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December 2013 Issue

MLP-3 Keel Laying Ceremony
General Dynamics NASSCO (San Diego, California) hosted a keel laying ceremony for the USNS Lewis B. Puller, the third ship in the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) class. The ship is named in honor of Lewis B. Puller, the most decorated U.S. Marine in history and the only one to be awarded five Navy Crosses.

MLP-3 is the first ship of the class to be configured as an Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB). Delivery is scheduled for the second quarter of 2015.

The MLP AFSB is a flexible platform and a key element in the Navyís large-scale airborne mine countermeasure mission. The ship is designed to facilitate a wide variety of future mission sets in support of special operations.

With accommodations for 250 personnel and a huge helicopter flight deck, the MLP AFSB will provide a highly capable and affordable asset to the Navy and Marine Corps.

ONR Develops Better Way To Build Bombs at Sea
In an effort to stem work-related injuries and speed the assembly of munitions aboard aircraft carriers, the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) spearheaded the development of a more efficient and ergonomic way to build bombs at sea. This will allow sailors to move around more freely and assemble multiple bombs simultaneously on smaller, individual stands.

The new stands can accommodate bombs weighing up to 2,000 pounds and be adjusted for height, eliminating the need for workers of different heights to repeatedly bend down or stretch awkwardly to reach components.

During a recent demo at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, sailors from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) who had never seen the new tables before were able to set them up in less than two minutes and begin building a GBU-16, a 1,000-pound laser-guided bomb.

The next step for the prototype bomb-assembly tables is to bring them aboard an aircraft carrier to allow sailors to build bombs on them in an actual magazine. This will provide valuable information on how best to integrate them into a real ship environment.

US Navy Scores High On Patent Power
For the fifth consecutive year, the U.S. Department of the Navy eclipsed agencies around the world for the size and quality of its patent portfolio in IEEE Spectrum magazineís 2013 Patent Power Scorecard. It is an honor the Navy has held since the scorecard added the government category in 2008.

The Navy patented 358 technologies in 2012, including a high-temperature interband cascade laser, a method for using satellite and other aerial imagery to demarcate land from waterways, and a method for manipulating quantum dots to eventually identify, authenticate and encrypt documents and data.

Across the 17 industry sectors evaluated in its scorecard, IEEE evaluated more than 5,000 organization portfolios for the number of patents issued, as well as the growth, impact, originality and general applicability across their respective portfolios.

MSC Renews Contract With AAR For Critical Supply Delivery
The U.S. Military Sealift Command (MSC) has exercised a second one-year renewal option for AAR Corp.ís (Wood Dale, Illinois) Airlift division to ferry critical supplies to U.S. Navy ships in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the Arabian Gulf.

MSC is the leading provider of ocean transportation for the Navy and the U.S. Department of Defense, operating approximately 110 ships daily around the globe.

Under the agreement, AAR will support MSCís vertical replenishment program, delivering supplies to support combatant ships at sea.

The contract renewal is valued at approximately $15 million, and includes the use of four helicopters, personnel, and operational and technical support services.

The original contract, awarded to AAR in 2011, included a one-year initial base period, three one-year options and an additional 11-month option for an estimated total value of $77 million.

AAR currently operates a fleet of more than 50 fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft to transport personnel, supplies and mail for the U.S. Department of Defense in Afghanistan and the Western Pacific.

2014:  JAN | FEB | MARCH

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