Sea History 131 - Summer 2010

Page 38

@>sHIP NOTES, SEAPORT & MUSEUM NEWS On 7 April, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood unveiled a new initiative, the "America's Marine Highway Program,'' designed to move more cargo on the water and off the crowded US highways. Under the p rogram, the Maritime Adm inistration (MARAD) will help identify rivers and coastal ro utes that could carry cargo efficiently, bypassing congested roads aro und busy ports and red ucing greenhouse gases. Under the new regulation, regio nal trans portation officials will be able ro apply to have specific transpo rtation corrido rs, and even in d ivid ual projects, designated by the D epartment ofTranspo rtation as a marine highway if they meet certain criteria. O nce designated, these projects will receive preferential treatm ent fo r any fu m re federal assis tance fro m the department or MARAD. D avid M atsuda, Acti ng Admin istrato r of rhe Maritime Adm inistration concurred: "Ir has so much po tential to help our nation in m any ways: reduced gridlock and greenhouse gases and more jobs fo r ski lled mariners and shipbuilders." The Marine Highway initiative stems fro m a 2007 law requi ring the Secretary of Transpo rtation to "establish a sho rt sea transportation program and designate short sea transpo rtation projects to mitigate surface congestion ." Earl ier this year, LaH ood announced rhar $58 million will be appropriated fo r grants fo r proj ects to support the start-up or expansion of M arine Highways services. Congress has also ser aside an addi tional $7 million in gran ts, which MARAD will award later this year. The fin al rule can be fo und on the MARADweb sire(www.marad .dor. gov) ... On 10 April, U SS Ashland (LSD 4 8) captured six suspected pirates from the sea, approxim ately 330 nautical miles off the coast o f Djibouti, after having fired on and destroyed their skiff. Ashland was conducting routine M aritime Security O perations in the G ulf of Aden when the ship received sm all arms fi re on the port side fro m the six-man crew aboard the skiff. Ashland, in acco rdance with her rul es of engagement, returned fire . U SS Ashland fi red two ro unds at rhe skiff from h er MK-38 Mod 2, 25mm gun. The skiff caugh t fi re and the suspected pi ra tes abandoned th e skiff. Ashland deployed her small boars to ass ist rhe pirates who were in rhe


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USS As hland holds station in the Gulf of Aden as the former occupants of this skiff are retrieved from the sea. wa ter near their skiff All six we re brought o n board Ashland where they received medical ca re. There is n o apparent damage to USS Ashland, and there were no injuries to any m embers of her crew. USS Ashland is part of rhe Nassau Amphibi ous Ready G roup and 24 th M arine Expeditio nary Unit, currently supporting M aritime Secu ri ty Operatio ns (MS O ) and Theater Securi ty Cooperation (TSC) O perations in the US 5th Fleet area of operations. Three events in less than a two-week period allowed the Navy to capture a to tal of 2 1 suspected pirates. Two of these events were precipitated by attacks on the US vessels, while rhe third was in response to a fellow mariner's call for h elp. U SS Nicholas (FFG 47) was an acked late in the evening by pirates o n 31 March, resulting in the capture of five; on 5 April, USS McFaul (DD G 7 4) responded to the distress

call from M/V Rising Sun and helped thwart an attack and capture ten suspected pirates; and USS Ashland nen ed an addi ri o nal six. Now that th ey are in US custody, the navy is reviewing m ultiple options regarding these susp ected pirates' legal dispositions. .. . A new m assive bronze sculpture depicting three ship masts w ith full sails was recently installed at the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia near the museum's entrace. D esigned by D avid H . Turner, rhe 3,000-lb . sculptu re was installed in a circular fo un rain in early April at Jamestown Serdem enr's Q uadricenrennial Plaza near the museum's entrance. The Quad ricentenn ial Plaza was developed as part of rhe transformatio n of rhe museum's facilities in preparation fo r the 400th anni ve rsa ry comm em o ration in 2 00 7 . Jam es tow n Settlement's exhibits incl ude galleri es and histo rical interpretatio n in o utdoo r re-crea ted setti ngs: the th ree Engli sh ships that arri ved in Virgin ia in 1607-rhe Susan Constant, Godspeed and D iscovery; a Powhatan Indian village; and a colo nial fort. Jamestown Settl em ent, operated by the state's Jam estown-Yorktown Fo undation, chro nicles 17th-century V irginia and the convergence of Powhatan Indian , European , and wes t central Africa n cultures . (Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, POB 1607, W illiamsburg, V irginia 23 187; Ph. 757 253-4838 or 888 593-46 82; ww w. historyi sfun .org)


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