Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Plea From Comanche 202 Foundation

Comanche 202 Foundation
Here it is folks, our most serious appeal letter to date. We need money.  Comanche will be going into dry dock next week and funds are desperately needed.  Stabbert Yacht and Ship (SYS) in Seattle where she'll be hauled-out has generous donated the dry dock for seven days and is giving us a 15% discount on materials and labor.  It doesn't get much better than that!  A hardy Bravo Zulu to Stabbert Yacht and Ship (SYS)!
Please read the attached appeal letter.  Also attached, you may be interested in the editorial in a Tacoma paper concerning Comanche's being evicted.  People in Tacoma are upset and displeased that we had to leave.  Comanche has been in Port Orchard, WA about 30 miles northwest of Tacoma enjoy a steady stream of visitors since July 16th.  We had more visitors in Port Orchard than we get in Tacoma all year!  And today we had discussions with the Port of Bremerton about a permanent home for Comanche.  Bremerton is a ship and sailor loving town.  We'll be in good company with the historic Vietnam period USN Tuner Joy. 
Photos attached are of Comanche leaving Tacoma and in Port Orchard this week.
Please consider giving to this monumental and absolutely essential project to 'Get Her Up There'!
Tax deductible donations can been sent to COMANCHE 202 FOUNDATION, 403 Garfield St. S., Tacoma, WA 98444  (253) 227-9678
or via PayPal COMANCHE 202 FOUNDATION
"Red Skies at Night!"  Joe Peterson, Director of Operations 



Comanche 202 Foundation
Stabbert Yacht and Ship (SYS)

Panama Canal Expansion Reaches Important Milestones

File:Panama Canal Map EN.png

The Panama Canal Expansion is moving forward to achieve its goal of enhancing the waterway's capacity in order to provide a better service to customers. To date, the Program registers a 60.4% progress.
"The Panama Canal Expansion will enhance the value of the Panama route," Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano said. "We are focused con the Third Set of Locks project, which is one of the key projects of the Expansion Program."
The Expansion Program has achieved many important milestones. Both entrances of the Panama Canal are ready for bigger ships, since the deepening and widening of the Atlantic and Pacific access channels have been completed. The dredging of Gatun Lake is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The Pacific Access Channel has reached the design depth and the dam that will divide the new channel from Miraflores Lake is under construction.
The Third Set of Locks project registers a 50 percent progress. The new lock complexes in the Pacific and Atlantic sides will feature three chambers, three water-saving basins per chamber, a lateral filling and emptying system and rolling gates.
The first four new lock gates will be arriving in the country this upcoming August, signaling a very important milestone for the Third Set of Locks project. Each one of the 16 gates required will weight an average of 3,300 tons. Constructed in Italy by subcontractor Cimolai S.p.A, the giant new gates will be unloaded in the Atlantic side of the Canal and rolled off the ship to a specially-constructed reception dock. Unlike the current Canal, which uses miter gates, the expanded Canal will have steel rolling gates.
The Panama Canal is also preparing to face future operations. In June, the Panama Canal received three of the 14 new tugboats that will enhance the Canal's current fleet. The additional capacity will allow assisting Post-Panamax vessels that will be transiting the expanded Canal, which will not use locomotives like in the existing locks.
The Panama Canal Expansion involves the construction of a third lane of traffic, which will double Canal's capacity and have an important impact in world maritime trade.

U.S. Navy Takes Lead in Ordnance Retrieval Mission

Like every aircraft in the Marine fleet, the AV-8B Harrier is used for a wide variety of missions.
USMC photo.
July 26, 2013 - In coordination with the Australian Defense Force, the U.S. 7th Fleet will take the lead in the safe retrieval and disposal of four bombs which were jettisoned off the coast of Queensland, Australia, by two AV-8B Harrier aircraft in an emergency situation on July 16.
The U.S. military is aware of its professional responsibility to mitigate the environmental impact of its exercises/operations. As partners with our Australian counterparts, and particularly in the context of Exercise Talisman Saber, the U.S. military conscientiously conforms to the proper rules and protocols set forth by Australian military and civilian authorities.
In conducting the retrieval, the 7th Fleet will coordinate closely with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Defense Force to ensure the environment is protected with the greatest care. The U.S. military has been in close contact with the Australian Defense Force and the park authority to determine the appropriate course of action.
We are fully committed to redressing any potential adverse environmental impact in a timely manner. We will announce more detailed plans for recovery operations as they are finalized.
 

Military Exchanges Remove 891 Magazines from Stores



July 30, 2013 – The Army and Air Force Exchange Service is permanently removing 891 magazines from its stock, an assortment that includes The Saturday Evening Post, SpongeBob Comics, the Home Buyers Guide, Playboy and many others.
AAFES officials said they want to reduce space for the magazine product category in exchange stores by 33 percent beginning tomorrow. The additional exchange floor and shelf space will be given to products and services such as electronics, whose demand is increasing, officials said.
“The decision to no longer stock the material is a business decision driven by the time, money and energy required to facilitate buying habits, combined with decreasing demand,” Army Lt. Col. Antwan C. Williams, AAFES public affairs chief, said in a statement.
Consistent with its mission to provide quality merchandise and services to its customers at competitively low prices and to generate earnings which provide a dividend to support morale, welfare and recreation programs, Williams said, AAFES is adjusting its stock assortment to align offerings with industry counterparts.
Retailers have seen a sustained decrease in demand for printed magazines, and sales of all magazines at exchange facilities fell 18.3 percent from 2011 to 2012, AAFES officials said.
Among the 891 magazines that AAFES exchanges no longer will sell are some adult titles, including Playboy, Penthouse, American Curves, and Tattoo. Along with other magazine sales, sales of adult sophisticate titles at AAFES stores have declined 86 percent since 1998.
“According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, digital magazines continue to expand their presence in the industry,” Williams said. “Like their civilian counterparts, exchange shoppers' increased reliance on digital devices to access content virtually has resulted in a sustained decrease in demand for printed magazines.”
Magazine sales “are on a sustained downward trajectory due to the proliferation of digital delivery,” he added, “and the exchange, as a government entity, is operating in a fiscally constrained environment that requires it to shrink expenses while growing sales and earnings.”

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ingalls Shipbuilding Delivers DDG 1001 Aft PVLS to U.S. Navy

Aft Peripheral Vertical Launch System (PVLS) Delivered (thumbnail)
Marty Capalbo (seated, left) and John Broderick (seated, right) sign the paperwork transferring ownership of the final aft peripheral vertical launch system (PVLS) components for the DDG 1000-class destroyer Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) from Ingalls Shipbuilding to the U.S. Navy during a ceremony Wednesday. Capalbo is the DDG 1000 configuration manager for Supervisor of Shipbuilding (SUPSHIP) Gulf Coast; Broderick is Ingalls' DDG 1000 systems integration manager. Also present are (left to right) Jason Frioux, PVLS program manager, Ingalls; Chip Stargardt, Quality Assurance, SUPSHIP; D.R. Clark, PVLS ship superintendent, Ingalls; and Zachery Michini, production controller, SUPSHIP. Photo by Steve Blount
Pascagoula July 24, 2013 - Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding division announced today it has delivered the final aft peripheral vertical launch system (PVLS) assemblies to the U.S. Navy for the Zumwalt-class destroyer Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001). The two units for the PVLS were delivered a week early.
"Our shipbuilders have done an outstanding job in incorporating lessons learned from the first aft PVLS products," said Ingalls DDG 1000 Program Manager Steve Sloan. "Delivering these products a week early demonstrates smart shipbuilding by using previous experiences to integrate an improved plan to do it better the second time around. With a constant focus on safety and quality, our shipbuilders have done outstanding work on these units."
General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works is building the DDG 1001 hull, while Ingalls is building the PVLS assemblies in Pascagoula and the composite hangar and deckhouse at the company's composite center of excellence in Gulfport. The PVLS distributes the missile launchers for the destroyer in separate four-cell launcher compartments along the ship's hull. It is an alternative to the traditional centralized missile magazines found on DDG 51-class ships. The PVLS launcher configuration was chosen to significantly enhance the ship's survivability.
Four assembly units make up the aft PVLS. The first two units were delivered in July 2012. The rest of the DDG 1001 work is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2014.

McGraw Hill Financial to Sell Aviation Week to Penton



New York July 24, 2013 - McGraw Hill today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to sell Aviation Week to Penton, a privately held business information company. Terms of the all-cash transaction, which is expected to close shortly, were not disclosed.
"Today's announcement is another important step in the development of McGraw Hill Financial. This action allows us to apply even greater focus on our high-growth, high-margin benchmark businesses serving large and growing capital and commodity markets around the world," said Harold McGraw III, Chairman, President and CEO of McGraw Hill Financial. "Aviation Week is a premier franchise in the civil and defense aerospace industry. We're pleased the business has found a strategic fit and a good home with Penton, which is a respected business information and marketing company and has complementary assets and capabilities."
The transaction continues the execution of the Company's strategy of exiting non-core assets while investing for growth in markets where it has size and scale. Earlier this year, the Company sold McGraw-Hill Education as part of its Growth and Value Plan; in 2011, it divested its nine-station Broadcasting Group to The E.W. Scripps Company; and in 2009, the Company sold BusinessWeek to Bloomberg L.P.
These changes, in combination with recent investments, have created a leading financial intelligence company with the mission of promoting sustainable growth by bringing transparency and insights to the global capital and commodity markets.
In 2012, the Company completed a number of tuck-in acquisitions, including Kingsman, SA; QuantHouse; R2 Financial Technologies; Coalition Development Ltd.; CMA Ltd.; and formed the joint venture S&P Dow Jones Indices. And on July 24, 2013, the Company initiated a voluntary tender offer for up to 15.7 million shares of CRISIL Limited, a publicly traded credit ratings and research company in India, which, if fully subscribed, would increase the Company's ownership in CRISIL from approximately 53% to 75%. These investments deepen and broaden McGraw Hill Financial's capabilities in high-end analytics, research, benchmarks and price assessments in financial markets around the world.
"The combination of Aviation Week and Penton Aviation creates the largest and most powerful targeted marketing platform for companies and executives in the dynamic and growing global aviation industry," said David Kieselstein, CEO of Penton.
Aviation Week serves over 1.2 million professionals in 185 countries and is the largest information and services provider to the global commercial, defense, maintenance/repair/overhaul (MRO), space and business aviation communities. It is anchored by its flagship Aviation Week & Space Technology.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

This Week in Naval History

25 Jul 1943: USS Harmon (DE 678) was launched

On 25 July 1943, the first US Navy ship named for an African-American, USS Harmon (DE 678) was launched. USS Harmon was named in honor of Mess Attendant First Class Leonard Roy Harmon who posthumously received the Navy Cross for heroic actions trying to save a shipmate on board USS San Francisco (CA-38) during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on 13 November 1942. Harmon was decommissioned in March 1947 and remained inactive. She was sold for scrapping in January 1967.

 26 July 1948: President Truman desegregates the Armed Services


On 26 July 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981, desegregating the Armed Services.

27 Jul 1953: Korean War Armistice was signed at Panmunjon



On 27 July 1953, the Korean War armistice was signed at Panmunjon, Korea. The Korean cease-fire went into effect at 2200.


28 July 1861: USS St. Lawrence captured the schooner Petrel
















On 28 July 1861, during the Civil War, the frigate St. Lawrence spotted a schooner flying English colors and gave chase. Some four hours later, as she was overhauling the schooner, the fleeing vessel ran up the Confederate flag and fired three shots. Firing with her forecastle battery, St. Lawrence hit the vessel twice, once in her bow. Survivors from the sunken vessel revealed it had been the Confederate privateer, Petrel.

29 Jul 1967: Explosions on board USS Forrestal (CVA 59)


On 29 July 1967, on the flight deck of USS Forrestal (CVA-59), a Zuni 5” rocket accidentally fired from a F-4B Phantom II aircraft into a parked and armed A-4E Skyhawk, setting off a series of explosions that killed 134 of her crew and injured a further 161 crewmembers. At the time of this accident, Forrestal was participating in combat operations in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War.

30 Jul 1945: Loss of USS Indianapolis (CA 35)


On 30 July 1945, the Japanese submarine, I-58, sank USS Indianapolis (CA 35), northeast of Leyte, 12° 02’N, 134° 48’E., 316 of her crew of 1199 survived. Due to communications and other errors, her loss went unnoticed until survivors were seen from a passing aircraft on 2 August. Note, prior to being sunk, Indianapolis made a high speed transit from California to Tinian, arriving on 26 July, to deliver atomic bomb components that were detonated on Japan in August.


31 July 1874: USS Intrepid was commissioned


On 31 July 1874, USS Intrepid was commissioned. She was the first U.S. warship equipped with torpedoes. Commander Augustus P. Cooke, USN, was her first commanding officer. She spent the next few months conducting torpedo trials in the waters off New England and New York and was then decommissioned at the New York Navy Yard. Intrepid had occasional active service over the next several years and in 1882 began conversion to a light-draft gunboat for service in Chinese waters. This work continued slowly until 1889 and was then suspended. USS Intrepid was sold in May 1892.

CACI Awarded $45M Prime Contract to Provide Enhanced Business IT and Command and Control Solutions to U.S. Navy

Arlington VA July 24, 2013 - CACI International Inc announced today that it has been awarded a $45 million prime contract to provide a wide range of business information technology (IT) and command and control (C2) solutions to support the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic. The two-year (one base plus one option) task order was awarded under the ITES-2S contract vehicle and will provide IT systems used to deliver data, support decision making, and execute business activities such as financial management, logistics management, travel management, and medical systems. The ongoing work for this customer expands CACI's presence in its Business System Solutions and Logistics and Material Readiness market areas.
SSC Atlantic is the Navy's premier Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) command for acquisition and life cycle management of communications and warfare systems. With this award, CACI will support the command's diverse capabilities with full life cycle development and deployment support for the broad array of systems and programs managed by SSC Atlantic.
CACI provides an array of complex systems and software for multiple requirements to rapidly deliver and support solutions that enable information dominance for U.S. and allied forces. CACI's qualifications for this work also include its ISO® 9001:2008 certification and assessment at the Capability Maturity Model Integration for Development (CMMI®-DEV) Level 3. These internationally accepted quality management systems benefit the U.S. Navy by assuring that projects are executed successfully and that processes are documented, repeatable, and measured.
John Mengucci, CACI's Chief Operating Officer and President of U.S. Operations, said, "The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic is a vital component of the Navy's unmatched maritime presence and a valued customer of CACI. We're pleased that the ongoing support we provide with this award will help enable the command to deploy even greater capabilities in the IT and command and control arenas."
According to CACI President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Asbury, "With Business System Solutions being one of the high-growth markets CACI is focused on — and Logistics and Material Readiness one of our proven strengths — this work with SSC Atlantic is an exceptionally good fit for us. The support we provide is also well suited to one of our overarching goals of helping to keep our Armed Forces informed, equipped, and mission-ready."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

CAGW Issues Spending Cut Alert: Department of Defense Appropriations

Washington July 23, 2013 - Citizens Against Government Waste today released its analysis of the House version of the fiscal year (FY) 2014 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill. The bill’s cost to taxpayers is $512.5 billion, a reduction of $28.1 billion from FY 2013 and $3.4 billion below the President’s request.
“All that is missing is the political leadership to eliminate these boondoggles.”
On June 12, 2013, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers stated, “This bill makes the hard choices to keep our nation safe, secure, and constantly prepared for whatever threats we may face. It provides funding to advance our missions abroad, to prepare and equip our troops, and to ensure the effectiveness of the world’s greatest military. And, given our current budget challenges, it reflects common-sense decisions that save taxpayer dollars wherever possible – without affecting the safety or success of our troops and missions.”
With all due respect to the chairman, CAGW has combed through the bill and found a few more opportunities to cut wasteful spending and save taxpayers money without compromising national defense. In this Spending Cut Alert, CAGW compared the FY 2014 House Department of Defense Appropriations bill to the 557 recommendations contained in its 2013 Prime Cuts database and came across three additional spending cuts that, if enacted, would save taxpayers $9.14 billion in FY 2014 and $39.3 billion over five years.
“The Prime Cuts database gives the public, the President, and Congress a very straightforward list of wasteful, duplicative, and outdated programs drawn from more than two dozen credible sources,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “All that is missing is the political leadership to eliminate these boondoggles.”
       
Recommendation  1 Year (millions)  5 Year (millions)
Cancel the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and replace it with F-16s and F/A-18s.  $8,500  $36,100
Reduce procurement of Virginia Class Attack Submarines.  $100  $500
Cancel the Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) Ships.  $540  $2,700
    
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

Sikorsky Delivers 400th MH-60 SEAHAWK® Helicopter to U.S. Navy

MH-60R

Stratford CT July 23, 2013 - Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., has delivered the 400th MH-60 SEAHAWK® helicopter to the U.S. Navy. The milestone consists of 166 MH-60R anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare helicopters, and 234 MH-60S utility/armed helicopters. The Navy took possession of the 400th, an MH-60R aircraft, on June 24.
"MH-60 multi-mission aircraft are among the most reliable and sophisticated maritime helicopters in the world," said Capt. James Glass, Navy Program Manager, H-60 Programs. "The Navy intends to continue flying these helicopters well into the 2030s."
MH-60S ("Sierra") helicopters carry supplies and sailors between ships, and protect U.S. ships from surface threats in an armed configuration. Sierra aircraft are expected to take on an airborne mine countermeasures role starting in 2014.  
MH-60R ("Romeo") helicopters employ radar, acoustic sonar, communications links, torpedoes and air-to-surface missiles for the anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare roles.
Sierra aircraft, which entered U.S. Navy service in 2002, will remain in full rate production through 2015 as part of a currently planned production run of 275 aircraft. Romeo helicopters, operational since 2006, are currently scheduled to remain in production through 2017 to meet the Navy's 291 intended aircraft buy. The two aircraft models have accumulated a combined 660,000 flight hours to date.
"Mission success in the harsh maritime environment is a testament to the men and women of the U.S. Navy who fly and maintain these SEAHAWK aircraft," said Dave Zack, Sikorsky Maritime Programs Director. "The skilled workforce at Sikorsky, and our supplier teammates, remains committed to building and supporting the world's most reliable, durable and operationally effective maritime helicopter."
All but two of the 400 MH-60 SEAHAWK aircraft delivered to date are operated by the U.S. Navy. In 2011, the Royal Thai Navy took delivery of two MH-60S helicopters via the U.S. Government's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.
The U.S. Navy has acquired all MH-60 SEAHAWK aircraft since 2002 via five-year contracts. The current 2012-2017 contract funds 193 MH-60R/S SEAHAWK helicopters, plus another 24 Romeo helicopters for the Royal Australian Navy. Actual production quantities will be determined year-by-year over the life of the program based on funding allocations set by Congress and Pentagon acquisition priorities.
Sikorsky will deliver the first four RAN aircraft (before mission systems integration) during 2013. Additionally, Sikorsky will deliver the first two (of nine) Romeo aircraft for the Royal Danish Navy during 2014.
Sikorsky produces the MH-60R/S SEAHAWK aircraft models on separate production lines at its final assembly facility in Stratford, Conn. Avionics prime contractor Lockheed Martin performs all mission systems integration for Romeo aircraft at its Mission Systems and Training facility in Owego, N.Y., and also produces the digital cockpit common to both Romeo and Sierra models.

Royal Navy receives upgraded Merlin helicopters

The first of the UK's fleet of next-generation anti-submarine maritime patrol Merlin Mk2 helicopters have been delivered to the Royal Navy.

The 5 helicopters have been handed over to the Fleet Air Arm following an upgrade as part of a £750 million contract with Lockheed Martin.
Fitted with advanced glass cockpits and improved aircrew consoles and avionics, the Merlin Mk2 has advanced touch-screen displays and an improved ability to detect and track targets and share data with other aircraft and ships while airborne. These improvements will also enable the helicopters to carry out counter-piracy and casualty-evacuation duties.

Lieutenant Commander Simon Laurence uses the new touch-screen displays
Lieutenant Commander Simon Laurence uses the new touch-screen displays on the flight deck of a new Merlin Mk2 [Picture: Andrew Linnett, Crown copyright]

Thirty Merlin Mk1 helicopters are being converted to Mk2s by Lockheed Martin. Once handed over to the Royal Navy, the airframes will undergo a series of extensive trials. The first helicopters are expected to be ready to deploy on operations by the summer of 2014.
Commander Ben Franklin, Commanding Officer of the Merlin Helicopter Force, said:
I am extremely proud to be leading the Merlin Force during this period. The delivery of the first 5 aircraft to the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm is a real milestone of this successful programme, which will provide vital support to the Navy as it fulfils its role in protecting UK interests across the globe.

Crew members leaving two of the new Merlin Mk2 helicopters
Crew members from 824 Naval Air Squadron leaving two of the new Merlin Mk2 helicopters after a flight [Picture: Andrew Linnett, Crown copyright]

Commodore Andy Lison, responsible for the Merlin, Lynx and Sea King teams in MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, said:
I am delighted that we are now firmly in the delivery phase of the project. The Merlin Mk2 is a truly exceptional aircraft and the programme to develop and build this aircraft has brought together the very best of MOD and defence industry to future-proof this vital capability for Defence.

The observer's panel inside a new Merlin Mk2
The observer's panel inside a new Merlin Mk2 [Picture: Andrew Linnett, Crown copyright]

Bob Kramer, Vice President and Group Managing Director, Lockheed Martin UK Integrated Systems, said:
The Merlin capability sustainment programme represents a magnificent team effort led by Lockheed Martin and AgustaWestland, supported by our suppliers, to provide the Royal Navy with unrivalled capability to carry out its anti-submarine patrol and policing requirement.
Merlin Mk1 helicopters have been in service with the Fleet Air Arm since the late 1990s and, after thorough testing and evaluation, have been deployed on operations since 2000.

Friday, July 19, 2013

U.S. Navy Awards Northrop Grumman Contract for E-2D Advanced HawkeyesProgram Remains on Track for Initial Operational Capability in 2015

E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes (thumbnail)
Northrop Grumman has delivered 10 new production E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes to the U.S. Navy. The aircraft are manufactured, flight tested and delivered at the company's Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence in St. Augustine, Fla. Initial operational capability with the U.S. Navy remains on track for 2015.
Bethpage NY July 18, 2013 - Following the decision earlier this year to proceed with full-rate production, the Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $113.7 million advance acquisition contract for long lead materials and related support for five full-rate production Lot 2 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft.
"This contract award, along with OSD's full rate production decision, is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the entire E-2D team to deliver on its promise of a mature, capable and effective E-2D Advanced Hawkeye," said Bart LaGrone, vice president, E-2/C-2 programs, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "In today's challenging defense budget environment, it is imperative that we remain focused on providing the U.S. Navy with a more affordable airborne early warning, command and control solution."
With the Navy's E-2D program of record at 75 aircraft, this contract award is another step forward in bringing the total current procurement of E-2D aircraft, including low-rate initial production and full-rate production aircraft, to 30.
Last month, Northrop Grumman delivered the 10th E-2D Advanced Hawkeye to the U.S. Navy, having delivered the first nine aircraft on or ahead of schedule. There are currently an additional 10 aircraft in various stages of manufacturing and predelivery flight testing at the company's Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence in St. Augustine, Fla. Initial operational capability with the U.S. Navy remains on track for 2015.

First Upgraded MQ-8C Fire Scout Delivered to U.S. Navy

San Diego July 19, 2013 - The U.S. Navy got its first look at the upgraded MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned system when Northrop Grumman Corporation delivered its first MQ-8C system this month.
Northrop Grumman is the Navy's prime contractor for the MQ-8 Fire Scout program of record. The company delivered the first MQ-8C aircraft to the Navy in early July in preparation for ground and flight testing.
"The endurance upgrade doubles the time on station of the MQ-8 system and will help reduce the workload for the ship's crew by cutting the number of times the crew will need to be in flight quarters," said George Vardoulakis, vice president, medium range tactical systems for Northrop Grumman. "Ground and flight testing are the next steps in meeting the urgent requirement for maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Testing on the Naval Air Systems Command test range provides us with extended air space to conduct and demonstrate long endurance and systems testing in a maritime environment."
The upcoming tests will be used to validate and mature the upgraded MQ-8 system for operational use. Initial ground testing will ensure that the systems work properly and communicate with the ground control station prior to conducting first flight. The MQ-8 system with the upgraded MQ-8C aircraft will share proven software, avionics, payloads and ship ancillary equipment with the MQ-8B aircraft.
The upgraded Fire Scout responds to an urgent need to provide the Navy with increased endurance, range and payload. Using a modified commercially available airframe, the upgraded MQ-8 system can provide commanders with three times the payload and double the endurance at extended ranges compared to the current MQ-8B variant.
The MQ-8B aircraft currently operates on Navy frigates and in Afghanistan, where it provides intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to maritime and ground commanders.
The first deployment of the upgraded MQ-8 system with the MQ-8C Fire Scout aircraft will be in 2014.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sailor Missing from Vietnam War Identified


            The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and have been returned to his family for burial with full military honors. 
            Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michael B. Judd of Cleveland was buried on July 15, in Arlington National Cemetery.  On June 30, 1967, Judd was aboard a CH-46A Sea Knight helicopter that was attempting to insert a U.S. Marine Corps reconnaissance team into hostile territory in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam.  As the helicopter approached the landing zone, it was struck by enemy fire from the surrounding tree line, causing the aircraft to catch fire.  The aircraft crashed landed.  Although most of the reconnaissance team to survived, Judd and four other crew members of the team, died in the crash. 
            In 1993, joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams investigated the case in Thua Thien-Hue Province.  The team interviewed local villagers who claimed to have discovered an aircraft crash site in the nearby forest while searching for firewood in 1991.  The team surveyed the location finding aircraft wreckage that could not be associated with a CH-46A. 
            During the 1990s, joint U.S./ S.R.V. teams continued to investigated the loss in Thua Thien-Hue Province.  In 1999, the team interviewed the same local villagers who provide relevant case information and the joint team surveyed the crash site again, this time uncovering aircraft wreckage consistent with a U.S. military helicopter. 
            In 2012, joint U.S./ S.R.V. recovery teams began excavating the crash site and recovered human remains and aircraft wreckage from the CH-46A helicopter that Judd was aboard.  
            Scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, including dental comparisons in the identification of Judd remains.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Military Sealift Command debuts new public website and blog

 USNS Supply conducts a refueling at sea and vertical replenishment at sea with USS Mahan

Military Sealift Command launched its redesigned public website and blog July 16 and 17.
The new website is available at www.msc.navy.mil and includes a dynamic, user-friendly interface with updated content about the command's mission, vision and support to warfighters worldwide.
"These updates are designed to inform the general public and members of the media about MSC: who we are, what we do, and why our Navy needs its noncombatant fleet," said Rear Admiral T.K. Shannon.
"MSC is committed to delivering meaningful and current information on its global operations while garnering feedback from its customers, and our website serves that purpose," Shannon said. 
As part of its new online presence, MSC's blog interface was updated as well. Blog topics include the commander's perspective, program-specific stories, career opportunities, energy initiatives and support to Navy and DOD warfighters worldwide.
MSC's blog is available at: http://MSCSealift.dodlive.mil
Information specifically pertaining to civil service mariners is now available at a password enabled site: http://CIVMAR.sealiftcommand.com

Coast Guard conducts Arctic Domain Awareness flight north of Alaska

An Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane crew conducts and Arctic Domain Awareness flight with scientists from NOAA and the University of Washington's Polar Science Center above the Arctic Circle in Alaska Tuesday, July 16, 2013. The crew deployed sensors to take air and water measurements and overflew the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star. U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Mooers.  Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/video/296480/coast-guard-conducts-arctic-domain-awareness-flight#.UebechbJsvs#ixzz2ZKO2epiZ
An Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane crew conducts an Arctic Domain Awareness flight with scientists from NOAA and the University of Washington's Polar Science Center above the Arctic Circle in Alaska Tuesday, July 16, 2013.
The crew deployed sensors to take air and water measurements and overflew the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star. U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Mooers.
The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star transits near the beginning of the ice edge in the Chukchi Sea north of Wainwright, Alaska, Tuesday, July 16, 2013. The heavy icebreaker's crew are undergoing ice trails following the conclusion of a major overhaul in 2012 to return the ship to service. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Mooers)  Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/image/973522/coast-guard-conducts-arctic-domain-awareness-flight#.UebaChbJsvs#ixzz2ZKJALfPw
The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star transits near the beginning of the ice edge in the Chukchi Sea north of Wainwright, Alaska, Tuesday, July 16, 2013. The heavy icebreaker's crew are undergoing ice trails following the conclusion of a major overhaul in 2012 to return the ship to service. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Mooers.
Aircraft Expendable Conductivity Temperature Depth or AXCTD and Aircraft Expendable Current Profiler or AXCP sensors deployed by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jesse Sanchez and Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Matthews, both aviation maintenance technicians, drift to the surface of the Arctic Ocean from an Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane above the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska, Tuesday, July 16, 2013. The sensors gather data about the ocean as they descend through the water column and are deployed through a partnership between the Coast Guard and the University of Washington's Polar Science Center. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Mooers)  Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/image/973505/coast-guard-conducts-arctic-domain-awareness-flight#.UebaRxbJsvs#ixzz2ZKJPcrgy
Aircraft Expendable Conductivity Temperature Depth or AXCTD and Aircraft Expendable Current Profiler or AXCP sensors deployed by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jesse Sanchez and Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Matthews, both aviation maintenance technicians, drift to the surface of the Arctic Ocean from an Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane above the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska, Tuesday, July 16, 2013. The sensors gather data about the ocean as they descend through the water column and are deployed through a partnership between the Coast Guard and the University of Washington's Polar Science Center. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Mooers.
A Dropsonde sensor acquires a GPS signal prior to being deployed by the crew of a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane above the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska, Tuesday, July 16, 2013. The Dropsonde's temperature, humidity and wind readings were collected by the University of Washington's Polar Science Center team as it traveled from 10,000 feet to sea level. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Mooers)  Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/image/973508/coast-guard-conducts-arctic-domain-awareness-flight#.UebajxbJsvs#ixzz2ZKJhQRJg
A Dropsonde sensor acquires a GPS signal prior to being deployed by the crew of a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane above the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska, Tuesday, July 16, 2013. The Dropsonde's temperature, humidity and wind readings were collected by the University of Washington's Polar Science Center team as it traveled from 10,000 feet to sea level. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Mooers.
Axel Schweiger, principal scientist and chair at the University of Washington's Polar Science Center, prepares one of five Dropsonde sensors for deployment while aboard a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane above the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska, Tuesday, July 16, 2013. The Dropsonde sensors collect temperature, humidity and wind readings as they travel from 10,000 feet to sea level. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Mooers)  Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/image/973515/coast-guard-conducts-arctic-domain-awareness-flight#.UebcSBbJsvs#ixzz2ZKLbFI2g
Axel Schweiger, principal scientist and chair at the University of Washington's Polar Science Center, prepares one of five Dropsonde sensors for deployment while aboard a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane above the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska, Tuesday, July 16, 2013. The Dropsonde sensors collect temperature, humidity and wind readings as they travel from 10,000 feet to sea level. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Mooers.
Roger Andersen, senior mathematician at the University of Washington's Polar Science Center, and Axel Schweiger, principal scientist and chair of the University of Washington's Polar Science Center, review air sample data received from a Dropsonde sensor while aboard a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane above the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska, Tuesday, July 16, 2013. The Dropsonde sensor's data paired with other research helps scientists understand and predict weather and ice conditions as the season progresses. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Mooers)  Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/image/973516/coast-guard-conducts-arctic-domain-awareness-flight#.UebayhbJsvs#ixzz2ZKJxSMBp
Roger Andersen, senior mathematician at the University of Washington's Polar Science Center, and Axel Schweiger, principal scientist and chair of the University of Washington's Polar Science Center, review air sample data received from a Dropsonde sensor while aboard a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane above the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska, Tuesday, July 16, 2013. The Dropsonde sensor's data paired with other research helps scientists understand and predict weather and ice conditions as the season progresses. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Mooers.

This Week in Naval History

18 Jul 1779: Capture of 11 British prizes off Newfoundland Banks

Large image of ALS dated 8 December 1775, signed by President of the Continental Congress John Hancock commissioning Abraham Whipple as Captain of the armed ship Columbus of the Continental Navy.
Large image of ALS dated 8 December 1775, signed by President of the Continental Congress, John Hancock,, commissioning Abraham Whipple as Captain of the armed ship Columbus of the Continental Navy.


On 18 July 1779, in the largest prize value of the American Revolution, Commodore Abraham Whipple’s squadron consisting of Continental frigates Providence, Queen of France and sloop Ranger, captured 11 British prizes off the Newfoundland Banks sailing from Jamaica. The ships were Holderness, Dawes, George, Friendship, Blenheim, Thetis, Fort William, Neptune and three smaller vessels. The cargoes captured were worth over $1,000,000.

19 Jul 1918: MOH – Lieutenant Joel T. Boone, MC, USN


On 19 July 1918, while serving with the Sixth Regiment Marines in the vicinity of Vierzy, France, Lieutenant Joel T. Boone, MC, twice left the shelter of a ravine. Bravely, he went forward onto the open field where there was no protection and, despite the extreme enemy fire of all calibers, through a heavy mist of gas, applied dressings and first aid to wounded Marines. For his actions on this occasion, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Boone later attained the rank of Vice Admiral.

20 Jul 1969: First Man to Set Foot on the Moon

























On 20 July 1969, former Navy pilot Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon. While taking the first step, he said, "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind." Armstrong was Commander of Apollo 11, which during its 8 day mission landed on the Sea of Tranquility. Michael Collins was the Command Module Pilot and Edwin “Buzz” E. Aldrin Jr., was the Lunar Module Pilot. Recovery was by HS-4 helicopters from USS Hornet (CVS-12).

21 Jul 1918: German sub U 156 attacked tugboats off Massachuset


On 21 July 1918, during World War I, German submarine U 156 surfaced and fired on US tugboat Perth Amboy and four barges, three miles off Nauset Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. HS-2L and R-9 seaplanes from Naval Air Station Chatham attacked U 156, but the submarine submerged and escaped. Note, just two-days earlier, the submarine sank USS San Diego off Fire Island, New York. U 156 finally met her fate when she was apparently mined in September 1918 transiting the Northern Passage.

22 Jul 1802: USS Constellation defeated 9 Corsair gunboats

File:Alexander Murray US Navy commodore NavalMonument byAbelBowen.png

On 22 July 1802, during the First Barbary War, the frigate Constellation, commanded by Captain Alexander Murray, defeated nine Corsair gunboats off Tripoli, sinking two.

23 Jul 1950: USS Boxer (CV 21) set Pacific crossing record


On 23 July 1950, USS Boxer (CV-21) set the record of crossing the Pacific, bringing aircraft, troops and supplies for the Korean War, arriving at Yokosuka, Japan. She carried a load of 145 P-51 and 6 L-5 Air Force aircraft, 19 Navy aircraft, 1,012 passengers and 2,000 tons of additional cargo, all urgently needed for operations in Korea. In making this delivery, Boxer broke all existing records for a Pacific crossing, steaming from Alameda, California, to Yokosuka in 8 days and 16 hours. Of note, on her return trip to the United States on 27 July, she cut the time down to 7 days, 10hours and 36 minutes.

24 Jul 1863: USS Iroquis captured Confederate blockade-runner



On 24 July 1863, during the Civil War, the steam sloop of war Iroquis captured the Confederate blockade-runner Merrimac off North Carolina. Purchased by the US Navy in March 1864, she was converted into a gunboat and commissioned USS Merrimac. While en route to the Gulf of Mexico in January 1865, the gunboat encountered heavy weather that twice forced her into port. Back at sea on 15 January, USS Merrimac was overcome by the stormy seas and sank after her crew had been rescued by mail steamer Morning Star.

Future Italian Coast Guard Ship Ubaldo Diciotti Launched

Fincantieri photo
The second of two multi-purpose vessels commissioned from Fincantieri by the General Command of the Port Authority Corp for the Italian Coast Guard was launched today at Castellammare di Stabia (Naples). The vessel, due to be delivered by the end of this year, is the twin unit of the “Luigi Dattilo”, launched last December, which will be delivered within this summer. 
The ceremony was attended, amongst others, by Governor of Campania, Stefano Caldoro, Commanding General of the Port Authority Corps, Rear Admiral Felicio Angrisano, while in attendance for Fincantieri were Giuseppe Bono, CEO, and Vincenzo Petrone, President. The ceremony was also attended by representatives from the Registro Italiano Navale (RINA - Italy's ship classification society). 
The godmother of the ceremony to launch the ship was Mrs. Anna Maria Saracino, wife of Admiral Angrisano. 
These ships are designed to operate in open seas in particularly bad marine weather conditions and will be used for search and rescue, anti-pollution and fire-fighting missions and to control illegal immigration. They will also be able to perform complex naval missions for central command. With a length of 94 metres and 16-metre beam, they will be able to reach a top speed of about 18 knots with a range of more than 3,000 miles, and will have a full load displacement of some 3,600 tons. They will be able to accommodate a crew of 38, with room to board 12 additional technicians and 60 shipwreck survivors. 
They will also be equipped with four fast rigid-hulled inflatable boats with speeds of up to 35 knots for use in different types of mission and emergency response. Lastly, they will have a landing pad for AB212 or AW139 helicopters. 
The ships are also equipped with sophisticated command and control systems and latest-generation radar able to find and follow surface marine pollution and they will have a large stern door to let vehicles enter and be transported on a large working deck. 
The real forte of these patrol boats is their innovative hybrid propulsion system, involving an auxiliary diesel-electric engine for use at the low and very low speeds needed when performing surveillance and control missions for long periods, otherwise impossible with traditional propulsion.