Will Rogers ANGB selected as sole candidate to replace MC-12s with new AT-802U Sky Warden Formal Training Unit

Source: United States Air Force

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall selected Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Oklahoma, as the sole candidate location to replace its MC-12 Liberty with the AT-802U Sky Warden and to convert the MC-12 Formal Training Unit to the AT-802U Total Force Integration FTU.

Will Rogers ANGB will receive 28 AT-802Us and about 80 personnel to support the mission of the 310th Special Operations Squadron. The squadron will relocate from Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, to Will Rogers ANGB, creating an active association with the 185th SOS.

The AT-802 Sky Warden is a multi-role platform capable of close air support, armed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and precision strike missions in support of geographically isolated special operations forces.

A site survey at the candidate location is scheduled in spring 2023 and will assess operational requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, housing, infrastructure and manpower.

Once the site survey is complete, the Department of the Air Force will conduct an environmental impact analysis, which is expected to be complete in fall 2023, before a final basing decision is made.

Coast Guard, partners search for missing snorkeler off Maui

Source: United States Coast Guard

Coast Guard, partners search for missing snorkeler off Maui

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard, Maui Fire Department, and Ocean Safety are searching for a missing snorkeler off Maui, Friday.

The 60 year-old female snorkeler was last seen approximately 75-yards off of Keawakapu Beach, Maui, Thursday, while snorkeling with her husband.

At 1:00 p.m., Thursday, Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report from Maui Fire Department of the 60 year-old female snorkeler missing due to a reported shark attack off of Keawakapu Beach, Maui. Sector Honolulu watchstanders immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched Coast Guard rescue crews to assist partner agency assets.

Involved in the search-

-An Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew

-An Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew

-A Coast Guard Station Maui 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew

-Maui Fire Department

-7 Ocean Safety jet skis 

-The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak (WPC 1126) 

Anyone with information is requested to contact the Coast Guard on Channel VHF 16 or by phone at 808-842-2600.

For breaking news follow us on twitter @USCGHawaiiPac

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CORRECTION: Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle assists sailing vessel Watoosh beset by weather 150 miles south of Puerto Rico

Source: United States Coast Guard

 

CORRECTION: Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle assists sailing vessel Watoosh beset by weather 150 miles south of Puerto Rico

EDITOR’s NOTE – CORRECTION:  A third image included in the original news release sent out Dec. 8, 2022 was not from the sailing vessel Watoosh.  The two other images also included in this correction properly show the sailing vessel Watoosh in tow. Click on images to view caption.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle assisted two U.S. boaters aboard the sailing vessel Watoosh in the Caribbean Sea and completed a two-day tow of the sailing vessel to Salinas, Puerto Rico Thursday afternoon.

The boaters, a man and a woman, reportedly departed Curacao aboard the 40-foot vessel Watoosh on a voyage to Puerto Rico, and were two days overdue because of bad weather and constant high north winds that prevented the Watoosh from making way and caused the vessel to run out of fuel.

“I’m thankful for the skill and professionalism of this crew, they performed superbly locating and taking the disabled vessel in tow,” said Lt. Cmdr. Charles Wilson, Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle commanding officer.  “We are also appreciative of the good Samaritan who relayed the call for assistance to the Coast Guard as vessel Watoosh fell victim to an unusual weather pattern for this area.  It is critical that mariners plan voyages with respect to the forecasted weather, their navigation equipment, and their capabilities, especially their ability to communicate a distress.”

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan received a call from the Panamanian-flagged cargo ship Sider Colombia Tuesday night reporting that the ship had received a VHF Channel-16 communication request for assistance from the sailing vessel Watoosh, approximately 150 nautical miles south of Ponce, Puerto Rico.  The sea state conditions on scene prevented the ship from providing fuel to the vessel Watoosh, however the ship continued to relay communications until the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle arrived on scene.

Once on scene, the crew of the cutter Joseph Doyle launched the cutter’s Over-the-Horizon small boat to go onboard the vessel Watoosh and help transfer 92 gallons of diesel fuel.  Despite refueling efforts and providing troubleshooting assistance, the vessel’s engines did not restart.  Facing deteriorating weather conditions in the form of eight to ten foot seas, the Joseph Doyle crew established a tow of the vessel Watoosh and the cutter began its transit to Puerto Rico.

Once within five miles from Salinas, Puerto Rico, the cutter Joseph Doyle rendezvoused and transferred the tow of the Watoosh to a friend of the boaters.  The friend was assisted by his brother, a Coast Guard Auxiliary member, who used his 29-foot Glacier Bay named Coy de Mar to complete the tow of the Watoosh to safe harbor in Salinas.

Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle is a 154-foot fast response cutter that is homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

For more breaking news follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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NATO’s bi-annual Familiarization Programme testifies to increased importance of Allies’ engagement with Partners

Source: NATO

From 7 to 16 December 2022, NATO hosts military personnel from 20 Partner Nations for its bi-annual Familiarization Programme. The 8-day event, jointly organised by NATO Military Cooperative Security Division and SHAPE’s Partnership Directorate Military Cooperation Division, introduces Partner representatives to NATO’s Partnership frameworks, delving into the Alliance’s outreach programmes and activities.

Welcoming the participants, the Deputy Director of Cooperative Security Division, Colonel Juan Martinez-Esparza opened the event by highlighting the importance of partnerships to NATO.He reflected on NATO’s new Strategic Concept, agreed earlier this year at the Madrid Summit, which aims to increase cooperation with existing Partners, while seeking out new ones. “Over the last 30 years, partnerships have become an essential tool to support many of NATO’s core activities, from shaping policy to building defence capacity, developing interoperability and managing crises. Through meetings like the Familiarization Programme, NATO, Allies and Partners are able to build on different but invaluable perspectives and find common solutions to common challenges”, highlighted Colonel Martinez-Esparza.

Held at NATO’s Headquarters in Brussels from 7 to 12 December, the first module of the Familiarization Programme allows Partner staff officers to explore NATO’s partnership toolbox. A number of briefings are provided, with a focus on the implications of the Madrid Summit, NATO-EU Relations, NATO’s Role in Counter Terrorism, as well as the developments in various existing partnership programmes – specifically, the Planning and Review Process, the Partnership Staff Post  programme and the Individually Tailored Partnership Programmes. 

Additional briefings expanded on the role of the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre and the NATO Standardization Office in supporting Partners. Participants also had the opportunity to discuss existing partnerships with their respective Missions and Delegations to NATO. 

Closing the first part of the programme, Colonel Martinez-Esparza reiterated the value such events bring to the Alliance. “NATO’s engagement with global partners is taking on increasing importance in a complex security environment, where many of the challenges the Alliance faces are global and no longer bound by geography. Over the last five days, we have fostered mutual understanding and familiarised our Partners with the way NATO functions”, adding that “this programme lays the groundwork for better and more effective discussions on common approaches to shared challenges, now and moving forward – as we strive to improve the effectiveness and readiness of our responses”. 

The second portion of the programme, run by SHAPE’s Partnership Directorate Military Cooperation Division, will be held from 13 to 16 December 22, in Mons. Partners will participate in more in-depth exchanges covering diverse aspects of NATO-Partner military and defence cooperation.

The Familiarization Programme is one of the highlights of NATO’s military cooperation with Partners. The programme provides Partner staff officers serving in partnership-related posts in NATO, national defence or military institutions with a detailed overview of the Alliance’s outreach programmes and activities. This iteration bears particular importance as it builds on the Madrid Summit and the newly adopted Strategic Concept, which cements Allies’ commitment to enhancing existing partnerships and to expanding to potential new interlocutors beyond the Euro-Atlantic area – with a view to address common global security challenges, in a way that meet the interests of both Allies and partners.

U.S. Coast Guard, Army National Guard conducting Port Security and Resiliency Assessments in Guam, CNMI

Source: United States Coast Guard

U.S. Coast Guard, Army National Guard conducting Port Security and Resiliency Assessments in Guam, CNMI

 

SANTA RITA, Guam — The Port Security and Resiliency Assessment (PSRA) team is in Guam the week of Dec. 5, 2022, and will soon travel to Saipan to conduct comprehensive assessments of the commercial ports and other critical maritime infrastructure to provide insight into potential vulnerabilities and recommendations to mitigate any threats.

Capt. Nick Simmons, the Captain of the Port for Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and commander of U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam, met with and welcomed the PSRA team Tuesday.

“There is no shortage of interest in building our regional resilience and capability out here, but it is a partnership, and we are committed to working closely with the Port Authority of Guam and our Department of Defense colleagues to do it right,” said Simmons. “We are excited to have the PSRA team here in Guam. The report they produce is designed to complement our Area Maritime Security Assessment and aids our federal maritime security coordinators. It is another tool we and our partners can use to be objective about port investments and support additional grants.”

The team consists of experts and technical specialists from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Army National Guard’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Battalion who apply their operations and emergency response backgrounds to these assessments. Their goal is to provide feedback on improving resiliency and mitigating threats from possible terrorism or natural disasters. This in-depth approach may not be regularly available to local port areas. In the past year, this team has been in Alaska and other parts of the contiguous United States.

“This is a no-fault non-regulatory assessment which provides an opportunity, not only to strengthen positive relations with port stakeholders, but also provide space for recommendations to enhance their security posture and support for improvements to existing infrastructure,” said Lt. Michael Bosch, team lead for CG-PSA-2.

Each assessment has four phases: (1) advance research and scoping, (2) pre-assessment, (3) assessment, and (4) post-assessment phase. The pre-and post-assessment phases are conducted at the home office in Washington, D.C. During the assessment, the team speaks with the on-site port and marina managers, does a walkaround, reviews procedures and physical security, and applies technology. This technology includes 3D imaging and drones to create a virtual tour, also called a panoramic tour, which is a wide-ranging view or video simulation of an existing place that is useful to many port users and managers.

In Guam, the team did a port ride along with U.S. Coast Guard Station Apra Harbor, met with port and Navy personnel, and assessed the commercial port, as well as Navy Base Guam, Agana Boat Basin also known as the Gregorio D. Perez Marina, and Agat Marina. They will soon go to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and assess Tanapag Harbor.

PSRAs can be used for several reasons, including to support an area maritime security assessment, typically through the assessment of five sites and one waterway based on top scenarios within the sector, scaled to focus on specific concerns within the port area, a national special security event, or video capture of a waterway to support training or maritime domain awareness needs. These assessments can also be used to support grant applications for port and waterway improvements.

As announced in October, the Jose D. Leon Guerrero Commercial Port, also known as the Port of Guam, is among several Western Pacific entities receiving federal grant money through the 2022 Port Security Grant Program to ensure supply chain resiliency within Guam and the Mariana Islands.

Guam and CNMI will receive close to $2.1 million from the PSGP, with the Port Authority awarded just over $564,000, Guam Customs and Quarantine awarded more than $526,000, and CNMI’s Commonwealth Port Authority receiving about $88,000. The PSGP is one of four grant programs under the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency that focuses on strengthening the nation’s critical transportation security infrastructure.

The purpose of the PSGP is to provide the necessary funds for not only state partners but local, territorial, and private sector partners to enhance security measures and resilience to critical maritime infrastructure and build threat readiness.

For more U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam news, visit us on DVIDS or subscribe! You can also visit us on Facebook or Instagram at @USCGForcesMicronesia or Twitter @USCGFMSG. 

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Coast Guard medevacs a 72-year-old man 90 miles off the coast of San Diego

Source: United States Coast Guard

Coast Guard medevacs a 72-year-old man 90 miles off the coast of San Diego

SAN DIEGO — The Coast Guard medically evacuated a 72-year-old man from a cruise ship approximately 90 miles off the San Diego coast, Tuesday.

Cruise Ship Crown Princess crewmembers contacted Coast Guard Sector San Diego Joint Harbor Operations Center watchstanders requesting a medevac for a man experiencing stroke-like symptoms. 

A Sector San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew launched to Crown Princess’s location. 

The Jayhawk crew arrived on the scene and hoisted the man, his spouse and the cruise ship’s nurse and transported them to Scripps La Jolla Medical Center.

The patient was in critical condition when he was transferred to emergency medical services.

-USCG-

Bussiere assumes command of Air Force Global Strike Command

Source: United States Air Force

Gen. Thomas Bussiere assumed command of Air Force Global Strike Command during a ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base Dec. 7, becoming the newest leader of the organization responsible for the nation’s only intercontinental ballistic missile and strategic bomber forces.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., presided over the ceremony.

“You provide strategic deterrence, global strike and combat support, so the Air Force can execute our mission to fly, fight and win. Airpower anytime, anywhere,” Brown said, speaking with AFGSC Airmen. “I am thankful for the continued professionalism of the 34,000 Global Strike Airmen who operate, sustain and secure two-thirds of the nation’s nuclear forces.”

With this change of command, Bussiere became the seventh commander of AFGSC. He is responsible for the nation’s fleet of Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, the land-based component of the nuclear triad. He is also responsible for all the nation’s strategic bombers, which include the nuclear-capable B-52H Stratofortress and B-2 Spirit, as well as the conventional-only B-1B Lancer.

Addressing an at-capacity crowd of Airmen, distinguished visitors, commanders and senior Air Force leaders at Barksdale AFB’s historic Hoban Hall, Bussiere said, “Our mission is critical to our national defense, and you are critical to our national defense.

Every commander, chief, enlisted member, officer and civilian, it will take a whole team to compete and win,” he added. “We can’t do this without you.”

The general also spoke of the legacy of the command and its long history.

“Our proud legacy of long-range strike is in both NAFs (Numbered Air Force), and we continue to follow their footsteps as we position ourselves for a new era of strategic competition,” he said. The legacy and embodiment of long-range strike is right here in this command.”

Bussiere is a 1985 graduate of Air Force ROTC from Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. He has served in a variety of flying, staff and command assignments, including commander of Eighth Air Force at Barksdale AFB, and deputy commander of U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt AFB, Nebraska. He is a command pilot with more than 3,400 hours in the T-38 Talon, F-15C Eagle, B-2A Spirit, B-1B Lancer and F-22 Raptor. He led F-15C combat missions during Operations Southern Watch and Vigilant Warrior and B-2 combat missions during operations Allied Force and Iraqi Freedom.

“I am so humbled and proud to lead this historic command,” Bussiere said. “Strikers, you are the best in the world at what you do, and I know you will continue to do great things for our nation.”

Bussiere assumed command from Gen. Anthony Cotton, who is scheduled to take command of U.S. Strategic Command Dec. 9.

‘In the blink of an eye, the challenges of tomorrow will be here’, notes Director General of the NATO International Military Staff at the Alliance Warfare Development Conference

Source: NATO

The Director General of the NATO International Military Staff (DGIMS), Lieutenant General Janusz Adamczak, participated in the Alliance Warfare Development (AWD) Conference, which took place from 6 to 8 December in Norfolk, Virginia, US. Tthis year’s event was themed “Better Today, Stronger Tomorrow” and brought together key NATO and Allied representatives to discuss how the Alliance can better prepare and respond to a more complex and an ever-changing security environment.

The AWD Conference is NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (ACT) flagship event. This year, it gathered 150 representatives from Allied Nations, the NATO Command and Force Structures as well as other NATO agencies and entities. “ACT’s mission is to propose the adaptation, evolution and transformation of NATO’s Military Instrument of Power, in order to fulfil the Alliance’s missions, and ambition.  For that, we must first anticipate the future operating environment”, stated General Philippe Lavigne, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, in his opening remarks. He added that “to this end, we are developing together a vision for the future of NATO’s Military Instrument of Power. A vision based on multi-domain operations to enable us to think, plan and conduct faster than our adversaries, across all domains”.

In his keynote address, Lieutenant General Adamczak highlighted how the Alliance’s future success depends on its ability to continuously transform to meet tomorrow’s challenges and long-term planning to ensure warfare development is deliberate, proactive and effective. He went on to explain that, as challenges become simultaneous and persistent, “Command and Control structures need to adapt to enable multi-domain, less geographically-bound, warfare. ACT’s lead on transformation and development are key to ensuring the Alliance is always one step ahead”. He also praised ACT’s work “in placing NATO and its Allies ahead of any potential adversaries, by enabling the Alliance’s Military Instrument of Power to build and maintain its decisive military advantage – ensuring the Alliance has the necessary capabilities to counter any threat, from any direction”.

Against this backdrop, the plenary session explored the interlinkages between the NATO Defence Planning Process, the Warfighting Development Agenda and NATO’s Capability Development. “We are now in a new era of collective defence. We don’t have the luxury of focusing solely on the challenges of today, because in the blink of an eye, the challenges of tomorrow will be here”, stressed General Adamczak. Participants also discussed multi-domain operations, NATO’s digital transformation, interoperability challenges, cognitive superiority and ongoing innovation efforts.

Prior to the AWD Conference, Lieutenant General Adamczak visited ACT and the Joint Force Command (JFC) Norfolk. While at ACT, he met with General Lavigne and was briefed on current work strands focused on NATO’s adaptation, including NATO’s Warfighting Capstone Concept and the implementation of NATO’s Warfare Development Agenda. During his visit to JFC Norfolk, the Director General met with Commander Vice Admiral Daniel Dwyer and discussed the Operational Command’s main activities, dedicated to maintaining the Alliance’s maritime readiness and responsiveness, deterring aggression and defending Allies in the North Atlantic and High North.

NATO military delegation holds staff-to-staff talks with partner, Mongolia

Source: NATO

On 1-2 December 2022, a military delegation from NATO’s Cooperative Security Division, led by its Director, Major General Francesco Diella travelled to Ulaanbaatar to meet with representatives from the Mongolian Military Authorities. The talks were held within the framework of NATO’s Partnership with Mongolia.

The two-day meeting was an opportunity to confirm NATO’s ongoing commitment to its partnership with Mongolia, which was established in 2005 and includes cooperation on a range of issues, such as counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, cyber security developing mechanisms for crisis prevention and management, and building capacity.

Opening the meeting, Major General Diella noted NATO’s continued commitment to strengthen dialogue and relations with Mongolia, especially when addressing shared security challenges. “In this challenging security environment, regional instability can have global implications and affect more countries than just the ones who are directly involved. Nevertheless, by working together, including with NATO Partners, our Alliance can help mitigate and limit foreseeable effects”, highlighted Major General Diella.

Continuing with the programme, Major General Diella then provided some insight into the outcomes of the 2022 NATO Summit and the adoption of the new Strategic Concept, especially in regards to partnerships. “Many of today’s challenges are global and no longer bound by geography. This was made abundantly clear in the new Strategic Concept – global outreach is key”. He added that “as an Alliance, we must endeavour to do more with existing Partners, while seeking out new ones”.

The Mongolian delegation, led by Colonel Gandirvaa Chuluunbor, Director of the Strategic and Policy Planning Directorate from the Ministry of Defence, started their intervention by providing some insight into national priorities, including an overview on the government’ security and defence policies as well as an update on their national threat assessment. The discussions then turned to regional security, and Mongolia’s engagement and cooperation with other Asian countries. The NATO delegation was also briefed on bilateral cooperation programmes Mongolia has with individual NATO Allies.

On the second day, the NATO delegation was able to visit the Five Hills Peacekeeping Training Centre, which offers courses on peace support, humanitarian relief, and security operations. The Centre was recognised as part of the network of Partnership Training and Education Centres, in August 2014. “Mongolia is a strong partner when it comes to peace and security operations. For almost 16 years, Mongolia contributed forces to NATO missions, first in KFOR, then ISAF and subsequently to our Resolute Support Mission. This commitment shows a strong engagement towards global peace and stability. This centre offers an opportunity to share some of the valuable experience gathered serving in international missions”, concluded Major General Diella.