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USS Bataan

The Picture and  article from: Two U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft operate alongside amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5) and guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) in the Gulf of Oman, Aug. 17, 2023. US Navy Photo

Global/SFC Valve has an order from the USS Bataan.

Amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5) and landing dock ship USS Carter Hall (LSD-50), sailing on orders to the Persian Gulf region, crossed the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, USNI has learned.

Both ships, part of the three-ship, 4,000-member Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, left Norfolk, Va., July 10 as a crisis-response force for U.S. Naval Forces Europe, and are carrying elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable).

The Bataan ARG includes Amphibious Squadron 8, Fleet Surgical Team 8, Tactical Air Control Squadron 21, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26, Assault Craft Unit 4 and Beach Master Unit 2. The 26th MEU(SOC), based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., includes Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 6th Marines; Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162 (Reinforced); and Combat Logistics Battalion 22.

In late July, part of the ARG/MEU got redeployment orders to the U.S. Central Command, and, this week, joins other warships operating in the region as part of the U.S. response to Iran’s continuing threats and attempted seizures of commercial vessels transiting the Strait of Hormuz. Those include the July 5 attempted seizure of an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman before the destroyer USS McFaul (DDG-74) arrived on the scene.

Iran’s recent maritime actions against merchant ships and, at times, military vessels in the region have continued despite a beefed-up presence of military assets since the spring and the 2019 establishment of the Coalition Task Force Sentinel. That operational arm of the International Maritime Security Construct formed in response to Iran’s threats to freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade in international waters. Members of the 11-nation coalition join in routine patrols and in Sentinel Shield interoperability exercises in the region.

A Defense Department official declined to say whether the recent addition of U.S. forces to the region has deterred Iran’s malignant maritime moves.

“This is a trend that we will follow over time,” Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said during a Thursday press briefing at the Pentagon. “We believe that we are having a deterrent effect by working closely with our allies and our partners in the region. But it’s something that of course we have to stay after, which is why we located some additional assets in the region.”

“Our hope would be that the trend will downward,” Ryder said. “But ultimately that’s up to Iran. In the meantime, we’re going to do everything we can to ensure the safety and security in the region and the continued ability of commerce to transit the Strait of Hormuz unimpeded.”

Iran’s activities have continued this summer despite continuing economic sanctions and, until recently, a reduced U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf. But U.S. officials have strengthened the layered defense in the region that includes additional aircraft including F-16 and F-35 fighter jets, air and surface drones and other intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets that have deployed to the Gulf region in recent months.

The security capabilities available in the region include a myriad of U.S. and allied forces, which most recently include at least 100 Marines from the 26th MEU(SOC) and sailors from other units. Those teams trained in Bahrain for potential deployment onto non-U.S.-flagged commercial ships as maritime security through hot spots for illegal interdiction like in the strait.

“Putting your escort security capability on the ship itself is an option,” said Dakota L. Wood, senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation and a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel. “So they could be floating it out there to see how the Iranians respond, and with having this large group in the Persian Gulf – even if they aren’t yet on freighters – do you see a decline in attempted interdictions by Iranian naval forces? Does just the signaling work having them in the area?”

While armed security teams of Marines and sailors give U.S. military commanders another means to safeguard maritime traffic against those threats, defense officials haven’t publicly detailed how they could be employed and the rules of engagement to protect those forces or the hundreds of U.S- and foreign-flagged vessels that transit the Strait daily.

“You can’t defend them all,” said retired Maj. Gen. David Coffman, a veteran pilot and former 13th MEU commander. But a larger military presence in 5th Fleet combined with intentional ambiguity “gives you contingency, capability and ambiguity.”

By putting the bulk of the ARG/MEU team in the Persian Gulf, “they have a range of influence, particularly with the MV-22 and JSF that is thousands of miles,” Coffman said. “Now you have a capability in theater, from soup to nuts, that can do a whole range of missions,” he added. “There’s a strength in a strategic and tactical level ambiguity, if it’s backed up by contingency and presence.”

Iran’s continuing harassing actions in the Strait of Hormuz pose challenges to the shipping industry specifically and the global economy broadly.

“What do you do when legally-flagged commerce cannot go through international water, from one port to another port? There’s not a lot of good options,” Coffman said. “An option is: Let’s harden the targets.”

That wasn’t done back in 2009, when pirates routinely interdicted commercial ships and took crews hostage.

“Everybody was on their own,” recalled Coffman, who led the 13th MEU in its 2009 deployment with the Boxer ARG that included counter-piracy missions off Somalia by U.S. 5th Fleet’s Task Force 151 and rescue of the captain of the merchant ship MV Maersk Alabama after Somali pirates took him hostage.

The following year, the 15th MEU’s Maritime Raid Force deployed with the Peleliu ARG and rescued crew and retook another commercial ship, the MV Magellan Star, from nine pirates.

In the years since, some shipping companies hire maritime security firms to put armed civilian teams on commercial ships on some high-threat waterways to protect against piracy. But the maritime industry largely shuns having armed crew members aboard their vessels. While U.S. forces at times provide security aboard U.S.-flagged ships, putting Marines and sailors on foreign vessels raises legal questions, especially if they are deployed to deter potential threats at sea from a state-sponsored military force, like Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and coastal patrol units.

The rules of engagement for the embarked security teams “have got to be very clear… on when they’re allowed to shoot,” Wood said. “If you’ve got an Iranian speedboat coming alongside a freighter and you’ve got this team aboard ship, what are they authorized to do? They’re probably not going to be working for the ship skipper, or the (shipping) company or the insurance company. This is going to be a military chain of command. So whoever is going to be the team lead for that team that’s placed aboard the ship, they’re going to have to have reliable, constant responsive communications with whoever their authorizing command is.”

“Do they shoot first or do they wait to be shot at?” he said. If a situation deteriorates and a Marine is hurt or killed, “what are the consequences” to the state-versus-state relationship and potential retribution by Iran, he said, adding “there is this risk element of escalation and how people reply to these sorts of incidents. That really hasn’t been articulated by the administration.”

The added U.S. military assets present and deployed in the area – including the 26th MEU(SOC) and two amphibious ships – bolsters U.S. engagement in the Persian Gulf but also can increase tactical tension even as it shows the military’s deterrent capabilities, Coffman said. missing beginning quotes An LHD is a big ship. Just by having it in there, you’ve increased tension if you’re flying aircraft around, if you’re flying ISR,” he said. The recent moves show “this is how serious we are about this. We are prepared to embark Marines on a ship and… basically defy you to do what you’re doing that’s out of bounds.”

“So we are prepared for a tactical action to protect the free-flow of commerce and respect for international order and rules” and to deter Iran and other malign actors, he added. “In my view, you don’t deter Iran by not having a single U.S. ship in the Persian Gulf.”

Navy ships that deploy to CENTCOM and the Persian Gulf are “not just showing up,” Coffman said, noting the long-term relationships founded in the coalition of maritime forces in U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. “This is a managed theater with high U.S. activity, despite the complaint that it’s not enough.”

Meanwhile, as Bataan and Carter Hall crossed the strait that’s a strategic navigational chokepoint in the U.S. 5th Fleet region, other ARG/MEU Marines and sailors aboard transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) remain in the U.S. 6th Fleet region.

The sailors along with Marines including members of BLT 1/6, are participating in a scheduled bilateral training in Norway with Norwegian soldiers and marines with Italy’s naval special forces, according to the 26th MEU(SOC).

“This is a great opportunity for the Marines and sailors to work closely with some of our valued NATO allies and partners,” Col. Dennis Sampson, the 26th MEU(SOC) commander, said in a Thursday release about the exercise. “Successfully integrating the Italian Marines from the San Marco Brigade into our formation with the Marines of Charlie Company, BLT 1/6 and conducting integrated training with Norwegian Soldiers from Brigade North was easy, and truly showcases our interoperability and interdependence with our allies and partners within the Sixth Fleet AOR.”

The split-MEU force in Norway is led by the 26th MEU(SOC)’s Bravo Command element, according to the unit. Its deployment aboard Mesa Verde as its command ship still maintains a strong, capable force for military commanders in Europe, Coffman said, as the San Antonio-class LPD has enhanced command-and-control capabilities, Level II medical care and sizable aviation space to support independent operations.

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November is Aircraft Carrier Month

It’s an exciting time for us here at the Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition (ACIBC). November is
National U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Month, which honors the value, accomplishments, history and
contributions of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers, the men and women who serve aboard them and all who
help build them.


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Global Signs MSD Pledge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                

August 10, 2022                                                                     


Global/SFC Valve Unites with National Safety Council and Top Industry Employers in Pledge to Reduce Most Common Workplace Injury by 25% by 2025

Joins effort to impact millions of workers worldwide


Somerset, PA August 10, 2022 – Underscoring the company’s ongoing commitment to worker well-being, Global/SFC Valve joined the National Safety Council (NSC), America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate, and more than 90 of the nation’s leading employers in signing the MSD Pledge to address the most common workplace injury: musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).


Born out of the Council’s groundbreaking MSD Solutions Lab program – launched last year to tackle this omnipresent safety challenge, which affects nearly a quarter of the world’s population – the pledge represents a first-of-its-kind commitment from employers to identify and reduce MSDs across workplaces worldwide. Along with NSC and Global/SFC Valve, leading organizations such as Amazon, Boeing, Cummins, John Deere, and United Airlines have signed the MSD Pledge.


“The health and well-being of our employees is our top priority, and we are committed to finding new ways to ensure we are fostering a culture of safety. We are proud to join NSC and other organizations by taking this important step in mitigating MSDs at our company,” said Linda Heining, CEO/President, Global/SFC Valve. “This pledge not only underscores our own focus on employee and community well-being, but it puts a spotlight on the importance of this issue, so workers across the globe can return home safely every day.”


The MSD Pledge aims to inspire a global movement across industries that improves workplace safety, reduces MSD risk and enhances the well-being of all workers. Specifically, Global/SFC Valve is pledging to:


  • Reduce risks by analyzing the causes of MSD injuries across operations and investing in solutions and practices that reduce risks to workers.
  • Innovate and collaborate by leveraging best practices and sharing learnings and countermeasures to expand upon innovations to improve safety practices.
  • Build an organizational culture that values safety by promoting a workplace where safety excellence, transparency, and accurate reporting are equally valued, and where everyone, at every level of the organization, is accountable for the safety and health of workers.
  • Commit to a significant reduction of MSD injuries by creating safer outcomes for millions of workers worldwide and reducing MSD risk and subsequent injuries by 25% by 2025.


“While there are no sirens associated with this issue, its impact is alarming and we’re asking workplaces everywhere to join us in this effort to keep workers safe,” said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO. “At NSC, our mission is not only to save lives, but also to prevent injuries and the MSD Pledge is an important step forward to help solve this problem. That way, people can spend more time doing the things they love with the people they love.”


Kicked off during National Safety Month in June, the MSD Pledge strives to create safer workplaces and healthier communities by addressing the leading cause of workplace injuries across all industries. MSDs are the most common cause of disability, early retirement, and limitations to gainful employment, and they also disproportionately affect frontline workers and communities of color, making risk reduction a critical step in creating more equitable workplaces.


In addition to accessing free resources and new safety innovations to help reduce MSD risks, MSD pledge members will participate in the MSD Solutions Index, an annual company index that analyzes the benefits of the pledge over time. The index will aggregate data on risk reduction strategies, workplace safety culture, and innovation and collaboration, while also identifying areas for targeted action and uncovering trends to inform future approaches in solving this critical workplace safety issue.


To learn more about the MSD Pledge, the MSD Solutions Lab, or the risks associated with MSDs, visit

Global/SFC Valve Corporation is a supplier of the highest quality underway replenishment (UNREP) systems to allow refueling at sea and the replenishment of ammunition, provisions, and spare parts for underway ships.  With Global/SFC Valve’s UNREP systems, the Navy and our NATO allies can remain ready to carry out their mission anywhere in the world.  UNREP systems include:  adapters, cargo bags, bridles, caps, clamps, hose couplings, fittings, hose assemblies, plugs and flow through saddles.  We also supply Navy standard valves and fluid control systems along with many other maritime products and services.  For over 50 years, Global/SFC Valve has been leading the way in serving the U.S. Navy and government customers with a range of products including adapters, clamps, couplings, fittings, hose assemblies, supports, valves, and other auxiliary items.


About the National Safety Council

The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for over 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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New Marine Aviation Plan Pushes Digital

Article by: Mallory Shelbourne - USNI News


THE PENTAGON — Key to Marines’ latest aviation plan is using the service’s aircraft to keep small units spread across small islands in the Western Pacific connected through a digital interoperability as it continues its modernization efforts for a lighter, more mobile force.

Following the initial iterations of the Force Design 2030 effort to modernize the service for its island-hopping strategy in regions like the Indo-Pacific, the Marine Corps has a plan to apply those modernization initiatives to aviation with digital links front and center.

“With respect to some of the changes you’ve seen … Force Design 2030 really drove a lot of them. And it also drove the reason why we took a couple of years off, as we started to make some adjustments in order to make sure we were articulating what Force Design was from the aviation perspective,” Lt. Gen. Mark Wise, the Marine Corps deputy commandant for aviation, told reporters on Monday. “And we put that into the programmatic speak of the document itself so that as it came out, it’s as good as the day that it was signed. But things are going to evolve over time and I would expect there would be some changes to next year as we go on, as there are almost every year with a programmatic document like this.”

Wise described his vision for digital interoperability as the “ability to build our own network locally in order to push information to that squad leader, platoon leader, that’s inside the aircraft on his way to a target area. And he’s actually getting real-time [situational awareness] as to what’s happening.”


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