Monday, October 20, 2014

Escort Carriers in Tacoma Mothball Fleet Pictorial

Tacoma Public Library

Tacoma Public Library
Cve123.jpg
USS Tinian bound for Tacoma to enter mothball fleet. Wikipedia photo.

USS Sitkoh Bay. Tacoma Public Library


Tacoma Public Library

Tacoma Public Library

Tacoma Public Library

Tacoma Public Library

Lockheed Martin-Led Team Launches Future USS Detroit



Marinette October 18, 2014 - The Lockheed Martin-led industry team launched the nation's seventh Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Detroit, into the Menominee River at Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC).
The ship's sponsor, Mrs. Barbara Levin, christened Detroit with the traditional smashing of a champagne bottle across the ship's bow just prior to the launch.
"It is a privilege to serve as the sponsor of the future USS Detroit and to participate in the major milestones along the way to her assuming her place as part of the great U.S. Navy fleet," said Mrs. Levin. "I also look forward to an ongoing relationship with her courageous crews and their families throughout the ship's lifetime."
Following christening and launch, Detroit will continue to undergo outfitting and testing before delivery to the Navy in 2015.
"It is an honor to continue supporting the U.S. Navy with these capable and flexible warships," said Dale P. Bennett, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Training business. "The Lockheed Martin-led team's LCS design is lethal, survivable, and affordable. These ships will help the Navy achieve its goal to increase forward presence, and can be upgraded or modified quickly to meet future missions."
The U.S. Navy awarded the contract to construct Detroit in March 2011. The ship is one of five currently under construction at Marinette Marine.
"On behalf of Marinette Marine, we are incredibly proud to build these ships for the U.S. Navy," said Jan Allman, MMC president and CEO. "We continue to streamline our processes and leverage the craftsmanship and skills of our employees in producing these high quality vessels for our warfighters."
The Lockheed Martin-led industry team is building the Freedom-variant ships, and has already delivered two ships to the U.S. Navy. USS Freedom (LCS 1) completed a successful deployment to Southeast Asia in 2013. USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) will deploy to Southeast Asia in 2014. Milwaukee (LCS 5) will be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2015. Detroit (LCS 7) was christened and launched on Oct. 18, 2014. Little Rock (LCS 9), Sioux City (LCS 11) and Wichita (LCS 13) are under construction. Billings (LCS 15) will begin construction this year.
Earlier this year, the Navy funded Indianapolis (LCS 17) and LCS 19, which is yet to be named.

Iconic 'Elephant Cage' laid to rest

USAF
Misawa AFB October 17, 2014 - Demolition of Misawa Air Base's AN/FLR-9 antenna, also known as the "Elephant Cage," began Oct. 15 after nearly 50 years of service.
Construction on the iconic antenna began in 1963 and was completed in 1965 at a cost of $3.3 million.
While operational, the antenna could intercept and directionally locate high-frequency radio transmissions up to 4,000 nautical miles away. Its capabilities helped ensure U.S. and allied forces had the needed secure command, control and communication to support senior military and defense officials. The antenna array was composed of three concentric rings of antenna elements.
A total of eight Elephant Cages were constructed in various locations around the world.
"While it performed its mission well for 48 years, outlived technology and fiscal constraints have driven Misawa Security Operations Center to seek new ways of doing business," said Col. Joseph Winters, a 373rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance commander. 
However, the assembly will not soon be forgotten.
"This massive structure has architecturally graced the northern skyline overlooking Lake Ogawara and is said to be considered a symbol of luck by the local Japanese," Winters said. "The Elephant Cage was undoubtedly part of Misawa's past and present, and it will be missed."
The demolition project will bring an additional $4.97 million into the Japanese economy and employ more than 250 Japanese nationals. 
The project is expected to last until September 2015.
The last standing Elephant Cage is located at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.
"During its long life the antenna played a major part in the Cold War and beyond," said Col. Andrew Hansen, the 35th Fighter Wing vice commander. "However, the technology has outlived its usefulness and requires new ways of operating. The demolition of the Elephant Cage marks the end of an era."

Saturday, October 18, 2014

DOJ Files False Claims Act Lawsuit Against Sikorsky


Washington October 16, 2014 - United States Files Complaint in False Claims Act Lawsuit Alleging Defense Contractors Knowingly Overcharged the Navy on Aircraft Maintenance Contract
The Department of Justice announced today that it has filed its complaint in intervention in a case against defendants Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and two of its subsidiaries, Sikorsky Support Services Inc. and Derco Aerospace Inc., for violating the False Claims Act.  Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation, with headquarters in Stratford, Connecticut. 
The government’s complaint alleges that Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation approved an illegal cost-plus-a-percentage-of-cost subcontract between Sikorsky Support Services Inc., and Derco Aerospace.  A cost-plus-a-percentage-of-cost contract is one where the cost of performance is unknown in advance and compensation is determined based on the cost of performance plus an agreed-to percentage of such costs.  Such contracts are prohibited because they give contractors no incentive to control the cost of performance.  The complaint further alleges the defendants used this illegal subcontract to overcharge the Navy on parts and materials that were used to maintain Navy aircraft.
“Those who contract with the federal government and accept taxpayer dollars, must follow the rules,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Joyce R. Branda for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “Today’s complaint demonstrates, once again, that the Department of Justice will not tolerate contractors who engage in schemes to defraud the armed forces or any other agency of the United States.”
“The claims in the civil complaint that we have filed reflect our focused and purposeful investigative work in identifying and seeking remedies for false claims in government contracting,” said U.S. Attorney James L. Santelle for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.  “Under the authority of the False Claims Act, we pursue fraud of this sort to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent lawfully and that overcharges and other types of contracting misconduct are addressed.”
The complaint was filed in a case brought under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act by Mary J. Patzer, a former employee of Derco.  Under the False Claims Act, a private citizen, called a “relator,” may bring suit on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery.  The government may intervene in the case, as the government has done here.  The False Claims Act allows the government to recover treble damages and penalties from those who violate it.
The case is being handled jointly by the Civil Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
The case is captioned United States ex rel. Patzer v. United Technologies Corporation, et al., No. 11-C-560 (E.D. Wis.).  The claims made in the complaint are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

U.S.S. Lexington provides electricity to Tacoma beginning about December 17, 1929

U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2) supplying power to Tacoma, January 1930
Courtesy Tacoma Public Utilities
Beginning about December 17, 1929, the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2) ties up to the Baker Dock and supplies electricity to Tacoma for a month to meet a power crisis.

Tacoma Public Library

Tacoma Public Library

Tacoma Public Library

In the 1920s, Tacoma received most of its electrical energy from dams on the Nisqually and Skokomish Rivers. Supplemental energy came from the Dock Street steam plant (1922). A drought in 1929 severely cut the power from the hydroelectric sources. The shortage became so critical that Superintendent Ira S. Davisson (1860-1951) had to cut power to Cascade Paper Company. Cascade laid off 300 employees. Fort Lewis turned the lights out in the barracks at 4:00 p.m.

Tacoma Public Library

Tacoma Public Library

Tacoma Public Library

Tacoma appealed to President Herbert Hoover, who bumped the matter to the Navy. At first the Secretary of the Navy refused the request, but negotiations resulted in a message to the Lexington’s captain to go to Tacoma, then to wait, then to go to Tacoma.
The request for the Lexington was opposed by Puget Sound Power & Light and by Seattle City Light, which claimed that the drought did not affect their operations. After the Lexington left Tacoma in January 1930, Seattle requested that the ship help out there. The Navy declined.

Tacoma Public Library

Tacoma Public Library

Tacoma Public Library

Tacoma Public Library

The "Lady Lex" arrived at Tacoma's Baker Dock in the rain to the sounds of a brass band and the applause of City Light customers. The Lexington’s boilers supplied a quarter of Tacoma’s power for about 30 days, leaving on January 17, 1930. That month, the skies opened and rain filled Tacoma’s reservoirs.
Tacoma enjoyed a special relationship with the carrier until its loss at the Battle of the Coral Sea on May 8, 1942.


Sources:
Dick Malloy and John S. Ott, The Tacoma Public Utilities Story -- The First 100 Years: 1893-1993 (Tacoma: Tacoma Public Utilities, 1993), 90-93; "U.S.S. Lexington," U.S. Navy Historical Center Website (http://www.history.navy.mil); Caroline Denyer Gallacci, The City of Destiny and the South Sound (Carlsbad, CA: Heritage Media Corp, 2001), 61.



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RFA Argus deploys to Sierra Leone

The first of 3 Merlin Mk2 helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron touches down on RFA Argus [Picture: Petty Officer Airman (Photographer) Carl Osmond, Crown copyright]
The first of 3 Merlin Mk2 helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron touches down on RFA Argus [Picture: Petty Officer Airman (Photographer) Carl Osmond, Crown copyright]

London October 17, 2014 - The Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship began her journey to Sierra Leone today as part of the UK’s response to the Ebola outbreak.
RFA Argus sailed from Falmouth this morning with Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), Royal Navy personnel and Royal Marines, along with 3 Merlin helicopters, aircrew and engineers from 820 Naval Air Squadron.
On arrival RFA Argus will play a vital role in transporting medical teams and equipment as well as assisting experts deployed to help tackle the Ebola epidemic. The deployment that is expected to last up to 6 months.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon visited RFA Argus, an aviation support ship, earlier in the week to emphasise the leading role which the UK has taken in tackling the crisis in Sierra Leone.

RFA Argus leaves Falmouth
RFA Argus leaves Falmouth heading for Sierra Leone [Picture: Petty Officer Airman (Photographer) Paul A'Barrow, Crown copyright]
Michael Fallon said, "The UK is leading the international fight against Ebola. The deployment of RFA Argus is absolutely key to that effort – not only to help save lives in Sierra Leone but also to help keep Britain safe from this terrible disease. I saw for myself when I visited Falmouth on Tuesday the deeply impressive preparations which RFA Argus’s crew have made to tackle the wide range of demanding challenges which they will have to overcome. It gives me great pride to thank the crew for their outstanding work and wish them a safe voyage.
By the end of October, defence’s total contribution to tackle Ebola in Sierra Leone will amount to 750 personnel and the UK’s treatment centres will provide direct medical care for up to 8,800 Ebola patients over 6 months.


RFA Argus joins the fight against Ebola (infographic)
RFA Argus joins the fight against Ebola (infographic)


Thursday, October 16, 2014

US Navy awards Raytheon $49.5M enhanced Laser Maverick production contract

Maverick is a versatile air launched, precision-guided missile that is effective against a wide variety of fixed, stationary, moving and maneuvering targets both on land and sea. (<a href=/rtnwcm/groups/gallery/documents/digitalasset/rtn_204218.jpg target=_blank>Download High Res Photo</a>)
Raytheon

Tucson October 16, 2014 - The U.S. Navy has awarded Raytheon Company (RTN) a $49.5 million contract for production of new laser-guided Maverick missiles (AGM-65E2/L). The Navy also intends to exercise a contract option to purchase additional units bringing the total contract value to $54.9 million.
The Maverick weapon system, a U.S. Air Force (USAF)-led joint service program, is a forward firing, precision-guided, close air support missile. Maverick is effective against a wide variety of fixed, stationary, moving and maneuvering land and sea targets.
"The Navy has an operational need for increasing its inventory of this lethal and combat proven weapon," said Capt. Albert Mousseau Jr., U.S. Navy program manager, PMA-242. "Enhanced Laser Maverick enables warfighters to engage today's fast-moving, agile targets."
The new Laser Maverick (AGM-65E2/L) includes these enhancements:
Digital laser seeker
New software that reduces the risk of collateral damage and is upgradable based on customer needs
Ability to precisely engage land and sea-based high speed moving targets
Advanced flight algorithms to boost performance in a variety of operational situations
Proven compatibility with existing F/A-18, AV-8B, F-16 & A-10C operational flight program integration
Self, buddy and ground-based lasing capability for all platforms
"The enhanced Laser Maverick provides the U.S. warfighter with even greater capabilities that will meet today's and tomorrow's threats," said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. "This is the latest step for this impressive weapon as we continue to work to ensure that future requirements are met."
The enhanced Laser Maverick is a result of a comprehensive USAF and USN Developmental Testing/Operational Testing program that was completed in 2011.