Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hostages Perish,But Navy Commandos Kill,Capture Pirates

U.S. Navy SEALs attempted to rescue four Americans being held hostage by Somali pirates Tuesday,but found them already dead when they boarded the hijacked yacht SV Quest that had been taken off the coast of Oman,near Yemen and Somalia.The yacht,the Adams' 58-foot sloop, had been shadowed by a Navy task force of four warships:an aircraft carrier;two destroyers;and a cruiser.
At one point,a Somali pirate on the yacht fired a rocket-propelled grenade at one of the warships and gunfire was heard below deck on the yacht.The SEALs were dispatched in an orange life raft to rescue the hostages and,in the event,killed two of the pirates on the Quest,arresting 13 others.Two other pirates were found dead on the yacht,and another two were negotiating with the FBI on one of the warships;they were also detained.
The fifteen surviving pirates are being held on one of the Navy ships.They will go through the appropriate process to hold them accountable,said Vice Admiral Mark Fox of U.S. Central Command.
The hostages were Scott Adams and his wife Jean of Marina del Rey,California,as well as Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle of Seattle.They were apparently on a mission to distribute bibles,having just participated in a sailing rally,and were aware that they were in dangerous waters,asking for prayers to be protected from the pirates.
At present,Somali pirates are holding some 30 other ships and 660 hostages.The Navy is sending three more warships from San Diego to join the anti-piracy effort.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

X-47B Makes Maiden Flight

The Northrop Grumman team is celebrating the successful first flight of the X-47B for the U.S. Navy.The X-47B is a demonstration unmanned combat air system.It is designed for integration with aircraft carriers;launching from,landing on and operating autonomously from them.
The stealthy aircraft is tailless.Its Northrop Grumman team consists of Lockheed Martin,Pratt&Whitney/United Technologies,General Electric,Dell,Honeywell,Rockwell Collins,Eaton and others.The team will also demonstrate autonomous aerial refueling for the drone.
The X-47B test took place at Edwards Air Force Base,California.
Northrop Grumman(NOC),Lockheed Martin(LMT),General Electric(GE),Honeywell International(HON),United Technologies(UTC),Dell,Inc.(DELL),Eaton(ETN),Rockwell Collins(COL)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Firms Compete For Hovercraft Contract

Textron Shipyard Operations,located on the Gulf of Mexico,is a 600,000+ square foot facility,which the company says is ready to roll.Team Textron,consisting of Textron,Alcoa and L-3,claims it has the knowledge,experience and expertise to produce hovercraft for the U.S. Navy at the shipyard.It has streamlined the construction process with a highly efficient assembly station configuration,cutting time and effort by consolidation of production.
The shipyard is unique in the world in that it can produce 10 hovercraft a year-within budget,at weight and on schedule.From advanced shape cutters to automated robotic welders,hull and craft assembly line stations to the launch ramp and test area,the team has a fully functional set-up for fulfilling the contract in the New Orleans area,Textron asserts.
A rival team,Team SSC,consisting of Marinette Marine,Boeing,Oceaneering and Griffon Hoverwork is also pursuing the ship to shore connector contract.Team SSC says it is focused on availability,reliability,maintainability and total ownership cost of these U.S. Marine equipment and personnel transport hovercraft,which must get troops and armored vehicles such as tanks from amphibious assault ships to shore.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Elite Marines Defend Cairo Embassy

About a dozen members of the U.S. Marines' elite Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Teams(FAST) have flown to Cairo,Egypt to augment the Marine guards already protecting the U.S. Embassy there.The State Department has also added more agents from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security to the cadre.The military plane the FAST members flew in on was then detailed to begin airlifting Americans out of the unstable city to safety in Larnaca,Cyprus.
Established in 1987,the FAST teams perform security missions as directed by the Chief of Naval Operations,presently Admiral Gary Roughead.FAST consists of two Companies plus a training Company,all of them based in Virginia.Primarily designed to conduct defensive combat ops,military security ops and rear area security ops,they also safeguard nuclear materials when nuclear-powered submarines are in port.
FAST have seen a heavy ops tempo since their inception,serving everywhere from Panama to Somalia.They conduct security patrols around perimeters,establish ambush positions along known avenues of approach,and practice close quarter combat skills in urban environments.Each FAST Company has 321 Marines,including Designated Marksmen.
The FAST Marines are armed with an array of firepower,such as 60mm mortars;M-16A2 rifles;M-16A2/M-203 40mm grenade launchers;Beretta M-9 9mm pistols and SMAW Anti-tank rockets.