Your Navy Operating Forward -Sri Lanka, Japan, Suez Canal

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Right now your Navy is 100 percent on watch around the globe helping to preserve the American way of life. Whether it be operating and training off the coast of Spain or forward deployed to the Arabian Gulf, the flexibility and presence provided by our U.S. naval forces provides national leaders with great options for protecting and maintaining our national security and interests around the world. The imagery below highlights the Navy’s ability to provide those options by operating forward.


EAST CHINA SEA: Airman Francis Mateodiaz, from Coamo, Puerto Rico, signals a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter assigned to the “Dragons” of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced) for landing aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Gavin Shields/Released)

SUEZ CANAL: The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) prepares to sail under the International Peace Bridge as it transits the Suez Canal. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Gaines/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: An F/A-18F Super Hornet attached to the “Blacklions” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 is fully loaded with 10 GBU-32 1,000 pound bombs aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matt Matlage/Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN: An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the “Golden Dragons” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 192 conducts a high-speed flyby during an air-power demonstration in the western Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Granito/Released)

OKINAWA, Japan: Sailors prepare to launch Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1651, assigned to Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7, from the well deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Released)

SOUTH CHINA SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Byron C. Linder/Released)

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) arrives in Colombo, Sri Lanka to support humanitarian assistance operations in the wake of severe flooding and landslides that devastated many regions of the country. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: An EA-18G Growler assigned to the “Lancers” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 131 prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matt Matlage/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: The fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194) transits alongside the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during a replenishment-at-sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)

YOKOSUKA, Japan: Seaman Daniel Keaton, assigned to the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), paints the hull of the ship. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Patrick Semales/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: A rigid-hull inflatable boat approaches the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) during small boat operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brent Pyfrom/Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN: F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 fly over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), front, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108), right, USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), left, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) in the western Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/Released)

Tell us which photo best shows YOUR Navy Operating Forward !


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Your Navy Operating Forward -Sri Lanka, Japan, Suez Canal

5 Things to Know about the U.S. Naval Observatory

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The U.S. Naval Observatory continues to be the leading authority in the United States for astronomical and timing data required for such purposes as navigation at sea, on land, and in space, as well as for civil affairs and legal matters.

The main building of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., April 26, 2017. Completed in 1893, the building, designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, houses the observatory's administrative department and is the headquarters of the Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy. (U.S. Navy photo by Geoff Chester/Released)
The main building of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., April 26, 2017. Completed in 1893, the building, designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, houses the observatory’s administrative department and is the headquarters of the Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy. (U.S. Navy photo by Geoff Chester/Released)

On this International Astronomy Day, here are 5 things to know about the observatory:

  1. The United States Naval Observatory (USNO) provides astronomical data that is critical for Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT), a mission essential for the accurate navigation and communication of naval and DoD assets. The Naval Observatory, originally known as the Depot of Charts and Instruments, has been in operation since 1830.
  2. Astronomical observations are used extensively to prepare the Naval Observatory’s annual astronomical, nautical and air almanacs. The almanacs are essential for celestial navigation, which is currently the only viable alternative to GPS-based navigation in situations where GPS service is compromised.
  3. Today, the Naval Observatory is recognized around the world as the foremost authority in determining and disseminating the spatial and temporal reference frames that enable much of today’s digital technology and precision navigation.
  4. Nightly observations made at the Naval Observatory’s Flagstaff Arizona Station (NOFS) provide precise positions of planetary satellites, asteroids and other small solar system bodies. These observations are used extensively to navigate interplanetary spacecraft.
    The main building of the U.S. Naval Observatory's Flagstaff, Arizona Station (NOFS). It houses the observatory's largest telescope, the 1.55-meter Kaj Strand Astrometric Telescope. (U.S. Navy photo by Geoff Chester/Released)
    The main building of the U.S. Naval Observatory’s Flagstaff, Arizona Station (NOFS). It houses the observatory’s largest telescope, the 1.55-meter Kaj Strand Astrometric Telescope. (U.S. Navy photo by Geoff Chester/Released)
  1. Some of USNO’s contributions to current astronomical research and applications are below:

    Star Catalogs:
    USNO produces a variety of star catalogs for various applications. Its CCD Astrograph Catalog (UCAC) series provides precise positions, proper motions, and parallaxes of millions of stars in the visible part of the spectrum. The follow-on Robotic Astrometric Telescope Catalog (URAT, currently nearing completion) extends the UCAC’s capabilities to much fainter stars and provides the highest positional precision available in a ground-based catalog. These catalogs are important for Space Situational Awareness and are used to detect, identify and track unknown objects in Low Earth Orbit as well as Near Earth Asteroids and Potentially Hazardous Asteroids.  The Washington Double Star Catalog is a compiled catalog of long-term observations of double star systems, which make up the vast majority of visible stars. These observations are vital to the navigation of certain space-based assets such as geostationary satellites.

    Very Long Baseline Interferometry Catalogs: In collaboration with a number of radio observatories around the world, USNO collects and maintains data gathered through a technique for arraying widely-scattered radio telescopes known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry. Observations of thousands of extremely remote celestial radio sources known as “quasars” creates a fundamental reference frame against which all other objects in the universe can be measured. Using these data the motions of objects within our solar system, local star association, the Milky Way galaxy, and our parent galaxy cluster can be precisely determined. In addition, the instantaneous speed of Earth’s rotation, the precise angle of the planet’s rotational pole and other geophysical parameters can be precisely measured in near real-time.


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5 Things to Know about the U.S. Naval Observatory

Soldier of Valor

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Photo: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, assigned to White Platoon fire team, 8-1 Cavalry, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, provides overwatch on a road near Dahla Dam, Afghanistan, July 2012. (U.S Army photo/Photo Illuststration by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Niegel/Released)

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, assigned to White Platoon fire team, 8-1 Cavalry, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, provides overwatch on a road near Dahla Dam, Afghanistan, July 2012. (U.S Army photo/Photo Illuststration by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Niegel/Released)

Story by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. David Chapman

The room hummed with the steady clicks of camera shutters as Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter and his wife, Shannon, were the center of attention during a press conference at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 29.

Carter will receive the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama during a ceremony at the White House, Aug. 26, for his courageous actions while deployed to the Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, in October 2009. He was a cavalry scout assigned to 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, out of Fort Carson, Colo., during his first of two deployments to Afghanistan.

Photo: U.S. Army Spc. Ty Carter, front, and Army Staff Sgt. Jimmy Justice, a section leader, sight in their M14 sniper rifles at the Observation Point Fritsche helicopter landing zone in Afghanistan, June 2009. The Soldiers wanted to collect data on how their bullets traveled at that particular altitude. (U.S. Army photo/Released)

U.S. Army Spc. Ty Carter, front, and Army Staff Sgt. Jimmy Justice, a section leader, sight in their M14 sniper rifles at the Observation Point Fritsche helicopter landing zone in Afghanistan, June 2009. The Soldiers wanted to collect data on how their bullets traveled at that particular altitude. (U.S. Army photo/Released)

On Oct. 3, 2009, more than 400 anti-Afghan forces attempted to take over Combat Outpost Keating. Carter, who was a specialist at the time, and his fellow Soldiers defended the small combat outpost against rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons fire coming from the surrounding hills. Of the 54 members who defended the position, eight Soldiers were killed and more than 25 were injured.

“A long time ago I told myself that if I was ever placed in a combat situation, that I wouldn’t let fear make my choices for me,” said Carter, during the press conference. “Inside, all I thought about was supporting the men in that position. When Mace was down it was hard to think about anything else but doing what I could to get to him.”

During the more than six-hour battle, Carter found himself resupplying Soldiers with ammunition, providing first aid, killing enemy combatants and risking his own life to save that of his fellow Soldier, Spc. Stephan L. Mace, who was wounded and pinned down under enemy fire, according to Carter’s award narrative.

While being recommended for the Medal of Honor was a surprise, Carter shared that receiving this medal was the last thing on his mind after he redeployed.

Photo: Army Sgt. Ty Carter pauses for a final photo with his wife, Shannon, before deploying from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., May 2012, with A Troop, 8-1 Cavalry, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. (Carter Family courtesy photo)

Army Sgt. Ty Carter pauses for a final photo with his wife, Shannon, before deploying from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., May 2012, with A Troop, 8-1 Cavalry, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. (Carter Family courtesy photo)

“I was going through some difficulties then and I was so concerned about the men we lost and friends that it didn’t even faze me,” said Carter, a native of Antioch, Calif. “I don’t want to put down the Medal of Honor and what it means, but when you have lost family, it’s not what you are thinking about. I just felt loss.”

Carter hopes that while being in the spotlight as a Medal of Honor recipient, he will also focus on post-traumatic stress, and bring more awareness to those who struggle with it daily.

Carter, who is currently assigned to the Secretary to the General Staff, 7th Infantry Division, concluded the conference saying that he was very nervous to go to the White House but meeting the commander in chief will truly be an honor.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

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Soldier of Valor

Worth A Thousand Words: Machine Gun Marine

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Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Kenneth Benton, a technical controller assigned to Transportation Support Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, mans a machine gun in a turret during a combat logistics patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, July 25, 2013. The Marines were on a mission to deliver equipment and supplies to Marines at forward operating bases near Camp Leatherneck. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Paul Peterson/Released)U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Kenneth Benton, a technical controller assigned to Transportation Support Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, mans a machine gun in a turret during a combat logistics patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, July 25, 2013. The Marines were on a mission to deliver equipment and supplies to Marines at forward operating bases near Camp Leatherneck. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Paul Peterson/Released)

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Worth A Thousand Words: Machine Gun Marine

Worth A Thousand Words: Say Goodbye Girls

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Photo: A Marine bids farewell to his wife and two daughters as elements of the famed Second Marine Division leave for the West Coast. Official U.S. Marine Corps Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval History & Heritage Command.

A Marine bids farewell to his wife and two daughters as elements of the famed Second Marine Division leave for the West Coast, Aug. 1950. (U.S. Marine Corps photo courtesy of Naval History & Heritage Command/Released)

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Worth A Thousand Words: Say Goodbye Girls

Army Freedom File Update

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With the war in Afghanistan starting to be controlled by Afghan troops, American troops train them in proper tactics, and techniques to keep them and civilians safe.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

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Army Freedom File Update

Top Tech: Transparent Spinel Ceramic

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Top Technology is an Armed with Science series that highlights the latest and greatest federal laboratory inventions which are available for transfer to business partners. Want to suggest an invention? Email us at science@dma.mil

Transparent Spinel Ceramic in action.  (photo provided by the Naval Research Laboratory)

Transparent Spinel Ceramic in action. (photo provided by the Naval Research Laboratory)

Technology: Transparent Spinel Ceramic

Agency: Naval Research Laboratory

The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed a suite of processes to create transparent spinel ceramic, which is superior to the glass, sapphire, and other materials traditionally used for applications such as high-energy lasers, windows, and lightweight armor.

What is it?

It’s a new kind of material using a unique new process.

Commonly-used vacuum hot presses are utilized to sinter spinel powder into transparent solid materials. Sintering is a method used to create objects from powders.  The NRL method includes a novel spray-coating process to uniformly coat the spinel powder particles with a sintering aid. As a result, the amount of sintering aid required is reduced significantly, while still allowing the end product to be sintered to full density and transparency.

Additionally, the sintering process was modified to completely eliminate residual LiF through evaporation and thereby avoids unwanted chemical reactions.

What does that mean?

It means that the Naval Research Lab has created a process that reinvents the material of the wheel, so to speak.  Creating transparent materials is nothing new; humans were doing that in the ancient world. However, the type of material this is – and the way the military could use it – is really what sets it apart.  This kind of transparent spinel ceramic could be used to produce consumer electronics, high energy lasers, event transparent armor.

Think about that for a second.  Transparent armor.  If you could get it to change color and restore stamina we’re that much closer to a video-game like armor reality.

What does it do?

Let’s break it down to the basics.  NRL’s transparent spinel ceramic can be used to make the work of the service member a little easier, more effective, or lightweight.  Some of the applications involve new awesome window choices (the stronger and more durable the better, especially on deployment) and of course the awesome aforementioned armor.  The transparent spinel ceramic can also be paired with its patented BGG glass material.   Why would you want to do that, you ask?  Well, the pairing offers excellent optical transmission in the visible and mid-infrared wavelength range.  The low cost, ease of use, and production offered by glass provides additional advantages.

How can this help?

Okay, so let’s talk about the advantages.  The transparent spinel ceramic provides excellent transmission in visible wavelengths and mid-wavelength infrared (0.2-5.0 microns).  This is superior to sapphire.  The material is also versatile; able to process scalability to large sizes and complex shapes.  It is strong, rigid, and environmentally durable.  Not to mention cost effective.  The reduced manufacturing cost over existing technologies is a definite plus.  Also it’s easy to make in general.  High reproducibility, high yield.

My take?

Creating better, more effective materials is the name of the game when it comes to innovation.  We’ve come a long way since the ancient Romans made clear glass trendy and popular (thanks to manganese dioxide, of course).  This is another step in that progressive bigger-and-better evolution.  When it comes down to it, any advent that allows soldiers to be safer/more protected and is cost effective is going to have some serious advantages.

The military has often been at the forefront of technological innovation, constantly seeking affordable, long-lasting solutions to problems that impact not only service members, but humanity in general.  Imagine what could happen if we started using this kind of material on our typical glass products?  I think my cat will have a harder time with her cat gravity experiments (see: breaking stuff) if that’s the case.

It looks like plastic may have a real run for its money.  Is transparent spinel ceramic going to be the next big thing?  I guess that’s up to you.

Want to learn more?  Click here for more information on this technology!

Are you interested more federal inventions? The Naval Research Laboratory has a broad portfolio of technologies that are available for commercialization. Visit their official website to learn more!

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Jessica L. Tozer is a blogger for DoDLive and Armed With Science.  She is an Army veteran and an avid science fiction fan, both of which contribute to her enthusiasm for technology in the military.

Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

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Top Tech: Transparent Spinel Ceramic

Worth A Thousand Words: I Got Your Back

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Photo: Sailors prepare to attach pallets to an SH-60B Seahawk helicopter assigned to the “Island Knights” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 49 during a vertical replenishment on the flight deck of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) on July 7, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Kelly/ Released)

Sailors prepare to attach pallets to an SH-60B Seahawk helicopter assigned to the “Island Knights” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 49 during a vertical replenishment on the flight deck of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) on July 7, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Kelly/Released)

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Worth A Thousand Words: I Got Your Back

Worth A Thousand Words: Suite Up

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Photo: Lance Cpl. Dylan Shuler, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), helps Lance Cpl. Jarrod Roper, 22nd MEU, don his level "B" protective suit during hazardous material response training at the Guardian Centers in Perry, Ga., June 21, 2013.  The training was a week long course that was custom-tailored to the needs of the 22nd MEU.  U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Austin Hazard.Marine Lance Cpl. Dylan Shuler helps Lance Cpl. Jarrod Roper don his level “B” protective suit during hazardous material response training at the Guardian Centers in Perry, Ga., June 21, 2013.  The training was a week long course that was custom-tailored to the needs of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Austin Hazard/Released)

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Worth A Thousand Words: Suite Up