Friday, September 16, 2016
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
September 2, 2016 - The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will be helping the Solomon Islands dispose of the deadly threat posed by unexploded World War II-era munitions.
Major General (MAJGEN) Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said the Royal New Zealand Navy’s diving and mine countermeasures support ship HMNZS MANAWANUI and an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) expert from the New Zealand Army would support an Australian-led operation to clear sites near the capital Honiara and in the nearby Russell and Florida island groups.
“Explosive remnants of war pose a potentially deadly threat to local communities. The NZDF is making a significant contribution to the safety of the people in the Solomon Islands through its involvement in this operation,” MAJGEN Gall said.
Operation RENDER SAFE 2016 is a biennial operation led by the Australian Defence Force, which aims to safely dispose of unexploded World War II-vintage munitions. EOD experts from Canada, the United Kingdom and the Solomon Islands are also assisting in the operation.
A similar operation in 2014 cleared 109 sites on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville of 2293 ammunition items containing more than 16 tonnes of explosives. It involved more than 500 personnel from Australia, the United States, the UK, New Zealand, Canada and the Solomon Islands.
MANAWANUI left New Zealand earlier this week to take part in the multinational operation, which will run from 15 September-10 October.
Posted by SPI at 3:48 PM
September 13, 2016 - Environmentalists Northern Fleet during the summer collected on the Arctic island of Boiler and prepared for recycling more than 30 thousand barrels, one and a half times more than in 2015. This was reported on Tuesday, September 14, the press service of the Northern Fleet.
"Soldiers environmental platoon Northern Fleet completed the seasonal work on the island of Boiler drums, which in Soviet times was used for the transport and storage of fuels and lubricants, compressed and packed in containers.", - Told TASS in the fleet's press service.
Monday, September 12, 2016
In July of this year Radio Holland was awarded a 10-vessel managed service agreement from ALP Maritime Services (see press release). The ALP Centre tug is part of this agreement. This vessel sails with a dual ECDIS solution provided by Radio Holland. The second mate was interviewed to give his view about the benefits of (dual) ECDIS . The result is an interesting video that gives an insight, from a crew perspective, into the changes and benefits of using a (dual) ECDIS.
September 1, 2016 - Two huge state-of-the-art gangways built to meet the unique demands of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers have arrived at Portsmouth Naval Base.
Designed and developed by Dutch specialists Verhoef, on behalf of BAE Systems, the bespoke gangways are part of an investment of £100 million to support HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales while they are docked in Portsmouth.
The gangways, known in the maritime industry as ‘brows’, have been specifically produced to provide industrial and naval workforces day-to-day access to the largest warships ever constructed for the Royal Navy. Weighing 12 tonnes each, a single brow can cater for a footfall of up to 3,000 people per hour, with up to 500 industrial staff expected to work on the ships each day when they are alongside during maintenance periods.
The reception point brow will be used predominantly by Royal Navy and VIP visitors. Its telescopic gangway will extend up to 19 metres over the water while the aircraft lift brow will allow easy access to the ships for support staff.
Mark Harris, BAE Systems Queen Elizabeth Class Readiness Project Manager, said: “The reception point and aircraft lift brows are unique to the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers as existing designs are too short for these ships.
“The brows are cutting-edge a steel and aluminum construction, built to provide a means of access that can be deployed quickly, without the need of a crane, and taking account of tidal conditions and ship movements. The brows also come with integrated LED lighting to provide illuminated access during dark hours.”
A rigorous training and familiarization program will now take place to ensure those supporting the aircraft carriers at Portsmouth Naval Base are ready to operate and maintain the new equipment ahead of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s arrival in 2017.
August 31, 2016 - The first complex warship to be built at Glasgow since the last Type 45, HMS Duncan, has successfully completed its journey from BAE Systems shipyard at Govan on the Clyde and is now safely docked at the company’s Scotstoun facility where she will complete final systems installation and testing.
FORTH, the first of the new River Class offshore patrol vessels, entered the water for the first time on Saturday 13 August and her arrival at Scotstoun is the latest step in a modernized approach to shipbuilding at Glasgow that uses the latest technologies and processes. The first plate of steel for FORTH was delivered to Glasgow in October 2014 and progressed down the production line soon after, with the ship structurally complete just 18 months later.
Vice Admiral Simon Lister, Chief of Materiel (Fleet) for the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organization, said: “The cutting-edge technology of the Royal Navy’s versatile new Offshore Patrol Vessels will enable these warships to carry out a wide range of tasks, from disaster relief missions to maritime security, all the while protecting the UK’s interests at home and around the globe.
“Supported by a rising Defence budget, the rollout of HMS Forth reflects the success of the OPV program, safeguarding the vital capability and skills that will be used in the delivery of the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Frigates.”
Iain Stevenson, Managing Director at BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: “For FORTH to enter the water less than two years after construction started is hugely significant and sets the tone for the future of modern warship building. She is the first complex warship to benefit from the new technologies and methods that we are introducing to further bolster our ability to be the best supplier to the Royal Navy. FORTH has already benefitted from a safer and more efficient build process that enabled much of the work to take place under cover, and as a result she leaves our Govan facility at a much higher rate of completion.
“We’re building on the proud heritage of British shipbuilding here in Glasgow and looking to the future. Not only does this mean we are creating valuable additions to the Royal Navy’s fleet but we are ensuring that shipbuilding skills and expertise are maintained and developed in the UK.”
The new process to transfer FORTH across the Clyde began with a single remote control and 160 wheels driving the 1600 tonne FORTH from inside the ship build hall at Govan to the dock side at a careful half a mile per hour. FORTH, with a weight comparable to 120 London buses, then made a short journey towards the waiting barge before setting sail for Scotstoun via the King George V dock. She is now safely at Scotstoun with the installation of the complex combat systems already underway, prior to handover to the Royal Navy in the first half of 2017.
This design of the offshore patrol vessel (OPV) builds on the Royal Navy's existing River Class ships and variants of this design are already in service in Brazil and Thailand. Engineers at BAE Systems have modified the design to meet the requirements of the Royal Navy in support of UK interests both at home and abroad.
The OPVs will be globally deployable and capable of ocean patrol with a range in excess of 5,000 nautical miles, equivalent to a journey from Portsmouth to Rio de Janeiro, and a maximum speed of 24 knots.
The manufacturing contract for the first three ships was announced in August 2014 and in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review the UK Government announced its intention to buy a further two offshore patrol vessels to be built in Glasgow. Construction of first of class, FORTH, began in October 2014, second of class, MEDWAY, began in June 2015 while TRENT began in October 2015. FORTH is due to be delivered to the Royal Navy in 2017.
September 2, 2016 - The smallest vessel in the Royal Navy is playing a key role in the maiden voyage by Britain’s largest warship.
Tiny launch HMS Gleaner – previously used to scan the wreck of the Mary Rose in the Solent – has spent weeks surveying every inch of the Forth estuary to ensure carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth leaves Rosyth dockyard without a hitch next spring.
Nineteen times longer, 15 times wider and a staggering 3,000 times heavier, the new carrier dwarfed the small survey craft as she scanned the huge inner basin at Rosyth, where Queen Elizabeth is in the final stages of completion.
The future flagship – the largest vessel ever to fly the White Ensign – is due to begin trials in the North Sea next spring ahead of her debut in her home base of Portsmouth.
But with data on the Forth estuary 60 years old, Plymouth-based Gleaner and a specialist team of military surveyors were dispatched to Scotland to gather information on the tides, river bed and the three crossings – one rail, two road – to ensure the carrier’s first departure runs smoothly.
HMS Queen Elizabeth has already been fitted with a special main mast which can be lowered to allow the ship to safely pass beneath the bridges.
But taking nothing to chance, Army surveyors from 42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic) from RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire used the latest theodolites to measure the bridge heights, while Gleaner’s crew did the same using a new laser scanner.
Beneath the surface, Gleaner’s sonar looked down at the main channel into Rosyth dockyard which will need dredging before the carrier sails, and scanned the inner basin itself – 11.8 metres deep and about 32 times the size of the pitch at Wembley.
Despite the high-tech equipment crammed into Gleaner’s tiny 15-metre hull, it’s still taken the boat several months to gather the information needed – not least because the new Forth Road Bridge, due to open around the same time as the carrier sails, has affected the flow of the Forth and silt accumulating in the shipping channels.
“The use of modern multibeam sonar and precise satellite positioning should make the survey straightforward, but the environment of an estuary rarely makes it that way,” said the launch’s Commanding Officer Lt Marc Taylor.
“Still, we’ve finished the job and shown how the Royal Navy’s smallest ship can provide a vital service to its largest.”
Queen Elizabeth’s first Commanding Officer Capt Jerry Kyd took the helm of Gleaner for some of the work inside the basin to see the accuracy of the data being collected for himself.
“The excellent work carried out by Gleaner over the past few months is hugely important to me as Queen Elizabeth’s captain,” he said.
“There’s an absolute need to understand the hydrographical issues that will impact on the safe navigation of the carrier when we sail from Rosyth next spring.”
Cubic Global Defense (CGD), a business unit of Cubic Corporation), today announced it will highlight its industry-leading P5 Combat Training System (P5 CTS) and other innovative air combat training solutions at the annual Tailhook Symposium 2016 in Reno, Nevada from September 8 – 10. The P5 CTS is a major component of the Department of the Navy’s Tactical Combat Training System (TCTS). Tailhook Symposium is an annual conference hosted by The Tailhook Association, a non-profit organization recognized as the premier supporter of Naval Aviation, to feature the latest innovations in aircraft technology.
“Cubic engages with end users to assess current training capabilities and educate them about the possibilities of the next-generation training environment.”
“At Tailhook, Cubic will showcase our most important P5 CTS/TCTS enhancements that we believe will open up dialogue with our Naval Aviation fleet customers on new and tactically relevant means to train to the demanding missions aviators must execute. In addition, we will be onsite to discuss the future of effective Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) training,” said Dave Buss, president of Cubic Global Defense. “Cubic engages with end users to assess current training capabilities and educate them about the possibilities of the next-generation training environment.”
Cubic will demonstrate the following air combat training solutions:
- P5 Combat Training System (CTS/TCTS): P5 CTS relays Time, Space, and Positioning Information (TSPI) between participating aircraft and range systems while internally recording weapon events during training sorties. This enables real-time, live monitoring and recorded mission data of air-to-air, air-to-ground and surface-to-air training scenarios for post mission analysis.
- F-35 P5 Internal Subsystem: The F-35 P5 Internal Subsystem (IS) provides the P5 CTS capability to the JSF program. Unlike previous wing-mounted ACTS pods, this secure and internal training solution allows the F-35 to retain low-observable characteristics.
- Bandit Board: The Cubic Bandit Board is an integrated low-cost tactical training capability that transmits the live P5 CTS display onto a kneeboard tablet of a pilot in an aggressor “Red Air” aircraft. With this innovative enhancement, “Red Air” now has a high-fidelity, real-time picture of all players in a combat training exercise, transforming a second- or third-generation aircraft into a formidable opponent.
- Secure LVC Advanced Training Solutions: As the industry System Integrator for the Air Force Research Lab’s Secure LVC Advanced Training Environment (SLATE) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD), Cubic will support the development and demonstration of a new secure waveform with tactical aircraft and range ground stations as part of a LVC system for air combat training.
September 5, 2016 - Personnel from HMS Protector took part in commemorations in Chile August 30th to mark the centenary of the rescue of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s crew from Antarctica.
The patrol ship’s crew joined platoons from the Chilean Navy and marines for a parade in the port city of Punta Arenas.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the rescue of Shackleton’s men from Elephant Island following the ill-fated Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-16.
Following the loss of their ship Endurance in the ice of the Weddell Sea, 28 men reached Cape Valentine on Elephant Island after their ordeal on drifting ice floes.
Realizing there was no chance of rescue, Shackleton and five of his men set sail for South Georgia in the open lifeboat James Caird.
The perilous 800-mile voyage across mountainous seas took them 16 days. When they arrived Shackleton took two men on a 36-hour trek across unmapped mountain ranges to the small whaling station at Stromness on the northern side of the island.
It would take four months and three failed rescue attempts before appealing to the Chilean government, which offered the use of a small navy tug the Yelcho, commanded by Captain Luis Pardo.
The successful rescue of the stranded men saw Pardo given a hero’s welcome and promoted to Pilot 1st class and given several civilian medals and naval honors.
The Yelcho’s successful rescue of all 22 men stranded on Elephant Island is celebrated by both the Royal Navy and Chilean Navy.
Petty Officer (Above Water Warfare) Ollie Colman, who spent weeks preparing Protector’s personnel for the parade, said: “It was a challenge not knowing what to expect from the parade and slowing the marching pace down to keep everyone in step with our hosts was tricky, but in pretty cold and wet conditions the crew managed to put on a great parade.”
During their visit, Royal Navy personnel saw historical displays produced by the Scott Polar Research Institute and the local Naval Museum.
Protector hosted a number of dignitaries, including the British Ambassador to Chile, who were entertained by drummers from the Royal Marines Band.
Protector’s Commanding Officer, Captain Angus Essenhigh, said: “Protector is proud to be representing the UK and supporting Chile’s centenary celebrations of the rescue of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s expedition by Captain Pardo and the crew of the Yelcho.
“The heroic efforts of Captain Pardo and his men undoubtedly saved the lives of 22 members of Shackleton’s expedition and were vital in preventing the endeavor ending in tragedy.”
HMS Protector, which left Devonport in October last year, will shortly depart the relative warmth of South America and head south to begin her first Antarctic work period of the season.
In the coming months the ship will sail to some of the most remote and inhospitable regions of the planet to provide support to the FCO, conduct hydrographic survey work as well as delivering vital supplies to the British Antarctic Survey bases on the ice.
|Pictured is UKâs Maritime Autonomy Surface Testbed (MAST), an unmanned surface vessel (USV) based on the innovative Bladerunner hull shape undergoing trials in the tidal Thames. Also in shot is the patrol vessel HMS Archer.|
September 5, 2016 - Today the UK’s Maritime Autonomy Surface Testbed (MAST), an unmanned surface vessel (USV) based on the innovative Bladerunner hull shape, has undergone trials in the Tidal Thames.
MAST is being developed by Portchester-based ASV Ltd, under research funding from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), providing a testbed to host a range of new technologies which allows the Ministry of Defence to test and evolve tactics for employing maritime autonomous systems.
The 32ft MAST is one of over 40 Autonomous Systems taking part in Unmanned Warrior 2016 this autumn, off West Wales and NW Scotland and the Western Isles.
In conjunction with industry and international partners, the Royal Navy has created an exciting opportunity for engineers and scientists to demonstrate state of the art technology during Unmanned Warrior, the biggest event of its kind, and explore the ideas that will help shape the future of Naval Warfare for decades to come.
It is linked with the regular Joint Warrior Fleet Exercise and aims to test systems in an operational environment.
Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, said: “The growing scale of Unmanned Warrior is a clear demonstration of the Royal Navy’s ambition to lead and win through technological innovation.
"Unmanned maritime systems will change how we operate, but they’re just the start. Our pursuit of new technologies and ideas – from big data to 3D-printing – will ensure we remain one of the most capable and successful navies in the world.”
MAST is a unique UK designed and built craft capable of reaching high speeds on which high speed autonomy can be investigated. Various levels of autonomy include basic remote control up to autonomous navigation.
The craft is designed to operate autonomously in an unmanned mode, sensing other vessels in the immediate vicinity and avoiding them in a safe manner. The avoidance algorithms are designed to comply with internationally mandated collision regulations. When operating on a busy waterway (such as the Thames), the craft is operated with a coxswain on board ready to take control.
It does not carry weapons, but is designed to explore autonomous capabilities and support non-lethal surveillance and reconnaissance roles.
The work is funded through Dstl (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory), who conduct research on behalf of the Royal Navy (and the other UK armed forces). The work is being conducted by civilian manufacturers ASV Ltd & Roke Manor Research, with support from Cambridge Pixels, Seebyte and Chess Dynamics.
Fleet Robotics Officer Commander Peter Pipkin said: “This is a chance to take a great leap forward in Maritime Systems – not to take people out of the loop but to enhance everything they do, to extend our reach, our look, our timescales, our efficiency using intelligent and manageable robotics at sea.”
Vince Dobbin, Sales and Marketing Director, ASV Global said: “ASV Global has been working in the maritime autonomy industry for many years. We have a long-standing partnership with Dstl, part of which includes working on the Bladerunner vessel.
"Our role in this program has involved developing the autonomous capabilities of this fast vessel. This capability will be demonstrated at Unmanned Warrior in October showcasing the UK’s position at the forefront of delivering this revolutionary technology."
September 7, 2016 - The Coast Guard established a new product line during a ceremony at Base Portsmouth Wednesday.
The Waterways Operations Product Line (WOPL) was officially established during the ceremony where Capt. George G. Bonner, Commander, Shore Infrastructure Logistics Center, presided.
Cmdr. Travis Rasmussen was officially appointed WOPL Manager and Wayne Danzik was appointed the WOPL Deputy Manager.
The Waterways Operations Product Line (WOPL) was officially established during the ceremony where Capt. George G. Bonner, Commander, Shore Infrastructure Logistics Center, presided.
Cmdr. Travis Rasmussen was officially appointed WOPL Manager and Wayne Danzik was appointed the WOPL Deputy Manager.
"The Waterways Operations Product Line will provide critical engineering and logistics requirements for effective waterways maintenance and environmental response in the consistently expanding Maritime Transportation System,"said Cmdr. Rasmussen.
Huntington Ingalls Industries Continues to Make Strides on Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79)
September 12, 2016 Huntington Ingalls Industries announced today that its Newport News Shipbuilding division placed a 900-ton superlift into dry dock, continuing construction of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79). As Kennedy begins to take shape in the dry dock, the ship’s cost and construction schedule continue on track with significant improvement over its predecessor, the first-of-class Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).
“We continue to focus on reducing cost, and we are pleased with our progress,” said Mike Shawcross, Newport News’ vice president, CVN 79 carrier construction. “The incorporation of lessons learned from CVN 78 on to CVN 79—and major build strategy changes to construct the ship a different way—are having a significant impact on our construction efficiencies, just as we anticipated they would.”
Like Ford, Kennedy is being built using modular construction, a process where smaller sections of the ship are welded together to form larger structural units (called “superlifts”). Equipment is then installed, and the large superlifts are lifted into the dry dock using the company’s 1,050-metric ton gantry crane.
Kennedy is on track to be completed with 445 lifts, which is 51 fewer than Ford and 149 less than USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), the last Nimitz-class carrier. “Fewer lifts to the dock means we’re building larger superlifts with more outfitting installed prior to erecting the sections in dock,” said Mike Butler, Newport News’ Kennedy construction program director. “This translates to man-hour savings because the work is being accomplished off the ship in a more efficient work environment.”
Close to 90 lifts have been placed in the dock and joined together since the ship’s keel was laid in August 2015. Kennedy is scheduled to be launched in 2020 and deliver to the Navy in 2022, when it will replace USS Nimitz (CVN 68).
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
|US Navy demonstrates AeroVironment's submarine-launched Blackwing™ small UAV that links manned submarines to unmanned undersea vehicles. Business Wire photo.|
September 7, 2016 - Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport Division – AeroVironment, Inc., a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems for both military and commercial applications, today announced the United States Navy has successfully demonstrated the use of its submarine-launched BlackwingTM UAV to link with a swarm of unmanned undersea vehicles and communicate with the submarine combat control system during the Annual Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) on August 16.
@usnavy demonstrates AeroVironment Blackwing (TM) UAV for cross-domain C3 between submarines and UUVs
Along with providing a new and unique intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability to submarine commanders, the Blackwing UAV can also provide high-speed data and communication relay for Command and Control (C2) between geographically separated vessels such as manned submarines, unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) and surface ships. Deployed UUVs collect large quantities of data while conducting diverse missions ranging from mine-hunting to wide-area oceanographic sensing. During the ANTX exercise, an AeroVironment developed, government-owned, secure digital datalink called DDLTM, integrated into all Blackwing UAVs, relayed real-time information from the surrogate manned submarine via the Blackwing UAV to and from multiple UUVs.
Blackwing builds on AeroVironment’s extensive development and operational experience with its SwitchbladeTM Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System (LMAMS) and its common DDL to provide the Navy with a deployable submarine launched unmanned aircraft vehicle optimized for distributed Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) environments.
“Our Naval Undersea Warfare Center partners seek solutions for quickly and seamlessly linking the air and undersea domains to enhance warfighter capability. We successfully demonstrated the innovative utility of AeroVironment’s new Blackwing unmanned air vehicle,” said Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. “Blackwing delivers significant value to the undersea community, and we look forward to working closely with our partners to expand this powerful new capability to enable underwater vehicles and cross-domain interoperability. In addition to our Navy partners, we also thank our industry partner Sparton for their continued support on Blackwing efforts.”
Monday, September 5, 2016
Japanese 75MM AA gun and Type 97 tank turret
Sunday, September 4, 2016
August 29, 2016 - College of DuPage graduate Julianne Fernandez recently dove deep into the Atlantic Ocean aboard a high-tech submergence vehicle to which few have access.
Currently working on her Ph.D. in Geology at the University of Cincinnati, Fernandez (formerly of Glendale Heights) was selected for a two-week National Science Foundation expedition for early career marine scientists to learn about research using submarines. As part of this project, she was trained using "Alvin," a deep submergence vehicle (DSV) owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass. The famed vehicle, first deployed in 1964, has been used for a variety of research projects and special missions, including a 1986 exploration of the Titanic wreckage.
The culmination of the expedition for Fernandez was diving approximately 1.1 kilometers (more than two-thirds of a mile) into the ocean in Alvin.
"Diving in Alvin was amazing," she said. "It's the size of a two-door car, with three front windows, one on the port side and one on starboard. It contains computers, oxygen tanks, cameras and other research equipment. While it was compact, it was also comfortable."
Fernandez initially discovered the opportunity on a listserv post and thought the experience fit perfectly into her career goals. Months before the dive, she and the other scientists, who were selected from 21 different universities, were split into teams to coordinate research goals. The individual teams then were split further, with one group staying on land the first week while the second traveled to their ocean destinations and used the DSVs for research. During the second week, their roles were reversed. This scenario allowed the scientists to learn how to use Telepresence technology and communicate between the DSVs and the land-based laboratories at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography, which Fernandez said is comparable to NASA's Mission Control Center but on a smaller scale.
The scientists met Cindy Van Dover, the first female pilot of Alvin, who helped make the cruise possible and taught them how to effectively incorporate DSVs into future proposals. Fernandez and her team were researching the amount of methane seeps in the Atlantic to determine whether levels are acceptable, which meant gathering water samples at many depths.
Fernandez spent her first week on land and the second on a ship. Only a certain number of scientists were chosen to dive in Alvin, and she was one of the select few, embarking on her journey on one of the last days of her cruise.
Diving with pilot Bob Waters and diving partner Robinson "Wally" Fulweiler, an associate professor in the departments of Earth and Environment and Biology as well as director of the Boston University Marine Program, Fernandez soon discovered a new world below the ocean's surface that took her breath away.
"We began to sink slowly, and the light starts to disappear gradually as the temperature got colder," she said. "Once the light is gone, you see all of the organisms light up. It's as if there are more animals in the water than the water itself. The whole time we descended, the water column we were studying was glowing, like fireflies but more concentrated and fluid. It was like something out of a fairy tale."
Fernandez has scuba-dived before but had never been in a submarine. She said the hard part was remembering the research that needed to be done.
"It was like a whole new environment, an unlimited one that goes on forever," she said. "I saw so many creatures, such as a giant sea urchin that looked like a porcupine and crossed the arms of Alvin. It seemed like I was down there for only 20 minutes."
Fernandez's dive lasted four hours instead of eight to accommodate an additional dive that was missed the previous day due to bad weather. It was a successful mission, as she was able to collect water samples, rocks and sediment.
"It was really cool to see Alvin reach its arm out and push a tube into the ground to collect a sample," she said.
The journey from Glendale Heights to Alvin has not always been easy for Fernandez. Although she has been curious about the environment since an early age, she didn't have many college options. College of DuPage was close to home and affordable, and it was a College Success Skills class that helped her sort out her priorities. She also found inspiration in the professors, who were passionate about what they taught. Specifically, she discovered an oceanography course taught by COD Professor Diana Strode.
"Oceanography revealed fascinating processes hidden in the earth's oceans, winds and atmosphere," Fernandez said. "Finding an interest in the sciences and gaining a reason to appreciate education are responsible for my academic success."
After earning her Associate in Arts degree, Fernandez decided to pursue a bachelor's in Oceanography, as it combined her interests in math, physics and earth science. With access to the ocean limited in the Midwest, she enrolled at Humboldt State University in California and took advantage of as many research opportunities as possible.
Fernandez is now focusing on carbon cycling and methane emissions in the Great Lakes as part of her master's degree. She has embarked on numerous research cruises on Lake Erie and currently interns at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering in Rock Island, working as a physical science technician within the hydrology and water quality section.
Fernandez would like to pursue a Ph.D. in related studies and then a career in academia.
"I'm keeping all of my options open. I'd love to stay in research because it's exciting," she said. "But I could also work with the Corps of Engineers or for a government agency. Whatever I do, I want to show people that you can grow up in a land-locked area and go into oceanography.
"When I was at COD, I never thought I'd reach this point. I just followed what interested me. I was studying with Professor Strode and didn't think that one day I would be at grad school in a STEM field. But everything I'm doing now I first learned at College of DuPage."
August 31, 2016 - Defence and security company Saab acquires Phaeros Group BVBA. Phaeros offers port management and terminal operating system solutions for the global market and the acquisition is in line with Saab's strategy to grow in the maritime traffic management domain.
Phaeros’ solutions play a pivotal role in efficiently handling port operations, such as transferring cargo to and from ships. The company provides software applications dedicated to the port and cargo terminal industry and has an installed base in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Australia.
"This is a strategically important, long-term deal for Saab. It strengthens our product portfolio in the terminal operating system area and provides an excellent platform from which we can build on the combined installed base and enhance our capabilities to provide leading maritime traffic management products globally," says Anders Carp, head of business unit Traffic management.
Phaeros employs 27 people in Antwerp, Belgium and Chennai, India. The company will be integrated into Saab’s business area Surveillance, product area Maritime traffic management with its main operations in the Netherlands, Canada and Sweden. Phaeros’ products and expertise in combination with Saab’s well-known KleinPort solutions provides an excellent foundation for further growth in the port and terminal segment.
"The Phaeros team is looking forward to becoming part of Saab. We bring unique technology to the table that, integrated with Saab’s solutions, will now find much wider application in the market" says Stan De Smet, general manager of Phaeros.
Saab Maritime Traffic Management leads the way in providing safe, efficient and easily configurable solutions for port management, maritime pilot management, vessel traffic management, coastal surveillance, port security, marine geomatics and navigation.
|The U.S. Navy's LX(R) amphibious warship class will replace the Harpers Ferry- and Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships and will use the same hull as the San Antonio (LPD 17) class. HII rendering|
August 29, 2016 - Huntington Ingalls Industries announced today that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been awarded a $13.7 million contract (with incremental funding) to perform contract design effort for the U.S. Navy’s amphibious warfare ship replacement, known as LX(R).
“Ingalls has the finest shipbuilders and engineers in the world who make it their mission to meet the needs of the men and women of the United States Navy and Marine Corps,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. “Pairing that with a hot production line and deep experience building San Antonio-class LPD amphibious warships, Ingalls stands ready to smoothly transition the Navy from LPD into the new technologically advanced LX(R) program.”
On June 30, Ingalls was selected to perform the majority of the contract design work for LX(R). The Department of Defense made the announcement at the same time Ingalls was awarded a contract to build the next large-deck amphibious assault warship, LHA 8.
LX(R) will replace the Navy’s Harpers Ferry- and Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships and will use the same hull as the San Antonio (LPD 17) class. Ingalls has delivered 10 of the LPD 17 ships to the Navy, is currently building the 11th, Portland (LPD 27), and has received more than $258 million in advance procurement funding for the 12th, Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28).
August 29, 2016 - Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced that warship HMS Daring will deploy to the Gulf as the UK’s latest contribution to the campaign against Daesh.
The Type 45 destroyer and her 190-strong crew will sail from Portsmouth on Friday with a mission to use her sophisticated radar and missile systems to protect US aircraft carriers as they strike at terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
Her mission will also include providing vital information to the coalition’s Combined Air Operations Centre in Al Udeid, Qatar, as well as patrolling some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. The nine-month deployment follows on from that of her sister ship HMS Defender, which carried out a similar role earlier this year.
Daring’s deployment is just one element of the UK’s wider contribution to the fight against Daesh. Since September 2014 RAF aircraft have conducted more than 900 strikes, while in Iraq UK military personnel are working at several sites to help train thousands of Iraqi forces.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
All three armed services are making a vital contribution to defeating Daesh. RAF aircraft are hitting the terrorists daily on the ground; the Army is providing counter explosives training to Iraq troops; the Royal Navy helps protect coalition carriers in the Gulf as they launch strikes.
With the biggest defence budget in Europe and the second biggest in NATO our Armed Forces are making a real difference around the world.
HMS Daring’s other task while away will be to protect the Royal Navy’s annual deployment to the Middle East. She will protect the flagship HMS Ocean, which will assume command of the maritime counter-Daesh effort in the Gulf later this year. As well as providing air defence to Ocean, Daring will mitigate the threat of waterborne attack, carrying Royal Navy and Royal Marine boarding parties to counter pirates, terrorists and smugglers.
Commander Philip Dennis, Daring’s Commanding Officer, said:
Our Type 45 destroyers have proved their worth to the coalition in the Gulf and we will build on the progress we have made so far. Daring and her crew have been through intense training to ensure we are fit to tackle the challenges of this important deployment.
HMS Daring is an advanced air defence destroyer and will play an important role in escorting the UK’s new aircraft carriers, the two biggest ships ever built for the Royal Navy.
The first of the carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is due to arrive in to Portsmouth in the spring and the investment in the Navy reflects a defence budget growing in real terms each year for the rest of the decade.