100-year Anniversary of Underway Replenishment

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By Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne
Commander, Military Sealift Command

May marks the 100-year anniversary of our Navy’s use of underway replenishment to refuel and resupply our combatant ships at sea.

As the organization responsible for the operation of Combat Logistics Force ships, we can take great pride in this anniversary knowing that we have contributed to this significant milestone.

Starting in 1898, the Navy began experimenting with ways to transfer coal from colliers to battleships, spending 15 years trying different methods to perfect an at-sea transfer system. A system of alongside refueling of liquid fuel dates to 1917, when then-Lieutenant Chester Nimitz jury rigged a system with ship booms supporting two hoses between the ships. Using this system, the USS Maumee (AO2) transferred fuel to 34 destroyers during a three-month period during World War I. Incredibly, these fuel transfers were done with only a 40-foot separation between the moving ships.

 The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) receives supplies during a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198) April 26, 2017. Ross, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA (April 26, 2017) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) receives supplies during a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198) April 26, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)

The foundations for our current replenishment system date to the 1950s and 1960s with the development of a multi-product ship that could deliver fuel, ammunition and stores to an aircraft carrier task force. These ships saw the first use of a transfer system using a ram tensioner that keeps the highline between the ships tensioned, allowing for smooth transfer and accounting for the movement of the ships. This method evolved into the system we use today, the Standard Tensioned Replenishment Alongside Method (STREAM).

Our ability to successfully conduct underway replenishments gives our Navy the ability to remain on-station, forward-deployed, ready to answer the call. This is just one more example of how the work we do at Military Sealift Command, assured maritime logistics, contributes to the security of our nation.

We should not lose sight of the fact that the success of our underway replenishment systems over these 100 years emanates from accomplished seamanship and ingenious engineering solutions.  It’s really people, mariners and those who developed these systems, who enable us to celebrate this anniversary.

We recognize the hard work and personal sacrifice, and say thank you to each and every man and woman who have contributed to this legacy.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (March 23, 2017) Military Sealift Command's fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8) recieves a fuel line from the fleet oiler USNS Laramie (T-AO 203) during an underway replenishment at sea, March 23. (U.S. Navy photograph by Bill Mesta/released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (March 23, 2017) Military Sealift Command’s fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8) recieves a fuel line from the fleet oiler USNS Laramie (T-AO 203) during an underway replenishment at sea, March 23. (U.S. Navy photograph by Bill Mesta/released)


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100-year Anniversary of Underway Replenishment

U.S. Navy Ocean Gliders: Unmanned Underwater Vehicles That Are Improving Our Understanding of the World’s Oceans

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By Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet
Oceanographer of the Navy
Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command

In the wake of multiple news reports about U.S. Navy ocean gliders, there have been numerous questions about these instruments and what they do for the U.S. Navy.

AT SEA (July 31, 2016) A littoral battlespace sensing-glider (LBS-G) is deployed from a Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) T-AGS 60-class vessel. After deployment, civilian pilots command and control Naval Oceanographic Office gliders 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the Glider Operations Center at Stennis Space Center, Miss. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
AT SEA (July 31, 2016) A littoral battlespace sensing-glider (LBS-G) is deployed from a Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) T-AGS 60-class vessel. After deployment, civilian pilots command and control Naval Oceanographic Office gliders 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the Glider Operations Center at Stennis Space Center, Miss. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

Ocean gliders are autonomous underwater vehicles used to collect oceanographic data in an effort to better understand the ocean. The gliders are made by Teledyne Webb and are sold commercially. The Navy uses the gliders to collect ocean temperature, salinity and depth information, and transmit the unclassified data to Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) for assimilation into NAVOCEANO’s operational ocean models. They are used by scientists and professionals around the world working in academia, the oil and gas industry as well as the military. Gliders have been the workhorses of the operational Naval Oceanography program for nearly two decades.

In 2004, I was on one of the Navy’s survey vessels for the first deployment of a glider from a Navy ship. Afterwards, the U.S. Navy established the Littoral Battlespace Sensing-Gliders (LBS-G) as a program of record in 2010 and has been using these gliders operationally since 2012. Each glider is modular in design and buoyancy-driven, allowing it to collect oceanographic data on water pressure, temperature, salinity in the water column for up to four months without the need for active propulsion.

I fund and direct the operations of this glider fleet from NAVOCEANO at Stennis Space Center, Mississippi. This fleet is the largest in the world, launched and recovered from six forward deployed military oceanographic survey vessels. NAVOCEANO’s scientists and Sailors conduct sea floor mapping from these ships to understand the undersea environment for military applications. Operations of the survey fleet is provided by the Military Sealift Command who own and operate the ships.

The gliders are piloted by personnel within NAVOCEANO’s Glider Operation Center (GOC) 24 hours a day, seven days a week at Stennis Space Center. In the event that the GOC loses contact with the instruments, they remain afloat in the ocean until located and recovered.

How do we use the data? NAVOCEANO uses the data collected for numerical modeling of ocean conditions. These models improve with glider data, which we share with regional partners to help their understanding of the environment.

Only 5 percent of the world’s oceans have been explored. These underwater robots allow us to explore more of the ocean, and faster, at a fraction of the cost of a manned submersible or a ship.  

Why does the Navy use gliders? Only 5 percent of the world’s oceans have been explored. These underwater robots allow us to explore more of the ocean, and faster, at a fraction of the cost of a manned submersible or a ship. The information gathered allows us to better predict ocean currents, density, sea states and tides which the U.S. Navy needs to safely and effectively operate all around the world. Once deployed, a glider can persistently sample the ocean for months freeing the ship to perform other functions.

I am extremely proud of our robust glider program. My goals for this program include expanding the current use of gliders, enabling the Fleet through the use of gliders and ocean models, and accelerating development and deployment of newer systems.

We have approximately 130 of these gliders and they are relatively inexpensive. The U.S. Navy will not only continue to use these technologies to improve our knowledge of the oceans, but we will be significantly increasing our use of gliders over the coming years so that our understanding of the ocean is the best in the world.


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U.S. Navy Ocean Gliders: Unmanned Underwater Vehicles That Are Improving Our Understanding of the World’s Oceans

Worldwide Air Force

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The Air Force mission is to fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace anytime and anywhere. Every time I see images or watch video footage of my fellow Airmen I’m motivated even more to live out the Air Force core values. It’s almost like hearing your favorite song before you go to work out. After you hear the song, you are mentally prepared to accomplish your workout goals.

Here are a few videos that highlight parts of the Air Force mission from around the world that truly give insight into the amazing things Airmen are doing across the Air Force.  We’ll be sure to share more videos in the future of other Air Force missions. I chose to highlight these videos because of the job diversity shown in each video. We have more than planes in the Air Force; people assume we are all pilots or aircraft maintainers. All of the jobs in the Air Force reinforce our mission to fly, fight and win. We are truly one team! We will never falter, and we will not fail

Air Force Special Operations Command’s  primary mission is to deliver highly trained, capable and ready Airmen to conduct special operations. The mission is to organize, train and equip Airmen to execute global special operations.

The primary mission of U .S. Air Forces Pacific Air  Force (PACAF) is to deliver rapid and precise air, space and cyberspace capabilities to protect and defend the United States, its territories and our allies and partners; provide integrated air and missile warning and defense; promote interoperability throughout the Pacific area of responsibility; maintain strategic access and freedom of movement across all domains; and posture to respond across the full spectrum of military contingencies in order to restore regional security.

U.S. Air Forces in Europe Air Forces Africa (USAFE) directs air operations in a theater spanning three continents, covering more than 19 million square miles, containing 104 independent states, and possessing more than a quarter of the world’s population and more than a quarter of the world’s Gross Domestic Product.

What Air Force mission intrigues you the most?

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Worldwide Air Force