ToDaZeD CA ????????????

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  1. Clearly this was meant to send a message to our enemies. I’m just a little surprised it wasn’t launched off the coast of Kentucky.

    Comment by Nomen Nescio — November 9, 2015 @ 1:27 pm

  2. The exclusion zone is routine for missile and satellite launches.
    Ask me how I know. [official bio available with SASE]

    Anyone old enough to have seen the dozens of routine night-time Minuteman and MX launches from Vandenberg back in the ’60/’70/’80s will have recognized that imagery immediately.

    As the missile arcs into the west, you’re looking almost up the tailpipe. As it reaches higher altitude, the atmospheric pressure drops, so the exhaust plume spreads out into a beautiful corona. It’s friggin’ awesome!

    Or not.
    Or mebbe more not.

    Those whose personal history does not include the Cold War will be freaked by the novelty.
    Those whose history does include the Cold War should also be freaked by the memory.
    What’s old is new again.
    Duck and cover, my friends, duck and cover.

    Comment by DougM (quiet, keeps to himself, kind of a loner, nobody thought he’d do anything like this) — November 9, 2015 @ 1:30 pm

  3. ^1 (me), okay just reread the original and saw the missile was launched from the Kentucky. So my joke, already tepidly lame, is now officially stupid. Sue me.

    Comment by Nomen Nescio — November 9, 2015 @ 1:53 pm

  4. ^ I don’t get it why the joke is stupid*, so I guess I’m dumber than it is.

    In any case, you were probably reading from Obama’s Map of the 57 States. There’s been a lot of confusion caused by that map over the last eight years.

    * I thought it was funny, which likely shows something we don’t want to see.

    Comment by Ironic in Denver — November 9, 2015 @ 2:11 pm

  5. Nomen ^1
    Heck, I thought it was a pretty good joke.
    I was gonna make one about Kentucky windage, but then thought better of it.

    Comment by DougM (quiet, keeps to himself, kind of a loner, nobody thought he’d do anything like this) — November 9, 2015 @ 2:14 pm

  6. A quick review of the post:

    Knowing that a Trident was going to be tested would give prying eyes — sailors on a Russian submarine in the Pacific, for example — the ability to gather valuable information,

    If I were in the know — or paying any attention at all — I’d have figured *something* was up hearing that traffic for a major airport near a major port and many major military bases was being re-routed….

    But of course, Russian and Chinese intelligence agents don’t know anything, so they wouldn’t have noticed Something Was Up* until it was too late….

    …. And as Doug’s maybe more not link points out, they way they did it maximized attention…
    … So “classified” might have been sort of just a formality here?

    Of course, the real reason was to get the NorKs and Persians to choke on their own spit and drop dead with envy? Or Maybe Captain Zero, having just had his lunch money taken by pretty much every bad actor on the planet, wanted to reassure himself that he can still get it up?*

    “The missile was not armed.”

    No nukes flying around loose then? Or was it the one they rear-ended lately, and it was too damaged to put on the missile? (“Hey, Jim, you’re going to have to shoot off that scheduled but not routine Trident without a nuke, kuz we’ve crunched one already, and can’t spare any more.”)

    * Pun intended.

    Comment by Ironic in Denver — November 9, 2015 @ 2:42 pm

  7. Doug’s or not link: According to the December 2008 BBC Radio 4 documentary The Human Button, there were four known options given to the Prime Minister to include in the [British Boomer dooms' day instruction] letters…

    ….I guess British P.M.s aren’t what they used to be, or there’d be a fifth option: reinvade Ireland and fight on from there. Just kidding. The Irish would probably be on the other side of whatever conked the Brits anyway, for contrariness if nothing else.

    Comment by Ironic in Denver — November 9, 2015 @ 3:03 pm

  8. ^ i.e. “neutral”

    Re: Trident
    Nuclear deterrence is like concealed-carry — y’gotta put in a little time at the range, and it doesn’t hurt if the neighbors see see you puttin’ your gun case and ammo can in the trunk once in a while. Toss-in your biggest long-gun case, too, just for effect.

    Comment by DougM (quiet, keeps to himself, kind of a loner, nobody thought he’d do anything like this) — November 9, 2015 @ 4:27 pm

  9. Nothing to see here. Just secure datalines deep in the ocean, and subs, and trawlers. Out here in the desert, rogue orbitals are just beer cans.

    It’s the damned tropospheric balloons. Always a cover story.

    Fish in a barrel. Or unfortunate monkeys. Probably aliens, just saying.

    Comment by neal — November 9, 2015 @ 4:29 pm

  10. ^ Here, this should help.

    Comment by DougM (quiet, keeps to himself, kind of a loner, nobody thought he’d do anything like this) — November 9, 2015 @ 4:43 pm

  11. Wohooo! The Navy launched a second one.

    (What? Yeah, I wonder if they painted the Ayatollah’s name on the nose.)

    Comment by DougM (quiet, keeps to himself, kind of a loner, nobody thought he’d do anything like this) — November 9, 2015 @ 4:53 pm

  12. Spectacular photos from the San Francisco area here.

    Comment by DougM (quiet, keeps to himself, kind of a loner, nobody thought he’d do anything like this) — November 9, 2015 @ 5:19 pm

  13. Loved watching the result of those launches from Vandenberg when I was a kid living in Reseda. Really beautiful.
    Rocketdyne had a facility in Chatsworth that tested rocket engines and you could hear them for miles.

    Comment by Dave — November 9, 2015 @ 5:29 pm

  14. ^^

    The Navy … would not … disclose where the exercise was actually taking place.

    Uh…. wouldn’t most folks guess that the exercise was taking place at the site of the missile launches?

    Comment by Ironic in Denver — November 9, 2015 @ 5:38 pm

  15. ^^^^ I wonder if they painted the Ayatollah’s name on the nose.

    I was hoping it was headed to Iraq and that the “dummy” warhead was designed to release a flurry of notes in Farsi that said “Greetings from the Great Satan,” but of course my government has disappointed me once again.

    Comment by Ironic in Denver — November 9, 2015 @ 5:48 pm

  16. Doug 10: …..so, Tridents are fueled with swamp gas? Good to know.

    Comment by Ironic in Denver — November 9, 2015 @ 5:50 pm

  17. IinD ^14
    Yes. Yes, they would, but a trajectory has two ends.
    In this case the other end is Kwajalein (I assume).
    You know, the guys who shag those flies and the ABM guys.

    I suspect that the secrecy was, to a large extent, tied to minimizing the ability of those pesky “trawlers” to monitor the warhead payload impacts. You know, “Launch control, we have confirmation that the trawler captain is now in the head, and he took his crossword-puzzle book.”

    Comment by DougM (quiet, keeps to himself, kind of a loner, nobody thought he’d do anything like this) — November 9, 2015 @ 6:06 pm

  18. Dunno, never seen a Trident II launch. Doesn’t look like a normal exhaust plume to me, though.

    Comment by mojo — November 9, 2015 @ 8:10 pm

  19. Shoulda launched them near the Spratly islands.
    The Chicom response would be more spectacular than the, you know, I mean, like, the Kalifornians’ fuggin panic, fuggin, like, you know, and the Trident plumes put together.

    Comment by dick, not quite dead white guy — November 9, 2015 @ 8:35 pm

  20. DougM, back in ’84-’87 I did a little flying (or more correctly, riding around in an aircraft) in support of Trident and Peacekeeper ops from a Naval Air station south of Vandenberg. (Best Navy duty ever!)

    I’ve also played “javelin catcher” on the other end of such operations. Never saw any night launches, but seeing the arrival of the “bus” at the other end was truly scary.

    And as regards those “trawlers,” I swear they must have been “Info” addees on the message traffic; they’d be gone for months, but as soon as test ops for Harpoon or Tommyhatchet cranked up, there they’d be, big as life and right square in the way of the tests.

    Comment by rickn8or — November 9, 2015 @ 10:28 pm

  21. ^ Good how that “classified” thing works, eh?

    Comment by Ironic in Denver — November 10, 2015 @ 8:57 am

  22. rickn8or ^20
    Well, heck. You’re the expert on this stuff, then.
    I don’t have any connection with ballistic missiles (weapons), just satellite launchers.

    Night launches are unforgettable. Lookin’ up the poop chute of a rocket engine is visually awesome, and the noise is incredible.

    [lights pipe, leans back]
    Yep, I ‘member this here one time. Ohhh, it was way back in ought-’73 or so, an’ I was on near-fallback duty at Vandenberg’s SLC-4W (that there’s where they stage ‘em emergency an’ security fellers, about a mile north of the launch pad). Wellp, we was all stompin’ around in the cold night Vandy-fog, prayin’ for that there booster rocket to clear the beach, ’cause then it would be the Coast Guard’s dadburned problem. Dayum, if that there rocket warn’t the loudest danged thing in the whole danged county! She rose, a roarin’ an’ a barkin’ into the fog. Couldn’t tell which a-way she was goin’, ’cause’a the dang fog. Then, as she pitched over onto ‘er southbound trajectory, ‘em engines began to turn straight t’ords us. Nope, not afeared to admit that it sounded like that bigass flyin’ tank o’ poisonous fuel an’ acid was a-comin’ right down at us. We couldn’t see a thing, ‘cept each others biiig round eyes. Reckon we all thought, “Heck, no use a-runnin’ nor crawlin’ un’er the fire truck.”

    (What? Uh, no, we weren’t all killed.)

    Comment by DougM (quiet, keeps to himself, kind of a loner, nobody thought he’d do anything like this) — November 10, 2015 @ 9:13 am

  23. I got to watch a Minuteman III launch from Vberg back in the late 70′s. Real exciting for about 30-45 seconds. Noisy as hell.

    Them suckers move.

    Comment by mojo — November 10, 2015 @ 9:38 am

  24. ^^ And as regards those “trawlers,” I swear they must have been “Info” addees on the message traffic; they’d be gone for months, but as soon as test ops for Harpoon or Tommyhatchet cranked up, there they’d be, big as life and right square in the way of the tests.

    And that was long before Hitlery set up her special rules-are-for-little-people server system.

    Comment by Lord of the Fleas — November 10, 2015 @ 9:41 am

  25. Mojo, I was amazed to find out that we could stand outside at Point Mugu, and see a daylight launch of a Peacekeeper at Vandenberg.

    And that was long before Hitlery set up her special rules-are-for-little-people server system.

    And after that shitheel John Walker stopped selling crypto codes to the Russians.

    Comment by rickn8or — November 10, 2015 @ 9:53 am

  26. ^ Who needs people like Walker when you’ve got people like H->? She’s a cheap date (if you go in the back door instead of giving millions to her “charity”) and easy to hack…. not to mention being a hack.

    Comment by Ironic in Denver — November 10, 2015 @ 10:01 am

  27. Not to mention that all the radars and instruments are in that neighborhood. If they launched off the coast of Kentucky or the Spratleys, they couldn’t see it to get any data.

    I miss all the THAAD launches south of us (at White Sands) back when I got up and out the door before the sun peeked over the mountains. Such pretty, tangled threads of exhaust plumes in the sky.

    Comment by mech — November 10, 2015 @ 10:04 am

  28. Gots my DuckCover ready!

    Comment by Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause* — November 10, 2015 @ 10:30 am

  29. mech 27: If they launched off the … Spratleys, they couldn’t see it to get any data.

    Why not just cut a package deal with the Russians? We’ll let them back into the Middle East in exchange for their trawler data plus a complete and underrated copy of all H->’s emails?

    ….. oh, wait, that ship may have sailed. Well, what else would Putin want?

    Comment by Ironic in Denver — November 10, 2015 @ 11:01 am

  30. ^ I typed “unredacted” nor “underrated” but was once again ambushed by the freaking predictive typing feature that thinks it knows better than I do. It must have been designed by a Leftist.

    Comment by Ironic in Denver — November 10, 2015 @ 12:55 pm

  31. As the missile arcs into the west, you’re looking almost up the tailpipe. As it reaches higher altitude, the atmospheric pressure drops, so the exhaust plume spreads out into a beautiful corona. It’s friggin’ awesome!

    Yes, I’ve seen that at night while enroute from Moffet to SoCal to play with U.S. submarines. It WAS awesome!

    Comment by rickn8or — November 10, 2015 @ 6:43 pm

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