HMS Daring’s Lynx Helicopter Plays Vital Role in Philippines Relief Mission

first_img November 28, 2013 Back to overview,Home naval-today HMS Daring’s Lynx Helicopter Plays Vital Role in Philippines Relief Mission HMS Daring’s Lynx Helicopter Plays Vital Role in Philippines Relief Mission HMS Daring’s Lynx proved indispensable in first finding devastated remote communities in the Philippines – then delivering vital aid to them. During a hectic five days of flying, the helicopter carried more than eight tonnes of aid, ferried 150 people about and got to villages far beyond the reach of the destroyer’s sailors working on the shoreline.HMS Daring’s Lynx proved indispensable in first finding devastated remote communities in the Philippines – then delivering vital aid to them.As the destroyer makes for Tokyo after completing her relief mission in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, the ship’s flight – from 815 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton – are taking stock of their achievements during a hectic ten days around the islands.Daring handed over to carrier HMS Illustrious earlier this week after delivering water, shelters and food and providing medical care and carrying out temporary repairs to buildings and amenities on islands around the Visayan Sea.“In my 38 years service there have been only two other occasions that have felt as satisfying and rewarding as this humanitarian aid operation,” said Flight Commander and Falklands veteran Lt Cdr Joe Harper.“The first is the Falklands campaign when I was doing exactly what we are trained for, and the second was in the Caribbean on counter-piracy operations.”The reconnaissance missions the helicopter flew as the Portsmouth-based warship approached the Philippines gave Daring “a head start” in identifying the many isolated villages and communities still in need of urgent assistance.And once the Type 45 destroyer was loaded up with humanitarian aid, the helicopter was crucial in getting to villages the sailors themselves could never have reached due to the distance from the shore and the wrecked road network on many islands.“A vehicle travelling by land carrying the amount of aid that we managed to get ashore to these islands would have to get through badly damaged roads and infrastructure to even stand a chance of getting to some of the villages we visited,” explained Daring’s operations officer Lt Jason Hannigan.“Ultimately stores coming from land would be most likely distributed to the first person in need rather than the most needy – which is the exact opposite of what the Lynx can provide.“For example with one of the communities – Rohas – we could take aid and people to help around six times an hour whereas by land that speed and agility could never be matched.”The Lynx flew 1,400 miles on surveys before getting stuck into the physical relief effort, delivering 8½ tonnes of stores – more than one and half times the aircraft’s own weight – during 21 sorties.The helicopter also ferried 150 people to and from the various islands Daring assisted during her week in the Philippines.The 32 hours flying on Operation Patwin – the codename for the UK military’s response to the typhoon – in just five days is a far higher tempo than the Lynx would normally be expected (aircrew must clock up at least 15 hours in the skies every month to remain current).Such a high tempo demanded 128 ‘man hours’ in Daring’s hangar and on the flight deck as the helicopter engineers and maintainers toiled to ready the Lynx for the next day’s missions.The destroyer – and Lynx flight – have now resumed their global deployment which has seen both away from the UK since late May.To date, Daring has visited the Caribbean, California, Hawaii, Australia and Singapore, from where the destroyer was diverted to support the UK’s major relief effort in the Philippines.[mappress]Press Release, November 28, 2013; Image: Royal Navy Share this articlelast_img read more

Judge Charged With Helping Illegal Migrant Rejects Plea Deal

first_imgSuspended Newton Judge Shelley Richmond Joseph has rejected a plea deal that would have allowed her to avoid prosecution and possibly keep her law license if she admitted that she illegally helped an undocumented immigrant exit her courtroom out the back door to elude arrest by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, according to several people briefed on the federal prosecutor’s offer.US Attorney Andrew Lelling had offered Joseph a “deferred prosecution agreement” under which she would not have been indicted and, in a year, as long as she didn’t repeat the conduct, prosecutors would abandon the obstruction of justice charges, according to the people familiar with the deal. But, Joseph refused to admit she violated federal law and now faces the possibility of up to 20 years in prison if convicted of obstruction of justice.“Our client has pleaded not guilty because she is not guilty,” said Joseph’s lawyer, Thomas Hoopes.The US attorney’s office declined to comment on the plea offer, which legal experts say is extremely rare.If Joseph, 51, who has been on unpaid suspension since her indictment in April, had accepted the deal, it is unclear whether she could have kept her job as a judge or her license to practice law, according to state law.last_img read more

Badgers have 1 last chance to play ‘A’ game

first_imgRAY PFEIFFER/Herald photoThe University of Wisconsin football team picked up a hard-fought, 35-10 win over Bowling Green. In the minutes following the game, head coach Bret Bielema spoke of satisfaction in victory, but also said there was a lot more work to do. He also noted his belief that most teams make the biggest jump from their first game to their second.But that turned out not to be the case with the Badgers this season, as the team went on to turn in an uninspiring blowout over I-AA opponent Western Illinois.This has left Wisconsin with only one more chance to get primed for the Big Ten season before conference play begins, as they welcome San Diego State into Camp Randall Stadium for Saturday’s contest.”It is extremely important, because all the preparation phases are almost over,” said Badgers wide receiver Paul Hubbard. “This is our last game before the Big Ten season. So we need to go out and play a crisp game, hit on all cylinders on offense and defense so that we can make sure that we are ready for the opening Big Ten game in a hostile environment.”However, while the Badgers will have a great deal of focus on cleaning up their own house, they can’t afford to look past San Diego State, who will almost certainly represent the most formidable opponent UW has seen to date on both sides of the ball.”I know this, they have an experienced group of guys coming back on the defensive side,” Bielema said. “Offensively, they lost one of their key players in their starting quarterback, but [Darren] Mougey came in and did some things to ignite that offense. I think he kind of brought a little spark and brought them back in that UTEP game.”Indeed, Mougey did spark a turnaround for the Aztecs, as he engineered three straight scoring drives late in the game, after coming in for injured starter Kevin O’Connell, who is expected to miss several weeks after undergoing surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right thumb. Mougey finished the game 12-for-16 for 178 yards and two rushing touchdowns and appears undaunted by the task of having sole control of the huddle now as the lead signal-caller for SDSU.”I’m really excited for the opportunity,” Mougey said. “I’ve been here for a couple years now and gotten some playing experience, but this is my first real test. I’m excited for my first test to be a big test, against the best in Wisconsin. I’m excited to prove to my teammates, myself and this community that I can play at this level.”Bielema doesn’t foresee any drop-off in the quality of quarterback play from O’Connell to Mougey.”The guys from San Diego State, both quarterbacks combine for [an] almost 80-percent completion percentage,” said the first-year head coach. “And both of them had good numbers while they were in there.”Mougey, a mobile, dual-threat quarterback, will also have had two weeks of practice to get comfortable in the starting role and also to prepare for Wisconsin. This has to be something of a worry to Bielema, considering their offense probably was dynamic enough without double the preparation time.”What I expect Saturday is they’re coming in with the idea and the philosophy that they’re going to be able to be probably very fast,” Bielema said. “I like the team speed that they show. Their two wide receivers have done good things. I like their running backs. It’ll be interesting to see how the game unfolds, and only Saturday will tell that.”While the Badgers are heading into the game with their minds set on improving and taking the next step forward in their evolution into a conference contender, the Aztecs are looking to send a message throughout the world of college football that SDSU is for real, with an upset victory on the road.”We’re excited to play,” said Aztec head coach Chuck Long, who coached with Bielema at the University of Iowa from 1995-99. “This is the type of game that puts you on the map as a program not only for your own confidence, but also for recruiting. It gives you that national exposure that every football coach covets.”In order to get that coveted upset victory, the Aztecs will first have to figure out how to slow down UW tailback P.J. Hill, who has been impressive in his first two career starts, rushing for over 100 yards both games and breaking into the end zone four times.”He reminds me a lot of (former Badger running back) Ron Dayne,” Long said. “He’s very strong and compact, and he runs hard. We have to do a good job of gang-tackling (him). That’s going to be a big focus for us.”They do have some guys up front that are 320-pounds-plus, and we know that they want to smash that football in there a number of times,” said Long of a UW offensive line boasting five Badgers that weigh in at 314 pounds or more. “We have to make sure that we are very sound in our gaps defensively, because that’s where they’ll take advantage.”The Aztecs do realize that playing in Camp Randall can be quite harrowing for opponents and are mentally preparing for the hostile environment.”I think the biggest thing is not getting overwhelmed by the environment,” said Aztec wide receiver Chaz Schilens. “It’s easy to go into a place and have more butterflies than you would in a regular game. We have to block out the crowd and realize it’s just a football game, and when the crowd does get into it, we have to thrive on that.”Wisconsin, on the other hand, just wants to see its young team continue to grow. The team believes that if it takes the next step versus San Diego State, everything will finally fall into place. “I’ve said that I believe that teams make the most improvement between Week 1 and Week 2,” Bielema said. “That hasn’t happened with us, so we’ll just have to see if we can do that [this] weekend.”last_img read more