To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.

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Middleurgh looks out the WindowI looked out my window this morning, and bugger me, didn't a US Navy Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser just glide past.

This is notewothy because my window is technically in The People's Republic of China and only the other week another(?) naval vessel similarly slid past. Since I hadn't seen any news about the fleet making seasonal courtesy visits I had assumed that both vessels where Chinese.... but today I checked on the Hong Kong Marine Department's Arrivals page. Buried near the bottom of the listing was a reference to the USS Lake Erie arriving at 2009/12/28 08:00 from "OPEN SEA". I feel so much better for knowing that !! even if it was 8:30am when I saw it inbound in the Lamma Channel and therfore possibly late ?

According to the Wikipedia entry The USS Lake Erie is part of the US Pacific Fleet and is based in Peal Harbour. It is the second US ship so named after the "famous" Battle of Lake Erie September 10, 1813 part of the War of 1812, between the United States of America and the British Empire which lasted from 1812 to 1815. This was at a time when the Anglo-US special relationship had a different meaning to now and and the Blair/Bush double act whould have been deemed treasonable (by both sides)

One of the "causus belli was the Chesapeake Affair (1807) . This involved the British searching for British naval deserters amongst the US crew. The US public was shocked that the Chesapeake had put up little resistance and surrendered so quickly (even if the surrender was declined), calling into question the ability of the US navy to defend the U.S. from a possible British invasion, despite its expensive and controversial frigate-building program. And the important point about this is that even 200 years ago there were issues with US defence spending and Homeland Security !!

Little did the "founding fathers" realise that in 2009 the USS LAKE ERIE the Navy's Theater Wide Ballistic Missile Defense Test Ship, the eighth TICONDEROGA class cruiser built by Bath Iron Works in Maine and the 24th Guided Missile Cruiser equipped with the Lockhead AEGIS weapons system (recenty upgraded to BMD 4.01 PA Newswire 2009/12/17) would be dropping into Hong Kong for the Xmass sales!!

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