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
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
The following is the July 10, 2013 Pentagon response to Sen. Carl Levin’s (D-Mich.) request to the Department of Defense to provide the Senate Armed Services Committee with a plan for sequestration.
The Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal ignored the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) which instituted across-the-board cuts to the defense budget cuts. Read More
The following is from the July, 3 2013 Congressional Research Service report, Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress.
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard’s programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). These 91 planned cutters are intended as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft. The Coast Guard began procuring NSCs and FRCs a few years ago, and the first few NSCs and FRCs are now in service. Read More
From the July, 1 2013 Congressional Research Service report: Syria’s Chemical Weapons:
Issues for Congress:
The use or loss of control of chemical weapons stocks in Syria could have unpredictable consequences for the Syrian population and neighboring countries as well as U.S. allies and forces in the region. Congress may wish to assess the Administration’s plans to respond to possible scenarios involving the use, change of hands, or loss of control of Syrian chemical weapons. Read More
From the Congressional Research Service June, 28 2013 report on development of the Marine Corps next-generation amphibious assault vehicle:
A Feb. 01, 2007 test of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) in Alaska. US Marine Corps Photo
On January 6, 2011, after spending approximately $3 billion in developmental funding, the Marine Corps cancelled the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) program due to poor reliability demonstrated during operational testing and excessive cost growth. Because the EFV was intended to replace the 40-year-old Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV), the Pentagon pledged to move quickly to develop a “more affordable and sustainable” vehicle to replace the EFV. The Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) is intended to replace the AAV, incorporating some EFV capabilities but in a more practical and cost-efficient manner. Read More
An F/A-18F Super Hornet flies from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). US Navy Photo.
The following is the Pentagon’s aviation plan, dated May 2013.
From the report:
Summary of the Annual Plan and Certification
This plan was developed based on the FY14 President’s Budget submission and does not include the effects of sequestration / Budget Control Act funding decreases. The Department is in the process of a Strategic Choices and Management Review (SCMR) to resolve these impacts.
As such, changes to this plan are probable in next year’s report. Moreover, sequestration is already having an adverse effect on readiness across multiple mission areas, including aviation.
Changes in technology and organizational structure make categorizing aircraft into bins of like capability increasingly difficult.
However, this aviation force structure plan provides the diverse mix of aircraft needed to carry out the eleven missions identified above. The capabilities provided by aircraft identified in this plan reflect five principal investment objectives identified Read More
The following is from the May 22, 2013 U.S. Pacific Fleet investigation findings from the Jan. 17, 2013 grounding of the minesweeper USS Guardian (MCM-5). The report was released by the Navy on June 20.
Causation: This tragic mishap was wholly preventable and was the product of poor voyage planning, poor execution, and unfortunate circumstances. This investigation uncovers no single point of failure; instead, there were numerous links in the error chain leading up to the grounding. Had any one of which been appropriately addressed, the grounding would have been prevented. USS GUARDIAN leadership and watch teams failed to adhere to prudent, safe, and sound navigation principles which would have alerted them to approaching dangers with sufficient time to take mitigating action. Read More
The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) released its May report on the economic impact of the shipbuilding industry in the U.S. The following was from the executive summary:
Currently there are 117 shipyards in the United States, spread across 26 states, that are classified as active shipbuilders. In addition, there are more than 200 shipyards engaged in ship repairs or capable of building ships but not actively engaged in shipbuilding. The majority of shipyards are located in the coastal states, but there also are active shipyards on major inland waterways such as the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River, and the Ohio River. Employment in shipbuilding and repairing is concentrated in a relatively small number of coastal states, with the top five states accounting for 62 percent of all private employment in the shipbuilding and repairing industry. Read More
From the May, 2 2013 Navy Women in Service Implementation Plan:
Navy is fully committed to equal professional opportunities for all uniformed personnel. Currently, over 88 percent of all Navy billets are open to females. This is the result of Navy’s deliberate and steady review and expansion of opportunities at sea for females that began with the first assignment of females onboard ships in 1994. We fully intend to continue our expansion of opportunity in a thoughtful and deliberate manner; our goal is to continue to ensure all Navy men and women have the opportunity to succeed and are set up for success with viable career paths while preserving our warfighting capability. Read More