Daily Archives: February 1, 2013

USS San Francisco arrives in S. Korea

U.S. nuclear-powered submarine arrives in S. Korea for joint drill
A U.S. nuclear-powered submarine arrived in the southeastern port city of Jinhae for joint naval drills with South Korea, military officials said Friday, in a move seen as a warning to North Korea ahead of what may be an imminent nuclear test.

USS San Francisco (SSN-711), a 6,800-ton Los Angeles-class submarine, has been anchored at a naval base in Jinhae, 410 kilometers southeast of Seoul, since Thursday to prepare for joint drills slated for next week, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

A 9,800-ton cruiser equipped with missiles and torpedoes as well as naval combat helicopters also arrived in the southern port city of Busan, on the same day, it said.

USS SAn Francicos (SSN-711) anchored at a naval base in Jinhae for joint drills with South Korea ahead of North Korea’s planned nuclear test. (Yonhap)

The port call came as tensions rose on the Korean Peninsula after the North last month warned of a nuclear test in response to the U.N. Security Council’s increased sanctions on Pyongyang for its December rocket launch.

A new nuclear test would mark the North’s third since two previous tests in 2006 and 2009.

The two U.S. ships and 10 Korean warships, including Aegis destroyers and battle ships, will carry out the joint exercises in the East Sea to test combat readiness between the two sides, the JCS said, though a specific date has not yet been confirmed.

In a visit to the naval base in Jinhae, JCS Chairman Jung Seung-jo said Thursday the North has nearly completed its preparations for a nuclear test at its Punggye-ri testing location, noting increased activity spotted by satellites near the nuclear site.

“We are closely looking into whether (increased activity) is a manipulating tactic or preparations for a nuclear test indeed,” Jung told reporters, during a tour of the submarine. “The North is ready to conduct an atomic test at any time if the leadership makes a decision.”

Jung Seung-jo, the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, visits a naval base in the southeastern city of Jinhae. (Yonhap)

Although U.S. nuclear-powered submarines have occasionally made port calls in the past, Jung said the latest visit is “meaningful because it is for joint drills.”

“The upcoming drill, which had already been planned, is not targeted for (North Korea’s) nuclear test,” Jung told reporters, adding that the exercise is aimed at coping with possible North Korean provocations involving submarines.

Jung did not elaborate when the two sides had agreed on the exercise plan.

Military officials in Seoul expect the exercise will show their determination to respond sternly if the communist nation defies a chorus of international warnings.

“Although it is a pre-planned exercise, this upcoming joint drill will send a message to North Korea that any misbehavior will not be overlooked,” the official said, asking for anonymity due to sensitivity of the issue.

After the North warned of “substantial and high-profile important state measures,” senior military officials have visited front-line units to order vigilance in an effort to add pressure on the isolated state to drop the test plan, which is feared to raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

In a meeting with top security ministers Thursday, President Lee Myung-bak warned of “grave consequences” if Pyongyang moves forward with the test, urging the defense minister, spy chief and national security advisers to maintain strong military preparedness against any provocations from the North.
About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea as a deterrence against North Korea, after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

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U.S. submarines and remote troops will get to watch the Super Bowl

This Sunday, U.S. troops based on submarines and ships in the Persian Gulf, the Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean, will be receiving classified drone video feeds in order to get in on this year’s Super Bowl action. The high tech video feed will also be transferred to remote outposts in Afghanistan, so the troops there won’t have to miss out on the big game either.

US Sumbarine

Although missing out on the expensive hyped up commercials because of contractual rules, this allows thousands of remote personnel to see Joe Flacco and his team take on Colin Kaepernick and his team, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

The technology involves hopping from satellite to satellite resulting in a one or two second delay of the signal, nary a concern for a TV-deprived group of football fans. This broadcast, leveraging the Global Broadcast Service (GBS), in parnterhip with the American Forces Radio and Television Service, Raytheon and the U.S. Air Force, is a great way to boost morale for the troops.

Other major sporting events have been trasmitted using this Global Broadcast Service in the past including World Series, NCAA Tournament final four and the Alabama vs. Notre Dame National Championship game.

The Super Bowl feed will be transferred to a receiver from an antenna atop the masts, then ported to flat panel screens around the submarine or ship.

Besides having the ability to watch major games to “stay connected” with their country, the GBS technology, more importantly allows the troops, regardless of where they are on the Earth (including above or below), to communicate with each other and pass along much needed data for security and safety.

It is Raytheon’s Navy Multiband Terminal’s (NMT), one of three types of terminals that support the Army, Navy and Air Force, that communicate with the satellites allowing the transmission of text, voice and video data.

Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites, the military’s newest satellite technology, has increased data transfer rates to more than five times their predecessors. All three of Raytheon’s terminal types, including the Navy Multiband Terminal’s mentioned previously, have tested well with this new satellite technology.

With the intent on adding terminals to over 300 U.S. Navy ships, subs and shore stations in the future, the “big game” can be seen by more people in more places, hopefully in time to boost much needed morale and provide the home-connection they long for.

Source – DTV USA Forum