NAVAIR: X-47B Fails Fourth Trap Attempt

NAVAIR: X-47B Fails Fourth Trap Attempt

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X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS-D) demonstrator completes an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). US Navy Photo

X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS-D) demonstrator completes an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). US Navy Photo

The Northrop Grumman X-47B failed to land on the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on Monday in the Navy’s fourth and final attempt to land the unmanned autonomous vehicle, according to a late Tuesday statement from Naval Air Systems Command.

“Aircraft ‘Salty Dog 501’ was launched to the ship on July 15 to collect additional shipboard landing data. During the flight, the aircraft experienced a minor test instrumentation issue and returned to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, where it safely landed,” Naval Air Systems Command said in a statement to press. Read More

Opinion: McCain Wrong on Syria

Opinion: McCain Wrong on Syria

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mccain_1Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a vocal advocate for more U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict, is right about at least one thing—a victory for President Bashar al-Assad is a victory for his allies in Iran.

McCain is wrong on many other accounts, most notably the assumption that a more favorable outcome can be achieved if the United States plays a more heavy-handed role in the conflict: history shows that to be false. Read More

Unmanned Aircraft Help Navy Study Hurricanes

Unmanned Aircraft Help Navy Study Hurricanes

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NASA Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is capable of flight altitudes greater than 55,000 feet and flight durations of up to 30 hours. NASA Photo

NASA Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is capable of flight altitudes greater than 55,000 feet and flight durations of up to 30 hours. NASA Photo

Forget Moby Dick’s white whale – a tropical cyclone is by far the most difficult ocean beast to track. This rotating system of clouds and thunderstorms, most commonly known to North Americans as a hurricane once it reaches a certain size and speed, is typically several hundred miles wide with winds as fast as 155 miles per hour.

These vast storms are essentially a physics puzzle, in which the interaction of moisture, wind, air, heat and other elements can trick even the most knowledgeable scientists trying to forecast both the path and intensity of a hurricane. In the last decade, weather models have gotten much better at predicting path and landfall, but they have been less skillful when trying to estimate pressure and maximum wind speeds. Read More

Document: Coast Guard Report on 2010 Carnival Splendor Incident

Document: Coast Guard Report on 2010 Carnival Splendor Incident

C/V Carnival Splendor along side a Mexican Navy ship in 2010. US Navy Photo

C/V Carnival Splendor along side a Mexican Navy ship in 2010. US Navy Photo

The following is from the executive summary of the June 24, 2013 U.S. Coast Guard Report: Report of Investigation into the Fire Onboard the CARNIVAL SPLENDOR which occurred in the Pacific Ocean off the Coast of Mexico on November 8, 2010, which Resulted in Complete Loss of Power.

On November 8, 2010 at 0600 (Local Time), the Carnival Splendor was underway off the coast of Mexico when the vessel suffered a major mechanical failure in the number five diesel generator. As a result, engine components, lube oil and fuel were ejected through the engine casing and caused a fire at the deck plate level between generators five and six in the aft engine room which eventually ignited the cable runs overhead. The fire in the cable runs was relatively small, but produced a significant volume of smoke which hampered efforts to locate and extinguish it. In addition, the fire caused extensive damage to the cables in the aft engine room, which contributed to the loss of power. Read More

North Korean Ship Seized With Missile Parts

North Korean Ship Seized With Missile Parts

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A picture of the alleged missile parts found onboard a North Korean merchant ship by Panamanian officials tweeted by President Ricardo Martinelli.

A picture of the alleged missile parts found onboard a North Korean merchant ship by Panamanian officials tweeted by President Ricardo Martinelli.

A North Korean flagged ship was seized by Panamanian authorities for allegedly transporting missiles from Cuba, according to a Monday radio interview with president of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli.

Panamanian officials searched the merchant vessel Chong Chon Gang on Friday and uncovered the alleged missile components. Read More

Eugene P. Wilkinson: Nuclear Navy Pioneer

Eugene P. Wilkinson: Nuclear Navy Pioneer

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Vice Adm. Eugene P. Wilkinson. US Naval Institute Photo

Vice Adm. Eugene P. Wilkinson. US Naval Institute Photo

The following is an excerpt from the introduction of Vice Adm. Eugene Parks Wilkinson’s oral history for the U.S. Naval Institute. Parks died on July 11 in Del Mar, Calif. at the age of 94.

Eugene Parks Wilkinson was born in Long Beach, California, on 10 August 1918, the son of Dennis William and Daisy Parks Wilkinson. He attended Holtville, California, High School and San Diego State College. He graduated from the latter in 1938 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in chemistry. He taught chemistry there for a year. He also filled in and taught a course in mathematics. During this year he attended the University of Southern California. The next year he had a teaching fellowship in chemistry at USC. During those two years he completed all of the course work for a doctor’s degree but never did a thesis or received any graduate degree. Commissioned ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve on 12 December 1940, he was transferred to the regular U.S. Navy on 28 August 1946. Read More

Navy to Send Ship on Drug Patrols After Four-Month Hiatus

Navy to Send Ship on Drug Patrols After Four-Month Hiatus

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USS Rentz (FFG-46) in 2009. US Navy Photo

USS Rentz (FFG-46) in 2009. US Navy Photo

The U.S. Navy will resume patrols for drug runners in the Caribbean and the Eastern Pacific after an almost four month hiatus due to budget cuts, Navy officials told USNI News on Monday.

Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Rentz (FFG-46) is set to travel to U.S. Southern Command in August for a six-month deployment, Navy 4th Fleet’s Lt. Cmdr. Corey Barker told USNI News. Read More

Ronald O'Rourke on Coast Guard Acquisition

Ronald O’Rourke on Coast Guard Acquisition

The following is from Congressional Research Service’s Ronald O’Rourke June 26, 2013 testimony before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Coast Guard Acquisition.

The Coast Guard’s FY2014 Five Year (FY2014-FY2018) CIP includes a total of about $5.1 billion in acquisition funding, which is about $2.5 billion, or about 33%, less than the total of about $7.6 billion that was included in the Coast Guard’s FY2013 Five Year (FY2013-FY2017) CIP. (In the four common years of the two plans—FY2014-FY2017—the reduction in funding from the FY2013 CIP to the FY2014 CIP is about $2.3 billion, or about 37%.) This is one of the largest percentage reductions in funding that I have seen a five-year acquisition account experience from one year to the next in many years.

About twenty years ago, in the early 1990s, Department of Defense (DOD) five-year procurement plans were reduced sharply in response to the end of the Cold War—a large-scale change in the strategic environment that led to a significant reduction in estimated future missions for U.S. military forces. In contrast to that situation, there has been no change in the Coast Guard’s strategic environment since last year that would suggest a significant reduction in estimated future missions for the Coast Guard. Read More

Greenert and Amos Talk Future of Navy and Marine Corps

Greenert and Amos Talk Future of Navy and Marine Corps

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Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos speak at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) as part of their national defense speakers series on July 11, 2013. US Navy Photo

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos speak at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) as part of their national defense speakers series on July 11, 2013. US Navy Photo

The commandant of the Marine Corps and the chief of naval operations made the case for forward presence in an era of declining defense spending at a Washington to a national security forum think tank last week as events in Egypt threaten to spiral out of control.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert explained how the Navy and the Marine Corps can react quickly to situations citing the movement of USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) and USS San Antonio (LPD-17) into the Red Sea following the Egyptian military’s removal of President Mohamed Morsi from office as an immediate example of forward presence’s value and tailored forces. The ships were sent closer to the conflict, “because we don’t know what’s going to happen” in Egypt. “We can’t garrison and respond. It will be too late,” to handle a possible evacuation of Americans from the country, Greenert said. Read More

Opinion: Build New Ships Based on San Antonio Hull

Opinion: Build New Ships Based on San Antonio Hull

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USS San Antonio (LPD 17), part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready group, underway on June 16, 2013. US Navy Photo

USS San Antonio (LPD 17), part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready group, underway on June 16, 2013. US Navy Photo

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said last year: “We need to move from ‘luxury car’ platforms — with their built-in capabilities — toward dependable ‘trucks’ that can handle a changing payload selection.” There is one platform that can fulfill that requirement: the San Antonio-class landing platform dock (LPD). Read More