Saturday, July 31, 2010

Southcom Monitors Trafficking, Prepares for Disasters

By Lisa Daniel, American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON - Illegal trafficking remains the biggest challenge for U.S. military forces in Central and South America as they work to balance such nontraditional challenges with the constant threat of natural disasters there, the commander of U.S. Southern Command said yesterday.

Servicemembers and their civilian partners have to keep ahead of the tactics of those involved in illegal trafficking – of drugs, weapons, exotic animals and human beings – that undermine security and stability in the region, and threaten the United States, Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser said at a military strategy forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies here.

Southcom, with headquarters in Miami, provides contingency planning, operations and security for the region covering Central and South America, and the Caribbean except for U.S. territories. The area is strategically important to the United States, now the fifth-largest Spanish-speaking nation with one-third of its population expected to be of Latino origin by 2015, Fraser said.

The United States has a "great and enduring relationship" with Latin America, Fraser said, but often doesn't give enough attention to its southern neighbors. "A lot of times, we in the U.S. look east to west and not north-south in own hemisphere," he said.

The general said he sees no threat of conventional warfare in Central and South America, either toward the United States or within its own nations. But nontraditional challenges such as trafficking remain high, he added.

Widespread poverty and disproportionate wealth drive crime and corruption, Fraser said, leading to multibillion-dollar trafficking networks adept at changing routes and tactics. For example, he said, the United States has worked with Colombian authorities to confront drug traffickers. However, he added, the criminals have moved their operations to other areas, such as north to Mexico or through the southeast waterways to Africa.

"As we've had success in Colombia, they've gone to other places," Fraser said. "We need to continue to keep pressing on all sides of the balloon."

Southcom has disrupted or obtained about 100 metric tons of cocaine so far this year, but that's only half of what it seized compared to this time last year, Fraser said. "We don't know why," he said. "There are changes going on in the trafficking world, and we're trying to catch up. We need look at [illegal trafficking] as enterprise and treat it as an enterprise."

At least 60 percent of illegal drugs flowing out of Central and South America and the Caribbean end up in the United States, Fraser said, adding that U.S. officials need to address the issue of American demand for illicit drugs.

Urban gangs are plentiful in Southcom's area of responsibility, Fraser said, and there is evidence of financial support there for Middle Eastern-based terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas that have taken root in Central America.

At the same time that Southcom is working such nontraditional challenges, it also has to stay prepared to deal with Mother Nature, Fraser said.

"I was not expecting to respond to an earthquake in Haiti," he said, referring to the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated the Port-au-Prince area and caused 22,000 U.S. servicemembers to deploy there through June for relief operations.

"I don't know what next crisis will be," Fraser said. "We have to remain prepared."

Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group Hits COMPTUEX Grand Slam

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alan Gragg, Abraham Lincoln Strike Group Public Affairs

USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group completed four major exercises July 27-28 as part of Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), flexing its muscles in surface, subsurface, and strike warfare simultaneously.

Aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 completed a successful large force strike, simulating the targeting and destruction of critical targets on the ground while simultaneously suppressing enemy radars and anti-aircraft fire. EA-6B Prowlers from Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 131 along with F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets from Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 2, 34, 137, and 151 led the 90 minute mission over the Navy's bombing range on San Clemente Island.

USS Cape St. George's (CG 71) air defense commander led a complex air defense exercise, linking the networks of six different Aegis platforms to establish airspace superiority greater than 100 miles from the strike group.

Destroyers from Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9, along with cruiser Cape St. George, helicopters from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77, and P-3 Orion aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 30 practiced detecting and tracking enemy submarines while protecting USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) during an underway refueling. Surface units also fired 90 shells in a precision firing demonstration.

"Wherever the President needs us to go, anywhere in the world, we'll be there and we'll be ready," said Rear Adm. Mark Guadagnini, Lincoln Carrier Strike Group commander.

The COMPTUEX builds upon the strike group's combat readiness by simulating challenges the strike group may encounter on deployment. The advanced training scenarios of COMPTUEX represent the first time a carrier strike group is evaluated as an overall unit. Passing the tests of COMPTUEX certifies Lincoln and its air wing for open-ocean operations, making the force available to deploy wherever and whenever the order is given.

Lincoln Carrier Strike Group consists of flagship Abraham Lincoln, embarked CVW 2, embarked DESRON 9 and the guided-missile cruiser Cape St. George.

Ships assigned to DESRON 9 include the destroyers USS Momsen (DDG 92), USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Halsey (DDG 97) and USS Sterett (DDG 104). Squadrons from CVW 2 include the "Bounty Hunters" of VFA-2, the "Blue Blasters" of VFA-34, the "Kestrels" of VFA-37, the "Vigilantes" of VFA-151, the "Lancers" of VAQ-131, the "Sun Kings" of VAW-116, the "Saberhawks" of HSM-77 and the "Golden Falcons" of HSC-12.

Air Force officials release preferred aircraft basing alternatives

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Air Force officials released several announcements regarding five different aircraft July 29.

Michael Donley, the Secretary of the Air Force and Gen. Norton Schwartz, the chief of staff of the Air Force, approved C-27J operations and training candidate bases and announced the transition of Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., to the F-16 Fighting Falcon training mission.

Air Force officials also announced the preferred alternatives for operational and training F-35 Lightning bases, announced Beale Air Force Base, Calif., as the preferred alternative basing option for the MC-12 Liberty and determined the most effective basing for the F-22 Raptor.

Training candidates for the C-27J Spartan are Key Field Air Guard Station, Miss., and Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport, Ohio. Operations candidates are Boise Air Terminal AGS, Idaho, and Great Falls International Airport, Mont.

Air Force officials will conduct site surveys at the candidate locations and initiate the environmental impact analysis process in preparation for a final selection.

Air Force officials determined that Holloman AFB has the capacity to accept two F-16 training squadrons and offers the ability to synergize training activities with MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper training occurring on the same base.

Transitioning Holloman AFB to F-16 training stabilizes an enduring training mission and capitalizes on the existing airspace and range complex.

Implementation of this action is subject to completion of appropriate environmental analysis.

Teams surveyed candidate bases for F-35 operational and training bases for feasibility, timing, cost and planning purposes to meet initial operational capability timelines and the preferred alternative locations for operations are Hill AFB, Utah, and Burlington Air Guard Station, Vt. The preferred alternative location for training is Luke AFB, Ariz.

"This is not a final basing decision," said Kathleen Ferguson, the deputy assistant secretary for installations. "The preferred alternatives with other reasonable alternatives will continue to be evaluated in the Environmental Impact Analysis Process."

Secretary Donley previously announced five operations candidate bases Oct. 29, 2009. They included Hill AFB; Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; Shaw AFB/McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C.; Burlington Air Guard Station, Vt.; and Jacksonville AGS, Fla. The secretary also announced training base candidates Oct. 29, 2009. They included Boise AGS, Idaho; Eglin AFB, Fla.; Holloman AFB, N.M.; Luke AFB, Ariz.; and Tucson AGS, Ariz.

The current scope of this basing action includes 250 to 300 F-35 aircraft.

Beale AFB, Calif., was announced as the preferred alternative basing option for the MC-12. Secretary Donley previously approved six candidate bases, including Altus AFB, Okla.; Beale AFB, Calif.; Key Field Air National Guard Base, Miss.; Langley AFB, Va.; Robins AFB, Ga.; and Whiteman AFB, Mo.

"Beale (AFB) is the preferred alternative for basing the MC-12W aircraft, given its access to training opportunities, synergy with existing intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance flying missions, and collocation with the Distributed Ground Station mission," Ms. Ferguson said.

Secretary Donley and General Schwartz determined the most effective basing for the F-22. This requires redistributing aircraft from one F-22 squadron to units at four F-22 bases. A second squadron will be relocated to an existing F-22 base.

The affected bases are Holloman AFB, N.M., where one squadron will be deactivated. That squadron's F-22s will be redistributed to other F-22 units. The remaining squadron will relocate to Tyndall AFB, Fla.

Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, will receive six additional aircraft; Langley AFB, Va., will receive six additional aircraft; and Nellis AFB, Nev., will receive two additional aircraft.

"This plan maximizes combat aircraft and squadrons available for contingencies," Ms. Ferguson said. "By consolidating aircraft at existing bases, F-22 operational flexibility is enhanced."

Milcom Blog Logs - 30 July 2010 - USASA MidWest Collection Site

Time for another exclusive HF blog log report from the radio ranch at the USASA MidWest Collection Site.

4007.0 HF-USB
0030Z - NNN0THC NCS for the Navy/MC Region 7 Missouri MARS 7H1B net: NNN0SVW / NNN0AZM / NNN0QGR

4035.9 HF-USB
0031Z - Army Region 7 MARS AAA7RD/IA net: AAR7AT
0154Z - AAR7PB NCS for the Army Region 7 MARS AAA7RD/B net: AAM7EMO
0202Z - AAM7MO NCS for the Army Region 7 Missouri MARS AAA7RD/MO net: AAM7IMO / AAM7EMO / AAR7JW / AAR7BE

4041.0 HF-USB
0035Z - Navy/MC Region 5 Indiana MARS 5B1B net: NNN0GAQ

4470.5 HF-USB
0200Z - NNN0XFB NCS for the Navy/MC Region 8 North / South Dakota MARS 8S1B net: NNN0FCI / NNN0AXK

4627.0 HF-USB
0030Z - Wild-Wood-46 NCS for the Southwest Region Arkansas "Wild-Wood" CAP net

8968.0 HF-USB
[05:30:55][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][DL0 ][AL0] BER 18 SN 06
[05:39:49][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][ADW ][AL0] BER 13 SN 06
[06:04:46][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][JNRSPR ][AL0] BER 16 SN 05
[06:33:54][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][MCCSPR ][AL0] BER 11 SN 05
[08:31:24][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][DL0001NTDAT ][AL0] BER 13 SN 06
[08:34:12][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][MCCSPR ][AL0] BER 15 SN 05
[09:05:22][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][JNRSPR ][AL0] BER 15 SN 05
[10:35:39][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][JNR ][AL0] BER 12 SN 05
[11:20:44][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][JNR ][AL0] BER 17 SN 05
[11:21:57][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][HIKSPR ][AL0] BER 16 SN 04
[11:31:54][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][DL0001NTDAT ][AL0] BER 17 SN 06
[11:41:11][CHN 01][TO ][OFFSPR ][TIS][ADWSPR ][AL0] BER 19 SN 06
[11:41:19][CHN 01][TO ][OFFSPR ][TIS][ADWSPR ][AL0] BER 20 SN 06
[11:47:31][CHN 01][TO ][OFFSPR ][TIS][ADW ][AL0] BER 16 SN 05
[12:12:04][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][ADWSPR ][AL0] BER 14 SN 059
[13:02:11][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][MCC ][AL0] BER 15 SN 05

9025.0 HF-USB
[04:15:42][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][JNR ][AL0] BER 13 SN 04
[04:24:02][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][ADW ][AL0] BER 16 SN 06
[04:29:42][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][ICZ ][AL0] BER 12 SN 05

10155.0 HF-USB
[16:48:01][CHN 01][TO ][CHLTNC116 ][TIS][CHPNSC140M ][AL0] BER 13 SN 04

11175.0 HF-USB
0001Z - Andrews (HF-GCS) pass one 22 character EAM ECBGYB & two 28 character EAMs: ECHB7U & EC445W
0005Z - Andrews (HF-GCS) pass SKYKING, do not answer: SHK; time: 05; authentication: JR
1658Z - Offutt (HF-GCS) w/ Tuff-13 for radio check
1700Z - Andrews (HF-GCS) pass 28 character EAM ECPEQS

11226.0 HF-USB
[02:24:41][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][MCC ][AL0] BER 19 SN 06
[02:38:20][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][JNR ][AL0] BER 20 SN 07
[02:53:30][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][ADW ][AL0] BER 16 SN 07
[03:33:01][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][PLA ][AL0] BER 17 SN 06

11232.0 HF-USB
1753Z - Dragnet ART or ARC in pp via Trenton Military to Radar Maint for troubleshooting

11494.0 HF-USB
[20:29:15][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][D46 ][AL0] BER 15 SN 06
[21:14:47][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][D46 ][AL0] BER 14 SN 07
[21:55:01][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][719 ][AL0] BER 16 SN 05
[21:55:15][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][J25 ][AL0] BER 16 SN 06
[22:04:18][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][J25 ][AL0] BER 15 SN 05
[22:15:36][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][J25 ][AL0] BER 16 SN 05
[22:24:48][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][J25 ][AL0] BER 18 SN 05
[22:45:34][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][D46 ][AL0] BER 14 SN 07

15043.0 HF-USB
[23:55:43][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][ADW ][AL0] BER 17 SN 07

Friday, July 30, 2010

Milcom Blog Logs - 29 July 2010 Brasstown NC

Yesterday here on the Radio Ranch I set my main ALE setup to scan the Customs COTHEN HF ALE network. Started the scan at 1317 UTC.

5732.0 501 J16 J26 J36 LNT ROS

5909.5 D45 J16 N04 LNT

7527.0 005 07Z 720 D14 EST F31 F33 F40 I43 J16 J26 J36 K72 LNT N04 N08 P07 PAC ROS TSC

8912.0 005 07Z 720 D14 D31 D45 F33 F40 I43 J16 K72 LNT N04 N08 ROS TSC

10242.0 005 720 D31 D45 F31 F33 F40 I43 LNT N04 N08 ROS T16 TP1 TSC

11494.0 005 701 707 714 720 CNT D14 D31 D45 F31 F33 F40 I21 I43 J26 J34 LNT N04 N08 PAC QSP TSC

12222.0 D31 D45 I21 I43 J34 LNT N04 N08 T16 TSC WST

13312.0 D31 D45 I96 J26 J34 LNT N04 N08 T16 TSC

13907.0 005 501 701 714 D14 D31 EST I43 J34 J36 K72 LNT N04 PAC

14582.0 005 D31 D45 I43 J16 J26 HSK LNT N08 Z12

15867.0 07Z 501 714 720 I43 LNT PAC

18594.0 501 714 720 I43 I49 LNT N08 N09 PAC

ALE Address List for 28 July

005 USCG HC-130J CGAS Elizabeth City, NC #2005
07Z USCG USCG District 7 Miami, FL Miami Ops
501 USCG HC-130H CGAS Clearwater, FL #1501
701 USCG HC-130H CGAS Barbers Point, HI #1701: Voice Call 701
707 USCG HC-130H CGAS Sacramento, CA #1707
714 USCG HC-130H CGAS Sacramento, CA #1714
720 USCG HC-130H CGAS Clearwater, FL #1720
CNT US BICE ICE Regional Communications Node Central
D14 US BICE P-3A Corpus Christi AMB, TX #N18314/Buno No. 150513 "Slick," Voice call Omaha 314
D31 US BICE P-3B LW Jacksonville AMB, FL #N431SK/Buno No. 153431 "Slick," Voice call Omaha 31SK
D45 US BICE P-3B AEW&C Jacksonville AMB, FL #N145CS/Buno No. 155299 "Blue Eagle"
EST US BICE CBP AMOC Regional Communications Node
F31 USCG HU-25C CGAS Cape Cod, MA #2131: Voice Call Foxtrot 31
F33 USCG HU-25C CGAS Cape Cod, MA #2133: Voice Call Foxtrot 33
F40 USCG HU-25C CGAS Cape Cod, MA #2140: Voice Call Foxtrot 40
I21 US BICE Cessna 550 #N26621, Voice call Omaha 621
I43 US BICE Cessna 550 Miami AMB, FL #N43SA, Voice call Omaha 35A
I49 US BICE Cessna 550 Oklahoma City AMB, OK #N12549
I96 US BICE Cessna 550 #N26496
J16 USCG MH-60J ATC Mobile, AL #6016: Voice Call Juliet 16
J26 USCG MH-60T CGAS Elizabeth City, NC #6026: Voice Call Juliet 26
J34 USCG MH-60T CGAS Elizabeth City, NC #6034: Voice Call Juliet 34
J36 USCG MH-60J CGAS Sitka, AK #6036
K72 USCG MH-65C #6572
N04 USCG HC-144A ATC Mobile, AL #2304
N08 USCG HC-144A ATC Mobile, AL #2308
N09 USCG HC-144A #2309
P07 USCG Coast Guard Air Station Remote Command Console, Miami Ops
QSP USCG USCGC Vigorous (WMEC-627) Coast Guard Vessel NQSP
ROS USCG USCGC Spencer (WMEC-905) Coast Guard Vessel NWHE
T16 US BICE Piper PA-42-720R Jacksonville AMB, FL #N9116Q, Voice call Omaha 16Q
TP1 US BICE Unknown (Possible Tampa Bay location, have an ALE address listed on the FBI P-P (TP1) net for them)
TSC US BICE Customs National Law Enforcement Communications Center -- Technical Service Center Orlando, FL Voice Call Service Center
WST US BICE CBP AMOC West Regional Communications Node March ARB, CA
Z12 USCG USCG Sector Remote Communications Consoles Miami, FL

Lots of CG aircraft guard comms, much like we use to hear on the other prim A/G HF channels (5696, etc). Most of the comms were in the clear. Some of the ICE units used voice encryption.

E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Delivered to Norfolk Naval Station

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matthew Bookwalter, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, East

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, the Navy's newest airborne early warning and control aircraft, was delivered to the fleet July 29 at Naval Station Norfolk.

Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, accepted the Hawkeye on behalf of the Navy during a ceremony held on Chambers Field.

"It's going to be a game changer with information dominance for the U.S. Navy," Roughead said.

The Advanced Hawkeye, while not significantly changing the mission of early warning and control, will enable the aircraft to perform its mission with greater improvements. The new aircraft will be able to scan a larger area, detect smaller objects, process information faster. The aircrews will be able to accomplish these tasks through improved all glass cockpits and tactical operators stations.

"While the Advanced Hawkeye may look familiar, on the inside it is a totally new aircraft," said Gary Ervin, president of Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems Sector. "The systems represent a multi-generational leap in technology."

The advanced Hawkeye will go to Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120, the "Greyhawks," first. They are the Navy's Fleet Replacement Squadron and will train pilots and Navy flight officers to fly and operate the new systems before assignment to an operational fleet squadron.

"Now it is up to Cmdr. Watkins and the 700 professionals of VAW 120 to push this aircraft to the limit and unlock its great potential," said Ervin. "The work they do will set up for a seamless transition to the fleet."

Like its predecessors, the E-2D is designed to last for many decades. Space has been left for advancement as new technology emerges.

"For longer than I have been in the Navy, the fleet has relied on the Hawkeye," said Vice Adm. Allen Myers, commander Naval Air Forces Pacific. "It's the first to launch and the last to recover on the flight deck, and has earned the reputation as the ears and eyes of the fleet."

Milcom Blog Logs - 29 July 2010 - USASA MidWest Collection Site

Time for another exclusive HF blog log report from the radio ranch at the USASA MidWest Collection Site.

3384.0 HF-USB
0433Z - Link-11 data transmission

4007.0 HF-USB
0043Z - NNN0ABO NCS for the Navy/MC Region 7 Missouri MARS 7H1B net: NNN0AZM / NNN0QGR / NNN0BVA / NNN0FBL / NNN0SVW // ABO pass 3 msgs MT-63 to SVW
2303Z - NNN0AMY NCS for the Navy/MC Region 7 Nebraska / Kansas MARS 7N1B net

4013.5 HF-USB
0007Z - NNN0VWV NCS for the Navy/MC Region 4 Kentucky MARS 4K2B net

4035.9 HF-USB
0008Z - AAM7IA NCS for the Army Region 7 MARS AAA7RD/IA net
0103Z - AAM7IA NCS for the Army Region 7 MARS AAA7RD/B net: AAA7IA / AAR7FE / AAR7FD / AAM7EMO / AAR7DZ / AAM7EKS / AAM7MO / AAR7AC

4038.5 HF-USB
0204Z - NNN0TJC NCS for the Navy/MC Region 4 Alabama MARS 4A2B net: NNN0EVT / NNN0OEE (1 msg to all via MT-63)

4470.5 HF-USB
0200Z - NNN0GLL NCS for the Navy/MC Region 8 North / South Dakota MARS 8S1B net: NNN0FCI / NNN0AXK / NNN0XFB

4506.0 HF-USB
0102Z - Iowa-CAP-04 NCS for the North Central Region Iowa CAP net: North-Central-10
2302Z - MO-CAP-10 NCS for the North Central Region Missouri "MO-CAP" CAP net

4517.0 HF-USB
0104Z - AFA7VP NCS for the Air Force North Central Area MARS NCM1 net in SSB & MSFK-16: AFN7NC / AFA5KG-T / AFA5JR / AFA5MC / AFA7ZJ / AFA5HF / AFA7PQ / AFA5TM / AFA5ET
1311Z - AFF7KS NCS for the Air Force North Central Area MARS NCM3 net: AFN7NC / AFE7DM / AFA5GK

4603.0 HF-USB
[03:26:41][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][FC8 ][AL0] BER 12 SN 05

4627.0 HF-USB
0030Z - Wild-Wood-46 NCS for the Southwest Region Arkansas "Wild-Wood" CAP net

4630.0 HF-USB
0002Z - Southwest Region Texas CAP net: Texas-CAP-254 check in w/ no tfc

4517.0 HF-USB
0007Z - AFF7KS NCS for the Air Force North Central Area Region 7 Kansas MARS 7KSS1 net: AFA5HF / AFA5KG-T

5171.0 HF-USB
0221Z - Link-11 data transmission

5217.0 HF-USB
0005Z - Army Region 5 Michigan AAA5RD/MI digital (OLIVIA) net: AAT5CA / AAR5FL-T

5402.0 HF-USB
[03:52:20][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][FC8FEM006 ][AL0] BER 16 SN 07
[03:54:31][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][FC8 ][AL0] BER 14 SN 06
[04:54:41][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][FC8 ][AL0] BER 14 SN 06
[05:54:45][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][FC8 ][AL0] BER 11 SN 06

9121.5 HF-USB
0431Z - Link-11 data transmission

10194.0 HF-USB
[19:31:58][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][FC8 ][AL0] BER 14 SN 06

10588.0 HF-USB
[16:28:07][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][FC6 ][AL0] BER 10 SN 04

10899.0 HF-USB
[17:05:54][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][FC6FEM002 ][AL0] BER 14 SN 05

11108.0 HF-USB
[18:53:04][CHN 01][SND][ ][TWS][FC8 ][AL0] BER 11 SN 04

11175.0 HF-USB
2133Z - Tuff-52 calz Tuff-51
2356Z - Portuguese Aircraft 68 calz for radio check - Offutt (HF-GCS) responds (both 5X5)
2359Z - Doom-92 calz Mainsail

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Officials recommend Eglin as preferred alternative F-35 base

by Master Sgt. Russell P. Petcoff, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Air Force officials announced July 28 its proposal for basing 59 F-35 Lightning IIs at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

The draft supplemental environmental impact statement, which Air Force officials plan to release in September, includes the preferred alternative of basing the 59 F-35 aircraft at Eglin AFB. Flight operations will also be conducted at Duke and Choctaw Auxiliary fields.

"The Air Force has completed its initial analysis of a full range of alternatives and determined that basing 59 F-35s at Eglin main base is the preferred alternative," said Kathleen Ferguson, the Air Force deputy assistant secretary for installations.

"This is not a final basing decision; it is the alternative we believe will fulfill our mission responsibilities while considering economic, environmental and technical factors," Ms. Ferguson said. "The community will be invited to comment on the alternatives presented in the SEIS."

This decision, approved by Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, supports the recommendation of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission to establish the F-35 Initial Joint Training Center at the base located on the far western end of the Florida panhandle.

"A significant amount of analysis has taken place over the course of the last 18 months and will continue through the completion of the SEIS," Ms. Ferguson said. "Our goal has been to ensure that Eglin can support the BRAC-directed F-35 training mission to the greatest extent possible with a minimal amount of negative impact to existing missions, the environment and the surrounding communities," she added.

The decision to limit the number of F-35s to 59 was based on airspace limitations highlighted in the modeling efforts of the Gulf Region Airspace Strategic Initiative, Ms. Ferguson said. The GRASI modeling indicates Eglin-managed mission airspace couldn't accommodate aircraft above that number.

"However, once GRASI is completed and recommendations are implemented there is potential to increase airspace capacity in the future," Ms. Ferguson said.

Air Force officials will conduct half of the flight operations from Duke and Choctaw fields.

This will minimize the effect on other missions on Eglin Reservation while also taking advantage of the Initial Joint Training Site, Ms. Ferguson said.

"This alternative minimizes the impact on the Air Force Special Operations Command mission, 7th Special Forces Group and preserves the critical test and training missions," Ms. Ferguson said.

"Further, this alternative minimizes operations, to the maximum extent practicable, to reduce noise impacts on the surrounding communities," Ms. Ferguson said.

The record of decision is anticipated to be announced spring 2011 following the completion of the final SEIS, Ms. Ferguson said.

Air Force Announces F-16 Training Mission

The secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force announced today the transition of Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., to the F-16 training mission.

The Air Force determined that Holloman has the capacity to accept two F-16 training squadrons and offers ability to synergize training activities with MQ-1/9 training occurring on the same base.

Transitioning Holloman to F-16 training stabilizes an enduring training mission and capitalizes on the existing airspace and range complex.

Implementation of this action is subject to completion of appropriate environmental analysis

Air Force Announces C-27J Basing Proposal

The Department of the Air Force announced today its candidate basing decision for the C-27J operations and training aircraft.

The secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force approved C-27J operations and training candidate bases. Training candidates are: Key Field Air Guard Station, Miss; Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport, Ohio. Operations candidates are: Boise Air Terminal Air Guard Station, Idaho; and Great Falls International Airport, Mont. The Air Force will conduct site surveys at the candidate locations and initiate the environmental impact analysis process in preparation for a final selection.

The C-27J is a twin turboprop engine aircraft designed to meet an Air Force requirement for a rugged, medium size airland transport. The C-27J gives U.S. military troops a unique, short-take-off-and-landing capability, providing access to airstrips otherwise unusable by fixed-wing aircraft.

Air Force Announces MC12W Basing Proposal

The Department of the Air Force announced today Beale Air Force Base, Calif., as the preferred alternative basing option for the MC-12W.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley previously approved six candidate bases. They included Altus Air Force Base, Okla.; Beale Air Force Base, Calif.; Key Field Air National Guard Base, Miss.; Langley Air Force Base, Va.; Robins Air Force Base, Ga.; and Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.

Site survey teams evaluated all candidate bases for feasibility, timing, cost and planning purposes to meet initial operational capability. As a result of these surveys, the range of reasonable alternatives was reduced to three bases: Beale, Robins, and Whiteman.

"Beale Air Force Base is the preferred alternative for basing the MC-12W aircraft given its access to training opportunities, synergy with existing intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance flying missions, and collocation with the distributed ground station mission" said Kathleen Ferguson, deputy assistant secretary for installations.

A preferred alternative is an alternative which the Air Force believes best fulfills its mission and responsibilities, taking into consideration environmental, operational, technical and other factors.

This is not a final basing decision. The preferred alternative with other reasonable alternatives will continue to be evaluated in the environmental impact analysis process.

The MC-12W is a medium- to low-altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft. Its primary mission is providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support directly to ground forces.

The MC-12W capability supports all aspects of the world-wide Air Force irregular warfare mission including counter insurgency, foreign internal defense, and building partnership capacity.

Air Force Announces F-35 Basing Proposal

The Department of the Air Force announced today Beale Air Force Base, Calif., as the preferred alternatives for operational and training F-35 Joint Strike Fighter bases.

Teams surveyed each candidate base for feasibility, timing, cost and planning purposes to meet initial operational capability timelines.

The preferred alternative locations are:

- Operations - Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and Burlington Air Guard Station, Vt.

- Training - Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

"This is not a final basing decision," said Kathleen Ferguson, deputy assistant secretary for installations. "The preferred alternatives with other reasonable alternatives will continue to be evaluated in the environmental impact analysis process."

A preferred alternative is an alternative which the Air Force believes best fulfills its mission and responsibilities, taking into consideration environmental, operational, technical and other factors.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley previously announced five operations candidate bases Oct. 29, 2009. They included Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho; Shaw Air Force Base / McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C.; Burlington Air Guard Station, Vt.; and Jacksonville Air Guard Station, Fla.

The secretary announced training base candidates Oct. 29, 2009. They included Boise AGS, Idaho; Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.; Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.; and Tucson Air Guard Station, Ariz.

The current scope of this basing action includes 250 to 300 F-35 aircraft.

The JSF is the next generation strike fighter bringing cutting-edge technologies to the battle space of the future. In the Air Force, the F-35 will primarily service an air-to-ground role, replace aging the F-16 and A-10 aircraft while complementing the F-22. The Navy and Marine Corps plan on using the F-35, along with international partners.

Air Force Announces F-22 Fleet Consolidation

The Department of the Air Force announced today its actions to consolidate the F-22 fleet. The secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force determined the most effective basing for the F-22. This requires redistributing aircraft from one F-22 squadron to units at four F-22 bases. A second squadron will be relocated to an existing F-22 base.

The affected bases are:

Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.: Deactivate one squadron of F-22s and disperse that squadron's aircraft to other F-22 units. Relocate the remaining squadron to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska - receive six additional aircraft

Langley Air Force Base, Va. - receive six additional aircraft

Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. - receive two additional aircraft

Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. - receive one additional squadron

"This plan maximizes combat aircraft and squadrons available for contingencies," said Kathleen Ferguson, deputy assistant secretary for installations. "By consolidating aircraft at existing bases, F-22 operational flexibility is enhanced."

Teams surveyed four F-22 bases, evaluating them for feasibility, timing, cost, and planning purposes to accept additional F-22 aircraft. The secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force carefully considered the site survey results and military judgment factors in making these basing determinations. These actions will be finalized subject to completion of appropriate environmental analysis.

The F-22 Raptor combines stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, and represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities.

Navy Pic of the Day - USS Donald Cook Flyby

An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Jolly Rogers of Strike Fighter Squadron 103, performs a high-speed pass alongside the guide-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75). The aircraft was conducting an airpower demonstration for participants of Tiger Cruise 2010 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Dwight D. Eisenhower is hosting a two-day Tiger Cruise while underway to homeport in Norfolk, Va., after completing a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Kolmel/Released)

Truman Reaches Launch, Recovery Milestone

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman David Cothran, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

USS Harry S. Truman, at sea (NNS) -- The USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and Carrier Air Wing 3 team completed over 5,000 total successful aircraft launches and recoveries since their deployment began May 21.

The 2,500th catapult launch on July 23 was soon followed by the 2,500th arrested recovery July 24 while the ship conducted flight operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The successful, safe launch and recovery of a single aircraft on board Truman is an operation that involves a tremendous team effort, and repeating the task thousands of times in two months is something that those who were involved are very proud of.

"I am very proud of what we are doing here," said Chief Warrant Officer Kenneth Joubert, Truman's aircraft launch recovery equipment (ALRE) boatswain. "We are working well as a team day and night. That results in perfect maintenance, and keeps us safe."

"Completing 2,500 successful launches and recoveries without an incident is significant," said Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) (AW/SW) Jessica Hendon, Quality Assurance Supervisor for ALRE. "There is no margin for error here. I think our success says a lot about the caliber of work being performed by all of our Sailors."

Reaching benchmarks gives ALRE a way to reflect on what they have accomplished, but the real reason for tracking the numbers has nothing to do with earning recognition.

"Tracking the numbers is a very important part of maintenance," said Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) (AW/SW) Ronie Josey, maintenance chief for ALRE. "It allows us to monitor when maintenance is needed on all of the equipment used for launch and recovery."

Keeping the equipment maintained takes more than a keen focus on the numbers, it also takes the hard work of dozens of junior enlisted Sailors who overcome the challenges of the job with professionalism and determination.

"They put in a lot of long hours," said Hendon. "It makes me proud to see the amount of dedication our junior Sailors have. We have 18-21 year-old personnel handling multi-million dollar equipment. I think they make an amazing launch and recovery team."

Although the days are long and the work is tough, many Sailors say being a part of ALRE is a rewarding career opportunity.

"I get a chance to learn something new every day, and a chance to give my best effort to the ship," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Airman Apprentice Donnell Gray, assigned to V-2 Division. "It is also very exciting when a jet lands, and I get to be up there where all the action is all day."

"There were people here before me launching and recovering aircraft successfully, and when I am gone even more milestones will be reached," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) Third Class (AW) Michael Williams. "I am proud I will always be able to say that I played my part in Truman's legacy."

Kearsarge ARG Wraps up COMPTUEX

By Mass Communication 1st Class Phil Beaufort, USS Kearsarge Public Affairs

USS KEARSARGE, At Sea (NNS) -- Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) successfully completed its composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) July 27

The three-week exercise is designed to test the interoperability and command and control capabilities of the Kearsarge ARG.

The in-depth, scenario-driven exercise focused on simultaneous mission sets and enhanced realism to stress the capabilities of the amphibious assault ship Kearsarge ARG, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 4.

"The planners at Commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic really put together an intensive training package," said USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) Commanding Officer Capt. Baxter Goodly. "They designed scenarios that required Sailors, Marines and PHIBRON staff to work together in order to overcome each of the obstacles they placed before us to meet numerous objectives."

The obstacles included small boat attacks, mines, enemy aircraft and natural disasters.

According to Operations Specialist 2nd Class Thomas Weber, the operational tempo in Kearsarge's Combat Control Center was dynamic.

"Once you started working the scenarios, it could get pretty intense. At times you'd get so wrapped up that you'd forget that none of it was real, and it was just an exercise," said Weber. "But I think this was exactly the type of training we needed prior to deployment, especially for our younger Sailors who haven't gone on deployment yet."

According to Kearsarge Command Master Chief Ken Schmidt, integrating the Sailors, Marines and staff members into a cohesive fighting unit prior to deployment is one of the keys to a successful cruise.

"In addition to all the training everyone is getting, this underway really gives the Sailors and Marines an opportunity to get to know each other and learn to work together," said Schmidt. "Knowing who to go to in order to get things done is half the battle on any deployment."

Rear Adm. Dennis E. FitzPatrick, commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic, who embarked Kearsarge to monitor the progress of the exercise, said the Kearsarge ARG exceeded his expectations.

"I think Kearsarge, 26 MEU and the PHIBRON staff did an outstanding job responding to each of the scenarios we provided them," said Fitzpatrick. "We incorporated a large number of independent deployers role playing throughout the exercise."

Fitzpatrick said another addition to this COMPTUEX was the involvement of the Royal Navy.

"This COMPTUEX is unusual in that we had the participation of the British Navy," said Fitzpatrick. "Their participation will pay off on deployment when the ARG begins working with our coalitions partners."

Fitzpatrick said the importance of exercises like COMPTUEX can't be overstated.

"The Sailors and Marines who deploy overseas are representing the Navy and United States. We have to get this right, and everything I've seen out here tells me we will," said Fitzpatrick.

USS Carl Vinson Shoots 12 Missiles Within Seven-day Period

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Rosa A. Arzola, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

USS CARL VINSON, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) reached an historic milestone July 24 following the successful launch of 12 missiles within a seven-day period.

The ship launched 11 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM) and one Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) as part of the Combat System's Ship Qualification Trial.

"It's unique that a ship can accomplish such a task as shooting 12 missiles," said Richard Dodson, Operational Test and Evaluation Force Test Team analyst. "We rarely have an opportunity to bring this many missiles on board and shoot this many targets in such a short window [of time]."

The missile launch was not only a significant milestone for Carl Vinson. The evolution set a new Navywide standard.

"This is the biggest test that we have done in a long time, not only aboard Vinson but aboard any other ship," said Lt. Gregory McLean, operational test director of Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force. "It took a lot of assets, a lot of coordination, and three years of planning to accomplish twelve missile shoots."

Vinson launched the missiles to see how effective and suitable the ESSM and RAM are for Vinson's Self Defense System in a combat situation.

"This mission was something stressful but at the end this is the most realistic training Sailors are going to get while underway," said Dodson.

Both Dodson and McLean said this mission was successful because of Carl Vinson Sailors.

"The successful missile launch was a really great accomplishment. Everybody on board Carl Vinson did exactly what they needed to do," said Dodson. "We got a lot of support and help from the ship."

"I feel privileged to be part of this milestone," said McLean. "But this wouldn't have been possible to accomplish without the help and hard work of Operations and Combat Systems Sailors."

"I feel really good of being part of this milestone. It's gratifying. All the guys worked hard to accomplish this missile shoot," said Fire Controlman 2nd Class (SW/AW) James Worley, the ship's Combat Systems assistant leading petty officer. "I feel proud to be able to show how well we can defend our ship."
Dodson noticed how Vinson's Sailors are always ready and have a great work ethic.

"I wish I could do more missile shoots on board. Vinson has a great impressive crew with a superb attitude. They are always willing to get things done," said Dodson. "I have been on a lot of Navy ships and I am impressed with the Sailors here."

Eisenhower Returns to Homeport

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) returns to Naval Station Norfolk after a seven-month deployment. Dwight D. Eisenhower conducted operations in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility as part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rafael Martie/Released)

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Amy Kirk, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) returned to their homeport of Norfolk, Va., July 28, after operating in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Responsibilities (AORs) after nearly seven months.

The more than 4,500 Sailors aboard traveled more than 51,000 nautical miles throughout the course of the deployment, doing everything from combat operations to hosting distinguished visitors from the International Security and Assistance Force in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Italy, NATO, Turkey, and United Arab of Emirates.

"The Sailors of the Eisenhower Strike Group have performed magnificently on this seven-month deployment," said Rear Adm. Phil Davidson, commander, Eisenhower Strike Group and Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 8. "We come home proud of our accomplishments, knowing we made a positive difference supporting our troops on the ground in Afghanistan, and delivering security and stability on both land and sea in a vital part of the world. I am proud of each and every Sailor and consider it the great privilege of my life to have served with them."

Eisenhower Commanding Officer Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne added that the teamwork between the Sailors of Ike, CCSG 8, and the embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 squadrons has been nothing short of exceptional.

"I could not be more proud of each and every Sailor aboard Ike. The crew has been extremely busy this past year, executing back-to-back deployments with less than six months rest, while exceeding expectations with impressive results every day. Leading these amazing men and women during two combat deployments has been the pinnacle of my career," said Mewbourne, "and to see them in action as I have, serving selflessly as a dedicated team of professionals, is to know that America's defense is in good hands."

The carrier and its embarked air wing operated mainly in the 5th Fleet AOR, providing more than 25 percent of all tactical air support to U.S. and coalition ground forces in Afghanistan. In total, the air wing flew more than 2,900 sorties and more than 17,700 hours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

"There is no doubt in my mind that every Sailor aboard felt the importance of our mission and worked hard to accomplish it safely and professionally," said Capt. Roy Kelley, commander, CVW 7. "They have all performed tremendously during this deployment, whether supporting from the ship or in the skies over Afghanistan, these Sailors and aircrew have saved American and NATO lives that were in harms way."

In addition to near daily flight operations and day-to day job assignments, Sailors also had the opportunity to enjoy liberty ports in the United Arab of Emirates, Bahrain, Turkey and Italy. While sightseeing was a great way to relax, many Sailors chose to participate in one of the 12 community relations (COMREL) projects offered.

"During this deployment 120 Ike Strike Group Sailors participated in COMREL projects, resulting in 600 man-hours and countless smiling faces," said Cmdr. Jon Brzek, the command chaplain aboard Eisenhower.

In the 202 days of the deployment, the crew only had 17 days of liberty, said Brzek, adding that he was proud that the COMREL participants gave up their free time to help people they did not know and took advantage of the opportunity to be goodwill ambassadors of the United States.

Another highlight during the course of the deployment were the special visits from award-winning director James Cameron and actress Michelle Rodriguez, as well as NASA legends Neil Armstrong and Jim Lovell and NCAA coaches from Harvard, Oregon, Illinois, and the United States Military Academy. Each of the guests wanted to express gratitude and appreciation to the men and women of the Navy.

The tone for the deployment was set the first night when on Jan. 2, Eisenhower and CVW-7 responded to a distress call from a mariner stranded in rough seas 300 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Embarked crew members from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 5 launched to assist the U.S. Coast Guard with the search and rescue mission. The helicopter crew flew through the severe weather to locate and save the mariner.

Other impressive statistics from the seven-month cruise included crew members receiving 16,000 haircuts and eating 3.5 million meals. The ship's culinary specialists baked more than 350 cakes, and Sailors from all ranks and ratings read more than 4,320 hours on video for the United Through Reading program.
After returning home, many Sailors will take leave to spend time with family and friends.

"I'm going to see my grandparents and friends and horses in Kentucky," said Aviation Machinist's Mate 1st Class Chris Pratt. "It feels very good to know I won't be going back on deployment for a while. It was like the captain said, between this and last deployment it was just a long time away. I'm so excited I'm just counting down the days and hours and minutes. I can't wait to get home."

Many Sailors like Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuels) Airman Beverly Bonilla-Flores were excited about reuniting with their children.

"I'm ecstatic. I really can't wait to get home. I have a 5-year-old daughter who can't wait to see her mom. I've called and sent pictures, but it is really exciting to know I'm finally going to get to see her," said Bonilla-Flores. "I have mixed emotions because I haven't seen her in seven months and they haven't seen me, and she changes and grows: she is up two shoe sizes. It's like I'm going to see this whole new person."

When crew members return from their well-deserved leave, they will head to Norfolk Naval Shipyard for a planned incremental availability.

Eisenhower is one of five ships that make up Carrier Strike Group 8. Other ships in the strike group include the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74), homeported in Norfolk; and the Mayport, Fla.-based ships, guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66) and guided-missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64) and USS Farragut (DDG 99).

George Washington Wraps Up Invincible Spirit

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Devon Dow, USS George Washington (CVN 73) Public Affairs

USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- USS George Washington (CVN 73) completed its role in the U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) combined alliance military exercise "Invincible Spirit" July 28.

The four-day exercise, which began July 25, involving the two longtime allies combining their military forces for operations in the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea and throughout the Korean peninsula, furthering their communication and readiness in surface, air and sea operations.

"What has unfolded here over the last few days in the sea, shore and the skies of ROK is a very strong and powerful signal to those who threaten the security and stability of our special alliance and this region," said Rear Adm. Dan Cloyd, commander, Task Force 70. "On behalf of my staff, I would like to thank everyone for their overall participation in making this exercise a complete success. The U.S.-ROK alliance is strong; this exercise is a testament to that bond."

George Washington Commanding Officer Capt. David A. Lausman praised his crew for their ambassadorship and hard work during the military exercise.

"You all played a vital role in representing our country's strong alliance with the ROK," said Lausman. "You all showed resolve to the entire world why the United States and ROK possess a very strong alliance and together our capabilities are solid and forms a truly seamless team."

George Washington operated in the Sea of Japan for the duration of the exercise, conducting air and maritime operations with ROK forces. One of the key factors of George Washington's success was constant and accurate communication throughout operation "Invincible Shield" with the ROK.

"During the entire exercise, we were on the same page with our ROK allies," said George Washington Combat Direction Center (CDC) Officer Cmdr. Peter Walczack. "Communication is critical in any successful military exercise; in the CDC, we were able to use identical tactical communication procedures with the ROK forces which made operations smoothly and further improve our readiness."

Since the exercise began, George Washington has embarked members of the U.S. and international media and provided guided tours of the ship daily. This unique opportunity for the media gave them the chance to see firsthand the working environment of George Washington Sailors.

The ship's crew also hosted official visits on board during the exercise, including distinguished ROK military and political officials such as the ROK minister of national defense to the ROK chief of naval operations.

"It has been an honor and privilege to have each and every one of our guests visit GW during this exercise," Cloyd said. "Having had our guest experience GW provided them a view of what the maritime forces of U.S. and ROK were doing during the exercise. We were happy to have had the opportunity to expose them all to carrier operations that our Sailors execute proudly every day."

ROK Sailors worked alongside their GW counterparts during "Invincible Spirit." ROK Sailors said the exercise and the experience was very beneficial to them, and they are looking forward to future training exercises with the U.S. Navy.

"Operating with the U.S. Sailors has been a great experience," said Lt. Cdr. Kim Jin-Woo, a ROK Navy officer. "I am very impressed with the work our countries have done together during this exercise. I believe that the U.S. and ROK alliance is strong and by doing exercises such as this one will help us operate even more efficiently in the future."

Following its role in the operation "Invincible Spirit," George Washington will continue its summer 2010 patrol in the western Pacific Ocean.

US Coast Guard Asset Guide - Part 1

Here is the latest US Coast Guard Asset Guide in four parts courtesy of Mark J. Cleary.

USCG Asset Guide - A Desktop Reference Guide to the USCG
by M. Cleary
Send updates to:
Last Updated: 7-11-2010

Editor's Notes

All H-60s will be converted to MH-60Ts by 2013. The schedule for transition to MH-60T models is as follows:

2010 - CGAS Cape Cod, CGAS Sitka
2011 - CGAS Kodiak, CGAS Astoria
2012 - CGAS Clearwater
2013 - ATC Mobile

· CGAS Miami will transition to the HC-144A in FY11.

· A Navy SH-60F is being converted to MH-60T configuration to replace one lost in a crash. Cost of the conversion is $15 million.

US Coast Guard Asset Guide - Part 2

USCG Air Asset Guide

Aircraft Fleet List
Tail Type Homeplate Last Log Remarks
101 C-37A CGAS Washington, D.C. 07-06-10
102 C-143 CGAS Washington, D.C. 07-09-10
1500 HC-130H CGAS Clearwater 07-11-10
1501 HC-130H CGAS Clearwater 07-02-10
1502 HC-130H CGAS Clearwater 06-16-10
1503 HC-130H CGAS Elizabeth City 05-18-09
1504 HC-130H CGAS Elizabeth City 04-19-10
1700 HC-130H7 CGAS Clearwater 07-10-10
1701 HC-130H7 CGAS Barbers Point 06-13-10
1702 HC-130H7 CGAS Sacramento 07-10-10
1703 HC-130H7 CGAS Kodiak 10-20-09
1704 HC-130H7 CGAS Kodiak 11-10-09
1706 HC-130H7 CGAS Barbers Point 05-22-10
1707 HC-130H7 CGAS Sacramento 06-17-10
1708 HC-130H7 CGAS Kodiak 03-22-10
1709 HC-130H7 CGAS Kodiak 07-01-10
1711 HC-130H7 CGAS Barbers Point 06-15-10
1712 HC-130H7 CGAS Sacramento 07-01-10
1713 HC-130H7 CGAS Sacramento 06-28-10
1714 HC-130H7 CGAS Sacramento 07-07-10
1715 HC-130H7 CGAS Kodiak 04-22-10
1716 HC-130H7 CGAS Clearwater 05-23-10
1717 HC-130H7 CGAS Clearwater 05-24-10
1718 HC-130H7 CGAS Sacramento 07-07-10
1719 HC-130H7 CGAS Clearwater 07-11-10
1720 HC-130H7 CGAS Clearwater 07-07-10
1790 HC-130H7 CGAS Kodiak 06-18-10
2001 HC-130J CGAS Elizabeth City 07-01-10
2002 HC-130J CGAS Elizabeth City 05-22-10
2003 HC-130J CGAS Elizabeth City 07-07-10
2004 HC-130J CGAS Elizabeth City 07-03-10
2005 HC-130J CGAS Elizabeth City 07-07-10
2006 HC-130J CGAS Elizabeth City 07-10-10
2102 HU-25D CGAS Miami 07-07-10
2104 HU-25C+ CGAS Cape Cod 05-17-10
2105 HU-25D CGAS Miami 07-06-10
2109 HU-25D ALC Elizabeth City 12-01-09
2110 HU-25A ALC Elizabeth City 12-01-09
2112 HU-25C+ CGAS Cape Cod 02-03-10
2113 HU-25D CGAS Miami 04-04-09
2114 HU-25D CGAS Miami 07-07-10
2117 HU-25A CGAS Miami 05-02-10
2118 HU-25B ATC Mobile 04-29-10
2120 HU-25A ATC Mobile 02-16-10
2121 HU-25A ATC Mobile 05-26-10
2127 HU-25A ATC Mobile 06-16-09
2128 HU-25D CGAS Miami 04-05-10
2129 HU-25C+ CGAS Cape Cod 07-10-10
2131 HU-25C+ CGAS Corpus Christi 06-18-10
2133 HU-25C+ CGAS Cape Cod 07-02-10
2134 HU-25A ATC Mobile 03-06-09
2135 HU-25C+ CGAS Corpus Christi 06-06-10
2136 HU-25A ALC Elizabeth City 12-01-09
2140 HU-25C+ CGAS Cape Cod 07-07-10
2141 HU-25C+ CGAS Corpus Christi 06-05-10
2301 HC-144A ATC Mobile 07-10-10
2302 HC-144A ATC Mobile 10-03-09
2303 HC-144A ATC Mobile 06-14-10
2304 HC-144A ATC Mobile 07-11-10
2305 HC-144A ATC Mobile 07-03-10
2306 HC-144A CGAS Miami 05-26-10
2307 HC-144A ATC Mobile 06-23-10
2308 HC-144A CGAS Miami 06-02-10
2309 HC-144A To be delivered in 2010
2310 HC-144A To be delivered in 2010
2311 HC-144A To be delivered in 2010
2312 HC-144A To be delivered in 2010
2313 HC-144A To be delivered in 2011
2314 HC-144A To be delivered in 2011
2315 HC-144A Funds Requested FY 11.
6001 MH-60T CGAS Elizabeth City 07-01-10
6002 MH-60J Unknown 03-18-10
6003 MH-60J CGAS Clearwater 07-03-10
6004 MH-60J CGAS Cape Cod 01-28-10
6005 MH-60J CGAS Kodiak 06-13-10
6006 MH-60J CGAS Astoria 05-21-10
6007 MH-60J CGAS Kodiak 07-06-10
6008 MH-60J CGAS Clearwater 07-11-10
6009 MH-60J CGAS Cape Cod 07-03-10
6010 MH-60J ATC Mobile 06-05-10
6011 MH-60J CGAS Cape Cod 06-06-10
6012 MH-60J CGAS Clearwater 06-30-10
6013 MH-60J CGAS Kodiak 02-04-10
6014 MH-60J ATC Mobile 03-03-10
6015 MH-60T CGAS Kodiak 06-01-10
6016 MH-60J ATC Mobile 07-11-10
6018 MH-60J CGAS Sitka 02-03-10
6019 MH-60J CGAS Clearwater 07-07-10
6021 MH-60J CGAS Kodiak 03-22-10
6022 MH-60J CGAS Clearwater 07-08-10
6023 MH-60J ATC Mobile 06-23-10
6024 MH-60J CGAS Clearwater 07-10-10
6025 MH-60J CGAS Cape Cod 07-10-10
6026 MH-60T CGAS Elizabeth City 07-07-10
6027 MH-60T ATC Mobile 06-30-10
6029 MH-60J CGAS Clearwater 06-13-10
6030 MH-60J CGAS Astoria 09-13-09
6031 MH-60J CGAS Elizabeth City 06-29-10
6032 MH-60T CGAS San Diego 06-04-10
6033 MH-60T CGAS San Diego 02-24-10
6034 MH-60T CGAS Elizabeth City 06-09-10
6035 MH-60J Unknown 12-07-09
6036 MH-60J CGAS Sitka 07-08-10
6037 MH-60J CGAS San Diego 12-03-09
6038 MH-60J CGAS Sitka 06-28-10
6039 MH-60J CGAS Clearwater 04-23-10
6040 MH-60J CGAS Elizabeth City 06-13-10
6041 MH-60J CGAS San Diego 05-14-10
6042 MH-60J CGAS Clearwater 07-11-10
6043 MH-60T CGAS Elizabeth City 07-11-10
6501 MH-65C HITRON Jacksonville 06-16-10
6502 MH-65C CGAS San Francisco 03-09-10
6503 MH-65C CGAS Port Angeles 02-23-10
6504 HH-65C CGAS Los Angeles 09-04-09
6506 MH-65C HITRON Jacksonville 06-02-10
6507 MH-65C CGAS Houston 08-22-09
6508 MH-65C CGAS New Orleans 06-09-10
6509 HH-65C CGAS Kodiak 03-20-07
6510 MH-65C CGAS Savannah 07-06-10
6511 MH-65C CGAS Miami 07-10-10
6512 HH-65C CGAS Corpus Christi 03-26-07
6513 MH-65C ATC Mobile 04-24-09
6514 HH-65C CGAS Port Angeles 06-27-10
6515 MH-65C CGAS Miami 07-03-10
6516 MH-65C CGAS San Francisco 07-01-10
6517 MH-65C CGAS Atlantic City 08-06-09
6518 MH-65C HITRON Jacksonville 12-18-09
6519 HH-65C CGAS North Bend 01-09-09
6520 MH-65C CGAS San Francisco 06-16-10
6521 HH-65C CGAS Borinquen 11-18-09
6522 HH-65C CGAS Detroit 03-10-10
6524 HH-65C CGAS Detroit 03-31-10
6525 HH-65C Unknown 06-27-10
6526 MH-65C HITRON Jacksonville 06-10-10
6527 HH-65C CGAS Detroit 05-06-10
6528 HH-65C CGAS Barbers Point 05-01-10
6529 HH-65C Unknown 06-27-10
6530 MH-65C CGAS Atlantic City 05-20-10
6531 MH-65C ATC Mobile 02-17-10
6532 HH-65C CGAS Detroit 05-08-10
6533 MH-65C CGAS Houston 05-28-10
6534 MH-65C CGAS New Orleans 01-26-10
6535 HH-65C ATC Mobile 10-22-08
6536 MH-65C Unknown 07-10-10
6537 HH-65C CGAS North Bend 02-21-10
6538 MH-65C East Coast 09-19-09
6539 HH-65C CGAS Detroit 05-30-10
6540 MH-65C CGAS New Orleans 04-23-10
6542 MH-65C CGAS Savannah 07-06-10
6543 MH-65D CGAS Atlantic City 02-01-10
6544 HH-65C CGAS San Francisco 06-10-08
6545 MH-65C CGAS Savannah 05-27-10
6547 MH-65C HITRON Jacksonville 05-19-10
6548 MH-65C CGAS North Bend 06-28-10
6550 MH-65C CGAS Port Angeles 03-30-10
6551 MH-65C CGAS Barbers Point 05-01-10
6552 MH-65C CGAS San Francisco 06-16-09
6553 MH-65C ATC Mobile 07-06-10
6554 MH-65C HITRON Jacksonville 12-31-09
6555 MH-65C CGAS San Francisco 04-22-10
6556 MH-65C CGAS New Orleans 06-25-10
6557 MH-65C ATC Mobile 05-26-10
6558 MH-65C CGAS New Orleans 04-23-10
6559 MH-65C CGAS Atlantic City 05-12-10
6560 MH-65C Unknown 05-30-10
6561 MH-65C CGAS Houston 05-22-10
6562 MH-65C CGAS Atlantic City 07-07-10
6563 MH-65C CGAS Atlantic City 04-21-10
6564 HH-65C CGAS Miami 11-16-09
6565 MH-65C CGAS Savannah 07-06-10
6566 MH-65C CGAS Borinquen 07-02-10
6567 MH-65C HITRON Jacksonville 12-07-09
6568 MH-65C CGAS Humboldt Bay 07-04-10
6569 MH-65C CGAS Humboldt Bay 02-26-10
6570 MH-65C CGAS Miami 01-30-10
6571 MH-65C CGAS Detroit 11-01-09
6572 MH-65C Unknown 07-07-10
6573 MH-65C CGAS Los Angeles 02-25-10
6574 MH-65C CGAS Port Angeles 03-24-10
6575 MH-65C East Coast 04-02-10
6576 MH-65C CGAS Miami 02-17-10
6577 MH-65C Unknown 05-23-10
6578 MH-65C CGAS Houston 06-30-10
6579 MH-65C CGAS Borinquen 06-20-10
6580 MH-65C Unknown 07-03-10
6581 MH-65C CGAS Humboldt Bay 04-29-10
6582 MH-65C CGAS Borinquen 07-07-10
6583 HH-65C CGAS Humboldt Bay 01-27-09
6584 MH-65C Unknown 03-14-10
6585 MH-65C CGAS Los Angeles 04-18-10
6586 HH-65C ATC Mobile 09-23-07
6587 HH-65C ATC Mobile 06-07-07
6588 MH-65C Unknown 06-23-10
6589 MH-65C CGAS New Orleans 12-17-08
6590 HH-65C CGAS Detroit 06-19-10
6591 HH-65C CGAS Barbers Point 05-16-10
6592 MH-65C CGAS New Orleans 03-28-09
6593 HH-65C CGAS Traverse City 04-21-10
6594 MH-65C HITRON Jacksonville 04-21-10
6595 MH-65C CGAS Atlantic City 11-24-08
6596 MH-65C CGAS Kodiak 11-08-09
6597 MH-65C CGAS New Orleans 06-20-10
6598 HH-65C CGAS Detroit 04-26-08
6599 MH-65D CGAS Atlantic City 05-21-10
6601 MH-65C ALC Elizabeth City 08-14-09
6602 MH-65C ALC Elizabeth City 08-14-09
6603 MH-65C CGAS Port Angeles 10-07-08
6604 MH-65C CGAS Savannah 07-08-10
6605 MH-65C CGAS New Orleans 06-27-10
6606 MH-65C CGAS Miami 04-07-10
6607 MH-65C CGAS Miami 06-30-10
6608 MH-65C CGAS Miami 07-02-10

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HC-130 Long Range Search Aircraft

Speed: 330 kts
Range: 4100 (H), 5500 (J) NM
Endurance: 14 (H), 21(J) Hours
Crew: 2 (O), 5 (E)
Sensors: Inverse Synthetic Aperture (ISAR) Radar, Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR), SEI, AIS equipped

HC-130 aircraft provide long-range air coverage over the entire Coast Guard area of responsibility. Under the Deepwater plan, the primary role of these aircraft will be to meet the long range maritime patrol requirements in the vast Pacific Ocean areas that cannot be accomplished by the medium range surveillance (MRS) CASA aircraft. The LRS will additionally provide heavy air transport for Deployable Operations Group teams. The LRS will receive Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Detection and Defense (CBR D&D) capabilities that will allow for insertion of specialized teams into potential “hot” areas.

The HC-130H fleet is equipped with a Forward-Looking InfraRed/Electro-Optical/Low-Light TV (FLIR/EO/LLTV) turret-mounted camera system. This system provides a 360-degree field-of-view and high-resolution software magnification allowing use at standoff ranges. In addition, a DAMA-compatible MILSATCOM receiver is being installed. The FLIR/EO/LLTV interfaces with the HC-130H's AN/APS-137 Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR), allowing automatic direction of the FLIR system, reducing the operator workload for the tactical sensor operator. The 15xx series of HC-130H's is equipped to support the AN/APS-135 Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR). Using the AN/APS-135, an area of over 100nm can be mapped on either side of the aircraft. This is especially useful in support of the International Ice Patrol and for tracking down sources of pollution.

The first missionized HC-130J was delivered on January 24, 2008. HC-130J modifications include: the proven multimode EDO EL/M 2022A(V)3 maritime surface search radar, mounted beneath the plane’s fuselage, and a nose-mounted APN- 241 weather radar, the electro-optical/infrared- FLIR Systems Star Safire III, DF- 430 UHF/VHF Direction Finder System, and SAAB Transponder Tech AB R4A Airborne Automatic Identification System (AIS).

HC-144A Ocean Sentry Medium Range Search Aircraft

Speed: 236 kts
Range: 1,565 NM (empty), 575 NM with cargo
Endurance: 8.7 Hours
Crew: 5 -- 2 (O), 3 (E)
Sensors: ISAR Radar, EO/IR, SEI, AIS equipped
Cost per unit: $33.5 million
Planned Quantity: 36

The EADS-CASA CN-235-300CG MRS is an essential, highly capable element of the revised Deepwater implementation plan. This fixed-wing turbo prop aircraft provides invaluable on-scene loitering capabilities and perform various missions, including maritime patrol, law enforcement, Search and Rescue (SAR), disaster response, and cargo & personnel transport. The Mission System Pallet is a roll-on, roll-off suite of electronic equipment that enables the aircrew to compile data from the aircraft's multiple integrated sensors and transmit and receive both classified "Secret"-level and unclassified information to other assets, including surface vessels, other aircraft, local law enforcement and shore facilities. With multiple voice and data communications capabilities, including UHF/VHF, HF, and Commercial Satellite Communications (SATCOM), the HC-144A will be able to contribute to a Common Tactical Picture (CTP) and Common Operating Picture (COP) through a networked Command and Control (C2) system that provides for data sharing via SATCOM. The aircraft is also equipped with a vessel Automatic Identification System, direction finding equipment, a surface search radar, an Electro-Optical/ Infra-Red system, and Electronic Surveillance Measures equipment to improve situational awareness and responsiveness.

The MRS will be the second logistical workhorse for the fleet (with the LRS), with the ability to conduct Air Transport for smaller personnel and parts loads around the U.S. and Caribbean basin.

HU-25 Guardian

Speed: 460 kts
Range: 2,250 NM
Endurance: Hours
Crew: 2 (O), 3 (E)
Sensors: ISAR Radar, EO/IR, SEI

The HU-25 Guardian is an American-built variant of the Dassault-Brequet Falcon 20 light-transport jet. A total of forty-one HU-25 jets were purchased by the USCG. At a later date, eight HU-25As were modified to the HU-25B standard and were equipped with the AIREYE surveillance system to detect pollution. Again, at a later date, an additional nine HU-25As were modified into the HU-25C Guardian Interceptor. These HU-25Cs were equipped with the AN/APG-66 Airborne Intercept Radar and were used in the drug interdiction role.

In 2000, the USCG began a series of upgrades to the HU-25 fleet. The upgrades produced two new variants; the HU-25C+ and the HU-25D. The HU-25C+ incorporates a variety of sensor upgrades. The AN/APG-66 was upgraded to an improved version providing greater detection range while reducing weight. In addition, a new Forward-Looking InfraRed/Electro-Optical/Low-Light TV (FLIR/EO/LLTV) provides a "wide-angle search, detection, classification, and identification" capability. This upgrade also incorporates a Tactical Work Station (TWS) similar to that on the HC-130H. The HU-25D was developed from the HU-25A. The HU-25A's AN/APS-127 radar was replaced with the AN/APS-143(V) Inverse Synthetic-Aperture Radar (ISAR) system. In addition, the HU-25D includes the same FLIR/EO/LLTV turret as the HU-25C+ and also incorporates the Tactical Work Station. A total of six HU-25Ds will remain in service.

The FY02 budget funded 17 operational airframes. Funding was provided to convert 6 HU-25A models to HU-25D models and all HU-25Cs were converted to HU-25C+ models. A May 2003 press release stated there were 9 C+ models and 6 D models active.

The Coast Guard plans to operate the HU-25 until 2014, but will begin phasing them out in 2009.

HH-60J/MH-60T Medium Range Recovery Helicopter

Speed 170 kts
Range: 600 NM
Endurance: 6 Hours
Crew: 2 (O), 2 (E)
Pax: 6 (Armed) 18 (Unarmed)
Sensors: Radar, EO/IR,
Armament: .50 Cal Sniper, M242 .60Cal Machine Gun
Cost per unit: $3.5 million
Quantity: 42

The revised Deepwater implementation plan retains and upgrades the Coast Guard’s existing fleet of HH-60s rather than acquire new MRR replacement aircraft. The original Deepwater baseline had notionally selected the smaller AB-139 as the MRR. This aircraft was determined to be unsuitable to meet the post 9/11 Airborne Use of Force and Vertical Insertion/Vertical Delivery mission requirements.

MH-60J Project:

The HH-60 was modernized with improved avionics and a new T700 turbine power plant. The hardened HH-60s received an Airborne Use of Force (AUF) package that provides the capability to fire warning and disabling shots from the air while providing for crew protection from small arms fire. When deployed from a Coast Guard flight deck-equipped cutter, this gives the cutter the ability to apply force against a maritime target up to 400NM away. The MRR additionally provides a Vertical Insertion and Vertical Delivery capability – the ability to deliver a 6-person interagency counter-terrorism or response team 200NM from a US shore or a Coast Guard flight deck equipped cutter.

MH-60T Project:

The MH-60T project was developed to enhance the multi-mission capabilities of the HH-60 aircraft. This project includes a number of upgrades to improve reliability and mission performance while also adding new capabilities such as the Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Sensor System (ESS) and Airborne Use Force (AUF) package.

The ESS, manufactured by FLIR Systems Inc., is a variant of their “Talon” commercial EO/IR sensor. The ESS provides aircrews with enhanced search capabilities to locate, identify, and track surface targets day or night; a critical capability for both search and rescue and law enforcement missions.

Among the upgrades, Rockwell Collins’ Common Avionics Architecture System provides fully integrated flight and mission management capabilities. Using five multi-function display screens, aircrews can display radar and forward-looking-infrared data, monitor the Traffic Collision Avoidance System and view imagery fed into the cockpit from the rescue hoist camera. Enhanced radar and optical sensors also contribute to an improved common operating picture and maritime domain awareness.

The AUF package increases the MH-60T’s capability by equipping it with a 7.62mm machine gun to fire warning shots and a .50 caliber long range rifle for precise targeting, such as disabling outboard engines. The package also provides ballistic armor for aircrew protection and upgraded communications systems for better interoperability.

On December 8, 2004 HH-60J #6020 from CGAS Kodiak crashed into the Bering Sea during a rescue. A Navy SH-60F is being acquired to replace it.

The first MH-60T, CG 6027, completed modifications at ALC in December 2007. The program is expected to be complete by 2020 at a cost of $451 million.

The schedule for transition to MH-60T models is as follows:

September 2009 - CGAS Elizabeth City
2009 - CGAS San Diego
2010 - CGAS Cape Cod, CGAS Sitka
2011 - CGAS Kodiak, CGAS Astoria
2012 - CGAS Clearwater
2013 - ATC Mobile

On December 8, 2004 HH-60J #6020 from CGAS Kodiak crashed into the Bering Sea during a rescue. A Navy SH-60F was acquired to replace it and assigned #6043.

HH-65/MH-65 C/D Multi-Mission Cutter Helicopter

Speed: 160 kts
Range: 400 NM
Endurance: 4 Hours
Crew: 2 (O), 1 (E)
Pax: 3-4 (Armed) 4 (Unarmed)
Sensors: Radar, EO/IR
Armament: .50 Cal Sniper, M242 .60Cal MG
Cost per unit: $8.8 million
Quantity: 102

The H-65 Short Range Recovery helicopter was introduced to the U.S. Coast Guard in the mid-1980s, and is currently expected to remain in service through 2025.

The Coast Guard began the MCH Project in 2004 with the intent to increase, recapitalize and modernize its aging fleet of H-65 aircraft. The MCH Project grows the fleet by seven aircraft and provides the H-65 with a service life extension by replacing obsolete components with new technology–a digital Automatic Flight Control System, an integrated flight deck with sensor display screens, and a robust and effective C4ISR suite.

The program is broken up into six Discrete Segments:

Discrete Segment 1 (H-65/MCH Phase I)
In response to safety and reliability concerns, this segment focused on replacing the LTS 101 engines with Turbomeca Arriel 2C2CG engines and associated components. Re-engined aircraft are designated HH-65C. Other improvements include strengthened landing gear, a new 10-bladed tail rotor and drive shaft that will allow the HH-65 to to move horizontally to the left or right at 70 knots.

Discrete Segment 2 (National Capital Region Air Defense)
This segment provides a NCRAD mission capability mandated by DHS by increasing the fleet size from 95 to 102 aircraft. The Coast Guard’s role in the mission is to conduct helicopter operations in the National Capital Region to identify and intercept aircraft operating within the Washington, D.C. area.

Discrete Segment 3 (Airborne Use of Force)
This segment provides the Coast Guard with an organic Airborne Use of Force (AUF) capability provided in AUF packages. The A-kit includes night vision goggle/infrared-compatible formation flying lights and cockpit displays, and an upgraded hailing system, mounts and internal stowage for ammunition and weapons. The AUF B-kit adds ballistic armor for aircrew protection, one M240 7.62mm general purpose machine gun and one RC50 .50 cal. precision rifle. The B-kit also provides a pilot’s head-up display, night vision optics and a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) sensor.

The project also adds new communications systems –such as the AN/ARC-210 military satellite communications radio, AN/ARC-220 high frequency Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) radio, and the RT5000 multi-band radio, which connects an aircrew with federal, state & local law enforcement agencies and emergency services. The MCHs also will have a DF-430 direction finding system.

The new designation following these upgrades is MH-65C.

The MH-65C will additionally provide a Vertical Insertion and Vertical Delivery capability – the ability to deliver a 3-person interagency response team 50NM from shore or a Coast Guard flight deck-equipped cutter.

Discrete Segment 4 (H-65/MCH Phase II)
This segment will build upon the MH-65C configuration developed during Discrete Segment 3 and addresses obsolete aircraft “safety of flight” subsystems that are no longer economically supportable. The improvements include the replacement of the navigation system and six aircraft gyros with a dual digital embedded GPS/inertial navigation system aircraft will be designated MH-65D.

Flight testing on the first MH-65D, CG 6543, began in March at the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, N.C. The MH-65D features a new flight navigation system which replaces the current compass, directional, yaw rate gyro systems, and GPS system. Initial Operating Capacity is expected to be reached during the 3rd quarter of FY10.

Discrete Segment 5 (Aircraft Ship Integrated Secure and Traverse)
In 2004, the Coast Guard decided that the Deepwater program, would be constructed with the ASIST system built by Indal Technologies, Inc. This discrete segment develops one prototype and nine additional ASIST-equipped H-65s that are compatible with the National Security Cutter for shipboard helicopter operations.

Discrete Segment 6 (H-65/MCH Phase III)
This segment is currently the final planned phase for H-65 upgrades. It addresses the remaining aircraft subsystem obsolescence issues and provides further enhanced capabilities, including replacement of the analog automatic flight control system with a digital system, a digital “glass” cockpit using common rotary wing avionics architecture, and digital weather radar.

The altitude record for an HH-65 rescue was set by CG 6514 in May 2007. An injured man was hoisted from a mountaintop in Washington from an altitude of 7,000 feet.

C-37 Gulfstream V

Speed: 459 kts
Range: 6,500NM
Pax: 19

A single VC-37A aircraft is assigned to Reagan National Airport to serve as a long-range command and control aircraft that can be used to provide transportation for high-level Coast Guard and Homeland Security officials. It is capable of nonstop flight to any location in the United States. It is known as Coast Guard 01 or 101. CG 01 is the only ACARS equipped CG aircraft and uses the ident "1".

C-143 Challenger

A Canadair CL-604 Challenger is based at Reagan National Airport. Known as a VC-143 Medium Range Command and Control Aircraft, it's onboard secure communications suite provides operational support for high-level Coast Guard and Homeland Security officials.

RU-38B Reconnaissance Aircraft

Speed: 62-168 kts
Mission Speed: 83 kts
Ceiling 30,000 feet
Crew: 3

The design of the RU-38B is optimized to perform surveillance missions. Because it is point designed to carry integrated sensor payloads, it achieves better mission performance at significantly lower costs than aircraft designed for passenger or cargo-carrying roles. By equipping the RU-38B with two turbine engines and a modular payload concept, the same basic airframe can be adapted for low altitude, “quiet” reconnaissance or high altitude, standoff surveillance roles.

The RU-38B reconnaissance aircraft evolved directly from the SA 2-37B design. The most important differences between the RU-38B and the SA 2-37B are: a) the addition of twin turbine engines in a pusher-puller configuration; b) additional payload weight and volume; and c) a larger crew compartment. Because the RU-38B will routinely operate at low altitudes over water or hostile terrain, the addition of a second engine is important for safety. The aft engine has a full-feathering propeller and will typically be shut down during the “quiet” surveillance mode. The aft engine is in reality a redundant engine available to reduce the risk in the event of engine failure and to provide higher cruise speeds during ingress and egress.

The RU-38B is a third generation system that is unique because of the following innovative features:

Covert operation: low noise signature
Twin-engine reliability: Rolls Royce 250 Series turbine engines
Integrated, palletized multi-sensor payload suite
Spacious cockpit with dedicated payload operator station
Flexible mission performance: long endurance and high/low altitude
Low infrared signature
Low costs: acquisition and operating

Sensors: The RU-38B features 140 cubic feet of dedicated payload volume and the ability to operate with 800 pounds of mission sensors. Because the large payload bays were designed to palletize sensors, the RU-38B can be rapidly converted from one mission to another with modularized payloads. Large access doors are provided to all payload bays. Payload sensors and mission avionics are located in both tailbooms and behind the pilot/co-pilot seats in the fuselage.

The RU-38B's primary mission applications include: border integrity protection, counter drug detection and monitoring, maritime patrol, counter-terrorism surveillance, electronic intelligence collection, fisheries patrol, environmental monitoring, and search and rescue. For many missions, the RU-38B will be equipped with a SAR or sea search radar, a forward looking infrared (FLIR) system, a low light level electro optical sensor, and communication intercept electronics. These sensors are fully integrated to maximize day/night detection and monitoring capability. Precise GPS position data is integrated into the payload operator’s display and the FLIR/EO imagery recorded on the RU-38B’s dual recording system. Down link of sensor data is an option. It can also serve as a relay platform for control of UAV’s or of signals from the ground or other aircraft. Mission effectiveness of the RU-38B results from its covert operating capability and integrated sensor suite. Mission flexibility results from its high/low altitude performance and modular payload concept.

Crew Station: The RU-38B crew station is spacious and designed to maximize the effectiveness of the sensor operator(s). The co-pilot in the left seat has full flight controls and can serve as the backup sensor operator with displays and controls for all payloads. As an option, the RU-38B aircraft can have a dedicated sensor operator station located behind the pilot and co-pilot seats.

Covert Operation: The RU-38B utilized many of the same accoustic signature reduction techniques that have proven to be so successful of the SA 2-37B. Low engine power levels are required to maintain cruise flight because of the high aerodynamic efficiency of the air vehicle. The engines have a specially designed reduction gear box so that the propeller speed can be reduced to as little as 1000 RPM. Both engine inlet and exhaust are quieted by proprietary, state-of-the-art techniques developed by Schweizer Aircraft. By reducing the noise signature of the RU 2-38B so that it will not be detected during loiter flight, the mission effectivity of the system is greatly enhanced.

Source: Schweizer Aircraft

Update 11-6-08: The planned delivery of two RU-38Bs earmarked to the USCG by Congress has been delayed to 2011. The aircraft currently lack any sensor and communications packages. Delivery had been expected in 2009. The aircraft are expected to be based in Miami and Puerto Rico.

Update 2-15-10: Delivery has been pushed back again at least until FY12. Follow-on funding for the project was cut from the FY11 budget request.

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Program

The Coast Guard has developed a UAS acquisition strategy to acquire both low-altitude, cutter-based, tactical UASs and mid-altitude, land-based, long range UASs. The UAS acquisition strategy emphasizes commonality with existing DHS and DoD programs.

In November 2008, the Coast Guard experimented with dry-fitting the Navy’s RQ-8 Fire Scout aboard the NSC. The tests, which did not involve launch and recovery from the cutter’s flight deck, showed that an unmanned aircraft could be loaded, moved, and hangered aboard the NSC.

In March 2008, the Coast Guard worked with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Air Force in a joint MQ-9 Predator B maritime flight evaluation. The tests built both services’ knowledge of land-based UAS operations in the maritime environment, including demonstration of multimode radar and electro-optical/infrared sensors.

The Coast Guard will be testing a prototype of the Predator B Guardian maritime variant unmanned aerial system at Cape Canaveral in January 2010. Sixteen test flights are planned for 2010. The Guardian has been modified from a standard Predator B with structural, avionics, and communications enhancements, as well as the addition of a Raytheon SeaVue Marine Search Radar and an Electro-optical/Infrared Sensor that is optimized for maritime operations.

Aircraft Crashes & Accidents
(Since 1993)

July 7, 2010 - MH-60T # 6017 en route from Astoria, Oregon to Sitka, Alaska crashed into the water off James Island, WA at 9:32 a.m. after striking power lines with it's tail.

Three of four crewmembers were killed.

April 29, 2010 - MH-65C # 6581 from CGAS Humboldt Bay crashed at the airport in Arcata at 10:55 a.m. The crew was conducting a training mission at the time of the incident.

All three aviators walked away from the incident.

April 20, 2010 - HH-65C # 6523 crashed during a nighttime training evolution in southern Lake Huron at approximately 9:45 p.m. The helicopter crew was conducting nighttime hoist training with Station Port Huron when the aircraft crashed into the water.

All three crew members were able to safely exit the helicopter and were recovered by the crew of a Station Port Huron 41-foot utility boat.

March 3, 2010 - MH-60T # 6028 crashed 40 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah at 10:30am.

The helicopter was returning from the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. The aircraft refueled in Salt Lake City and planned on flying to Colorado it went down in the snow.

All five people on board survived the crash.

November 17, 2009 - HU-25 # 2139 suffered a collapsed nose landing gear while landing at Eagle County Regional Airport in Gypsum, Colorado.

The Corpus Christi based aircraft had been conducting a training flight in the area. Upon landing, the crew noticed an abnormal vibration before the nose landing gear collapsed causing the aircraft to skid down the runway. The crew deployed a dragchute, which helped the Falcon decelerate and come to a stop 500 feet from the end of the runway.

October 29, 2009 - HC-130H # 1705 collided with a Marine helicopter and crashed into the ocean 15 miles east of San Clemente Island off the coast of San Diego.

The Sacramento based aircraft was searching for an overdue 12-foot pleasure craft when there was a collision with a Marine Corps AH-1 Cobra helicopter at 1915 Pacific local time.

The seven man crew perished.


September 4th, 2008 - HH-65C # 6505 crashed approximately five miles south of Honolulu International Airport.

The helicopter's crew had just completed search and rescue drills with a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Station Honolulu when it went down at 8:15 p.m. The Coast Guard was notified by the FAA and immediately launched a C-130 search plane from Air Station Barbers Point.

A crew on board an inbound Air Force C-17 to Honolulu International saw the Coast Guard helicopter go down and circled the site until a rescue boat from the Honolulu Fire Department could get on scene.

The four man crew perished.


June 28, 2006 - HC-130H # 1710 suffered damage during landing on St. Paul Island, in the Bering Sea. The Kodiak based aircraft was on a logistics mission, transporting equipment. After the aircraft touched down, it departed the left side of the runway, damaging the right wing and separating one of the four propellers. The aircraft came to rest 50 yards left of the runway. There were no reported injuries to the nine Coast Guard personnel on board the aircraft.


February 11, 2006 - HH-65B # 6546 from CGAS Humboldt Bay crashed into the surf off Eureak, CA while rescuing several persons in the water. The crew survived without injury. The helo washed ashore.


December 8, 2004 - HH-60J # 6020 from CGAS Kodiak was evacuating crewmembers off the grounded Malaysian freighter Selendang Ayu off Unalaska Island when it was engulfed by a huge wave of water. The engines flamed out and the helicopter fell into the sea. An HH-65 rescued the three Coast Guard aviators, who were wearing survival suits, and one of the crewmen. After transporting the four crash survivors to Dutch Harbor, the HH-65 returned to hoist the 6020 rescue swimmer and Selendang Ayu master from the bow section of the sinking vessel.


June 8, 1997 - HH-65A # 6549 from CGAS Humboldt Bay was responding to a sailing vessel taking on water at night in poor weather conditions and high seas. It is believed that the aircraft impacted the water while attempting to make an approach to the vessel. The four man crew perished.


July 12, 1994 - HH-65A # 6541 from CGAS Humboldt Bay was responding to a grounded sailing vessel. It was dark and the weather was poor as the crew attempted to descend through the fog to assist the vessel in distress. The helicopter impacted the side of a cliff and the entire four man crew was lost.


August 31, 1993 - HH-65A # 6594 from CGAS Brooklyn was delivering aids to navigation personnel and equipment to the Ambrose light tower. The helicopter landed short of the elevated helipad. The left main gear struck the edge of the pad, resulting in a rollover. The aircraft fell to the sea 100 feet below. Both pilots perished in the accident.