View post tag: 2JA British mine experts observe Japanese 2JA 2016 exercise Royal Navy mine disposal experts watched their Japanese counterparts work during the large-scale exercise 2JA 2016.Two British observers joined the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force at its major annual test of its minehunting forces in Mutsu Bay at the northern tip of main island of Honshu.Some 20 Japanese minehunters were involved in the exercise, centred on Ominato Naval Base, about 400 miles north of Tokyo.The ships left port in formation for what was a test of the core of the Japanese mine warfare forces to see whether they could deal with all possible underwater explosive devices.They were expected to locate and neutralise mechanical and influence mines – the former detonate if struck by a ship or submarine, the latter blow up when ‘influenced’ by a passing vessel, such as detecting its magnetic field, propellers or noticing changes in water pressure.On top of that, the Japanese were also keen to develop their use of autonomous minehunting systems – a field the RN is particularly keen on, especially with Unmanned Warrior looming in Scotland in October; that sees companies from around the world demonstrating what their hi-tech systems can bring to naval warfare.“This is the first time that Royal Navy observers have attended the Japanese mine counter-measures exercise and it comes at a time when we’re seeking to revolutionise our operations incorporating greater use of autonomous technology,” said Lieutenant Simon Reeves, Executive Officer of Portsmouth-based minehunter HMS Hurworth.He observed the exercise alongside Commander Donald Crosbie, the Royal Navy’s Liaison Officer with the Japanese Navy and the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet, based in the Far East, plus colleagues from South Korea and Australia. August 5, 2016 Back to overview,Home naval-today British mine experts observe Japanese 2JA 2016 exercise View post tag: JMSDF Authorities Share this article View post tag: Royal Navy
By MADDY VITALEEach holiday season Ocean City’s downtown is adorned in wreaths, red bows, garland-wrapped lamp posts and other accents to create that old-fashioned, magical feel that attracts visitors and residents to shop local in a winter wonderland.This year, perhaps as much as when the city began decorating the downtown in 2012, it is vital to lift the spirits of visitors, create a heartwarming escape from the pandemic and boost business for local merchants.“The downtown decorations first went up in 2012 shortly after Superstorm Sandy devastated Ocean City,” explained Ocean City Public Information Officer Doug Bergen. “They were an important symbol that year of a small-town community working together to help residents and businesses rebuild.”And just like in 2012 when holiday decorations brought people together with their small-town appeal, the inviting scene once again will hold added significance.“With our lives changed so much this year by the pandemic, that same message rings true today,” Bergen said. “Our downtown is open for business, and Asbury Avenue looks great under the lights and decorations. It’s important for everybody to support our local businesses.”This week shoppers walked along the avenue with bags in hand. They were surrounded by wreaths and green garland strung across the roadway at each block.“Ocean City’s decorations are traditional holiday décor to help fill the town with cheer. We have wonderful year-round shopping and the decorations certainly help people to get in the spirit of the season,” said Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce. “It really brings a warm feeling to the island. Whether people are shopping in the downtown or on the Boardwalk, they are sure to find some favorite holiday gifts.”Vintage-style lamp posts are adorned with garland and bright red bows to add to the holiday motif.Like Bergen and Gillian, Danielle Guerriero, president of the Downtown Merchants Association, said the decorations “look great.”“It really makes the downtown look magical — especially at night when everything is lit up,” she said.Guerriero, whose family owns the Tah-Dah stores on the avenue, said the décor creates a quaint and inviting scene for shoppers.Lori Sepulveda, who is a manager at Tah-Dah, summed up what it means to be able to go to Ocean City’s downtown during this uncertain time.“I think it is much needed. At this point, it is the little things in life that matter,” Sepulveda noted. “I think it gives hope. It is inspiring and hopeful, and it brings you back to what your priorities are – family and tradition. We are all holding on. We are grateful for any and all business whether it is online, curbside pickup or shopping inside the store.”But most of all, local merchants welcome seeing new and longtime customers.“We are grateful to people who come out to see us. We like to see familiar faces. We understand not everyone wants to come out, but it is nice to see them,” Sepulveda added. “One of the customers came in last week and said she just felt like walking on the avenue. She said, ‘Ocean City is my happy place.’”Wreaths are draped with garland across Asbury Avenue on each block. The city transforms the downtown into a winter wonderland for the holidays.