Sunday, October 31, 2010

US want own aircraft carrier in Thames Estuary during London Olympics 2012 | Mail Online

US want own aircraft carrier in Thames Estuary during London Olympics 2012 Mail Online

Friday, October 29, 2010

Navy launches rescue mission for tall ship - News - Bucks Herald

Navy launches rescue mission for tall ship - News - Bucks Herald

China boosts maritime surveillance fleet amid disputes | China Military Power Mashup

China boosts maritime surveillance fleet amid disputes China Military Power Mashup

DHS Statement of Today's Terror Developments

DHS Statement on Increased Security Precautions

Release Date: October 29, 2010
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary

"As a precaution, DHS has taken a number of steps to enhance security. Some of these security measures will be visible while others will not. The public may recognize specific enhancements including heightened cargo screening and additional security at airports. Passengers should continue to expect an unpredictable mix of security layers that include explosives trace detection, advanced imaging technology, canine teams and pat downs, among others. As always, we remind the public to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity to local law enforcement."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

S. Korea welcomes Canadian sanctions on N. Korea over ship sinking

S. Korea welcomes Canadian sanctions on N. Korea over ship sinking

Specialist MOD team recovers damaged ships from round the world

Lonsdale October 28, 2010 - The MOD'S Salvage and Marine Operations (SALMO) Project Team provides salvage and recovery assistance to Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels around the world. The specialist team of Defence Equipment & Support civil servants is almost a real life version of Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds. Report by Ian Carr.

MOD salvage teams were involved in this project to refloat and transport two Victor class Russian submarines. MOD picture.

Early one evening in 2008, with just eight shopping days left to Christmas, phones rang in the homes of members of the MOD Salvage and Marine Operations (SALMO) Project Team.
The demand was urgent:
"The Duty Fleet Controller advises that HMS Endurance has a major flooding problem and is drifting without power off South America. Please could you come into the office?"
Within 24 hours, a team of 13 salvage experts were Falklands bound to save the stricken ice patrol ship.
Remarkable things like that happen to SALMO.
If a warship has been holed and needs towing to safety, or if a decommissioned nuclear powered Russian submarine needs transporting, that's when SALMO are go.
If a military, or occasionally, a civilian helicopter ditches, the unit is called in. Nigel Hills, who joined the team in 2004 as a naval architect said:
"This can include the recovery of human remains. This is the sad part of the job."
But when there are no fatalities, dealing with aircraft is an interesting challenge he added:
"We are told what we need to recover. It may be a black box, but it could be a part of the aircraft which is armed."

HMS Endurance was recovered to the UK aboard the MV Target after flooding and loss of power in the South Atlantic. MOD photo.

Operations such as these require personnel with very special skills:
"We tend to recruit welders, mechanics or electricians from industry, and then train them to dive," said Nigel.
The 56-strong team is divided into units based in Greenock and Devonport, with an HQ in Foxhill, Bath. They form an eclectic mix of divers, mechanics, electricians, engineers, master mariners, naval architects, logisticians, supported by dedicated business, commercial and finance officers:
"The initial call for assistance goes through to one of the senior officers in the team. They assess the situation, decide how to deal with it, then shape the team. If kit is needed, it is mobilised or we look at the possibility of hiring it locally," said Nigel.
The team's expertise may also be called on to prevent disaster. SALMO marine warranty surveyors are on hand when sections of new ships are moved to the assembly yard.
And they were involved in the transport of decommissioned Russian nuclear submarines (under the Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation) to their disposal ports.
Nigel was aboard the MV Transshelf in 2006 moving a November Class submarine. His colleague Emmanuel Ofosu-Apeasah trumped that with the move of two Victor Class subs in the Russian Far East.
Some of the more major incidents the team have been involved in include the 2002 grounding of HMS Nottingham near Lord Howe Island, 200 miles (322km) off the coast of Australia. The ship was severely damaged, with several compartments (including magazines) open to the sea. Divers assessed the damage.
The salvage and recovery effort required the installation of internal reinforcement, rigging the vessel for an open ocean tow, de-watering of flooded compartments, removal and safe disposal of Sea Dart missiles, and, ultimately, repatriation to the UK, which involved giving Nottingham a piggy back ride on a huge semi-submersible heavy lift ship. Nigel Hills project managed the repatriation phase.
And in 1995, SALMO was tasked to remove 2,000 tonnes of fuel oil from the wreck of HMS Royal Oak. The ship had been sunk in 1939 in Scapa Flow by a German U-boat.
The complex operation is ongoing, but has, so far, been a great engineering and environmental success. The team is involved in management of the wreck, and liaises very closely with other government departments such as the Department of Transport.
Team member Andy Liddell is now working on an operation to survey the wreck of the Darkdale, an RFA vessel that was torpedoed by a U-boat in 1944 off the island of St Helena, as its fuel oil is now threatening the environment.

MOD has been heavily involved in recovering oil from the sunken HMS Royal Oak. MOD image.

In 2002, SALMO led the recovery of a Lynx helicopter from HMS Richmond, that crashed in the North Atlantic.
At a depth of 4,000m, it was the deepest ever recovery of a crashed aircraft and allowing the accident invesitgators to identify a potentially serious defect and fix the problem immediately throughout the rest of the Lynx helicopter fleet.
SALMO experts also retrieved the bodies of the aircrew from HMS Portland's Lynx helicopter, which crashed in darkness, in 2004, while responding to a possible man overboard alert from HMS Montrose.
And, in 2009 they conducted a seabed search off Aberdeen for victims of the North Sea helicopter crash, and recovered them.
When HMS Endurance flooded and began to drift without power in the South Atlantic, the operation to recover her was another good example of a major SALMO mobilisation.
A team of 13, along with a naval team and engineers from the ship project team at Abbey Wood, flew to the Falkland Islands, from where a RAF Hercules immediately took them to Punta Arenas in southern Chile.
Back in the UK, colleagues liaised with the Navy and chartered tugs to tow Endurance from the middle of the Magellan Straits to a berth in Punta Arenas.
After inspecting the damage, a salvage plan was put into action and the ship was towed on to the Falklands.
There, she was prepared for recovery to the UK, aboard the MV Target.

This article is taken from the November 2010 issue of Defence Focus - the magazine for everyone in Defence.

Northrop Navy Ships `Not Survivable' in Combat, Official Says - Bloomberg

Northrop Navy Ships `Not Survivable' in Combat, Official Says - Bloomberg

Military ammunition discovered under Seattle cruise ship terminal

Military ammunition discovered under Seattle cruise ship terminal

Fast Response Cutter - Sentinel Class

The Fast Response Cutter (FRC), a new generation of Coast Guard patrol boats, will continue the Coast Guard’s long history of protecting America’s citizens, assets and interests at home and abroad. The first FRC will be named the Coast Guard Cutter Sentinel, with the official class designation as the "Sentinel" class.
The first 14 ships have been named:


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Former Navy ship sunk as part of two-day exercise | |

Former Navy ship sunk as part of two-day exercise

Royal Navy Warship Sails Into Her Namesake River

London October 27, 2010 - The Royal Navy’s fisheries protection vessel, HMS Mersey, will sail into Liverpool this weekend for a five-day visit and will be open to the general public.

For the 1,677 tonne ship, the weekend will provide an opportunity not only to visit her affiliated areas of Southport and Sefton, but also to allow the general public to get on board.
HMS Mersey will dock alongside at the city’s Cruise Liner Terminal on Thursday morning and her Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Carl Wiseman, will spend the afternoon making official calls on both the Mayor of Sefton and the Lord Mayor of Liverpool.
On Friday, as well as a number of organised group visits to the ship, members of the ship’s company will also roll up their sleeves to help St Joseph’s Hospice with a spot of painting and decorating.
And on Saturday, the general public will get the opportunity to go on board a warship when HMS Mersey opens her gangway to visitors from 1-4pm.
“Bringing Mersey to the Mersey is rather special,” said Lieutenant Commander Wiseman. “We are all very much looking forward to welcoming local people on board and explaining more about the ship and the Royal Navy to them. And we are obviously delighted to be able to help St Joseph’s Hospice during our stay with a bit of elbow grease and creativity.”
The ship will leave on Monday morning.
HMS Mersey is a 1,677-tonne River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel, built for Fisheries Protection duties around the UK. She is 79m long, with a breadth of 13m and a displacement of 1,677 tonnes. Her twin diesel engines can propel her to a top speed of 20 knots, giving her a range of 7,800 nautical miles.
The working deck of the vessel is large enough to transport smaller craft such as oil spill recovery tractors and small landing craft, meaning she can also be used for disaster relief, anti-pollution and rescue work. She has a crew of 30 sailors and also has bunks for a Royal Marine boarding party.
Portsmouth-based HMS Mersey was built in Woolston Docks, Southampton and is the fifth ship to bear the name in the Royal Navy.
The ship is also affiliated to Sea Cadet unit TS Ardent.

Harpers Ferry Sailors Donate Clothes to Typhoon Victims

Subic Bay October 27, 2010 - Sailors from the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) donated a tri-wall (a large cardboard box) of clothes, toiletries and canned goods to the Olongapo City chapter of the Philippine Red Cross on Oct. 25.

The donation was made to help victims of Typhoon Megi, (locally referred to as Juan), which hit the northern Philippines on Oct. 18, with winds of 140 mph, killing at least 31 people, and affecting more than 215,000.

The Typhoon Megi relief-drive was the brainchild of Engineman 3rd Class Telisha Reinhardt. Her mother, who works in a homeless shelter, inspired Reinhardt. As a child Reinhardt's mother would take clothes the family didn't need, or had outgrown to the homeless shelter.

Reinhardt said, "I always see Sailors throwing away clothes I feel are in good condition, and could've went to people who really needed those clothes."

The relief-drive was organized and co-coordinated by Logistics Specialist 1st Class Melvin Tanio, who could not have done it without the help and support of the Harpers Ferry 1st Class Petty Officers Association.

In addition to clothing items, toiletries and canned goods were also donated by the Sailors of Harpers Ferry.

"I donated some shampoo, lotion, mouthwash and hand sanitizer 'cause those are things that might not be readily available to people who've certainly just lost their home; and taking good care of your personal hygiene is going to be a big concern too," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class Marcie Farley.

After arriving in Subic Bay, Harpers Ferry Commanding Officer Cmdr. Antonio Hull presented the tri-wall of donated goods to Eduardo Buena, the Philippine Red Cross Chapter Administrator for Olongapo City during a small ceremony on the pier.

"On behalf of the national headquarters [of the Philippine Red Cross] we are thankful for the donation you are giving us," said Buena. He also commented that he would make sure that the donated goods were given to people who needed them.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

HMS Montrose aids German ship after pirate attack

London October 26, 2010 - British warship HMS Montrose came to the aid of the German-owned ship MV Beluga Fortune yesterday after she had been attacked by armed pirates in the Indian Ocean.

Royal Marines from HMS Montrose board MV Beluga Fortune after an attack by armed pirates in the Indian Ocean [Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

Beluga Fortune sent out a 'May Day' to say that she was coming under attack, and that her crew were locking themselves in a safe room or 'citadel' to try and prevent the pirates from taking them hostage.
HMS Montrose, a Type 23 frigate that is part of NATO's counter-piracy mission, codenamed Operation OCEAN SHIELD, was the closest warship, and so raced to the scene to help the terrified crew.
The pirates, on hearing that HMS Montrose was on her way, abandoned the ship, but not before setting fire to part of the superstructure.
As the Beluga Fortune's crew had barricaded themselves in, they were unaware if the pirates were still on board or not, and so were very relieved when a team of Royal Marines from HMS Montrose boarded the vessel in the afternoon and released them from the safe room. None of the crew were injured.

The fire-damaged superstructure of MV Beluga Fortune [Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

HMS Montrose's Commanding Officer, Commander Jonathan Lett, said:

"Today has shown that the adoption of anti-piracy measures by the crews of merchant vessels, combined with a rapid and offensive response by NATO, can result in pirate attacks being thwarted off the Horn of Africa."
Commodore Christian Rune, Royal Danish Navy, who is the commander of NATO's counter-piracy task force, said:
"I am delighted to see more and more merchant ships being able to use safe rooms effectively to defeat pirate attacks. The excellent preparation and implementation of anti-piracy best management practices by MV Beluga Fortune's crew resulted in them being able to stay safe until the NATO warship arrived.
"The Indian Ocean is vast and it cannot be guaranteed that a warship will be close by."
NATO has contributed to the international counter-piracy effort off the Horn of Africa since December 2008. The mission has expanded from escorting UN and World Food Programme shipping under Operation ALLIED PROVIDER and protecting merchant traffic in the Gulf of Aden under Operation ALLIED PROTECTOR.
Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 is a multinational naval group that provides the NATO alliance with the ability to quickly respond to crisis situations anywhere in the world.


Deputy Commander, CVW-5 Makes 1000th Trap

Deputy Commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, Capt. Dan Cave, left, and Lt. David Robinson from the "Diamondbacks" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102 walk across the flight deck aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) after Cave completed his 1,000th trap landing. George Washington, the Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier is currently underway helping to ensure security and stability in the Western Pacific Ocean. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David A. Cox.

USS George Washington at Sea October 25, 2010 - Deputy Commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, Capt. Daniel S. Cave, made his 1,000th carrier-arrested landing Oct. 22, joining the ranks of a select group of naval aviators.
The landing is commonly referred to as a “trap,” and after the landmark achievement on the flight deck aboard USS George Washington (CVN-73) (GW), a cake-cutting ceremony was held in the “Diamondbacks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102 ready room. Cave was congratulated by the George Washington Carrier Strike Group Commander, Rear Adm. Dan Cloyd, Commander of CVW-5, Capt. Ross Myers and GW’s Executive Officer, Capt. Daniel Grieco.
“It’s an honor to be given the opportunity to fly around the aircraft carrier,” said Cave. “But the credit goes to the pilots I’ve flown with and the maintainers that have maintained the aircraft throughout the years.”
It has been 22 years since Cave’s first trap and he said it is a privilege to reach this career milestone, but has never considered himself to be a milestone chaser. In his career, Cave has been attached to numerous squadrons, instructed pilots and even acted as the Navy aid for the Commandant of the Marine Corps. His first tour was with the “Tophatters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14 on board USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) during Operation Desert Shield.
“It’s been a long time since my first trap, I’m older now and I’ve got grey in my hair, but I hope I haven’t changed too much,” said Cave. “Catching the arresting wire can still be scary at times, especially if the flight deck starts slipping, but I think that the moment it stops being scary, it’s time to hang it up.”
Cave’s current responsibilities are to support the commander of CVW-5, by assisting in administrative work while Myers’ main focus is on the operations side of the house.
“He’s a really good guy to work for,” said Cmdr. Mark Tankersley, the CVW-5 operations officer, who has known Cave for six years. “He takes care of his people in more than one way, he takes care of a lot of things on his level so we don’t get overwhelmed and he’s been around so long he can answer any questions we have; everyone respects him for that.”
Cave is scheduled to take Myers’ position as commander, CVW-5, Feb. 3, 2011. Once he finishes his tour on GW, Cave said he could possibly go to Washington D.C. but isn’t sure what the Navy has in store for him.
“This is deployment seven and it doesn’t get any easier, but my family understands and they’re always there for me,” said Cave.
Tankersley said he is looking forward to working for him when he gets promoted.
“Knowing him from my last command, I was very interested to work for him again,” said Tankersley. “I wasn’t the only person who was trying to work for him, but he helped me to get the position.”
Cave said he enjoys being an aviator and will not be giving up on it any time soon.
“I’m not quite ready yet, but in the future, I would like to retire on a lake,” said Cave. “I can see myself sitting on a dock, fishing, maybe getting visited by the grandkids.”
CVW-5 is embarked as part of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group. GW is currently underway helping ensure security and stability in the Western Pacific Ocean.


CGC Healy – Return to port

Group photo of CGC Healy crew on the flight deck during the joint US-Canada mission with the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent. Photo courtesy of Ensign Emily Kehrt.

By LT Connie Braesch

After a summer in the Arctic, Healy pulled into our homeport of Seattle October 12 (click here to watch a video). On the way south, we stopped in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to drop off the scientists from our final mission, and Kodiak for a port call. We also pulled into Juneau to pick up friends and family for a Dependents Cruise. Some of our family and friends were able to join us on our transit home from Juneau because once the science parties depart Healy has extra berthing areas which can be use for dependents.

MST2 Owen Dicks helps his mother try on a gumby survival suit during CGC Healy's Dependents Cruise from Juneau to Seattle. Photo courtesy of Ensign Emily Kehrt.

Although the weather wasn’t too great (96 knots of relative wind!), we were able to show our families and friends the beautiful Inside Passage. This is the same route that cruise ships usually take going between Seattle and Alaska. As we pulled into Pier 36 at Coast Guard Sector Seattle, many of the family members who weren’t able to join us for the cruise were waiting on the pier.

When I last posted, we were working with NASA researchers. Since then, we’ve had two more science missions. The second mission of the summer was our third year of collaborating with the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent, working together to map the Extended Continental Shelf and the Arctic seafloor. Healy has very good sonar bottom-mapping capabilities – we actually map the seafloor constantly whenever we’re underway. For this mission, however, we mostly broke ice for the Louis S. St-Laurent, who was trailing seismic gear which can map deep into the sediment layers of the seafloor. Our final mission this summer involved deploying subsurface moorings which measure various facets of the water column, such as conductivity, temperature and salinity.

Ensigns Charlie Sinks and Holly McNair conn the CGC Healy through a gravity coring evolution during its recent Arctic deployment. Photo courtesy of CGC Healy website.

Our summer science missions were very successful, but the crew was really excited to get home to their families and spend some time in Seattle. Buildings and trees are a nice change of scenery from white ice stretching into the horizon. Not to forget that sailing for months at a time crunching through thick, Arctic ice takes its toll on the cutter. Spending the winter in port allows for a long dockside maintenance period, which will give us time to get Healy ready for another Arctic summer next year.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Press Secretary Calls WikiLeaks Release Shameful

Washington October 22, 2010 - WikiLeaks full public release on its website of 400,000 classified military documents from Iraq war operations is shameful, the Pentagon press secretary said tonight.

“This is an extraordinary disservice to America’s men and women in uniform,” Geoff Morrell said.

More than 150,000 forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are already in considerable danger, he said. “That danger is now exponentially multiplied as a result of this leak because it gives our enemies the wherewithal to look for vulnerabilities in how we operate and to exploit those opportunities and potentially kill our forces. That is just shameful.”

The department does not yet know in detail what Wikileaks has published, but officials say they expect the same sort of documents the organization put on the Internet in July about the conflict in Afghan. WikiLeaks posted 77,000 documents from the Afghan database online in that breach of national security.

“This document leak is four times as large as the Afghan document leak,” Morrell said. “It gives our enemies that much more to mine, and it puts our forces that much more in danger, so we condemn it, we deplore it.”

Based on information contained in the newly released Iraq documents, some news outlets are already reporting on alleged abuse and civilian deaths.

“It has been a driving force for us, a guiding principle for us over the last seven years of this conflict to do everything in our power -- perhaps more than any other military in the history of the world has ever done -- to minimize civilian casualties,” Morrell said.

“We have not always been perfect but we have been far better than anyone else has in the history of warfare,” he added, “and we continue to do everything in our power to prevent innocent civilians from being killed in the war zones.”

A DOD task force has been combing through the Iraq data base to assess the damage that the WikiLeaks publication of the activity reports could pose to the U.S. military, Iraqi allies and on-going operations.

“Potentially what one could mine from a huge data base like this are vulnerabilities in terms of how we operate, our tactics, our techniques, our procedures, the capabilities of our equipment, how we respond in combat situations, response times -- indeed how we cultivate sources,” Morrell said. “All of that, [given the] thinking and adaptive enemy we’ve been facing in Iraq and Afghanistan, can be used against us.”

U.S. intelligence reports and Taliban public statements indicate that enemy forces have been mining the released Afghan data base for operational vulnerabilities, Morrell said.

“We fear that this indeed can further endanger and get our troops killed,” he said.

“We are extraordinarily disappointed that [WikiLeaks is] making the same mistake twice,” Morrell said, “that they are leaking classified information -- in fact that they induce people to break the law to leak classified information and then share that information with the world, including our enemies.”

Friday, October 22, 2010

USS Constitution Celebrates 213th Launching Day Anniversary

CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (Oct. 13, 2010) USS Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat, displays all her flags and pennants in recognition of the Navy's 235th birthday. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Shannon S. Heavin/Released

Charlestown MA October 22, 2010 - USS Constitution and her crew got underway Oct. 21 to celebrate her 213th launching day anniversary.
More than 300 sailors and guests embarked the ship as she departed her pier in Charlestown at approximately 8 a.m., following morning colors.
"For over 200 years, this ship has used both force and diplomacy to advance American interests all over the world," said Cmdr. Timothy Cooper, Constitution's 71st commanding officer. "Her mission today is one of education and outreach, and I can think of no better way to accomplish that mission than getting Constitution underway. The fact that today is her 213th birthday makes this underway all the more special."
The ship then fired a 21-gun salute in the vicinity of Fort Independence on Castle Island. Fort Independence is a state park that served as a defense post for Boston Harbor at one time. Sailors also taught guests about "Old Ironsides'" history.
"With buoyant spirits, we embarked upon this vessel filled with awe and pride to celebrate the eagle of sea's 213th birthday," said Bobby Power, local historian.
The ship also fired an additional 17 shots as she passed the U.S. Coast Guard Station, the former site of the Edmund Hartt shipyard where Constitution was built. Each round of this salute honored the 16 states that comprised America when Constitution launched in 1797 and one in honor of the ship. Constitution then returned to her berth at approximately 10:30 a.m.
Finally, Cooper announced the 2010 junior and senior Sailors of the year and the 2010 winners of the Berenson and leadership awards. The Berenson award winner went to the Sailor who consistently gave the best tours of Constitution. The leadership award went to the Sailor who demonstrated the best leadership qualities as determined by peers.
"Winning junior Sailor of the year on board the USS Constitution's birthday underway is a sheer honor, in that I see the rich history that has shaped us today," said Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 2nd Class (SW) Jacob Wallace. "I am proof that hard work pays off."
It took Constitution's crew three attempts in 1797 before successfully launching her Oct. 21. The first failed attempt came Sept. 20 and the second two days later. She kept getting stuck in the mud due to her heavy weight.
Constitution is located in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston Harbor. She is the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors a year.

Reports of HMS Astute grounded

HMS Astute arriving at her home base on the Clyde in November 2009. [Picture: LA(Phot) J J Massey, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]
Various media outlets have reported that HMS Astute appears to have grounded off the Isle of Skye.We are aware of an incident involving one of our submarines off the Isle of Skye. This is not a nuclear incident. We are responding to the incident and can confirm that there are no injuries to personnel and the submarine remains watertight. There is no indication of any environmental impact.

Video can be seen here

Navy Announces First Sub Officer Assignments for Women

USS Wyoming
Washington October 21, 2010 - Two dozen women will begin reporting to four submarines by the end of next year, marking a new milestone in the 110-year history of the submarine force, Navy officials announced today. Six female officers each will join the crews of the USS Wyoming, USS Georgia, USS Maine and USS Ohio, Navy Submarine Group 10 officials announced in a news release.
Three female officers will be assigned to each of the subs’ two crews.
The Wyoming and the Maine are nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, and the Georgia and Ohio are nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines. Submarines of these two classes are assigned two full crews, known as blue and gold crews, which rotate between sea and shore duty to maximize the time a submarine can spend in its assigned area.
Two of the women in each crew will be submarine officers, and the third female officer will be a warfare-qualified supply officer. They will be assigned to their first submarine duty station after nuclear power school, prototype training and the Submarine Officer Basic Course. They are expected to report to their assigned submarines beginning in December 2011.
Navy Lt. Rebecca Rebarich, the submarine group’s public affairs officer, said today the new submarine officers were commissioned through the U.S. Naval Academy, ROTC programs and Officer Candidate School. All 24 women have been identified and will join their new crews at about the same time pending successfully completing their training.
Submarine Group 10 is commanded by Rear Adm. Barry Bruner, who leads the Navy’s Women on Submarines Task Force.
The Navy’s integration of women into submarine crews has been under way since Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates notified Congress in February the service wanted to add women to its submarine crews. Following a congressional review, Navy officials announced April 29 they would begin accepting women’s applications for submarine officer training.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, a former Navy surface warfare officer, declared his goal of integrating women into the submarine forces soon after taking office in May 2009. Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, seconded Mabus’s initiative. The admiral said 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 first allowed women to serve on surface noncombatant ships in 1973 and on surface combatant ships in 1993.


Video | Nuclear submarine 'runs aground' off the coast of Scotland | MaltaToday

Video Nuclear submarine 'runs aground' off the coast of Scotland MaltaToday

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Trafalgar Day Ceremony on HMS Victory

The Royal Navy’s most important anniversary was marked for the 205th year by a ceremony on HMS Victory on Thursday October 21 at 8.45am.

October 21 is the anniversary of the most decisive naval battle under sail in British history - Admiral Lord Nelson's triumph at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The anniversary also marks the death of Nelson when he was fatally wounded during the action.
The hoisting of the Colours (Union Jack and White Ensign) and Nelson's signal 'England Expects' marks the start of the commemoration on HMS Victory. A team of ratings and staff from HMS Victory will hoist the 32 flags in sequence on Victory's three masts at 8.00am.
The central act of the commemoration will consist of the laying of a wreath on the spot where Nelson fell by Second Sea Lord and Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command, Vice Admiral Charles Montgomery CBE ADC. Further wreaths will be laid on the Orlop deck where Nelson died by Commandant General Royal Marines, Major General Buster Howes, and the ship's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Oscar Whild Royal Navy.
The ceremony will be attended this year by Commander Malcolm Paton Royal Navy (Rtd), a direct descendant of Master’s Mate Thomas Goble, who was onboard the ship at the Battle of Trafalgar. He was promoted to Nelson’s Public Secretary to the Fleet during the action, a post he held for four hours before Nelson’s death.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

IKE Celebrates 33 Years

Portsmouth VA October 20, 2010 - Sailors onboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (IKE) celebrated the 33rd anniversary of IKE's commissioning while kicking off the Planned Incremental Availability (PIA), Oct. 18.
IKE, the second Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, is currently docked at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) for scheduled maintenance and modernization.
IKE's Commanding Officer, Capt. Marcus Hitchcock, shared the history of IKE's official start in the United Stated Navy while addressing the crew and NNSY workers in the ship's hangar bay.
"Today we are celebrating IKE's commissioning which happened on this day in 1977," said Hitchcock. "IKE was commissioned on Pier 12 at Norfolk Naval Station, by the Honorable Harold Brown, then Secretary of Defense, and Mamie Eisenhower, the ship's sponsor and wife of President Eisenhower was in attendance."
While celebrating the anniversary of IKE's commissioning, Hitchcock and the crew took the opportunity to celebrate the beginning of PIA.
"I know we are going to do the best we can during this project," said Hitchcock. "Our shared values during PIA are teamwork, energy, dedication, respect and most importantly integrity; this is how we will get through this project smoothly and on time."
Chrystal Brady, NNSY's Project Superintendent for IKE's PIA, also spoke of the significance of the team concept during the availability.
"We have all pulled together very well so far in the set up of PIA," said Brady. "This will be the largest PIA ever done in a six-month availability and calls for teamwork and diligence to make the due date in April."
On July 28 of this year, IKE returned home to Norfolk Naval Station wrapping up the second of two nearly back-to-back deployments within a seventeen-month period. Hitchcock stated that IKE has earned this overhaul period.


USO Europe honors TACLET South member

For his outstanding military achievements, Wimsatt (right, middle row), along with twelve other high performing junior enlisted military personnel, were honored this past weekend at the 18th Annual USO Europe Service Salute held at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Photo courtesy of Jaime Goloyugo.
By: LTJG Stephanie Young

An international military liaison, a preventer of piracy, a defender of the homeland. An iconic Coast Guardsmen, Maritime Enforcement Specialist Third Class Christopher Wimsatt is an instrumental part of ensuring the security of our nation on a global scale.
As a member of the Coast Guard’s Tactical Law Enforcement Team (TACLET) South, Wimsatt deployed overseas three times in the past three years to work with our international partners to prevent piracy and improve homeland security.
In 2007, Wimsatt deployed to Iraq to work alongside Iraqi Marines and conduct patrols in the Northern Arabian Gulf. In 2008, Wimsatt returned overseas where he supported international efforts to thwart piracy in the Gulf of Aden region.
In September 2009, Wimsatt deployed for the third time to the Middle East where he and his team supported the coalition forces of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 to suppress the threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and around the Horn of Africa. During this deployment, Wimsatt and his team embarked the CTF 151 flagship, USS Farragut, where he was the primary boarding officer and combat medic. Through his leadership, the boarding team conducted numerous boardings that resulted in the detention of 15 suspected pirates.
Wimsatt deployed with Combined Task Force 151 to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden and around the Horn of Africa. Aboard USS Farragut he trained with his TACLET and other U.S. Navy personnel. Photo courtesy of PA3 Michael Anderson.
Wimsatt and his team continued to excel as they transitioned to the USS San Jacinto where they completed ten high-risk boardings resulting in the seizure of a weapons cache consisting of AK 47s, grenades, rocket propelled grenades, and other miscellaneous weapons and the disruption of 37 suspected pirates.
Despite his heavy operational schedule, Wimsatt made the time to work with a Jordanian vessel search and seizure team. In over 150 hours, he drilled with the teams on advanced boarding techniques, combat medicine, weapons safety and operational risk management. Armed with these skills, the Jordanian boarding team conducted high risk piracy boardings alongside the Coast Guard’s TACLET.
“As one member of a highly-trained law enforcement detachment from Tactical Law Enforcement Team South, Petty Officer Wimsatt maintained the rigorous standards that deployable specialized force members are held to,” said Capt. Gail Kulisch, Commander of the Deployable Operations Group (DOG). “This is one example of why I am extremely proud of the DOG community, and the work they accomplish around the world as a team and as individuals.”


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Upcoming Royal Navy Ship Losses

With today's annoucements on defense cuts in the UK, it appears the following are being decomissioned:

HMS Ark Royal R 07 Decomm TBA

HMS Illustrious R 08 Decomm TBA
HMS Cumberland F 85 Decomm TBA
HMS Campbeltown F 86 Decomm TBA
HMS Chatham F 87 Decomm TBA
HMS Cornwall F 99 Decomm TBA
RFA TBA Bay Class L 3... Decomm TBA
HMS Liverpool D 92 Decomm TBA
HMS Manchester D 95 Decomm TBA
HMS Gloucester D 96 Decomm TBA
HMS Edinburgh D 97 Decomm TBA
HMS York D 98 Decomm TBA

HMS Walney decommissions at Faslane

London October 18, 2010 - The Royal Navy’s mine hunter HMS Walney decommissioned from service on 15 October at her home port of HMNB Clyde in Scotland.
At a formal dockside ceremony, the ship’s company was joined by senior naval officers, including Captain Philip Buckley, Captain of the Faslane Flotilla, and the Mayor of the ship’s affiliated town, Barrow-in-Furness, Councillor Rory McClure and his wife Wendy.
A special cake was presented to the ship to mark the occasion and was cut by Able Rate (Minewarfare Specialist) Clark Middlehurst – the youngest crew member at 20 years old.
The ship then bid a final farewell to her Scottish home before heading south on her final journey to Portsmouth.
She was, however, due to break this south-bound voyage for a last-ever visit to Barrow, when she will be open to visitors on Sunday afternoon (October 17).
“There was obviously some sadness to leaving the Clyde, which has been home to the ship since 2006,” said Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Angus Essenhigh.
“But many people turned out to wish us well, which was much appreciated and we are looking forward, too, to being able to call in at Barrow-in-Furness on our way south.
“I personally am looking forward to welcoming local people, who have been so supportive over the years, on board on Sunday and hearing their memories of HMS Walney.”
HMS Walney is the fourth of the Sandown class of minehunters and the second ship to carry the name.
She was launched by Lady Wilson, wife of Admiral Sir Barry Wilson KCB on 25 November 1991 and commissioned into Naval service on 19 August 1992.
The ship is affiliated to the town and also Furness General Hospital and the local Sea Cadet unit TS Sovereign.
Cumbria’s association with the Royal Navy continues with affiliations to Type 22 frigate HMS Cumberland, as well as P2000 patrol boats HMS Biter (Silloth) and HMS Charger (Maryport).


Philippines Requests Aid in Killer Typhoon’s Aftermath

Washington October 19, 2010 - The Philippine government has asked for assistance after Typhoon Megi struck the island nation yesterday with sustained winds of 140 mph, Defense Department officials said here today.
Philippine officials announced that the storm killed at least 13 people, with thousands driven from their homes and more than 3 million left without power.
“The Philippines has submitted a formal request for assistance,” said Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan. “They’ve indicated a need for fixed-wing aircraft as well as heavy-lift helicopters.”
The U.S. Agency for International Development has sent a team to the Philippines to assess the damage and coordinate what U.S. assets might be needed. “We do have capabilities in the region that can be called upon if necessary,” Lapan said.
Officials said the effort will not draw resources or aircraft from the on-going humanitarian mission to aid flood victims in Pakistan.
The typhoon passed over the island and is on course for southern China and Vietnam and is regaining whatever strength it lost over the Philippines. Officials in China have ordered the evacuation of at least 140,000 people from a coastal area in the storm’s path.
The most recent report from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center said the storm has sustained winds of 115 mph with gusts up to about 145 mph, and waves at 34 feet. Officials said they expect sustained wind speeds to rise to more than 130 mph today, with gusts of more than 160 mph.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Cameron announces defence cuts: Trident put on hold for five years | Mail Online

Cameron announces defence cuts: Trident put on hold for five years Mail Online

Lincoln Arrives in 5th Fleet Ready to Support Afghanistan Surge

Manama October 17, 2010 - Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and guided missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71) arrived in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) Oct. 17.
Abraham Lincoln, with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, brings more than 60 additional aircraft to the theater in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates approved the presence of a second carrier in the 5th Fleet AOR to provide surge support for coalition forces in Afghanistan, and to support existing maritime security operations.
A second carrier also provides support for the drawdown of forces in Iraq.
The U.S. Navy continues to enhance capabilities and cooperation with regional partners in the 5th Fleet AOR through a common regional security architecture strengthened by participating in ongoing security cooperation activities.


Medvedev awards spies expelled from US

18 October, 2010, 18:19 RT - President Dmitry Medvedev has given the highest state awards to the Russian agents who were expelled from the US in July this year, in the biggest spy swap since the end of the Cold War.
"A ceremony took place in the Kremlin today [Monday] to hand top state honors to a number of Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) employees, including the agents who were working in the United States and came back to Russia in July," said the president’s press secretary, Natalya Timakova, as cited by Interfax.

No details have been revealed so far about the exact orders bestowed upon them and for what achievements.
Ten alleged Russian spies were arrested in the US on June 27. Eight of them were detained for allegedly carrying out longterm assignments for the Russian government, and two others for allegedly taking part in the same intelligence gathering operation. Yet another suspect was caught in Cyprus, but later disappeared after being released on bail.
Many of the agents had been working in the US for years undercover and had their homes and families in America. Following the scandal, the ten were traded for four detainees convicted of espionage in Russia. The spy swap, between Russia and the US, took place in Vienna on July 9.
While little is known about what the agents deported from the US are doing now, at least one of them – Anna Chapman – still regularly makes the headlines. When the spy scandal was at its peak she was dubbed “the femme fatale” of the case, for her glamorous looks. Earlier this month she appeared at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, to watch the launch of Russia's Soyuz spacecraft and wave goodbye to a US astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts who were leaving for the International Space Station.
Last week, Russian FondServiceBank reported that from the start of October, the ex-spy has been working for the bank as its president’s adviser on innovations and investment. The financial institution services Russia’s domestic high-tech industries, aircraft and aerospace equipment makers. According to its press release, Chapman is currently working on a book about new opportunities in internet resources.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Singapore navy ship visits Da Nang


During the visit, Singaporean military officials and crew members of the RSS Persistence will meet with Da Nang leaders, as well as navy and military command officials stationed in the city.
The Singaporeans will play friendly volleyball matches with Vietnamese soldiers and visit several natural attractions in Da Nang.
The visit aims to strengthen Vietnam-Singapore relations, especially between their military forces, officials said.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Russian warship to visit port of Djibouti

The Russian destroyer RFS Admiral Levchenko will visit the port of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa on October 17-19 as part of its current anti-piracy mission off the Somali coast, a Russian Navy spokesman said.

The Port of Djibouti is located at the crossroads of one of the busiest shipping routes in the world, linking Europe, the Far East, the Horn of Africa and the Persian Gulf.
"Admiral Levchenko will call port in Djibouti on October 17-19 to replenish supplies of potable water and food. After the visit, the destroyer will continue its anti-piracy mission in the Gukf of Aden," the official said.
A task force led by the Northern Fleet's Admiral Levchenko, an Udaloy class guided-missile destroyer, arrived in the Gulf of Aden on July 3 to join the international anti-piracy mission near Somalia. The Russian naval group also includes the Olekma tanker and the SB-36 tugboat of Russia's Black Sea Fleet.
The Russian task force has successfully escorted several commercial convoys though pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast since its arrival.
The Russian Navy has maintained a presence off the Horn of Africa with warships operating on a rotation basis. Russia joined international anti-piracy efforts in the area in October 2008.

ATON Island Style: Coast Guard’s Best Kept Secret

Story and photos by PA3 Michael De Nyse, 14th Coast Guard District External Affairs.

I don’t remember seeing this on the recruiting poster!” exclaimed Petty Officer 2nd Class Jose Gomera, as he reluctantly leaves the tranquil safety of his truck to unlock a rusty gate, allowing his team to continue on the trail. All of a sudden and with great haste, he slams the gate shut, locks it, and races back to the truck sweating much more profusely than before.
“Those bulls are not happy to see us.”
Dodging massive bulls, herding wild pigs and corralling ill-tempered cows are just a few of the challenges the Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team (ANT), Honolulu, faces when they’re out in the field. In general, nautical aid to navigation (ATON) is any device specifically intended to assist navigators determine their position, find a safe course, or to warn them of danger. Types of nautical aids include: lighthouses, buoys, fog signals, and day beacons. The beginning of ANT Honolulu’s annual ATON service started Sept. 3rd, 2010 on the Big Island.
The team was on island for two weeks and serviced many land based structures. Below are a few of the highlights from the first two days.
“Everything on the island that serves as a maritime navigation aid is our responsibility,” said Chief Petty Officer Robert Petrillo, officer-in-charge of ANT Honolulu.
Petrillo has a complement of 10 enlisted members, and one Reservist working for him. “We’re very fortunate to have a great crew here; my team is a group of qualified-hard working guys who are out for a challenge,” said Petrillo.
Right out of the gate, the team tackled Hilo Harbor’s rear range light, a 110-foot structure that was built in 1982. The Harbor’s rear range allows mariners to line their vessels like a gunslinger would line up his sights. Once both lights are set in line the mariner knows he’s on the safe path into the channel.
“We service these structures on land, so mariners can remain safe in the water,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Fritz VonSchlegell, member of ANT Honolulu. “These types of navigation aids give mariners road signs similar to exit signs on the highway.”
If these aids were left unchecked they would eventually fail, most likely resulting in catastrophic measures to the shipping fleets and other maritime travelers.
“These guys are self starters, they know what needs to be done, but most importantly they remain safe while they complete the mission,” said VonSchlegell. “Safety is paramount while working tall structure such as these because one mistake and it could be your last,” VonSchlegell said.
After a finishing at the Hilo Harbor’s rear range, it was off to the next structures. Generally navigational aids are often in remote areas and are difficult to get to. Just getting to the structure often requires off-road driving over rough terrain.
The next stop was at Cape Kumukahi, located 25 miles southeast of Hilo on the easternmost point of the Hawaiian Islands.
Originally, this Cape’s light was a 32-foot wooden tower capped with an automatic acetylene gas light. Before arriving at the structure, there is a long bumpy road, as if someone paved it haphazardly, and lava fields can be seen as far as the eye can see.
Upon arrival, the ANT wasted no time to get the job fulfilled so they could wrap it up for the day. On day two, the team visited a light called Kukuihaele which means ‘lighthouse’ in Hawaiian. The Kukuihaele is located on the northeastern side of the island. The present 34-foot concrete tower was built in 1937. The Kukuihaele is the only remaining concrete light structure in Hawaii which has an interior ladder used for accessing the lamp.
The Kukuiihalele light is accessible by vehicle, but it’s a bumpy ride. However, the ride isn’t the most dangerous part of this trek down. There are three gates that all have to be opened by hand that normally wouldn’t be a big deal; however, there are approximately 150 angry wild stock inside theses gates that aren’t happy to see the Coast Guard.
“Watch out for that one; the one with the horns!” yelled VonSchlegell. Thankfully the team makes it to the structure in one piece, services the navigation aid and returns back to town calling it quits for another day.
“I take a lot of pride in knowing that what we’re doing out here makes a big difference,” said VonSchlegell. “I don’t see it as turning a wrench or changing a light bulb - I see it as keeping people safe and that’s why I joined the Coast Guard in the first place.”
A day in the life of the ANT Honolulu can be difficult, dangerous and exciting; however, it certainly has its perks. This team is living proof that just because the job isn’t glamorous or on the recruiting poster doesn’t mean it’s not a rewarding Coast Guard.


Coast Guard, local agencies recover missing Coast Guardsman

CORRECTION: Coast Guard, local agencies recover missing Coast Guardsman

Russian Destroyer Visits Japan

Moscow October 15, 2010 - Russia’s Pacific Fleet destroyer Admiral Panteleyev has arrived at the Japanese port of Hakodate on a friendly visit.
Russian sailors met with the city mayor and the chairman of the municipal assembly and visited the local naval base.
They will also be taken on tour of the sights and play friendly football and volleyball games with their Japanese colleagues.
The Russian ship will be open to the local public on October the 16th and 17th.


US Ship Visits the Netherlands

Washington October 16, 2010 - Destroyer USS Stout anchored off the coast of Den Helder, Netherlands, Oct. 16, after a challenging and successful Joint Warrior 10-2.
Joint Warrior is a multinational exercise planned and led by the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff in the United Kingdom. It is designed to improve interoperability between allied navies and prepare participating crews to conduct combined operations during deployment. The exercise, involving more than 10 countries, as well as NATO forces, took place predominantly off the coast of Scotland.
“Joint Warrior allowed us to train in all aspects of ship operations with some of our closest allies,” said Cmdr. Mark Oberley, commanding officer aboard Stout. “We operated as a joint task force, giving our sailors the practice and experience they will need to conduct operations with our coalition partners when called upon.”
The exercise promotes Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet's three focus areas, which are conducting safe and effective fleet operations to achieve mission, providing ready maritime forces for global assignment and teaming with allies and partners in execution of the maritime strategy.
With Joint Warrior 10-2 complete, the crew will get a chance to enjoy liberty in one of the most unique regions in Europe.
“We’re definitely looking forward to experiencing the culture and hospitality of the Netherlands,” said Oberley. “Our sailors have been working extremely hard, and our brief stop here affords them the opportunity for some well-deserved liberty.”
After the Den Helder visit, the ship will commence the Trans-Atlantic voyage back to her home port of Norfolk.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

U.S., Philippine Navies Kick Off CARAT 2010

Subic Bay October 13, 2010 - United States and Philippine Navy Sailors participated in an Oct 13 ceremony in Subic Bay, Philippines, marking the beginning of the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Philippines exercise
Destroyer Squadron 31 Deputy Commodore Capt. David Welch told the nearly 200 U.S. and Philippine Navy Sailors, dignitaries and media members that the complex bi-lateral maritime security exercise - now in its 16th iteration - is key to keeping the bond between the two allies strong.
"Today marks the start of what promises to be one of the most meaningful, timely and relevant exercises that our two navies have ever undertaken," he said. "Over the next ten days, our people will help propel the relationship between our sea services forward and strengthen the longtime friendship between our nations."
Welch also said that Sailors are expected to conduct meaningful military training and serve people in need ashore while strengthening the U.S.-Philippine partnership over the next ten days.
Throughout the exercise, U.S. and Philippine Navy Sailors will focus on a wide variety of maritime security areas, including diving and salvage operations, port security, small boat handling and maintenance, maritime interdiction, visit board search and seizure boarding operations, maritime aircraft operations, engineering civic action programs, along with traditional at-sea surface operations.
Additionally, more than 2,300 students, their families and neighbors received a variety of treatments – ranging from tooth extractions and to basic preventative medicine and dental hygiene at San Antonio School, Dirita Elementary School and San Miguel National High School.
CARAT participants include the guided missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Crommelin (FFG 37) and USNS Safeguard (T-ARS-50). Units training ashore include Expeditionary Maritime Security Squadron 7, Maritime Patrol Squadron 9, Naval Mobile Construction Squadron 11 and Riverine Squadron One.