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    Re: Sabres and Sextants
    From: Sam Chan
    Date: 2003 Jan 29, 21:05 -0800

    CN is not dead. At least as far as what is taught at the USNA. Check out
    this site: http://prodevweb.prodev.usna.edu/SeaNav/seanav.htm
    According to the course syllabus, NN204 and NS401, officers are taught CN
    and it is still a part of the days work on the bridge.
    For those interested in the mo board, check out this site:
    http://www.upenn.edu/nrotc/ns302/notes.html Go to lesson number 10 and
    download the mobrd program.
    I can't locate it right now but I recall some NROTC web sites have an
    example of the captain's standing orders for a DDG and celestial work is
    part of it.
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Robert Eno" 
    Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 8:22 PM
    Subject: Re: Sabres and Sextants
    > Jared,
    > You missed the tongue and cheek aspect of my response.
    > I recognize that there ain't no going back. GPS, microchips and
    > turbo-charged illudium Q-39 space modulators are with us forever. The
    > sextant will go the way of the wagon wheel.
    > Nevertheless, I am one of those die hard hold outs. I still believe that
    > placing sole reliance on something as delicate as electronics -- and in a
    > hostile environment -- is less than prudent. Having operated in many
    > environments myself, I can tell you that before or during a crisis
    > situation, the first thing to crap out is the electronics.
    > Anyway the point of my bringing up the bayonet is this:
    > Firearms have replaced swords as the weapon of the ground soldier and
    > rightly so. The military above all, has to maintain an technological edge.
    > There is just too much at state to let something like that slip. But long
    > ago, someone in the system rightly recognized that when the infantryman
    > out of ammunition, his rifle becomes, at worst, useless and at best, an
    > shaped club. So this smart fellow figured, well why not affix something
    > sharp-edged to it to give him an added advantage until he can get some
    > bullets?  As you can see, we've come full circle; sort of. From sword, to
    > rifle to modified spear.
    > Bruce Bauer, author of the sextant handbook wrote this to the introduction
    > to the second edition:
    > "...Off the Atlantic coast recently or radar, loran, and single sideband
    > radio all were smoked in one brilliant instant by a lightening stroke
    > near our vessel -- not even a hit..."
    > I am not suggesting eschewing GPS. Indeed, I use it a lot where I live and
    > am damn glad to have it, but if it craps out on me at -40 in a storm and
    > 100 miles from home, I know that I can get back to safety because I also
    > know how to navigate without electronics.
    > Now I must toddle off. I have to finish building that wagon wheel and I've
    > been meaning to polish my sword for some time now....
    > cheers,
    > Robert
    > P.S. I hope never to see that mushroom cloud that you spoke of.
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: Jared Sherman 
    > To: 
    > Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 10:06 PM
    > Subject: Re: Sabres and Sextants
    > > Yes Robert, but I spoke of cavalry sabres not bayonets. There are
    > why the Army issue one and not the other.
    > > The Navy, the USCG, and the Air Force do not normally issue bayonets
    > either. Even the Army does not issue them to MP's for routine duty.
    > are issued only to those men, in those forces, who are expected to *use*
    > them.
    > >
    > > Dissembling on the analogy does not affect the basis of it: Celestial
    > is a largely obsolete tool and that is why the services are not "issuing"
    > it. The only people who can afford to carry it are those aboard ships and
    > places--where they can carry lighter smaller tools that perform better and
    > faster with less training. Inertial navigation can now be done with IC
    > that fit in a matchbox without removing the matches. That's plenty of
    > for GPS.
    > >
    > > And if you see a bright mushroom cloud on the horizon, you won't need
    > GPS or your sextant. Just turn your back to it, and go the other way.
    > >

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