Thursday, December 30, 2010

Support the USO

Make your matching gift today.

Make a donation to the USO today, and your gift will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $350,000. This is a special opportunity to provide double the care packages, double the holiday treats, and double the holiday phone calls home. Honor the service of our brave men and women in uniform with your special donation today.

Portland based Coast Guard Cutter launching "Own the Coast" campaign with move to new moorings

PORTLAND, Maine -- U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Jefferson Island, a Portland-based 110-foot patrol boat, will permanently move from its current moorings at the Coast Guard base in South Portland across the Fore River to the newly renovated Coast Guard pier at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Thursday, December 30th.

The 16-person crew and their spouses will mark the move by launching their "Own the Coast" campaign, a two-month long initiative to collectively run, bike or swim the 3,478 miles of Maine coastline in the gym while attempting to match the mileage with donated cans of non-perishable food items. The crew will also conduct beach clean-ups to raise public awareness of environmental management and protection.
The donated food items collected throughout the campaign will be donated to the Good Shepherd Food Bank of Portland in late February.
The Jefferson Island, which has been based in Portland since its commissioning in 1991, primary missions include search and rescue, law enforcement, domestic fisheries enforcement, and homeland security.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Coast Guard rescues, repatriates 80 Haitian migrants

Miami December 28, 2010 - Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba repatriated 80 Haitian migrants to Cap Haitien, Haiti, Tuesday.

The Haitian migrants were rescued from their overloaded and unstable 40-foot wooden sailing vessel approximately four miles south of Matthewtown, Bahamas, Sunday, after being located by a Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, Mich., MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
After a request for assistance under a bilateral agreement with the Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba arrived on scene, provided life jackets to the 80 Haitian migrants and, with the assistance of Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF) personnel, safely embarked them on the cutter.
"This case demonstrates the importance of readiness, forward deployment and partnerships," said Cmdr. Edward Westfall, Escanaba's commanding officer. "It is rewarding when all of the elements we train for and develop come together to successfully halt illicit trafficking and prevent a tragedy at sea."
Once aboard Coast Guard cutters, all migrants are provided with food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.
The RBDF vessel HMBS Nortec destroyed the wooden sailing vessel as a danger to navigation.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

HMS Montrose Home From Anti Piracy Patrols

London December 23, 2010 - HMS Montrose returned home to Plymouth yesterday after a hugely successful five months away as the scourge of Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.

The crew were welcomed to their base-port of HM Naval Base Devonport by a cheering crowd of families and friends after an action-packed deployment. The party atmosphere was completed by families being given gifts and children entertained while accompanied by Her Majesty's Band of the Royal Marines.

The ship's commanding officer, Commander Jonathan Lett, said:

"It is fantastic to be back home and wonderful to see so many people here to welcome us back home today.

"I am very proud of my ship's company for what they have achieved with tangible results after deterring pirate activity by our presence and by our actions.

"The ship's company deserve their Christmas break and so do the families who have given us such great support. It is very heart-warming to see them reunited on the jetty."

During her deployment HMS Montrose took part in Operation Ocean Shield as part of a dedicated multi-national NATO counter-piracy task force comprising HDMS Esbern Snare (Flagship) from Denmark, USS Kauffman and USS Laboon from the USA and ITS Bersagliere from Italy.

The frigate had notable successes against pirates with the destruction of pirate whalers and the freeing of the crew of the freighter - the MV Beluga Fortune - following a piracy attack.

Lieutenant Commander Duncan Humphery, the ship's marine engineer officer, was greeted yesterday by his overjoyed family - wife Natasha and their children Oliver, three, and Isabel, six. Lt Cdr Humphrey said:

"It is brilliant to see my family on the jetty to welcome me back home - nothing is better. This was one of the most successful and enjoyable deployments I have been on in the Navy. Not only did we see and were able to measure the successful results of our counter-piracy action, but also visited some interesting countries when we had the chance of a break."

As well as destroying pirate whalers, HMS Montrose conducted operations to disrupt large merchant vessels which pirates have been using as floating bases or 'mother ships'.

The ship's Lynx helicopter, from Royal Naval Air Station, Yeovilton, Somerset, has flown many hours of sorties along the coast of Somalia conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions of the known pirate camps to gather details for the coalition on piracy camp and vessel movements.

As well as policing the seas and coast, HMS Montrose has promoted and sustained international diplomatic relations. This includes visiting the Seychelles and Tanzania to provide engineering support and training in shipping board-and-search techniques so their defence forces can take a greater role in anti-piracy operations.

It has been a very busy and eventful year and the crew will take a well-earned Christmas holiday. Leave will be followed by the ship going into maintenance in Devonport, before undertaking a major exercise off Scotland and then the crew undergoes training with the Flag Officer Sea Training organisation in Plymouth in preparation for any future tasking.

Commissioned in 1992 HMS Montrose has a crew of 199 officers and ratings and is equipped with the latest weapons, sensors and communications systems, including the vertical-launch Seawolf missile system for close-air-defence, a four-and-a-half inch (114mm) gun, anti-submarine torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and a Lynx helicopter.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

USS Princeton Returns to San Diego

San Diego December 21, 2010 - Cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) will return to San Diego Dec. 22 after an independent six-month deployment to the 5th and 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR).

"I couldn't be any more pleased with the performance of the crew during the deployment, from bi-lateral exercises with key allies to counter-piracy missions off the coast of Somalia; they have done a tremendous job in getting the mission done," said Princeton's Commanding Officer Capt. Richard Haidvogel. "We're all very happy to be getting home in time for the holidays."
Princeton patrolled areas where the threat of piracy is a growing problem for merchant vessels. The cruiser's visit, board, search and seizure team conducted assist visits aboard several vessels in order to better enforce maritime security, deter piracy and police smuggling in areas where piracy is reported.
In September 2010, Princeton assisted USS Dubuque (LPD 8) with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Turkish warship TCG Gikeada (FFG 494) in capturing nine suspected pirates, who had taken control of the merchant vessel Magellan Star. Princeton took custody of the pirates and later transferred them to Kenya authorities.
Princeton also participated in combat casualty medical training with members of U.S. Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement, Detachment 404 as part of maintaining their medical readiness and proficiency while deployed.
With a crew of approximately 350 Sailors, including a crew from Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light 45, Detachment 2, Princeton made port calls to Singapore, Bahrain, Seychelles, Kenya, Thailand, Philippines and Guam. Sailors participated in community relations projects including painting school buildings, volunteering at hospitals and playing sports with children. They conducted more than 300 hours of volunteer service benefiting nearly 1500 host nation citizens.
Princeton helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and humanitarian/disaster response within 3rd Fleet's 50-million square mile AOR in the Eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Amelia Earhart's mystery may have been solved - paper | World | RIA Novosti

Amelia Earhart's mystery may have been solved - paper World RIA Novosti

Changes to Royal Navy's surface fleet announced

HMS Illustrious (left) will be withdrawn from service in 2014 and HMS Ocean will be retained to provide the landing platform helicopter capability for the longer term. [Pictures: Crown Copyright/MOD]
 London December 15, 2010 - Changes to the Royal Navy's surface fleet, including the withdrawal from service of HMS Illustrious and the four remaining Type 22 frigates, have been announced today by Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox.

The changes follow announcements regarding the Royal Navy's surface fleet in the White Paper 'Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The Strategic Defence and Security Review' published on 19 October.

In a written ministerial statement to parliament today, Dr Fox said that HMS Illustrious will be withdrawn from service in 2014 and HMS Ocean will be retained to provide the landing platform helicopter capability for the longer term.

Four frigates are also to be withdrawn from service. These are the remaining Type 22s: HMS Chatham, Campbeltown, Cumberland and Cornwall.

Chatham will be withdrawn from service at the end of January 2011, Campbeltown and Cumberland will follow on 1 April, and Cornwall at the end of April.

HMS Ark Royal will be finally withdrawn from service at the end of this year.

The Bay Class amphibious support ship to be withdrawn from service will be RFA Largs Bay, in April 2011. The Auxiliary Oiler RFA Bayleaf and the Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessel RFA Fort George will also be withdrawn from service in April next year.

October's White Paper explained the Government's intention to make certain changes to the Armed Forces in order to deliver the force structure we require for the future and to help address the legacy of unaffordability in the Defence Budget.

Today's written ministerial statement explains in more detail those changes that affect the Royal Navy's surface fleet.

HMS Ark Royal, Ocean and Illustrious

The White Paper announced that the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal would be decommissioned, and, accordingly, she will finally be withdrawn from service at the end of this month.

It also announced that either her sister ship HMS Illustrious or the Landing Platform Helicopter ship HMS Ocean would be withdrawn from service following a short study into which of these two ships was better able to provide the capability we require over the next few years.

This work has now been completed and it has been decided that HMS Ocean should be retained to provide our landing platform helicopter capability for the longer term.

HMS Illustrious will be withdrawn from service in 2014, once Ocean has emerged from a planned refit and been returned to a fully operational state. This will ensure that we retain the ability to deliver an amphibious intervention force from the sea and maintain an experienced crew to support the later introduction into service of the new Queen Elizabeth Class carrier.

HMS Chatham, Campbeltown, Cumberland and Cornwall

The White Paper explained that four frigates would be withdrawn from service in 2011. These are the remaining Type 22 frigates HMS Chatham, Campbeltown, Cumberland and Cornwall.

Chatham will be withdrawn from service at the end of January 2011 and Campbeltown and Cumberland will follow on 1 April.

HMS Cornwall will be withdrawn at the end of April once she has returned from her current operational deployment to the Indian Ocean.

Amphibious Ships

Other changes affect the Navy's amphibious ships. One of the two Landing Platform Dock ships will in future be placed at extended readiness while the other is held at high readiness for operations.

From November 2011, the high-readiness ship will be HMS Bulwark, and on current plans this will change to HMS Albion in late 2016 when Bulwark enters a refit period.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary

The final changes affect the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The White Paper said that there would be a fleet of resupply and refuelling vessels scaled to meet the Royal Navy's requirements.

With a smaller surface fleet these requirements are correspondingly lower, and hence we have decided to withdraw from service the Auxiliary Oiler RFA Bayleaf and the Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessel RFA Fort George from April 2011.

Additionally the Bay Class amphibious support ship RFA Largs Bay will be withdrawn from service in April 2011.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

First female service academy superintendent named

Rear Admiral Sandra L. Stosz currently serves as Director of Reserve and Leadership. She is responsible for developing policies to recruit, train and support over 8,000 Coast Guard Reservists. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Washington December 14, 2010 - Earlier today, the Coast Guard announced that Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz will be the first female Superintendent of the United States Coast Guard Academy. Stosz, currently the Director of Reserve and Leadership, will become the first, and only female to lead a U. S. service academy when she assumes command of USCGA next summer. Today’s announcement came with the release of the 2011 flag officer assignment list, detailing key leadership positions across the service.

“Rear Admiral Stosz has dedicated her career to developing professional Coast Guard men and women,” said Adm. Bob Papp, commandant, U.S. Coast Guard. “We are also extremely proud to be the first service with a woman at the helm of our academy. The Coast Guard has always led by allowing men and women equal access to all career fields and assignments.”

Stosz, a 1982 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, is the first female Coast Guard Academy graduate to achieve the rank of flag officer and is a surface operations officer with 12 years at sea, including command of two cutters – an icebreaking tug on the Great Lakes and a medium endurance cutter that patrolled North Atlantic and Caribbean waters.

The smallest of the five federal service academies, the Coast Guard Academy was the first to accept women among their Corps of Cadets in 1976, which now includes over 1,000 officers in training.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Honoring the Munro Family Legacy – Patricia Sheehan « Coast Guard Compass

Honoring the Munro Family Legacy – Patricia Sheehan « Coast Guard Compass

Justice Department Charges Seventh Individual for Allegedly Filing Fraudulent Claims for Oil Spill Compensation

Friday, December 10, 2010

Seven Defendants in Total Charged to Date in North Carolina, Texas, Mississippi, Michigan, Alabama and Louisiana

WASHINGTON – A woman was indicted today in the Eastern District of Louisiana for allegedly filing fraudulent claims for compensation due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Four other individuals were charged this week in Alabama, Michigan and Mississippi for fraud related to oil spill compensation claims, in addition to two defendants previously indicted on Nov. 22 and 24 in Texas and North Carolina.
These charges were announced today by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorneys Kenyen Ray Brown of the Southern District of Alabama, Jim Letten of the Eastern District of Louisiana, Barbara L. McQuade of the Eastern District of Michigan, Don Burkhalter of the Southern District of Mississippi, George E.B. Holding of the Eastern District of North Carolina, José Angel Moreno of the Southern District of Texas; FBI Assistant Director for the Criminal Investigative Division Kevin L. Perkins; U.S. Secret Service Assistant Director for Investigations A.T. Smith; and Chief Postal Inspector Guy Cottrell of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
"The charges announced today send a strong message that we will not tolerate any fraudulent activity designed to profit from this tragic oil spill," said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. "The Department of Justice and federal law enforcement agencies are placing a high priority on the prompt investigation and prosecution of all forms of fraud related to this disaster."
The indictment filed today charges Cam T. Hang with one count of mail fraud. The indictment alleges that Hang filed a claim with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) for $42,000 for business losses resulting from the oil spill. According to the indictment, Hang falsely stated she was doing business as C.H. Food Mart Inc., a seafood restaurant, and submitted fraudulent information claiming that her business experienced loss of income as a result of the oil spill, when in fact it did not.
Yesterday, in the Southern District of Alabama, two individuals were charged in separate criminal complaints. Travis P. Sigler was charged with wire fraud for allegedly submitting fraudulent pay stubs in support of a $13,000 claim made to the GCCF for lost income due to the oil spill. According to the complaint, the fraudulent pay stubs exaggerated the amount of his income for the purpose of increasing the amount received from his claim. Maria Wright was charged with mail fraud for allegedly filing fraudulent documents in support of her claim to the GCCF for $20,000 in lost income due to the oil spill.
Four other individuals have been charged with crimes related to fraudulent claims of compensation. In the Eastern District of Michigan, Kevin Hall was charged in a criminal complaint unsealed on Dec. 8, 2010, with one count of wire fraud. Hall allegedly falsely claimed to BP that he suffered $9,000 in lost business revenue as a result of the oil spill. On Dec. 7, 2010, an indictment was filed in the Southern District of Mississippi, charging Dennis L. Moore with wire and mail fraud. According to the indictment, Moore allegedly submitted false documents – including a false Mississippi tax identification number, false state tax returns, a false Mississippi Department of Revenue Business Permit, false federal tax returns and false sales receipts – in support of claims totaling $180,000 to the GCCF and to BP for compensation relating to the oil spill.
An indictment filed in the Southern District of Texas on Nov. 22, 2010, charged Sergio Corona with wire fraud. The indictment alleges that the defendant filed a claim with BP for $28,434, asserting that he had lost income because of the oil spill, but submitted false and fraudulent receipts and invoices in support of his claim.
Charlette Dufray Johnson was charged in a superseding indictment filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina on Nov. 24, 2010, with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with her claim to the GCCF. According to the superseding indictment, Johnson allegedly submitted a claim under the name and identity of her deceased sister, falsely claiming to have worked for and been terminated by a company in New Orleans. The indictment also charged her with false claims to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in connection with her previously filing 12 false claims for disaster assistance, totaling $76,666, relating to Hurricane Katrina, a California wildfire, and Tennessee and Georgia storms.
"The FBI is committed to seeking out and prosecuting individuals who commit fraud to obtain compensation intended for those who suffered losses as a result of the spill," said FBI Assistant Director Perkins. "We will continue to pursue disaster fraud whenever it occurs."
"The U.S. Secret Service is proud to partner with the National Center for Disaster Fraud to pursue criminals seeking to commit fraud related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill," Secret Service Assistant Director Smith said. "Cooperation and partnerships such as this have allowed us to focus our resources to uncover and prevent fraud more efficiently than ever."
"Protecting the mail, as well as those members of the public who are legitimately entitled to compensation after the oil spill, is a key concern for the Postal Inspection Service," stated Chief Postal Inspector Cottrell. "The Postal Inspection Service is pleased to have played an integral role since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in investigating cases of disaster fraud and ensuring that disaster assistance goes only to those who need it."
The cases announced today are a result of coordination between the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, and the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF). The Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and law enforcement agencies are working in coordination to ensure expeditious handling of oil spill-related fraud cases. The NCDF provides a nationwide process for receiving, screening, de-conflicting, and referring cases of disaster fraud, including fraud stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
In response to a significant amount of fraud associated with federal disaster relief programs that went into effect following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, a Joint Command Center was established in Baton Rouge in 2005. The command center, now known as the NCDF, has received and screened more than 41,000 complaints of disaster fraud and referred nearly 26,000 of those to law enforcement for investigation. The NCDF – based on its extensive expertise and established infrastructure – has helped victims of fraud related to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Ike and Gustav, as well as those affected by severe storms in more than 20 different states, earthquakes, tsunamis and wildfires.
Members of the public can report fraud involving the Deepwater Horizon oil spill through the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Disaster Fraud Hotline at 877-NCDF-GCF (623-3423), the Disaster Fraud Fax at 225-334-4707 or the Disaster Fraud e-mail at Individuals can also report criminal activity to the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.


USS Monitor steam engine: Rescued steam engine returns to Civil War appearance -

USS Monitor steam engine: Rescued steam engine returns to Civil War appearance -

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hawaii Commemorates 69th Pearl Harbor Day

PEARL HARBOR (Dec. 6, 2010) Information Systems Technician Seaman Adam Ratcliff stands at parade rest while manning the rails as the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) pulls into Pearl Harbor for a scheduled port visit. Pearl Harbor is part of Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, which is transiting the 3rd Fleet area of responsibility on its home way to San Diego, Calif. after a seven-month deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Russell/Released)
Pearl Harbor December 8, 2010 - The National Park Service and the U.S. Navy hosted a joint memorial ceremony commemorating the 69th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7 at the newly dedicated $56 million Pearl Harbor Visitor Center at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument was formerly known as the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center.

Themed "A Promise Fulfilled 1941 – 2010," the ceremony was held on the lawn of the new visitor center, which looks directly out to the USS Arizona Memorial situated in Pearl Harbor. For the past five years, the ceremony has been held at Kilo Pier on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam while planning and construction of the new visitor center took place.

"I'm honored to take part in commemorating the opening chapter of one of the most powerful stories in American history," said National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. "On a quiet Sunday morning nearly 70 years ago, the looming conflict that would consume the entire world announced itself with the sound of airplanes overhead."

Nearly 4,000 distinguished guests and the general public joined military personnel, members of the National Park Service and Pearl Harbor survivors for the annual observance of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and the dedication of the new visitor center. More than 200 Pearl Harbor survivors and other World War II veterans attended.

At 7:55 a.m., the exact moment the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor began, attendees observed a moment of silence. USS Chafee (DDG 90) sailed through the harbor and rendered honors to the USS Arizona Memorial while the Montana Air National Guard flew four F-15 aircraft over the memorial in a "missing man" formation.

Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Thomas Strickland was the keynote speaker for the commemoration and dedication.

"We are humbled to be in the presence of over one hundred survivors here today," said Strickland. "We thank you for your service to our country. This new visitor center will serve as a gateway not just to Dec. 7, 1941, but to all of World War II. Visitors entering the center travel the terrible destruction of Pearl Harbor to the moment of triumph on the deck of the Missouri."

A Pearl Harbor survivor from USS Nevada (BB 36), Woody Derby, said he was impressed with the new center. Derby said he hopes to live at least eight more years to become 100 years old.

Highlights of the ceremony included music by the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, a Hawaiian blessing, a rifle salute by members of the U.S. Marine Corps, wreath presentations, echo taps and recognition of the men and women who survived Dec. 7, 1941, and a special remembrance for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Enterprise Strike Group Sets Sail For Final Pre-deployment Exercise

USS Enterprise at Sea December 4, 2010 - USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Carrier Strike Group (ENTSG) departed its homeport of Norfolk, Va. to participate in a Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) Dec. 4.

For Sailors, JTFEX marks the culmination of months of preparation and training to ensure the strike group is ready for its upcoming deployment.

JTFEX will be the pinnacle of training for ENTSG to test and evaluate its ability to conduct numerous missions and handle threats similar to ones that may be presented while deployed. It is an exercise in which ENTSG will be faced with multiple threats from several different regions.

Operations experts from Commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic (CSFTL) embedded with ENTSG will grade the strike group's performance throughout JTFEX. At the end of the exercise, a detailed report card is issued across various warfare areas including anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, anti-air warfare, command and control warfare, and strike warfare.

If it is determined that certain operational areas need additional training, there is additional time allotted in the ships' schedules to allow for remedial training at sea if required.

"Our sailors are fired up and ready to go," said Capt. O. P. Honors, commanding officer of Enterprise. "We've done great in our training to date, and I have no doubt we'll knock this one out of the park too."

The entire strike group must pass the rigorous training in order to deploy.

"This strike group has exceeded the expectations of its assessors so far, and I am very proud of everything we have accomplished," said Rear Adm. Terry B. Kraft, commander of Carrier Strike Group Twelve. "It's the sailors of these ships working together as a team that means the difference between success and failure. It's challenging training, but the next time we see these threats they could be real."

Enterprise plans to make a port visit during the exercise, but that doesn't mean it is all fun and games. The strike group will be graded on how it conducts its liberty and in port security procedures as well.

"We practice everything. We even practice having fun," said Capt. Ryan Scholl, Enterprise's executive officer. "Because an aircraft carrier is also a tool of diplomacy, we engage in the same amount of planning and training going into a liberty port as we do for at-sea operations. We will be conducting community relations projects and hosting people aboard the ship in addition to seeing the sights."

During its port visit, Enterprise will undergo a degaussing procedure, a process that changes the magnetic signature of a ship's hull, making it more difficult to detect.

Once JTFEX is successfully completed, the 49 year old Enterprise and the strike group will be ready to deploy. For Enterprise, it will mark the carrier's 21st deployment.

Enterprise Strike Group consists of Enterprise, the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 56), the guided-missile destroyers USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Mason (DDG 87), USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8), Carrier Air Wing 1 and Destroyer Squadron 2.


History – Milestones of the U.S. Life-Saving Service « Coast Guard Compass

History – Milestones of the U.S. Life-Saving Service « Coast Guard Compass

Friday, December 3, 2010

HMS Ark Royal bows out in Portsmouth

Portsmouth December 3, 2010 - HMS Ark Royal has entered her home port of Portsmouth for the last time today, bringing her 25 years of service in the Royal Navy to a close.

Fleet flagship HMS Ark Royal returns to her home port of Portsmouth for the final time, ending 25 years of service in the Royal Navy [Picture: LA(Phot) Arron Hoare, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

The aircraft carrier is being decommissioned as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review. Her role as the current Royal Navy flagship will initially be taken on by amphibious assault ship HMS Albion.
Following a brief farewell tour of the UK and a stopover in Hamburg, the aircraft carrier, which is being decommissioned early next year, sailed into Portsmouth Naval Base today, and in keeping with tradition flew a decommissioning pennant.
Ark Royal's farewell voyage took her around the north of Scotland and on into Newcastle where she was built by Swan Hunter in their Wallsend shipyard.
The ship's Commanding Officer, Captain Jerry Kyd, said:
"There is no question that there is a certain amount of sadness attached to this final deployment, but it is also an opportunity for us to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of this fine ship and for us to show her off once more.
"She has played a very important role throughout her history and we have always been lucky enough to draw great affection and support from the British public wherever we go.

Crew members line the deck of HMS Ark Royal as she returns to her home port of Portsmouth for the final time [Picture: POA(Phot) Ray Jones, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

"For me, personally, I have been exceptionally proud to serve as her Captain - my very first job after finishing my initial officer training 25 years ago at Dartmouth was in the then brand new HMS Ark Royal. It is therefore a great honour for me to be able to command her farewell tour as her last Captain."
The fifth vessel to bear the proud name, Ark Royal was launched by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on 20 June 1981, accepted into service on 1 July 1985 and commissioned on 1 November 1985.
During her busy life the ship has seen service around the globe and has adapted from her original role as an anti-submarine helicopter carrier designed for the Cold War to the commando helicopter and carrier strike role of recent years.
The fleet flagship's operations have included playing a pivotal part of the NATO campaign during the Bosnia conflict and, in early 2003, leading the UK's naval forces during Op TELIC, the invasion of Iraq, with a fleet of helicopters embarked.

Admiral Sir Trevor Soar, Commander-in-Chief Fleet, is welcomed aboard HMS Ark Royal [Picture: LA(Phot) Abbie Gadd, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

Captain Kyd paid tribute today not only to the ship itself, but also to the crew with which he has worked on HMS Ark Royal over the years. He said:
"I am very fortunate to be at the helm of an exceptional crew, whose professional skills will be reallocated and valued in the wider Royal Naval Service, long after the ship herself has been decommissioned - so her work and memory will continue to serve the Royal Navy well.
"I am only too aware that this famous ship and her iconic name mean so much to so many, but although Ark Royal will be decommissioned, the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers are vastly more capable and provide the Royal Navy with an exciting future."
Earlier this year HMS Ark Royal led a large multinational task force during Exercise Auriga and has demonstrated her versatility by operating a wide range of aircraft, including Joint Force GR9 Harrier jets and US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier jets, as well as Chinook, Apache, Sea King, Merlin and Lynx helicopters.

This Parking Garage Is Really An Aircraft Carrier

This Parking Garage Is Really An Aircraft Carrier

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Americans discover Russian ghost-missiles on European horizon — RT

Americans discover Russian ghost-missiles on European horizon — RT

Guided-missile destroyer leaving Pearl Harbor for Middle East - Hawaii News -

Guided-missile destroyer leaving Pearl Harbor for Middle East - Hawaii News -

Coast Guard replaces New London station commander - The Boston Globe

Coast Guard replaces New London station commander - The Boston Globe

supercarrier to the Columbia River's Chinook Landing Marine Park, where it will serve as a museum

supercarrier to the Columbia River's Chinook Landing Marine Park, where it will serve as a museum

Ark Royal could be turned into a museum moored in Docklands | News

Ark Royal could be turned into a museum moored in Docklands News