Remaining F-35B Lightning II Aircraft with VMFA-121 Arrive at MCAS Iwakuni

U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II aircraft with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 arrived at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni, Japan, Nov. 9, 2017. The remaining aircraft represent the last installment of F-35B Lightning IIs assigned to VMFA-121. The F-35B Lightning II is a fifth-generation fighter, which is the world’s first operational supersonic short takeoff and vertical landing aircraft. The F-35B brings strategic agility, operational flexibility and tactical supremacy to III MEF with a mission radius greater than that of the F/A-18 Hornet and AV-8B Harrier II in…

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USS Ashland Completes Exercise Blue Chromite

USS Ashland (LSD 48) departed Okinawa Nov. 4 after completing of a series of amphibious operations as part of exercise Blue Chromite 18. Blue Chromite is a joint field training exercise held annually between the all four services though primarily focused on the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps to strengthen naval integration and tactical proficiencies in amphibious warfare. Ashland embarked nearly 300 Marines with 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment (1/3) who have been deployed to Okinawa for several months from Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The two services worked together…

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Iwo Jima ARG, 26th MEU Start Combined COMPTUEX

Components of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) started a Combined Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) off the coast of Virginia, Nov. 3. Nearly 4,000 Sailors and Marines are embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) and the transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) for the six-week exercise that is the final stage of a comprehensive training cycle aimed at building cohesion between the ARG’s Blue-Green team and certifying them for deployment. “We operate in a…

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BAE Systems Joins U.S. Navy to Mark 5,000th Upgraded Mine-Resistant Tactical Vehicle for U.S. and Coalition Forces

BAE Systems, in support of the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center Atlantic, has successfully upgraded the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) capabilities on the 5,000th mine-resistant tactical vehicle for U.S. and allied forces. The important milestone comes as the U.S. Army, a SPAWAR customer, seeks to improve the mission capabilities of its tactical vehicle fleet and enhance situational awareness for soldiers. The work is part of the Tactical Vehicle Engineering and Prototyping Support Services program through SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic, based in Charleston, South…

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Dawn Blitz brings realistic, relevant training to Navy-Marine Corps team

Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 3 and 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) kicked off amphibious exercise Dawn Blitz 2017, Oct. 20. Dawn Blitz 2017 is a scenario-driven amphibious exercise designed to train and integrate the staffs of ESG-3 and 1st MEB. It provides realistic, relevant training necessary for effective global crisis response expected of the Navy and Marine Corps team. The exercise takes place at sea off the coast of Southern California and will involve participation from ships homeported at Naval Base San Diego including the amphibious assault ship USS Essex…

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USS Anchorage Conducts HIMARS Shoot During Dawn Blitz 17

The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) was fired from the flight deck of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) during Dawn Blitz 2017, Oct. 22.  The HIMARS is a weapons system made up of the M142, five-ton chassis vehicle and can carry either a launcher pod of six rockets or one MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS). It enables Marines to engage targets within minutes after firing and features an advanced targeting system that strikes with an extremely high accuracy rate. The system also…

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Department of the Navy Recognizes Excellence in Acquisition

At a Pentagon ceremony Oct. 12, the Department of the Navy recognized outstanding performance in running the “business” side of the Navy and Marine Corps. Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition Allison F. Stiller hosted the event for more than 30 people and organizations, honoring them for excellence in acquisition ideals such as fostering competition, improving affordability and innovative techniques. “You are truly dedicated and talented professionals who are setting the example in our complex acquisition environment,” Stiller said. “Talented people like you are enabling…

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Chief of Naval Operations and Chairwoman Kay Granger Visit Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth Facility

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John M. Richardson and Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-Texas) visited Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth facility today to tour the F-35 production line and speak to the men and women building the world’s most advanced air system. The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation air system, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, advanced mission systems, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and cutting-edge sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace various aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, as…

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U.S. Navy orders additional APKWS rocket guidance kits

The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems a $59.5 million contract for additional APKWSTM guidance kits to transform unguided 2.75-inch (70-millimeter) rockets into laser-guided precision munitions. The new contract will enable BAE Systems to continue to meet the growing demand for cost-effective guided munitions for U.S. armed forces and allied international customers. The new award, which follows a recent contract for $180.5 million, is part of a 2016 indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity contract for more than $600 million. With the new award, BAE Systems has further reduced the per-unit…

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U.S. Navy and Marine Corps to conduct Dawn Blitz amphibious exercise

Forces from Expeditionary Strike Group 3 and 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade will participate in amphibious exercise Dawn Blitz 2017 off the coast of Southern California, Oct. 20-30. Dawn Blitz 2017 is a scenario-driven exercise designed to train the Navy and Marine Corps in operations expected of an amphibious task force. The exercise will test staffs in the planning and execution of amphibious operations in a series of live training events. Units from U.S. 3rd Fleet and I Marine Expeditionary Force will utilize the latest technologies in the live exercises to…

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Joint Navy and Marine Corps Partnership Awards Booz Allen $87.2M Contract to Advance Strategic Initiatives of the Naval Aviation Enterprise

The Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE), a partnership led by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, ensures the Navy’s ability to maintain current readiness and identify and incorporate future warfighting capabilities. To support this mission, the Navy has awarded Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH) a $87.2M cost-plus-fixed fee, indefinite delivery contract to provide technical, analytical and managerial support. Booz Allen will help the NAE foster a collaborative environment between Naval Aviation stakeholders to ensure that warfighting requirements are maintained while working to identify and address maintenance, manpower and training issues affecting…

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Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific Detachment Iwakuni brings first aircraft into new hangar

Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific Detachment Iwakuni inducted its first aircraft for maintenance in its new hangar at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Sept. 22, 2017. The center’s new hangar increases MCAS Iwakuni’s readiness capabilities by mitigating the need for aircraft to travel to a different location to perform depot-level maintenance. “The impact to the air station is that we provide readiness,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Matthew Edwards, commanding officer of FRCWP. “We are here any time an aircraft is damaged and requires repair beyond the capability at the…

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Navy Awards Government of Japan-Funded Contract for Marine Corps Relocation to Guam

Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific awarded today a $17.9 million firm-fixed price contract to Contrack Watts Inc. of Virginia, to construct a Waterfront Headquarters Building on Naval Base Guam. The contract supports the Defense Policy Review Initiative and is funded by the Government of Japan (GoJ) as part of the International Agreement between the United States and Japan. “For the Marines to effectively execute amphibious operations, a fully capable waterfront facility and associated infrastructure are essential,” said Officer in Charge of Construction (OICC) Marianas Commanding Officer Capt. Dan Turner….

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Navy to Christen Amphibious Assault Ship Tripoli

The Navy will christen its newest America-class amphibious assault ship, the future USS Tripoli (LHA 7), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, September 16, in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Mr. Thomas Dee, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of the Navy, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Lynne Mabus, the wife of the 75th Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted by Mrs. Mabus breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship,…

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International engagement commences

The Australian Defence Force Joint Task Group, Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017, has completed the first international engagement activity of the deployment. HMAS Adelaide, one of the Royal Australian Navy’s Canberra class amphibious ships, reached the milestone after recently conducting aviation training with the USS Bonhomme Richard off the east coast of Australia. The training involved both the SH60S Seahawk helicopter and a United States Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor, with a focus on flight deck familiarization for the United States Marine Corps aircrew and currency training for Adelaide’s aviation support sailors….

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