Friday, January 30, 2015

New US Coast Guard AIS Rules Now in Effect

Washington January 30, 2015 - The U.S. Coast Guard Friday announced the publication of the final rule on Vessel Requirements for Notices of Arrival and Departure and Automatic Identification Systems.
This final rule amends the applicability of notice of arrival requirements to include additional vessels, sets forth a mandatory method for electronic submission of NOAs and modifies related reporting content, timeframes and procedures.
Additionally, the final rule extends applicability of AIS requirements beyond Vessel Traffic Service areas to all U.S. navigable waters and requires that additional commercial vessels install and use AIS.
These changes will improve navigation safety, enhance the Coast Guard's ability to identify and track vessels, and heighten overall maritime domain awareness, thus helping the Coast Guard address threats to maritime transportation safety and security.
The final rule takes effect March 2, 2015. Exceptions to this are amendments to 33 CFR part 160, which become effective April 30, 2015, and sections 160.204(a)(5)(vii), 160.205, 160.208 and 164.46(b) and (c), which contain collection-of-information requirements that have not yet been approved by the Office of Management and Budget. The Coast Guard will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of these four collection-of-information-related sections.
To read the final rule, go to

M3 bathy shallow water multibeam approved to IHO S-44 standard

Mactaquac Headpond Survey
Mactaquac Headpond Survey photo from Kongsberg
Kongsberg Mesotech's M3 Bathy System, a powerful, entry-level survey system for shallow-water bathymetric applications is now officially designated compliant with IHO S-44, a reference standard for companies engaged in hydrographic surveying, marine engineering or nautical charting.
The IHO compliance consists of various criteria including vertical accuracy and target detection standards. In order to assess IHO-S44 compliance, these criteria were tested during an experiment performed by the Ocean Mapping Group at the University of New Brunswick.
During the testing, which took place in February, 2014, bathymetry data from the M3 was collected in depths ranging from 15 - 40m. The test targets were a series of standard concrete 1m cubes laid along 20m and 40m contours. The results confirmed that the M3 Bathy is capable of achieving bathymetric survey data that meets two orders of IHO standards. Specifically:
Vertical Accuracy compliance can be met over the full ±60° sector for Order 1 surveys and to at least ±55° for Special Order.
Special Order target detection (1m cube) is met to 20m and Order 1A target detection (2m cube) is maintained to 40m.
"This is an important milestone for the M3 Bathy as it continues to penetrate the market of low-cost multibeam echo sounders," says Aziah North, Sales Manager, Kongsberg Mesotech. "Already suitable for a wide range of applications including pipeline profiling survey and subsea inspection the M3 can now be used for high quality IHO S-44 standard shallow water survey, making it an even more diverse tool for the international hydrographic community."
The core of the M3 Bathy is Kongsberg Mesotech's M3 Series MultiMode Multibeam Sonar. The M3 Sonar is the only instrument in its price point that produces high-quality imaging records and 3D profiling point cloud data using the same sonar head. It provides high-resolution and easy-to-interpret images by combining the rapid refresh rate of conventional multibeam sonar with image quality comparable to that from a single-beam sonar system, making it a high quality, cost effective option for IHO S-44 compliant survey projects.

Huntington Ingalls Industries Acquires Engineering Solutions Division

Newport News January 30, 2015 - Huntington Ingalls Industries announced today that it has acquired the Engineering Solutions Division of The Columbia Group, a leading designer and builder of unmanned underwater vehicles for domestic and international customers. The value of the transaction is not being disclosed.
As a previous stand-alone division within The Columbia Group, ESD is headquartered in Panama City Beach, Fla., and employs about 30 engineers, analysts, craftsmen and technicians. While ESD's primary customer is the U.S. Navy, the company develops and builds specialized manned and unmanned undersea vehicles for military customers around the world. It has built or converted specialized craft for a variety of purposes, including support of submersibles and submarines, special warfare, testing of mine warfare systems, torpedo countermeasures and more.
"ESD's experience in designing and developing manned and unmanned submersibles is a natural extension of the submarine work we do at Newport News Shipbuilding," said Matt Mulherin, HII corporate vice president and Newport News Shipbuilding president. "We believe the combination of Newport News and ESD expertise will enable us to compete successfully in the unmanned underwater vehicle market, and we are excited to welcome ESD to our team."
ESD will operate as Undersea Solutions Group, a subsidiary of HII, and will report to Newport News Shipbuilding's Submarine and Fleet Support division.
"As the Navy moves toward greater employment of unmanned vehicles in both the surface and undersea domains, it makes great strategic sense to bring together a builder of unmanned undersea vehicles and one of the world's great builders of naval ships and submarines," said Ross Lindman, ESD senior vice president. "Together, we can support the development of large and very large unmanned undersea vehicles and stay in step with the Navy as unmanned systems take on greater and more complex roles in the undersea battle space. The staff of ESD looks forward to joining Newport News Shipbuilding."

Air Force Order Includes Two HC-130J Surveillance Aircraft for Coast Guard

HC-130J Hercules aircraft
The U.S. Air Force placed an order for two HC-130J Super Hercules aircraft, increasing the Coast Guard’s fleet that includes six aircraft performing operations out of Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and three aircraft currently in production. Coast Guard photo.

January 29, 2015 - Using funds that had been transferred from the Coast Guard, the Air Force awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin Corp. for production of two HC-130J Super Hercules aircraft Dec. 31, 2014. The 10th and 11th HC-130Js in the Coast Guard’s fleet are expected to be delivered in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
The Coast Guard order was part of a $662 million Air Force contract action that included acquisition of 10 C-130J aircraft and 20 quick engine change assemblies. All contract work will be completed at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta, Georgia, facility. The Air Force is the government’s executive agent for all C-130 procurements. The Coast Guard will award separate contracts to configure the aircraft to meet its mission requirements.
The Coast Guard currently operates six HC-130Js as part of its long range surveillance aircraft fleet. Three additional HC-130Js are under construction, with delivery in 2015. Upon delivery to the Coast Guard, missionization of these aircraft will take an additional year.
The Super Hercules carries out many Coast Guard missions, including search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, cargo and personnel transport, and maritime stewardship. The aircraft is capable of serving as an on-scene command and control platform or as a surveillance platform with the means to detect, classify and identify objects and share that information with operational forces.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Plans to deliver the most modern Navy in the world

CGI HMS Queen Elizabeth
£100m of infrastructure development in new dock facilities at Portsmouth Naval Base will further support the arrival of the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers. Image: BAE Systems / MoD

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne today (Friday 30 January) visited Portsmouth where he set out the government’s next steps in building the most modern navy in the world.
On a visit to the home of the Royal Navy, the Chancellor announced a new national shipbuilding strategy in advance of a decision later this year on orders for the brand new Type 26 Global Combat Ship. The Chancellor also announced that these multi-million pound ships will be based at the Navy bases in Portsmouth and Plymouth.
As part of the development of the national shipbuilding strategy, the Chancellor has asked to look at the potential to build a new complex warship every two years.
As well as maximising export opportunities, this will ensure the Royal Navy continues to have the capability it needs to protect our nation’s interests, retaining its status as the most modern Navy in the world.
The strategy will help deliver world class ships for the Royal Navy while ensuring the best value-for-money for the taxpayer. It will also ensure that the Navy continues to have the capability it needs to protect our nation’s interests and ensure continued investment in UK warship production. It will help maintain jobs, provide new apprenticeships, and develop advanced engineering skills.
The announcement builds further on the government’s commitment to Defence and the Royal Navy. Today, the Royal Navy is being modernised with new equipment, ships and submarines; it is building two of the second largest new aircraft carriers in the world, which will operate the most sophisticated fighter aircraft ever produced.
It will receive the world leading new Type 26 frigate. Two Astute Class submarines, the most advanced nuclear submarines in the world, have already deployed on operations and the UK is working to deliver a further five of the class over the next decade. Combined with the Type 45 Destroyer and four modern tankers to support the fleet at sea, as well as the forthcoming renewal of Trident, this means the Royal Navy of today is being equipped for the challenges of the 21st century.
While on the visit to one of the world’s oldest dry docks, the Chancellor also announced almost £100 million of infrastructure development in new dock facilities at Portsmouth Naval Base to further support the arrival of the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers.
The new work will encompass berthing and jetty improvements, new power supply and distribution, and significant dredging in the approach to the harbour to enable the base to accommodate the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy.
The move will provide significant employment opportunities in the Portsmouth area over the next Parliament.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said, "Ensuring a better and more secure future for Britain means equipping our Royal Navy for the challenges of the 21st century. It is only because we have a long term economic plan that we able to invest in our national security. Our ambition is to deliver the most modern Navy in the world which the government believes is a national necessity. It will maintain and create jobs and deliver a more secure future for Britain."
Responding on behalf of the Royal Navy, the First Sea Lord said, " I am delighted by the Chancellor’s announcement today. The commitment to a new national shipbuilding strategy is not just a very significant investment in the UK’s shipbuilding future. It is also a powerful statement that our nation’s global interests will be protected by a credible, world class Navy – equipped with fast-jet aircraft carriers, submarines, destroyers and frigates which will be the best and most modern in the world."

Show Me a WWII Battleship! Missouri Christened Jan. 29, 1944

Missouri’s commissioning ceremonies, at the New York Navy Yard, 11 June 1944.
Missouri’s commissioning ceremonies, at the New York Navy Yard, 11 June 1944.
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eric Lockwood, Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division

A long and illustrious career started on this day in 1944 when the last Iowa-class battleship, Missouri (BB 63), launched from the New York Navy Yard.

USS Missouri firing a six-gun salvo from her forward 16"/50 gun turrets, during her shakedown, circa August 1944. Note six 16" projectiles in the air at right and concussion effect on the water alongside the ship.
USS Missouri firing a six-gun salvo from her forward 16"/50 gun turrets, during her shakedown, circa August 1944. Note six 16" projectiles in the air at right and concussion effect on the water alongside the ship.

As all ships do after launching, she completed final fitting out, followed by testing her weapons, especially those famous 16-inch gun, engineering systems and hull. Showing her crew to be capable and competent, Missouri was commissioned June 11. Soon after, she sailed from Norfolk, transited the Panama Canal and steamed forward into battle as the flagship for the Third Fleet.

Missouri en route from Panama to San Francisco, 22 November 1944. An escort carrier (CVE) is following the battleship.
Missouri en route from Panama to San Francisco, 22 November 1944. An escort carrier (CVE) is following the battleship.

Missouri arrived the staging area of the Ulithi Atoll in the western Caroline Islands joining the aircraft carrier Lexington (CV 16) in Vice Adm. Marc Mitscher’s Fast Carrier Task Force. Sometimes called Task Force (TF) 58, it was a springboard for the Navy to strike Japanese forces. Task groups were typically made up of carriers accompanied by destroyers, cruisers and fast battleships. With this group, Missouri launched the first airstrikes against Japan since the Doolittle Raid in April 1942.
Afterwards, Missouri went to support Operation Detachment, better known as the Battle of Iwo Jima. The island would prove to be an important air field for the U.S. Army’s B-29 bombers, and the famous photograph taken atop Mt. Suribachi became an icon of the war in the Pacific. Midway through that battle, though, the task group rotated out to Ulithi to refuel and rearm.
At this time, Missouri was given new orders to support the Yorktown (CV 10) Carrier Task Group, departing for the Japanese mainland. By this stage of the war, aircraft carriers had become the main weapon in the Navy’s arsenal and as such were the leading targets for the Japanese. Yorktown’s task group was given the job of conducting raids off the Japanese mainland in the Inland Sea and it was then that Missouri encountered kamikaze pilots for the first time.

An A6M Zero Kamikaze attacks Missouri during battle of Okinawa on 11 April 1945.
An A6M Zero Kamikaze attacks Missouri during battle of Okinawa on 11 April 1945.

“There was a hypnotic fascination to the sight, so alien to our Western philosophy. We watched each plunging kamikaze with the detached horror of one witnessing a terrible spectacle, rather than as the intended victim. We forgot self for the moment, as we groped hopelessly for the thought of that other man up there,” said Vice Adm. Charles Brown, then-commander of the Navy’s sixth fleet, of the kamikazes.
As Sailors on the Missouri watched, Japanese pilots attacked aircraft carriers Wasp (CV 18) and Franklin (CV 13)—nearly sinking the latter. Missouri’s task group covered Franklin’s retreat to Ulithi, but that wouldn’t be the last time Missouri saw the kamikazes.
In late March 1945, Missouri joined the typhoon of steel raining down upon Japanese soldiers in the largest amphibious assault of the War in the Pacific —The Battle of Okinawa. The Allies started by bombarding the southeastern beaches as a feint, to force the Japanese to redirect their forces from the west. After the enemy fell for the trap, the Allies jumped. On April 1, U.S. Marines and Soldiers landed on the western beachhead.
Despite its strategic success, the Battle of Okinawa would prove to be one of the bloodiest battles in the theater. Allied forces — four divisions of the U.S. 10th Army and two Marine divisions supported by amphibious, naval, and air forces numbering about 183,000 – faced off against the 120,000 Imperial Japanese army and navy and roughly 39,000 locals. By the end of the battle, the Allies suffered 12,000 losses while the Japanese lost more than 100,000.
During the carnage, a kamikaze avoided Missouri’s curtain of shells and hit just below her main deck level. Luckily, she escaped her intended fate. The damage was superficial, and the crew quickly contained the fire.
By the time she left the task group for Ulithi, Missouri had downed five enemy planes, aided in the destruction of six others, helped repel 16 raids, and destroyed several military, governmental, and industrial structures and gun emplacements.
Although WWII had effectively been decided after the fall of Okinawa, the Japanese refused to surrender. The island would become a key strategic staging point for air operations in the invasion of the Japanese mainland.
In an effort to shorten the war, the U.S. dropped atomic bombs Little Boy and Fat Man on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. The same day Nagasaki felt the effects of the second — and hopefully last — wartime use of the bomb, the Soviet Union invaded Manchuria, taking Japan’s main source of oil.
The Japanese had lost. It was time to surrender.

Japanese representatives on board USS Missouri (BB-63) during the surrender ceremonies, 2 September 1945.
Japanese representatives on board USS Missouri (BB-63) during the surrender ceremonies, 2 September 1945.

Enter Missouri. On Aug. 29, the ship pulled into Tokyo Bay and began preparing for the formal surrender. Aboard Missouri at 8:56 the morning of Sept. 2, 1945, Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz and Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur received Japanese representatives, headed by Foreign Minister Shigemitsu Mamoru. Before a cluster of microphones and cameras, Nimitz and MacArthur accepted Japan’s unconditional surrender as the world watched.
MacArthur began the ceremony on the deck of Missouri by saying, “It is my earnest hope—indeed the hope of all mankind—that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past, a world founded upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance, and justice.”

General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff, signs the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, on board USS Missouri (BB-63), 2 September 1945. Watching from across the table are Lieutenant General Richard K. Sutherland and General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. Representatives of the Allied powers are behind General MacArthur. Photographed from atop Missouri's 16-inch gun turret # 2. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.
General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff, signs the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, on board USS Missouri (BB-63), 2 September 1945. Watching from across the table are Lieutenant General Richard K. Sutherland and General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. Representatives of the Allied powers are behind General MacArthur. Photographed from atop Missouri's 16-inch gun turret # 2. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

By 9:30, the war had officially ended.
Although Japan signing its surrender on her decks was probably her most famous story, Missouri would continue her service to the Navy over the next half century — in the Korean War, fighting against Iraq and Saddam Hussein during Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1991.
Missouri’s final mission that year would be the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. A few months later, as the last active service battleship in the fleet, she was decommissioned March 31, 1992.
Still, her legacy doesn’t end there. On Jan. 29, 1999, 55 years after her launching in 1944, Missouri began her final mission. Just yards away from the USS Arizona Memorial, where World War II began with the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battleship Missouri Memorial commemorates the moment when the war ended nearly four years later.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rob Hogan Appointed Vice President of Manufacturing at Newport News Shipbuilding

Rob Hogan has been appointed vice president of manufacturing at HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division. HII photo

Newport News January 28, 2015 - Huntington Ingalls Industries announced today that Rob Hogan has been appointed vice president of manufacturing at the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division.
Hogan began his career in 1976 as a welder. Since then, he has held leadership positions at all levels of production and construction. Most recently, he served as director of manufacturing for steel fabrication. Hogan is a graduate of The Apprentice School and earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Strayer University.
In his new position, Hogan will be responsible for manufacturing and manufacturing planning in support of all shipbuilding programs. He will assume his new role on Feb. 23 following a transition into the job with the help of Becky Stewart, who will retire from the position March 1 after more than 33 years in the shipyard.
"Becky began her shipbuilding career as a technical planner and since that time has served in a number of leadership positions," said Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin. "She will be missed for her dedicated service, experience and commitment. Like Becky, Rob is an advocate for our shipbuilders, focusing on improving safety and engagement across the workforce. Rob has always looked for new and innovative opportunities to improve efficiency while also improving our shipbuilders' work environment and the tools and the equipment they use. He is a proven leader here and through his involvement in many professional manufacturing organizations."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Babcock achieves key milestone in submarine maintenance

Royal Navy

January 26, 2015 - Babcock has marked a major milestone in the substantial Revalidation and Assisted Maintenance Period (RAMP) on Trafalgar class submarine HMS Trenchant – the largest RAMP undertaken to date in Devonport – with the achievement of flood-up, marking the conclusion of some 16 months in dry dock.
This significant RAMP involves a challenging programme of maintenance, system revalidation and capability upgrades, with the successful achievement of flood-up signifying approximately 70 per cent completion of the work-package. 
Activities to date have included the installation of a new composite rudder, overhaul of both port and starboard circulating water systems, the largest RAMP survey package ever undertaken, torpedo tube revalidation, and pressure hull revalidation.  It has also involved a significant package to survey and overhaul the Sonar 2076 flank arrays, installation of the Defence Information Infrastructure, a large galley upgrade, a major tank maintenance programme, and application of the recently developed internal non-destructive testing (NDT) inspection method for tail shafts.  Moreover, Trenchant will undock with an exceptional finish; the product of extensive tile refurbishment and ‘fairness of form’ work, as well as the application of a new signature-reducing paint system. 
Additionally, the RAMP has seen the trial of an eddy current non-destructive testing (NDT) technique that allows weld lines to be inspected without paint removal.  This has proved successful, and will now be introduced for use in future RAMPs. 
Over the next 12 months the team will focus on completing the remaining work, which needs to be undertaken while the vessel is afloat.  This includes the completion of maintenance and upgrade to the nuclear steam raising plant (NRSP), which involves the submarine being heeled, restricting the wider activities that can be undertaken onboard.
Commenting on the achievement of flood-up, Babcock Boat Manager John Pitt said: “We have worked closely with the MoD and Royal Navy, combining our respective areas of specialist knowledge and experience as a joint team to undertake this challenging programme of work successfully and we are delighted to have achieved flood-up, being a significant and highly visible milestone in the project.  We have applied and developed key project management tools to optimise schedule adherence and cost control, and will continue to work closely with the MoD and Royal Navy to deliver the RAMP successfully.”

SAAB chooses KONGSBERG sonar and multibeam systems for Swedish submarines

SAAB chooses KONGSBERG sonar and multibeam systems for Swedish submarines

January 26, 2015 - Defence and security company SAAB has selected a cutting-edge Kongsberg Maritime hydroacoustic package for installation on two Swedish A19 submarines. The delivery will consist of SA9510S Mine Avoidance and Navigation Sonar for submarines and the leading EM 2040 Dual RX multibeam echosounder.
SAAB chooses KONGSBERG sonar and multibeam systems for Swedish submarines
The main purpose of the SA9510S sonar is to detect mines, obstacles and the sea-floor in a wide swath ahead of the submarine. The sonar generates target warnings or alarms with sufficient time available to perform an avoidance manoeuvre. It is a vital tool providing information to crew for bottom navigation purposes and for submerged navigation. The SA9510S sonar has the ability to detect and display the bottom profile in several selected horizontal directions in front of the submarine. Mine-seeking and submerged navigation can be performed simultaneously.
The EM2040 Dual RX to be delivered is an enhanced version of the leading EM2040 multibeam echosounder system. The EM 2040 Dual RX features two TX-Transmitters and two RX-Receivers and is designed for mapping in shallow areas at higher speed. It will provide A19 crews with accurate survey data and excellent range performance (both depth and swath width) at the highest resolution available in the market.
"With this sonar solution selected for both the Swedish submarines and Norwegian submarines, Kongsberg Maritime will have delivered active navigation sonars to the two leading submarine nations specialising in operation in shallow water," comments Thomas Hostvedt Dahle, Product Sales Manager Naval sonars in Kongsberg Maritime. "This contract features our state-of-the-art navigation and avoidance sonar in addition to our flagship multibeam system. It strengthens Kongsberg Maritime's position as a leading supplier of sonars with special capabilities for operation in littoral waters, whilst demonstrating the effectiveness of our standard products adapted for military operations."

Monday, January 26, 2015

U.S. Navy Selects BAE Systems to Provide Communications and Combat Systems Support for Surface Combatants

U.S. Navy Selects BAE Systems to Provide Communications and Combat Systems Support for Surface Combatants

McLean VA January 26, 2015 - The U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has awarded BAE Systems a five-year contract to provide full life-cycle engineering and technical support for communication and combat systems on land and at sea. The initial award is valued at $28.4 million with the total value of the five-year contract estimated at $146.7 million.
Under the contract, the company’s experts will integrate computers, communication systems, combat systems, and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance systems on board U.S. Navy surface combatants and at associated shore sites in the United States and abroad.
“For 30 years our seasoned team has ensured that platforms, sensors, communications, and weapons systems aboard U.S. Navy ships are integrated and optimized for mission success,” said DeEtte Gray, president of BAE Systems’ Intelligence & Security sector. “In addition to aiding in mission readiness, BAE Systems’ life-cycle services directly support NAVAIR’s strategic cost-reduction initiatives.”

Friday, January 23, 2015

Marines Receive First F-35C

Lockheed Martin

U.S. Marine Lt. Col. J.T. “Tank” Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander and F-35 pilot, delivered the new F-35C to Strike Fighter Squadron 101, the Navy’s only F-35 fleet replacement squadron January 13th. This aircraft is the first of five Marine Corps F-35Cs that will be delivered to VFA-101 on Eglin. 
Marine F-35 pilots primarily fly F-35Bs – a short take-off vertical landing variant designed to deploy to austere locations and operate aboard amphibious ships
“This is a big day for the Marine Corps tactical air community and a huge honor to be able to deliver our first F-35C,” said Ryan. “It marks the beginning of our training in the carrier variant and puts us that much closer to standing up our first F-35C operational fleet squadron.”
The F-35C model brings 25 percent more range and a bigger weapons bay. It also allows the Marine Corps to fly aboard Navy aircraft carriers, which continues an effective and long-standing tactical air integration program between the Navy and Marine Corps.
“In the past, Marines have been trained to fly the Navy’s F-18 Hornet to share the load of deployment cycles,” said Ryan. “Now, Marine pilots will be flying the F-35C with the Navy’s Carrier Air Wings while deployed aboard aircraft carriers.”
The first operational Marine Corps F-35C fleet squadron, VMFA-115, is scheduled to stand up at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, in 2019. 
“It’s exciting to be on the ground floor of the F-35C and an enormous honor to be the first F-35C Marine pilot,” said Ryan. “I look forward to being a part of VFA-101 and the future of what this aircraft will bring to the fight for our Marines.

US Coast Guard Acquisition Updates

Acquisition Update: Fabrication Starts For Coast Guard's Seventh National Security Cutter

Fabrication of the Coast Guard's seventh national security cutter, Kimball, began Jan. 19, 2015, marking the official start of the cutter's production phase. Production will continue over the next three years with delivery scheduled for early 2018.

Acquisition Update: U.S. Achieves Highest Coverage Standard With Rescue 21 System

The Coast Guard's Rescue 21 direction-finding communications system has achieved Sea Area A1 standards, indicating that radio communications coverage can be expected within 20 miles of most of the U.S. coast.

Acquisition Update: 12th Fast Response Cutter Delivered To Coast Guard

The Coast Guard accepted delivery of the 12th Sentinel-class fast response cutter, Isaac Mayo, in Key West, Florida, Jan. 13.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

US Navy Approves F/A-18 Super Hornet IRST System for Production

Lockheed Martin

Orlando January 22, 2015 – The F/A-18 Super Hornet infrared search and track (IRST) system, developed and integrated by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, received approval from the U.S. Navy to enter low-rate initial production.
The IRST system consists of Lockheed Martin’s IRST21™ sensor, the GE Aviation FPU-13 Fuel Tank Assembly and the Meggitt Defense Industry Environmental Control unit. The system demonstrated its production readiness through a series of extensive assessments and reviews, including flight tests.   
“This ‘see first, strike first’ capability can be used in a variety of threat environments and is a game changer for our warfighters as we combat future adversaries,” said U.S. Navy F/A-18 program manager Capt. Frank Morley. IRST is expected to deploy on the F/A-18 Super Hornet in 2017. 

Lockheed Martin

IRST21 is the next generation of Lockheed Martin’s legacy IRST sensor system, which accumulated more than 300,000 flight hours on the U.S. Navy’s F-14 and international F-15 platforms. The long-range IRST21 sensor uses infrared search and track technology to detect, track and enable the Super Hornet to engage threats with air-to-air weapons.
“Lockheed Martin and Boeing have proven the maturity of the IRST21 sensor and the IRST system and are poised to get this advanced capability out to the fleet to support Navy carrier strike group objectives,” said Ken Fuhr, fixed wing program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

Lockheed Martin

In addition to detecting airborne threats, IRST significantly enhances multiple target resolution compared to radar, providing greater discrimination of threat formations at longer ranges. Data from the IRST21 sensor is fused with other on-board F/A-18 sensor data to provide maximum situational awareness to the warfighter.
“The IRST system is another example of how we continue to evolve Super Hornet capabilities to ensure it outpaces future adversaries,” said Tim Adrian, F/A-18 IRST program manager at Boeing. 

Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft Ready for Demonstration Flights

The Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) program is ready for customer demonstration flights, having completed the baseline ground and flight testing of the aircraft mission systems.

Seattle January 22, 2015 - The Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) program is ready for customer demonstration flights, having completed the baseline ground and flight testing of the aircraft mission systems.
Flights for prospective customers around the world are scheduled to begin in the coming months. The mission system testing followed last year’s airworthiness and certification testing.
“The mission systems flight test program proved the functionality and performance of the onboard sensors and was a huge accomplishment for the MSA team,” said David Utz, MSA demonstrator flight test manager.
The testing included hundreds of scenarios to confirm performance of the Automatic Identification System, radar, Electro-Optical Infrared camera, communications radios and data links, Communications Intelligence System and the Electronic Support Measures.
MSA is a multi-intelligence maritime surveillance platform that leverages investments in the P-8A Poseidon and the Airborne Warning and Control System Block 40/45 aircraft mission systems to provide a high capability, low-risk intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance solution in a mid-size business jet.
The aircraft’s potential missions include anti-piracy, immigration patrols, Economic Exclusion Zone enforcement, coastal and border security and long-range search and rescue.

Raytheon Vice President Ed Miyashiro named an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Pathfinder


Waltham MA January 20, 2015 - Raytheon Vice President Ed Miyashiro has been named an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Pathfinder, recognizing his significant contributions in this unique field.
It is only the second time the award, which customarily recognizes contributions from military and government leaders, has been granted to an individual from the defense industry. The award is given by the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense program office.
"Ed's contributions in this area are unmatched," said Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Kennedy. "His innovative thinking and technical expertise have driven tangible benefits to our industry and the nation."
Miyashiro played a critical role in adapting the U.S. Navy's Standard Missile into a unique, ship-based, anti-ballistic missile interceptor.
The innovation was a huge advance, allowing the United States and its allies to position interceptors anywhere in the world, gaining precious minutes in the event of a missile attack.
A 40-year defense industry veteran – mostly at Raytheon – Miyashiro directed the effort to create the first missile capable of shooting down a ballistic missile target from a ship.
"Ed's association with SM-3 can be traced all the way back from the Lightweight Exoatmospheric Projectile (LEAP) program to the current family of Standard Missile programs," said Wesley D. Kremer, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president of Air and Missile Defense Systems. "He is one of the true industry pioneers of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense program."
Miyashiro has served as director of all Standard Missile programs and as vice president and deputy general manager of Raytheon Missile Systems, overseeing development of a wide array of air, land and naval weapons. He currently heads the Raytheon Company Evaluation Team, which helps programs across the company.
"It has been my life's honor and a great privilege to have worked on our country's ballistic missile defense systems," Miyashiro said.  "I'm proud to share this special recognition with my dedicated colleagues at Raytheon who work tirelessly to advance these important technologies for the safety and security of our nation and its allies."
Today, the SM-3 can be fired from land or sea, using kinetic force to destroy ballistic missile threats, a process that's been likened to hitting a bullet with a bullet.

Lockheed Martin Delivers First Enhanced Automated Testing Station For The U.S. Navy Aircraft Fleet

Orlando January 21, 2015 - Lockheed Martin delivered the first electronic Consolidated Automated Support System (eCASS) to the U.S. Navy for maximizing aircraft readiness.
Sailors and Marines will use eCASS to troubleshoot and repair naval aircraft electronic components at sea and ashore, allowing them to return aircraft to operational status quickly and efficiently. The Navy expects to deploy eCASS on every U.S. aircraft carrier and at its Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Depots.
"With eCASS, the Department of the Navy will enable a cost avoidance of more than $1 billion annually by averting the repair of avionics at the next level of maintenance or sending the parts back to the original equipment manufacturer," said Chris Giggey, deputy program manager for Automated Test Systems at the U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command.
"Our focus is providing Sailors and Marines with the most effective tool to maintain the Navy's aircraft because they are called on to ensure security anytime and anywhere," said Randy Core, director of Enterprise Test Solutions at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. "eCASS advances automated testing to maximize aircraft availability worldwide."
Currently, the Navy has ordered 38 eCASS stations and is gearing up to purchase an additional 29. The Navy ultimately plans to field 341 of these stations.
eCASS preserves the Navy's investment in test programs, extending the value of the legacy CASS program that consolidated 30 test equipment systems into one resulting in $3.9 billion in cost avoidance. The system can support more than 750 avionics components as well as a range of electronic equipment on carriers, other maritime craft or at shore to reduce the amount of gear needed for deployments.

Shipboard Electronic Systems Evaluation Facilities (SESEFs)

SESEF - Shipboard Electronics Systems Evaluation Facility

The Shipboard Electronic Systems Evaluation Facilities (SESEFs) are land based test sites established to facilitate testing of ships' electromagnetic transmitting and receiving equipment. The SESEFs provide test and evaluation services to U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Military Sealift Command activities as well as allied foreign navies.

SESEF's overall mission is to provide the Navy and Department of Defense (DoD) engineering activities and the fleet with a dependable and technically capable source for real time comparative EW and RF signal analysis consistent with an operational environment.
Specific objectives of the SESEF Program include:
Validating engineering designs by verifying conformance of ship test results to engineering design and model range data for new and upgraded systems.
Determining system operational performance and material readiness following new construction and overhaul.
Supporting Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) testing during at-sea Acceptance Trials (AT), Final Contract Trials (ACT), and Underway Material Inspections (UMI).
Identifying and assisting in correction of deficiencies in the ship's combat systems electronic suite.
Providing electromagnetic signature data for engineering analysis.
As directed by NAVSEA and with the strong support of various Fleet commands, SESEF provides state-of-the-art Test & Evaluation (T&E) of combat systems which radiate or receive electromagnetic (EM) energy. SESEF provides a "reliable partner" for two party testing, analysis and troubleshooting of shipboard EM systems. Emphasis is placed on providing real-time data analysis while minimizing test time. SESEF sites are manned as required to support fleet and testing schedules with on-call operations available. Testing is scheduled by the engineering activity, ship or fleet command with the desired SESEF location.
For more information on SESEF capabilities click here.

The SESEF staff is comprised of a team of engineers and technicians dedicated to their commitment of T&E excellence. As a result of their testing experience and corporate knowledge, SESEF personnel can analyze test data and shipboard problems quickly and accurately to provide real-time analysis and evaluation. The engineering staff has the skills necessary to employ state-of-the-art test methodologies in developing new and enhanced automated test equipment. These abilities provide our customers with cost-effective testing that optimizes test range time, data acquisition and analysis. Our staff continuously strives to exceed customer requirements and to meet the challenge of future test implementation.


Ediz Hook Site

Hawaii Site

Mayport Site

Norfolk Site

San Diego Site


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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

National September 11 Memorial & Museum and Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Added to the 2015-2016 New York CityPASS Program

New York January 21, 2015 - Beginning March 1, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will join the New York CityPASS® program. New York CityPASS ticket booklets provide discounted entry to six of the Big Apple’s most iconic attractions—including the Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, the Statue of Liberty and others—while saving travelers nearly half off regular combined admission prices and allowing them to skip most main-entrance ticket lines. The newly added museums will share a brand-new option ticket in the CityPASS booklet, giving travelers a choice between the two attractions.
The 9/11 Memorial remembers and honors the 2,983 people who were killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and Feb. 26, 1993. The site’s peaceful design, created by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, consists of two reflecting pools formed in the footprints of the original Twin Towers and a plaza of trees. Around the pools, the names of the victims are inscribed in bronze. Opened on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, this sacred space has drawn visitors from all 50 states and more than 140 countries.
Located beneath the Memorial plaza, The 9/11 Memorial Museum displays monumental artifacts linked to the events of 9/11, while presenting intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning and recovery that are central to telling the story of the 2001 and 1993 attacks and their aftermath. The artifacts inside the space range from large-scale pieces, such as a fire truck that responded to the scene, intersecting steel beams known as The Cross at Ground Zero and an airliner fuselage, to personal remembrances of those who perished: clothing, photographs, recordings of final phone calls and more. Needless to say, the museum delivers an emotional and moving experience.
The centerpiece of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is the legendary aircraft carrier Intrepid, which survived five kamikaze attacks and one torpedo strike during World War II, completed three tours of duty during the Vietnam War, and served as a NASA recovery vessel for space missions in the 1960s. Located at Pier 86 on the Hudson River, the Intrepid Museum takes visitors on an interactive journey through Intrepid’s history, inviting them to explore restored historic spaces and original artifacts that reveal the humanity behind the hardware. On the flight deck, visitors get an up-close look at more than 20 authentically restored aircraft, including the world’s fastest military jet and spy plane. They can also “take the helm” on the navigation bridge.

9/11 Memorial Plaza, New York, NY. Credit: Joe Woolhead
New York CityPASS

The museum also includes the Space Shuttle Pavilion, home to Enterprise, the world’s first space shuttle, which paved the way for America’s space shuttle program. On the park-like pier, visitors can also view the British Airways Concorde, the fastest commercial aircraft to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean, and the submarine Growler, the only American guided-missile submarine open to the public.
As of March 1, the start of the program year, each 2015 New York CityPASS booklet will save visitors 42 percent off combined admission to the included attractions: Empire State Building Experience (day/night entry to the 86th–floor observatory), American Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (includes same-week admission to The Cloisters museum and gardens), a choice between Top of the Rock observation deck and the Guggenheim Museum, a choice between the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island or a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise, and a choice between the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
New York CityPASS prices, starting March 1: $114 for adults (a value of $196); $89 for youth, age 6-17. Ticket booklets can be purchased online at or at any of the participating attractions. Ticket booklets are valid for nine consecutive days, beginning with the first day of use, providing plenty of time to enjoy the best of New York City.

The Ocean We Need for the Future We Want: High time for the BBNJ to make the call to action

At a side-event at the United Nations on Wednesday, the Global Ocean Commission called on UN member States participating at this week’s meeting of the Working Group on Marine Biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) to conclude their work by recommending that the UN General Assembly (UNGA) immediately launch negotiations for a new high seas Implementing Agreement during its current session.
This should be the last meeting of the BBNJ formed nearly 10 years ago, in 2006. The time has come to turn words into action and to hand the mantle over to the UNGA – along with a clear message urging it to agree in its current, 69th session to press forward with the new Implementing Agreement that would resolve the current ineffective, fragmented governance of the High Seas.
“As technology advances and demand for resources increases, the high seas are the new frontier for exploration and exploitation but with no clear mechanism for effective, efficient, precautionary and sustainable management. Those with the money and technology to exploit the high seas should not be able to act with impunity, to the detriment of the poor and future generations. The Implementing Agreement would be a crucial step towards remedying this, the latest global equity issue that is emerging,” said Global Ocean Commission co-Chair David Miliband.
The vast majority of States are in agreement with the Global Ocean Commission regarding the need for an Implementing Agreement.
“The proposed international agreement is in the shared interest of all nations”, said David Miliband. “It is the overarching mechanism needed to enhance coordination and cooperation among all nations and existing instruments and management structures to fill voids in high seas governance. It would allow for the establishment of Marine Protected Areas in the most vulnerable and valuable parts of the high seas, for which there is no mechanism today. Before someone begins exploiting high seas resources, it would allow the international community to undertake, consider and agree to environmental impact assessments just like on the rest of our planet”.
Preventing these urgently needed improvements in high seas governance would leave the high seas – and by extension the entire interconnected ocean system – vulnerable to abuse and further decline. Per Thöresson Sweden’s Deputy Permanent representative of Sweden and ChargĂ© D’Affaires, to the United Nations who co-hosted the Side-Event at the UN, “If we do not secure a healthy ocean, it is certain that we will see increased numbers of environmental refugees from regions most vulnerable to environmental stress.”
Sweden’s Ambassador for Oceans, Seas and Fresh Water Support, Lisa Emelia Svensson who chaired the Side-Event emphasized that while attention and momentum is building towards the Paris Climate Summit at the end of 2015 said: “Climate and Ocean action are both sides of the same coin: without a rich and stable ocean, we cannot secure a safe planetary climate system, and without a safe planetary climate system the ocean is at risk. To fulfill our obligations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, we need to protect the Global Ocean.”

Ingalls Shipbuilding Starts Construction on Seventh U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter, Kimball

Paul Bosarge, a burner specialist workleaderman at Ingalls Shipbuilding, initiates a cut of steel on the National Security Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756) using the Avenger 3 Plasma cutter. Photo by Andrew Young/HII

Pascagoula January 20, 2015 - Huntington Ingalls Industries Ingalls Shipbuilding division has officially started fabrication on the U.S. Coast Guard's seventh National Security Cutter (NSC), Kimball (WMSL 756).
"We continue to increase our learning on this shipbuilding program, fully capturing the affordable benefits of serial production," said Ingalls' NSC program manager, Jim French. "While the official start fab requires 100 tons of steel to be cut for this ship, our shipbuilders have actually cut more than 474 tons so far on NSC 7. This paves the way for a successful three-year build on this ship."
Designed to replace the 378-foot Hamilton-class High-Endurance Cutters, Ingalls has delivered the first four ships in the class and is currently building three more NSCs, with advance procurement funding already secured for an eighth ship.
Legend-class NSCs are the flagships of the Coast Guard's cutter fleet, designed to replace the 378-foot Hamilton-class High-Endurance Cutters that entered service during the 1960s.  The NSCs are 418 feet long, with a 54-foot beam, displacing 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 120.
NSCs are capable of meeting all maritime security mission needs required of the High-Endurance Cutter. They include 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. The Legend class is the largest and most technologically advanced class of cutter in the Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. NSCs play an important role in enhancing the Coast Guard's operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.

Historic USCG Tug Comanche Seeks Input

COMANCHE CREW AND FANS:  We would like your input on an important decision for 2015. 
The attached recent photo of COMANCHE moored at Tyee Marina east of down town Tacoma is by Sean Birch, son-in-law of our chief engineer and Foundation co-founder Tom Payne. 
Please note the small section of white paint amidships on the starboard hull.  What do you think? 
   Shall we continue with white down to that level all around or paint it back to black?  (Our eventual idea is doing the whole hull back to Coast Guard white but that takes a lot of volunteer work.)
    2015 is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and Comanche as USN ATA 202 was there in the Pacific receiving a Battle Star for its participation in the invasion of Okinawa.  Thus, we have thought about painting some haze gray on her, too.  (We have a lot of haze gray paint!  Re-gifted to us by another historic naval ship.)
   2015 is also the 225th birthday of the U. S. Coast Guard.  For that we have thought about putting the COAST GUARD back on the sides but with a twist.  (We cannot put the world “Coast Guard” on the hull by itself.)  So, maybe this: 1790 COAST GUARD 225th ?
Comments welcome… as are donation$ and volunteers to help get her ready for an important year.  Thanks!

Right now the electrical crew, Chief Electrician Darren Micili (USN ret) and Dan Hallenback, with help from Comanche Youth Volunteers, are rewiring the port side regulator to the main control console in the engine room.  As soon as they are done and the weather warms up we’ll start some deck work and interior painting as well as hopefully laying tile on the mess deck.  (Anyone with experience in leveling a deck?)

The museum space aboard the ship (the ward room, berth deck and radio room) will be set up to celebrate the end of World War II and the 225th Anniversary of the U. S. Coast Guard.  Our plan is to cruise to a few ports in the Puget Sound so people can visit and see the exhibits.   If all goes well, we hope to cruise to Seattle in early May for their Maritime Days and Tug Parade (no race this year) at South Lake Union Museum of Industry dock and possibly stay at the seaport thru Armed Forces Day, open to the public each day for free.  If you are a resident of the Seattle area come and explore the COMANCHE!  We’ll need volunteers while there, too.  Help stand watch as visitors come aboard, …you can tell sea-stories.

After Armed Forces Day we will return to our great home port of Bremerton in time for the Kitsap Harbor Fest over Memorial Day weekend.  As the summer moves on we are looking forward to visiting Port Townsend, Everett and making the tug gathering at Olympia’s Harbor Days over Labor Day Weekend before returning to Bremerton for the winter.

Riders are welcome on the cruises.  As with all visitors, riders come along for free (no set charge but donations are not refused!)  Please let us know if you are coming for a ride.  Keep in mind most cruises are one way and riders are responsible for getting their own way home.

COMANCHE appreciates the donations that have come her way this winter.  It’s a tough time financially for the old Cutter.  So far we have made the basic minimum payments from month to month and appreciate your continued support.  There is no income from visitors during the winter months but insurance bill, etc. continues.  And we need to get some reserve funds together for this summer.  If you can contribute to the continued survival of the COMANCHE please do.  Make checks to COMANCHE 202 FOUNDATION (an IRS recognized non-profit) and send to 403 Garfield Street S., Tacoma, WA 98444.  Donations can also be made by credit card via PayPal.  Our budget shortfall for February will be about $400.00 at this point.  March budget needs are $1,600.  Thanks so much!  Joe Peterson, Director of Operations  (WMEC 194 Modoc 1966-69)  (253) 227-9678