UK Navy’s Largest Ship Undocks

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UK Navy’s Largest Ship Undocks

UK Navy’s Largest Ship Undocks
The undocking of amphibious assault ship HMS Ocean, the Royal Navy’s largest ship, at the end of July marked an important milestone in the extensive 15 month deep maintenance period being carried out by Babcock. The upkeep programme is the largest on a Royal Navy warship in Devonport for over 20 years, and is the first on an amphibious ship under the full implementation of the Surface Ship Support Alliance (SSSA) Class Output Management (COM) approach, under which Babcock leads the support of all amphibious vessels.
 This latest significant milestone, achieved on-schedule after seven months in dock, comes about half way through the programme. The massive upkeep period is around three times the size of a typical Type 23 docking period, with the programme including over 60 upgrades, significant mechanical improvements including two major system installations, a number of other substantial work packages such as represervation work, plus a full programme of deep maintenance.
Among the alteration and addition packages are the new 997 Medium Range Radar system; four 30mm Automated Small Calibre Gun Systems to replace existing 20mm guns (involving installation of over 20,000 metres of power and control cabling); a new fire detection system; the Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) (DII(F)) enabling information sharing and collaborative working across the Armed Forces and MoD; and the DNA(2) Command System – the ‘brain’ of the ship and central to its fighting capability against air and surface threats.
Additionally, the two major system installations include a first-of-class Membrane Bio-Reactor (MBR) system which treats waste water and sewage to permit discharge at sea, and a further first-of-class ballast water treatment system. These will ensure the ship is compliant with new environmental legislation regarding treatment of ballast water and black and grey water discharges and able to operate anywhere in the world.
Further substantial work packages to be undertaken, in addition to the full programme of deep maintenance, include major represervation work (renewing the flight deck, superstructure and hull coatings, plus machinery space and internal compartment painting), and upgrades and improvements to living quarters including mess and recreational areas, cabins and bathrooms, as well as improvements to the laundry and sick bay complex. In all the programme will employ an average of 300 Babcock employees plus staff from over 70 contractor companies.
HMS Ocean went into dock in December 2012, in the newly developed 10 Dock facility in Babcock’s Devonport Royal Dockyard, which has undergone a significant investment and refurbishment programme to provide a first class facility to service the UK’s amphibious fleet. The undocking milestone last month (July 2013) marked the completion of the dock-dependent elements, and work will now continue on the ship alongside. Ship’s staff will move on board in early November, and this highly capable warship is expected to leave Devonport for sea trials in early 2014.

Press Release, August 7, 2013; Image: Royal Navy
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HMS Talent Returns to Plymouth, UK

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

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HMS Talent Returns to Plymouth, UK

HMS Talent Returns to Plymouth, UK
After three months spent deep beneath the ocean the crew of the nuclear-powered submarine HMS Talent have returned home to Plymouth and their waiting families.
During its busy deployment HMS Talent engaged in defence diplomacy, undertook a number of trials and exercised with US and French ships and stopped in Gibraltar.
Shortly after sailing from HM Naval Base, Devonport, HMS Talent made its first stop in Gibraltar allowing the territory’s Chief Minister, The Hon. Fabian Picardo and the Deputy Chief Minister, The Hon. Dr Joseph Garcia to tour the submarine.
The visit was significant to HMS Talent’s commanding officer, Commander John Aitken, who last stepped foot on the ‘Rock’ five years earlier as the executive officer of the submarine HMS Superb. He said:

“It was fantastic to be back in Gibraltar.
“I‘m always impressed by the warm welcome we receive in Gibraltar and I hope we continue to strengthen our bonds with the region.’’

Off duty the crew were able to enjoy some of the many attractions Gibraltar has to offer.
For some that meant climbing to the summit of the Rock to admire the views over North Africa and for others, exploring the depths of the 23 miles of WWII tunnels buried within it.

“The tunnel tour was fascinating” said HMS Talent’s Casing Officer Lieutenant Chris Bate.
“I had no idea they were even there!”

HMS Talent left Gibraltar with the focus on a series of demanding exercises with the US Fifth and Sixth Fleets designed to test the submarines knowledge, processes and readiness.
With some of the exercises out of the way the crew were able to go ashore in Toulon, France where they faced the rugby team from the French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle.
HMS Talent fielded a squad of 20 (out of a crew of 130), who faced considerable odds in the shape of a 35-man French squad drawn from the aircraft carrier’s crew of 1,300.
The submarine team put up a good fight, depsite going down 36-19.
Not to be outdone, HMS Talent’s football team were up against a squad from the French Rubis Class submarine Amethyste and gained a 2-2 draw. UK’s Rear Admiral Submarines and Commander Operations, Rear Admiral Matthew Parr.
Lieutenant Ben Samuels, whose daughter finished school the day the submarine returned to Plymouth , said:

“I can’t describe how excited I was to see her and she didn’t know I was going to collect her from school.”

HMS Talent is now back in Plymouth for a short respite awaiting any future deployments.
Press Release, August 7, 2013; Image: Navy
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USA: CVN69 Prepares for Shipyard

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USA: CVN69 Prepares for Shipyard

CVN69 Prepares for Shipyard
After back-to-back deployments, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN69) (IKE) will be headed to Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth for some necessary maintenance during a scheduled docking planned incremental availability (DPIA) period.
A DPIA period is a time for a ship to undergo work and to receive needed improvements to maintain its optimal running efficiency. Over the course of the DPIA, IKE will go through both ship’s-force maintenance and contractor work to obtain this goal.

“This work includes things like changing out the tile, getting your space painted, fixing your ladders and doors, and getting your berthing worked on,” said Master Chief Damage Controlman Terry D. Wylie, IKE’s Engineering department master chief. “The other side of this will be the contractors working on a variety of different big jobs.”

IKE starts preparing for her shipyard period Friday beginning with a process called Smart Start.

“Smart Start is designed to transition IKE from the enormously successful operational mode to the different mode of maintenance,” said Capt. Steve Koehler, IKE’s commanding officer. “The focus of effort for all of us is ensuring conditions are set throughout the ship to start the maintenance on day one, hard-firing on all cylinders.”

Koehler advised IKE Sailors to take the necessary steps to make certain they are prepared for their time in Portsmouth.

“Our Sailors should ensure that their required training is complete, ensure personal gear and effects are off the ship, and mentally be ready to work in the shipyard environment,” Koehler said.

In addition to the scheduled repairs and improvements, Koehler said the upcoming time IKE will be in Portsmouth will provide Sailors the opportunity to spend time with their loved ones.

“Our challenge is to fill our days at work with production, testing and training so we can hold on to our schedule. That will give a predictably and stability to the workday that will allow the crew to reset and spend planned time with friends and family,” Koehler said.

Safety will also be a point of focus for IKE Sailors during their stay in Portsmouth. All hands are required to watch a set of training videos covering safety topics to help protect them while working in the shipyards.

“A ship is inherently a dangerous place to begin with, but when you add the complexity of the work going on in the shipyard, it can really become a significantly hazardous place to work,” Wylie said. “We put this training out to help Sailors identify what’s safe to do and what’s not in the shipyard.”

IKE is scheduled to head to the shipyard in September for a 14-month maintenance period.
Press Release, August 7, 2013; Image: Wikimedia
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Royal Navy Shows Japanese Cadets the Ropes

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Royal Navy Shows Japanese Cadets the Ropes

From BFBS

Young officers from the Royal Navy have been showing Japanese Cadets the ropes at HMS Collingwood. They’re part of the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force Training Squadron and are in the UK as part of a five-month global deployment.


I couldn’t help thinking of this

On a more serious note

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Canada Hosts Exercise Prairie Thunder

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

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Canada Hosts Exercise Prairie Thunder

From BFBS

The Queen’s Royal Hussars have been reunited with their Challenger 2 tanks, after 3 years, for Exercise Prairie Thunder.Taking place in Canada, the exercise is the culmination of foundation training for 20th Armoured Brigade, before they start preparing for operations in Afghanistan


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HMNZS Tamaki 1948 Year Book

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The #USNavy plans to scrap USS Miami rather…

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The #USNavy plans to scrap USS Miami rather than repair the submarine. Find out more here: http://ow.ly/nHVs4

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USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) passes the …

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USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) passes the Rock of Gibraltar. Follow #USNavy on Flickr for the latest imagery from around the fleet: http://ow.ly/nGuji 

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HNLMS Van Speijk Exercises with Seychelles Coast Guard

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HNLMS Van Speijk Exercises With Seychelles Coast Guard
On Monday, 29 July 2013, the Dutch frigate HNLMS VAN SPEIJK, part of NATO’s counter-piracy Operation OCEAN SHIELD, conducted a maritime exercise together with the Seychelles Coast Guard, focusing on search and rescue operations and enhancing coordination and cooperation between the Coast Guard and NATO warships patrolling the Indian Ocean.
To share knowledge, skills and training with regional players is a vital part of NATO’s counter-piracy mission, and VAN SPEIJK’s port visit to the Seychelles presented a valuable opportunity to maintain and improve the skills needed to support seafarers in distress.

“The Seychelles has proven to be one of the most active regional states and is a very important partner in our counter-piracy effort,” said OCEAN SHIELD’s commander, Commodore Henning Amundsen. “NATO and the Seychelles share a common goal – to allow people and goods to freely travel the Indian Ocean. We will continue our close cooperation to secure this goal.”

Amundsen visited the headquarters of the Seychelles Coast Guard on 19 July 2013 during a previous port visit by the Operation OCEAN SHIELD flagship, HNoMS FRIDTJOF NANSEN
Press Release, August 6, 2013; Image: NATO
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