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Page 8. MAINE COASTAL NEWS October 2015 U. S. NAVY NEWS T e revision to the current regulations

was issued aſt er a federal agency comment phase coordinated by the Offi ce of Man- agement and Budget ultimately led to the publication of a Proposed Rule in January 2014, which itself initiated a 60-day public comment period. T e DON, aſt er aff ording due consideration to all public comments and federal agency stakeholders, proceeded to revise the Proposed Rule and with today’s publication issued the Final Rule that will take eff ect on March 1, 2016. A continually expanding resource for

USS FORT MCHENRY at the Gloucester Schooner Race, Gloucester, MA, on 6 September. Continued from Page 7.

through community relations programs and hosting tours,” said Cmdr. Tom Ulmer, the ship’s commanding offi cer. “We are looking forward to a successful visit and are happy to be given the opportunity to participate in this celebration.” T is is the fi rst port visit for the crew

since returning home from a seven-month deployment in July. “As a local from Dorchester, I am hon-

ored to have the opportunity to return home and bring the pride of America’s Navy to support the 31st annual Gloucester Schoo- ner Festival,” said Lt. Mike Allen. “T e crew is very excited to be a part of the upcoming festivities here.” Following the visit, the ship will return

to her Mayport, Florida, homeport to begin a post-deployment maintenance period routinely scheduled following ships return from the many months at sea.

Revised Navy Sunken and Terrestrial Military Craft Permitting Guidelines Published in Federal Register

From Naval History and Heritage Com- mand

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Following multi-stakeholder coordination, revised regulations were published in the Federal Register Aug. 31. T e regulations implement the Sunken Military Craft Act (SMCA) permitting requirements for conducting intrusive activity on sunken military craſt under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Navy (DON). T e regulations establish a permitting

process for those interested in pursuing in- trusive activities on DON sunken and terres- trial military craſt for archaeological, histor- ical, or educational purposes as specifi ed in the act. T e rule also identifi es guidelines for inclusion of foreign or other Department of Defense sunken military craſt under DON’s permitting program, and establishes the process by which enforcement provisions of the SMCA will be implemented. T e new regulations, while published

today, will offi cially go into eff ect six months from now on March 1, 2016. During the in- terim the existing permitting program will continue to apply. T e Naval History and Heritage Command, in concert with other government agencies, will use the interim to develop and share information about the new program and process. In so doing, the permitting process for

such activity on terrestrial military craſt under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Navy is also being aligned into the single permitting regime, in the interest of consistency and simplicity. T e SMCA, enacted in 2004, codifi ed

customary international law in asserting that right, title and interest in and to any U.S. government sunken military craſt remains

with the U.S. in perpetuity, unless expressly divested. T ese craſt are not to be disturbed, removed, or injured, and violators may face enforcement action for doing so without authorization. T e Sunken Military Craſt Act itself re-

mains unchanged. T e permitting processes being established do not amend or change the SMCA, or in any way expand the stated prohibitions of the act. Activities such as fi shing, snorkeling and diving which are not intended to disturb, remove, or injure any portion of a sunken military craſt are still allowed without the need for a permit. “T e Department of the Navy’s sunken

ship and aircraſt wrecks represent a collec- tion of more than 17,000 non-renewable cul- tural resources distributed world-wide,” said Sam Cox, curator of the Navy and director of the Naval History and Heritage Command, the organization charged by the Navy with carrying out its responsibilities under the SMCA. “T ese wreck sites oſt en serve as war

graves, safeguard state secrets, may carry en- vironmental or public safety hazards such as oil and ordnance, and hold historical value. T at’s why we take seriously our responsibil- ity to protect them from disturbance. I am determined to honor this nation’s obligation to its fallen service members to protect the sanctity of those wrecks constituting the last resting place of American Sailors.” In accordance with the SMCA, the Sec-

retary of the Navy is authorized to establish a permitting program allowing otherwise pro- hibited activities directed at sunken military craſt for archaeological, historical, or edu- cational purposes. T e DON has elected to establish such a permitting process through the revision to existing regulations (32 CFR 767). T e new regulations, which can be read in full here: /a/2015-20795, allow for controlled access to persons who are presently prohibited by the SMCA from disturbing, removing, or injuring DON sunken military craſt , or their associated contents, and also provide similar processes pertaining to terrestrial military craſt .

While unauthorized disturbance of

sunken military craſt will continue to be prohibited, actions of the U.S. government, or those acting at its direction, including commercial salvage entities under contract with the U.S., will continue to be allowed. T e commercial salvage industry may there- fore continue to operate through federal contracts and in coordination with the U.S. Government irrespective of the promulga- tion of the proposed regulations. Similarly, recreational divers or com-

mercial and sport fi shermen may continue to operate over and around DON sunken military craſt without requiring a permit as long as they do not intentionally or negli- gently disturb, remove, or injure them and their contents.

information on the implementing regula- tions, associated inter-agency agreements, outreach materials, and ultimately the guidelines for the revised application pro- cess, may be found on the web site of the Naval History and Heritage Command at: underwater-archaeology/policy-and-re- source-management.html T e Naval History and Heritage Com-

mand, located at the Washington Navy Yard, is responsible for the preservation, analysis, and dissemination of U.S. naval history and heritage. It provides the knowledge foundation for the Navy by maintaining historically relevant resources and products that refl ect the Navy’s unique and endur- ing contributions throughout our nation’s history, and supports the fl eet by assisting with and delivering professional research, analysis, and interpretive services. NHHC is composed of many activities including the Navy Department Library, the Navy Oper- ational Archives, the Navy art and artifact collections, underwater archeology, Navy histories, nine museums, USS Constitution repair facility and the historic ship Nautilus.

First of Class Research Vessel Neil Arm- strong (AGOR 27) Completes Accep- tance Trials

From PEO Ships Public Aff airs

ANACORTES, Wash. (NNS) -- T e fi rst- of-class oceanographic research vessel R/V Neil Armstrong (AGOR 27), successfully completed acceptance trials Aug. 7 the Navy reported Aug. 27. Neil Armstrong is a modern mono-hull

research vessel based on commercial design, capable of integrated, interdisciplinary, general purpose oceanographic research in coastal and deep ocean areas. T e Navy’s Board of Inspection and

Survey (INSURV) found the ship to be well- built and inspection-ready. T e trials evalu- ated the ship’s major systems and equipment to include demonstrations of the ship’s main propulsion system, dynamic positioning system, navigation, cranes and winches, and communication systems. “T ese trials are the fi nal major mile-

stone prior to delivering Neil Armstrong,” said Mike Kosar, program manager for the Support Ships, Boats and Craſt offi ce within the Program Executive Offi ce, Ships. “Neil Armstrong performed very well during these trials, especially for a fi rst of class vessel. T e results of these tests and the out- standing fi t, fi nish and quality of the vessel, stand as a testament to the preparation and eff ort of our entire shipbuilding team. It refl ects the exceptionalism of AGOR 27’s namesake, Neil Armstrong.” Acceptance trials represent the cumula-

tive eff orts following a series of in-port and underway inspections conducted jointly by the AGOR Program Offi ce, SUPSHIP, and builder Dakota Creek Industries throughout the construction, test and trials process. T e trials are the last signifi cant shipbuilding milestone before delivery of the ship to the Navy, expected to occur this fall. Neil Armstrong Class AGORS are 238 feet long and incorporate the latest tech-

nologies, including high-effi ciency diesel engines, emissions controls for stack gasses, and new information technology tools both for monitoring shipboard systems and for communicating with the world. T ese ships will provide scientists with the tools and capabilities to support ongoing research in- cluding in the Atlantic, western Pacifi c and Indian Ocean regions across a wide variety of missions. Neil Armstrong will be capable of

assisting with integrated, interdisciplinary, general purpose oceanographic research in coastal and deep ocean areas. T e ship will be operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution under a charter party agreement with Offi ce of Naval Research (ONR). T e vessel will operate with a crew of 20 with accommodations for 24 scientists. As one of

the Defense Department’s

largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphib- ious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craſt . Delivering high-quality war fi ghting assets - while bal- ancing aff ordability and capability - is key to supporting the Navy’s maritime strategy.

Seawolf Completes Six-Month Arctic Deployment By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Amanda R. Gray, Commander, Sub- marine Group 9 Public Aff airs BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- The fast-attack submarine USS Seawolf (SSN 21) returned to its homeport of Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton Aug. 21, following a six- month deployment. During the deployment, Seawolf con-

ducted routine submarine operations, which included scheduled under-ice transits and under-ice operations. “The crew performed superbly on

multiple operations in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility,” said Cmdr. Jeff Bierley, Sea- wolf ’s commanding offi cer, from Birming- ham, Alabama. “We conducted two polar transits, including a routine surfacing at the North Pole. Operations under the Arctic are part of the Navy’s continued commitment to maintain access to all international seas, and Seawolf was just part of that commitment.” T e Navy has been operating in the

Arctic for decades and it is expected that presence requirements will likely increase as maritime traffi c in the region increases. Ships like Seawolf support the Arctic na- tional strategy by developing capabilities, in- creasing maritime awareness and preserving freedom. “Seawolf did an exceptional job; they

had an accelerated fl eet readiness training period so they were really pushed to get all of their preparations, training and certifi - cations done before deployment, including preparations for the very challenging Arctic transit,” said Capt. Douglas Perry, com- mander, Submarine Development Squadron 5, from Alexandria, Virginia. “Arctic transits are important, not just for us to be able to keep our fl eet assets around the globe, but it also give us an opportunity to maintain undersea dominance of the Arctic spaces, an area that is very challenging and is changing dramatically.” T is was the fi rst deployment for many

of the Sailors aboard Seawolf, awarding them the unique experience of visiting the North Pole.

“It was a very interesting deployment

full of mixed emotions and the unexpect- ed,” said Yeoman 3rd Class Felipe Aparicio, from Los Angeles. “Surfacing at the North Pole was awesome. As you push through

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