Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bigger And Better: MQ-8C Takes To The Skies

By Capt. Patrick Smith
Fire Scout Program Manager
The Fire Scout system has proven itself in numerous and diverse operational deployments, supporting troops on the ground in Afghanistan, completing weapons Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) testing with the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS), continuing deployments on Guided Missile Frigates (FFG) class ships, and now preparing to welcome a new air vehicle to its ranks. This week the newest Fire Scout variant, MQ-8C Fire Scout, will take to the skies for the first time.
MQ-8C
The MQ-8C Fire Scout.

Our MQ-8C is an RDC effort in response to an urgent request to provide maritime based Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) at extended ranges from host ships in less than 24 months. First flight is set to occur this month, 18 months after the contract award to prime integrator, Northrop- Grumman.
Leveraging off the existing MQ-8 Fire Scout infrastructure, the C variant provides the Navy with double the endurance and triple the payload capability of its predecessor, allowing for 15+ hours of flight time and over 2,600 lbs. of payload. This increase in capability will allow us the opportunity to put additional weight, perhaps sensors, on the aircraft.
With the MQ-8C, we took a commercial Bell 407 helicopter and modified it to include additional fuel capability, upgraded engines and improved reliability to provide increased range and endurance and then integrated the majority of the MQ-8B avionics and payloads onto that air frame. This method allows us to maintain the entire infrastructure we have already invested in.
With its first flight, the aircraft will enter a rigorous test schedule before being deployed at sea. Our goal is to be ready for deployment by the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014. The MQ-8C will complete ground testing at Naval Air Station Pt. Mugu and also be integrated into the Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG) for maritime assessment.
When the commanders issued a request for the rapid deployment of 28 MQ-8C Fire Scout aircraft, I saw an opportunity for the team to shine. They have met my expectations and I am excited to see how we will continue to perform in the future.
MQ-8C will allow us to better support maritime ISR operations, reduce impacts to shipboard manning and provide increased capability with less aircraft. We’ve had our challenges, as any other research, test and development program has, but I am very proud of the team for how far we’ve come and how we’ve reached this day.

HMS Westminster trains with Indian Navy


HMS Westminster (foreground) and the INS Delhi during Exercise Konkan 13 [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Dan Rosenbaum]

The Royal Navy Type 23 frigate took time out from her busy counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics operations in the Gulf for a workout with Indian Navy ship (INS) Delhi and her company.
Exercise Konkan is part of the long-term commitment shared by the United Kingdom and India to maintain strong ties and developing the ability to work closely and efficiently together during operations.
The exercise had 2 distinct phases. The first was conducted alongside in Goa, where Westminster and Delhi berthed together. This presented an opportunity for some friendly inter-nation competitions including football and golf; Westminster’s team winning the football 3-1 but losing the golf 2-0.


An Indian naval officer examines a British general purpose machine gun during a tour of HMS Westminster [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Dan Rosenbaum, Crown copyright]

A series of lectures and ship’s tours were also held for some of the INS Delhi’s crew on HMS Westminster; the aim being to improve mutual understanding of different equipment and working practices.

Lieutenant Simon Yates, HMS Westminster’s Flight Observer and the ship’s visit liaison officer, said:

The enthusiasm and desire of the Indian crew to understand our practices was clear during the tours.
There is already a significant crossover of procedures between our 2 navies. Exercise Konkan has deepened that mutual understanding and I would hope to work with the Indian navy again.

HMS Westminster’s Commanding Officer, Captain Hugh Beard, called on Rear Admiral Balvinder Singh Parhar, Flag Officer Commanding Goa Area and Naval Aviation, during the harbor phase.
The British frigate later hosted an evening reception with ceremonial sunset, which was attended by the Admiral, many of his senior staff, the Mayor of Goa and other local dignitaries.

INS Delhi's Alouette helicopter takes off from HMS Westminster's flight deck during a cross deck landing exercise [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Dan Rosenbaum]

The second phase of the exercise saw the ships head to sea, putting what was learned alongside into practice in the Indian Ocean.
HMS Westminster and the INS Delhi rehearsed gunnery, anti-submarine warfare, boarding operations, close maneuvering and cross-deck flying. Westminster’s Lynx helicopter landed on the Delhi’s flight deck whilst the Indian ship’s Chetak helicopter hopped across to be hosted by HMS Westminster’s flight crew.
Captain Beard said he was pleased with how the exercise evolved:
The officers and crew of INS Delhi helped to make this a most successful exercise. Many valuable insights have been gained and the long-standing goodwill reinforced.
The Indian navy continues to be an invaluable ally at sea and in the air, and a worthy adversary in the field of sport.
HMS Westminster has now returned to maritime security operations in the Gulf region, where she will remain until early 2014.


US-Japan co-development program on track for 2015 flight testing

Raytheon Company and its Japanese partner, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, have completed the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA guided missile Critical Design Review (CDR). The CDR verified that the missile's design will meet the stringent, specific operational performance requirements necessary to defeat the projected threats. The SM-3 Block IIA will defeat incoming ballistic missile threats by colliding with them in space, and the program is on track to begin flight testing in 2015.
In a precedent-setting co-development effort between allies, the U.S. and Japan have determined an equitable workshare agreement that defines by missile section the development responsibility between each country.
"This milestone is critical because it moves the SM-3 Block IIA program from design to build," said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems. "Once deployed, SM-3 Block IIA will provide the U.S. and Japan capability to defend larger geographic areas from longer-range ballistic missile threats."
The SM-3 Block IIA program plan included building hardware early, supporting completion of critical subsystem testing prior to CDR. This "hardware rich" approach coupled with the design commonality with previous versions of SM-3 reduces integration risk.
"We worked closely with the Missile Defense Agency to ensure our design plan was well thought out, allowing us to build and test along the way. This method will go a long way toward lowering our risk during future flight testing," said Tim Lardy, Raytheon Missile Systems' SM-3 Block IIA program director.
Over the course of 18 months, the Raytheon-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries team, along with various subcontractors, successfully completed more than 80 rigorous subsystem reviews leading up to the final "system" CDR.

Boeing Delivers 12th Production P-8A Poseidon Aircraft to US Navy

Boeing photo

Boeing delivered the 12th production P-8A Poseidon on schedule on Oct. 25, enhancing the long-range maritime patrol capabilities of the U.S. Navy.
The P-8A departed Boeing Field in Seattle for Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., where it joined the other Poseidon aircraft being used to train Navy crews. The aircraft is the sixth from the second low-rate initial production contract lot awarded in November 2011. 
“This is our second-to-last P-8A delivery of 2013 and the program is meeting all cost and schedule milestones,” said Rick Heerdt, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager. “As we’ve focused on ramping up production and delivering planes, the Navy is preparing for the first P-8A fleet deployment in the coming months.”
Boeing is on contract to build and support 37 P-8A aircraft as part of four LRIP contracts awarded in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8As, which are based on the Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 platform. The versatile multi-mission aircraft provides anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and will replace the Navy P-3 fleet.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lockheed Martin Cyber Solution Enables Secure Data Sharing Between Top Secret and Unclassified Security Domains

Lockheed Martin has developed a cyber security solution that allows intelligence to be securely shared among personnel working at all security levels -- from highly classified intelligence sites to unclassified users in the field. This high assurance information solution, called Trusted Sentinel, allows data to be manually and/or automatically transferred between two or more differing security domains by using a single consolidated configuration of hardware and software.
"In today's complex cyber threat environment, protecting and securing our data is critical," said Jim Quinn, vice president of C4ISR Systems for Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions. "Trusted Sentinel addresses the difficult challenge of sharing relevant information across security domains and between organizational echelons." 
Trusted Sentinel supports the secure flow of intelligence data between all clearance levels by ensuring that sensitive information does not escape the highest clearance levels. It also ensures that information traveling back up the chain from un-cleared sources does not contain malicious code that could corrupt secure networks. By incorporating a suite of network protection capabilities that 'guards' classified data from unauthorized access, Trusted Sentinel controls the release of information commensurate with the security level of the information being processed, including clearance level, formal access approval and user need as determined by assigned confidentiality requirements.
Trusted Sentinel was developed by combining the capabilities of two of Lockheed Martin's Unified Cross Domain Management Office (UCDMO)-approved Cross Domain Solutions. The UCDMO is a joint Department of Defense and Intelligence Community organization that provides centralized coordination and oversight of cross-domain initiatives across these communities. The solution, which has received design approval from the accrediting organization, is being prepared for placement into an operational environment.

NATO and Ukraine navy together in the fight against piracy

Hetman Sahaydachniy (U130) is a Nerei/Menzhinskiy class frigate of the Ukrainian Navy. Homeported at Sevastopol, it is currently the flagship of the Ukrainian Navy.

The Chairman of NATO's Military Committee, General Knud Bartels, traveled to the Gulf of Aden on 28-30 October 2013 to visit the Ukrainian Navy frigate Hetman Sahaydachniy deployed there as part of Operation Ocean Shield, NATO's counter piracy mission. "Ukraine's ability to plug in and out of NATO's operations show the high level of interoperability the Alliance can achieve with its partners," General Bartels said.
The Ukrainian frigate joined Operation Ocean Shield on 10 October 2013, marking the first time a partner nation has contributed to the Alliance's counter-piracy effort.  The Ukrainian ship and its crew were supported by Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) in the United Kingdom and individual Allies in preparation for the mission.  Commander MARCOM Vice Admiral Hudson, who accompanied General Bartels said: "As always, the operation drives the training requirements. And drawing upon the NATO organisation we were able to make the Ukrainian Frigate fully inter-operable in order to participate in NATO's maritime operations".  Before joining Ocean Shield, the Ukrainian ship briefly provided support to Operation Active Endeavour, NATO's naval counter terrorism mission in the Mediterranean.  As part of its contribution to Ocean Shield, Ukraine is also sending a liaison officer to Allied Maritime Command.
In a joint visit to the Ukrainian frigate with Colonel General Volodymyr Zamana, Chief of General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Bartels praised Ukraine for its dedicated interest to interoperability with NATO.  He added that "by working together on the maritime side, NATO and Ukraine make a real contribution to dealing with today's global security threats such as terrorism and piracy".  Military cooperation between NATO and Ukraine has become well-established in a wide range of areas.  In particular, Ukraine has made significant contributions to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and the Balkans.  Ukraine will also contribute personnel to Steadfast Jazz, the upcoming major NATO exercise which will take place in Poland and the Baltic region from 2-9 November.
On board the NATO flagship, the Norwegian frigate HNOMS Fridtjof Nansen, General Bartels spoke with Commodore Henning Amundsen, the Commander of Operation Ocean Shield.  General Bartels stressed that NATO's maritime mission in the Indian Ocean has significantly reduced the threat of piracy in the region and has had wider effects.  "It led to improved maritime situational awareness, better cooperation with partners such as Ukraine and Russia and it improved the military relations and cooperation with other naval forces such as China and Japan," General Bartels said.
Since August 2009, NATO warships and aircraft have been patrolling the waters off the Horn of Africa as part of the international efforts to counter maritime piracy.  Ocean Shield also includes the HDMS Esbern Snare of the Royal Danish Navy and the US Navy Frigate USS De Wert.  All four ships are operating together off the Horn of Africa, deterring acts of piracy.

Dutch Cancel Karel Doorman Sale

File:JLSS Karel doorman.jpg

In a surprise decision, the Dutch have cancelled the sale of the still under construction Karel Doorman.
That means that HNLMS Amsterdam will be paid off in 2015 (as planned).
This is the outcome of new negotiations between several opposition  parties and the Government (to come to a majority for the plans in the First Chamber of Dutch parliament).
Several cuts were axed including the future of this brand new ship.
The new ‘Karel Doorman’ will sail with a limited crew and only for replenishment duties for the Dutch navy.
NATO partners can ‘hire’ the ship for the extra capabilities this ship was built for (JSS), such as heavy lift and transport and sea-basing.



Thanks to Kees van den Bos for contributing this update.

Vietnam latest news - Thanh Nien Daily | Vietnam Navy receives first of six amphibious aircraft from Canada

Vietnam latest news - Thanh Nien Daily | Vietnam Navy receives first of six amphibious aircraft from Canada:

'via Blog this'

First Zumwalt Class Destroyer Launched


General Dynamics Bath Iron Works successfully launched the Navy's first Zumwalt-class destroyer Oct. 28 at their Bath, Maine shipyard. 
The future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) will be the lead ship of the Navy's newest destroyer class, designed for littoral operations and land attack. 
The ship began its translation from Bath Iron Works' land-level construction facility to a floating dry dock on Friday. Once loaded into the dry dock, the dock was flooded and the ship was removed from its specially designed cradle. By late Monday, the dock had been flooded and the ship was floated off and tied to a pier on the Kennebec River. 
"This is the largest ship Bath Iron Works has ever constructed and the Navy's largest destroyer. The launch was unprecedented in both its size and complexity," said Capt. Jim Downey, the Zumwalt-class program manager for the Navy's Program Executive Office, Ships. "Due to meticulous planning and execution, the operation went very smoothly. I'm extremely pleased with the results and applaud the combined efforts of the Navy-industry team."
Construction began on DDG 1000 in February 2009, and the Navy and its industry partners have worked to mature the ship's design and ready their industrial facilities to build this advanced surface combatant. Zumwalt is currently more than 87 percent complete, and the shipbuilder will continue remaining construction work on the hull prior to planned delivery late next year. 
Because of the complexity of the first-of-class ship, the Navy will perform a two-phase delivery process. Bath Iron Works will deliver the ship itself to the Navy in late 2014. Upon delivery, the Navy will then conduct combat systems activation, tests and trials, to include multiple underway periods. The ship is expected to reach its initial operating capability in 2016. 
The ship, the first of three Zumwalt-class destroyers, will provide independent forward presence and deterrence, support special operations forces and operate as part of joint and combined expeditionary forces. The Navy has incorporated many new technologies into the ship's unique tumblehome hull, including an all-electric integrated power system and an Advanced Gun System, designed to fire rocket-powered, precision projectiles 63-nautical miles.
The shape of the superstructure and the arrangement of its antennas significantly reduce the ship's radar cross section, making the ship less visible to enemy radar at sea. The design also allows for optimal manning with a standard crew size of 130 and an aviation detachment of 28 Sailors thereby decreasing lifecycle operations and support costs.
The lead ship and class are named in honor of former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo R. "Bud" Zumwalt Jr., who served as chief of naval operations from 1970-1974. 
As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships, an affiliated PEO of the Naval Sea Systems Command, is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all major surface combatants, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships and special warfare craft.
              

General Dynamics to Christen the U.S. Navy’s Most Advanced Submarine, North Dakota, on Saturday



General Dynamics Electric Boat will christen North Dakota (SSN-784), the U.S. Navy’s newest and most advanced nuclear-attack submarine, at its shipyard here on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 11 a.m. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics.

Katie Fowler, wife of retired Vice Adm. Jeff Fowler, is the ship’s sponsor. The event’s principal speaker is Vice Adm. Michael J. Connor, commander – Submarine Forces.

The submarine North Dakota is the 11th ship of the Virginia class, the first U.S. Navy combatants designed for the post-Cold War era. Unobtrusive, non-provocative and connected with land, air, sea and space-based assets, North Dakota and the other Virginia-class submarines are equipped to wage multi-dimensional warfare around the globe, providing the Navy with continued dominance in coastal waters or the open ocean.

Electric Boat and its construction partner, Newport News Shipbuilding, have delivered 10 Virginia-class submarines to the Navy, and have contracts for eight additional ships.

A live video and audio webcast of the North Dakota christening will be accessible online at www.gdeb.com. Webcast coverage will begin Saturday at 10:30 a.m. EDT; the ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. and conclude at approximately 12:15 p.m. The program will be available for on-demand replay for one week, beginning at approximately 2:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday.

Detecting suicide attacks – from research to reality



October 30, 2013 - It is a world first: technology for the remote, real-time detection of explosives was tested live in an underground station in a major European city. The results were conclusive, paving the way for more widespread use of this technology. It marked the completion of the development and test phase of the Stand-off Detection of Explosives program, known as STANDEX – the result of four years of joint work between experts from NATO and Russia.
An important milestone has been marked in the cooperation between NATO and Russia in the fight against terrorism in public transport systems. During the live tests which took place last June in the underground railway of a European capital, the STANDEX project was able in real time to both pinpoint a suspect and detect explosives concealed on their body. The alert was activated by an innovative system which also provided analysis of all the data gathered by the different detectors.
The project could help NATO Allies and Russia prevent terrorist attacks such as those carried out on the public transport systems in London, Madrid and Moscow.
Detection without disruption
STANDEX is a unique and innovative program using various technologies, which have been shared and tested for the first time. It can detect explosives remotely, in real time and without disrupting the flow of passengers. It can identify, track and locate any object or person identified as carrying explosives, and can control the triggering of the alarm.
The first two technologies are based on microwave scanning,” says Dmitry Vakhtin, researcher at the Khlopin Radium Institute, based in St Petersburg, Russia. “The system detects explosives concealed on someone,” he explains. Anomalies in the molecular composition of the objects or people under surveillance can be seen immediately.
The control system regulates all the sensors and centralizes and combines all the data. If something unusual is detected, it triggers the video surveillance system and enhances the sensitivity of the next set of sensors.
"The spectroscopy technique is very powerful,” says an Italian representative of the Rome-based National Agency for new Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA). “It detects traces of explosives everywhere on people. It is a unique technology which can be operated in mass transit and in eye-safe mode, in full respect of international security laws," he adds.
Further tests and transfer to industry foreseen
A second phase of the project is due to be launched, concentrating on emergency management, or, what should be done once a terrorist has been identified. Further tests are foreseen, this time in Russia.
"So far, the results of the STANDEX project have been convincing. We would like to test the technology in our metro network and, on the basis of the results, decide how it can be incorporated in the St Petersburg metro security system," says Mikhail Korolev, Chief Engineer of the St Petersburg metro.
One of the great advantages of STANDEX is its flexibility. The technology can adapt to any environment, be it an underground railway station, an airport or a sports stadium.
"We do not have to completely rethink the system in order to adapt it to meet requirements, and this is the really strong point of the STANDEX technology," explains Pierre Charrue, STANDEX Project Director.
Talks with industry are already underway and the aim is to transfer the technology to the industrial sector by the end of October 2015, so that it can be brought onto the market.
“We will show industry that we have a viable product. Industry can see what NATO has done and what they have to do therefore to commercialize it and make it usable. It has to be affordable,” says Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General of NATO’s Emerging Security Challenges Division.
Pooling skills and know-how
"The STANDEX program is the result of the real and profound shared will of the NATO nations and the Russian Federation to foil attempts to attack critical infrastructure, in particular mass transport facilities,"says Pierre Charrue.
For both NATO and Russia, STANDEX was, first and foremost, a human challenge rather than technological or political: it meant bringing together some very diverse skills and cultures to form a close-knit and committed team.
“STANDEX is our common child,” says Vladimir Dyakov, Counselor at the Russian Mission to NATO. “It is cooperation between different states and also different kinds of entities.” He emphasises that this is a first step towards further cooperation. “This is not a final point for STANDEX but a point of reflection: how can we find ways to go forward, to get better use of what we have created together.”
The importance of the Russian contribution to the success of the program is widely acknowledged.“One of the important technologies that we are using was invented by the Russian side,”says Jamie Shea.
“Russian technology is used heavily in this project,” adds Alain Coursaget, Director of ACCES2S, a risk-management company based in Le Chesnay, France.
A success of the NATO-Russia Council
Officially launched in the framework of the NATO-Russia Council in February 2010, the STANDEX program was designed and developed jointly by a consortium of Dutch, French, German, Italian and Russian laboratories and companies, pooling their skills and know-how.
So far, STANDEX has cost €4.8 million. Funding is provided via the NATO Science for Peace and Security Program and by national contributions from the British, French, Italian, Russian, Turkish and US governments. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Battle Tanker is Back

HMAS Success sails past Sydney's iconic Fort Dennison to conduct a Mariner Skills Evaluation for two weeks off the East Coast of Australia.

HMAS Success returned to sea on 25 October and has commenced Sea Qualification Trials and a Unit Readiness workup package.
The significant milestone marked the end of a complex refit package, which included an extensive docking, considerable engineering plant overhaul and structural work.
Commander Australian Fleet RADM Tim Barrett, AM, CSC, RAN and Commander Surface Force CDRE Jonathan Mead, AM, RAN were on the wharf to farewell the ship, and were visibly proud of what their personnel and supporting agencies had achieved.
The crew enjoyed a period of calm reflection as Success sailed through the harbour on a picturesque Sydney day, relishing in the end result of their efforts.
Commanding Officer, Captain Allison Norris said her ship’s company had put in many hours of hard work to return the battle tanker to sea.
“Every department on the ship put in substantial effort to get Success seaworthy.  Their willingness to come together as a team to get he job done was outstanding.”
“The engineering department’s commitment and dedication to progressing an intricate Test and Trials program among a busy whole ship program was particularly noteworthy,” said Captain Norris.
Success has now started Sea Qualification Trials and a Unit Readiness workup package.  The ship achieved alongside Mariner Skills Evaluation (MSE) on 16 October and are expected to attain Unit Readiness Certification by the end of 2013, in preparation for a busy operational program in 2014.
The familiar silhouette of Success is now back at sea, ready to RAS.

(L-R) Amphibious and Afloat Support Group Capability Manager, CAPT Michael Rothwell RAN, Commander Australian Fleet, RADM Tim Barrett, AM, CSC, RAN and Amphibious and Afloat Support Systems Program Office Director, Mal Adams.
(L-R) Amphibious and Afloat Support Group Capability Manager, CAPT Michael Rothwell RAN, Commander Australian Fleet, RADM Tim Barrett, AM, CSC, RAN and Amphibious and Afloat Support Systems Program Office Director, Mal Adams.

What it Takes to Become an IDF Submariner

Israel’s Dolphin-Class submarines are considered among the most powerful and sophisticated on and below the surface of the Earth. The soldiers who man their powerful weapons systems and sail them through the sea’s depths are among Israel’s best and brightest. Last week their mettle was tested in the notorious submariners’ challenge.
They have been described by the IDF’s Chief of Staff as “a long strategic arm – sophisticated, very quiet, and extremely important in our struggle”.
The Commander in Chief of the Israel Navy said that their legacy’s “unique and clandestine contribution is an impressive, mostly classified chapter in the war for our existence as an independent and sovereign state.”
IDF Submarine at night
They are the Dolphin-Class submarines - silent, sophisticated and tremendously powerful. The Israel Navy’s growing flotilla of these underwater behemoths is a vital pillar of state security – as are the men who operate them.
submariners aboard
Though most elite units in the IDF have similar physical challenges, the submariners’ is unique. Coming at the peak of the second stage of their training, a year since they enlisted, the naval soldiers must prove above all else their ability to work as a team. Each man’s performance is irrelevant: it is if they make it together at the end that counts.Every year a new class of candidates rises up to take on the prestigious mantle of becoming Israeli submariners. Yet the road there is no walk in the park. These young men must prove to be in possession of an indefatigable physical and mental stamina to earn the right to climb on board the Dolphin.
submariners at sea
As dawn breaks the soldiers come charging down to the beach. In four teams they clamber on board the rubber vessels awaiting them on the sand and within moments are rowing out to their target – 500 meters out at sea. Just before they become specks on the horizon, they turn around and are on their way back, chanting an infectious heave-ho rhythm to inspire each man on.
Sumbarine
Meters from the shore, they leap out of the boats and drag them on to the sand. Then the wet shoes are yanked off, the boots and vests pulled on, the stretchers lifted, and the soldiers are off on a two kilometer run on foot. There is no time to rest.
The challenge is very intensive – it takes you to a point that truly resembles a battle situation in a submarine – the body is exhausted but the mind must be focused and strong,” said Cpl. R., visibly spent but ecstatic at having completed the challenge. “I think its very symbolic that we don’t finish the challenge after all the running,” Cpl. A. added. “We don’t finish until after the end when you have to disassemble your weapon and a few other tasks that require the brain, even with all the exhaustion and pressure.”
Edit3
Completing the course concludes the second stage of the submariners’ long training pathway. Two and a half months later, they will have proven themselves ready to man the IDF’s most advanced strategic assets.
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Navy Releases New Book, "You Cannot Surge Trust"

Ships and submarines are participating in the Rim of the Pacific 2012 exercise.

Naval History and Heritage Command announced the hardcopy and electronic publication of their newest book, "You Cannot Surge Trust," Oct. 28. 
The book, which details the combined naval operations of the Royal Australian Navy, Canadian Navy, Royal Navy, and United States Navy, 1991-2003, compiles the work of U.S. naval historians, Jeff Barlow, Ed Marolda, Randy Papadopoulos, and Gary Weir and of authors from the U.K., Canada, and Australia. 
"You Cannot Surge Trust," tells the recent story of trust built among allied Sailors-the key to a maritime coalition's success. The authors offer a view of national navies operating together in the Gulf War and off the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, as well as East Timor, and Afghanistan. The shared trust, technology, and training fostered their interoperability and are essential to US Navy leaders today, as navies increasingly rely on each other.
"You can look at 'You Cannot Surge Trust' two ways," said Sarandis "Randy" Papadopoulos, PhD., Secretariat Historian Department of the Navy, who was one of the authors of the book. "One, is that the issues that it addresses are timeless. How do you work with allies and partners? It is an enduring question and the book addresses it. Two, more immediately, Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, has come up with four 'P's' that he thinks are important to how the Navy and the Department of the Navy operates - People, platforms, power, and partnerships. This book speaks to two of those issues -people and partnerships - directly. I think it's very important that Navy Sailors and operational commanders get an idea of how this was done before and 'You Cannot Surge Trust' will do that."

The book is available at www.history.navy.mil/nhc6.htm#recent. 

Papadopoulos believes that trust in partners may be more important to Navies than any other service.
"Virtually every operation since the Cold War and going back into the 1950s has been multinational," He said. "Trust in allies and trust by allies has been central. This is something that the Navy has been doing for an awfully long time and doing very well. I would argue that the Navies do this sort of multinational cooperation better than armies or air forces of the same country. Ships are sovereign territory and can do what national governments want them to do much more easily than troops on the ground or aircraft in the air."
Trust also brings with it another advantage, understanding of differences.
"You have to be aware of what a partner or ally will do during certain circumstances," Papadopoulos said. He recounted that for U.S. Sailors a disabling shot is aimed at the engine room of a ship but for Dutch Sailors that same disabling shot is aimed at the bridge. "Those are two radically different ways to get at the same problem. If you don't know what your ally is going to do when you order a ship stopped, it's going to get complicated."
Naval History and Heritage Command's Director pointed out why the timing of this publication is unusually significant. 
"I am proud to add it to the long list of knowledge products our command has delivered to leadership, to the fleet, and to the naval historical community," said Capt. Henry Hendrix, director of Naval History. "What's also significant is it puts our uniquely capable talent and resources to work to directly and meaningfully help shape understanding of our Navy today. This kind of relevance is increasingly important as our national leaders grapple with very tough decisions about what's most important to our country's security."
The NHHC publications section offers many resources for anyone wanting to know about Navy history, and are working hard to make more available every day online.
"NHHC and its predecessor organizations have long published a range of products under an official publisher's imprint-everything from reference books on aviation squadrons to illustrated histories of the numbered fleets," said Caitlin Conway, NHHC publications writer-editor. "In addition to scholarly studies like You Cannot Surge Trust, NHHC produces documentary histories of the early Navy, commemorative booklets on modern wars, narratives on diversity and leadership, and related materials on the web."
She says that it is important to maintain the documents in many formats for NHHC's audience.
"Publishing in multiple formats and distributing through multiple channels allows us to reach our unique audience, including sailors serving overseas and at sea," she said. "Since Navy leadership, operational units, and other defense agencies use our products to understand the historical context of current issues and challenges, it is important for us to publish information on every era, from a variety of perspectives, in a variety of formats. We execute NHHC's mission not only to tell the Navy's story but to make it widely accessible to the public."
In addition to the PDF already available on NHHC's web page, hardcopy editions of the book will be stocked at the Government Printing Office GPO), and those interested can visit the GPO bookstore online at http://bookstore.gpo.gov/agency/902. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Weapon showcases interoperability, flexibility



Tucson October 27, 2013 - Raytheon Company and the U.S. Navy demonstrated the capability of the newest version of the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) C-1 by establishing communications among an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft, an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft and the JSOW C-1.
The test was part of the Navy's Trident Warrior 2013 demonstration in July. During the demonstration, fighters simulated the launch of a JSOW C-1 while the E-2D directed the weapon toward the positively identified target. The E-2D aircraft also received status updates sent from the JSOW C-1.
"The success of the Trident Warrior 2013 demonstration proves the feasibility of providing the fleet a means of executing the complete kill chain with carrier-based assets utilizing the F/A-18E/F, JSOW C-1 and E-2D to engage maritime targets at range," said Cmdr. Errol Campbell, the U.S. Navy's Precision Strike Weapons program office deputy program manager for the JSOW program.
Additionally, the team was able to track and designate a target; simulate the launch of the JSOW; send, receive and acknowledge target updates; and receive bomb hit indication data from the weapon.
"This test further verifies the flexibility and seamless plug-and-play connectivity of JSOW C-1's network-enabled capability," said Celeste Mohr, JSOW program director for Raytheon Missile Systems. "The test demonstrates the relative ease with which the U.S. Navy can build on the ongoing integration of the JSOW C-1 on the U.S. Navy's F/A-18 and expand the interoperability and connectivity to a fielded carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning aircraft."
In 2009, the Navy performed a similar demonstration of connectivity and interoperability among sensor platforms, a shooting platform and the JSOW C-1 during the Joint Surface Warfare Joint Capability Technology Demonstration. This demonstration involved a P-3 Orion aircraft's littoral surveillance radar system and an E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Adm. Papp, U.S. Rep. Palazzo Praise National Security Program at Christening of Hamilton (WMSL 753)

Linda Kapral Papp, the ship's sponsor for the National Security Cutter Hamilton (WMSL 753), breaks the ceremonial bottle across the bow of the ship on Oct. 26 at Ingalls Shipbuilding. Also pictured are (left to right) U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Douglas Fears, the ship’s prospective commanding officer; Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard; and Ingalls Shipbuilding President Irwin F. Edenzon. Photo by Steve Blount.
Pascagoula October 26, 2013 - Huntington Ingalls Industries Ingalls Shipbuilding division christened the National Security Cutter (NSC) Hamilton (WMSL 753) today in front of nearly 1,000 guests. Hamilton is the fourth NSC Ingalls has built for the U.S. Coast Guard.
Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., commandant of the Coast Guard, served as the keynote speaker. "As a sailor myself, I've learned that when you're sailing against the wind and the tide, getting to your desired destination often requires a great amount of effort and sometimes takes longer than you thought it might," he said. "But I can count among our most satisfying accomplishments over the last several years that we have the construction of at least eight National Security Cutters in our sight."
Papp compared the christening to a wedding, saying, "It's the Coast Guard family coming together with the Ingalls family for a great adventure and a great providence. It is, in fact, a wedding. It's a marriage built out of business, but it is definitely a partnership, and we appreciate our partnership with Ingalls."
Adm. Papp's wife, Linda Kapral Papp, is the ship's sponsor. She smashed a ceremonial bottle across the ship's bow, officially christening WMSL 753, "Hamilton."
The ship is named in honor of Alexander Hamilton, who is credited with establishing the Revenue Cutter Service, the forerunner of today's U.S. Coast Guard. It is the third Coast Guard cutter to bear the name Hamilton.
HII President and CEO Mike Petters said the ship's namesake "would be most proud of the fact that this ship is the product of a manufacturing company like HII, from a community like Pascagoula, and the result of an American industrial base that includes 649 suppliers from 39 states."
NSCs are 418 feet long with a 54-foot beam and displace 4,500 tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 miles, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 110.
"In the past decade, we've added to our 75-year legacy by building the most capable Coast Guard cutters in the world for the most capable Coast Guard in the world," said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Irwin F. Edenzon. "We understand these great ships must be affordable. And the Coast Guard's management of the NSC program has helped. Stable funding, timely contract negotiations and a disciplined appetite for change allow us to get learning from ship to ship. It gives both us and the Coast Guard the best opportunity to achieve our mutual objective: to keep building NSCs at an affordable price so we can build more NSCs. And not only do our shipbuilders know that the ships we build have to be affordable, they know who serves in them: Coast Guard men and women, sailors and Marines who are our friends, our neighbors, our sons, daughters, nieces and nephews—America's heroes."
U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) also took part in the ceremony. "Huntington Ingalls is more than a business, it is a family," he said. "A family 75 years old with a firm legacy and a robust future. As south Mississippians, shipbuilding is a part of our family and will remain the cornerstone of our community and the strength of our country.
"Whether it is drug interdiction, counterterrorism or our Homeland Security missions, this ship will be one of the greatest tools in our nation's tool kit for the protection of our homeland and the safety of our citizens," Palazzo added. "Simply put, these ships are essential in maintaining the safety and security of our nation, and most of all, these ships are responsible for returning the men and women of the Coast Guard safely to their families, a mission that none of us take lightly."
NSCs are the flagship of the Coast Guard's cutter fleet, designed to replace the 378‐foot Hamilton-class High-Endurance Cutters, which entered service during the 1960s. Ingalls has delivered three and has three more under construction, including Hamilton. Keel laying for Ingalls' fifth NSC, James (WMSL 754), took place on May 17. The ship is currently 33 percent complete and will launch the spring of 2014. Ingalls has started construction on 28 of 45 units for NSC 6 and she will launch the fall of 2015. An advance long lead material procurement contract has also been awarded for a seventh NSC.
The Legend-class NSC is capable of meeting all maritime security mission needs required of the High-Endurance Cutter. The cutter includes an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats and a flight deck to accommodate a range of manned and unmanned rotary wing aircraft. It is the largest and most technologically advanced class of cutter in the U.S. Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. This class of cutters plays an important role enhancing the Coast Guard's operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

CACI Awarded Prime Position on $899 Million Multiple-Award Contract to Provide Communications and Networking Services to U.S. Navy

Arlington VA October 24, 2013 - CACI International Inc announced today that it has been selected as a prime contractor to support Transport and Computing Infrastructure (TCI) for the U.S. Navy. With an anticipated ceiling value of $899 million, shared among all multiple-award recipients, this five-year (one base plus four one-year options), multiple-award indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract is one of several “Pillar” contracts that will support the entire spectrum of non-inherently governmental services and solutions associated with full system lifecycle support for mission areas within the TCI portfolio for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems (SPAWAR) Systems Center Atlantic. This new work is one of five prime Pillar awards CACI has won and expands the company’s business in its Enterprise IT market area.
“This new work in communications and networking services positions us to expand our business in our high-volume Enterprise IT market area. Our growth strategy involves a focus on winning large contract vehicles, like this one, that enable us to help our customers fulfill their most critical missions.”
Under the TCI contract, CACI will provide services addressing the Navy’s infrastructure support needs in five task areas: design, development, integration, and systems engineering; interoperability, test and evaluation, and trials support; software engineering, development, and system programming; installation and in-service engineering; and information assurance.
CACI’s qualifications for this work include its ISO® 20000 certification and assessment at the Capability Maturity Model Integration for Development (CMMI®-DEV) Level 3. These internationally accepted quality management systems benefit the customer by assuring that projects are executed successfully and that processes are documented, repeatable, and measured. CACI also brings a broad range of technical expertise in space, air, sea, and terrestrial-based communications, as well as experience in deploying emerging technologies such as the use of mobile devices on the edge.
John Mengucci, CACI’s Chief Operating Officer and President of U.S. Operations, said, “CACI will leverage our in-depth knowledge of and record of superior performance with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, as well as our industry-recognized processes to provide the high-quality, high-value services the U.S. Navy needs to fulfill its mission.”
According to CACI President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Asbury, “This new work in communications and networking services positions us to expand our business in our high-volume Enterprise IT market area. Our growth strategy involves a focus on winning large contract vehicles, like this one, that enable us to help our customers fulfill their most critical missions.”

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

P-3 Operators gather at Conference

P-3 Orion Double-Eagle

Atlanta October 23, 2013 - Lockheed Martin is hosting the 2013 P-3 International Operators Support Conference (IOSC) at the Atlanta Marriott Northwest in Atlanta, Ga. October 28 through 31.
This year's co-hosts are Blue Aerospace and Kellstrom Defense Aerospace Inc. both Lockheed Martin authorized P-3 distributors absolutely committed to supporting the P-3 and CP-140. 
This year's theme of "Operationally Proven, Sustainable into the Future" provides insight into how the P-3 global leader in maritime reconnaissance now and in the future.
Since 1988, the annual P-3 International Operators Support Conference (IOSC) has been the forum where P-3/CP-140/L-188 operators come together and share common concerns and successes. The purpose of the P-3 IOSC is to identify, discuss and solve technical, maintenance and sustainment challenges being experienced in the international operator community. The conference sub-committees provide a working group atmosphere where contractors, vendors and operators can engage and discuss specific challenges and possible solutions available.

This Day in Naval History



23 Oct 1864: Blockade Runner Flamingo destroyed by US Navy



On 23 October 1864, during the Civil War, the blockade-runner Flamingo, which was run aground off Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, was destroyed by shell fire from Fort Strong and Putnam, Battery Chatfield, and ships of Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren’s South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Note, before being sunk, she made numerous successful runs.

24 Oct 1862: USS Baron de Kalb engages Confederate scouting party



On 24 Oct 1862, a landing party from iron-clad river gunboat Baron de Kalb, commanded by Captain Winslow landed at Hopefeld, Arkansas, and engaged a small Confederate scouting party. On mounted horses, which were procured, as Captain Winslow reported, “by impressments,” the sailors then engaged in a 9 mile running fight, ending with the capture of the Confederate party.

25 Oct 1813: USS Congress burned the British merchant ship Rose



On 25 October 1813, USS Congress, commanded by John Smith, captured and burned the British Merchant ship Rose in the Atlantic off Brazil.

26 Oct 1966: Fire on board USS Oriskany (CVA 34)      


    
On 26 October 1966, during her second Vietnam War deployment, tragedy struck USS Oriskany (CVA 34) when a fire erupted on the starboard side of the ship's forward hangar bay and raced through five decks, killing 44 members of her crew and air group. Repaired in the US, Oriskany returned to duty in Vietnam in mid-1967 and rendered assistance to USS Forrestal (CV 59) when Forrestal also suffered a major fire on 29 July 1967. NHHC remembers and salutes the crew!

27 Oct 1812: USS Essex departs to attack British whaling industry



On 27 October 1812, during the War of 1812, the frigate Essex, commanded by Captain David Porter departed Delaware capes on a cruise into the Pacific Ocean around Cape Horn for attacks on the British whaling industry. In response, the British sent a squadron consisting of HMS Phoebe and HMS Cherub to capture Essex. In March 1814, the British ships captured Essex off Valparaiso, Chile.

28 Oct 1812: USS Argus captures British merchant brig Fly



On 28 October 1812, during the War of 1812, the brig Argus, commanded by Arthur Sinclair, captured the British merchant brig Fly in the North Atlantic.

29 Oct 1814: USS Fulton was launched




On 29 October 1814, the first steam-powered U.S. Navy warship, Fulton, was launched at New York City. Commissioned in June 1816, she carried President James Monroe on a day cruise in New York Harbor a year later. For her career, she was either laid up or, after 1825, employed as a floating barracks. On 4 June 1829, Fulton was destroyed by a gunpowder explosion.

NATO Group Exercises with Royal Moroccan Navy



Yesterday, three ships of Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2) conducted a multi-faceted passing exercise (PASSEX) with the Moroccan frigate SULTAN MOULAY ISMAIL.
This engagement was the culminating event in a port visit to Casablanca that began Saturday and further enhanced a common understanding between Morocco and NATO. The exercise featured high-speed tactical manoeuvring of the ships off the Moroccan coast.
Led in the formation by SULTAN MOULAY ISMAIL, SNMG2 ships SPS ALVARO DE BAZAN, FGS SACHSEN, and TCG SALIHREIS conducted various tactical and complex manoeuvres at differing speeds and courses in close formation. This precise coordination had been planned between the NATO and Moroccan crews during the port visit.
Aboard the four warships were observers from each of the participating vessels. It was a unique and professionally rewarding experience for the officers involved. They witnessed every manoeuvre from the bridges of the ships and concluded the visit on a high note of cooperation and friendship.


Xerox Awarded U.S. Navy Office Equipment Deal; Outfits Ships with Systems, Support

Continuing a long-term relationship, the U.S. Navy has awarded Xerox a ten-year contract worth $94 million for the onboard document needs of its vessels worldwide.
“The combination of Xerox’s technology, services and support lets organizations of all sizes simplify their printing needs, allowing them to focus on their core business objectives.
The Navy will look to Xerox for the installation, training and supplies procurement of the multifunction printers (MFPs) and production devices across its fleet. Eighteen Xerox technicians will be deployed with the ships to provide onboard document management services and support.
“Fulfilling the document management needs of the Navy is a responsibility we take very seriously and will do so with efficiency and responsiveness,” said Kevin Warren, president, U.S. Client Operations, Xerox. “The combination of Xerox’s technology, services and support lets organizations of all sizes simplify their printing needs, allowing them to focus on their core business objectives.”
A major contributor to Xerox’s contract win is the advanced security provided by the company’s office devices. The MFPs are equipped with Xerox Secure Print, which requires a personal identification number for users to release documents. A front-panel PIN code authentication also protects access to the devices’ features.
Onboard use of the MFPs will simplify work processes, such as scanned files being automatically shared via email or network folder, or saved directly to a USB for true portability.
Nearly 16 million impressions are produced annually on these devices, ranging from technical training documents to photo books for families.

Transas upgrades training centre at Naval Academy in Bulgaria



An official opening of the upgraded training complex equipped with the Transas state-of-the-art simulators for N.Y. Vaptsarov Naval Academy took place on September, 30.
Numerous high-rank officials attended the ceremony, dedicated to the start of a new academic year. Among them was Mr. Rosen Plevenliev, the president of Bulgaria and the supreme commander of the armed forces, Mr. Ivan Ivanov, the deputy minister of defence, and many others. International representatives of Italian and USA Navies also took part in the ceremony.
The Naval Academy training center was recently upgraded with the extended Transas Navigational simulator NTPRO 5000, installation of a full-mission Engine Room Simulator (ERS 5000), GMDSS Class simulator, and Vessel Management Traffic System (VTMS) simulator. The new setup creates a "total ship" environment with a real-time connection between the navigational and engine room simulators, where two main units can interact with each other during training exercises.
The extension of the simulator complex at Naval Academy in Varna, Bulgaria was made to enable more students to receive a wide range of knowledge and skills. Transas Navigational simulator, installed at the Academy several years ago, is expanded by transforming two workplaces of virtual class to two bridges with five and three visualization channels each. The bridges are also equipped with ARPA/Radar simulation and Navi-Sailor ECDIS modules. With the most realistic relief and target reflection, weather conditions and noise simulation, offered by Transas radar picture generation algorithm, students will have the opportunity to learn the logic associated with the systems they will find onboard. Meanwhile, the Navi-Sailor ECDIS module allows both IMO 1.27 and type-specific ECDIS training in accordance with the latest regulations.
The VTMS simulator has been upgraded to the latest version and extended by additional workplaces for an instructor, a communication operator and a trainee. GMDSS simulator is also to be upgraded and will offer work space for eight trainees.
The most significant part of the installation is a Full Mission Engine Room Simulator ERS 5000 with eight workstations. Ship models, included into this ERS 5000 software, allow training crews of ANZAC frigate ships, diesel electric cruise vessels and diesel-engine product tankers. The existing ERS 4000 simulator was also upgraded to ERS 5000 version for six trainees. This means, that more engineers can now receive high-class hands-on training with ERS 5000 by Transas.
N.Y. Vaptsarov Naval Academy  is the oldest technical school in Bulgaria and one of the symbols of Varna and Bulgaria in the global maritime community. Today, the Academy trains specialists for Navy and for merchant marine in all areas of maritime life and is also strongly engaged in research. N.Y. Vaptsarov Naval Academy maintains international contacts with similar schools and academies from many countries. The Academy is one of the founders and an active member of the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU).

NOAA announces end of traditional paper nautical charts

NOAA-certified Print-on-Demand partners will continue to sell up-to-date paper nautical charts

October 22, 2013
Most mariners now use Print-on-Demand nautical charts that are up-to-date to the moment of printing.
Most mariners now use Print-on-Demand nautical charts that are up-to-date to the moment of printing.  (Credit: NOAA)
NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, which creates and maintains the nation’s suite of over a thousand nautical charts of U.S. coastal waters, today announced major changes ahead for mariners and others who use nautical charts. Starting April 13, the federal government will no longer print traditional lithographic (paper) nautical charts, but will continue to provide other forms of nautical charts, including print on demand charts and versions for electronic charting systems.
“Like most other mariners, I grew up on NOAA lithographic charts and have used them for years,” said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. “We know that changing chart formats and availability will be a difficult change for some mariners who love their traditional paper charts, but we’re still going to provide other forms of our official charts.”
Since 1862, those lithographic nautical charts -- available in marine shops and other stores -- have been printed by the U.S. government and sold to the public by commercial vendors. The decision to stop production is based on several factors, including the declining demand for lithographic charts, the increasing use of digital and electronic charts, and federal budget realities.
“With the end of traditional paper charts, our primary concern continues to be making sure that boaters, fishing vessels, and commercial mariners have access to the most accurate, up-to-date nautical chart in a format that works well for them,” said Capt. Shep Smith, chief of Coast Survey’s Marine Chart Division. “Fortunately, advancements in computing and mobile technologies give us many more options than was possible years ago.”
NOAA will continue to create and maintain other forms of nautical charts, including the increasingly popular Print on Demand (POD) charts, updated paper charts available from NOAA-certified printers. NOAA electronic navigational charts (NOAA ENC®) and raster navigational charts (NOAA RNC®), used in a variety of electronic charting systems, are also updated weekly and are available for free download from the Coast Survey website. NOAA will also announce a new product full-scale PDF (Portable Digital Format) nautical charts, available for free download on a trial basis online.
Electronic charts, layered with multi-faceted information, are increasingly popular with commercial pilots around the world.
Electronic charts, layered with multi-faceted information, are increasingly popular with commercial pilots around the world.  (Credit: NOAA)
The world of navigation is benefiting from advances in technology, Smith explained. He said that NOAA will consult with chart users and private businesses about the future of U.S. navigation, especially exploring the use of NOAA charts as the basis for new products.
“Customers frequently ask us for special printed features, such as waterproof charts, special papers, or chart books containing additional information,” he said. “We are investigating new opportunities for companies to fill these market niches, using the most up-to-date information directly from NOAA.”
NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey is the nation’s nautical chartmaker. Originally formed by President Thomas Jefferson in 1807, Coast Survey updates charts, surveys the coastal seafloor, responds to maritime emergencies, and searches for underwater obstructions that pose a danger to navigation.