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U.S. Coast Guard Receives Funding for New Heavy Icebreaker

By MarEx 2019-02-15 22:02:00

The compromise federal funding package that President Donald Trump signed into law on Friday has received attention for its passage - which averted a second government shutdown - and for the relative shortage of border security funding in its 1,100-plus pages. It also contains significant good news for the Coast Guard, which received $655 million to build one heavy icebreaker and $20 million in long-lead-time funding for a second, according to USNI News.  As part of the budget deal finalized this...

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Eyes in the Sky: Hunting Smugglers in All Weather

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2019-02-15 17:03:31

It was completely dark in the middle of the Caribbean Sea on the evening of October 3, 2018. Dense bands of cloud shrouded the moon, obscuring all light. Storms intermittently rumbled, dampening the darkness with sheets of rain. Five thousand feet above the sea, a large white airplane sliced through the gloom, its telltale orange stripe and Coast Guard shield obscured by the shadows. Pilots and crew members inside the HC-130 Hercules airplane did not mind the obscurity; in fact,...

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Product Tanker Operator Fined $2M for MARPOL Violations

By MarEx 2019-02-15 14:32:43

A U.S. court has sentenced a Cypriot ship management company to a $2 million fine and four years of probation for MARPOL violations, the latest in a long-running series of successful federal prosecutions for oil pollution charges.  In a plea agreement, Interorient Marine Services of Limassol, Cyprus admitted that oil cargo residues and oily bilge water were illegally dumped from the product tanker Ridgebury Alexandra Z into the ocean without being processed through an oil-water separator. The company pleaded guilty to one...

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Trump Agrees to Sign Compromise Funding Package

By MarEx 2019-02-14 16:50:33

On Thursday, the Senate passed a compromise package to fully fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. President Donald Trump has agreed to sign it, ending a standoff that would have resulted in a second government shutdown beginning Friday. Among many other outcomes, the announcement means that active duty members of the U.S. Coast Guard will likely continue to receive pay, along with more than 700,000 other federal employees whose paychecks would have been jeopardized by another shutdown.  Coast...

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Malaysia and Singapore May be Near Deal on Port Limits

By MarEx 2019-02-14 15:08:29

After a collision last weekend in waters claimed by both sides, Malaysia and Singapore are in advanced talks to resolve a dispute over maritime demarcations in Johor Strait.  “The discussions are very positive and we are about to resolve the issues on the port lines,” said foreign minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, speaking at a press conference Thursday. “Our officers are discussing the matter almost on a day to day basis. That’s the most important thing." The dispute centers on the border...

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Petition Drive Seeks to Prevent Another Coast Guard Pay Gap

By MarEx 2019-02-13 16:47:00

The Sea Service Family Foundation has launched a petition drive calling on Congress to ensure that if the federal government shutdown resumes on Friday, it will not result in another missed paycheck for the U.S. Coast Guard.  Coast Guard servicemembers at home and abroad missed their January 15 paycheck due to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. At the end of January, the White House and Congress reached a temporary agreement to fully fund the government through February 15, and provided...

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Source: Quintillian

Former CEO of Alaska Telecom Company Pleads Guilty To Fraud

By MarEx 2019-02-13 16:24:18

Elizabeth Ann Pierce, the former Chief Executive Officer of a telecommunications company based in Anchorage, Alaska, pled guilty in Manhattan federal court to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft on Monday. The plea was made in connection with a scheme to use forged guaranteed revenue contracts fraudulently to induce investors to invest more than $250 million into her company for the construction of a fiber optic cable network in Alaska.  Pierce was the chief executive officer of Quintillion until July...

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U.S. Navy Reorganizes its Education and Training Programs

By MarEx 2019-02-12 19:03:34

U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer has launched a sweeping realignment of the service's training and higher education operations, placing a new budgetary and policy emphasis on learning for servicemembers.  One year after the deadly USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain collisions, Spencer's office undertook a strategic review of the ways in which the Navy prepares its personnel for service. The resulting 430-page study, dubbed "Education for Seapower," recommended the formation of a "Naval University" with a civilian...

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U.S. Military to Use AI to Empower not Replace Warriors

By MarEx 2019-02-12 18:19:18

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has released a summary of its strategy on artificial intelligence (AI): Harnessing AI to Advance Our Security and Prosperity. The DOD says AI is poised to change the character of the future battlefield and the pace of threats faced in today's security environment. However, the DOD states: “The women and men in the U.S. armed forces remain our enduring source of strength; we will use AI-enabled information, tools, and systems to empower, not replace,...

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Papua New Guinea Commissions Patrol Boat from Australia

By MarEx 2019-02-12 17:18:47

The Papua New Guinea Defence Force has commissioned the first Guardian class Patrol Boat HMPNGS Ted Diro. The vessel, named after the first Commander of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force post-independence, is the first of 21 Guardian class Patrol Boats to be gifted to 12 Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste under Australia's Pacific Maritime Security Program. The program is the successor to the original Pacific Patrol Boat Program in which Australia gifted vessels to Pacific Island nations between 1987...

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