NewsBytes 2011


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October 4, 2011: Centennial Of Naval Aviation 1911-2011 MIRAMAR, Calif. (NNS) -- Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar opened its gates to three-quarters of a million members of the local San Diego community Sept. 30 - Oct. 2 for the facility's annual air show.

Themed "A Salute to San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation 1911 - 2011", the show focused on this year's Centennial of Naval Aviation (CoNA) by highlighting how far military aviation (specifically that of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) has advanced during the past century.

September 29: Nimitz Moves Out of Dry Dock BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- USS Nimitz (CVN 68) moved from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility's Dry Dock 6 to Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton's Pier Delta Sept. 29, after completing required out-of-the-water maintenance while in dry dock.

After moving to Pier Delta, work aboard Nimitz will continue as the ship's Docking Planned Incremental Availability comes to a close.

May 30, 2011 CVN-79 to be named John F Kennedy.  Following closely behind the decommissioned CV-67 the new Ford class carrier is to be named John F Kennedy.

February 25, 2011 First Cut Of Steel for CVN-79: NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Advance construction started on the nation's newest aircraft carrier Feb. 25 with a "first cut of steel" ceremony at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Newport News, Va.

"Today we mark the beginning of the advance construction of CVN 79, second of the Gerald R. Ford-class of aircraft carriers," said Rear Adm. Michael McMahon, Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Aircraft Carriers. "It's an important step in continuing carrier construction using advanced technologies and efficiencies to reduce both ownership and procurement cost in this new class of carriers."

Ford-class aircraft carriers, while retaining the same hull form as the Nimitz class, contain several advanced technology systems including Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching Systems, advanced arresting gear, dual band radar, a redesigned smaller island and a new propulsion plant. The first ship in the class, Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), is also under construction at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Newport News and is scheduled to be delivered to the fleet in September 2015.

January 6, 2011: An Efficient Navy? In order to achieve efficiencies savings of more than $35 billion over five years, the Department of the Navy proposes to:

- Reduce manpower ashore and reassign 6,000 personnel to operational missions at sea.
- Use multi-year procurement to save more than $1.3 billion on the purchase of new airborne surveillance, jamming, and fighter aircraft.
- Disestablish several staffs (but not the associated platforms) to include submarine-, patrol aircraft-, and destroyer-squadrons plus one carrier strike group staff.
- Disestablish the headquarters of U.S. 2nd Fleet at Norfolk, Va., transferring responsibility for its mission to the Navy's Fleet Forces Command, also located in Norfolk, Va.

During the Cold War, U.S. 2nd Fleet had distinct and significant operational responsibilities. Disestablishing this command would affect approximately 160 military positions. No ships will change homeport as a result of the disestablishment of 2nd Fleet. The Hampton Roads area, which includes the cities of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, is the location of the world's largest naval station. It is homeport to 77 ships, which includes aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, large amphibious ships, submarines, and a variety of supply and logistics ships, as well as 300 aircraft, 35 aircraft squadrons, 356 tenant commands.

the Department of the Navy is proposing to use efficiencies savings to:

- Accelerate development of a new generation of electronic jammers to improve the Navy's ability to fight and survive in an anti-access environment.
- Increase the repair and refurbishment of Marine equipment used in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Develop a new generation of sea-borne unmanned strike and surveillance aircraft.
- Purchase more of the latest model F-18s and extend the service life of 150 of these aircraft as a hedge against more delays in the deployment of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
- Purchase additional ships, including a destroyer, a littoral combat ship, an ocean surveillance vessel and fleet oilers.

June 13th 2012: USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) celebrated a significant milestone in the ship's history, June 13.
George Washington conducts more daily, flight sorties and recoveries than any other aircraft carrier in the fleet, allowing the ship to conduct its 150,000th safe arrested landing since its commissioning July 4, 1992.

April 6th 2012: VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- An F/A-18D assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 crashed in Virginia Beach, Va. April 6.

Initial reports indicate that at approximately 12:05 p.m., the jet crashed just after takeoff at a location just off of the base.

Both aircrew safely ejected from the aircraft.

March 20th 2012: Carrier Air Wing 14 Deactivation Cancelled
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy directed U.S. Pacific Fleet and Naval Air Forces to stop, and reverse the deactivation process for carrier air wing (CVW) 14 in a memo dated March 20.

CVW-14 is based out of Lemoore, Calif., and is comprised of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323, Strike Fighter Squadron 154, Strike Fighter Squadron 147, Strike Fighter Squadron 146, Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 4, Early Warning Squadron 113, Electronic Attack Squadron 139 and Fleet Logistics Squadron 31, Detachment 1.

March 14th, 2012: Enterprise Final Deployment                           USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) departed Norfolk Naval Station March 11 on the ship's 22nd and final deployment.

For Enterprise, the Navy's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the deployment represents the culmination of more than 50 years of distinguished service.

Commissioned in 1961, the Enterprise is both the largest and oldest active combat vessel in the Navy.

The Enterprise Carrier Strike Group is comprised of Enterprise, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2, guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69), and guided-missile destroyers USS Porter (DDG 78), USS Nitze (DDG 94), and USS James E. Williams (DDG 95).

CVW-1 is comprised of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 136, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 251, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 137, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 123 and Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HS) 11.

February 28th, 2012 ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- Engineers have fired the Navy's first industry-built electromagnetic railgun (EM Railgun) prototype launcher at a test facility, commencing an evaluation that is an important intermediate step toward a future tactical weapon for ships, officials announced Feb. 28.

The EM Railgun launcher is a long-range weapon that fires projectiles using electricity instead of chemical propellants. Magnetic fields created by high electrical currents accelerate a sliding metal conductor, or armature, between two rails to launch projectiles at 4,500 mph to 5,600 mph.


November 17, 2010: Cyber War Against Iran  The STUXNET virus attack on the Bushehr computer systems seems to have originated from a sophisticated state backed organisation. Suspision falls unsurprisingly onto Israel.

Cyber warfare is not new as attacks from various countries such as North Korea and China have been reported on government systems from around the world.

It remains to be seen how Iran might eventually react to the attack or if more attacks might be unleashed in Iran.

September 13 2010: Striking Iran: Weapons I: One immediately thinks of Cruise, B2 and Covert and all those weapons  or methods would, of course, be used, but there are other specialised systems that would have to be employed like  the GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP).

The MOP will have more than 5,300 pounds (2.4 tonnes) of explosives, encased in a 20.5 foot hardened steel casing which makes it capable of penetrating and destroying deeply buried targets like tunnels, bunkers  or deeply buried targets like underground nuclear installations. With more than 10 times the explosive power of its predecessor, the BLU-109, MOP will be precision-guided by GPS based navigation to target.

B-2s will require two major modifications, each costing about $1 billion, to be able to successfully deliver the MOP and this work is already completed. Next Time: Weapons II

July 15 2010: Is it Time to Strike Iran? The option to strike Iran's nuclear facilities seems to be back on the table since Pres. George W Bush first posed the question in 2006. At that time it was thought not feasible given the wildly scattered facilities, many in urban areas or deep underground.

However, with the present standoff with the West and urged on by Middle East countries such as UAE and Saudi, who both fear Iran getting a nuclear weapon, new thought has gone into how it could be done.

With a right wing Israeli Prime Minister in power, they have also been encouraged to become part of the plan since a rogue Israeli strike needs to be avoided. The views of China and Russia also have to be taken into account, and they will probably not be too keen on the idea.

Next Issue: What will it take to get it done?