Monday, May 30, 2016

Australian Warship Visits HCM City

The Royal Australian Navy warship HMAS Anzac

May 30, 2016 - The Royal Australian Navy warship HMAS Anzac, commanded by Commander Belinda Wood, visited Ho Chi Minh City on May 30th.
The ship and its 183 crewmembers were welcomed by representatives from the municipal People’s Committee, the Military Region 7 Command, and the Navy Command, along with those from the Australian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City.
As scheduled, the warship's crewmembers will lay wreaths at the Statue of President Ho Chi Minh, pay courtesy visits to leaders of the municipal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Navy Command and Military Region 7.

Commander Belinda Wood RAN (left) welcomed at the Sai Gon Port.

They will meet their counterparts from the Vietnamese People’s Navy to share professional knowledge of communications and joint exercise at sea.
The guests will also participate in friendly sports events and tour some popular places in the city.

Translated by Chung Anh

Nine Important Facts About America's Overseas Military Cemeteries

Nearly 4,000 Americans that lost their lives in World War II are buried in Cambridge American Cemetery.

May 27, 2016 - The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), an agency of the U.S. federal government, manages America's overseas cemeteries from World War I and World War II. This Memorial Day learn more about this agency that protects the memory of our fallen overseas.
ABMC manages 25 cemeteries and 27 monuments, memorials and markers.
Sites are located in 16 foreign countries, the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the British Dependency of Gibraltar. Three of the memorials are located within the United States.
More than 218,000 individuals that died in World War I or World War II are buried or memorialized within ABMC cemeteries and memorials around the globe.
After World War I and World War II families were given a choice in regards to burial location: Bring their loved one home for burial, or have them buried in a permanent overseas cemetery managed by the U.S. government.
From World War I, approximately 30 percent of families chose overseas burial. Slightly fewer families chose overseas burial following World War II.
Burials within all ABMC cemeteries are arranged without regard to rank, race or creed.
Well-known Americans such as Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., poet Sgt. Joyce Kilmer, big band leader Maj. Alton Glen Miller, and family members of U.S. presidents such as 1st Lt. Quentin Roosevelt and Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., are buried or memorialized within ABMC sites.
Flanders Field American Cemetery is the smallest ABMC site with 411 honored, and Manila American Cemetery is the largest with 53,486 honored.
Most ABMC sites are open every day of the year, except Christmas Day and New Year's Day, and entrance is free.

Three Navy Officers Charged in Expanding Bribery and Fraud Scheme

May 27, 2016 - Three current and former Navy officers were charged in documents unsealed today for their roles in a massive bribery and fraud scheme involving a Navy contractor.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California, Acting Director Dermot O’Reilly of the Department of Defense’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Director Andrew Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Director Anita Bales of Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) made the announcement.
Retired Navy Captain Michael Brooks, 57, of Fairfax Station, Virginia; Commander Bobby Pitts, 47, of Chesapeake, Virginia; and Lieutenant Commander Gentry Debord, 47, who is based in Singapore, were charged on May 25, 2016, in the Southern District of California.  Brooks and Debord were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and Pitts was charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and two counts of obstruction of justice.  All of the charges relate to the defendants’ interactions with Leonard Francis, the former CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), a defense contracting firm based in Singapore.  Brooks and Pitts made their initial appearances today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia; Debord appeared in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.  Brooks was allowed to post a $50,000 bond; Pitts was granted a $5,000 bond, ordered to be subject to electronic monitoring and to appear in the Southern District of California on June 10; and Debord was granted a $40,000 bond secured by real property.  Debord is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Bartick of the Southern District of California on June 9, 2016.
According to the indictment, from June 2006 to July 2008, Brooks served as the U.S. Naval Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines.  The indictment alleges that in exchange for travel and entertainment expenses, hotel rooms and the services of prostitutes, Brooks used his office to benefit GDMA and Francis, including securing the quarterly diplomatic clearances for GDMA vessels, which allowed GDMA vessels to transit into and out of the Philippines under the diplomatic clearance of the U.S. Embassy; limited the amount of custom fees and taxes that GDMA was required to pay in the Philippines; and enabled GDMA to avoid inspection of any quantity or type of cargo that it transported.  The indictment also alleges that Brooks provided Francis with sensitive Navy information, including billing information belonging to a GDMA competitor and Navy ship schedules.  
According to the indictment, from August 2009 to May 2011, Pitts was the Officer in Charge of the Navy’s Fleet Industrial Supply Command (FISC), which was charged with meeting the logistical needs of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet.  The indictment alleges that in exchange for entertainment, meals and the services of a prostitute, Pitts used his position with FISC to interfere with NCIS investigations into GDMA.  Pitts allegedly provided Francis with a hard copy of an NCIS report detailing an investigation into GDMA for contract fraud marked “for official use only.”  According to the indictment, the report detailed NCIS’ investigative steps and witnesses that NCIS had interviewed.  The indictment further alleges that in November 2010, Pitts forwarded to a GDMA employee an internal Navy email discussing details of FISC’s efforts to oversee GDMA’s contracts with the U.S. Navy.
According to the criminal complaint, from November 2007 to August 2013, Debord served in several logistical and supply positions in the Western Pacific.  In exchange for cash, hotel stays and the services of prostitutes, Debord allegedly provided Francis with inside Navy information and documents, including information about competitors’ bids and information about an investigation into GDMA billing practices.  In an attempt to conceal the true nature of his relationship with Francis, Debord allegedly referred to prostitutes as “cheesecake” or “bodyguards.”  The complaint also alleges that Debord schemed with Francis to defraud the Navy through the submission and approval of inflated invoices.
Including those charged yesterday, 13 individuals have been charged in connection with this scheme; of those, nine have pleaded guilty, including U.S. Navy Captain (Select) Michael Misiewicz, U.S. Navy Capt. Daniel Dusek, Lieutenant Commander Todd Malaki, NCIS Special Agent John Beliveau, Commander Jose Luis Sanchez and U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Dan Layug.  Former Department of Defense Senior Executive Paul Simpkins awaits trial.  On Jan. 21, 2016, Layug was sentenced to 27 months in prison and a $15,000 fine; on Jan. 29, 2016, Malaki was sentenced to 40 months in prison and to pay $15,000 in restitution to the Navy and a $15,000 fine; on March 18, 2016, Alex Wisidagama, a former GDMA employee, was sentenced to 63 months and to pay $34.8 million in restitution to the Navy; on March 25, 2016, Dusek was sentenced to 46 months in prison and to pay $30,000 in restitution to the Navy and a $70,000 fine; and on April 29, 2016, Misiewicz was sentenced to 78 months in prison and to pay a fine of $100,000 and to forfeit $95,000 in proceeds for the scheme.
The NCIS, DCIS and DCAA are conducting the ongoing investigation.  Assistant Chief Brian R. Young of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark W. Pletcher of the Southern District of California are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations.  The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Those with information relating to fraud, corruption or waste in government contracting should contact the NCIS anonymous tip line at or the DOD Hotline at, or call (800) 424-9098.

MAN 28/33D STC Engine Adds Thai Reference

The Royal Thai Navy will build a new offshore patrol vessel (OPV) that will be powered by 2 × MAN 16V28/33D STC engines. The 90-m newbuilding will be constructed at Mahidol Adulyadej naval dockyard in Sattahip. The vessel is an improved River-class design.
Locally called OPV No. 2, the order follows that of OPV No. 1, the ‘HTMS Krabi’ that was ordered in 2009, a similar vessel that featured 2 × 16V28/33D engines.
Olivier Condemine, Senior Sales Manager – Naval & Governmental – MAN Diesel & Turbo said: “Sequential turbocharging improves the already proven performance and fuel-efficiency of the 28/33D engine, especially at intermediate and low-load operations – known as silent running – which is very important for this kind of vessel.”

28/33D STC range
The range offers 12-, 16-, and 20-cylinder configurations covering power requirements from 5,000 up to 10,000 kW per unit.
The 28/33D STC engine is the most powerful engine in its class and proven in service. It features:
a high power-to-weight ratio
best-in-class SFOC
low maintenance costs due to long service intervals and on-board maintenance
a robust design for high availability
continuous low-load operation capability
high torque for fast acceleration
compliance with IMO Tier II and EPA Tier 2 (Tier III with SCR).

Vice Admiral Girish Luthra Takes Over Western Naval Command

May 30, 2016 - Vice Admiral Girish Luthra took over the reins of Western Naval Command (WNC) as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) on 31 May 16 from Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba at a ceremonial parade held at INS Shikra. Later in the day, officers of the Western Naval Command accorded Vice Admiral Lanba a warm send off, with the traditional ‘Pulling Out’ ceremony. Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba will take over as the Chief of Naval Staff tomorrow.
Addressing the personnel on parade, Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba complimented the personnel of the command who, notwithstanding the constrains of the service, have worked with synergy and teamwork in ensuring that ships, submarines and aircraft are maintained in a high state of combat readiness at all times. In keeping with the fragile maritime environment of the region, he said that, there is a need to be ever vigilant in all quarters and all fronts. He said that he had no doubt that fire power from units of fleet, flotillas and squadrons can be delivered appropriately should the need arise.
Pointing towards the International Fleet Review held recently at Visakhapatnam, Vice Admiral Lanba said that presence of 50 countries in the review clearly indicates the growing stature of the country in the region. He added that many countries have expressed the desire to cooperate and exercise with Indian Navy which is indicative of professionalism, training and sound culture displayed by the service. He also urged the need to continue working together to bring change and work smartly. He also apprised the personnel on the steps taken by WNC in addressing the long standing issue of shortage of married accommodation. 

Christian Communities Facing Extinction

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson talks with U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), who convened the congressional hearing, May 26. “The ISIS Genocide Declaration: What Next?” was the title of the hearing that included testimony from the Supreme Knight.

May 26, 2016 - For the third time in the past several months, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson testified before Congress, this time before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
At the hearing, he described a dire situation for Christians in Iraq and Syria that the United States could take steps to improve. “Many of the region’s indigenous communities now face extinction. These communities may disappear in less than a decade. But their fate is not inevitable,” Anderson warned lawmakers. The United States can avert this crisis, he said, by acting according to six principles:

1. Increase humanitarian aid and provide oversight to ensure it gets to those targeted for genocide.
2. Support the long-term survival of indigenous religious and ethnic communities by supporting their right to remain in their country.
3. Punish the perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity.
4. Assist the victims of genocide to attain refugee status.
5. Prepare now for foreseeable human rights challenges as ISIS-controlled territory is liberated by ensuring that Christians and other minorities have equal rights to decide their future.
6. Promote the establishment of internationally agreed upon standards of human rights and religious freedom as conditions for humanitarian and military assistance.

Supreme Knight Anderson also reported that Christian leaders in Iraq and Syria say they receive no money from the U.S. government or the United Nations to respond to the crisis of internally displaced persons, or IDPs, and urban refugees.
“If assistance from outside Church-affiliated agencies ends in Erbil [Iraq], Christians there will face a catastrophic humanitarian tragedy within 30 days,” said Supreme Knight Anderson. He explained that, while these private charities have responded to the humanitarian need, the assistance of governments and international organizations is necessary.
“The ISIS Genocide Declaration: What Next?” was the title of this latest congressional hearing that included testimony from Sarhang Hamasaeed of the U.S. Institute of Peace; Johnny Oram, executive director of the Chaldean Assyrian Business Alliance; and David Crane of Syracuse University College of Law.
Supreme Knight Anderson appeared before the same subcommittee in December to raise awareness of the persecution of Christians in Iraq and Syria, and to call for the Department of State to label the atrocities committed against these Christians a genocide. The U.S. Department of State, along with the U.S. House of Representatives, made such a declaration in mid-March.
He was then invited in April to testify in Congress before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission to suggest a path forward for the victims of genocide.
Through its website,, the Knights of Columbus has raised over $10.5 million for humanitarian relief and awareness to benefit Christian refugees in Iraq and Syria.
In March, the Knights submitted a nearly 300-page report (available here) to the State Department detailing the brutality that Christians and other minorities have experienced at the hands of ISIS. The report was credited by officials as having been influential in the State Department’s declaration of genocide.

Atomic survivors visit Stirling

Operation HURRICANE just moments after a nuclear device was detonated in HMS Plym. (photo: Unknown)

May 27, 2016 - The Australian Ex Services Atomic Survivors Association visited HMAS Stirling recently, as the group was in Western Australia preparing to travel to the site of the atomic tests at the Monte Bello Islands in the 1950s.
Operations HURRICANE and MOSAIC involved British and Australian forces conducting atomic tests on the islands, 130 kilometres off the Western Australian coast. 
Secretary of the Association Jim Marlow spoke about the plans the Association had made to erect a plaque on the site of the atomic tests
“On 14 and 15 June, seventeen of us will travel to Dampier and then onto the Monte Bello Islands and officially unveil the plaque," he said.
“Interspersed with this activity will be some fishing, a function with the Pilbara Regiment in Karratha and hopefully an official reception with the City of Karratha.”
The Stirling Ship's Welfare Fund represented by Leading Seaman Andrew McKail presented the Association with a contribution to the project.
The Royal Australian Navy's contribution to the operations was significant. HMAS Karangi  and HMAS Warrego (II) conducted surveys of the island. A combined Royal Navy and Royal Australian fleet, designated Task Force 4, was assembled to conduct the testing. The Australian government announced the intention to test a British nuclear device in Australia in February 1952.
The Australian component of Task Force 4 comprised a variety of ships including the aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney (III), with 805 and 817 Squadrons embarked. HMA Ships Tobruk (I), Hawkesbury, Macquarie, Murchison, Shoalhaven and Mildura carried out patrol work while the smaller vessels Karangi, Koala, Limicola,Reserve, Wareen, MRL 252 and MWL 251 performed useful work laying moorings, marking channels and providing valuable logistic and personnel support.
Hawkesbury (I), in a position some 28 miles to the south-east of ground zero, became the closest Royal Australian Navy unit to the detonation, where she conducted security and safety patrols before and after the test. HMAS Culgoa acted as the weather ship for the first British nuclear test, Operation HURRICANE.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the completion of Operation MOSAIC and members of the Association and their partners were taken on a tour of the facilities at Stirling which concluded with a visit to the museum and an opportunity to meet and speak with Commanding Officer Stirling, Captain Brian Delamont.

Navy "Xuchang ship" launching ceremony held in Guangzhou Huangpu Shipyard

Google Translation

May 29, 2016 - Recently, the Navy, "Xuchang ship" launching ceremony held in Guangzhou Huangpu Shipyard. Xuchang military commander Hu Jianzhong, vice mayor Wang Zhihong to congratulate Xuchang City, and attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Vice Mayor Wang Zhihong representatives Xuchang municipal government of "Xuchang ship" formally launched warm congratulations to the officers and men to extend my sincere greetings. He said, attaches great importance to Xuchang double-support work, to support military construction, has four times won the honorary title of "support model city," seven times won the "Henan support model city" title. "Xuchang ship" marks the formal launching Xuchang City and "Xuchang ship" to build the work kicked off.
Hu Jianzhong said, "Xuchang ship" into the water is not only the glory of the people of Xuchang, Xuchang also actively support an important manifestation of national defense and army building. He hoped that "Xuchang ship" has become a beautiful cards Xuchang toward the ocean, become defending national security and safeguarding world peace maritime powerhouse.
Navy "Xuchang ship" launching ceremony held in Guangzhou Huangpu Shipyard
"Xuchang ship" political commissar Mao Zhijie said that they must live up to the trust, the "Xuchang ship" into loyalty to the party, to win the war at sea sword.

It is understood that, "Xuchang ship" our own design, the performance in the international advanced position.

Annual Fleet Week Freedom Run returns; camaraderie promoted among military services

Marines and Sailors take a moment of silence after a mile-and-a-half Fun Run in downtown Manhattan at the 9/11 Memorial as a part of a local event for 2016 Fleet Week New York, May 29. FWNY, now in its 28th year, is the city's time honored celebration of the sea services. It is an unparalleled opportunity for the citizens of New York and the surrounding tristate area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today's maritime services. The weeklong celebration has been held nearly every year since 1984. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin R. DiNiro/ Released)

May 29, 2016 - Sea service members and first-responders joined together to usher in the Memorial Day holiday with the return of the annual Freedom Run through downtown Manhattan as part of 2016 Fleet Week New York (FWNY), May 29
The 1.5-mile run was established to honor of the victims of 9/11 and America's fallen heroes. The run began at the North Cove Marina in Manhattan and ended at the 9/11 Memorial.
“This run is a tradition … I was here in 2009 and did it then, and now I’m back doing it again,” said Sgt. Maj. Douglas Cutsail, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). “We lead the Marines on a run to represent freedom and to honor the men and women who lost their lives during 9/11. It reminds us where we were and where we don’t ever want to return. It reminds us that we need to be prepared when the nation need us the most.”
Approximately 250 Marines, Sailors and Royal Canadian Navy Sailors participated in the early morning run.
“Running through the city just felt alive, having all the people cheer us on,” said Cpl. Josue Edmond, 24th MEU. “All the smiling faces felt great. I felt a lot of pride because not only am I representing myself, but my battalion … it was a really good feeling.”
“What a great honor it is for us to be a part of this and reassure our bonds with the United States,” said Lt. Dominic Dupuis, HMCS Athabaskan (DDG 282), Royal Canadian Navy. “We ran to the monuments at ground zero just to honor all the people that were lost.”
At the end of the run, Marines gathered around the 9/11 Memorial to place a wreath in honor of the victims of the Sept. 11m 2001 tragedy..
“It’s a remembrance run … the Marines have been doing it about 10 years, basically to honor all those that have served since September 11, both the first-responders on the civilian side, and also on the military side,” said Capt. Rob Gamberg, Chief of Staff for Carrier Strike Group 12. “… and also to remember the sacrifices of those that we lost along the way and show our respect. It’s a fantastic feeling doing this run … 9/11 was a critical point in my life, not only in my military career, but personally as well.”
FWNY, now in its 28th year, is the city’s celebration of the sea services and gives an opportunity for the citizens of New York City and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen. The event has been held nearly every year since 1984.

Throughout the week, sea service members have conducted ship tours; participated in parades; visited area schools, hospitals, parks and senior centers; and volunteered for several area service projects.

Friday, May 27, 2016

U.S. Servicemember Admits to Illegally Retaining Photos Taken Inside Nuclear Submarine and Impeding Investigation

US Navy
May 27, 2016 - Kristian Saucier, 29, of Arlington, Vermont, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill of the District of Connecticut to one count of unauthorized possession and retention of national defense information.
The guilty plea was announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly of the District of Connecticut.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from September 2007 to March 2012, Saucier served as a machinist’s mate aboard the USS Alexandria, which is a U.S. Navy Los Angeles-class nuclear attack submarine based at the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.  On at least three separate dates in 2009, Saucier used the camera on his personal cellphone to take photographs of classified spaces, instruments and equipment of the USS Alexandria, documenting the major technical components of the submarine’s propulsion system.
On Jan. 19, 2009, Saucier took two photos, one of the auxiliary steam plant panel and the other of the reactor compartment viewed through a portal.  On March 22, 2009, Saucier took two photos that, when placed side by side, provided a panoramic array of the maneuvering compartment, the room from which the propulsion system of the boat is operated.  On July 15, 2009, Saucier took two photos documenting the reactor head configuration of the nuclear reactor and a view of the reactor compartment from within that compartment.
Saucier had a secret clearance and knew that the photos depicted classified material and that he was not authorized to take them.  He retained these photos and failed to deliver them to any officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it.
The investigation began in March 2012 when Saucier’s cellphone was found at a waste transfer station in Hampton, Connecticut.  Saucier was interviewed by the FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in July 2012 and was confronted with the classified images from his phone.  Following that interview and in an effort to impede the federal investigation, Saucier returned to his home and immediately destroyed a laptop computer, a personal camera and the camera’s memory card.  Pieces of a laptop computer were subsequently found in the woods on a property in Connecticut owned by a member of Saucier’s family.   
Saucier was arrested on a criminal complaint on May 28, 2015, and was subsequently indicted.
Judge Underhill scheduled sentencing for Aug. 19, 2016, at which time Saucier faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.  He is released on a $100,000 bond.
Saucier is currently enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a Petty Officer First Class assigned to the Naval Support Activity Base, Saratoga Springs, New York.  He is awaiting an administrative separation board proceeding.
This matter has been investigated by the FBI and NCIS.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vanessa Richards and Jacabed Rodriguez-Coss of the District of Connecticut and Trial Attorney Will Mackie of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of New York.

MDA Demonstrates Performance of SM-3 Block IB in Successful Flight Tests

US Navy
May 26, 2016 - The Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy sailors aboard USS Hopper (DDG 70) successfully conducted two developmental flight tests of the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB Threat Upgrade guided missile on May 25 and 26 off the west coast of Hawaii.
The flight tests, designated Controlled Test Vehicle (CTV)-01a and CTV-02, demonstrated the successful performance of design modifications to the SM-3 third-stage rocket motor (TSRM) nozzle.  The results of these flight tests will support a future SM-3 Block IB production authorization request.
"Based on the early data, the missiles performed as designed and validated the design modifications we made to further improve the reliability of the SM-3 Block IB," said MDA Director Vice Adm. Jim Syring. "I was very proud of the government and industry team in their performance this week and am appreciative of the support provided by USS Hopper and her great crew."
During each test, Hopper's Aegis Weapon System was prompted to generate a fire control solution and launch an SM-3 against a simulated target. No intercept was planned, and no live target missile was launched. The MDA and the U.S. Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program. 

Senior Chinese Military Official Urges Japan to Dispose of WWII Chemical Weapons

May 27, 2016 (Xinhua) - Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, has urged Japan to speed up disposal of abandoned World War II chemical weapons on Chinese territory.
Fan made the remarks on Thursday during his inspection of the Harbaling site in northeast China's Jilin Province, the largest known disposal site of Japanese abandoned chemical weapons in the country.
"Defying international law, Japanese invaders in China wantonly used chemical weapons on a large scale during their invasion and left behind a large number of them after their defeat," Fan said.
These abandoned chemical weapons still threaten and harm Chinese people's lives and property as well as environmental safety in China, he added.
He urged Japan to carry out its obligations in accordance with the convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons as well as a memo signed between the Chinese and Japanese governments, increase input and accelerate recovery and destruction so as to return clean land to the Chinese people.
Chemical weapons left over by Japanese military forces have been discovered at more than 90 locations in 18 provincial-level regions across China.
At Harbaling alone, it is estimated that around 330,000 such weapons were buried. The cleanup project there is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

Standard Missile-3 flight test validates engineering upgrade

Photo courtesy of Missile Defense Agency.
May 26, 2016 - Raytheon Company and the Missile Defense Agency completed a successful flight test of an improved Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB third stage rocket motor. 
The mission confirmed effective in-flight performance of the upgrade, which previously succeeded in all ground testing. The upgrade will be integrated into the current missile production line.
"Raytheon is continually working to increase the overall reliability of the highly dependable SM-3, reflecting the MDA's commitment to mature this capability for the defense of our nation, deployed forces, and our allies," said Dr. Mitch Stevison, Raytheon Air & Missile Defense vice president. "SM-3 continues to demonstrate its versatility and reliability, providing an extraordinary level of protection from sea or land."
During the mission at the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, sailors on board the USS Hopper launched two SM-3 Block IBs. Target intercepts were not included in the scenarios.

RSS Independence Delivered

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) welcomed a new addition to its fleet as Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV) Independence finished its sea trials and cruised to its new home at Tuas Naval Base on 26 May.

May 26, 2016 - The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) welcomed a new addition to its fleet as Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV) Independence finished its sea trials and cruised to its new home at Tuas Naval Base on 26 May.
LMV Independence is one of the eight LMVs that will replace the current Fearless-class Patrol Vessels (PVs). The new ships will be more efficient than their predecessors in areas such as speed and versatility.
Speaking at the event, Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral (RADM) Lai Chung Han said: "It is an important milestone for the (LMV) programme. The homecoming of LMV Independence marks the conclusion of almost 2 years of the construction phase. It also marks the beginning of about 11 to 12 months of ICIT (Installation, Checkout, Integration and Testing). I think this is something we can be very proud of and something that we want to thank all involved for bringing the project to this point."
Touching on the commissioning of LMV Independence next year, RADM Lai said: "This will be a significant moment to mark the Navy's coming of age at 50 years, as we complete our 3rd Generation transformation, as we move into our redesign for LMV Indy to be the lead platform, to be, if I can borrow the phrase, the 'flagship of our future Navy'."
The event also marked the renaming of 182 Squadron (SQN) and 189 SQN, which are formed by the current eleven PVs -- to 182 SQN. The new logo for 182 SQN was also unveiled. The eight LMVs will be fully operational by 2020 and they will then complete 182 SQN.

"Now, as we're in the advanced stages of our 3rd Generation transformation, the return of LMV Independence to 182 SQN marks a major milestone for the squadron and its new logo (which says) Sharp and Vigilant, which rightly encapsulates what the squadron will do: Remain sharp and vigilant 24/7, safeguarding our water and protecting our nation."

All photos official.

NATO Deputy Secretary General: North Atlantic Alliance is as important as it has ever been


May 27, 2016 - NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said in Prague that “our security cannot be taken for granted” and that the North Atlantic Alliance “is as important as it has ever been.” In a keynote speech at the Jagello 2000 Conference on Friday (27 May 2016) Ambassador Vershbow thanked the Czech Republic for its long involvement in Alliance operations in Afghanistan, its support for the NATO Response Force and its contributions of highly-skilled pilots and aircrews to NATO’s assurance measures. He also commended the Czech Republic for its leading role in the Alliance’s ability to respond to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear hazards. “Together these are helping to make our Alliance stronger and more effective”, he said.
Ambassador Vershbow said that NATO is strengthening its deterrence and defence posture in response to actions of a more assertive and aggressive Russia. He said that NATO is implementing the Readiness Action Plan, a series of comprehensive measures agreed by NATO leaders at the Summit in Wales in 2014. He added that decisions on the scale, scope and composition of an enhanced forward presence in the eastern part of the Alliance will be taken at the Warsaw Summit in July.
Ambassador Vershbow also highlighted the importance of political dialogue with Russia. “The path NATO has chosen is one of strong deterrence combined with meaningful dialogue”, he said. He stressed that “there cannot be any return to business as usual until Russia comes back into compliance with international law.” He noted that the first step toward that end should be the full implementation of the Minsk agreements – ending the Russian-backed insurgency in Eastern Ukraine, implementing a real ceasefire, withdrawing Russian forces and heavy weapons, and creating conditions for free and fair elections under Ukrainian and OSCE supervision aimed at re-integrating the occupied portions of Donbas into Ukraine.
The Deputy Secretary General said that the Warsaw Summit will also see NATO leaders taking decisions in response to the situation along NATO’s southern borders. He said that that NATO’s response to the security challenges to the south is “comprehensive and multi-faceted” and that NATO’s main contribution “is likely to be in bolstering the defence capacity of partners in the Middle East and Northern Africa”.
Ambassador Vershbow also underlined the need for stronger NATO cooperation with the European Union. “There is much to be gained from NATO and the EU working together on issues such as the hybrid warfare, cyber defence and civil preparedness”, he said.
During his visit to the Czech Republic, Ambassador Vershbow met with the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Lubomír Zaorálek and the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Mr. Jan Hamáček.

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration to Host the 5th International Military Airworthiness Certification Conference

May 27, 2016 - South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced that it will host the “2016 International Military Airworthiness Certification Conference (2016 IMAC)” in The Plaza Hotel in Seoul on May 30, 2016, with 400 international airworthiness experts from government, industries and academia.
The 5th International Military Airworthiness Certification Conference will be held in Seoul on May 30.
Airworthiness certification refers to a government system which validates and certifies the flight safety of aircrafts. South Korea became the first Asian country in 2010 to host a military airworthiness conference. The IMAC celebrates its fifth anniversary this year.
The theme of this year’s IMAC is “Military Aircraft Airworthiness Certification and Fostering International Cooperation.” Representatives of seven countries, including South Korea, Germany, Spain and Italy will deliver presentations on the development of military airworthiness certification system, case studies and international cooperation, which will lay the platform for productive discussions. Also, aircraft manufacturers will set up exhibit booths to facilitate the export of South Korea’s armaments.
Chang, Myoung-jin, Minister of Defense Acquisition Program Administration, said “The IMAC will draw international attention to the excellence of South Korea’s airworthiness certification system. Building on this global recognition, South Korea will lead the development of airworthiness certification in Asia. We seek to foster continued international cooperation to beef up the global competitiveness of Korea’s military aircrafts.”
Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) plans to hold the conference biennially to expand international collaboration on airworthiness certification with major partner countries.
For more details about the schedule of the 2016 International Military Airworthiness Certification Conference, please refer to the IMAC official website at

More than $12.5 Million Raised to Support National World War I Museum and Memorial’s 'Call to Duty' Centennial Capital Campaign

The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community.

May 27, 2016 - On Memorial Day, Kansas Citians will gather at the National World War I Museum and Memorial to honor the fallen — those who boldly responded to the call to duty to defend and protect liberty. To expand its capacity to honor their sacrifice, the Museum recently launched the “Call to Duty” Centennial Capital Campaign. The Museum is pleased to announce Kansas City’s philanthropic leaders have generously responded, contributing more than $12.5 million to support the “Call to Duty” campaign initiatives, including constructing a new exhibition gallery, renovating existing outdoor space and the J.C. Nichols Auditorium, expanding education and community programs, and increasing the Museum’s endowment.
“We are humbled by the tremendous generosity of the philanthropic community that will enable the National World War I Museum and Memorial to do more to remember those who served, and to expand our role as America’s leading institution dedicated to interpreting, understanding and remembering the Great War and its enduring impact,” said Dr. Matthew Naylor, President and CEO of the National World War Museum and Memorial. “Because of their exceptional support, the Museum will break ground on a new gallery that will give us the capacity to bring special exhibitions to Kansas City that would otherwise not come here, with rare objects never seen before in the United States. The Museum will also be able to expand our educational and community programs while increasing our international footprint with digital educational programming and global partnerships.”
Gifts totaling more than $12.5 million to support the Museum’s “Call to Duty” Centennial Capital Campaign include: 
David T. Beals, III Charitable Trust
Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation
Capital Federal Foundation
The DeBruce Foundation
Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation
Hall Family Foundation
The Illig Family Foundation
Enid and Crosby Kemper Foundation
Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation
Sosland Foundation
Sunderland Foundation
Jack F. and Glenna Y. Wylie Charitable Foundation
“Call to Duty” Centennial Capital Campaign Leadership 
The Museum is proud to announce the “Call to Duty” Centennial Capital Campaign’s National Honorary Chair: General Richard Myers, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Myers, a retired four-star general in the United States Air Force, served as the 15th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2001-2005). As chairman, Gen. Myers was the highest-ranking uniformed officer of the United States' military forces. The Kansas City native is a 1965 graduate of Kansas State University. Since his retirement from the military, he has served as a professor of military history and leadership at Kansas State University, and in April, he was named interim president of Kansas State University.
Gen. Myers will be a featured speaker at the Public Memorial Day Ceremony at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 30, at the National World War I Museum and Memorial. The Museum also announced its slate of Kansas City corporate and civic individuals leading the Museum’s “Call to Duty” Centennial Capital Campaign:
Honorary Co-Chairs: Henry Bloch, William H. Dunn, Sr., Ollie Gates and Jeanette Nichols. 
Campaign Co-Chairs: Thomas and Mary Beth Butch, Sandy and Christine Kemper
Cabinet Members: 
  • Sandra Aust
  • Honorable Kay Barnes
  • Tom and Mary Bloch
  • Mary Shaw “Shawsie” Branton
  • Evelyn Craft Belger
  • Peter deSilva
  • John Dillingham
  • Terry and Peggy Dunn
  • Robb Heineman
  • Augie Huber
  • Mark Jorgenson
  • Stephen and Elaine Koch
  • Tim Kristl
  • Dick Mellinger
  • Amb. John Menzies
  • Keith and Margi Pence
  • Dick Rees
  • Bob and Ann Regnier
  • George Richter
  • Kent Sunderland
  • Rear Admiral (Ret.) Stanton Thompson
  • Frank and Evangeline Thompson
  • Joe Weinrich
  • Thomas VanDyke
  • Brian Williams
“The tremendous commitment of the Kansas City philanthropic community has been extraordinary,” said Thomas Butch, Museum Board of Trustees chair and “Call to Duty” campaign co-chair. “As we did in 1919, Kansas City will once again lead the nation in the sacred work of remembering and honoring those who served, through the expansion of our world-class Museum and its digital initiatives to reach millions around the globe.”
The Missouri Development Finance Board (MDFB) also awarded the Museum $1.8 million in tax credits to support the project.
In addition to the new exhibition gallery, renovation of outdoor space and enhanced educational programming, the “Call to Duty” campaign will include: 
Renovation of the Museum’s J.C. Nichols Auditorium, including new digital video and audio systems, a new cabling control system, carpentry, Wi-Fi and assisted listening devices
Five-year sponsorship of the Great War Great Film series
Unrestricted funds to support programs that enhance visitor engagement and satisfaction, efforts to attract and retain world-class staff, and support of multi-year initiatives
The Museum is preparing to lead the nation in the centennial commemoration of World War I when the focus of global attention turns to the U.S. engagement that started 100 years ago in 1917. “The Great War changed everything with more than 37 million casualties. It ushered in a century of profound social and economic change. The Museum tells this global story,” Naylor said. “The Museum is positioned to significantly expand its role as an international leader to forge a greater understanding surrounding conflict, peacemaking and the ongoing lessons of the Great War.”
The National World War I Museum and Memorial “Call to Duty” Centennial Capital Campaign was launched in 2014 to raise funds to meet four primary goals: 
1. Construction of a new exhibition gallery 
2. Renovation of outdoor gathering space 
3. Support of education programs and opportunity funds 
4. Increase the Museum’s endowment
“As we commemorate Memorial Day, we extend our gratitude to those who are extending the legacy of the fallen by strengthening the work of the Museum. We invite the community to join us in this important work,” Naylor said.
The public is welcome to make contributions to the Museum’s “Call to Duty” Centennial Capital Campaign by visiting

Murkowski’s Campaign to Construct a New Polar Icebreaker Moves Closer to Reality

May 24 2016 - Today the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, of which U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is a member, added $1 billion to fully fund construction of the first U.S. Polar Icebreaker in over 25 years.
“This is a significant victory in my decade-long fight to turn our nation’s focus to the Arctic and embrace our role as an Arctic nation. This is the first tangible demonstration that we are committed to fulfilling the responsibilities associated with our strategic geography. I have long fought to fully fund the acquisition of Arctic-capable icebreakers instead of the piece-meal approach that the Administration has been taking for the last eight years. This funding moves the concept of a new icebreaker from aspiration to reality, and I thank my Appropriations colleagues for recognizing the importance of this vessel to our national security,” said Senator Murkowski. “A robust icebreaker fleet is critical for the Coast Guard to carry out its mission in the Arctic—whether to monitor increased levels of shipping activity or to carry out its traditional search and rescue activities. This is an extremely positive step towards the fully operational icebreaker fleet needed for the safety and security of the Arctic region.”
The U.S. Coast Guard has said it needs three heavy and three medium icebreakers to fulfill its mission. It currently has one medium vessel and two 40-year-old heavy vessels—one of which has been out of service since 2010. In comparison, Russia has 11 heavy icebreakers.
The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to report the Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill, which includes these funds, on Thursday, after which it heads to the Senate floor.

SAFE Boats International delivers first Air and Marine Operations Coastal Interceptor Vessel (CIV)

SAFE Boats
May 27, 2016 - SAFE Boats International (SBI), a manufacturer of high performance aluminum boats located in Bremerton, Washington has completed the first Coastal Interceptor Vessel (CIV) on contract from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO). A naming ceremony was held at SAFE Boats International facilities on Thursday, May 26th, 2016 to name the vessel the “Alexandria” as well as celebrate the first CIV as SBI’s two thousandth (2000) delivered craft. Invitees to the event included CBP Officials, Congressional staff members, local government officials and business people, equipment suppliers and media. Following the acceptance of this first vessel, AMO intends to acquire up to 52 of the new CIVs to meet emerging Department of Homeland Security mission requirements.  The contract, should all options be executed, is valued at over $48 million.
The CIV is a 41-foot rugged and highly maneuverable vessel, capable of high speed interceptions in close proximity to other vessels as well as open ocean speeds at well over 54 knots. The CIV can be configured for a number of mission operations including pursuing suspect vessels for the purpose of boarding, searching, and when necessary, arresting violators and seizing the suspect vessel and contraband. SAFE Boat’s CIV is specifically configured to provide AMO Marine Interdiction Agents a safe working platform with outstanding performance, sea keeping and mission capabilities.
The AMO CIV is a variant of the SAFE 41 Interceptor, a reliable and proven commercially available design currently in service with the Royal Bahamian Police, Royal Gibraltar Defense Forces, Colombian Navy and a number of private owners.
“SAFE Boats is honored to be delivering our milestone 2000th hull as the first Coastal Interceptor Vessel to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations whose vital mission is to defend our great country” commented Dennis Morris, President and CEO. “This is the next phase in a longstanding relationship we have with CBP dating back to 2002, and we are optimistic that other international defense agencies will be interested in the vessel for similar mission requirements.”

Naval Air Facility El Centro Celebrates 70th Anniversary

US Navy

May 27, 2016 - Sailors, contractors, and their families gathered at Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro to commemorate the base's 70th anniversary May 26. 
"Today we're celebrating the 70th birthday anniversary of the base, and we are combining it with Memorial Day weekend and the start of the summer," said Capt. William C. Doster, commanding officer of NAF El Centro. "This base is a key component for naval aviation, providing training for the strike fighter pilots that deploy on aircraft carriers. "
The event included a welcoming speech from the base commanding officer, an invocation from the chaplain, ceremonial cake cutting and a picnic.
"It's the 70th birthday party and we are trying to recognize the Sailors for contributions they provide to this base and the mission," said NAF El Centro Command Master Chief Wayne Marcus. "Without them we wouldn't be able to function."
The event was coordinated by the base's Morale, Welfare, and Recreation department and several Sailors who volunteered to help run the food stands, music, and games.
"I know the history of the base and what happened back in the early days of the base, and I thought it was a pretty good event to volunteer at and celebrate," said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 3rd Class Stanley Williams.
Marcus shared Williams' appreciation for the celebration. "It's important that we find interesting things for our Sailors to do, being that we are so far away from things," said Marcus.
Looking ahead NAF El Centro is focusing on improving the quality of life for base personnel, by building a paintball range by the end of the year and continuing to build on it's long legacy of aviation training.

Chinese warships conduct anti-submarine drill in South China Sea

The Chinese naval guided-missile destroyer Hefei hunts about at sea for submarines in an anti-submarine warfare training exercise in the South China Sea on May 26, 2016.

May 27, 2016 (ChinaMil) - An open-sea training taskforce under the South Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy conducted a round-the-clock warship-helicopter coordination anti-submarine operation drill in waters of the South China Sea from May 25 to 26. The task force entered the South China Sea via the Bashi Channel after conducting maritime drills in the West Pacific.
According to the backgrounds of the drill, submarines of the "blue army" quietly reached out and arrived at the sea area of the "red army", and warships of the "red army" in an anti-submarine formation performed sector search in this water for the submarines.
The anti-submarine force of the "red army" consisted of four surface warships, namely, the guided-missile destroyers Hefei, Lanzhou and Guangzhou, and the guided-missile frigate Yulin as well as three ship-borne anti-submarine helicopters. The submarines came from a submarine flotilla under the South Sea Fleet.

Torpedoes on the guided-missile destroyer Hefei get ready to attack underwater submarines.

The scale of this drill is the largest ever in anti-submarine drills the PLA Navy has conducted in recent years with the following three characteristics: first, the anti-submarine searching operation was carried out in a sea area of thousands of square nautical-miles; second, three types of submarine attacking weapons including rocket depth charges and torpedoes are used; third, the drill lasted 24 hours in which, reliabilities of anti-submarine equipment and servicemen’s capability of performing long-time duties got tested.
“This anti-submarine operational drill highlighting realistic confrontation aims to upgrade the taskforce’s capabilities including warship-helicopter coordination, firepower coordination and information sharing in anti-submarine warfare,” said Zhai Baoran, a commanding officer on the guided-missile destroyer Guangzhou.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

First sea captain joins Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier

Royal Navy

May 24, 2016 - The nation’s future flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth, currently being built in Scotland, has reached a major milestone in her program with the arrival of the first Commanding Officer, Captain Jerry Kyd.
Captain Kyd, who will be responsible for leading the men and women who will operate the 65,000 tonne ship from her future base port, Portsmouth Naval Base, took command of his ship today (24 May 2016).
In his first speech to his ship’s company, Captain Kyd said: “It is a singular honor to be taking command of you today, the crew of our future Flagship.
"I am extremely proud to be leading you as the ship’s first Captain as we work together with the Aircraft Carrier Alliance to sail from Rosyth for sea trials early next year.”
“Let us be proud in purpose and focused in our work as we look to the sea and our arrival in our home port of Portsmouth in about a year’s time.”
Although Captain Kyd remains a substantive Commodore (one of 80 in a fleet of vessels), he will follow historical custom and routinely wear the rank of Captain Royal Navy in his role as Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth.
He takes over from Captain Simon Petitt who has been Senior Naval Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales as they generate through their build programs.
On leaving the ship for the last time, Captain Petitt said: “It has been an extreme honor to be in charge of the first crew of the Navy’s future flagship and play a small part in shaping how the ship will operate.
"It is without doubt the pinnacle of my career.
"In particular watching a shell of a ship develop at pace and a ship’s company grow from 9 to 580 personnel, which I proudly hand over to Captain Kyd to take to sea.
"I congratulate the Aircraft Carrier Alliance for their tremendous work and my crew, for their support.”
Joining as the Senior Naval Officer of the sister ship HMS Prince of Wales, Captain Ian Groom, said: “Today marks a proud moment in my naval career as I assume responsibility for the rapidly growing ship’s company of HMS Prince of Wales. I am delighted to join at such an exciting time and be part of such a professional dedicated team.”
HMS Queen Elizabeth, will set sail for the first time in early 2017 when she will move to her permanent home on the Princess Royal Jetty in Portsmouth Naval Base, with HMS Prince of Wales following in 2019.
The carriers will provide over 4 acres of sovereign territory which can be deployed around the world, travelling at upwards of 500nm a day. Both ships are capable of carrying up to 36 F-35B Lightning II stealth jets, capable of sharing vast amounts of information and landing vertically on the flight deck.
The fifth generation fighters will be operated by 809 Naval Air Squadron, ‘The Immortals’, first formed 75 years ago, and 617 Squadron, Royal Air Force known as ‘The Dambusters’ for their daring war time raid on the Ruhr Valley.

They will share the 280-meter-long flight deck with helicopters from all three services.  Combined, they will transform the Royal Navy’s ability to project UK influence overseas.

Ceremony blesses Hood's bell 75 years after battle-cruiser's terrible demise


May 24, 2016 - Seventy-five-years to the day it ended up on the bottom of the Denmark Strait with the tortured remains of HMS Hood and 1,400 souls, the battle-cruiser’s bell was rededicated in Portsmouth.
Recovered from nearly three kilometers beneath the surface of the down last summer, the icon of the ship now takes pride of place as the last of 350 artefacts in new exhibition to the Battle of Jutland.
At mid-day precisely eight peels echoed around Victory Arena as Princess Anne rang the bell for the first time since May 24 1941 when Hood sailed to intercept Hitler’s flagship Bismarck and prevent it from breaking out into the Atlantic to maul British shipping.
Instead, the battle-cruiser – pride of the RN between the wars – blew up after just a few minutes in the duel between the British and German ships; 1,415 men were killed, just three survived.
It was the last wish of one of those survivors, telegraphist Ted Briggs, that the bell be recovered if possible as a memorial to his shipmates.
Last summer, an expedition led by Microsoft co-founder Paul G Allen succeeded in raising the bell, since when its undergone conservation and assessment in the hands of experts from BAE and the Mary Rose Museum to ensure it could be displayed safely without deteriorating.

Defence Minister Sees Carrier Preparations at Portsmouth Naval Base

Royal Navy

May 23, 2016 = A Defence Minister visited Portsmouth Naval Base today (Monday) to see how it is preparing to accommodate the Royal Navy’s two new 65,000-tonne aircraft carriers.
Mark Lancaster, Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans, saw progress on various infrastructure works and in particular a new center of specialization which is nearing completion.
The Queen Elizabeth Class Centre of Specialization will cover an area of 70,000 square metres – approximately the size of ten football pitches.
It will include a 7,000 square meter Forward Support Centre able to hold 15,000 pallets of medical, mail and naval stores under one roof, a café seating more than 500 people at any one time and a reception center for all those working on or visiting the carriers.
The center will house employees of Team Portsmouth, a partnership between the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems, with engineers, logisticians and waterfront staff working alongside each other to plan and deliver the maintenance for these ships.
Mark Lancaster said, "This new Centre of Specialization will ensure that our highly skilled engineers, logisticians and waterfront staff are well supported, and have the facilities they need as Portsmouth becomes the home of the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers next year.
"Our £100 million investment in the naval base and the arrival of the carriers will support and sustain thousands of jobs across the region."
Mike Howarth, Managing Director for BAE Systems Maritime Services in Portsmouth, said: “At 65,000 tonnes the new carriers are the largest and most complex naval ships built in the UK. It’s essential that they have high quality facilities and highly skilled people to support them.
"This center will be the home not just for the carriers, it will also be home for the military and civilian people who support them.
"With improvements to the jetty and construction of a high voltage power station already in its final stages, you can now see that we are well on the way to being ready for HMS Queen Elizabeth’s arrival next year.” 
Commodore Jeremy Rigby, Naval Base Commander, said: “The work on the Queen Elizabeth Class center is yet another tangible milestone in getting the Naval Base ready to support our new aircraft carriers.
"A huge amount of activity is in train ashore and in the harbour to make sure we are ready to receive HMS Queen Elizabeth.
“These are exciting times for the Naval Base and the wider Portsmouth area as we prepare for these huge ships which have secured the future of the base for the rest of the century.
“BAE Systems is working in partnership with the Royal Navy under the Team Portsmouth banner to improve the QE Class Ships’ Company experience that the carrier’s crew will receive at the waterfront and provide the resources, information, material and facilities they will need in Portsmouth and on operations around the world.”
The creation of a dedicated area for the carriers forms part of the overall vision for Portsmouth Naval Base – four dedicated areas to support the ships based ships.

The first of these dedicated areas was opened in 2015 as the Centre of Specialization for Frigates and Destroyers, while work began on minehunter HMS Brocklesby in the new Small Ships Centre of Specialization in early May.