Bean Bag Drop

U.S. Navy image by Mass Communication Professional 1st Class Brian P. Caracci

The U.S. Navy, anticipating a long run when a higher-tech enemy could examine its electronic communications, is heading again to a hack-evidence suggests of sending messages in between ships: bean luggage. Weighted bags with messages inside are passed between ships at sea by helicopters.

In a potential conflict with a tech-savvy opponent, the U.S. army could find even its most sophisticated, protected communications penetrated by the enemy. Safe electronic messaging, voice communications, video conferencing, and even chats could be intercepted and decrypted for its intelligence value. This could give enemy forces an unimaginable benefit, seemingly predicting the moves and steps of the fleets at sea with uncanny precision.

Bean Bag Drop
The “bean bag” employed in the exercise.

U.S. Navy photograph by Mass Conversation Expert 1st Course Brian P. Caracci

Last week, a MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter shipped a information from the commander of an amphibious squadron to the captain of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer. The helicopter didn’t even land to provide it, dropping it from a hovering posture before traveling away. The information was contained in a bean bag dropped on the Boxer’s flight deck.

The bean bag procedure, as Military.com clarifies it, is approximately eight a long time old. The procedure dates back again to April 1942, when a SBD Dauntless dive bomber assigned to the USS Organization was traveling a scouting mission forward of the USS Hornet. Hornet, about to launch sixteen B-25 Mitchell bombers on a raid versus Japan, was traveling in serious secrecy to preserve the aspect of surprise. The Dauntless pilot encountered a Japanese civilian ship and, fearing he had been spotted, dropped a information in a bean bag on the deck of Hornet. You can see some archival footage of the party right here.

Doolittle Raid on Tokyo,B-25 Leaves USS Hornet
A U.S. Military B-25 bomber departs from the USS Hornet sure for Japan, April 1942.

BettmannGetty Photos

The bean bag used in the Boxer workout was even modeled right after the a single used in 1942.

“I commenced with the first measurements of the bean bag utilized on the USS Company in 1942,” Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 1st Class Carlos R. Freireizurieta advised Army.com, “but also weighed [this one] down for an correct fall.”

Bean baggage aren’t the only old tech the Navy is bringing back again. In 2016, NPR documented that the services was reintroducing sextants as a navigational tool for officers. The U.S. armed expert services are greatly reliant on the satellite-based mostly World Positioning Process for navigation, producing jamming or spoofing GPS alerts a major priority for adversaries. If they’re prosperous, the military services have to be equipped to navigate from Level A to Point B the previous fashioned way—by sextant if important.


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