Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Major Pacific Exercise Underway

RIMPAC 2010,the world's largest multinational maritime exercise,is now underway off the coast of Hawaii.The 22nd biennial exercise,which began in 1971,is hosted by the Navy's Pacific Fleet(PACFLT).Participating are 32 ships,5 submarines,170+ aircraft and 20,000 personnel from 14 countries,including Australia,Canada,Chile,Colombia,France,Indonesia,Japan,Malaysia,the Netherlands,Peru,South Korea,Singapore,Thailand and the US.
The theme of RIMPAC 2010 is "combined agility,synergy and support."Extending into July,it encompasses side-by-side training activities ranging from salvage operations,to interdiction and missile firing,culminating with a scenario phase.Admiral Patrick Walsh,PACFLT Commander,is leading RIMPAC 2010.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Freak Accident Blocks Highway

A chain reaction accident that began with a water main break clogged a major north-south route in Montgomery County,Maryland this morning,trapping commuters or sending them onto detours.The surging water toppled a telephone pole,which was collided with by a tractor-trailer.Wires were strewn across I-270.Pepco,the local electric utility,got the pole and power lines back up in short order,but then Verizon had to restring its own cables.Some drivers tried to turn around using an emergency vehicle path,but were ticketed by state police.
The early heat wave of recent days may have contributed to the water main break.A number of aging pipes crisscross the Mid-Atlantic region,resulting in many breakage incidents during times of temperature extremes.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Destroyer Keel Authenticated

On 18 June,the keel of the USS Michael Murphy(DDG 112)was authenticated at Bath Iron Works in Bath,Maine.This ceremony marks the beginning of construction on a ship.The Arleigh Burke class destroyer is named in honor of Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael Murphy,who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005.His family participated in the ceremony,confirming that the keel was laid straight and true.Lt.Murphy's mother,Maureen Murphy,is the ship's sponsor.She said she really worried about her son being a SEAL at first,but she got used to it because he said he's not cut out for the desk job yet.A banner with Lt.Murphy's likeness and the phrase "Do It For Murph" was posted at the event.
Bath Iron Works is a General Dynamics facility.Northrop Grumman also builds some of the guided missle destroyers.They are armed with 5-inch guns and several other weapon systems,along with missiles.
General Dynamics(GD),Northrop Grumman(NOC)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Marine Support Ship Christened

The USS San Diego(LPD 22),an amphibious transport dock ship,was christened on 12 June in Pascagoula,Mississippi.She is the sixth ship of the San Antonio class of LPD,supporting the U.S. Marine Corps mobility triad of landing craft air cushion,MV-22 Osprey aircraft and expeditionary fighting vehicles.The San Diego can transport up to 800 Marines and their equipment,including helicopters.
Three more LPDs are under construction,which will bring the total number up to eight ships.These LPDs can sail at a speed of 22+ knots.They are manned by a complement of 350 officers and Sailors,plus three Marines.Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor,with Raytheon being among the major subcontractors,providing electronic systems integration.
Northrop Grumman(NOC),Raytheon(RTN)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Making Dust Devils

Mowing the lawn the other day,I sent up big clouds of dust.These dust devils were a sure sign of a rainfall deficit.Despite several thunderstorms,we were clearly in a choking dry spell.As is typical,the loud storms had failed to produce much measurable moisture.It was good to see today's soaking showers,then.Nature is doing the watering chore herself,freeing growers for the many other needs on their minds,such as weed control and seeding.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Defense Contractor Provides Connectivity

For General Dynamics,connectivity is a priority,as well as ships and armored vehicles.A provider of space-to-sea solutions,GD is providing secure communications and collaboration to connect the U.S. Navy and its joint allies,so they can be connected to the network and the mission from space to sea.Connected,networked and secured,naval network operations are being integrated with dynamic bandwidth allocation,everything-over-IP,and state-of-the-art security and technology,the company says.In consequence,commanders and sailors are connected for mission success.
Doing this work is General Dynamics' C4 Systems unit.Based in Scottsdale,Arizona,it provides both terrestrial and space-based communication networks,systems and products;command and control systems;battle management,intelligence,surveillance and reconnaissance systems;and several other offerings.Chris Marzilli is president of C4 Systems.Its revenue is not disclosed.
General Dynamics(GD)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Destroyer Completes Trials

The Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Jason Dunham(DDG 109)has successfully completed her super trials.The super trials combine the builder and acceptance trials.Three more Arleigh Burke class destroyers are under construction,with an additional eight planned.The Jason Dunham is the fifty-eighth ship of her class and is scheduled to be commissioned in November.
Design improvements may still be made in the eight planned destroyers.The later ships of the Arleigh Burke class have two helicopter hangars,while the earlier ships only have landing platforms and handling facilities for helos.Several of the destroyers have been modified for ballistic missile defense,carrying the SM-3 missile for that purpose.The SM-3 intercepts and destroys some types of short and medium range ballistic missiles.
Northrop Grumman is building the new destroyers.