November 2015 MAINE COASTAL NEWS Page 7. U. S. NAVY NEWS
Navy to Search for El Faro Wreckage From Naval Sea Systems Command Offi ce of Corporate Communication
NORFOLK, Virginia (NNS) -- Fleet Ocean Tug USNS Apache (T-ATF 172) departed Norfolk, Virginia, today to begin searching for wreckage from the missing U.S. fl agged merchant vessel El Faro.
The ship is deploying to a search area northeast of Crooked Island in the Bahamas island chain, which is the last known loca- tion of the vessel.
The initial search area is 100 square miles, and water depth is estimated to be 15,000 feet across the expected search area. Transit to this search area is expected to take four-to-fi ve days due to weather. Apache is equipped with several pieces of underwater search equipment, including a voyage data recorder locator, side-scan sonar and an underwater remote operated vehicle. The Navy’s mission will be to fi rst locate the ship and, if possible, to retrieve the voyage data recorder - commonly known as a black box.
The U.S. Navy operates some of the
world’s most advanced underwater search and salvage systems, and is uniquely quali- fi ed to perform this type of mission. Though this equipment is typically used to search for and recover downed military ships and aircraft, the Navy has a long history in as- sisting other federal agencies in underwater search and salvage operations, including the search and recovery of TWA 800 and the space shuttle Challenger. In 2013, the Navy assisted the government of Australia in its search for missing Malaysian Airliner MH 370.
USN Apache is a fl eet ocean tug oper- ated by the Military Sealift Command. The ship provides towing, diving and standby
submarine rescue services for the Navy. The ship is 226 feet long and has a crew of approximately 22 civilian mariners and uniformed Navy personnel.
The crew will be joined by a team from the Navy’s Supervisor of Diving and Salvage.
Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS Milwaukee (LCS 5)
From Naval Sea Systems Command Offi ce of Corporate Communication
MARINETTE, Wis (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) during a ceremony at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard Oct. 16.
Milwaukee is the sixth littoral combat ship to be delivered to the Navy and the third of the Freedom variant to join the fl eet. Delivery marks the offi cial transfer of LCS 5 from a Lockheed Martin-led team to the Navy. It is the fi nal milestone prior to commissioning, which is planned for Nov. 21 in its namesake city. “With each LCS delivered, we have succeeded in driving down costs by in- corporating lessons learned to provide the Navy with a highly capable and fl exible ship,” said LCS program manager Capt. Tom Anderson. “We are honored to place the Milwaukee in the able hands of her crew as they set sail for the ship’s commissioning.” Capt. Warren R. Buller II, commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One, was on hand to mark the occasion. “We are pleased to receive the future USS Milwaukee into the LCS class,” said Buller. “Milwaukee is scheduled to conduct Full Ship Shock Trials before joining her sister littoral combat ships in their homeport of San Diego.”
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USS APACHE (T-ATF-172) has departed Norfolk to search for EL FARO.
Buller’s squadron supports the opera- tional commanders with warships ready for tasking by manning, training, equipping, and maintaining all littoral combat ships in the fl eet.
Following commissioning, Milwaukee will be homeported in San Diego with sister ships USS Freedom (LCS 1), USS Indepen- dence (LCS 2), USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), USS Coronado (LCS 4) and the future USS Jackson (LCS 6). LCS is a modular, reconfi gurable ship, with three types of mission packages includ- ing surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare. The Program Executive Offi ce Littoral Combat Ships is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fl eet. Delivering high-quality warfi ghting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation’s maritime strategy.
Charting a New Course: Celestial Navi- gation Returns to USNA
By Lt. j.g. Devin Arneson, U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- Picture this: A naval vessel is navigating the high seas thou- sands of nautical miles from land. Suddenly all navigation systems become inoperable. What happens next? What does this mean? The Navy looks to its past to chart its
future. With today’s technology rapidly advancing, the Navy realized that many basic techniques are still relevant to safe operations at sea.
Celestial Navigation (CELNAV) is one skill that has not been formally taught to Navy offi cers, depending on one’s com- missioning source, for more than 15 years. Offi cer Candidate School did not teach CELNAV, NROTC stopped teaching it in 2000 and the Naval Academy removed it in
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