Archive for July, 2008

USAF Chief of Warfighting Integration Talks CyberSecurity and UAVs

July 31, 2008

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Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Peterson has a fancy title: Chief of Warfighting Integration and Chief Information Officer. But he calls himself the “tech guy on the operations team.” Peterson is the guy who talks about bits and bytes, cyber security, radars and satellites. He also is the one who keeps tabs on all the Air Force’s assets and how they can best be used to be effective in the fight. Peterson manages a more than $17 billion portfolio for communication, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets. Full article on The Hill

Air Force Plans Altered Role in Iraq

July 31, 2008

The commander of American and allied air forces in the Middle East has completed a detailed plan for how air power would be refocused in Iraq if, as is widely anticipated, the number of American ground troops was reduced in the final months of the Bush presidency and beyond.

The commander, Lt. Gen. Gary North, described a future approach that would rely on jet fighters and bombers to help ensure the safety of American troops who remain behind to train Iraqis as the number of allied ground combat troops decreased.

In addition, surveillance aircraft would take on an ever increasing role in spotting adversaries, while transport planes would continue to support a growing Iraqi military, which for now is not capable of supplying itself.

Read More at the New York Times

Exercise Sea Breeze 2008 Concludes

July 31, 2008

Exercise Sea Breeze 2008 (SB08) concluded July 28 with a closing ceremony highlighting participants’ achievements during the 11th annual maritime exercise.

Adm. Mark P. Fitzgerald, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, attended the ceremony.

SB08, incorporating 16 countries and more than 2,000 service members, is a joint and combined maritime exercise held annually in the Black Sea and at various land-based Ukrainian training facilities with the goals of strengthening maritime security and stability, sharing information and building teamwork and mutual cooperation.

“I’d like to congratulate the 16 nations involved in Sea Breeze 2008 on an extremely well planned and conducted exercise,” said U.S. Navy Capt. John Moore, commodore, Command Task Force-367 and Sea Breeze deputy commander.

“Everyone participating in this exercise should be very proud of the level of interoperability and cooperation that was achieved among the sea, air and land components as well as among nations.”

The exercise kicked off with a training and interoperability phase to ensure participating nations were comfortable communicating with each other and working together. The exercise moved quickly into the operational phase during which more than 200 training events, or “live” operations, were conducted.

The air component, comprised of 17 aircraft from four countries, flew nearly 50 sorties. During the sorties, it completed 17 para drops of nearly 400 paratroopers, anti-submarine warfare operations and search and rescue missions.

The maritime component, comprised of 16 ships from six countries, conducted maritime interdiction operations, air warfare, search and rescue, anti-submarine warfare, amphibious operations and mine countermeasure operations.

Divers from six nations also conducted several diving missions and practiced diving with each other’s equipment to ensure full interoperability. In addition, the diving teams conducted reconnaissance near the landing area of the exercise zone and prepared the beach for the amphibious landing that was conducted in the final phase of the exercise.

The land component, based at the Shirokiy Lan training camp, included a battalion of Soldiers and Marines from four countries who conducted several training missions in urban warfare, medical evacuation, live fire, improvised explosive device detection and checkpoint operations.

“We completed the training we set out to accomplish, and we have strengthened the already strong partnerships among our countries,” said Ukrainian Adm. Viktor Maksimov.

“We look forward to next year’s exercise, and I personally invite everyone here back for Sea Breeze 2009.”

Nations participating in this 11th anniversary of Exercise Sea Breeze include host country Ukraine as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Canada, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.


USS Shiloh

USS Shiloh

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NECC Adaptive Force Package Debuts in JTFEX “Operation Brimstone”

July 31, 2008

For the first time in a joint task force exercise (JTFX), the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command employed the adaptive force package (AFP) concept as part of “Operation Brimstone” July 21-28.

Capt. Anthony Krueger, commander of Navy Expeditionary Combat Task Group (NECTG) 955.6, said the concept of tailoring the right force to the right job proved itself during the exercise and helped prepare NECC forces to confront actual missions if required.

“If we have to do this for real, we now have a better idea of what it’s going to take to make it work in a real-world operation,” said Krueger, who also serves commodore of Riverine Group 1.

The NECTG 955.6 staff had task group coordination abilities and responsibilities during Operation Brimstone equal to USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Strike Group or USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Expeditionary Group. NECTG directed about 750 Sailors of the expeditionary forces participating among the 15,000 service members from four nations in JTFEX.

“We’re really just in a better position than anybody else in the Navy to command and control our forces,” Krueger said.

He added that NECC gained valuable experience, logistics knowledge and vital lessons learned needed to get the job done when deployed. Smaller exercises led to the development of the AFP.

Lt. Cmdr. Charles McKinney, NECTG operations officer, said the AFP gave NECC greater visibility in the fleet while demonstrating that the concept worked.

“The adaptive force package concept is important because it fills gaps. It also provides a cohesive unity of effort and strengths between its subordinate commands.”

JTFEX demonstrated AFP integration of active-duty and Reserve forces, as well, Krueger said. For example, Reservists of Maritime Security Squadron 10 from Jacksonville, Fla., worked in tandem with active-duty Sailors of Riverine Squadron 1 from Little Creek, Va., to accomplish mission goals, he said.

“The adaptive force package was able to meld together those capabilities of both active and Reserve NECC forces that were under my command,” he said.

The commodore added that NECC couldn’t do its job without Reservists, who make up 47 percent of the 42,000-Sailor strong command.

Liaison officers on the central AFP staff also functioned cohesively.

“We melded very well together as a staff,” said Lt. Cmdr Kelly Armstrong, NECTG judge advocate general who advised the NECTG staff on rules of engagement and the law of armed conflict.

The exercise also demonstrated the capability of NECC units to deploy anywhere on short notice, Krueger said.

“Pick a country anywhere in the world; we can be there in a couple days.”

Expeditionary Sailors from across NECC, including Seabees and Riverine Sailors participated in JTFEX. The specific units included Riverine Squadron 1; Maritime Expeditionary Squadron 10; an air detachment from Naval Construction Forces Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11 based in Gulfport, Miss.; Navy Cargo Handling Battalion 3 based in Alameda, Calif.; and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 6 and a support unit from Little Creek, Va.

NECTG units operated in North Carolina at Camp LeJeune, Elizabethtown, Wilmington and Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point. Some units also operated in Williamsburg, Va.

NECC also provided an AFP coordination staff in July for the biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise in and around the waters of Oahu.

Barrie Barber (NNS)

USS Gonzalez

USS Gonzalez

Whether you’re looking for US Navy ships in tropical ports, or US Air Force fighter aircraft over Alaska, you’ll find the poster or framed print at The PatriArt Gallery.

Littoral Combat Ship USS Freedom Begins Builder’s Trials

July 31, 2008

The first ship in the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship class, the future USS Freedom (LCS 1), began Builder’s Trials on Lake Michigan July 28.

LCS is a fast, agile, focused-mission ship designed to defeat asymmetric “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The 378-foot Freedom is being designed and built by a Lockheed Martin-led industry team.

“Getting Freedom underway is a significant step in the ship’s steady progress toward entering the fleet,” said LCS Program Manager Capt. James Murdoch. “Freedom has overcome many challenges to reach this important milestone. LCS 1 will add tremendous capabilities to the fleet for our Sailors.”

Builder’s trials test the vessel’s propulsion, communications, navigation and mission systems, as well as all related support systems. Following the completion of builder’s trials, Freedom will return to Marinette Marine to prepare for acceptance trials that will be conducted by the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey.

The LCS 1 Freedom class consists of two different hullforms – a semiplaning monohull and an aluminum trimaran – designed and built by two industry teams, respectively led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. The seaframes will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission packages, which can be changed out quickly. These mission packages focus on three mission areas: mine counter measures, surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.

LCS 1 is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy later this year and will be homeported in San Diego.

American Superconductor and Navy Test HTS on USS Higgins

July 30, 2008

Seapower, Airpower, Landpower — we have them all at the PatriArt Gallery. Finest military themed art prints, posters, and greeting cards.

American Superconductor Corporation, announced that it has supplied critical components to the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NSWCCD) Ship Engineering Station Philadelphia for a high temperature superconductor (HTS) degaussing coil system that has successfully completed initial electrical testing onboard the USS Higgins (DDG 76), an 8,000-ton Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. Powered by AMSC’s HTS wire and magnet cable technology, the coil system will undergo U.S. Navy sea trials over the next two years on the Higgins.

Read more about this vital step toward electric drive on US Navy warships.

Wynne Changes Mind, Advocates KC-45 Procurement Split

July 30, 2008

Get this aerial refueling picture and many others on posters, framed art prints, and greeting cards at The PatriArt Gallery.

Former Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne has reversed his position and now advocates a 50-50 split of the KC-45 aerial refueling aircraft contract between rivals Boeing and Northrop Grumman / EADS. While it will cost more, it seems the only way to avoid a long legal struggle over the contract, which would stretch out procurement of the much needed KC-45 tanker, formerly known as the KC-X.

Obama or McCain — Next American Present Will Demand More From Europe

July 30, 2008
Whether Barack Obama or John McCain, the next US President will demand a lot more from Europe — more troops for Afghanistan, more money for international peacekeeping, more presence for the global war on terror, and a lot more investment in European military capabilities. Read a European take on the US presidential race and future US-European relations.

NATO Wary of Russian Security Pact Proposal

July 30, 2008

Russia’s presentation of plans for a new “Treaty on European Security” at a NATO meeting on Monday was met with suspicion the scheme could undermine existing alliances, with Moscow to return to the topic in September.

Boeing Begins Final Assembly of 2nd P-8A Poseidon

July 30, 2008

Boeing began final assembly of the second P-8A Poseidon for the U.S. Navy on July 24 in Renton, Wash. The aircraft, S1, is the program’s static test vehicle and will be used to test the airframe’s structural strength.

The start of final assembly follows Spirit AeroSystems’ delivery of the aircraft’s fuselage to Boeing. S1 is one of five P-8A test aircraft — three flight-test and two ground-test — that the Boeing-led team of CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems and GE Aviation is building for the Navy as part of a System Development and Demonstration contract.

During full-scale static testing in Renton, external loads will be systematically applied to the airframe to validate that the P-8A can withstand the loads it will be subjected to during its service life. Boeing Commercial Airplanes will install about 4,000 sensors and other types of measurement instrumentation on the airframe for these tests.

Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and Boeing Commercial Airplanes are working together to build the P-8A, a military derivative of the 737-800, on a new final-assembly production line in Renton. This third line takes advantage of the proven efficiencies, manufacturing processes and performance of the highly reliable Next-Generation 737. The Navy plans to purchase 108 P-8As to replace its fleet of P-3C aircraft. The P-8A will provide the Navy increased capability in long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.