Saturday, July 21, 2012

New York Naval Militia Assists Border Patrol on Lake Champlain

Rouses Point, N.Y.— Once again this summer, members of the New York Naval Militia will assist the U.S. Border Patrol in inspecting pleasure craft entering the United States from Canada on Lake Champlain during peak boating weekends in July and August.

Over five consecutive weekends from July 20 through Aug. 19, a Naval Militia boat and two-man crew will join Border Patrol agents in inspecting boats entering the United States at Rouses Point, Clinton County; and directing them to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection station.

The Border Patrol routinely mounts operations during the summer to remind boaters of the need to check-in as they enter the United States. More than 2,000 boats make entry into U.S. waters from the Richelieu River into Lake Champlain each summer. During the peak boating season and high traffic periods of summer weekends, an estimated 100 to 150 boats will pass through the border daily.

The Naval Militia crews on Patrol Boat 230, a 25-foot boat capable of holding 10 people, in partnership with law enforcement agents on personal watercraft – will team with Border Patrol agents to meet with visiting boaters that do not report, explain the inspection process and direct them to the CBP inspection station.

The support on the waters of Lake Champlain allows the Border Patrol agents to better manage the flow of boaters passing through the CBP inspection station and respond to other safety and security needs on the lake.

"Our Naval Militia boat crews look forward to working with the Border Patrol each year on Lake Champlain," said Major General Patrick Murphy, the Adjutant General of New York. "Assisting federal, state and local authorities on New York's waterways is a mission these citizen sailors and marines train for regularly and enjoy."

“The Border Patrol continues to strengthen its law enforcement partnerships along the border by integrating our assets and personnel with our local, state, federal and tribal partners. We enjoy our partnership with the New York State Naval Militia as this unity of effort not only assists us with securing our nation’s border, but is also critical in engaging and educating our international boating community,” said Chief Patrol Agent John Pfeifer of the Swanton Sector.

The New York Naval Militia is a component of the New York Military Forces-- including the Army and Air National Guard -- commanded by the Adjutant General, Major General Patrick Murphy.

Most of the 2,000 members of the Naval Militia are members of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Reserves who agree to perform state missions when needed at the order of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Five percent of the force are volunteers who are retired military members.

Naval Militia members man the nine boats of the New York Military Emergency Boat Service, but they also employ their military skills in other missions useful to the state. During the state response to Tropical Storms Irene and Lee in 2011, members of the Naval Militia served in command posts and in support roles while others helped sandbag the Schenectady City water works to prevent flooding.

The Naval Militia maintains a fleet of nine patrol boats in its Military Emergency Boat Service (MEBS) which support law enforcement agencies, the United States Coast Guard and other federal agencies. The Naval Militia works regularly with the United States Coast Guard in New York Harbor, carrying inspection teams out to ships waiting offshore to enter the harbor aboard Patrol Board 440, a state-of-the-art patrol boat.

CBP would also like to remind boaters of the availability of the Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS) to the northern border. The online reporting tool is a voluntary program and will expedite the entry process for participating boaters entering or coming back into the U.S.

The system is open to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents, as well as Canadian citizens, Canadian landed commonwealth residents and Canadian landed immigrants who are nationals of a Visa Waiver Program country who have a valid passport and an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA); or hold a U.S. visa for admittance, a valid passport, and a CBP Form I-94. Boat owners and passengers can fill out an online application and schedule a visit to an enrollment center near them to apply to the program. There is no fee to apply to the program. Boat owners or passengers who are currently members of a CBP Trusted Traveler Program (e.g. NEXUS or Global Entry), or who hold a current form I-68, can enroll without visiting an enrollment center.

For more information or to begin the registration process, please visit the CBP Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS) web site. ( CBP Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS) )

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Sailor Among Those Killed in Aurora, Colo. Shooting

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy officials confirmed July 21 a Sailor was among those killed when a gunman opened fire July 20 in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater.

Petty Officer Third Class John Larimer, 27, of Crystal Lake, Ill., died from injuries sustained in the incident. One other Sailor was treated for injuries and released at the scene. Both Sailors were from a unit that belongs to U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. Tenth Fleet, located at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.

"I am incredibly saddened by the loss of Petty Officer John Larimer--he was an outstanding shipmate," said Cmdr. Jeffrey Jakuboski, Larimer's commanding officer. "A valued member of our Navy team, he will be missed by all who knew him. My heart goes out to John's family, friends and loved ones, as well as to all victims of this horrible tragedy."

Larimer joined the Navy June 16, 2011 and was a cryptologic technician third class. He had been stationed in Aurora since October 2011.

Carter: U.S. to Work with Japan on Osprey Analysis

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

TOKYO, July 21, 2012 – Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter answered a barrage of questions on the V-22 Osprey during a press conference with Japanese media representatives here today.

U.S. defense leaders plan to introduce the Osprey, a tilt-rotor aircraft, into service supporting Japan-based Marine Corps operations later this year. Full operational capability is currently set for October, but several Japanese leaders have notified the central government of their reservations about the aircraft’s safety.

Reporters cited two recent crashes -- one in Morocco in April, which killed two people, and another in June that happened in Florida and injured five people -- as cause to delay operating the aircraft in Japan.

The first 12 Ospreys intended for use in Japan are now loaded on cargo ships and heading for Iwakuni, a Japanese port city that is also the site of a U.S. Marine station.

Reporters’ questions today focused on whether the United States will stick to the October timeline, despite the concerns of several Japanese leaders and some residents of Iwakuni and Okinawa.

“The Osprey is an important capability; it’s going to make an important new contribution to deterrence and to the deterrent capabilities of the alliance,” Carter said. “And it’s an aircraft that we are flying … the world over.”

The deputy secretary added that as DOD’s chief management officer, “The safety of aircraft is a great concern to me, and a great responsibility of mine.”

He said he understands that aircraft safety is also extremely important to the government and people of Japan.

“I think that’s entirely appropriate,” Carter said. “And we are committed to providing your airworthiness experts with all of the data and all of the information about the entire flight history of the V-22, including the two recent incidents, and allowing them to analyze that data and take every step they need to make to reconfirm the airworthiness of that airplane.”

The U.S. and Japanese governments have agreed that flight operations will not begin until that reconfirmation has taken place, Carter said.

“This is a process, a technical process of assessing airworthiness,” he said. “I think you have to let the experts do their work, have their access to their data, and so forth.”

The two governments routinely work together to address airworthiness issues, the deputy secretary noted.

“It’s a normal part of the process of confirming flight safety of aircraft of all types,” Carter said. “So it’s something that is totally understood by Japanese experts as it is by our experts.”

Carter said addressing Japanese concerns over the Osprey’s safety is an issue the two governments will solve together.

“That’s what longstanding, trusting allies that are democracies -- this is how they work things through,” the deputy secretary said. He added, “And, you know, we’re going to resolve it. That’s the whole point.”

Presidential Proclamation -- Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Aurora, Colorado


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As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colorado, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, July 25, 2012. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.