Navy Warships have a secondary mission, or at least they used to, back in the Cold War. The mission was called "Naval Gunfire Support", or "NGFS." That is using the guns on a warship to act as artillery support for the Marines ashore. The Navy used to train at doing NGFS at the gunnery range at Vieques, until the Navy was forced to close the range. The only USN ships in the Atlantic Fleet that never made a visit to Vieques were those without guns or airplanes.
The Navy also did procedures training, where data lines would be hooked up to a van alongside the pier. The crews in the Combat Information Center and in Gun Plot would then run drills, receiving radio and radar inputs from the instructors running the simulation in the van. Other than not rolling as the ship turned and not shuddering as the guns fired, the simulations were pretty much what one would see when shooting for real.
Except, that is, for the targets that were called in. Besides the standard ones of "trucks/troops/tanks in open", one of the goofy targets used was "babies in open." It was just sick humor, and the shells called for, unsurprisingly, would be Willy Peter, also known as White Phosphorous. Which is nasty stuff (look it up).
That's the reason for the name of this blog.
The majority of the posts will be a look back to the Cold War Navy.
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