Navy Partner being Disestablished

Interesting little note that proves again actions speak louder than words. An asset that supported the drug interdiction effort and helped in the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief is going away.

“…the Navy proposes to decommission a squadron at the air station in Belle Chasse, a move that would eliminate the only naval aviation unit dedicated to stemming the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States. Under the 2013 spending plan released Monday, the Navy Reserve’s Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 77 would cease to exist Sept. 30…. the Navy ‘remains committed’ to countering narcotics trafficking.”

“VAW-77…played an instrumental role in the massive rescue operation following Hurricane Katrina. With their electronics and radar…the aircrews helped control airspace crowded with rescue helicopters. The squadron takes credit for rescuing 1,840 people in the New Orleans area.”

I suppose the surface surveillance capability may be replace by the BAMS program, still too frequently, it seems, a capability is removed with the promise that it will be replaced by a wonderful new system, only to see the new system become unaffordable and never come to fruition.

File:E-2C Landing.jpg

DoD photo by: MC3 (SW) JOHN HYDE, USN Date Shot: 13 Jul 2006

(Thanks to Lee for the info)

“Searchwater” Palletized Airborne Radar System

There is a new radar system that we might want to take a look at (perhaps the Department, Customs and Border Protection, and DEA as well). It is palletized and looks like it would fit on our H-60s or C-144s, and certainly on our C-130s. It is claimed to provide both a capability against very small, fleeting surface targets like periscopes, even in high clutter,  which would, of course include semi-submersibles or snorkels, and air targets, a capability I don’t think we have had since the retirement of the Coast Guard E-2s.

It was developed for the Royal Navy to replace their existing Airborne Early Warning (AEW) system, but Boeing is looking at it for the US market, including the MV-22, as well. There is a brief description of the radar here, there is a two page downloadable pdf here,, that is probably the best description, or if you would like a slide show that was part of an AEW seminar, start here then continue to press next to the end of the section.

The same seminar had a section on a UAV based system that seemed to have incredible resolution that might also be interesting. It starts here.