Saturday, February 27, 2010

Navy in Pacific Responds to Tsunami Warning

USS Dubuque

American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2010 – The Navy is taking precautionary measures in response to the Tsunami warning issued in the wake of the Feb. 27 earthquake in Chile. The measures include preparing to sortie ships and moving a ship from Naval Station Pearl Harbor and one from Naval Station San Diego.
USS Crommelin, USS Chafee, USS Chung Hoon and USS O'Kane, USNS Yukon and Sea Commando, a SEAL support vessel, will sortie from Naval Station Pearl Harbor. USS Port Royal is in a maintenance availability and cannot get underway, so it will be moved to deeper water inside the harbor.
In addition, the U.S. 3rd Fleet took precautionary measures by advising able San Diego ships to get underway and to take station in the Southern California operating area. USS Lake Champlain will join USS Pearl Harbor, USS Dubuque, USS Peleliu, and USNS Rainier, which are already at sea.
The Navy is encouraging military families in Hawaii are encouraged to call Fleet and Family Support Center in Hawaii at (808) 474-1999 or to check Commander Navy Region Hawaii Facebook page to be kept appraised of latest updates. Updates also available on the U.S. Navy Facebook page.

Navy pulls ships from Pearl Harbor ahead of tsunami

27 Feb 2010 20:58:49 GMT

Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy is pulling six ships out of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on Saturday ahead of a tsunami generated by Chile's massive earthquake.
Lt. Nathan Christensen, a Navy spokesman, said another warship was being moved out of the naval base in San Diego as a precaution.
The Pearl Harbor naval base is the headquarters of U.S. Pacific Fleet, whose operational area stretches from the West Coast of the United States to the eastern shore of Africa.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a tsunami was generated that could cause waves of up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) and damage along the coasts of all the Hawaiian islands. (Reporting by Phil Stewart, editing by Anthony Boadle)

T-AKE Ship Class Grows: USNS Matthew Perry Delivered to MSC, USNS Charles Drew Launched

San Diego February 27, 2010 - The Lewis and Clark-class of dry cargo/ammunition ships - the Navy's newest class of logistics ships, also called T-AKEs – continued to grow last week with the launch of the 10th ship in the class and the delivery of the ninth to the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command.
USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10)was christened and launched during an early morning ceremony Feb. 27, at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego. Ship's sponsor Bebe Drew Price, daughter of the ship's namesake, broke the traditional bottle of champagne across the bow.
USNS Charles Drew honors Dr. Charles Drew, an American physician, regarded as the father of the blood bank, who researched and developed methods of blood collection, plasma processing and storage. Drew's research in blood storage first benefited Soldiers in the field during World War II, but has continued to save the lives millions of people worldwide. His blood bank design is still the model for modern hospitals and organizations such as the American Red Cross.
On Feb. 24, Military Sealift Command, which owns and operates the ships, accepted delivery of USNS Matthew Perry (T-AKE 9). Perry was launched and christened at NASSCO's shipyard Aug. 16, 2009, and underwent a series of tests and trials prior to delivery.
"The T-AKEs are an incredibly important asset to the Navy and we are proud to see the class continue to grow," said Capt. Jerome Hamel, commander of Sealift Logistics Command Pacific – MSC's San Diego office. "Not only do the T-AKEs support Navy warfighters by delivering stores, ammunition, fuel and spare parts, but the ships are also capable of fulfilling non-traditional missions such as the 2009 Pacific Partnership humanitarian assistance mission of USNS Richard E. Byrd."
Perry is expected to conduct missions for MSC in the fall of this year and will operate in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. Drew is scheduled for delivery to the MSC fleet later this year.
T-AKEs allow Navy ships to stay at sea, on station and combat ready, for extended periods of time. The ships are crewed by approximately 124 civil service mariners and 11 U.S. Navy Sailors, who provide supply coordination.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Academy Women to Become First Female Submariners

Washington February 26, 2010 - Female sailors will begin serving on submarines by the end of 2011, with Naval Academy graduates leading the way, Navy leaders told a Senate committee Feb. 25.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Navy is in a good position to move forward with integrating women onto submarines.
"We think we learned a lot about integrating women in the services years ago, and those lessons are relevant today," Mabus said. Those lessons, he said, include having a "critical mass" of female candidates, having senior women to serve as mentors and having submarines that don't require modifications: the SSBN ballistic missile and SSGN guided-missile subs.
Finally, Mabus said, "We have the lesson learned to make sure any questions are answered, ... and we're very open and transparent on how we'll do this. We think this is a great idea that will enhance our warfighting capabilities."
Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates notified Congress Feb. 19 of the intended change to Navy policy. Mabus had pushed for the change since taking office in May 2009. Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, endorsed the change, saying in a statement released in September 2009 that his experience commanding a mixed-gender surface-combatant ship makes him "very comfortable" integrating women into the submarine force. The Navy changed its policy to allow women to serve on combatant ships in 1993.
"We have a great plan, and we're ready to go for the first women to come aboard in late 2011," Roughead told the Senate committee Feb. 25. In a prepared statement to the committee, he said the change would enable the submarine force "to leverage the tremendous talent and potential of our female officers and enlisted personnel."
Besides the incoming officers from the academy, the first women submariners will include female supply corps officers at the department head level, Roughead said. The change will be phased in over time to include enlisted female sailors on the SSBN and SSGNs, he said. Women will be added to the Navy's SSN fast-attack submarines after necessary modifications can be determined, he said.
"This initiative has my personal attention, and I will continue to keep you informed as we integrate these highly motivated and capable officers into our submarine force," Roughead told the committee.

Fire in Sindhurakshak submarine kills sailor

February 27, 2010 01:01 IST

A sailor was killed and two others sustained injuries after fire broke out in a naval submarine at Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam [ Images ] city of Andhra Pradesh on Friday evening, police said.
However, no case has been registered in this regard, they said adding a report was awaited from the Navy officials.
When contacted, a police official attached to the Malkapuram Police in Visakhapatnam city, confirmed about the mishap and said a 24-year-old sailor died and two others suffered burn injuries, after fire broke out in Sindhurakshak submarine at the shipbuilding centre of the naval dockyard.
The police official said they were yet to receive a formal report and a complaint from the Navy to enable them to register the case.
It was still not clear how the fire broke out and how many sailors or workers were engaged in work on the submarine when the incident happened, he said.

© Copyright 2010 PTI

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Women to Serve on Subs, Gates Tells Congress

Washington February 23, 2010 - The Navy plans to repeal its ban on women serving on submarines, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has informed Congress.
Gates signed a letter Feb. 19 informing Congress of the Navy’s plan to lift the policy, which it intends to do through the phased-in assignment of women to submarines, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell confirmed today.

The secretary endorsed the plan, the brainchild of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, Morrell said.

No change can take effect until Congress has been in session for 30 days following the notification, Navy Lt. Justin Cole, a spokesman said.

Mabus, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead and other navy leaders have looked closely at the issues involved with integrating women into the submarine force, including close working conditions and accommodations, he said.

No funds will be spent to reconfigure submarines to accommodate female crew members until the Navy Department presents the phased-approach plan to Congress.

Mabus has been a strong proponent of the policy change since being confirmed to his post in May.

"I believe women should have every opportunity to serve at sea, and that includes aboard submarines," he told reporters in October. Roughead, in a statement issued in September, said his experience commanding a mixed-gender surface combatant ship makes him “very comfortable” with the idea of integrating women into the submarine force.

"I am familiar with the issues as well as the value of diverse crews,” Roughead said.

The integration of women into the submarine force increases the talent pool and therefore, overall submarine readiness, Cole said.

“We know there are capable young women in the navy and women who are interested in the Navy who have the talent and desire to succeed in the submarine force,” he said. “Enabling them to serve there is best for the submarine force and our navy.”

The policy change – and the navy’s ability to work through the issues involved -- is not without precedent, he noted. In 1993, the navy changed its policy to permit women to serve on surface combat ships.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

USNS Leroy Grumman

100222-N-4378P-044 CARIBBEAN SEA (Feb. 22, 2010) Fleet replenishment oiler USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195) approaches the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) during an underway replenishment off the coast of Haiti. Comfort temporarily left Haiti to re-supply, but will return to continue supporting Operation Unified Response. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Shannon Warner/Released)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Squadron to premiere debut episode of Modern Sniper

February 22, 2010

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Military Channel, a network from Discovery Communications, is providing local media the opportunity to screen the Coast Guard episode of Modern Sniper, a new series premiering on Military Channel, Thursday, Feb. 25 at 9 p.m. EST.
The screening will be held Tuesday at the Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) Jacksonville, located at 13520 Aerospace Way at Cecil Field beginning with an 11 a.m. lunch for all hands and the actual screening at 12 p.m.
As part of the screening, media will be invited to a tour of the unit and an opportunity to discuss HITRON's recent accomplishments and its missions.
HITRON Jacksonville is a specialized unit trained to forward deploy armed helicopters to high threat drug trafficking and high risk security areas.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Iran Holds Annual "First Destroyer Launching"

Jamaran destroyer launched in Supreme Leader’s presence

Bandar-Abbas, Hormuzgan Prov., Feb 19, IRNA – The first Iranian navy destroyer, `Jamaran’, was launched in this port city and joined the Islamic Republic Navy fleet, in the presence of the Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.
`Jamaran’ is the first destroyer built at the Islamic Republic Army's industries in the first maritime zone of the Islamic Republic Army after the Islamic Revolution's victory by Iranian experts.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station, Pacific in Wahiawa, Hawaii

100218-N-0000X-001 WAHIAWA, Hawaii (Feb. 18, 2010) The Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station, Pacific in Wahiawa, Hawaii provides telecommunication support to naval, joint and coalition forces throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Information Systems Technician Robyn Wood/Released)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Freedom Underway for Maiden Deployment

Mayport May 17, 2010 - The Navy's first littoral combat ship, USS Freedom (LCS 1), left Naval Station Mayport Feb. 16 for her maiden operational deployment to the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) areas of focus.

During the independent deployment, Freedom will participate in counter-illicit trafficking (CIT) operations off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Central and South America and the Caribbean Sea. A U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) is embarked aboard Freedom to facilitate CIT operations.

In addition, Freedom is scheduled to make theater security cooperation (TSC) port visits in Colombia, Mexico and Panama.

Rear Adm. Vic Guillory, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet, made a point to personally send off the crew of Freedom, commenting that their sacrifice and hard work in preparing the ship to deploy early is in itself worth recognizing.
"We are very excited about what LCS brings to the operational mission – not only its inherent capabilities – its sprint speed, modularity, and tremendous amount of automation…but its new tailored surface warfare mission package as well as its airborne use of force capabilities and the LEDET, will be key enablers to the CIT and TSC mission with our partner nation navies," said Guillory.
In addition to the Coast Guard LEDET, embarked aboard Freedom are Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, Detachment 2, based in Norfolk, Va., and the first tailored LCS Surface Warfare Mission Package (SUW MP), based in San Diego.

"The Freedom Gold, Aviation Detachment and our Mission Package Sailors have been working hard to see Freedom deploy and join the fleet as an operational unit," said Cmdr. Randy Garner, commanding officer of Freedom's Gold Crew. "It is a privilege to work with the quality Sailors in this program, and we are excited at the opportunities we will have in the 4th Fleet region to show off Freedom's unique capabilities."

Freedom, the first ship of the revolutionary LCS program, is a fast, agile, mission-focused ship that demonstrates the latest in naval warfighting technology. The LCS is specifically designed to defeat "anti-access" threats in shallow, coastal water regions, including quiet diesel submarines, fast surface craft and mines.

Freedom's TSC activities during the deployment will center on working closely with partner nation civil and maritime forces, building upon already strong relations and interoperability and enhancing maritime security in the region.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Navy's Fleet sails into action off the East Coast

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

   HMNZS Canterbury photo by Chris Sattler

Eleven Australian Navy warships have sailed out of Sydney Harbour to begin an intensive five-week war game stretching from Southern New South Wales to Queensland.

The Fleet Concentration Period (FCP 10) is an annual event, designed to test and hone the skills of thousands of men and women from the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The New Zealand Navy will also be on show, with the giant multirole ship HMNZS Canterbury playing a key role in the exercise.

The exercise will begin at Jervis Bay, with anti-surface warfare serials, surface gunnery against towed targets and naval gunfire support against shore batteries. It will then progress to more complex scenarios and the task group will head north to the coast off Newcastle for comprehensive anti-air warfare manoeuvres against RAAF Hawk aircraft.

Simultaneously, an amphibious ship, clearance divers and an Army combat team will conduct in-depth training within Queensland's Shoalwater Bay Training Area, culminating in an amphibious landing of soldiers from the 3rd Brigade (3 Bde). Whilst in Jervis Bay simulated mine clearance operations, utilising advanced technological equipment and Navy divers, will occur.

Commodore Training, Commodore Daryl Bates, says it will be a very busy time for the RAN.

"The training these ships will undertake over the next five weeks will be as challenging as it is varied. The aim is to make sure we are well prepared for the year ahead," Commodore Bates said.

FCP 10 is part of the RAN's ongoing training program and will increase Australian Defence Force capability to protect Australia and its interests. In addition FCP 10 will strengthen defence relationships and improve interoperability with the Royal New Zealand Navy. It is a carefully planned activity and will be conducted within strict environmental, safety and risk management constraints.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Russian Coast Guard ready to face Georgian vessels in Abkhazian waters

Moscow February 12, 2010 (RIAN) - Russian Coast Guard is ready to prevent possible tension in Abkhazian territorial waters in case of Georgian ships appear in the area, said Gen. Col. Vyacheslav Dorokhin, first deputy chief of Russian FSB Frontier Service at Thursday's press conference.
"Presence of Russian frontiersmen seems to be constraining factor preventing escalation of the conflict there and deterring use of arms", said the general.
He reminded words of Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh that the republic's armed forces and frontier service would use weapons in case of violation of Abkhazian territorial waters.
According to Mr. Dorokhin, Russian frontiersmen being a guarantor for peace and stability in the region have the mission to shut out any escalation.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

America’s Most Wanted to feature Coast Guard

This Saturday night, America’s Most Wanted will feature the men and women of the Coast Guard and highlight the service’s maritime security missions. Tune in to see AMW host John Walsh pose as a “bad guy” and try to outrun Guardians pursuing by air and by sea. Filming took place aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Dolphin and off the shore of Miami earlier this week. Click here to read more and view some photos from this week’s filming. And, don’t forget to tune into your local Fox station Saturday (February 13, 2010) at 9 pm (8 pm central time) to watch Guardians demonstrate what it takes to keep America’s borders safe.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

French Navy participates in NATO anti-submarine exercise

The Navy will participate in the 2010 edition of Exercise Noble Manta, the largest exercise anti-submarine warfare (ASW) of NATO, which takes place off Sicily from 10 to 24 February. Ten NATO countries will send 7 submarines, 18 airplanes and helicopters on board and 8 buildings surface.A this occsaion, Frigate anti-submarine Jean de Vienne and two maritime patrol aircraft Atlantic 2 will be made available by France.
Noble Manta 2010 is an exercise in tactical level, focusing on the actual activities at the unit level or groups of units. Moreover, it is intended to provide operational training for the roles and missions NATO Response Force (NRF).
Scheduled once a year, it is an exercise to test the doctrines, new operational equipment and enhance interoperability between participating forces, through joint training, familiarization with the procedures of the NATO and the opportunity to learn about the capabilities of each. Participants have the opportunity to implement the tactics and methods used in actual operations.
The exercise takes place without pre-established scenario but in the context of cycles in order to provide equal opportunities training to all participants. Submarines switch roles each round. For this 2010 edition, the objectives of Noble Manta are:
  • Action-submarine - submarine in a bit noisy
  • Non-Action-scripted with multi-dimensional threats,
  • Anti-ASM "hard" (limited to non-kinetic options to manage the threat submarine)
  • ASM-Air operations under threat anti-aircraft.


Copyright Ministry of Defense 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

HMCS Victoria - in drydock since 2003

                                                  click on image for full picture

HMCS Victoria, in drydock in Esquimalt since 2003, is scheduled finally be undocked this coming summer according to the Lookout Newspaper of CFB Esquimalt.. The refit was originally to be completed in 2005/06 but delayed by financial woes of the cash-strapped Canadian Navy. Wikipedia photo.

Joint Operations in Pacific

(PACIFIC OCEAN) – A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point C-130 crew flies over the USS Crommelin, homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the FSS Independence, a patrol boat from the Federated States of Micronesia, during a patrol in the Western Pacific Ocean, Thursday, June 25, 2009. Both the Coast Guard and Navy have shared goals of protecting the fragile ecosystems of Oceania as well as enforcing maritime laws throughout mutual areas of responsibility. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/PA3 Michael De Nyse)

Police fisheries: Floreal departed for the southern Indian Ocean

(Google Translation)

The Floreal sailed from Port-of-pebbles, its home port at the meeting Monday, February 8 for a mission of surveillance and enforcement of fisheries in exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of the French Crozet Islands, Kerguelen, Saint Paul and Amsterdam.

These three islands, located more than 3000 kilometers south of the Meeting, are grouped under the Lands French Southern and Antarctic Territories (TAAF) and administratively managed by the prefecture of TAAF. Through cooperation with the Australian Navy, two controllers Australian Fisheries joined the crew of Floreal for the mission. With them still Floreal push farther south to the Australian Heard Island and McDonald, to extend its monitoring.

The French and Australian EEZ around these lands are very rich lobster and especially toothfish. The latter is very popular in Japan and the United States. The allocation of fishing licenses at a very small number of vessels used to protect this economic resource and this ecological heritage against possible poachers. Only seven French vessels are allowed to fish in those waters. The protection of this fragile resource implies the monitoring of this area, the fisheries control and research of potential "pirate fishing".

The main difficulty of this task lies in the extent of area to cover. Indeed, the EEZ extends to a radius of about 370 km (200 nautical) around each of these lands. To fulfill its mission, Floreal has the means of edge detection (radar and optical) and its helicopter Panther . It may also rely on the information transmitted by satellites of the French and Australian navies and fishermen on the spot.

For more information, the logbook of Floreal

Monday, February 8, 2010

Coast Guard terminates LORAN-C signal

Vice Adm. Robert J. Papp gives a speech at a ceremony to mark the shutting down of the LORAN-C signal at the Navigation Center in Alexandria, Va., Monday. Both the maritime and aviation communities have used LORAN-C signals for navigation for more than 67 years. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Victoria Bonk-Meyers.

Washington February 8, 2010 - The U.S. Coast Guard terminated broadcast of the North American Long Range Navigation-C signal at 3 p.m. Monday with the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center in Alexandria, Va., coordinating the shutdown.

The LORAN system began as a radio-based navigation system during World War II under a secret program to provide the Allied forces with a reliable and accurate means of navigation at sea in any weather. Receivers for aircraft were eventually developed and the LORAN system expanded to all aspects of the military. LORAN Stations were first established in the Atlantic in 1942 and then in the Pacific. The LORAN system was then used by the Army Air Forces in the bombing campaign against the Japanese homeland. The Coast Guard retained and expanded the LORAN system at the end of the war for merchant and military use.

LORAN has, as a result of technological advancements in the last 20 years, become an antiquated system no longer required by the armed forces, the transportation sector or the nation’s security interests and is used only by a small percentage of the population. Continued use of limited resources to operate LORAN-C is no longer prudent use of taxpayer funds and is not allowed under the 2010 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act.

The decision to cease transmission of the LORAN-C signal reflects the president’s pledge to eliminate unnecessary federal programs.

Historical information on LORAN-C may be found on the Web site of the Coast Guard Historian’s Office at and on the Coast Guard Compass blog at

Notice of the termination of the signal was published in the Federal Register Jan. 7. Termination of the program was supported through the enactment of the fiscal year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill.
The notice of intention to terminate the LORAN-C signal may be viewed online at, docket number: USCG-2009-0299. The Record of Decision and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement may be viewed online under docket number: USCG-2007-28460.

More information on terminations, reductions and savings contained in the fiscal year 2010 budget, including LORAN-C, may be found at

USS Bunker Hill After Modernization

Bunker Hill after modernization. Notice the 25mm mounting port side of flight deck, the SPS-49 and platform is gone, SPQ-9B replaced MK 86 FCS and jammer added to SLQ-32.

100204-N-4774B-371 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Feb. 4, 2010) The guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) performs maneuvers with the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) and the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Bunker Hill and Carl Vinson are taking part in Southern Seas 2010 as part of a scheduled homeport shift. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker/Released)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Report: Israeli warships on way to Persian Gulf

Cairo February 7, 2010 - As Israel keeps threatening the regional countries with war, Egyptian maritime sources say the Israeli navy has deployed two missile ships to the Persian Gulf.

Citing the sources, Yediot Ahronot reported Saturday that two Israeli missile ships passed through the Suez Canal en rout to the Red Sea on Thursday morning.

The sources said the ships are expected to reach the Persian Gulf within the next four days.

According to the report, Cairo adopted tight security measures to ensure the safe passage of the Israeli ships through the canal.

The waterway, which had not previously been used by Israeli vessels for intelligence reasons, was traversed for the first time in June 2009 when a Dolphin-class submarine (a nuclear German-made submarine) reportedly sailed from the Mediterranean to reach military exercises in the Red Sea.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Russian warship seizes group of pirates off Somalia - Navy

MOSCOW, February 6 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian frigate, the Neustrashimy (Fearless), seized on Saturday a boat with seven pirates on board during an operation to thwart an attack on a cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden, a Russian Navy spokesman said.

Slovenia's Ariella vessel with a crew of 15 nationals of the Philippines, seven Ukrainians, a Slovenian, a Bulgarian and an Indian, was en route from the Black Sea port of Sevastopol to Indonesia when it gave a distress call early on Friday.

"The Neustrashimy is currently escorting the Ariella vessel eastwards. After having been convoyed off, the Ariella will resume its route to the port of destination on its own," the naval source said.

The fate of the captured pirates is unclear. They could either be prosecuted by Russia, or handed for prosecution to other states, namely Slovenia, which owns the Ariella, or Somalia's neighboring states, such as Kenya or the Seychelles.

The Russian Navy has maintained a constant presence off the Horn of Africa, with each fleet dispatching warships on a rotational basis. Russia joined international anti-piracy efforts off Somalia in October 2008.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Royal Navy Warship Begins Counter-Piracy Operation

London February 5, 2010 - The Royal Navy warship HMS Chatham has arrived in the Gulf of Aden to take part in NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield - NATO’s counter piracy mission off the Horn of Africa and into the Somali Basin.

The Plymouth-based Type 22 frigate and multinational task groups are helping protect merchant ships, many of which bring goods in to the UK, as they transit this busy sea.

Since leaving the UK at the beginning of the January, HMS Chatham’s crew have been carrying out ‘mission rehearsal’, practising tactics and procedures. The full range of the ship’s counter piracy capabilities has been tested, from the Lynx helicopter and fast rigid inflatable boats, though to the embarked Royal Marines boarding team. The sailors and Royal Marines are now keen to use their training.

HMS Chatham is patrolling a section of an agreed secure shipping lane through the Gulf of Aden, where the NATO task group and warships from other nations oversee merchant shipping, detect suspicious activity and deter the pirates from attacking.

Commander Simon Huntington, the Ship’s Commanding Officer said:

“It is good to be on patrol here after months of preparation. On our first day on patrol there have already been 3 separate occasions where warships have intervened in suspected pirate activity. HMS Chatham is ready and eager to contribute to that effort.”

Captain Chris Beesley, (Royal Marines) commanding the ship’s Royal Marine detachment, said:

“During the transit to our area of operations, we have integrated with the ship’s company and have been busy training. This has included practicing our close -quarter battle drills, fast-rope insertions into small boats and plenty of physical exercise. All the Royal Marines on board are now eager to begin our operational tasking.”

The four ships comprising the task group (Standing Nato Maritime Group1) with HMS Chatham are HDMS Absalon (flagship, Danish Navy) HMCS Fredericton (Canadian Navy), USS Boone (US Navy),

Permanently assigned to NATO, task group is a multi-national naval group providing NATO with the ability to quickly respond to crisis situations anywhere in the world. It is one of four standing maritime elements that form a flexible core around which NATO can build a larger force to meet a wide range of missions that will include non-combatant evacuations, consequence management, counter terrorism, crisis response, embargo operations, etc.

HMS Chatham was launched in 1988. She is 150m long, with a crew of 250 and displaces 5,300 tonnes. Whilst officially designated a frigate, her comprehensive weapons fit gives her the equivalent firepower of a larger cruiser. She is capable of engaging targets above, on or below the sea surface. The ship carries anti-air and anti-missile Sea Wolf missiles, anti-ship Harpoon missiles, anti-submarine Stingray torpedoes and a Lynx helicopter; she is also fitted with a variety of guns, advanced radars, sonars, computers and communications equipment to carry out her tasking. Powered by gas turbine engines, HMS Chatham can sprint at speeds of up to 30 knots.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

USS Asheville (SSN 758) departs its homeport at San Diego for a deployment to the Pacific

100203-N-5888C-002 NAVAL BASE POINT LOMA, Calif. (Feb. 3, 2010) The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Asheville (SSN 758) departs its homeport at San Diego for a deployment to the Pacific ocean. Asheville is deploying in support of the maritime strategy. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Petty Office April Currie/Released)

RFA Wave Ruler Leaves UK Waters For Year Long Deployment

London February 4, 2010 - Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) WAVE RULER sail from UK shores on 03rd February, following her successful completion of Directed Continuation Training (DCT) and Assisted Maintenance Period (AMP).

RFA Wave Ruler will play a significant military role supporting Royal Naval and other Tri-Service units in the South Atlantic (APT(S)), followed later in the year by patrols in the Caribbean (APT(N)). Her main task will be to provide support to the UK Overseas territories to reinforce the UK Government’s commitment to the regions. This role also includes but is not limited to providing support in the event of a natural disaster. Whilst deployed, WAVE RULER will conduct Regional Engagement, counter-narcotic maritime patrols, working with and assisting various foreign agencies and forces.

RFA Wave Ruler’s Commanding Officer Captain Shaun Jones RFA speaking just prior to sailing from Portland said: “The deployment will continue to reinforce the UK’s close relationship with all the regions to be visited. WAVE RULER has a proven record of sustaining far reaching and prolonged deployments having recently completed Taurus 09 a deployment which saw Wave Ruler away from the UK for the best part of seven months achieving multinational tasking capabilities. We are well trained and equipped for multiple roles, and will able to react to any eventuality or tasking asked of us.”

The ships company are looking forward to the possibility of various Port visits to countries in South America, Africa, USA and the Caribbean.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Second World War Propellor Recovered

Calshot lifeboat mechanic Mike Lawrence with Second World War flying boat propeller

A propeller belonging to a Second World War aeroplane was raised from the seabed after the volunteer crew of the RNLI charity’s Calshot lifeboat snagged the all-weather lifeboat on a mystery object beneath the waves.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

RFA Largs Bay Loads Vital Aid to Support Haiti Relief Operation

London February 3, 2010 - Royal Fleet Auxiliary supply ship, RFA Largs Bay, will sail tomorrow loaded with shelter equipment and heavy lifting machinery among other things, essential to the relief operation in Haiti. It will sail from Marchwood military port at Southampton, known as the Sea Mounting Centre.

RFA Largs Bay will carry essential relief supplies that will be needed by the people of Haiti in the weeks and months ahead. On arrival in Haiti, RFA Largs Bay is expected to support the UN relief operation by delivering these supplies to ports around Haiti.

The aid to be carried has been provided by the Department for International Development, and British and international Non-Governmental Organisations funded from the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal. RFA Largs Bay is scheduled to sail on Wednesday February 3.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fond Farewell for Portsmouth Frigate

Crowds of families and friends waved off the crew of Portsmouth-based warship HMS St Albans as she sailed towards the Arabian Gulf for the next six months.

The 4,900 tonne Type 23 frigate has been deployed to support international efforts in tackling piracy, illegal trafficking and smuggling along busy shipping lanes.

The crew has been put through a demanding sea training package of counter-piracy, counter-terrorism and boarding operations exercises to make sure they are prepared for the deployment.

HMS St Albans, known as The Saint, is also due to sail to the Middle East and into Iraqi waters to help the government protect their oil platforms and provide security to ensure regional stability.

HMS St Albans, which left at 10am on Monday February 1, has a mix of old hands who have been deployed to Iraq on several occasions and also young sailors and Royal Marines who will be facing these challenges for the first time.

The Commanding Officer of HMS St Albans, Commander Adrian Pierce, said:

"The seas east of the Suez Canal are being increasingly used for unlawful purposes, including piracy, illegal trafficking and smuggling in support of terrorist organisations. HMS St Albans will be deployed to these areas to support the wider international community intent on defeating these international threats.

“Later in the deployment, and at the invitation of the Iraqi Government, HMS St Albans will continue to support Iraqi national interests, therefore ensuring Iraq’s continued economic growth. Royal Naval operations in the Middle East are focused on reassuring regional partners of the Coalitions commitment to assist in building security and stability.”

HNLMS Holland

The future HNLMS Holland will be christened February 2, 2010. Koninklijke Marine photo.