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NNS141208-04. Anchorage Completes NASA Orion Mission

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher A. Veloicaza, USS Anchorage (LPD 23) Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) successfully completed recovery operations of the NASA Orion crew module, forward bay cover, and parachutes, Dec 5.

The Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) recovery is part of a U.S. government interagency effort to safely retrieve the Orion crew module that is capable of carrying humans into deep space.

"Today the USS Anchorage/NASA team safely retrieved the Orion space capsule after its successful launch and splash down in the Pacific Ocean.," said Anchorage Commanding Officer, Capt. Michael McKenna. "Anchorage and NASA worked very closely during the second and third Underway Recovery Tests (URT) earlier this year in preparation for our mission today. This mission exemplifies the U.S. Navy commitment to the research and development of technologies and techniques to ensure the safety of human space flight support. I could not be more proud of my crew."

EFT-1 is the fifth at-sea testing for the module using a Navy well deck recovery method. There were four tests conducted prior to EFT-1 to prepare the recovery team.

The first test, a stationary recovery test, was conducted at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia August 2013. The other tests were conducted underway aboard the USS San Diego (LPD 22) and Anchorage earlier in 2014.

Anchorage is a unique platform that has a combination of capabilities that are suited to assist NASA with the Orion recovery. LPD-class ships have well-decks, advanced medical facilities, embarked helicopters, three dimensional air-search radar and small boats that can all be leveraged during recovery operations.

Sailors rehearsed for the recovery during the URT when a mock-up of the Orion module was deployed from the ship's well deck and recovered by Navy divers and small boats.

Chief Boatswain's Mate Jason B. Roberts, deck department leading chief petty officer, said that he was fully confident in his crew's ability to execute the operation safely and efficiently.

"We practiced this recovery many times with safety as the number one priority. The Sailors were focused and completed the mission at hand successfully," said Roberts. "I couldn't be more proud of our Sailors and the work they accomplished here today."

Anchorage utilized a specially-trained bridge team throughout the duration of the recovery. After the capsule landed in the Pacific Ocean, the ship maneuvered close to it along with small boats to retrieve the equipment safely. Divers attached lines from the small boats to guide the capsule toward Anchorage, where a NASA-designed winch hauled the capsule into the well deck.

"Orion is meant to be reused, which is why we tailored this recovery to accommodate keeping the capsule safe," said Navy Diver 1st Class Matthew Demyers of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 11.

NASA is embarking on a new era of space exploration. Orion is America's next-generation spacecraft that will take astronauts to new destinations never explored by humans. It will carry crews to distant planetary bodies, provide emergency abort capabilities, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space.

For more news on USS Anchorage (LPD 23), visit

For more news from USS Anchorage (LPD 23), visit

NNS141208-03. Pearl Harbor Day Commemorates 73rd Anniversary of Attacks

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Diana Quinlan, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Detachment Hawaii

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Veterans, service members, families and guests commemorated Pearl Harbor Day with multiple ceremonies at Ford Island and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Dec. 7.

The theme of this year's historic commemorations, "Preserving the Memory," focused on keeping the story of the attacks on Oahu and the beginning of World War II for the United States alive for new generations and the nation.

The day's events began at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument Pearl Harbor Visitor Center with the 73rd annual commemoration ceremony dedicated to the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, provided opening remarks and introduced U.S. Air Force Gen. Lori J. Robinson, commander, Pacific Air Forces, who served as a keynote speaker for the event, which overlooked the historic USS Arizona Memorial.

"For the last 73 years here in the Pacific, we've remembered Pearl Harbor," said Harris. "We've remained vigilant and just as the "Greatest Generation" before us, today's armed forces are more than ready to answer the alarm and, if need be, we're ready to fight tonight and win.

"We are doing everything we can to keep the alarm from sounding in the first place by enacting America's current strategic rebalance to the Indo-Asia-Pacific, designed to maintain stability, prosperity and peace throughout the region," Harris said.

He praised Robinson's leadership and professional skills, intellect and mastery, which helped her excel and set the highest standards, achieving numerous records in her military career.

Robinson, who took command of Pacific Air Forces, Oct. 16, from Gen. "Hawk" Carlisle, expressed her emotions of sharing this historic day with all of the survivors and veterans.

"For me, it is difficult to imagine the events of that Sunday morning 73 years ago," said Robinson. "Even as it was a day of sacrifice and loss, it was a day of gallantry and unquestionable heroism.

"Countless brave Americans, like many of those here in the front row, not only rallied in response to the attacks, but fought intrepidly in the many years of war that followed," she said.

Robinson also spoke of the sacrifices faced not only by the military but also by firefighters, civilians, families and children on the day of the attacks and the courage and heroism they showed in the face of tragedy. That courage serves as a lesson and motivation for the armed forces today, she noted.

"As our nation rebalances to the Asia-Pacific region, I assure you the current generation of American warriors stands ready," said Robinson. "May God bless you and all of our military and civil servicemen and women, both past and present, who have bravely answered our nation's call time and time again, and who have never failed us."

During the ceremony, a moment of silence was observed at 7:55 a.m., the exact moment the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor began 73 years ago. Guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) rendered pass-in-review honors to the USS Arizona and all Pearl Harbor survivors present at the ceremony.

The 199th Fighter Squadron, Hawaii Air National Guard, 19th Fighter Squadron, U.S. Air Force, also presented an F-22 Raptor flyover.

The ceremony was co-hosted by Rear Adm. Rick Williams, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, and Paul DePrey, superintendent of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, National Park Service.

The event also included musical accompaniment provided by the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, the parading of colors, a traditional Hawaiian blessing, and a cannon salute by members of the U.S. Army.

Additionally, veterans of each military branch presented a floral wreath for each service, each accompanied by an active-duty service member and a student from Navy Hale Keiki School, in recognition of the men and women who survived the attack and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, Dec. 7, 1941.

The ceremony concluded with a "Walk of Honor" by the Pearl Harbor survivors attending the ceremony and other World War II veterans through an honor cordon of military service members and National Park Service men and women.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit

NNS141207-01. NHHC Sailor Participates in Arlington Wreath Laying Honoring Those Lost at Pearl Harbor

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tim Comerford

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- A Sailor from Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) helped honor those lost in the World Warr II attack on Pearl Harbor with a wreath laying ceremony, sponsored by the Naval Order of the United States, at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknowns, Dec. 7.

Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eric Lockwood, a Gainesville, Fla. native, was honored to salute those who gave everything when the Japanese attacked the ships and aircraft in Hawaii more than 70 years ago.

"It's great to be able to honor them," Lockwood said of the wreath laying. "There were a lot of Sailors who became heroes that day."

Lockwood realizes marking important moments in the history of the Navy and the nation is essential.

"When we honor those who sarificed the way those who died on Dec. 7 did, it brings the history of the event to the forefront," he said. "It helps us realize that, even if it has been a long time, we cannot take the sacrifices that our service members have made for granted because we may one day be asked make similar sacrifices. I'm proud to be a part of this."

Christopher Clay, Jerome Foster and Sachin Muralidhar, three U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, were also part of the ceremony. Clay and Muralidhar watched solemnly as Lockwood and Foster laid the wreath, sponsored by the Naval Order of the United States, then all saluted the wreath as a member of the U.S. Army's Old Guard played taps in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice at Pearl Harbor. The crowd remained silent in respect for the moment at the tomb.

It was 6 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941, when six Japanese carriers launched a first wave of 181 planes composed of torpedo bombers, dive bombers, horizontal bombers and fighters toward Hawaii. The Japanese aircrews achieved complete surprise when they hit American ships and military installations on Oahu shortly before 8 a.m. More than 90 ships were anchored in Pearl Harbor, but the Japanese's primary targets were the eight battleships anchored there. Seven were moored on Battleship Row along the southeast shore of Ford Island while the USS Pennsylvania (BB 38) lay in dry dock across the channel.

The attack ended shortly before 10 a.m., less than two hours after it began, and the American forces paid a heavy price. Twenty-one ships of the U.S. Pacific Fleet were sunk or damaged, 188 aircraft destroyed and 159 damaged, the majority hit before they had a chance to take off. American dead numbered more than 2,000 with more than 1,000 military and civilian wounded. The attack which horrified a nation was the catalyst that brought America into World War II.

The Naval History and Heritage Command, located at the Washington Navy Yard, is responsible for the preservation, analysis, and dissemination of U.S. Naval history and heritage. It is composed of many activities including the Navy Department Library, the Navy Archives, the Navy art and artifact collections, underwater archeology, Navy history, nine museums, USS Constitution repair facility and the historic ship Nautilus.

The Naval Order of the United States was founded in 1890 by descendants of New England seafarers who fought in the Revolutionary War. The Order's charge is to encourage research and writing on naval and maritime subjects and to promote the preservation of historic artifacts and memories of naval and maritime history.

For more information on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor visit the Naval History and Heritage Command Website at

For more news from Naval History and Heritage Command, visit

NNS141208-19. SECNAV Discusses Navy and Arctic at UAF

By Office of the Secretary of the Navy

Washington (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus met with senior research personnel and faculty members at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Dec. 5 to discuss the role of the U.S. Navy in the arctic.

"We in the Navy have a particular interest (in the arctic) because our responsibilities increase as the arctic changes," said Mabus. "As sea levels rise, as ice melts, our role in terms of freedom of navigation, in terms of search and rescue and in terms of scientific exploration, increases pretty dramatically."

Home to the International Arctic Research Center, UAF's unique location makes it especially well situated to serve as a hub of research for areas such as the integration and coordination of the study of the arctic and the impact of climate change on this dynamic region.

"One of the main reasons I came here was to hear about this flagship university, and from its resident experts, how we might partner outside our existing Office of Naval Research (ONR) projects, in arctic research," said Mabus. "The arctic is only going to gain importance, particularly for the U.S. Navy."

Currently, ONR has three major projects on the Alaska side of the Arctic Ocean, including seasonal ice zone reconnaissance surveys.

As the United States prepares to take over chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015, Mabus' visit to Fairbanks underscored the importance the U.S. Navy places on the arctic, not just in the short term, but through 2030 and beyond.

Previously this year, Mabus visited Sweden, Finland and Norway in an effort to strengthen relationships with these fellow Arctic Council nations.

"What we're trying to do through building these partnerships," Mabus said, "is to do some things now that will allow us to be prepared. As the arctic changes, we have to maintain the ability to be where we're needed, when we're needed. To have that presence, you cannot surge it, you cannot wait for an emergency, you have to be ready."

The U.S. Navy's focus on the arctic is expected to become more prominent over the coming years.

"The arctic is becoming increasingly important, not just for us, not just for the members of the arctic council, but also for the world," said Mabus.

For more news from the Secretary of the Navy, visit or

For more news from Secretary of the Navy, visit

NNS141208-33. Joint Services Transcript Request Process Streamlined

By Susan D. Henson, Center for Personal and Professional Development Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors can expect their requests for Joint Services Transcript (JST) updates to take less time with a streamlined process that will begin Dec. 15.

The processing change removes the intermediate step of Sailors submitting JST requests to the Center for Personal and Professional Development's (CPPD) Virtual Education Center (VEC) in Virginia Beach.

Sailors will, instead, submit JST requests directly via mail, email or fax to JST Operations at Naval Education and Training Professional Development Technology Center (NETPDTC) in Pensacola, Florida.

According to Ernest D'Antonio, CPPD's Voluntary Education (VOLED) program director, the change will benefit Sailors in a few ways.

"Although Navy Voluntary Education still retains program management responsibilities for JST, under the new process Sailors will wait less time to get updates to their JSTs," said D'Antonio. "The VEC team will also have more time to assist Sailors enrolling in and pursuing off-duty education since the VEC will no longer be reviewing JST documents."

Under the outgoing system, the VEC received and reviewed documents such as official JST requests, special mailings, JST corrections and updates, DD-214 documents, and official college transcripts to add degrees. After the review was completed, the VEC forwarded eligible documents to JST operations to process.

Under the new system, Sailors and veterans send their documents directly to JST operations.

"This change will streamline the process and ensure JST corrections and additions are processed more quickly," said Susan Sutter, VEC supervisor. "It also means that a degree added to Sailors' JSTs will transmit faster to their other Navy records."

The VEC is continuing to process JST requests during the transition until Dec. 15. Any JST requests received at the VEC after that date will be forwarded to JST Operations for processing, Sutter said.

JST processing is already relatively user friendly, Sutter said.

"For example, Sailors can request an official JST be sent to their education institution in just a few minutes. All they have to do is log on the JST website and submit an official transcript request.

"And to add non-academic certifications such as master training specialist and Homeland Security to a JST, they simply email, fax or mail a certified true copy of their certificate to JST operations," she said.

Although the VEC will still assist Sailors with questions about the JST process, Sailors may also contact JST Operations directly at the following:

ATTN: JST Operations Center, N615
6490 Saufley Field Road
Pensacola, FL 32509

Fax: (850) 473-6013 or DSN 753-6013

For more information about the Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD), visit:

For more news from the Center for Personal and Professional Development, visit

Find CPPD on Facebook at and on Twitter @CENPERSPROFDEV.
CPPD: Where Mind Meets Mission

NNS141208-11. Remaining USS Arizona Survivors Hold 'Final Toast' to Shipmates

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Diana Quinlan, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Detachment Hawaii

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- On the afternoon of Dec. 7, four of the nine remaining USS Arizona survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack - John Anderson, Lauren Bruner, Louis Conter and Donald Stratton - arrived to USS Arizona Memorial for their final reunion.

This historic event marked the end of an era for the USS Arizona survivors, all aged in their 90s, who have announced that this was the final, official gathering of the USS Arizona Reunion Association.

Despite the official announcement, the men still plan to get together, regardless of the location.

"I don't think this is going to be our last [meeting]," said Louis Conter, 93. "We still have time to go, so I think we'll be back out here no matter whether the rest of the crowd can make it or not."

While at the memorial, the survivors poured a "final toast" to their shipmates, drinking from original champagne glasses from the USS Arizona. They shared a bottle of wine - a gift from President Gerald Ford to the association presented in 1975. According to survivors, this final salute symbolized the brotherhood and sacrifice of the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor 73 years ago.

After the toast, the survivors handed one of the glasses to a team of Navy and National Park Service divers who placed it at the base of the Arizona's gun turret four. Gun turret four serves as the final resting place for survivors of the attack who wish to have their ashes placed at their former battle station. Since 1980, 38 Arizona survivors have been reunited with their fellow shipmates on the ship.

"The good Lord saved just a few of us," shared Donald Stratton, 92, who was one of the survivors of a gun director in the forward part of the ship and sustained severe burns during the attack, which required hospitalization lasting for more than a year. "So terrible, terrible day," Stratton remembered.

Conter shared his thoughts on the event and the honor he felt to be by his ship, among the fellow Sailors.

"It was amazing for the four of us," said Conter. "I think we all felt the same, an honor to toast the 1,177 shipmates that we had and who died that day. And the glass, which is now interred there [gun turret four], will give us a chance to have something to drink out of when we're buried there."

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit

NNS141208-09. New Program Offers Hometown Media Recognition for Sailors and Civilians of the Year

From Navy Office of Community Outreach

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- In the coming months, the Navy will honor thousands of Sailors and Navy civilians with Sailor, Junior Sailor, Bluejacket and Civilian of the Year honors.

Through a new program, the Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO) stands ready to help commands throughout the Navy share these stories with each honoree's home town media.

NAVCO has developed and deployed a new hometown media outreach program to share content with media across America. In 2014, using creative procedures and leveraging an industry-standard media access suite, nearly 4,200 stories and photos have been placed in Sailors' hometown media across the country, with a cumulative audience of nearly 73 million -- almost a quarter of the U.S. population.

Commands can take advantage of this service by simply submitting Sailor of the Year and similar stories and photos, which are likely being produced for internal media already, to NAVCO via email at Be sure to include hometown cities and states, and NAVCO will share the stories with the featured Sailors' hometown media across the country. NAVCO will also provide each participating command a media feedback report with links to all coverage.

"We've all seen the commercial featuring the big red 'Easy' button," said Cmdr. James Stockman, NAVCO director. "Think of the NAVCO Media Outreach program as your own personal 'Easy' button for getting your best Sailors and Navy civilians recognized in their hometown media."

NAVCO's hometown media outreach program helps tell the Navy story through the eyes of individual Sailors or Navy civilians by leveraging the ties they have to their home towns across the country. No other factor creates more marketability when highlighting personal achievements than a community's local tie with a Sailor or Navy civilian. The program is one of many NAVCO employs to increase Americans' understanding of the Navy, its people and its importance to national security and prosperity. An ancillary but no less significant benefit is the positive impact on the morale of the participating Sailors and Navy civilians.

For any questions, please contact Glenn Sircy at (901-874-5806) or

For more Information about NAVCO, visit

NNS141208-06. Surface Fleet Receives NeRD e-Readers

By Sandra Niedzwiecki, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy General Library Program (NGLP) announced Dec. 5 the arrival of the Navy e-Reader device (NeRD), to the surface fleet.

A single, portable device developed by Findaway World in conjunction with the NGLP, the NeRD is now an essential component of the U.S. Navy's Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program.

The e-readers were produced to enhance leisure time, while promoting professional growth. They contain most of the 18 titles that comprise the Chief of Naval Operations Professional Reading Program.

"The Navy e-Reader is a definite hit with the submarine force," said Senior Chief Electronics Technician Kevin Rollert. "During at-sea time there is routinely a five-person waitlist. The material is what today's Sailors want to read and is one of the most popular morale items on board."

Submarines began receiving the NeRDs in May. They were a huge hit with the Sailors. As a result of this success, the program is expanding to include the surface fleet.

"The NeRDs have been shipped to the Deployed Forces Support (DFS) offices," said Nilya Carrato, program assistant for the library program. "Once DFS receives them then they are distributed to the surface fleet."

The e-Reader has already been shipped to all homeports worldwide. They are being distributed to smaller combatants such as mine sweepers, destroyers, frigates, cruisers, and also to the hospital ships, Diego Garcia Shore Library and Navy Air Facility Atsugi Shore Library, Japan. The NLGP office plans to include all other surface ships, including aircraft carriers, in the NeRD program in the future.

The collection contains a wide variety of titles such as "The Odyssey," "Game of Thrones" and "Bossy Pants."

"There is something for everyone," said Carrato.

Carrato added, since its initial release the title list has had some adjustments and the list of titles is constantly being reviewed. The NeRDs now have fiction, contemporary and best-seller genres that appeal to both men and women; "To Kill A Mocking Bird" was added to the classic literature section and more books with female heroines were added to the science fiction section.

Current plans call for 1,170 NeRDs to be distributed, with 1,140 going to the fleet and 30 going to shore libraries. While there are not enough NeRDs for every Sailor, there are enough to share.

For more information regarding the Navy Library program visit http://navymwr.ord/libraries/digital.

For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit or

NNS141208-02. USNS Choctaw County Starts Concept Trial at Naval Weapons Station Cheatham

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Edward Kessler, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group Public Affairs

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (NNS) -- The Military Sealift Command (MSC) joint high-speed vessel USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) moored for the first time at Naval Weapons Station Cheatham Annex Dec. 1 for a weeklong proof of concept trial.

The trial is a collaborative effort between Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (NAVELSG), Navy Cargo Handling Battalion 1 (NCHB 1) and Navy Expeditionary Medical Support Group (NEMSCOM) in setting up an expeditionary medical unit (EMU) on board.

The reconfigurable 20,000-square-foot mission bay area can be quickly adapted to support a number of different missions. Anything from transporting portable hospitals to support humanitarian assistance-disaster relief (HADR) to transporting tanks and troops.

"When the COCOM [combatant commander] requires a hospital, we can employ the JHSV to quickly move an EMU from point A to point B," said Lt. Cmdr. Jeremy Weikel, NEMSCOM design director.

Weikel went on to explain that an advantage the JHSV brings over the current hospital ships in the Navy is the mission bay's area of adaptability to almost any type of use along with its reduced on-station response time.

"For the scope of this exercise, we are looking for a vessel of opportunity," said Weikel. "We want to see how this [EMU] can fit on the JHSV in its current configuration."

The EMU proof of concept is in the early stages of development and experimentation, and is not solely reliant on the JHSV platform to succeed. Weikel explained the JHSV is an appropriate platform for this type of experiment. As long as sea state can support movement of the vessel, the JHSV could be quickly loaded to transport an EMU and be met on station by NEMSCOM and fleet hospital personnel to unpack and set up the EMU.

"Comfort and Mercy are full up round hospitals, but slow in transit," said Weikel.

Although not ready to conduct such tasks as operations that are conducted on hospital ships, the JHSV with an EMU setup could potentially serve as rapid medical response.

Choctaw County's crew of 22 civil service mariners works for MSC, which operates, navigates and maintains the ship. JHSVs are capable of transporting approximately 600 tons of military troops, vehicles, supplies and equipment 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots, and are designed to operate in shallow ports and waterways, providing added flexibility to U.S. warfighters worldwide.

NAVELSG and NEMSCOM are homeported in Williamsburg, at Cheatham Annex. NAVELSG provides Sailors with the knowledge and skills needed to support the fleet's surface and air-handling mission. More than 100 Sailors and civilians work hand-in-hand with the fleet and are dedicated to ensuring training is current and well executed on behalf of 3,500 active duty and Reserve Sailors in the administration, logistics and training of their active and reserve components.

For more news from Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group, visit

NNS141208-30. Louisville visits Singapore during Western Pacific deployment

By Ensign Hobart K. Kistler, USS Louisville Public Affairs

CHANGI NAVAL BASE, Singapore (NNS) -- Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Louisville (SSN 724) arrived at Changi Naval Base Dec. 5 for a port call as part of her deployment to the Western Pacific.

With an augmented complement of nearly 170 officers and men, Louisville showcased the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet in her latest mission.

"Louisville brings to the theater a very capable multimission platform with nearly unlimited endurance for independent operations," said Cmdr. Bob Figgs, Louisville's commanding officer. "My highly-trained crew is proficient in all core mission capabilities, from open ocean anti-submarine and anti-surface ship warfare; to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and precision land strike.

"They have worked tirelessly to prepare for and execute the first two months of our ... deployment, and I could not be prouder of their accomplishments. I know that my officers and crew are looking forward to some well-deserved liberty here in Singapore."

Measuring more than 360-feet long and weighing more than 6,000 tons when submerged, Louisville is one of the stealthiest, most modern attack submarines in the world. Louisville's stealth, mobility, endurance, and firepower allow this covert, multimission platform to operate independently or in conjunction with a carrier strike group or joint forces to support the interests of the United States wherever and whenever needed.

"Each and every member of our crew has devoted a lot of time, hard work, and energy towards preparing themselves and Louisville for this deployment," said Master Chief Fire Control Technician Larry Williams, chief of the boat. "It is only because of the crew members that we are successful as a team. I am excited for the crew to be able to do what a lot of them have joined the Navy to do: see overseas countries and represent the U.S. Navy well.

"This liberty port call is definitely well deserved by the crew, and each and every one of them has been looking forward to the visit," said Williams.

For many of Louisville's crew, this is their first time visiting Singapore.

"Growing up in rural California, I never dreamed I would one day find myself exploring Southeast Asia," said Machinist Mate 3rd Class Robert Hollister. "My shipmates and I cannot wait to try some hawker food, visit the famous Singapore Zoo, and hit the beaches!"

Previous deployments have earned Louisville numerous decorations and a place in submarine history. In 1991, Louisville supported Operation Desert Storm by traveling more than 14,000 miles to be the first submarine to launch Tomahawk missiles in a time of war. In 2003, she returned to the Red Sea to support Operation Iraqi Freedom with another successful Tomahawk strike.

Louisville is the fourth United States ship to be named for Louisville, Kentucky. Commissioned Nov. 8, 1986, at Naval Submarine Base New London, Connecticut, she is the 35th nuclear powered fast-attack submarine of the Los Angeles class.

Louisville is homeported at Hawaii's Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 7, visit

NNS141208-10. Peleliu Remembers "A Date That Will Live in Infamy"

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

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The officers and crew of amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) gathered to remember those lost during the attacks on Pearl Harbor during a Remembrance Day ceremony, Dec. 7.

The attacks brought more than 2,400 service member and civilian casualties, 2,008 of whom were Sailors.

Seventy-three years ago President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered one of the most famous speeches in American history; "Yesterday, December 7th, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."

The attack, a single carefully-planned and well-executed strike removed the Navy's battleship force as a possible threat to the Empire of Japan's expansion southward. America, significantly weakened, was suddenly brought into World War II.

"The bombs that fell on the island of Oahu took almost 2,400 American lives, damaged our Pacific Fleet, challenged our resilience, and tested our resolve," said Cmdr. Scott Hudson, executive officer of Peleliu.

"Today, and everyday I ask that you pay tribute to the ships and the Sailors our nation lost that day," said Hudson. "And I ask that you use the inspiration of those who fought, and those who died at Pearl Harbor, to drive your desire and determination to always be ready."

The ceremony included a parade of colors performed by Peleliu's color guard, a speech by Hudson, the event's guest speaker, a history of the attack on Pearl Harbor by members of Peleliu's diversity team, and a gun salute.

"I believe that today's ceremony is important because it allows us time to reflect on what we can take away from tragedy, from trials, and from triumph," said Hudson.

In addition to the casualties and injuries suffered by service members, the Navy took a huge hit from Japanese forces, having sunk five of eight battleships at Pearl Harbor. Several other ships and most Hawaii-based combat aircraft were also destroyed.

"We are inspired by the memory of those who sacrificed their all at Pearl Harbor, and should feel invigorated serving our nation in the same manner these men of principle and valor did so many years ago," said Hudson.

One of the battleships lost that day was USS Arizona (BB-39), which is the final resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 crew members. It is now a memorial for all those who were lost that day.

"It's imperative that all Americans take time to visit the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor to pay tribute to the ships, and the Sailors our nation lost that day," said Hudson.

On Dec. 5, 2013, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation designating December 7 of each year as "National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day" and encouraged all Americans to observe this day and to honor our military, past and present, and urged all Federal agencies, organizations, groups and individuals to fly the flag at half-staff to honor those Americans who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.

Peleliu is on its final regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region before decommissioning early next year.

For more news from USS Peleliu, visit

NNS141208-34. The Chairman, The Stars, The Cupcakes

By Lt. David Carter and Morgan Over, Naval Station Rota, Spain Public Affairs

NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff joined several celebrities at Naval Station Rota, Spain, as their first stop on the USO Holiday Troop Visit tour, Dec. 6.

Gen. Martin Dempsey and his wife, Deanie, made their fourth USO Holiday Tour visit and were joined by celebrities including actor-comedian Rob Riggle, country music star Kellie Pickler, Washington Nationals pitcher Doug Fister, former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, and actresses Meghan Markle and Dianna Agron.

Not only did they bring talent, jokes, and motivation but they also hand-delivered nearly 200 dozen cupcakes from a bakery in Washington, D.C.

During the daylong visit the Dempseys and celebrities visited Sailors aboard USS Ross (DDG 71), dined with service members at the base galley, then entertained the crowd of nearly 1,500 with jokes, poems, songs, and words of appreciation.

"It's the holidays and we should remember all the things we are and should be thankful for, but I hope you're as proud of what you do as we are of what you do," said Dempsey.

Aboard Ross, Dempsey and the celebrities toured spaces and were briefed on Ross' capabilities as well as her recent patrol. Following the tour, Dempsey held an all-hands call during which he highlighted Ross' resolve and praised the crew's aptitude.

"I'm really, really glad you're on our side because when I see the kind of capability that we bring to bear and the technology we bring to bear I always remember that we can always have the best technology in the world but if it wasn't for you, the best and brightest of America who are willing to leave their homes and forward deploy, if we didn't have you willing to do that, we wouldn't be the country we are," said Dempsey.

Highlighting Ross' role in the NATO and European Phased Adaptive Approach of Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), Dempsey left a message for those aboard the ship as well as providing support from the base.

"They're in such an incredible strategic location, nearly where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean ... and with all the challenges we have in the Middle East and North and West Africa in addition to the BMD missions, I want them to know they're in the right place at the right time for their country," he said.

The USO show was filled comedy, music, and heartfelt appreciation from the celebrities.

"You guys have gone out there, sacrificing for us and we wouldn't be able to do the things we do without you guys," said Fister. "It's something that doesn't go unnoticed and we're definitely supporting from home."

Markle echoed Fister's sentiments and remarked about how meeting the troops amplified the connecting she felt to the base.

"Hearing their stories, where they're from, who their families are and just having that connection to the base made it so real," said Markle. "Today has been a day filled with a lot of chills and a lot of tears."

The visit coincided with Morale, Welfare and Recreation Rota's Holiday Wonderland celebration, which brought a special visit from Santa via a Spanish helicopter. This year's event featured a train ride, games, and even snow.

"Holiday Wonderland is one of our largest annual events and we have been trying to raise the bar every year," said Paul Savarese, Rota's MWR director. "Two months of planning and coordination was evident in the execution, as an all-star team of professionals from a number of local departments and commands came together and created something very memorable for NAVSTA Rota. It was something we are all very proud to be a part of and will remember for the rest of our careers."

For more news from Naval Station Rota, Spain, visit

NNS141208-32. NAVELSG Sailors Remember Pearl Harbor

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Edward Kessler, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group Public Affairs

WILLIAMSBURG, Va (NNS) -- Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (NAVELSG) Sailors honored those who fought and died at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 with a remembrance ceremony at the NAVELSG drill deck in Cheatham Annex, in Williamsburg, Dec. 5.

The ceremony featured guest speaker Master Chief Information Systems Technician James Leuci from Naval History Heritage Command (NHHC), a presentation on the attack, a moment of silence, and a reading of awards for all in attendance.

"The Navy in 1941 right before Pearl Harbor consisted of about half of the officers who were Naval Reserves and 15 percent of the Navy," Leuci. "By the war's end the Navy had grown to 3.8 million people, 84 percent of them were naval reservists."

Following the national anthem and benediction, the ceremony host, NAVELSG First Class Petty Officers Association, played a brief video of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's famous speech given to Congress Dec. 8, 1941, during which he declared the 7th of December as a day of infamy and asked for war to be declared on Japan and the Axis powers.

Following the opening remarks, Leuci gave a presentation on the role of USS Ward (DD 139), credited with firing the first shot of World War II, the size of the Navy just prior to America's entry into the war and how the Reserves and Seabees directly impacted and resulted from attacks that devastated the island and brought America into World War II.

"USS Ward was a World War I-era destroyer built on Mare Island and decommissioned shortly after the war, placed in moth balls for 20 years," said Leuci. "She was pulled back into service in 1939, manned by active and Reserve component Sailors."

Leuci continued to tell the story of the Ward, a crew made up two thirds of Reserve component Sailors from Minnesota, and her attack on one of Japans midget submarines. She fired a shot, hitting the conning tower and sinking it. For 61 years this claim was never able to be verified until 2002, when the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) discovered the submarine just outside of the harbor entrance to Pearl and confirmed the hit Ward made on the conning tower. Today that gun is on display in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The ceremony continued with a reading of the order of events during the battle, recognizing the account of 22 ships lost and damaged as well as recognizing eight Sailors by reading their awards of valor and courage demonstrated that day.

"By understanding our heritage and the events that are important to our Navy," said Capt. Michael Stiglitz, deputy commander, NAVELSG. "As we move forward we need to keep those things in mind when we are called upon in times of crisis."

As the ceremony concluded, Sailors reflected on Dec. 7, 1941, and the important role it plays in our Navy's history, and how passing that along to the next generation of Sailors is both challenging and important.

"One of the challenges is participation and leadership from the front," said Equipment Operator 1st Class Sam Sutheimer. "We always follow those who lead in front of us, and if everybody has the same sense of history and wanting to know where we came from, then that should just naturally trickle down to those behind us."

The attack on Pearl Harbor cost the lives of 2,341 service members, of which 2,001 were Sailors. A total of 164 aircraft were destroyed and 12 ships were either sunk or breached during the attack.

NAVELSG is home ported in Williamsburg, with an active battalion located at Cheatham Annex and forward-deployed detachments and Reserve battalions located across the United States. NAVELSG provides Sailors with the knowledge and skills needed to support the fleet's surface and air-handling mission. More than 100 Sailors and civilians work hand-in-hand with the fleet and are dedicated to ensuring training is current and well executed on behalf of 3,500 active duty and Reserve Sailors in the administration, logistics and training of their active and Reserve components.

For more news from Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group, visit

NNS141208-31. USS Oklahoma Ceremony Honors Heroes of Dec. 7, 1941 Attack

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Diana Quinlan, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Detachment Hawaii

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The National Park Service hosted the annual USS Oklahoma Memorial Ceremony Dec. 7 at the memorial on Ford Island next to the Battleship Missouri Memorial.

Pearl Harbor survivors, veterans, service members, families and guests attended the ceremony during which Capt. Stanley Keeve Jr., commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, was guest speaker.

"We will never forget the crew of the USS Oklahoma," said Keeve in his address. "We will strive to educate this generation and the generations to come about what happened here, what their shipmates died for, and the legacy they left behind."

During the ceremony, Cmdr. George Mendes, a Navy chaplain, provided the invocation. The joint base color guard presented the colors to the musical accompaniment of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band Quintet and a U.S. Marine Corps rifle detail provided a rifle salute.

Veterans attending the ceremony took a moment to walk among the names of those who perished in the attack, etched on the marble columns of the USS Oklahoma Memorial, observing moments of silent contemplation and laying flowers or wrapping Hawaiian lei on the monument.

"I frequently get asked, 'Why do you keep coming back every year?' and I had a hard time coming up with an answer," said Ed Vezey, USS Oklahoma survivor.
"But perhaps part of it is a word that became very important -- shipmate. I think shipmates enjoy a very unique and emotional mindset that doesn't exist in any other service."

Vezey continued as he looked upon the memorial. "The reality is you fall in love with the ship that you live on, and it has to do really with the people. People are so important, and it is hard to convey the feeling that when you go to sea and the land disappears behind you, it's you and your ship and your shipmates," he explained.

"There is a bond that forms, which is unique; it's a tremendous factor. These are my shipmates. I come back because I am still here and they are a part of me. I am not complete when I am not with my shipmates," Vezey said.

USS Oklahoma Memorial is constructed of 429 three-dimensional white marble columns, engraved with the names of each crew member who perished during the attack. The white marble columns are arranged in a "V" shape, designed to resemble Sailors manning the rails. Surrounding the columns are black marble slabs etched with notable quotes from Oklahoma survivors.

"As I stand here today, looking at this solemn monument to those Sailors and Marines who lost their lives aboard that great battleship, I am moved to pause for a moment and consider the names written there," shared Keeve. "I see in every one of them more than simply a name carved in marble, but instead a reminder of a life lived, a sacrifice made, and a lesson learned for those who will listen," Keeve said.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit

NNS141208-29. USS Midway Museum Conducts Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Liam Kennedy, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Survivors, veterans, and local community members gathered together aboard the USS Midway Museum for the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7.

More than 300 people gathered together for the ceremony, which included speeches by the remaining survivors, prayers, the playing of taps, a wreath presentation, and a two-bell ceremony honoring the survivors and their spouses who have passed away.

"Today we remember the greatest generation of those who served long before we did; those who gave us the opportunity to serve today," said Command Master Chief Trenton Schmidt, assigned to Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). "It was very nice to come here today and see the wonderful ceremony that they put on. This gives the community an opportunity to remember those who gave so much in 1941."

During the ceremony seven survivors from the attack on Pearl Harbor were recognized for their service and shared stories and remarks.

"I am very proud to be here and to be part of this amazing ceremony," said Raymond Chavez, a 102-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor. "Loyalty, patriotism, and discipline are some of the reasons that these men deserve to be recognized."

After the ceremony Pearl Harbor survivor Jack Evans reenlisted three Sailors on the aircraft elevator aboard the USS Midway museum.

"When I got the opportunity to do this, I could not turn it down," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Chelsea Dell, assigned to Stennis. "I am grateful for all of these men and women who have served before me and it makes me realize how much they are appreciated."

Sailors, veterans and members of the community had a chance to meet with the Pearl Harbor survivors following the ceremony. They had the opportunity to listen to firsthand accounts and ask questions about the day that will live in infamy.

"We continue to carry on what they did long before we were ever born into this world," said Schmidt. "It's important that we remember our history and know the sacrifices of those before us. This gives us the strength and the ability to do what we do today and to carry on the great tradition of serving our country."

The USS Midway Museum hosts more than 760 events each year from active duty reenlistments to corporate meetings, all of which help to preserve military history and honor the sacrifices veterans made and continue to make for our country.

For more information about the USS Midway Museum visit

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

NNS141208-16. USS Utah Survivor Interred During Sunset Ceremony

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian Wilbur, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- More than 200 friends, family and service members attended a sunset ceremony and interment, Dec. 6, at the USS Utah Memorial at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to celebrate those who bravely served on the Florida-class battleship.

The interment also honored the life of Seaman 2nd Class Cecil Calavan, a crew member who served aboard the USS Utah during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He died Aug. 14.

"I'm sure Cecil would not have wanted to be called a hero; he would say he was just doing his job, just doing what he was trained to do," said James Taylor, Navy Region Hawaii Pearl Harbor survivors liaison. "Every man and woman who served during that terrible war were, and still are, heroes."

Taylor explained that Calavan joined the Navy at the age of 17 and was a young seaman second class on the day that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

Calavan and a friend were getting ready to leave the ship to go on liberty when he said he heard the scream of an airplane and an incredible explosion.

"He looked up and saw a plane go over the stern only about 20 feet above the ship," Taylor explained. "Then he saw the torpedo coming toward him, and an explosion knocked him off his feet. He saw another plane heading toward the ship and said nothing could be more terrifying than seeing a torpedo coming straight at you."

Another Sailor told Calavan that the ship was under attack by the Japanese and he should swim ashore to save himself. As the ship rolled over, Calavan and other shipmates slid down the bottom of the ship. They made it ashore, ending up in a ditch with other Sailors from the ship, Taylor said.

On that morning, two Japanese torpedoes slammed into the port side of the ship's hull, causing massive flooding. The ship sank shortly after. Of the 519 Sailors aboard during the attack, more than 50 perished and only four bodies were recovered. An attempt to salvage the wreckage was unsuccessful and the battleship was abandoned.

After the attack, Calavan was assigned to USS Detroit and then USS San Francisco, where he was injured during a battle. He received a Purple Heart in 1944 and served the remainder of his enlistment stateside.

He married Beverle Lewis in 1944. After leaving the Navy, Calavan worked in various positions, including a police officer in California and for the U.S. Ranger Service in Sierra National Forest. He also earned his pilot's license.

Calavan retired from Ampex Corporation after 32 years. He is survived by seven children, 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

"Cecil continued to love his ship and, as years passed, saw the Utah become part of the National Valor of the Pacific Monument when President Bush signed a bill into law," Taylor said. "He was the glue that held the USS Utah Survivors Association together during hard times and served as its president until he died Aug. 14 of this year."

Among the guests attending the ceremony were Calavan's daughter, Pamela Calavan Becerra, her niece Kelley, Calavan's great-granddaughter Kristen, and friend, Wyoma Vale.

"Our family has been here several times and now when we come back, not only are we going to be here honoring the USS Utah and her crew, we're going to be visiting my father," said Becerra. "I am very proud of everything this memorial represents," she said.

Taylor shared Calavan's wish.

"I know Cecil would have wanted to return here and rejoin his fellow shipmates who were lost that fateful day when the Japanese Fleet attacked Pearl Harbor," Taylor said. "In a few minutes, it will happen. Cecil will be with his shipmates who still remain inside the ship."

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit

NNS141208-12. US Naval Forces Southern Command Hosts Planners for Continuing Promise 2015

From U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- Military, non-government agency planners and prospective participants in the upcoming Continuing Promise 2015 humanitarian assistance deployment worked on the details of the operation during a mission planning conference hosted Dec. 2-5 by U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/4th Fleet.

Continuing Promise, a U.S. Southern Command training mission introduced in 2007, focuses on providing medical, engineering and veterinary humanitarian assistance activities in select countries to strengthen partnerships and improve cooperation on many levels with our partner nations, interagency organizations and nongovernmental organizations.

This year's Continuing Promise mission will include hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), a military sealift command ship, for the fourth year.

Capt. Sam Hancock, commander, Destroyer Squadron 40, is the mission commander. Capt. Rachel Haltner commands the Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) aboard Comfort. The ship's civil service master, Capt. George McCarthy, is responsible for the ship's safe and timely navigation and day-to-day operations.

Hancock will command the joint civil-military operation, which includes personnel in the fields of medicine, engineering, veterinary medicine, public and environmental health, other specialties and personnel from other government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and multinational partner nations who will participate in the Continuing Promise mission.

Haltner, MTF commander, will oversee the roughly 700 member joint medical staff, to be drawn mostly from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia, and the Army and Air Force.

From early April through September, Continuing Promise will provide medical and dental care, preventive medicine and veterinary consulting, and construction projects in 11 countries. The mission will return to Belize, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama and, for the first time, visit Dominica and Honduras.

As in previous years, hundreds of surgeries will be performed aboard Comfort, and thousands of patients will be treated ashore - an effort that Haltner, called "real work for real people that will make a real difference in their lives."

The mission has an enhanced focus. Building on relationships created in previous years, participants will consider each visit a subject-matter expert exchange, working together to increase the capacities of countries and communities to provide for themselves.

Continuing Promise participants will work alongside local government officials and medical professionals from the host nation to meet the day-to-day needs of communities and to prepare to respond together in disaster relief.

The multinational members of the planning staff worked with information gathered through pre-deployment site surveys in which U.S. and partner nation planners relied on local professionals to describe the needs of their communities to develop the specific plans for each mission stop. Participants will share best practices with the host nation partners, and will work with local doctors, nurses and dentists when providing care and with host nation engineers and specialists during subject-matter expert exchanges and activities.

"As you look around the room, you see on many faces, military, civilian and volunteer; this is what CP15 is all about," said Hancock, as the conference concluded. "Coordination, collaboration, with a ton of caring goes into mission planning. We are about where we need to be at this point, but it is also clear that there is a lot of work to do."

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

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NNS141208-08. Survivors of Dec. 7, 1941 Attack Tour Pearl Harbor

By Cdr. Brandon Bosworth, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Survivors of the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Hawaii returned to Pearl Harbor for a white boat tour on Dec. 4. The survivors, along with their friends and families, learned about the history of the harbor as well as its current role as an active U.S. naval base.

Several active-duty service members were also on the tour that was hosted by Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Jim Neuman, Navy Region Hawaii historian, provided the narration.

"The harbor tours are always special. They provide an opportunity to teach the public and our military personnel about the history of Pearl Harbor and Hickam," said Neuman. "The Navy has been at Pearl Harbor for over 100 years. It is also important to point out and explain many of the operational aspects of the base today, what are we doing right now. The base is just as important today as it was 73 years ago in 1941."

The tour boat departed from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and headed toward the entrance to Pearl Harbor. Along the way, Neuman pointed out and discussed areas of interest such as the wreckage of the USS Utah near Ford Island, the deactivated Navy ships moored in Middle Loch, Hospital Point, the Battleship Missouri Memorial and other sites. Along the way, survivors asked questions and talked about their own experiences.

"The tours with the Pearl Harbor survivors and other World War II vets are especially meaningful because it is an opportunity to hear from the men who were here when the attack took place," said Neuman. "It is great to see the survivors interacting with the younger service members today because they become an inspiration for the next generation. Most of the survivors that are still coming were only 18 or 19 years old in 1941. I think our younger folks gain a lot of perspective and insight from talking to the older guys who experienced a lot of growing up at that time."

The tour concluded with a stop at the USS Arizona Memorial. Even the most gregarious and talkative members of the tour group become quiet and reflective. Some of the survivors shed tears.

Before departing the memorial, guests took time to drop flower petals into the memorial well in honor of those who lost their lives on during the attack. The boat then returned to shore.

As they disembarked, the survivors were in good spirits, happily chatting with young service members and expressing how much they enjoyed the tour.

"It was great," said retired Chief Michael "Mickey" Ganitch, who was serving aboard the USS Pennsylvania on Dec. 7, 1941. "It brought back memories, some good, and some not so good."

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit

NNS141208-07. COMPACFLT Sailor Receives Prestigious USO Leadership Award

From U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

NEW YORK (NNS) -- Senior Chief Personnel Specialist Raina Hockenberry received the USO's George Van Cleave Military Leadership Award at the 53rd USO Armed Forces Gala and Gold Medal dinner in New York Dec. 4.

Hockenberry, who normally serves as the leading chief petty officer in the Total Fleet Force Manpower and Personnel directorate (N1) on the staff of Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet, has been on an individual augmentee assignment the past six months and was the Navy's recipient of the award.

This annual award recognizes outstanding commitment, service and achievements of individuals, of all branches of the armed forces, who have shown extraordinary dedication to the country.

"I'm honored to receive this recognition alongside all these other outstanding service members," said Hockenberry. "What I did isn't special. I believe that anyone in my shoes would be able to accomplish the same things."

In addition, other USO George Van Cleave Military Leadership Award recipients include: U.S. Army Sgt. Thomas Block; U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, a Medal of Honor recipient; U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. Brian Williams, and U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Electrical Technician 2nd Class Michael Allen.

"I understand uniquely, on a small scale, what our troops go through each day," said actor Dennis Haysbert. "I just want to thank each and every one of you for doing what you do and putting your lives on the line each and every day."

During the USO awards ceremony, Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, praised the military families and the gold star mothers for serving a critical role in the military today, and the USO and all their volunteers.

"Thank you to everyone associated with the USO for doing what you do," said Winnefeld to the more than 800 guests. "The military is indeed a family business."

During the gala, Brian Whiting, president and chief executive officer at USO of Metropolitan New York, noted the importance of all the service members and their families, who have made significant achievements in their service careers.

"Our honorees this evening are some of America's greatest heroes and industry leaders," said Whiting. "They fought on the battlefield, protected and supported our troops on the home front and some have made incredibly personal sacrifices to preserve our safety and our way of life.

"As our troops deploy around the world, the USO will be there not matter what. It's our way that we can express gratitude for their sacrifice," Whiting added.

The George Van Cleave Military Leadership Award is a way of publicly honoring and thanking the outstanding commitment, exceptional service, sacrifice and achievements of service members that have shown extraordinary dedication to their country. Reflecting the enduring legacy of the U.S. military and mission of the USO, the award is given to one individual from each branch of service, who through their selfless commitment to their country, inspires others and uplifts the spirits of their comrades, families, and American people.

For more news from U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit

NNS011210-02. This Day in Naval History - Dec. 08

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1846 - While commanded by Lt. Raphael Semmes, the brig Somers is chasing a blockade runner off Vera Cruz when she is caught in a sudden storm. Capsized by the heavy winds, she quickly sinks with the loss of more than 30 of her crew. In recent years, her wreck has been discovered and explored by divers.

1941 - After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States declares war on Japan.

1941 - USS Wake (PR-3), a river gunboat moored at Shanghai, surrenders to the Japanese. During WWII, Wake is the only US Navy vessel to be captured by the enemy intact.

1942 - Eight PT boats (PT 36, PT 37, PT 40, PT 43, PT 44, PT 48, PT 59, and PT 109) turn back eight Japanese destroyers attempting to reinforce Japanese forces on Guadalcanal.

1943 - USS Sawfish (SS 276) sinks Japanese transport Sansei Maru southeast of Chi Chi Jima. Also on this date, TBFs sinks Rabaul-bound fishing boats No. 3 Yusho Maru, No.7 Fukuri Maru, No.2 Takatori Maru, and No.1 Hoko Maru.

NNS141209-05. SECNAV Visits Korea, Reaffirms Commitment to Alliance

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

SEOUL, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- The secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) visited the Republic of Korea (ROK) Dec. 8-9 to meet with Sailors, Marines, and senior leaders to reaffirm the Department of the Navy's strong commitment to the U.S. and ROK alliance.

During his visit, Secretary Ray Mabus met with Mark Lippert, the U.S. ambassador to the ROK, Han Min-koo, ROK minister of national defense, Adm. Choi Yoon-hee, ROK chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Hwang Ki-chul, ROK chief of naval operations, and Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, deputy commander, U.S. Forces Korea, where he received operational updates and discussed future initiatives to enhance partnerships with the ROK armed forces.

Mabus also conducted all-hands calls with Sailors and Marines stationed in Seoul and Commander, Fleet Activities Chinhae (CFAC) where he thanked service members for their important contributions to the security of the Korean peninsula.

"We ask a lot of our men and women in uniform and you all perform your job very well under tough conditions," said Mabus during the all-hands call in Seoul. "I thank you for what you do for our Navy and Marine Corps team, for our nation, and for this great alliance we have with our Korean partners.

Mabus also thanked the people of Korea for their support of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps forces who are forward deployed on the Korean peninsula.

"Partnerships matter and our alliance with the Republic of Korea is very important," said Mabus. "We receive great support from the people of Korea, which allows the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps to be where it matters and when it matters, to sustain our alliance, and maintain stability and peace throughout this region."

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea is the regional commander for the U.S. Navy in the Republic of Korea and provides expertise on naval matters to area military commanders, including the Commander for the United Nations Command, the Combined Forces Command, and Commander, U.S. Forces Korea.

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

NNS141209-12. Subject Matter Experts Needed and Critical for Writing Navy Advancement Exams

From Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla (NNS) -- Naval Education and Training Professional Development and Technology Center (NETPDTC) released the latest schedule Dec. 9 for upcoming Advancement Examination Readiness Reviews (AERRs) held between January and June.

Chief petty officers (E7-E9) identified as fleet subject-matter experts (FSME) are highly encouraged to apply and participate in this process, which helps identify the most qualified advancement candidates. FSMEs are critical to ensuring that Sailors are being tested on current, relevant, and important advancement examination topics.

"All chiefs should consider serving as an FSME, it's critical to the process and I believe equally as important as selection board duty," said NETPDTC's Command Master Chief, Master Chief Electrician's Mate Eric Riddle. "All Navy ratings have AERRs periodically to update the exam bank and to write advancement exams, so every chief in the Navy has the potential to make a substantial contribution to their rating."

AERRs are held at NETPDTC at Saufley Field, in Pensacola. Temporary additional duty (TAD) travel in support of AERR events is considered mission critical and is flag approved. All costs pertaining to TAD are funded by NETPDTC.

"Without exception, the feedback I've received from AERR panel members has been extremely positive as time well invested," said Cmdr. Brenda Stencil, Navy Advancement Center (NAC) director. "Virtually all of the panels have members who are back for their second or third time, demonstrating dedication to the process and their belief in its value."

Currently, the following ratings are scheduled for AERR events between January and June: ABH, AC, AD, AE, AG, AM, AME, AO, AS, ATI, ATO, AWF, AWO, AWR, AWS, AWV, BM, BU, CE, CM, CS, CTR, CTT, DC, EA, EN, EO, EOD, ET, ETV, FC, FT, GM, GSE, HM, IS, IT, LN, LS, MA, MM (conventional), MM (nuclear), MME, MMW, MR, MT, NC (counselor), NC (recruiter), OS, PR, PS, QM, SB, SH, SO, STG, SW, YN.

The application to volunteer as an FSME for advancement exam development must be endorsed by the commanding officer or officer in charge, as well as the command master chief, senior chief or chief of the boat prior to submission to NAC. The AERR fleet liaison, Peter Pappas, coordinates with learning center rating managers, detailers, and type commander (TYCOM) representatives to select the best nominees.

To take part in the AERR process, log into NKO then use the following link: This link provides the scheduled dates for the ratings listed above, eligibility and nomination package requirements, and other pertinent information regarding AERR events.

Potential SME's should submit their nomination packages to Peter Pappas, NETPDTC N33A, via email Pappas may also be contacted with further questions at (850) 473-6121/DSN 753, fax (850) 473-6124.

The latest AERR schedule, including specific dates for each rating listed above, will be continuously updated and available on the Navy Advancement Center's (NAC) Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) page and on NAC's Facebook page. Quarterly updates will be announced via news release, online and through social media, and will no longer be published as a naval administrative message (NAVADMIN).

For more information about the Navy Advancement Center and the Navy Enlisted Advancement System (NEAS), visit

For additional information on the Naval Education and Training Command, visit

For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit

NNS141209-06. Pearl Harbor Survivors Join Fallen Shipmates

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tiarra Fulgham, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Detachment Hawaii

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The ashes of Pearl Harbor survivors, Chief Petty Officer Robert C. Knight and Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Harry E. Smith, were scattered in the waters surrounding the USS Utah Memorial on Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam during two separate ceremonies Dec. 7.

In the days leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, Knight, a Sailor assigned to a Patrol Bomber (PBY) aircraft squadron stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, was having maintenance done on his aircraft at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, in preparation for an aviation exercise that was scheduled to take place in Kaneohe, Hawaii, the following week.

Slated to fly the plane back to Kaneohe the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, Knight was just finishing his breakfast at Ford Island when the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor began.

Knight's son, Harry Knight Jr., recalled the stories his had dad told him about his experiences in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

"He said he'd wake up to all the commotion of the bombs dropping on Sunday morning, and when he went out he said the first thing he saw was an airplane roaring overhead at a very low altitude with a big red meatball on the wing and he immediately knew what was going on," said Harry Jr.

Harry Jr., also described the scene his father had recollected of the senior advisors using crowbars to pry open the doors of the PBY to take their machine guns.

"They used old T-shirts and dungarees to hold the weapons on their shoulders while shooters fired at the Japanese, and when the barrels got too hot they would switch off holding them."

Across the waterfront, Smith had a different experience that morning.

Smith was asleep aboard destroyer USS Ralph Talbot (DD 390) when he was awakened by the sound of the ship's general quarters. After observing Utah rolling to her side and Sailors sliding off the bottom of the ship, Smith went down to the fire room and assisted crew members in lighting off the boilers.

"Harry said the Talbot's skipper [commanding officer] saved the ship and crew when departing the harbor by maneuvering back and forth as planes were attacking," said Jim Taylor, Pearl Harbor Survivors Liaison. "Harry said it was because of the skipper's watchful eye from the bridge the ship and many lives were saved."

Knight continued to serve in the Navy going onto an advanced aviation mate school and was later assigned to aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga (CV 14), followed by a tour with USS Hancock (CV/CVA 19).

"I cannot begin to put words to it, it means so much to us as family to see his last request honored and respected so much," said Harry Jr. "He always said the real heroes are still out here on the bottom of this harbor, we are just survivors. As he got older he got so emotional about Pearl and the Navy and this was truly his dying wish to have his ashes scattered over the waters. As far as what the Navy has done, the honor that has been given to my family and to my father, I don't have the words. "

Knight went on to finish his military career in July 1945 at Naval Air Station Vero Beach, Florida. He passed away in August 2013 and his ashes were returned to Pearl Harbor as he wished to join those who lost their lives Dec. 7, 1941.

"My dad was very proud of his military service in the Navy and we are grateful as I mentioned at the service," said Martin Smith, one of Smith's sons. "My heart is full and my soul is satisfied that the U.S. Navy could help us make this dream come true for my father."

After the war, Smith settled down with his family in Colorado. "Not only did he survive Pearl Harbor he survived raising nine children," Smith said.

According to Jim Taylor, Pearl Harbor Survivors Liaison, while Knight and Smith would probably not want to be called heroes, as they were simply just doing the jobs they were trained to do, their bravery and commitment to service set a timeless example of heroism for current and future generations.

"Every man and woman who served during that terrible war were, and still are, heroes," said Taylor. "Our greatest generation created the mold our service men and women live by today, they set the example."

Knight and Smith both received full military honors including flag presentations, playing of "Taps," and a three-volley rifle salute from members of the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Honors and Ceremonies and a bugler from the Pacific Fleet Band.

"Needless to say without the public affairs office, Grace Hewlen and Jim Taylor with his volunteer work that he does this would not have happened for us and we are very grateful that it worked as well as it did," said Smith. "To see the Blackhawk helicopters fly over with the flag that was that much more special to us. I am proud to be my father's son."

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

NNS141209-03. Everett Hosts Pearl Harbor Remembrance

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class William Blees, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment Northwest

EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- Sailors, veterans and Department of Defense (DoD) employees gathered Dec. 5 in the Grand Vista Ballroom on Naval Station Everett (NSE) to remember the tragic events that transpired in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 73 years ago.

The ceremony opened with the presentation of colors and was followed with a moment of silence to remember those who were lost.

Following, there were guest speakers, a wreath-laying ceremony, and a special "walk of honor" for veterans in attendance.

Lt. Cmdr. Carl Stamper, NSE Chaplain, opened with the invocation after colors.

"Lord, let us consider how you used this event to shape individuals in the nation," said Stamper.

After the invocation, NSE Commanding Officer Capt. Michael Coury spoke.

"On this special occasion we are privileged to be in the company of some very special guests," said Coury. "Remembering them [World War II veterans] ensures we remember those who shaped America."

The theme of this year's historic commemoration, "Preserving the Memory," focuses on how we keep the story of the attack on Oahu, Hawaii, and World War II, alive for the nation and the world.

"Two thousand four hundred of our military died at Pearl Harbor 73 years ago; today, we gather to mourn them," said Bruce Peseau, World War II veteran. "I am proud to have served my beloved country."

Peseau received a standing ovation after addressing the audience. Fellow World War II veteran Art Unruh took the podium after him.

"We were just a bunch of kids," said Unruh. "For my good buddies that didn't get to come home like I did, my flag goes up every day."

The ceremony concluded with the "walk of honor", when active-duty Sailors saluted the veterans as they exited.

"The courage and strength demonstrated at Pearl Harbor and during World War II holds a place among our country's honored history," said Coury.

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

NNS141209-02. DANTES Celebrates 40 Years of Service

By Thom Seith, Center Information Dominance Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) commemorated 40 years of service by holding an education celebration at the Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) on board Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola Dec. 2.

More than 1,000 people attended the event, which provided education information from DANTES, the Navy Advancement Center, Troops for Teachers, the Navy College Program, Navy Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (Navy COOL), and the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP).

DANTES and their partner organizations help service members and veterans pursue their educational goals and earn degrees or certifications.

Capt. John Jones, Naval Education and Training Command, chief of staff, served as the guest speaker for the celebration.

"DANTES' information, resources and programs have played an integral part in the career success of tens of thousands of Sailors including myself," said Jones. "We'd like to express our gratitude for the 40 years DANTES has been serving the educational needs of service members throughout the Department of Defense and wish them even more success in the future."

During the NATTC event, Sailors from the Pensacola military complex had the opportunity to get valuable information on educational programs and query experts on how to incorporate education and certifications into their career goals.

Aviation Electronics Technician Airman Lisa Kennedy, a student at NATTC, was grateful for the opportunity to talk to the experts from DANTES.

"When I joined the Navy, I already had a bachelor's degree in history, but wanted to continue my education and possibly go to law school," said Kennedy. "With all the overwhelming information during recruit training and indoctrination, it was wonderful to be able to obtain all this good information in a more relaxed setting with such knowledgeable people.

"Mr. Stahl, the DANTES deputy director recommended getting guidance from the Navy College Program counselors, taking College Level Exam Program (CLEP) tests and utilizing the Tuition Assistance (TA) Program to help me reach my goal," she added.

Additional helpful information provided by DANTES during the event included academic accreditation, college financial aid (scholarships, grants and loans), how to search for the right college, virtual libraries and free online books, and educational goal planning.

One part of educational goal planning is consolidating and translating military experience into college credits. Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Aircraft Handling), Johnny Harris, a NATTC data metrics analyst, received guidance on his educational goal planning from Sandra L. Winborne, manager, Military Evaluations Program for DANTES.

"Dr. Winborne explained to me how the Joint Service Transcript (JST) documents American Council on Education (ACE) recommended college credit for military training and occupational experience, and that academically, the JST is an accepted record validated by ACE," said Harris. "This and other information she provided has helped me focus on my goals of earning a general education degree, participating in the Troops to Teachers certification program, and eventually teaching at a Reserve Officers Training Corps unit," he said.

DANTES is a Department of Defense agency that provides leadership and support through partnerships across the education community and is located on board Saufley Field in Pensacola.

For more information on DANTES, visit the Web page at:

For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit

NNS141209-01. Gortney Takes Command of Northcom, NORAD

By Air Force Technical Sergeant Jake Richmond, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy Adm. Bill Gortney today [Dec. 5] became the senior leader of U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command during a change of command ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.

Gortney, a naval aviator, is the former commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command. As the new chief of Northcom and NORAD, he succeeds Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., who is retiring after a 35-year military career.

In ceremonial fashion, Gortney accepted the NORAD flag from Canada's Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Tom Lawson and the Northcom flag from U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work.

"Chuck Jacoby has proved himself as one of our nation's most seasoned and capable leaders," said Work, citing the general's combat leadership in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jacoby was the first Army officer and first non-aviator to lead NORAD and Northcom, according to Work.

'We Have the Watch'

Jacoby's vision of vigilance and security he brought to this command is captured well in his motto: 'We have the watch,'" Work said.

The deputy secretary said NORAD, the country's only bilateral command, is truly one of a kind. Combined with Northcom, Work said the dual command is "a difficult balancing act, protecting the U.S. from external threats as well as dealing with natural disasters and other internal emergencies."

Noting Jacoby's leadership over the quick and effective responses to Hurricane Sandy and regional wildfires, Work praised Northern Command's strong record of accomplishments.

For his service, Jacoby received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal from Work and the Canadian Meritorious Service Cross from Lawson.

A Sacred Mission

After officially assuming command, Gortney also praised Jacoby's leadership. He said commanders should strive to turn over a better command than the one they took over.

"You have done so, Chuck. Our homelands have been in great hands for the past three and a half years," Gortney said. "I hope I will be able to say the same in a few years."

The people who serve NORAD and Northcom are the organizations' lifeblood, the admiral said. And he had a message for them: "We are accountable to our nations and the execution of our duties, 24 by seven."

Gortney added, "Rest assured, we will succeed. We have the watch."

NNS141209-11. US Navy Band Executive Officer Relieved of Duty

From the Navy Office of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Capt. Brian Walden, commanding officer/leader, U.S. Navy Band, relieved Lt. Cmdr. Bruce McDonald of his executive officer duties citing personal misconduct.

McDonald has been reassigned to the staff of Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. A relief for Lt. Cmdr. McDonald has yet to be named.

The United States Navy Band, based in Washington, D.C., is the premier musical organization of the U.S. Navy. With 174 enlisted musicians and four officers, the U.S. Navy band performs more than 270 public concerts and 1,300 ceremonies a year and is capable of playing any style of music in any setting.

NNS011210-03. This Day in Naval History - Dec. 09

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1864 - While operating on the Roanoke River at Rainbow Bluff, N.C., the side-wheel gunboat Otsego strikes two Confederate mines. The steam tugboat Bazely rushes to help Otsego, but she also hits a mine. Both vessels eventually sink. During this operation, USS Wyalusing provides fire cover while boats dragged for mines.

1941 - USS Swordfish (SS-193) makes initial U.S. submarine attack on Japanese ship, torpedoing a ship 150 miles west of Manila. Her claim of sinking, though, is not confirmed in enemy records.

1944 - USS Charles F. Hughes (DD 428) and USS Madison (DD 425) bombard German coast artillery positions and troop concentrations along the Franco-Italian border.

NNS141210-02. Historic Leap: Navy Shipboard Laser Operates in Arabian Gulf

By David Smalley, Office of Naval Research Public Affairs

ARLINGTON, Va (NNS) -- Officials at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced today the laser weapon system (LaWS) - a cutting-edge weapon that brings significant new capabilities to America's Sailors and Marines - was for the first time successfully deployed and operated aboard a naval vessel in the Arabian Gulf.

The operational demonstrations, which took place from September to November aboard USS Ponce (AFSB[I] 15), were historic not only because they showed a laser weapon working aboard a deployed U.S. Navy ship, but also because LaWS operated seamlessly with existing ship defense systems.

"Laser weapons are powerful, affordable and will play a vital role in the future of naval combat operations," said Rear Adm. Matthew L. Klunder, chief of naval research. "We ran this particular weapon, a prototype, through some extremely tough paces, and it locked on and destroyed the targets we designated with near-instantaneous lethality."

During the tests, LaWS - a collaborative effort between ONR, Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Research Laboratory, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division and industry partners -- hit targets mounted aboard a speeding oncoming small boat, shot a Scan Eagle
unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) out of the sky, and destroyed other moving targets at sea. Play video:

Sailors worked daily with LaWS over several months since it was installed, and reported the weapon performed flawlessly, including in adverse weather conditions of high winds, heat and humidity. They noted the system exceeded expectations for both reliability and maintainability.

The system is operated by a video-game like controller, and can address multiple threats using a range of escalating options, from non-lethal measures such as optical "dazzling" and disabling, to lethal destruction if necessary. It could prove to be a pivotal asset against what are termed "asymmetric threats," which include small attack boats and UAVs.

Data regarding accuracy, lethality and other factors from the Ponce deployment will guide the development of weapons under ONR's Solid-State Laser-Technology Maturation program. Under this program, industry teams have been selected to develop cost-effective, combat-ready laser prototypes that could be installed on vessels such as guided-missile destroyers and the Littoral Combat Ship in the early 2020s.

Researchers say the revolutionary technology breakthroughs demonstrated by LaWS will ultimately benefit not only U.S. Navy surface ships, but also airborne and ground-based weapon systems.

While laser weapons offer new levels of precision and speed for naval warfighters, they also bring increased safety for ships and crews, as lasers are not dependent on the traditional propellant and gunpowder-based ordnance found on ships. Lasers run on electricity and can be fired as long as there is power.

They also cost less to build, install and fire than traditional kinetic weapons -- for example a multimillion-dollar missile.

"At less than a dollar per shot, there's no question about the value LaWS provides," said Klunder. "With affordability a serious concern for our defense budgets, this will more effectively manage resources to ensure our Sailors and Marines are never in a fair fight."

The Navy already has demonstrated the effectiveness of lasers in a variety of maritime settings. In a 2011 demonstration, a laser was used to defeat multiple small boat threats from a destroyer. In 2012, LaWS downed several unmanned aircraft in tests during naval exercises. Specific details on next steps and timeframes are being determined as the data from the current demonstrations are analyzed.

The announcement confirms continued significant progress on directed-energy weapons, and meets the timeframe announced by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert at the 2013 Sea-Air-Space Expo. Greenert will be the opening speaker at the upcoming Naval Future Force Science and Technology EXPO in February 2015, where many of the innovative technologies coming to fruition for the Navy and Marine Corps will be on display.

About the Office of Naval Research
The Department of the Navy's Office of Naval Research (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

NNS141210-13. Things to Know About Reprisal and Retaliation

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Sailors whose official service record may reflect reprisal or retaliation because they reported a criminal offense, including sexual assault or sexual harassment, can request records correction through the Board for Correction of Naval Records.

Section 1709 of the fiscal year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (FY14 NDAA) required the secretary of defense to create regulations to prohibit retaliation. On April 25, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus issued ALNAV 030/14, prohibiting retaliation against members of the Department of the Navy who report a criminal offense. On Dec. 4, Mabus signed out SECNAV Instruction 5370.7D, Military Whistleblower Protection.

Here are five things you need to know about reprisal and retaliation:

1. Sailors who believe they have been reprised or retaliated against and wish to have their record corrected for action taken as a result of retaliation can visit or for instructions on how to do so.

2. Reprisal includes taking adverse personnel actions or withholding favorable personnel actions. It also includes threatening either positive or negative personnel actions. Retaliation includes ostracism or maltreatment by peers. Both supervisors and peers can be guilty of retaliation.

3. Reprisal or retaliation against alleged victims or other members of the armed forces who report a criminal offense is prohibited and punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) Article 92. A violation by civilian personnel may be punishable under regulations governing disciplinary actions.

4. Sailors wishing to report reprisal or retaliation can speak with their local inspector general (IG) office on matters involving allegations of suspected retaliation.

5. Sailors can also visit the Department of the Navy's IG website at to report reprisal or retaliation through the complaint hotline. It is important to note that the IG won't investigate retaliation; a complaint can be filed with the IG, but the investigation will be referred to the appropriate command.

It is imperative that Sailors report crimes or sexual harassment without fear of reprisal or retaliation, and victims receive the appropriate level of care and support. Commanding officers, executive officers and officers-in-charge can consult with their staff judge advocate, office of General Counsel Attorney, region legal service office or legal services support section with any questions. Sailors and civilians deserve a responsible, professional, and safe environment in which to work, live and serve our country.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

NNS141210-12. Navy Civilian Engineer Named FEYA Award Agency Winner for Delivering Warfare Capabilities to the Fleet

By John Joyce, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division Public Affairs

DAHLGREN, Va. (NNS) -- Alan Tolley was selected as a National Society of Professional Engineers' (NSPE) 2015 Federal Engineer of the Year Award (FEYA) Agency winner, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) announced Dec. 10.

Tolley, one of three FEYA Agency winners representing Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), will be honored at the FEYA Awards ceremony to be held at the National Press Club Feb. 26.

The 2015 Federal Engineer of the Year Award, sponsored by the Professional Engineers in Government, honors engineers employed by a federal agency that employs at least 50 engineers worldwide. Candidates are nominated by their employing federal agency.

"I am truly honored to have been selected," said Tolley, an NSWCDD employee detailed to the NAVSEA Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) as the chief radar systems engineer for Above Water Sensors. "I've had many opportunities to work with the best dedicated engineers and scientists in the field of radars, and the experience has made me a better radar engineer."

PEO IWS Above Water Sensors Technical Director Bradley Binder nominated Tolley for the FEYA award, citing the engineer's outstanding vision, leadership, and personal contributions in the systems engineering of the Navy's next generation of surface combatant radars and their combat system elements including the Dual Band Radar and Air Missile Defense Radar.

"Alan Tolley is the consummate engineer's engineer -- technically brilliant, completely devoted to his Navy and country, with an amazing work ethic," said Capt. Douglas Small, major program manager, Above Water Sensors (PEO IWS 2.0). "I trust and rely on him completely. Alan is the chief engineer of all surface Navy radars and he's generally awesome."

The Federal Engineer of the Year is selected by a panel of judges established by National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) professional engineers in government who consider engineering achievements, education, continuing education, professional/technical society activities, NSPE membership, awards and honors, and civic and humanitarian activities.

In the nomination, Binder recognized Tolley's "key role in delivering vital warfare capabilities to the fleet by shaping the radar community and sensor industrial base," adding that the NSWCDD engineer's "efforts continue to enhance the U.S. Navy's reputation for technical excellence in radar system engineering."

Tolley's accomplishments include his leadership in the development of the Navy's first dual band radar that supports two different ship classes. His expertise led to his selection to the OPNAV radar-hull study, which set the path forward for surface radars on the Navy's next generation destroyer, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (DDG-51) Flight III.

Moreover, he developed, shaped, and defended complex multimission and integration requirements and associated contracts for the Navy's next-generation Air Missile Defense Radar sensor on the new DDG 51 Flight III.

"I am truly blessed to be part of the surface Navy radar community's efforts to provide radars that are key to the success of the U.S. Navy," said Tolley.

For more news from NSWC Dahlgren , visit

NNS141210-09. San Diego Training Commands Reduce Energy Costs During 'Do Watts Right' Campaign

By Ensign Blake Bumpous, Training Support Center San Diego Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Training Support Center San Diego (TSCSD) announced the results of its six-month pilot 'Do Watts Right' energy reduction campaign Dec. 10, a competition between local Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) activities.

The campaign resulted in an overall savings of nearly $95,000 and a 4 percent reduction in total energy usage compared to May through October of last year.

During the pilot program, total energy usage was monitored for 16 buildings among three campuses supported by TSCSD at Naval Bases San Diego, Coronado, and Point Loma, in California.

"The 4 percent average reduction is a little less than we had hoped for, but that still amounts to almost $100K in utility-bill savings," said Julie Lee, TSCSD facilities director. "Had it not been for the uncommonly hot summer and fall we had this year, I believe that savings would have been much higher."

Lee noted the pilot program was developed by Naval Base San Diego Public Works Department's Energy Team for TSCSD and supported commands to serve as a testing ground for possible basewide implementation at regional installations. The pilot's goal is to cut down on the utility costs for Navy Region Southwest by promoting efficient energy use.

"The program encourages service members and civilians alike to curb wasteful energy behavior through visual reminders in all spaces, and each building has Sailors who serve as 'energy champions' who promote and monitor efficient energy use," said Lee. "Personnel in each building work as teams to encouraging changes in energy habits, such as turning off computers and lights at the end of the workday."

To promote the program and raise awareness about energy conservation, TSC turned the campaign into a competition between the three campuses to see which buildings and commands could reduce overall energy consumption by the greatest percentage.

Energy saving bragging rights were ultimately earned by the San Diego training campus, where energy usage was reduced by nearly $68,000 or 4 percent, from last year. Point Loma's Building 52, which houses the Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center (FLEASWTRACEN), won the individual building competition by reducing energy use by 11 percent over the previous year.

Chief Sonar Technician (Surface) Letisha Chase, FLEASWTRACEN Green Committee leader said energy conservation is an all-hands evolution.

"We took numerous measures to save energy, including providing training and a social awareness video at command GMT," said Chase, "Our personnel changed their energy habits by making sure non-essential lights were turned off, securing electronics such as computers and lab equipment if no one was in the space, shutting down desktop computers and monitors outside of working hours, shutting down A/C unit air compressors on weekends and holidays, and having departmental duty personnel check all spaces at the end of the work day for energy reduction compliance."

As a result of the financial success of the 2014 'Do Watts Right' pilot, TSC is in the early planning stages of bringing back the program for NETC commands next year.

"If the region promoted this campaign to local commands, even a 4 percent average energy use reduction would easily save over $1 million in utility bills annually," added Lee.

For information about TSC San Diego visit

For more information about Naval Education and Training Command, visit or on Facebook at!/NavalEducationAndTrainingCommand.

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NNS141210-07. New Contracts for Surface Warfare Officers Await Reauthorization Approval

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- A delay in coordinating approval for reauthorization of the Revised Surface Warfare Officer Critical Skills Retention Bonus (RSWOCSRB) will mean no new contracts will be processed for the bonus after Dec. 16 until reauthorization is received, which should be early next year.

Current bonus payments are not impacted by the reauthorization delay.

The lapse in writing new contracts is the result of staffing delays at the Chief of Naval Personnel. Navy leadership is confident the bonus will be reauthorized and should be complete by mid-February.

Officers impacted by this delay have been contacted by their detailer to help them understand how this will impact their career planning.

Eligibility requirements for department head bonus are found in NAVADMIN 156/12 and for lieutenant commander bonus they are listed in NAVADMINs 326/02, 084/10 and 156/12.

Eligible surface warfare officers with four or more years of service who have not yet signed up for the RSWOCSRB department head bonus can sign up for the bonus by Dec. 16. Officers who will not reach four years of service before Dec. 16 are still eligible for the total bonus amount once authorization is renewed as long as they sign up before completing their sixth year of service.

Eligible lieutenant commanders who have not yet signed up for the SWO Critical Skills Bonus (SWOCSB) will be eligible for the total bonus amount when the bonus is renewed as long as they sign up prior to the second anniversary of their promotion to O-4.

Officers who have questions on their bonus status may contact the surface warfare community manager at (901) 874-3173 or DSN 882-3173.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

NNS141210-05. MLB Stars Visit USS America

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan Riley, USS America Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Former Major League Baseball (MLB) players visited with Sailors aboard amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) Dec. 9.

Daniel Plesac and Ryan Dempster, now MLB network analysts, received a tour of America from Capt. Robert A. Hall Jr., commanding officer, before meeting with Sailors on the flight deck.

"This has been one of the most moving experiences of my life," said Plesac. "I had no idea what Navy life was like, and to see all the hard work that goes on daily aboard this ship is simply amazing."

The former MLB stars held a pitching demonstration and played catch with Sailors on the ship's flight deck.

"It was a great experience to throw and catch with a major league baseball player and something that I never thought I would do," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Isaac Morelli.

After the pitching demonstration, Plesac and Dempster signed autographs, took pictures and passed out MLB memorabilia to the Sailors on board.

"This was an opportunity that you normally don't get," said Aviation Machinist's Mate 1st Class Anderson Castrillon. "It was great that they took the time out of their schedule to come and see what we do, while thanking and showing their support for us."

America is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tawara-class of amphibious assault ships. As the next generation "big-deck" amphibious ship, America is optimized for aviation, capable of supporting current and future aircraft such as the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey and F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.

For more news from USS America, visit

NNS141210-04. Lincoln Sailors Perform Nearly 190,000 Fire Watch Hours, Save $3.8 Million

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Aaron T. Kiser, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- To date, Sailors assigned to Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) have avoided costs of approximately $3.8 million by completing nearly 190,000 fire watch hours while the ship undergoes its Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) in Newport News.

The money saved by Sailors conducting fire watch since the beginning of RCOH in March 2013 will be applied later in the project to fund other needed repairs.

"Fire Watch has been a critical Ship's Force contribution to this RCOH," said Capt. Ronald Ravelo, commanding officer, Abraham Lincoln. "Early in the project it was determined that some significant labor cost savings needed to be found."

Fire watches also serve as a vital first line of defense against preventable casualties. These watches are manned as a safety precaution during various types of work, such as grinding, cutting and welding.

"The hours of fire watch that our crew provided were arguably our biggest contribution to this effort," said Ravelo. "But it really makes sense we contribute in this manner when you take a practical and pragmatic view. Ultimately this is our way of ensuring that hot work is performed safely and correctly on our ship."

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Christopher Bruceross further discussed the important role the fire watch team performs aboard Abraham Lincoln.

"The fire watch team assists with observing all work with potential for causing a fire at the work site," said Bruceross. "They verify there are no discrepancies at the hot-work site with potential for causing a fire and ensure they are resolved prior to commencing work."

Bruceross also recognizes the Sailors' dedication to fire watch and, ultimately, their dedication to the ship.

"Standing a fire watch is uneventful with intent," said Bruceross. "Our team has ownership of their role, which is critical to the safety of the ship, our fiscal responsibilities, and our involvement with contracted production during RCOH."

Sailors assigned to these watches not only provide their time, but are a liaison between Sailors and the civilian contractors that work in the shipyard.

"I think the upside to this job is that it allows you to explore the ship, the schedule is good and I learn a lot from the contractors," said Airman Ehren Bass. "Most of them have been working on ships for a while, and know a lot about the Lincoln."

Lincoln is currently undergoing RCOH at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz class to undergo RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class carriers.

For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln, visit

NNS141210-03. Japanese Navy Shares Cultural Event with US Counterparts

By Sky M. Laron, Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka Corporate Communications

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Ship Supply Depot (SSD) members came together Dec. 5 in a celebration of culture and friendship.

The celebration took place during a traditional Japanese rice-pounding ceremony, or mochitsuki, at the JMSDF naval base in nearby Taura, Japan.

The festival provided U.S. Navy guests an opportunity to participate in an important Japanese cultural event that heralds the coming of the New Year.

The "mochi-pounding" ceremony is usually an all-day community event during which mochi, a glutinous rice mixture, is kneaded and pounded until it becomes smooth and shiny and takes on a consistency somewhat like soft taffy.

The event is usually held in neighborhood parks, town squares or other social gathering locations throughout Japan around Christmas or New Year's Day.

On the day of the festival, steamed rice is placed into a rice mortar (usu) where, during the festival, one participant alternately pounds the mochi with a special mallet while another leans in to knead the mochi with their hands. The sequence demands precision as the kneading is done swiftly between mallet strikes on the wetted bed of rice.

Capt. Raymond Bichard, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka commanding officer, thanked his counterpart, SSD Commanding Officer Capt. Kiyoshi Matsura for the invitation.

"I am proud to join you in this time-honored ceremony," said Bichard. "I always look forward to the professional initiatives that sustain our long-standing bilateral partnership in logistics management, but it is ceremonies such as today's mochi-pounding ceremony that truly give me a sense of the Japanese culture and, for that, I remain profoundly thankful."

Matsura thanked his American guests for coming to the ceremony, which also celebrated the 16th anniversary of SSD.

"SSD was created 16 years ago in December 1998 and today we are responsible for provisioning 50 billion yen [approximately $422 million] worth of ship supplies to the Japanese fleet every year," said Matsura.

Matsura added that we are grateful for the special relationship that SSD shares with NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka and its many U.S. Supply Corps members.

The event brought together Sailors from two nations with one very similar mission, to support their fleets, so whether you are a logistician from Japan or the U.S., the ability to provide the mission-essential support remains the same.

As the Western Pacific region's largest U.S. Navy logistics command, the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka enterprise networks more than 20 detachments, sites and fuel terminals from Misawa, Japan, to Sydney, Australia, Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to Guam.

The Sailors, Marines, Japanese Master Labor Contract, U.S. Civil Service and contract employees at NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka provide the daily logistics support to the Navy, Marine Corps, Department of Defense and other federal activity customers within the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit

NNS011210-16. This Day in Naval History - Dec. 10

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1843 - The first steam ship with screw propeller, USS Princeton, is launched. In 1844, her guns explode during a demonstration and kill Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur, Secretary of the Navy Thomas Gilmer and several others.

1941 - Capt. George J. McMillin surrenders the island of Guam to the Japanese invasion force commanded by Rear Adm. Goto Aritomo. In the summer of 1944, the island is liberated by the United States. During the Spanish-American War, Guam was captured for the United States by the cruiser USS Charleston on June 20-21, 1898.

1941- SBD aircraft from USS Enterprise (CV 6) attack and sink the Japanese submarine I-70 north of Hawaiian Islands. A participant in the Pearl Harbor Attack, I-70 is the first major Japanese combatant ship sunk during World War II.

1941 - A PBY aircraft piloted by Lt. Harmon T. Utter is attacked by three Japanese Mitsubishi A6M2 Type 0 carrier fighters (ZERO). Chief Boatswain Earl D. Payne, Utter's bow gunner shoots down one, scoring the U.S. Navy's first verifiable air-to-air "kill" of a Japanese plane in the Pacific War.

1982 - The nuclear powered USS Ohio (SSBN-726), first Trident-Class submarine, returns from its first deterrent patrol.

NNS141212-26. Navy Tests New Unmanned Underwater Vehicle at JEBLC-FS

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Edward Guttierrez III, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy completed tests on the GhostSwimmer unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story (JEBLC-FS), Dec. 11.

GhostSwimmer is the latest in a series of science-fiction-turned-reality projects developed by the chief of naval operations' Rapid Innovation Cell (CRIC) project, Silent NEMO.

Silent NEMO is an experiment that explores the possible uses for biomimetic, unmanned underwater vehicles in the fleet.

Over the past several weeks, Boston Engineering's tuna-sized device has been gathering data at JEBLC-FS on tides, varied currents, wakes, and weather conditions for the development of future tasks.

"GhostSwimmer will allow the Navy to have success during more types of missions while keeping divers and Sailors safe," said Michael Rufo, director of Boston Engineering's Advanced Systems Group.

The GhostSwimmer was developed to resemble the shape and mimic the swimming style of a large fish. At a length of approximately 5 feet and a weight of nearly 100 pounds, the GhostSwimmer vehicle can operate in water depths ranging from 10 inches to 300 feet.

"It swims just like a fish does by oscillating its tail fin back and forth," said Rufo. "The unit is a combination of unmanned systems engineering and unique propulsion and control capabilities."

Its bio-mimicry provides additional security during low visibility intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions and friendly hull inspections, while quieter than propeller driven craft of the same size, according to Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC).

The robot is capable of operating autonomously for extended periods of time due to its long-lasting battery, but it can also be controlled via laptop with a 500-foot tether. The tether is long enough to transmit information while inspecting a ship's hull, for example, but if operating independently (without a tether) the robot will have to periodically be brought to the surface to download its data.

"This project and others that we are working on at the CRIC are important because we are harnessing the brainpower and talents of junior Sailors," said Capt. Jim Loper, department head for Concepts and Innovation, NWDC. "The opportunity for a young Sailor who has a good idea to get that idea heard, and to get it turned into action, is greater [now] than any other time in our Navy's history."

The CRIC was established in 2012 to provide junior leaders with an opportunity to identify and rapidly field emerging technologies that address the Navy's most pressing challenges and aims to find ways to quickly employ them in the fleet.

"Our mantra is 'you have permission to be creative.' We want our people to go out there and dream big dreams and put them into action," said Loper. "We want to see projects like this replicated throughout the fleet. The fusion of the deckplate brainpower with support of the most senior leadership in the Navy is going to keep us moving forward throughout the 21st century."

For more information on the CRIC, visit

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element, East, visit

NNS141212-06. US, China Conduct Anti-Piracy Exercise

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Travis Alston and Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Eric Coffer

GULF OF ADEN (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) and ships from the Chinese People's Liberation Army (Navy) PLA(N) commenced a bilateral counter-piracy exercise, U.S.-China Counter-Piracy Exercise 15, in the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa, Dec 11.

Aiming to promote partnership, strength and presence, the exercise includes combined visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) operations, communication exchanges, and various other aspects of naval operations.

This exercise represents a long-standing united front toward counter-piracy operations shared by these two world powers.

"The exercise allows us to address our common regional and global interest," said Capt. Doug Stuffle, commander, U.S. Navy Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1. "It helps both nations pursue a healthy, stable, reliable and continuous bilateral relationship."

Approximately 700 personnel from the U.S. and China navies will participate in the exercise, and it gives Sterett Sailors the opportunity to engage in a shared mission with other surface platforms.

"Piracy is a long-standing problem, worldwide," said Cmdr. Theodore Nunamaker, Sterett commanding officer. "It has long been recognized as a problem that requires an international-cooperative solution. Certainly the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR [area of responsibility] is one of the focused points for that effort. Modern-day piracy has a far-reaching economic impact. Although much of the world's population will never encounter piracy, it has an impact on everyone, by increasing the cost of goods that are being shipped from place to place."

Stuffle expressed that Sterett's crew, like all deployed U.S. naval forces, have trained to meet a variety of mission sets that are important to the nation's interest and stand ready to execute anti-piracy measures when directed.

Both Stuffle and Nunamaker agree the ultimate goal of this exercise is to strengthen military-to-military relationships between the U.S. and its Chinese counter-parts. The U.S. and Chinese navies conducted similar training, Aug. 20-25, 2013.

"These bi-lateral exercises help us establish clear paths for communication; they encourage transparency of trust, help us mitigate risk and allow us to demonstrate cooperative efforts in the international community to help us work together to deal with transnational threats. In the end, we look to create a peaceful, stable and secure maritime domain," said Stuffle.

Sterett is deployed as part of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group and is supporting Operation Inherent Resolve conducting maritime security operations, strike operations in Iraq and Syria as directed and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, visit

NNS141212-19. Joint Statement by Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations on Endorsement of SSCTF Recommendations

From the office of the Secretary of the Navy

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The decision to endorse the recommendation to move forward with a littoral combat ship (LCS) that is multi-mission capable, more lethal, and survivable, will bring additional capability to the fleet.

By design, the LCS was meant to be flexible and adaptable, which allows the ship to evolve and outpace emerging threats. This decision confirms the ships' original concept.

LCS will remain an affordable platform that provides presence worldwide and strengthens our vital maritime partnerships.

We are very pleased with the progress of the LCS program and this decision will make it an even more effective platform to support combatant commanders' requirements.

NNS141212-08. USNS Leroy Grumman Completes Deployment in Mediterranean

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Weston Jones, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East Det. Europe

MEDITERRANEAN SEA (NNS) -- MEDITERRANEAN SEA - The U.S. Navy's duty oiler in the Mediterranean Sea, fleet replenishment oiler USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195), is currently finishing a six-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea supplying the U.S. Navy and its allies with fuel and supplies at sea, Dec. 11, 2014.

Grumman, a Military Sealift Command (MSC) ship that operates out of Norfolk, Va., provides underway replenishments-at-sea so warships can stay on station longer without having to pull into port for fuel and supplies.

Grumman, a Henry J. Kaiser class-oiler, was built at Avondale Shipyards, New Orleans, La. Grumman's keel was laid down June 7, 1987, and the ship was commissioned August 2, 1989. Grumman's crew currently consists of 89 civil service mariners, also called CIVMARs.

While operating in 6th Fleet, Grumman works out of Augusta Bay, Sicily, and Souda Bay.

"MSC ships and its CIVMARs play an integral role in keeping the fleet supplied," said Grumman's civil service master Capt. Richard Gray. "MSC ships are a valuable asset to the U.S. Navy and its allies, keeping them on station, and making forward presence possible."

Grumman contains five fuel stations and two cargo stations. Its main purpose is to refuel ships and deliver cargo and supplies to warships underway.

Because Grumman has receiving stations on both its port and starboard sides, it can provide underway replenishment to two ships at one time.

During an underway replenishment, ships pull alongside Grumman. The CIVMARs aboard Grumman shoot lines across to the customer ships, and the ships tether together at a distance. Once connected, they cruise at the same speed. Fuel hoses are suspended from the Grumman to the warship for refueling. Simultaneously, pallets of cargo are transferred via line connected between the ships.

In addition to the receiving stations, Grumman has capabilities for conducting vertical replenishment-at-sea with its on board helicopter pad. Helicopters hover above the ships' flight deck while CIVMARs run below the aircraft to attach prepared cargo pallets for delivery to Grumman's customers.

"MSC ships play a large role in the U.S. Navy's sustainment at sea," said Second Officer Patrick Jones, the CIVMAR operations chief aboard USNS Leroy Grumman. "We provide the provisions and fuel. We help keep ships on station longer, so they don't have to go into port for fuel and supplies. We can conduct an underway replenishment for a few hours with a ship, and it can go right back on station and still have that forward presence."

During this rotation as 6th Fleet's Mediterranean Sea duty oiler, Grumman has conducted 45 underway replenishments for the U.S. Navy and allied navies including Germany, Italy and Spain.

"The crew's performance has been outstanding," said Gray. "We've delivered all cargo and fuel needed without incident. Everything that was supposed to go across, went across."

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.

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

NNS141212-35. 7th Fleet Missile Defender of the Year 2014 Awarded to USS Shiloh

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Toni Burton, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) received the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance Missile Defender of the Year award Dec. 12 for the 7th Fleet area of operations in recognition of excellence and leadership in missile defense.

The Missile Defender of the Year award is an annual honor given by the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, a non-profit organization devoted to building a wide range of successful missile defense systems for the U.S.

The award recognizes and honors U.S. military commands and members who deploy on missile defense systems.

"This honor is awarded to a ship or a platform that has a lot of input and play in the BMD [ballistic missile defense] world," said Capt. Kurush F. Morris, Shiloh's commanding officer. "We are very honored to be given this award."

Shiloh is part of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, and has participated in an array of multilateral ballistic missile defense operations and exercises with partner nation navies to emphasize the importance of security and stability in the region.

"Shiloh is currently the only Ticonderoga class cruiser assigned to the 7th Fleet that is BMD capable," said Morris. "Our primary mission is air defense and ballistic missile defense. If a missile is deemed to be coming toward our homeland, it is our responsibility to be on station to be able to either track [the missile] and hand off, or engage it if need be."

Morris added that bringing the newest and most advanced BMD capabilities to 7th Fleet is a clear demonstration of the Navy's commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific rebalance.

Shiloh is assigned to Task Force 70, which has operational control of all carrier strike groups and independently deployed cruisers, destroyers and frigates in the 7th Fleet area of operations.

The U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict.

For more news from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, visit

NNS141212-13. 7th Fleet Builds Maritime Relationships in Sri Lanka, Maldives

From U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Senior leaders from U.S. 7th Fleet visited Colombo, Sri Lanka and Male, Maldives and attended the Galle Dialogues international Maritime Conference Dec. 1-6, building relationships to improve maritime security in the Indo-Asia Pacific.

While in Sri Lanka, 7th Fleet leaders met with officials from the Indian Navy, PLA(N), Royal Australian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and many others to discuss maritime security, theater security cooperation, and common maritime issues amongst nations on the region.

"We work with more nations and more cultures than any other fleet," said Vice Adm. Robert Thomas, 7th Fleet commander. "It's our job to build those relationships that lay the foundation for the future success of this region. Building these relationships helps maintain security and stability."

The Galle Dialogues have become a premier international maritime forum, with 37 maritime nations sending senior leaders to discuss critical issues of the day in a strategic forum. Discussions included humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, trade, maritime patrol and reconnaissance missions, counter-terrorism and coast guard issues in the Asian theater and beyond.

After the visit to Colombo and Galle, Sri Lanka, the 7th Fleet team visited Male, Maldives to discuss multinational maritime domain awareness opportunities.

The U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict.

For more news from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, visit

NNS141212-09. CSS Finalizes Job Duty Task Analysis for YN, LS, and SH Ratings

From Center for Service Support Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Center for Service Support (CSS) at Naval Station Newport, began concluding the Targeted Job Duty Task Analysis (JDTA) for the Yeomen (YN), Logistical Specialist (LS) and Ship Servicemen (SH) ratings, Dec. 8.

According to Naval Education and Training Center (NETC) the purpose of the JDTA process is to establish a single standard for capturing all data related to a rating skill. This information allows a single transition strategy to be developed providing clear guidance to assist NETC commands and learning centers in developing training.

Many things can trigger a JDTA such as input from the fleet, human performance requirements review, rating mergers, or establishment/revision of a Navy Enlisted Classification. The JDTA for the yeoman (YN), logistics specialist (LS) and ship's serviceman (SH) rates will ensure the training content accurately reflects the required duties and tasks performed in the fleet by A-school graduates.

According to John Smith, CSS curriculum evaluation and accreditation manager, data is collected from the occupational standards for E4 pay grade YNs, LS, and SHs, as well as input from multiple stakeholders, subject-matter experts, training managers, and instructors. Once all the data is collected it is input into the Content Planning Module system and electronically approved so curriculum development efforts can begin.

"The approved data is then analyzed to determine the most effective delivery and assessment strategies through the Front End and Business Case Analyses," said Smith. "This determination will then guide the development of the Course of Instruction in the Learning Object Module."

"The men and women entering the Navy must be trained in the required skillsets to meet the standards in their respective ratings," said Senior Chief Ship's Serviceman (SW/AW) Fredrick Burgess, SH training manager. "We analyze all the data received, align it with rate training manuals, personnel qualification standards, on-the-job training and formal training our ensure training centers present the best possible training. The JDTA will meet the requirements set by the fleet."

Senior Chief Logistics Specialist (SW/AW) Chaddrake Lavallais, LS training manager said it is our primary mission here at CSS to provide our fleet Sailors the necessary skills, knowledge and education to enhance their performance while supporting the fleet's warfighting mission.

"The demands placed on our Sailors are increasing every day," said Lavallais. "The professional training they receive must be up-to-date and relevant to their daily responsibilities. The commands need Sailors that are smart, trained, and ready to perform upon arrival. We literally sweat the details when analyzing data so that our training commands graduate the finest trained Sailors possible."

CSS and its seven learning sites provide Sailors with the knowledge and skills required to support the fleet's warfighting mission. Each year, the nearly 250 staff and faculty members of CSS deliver training to more than 10,000 personnel serving in the Navy's administration, logistics and media communities.

For more news from Center for Service Support, visit

NNS141212-33. Celebrating the Groundbreaking of a New CDC at Pearl Harbor

By Denise Emsley, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Peltier Child Development Center (CDC), National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Administration (NOAA) Wing on Oahu, Hawaii, Dec. 11.

"The project will enable childcare for an additional 122 Department of Defense (DoD) children," said NAVFAC Hawaii Commanding Officer Capt. Dean Tufts. "While I am happy that the building is to be designed to LEED Silver standards and will employ energy saving features including a 30-kilowatt photovoltaic system, I really love that it will give our Sailors and airmen another option, and maybe a better option, for their kids."

The new wing will be located on the northwest corner of Peltier Avenue and Nimitz Road next to the current CDC. Funded by NOAA, it is designed to meet the DoD Unified Facilities Criteria. The new structure will provide space for the care of children from the ages of 6 weeks to 5-years old.

"We are committed to our collaboration with the Navy and look forward to the construction and management of the new wing," said NOAA Chief Administrative Officer Ed Horton. "NOAA employees that have recently been consolidated into the new NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center on Ford Island are looking for relief in finding childcare facilities near work or on the way to work. By creating more space within the Navy's CDC system, both the DoD and NOAA personnel will benefit."

The project includes a reception area, staff/break room, storage, restrooms, kitchen, laundry, and janitorial space as well as two outdoor activity areas for four age groups.

Construction is expected to be completed by November 2015.

NOAA funding for the new wing was made possible through the efforts of the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye, whose championship and vision brought the Navy and NOAA together in renovating two historic aircraft hangars and incorporating them into a single, integrated world-class federal facility on Ford Island.

NAVFAC Hawaii awarded an $11.3 million contract Oct. 23, 2013 to RORE-ITSI, JV LLC (small business), San Diego, for a firm-fixed task order to construct a CDC at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit

NNS141212-18. Navy Housing Survey Deadline: Dec. 19

From Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Sailors who live in family housing at both overseas and various U.S. locations have until Dec. 19 to participate in the Resident Satisfaction Survey.

The survey gives residents the opportunity to share their valuable insight in how their housing needs are being handled and what issues they might have encountered.

Sailors at Carroll's Creek at Naval Station (NAS) Everett, Corpus Christi NAS, NAS Kingsville, Naval Complex New Orleans, Wallops Island, and NSF Thurmont should have already received a family housing survey.

For those family housing residents who may have lost or forgotten about the survey, there is still time to obtain a new survey by sending an email to:

"We are focused on providing superior customer service, housing and amenities to our Navy Housing residents," said Navy Housing Program Director Greg Wright. "Hearing from our customers is critical to sustaining and improving our business."

Sailors who want to make a difference in how their housing needs are being handled and what issues they might be encountering may still share their valuable input through the Resident Satisfaction Survey.

Sailors living in unaccompanied housing also should have received a survey from their building managers, except for those in privatized housing (San Diego and Hampton Roads). Residents who did not receive a survey should contact their building manager for a new one or by sending an email to:

Navy Housing encourages all residents to take a few minutes to answer the survey and provide comments about ways in which housing can be improved. The surveys will be used to target funding for facility and amenity improvements.

For more information about Navy Resident Satisfaction Survey, visit the Navy Housing Survey website at

For more information about Navy Installations Command visit

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NNS141212-27. Navy Commands Receive Federal Energy and Water Management Award

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John Belanger, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Four U.S. Navy Commands were honored with the Department of Energy's (DoE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) 2014 Federal Energy and Water Management Awards at the National Archives, Dec. 9.

"The Department of Energy presents these awards annually with assistance from participating agencies and of the Federal Interagency Energy Management task force," said Timothy Unruh, DoE FEMP director. "Since the first of these awards was presented in 1981, FEMP has recognized more than 1,200 winners."

This year FEMP honored 25 individuals and teams with Federal Energy and Water Management Awards. The recipients collectively contributed to saving approximately 2 trillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy, 1.3 billion gallons of water, 18.1 million gallons of fuel, and $115.8 million in energy and water cost in fiscal year 2013.

The Navy has 70 installations around the globe, all of which are engaged in energy and water management efforts. Out of those, four commands stood out as exemplary for the DoE's FEMP award. They are:

- Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virgina, which received an award for their energy program initiatives that saved 18 billion Btu and 39 million gallons of water.

- Naval District Washington, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Washington, D.C., which received an award for their comprehensive energy program that reduced energy intensity by nearly 19 percent and 13 percent from the respective baselines across the region's six installations.

- Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, China Lake, California, which received a project award for completing construction of a 13.78 megawatt solar photovoltaic system, the largest solar plant in the Navy.

- Public Works Department, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, which received a project award for implementing an air conditioning improvement project that saves 61 billion Btu and $2 million annually.

"The accomplishments of these individuals and teams and others like them throughout the government have all contributed greatly to our progress," said Unruh. "They continue to reach our goals across the government and the challenge set by the president -- lead by example."

For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit

NNS141212-12. Navy Medicine, Notre Dame Collaborate on New Tool to Diagnose Infectious Diseases, Dengue

By Doris Ryan, Naval Medical Research Center Public Affairs

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NNS) -- Researchers from the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) and the University of Notre Dame have agreed to collaborate on the engineering and application of a new field-deployable assay for the detection of infectious diseases, with the initial focus on the detection of dengue fever.

Currently, there are no U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved rapid diagnostic tests to distinguish dengue virus infections from other febrile infectious diseases.

The University of Notre Dame initially approached NMRC in 2013 to explore collaborating on a portable detection assay. The effort was formalized in November with the signing of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement and the team began working on designing a prototype. Once the prototype is completed and successfully tested, the team will use the technology to expand to other pathogens of military, national security and global health importance.

"This kind of assay could provide critical information and enable rapid response during an emerging outbreak of dengue," said Dr. Shuenn-Jue Wu, principal investigator and senior scientist with the NMRC's Viral and Rickettsial Diseases Department. "The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa has shown there is a great need for additional tools that can help both military and civilian health workers track the spread of a disease over broad geographical areas. Current longterm military strategy is focused on USPACOM [U.S. Pacific Command] where dengue is endemic. The incidence and virulence of dengue is also increasing in USSOUTHCOM [U.S. Southern Command]. This assay could be a valuable tool because it will be relatively cheap, accurate, and used in areas without a lot of medical infrastructure."

The initial clinical presentations of acute febrile illness from many infectious causes are the same: fever, chills, sweats, headaches, muscle pain, and fatigue. Clinical signs and symptoms are often not sufficient to make an accurate differential diagnosis of dengue. Rapidly identifying the pathogen causing an infection will also enable appropriate treatment and management of infected patients, as well as implementation of prevention and control efforts to protect the remainder of the force.

"Dengue-associated mortality can be reduced from 20 to 30 percent in severe cases, to less than 1 percent with appropriate fluid replacement and supportive care," said Wu. "This is greatly facilitated by early diagnosis, because a positive laboratory test often alerts physicians to closely monitor patients for the warning symptoms associated with severe disease. Also, from a public health perspective, identification of dengue virus infections can geographically focus countermeasures such as targeted vector control."

Once the prototype is available, the research team plans on working with NMRC's subordinate commands in Peru and Cambodia to collect clinical samples and test the assay in a pilot clinical study. If successful they will reach out to an industry partner to transform the prototype into a final assay with supporting materials. Then the assay will be used in a future multicenter clinical study to meet Food and Drug Administration clearance requirements.

Wu went on to explain the goal is to develop a push-button technology that would allow the use of this assay in various geographical settings without the need for highly trained personnel. While the initial deployment of the device would target use by military personnel with extensive training in the laboratory, the researcher anticipates the longterm use of the assay by health care providers at clinics in resource limited settings.

"I feel it is imperative to continue exploring innovative technologies such as this collaboration with Notre Dame for use in low-resource settings to address the performance limitations of the traditional rapid diagnostic tests," said Wu.

For more than 25 years, Wu has been involved in many aspects of dengue research and development including vaccines, pathogenesis and diagnostics at NMRC. Over the past 15 years she has focused on developing and evaluating field-deployable diagnostic assays for dengue fever and other military relevant infectious diseases. As a principal investigator she has coordinated with companies and overseas field sites and successfully completed international multicenter clinical trials of other dengue diagnostic devices aiming for FDA approval.

For more news from Naval Medical Research Center, visit

NNS141212-05. Gettysburg's Personnel Development Winner of the 2014 Best Workforce Development Program

From Carrier Strike Group 10 Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- The guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) was recognized, along with three other organizations, as the winner of the 2014 Best Workforce Development Program in the U.S. Government award, Dec. 1.

The eighth-annual award was sponsored by the Human Capital Management for Government (HCMG) Training Series, which recognizes the best programs across all the agencies in the federal government for advancing opportunities for high-performing employees, workforce development and innovation.

Gettysburg was the only operational unit in the U.S. military among this year's finalists.

Cmdr. Nathan Scherry, Gettysburg's executive officer, said it is an honor to represent the Navy and to have been selected from among all the nominated government entities.

"Our top priority here has always been 'warfighting first' in accordance with the CNO's guidance," Scherry said. "But we know we can't get there without our people thriving as a team, so we've invested heavily in Sailor development as a command priority this year."

Commander, Carrier Strike Group 10, Rear Adm. Bruce Lindsey, Gettysburg's operational commander, said the Sailor development and training taking place on Gettysburg is central to the continued implementation and success of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP).

"We know we have to get this right," Lindsey said. "On Gettysburg, they are clearly leading from the front - not just within the Navy or Department of Defense, but within the federal government. I could not be more proud of Gettysburg's success as the gold standard of Sailor development. We look forward to leveraging their success as a way to enhance readiness as our strike group moves forward in the training cycle."

Chief Navy Career Counselor Raymond Wiemer, a 2014 Surface Force Atlantic Sailor of the Year finalist, said Sailor development is a top priority aboard Gettysburg.

In 2013, Gettysburg was recognized by the fleet commander with the Battenberg Cup, awarded annually to the best all-around ship, submarine and aircraft carrier in the fleet.

"We could have easily rested on our laurels, but instead our command kept our focus on excellence into an even higher gear," Wiemer said. "That focus started with our people, and the results have been a testimony to that focus."

These results include more than doubling the Navywide average for petty officer advancement in the spring 2014 cycle, then nearly tripling the Navy average in the fall cycle.

Damage Controlman 1st Class Christina Busey, from Suisun City, California, was one of 64 Gettysburg Sailors advanced to the next pay grade at a command frocking ceremony, Dec. 1.

"Here on Gettysburg, it was another amazing day. We advanced more than 70 percent of our crew on the fall exam cycle, almost three times the Navywide average," Busey said. "As a crew, we're thrilled. We really grow leaders, inspire achievement and develop people well here."

Additionally, Gettysburg Sailors achieved triple the Navywide advancement rate for chief petty officers. In 2014, 96 percent of the crew was advanced to the next pay grade, recognized with a personal award or earned a warfare qualification. Ninety-nine percent of the ship's petty officers earned their warfare qualifications on deployment, and every Gettysburg officer is warfare qualified.

Other notable achievements for Gettysburg in 2014 include:

* Zero percent attrition in FY 2014.

* More than 90 percent of undesignated Sailors received new rating approvals, including accession into computer network defense, information technology, legal, operations, logistics support and combat systems ratings under the Navy's Professional Apprenticeship Career Track (PACT) program.

* Focus on achievement, exemplary conduct and bystander intervention resulted in zero reported instances of sexual assault and zero driving under the influence (DUI) violations.

* A 400 percent increase in Sailor participation in college-level education.

* Receipt of the 2014 CNO Project Good Neighbor Award for top community service program in the Navy (medium afloat category).

In 2014, several Sailors were recognized with top-tier Navy awards, including: Lt. Lindsey Smith, the Navy League's top female leadership award; Lt. Cmdr. Carice Brantley, a national award for outstanding achievement in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) field; and three Sailors received Navy and Marine Association leadership awards from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

Chief Logistics Specialist Ziolyne Wilson, who leads Gettysburg's command mentorship program, said that while the crew should certainly be proud of what they have achieved so far, it's important that they remain focused.

"After we return from Christmas leave, we're going to do just that by conducting a command-wide mentoring stand down as a means to build on our successes and chart a new way forward in 2015," Wilson said.

Homeported in Mayport, Florida, Gettysburg is in the middle of an 11-month maintenance period, which will include significant upgrades to its hull and engineering plant.

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

NNS141212-24. SURFLANT Hosts Commander's Symposium

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ellen E. Hilkowski, Naval Surface Force Atlantic Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Taking care of Sailors, ships, and leaders was the theme of the Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT) leadership training symposium held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, Dec. 3.

More than 230 commanding officers, executive officers, command master chiefs, and other waterfront leaders attended the symposium, which focused on the importance of personal and material readiness.

Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, Rear Adm. Pete Gumataotao opened the symposium with the statement: "I hear you. What if?" This tagline was designed to encourage the attendees to voice their concerns and issues as well as share potential solutions and lessons learned.

"Before you can get to warfighting you have to deal with the basic block and tackling of shipboard life," said Gumataotao. "You, my triads, are my point in making sure this is embraced down to the most junior Sailor in the surface force."

Focusing on SURFLANT ships, Sailors, and leaders, the event included briefs on maintenance issues, sexual assault, prevention of destructive behaviors, sound shipboard operating principles, and shipboard safety practices.

"What we want leaders to take from this is the importance of formative and continued education and training," Capt. Tim Spratto, SURFLANT assistant chief of staff for Readiness Assessment and Class Advocacy said while discussing procedural compliance. "We are here to provide tools without increasing the burden on leadership. This will facilitate measuring, tracking and communicating compliance."

During an open-forum discussion on maintenance, the group shared best practices and lessons learned during a ship's maintenance period. These included holding daily meetings in the work spaces on the ship, getting sub-contractors as well as the prime contractor involved in production meetings, and to successfully foster positive working relationships with non-military personnel, like giving a coin to a shipyard worker to recognize their efforts.

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens also attended the training symposium and discussed the top concerns that he hears from Sailors around the fleet.

"They want to know about the lengths of maintenance and yard periods, as well as future deployment lengths," Stevens said. "They also have a lot of questions about the current evaluation system, uniforms, and their pay."

Stevens also discussed other fleetwide issues such as sexual assault and suicide prevention, the ability to find solutions to alcohol abuse, maintaining good order and discipline, novel issues like the use of spice, and leadership development across the ranks.

"As Naval leaders, we are our Sailors' 'ceiling'," said Stevens. "It all starts and stops with us and we have a responsibility to increase our ability to lead. But just as importantly, we have a responsibility to increase our Sailors' capacity - their ceilings. Whatever you want your Sailors to be, be it. Because in many ways they will become who you are."

SURFLANT Force Judge Advocate, Capt. Keith Gibel, also developed a brief for the group on the importance of sound leadership, by understanding and mitigating vulnerabilities. His brief addressed ethical decision making, having positive ways to deal with stressors, and using trusted advisors as integral components to maintaining moral compass.

The message, as relayed by Gumataotao, was that he knows it is very difficult to be a leader and that there is a lot of pressure to get it right. But above all, we need to remember that it's a privilege to lead and that Sailors should always come first. It is a leader's job to take care of Sailors and accomplish the mission. But to do that, Sailors must feel good about themselves and what they're doing, otherwise, they are at risk for destructive decision making.

"We cannot foster an environment that encourages destructive behavior," said Capt. Chuck Marks, the U.S. Fleet Forces Sexual Assault Prevention Response Officer (SAPRO). "We're doing well, we just need to do better."

He spoke at length on how sexual assault and destructive behaviors impact the fleet. The Navy is focusing its efforts to ensure victims of sexual assault are cared for and protected as well as making sure they are being heard. Efforts include process changes to help expedite sexual assault investigations.

While these issues were being discussed with the command triads, a parallel gathering for their spouses took place in an adjacent part of the convention center. There they received social media guidance, briefings from the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society, Fleet and Family Service Center, and Navy Safe Harbor. That agenda featured dialogue about a variety of issues facing Navy families, such as lifestyle stressors and coping resources.

"It's difficult without support," said Capt. Tim Oswald, SURFLANT force chaplain. "So to be the spouse of a naval professional you really have to be on board with what they do."

More than 35 spouses gathered to learn about problems impacting the fleet and the resources available to help correct them. They received this training in order to better support their active-duty spouses and help them to be better leaders.

"When you think of work-life balance, they have a critical role," said Cmdr. Elisabeth Vagnarelli, SURFLANT SAPRO. "They're taking care of the home front through efforts like the ombudsmen program, leaving triads with one less thing to worry about."

Following a full day of briefings, presentations and discussions, Gumataotao closed the annual symposium keying in on the importance of humble leadership.

"Today is our day and we have the watch," Gumataotao said. "If we're going to criticize, we must criticize ourselves. Don't speak about yourself or your office, speak about the well-being of our Navy and our Sailors. All I ask is that while you're here in our Navy, is that you give it all you have."

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

NNS141212-11. Center for Information Dominance Announces 2014 Sailor of the Year

By Thom Seith, Center for Information Dominance Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The Center for Information Dominance (CID) in Pensacola announced its selection of Sailor of the Year (SOY) for 2014, Dec. 11.

Selected was Electronics Technician 1st Class (IDW) Jonathan Cuellar, assigned to CID Unit, San Diego (CIDUSD). He is currently at the NETC headquarters in Pensacola participating in the competition for enterprise-wide SOY.

"This is an enormous honor and I am humbled by my selection," said Cuellar. "There are a lot of good Sailors doing great things every day to develop the Navy' future leaders. There is no secret to success, it is just leading by example, passing on knowledge, and having faith, trust and respect for your fellow Sailors."

Assigned to CIDUSD for the past two years, Cuellar's selection is evidence of his excellence while assigned as Department Leading Petty Officer (LPO), Information Systems Maintenance (ISM) Course supervisor, ISM and Naval Tactical Command Support System (NTCSS) instructor. He also a qualified Master Training Specialist (MTS) and serves as Assistant Commander Navy Region Southwest (CNRSW) Navy COOL coordinator, CNRSW Military Funeral Honors Team leader, and Command Financial Specialist.

While Cuellar has many responsibilities as an instructor and course supervisor, he said mentoring Sailors presents the best challenges and the most rewards. Besides teaching technical courses, being able to present equal opportunity, diversity, sexual awareness prevention and response, and Navy pride & professionalism training to Sailors gives him the significant satisfaction.

"I would not have had this honor if someone had not taken the time to mentor me and then have the faith, trust and respect that I would get the job done," he added. "When the opportunity to fill the department leading chief petty officer position came about, I was recommended and the command supported that decision."

Senior Chief Information Systems Technician Nick Balich, Cuellar's supervisor and mentor, said Cuellar was selected as the SOY because of his professional commitment to the command, Sailors and to the community.

"Petty Officer Cuellar is dedicated, humble, and consistently exhibits the ability to motivate and inspire those around him," said Balich. "His commitment to the development of his subordinates, peers, and students is second to none."

Capt. Maureen Fox, CID commanding officer noted that Cuellar demonstrated numerous traits that made his selection easy for the selection committee.

"Petty Officer Cuellar has demonstrated exceptional deck plate leadership, keen managerial skills, and steadfast devotion to Sailor development which has set him apart from his peers," said Fox. "He personifies the attributes of integrity, leadership, dedication, and maturity and I'm very proud of his selection as CID SOY."

Cuellar is scheduled to transfer soon to the USS America (LHA-6), the first of the America-class amphibious assault ships for the U.S. Navy, and says he is looking forward to putting his talents to work in a shipboard environment.

CID, based at Corry Station in Pensacola, Fla., is the Navy's learning center that leads, manages and delivers Navy and joint forces training in information operations, information warfare, information technology, cryptology and intelligence.

With nearly 1,300 military, civilian and contracted staff members, CID oversees the development and administration of 226 courses at four commands, two detachments, and 14 learning sites throughout the United States and Japan. CID provides training for approximately 24,000 members of the U.S. Armed Services and allied forces each year.

For more information about CID, visit the website

For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit

NNS141212-29. Plans Take Shape for Next Southern Partnership Station

From U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

NAVAL STATION MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- Representatives of more than 20 Navy and Marine Corps commands met Dec. 9-11 at Naval Station Mayport to plan for Southern Partnership Station-Joint High Speed Vessel (SPS-JHSV) 2015, a four-month deployment that will focus on subject-matter expert exchanges with partner nations.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) hosted the main planning conference for the mission, which is scheduled to begin in June and include events in Belize, Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras - the same countries that participated in SPS-JHSV 2014.

"We can build on what we did last year and pick up where we left off," said Capt. Sam Hancock, the commodore of Destroyer Squadron 40, who commanded SPS-JHSV 2014 and whose deputy, Capt. Errin Armstrong, will lead next year's deployment.

In an indication of the importance of integrating Navy and Marine Corps operations, a Marine will be the deputy mission commander.

As it did in 2014, Southern Partnership Station will operate from USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1), a Military Sealift Command ship based at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia.

An important objective of the planning conference was determining what forces and equipment were available and how they would be used on the 2015 deployment, converting general plans into specifics.

"The right people were here, the people who can make decisions and get real-time answers," Armstrong said.

Southern Partnership Station involves all three of U.S. SOUTHCOM's lines of operation: security cooperation activities, maritime security operations and contingency operations, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Also as in 2014, Navy and Marine Corps units will join in Tradewinds, a SOUTHCOM-sponsored, multinational training exercise focused on improving cooperation and security in the region.

They also will carry out military construction projects such as building boat ramps, and barracks and outposts for partner-nation security forces that operate in remote areas.

Among those people was Lt.j.g. John Ledford, the officer in charge of a detachment of Seabees from Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303 in San Diego. At the conference, Ledford and his assistant officer in charge, Chief Equipment Operator (SCW/EXW) Carlos Carruego began working out repairs to a hospital and school in Guatemala, among other projects.

"It's going to be a great mission," Ledford said. "Any time you can get down there and work with joint forces and host nations, it's a good time."

Marine Lt. Col. John Parkinson, the expeditionary operations officer for U.S. Marine Corps Forces South, likewise predicted a successful mission.

"The SPS-JHSV mission is the quintessential example of Navy-Marine Corps joint efforts in the SOUTHCOM area of responsibility," he said.

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

NNS141212-25. Special and General Courts-Martial for November 2014

From the Office of the Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The following reports the results of Special and General Courts-Martial tried within the United States Navy in November 2014. The cases are listed by the Navy Region in which they were tried.

Navy Region Mid-Atlantic

General Court-Martial

* At a General Court-Martial in Norfolk, Virginia, OS3 Brian Fleck, USN was tried for sexual assault, burglary, and obstruction of justice. On 7 November 2014, a panel of members returned a verdict of guilty to sexual assault and burglary and sentenced him to be discharged with a Dishonorable Discharge, reduction in rank to paygrade E-1, total forfeitures, and confinement for 5 years.

* At a General Court-Martial in Norfolk, Virginia, OS2 Philip Jones, USN pleaded guilty to sexual assault and sexual contact. On 13 November 2014, the military judge sentenced him to be discharged with a Bad Conduct Discharge reduction in rank to paygrade E-1, and confinement for 23 months.

* At a General Court-Martial in Norfolk, Virginia, ET3 Mario Rosa, USN pleaded guilty to unauthorized absence and assaults consummated by battery. On 18 November 2014, the military judge sentenced him to reduction in rank to paygrade E-3 and confinement for 45 days.

Special Court-Martial

* At a Special Court-Martial in Norfolk, Virginia, ABH2 Jean Hebert, USN pleaded guilty to disrespect toward a superior commissioned officer, disrespect toward a petty officer, and wrongful use of a controlled substance. On 4 November 2014, the military judge sentenced her to reduction in rank to paygrade E-3 and confinement for 170 days.

* At a Special Court-Martial in Norfolk, Virginia, ABHC Raymond Saccoccia, USN pleaded guilty to fraternization and wrongful use of a controlled substance. On 14 November 2014, the military judge sentenced him to forfeit $2,000 per month for 6 months, reduction in rank to paygrade E-5, and confinement for 89 days.

* At a Special Court-Martial in Norfolk, Virginia, HA Antonio Taylor, USN pleaded guilty to wrongful use of controlled substances. On 20 November 2014, the military judge sentenced him to be discharged with a Bad Conduct Discharge and confinement for 60 days.

* At a Special Court-Martial in Groton, Connecticut, LT Emmanuel Buabeng, USN pleaded guilty to conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman and making false official statements. On 20 November 2014, the military judge sentenced him to a letter of reprimand and to forfeit $500 per month for 10 months.

Navy Region Southeast

General Court-Martial

* At a General Court-Martial in Jacksonville, Florida, an E-3 was tried for sexual assault and communicating a threat. On 5 November 2014, the panel of members returned a verdict of not guilty.

* At a General Court-Martial in Mayport, Florida, YN2 James Clancy, USN pleaded guilty to sexual abuses of a child. On 7 November 2014, the military judge sentenced him to be discharged with a Dishonorable Discharge, forfeit all pay and allowances, reduction in rank to paygrade E-1, and confinement for 10 years.

* At a General Court-Martial in Jacksonville, Florida, MM3 Erik Carrillo, USN pleaded guilty to attempted murder, disrespect toward a superior commissioned officer, disrespect toward a superior petty officer, assault by intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm, assault with a deadly weapon, and disorderly conduct. On 13 November 2014, the military judge sentenced him to be discharged with a Dishonorable Discharge, forfeit all pay and allowances, reduction in rank to paygrade E-1, and confinement for 5 years.

Special Court-Martial

* At a Special Court-Martial in Mayport, Florida, MAC Keith Elliott, USN pleaded guilty to making a false official statement and uttering checks while dishonorably failing to maintain sufficient funds. On 12 November 2014, the military judge sentenced him to a reprimand, reduction in rank to paygrade E-6, and hard labor without confinement for 46 days.

* At a Special Court-Martial in Jacksonville, Florida, AE3 Dylan Conkling, USN pleaded guilty to attempting to commit lewd acts upon a minor, committing lewd acts upon minors, and communicating indecent language. On 17 November 2014, the military judge sentenced him to be discharged with a Bad Conduct Discharge, reduction in rank to paygrade E-1, and confinement for 10 months.

Navy Region Northwest

General Court-Martial

* At a General Court-Martial in Bremerton, Washington, FT1 William Lance, USN pleaded guilty to sexual abuses of a child. On 6 November 2014, the military judge sentenced him to be discharged with a Dishonorable Discharge, reduction in rank to paygrade E-1, and confinement for 7 years.

* At a General Court-Martial in Bremerton, Washington, EM1 Andrew Watson, USN pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a child and attempted indecent acts with a child. On 6 November 2014, the military judge sentenced him to confinement for 6 months.

* At a General Court-Martial in Bremerton, Washington, an E-8 was tried for sexual abuse of a child and child endangerment. On 21 November 2014, a panel of members returned a verdict of not guilty.

Special Court-Martial

* At a Special Court-Martial in Bremerton, Washington, EMFN Bradley Cohen, USN pleaded guilty to wrongful drug use and wrongful drug possession with the intent to distribute and was tried for conspiracy and aggravated assault. On 4 November 2014, the military judge convicted him of conspiracy and aggravated assault and sentenced him to be discharged with a Bad Conduct Discharge, reduction in rank to paygrade E-2, a fine of $3,032, and confinement for 7 months.
* At a Special Court-Martial in Bremerton, Washington, ABHAN Natacia Garcia, USN pleaded guilty to unauthorized absence and missing movement. On 5 November 2014, the military judge sentenced her to forfeit $500 per month for 1 month, reduction in rank to paygrade E-1, and confinement for 90 days.

* At a Special Court-Martial in Bremerton, Washington, ACAN Kielee Gould, USN pleaded guilty to larceny. On 5 November 2014, the military judge sentenced her to forfeit $500 per month for 3 months, reduction in rank to paygrade E-2, a fine of $360, and confinement for 90 days.

* At a Special Court-Martial in Bremerton, Washington, MT2 Jeremy Kepner, USN pleaded guilty to assaults consummated by battery. On 7 November 2014, the military judge sentenced him to be discharged with a Bad Conduct Discharge, forfeit $750 per month for 11 months, reduction in rank to paygrade E-1, and confinement for 11 months.

* At a Special Court-Martial in Bremerton, Washington, ABH3 Sabrie Ashburn, USN was tried for false official statement, check frauds, and dishonorably failing to maintain sufficient funds. On 18 November 2014, the military judge convicted her of false official statement, check frauds, and uttering checks while dishonorably failing to maintain sufficient funds and sentenced her to be discharged with a Bad Conduct Discharge, reduction in rank to paygrade E-2, and confinement for 280 days.

Navy Region Southwest

General Court-Martial

* At a General Court-Martial in San Diego, California, BMSN Shannon Harris, USN pleaded guilty to abusive sexual contact, larceny, and unlawful entry.

NNS011210-18. This Day in Naval History - Dec. 12

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1862 - During the Civil War, a Confederate torpedo (mine) sinks USS Cairo in Yazoo River. Her wreck is recovered in 1965, but is badly damaged during the salvage efforts.

1937 - After Japan invades Nanking, China, USS Panay (PR-5) evacuates American citizens when it comes under attack from Japanese aircraft, killing three men and wounding 43 sailors and five civilians.

1941 - The Naval Air Transport Service (NATS) is established.

1942 - Five torpedo boats attack 11 Japanese destroyers off Cape Esperance, Guadalcanal. Motor torpedo boats PT 37 and PT 40 sink Japanese destroyer Terutsuki. In return, the Japanese destroyers Kawakaze and Suzukaze sink PT 44 off Savo Island.

1972 - Capt. Eugene A. Cernan, commander of Apollo 17, walks on the Moon and raises the U.S. flag. Cmdr. Ronald E. Evans is the Command Module Pilot and Harrison H. Schmitt is the Lunar Module pilot. The mission lasts 12 days, 13 hours and 52 minutes.

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