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Delay in Aircraft Carrier Ford Testing Could Compress Workups for First Deployment
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Tug boats maneuver the aircraft carrier Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) into the James River during the ship’s turn ship evolution June 11, 2016. US Navy Photo The Navy is not yet delaying the anticipated deployment for carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) in the early 2020s after a series of delays, but workups and training could be compressed due to a later-than-expected delivery, the Navy’s chief weapons buyer said last week. Sean Stackley — assistant secretary for research, development and acquisition — told reporters that testing for the new carrier was on track. “We haven’t adjusted the deployment schedule, but we’re working with the existing deployment schedule and recognizing with the delay to delivery, that that’s going to compress some events and we’re going to have to evaluate that to ensure that we’re not cutting short the crew,” Stackley said. While an official deployment date for the ship – set to deliver in in April – has not been put forth by the Navy, USNI News understands the ship should leave on its first deployment around 2021 after completing substantial testing of the ship’s systems, its ability to interoperate with other platforms in the carrier strike group, and standard pre-deployment workups. The more-than-$12-billion Ford has suffered a string of delays largely due to the variety of complex systems that were included at the inception of the program in the 2000s, when then-Secretary of Defense Do [...]
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Headlines for Tuesday, January 17, 2017
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SECNAV Presents High-Level Awards to Naval Special Warfare Commands, Chief of Naval Personnel, Fleet Master Chief Highlight Sailor 2025 Initiative at Naval Base San Diego [...]
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Remarks by Secretary Carter at the Department of Defense Farewell
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Remarks by Secretary Carter at the Department of Defense Farewell As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, The Pentagon Auditorium, Jan. 18, 2017 Please don’t clap for me; I’m really here to clap for you.  That’s the theme of what I want to say to you, so good morning.  Thanks for being here. It was two weeks ago, I spoke of President Obama and his leadership and accomplishments as Commander-in-Chief.  And then last week General Dunford and the leadership honored me with farewells.  But, today I want to say farewell to you and to honor the department I’ve served and loved for 35 years and you that I have served alongside. Now, as many you know, I like to the walk the halls of this place, and also the roadsides to the dismay of people at installations around the country and around the world.  I walk cause I like to get a little exercise, I walk to get out of the office, and I walk around to see what’s going on in the department – and, most important, how all of you are doing and to say hello, and let me see you, and let you see me, and give you some sense of how important of what you do is, and how much I appreciate it. And over the course of three-and-a-half decades, I’ve seen how this department has changed has gotten better and better in many ways. I’ve seen how our missions have transformed – from the single minded and ultimatel [...]
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Pennsylvania Blue Holds Change of Command Ceremony
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The Blue crew of Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735) welcomed a new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony, Jan. 13. [...]
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PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 16, 2017)
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Aviation Boatswains Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Dylan Mills directs the crew of a C-2A Greyhound from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). The ship is on a deployment with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of U.S. 3rd Fleet into the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano (Released) 170116-N-BL637-001 [...]
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Navy: Most Offensive, Defensive Upgrades Surface Force Will Be Fielded by 2023
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USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) steams in formation with USS Independence (LCS-2) on Dec. 8, 2016. US Navy Photo The next six years will bring numerous offensive and defensive capabilities to the surface fleet, culminating in Fiscal Year 2023 when the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (DDG-51) reaches initial operational capability and the first frigate delivers to the fleet, the director of surface warfare (OPNAV N96) said last week. Surface warfare advances in both the small and large surface combatant, that operate in the air, surface and undersea domains, will help move the Navy towards realizing its vision of distributed lethality, where every ship the Navy sails could pose a serious enough threat that an adversary couldn’t ignore any of them. Upgunning the guided-missile cruisers and destroyers with new surface-to-surface weapons has been the most talked-about effort, Rear Adm. Ron Boxall told USNI News last week, but additional defensive capabilities are an important part of distributed lethality, he added. The Navy is busy looking at assured communications, unmanned systems and the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) to bolster the destroyers’ ability to protect themselves. The new SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) at the heart of the Flight III design, with 30-times the sensitivity as the legacy SPY-1D(V) radar, is, in a word, “incredible,” Boxall said. Still, despite the early focus on destroyers, the Littoral Combat Ship and its ev [...]
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PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 13, 2017)
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An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 192 makes an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group will report to U.S. 3rd Fleet, headquartered in San Diego, while deployed to the western Pacific as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of 3rd Fleet into the region. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kurtis A. Hatcher (Released) 170113-N-FC674-167 [...]
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Fleet Forces Commander: Navy Needs Capacity, Readiness, Not Just Capability
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Adm. Phil Davidson, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces, addresses the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) on Dec. 29, 2016, using the 1MC on the navigational bridge. Ike and its carrier strike group are returning from a 7-month combat deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. US Navy photo. The commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command called on Navy and defense leadership to move past the Third Offset Strategy’s focus on developing new capabilities and instead balance those technologies with improved readiness and a larger fleet. Adm. Phil Davidson said Thursday night that capability, capacity and readiness were not separate funding silos that could be rebalanced as needed, but rather were overlapping pools that spill into one another. Taking money out of readiness to add an Aegis Combat System upgrade for an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, for example, may mean canceling two other ship’s maintenance availabilities, which ultimately decreases readiness and capacity for the sake of one more-capable ship. “When you ask me which do I want to buy – capability, or capacity, or readiness? The only answer is yes,” he said during the final speech of this year’s Surface Navy Association annual conference. His comments come at the end of what has been a combative relationship between Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Defense S [...]
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USS Gonzalez Holds Change of Command Ceremony
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The crew of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) conducted its 18th change of command ceremony at the Waterfront Sheraton Hotel in downtown Norfolk, Jan. 13. [...]
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NAVSEA Still Working on USS Zumwalt Engineering Fix
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USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000), steams through San Diego Bay on Dec. 8, 2016. US Navy Photo Naval Sea Systems Command is still working on a fix for the engineering problems on USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) that resulted in the ship breaking down at least twice during its transit from Maine to San Diego – including in the Panama Canal — service officials said on Thursday. NAVSEA has zeroed in on failures with the ship’s lube oil coolers as the major cause of the difficulties that sidelined Zumwalt at least twice during its three-month transit. Lube oil coolers prevent the lubrication of rotating shafts from breaking down due to heat and friction. In late November water from the coolers seeped in to two of the four bearings that connect to Zumwalt’s port and starboard Advanced Induction Motors (AIMs) to the drive shafts. “I think what’s frustrated us with DDG-1000 is we’ve had lube oil coolers since Noah had an ark, so what’s the cause there? We’re still really working our way through what the root causes are there,” Vice Adm. Thomas Moore, commander NAVSEA said on Thursday. “So I think it’s, from our standpoint, it’s a key reminder that these are, even lube oil coolers, even though the ships are complex systems, relatively simple things can cause these ships to have problems.” According to information provided to USNI News by NAVSEA, the service is analyzing the lube oil coolers at the Naval Surface Warfare Centers in Philadelphia and [...]
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Navy Finalizing Counter-Mine Package For LCS; Other Ships, Shore Operators May Also Use It
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An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the Laser Hawks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 26, Detachment 2, equipped with the Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) conducts flight operations in August 2014. US Navy photo. THE PENTAGON – A recently created Mine Warfare Governance Council is looking to finalize the composition of a first-increment mine countermeasures package that will not only go aboard Littoral Combat Ships but could also deploy on other ships of opportunity or be controlled by shore-based operators, the Navy’s director of expeditionary warfare (OPNAV N95) told USNI News. Maj. Gen. Christopher Owens said in a Jan. 6 interview that the council, which he chairs, hopes to get this package out to the fleet as soon as possible and then add in capabilities as new technologies complete testing and procured. The initial package would include the MH-60S helicopter towing the Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) and Airborne Mine Neutralization System (AMNS) – all three of which reached initial operational capability in November – and an unmanned vehicle to tow the AN/AQS-20A sonar. This initial package provides detect-to-engage capabilities, but eventually the service will also add a buried- and high-clutter bottom search capability, a beach and surf zone search capability, a near-surface neutralizer and a minesweeper, with each being added as they wrap up development and test. “We want to make the systems as flexible as possible, so while t [...]
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Coast Guard Commandant Will Stress Maritime Security to Trump Administration
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U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft The Commandant of the Coast Guard will stress maritime security – particularly south of the border — in future discussions with the incoming Trump administration. “Out there we can play offense” in stopping illegal migration and drug trafficking, Adm. Paul Zukunft said during the Surface Navy Association 2017 meeting in Crystal City, Va. “Our borders begin there.” Zukunft pointed to the bilateral agreements the Coast Guard has with 61 nations allowing it to assist in law enforcement operations far from American shores or land borders. “We have great autonomy” to interdict narcotic trafficking or the flow of migrants fleeing poverty and crime in Central America. He termed it as a break down in the rule of law and the push-pull of migration. “We are going to be a country of destination,” he said. The Central American nations where cocaine lands in bulk – primarily from Colombia, Bolivia and Peru recognize they need maritime enforcement. Conviction rates in one Central American country for drug smuggling was two percent, contrasted with 99 percent conviction rate if the smuggler is tried in the United States Hamilton (WMSL-753) during builder’s trials in the Gulf of Mexico. HII Photo Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly — who is expected to be confirmed as Secretary of Homeland Security — served as the head of Southern Command before leaving active duty and testifi [...]
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Lockheed Martin Advocates Accelerating Aegis, SPY-1 Upgrades
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USS Lassen (DDG-82) underway in the Philippine Sea in 2015. US Navy Photo Lockheed Martin would like to accelerate both its Aegis cruiser and destroyer modernization efforts and its AN/SPY-1 radar refurbishment program, in the hope of closing a “capability capacity gap” the surface navy faces, the company’s director of Aegis U.S. Navy Programs said Monday. Jim Sheridan told reporters that “the Navy faces a significant integrated air and missile defense capability capacity gap” – and solving that gap doesn’t just mean more ships, but more ships with the right combat capabilities onboard. He said he believes a solution to this problem is to accelerate modernization efforts on cruisers and various flights of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. “There’s talk about increasing the size of the fleet, and that’s great, we’ll see where that actually goes,” he said. “But it’s not just numbers, it’s the numbers of ships with the right capability. So I believe we’re really facing a capability capacity gap. How is it that we can transition more of these integrated air and missile defense-capable ships, be it destroyers or cruisers, be it through modernization or new construction; how can we get more of those ships out there?” Aegis Combat System modernizations began in 2009 for guided-missile cruisers and in 2010 for guided-missile destroyer, he said, and “I’d like to see the pace of the modernizations pick up a little bit.” The Navy had planned to [...]
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First Marine Corps F-35B Squadron Leaves for Japan
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USS AMERICA, At Sea – An F-35B Lightning II aircraft completes Envelope Expansion Testing during a Short Take-off Vertical Landing aboard USS America, Oct. 30, 2016. US Marine Corps Photo Ten of the Marine Corps’ newest fighter jets took off from the runway at Yuma Marine Corps Air Station, Ariz., on Monday and began the long trans-Pacific flight to their squadron’s new home in Japan, service officials announced today. The single-seat F-35B Lighting IIJoint Strike Fighters with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 are relocating to Iwakuni MCAS, bringing the high-tech, multi-mission capabilities of the controversial Joint Strike Fighter jet to the western Pacific region. Marine Corps officials had announced last year the decision to move the F-35B squadron from the West Coast-based 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing to the Japan-based 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. “The unique combination of stealth, cutting-edge radar and sensor technology and electronic warfare systems bring all of the access and lethality capabilities of a fifth-generation fighter, a modern bomber and an adverse-weather, all-threat environment air support platform,” 3rd MAW said in a statement. The F-35B variant is designed for short vertical take-offs and landings, like the aging AV-8B Harrier jump jet it will replace. The jet “is a game-changing aircraft,” former 3rd MAW commander, Maj. Gen. Mike Rocco, told a San Diego military advisory group last May. “The aircraft will arrive at Iwakuni in [...]
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YOKOSUKA, Japan (Jan. 9, 2017)
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Culinary Specialist 1st Class (SW) Jess Vistro, right, poses for a photo with celebrity chef Linkie Marais in the bake shop of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Three celebrity chefs worked alongside Reagan's culinary specialists to prepare, cook, and serve more than 3000 specialty meals for the crew. Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class MacAdam Kane Weissman (Released) 170109-N-AC117-303 [...]
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Destroyer USS Mahan Fires Warning Shots in Standoff with Iranian Forces
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Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG-72) on July 16, 2016. US Navy Photo This post has been updated with a statement from U.S. 5th Fleet. The crew of the guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG-72) fired three warning shots to ward off four armed attack boats coming at the ship at high speed, a defense official confirmed to USNI News on Monday. On Sunday, Mahan was transiting the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf when the four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy fast inshore attack craft (FIAC) came at the destroyer at a high rate of speed with their crew-served weapons manned, the official told USNI News. After several attempts to warn off the boats with radio communications, siren and the ship’s whistle the boats came within 900 yards of the guided missile destroyer before the crew fired three warning shots from one of the ships .50 caliber guns. After the shots were fired, the boats broke off. Mahan was underway along with the big deck amphib USS Makin Island (LHD-8) and U.S. a fleet oiler, the official said. Iran Fast Attack Craft. Fars News Agency Photo A helicopter from Makin Island also deployed a smoke screen generator, a so-called “smoke float” that did not deter the IRGCN boats. “Naval Forces Central Command assesses this interaction as unsafe and unprofessional due to the IRGCN’s vessels high-speed approach on Mahan with weapons manned and disregard for repeated warnings via radio, audible siren and ship’s whis [...]
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USS Harry S. Truman Maintenance On Track Despite Previous Avail Being Cut Short
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Aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) transits the Elizabeth river from its homeport at Naval Station Norfolk to Norfolk Naval Shipyard on Aug. 25, 2016. US Navy photo. Aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman’s (CVN-75) 10-month maintenance availability is progressing on schedule despite its last maintenance period being greatly curtailed to accommodate an unexpected deployment swap. Truman deployed to the Middle East in July 2013 and then again in November 2015 when USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) was not ready for its scheduled deployment. Eisenhower had done its own back-to-back deployment in 2012 and 2013 – and overall performed four deployments in five years, with only one full maintenance period in that timeframe – and the maintenance team continued to find more and more problems as they worked on that carrier. Ultimately, a 14-month maintenance period turned into a 23-month ordeal for Eisenhower, which forced Truman to deploy early with only a three-month maintenance period and 40 days for crew training. Truman’s seven-month deployment was lengthened to eight months, to avoid a gap in presence before Eisenhower could arrive in theater, and many worried Truman would end up in an extended maintenance period similar to Eisenhower’s after the half-length maintenance period, the one-month extension and a record-breaking high operating tempo Truman faced while launching sorties against Islamic State targets. However, Naval Air Force Atlantic spokesman Cmdr. [...]
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NORFOLK (Jan. 7, 2017)
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Sailors create snow angels on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). The ship is pierside following a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan U. Kledzik (Released) 170107-N-UY653-044 [...]
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ARABIAN SEA (Jan. 7, 2017)
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Lt. j.g. Andrew Steczo makes announcements from flight deck control during an aviation damage control drill aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72). Mahan is deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations and theater security operation efforts. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tim Comerford (Released) 170107-N-CS953-113 [...]
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NORFOLK, Va. (Jan. 7, 2017)
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Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Danielle Cruz, conducts a security rove aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington's (CVN 73) flight deck during a winter storm. The ship is homeported in Norfolk preparing to move to Newport News, Virginia for the ship's refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) maintenance. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Mary Popejoy (Released) 170107-N-LL388-001 [...]
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E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Squadron Heading to Japan Next Month
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An E-2D Hawkeye assigned to the Tigertails of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125 taxis across the flight deck during flight operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt on Oct. 15, 2015. US Navy Photo The Navy’s is deploying a squadron Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes to Japan next month, the service announced on Thursday. Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125 Tigertails will forward deploy to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni as a component of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 in February from Naval Station Norfolk, Va. The squadron deployed as part of the first Naval Integrated Fire Control – Counter Air (NIFC-CA) deployment with the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group. The Tigertails will replace the VAW-115 Liberty Bells who will head to Point Mugu, Calif. and transition from their current E-2C Hawkeyes to the newer platform. “The U.S. Navy is also scheduled to begin a phased relocation of CVW-5’s fixed-wing aircraft from Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi to MCAS Iwakuni,” read a statement from the service. “The relocation is scheduled to start the second half of 2017.” The relocation of the squadron from Norfolk to Iwakuni is part of the Pentagon’s Pacific rebalance that is putting the most modern equipment in the Western Pacific. “These moves are in accordance with the Navy’s strategic vision for the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, a plan to put the most advanced and capable units forward in order to supp [...]
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Interview: Lt. Gen. Bailey Says F-35, Closer Partnerships Will Enhance Operations in 2017
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Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Bailey on Jan. 2, 2016. US Marine Corps Photo THE PENTAGON – Marine Corps operations are set for some big changes in 2017 with the deployment of the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter overseas, a move towards distributed operations as called for in the Marine Corps Operating Concept, and the potential addition of more ships to move Marines around high-threat areas, the deputy commandant for plans, policies and operations told USNI News. As the Marines’ first operational squadron of F-35Bs prepares to move to Japan in the coming weeks, “we intend to fully incorporate the F-35 into the [U.S. Pacific Command] area of operations,” Lt. Gen. Ronald Bailey said in a Dec. 22 interview. “When you start talking the things that it will do in terms of its range, its capacity, I think that will change the whole environment and change how we view not only exercises and operations but how we will train,” he said of the new airplane. “So I call it a crawl, walk, run; we have to get out there and start learning some lessons, which we will. VMFA-121 will go out with 10 aircraft, and six additional aircraft will go out as part of the [31st Marine Expeditionary Unit’s fall patrol from Japan]. So they’ll get out on ground and just start doing what I call familiarization, and then they’ll learn some lessons from that. Then they’ll go and participate in a couple exercises in calendar year ’17; one of the exercises that they’re going to participate in the PACOM r [...]
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ARABIAN SEA (Jan. 3, 2017)
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Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Jarret Hal signals as crew remove chocks and chains from a MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26 as it prepares to lift-off the flight deck of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72) during flight quarters. Mahan is deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations and theater security operation efforts. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tim Comerford (Released) 170103-N-CS953-004 [...]
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Opinion: Improve Land-based Electronic Warfare Aircraft Readiness
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Three EA-6B Prowlers belonging to each Prowler squadron aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point conducted a “Final Four” division flight aboard the air station March 1, 2016. US Marine Corps Photo President-Elect Donald Trump has called for hard-hitting initiatives to be included in a first-100-day thrust to make America strong again. Hoping to be included in that effort are some common-sense, low-cost changes to our land-based expeditionary electronic warfare (EW) force posture that would immediately improve operational readiness and have a positive economic effect to boot. These changes would delay, if not cancel, the ill-timed phase-out of Marine Corps EW aircraft; retaining the highly-trained aircrews; and a geographic realignment of the Navy’s expeditionary squadrons. These are proactive force posture changes that would signal a higher priority for warfighting readiness without increasing deployments abroad. As the combatant commanders know – and our adversaries respect – this is about the frontline force they call upon to support warfighters engaged in operations across the spectrum of conflict. EW aircraft and their powerful electronic attack systems were initially designed to counter sophisticated air defenses but now support ground and special operations forces engaged in conventional and asymmetric warfare. These versatile assets are fully integrated into the battlespace command and control architecture to provide commanders unparalleled situa [...]
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USS Cole Holds Burial at Sea
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Arleigh Burke-Class guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) held a burial at sea for 18 former service members and one spouse on the ship's flight deck Dec. 30. [...]
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YOKOSUKA, Japan (Jan. 1, 2017)
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Sailors and guests watch New Year's Day fireworks on the flight deck of the Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). As the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, Ronald Reagan provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate (Released) 170101-N-OY799-207 [...]
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USS Shiloh Hosts Holiday Visit with JMSDF Sister Ship JS Yuugiri
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Crew members from the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) met with representatives from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) JS Yuugiri (DD 153) to exchange holiday gifts Dec. 28. [...]
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Eisenhower CSG Home After Deployment That Included Russian, Iranian Harassment
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The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) transits the Atlantic Ocean on Dec. 23, 2016. US Navy photo. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group returned home today from a dramatic seven-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and Middle East. USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG-56) and guided-missile destroyers USS Mason (DDG-87), USS Nitze (DDG-94) and USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) faced threats from Russian and Iranian naval forces and Iranian-backed forces in Yemen, as well as demonstrated the Navy’s Great Green Fleet capability with the Italian Navy’s Flotta Verde. First, in June, a Russian frigate harassed the strike group in the Mediterranean, with the Russian Navy frigate Yaroslav Mudry (FF-777) making erratic movements and radio transmissions around San Jacinto. The frigate came within 150 yards of the cruiser and weaved through the water in San Jacinto’s wake, warning the American ship to “not cross my bow.” About two weeks beforehand, the same Russian frigate harassed a destroyer in the Harry S. Turman CSG. In August Nitze was harassed by Iranian naval forces while operating near the Strait of Hormuz. Four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy high-speed patrol boats came at the ship, getting as close as 300 yards, without responding to hails or warning flares fired from Nitze, USNI News reported. The guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) moored to Belfast Harbor for a scheduled port visit on De [...]
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Top Stories 2016: International Acquisition
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USNI News polled its writers, naval analysts and service members on what they consider the most important military and maritime stories in 2016. Chinese Confirm First Domestic Carrier An April image of a ship that is almost certainly China’s first domestic aircraft carrier at the Dalian shipyard in northern China obtained on the Chinese language Internet. Officials in Beijing confirmed on Dec. 31, 2015, that a mysterious construction at Dalian shipyard was China’s first domestic aircraft carrier, the Type 001A. Press outlets, including USNI News, reported in 2015 that the project at the shipyard was a new carrier but official confirmation gave shape to Chinese intentions for the hull. “After taking into account a range of factors, the relevant authorities launched work on developing a second aircraft carrier, and we are now undertaking our own indigenous design and construction,” he said, according to a translation of a Chinese language transcript of the Dec. 31 press conference. “We have a long coastline and a broad maritime jurisdiction. … Defending national maritime security, and safeguarding sovereignty over territorial seas and over maritime rights and interests, are sacred duties of China’s armed forces.” China has been inconsistent for its strategy behind its carrier force, with much of the information implied from analyst interpretations. “For the past several years, analysts have believed that China plans for a force of around four full-sized [...]
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