USS Constellation Association News.
Send the webmaster any news pertaining to the USS Constellation
If you would like to submit an article to the StarWake, contact Brian Moore

This Page was last updated:

New photos of the 2013 San Diego Reunion

New Photos of the 2014 Texas Mini Reunion

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

Important and Interesting USS Constellation Scrapping Links

USS Constellation Last Voyage Site

Voyage of the Carbon Foss

Brooklyn Navy Yard Tribute Wall

2014 Donations

The First Ever Connie Fishing Tournament
by Ross Leonard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click Here for our 2014 Memorial List Page

From our Branson Reunion,

Newly elected officers are:

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

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

Recent Navy News:

NNS141010-13. Navy to Commission Amphibious Assault Ship America

By DoD News

Washington D.C. (NNS) -- The Navy will commission its newest amphibious assault ship, USS America (LHA 6), during a 1 p.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, October 11, 2014, in San Francisco, California.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Mrs. Lynne Pace, wife of retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is serving as the ship's sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will give the order to "man our ship and bring her to life."

"This ship, forged in America, with components and systems manufactured all across America, shall remind us of the long and historic links between our communities and our Navy and Marine Corps," Secretary Mabus said. "Having a ship named America, sailing the world's oceans, always present in defense of our freedoms and ready to respond is yet another extension of our American spirit."

USS America is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tarawa class of amphibious assault ships. As the next generation "big-deck" amphibious ship, LHA 6 is optimized for aviation, and will be capable of supporting current and future aircraft such as the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey and F-35B Lightning II. The ship is equipped with a fuel efficient hybrid electric propulsion system, the same built for USS Makin Island (LHD 8), which is an energy initiative designed to give the ship the benefit of increased range, endurance and time on station enhancing USS America's combat capability. It also provides greater flexibility with regards to scheduling refueling and reduced maintenance costs.

View All Hands Magazine Special Website

LHA 6 provides a flexible, multi-mission platform with capabilities that span the range of military operations -- from forward deployed crisis response to forcible entry operations. The ship also provides forward presence and power projection as an integral part of joint, interagency and multinational maritime expeditionary forces.

USS America will operate for sustained periods in transit to, and operations in, an amphibious objective area to include: embarking, transporting, controlling, inserting, sustaining and extracting elements of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force, and supporting forces by helicopters and tilt rotors supported by F-35Bs.

The ship includes additional aviation spaces and will have an increased aviation capacity: enlarged hangar deck, realignment and expansion of the aviation maintenance facilities, a significant increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment, and increased aviation fuel capacity. USS America, as well as the second ship of the class, the future USS Tripoli (LHA 7), will not include a well deck.

Capt. Robert A. Hall Jr. of Billerica, Mass., is the ship's commanding officer and will lead a crew of 1,200 sailors and nearly 1,900 embarked Marines. The 44,971-ton ship is 844 feet in length, has an overall beam of 106 feet, and a navigational draft of 26 feet.

Since the American Revolution, three U.S. Navy warships have sailed with the name America. The first America was originally a racing schooner launched in 1851 and taken into Confederate naval service in 1861 before being captured and taken into the U.S. Navy service in 1862. She served in the U.S. Navy until 1873 before returning to civilian life racing and cruising. In 1921 she was presented to the Navy for preservation as a relic and remained at the U.S. Naval Academy until being scrapped in 1945. The second America transported troops during World War I. The third ship to bear the name was a Kitty-Hawk class aircraft carrier that supported operations from the Vietnam War through Operation Desert Storm. USS America will be the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear this name.

Video of the event will be available through the Defense Media Activity at:

NNS141010-09. Navy Establishes New Base in Romania

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Luke B. Meineke, Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia Public Affairs

DEVESELU, Romania (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (CNREURAFSWA) established Naval Support Facility (NSF) Deveselu Friday, Oct. 10, during an establishment and assumption of command ceremony on base.

NSF Deveselu, formerly a disused Romanian airfield, is the first Navy base to be established since Naval Station (NS) Everett in Washington, whose official groundbreaking ceremony was held Nov. 9, 1987.

The installation, scheduled to be operational in 2015, will be part of a NATO's overall ballistic missile defense (BMD) system.

Rear Adm. John Scorby, commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia, hosted the ceremony.

"This is a historic occasion because ballistic missile threats to the U.S. and our allies are real and growing," Scorby said. "Fortunately, NATO's capabilities and defenses against these threats are also real and growing."

Originally proposed in 2000 by then President George W. Bush, this BDM system, or shield, named the "Aegis Ashore System," is a response by the NATO military alliance to increasing threats posed by the amalgamation of intercontinental ballistic missiles in the Middle East.

Today the Aegis BMD system is the key component in the Obama administration's plan for a phased deployment of a missile defense umbrella in Europe, which is intended to protect U.S. forces and NATO allies from regional threats.

"Naval Support Facility Deveselu will be a crucial component in expanding the effectiveness of NATO's overall ballistic missile defense system," Scorby said. "It will also address the threat posed by short and intermediate range ballistic missiles to U.S., European and Allied personnel and assets throughout the region."

The first of two proposed newly established bases, NSF Deveselu will utilize both a SM-3 missile interceptor battery platform and an Aegis SPY-1 radar platform. The U.S. government said the SM-3 missiles will have no offensive capability and only target incoming ballistic missiles launched by hostile countries.

Capt. Bill Garren assumed duties as the first commanding officer of NSF Deveselu.

"It's an honor to be here and have the opportunity to work with this international team of dedicated professional who are building the future of ballistic missile defense in Europe," said Garren. "We have a lot of work ahead of us but our future success rests on the shoulders of this outstanding United States/Romania team. So, we have all we need to excel."

The land-based ballistic missile defense system in Romania will be almost identical to that used on Navy Aegis-capable guided-missile destroyers and cruisers. It's designed to detect, track, engage and destroy ballistic missiles in flight.

Also contributing to the BMD system, are the Forward Deployed Naval Forces in Rota, Spain. The forward deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and USS Ross (DDG 71) are the first of four Aegis BMD warships scheduled to be based in Spain to bolster the defense system.

To further the scope and reach of protection of the region's defense, a Navy base, nearly identical to NSF Deveselu, will be established in Poland.

"No single nation can combat global threats alone," Scorby said. "We must collectively share information, share experiences and work together for regional stability. U.S., NATO, and European allies stand united in maintaining a Europe that is safe, secure and prosperous."

NSF Deveselu sits on about 430 acres. The site will consist of a fire-control radar deckhouse with an associated Aegis command, control and communications suite. Separately, it will house several launch modules containing SM-3 missiles and be manned by about 200 U.S. military personnel, government civilians and support contractors.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia, visit

NNS141010-07. USS Mount Whitney to Enter Black Sea

From U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

AEGEAN SEA (NNS) -- The U.S. 6th Fleet command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) will enter the Black Sea, Oct.11, to promote peace and stability in the region.

The flagship's presence in the Black Sea will serve to reaffirm the United States' dedication and commitment towards strengthening the partnerships and joint operational capabilities amongst U.S., NATO and regional Black Sea partners.

The ship is scheduled to conduct routine operations which include, combined training, maritime security operations (MSO) and theater security cooperation (TSC). These interactions among allies and partner nations will reaffirm the maritime relationships and commitment to the security and stability within the Black Sea region.

"Working with allies and partners is the cornerstone to ensuring security and stability within the region," said Capt. Mark Colombo, commanding officer of Mount Whitney. "We will continue to train and operate as often as possible to reach that common goal."

The U.S. Navy routinely operates ships in the Black Sea consistent with the Montreux Convention and under the domain of International Law.

Mount Whitney's mission is to reassure NATO allies of the U.S. Navy's commitment to strengthen and improve interoperability while working toward mutual goals in the region. Mount Whitney, forward deployed to Gaeta, Italy, operates with a combined crew of U.S. Navy Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners.

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

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

NNS141010-15. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus Name Virginia-Class Submarine USS Oregon

From Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs

PORTLAND, Ore. (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus hosted a ship-naming ceremony today to announce that SSN 793, a Virginia-class attack submarine, will bear the name USS Oregon.

During a ceremony held at The Battleship Oregon Memorial in Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Mabus announced the submarine will be named to honor the long-standing history its namesake state has had with the Navy. Mabus also recognized USS Portland (LPD 27) which he named last year in honor of Oregon's largest city.

"Sailors and Marines, like the citizens of Oregon throughout history, are pioneers. They are explorers who are looking willingly toward the unknown, wanting to know what is out over the horizon," said Mabus. "As we sail deeper into the 21st century, it is time for another USS Portland and another USS Oregon, time to keep those storied names alive in our Navy and Marine Corps."

Mabus told the crowd SSN 793 will be the third naval ship to bear the name Oregon. The first was a brig largely used for exploration during World War II. The second was a battleship best known for its roles in the Spanish American War where it helped destroy Admiral Cervera's fleet and in the Philippine-American War where it performed blockade duty in Manila Bay and off Lingayen Gulf, served as a station ship, and aided in the capture of Vigan.

"Oregon holds a special place in the heart the Navy not just because of its long history here, but also because of shared values, those of environmental consciousness, community and heritage," Mabus said. "From our Navy and Marine Corps units who visit for the Rose Festival every year, to the former Sailors and Marines who make their homes here and carry on as community leaders and citizens. The partnership between Oregon and our Navy and Marine Corps is strong."

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

These submarines will have the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea-based forces. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare; mine delivery and minefield mapping. They are also designed for special forces delivery and support.

Each Virginia-class submarine is 7,800-tons and 377 feet in length, has a beam of 34 feet, and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged. It is designed with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship, reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time. The submarine will be built in partnership with General Dynamics/Electric Boat Corp. and will be built by Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut.

USS Portland is part of the Austin Class of the Landing Platform Dock ships. It will support amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions by transporting and landing Marines, their equipment and supplies by conventional aircraft, helicopter or vertical take off and landing aircraft.

The heavy cruiser is being constructed by Huntington Ingalls Industries with Raytheon Systems Corporation and Intergraph Corporation. It will be 684 feet in length, have a beam length of 105 feet and will be capable of operating at 22 knots.

Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342. For more news from secretary of the Navy public affairs, visit .

For more information about the Virginia-class attack submarine, visit .

NNS141009-18. EODMU 8 Detachment Europe Strengthens Bonds with NATO Allies Though Cadizex Exercise

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Grant Wamack, Naval Station Rota Public Affairs

NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- Sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposable Mobile Unit (EODMU) 8 Detachment Europe, the Italian navy's 1st Regiment San Marco, and Spanish Marines Brimar took part in the first trilateral Cadizex exercise held in simulated urban terrain compound Hogan's Alley, Oct. 7.

Over the course of four days, the NATO allies worked together in a military-to-military engagement developing bonds as well as using robots, X-rays and rigging set-ups that can all be used in real-world situations.

"This training is all about partnership building, and within that, we want to build capabilities for both the Spanish and the Italians, who are both NATO allies," said Lt. Aaron Holdren, EODMU 8 Detachment Europe officer-in-charge. "What it all comes down to is developing a common vocabulary, a common language we all speak so we can break down language barriers."

EODMU 8 has conducted this exercise with the Spanish military multiple times in the past, but this is the first time the Italian navy was invited to take part in the exercise. Holdren said he hopes this exercise can become an annual or bi-annual event in the coming years.

"The Italians are a fairly new team," said Holdren. "So by getting out here, they've gotten a chance to try out a lot of different equipment and see what works for them. We're helping them develop their tactics, technics and procedures."

"It's most important to meet with other countries and work with them," said Italian navy Lt. Gianfranco Tommasi, explosives ordnance disposable staff officer, 1st Regiment San Marco. "We can find ways to solve problems about ordnance."

NATO allies work and train together in a variety of places. In this case, Naval Station Rota was chosen because of the capacity of the base to host.

"The main reason we use Rota is because we have fantastic training areas," said Holdren. "Capt. Greg Pekari and his crew have really worked hard with Commander, Naval Expeditionary Task Force Europe and Africa (CTF) 68 to develop these training areas. We're hoping this will grow. At the end of the day, we all work together and we find ourselves in a multi-national joint environment. It's important that we do these tactical type training exercises and they have a big impact at the strategic level."

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

For more news from Naval Station Rota, Spain, visit

NNS141009-26. Navy Divers Return Home from Southern Partnership Station 2014

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jared Aldape

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Spirits were high as family and fellow service members gathered at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Va. to welcome home returning Sailors and Marines from a four-month deployment in support of Southern Partnership Station 2014, October 8.

The joint high-speed vessel USNS Choctaw County (JHSV-2) bustled with activity as dozens of Sailors and Military Sealift Command (MSC) civilian mariners worked together to bring the ship into port. The brow could barely hold back service members as they scrambled aft waiting to reunite with their loved ones and co-workers.

Here, Navy Divers assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2 stood alongside an assortment of specialized dive gear ready to offload after a successful training period.

Navy Diver 1st Class Jose Arbaleaz, assigned to MDSU 2's Company 2-1 was busy safely directing a vehicle against the flow of departing service members.

"We stayed productive during our deployment, and it's not over until we get our gear back to the unit." said Arbaleaz.

More than 10 personnel assigned to Company 2-1 traveled through various countries during Southern Partnership Station 2014. The effort was a U.S. Navy deployment focused on subject matter expert exchanges with partner nation militaries and security forces in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Company 2-1 had the opportunity to work with divers at each location.

Navy Diver 1st Class Shawn Gerasimchik, also assigned to MDSU 2, took time while transporting gear to reflect on what he considers to be the biggest impact the divers had made in Belize where they took advantage of the coastal clear water while working with the local Coast Guard.

"I had the chance to create a lasting impression on a foreign country through diving," said Gerasimchik.

Company 2-1 showcased a gamut of diving principles and operations and facilitated a remote operated vehicle (ROV) scenario before dive students in Colombia.

"The time that I spend teaching and helping out others was very rewarding," said Arbaleaz. "I look forward to returning to these places again."

MDSU 2 is an expeditionary mobile unit homeported at Joint Expeditionary Base, Little Creek-Ft. Story in Virginia Beach, Va. They previously conducted successful salvage operations supporting TWA Flight 800, Swiss Air Flight 111, the space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, the I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapse in Minnesota, the Civil War ironclads USS Monitor, CSS Georgia, and recovery of downed F-16Cs off the coasts of Italy and Virginia.

Southern Partnership Station 2014 U.S. military teams work with partner nation forces during naval-focused training exercises, military-to-military engagements and community relations projects in an effort to enhance partnerships with regional maritime activities and improve the operational readiness of participants.

For more news from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2, visit

NNS141010-11. Counter IED Program JCREW Receives Milestone C Approval

From Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (JCREW) program recently received Milestone C approval, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) announced Oct. 9.

The Navy is developing the JCREW system to protect soldiers on patrol, in vehicles, or in forward operating bases from advanced radio-controlled improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

"This is an important system for force protection and we are very pleased with its progress," said Capt. Aaron Peters, program manager for the Expeditionary Mission Program Office. "I look forward to the prospect of getting this robust capability into the hands of our warfighters."

JCREW's three variants provide critical support to warfighters. The dismounted variant is carried via backpack, the mounted variant is attached to tactical vehicles, such as HUMVEEs and MRAPs, and the fixed variant provides protection at static locations, encompassing the area of a camp or base. The systems provide a "protective bubble" around warfighters against IED's.

The Navy designed the JCREW system using an innovative open architecture platform. This allows for rapid improvements in system performance in order to counter the constantly evolving IED threat.

Milestone C approval is an important achievement for an acquisition program, signaling the end of the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development Phase. With Milestone C approval JCREW will now proceed to the Production and Deployment Phase, starting with Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP). The system is expected to enter LRIP during fiscal year 2015.

JCREW completed development testing and an operational assessment by the U.S. Navy Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force in July 2014.

Northrop Grumman Information Systems in San Diego, California is the JCREW system's prime contractor for development. The JCREW Program is managed by the Expeditionary Mission Program Office as part of the NAVSEA's new Directorate for Acquisition and Commonality.

NAVSEA's Acquisition and Commonality Directorate (SEA 06) brings together personnel dedicated to bridging communication gaps between Government and Industry, in order to enable cost and variance reductions throughout the acquisition lifecycle. SEA 06 also provides leadership support to expeditionary missions and Navy Small Arms programs and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Community.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS141010-10. USS James E. Williams' Leadership Changes

From U.S. Fleet Forces Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Capt. Fred Pyle, Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2 awarded separate non-judicial punishments (NJP) to three former leaders of USS James E. Williams (DDG 95) Oct. 9.

At the NJP proceedings, Cmdr. Curtis Calloway, former commanding officer; Cmdr. Ed Handley, former executive officer and prospective commanding officer, and Command Master Chief Travis Biswell were found in violation of various articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Specifically:

- Calloway: UCMJ Article 92, Dereliction of Duty
- Handley: UCMJ Article 92, Dereliction of Duty
- Biswell: UCMJ Article 92, Dereliction of Duty and UCMJ Article 134, drunk and disorderly conduct

Cmdr. Heidi Haskins has been identified as the next commanding officer and will take command from Capt. Tony Simmons, DESRON 2 Deputy Commodore. Simmons temporarily assumed command after relieving Calloway Sept. 16 during a change-of-command ceremony.

Haskins will join Executive Officer Cmdr. Chad Fella and Command Master Chief Asa Worcester to lead the crew. Fella reported aboard May 31. Worcester reported aboard Oct. 3.

Calloway, Handley, and Biswell began temporary assignments at Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (CNSL) at the outset of the investigation and are expected to remain there pending final action by Commander, Navy Personnel Command.

The ship and her crew are currently deployed to the 6th Fleet area of operations. While deployed, the crew has participated in security operations, exercises and combined cooperation operations with foreign partners in support of U.S. Africa Command.

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

NNS141010-08. Sexual Assault Reports: Week of September 29 - October 5, 2014

From Office of the Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- This week's overview of alleged sexual assaults was compiled based on 22 initial reports across the Navy from September 29-October 5. This timeframe reflects only the receipt of the initial reports; four of the reported incidents occurred during this period, 16 occurred outside of the report period and two were unknown. Each report will be fully investigated. Looking at this snapshot in time, we see the following:

* Twelve reports were from events that occurred on-base, seven from an event that occurred off-base and three unknown.

* Nineteen of the alleged offenders were male, two were female and one was unknown.

* Among the 22 alleged offenders, 10 were petty officers, eight were E3 and below, one was a civilian and three were unknown.

* Fifteen of the reported incidents were alleged to be service member on service member, one non service member on service member, four service member on non-service member and two unknown.

* Among the alleged victims, six were petty officers, 11 were E3 and below, four were civilians and one unknown. Of these reported, the alleged victims were 17 females and five were males.

To contact a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator at the Department of Defense Safe Help Line, call (877) 995-5247.

To learn more about Navy's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, visit

NNS141010-04. 2nd Annual Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Recipients Announced

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Kevin J. Steinberg, Defense Media Activity

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (NNS) -- The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation announced its 2014 winners Oct. 8, followed by the announcement of an official ceremony to be held at the Navy Memorial on Nov. 5 for the awardees.

The award recognizes three recipients to include one baseball hall of famer, one current professional baseball player and one U.S. Navy chief petty officer. The winners are selected based on their values, integrity and dedication to serving the United States.

The winners are former Los Angeles Dodgers manager and hall of famer Tommy Lasorda, current Cleveland Indians player Nick Swisher and Senior Chief Petty Officer Carl Thompson.

The ceremony will feature a gathering of baseball luminaries and Navy leadership with Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens scheduled to participate in the event.

The event is scheduled to be held Nov. 5 at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.

NNS141010-01. Firing George Washington's Life Lines

By By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Bryan Mai
USS George Washington Public Affairs

PHILIPPINE SEA (NNS) -- A gunner's mate (GM) sees another ship pull alongside for a replenishment-at-sea (RAS). He requests permission to fire his rifle and is given the green light. He looks through the rifle's sights and finds his target. After eyeballing the distance between his rifle and the other vessel ship, he gets a feel for wind speed, takes aim and squeezes the trigger.

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) has a group of trained Sailors who handle and fire the M-14 rifle for a variety of evolutions.

"Before firing the shot line, we must first qualify on the rifle range to carry the weapon and then receive more training to shoot on station," said Gunner's Mate 1st Class John Barkmeyer, from Palm Springs, Calif. "It takes practice to be able to eyeball distance, but the max range is 90 yards with the weapon pointed at 45-degrees. So we usually rely on the [navigation] bridge to give us the 'ok' to fire with the information they receive from utilizing laser range finders."

The G-2 division of George Washington's Weapons department handles all shot line related activities. GMs inspect weapons and attachments prior to use and tie the shot line spool to a rubber projectile.

"The shot line is a 550-foot spool of international orange-colored line," said Barkmeyer. "It is specially wound so that when [the projectile] is shot, the line unravels from the inside of the spool to prevent it from becoming tangled."

The shot line is designed to float for 24 hours, to withstand tension up to 125 pounds, and is used for evolutions such as a RAS towing, or connecting a line or rope to another ship when heaving line is not practical.

"The shot line has many applications aside from uses in a RAS," said Barkmeyer. "It can also be used to stop a small-boat attack by firing the line in front of the small boat. When the small boat becomes fouled from the line, [the attackers] are stuck, allowing George Washington to safely leave the hostile area without the use of deadly force or deadly fire."

Shot lines are also used when an aircraft carrier arrives at a pier to moor. Sailors on smaller ships, like cruisers and destroyers, can throw line to the pier with a "monkey's fist", a handmade heaving line. Due to the carrier's size, George Washington must use shot lines for mooring pier side.

To maintain their skill, GMs are rotated to fire the M-14 for shipboard evolutions as much as possible to raise their level of experience. The only exception is when weather becomes a major factor firing the shot line is dealt to the veteran GMs.

"It's the most perishable skill to maintain," said Barkmeyer. "Everything goes into firing a weapon; how you breathe, hold the weapon, stand, squeeze the trigger, look through the sights, see the target and how a GM adjusts for outside factors that we can't control, such as weather. With all those to keep in consideration, it can be challenging to hit the mark."

With complete focus, the Sailor fires a reverberating shot. The wind carries the projectile to hit the target, allowing the two ships to connect as they sail alongside and continue the mission.

For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit

NNS141009-29. Navy Lays Wreath, Celebrates 239 Years

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Pankau, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy celebrated its 239th birthday with a wreath
laying ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial Oct. 9.

Vice Adm. Scott H. Swift, director, Navy Staff, was the guest speaker and addressed a crowd circled around the "Granite Sea", a map of the world that
serves as the Navy memorial centerpiece.

Swift spoke of historic achievements that led to the Navy's formation and growth. He mentioned his father's service aboard the heavy cruiser USS New Orleans (CA-32) and his participation in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest Naval combat engagement in history.

"His service in the Pacific during the second World War, while individually his, was also collectively reflected of the competence, heroism and bravery the United States Navy exemplified these in many other battles and amphibious landing operations throughout the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Mediterranean theatres," said Swift.

Swift joined Rear Adm. Mark K. Rich, the 88th Commandant of Naval District Washington, who placed the wreath by the Lone Sailor statue in remembrance of the Sailors who gave their lives for their county and silently remain on watch.

"The times may have changed," Swift said. "The threats may have evolved and the complex nature of 21st century life may make the demand for such a presence (i.e. World War II) less obvious. But now more than ever, the Navy is something to be aware of, something to be thankful for, something to be proud of, whether you wear the cloth of our nation in the form of a Sailors uniform or admire the service of those that do."

Guests were invited to the Naval Heritage Center for cake and refreshments after the ceremony.

The U.S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which was established on Oct. 13, 1775 when Continental Congress authorized the dispatch of two armed ships to search for munitions ships supplying the British Army in America. Following the Revolution, the ratification of the Constitution of the United States in 1787 empowered Congress "to provide and maintain a Navy."

The United States Navy Memorial provides a living tribute to Navy people and a place for them to gather and celebrate their service. The outdoor plaza features a "Granite Sea" map of the world, towering masts with signal flags, fountain pools and waterfalls and The Lone SailorC statue. Adjacent to the plaza is the Naval Heritage Center, where visitors can find educational displays about the contributions of the men and women of the Sea Services. The Navy Log, the online place for Navy people to stay connected with each other, celebrate their service and preserve the memories of their service is also a place where Navy veterans can build a record of their service online.

Call (202) 737-2300 or visit for more

NNS141009-28. Secretary of State, U.K. Foreign Secretary Visit USS Constitution

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Peter Melkus, USS Constitution Public Affairs

CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (NNS) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond visited Charlestown Navy Yard for a tour of USS Constitution, America's Ship of State, Oct. 9.

Kerry, the 68th Secretary of State, was greeted upon his arrival at the Navy yard by Constitution's 73rd Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Sean Kearns.

"This was a great opportunity for the Crew to showcase Old Ironsides' role as the U.S. Ship of State by welcoming Secretary Kerry and Foreign Secretary Hammond aboard for an official visit," said Kearns. "It is a distinct honor to serve aboard our Nation's flagship and we look forward to more of these sorts of events in the future."

Kerry, a Boston resident and former Massachusetts Senator, last visited Old Ironsides in 2012 as part of the War of 1812 bicentennial celebration. Today's visit was the first to the ship for Hammond, who received a plaque presented by Cmdr. Kearns on behalf of Constitution's crew to commemorate the occasion.

Kerry and Hammond received a half-hour tour of the 216-year-old warship, which was scheduled to be the highlight stop of their Boston visit before making their way to the Massachusetts State House.

Two Constitution crew members, Seaman Brianna Date and Damage Controlman Fireman Tony Dailey, were given the task of hosting Kerry and Hammond's tour, which took them around the ship's spar deck, gun deck and captain's cabin.

"It was a great honor to be able to share the ship's history with (Kerry and Hammond)," said Date. "I was very surprised in their level of enthusiasm; they were very interested in the ship's history and wanted to know so much about the ship itself. (Kerry) couldn't believe how many lines were in the ship's rigging, and he seemed impressed with the fact that our crew still climbs (the ship) to this day. He just kept looking up and going 'wow'."

During their tour, Kerry and Hammond asked many questions concerning what daily life was like for Sailors aboard Constitution, tactics they used when fighting in battles and even poked a joke or two at one another when discussing the undefeated (33-0) battle record of Old Ironsides and how several of her victories were against Great Britain's Royal Navy in the War of 1812.

Kerry also took some moments away from the tour to briefly say hello to public onlookers who happened to be touring the ship during his visit and took several photos with them.

"(Kerry and Hammond) really fed off of our enthusiasm as the ship's interpretative historians, as well as the enthusiasm of all of the other guests aboard the ship too," said Dailey. "They were very attentive and made it clear they were here (at Constitution) to learn as much as they could in such a brief period of time. I wasn't really nervous to give their tour because I've already given so many during my time here, but it was still a very special experience to meet such high-ranking officials. I definitely won't forget this day."

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

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

For more news from USS Constitution, visit

NNS141009-27. Navy Accepting Applications for FY16 MCPO, SCPO, CPO Selection Board Members

From Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- The Navy is seeking senior enlisted Sailors to serve on Fiscal Year 2016 active-duty and Reserve master chief, senior chief, and chief petty officer selection boards, according to a message released Oct. 9.

According to NAVADMIN 235/14, active and Reserve component master chiefs are encouraged to apply to serve on a board. Frocked master chiefs may also participate in the selection board process. There are no restrictions on active-duty serving on reserve boards or reserve/full-time support serving on active boards.

Senior chief petty officers may also serve on the active or reserve E-7 boards as either members or recorders. They may only serve as recorders on the E-9 or E-8 boards. Chief petty officers may serve as recorders on E-9, E-8 and E-7 selection boards. Applicants should not discuss their application with any members from their command, other than those required to review their application.

Deadline for member and recorder applications are: Reserve E-8/E-8, Dec. 5; active-duty E-9, Dec. 19; active-duty E-8, Jan. 29; Reserve E-7, Feb. 20, 2015; and active-duty E-7, March 27, 2015. Board dates, application procedures and additional guidance are available in the message.

Prior to submitting an application, applicants should review BUPERSINST 1401.5B, the supplemental guidance for U.S. Navy selection boards.

For more information, read NAVADMIN 235/14 available on the NPC website at

For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit

NNS141009-20. CNIC Holds Awards Ceremony for SARCs

By Ed Wright, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Ten Navy Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) professionals were recognized for their outstanding performance in a ceremony held on Oct. 8, at the headquarters for Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) in Washington, D.C.

The ceremony was part of an annual four-day training event held for SARCs representing commands from across the shore enterprise.

Commander, Navy Installations Command Vice Adm. William French presented the awardees with command coins and praised the coordinators and their teams for a job well done.

"I certainly appreciate what you do every day," said French. "You are making a big difference and I am honored to be able to participate in this recognition ceremony for these deserving people."

Sexual Assault Response Coordinators are considered the front line representatives when it comes to ensuring that victims of a sexual assault receive appropriate and responsive care.

Working to support Sailors around the world, SARCs manage the more than 4,000 victim advocates during the performance of advocacy duties, have oversight of all sexual assault cases for their commands, assign a victim advocate to each case, conduct sexual assault case management, and oversee training and education for victim advocates and the community.

French emphasized the importance of the role of SARCs in the Navy and their contributions to promoting a safe and healthy work environment.

"The impact you have had is visible in the results that we are seeing," French said. "I feel fortunate to be able to work with all the folks on a daily basis who make all the good things happen."

Nominations for the awards are submitted from Navy regions across the CNIC enterprise to CNIC headquarters, where the winning selection is made. The winner is forwarded to the Office of Secretary of Defense where the final approval is made.

Nominations are based on criteria such as, but not limited to, what the awardee has accomplished on behalf of the service members and sexual assault victims and how their actions helped shape and influence policies, practices and attitudes for victim services.

"We had more nominations this year than last," said Tammy O'Rourke, CNIC sexual assault prevention and response program manager. "It was a difficult choice. They went above and beyond with their ability to engage their Sailors and go beyond the fence line to engage the community," she added.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) recognizes individuals (military or civilian) from each service/component and the National Guard Bureau who perform above and beyond as the SARC either on an installation, for a state, or in a deployed environment.

The 2014 Navy Exceptional SARC of the Year was Shannon Moyer from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.

"It is a real honor to have been recognized for this award," said Moyer. "I am really passionate about the mission and I feel really lucky to be working for our Sailors. I feel the Sailors want to change and they are looking to us for those tools," she added.

Other 2014 nominees for the Navy included:

- Fernando Meave (former SARC of Naval Base Guam)
- Elizabeth Blanc (Naval District Washington)
- Lori Walsh (Naval Base Coronado, Calif.)
- Katie Robinson (Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill.)
- Tiffany Mizzell (Naval Weapons Station Charleston, S.C.)
- Seletha Jones-Willis (San Antonio, Texas)
- Tina Vaughn (Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.)
- Pat Kapitan (Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas)
- Toni Genovese (Naval Weapons Station Earle, N.J.)

For more information on the Navy's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program visit

For more information about Navy shore installations visit

For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit

NNS141009-19. Naval Station Norfolk TPU Sailors Give Back to Vets

From Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Laura Hoover, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, East

HAMPTON,Va. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Transient Personnel Unit (TPU) of Naval Station Norfolk volunteered at the annual Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Olympics held at the Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Oct. 8.

The Sailors helped with event setup and breakdown, served food, assisted the residents with playing sports and interacted with the veterans.

Veterans participated in more than 10 events including a football throw, basketball, shuffleboard, checkers and horseshoes.

Following a catered barbeque lunch and cake, the award ceremony began and the veterans were called up to receive their first, second and third place medals.

Master Chief Zachary Williams, command master chief of TPU, said it is important to take time to give back to the service members who helped make our country what it is today.

"It means everything to be able to come here and give back to our veterans," said Williams. "It is important to show our gratitude for their service. Simply being here to talk with them and listen to their stories speaks volumes."

Monique Harris, a recreation therapist and the event coordinator, said the Sailors played a major role in making the DAV Olympics a success this year.

"It is a blessing to have active duty service members come out and volunteer," said Harris. "I know the veterans love when they have visitors and I think the service members equally enjoy coming here and listening to the stories the veterans tell."

Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 1st Class Joseph Brown said it was a fun experience and he hopes to volunteer more with veterans in the future.

"It was awesome getting active duty Sailors together for an event to help our retired military members," said Brown. "It helps remind us why we serve and I think more people should come and talk to a veteran and hear some of the incredible stories they tell."

Williams said he enjoyed seeing the interaction between his sailors and the veterans and he hopes his Sailors take something away from the event.

"I hope my Sailors are leaving with humility and respect," said Williams. "Most importantly though, a sense of gratitude. These veterans represent the faces of all the wars during our nation's history and it is so important to show our gratitude."

Williams encouraged more Sailors to take some of their time to give back to our veterans.

"We are the largest naval station in the world so we can have a big impact at the medical center," said Williams. "It doesn't require heavy lifting or manual labor, just show up and talk with them."

For those interested in volunteering at the Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center call 757-722-9961 Ext. 3124.

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

NNS141010-12. NEX Kicks Off 3rd Navy Blue Holiday Season

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

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The NEX is kicking off its third annual Navy Blue Holiday season on Oct. 13, the Navy's 239th birthday.

As in the past, customers will find a great selection of items in all price ranges during the Navy Blue Holiday season. And, as always, there is no sales tax for NEX shoppers. The NEX will offer additional savings and promotions so customers can save even more.

"Our Navy Blue Holiday is a time to celebrate the NEX's unique connection to the Navy and Navy families, emphasize Navy values and give back to its valued customers," said Robert J. Bianchi, chief executive officer, Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM). "It's a time to deliver even more savings on quality products and, most importantly, to say thank you to NEX customers for their support. This year, shoppers will also be able to experience our new web store,, with an expanded on-line assortment as well as the ability to buy on-line and ship to store."

Once again, NEXCOM has partnered with its vendor community to give away $100,000 in NEX gift cards. Customers can enter the drawing Oct. 8-Feb. 3, at their local NEX or online at During the giveaway, 1000 customers will be chosen to receive a $100 NEX Gift Card.

"Our NEX Gift Card sweepstakes was very well received by our customers last year," said Bianchi. "We are happy to be able to partner with our vendor community again this year to give away $100,000 in NEX Gift Cards. It's our way of thanking our customers for their loyal support throughout the years."

NEXCOM will also again be offering special pricing prior to Thanksgiving on some of the season's most popular gifts to Sailors and Marines at sea through its web store. From Nov. 23-26, afloat personnel will be able to take advantage of a unique sales event designed just for them. In addition, afloat Sailors and Marines can also sign up to win one of the $100 NEX Gift Cards being given away.

"Our afloat Sailors and Marines look forward to this sales event," said Bianchi. "It gives them the opportunity to use their NEX benefit even while they are out to sea in addition to getting some great deals on gifts for the holidays. This year, they will find a variety of great holiday gifts on sale during the event."

For more news from Navy Exchange Service Command, visit

NNS020711-10. This Day in Naval History - Oct. 10

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1845 - The Naval School, now known as the Naval Academy, opens in Annapolis, Md. with 50 midshipmen and seven professors. The first superintendent, Cmdr. Franklin Buchanan, later becomes an admiral in the Confederate Navy and commands the Confederate forces at Mobile Bay, Ala.

1860 - USS San Jacinto, commanded by Capt. T.A. Dorwin, captures the slave ship Bonito in the South Atlantic with about 622 slaves onboard. Bonito is then taken into naval service.

1923 - The first American-built rigid airship USS Shenandoah (ZR 1), powered by helium gas instead of hydrogen, is christened at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, N.J. On Sept. 3, 1925, USS Shenandoah encounters violent weather over southern Ohio and breaks up. Fourteen of her crew lose their lives in this tragedy.

1943 - USS Bonefish (SS 223) sinks the Japanese army cargo ship Isuzugawa Maru and merchant transport Teibi Maru off Cam Ranh Bay, French Indochina.

NNS141012-01. USS America Joins the Fleet

By MC1 John Scorza, USS America (LHA 6) Public Affairs

SAN FRANCISCO (NNS) -- USS America (LHA 6), the Navy's newest and most technologically advanced amphibious assault ship, was commissioned during a formal ceremony at Pier 30/32 during San Francisco Fleet Week, Oct. 11.

More than 8,000 friends, family members and invited guests gathered in front of the ship to witness its introduction to the fleet.

During the ceremony, Adm. Harry B. Harris, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, commended the crew for their performance during acceptance trials and sailing around South America. He said because conflict and crisis can arise at any time, warships like America will be needed as the nation conducts its strategic rebalance to the Pacific.

At the conclusion of his remarks, Harris introduced Secretary of the Navy the Honorable Ray Mabus, who spoke of the importance of having a ship named America join the fleet.

"This ship, forged in a shipyard in my home state of Mississippi, with components and systems and parts manufactured all across this great country, is a symbol of the long and historic links between the citizens of this country and our Navy and Marine Corps who defend them," Mabus said. "Having a ship named the America, sailing the world's oceans, defending freedom and peace and helping those in need, as we have for more than two centuries, is crucial to America and to our Navy and Marine Corps."

Following Mabus' remarks, in a time-honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Lynne Pace, ship sponsor and wife of retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave the order, "Man our ship and bring her to life!"

The crew responded by saying "Aye, aye, ma'am" and began running toward the brow to man the ship as the Navy Band Southwest played "Anchors Aweigh." Crew members took their places, side-by-side, manning the rails as the ship's systems came online. Radars, weapon systems, and other parts of the ship began moving to symbolize the ship "coming to life."

After the crew manned the rails, Capt. Robert A. Hall Jr., commanding officer of USS America, stepped forward to deliver his remarks.

"To the crew of USS America, as plankowners we've been granted awesome responsibility and great privilege to send America out to sea on the right course," Hall said. "You've worked extremely hard thus far to get her to this point, performing extraordinarily on our maiden voyage around South America. I thank you for that incredible effort, and I'll tell you, it's just the beginning."

Hall said the ship is named after the greatest country on Earth and spoke of the legacy America will carry forward. "It's only the greatest country because it values everyone's contributions," said Hall. "It takes every one of us doing our part, working together, dedicating ourselves to preserving the ideals of freedom and democracy that make this country great."

America is the first ship of its class and the fourth ship named "America." The first America was originally a racing schooner launched in 1851 and served in the Navy until 1873 before returning to civilian life. In 1921, she was presented to the Navy for preservation as a relic and remained at the U.S. Naval Academy until being scrapped in 1945. The second America transported troops during World War I. The third ship to bear the name was a Kitty-Hawk class aircraft carrier, CV 66, which supported operations from the Vietnam War through Operation Desert Storm.

America weighs 44,971-tons, is 844 feet in length and has an overall beam of 106 feet. It's equipped with a fuel-efficient, hybrid electric propulsion system, the same built for USS Makin Island (LHD 8), which is an energy initiative designed to give the ship the benefit of increased range, endurance, and time on station, enhancing its combat capability. It also provides greater flexibility in scheduling refueling and reduces maintenance costs.

View All Hands Magazine Special Website

The ship is optimized for aviation and will be capable of supporting current and future aircraft, such as the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey and F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. It was designed with additional aviation spaces and provides increased aviation capacity, including an enlarged hangar deck, the realignment and expansion of aviation maintenance facilities which provide a significant increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment, and increased aviation fuel capacity.

For more news from Pre-Commissioning Unit America (LHA 6), visit

NNS141011-06. USS Cole Conducts Remembrance Ceremony, Honors Fallen of 2000 Attack

By From USS Cole (DDG 67) public affairs

BLACK SEA (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) conducted a remembrance ceremony for fallen service members of the October 12, 2000 terrorist attack.

Paraded on the flight deck, the crew stood at attenton as the ceremony began at 11:18 a.m., the exact time when suicide bombers detonated an explosive-laden boat directly against the port side of the ship while refueling in Aden, Yemen. Seventeen Sailors were killed and 37 were wounded as a result of the attacks.
The blast tore a 40-by-60 foot hole in the side of the ship. Sailors fought valiantly for 96 hours, freeing shipmates trapped by twisted wreckage, containing flooding, and restoring engineering systems vital to the ship's survival.

During the memorial ceremony, a 21-gun salute was fired and taps played to honor the 17 Sailors who lost their lives in service to their country. A ceremonial wreath, made by Cole Sailors, was laid off the port side of the ship in memory of the Cole Heroes.

"Today we will honor 17 Shipmates, 17 Heroes. The spirit, honor, and courage represented by these heroes lives in our crew's core values and in our determination to defend our great nation," said Cmdr. Dennis Farrell, commanding officer of USS Cole. "Our ship will always be linked to the American resolve. My crew stands on the shoulders of our fallen shipmates, and we will never forget them and their families' tremendous sacrifices."

Chief Fire Controlman Andrea Ospina, who joined the Cole in 2002 and helped take the ship out on its first deployment after the attack, spoke as guest speaker during the ceremony. She stressed that it was important to honor their legacy and remember their sacrifice, as Sailors are what makes a ship great.

After the ceremony, the crew gathered on the messdecks where several artifacts of the attack and pictures were displayed for them to pay further homage to those who withstood the attack.

Cole, homeported in Norfolk, Va., is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.
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.

Join the conversation on Twitter and follow us on Facebook.

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

NNS141014-13. San Francisco Fleet Week Concludes

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

SAN FRANCISCO (NNS) -- San Francisco Fleet Week 2014 (SFFW 14) came to an end Oct. 13 after thousands of people came out to visit with America's sea services.

The six-day long event included nearly 25,000 guests from the Bay Area who had the opportunity to tour Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) and the Navy's newest Amphibious Assault ship USS America (LHA 6).

SFFW 14 also included performances by the Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team, multiple performances by the Navy Band Southwest, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief displays at The Marina Green Park, and the traditional Italian Heritage Day parade where Sailors proudly marched down the street as they were cheered on by thousands of people.

SFFW 14 also included a Senior Leadership Symposium, which illustrated cooperation between the sea services and civil authorities. The two-day event brought together leaders from the military along with local, regional, state and federal agencies, and the private sector to discuss their capabilities to respond to a natural disaster in the Bay Area.

The highlight of SFFW 14 was the commissioning of USS America, during which an overwhelming turnout of guests attended to watch the fourth ship of its name become the newest edition to the fleet.

"We are so grateful to the people of San Francisco, and I know all of our Coast Guardsman, Marines, Sailors and Canadian partners will join me in thanking this city for such a warm welcome back into San Francisco," said Vice Adm. Kenneth Floyd, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. "It has been a fantastic opportunity to continue the conversation with the people that own these ships."

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

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

NNS141014-14. Bataan Sailors, Marines Complete Successful Visit to Naples, Italy

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael Fiorillo, USS Bataan Public Affairs

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines from amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) departed Naples, Italy, Oct. 14, following a scheduled port visit.

This port visit served to continue U.S. 6th Fleet efforts to build global maritime partnerships with European nations and improve maritime safety and security. Bataan conducted this port visit as part of a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 6th fleet area of operations.

Bataan served as the platform for a reception hosted by Adm. Mark Ferguson, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, for local Naples distinguished guests and U.S. Embassy officials, Oct. 11. The event provided Ferguson an opportunity to express his gratitude for Italian support of the U.S. Navy.

"The Bataan, her Sailors and her embarked Marines represent the best and brightest of America," said Adm. Ferguson. "Her visit to this historic city is indicative of how much the United States deeply values our long-standing relationship with Naples, the Campania Region and Italy."

While in Naples, Sailors and Marines participated in two community relations (COMREL) projects. COMRELs enable Sailors and Marines to give back even while deployed. At Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Hearts, a children's home and pre-school, Sailors and Marines repaired and beautified the playground and interacted with the school children. Sailors and Marines also helped distribute food at Sisters of Charity Soup Kitchen to people who visited for a daily meal.

"Our Sailors and Marines could have spent their time in Naples shopping, sightseeing, or anywhere else," said Chaplin Lt. Hardy Owens. "But they chose to serve the community in Naples. After almost a nine-month deployment and five COMRELs it is always gratifying to serve the host country."

Sailors and Marines also had a chance to explore the sites in Italy through Morale, Welfare, Recreation (MWR) tours to Rome, Pompeii, Capri, and a tour of a Campania vineyard.

"It was fun, exciting and full of history and I would like to return," said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Raul Bautisa. "My favorite tour was Pompeii. We had great food, saw amazing historic landmarks and had a chance to climb to the top of Mount Vesuvius for an amazing view."

Bataan and her crew have been deployed since Feb. 8. During its brief time in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility, the Bataan's presence will help to strengthen regional maritime partnerships with partner nations and help maintain a safe and secure maritime environment.

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

For more news from USS Bataan (LHD 5), visit

NNS141014-12. US, Australian, Indonesian Navies Honor USS Houston, HMAS Perth

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian T. Glunt, USS Frank Cable Public Affairs

USS FRANK CABLE, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors and Military Sealift Command (MSC) civilian mariners assigned to the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40), along with naval officers from Australia and Indonesia, paid their respects to the crews of USS Houston (CA 30) and HMAS Perth (D 29) during a wreath laying ceremony Oct. 14, at the site of the sunken ships.

In the early morning of March 1, 1942, the cruisers Houston and Perth were sunk by the Japanese Imperial Navy during the Battle of Sunda Strait. During the battle, 696 U.S. Sailors aboard Houston and 375 Australian Sailors aboard Perth, including the captains of both ships, lost their lives.

"We feel it's an honor to take part in this ceremony together," said Royal Australian Navy Capt. Katja Bizilj. "We fought together and ultimately the crews of both ships paid the ultimate sacrifice together in the Indonesian territory; so, it's a great honor to pay respects to their sacrifice together."

Indonesian Navy Chief of Naval Staff, Adm. Marsetio, authorized Indonesian Navy vessels and senior officers to participate in the wreath laying ceremony.

"Every navy has their own tradition in how they honor their heroes who have lost their lives at sea," said Indonesian Navy Capt. Judijanto. "This was the first time I've experienced a ceremony like this and because these ships rest in our territorial waters, it was very special for us to honor and remember the crews of these ships with the other nations."

During the ceremony, the crew of Frank Cable manned the rails in their dress white uniforms as salutes were rendered and wreaths were lowered from the aft quarterdeck into the water above the wreckage of each ship.

Frank Cable conducts maintenance and support on submarines and surface vessels deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility and is currently on a regularly scheduled underway period.

For more information about Frank Cable, visit or follow on Facebook by typing "Frank Cable" in the search block.

For more news from USS Frank Cable (AS 40), visit

NNS141011-01. USS Rodney M. Davis Visits Maldives to Foster Friendship

From USS Rodney M. Davis and Embassy of the United States of America, Colombo, Public Affairs

COLOMBO, Maldives (NNS) -- USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate with the U.S. 7th Fleet, visited the Maldives Oct. 6 through 8 as part of a routine patrol of the Indian Ocean.

The officers and crew of the Rodney M. Davis worked with the Maldives National Defence Forces, including the Coast Guard, to improve regional security through close communication, coordination and information exchanges, while supporting at-sea and ashore training opportunities. These activities foster trust and friendship between the United States and the Maldives.

"It is tremendously beneficial to build on our excellent relationships with the maritime nations of the Indian Ocean," said Vice Adm. Robert Thomas, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. "The area is critical to regional security, and the partnerships we build with this training will go a long way to creating a more professional and stable maritime environment."

Cmdr. Todd Whalen, commanding officer of the Rodney M. Davis, expressed gratitude to the Maldivian Government for the opportunity to visit the Maldives.

"My crew and I are excited to visit the Maldives," said Whalen. "We are grateful for the chance to make new friends and work with our counterparts in the Maldivian National Defense Forces."

The port visit also allowed the Sailors to experience the ecologically unique beauty of the Maldives.

Prior to visiting the Maldives, Rodney M. Davis joined a formation of more than 50 ships from Indonesia, Singapore, and Australia during Sail Raja Ampat, a part of a series of international maritime events hosted by the government of Indonesia in West Papua, Indonesia.

Rodney M. Davis has a long history in the U.S. 7th Fleet, being forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan for many years and participating in numerous training exercises with Indo-Asia-Pacific partner nations. The U.S. Navy vessel is named for Marine Sergeant Rodney M. Davis, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the Vietnam War.

Based out of Everett, Wash., Rodney M. Davis is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS141014-06. USS Columbia Visits Singapore During Western Pacific Deployment

By Lt. j.g. Joseph Holleran, USS Columbia Public Affairs

SINGAPORE (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Columbia (SSN 771) arrived in Singapore, Oct. 4, for a visit as part of its deployment to the Western Pacific.

With a crew of 150, Columbia will conduct a multitude of missions and showcase the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.

"Since departing homeport, Columbia has performed missions vital to national security and participated in several multi-national exercises, all of which have improved the overall war fighting readiness of allied forces in the Western Pacific," said Cmdr. John Friedman, USS Columbia commanding officer. "Our port visit to Singapore not only provided the crew with an opportunity to enjoy one of the best cities in the world but further strengthened our ties to our important regional partner."

"This is Columbia's first liberty port since departing from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in May," said Master Chief Machinist's Mate Wayne Fetterley, Columbia's chief of the boat. "This Singapore visit allowed for much needed rest for the Columbia Sailors. The crew enjoyed this beautiful city and is looking forward to returning on our next Western Pacific deployment."

For some of the crew members, this is their first time visiting Singapore.

"Visiting Singapore for the first time was exciting, hopefully I'll get the opportunity to see this amazing city again," said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Kevin Dunkel.

Measuring more than 360 feet long and weighing more than 6,000 tons when submerged, Columbia is one of the stealthiest submarines in the world. This submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, naval special warfare involving special operations forces, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

Columbia is home ported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and departed in May for a deployment to the Western Pacific.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 7, visit

NNS141013-06. Fleet Week San Francisco Hosts USS America (LHA 6) Commissioning, 'Energy Warrior,' and Navy Environmental Programs

From Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division Public Affairs

SAN FRANCISCO (NNS) -- The Navy is spreading the word about its energy and environmental programs as part of Fleet Week San Francisco, with exhibits aboard USS America (LHA 6), USS Kidd (DDG 100) and at Pier 39.

The USS America (LHA 6), the Navy's newest amphibious assault ship, was commissioned during a formal ceremony at Pier 30/32 during San Francisco Fleet Week, on October 11.

Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV), the Honorable Ray Mabus, highlighted the ship's advanced technology, including energy efficiencies that enhance the ship's warfighting and humanitarian assistance capabilities. "From the fuel-saving hybrid drive to a host of other systems, American technological innovation and manufacturing skill have always been powerful advantages," said SECNAV.

In addition to its gas turbine engines, USS America is equipped with an electric auxiliary propulsion system (APS) that saves fuel at speeds under 12 knots. Because LHA ships spend the majority of their time traveling at low speeds, this hybrid system can allow the ship to stay on station longer and/or travel farther between refueling.

During the ceremony, Adm. Harry B. Harris, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, commended the crew for their performance during acceptance trials and sailing around South America. He also stressed the importance of the Navy's use of biofuels, fuel-saving electric auxiliary propulsion systems afloat, and solar and wind power ashore.

The Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness (N45) exhibits on board the USS America (LHA 6), USS Kidd (DDG 100), and at Pier 39 highlight the Navy's efforts to become more energy efficient and combat capable through technology and workforce training, and to explore domestically-produced sources of alternative fuel. The displays also describe Navy environmental initiatives such as marine mammal research, shipboard management of plastics and other materials at sea, and using technology and best practices to keep oil out of the ocean and manage chemicals for ship maintenance.

Fleet Week San Francisco also enabled Sailors and the general public to learn about the Navy's recently launched "Energy Warrior" app that is available free from the app store for iPads and Android devices. The app highlights Sailors and civilians out in the Fleet who are innovating to save energy and get the maximum warfighting punch out of every gallon. The app includes videos, energy facts, and articles that explore energy issues.

N45 representatives offered booth visitors "Energy Warrior" business cards and posters with links to online Energy Warrior content. The app and related web pages are available at People and naval commands with innovative energy ideas can send information to

For more news from Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division, visit

NNS141014-15. ATG MIDPAC Receives When Work Works Award

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

HONOLULU (NNS) -- Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific (ATG MIDPAC) received the 2014 When Work Works Award for its use of effective workplace strategies to increase business and employee success at the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Conference, held at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel in Honolulu, Oct. 10.

The When Work Works Award, formerly known as the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility, recognizes employers and organizations of all sizes and types in Hawaii and across the country that foster a culture of workplace flexibility and effectiveness, which gives them a competitive advantage.

"As a military organization with a mission involved around assessment and training, one of our biggest challenges is to maintain a balanced schedule," said Commander Timothy Wilke, commanding officer of ATG MIDPAC. "At Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific, we set our standards high, value our workforce and have created effective work-life programs so that success can be attainable by anyone who walks through our doors. We are extremely proud to be recognized by the Family and Work Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management."

To win, applicants must first qualify among the top 20 percent of employers across the U.S. Applicants are evaluated based on an effective workplace, opportunities for learning, a culture of trust, work-life fitness, supervisor support for work success, autonomy and satisfaction with earnings, benefits, and opportunities for advancement - all factors associated with employee health, well-being, and engagement.

"Those [employers] that won today actually represent some of the best employer groups throughout the nation in terms of their work flexibility and practices," said Stevette Santiago, SHRM Hawaii State Council Co-Director. "It's exciting to see that in Hawaii, despite all of the challenges that we have to maintain our workplaces, we had some outstanding employer groups that are doing really good things. I hope that employers will join us for next year's program and continue to work on their strategies and also look at different ways to be innovative to share with the rest of the world what we can do here in Hawaii."

According to the official website, the awards are offered to employers within the When Work Works partner communities, as well as to those outside of these locations as "at-large" applicants.

Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific's mission is to provide safe and effective training for Pacific Fleet ships. It assists commanders in assessing ships' training readiness and provides training necessary to meet basic training standards.

For more news from Afloat Training Group Middle pacific, visit

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

NNS141012-03. Commemoration Ceremony Honors Fallen, Injured Cole Shipmates

By Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Former and current USS Cole (DDG 67) crew members joined relatives, family members and officials, as they gathered together today at the Cole Memorial on Naval Station Norfolk, to pay tribute to the 17 Sailors killed and 39 wounded in the attack on the guided-missile destroyer 14 years ago.

More than 150 attended the waterfront ceremony under a blustery, sunless sky. Mirroring a similar commemoration held yesterday aboard the deployed ship, the ceremony featured a roll call and bell tolling for the 17 Cole Sailors who perished that day, a 21-gun salute, wreath-laying, and taps.

Recalling the life-changing event, the annual gathering honored the heroes who, like the ship's namesake, paid the ultimate sacrifice for their shipmates, their Navy, and their nation.

"Every year at this time, something in us awakens and reminds us of the sacrifices made like it happened yesterday," said guest speaker and retired Master Chief Petty Officer James Parlier, Cole command master chief when it was attacked.

"It is hard to believe it was 14 years ago. The memories and feelings are vivid; it is pure, raw emotion."

On Thursday, Oct. 12, 2000, Cole was refueling at the Yemeni port of Aden when al-Qaida suicide bombers pulled alongside the Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer in a small boat full of explosives. At 11:18 a.m., Bahrain time, the attackers detonated the bombs and ripped a 40-by-40- foot hole in the hull of the ship.

"The odds we faced that day were tremendous," said Parlier. "They wanted to defeat us. They wanted to sink Cole. But it did not happen. We were not defeated. Cole is not a museum. It is still a proud American warship."

Side by side, present and past Cole families and crewmembers took solace in the camaraderie, posed for photos, promised to "always remember their shipmates," as they lingered at the ship's waterfront monument.

The Cole Memorial includes 17 low-level markers which stand for the youthfulness of the Sailors, whose lives were lost. Three tall, granite monoliths, each bearing brass plaques, stand for the three colors of the American flag. A set of brown markers encircling the memorial symbolizes the darkness and despair that overcame the ship on Oct. 12, 2000. Additionally, 28 black pine trees were planted to represent the 17 Sailors and the 11 children they left behind.

Homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, Cole is currently conducting operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in the region.

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

NNS141013-05. George H.W. Bush Departs Manama

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

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) (NNS) -- USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) departed Manama, Bahrain, Oct. 9.

Sailors experienced the local culture through tours sponsored by the ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) division. They took part in golfing at the area's golf courses, visiting the local shopping areas, and attending sports tournaments at Naval Support Activity Bahrain. Sailors also participated in a community relations project at the Bahrain Mobility Institute, where they helped clean and perform maintenance around the facilities.

"This port visit was a chance for our Sailors to relax and enjoy the hospitality of the people of Bahrain as we enter the final phases of our deployment," said Capt. Andrew Loiselle, commanding officer of George H.W. Bush. "This visit also allowed us to help strengthen our relationship with Bahrain."

GHWB CSG deployed Feb. 15, 2014, and is operating in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.

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

NNS141014-08. NAS Jax Thanks Navy Family at 239th Navy Birthday Ball

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) John S. Smolinski, Naval Air Station Jacksonville Public Affairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville (Jax), tenant commands and their guests celebrated the Navy's 239th birthday at NAS Jax's River Cove Catering and Conference Center, Oct. 10.

Former NASA astronaut and retired Navy Capt. Jon McBride, this year's guest speaker, talked about how his naval career got started through a chance encounter with a man in a blue suit with gold wings.

"My last semester at West Virginia University my fraternity brothers and I were sitting around a table in the student union and in walked a guy in a blue flight suit, a Navy pilot," said McBride. "He came in and asked if anyone was interested in flying with the Navy. I nearly jumped out of my pants. You talk about fate, if I wasn't sitting in that room at that particular time in my life, maybe I wouldn't have found the Navy and I wouldn't be here talking to you right now about my experiences in the Navy and as an astronaut."

McBride said that he hasn't been on an active Navy base for more than 10 years and was apprehensive about what changes he might encounter.

"When I got here today and went through a hangar and got to visit with some of the Sailors," said McBride. "I felt like this is my Navy from 30 years ago. I felt I was back home."

NAS Jax Commanding Officer Capt. Roy Undersander said he was proud of everyone's efforts in putting this event together.

"The Navy ball is a time for all of us in our Navy family to come together and appreciate those around us who help make our Navy a success," said Undersander. "Tonight is a culmination of this week's events held aboard the station in celebration of 239 years of naval heritage."

Since April, the Navy Ball committee put in more than 320 hours, and raised $3,000 along with a grant from Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) for $2,800, to put together the evening's events.

"The theme of 'thanking those whose serve us' really hits home," said Lt. j.g. Jamie Wallace, chairman of the Navy Ball committee. "Because of what MWR has done for us, they have mentored us through the entire process; they helped us plan everything, every step of the way."

Victor Letourneaut, a retired Marine master sergeant, showed his support of the Navy by buying tickets to the ball for eight junior hospital corpsmen and their guests.

"This is just my way to pass it along to the younger service members," said Letourneaut. "As part of being a veteran, it's our responsibility to give back to our young, active-duty family and pass along our knowledge. Knowledge is power."

For Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Shelby Mayfield, leading petty officer for nursing services at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Letourneaut's sponsorship shows just how strong the bond is between a Marine and a corpsman.

"We are thankful to retired master sergeant for sponsoring our corpsmen so that they can attend the ball," said Mayfield.

Joshua Robinson, religious program specialist at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, has been in the Navy for almost two years and said he would not be here if it wasn't for his support systems, his family back at home, and his chain of command.

"At first, things were hard," said Robinson. "I wasn't adjusted to Navy life, but my [support systems] encouraged me to hang in there and told me things will get better. I took their advice and I really like it now."

Robinson's family is not unfamiliar with the armed services, since his father was in the Army and his uncle served in the Navy.

"They both have told me to stick it out and do 20 years," said Robinson. "They both did four years, and they told me they wish that they had made it a career, and I am looking at it now like I should."

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said in a news release, this year's birthday theme is about remembering and thanking those who support the Navy and Marine Corps.

"We should know that successes that we've achieved, we have not achieved alone," said Greenert. "We couldn't do what we do unless we have assistance from our family, from our friends, from our communities, from industry and the organizations that support our Sailors."

For more news from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, visit

NNS141012-02. Rodney M. Davis Sailors Visit Orphanage, Clean Up Beach In ViliMale

From USS Rodney M. Davis and Embassy of the United States of America, Colombo Public Affairs

COLOMBO, Maldives (NNS) -- Officers and crew from the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) visited ViliMale on the North Male Atoll, Oct. 9, to participate in community relations events with the local community.

With support from the Maldives National Defence Forces and the Ministry of Law and Gender, the Sailors volunteered their personal liberty time to participate in these activities to learn more about the Maldivian people and foster friendship between the two countries.

"Time off is very precious because our sailors put in long hours while we are at sea," said Lt. Russell Wolfkiel, public affairs officer for the Rodney M. Davis. "One of the highlights of deployment is the opportunity to engage with the local communities when we visit exotic ports like Maldives."

At the Kudakudhinge Hiyaa orphanage, Sailors brought paint and tools to repainted the interior of the building. Special fire safety trainers also lent their expertise to service fire extinguishers and demonstrate proper usage.

"This is very important for us," said Mohamed Shafeeg, deputy director of Kudakudhinge Hiyaa, expressing his appreciation for the assistance of Rodney M. Davis sailors. "We are very appreciative of your team to come here and do some painting and to take some time to explain the fire alarm systems."

A second group from the Rodney M. Davis also joined a local youth movement called "Save the Beach Maldives" to pick up debris from the beach. These included heavy concrete pieces left over from construction projects.

"We hope more people want to help places like this in the future because it's not just a problem for Maldives here. It's a problem for everyone around the world," said Fathimath Thanzeela Naeem, the lead coordinator for the cleanup. "We are all connected by the ocean so I'm sure that bigger countries like the U.S. could make an impact as well."

Rodney M. Davis departed the Maldives Oct. 9, concluding its four-day port visit. In addition to the activities on ViliMale, sailors also participated in sporting activities with the Maldivian National Defense Force Coast Guard, building camaraderie and friendships with the local mariners.

"I like being able to come overseas and help out other people and see how they live," said Ship's Serviceman 1st Class Daniel Cornede. "Especially when it comes to cleaning up the beach, because I come from Hawaii, and this is how I was raised to pick up trash off the beach."

Based out of Everett, Wash., Rodney M. Davis is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit

NNS141011-05. Seoul Based Sailors Celebrate the Navy's 239th Birthday with Ball and 5k Run

By Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

SEOUL, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Seoul-based Sailors and their families celebrated the Navy's 239th birthday with a special ball and 5K run, Oct. 10 through 11.

Both events brought together service members from across U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, as well as the Republic of Korea armed services and citizens from the local Seoul community.

"We had a very diverse group of people from different branches of service, our partners in the Korean military, as well as our supporters in the local community come out and join us for our Navy birthday events," said Lt. Cmdr. Zhivago Johnson, the chairman of the 2014 Seoul Navy Ball committee. "This is a testament to the support and camaraderie of our U.S. military community here at Yongsan Garrison, and the close partnerships we have with the Korean military and the people of Seoul."

The Seoul Navy ball featured keynote remarks from Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea, along with entertainment from the U.S. 8th Army band and entertainers from the Republic of Korea Ministry of Defense. The program also included video messages from the Secretary of the Navy, the Hon. Ray Mabus, and the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, along with a traditional Korean drum team.

"I really enjoyed the ball and it was an honor to have senior leaders from both nations speak with us about the important role the U.S. Navy plays in Korea," said Chief Mass Communication Specialist Wendy Wyman, assigned to Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea. "We also enjoyed hosting service members and their families from all 4 U.S. services at our Navy ball as well as our friends from the Korean military."

The following day, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea hosted a 5K run at Yongsan Garrison, bringing together service members from across the on-base community.

"This was a great way to complete our Navy birthday celebration here in Seoul and promote a culture of fitness and teamwork with our shipmates and fellow service members," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Bill Norton. "We had a fantastic turn out and we really displayed our Navy pride during both of these events."

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

NNS141011-02. USS Frank Cable Crew Visits Malaysian Children's Home

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian T. Glunt,

USS Frank Cable (AS 40) Public Affairs

SEPANGAR, Malaysia (NNS) -- Sailors and Military Sealift Command civilian mariners assigned to the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) volunteered to participate in a community service (COMSERV) event Oct. 6, at the Bukit Harapan Children's Home.

The Bukit Harapan (Hill of Hope) is a non-profit organization that houses and schools mentally and physically disabled children who have been orphaned, abandoned due to their disabilities, or have come from unstable family backgrounds.

"Frank Cable has visited us numerous times and each time the Sailors come to visit, you can really see that the kids enjoy their company. Whenever I tell them that the Sailors are coming, they get very excited," said Audra Keyworth, Bukit Harapan administrator. "The kids don't speak English, but somehow they communicate and there is a bond. Because of the affection and interaction they show the kids, it makes the kids feel loved and appreciated. They feel that someone cares for them."

During the visit, the children treated the Frank Cable's crew members to songs, dances and candies. The Sailors continued the visit by coloring pictures, talking, singing and dancing with the children.

"This was my second time visiting. By the look in their eyes, it seems they are excited and they look so happy interacting with us," said Engineman 1st Class Floyd Johnson, a COMSERV participant. "Another remarkable part of the visit is that we live thousands of miles away from each other, but we are so alike in our cultures with the music they listen and dance to and the songs they sang to us. The same Justin Bieber song they are singing and dancing with us are the same songs I listen to with my children."

Frank Cable's Commanding Officer, Capt. Mark Benjamin, attended the event along with Executive Officer Cmdr. Thomas Gorey and Command Chaplain Lt. Cmdr. Louis Lee. During the visit, Benjamin presented the children's home with his command coin in appreciation for their generous hospitality.

Frank Cable conducts maintenance and support on submarines and surface vessels deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility and is currently on a regularly scheduled underway period.

For more information about Frank Cable, visit the ship's website at or follow on Facebook by typing "Frank Cable" in the search block.

For more news from USS Frank Cable (AS 40), visit

NNS141010-19. FCC/C10F Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW/IDW) David R. Finley Jr., U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS JUNCTION, Md. (NNS) -- U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet's (FCC/C10F) Heritage Committee held a luncheon to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month Oct. 9 at the National Business Park in Annapolis Junction, Maryland.

The event was held as part of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is recognized from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 each year, and was designed to highlight the contributions made by Hispanics throughout the history of the U.S. Navy.

"This event gives our Sailors a chance to showcase their heritage," said FCC/C10F's Command Master Chief Jon R. Taylor. "It also gives others a chance to learn a little bit more about the Hispanic culture."

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on Sept. 15 and ending on Oct. 15.

"The Navy is a reflection of society," said Taylor. "The strength of the Navy depends on its diversity and its ability to bring fresh ideas to the table."

FCC/C10F's Heritage Committee promotes diversity by hosting various events throughout the year to honor the theme of the month.

"Our goal is to raise awareness and to celebrate the role of Hispanics in the Navy and their many accomplishments," said FCC/C10F Heritage Committee organizer Information Systems Technician 2nd Class (IDW/SW) Joshua Anderson.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet, visit

NNS020723-25. This Day in Naval History - Oct. 14

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1862 - The iron screw gunboat Memphis, with acting commander Lt. P.G. Watmough, captures blockade running British steamer Ouachita at sea off Cape Roman, S.C. during the Civil War.

1915 - The keel to first electrically-driven battleship USS New Mexico (BB 40) is laid. She is commissioned May 1918, and later provides numerous off-shore bombardments prior to invading Allied forces during World War II in the Pacific.

1918 - In the first raid-in-force by the Northern Bombing Group in World War I, eight planes of Marine Day Squadron 9 drop 17 bombs, totaling 2,218 lbs. on the German-held railroad junction at Thielt, Belgium. Twelve German fighter planes attack in retaliation. During the air fight, 2nd Lt. Ralph Talbot and Gunnery Sgt. Robert G. Robinson are separated from their formation and attacked, but still continue to fight despite being struck. They are later awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroic actions.

1935 - Lt. Cmdr. Knefler McGinnis, Lt. j.g. James K. Averil, NAP Thomas P. Wilkerson and a crew of three fly an XP3Y-1 consolidated patrol plane from Cristobal Harbor, Canal Zone to Alameda, Calif. in 34 hours and 45 minutes and establish a new world record for Class C seaplanes of 3,281.383 miles.

1942 - USS Greenling (SS 213) sinks the Japanese army cargo ship Takusei Maru six miles off Todo Saki near the northern coast of Honshu and USS Sculpin (SS 191) sinks the Japanese army cargo ship Sumiyoshi Maru 75 miles southwest of Kavieng, New Ireland.

NNS141015-19. USS Constitution to Get Underway for Final Time Until 2018

From USS Constitution Public Affairs

CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (NNS) -- USS Constitution will get underway in Boston Harbor on Friday, Oct. 17, in commemoration of the U.S. Navy's 239th birthday and the ship's upcoming 217th birthday.

More than 500 guests, made up of individuals and organizations with long-standing ties of support to both the ship and the Navy, will accompany Old Ironsides on her fifth and final underway demonstration of 2014. This will also be the historic warship's final Boston Harbor underway until 2018, as she is scheduled to enter dry dock in March 2015 for a three-year planned restoration period.

The ship is scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m. EST. There will be a 21-gun salute off Fort Independence on Castle Island in South Boston at approximately 11 a.m. Constitution Sailors will also conduct an additional 17-gun salute near U.S. Coast Guard Base Boston prior to the ship's 1 p.m. return to her berth at Charlestown Navy Yard.

Due to the post-underway commencement of large-scale dry dock preparations, including de-rigging and removal of the ship's upper masts and offloading the ship's long guns, Constitution will be open for public tours from Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting the week of Oct. 20.

*Below is a summary of the restoration work planned for USS Constitution from 2015-2018:

* Remove CONSTITUTION's upper mast sections, yards and bowsprit
* Remove all guns, ballast & rudder
* CONSTITUTION enters dry dock 1 in Charlestown Navy Yard
* Install staging, then remove copper from hull below the waterline

* Inspect hull and replace hull planks as needed
* Inspect rigging and replace as needed
* Inspect and preserve fighting tops for all three masts

* Preserve all masts and yards
* Preserve ship's wheel & headboards
* Preserve gun carriages
* Preserve ship's boats

2016 - FOCUS ON BOW (front of Ship)
* Replace planking in bow
* Inspect and repair trail-boards at bow

2017 - FOCUS ON STERN (back of Ship)
* Remove, inspect, replace and repair ship's stern ornamentation
* Repairs to Captain's Cabin

* Replace planking on gun deck and berth deck (lower decks)
* Install rudder
* Re-copper ship's hull beneath the waterline
* Reef out and re-caulk spar deck (top deck)
* Refloat ship
* Re-rig ship once afloat and return guns and furniture


*Note: All dates subject to change as the actual conditions of USS Constitution are inspected and discovered.

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

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

NNS141016-05. Navy Chaplain Corps Enhances Pastoral Care Capabilities in Suicide Prevention, Intervention, Postvention

By Christianne M. Witten, Chief of Chaplains Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy chaplains and religious program specialists (RP) met with Chaplain Corps leadership for a professional development training course validation at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Oct. 7-9.

The training focused on enhancing pastoral care skills and the role of spirituality for service members and families facing suicidal ideations or the aftermath of losing a loved one to suicide.

The curriculum was developed to align with the Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO)'s Training Competency Framework that will be incorporated into the forthcoming Department of Defense Instruction on Suicide Prevention, and the validation fine-tuned the course before its January roll out across the Chaplain Corps.

Subject matters experts in suicidology and suicide intervention from the 21st Century Sailor office, Behavioral Health, and LivingWorks Education facilitated the training alongside the Naval Chaplaincy School and Center staff.

"As chaplains and RPs, we are called to be where it matters, when it matters, with what matters. Perhaps this is never more poignant than in cases of suicide," said Chief of Navy Chaplains Rear Adm. Margaret Grun Kibben during her opening remarks.

"We are there when it matters-in times of deep despair and hopelessness, speaking into the storm our people are facing and helping them reframe their struggles so that it's not a question of taking their life but taking control of their life," Kibben said.

"We are there with what matters-a completely confidential space for our people to share their fears and concerns; the professional skills to assess the risk of suicide; and the understanding of how to effectively intervene and equip our people with tools to keep themselves safe," she added.

In addition to pastoral care, the three-day training underscored the invaluable advisory role of chaplains to commanders to address command climate issues and operational tempo that can help prevent suicide.

Days one and two focused on effective prevention strategies. These strategies included the importance of purposeful engagement at various transition points in a service member's career, and purposeful listening to connect the dots indicating when someone might be at risk. These risk factors include: a disrupted social network, relationship challenges, occupational or academic setbacks, and fall from glory situations.

The training also emphasized the importance of engaging family members who are often the most attuned to changes in their Sailor, Marine or Coast Guardsmen who, according to Joiner's Interpersonal Theory of Suicide, may be exhibiting signs of isolation, "thwarted belongingness" or "perceived burdensomeness."

"Chaplains can be trusted to provide a confidential space where service members and families can turn without an impact on the service member's career. A safe place to talk through personal struggles, free from judgment and shaming," said Cmdr. Phillip King, deputy chaplain for Navy installations command, who attended the training.

Because chaplains are not mandatory reporters in the DoD or DoN, the unique confidentiality service members and families have with a chaplain can often open the door of opportunity for them to discuss thoughts of suicide and get help, said Lt. Cmdr. Sam Stephens, a Navy psychologist currently working for Headquarters Marine Corps Behavioral Branch and one of the training facilitators.

"Chaplains are often the first of many professionals who interact with service members at risk for suicide, so it's important to equip chaplains with the tools to best care for them," Stephens said.

On day two of the training, Stephens highlighted effective, evidence-based intervention tools such as the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale, a screening tool for persons at risk, and the VA safety plan. Both tools are intended to equip chaplains with the right questions to ask to help keep service members and family members safe, without compromising an individual's confidentiality.

Stephens also discussed the value of the chaplains' spiritual approach when partnering with mental health professionals to provide the most effective care possible to those at risk.

The final day of training focused on postvention, supporting a survivor's recovery and reintegration back into the command. Participants learned how to best advise commanders in the aftermath of a suicide to be sensitive to the needs of the crew and ways to foster an environment of healing in the command and for family members as they grieve.

The Chaplain Corps' professional development training course also includes a one-day workshop on leadership and Professional Naval Chaplaincy. The training will run Jan. through Jul. 2015 at the following locations:

12-15 Jan 2015 Naval Base San Diego
26-29 Jan 2015 Naval Air Station Pensacola
09-12 Feb 2015 Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
23-26 Feb 2015 Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
09-12 Mar 2015 Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune
23-26 Mar 2015 Naval Station Mayport
13-16 Apr 2015 Marine Corps Base Hawaii
27-30 Apr 2015 Naval Station Norfolk
18-21 May 2015 Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Okinawa, Japan
01-04 Jun 2015 Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy
15-18 Jun 2015 Naval Base Kitsap
13-16 Jul 2015 Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story

Chaplains and RPs can register to attend the training here:

For more information on the Navy Chaplain Corps and complete confidentiality, visit

NNS141015-20. Naval Health Research Center Celebrates Navy's 239th Birthday

By Anna Hancock, Naval Health Research Center Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) celebrated the Navy's 239th birthday Oct. 10, with a cake-cutting celebration at NHRC headquarters, San Diego.

Honoring this year's theme, 'Thanking Those Who Support Us,' NHRC's Director for Administration Lt. Cmdr. Richard Stacey opened the ceremony with several acknowledgments. Stacey recognized NHRC staff members who have family members that served, and the rest of NHRC's staff for the daily support they provide to their active duty shipmates.

"It takes a special person to support someone in the military. One that recognizes the greater good," said Stacey. "And for our civilian and contractor shipmates, our hats are off to you too as well for supporting us and supporting the mission. We can't do what we do without you."

More than 100 staff members attended the ceremony to enjoy a time of celebration, camaraderie and reflection. Shortly after Stacey's opening remarks, NHRC's Director of the Operational Readiness Directorate Cmdr. Tom Herzig gave a brief presentation on the history of the Navy before a reading of the Chief of Naval Operations' (CNO) birthday message encouraging everyone to take a moment to reflect on the Navy's history.

For NHRC, 2014 marks 55 years since the command was first established as a Navy Neuropsychiatric Research Unit (NPRU). The command was originally designed to be the Navy's primary research facility for neurology and psychiatry.

"We started in the early '60's by conducting research about the psychological effects of extended and isolated deployments, like the isolation of wintering over at McMurdo Station in the Antarctic," explained NHRC's Principal Director of Research and retired Navy Medical Service Corps officer Dr. Karl Van Orden. "During the Vietnam War, we stood up the Center for Prisoner of War Studies to examine the health and psychosocial effects of internment among veterans."

The NPRU was re-designated to NHRC in 1974 by the authority of the CNO after recognizing the broader scope of research and development conducted by the NPRU team. Today, NHRC is the Department of Defense's deployment health research center with an expert team and state-of-the-art laboratories.

According to Van Orden, NHRC has evolved considerably since then, and now examines all manners of health and readiness issues as a function of military experiences.

"Hearing the history of the Navy during the ceremony, and reflecting on where we came from makes me proud that I am a part of the mission," said Brian Nelson, financial technician and retired Navy Yeoman. "My first duty station was in San Diego, then after 20 years I retired. I feel lucky that I can continue supporting the Navy as a civilian employee."

The ceremony then concluded by upholding one of the longstanding Navy traditions. The youngest and oldest NHRC sailors, Lt. Michael Young and Capt. Jacqueline Rychnovsky, cut the birthday cake.

"After attending 20 plus birthday celebrations, it's still nice to go to the cake-cuttings and see the new generation of military and the civilians supporting it," said Nelson. "And every history is important. Especially ours."

As the DoD's premier deployment health research center, NHRC's cutting-edge research and development is used to optimize the operational health and readiness of the nation's armed forces. Within close proximity to more than 95,000 uniformed service members, world-class universities, and industry partners, NHRC's expert team sets the standards in joint ventures, innovation, and practical application.

For more news from Naval Health Research Center, visit

NNS020716-02. This Day in Naval History - Oct. 16

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1821 - The schooner Enterprise, commanded by Lawrence Kearny, engages four pirate schooners and one pirate sloop off Cape Antonio, Cuba who are in the act of robbing two American vessels and one British ship. The pirate leader, Capt. Charles Gibbs, escapes to shore but his ship and two others were burned. The remaining ships are sent to Charleston, S.C. as prizes.

1861 - The screw steamer South Carolina captures the schooner Edward Barnard, with a cargo of turpentine on board, at Southwest Pass, Mississippi River.

1885 - Capt. Alfred Thayer Mahan becomes the superintendent of the Naval War College at Newport, R.I.

1891 - Two sailors from the cruiser Baltimore are killed and 17 are injured by a mob in Valparaiso, Chile. The incident shifts relations between the United States and Chile. In 1892 Chile pays $75,000 in gold for restitution and apologizes for the incident.

1942 - USS Thresher (SS 200) mines the approaches to Bangkok, Thailand, the first US Navy submarine mine plant during World War II.

1943 - the Navy accepts its first helicopter, a Sikorsky YR-4B (HNS-1) at Bridgeport, Ct., following a 60-minute test flight by U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Frank A. Erickson.

1944 - USS Tilefish (SS 307) sinks Japanese guard boat No.2 Kyowa Maru five miles north of Matsuwa Jima, Kuril Islands.

1957 -- USS Lake Champlain (CVS-39) reaches Valencia, Spain to assist in flood rescue work at the request of the American ambassador to Spain, John Davis Lodge. The ship's Chickasaw helicopters undertake numerous rescue missions, and the ship's crew fight in the "mud battle" that follows the disaster.

NNS141016-18. U.S. Navy's Overseas Force Structure Changes Underscore Commitment to the Asia-Pacific

From U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy announced today that the ballistic missile defense (BMD)-capable guided-missile destroyers USS Benfold (DDG 65) and USS Milius (DDG 69) will become part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) based at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan.

As part of the U.S. Navy's long-range plan to put the most advanced and capable units forward, Benfold and Milius will leave their current homeport of San Diego and forward deploy to Yokosuka in the summers of 2015 and 2017, respectively. The move directly supports the announcement made by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in April of this year that the Navy would commit to sending two additional BMD-capable ships to the defense of Japan by 2017.

The Navy also announced that the guided missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) will conduct a hull swap with USS Lassen (DDG 82) and become a member of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) in early 2016. USS Barry will forward deploy from its current homeport of Norfolk, Va. while USS Lassen will return to the U.S. and homeport in Mayport, Fla.

Barry, Benfold, and Milius will all complete a midlife modernization, making them among the most capable ships of their class. All will be fitted with the latest Aegis Baseline 9 combat system which includes state of the art air defense, ballistic missile defense, surface warfare and undersea warfare capabilities. The three Flight I ships will also receive upgrades including a fully-integrated bridge, improved machinery, damage control and quality of life improvements, an advanced galley and commercial-off-the-shelf computing equipment.

As part of their Aegis combat systems, each ship is outfitted with the Mark-41 Vertical Launch System for multiple types of guided missiles and is capable of defensive and offensive operations against aircraft, cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, surface ships, submarines and shore targets.

These U.S. BMD-capable forces, combined with the sea-based missile defense systems operated by their counterparts in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, as well as the new TPY-2 radar at Kyogamisaki scheduled to start operations later this year, provide the U.S.-Japan alliance a regionally responsive missile defense capability. They also represent a significant improvement in capability and will provide the FDNF with greater capacity in all mission areas including regional Ballistic Missile Defense and Ballistic Missile Defense of the Homeland.

Lassen will return to the United States and homeport in Mayport, Fla., following a 10-year forward deployment to Yokosuka. Lassen will later undergo modernization to upgrade her combat systems to the latest Aegis program standards.

The United States values Japan's contributions to the peace, security and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific and its long-term commitment and hospitality in hosting forward deployed U.S. forces. These forces, along with their counterparts in the Japan Self-Defense Forces, make up the core capabilities needed by the alliance to meet our common strategic objectives.

This forward deployment is called an Overseas Force Structure Change. The force structure change is part of the Navy's long range FDNF plan to rotate newer and more capable units forward. Increasing FDNF capability supports the United States' commitment to the defense of Japan and the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

For more news from Pacific Fleet, visit

NNS141017-08. Navy's New CAP Policy-- 5 Things You Need to Know

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Earlier this year, the Chief of Naval Personnel announced updates to the Command Advancement Program (CAP) for active component (AC) and Reserve component (RC) and a shift from a calendar to a fiscal year timeline for CAP and Navy Recruiter Meritorious Advancement Program (NRMAP), starting Oct. 1.

These changes are based on Fleet feedback, empower the command triad to advance their top Sailors and are in alignment with ongoing performance-based initiatives.

CAP and NRMAP are intended to reward sustained superior performance, providing command triads further opportunities to advance their top Sailors. Quotas for CAP and NRMAP for eligible commands will be listed in a NAVADMIN that will be posted on

Here are five things you need to know about CAP:

1. CAP continues to provide commanding officers with the authority to advance eligible rated Sailors in recognition of their superior performance in paygrades E3, E4 and E5 to the next higher paygrade.

2. Beginning Oct. 1, CAP will shift from a calendar year program to a fiscal year program, with the period of observance from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. The updated policy incorporates a CAP season, July 1 to Sept. 30. The CAP season is the only the time when commands can advance eligible Sailors under CAP.

3. The CAP season aligns with the Navy-wide advancement examination cycles, which allows CAP to be factored in when determining the number of advancement quotas each cycle. The CAP data helps to minimize over promotions thus ensuring future advancement opportunity exists.

4. COs continue to have the authority to set CAP performance standards and select their best Sailors. The Combat Meritorious Advancement program remains unchanged.

5. For Fiscal Year 2015, there will be a hold on CAP for Selected Reserve Sailors due to reductions in end strength and over-manning in multiple rates.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

NNS141016-15. USS Coronado (LCS 4) Conducts Dynamic Interface Testing with MQ-8B Fire Scout

From Program Executive Office, Littoral Combat Ships Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Coronado (LCS 4) recently conducted dynamic interface testing with the MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Take-Off and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) NAVSEA announced Oct. 16.

The tests familiarized the crew with operating unmanned aircraft, verified and expanded the launch and recovery envelopes, and identified opportunities for envelope expansion, thereby demonstrating the future concept of operations for unmanned helicopters aboard LCS.

"VTUAV brings great capability to LCS," said Capt. Tom Anderson, program manager for Littoral Combat Ships, "and will be included as a module within each of the three LCS mission packages. Just as LCS is a modular warship, VTUAV is a modular airframe and will employ specific sensors to support the assigned mission. VTUAV will support mine detection operations with the mine countermeasures mission package, and the 'detect, classify, and identification' mission with the surface warfare and anti-submarine mission packages. I am excited about getting this capability into the hands of the fleet."

LCS is expected to routinely deploy with Fire Scout in addition to a manned MH-60 helicopter as part of its surface warfare (SUW), mine countermeasures (MCM), and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission packages. The Fire Scout will complement the MH-60 by extending the range and endurance of ship-based intelligence gathering operations.

Coronado, the second ship of the Independence variant of LCS, completed Final Contract Trials (FCT) in June, participated in RIMPAC exercises in July, and will continue developmental testing of the ship and the SUW mission package in preparation for Initial Operational Testing and Evaluation and Initial Operational Capability. Coronado is scheduled to begin Post Shakedown Availability in October, where she will undergo a maintenance period to correct any deficiencies discovered during FCT.

The LCS class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for odd-numbered hulls, e.g. LCS 1). The Independence variant team is led by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works (LCS 2 and LCS 4) and Austal USA (for subsequent even-numbered hulls). Purchased under the innovative block-buy acquisition strategy, 12 ships are currently under construction.

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

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS141017-11. Naval Academy Hosts Commander, US Fleet Cyber Command

By Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Tyler Caswell, U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet, Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, delivered a lecture on the Department of Defense's (DOD) cyber warfare program at the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), Oct. 16.

USNA's Center for Cyber Security Studies hosted Tighe as part of their Cyber Lecture Series.

Tighe, a 1984 graduate of the Academy, addressed the Midshipmen, faculty and staff at Alumni Hall and spoke about today's cyber domain.

"Collectively we have to recognize the reality of cyber threats, including disrupting and destruction of logistics, networks and equipment," said Tighe. "Recovering from successful attacks can take long periods of time and many man hours."

According to the DOD, plans are in place to increase their cyber domain security and operations to 6,000 people and 133 teams by 2016 to engage the rapidly evolving environment.

"The more dependent we become in cyber space, the more opportunities criminals and terrorists have to access to our systems," said Tighe. "Largely, over time these attacks have warped from trying to get information, to disrupting operations. The most destructive attacks have kinetic effects, by gaining access over systems that control physical operating components."

The Naval Academy recently offered cyber operations as a major through the Center for Cyber Security Studies. Twenty-eight members of the class of 2016 are on track to graduate as the "plankowners" in that major. All midshipmen at USNA are required to take two classes in cyber operations.

Tighe talked about the evolving nature of the cyber domain and the urgent need for users to stay informed and educated of the risks and potential consequences of being uninstructed and unfamiliar.

Building that awareness is at the core of the mission of the Center for Cyber Security Studies, enhancing the education of midshipmen in all areas of cyber warfare and facilitating the sharing of expertise and perspectives in cyber warfare.

"What we have to do is limit the amount of exposure our people's online behavior have towards creating cyber opportunities," said Tighe. "It's as small as not plugging in unauthorized equipment into computers attached to networks and systems, to not opening a link on an unrecognized email source. Unaware users are our biggest risk."

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

NNS141016-16. Hawaii Sailors Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

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

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Sailors celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month at the historic Sharkey Theatre and attended a Hispanic-themed lunch at the Silver Dolphin Bistro, Oct.15.

During the ceremony, Capt. Stanley Keeve Jr., commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, spoke on the importance of recognizing diversity in the Navy, emphasizing the people in the service and their dedication to their jobs. He encouraged current and future leaders to care about the people who work for them, their cultures, background and their heritage.

"One of the advantages of being in the Navy is travel: you get to go to other countries and learn about other cultures, to experience them," said Keeve. "And here today we have one of the largest cultures in the Navy, in the nation and it is growing. So I applaud you for being here today, for serving this nation, because this is all about one thing - people, about knowing people of different races, different backgrounds, and it is all about teamwork."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic Americans make up over 17 percent of the U.S. population, and that percentage is growing.

Lt. Cmdr. Alex Torres, assigned to JBPHH, served as a guest speaker at the event, and shared his story of success in the Navy. A Puerto Rico native, Torres started his career as an E-1, advancing to the rank of Chief Petty Officer while serving in the submarine community, and pushed forward to becoming an officer and dedicating 26 years to the service. Torres also spoke of the military legacy and the leaders who inspired him to succeed.

"We can talk at length about our Spanish ancestry all they way up to today, and I am very proud of the legacy we have played, the role we carried in the history of the United States and in our Navy," said Torres as he spoke of the future of the Navy. "It doesn't matter who you are, the future is you, sitting in this crowd, and the other Sailors who are working with you or are standing the watch. I am where I am because of my Sailors. I lead them and they execute, I put the plan together and they make it happen. I'm standing here because people have faith and hope in me."

As part of the ceremony, dancers Greg "Salsaman" Henry and Ariel del Rosario of the Hot Salsa Hawaii, performed various Hispanic dances, from salsa to merengue, to the musical accompaniment provided by Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Leszek Romero, assigned to commander, Navy Region Hawaii, inviting everyone in attendance to join in and be a part of the celebration.

Romero, who was born in Honduras, also shared his personal story, starting his career with minimal knowledge of the English language and rising to the rank of Petty Officer 1st Class. With a self-professed fulfilling career with a variety of experiences, Romero encouraged Sailors of all cultures and backgrounds to use their heritage and diversity as an advantage and motivation to succeed.

After the ceremony, guests were invited to take part in a Hispanic-themed lunch at Silver Dolphin Bistro, which included such dishes as aguado de pollo, lechon asado, papas chorreadas, Brazilian collard, piononitos, caraotas and many other dishes.

The tradition of observing Hispanic Heritage began Sept. 17, 1968, when President Lyndon B. Johnson designated a week in mid-September as National Hispanic Heritage Week. Twenty years later in 1988, President Ronald Reagan extended that week to a month-long observance beginning Sept. 15 and ending Oct. 15 to celebrate the contributions and culture of citizens of Latin American descent.

National Hispanic Heritage Month also celebrates the anniversary of the independence of five Latin American countries on Sept. 15: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico celebrates their day of independence on Sept. 16 and Chile on Sept. 18.

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

NNS141017-07. Recognizing Talent

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- For the sixth year in a row the Navy's Strategic Diversity Working Group (SWDG), received the Nation's Employee Resource Groups (ERG) and Diversity Council Award, Oct. 16.

The ERG Award recognizes and awards the outstanding contributions and achievements of U.S. ERGs and diversity councils that lead organizational diversity processes and demonstrate results in their workforce, workplace and marketplace.

"Diversity is not a subset of the Navy, every Sailor is diverse and grasping every bit of diversity is what makes up the Navy," said Cmdr. Renee Squier, head, Navy Diversity and Inclusion.

The Navy placed 20 out of more than 200 applications for the 2014 ERG and Councils Honors Award. Since the awards inception the SWDG has placed in the top 20 and only three of the other awardees have been selected in the top 25.

Part of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Diversity Vision states, "our force will draw upon the widest possible set of talents and backgrounds to minimize our warfighting capability, adapt to address new threats and challenges, and take advantage of new opportunities," said Adm. Jonathan Greenert.

As the Navy continues to demonstrate its commitment to recognizing our best and brightes, it seeks to honor those who are currently inspiring those changes.

The Navy's Office of Women's Policy, OPNAV N134W, is currently accepting nominations for the 2015 Capt. Joy Bright Hancock and Master Chief Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Awards.

Presented annually, Capt. Joy Bright Hancock and Master Chief Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership Awards recognize and honor the inspirational and visionary leadership of Navy servicemembers whose ideals and dedication foster a positive working environment, while reinforcing and furthering the integration of women into the Navy.

Nominations are broken into five categories: senior officer (O4 and senior); junior officer (O1-O3); senior enlisted (E7-E9); junior enlisted (E5-E6); and a new category to recognize Limited Duty officers and Warrant Officers, who were previously grouped into the junior officer category.

One award winner will be chosen for each category. Nominees should be mature leaders who have shown exceptional leadership over time and have persevered to overcome challenges while serving. Nominees should have demonstrated inspirational, innovative and imaginative leadership, both on and off-duty, as well as professional accomplishments and community involvement.

Candidates must be nominated by their commanding officer or officer in charge and receive an endorsement from the command's immediate superior in command (ISIC). Nominations are open to both active and Reserve service members.

For more information about the Capt. Joy Bright Hancock and Master Chief Anna Der-Vartanian Leadership awards contact Lt. Tawney Nakamura at (703) 604-5077 or via email at

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel - Office of Women's Policy, visit

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

NNS141016-11. Hispanic Heritage Celebrated at TSC, Learning Sites

By Sue Krawczyk, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Staff at Training Support Center (TSC), Great Lakes, Illinois, celebrated Hispanic heritage at a program held Oct. 15 in Building Three.

The event coincides with DoD's month-long (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) national observance of National Hispanic Month.

September 15 coincides with the date in 1821 when five Latin-American countries - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua - declared their independence from Spain. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence on Sept. 16 and 18, respectively.

"Each month that we have a heritage month, it's important that we recognize and acknowledge the diversity among our staff," said Capt. John B. Vliet, TSC commanding officer. "There is equal opportunity for everyone in the Navy and having the opportunity to recognize the diversity among us is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about each other's heritage."

For Master Chief Gas Turbine System Technician Gabriel Pan, Navy military training instructor, he has experienced firsthand this equality during his 15 years of naval service.

"I haven't been to one command where I haven't seen Hispanic personnel move up the ranks or have an equality opportunity like everyone else and I've also seen that here at TSC," said Pan.

He relayed what others had initially told him when he first decided to join the Navy.

"When I came into Navy, many friends had said, 'you may not be wanted there.' Well, you can't say those things until you actually experience it firsthand," said Pan.

Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the U.S. by celebrating their heritage and culture. In 1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson set aside a week to celebrate Hispanic heritage, and in 1988 President Ronald Reagan expanded it to cover a 30-day period. On Aug. 17, 1988, under the approval of Public Law, Hispanic Heritage Month became an official observance.

"I've been stationed at Great Lakes four different times in my naval career and every time I've been here, I have been shown a lot of different things. I've experienced many different situations but equal opportunity always been here as I've seen many in the Hispanic community move up the ranks," said Pan.

Other tenant commands participating in a recognition luncheon to honor the month was Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit with Chief Engineman Alonzo Cordon, Damage Controlman 1st Class Gaspar Simmons and Lt. Jaime Ochoa relaying their personal experiences.

Surface Warfare Officer School Command Unit held their events earlier in the month when Lt. Carlos Torrespablos, director of Professional Mariners (BM & OS A school), spoke about his life, growing up in Cuba and emigrating to Miami in 1982.

The Navy's workforce reflects this diversity. Today, more than 58,000 Hispanic active duty and reserve Sailors, officers and nearly 15,000 Hispanic civilians serve in the Navy Total Force.

"I believe America draws strength from diversity and that our Hispanic Sailors represent a vibrant part of our great Navy and nation," said Cmdr. David Dwyer, commanding officer, Surface Warfare Officers School Command Unit. "Hispanic Sailors and those of Hispanic descent represent a long history in the Navy, serving at every rank from seaman to admiral in a variety of roles. Hispanic Americans have been promoted to flag officer with several promoted to four-star admiral."

For more news from Training Support Center, Great Lakes, visit

NNS020716-09. This Day in Naval History - Oct. 17

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1863 - Sailors from the screw steam gunboat Tahoma and side-wheel steamer Adela board the blockade runners Scottish Chief and Kate Dale at Old Tampa Bay, Fla. and destroy them. During the battle, five of the landing party are killed, 10 are wounded and five are taken prisoner. This mission also diverts the real attention from the shelling of Tampa, Fla.

1918 - German submarine U 155 torpedoes and sinks the freighter S.S. Lucia in the Atlantic. Despite being rigged with "buoyancy boxes" to render her virtually unsinkable, a torpedo penetrates the engine room, killing two men and sinking her the next day. USS Fairfax rescues her crew and transfers them to armored cruiser No. 5 USS Huntington.

1922 - The Vought VE-7SF, piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Virgil C. Griffin, makes the Navy's first carrier takeoff from USS Langley (CV 1), anchored in York River, Va.

1941 - Before the United States' entry into World War II, German submarine U 568 torpedoes and damages USS Kearny (DD 432) near Iceland, killing 11 and injuring 22.

1942 - USS Trigger (SS 237) sinks the Japanese freighter Holland Maru near the mouth of Bungo Strait off Kyushu, Japan. Lost in action with all hands later in the war, Trigger receives 11 battle stars for her World War II service and the Presidential Unit Citation for her fifth, sixth, and seventh war patrols.

1943 - USS Tarpon (SS 175) sinks German auxiliary cruiser Michel (Schiffe No. 28) off Chichi Jima, Bonin Islands.

1944 - Naval forces land Army rangers on islands at the entrance to Leyte Gulf in preparation for landing operations on Leyte Island.

Site Map
The USS Constellation CVA/CV 64 Association is a not-for profit organization (501 3c).
All of our membership dues and other contributions are fully tax deductible to the extent of IRS laws