Tag Archives: U.S. Navy

Chinese Navy Pays a Visit to San Diego Bay and Naval Bases

Top Chinese admiral, Wu Shengli, visited the United States last week to get an inside tour of the fast-attack submarine located in the San Diego Bay. Although it may seem strange to hear of the U.S. and Chinese militaries becoming friendly, both parties are making attempts to strengthen communicative ties and ease Naval tensions.

Due to the rise of China’s maritime security, they’re a growing force that can’t be forgotten. Their relationship will hit a new historical level next summer when the Chinese Navy participates in the International Rim of the Pacific war games in Hawaii. This will mark their first year of participation with the U.S. and its Asian allies.

Some believe that the invite should not be extended to the Chinese military. Dean Cheng, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., explains, “RimPac is a multilateral exercise involving many of our closest allies, some of whom are having difficulty with China now.”

U.S. Navy officer, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, hosted the Chinese admiral during his stay in San Diego. Greenert stated, “China is a growing navy, and they are a large and very capable navy. You can’t just look at each other and say, ‘You’re here, I’m here, and leave me alone.’ We must have a dialogue.”

As the feeling towards benefiting the relations between the U.S. and China are mutual, the choice to invite China to RimPac as well as give Chinese Admiral Wu Shengli a close look at aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and submarine Jefferson City are valid. At the end of Shengli’s visit, he saw the Marines at Camp Pendleton.

As the United States continues to extend the olive branch, China lingers to reciprocate the friendly relation. As the largest seaforce in all of Asia, China is modern with a sophisticated submarine force and three new nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.

Both the U.S. Navy top officer and his visitor, Wu, were hopeful and optimistic about the two nations joining together in the American war games in Hawaii. In 2012 alone, China and the U.S. conducted two or more anti-piracy operations off the coast of Africa.

Officer Greenert added, “He studies us, and we know him and his agenda. And he’s been pretty clear on his agenda, it’s what common ground can we find. I have political leadership and you do, too, so what is the common ground we can reach.”

We will have an interesting story to follow as time continues. The relations between China and the U.S. look hopefully according to military affairs.

Photo Credit: Xiquinhosilva

USS Rentz leaves San Diego on 7-Month Anti-Drug Mission

The U.S. Navy frigate Rentz pulled out of San Diego Naval Base on Thursday, July 25 for a seven-month deployment to patrol the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean. Known for its contributions towards Operation Martillo, the crew of USS Rentz will continue to fight against drug traffickers and stop the flow of narcotics through this water passage.

Operation Martillo is a multinational act to reduce the amount of trafficking along coastal waters in Central America. The main mission of the Rentz will be to increase security within the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific waters and disrupt channels of narcotics and human trafficking.

Commanding officer of the Rentz, Commander Lance Lantier, shared his thoughts on the Rentz deployment: “It’s a very good mission, and we’re very good at it. It’s an extremely busy stretch of water.” Commander Lantier and his crew are not strangers to this area; this is their second deployment of this nature.

There will be a special drug interdiction team on the Navy ship, which will consist of the “Visit, Board, Search and Seizure team that will support the Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment. Another huge contributor to the team on USS Rentz is the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 49, which is based at North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado.

Frigate Rentz will also be participating in the 2013 multinational UNITAS maritime exercise in September. The exercise is an honor to attend and will be off the coast of Colombia in the South Caribbean. Other participants will be from Naval branches in Colombia, Honduras, Chile, Brazil, Peru, England, the Dominican Republic, and Canada.

Photo Credit: Marion Doss

Extremely Rare Artifact found by Navy on San Clemente Island

An extremely rare archeological treasure was found on San Clemente Island last week. The U.S. Navy recently discovered a prehistoric boat model made out of volcano lava about 90 miles off the San Diego coastline.

San Clemente Island, which is owned by the U.S. Navy and holds large training operations, is part of the southern Channel Islands. Although the island is uninhabited, there have been traces of human occupancy on the island dating back 10,000 years.

The recent finding of the prehistoric boat effigy happened in the center of the island. This newly discovered archaeological site is riddled with artifacts. According to a Navy news release, this boat effigy was first spotted during an archaeological survey.

The Senior Archaeologist for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest in San Diego had this to share about the incredible find: “Boat effigies like the one found are exceedingly rare in the archaeological record, with this being by first one recovered during my 30 year tenure…”

“The vesicle volcanic material used is hard and brittle but somehow they were able to craft a fine little carving out of it to represent an important part of their culture. This is something someone made representing a high skill level. This guy wasn’t just a technician, he was an artist. You can hold it and think about someone from 500 to 1,000 years ago.”

It is alleged that Native Americans had occupied San Clemente Island in earlier times. This boat effigy could definitely belong to the Native American inhabitants that once lived on the island.

Photo Credit: Ed Bierman

U.S. Navy and FBI Partner Up for Analysis of Bombs & Explosive Devices

The U.S. Navy and the FBI are forming a partnership in order to better investigate bombs and battlefield explosives. Allowing the two forces to work together will help to achieve more positive results on both ends.

In San Diego, the FBI and Navy have been working together for approximately a decade beginning at the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both parties were able to identify many benefits that would come from shared knowledge and skill sets.

According to Special Agent James Verdi, this assistance from the Navy had deemed itself to be very important. Verdi stated, “They invite us along on a lot of their training exercises to do range clearance operations. That teaches us the military ordnance side of the house: what bombs, artillery rounds, and munitions look like, so we can deal with them better if we see them.”

Because the Navy has a plethora of encounters with improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, it’s imperative for the FBI to work with the Navy in order to accurately be able to investigate and identify the sources of these weapons. EOD technicians also see how these same explosives can be used as an advantage for crime scene evidence.

Across the United States, you will find a tight-knit community of more than 3,200 non-military bomb technicians as well as 468 bomb squads. Although training together is extremely important for the safety of our nation, keeping consistency within these squadrons is key. Every bomb technician must go through the certification program conducted by the FBI and the Army. All bomb technicians must undergo training with EOD techs to ensure that all rules, laws, and techniques are congruent.

Many of the cases handled by the FBI and the Navy are unique. Lieutenant Abe Kim of the Navy’s EOD detachment on Coronado Island in San Diego did share some valuable points of the two forces joining together. Kim said, “Our jobs are very similar, although we have more experience with military ordnance and they have much more expertise in the counterterrorism portions of the job like explosives chemical analysis, explosives precursor knowledge, and so forth. We each bring different things to the table.”

Photo Credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery

USS Peleliu Heads Back to San Diego from Deployment in Middle East

USS Peleliu is back from deployment! The Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group includes ships, sailors, and Marines that are all returning from eight months of deployment to the Middle East.

According to the U.S. Navy, the members of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit are arriving at Camp Pendleton today. Naval Station San Diego will be expecting a visit on Tuesday from the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu, the amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay, and the amphibious dock landing USS Rushmore. All three ships will be in San Diego tomorrow!

The Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group was able to participate as a reserve force within the Middle Eastern region while conducting exercises and operations with allied militaries. The commanding officer of this ARG announced his pride for the eight months that his group spent at sea.

Commanding officer, Captain Shawn Lobree, talked about their responsibilities as an ARG stating, “Most significantly we helped maintain security in a volatile part of the world through missions which ranged from counter weapons proliferation, support to special forces, maritime security operations, and multilateral theater security cooperation exercises with countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Djibouti.”

Before the ships arrive in San Diego, each ship was allowed to ask friends and family members to participate in a “Tiger Cruise” where sailors and family and friends can voyage the last leg of the journey together from Hawaii to San Diego.

USS Peleliu is an amphibious assault ship named after the Battle of Peleliu during World War II. USS Peleliu was christened in 1980 and has been involved in multiple wars and uneasy times for the United States. Although it is uncertain, the USS Peleliu is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2013 or 2014 since it will be replaced with a newer America-class amphibious assault ship.

Photo Credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery