Gary at the ship dealership.

“Gary from Gary’s Discount Ship Emporium out in town said it was an awesome deal, and that I had to buy now or somebody else would beat me to it,” said Limping. “He even hooked me up with a great loan from some guy behind a bulletproof window in the strip mall by the tattoo parlor.”

“Gary seemed like a really good guy. I know he wouldn’t rip me off.”

Junior admirals are well known for making extravagant warship purchases, especially with the extra cash they saved up as budget season comes around. Some will even throw on a few accessories like F-35 fighter aircraft or “sick” antisubmarine subwoofers to impress the boys.

“Yeah, these boot lower halves like to have a little fun flaunting their whips when it comes time to justify their budgets to Congress,” said outgoing Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson. “I’m not saying I agree with it. But you’ve gotta let them have a little fun and learn these lessons on fiscal responsibility on their own. Plus, some of these ships are straight fire.”

At press time, Limping had married a defense industry lobbyist he met at the strip club, only to have her divorce him and steal his Common Access Card (CAC) two weeks later.

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Sources say downed UAV penetrated deep into Iranian airspace



UAV penis Iran

BAHRAIN, Bahraq—Sources close to the Pentagon say a U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle shot down by Iran on Thursday had penetrated deep into Iranian airspace.

While the U.S. Navy claims the RQ-4A Global Hawk was in international airspace, multiple sources with knowledge of the incident say the UAV had thrust so far into the country that “Iran’s sensors must have been going crazy.”

“The UAV initially was just limping around over international waters, but something caught its operator’s eye and turned him on,” said one source who asked to remain anonymous. “From that point, the aircraft kept pushing deeper and deeper into their territory with no Iranian response. We couldn’t tell if they noticed us in there or not.”

Leaked maps of the drone’s flight path show it taking off from a top secret location near Oman commonly known as “the grundle.” It then warmed up by making two large loops over the Gulf of Oman and Arabian peninsula before taking a hard turn north into a soft gap in Iran’s missile defenses.

In comments that the Pentagon later retracted out of embarrassment, some officials in the immediate aftermath of the attack claimed that they “didn’t mean to finish [the flight] inside of Iran so early” but that they were currently “executing Plan B” to address the situation.

This is not the first time U.S. aircraft have ventured into Iranian airspace. Smaller drones have been teasing and probing around the country’s borders for decades.

“Usually the Iranians don’t mind us getting a little action around the Strait of Hormuz. But this time we may have gone a little too far a little too fast, and we skipped the foreplay,” said the source. “Next time I think we’ll need to slow things down a bit and really listen to their needs.”

While Iran maintains that the UAV definitely intruded into its airspace, the country claims, “It wasn’t as deep in there as the U.S. would like to think it was.”

“While the drone did violate our sovereign airspace near the Gulf of Oman, we barely even noticed it was in there, and we definitely received no pleasure from it,” said Iranian Gen. Hossein Salami. “We were forced to shoot it down after it repeatedly ignored our warnings to pull out.”

At press time, Iran had not returned the U.S.’s phone calls to discuss the incident.

BYOBooyah contributed reporting.

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RQ-4A shot down by Iran was ‘just days from retirement’



PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, Md.—The U.S. Navy RQ-4A surveillance drone shot down on Thursday was “just days away from retirement,” according to several people with knowledge of the matter.

The move comes as tensions between Iran and the United States, which have had strained relations for decades, escalated. Iran reportedly attempted to shoot down another U.S. drone last month, and claimed the surveillance drone shot down this week had entered Iranian airspace. The U.S. insists the drone was in international skies.

Sources close to the Global Hawk drone, who went by the call sign “Black Sparrow,” said it was nearing the end of a successful, 20-year Air Force career and hoped to retire to Texas in the coming months.

“Sparrow was on his last mission before heading home and retiring,” said one of the drone’s colleagues, an MQ-8 Fire Scout. The Reaper’s SAR/MTI synthetic aperture radar  pod gently quivered as he spoke. “The poor guy had two little sUAS drones back home he was looking forward to spending more time with. He’ll never get to fly around with them again.”

Navy officials confirmed that “Black Sparrow” was on his 18th overseas deployment, including tours in Iraq and South Korea. After 20 years in service, he would have been eligible for a full military pension as of  23 June, just three days after he was shot down.

“I’ve seen a lot of terrible things at war,” said the drone’s squadron commander, Cdr. Rick “Rock” Brett. “I’ve blown up, you know, whole families with killer robots. But this is by far the most tragic thing I have seen. The idea of Sparrow not getting to enjoy his pension really makes me view my own career in a different light.”

“Drones are people, too.”

Several other drones said the strike has had a significant impact on morale of U.S. robots flying near Iran.

“The President literally said that he didn’t care that a drone got shot down because there were no humans on board,” one drone told Duffel Blog, speaking on condition of anonymity so he could operate in restricted airspace in the National Capital Region undetected. “You can’t fucking tell me that we should be okay with that. This drone, on his last fucking time out, get’s shot down, and we just sit here.”

The drone’s AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, slung under its wings, began flashing red as the drone spoke.

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Humble SEAL drives ’93 white Ford Bronco to war crimes trial



SAN DIEGO—Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward Gallagher, a quiet professional accused of murdering a prisoner of war and other innocents, humbly rode in his friend’s old white Ford Bronco to his trial this week.

The Bronco, which was purchased at an auction years ago in southern California, is indicative of Gallagher’s simple lifestyle and mild temperament, and is in no way symbolic of another historic case involving a similar sociopathic murderer and botched prosecution.

Because of all the commotion around the trial, Gallagher and the white Bronco also received a complementary police escort of several squad cars and helicopters through southern California all the way to the courtroom.

The U.S. Navy, which has recently been plagued by controversy including SEALs killing a defenseless Special Forces soldier and then rationalizing that murder to his widow before trying to get in bed with her, are happy to have an unsung hero like Gallagher as its new public image.

Attorney Tim Parlatore believes that spending time in the courtroom is “a glove that doesn’t fit” for the SEAL community.

“These guys are just ready to put all the court room drama behind them and get back to murdering,”  Parlatore said.

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Navy says its not the size of the fleet, but how you use it



NORFOLK, Va.—The Navy says the size of its fleet is just fine, thank you, and to stop counting its ships and start thinking about the service’s skill in using them. The Navy raised the subject in rolling out its new slogan, “Presence, not size, matters.”

The U.S. Navy currently has about 290 ships, significantly smaller than China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), with over 300 vessels, plus several hundred more in the China Coast Guard. But Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson recently said that the best measure of sea power employment effectiveness—”How you use it!” in Richardson’s phrasing.

Naval analyst Norm Marpol called this viewpoint an overcompensation for inadequacies as a result of “fleet envy.”

Commander Ward Burke, a staff officer with DESRON 9, disagrees with the naysayers. “Sure, the PLAN has a lot of width and depth,” Burke says. “But they’re unskilled in maneuvering and seamanship. They can’t get the job done if they can’t use their tools.”

“You can’t just slap your dick—er, your ship—on the water and expect it to perform,” he added.

The Russian Navy, with about 300 ships, also has a lot of “big, powerful submarines capable of penetrating our most sensitive regions,” Burke said. But the Russian Navy is also known for the limited duration of its operations. “What good is the size of their fleet if they have no time on station?” asked Burke.

Burke said that “a lot of people” know that smaller-than-average navies, properly applied over the right maritime terrain, are often more effective than large fleets.

Some naval theorists disagree with Richardson’s concept.

“You know who says that the size of a navy doesn’t matter?” asks Professor Sherri Higgins of the RAND Corporation, “Countries that have small navies, that’s who.” “The best approach is to combine a large fleet with effective and sensitive employment. As usual the Navy is missing the boat.”

Higgins added, “France thought size didn’t matter until Britain’s Admiral Nelson handed them their asses at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Nelson had only one eye and one working arm, but he had a fleet of big ships and he knew how to use them, if you know what I mean and I think you do.”

Nevertheless, the Navy appears unwilling to bend. Burke concluded, “We’re totally satisfied with our smaller than average fleet. We really are. Like, really.”

Reports that senior Navy leaders are attending self-affirmation therapy groups behind the O club right now are unconfirmed.

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Pentagon relieved to discover tankers in Gulf Of Oman just collided with US Navy warships



WASHINGTON — Officials at the Pentagon breathed a collective sigh of relief this week after receiving word that the tankers damaged Thursday in the Gulf of Oman were actually accidental collisions with US Navy warships.

According to reports from 7th Fleet, both tankers were damaged nearly simultaneously by the USS Boxer (LHD 4) and the USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) in completely unrelated yet fortuitous acts of gross negligence.

“We are happy to announce that reports of Iranian attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman were merely incompetence and dereliction of duty on the part of the U.S. Navy and not the harbinger of future wars to come,” said 7th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Phillip G. Sawyer.

While a win for US foreign policy, it is a major blow for the the U.S. Navy, who have been grasping at relevancy since the cancellation of 70’s sitcom “CPO Sharkey.” Everyone at the Department of the Navy, including key defense strategy analysts, had been working at a fever pitch determining the implication of Thursday’s attacks on inter-state strategic competition.

“We can take solace in the fact that they are already back to providing in-depth analysis of the battles in Game of Thrones,” said Sawyer.

Iran’s U.N. Mission also praised the announcement, calling it the most positive diplomatic action on behalf of the United States military since Iran’s seizure of two US riverine command boats in 2016.

“I commend the officers of the U.S. warships for not ‘giving up the ship’ this time,” the Iranian mission said in a statement. “Instead, they chose to errantly ram that ship into an oil tanker.”

“So brave.”

An investigation into both incidents remains ongoing, but the same senior Navy officials who appoint and ham-handedly relieve officers found guilty of misconduct are confident that the findings will result in sweeping changes to how the Navy shifts blame in future incidents.

“Disciplining only senior officers is not consistent with other branches of the military, who usually vilify more junior personnel first,” said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. “I will ensure the results change that behavior in the future.”

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Chief of Naval Operations lauds return to tradition of ‘false flag’ operations



A U.S. merchant vessel sunk by a Nazi submarine. Or was it?

THE PENTAGON — Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson applauded the Navy’s return to what he called “its storied tradition of false flag operations” in a speech on Friday, several attendees confirmed.

In remarks to senior Navy leaders, Richardson noted that the American fleet has been blaming provocations at sea on outsiders since Yankee sailors dressed up like Indians at the Boston Tea Party in 1773.

“Even before we had declared independence,” he noted, “we were already doing our best to pretend other people started our first war.” Richardson also noted half a dozen times that such operations would help the Navy during “great power competition” and in the “high end fight,” as official Navy guidance on speeches given by senior officers require.

“False flag operations” refer to operations intended to give the impression that another actor launched the initial attack. “The term false flag literally refers to pirate ships hauling up an English or Spanish flag before they attacked,” noted Bill Roberts, a naval warfare and vexillology expert at the Center for New American Security Studies (CNASS). “It let them get close to merchant vessels, before unleashing a deadly broadside of artillery and seizing them.”

Attendees of the speech say Richardson emphasized the timeliness of the Navy’s return to false flag activity. “As we face increasing maritime gray zone threats, including Chinese maritime militias, the Russians in the Black Sea, and North Korean smuggling, it is imperative that we learn how to deceive our enemies so they cannot deceive us,” he told his audience of admirals, captains and senior civilians.

The admiral did not provide any specifics about what false flag operations the Navy had resumed.

According to Roberts, in the last several decades the CIA had increasingly taken over responsibility for all false flag operations.

“Ever since the DoD botched Operation Northwoods during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the ’60s, which was a plan to blame Fidel for CIA-orchestrated terrorist attacks, the boys at Langley have liked to keep uniform personnel far away from this kind of stuff,” he noted.

“I can’t think of a single occasion since Vietnam where military personnel have faked a terrorist attack. It’s great the Navy’s getting back into it.”

Richardson’s remarks came as American leaders sought to assign blame for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, which they claim were likely a covert action by Iran.

When asked for more information by reporters, Pentagon officials said the American public would just have to “trust us.”

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Iran attacks US warships in the Gulf of Tonkin



HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam—Iran has staged a failed hit-and-run attack on U.S. warships, the Navy has reported.

According to Pentagon officials, vessels secretly controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy (IRGCN) fired several missiles at the U.S. destroyers USS Maddox (DD-731) and USS Turner Joy (DD-951) yesterday while they cruised in the Gulf of Tonkin, just off the coast of Vietnam. The missiles failed to strike either warship.

The move came as a shock to Seventh Fleet, which expected Iran to attack U.S. forces on the other side of the world in the Persian Gulf.

“This shows just how devious the Ayatollahs are,” said a senior U.S. official who spoke anonymously so he would not be tweet-fired, referring to Iran’s religious leaders, who control the country. “Clearly, the Persians realize that we have achieved local superiority in the Middle East and are pursuing asymmetric responses.”

Earlier this month, the U.S. sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf to deter what U.S. officials claimed was an impending Iranian attack. More recently, officials claimed the Iranian threat had faded.

The vessels that staged the attack are traditional Iranian sailing vessels, called dhows, and did not have military markings. The dhows departed immediately after the incident and have not been located since, according to several Pentagon officials.

“This is some real gray zone stuff,” an admiral said. “We were expecting renewed great-power competition, or at least a near-peer fight.”

A sailor familiar with the matter said that it was not unusual for sailing vessels to be hard to track on the high seas. Conditions in the Gulf of Tonkin, where a squall shortly after the attacks reduced visibility to brought six-foot waves, also likely contributed to the Iranian escape. Beyond difficult detection conditions, the sailor said the Maddox‘s long-range air-search radar and the Turner Joy‘s radar were inoperative.

“We’re just happy we didn’t hit a freighter,” the sailor said.

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