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June 2011 Issue

Army Transfers High–Speed Vessels to Navy
The U.S. Department of the Navy signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) May 2 with the U.S. Department of the Army transferring all five of the Army's joint high–speed vessels (JHSV) to the Navy.

Initially, the JHSV program was envisioned to have five of the first 10 JHSVs assigned to the Army and the remainder to the Navy. However, at the Army–Navy Warfighter Talks in December, both services agreed to transfer the Army's five JHSVs upon signing of this MOA. The Military Sealift Command will crew the JHSVs with civilian mariners or contract mariners. JHSVs will be used for fast intratheater transportation of troops, military vehicles and equipment.

New Saturation Diving System Nears Fleet Service
The U.S. Navy initiated a manned, pier–side test of its new Saturation Fly–Away Diving System (SAT FADS) April 18 at the Naval Experimental Diving Unit in Panama City, Florida. The test pressurized the hull to a simulated depth of 1,000 feet, reaching greater depths than previously attainable by the Navy's salvage and recovery capabilities.

The system will replace two decommissioned Pigeon–class submarine rescue vessels, which allowed divers to operate at a maximum depth of 850 feet.

Testing on the SAT FADS included systems tests and evaluations at the its maximum operational depth of 1,000 feet through April 29. This follows a successful 250–foot, manned, dry saturation dive conducted pier–side April 8 and is the last step prior to manned testing at sea. The system will be available for fleet use once at–sea certification has been completed, scheduled for fall 2011 or spring 2012.

Coalition Military Operations in Libya
In an operation code–named Operation Odyssey Dawn, the United States led on March 17 a coalition to enforce United Nations Security Council resolution 1973, which established a no–fly zone and authorized all necessary measures to protect civilians in Libya.

Already deployed Navy ships and submarines enabled a quick response to the resolution. On March 19, the opening rounds—124 Tomahawk cruise missiles—struck air defense systems and the command and control infrastructure. It was the first time the converted ballistic missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) was used in combat. Three B–2 bombers dropped joint direct attack munitions on a Libyan air base used to support military fighter aircraft on the night of March 19. The strikes were very effective in significantly degrading the regime's air defense capability to launch its SA5s (long–range surface–to–air missiles), SA3s and SA2s and all Libyan air surveillance radars, the Department of Defense said.

Within one day of the start of the operation, the no–fly zone was effectively in place. There were no reports of civilian casualties caused by coalition forces. The no–fly zone runs from the eastern to the western boarders across the northern part of the country—from Tripoli to Benghazi—and extends south, covering about the top third of the country.

In the beginning, the U.S. was flying about half of all of the missions. NATO took the lead of multilateral operations in Libya on April 1.

On April 13, a U.S. spokesman said since April 1, U.S. aircraft had flown 35 percent of all sorties, 77 percent of all air–to–air refueling sorties and 27 percent of all intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sorties. U.S. fighter aircraft conducted some air–defense suppression missions but not strike missions to protect Libyan civilians.

By April 19, a NATO spokesman said allied aircraft had flown more than 2,800 missions, about half of which were airstrikes on Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi's forces and facilities.

ONR Seeks 'Green' Shipboard Desalination Ideas
To deliver more freshwater to sailors underway, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced in May an initiative to increase freshwater production by more than 65 percent while reducing energy use per gallon of water by 65 percent—all in the same space or footprint of current systems. Proposals for such systems were due June 15.

The program, called the Demonstration System Development for the Advanced Shipboard Desalination Future Naval Capability, targets compact, low–energy and low–maintenance desalination technologies for the U.S. Navy. Advanced shipboard–ready demonstration systems should be capable of operating at 99 percent availability over a six–month ship deployment. The increased energy efficiency for desalination makes the process "green," as well as more cost–effective than distillation, the ONR said.

In addition to desalination, the Navy is also set to begin the demonstration of a low–energy structure designed to simplify incorporating alternative power solutions.


2012:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC
2011:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

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