ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbón Joins SNMG-2

ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbón Joins SNMG-2

Posted on Aug 28th, 2014 with tags .
ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbón Joins SNMG-2

The Spanish Navy’s frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón (F-102) will become a part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG-2) from September.

 
The vessel set sail today from its home base in Ferrol to the eastern Mediterranean, where it will participate in NATO’s operations until mid-December. Upon completion of an almost four-month mission, the vessel will return to its home base.
It is scheduled to participate in multinational exercises as well as in actual operations across the Mediterranean. This includes the NATO’s exercise “Noble Mariner 2014″ taking place in the Gulf of Cadiz and Alboran Sea in October 2014, after which the vessels of the SNMG-2 will participate in the Operation Active Endeavour where the main mission of Almirante Juan de Borbón will be conducting surveillance operations and naval presence in the Mediterranean waters.
Before it was sent on this mission, the vessel completed an enrollment and a scheduled maintenance period of its mounted equipment in Ferrol in December last year.
The frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón has a crew of 200 people, and is commanded by commander Fernando Rosety Fernandez de Castro.
Naval Today Staff, August 28, 2014; Image: Spanish Navy

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Exercise KAKADU 2014

Navies plan maritime warfare during Exercise KAKADU 2014
Philippine ship BRP Ramon Alcraz prepares to dock alongside Australian warships HMAS Stuart and HMAS Sydney, while Japanese ship JS Hatakaze is berthed astern at Fort Hill Wharf, Darwin.
Over 1,200 military personnel from the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean regions have completed collaborative, tactical warfare planning during the first week of the Royal Australian Navy’s largest maritime exercise, KAKADU 2014.

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British WWl Warship Refurbishment Project

Northern Ireland Office Minister, Dr Andrew Murrison MP, visited the historic HMS Caroline in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter as restoration grants are received, informs the UK Government.

As a former Royal Naval Officer as well as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for the Centenary Commemoration of the First World War, Dr Murrison had a particular interest in the planned project for the refurbishment of HMS Caroline which is the last surviving battleship from the Battle of Jutland in 1916.

Speaking after his visit the Minister said:
I welcomed the opportunity to meet those involved in the refurbishment project for HMS Caroline and learn more of the plans to develop the ship into a First World War museum with full public access. We are extremely fortunate to have HMS Caroline docked in Belfast and I am pleased to hear about the successful joint applications by the National Museums of the Royal Navy and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment to date in securing grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the ship.

The museum project is planned to be completed to coincide with the centenary of the Battle of Jutland in 2016.

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USS Cape St. George Stops By in Singapore

USS Cape St. George Stops By in Singapore

Posted on Aug 29th, 2014 with tags .
USS Cape St. George Stops By in Singapore

The Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71) arrived in Singapore Aug. 20 for a good will and friendship building port visit as well as a voyage repair maintenance availability.

 
Prior to arriving in Singapore, the ship participated in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world’s largest naval exercise with 49 ships from 22 countries. The exercise provided invaluable partnership building with other navies through participation in training operations, including large and small caliber gun fire, visit, board, search and seizure operations and a missile launch. In addition, Cape St. George Sailors enjoyed time ashore in Hawaii participating in the RIMPAC sporting events where they were able to meet and interact with sailors from the other participating countries.
While in port Singapore, Sailors explored the local area and enjoyed Singaporean hospitality. The ship also organized and participated in two community outreach projects.
Cape St. George left its home port of San Diego June 16 for its 2014 independent deployment to 7th Fleet area of operations supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Press Release, August 29, 2014; Image: US Navy

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USCG Cutter Hawk Offloads 576 Kilos of Cocaine

USCG Cutter Hawk Offloads 576 Kilos of Cocaine

Posted on Aug 29th, 2014 with tags .
USCG Cutter Hawk Offloads 576 Kilos of Cocaine

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hawk, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla., sailed into its homeport on August 22 carrying a load of 576 kilograms of seized cocaine.

 
The crew of the vessel offloaded the drugs at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg.
Estimated at a value of $19 million, the drugs were seized during Operation Martillo, a joint interagency and multi-national collaborative effort among 14 Western Hemisphere and European nations to stop the flow of illicit cargo by Transnational Criminal Organizations.
Press Release, August 29, 2014; Image: USCG

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HMS Illustrious

Farewell, Illustrious – and we thank you
28 August 2014
The nation’s last ‘Harrier carrier’ today bowed out of service after 32 years at an emotionally-charged ceremony in Portsmouth.
The White Ensign was lowered for the last time as sailors, former crew, ex-commanding officers and VIPs bade farewell to HMS Illustrious.
Pictures: LA(Phots) Alex Knott and Nicky Wilson
WITH the roar of Sea King and Merlin engines almost drowning out the strains of Sunset, the White Ensign was lowered aboard HMS Illustrious and the age of the ‘Harrier carrier’ came to an end.
Some 300 friends and family, plus many of her former commanding officers watched several hundred members of the ship’s company formed up in divisions in the carrier’s shadow for the hour-long decommissioning ceremony.
The service in Portsmouth on a rather sullen late summer’s morning – attended by local, national and international media – was the last act in a 32-year-career.
The ship’s friend Lady Chatto was guest of honour, inspecting the guard of honour, while several previous COs inspected the other divisions and the HM Band of the Royal Marines Collingwood, who provided suitable nautical music throughout proceedings.
Chaplain Fr David Conroy told all present that Illustrious and those who served in her had given “32 years of faithful service to the nation at home and abroad. Friendships have been forged, careers built and this magnificent ship has been a faithful and trusted friend.”
For Capt Mike Utley, the last in a long line of Lusty’s commanding officers, he “always knew this day would come” and when it did, his ship and his ship’s company would go out heads held high.
“Illustrious has been much, much more than just steel, aircraft and clever technology. She’s been our home and the centre point of our lives and a focal point for our families, our Service, and our country.
“HMS Illustrious has a reputation for excellence and success. This is a wonderful ship and her legacy will stand us in good stead.”
It fell to ABs Vicky Hennessy and Charlie Dodds to perform the honours of lowering the Ensign for the last time.
Timed to perfection as they lowered the Navy’s standard was the fly past by Lynx and Wildcats, different variants of the Sea King, Merlins and an Apache gunship, directly over the ship.
Neatly folded, the final ensign was presented by the carrier’s most senior rating Executive Warrant Officer Ian Wilson to hand to Capt Utley as a keepsake.
And thus did the Illustrious story come to an end.
It is one which has figured large in the lives of Cliff and Thomas Hardcastle.
Cliff joined Lusty in build on the Tyne – the first of two drafts to the ship – while his son has been assigned to her three times in his career as a leading airman looking after fliers’ safety and survival equipment. As a baby, he was also christened aboard; his name is carved in one of Illustrious’ bells. 
“For me decommissioning is obviously poignant and a sad occasion. I’ve always had Illustrious in my heart,” said Cliff.
“I joined her when she was brand new, which was an experience as an 18-year-old – the banks of the Tyne were lined with people to see her off, even though the fighting in the Falklands had just ended. And now my son is there on Illustrious’ final day in the Navy. There can’t be too many people with connections with the commissioning and decommissioning.”
As a naval airman it was his job to marshal Sea Harriers and helicopters safely around Illustrious’ flight deck. “It was a great job. Working outside on the flight deck was just what I wanted.
Above all, you never forget the comradeship. You worked with guys you’d never met before and after two weeks you the best of friends.”
His fondness for the ship is shared by his son.
“I’m sad to see her going because she’s a fantastic ship. I’ve served on her three times, my father served on her twice,” the leading hand said.
“So I have spent a lot of hours on board and have a lot of memories. That’s what you miss – the crew you’ve served with, the friends you make.
“Illustrious has had a good career and I’m proud to have served on her.”
The act of decommissioning  will now be followed by the dispersal of the ship’s company throughout the RN (some to her successor, HMS Queen Elizabeth), while useful/sensitive equipment is removed.
The last sailors will leave the ship in December. A decision on her fate has yet to be made but Whitehall wants to see the ship preserved as a lasting tribute to all who served on the Invincibles.

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ESPS Navarra Carries Out Friendly Approach

ESPS Navarra Carries Out Friendly Approach

Posted on Aug 28th, 2014 with tags .
ESPS Navarra Carries Out Friendly Approach

During the last few days EU Naval Force Warship ESPS Navarra deployed as part of EU Naval Force, has been conducting counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean. The Spanish frigate’s embarked AB 212 helicopter, during a routine flight, visually detected two vessels sailing northwards to the Yemeni coast.

 
ESPS Navarra’s Commanding Officer decided to carry out a friendly approach, to gain ‘pattern of life’ information from the local vessel. The boarding and medical team from the ship, approached the two craft and gave drinking water to the vessels and offered medical assistance to one of the crewmembers.
To help strengthen mutual understanding and trust between the EU Naval Force and local seafarers, as well as obtain first hand information about possible piracy incidents in the area, EU Naval Force ships will sometimes make ‘Friendly Approaches’ to local vessels and speak to the masters and crew.
Press Release, August 28, 2014; Image: EU Navfor

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