Australia’s Newest Naval Vessel Ready for Delivery

By MarEx 2015-08-28 17:38:53

The Australian Navy’s NUSHIP Adelaide has completed its final sea ship trials in Port Phillip Bay. The NUSHIP Adelaide is the navy’s second landing helicopter dock (LHD).

The purpose of the ten day trials was testing the ship’s combat and communications systems. The trials were undertaken throughout the vessel’s journey from Williamstown to Jervis Bay as well as the return voyage. These areas were chosen to provide maximum flexibility and proximity to the Australian Defense Force.

The 27,800 ton vessel has returned to BAE Systems’ Williamstown shipyard and will be delivered to the Australian Navy in September.

The Australian Navy received the first of its two LHD vessels, the NUSHIP Canberra, in October 2014. The LHDs will transport more than 1,000 soldiers and equipment. Adelaide will be capable deploying a reinforced company of up to 220 soldiers at a time by airlift. The vessel is also outfitted with two vehicle decks and can accommodate a combined 110 vehicles.

BAE Systems trained 700 crew members serving both NUSHIP Adelaide and HMAS Canberra at its Mascot, Sydney facility. The Adelaide completed its first sea trials on June 17.


Hurricane Katrina’s Great American Resettlement

By MarEx 2015-08-28 16:21:07

Hurricane Katrina changed millions of lives when it struck the U.S. Gulf of Mexico on August 29, 2005. People lost families, homes and livelihoods as the storm killed more than 1,800 people and displaced over 400,000 New Orleans residents.

While the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) took four days to respond, local authorities and citizens lead the initial efforts. The U.S. Coast Guard saved about 34,000 people in New Orleans in the days following Katrina and citizens commandeered boats and provided food and shelter to their neighbors. Meanwhile, the New Orleans Superdome accommodated more than 15,000 displaced people.

But the devastation in Louisiana had limited areas for survivors in need of food and water. In the weeks after Katrina, Texas was one of the main destination for those fleeing the destruction and more than 245,000 evacuees were transported by buses and helicopters to the state. The Red Cross set up its largest shelter ever at the Houston Astrodome, which housed more than 17,500 people.

The South Carolina Midlands, which is near Columbia, served as an emergency relief center for relocation efforts as well. About 15,000 people made their way to Columbia. South Carolina Representative James Clyburn and Columbia Mayor Bob Cole coordinated the response can called on their citizens and businesses to provide aid and comfort for the evacuees, many of who were housed in hotels and armories.

Rhode Island, Ohio and California also accepted survivors.

Mass Exodus

Katrina was one of the most destructive natural disasters ever recorded, and it caused one of the largest resettlements in American history. New Orleans had a population of about 455,000 prior to Katrina. According to government reports, the population fell to 223,000 by June 2006. Today it is estimate there now about 436,000 people living in the city of New Orleans, and 348,000 of these say they lived in New Orleans during Katrina and returned.

Many of the evacuees decided to rebuild their lives in New Orleans, but several others didn’t because the infrastructure to support employment and housing was lost in the aftermath of the storm. According the a 2008 University of Michigan report, over 58 percent of people over 30 returned. And for those under 30 years old less than 40 percent returned.


Florida ports prepare for Erika

Gale force winds generated by Tropical Storm Erika could force Florida container ports to close, US officials have warned.
Austin Gould, the US Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COPT) for the Port of Miami, on 27 August set port readiness at ‘Whiskey’ – a condition in which gale force winds are

West Africa Combats Piracy

By MarEx 2015-08-28 12:34:23

More than 20 nations are partnering with the Nigerian Navy to combat piracy. The Nigerians, naval officials from neighboring countries as well as U.N. representatives convened at the 2015 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) conference, which is hosted annually by Nigeria’s Navy in Lagos.

A key agenda of the conference is to build cooperation in Africa and increase coastal surveillance to enhance maritime security. Pirates along Africa’s west coast constantly disrupt commerce by stealing crude oil, poaching fish in territorial waters and robbing cargoes from ships and have murdered crew members.

Since 2008, piracy has spiked and Nigeria claims losses of about $2 billion per year. The Nigerian government said it loses $800 million due to illegal fishing and $9 million from piracy attacks and another $16 million to oil thefts and hundreds of millions that are paid in ransoms for ships and crews.

The chief of Nigerian naval operations said that while Africa has immense maritime resources the continent has a myriad of challenges. He pointed out that the Nigerian navy will increase its vigilance over maritime and combat piracy and oil theft.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) say it plans to have regular meetings with naval officials to coordinate anti-piracy efforts.

Recently, Nigeria has combated piracy by destroying 200 illegal oil refineries, 58 oil barges and arrested more than 80 pirate vessels.


Heightened Military Exercises Due to Chinese Expansion

By MarEx 2015-08-28 11:27:58

India and Australia are doing bilateral naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal in September. The military joint exercise is meant to be a show of force in response to a Chinese nuclear submarine, which sailed into the Indian Ocean last year. Chinese subs have also been seen in near Sri Lanka and Pakistan as well. The Chinese presence has motivated India to strengthen ties with Australia, Japan and the U.S.

The Australian High Commission in Delhi has stated that the exercises will include anti-submarine warfare and coordinated anti-submarine drills.

In October, the U.S., India and Japan will participate in week-long bilateral war game exercise in the Pacific. The ongoing military exercises in the region are due to growing concerns by U.S. allies because of China’s maritime expansion.

China has stated it is concerned about the increase of military exercises and said naval vessels are in the Indian Ocean simply to protect its interests. India responded that it reserves the right to strengthen its ties with the U.S., Australia and Japan