Today in #USNavy history: President Harry…

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Today in #USNavy history: President Harry S. Truman authorized naval and air operations south of the 38th Parallel in Korea. Do know what year this happened? Click here: http://ow.ly/mrn8i

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Major part of Rena wreck to be removed – …

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Major part of Rena wreck to be removed – Video

Another post on John’s Naval, Marine and other Service news

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.The huge accommodation block of the wrecked container ship Rena is to be removed, in a major move revealed by the ship’s owners and insurers today.

The decision to remove the four-storey block, which contained the Rena’s crew quarters, galley, offices and bridge, has been made in advance of any move to apply for a resource consent to leave part of the ship of the seabed.
It comes after concerns had been raised about the possibility the block would degrade or collapse at some time in the future and release debris that could wash up on the shoreline.
The operation, planned to start in August or September, would form another major step in a salvage operation that began when the ship grounded on Astrolabe Reef off the Tauranga coast on October 5, 2011, and has so far cost $300 million.
“Our environmental experts have not identified any environmentally harmful material in the accommodation block,” said Captain John Owen of insurers The Swedish Club.
Any debris that might be released and eventually wash ashore would be picked up by the shoreline monitoring and clean-up process that had been put in place, he said.
“However, we understand that people do not want the uncertainty of not knowing when this might happen and how long it could go on for.
“Although there is a considerable cost to removing the accommodation section, we recognise the importance of minimising the effects on the community of the Rena grounding as much as we can.
“We appreciate that the accommodation section would have been of interest to recreational divers, and our initial approach was to consider leaving it as part of the wreck after making it safer for divers/”
“However we could not tell how long it would stay in that condition before the effects of wave action and the strong currents caused it to deteriorate and become a hazard to their safety.”
The accommodation block was relatively a much lighter structure than the hull of the Rena and had no direct contact with Astrolabe Reef, therefore coming with just minimal risk of causing damage to the reef, the insurers said.
US salvors Resolve Salvage and Fire, which had been tasked with cutting the ship’s bow to 1m below the shoreline, would remove the accommodation block in two sections by means of oblique chain cutting parallel to the main deck.
The operation is expected to take up to 80 days, including 40 days allowance for poor weather and sea conditions, and cutting was expected to begin in October following the arrival of an additional crane barge from Singapore.
Once each section is cut away, it will be lifted onto a third barge for transport to Port of Tauranga. Once in port, the sections would be dismantled for scrap and, where possible, recycling.
A team of smaller craft would be stationed at the reef to collect any debris released during the removal operation, to prevent material reaching the shore.
During the dismantling phase steps will be in place to prevent any discharges into the environment.
In the meantime, the salvors would continue with the work to reduce the bow section where the ship ran aground near the highest part of the reef.
All of the bow section that was above the water line has now been removed and the aim is to reduce it down to at least 1 metre below the lowest tide mark.
Resolve was also working to recover container wreckage and other cargo from the debris field between the stern and bow sections, of which 650 tonnes has already been removed.
Debris from cargo hold four was being removed to allow access to two containers of plastic beads originally at the bottom of that hold.
Both containers had been located, in a damaged condition; one has been emptied completely and the other container was being worked on.
Dive surveys of cargo holds five and six would then be conducted to try and locate and identify the state of four other containers of interest.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council chief executive Mary-Anne MacLeod voiced her support to remove the ship’s accomodation block.
“The removal of the accommodation block addresses a concern we had about when the contents of the block might escape and how they would be dealt with,” she said.
“Its removal from the reef will greatly reduce the risk of further debris being released into the coastal environment.”

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Russia’s Second Mistral to Be Complete in October 2014

Another post on John’s Naval, Marine and other Service news

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Russia’s Second Mistral to Be Complete in October 2014

Posted on Jun 26th, 2013 with tags ,.
Russia's Second Mistral to be Complete in October 2014
Russia’s second Mistral-class, amphibious assault ship will be complete in October 2014, a deputy prime minister in charge of the defense industry said Sunday, adding that the first Mistral would enter the nation’s fleet this October. 
Speaking live on national television network NTV, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin added that construction of the stern for the first such helicopter-carrying warship would finish at St. Petersburg’s Baltiisky shipyard within two or three days.
Early last week, Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said the stern might not be completed within deadline, but Rogozin days later refuted that remark, saying:
“The ship will be ready on time.”
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Source: Russian Navy, June 26, 2013; Image: Wikimedia

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USS Bonhomme Richard Embarks 31st MEU ACE

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USS Bonhomme Richard Embarks 31st MEU ACE

Posted on Jun 26th, 2013 with tags .
USS Bonhomme Richard Embarks 31st MEU ACE
The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) embarked elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit’s (MEU) Aviation Combat Element (ACE), June 24.
The Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and the 31st MEU will conduct joint forces operations in the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
The ACE of the 31st MEU is comprised of Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron (reinforced) 265, which includes AV-8B Harrier jet aircraft, AH-1W Super Cobras, CH-53E Super Stallions, newly upgraded UH-1Y Venom helicopters, and MV-22 Ospreys.
“The ACE is an essential tool to performing a wide variety of missions from combat operations to disaster relief,” said Capt. Daniel Dusek, Bonhomme Richard’s commanding officer. “This crew of Sailors and Marines working side-by-side gives us the ability to operate forward and maintain a presence in the 7th Fleet area of operations.”
Bonhomme Richard provides a number of services for the ACE including aircraft handling, combat cargo loading and unloading, air traffic control, and aircraft taxiing and towing. The Air Department is responsible for safely directing, launching and recovering the ACE aircraft.
“It’s great to have VMM-265 back aboard,” said Cmdr. Hans Sholley, Bonhomme Richard’s air boss. “They are the reason the ship has an Air Department and we strive every day to make the flight deck the safest and most efficient facility possible.”
The ACE will make history this year by embarking MV-22 Ospreys for the first time on a Forward Deployed Naval Force ship in the Asia-Pacific region. The Osprey replaces the CH-46E Sea Knight and is a leap forward in enhancing combat air support.
“The MV-22 is a significant upgrade in assault support capabilities,” said Sholley. “The speed and range that it provides the landing force commander gives an incredible amount of flexibility for response and operations.”
The 31st MEU is the only permanently forward-deployed MEU that maintains a presence in the Pacific Ocean at all times as part of the III Marine Expeditionary Force and is based out of Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan.
The Bonhomme Richard ARG reports to the Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley, headquartered in White Beach, Okinawa, Japan.
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Press Release, June 26, 2013; Image: US Navy

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Portsmouth prepares to host Armed Forces Day event

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.Portsmouth prepares to host Armed Forces Day event

News

Portsmouth prepares to host Armed Forces Day event
26 June 2013
A parade of sailors and an open weekend in the naval base mark Portsmouth’s contribution to events nationwide for Armed Forces Day.
Some 120 sailors will march through the city’s streets on Thursday, while the gangways of HMS Defender and Westminster are open to the public on Saturday and Sunday.
IF YOU’RE in Portsmouth this week you can show your appreciation for the city’s sailors past and present as part of Armed Forces Day events.
Heroes past – the men of the bitter Arctic convoys – will be honoured at a ceremony in the city’s Guildhall Square.
That follows a march by heroes present –120 sailors drawn from ships and units in the area – through the heart of Portsmouth from 10am for the first combined parade of its type in the city.
The Portsmouth Band of HM Royal Marines will lead the way, with a Guard of Honour from HMS Collingwood, and five marching platoons comprising sailors from the Naval Base, Fleet Diving Squadron, HMS Edinburgh, Defence College of Policing and Guarding plus medics based at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
The march leaves St John’s Catholic Cathedral at 10am and heads to Guildhall Square via Edinburgh Road, Stanhope Road and Commercial Road.
Once there, the sailors will show their respects for WW2 veterans as several Arctic Convoy veterans receive their Arctic Star medals from Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral David Steel and Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire, Rear Admiral John Lang.
Armed Forces Day itself falls on Saturday, and to mark that occasion the gangways of newly-commissioned Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender and Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster will be opened to the public in the naval base.
Displays on fire fighting and flooding, weaponry, boarding team operations and safety at sea will be on offer with crew on hand to answer questions. Access to ships is free and no ticket is required to enter the historic dockyard. Gates open 10 am until 4 pm. Last entry to the ships is at 3pm.
And they’ll do it all over again on Sunday at the same times.
Also in the historic dockyard this weekend, there’s a chance to take on Royal Navy personnel and Royal Marines on the climbing wall and Laser Quest at Action Stations (tickets required), you can watch free fire-fighting demonstrations on the Mast Pond, and reenactors and historians will be on hand in the Victory Arena to show how clothing, navigation and weapons in the RN have changed since Nelson’s day.
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Babcock Starts HMS Pembroke’s Upkeep Period

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Babcock Starts HMS Pembroke’s Upkeep Period

Posted on Jun 26th, 2013 with tags ,.
Babcock Starts HMS Pembroke’s Upkeep Period
Following the recent departure of HMS Penzance from Babcock’s Rosyth dockyard after a successful upkeep period, Babcock has now started work on Sandown class mine hunter HMS Pembroke, in dock at Rosyth for a similar six month Support Period (Docking) (SP(D)) under the Surface Ship Support Alliance (SSSA)’s Class Output Management (COM) Phase 2 arrangements.
The work package for Pembroke’s support period has been defined by the Babcock-led COM team to reflect the ship’s needs and minimise the level of emergent work, drawing on knowledge of the ship’s material state and previous experience of Sandown class refits. Under the SSSA (an alliance between the MoD, Babcock and BAE Systems), Babcock leads the Sandown class COM.
This comprehensive support period will involve a substantial maintenance package, plus a number of upgrades and improvements that will significantly enhance HMS Pembroke’s operational capability, sustainability, and habitability standards.
Upgrades will include the high pressure air system (extending system life and offering cost and space benefits); remote isolation of the waste water system (helping to prevent flooding following a hull breach); readiness for the Defence Information Infrastructure (DII), which provides a coherent infrastructure to enable information sharing and collaborative working across the defence sector network; galley improvements (including replacement of equipment with modern alternatives); and installation of a new fire detection system, which extends coverage to additional areas.
In addition, the maintenance package includes an extensive paint coating renewal programme to all upper decks, including areas of trawler deck, renewal of most internal deck coverings, and an allowance for blasting and represervation of both fresh water tanks. Work will also include elements as a result of knowledge gained from previous Sandown class upkeeps, including slow speed drive alignment checks, and renewal of all propeller unit blade seals. Additionally, all 01 deck fittings, ventilation spigots, aerial ground plane and earth plates are being removed for survey and probable renewal.
Babcock Warships Managing Director Mike Whalley said:
“This is the third Sandown class support period to be carried out since the introduction of full COM arrangements, and will benefit from the knowledge and experience gained by the COM team from HMS Grimsby (the first under COM) and recently completed HMS Penzance, as well as previous successful Sandown class support periods. The team is now focused on delivering HMS Pembroke to schedule and quality reflecting optimum value for money.”
 MoD MCM Team Leader, Captain Matt Harrison said:
“I look forward to the continued good working relationship of all stakeholders and implementation of the latest lessons learned from HMS Penzance to deliver HMS Pembroke on time and within budget.”
HMS Pembroke is expected to leave Rosyth for sea trials at the end of this year.
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Press Release, June 26, 2013; Image: Babcock

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HMAS Perth Trains Hard for Unit Readiness Evaluation

Another post on John’s Naval, Marine and other Service news

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HMAS Perth Trains Hard for Unit Readiness Evaluation

HMAS Perth Trains Hard for Unit Readiness Evaluation
HMAS Perth is a little way from her home port of Fleet Base West as she works hard in the East Australian Exercise Area, near Jervis Bay to prepare for a Unit Readiness Evaluation where she will be tested on Warfare, Seamanship, Emergency Procedures and much more in preparation for a busy six months of exercises.
Perth has battled huge swells brought on by a cold weather front on the east coast, conducted a Replenishment at Sea with HMAS Sirius and supported HMAS Melbourne in her important “Work Up” and Readiness Examination.
This intense practical assessment conducted by Sea Training Group onboard ships and boats is to prepare them for major deployments.
After exercising in the east side of the country with her colleagues on Sirius and Melbourne, the 175 men and women in Perth will continue to a major joint amphibious exercise in Queensland in July.
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Press Release, June 26, 2013; Image: Australian Navy

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.F35s thwart attack on Queen Elizabeth as…

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