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2015 USS Constellation CVA/CV 64 Washington DC Reunion
Check in: Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Check out: Monday, September 14, 2015

Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel
900 South Orme Street
Arlington, Va. 22204

Guests must make own reservations by calling 1-800-325-3535 and identify themselves as member of USS Constellation group.

Single daily rate (includes breakfast for 1): $99.00 + tax
Double daily rate (includes breakfast for 2): $109.00 + tax

Room rates will be available three (3) days before and after the reunion
Cut-off date to reserve a room is Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Complimentary parking
Complimentary shuttle service to and from Metro
Complimentary shuttle service to and from Reagan National
Tours have not been set up yet


Photos of the 2014 Branson Reunion

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

Click Here for our 2014 Memorial List Page

Recent Navy News:

NNS150406-01. US Navy Kicks Off Naval Engagement Activities with Vietnam

From Commander Task Force 73 Public Affairs

DA NANG, Vietnam (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy began the sixth annual Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) with the Vietnam People's Navy April 6, as both nations celebrate the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2015.

This five-day collaboration will focus on non-combatant events and skills exchanges in military medicine, search and rescue, and maritime security.

Subject-matter expert exchanges will focus on maritime domain awareness, shipboard damage control, submarine rescue, legal symposia, band concerts, community service events, and team sports. A brief at-sea phase will allow ships from both navies to practice the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) and ship handling.

These naval activities underscore the deepening and diverse relationship between the United States and Vietnam.

"By bringing our navies and our people closer together each year, these activities advance our relationship in ways that benefit our nations directly, and by extension, promote a peaceful, prosperous and stable
region," said Rear Adm. Charlie Williams, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet's Task Force 73 (CTF 73).

NEA evolved from annual port visits to Da Nang by U.S. Navy ships, which began more than a decade ago. Guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) was the first U.S. Navy ship to visit Da Nang, July 28, 2004, and most recently USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), also a guided-missile destroyer, visited last April as part of NEA 2014. Each year, NEA becomes more complex, and last year marked the first time ships from both navies conducted exchanges at sea.

Today another guided-missile destroyer, USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and, for the first time, littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) are continuing this tradition during NEA 2015. The officer in charge of these ships is Capt. H.B. Le, deputy commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7. A Vietnamese-American, Le commanded guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) when it visited Da Nang in November 2009.

"It's great to be back in Vietnam, and we're very much looking forward to working with our Vietnamese Navy counterparts over the next five days," said Le. "There are many highlights of this week's engagement. One of the most significant activities will be the opportunity to conduct CUES exchanges underway, which will help both navies prevent miscommunication at sea and
foster mutual understanding."

In addition to Fitzgerald and Fort Worth, U.S. units participating in NEA Vietnam include personnel from CTF 73, DESRON 7, Undersea Rescue Activity San Diego, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5, and the U.S. 7th Fleet Band "Orient Express."

Occurring during the 20th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam, these activities were
designed to foster mutual understanding, build confidence in the maritime domain and develop relationships between the people and navies of both

This is the sixth NEA Vietnam since it was established as an annual engagement in 2010. NEA Vietnam was last conducted April 7-11, 2014.

For more news from Commander, Task Force 73, visit

NNS150406-20. Naval Ophthalmic Support and Training Activity Announces New Eyeglass Frame

By Julius L. Evans, Naval Medical Logistics Command Public Affairs

YORKTOWN, Va. (NNS) -- A new option for bifocal and trifocal wearers is now available for active-duty personnel and Department of Defense (DoD) retirees, effective March 2015.

The addition, known as the '5A-M,' was added to ensure there would be room to accommodate bifocal and trifocal prescriptions.

It can be ordered through any DoD optometry or ophthalmology clinic through the Spectacle Request Transmission System.

"The black standard issue frame that was introduced in January 2012 was very well received, but did not provide enough depth or vertical room to incorporate bifocal and trifocal lenses," said Capt. Paul Andre, Naval Ophthalmic Support and Training Activity's (NOSTRA) commanding officer. "Therefore, a new option was reviewed and approved by the Military Health System's Optical Fabrication Enterprise (OFE) and coordinated by NOSTRA in order to meet the need."

The 5A-M is only for bifocals and trifocals and not a single-vision option. Fitting kits for the optometry and ophthalmology clinics are available through Electronic Catalog, more commonly known and referred to as E-CAT.

Andre further explained the availability of the glasses to personnel and reiterated more details associated with the new frames.

"Military eyeglasses are provided to recruits, active duty military, activated reserve and National Guard, and eligible DoD retirees," he said. "Prescription military eyewear is provided at no cost to the service member. These glasses are also at no cost to eligible DoD retirees."

NOSTRA is the premiere manufacturing facility for the OFE, and provides optical fabrication support by fabricating military eyewear, prescription gas mask inserts and combat protective eyewear inserts. NOSTRA is also home for the Tri-Service Optician School (TOPS) for the Navy, Army, and Air Force. TOPS is an intensive six-month course of instruction with successful students certifying as opticians. The program is recognized by the National Academy of Opticianry; upon completion students receive full credit toward an associate's degree within the Virginia Community College System. In 1991, the National Optician's Accreditation Association conferred full accreditation for both the Laboratory Technician and the Dispensing Technician programs, the only Optician School in the nation to have both programs fully accredited.

For more news from Naval Medical Logistics Command, visit

NNS150406-04. Frank Cable Sailors Celebrate Easter While Underway

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jason Amadi, USS Frank Cable Public Affairs

PHILIPPINE SEA (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) celebrated Easter while underway with a sunrise service, April 5.

Frank Cable Sailors of different denominations gathered together to celebrate Easter Sunday on the ship's flight deck with songs, hymns and an early morning service.

"The Easter season is a time to celebrate spiritual faith," said Lt. Cmdr. Louis Lee, command chaplain assigned to Frank Cable. "The fact that they got up on Sunday morning to [go] out there and sing, worship together and to pray, it meant a lot to everyone."

Despite having served as a chaplain on a ship previously, Lee said he never had the opportunity until now to hold an Easter sunrise service.

"The timing just didn't work out," said Lee. "This time on Frank Cable, being underway, it was the perfect opportunity so I made the most of it. There's no better place to have a sunrise service than in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It was just beautiful."

Being underway can often mean an increased workload, which can result in an increase in stress. One Sailor who attended the service said he felt it did a lot to lift his spirits.

"Sometimes you just need that stress reliever and that's what God is," said Personnel Specialist 2nd Class Malcolm Portier. "It just lets you know no matter what you're going through, everything is going to be all right."

The opportunity to affect morale and strengthen Sailors' faith is something Lee takes seriously and he takes pride in having held this service, he said.

"To sing songs of resurrection, celebrate the main pillar of Christianity and see the sun rise from the east, those things really meant a lot to me," said Lee. "It's one of those things that really complete my chaplain ministry in the Navy."

Frank Cable, forward deployed to the island of Guam, conducts maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility and is currently on a scheduled underway period.

For more information on Frank Cable, visit or like us on Facebook at

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

NNS150406-16. USS Tornado Shipyard Fire Drill Successful

By Dan Smithyman, Southeast Regional Maintenance Center Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- Southeast Regional Maintenance Center (SERMC) conducted a fire drill April 1 aboard USS Tornado (PC 14) while the ship was in dry dock to test the ability of the crew, shipyard workers and the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department (JFRD) to integrate in what could be a real-world situation.

The recent fire aboard USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), which occurred in a shipyard environment, was a disturbing reminder of the inherent dangers aboard ship, and during a shipyard maintenance period in particular.

"The fire drill was conducted to demonstrate proficiency and coordination among SERMC, ship's force, and fire and emergency services in responding to shipboard fires that may occur during industrial work," said Aaron Moore, the fire drill's organizer and head of SERMC's Safety Department. "Coordination is essential so we can rapidly respond to a major fire casualty and successfully bring it under control to prevent injury and damage to the ship."

Moore indicated drills like this are required annually by Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), which is responsible for the Navy's major repair facilities like SERMC. These major fire drills provide an abundance of useful lessons that can be employed for future drills or actual casualties.

"Communication, communication, communication!" Moore said. "Everybody at the beginning of a maintenance availability talks about how important communication is, but during a fire, communication can be the difference between life and death. There is never enough training when it comes to fighting fires on Navy vessels."

Tornado's commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. David Catterall, agreed that communication is critical, especially in deconflicting terminology used between military and civilian personnel. He was impressed with the overall performance of each agency particularly in such a challenging environment where the ship is enclosed in a cocoon-like plastic with scaffolding and hoses, tubes, and equipment obstacles at every turn.

"I believe the crew performed exceptionally well with the shipyard and JFRD," Catterall said. "Ships with small crews, like the Cyclone-class patrol craft, depend greatly on outside support for major casualties and early coordination with the shipyard, the local fire department and the maintenance center is very important."

Catterall summarized the event, "Whether you are a Navy Sailor learning how JFRD operates, a shipyard employee understanding the immediate needs of the ship's firefighting teams, or a JFRD firefighter navigating through a naval vessel for the first time, there was something to learn. The experience of this drill is invaluable to all involved."

For more news from Southeast Regional Maintenance Center, visit

NNS150406-02. USNS Comfort Arrives in Miami for CP-15 Ship Tours, Liberty

By Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class (SW) Amy Kirk, Continuing Promise 2015 Public Affairs

MIAMI (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived in Miami April 4 to host various tours and a distinguished visitor luncheon prior to its first Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15) mission stop.

CP-15 is a collaborative effort that provides Sailors the opportunity to work alongside partner nation and civilian experts, promoting the commitment and shared interests within the region of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

"We are looking forward to our visit in Miami and we are ready to begin our journey south to Belize, our first official mission stop," said Capt. Sam Hancock, mission commander for CP-15. "We look forward to this great opportunity to build upon partnerships and strive toward our shared interests and values within the region."

"This stop in Miami is a great opportunity to have liberty in a major U.S. city," said Capt. Christine Sears, USNS Comfort medical treatment facility, commanding officer. "This is the home of SOUTHCOM (U.S. Southern Command), ... our combatant commander for this mission."

The ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation department provided opportunities for the crew to take a tour of the Everglades, participate in a restaurant tour, or take that last trip to store to purchase personal items.

Comfort is scheduled to conduct 11 mission stops in Belize, Colombia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Panama.

CP-15 personnel will work alongside partner nations and nongovernmental organizations to foster goodwill and build enhanced partnership capabilities by providing humanitarian assistance including medical, dental and veterinary care as well as engineering support and subject-matter expert exchanges (SMEEs).

"It is important that we extend, and continue the great partnership we've had in Central and South America and the Caribbean," said Sears. "Continuing Promise demonstrates this partnership; both our military and NGO personnel working seamlessly with our host nations and our patients to provide direct care and assistance."

Personnel anticipate serving more than 130,000 patients and conducting more than 800 SMEEs. In addition, more than 20 engineering and building site projects are scheduled to take place.

This is the seventh CP mission conducted under the guidance of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S.4th Fleet (USNAVSO/C4F). Comfort served as the mission's hospital ship in 2007, 2009 and 2011.

CP-15 is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet-conducted deployment that provides civil-military operations including humanitarian-civil assistance, SMEEs, medical, dental, veterinary and engineering support and disaster response to partner nations, and shows U.S. support and commitment to Central and South America and the Caribbean.

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

NNS150406-26. Seabees Wear Denim to Work During Sexual Assault Awarenes and Prevention Month

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Debra Daco, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 Public Affairs.

PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 Seabees wore denim jeans and teal ribbons to work at Port Hueneme Naval Base Ventura County in support of Denim Day, April 2.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM), and Denim day is an event at which people come together and protest sexual assault by wearing jeans (denim).

Denim day was created to help raise awareness of sexual assault because of a rape case that happened in Rome, Italy, in 1997. An 18-year-old girl was raped and abandoned in an alley by her 45-year-old driving instructor. She reported the incident, and the instructor was convicted of rape and was sent to jail.

The perpetrator appealed the sentence to the Italian Supreme Court. The conviction was overturned because the victim wore tight jeans.

In a statement by the Chief Judge, he argued, "because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex."

The ruling triggered a worldwide protest. Women in the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans to work.

"One is too many," said Chief Utilitiesman James Marquez, Sexual Assault and Response point of contact (SAPR POC).

According to Marquez, denim day is designed to educate people about sexual assault.

"Statistically, sexual assault has been decreasing because Sailors have a better understanding of what sexual assault is through training, however, sexual assault still occurs," said Marquez. "Wearing jeans on this day has become an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault."

The Naval Construction Force is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy. The force provides deployable battalions capable of providing disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance and combat operations support.

For more news from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3, visit

NNS150406-27. Rota Learns to interACT

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian Dietrick and Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Grant Wamack, Naval Station Rota Public Affairs

NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- The interACT Performance Troupe visited Rota's base theater to deliver unique, scenario-based Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) training to service members and civilians, April 6 and 7.

interACT is a nationally renowned social-justice performance troupe based out of California State University in Long Beach, California.

The troupe comprises 30 actors who have received victim advocacy training, and provide interactive training in different social subjects including sexual assault, racism and homophobia.

"April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month and we have interACT here to provide an interactive performance that highlights bystander intervention," said Capt. Greg Pekari, commander, U.S. Naval Activities Spain. "It's a great opportunity for the audience to participate and for everyone to get great training."

The troupe's performance, which was developed in collaboration with experts in sexual trauma and based on current research, is designed to help audience members recognize the warning signs of abusive relations, better understand how individuals feel after being raped, and learn how to effectively intervene in order to prevent assaults.

"We are a little different than traditional theater," said Kelly Pfleider, interACT lead facilitator. "Typically, the audience has that line that separates them from the actors on stage. We obliterate that line. We believe in co-creating the show together with the audience. Instead of doing the show for you, we do the show with you."

During the performance, the troupe acted out different situations revolving around sexual assault, while balancing thought-provoking conversation with humor. Sailors volunteered to participate in several scenarios on stage and others sitting in the crowd interacted from their seats.

"It was interactive and audience participation makes a big difference when it comes to learning," said Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Brian Berkley. "I went up on stage a few times during the skits and was a little nervous. I've had friends go through things like this [sexual assault] so this topic hits home for me. I can be the person someone can turn to if something like this happens again."

Timothy Maurer, the naval program manager for interACT, said their programs have been proven effective in multiple published studies and they have performed around the world.

"The fact that the audience members are coming up on stage and being active in the performance really makes a difference," said Maurer. "It makes the message have more of a lasting impact on them."

The troupe originated in the school's communications studies department and performs for incoming college freshmen, athletes and military members. Since July they have performed 89 training performances in 26 different locations, reaching more than 27,000 service members, said Maurer.

For more information about sexual assault prevention contact Judy Nicholson, Naval Station Rota's sexual assault response coordinator at 727-3232, or visit

For more news from Naval Station Rota, Spain, visit

NNS150406-18. PSNM Opens Naval Heritage Tattoo Exhibit

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cory Asato, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- The Naval History and Heritage Command's Puget Sound Navy Museum (PSNM) in Bremerton opened its naval heritage tattoo exhibit "Skin Deep: The Nautical Roots of Tattoo Culture," April 3.

The exhibit showcases how the history of Sailors and nautical culture in the U.S. and British Royal Navies are closely intertwined from the 1800s to present day.

"The tattoo exhibit has been in development since early October 2014 and has included countless hours of research, design work and construction," said Megan Churchwell, a curator at PSNM.

The exhibit boasts more than 900 square feet shared by three modules with themes: Nautical Roots of Tattoo Culture, Tattoo Culture in War from the Civil War through WWII, and Renowned Sailors in Tattoo Culture, which features multiple artifacts on loan and for display to include scrimshaw, an antique tattoo kit estimated to be from the 1920s and an interactive display where a patron can sit in a vintage dental chair and select a Sailor tattoo to be projected on his or her forearm.

"I was always under the impression that tattoos were a military tradition," said Nancy Cranston, a museum patron visiting from Chicago. "It's interesting to learn how deep the history of tattoos and the Navy run together; and [I'm] very impressed at how appealing this exhibit is."

In the modern Navy, tattoo policy has evolved to balance personal preference with good order and discipline. Today's tattoo policy can be found in chapter two of the of the U.S. Navy Uniform regulations.

The tattoo exhibit is slated to have more displays added in coming months. It is one of two temporary exhibits at the museum, which is free to the public, until March 2017.

More information on the Puget Sound Naval Museum, including operating hours, can be found by visiting

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

NNS150406-14. Sailors Gather to Celebrate Diversity at Women's Symposium

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, East Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Seeking to strengthen community, mentorship and networking opportunities, more than 600 Sailors, Marines and civilians gathered for the Commander Naval Surface Force (CNSL) Atlantic Women's Waterfront Symposium at the C9 auditorium at Naval Station Norfolk, March 31.

The symposium was designed to celebrate women's role in the military as well as offer support and guidance to all service members in attendance.

After opening remarks from Rear Adm. Peter Gumataotao, Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, guest speakers, including Rear Adm. Mary Jackson, Commander, Navy Region Southeast; Force Master Chief Susan "Suz" Whitman, CNSL; and Master Chief April Beldo, Manpower, Personnel, Training, and Education Fleet Master Chief, took time to reflect on the growth and evolution of women in the military.

"I came in at a time where there were a lot of restrictions," said Jackson. "Now our younger [female] Sailors don't even have those restrictions on their radar, and that's amazing. And, as we continue to value and respect what each and every individual brings to the team, we are that much more effective at what we do -- to serve our country."

Whitman echoed the same sentiment.

"I enlisted in the Navy in 1985," said Whitman. "During that time, women filled traditional rates, as I am a yeoman by trade. As you fast forward, you will see things like women on submarines. It's great to see that progress, getting women into untraditional roles."

Currently there are 59,000 women serving on active duty in the Navy with approximately 9,000 in the reserve component. Those numbers include 34 flag officers, one fleet master chief, two force master chiefs, 42 command master chiefs, and three command senior chiefs.

Although the event was billed as a women's symposium, the message was gender neutral and universally applicable.

"It is really important to ground all of us; to think, talk and share why we do what we do," said Jackson.
"It comes down to each individual navigating their own course, and that comes from interfacing with other individuals and tapping into the sense of community we all share."

Beldo reflected on personal struggles and shared valuable insight to being able to rise above and succeed.

"You are not always going to be the popular one," said Beldo. "Everyone is not going to like you or agree with you, and that is OK. Worrying about what you are doing and not what everyone else is doing, or not doing, becomes invaluable."

After the guest speakers, Ship's Serviceman 1st Class Elizabeth Hunter from USS Kearsage (LHD 3), Yeoman 2nd Class Selena Bassett from Carrier Strike Group 2, and Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michelle Bracey from USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) had a chance to do an open reenlistment during which Gumataotao was the presiding officer.

The common and uniting theme of the symposium remained a uniting pride in naval service and the sense of community shared between shipmates.

"You don't do it for the pay," said Beldo, "You do it for the love of the game. It is a privilege to serve in this uniform and I need to know, ladies, that you are ready to take my wheel."

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

NNS150406-06. CFAC Opens Doors for Cherry Blossom Festival in Korea

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Wendy Wyman, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

JINHAE, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Commander, Fleet Activities Chinhae (CFAC), Korea, welcomed local Korean residents and tourists through its gates when the base opened to the public for the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival, April 4.

Hundreds of Korean citizens visited CFAC throughout the all-day event interacting with U.S. Sailors, touring the base, and engaging in games for the children.

"It is a privilege to be a part of the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival this year," said Cmdr. Michael Weatherford, commanding officer of CFAC. "By opening our doors to our Korean friends, we demonstrate the importance of continuing our good-neighbor relationship with the local community of Jinhae and our alliance with the Republic of Korea."

Additionally as part of the annual festival, CFAC Sailors marched in the Adm. Yi Sun-Shin victory parade alongside Republic of Korea (ROK) sailors, Jinhae Naval Base Command band and honor guard, April 3. Thousands of residents and tourists lined the streets of the Jungwon Rotary to view the parade, which celebrates Yi's naval victories during the 16th century Joseon Dynasty.

"We are very proud to march with our Korean counterparts in honor of a great naval leader, Adm. Yi," said Command Master Chief Sam Robinson. "We are fortunate to serve in a host country with such a rich culture and to be able to participate in this unique experience."

The Jinhae Gunhangje, which translates as "Naval Port Festival", was originally founded in 1963 to commemorate the Korean naval leader, Yi. Over the last 53 years, it has evolved into a cultural celebration centered around the over 360,000 cherry trees that bloom each year on the ROK naval base and in the city of Jinhae.

Commander, Fleet Activities Chinhae is the only U.S. Navy base on the Korean peninsula and strengthens the maritime partnership and interoperability with the ROK Navy while enhancing security and cooperation.

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

NNS150406-03. Navy in Hawaii Promotes Earth Day, Month 2015

By Lt. Corbin Dryden, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Sailors kicked off a series of events in Hawaii April 2 to highlight efforts to achieve energy security and sustainability in recognition of Earth Day and Earth Month.

Those efforts include informing the public about operational and technical innovations using biofuels.

Joelle Simonpietri of U.S. Pacific Command's Energy Innovation and Experimentation Division and Lt. Cmdr. Robert Franklin III, operations officer for Commander Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific (CNSG MIDPAC), discussed the latest scientific developments and operational impacts of renewable sources of energy during an interview, April 2.

Simonpietri partnered with the Navy to develop "drop in" fuel, able to be used in any tank or piece of equipment without having to modify the system. Drop-ins will not require special handling, mixing or any modifications to engines.

Using samples showing the transformation from tiny seed to fully functional fuel, Simonpietri described fuel spent in 2012's Rim of the Pacific exercise, "derived from Camelina seeds, which are grown up in the Idaho area, and algae, similar to the kind that is grown on the big island in Kona," she said.

Advanced biofuels can be produced from numerous sources and scientists are working to develop pressed leftover sugarcane pulp (bagasse) from Maui, Hawaii, as a potential biofuel feedstock for jet fuel.

Without any modification to tanks or systems, drop-in fuels can immediately impact Navy units at sea, according to Franklin. "Joelle finds it and I burn it," he said.

As an operator Franklin is focused not only on alternative fuel but also energy conservation.

"When our deployed ships are more energy efficient they can go further and stay on station longer," Franklin said.

CNSG MIDPAC provides incentive through its Energy Conservation Award, providing a "report card and utility bill so they can see how much they are using and how much they are conserving compared to our other Hawaii-based ships," he said.

The initiative is not just for units at sea but also while in port, and MIDPAC has seen significant results from its initiative.

"Since 2011, we're burning 4.8 percent less at sea and 8.6 percent less when we're plugged into the piers at Pearl Harbor," Franklin said.

While April is designated as Earth Month, Navy Region Hawaii works to conserve energy and actively pursue viable sources of alternative energy year-round.

"Earth Day -- Earth Month -- is another opportunity to highlight the progress we're making to achieve energy security and sustainability," said Rear Adm. Rick Williams, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. "This is a year-round, ongoing effort for us here in Hawaii where we have a team approach with many stakeholders and partners. We understand that energy security and environmental stewardship are key to the success of our mission."

Reducing fuel burn and transitioning to renewables has several benefits, Williams noted.

"Changing the cost curve through renewables means less reliance on fossil fuels," he said. "That means saving money on expensive extraction and transportation, which also preserves the environment. Renewables provide a diversified portfolio of options for better planning, predictability and investments."

Innovation and competition are leading away from dependence on fossil fuels and toward meeting secretary of the Navy and chief of naval operations' goals.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit

NNS011216-06. This Day in Naval History - April 06

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1776 - The Continental Navy Squadron, commanded by Commodore Esek Hopkins, is attacked by the British frigate HMS Glasgow and her tender while entering Long Island Sound.

1862 - Naval gunfire from gunboats Tyler and Lexington protect the advanced river flank of Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's army at the Battle of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing).

1909 - Cmdr. Robert E. Peary reports reaching the North Pole, dropping a note in a glass bottle into a crevice in the ice that states: "I have this day hoisted the national ensign of the United States of America at this place, which my observations indicate to be the North Polar axis of the earth, and have formally taken possession of the entire region, and adjacent, for and in the name of the President of the United States of America."

1917 - Following the sinking of U.S. merchant vessels by German U-boats, the U.S. declares war on Germany, entering World War.

1945 - The first heavy kamikaze attacks begin on ships at Okinawa.USS Bush (DD 529), USS Colhoun (DD 801), USS Emmons (DMS 22) and LST 447 are damaged beyond repair.

1945 - USAAF B-25s attack Japanese convoy HOMO-03 and destroy a Japanese destroyer, minesweeper, a cargo ship and other ships. USS Besugo (SS 321) and USS Hardhead (SS 365) also sink Japanese ships.

1968 - USS New Jersey (BB 62) is recommissioned for shore bombardment duty at Vietnam.

2013 - The commissioning ceremony for USS Arlington (LPD 24) is held at Naval Station Norfolk, the ship's homeport. The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship joins sister ships USS New York and Somerset to be named for the sites attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. Steel salvaged from the Pentagon, based in Arlington, are showcased in the ship's museum.

NNS150408-18. MCPON Launches eSailor Initiative at RTC

By Sue Krawczyk, Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- The Navy's top enlisted Sailor, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike D. Stevens, was on hand to distribute the first electronic tablets (e-tablets) to the Navy's newest recruits at Recruit Training Command (RTC), April 7.

The launch of the eSailor initiative is a pre-pilot, beta testing to two divisions of 70 recruits to help determine how well the device integrates into the training environment at RTC.

The e-tablet will contain RTC curriculum, including training videos, texts and access to professional development websites.

"As we exploit wireless, mobile technology through the eSailor initiative, I am certain there will be challenges, and we will learn lessons along the way, but we cannot let challenges of security, accessibility, and cost hold us back," said Stevens. "We must embrace these challenges and work through them in order to remain relevant. I do not believe we have an option 'not to' embrace mobile technology if we are going to be relevant in our ability to function in the 21st century and beyond. We must do this and it must start now."

The goal of the e-tablet is to increase the quality of work and quality of life of both recruits and recruit division commanders (RDCs). The e-tablets will use technology already used in elementary through high schools across the nation and incorporate the RTC curriculum, creating a seamless educational transition from civilian to Sailor.

In 2014, Stevens proposed the eSailor initiative to Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), which oversees RTC. Since then, the NSTC-RTC team has worked to develop protocol for the use, care, and programming of the tablets.

"Today is the first step in establishing an effective mobile technology program at RTC," said Rear Adm. Richard A. Brown, commander, NSTC. "RTC and NSTC have partnered together to review training requirements, infrastructure demands, and technological capabilities to realize MCPON Stevens' vision."

The pre-pilot will consist of a six-month study, serving as a rolling start to obtain qualitative data in a cost-effective manner. When a division graduates, the tablets will be collected and redistributed to collect three cycles of data, about 450 recruits in total.

"We are continually looking for ways to improve training at RTC," said Capt. Doug Pfeifle, commanding officer, RTC. "As the Navy's only boot camp, we have an opportunity to impact every Sailor going to the fleet. We are an increasingly technological Navy and our boot camp must not only reflect, but precede the needs of the Navy. As the fleet continually advances in technology, our recruits and staff must embrace this shift as well. Implementing the eSailor initiative will help recruits interface with technology from day one."

Recruits will be instructed on the proper use, regulations and care of their tablets. At the end of each day, tablets will be collected and placed within charging stations where they will be secured until the following day when they will be redistributed.

"I think this is going to help our training because in today's age everyone is so used to having technology right at their hands that we'll be more accustomed to study on a tablet because we're used to it," said Seaman Recruit Karlie Breht, 19.

Currently, recruits receive over 100 hours of classroom and applied training. Much of this curriculum will be included on the tablet for recruits to access and study. For training purposes, the e-tablet for the pre-pilot will include: Navy-owned RTC curriculum, a digital version of the Bluejacket's Manual, and various other training courses.

The tablets will also be used to increase the quality of life of recruits as this technology will facilitate communication with family and friends during time normally allotted to them for letter writing.

"There is no better place to launch eSailor than where we launch every enlisted Sailor in the United States Navy, Recruit Training Command, here in Great Lakes," said Stevens. "Our new Sailors and the professional staff of RTC will leverage this technology for training, while at the same time helping the Navy determine how to proceed into the future, for all Sailors - officer and enlisted."

RTC is primarily responsible for conducting the initial Navy orientation and training of new recruits. The command is commonly referred to as "boot camp" or "recruit training". Boot camp is approximately eight weeks, and all 39,000 enlistees into the United States Navy begin their careers at the command each year. Training includes physical fitness, seamanship, firearms familiarization, firefighting and shipboard damage control, lessons in Navy heritage and core values, teamwork and discipline.

RTC is overseen by Rear Adm. Richard A. Brown, commander, NSTC, headquartered in Building 1; the historic clock tower building on Naval Station Great Lakes. NSTC oversees 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy.

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NNS150408-14. USS Donald Cook Departs Plymouth, Continues FOST Training

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Karolina A. Oseguera

PLYMOUTH, England (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) departed Plymouth, England, April 6, 2015, to continue Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) at sea.

FOST is based out of naval bases in the United Kingdom (UK), and it delivers operational training across all disciplines for the Royal Navy and other navies that wish to make use of its services.

"I saw huge improvements throughout the past two weeks. We rowed hard and we got a lot of work done. We had major improvements in all areas but we still have much to work on," said Cmdr. Charles Hampton, USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) commanding officer. "However, I am very pleased and very proud of everyone onboard. It was an all-hands effort."

During the first two weeks of FOST, Donald Cook Sailors were placed through multiple training team environments to include combat scenarios, flight operations, seamanship training team scenarios, gunnery exercises, damage control training, engineering training and a weekly war environment.

In the weekly war environment, the ship was placed in a seven hour simulated general quarters environment following a storyline of shipboard attacks from enemy forces. Sailors had to react while being assessed by the United Kingdom Royal Navy FOST and the U.S. Navy's Afloat Training Group (ATG) experts.

FOST will now resume the certification process in preparation for participation in Joint Warrior 15, a 54-nation international exercise in which Donald Cook will operate as part of a strike group.

FOST offers tailored training to meet the specific national requirements of many other navies, air forces and elements of land forces. The syllabus is framed around NATO doctrine and is aimed at delivering Royal Navy standards. It draws upon FOST's experience across an array of platforms to capture and promote best practice.

FOST's training prepares all types of surface warships, submarines and auxiliaries for peacetime, peace-support and war-fighting operations. Starting with basic alongside preparatory safety and readiness training, units progress through single threat and multi-threat scenarios to advanced tactical training at task group level.

Donald Cook's port call in Plymouth allowed Sailors to relax and recover while experiencing the local attractions such as a soccer game and a morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) guided tour to Stonehenge.

Donald Cook, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations with allies and partners in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in order to advance security and stability in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions.

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

NNS150408-09. USS Iwo Jima Visits Duqm, Oman

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Shelby M. Tucker, USS Iwo Jima Public Affairs

DUQM, Oman (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) pulled out of port in Duqm, Oman after completing mid-deployment voyage repairs and maintenance aboard the ship.

Sailors and Marines aboard Iwo Jima worked with civilian contractors in Duqm to conduct maintenance on many of the ship's vital systems including the replacement of lagging, preservation of the ship's hull, installation of a radar mount and repairs to passageway decks.

Though the primary objective in visiting Duqm was to prepare the ship for the remainder of its deployment, the crew also enjoyed some down-time, visiting the local area and participating in events hosted by the ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) department.

"I think the port visit went very well," said Desirae Dine, Iwo Jima's MWR Fun Boss, a native of Traverse City, Michigan. "The Sailors and Marines really made the most of it, for what we had available to us."

The main event that was hosted on the pier was the Captain's Cup, which lasted the entire week and consisted of a variety of games including Spades, a 5K run, kickball, bowling, flag football, volleyball and softball.

"There was a lot of enthusiasm," said Dine. "We really seized what Duqm had to offer. Even though it was a working port, we got a chance to stretch our legs out on dry land and have some down time."

Another escape to dry land was the opportunity to relax at two different hotels just minutes from the pier. The crew was offered a view of the ocean, Wi-Fi services, a pool and food native to Oman.

"It was an amazing place," said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Trevor Jews, a native of Baltimore. "The view was great at the hoteland even though we were in the middle of the desert, it almost seemed like Hawaii with the trees and the pool."

Iwo Jima is deployed as part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group/24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (IWO ARG/24 MEU) in support of maritime security operations (MSO) and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.

The IWO ARG/24 MEU is comprised of embarked Marines from the 24th MEU, multi-purpose amphibious assault dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), and amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21).

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NNS150408-01. US and ROK Submarine Forces Participate in 41st SWCM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian G. Reynolds, Commander Submarine Group 7 Public Affairs

FLEET ACTIVITIES YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Commander, Submarine Group (COMSUBGRU) 7 conducted bilateral talks with the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) March 31 - April 2 at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The 41st Submarine Warfare Committee Meeting (SWCM) brought together representatives from the U.S. and ROK navies.

Rear Adm. William R. Merz, commander, Submarine Group 7, met with Rear Adm. Youn Jeong Sang (ROK Navy) to discuss planning combined exercises, training and continued development of integrated anti-submarine warfare plans. The underlying theme of the talks was expanding the alliance between the U.S. and ROK navies.

"This was a great opportunity for us to interact and coordinate with the Korean submarine force," said Merz. "Holding these talks in Hawaii enabled the Korean submarine force leadership to interact with our submarine training organizations in the Pacific and facilitated discussions of greater cooperation to ensure peace and stability in the region."

Established in 1994 during the birth of the ROKN submarine fleet, the conference has evolved into a discussion between U.S. and ROKN submarine forces focused on submarine tactics, force integration, and future submarine development.

The three-day conference included a tour of the USS Arizona Memorial and focused on organizational strategies and best practices for submarine and anti-submarine warfare.

Youn is the first commander of the newly established ROKN Submarine Force Command.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 7, visit

NNS150408-03. USNS Comfort Departs Miami, Heads to First CP-15 Mission Stop

By Mass Communications Specialist (SW) Amy Kirk, Continuing Promise 2015 Public Affairs

MIAMI, Fla. (NNS) -- The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) departed Miami, Fla. April 6 making its way to Belize, the first Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15) mission stop.

CP-15 is a collaborative effort that affords military personnel the opportunity to work alongside partner nations and non-governmental organization civilian experts, promoting commitment and shared interests within the region of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

While in Miami, the Comfort hosted a luncheon on board for Marine Gen. John F. Kelly, the commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participating in CP-15. The luncheon provided an opportunity for CP-15 leadership and the NGO representatives to come together prior to the first mission stop in Belize.

"This is a hugely important mission for our country," said Kelly. "Pulling the Comfort, as big as it is and as beautiful as it is, up to these countries brings a great hope to the people of the Caribbean and Latin America."

Comfort is scheduled to conduct mission stops in Belize, Colombia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Panama.

CP-15 personnel will work alongside partner nations and NGOs to provide medical, dental and veterinary care as well as engineering support and subject matter expert exchanges (SMEEs) that will cover a wide range of topics that have a specific focus, in order to maximize the information exchange between partner nations and CP-15 participants.

Kelly said that as wonderful as the mission is, it is the people who serve aboard the ship that provide the heart and soul.

"This includes our NGOs who will partner with ship's company to bring the miracle of medical care to that part of the world," he said.

The NGOs and partner nation medical professionals provide significant value and expertise to the overall mission. Throughout CP-15, the number of participating NGOs will vary by date and country due to availability, but over a dozen will participate this year, marking the highest number of NGOs taking part in a Continuing Promise mission.

In addition to the luncheon, the CP-15 crew provided ship tours for SOUTHCOM personnel, special guests and several local Boy Scout and Brownie troops. The tours offered guests the opportunity to see the medical treatment facility on board, to include casualty receiving, operating rooms and the intensive care unit.

Currently, personnel anticipate serving more than 130,000 patients and conducting more than 800 SMEEs; in addition more than 20 engineering and building site projects are scheduled to take place.

Continuing Promise 2015 is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet-conducted deployment to provide civil-military operations including humanitarian-civil assistance, subject matter expert exchanges, medical, dental, veterinary and engineering support and disaster response to partner nations and to show U.S. Support and commitment to Central and South America and the Caribbean.

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

NNS150408-22. Wanted: Employers Seeking Qualified, Committed Veteran Job Candidates

From DON Office of Civilian Human Resources

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The DON Wounded Warrior and Veteran Hiring and Support Conference has connected hundreds of employers with skilled and dedicated wounded warriors, veterans and their spouses since 2010.

The 2015 Wounded Warrior and Veteran Hiring and Support Conference, scheduled May 19-20 in San Antonio, is poised to maintain that tradition.

More than 35 companies are registered for the conference career fair on May 20 at the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade, and there is still time for employers with job openings to participate in this free event.

Business, industry and government leaders can pre-register at, and may also take advantage of the free resume matching service. Conference organizers are collecting resumes in order to match qualified candidates with the needs of registered companies. Businesses will be able to review pre-selected resumes and conduct in-person or virtual interviews on the day of the career fair. The pre-matching service streamlines the process to make the conference more productive for both employers and job seekers.

Initiated by Juan Garcia III, assistant secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (ASN (M&RA)), the conference focuses attention on the skills and qualifications of men and women returning home from the longest armed conflict in U.S. history.

"These Americans have displayed incomparable resilience and are ready to take on the opportunity that only you can provide - a job," Garcia said. "Our nation has a moral obligation to assist those who served our country in finding meaningful employment opportunities."

Candidates make good impression
Hiring managers attending DON's career fair last year in Raleigh, North Carolina, said they were impressed with the job candidates.

"The wounded warrior and veteran candidates that I met with had a wealth of proven leadership and technical skills that are critical for today's job market," said Gary Kurtz, assistant commander for corporate operations and total force strategy and management, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). "Almost all of the candidates I met with not only had a college degree, many had dual or advanced degrees, including Ph.D.s. These are highly educated and motivated people who are looking to grow careers and be key contributors to the companies and business that hire them."

Recruiters from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) said they appreciated the ability to interview several candidates in one location.

"This career fair was very effective for us, especially since Wounded Warrior Battalion East arranged transportation for wounded warriors from Camp Lejeune and the Army's Warrior Transition Command did the same for wounded warriors from Fort Bragg and Joint Base Langley-Eustis," said Jenna Sarafin, who manned the NAVSEA job fair booth.

Sarafin said NAVSEA was able to connect a wounded warrior stationed at Camp Lejeune with a NAVSEA recruiter from Washington state, where he will be relocating once he is medically retired.

Employers are also encouraged to register for the May 19 general session, when employers, human resources professionals, hiring managers and military leaders will discuss the benefits, challenges and resolutions to hiring and retaining wounded warriors and veterans. There will also be opportunities to develop relationships between the private sector and military transition commands as well as network and share knowledge. Several wounded warriors and veterans will share their perspectives during a panel discussion.

Department of the Navy, USO partnership
This year, the conference received an added boost from the DON's partnership with the USO, a leading nonprofit that has supported American troops since 1941.

"The USO is excited to support the Department of the Navy's Wounded Warrior and Veteran Career Fair," said USO CEO and President J.D. Crouch II. "An event like this is important because it helps bridge the workforce gap by connecting troops with viable civilian job opportunities from some of today's top industry leaders."

"The USO has a long and storied history of supporting our military and their families," Garcia added. "The Department of the Navy is proud to partner with them for the annual Wounded Warrior and Veteran Hiring and Support Conference on May 20."

The Wounded Warrior and Veteran Hiring and Support Conference is sponsored by the assistant secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs and co-hosted by NAVAIR, NAVSEA, and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. DON's Office of Civilian Human Resources, Navy Safe Harbor and Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment are supporting the conference. The USO is providing information technology support.

For general conference and registration information, contact the conference management team at

Media interested in attending the conference should contact Andrea Watters at (301) 342-7326 or

For more news from Naval Air Systems Command, visit

NNS150408-15. Navy Lawyer Supports DESRON 26 for Joint Warrior

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Abe McNatt, Destroyer Squadron 26 Public Affairs

USS ANZIO, At Sea (NNS) -- After she finished law school eight years ago, Lt. Nancy Pham sought and earned her commission in the Navy Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps.

The Navy provided Pham with an opportunity to put her legal skills to use in service to her country and gave her a way to gain valuable trial experience that wouldn't have been as accessible to a junior lawyer in the civilian world. In addition to enabling her to practice military law, Pham has learned that the Navy will sometimes provide her with opportunities to step outside of her comfort zone.

Swinging "like an orangutan" off of the fantail of a U.S. Navy warship recently, Pham was reminded that JAG work isn't all collecting depositions and processing evidence. While that isn't exactly what Pham had in mind when she first commissioned as a JAG officer, this isn't Pham's first time at sea.

Embarked aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68) for the ship's transit to Scotland to participate in exercise Joint Warrior, Pham is getting her first taste of serving as part of the Navy's "small boy" fleet.

"I've found that I feel much more comfortable walking around and exploring on a smaller ship," Pham said. "Places like the bridge and the flight deck are much more accessible, and I've been able to experience more aspects of the daily life of a shipboard Sailor."

While aboard Anzio, her job is to train Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 staff and Anzio crew members on the rules of engagement for Joint Warrior. In between training and preparing for the exercise, however, she has taken advantage of opportunities to further her own "Sailorization."

Pham proudly rattles off a list of her newest experiences like a scout showing off her merit badges: she's donned flight-deck gear to perform a pre-flight foreign object debris walkdown, watched tactical ship maneuvers from the bridge, and discovered some previously unknown acrobatic talents while readying herself for a ride in a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB).

"I was climbing up the rope ladder coming off the RHIB, swinging there like an orangutan," she said. "It was fun."

Her first RHIB ride, she said was also particularly exciting because they were executing a fast inland attack craft training exercise. The RHIB crew's job was to simulate a swarming attack on the ship by smaller speed boats.

"It was a lot of fun; we got to go really fast, and we were bouncing all over the place," Pham said. "The whole time I was thinking, 'please don't be the JAG who goes overboard.'"

Capt. Brian Fort, the DESRON 26 commodore, said having Pham aboard as part of the DESRON staff has been a valuable experience for all concerned.

"She's been collecting some great sea stories, and my staff has been receiving some outstanding training," Fort said. "She is a top-notch legal officer, and I couldn't ask for a better person to augment my staff prior to the exercise."

"Every JAG should take any opportunity they can to go to sea," Pham said. "Being at sea reminds JAGs of the mission of the Navy and gives context to a lot of what we do, such as freedom of navigation operations. It also gives us perspective on what Sailors do on a daily basis. Seeing the unique challenges of Sailors' lives firsthand-the constant demands and the family separation-is invaluable when advising Sailors and addressing their legal needs."

Twice a year, nations converge on Faslane to commence Joint Warrior, a United Kingdom-led training exercise designed to provide NATO and allied forces with a unique multi-warfare environment in which to prepare for global operations.

With more than 50 ships representing the 15 countries participating, the latest Joint Warrior exercise, scheduled to begin April 9, will be the largest Joint Warrior to date.

The U.S. Navy contingent will be led by DESRON 26. The guided-missile cruisers USS Anzio (CG 68) and USS Vicksburg (CG 69); the guided-missile destroyers USS Porter (DDG 78) and USS Donald Cook (DDG 75); the dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE 13); and elements from Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW) 11 and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 48 will also participate.

In addition to U.S. and U.K. forces, Joint Warrior will include air, sea and ground assets from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

For more news from Joint Warrior, visit

NNS150408-23. Sailors Conduct Bike Path Cleanup to Kick Off Earth Month

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Meranda Keller, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Hawaii

AIEA, Hawaii (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam partnered with the city and County of Honolulu to kick off Earth Month with a cleanup at the Kapakahi Stream in Honolulu, April 4.

Civilian and military volunteers participated in the cleanup on Pearl Harbor Bike Path, which runs along the historic waterfront.

The cleanup was the 10th annual environmental project for the city and County of Honolulu and one of the Navy's many community involvement projects.

"Eighty-five military and family volunteers moved through our designated area like a hurricane, removing more than 150 bags worth of trash and invasive mangrove seedlings in just a couple of hours," said Tom Clements, Navy Region Hawaii environmental public affairs officer. "It was hot and muddy, but it appeared to me that everyone was having fun while making a significant, positive impact in the community. I would like to say 'Mahalo Nui loa' to all who came out to pitch in."

The event brought together many different commands, Sailors, Marines, children and even 11 members from the Navy Lodge to help in the cleanup efforts.

"My staff and I had a great time helping and working with our military and local community," said Maria Gonzalez, Navy Lodge Hawaii general manager. "This event not only helps us keep our local community clean, it also helps us lend a hand in saving our planet. We are truly privileged to be able to do our part."

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

NNS150408-11. USNH Yokosuka receives 2014 CNO Environmental Award

By Greg Mitchell

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Yokosuka recently received the distinction of being selected as a 2014 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Environmental Award Winner in the category of Environmental Quality for an Overseas Installation.

Presented annually, the CNO Environmental Awards Program recognizes Navy ships, installations, and people for outstanding performance in promoting environmental stewardship.

"This selection was based on our command's commitment to environmental stewardship and protection across our entire enterprise and covered numerous programs that included hazardous material management, medical waste reduction, recycling, and environmental awareness," said Capt. Glen C. Crawford, commanding officer, USNH Yokosuka. "The command's success in these areas could not have been accomplished without the tremendous teamwork effort displayed by our entire staff."

Aside from Environmental Quality, awards are presented for accomplishments in areas categorized as Natural Resources Conservation, Cultural Resources Management, Sustainability, Environmental Restoration, Environmental Excellence in Weapon System Acquisition, and Environmental Planning.

By presenting awards, the Navy recognizes organizations and people who have made significant contributions in environmental areas.

"The entire workforce at the hospital had a huge impact on receiving this award, because without every employees' engagement at the deck-plate level, there is no way we could have achieved any of our environmental targets," said Facilities Department Head, Lt. Jason Schechter. "The environmental team is responsible for giving recommendations, but it is the individual work centers who are the ones who really make things happen. Safety Department was also a key player in moving our hazardous materials (HAZMAT) storage program in the right direction, while the Environment of Care Committee lent considerable muscle to implementing the changes needed to achieve our goals."

Schechter felt that the award submission was a culmination of an entire year's worth of substantial progress within the command's environmental program, and that the most difficult hurdle from the beginning was to actively pursue the hiring of qualified civilian personnel who were environmental savvy, ensuring that adequate effort could be devoted to the environmental program.

"Last summer's triennial Joint Commission Survey also forced us to take a hard look at many aspects of our department," said Schechter. "We identified the issues over a year prior the survey, and implemented a clear plan to address them."

USNH Yokosuka's medical waste program was struggling to meet compliance prior to Fiscal Year 2014.

"Responsibility was split between multiple entities within the hospital itself," said Schechter. "Individual departments had oversight of collecting their own waste, while the Facilities Department had control of the program once the waste was deposited in a central accumulation point outside the hospital."

Each of the hospitals' departmental efforts to conduct waste management was done differently, and with that came inconsistencies which caused an assortment of issues. Once the entire program was consolidated under Facilities Department, ownership was established which, in turn, ensured clear guidance and proper procedures were followed.

The CNO Environmental Awards are the first of three levels within the Department of Defense (DoD) competition.

CNO winners are submitted for consideration in the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Environmental Awards competition. Likewise, winners at the SECNAV level of competition are submitted to compete in the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Environmental Awards competition.

For more information on the CNO Environmental Awards program and each winners' environmental achievements, visit

For more news from U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, visit

NNS150408-08. America Successfully Completes Final Contractor Trials

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

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Navy's newest amphibious assault ship, USS America (LHA 6), completed final contractor trials (FCT) April 3.

FCT, ran by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), is part of a series of post-delivery tests the ship has been preparing for since before commissioning. During the trials, the ship and its major systems are exercised, tested and corrected as required.

Ensign Nicholas Haan, America's assistant FCT coordinator, likened the experience to owning a new car with a warranty about to expire.

"That is exactly what we are doing right now. The warranty on our ship, straight from the factory, is going to expire soon, so we want to catch all the discrepancies we can find, make sure they are all noted and get them fixed," said Haan. "It ensures the ship builders are held responsible for the things they need to be held responsible for."

The four-day trials began March 30 with pre-underway and material condition checks, followed by at-sea demonstrations of a variety of systems including main propulsion, engineering and ship control systems, combat systems, damage control, food service and crew support.

"As damage control petty officers, we have been maintaining and demonstrating the ship's damage control systems," said Seaman Joshua Mercer, temporarily assigned to the ship's repair division. "For example, we maintain fire-plugs, so the inspectors will watch us perform our maintenance to ensure we are doing it correctly and that our equipment and systems are up to par. First, they visually check the equipment (hose, vari-nozzle, wye gate, etc.) as well as the internal integrity of all parts to make sure everything is working properly and nothing will break down. Everything needs to work, because if there was a fire, faulty equipment could mean somebody's life."

Nuclear aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) had representatives on board to see firsthand what the America crew was doing in preparation of their own visit from INSURV.

"We brought a team of four other guys to watch different functional areas, so that we could put a face to the name of the INSURV personnel and to learn how you guys did things that apply to aircraft carriers," said Senior Chief Engineman Robert Zantow, assistant INSURV coordinator for Stennis. "I think America did phenomenal. I hope Stennis performs as well as the America crew did, and I know we will as you guys have."

Haan said he was not surprised at how well America's crew worked together and was excited to help other ships through the process.

"We knew the ship was going to do well; we knew that to begin with," Haan said. "We have a great ship, and Capt. Hall said it best when he said, 'We already know where we are, we just need to show these guys [INSURV] where we are,' and that's what we did."

"We showed them we are always going to put our best foot forward no matter what the situation is," Haan added. "America has set the bar high, and from here on we will maintain that bar and help others to achieve it too."

After successfully completing FCTs, the ship will head into a maintenance period known as post shakedown availability (PSA) beginning late Spring. During this time the discrepancies that were noted will be resolved.

America is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tarawa class of amphibious assault ships, and is optimized for Marine Corps aviation.

For more news from USS America (LHA 6), visit

NNS150408-05. Deployment Resiliency Counselors Go to Sea

By Ed Wright, Commander Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy's shipboard Sexual Assault and Prevention team has gotten stronger over the past year with the addition of Deployment Resiliency Counselors (DRC).

The DRC is a civilian counselor who provides the same services aboard ship that clinical counselors provide at local Fleet and Family Support Centers at shore installations around the world.

"We are there to provide short-term counseling and to support the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Team by training uniformed SAPR victim advocates and being available to counsel sexual assault victims," said Elizabeth Moss, DRC for Navy Region Southwest. "We also provide Family Advocacy Program services including conducting assessments and counseling offenders and victims of family violence."

According to Moss, who has had first-hand experience with shipboard living, the DRC is part of ship's company and is integrated into the ship's schedule. When the ship deploys, the DRC deploys too. The DRC also participates with the Sailors in certain shipboard drills and exercises, such as general quarters, man overboard and abandon ship drills. These exercises provide common ground for the DRC and the Sailors to interact.

"These interesting events provided a unique opportunity to interact with the crew and helped me better understand the lives of my clients," said Moss.

Moss added that being part of the ship's company not only allowed her the opportunity to connect with Sailors who may be in need of additional support during the course of a deployment, but to also interact with others who are thrive in the Navy.

Moss previously deployed with former USS Peleliu (LHA-5), which was decommissioned last month, and said she enjoyed many fun events during the deployment, such as swim calls and port visits.

DRC's are trained clinical psychologists with at least a master's degree in psychology or social work. They must be licensed within their state and are required to have two years, post-license clinical experience. Using their skills to support Sailors and their families provides a unique venue in which to hone their talents.

Those who are assigned aboard ship work in close collaboration with the ship's psychologists and chaplains as part of the support network for Sailors in need. They know what to look for and understand the early warning signs which helps prevent issues from becoming a much larger problem all around.

"If a Sailor is seen early or soon after an incident that causes some difficultly and feels the need to talk to someone, the non-medical counseling provided by a DRC could potentially prevent symptoms from getting worse," said Eileen Pawloski, CNIC clinical counseling program analyst. "The DRCs contribute to an increase in overall resiliency, which will have a positive effect on all aspects of a Sailor's life."

Navy Installations Command manages and executes Navy quality of life programs, and developed the DRC program in July 2013, with a goal of hiring 22 professionals to serve in this capacity. Currently 18 are in the mix with ship's company aboard both large and small-deck ships. Pawloski added that over time as more attention is given to the role of the DRC, the greater effect they will have on our Sailors' quality of life. "The feedback is positive," Pawloski said. "Commands are learning about the DRC role and seeing first-hand the added value of the services they provide."

For more information about becoming a DRC, visit and search for Deployed Resiliency Counselors Generalist Counselor.

For more information about the Navy's shore enterprise, visit

For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit

NNS150407-08. Vouchers Enable Senior Enlisted to Pursue Advanced Education

By Ensign Michael Torres, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- A path to providing senior enlisted personnel with advanced education opportunities was announced April 6 via Naval Administrative Message (NAVADMIN) 079/15; the call for applications for the FY-15 Advanced Education Voucher (AEV) program.

The AEV program offers post-secondary, Navy-relevant education at the baccalaureate and master's level and provides financial assistance to chief, senior chief and master chief petty officers.

Master Chief Electronics Technician (EXW/FPJ) Richard Simpson, Enlisted Education Program coordinator for the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), praised the benefits this program offers.

"For senior enlisted members interested in or pursuing advanced education in Navy-approved areas of study, the AEV program is an outstanding resource," said Simpson. "AEV offers the opportunity for accelerated degree completion as it pays for 100 percent of tuition, books and fees up to a specified limit. Sailors currently on or transferring to shore duty and those at sea whose duty assignment will allow for degree completion during off-duty time are encouraged to apply."

Examples of approved, Navy-relevant degrees include: strategic foreign languages, construction management, security management, emergency and disaster management, human resources, engineering, information technology, nursing, and business administration, among others. Degree programs other than those specifically listed by the NAVADMIN must be validated by the AEV program coordinator at NETC.

Financial assistance for baccalaureate degrees covers 100 percent of tuition, books, and related fees up to $6,700 per year for a maximum of three years with the total program cost capped at $20,000. For master's degrees, it provides 100 percent of tuition, books, and related fees up to $20,000 per year for a maximum of two years with the total program cost capped at $40,000.

Master Chief Information Systems Technician David Campbell (IDW/SW/AW) senior enlisted advisor for the Naval Network Warfare Command in Suffolk, Virginia, is using the AEV program to get a degree in business administration with a specialty in technology management.

"The more professional knowledge I can bring to the command, the more I can share that knowledge and empower my Sailors to be more professional and technically savvy," said Campbell. "Chiefs who qualify and are driven to better themselves and in turn give back to the Navy should apply. I often ask myself why I didn't apply for AEV sooner."

Eligible applicants include E-7's with no more than 17 years time in service (TIS), E-8's with no more than 19 years TIS, and E-9's with no more than 23 years TIS. TIS is computed to Oct. 1, 2015.

At a minimum, baccalaureate program applicants must have an associate's degree from an accredited institution of higher learning or the equivalent amount of college credits already earned. Master's program applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher learning.

AEV is available to personnel transferring to, or currently on shore duty with sufficient time ashore to complete the degree program. Prospective applicants on sea duty may still apply if they provide an education plan that shows their ability to complete the program as specified in the NAVADMIN. Selectees are expected to enroll in the fall 2015 term.

If an applicant is already invested in furthering their education through TA or other financial assistance programs, they may still apply for AEV. However, AEV and TA benefits may not be combined, nor may AEV be used to earn more than one degree at a time. Lower division or prerequisite courses may be authorized if they are part of the approved education plan.

A service obligation of three times the number of months of education completed or three years, whichever is less, is incurred upon completion of or withdraw from the AEV program. This obligation is discharged concurrently with any other service obligation the participant may have already incurred. Use of AEV does not obligate the Navy to retain a member on active duty.

Applications for AEV are currently being accepted by NETC (N523). The deadline for submission for the FY-15 program is May 22 and the selection board will convene in June 2015. An endorsement by both the applicant's commanding officer and command master chief must be included in the application.

Application details, format and more information can be found at the Navy College website:

For more information contact Master Chief Richard Simpson, NETC N523, at (850)-452-7268 (DSN 459) or email at

For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit

NNS150408-17. Bonds of Gold Ceremony Connects Classes of 1967 and 2017

By Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Wilkes

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- The U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2017 held the 12th annual Bonds of Gold ceremony in Memorial Hall April 7.

During the ceremony, the USNA Class of 1967 donated several class rings and miniatures to be melted down and included in the gold for the Class of 2017's class rings.

"This tradition is part of the 'Another Link in the Chain' program, which connects alumni classes with their fifty-year counterpart midshipman classes," said Bill Dawson, executive vice president of engagement for the USNA Alumni Association. "By passing down their rings to the next generation of naval officers, the members of the Class of 1967 share their experience, their legacy and create a permanent bond with these midshipmen."

This year's ceremony celebrated the donation of nine rings and miniatures from graduates, wives and mothers from the Class of 1967. Each ring was presented to the class with personal testimonies from the honorees and donors of the rings.

"We are humbled and honored to have a few members from the Class of 1967 here to share in this tradition with us tonight," said Midshipman 3rd Class Chosnel Raymond Jr., Class of 2017 president. "We have been provided an extraordinary opportunity to hear some of the incredible adventures each of these nine rings represent and have the honor of carrying their experiences into our rings."

One of the most iconic representations of the Naval Academy, midshipmen started wearing class rings in 1869. Each ring is engraved with the Naval Academy seal on one side and a unique crest, designed by the class, on the other.

In honor of the 50-year connection, the Class of 2017 chose to incorporate elements of the 1967 class seal into their own design.

"This is one of many events that highlight the importance of carrying on the history and traditions of the Naval Academy from the alumni to the midshipmen," said retired Cmdr. Howell Parry, USNR. "As these midshipmen develop into the future leaders of the Navy and Marine Corps, they will carry our legacy and use it to forge their own."

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

NNS011216-08. This Day in Naval History - April 08

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1823 - The barges USS Mosquito, USS Gallinipper, and sloop-of-war Peacock chase the pirate schooner, Pilot, which is driven ashore off Havana, Cuba.

1848 - The first U.S. flag is flown over the Sea of Galilee when Lt. William F. Lynch sails in an iron boat up the Jordan River. He later authors a book, Narrative of the United States' Expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea.

1925 - Lt. John D. Price, piloting a VF-1 plane, makes a night landing on USS Langley (CV 1), at sea off San Diego, Calif., the first on board a U.S. Navy carrier.

1944 - USS Seahorse (SS 304) and USS Trigger (SS 237) successfully attack a Japanese convoy off Guam, damaging a Japanese destroyer and a tanker.

1961 - USS Laffey (DD 724) and USS Tanner (AGS-15) assist in rescue work and firefighting after the British passenger liner Dara catches fire in the Persian Gulf.

NNS150409-10. French, US Navies Integrate Under Operation Inherent Resolve

By Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group Public Affairs

USS CARL VINSON , At Sea (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Eric Chaperon, French Task Force 473 commander, and Rear Adm. Chris Grady, Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group commander and Commander Task Force 50, met aboard French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle (R-91) to discuss interoperability and integration between the two navies, April 8.

Charles De Gaulle and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) have been conducting joint combat operations in the region since Feb. 22 as a part of Operation Inherent Resolve to degrade and ultimately defeat the fighting forces of terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, known as ISIS.

"We operated with the USS Harry S. Truman last year for exercises," said Chaperon. "This year it is for real combat operations. Compared to last year, we have achieved much progress in integration (with Carl Vinson), specifically in the areas of logistics, computer information systems, and intelligence."

The Charles De Gaulle and Carl Vinson strike groups fly over 100 combined total sorties a day, with Charles De Gaulle flying 15 combat sorties a day using her Super-Etendard and Rafale fighter jet aircraft. Carl Vinson flies up to 25 combat sorties a day. The balance of sorties are high-end training to sharpen pilot skills.

"It has been a great honor to work with Rear Adm. Chaperon and his team over the past six weeks," said Grady. "The highlight of our deployment thus far has been the integration with the Charles De Gaulle strike group, and we now have a model we can look to as we respond to other contingencies around the world."

Charles De Gaulle has taken on many aspects of
operations during its time in the region. Its carrier strike group assumed the primary role of combat support during periods of maintenance, replenishment-at-sea, or port visit opportunities for Carl Vinson.

The French carrier will assume primary operational duty when the Carl Vinson and Theodore Roosevelt Strike Groups conduct turnover in the coming days, Chaperon said.

"The interoperability between our two navies is meaningful for the future in burden sharing and common contribution to high-intensity operations," Chaperon stated. "Our interoperability is about equipment, know-how and procedures. But it is also about common knowledge, trust, and friendship."

Grady also pointed out the many benefits of dual-carrier operations between the two navies.

"While we have very been successful in the tactical realm, the merging of the two strike groups, and the synergies that two maritime powers bring to Operation Inherent Resolve, also has immense operational and strategic benefits," he stated.

"Maritime striking power off the deck of an aircraft carrier provides our government leadership with off-shore options," Grady continued. "About a third of the tactical sorties flown in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, half of the command and control sorties and nearly all of the electronic attack sorties come from the Navy. We bring quite a punch indeed. At the outset of Operation Inherent Resolve, power projection from the sea was the only option because no permissions from partner nations are required to act from 98,000 tons and 4.5 acres of sovereign U.S. territory."

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

For more information and photos of USS Carl Vinson operations, visit

For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit

NNS150409-04. SECNAV Visits Sailors During NEA Vietnam

By Lt. Lauryn Dempsey, Destroyer Squadron 7 Public Affairs

DA NANG, Vietnam (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus visited Sailors participating in the sixth annual Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) Vietnam 2015, April 9.

Mabus addressed the crews of the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), as well as staff from Destroyer Squadron 7 (DESRON 7).

Mabus highlighted the importance of exchanges like NEA Vietnam in fostering relationships and strengthening maritime partnerships.

"As part of the Navy's forward deployed naval force, the Sailors of Fort Worth and Fitzgerald should be proud of the difference they are making during exchanges like NEA Vietnam," said Mabus. "It's through these face-to-face engagements that we are able to deepen our relationship with Vietnam."

U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius also accompanied SECNAV in Da Nang.

"I am immensely proud of how far our two navies have come since 2003, when we conducted our very first U.S. Navy Goodwill and Friendship port call in Vietnam," said Osius. "It took vision, hard work, and most of all, trust, to get us to this point. If we have learned anything over the past 20 years, it's that nothing is impossible."

During his remarks, SECNAV underscored the first-ever LCS visit to Vietnam, as well as the opportunity both navies will have to practice Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) later this week.

"LCS is now a fixture in 7th Fleet," said Mabus. "The opportunity for Fort Worth and Fitzgerald to get underway together with the Vietnam People's Navy will build confidence and ensure safe communication when our ships meet again on the seas."

NEA Vietnam began in 2010 and focuses on non-combatant events and skills exchanges in military medicine, search and rescue, and maritime security. Subject-matter expert exchanges place an emphasis on maritime domain awareness, shipboard damage control, submarine rescue, band concerts, community service events and team sports. A brief at-sea phase to practice CUES and ship handling with the Vietnam People's Navy is the highlight of the annual exchange.

In addition to Fitzgerald and Fort Worth, U.S. units participating in NEA Vietnam include personnel from CTF 73, DESRON 7, Undersea Rescue Activity San Diego, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5, and the U.S. 7th Fleet Band "Orient Express."

Occurring during the 20th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam, these activities were designed to foster mutual understanding, build confidence in the maritime domain and develop relationships between the people and navies of both nations.

For more news from Destroyer Squadron 7, visit

NNS150409-01. Porter, Anzio Arrive in Scotland for Biggest Ever Joint Warrior

By Lt. j.g. Seth Clarke, Destroyer Squadron 26 Public Affairs

FASLANE, United Kingdom (NNS) -- Ships assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 pulled into Faslane, Scotland, ready to commence Exercise Joint Warrior 15-1, April 9.

DESRON 26 arrived in Faslane with guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68) and guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78), ready to participate in Joint Warrior, a semi-annual training exercise conducted in the coastal waters off the United Kingdom.

The training, led by the United Kingdom, is designed to provide NATO and allied forces a multiwarfare environment in which to prepare for global operations. Participating countries aim to improve interoperability and prepare forces for future combined exercises.

In addition to the exercise and the wide range of training the Sailors will undergo, the port visit will also provide Sailors the opportunity to meet the people of Faslane and to experience and explore Scottish culture and history.

"I look forward to this tremendous opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to our allied and partner nations, and to do so while operating in a challenging maritime environment," said Capt. Brian Fort, commander, DESRON 26. "It's a particularly valuable time for us to work together with NATO and our allies to practice our procedures and to operate as a coalition."

The United Kingdom's advanced naval certification course, Joint Warrior comprises numerous scheduled training scenarios, including small-boat attacks, boarding operations, air defense, antisubmarine warfare and ship maneuverability tasks.

More than 50 ships and several supporting commands from 15 countries are scheduled to take part in Joint Warrior 15-1, making the upcoming Joint Warrior the biggest in the history of the multinational exercise.

In addition to Porter and Anzio, U.S. Navy ships participating in Joint Warrior 15-1 are guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69); guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75); and dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE 13). Elements from Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW) 11 and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 48 will also participate in the exercise.

"One of the unique aspects of operating in a combined environment with our NATO partners is that we have the ability to leverage each other's skill sets and experience levels," said Cmdr. Blair Guy, Porter's commanding officer. "We're able to complement our partners and understand how best to maintain safety of the seas. We understand what our mission is, and we recognize that we're coming out here to strengthen bonds and represent the nation."

Joint Warrior is slated to last approximately two weeks. The exercise will include air, sea and ground assets from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

For more news from Joint Warrior, visit

NNS150409-23. USNS Comfort Arrives in Belize for Continuing Promise 2015

By MC1(SW) Amy Kirk, Continuing Promise 2015 Public Affairs

BELIZE CITY, Belize (NNS) -- The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived in Belize April 9, the first scheduled stop as part of the Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15) mission.

Continuing Promise is a collaborative effort between the United States and partner militaries, non-governmental organizations and partner-nation support organizations to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian and civic assistance, as well as veterinary, medical, dental and civil engineering support to send a strong message of compassion, support and commitment to Central and South America and the Caribbean.

"We are looking forward to working hand-in-hand with our partners in Belize on many common interests," said Capt. Sam Hancock, CP-15 mission commander. "By working together and sharing best practices, we can help address many concerns common to the region, while also demonstrating our commitment to fostering a lasting partnership."

While in Belize, the civilian and military personnel aboard Comfort will partner with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Belize Defence Force, and the Belize Coast Guard to share and build capability through medical, dental, engineering,
and veterinary events and subject matter expert exchanges.

As part of the events scheduled for Belize, USNS Comfort personnel will partner with Hattieville Government School and Independence High school to provide a variety of outpatient medical, dental, preventive medicine, and health education services.

"We are dedicated to building strong partnerships and demonstrating the importance and value of providing assistance and training to our friends in South and Central America and the Caribbean," Hancock said.

Comfort is scheduled to conduct mission stops in Belize, Colombia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Panama.

This is the seventh CP mission conducted under the guidance of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S.4th Fleet (USNAVSO/C4F). Comfort served as the hospital ship in 2007, 2009 and 2011.

Continuing Promise is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet-conducted deployment to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian-civil assistance, subject matter expert exchanges, medical, dental, veterinary and engineering support and disaster response to partner nations and to show the United States' continued support and commitment to Central and South America and the Caribbean..

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

NNS150409-19. First Sailor Joins Navy Through Virtual Recruiting

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Phillip D. James Jr., Navy Recruiting District Ohio Public Affairs

BELFRY, Ky. (NNS) -- This Navy's first virtually-recruited Sailor is scheduled to begin boot camp May 19 after joining through Navy Recruiting District (NRD) Ohio's Virtual Recruiting Division (VRD).

Future Sailor Jacob Hatfield, a 2014 graduate of Belfry High School, signed up in January and is scheduled to attend culinary specialist (CS) "A" school upon graduation from boot camp at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes.

The Navy is utilizing VRDs to reduce travel cost and optimize recruiter productivity, while still providing access to Navy recruiters in remote areas.

Hatfield chose the Navy because the opportunities the Navy offered were more aligned with his goals than the other branches of service, he said. These opportunities include the ability to attend college.

"My family was aware of my choice to join the Navy," Hatfield said. "They were supportive and proud that I made a choice to better my life."

Hatfield stated he spoke to Yeoman 2nd Class Lisa Adkins, a Navy Recruiting District (NRD) Ohio recruiter working out of Navy Recruiting Station (NRS) Huntington, who told him about the VRD. NRS Huntington is part of NRD Ohio's Division 9 which is undergoing the pilot for the Navy's VRD.

"I was aware that I was the first future Sailor to be recruited in the Virtual Recruiting Division," he said. "I think it is pretty awesome."

The VRD pilot program is in its early stages.

"As with any new program, there are going to be challenges," said Adkins. "Once a recruiter has gone through the initial contact, putting together prescreens and getting that person contracted, it seems to be an easy process as far as paperwork is concerned."

According to Chief Navy Counselor Dominic Robinett, NRD Ohio VRD leading chief petty officer, the reduction in drive times to remote locations has allowed recruiters to focus on a smaller radius, which has improved recruiters' morale and time management.

"I met with him face-to-face after he joined the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) to introduce myself and the VRD process and requirements," Robinett said. "Mentoring is mainly over phone at least twice a week to ensure he is still getting the same training needed to prepare him for Recruit Training Command (RTC)."

Robinett stated that poor internet connectivity in rural areas has required recruiters to get creative in maintaining contact with the future Sailors by having to utilize systems in public libraries and high schools. Though contact is primarily over the phone they also use programs such as Skype to maintain contact with the future Sailors.

"Navy Recruiting is adapting and taking advantage of the new-technological era we live in today," Robinett said. "I feel that this is not only going to save money for the Navy, it can increase productivity through more efficient operations."

Robinett stated it has been a learning curve to identify best practices and reduce as many shortfalls as possible and that the support of the chain of command and the flexibility of headquarters staff personnel has been key to their success.

"It's always a great opportunity to be a part of something new," he said.

For more news from Navy Recruiting District Ohio, visit

NNS150409-15. Biosecurity Plan Complete for Micronesia and Hawaii

From Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Environment

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- The Department of the Navy announced the completion of the Regional Biosecurity Plan (RBP) for Micronesia and Hawaii March 6.

This comprehensive plan is the first of its kind and provides a platform for interagency prevention, management and control of invasive species, such as the brown tree snake, within and into the region. The RBP provides detailed biosecurity recommendations for the State of Hawaii, United States Territory of Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia (Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap), and Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau, and the United States Departments of Defense, Agriculture, and Interior.

"The RBP is a significant accomplishment in our fight against invasive species," said Donald Schregardus, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Environment. "We look forward to working with our partners in the Pacific to ensure the protection of sensitive island environments. The RBP arms us with the tools necessary to succeed in this endeavor."

The plan is a major milestone and is the result of years of hard work by many individuals, organizations, and government agencies.

The RBP can be accessed at or through the University of Guam's website at

NNS150409-12. Provost: Naval War College 'Well Positioned' for Future

By Daniel L. Kuester, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- U.S. Naval War College (NWC) provost Lewis M. Duncan has surveyed his new surroundings, and sees clear opportunities for the college to become a leader for a new generation of learners.

Changes are coming quickly to the field of education, according to Duncan, who says that students are demanding more freedom to control their own education.

While those changes may scare some educational institutions, NWC is well positioned to take advantage of them. Duncan used war gaming as an example.

"Simulation tends to be a very effective [way to learn]. And the Naval War College is leap years ahead of most educational institutions as far as such experiential gaming goes. That can be very powerful," said Duncan.

As student educational needs continue to change, Duncan expects that NWC will be responsive to those future needs as students rely more and more on technology to get information.

"It may not quite be our students yet," said Duncan, contrasting NWC students to traditional college-aged learners. "But I do believe that it [technology] will have an impact on how we deliver education.

"Technology has made it so that students, in many cases, are demanding the right to control what they learn, when they learn it, how they learn it, at what pace they learn it, from whom they learn it. And basically they want it to be free."

These types of changes in student expectations mean that institutions must also transform the way of assessing and credentialing student learning. The traditional method certifies students as having learned a topic by virtue of sitting in a seat one hour a day, three days a week for a semester-long course and getting a passing grade.

We are seeing rapid movement toward more individualized approaches for measuring educational achievement, using learning outcomes assessment and demonstrated competencies-based approach.

Duncan used learning a physics equation to illustrate his point.

"If you can figure out how to do that in two weeks, you should be able to move on," said Duncan. "If it takes you 10 weeks, no harm no foul. It is based on achievement, not just time.

"I think that for some types of learning, all institutions - and that includes the NWC - will be over time moving toward this technology-enabled sense of learning outcomes based on individualized types of learning."

While looking at the future of NWC, Duncan believes that he has the team in place to achieve these goals. After his first three months as provost, Duncan is very encouraged by the quality and dedication of the faculty members he has met and the shared sense of responsibility for educating the future leaders of the U.S. and the world.

"I've been deeply impressed with the sense of purpose that everyone here seems to have and the importance of what we do," said Duncan. "We are educating many of the future leaders who will have a lot to say about what the world will look like - a world that all of our children and grandchildren will grow up in."

Duncan served as president of Rollins College from 2004 to 2014, where he held the George D. and Harriet W. Cornell professorship of distinguished presidential leadership. He is an internationally recognized scholar in experimental space physics. He also serves as an authority on issues of international security and counterterrorism and technology-enhanced online learning.

For the last nine years of Duncan's presidency, Rollins was ranked the number one university in the South in its Carnegie classification by U.S. News and World Report.

Here, Duncan sees his role as both an assistant to the president and a long-range visionary for the college.

"The provost [at NWC] serves as a chief operating and academic officer in the sense that the naval leadership of the institution comes here for term appointments for hopefully several years," said Duncan. "The provost, as the chief civilian officer, over time provides a longer-term sense of direction, and long-range planning and implementation."

While Duncan came to NWC from a more traditional school serving a primarily civilian, undergraduate student body, he does have experience working in a military setting. At Los Alamos National Laboratory early in his career, Duncan was exposed to military methods and culture, and says he is quickly relearning the new battle rhythms associated with being part of the military.

"I am learning how to speak military jargon-ese again," Duncan laughed. "It's like relearning a foreign language, but every day the signal-to-noise ratio gets a little stronger."

For more news from Naval War College, visit

NNS150409-09. CNATTU North Island receives Fire Scout UAV Avionics Trainer

By Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class (AW/SW) Rochad Jones

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (NNS) -- The Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) North Island now offers a full spectrum of MQ-8C Fire Scout Vertical Take-off Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) maintenance instruction with the arrival of their avionics training system March 30.

CNATTU North Island is the single training center with the capability to train Fire Scout maintainers, and has been providing structural and power plant mechanics with the MQ-8B procedural trainer since April 2013.

"With delivery of our second trainer, the unit will add the capability to provide in-depth avionics troubleshooting, along with test and check procedures," said Chief Aviation Machinist's Mate Dan Singer, CNATTU division chief. "We can now facilitate the entire range of maintenance instruction in repair and upkeep of the MQ-8B."

The avionics trainer has enabled CNATTU to add a two-week MQ-8B avionics course where technicians are provided instruction on characteristics and capabilities while learning primary and subsystems fault isolation and correction. Systems covered include ground control, vibration monitoring, navigation, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Common Automatic Recovery System (UCARS).

The MQ-8B Fire Scout aircraft deploy and support the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship missions. The platform significantly contributes to the LCS's primary mission roles of anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR).

"It is an awesome privilege to be associated with these incredibly talented instructors," said Cmdr. Tom Gibbons, CNATTU North Island commanding officer. "We are now on the cutting-edge; providing the fleet maintainer the technical ability required to support this awesome platform."

CNATT Unit North Island instructors share their skipper's enthusiasm for leading the charge in VTUAV maintenance training.

"The Fire Scout is the way of the future and getting everyone up to speed is what we do here at CNATTU," said Aviation Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Sean Watson. "Having the avionics trainer will strengthen our Navy maintenance team."

CNATTU North Island's mission is to develop, deliver and support aviation technical training necessary to meet validated fleet requirements through a continuum of professional and personal growth for Sailors and Marines. Maintenance training includes MQ-8 Fire Scout VTUAV systems, H-60 systems and components, arresting gear and aviation support equipment.

For more information on the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) North Island, visit the CNATT website:

Additional information on the Naval Education and Training Command is available on the NETC Web page:

For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit

NNS150409-07. Naval Supply Corps School Tests Response to Active-Shooter Alert

By Center for Service Support Newport Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- U.S. Naval Station Newport security personnel conducted an active-shooter training drill inside the Naval Supply Corps School, located aboard Naval Station Newport, April 8.

Drills like these help military personnel and civilian employees understand the importance of vigilance and immediate responsiveness in the event hostile persons gain access to the base.

"We want to maximize this training opportunity for the initial responders while maintaining a safe environment for the staff and students, said Lt. Ryan Carmack, Security Officer, Naval Supply Corps School. "We provide all hands training on initial responses to an active shooter scenario, which includes defending oneself if necessary."

The exercise began early Wednesday morning when a lone man with a loaded handgun entered the Porter Avenue schoolhouse located near the main entrance gate of the Navy station. With a fake handgun the shooter shouted, "Come out! You cannot hide! I'm going to hurt you!"

Mr. Tim Doherty, a Naval Station Newport security specialist, played the role of the active-shooter wearing a military flak jacket, blue jeans, running shoes and black face mask. He walked the hallways pulling on every door, yelling and firing his pistol loaded with blanks into the air.

"We were told about the exercise in advance, but when it happened I was terrified," said Ens. Thomas Hricisak, of Orwigsburg, Pa., a student attending the Basic Qualification Course at the school. "The room went dark and we all remain silent beneath our desk listening to the screams and weapon firing. It felt very real, and when the police demanded us [students] to open the door, no one in the room would budge."

"We endeavor to add as much realism as possible to these scenarios. We notice each time we conduct these drills people's reaction to the shooter and security personnel is borderline terrifying," said Mr. Barry Spaulding, Naval Station Newport police training officer. "They honestly do not expect the level of intensity we infuse into the scenario. This level of realism is intentional so that our emergency responders, as well as command personnel get the point that this, a very bad incident, can happen and how we train to respond to such an incident directly corresponds to the level of injury or loss of life in the aftermath of an active-shooter incident."

Base security personnel responded to the active-shooter drill by entering the building in a squad formation, working collectively to maintain a 360-degree view of their approach path to the shooter's yelling. Once in their line of sight they instantly fired their weapons at the hostile, simulating wounding shots that disabled the shooter's legs sending him falling to the ground. Security officers surrounded the shooter, disarmed him, and immediately began looking for other potential hostiles in the building. Every classroom was searched, students were removed from the building by single file lines and searched one by one ensuring positive identification and their respective wellness.

"I fully support and appreciate all the planning and coordination that goes into making these important active-training scenarios successful. Naval Supply Corps School military and civilian staff as well as our students reacted professionally and according to our active-shooter/sheltering-in-place plan," said Captain Kristen B. Fabry, commanding officer, Naval Supply Corps School. "While no organization ever wants harm to come to their people, this training is necessary to ensure everyone reacts in a unified manner while responding to hostility."

Exercises like this show that Naval Station Newport is committed to providing a safe living and working environment for the city of Newport and other surrounding communities.

"This training is vital for the safety and protection of our active military and civilian employees here on board Naval Station Newport," Spaulding commented at the conclusion of the drill.

For more news from Center for Service Support, visit

NNS150409-02. NWDC Connects Fleet to Design FY16 Experiments

From Navy Warfare Development Command

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) hosted a Fleet-wide planning event last week to kick off development of the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Fleet Experimentation (FLEX) execution plan.

The FLEX program, managed by NWDC on behalf of U.S. Fleet Forces Command and U.S. Pacific Fleet, designs and executes collaborative, synchronized, and relevant experiment campaigns based on near-term fleet priorities and capability gaps.

"We have an extended but unified network of Fleet commanders across the globe with similar challenges, and challenges unique to their areas of operations," said Rear Adm. Scott A. Stearney, commander, NWDC. "There are many organizations across the Navy conducting experiments with potential solutions to those challenges; we must be synchronized to ensure we're driving toward the same campaign end states."

The FLEX program continues to design war games and at-sea experiments that result in tangible products to improve warfighter capabilities, primarily as doctrine, training, and materiel solutions.

"Experimentation results may include analytical reports to be shared across the Navy's intellectual domain; products that highlight new actions Fleet operators need to be taking now; or further developing tactics, techniques, and procedures," said Stearney.

The annual planning event, held March 31 - April 2, was an opportunity for numbered fleets, warfighting development centers, and representatives from acquisition and science and technology communities to share experimentation plans and priorities.

Stakeholder organizations also discussed planned events that can be leveraged for future experimentation efforts, such as training exercises or transit periods. Capt Steve Faggert, NWDC's lead for the Fleet Experimentation program, reiterated the importance of connectedness.

"Ships' steaming days are a valuable commodity, so it is extremely important to leverage fleet events whenever possible," said Faggert. "That requires early coordination and support of senior leadership; not only to ensure our objectives don't interfere with training events, but also to ensure there is enough dedicated time to complete successful experiments."

NWDC develops and integrates innovative solutions to complex naval warfare challenges to enhance current and future warfighting capabilities.

For more news from Navy Warfare Development Command, visit

NNS011216-09. This Day in Naval History - April 09

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1848 - A party of men from the sloop-of-war USS Dale march 12 miles inland from Guaymas, Mexico, to capture and spike a 3-gun Mexican battery that was firing at other ships.

1941 - USS North Carolina (BB-55) is commissioned. Some of the notable battles she participates in are the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, the Battle of Philippine Sea, and gunfire support during the Iwo Jima invasion.

1943 - Due to World War II, the rank of commodore is reestablished as a temporary rank. During the 1986 Defense Authorization bill, O-7 officers are called rear admiral (lower half).

1944 - TBM bombers and FM-2s aircraft (VC 58) from USS Guadalcanal (CVE 60), together with USS Pillsbury (DE 133), USS Pope (DE 134), USS Flaherty (DE 135), and USS Chatelain (DE 149) sink German submarine U 515.

1959 - The first seven Mercury astronauts are selected, including three Navy aviators and one Marine: Lt. Cmdr. Walter M. Schirra, Lt. Malcom S. Carpenter, Marine Lt. Col. John Glenn Jr., and Lt. Cmdr. Alan B. Shepard.

NNS150410-04. Bonhomme Richard ARG Completes Deployment in US 7th Fleet

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam D. Wainwright, USS Bonhomme Richard Public Affairs

SASEBO, Japan (NNS) -- The Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) completed its deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, April 10.

During the three-month underway, the Bonhomme Richard ARG, which comprises forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) and amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20), along with embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), conducted theater security cooperation exercises in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, completed a certification exercise (CERTEX), participated in amphibious integration training (AIT) and worked alongside the Republic of Korea (ROK) navy and marine corps during the Korean Marine Exchange Program (KMEP).

"I can't say enough about how well this great crew responded to get BHR ready for sea and to execute our mission for the U.S. 7th Fleet," said Capt. Joey Tynch, Bonhomme Richard's commanding officer. "The hard work, dedication and commitment to duty of these outstanding young Sailors made this a successful deployment. We arrived on station ready to go and supported several key qualifications and exercises allowing BHR, and our brothers and sisters in the 31st MEU, to remain operationally ready to maintain maritime security and support our foreign allies in times of crisis."

This deployment also marked the first time Green Bay deployed with the ARG as part of the Navy's forward-deployed naval force.

"This was Green Bay's debut as a member of the Bonhomme Richard ARG and our first chance to work with the 31st MEU," said Capt. Kris McCallam, Green Bay's commanding officer. "We had a steep learning curve but quickly stepped up to the challenge, supported the Marines and met our mission requirements 100 percent throughout the patrol."

Throughout the deployment, Bonhomme Richard, Green Bay and Ashland worked hand-in-hand to successfully complete many of their certifications.

"Integrating Green Bay, and the unique operational capabilities they bring to the ARG, was an important step in the continuous improvement of our strong, amphibious presence in the U.S. 7th Fleet," said Capt. Heidi Agle, commodore, Amphibious Squadron 11. "This deployment clearly demonstrated we are ready to respond when called, in peacetime or wartime, with precision and a tremendous ability to coordinate and work together with our allies."

Ashland in particular faced unique challenges this deployment.

"One of the biggest accomplishments was getting the ship operational after being in the yards for eight months or so back in Sasebo," said Cmdr. Douglas Patterson, Ashland's commanding officer. "Whether it was getting the ship proficient in amphibious operations again or getting our new crew members accustomed to forward-deployed naval forces and how we operate the ship, it was a challenge that we stepped up and met in order to execute our mission."

Bonhomme Richard and Ashland are entering an in-port period in order to prepare for upcoming deployments. Green Bay will continue to maintain an amphibious presence at sea.

The Bonhomme Richard ARG is under the tactical command of embarked Commodore Capt. Heidi Agle and reports to Rear Adm. Hugh Wetherald, commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, based out of Okinawa, Japan.

For more news from USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), visit

NNS150410-06. US, Republic of Korea Navies Enhance MCM Capabilities During Foal Eagle

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Abraham Essenmacher, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

CHINHAE, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- The U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) navies conducted a successful mine countermeasures exercise March 30 - April 11 as part of Foal Eagle 2015.

The bilateral training is designed to increase readiness and interoperability in mine countermeasures operations and enhance theater security cooperation between the two navies.

"Bilateral training in mine countermeasures is critical for our strategic ROK-U.S. alliance," said Capt. Mike Dowling, commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7 (MCMRON 7). "It also enhances our combined capabilities and interoperability with the ROK Navy. These live force exercises continue to support our commitment to maintaining maritime stability in this region."

Approximately 300 U.S. Navy personnel assigned to MCMRON 7, mine countermeasures ships USS Warrior (MCM 10) and USS Chief (MCM 14); along with teams from Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 1, Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center, Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14, and Mobile Mine Assembly Group participated in the training alongside their ROK Navy partners.

"We took 'warfighting first' to heart and took advantage of every opportunity to maintain and improve our mine warfare capabilities," said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Tyree, executive officer of Chief.

During the exercise, U.S. and ROK Navy ships and explosive ordnance disposal divers practiced clearing routes for shipping and conducted training surveys for clearing operational areas. In addition to ships, remotely operated vehicles were also used to rehearse mine countermeasures operations from under the sea.

"Operating in waters near the Korean peninsula provided us the most realistic training we could hope for in preparing for contingency operations," said Tyree. "The geography and bathymetry can't be replicated anywhere else and it's good for our sonar operators, Mine Neutralization Vehicle (MNV) pilots, and Mine Warfare (MIW) evaluators to experience it firsthand."

Foal Eagle is an umbrella of regularly-scheduled, annual exercises that are the culmination of many months of planning and are based on realistic training scenarios. The naval portion of the Foal Eagle exercises take place in international waters around South Korea and features a full spectrum of maritime operations.

MCMRON 7, commanded by Capt. Mike Dowling, is a combined readiness and tactical staff responsible for mine countermeasures in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. The squadron consists of four Avenger-class minesweepers forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan, and a helicopter mine countermeasures detachment in Pohang, ROK.

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

NNS150410-17. NHHC Celebrates 50 Years of 'Navy Innovation' at Sea Air Space Expo

By Joshua L. Wick, Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) headquartered at the Washington Navy Yard will take a bit of history and historic expertise to the Sea Air Space (SAS) Exposition at the Gaylord National Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, April 13-15.

Historians, curators and scientists will be on site at booth #2755 to talk about historic events and how the Navy uses the latest technology to conserve artifacts for future generations.

They will also show a sampling from NHHC collection of more than 300,000 historic artifacts.

This year the SAS Expo's theme is "Game-Changing Technology." To complement the SAS Expo theme, NHHC will present an exhibit that will feature Navy innovation and highlight naval history during the last 50 years.

The exhibit will showcase historical artifacts and information from NHHC's Collections Management, Histories, Archives Divisions, and the National Museum of the U.S. Navy. Artifacts include a model of a World War I MK6 mine (as well as historic photos of Sailors moving MK6 mines in Inverness, Scotland, during the war), a scale model of World War II cruiser USS Houston (CA 30), combat art reproductions, a model Lego ship, posters detailing our Underwater Archaeology Branch's conservation work on the 1890's Howell Torpedo, the survey of the Normandy beach as well as several recovered artifacts. Subject-matter experts will also be available to discuss Navy heritage and artifacts.

NHHC's social media team will live tweet from the exhibit. Join the conversation using #NavyHistory, #SAS15, #NavalHistory, and/or #OurHeritage. Follow NHHC on Facebook at and on Twitter @NavyHistoryNews.

SAS brings the U.S.'s defense industrial base, private-sector contractors and key Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard decision makers together annually for an innovative, educational and professional maritime-based event.

NHHC, located at the Washington Navy Yard, is responsible for the preservation, analysis, and dissemination of U.S. naval history and heritage. It provides the knowledge foundation for the Navy by maintaining historically relevant resources and products that reflect the Navy's unique and enduring contributions throughout our nation's history, and supports the fleet by assisting with and delivering professional research, analysis, and interpretive services. NHHC is composed of many activities including the Navy Department Library, the Navy Operational Archives, the Navy art and artifact collections, underwater archeology, Navy histories, nine museums, USS Constitution repair facility and the historic ship Nautilus.

For more information on NHHC visit the command's website at

For more news from Naval History and Heritage Command, visit

NNS150410-07. 7th Fleet Staff, Blue Ridge Stand Down for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

From U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet staff and flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) personnel continued their push for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) awareness by conducting a Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) standdown at Fleet Theater, Yokosuka, April 10.

The standdown is part of a month-long, Navywide initiative to raise awareness and promote the prevention of sexual violence through use of special events and public education.

During the standdown, 7th Fleet sexual assault victim advocates performed skits, led discussions and provided information to demonstrate that sexual related crimes are an issue in the Navy and that the solution to the issue starts with each Sailor changing how they think about sexual assault, harassment and conduct in the workplace or on liberty.

"The end result is that we want Sailors to take ownership, be active bystanders and get involved in their peer group to eliminate other Sailors from making bad decisions that could have a long term negative effect on their lives," said Chief Cryptologic Technician Maintenance Michael Horton, command SAPR. "The training focuses on understanding that it should be a culture of change to want to do better for their peers and ultimately better for themselves."

The theme for this year's SAAPM is "Eliminate sexual assault. Know your part. Do your Part" and the standdown provided guidance on how to intervene when appropriate, report crimes, and support victims to help stop sexual assault and sexual harassment.

The training also discussed Navy policies that address sexual assault prevention and the goal to establish a climate of change in which education and training can create an environment where sexual assault and the attitudes that promote it are not tolerated and ultimately eliminated; where victims of sexual assault can receive the care, support and protection that they need; and where offenders are held appropriately accountable for their actions.

"For the fleet, it's an all-hands effort; these types of open discussion, are very important to increase our awareness of sexual assault prevention and response," said Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas Jr., commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. "I encourage all of you to talk with each other up and down the chain of command. Not just during this month, but throughout the year. That's what's going to make us stronger as a 7th Fleet and as a Navy."

For additional information, references, resources or help visit:
DoD Safe Helpline -
Navy site -
Military one Source -
National Sexual Violence Resource Center -
Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)

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

NNS150410-08. Republic of Korea Sailor Embarks Aboard USS Chief for Foal Eagle

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Abraham Essenmacher, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

CHINHAE, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Republic of Korea (ROK) Lt. j.g. Gyeong Min Lee, operations officer of ROK Ship Hae Nam (MSH 573), embarked aboard mine countermeasures ship USS Chief (MCM 14) to further cooperation between the U.S. and ROK navies during Exercise Foal Eagle, April 5-11.

During his first underway period aboard a U.S. Navy ship, Lee made note of the similarities and differences between the U.S. and ROK navies while observing the joint training operations.

The bilateral mine countermeasures training is conducted annually during Foal Eagle and is designed to strengthen the interoperability between U.S. and ROK forces.

"Foal Eagle training has been very significant, because Korea and the U.S. are resolved in working together in mine warfare operations," said Lee. "It was interesting learning about the differences between the American mine countermeasures ships and Korean vessels, because both navies can learn from each other's expertise and knowledge."

One detail Lee made note of was that U.S. mine countermeasures vessels have two cranes to lower Mine Neutralization Vehicles (MNV), while the Korean versions have one. Lee also noted the U.S. Sailors' attention to detail and emphasis on safe and effective operations at sea.

"It's been really useful to see his point of view about daily operations aboard Chief," said Ensign Andrew Rumments, weapons officer on Chief, who was Lee's sponsor during the embarkation. "The ROK and U.S. Navy face similar challenges, but we find different solutions."

While aboard Chief, Lee toured the ship, stood watch with Rumments and discussed MNV operations as well as sonar detection capabilities.

"This has been my first time working alongside a partner navy," said Rumments. "This type of dialog ensures that if the need arises, we are ready to operate with our partners, and it also allows us to examine ourselves from an outside perspective."

Lee said the exercise provided significant training to the ROK and U.S., while reaffirming both nations' commitment to working together in mine warfare operations.

"I wanted to help promote our friendship and enhance our combined mine warfare skills on a personal level," said Lee. "It was an honor to serve beside our U.S. Navy partners."

Exercise Foal Eagle 2015 is a series of annual training events that are defense oriented and designed to increase readiness and maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula while strengthening the ROK-U.S. alliance and promoting regional peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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

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

NNS150410-23. Frank Cable Sailors Volunteer While in Saipan

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Greg House, USS Frank Cable Public Affairs

SAIPAN (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) volunteered some of their off-duty hours during a port visit in Saipan, April 9.

The volunteers were spending time with elderly citizens at Saipan's Office on Aging recreation center and playing with young children at the Saipan Seventh-Day Adventist School and Child Development Center.

Community service gives Sailors a chance to show locals a side of the Navy they might have not seen.

"It's an opportunity for us to kind of give back to Saipan," said Lt. j.g. Nathanael Gentilhomme, a chaplain assigned to Frank Cable. "This visit really strengthens our relations with them and shows them we're not just about war and defense and deterring aggression, but we also care about people from the youngest to the oldest."

For some of Saipan's residents, the community service event was a unique experience.

"I've been at this school for a few years and this is the first time I've seen Sailors come here," said Myla Capilitan, a faculty member at Saipan Seventh-Day Adventist School and Child Development Center. "It was great having Frank Cable come out here today."

Meanwhile, at Saipan's Office on Aging, Sailors were volunteering to spend time with some of Saipan's older residents.

"I'm just impressed with how active some of these folks are staying at their ages," said Gentilhomme. "I just played a pretty intense basketball game with a guy and he beat me the first game."

Sailors often have different reasons for volunteering their off-duty hours to community service events.

"I really love doing stuff like this. It's the only way we can give something back," said Master Chief Machinist's Mate Jose Lardizabal, a Sailor assigned to Frank Cable.

Saipan is the last port of call for Frank Cable's underway period. During this time, Frank Cable has conducted multiple community service events in Korea and within two cities in Japan; Sasebo and Yokosuka.

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

For more information on Frank Cable, visit or like them on Facebook at

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

NNS150410-05. Navy Delivers "A Sustainable Future" on Earth Day

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NNS) -- Navy commands are participating in events and activities that celebrate Earth Day throughout the month of April.

The Navy's 2015 theme for Earth Day, "A Sustainable Future Begins with You," underscores the ripple effect of each individual's actions that benefit the environment and help ensure a viable planet for generations to come. The theme was announced via naval message on 16 March.

"I encourage each of you to take action to protect and preserve," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in the message. "As you have done on previous Earth Days, participate in a recycling program, or a beach or neighborhood cleanup. Maintain and enhance your efforts to reduce waste and use energy wisely. Whatever action you take, remember that local efforts like yours help us to ensure we have the resources we need to continue our global mission into the future."

Participating naval commands are finding fun and unique ways to observe Earth Day and engage local communities, including hosting tree plantings, dumpster dives, shore and base cleanups, recycling demonstrations and other environmentally focused exhibits and activities. Observances are occurring throughout the U.S. and in areas as diverse as Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti; NSA Naples, Italy and U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa in Japan.

"The Navy does our part to protect natural ecosystems year-round as we perform our global mission, and we continue to be a world leader in funding marine mammal research," said Rear Adm. Kevin Slates, director of the Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division (OPNAV N45). "Becoming more energy efficient at sea and ashore helps us perform our mission more effectively, but it also makes our activities more sustainable. Earth Day gives us the opportunity to celebrate those successes and inform others about what we're doing."

This year marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. Former U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin founded Earth Day in 1970 to promote community engagement and practices of environmental stewardship around the world.

For more information and resources regarding the Navy's Earth Day activities, visit

NNS150410-19. George Washington Sailors Speak Up Against Sexual Assault during SCREAM production

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brian Sloan, USS George Washington Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- More than 800 Sailors stationed aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) attended Fleet Activities Yokosuka's (CFAY) annual Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) theatrical production at the base's Fleet Theater, April 8-9.

The program, Sailors Challenging Reality and Education against Myths (SCREAM), aims to inform Sailors and civilians who attend about the differences between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

"Scream is an amazing thing; it's my second time seeing the show," said Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Furquan, Navy Region Japan's SAPR officer. "It gets the audience involved, shows them different scenarios, and gets their opinions about how things are going and how they can make a difference."

Volunteers from CFAY and George Washington, among other commands, rehearsed for months preparing for the show, and SCREAM included acts portraying real-life scenarios that Sailors and family members might encounter.

"We're showing that these are real cases that actually occur," said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Carmesha Paris, SCREAM's director. "There are a lot of people [who] need help, and I want those Sailors to know what's available to them and what options they have as a victim or a bystander."

A full theather of Sailors watched the presentation.

"Today we filled every single seat," said Paris. "There were a lot of responses and people were raising their hands and participating in the discussions. They're not quiet anymore and they're speaking out. This shows that our training is working and people are engaged."

Furquan said he considers this involvement essential to the prevention of sexual assault.

"The best way to prevent sexual assualt is to be involved," said Furquan. "It's not just the victim that's affected. Your ship, your friends, and your neighbors," Furquan said. "We need to address it before it becomes a problem."

The SCREAM production is one way the Navy raises awareness and highlights its outreach efforts and educates Sailors during Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAM).

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

NNS150410-25. Submarine Learning Center Selects Staff Civilian of the Year

By William Kenny, Submarine Learning Center Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- The Submarine Learning Center (SLC) in Groton announced its selection of Staff Civilian of the Year (COY), April 10.

SLC Commanding Officer Capt. David Roberts said James McCloud, a member of the Technical Services Department, was exceptionally deserving of the recognition and that the selection process was very competitive.

"In many respects it's a terrific and accurate reflection on the caliber and variety of talents we have here at SLC, building tomorrow's submarine force," Roberts said.

As the project lead on the Nimitz Hall Asbestos Remediation Project (NHARP) and the Groton Campus Alignment Project (GCAP), McCloud was directly responsible for over 43 trainer and lab relocations on the Groton campus of the Naval Submarine School (NSS), ensuring each trainer and lab were fully supported in their new location with no interruption in training.

Each phase of the relocation was programmed around scheduled training dates, requiring strict adherence to the relocation schedule to not just minimize, but eliminate any adverse impact to fleet readiness through training cancellations or delays.

McCloud's attention to detail makes him an ideal facilitator for complex projects.

"I really prefer being a behind-the-scenes guy," said McCloud. "I'm most comfortable working out any and all details of a project, working to ensure every interaction happens when it needs to, so that the overall effect is to continue to progress in a silent and seamless manner. My job is to help every instructor and trainer-operator continue to be successful at their jobs."

Roberts cited an example of that job-within-a-job success as another reason for McCloud's selection.

"He led a comprehensive study to determine the cause of out-of-specification conditions that were impacting Naval Submarine School's Submarine On-Board Trainer (SBT), a first-of-its-kind, state of the art, immersive navigation trainer," said Roberts. "By analyzing months of data on environmental conditions and working with local Naval Facilities Command (NAVFAC) representatives, McCloud returned the installed building systems to normal operations without lost training time or damage to a critical training system."

McCloud said he was both honored and humbled by his COY selection.

"I think it's very important for everyone, regardless of position or location, to be recognized as both a valued and valuable member of the SLC," said McCloud. "Sometimes we get so engrossed in the accomplishment of our jobs, looking ahead to what's next and how to get there, that we sometimes forget how far along we've come in service and support for the fleet.

"I couldn't be anywhere near as effective as I strive to be without the professionals on the SLC staff," he added. "I really enjoy being part of a team like ours and I'm honored that so many of my colleagues and the SLC leadership have this level of regard for the job I do and the support I provide."

McCloud has little time to rest on his laurels or savor the moment as he's already knee-deep in his next project, renovations for Lewis Hall (Building 474) on the Groton Campus. Leveraging funds made available to perform base improvements, the renovations will result in the first-ever permanent facility to house Information Technology Submarines (ITS) training programs, better allowing for full production student throughput in support of fleet requirements.

The SLC is responsible for submarine officer and enlisted rating individual training as well as all shore-based warfare mission area training. Its mission is to create, coordinate and execute the future training and education vision for the submarine force.

SLC is accountable for all undersea curricula, training delivery methodologies, and for developing and maintaining professional development continuums for all undersea warfare officers and ratings to include electronics technician (communications and navigation), fire control technician, sonar technician, machinist's mate (auxiliary and weapons), missile technician, and all nuclear training ratings.

For more information on the SLC, visit
For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit

NNS150410-24. CNO Visits Naval Oceanography at Stennis Space Center

From Navy Information Dominance Force Public Affairs

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert visited Stennis Space Center April 2 for an all-hands call and a tour of Naval Oceanography assets.

Stennis is home to the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NAVMETOCCOM) and five of its subordinate operational commands as well as a detachment of the Naval Research Laboratory, Special Boat Team 22 and Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School.

At the beginning of his remarks, Greenert exhorted the crowd, that mostly represented Naval Oceanography assets, to "keep doing what you are doing."

He said, "the Navy is busy," and the demand is not going to subside. The Navy is going to have to adjust.

"There is no stopping," he said. "The Navy will grow. We're going to grow ships, and we're going to grow people" for the next six years.

The demand also has forced adjustments, particularly because of sequestration. Greenert said the Navy is still feeling its impact, which forced longer deployment cycles. Fortunately, he said, the deployment cycles are almost back to normal.

Before addressing the crowd, he reenlisted two Sailors and recognized nine civilians and Sailors for personal awards.

During the question-and-answer session, he fielded questions on a variety of topics, including uniforms, possible reemergence of the Enlisted Retention Board, and potential changes about the way Sailors are evaluated, promoted and retained.

Greenert's trip to Stennis was his first as CNO.

For more news from Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, visit

NNS150410-22. Tabletop Exercise Kicks Off Mayport Hurricane Preparations

By Ensign Carol McKenzie, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- Rear Adm. George Ballance, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, spoke to shipboard personnel who participated in a Destructive Weather Table Top Exercise (TTX) April 6 at Naval Station Mayport, in preparation for the 2015 Hurrex-Citadel Gale (CG) training exercise.

The purpose of Hurrex-CG is to provide Navy personnel with insight on how to prepare regions Navywide to respond to weather threats in U.S. coastal regions, and to maintain the ability to deploy forces even under the most adverse weather conditions.

Each year, the Navy prepares to react to the threat of tropical storms and hurricanes in the region, partly through exercises such as this.

"The pre-season TTX in Mayport, Florida, brings junior officers from our ships together with local and regional experts, including harbor pilots and emergency managers, to engage in face-to-face discussions to resolve a major destructive weather scenario, start to finish," said Lt. Cmdr. Russell Ingersoll, meteorological officer at USNAVSO/U.S. 4th Fleet. "A key objective of this exercise was to convey the degree of risk these storms pose locally, due to unique aspects of the 'First Coast' region, and to broaden the level of knowledge among stake-holders. Most importantly, we want to promote the safety of crews and families."

This year's Hurrex will consist of two simulated tropical cyclones that will develop and intensify to hurricane strength, and will threaten the Eastern Coast of the U.S., the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean coastal regions. All Navy commands will participate by reviewing their heavy weather instructions, using standard operating procedures to support the safety of a Navy vessel and ensuring maximum readiness prior to the start of the actual season.

Destruction caused by tropical weather systems in previous years provides the backdrop for the importance of these exercises. Senior Navy leadership recognizes the importance of early detection, warning, and response to these storms.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet support U.S. Southern Command's joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, enhance interoperability and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

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

NNS150410-20. LDUUV-INP, Swarming UAVs on Display at Sea-Air-Space Expo

From Office of Naval Research Corporate Communications

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- For the first time ever, the Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle-Innovative Naval Prototype (LDUUV-INP) will be on display to the public April 13-15 during the Sea-Air-Space Exposition at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) booth.

The Expo will be held at the Gaylord Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Mat Winter will hold a special informational session at the ONR booth from 12:45 to 1:15 p.m. EST, April 14, to discuss ONR technologies on display.

LDUUV-INP represents cutting-edge UUV research that will deliver game-changing capabilities to naval warfighters. This LDUUV-INP is the second version of the platform.

"Sea-Air-Space presents a great opportunity for us to highlight ONR's contributions that are making a marked difference to our warfighters, to our Navy and Marine Corps, and the nation," said ONR Executive Director Dr. Walter Jones. "Scientific leadership in autonomy and unmanned systems enabled the LDUUV-INP, which will strongly complement our existing undersea capabilities and platforms."

Naval leaders at the expo will address the significant science and technology advancements that have taken place under the LDUUV-INP program, including leap-ahead capabilities in UUV endurance, power and autonomy.

Other breakthrough ONR technologies being highlighted at the event include:

* LOCUST: Low-Cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Swarming Technology. On display is a prototype, tube-launched UAV. The LOCUST program will make possible the launch of multiple swarming UAVs to autonomously overwhelm an adversary.

* GBAD: Ground-Based Air Defense On-the-Move. GBAD is a vehicle-based, mobile, high-energy laser that is a cost-effective defense against asymmetric threats like UAVs. GBAD's evolution has mirrored that of other directed-energy programs sponsored by ONR, including the Laser Weapon System (LaWS) that is today operating aboard USS Ponce in the Arabian Gulf. On display at the ONR booth will be the system's search radar, as well as a model of its planer waveguide laser.

* MDUSV: ONR's Medium Displacement Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MDUSV) program will be to autonomous surface vessels what LDUUV-INP will be to the undersea autonomous realm. The technology will be joined with an emerging new platform called the Antisubmarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV), in partnership with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. This joint, modular platform is designed for multimission capabilities and modular payload options and will bring new advances in speed, endurance and sea-state capabilities. On display is a model of the future 130-foot long vessel. The project will include the use of ONR-sponsored autonomous technologies similar to those used in autonomous swarmboats.

These and other technologies in autonomy and directed energy programs support highest level Navy and Marine Corps leadership for greater autonomy capabilities for the future force. ONR's programs support the nation's maritime strategy for sea services, called the Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower, and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert's recent call to reduce reliance on gunpowder through directed energy weapons, and increase the endurance of UUVs.

ONR provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 55 countries, 634 institutions of higher learning and non-profit institutions over 960 industry partners. ONR through its commands including headquarters, ONR Global and the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C., employs more than 3,800 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel.

For more news from Office of Naval Research, visit

NNS150410-18. USS Frank Cable Sailors Clean War Dog Memorial on Naval Base Guam

By Theresa Merto Cepeda, U.S. Naval Base Guam Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- Dozens of USS Frank Cable (AS 40) Sailors volunteered their time to clean up the War Dog Memorial on U.S. Naval Base Guam April 9.

The Sailors spent several hours bush cutting and cleaning the headstones at the memorial, which honors the highly skilled war dogs that served the Marines on Guam during World War II.

"It felt great to be a part of this clean up, because we are honoring these war dogs that played a vital role during the war," said Religious Program Specialist 1st Class Lonnie McDade of USS Frank Cable, who coordinated the clean-up effort. "We are helping our base look great not only for the tours, but for anyone that wants to come here, and learn about the past.

"It is important to honor memorials such as this because Naval Base Guam has a lot of history from the past," McDade said. "We have to know that history to appreciate what we have today. The Marines counted on these dogs to complete their mission like any other Marine. Those war dogs were brave, and could be counted on to find mines to save lives."

Sometimes referred to as "Devil Dogs," they were trained to search out the enemy hiding in the jungle, detect mines and booby traps, to alert trips in foxholes at night about approaching enemies, and to carry messages, ammunition and medical supplies.

On Guam alone, they led their handlers on more than 550 patrols, encountering enemy soldiers on more than half of them and saved hundreds of Marines lives.

The war dog entered the Marines with the rank of private and could be promoted. Those that died were buried in a temporary military cemetery in Asan, Guam, along with fellow Marines. After the war, most the surviving dogs were retrained and returned to their original owners who had volunteered them as part of the war effort.

"Volunteering in community relations (COMREL) projects are the best way to interact with the local community and to give back," said Machinery Repairman 1st Class (SW/AW) Jeffrey Paulino Tumacder, of Frank Cable. "I enjoy participating because it helps strengthen local and military ties. I highly recommended Sailors to participate in any COMREL project because it makes a big difference representing our command, our Navy, whether they know it or not."

Frank Cable Sailors actively participate in community relations projects throughout the year including cleaning parks and planting trees, mentoring children through the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program, and helping at animal shelters, among other projects.

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

NNS150410-16. VFA 27 Royal Maces Receives 2014 NAVAIRPAC Battle "E" Award

By Lt. Alex Islin, VFA 27 Public Affairs

ATSUGI, Japan (Apr. 10, 2015) (NNS) -- The "Royal Maces" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27 based at Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi were recently recognized by Commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific (COMNAVAIRPAC) as the recipients of the 2014 COMNAVAIRPAC Battle "E" award.

Chosen from among all U.S. Pacific Fleet FA-18E and FA-18F squadrons, the Battle "E" is presented annually to the squadron that achieves the highest standards of "cost-wise and performance readiness" over the course of the year and recognizes "a unit's training and operational achievements," based on a competitive assessment across a wide range of metrics.

"Every member of the Royal Mace team has worked tirelessly to ensure the highest possible combat readiness through an extremely demanding deployment cycle that requires the squadron to deploy aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) for a considerable portion of every year," said Cmdr. Spencer Abbot, commanding officer, VFA-27.

To begin the year's deployment cycle, in spring 2014 the Royal Maces carried out a demanding transpacific training detachment to Fallon, Nevada, with squadron aircraft and personnel voyaging to the continental United States from Japan via Wake Island and Hawaii, with the assistance of U.S. Air Force KC-10 and KC-135 "big wing" tankers. While in Fallon, Nev., the squadron had the opportunity to undertake highly realistic combat training with other Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 squadrons, along with personnel from Strike-Fighter Weapons School Atlantic and the Naval Strike Air Warfare Center (NSAWC), utilizing the superb training facilities of the Fallon Range Training Complex (FRTC).

The squadron's pilots, and a detachment of maintenance personnel, conducted Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) flights at Iwo To, formerly known as Iwo Jima, to prepare for the challenges of landing the squadron's FA-18E Super Hornets aboard George Washington.

During the squadron's summer patrol, the Royal Maces executed a rigorous schedule of exercises and flight operations throughout the Western Pacific region. The squadron also participated in port visits in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Busan. The summer deployment period wrapped up with a port visit to Sasebo, Japan, where many family members of squadron personnel embarked aboard George Washington for a "Tiger Cruise" en route to the ship's homeport of Yokosuka, Japan.

Following a brief period at home in Japan, the squadron returned to the aircraft carrier for a fall patrol, during which the squadron participated in Valiant Shield, the largest U.S.-only joint exercise held within the Asia-Pacific region. The Royal Maces honed combat skills alongside U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors and F-15 Eagles, U.S. Marine Corps FA-18s, many other Navy aircraft and ships, and numerous other platforms from across the military services in a highly complex and demanding exercise.

Throughout the port calls across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, and continuing upon the squadron's return to Atsugi, Royal Mace Sailors set a superb example for professionalism as Navy ambassadors abroad, demonstrating impeccable conduct over the course of the year.

The squadron achieved unmatched operational and maintenance excellence through innovative leadership, and rigorous focus on the fundamentals of aviation maintenance, operations and safety. The squadron's maintenance department demonstrated unparalleled skill, knowledge and dedication to professional and safe maintenance practices by achieving one of the top results ever recorded during an Aviation Maintenance Inspection (AMI), the top-level maintenance inspection for U.S. Navy squadrons, conducted by a NAVAIRPAC inspection team.

"I've never observed maintenance inspection results of higher caliber in my naval career," said Lt. Cmdr. Andy McKee, maintenance officer, VFA-27. "It was truly a team effort, and I could not be more proud to serve with this remarkable group of maintenance professionals."

Capt. William Koyama, commander, CVW 5, awarded the squadron's maintenance department the "Golden Wrench" award for two consecutive quarters in 2014 recognizing the Royal Maces as the air wing's top maintenance department. Under the Naval Aviation Energy Conservation Program, VFA-27 was ranked first in fuel efficiency out of the 26 FA-18E and FA-18F squadrons in the Pacific Fleet by COMNAVAIRPAC.

Royal Mace pilots earned the air wing's "Top Hook" award for the top landing performance for two consecutive line periods.

"This award is not earned just by the best, most experienced ball flyers in the squadron, it is earned by the team mentoring and ensuring reliable competence in the least experienced, and least gifted ball flyers," said Koyama as he presented the Royal Maces with their second consecutive Top Hook award. "It's earned by a squadron that does what it takes to make their lowest common denominator excellent by any other standard."

The squadron ended the 2014 patrol cycle aboard George Washington with exercise Keen Sword, an opportunity to refine tactical skills and enhance interoperability with their counterparts from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

At NAF Atsugi, the Royal Maces continued to work innovatively to further strengthen their relationship with the Japan Self-Defense Force, and with the squadron's host community in Japan. The Royal Maces organized a combined training detachment with the Japan Air-Self Defense Force 204th Fighter Squadron, an F-15J Eagle squadron based in Naha, Okinawa. Royal Mace pilots briefed, flew and debriefed directly with their Japanese counterparts, enhancing mutual interoperability. The squadron also devised and implemented the Navy's first foreign language training program for a deployed carrier air wing, partnering with the Navy's Center for Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (CLREC) to offer language classes in Mandarin Chinese and Korean to air wing sailors when in Atsugi, and Japanese classes both in Atsugi and aboard George Washington. The squadron additionally initiated a school partnership with Terao Elementary School near Naval Air Facility Atsugi, providing squadron sailors and spouses the opportunity to teach English classes to students.

The 2014 COMNAVAIRPAC Battle "E" award highlights a very successful year for the forward-deployed Royal Maces of VFA-27.

"I am immensely proud of the Sailors of the Royal Maces, who have set the standard for professionalism, teamwork, and commitment to excellence in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region," added Abbot.

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

NNS150410-09. Undersea Rescue Command, Contractors Work to get Pressurized Rescue Module Recertified

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Gerald Dudley Reynolds, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Crew members from Undersea Rescue Command (URC) and contractors from Phoenix International commenced the recertification of pressurized rescue module Falcon (PRM-1) aboard surface support ship Hornbeck Offshore Services Dominator, April 2-7.

This recertification is the first in-water test completed in two years.

The Falcon PRM is tethered and remotely operated to rescue submarines.

"Recertifying the Falcon is a very detailed but important process," said Lt. j. g. Shawn Branske, Commander, Submarine Squadron 11's URC maintenance officer. "The entire asset is torn down and examined from the nuts and bolts to the latches."

The process took several days to ensure quality checks were done correctly before going out to sea.

"Part of this recertification process is to make the rescue operations run more smoothly," said Jeremie Arnold, mechanical technician for the Falcon. "I have done recovery operations in Spain and India but there is always something we can improve on."

The Falcon is an essential part of submarine recovery and rescue. It uses 12 thrusters to maneuver the module in the water, which allow it to reach a disabled submarine within minutes.

Operators can use it to conduct rescue operations at depths of up to 2,000 feet where a pumping mechanism helps attach it to a disabled submarine and can be adjusted for mating at up to 45 degrees.

Once mated to the submarine, high-pressure pumps release water pressure through the transfer skirt. After the pressure is released up to 16 personnel can be transferred at a time.

"The rescue module is also equipped with 12 cameras and three sonars, which can be used to help locate the disabled submarine," said Arnold. "The Falcon is a very rapidly deployable asset to help all navies with a rescue."

The Falcon is scheduled to perform deep water testing later this month to finalize the recertification process.

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

NNS150410-28. Northwest First Class Petty Officers Meet for Symposium

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

SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- More than 300 first class petty officers (FCPO) from multiple commands in the Pacific Northwest met for a two-day leadership symposium at Bangor Plaza, Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, April 7-8.

The symposium was hosted by Navy Region Northwest and coordinated by the Intermediate Maintenance Facility and Naval Base Kitsap First Class Petty Officer Associations (FCPOA).

"Setting up the logistics to have this meeting was very difficult, but to see so many people joined together in one room is all worth it," said Machinist's Mate 1st Class Dwayne Whiteside, from Concord, California, president of the Intermediate Maintenance Facility FCPOA.

The symposium covered a broad range of topics including leadership skills and the Chief Petty Officer (CPO) 365 program from several speakers, including fleet, force and command master chiefs.

"I learn something at every [CPO] 365 meeting I go to, sometimes from fellow chiefs and sometimes from FCPO's," said Chief Culinary Specialist Kevin Flatley, from Hempstead, New York, attached to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor's Trident Inn. "Every day is a chance to grow and benefit from the Sailors around you."

The training provided FCPOs with worthwhile information in conjunction with goals to set for themselves while beginning their journey to the chief petty officer selection boards.

"Having so many FCPOs interacting with each other in one setting, while tremendous speakers pass on their information to future leaders is a great experience," said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Jonathan McClellan, from Fort Morgan, Colorado, attached to Naval Base Kitsap.

The symposium brought together officers, FCPOs and CPOs to share information and leadership skills to help build a strong future of Navy leadership.

For more news from Navy Region Northwest, visit

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

NNS150410-01. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Wins Two Environmental Awards

From Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Public Affairs

KITTERY, Maine (NNS) -- Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) was recently announced as the winner of two fiscal year 2014 Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Environmental Awards, one for Environmental Restoration-Installation and one for Cultural Resources Management-Small Installation.

The SECNAV Environmental Awards recognize Navy and Marine Corps individuals, teams, ships, and installations for exceptional environmental stewardship.

The award submittals in each of the categories are judged on five key criteria: program management, orientation to mission, stakeholder interaction, transferability, and technical merit.

"The environmental restoration program has been ongoing for a number of years now, starting with our initial assessment in 1983 to identify potential cleanup sites," said Cmdr. Jason Crosby, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) public works officer. "By the end of the summer, we will have completed records of decision and remedial actions for all but one site, which not only shows the Navy's commitment to promote environmental stewardship, but also supports the shipyard's mission."

This is the fourth consecutive year PNSY has been recognized for its environmental programs. The shipyard previously won fiscal year 2011 SECNAV award for Environmental Restoration, fiscal year 2012 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) award for Environmental Restoration, and fiscal year 2013 CNO award for Sustainability.

"As the oldest continuously operating naval shipyard in the nation, the cultural resources management program is faced with unique challenges, as well as areas of archaeological sensitivity," said Kerry Vautrot, NAVFAC cultural resources manager for the shipyard. "Through coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office, Portsmouth has developed relationships with key stakeholders, resulting in reduced consultation timelines and more effective project consultation."

As part of the announcement, Secretary of the Navy the Honorable Ray Mabus commended all of the nominees and winners for the tremendous success showcased in these awards and offered his congratulations.

"I applaud our civilians, Sailors, and Marines, both here and forward deployed, who are a part of our robust environmental team supporting the sustainment of our operations and resiliency of our installations," Mabus said.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard will now move on to compete in the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards competition.

"Our goal is to continuously improve our conservation efforts for the shipyard and the nation," said Shipyard Commander, Capt. William Greene. "This recognition validates that goal and inspires us to recommit to environmental stewardship and sustainability."

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is the Navy's center of excellence for fast-attack submarine maintenance, modernization, and repair. As a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command, PNSY is committed to maximizing the material readiness of the fleet by safely delivering first-time quality, on time, and on budget.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

NNS011216-10. This Day in Naval History - April 10

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1941 - USS Niblack (DD 424) picks up three boatloads of survivors from Dutch freighter Saleier, which was sunk the previous day by a German U-boat. The destroyer detects a submarine preparing to attack and drives it off with a depth charge attack. It is the first action between American and German forces in World War II.

1942 - USS Thresher (SS 200) torpedoes and sinks Japanese merchant cargo ship Maru six miles north of Oshima, near the entrance to Tokyo Bay, Honshu, Japan.

1944 - TBM bombers and FM-2s aircraft (VC 58) from USS Guadalcanal (CVE 60) sink German submarine U 68 off Madeira Island.

1963 - During diving tests, USS Thresher (SSN 593) is lost with all hands east of Cape Cod, Mass., including commanding officer and 17 civilian technicians.

1966 - During the Vietnam War, the river patrol boats (PBRs) of River Patrol Force commence operations on inland waters of South Vietnam.

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