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New photos of the 2013 San Diego Reunion

New Photos of the 2014 Texas Mini Reunion

Here's a link to a fine article published December 6, 2013 in the U-T San Diego Newspaper:

Important and Interesting USS Constellation Scrapping Links

USS Constellation Last Voyage Site

Voyage of the Carbon Foss

Brooklyn Navy Yard Tribute Wall

2014 Donations

A Thank You from Fisher House

The First Ever Connie Fishing Tournament
by Ross Leonard

The first USS CONSTELLATION CVA/CV-64 ASSOSIATION FISHING TOURNAMENT was held in Branson, Missouri on 25 SEPT 2014. The tournament was held out of Lilley’s Landing on Lake Taneycomo during the Connie Association’s 2014 Reunion.

All contestants registered in at the Bass Pro Shop at Branson Landing on Monday 22 Sept. There the contestants were checked to ensure they met the qualifications for the tournament and once approved for entry, purchased a Missouri Fishing License, a Trout Stamp, and paid the entry fee for the tournament.

Scoring for the tournament is based on a very complex point system that includes but is not limited to the catching of the first fish, catching the top three largest fish, catching the most fish, lowest number of tie-ups (tangled line), missed fish, the time between catching fish, and numerous other activities. Because of the complexity of the rules, instructions to all contestants were explained over a two day period, Monday and Tuesday the 22nd and 23rd of Sept. at the Bass Pro Shop. The official scorers of the tournament will attempt to make the scoring system somewhat less complex for next year’s tournament.

Tuesday the 23rd of Sept was also the tournament media day at the Bass Pro Shop. ESPM, (Missouri’s version of ESPN) and WFSH of Branson, along with numerous other news organizations heavily covered this event. Bass Pro Shop was packed with fishing fans, some from as far away as Arkansas, attempting to talk to and obtain autographs from the Fishermen. Most contestants expressed the desire to be out on the water instead of giving interviews and signing their name all afternoon. A pre-tournament dinner was held on Tuesday night at TJ Bones Steak House for the contestants and their guests.

At 0630 on the 25th of Sept the tournament finally got underway. A cool morning finally gave way to brilliant sunshine and warm temperatures. And at 1030 it was all over ending in a three way tie for first place.

Sharing first place honors were Harlan Klepper from Wisconsin, Dennis Shaw from Pennsylvania, and Ross Leonard from the great state of Texas. All three are USS Constellation Association Life Members, certified Plank Owners, Shellbacks, Mossbacks, Golden Dragon, and Royal and Ancient Order of The Bridges members. All three worked together in the Power Distribution Gang in E Division during the early to mid 60’s. The USS Constellation CVA/CV-64 Association has kept these shipmates and friends in touch thru – out the last 25 years.

The total number of fish caught was 66, 65 Rainbow Trout and 1 Brown Trout. The breakdown was 24 for Harlan, 22 for Dennis, and bringing up the rear was Ross with 20. Harlan earned most of his points by catching the most fish and the Brown Trout, Dennis by having the least amount of tie ups, and Ross by catching the three largest fish. All three tri-champions ended with exactly 64,000 points. Numerous fans, possibly numbering into the thousands, greeted the contestants at the docks of Lilley’s Landing at the conclusion of the tournament. Next year’s organizers will have to ensure that adequate parking and restroom facilities are available to handle this over-flowing crowd.
It was a beautiful day for fishing and the only regret the tri champions had was missing the Association’s General Meeting being held at the same time as the Tournament. Numerous times during the morning you could hear the contestants say how nice it would have been to be at that meeting.

Monetary awards were presented to the winners at the Champions Luncheon Banquet held at the Great American Steak and Chicken House Restaurant immediately following the tournament. A near capacity crowd attended the award ceremony.

Next year’s tournament is scheduled to be held during the Connie’s 2015 reunion in Washington D.C. on the Potomac River. A large turnout is again expected so please register early to ensure your spot in the Tournament. More information is to follow via the Starwake and the Association’s website (

Click Here for our 2014 Memorial List Page

From our Branson Reunion,

Newly elected officers are:

 President::  Gayland Rushing
 Vice President:  Tommy Best          
Treasurer Paul Mcgehee
Secretary Greg Newbold

We voted to donate $500 each to Wounded Warrior Project and Fisher House
A special thanks to Dorothy Grimes for taking wonderful photos of the reunion posted on our facebook page..

Recent Navy News:

NNS141020-05. Navy Christens, Launches Future USS Detroit

From Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships Public Affairs

MARINETTE, Wis. (NNS) -- The Navy christened the future USS Detroit (LCS 7), the fourth Littoral Combat Ship of the Freedom variant, in a ceremony at Marinette Marine Shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin, Oct. 18.

The Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus, delivered the principal address at the ceremony, and Mrs. Barbara Levin served as the ship's sponsor. As ship sponsor, Levin is considered a permanent member of the ship's crew and is expected to advocate for the well-being of both ship and crew. Levin, wife of U.S. Senator Carl Levin from Michigan, has been a longtime supporter of military families.

"It takes more than just cable and pipe, more than insulation and power panels, more than steel and aluminum -- and more than a bottle of bubbly -- to make a Navy warship," said Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, program executive officer for littoral combat ships. "The skill, fortitude, and spirit of this government/industry team are what made this day possible."

Detroit transferred out of the assembly building at Marinette via several hydraulic transfer lifts and was raised into launch position in late June. A ceremonial mast stepping, a tradition in which the ship's sponsor and crew place coins and other memorabilia beneath the mast to be permanently sealed in the installation of the mast, took place Oct. 17. A dramatic side launch of the ship into the Menominee River followed the christening ceremony.

Detroit is an innovative surface combatant designed to operate in littoral seas and shallow water to counter mines, submarines, and fast surface craft threats in coastal regions.

The ship's name recognizes the city of Detroit, Michigan, and honors the state's deep ties to the U.S. Navy and the shipbuilding industry.

After its launch, Detroit will continue to undergo outfitting and testing at Marinette until her expected delivery to the Navy in late 2015 following acceptance trials. The ship is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and can operate in water less than 20 feet deep. Detroit will address a critical capabilities gap in the littorals and conduct the Navy's mission to enhance maritime security by deterring hostility, maintaining a forward presence, projecting power, and maintaining sea control.

The LCS class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team, led by Lockheed Martin, has delivered LCS 1 and LCS 3. The Independence variant team, led by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works has delivered LCS 2 and LCS 4. Austal USA is the prime contractor for the subsequent even-numbered hulls. There are 12 additional ships currently under construction out of 20 ships contracted under an innovative Block Buy acquisition strategy.

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types of mission packages: Surface Warfare (SUW), Mine Countermeasures (MCM), and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). The Program Executive Office for Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) is responsible for delivering and sustaining credible littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation's maritime strategy.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS141020-01. Exercise Clear Horizon 2014 to Hone Mine Countermeasures, Enhance Cooperation

By Lt. Arlo Abrahamson, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

CHINHAE, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- The U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) navies will participate in Exercise Clear Horizon, October 20-24, in waters south of the Korean peninsula.

Clear Horizon is an annual bilateral exercise between the U.S. and ROK navies designed to enhance cooperation and improve capabilities in mine countermeasure operations.

"We achieve mine countermeasure proficiency by rehearsing scenarios at sea and developing key mine warfare skill sets," said Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea. "Clear Horizon provides both navies an important opportunity to improve coordination and increase readiness in critical mine countermeasure capabilities."

Approximately 330 U.S. Navy personnel assigned to Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7, the mine countermeasure ships USS Warrior (MCM 10) and USS Chief (MCM 14); along with MH-53E helicopters from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14 (HM-14) and teams from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 5, will join ROK navy forces for the bilateral training.

During the exercise, U.S. and ROK navy ships and expeditionary units will practice clearing routes for shipping and conduct training surveys for clearing operational areas. Mine clearing helicopters will also be utilized to rehearse mine countermeasure operations from the air.

"Clear Horizon is a great training opportunity for our forward-deployed mine countermeasures assets across the entire mine warfare spectrum," said Capt. Mike Dowling, Commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7. "This combined exercise is vitally important for maintaining interoperability with the ROK Navy."

The mine countermeasure training is the culmination of many months of planning between ROK and U.S. Navy exercise staffs. Leaders from both navies credit the routine bilateral engagement and close cooperation that occurs throughout the year for the successful planning and execution of exercises like Clear Horizon.

"This year's Clear Horizon exercise demonstrates the strong partnership and cooperation between the ROK and U.S. navies," said Cmdr. Kim, Boem Woo, of the Republic of Korea Fleet. "We are bringing together valuable expertise and knowledge from both navies and applying these skills in a realistic training environment."

Clear Horizon is one of approximately 20 annual bilateral training exercises held each year between the U.S. and ROK navies aimed at strengthening the alliance and preserving stability and peace around the Korean peninsula and throughout Northeast Asia.

The U.S. 7th Fleet maintains routine presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to help promote maritime security and develop partnerships with friends and allies. Forward-deployed U.S. naval presence contributes to freedom of navigation, operational readiness, and enables an exchange of culture, skills, and tactical knowledge with nations throughout the region.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea, visit

NNS141018-07. USS Constitution Conducts Final Underway Demonstration Until 2018

By Seaman Matthew Fairchild, USS Constitution Public Affairs

BOSTON (NNS) -- The crew of USS Constitution embarked on their final Boston Harbor underway demonstration aboard Old Ironsides this year, Oct. 17.

Constitution set out into the harbor for her fifth and final underway of 2014 at 10 a.m. with more than 600 guests in attendance aboard America's 'Ship of State.' The guest list, made up of individuals and organizations with long-standing ties of support to both the ship and the Navy, featured Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, a Boston Pops quintet and the Dropkick Murphys, one of Boston's most popular hometown bands.

This was the historic warship's final Boston Harbor cruise until 2018, as she is scheduled to enter dry dock in March 2015 for a three-year planned restoration period.

"I do not think there is any better way to have celebrated this ship's final underway before going into dry dock for 3 years than having it on this glorious day with all these long-time supporters of the ship and crew here with us," said Cmdr. Sean D. Kearns, USS Constitution's 73rd commanding officer. "It really made this underway very special for all involved."

The underway began with a wreath-laying ceremony in commemoration of the U.S. Navy's 239th birthday and Constitution's upcoming 217th birthday on Oct. 21, and to honor all Navy Sailors who have served and lost their lives both aboard Constitution and throughout the fleet.

"This underway meant a lot to me because not only did I receive the ship's Blue Jacket of the Year award, but I can also say I was part of the crew that sailed Constitution for the last time for three years," said Yeoman Seaman Brianna Bays.

Following a wreath laying, Constitution's underway attendees were led in the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner by Constitution Gunner's Mate Seaman Amada Williamson, which was followed by the ship's traditional 21-gun salute to the nation off Fort Independence at Castle Island.

On the return trip back to Constitution's berth, both crew and guests alike were treated to special live musical performances by the Boston Pops and Dropkick Murphys, respectively. A Boston Pops quintet performed two musical numbers, followed by the Dropkick Murphys playing a set of nine crowd-rousing songs from the ship's spar deck main hatch, which concluded with one of their most popular hits - "I'm Shipping Up To Boston".

"Today was an amazing and very unique experience," said Chief Boatswain's Mate Christopher Haws, a Constitution crew member. "This was the culmination of everything we, as a crew, have pushed for all year - everything we've worked toward for the future of this historic command."

In a harbor cruise that offered its guests a little bit of everything; even representatives from the Boston Celtics displayed the team's 1981 NBA Championship Trophy in Constitution's captain's cabin for all to see.

Following an additional 17-gun salute off U.S. Coast Guard Base Boston, the site where Constitution was originally constructed and launched Oct. 21, 1797, Old Ironsides returned to her berth in Charlestown Navy Yard at 1 p.m., where she will continue undergoing preparations for transition into Drydock 1 in Charlestown Navy Yard in March 2015.

USS Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat, actively defended sea lanes against global threats from 1797 to 1855. Now a featured destination on Boston's Freedom Trail, Constitution and her crew of U.S. Navy Sailors offer community outreach and education about the ship's history and the importance of naval seapower to more than 500,000 visitors each year.

For more news and information on USS Constitution, visit, and

For more news from USS Constitution, visit

NNS141020-03. Navy Ends Standard Transfer Orders

From Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- The Navy announced the cancellation of Standard Transfer Orders (STO) and the establishment of the Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System (NSIPS) order writing module in a message Oct. 17.

According to NAVADMIN 244/14, the NSIPS module must be used for all orders for transferring Sailors for unit moves, unit decommissionings, Base Realignment and Closure moves, Overseas Tour Extension Incentive Program, and enlisted separations and retirements. All other Permanent Change of Station orders will be written by Navy Personnel Command through the appropriate detailer.

Commanding officers and officers-in-charge cannot write orders allocating NPC funds unless they use the NSIPS module, the message states.

Units that are not supported by a Personnel Support Detachment (PSD) or a Customer Service Detachment (CSD) have until Oct. 31 to start using the NSIPS order writing module. PSD/CSDs will not process STOs after Sept. 30.

Some ships are exempt from the transition while NSIPS upgrades are taking place. They are:

* All CVNs

For more information, view the message at

NNS141019-02. Urgent Provider 2014 Prepares Sailors to Respond to Crises

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Erica Gardner, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- Active and Reserve Sailors from multiple East Coast commands gathered at Naval Station Mayport, Oct. 16, for Urgent Provider 2014, a three-day humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise hosted by U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet.

The third annual event, which included nearly 50 participants, was designed to build and enhance the skills necessary to support the planning efforts of combatant commanders and fleet commanders responding to crises.

"How many of you think 4th Fleet will be asked to respond to a natural disaster between now and say 10 years from now?," Rear Adm. George Ballance, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, asked the participants. "Can anyone tell me when?"

"Exactly," he said. "So, we have to be ready."

"You'll never know when the call is going to come or to what degree you'll have to respond," said Ballance, who was assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet in 2011 when a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and follow-on tsunami devastated parts of Japan.

For Urgent Provider, instructors from the Naval War College's Assist and Assess team presented a scenario involving a category 5 hurricane in Central America, an oil spill and the need to evacuate U.S. citizens.

With guidance from the instructors on the Navy planning process, the participants worked through the resulting problems on four operational planning teams (OPTs).

The intent was to ignite productive conversations among the OPT members, said Capt. Joey Dodgen, who commanded the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet Reserve unit until Oct. 15 and coordinated the exercise.

"In contrast to other training exercises, this event minimizes the amount of instruction and maximizes the practical exercises," Dodgen said.

"[Participants] are learning more by doing, establishing relationships with their peers and creating team synergy from the start," he said.

Lt. Cmdr. Marcus Thomas, the operations officer for Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) Houston, described the development of ideas as "eye-opening."

"The training is hands-on," he said. "This is more beneficial than watching a PowerPoint presentation for the duration of the course."

In addition to the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet active and reserve staffs, including NR U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet Detachment A, units represented at Urgent Provider 2014 were Navy Reserve (NR) Commander, 3rd Fleet Joint Force Maritime Commander; NR Commander, 3rd Fleet Maritime Air Operations; NR Expeditionary Strike Group 3; NR Commander, 5th Fleet Maritime Operations Center; NR Commander, Naval Forces Europe-Africa/6th Fleet Detachment 802; NR Commander, 7th Fleet Detachment Newport; and NR Office of Naval Research Science and Technology Detachment 105 and NCAGS Houston.

For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit

NNS141017-23. USS Arleigh Burke Returns to Norfolk

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Carlos M. Vazquez II, USS Arleigh Burke Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) returned to her Norfolk, Va., homeport, Oct. 17, after completing an eight-month deployment in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations.

Arleigh Burke began her deployment Feb. 15, and traveled a total of 32,250 nautical miles in support of ballistic missile defense, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf.

While there, the ship and its crew took part in multiple naval air and surface exercises with allied and partner nations, serving as an opportunity to foster larger partnerships and coalitions among navies and military services around the world. Arleigh Burke also responded to emergency calls of man overboard incidents and distress calls from maritime vessels from various nations in danger of piracy.

"We originally set out as an independently deployed ship and later integrated with the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) Carrier Strike Group, which gave us many opportunities to seamlessly work together," said Cmdr. Camille Flaherty, Arleigh Burke's commanding officer. "Another highlight was working with foreign navies, including Great Britain, France, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain, all of which strengthened interoperability."

While operating in both theaters, the ship made port visits to France, the Kingdom of Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, and Italy. The crew enjoyed liberty, performed ship upgrades, maintenance, and underwent various shipboard inspections, all while participating in numerous community relations projects, establishing and enhancing friendships with each host nation.

Throughout each port visit, Sailors proved that they were true ambassadors of the U.S., by consistently displaying professionalism whether they were working side-by-side with host nation counterparts or out on liberty.

The accomplishments and highlights did not stop there. In September, the ship made front page news on major media networks worldwide as it led a tomahawk missile launch, followed by U.S. and partner nation airstrikes, in the first series of precisely targeted strikes in Syria against the terrorist group named the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

"You never know what's going to be asked of you," said Flaherty. "All our practice was put into action and this deployment certainly proved that Arleigh Burke can do whatever is asked of her to protect the nation and people around the world."

Upon return to homeport, Arleigh Burke's crew of more than 250 Sailors received a warm welcome by family and friends. The homecoming was especially exciting for Arleigh Burke Sailor and a father to a newborn son, Electronics Technician 1st Class Jose Partida.

"This has been the longest deployment and time away from my family," said Partida. "I can't wait to hug and kiss them and finally meet and hold the newest member of my family. That feeling will be incomparable."

"I feel we made all surface combatants proud and it was a team effort to reach near perfection in all our warfare areas that we have practiced for so long," said Flaherty. "Arleigh Burke is coming home a new ship, both materially and professionally, and the crew has reached a standard that we have been working a long time to reach. I am really proud of them all."

For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, visit

NNS141020-07. George H.W. Bush and Carl Vinson Strike Groups Turnover Duties

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chase Martin, USS George H.W. Bush Public Affairs

USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH, At Sea (NNS) -- Carl Vinson Strike Group (CV CSG) relieved George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWB CSG) of their duties in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) Oct. 18.

The GHWB CSG deployed Feb. 15, and since then conducted maritime security operations and theater security cooperation, supported Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Inherent Resolve against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists in Iraq and Syria, as well as participated in various military exercises with regional partners in U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet AORs.

Following the turnover, GHWB CSG will depart the 5th Fleet AOR and return to its homeport of Norfolk, Virginia.

Commanded by Rear Adm. DeWolfe Miller, GHWB CSG is comprised of aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22, guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80).

"The Sailors who man our ships and squadrons should be extremely proud of what we, as a team, accomplished while deployed to the 5th Fleet AOR," said Miller. "Carl Vinson Strike Group has the watch and their presence, like ours, will enhance regional stability and make a difference in the fight against terrorism."

To date, the Carrier Airwing 8/GHWB team amassed 32,611 flight hours, 12,548 total sorties, and 9,752 traps.

GHWB CSG is on a scheduled deployment to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR and support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

For more news from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), visit

NNS141019-08. Peleliu Prepares for Decommissioning INSURV

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan J. Batchelder, USS Peleliu Public Affairs

SUBIC BAY, Philippines (NNS) -- The crew of the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5), currently on deployment, is preparing for the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), scheduled to take place Oct. 27-28.

The board carries out INSURV inspections on Navy ships every three to five years to ensure compliance and conduct extensive checks on installed equipment. Peleliu's INSURV inspection falls on the other end of the spectrum as its function is to ensure the ship maintains a mission readiness status after its scheduled 2015 decommissioning.

"A decommissioning INSURV's purpose is to inspect and document the material condition of the ship prior to decommissioning and place the documentation on file in case an order to reactivate the ship is given," said Chief Warrant Officer Andre Ross, Ship's Material Maintenance Officer and Peleliu's INSURV coordinator. "This gives the reactivation committee a tool for estimating the budget cost of bringing the ship back to life."

Peleliu's INSURV inspection, although not graded, also presents many new challenges as the ship is currently deployed, said Hull Technician 1st Class Randi Macrorie, Peleliu's assistant INSURV coordinator.

Combat systems, engineering, damage control, electrical, deck, habitability, medical, propulsion, navigation, supply and weapons checks will all be a part of the INSURV inspection.

"The crew will complete 199 events and the preparations and rehearsals will not go unnoticed by the INSURV inspectors" said Macrorie. "Being deployed as we are, the crew is doing an excellent job preparing for this decommissioning INSURV."

The accelerated timeframe, in addition to being in a deployed status, has Peleliu's leadership and crew fully engaged, said Ross.

"There won't be much time to rehearse the schedule of events, but because we have skilled technicians, familiarity of the equipment will not be a problem," said Ross. "I have great departmental coordinators who are very proactive and that helps a great deal in the preparation phase."

Preparations for an INSURV typically begin a year prior to inspection. The INSURV notification did not arrive until late August giving the crew just two months to prepare, said Macrorie.

"The crew of Peleliu is no stranger to challenges and just like any other mission, from anywhere in the world, the crew will show strength and perseverance, and get the job done," said Macrorie.

For more news from USS Peleliu (LHA 5) , visit

NNS141019-07. Peleliu Stomping Out Domestic Abuse

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dustin Knight, USS Peleliu Public Affairs

SUBIC BAY, Philippines (NNS) -- Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, USA Women's Soccer goalie Hope Solo, singer Chris Brown, and actor's Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson are all stars in their respective industries, but also have something else in common, they've all committed domestic abuse.

More and more light is being shed on the issue of domestic violence in the media with high profile cases such as these. The Navy, and military in general, is also taking their own stance on stomping out the issue.

"Talking about domestic violence, increasing awareness of signs, and letting people know where they can go for help are all ways to start a change to the culture that says domestic violence is not acceptable; abuse is not acceptable," said Elizabeth Moss, Deployed Resiliency Counselor on board USS Peleliu (LHA 5).

Each year since 1996, October has been recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This year's theme is "Relationships Should Be Safe, Respectful and Positive." This theme emphasizes that partners in a healthy relationship demonstrate respect, feel physically and emotionally safe and take care to prevent any troubles when they occur. Relationships take effort but should add enjoyment to life.

"The first step of prevention is acknowledging domestic violence happens," Moss said. "Abuse is never acceptable in a relationship. We don't like to think of our colleague or friend being a victim or offender of domestic violence, but it is happening both in the Navy and in society in general."

Domestic abuse includes acts of violence, domestic violence, or a pattern of behavior resulting in emotional or psychological abuse. It can also include economic control, used to gain or maintain power and control over a current or former spouse, a person whom the abuser shares a child or a current or former intimate partner who has shared a home.

"Domestic violence is not in line with the Navy [core] values but it continues to occur in Navy families," said Moss. "

The stressors that Navy families face do not cause domestic violence but can contribute to it. It also impacts mission readiness.

Child abuse is also considered as domestic violence.

"Domestic violence impacts not only the adults involved but also any children in the home," said Moss. "They are often the silent victims."

The Navy's Family Advocacy Program (FAP) is one of many avenues people have to report domestic abuse, or for someone to talk to prior to abuse occurring.

"Having services to prevent and address this violence is very important," said Moss. "The goal is to make the Sailor and his or her family mission ready and to be able to face the challenges of long separations, frequent moves and being away from their support system.Our willingness to listen and care is often a step towards someone getting help to change the dynamics of the relationship."

Bystander intervention is important in reporting domestic abuse cases. Many cases go unreported each year due to fear of their partner losing their military career, or fear of being found out by their abuser.

"If you see disrespectful or abusive behavior, have the courage to speak up," said Moss. "These situations almost never improve without some outside intervention."

Peleliu is the lead ship in the Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group, commanded by Rear Adm. Hugh Wetherald, and is conducting joint forces exercises in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

For more news from USS Peleliu (LHA 5) , visit

NNS141019-04. USNA Hosts 'Girls Only' STEM Day

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Wilkes, U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- The U.S. Naval Academy's (USNA) Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program hosted a "Girls Only STEM Day" for middle school-age girls Saturday, Oct. 18, in Rickover Hall.

More than 300 girls participated in the day-long event. USNA Midshipmen and faculty provided a hands-on experience in many activities including robotics, aerospace, biometrics and physics.

"During 'Girl's Day' we engage the girls in a wide range of different topics of science and engineering to spark their interest in some areas that they may not have seen before," said Angela Moran, USNA professor of mechanical engineering and STEM Outreach director. "We also include some engineering design activities to help the girls learn about team building and design skills."

For many of the girls, it was their first time experience in the fields of STEM.

"We really want the students to have the opportunity to be exposed to new areas, particularly in technical fields," said Moran. "This is so they might keep their minds open to the possibility of doing it as a career."

Parents of participants were also able to attend morning lectures and discussions led by more than 15 female USNA faculty members on topics such as nutrition, preparing for college, and the importance of a STEM education.

"Particularly for the middle school age students, the parents play a huge role in what the children are involved with," said Midshipman 2nd Class Rachel Busiek. "The more information that the parents can have, the more they can pass on to influence their children."

The culminating event of the workshop was an engineering design challenge. Students formed groups to put their creativity to the test to design and develop their own amphibious and aviation vehicles. Once the vehicle is created, each group must use teamwork to overcome certain design obstacles.

"For the design challenge, we wanted the students to have an introduction to designing amphibious and aviation craft," said Midshipman 2nd Class Montana Geimer. "Each craft has different challenges and the teams have to keep that in mind so that their vehicles don't crash or sink into the water."

The women facilitating the activities provided a positive experience for the girls and encouragement to pursue careers in the fields of STEM.

"We have a lot of female faculty at the Academy that come and join us for the day," said Moran. "They help to send the message to the girls that you can be you can be anything they want to be."

For more information about STEM at USNA, visit

For more news from U.S. Naval Academy, visit

NNS141019-03. RMD Sailors Take the Reenlistment Plunge Underwater

By Quartermaster 3rd Class Benjamin Winslow, USS Rodney M. Davis Public Affairs

BANDOS, Republic of the Maldives (NNS) -- Sailors from the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) conducted an underwater reenlistment ceremony off the coast of Bandos Island, Oct. 8, during the ship's recent port visit to the Maldives.

Operations Specialist 2nd Class Michael Norman, from Kenner, Louisiana, and Quartermaster 3rd Class Christopher Jurado, from Echo Park, California, reenlisted on the ocean floor during an open water dive in service dress whites and SCUBA gear.

"Not many people get to do their first reenlistment underwater," said Jurado. "It was a unique experience."

The event required considerable coordination, including retrieving diving certifications by mail, waterproofing reenlistment certificates, and briefing local diving instructors.

"Several Sailors went on their very first open water dive just to see this event," said Lt. Jennifer Fleming, Rodney M. Davis operations officer and the reenlisting officer for Norman.

"Lt. Fleming caught me off-guard when she passed me a coin after the oath," said Norman. "I was lucky to have my own department head be a certified diver - I think it was a check off the bucket list for both of us."

Commanding Officer Cmdr. Todd Whalen, Executive Officer Cmdr. Shockey Snyder and other members of the crew observed the ceremony while snorkeling below the water's surface.

"We have re-enlisted Sailors in some interesting places, but this was the first underwater re-enlistment I've been a part of," said Whalen. "Petty Officers Norman and Jurado are some of the Navy's finest, so I was honored to be at their ceremony."

Following the ceremony, guests continued to dive and snorkel, experiencing the unique biodiversity and beauty of the Maldives. The celebration continued ashore, where Sailors enjoyed the local cuisine and entertainment, including traditional Maldivian music and dance.

"My favorite part of the ceremony was when my shipmates and best friend dove down to shake my hand and give me an underwater hug to congratulate me," said Norman. "It was definitely one of the proudest moments in my career."

Rodney M. Davis, homeported in Everett, Washington, is on patrol in the Indian Ocean conducting theater security cooperation in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operation.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS141019-01. VCNO Visits MA Apprentice School

By Chief Master-At-Arms Jesse J. Lindsey, Naval Technical Training Center Lackland Public Affairs

SAN ANTONIO (NNS) -- Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO), Adm. Michelle Howard visited Naval Technical Training Center (NTTC) Lackland, Joint Base San Antonio, Oct. 17.

During the visit, Howard toured training facilities and spoke at a graduation ceremony for 34 Master-at-Arms (MA) Apprenticeship, or "A" School students.

"Through the age of sail, our [Navy's] favorite weapon was a cutlass...that cutlass was always at the ready when that Sailor needed it," Howard said. "Your [commanding officer] has been talking to you about fitness, your ethical foundation and bystander intervention. But, when you think about what has happened in the last seven weeks [it] is you [who has] become strong, sharp and at the ready. I want you to think about where you will be going and what you will be doing for the Navy. That is what we need you to do: be strong, sharp and at the ready."

Cmdr. Bart Fabacher, NTTC Lackland's commanding officer, who accompanied her on the visit, said to his Sailors, "Not being in a Fleet concentration area makes it tough for senior leadership to physically see the work going on in San Antonio." He added, "The two 'A' schools in this area have the highest student throughput of any in the Navy. I appreciate the Admiral building time into her demanding schedule to see how hard the staff works here to produce quality Sailors for the fleet."

One new graduate was especially thankful for the day.

"Today it was a special day to see our top leadership graduate us in front of our family and friends," stated Master-at-Arms Seaman Vince Vang, a recent MA "A" School graduate.

Following the graduation ceremony, Howard conducted an all hands call with the staff.

"Gender integration and cyber awareness are very important to me," stated Howard. "We as leaders ought to be more conscious of this group we are going to lead, and how they do things differently."

MA "A" School provides the Navy with vital security specialists who perform a wide range of duties from force protection of strategic assets to antiterrorism and law enforcement both ashore and afloat around the world.

Howard's stop at NTTC Lackland was part of a broader visit with other area commands based in the Joint Base San Antonio region.

Howard made U.S Navy History July 1, when she became the first female promoted to the rank of four-star admiral.

The Center for Security Forces is the parent command for Naval Technical Training Center Lackland. The Center provides specialized training to more than 28,000 students each year. It has 14 training locations across the U.S. and around the world - "Where Training Breeds Confidence."

For more news from and information about the Center for Security Forces, visit us at

NNS141018-03. USS Columbus Welcomes Air Force Civic Leaders

From Submarine Force Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The crew of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Columbus (SSN 762) recently welcomed members of the Air Force Civic Leader program as they toured the submarine at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Oct. 16.

The group, comprised of approximately 30 civilian community leaders from across the United States, serves as a volunteer advisory panel to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. Mark Welsh III. The group's purpose in Hawaii was to learn more about the Pacific Rebalance, and experience a firsthand look at multiple service operations in the Pacific.

The group was escorted by the vice commander of Pacific Air Forces, Maj. Gen. Paul McGillicuddy, and his wife MaryJo, and Brig. Gen. Kathleen Cook, director of Air Force Public Affairs.

"Today is a wonderful day to showcase USS Columbus," said Columbus' commanding officer, Cmdr. Albert Alarcon upon greeting the advisory group. "It's essential for leaders to gain perspective of what the submarine force is capable of accomplishing, and most importantly to showcase the talent and capability of the young men that proudly comprise Columbus' crew. My intentions are to showcase that very talent as you tour the ship today."

During the tour, Sailors talked about their spaces, their responsibilities, and duties aboard the submarine. The guests had the opportunity to see and hear about daily operations on the submarine including the control room, the torpedo room, and galley.

For Caleb Chandler, a civic leader from New Mexico, this was his first chance to meet with Sailors on an active submarine.

"It's been great; very informative," said Chandler. "We've learned some things you wouldn't really think about until you hear Sailors say, 'this is how we do this.' We really appreciate this visit."

Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Jacob Bierman from Columbus' Weapons department was enthusiastic in explaining his role on board to the guests.

"The crowd seemed genuinely interested in the information that I presented to them," said Bierman, from Grand Haven, Michigan. "It's cool to see their reactions to what kind of information that we were telling them, and they were very appreciative."

The senior uniformed Air Force officials were equally impressed.

"It is an amazing tour," said Maj. Gen. McGillicuddy. "Seeing the Sailors and what they do, and how proud they are of what they are doing. It's just amazing how across all the services we have great Americans signing up to do these jobs. It is great Americans doing great things for the country. I couldn't be more proud of what we are seeing here today."

The strategic impact that submarines and their crews play to the security of the nation was also noted by Brig. Gen. Cook.

"In this area of responsibility, it is extremely important that you are great at what you do. It is clear to me after this visit that every one of those Sailors is impressive," said Cook. "It is very comforting to know that with a significant mission like this, you have Sailors out there that absolutely know what they are doing."

Cook said she is amazed at how young many Sailors are, entrusted with one of the nation's greatest assets.

"These Sailors are younger than my children," added Cook. "But their professionalism and the manner in which they explain their equipment - it all comes across in what they do."

Kay Yeager, a civic leader from Wichita Falls, Texas, said she appreciated getting to see other military branches and the chance to get a glimpse of what submariners do.

"This gives me a great sense of admiration for the men and women who do this," said Yeager. "They have the stamina to stay under the water as long as they do without seeing daylight."

After taking some final questions from the tour group, Alarcon concluded with remarks about the life blood of the ship.

"Columbus has a strong reputation for operational success and it comes down to the great effort that our crew exerts every day," said Alarcon. "The lasting impression that I want to leave with you leaders today, is how great my crew is; the men that I am so proud of every day."

USS Columbus is the 51st Los Angeles-class submarine and the 12th improved version of this class, which includes a vertical launch system for Tomahawk cruise missiles and an improved hull design for under-ice operations. She completed a post-shipyard maintenance availability period in June 1994 in Groton, Connecticut, after initial construction and shakedown operations. In September 1994, USS Columbus conducted an inter-fleet transfer to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and joined the U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force.

For more information about Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit

For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit

NNS141017-22. NAVSUP Hosts Disability Employment Awareness Month Program

By Debbie Dortch, NAVSUP Corporate Communications

MECHANICSBURG, Penn. (NNS) -- Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Headquarters hosted a Disability Employment Awareness Month program, Oct. 16, at Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

Ron Ashby, director of services development for the National Industries for the Blind (NIB), presented an overview of the AbilityOne® Program. He emphasized the program's employment opportunities in the manufacturing and delivery of products and services in the Federal Government by people who are blind or have significant disabilities.

"AbilityOne® Program is the single largest employer of people who are blind or have significant disabilities, employing nearly 50,000 people nationwide," Ashby said.

Ashby praised the Oct. 8 presidential appointment of Rear Adm. Jonathan A. Yuen, Commander, NAVSUP and 47th Chief of Supply Corps as a member of the U.S. AbilityOne® Commission. The Commission administers the AbilityOne® Program under the auspices of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act, a public law that requires the federal government to purchase certain products or services from nonprofit agencies employing blind or significantly disabled individuals. AbilityOne® delivers quality product and service solutions to civilian and military federal customers, providing critical support for combat, disaster, and humanitarian relief operations.

Ashby highlighted NAVSUP's commitment to employing individuals with disabilities by talking about the command's contract with the NIB that provides contract management support services. Since starting work at NAVSUP in 2012, employees providing contract management support services at NAVSUP Headquarters in Mechanicsburg closed out more than 22,000 contracts.

"The experience at NAVSUP is one that I will never forget and I am very grateful for the opportunity," said Paul Ilgen, a contract closeout specialist at NAVSUP. "The CMS job gave me an opportunity to regain my confidence in the workplace after dealing with vision loss."

"The NAVSUP enterprise employs more than 1,000 individuals with disabilities. They represent a vibrant and diverse workforce that serves a vital role in supporting our mission worldwide," Yuen said. "Leveraging existing hiring programs for persons with disabilities maximizes our capacity to meet operational readiness requirements, sustain global logistics, and provide support to our Navy and Joint warfighter... I am proud NAVSUP has the foresight to embrace employees with disabilities."

The program also featured presentations from representatives from The Arc of Cumberland & Perry Counties, which provides support, training, & opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

Community Developer for The Arc Kate Hall talked about serving 1,700 individual locally and the organization's community advocacy, special education advocacy, adult advocacy, and family advocacy.

Assistant Director for Vocational Programs Susan Wenning provided insight into The Arc's training program. She said the program provides vocational training to about 400 individuals annually, enabling individuals with disabilities to function more independently, increasing their level of social and emotional functioning while developing goals in the workplace. Wenning mentioned several local companies that employ The Arc trainees.

The NAVSUP and Navy Supply Corps team share one mission - to deliver sustained global logistics and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter.

NAVSUP/Navy Supply Corps' diverse team of more than 25,000 civilian and military personnel oversee a diverse portfolio including supply chain management for material support to Navy, Marine Corps, joint and coalition partners, supply operations, conventional ordnance, contracting, resale, fuel, transportation, security assistance, and quality-of-life issues for our naval forces, including food service, postal services, Navy Exchanges, and movement of household goods. The NAVSUP/Navy Supply Corps team forms a vast network of professionals who deliver unparalleled products and services to customers in the Fleet and across the world.

For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit

NNS141017-21. NYPD Celebrates Navy's 239th Birthday

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Aaron Chase, Navy Office of Information, East

NEW YORK (NNS) -- Members of New York Police Department (NYPD) honored their dual heritage as police officers and sailors at a U.S. Navy birthday ceremony held at NYPD headquarters Oct. 17.

The event, staged by the NYPD United States Navy Association, celebrated the 239th anniversary of the U.S. Navy's founding on Oct. 13, 1775 and paid tribute to New York City police officers who are veterans or Reservists.

The association, which started in 1998, has more than 400 members according to William Seidenstein, a retired Navy commander and founding member of the NYPD United States Navy Association.

"More than 4,000 members of the NYPD are veterans. More than 1,500 have served overseas since 9/11," said Seidenstein. "Forty-five members of the New York Police Department have died in service to country over our nation's history of wars. We are honored to pay tribute to that history in our 16th year."

Police Commissioner William J. Bratton received the Petty Officer Stephen Driscoll Distinguished Service Award from the association. The award is named in honor of Driscoll, a police officer and Navy veteran who died responding to the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center.

Bratton quoted John Paul Jones to describe the attitude of both Sailors and police officers in the face of danger, saying "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go into harm's way."

Bratton said both services know to remain vigilant and aware of the continuous threats to New York City, the United States and the world at large. Both services know of the advantages of collaborating against harm.

The event's featured speaker was Rear Adm. Paul Becker, director of Intelligence, Joint Chiefs of Staff. Becker spoke of the long history of cooperation between the Navy and the NYPD. He detailed how law enforcement, the Navy, and everyday New Yorkers worked together during World War II.

"Thinking professionals from our organizations utilized imagination and creativity to solve problems. The cops and the Navy worked together, guided values and purposes," said Becker. "They collaborated. They did not perish. That has applicability today."

The event ended with a Navy birthday tradition - the cutting of a Navy-themed cake. The cake was cut with a saber, first wielded by the oldest Navy veteran present, followed by the youngest Sailor present.

The oldest Sailor, retired Senior Chief Donald Burrows, served more than 40 years. The youngest, Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Daniel A. Staffa, served in the Navy for four years. Staffa is four months into the NYPD Police Academy.

Burrows took the opportunity to encourage Staffa and other young veterans in police and military service to "keep their noses clean and do your job to the fullest." Staffa said he was proud to serve in both organizations and viewed the Navy as a way to become a better police officer.

Chief Master-At-Arms Nathan T. Garcia, an NYPD detective and leading member of the NYPD United States Navy Association, said that police officers serving in the military benefit both services.

"As service members, we bring discipline and the ability to be ready for anything to our jobs as police officers," said Garcia. "As police officers, we bring our years of experience to the young service members who we deploy with."

Garcia said the organization looked forward to bringing the veterans and Reservists of the NYPD together for next year's Navy birthday celebration.

For more news from Navy Office of Information, East, visit

NNS141017-20. CNRSE Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor Helps Sailors, Coast Guardsmen in Need

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stacy D. Laseter, Commander, Navy Region Southeast Public Affairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- The Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) - Safe Harbor program, is the Department of the Navy's support program for critically wounded, injured or ill Sailors and Coast Guardsmen, and with over 3,000 served, it is a vital care network for those in need.

The program's objective is to resolve persistent non-medical concerns and arrange enrollees for transition back to active duty or civilian life so the service members can focus on getting well. They do this by facilitating assistance during three phases: recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration.

"The recovery phase is typically the hospitalization phase," said Lt. Daniel J. Simonds, the program manager for Navy Region Southeast Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor. "Next is the rehabilitation phase, when a service member is out of the hospital and learning how to navigate through their injury, illness or wound. Finally, the reintegration phase is if the service member is found unfit for continued naval service we help with the transition into the civilian life. Or, if they are found fit, we help reintegrate them back into the Navy or Coast Guard."

The program currently has over 1,640 enrollees, with more than 1,500 additional service members who have received assistance, but did not qualify for enrollment.

"If a Sailor or Coast Guardsmen is considered severely wounded, ill or injured by a physician, then their parent command will submit information on their behalf. We receive the notification that there is a service member in our region who needs assistance," Simonds said. "From there an enrollment committee makes the determination on whether they will be accepted into the program. Regardless of the decision, they can and will receive assistance from us."

NWW Safe Harbor offers an extensive variety of services, including assisting with employment and education opportunities, connecting them to benefits, hosting adaptive athletics events, and family and mental health resources.

The program was formally established in 2008 and since its foundation, the its mission has extended beyond offering support to service members wounded in combat. Currently, of its enrolled service members, half are injured and half are ill. The injuries may have been acquired while on liberty, training or on shipboard accidents.

For more information about NWW and how to enroll, call 1-855-NAVY WWP/1-855-628-9997, or visit or email

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Southeast, visit

NNS141017-18. Navy FPO, USPS? Collaborate to Track Absentee Ballots

By Debbie Dortch, NAVSUP Corporate Communications

MECHANICSBURG, Penn. (NNS) -- The Navy postal enterprise has teamed with the U.S. Postal Service and Military Postal Service Agency to provide in-transit visibility for absentee ballots mailed from Navy Fleet Postal Offices (FPOs), said Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Navy Postal Director Gabe Telles.

"Ballots mailed from Navy FPOs are upgraded to Priority Mail Express? service paid for by the Department of Defense," Telles said.

This upgrade provides the customer a tracking number to have visibility of the mailed ballot from the time it leaves the FPO to the time it arrives at its final destination.

"Navy postal personnel have received training, equipment and supplies to facilitate this upgrade and ensure this voting season is the most successful ever," Telles added.

Thirteen-digit tracking numbers can be tracked online at

Sailors can contact their command Voting Assistance Officer for questions.

The NAVSUP and Navy Supply Corps team share one mission - to deliver sustained global logistics and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter. NAVSUP/Navy Supply Corps' diverse team of more than 25,000 civilian and military personnel oversee a diverse portfolio including supply chain management for material support to Navy, Marine Corps, joint and coalition partners, supply operations, conventional ordnance, contracting, resale, fuel, transportation, security assistance, and quality-of-life issues for our naval forces, including food service, postal services, Navy Exchanges, and movement of household goods. The NAVSUP/Navy Supply Corps team forms a vast network of professionals who deliver unparalleled products and services to customers in the Fleet and across the world.

For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit

NNS020723-29. This Day in Naval History - Oct. 20

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1864 - A boat expedition under Acting Master George E. Hill, with the screw steam gunboat Stars and Stripes, ascends the Ocklockonee River in Western Florida and destroys an extensive Confederate fishery on Marsh's Island, capturing a detachment of soldiers assigned to guard the works.

1941 - USS Hornet (CV 8) is commissioned. During World War II, she participates in the Doolittle Raid on Japan, the Battle of Midway, and the Solomon Campaign. On Oct. 26, 1942, at the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands, Hornet is severely damaged by the Japanese enemy and abandoned. Though U.S. destroyers attempt to scuttle her, Hornet remained afloat and was sunk by Japanese destroyers early the next morning.

1943 - TBFs from Composite Squadron (VC) 13, then based on board the escort carrier USS Core (CVE 13), sink the German submarine U 378 north of the Azores.

1944 - The U.S. Navy lands four Sixth Army divisions ashore on Leyte. Japanese aerial counter-attacks damage escort carrier Sangamon and a few other ships, but do not hinder the landings. Later in the day, Gen. Douglas MacArthur gives his "I have returned" radio message to the Philippine people. If Leyte is lost, the rest of the Philippines will soon follow, so the Japanese prepare to send five strong naval forces to drive off the American fleet and add more troops for the land fighting. In the following days, this response will lead to World War II's biggest and most complex sea fight, the multi-pronged Battle of Leyte Gulf.

NNS141021-08. USS Milius Departs on Deployment

By Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

San Diego (NNS) -- The guided missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) departed Naval Base San Diego Oct. 20 on an independent deployment to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.

The ship and crew of more than 300 Sailors, assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21, will conduct presence operations and goodwill activities with partner nations.

Prior to deploying to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility, Milius will participate in a Task Group Exercise off the coast of Southern California, Oct. 20-31, along with other units from the U.S and Canadian navies and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

U.S. 3rd Fleet will lead the exercise that serves to train independently-deploying units in air defense, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, and maritime interdiction operations, while also building cooperative relationships.

Milius is a multi-mission ship with anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare surface combatants capabilities, designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group.

The Navy announced Oct. 16 the ballistic missile defense (BMD)-capable guided-missile destroyers USS Benfold (DDG 65) and Milius will become part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) based at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan in the summers of 2015 and 2017, respectively.

Milius is homeported in San Diego and is part of Naval Surface Forces and U.S. 3rd Fleet.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.

For more information please visit the ship's website:

For more news from Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, visit

NNS141020-10. Nimitz to Participate Alongside Canadian, Japanese, other US Ships in Task Group Exercise

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelly Agee, USS Nimitz Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Canadian, Japanese and U.S ships will participate
in a U.S. 3rd Fleet-led Task Group Exercise (TGEX) off the coast of Southern California, Oct. 20-31.

The TGEX will serve to train independently-deploying units in air defense, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, and maritime-interdiction operations while building cooperative relationships with partner nations.

Units participating include Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 15, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), guided-missile cruisers USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and USS Chosin (CG 65), guided-missile destroyers USS Milius (DDG 69), USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), and a submarine, Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigates HMCS Calgary (FFH 335) and HMCS Winnipeg (FFH 338), Kingston-class coastal defense vessels HMCS Brandon (MM 710) and HMCS Yellowknife (MM 706), and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JS) Teruzuki (DD 116).

Simultaneously, CSG 15 will lead and evaluate training across multiple warfare areas for Milius, Paul Hamilton, Fort Worth and Freedom, as these ships will use TGEX as their final opportunity to certify prior to deployment.

Specific events Nimitz will conduct include: flight operations, tracking different ships, conducting underway replenishments, and communications exercises.

"This is an opportunity to test our ability to work in a coalition environment," said Cmdr. Darrell Lewis, future operations officer for Carrier Strike Group 11. "There are some language barriers, and how we do things is slightly different from how the other nations do things. So, we are taking them into our task group and working with them and proving we can do it."

According to Lewis this exercise will benefit new personnel on Nimitz by giving them the chance to experience a more sophisticated level of operations.

"It is going to be a great opportunity," said Lewis. "Everything you do in these exercises you can learn from. It is a taste what it was like during deployment for those people who haven't seen it."

Joint interagency and international relationships strengthen U.S. 3rd Fleet's ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.

For more news from USS Nimitz (CVN 68), visit

NNS141021-02. Wearing Ball Caps: What You Need to Know

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Optional wear of the Navy and command ball caps was authorized Sept. 1 with Navy Working Uniforms (NSU) (Type I, II and III) as well as with flight suits, coveralls, Flame Resistant Variant (FRV) coveralls and the Navy physical training uniform.

The Uniform Matters Office continues to receive a large number of questions and plenty of feedback on the optional wear of the Navy and command ball caps.

Based on your questions, here are the top five things you need to know about wearing ball caps:

1. The Navy ball cap is a seabag-issued item first received by Sailors at boot camp. Replacements can be purchased using the annual clothing replacement allowance for enlisted E1-E6 personnel. It is considered the property of the Sailor upon purchase.

2. The command ball cap is organizational clothing procured by the command (meaning that the supply officer buys them using operating target (OPTAR) funds) and issued to the Sailor by their assigned command. Sailors may purchase command ball caps with their personal funds, just as they purchase command badges, patches, belt buckles, and other permissible uniform items. However, since the command ball cap is not a seabag item, Sailors cannot be required to purchase it.

3. If a Sailor is authorized to wear NWUs out in town, he or she may wear the Navy or command ball cap. Ball caps may be worn with civilian clothes provided they do not have rank insignia or command titles reflected (i.e. CO, XO, CMC, CHENG, OPS, DECK LCPO, etc.). Command ball caps may substitute the Navy logo with the command name and logo and a Sailor's last name can be embroidered centered on the back of the cap in command colors. The ball cap is made of standard navy blue wool, synthetic, or blended fabric.

4. Commands may prescribe the eight-point cover with the NWUs for Sailors in formation at a ceremony or formal occasion. In this case, the ball cap shouldn't be worn.

5. The Navy and command ball caps may be worn with the NWU, Navy flight suits, navy blue coveralls, flame resistant coveralls, and the Navy physical training uniform.

For more information on uniform regulations and a list of FAQs relating to the ball caps, visit the Uniform Matters Office website at:

Email for feedback on uniform matters and for feedback on other personnel matters.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

NNS141020-21. USS Michael Murphy Departs for Maiden Deployment to Western Pacific

By Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific Public Affairs Office and Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tiarra Fulgham, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Detachment Hawaii

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Oct. 20 for an independent deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean.

The ship and crew of more than 300 Sailors, assigned to Destroyer Squadron Three One (DESRON 31), are scheduled to conduct goodwill activities with partner nations along with various presence operations such as Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) during the ship's first operational forward deployment.

"USS Michael Murphy's deployment to the Western Pacific is another example of our important role in the rebalance to Asia-Pacific and our commitment to the nation's Maritime Strategy anywhere in the world," said Rear Adm. Rick Williams, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. "I am confident in the capabilities and commitment of the men and women aboard USS Michael Murphy, they are ready to operate forward and lead the way."

Cmdr. Todd Hutchison, commanding officer of USS Michael Murphy, expressed confidence in his crew and his ship as the destroyer sailed for its maiden deployment.

"Team Murphy has been looking forward to this deployment for a long time," said Hutchison. "We've worked hard, and while everyone dreads the separation from family and friends, we're anxious to face the challenges of our maiden deployment, answering our nation's call. Every day we'll work hard to honor the memories of Lt. Murphy and the 18 other men that lost their lives during Operation Red Wings."

USS Michael Murphy crew was also joined by a law enforcement detachment from U.S. Coast Guard District 14, who embarked on the ship to participate in OMSI, and is scheduled to conduct maritime law enforcement operations from the ship to administer U.S. and Pacific Island Nations fisheries laws and suppress illicit activities. OMSI is a joint Department of Defense (Navy), Department of Homeland Security (USCG) and Department of Commerce (NOAA) program.

"This is my first deployment and I am upset leaving my family behind," said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Eric Welch, stationed aboard USS Michael Murphy. "But I am looking forward to seeing all of the things overseas and supporting our mission in the Navy. I am also looking forward to coming home, making a trip to Disney's with the kids and gaining back all the time that my family and I lost to the sea."

Welch's wife Ashley and kids were at the pierside to say their farewells and give goodbye hugs to their husband and father.

"Even though he will be gone for seven months and it will seem like forever, I know that he will be back in no time," said Ashley. "The kids are looking forward to when daddy gets home, we will take a family trip, so it's something to look forward to. We can't wait to have him back."

USS Michael Murphy is named for Lt. (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy, a New York native who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during Operation Red Wing in Afghanistan in 2005. Murphy was the first person to be awarded the medal for actions in Afghanistan, and the first member of the U.S. Navy to receive the award since the Vietnam War.

Michael Murphy is a multi-mission ship with anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare surface combatants capabilities; designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group.

The ship is homeported in Hawaii and is part of Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific and U.S. 3rd Fleet.
For more information please visit the ship's website:

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Hawaii, visit

NNS141021-16. HSC-12 Changes Command at Sea

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chris Cavagnaro, USS George Washington Public Affairs

USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- The "Golden Falcons" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12 held a change of command ceremony aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), Oct. 21.

The squadron's personnel fell into formation on the ship's flight deck to witness Cmdr. Jason Young assume command of HSC-12 from Cmdr. Jeffrey Holzer.

"The ceremony went off without a hitch," said Holzer. "I feel very proud to turn over command of HSC-12 to Cmdr. Young. We've built a great team together and I know he's going to continue to do great things and move the squadron to new heights."

Holzer assumed command of HSC-12 in July 2013. During his tour, he led the squadron in support of Operation Damayan, the humanitarian assistance/disaster relief efforts in response to super typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, to deliver relief supplies to more than 4.2 million people in the Philippines.

"Our participation during Operation Damayan was without a doubt the highlight of my tour as commanding officer of the Golden Falcons," said Holzer. "HSC-12 is a great squadron. They have accomplished a lot and I know they'll keep pushing forward under Cmdr. Young."

The ceremony included two MH-60S Seahawks that flew above George Washington, one piloted by Young, and one piloted by Holzer and Capt. William Koyama, commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, who piloted while Holzer read official orders and executed the change of command.

"Cmdr. Holzer has done a lot during his time with HSC-12," said Koyama. "As the executive officer, he assisted in leading the squadron in a permanent duty station move from San Diego, to Atsugi, Japan. He also coordinated humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the Philippines. He was a great leader for his command and handled every challenge put in front of him."

Each helicopter flew past George Washington as the ceremony concluded to symbolize the passing of the command from Holzer to Young.

"[Holzer] has put us in a great position for success," said Young. "His dedication toward excellence has been fantastic and I believe [HSC-12] only has good things ahead."

HSC-12's primary mission is to effectively employ the versatility and lethality of the MH-60S Seahawk aircraft to support the strike group commander's objectives. The missions include force protection, special operations, search and rescue, anti-surface warfare, and logistics.

"I'm very excited to command the oldest active-duty, rotary-wing squadron in the Navy," said Young. "I have a fantastic team of maintainers, pilots and aircrewman who do wonderful things for us. I'm excited for our future together and everything on the horizon."

The Golden Falcons are one of nine squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 5 embarked on George Washington that provide a combat-ready force to protect and defend the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS141021-15. USS Donald Cook Holds Change of Command

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Grant Wamack

ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- The crew of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) held a change of command ceremony at Naval Station Rota, Spain, Oct. 17.

Capt. James Aiken, commodore, Destroyer Squadron 60, presided over the ceremony as Cmdr. Scott Jones was relieved by Cmdr. Charles Hampton.

"I asked Scott, 'what are you going to miss?' He said he's not going to miss the prestige, the power, the position, or the persona. Let me just tell you, he said he's going to miss the opportunity to influence, to impact, and to interact with Sailors each and every day," said Aiken. "It's clear to me as Roosevelt said 'you have expended yourself in a worthy cause.'"

As commanding officer, Jones oversaw Donald Cook's transit from Norfolk, Virginia, to Rota, Spain, becoming the first of four destroyers to be forward deployed there as part of the President's European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) to ballistic missile defense in Europe. Jones led Donald Cook on the ship's first patrol in theater as the ship conducted naval operations with partners and allies in both the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea in order to advance security and stability in Europe.

During the ceremony, Jones addressed his crew and attending guests, reflecting on his time as commanding officer.

"I've said goodbye to many commands, but none will ever be as so special to me as Donald Cook," said Jones. "Shipmates, it has been a profound honor and privilege to have been your captain over these last 18 months. The trials and tribulations we have endured, the high standards we have set, the uncharted waters we have navigated as the first forward-deployed naval force will forever change our Navy and our nation. Our presence in Rota emphatically demonstrates our clear commitment to NATO and to Europe."

Before exchanging salutes, Jones and Hampton read their official orders explaining what position they will assume, effective Oct. 17. Hampton, who previously served as the ship's executive officer, exchanged salutes with Jones to officially represent his assumption of command.

"The odds of being entrusted to lead this team of Sailors on this most capable of warships is amazingly small. This is an honor," said Hampton. "The last 18 months have been very hard work, and the challenges have been great. I'm certain we will continue to meet those challenges. We are the tip of the spear."

Hampton was relieved by Cmdr. Timothy Moore as executive officer.

Jones will report to Surface Warfare Officer School (SWOS) in Newport, Rhode Island as an instructor.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit

NNS141021-13. National Navy Museum Hosts Reception of Commodore Joshua Barney's Iconic Sword

From The National Museum of the U.S. Navy

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The National Museum of the U.S. Navy (NMUSN) hosted the reception of War of 1812-era U.S. Navy Commodore Joshua Barney's sword at the Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., Oct. 20.

Francis Hamilton, descendant of British Army Gen. Robert Ross, donated the sword to the U.S. Navy from his private collection.

"Tonight we celebrate the return of the sword; a sword, surrendered in humiliation by naval Commodore Joshua Barney 200 years ago while trying to defend his nation's capital. In surrendering his sword, Joshua Barney was treated with the utmost respect and humanity," said Jim Bruns, director, NMUSN.

Barney led approximately 600 Sailors and Marines at the Battle of Bladensburg, Aug. 24, 1814, during the defense and burning of Washington D.C. The men charged with resisting the British threat by defending Bladensburg fought valiantly but were overcome by British troops. Barney, wounded and captured, surrendered his sword to Ross. Accepting the gesture, Ross provided Barney with medical aid and released him under parole. The symbolic sword has remained in the Ross family until now.

"Mr. Hamilton, on behalf of the United States Navy, I would like to extend my gratitude for your generous and thoughtful donation," said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Michael Franken, acting chief of staff, Strategic Plans and Policy, Joint Staff.

Franken officially accepted the sword from Hamilton on behalf of the U.S. Navy and the American people.

The sword is featured as a part of the commemorative exhibit From Defeat to Victory, 1814-15. The exhibit, examining the last crucial year of the War of 1812 when the tide turned for American forces, will remain open through February. It highlights the honor, courage, and commitment of Sailors during that period of Naval history.

"Having heard that the exhibition was going to take place here, we decided to loan the sword to the museum. It's an American sword, it's the 200th anniversary of the battle, and the friendship between the two countries has endured, so it just seemed to us that donating it instead of loaning would be a nice gesture and an appropriate action," said Hamilton. "It's a huge pleasure for us to be a part of the bicentennial and to be able to add a piece of history to it."

After the official transfer of ownership, the museum director shared the importance of the event and artifact.

"What is significant about the Barney Sword is that instead of symbolizing loss, tonight this sword symbolizes an enduring friendship that has sustained the United States and Great Britain for two centuries," Bruns said. "Having Barney's sword on display in the museum will inspire our uniformed personnel and their civilian counterparts. Its simplicity attests to Commodore Barney's homespun courage and it will endow the citizens of the United States and Great Britain with a sense of our mutual history," Bruns said.

The sword joins only a handful of pre-1841 naval officers' swords in the Navy's collection.

Established in 1963, the National Museum of the U.S. Navy is the Navy's flagship museum. The Museum is devoted to the display of naval artifacts, models, documents, and fine art. The museum chronicles the history of the U.S. Navy from the American Revolution to the present. The National Museum of the U.S. Navy is a federal museum and is operated by the Naval History and Heritage Command.

The National Museum of the U.S. Navy, located at the Washington Navy Yard, 736 Sicard St., SE, Washington, D.C., in Building 76, is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is free.

NNS141020-16. Recruit Training Command Honors Top Performers During Luncheon

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Steve Bansbach, Recruit Training Command Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Recruit Training Command (RTC) honored 23 sailors at a Sailor/Recruit Division Commander (RDC)/Instructor of the Year Luncheon, Oct. 17.

This year's quarterly winners were invited to attend the luncheon with their peers and chain of command to recognize the hard work and dedication of each candidate and to hear the announcement of this year's winners.

These honorees were the best sailors in their respective category and all believe they won their quarterly award because of the hard work they demonstrated day in and day out, but Steelworker 2nd Class Cody Martinez, who competed for and won Junior Instructor of the Year (JIOY), also believes mentoring played a big part in his selection.

"I work at the night of arrivals, so when a new instructor checks in you need to help them," said Martinez. "You mentor them so they become good instructors. This way recruits who are just arriving are receiving quality instructors who can help them through their transition." At his previous command, Martinez was an instructor, which he believes helped him transition to a RDC.

"I had people who had been to a board help me out and critique me. They gave me tips on how to improve my performance. It was awesome to win." said Martinez.

Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Adrian Hurst, who won Junior Sailor of the Year (JSOY), believes he achieved success in a step-by-step process.

"You first have to be good at your job," said Hurst. "If you are good at your job then you are going to start being noticed. Then you need to become involved in command activities and take on some collateral duties." This is the second command Hurst has been nominated as JSOY. He won JSOY at his last command, Fighter Squadron Composite 12, out of Oceana, Va. After winning this award, Hurst hopes he can inspire and help others. "My chain of command helped me out by setting up a road map for me to succeed; now I want to help out others in my shop. I can share the information I have, which could set them up for success."

Every quarterly instructor of the year winner had to put together a presentation and every quarterly sailor of the year had to go through a board to be selected as a yearly winner. Board members were able to decide the winner based on their overall performance and answers to board member's questions.

Damage Controlman 1st Class Jacob Stocks, nominated for Instructor of the Year (IOY), was intimidated by the confidence and motivation of the other nominees, but said only the best come to Recruit Training Command.

"The chain of command is high on sailor recognition. That is one thing that is great here," said Stocks. "The command wants to recognize the great sailors we have here at RTC!" Stocks was thrilled for the winners that were announced at the luncheon.

"To be able to say you're among the best on base is great," Stocks said. "To know your peers and people you work with nominated you as the instructor of the year is remarkable. "It's like the command is saying they like what you are doing and they think it is working. It gives you all the confidence in the world.

Along with Martinez and Hurst, the other winner's at the luncheon were Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Sharon Barker, Senior Sailor of the Year; Information Systems Technician 1st Class Shantay Beane, Mid-Grade Instructor of the Year; Chief Aviation Maintenance Administrationman Frankie Garett, Senior Instructor of the Year; and Builder 1st Class Bayardo Molina, Recruit Division Commander of the Year.

The luncheon is an annual event and was held at the Port O' Call banquet hall located at Naval Service Training Command (NSTC).

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For more news from Recruit Training Command, visit

NNS141020-14. Naval Undersea Museum Keyport Hosts STEM Events

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Seth Coulter, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest

KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- More than 100 West Hills Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academy students participated in events built around the concept of STEM held at Naval Undersea Museum Keyport, Washington Oct. 16.

The STEM event was a cooperative effort between the Keyport and Bremerton Naval Museums with help from Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Naval Underwater Warfare Center Keyport, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.

"It is great to see all these groups come together for the STEM program," said Steve Mastel, Continuous Training and Development Leader at PSNS. "Showing what these normally shied away from subjects can let you do as a career is a really good thing to strike home at a young age."

Groups of students were able to test their robotic and engineering skills at multiple stations throughout the museum.

"This is an awesome hands on way to test what students learn in school, while also learning something new," said Desiree Hall, a teacher from West Hills STEM Academy in Bremerton, Wash. "It is cool to see real world applications for what everyone learns in class."

The ultimate test was to pilot underwater remote operated vehicles (ROV) that students designed and constructed themselves.

"It's really great to see how far the children have come since first designing their rovers," said Angela Long, a parent of one of the students. "Everyone had different challenges to overcome, including a few students doing last minute fixes on the bus ride here."

The STEM program was implemented to show younger generations there are exciting jobs in the science and technology fields and to help foster the growth of future scientists for America.

For more news from Navy Region Northwest, visit

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest, visit

NNS141021-01. Ike Sailors Aid Motorcycle Crash Victim

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Wesley J. Breedlove, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Three Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) rushed to the aid of a motorcyclist in front of Norfolk Naval Shipyard, in Portsmouth, Virginia, Aug. 29.

At approximately 5:30 a.m., Hospital Corpsman (HM) 1st Class Douglas Herbert, Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Scott Cross and Airman Vance Wiggins all provided on-the-spot medical assistance for a civilian who had been thrown from his motorcycle.

Cross said when he reached the scene, he was terrified. He imagined that the man lying on the ground in front of him might be dead.

"I was with Airman Wiggins as we pulled up behind the other stopped car, which happened to be HM1 Herbert aiding the injured man," Cross said. "We immediately asked what we could do. HM1 directed us to talk to the man and make sure he remained coherent, which he did. Thankfully it wasn't just another Sailor, you know? It was HM1 Herbert, an experienced corpsman who took charge and really made a difference."

Wiggins said Herbert's actions in aid of the victim were quick and certain.

"We saw [Herbert], pulled to the side of the road and, without a second thought, trailed in behind him," Wiggins said. "I was told to keep [the motorcyclist's] feet in the correct position. I wanted to help him however I could."

The Sailors also called an ambulance and helped reroute traffic around the scene.

"I'm glad we were there to help the man," Wiggins said. "I think without us he would've been in a far worse condition; we just happened to be at the right place at the right time. It was quite a morning."

According to the Insurance Information Institute, close to 13,000 motorcycle fatalities and more than 93,000 injuries have been reported in the United States over the last three years.

For more news from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), visit

NNS141020-12. Students Push Ocean Robotics Envelope in New Global Game

From Office of Naval Research

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- College students from around the world will have a hand in shaping the future of ocean robotics as they compete in the first Maritime RobotX Challenge, which takes place Oct. 24-26 in Singapore.

Fifteen teams from five countries and three continents have journeyed to Marina Bay for the event, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and organized by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Foundation, the National University of Singapore Faculty of Engineering, and Science Centre Singapore.

More than 5,000 visitors are expected over the course of the three-day event, which features teams from the United States, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea. The students, representing some of the top engineering universities in the world, will compete to see who can turn an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) into the most effective autonomous system, able to accomplish mission-related tasks without the aid of remote control.

"Developing autonomy for surface vessels is still in its early stages, and these students have the opportunity to come up with solutions that could set new standards in this field," said Assistant Chief of Naval Research Capt. Rob Palisin, who will help judge the competition. "In turn, the Navy gets the chance to observe the best young engineers in action and learn from their approaches."

Each team in Singapore have been given an identical USV-an unpowered version of the 16-foot Wave Adaptive Modular Vehicle-and have worked to add sensors, software and other technology that will allow the vehicle to think and move on its own.

Teams will have to successfully complete tasks to demonstrate autonomous navigation and control; obstacle detection and avoidance; docking and target identification; underwater search for an acoustic source; and observation, identification and reporting of a specified target.

The event's location and participating countries underscore the U.S. Navy's commitment-as laid out in the Chief of Naval Operations' Navigation Plan-to increasing its presence and strengthening partnerships in the Pacific region. The competition also reflects the Navy's vision to employ greater autonomy in its unmanned systems.

The biennial event aims to strengthen students' knowledge in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), enhancing skills the United States will need as the current generation of naval scientists and engineers reaches retirement age.

"These students represent the next generation," said Kelly Cooper, ONR program officer. "Competitions like this create that pipeline of young people interested in robotics, autonomy and other areas that are critical for the Navy and nation as a whole."

The three U.S. teams are made up of students from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida Atlantic University/Villanova and Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Olin College. Along with the international teams, they will be competing for $100,000 in prize money.

A Science and Technology Showcase featuring hands-on activities for students and attendees is being held at the same time as the competition.

For more information, visit:

ONR provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.

For more news from Office of Naval Research, visit

NNS141021-19. NEXCOM Breaks Ground For Headquarters Building Expansion

By Kristine M. Sturkie, Navy Exchange Service Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) held a groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 21, for a 33,000 sq. ft. addition to its headquarters building located in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The $15 million non-appropriated fund construction project is scheduled to be completed in fall 2016.

"When NEXCOM moved into its headquarters building in 1993, we had 380 associates," said Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi (Ret), NEXCOM's chief executive officer. "Today, there are almost 1,000 NEXCOM associates in Hampton Roads and more than half work in our headquarters building."

The new addition allows NEXCOM to replace approximately 9,000 sq. ft. of aging trailers that had been in use for the last 10 years, create much needed conference and planogram rooms, and address merchandising and information technology personnel space deficiencies. It also brings 125 NEXCOM associates from its human resources and loss prevention/safety departments, as well as the Navy Lodge Program, into the headquarters building from other Hampton Roads office locations.

"This is the first step necessary in order to move our headquarters associates from leased space into Navy-owned space," said Bianchi. "This new addition will help us consolidate and align key headquarter codes for even greater command efficiency."

Congressman Scott Rigell, Representative of Virginia's 2nd District, praised NEXCOM for the work it does to support military members and their families. "I respect the great work you are doing and the quality of life you offer to your customers," said Rigell. "As a businessman in a season of public service, I know that the quality of your surroundings affects the creativity and quality of work of your associates. This new building addition will definitely add to the quality of work you provide. I look forward to the opening of your new facility."

Will Sessoms, Virginia Beach Mayor, participated in the groundbreaking ceremony.

"The work provided by NEXCOM is valued and appreciated by all military commands and especially military families," said Sessoms. "Your dedication and commitment to service are truly unmatched. NEXCOM gives military members and their families shopping experiences and prices that are so competitive that you are the envy of retailers everywhere."

NEXCOM relocated to Virginia Beach from Staten Island, New York, in 1993. NEXCOM is headquarters for the worldwide NEXCOM Enterprise. Its mission is to provide authorized customers with quality goods and services at a savings and to support Navy quality of life programs. NEXCOM oversees six primary business programs: Navy Exchange (NEX) retail stores, Navy Lodge Program, Ships Stores Program, Uniform Program Management Office, Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility and Telecommunications Program Office.

For more news from Navy Exchange Service Command, visit

NNS141021-11. Ike's Computer Techs Installing Faster, More Reliable Network

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ryan U. Kledzik, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower's (CVN 69) (Ike) Combat Systems' CS-3 division kept pressing to install a new shipwide computer network, Oct. 19, as offices on the ship continue to come online.

Dwight D. Eisenhower began a docking planned incremental availability period at Norfolk Naval Shipyard more than a year ago, and all departments are now transitioning away from the old computer network and hardware on a barge adjacent to the ship. Most of those shops have begun the return to shipboard work centers.

"[Automated Data Processing (ADP)] is currently utilizing the ship's old network on the barge while preparing a new system on the ship for crew move aboard," said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Michael Emmett.

The new network includes a wide variety of upgrades that Emmett said will benefit all Ike Sailors, especially on future deployments. The servers will now be virtualized, which will take a load off of the actual hardware in the network.

"It's going to be drastically faster, more efficient and have less downtime," he said. That means underway Sailors will be able to contact their loved ones more efficiently and reliably than ever.

In addition to supporting e-mail and Internet browsing, ADP has a team of system administrators whose primary job is to maintain Ike's servers. These administrators, Emmett included, are in place to take care of any major problems that may arise, such as server crashes and losses of e-mail connectivity.

For more news from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), visit

NNS141021-14. Fleet Survey Team Prepares for Bold Alligator

From Navy Information Dominance Force Command

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. (NNS) -- Fleet Survey Team (FLTSURVTEAM) led the way for Bold Alligator '14 with beach and hydrographic surveys of the strategic training and operational beaches that will be used in the exercise beginning Oct. 29; Fleet Survey Team completed its work Sept. 21.

"You can't get to the fight without being able to navigate to the fight, and that's what we provide," said Cmdr. David Kuehn, FLTSURVTEAM commanding officer. "We take away navigational uncertainty in the littorals, providing physical battlespace awareness to the on-scene commander in order to make safety of navigation decisions for his or her ship-to-shore force movement."

Hydrographic surveys provide that mission-critical information by measuring water depths and by creating an accurate map of the sea floor in the near-shore areas.

The six-person survey team for Bold Alligator provided the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, Expeditionary Strike Group 2, and U.S. Fleet Forces with tactical decision aids that will help leaders determine which beaches and areas of beaches are viable for landings. The monthlong project included the survey of three separate areas at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia, and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

FLTSURVTEAM (CTE is operationally part of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NAVMETOCCOM) under Fleet Forces Command, and as of Oct. 1, was administratively re-aligned under U.S. Navy Information Dominance Forces (NAVIDFOR) Command. FLTSURVTEAM conducts hydrographic surveys, related environmental assessments and produces field charts to enable safe and effective maritime navigation and access to the littorals for Naval and Joint Forces. FLTSURVTEAM also has fly-away teams to conduct rapid-response hydrographic surveys globally to support emergent U.S. Navy and combatant commanders' priority maritime requirements. NAVIDFOR is a global readiness-focused TYCOM, responsible for organizing, manning, training, equipping (MT&E) and identifying requirements for all Navy Information Dominance (ID) capabilities.

For more news from Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, visit

NNS020723-30. This Day in Naval History - Oct. 21

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1797 - The frigate Constitution launches at Edmund Hartt's Shipyard, Boston, Mass. The ship is now the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy.

1862 - The Cairo class ironclad river gunboat Louisville, under the command of Lt. Cmdr. R.W. Meade III, escorts the steamer Meteor, whose embarked Army troops landed at Bledsoe's Landing and Hamblin's Landing, Ark. The towns are burned in reprisal for attacks by Confederate guerrillas on mail steamer Gladiator early in the morning of Oct. 19.

1864 - The wooden side-wheel cruiser Fort Jackson captures steamer Wando at sea, east of Cape Romain, S.C., with cargo of cotton.

1942 - The British submarine HMS Seraph lands Navy Capt. Jerauld Wright and four Army officers including Maj. Gen. Mark Clark at Cherchel, French North Africa to meet with a French military delegation to assess French attitude towards future Allied landings ("Operation Torch"). Eventually, the French agreed to the mission.

1942 - USS Guardfish (SS 217) sinks Japanese freighter Nichiho Maru about 120 miles north-northeast of Formosa while USS Gudgeon (SS 211) attacks a Japanese convoy in the Bismarck Sea and sinks the transport Choko Maru.

1952 - USS Lewis (DE 535) aids two Korean minesweepers under fire at Wonson Harbor. As she approaches, at least four enemy batteries open up on the destroyer escort. Lewis returns fire and lays down a smoke screen to cover the minesweepers retreat. Shortly thereafter the destroyer escort takes two 75mm shell hits, killing six fire and boiler men outright and mortally wounding a seventh. The second hit explodes on the main deck, port side, lightly wounding one sailor.

NNS141021-23. Chief of Naval Personnel Visits Naval Special Warfare

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Les Long, Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) Vice Adm. Bill Moran visited Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Sailors during an all hands call on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Oct. 21.

Moran discussed a variety of topics, including enlisted retention boards, retirement, and compensation.

"I don't often get to see and talk with NSW Sailors for a lot of reasons, mostly because you're always deployed," Moran said. "I have enormous respect for this community, from the enablers to the tactical guys to the boat drivers."

One of the topics Moran addressed was Sailors' concerns about the possibility of another enlisted retention board (ERB). The ERB was a manpower reduction tool that resulted in a force reduction of nearly 3,000 Sailors in 2011.

Moran said, "We didn't do a very good job communicating about the ERB and the program was not executed very well. I can stand here and confidently tell you we don't have another ERB planned because we've stabilized as a force."

Discussions in Congress regarding changing the current retirement system for military members has service members across all branches worried that their benefits will be changed or reduced.

"If there's a change to the Navy's retirement system in the future, it will only affect Sailors who join after the system change," he said. "If we come up with a better system in the future, you will have the opportunity to opt-in, but you will never be forced to opt-out of the current system."

Moran also responded to rumors that service members were facing a possible pay cut.

"Your pay will continue to increase, but it's not going up as fast as many of us have seen over the last 13 years," he said. "Over time, our pay has caught up to and jumped slightly ahead of our civilian counterparts," said Moran.

Moran said, "My role and commitment to you is to ensure, the best that I can, that you're properly compensated, you're properly taken care of, and, most importantly, your families are properly taken care of."

As the Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Adm. Moran answers to the Chief of Naval Operations on matters of the Navy's manpower readiness. He also serves as the deputy chief of naval operations (Manpower, Personnel, Training Education/N1) and oversees the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Personnel Command, and the Navy Manpower Analysis Center.

For more news from Naval Special Warfare Group 2, visit

NNS141022-06. MCPON Kicks Off Leadership Mess Symposium with Senior Navy Leaders

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Stuart Phillips, Office of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Public Affairs

SUFFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens began his annual Leadership Mess Symposium in Suffolk, Virginia, Oct. 21, which included more than 100 fleet, force, and flag-level command master chiefs.

The symposium is designed to be a forum for the Navy's top enlisted leaders to come together to hear about current issues, programs and practices from MCPON and other senior leaders.

The first day's primary speakers included Adm. William E. Gortney, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, and Adm. Michelle Howard, vice chief of naval operations.

Gortney offered advice to the audience on remaining humble, taking care of their Sailors, and maintaining enthusiasm as leaders.

Howard spoke on three topics - three cultures - that are a high priority for her: gender integration, cyber, and ethics.

"Those are the three things I want to talk to you about today," said Howard. "And what's great is they are three things that cut across the fleet, they cut across the Armed Forces and literally they are issues that cut across America and the folks we bring into the Navy."

Howard spoke about cyber threats and how the computer and technical skills of the younger Sailors joining the fleet can be an asset to the Navy.

"The dimensions of warfare have changed," said Howard. "Some of our youngsters, they're really savvy and they're trying to tell us [in terms of cyber] we've got to get strategic, we've got to get operational and we've got to get tactical."

During her closing remarks, Howard spoke about the importance of leaders setting the example for Sailors through their behavior and habits.

"You can rarely change someone else's behavior, but you can change your own behavior," said Howard. "Probably the hardest challenge leaders have is taking ownership of themselves, and making sure that they are always positive examples, that they always have this great attitude and that they control themselves."

The Leadership Mess Symposium will continue through Oct. 24.

For more news from Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, visit

NNS141021-25. SUBPAC Units Texas, Emory S. Land, Awarded for Safety Excellence

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Swink, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The Pacific Submarine Force was honored twice for safety, Oct. 20, as the Virginia-class fast attack submarine USS Texas (SSN 775) and the submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) were each presented with the Secretary of the Navy's 2014 Safety Excellence award.

Presented during a worldwide Video Tele Conference (VTC) ceremony hosted by the Honorable Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment, the SECNAV safety awards recognize Navy and Marine Corps units for mission safety, command cultures and commitment to safety during the previous fiscal year.

The awards recognize commands from 19 different categories throughout the Navy and Marine Corps, and of those only five afloat commands. Texas was honored in the "Afloat, Submarine" category, and Emory S. Land was honored in the "Afloat, Auxiliary" category.

"It's an incredible honor, as the SECNAV Safety Excellence Award is really the cream of the crop; the top percentile of the safety programs in the Navy," said Lt. Cmdr. Chuck Wilhite, Submarine Force Pacific Safety Officer. "For Texas and Emory S. Land to both be standouts is a huge accomplishment for SUBPAC."

Captain Harry Ganteaume, commodore of Submarine Squadron 1, said this safety award is recognition of Texas' performance during their recent extended dry-dock selected restricted availability, an intense industrial maintenance period.

"The Texas command was very proactive with Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in improving our abilities to fight fires in a dry dock and industrial environment," said Ganteaume.

Commander Todd Nethercott, commanding officer of Texas, said that safety is routinely discussed at every level.

"The shipyard and the ship worked together closely and created a culture of safety where they were always looking out for each other and looking out for safety hazards on board the ship," said Nethercott. "The ship has a culture of safety and did a great job reinforcing that through a 26-month shipyard period with no major accidents or mishaps, and that's a true testament to their commitment to safety."

Wilhite attributed the influences of the submarine community of doing everything by the book and doing it right the first time to part of the successes of both Texas and Emory S. Land.

"I think that sets us up for success in the safety world, too; it just blends over into that culture," said Wilhite.

Each awardee received a citation from the SECNAV, an award plaque, and the right to fly the SECNAV's Safety Excellence Flag from now until October 2015.

"By your dedication to safety and making sure that safety is a paramount concern of our Sailors and Marines, you have earned the right to fly my SECNAV safety flag for the next year," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, congratulating the award winners in a recorded message. "It's one of the things that makes us the great organization that we are and makes us a world class safety organization."

For more information about Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit

For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit

NNS141022-07. Educators Learn From Navy STEM Experts During SeaPerch Challenge

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Richard M. Wolff, Navy Office of Information East Public Affairs

NEW YORK (NNS) -- Roughly 25 middle and high school educators from the boroughs of New York City (NYC) attended hands-on training at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building Oct. 18 to create an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) used in the SeaPerch Challenge.

The SeaPerch mentors are from local NYC U.S. Navy commands and volunteer their time to properly train teachers and demonstrate Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) concepts to help create the ROV.

"Every time we graduate an engineer in this county, three graduate from India and 10 graduate from China," said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Fourte, Navy City Outreach officer for the Northeast Region. "We need to do everything we can do to inspire the next generation of technical experts."

Fourte said the program started with a lengthy proposal to the Office of Naval Research in 2012 to fund a pilot outreach program in NYC and Los Angeles. In 2014, the program expanded to seven cities with additional funding from the Chief of Naval Personnel.

Chief Navy Career Counselor Freddie McAbee, assistant Navy City Outreach officer for the Northeast Region, said this program focuses on exposing students to STEM.

"If we can get the younger generation interested in STEM earlier, they're more prone to going into those fields down the road," McAbee said.

The training is the first step in the program. Now, these teachers head back to their schools with the demo they built and instruct a team of students on how to create the ROV. They then participate in a head-to-head competition with other teams from regional schools. If a team wins the regional contest, then it's off to the national competition where they face the best student teams from all across the country.

Dan Mejias, a teacher at St. Hope Leadership Academy who has taught for 13 years, said when the kids get their hands on a project, it becomes more fun for them.

"It piques their interest, and anything we can do to get them more interested in careers in the future is great," Mejias said. "This allows the students to apply what we teach in theory during class. It makes learning real."

The U.S. Navy is partnered with SeaPerch toward developing young minds to gain interest in STEM. These areas of study are in high demand in the Department of Defense as well as in the private sector.

Aviation Electronics Technician First Class Dwarka Ramdyal, assigned to Navy Recruiting District NYC, said he was excited to work as a mentor with the SeaPerch Challenge this year.

"I'm here to assist the teachers in the construction of the ROVs," Ramdyal said. "This is a good program that brings our Navy knowledge to the classroom environment."

SeaPerch was initially developed as a college-level program, but a DoD Joint Advertising Market Research & Studies study in 2012 indicated that children ages 9 to 14 rule out potential job fields based on social desirability, so the program focus was switched to that age bracket.

Regina Chinnici, a 16-year educator who works at Rachel Carson High School in Brooklyn, New York, asked her school to let her bring SeaPerch on board this year.

"I was very excited to see that the Navy was involved with the program because I have a son in the Navy," Chinnici said. "I think we should partner, and it's good for the students. We really need STEM people in the future and SeaPerch removes the barriers and fear students perceive after they start touching the materials. I told them I was going for this training today, and they're really excited to see what I bring back to show them."

During the competition phase of the SeaPerch Challenge, students guide their ROV through an obstacle course and compete in other various exercises to show their skill in creating a fully-functional underwater ROV.

Lana Bunning, an 8th grade science teacher at Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brooklyn, said "It works. This is my second year running the SeaPerch Challenge, and I found that the children who struggle in class are really attracted to the hands-on element of this program. They love seeing something they actually build do something, and then to get out of the neighborhood to compete was exciting for them."

"We run this as an after-school program and we have kids begging to be a part of it," said Mejias. "We end up with a full house of kids who give up their own time after school because they find this fun."

"[The students] are very competitive, so having a goal at the end of creating the ROV makes the students excited to participate," said Chinnici.

According to the STEM strategic roadmap, released by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in 2011, "large numbers of Naval STEM professionals will be retiring over the next few years, and fewer American students are graduating with the preparation and interest needed to pursue STEM careers."

The SeaPerch Challenge allows the Navy an opportunity for community outreach while inspiring teachers, engaging students through hands-on learning and Sailor mentorship, as well as educating students and encouraging them to seek an employable STEM career in the future.

"Get involved," said McAbee. "Elementary through high school students can participate. It's a neat way to create an after-school project for kids that will keep them interested and provide them access to something that they normally wouldn't be exposed to."

Personnel Specialist Seaman Donavan Samlal, assigned to Navy Operational Support Center NYC, said he was glad he volunteered as a program mentor.

"I'm actually going to one of the schools where I'll work with a team of students and their teacher to build their underwater ROV," Samlal said. "It's a good opportunity to give back to the community and help the kids."

Visit for more details on the program and how schools can get involved. To check out the Navy's STEM Career Tool, visit and like the U.S. Navy STEM Facebook page at

For more news from Navy Office of Information, East, visit

NNS141021-24. German Navy Surgeon General Visits Navy Medicine Operational Training Center in Pensacola

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bruce Cummins, NMETC Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The German Navy's senior medical officer visited the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery's (BUMED) premier training facility for operational medicine and aviation survival training, Oct. 21.

Rear Adm. Hans Wolfgang von der Heide-Kattwinkel, surgeon general of the German Navy, visited Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC), receiving a brief on the command's scope and responsibilities before touring the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute (NAMI) and Naval Survival Training Institute (NSTI), both components of NMOTC.

Von der Heide-Kattwinkel, in his current position since 2012, previously served as the German Navy's Deputy Surgeon General for six years, but has maintained a significant tie to Pensacola, Florida; specifically NAMI, for more than two decades, having undergone Flight Surgeon Training there in 1991.

"[This visit] is to enhance cooperation because we want to send our students on a regular basis here because the Navy Flight Surgeon training is one of the best in the world," von der Heide-Kattwinkel said. "To get the flight training, the officer's training, the medical training is unique and no nation in the world has something like this."

The Naval Aerospace Medical Institute is the U.S. Navy's singular facility for training U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aeromedical officers, and boasts a robust international training program further cementing the already significant partnerships Navy Medicine maintains with allied forces, according to NMOTC Executive Officer Capt. Kris Belland, MC.

"NMOTC and Navy Medicine have long maintained a stellar relationship with our allied partners," he said. "The NAMI Flight Surgeon program is internationally recognized, and hosting a former graduate of the program who has risen to the top commissioned rank in his respective service is an honor for us." The German Navy [Marine] is part of the Federal Defense Forces of Germany [Bundeswehr Streitkrafte], which has seen German forces deployed in most North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or European Union theaters except Iraq.

NAMI is a component of the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC), the recognized global leader in operational medical and aviation survival training, which reports to Navy Medicine Education and Training Command (NMETC). NMETC manages Navy Medicine's formal enlisted and officer education and training programs, medical operational training for medical and medical support personnel deploying worldwide, and training that prepares aviators and flight crews to survive in land and water mishaps.

NAMI, NMOTC and NMETC are all part of the Navy Medicine team, a global health care network of Navy medical professionals around the world who provide high-quality health care to eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ships, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

For more news from Navy Medicine Education and Training Command, visit

NNS141022-08. Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Joins Yorktown Day Celebration

By Mark O. Piggott, Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Public Affairs

YORKTOWN, Va. (NNS) -- Naval Weapons Station Yorktown (WPNSTA Yorktown) joined other military installations to celebrate the 233rd anniversary of the 1781 Victory at Yorktown, Oct. 19.

The Colonial National Historical Park and the Yorktown Day Association also participated in the celebration, which included a parade through downtown Yorktown, Virginia, patriotic exercises and a memorial wreath laying at the Yorktown Victory Monument.

Yorktown Day marks the anniversary of the American-French victory in 1781 over the British. Following a nine-day bombardment, British forces in Yorktown under General Cornwallis requested a cease-fire, Oct. 19, 1781, and surrendered more than 8,000 soldiers and sailors to the combined American and French armies commanded by General George Washington. This was the last major military action of the American Revolution, effectively securing independence for the American colonies following a six-and-a-half year military struggle.

"It is a seminal crossroads in the history of our great nation," said Gary Hodges, member of the Thomas Nelson Jr., Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. "Most people across the country celebrate the 4th of July as America's birthday. We in Yorktown celebrate it as Yorktown Day."

The Comte de Grasse Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution celebrated the 25th ceremony of the sponsorship of the Yorktown Day activities, Oct. 19, 1947. The ceremony spurred the interest of other groups to form a committee to plan and carry out Yorktown Day programs. These groups formed the Yorktown Day Association, Aug. 19, 1949. Since that time, the Yorktown Day Association has planned events every year to commemorate the American victory at Yorktown.

"This is an historic event that brings the entire community together, both civilian and military, every October the 19th," said Captain Paul Haebler, commanding officer, WPNSTA Yortkown. "It's part of the unique position we have at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, sitting in the heart of the 'Historic Triangle' of Yorktown, Williamsburg, and Jamestown."

For the men and women of Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown Day is their big annual event, which highlights the purpose for their existence. Having the military participate in the festivities makes it even better.

"The total number of active duty participating was well over 400; that included a reviewing stand with military commanders from Joint Langley/Fort Eustis, Naval Weapons Station and the Coast Guard Training Center," said P. Daniel Smith, superintendant, Colonial National Historical Park. "Members of the 7th Transportation Expeditionary Brigade Salute Battery kicked off the Yorktown Day parade on an incredibly beautiful October day that included marching units from all the branches of the our military making this the most memorable Yorktown Day commemoration in my ten year tenure as superintendent."

The Battle of Yorktown will always have the distinction as the final battle of the American Revolution that started the birth of the United States of America. In Yorktown, that day will always be remembered with appropriate amounts of pomp and circumstance.

For more news from Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, visit

NNS020723-31. This Day in Naval History - Oct. 22

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1846 - Lavinia Fanning Watson of Philadelphia christens the sloop-of-war Germantown, the first U.S. Navy ship to be sponsored by a woman.

1862 - The screw frigate Wabash provides artillery support for Union infantry troops at the Battle of Pocotaligo, S.C. One of the gun crew, who was seriously injured, was Ordinary Seaman Oscar W. Farenholt, the first enlisted man in the Navy to reach flag rank. The battery from Wabash took part in artillery operations all along the South Atlantic coast.

1942 - The destroyers USS Mahan (DD 364) and USS Lamson (DD 367) sink the Japanese gunboat Hakkaisan Maru southwest of Tamana.

1951 - The first detonation, "Able", takes place in the Operation Buster-Jangle nuclear tests. "Uncle", the last of the seven tests, is detonated Nov. 29. Navy and Marine Corps observers and 3rd Marines take part in this Department of Defense operation.

1962 - President John F. Kennedy orders a surface naval quarantine of Cuba to prevent Soviet offensive weapons from reaching Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. By forcefully employing U.S. naval forces, President John F. Kennedy is able to achieve his strategic objectives and deal with a dangerous and well-armed Soviet Union without war.

1972 - The Navy Counselor (NC) rating is established to assist in managing retention and augmenting recruiting with subject matter experts in the all-volunteer force. The rating is not open to first-term enlistees due to depth of the Navy's organization, and only second and first class petty officers are accepted to join the rate.

NNS141023-10. Department of Energy Awards NDW Energy Program

By Shawn Miller, Naval District Washington Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Federal Interagency Energy Policy Committee have selected the Naval District Washington (NDW) and Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Washington energy program for a 2014 Federal Energy and Water Management Award.

The award, set to be presented during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., Dec. 9, recognizes the region's 2013-14 energy initiatives and accomplishments to include energy intensity and water intensity reduction across each of the six installations within NDW through the program's focus on five energy pillars: energy culture, information, efficiency, renewable energy/alternative fuels, and energy security.

"We are extremely pleased and honored to be recognized by the Department of Energy for our energy accomplishments," said NAVFAC Commanding Officer Rear Adm. Kate Gregory when the DOE awards were announced earlier this year. "Energy conservation is a high priority at all of our bases, and these programs reflect our ongoing commitment in meeting the secretary of the Navy's energy goals."

The NDW energy policy released last year calls for energy to be a top priority for all hands at all times. The program has continued its efforts into 2014, launching new projects and bolstering leadership roles. Recent initiatives include the D.C. Capital Solar Challenge, focused on renewable energy across NDW; the NAVFAC Washington retro-commissioning and continuous commissioning programs; the Transportation Alternative Fuels Program and the Shore Operations Center Pilot Study at the Washington Navy Yard, which serves as a centralized hub using SmartGrid technology and advanced energy meters to monitor power usage on an individual building level across the installation.

NDW Energy Director Lt. Cmdr. Keith Benson said using a SmartGrid system and other advanced equipment are only part of the overall solution.

"Technology is a piece to energy management, but without the leadership engaged and running the program, the program goes nowhere," Benson noted.

Building energy monitors as well as installation energy managers have been assigned to such leadership roles at each of the regional installations to help promote a positive energy culture and contribute to the overall NDW energy mission. Benson and other energy officials convene every two weeks for energy management boards, where they review efforts and identify new areas to explore.

NDW recently expanded options for alternative and renewable fuel use by installing electric vehicle charging stations for personal use at Navy Exchanges in the area, and last month announced a $27.9 million Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) at Naval Air Station Patuxent River to install upgraded lighting, ground source heat pump installation, water conservation measures, thermostats and controls replacement, and building envelope upgrades.

Benson said several more ESPCs and Utility Energy Services Contracts are already in the works for 2015, which will have a significant impact on reducing energy and water intensity even further in the future.

Other projects include replacing lighting fixtures with more efficient LED lights at various locations, as well as exploring options to possibly install solar photovoltaic panels at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling and NAS Patuxent River.

Earning the DOE award for the comprehensive program is a positive way to recognize the efforts of everyone involved across all installations and at all levels of the NDW energy program, Benson added.

"We have a robust, comprehensive energy program that is starting to really work on all cylinders right now with key people and key focus areas," he said. "We're starting to see big differences being made. It's an exciting time to be working in energy."

To learn more about the Federal Energy and Water Management Awards and to see a complete list of the 2014 winners, visit To stay up to date with news and information from around NDW, visit

For more news from Naval District Washington, visit

NNS141023-01. US and Philippine Seabees Further Cooperation

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Lowell Whitman, 30th Naval Construction Regiment Public Affairs

PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- The 30th Naval Construction Regiment (30th NCR) hosted Navy Seabees from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during a bilateral exchange between the two naval construction forces Oct. 13-22.

Key Philippine Seabee leaders in attendance included AFP's Naval Construction Brigade commander, Commodore Elmer Carrillo, commanding officers of naval combat engineering brigades, and other staff.

The engagement encompassed a broad range of U.S. Naval Construction Force capabilities throughout California, showcasing assets from Naval Base Ventura County, Fort Hunter Liggett and San Diego. The Philippine Seabees attended briefs and went on tours of Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1, 30th NCR, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3, Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 2, Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 303, Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC), Civil Engineering Corps Officer Candidate School (CECOS), Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering (CSFE), Naval Facilities and Engineering Command (NAVFAC), Expeditionary Warfare Center (EXWC), and NAVFAC Southwest.

Members of NMCB 5 demonstrated their capabilities for the Philippine Seabees while conducting their field-training exercise at Fort Hunter Liggett. Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 1 demonstrated offload of cargo and amphibious landings with the Improved Navy Landing System (INLS) during Exercise Pacific Horizon 2015 at Camp Pendleton.

"It opened up awareness among the staff on the possibilities of how to enhance the capabilities of the Seabees and how it can best be applied to amphibious operations and support the Marines, and of course other aspects that will further improve the functions of the Seabees," Capt. Benito Ante, director, Philippines Naval Safety Office, said of the exercise.

The visit saw its beginnings in 2012, during travels by Capt. Rodney Moore, former commanding officer of 30th NCR. Ante, brigade operations officer at the time, expressed an interest to Moore in continuing previous exchanges that occurred between the two engineering forces in 2004 and 2009.

"During [Exercise] Balikatan it is usually the enlisted men who engage the U.S. enlisted men," said Ante. "But, when officers are able to engage the staff, it enhances coordination, [and] will facilitate and expedite collaboration during bilateral activities."

Exercise Balikatan, meaning "shoulder-to-shoulder" in Tagalog, is an annual bilateral exercise involving members of the AFP and U.S. armed forces. Its goals are to develop crisis action planning, train, promote interoperability, and conduct joint humanitarian and disaster relief projects.

Beyond Balikatan however, 30th NCR has a presence in the Philippines year-round, with currently ongoing schoolhouse and Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development building projects on the island of Cebu (among others).

"The Philippines is a critical country for our strategic importance and we want to continue our key leader engagements so that when we operate in that theatre we have a great working relationship," said Cmdr. Roberto Alvarado, chief staff officer of 30th NCR.

Both Alvarado and Ante characterized the relationship between U.S. and Filipino Seabees as strong, amicable, and very open to discussion.

The 30th NCR provides operations control over naval engineering forces throughout the Pacific, Southwest Asia, and the western United States in response to combat commander and naval component commander requirements. They serve an integral part of the Naval Construction Force and accomplish major combat operations, theatre security cooperation, humanitarian assistance, disaster recovery, and phase zero requirements across the Pacific area of responsibility.

For more news from Naval Construction Group 1, visit

NNS141023-08. Sailors Enhance International STEM Awareness in Singapore

From Commander Task Force 73 Public Affairs

SINGAPORE (NNS) -- Sailors and civilian personnel from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) journeyed to Singapore to support the inaugural Maritime RobotX Challenge, Oct. 24-26.

The event is sponsored by ONR and organized by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Foundation, the National University of Singapore Faculty of Engineering, and Science Center Singapore.

Over the weekend, 15 teams of college students from top engineering universities in the United States, Singapore, Australia, Japan, and South Korea will compete to see who can turn an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) into the most effective autonomous system, able to accomplish mission-related tasks without the aid of remote control.

Fourteen Sailors and five civilian technical experts from ONR and SPAWAR will spend the week preparing the teams by overseeing transportation of the USVs to and from the water and setting up an obstacle course. Navy personnel will also act as safety observers, inspectors and judges.

"We are here to develop and identify future engineering talent," said Lt. Mark McDaniel, project lead for ONR Reserve Component Support for RobotX. "Through U.S. and international competitions like this one, our goal is to drum up interest in robotics among college students, who could become the next generation of engineers at ONR and in the fleet."

Each team was given an identical USV - an unpowered version of the 16-foot Wave Adaptive Modular Vehicle - and tasked with adding sensors, software and other technology that will allow the vehicle to think and move on its own.

Teams will have to complete several tasks to demonstrate autonomous navigation and control; obstacle detection and avoidance; docking and object identification; underwater search for an acoustic source; and observation, identification and reporting of a specified object.

"I love being part of these robotics competitions," said Electronics Technician 1st Class Kyle Allen, assigned to SPAWAR. "To watch these students put so much effort into improving these vehicles is amazing. They invest all their time and energy into this project and we are amazed by the type of innovations they come up with in such a short time period."

The biennial event aims to strengthen students' knowledge in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), enhancing skills the U.S. Navy will need as the current generation of naval scientists and engineers reaches retirement age.

"Our support of STEM events has a significant impact on the next generation of naval scientists," said Cmdr. Eric Pihl, unmanned vehicle program manager assigned to SPAWAR Reserve Program. "With the DoD (Department of Defense) expecting a 30 percent loss of its science and technology professionals through retirement by 2020, there is a great need to mentor and encourage the next generation.

"Reservists at SPAWAR and ONR play an important role in the effort," he added.

The three U.S. teams are made up of students from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida Atlantic University/Villanova and Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Olin College. Along with the international teams, they will be competing for $100,000 in prize money.

"This was the first RobotX competition and I can only see this growing," said Allen. "There are a lot of nations we worked with this week that can bring these ideas and improvements back to their countries. It's amazing to see what people can do with technology."

For more news from Commander, Task Force 73, visit

NNS141022-13. Navy and Marine Corps Honored with Popular Mechanics' Breakthrough Award for Innovation

By John Joyce, NSWC Dahlgren Division Public Affairs

NEW YORK (NNS) -- A Navy civilian engineer and two of his Marine Austere Patrolling System (MAPS) colleagues received a Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award at a New York ceremony, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) announced Oct. 22.

Popular Mechanics honored Eric South - the NSWCDD lead electrical engineer for MAPS - for his role in developing the system as an individual, wearable power management and distribution system, enabling Marines to patrol longer without resupply.

"It was an honor to participate in the Breakthrough Awards ceremony and to interact with groundbreaking scientists and engineers across the country," said South. "MAPS is a project that focuses on the idea of sustaining the power, energy, and water of dismounted troops. It's a culmination of government and contractor efforts, and we work very closely with Marines. Their direct feedback is what goes into the system design and improvement."

South collaborates on MAPS with Marine Capt. Anthony Ripley, science and technology lead at the U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office, and Phillip Jenkins, Naval Research Laboratory MAPS solar scientist, who were also honored at the Oct. 7 gala event.

"I was proud to accept the 2014 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Technology of the Year Award for the Marine Austere Patrolling System (MAPS) on behalf of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office Team," said Ripley. "It was the culmination of many years of effort and collaboration between multiple organizations."

The system features an advanced solar panel and a water filtration system. It integrates flat-form batteries and provides a central source of electrical energy that can be adapted to any equipment's electrical requirements.

Common electronics the vest can power for Marines include gear such as radios, night-vision goggles, global positioning system, laptops and universal serial bus powered equipment.

"Marines' direct feedback is what goes into the system design and improvement," said South. "We are now partnering with OSD (Office of the Secretary of Defense) and the U.S. Army on next generation MAPS concepts. One day, Marines and Soldiers will be able to filter water on the move. Since they'll be able to generate, store, and manage their own power, warfighters won't have to carry around so many batteries. We will be able to extend our missions and lethality without relying as much on re-supply. That is why Popular Mechanics awarded MAPS a breakthrough award - and we're not done yet."

The next evolution of MAPS is called the Joint Infantry Company Prototype.

"The Joint Infantry Company Prototype will push the envelope further by integrating wearable systems that generate power from Marines' movement," said Ripley. "In the future, a MAPS-like system will sustain dismounted Marines during multi-day operations and reduce the need for energy and water re-supply in austere environments."

In addition to South, Ripley and Jenkins, Popular Mechanics honored inventors of the world's first 3D-printed car, and a premade skyscraper. High school and middle school students were also recognized with the magazine's Next Generation Award for achievements that will help improve lives of the visually impaired, aging society, and more.

"For ten years, the Breakthrough Awards have unearthed and honored some of the most important innovations in America," said Ryan D'Agostino, editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics. "This year, for the first time, we focus entirely on achievements that are having an immediate impact on our culture - the people, things, and ideas that are making a real difference right now. We are honored to be able to tell the world about them."

MAPS is being developing for the Marine Expeditionary Energy Office and directly supports the USMC Expeditionary Energy Strategy and Implementation Plan to, "deploy Marine Expeditionary Forces that can maneuver from the sea and sustain C4I (command, control, computers and intelligence) and life support systems in place."

For more news from NSWC Dahlgren , visit

NNS020723-32. This Day in Naval History - Oct. 23

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1862 - CSS Alabama, commanded by Capt. Raphael Semmes, captures and burns the American bark Lafayette south of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

1864 - During the Civil War, the blockade-runner Flamingo, which is run aground off Sullivan's Island, S.C., is destroyed by shell fire from Fort Strong and Putnam, Battery Chatfield, and ships of Rear Adm. John A. Dahlgren's South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

1942 - U.S. Navy submarine Kingfish (SS 234) sinks Japanese gunboat at the entrance to Kii Suido, Honshu.

1944 - The Battle of Leyte Gulf, considered the largest naval battle of World War II, begins with the U.S. submarines attacking two elements of the Japanese armada moving towards Leyte. In the Palawan Passage, USS Darter and USS Dace sink heavy cruisers Maya and Atago. Takao is also hit, but survives. Off Manila Bay, USS Bream's torpedoes damage the heavy cruiser Aoba.

1983 - A suicide truck bomb explodes at the Marine Barracks at Beirut Airport and kills 241 Americans (220 Marines, 18 Sailors, and three Army Soldiers).

1983 - The U.S. Navy begins preparation for Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada, West Indies), which occurs only two days later.

NNS141024-05. Navy to Commission Submarine North Dakota

From Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- The Navy will commission its newest attack submarine North Dakota, during a ceremony Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, at Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.

North Dakota, designated SSN 784, honors the state's citizens and veterans and their strong military support and heritage from the Frontier Wars through the Cold War and currently the Global War on Terrorism. Seventeen North Dakotans have received the Medal of Honor for actions in combat.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Katie Fowler, wife of retired Vice Adm. Jeff Fowler, is serving as the ship's sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will give the order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"

"USS North Dakota and her crew represent the finest we have to offer in our Navy's undersea force," Greenert said. "They will continue a legacy of heroism and rich tradition since the earliest days of our submarine program. This fine crew will benefit from the steadfast dedication and commitment of its sponsor, Katie Fowler; she has devoted herself to the service life of this fine ship and whose spirit and presence will serve as a guide for both ship and crew."

North Dakota is the second ship named in honor of North Dakota, and will be the 11th Virginia-class submarine.

Next-generation attack submarines provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation's undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. They have improved stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that will enable them to meet the Navy's multi-mission requirements.

North Dakota has the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea-based forces. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare; special forces delivery and support; and mine delivery and minefield mapping.

Virginia-class submarines are 7,800 tons and 377 feet in length, have a beam of 34 feet, and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged. They are built with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.

To view the ceremony via live webcast, please go to: [ ]

Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at (703) 697-5342. For more information visit: [ ]

NNS141024-01. USS Michael Murphy Arrives in 7th Fleet AOR

From Commander, Task Force 70 Public Affairs

USS MICHAEL MURPHY, At Sea (NNS) -- Guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) arrived in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) Oct. 23.

Commanded by Cmdr. Todd Hutchison, the ship and its crew of more than 300 Sailors, assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31, are scheduled to conduct goodwill activities with partner nations along with various presence operations such as Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) during the ship's first operational forward deployment.

"Team Murphy is excited to be on our maiden deployment, and looking forward to conducting a wide range of exercises while in the AOR," said Hutchinson. "We are dedicated to ensuring that every day we are contributing to strengthening maritime partnerships, promoting stability, and showing our commitment to the region."

The 7th Fleet AOR covers more than 48 million square miles and spans from west of the international dateline to the western coast of India. Vice Adm. Robert Thomas Jr., commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, is responsible for more than 45,000 Sailors, 100 ships and submarines, and more than 200 aircraft in the largest naval AOR.

Michael Murphy is named for Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a New York native who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan in 2005. Murphy was the first person to be awarded the medal for actions in Afghanistan, and the first member of the U.S. Navy to receive the award since the Vietnam War.

Homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Michael Murphy is a multi-mission ship with anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare surface combatants capabilities; designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS141024-03. US and Republic of Korea Navies Increase Combined Capabilities During Clear Horizon 2014

By Lt. Arlo Abrahamson, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

CHINHAE, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- The U.S. and Republic of Korea navies completed a successful mine countermeasures exercise Oct. 24, in waters south of the Korean peninsula.

The annual Clear Horizon exercise ran Oct. 20-24 and was designed to increase interoperability in mine countermeasures operations between the U.S. and Republic of Korea navies.

"Clear Horizon 2014 was a very successful exercise for both navies," said Capt. Mike Dowling, commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7. "We operated together in a difficult and demanding training environment, and we've increased our combined capabilities in mine countermeasures operations."

Approximately 330 U.S. Navy personnel assigned to Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7, mine countermeasure ships USS Warrior (MCM 10) and USS Chief (MCM 14); along with MH-53E helicopters from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 14 and a team from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5, Platoon 501, participated in the training alongside their Republic of Korea navy partners.

During the exercise, U.S. and Republic of Korea navy ships, aircraft and explosive ordnance disposal divers practiced clearing routes for shipping and conducted training surveys for clearing operational areas. Mine clearing helicopters and remotely operated vehicles were also used to rehearse mine countermeasures operations from the air and under the sea.

"We achieved our training objectives during this exercise," said Cmdr. Kim, Boem Woo, of the Republic of Korea Fleet. "Clear Horizon 2014 increased the readiness of both navies to effectively carry out mine countermeasures operations in the maritime environment."

Leaders from both navies said the training made them more confident in their ability to work as a team during combined operations at sea.

"I am extremely proud of the performance of my crew during exercise Clear Horizon," said Lt. Cmdr. James Correia, commanding officer of USS Chief. "Our crew received some very valuable training during the exercise and we enhanced our ability to operate with our partners in the Republic of Korea navy."

Clear Horizon is one of approximately 20 annual bilateral training exercises held each year between the U.S. and Republic of Korea navies aimed at strengthening the alliance and preserving stability and peace around the Korean peninsula and throughout Northeast Asia.

The U.S. 7th Fleet maintains routine presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to help promote maritime security and develop partnerships with friends and allies. Forward-deployed U.S. naval presence contributes to freedom of navigation, operational readiness, and enables an exchange of culture, skills, and tactical knowledge with nations throughout the region.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea, visit

NNS141023-12. Navy Harvests Decommissioned Frigates' Weapon Systems for Coast Guard Use

By Joseph Battista, NAVSSES Public Affairs

PHILADELPHIA (NNS) -- Engineers at Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station (NAVSSES), Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division are harvesting weapon system components from decommissioned U.S. Navy frigates (FFGs) for re-use on Coast Guard cutters.

The harvesting of components from four decommissioned frigates will result in more than $24 million in cost avoidance, with more expected from a fifth ship. The Navy's leveraging of decommissioned ships' assets shows a judicious use of resources and collaboration between services.

"The Navy's FFGs will all be decommissioned by the end of fiscal year 2015, but the Coast Guard cutters have the same gun weapons systems," said Abe Boughner, with Auxiliary Ships/Acquisition Support Branch at NAVSSES.

The equipment includes MK 75, 76mm/62 caliber gun mounts, as well as gun control panels, barrels, launchers, junction boxes and other components. The Coast Guard can use all of this equipment on cutters during the course of the ships' expected service life, which spans into the 2030s.

The harvesting effort began in December 2012 when Roger Raber of Naval Sea System Command's Surface Warfare Readiness Directorate proposed a plan to harvest equipment from five decommissioned FFGs docked at the Navy's inactive ship maintenance facility in Philadelphia. Raber coordinated with NAVSSES engineers E. Alan Karpovitch, the Navy's propulsion program manager, and Ashley Ferguson, mechanical engineer, to oversee the daily operations of removing items from the frigates. The Coast Guard also provided a team to assist with removal of components from the FFGs.

"If I get a request for a part and it's feasible for me to pull it off a ship, I will," said Karpovitch. "Many of the pieces of hardware on these ships are still serviceable and can be recycled."

Timothy Wallace, equipment specialist with the Coast Guard Surface Forces Logistics Center (SFLC), provided a logistics asset request for the gun mounts in early fiscal year 2013. The gun mounts were deemed serviceable and a plan was enacted to remove them from the frigates. The SFLC worked in conjunction with Stephen Remsey, the Navy's MK 75 In-Service Engineering Agent, to coordinate the transportation of the gun mounts to U.S. Coast Guard's Curtis Bay Yard in Baltimore, Maryland.

"From the Coast Guard's standpoint the FFG harvesting has been a complete success," said Wallace. "The final cost avoidance figure will not be known until harvesting of the fifth FFG is complete."

Some of the MK 75 mounts will be placed into the overhaul cycle at the Coast Guard Yard Ordnance Shop and returned to service onboard Famous Class cutters. One mount is slated to support the Coast Guard's sustainment program for parts no longer manufactured or in short supply. Other components will also be placed in the overhaul cycle for later return to service.

"This is the right thing to do," said Raber. "I sleep well knowing that we are outfitting the cutters with reliable equipment that is vital to their mission."

The Surface Warfare Directorate maintains more than 50 inactive ships for future disposal, donation, or transfer. It also provides follow-on technical support to more than 150 active ships in more than 50 partner navies and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Ship Systems Engineering Station, Philadelphia is a major component of Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division. It is the Navy's principal test and evaluation station and in-service engineering agent for all hull, mechanical and electrical ship systems and equipment and has the capability to test and engineer the full range of shipboard systems and equipment from full-scale propulsion systems to digital controls and electric power systems.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS141024-19. Admiral Bill Gortney Receives Gray Eagle Award

From U.S. Fleet Forces Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Adm. Bill Gortney, received the Gray Eagle award in honor of being the most senior naval aviator on active duty during a ceremony aboard nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (TR) (CVN 71), Oct. 18.

The award presentation was held in conjunction with the Navy's 239th Birthday celebration aboard the ship.

The Gray Eagle award is a metallic trophy that resembles a gray eagle landing on the deck of the Navy's first aircraft carrier, USS Langley (CV 1). Retired Vice Adm. James Zortman, sector vice president for Global Logistics and Operational Support at Northrop Grumman, presented the award to Gortney. The former Gray Eagle award holder was Gen. James Amos, the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps, who held the award from July 17, 2008 until Oct. 17.

"This award is symbolic of the historical significance of naval aviation as we pass excellence from one generation to another," said Gortney as he addressed the audience during the award ceremony. "I would like you all to give a round of applause to the future of naval aviation, many of whom you see right here aboard Theodore Roosevelt, and to the young student naval aviators and naval flight officers that will continue to bear the 'true torch of excellence' of naval aviation."

Gortney said being awarded the Gray Eagle was significant because he could share it with the Gray Owl awardee, which is presented to the most senior naval flight officer serving on active duty.

"The best part of this award is the fact that I get to share it with my longtime wingman and shipmate, Vice Adm. Dave Buss. He is the 'Gray Owl,' and our current airboss (the commander, Naval Air Forces and commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet). He couldn't be here today because he is in Corpus Christi, Texas, pinning the gold wings on his son, who just two weeks ago, carrier qualified aboard the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75)," said Gortney.

According to Zortman, the Gray Eagle award is a culmination of Gortney's 38 years of military service, having garnered more than 5,360 mishap-free flight hours, 1,265 carrier-arrested landings, and leading at various levels of naval aviation and throughout the Navy.

After the conclusion of the award presentation, the Fleet Forces Band provided a concert in celebration of the Navy's 239th Birthday. In addition, Navy culinary specialists stationed aboard TR provided decorative cakes and refreshments for all who attended the event.

The Gray Eagle Trophy made its first appearance in 1961 during the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Naval Aviation. Two years prior, while serving as commander in chief, Allied Forces, Southern Europe, Adm. Charles R. Brown wrote to the then Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air), Vice Adm. Robert B. Pirie, that a baton or similar token be awarded to the senior aviator in the point of service in flying, and be handed down from one person to the next in the passing years.

In 1960, Chance Vought Aircraft, Inc., now Northrop Grumman Corporation, proposed the trophy design with the inscription "In recognition of a clear eye, a stout heart, a steady hand, and a daring defiance of gravity and the law of averages." The name of each recipient and the dates of the title the award was held are also engraved on the trophy.

The senior Navy or Marine Corps aviator maintains the title of 'Gray Eagle' until the member retires and a new recipient is named from the official precedence list of prospective Gray Eagles, maintained by the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

For more news from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, visit

NNS141024-06. Porter Prepares for Change of Homeport

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ellen E. Hilkowski, USS Porter Public Affairs

NORFOLK , Va. (NNS) -- In support of Navy ballistic missile defense (BMD) efforts abroad, Sailors and families from USS Porter (DDG 78) attended a series of briefings Oct. 21 at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, prior to their impending move to Rota, Spain.

The event, which was the third such summit, hosted by Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT) and Naval Station Rota (NAVSTA ROTA), included informational presentations along with question and answer sessions held by subject matter experts. Additional resources augmented the presentations to assist Sailors and their family members as they move to Spain.

Commander, Destroyer Squadron 60, Capt. Jim Aiken and the Commanding Officer of Naval Station Rota, Capt. Gregory Pekari, kicked off the briefs with an introduction on life in Rota.

"I think this is going to be a tremendous experience for you," said Aiken. "There are actual people here to answer your questions. This is an excellent opportunity to start planning."

"This is a great opportunity for you to get everything off your chest as you get ready to transition to another country," added Pekari.

Fourteen subject matter experts (SME) made the trip to Norfolk to assist the Sailors and Family Readiness Group members, and provide information about Rota, travel procedures and everything they need to accomplish prior to moving.

"The best thing you can do prior to coming over to Rota is be prepared," said Lt. Andrew Weiss, special assistant to the commanding officer at Naval Hospital Rota. "It's an exciting place to live but there are a lot of variables in moving several thousand miles. By getting information in advance it'll allow for the smoothest transition possible."

"This [briefing] gives you a chance to specifically engage with the people who can help remove obstacles from your move," said Weiss. "Then when you get to Rota, you can chat with people that will be your neighbors or co-workers and you can start to develop relationships with the community before you're even there."

SURFLANT has gathered online sources and created a comprehensive website for Sailors and their families to use. Representatives also handed out "welcome aboard" brochures and discussed the Rota YouTube channel, which features videos about life in Rota and video of the briefings for those who may have missed them.

"I had some questions about school transportation for my kids, but the SMEs gave me clarification," said Sheila Richardson, whose husband serves on Porter. "I'm more confident about our move after the presentations and I think it's going to be a great experience."

For more information, visit the following websites:

Rota Welcome Aboard Brochure:

"Let's Move to Rota, Spain" website:

"Rota Move" You Tube channel:


NAVSTA Rota Facebook:

For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, visit

NNS141023-15. 31st Beirut Memorial Service Honors Rhode Island Nine Marines Killed

By Bob Krekorian, NAVSTA Newport Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (NNS) -- The nine Marines from Rhode Island who died on Oct. 23, 1983 in the terrorist truck bombing attack at the Marine barracks, Beirut, Lebanon, were memorialized, Oct. 23, at the 31st anniversary Beirut Memorial Service conducted in the Portsmouth Historical Society chapel.

The 'Rhode Island Nine' were honored as heroes during the memorial service that was attended by their surviving Gold Star family members, friends; and members of veterans organizations amongst the 100 attendees.

During the roll call of honor, family members were called forward to place a carnation in a wreath donated by the VFW Post 5390, Portsmouth.

Honored were: Sgt. Timothy Giblin, North Providence; Cpl. Rick R. Crudale, Warwick; Cpl. Edward S. Iacovino Jr., Warwick; Cpl. David C. Massa, Warwick; Cpl. Thomas A. Ship, Woonsocket; Cpl. Edward Soares Jr., Tiverton; brother's in law Cpl. James F. Silvia, Middletown, and Cpl. Stephen E. Spencer, Portsmouth, and Lance Cpl. Thomas A. Julian, Middletown.

Attending were a contingent of Marines from Marine Corps Detachment (MARDET) Newport.

Also, attending the ceremony were: Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D); U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I.; and Brig. Gen. Charles Petrarca, Rhode Island National Guard.

"It's right and very appropriate that we do this to honor the Rhode Island Nine and those others who died in Beirut," Chafee said in his remarks.

"They made the ultimate sacrifice these great American heroes," Cicilline said.

Supporting the ceremony were a Navy Band Northeast brass ensemble, and vocalist, Musician 1st Class Dan Smith, who sang a cappella the National Anthem; and a color guard from Marine Corps Detachment Newport, Naval Station Newport.

"Your Marines, the Rhode Island Nine, were cut from the same cloth that reflects honor, courage, commitment, selflessness, and bravery," said guest speaker Lt. Col. Matt Palma, USMC, professor, Maritime Advanced Warfighting Program, Naval War College.

"This was the largest group of casualties since the Battle of Iwo Jima," he said.

Of the 220 Marines, 18 Sailors, and three soldiers who died in the Beirut Marine complex, Rhode Island suffered the most losses with nine.

"I consider these casualties as some of the first casualties of the global war on terror," Palma, a native of Bristol, R.I., said.

"The global war on terror started way before 911," he said.

Palma recalled the events of that tragic day when the driver of a yellow Mercedes stake bed truck drove by the barracks complex but soon returned, crashing through a barbed wire barrier and a sandbagged booth and crashed into the barracks compound, lodging itself in the lobby where its drive detonated a gas-enhanced suicide bomb.

"An FBI forensic expert determined the bomb was equivalent to 12,000 pounds of TNT, and reportedly the largest non-nuclear blast to date," Palma said.

Palma said the bombing at the Marine complex has served as a case study in force protection, operations intelligence, and rules of engagement.

Palma recalled an incident in 2008 in which two Marines were called upon to guard the front gate of a combined Marine and Iraqi police patrol base. Their orders were to stop unauthorized vehicles from passing their security checkpoint.

A dump truck, loaded with 2,000 pounds of explosives, raced towards their position.

Palma said video footage recovered later showed the Marines stood their ground together and defended the checkpoint before the truck exploded.

In six seconds the truck exploded killing the Marines.

"These two Marines didn't hesitate and their actions saved the lives of more than 150 Marines and Iraqi policemen," Palma said.

Speaking to the family members seated, Palma said, "I hope you can face this day knowing that these two Marines faced danger every day and did not run away from it."

"We accept completely the hazards associated with our unique mission because it is our duty," Palma said.

Amongst those attending was Jeff Moy of Middletown, who graduated Rogers High School, Newport. He attended basic training in 1981 with Spencer, Soares, Silvia, and Julian.

"The last time I saw them they were 17 years old. I miss them," Moy said.

Other wreaths displayed during a wreath-laying following the memorial service were provided by the Marine Corps League and the Portsmouth Garden Club.

For more news from Naval Station Newport, visit

NNS141024-07. Antietam Enhances Interoperability with Philippines, Japan

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman David Flewellyn, USS Antietam Public Affairs

USS ANTIETAM, At Sea (NNS) -- Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) participated in a training evolution with Philippine navy frigate Gregorio Del Pilar (PF 15) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyer JS Sazanami (DD 113) Oct. 22.

During the evolution, the ships conducted several drills in live-fire gunnery, communications, and close-in maneuvering.

"It was a very professional, well executed event," said Cmdr. Steven Liberty, Antietam's executive officer. "These types of evolutions help strengthen our ties with our regional partners, and help ensure that we have the ability to work together in the future to ensure peace and stability in the region."

The events were challenging at times due to the coordination needed for three navies, who are all used to operating in a different way.

"It was really helpful in getting us familiar with how they operate and how they communicate," said Lt. j.g. Jordan Klein, from Olympia, Washington, who was the officer of the deck during the navigational portion of the evolution. "If we had to do this in a real-world scenario, we know we can adapt and work with them very quickly."

For the crew, it was an exciting opportunity to conduct a live-fire gunnery exercise with the .50-caliber machine guns.

"The gun shoot coordination was really good," said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Nathan Russell, from Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. "We went right down the line, one ship after another, taking turns firing."

Antietam is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS141024-16. Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton Observes Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Yasmine T. Muhammad, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton Public Affairs

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) -- Every October, in observance of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton's (NHCP)Breast Health Office displays photographs and biographies of courageous breast cancer survivors.

The display is set up on the first floor of the hospital in the waiting area between the Radiology and General Surgery Clinics for passersby to see.

"Survivors share their photos and stories to offer hope and remind viewers to be aware of their own breast health," said Amy Carter, a registered nurse at NHCP Breast Health Office.

The office also leads the NHCP Breast Cancer Support Group for breast cancer patients. Topics are based on member interests and have ranged from current trends in breast healthcare to creating pink-themed mastectomy pillows for new breast cancer patients.

"Not unlike Marines and Sailors who have served together in harm's way, breast cancer patients develop a bond of trust with each other, during these support group sessions, that only fellow survivors share," said Carter.

These meetings are held quarterly on the second Wednesday of October, February, May and August from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., and are open to all breast cancer patients, no referral needed.

"I always look forward to attending the breast cancer support group," said Cindy Sanchez, a recent breast cancer survivor and support group attendant. "It brings a smile to my face to reunite with fellow survivors and know we are not alone in our journey."

According to the American Cancer Society it is estimated that in 2013 approximately 300,000 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in the United States.

The American Cancer Society also states mammography is currently the single most important tool for detecting breast cancer and should be done by women without breast problems, ages 40 and older every year. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam by their medical provider every three years.

In addition to the Breast Cancer Survivor display there will also be a table with health information in the same location to educate and inspire hospital visitors to advocate for their own health.

To schedule a mammogram, call (760) 719-3742. For further information about the NHCP Breast Health program, please call Amy Carter at (760) 719-3375.

For more news from Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, visit

NNS141024-11. Military Leaders Speak on Guam's Importance in Rebalance to Pacific

By Leah Eclavea, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs Office

TUMON, Guam (NNS) -- Military leaders spoke about the rebalance to the Pacific during the Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA) Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Guam in Tumon, Oct. 23.

About 120 international businessmen and women met during the conference to discuss Guam's economy and what factors affect the future investment climate.

Paul Vosti, senior advisor, Guam policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, addressed how Guam meets the needs for projecting American military presence in the region. He stated that the military structure in Asia needs to be geographically distributed, operationally resilient, and politically sustainable.

"From a strategic policy perspective, the U.S. is evolving from a series of really bilateral defense arrangements in Asia," he said. "We are now talking more in a trilateral and even a multilateral context with a lot of both treaty allies and other partners in the region that we don't have formal treaty arrangements with."

The three-day event offered a variety of speakers who addressed current issues, including Guam's critical strategic role in the rebalance to the Pacific.

Joint Region Marianas Chief of Staff Capt. Anthony Anglin spoke about the current military presence on Guam and the importance of the region in regard to operating forward to ensure the security of the United States and its allies. He also discussed the relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa, Japan, to Guam and how it is important for the relocation to be done correctly.

"Pacific rebalance is not only about security interest in this area, it's not just about DoD-centered initiative," he said. "It involves diplomatic, economic and political initiatives as well. It's about partnership in this part of the world."

The confirmation of the relocation of the Marines to Guam was a concern from some of the participants of the symposium.

"Confidence was definitely established in what we heard today," E.J. Calvo, GEDA's chairman said. "For some people, it renewed confidence in regard to the relocation and realignment with the U.S. military."

For more news from U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas, visit

NNS141024-15. Navy Conducts Sizing Correlation Study

By Kristine M. Sturkie, Navy Exchange Service Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility (NCTRF), a Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) and Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) activity, is currently conducting a Navy sizing correlation study to gather data to get an up-to-date snapshot of the size and shape of today's Sailors.

"U.S. Navy body dimensions were last measured in 1997 for males and 1988 for females," said Capt. Robert Gantt, NEXCOM's Deputy Commander, Uniform Programs. "Based on a recent Army Anthropometric Study, it was shown that the average height, weight and dimensions of servicemen and women have changed over the past 20 years. So, updating sizing data in U.S. Navy patterns for uniforms and organizational clothing would help improve fit and comfort for Sailors."

NCTRF has begun collecting 30 noninvasive body dimensions of Sailors at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. In total, NCTRF will gather the measurements of 4,000 Sailors (2,000 men and 2,000 women) throughout the Hampton Roads, Virginia area during the study, which will last through March 2015.

"We received information from the Navy Personnel Research, Studies and Technology on the demographics of all Sailors," said Louise Caulfield, NCTRF Business Development Manager. "From that, we are taking a statistically valid sample of Sailors based on race, gender and age to ensure that we have measurements of all the demographics represented in today's Navy. This will ensure we get a true representation of those serving in the Navy."

Aviation Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Kelley Ward, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 26, participated in the sizing study. "I love the idea of better fitting uniforms," said Ward. "With the higher number of females in the Navy now as compared to the 1980s when the last sizing study was done, it makes sense to do another study. I didn't think the measurements would be as in depth, but I'm glad it was. They got all the measurements they needed to improve the fit of our uniforms."

Once the study is complete, NCTRF will determine if the sizing of military members in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army are similar enough to use the data the U.S. Army gathered in 2010 in lieu of conducting its own full scale scientific sizing study.

"The sizing information we are gathering today could, in the future, lead to new updated sizing patterns for uniforms, organizational clothing and personal protective equipment, which will improve fit, appearance and comfort for Sailors," said Caulfield.

For more news from Navy Exchange Service Command, visit

NNS141024-12. Navy Working Uniform Program Transferred to NAVSUP

From Naval Facilities Engineering Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command's (NAVFAC) Expeditionary Programs Office (NEPO) transferred program management responsibilities for the Navy Working Uniform (NWU) Type II/III to the Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Oct. 1.

From 2010 to 2012, NEPO successfully developed the Type II/III working uniforms for the Navy and centrally funded the outfitting of more than 60,000 Sailors.

"When we first started, NAVFAC quickly assembled a NWU-II/III team from different commands across the Department of Defense to develop and deliver the Navy's next generation, tactical combat uniforms in record time," said NEPO Director Capt. John Carson.

The different commands included: the Naval Clothing Textile Research Facility for testing, technical assistance, and quality assurance and control; the Army's Natick Soldier Systems Center for contract administration; the Defense Logistics Agency and the Kentucky Logistics Operations Center for distribution; and the Uniform Matters Office, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) N13 for administration.

"We were fortunate to have an advanced digital camouflage pattern to use as a starting point for the uniform, courtesy of the United States Special Operations Command and Naval Special Warfare. The uniforms improved mission success by reducing the probability of visual and infrared detection, while providing improved durability and comfort to the warfighter."

Major milestones of the program included securing $75 million in program funds, developing an innovative acquisition strategy to accelerate fielding by 18 months, finalizing the uniform design, developing a logistics plan to support initial outfitting of 60,000 personnel, and implementing a communications plan to keep the warfighter informed of the program's status.

The program's transition provides both synergy and alignment because of NAVSUP's well-established NWU Type I program responsibilities. NAVSUP has designated the Navy Exchange Service Command's Uniform Product Management Group as the program manager and the Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility as the in-service engineering activity for the NWU-II/III. The Defense Logistics Agency has responsibility for sustainment contracts for all uniform components.

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit

NNS141024-18. Ship Sponsor Visits USS McFaul

By Ensign Ian Akisoglu, USS McFaul Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74) hosted Senator Daniel Coats and his wife, Marsha Coats, at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, Oct. 21.

After boarding the ship, the Senator and his wife had breakfast in the wardroom with McFaul's officers, accompanied the commanding officer on a ship tour, ate lunch with crew on the mess decks, and conducted an all-hands call on the flight deck.

While the public eye is typically on Sen. Coats, the highlight of the visit for McFaul's crew was having Mrs. Coats aboard, who served as the ship's sponsor when it was commissioned, April 25, 1998.

"I'm just along as a husband this time," said Sen. Coats.

The Coats witnessed Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Matthew Moseley's re-enlistment ceremony on McFaul's aft missile deck, next to the Vertical Launch System.

"I was really overwhelmed having the senator and his wife present at my re-enlistment," said Moseley. "It really reinforced how much the rest of the country supports us and our mission."

The Coats said they were very moved by the event, and the senator commented how "impressed he was with the ship and her crew."

At the conclusion of the visit, Mrs. Coats presented a football autographed by the 2012 University of Notre Dame football team to the McFaul crew, expressing her strong appreciation to the crew for hosting her and her husband, giving them the opportunity to return to the ship she christened 15 years ago.

For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, visit

NNS141023-11. Norfolk Naval Shipyard receives SECNAV Safety Excellence Award

By Norfolk Naval Shipyard Public Affairs

*89++District of Columbia (NNS) -- Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) received the Secretary of the Navy Safety Excellence Award for 2013 from Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installation and Environment) Dennis McGinn during a ceremony in Washington, Oct. 20.

"Safety and risk management are indispensable to effectively prepare for and complete our mission, whether at home or deployed in harm's way," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Maybus, during the events commendation message. "Your safety accomplishments are proof positive of your mission safety, command culture and your commitment to each other, to safety excellence, to the Nation, and to the Department of the Navy as a world class safety organization."

NNSY won in the large industrial category for Navy and Marine Corps activities worldwide with a working population of more than 3,000 employees. The award is based on exemplary leadership and employee participation, safety risk management, hazard abatement/mishap reduction efforts and best safety practice adaptation.

Since Fiscal Year 2009, Norfolk Naval Shipyard's Total Care Incidence Rate (TCIR) has dropped 37 percent while the shipyard's Lost Time Case Rate fell by 69 percent over the past three fiscal years. The Days Away Restricted Transfer (DART) rate, which involves more serious injuries, for FY 2013 was 47 percent below the Bureau of Labor Statistics rate. Additionally, the overall hazard abatement backlog decreased by 47 percent since FY 2009, and 57 percent in the past three fiscal years. The implementation of the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and a joint partnership of shipyard management and labor leadership significantly, contributed to these dramatic reductions in Injury/Illness Rates l.

Norfolk Naval Shipyard's commitment to safety is further demonstrated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recertifying the shipyard as a Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Star Site in May 2014. The VPP Star is OSHA's top safety classification. It recognizes federal agencies and private industries with effective safety and health management programs that maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their industries. NNSY has been a VPP Star Site since 2006.

NNSY, a NAVSEA field activity, is the oldest industrial facility belonging to the U.S. Navy and specializes in repairing, overhauling and modernizing ships and submarines. It is the fourth largest employer in the Hampton Roads area with more than 9,000 civilians and an annual payroll of approximately $700 million.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS141023-17. CNO Holds an All-Hands Call for Kearsarge Sailors

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tamara Vaughn, USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert visited Sailors and Marines aboard amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), Oct. 22.

Greenert, the 30th CNO, opened the ceremony by administering the oath of enlistment to three Sailors assigned to the ship and spoke to the assembled crew about current issues impacting the lives of the Navy and Marine Corps.

"I admired the work that you did from afar during your deployment last year, which was a long deployment," said Greenert. "That deployment was extended and everyone wanted a piece of the Kearsarge, including the whole amphibious ready group, but you did a remarkable job. I hope you are proud of the work you did a year ago."

Greenert answered several questions and discussed a variety of topics during the all-hands call, from uniform changes to manning issues, naval innovation, and sexual assault prevention methods. After the all-hands call Greenert enjoyed lunch with the crew on the mess decks.

Greenert expressed his gratitude for the Sailors and Marines hard work as a team and showed his support toward expansionary groups and big deck amphibious ships.

"I understand you are in basic phase," said Greenert. "Bold Alligator is just around the corner. This Bold Alligator exercise will be the largest amphibious exercise that we have done in well over a decade, plus. What you are doing with your Marine brothers and sisters are bringing together the most unbeatable force we have and that is the Navy and Marine Corps team."

Bold Alligator 2014 will take place over a two-week period and is a multi-national joint effort hosted by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The mission is to strengthen core competencies in the areas of amphibious operations and bi-lateral cooperation.

For more news from USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), visit

NNS141024-14. CSSLSSD Conducts Submarine Community Training

By Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Lindsay Ridley, Center for Service Support Learning Site San Diego Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Center for Service Support Learning Site San Diego (CSSLSSD) conducted Culinary Specialist Records Keeper course Military Training Team events in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Bangor, Washington, throughout September and October to provide training to the submarine community.

During the 16-day, first-of-its-kind course, CSSLSSD instructors taught records keeping and familiarity with the Food Service Management System (FSM3).

Students received training on procedural steps in various forms in the FSM3 system and the importance of correctly inputting information on the forms. Students also learned how to navigate the system, properly manage their assigned unit, and have a better understanding of each of the categories and subcategories.

CSSLSSD graduated a total of 30 mission-ready Sailors. Graduations were held aboard Balao-class submarine USS Bowfin (SS-287) in Pearl Harbor and Sturgeon-class submarine USS Parche (SSN-683) in Bangor.

CSS and its learning sites provide Sailors with the knowledge and skills needed to support the fleet's warfighting mission. More than 300 staff and faculty work hand-in-hand with the fleet and are dedicated to ensure training is current and well executed on behalf of 10,000 Sailors who graduate from CSS courses annually in the administration, logistics and media communities.

For more news from Center for Service Support, visit

NNS141023-18. Defense Logistics Agency Presents Customer of the Year Award to PEO LCS

By Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs

FORT BELVOIR, Va. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) received the 2014 Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Business Alliance Customer of the Year Award at a ceremony Oct. 22 at DLA headquarters.

The annual award, presented by DLA commander Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek, is given to the organization that has most enabled DLA to achieve its joint mission, as determined by its field activities. PEO LCS was nominated by DLA's Land and Maritime System's office for its efforts to shift from using contractor supply support to having DoD-organic supply support management for the Navy's growing fleet of Littoral Combat Ships.

"The unique nature of LCS presents many sustainment challenges," said Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, Program Executive Officer for Littoral Combat Ships. "I'm proud of the [Fleet Introduction and Sustainment] team for turning these challenges into an opportunity for successful collaboration with DLA."

To facilitate the transition from contractor to DoD supply support, PEO LCS's Fleet Introduction and Sustainment office (PMS 505) partnered with DLA to ensure the availability of critical spare parts in the stock system from the first LCS deployment to the ongoing sustainment of the platform.

The PMS 505 team, led by Stephen Benante, Deputy Principal Assistant Program Manager for Sustainment Logistics, identified approximately 3,000 National Stock Numbers (NSNs), including LCS Shore Spares, Contractor Demand, Critical Sea Frame, Planned Maintenance, and Coordinated Onboard Ship Allowance List (COSAL), to be included in the "lean forward" initiative. The rigorous, in-depth review allowed DLA to meet its targets for stock on hand / on contract, and ensured that DLA focused on the correct spares during the transition.

PEO LCS/PMS 505 has fully committed LCS supportability to the DoD Supply System, working with DLA and other stakeholders to construct a realistic delivery timeline and negotiate a complex Memorandum of Agreement between PMS 505, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) and DLA detailing the exact roles and responsibilities of each entity.

Currently, PEO LCS is actively engaged in additional collaborative efforts with DLA and NAVSUP to include supporting the LCS mission modules and identifying the most efficient concept of operations for support to Preventative/Corrective Maintenance Availabilities.

The Program Executive Office for Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) is responsible for delivering and sustaining credible littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation's maritime strategy.

DLA provides the U.S. military, other federal agencies, and combined and allied forces with the full spectrum of logistics, acquisition and technical services.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS141024-10. USS Stethem CO Relieved of Command

From Commander, Task Force 70 Public Affairs

SOUTH CHINA SEA (NNS) -- The commanding officer of the forward-deployed guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63), Cmdr. John Bradford, was relieved by Capt. Shan Byrne, commander, Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 15, Oct. 24, due to loss of confidence in Bradford's ability to command.

The decision to relieve Bradford came after a recent incident involving a 19-foot wooden vessel reportedly hit by Stethem while the ship was underway from Subic Bay, Philippines, Oct. 13. No one was injured. The investigation is still in progress.

Stethem is now commanded by Capt. Chris Sweeney, deputy commodore of CDS 15, who will serve as a temporary relief. Bradford has been reassigned to Destroyer Squadron 15.

Stethem is currently on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

NNS020723-33. This Day in Naval History - Oct. 24

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1862 - A landing party from ironclad river gunboat Baron de Kalb, commanded by Capt. J.A. Winslow, lands at Hopefeld, Ark., and engages a small Confederate scouting party. On mounted horses, the sailors then engage in a nine mile running fight, ending with the capture of the Confederate party.

1944 - The Battle of Leyte Gulf continues, with Task Force 38 aircraft attacking the Japanese in the Sibuyan and Sulu Seas. U.S. Navy carrier planes sink the Japanese battleship Musashi and damage numerous other enemy ships, among them battleships Yamato, Nagato, Fuso and Yamashiro. Japanese air attacks hit the small USS Princeton (CVL 23), which eventually has to be scuttled. The desperate kamikaze tactic makes its appearance, causing damage and casualties on U.S. ships off the Leyte invasion beaches.

1944 - USS Shark (SS 314) is lost in the vicinity of Luzon Strait while participating in a coordinated attack by Task Group 17.15 with USS Seadragon (SS 194) and USS Blackfish (SS 221). Also, USS Richard M. Rowell (DD 403) sinks Japanese submarine I 54, 70 miles east of Surigao. But USS Tang (SS 306) is lost when she runs into her own torpedoes.

1944 - USS Woolsey (DD 437) and British destroyer HMS Fortune sink two German explosive boats 16 miles off Cap Ferrat, France. Woolsey and minesweeper USS Sway (AM 120) then recover the prisoners.

1958 - USS Kleinsmith (APD 134) rescues 56 U.S. citizens and three foreign nationals at Nicaro, Cuba, where they are endangered by military operations between the Cuban Army and the Castro rebels.

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