Air Force News

19 Mar 2020

US to Deploy Hospital Ships for Coronavirus Response

The USNS Mercy (Photo: Zach Kreitzer, U.S. Navy)

Two U.S. Navy hospital ships are being prepared to aid shoreside medical facilities that could become overrun by the coronavirus pandemic, the Pentagon's chief spokesman said.The USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy will be deployed "as needed to assist potentially overwhelmed counties with acute patient care" as part of the Defense Department's response to the pandemic, Jonathan Rath Hoffman, assistant to the defense secretary for public affairs, said during a news conference at the Pentagon on Wednesday.The Comfort is now in Norfolk…

18 Mar 2020

Today in Maritime History: Grounding of the Supertanker Torrey Canyon

On the world stage, the grounding of the supertanker TORREY CANYON on Pollard’s Rock in the Seven Stones reef between Cornwall and the Scilly Isles is more significant than the 1989 EXXON VALDEZ oil spill. The TORREY CANYON was one of the first tankers large enough (120,000 tons capacity) to be designated a supertanker. It was also the first loaded supertanker to spill its entire cargo. After salvage efforts failed and the oil flow increased, the British Government decided to bomb the ship in an attempt to burn the oil. This was a radical decision because the wreck was outside the three-mile territorial sea limit prevalent at that time. The Royal Air Force had difficulty hitting the ship, so the Royal Navy sent its planes in.

09 Mar 2020

Grand Princess Passengers Bound for Coronavirus Quarantine

(Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

An ocean liner barred from returning to port in San Francisco due to a coronavirus outbreak on board will dock briefly at a nearby terminal in Oakland, where passengers will be unloaded and sent on to medical and quarantine sites elsewhere, officials said on Sunday.The cruise ship Grand Princess, whose guests have been largely confined to their staterooms since Thursday, is due to arrive at the Port of Oakland on Monday to begin immediately disgorging its 2,400 passengers, California Governor Gavin Newsom told a news conference.Nearly all 1…

19 Feb 2020

Measuring the Hostile Ocean Beneath Hurricanes

Fig.1: A Slocum glider from Teledyne Webb Research, en route to deployment. Credit: Rutgers University.

Unmanned Vehicles Collect Data for Improving Storm ForecastsThe influences of ocean conditions and currents on living environments are now more widely appreciated—from the Earth’s climate and severe weather conditions to fisheries and biodiversity. Sustained and widespread measurements are needed to provide essential clues for understanding the oceans, for effective monitoring of environmental changes, and for helping to clarify the long-term effects of global warming.To meet this challenge, ocean researchers have invented various types of unmanned observing platforms.

13 Feb 2020

Bulker Captain Missing

© Andy Ru / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force and regional partners are searching for the master of a Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier who has gone missing about 174 miles northwest of Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia.At 5:44 p.m., Tuesday, JRSC Guam watchstanders received a report from Rescue Coordination Center Australia watchstanders stating they received a call from the first mate of the 751-foot Rising Wind reporting the vessel’s 47-year-old master was missing. The master was last seen in his cabin…

12 Feb 2020

Stephens Elected PVA President for 2020

Colleen Stephens (Photo: PVA)

Colleen Stephens, President of Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises will be President of the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) for 2020, the trade association announced.Elected during the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2020 held February 3-6, 2020 in Tampa, Fla., Stephens reaffirmed PVA's commitment to continuously improving safety in passenger vessel operations as well as the association's engagement in being good stewards of the environment. "PVA's Green WATERS program…

14 Nov 2019

Metal Shark Delivers Two Pilot Boats to New Orleans

(Photo: Metal Shark)

Shipbuilder Metal Shark has delivered two new pilot boats to New Orleans-based operator Belle Chasse Marine Transportation, LLC (BCMT).Designed in-house by Metal Shark and built at the company’s Jeanerette, La. production facility, Jet 1 and Jet 2 are 45-foot welded aluminum Defiant-class monohull pilothouse vessels featuring an extensively proven hull design. The vessels feature a unique deck arrangement designed for pilots and customized to meet BCMT’s specific requirements.Both vessels were recently delivered and are now operating on the Mississippi River…

17 Sep 2019

ARC to Christen 3 Vessels on Friday

Image: American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier

American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARC) will christen the ARC Resolve, ARC Integrity and the ARC Independence, welcoming three of the most versatile and militarily-useful ships to the U.S.-flag commercial fleet, on Friday in the Port of Baltimore.ARC’s three, new vessels will be enrolled in the Maritime Security Program (MSP), the bedrock Congressional maritime readiness program, and the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA).Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby will deliver the keynote address at the ship naming ceremony.

04 Sep 2019

Hurricane Dorian Update

The 8 AM tracking graphic (CREDIT: NHC)

At 800 AM EDT (1200 UTC), the center of Hurricane Dorian was located near latitude 29.5 North, longitude 79.6 West.Dorian is moving toward the north-northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h), and a northwest or north-northwest motion is expected through this morning. A turn toward the north is forecast by this evening, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast on Thursday morning.On this track, the core of Hurricane Dorian will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast and the Georgia coast through tonight.

30 Aug 2019

Florida Braces for a Hit as Dorian Strengthens

The NOAA National Hurricane Center Storm Cone situation at 1100 hours local on 30 August 2019.

Florida's governor on Friday urged residents in the state to stock up on at least a week's worth of food, water and medicine and to prepare to lose power and cellphone service for days after Hurricane Dorian makes landfall early next week.The slow march and rising intensity of the storm, which is moving in a northwestern direction to the Bahamas, has alarmed forecasters who worry parts of Florida will be walloped by strong winds, a storm surge and heavy rain for an extended period."I think there’s a pretty high degree of certainty that this is going to be a major hurricane…

22 Aug 2019

Privinvest’s Deliveries to Mozambique: A Model for Africa

About the Author: Gary Roughead, Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired), is a former chief of U.S. Naval Operations and former Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Media reports about Mozambique’s failure to launch a fishing and security fleet and its subsequent $2 billion debt default seem destined to torpedo, or at least set back similar efforts to build needed coastal security and national fishing fleets across Africa. That must not happen.The systems and equipment Mozambique bought a few years ago from shipbuilder Privinvest could serve as a template for coastal African nations seeking to rightfully benefit from their natural resources…

11 Jul 2019

National Hurricane Center Miami Issues Hurricane Watch

File Image: AdobeStock / © mode list

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for: Mouth of the Pearl River to Intracoastal City. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for: Mouth of the Mississippi River to Cameron. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for: Mouth of the Mississippi River northward to the Mouth of the Pearl River.A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours. For a depiction of areas at risk please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic available at hurricanes.gov.

09 Jul 2019

DSS Honors Retlif

[left to right] Gus Green, Director of Industrial Security Field Operations, Defense Security Service, Dan Payne, Director, Defense Security Service, Donald Dwyer, Assistant Facility Security Officer, Retlif Testing Laboratories, William Hayes, Facility Security Officer and Executive Vice President, Retlif Testing Laboratories,  Cheryl Matthew, Northern Regional Director, Defense Security Service, and Mike Halter, Deputy Director Industrial Security Field Operations, Defense Security Service. Ph

Retlif Testing Laboratories, the provider of EMC/EMI, lightning and Environmental Simulation testing and engineering services for maritime, has received the prestigious Cogswell Outstanding Industrial Security Achievement Award from the Defense Security Service (DSS).According to a press release from USA's  internationally recognized strategic compliance organization, the Cogswell award recognizes industrial security excellence and outstanding achievement in matters related exclusively to a facility’s security program.Established in 1966, it honors the late Air Force Colonel James S.

30 Apr 2019

U.S., Peru Strengthen SAR Cooperation

Image: United States Coast Guard

The Governments of Peru and the United States signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation in maritime search and rescue (SAR) operations.Peruvian Foreign Minister Néstor Popolizio Bardales and U.S. Ambassador to Peru Krishna R. Urs signed the Agreement to strengthen cooperation in the field of maritime and aeronautical SAR and to enhance effectiveness in assisting persons in distress.The Agreement allows enhanced, formal cooperation between the U.S. Coast Guard and the Peruvian…

26 Apr 2019

Survey Vessel Joins Hunt for Lost F-35

© zapper/Adobe Stock

Japan expanded its search for a missing F-35 stealth fighter on  with a maritime survey vessel joining a navy ship and a U.S. Navy salvage team is expected in the area in coming days, a Japanese air force spokesman said.Only small pieces of the Japanese Air Self Defense Force aircraft's tail have been found since the advanced jet disappeared from radar screens during an exercise with three other F-35s over the Pacific, near northwest Japan, on April 9."The plane and the pilot are still missing," the air force spokesman said.

16 Apr 2019

Metal Shark Wins Miami-Dade Fire Boat Contract

The Metal Shark “50 Defiant X” fireboat, a welded aluminum monohull vessel featuring a proven hull form and a specialized arrangement optimized for firefighting. CREDIT: Metal Shark

Shipbuilder Metal Shark has been selected to build the next generation of fire boats for the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department.Miami-Dade has selected the Metal Shark “50 Defiant X” fireboat, a welded aluminum monohull vessel featuring a proven hull form and a specialized arrangement optimized for firefighting. The new fire boats are being built at Metal Shark’s Jeanerette, Louisiana production facility and are intended to replace older fire boats currently operated by the Department.The 50’ x 15’ vessels will be powered by twin inboard diesel engines mated to water jet propulsion units…

27 Mar 2019

Royal Canadian Navy to Use MIRRAS System

Photo: Kognitiv Spark

The developer of augmented and mixed reality technology Kognitiv Spark will be providing the Royal Canadian Navy with the opportunity to test drive a Mixed Reality Remote Assistant Support (MIRRAS) system, as part of a project that aims to improve maintenance and repairs aboard active naval vessels.The project aims to validate technology adopted from Kognitiv Spark, whose software is designed for use with the Microsoft HoloLens.The software leverages Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality…

13 Mar 2019

Across the Big Pond: Metal Shark Expands Again

Managing Director Teuta Duletic (left) and Technical Manager Drazen Debelic at Metal Shark Croatia.

Metal Shark Expands Internationally with New Croatia Engineering Facility.Shipbuilder Metal Shark has established a foothold across the Atlantic with the opening of a dedicated European engineering office.Metal Shark’s first location outside of the United States, “Metal Shark Croatia” is a new engineering facility recently opened in the city of Rijeka on Croatia’s northern Adriatic coast.The facility currently employs nearly 20 naval architects, machinery systems engineers, and…

12 Mar 2019

Robots to Optimize Shipyard Operations

Image: Sarcos Robotics

The navy shipyard, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) & Intermediate Maintenance Facility (IMF) and Sarcos Robotics will jointly develop robotic technologies, including full-body powered exoskeletons, for use in naval shipyards, the two entities jointly announced.Sarcos Robotics, a player in robotic systems that augment rather than replace humans working in the industrial, public safety and military sectors, said in a press note that they would will evaluate Sarcos’ Guardian XO…

22 Jan 2019

Tampa Bay’s Cross Bay Ferry a winner for HMS Ferries

The seasonal ferry underway (CREDIT: Cross Bay Ferry)

The Ferry’s second season this year presents permanent possibilities.The Cross Bay Ferry from Tampa’s Florida Aquarium dock to the dock at the North Yacht Basin in St. Petersburg, Florida is off to a rollicking start, with 3,000 more passengers in it’s debut month of November 2018 than its strongest month during the 2016/2017 test period, and with continued support from Tampa Bay area leadership.“We are very encouraged by the numbers we are seeing so far,” St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said.

21 Feb 2019

Russia Struggles to Modernize its Navy

Yaroslav Mudry. Photo from kaliningrad.kp.ru

President Vladimir Putin calls improving the Russian navy's combat capabilities a priority.The unfinished husks of three guided-missile frigates that have languished for three years at a Baltic shipyard show that is easier said than done.Earmarked for Russia's Black Sea Fleet, the frigates fell victim to sanctions imposed by Ukraine in 2014 after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula, prompting Kiev to ban the sale of the Ukrainian-made engines needed to propel them.With Moscow unable to quickly build replacement engines for the Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates, construction stopped.

30 Jan 2019

Metal Shark Delivers New Patrol Boats in Aruba

A Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard AW139 helicopter flies above a Metal Shark 38 Defiant patrol boat following a commissioning ceremony in Aruba on January 23rd, 2019.

Four new high speed patrol boats manufactured by shipbuilder Metal Shark have entered service with the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) on the island of Aruba.The vessels were commissioned into service with a ceremony on January 23rd at DCCG’s Station Aruba in the district of Savaneta on Aruba’s southeast coast. Among those present were officials from the Aruban government, Dutch Ministry of Defense, DCCG, and Metal Shark, as well as local and regional media outlets.The new…

31 Jan 2019

Navy: UMass Lowell to host 2019 FST

The Department of the Navy (DoN) Forum for SBIR/STTR Transition (FST) will be held April 10-11, 2019 at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass., co-hosted by the UMass Lowell Research Institute (UML RI).Lowell’s heart and soul is innovation. It’s a city where some of the first major textile mills opened in the mid-1800s, triggering America’s industrial revolution. Today Lowell is situated in one of the nation’s largest technology clusters. UML RI, located near Hanscom AFB in Lincoln, Mass., is emerging as a leader in bridging the gap between research and solutions that change people’s lives and provide world-class, cutting-edge technology to our warfighters.“This is a significant area for technology and innovation,” said Matthew McSwain, UML RI’s executive director.

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