Monday, January 31, 2011

800 Naval Air Squadron pass into history

ANOTHER day, another great name in the Royal Navy passes into history with the demise of the Fleet Air Arm's only fast jet squadron.
800 Naval Air Squadron formally decommissioned - alongside the rest of Joint Force Harrier - in front of 600 friends, family and veterans, plus the ranking officers of the Senior and Junior Services.
On a bitterly cold January day at RAF Wittering, near Peterborough, the Ensign of 800 NAS and the standards of their RAF sister formations 1(F) and IV Squadrons were paraded for the final time in their present incarnations as Harrier units.
The Harriers the men and women have flown and maintained made their final flight shortly before Christmas.
Proceedings at Wittering, the home of Harrier training until the shock decision to axe the jump jet in last autumn's defence review, were focused on the decommissioning (or disbanding in RAF terminology) of the three squadrons.
The head of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, and First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope both thanked the squadrons for their commitment, dedication and, in times of war, blood shed for their nation.
It was, said Air Chief Marshal Dalton, "only adieu, not farewell" as the squadrons would one day re-form with new aircraft.

"The record of your squadrons is testimony to your courage," Admiral Stanhope told the airmen and ground crew. The decision to pay off the Harrier force "was one not taken lightly or easily. It has been a painful one for a close-knit community which has given outstanding service over very many years.
"We need to move on. The implications reach far beyond the Harrier community. The challenge we now face is to recreate carrier strike capability which for so long has been - and will again be - at the heart of the future forces which will safeguard our country.
"That is not only your future, but also your legacy."
As the squadrons marched out of the hangar holding the ceremony - to the strains of Auld Lang Syne from the RAF Band - guests spontaneously rose from their seats and applauded the parading sailors and airmen.
It was a moment which 800 NAS' final CO, Cdr David Lindsay, said "left a lump in my throat - it shows what a significant day this is.
He added: "It has been the greatest privilege of my life to be the commanding officer of the last Harrier squadron in the Fleet Air Arm.
"It is the end of an era of hard sacrifice, some of it in blood. We have to take that legacy and move on into the future. I am a born optimist. Hopefully we will recommission as the first squadron flying the Joint Strike Fighter."
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Drops idea to rebuild subs for cargo transport

Plans to use Typhoon submarines for under-ice deliveries of oil and ore in Arctic waters is inexpedient, says the designer of the world’s largest ever built submarine.
Ideas to refit two of Russia’s huge nuclear powered submarines to carry ore were earlier discussed between Rubin Central Design Bureau and metallurgical giant Norilsk-Nickel.
The designers also said it could be possible to replace the 20 intercontinental nuclear missiles with tanks to carry oil from re-loading terminals under the ice in the Arctic.
With the missile launchers removed, the projected cargo capacity could be 15,000 tonnes.
- Their use for civilian purposes is inexpedient, said Andrei Diachkov, director general of Rubin at a press conference before Christmas, reports RusNavy, a portal that monitors Russian navy developments.

The Russian navy has three remaining submarines of the Typhoon-class. One, the thirty-year old "Dmitri Donskoy" is used as a test-launch platform for the new Bulava missile. The two others, "Severstal" and "Arkhangelsk" are in reserve and their missiles are removed.
BarentsObserver reported last year that "Severstal" and "Arkhangelsk" could get overhaul and by that stay in service until 2019.
The 175 meter (574 feet) long and 24,000 tons heavy submarine is the largest nuclear powered submarine ever built. During the Cold War the six Typhoon-class submarines were based at the naval base in Zapadnaya Litsa on the Kola Peninsula, only some 50 kilometers from the border to Norway.
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Lockheed Martin to build sonar system hardware for U.S. Navy guided-missile and fast-attack submarines

Submarine sonar engineers at the Lockheed Martin Corp. Mission Systems and Sensors (MS2) segment in Manassas, Va., will build hardware for the Acoustics-Rapid COTS Insertion (A-RCI) system improvement and integration program for the guided missile submarines USS Ohio (SSGN 726) and USS Georgia (SSGN 729), as well as the fast-attack submarine USS California (SSN 781) under terms of a $11.3 million U.S. Navy contract modification announced Friday.

A-RCI is a sonar system that integrates and improves towed array, hull array, sphere array, and other ship sensor processing, through rapid insertion of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)-based hardware and software. The Navy is buying about 12 A-RCI systems per year from Lockheed Martin MS2 over the next four years. Awarding the contract were officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington.

The USS Ohio was the first submarine of the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine class. This boat, as well as its sister USS Georgia are being converted to carry a variety of conventionally armed guided missiles for anti-ship and land attack use. The new guided missile payloads aboard the Ohio and Georgia will replace the nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles for which the two submarines were originally designed.

The fast attack boat USS California, meanwhile, is a Virginia-class attack submarine, and is one of the newest, most advanced, and most deadly attack submarines in the U.S. Navy fleet.

The A-RCI program follows a spiral development model that calls for new hardware every even year, and software upgrades every odd year. Lockheed Martin will do the work in Manassas, Va., and Clearwater, Fla., and should be finished by 2018. System upgrades are fielded in 18 to 24 months increments, allowing the government to take advantage of commercial information technology, Lockheed Martin officials say.

"By adapting commercial technology in an open architecture environment, the program rapidly delivers capability to the submarine fleet at a lower cost than a unique custom-built development," explains Jack Gellen, Lockheed Martin vice president of anti-submarine warfare and integration programs.

Lockheed Martin will do the work on this contract modification in Manassas, Va., and in Clearwater, Fla., and should be finished by April 2014.
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China Publicizes Submarine Missile Launch

The Chinese People's Liberation Army Daily on Friday carried a photo on its front page of the Changcheng 200 submarine test-firing a missile. 

The disclosure of the exercise follows the dramatic test flight earlier this month of a new stealth fighter jet that coincided with the visit of U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.   

The news was also reported by the official Xinhua news agency, the web edition of the People's Daily, and the Science and Technology Daily the following day. They did not specify when and where the test took place. 

The Changcheng 200, commissioned in 1966, is a large G-class conventional submarine, 98 m long and 8.6 m wide. It is powered by diesel engines and electric motors. The sub first test-launched a missile in 1982, but this was the first time a firing exercise has ever been made public. 

"The Changcheng 200 smoothly accomplished scores of test-launch missions of ballistic missiles over the past 46 years. It received the title 'vanguard submarine of underwater test launches' from Hu Jintao, the chairman of the Central Military Commission, last August," the daily said.

The sub is under the command of the North Sea Fleet, which supervises the Balhae Sea (Bohai) and the West Sea. The missile is believed to be a Changjian-10 submarine-launched cruise missile also known as an "aircraft carrier killer." This spawned speculation that the drill was staged in preparation for the entry into the West Sea by U.S. aircraft carriers. 

Earlier on Jan. 26, official Chinese media revealed the test-launch of a nuclear missile by the Second Artillery Force, the Chinese Army's strategic nuclear missile unit. 

Diplomats in Beijing speculated that China aims to show off the modernization of its military at home and abroad and enhance military transparency as demanded by the U.S. and the West. 

A military expert in Beijing said the official Chinese media outlets on Jan. 26 gave massive coverage of the test-launch of a nuclear missile by the Second Artillery Force even though it failed. "It appears that the military is unveiling these weapons to emphasize their defense readiness," the expert speculated.
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Indian Defence Production Policy: Got the policy, where’s the plan?

Submarine hull sections being readied at Mazagon Dock Ltd, Mumbai.

Comment by Deba R Mohanty, Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation

Sometime during the last DefExpo, held in New Delhi in February 2010, RK Singh, the Secretary of the Department of Defence Production, had announced that the Indian government would soon come out with a defence production policy, a commitment successively pronounced by the defence minister and defence ministry mandarins in various public forums. Most members of Indian defence and security affairs (including from industry chambers CII, Ficci, Assocham, etc.) have been suggesting that the government come out with a ‘roadmap for Indian defence industry’, and the defence minister’s unveiling of the first Defence Production Policy (DPrP) on 13 January 2011 – the first ever written policy document on critical national security issues – has come as a welcome development. 

Now that DPrP is in effect, it is time to make a preliminary assessment on its objectives and possible consequences. First, DPrP’s main objective is “to achieve substantive self-reliance in the design, development and production of systems required for defence forces”. Second, it “aims to create conditions conducive for the private industry to play an active role in defence production”. Third, it gives importance to “harnessing the untapped potential of the small and medium enterprises in the indigenisation process”. Fourth, the policy will actively encourage “involvement of academia, R&D institutions, technical and scientific organisations”. Fifth, the policy will encourage “formation of consortia, joint ventures and public-private partnerships to synergise and enhance national competence in defence production”. Last but not the least, the policy suggests the government “set up a separate fund to provide necessary resources to production stakeholders like the public and private industry, SMEs and academic/scientific institutions for research and development efforts”. In sum, DPrP strives to achieve a reasonable degree of self-reliance in defence by enlarging the scope of industrial and R&D institutional participation beyond DRDO and defence public sector units to include private industry, SMEs, scientific research institutions and relevant academia. 

Now that the DPrP is in place, let the objectives of this important policy be pitted against ground reality to find out whether the latter has influenced the formulation of the former, and if so, to what extent, and if not, how autistic is the problem in the current context. Such an exercise will hopefully enable the government to consider further revision, if any.

First, conceptually, self-reliance in defence, a contested term with different subjective meanings yet generally understood as ‘attainment of a certain degree of strategic autonomy by a country in design, development and production of military goods and services’, has moved from an autarkic model (state-controlled) to embrace openness through diversification and collaboration for the past few decades. DPrP has tried to follow the same pattern but fails to chart a definitive plan of action, which requires, ab initio, a technology roadmap and identification of products, services and R&D that can be pursued by the defence industry. Unfortunately, while such a roadmap was indeed prepared by the Integrated Defence Staff and put it in the official Website some time ago, the same has been withdrawn now! A carefully prepared holistic roadmap for the industry is a necessary pre-condition for a meaningful DPrP. 

Second, the DPrP, instead of charting out clear roles for categories of stakeholders, has actually concocted the structural aspects of defence production. For example, while the role of SMEs has been emphasised without explaining how, it has surprisingly left out Raksha Udyog Ratnas (RURs), considered to be the future locomotive of the Indian defence industrial base! The role of academia and R&D institutions have been mentioned but how will they be involved in the structure have not been spelled out. Similarly, neither the philosophy nor the methods of creating collaborative models like public-private partnerships, joint ventures or consortia have been explained. More deliberations are required to look into structural aspects of the policy. 

Third, DPrP rightly recognises that the development of complex systems is generally a stage process and thus allows some flexibility of ‘buy’ option. This is a delicate issue. Often times, as DRDO has demonstrated in many of its flagship programmes in the past, critical development projects are based on unrealistic time frames, frequent quality requirement (QR) changes, bureaucratic and political apathy, resource crunch and problems in technology acquisition. DPrP must spell out a practical strategy to ensure long-term complex projects reach their eventual conclusions. 

Fourth, DPrP envisages a separate fund for R&D efforts by industry and academic and scientific institutions. It actually means that DRDO will have its own fund while another fund will be created for the industry. Such funding efforts, unless carefully synchronised and synergised, are likely to lead to duplication of efforts rather than any healthy competition. DPrP should find a viable option on funding. Fifth, DPrP, like the Defence Procurement Procedure, has failed to give a workable solution to the problem of transfer of technology (ToT). Most ToT agreements in defence have thus far ended with licence production arrangements, thus giving little benefit to the production agencies. Last but not the least, the defence minister’s annual review of progress in self-reliance in defence efforts will end as a ritual unless a common minimum quantification of self-reliance efforts is arrived at. Else, we will be perpetually confused as to how self-reliant we are in defence production.

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MoD Defends Cancelation of Nimrod Program

The Daily Telegraph has published an article about the canceling of the Nimrod MRA4 project. The original contract was let to supply 21 Nimrod MRA4 aircraft at a cost of £2.8bn.
After delays of over nine years and spiraling costs, the number of aircraft was reduced to nine and the projected cost to taxpayers in 2010 increased to £3.65bn.
Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, said: "The decision to cancel the Nimrod MRA4 was not taken lightly by Ministers and Service Chiefs. Severe financial pressures meant we had to address the Department's spending and tough decisions had to be taken.
"This project was delayed and overspent; canceling it will save £2bn over ten years. None of these nine aircraft were operational, only one was built and it had not passed flight tests. Since March last year, well before the SDSR [Strategic Defence and Security Review], the Nimrod MR2 has not flown and we have been mitigating the impact with other military assets and by working with allies and partners where appropriate."
The MOD will ensure the integrity of UK waters by utilizing a range of capabilities such as Type 23 frigates, Merlin anti-submarine warfare helicopters and Hercules C-130 aircraft.
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ballistic Protection

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MKU is a AS 9100 & ISO 9001:2008 certified company and follows NATO AQAP quality procedures.

TenCate are the developers, designers and manufacturers of the ballistic protection system for the British Type 45 Destroyers.

P46 patrol boats for the Kuwaiti coast guard using lightweight ballistic protection made by TenCate Advanced Armour.

For The Danish Navy we have developed protection solutions for the two support ships Absalon and
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Aircraft and Weapons Handling

Dallas Centerline overhauls and assembles all types of military and commercial aircraft wheel and brake assemblies.

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We have the capability to work on every kind of aircraft wheel or brake.

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US Navy Frigates

USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) - Destroyers during Missile Exercise - US Navy 

USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) - Destroyers during Missile Exercise - US Navy

USS Ingraham (FFG 61) Guided-Missile Frigate 
USS Ingraham (FFG 61) Guided-Missile Frigate

USS Curts FFG 38 
USS Curts FFG 38

USS Doyle FFG 39 
USS Doyle FFG 39

USS Halyburton 
USS Halyburton

USS Simpson (FFG 56) and USS Saipan (LHA 2) 
USS Simpson (FFG 56) and USS Saipan (LHA 2)

USS Underwood FFG 36 
USS Underwood FFG 36

USS Boone FFG 28
USS Boone FFG 28

USS Curts FFG 38 
USS Curts FFG 38

USS Taylor UNREP with USNS Supply 
USS Taylor  UNREP with USNS Supply

USS Jarrett FFG 33 
USS Jarrett FFG 33

USS Elrod FFG-55 with a "scarecrow" gun where the SM-1 launcher w 
USS Elrod FFG-55 with a "scarecrow" gun where the SM-1 launcher w

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USS Abraham Lincoln Passes Key Maintenance Inspection

An F/A-18E Super Hornet prepares to launch aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72).USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) successfully passed its 2010-2011 Maintenance and Material Management Inspection (3MI) Jan. 25-29, demonstrating a high level of expertise in shipboard equipment and maintenance procedures.

Lincoln received a final score of 92.34 percent from Naval Air Forces inspectors who conducted spot checks of equipment maintenance, tested the crew's knowledge of the Navy's Material Data System (MDS), and performed administrative reviews to ensure maintenance accountability and validation paperwork was correct.

"The results are fantastic," said Master Chief Electrician's Mate James T. Jennings, Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) Maintenance and Material Management (3M) team leader.

"Abraham Lincoln's crew showed us that they've put a lot of hard work in," Jennings said. "It sets the precedent for the other ten carriers out there."

Master Chief Machinist's Mate Michael Gwinn, USS Abraham Lincoln Engineering department leading chief petty officer, said the Lincoln owes its success to training, preparation and execution.

"We trained the right skills at the right level," Gwinn said. "We taught supervisors how to review and how to assess correctly; then we went directly to the maintenance person so he or she could get the right answers."

Jennings said he fully expects Lincoln's crew will still be executing maintenance at a high level when the inspection team returns to the ship sometime later this year to oversee a 3M training team (3MTT) exercise.

"When I see the Lincoln crew again, I anticipate that you will not just have maintained this standard, but that you will have improved upon what you've achieved here," Jennings said.

The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts to establish conditions for regional stability.

For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit
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Dmitry Medvedev appreciated establishment of Mistral-building consortium

Dmitry Medvedev appreciated establishment of Mistral-building consortium"We welcome the foundation of Russian-French consortium on construction of Mistral class assault landing ships", said Russian president Dmitry Medvedev appearing at World Economic Forum opened in Davos. 

According to him, "joint work and technological exchange are of great importance in all areas, and defense is not an exception. I'm sure that in prospect they will create new level of confidence in global security". 

"We will make the best use of technology transfer to modernize Russian industry", said Medvedev. 

The head of Russia pointed out that globalization had made the world interdependent, and emphasized it was necessary to create integrated security system.

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Pirates captured Russian sailors off Seychelles

Pirates captured Russian sailors off SeychellesTwo Russian citizens – residents of St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad – found themselves captured by pirates; their vessel was hijacked off Seychelles. 

MV Beluga Nomination flying the flag of Antigua and Barbuda was captured in Jan 22 in the Indian Ocean 800 miles northward Seychelles. According to Baltic branch of Russian Guild of Sailors, there are seven Filipinos, two Russians, two Ukrainians, and one Pole (shipmaster) on board the vessel. 

Reportedly, it seemed like the crew could keep the ship under control for several days, having barricaded themselves in the safe room. However, pirates finally managed to break down the resistance and take the vessel under control. Currently, MV Beluga Nomination is heading for Somalia. 

Despite mayday signals sent by the ship, none of warships participating in EUNAVFOR – OperationAtalanta arrived for help, reported Russian Guild of Sailors. Patrol aircraft of the naval anti-piracy coalition noticed four pirates on board the hijacked vessel. German shipowner BELUGA SHIPPING GMBH allegedly does whatever possible to release the crew, but keeps names of captives in secret for security reasons. 

According to Fontanka, representatives of Russian Guild of Sailors tried to contact different Russian and foreign authorities, but so far has not received any articulate answer on the question what our country does to save its citizens.
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Mistral components can be delivered to Russia for assemblage early in 2013

Mistral components can be delivered to Russia for assemblage early in 2013
Sections of Mistral class helicopter carrier would be possibly delivered to Russia for further assemblage early in 2013, reports ARMS-TASSreferring to a representative of French shipbuilding company STX; being a part of international consortium, STX will participate in construction of two Mistral class ships in France and deliver constituent sections for further assemblage of two ships in St. Petersburg. 

As is known, the agreement on construction of Mistral landing ships was signed on Jan 25 in France. The document was endorsed by Russian vice premier Igor Sechin and French defense minister Alen Juppe. 

The ceremony was held in the presence of French president Nicolas Sarkozy at Saint-Nazaire shipyards, France. 

At present, negotiators determine scope of works for French and Russian parties. In particular, STX will construct about 80 per cent of the first ship and somewhat 60 per cent of the second one for further completion in Russia. Both ships will be delivered in sections to the United Shipbuilding Corporation which will be assembled, equipped and armed in St. Petersburg.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Piracy challenges maritime security off Somalia

altPirates off the coast of Somalia are using bigger vessels to extend their criminal reach in a move that could prompt US Navy forces in the region to intensify techniques for pursuing the lawbreakers, says the top naval officer in the region.

Navy Vice Adm. Mark I. Fox, commander of US Naval Forces Central Command and the US 5th Fleet, said ina press release, that pirates have begun commandeer large merchant ships and use them as "mother ships" to put smaller boats into operation far from the coast and beyond the reach of the international forces arrayed against them.

"This is the first time we've seen persistent and increased use of mother ships -- up to eight 'pirate action groups' as we refer to them, disbursed throughout the region," Fox said, calling this development a "game changer."

Such groups may include one or two mother ships that travel with a range of dhows, skiffs and other small craft to attack and hijack international commercial vessels. Fox said the number of pirate hostages rose from 250 to about 770 between September and January. In response to this and to the pirates' evolving capabilities, "we're in a constant process of assessing the way we do our business here."

The international force that works together in the region includes participation from the political alliance with the European Union, the military alliance with NATO, and military combined task forces that bring together nations from around the world to address critical security issues facing the region, including terrorism and piracy, the media release added.

US Naval Forces Central Command is part of that mosaic, Fox said, "and then we have independent deployers like China or Russia, who are also in the region looking out for the well-being of their ships."

Everyone in the region has been "too keen" to categorize some efforts as counterpiracy and some as counterterrorism, the admiral noted.

"We've not used the same level of rigor and discipline in terms of [investigating] the counterpiracy piece as we have in the counterterrorism piece," he said. The same techniques should apply to both, he added, including investigating the sources of financing for pirates' activities, equipment, relationships and supplies.

The fight against piracy and terrorism is a critical issue in the region but it has helped countries in the region work better together, Fox said.

"Pirates are enemies of all, terrorists are enemies of all, and there has been willingness on the part of a large number of nations to come together and work together, where heretofore that hasn't happened," the admiral added.

"This is real, no-kidding capability of regional partners developing their own capacity to take care of their own water space, communicate and effectively deal with a threat that they all want to be able to manage," Fox said.
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Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Crane AO, CSM, RAN, addresses 159 Navy personnel, from Task Group 637.9 at RAAF Base Amberley, to pay recognition for their on going commitment and hard work associated with Operation Queensland Flood Assist.
An Australia Day stand down period allowed the Chief of Navy to make a visit to Navy personnel recently assigned toJTF 637 in Brisbane and Amberley.

The 150-strong Navy detachment atRAAF Base Amberley described the tasks they had completed, working in the Fernvale and Somerset regions, and described the devastation they had witnessed. On completion, Chief of Navy met with the sailors and officers assigned to the Maritime Task Group at Bulimba Barracks.
Working in the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay the Task Group personnel are responsible for surveying, locating and identifying contacts on the river bed and within the shipping channels.
All Navy personnel, whether they be working on the river, in the Bay or ashore, have worked very hard at achieving their mission said Chief of Navy.

"It is very clear to me that there is some very great work being conducted for Operation Queensland Flood Assist.
"Whilst I am not in your operational chain of command right now I take an enormous amount of pride, responsibility and accountability in ensuring you are all ready to undertake tasks of this nature," he said.
The ADF response to the flood crisis has included 1900 personnel and numerous vehicles, ships and equipment. The joint nature of the operation is particularly significant for Navy personnel said Chief of Navy.
"With the introduction of LHDs in a few years, Navy will be operating in a joint environment on a daily basis, and that's really exciting. Operations like this will help to streamline our procedures and prepare our personnel to work with our Army and Air Force colleagues," he said.
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Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Senator the Honorable David Feeney visits Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour and Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Damien Munchenberg.
On Australia Day, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney welcomed the arrival of Australia’s national sail training ship Young Endeavour to Seaworks Foundation Maritime Precinct, Williamstown.
The Seaworks Maritime Precinct is the home of tall ships in Victoria and is devoted to the preservation of Victoria’s maritime history. The precinct is being promoted as part of Seaworks Open Week from 23 to 30 January 2011, andSTS Young Endeavour joined the celebrations on Australia Day.
Senator David Feeney said: ‘It was terrific to see the Young Endeavour, which is crewed by eighteen young Australians, many from the local area, join with Victoria’s resident tall ship Enterprize and engaged in a mock battle, with cannon fire, off Gellibrand Point.
Parliamentary   Secretary for Defence Senator the Honorable David Feeney and Sail   Training Ship Young Endeavour Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander   Damien Munchenberg.
‘Voyages aboard Young Endeavour not only teach young Australians about their maritime history, but provide the youth crew with unique and challenging experiences.’

‘The crew develop qualities Australians are proud of: a strong sense of community and egalitarianism, teamwork and leadership skills.’
‘I would encourage Australians to come and visit the Seaworks Foundation in Williamstown to learn about Victoria’s maritime history and the early European settlement of Victoria.’
Senator David Feeney thanked Lieutenant Commander Damien Munchenberg, Commanding Officer of the Young Endeavour, Mr Stephen Moss CSC, Executive Director Young Endeavour Youth Scheme and Ms. Rennis Witham, Executive Officer of Seaworks Maritime Precinct.

The Young Endeavour will be open for public inspection between 4pm - 6pm on Australia Day, providing a backdrop centrepiece for the Seaworks Foundation Festival.

The Young Endeavour Youth Scheme is currently accepting applications from young Australians aged 16 – 23 for 11 day voyages along the east and south coasts of Australia aboard Young Endeavour. Voyages depart between January and August 2011.
For more information visit :
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Presence of Russian fleet in Ukraine to be discussed in Kiev

Presence of Russian fleet in Ukraine to be discussed in Kiev
Ninth session of Russian-Ukrainian intergovernmental committee on Black Sea Fleet deployment in Ukraine will be held in Kiev on Jan 27. 

On Apr 21 Russia and Ukraine agreed that presence of Black Sea Fleet in Crimea would be prolonged for 25 years with possible further extension; in exchange, Ukraine got a discount for Russian natural gas. 

"Ukrainian delegation will be headed by deputy foreign minister Ruslan Demchenko, Russian one – by deputy foreign minister Grigory Karasin", said press secretary of Ukrainian foreign ministry Alexander Dikusarov. 

According to him, the commission will analyze readiness for signing an agreement between Ukraine's cabinet of ministers and Russian government regulating movements related to BSF activities in the territory of Ukraine. 

Also, it is planned to consider a forthcoming intergovernmental agreement on joint disaster control activities in populated areas where BSF assets are deployed. 

Dikusarov said that the parties would raise an issue of bilateral agreement on jurisdiction matters and legal assistance in criminal cases while BSF deployment in Ukraine. 

Signing of intergovernmental agreement on navigational and hydrographic support of shipping in the Black Sea and the Azov Sea will be discussed as well. 

In addition, the parties will analyze inventory of lands and Ukrainian state property leased to BSF, environmental security and protection in basing sites of Black Sea Fleet.

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