Sunday, November 25, 2012

Israeli Satellites Spot Iranian Ship Being Stockpiled With Weapons For Gaza

Israeli spy satellites have reportedly spotted an Iranian ship being stockpiled with weapons that is suspected to be headed toward the volatile Gaza region. The shipment was prepared last week on the day that Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire, according to Haaretz, citing a report from the Sunday Times of London.
“We believe that Iranian warships anchored in Eritrea will accompany the weapons ship as soon as it enters the Red Sea,” an Israeli source told the newspaper. The shipment may have Fajr-5 rockets, the type that Hamas fired at Israel, and other missiles that could be positioned in Sudan. The ship is expected to travel through the Red Sea and alongside Sudan and Egypt, the newspaper said.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Antarctic Ship Free From Ice But Counting Cost

There may be cuts to the Australian Antarctic Division's summer program to make up for the cost of its supply ship being stuck in ice. The Aurora Australis was icebound for about three weeks near Casey Station, but broke free over night. The division's operations manager Robb Clifton says while it is not unusual for the ship to get stuck, it is an expensive event. Mr Clifton says it costs tens of thousands of dollars to run the supply ship every day.
"It certainly has an impact, we're working through that at the moment to see what our various options are for the rest of the season," he said. "There's no doubt it will have some impact so it's a case for us now, in some cases, switching over to plan B and getting on with the season." Mr Clifton says the ship should arrive in Hobart this week. "We're hoping that will be sometime on Friday or Saturday, it depends what the weather's like between where they are and Hobart." "At the moment they're going along really well but we do expect them to hit a bit of rougher weather on the way and that will slow them down a bit."

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Cmdr. Fired After Boozy Port Visit

The commander and top officers of a San Diego-based Navy frigate have been relieved of duty after a rowdy, booze-fueled port visit to Vladivostok, Russia. Cmdr. Joseph E. Darlak, skipper of the USS Vandegrift, was removed Friday by Capt. John L. Schultz after an investigation "due to loss of confidence after demonstrating poor leadership and failure to ensure the proper conduct of his wardroom officers" during the three-day September stop, the Navy said in a statement.
Executive officer Lt. Cmdr. Ivan A. Jimenez and the ship's chief engineer and operations officer were also relieved "for personal conduct involving use of alcohol and not adhering to established liberty policies," the statement said. The names of the two lower-ranked officers were not released because their positions are not considered public under Navy policy, and Navy officials did not give specifics on the misbehavior of any of the officers. In a post on the official Facebook page of the Navy's 7th Fleet, the commander celebrated the visit as it began on Sept. 20. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to visit Vladivostok and experience all the city has to offer," Darlak said in the post. "Our sailors are especially looking forward to making new friends."
The officers were relieved during a port visit in Guam, and they'll be temporarily reassigned in San Diego pending more possible administrative actions, the Navy Times reported. Darlak's ouster comes just over three months after he assumed command of the Vandegrift. He previously served as executive officer of the destroyer Stethem. Capt. H. Thomas Workman, a deputy commander from the ship's squadron, has taken over the Vandegrift until it returns to San Diego at the end of its seven-month deployment later this month, the statement said, and the Navy emphasizes that the ship remains fully ready for any mission.

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