Monday, March 2, 2015

Ankara Testing New Greek Government (GOOGLE Translation)

Turkey helps recent naive to realize ...

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Any illusions about peaceful coexistence with unaccommodating neighbor shall end in the most violent manner, as Ankara took care practice to signal the in Greece naive about how "work" international relations, where over of smiles and polite gestures diplomats, or beliefs of some of the policies that they want to "feel good" and negotiations can bring peace in the Aegean, there is competition for economic resource, the distribution of which is always done with the "law" of the powerful.
As it became known from the exclusive publication of Nikos Study in the newspaper " Ethnos Sunday", the Turkish government NOTAM issued on 27/2, binding until the end of time a large area of the Aegean Sea, stretching from Skyros to Limnos for 10 whole months to be used to perform exercises and firing range, violating international law and Greek sovereign rights.
In essence Ankara pursues this action to "cut in half" of the Aegean, while "making" that wishes to pass, not only violating Greek airspace, but even Greek territory! Rightly so, the foreign ministry sources valued the Turkish energy as apparent escalation and as one of the most serious challenges of Turkey.
The Government, after consulting the Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras and the Foreign Minister, Kotzia Nick, made ​​the strongest representations to the EU, NATO, the ICAO and the UN . In the evening, yesterday, the negative answer given and in Ankara and even in high tones, as reported diplomatic sources.
As noted from Athens, Turkey:
> Binds entirely a vast range of Greek FIR, where only Greece has the right to issue a NOTAM.
> Usually Turkey bound areas for a short time, but now the time horizon until 31-12- 2015 is unprecedented.
> The development of the firing range divides the northern from the southern Aegean
> The development decisively affect airways g-33 and N -130 creating problems or risks in aviation.
> The final score line, not only goes through international airspace and international waters, but also of national airspace and national waters, but mainly includes soil of Lemnos . Practically this means a threat of war, because if it is not a clerical Turkish threat is especially great. Why theoretically part of the territory, southeast of Lemnos, can be used as a firing range for the Turkish aircraft.
> Flagrantly violates international law .
The new Turkish challenge comes just 24 hours after requirement Ankara on Italian ship Explora to request permission to perform fiber optic immersion project south of Crete in the Greek continental shelf.

Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Issues Request For Proposal For Fast Response Cutters 33-58

Fast Response Cutter WPC1111
The fast response cutter William Trump, shown above, entered service at its home port of Key West, Florida, Jan. 24, 2015. Each FRC is 154 feet long, can travel at speeds of at least 28 knots, and has a range of 2,950 nautical miles and endurance for five days. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

February 27, 2015 - The Coast Guard issued a request for proposal for the second phase of the Sentinel-class fast response cutter procurement contract today. The contract will include options for the acquisition of up to 26 FRCs on a firm fixed price basis with an economic price adjustment.

Upon request, the Coast Guard will make the reprocurement data licensing package from the phase I FRC contract available to interested offerors. The RDLP includes design data, drawings, materials list, and testing and technical information needed to submit a proposal.

Written proposals are due June 5, 2015.

The Coast Guard is acquiring a total of 58 FRCs to replace its 1980s-era 110-foot patrol boats, with each ship featuring upgrades such as enhanced response time, improved seakeeping and new command and control equipment. With the most recent order of FRCs 31 and 32 today, the Coast Guard has ordered 32 FRCs to date. Twelve FRCs have been delivered to the Coast Guard. Six FRCs are in service in Miami; five are in service in Key West, Florida, and one is awaiting commissioning in Key West. Eleven additional FRCs are under production.

The RFP can be found in full here.

China officially puts AIS online and real time data to be public

The information service platform for Automatic Identification System (AIS) has officially put online in China recently and data from its coastal and inland waters in real time will be made available to the public.
The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is an automatic tracking system, consisting of land-based station and vessel-based station for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging dynamic shipping data such as position, course, and speed and static information like ship's size, cargo kinds with other nearby ships.The platform will also include weather and tidal information, as well as basic port details and integrated land and sea data. According to the MSA, the AIS integrated service of vessel traffic in real time can cover all of coastal and inland waters in China and some of the waters in the world.
According to the requirement of international convention and relevant standard, the MSA has built 402 land-based AIS stations in China, covering the whole country's coastal and inland river high-grade waterways and relevant waters.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Indian Navy Concludes Its Annual Exercise

File photo

February 27, 2015 - The Indian Navy concluded its annual Theatre Level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX) today. This month long war drill encompassed all dimensions of maritime warfare, and witnessed participation of around 50 ships and submarines, along with over 70 aircraft from the three Naval Commands. The exercise also saw participation of units from the India Air Force and the Indian Coast Guard. The area of operations spanned the Arabian Sea and Northern Indian Ocean and was aimed at validating the Indian Navy’s Concept of Operations. During TROPEX-2015, the Navy had deployed two Carrier Task Forces simultaneously at sea, with both Viraat and Vikramaditya operating with their integral flights in an operational scenario. This assumes significance as it makes the Indian Navy, besides the US Navy, capable of deploying more than one Carrier Task Force at sea, at present.
TROPEX also saw extensive deployment of the nuclear submarine Chakra, the recently inducted P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft, the recently commissioned guided missile destroyer Kolkata and Anti Submarine Warfare corvette Kamorta. The exercise provided the right opportunity for the Navy to integrate these acquisitions into its war-fighting concepts. TROPEX-15 also served to reinforce the Indian Navy’s offensive capabilities across all dimensions, including Network Centric Operations, wherein, the indigenous satellite Rukmani was extensively utilised. The Navy also underscored its Op Logistics capability to effectively sustain Fleet Operations for extended periods at large distances.
The exercise reinforced the Navy’s ability to serve in different roles with relative ease, when it exercised a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) mission, as part of the build up to the main phase of the exercise. This exercise was conducted against the backdrop of the Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands having been struck by a super cyclone. The Indian Navy has the inherent capacity and capability to reach outlying islands and coastal areas, with relief and rehabilitation material, and remains continuously prepared for this task.
Overall, the exercise reiterated the Navy’s preparedness and capability to meet various roles mandated for it, in support of national objectives.

The RAN Fleet Air Arm - Ashore in Vietnam

The RAN Fleet Air Arm - Ashore in Vietnam

By John Perryman 

A No 9 Squadron, UH-1D Iroquois helicopter, trailing purple smoke during an early morning flight over Nui Dat in South Vietnam. (photo: Unknown)
A No 9 Squadron, UH-1D Iroquois helicopter, trailing purple smoke during an early morning flight over Nui Dat in South Vietnam.

The Australian International Airshow 2015 pays tribute to Anzac and the heroes of military aviation.  It is the major theme of the event and as such will be the first significant observance of the Gallipoli campaign in its centenary year.  The airshow features an emotional and moving tribute to our aviators from Gallipoli to the present day. During the Australian International Airshow, Navy Daily will highlight the significant contribution of naval aviators from the First World War to the present day.
On 30 April 1975, a North Vietnamese, Soviet supplied, T-54 tank smashed through the gates of the presidential palace in South Vietnam's capital, Saigon. This act symbolically brought 25 years of civil war and the existence of the Republic of Vietnam to an end. Two years previously on 11 January 1973 the Governor- General of Australia had formally declared Australia's 10 year participation in the war over, following the withdrawal of the bulk of our military forces.
The ubiquitous Bell UH1 Iroquois helicopter is still arguably the most instantly recognisable symbol of the Vietnam War. Images of the 'helicopter war' feature prominently in books, films and documentaries; indeed, a granite etched image of an Iroquois extracting troops forms the centrepiece of Australia's national Vietnam Memorial located on Anzac Parade in Canberra.
Not so widely known though is the role that was played by personnel of the Royal Australian Navy's Fleet Air Arm (FAA), in a war that depended heavily on tactical air movement of combat troops, supplies and equipment in what were eventually called air-mobile operations.
On 14 July 1967, the Minister for Defence, Mr Allen Fairhall announced that eight RAN helicopter pilots and supporting staff would join a United States (US) Army helicopter unit in South Vietnam to provide support for allied forces, including the 1st Australian Task Force in Phuoc Tuy province. The new flight, designated the Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight Vietnam (RANHFV), was to be integrated with the US Army 135th Assault Helicopter Company (AHC) flying Iroquois helicopters in both the utility and gun-ship configurations. It was also announced that RAN FAA crews would supplement the Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF's) 9 Squadron based at Vung Tau.
The first contingent of pilots, observers, naval aircrewmen and support staff was assigned to 723 Squadron at Naval Air Station Nowra in July 1967, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Neil Ralph, RAN. The flight consisted of eight pilots, four observers, four aircrewmen, twenty-four technical sailors and six support staff (drawn variously from cooks, stewards, writers, medical staff and storemen).
Following an eight-week period of training the first contingent arrived in Vietnam on 16 October 1967 and was quickly integrated with the 330 personnel of the 135th AHC. The RAN members took their place in the 135th according to rank and seniority with Ralph as second-in-command as well as officer-in-charge of the RANHFV. As a result of this unique relationship between the RAN and the US Army, the unit was officially designated 'EMU', for Experimental Military Unit. This was fitting, given that the EMU is a native Australian bird, yet amusing at the same time because of the Emu's inability to fly. The unit later adopted the unofficial motto 'get the bloody job done', which was to personify their attitude to air-mobile operations.
The 135th AHC was based at Vung Tau and comprised two troop lift platoons, each with eleven UH-1Ds, a gunship platoon with eight UH-1Cs, a maintenance platoon with a single UH-1D and a headquarters platoon. Six of the gunships were equipped with mini guns, rockets and machine guns. The remaining two were fitted with the XM-5 40mm grenade-launcher system, rockets and machine guns.
The role of 135th AHC was to provide tactical air movement of combat troops, supplies and equipment in air-mobile operations. This included augmentation of army medical services, search and rescue and the provision of a command and control aircraft capability. A typical day's flying would involve one UH1-H command and control helicopter, four UH1-C gunships and ten troop lift aircraft (the latter being known as 'slicks').
The mission would normally be advised the previous day along with the details of the ground element (usually a battalion) that the EMU would be supporting. The air mission commander would attend a joint briefing and provide advice relating to air movement of troops, use of gunships and fuel requirements, and at the same time receive information from the ground force commander on when and where troops were to be inserted.
The mission would begin early the following day with the launch of the command and control aircraft at least half an hour before the rest of the flight. The aircraft would proceed to the location of the battalion commander (usually a field location) where last minute details would be checked and pick-up zones (PZ) and landing zones (LZ) identified. Once identified, an artillery preparation would be fired into the perimeters of the LZ for a 15- minute period before the arrival of the main force.

During an unidentified operation, a soldier on the ground guides a Bell UH-1B Iroquois helicopter into a landing zone in a clearing.

The command and control aircraft would then direct the insertion from above the scene of action. The gunships were usually the first directed into the area to place further 'fire' around the LZ, and once the area was declared clear, the slicks would be ordered into a landing point marked by the command and control helicopter with smoke.
As the slicks entered the LZ they too added their own suppression fire using M60 machine guns on final approach. On landing, the suppression fire ceased and the troops would quickly disembark before the slicks took off and returned to the PZ for their next load. It would normally take about five lifts to move an entire battalion with each of the ten slicks carrying six South Vietnamese, US or Australian soldiers. On completion of the insertion of troops into their objective, the slicks would then return to a reaction site where they awaited further instructions. It was not long before the EMU became fully operational, flying its first mission of this type on 3 November 1967. By the end of November the company had flown 3182 hours in support of the US Army 9th Infantry Division and the 1st Australian Task Force based at Nui Dat, Phuoc Tuy province.
Several major operations followed in support of a combined allied sweep against the 5th Viet Cong Division and it was during one of these operations that EMU helicopters were first hit by enemy fire. The first aircraft to be shot down was a gunship piloted by Lieutenant A.A. Casadio, RAN, on 19 November 1967. After being forced down during an attack on Viet Cong positions in the Rung Sat Special Zone near Saigon, the enemy immediately attacked the helicopter's crew. Despite their relative inexperience, control of the situation was maintained by setting up a defensive perimeter using the helicopter's door-mounted M60 machine guns. The crew was later rescued by another EMU helicopter, but not before they had successfully driven off an unknown number of Viet Cong, killing two. This was a far cry from the carrier-borne flight operations for which the naval aviators had initially been trained.
In December 1967, the 135th AHC was relocated to Camp Blackhorse five miles south of Xuan Loc, in Long Khanh province. In February 1968, the North Vietnamese launched the Tet offensive and Camp Blackhorse came under enemy attack by mortar. Skirmishes on the boundaries became frequent and the enemy mining of the road from Long Binh to Baria, via Xuan Loc disrupted supply convoys causing shortages of aircraft spare parts.
In response to the Tet offensive, operations intensified with EMU aircraft frequently coming under enemy fire and being forced down. The RANHFV suffered its first casualty during a mission to lift out troops of the 18th Army of the Republic of Vietnam near Xuan Loc when Lieutenant Commander P.J. Vickers, RAN, was fatally wounded while piloting the lead aircraft. He was to be the first of five naval aviators killed in action during the flight's four-year deployment to Vietnam.
At the same time, the eight RAN pilots attached to 9 Squadron RAAF were also providing troop-lift capacity for the 1st Australian Task Force, and re-supplying troops in the field with food, ammunition, clean clothing and stores.
An equally important role was aerial fire support, and to give 9 Squadron a greater capacity for direct support of Army ground operations, specially modified UH-1H helicopters were introduced early in 1969. Dubbed 'Bushrangers', these heavily armed aircraft operated as a light fire team of two, escorting slicks in combat assaults, providing suppression fire on enemy bunkers, and protecting medical evacuation aircraft. They also supported slicks that inserted and extracted Australian Special Air Service patrols in enemy occupied jungle areas. The RAN detachment to 9 Squadron played a significant part in enabling it to meet its army support role in Phuoc Tuy Province during 1968 and into 1969, until the last of its pilots returned home in May of that year.

An Army toast to aircrew of the Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight after their last operation in South Vietnam

The RANHFV ceased operations on 8 June 1971. During its four-year deployment to Vietnam, over 200 RAN FAA personnel had rotated though the RANHFV in four contingents. Over this period they were continuously engaged in offensive operations, earning not only the pilots but also the maintenance and support staff of the flight, a reputation second to none.
The gallantry and distinguished service of RANHFV members was recognised by the award of three Member of the British Empire medals, eight Distinguished Service Crosses, five Distinguished Flying Crosses (DFCs), one British Empire Medal, twenty-four Mentions-in-Dispatches and numerous Vietnamese and US decorations. 723 Squadron, the RANHFV's parent unit, was awarded the battle honour 'Vietnam 1967-71' on 22 December 1972. The eight-man detachment to 9 Squadron RAAF was also recognised with the award of a DFC and three Mentions-in- Dispatches.
The flexibility demonstrated by FAA personnel in Vietnam, in adapting to offensive helicopter operations in the field in both a joint and coalition force environment, is unique in RAN history. This was best summarised by Captain Andy Craig, RAN (Rtd.), who flew with both the EMU and the RAN detachment to 9 Squadron RAAF during his time in Vietnam:
“The 135th seriously practiced the business of 'getting the bloody job done' - risks were certainly taken but… I don't think the 135th ever missed a task in my time with it. The flying was hard and challenging and, without question, the most exciting of my career".
The personnel of the FAA who flew with 9 Squadron and the 135th AHC in Vietnam remain a close knit group. In April 2002 the then Chief of the Defence Force, Admiral C.A. Barrie AC, RAN, unveiled a plaque in Bomaderry, NSW commemorating the service of the RANHFV and the 135th AHC. Reunion and remembrance ceremonies also took place in the US at Biloxi, Mississippi, on 25-26 May 2005 and at Fort Rucker, Alabama on 27 May 2005.

Upcoming Nautical Institute Events

Listed below are upcoming events. If there's a Nautical Institute event near you then why not go along and meet some like-minded souls.

CPD certificates are provided at many Nautical Institute events - please check with the event organiser.

Room 218, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF

6pm: HQS Wellington, Temple Stairs, Victoria Embankment WC2R 2PN 

7:30 pm: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Near Shindaga Tunnel, Deira Dubai

7.15pm: TBA 

5:30 pm: Port of Tyne Offices, North Shields, NE30 1LJ 

Inn at the Park, 3-4 Deemount Terrace, Aberdeen AB11 7RX 

Montreal Canada (NI members receive a £225 discount)

Hilton Hotel, Stamford, Connecticut

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore (NI members receive a 20% discount)

Inn at the Park, 3-4 Deemount Terrace, Aberdeen AB11 7RX

Room 218, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF

6:30 pm: SSMS Lecture Theatre 1

11:00 am: Feering Community Centre, Coggeshall Road, CO5 9QB, Essex

Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, Amager Boulevard 70, DK-2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark  (NI members receive £100 discount)

Marriot Inner Harbour Hotel, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Fort Mason Complex, 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, California, CA94123 

Inn at the Park, 3-4 Deemount Terrace, Aberdeen, AB11 7RX

Fleetwood Nautical Campus, FY7 8JZ

9-10 June - 5th Dynamic Positioning Asia Workshop & Conference 2015
Singapore (NI members receive a 20% discount)

Gdynia, Poland

Aberdeen, Scotland (NI members receive 15% discount) 

London, UK (NI members receive 15% discount) 

Newcastle University, UK

SUNY Maritime College, Bronx, New York

Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, Rhode Island, USA 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

DRS Technologies Nets Contract from Royal New Zealand Navy

File photo

February 26, 2015 - DRS Technologies Inc.announced today that its Canadian subsidiary will be providing tactical integrated communications systems to the New Zealand Ministry of Defense for the Royal New Zealand Navy's ANZAC-class frigates.
This subcontract was awarded to DRS Technologies Canada Ltd. in support of a communications modernization contract from Lockheed Martin Canada in September 2014.  DRS Technologies Canada Ltd. is the primary subcontractor to Lockheed Martin Canada.
The subcontract includes the provision of all internal tactical and secure voice switching systems and terminals. DRS will provide its Shipboard Integrated Communications System (SHINCOM 3100) central switching unit, helicopter audio distribution system, public address server, recorder storage units, console dual screen terminals, outdoor terminals, jackboxes and ancillaries, as well as the Avaya G450 PABX phone system.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for DRS to deliver the SHINCOM 3100 system to the Royal New Zealand Navy, which leverages the existing installed base with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Australian Navy and the United States Navy," says Steve Zuber, vice president and general manager, DRS Technologies Canada Ltd. "This program will allow these Navies to share key interoperability, technology and applications, ensuring that SHINCOM 3100 remains the premier internal communications system for years to come."
SHINCOM 3100 is the latest generation in shipboard communications switch technology which provides reliable, red/black secure tactical communications for Navy operators.
DRS Technologies will produce and deliver two shipsets, the first of which is expected to be delivered in early 2016.