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June 2013 MAINE COASTAL NEWS Page 21.

U. S. Navy News: Missing Sailor Identifi ed/MONTFORD POINT/USS MINNESOTA/X47B Continued from Page 10.

Future USS Minnesota Successfully Completes Sea Trials

be used across a broad range of military operations supporting multiple operational phases. Acting as a mobile seabase, MLP will be part of the critical access infrastruc- ture that supports the deployment of forces and supplies to provide prepositioned equip- ment and supplies with fl exible distribution. The 83,000 ton, 785-foot ship will leverage float-on/float-off technology, allowing Montford Point to partially sub- merge, facilitating easy movement of cargo and craft. Additionally, the ship’s size allows for 25,000 square feet of vehicle and equip- ment stowage space and 380,000 gallons of JP-5 fuel storage. MLP-1 has a maximum speed of 15 knots and range of 9500 nautical miles.

Following delivery, the ship will un-

dergo test and trials period to install and incorporate the ship’s Core Capabilities Set (CCS) in Portland, Ore. The CCS includes modules that support a vehicle staging area, sideport ramp, large mooring fenders and up to three landing craft air cushioned (LCAC) vessel lanes. With this set of capabilities, MLP-1 is able to easily transfer personnel and vehicles from other vessels such as the large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ships (LMSRs) onto LCAC vehicles and transport them ashore.

The ship is owned by U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) and op- erated by a 34-person civilian-mariner crew under contract to MSC. The Navy plans to integrate an MLP into each of MSC’s Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadrons. These ships, coupled with a maritime prepositioning force (MPF), auxiliary dry cargo/ammunition ship (T-AKE) and legacy platforms, provide a fi rst step in crafting a sea-based capability and illuminating future seabasing requirements.

MSC operates approximately 110 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct spe- cialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners. As one of the Defense Department’s

largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the develop- ment and procurement of all destroyers, am- phibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft. Delivering high-quality war fi ghting assets - while bal- ancing affordability and capability - is key to supporting the Navy’s Maritime Strategy.

By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, Com- mander, Submarine Group 2 Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS) -- Pre-Com- missioning Unit (PCU) Minnesota (SSN 783), the nation’s newest and most advanced nuclear-powered attack submarine, moored May 16 at Huntington Ingalls Industry’s Newport News Shipbuilding following its successful completion of Alpha and Bravo sea trials. Testing evolutions completed during Alpha sea trials included diving to test depth, conducting an emergency surfacing, and testing the submarine’s propulsion plant to evaluate the ship’s seaworthiness and oper- ational performance. Bravo trials consisted of testing Minnesota’s acoustic performance and combat systems. The tenth ship of the Virginia-class, Minnesota is scheduled to be delivered ap- proximately one year earlier than its contract delivery date. Starting in August of 2008 with USS New Hampshire (SSN 778), the last fi ve boats have been delivered early, and all Virginia-class submarines currently under construction are scheduled to be de- livered prior to their contract delivery dates. Minnesota is commanded by Cmdr.

John Fancher, a native of Hammond, Ind., who refl ected on the transformation he has seen with his crew from initial construction of the attack submarine to the recent com- pletion of sea trials.

“I could not be more proud of the crew. The events required during sea trials are some of the most demanding tasks a sub- marine can be asked to do,” said Fancher. “All our preparation and training really paid off. I also cannot say enough about the support from the entire Sea Trials Team. Their insight and experience was vital to Minnesota’s success.” Capt. David Goggins, Virginia Class Program Manager refl ected on the comple- tion of the Alpha and Bravo Sea Trials. “PCU Minnesota’s successful run

through Alpha and Bravo Trials is indicative of the quality and dedication of the crew and our Navy/shipbuilding team,” said Goggins. “Minnesota continues the Virginia Class’ trend of delivering these outstanding assets to the fl eet early to contract, within budget, and ready for operational tasking.” Rear Adm. Ken Perry, Commander, Submarine Group Two participated in Min- nesota’s Alpha trials as Offi cer in Tactical Command and praised Fancher and his crew for their performance.

“I want to commend Cmdr. John Fanch-


be deployed in late May and continue sam- pling for another 45 days or until the end of the bloom.

“This type of data will be extremely valuable for ongoing forecasting activities, which have been carried out routinely since 2008. These data are particularly important for testing the forecast model. In the longer term in which we expect more ESPs to be available, we envision assimilating these data into the model, in much the same way the weather service uses meteorological observations,” says Dennis McGillicuddy, WHOI senior scientist and co-principal investigator of the project. NOAA Ocean Service, National Cen- ters for Coastal Ocean Science’s Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (CSCOR) is funding the regional ESP pilot through its external Monitoring and Event

er and his offi cers and crew for completing this major milestone very successfully,” said Perry, who also recognized the integral part- nership between the shipbuilders Newport News and General Dynamic Electric Boat and support from Naval Sea Systems Com- mand, Naval Reactors, PEO Submarines and stakeholders throughout the Navy and industry who have designed, built and deliv- ered this most modern attack submarine for the nation. Virginia-class submarines are built under a unique teaming arrangement be- tween General Dynamics Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding. Perry further refl ected on the success of the Virginia-class program and its ability to deliver these state- of-the-art warships ahead of schedule and under budget. “Minnesota’s sea trials are a testament to the success of the Virginia-class pro- gram’s ability to deliver high-quality and extremely capable boats early and on cost,” said Perry.

Minnesota is the third ship to be named after the state, with the last one being more than a century ago. The attack submarine is the last of the block II Virginia-class subma- rines and is in the fi nal stages of construction and testing at Newport News Shipbuilding. Construction began in February 2008, and the keel was authenticated in May 2011. The boat was christened Oct. 27, 2012. Virginia-class submarines are built to dominate the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting Anti-submarine; anti-surface ship; strike; special operation forces; intelligence, surveillance, and re- connaissance; irregular warfare; and mine

warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, fi repower, and sensor suite di- rectly enable them to support fi ve of the six Maritime Strategy Core Capabilities - sea control, power projection, forward pres- ence, maritime security, and deterrence.

X-47B Accomplishes First Ever Carrier Touch and Go aboard CVN 77 By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brandon Vinson, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Public Affairs USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH, At Sea (NNS) -- The Navy’s X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D) has begun touch and go landing operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) May 17.

For UCAS-D, this represents the most

signifi cant technology maturation of the program. Ship relative navigation and precision touchdown of the X-47B are critical technology elements for all future Unmanned Carrier Aviation (UCA) aircraft. Don Blottenberger, UCAS-D Depu- ty Program manager, commented, “This landing, rubber hitting deck, is extremely fulfi lling for the team and is the culmination of years of relative navigation development. Now, we are set to demonstrate the fi nal pieces of the demonstration.”

Earlier in the week, the UCAS-D test team and CVN 77 worked together to suc- cessfully complete the fi rst ever launch of an unmanned aircraft from an aircraft carrier proving the importance of introducing un- manned aviation into the already powerful

Continued on Page 22. Saturday, June 8, 2013

Established 1997

Response for Harmful Algal Bloom (MER- HAB) program. The Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA) authorizes funding for MER- HAB and other HAB programs. Funding for the ESPs comes from the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System Program. Development of the ESP was also funded in part by grants from the David and Lucile Packard Founda- tion, NSF, NASA, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant Program and from Tom and Robin Wheeler. Data from the ESP will also inform a project on HABs support- ed by the Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health through funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences.

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