Archive for December, 2008

Mine Warfare ‘Shifts Colors’ to Southern California

December 28, 2008
Naval Calendar 2009

Naval Calendar 2009

Our Naval Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US Navy and allied naval forces in action. Buy the Naval Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

The Navy’s mine warfare community is “shifting colors” from Texas to Southern California. The mine warfare ships, squadrons and support units will begin to leave prior to the end of this fiscal year 2009.

Sailors negotiating for orders in support of mine warfare (MIW) should know that the mine warfare community is planning to move from Ingleside, Texas, to Southern California.

Naval Station Ingleside has been the Center of Excellence for Mine Warfare since the base opened in 1992.

“Sailors know that there is a fleet concentration area here, specifically for surface mine warfare,” said Chief Navy Counselor Malcolm T. Schneider, Navy counselor for the mine warfare community.

“Many Sailors who take orders here are either from Texas, want to retire here or know that because there is a surface mine warfare fleet concentration here, they can go from sea duty or shore duty and back without moving their families,” said Ingleside’s Senior Enlisted Leader Senior Chief Dewite Wehrman.

However, Naval Station Ingleside is slated to close in September 2010, based on a 2005 Base Realignment and Closure decision.

“The mine warfare community is shifting homeports beginning Spring 2009,” added Schneider, an 18-year Navy veteran who is a native of Cleveland.

With that shift, goes the fleet concentration center. The mine countermeasures ships, along with dedicated personnel, equipment and support will move to the San Diego area.

“As the transition of the ships and staffs take place, supporting systems such as CMS/ID (career management system/identification), will reflect the changes,” Schneider said. “Sailors within their projected rotation date window now, who are negotiating for orders to any mine countermeasures (MCM) crews or ships, are headed to Southern California, not Texas.”

In addition to the MCM ships moving, other mine warfare commands moving to the West Coast include MCM Crews, MCM Class Squadron, MCM Squadron 1, MCM Squadron 3, Mobile Mine Assembly Group, and Mobile Mine Assembly Unit 15.

“Having realistic expectations and maintaining a positive outlook for the impending move to San Diego is the best thing that Sailors can do,” said Lt. Cmdr. Tracey Mays, who manages Sea Special Programs for Navy Personnel Command. “As many of the Sailors in this area have spent the majority of their careers in Texas and with the current economic situation, many will be faced with various challenges that will require tough decisions. As such, command leadership is vital to ensuring the smoothest transition possible for these Sailors.”

Sailors interested in the exceptional opportunities within the mine warfare community, should speak with a detailer or command career counselor.

Fifi Kieschnick (NNS)

Transfer of Navy Logistics Functions will Enhance Warfighter Support

December 28, 2008
Naval Calendar 2009

Naval Calendar 2009

Our Naval Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US Navy and allied naval forces in action. Buy the Naval Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

More than 200 Navy positions at Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FSIC) San Diego’s Fleet Readiness Center (FRC) Southwest detachment will transfer in place to the Defense Logistics Agency North Island, Calif., when it activates Feb. 15, 2009.

This action is the result of a 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decision to transfer all supply, storage and distribution (SS&D)functions at service-run maintenance depots, industrial sites and shipyards to DLA to optimize military readiness.

DLA North Island will continue to provide supply, storage and distribution support to maintenance activities on base.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Andy Busch, commander, Defense Supply Center Richmond (DSCR); Bill Bickert, deputy commander, Fleet and Industrial Supply Centers (COMFISC); and Capt. Glenn Robillard, commanding officer of FISC San Diego, met with the detachment’s work force and supervisors Nov. 17. Robillard described the process in place to accomplish the transition.

“This is a well thought-out process. The planning time is over; now it’s execution time. We need to look at how to make this happen. The purpose [of today’s meeting] is to get your questions answered. DLA is ready; FRC Southwest is ready, and the Navy is ready,” Robillard said.

Busch said the BRAC transfer is aimed at achieving inventory efficiencies and enhancing warfighter support. He said BRAC is not just something DLA was told to do; it’s public law.

“As a result of the BRAC-related addition of 12 locations across the country, the total DSCR workforce will add up to nearly 4,500 people. DSCR is leading the way in DLA, and I’m committed to a smooth transition,” said Busch.

“There is no mandate to change or do a manpower reduction; I’m looking for inventory efficiencies to achieve the savings we need to make and to break down the barriers between wholesale and retail,” he said.

Bickert told the group that the big benefit of the SS&D transfer to DLA will come from inventory savings.

We’re watching Cherry Point and Jacksonville and [those transfers] have gone very, very smoothly. This is a testimony to Brigadier General Busch’s leadership,” Bickert said.

He encouraged the FISC employees to embrace the changes ahead.

“We hate to lose mission work, but we think it’s going to benefit DoD in the long run. I encourage you to be excited about this,” Bickert said. “You’re the leading edge of supply chain management.”

DLA and the Navy are working together to smooth the transition for realigned employees, while ensuring continuity of service to warfighters. Similar transfers have already taken place at Navy FRCs at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., in August and at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., in October.

COMFISCS provides an array of integrated global logistics and contracting services to Navy and joint operational units across all warfare enterprises. COMFISCS is responsible for facilitating best business practices and efficiencies across the seven FISCs located in San Diego; Norfolk; Jacksonville, Fla.; Yokosuka, Japan; Pearl Harbor; Bremerton (Puget Sound), Wash.; and Sigonella, Italy; and for optimizing the performance of base supply functions and standardizing levels of service across 13 regions and 79 Navy installations.

COMFISCS comprises more than 7,500 military and civilian logistics professionals, operating as a single cohesive team providing global logistics services from nearly 135 locations worldwide.

A component of the Naval Supply Systems Command, headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pa., COMFISCS is part of a worldwide logistics network of more than 25,000 military and civilian personnel providing “One-Touch Supply.”

(NNS)

America’s Waterways Watch Program

December 27, 2008
Naval Calendar 2009

Naval Calendar 2009

Our Naval Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US Navy and allied naval forces in action. Buy the Naval Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

The US Coast Guard is calling on American civil and recreational mariners and boaters to keep a watch out for potential terrorist and national security threats.

Read more about the America’s Waterways Watch Program

Joint Region Marianas to Stand Up at Andersen AFB, Guam

December 27, 2008
Glacial Guam

Glacial Guam

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OR

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The Joint Region Marianas will stand up in January as Andersen Air Force Base officials will relocate installation management functions to the commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas located on Guam.

This was a result of almost four years of planning to implement this change to the law as a result of Base Realignment and Closure Commission legislation in 2005.

To address concerns from base members, Andersen AFB leaders held two town hall meetings Nov. 21 to discuss issues base appropriated funded employees may face when installation management oversight and funding transfers to the Navy. Comparable meetings for nonappropriated fund employees are scheduled for Dec. 5.

The meeting was an interactive forum for Brig. Gen. Philip M. Ruhlman, the 36th Wing commander, to outline some of the details. During the briefing, the general explained the Joint Region Marianas structure and said the transition would be as transparent and uneventful as possible. While the majority of Andersen AFB civilian employees will become Navy employees, they will work in the same place, doing the same thing, for the same organization and boss. He also explained how he will continue to serve as both mission and installation commander for Andersen AFB, while acquiring a third “hat” as deputy commander of Joint Region Marianas.

General Ruhlman described the resources that would be transferred to the Navy. He said 49 installation support functions will move from Air Force to Navy running the gamut from fire protection and emergency services to children and youth programs.

During the meeting, civilian employees voiced a variety of concerns to include loss of jobs, retention of pay and seniority and if they had to physically move to Navy.

While the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s official guidance allows for reduction in forces and other force shaping measures, their unofficial stance has been to encourage joint bases to minimize or avoid these if possible, according to officials in the Andersen AFB Development Office. At present, there are no plans to use these measures as Andersen AFB stands up Joint Region Marianas. There will be no change in pay upon transfer to Navy.

Employees will transfer in their current position and be paid at their current pay grade and salary. Seniority relative to other employees will be determined after the transfer, and will depend on whether the employee remains in the existing organization or is part of a merged function.

Furthermore, as it stands today, no appropriated fund employees will have to move to a new duty location as a result of Joint Region Marianas implementation.

Andersen AFB officials will begin to transfer installation management functions to the Navy on Jan. 31, 2009, and is required to complete the process by Oct. 1, 2009. However, base officials expect the impact of this to be relatively minor due to the unique structure of Joint Region Marianas, whereby Andersen AFB retains its Air Force commanding officer and identity.
Jamie LeSard (AFNS)

USN Orders Eight More Virginia Class Attack Subs

December 23, 2008
Naval Calendar 2009

Naval Calendar 2009

Our Naval Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US Navy and allied naval forces in action. Buy the Naval Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

The U.S. Navy on 22 December reaffirmed the strategic need for a robust, adaptable
submarine force by awarding General Dynamics Electric Boat a contract valued
at $14 billion for the construction of eight Virginia-class submarines.

The multi-year contract allows Electric Boat and its teammate, Northrop
Grumman Shipbuilding, to proceed with the construction of one ship per year
in 2009 and 2010, and two ships per year from 2011 through 2013. The eighth
ship to be procured under this contract is scheduled for delivery in 2019.

The Virginia-class submarine is the first U.S. Navy warship designed from
the keel up for the full range of mission requirements in the post-Cold War
era, including anti-submarine and surface ship warfare; delivering special
operation forces; strike; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance;
irregular warfare; and mine warfare.

The contract immediately provides $2.4 billion to fund construction of SSN-
784, which has been named the “North Dakota”; advanced procurement for SSN-
785; funding to purchase materials, parts and components for multiple ships
at one time (SSN-785 through SSN-791, as yet unnamed), achieving significant
economies of scale; and funding for additional cost-reduction design changes
(known as Design For Affordability).

“This award is significant for our country, the U.S. Navy, our company and
the entire submarine industrial base,” said Electric Boat President John P.
Casey. “As we attain the production rate of two submarines per year, we will
have the stability required to further increase production efficiencies.
This will benefit the U.S. taxpayer, while providing the Navy a class of
nuclear submarines with the capabilities required to retain our nation’s
undersea superiority well into the 21st century.”

“In addition, at a time when the country has a challenging economic outlook,
this contract will provide good jobs not just in Connecticut, Rhode Island
and Virginia, but in thousands of communities across the country as our
vendors gear up for increased production on the Virginia class,” Casey said.

“Today’s contract award is an exciting moment for the entire team,” said
Matt Mulherin, sector vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman
Shipbuilding’s Newport News, Va. shipyard.  “It brings stability to the
submarine program, to our work force and to the shipbuilding supplier
industrial base for the next decade.  This achievement is also a result of
our shipbuilders’, suppliers’ and Navy partners’ successful efforts to
reduce cost, accelerate schedules and improve construction processes of the
previous Virginia-class boats.”

Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding already have delivered five
Virginia-class submarines to the Navy: USS Virginia (SSN-774), USS Texas
(SSN-775), USS Hawaii (SSN-776), USS North Carolina (SSN-777) and USS New
Hampshire (SSN-778).  Five additional submarines are under construction.

The contract comes on the heels of the shipbuilding team’s delivery of USS
New Hampshire in August eight months ahead of schedule and more than $60
million under target cost, performance that demonstrates the commitment to
reduce the cost and shrink construction schedules during the term of the
contract.

Virginia-class submarines displace 7,800 tons, with a hull length of 377
feet and a diameter of 34 feet. They are capable of speeds in excess of 25
knots and can dive to a depth greater than 800 feet, while carrying Mark 48
advanced capability torpedoes, Tomahawk land attack missiles and unmanned
underwater vehicles.

Boeing A160T Unmanned Rotorcraft Reaches Two Key Milestones

December 23, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

Our military Aviation Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US and allied military aircraft in action. Buy the Aviation Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

Boeing announced last week that its A160 Turbine (A160T) Hummingbird unmanned rotorcraft has achieved two key milestones: using its two-speed transmission to change gears in flight, and passing the 100-flight-hour threshold.

“Being able to shift gears in flight is the final significant step in realizing the full potential of our optimum speed rotor technology, which enables game-changing capability for the warfighter,” said John Groenenboom, A160T program manager for Boeing. “It allows us to significantly expand the flight envelope at higher gross weights and at higher speeds, while maintaining the A160T’s world-record-setting endurance. We now have an unmanned air system with the performance of a fixed wing and the precision and versatility of a rotorcraft.”

Breaking the 100-flight-hour mark shows how much the A160T has matured since its first flight in June 2007. That first 12-minute flight set the stage for multiple endurance flights, including an 18.7-hour world record, flights carrying multiple payloads of up to 1,000 pounds, a hover-out-of-ground-effect flight at 20,000 feet, and flights with the FORESTER foliage-penetrating radar antenna. The A160T’s predecessor, the gasoline-powered A160, made its first flight in 2002 and accumulated 63 flight hours.

The gear-change flight took place on Nov. 25 and the 100-flight-hour mark was surpassed on Nov. 20. Boeing conducted each flight at the A160T test facility in Victorville, Calif. The company performed the tests under a $5 million bridge contract with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The A160T Hummingbird is 35 feet long with a 36-foot-diameter rotor and has reached speeds of up to 142 knots to date.

$40 billion needed to expand Army

December 23, 2008
Naval Calendar 2009

Naval Calendar 2009

Our Naval Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US Navy and allied naval forces in action. Buy the Naval Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

The Army projects it will need $40 billion annually above current spending levels once a planned 74,200 troops are added, according to a draft service report for the Obama transition team.

The report says the planned force of 1.1 million soldiers would require a budget of “$170 billion to $180 billion per year to sustain,” well above the 2009 budget of about $140 billion.

A draft copy of the 43-page document, labeled “predecisional” and dated November 2008, was obtained by Defense News, a sister publication of Army Times.

UAS students graduate from inaugural class

December 23, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

Our military Aviation Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US and allied military aircraft in action. Buy the Aviation Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

A first-of-its-kind combat familiarization program for pilots slated to fly unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, will graduate nine newly-winged lieutenants from Team Randolph’s 563rd Flying Training Squadron Monday. 

The four-week Unmanned Aircraft Systems Fundamentals Course, or UFC, began instruction Nov. 21 at Randolph AFB (TX). It’s designed to give the fledgling pilots a feel for the air- and ground-based battle space environment in 100 hours of combined simulator and academic classes. 

The UFC provided the pilots with a computer-based simulation using high-end gaming technology and exposing them to multiple Air Force strike aircraft on a cyber-based battlefield. 

“It simulates the real-world ground-combat and air-combat environment for the UFC students,” explained Lt. Col. Scott Cardozo, 563rd FTS director of operations. 

Capt. Tom Moore, 563rd FTS UFC flight commander, civilian contract instructors, and combat systems officer instructors from the 563rd FTS taught, observed, tested and critiqued the student pilots through simulated computer-based air strikes in a real-time, extremely high-fidelity, air combat picture. 

UFC instructors predict that eventually 100 UFC graduates per year will learn to fly UASs at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., and eventually work with the UAS enlisted sensor operators throughout the world. The nine pilots will head to the two-week Joint Firepower Course at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Jan. 26. Then, it’s on to the flying training unit at Creech AFB. 

After that, qualified UAS pilots will be assigned to manned aircraft and possibly move between manned and unmanned aircraft as their Air Force careers progress. 

They’re off to a fine start, said Captain Moore, an award-winning flight instructor and flight commander shepherding the young lieutenants through the course. 

“They have all done well,” he said. 

Colonel Cardozo also praised his young charges. 

“They have strong academic averages and have taken advantage of all the training we can give them,” the colonel commented. “They learned how to read and understand an Air Tasking Order. They also learned weapons employment, watched computer videos and read text message conversations on live Predator feeds from overseas.” 

Captain Moore said the students also learned how to employ sensors on attack aircraft.
One of the nine lieutenants spoke about his experience in the inaugural course. 

“I learned in this course how we fit into the bigger picture of coordinating the airspace of a battle,” 1st Lt. Brandon Ongra said. “We’ve never been operational in the combat Air Force and here we’ve learned the capabilities of different aircraft and their weapons.”

Sean Bowlin

Is a 325 Ship Navy Optimal?

December 20, 2008

The Washington-based think tank  Center for National Policy recommends that the Navy should grow its fleet to 325 ships by 2025 — 12 more than the Navy has planned — and pay for the increase by moving to lower-cost platforms and cutting unnecessary requirements like the top speed on the new Littoral Combat Ship. The study is titled: Agility Across the Spectrum: A Future Force Blueprint. Read the full report

JSF STOVL Lift Fan Tests Begin in April 2009

December 18, 2008

Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

OR

Find this and other exciting images on tee-shirts, caps, and other casual clothing, as well as on beer steins, mousepads, clocks, and dozens of other office and gift items. Visit The Military Chest today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

The Joint Strike Fighter program will wait until April to start transitioning the short-take-off, vertical-landing (STOVL) variant of the aircraft in vertical lift mode during tests, when the aircraft will have a fully qualified motor, the program’s deputy executive officer told Inside Defense.

Read the full report at www.insidedefense.com (paid subscription required)