US Navy: Bigger is Better, but at What Cost?
The U.S. Navy has a balanced fleet, but it wants to grow bigger and better. Will the budget allow both? Maritime Reporter's March 2017 cover story on the U.S. Navy was all about the numbers. There exists several plans to grow the fleet beyond the current number of 308 ships, the Mitre recommendation of 414 ships, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment 340-ship proposal, and the Navy’s decision to grow the fleet to 355 ships, and the Trump administration’s 350. With so many numbers being bandied about, there are even more suggestions on how to get there.
Fire Aboard US Navy Ship
A fire broke out aboard a U.S. Navy amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) at approximately 2 p.m. yesterday while the ship was undergoing maintenance at NASSCO/Earl Industries shipyard in Portsmouth, Va. Sailors aboard the vessel and the Portsmouth, Virginia, Fire and Rescue Department responded, declared the fire out at approximately 5:25 p.m. According to the U.S. Navy, initial reports indicate that the fire began in an unmanned storeroom below the main deck. All personnel were accounted for, the Navy said.
Bataan ARG/MEU Transits from U.S. 5th Fleet to 6th Fleet
Ships of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) transited the Suez Canal Oct. 2, 2014, marking the beginning journey homeward. Deployed since February 8, 2014, the Bataan ARG/MEU is comprised of the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), and embarked Marines from the 22nd MEU. The Bataan ARG/MEU is…
USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Group Deploys
More than 4,000 Sailors and Marines from the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (IWO ARG) and 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24 MEU) departed for deployment from Norfolk and Camp Lejeune, N.C. The deployment is to support Maritime Security Operations, provide crisis response capability, increase theater security cooperation and provide forward naval presence in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. The IWO JIMA ARG/24 MEU is comprised of Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 8…
USS Fort McHenry Completes Haiti Mission
The USS Fort McHenry arrived in Haiti Jan. 18, six days after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Caribbean nation. The Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship's Sailors and embarked Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) provided critical medical, distribution, rubble removal and construction assistance during Operation Unified Response. The ship provided over 3,500 pounds of medical aid and the medical team treated 850 patients, both on the ship and ashore…
Navy Ships Evade Hurricane Isabel
Commander, 2nd Fleet ordered ships based in Hampton Roads in southeastern Virginia to get underway Sept. 16, to avoid potential damage to ships and piers from anticipated hurricane force winds and high tidal surges. Ships currently underway will stay out to sea until Hurricane Isabel passes. Vice Adm. Gary Roughead, commander of the U.S. 2nd Fleet, said the decision to sortie the ships from Hampton Roads is based on concerns for the safety of Sailors, and the preservation of the ships and associated equipment. Forty Hampton Roads-based ships and submarines will get underway Sept.
Kearsarge ESG Conducts Rescue at Sea During COMPTUEX
Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group (KSGESG) assisted in the rescue of three mariners aboard a sailboat in distress May 18. The crew of the 48-foot S/V (sailing vessel) Sea Fever, ages 90, 81 and 50 respectively, were rescued 40 miles off the coast of North Carolina as a result of the combined efforts of amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 Detachment 1, and Coast Guard Station Fort Macon. When the began taking on water, the Sea Fever crew sent a 'mayday' message reporting they were taking on water. Although they had three pumps energized, they were not able to keep up with the flooding and were going down. U.S. Coast Guard Sector North Carolina responded to the mayday, and sent a request for assistance in their search for the stranded vessel.
Naval Academy Midshipmen Select Their Future Ships
Two hundred and seventy-four midshipmen selected the surface ships they will serve on after graduation at the U.S. Naval Academy's “Ship Selection” night, Feb. 23. Vice Adm. Terry Etnyre, commander, Naval Surface Forces, welcomed them to the surface warfare community and said, “This is an important moment in your careers. Each midshipman who was assigned surface warfare as their career path awaited their turn in Memorial Hall to pick placards with ship names off large boards categorized by homeport. Each selecting midshipman’s name, ship and homeport were announced to the midshipmen, officers, friends and family present. Etnyre, Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm.
Three Navy Ships Surged
The Navy surged three ships January 24 and 25 to conduct maritime security operations in support of the global war on terrorism. The amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) and the guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69) will deploy with their more than 1,100 Sailors for approximately three months. These ships will work with allies to detect, disrupt, and deny international terrorist organizations the use of the maritime environment. They will also work closely with allies to build regional security and long-term stability. Oak Hill, homeported at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek…
United Defense Wins Contracts
United Defense, Industries, Inc announced today the award to NORSHIPCO a division of United States Marine Repair of 2 multi-year, multi-ship, cost plus contracts by the U.S. Navy’s Supervisor of Shipbuilding and Repair (SUPSHIP), Portsmouth worth nearly $90 million if all options are exercised. The largest contract, for six LSD-41 and 48 class ships, puts the entire LSD fleet of this ship type on East and West coasts under maintenance contracts with United States Marine Repair, a subsidiary of United Defense. The Advance Planning award totals $52,610. The combined total contract award, if the Navy exercises all options, is approximately $64 million.
The U.S. Navy - Reducing Shipboard Planned Maintenance
The cost of maintaining Navy ships is measured in billions of dollars and millions of man-hours. Requiring sailors to perform excessive, unnecessary, and often counter-productive maintenance does more than waste money. It also wastes that most precious of commodities — sailors' time. This problem is being addressed by the U.S. Navy through the Surface Ship Maintenance Effectiveness Review (SURFMER) program. Since October 1996, SURFMER has reduced sailor performed planned maintenance workload on surface ships and aircraft carriers by more than 35 percent. and more than 2.3 million man-hours annually. At the same time, it has improved sailors' quality of life — a top Navy leadership priority.
Norfolk Shipbuilding Gets Contract
Norfolk Shipbuilding & Drydock Corp., Norfolk, Va., is being awarded an $8,409,850 fixed-price contract for the Phased Maintenance Availability of USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44). Work includes miscellaneous structural, electrical, and mechanical repairs including ship alterations, and alterations equivalent to repairs. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Va., and is expected to be completed by June 2002. Contract funds in the amount of $8,409,850 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Internet, with seven proposals solicited and four offers received. The Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, USN, Portsmouth, Va., is the contracting activity.