Coast Guard and Fire Department Rescue Snorkelers Near Molokini Crater – One Unresponsive

The Coast Guard and the Maui County Fire Department rescued four snorkelers near Molokini Crater off Maui, Sunday.

Molokini Crater

Molokini Crater

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received notification from the operator of the vessel, Double Scoop, that one of their snorkelers was unresponsive and three others were stranded in the rocks in the surf zone near Molokini Crater.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Maui and a jet ski from Maui County Fire Department were launched to the scene.

The rescue crews arrived on scene, safely recovered the unresponsive and three stranded snorkelers and transferred them onto the RB-M.

Rescue personnel administered CPR to the unresponsive snorkeler.

The snorkelers were transported to the Maalaea Boat Ramp where local emergency medical personnel were waiting to take them to the hospital.

Canadian Navy Orders Ship Return After Misconduct by Sailors at RIMPAC

I just don’t know what to say about these Canucks at times!

HMCS Whitehorse

HMCS Whitehorse

The head of the Royal Canadian Navy has taken the rare step of ordering one of its ships to return from an international exercise because of misconduct by its sailors.

Vice Admiral Mark Norman issued the message Monday, citing three incidents involving the crew of HMCS Whitehorse that took place during Exercise RIMPAC 2014.

U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team to Visit Sailors from USS Paul Hamilton

Members of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team will take a break from the court for a tour and meet and greet with Sailors aboard Pearl Harbor-based ship, USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) on Thursday, July 10, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam

USA VolleyballThe second-ranked U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team is in Hawaii for the USA Volleyball Cup match between Team USA No. 2 and No. 1 Brazil. Brazil defeated USA in the last two Olympic Gold Medal Finals in Beijing and London. The legendary Karch Kiraly, voted Best Male Player of the Century with three Olympic Golds, coaches Team USA. The games will be played at the Stan Sheriff Center on the University of Hawaii campus at 7 p.m. July 11-12. The Navy will participate in the patriotic opening ceremonies at the games.

USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) U.S. Navy photo by Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class (AW) William Contreras (RELEASED)

USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) U.S. Navy photo by Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class (AW) William Contreras (RELEASED)

Guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton is one of 10 surface combatants currently assigned to Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, Destroyer Squadron 31. Guided-missile destroyers are multi-mission anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare combatants that operate independently for the support of carriers and expeditionary and surface strike groups.

North Hawaii Community Hospital to Participate in RIMPAC Exercise

North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH) will participate in the world’s largest, multinational, maritime exercise, known as RIMPAC, this Friday, July 11th.

North Hawaii Community Hospital

North Hawaii Community Hospital

More than 22 nations participate in RIMPAC, which takes place in and around the Hawaiian Islands from June 26 to August 1, 2014. This is only the second time in RIMPAC history that US hospitals have participated in the maritime exercise.

“NHCH will participate in the state-wide exercise, working with other agencies and hospitals to test communication and coordination of Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief efforts,” says Jennifer Rabalais, NHCH Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator. In addition, four NHCH employees were chosen, via lottery, to participate in a RIMPAC exercise meant to simulate the evacuation of patients to island hospitals after a hurricane hits the fictitious island nation of Griffon. “The four NHCH employees will fly to Honolulu, where they will be moulaged, the art of applying mock injuries for the purpose of training Emergency Response Teams and other medical and military personnel, to simulate “injured patients”. After passing through a simulated triage process, the “injured patients” will be transported to NHCH for care via military Blackhawk helicopter.

This year’s RIMPAC exercise is the 24th in the series that began in 1971. Forty-nine surface ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate. The 22 nations represented include: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Participating in RIMPAC will provide us with an opportunity to test the hospital’s ability to handle the simultaneous arrival of multiple trauma casualties, says Rabalais.” “The relationships that are forged at RIMPAC span oceans and years,” says Vice Admiral Kenneth E. Floyd, Commander, U.S. Third Fleet; Commander RIMPAC Exercise via Navy Live, the official blog of the United States Navy. He continued, “ask any veteran of RIMPACs past, and they will tell you that what stands out most in their memory is the chance to work alongside sailors of different navies and ships of different nations, improving their skills and building trust so that when we are called upon to respond to a crisis or disaster, we are ready to respond as a team.”

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to Hold Change of Command

After three years as commander, Capt. Jeffrey W. James will transfer command of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to Capt. Stanley Keeve, Jr. during a change of command ceremony on Friday, July 11 at 10 a.m. The ceremony will be held at the grassy knoll on the south end of Ford Island.

Capt. Jeffrey W. James (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jon Dasbach/Released)

Capt. Jeffrey W. James (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jon Dasbach/Released)

James took command in June 2011 as the second commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, which officially stood up in October 2010. Prior to reporting to Joint Base, James served on the staff of Commander, U. S. Pacific Fleet. He will retire after 30 years of naval service.

A native of the Washington D. C. area, Capt. Keeve comes to Hawaii from the Pentagon, where he served as military assistant to the Defense Business Board in the Pentagon. He is a surface warfare officer with tours of duty on numerous ships, including the former Pearl Harbor-based frigate, USS Reuben James (FFG 57).

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is home to the Air Force’s key strategic flight line in the Pacific and the Navy’s most historically significant homeport, with 177 tenant commands and about 93,000 active duty personal and their family members, Dept. of Defense civilians and contractors.

USS Halsey (DDG 97) to Deploy to 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility

Guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) will depart Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Monday, July 7, for a deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean.

USS Halsey (DDG 97) takes lead in formation for Abraham Lincoln's Strike Group and the French carrier Charles De Gaulle’s  (R 91) Strike Group’s photo exercise. Halsey is part of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, which is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the region. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Eric S. Powell/Released)

USS Halsey (DDG 97) takes lead in formation for Abraham Lincoln’s Strike Group and the French carrier Charles De Gaulle’s (R 91) Strike Group’s photo exercise. Halsey is part of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, which is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the region. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Eric S. Powell/Released)

Halsey is a multi-mission ship with anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare surface combatants capabilities; designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group. While deployed, Halsey will conduct Theatre Security Cooperation and maritime presence operations with partner nations.

The mission of Halsey is to conduct sustained combat operations at sea, providing primary protection for the Navy’s aircraft carriers and battle groups, as well as essential escort to Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces and auxiliary ships, and independent operations as necessary.

“After an exceptionally challenging training cycle and rigorous training exercises in Southern California with the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Strike Group, the 300 strong, proud Sailors of Halsey are ready to be deployed to the waters that our famous namesake sailed in the past,” said Cmdr. Linda Seymour, commanding officer of Halsey.

The ship is assigned to Commander, Destroyer Squadron 31 (CDS-31), immediate superior in command for all Pearl Harbor-based destroyers in the Western Pacific aligned under Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.

Commander, U.S. Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific leads and manages the overall warfighting capability of the surface combatant force homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. MIDPAC ships support U.S. Pacific Fleet in leading America’s rebalance to the Pacific.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.

For more information please visit the ship’s website:
http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/ddg97/Pages/default.aspx

VIDEO: NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) Recovered

First video of NASA’s saucer-shaped test vehicle, the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) after it was recovered from the ocean and returned to Port Allen, Kauai, on June 29, 2014.

The LDSD Test Vehicle recovered

The LDSD Test Vehicle recovered

The LDSD vehicle had completed its first test flight from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai one day earlier.

2014 RIMPAC Exercises Begin – Bloggers Invited Previously

Well the ships are coming in for the 2014 RIMPAC Exercises.  I don’t have a sponsorship with Go!Airlines anymore, so if I do get selected to go on some embarks… I’ll have to be selective about the ones I get chosen for as I know I’ll be paying my own flights this time!

Here are some of the previous embarks and adventures I have gone on in the past.

I always try to get something to remember my embarks from!

I always try to get something to remember my embarks from!

Statement By Admiral Harry Harris Jr., On Opening of RIMPAC

Aloha! Welcome everyone to the Rim of the Pacific exercise. It’s a great day to look across Pearl Harbor and see so many international ships berthed here for RIMPAC 2014. I want to personally welcome every Sailor, Marine, Airman, Soldier and Coastguardsman from all 22 participating nations and from the six observer nations – not only here in Hawaii, but also to the joint forces operating together in Southern California. You may not realize this, but the Southern California RIMPAC phase includes more than 1,000 personnel and seven ships from nine countries.

RIMPAC Line Up

As the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps our armed forces increase transparency and foster the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring security on the world’s oceans. Everyone standing here with me today recognizes how valuable a cooperative approach can be to sharing the workload and leveraging unique national capabilities.

Today, maritime cooperation is more vital than ever before. For centuries, the world’s oceans kept us apart, but in this increasingly globalized world, they are the pathways that bring us together.

Freedom of the seas is the minimum condition necessary for global prosperity and trade to flourish. This applies to the United States, a maritime nation and a Pacific nation, and it applies to each of the countries participating in RIMPAC.

As the world’s economic center of gravity shifts rapidly toward the Indo-Asia-Pacific, we also note the increasing risks in the region – some man-made, some natural – but all capable of disrupting stability and impacting our collective prosperity. We can all appreciate that conflict and crisis are bad for business. I think it’s important to note that by simply attending RIMPAC, every nation here is making the bold statement that we must improve multinational military cooperation despite disagreements. We can agree to disagree without being disagreeable.

Capable maritime forces enhance stability, security, prosperity and peace around the world, especially in an ocean as vast as the Pacific. The 22 nations who sent forces to RIMPAC have interests in the Pacific, and they know that this exercise will help them improve their capability to operate with each other and contribute to multilateral efforts when needed.

Mutual trust and open lines of communication are critical, but are very challenging to build. That’s why multilateral exercises like RIMPAC are so important. It helps us work together effectively in real world events like the recent search for Malaysia Airliner MH370, or in responding to the devastating typhoon that hit our friends in the Philippines last November. Friends help friends, and often, the fastest response to crisis comes from the sea.

Capable maritime forces matter to all nations.

And they matter to the United States, which is conducting a whole-of-government strategic rebalance to the Pacific. The rebalance is based on a strategy of cooperation and collaboration, and that’s why it is imperative that we work together to build trust and confidence to solve our collective maritime challenges. When great nations work together, we can accomplish great things.

Collaboration and cooperation, that’s why we are here to learn together, operate together and sail together.

There are three great ships that sail on the high seas – friendship, partnership and leadership – all three are exemplified at RIMPAC. Great leadership is also something I get every day from our U.S. Third Fleet commander, Vice Adm. Kenny Floyd, who will serve as the Combined Task Force commander during this exercise.

Adm. Harris is commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet.

VIDEO: NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Successfully Launched From Kauai

NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) was successfully launched on a helium balloon today at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii later the LDSD will be released at 120,000 feet and fire a Star 48B rocket motor to boost it to Mach 4.0 and 180,000 feet.

NASA IFO

This height and speed simulates a spacecraft flying through the Martian atmosphere and is where the air breaking systems will be tested on the LDSD vehicle.

LDSD is fitted with what is called SIAD-R, a giant dounaut air bag that will increase the diameter of the vehicle and help slow it down to Mach 2.5 where a supersonic parachute will deploy ahead of a safe landing in the Pacific Ocean for recovery.

Army Invites Public to Comment on Environmental Impacts of Possible Force Reductions

The Department of the Army has completed a Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA) for Army 2020 force structure realignment and is making a draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) available for public comment. All interested members of the public, federally-recognized Indian or Alaska Native tribes, Native Hawaiian groups, federal, state, and local agencies are invited to review and provide comments.

public review and commentComments will be accepted until August 25. Please submit written comments to: U.S. Army Environmental Command, ATTN: SPEA Public Comments, 2450 Connell Road (Building 2264), Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-7664; or by email to usarmy.jbsa.aec.nepa@mail.mil

The SPEA and draft FNSI may be accessed at: http://aec.army.mil/Services/Support/NEPA/Documents.aspx . Also, approximately one week after publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register by the Army, copies of the SPEA and draft FNSI will be available in some public libraries near the affected installations.

The draft FNSI incorporates the SPEA, which does not identify any significant environmental impacts from the proposed action, with the exception of socioeconomic impacts at most installations. The draft FNSI concludes that preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not required.

Final decisions as to which installations will be selected for reductions in Soldiers and Army civilians have not yet been made. The SPEA’s analysis of environmental and socioeconomic impacts will help force structure decision-makers as they identify specific units and organizations to be affected by reductions over the 2015-2020 timeframe.

Following the conclusion of the NEPA process, the Army will conduct community listening sessions to receive public input before making any force structure decisions. This information will assist with the military value analysis. The schedule of the community listening sessions will be announced locally, after the conclusion of the SPEA process.

Current budgetary projections require the Army to analyze the reduction of Active Component end strength to a level below that analyzed in the January 2013 Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA). The SPEA builds on the foundation of the 2013 PEA and assesses the impacts of a potential reduction of an additional 70,000 Soldiers and associated reductions in Army civilians, down to an Active Component end-strength of 420,000. These reductions are necessary to achieve the savings required by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Nearly all Army installations will be affected in some way by additional reductions. The 2013 PEA evaluated 21 Army installations and joint bases where Army stationing changes could lead to Brigade Combat Team (BCT) restructuring, the loss of a BCT through force drawdown, or a combined loss of 1,000 or more Soldiers and Army civilian employees (Army employees) during the fiscal year 2013-2020 timeframe. With the deeper reductions now anticipated, the Army must consider additional installations that have the potential to lose 1,000 or more Army employees. The potential loss of 1,000 Army employees was determined to be the appropriate threshold for inclusion of installations at the programmatic level of analysis. Installations that could experience reductions of 1,000 or more Army employees were specifically analyzed in the SPEA.

In both the 2013 PEA and the SPEA, each document’s respective reduction alternative analyzed potential reductions at Fort Benning, GA; Fort Bliss, TX; Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Campbell, KY; Fort Carson, CO; Fort Drum, NY; Fort Gordon, GA; Fort Hood, TX; Fort Irwin, CA; Fort Knox, KY; Fort Lee, VA; Fort Leonard Wood, MO; Fort Polk, LA; Fort Riley, KS; Fort Sill, OK; Fort Stewart, GA; Fort Wainwright, AK; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA; and, United States Army Garrison (USAG) Hawaii – Schofield Barracks, HI. The SPEA also analyzed potential reductions at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD; Fort Belvoir, VA; Fort Huachuca, AZ; Fort Jackson, SC; Fort Leavenworth, KS; Fort Meade, MD; Fort Rucker, AL; Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston, TX; and USAG Hawaii – Fort Shafter.

The SPEA provides an assessment of the possible direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the greatest Army employee reductions being considered at each installation. The SPEA does not identify any significant environmental impacts as a result of implementing the proposed action, with the exception of socioeconomic impacts at most installations; consequently, the preparation of an environmental impact statement is not required.

For further information, please contact the U.S. Army Environmental Command Public Affairs Office at (210) 466-1590 or toll-free 855-846-3940, or email at usarmy.jbsa.aec.nepa@mail.mil.

Impact of RIMPAC, Balancing the Benefits

Dozens of ships from nearly two dozen countries are arriving in Pearl Harbor this week for the start of RIMPAC – Rim of the Pacific Exercise. RIMPAC 2014 will be held in waters and airspace in and around Hawaii for five weeks beginning June 26.

On Board the USS Ronald Reagan during the 2010 RIMPAC exercises

On Board the USS Ronald Reagan during the 2010 RIMPAC exercises

RIMPAC brings international participants together to foster and sustain cooperative relationships. Training during RIMPAC builds credible, ready maritime forces that help to preserve peace and prevent conflict.

RIMPAC is hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, which is headquartered here, and led by U.S. Third Fleet, which is headquartered in San Diego and will have most of its key staff here throughout the exercise. The exercise will be based at Navy Region Hawaii, which includes Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. Training will also be held at Marine Corps Base Hawaii and several other locations in the state.

USS Lake Erie (CG 70) fires a Standard Missile-2 during exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from Jun. 20 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise that began in 1971. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/EXW) Derek R. Sanchez/RELEASED

USS Lake Erie (CG 70) fires a Standard Missile-2 during exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from Jun. 20 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise that began in 1971. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/EXW) Derek R. Sanchez/RELEASED

Hawaii’s operating areas and ranges offer realistic, relevant training opportunities like nowhere else in the world.

Participating service members will focus on land, sea and air training in addition to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security operations, sea control and complex warfighting procedures.

Submarine surfaces next to the USS Chung-Hoon during the 2010 RIMPAC Exercises

Submarine surfaces next to the USS Chung-Hoon during the 2010 RIMPAC Exercises

Environmental stewardship and protection of marine mammals are always top priorities during naval operations. In the weeks leading up to RIMPAC, crews receive training on sighting marine mammals and required protective measures. Participants follow established and approved procedures to minimize the potential impact on marine life.

Some Temporary Noise and Crowds

With 25,000 participants coming to Hawaii, noise, crowds and traffic will increase in the last week of June and through the end of July. But with the temporary inconveniences, there are tangible and intangible benefits to the state.

According to the Hawaii State Department of Business and Economic Development and Tourism Research and Economic Analysis Division, the initial economic benefit for RIMPAC 2014 is projected to be $52.5 million, based on the number of exercise participants and their time in port.

By the end of RIMPAC, officially Aug. 1, the overall economic benefit is expected to be tens of millions of dollars higher than $52.5 million after purchases of supplies, fuel and food or the spending by family and friends of participating personnel are calculated.

RIMPAC Line UpAlso, after experiencing the Aloha spirit of the people of Hawaii and seeing the natural beauty of the ʻāina, the visiting spouses, children, extended family members and friends of participants are expected to return home and “talk story” about the islands, extending the benefits for years to come.

Raising Discussion of Garage Door Openers

During RIMPAC some remotely operated garage door openers may be temporarily affected. This can occur if the device is a type (FCC-regulated but unlicensed Part 15) that operates on frequencies reserved for federal government systems.

Remotely controlled garage door openers legally operate at a very low power on an unlicensed basis. Therefore, they can be affected by electromagnetic activity that is generated by navy ships, civilian boaters or other sources.

Such devices may not work properly from time to time, especially if they aren’t pointed directly at the door. If that happens, drivers may have to remove the opener from their sun visor and point it directly at the door. If the opener still doesn’t work right, garage door owners may have to open and close their doors manually or consider other options for a short time.

The Navy is required to test commercial surface search radars in port prior to getting underway and as part of scheduled maintenance. Surface search radars are available commercially, used by civilian boaters and not a safety issue. Exercising safety is a top priority for the Navy.

To be sure their garage door opener will function properly, owners may want to check with their garage door company. At least one company in Hawaii asks their customers to be patient in dealing with the inconvenience, “for a short bit of time, [but] for a lifetime of safety and freedom.”

The LCAC Hovercraft that transported me out to the USS Essex.

The LCAC Hovercraft that transported me out to the USS Essex

To learn more about RIMPAC, please visit http://www.cpf.navy.mil/rimpac/2014/
For questions about RIMPAC, please call the Combined Information Bureau. Media can call 808-472-0240. The general public is invited to call 808-472-0235.

Body of Missing Free Diver Recovered Near Turtle Bay – Identified

The Coast Guard has recovered the body of a missing free diver approximately 10 miles offshore of Turtle Bay.

Nick Spokaeff

Nick Spokaeff

Nicholas Spotkaeff was located by a good Samaritan who was boating offshore.

The good Samaritan contacted local authorities and a Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew was diverted to the scene.

The body was was recovered and transported back to Haleiwa Harbor where local emergency medical personnel were waiting.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members during this extremely difficult time,” said Capt. Shannon Gilreath, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu commanding officer. “Our gratitude goes out to all those involved in the search who helped bring it to closure.”

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received a report from crewmembers at Ocean Safety regarding the missing 56-year-old male free diver who was last seen swimming with his son in the vicinity of Ka’ena Point, Saturday.

The son lost sight of his father when he was on shore and the father was approximately 100 yards north of Ka’ena Point.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, the crew of the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake, homeported here, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu and crews from Ocean Safety and the Hawaii Fire Department searched for the man.

Great Pacific Race Turns Bad – Four Rescued on Attempt to Row to Hawaii

The Coast Guard rescued four rowers Saturday, who were participating in the Great Pacific Race from Monterey, Calif., to Honolulu, when their rowboat began taking on water Friday evening.

Coast Guard Rescue

At 9 p.m., the Coast Guard command center in Alameda received a call from the Marine Rescue Coordination Center in Falmouth, England about a 24-foot rowboat that was taking on water. MRCC Falmouth received the initial distress notification because the emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) for the rowboat was registered in England.

A sailboat, functioning as a safeboat for the Great Pacific Race, was first on scene, but could not complete the transfer of the rowers due to high winds and rough seas. The Coast Guard launched a helicopter from Air Station San Francisco and a C-130 plane from Air Station Sacramento, locating the rowers at 1 a.m. pacific time and approximately 75 miles west of San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Once on scene, the Coast Guard helicopter crew lowered a rescue swimmer to the rowboat, who hoisted three rowers into the helicopter.

The rescue swimmer remained on scene with the fourth rower. The helicopter crew took the three rowers to San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport to awaiting EMT crews. The helicopter crew refueled and returned to the rowboat, where the fourth rower and rescue swimmer were hoisted into the aircraft. At approximately 4 a.m., the fourth rower was taken to Monterey Regional Airport.

All four rowers are reportedly in good condition and did not require further medical attention.

“This was the most challenging rescue I’ve ever had,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Leon, an Air Station San Francisco rescue swimmer. “It was unique because there was no light, seas were incredibly rough and waves were crashing over the top of the boat, which was already filled with water. I’m glad we were able to get on scene and rescue the rowers because surviving the night in those conditions would have been difficult.”

Biggest Little Airshow in Hawaii is Back

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s popular Remote-Control Biggest Little Airshow in Hawaii is back and it’s bigger than ever, Saturday and Sunday, August 16 and 17, 10am to 4pm. Guests will be able to drive on to Ford Island for this event, or take the free shuttle from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. There will be music, food, drinks, retail and entertainment booths and exhibits, and lots and lots of airplanes.

biggest 4For two days, Ford Island will come alive with remote-control flying and static aircraft and full size aircraft on display, “candy bombings” over historic Ford Island Runway for the keiki, hands-on modeling stations, and open access to Hangar 79 to see the Museum’s many aircraft exhibits and Restoration Shop.

Biggest

Talented local performers, Mainland pilots from the Academy of Model Aeronautics, and remote control flyers from Japan will perform remote-control aviation feats for two days. Airshow pilots will fly their massive, 1-to-5 scale planes in the skies above the Museum. Specialty acts to be performed include: Pattern, 3-D fixed wing and helicopter aerobatic flights, South Pacific battles, “Candy Bomber” drops, and Skycam drone helicopters. There will be remote control aircraft in the air and on static display, including jets, helicopters, F-22s, warbirds, B-17s, P-38s, Corsairs, OV-10s and more.

Biggest 2

Visitors can also enjoy free tours of Hangar 79, which still bears the bullet holes of the December 7, 1941attack. Inside, guests will see helicopters, fighter planes, and the Lt. Ted Shealy Restoration Shop–the 1941 machine shop that is busy restoring the Museum’s aircraft. They’ll also get up close and personal with an F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle, F-86s, P-40, MiG-15, F-111, and the Museum’s “MiG Alley” and Flying Tigers Exhibits.

biggest 3Admission to the Airshow is $5 per person (including entry to Hangar 79), $15 per family (limit 6 entries per family). It’s free with Museum general admission and free to Museum Members. Tickets for the Airshow only and tickets for the entire Museum visit that day are available online at www.PacificAviationMuseum.org. Museum admissions may also be purchased at the Museum and at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center ticketing desk. Shuttles depart every 15 minutes, 7:30am to 5:00pm from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, round trip to the Museum. Call 808/441-1007 for more information or visit www.PacificAviationMuseum.org, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, and @PacificAviation on Twitter, for updates.

This is a City & County of Honolulu and Hawaii Tourism Authority sponsored event. Sponsored in part by Clear Channel Media + Entertainment, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Yelp, Pearlridge Center, Mokulele Airlines, Pizza Hut, Aqua Hospitality, and Hawaii Gas. Sponsors and vendors are invited to participate by calling 808-441-1013.

USS Ronald Reagan, Carrier Air Wing Two to Participate in RIMPAC

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and Carrier Air Wing Two departed from the Southern California operating area June 18 to participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

USS Ronald Reagan

USS Ronald Reagan

RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise and serves as a unique training opportunity for participating countries to foster and sustain the cooperative relationships and interoperability that are critical to ensure security on the world’s oceans.

Inside the Ronald Reagan Room

Reagan and its embarked Carrier Strike Group Nine command staff will work with 46 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel from 23 nations to exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces.

When the NAVY flew me out to the USS Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan during a previous RIMPAC Exercise

When the NAVY flew me out to the USS Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan during a previous RIMPAC Exercise

“RIMPAC has a long, rich tradition dating back to 1971, so we’re incredibly excited to be participating in this important international exercise,” said Capt. Christopher Bolt, Reagan’s commanding officer. “Every opportunity we have to strengthen relations with our partner countries and exercise cooperative efforts allows us to improve the way in which we provide safety and security for the world’s sea lanes.”
USS Ronald Reagan Commanders Coin
Reagan last participated in the RIMPAC exercise series in 2010.

Details of RIMPAC activities and imagery are available at http://www.cpf.navy.mil/rimpac/2014.

Battle of Midway Commemoration Happened at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

To mark the 72nd Anniversary of the turning point of WWII—The Battle of Midway—Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor presented “FORTRESS OVER MIDWAY” featuring Curator and Author Burl Burlingame and Restoration Manager Jim Martinelli, yesterday.

Author Burl Burlingame talks to folks at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.

Author Burl Burlingame talks to folks at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.

Mr. Burlingame presented a talk entitled “Flying Fortresses Over Midway.” The Boeing B-17 played an important roll in The Battle of Midway. Following the Q & A session, the audience moved on to Hangar 79 for a special presentation and behind-the scenes look at the restoration progress of the Museum’s Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress—the famous “Swamp Ghost,” by Mr. Martinelli.

Burl 2

On display in Hangar 79 was an 8 x 12 foot mural painted by Victor Nels Solander, 123rd U.S. Naval Construction Battalion, whose Seabee unit was stationed on Midway from June 1, 1944 to December 16, 1945. The mural was one of six donated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “They murals are a valuable insight as to what existed during Midway and examples of popular folk art of WWII,” stated Mr. Burlingame.

U.S. Navy Launches Missile From Kauai Test Site

The US. Navy conducted a missile test off Kauai yesterday:

The Aegis Ashore Weapon System launched an SM-3 Block IB guided missile from the land-based Vertical Launch System during a Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy test from Kauai, Hawaii on May 20, 2014.

Learn more about Aegis Ashore by visiting the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Site.

“Battle of Midway” at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Marking the 72nd Anniversary of the turning point of WWII, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor will present a special program featuring Curator and Author Burl Burlingame and Museum’s Restoration Manager Jim Martinelli on June 7, 2014, 2 to 4pm.

The "Swamp Ghost"

The “Swamp Ghost”

Presentation will begin at 2pm in the Museum Theater, followed by an audience question and answer session. Mr. Burlingame will present a talk entitled “Flying Fortresses Over Midway.” The Boeing B-17 played an important roll in The Battle of Midway. Following the Q & A session, the audience will be invited out to Hangar 79 for a special presentation and behind-the scenes look at the restoration progress of the Museum’s Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress—the famous “Swamp Ghost,” by Mr. Martinelli.

The event is free with regular Museum admission and free to Museum Members. Call (808) 441-1000 or visit www.PacificAviationMuseum.org for more information.

23 Nations to Participate in RIMPAC Exercises Around Hawaiian Islands

Twenty-three nations, 47 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

All Aboard!

All Aboard!

The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

When the NAVY flew me out to the USS Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan during a previous RIMPAC Exercise

When the NAVY flew me out to the USS Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan during a previous RIMPAC Exercise

Hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2014 will be led by U.S. Vice Adm. Kenneth Floyd, commander of the U.S. Third Fleet (C3F), who will serve as the Combined Task Force (CTF) Commander. Royal Australian Navy Rear Adm. Simon Cullen will serve as deputy commander of the CTF, and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Rear Adm. Yasuki Nakahata as the vice commander. Other key leaders of the multinational force will include Rear Adm. Gilles Couturier of the Royal Canadian Navy, who will command the maritime component, Air Commodore Chris Westwood of the Royal Australian Air Force, who will command the air component, and the land component will be led by Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Richard Simcock. RIMPAC 2014 will also include for the first time a special operations component, to be led by U.S. Navy Capt. William Stevens.

Two nations, Brunei and the People’s Republic of China, will participate in RIMPAC for the first time in 2014.

When the Navy took me out to the USNS Mercy

When the Navy took me out to the USNS Mercy

Also for the first time at RIMPAC this year, two hospital ships, USNS Mercy and PLA (N) Peace Ark, will participate in the exercise.

The theme of RIMPAC 2014 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.” The participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. These capabilities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting. The relevant, realistic training syllabus includes amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises as well as counter-piracy, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal and diving and salvage operations.

Picture courtesy of Jasmine Guevara

Social Media folks invited to participate in previous RIMPAC Exercises.  Picture courtesy of Jasmine Guevara

This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.