Tag: MV-22

Second US Navy Expeditionary Sea Base Hershel “Woody” Williams Floats Out

Early evening view of USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams following the float-out. Photo: NASSCO

The US Navy’s second Expeditionary Sea Base USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams was floated out by shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO on August 19.

During the float out, NASSCO moved the ship from a graving dock to one of its piers for the next phase of construction.

As part of the process, seawater flows into the graving dock, gradually raising the ship until it floats on its own.

Named after retired U.S. Marine and Medal of Honor recipient, Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams, the 784-foot-long ship will serve as a flexible platform to support a variety of missions, including mine countermeasures, counter-piracy operations, maritime security and humanitarian missions.

The ship will provide for accommodations for up to 250 personnel, a 52,000-square-foot flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, and will also support MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters with an option to support MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft. The ship is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018.

General Dynamics NASSCO has delivered three ships in the class to the Navy: USNS Montford Point (ESD 1), USNS John Glenn (ESD 2) and USNS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3). In addition to USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4), a fifth ship as part of the program is under construction at NASSCO.

Hershel “Woody” Williams’s predecessor, the USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), was recommissioned from a Military Sealift Command ship to a full-blown warship in Bahrain last week.

Turning the Puller into a commissioned warship will provide the navy with greater operational flexibility which it needs to respond to a security environment that has become “faster paced, more complex and increasingly competitive”, the US Navy said.

 

Marines to order 24-hour stand-downs for flying units in wake of fatal crashes

Marines prepare to board MV-22 Ospreys on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island off the coast of Camp Pendleton, Calif., on Feb. 23, 2015. The Marine Corps announced Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, that all its aviation units must cease flying for a 24-hour period within the next two weeks to review safety procedures, following two recent crashes that killed 19 servicemembers.

WASHINGTON —  Marine Corps aviation units must cease flying for a 24-hour period within the next two weeks to review safety procedures following two recent Marine crashes that killed 19 troops, the service’s top general ordered Friday.

Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine commandant, has ordered aviators to review “the fundamentals of safe flight operations, standardization, and combat readiness” during the “operational reset,” said Capt. Ryan Alvis, a spokeswoman for the Corps.

“The intent is for flying squadrons to review selected incidents which occurred enterprise-wide and study historical examples of completed investigations in order to bring awareness and best practices to the fleet,” she said.

Unit commanders will determine when to conduct the stand-downs. Neller’s order instructed commanders to conduct the pause when it will not interrupt training or combat operations.

Fifteen Marines and a sailor were killed in the July 10 crash of a KC-130T tanker-transport aircraft into the Mississippi Delta. Three additional Marines died Saturday in the crash of an MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft just off the coast of Australia.

The Marines on Wednesday announced they had determined the Ospreys were safe to fly following inspections and a preliminary investigation into Saturday’s crash. In that incident, the Osprey crashed into the deck of the USS Green Bay as it was landing on the amphibious transport dock before crashing into the ocean about 18 miles off the coast of Queensland.

The three Marines killed are believed to have been trapped inside the aircraft as it sank, officials said. Twenty-three others aboard the aircraft were rescued.

In the July crash, the KC-130T appears to have broken up in mid-air before it crashed to the ground leaving two debris trails each stretching more than a mile long, an initial investigation found. All of the personnel aboard the plane were killed.

The Marines grounded its entire fleet of 12 KC-130T aircraft following the incident.
Safety stand-downs of individual airframes or for particular units are not uncommon.

Last August, the Marines ordered a similar stand-down for all F/A-18 Hornets aircraft following several crashes of the fighter jets. The Marines also temporarily grounded AV-8B Harrier and Osprey aircraft in Japan last year following non-fatal wrecks.

 

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