Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Upcoming Nautical Institute Events

Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney, Australia

6:00 pm  | HQS Wellington, Victoria Embankment, London WC2R 2P

5:30 pm  | City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus, 21 Thistle Street, Glasgow G5 9XB NI staff attending

6:00 pm  | Channings, 12-16 South Learmonth Gardens, Edinburgh, EH4 1EZ

7:00 pm  | Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club, Madeira Road, The Hoe, Plymouth, PL1 2NY
3:00 pm  | Novotel Hotel, 40 Hanover Street, Liverpool, Merseyside L1 4LN

7:00 pm  | National Maritime College of Ireland, Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork

Eko Hotels & Suites, Lagos, Nigeria

7:00 pm  | Irish Lights Office, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin

On board m.v. Star Pisces at Ocean terminal

27 October - NI Technical Webinar - Entry Into Enclosed Spaces
A free-to-attend webinar hosted by Colin Gillespie of North P&I Club 

Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

10:00 am  | Victoria Quay, Fremantle Port

6:00 pm  | HQS Wellington, Temple Stairs, Victoria Embankment, WC2R 2PN

Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

HQS Wellington, Temple Stairs, Victoria Embankment, London WC2R 2PN(NI members receive 15% discount)

Further details TBA

7:00 pm  | Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club, Madeira Road, The Hoe, Plymouth, PL1 2NY

London (NI members receive 15% discount)

6:00 pm  | The Admiral, 72a Waterloo St, Glasgow G2 7DA

Hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza, CCP Complex Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, 1300 Manila (NI members receive 20% discount) NI staff attending

Singapore (NI members receive 15% discount)

6:00 pm Room 218, LJMU, Byron Street, Liverpool, L3 3AF

1:30 pm  | Koninklijk College Zeemanshoop, Muntplein 10, Amsterdam

The Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeira Rd, Dubai, United Arab Emirates NI staff attending

25-26 November - 3rd Port Security Summit 
Bremen, Germany (NI members receive 15% discount)

Between Copenhagen and Oslo, with DFDS Seaways NI staff attending

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Aselsan has exported the first weapon system to Malaysia

Aselsan made its first arms system export to Southeast Asia. According to the company statement, under an agreement signed with a company resident in Malaysia, 30 mm MUHAFIZ/SMASH Remote Controlled Stabilized Naval Gun System will be integrated into the 44-meter boat belonging to the Malaysian Armed Forces.
Currently, the Turkish Naval Forces Command, Coast Guard Command, Land Forces and Police Headquarters is located ASELSAN Remote Controlled Weapon Systems in its inventory, it was preferred by Turkey as well as 10 country’s Armed Forces.
These agreements, its importance in terms of being the first weapon system exports to Southeast Asia which carried by ASELSAN.

BWXT Awarded $35 Million in Contracts for Naval Nuclear Reactor Programs

Lynchburg VA September 29, 2015 - BWX Technologies, Inc. announced today the award of approximately $34.5 million in contracts to BWXT Nuclear Operations Group, Inc. from the U.S. Naval Reactors Program. The work funded by these contracts will support the manufacture of naval nuclear reactor components for U.S. Navy submarines and aircraft carriers.
“We continue to stay focused on operating safely and delivering the quality products that our customer demands.”
BWXT is the sole manufacturer of naval nuclear reactors for submarines and aircraft carriers. BWXT has been manufacturing naval nuclear components and reactors since the 1950s, when it designed and fabricated components for the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine. Today, BWXT reactors power the Navy’s Ohio, Virginia, Seawolf and Los Angeles class submarines, as well as the Nimitz and Ford class aircraft carriers.
"We are very pleased to receive these contract awards and add to our backlog of work,” said Peyton S. Baker, President and Chief Executive Officer of BWXT. “We continue to stay focused on operating safely and delivering the quality products that our customer demands."
The activities funded by these contracts will be conducted at BWXT’s Lynchburg, Virginia; Barberton, Ohio; and Mount Vernon, Indiana locations.
Work under these contracts is already underway, and the majority of it will be carried out over the next two years. Of the $34.5 million in new funding announced today, approximately $9.4 million represents the exercise of options under a previously announced contract, and about $25.1 million represents new contracts awarded in 2015.

Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Awards Contract For C-130J Missionization With Minotaur

Washington September 22, 2015 - The Coast Guard awarded a firm fixed-price contract to incorporate the next-generation Minotaur Mission System Suite on two baseline configuration C-130J long range surveillance aircraft to L-3 Communications Integrated Systems Platform Integration Division in Waco, Texas, Sept. 21. The five-year contract includes multiple options to perform the same work on three additional baseline configuration aircraft and conversion of seven HC-130J aircraft that are currently performing Coast Guard missions with the legacy mission system. Total value of the contract, including all options, is approximately $93 million.
Called missionization, the work involves nose-to-tail modifications to the aircraft to incorporate the radar; sensors; and remaining command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment that enables aircrews to gather and process surveillance information for transmission to shore and surface operators. Minotaur is the mission system software product jointly developed with the Navy, which is government-owned and -operated across multiple platforms used by the departments of Defense and Homeland Security.
The contract calls for production, installation, test and delivery of the Minotaur Mission System Suite on each aircraft. Production on the first aircraft is scheduled to begin in mid-2016 with delivery in spring 2017. 
This contract will put into production the mission system prototype the Coast Guard developed in partnership with Naval Air Systems Command. 
The search for a nonproprietary and commercially supportable baseline mission system was necessary due to the increasing obsolescence of major hardware and software components within the legacy mission system suite. The Coast Guard selected the Minotaur software because of its open system architecture and ability to run commercial hardware products. The partnership with the Navy offers opportunities for long-term growth and support with reduced life cycle costs due to commonality with the Navy and Customs and Border Protection.
"The award of this contract represents a change in the Coast Guard HC-130J acquisition business model,” said Josh Lyons, long range surveillance aircraft acquisition program manager. “This contract focuses on installation of the mission hardware and relies on the Coast Guard-Navy partnership to manage the design and logistics. This model should increase operational effectiveness and reduce overall life cycle costs.”  
The Coast Guard’s HC-130J Super Hercules long range surveillance aircraft provide air transport and long-range maritime patrol capability.

Cochin Shipyard Launched ICGS Aryaman


September 28, 2015 - Cochin Shipyard launched the eighteenth of the 20 Fast Patrol Vessels (BY 518) being built for Indian Coast Guard. The vessel was named “ICGS Aryaman” and launched by Smt Tessy Thomas, wife of Shri Sunny Thomas, Director (Technical), Cochin Shipyard Limited in a simple ceremony at CSL.
DIG G Devanand, Coast Guard, Refit and Production Superintendent, Kochi, DIG M V Pathak, Commander District IV , Shri D Paul Ranjan, Director (Finance), CSL and other senior officials of CSL and ICG were present on the occasion.
CSL has so far delivered 15 of the 20 FPVs so far.

Babcock Canada awarded contract for the replacement of HF Monitor Receiver systems at eight DND facilities

Ottawa September 29, 2015 - Babcock Canada Inc. is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $1.6 million contract for the replacement of High Frequency (HF) Monitor Receiver Systems at select Department of National Defence (DND) facilities.
The work to be performed consists of the replacement of legacy HF Monitor Receiver systems at six DND stations and two support facilities across Canada. These receiver systems are in place to guard and monitor various key HF frequencies that are used for aircraft radio communications, namely in support of search and rescue operations, arctic patrol and global transport flights. In addition to equipment modernization, Babcock Canada will also deliver associated console operator and technician training for the new systems. The contract is scheduled to be completed by July 31st, 2016.
Babcock has over 70 years of experience in managing communications systems, specialising in delivering high frequency military communication solutions for international armed forces and NATO. Babcock's innovative technical solutions are at the forefront of new technology across the radio frequency (RF) spectrum, from very low frequency (VLF) to super high frequency (SHF).
Mark Dixon, President of Babcock Canada commented: "We are very pleased to have been awarded this contract to deliver modernised HF Monitor Receiver systems and user training for Canada and look forward to leveraging our global expertise in HF communications to support the needs of the Canadian Armed Forces".

Monday, September 28, 2015

USS Cowpens Holds Cruiser Modernization Induction

US Navy

San Diego September 28, 2015 - USS Cowpens (CG 63) was inducted as the first ship to undergo a modernization effort that will significantly upgrade its capabilities in multiple mission areas, Sept. 25, at Naval Base San Diego.
The CG Phased Modernization Program is designed to balance the Navy's long-term requirement for a carrier strike group air defense commander (ADC) platform and its future shipbuilding requirements.
"We are saving money, preserving force structure, and generating options for leadership," said Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
As part of the ceremony, Cowpens was transferred from the authority of Rowden to Vice Adm. William Hilarides, commander, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). 
"Today's ceremony marks the first step in extending the lives of our cruisers, and I'm excited to be a part of it," said Hilarides. "That excitement will only be matched when, after an exciting and challenging modernization, she returns to duty as part of our active fleet."
The modernization process will include major upgrades, including the Aegis weapon system with naval integrated fire control-counter air (NIFC-CA) capability, SPQ-9B multipurpose radar, electro-optical sight system, AN/SQQ-89A(V)-15 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) suite with multi-function towed array (MFTA) and significant hull mechanical and electrical (HM&E) upgrades.
"When she returns to the fleet, she will be fully modernized and capable of meeting and defeating any threat," said Rowden. "This is smart work."
Upon completion of the modernization, Cowpens will have a 29-year-old hull but the most modern and capable combat system available, and an extended life from 35 to 44 years.
"Admiral Hilarides will take custody of a ship that has been a powerhouse in the world's most powerful Navy and make her, over time, something even greater," said Rowden.
That sentiment was also shared by Hilarides.
"Cowpens will be a game changer, and I look forward to the day when this ship leaves my care and sails over the horizon; that will be a great day for the Navy and the nation," he said.
The guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) is also scheduled to be inducted and undergo the same phased modernization as Cowpens Sept. 30.
As a part of the transfer, the ship also underwent a change of command. Lt. Cmdr. Horst Sollfrank assumed command, relieving Capt. Michael Sciretta.
Sciretta graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in administration of justice, and was commissioned in 1992 through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corp. He is scheduled to take command of the USS Lake Erie (CG 70) later next month.
Sollfrank is a native of Cortland, New York, and graduated from Hawaii Pacific University in 2001, receiving a degree in diplomacy and military studies. He previously served as the commanding officer of Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Crew Dominant.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ships of the Woods Hole Institute Fleet

Atlantis, 1931-1964

Atlantis was the first Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution research vessel and the first ship built specifically for interdisciplinary research in marine biology, marine geology and physical oceanography. Columbus Iselin, her first master and a major influence in her design, felt that speed was not essential; steadiness, silence and cruising range were of primary importance. 

Once built WHOI searched for an appropriate name for the research vessel. A trustee of the Institution, Alexander Forbes, had recently bought a schooner named Atlantis from Iselin. Mr. Forbes rechristened his schooner so the new research vessel could be named Atlantis. 

The "A- boat" made 299 cruises and covered 700,000 miles, doing all types of ocean science. In 1966, Atlantis was sold to Argentina, refurbished, and renamed El Austral. It is used as a research vessel and is crewed by Argentine naval personnel. 

Built: 1931 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Designed by Owen and Minot specifically for WHOI
Length: 143' 6"
Rig: Marconi Ketch
Sail Area: 7,200 sq. ft.
Beam: 29'
Main: 144' from water line
Draft: 18'
Mizzen: 100' from water line
Capacity: crew- 19, science- 9

(Photo courtesy of WHOI Archives)


Asterias, 1931-1980

Named for the local starfish, Asterias was built of white and southern hard pine and was similar in design to commercial fishing boats of the era. The Asterias and the Atlantis were built as the Institution's first vessels. 

The first Asterias made at least 10,000 short trips, from Maine to New York, primarily for the testing of scientific gear. Nearly every member of the scientific and technical staff had a need for Asterias at some time. Her excellent design and construction made her a natural seaboat. 

Asterias was sold to Ocean Research Engineering in 1980. In 1985 Edwin Athearn, her former captain saved her from destruction and together with Dave Lewis restored the ship's name and condition. 

Built: 1931 by the Casey Boat Building Co., Fairhaven, MA, for WHOI
Length: 40.5'
Beam: 13.6'
Draft: 5'3"

(Photo courtesty of WHOI Archives)

ANTON DOHRN, 1940-1947

Anton Dohrn, 1940-1947

Anton Dohrn was given to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in June 1940 for local-area scientific work. The vessel made at least 40 cruises from the Gulf of Maine to the coast of New Jersey, testing bathythermographs, underwater cameras, and other newly designed instruments, and conducting underwater sound transmission experiments and harbor studies. According to Dick Edwards, WHOI Marine Superintendent for many years, it took eight bilge pumps to keep Anton Dohrn afloat. 

The vessel was sold in April 1947 and was to be used as a mail boat between New Bedford and Cuttyhunk Island.

Built: 1911 in Miami, Florida, for the Carnegie Institution
Length: 70'
Beam: 16'9"
Draft: 6'
Capacity: crew- 29, science - 17

(Photo courtesty of WHOI Archives)


Balanus, 1946-1950

Balanus was used during the war years as a harbor transport. WHOI purchased the vessel in 1946 from Vita Lo Piccola of Boston for use primarily in coastal waters. Balanus made 26 cruises. Her work was mainly for physical oceanography, but also included plankton tows, camera work, instrumentation tests and current measurements. Balanus was sold in 1950 to D.L. Edgerton, a MD fisherman.

Built: 1940-41 by Reid, Winthrop, MA.
Designed: Eldredge-McGinnis Co., Boston, MA, as a dragger
Length: 75'
Beam: 18'
Draft: 8'
Capacity: crew - 8, science - 5
Names: Little Sam (Q-68) 1941-1946

(Photo courtesty of WHOI Archives)


Caryn, 1948-1958

Rumor has it that Caryn was originally built specifically for smuggling. When the vessel was first launched, she carried 4,000 square feet of canvas. WHOI purchased Caryn in 1947 from her third owner, C.R. Hotchkiss of New York. 

At WHOI, Caryn made 110 cruises, mostly along the East Coast through the Caribbean and around Bermuda. All types of oceanography were undertaken. The vessel was sold in 1958 to S.H. Swift, was renamed Black Swan, and engaged in charter trade. On New Year's Eve, 1974, at St. Maarten?s Island, West Indies, the vessel burned. 

Built: 1927 in Singapore by C.E. Nicholson
Length: 97.9'
Beam: 21'"
Draft: 11'3"
Names: Black Swan 1927-1930,
Santa 1930-1935,
Marie 1947-1948,
Caryn 1948-1958

(Photo courtesty of WHOI Archives)

Albatross III

Albatross III, 1948-1958

The vessel first sailed under the name Harvard for the North Atlantic Fishery Investigations. In 1941 she was rebuilt, renamed Bellefonte and used by the US Navy for war patrol. Upon her return to Woods Hole in 1944, under the name Albatross III, the vessel was used intermittently until 1955, when funding became available. Albatross III was under full operation until 1959, when decommissioned and sold to a Hyannis, MA, fisherman. 

Albatross III was loaned to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from 1951-1952, and was also used jointly on other cruises from 1948-1959. Albatross III made a total of 128 cruises, all in the North Atlantic. Most of these were part of fisheries investigations, but many cruises included hydro stations, bottom photographs, drift bottle exercises, and current measurements.

Built: 1926 as a steam trawler
Length: 179'
Beam: 24'
Draft: 12'
Capacity: crew - 21, science - 6
Names: 1926 as a steam trawler Harvard 1926-1941, Bellefonte, 1941-1948, Albatross III 1948-1959

(Photo courtesty of WHOI Archives)


Bear, 1951-1963

Built during WWII as a troop carrier in the South Pacific, Bear was chartered by WHOI in 1951 and purchased in 1952. The vessel made 192 cruises in the western North Atlantic, venturing as far east as Bermuda. Bear made acoustic, bathymetric and seismic measurements, and participated in fish observations.

The vessel was sold in 1963 to a New Bedford fisherman and refitted as a scalloper. 

Built: 1941-1942 by Herreshoff, Bristol, RI, as a coastal transport
Length: 103'
Beam: 21'
Draft: 10'
Capacity: crew-23, science-36

(Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


Crawford, 1956-1969

Crawford, a former US Coast Guard cutter, was transferred to WHOI in 1956. The ship underwent considerable renovation at Munro Shipyard in Boston, including an increase in her fuel capacity giving her a range of 30 days and 6,000 miles. She worked in the North and South Atlantic, including the Caribbean Sea amd carried specialized gear for studying hurricanes. The vessel was mainly used for working on hydrographic stations, in long line fishing studies, and in surveying for Texas Towers.

In a novel attempt to increase working space on the vessel, an aircraft wing was attached to her port side in 1980, though it was later dismantled and the experiment was never repeated.

Crawford made 175 cruises for WHOI until 1968. In 1970 the vessel was sold to the University of Puerto Rico. 

Built: 1927, Great Lakes
Length: 125'
Beam: 23'
Draft: 12'3"
Capacity: crew-17, science-9

(Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


Aries, 1959-1960

The Aries, a 93 foot ketch, arrived in Woods Hole in March 1959 as a gift from R.J. Reynolds. She was refitted as a research vessel by June 1959 and was then used continuously on current measuring cruises off Bermuda as part of a joint project shared by WHOI and the British National Institute of Oceanography until August 1960. Her longest stay ashore was from December 14th, 1959, until February 2nd, 1960, when her engine was replaced by the a spare reconditioned and brought from England. Bermuda proved to be a particularly good base for the Aries since her fresh water storage limited her time at sea to about two weeks. Aries spent a total of 206 days at sea, 186 days of which were on cruises to deep-water, and of this deep-water time 129 days were spent in the selected working area. Captain J. W. Gates was in charge until after the refit when Captain H. H. Seibert took over until the end of the project. Mr. C. L. McCann was mate for the entire period.

Built: 1953
Length: 93'
Beam: 19'6"

(Photo courtesty of WHOI Archives)


Chain, 1958-1979

In 1958, the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), took over the operation of Chain, a Navy salvage vessel, and under an agreement with the Navy, the ship came to Woods Hole. Chain's first nine cruises at WHOI were made with an MSTS crew. In 1959, WHOI assumed operation of the vessel.

Chain made a total of 129 scientific cruises, including a cruise that took her around the world in 1970-1971. She traveled some 600,000 miles and was used in every type of ocean science. Long a favorite for her seaworthiness, Chain's last cruise ended in December 1975. In June 1979 the vessel was towed away for scrap. 

Built: 1944 by the Basalt Rock Co., Napa, CA
Length: 213'
Beam: 41'
Draft: 16'16"
Capacity: crew-29, science-26

(Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


Anton Bruun, 1962-1964

Aras, a long graceful steel ship, was originally built for Hugh J. Chisholm of the Oxford Paper Co. as a private yacht. The US Navy purchased the vessel in April 1941, for $250,000, for use as a patrol gunboat and re-christened it USS Williamsburg. 

In 1945, after a successful tour of duty in the North Atlantic, Williamsburg was to be converted to an amphibious-force flagship. Instead, she was refitted at the Naval Gun Factory, Washington, DC, as President Truman's yacht. President Eisenhower decommissioned the yacht in 1953 due to her high operating costs. The National Science Foundation acquired the vessel on 8/9/1962, refitted it for science, and christened it Anton Bruun in memory of the noted Danish marine biologist who chaired the first International Oceanographic Commission. 

The vessel was chartered to WHOI for the International Indian Ocean Expedition, originally for a 4 year period. Anton Bruun made 9 legs of a cruise for this project, from March 1963 to December 1964, and then returned to the Navy in late December 1964. In 1980 the Endangered Properties Program planned to restore the vessel, but as late as 1984 nothing had been done.

Built: 1931 by Bath Iron Works, Maine
Length: 244'
Beam: 36'
Braft: 16'
Names: Aras 1931-1941,
USS Williamsburg (PG-56) 1941-1962,
Anton Bruun 1962-1964

(Photo courtesty of WHOI Archives)

Atlantis II

Atlantis II, 1963-1996

Atlantis II was named for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's first research vessel. Long considered the flagship of the Institution's fleet, the ship traveled around the world and was involved with every type of ocean science investigation. 

In 1979 Atlantis II underwent a major mid-life refit. The conversion of the vessels power source from steam to diesel reduced the vessel's operating cost, increased its range of travel, and increased its selection of ports. 

In 1983 a deck hanger and A-frame were installed enabling her to handle the launch and recovery of the submersible Alvin. Atlantis II served as Alvin's tender from 1984 to 1996. 

Atlantis II concluded 34 years of service, over one million miles sailed for science, and more than 8,000 days at sea, a record unequaled by any research vessel. In 1996 she was delivered to Shaula Navigation, based in Boulder CO for rechristening as Antares and a planned new career as a fisheries research vessel in the North Pacific and Gulf of Alaska. 

Built: 1963 Maryland Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Baltimore, MD. 
Designed: Bethlehem Steel Central Technical Dept., Quincy, MA, and M. Rosenblatt and Son, NY
Length: 210'
Beam: 44'
Draft: 17'
Speed, full: 13.5 knots
cruising: 12 knots
Endurance: 45 days
Capacity: crew-31, science 25

(Photo courtesy of WHOI Archives)


Gosnold, 1962-1973

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution purchased Explorer, a coastal cargo ship, in March 1962 from a marine salvage yard. As a way of distinguishing this ship from the many other "Explorers in existence, it was named Gosnold by its master Harry Seibert, naval architect John Leiby, and Port Captain John Pike in honor of the captain Bartholomew Gosnold, the first European to land and settle in Woods Hole (1602). The vessel made 206 cruises from Maine to South America and out to Bermuda, covering all types of ocean sciences. Gosnold was transferred to the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, Florida, in October 1973, where it continued to work. 

Built: 1943 for the US Army at Kewanuee Shipbuilding Co.
Length: 99'
Beam: 21'6"
Draft: 11'
Capacity: crew -6, science - 7
Names: Explorer (F-76) 1943-1962, Gosnold

(Photo courtesty of WHOI Archives)


Lulu, 1965-1984

In March of 1965, Lulu headed to Florida, under tow, for the first test as the submersible Alvin's tender. The vessel began making regular trips with Alvin aboard in May 1965. Lulu made 119 cruises in the North Atlantic Ocean, including the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Azores area, the Caribbean Sea, and in the eastern Pacific.

Lulu's last trip was in August of 1983. In September 1984, Lulu was transferred to San Diego for Navy use as tender to the submersibles Sea Cliff and Turtle, but was instead sold to private owners. 

Built: 1963-1964 in Woods Hole from two 96' Navy surplus mine sweeping pontoons by Dan Clark, Inc.
Length: 105'
Beam: 48'
Draft: 11'

(Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


Knorr, 1970-2015

Knorr was delivered to WHOI in April 1970. R/V Knorr (AGOR-15) was named in honor of Ernest R. Knorr, a distinguished early hydographic engineer and cartographer who was appointed senior civilian and Chief Engineer Cartographer of the US Navy Hydographic office in 1860.

Knorr is an all purpose scientific vessel designed to accommodate a wide range of oceanographic tasks. Its forward and aft azimuthing propellers allow the ship to move in any direction or to maintain a fixed position in high winds and rough seas. The vessel's other unique features, like anti-roll tanks and ice strengthened bow, enable Knorr to travel the world's oceans.

In 1991 Knorr returned to WHOI after undergoing a 32 month major mid-life refit. The vessel was upgraded and refitted at the McDermott Shipyard in Amelia, Louisiana. An additional 34' was added to Knorr's length at the middle providing room for a new laboratory and machinery space. In addition, Knorr's twin azimuthing propulsion system was installed. 

Replaced by Neil Armstrong 2015.

Sister ship: Melville, operated by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. 

Built: 1968 by Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Michigan. Designed and built under the direction of the Naval Systems Command, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, 9th Naval District
Length: 245' originally, 279' after refit
Beam: 46'
Draft: 16'

(Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


Alcoa Seaprobe, 1977

Alcoa Seaprobe, an all-aluminum vessel built specifically for deep ocean research and recovery, had a unique search pod enabling it to sweep the ocean floor and transmit data to the ship. The vessel could also core, drill, and sample mineral deposits down to 18,000 feet. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution used Alcoa in the 1970s to conduct tests of the ANGUS camera sled, and the Westinghouse side-scan sonar for pressure tests, and for underwater filming and photography.

Built: 1970 by ALCOA (Aluminum Co. of America)
Length: 243'
Capacity: Crew-33, science-19

(Photo courtesty of WHOI Archives)


Oceanus, 1977 to present

Oceanus arrived in Woods Hole in November of 1975. The vessel is owned by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and operated by WHOI. She has worked extensively in the Atlantic on a variety of biological, chemical, geological, physical, and engineering cruises.

In 1994 Oceanus underwent an extensive 8 month mid-life refit at Atlantic Drydock in Jacksonville, Florida. The NSF provided a grant for the $3.5 million project to refit and upgrade the vessel's technology, equipment, and laboratories.>

Sister ships: Wecoma, operated by Oregon State University, and Endeavor, operated by the University of Rhode Island. 

Built: 1975 by Peterson Builders Inc., Sturgeon Bay, WI. Designed by John W. Gilbert Assoc., Inc., Boston for University-National Oceanographic Laboratories System (UNOLS).
Length: 177'
Beam: 33'
Draft: 17'6"
Full Speed: 14.5
Cruising Speed: 11.5
Endurance: 30 days
Capacity: crew-12, science-12

Capacity: Crew-33, science-19

(Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


Atlantis, 1997-present

Atlantis replaced the Atlantis II and was named for WHOI's original research vessel. She made her first call in home port on April 1997. The new Atlantis has advanced support facilities to service and launch submersibles, such as Alvin, and a wide variety of ROVs at locations throughout the global oceans. She is one of the most sophisticated research vessels afloat, equipped with precision navigation, bottom mapping, and satellite communications systems. 

Atlantis is owned by the US Navy and operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in support of the US academic ocean research community.

Built: 1997 by Halter Marine Inc., of Moss Point, Mississippi
Length: 274'
Beam: 52.5'
Draft: 17'
Capacity: crew-23, science-36

(Photo by Tom Kleindinst, WHOI)

The research vessel Tioga.

Tioga, 2004-present

R/V Tioga is an aluminum hulled coastal research vessel that serves ocean scientists and engineers working in the waters off the Northeastern United States and is solely owned by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. This small, fast research boat was designed and outfitted for oceanographic work close to shore. Speed allows Tioga to operate in narrow weather windows, meaning researchers can get out to sea, complete their work, and make it back before approaching foul weather systems arrive.  Tioga can accommodate six people for overnight trips—including the captain and first mate—and up to 10 people for day trips. The boat is equipped with water samplers, a current profiler, and an echo-sounder, used by scientists to conduct seafloor surveys. Tioga has two winches, including one with electrical wires to collect real-time data from towed underwater instruments. Buoys can be deployed using the A-frame on the stern, which is similar in size to those on WHOI’s large ships.

Built: 2004
Length: 60 feet
Beam: 17 feet
Draft: 5 feet
Capacity: crew-2 (additional required for extended trips), science-6 bunks (10 people on day trips)
(Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

R/V Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong 2015 - 

In May 2010, the Office of Naval Research selected the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to operate one of two new research vessels. The research vessel Neil Armstrong is scheduled for completion by 2015 and will replace R/V Knorr, which the Institution has operated since 1970. Named for the American hero whose "small step" provided humanity with a new perspective on our planet, this vessel will carry on its namesake’s legacy of exploration. 
The R/V Neil Armstrong meets the range, endurance, and technical requirements to support advanced oceanographic research in tropical and temperate oceans around the world. It will also serve the academic community's ongoing need for a general-purpose ship based on the East Coast of the United States.
The pivotal role that the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans play in Earth’s climate has resulted in an increase in efforts to observe these areas, as well new efforts to study North Atlantic ecosystems and their sustainability. R/V Neil Armstrong will be uniquely equipped and positioned to enable scientists from around the world to reveal new details about this critical part of the global ocean.
WHOI will contribute $350,000 annually toward the operation and maintenance of Neil Armstrong. In exchange, its scientists will receive preferential access to the ship schedule for about ten days a year. Various naming opportunities exist throughout the ship. Contact Rear Admiral Richard F. Pittenger USN (Ret.) 508-289-2597 to discuss ways to invest in the next generation of expeditionary oceanography.

Lockheed Martin to Open Submarine Combat System Laboratory to Support Design, Delivery and Sustainment of Australia's Submarine Force

Canberra, Sept. 25, 2015 - Lockheed Martin Australia will open a submarine combat system laboratory in Mawson Lakes in November to support the company's pursuit of the Royal Australian Navy's Future Submarine project SEA 1000 Phase 1. Construction began at Mawson Lakes on July 27, 2015 and is expected to open in November. An expanded Phase 2 with a secure area is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2016.
"A submarine's combat system is essentially the eyes, ears and sword of the boat," said Raydon Gates, chief executive, Lockheed Martin Australia & New Zealand. "A submarine's tactical effectiveness depends on a fully integrated suite of the best technologies from Australia and around the world. The ability to seamlessly integrate the best sensors, sonar, radar, navigation, imagery systems and weapons will give Australia's future submarine the tactical advantage it needs- and that is what Lockheed Martin Australia will deliver."
The laboratory includes a reconfigurable submarine command centre to test and validate the Royal Australian Navy's concept of operations in a simulated operational environment. The laboratory will feature advanced computer processing with reconfigurable hardware, and collaboration space dedicated to bringing known and proven technologies to the next generation of Australian submarines.
Establishing a submarine combat system laboratory in parallel with early stages of submarine design leverages a key lesson learned from the success of the U.S. Navy's Virginia class submarine program. "The philosophy we've adapted as the U.S. Navy's submarine combat system integrator is one of an open business model based on the premise that no one company has all the answers," says Raydon Gates. The laboratory will leverage Lockheed Martin's presence and Australian industry cooperation.
"The laboratory is all about risk reduction. It gives us the flexibility to work with the SEA 1000 hull designers and combat subsystem providers in every step of the process," said Gates. "It's a proven methodology that also reduces development costs and ensures continued interoperability with an affordable, disciplined plan for sustainment."
Lockheed Martin will collaborate with Saab Australia and Thales Australia & New Zealand in the submarine combat system architecture laboratory initiative. Collectively, Lockheed Martin, Saab and Thales have a very strong record and well-respected maritime domain knowledge and expertise.
Adam Waldie, Underwater Systems Business Development Manager, Thales Australia said "Thales has built world leading Submarine and Anti Submarine Sonar capability tailored for Australian requirement over several decades. This includes in country design, manufacture, integration and sustainment. Thales also remains focused on supporting Australia's submarine combat system integrators and providers alike with our skills and expertise through initiatives such as the laboratory."
Saab Australia managing director Dean Rosenfield highlighted the tremendous potential of the collaboration to build the submarine combat system laboratory. "We have a highly talented engineering team and their work in naval combat systems and system integration is well regarded," he said. We are proud to bring our expertise to the laboratory initiative that will ultimately benefit Australia's future submarine program.
The laboratory capitalises on Lockheed Martin's heritage of more than 40 years of demonstrated submarine combat systems integration methodology on submarines for seven nations. Lockheed Martin is a full life cycle combat system integrator with expertise in all phases of design, test, integration, certification, delivery and sustainment.

Guardian for Heroes Foundation Teams Up With iXL Elite Hydration to Assist Combat Veterans

Dallas September 24, 2015 - The way that one Veteran non-profit does business is beginning to change in Dallas, Texas. Guardian for Heroes Foundation, an organization originally formed by U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, has begun to add corporate licensing to its list of unique ways it raises donations for in-need veterans.
Guardian for Heroes Foundation provides free, in-home fitness equipment, facilitation of donated health club memberships, individualized programs, personal training and life coaching to in-need veterans with disabilities, Gold Star families and those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) from combat deployment. Guardian for Heroes Foundation uses physical and mental fitness to spark conversation and create a source of support for combat veterans.
For the first time, Guardian for Heroes Foundation has licensed its logo to an innovative new performance beverage brand. The product, iXL Elite Hydration was developed by a dedicated team of athletes, beverage industry experts, and sports performance specialists to address today's most important health concerns and sports performance needs. iXL conquers thirst and hydrates fast while addressing the critical imbalance of sodium and potassium in today's diet. Launched in 2011, iXL features Zero Sodium, 400mg Potassium, a rapid delivery system and is preferred over national brands in blind tastes tests up to 8 out of 10 times.

This strategic partnership between iXL and Guardian for Heroes Foundation not only couples two organizations revolutionizing how society looks at fitness and rehabilitation but also represents the continued support that American industry is lending our Veterans. Guardian for Heroes Executive Director Cheramie Law is thankful for the company's support.
"The opportunity to partner with iXL Elite Hydration has been a blessing for Guardian for Heroes. This is an opportunity to reach new markets and create awareness with an audience outside of the typical military and veteran communities," said Law. "Partners like iXL are helping us provide important services and support to our combat veterans."
iXL CEO Mark Davis also spoke highly of the partnership. "We are convinced that supporting our veterans and U.S. Military is our duty and we believe very strongly in the Guardian for Heroes mission. Their cause represents a great fit for our company and brand and we couldn't be more excited about working together."
Pallet displays of the new iXL Elite Hydration Variety Pack featuring the Guardian for Heroes logo and story can be found in select Sam's Clubs in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas beginning in October 2015. A portion of revenue from sales across the region will go directly to Guardian For Heroes Foundation in order to improve the lives of our veterans.

Defence Secretary lays out UK’s response to "information bomb"

Michael Fallon with French Minister of Defence on a visit to Paris
Michael Fallon with French Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, on a visit to Paris.

Paris September 24, 2015 - Defence Secretary Michael Fallon along with his French counterpart Monsieur Le Drian, has opened France’s first Cyber Defence Symposium.
Attended by an international array of Defence Ministers, think tanks and subject matter experts the Symposium provided a platform at which to discuss the scale, diversity and complexity of the challenges all nations, governments and industries face with Cyber, and to urgently identify ways to safeguard against the threats.
During his opening address, Michael Fallon stressed that the dangers of activity occurring in cyberspace are only likely to grow, citing the Russian use of cyber in order to gain military advantage, and Isil’s use of it to radicalise individuals and spread misinformation.
He highlighted ways in which the French and the UK can share information and lessons on how to attract and train cyber specialists in order to mitigate those risks, and the importance of this work, given the recent “information bomb” we have seen resulting in extensive levels of generalised information being made easily accessible.
During the opening Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said, "Our cyber relationship with France is among our most valued, with our two star Military Cyber Co-ordination Group reflecting a close working relationship on cyber, so that in future we can share threat information to help us both improve defence of our military IT networks.
"Underlying this joint activity is a real sense of urgency - an awareness of the scale, diversity and complexity of the challenges we face. A hundred years ago we stood together on the frontline of a Great War; today we stand on the frontline of a virtual war, and although the warheads launched are invisible, cyber is far from a theoretical threat.
"That is why cyber is now hardwired into UK Defence’s DNA and why these days we’re fitting cyber capability as standard to our tanks, ships and planes."

Airbus Helicopters delivers 15th NH90 NFH to the French Navy


September 22, 2015 - Airbus Helicopters, the French Defense procurement agency (DGA – Direction générale de l’armement) and the French Navy today marked the handover of the 15th NH90 NFH multimission naval helicopter, the first to be delivered in the final radar configuration (FRC), during a ceremony held in the facilities in Marignane.
The DGA ordered 27 NH90 NFH from NHIndustries in two different configurations for the French Navy. To date 15 aircraft have been delivered and the French Navy declared an operational capability in the anti-submarine operational role on 5 December 2014, completed on 3 March 2015 by the operational capability of the MU90 torpedo.
The naval version of the NH90 is designed to perform a wide range of missions from anti-submarine, to anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, maritime surveillance and control and special operations including counter terrorism and anti-piracy. The NH90 in its final radar configuration includes also an advanced sonar providing the Navy with improved submarine detection and classification capabilities, as well as a new system for the Digital Map Generator (DMG) facilitating mission preparation and execution.
The NH90’s 4-axis autopilot and the fly-by-wire controls contribute to safety and maximum flight performance in severe operating conditions. The NH90 is the first serial helicopter in the world to be equipped with fly-by-wire technologies, significantly reducing pilot workload and allowing for this state-of-the-art helicopter to be piloted with ease.
To date, 249 NH90 have been delivered to 13 countries and have logged over 95 000 flight hours, confirming its success on the export market.
The twin-engine, medium-size NH90 helicopter program is managed by the consortium NHIndustries, a company owned by Airbus Helicopters (62.5%), AgustaWestland (32%), and Fokker (5.5%).

NATO Facility At Souda Bay Is Critical To Alliance Maritime Power


By Daniel Gouré, Ph.D. Lexington Institute

Even as the Greek economy struggles to establish equilibrium and politicians in Athens work to implement new austerity measures, its military continues to provide security and support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance in the Eastern Mediterranean. NATO’s southern flank has been hit by a wave of security challenges including mass illegal immigration, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and arms trafficking. As a result, NATO’s maritime forces are stretched thin responding to this increased demand. Recent international crises at sea underscore the need for collective NATO efforts and new training demands to protect member nations.
Despite demands for budget tightening, Greece continues to fund and operate the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Center (NMIOTC). This unique training complex is located at Souda Bay on the Greek island of Crete, geographically well positioned in the Eastern Mediterranean. The dockyard of Souda Bay was chosen as the best location for the facility because of its close proximity to vital maritime communication lines and its convenient location near the Hellenic Naval and Air Force Bases and the civilian airport in Hania. The center is also easily accessible to allies since their ships regularly pass through Souda Bay for resupply and maintenance to and from Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Construction of the center was funded by Greece and the Hellenic Navy covers ongoing operational and maintenance costs.
The NMIOTC is responsible for educating NATO member naval units to conduct operations related to naval deterrence. The center was approved by NATO Defense Ministers in June 2003, and it is the only accredited maritime NATO education and training complex taking a lead in maritime security. The training facility provides certification to better execute surface, sub-surface, aerial surveillance and special operations activities in support of safe and successful maritime interdiction operations (MIOs). MIOs are naval operations that aim to delay, disrupt, or destroy enemy forces or supplies imported or exported from a defined maritime area. Such operations include preventing and inspecting ships to certify, change the route or take possession of vessels that cause problems when implementing economic or military sanctions.
Specific educational programs are provided by NMIOTC to improve the specialization of NATO naval units for MIOs. Training is divided into three phases: classroom, simulation, and practical. During the classroom phase, trainees become aware of the NATO doctrine and are certified on security rules and orders to conduct MIOs. The simulation stage allows trainees to implement rules and orders by working as a team to cover each other, divide labor, and exercise other group activities. The final practical level examines trainees’ ability to conduct MIOs. As a result, training at this facility boosts NATO’s defense against a wide spectrum of maritime security threats.
NMIOTC has multiple assets that allow for effective training. A tall stack of containers allows for the practice of inspections and a training tower is used for helicopter insertion and extraction. Rigid hull inflatable boats allow trainees to become accustomed to small boat handling and skiff investigation. A 426-foot training ship is used for arms training, tactical sweep, crew control, helicopter insertion, and other practical exercises. Confiscated pirate boats from the Horn of Africa are even available for realistic battles against pirates.
This Greek facility also has developed mobile training teams (MTTs). MTTs are able to deploy in worldwide field locations to provide in-place instruction. NMIOTC’s high standard simulator allows for the infrastructure and capabilities necessary to provide distance learning tailored to specific mission requirements, needs, time, and operational constraints for each naval unit or group of trainees. As a result, knowledge and expertise can be shared with member nations whose ships are not able to sail to the training complex in Crete.
NMIOTC assists NATO’s Allied Command Transportation (ACT) by developing maritime doctrines, training directives and manuals, performing research, and conducting modeling and simulation experiments to enhance MIOs. The training complex is also equipped to provide ACT with suggestions to alter doctrines, tactics, methods, procedures and materiel for evolving naval security framework. Recognizing NMIOTC’s excellence in training and education, ACT awarded the facility with a Quality Assurance Unconditional Accreditation Certificate in 2013.
A quick overview of the center’s accomplishments for 2015 will highlight Greece’s contributions to the alliance. Three sessions called the Djibouti Code of Conduct were conducted with 55 maritime law enforcement officials from 19 different nations. The instruction sessions included best practices for criminal investigations of piracy and armed robbery at sea such as how to interview, interrogate and negotiate with suspects and how to collect, handle, and preserve evidence at sea.  The center also hosted a Eurasia Partnership training course that included twenty military and law trainees from five nations to enhance their knowledge and interoperability of MIO standards and procedures. Eleven researchers from Greece and the U.S. participated in a weapons of mass destruction in MIO experiment at the training facility, sponsored by the Naval Postgraduate School, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Hellenic Naval Academy.
Greece, Israel and the U.S. also organized the first phase of the exercise NOBLE DINA 2015 at the Greek training complex. The drill included 57 trainees that included theoretical and practical MIO matters and the evaluation of cooperation between participants in operational and tactical and technical issues. In addition, the training center hosted a legal seminar for the first time that provided 19 students from 11 countries to become familiar with international legal norms of maritime security, NATO policy and naval operations doctrine, and the application of international law to armed conflict and peacetime operations at sea.
The training facility at Souda Bay even helps nations that are not members of the NATO alliance. Trainees include members belonging to Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue, and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. The complex also hosts an annual Maritime Operational Language Course that informs non-NATO personnel of necessary terminology that allows for combined participation of maritime operations and exercises within NATO’s framework.
The NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Center is a valuable asset to the NATO alliance because it provides members and non-members with the education needed to enhance maritime security. Even if trainees are not able to sail to Souda Bay in Crete, Greece to take advantage of the educational courses and facilities, training can be brought to them as programs can be deployed worldwide. Non-NATO members even benefit from the complex and are able to learn necessary terminology to participate in maritime operations and exercises. According to the NMIOTC course catalogue, “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.”