X-47B First to Complete Autonomous Aerial Refueling — The X-47B successfully conducted the first ever Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR) of an unmanned aircraft April 22, completing the final test objective under the Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System demonstration program. While flying off the coast of Maryland and Virginia, the X-47B connected to an Omega K-707 tanker aircraft and received over 4,000 pounds of fuel using the Navy's probe-and-drogue method. During the test, the X-47B exchanged refueling messages with a government-designed Refueling Interface System (RIS) aboard the tanker. The aircraft autonomously maneuvered its fixed refueling probe into the tanker's drogue, also known as the basket, the same way a Navy pilot would refuel a manned aircraft.
Fill-er-up! Five Things To Know About X-47B’s Latest Achievement — Take a look at five facts about the latest in X-47B’s historic milestones — the first ever autonomous aerial refueling.
Women+Math: Infinite Possibilities — A group of volunteers from Naval Air Station Patuxent River joined other professional women, April 18, to participate in Women+Math, a one-day event of workshops, presentations and discussions designed to inform female middle and high school students about a variety of math-oriented careers. The annual event, held at the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) LaPlata campus, was founded 10 years ago by Sandra Poinsett, CSM professor of mathematics, physics and engineering.
Building Energy Monitors Look to Reduce Waste at Pax — Naval Air Station Patuxent River hosted training for building energy monitors (BEMs) from across the installation April 21 at Building 2185. Pax is keeping a close watch on energy usage to mitigate waste and save money. Assigned in writing by commanding officers across the installation, BEMS play a central role in the Navy's energy program by monitoring every building across NAS Patuxent River while communicating energy goals, encouraging positive habits, serving as points of contact, and ensuring buildings are running efficiently.
Support National Preparedness During America's PrepareAthon! — Hurricane season starts June 1, so now is a good time to ensure you are prepared for any disaster that might strike now or in the immediate future. The Navy encourages everyone to take part in this year's America's PrepareAthon. America's PrepareAthon is a month-long emergency preparedness campaign organized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that culminates with National Preparedness Day on April 30.
Navy Showcases Accomplishments on Earth Day's 45th Anniversary — April 22 marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day's founding. The Navy is participating in Earth Day observances at the Pentagon on April 23, and nearly 60 Navy commands across the globe are hosting activities during April to commemorate the event. Since Earth Day's inception, the Navy has logged numerous milestones that serve the dual purpose of sustaining the vitality of the planet and maintaining national security. Examples range from deploying oil spill response equipment worldwide in the 1970s; initiating marine mammal research and protection programs and installing shipboard equipment to keep plastics out of the ocean in the 1990s; to the wide range of energy initiatives (with environmental benefits) that followed the Secretary of Navy's energy goals announced in 2009. These and other milestones are highlighted on a new infographic released today on Navy.mil, based on the 2015 Earth Day theme, "A Sustainable Future Begins with You."
NAVSEA Dedicates Building to Historic Shipbuilder — Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) headquarters officially opened its recently redesigned, renovated and renamed building with a ceremony April 20 at the Washington Navy Yard. With a nod to NAVSEA's mission, Building 197 will be known as the Humphreys Building, named in honor of Joshua Humphreys, the original designer of the U.S. Navy's first six frigates. During the 17-month-long renovation, NAVSEA took the opportunity to bridge the gap between naval history and current innovations in shipbuilding with help from the Naval History and Heritage Command and the National Museum of the United States Navy. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, along with NAVSEA leadership and direct descendants of Joshua Humphreys, attended the ceremony Monday.
NAVFAC Washington Returns Historic 'Watch Box' to the Washington Navy Yard — Nearly 150 years after President Abraham Lincoln came to the Washington Navy Yard to visit his friend, Yard Commander Rear Adm. John Dahlgren, the same watch box he passed through and checked in at was returned to the Navy Yard, April 16. With support from Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Washington, the historic watch box, originally built in 1853-1854, was moved back to the Navy Yard after spending more than 100 years at Naval Support Facilities (NSF) Indian Head.
Navy Names Littoral Combat Ship — Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced April 17 that the next Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) will be named USS St. Louis.The future USS St. Louis, designated LCS 19, will be the seventh ship to bear the name. The first St. Louis, a sloop of war, was launched in 1828. It spent the majority of its service patrolling the coasts of the Americas to secure interests and trade. In addition, it served as the flagship for the West Indies Squadron working to suppress piracy in the Caribbean Sea, the Antilles and the Gulf of Mexico region.
Navy Training Virtual Desktop Installations Mark Milestone — Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) has hit a milestone in their upgrades of electronic classrooms throughout the Navy's training domain. On April 16 the 3,000th virtual desktop was established at the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) at Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The NETC Virtual Desktop Initiative (VDI) was started in 2012 and is deploying new computer systems to more than 23,000 desktop computers in 2,500 classrooms throughout the NETC domain. According to the NETC information technology team, the VDI systems give instructors and students better technology and flexibility in the classroom, which in time will allow them to teach the curriculum at virtually any NETC learning site.
These stories originally published by Navy News Service during April 20-24, 2015. For more Navy news, go to: www.navy.mil/.