Outlook 2021: Steady trans-Atlantic trade sees demand rebound

[caption caption="US imports of beverages and spirits from the EU jumped 45 percent in October compared with June, when initial COVID-19 lockdowns ended on both sides of the Atlantic. Photo credit: Enrico Powell / Shutterstock.com."][/caption]T…

[caption caption="US imports of beverages and spirits from the EU jumped 45 percent in October compared with June, when initial COVID-19 lockdowns ended on both sides of the Atlantic. Photo credit: Enrico Powell / Shutterstock.com."][/caption]This story appears in the print edition of the Jan. 4, 2021, Journal of Commerce Annual...

Outlook 2021: Asia–Europe spot strength heralds sharp rise in contract rates

[caption caption="Asia–Europe container volumes declined for nine straight months before turning positive in August, September, and October. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]This story appears in the print edition of the Jan. 4, 2021,…

[caption caption="Asia–Europe container volumes declined for nine straight months before turning positive in August, September, and October. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]This story appears in the print edition of the Jan. 4, 2021, Journal of Commerce Annual Review and Outlook.Asia–Europe shippers reaching the end of their annual contracts should prepare their budgets...

Outlook 2021: Chassis providers eye equipment investments, regulatory cases

[caption caption="TRAC Intermodal, DCLI, and Flexi-Van Leasing, the three largest US chassis providers, all plan to add both new and refurbished units to their equipment fleets in 2021. Photo credit: DCLI."][/caption]This story appears in the p…

[caption caption="TRAC Intermodal, DCLI, and Flexi-Van Leasing, the three largest US chassis providers, all plan to add both new and refurbished units to their equipment fleets in 2021. Photo credit: DCLI."][/caption]This story appears in the print edition of the Jan. 4, 2021, Journal of Commerce Annual Review and Outlook.Two of...

Report on Navy Laser, Railgun and Gun-Launched Guided Projectiles

The following is the Dec. 23, 2020, Congressional Research Service report, Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Gun-Launched Guided Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress. Three new ship-based weapons being developed by the Navy—solid state lasers (SSLs), the electromagnetic railgun (EMRG), and the gun-launched guided projectile (GLGP), also known as the hypervelocity projectile (HVP)—could substantially improve the […]

The following is the Dec. 23, 2020, Congressional Research Service report, Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Gun-Launched Guided Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress.

Three new ship-based weapons being developed by the Navy—solid state lasers (SSLs), the electromagnetic railgun (EMRG), and the gun-launched guided projectile (GLGP), also known as the hypervelocity projectile (HVP)—could substantially improve the ability of Navy surface ships to defend themselves against surface craft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and eventually anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs).

The Navy has been developing SSLs for several years, and in 2014 installed on a Navy ship its first prototype SSL capable of countering surface craft and UAVs. The Navy since then has been developing and installing additional SSL prototypes with improved capability for countering surface craft and UAVs. Higher-power SSLs being developed by the Navy are to have a capability for countering ASCMs. Current Navy efforts to develop SSLs include:

  • the Solid State Laser Technology Maturation (SSL-TM) effort;
  • the Optical Dazzling Interdictor, Navy (ODIN);
  • the Surface Navy Laser Weapon System (SNLWS) Increment 1, also known as the high-energy laser with integrated optical dazzler and surveillance (HELIOS); and
  • the High Energy Laser Counter-ASCM Program (HELCAP).

The first three efforts above are included in what the Navy calls the Navy Laser Family of Systems (NFLoS) effort. NFLOS and HELCAP, along with technologies developed by other parts of DOD, are to support the development of future, more capable shipboard lasers.

The Navy has been developing EMRG for several years. It was originally conceived as a naval surface fire support (NSFS) weapon for supporting Marines and other friendly forces ashore. Subsequently, it was determined that EMRG could also be used for air and missile defense, which strengthened Navy interest in EMRG development. The Navy is continuing development work on EMRG, but it is unclear when production-model EMRGs will be installed on Navy ships. The Navy’s FY2021 budget submission requests $9.5 million in FY2021 for continued development of EMRG, but does not appear to program any additional development funding for EMRG in FY2022-FY2025.

As the Navy was developing EMRG, it realized that the guided projectile being developed for EMRG could also be fired from powder guns, including 5-inch guns on Navy cruisers and destroyers and 155 mm artillery guns operated by the Army and Marine Corps. The concept of firing the projectile from powder guns is referred to as GLGP and HVP. One potential advantage of HVP/GLGP is that, once developed, it can be rapidly deployed on Navy cruisers and destroyers and in Army and Marine Corps artillery units, because the powder guns in question already exist.

In addition to the question of whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy’s FY2021 funding requests for SSLs, EMRG, and HVP/GLGP, issues for Congress include the following:

  • whether the Navy is moving too quickly, too slowly, or at about the right speed in its efforts to develop these weapons;
  • the Navy’s plans for transitioning these weapons from development to procurement and fielding of production models aboard Navy ships; and
  • whether Navy the Navy’s shipbuilding plans include ships with appropriate amounts of space, weight, electrical power, and cooling capacity to accommodate these weapons.

Download document here.

Document: Trump Letter on Veto of FY 2021 Defense Authorization Bill

The following is the text of the letter President Donald Trump sent to Congress as part of his veto of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 on Dec. 23, 2020. TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: I am returning, without my approval, H.R. 6395, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (the “Act”). […]

The following is the text of the letter President Donald Trump sent to Congress as part of his veto of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 on Dec. 23, 2020.

TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

I am returning, without my approval, H.R. 6395, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (the “Act”). My Administration recognizes the importance of the Act to our national security. Unfortunately, the Act fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military’s history, and contradicts efforts by my Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions. It is a “gift” to China and Russia.

No one has worked harder, or approved more money for the military, than I have — over $2 trillion. During my 4 years, with the support of many others, we have almost entirely rebuilt the United States military, which was totally depleted when I took office. Your failure to terminate the very dangerous national security risk of Section 230 will make our intelligence virtually impossible to conduct without everyone knowing what we are doing at every step.

The Act fails even to make any meaningful changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, despite bipartisan calls for repealing that provision. Section 230 facilitates the spread of foreign disinformation online, which is a serious threat to our national security and election integrity. It must be repealed.

Additionally, the Act includes language that would require the renaming of certain military installations. Over the course of United States history, these locations have taken on significance to the American story and those who have helped write it that far transcends their namesakes. My Administration respects the legacy of the millions of American servicemen and women who have served with honor at these military bases, and who, from these locations, have fought, bled, and died for their country. From these facilities, we have won two World Wars. I have been clear in my opposition to politically motivated attempts like this to wash away history and to dishonor the immense progress our country has fought for in realizing our founding principles.

The Act also restricts the President’s ability to preserve our Nation’s security by arbitrarily limiting the amount of military construction funds that can be used to respond to a national emergency. In a time when adversaries have the means to directly attack the homeland, the President must be able to safeguard the American people without having to wait for congressional authorization. The Act also contains an amendment that would slow down the rollout of nationwide 5G, especially in rural areas.

Numerous provisions of the Act directly contradict my Administration’s foreign policy, particularly my efforts to bring our troops home. I oppose endless wars, as does the American public. Over bipartisan objections, however, this Act purports to restrict the President’s ability to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Germany, and South Korea. Not only is this bad policy, but it is unconstitutional. Article II of the Constitution makes the President the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States and vests in him the executive power. Therefore, the decision regarding how many troops to deploy and where, including in Afghanistan, Germany, and South Korea, rests with him. The Congress may not arrogate this authority to itself directly or indirectly as purported spending restrictions.

For all of these reasons, I cannot support this bill. My Administration has taken strong actions to help keep our Nation safe and support our service members. I will not approve this bill, which would put the interests of the Washington, D.C. establishment over those of the American people. It is my duty to return H.R. 6395 to the House of Representatives without my approval.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 23, 2020.

Cargo surge causes up to two-week dray backlog in Miami

[caption caption="Miami had a 10 percent increase in laden imports year over year, with the largest increase in cargo through the Seaboard Marine terminal, which mainly handles north-south Latin American trade. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."]…

[caption caption="Miami had a 10 percent increase in laden imports year over year, with the largest increase in cargo through the Seaboard Marine terminal, which mainly handles north-south Latin American trade. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]South Florida’s drayage network is under strain as 2020 comes to an end after an unusual December...

Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group Begins Second 2020 Deployment

Aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), its escorts and its embarked air wing began its second deployment in a year, the service announced on Wednesday. The deployment of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group began at the completion of a sustainment exercise that began shortly after the carrier left San Diego earlier in December. “Completing […]

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) transits the Pacific Ocean on Dec. 18, 2020. US Navy Photo

Aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), its escorts and its embarked air wing began its second deployment in a year, the service announced on Wednesday.

The deployment of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group began at the completion of a sustainment exercise that began shortly after the carrier left San Diego earlier in December.

“Completing SUSTEX confirmed that Carrier Strike Group Nine is ready to sail west to preserve freedom of the seas, deter aggression, and if necessary, win against any competitor,” CSG 9 commander Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, Commander said in a Navy statement.
“The entire strike group team came together during a challenging time to train and ultimately prove that it is ready to answer any call.”

The strike group and the air wing have been in isolation since mid-November ahead of the deployment.

The deployment is the second for the strike group this year. Theodore Roosevelt deployed from January to July in a deployment that was marred by a COVID-19 outbreak that infected more than 1,200 of the 4,800 sailors assigned to the carrier and killed one, Aviation Ordnanceman Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker Jr.

The so-called double-pump deployment has highlighted how the Navy carrier’s force is under strain with too few hulls available to meet the demands of combatant commanders. Carrier operations are at their highest rate in a decade with several carriers unable to deploy currently in maintenance availabilities, USNI News reported earlier this year. On the East Coast, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group plans to deploy early next year for its own double-pump deployment.

The TR CSG is deploying with two escorts from the earlier 2020 deployment – guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (DDG-52) and guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG-59) as part of Destroyer Squadron 23. The CSG will also include the destroyer USS John Finn (DDG-113).

While the Navy has not indicated where the carrier will deploy, the small number of escorts implies that the strike group will largely stay in the Western Pacific and not relieve USS Nimitz (CVN-68) from its position operating in the Middle East, USNI News understands.

“Our sailors worked incredibly hard to make sure we set sail with a healthy, capable, and ready crew,” Capt. Eric Anduze, Theodore Roosevelt’s commanding officer, said in a statement.
“Our success is a testament to the professionalism and dedication of our team and the support of our families and loved ones.”

An E/A-18G Growler, assigned to the ‘Gray Wolves’ of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142) is taxied to a catapult on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) on Dec. 17, 2020. US Navy Photo

The following is the composition of the TR CSG.

Carrier Strike Group 9
The San Diego-based CSG 9 commands the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and is embarked on the carrier.

Aircraft carrier
USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), homeported in San Diego, Calif.

Carrier Air Wing 11

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., is embarked aboard Theodore Roosevelt and includes a total of nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Tomcatters” of VFA-31 – Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) – from Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
  • The “Golden Warriors” of VFA-87 from Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
  • The “Blue Diamonds” of VFA-146 from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Black Knights” of VFA-154 from Naval Air Station Lemoore – Calif.
  • The “Gray Wolves” of VAQ-142 – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island – Wash.
  • The “Liberty Bells” of VAW-115 – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif.
  • The “Providers” of VRC-30 – Detachment – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
  • The “Eight Ballers” of HSC-8 – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
  • The “Wolf Pack” of HSM-75 – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.

Cruiser

  • USS Bunker Hill (CG-52), homeported in San Diego, Calif.

Destroyer Squadron 23
Destroyer Squadron 23 is based in San Diego and is embarked on the carrier.

  • USS Russell (DDG-59), homeported in San Diego, Calif.
  • USS John Finn (DDG-113), homeported in San Diego, Calif.

THE Alliance adding capacity to growing Asia–US Gulf trade

[caption caption="Growth in Asian imports to the Gulf Coast skyrocketed 64.3 percent in November, more than double the year-over-year percentage growth seen on the East and West coasts. Photo credit: Port NOLA."][/caption]After a second half of…

[caption caption="Growth in Asian imports to the Gulf Coast skyrocketed 64.3 percent in November, more than double the year-over-year percentage growth seen on the East and West coasts. Photo credit: Port NOLA."][/caption]After a second half of 2020 in which unprecedented trans-Pacific container volumes caused severe congestion up and down Southern...

First Female Nuclear Carrier CO Will Command USS Abraham Lincoln

Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, a veteran pilot, will take the helm of the Nimitz-class USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), becoming the first woman to command an aircraft carrier, the Navy announced Wednesday. Bauernschmidt will take command of Lincoln this summer after she completes nuclear power, aviation and leadership training the Navy require of officers assigned to command […]

Capt. Amy N. Bauernschmidt, then commanding officer of USS San Diego (LPD-22), met with Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russel Smith during MCPON’s visit to the ship in 2019. US Navy Photo

Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, a veteran pilot, will take the helm of the Nimitz-class USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), becoming the first woman to command an aircraft carrier, the Navy announced Wednesday.

Bauernschmidt will take command of Lincoln this summer after she completes nuclear power, aviation and leadership training the Navy require of officers assigned to command its 11-ship fleet of aircraft carriers, according to the service.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to be selected,” Bauernschmidt said in a Navy news release. “I love leading sailors and I take that responsibility extremely seriously.”

Bauernschmidt, a 1994 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was the first woman selected by the major command screening board, Task and Purpose reported Dec. 7.

She had already marked another CVN first for female officers, according to the Navy: She was the first woman to serve as executive officer during her September 2016 to January 2019 tour aboard Lincoln. She’s most recently commanded the amphibious warship USS San Diego (LPD-22). She left the ship in October.

Bauernschmidt’s 1994 USNA graduating class was the first whose women were allowed to serve aboard combatant ships and aircraft. A native of Milwaukee, Wisc., she earned her naval aviator wings in 1996, according to her biography. She has tallied more than 3,000 flight hours in naval aircraft.

Assigned to the “Wolfpack” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 45, an SH-60 squadron at North Island Naval Air Station, Calif., she deployed with the destroyer USS John Young (DD-973) and supported maritime interdiction operations in the northern Arabian Gulf. She served as an instructor pilot and quality assurance officer with the “Seahawks” of HSL-41, a Fleet Replacement Squadron based at North Island.

A young boy watches sailors man-the-rails aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) on Jan. 20, 2020. US Navy Photo

In other squadron tours, she deployed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) while serving with the “Warlords” of HSL-51 in Atsugi, Japan. She served as the executive officer with the “Spartans” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 70 including a deployment aboard USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, before taking command of the squadron June 2011. During those assignments, HSM-70 received the 2011 Admiral Jimmy Thach and Captain Arnold J. Isbell awards for tactical innovation and excellence and the 2012 Battle “E” Efficiency award.

Other assignments included aide-de-camp to Commander, Carrier Strike Group 7, deployed aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74); action officer executive assistant to the Director, Joint Staff/J6 at the Pentagon; and senior military advisor to the Office of Global Women’s Issues for the U.S. State Department.

Earlier this year, Lincoln returned home after an extended deployment following a 2019 homeport change and operations in four geographic regions: U.S. 6th Fleet, U.S. 5th Fleet, U.S. 7th Fleet and U.S. 3rd Fleet.

Outlook 2021: Lack of surge capacity leaves shipping vulnerable to external shocks

[caption caption=”As of Dec. 12, there were 18 container ships awaiting berth off the ports of Los Angeles (pictured) and Long Beach, the most severe backup since the months-long West Coast longshore labor dispute in 2014-15. Photo credit: Unde…

[caption caption="As of Dec. 12, there were 18 container ships awaiting berth off the ports of Los Angeles (pictured) and Long Beach, the most severe backup since the months-long West Coast longshore labor dispute in 2014-15. Photo credit: Underawesternsky/Shutterstock.com."][/caption]This story appears in the print edition of the Jan. 4, 2021...