Maersk continues logistics expansion with Grindrod tie-up in South Africa

[caption caption="Maersk will take a 51 percent stake in the Grindrod joint venture, which will enable it to offer port and intermodal services in South Africa and the surrounding region. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Maersk plans …

[caption caption="Maersk will take a 51 percent stake in the Grindrod joint venture, which will enable it to offer port and intermodal services in South Africa and the surrounding region. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Maersk plans to expand its “integrated” logistics offering in South Africa via a joint venture with Durban-based forwarder and terminal operator Grindrod,...

Shippers, truckers must look beyond current disruption to create capacity

[caption caption="Shippers and truckers must simultaneously meet today’s demands and plan for a better tomorrow; that’s not an “either/or” proposition. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]The supply chain has become national news, as shi…

[caption caption="Shippers and truckers must simultaneously meet today’s demands and plan for a better tomorrow; that’s not an “either/or” proposition. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]The supply chain has become national news, as shippers, truckers, and intermediaries deal with unprecedented demand. It would be a mistake, however, to assume we’re in some sort of...

Not a given port congestion will last through 2022: Global Shippers Forum

[caption caption="Ports are struggling to ease congestion in Asia, the US, and North Europe. Photo credit: Shutterstock"][/caption]The Global Shippers’ Forum has questioned whether congestion across key shipping&nb…

[caption caption="Ports are struggling to ease congestion in Asia, the US, and North Europe. Photo credit: Shutterstock"][/caption]The Global Shippers’ Forum has questioned whether congestion across key shipping trade lanes will continue through 2022, labeling the view as “hype” by carriers seeking to extend their run of record profitability. Addressing a high-level maritime dialogue session hosted by the International Association of Freight Forwarders (FIATA) in Zurich last week, Global Shippers’ Forum director James...

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Nov. 15, 2021

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Nov. 15, 2021, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship. Total U.S. Navy Battle […]

USNI News Graphic

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Nov. 15, 2021, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.

Total U.S. Navy Battle Force:

294

Ships Underway

Deployed Ships Underway Non-deployed Ships Underway Total Ships Underway
51 27 78

In Japan

Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of Staff, Japan Joint Staff, Warrant Officer Shigeru Sawada tours the ship’s museum aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) on Nov. 8, 2021. US Navy Photo

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is in port in Yokosuka, Japan.

In the Sea of Japan

Sailors assigned to the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) raise a seven meter small boat on replenishment-at-sea station seven during a man overboard drill on Nov. 5, 2021. US Navy Photo

The America Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) is underway in the Sea of Japan.

In Guam

Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) transits the Philippine Sea to Guam for a port visit on Nov. 11, 2021. US Navy Photo

The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group (CSG) entered port in Guam on Nov. 11.

Aircraft carrier
USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), homeported in San Diego, Calif.

Carrier Air Wing 2

Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) transits to Naval Base Guam for a port visit on Nov. 11, 2021. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., is embarked aboard Carl Vinson and includes a total of nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Argonauts” of VFA-147 Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) flying F-35Cs from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Bounty Hunters” of VFA-2 – F/A-18F – from Naval Air Station Lemoore.
  • The “Stingers” of VFA-113 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore.
  • The “Golden Dragons” of VFA-192 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore.
  • The “Gauntlets” of VAQ-136 – EA-18G – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
  • The “Black Eagles” of VAW-113 – E-2D – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif.
  • The “Titans” of VRM-30 – CMV-22B – Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) – from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
  • The “Black Knights” of HSC-4 – MH-60S – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Station North Island.
  • The “Blue Hawks” of HSM-78 – MH-60R – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Station North Island.

Cruiser

Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG-57) transits the South China Sea on Nov. 4, 2021. US Navy Photo

USS Lake Champlain (CG-57), homeported in San Diego, Calif.

Destroyer Squadron 1

Quartermaster 1st Class Mark Davis, (left), from Somerset, N.J., and Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Kevon Martin, (right), from New York, conduct enlisted surface warfare training in the pilot house aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG-105) on Nov. 11, 2021. US Navy Photo

Destroyer Squadron 1 is based in San Diego and is embarked on the carrier.

  • USS Dewey (DDG-105), homeported in San Diego, Calif.
  • USS O’Kane (DDG-77), homeported in San Diego.
  • USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112), homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
  • USS Chafee (DDG-90), homeported in Pearl Harbor.
  • USS Stockdale (DDG-106), homeported in San Diego.

In the Persian Gulf

11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) celebrates the Marine Corps 246th birthday on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD-2) on Nov. 10, 2021. US Navy Photo

The Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed Aug. 12 and is back in the Persian Gulf.

According to the Navy, “the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD-2) and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) conducted bilateral interoperability training with the Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) and embarked the ‘Wake Island Avengers’ Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 in the Gulf of Oman, Nov. 8. Amphibious transport dock USS Portland (LPD-27) has recently been operating in the Red Sea.

VMFA-211 cross-decked F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters from Queen Elizabeth to Essex.

“We are privileged to have had this opportunity to train alongside a longstanding NATO ally in the Middle East. Our integrated aircraft training with HMS Queen Elizabeth has helped demonstrate our efficacy in the region and our commitment to maritime security and stability worldwide,” said Capt. DeWayne Sanders, the commodore of Amphibious Squadron One (CPR 1).

Marines flying a UH-1Y Venom attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 165 (Reinforced), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, flies past HMS Queen Elizabeth while a Royal Navy pilot with the United Kingdom’s 617 Squadron taxis on the flight deck in the Arabian Sea on Nov. 8, 2021. US Marine Corps Photo

In addition to the F-35Bs, the Royal Navy cross-decked Merlin MK4’s, attached to 845 Naval Air Squadron (NAS), accomplishing routine deck landings aboard Essex.

UH-1Y Venom helicopters and MV-22B Ospreys tiltrotors, attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 165 (Reinforced), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), conducted cross-deck landings on Queen Elizabeth.

Commodore Steve Moorhouse, commander of the U.K.’s Carrier Strike Group, stated: “The force development work we have been undertaking with the U.S. Navy has been groundbreaking. We are all comfortable with helicopters lilly-padding from one deck to another but doing it with fixed-wing aircraft is a whole new game. This level of interoperability goes far beyond anything we have exercised before with any partner and offers a degree of flexibility and agility that Commanders have long dreamt of.”

Meanwhile, a recently posted video shows an Iranian helicopter flying close to Essex.

The ARG is comprised of three ships: landing helicopter dock USS Essex (LHD-2), amphibious transport dock USS Portland (LPD-27) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD-52). Together the 11th MEU, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 1 and ships are designated as an ARG/MEU. In addition to the ships, the principal Navy elements of the ARG are a Naval Beach Group element, the Tactical Air Control Squadron element, a fleet surgical team and a helicopter sea combat squadron element.

The 11th MEU consists of four major components: a command element, a ground combat element, an aviation combat element, and a logistics combat element. The 11th MEU is comprised of Battalion Landing Team 1/1, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 165 (Reinforced), Marine Attack Squadron 214 and Combat Logistics Battalion 11.

The U.K. Royal Navy Carrier Strike Group, led by Queen Elizabeth, is on the tail-end of its current deployment and is making its way back to the Mediterranean Sea and the U.K. The U.K. CSG has included: Type 23 anti-submarine frigates HMS Richmond (F239) and HMS Kent (F78); Type 45 guided-missile destroyers HMS Defender (D36) and HMS Diamond (D34); Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s RFA Fort Victoria and RFA Tidespring; and Dutch frigate HNLMS Evertsen (F805). Guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG-68) had deployed with the strike group but has detached and headed back home. The CSG has been accompanied by a U.K. Royal Navy nuclear attack boat. The “Wake Island Avengers” of U.S. Marine Corps Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 are embarked and integrated with the Royal Air Force 617 Squadron “The Dambusters.”

In the Black Sea

Blue Ridge-class USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20) departs the Black Sea and transits Bosphorus carrying the “Dragon Whales” of Helicopter Sea Combat (HSC) Squadron 28 MH-60S Knight Hawks on Nov. 15, 2021. Photo by Yörük Işık‏ used with permission

Two U.S. warships have recently operated in the Black Sea in support of NATO operations in the region.

Europe-based command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20) and guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG-78) have been in the region for two weeks. Porter entered the Black Sea on Oct. 30, while Mount Whitney entered the Black Sea on Nov. 4. The ships spent most of last week in Batumi, Georgia. Mount Whitney departed the Black Sea on Nov. 15.

In the Eastern Pacific

An F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, assigned to “The Black Knights” of Marine Wing Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314, launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72). US Marine Corps Photo

The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is underway in the Southern California Operating Areas.

In the Atlantic

Damage Controlman 3rd Class Diana Taber tests the showers at a decontamination station aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on Nov. 9, 2021. US Navy Photo

USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) departed from Naval Station Norfolk, Va., this morning as part of a series of underways after the completion of an extensive maintenance period.

In addition to these major formations, not shown are others serving in submarines, individual surface ships, aircraft squadrons, SEALs, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Forces, Seabees, Coast Guard cutters, EOD Mobile Units, and more serving throughout the globe.

Container usage fees soaring in 2021: shippers

[caption caption=" Shippers said they need to know when a container is available for pick up and the time stamp when it leaves the terminal before demurrage should start. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Along with record tr…

[caption caption=" Shippers said they need to know when a container is available for pick up and the time stamp when it leaves the terminal before demurrage should start. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Along with record trans-Pacific freight rates, shippers say they are being slammed with higher-than-ever surcharges on the use of ocean containers, a phenomenon which nationwide port congestion has...

LA-LB excess container dwell fees ultimately shipper fees

Notwithstanding certain notices to the contrary provided recently by industry segments, it is our view that the Container Excess Dwell Fees, pursuant to Federal Maritime Commission regulations, are not subject to the 30 day-wait which is general…

Notwithstanding certain notices to the contrary provided recently by industry segments, it is our view that the Container Excess Dwell Fees, pursuant to Federal Maritime Commission regulations, are not subject to the 30 day-wait which is generally imposed on rates or charges which are initial rates/charges, or which will increase...

Attack Boat New Jersey Christened as Sub Construction Continues Pandemic Recovery

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Nuclear attack boat New Jersey (SSN-796) was christened on Saturday as shipbuilder Newport News continues to recover from the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on submarine construction. The ceremony naming New Jersey — the fifth Block IV Virginia nuclear attack boat — comes as the two yards responsible for building […]

Ship’s sponsor Susan DiMarco christens attack submarine New Jersey (SSN-796) on Nov. 13, 2021 at Newport News Shipbuilding. Also pictured (left to right) are Cmdr. Carlos Otero ship’s commanding officer; retired Adm. Michael Mullen and Jennifer Boykin, president of Newport News Shipbuilding. HII Photo

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Nuclear attack boat New Jersey (SSN-796) was christened on Saturday as shipbuilder Newport News continues to recover from the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on submarine construction.

The ceremony naming New Jersey — the fifth Block IV Virginia nuclear attack boat — comes as the two yards responsible for building U.S. nuclear submarines continue to recover from pandmeic delays and prepare for the construction of the Columbia-class (SSBN-826) nuclear ballistic missile submarine.

“During COVID last year, we did have to make some prioritization decisions based on a significant reduction of our workforce here, and we prioritized through collaboration with the Navy, really the vessels that were closest to delivery,” Jason Ward, Huntington Ingalls Industries’ vice president of Virginia-class submarine construction, told USNI News on Friday at the shipyard.

Builders Newport News and General Dynamics Electric Boat each build components of the Virginia-class submarines and barge the sections to each other’s yard for final assembly.

According to a June report from the Government Accountability Office, eight of the ten Block IV Virginias have been delayed about four months on average and put follow-on Block Vs at risk.

The yards “stated that the overall increase in submarine workload and resulting increase of inexperienced new hires at both the suppliers and the shipbuilders, along with long-term challenges meeting staffing levels, are driving these unfavorable cost trends for both blocks,” reads the GAO report.

Attack boat New Jersey on Nov. 12, 2021 at Newport News Shipbuilding. USNI News Photo

Both yards are balancing the boats under ongoing construction with the demands of Columbia-class submarine production.

“The important part of the Virginia program is really about cadence,” Ward said. “Two [boats] per year is really what enables a six-month build cadence that supports efficiency, learning curve [and] cost advantages [for] a stable production.”

To that end, EB, HII and the Navy are taking an integrated approach to building Navy’s nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, Ward said.

“Coupled with that strategic initiative is the support from Congress with supplier development funds to invest in industrial capacity and capability to support the increased demand for these weapons systems,” Ward said.

The two yards have studied the capital investment needed to produce three Virginia-class submarines a year. Ward said expanding the yard to reach that goal would take four to five years.

Attack boat New Jersey on Nov. 12, 2021, at Newport News Shipbuilding. USNI News Photo

In the short term, Newport News is building 200-foot extensions on its construction bays to accommodate the Block V Virginia Payload Module’s planned 84-foot extension.

Attack submarines are a key advantage the U.S. has over geopolitical strategic competitors China and Russia.

New Jersey and her sister ships will fill an ever-increasing need to counter Russia in the Atlantic, and China’s growing anti-access threats in the western Pacific,” Vice Adm. Johnny Wolfe, the head of the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs, said in a speech during the ceremony.

“Why is each submarine we build more capable than the one before it? The answer is, it’s because our adversaries are working tirelessly to do the same,” he added.

Report to Congress on Emerging Military Technologies

The following is the Nov. 10, 2021 Congressional Research Service report, Emerging Military Technologies: Background and Issues for Congress. From the report Members of Congress and Pentagon officials are increasingly focused on developing emerging military technologies to enhance U.S. national security and keep pace with U.S. competitors. The U.S. military has long relied upon technological […]

The following is the Nov. 10, 2021 Congressional Research Service report, Emerging Military Technologies: Background and Issues for Congress.

From the report

Members of Congress and Pentagon officials are increasingly focused on developing emerging military technologies to enhance U.S. national security and keep pace with U.S. competitors. The U.S. military has long relied upon technological superiority to ensure its dominance in conflict and to underwrite U.S. national security. In recent years, however, technology has both rapidly evolved and rapidly proliferated—largely as a result of advances in the commercial sector. As former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel observed, this development has threatened to erode the United States’ traditional sources of military advantage. The Department of Defense (DOD) has undertaken a number of initiatives to arrest this trend. For example, in 2014, DOD announced the Third Offset Strategy, an effort to exploit emerging technologies for military and security purposes as well as associated strategies, tactics, and concepts of operation. In support of this strategy, DOD established a number of organizations focused on defense innovation, including the Defense Innovation Unit and the Defense Wargaming Alignment Group.

More recently, the 2018 National Defense Strategy echoed the underpinnings of the Third Offset Strategy, noting that U.S. national security will likely be affected by rapid technological advancements and the changing character of war…. New technologies include advanced computing, “big data” analytics, artificial intelligence, autonomy, robotics, directed energy, hypersonics, and biotechnology—the very technologies that ensure we will be able to fight and win the wars of the future.

The United States is the leader in developing many of these technologies. However, China and Russia—key strategic competitors—are making steady progress in developing advanced military technologies. As these technologies are integrated into foreign and domestic military forces and deployed, they could hold significant implications for the future of international security writ large, and will have to be a significant focus for Congress, both in terms of funding and program oversight.

This report provides an overview of selected emerging military technologies in the United States, China, and Russia:

  • artificial intelligence,
  • lethal autonomous weapons,
  • hypersonic weapons,
  • directed energy weapons,
  • biotechnology, and
  • quantum technology.

It also discusses relevant initiatives within international institutions to monitor or regulate these technologies, considers the potential implications of emerging military technologies for warfighting, and outlines associated issues for Congress. These issues include the level and stability of funding for emerging technologies, the management structure for emerging technologies, the challenges associated with recruiting and retaining technology workers, the acquisitions process for rapidly evolving and dual-use technologies, the protection of emerging technologies from theft and expropriation, and the governance and regulation of emerging technologies. Such issues could hold implications for congressional authorization, appropriation, oversight, and treaty-making.

Download the document here.

SoCal excessive dwell fees could discourage intermodal rail moves: BNSF, UP

[caption caption="The excessive container dwell fees kick into place after six days for rail and nine days for truck, which concerns the western US railroads. Photo credit: Drew Halverson/Shutterstock.com."][/caption]BNSF Railway and Union Paci…

[caption caption="The excessive container dwell fees kick into place after six days for rail and nine days for truck, which concerns the western US railroads. Photo credit: Drew Halverson/Shutterstock.com."][/caption]BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad are concerned that port officials in Los Angeles and Long Beach are providing less time to...

Port Performance North America: Where Are the Pressure Points?

Moderator: Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor, West Coast, JOC, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit Speaker(s): TBC *Check back soon for more information! Interested in sponsoring this webcast? For more information, please visit ht…

Moderator: Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor, West Coast, JOC, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit Speaker(s): TBC *Check back soon for more information! Interested in sponsoring this webcast? For more information, please visit https://subscribe.joc.com/mediasolutions/...