Monday, June 29, 2009

Navy Uniform Authorized Off Base

The Navy Working Uniform (NWU) is now authorized for wear off-base, during routine stops and at eating establishments during the prescribed workday. In NAVADMIN 188/09, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Adm. Gary Roughead, expanded the occasion for wear policy, which has been in place for six months. Roughead consistently stated that the possibility for changing the policy hinged upon a timetable driven by the Navy's chiefs' mess. Once the leadership mess provided feedback to Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) (SS/SW) Rick West, indicating that Sailors across the Navy understood the correct manner to wear the uniform, it was understood that he would recommend to CNO and Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP), Vice Adm. Mark Ferguson, when the time was right to allow the uniform off base. According to West, that time is now. "Communication from the Force and Fleet Master Chiefs has been unanimously positive. Our Sailors are ready to introduce this uniform to the American public," said West. "That's what CNO was waiting for and this decision is a direct result of chief petty officer (CPO) feedback. It's been sincerely gratifying to be able to watch this process work as well as it has." The policy differs from the language in NAVADMIN 343/08 in that, up to now, routine stops were not allowed. That meant Sailors were prohibited from visits to child care centers, gas stations, brief stops at convenience stores or banks. Now those stops are authorized. "Our Sailors are proud of this uniform," said MCPON. "This has been the number one feedback item from the fleet since I took office, (Dec. 12, 2008) and they have not been shy about their wishes to wear this uniform in town. Our Sailors have been trained to wear it and will wear it proudly." West underscored the importance of waiting for the right time to open up the occasion for wear policy. He said that while many wondered why the original wear policy was put in place, it was important to ensure every Sailor knew how to wear it before allowing it outside the lifelines of ships and bases. He also said he kept a close eye on various regions to see how aggressive leadership was in training the fleet to wear the NWU."I watched Navy Region Mid-Atlantic and I saw how the chiefs in that region were engaged in getting this right from day one. The training was consistent and it was effective. They deserve a lot of credit for the expanded policy, because they did it the right way in the largest fleet concentration area. Leaderships engagement coupled with Sailor feedback was what drove this recommendation (to expand the policy) to CNP and CNO." The revision includes aligning the NWU and Camouflage Utility Uniforms (CUUs) occasion for wear policies and offers more flexibility than the rules governing the wear of other working uniforms. The transition to the NWU will continue as stipulated in NAVADMIN 343/08. Multiple regions across the United States and overseas are still not wearing the NWU due to distribution constraints, so West pointed out that the manner of wear policy is even more critical now as Sailors transfer to those areas. Leadership (CO/CMC) has been authorized to wear the NWU since December and should already be wearing it in the areas where Sailors will soon be showing up. "We have people rolling from one region to another and coming from boot camp, wearing the NWU. I'm looking to them as the Sailors who are going to meet the standards as set forth in the NAVADMIN and the Uniform Regulations, but more importantly, I expect the CPO mess to maintain the standards expected of our high caliber Sailors," said West. The NAVADMIN also states that wear of the NWU/CUU will be restricted inside the National Capital Region (NCR). Navy personnel on staffs located in or visiting the NCR will not be able to wear the NWU or CCU as their uniform of the day. Commanders, according to the message, may prescribe the NWU/CUU for those Sailors in the NCR requiring that uniform for work that would soil the uniform of the day. "I look forward to seeing the public's reaction to our new uniform," said West. "And I know our Sailors are eager to get out there and show it off."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

North Korean Patrol Boat In Flames

A North Korean patrol boat tows another in flames. The latter was shot by the South Korean Navy when the two Koreas clashed in the Yellow Sea in 2002. This picture was taken by Lt. Choo Seong-hoon aboard a South Korean patrol boat on June 29, 2002, and released by South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff on July 2 the same year.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Plastiki Ship Made Of Bottles To Sail Pacific On Voyage Highlighting The Perils Of Plastic

You've heard of a ship in a bottle. How about a ship made of plastic bottles? That would be the Plastiki, designed to sail the Pacific on an 11,000-mile voyage highlighting the dangers of living in a throwaway world. "Waste is fundamentally a design flaw. We wanted to design a vessel that would epitomize waste being used as a resource," said expedition leader David de Rothschild. The boat is named in honor of the 1947 Kon-Tiki raft sailed across the Pacific by explorer Thor Heyerdahl, an ocean adventure that inspired de Rothschild. There's a bit more of a tie-in. One of the Plastiki team members is Josian Heyerdahl, the explorer's granddaughter. An environmental scientist who works on business sustainability issues, Heyerdahl, 25, became part of the project after reading about it and introducing herself to de Rothschild. She's enthusiastic about the idea of using adventure to engage people's attention in rethinking trash. "I've witnessed firsthand how the story of the Kon-Tiki and other adventure stories have really inspired people to take on tasks that they thought were somewhat impossible or inspired them to do something that they really believed in," she said. Plans are for skipper Jo Royle and de Rothschild to sail the whole way from California to Australia, while other crew members will rotate. Heyerdahl plans to join the boat for the last leg of the journey as the Plastiki heads toward Sydney Harbor. Turning thousands of reclaimed 2-liter bottles into a sailing vessel isn't a simple task. The launch date, which had been scheduled earlier this year, had to be pushed back to late this year because of the challenges of working with a new material. The Plastiki is planned as a 60-foot catamaran with the hulls made of a rigid plastic structure forming compartments in which about 10,000 empty bottles are stacked to make it float. Project manager Matthew Grey said the hulls are partially completed and the next step is bonding the various elements of the boat together.Just how much longer it will take to complete the catamaran is uncertain, he said, because "we are dealing on a daily basis with so many unknowns." On Friday, the Plastiki team plans to announce a partnership with Hewlett-Packard Co., which is providing technology for the voyage as well as the Plastiki Mission Control Center at Pier 45. At the center, there will be a number of interactive displays and exhibits, including computer screens that visitors can touch to track the Plastiki's progress and send text messages. "We see it as really a great educational opportunity and a very interactive place where people are coming to learn and enjoy and kind of get a taste of what Plastiki's all about," said Steven Hoffman, HP's director of worldwide marketing. The crew will be housed in a geodesic dome, topped by solar panels, and will have such creature comforts as bunks, solar shower and compost toilet. The boat is fully recyclable, part of the mission to find ways to reuse plastics. "What we have to do is realign our understanding of the material," said de Rothschild, a descendant of the well-known British banking family, who founded Adventure Ecology, which stages expeditions to raise awareness of environmental issues. During the Plastiki voyage, the crew plans to document planetary pollution, from huge patches of floating ocean debris to fallout from nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll to the effects of climate change. They'll keep in touch and get their navigational and meteorological data through HP laptops as well as a satellite phone. Power will come from 12-volt batteries charged by wind turbines and solar panels. The Plastiki isn't the only vessel highlighting the perils of plastic. Last summer, Marcus Eriksen and Joel Paschal sailed from Long Beach to Hawaii on a raft made of 15,000 plastic bottles and the fuselage of a Cessna 310, part of the Long Beach-based Algalita Marine Research Foundation's project called "JUNK."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Coast Guard Uses Facebook To Locate Boater

Coast Guard Sector Northern New England was searching for a possible overdue fisherman out of Cobscook Park in Eastport until a search on Facebook helped locate information which ultimately closed the case and as a result saved up to $30,000 for the taxpayers. A park ranger at Cobscook Park reported to the Coast Guard a lone vehicle and trailer with no boat sitting in a parking lot. Using the license plate, the Coast Guard was able to locate a name, address, and phone number of the vehicle owner but there was no response at the location. Before launching a costly search by Coast Guard aircraft and cutters and with little amplifying information, Paul Conner, the search and rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England who was running the case, decided to use the social networking site Facebook to enhance his search means. Knowing the popularity of internet networking sites, Conner used Facebook to check for any contact information on the missing fisherman or his relatives.“Sometimes we have to be very creative in our information gathering,” said Conner. “A simple internet search can often help us locate a missing person before a boat or aircraft is even on scene.” Conner was ultimately able to locate an email address and contact number for one of the missing fisherman’s relatives. He sent an email to the listed address, but in the end the phone number led him to speak to the fisherman directly, who was not in any distress and moored at a different location than his trailer and vehicle. “For over 200 years the Coast Guard has been using any means necessary to fulfill our mission,” said Captain Jim McPherson, commander at Sector Northern New England. “Now we can add social online media as another tool in our lifesaving kit.”

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tough Times Ahead Says McChrystal

The next 18 months will be crucial in Afghanistan, the new commander of NATO and U.S. forces there said. "I think that the next 18 months are probably a period in which this effort will be decided," Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal told Tom Bowman in a National Public Radio interview. "I don't think it will be over. But I think that not only the American people, I think the Afghan people are looking and deciding which way this will go." McChrystal took command of coalition and U.S. efforts in Afghanistan on June 15. His job is to carry out the new strategy for the region. The general said the conflict should not be viewed solely as a military struggle. It is not a question of whether the United States is winning, he said, but whether the Afghan people are winning. The Afghan government is the ultimate deciding factor, and while the government is not winning the war on extremists, "I don't say they're losing," McChrystal said. "That's an old axiom in counterinsurgency: If you're not winning, you're losing," he said. "And the danger there is that that is true. So we see it as very, very important, probably over about the next 12 to 24 months, that we absolutely get a trend where we are clearly winning."McChrystal has spent much of his career in special operations, hunting down and killing or capturing terrorists. "What I learned is that much of the terrorism we fought years ago was very small groups that were finite. They were fanatical, and they could be attacked that way," he said. "Nowadays, we have to fight the cause of terrorism, because terror is a tactic. You win by taking away from the enemy the one thing the insurgent absolutely has to have, and that's access to the population." Hunting terrorists still has a place in the war in Afghanistan, McChrystal said, but the overall effort requires a mix of aggression and rebuilding. "I very much lean toward the importance of the building side," he said. The population needs to be safe so they can build an economy, build good governance and develop an infrastructure, the general explained. That gives the people something they want to continue and something they want to protect, so "the insurgent, then, becomes a troublemaker," he said. "The opposite could be perceived, even with good intentions," he continued. "If we are just hunting Taliban, we can be perceived as coming into areas and being someone who upsets the neighborhood. But we do need to be able to keep a pressure on the enemy as we push them away. So there's always a balance."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

World Champ Killed In Boat Racing Accident

A 52-year-old Kingsbury man was killed Saturday when his drag racing power boat crashed at 140 m.p.h. in a race on a lake near St. Louis, Mo. Fred Welshans, president of St. Louis Drag Boat Racing Association, said Jim Tucker was killed when his open power boat, “Say When,” lurched and then dipped bow-first into the water as it approached the end of a qualifying run Saturday afternoon for the 30th Annual Budweiser Creve Coeur Lake Drag Boat Classic. “We don’t know what happened,” Welshans said Monday. “The boat was on a good run. It just got a little squirrelly at the top end, the front of the boat got in the water a little bit and it tore off the top deck. It got tore up pretty bad, and he got caught in it. Only God knows what happened after that.” Tucker, a 20-year veteran competitor who was the 2008 International Hot Boat Racing Association’s “Pro Eliminator” class world champion, was thrown from the boat and was believed to have suffered head injuries and a number of broken bones. He was pronounced dead at an area hospital shortly after the accident. The wreckage was recovered, Welshans said, but a preliminary look on Saturday revealed no clues as to how the accident occurred. “We retrieved the entire bottom of the boat, and all his hardware — the rudder, the propeller, the safety gear — was all there, intact,” Welshans said. Investigators will work to determine what caused the crash and whether the accident could have been prevented. “There’ll be guys looking to see what happened,” he said. Welshans said Tucker’s death was the first in the event’s three-decade history — and a tragedy that rocked the drag boat racing community in the Midwest and Southwest where Tucker competed.
“This was a great guy,” Welshans said. “We’ve just lost one of our family. That’s how we see it. This is a sad day.” Tucker has raced in the event since 2003. His boat was an open-cockpit “Pro Eliminator” that competed in the fastest open class sanctioned at the St. Louis Drag Boat Racing Association event. The boats are permitted any piston-driven power plant a racer can mount in a hull. “They can be blown (supercharged), naturally aspirated, you can run anything you want, said Welshans, who is himself a drag boat racer. “The only thing you can’t do is run nitromethane (fuel).” Tucker’s boat, named after a famous line from a showdown in a Western movie, was powered by a 496 cubic-inch Chevy big block that burned alcohol. In spite of the safety measures employed in the construction of the boats and the running of the events — which always include emergency divers to effect quick rescues — the sport is an unforgiving one when things go wrong. “I’ve been racing boats for 30 years and I’ve seen a lot of it,” Welshans said. “It’s a bad thing. You don’t like losing your friends and your racers, but we all think about the same way. None of us thinks it’ll never happen to us. But we had a guy get killed up here on a local sprint car track this weekend, and guys play football and break their necks and die at that. I’ve always been a hot rodder. It’s a challenge, and I’ve always liked speed. It’s just a passion. Adrenaline junkies is what we are.” And the race continued, Welshans said, after a meeting in which other competitors agreed Tucker would have wanted the event to go on without him. “There were still a line of racers standing in line behind him,” Welshans said. “I would like to give special thanks for all Jim’s Texas fans who came up here, and I’m sorry for the loss. We all know this can happen.” And so did his wife, Yvonne Tucker. “Nobody has to feel badly for Jimmy,” she said. “I’m sorry to lose him, but if I’ve got to lose him, I’m glad he went that way, doing what he loves. How many of us get to do that?”

Monday, June 22, 2009

Equinox Cruise Ship On Its Way To Southampton - Backwards

The Captain must surely have breathed a sigh of relief as his cruise ship squeezed through a canal with just inches to spare. The 2,850-guest Celebrity Equinox dwarfed the Rivers Ems in Germany as it passed through the locks backwards. At its tightest point along the course, there were just 4m - not enough room to park a London black cab - between each side of the 317m-long, 37m-wide ship and the riverbank. It was en-route from shipbuilder Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany, to Eemshaven, Netherlands where it will undergo trials before arriving in Southampton for its launch. Celebrity Cruises plan to put the 122,000 tonnes liner into service from July 31.
Equinox cruise ship on its way to Southampton - backwards
Captain Apostolos Bouzakis had to wait until high tide, calm winds and the right tidal barriers before embarking on the tricky journey yesterday and said: ''The conveyance is an interesting challenge for any captain. ''The limited space available for navigation, the nature of sailing in reverse and the number of locks and bridges to traverse are all factors that cruise ship captains normally do not have to contend with. ''But a real benefit of this event is the opportunity to test the manoeuvrability of the ship at reduced speeds. ''With an average channel breadth of 111m it is a bit like taking a brand-new sports car down winding country lanes. ''It's exhilarating, but not without its share of trepidation.'' With sister ship Celebrity Solstice, the two are the largest ships to have sailed on the River Ems.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sailor Picked Up By Container Ship South Of Nova Scotia

A sailor whose boat capsized during a transatlantic race has been plucked from the water south of Nova Scotia. Jeri Grychowski of the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax says the man was picked up by a container vessel, the Maersk Missouri, Sunday about 420 kilometres south of Halifax. She says he's in good condition and used a satellite phone to call for help after his boat flipped and he lost his mast.
Maersk Missouri
The unidentified man was the only person on board and was involved in a transatlantic race from Portsmouth, U.K., to Rhode Island. Grychowski says a Cormorant helicopter and a C-130 Hercules had been dispatched, but because of low visibility and high gusty winds, the helicopter landed at Sable Island and was not able to continue on. However, she says the container ship was close by and they were able to reach the individual.

Friday, June 19, 2009

U.S. Military Set To Intercept North Korean Ship Suspected of Proliferating Missiles, Nukes

The U.S. military is planning to intercept a flagged North Korean ship suspected of proliferating weapons material in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution passed last Friday. The USS John McCain, a navy destroyer, will intercept the ship Kang Nam as soon as it leaves the vicinity off the coast of China, according to a senior U.S. defense official. The order to inderdict has not been given yet, but the ship is getting into position. The ship left a port in North Korea Wednesday and appears to be heading toward Singapore, according to a senior U.S. military source. The vessel, which the military has been tracking since its departure, could be carrying weaponry, missile parts or nuclear materials, a violation of U.N. Resolution 1874, which put sanctions in place against Pyongyang. The USS McCain was involved in an incident with a Chinese sub last Friday - near Subic Bay off the Philippines. The Chinese sub was shadowing the destroyer when it hit the underwater sonar array that the USS McCain was towing behind it. That same navy destroyer that was being shadowed by the Chinese is now positioning itself for a possible interdiction of the North Korean vessel. This is the first suspected "proliferator" that the U.S. and its allies have tracked from North Korea since the United Nations authorized the world's navies to enforce compliance with a variety of U.N. sanctions aimed at punishing North Korea for its recent nuclear test. The ship is currently along the coast of China and being monitored around-the-clock by air.
USS John S. McCain (DDG-56)
The apparent violation raises the question of how the United States and its allies will respond, particularly since the U.N. resolution does not have a lot of teeth to it. The resolution would not allow the United States to board the ship forcibly. Rather, U.S. military would have to request permission to board -- a request North Korea is unlikely to grant. North Korea has said that any attempt to board its ships would be viewed as an act of war and promised "100- or 1,000-fold" retaliation if provoked. The U.S. military may also request that the host country not provide fuel to the ship when it enters its port. The Kang Nam is known to be a ship that has been involved in proliferation activities in the past -- it is "a repeat offender," according to one military source. The ship was detained in October 2006 by authorities in Hong Kong after the North Koreans tested their first nuclear device and the U.N. imposed a subsequent round of sanctions. The latest tension follows a Japanese news report that North Korea may fire a long-range ballistic missile toward Hawaii in early July. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday the military is "watching" that situation "very closely," and would have "some concerns" if North Korea launched a missile in the direction of Hawaii. But he expressed confidence in U.S. ability to handle such a launch. Gates said he's directed the deployment of the Theater High Altitude Area Defense, a mobile missile defense system used for knocking down long- and medium-range missiles. "The ground-based interceptors are clearly in a position to take action. So, without telegraphing what we will do, I would just say ... I think we are in a good position, should it become necessary, to protect the American territory."

Tensions Rise As US Navy Pursues North Korea Ship

Tensions between the United States and North Korea are ratcheting up again tonight. The North may be preparing to test-fire another long-range missile - possibly toward Hawaii. And American warships are tracking a North Korean cargo vessel that could be carrying banned weapons. The cargo ship Kang Nam may not look like much, but it is suddenly attracting a lot of attention from the U.S. military. It is the first North Korean ship to set sail since the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling on the U.S. and other navies to intercept North Korean vessels believed to be carrying arms. That means a U.S. warship could request permission to search the Kang Nam, but it could not use force to board her if North Korea refuses, which it almost certainly will.North Korea has threatened to retaliate if its ships are interfered with - and is preparing a new launch pad to fire off a long range missile capable of reaching Hawaii. Two previous long-range missile tests have failed, but the Pentagon is taking no chances. It's positioning a giant radar at sea to track any North Korea launch and sending interceptor missiles to Hawaii as a back up to interceptors based in California and Alaska. "I think we are in a good position, should it become necessary to protect the … American territory," Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters. The Kang Nam was halted for safety violations entering the port of Hong Kong two years ago. That such a seemingly unassuming vessel could become a key player in such a high-tech standoff is almost laughable. Except that that is exactly what's happening.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Man Saved From Boat Fire On Lake Minnewaska

A boater is safe after police were able to pull the victim from a burning boat on Lake Minnewaska near Glenwood Wednesday. Pope County authorities got a call shortly before 12:30 p.m. from the boater, who said his vessel had started on fire.The boat was on the east end of the lake, about 200 feet from shore, according to police. The boater was the only person on board at the time and got off safely. Fire crews were able to extinguish the fire with a portable pump and tow the boat to shore. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cruise Ship Passengers Go Overboard

Authorities searched Tuesday morning for a passenger who apparently had fallen off a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico. The Carnival ship Holiday was stopped about one–third of the way as it headed from Mobile, Alabama, to Cozumel, Mexico, and an announcement was made that a passenger might have gone overboard. The passenger apparently fell about 10.30pm Monday US Central Time. Passengers, who had been ordered to their cabins for a headcount, later watched as two search boats launched from the cruise ship to search nearby waters in the Gulf of Mexico. A Coast Guard helicopter also had been called. By early Tuesday, several boats still were hunting with searchlights in calm seas.In a separate incident Monday, a man found clinging to a buoy after falling from a cruise ship in coastal Florida was rescued. The Coast Guard said 46–year–old Larry Miller told them he went overboard from the Carnival Inspiration early Monday morning while it was returning to the Port of Tampa. He was found a few hours later clinging to a buoy near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in the St. Petersburg area. He was brought to the hospital with minor injuries. Carnival says the man told authorities he slipped after climbing on a railing to get a better view of the pilot boat. The ship was returning from a four–day cruise. The case remains under investigation.

Upcoming Changes To The Air Force Fitness Test

The Air Force Chief of Staff has approved several changes to the Air Force Physical Fitness Test (AFPFT). The entire test is being re-structured, but the complete details won't be available until July, when the new regulation comes out. The new test will be effective on January 1, 2010. The fitness test will now be administered to active duty airmen twice per year, regardless of test score achieved. Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve airmen will continue to take the test once per year. The actual components of the test aren't changing -- it will still consist of waist measurement, 1.5 mile run, sit-ups, and push-ups. The waist standards are relaxing somewhat. Under the new program, the maximum waist size for a perfect score in that component area is going up from 32.5 inches to 35 inches for men, and from 29 inches to 31.5 inches for women. Additionally, the waist measurements will now affect only 20 percent of the total score, instead of 30 percent inn the current program. The standards for the 1.5 mile run are being recalculated, although specifics won't be known until July.Additionally, the 1.5 mile run will now account for 60 percent of the total score, vice 50 percent under the present program. Push-ups and sit-ups will each still account for 10 percent of the total score. A percent score on the test remains at 100 points. Airmen still need a minimum of 75 points to pass. However, minimums are being established for each event, as well. The Air Force is also cutting the age categories in half. The new age categories are: under 30; 30 to 39; 40 to 49; 50 to 59; and 60 or older. Also in the works is a PT patch that airmen will allowed to wear on their uniform, if they achieved a perfect score of their last test. The Air Force is also hiring civilian proctors for each base to conduct the tests, as a method of eliminating favoritism within the units. The new regulation will also prohibit giving an airman a "5" (outstanding) rating on their performance reports if they have a test failure during the reporting period. Air Force officials considered adding a combat fitness test, such as the Marines incorporated a few months ago, but that idea was shot down.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Air France Plane Part Is Recovered by Merchant Ship

A merchant ship traveling between Uruguay and the United Kingdom found a “medium size” piece of debris from the Air France plane crash site in the Atlantic Ocean, the Brazilian military said today. The Gammagas, a ship sailing under the flag of Antigua and Barbuda, recovered the debris, which will be transferred to the Brazilian Navy, Vice Admiral Edison Lawrence told reporters in Recife, northeast Brazil. Lawrence didn’t say from which part of the plane the piece came. No more bodies or debris were recovered today by the Brazilians, and an air search was called off for most of the day because of bad weather, said Ramon Borges Cardoso, an Air Force brigadier. Air France Flight 447, carrying 228 passengers and crew, went down in the ocean on June 1. A Brazilian Navy ship carrying parts of the plane and personal belongings of the passengers will arrive tomorrow in the port of Recife, where they will be handed over to BEA, the French agency in charge of the investigation, Cardoso said. For the first time, Brazil’s military used the expression “human remains” rather than bodies in today’s briefing. “The conditions in which the last ones were found do not allow us to say body,” Cardoso said. Fifty bodies have been recovered and 37 of them are in Recife for identification by authorities, the military said today. Another seven are on the Brazilian island of Fernando de Noronha island, nearer the crash site, for “pre- identification” procedures.
The Gammagas
Cardoso said he will meet tomorrow in Recife with French ambassador Pierre-Jean Vandoorne, a diplomat named by the French government to follow the case and serve as a go-between with the families and authorities. Vandoorne told relatives of passengers in Rio de Janeiro today that they will be issued with “certificates of presence” on Flight 447, which was traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, Brazilian state news service Agencia Brasil reported. The certificates, to be issued by Air France, are equivalent to death certificates, Agencia Brasil cited Vandoorne as saying. An official at the French Consulate in Rio de Janerio said he couldn’t immediately confirm this when contacted by reporters. Investigators are examining whether ice damage or an obstruction of the plane’s airspeed sensors caused unreliable readings that may have contributed to the crash. Accurate airspeed readings are crucial because flying too quickly can damage a plane’s airframe, while traveling too slowly produces a stall and loss of control. The French navy’s nuclear attack submarine Emeraude, equipped with advanced listening equipment, has joined the hunt for the flight recorders, known as black boxes. The devices may provide clues to what caused the crash. Cardoso said yesterday the authorities will review on June 19 how long the search will continue. “Technically, there are possibilities of recovering bodies up to 20 days after the accident,” he said.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Sinking Ship Needs Coast Guard Rescue

The Coast Guard rescued four people from a sinking 22-foot vessel approximately 10 miles off the coast of Jacksonville this afternoon. Duane Allyn Ferguson, 47, Kevin Ferguson, 15, John Banar, 33, and Mason Penblepon, 27, were taken from the boat by Coast Guard personnel.They had issued a distress call about 12:30 p.m. after the boat, which experienced engine failure, began taking on water. A 47-foot rescue boat from Coast Guard and a Navy search and rescue helicopter crew from Mayport Naval Station were used. The Coast Guard rescue crew salvaged the sinking boat and towed it to the Joe Carlucci Boat Ramp. The boaters were all wearing their life jackets.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell Arrives in Tubruq, Libya

The Alameda-based U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell (WHEC-719) arrived in Tubruq, Libya on May 31, 2009 as part of a theater security cooperation mission to strengthen the maritime partnership between the United States and Libya. Boutwell is the first U.S. military ship to visit Libya in more than forty years. During the ship's three-day port visit, the crew will conduct various training and leadership exchanges with Libyan maritime enforcement personnel and also participate in several cultural exchanges. Training topics range from international search and rescue operations to damage control training and techniques. The ship's Commanding Officer, Captain Kevin Cavanaugh, and Commander, Task Force 68, Captain "Red" Smith began the visit with official calls to local military and civilian leaders followed by a luncheon aboard the ship with the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Gene A. Cretz, and other military and civilian officials.
USCGC Boutwell (WHEC 719)
While in port, Boutwell crewmembers will have opportunities to visit local cultural sites of interest and interact with Libyan military and civilians through a variety of engagements including informal dinner receptions hosted by both Libyan military officials and Boutwell. Boutwell is one of 12 of the U.S. Coast Guard's high endurance cutters and is homeported on Coast Guard Island, Alameda, California. On deployment since January, the ship and its crew have trained with numerous maritime, naval and coast guard forces; conducted counter-piracy and maritime security patrols off the Horn of Africa and in the Arabian Sea; and participated in the multinational exercise "AMAN '09", hosted by the Pakistani Navy. The cutter is currently in support of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Army To Celebrate 234th Birthday

Ever since June 14, 1775, the U.S. Army has been defending America's liberty and to help celebrate its 234th birthday, Army commands will host a variety of events throughout June. The annual Department of the Army cake-cutting ceremony will be in the Pentagon's center courtyard June 12 starting at 11:30 a.m. The Army Birthday Ball is set for June 13 at the Hilton Washington Hotel located at 1919 Connecticut Ave. Northwest, in Washington, D.C. The reception for this year's Birthday Ball is set for 5:30 p.m. and the ball itself begins at 7 p.m. A Twilight Tattoo ceremony in honor of the Army Birthday will take place on Fort Myer, Va., at Whipple Field beginning at 7:15 p.m. on June 17. In case of inclement weather, Conmy Hall on Fort Myer will be the alternate location for the Twilight Tattoo. The Army Birthday also includes events for children, such as book readings. In the nation's capital, book readings will take place at the Fort Myer and Fort Belvoir Child Development Center.The Fort Myer book reading is scheduled 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., June 15 while Fort Belvoir's will take place June 18 from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The 2009 Army Birthday will celebrate the Year of the NCO, military families, civilian personnel and the history of the Transcontinental Convoy. In 1919, the Army's Transportation Corps undertook a transcontinental convoy to emphasize the importance of being able to move equipment across the country. Now in 2009, the Military Vehicle Preservation Association will honor the 90th anniversary of this event by recreating the 1919 convoy. This effort will begin June 13 and is set to continue through July 8. The Pentagon will have a display of MVPA Vintage Military Vehicles that will be open to the public to view at the center courtyard June 12. These vehicles will include a Korean War Jeep, a Vietnam era Jeep, a World War II motorcycle, and a Ford Sedan Staff Car.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

South Korea Sends Missile-Equipped Patrol Ship To Tense Border Area

South Korea has deployed its most sophisticated high-speed patrol boat armed with ship-to-ship missiles to near the tense western sea border with North Korea, the defence ministry said Tuesday.
Yoon Young-Ha
"The navy's cutting-edge high-speed missile patrol boat, the Yoon Young-Ha, is being deployed in the Yellow Sea today," a navy spokesman told reporters. The move comes amid high tensions with the North, which has threatened attacks on South Korea and is reported to have stepped up military drills near the western border.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Last Survivor Of ‘Titanic’ Dies In Nursing Home

The last surviving passenger on the Titanic has died at the age of 97. At just nine weeks old, Milvina Dean was the youngest passenger on board the liner when it sank in 1912. She died early yesterday after being cared for at a Southampton nursing home. Elizabeth Gladys Dean, known to friends as Milvina, was born on 2 February 2, 1912, and boarded the ship as a third-class passenger with her parents Bertram Frank and Georgette Eva and her elder brother Bertam.
Millvina Dean in her mother's arms a few weeks after the disaster
Her family were emigrating to Kansas, where her father had hoped to open a tobacconist’s shop. He died in the disaster but Milvina’s mother and brother survived and returned to the UK.

blog counter