Category: Industry News

Indo-Pacific Training Exercise


PHILIPPINE SEA – Aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, CVW 9 and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) fly over the Philippine Sea as Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson (CNV70) and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), JMSDF Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181), America-class amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA6), Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Mobile Bay (CG 53 and USS Lake Champlain (CG 57, and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance (DDG 111), USS Chafee (DDG 90) and USS Gridley (DDG 101) transit the Philippine Sea, January 22, 2022.  Operating as part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, units assigned to carl Vinson and Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Groups, America, and Essex Amphibious Ready Groups, alongside JMSDF are conducing training to preserve and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Haydn N. Smith).


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Huntington Ingalls Expected to Deliver LPD-28, DDG-123 This Year

Huntington Ingalls Industries is expected to deliver Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28) in the first half of 2022, the company announced during a press briefing Wednesday.

Fort Lauderdale finished her Bravo trials at the end of 2021, said George Nungesser, vice president, program management for Ingalls Shipbuilding. The ship was christened in August and is the 12th San Antonio-class ship produced by the shipbuilding company.

As Huntington Ingalls finishes with Fort Lauderdale, it has already started outfitting Richard M. McCool (LPD-29), which launched this week, Nungesser said. The ship is the 13th in the San Antonio-class and is expected to be delivered in late 2023.

The shipbuilder is also working on Harrisburg (LPD-30) and is contracted for Pittsburgh (LPD-31), said LPD program manager Steve Sloan.

Ingalls also delivered the 33rd Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer to the Navy. It delivered Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121) on Nov. 30.

There are five destroyers under construction currently, Nungesser said, including the future Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123), expected to be delivered in 2022. Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee is the last Flight IIA, Nungesser said. The other four destroyers are Flight III DDGs.

The first Flight III destroyer, Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125), has already launched, he said.
Start of construction to delivery date, which Huntington Ingalls plans to meet, is 232 weeks for the Flight IIIs, Nungesser said.

While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused supply chain concerns, Huntington Ingalls has been able to mitigate any major disruptions, Nungesser said.

Looking to the future, Sloan said it is important to see the funding for LPD-32, as well as some predictability for the LHA-10. Huntington Ingalls is already under contract for LHA-9.

It would be nice to have a 30-year plan for shipbuilding from the Navy, Sloan said, adding that it has been some time since there has been a long-term plan. The Navy is expected to give a plan shortly, and Sloan expects to see amphibious assault ships in it.

Article from: USNI News

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Machining Apprentices Learn while they Earn

Article by Beth Ann Miller for the Daily American in Somerset, Pennsylvania November 1, 2021


Three Somerset County tradesmen are advancing their machining skills as they learn to make some of the critical components that keep the U.S. Navy’s ships afloat and operating at standard speed.

Logan Miller, 23, of Meyersdale, Thomas Walters, 19, of Listie and Ethan Birth, 18, of Berlin, are participating in a new apprenticeship program at Global/SFC Valve, in Somerset, which manufactures standard valves and components used on U.S. Navy ships, including the U.S.S. Somerset.

Global/SFC Valve received approval from the state last year to start an apprenticeship program, company President Linda Heining said. On Oct. 15, the company was awarded a $21,203 grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program.

The grant covers the costs involved for Global/SFC Valve to offer classroom and on-the-job training to these three apprentices, with coursework supplied by the National Tooling and Machining Association – University, aka NTMA-U.

Becoming a journeyman machinist

Each of the three men are in the first year of their training.  Miller and Walters were hired by Global/SFC Valve in 2020 and started their training last year.  Birth was hired in July of 2021 and started his training shortly thereafter.

The four-year NTMA-U program requires each apprentice to complete 568 hours of classroom instruction and 8,000 hours of machining time, said Sherry Abel, training facilitator at Global/SFC Valve.

“What makes this program very special is in three (more) years, these gentlemen will get their journeyman papers through the state of Pennsylvania,” she said.  “It’s like a four-year (college) degree – and they’ll be machinists (level) 3 also.  If they are successful through the program, every year the company increases their pay as well.”

An apprenticeship program has been a longtime goal for the company, Heining said.  Former CEO and President Bob Kirst saw similar programs offered by other companies and said he wanted to create something there.

“It was always Bob’s dream to have an apprenticeship program, but unfortunately he passed away before it got to be implemented,” she said.

Learning the trade

Miller, Walters, and Birth all learned the basics of machining in high school, through the Somerset County Technology Center’s machine technology program. Walters and Birth also worked part-time at Global/SFC valve during high school, through a co-op program with the technology center.

“Being we got them from the (SCTC) program, they did have some basic skills coming in,” said Skip Bryner, Global/SFC Valve production manager.  “So, you’re not starting at zero.  They come in with good knowledge and a desire to learn. 

“With what they learned there, they come in and they’re definitely going to be a lot faster coming up to speed.  There’s improvement with all three of them and they’re working with somebody all the time to become more independent on their own.”

Learning while earning a paycheck

As apprentices, these three men have an opportunity to advance their education and ear their journeyman machinist papers while working fulltime and earning a paycheck, along with company benefits like health insurance coverage and a retirement savings plan.

“You can go to a university and get the same journeyman papers,” Birth said. “in fact, there are three schools in Pittsburgh that offer a fairly similar program and you get the same journeyman paper from the same institute.  But the people that are going to those universities and getting that same degree, they don’t get the benefits, they don’t have the medical benefits for those four years, they don’t get the paycheck for those four years – and they have debt (when they graduate).

“Going into this apprenticeship, we’re getting paid, we don’t have any debt, we have full medical benefits and we’re getting retirement benefits.”

Investing in their workforce

Heining said the apprenticeship program also enables Global/SFC Valve to invest in its future workforce by hiring and training three young tradesmen who came highly recommended by their SCTC instructor.

“It absolutely helps our workforce,” she said.  “We now have three young guys (working).  A lot of our machinists are getting older and are getting read to retire, so we have some replacements.

“The manufacturing industry has been talking about this for years, that ‘Hey, your workforce is getting older, you need to get some younger people involved.’ And that’s when we came up with the apprenticeship program.”

Bryner added: “It’s all an investment in the employees and the company.”

In addition to these three new apprentices, Global/SFC Valve is training two long-time employees – each with about 20 years of work experience – who wanted to earn their journeyman machinist papers.  They are expected to graduate next June.

“They only needed two years (of study) because they already had the experience,” Heining said.

Supporting Naval operations

Global/SFC Valve has 50 employees, including machinists, welders, inspectors, and assemblers.  Together, these employees produce components that help the U.S. Navy to operate its fleet of nearly 300 active ships and submarines, send tankers to refuel ships at sea and safety transport military personnel throughout the world.

“It’s not just one person working on an entire valve, it’s a whole group of people with team effort putting time an effort into the part,” Walters said.

Heining added: “If one of the valves fail, it could crash the submarine.  Lives are at stake with the products that we make.  We’re considered a critical supplier to the Navy”

The three apprentices said they’re learning a lot from their training and are thankful for the apprenticeship opportunity.

“I went ahead with it because it’s going to be more helpful for me in the company, to learn more about the trade,” Miller said. “It will make me a better machinist, more valuable to the company.”

Walters added: “It means that I get to learn more and it’s helpful for the company, because the better I am at doing my job and learning my job, the better the company is.”

Birth agreed and added that he’s proud to pursue a career that supports the nation’s military.  He mentioned that his brother is currently serving in the U.S. Army. “I wanted to be a mechanical engineer in the Air Force…but I wouldn’t be able to serve,” he said. “This is one of the reasons I decide to come here. I’m not able to serve but at least this way, one, it’s a great company (to work for) and two, it’s making valuable parts for the men and women that are serving and makes their life easier.”


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US Navy's Most Unique Ship Looks Like Noah's Ark

The U.S. Navy’s most unique ship is headed from Mississippi to Japan. Named APL 67, this brick-shaped ship is known as a berthing barge and is quite similar to Noah’s Ark.

This special vessel has been designed to accommodate sailors when their warships are temporarily uninhabitable.

The APL 67 is grey white. It is 267 feet long and 68.7 feet wide. It rises about four stories above the water and is primarily featureless.

Its enormous size has led many to compare it to Noah’s Ark. (The Ark, was considerably huge 525 feet and 87 feet wide measurements.)

VT Halter Marine, an American shipbuilding company, constructed it in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Presently, it is travelling to San Diego Naval Base and will then travel across to Fleet Activity Yokosuka, Japan. Fleet Activity Yokosuka across the Pacific Ocean is home to the Seventh Fleet of the U.S. Navy.

The ship has no engine, sensors, or weapons. It is most like to never leave the port. But it can still accommodate a total of 74 officers and 537 enlisted personnel on board. Sailors will stay on the barge for short periods while their assigned ships are undergoing maintenance work.

The vessel will be a favourable temporary residence for crew members who need to live nearby the port for ant inter-deployment training cycles or respond immediately to emergencies. The barge is also towable to any new location and put up as living quarters for the sailors.

For instance, when the ship goes to Yokosuka, Japan, the Navy will not have to seek out 300 hotel rooms for the crew. It can easily act as a floating hotel. In addition to that, the barges are also usable for humanitarian purposes and many other temporary projects.

The U.S. Navy hold several barges across the globe. APL 67 is one such barge of the four that is specifically built for the Navy. It is constructed by VT Halter Marine.

Article by: MI News Network - July 26, 2021

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She Was a Pioneering Navy Submarine Officer. Now She's Headed to Space

Lt. Cmdr. Kayla Barron, one of the first women to serve on a Navy submarine, is now one step closer to being one of the first women to walk on the Moon.

Barron, 33, who commissioned as a Navy officer in 2010, was selected by NASA out of a pool of approximately 18,000 people to join the 2017 astronaut candidate class.

"I think I've been lucky to be in the right place at the right time for some of these big changes, the submarine force being a great example. They opened the community to women during my senior year at the Naval Academy, allowing me to volunteer to serve in that community," Barron said.

She would ultimately serve on the Ohio-class ballistic submarine Maine, where she'd complete three patrols in the job of division officer.

For her first spaceflight, Barron will serve as a mission specialist for the SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station. The mission is slated for launch "no earlier than Sunday Oct. 31," according to a NASA Commercial Crew Program post.

In addition to the upcoming SpaceX Crew-3 mission this fall, Barron is also set to take part in NASA's Artemis program, which aims to "send the first woman and next man to the Moon" by 2024.

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