Thursday, March 31, 2011

F-35B test aircraft accomplish formation test

At a test range near Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., two F-35B test aircraft accomplish a formation test point March 17. Lockheed Martin test pilot David "Doc" Nelson flew BF-2 and Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Steve Long piloted BF-3. The F-35B and F-35C variants are undergoing test and evaluation for delivery to the Marine Corps and Navy respectively. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

thumb_11P00102_20_1.jpg

thumb_11P00102_36_1.jpg

RAF and Navy patrol Libyan skies and seas


London March 31, 2011 - RAF Tornados conducted further patrols over Libya yesterday, launching missiles against military assets of pro-Gaddafi forces in the Misurata area, while HMS Cumberland patrolled the waters off Libya to enforce the arms embargo.

Tornado GR4


















A Tornado GR4 aircraft being refueled from a TriStar tanker aircraft [Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

Major General John Lorimer, the Chief of the Defence Staff's Strategic Communications Officer, said today, Thursday 31 March 2011:
"In support of the UK's ongoing commitment to enforcing UNSCR [United Nations Security Council Resolution] 1973 to protect Libyan civilians, RAF Tornado aircraft flying from Gioia del Colle in Italy conducted a series of armed air reconnaissance and overwatch patrols over Libya yesterday.
"In the course of these patrols the aircraft launched Paveway IV and Brimstone missiles against military assets of pro-Gaddafi forces in the Misurata area.
"These missiles hit three main battle tanks, two armoured fighting vehicles and a surface-to-air missile site.
"RAF VC10 tanker aircraft, Nimrod R1, Sentinel and E3-D aircraft from Akrotiri and Trapani supported these missions at the same time as providing support to RAF Typhoon operations to patrol the no-fly zone and other coalition strikes.
"As part of our ongoing support to the NATO Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR, HMS Cumberland patrolled international waters off Libya, conducting sea denial, surveillance, and monitoring of shipping.
"During this period HMS Cumberland launched her Lynx helicopter on a number of surface search missions during which she made a contribution to the coalition surveillance effort in support of the arms embargo."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

USS Whidbey Island Welcomes the 22nd MEU

Sailors assigned to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) man the rails as the ship departs Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort as part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group.
Sailors assigned to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) man the rails as the ship departs Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort as part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group.

MOOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (NNS) -- Marines assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) embarked amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) March 28 to join Bataan Amphibious Group (ARG) for their deployment.
Led by amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD) 5, the Bataan ARG-MEU deployed ahead of schedule to relieve units attached to the Kearsarge ARG and 26th MEU in the Mediterranean Sea, currently supporting Operation Odyssey Dawn.
"We are proud and excited to be embarking units of 22nd MEU," said Cmdr. Eric Conzen, commanding officer, USS Whidbey Island. "This ship was built for Sailor and Marine integration and it feels like we are just now completing our full crew compliment now that elements from 22 MEU are coming aboard."
Bataan ARG consists of approximately 4,000 Sailors and Marines. The ARG is prepared to conduct a variety of missions, including forward naval presence, maritime security operations, theater security cooperation, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, as directed by Fleet and Joint Task Force commanders.
"We expect to complete whatever tasks we are assigned successfully and come back safe. The ultimate goal is mission accomplishment and troop welfare," said 22nd MEU Gunnery Sgt. Patrick McClung. "I'm excited and happy to be here. This is what we do."
For many Marines, this will be their first time on board a Navy ship.
"This is my first time deploying on a Navy vessel and I think it will be a good learning experience," said 22nd MEU Cpl. Jordan King. "We are all really close and working alongside the Navy is part of heritage and tradition for a Marine. I am excited that we get to open up and form bonds with the crew."
Conzen is confident in the Sailors' and Marines' ability to work together as a unified team and accomplish whatever mission they are called upon to perform.
"The Navy and Marine Corps have been operating together for a long time in the ARG/MEU construct. As a mobile force, we can go almost anywhere we are needed, on short notice," said Conzen. "The 'Blue-Green' team is one of the most flexible tools the U.S. has to use."
Bataan ARG-22 MEU are comprised of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, which includes a Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced); Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; and its command element; and the Navy's Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 6, which includes Bataan, Whidbey Island, amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), and detachments from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 22, Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 8, Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 2, ACU-4 and Naval Beach Group.

EUNAVFOR Spanish Warship disrupts suspected pirates Northwest of Seychelles




Northwood March 30, 2011 - On 28 March 2011, EUNAVFOR's SPS CANARIAS disrupted a suspected Pirate Action Group (PAG), consisting of a whaler-style boat and a skiff, 260 Nautical Miles North-West of the Seychelles after a fishing vessel reported the PAGs presence to the warship.
Early morning on 28 March, the Seychellois flagged fishing vessel reported that a whaler and a skiff had approached her in a suspicious manner with automatic weapons and a Rocket Propelled Grenade(RPG) clearly visible. The EUNAVFOR warship immediately made her way to the scene and launched her SH-60B helicopter to investigate further.
After 2 attempts by the Whaler to flee the scene, the helicopter was forced to fire warning shots in front of the vessel to make it stop. The occupants of the whaler were observed throwing items of equipment overboard just before  CANARIAS arrived. Having been stopped by the helicopter, the whaler and the skiff were boarded by a team from the Spanish warship and 11 suspected pirates detained. The whaler was taken alongside by the warship and the skiff was destroyed.
After presenting the case to the Seychellois authorities, it has been agreed to transfer the suspected pirates to the Seychelles for prosecution. These suspected pirates, who were allegedly plying their trade against a Seychellois vessel, will now face Seychellois justice.
EUNAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). EUNAVFOR also protects vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, deters and disrupts piracy. EUNAVFOR finally monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Coast Guard Cutter Chase decommissioned

110329-G-7070K-001 CGC Chase DECOM San Diego - The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Chase, a 378-foot, high endurance cutter homeported in San Diego, was decommissioned after 44-years of service in a ceremony presided over by Vice Adm. Manson K. Brown, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, Tuesday, March 29. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sondra-Kay Kneen-Rivera.
110329-G-7070K-002 CGC Chase DECOM San Diego - Vice Adm. Manson K. Brown, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, and Capt. Gregory J. Sanial, commanding officer, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Chase, stand with the oldest and newest crew members of the Chase, after the cutter was awarded the Unit Commendation medal during its decommissioning ceremony, Tuesday, March 29. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sondra-Kay Kneen-Rivera.
110329-G-7070K-002 CGC Chase DECOM San Diego - Vice Adm. Manson K. Brown, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, and Capt. Gregory J. Sanial, commanding officer, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Chase, stand with the oldest and newest crew members of the Chase, after the cutter was awarded the Unit Commendation medal during its decommissioning ceremony, Tuesday, March 29. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sondra-Kay Kneen-Rivera.
110329-G-7070K-003 CGC Chase DECOM San Diego - The crew and officers of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Chase, a 378-foot, high endurance cutter homeported in San Diego, line up at attention during the cutter’s final commissioned moments. The Chase was decommissioned after 44-years of service in a ceremony presided over by Vice Adm. Manson K. Brown, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, Tuesday, March 29. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sondra-Kay Kneen-Rivera.
110329-G-7070K-003 CGC Chase DECOM San Diego - The crew and officers of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Chase, a 378-foot, high endurance cutter homeported in San Diego, line up at attention during the cutter’s final commissioned moments. The Chase was decommissioned after 44-years of service in a ceremony presided over by Vice Adm. Manson K. Brown, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, Tuesday, March 29. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sondra-Kay Kneen-Rivera.
110329-G-7070K-004 CGC Chase DECOM San Diego – A crewmember aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Chase, homeported in San Diego, lowers the National Ensign or “Colors” from the cutters flag pole during the cutter’s decommissioning ceremony. The Chase was decommissioned after 44-years of service in a ceremony presided over by Vice Adm. Manson K. Brown, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, Tuesday, March 29. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sondra-Kay Kneen-Rivera.
110329-G-7070K-004 CGC Chase DECOM San Diego – A crewmember aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Chase, homeported in San Diego, lowers the National Ensign or “Colors” from the cutters flag pole during the cutter’s decommissioning ceremony. The Chase was decommissioned after 44-years of service in a ceremony presided over by Vice Adm. Manson K. Brown, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, Tuesday, March 29. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sondra-Kay Kneen-Rivera.
110329-G-7070K-005 CGC Chase DECOM San Diego - Capt. Gregory J. Sanial, commanding officer, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Chase, reports that the cutter Chase has been properly decommissioned to Vice Adm. Manson K. Brown, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, during its decommissioning ceremony, Tuesday, March 29. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sondra-Kay Kneen-Rivera.
110329-G-7070K-005 CGC Chase DECOM San Diego - Capt. Gregory J. Sanial, commanding officer, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Chase, reports that the cutter Chase has been properly decommissioned to Vice Adm. Manson K. Brown, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, during its decommissioning ceremony, Tuesday, March 29. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sondra-Kay Kneen-Rivera.

US Navy P-3C, USAF A-10 and USS Barry Engage Libyan Vessels

March 29, 2011 - A U.S. Navy P-3C Maritime Patrol aircraft, a U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft and guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG-52) engaged Libyan Coast Guard vessel Vittoria and two smaller craft after confirmed reports that Vittoria and accompanying craft were firing indiscriminately at merchant vessels in the port of Misratah, Libya, during the evening March 28, 2011.
The P-3C fired at Vittoria with AGM-65F Maverick missiles after multiple explosions were observed in the vicinity of the port rendering the 12-meter patrol vessel ineffective and forcing it to be beached.
Two small crafts were fired upon by an A-10 using its 30mm GAU-8/ Avenger Gatling cannon, destroying one and forcing the other to be abandoned.
Barry provided situational awareness for the aircraft by managing the airspace and maintaining the maritime picture.
The P-3C, A-10 and Barry are currently supporting operations for Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn.
Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn is the U.S. Africa Command task force established to provide operational and tactical command and control of U.S. military forces supporting the international response to the unrest in Libya and enforcement of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973. UNSCR 1973 authorizes all necessary measures to protect civilians in Libya under threat of attack by Qadhafi regime forces.

USO Set to Honor Linda Hudson as 2011 Woman of the Year

Linda_Hudson_210


The USO is set to present its 2011 Woman of Year Distinguished Service Award to Linda Hudson, President & CEO of BAE Systems at the USO 45th Woman of the Year Luncheon. Linda is also a member of the USO Board of Governors and will be recognized for her strong support for the military and families. The event will be held at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on Tuesday, April 26. 
Linda said she is truly humbled by the recognition and shared why the USO holds a special place in her heart.
"As the mother-in-law of an active duty deployed Marine, I know the challenges facing those that serve and the strain on the families they leave behind. The USO provides much needed support to ease those strains and challenges."
In turn, her work as president and CEO of BAE Systems mirrors the USO's efforts.
"As the leader of a U.S. defense company, my work life revolves around the needs of the U.S. military. The good work of the USO is at the heart of all that I do and care about. Our company is a strong supporter of the USO and I donate my time and money to help make it more successful."
The USO will also honor the outstanding service and sacrifice of our troops and wounded warriors and raise funds for the USO's new initiative Operation Enduring Care.
Register today to attend the Woman of the Year Luncheon.

HMS Cumberland ready for embargo operations in Libya

London March 29, 2011 - HMS Cumberland is ready to move into the next phase of operations in Libya by enforcing the arms embargo under UN Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973.

HMS Cumberland and Lynx helicopter
HMS Cumberland with the ship's Lynx helicopter flying overhead. [Picture: Petty Officer (Photographer) Sean Clee, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]


The Royal Navy Type 22 frigate has been a key part of the UK's response to the crisis in Libya since the beginning of the troubles in February.
One way she is able to enforce the arms embargo is through her embarked Lynx helicopter which can search a wide area of the sea quickly to assess the activities of Libyan forces and search out any vessels which are in breach of the UN-sanctioned arms embargo on Libya.
The ship's Royal Marines and Royal Navy boarding parties have been honing their skills recently so they are ready to be deployed at minutes' notice if needed to conduct searches of suspect vessels stopped by the Type 22 frigate under the embargo.
The boarding teams can be deployed rapidly by sea boat or by fast-roping onto the deck of a suspect vessel from Cumberland's Lynx helicopter.
HMS Cumberland's Commanding Officer, Captain Steve Dainton, said:

Cumberland's Lynx helicopter lands stores on HMS Westminster's aft deck
HMS Cumberland's Lynx helicopter transfers essential stores and ammunition to HMS Westminster. HMS Cumberland can be seen in the distance. [Picture: Petty Officer (Photographer) Sean Clee, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

"Cumberland is demonstrating her capability as a highly flexible asset, capable of enforcing the will of the international community. Over the last month, we have conducted three evacuation operations from Benghazi, conducted patrols off the coast and acted as an effective deterrent to Gaddafi's naval forces.
"Now we are ready to be involved in the next phase of the international operation to protect the civilians of Libya from further oppression. We, along with our NATO and international colleagues, will form a ring of steel around the Libyan coast to make sure that no embargoed goods are supplied to the Gaddafi regime by sea.
"We will also help to make sure that any aid shipments for victims of the regime's oppression do successfully make it through to their intended destination."

Military Sealift Command announces new names for subordinate commands and organizations: roles and responsibilities remain unchanged

USNS Carl Brashear currently supporting disaster relief operations off Japan.

Washington March 29, 2011 - Military Sealift Command announced today that the Washington, D.C.-headquartered command renamed 11 of its component commands and organizations. Effective today, the new names more accurately reflect the ties between MSC and its worldwide locations.
The roles, responsibilities, reporting requirements and organizational structure of MSC and its components remain unchanged.
Formerly called sealift logistics commands, or SEALOGs, MSC's five geographic commands are now collectively referred to as area commands. Their old and new names are as follows:
- Sealift Logistics Command Atlantic (SEALOGLANT) becomes Military Sealift Command Atlantic (MSCLANT); 
- Sealift Logistics Command Pacific (SEALOGPAC) becomes Military Sealift Command Pacific (MSCPAC); 
- Sealift Logistics Command Europe (SEALOGEUR) becomes Military Sealift Command Europe and Africa (MSCEURAF); 
- Sealift Logistics Command Central(SEALOGCENT) becomes Military Sealift Command Central (MSCCENT); and 
- Sealift Logistics Command Far East(SEALOGFE) becomes Military Sealift Command Far East (MSCFE).
In addition, MSC's six ship support units now carry "MSC" before their command names: For instance, Ship Support Unit San Diego is now Military Sealift Command Ship Support Unit San Diego, or MSC SSU San Diego. MSC's five other ship support units are in Naples, Bahrain, Singapore, Guam and Yokohama.
"In the past, some of our customers have been confused by the various names of our worldwide commands and organizations. In some cases, our customers didn't realize that the command or organization they were dealing with was actually part of MSC," said MSC Commander Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby.
This name change is the result of an extensive strategic communication effort led by MSC headquarters.
Military Sealift Command operates approximately 110 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.
MSC's five worldwide area commands are each commanded by a U.S. Navy captain and operationally represent MSC in their respective areas of responsibility, serving as the primary point of contact for customers and partners in the AOR.
The MSC SSUs, which report directly to MSC's Military Sealift Fleet Support Command, provide support to deployed MSC government-owned, government-operated ships worldwide. MSC SSU Guam is led by a U.S. Navy commander, MSC SSU Singapore by a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander and the other four are under the direction of senior civil servants.

Monday, March 28, 2011

7th Fleet Relief Support Update (March 28)

PACIFIC OCEAN (March 27, 2011) Capt. David Fluker, commanding officer of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) discusses ship capabilities on the Essex bridge with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Rear Adm. Hiroyuki Kasui, commander, Escort Flotilla 1. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Casey H. Kyhl) 

USS Blue Ridge at Sea March 28, 2011 - Seventh Fleet forces continued support of the Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) in Operation Tomodachi as Japan was hit by another 6.5-magnitude aftershock today.
Residents of Oshima, off the coast of Kessennuma, enjoyed their first full day of having electrical power today after the USS Essex (LHD2) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) combined efforts to restore to bring electrical utility trucks and other relief supplies to the island that had been isolated and without electricity for 16 days. Assault Craft Unit 1 faced challenges getting the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) ashore and carefully avoided floating debris in the water. Local residents erupted in cheer as power was restored to the island by 5 p.m. yesterday.
USNS Safeguard (ARS 50) and USS Tortuga (LSD 46), Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5 and Underwater Construction Team 2 moved to the port of Miyako today in preparation for port clearance operations there. Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and commercial divers are coordinating with 7th Fleet units to assess the port and plan for clearance operations. Safeguard played a crucial role in clearance operations at the Port of Hachinohe by leveraging side scan sonar to survey 2 million square meters of waterway and removing multiple obstacles out of the waterway, such as vehicles, a small storage building, 20 ft. storage containers and 100 ton concrete blocks from washed away pier pilings. Navy teams are working with the JSDF and local authorities to coordinate similar efforts in the port of Oshima after completion of operations at Miyako.
USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) arrived in Yokosuka today after conducting checks for radioactive contamination. As with USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), which returned to Yokosuka on March 26, it surveyed surfaces around the ship and decontaminated impacted areas by washing with soap and water. All ships participating in Operation Tomodachi, including USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), conduct continuous surveys and clean contaminated spots as they are detected.
The second of two U.S. Navy barges containing 500,000 gallons of fresh water from Commander, Facilities Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) arrived at the port of Onahama in preparation for transport to the crippled Fukishima Daiichi nuclear power plant. JMSDF personnel are conducting additional safety training and familiarization of the barges and pumping equipment prior to movement to a staging area off the coast from the power plant. The water will be used to replace salt water in the reactor cooling system to lessen the corrosive impact of salt from the sea water still being used for emergency cooling.
USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204) is en route Sasebo with 312 pallets of water it picked up from the port city of Gwangyang, Republic of Korea, yesterday. The water will be used by Sasebo detachment of the Fleet Industrial Supply Center to support ongoing HADR efforts.
There were no requested helicopter deliveries of relief supplies today. Helicopters from the Reagan strike group conducted four survey flights today and found no new sites of isolated persons. Aircrews report that remaining groups of displaced persons are being served by Japan Ground Self Defense Force personnel who are now able to reach them over land.
USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19), flagship for the United States Seventh Fleet, is on station near Okinawa providing command and control for U.S. Navy efforts during the crisis. Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, has been designated as the Joint Force Maritime Component Commander for U.S. relief efforts in Operation Tomodachi.
To date, 22 ships, 132 aircraft and 15,007 personnel have participated in Operation Tomodachi. Those ships include USS Tortuga (LSD 46), USNS Safeguard (T-ARS-50), USS Essex (LHD 2), USS Germantown (LSD 42), USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Preble (DDG 88), USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), USS Mustin (DDG 89), USS Cowpens (CG 63), USS Shiloh (CG 67), USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10), USNS Pecos (T-AO 197), USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204), USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4) and USNS Mathew Perry (T-AKE 9).
Since Operation Tomodachi started, U.S. 7th Fleet forces have delivered more than 240 tons of HA/DR supplies to survivors of the tsunami and earthquake, in support of Japan Self Defense Force efforts. 

Arlington Christened in Honor of Sept. 11

Joyce Rumsfeld, wife of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, christens the amphibious transport dock ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Arlington (LPD 24).
Pascagoula March 26, 2011 - The Navy christened its newest amphibious transport dock ship, USS Arlington (LPD 24), during a ceremony at Northrop Grumman shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., March 26. 
The ship is named for the city of Arlington, Va., honoring the 184 victims in the air and on the ground, who lost their lives when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2001.
"Sailors of the Arlington, you are the spirit that will carry this ship forward," said Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert. "This is the ship we'll need for the future. She's exactly what we called for when we looked out on our cooperative strategy for the 21st century."
Joyce Rumsfeld, wife of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, sponsored the ship and brought it to active service by breaking a bottle of champagne across the bow of the ship.
"To those of you responsible for building this ship, you have done something quite remarkable," said Rumsfeld. "It represents the remembrance of those lost in the Pentagon attack, it represents the clarity of purpose that the attack initiated and it represents so well what we as a nation are able to accomplish if we do work together."
By its namesake, the ship also honors the military and civilian employees, and the emergency, fire and rescue personnel of Arlington and surrounding communities who provided critical assistance after the attack.
Arlington County Fire Chief James Schwartz, the incident commander who coordinated the rescue response efforts at the Pentagon during the Sept. 11 attack, praised the heroism and dedication that USS Arlington represents.
"Sept. 11 taught us that life is precious," said Schwartz. "So, too, is the American way of life. Today we christen a Navy vessel whose chief responsibility is to preserve that way of life and to enable us as Americans to pursue our hopes and dreams in freedom. This way of life is only possible because of the sacrifice of men and women in uniform who defend and protect our nation, both here and around the world."
Arlington was designed with force protection in mind, and serves as a sea-based platform for U.S Marine Corps personnel.
"The expeditionary force in readiness is the vanguard of our nation's security," said Maj. Gen. James Kessler, Marine Corps Logistics Command commanding general. "The Navy-Marine Corps team is uniquely suited to these conditions, and this ship is uniquely suited to these missions."
The Arlington is the U.S Navy's eighth and latest San Antonio class amphibious transport ship, and the third to bear the name. The ship's overall length is 684 feet and can reach speeds in excess of 22 knots. Arlington's armament includes two Bushmaster II 30 mm close in guns; two rolling airframe missile launchers and 10 .50-caliber machine guns.
Arlington has the capability to embark, transport and land amphibious forces through a variety of methods and vehicles including Landing Craft Air Cushion craft and Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles. Arlington will also operate with aircraft such as the tilt-rotor MV-22 Ospreys and CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters.

MV ZIRKU pirated in the Eastern part of the Gulf of Aden






At approximately 0900Z on 28 March, the Crude Oil Tanker the MV ZIRKU was pirated approximately 250 nautical miles South East of Salalah in the eastern part of the Gulf of Aden

The UAE flagged and Kuwaiti owned vessel was on its way to Singapore from Bashayer (Sudan) when it was attacked. The vessel was attacked by 2 pirate skiffs firing RPGs and small arms. The MV ZIRKU has a crew of 29 (1 Croatian, 1 Iraqi, 1 Filipino, 1 Indian, 3 Jordanians, 3 Eqyptians, 2 Ukrainians and 17 Pakistanis). There is no further information about the crew at present.

The MV ZIRKU was registered with MSC(HOA), and was reporting to UKMTO. EUNAVFOR are continuing to monitor the situation.
EUNAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). EUNAVFOR also protects vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, deters and disrupts piracy. EUNAVFOR finally monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.

Lockheed Martin Wins U.S. Coast Guard Training Contract


Orlando March 28, 2011 - The U.S. Coast Guard has awarded Lockheed Martin a five-year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity training and technical support services contract. The contract, which includes a $90,000 initial task order, has a $57 million ceiling value.

Working closely with the Coast Guard, Lockheed Martin will identify and hire specialized instructors in areas such as aviation, operations and engineering; conduct performance analysis and assist with instructor improvement programs; and develop curricula and advanced distributed learning modules.
Training and support services will be provided for up to 12 Coast Guard training sites located in Mobile, Ala., Alameda, Calif., Petaluma, Calif., New London, Conn., Washington, D.C., Camp Lejeune, N.C., Elizabeth City, N.C., Cape May, N.J., Oklahoma City, Okla., Charleston, S.C., Chesapeake, Va., and Yorktown, Va.
"We're proud that the Coast Guard has entrusted us with helping train and develop the next generation of servicemen and women," said Carey Smith, vice president of Technical Services, Lockheed Martin Global Training and Logistics. "Whether it's developing curricula or finding the best instructors for a particular program, Lockheed Martin is focused on delivering the best value for our customer so their trainees can deliver the best in performance." 

Replacement for HMS Endurance announced

London March 25, 2011 - The Royal Navy's ice patrol ship HMS Endurance is to be replaced with a Norwegian ship on a three-year loan basis.

MV Polarbjørn
The Norwegian ice patrol ship MV Polarbjørn will serve in the Royal Navy as HMS Protector [Picture: GC Rieber Shipping]

Speaking in the House of Lords this week, Lord Astor, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence, said the new ship, to be called HMS Protector, will be leased for three years while HMS Endurance's future is considered:
"The intention is to lease MV Polarbjørn, a Norwegian ice patrol ship, for an initial period of three years," Lord Astor said.
The ship's mission is to patrol and survey the Antarctic and South Atlantic, after the Portsmouth-based Endurance suffered a flood in 2008 following a maintenance error off the coast of Chile.
HMS Endurance
HMS Endurance during an Antarctic survey mission in 2007 (stock image)
[Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Kelly Whybrow, Crown Copyright 2007
]

HMS Endurance has been docked at HM Naval Base Portsmouth ever since she was transported back to the UK on a special container ship in 2009.
MV Polarbjørn, as HMS Protector, is due to arrive in May for refitting ahead of deployment.
Lord Astor said a contract for the lease was expected to be signed soon with GC Rieber Shipping - the Government's preferred bidders.
Six ships of the Royal Navy have previously been called HMS Protector, including an Antarctic survey vessel which served from 1936 to 1970.
HMS Scott, which is not an icebreaker but which has been conducting patrols in the Antarctic, will continue with her Ocean Survey Programme once she has received maintenance back in the UK.

Friday, March 25, 2011

LCS 6 and 8 Named





LCS 6 will be named USS Jackson and LCS 8 will be USS Montgomery.

BC PARKS ACCEPTS GIFT OF ANNAPOLIS FOR PLACING IN MARINE PARK



The BC Ministry of Environment, Parks Branch, has accepted the gift by the Artificial Reef Society of BC (ARSBC) of the former HMCS Annapolis, which will be placed as an artificial reef in the Halkett Bay Marine Park, Gambier Island  later this year, said Howard Robins, President of the Society.
“It has been our plan for some time to place the ship in the Marine Park, but last summer there was some confusion over the legal framework on how this would be done which has now been sorted out”.
The ARSBC placed its first artificial reef the GB Church in a Marine Park in 1991, with the financial support of BC Parks, since BC Parks itself had an active artificial reef program of its own in the 1970s and ‘80s. The ARSBC’s program essentially supplanted their program at Porteau Cove.  “We are delighted to be able to restore Halkett Bay because the bottom where the ship will be placed has suffered from decades of log-booming, and the resulting bark detritus has severely impacted marine life on the sea floor”.
As in previously ARSBC projects, the Annapolis will provide a new complex habitat to support an abundance of marine animals bringing back renewed vitality to the area.
The ship is being extensively stripped of anything worth recycling during the process of environmental cleanup and making it safe for divers, and the ARSBC expects the ship will be ready for environmental inspection within two months to satisfy Environment Canada, Fisheries and Ocean and Transport Canada regulations.  This has been an almost entirely volunteer project, and over 1000 individuals have contributed over 12,000 hours towards the ship cleanup and stripping off recyclables. This work will continue for a few months yet.
“We also believe that area residents and property owners have been well informed as to the fact that the Annapolis will have no impact on their lifestyle, and only a positive impact on our marine environment. The ship will be in 100 feet of water, with nothing visible but three marker buoys above it. Cottage owners 1500-1800 feet away will hardly even see the buoy.  In fact, in 20 years of ship sinking, there has never been a single letter of complaint from ‘neighbours’ concerning the ships after they were sunk. We believe that the various concerns Halkett Bay cottage owners have previously expressed have been addressed and we thank them for their input”.
“We cannot speak for BC Parks, but understand that their policy is that Parks are there to be enjoyed by all British Columbians, not just those who live close to them, and the enhancement of enjoyment of a Marine Park by divers, through the placing of an artificial reef, is part of their basic policy,” concluded Robins
Since 1989 The ARSBC has sunk 7 ships and 1 airplane and is known internationally for its expertise in  marine habitat creation and continues to consult with other groups on reefing ships. 





Russian Navy News


RSS
Expedition vessel Akademik Treshnikov is ready for launch03.25.2011Expedition vessel Akademik Treshnikov is ready for launch
Expedition vessel Akademik Treshnikov is ready for launch

Russian, Ukrainian defense ministers discussed military cooperation03.25.2011Russian, Ukrainian defense ministers discussed military cooperation
Russian, Ukrainian defense ministers discussed military cooperation

Protest rally against Black Sea Fleet will be held in Kiev03.25.2011Protest rally against Black Sea Fleet will be held in Kiev
Protest rally against Black Sea Fleet will be held in Kiev

Court sentenced six Arctic Sea hijackers03.25.2011Court sentenced six Arctic Sea hijackers
Court sentenced six Arctic Sea hijackers

Pomor-2011 naval exercise to be held in May03.25.2011Pomor-2011 naval exercise to be held in May
Pomor-2011 naval exercise to be held in May

Pacific Fleet mariners got national awards03.24.2011Pacific Fleet mariners got national awards
Pacific Fleet mariners got national awards

Naval aircrafts to be reassigned to Air Force in 201103.24.2011Naval aircrafts to be reassigned to Air Force in 2011
Naval aircrafts to be reassigned to Air Force in 2011

Russian warship escorts two foreign vessels across the Gulf of Aden03.24.2011Russian warship escorts two foreign vessels across the Gulf of Aden
Russian warship escorts two foreign vessels across the Gulf of Aden

Incheon remembers the legendary Varyag03.24.2011Incheon remembers the legendary Varyag
Incheon remembers the legendary Varyag

Missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov moves to Pacific Fleet03.24.2011Missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov moves to Pacific Fleet
Missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov moves to Pacific Fleet

Russian parliament stands for cease-fire in Libya and negotiations with Russia involved03.23.2011Russian parliament stands for cease-fire in Libya and negotiations with Russia involved
Russian parliament stands for cease-fire in Libya and negotiations with Russia involved

Ukraine resumed inventory of Black Sea Fleet property03.23.2011Ukraine resumed inventory of Black Sea Fleet property
Ukraine resumed inventory of Black Sea Fleet property

Bulava to be launched five times – Perminov 03.23.2011Bulava to be launched five times – Perminov
Bulava to be launched five times – Perminov

Anti-Libyan coalition bombed off Soviet-made antiship system 03.23.2011Anti-Libyan coalition bombed off Soviet-made antiship system
Anti-Libyan coalition bombed off Soviet-made antiship system

Putin says those involved in Libya conflict must 'pray for salvation'03.23.2011Putin says those involved in Libya conflict must 'pray for salvation'
Putin says those involved in Libya conflict must 'pray for salvation'

Navy will get about RUR 5 trillions for modernization – Ivanov 03.22.2011Navy will get about RUR 5 trillions for modernization – Ivanov
Navy will get about RUR 5 trillions for modernization – Ivanov

Nuclear submarine Leninsky Komsomol will become a museum03.22.2011Nuclear submarine Leninsky Komsomol will become a museum
Nuclear submarine Leninsky Komsomol will become a museum

Russia is ready to mediate in Libya conflict settlement - Medvedev03.22.2011Russia is ready to mediate in Libya conflict settlement - Medvedev
Russia is ready to mediate in Libya conflict settlement - Medvedev

Putin says production of missile systems to be doubled in 201303.22.2011Putin says production of missile systems to be doubled in 2013
Putin says production of missile systems to be doubled in 2013

Black Sea Fleet to secure Winter Olympics in Sochi03.22.2011Black Sea Fleet to secure Winter Olympics in Sochi
Black Sea Fleet to secure Winter Olympics in Sochi

Medvedev called politicians to be "careful in rhetoric" on Libya03.22.2011Medvedev called politicians to be "careful in rhetoric" on Libya
Medvedev called politicians to be "careful in rhetoric" on Libya

Pacific Fleet warship prepares to escort another convoy03.22.2011Pacific Fleet warship prepares to escort another convoy
Pacific Fleet warship prepares to escort another convoy

Rogozin: NATO actions in Libya go beyond the UN Resolution03.22.2011Rogozin: NATO actions in Libya go beyond the UN Resolution
Rogozin: NATO actions in Libya go beyond the UN Resolution

Medvedev: liability for defense production must be toughened 03.21.2011Medvedev: liability for defense production must be toughened
Medvedev: liability for defense production must be toughened

Defense ministry to buy 36 ballistic missiles and 2 SSBNs03.21.2011Defense ministry to buy 36 ballistic missiles and 2 SSBNs
Defense ministry to buy 36 ballistic missiles and 2 SSBNs

Navy's official says Kurils are essential for Russia03.21.2011Navy's official says Kurils are essential for Russia
Navy's official says Kurils are essential for Russia

Black Sea Fleet will have a submarine division in Crimea03.21.2011Black Sea Fleet will have a submarine division in Crimea
Black Sea Fleet will have a submarine division in Crimea

USCG - two High Endurance Cutters to be decommissioned

USCGC Chase decommissions March 29 at San Diego.

USCGC Hamilton decommissions March 28 at San Diego.

Hyundai Heavy Launches Korean Aegis Destroyer

The Navys third Aegis destroyer, the Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong, is being launched at a Hyundai Heavy Industries dockyard in Ulsan on Thursday.
March 24, 2011 - Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s biggest shipbuilder, today launched Korea’s0 third 7,600 ton class Aegis destroyer, the Ryu Sung-ryong.
The launch ceremony was attended by Minister of Defense Mr. Kim Kwan-jin, Chief of Naval Operations Mr. Kim Sung-chan, Hyundai Heavy Industries president & CEO Mr. Lee Jai-seong, and other officials from government and military authorities.
The Aegis destroyer was named after a scholar-official of Joseon Dynasty of Korea, Ryu Sung-ryong, who was in charge of military operations during the Imjin War, 1592-1598.
The destroyer, measuring 165.9m long, 21m wide and 49m deep, is equipped with an Aegis combat system. The system includes the SPY-1D radar, capable of detecting and tracking 1,000 targets and attacking 20 of those targets simultaneously. The destroyer also has a wide-ranging anti-ship, anti-aircraft, and anti-submarine defense system.
The Ryu Sung-ryong destroyer is due for final delivery to the Republic of Korea Navy by August 2012 after sea trials. As a cornerstone of Korea’s defense industry, Hyundai Heavy’s technology has been used for all Korean Aegis destroyers, two of which have been built in Ulsan.
Since constructing and delivering the first Korean-built frigate Ulsan-ham in 1980, Hyundai Heavy has grown as a leading naval ship builder by delivering 56 naval ships including the first Korean Aegis destroyer Sejong the Great, 3 KDX-II destroyers, 4 frigates, 3 submarines, and 24 patrol/salvage ships.
Hyundai Heavy has also exported various naval ships including supply ship and high-speed ships to navies in New Zealand, Bangladesh and Venezuela. 

Former U.S. Naval Ship Sails to its New Homeport in Pakistan

The Pakistani warship, the PNS Alamgir, officially departed from Naval Station Mayport after several months of refurbishment and the training of its personnel on 21 March. It is scheduled to arrive at its home port in Karachi, Pakistan 53 days from now.The PNS Alamgir started its life as the USS McInerney (FFG-8), an Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate. Pakistan acquired it from the U.S. under the Department of Defense Excess Defense Articles program because the U.S. Navy planned to decommission it after 31 years of service. Pakistan signed the transfer deal on 21 April 2010 and it was formally transferred during a ceremony at Naval Station Mayport on 31 August 2010.

From Left to right: PNS Alamgir Commanding Officer, Captain Naveed Ashraf Frigate Transfer Mission Commander in the US, Captain Imran Ahmed NAVSEA, Program Manager for Ship Transfers, Captain Chris Pietras The frigate underwent dry docking and pier-side refurbishment at BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards from September 2010 to March 2011 using $58.7 million of Foreign Military Financing funds. The frigate is equipped with anti-ship missiles, a 76-mm naval gun, and torpedo launchers. It can also carry two SH-60 Seahawk multi-purpose helicopters. There was an additional $6.5 million spent on specialized training on the ship�s engineering, navigation and combat systems for the crew of 240 Pakistani sailors during the overhaul.
The PNS Alamgir will join the Pakistan Navy Maritime Patrol (MARPAT) mission which is a critical piece in Coalition Maritime Forces counter-narcotics and counter-terror operations (CTF-150) as well as counter-piracy efforts around the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea (CTF-151).
LCDR Raja Hussain, the Pakistan Foreign Military Sales Country Program Director for the Navy International Programs Office -- the organization responsible for brokering the deal -- said that the transfer is tactically crucial. "Pakistan is already an active partner in each taskforce and has even taken command of CTF 150 four times,"said Hussain. "This transfer not only strengthens the partnership between the two nations, but it will also pave the way for future military-to-military exchanges."
The Pakistan Navy can also use the frigate to monitor its country's coastline for illegal narcotics trafficking. "Over half of the heroin coming from Afghanistan is smuggled through Pakistan. There is a relationship as narcotics trafficking sometimes serves as a financial base for terrorist operations," he said. "Therefore, missions on the coastline serve to increase stability in the region and enhance the national security of the United States."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

US Navy Awards Austal LCS 8 Construction Contract

The littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Independence (LCS 2) pulls away from the pier for her acceptance trials at Austal USA in Mobile, Ala.


March 24, 2011 - The U.S. Navy has announced a fixed price incentive contract for the construction of a fourth 127-meter trimaran Independence-Class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS 8) valued at USD$368.6 million.
This is the second ship awarded under Austal’s recently announced U.S. Navy contract for construction of up to an additional 10 Littoral Combat Ships to be appropriated in the following five years, with a total value in excess of USD$3.5 billion. Once commissioned, these 10 ships will join the Austal-built USS Independence (LCS 2) which was commissioned in January 2010.
Austal Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Bellamy, commented “The award of this ship allows us to continue the build-up of our workforce, and reinforces the Navy’s need for these vital ships.”
This 10-ship contract will require Austal to more than double its U.S. workforce to approximately 3,800 employees in order to fulfill the contracts currently awarded.
Construction of LCS 8 will commence in January 2012 at Austal’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, where work is also underway on the following U.S. Navy and U.S. Army ships:
-- Coronado (LCS 4), scheduled for launch in mid 2011;
-- Spearhead (Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) 1), scheduled for launch in mid 2011 and delivery in December 2011; and
-- Vigilant (JHSV 2), scheduled for launch in late 2011 and delivery in mid 2012.
Over the course of the next 12 months, Austal will commence the construction of LCS 6, the first vessel awarded under the LCS 10 ship block buy contract, and JHSVs 3, 4 and 5.
For the LCS and JHSV programs, Austal is teamed with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics. General Dynamics is the ship systems integrator, responsible for the design, integration and testing of the ship’s mission systems. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One-of-a-kind Navy ship participates in United States/Republic of Korea exercise


A South Korean commercial barge carrying armored personnel carriers delivers cargo

A South Korean commercial barge carrying armored personnel carriers delivers cargo to the beach at Anmyeon, Republic of Korea during a combined, joint military exercise March 23. Combined Logistics Over the Shore 2011 demonstrated the U.S. Navy's ability to project power over the sea in coordination with host nation military forces. In the background is the blue-hulled Military Sealift Command offshore petroleum distribution system ship MV Vice Adm. K.R. Wheeler. During the exercise, Wheeler trained in linking up to a South Korean commercial tanker. The only ship of its kind, Wheeler is specially designed to serve as a pumping station to transfer fuel from a tanker at sea to shore through eight miles of flexible pipe stored on the ship's weather deck. -- U.S. Navy photo be Edward Baxter, Sealift Logistics Command Far East Public Affairs.
March 23, 2011 - Military Sealift Command offshore petroleum distribution system ship MV Vice Adm. K.R. Wheeler participated in a combined, joint military exercise off the coast of Anmyeon, Republic of Korea today. Combined Logistics Over the Shore 2011 demonstrated the U.S. Navy's ability to project power over the sea in coordination with host nation military forces.
Part of the annual Korea peninsula defense exercise Foal Eagle 2011, this year's CJLOTS was the first conducted in partnership with the Republic of Korea and the first conducted off the peninsula's west coast.
Commanded by a South Korean navy rear admiral, the one-day exercise included demonstrating portions of both the at-sea and ashore operations involved in pumping fuel from a tanker to shore, as well as the deployment of military cargo onto the beach aboard barges.
More than 200 U.S. sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines worked side-by-side with 26 civilian mariners aboard Wheeler to simulate delivering fuel to military forces operating ashore from a tanker at sea - a vital capability for sustaining operations where port facilities are inadequate. While CJLOTS was conducted in a single day, exercise planners have been on the ground at Anmyeon for the past week making final preparations.
Wheeler, which is specially designed to serve as a pumping station capable of transferring fuel from a tanker at sea to shore through eight miles of flexible pipe stored on the ship's weather deck, trained with a South Korean fuel tanker for the first time. Operating about 3.5 miles off the coast of Anmyeon, the 165-foot Fast Tempo, a powerful offshore supply vessel designed to support Wheeler in real-world operations, ran a tow line to the tankers' stern, securing the ships together the same way they would be during a real-world scenario.
While neither the float hose connecting Wheeler to the tanker, nor the flexible pipe connecting Wheeler to shore were deployed, hooking up with the South Korean tanker provided valuable training for the ship's civilian mariners working for a private company under contract to MSC.
"In real-world operations, we may work with a South Korean tanker, so this training validates that we are ready if tasked," said Wheeler's civilian Master Capt. Jon Skoglund.
Ashore, U.S. soldiers practiced setting up equipment used to receive, distribute and store the fuel that Wheeler would pump to shore. The key piece of equipment is a receiving device called a Beach Terminal Unit that would hook up to Wheeler's flexible pipe and relays the fuel pumped ashore to inflatable bladders used to store large quantities of fuel. No fuel was pumped during this exercise.
Five reserve sailors from Bronx, N.Y.-based Expeditionary Port Unit 102, one of MSC's highly mobile units that set up port operations even under the most difficult situations, deployed to Anmyeon. "Our mission is to ensure that Wheeler had everything it needed to complete the mission," said Navy Lt. Sean Strawbridge of EPU 102.
Marines and sailors from Task Force 76; U.S. Naval Forces, Korea; MSC Office Korea; and Expeditionary Strike Group Three also participated. Personnel from the Korea-based U.S. Eighth Army established a living support element and set up the Beach Terminal Unit, while U.S. Air Force members provided weather information services.
Simultaneously, 270 South Korean army and navy personnel deployed cargo to the beach from commercial barges and military landing craft. A crane lifted palletized cargo onto the beach, while wheeled and tracked vehicles, including armored personnel carriers, rolled down the barge's ramp onto the beach.
Operations finished late today and, with Wheeler's role in the exercise complete, the ship sailed away from Korea's coastline.
MSC operates approximately 110 noncombatant, U.S. merchant mariner-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships at sea, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces.