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Apr 08. The Navy Bids Farewell to VS-31. NAS Jacksonville April 2, 2008 – The Navy said farewell to the Topcats of Sea Control Squadron 31 (VS-31) in a disestablishment ceremony held March 27, aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville. The Topcats assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, ended 60 years of distinguished service. The squadron was originally established during World War II from 1942 to 1945, and was recommissioned in April 1948. Guest speaker, retired Navy captain and former commanding officer, William Carey said he was honored to speak at the ceremony. (Source: Seawaves Publishing Inc.)

10 Apr 08. Triumph marks end of an era. Defence support specialist Babcock Marine has successfully completed the refuelling of Trafalgar class nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN) HMS Triumph, marking a significant milestone in the submarine’s Long Overhaul Period (Refuel) [LOP(R)], and the end of an era as the last SSN refuel, and last use of the refuel crane at Devonport Royal Dockyard before it is removed later this year. The completion of the refuelling process is a significant mielstone in the refit of a nuclear submarine and takes around seven months, from removing the reactor head to access the fuel modules, to replacing the reactor head when refuelling is complete. It involves some 75 highly skilled refuellers to undertake this extremely complex and technically demanding procedure, which is carried out to the most rigorous of safety standards. Babcock Marine has considerable knowledge and experience in this field, and is the only company in the country with the facilities and expertise to undertake open core reactor work.

08 Apr 08. VT Shipbuilding is moving towards completion of its programme on the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer programme following the roll-out of the bow section for the latest ship, HMS Defender, at Portsmouth Naval Base. The 1000 tons structure was wheeled out from VT’s main shipbuilding assembly hall and placed on the barge Woolston in a two-hour operation that was another impressive demonstration of VT and its contractors’ engineering skills. HMS Defender is the fifth in a series of six ship sets being built by VT. However, there will be a difference with previous ships in that VT will ship the bow, uptakes/downtakes and mast for HMS Defender in one single operation, as opposed to separate shipments made on the different elements of previous ships.

10 Apr 08. MBDA officially opened its Brussels office today. As we approach a number of important EU and NATO deadlines set for 2009, as defence in Europe becomes more mature, and at a time when new regulatory initiatives are being put forward at Community level, MBDA is moving closer to the institutions of the EU and NATO to contribute more fully to the major decisions that lie ahead, and to respond to the present and future needs of both organisations.

03 Apr 08. The Boeing Company delivered the Canadian Forces’ fourth C-17 Globemaster III today at the company’s Long Beach, Calif., C-17 manufacturing facility, completing Canada’s order for the world’s most advanced airlifter.

08 Apr 08. AgustaWestland Opens New Regional Business Headquarters in Japan. AgustaWestland, in support of its increasing business activities in Japan, is pleased to announce the opening of its new regional business headquarters in Tokyo. The opening ceremony was attended by Finmeccanica Chief Operating Officer Giorgio Zappa, AgustaWestland Chief Executive Officer Giuseppe Orsi, Italian Ambassador Mario Bova and British Ambassador Sir Graham Fry.

26 Mar 08. C-17 Transport Aircraft: Arrival of Fifth. As announced by RAF Brize Norton (26 Mar 08) the fifth C-17 is due to touch down at 10:00hrs on 7 Apr 08. ZZ175 is to join the other four C-17 aircraft with 99 Squadron RAF.
Comment: For whatever reason, a slight change of schedule meant that the aircraft did not arrive in the UK on 4 Apr 08 as previously forecast. The MoD’s

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